Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 17 - The Ten Stages - 317

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 317
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 17 - The Ten Stages –

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]

17. LEVEL PURIFICATION – Going without going through the ten stages of the Bodhisattva Path – stages of purification / completion / perfection / preparation – by way of not apprehending, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes. Purifying / completing / perfecting conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, without purifying / completing / perfecting in absolute terms.

(i.e. Résumé: The ten stages.
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Going without going through the ten stages of the Bodhisattva Path – stages of purification / completion / perfection / preparation – by way of not apprehending, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes. Purifying / completing / perfecting conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, without purifying / completing / perfecting in absolute terms.
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Stages of the Bodhisattva Path: practicing / completing with skillful means the six perfections [T1] by way of not apprehending, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes [T2] [U2T].
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Bodhisattvas practicing the six perfections… change place, going from level to level [conventionally, relatively] [T1], by all dharmas not changing place [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T]. Because no dharma comes, or goes, or changes place, or is close to changing places [in absolute terms [T2], just conventionally [T1] [U2T]]. Because nothing really exists and changes / gets defiled or gets purified in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
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"But even though they do not falsely project the level of those dharmas [T2],
do not direct their thoughts toward them [in absolute terms] [T2],
they still [conventionally, relatively] do the purification for a level [T1],
and they do not view those levels [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T]."
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There are ten levels of purification / completion on the bodhisattva's path.
They are practices / completions / purifications [T1], by way of not viewing, not apprehending, not paying attention to, not finding, not settling down on, not falsely projecting, not seizing, not wallowing in, not relying on, not getting attached to, not fixating, not reifying, not absolutising, not polarising … in absolute terms [T2] [U2T] – just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
Purifying / practicing / completing / perfecting without purifying / practicing / completing / perfecting, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes:
They are purifications in the conventional / relative / inter-subjective sense [T1], but not a purification of anything in absolute terms [T2] [U2T].
It is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth [U2T].
It is not relying on anything, not giving up / stopping / avoiding / giving up / eliminating / destroying… anything in absolute terms [T2], just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively as possible temporary impermanent tools / adapted skillful means / antidote [T1] [U2T].
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Why? Because all dharmas are empty of inherent existence (T2], not really existent / caused / functional <==> because 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. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. Because everything is like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' [U2T]. Because all dharmas are unarisen / unborn, unconditioned, unchanging, unceasing – in the non-dual sense of those terms: not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither. Because all dharmas are equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas, the true Buddha.
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What is done in purification / completion?
What is purified / perfected in each level?
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Brief explanation of many concepts.
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Conclusion: all words / symbols / images / concepts, teachings, truths / views, methods / practices, milestones / stages / levels, goals, perfections …, all dharmas – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; subject / beings, relation / action / process, object / phenomena; apparent opposites; even the two truths themselves – are 'purified / completed / perfected / transcended' by combining them with more and more wisdom about their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now, about the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them. The bodhisattva path is not about better discrimination / differentiation, accepting this in absolute terms, while rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / stopping that in absolute terms; but about directly realising the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U3S / Uopp / U2T-2T], the true nature & dynamic of the self-conditioning / karmic cycle.)

"Subhūti, in regard to what you have asked‍ —
'How have bodhisattva great beings come to set out in the Great Vehicle?'‍ —

  • Subhūti,
    here bodhisattva great beings
    practicing the six perfections
    change place, going from level to level [conventionally, relatively] [T1].

And how do bodhisattva great beings practicing the six perfections change place, going from level to level?

  • Like this:
    by all dharmas not changing place [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T].

And why?

  • Because no dharma comes, or goes, or changes place,
    or is close to changing places
    [in absolute terms [T2], just conventionally [T1] [U2T]].

  • But even though they do not falsely project the level of those dharmas [T2], 300
    do not direct their thoughts toward them [in absolute terms] [T2],
    they still [conventionally, relatively] do the purification for a level [T1],
    and they do not view those levels [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T]. 301

(Note: From wikipedia: The Daśabhūmika Sūtra (Ten Stages Sutra) refers to the following ten bhūmis.
(In the Daśabhūmika Sūtra, the Buddha describes ten stages of development that a bodhisattva must progress through in order to accomplish full Enlightenment and Buddhahood, as well as the subject of Buddha-nature and the awakening of the aspiration for Enlightenment.)
1. The first bhūmi, the Very Joyous. (Skt. pramuditā), in which one rejoices at realizing a partial aspect of the truth;
2. The second bhūmi, the Stainless. (Skt.vimalā), in which one is free from all defilement;
3. The third bhūmi, the Light-Maker. (Skt. prabhākarī), in which one radiates the light of wisdom;
4. The fourth bhūmi, the Radiant Intellect. (Skt. arciṣmatī), in which the radiant flame of wisdom burns away earthly desires;
5. The fifth bhūmi, the Difficult to Master. (Skt. sudurjayā), in which one surmounts the illusions of darkness, or ignorance as the Middle Way;
6. The sixth bhūmi, the Manifest. (Skt. abhimukhī) in which supreme wisdom begins to manifest;
7. The seventh bhūmi, the Gone Afar. (Skt. dūraṃgamā), in which one rises above the states of the Two vehicles;
8. The eighth bhūmi, the Immovable. (Skt. acalā), in which one dwells firmly in the truth of the Middle Way and cannot be perturbed by anything;
9. The ninth bhūmi, the Good Intelligence. (Skt. sādhumatī), in which one preaches the Law freely and without restriction;
10. The tenth bhūmi, the Cloud of Doctrine. (Skt. dharmameghā), in which one benefits all sentient beings with the Law (Dharma), just as a cloud sends down rain impartially on all things.
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See also: Chandrakirti's The Entrance Into the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara)_

"And what is the bodhisattva great beings' purification [preparation]?

  1. Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings occupying
    the first level, Pramuditā, have to do ten purifications [preparations] for that level.

What are the ten? They are

  1. purification of the surpassing aspiration [T1], and that by way of not apprehending [T2] [U2T] anything;

  2. purification of the basis for beneficial work [T1] through not apprehending [T2] [U2T] causal signs; 302

  3. purification of the same state of mind toward all beings [T1] through not apprehending [T2] [U2T] beings;

  4. purification of giving up things [T1] through not apprehending [T2] [U2T] a gift, giver, or recipient;

  5. purification of serving spiritual friends [T1] because of not falsely projecting anything on account of them;

  6. purification of seeking the doctrine [T1] through not apprehending [T2] [U2T] any dharma;

  7. purification of constant renunciation [T1] through not apprehending [T2] [U2T] a home;

  8. purification of longing for the body of a buddha [T1] through not apprehending [T2] [U2T] the causal signs of the auspicious major and minor signs; 303

  9. purification of an exposition of dharmas through not apprehending [T2] [U2T] an analysis of dharmas;

  10. purification of preventing being puffed up with pride 304 through not apprehending [T2] [U2T] a state of existence; and

  11. purification of making truth statements through not apprehending [T2] [U2T] a statement.

These, Subhūti, are the ten purifications bodhisattva great beings occupying the first level, Pramuditā, have to do.

(Note: The first bhūmi, the Very Joyous: The perfection of giving
The First bhūmi, called "Very Joyous", is attained with the first direct perception of [genuine-]emptiness [free from all extremes & middle = Union of the Two Truths [U2T]] and is simultaneous with entry into the third of the five paths to awakening, the path of seeing. It is called "very joyous" because the bodhisattva works at the perfections of generosity and develops the ability to give away everything without regret and with no thought of praise or reward (for themselves). All phenomena are viewed as empty and as subject to decay, suffering, and death, and so bodhisattvas lose all attachment to them. According to Tsong Khapa, first level bodhisattvas directly understand that persons do not exist by way of their own nature. Due to this, they overcome the false idea that the five aggregates constitute a truly existent person. They also eliminate predispositions toward corrupted ethics so completely that they will not arise again.
Despite having directly and correctly perceived emptiness, bodhisattvas on the first level are primarily motivated by faith. They train in ethics in order to cleanse their minds of negativity and so they prepare themselves for the cultivation of mundane meditative absorption that comes on the second level.)

  1. "Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings occupying
    the second level have to constantly pay attention to eight dharmas and focus on them in practice.

What are the eight?

  1. They are completely pure morality,

  2. a feeling of appreciation and gratitude,

  3. a foundation of the power of patience,

  4. an experience of great delight and joy,

  5. not ignoring any being,

  6. being deeply moved by great compassion,

  7. great reverence because of venerating gurus with faith and by imagining them as the Teacher, and

  8. Seeking the perfections through the practice of them [T1]
    (through not apprehending [T2] [U2T]).

These, Subhūti, are the eight dharmas bodhisattva great beings occupying the second level have to constantly pay attention to and focus on in practice.

(Note: The second bhūmi, the Stainless: The perfection of moral discipline
Bodhisattvas on the second level, the "Stainless", perfect ethics and overcome all tendencies towards engagement in negative actions. Their control becomes so complete that even in dreams they have no immoral thoughts.
… Because of this, the bodhisattva's mind becomes purified and equinanimous,
which is a prerequisite for training in the four dhyānas (meditative absorptions)
and the four arūpajhānas (formless absorptions).

  1. "Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings occupying
    the third level have to keep on with five dharmas.

What are the five?

  1. They have to keep on with great learning without complacency [T1], and that without settling down [T2] [U2T] on words;

  2. with expositions of the gift of Dharma without concern for material possessions [T1] but not falsely projecting [T2] [U2T] anything on account of that;

  3. in raising up and transforming wholesome roots for the purification of a buddhafield [T1] but not falsely projecting [T2] [U2T] anything on account of that;

  4. with not feeling oppressed by immeasurable cycles of existence [T1] but not falsely projecting [T2] [U2T] anything on account of that; and

  5. with an abiding sense of shame and embarrassment [T1] but not falsely projecting [T2] [U2T] anything on account of those either.

Bodhisattva great beings occupying the third level, Subhūti, have to keep on with these five dharmas.

(Note: The third bhūmi, the Light-Maker: The perfection of patience
Bodhisattvas on this level cultivate the perfection of patience. Their equanimity becomes so profound that "even if someone...cuts from the body of this bodhisattva not just flesh but also bone, not in large sections but bit by bit, not continually but pausing in between, and not finishing in a short time but cutting over a long period, the bodhisattva would not get angry at the mutilator."
The Bodhisattva realizes that his tormentor is motivated by afflicted thoughts and is sowing seeds of his own future suffering. As a result, the bodhisattva feels not anger, but a deep sadness and compassion for this cruel person, who is unaware of the operations of karma. Trainees on the third level overcome all tendencies toward anger, and never react with hatred (or even annoyance) to any harmful acts or words. Rather, their equanimity remains constant, and all sentient beings are viewed with love and compassion:
All anger and resentment rebound on the person who generates them, and they do nothing to eliminate harms that one has already experienced. They are counterproductive in that they destroy one's peace of mind and lead to unfavorable future situations. There is nothing to be gained through anger and resentment, revenge does nothing to change the past, and so the bodhisattva avoids them.
Bodhisattvas on this level also train in the four form meditations, the four formless meditations, and the four immeasurables, and the higher knowledges.)

  1. "Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings occupying
    the fourth level have to appropriate and keep ten dharmas and should not give them up.

What are the ten?

  1. Not giving up dwelling in the forest,

  2. having few desires,

  3. contentment,

  4. not giving up the qualities of the ascetic or austerity,

  5. not giving up training,

  6. abhorring sense objects,

  7. production of a thought associated with nirvāṇa, 305

  8. giving up all possessions,

  9. an unmixed mind, 306 and

  10. not relying on anything.

These, Subhūti, are the ten dharmas a bodhisattva great being occupying the fourth level should not give up and that they have to appropriate and keep.

(Note: The fourth bhūmi, the Radiant Intellect: The perfection of effort
On the fourth level, the "Radiant Intellect", bodhisattvas cultivate the perfection of effort and eliminate afflictions. According to Wonch'uk, this level is so named because fourth bhumi bodhisattvas "constantly emit the radiance of exalted wisdom." He also cites Maitreya's Ornament for the Mahayana Sutras, which explains that bodhisattvas on this level burn up the afflictive obstructions and the obstructions to omniscience with the radiance of their wisdom. They enter into progressively deeper meditative absorptions and attain a powerful mental pliancy as a result. This eliminates laziness and increases their ability to practice meditation for extended periods of time. They destroy deeply rooted afflictions and cultivate the thirty-seven factors of awakening.
Through training in these thirty-seven practices, bodhisattvas develop great skill in meditative absorptions and cultivate wisdom, while weakening the artificial and innate conceptions of true existence.)

  1. "Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings occupying
    the fifth level have to avoid ten dharmas. 307

What are the ten?

  1. They have to avoid getting tied up with householders,

  2. avoid getting tied up with monks and nuns,

  3. stop envying status families,

  4. avoid places where people get together,

  5. stop bearing malice, stop praising themselves and disparaging others,

  6. stop the ten unwholesome actions,

  7. avoid haughtiness and pride in being superior,

  8. stop distortions,

  9. avoid doubt, 308 and

  10. avoid the propensity for greed, hatred, and confusion.

These, Subhūti, are the ten dharmas bodhisattva great beings occupying the fifth level should avoid.

(Note: The fifth bhūmi, the Difficult to Master: The perfection of concentration
The fifth level is called the "Difficult to Master" because it involves practices that are so arduous and require a great deal of effort to perfect. It is also called the "Difficult to Overcome" because when one has completed the training of this level one has profound wisdom and insight that are difficult to surpass or undermine.
According to Nāgārjuna,
  The fifth is called the Extremely Difficult to Overcome
  Since all evil ones find it extremely hard to conquer him;
  He becomes skilled in knowing the subtle
  Meanings of the noble truths and so forth.
Bodhisattvas on this level cultivate the perfection of samadhi. They develop strong powers of meditative stabilization and overcome tendencies toward distraction. They achieve mental one-pointedness and they perfect calm abiding.
They also fully penetrate the meanings of the four noble truths and the two truths (conventional truths and ultimate truths) and perceive all phenomena as empty, transient and prone to suffering.)

  1. "Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings occupying
    the sixth level have to complete six dharmas.

What are the six?

  • They have to complete the six perfections [T1] (through not apprehending [T2] [U2T]).

There are also another six dharmas they have to avoid.

What are the six?

  1. They have to avoid śrāvaka states of mind,

  2. avoid pratyekabuddha states of mind,

  3. avoid wearied states of mind, 309

  4. avoid feeling cowed when they see a beggar,

  5. avoid feeling unhappy about all the things they have given up, and

  6. not rebuff beggars.

These, Subhūti, are the six dharmas bodhisattva great beings occupying the sixth level should avoid.

(Note: The sixth bhūmi, the Manifest: The perfection of wisdom
The sixth level is called the "Manifest" because the bodhisattva clearly perceives the workings of dependent arising and directly understands "the signless" (Mtshan ma med pa, Tibetan. Animitta, Sanskrit). The signless refers to the fact that phenomena seem to possess their apparent qualities by way of their own nature [T1], but when one examines this appearance one realizes that all qualities are merely mentally imputed and not a part of the nature of the objects they appear to characterize [T2] [U2T].
As a result of these understandings bodhisattvas manifest meditative wisdom and avoid attachment to either cyclic existence or nirvana. Having overcome all attachments, bodhisattvas on this level can attain nirvana, but because of the force of the mind of awakening they decide to remain in the world in order to benefit other sentient beings. They cultivate the Perfection of Wisdom, through which they perceive all phenomena [T1] as lacking inherent existence [T2], as being like dreams, illusions, reflections, or magically created objects [U2T]. All notions of "I" and "other" are transcended, along with conceptions of "inherent existence" and "inherent nonexistence." These sixth-level bodhisattvas abide in contemplation of suchness [U2T], with minds that are undisturbed by false ideas.)

  1. "Furthermore, Subhūti, there are twenty dharmas that bodhisattva great beings occupying
    the seventh level should not do.

What are the twenty?

  1. They should not seize on a self,

  2. seize on a sentient being,

  3. seize on a living being,

  4. seize on a person,

  5. seize on annihilation,

  6. seize on permanence,

  7. perceive a causal sign,

  8. view that it is a cause,

  9. settle down on name and form,

  10. settle down on the aggregates,

  11. settle down on the sense fields,

  12. settle down on the constituents,

  13. settle down on the three realms,

  14. cling to the three realms,

  15. wallow in the three realms,

  16. settle down on the view that the Buddha should be resorted to,

  17. settle down on the view that the Dharma should be resorted to,

  18. settle down on the view that the Saṅgha should be resorted to,

  19. settle down on the view that morality is a place to resort to, or

  20. get depressed that 'all dharmas are empty' and oppose emptiness.
    (i.e. One never gets depressed when one realises that the true meaning of emptiness is the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle.)

These, Subhūti, are the twenty dharmas that bodhisattva great beings occupying the seventh level should not do.

"Occupying the seventh level, they also have to complete exactly twenty dharmas.

What are the twenty? They are

  1. the realization of emptiness,

  2. the actualization of signlessness,

  3. the knowledge of wishlessness,

  4. the purification of the three spheres,

  5. empathy and compassion for all beings,

  6. not looking down on those beings,

  7. viewing the sameness of all dharmas and not settling down on it [in absolute terms],
    (i.e. Dramas are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. On the conventional / relative level they are many appearances, but they are the same in sharing the same inconceivable unique all-encompassing timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceatins pristine true nature & dynamic as it is here & now, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T]. These two levels are inseparable, in harmony.)

  8. realizing the way things are perfect without falsely projecting anything on account of it [in absolute terms],

  9. forbearance for non-production [in absolute terms],

  10. the knowledge of non-production [in absolute terms],

  11. the exposition of the one way things are [U2T],

  12. total destruction of thought constructions [in absolute terms] concerning all phenomena,

  13. reversal [transcendence] of views,

  14. reversal of afflictions,

  15. the level of meditation on calm abiding and skill in insight, (i.e. Union of samatha & vipassana)

  16. a disciplined state of mind,

  17. a calmed state of mind,

  18. unobstructed knowledge,

  19. the attachment-free level, 310 and

  20. going as they want to any buddhafield.

These, Subhūti, are the twenty dharmas that bodhisattva great beings occupying the seventh level should complete.

(Note: The seventh bhūmi, the Gone Afar: The perfection of skillful means
Bodhisattvas on the seventh level develop the ability to contemplate signlessness uninterruptedly and enter into advanced meditative absorptions for extended periods of time, thus passing beyond both the mundane and supramundane paths of śrāvakas and Pratyekabuddhas (Hearers and solitary realizers). For this reason, this level is called the "Gone Afar."
According to Nāgārjuna,
  The seventh is the Gone Afar because
  The number of his qualities has increased,
  Moment by moment he can enter
  The equipoise of cessation,
On this level bodhisattvas perfect their skill in means of meditation and practice, which is their ability to cleverly adapt their teaching tactics to the individual proclivities and needs of their audiences. They also develop the ability to know the thoughts of others, and in every moment are able to practice all the perfections. All thoughts and actions are free from afflictions, and they constantly act spontaneously and effectively for the benefit of others.)

  1. "Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings occupying
    the eighth level have to complete four dharmas.

What are the four?

  1. They have to read the minds of all beings,

  2. play with the clairvoyances,

  3. view the buddhafields and fully execute them exactly as they have seen them to be, and

  4. attend on the buddhas and properly contemplate the buddha bodies.

These, Subhūti, are the four dharmas they should complete.

Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings occupying the eighth level have to complete four other dharmas.

What are the four?

  1. They have to know higher and lower faculties,

  2. they have to purify a buddhafield,

  3. they have to be constantly absorbed in the illusion-like meditative stabilization, and

  4. they have to intentionally appropriate an existence and bring into being a body in line with the outcome of the wholesome roots of beings.

These, Subhūti, are the four other dharmas bodhisattva great beings occupying the eighth level have to complete.

(Note: The eight bhūmi, the Immovable: The perfection of aspiration prayers
The eighth level is called the "Immovable" because bodhisattvas overcome all afflictions regarding signs and their minds are always completely absorbed in the dharma. At this level, a bodhisattva has achieved nirvana.
According to Nāgārjuna,
  The eighth is the Immovable, the youthful stage,
  Through non-conceptuality he is immovable;
  And the spheres of his body, speech and mind's
  Activities are inconceivable.
Because they are fully acquainted with signlessness, their minds are not moved by ideas of signs. Eighth Bhumi bodhisattvas are said to be "irreversible", because there is no longer any possibility that they might waver on the path or backslide. They are destined for full buddhahood, and there are no longer any inclinations to seek a personal nirvana. They cultivate the "perfection of aspiration", which means that they undertake to fulfill various vows, due to which they accumulate the causes of further virtues. Although they resolve to work for the benefit of others and they pervade the universe with feelings of friendliness toward all sentient beings, these bodhisattvas have transcended any tendency to misunderstand anatta (no-self).
Their understanding of emptiness is so complete that it overturns innate delusions, and reality appears in a completely new light. They enter into meditation on emptiness with little effort. Bodhisattvas on this level are compared to people who have awakened from dreams, and all their perceptions are influenced by this new awareness. They attain the meditative state called "forbearance regarding non-arisen phenomena", due to which they no longer think in terms of inherent causes or inherent causelessness. They also develop the ability to manifest in various forms in order to instruct others. Compassion and skillful means are automatic and spontaneous. There is no need to plan or contemplate how best to benefit others, since bodhisattvas on the eighth level automatically react correctly to every situation.)

  1. "Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings occupying
    the ninth level have to complete twelve dharmas.

What are the twelve?

  1. They are the assistance of unending prayers;

  2. success in line with the prayers that are made;

  3. understanding knowledge of the sounds of gods, nāgas, yakṣas, gandharvas, asuras, garuḍas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, and ghosts;

  4. understanding a river of confidence giving a readiness to speak; and

  5. perfect entry into a womb,

  6. a perfect family,

  7. a perfect social class and lineage,

  8. a perfect retinue,

  9. a perfect birth,

  10. perfect going forth,

  11. the perfect spreading out of a Bodhi tree, and

  12. the perfect completion of good qualities.

These, Subhūti, are the twelve dharmas bodhisattva great beings occupying the ninth level have to complete.

(Note: The ninth bhūmi, the Good Intelligence: The perfection of forces and dharmas of awareness
From this point on, bodhisattvas move quickly toward awakening. Before this stage, progress was comparatively slow, like that of a boat being towed through a harbor. On the eighth through tenth bhumi, however, bodhisattvas make huge strides toward buddhahood, like a ship that reaches the ocean and unfurls its sails. On the ninth level, they fully understand the three vehicles - hearers, solitary realizers, and bodhisattvas - and perfect the ability to teach the doctrine. According to the Sutra Explaining the Thought, "Because of attaining faultlessness and very extensive intelligence in terms of mastery of teaching the doctrine in all aspects, the ninth level is called the "Good Intelligence.""
Ninth bhūmi bodhisattvas also acquire the "four analytical knowledges" – of fundamental concepts, meaning, grammar, and exposition. Due to this, they develop wondrous eloquence and skill in presenting doctrinal teachings. Their intelligence surpasses that of all humans and gods, and they comprehend all names, words, meanings, and languages. They can understand any question from any being. They also have the ability to answer them with a single sound, which is understood by each being according to its capacities. On this level they also cultivate the perfection of virya, which means that because of the strength of their mastery of the four analytical knowledges and their meditation they are able to develop paramitas energetically and to practice them continually without becoming fatigued.)

  1. "Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings occupying
    the tenth level have to be called just 'tathāgata.' "

(Note: The tenth bhūmi, the Cloud of Dharma: The perfection of awareness – Primordial awareness
On the tenth bhūmi, bodhisattvas overcome the subtlest traces of the afflictions. Like a cloud that pours rain on the earth, these bodhisattvas spread the dharma in all directions, and each sentient being absorbs what it needs in order to grow spiritually.
Thus Nāgārjuna states that
  The tenth is the Cloud of Dharma because
  The rain of excellent doctrine falls,
  The Bodhisattva is consecrated
  With light by the Buddhas.
At this stage bodhisattvas enter into progressively deeper meditative absorptions and develop limitless powers with regard to magical formulas. They cultivate the perfection of exalted wisdom, which, according to Asaṅga, enables them to increase their exalted wisdom. This in turn strengthens the other perfections. As a result, they become established in the joy of the doctrine.
They acquire perfect bodies, and their minds are cleansed of the subtlest traces of the afflictions. They manifest in limitless forms for the benefit of others and transcend the ordinary laws of time and space. They are able to place entire world systems in a single pore, without diminishing them or increasing the size of the pore. When they do this, the beings inhabiting the worlds feel no discomfort, and only those who are advanced bodhisattvas even notice.
Bodhisattvas on this level receive a form of empowerment from innumerable buddhas. This is called "great rays of light", because the radiance of these bodhisattvas shines in all directions. This empowerment helps them in removing the remaining obstructions to omniscience and gives them added confidence and strength. At the final moment of this stage they enter into a meditative state called the "vajralike meditative stabilization", in which the subtlest remaining obstacles to buddhahood are overcome. They arise from this concentration as Buddhas.)


The Lord having said this,venerable Subhūti inquired of him,
"Lord, what is done in purification of the surpassing aspiration of bodhisattva great beings occupying the first level?"


The Lord replied,

  1. "With attention connected with the knowledge of all aspects,
    the full accomplishment of all wholesome roots,
    Subhūti, is the bodhisattva great beings' purification of the surpassing aspiration.

  2. "What is the purification of the same state of mind toward all beings?
    With attention connected with the knowledge of all aspects,
    the full accomplishment of the four immeasurables [attitudes]‍ — love, compassion, joy, and equanimity‍ —
    Subhūti, is said to be the purification of the same state of mind toward all beings.

  3. "What is the bodhisattva great beings' purification of giving up?
    Giving gifts to all beings without conceptualization [in absolute terms],
    Subhūti, is said to be the purification of giving up.

  4. "What is the bodhisattva great beings' purification of serving spiritual friends?
    There serving, attending on, and having great reverence for those spiritual friends, the spiritual friends of bodhisattva great beings who cause them to take up and enter into the knowledge of all aspects and establish them in it,
    Subhūti, are said to be the bodhisattva great beings' purification of serving spiritual friends.

  5. "What is the bodhisattva great beings' purification of seeking the doctrine?
    There with a thought connected with the knowledge of all aspects
    they seek the doctrine and do not fall to the śrāvaka or pratyekabuddha level.
    That, Subhūti, is said to be the bodhisattva great beings' purification of seeking the doctrine.

  6. "What is the bodhisattva great beings' purification of constant renunciation?
    In all lifetimes they are aloof and renounced, they go forth to homelessness into the Tathāgata's doctrine, and nobody hinders them.
    That, Subhūti, is said to be the bodhisattva great beings' purification of constant renunciation.

  7. "What is the bodhisattva great beings' purification of longing for the body of a buddha?
    Having seen the body of a buddha they never become separated from attention to the buddha until they reach the knowledge of all aspects.
    That, Subhūti, is said to be the bodhisattva great beings' purification of longing for the body of a buddha.

  8. "What is the bodhisattva great beings' purification of an exposition of doctrines?
    Whether the Tathāgata is here before us or whether gone into nirvāṇa, the bodhisattva great beings teach doctrine, illuminating for beings the spiritual life good at the beginning, good in the middle, and good at the end, excellent in meaning, excellent in wording, unadulterated, complete, purified, and completely pure‍ — that is to say, the discourses, melodious narrations, predictions,verses, summaries, introductions, accounts, birth stories, expanded texts, marvels, tales, and expositions.
    That, Subhūti, is said to be the bodhisattva great beings' purification of an exposition of doctrines.

  9. "What is the bodhisattva great beings' purification of overcoming being puffed up with pride?
    Overcoming being puffed up with pride on account of which they are not born in lower status families,
    Subhūti, is said to be the bodhisattva great beings' purification of overcoming being puffed up with pride.

  10. "What is the bodhisattva great beings' purification of making truth statements?
    That they do what they say,
    Subhūti, is said to be the bodhisattva great beings' purification of making truth statements.

"Those ten, Subhūti, are the purifications bodhisattva great beings occupying the first level have to do.


  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' completely pure morality?
    It is this: not paying attention to śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha states of mind, to what makes for an immorality, or to any of those dharmas that constitute a hindrance to awakening either.
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' completely pure morality.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' feeling of appreciation and gratitude?
    Let alone something big, when bodhisattva great beings are doing their practice they do not consign to oblivion even a tiny benefit done, up until the end of saṃsāra.
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' feeling of appreciation and gratitude.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' foundation of the power of patience?
    The absence of malicious and violent thoughts toward all beings
    is the bodhisattva great beings' foundation of the power of patience.

  • "What do bodhisattva great beings experience as great delight and joy?
    Bringing beings to maturity in the three vehicles
    is what bodhisattva great beings experience as great delight and joy.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' not ignoring any being?
    Guarding all beings
    is the bodhisattva great beings' not ignoring any being.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' being deeply moved by great compassion?
    When doing a practice it occurs to bodhisattva great beings, 'I would stay in the hells for the sake of each being for as many eons as there are sand particles in the Gaṅgā River, and until I have established those beings in the knowledge of a buddha, I would undergo amputation, quartering, mutilation through torture, boiling, and being cooked, and similarly, for the sake of all beings, all the while I would be enthusiastic and not become depressed.'
    (i.e. One never gets depressed when one realises that the true meaning of emptiness is the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle.)
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' being deeply moved by great compassion.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' great reverence because of venerating gurus with faith?
    It is this: imagining the gurus as the Teacher.
    That is called the bodhisattva great beings' great reverence because of venerating gurus with faith.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' seeking the perfections through the practice of them?
    It is this: in order to bring all beings to maturity, seeking the perfections without doing other work.
    That is called the bodhisattva great beings' seeking the perfections through the practice of them.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' great learning without complacency?
    It is not being complacent, but rather thinking, 'I will bear in mind whatever the lord buddhas have spoken in this world system or in world systems all around in the ten directions.'
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' great learning without complacency.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' exposition of the gift of Dharma without concern for material possessions?
    Bodhisattva great beings teach the Dharma, but without hoping for anything at all, even for personal awakening from the wholesome root that comes from the gift of Dharma.
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' exposition of the gift of Dharma without concern for material possessions.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' raising up and transforming wholesome roots for the purification of a buddhafield?
    They thoroughly establish 311 those wholesome roots that purify the field of their own and others' buddhafields with whichever wholesome roots cause the purification of a buddhafield. That is the bodhisattva great beings' raising up and transforming wholesome roots for the purification of a buddhafield.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' not feeling oppressed by immeasurable cycles of existence?
    In a stable state on account of wholesome roots, they bring beings to maturity with those wholesome roots on account of which they are stable, purify a buddhafield, and never fall into feeling oppressed up until they have completed all the buddha-dharmas and the knowledge of all aspects.
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' not feeling oppressed by immeasurable cyclic existences.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' abiding sense of shame and embarrassment?
    It is the abhorrence of śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha states of mind.
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' abiding sense of shame and embarrassment.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' not giving up dwelling in the forest?
    It is the transcendence of the śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha levels.
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' not giving up dwelling in the forest.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' having few desires?
    It is the bodhisattva great beings' not desiring even awakening.
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' having few desires.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' contentment?
    Not falsely projecting [i absolute terms] [T2] even reaching the knowledge of all aspects [T1] [U2T].
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' contentment.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' not giving up the qualities of the ascetic or austerity?
    It is this: forbearance for meditation on the deep dharmas.
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' not giving up the qualities of the ascetic or austerity.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' not giving up training?
    It is where all training [T1] is without movement [T2] [U2T]. (i.e. Union of rest and movement.)
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' not giving up training.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' abhorrence of sense objects?
    It is not producing desire realm states of mind. 312
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' abhorrence of sense objects.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' production of a thought associated with nirvāṇa?
    It is this: not causing [T2] all the dharmas to come into being [T1] [U2T].
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' production of a thought associated with nirvāṇa.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' giving up all possessions?
    It is not grasping [T2] inner or outer dharmas [T1] [U2T].
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' giving up all possessions.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' unmixed mind? 313
    Their minds not connecting with the foundations of consciousnesses is the bodhisattva great beings' unmixed mind.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' not relying on anything?
    Not paying attention [in absolute terms] [T2] to all things [conventionally / relatively] [T1] [U2T]
    is the bodhisattva great beings' not relying on all things.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' avoidance of getting tied up with householders?
    It is this: roaming from buddhafield to buddhafield and miraculously taking birth, appearing with a shaved head and wearing saffron-colored robes.
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' avoidance of getting tied up with householders.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' avoidance of getting tied up with monks and nuns?
    They do not stay with monks and nuns even for as long as a finger snap, and when they are absent they do not worry. 314
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' avoidance of getting tied up with monks and nuns.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' stopping envying status families?
    Here, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings have to think as follows: 'I have to supply all beings with their requirements for happiness. These beings here are happy just because of their own merits, so I should not think envious thoughts about this.' That is the bodhisattva great beings' stopping envying status families.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' avoiding places where people get together?
    Bodhisattva great beings should not get together with people in any place where there might be śrāvakas or pratyekabuddhas, where the conversations might be connected with them, or where there might be the production of thoughts that are connected with them.
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' avoiding places where people get together.

  • "How do bodhisattva great beings stop feeling malice?
    They do not give an opportunity for malicious thoughts or violent thoughts, and they do not give an opportunity for thinking about fighting or thinking about quarreling.
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' stopping feeling malice.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' stopping praising themselves?
    Not viewing [in absolute terms] [T2] inner dharmas [T1] [U2T]
    is the bodhisattva great beings' stopping praising themselves.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' stopping disparaging others?
    It is this: not viewing [in absolute terms] [T2] outer dharmas [T1] [U2T].
    That is the bodhisattva great beings' stopping disparaging others.

  • "How do bodhisattva great beings stop the ten unwholesome actions?
    Let alone the noble path, let alone awakening, because these ten unwholesome actions are even a hindrance to a good form of life, bodhisattva great beings stop them.

  • "How do bodhisattva great beings avoid pride in being superior?
    Let alone something additional that would make them think they are superior,
    because they do not view [in absolute terms] [T2] any dharma at all [T1[ [U2T]
    bodhisattva great beings avoid pride in being superior.

  • "How do bodhisattva great beings avoid haughtiness?
    It is because they do not view [in absolute terms] [T2] any real basis on which they could become haughty [T1] [U2T]
    that bodhisattva great beings avoid haughtiness.

  • "How do bodhisattva great beings stop distortions?
    Given that real bases [T1] are unfindable [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T],
    bodhisattva great beings stop distortions.

  • "How do bodhisattva great beings avoid the propensity for greed, hatred, and confusion? 315
    It is because of not viewing [in absolute terms] a real basis for greed, hatred, and confusion
    that bodhisattva great beings avoid the propensity for greed, hatred, and confusion.


"What are the six dharmas bodhisattva great beings on the sixth level have to complete?

  • They are these six perfections: the perfection of giving, perfection of morality, perfection of patience, perfection of perseverance, perfection of concentration, and perfection of wisdom. They have to complete those perfections.

  • The lord buddhas, and śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas as well, having stood in these six perfections,
    have gone, are going, and will go to the other side of the five oceans of knowable things.

What are the five?

  • They are these: the past, the future, the present, the inexpressible, and the uncompounded.

Thus should bodhisattva great beings
complete the six perfections [T1] [by way of not apprehending [T2] [U2T]].

  • "There bodhisattva great beings somehow have to avoid śrāvaka thought [in absolute terms].
    And why?
    Because it is not the path to awakening.

  • "They have to avoid pratyekabuddha thought [in absolute terms].
    And why?
    Because it is not the path to awakening.
    (i.e. The Middle Way Path, free from all extremes & middle, is not accepting, not rejecting anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.)

  • "They have to avoid a wearied state of mind [in absolute terms].
    And why?
    Because it is not the path to awakening.

  • "They should not feel cowed when they see a beggar [in absolute terms].
    And why?
    Because it is not the path to awakening.

  • "They should not feel unhappy about all the things they have given up [in absolute terms].
    And why?
    Because it is not the path to awakening.

  • "Having produced the first thought, from then on they should always give gifts and should not let that thought be invain.

  • "They have to avoid those six dharmas.

  1. "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not seize [in absolute terms] on a self
    because a self [T1] absolutely does not exist [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] [just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively]
    Construe seize [in absolute terms] on a sentient being, seize on a living being, and seize on a person similarly as well.
    And why?
    Because they absolutely do not exist [in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively] [U2T].

  2. "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not seize on annihilation.
    And why?
    Because all dharmas [T1] have not been produced [in absolute terms],
    so no dharma at all is annihilated [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] [just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively].

  3. "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not seize on [in absolute terms] permanence,
    because a dharma [T1] that is not produced is not permanent [in absolute terms] and is not annihilated [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] [just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively].

  4. "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not perceive [in absolute terms] a causal sign,
    because defilement [T1] absolutely does not exist [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] [just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively].

  5. "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not view [in absolute terms] it as a cause.
    And why?
    Because they do not consider [in absolute terms] [T2] that view [T1] [U2T] [just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively].

  6. "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not settle down [in absolute terms] on name and form.
    And why?
    Because those things [T1] cannot be apprehended [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] [just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively].

Thus should bodhisattva great beings not settle down on name and form.


  • "Similarly, they should not settle down [in absolute terms] on the aggregates, constituents, and sense fields.
    And why?
    Because those dharmas do not exist through their intrinsic natures.
    Thus should they not settle down on the aggregates, constituents, and sense fields.

  • "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not settle down [in absolute terms] on the three realms.
    And why?
    Because they do not exist through their intrinsic natures.
    Thus should they not settle down on the three realms.

  • "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not cling [in absolute terms] to the three realms.
    And why?
    Because those things do not exist and cannot be apprehended.
    Thus should bodhisattva great beings not cling to the three realms.

  • "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not wallow [in absolute terms] in the three realms.
    And why?
    Because they have no intrinsic nature.
    Thus should bodhisattva great beings not wallow in the three realms.

  • "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not resort to a view [in absolute terms] of the Buddha.
    And why?
    Because by resorting to a view of the Buddha they do not see the Buddha.
    Thus should bodhisattva great beings not resort to a view of the Buddha.

  • "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not resort to a view [in absolute terms] of the Dharma.
    And why?
    Because by resorting to a view of the Dharma they do not see the Dharma.
    Thus should bodhisattva great beings not resort to a view of the Dharma.

  • "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not resort to a view [in absolute terms] of the Saṅgha.
    And why?
    Because by resorting to a view of the Saṅgha they do not see the Saṅgha.
    Thus should bodhisattva great beings not resort to a view of the Saṅgha.

  • "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not settle down on the view [in absolute terms] that morality is a place to resort to.
    And why?
    Because from resorting to a view of morality, morality does not become pure.
    Thus should bodhisattva great beings not settle down on the view that morality is a place to resort to.

  • "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow
    not get depressed [in absolute terms] that 'all dharmas are empty [of inherent existence [T2], but still appearing [T1] [U2T]],'
    because they are empty of their own particular characteristics, not empty of emptiness.
    Thus should bodhisattva great beings not get depressed that 'all dharmas [T1] are empty [T2] [U2T].'
    (i.e. One never gets depressed when one realises that the true meaning of emptiness is the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle.)

  • "There bodhisattva great beings should somehow not oppose emptiness [in absolute terms] [U2T],
    because the empty is an emptiness of its own particular characteristic, therefore emptiness does not oppose emptiness.
    Thus should bodhisattva great beings not oppose emptiness.

  • "There bodhisattva great beings
    should somehow realize emptiness [free from all extremes & middle = Union of the Two truths / U2T / U2T-2T],
    because the empty is the emptiness of emptiness, and they do not cause emptiness to be realized in emptiness.
    Thus should bodhisattva great beings realize emptiness.


  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' actualization of signlessness?
    It is this: not paying attention [in absolute terms] [T2] to any dharma [still appearing] [T1] [U2T].

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' knowledge of wishlessness?
    It is this: that all beings in the three realms have no fixed position [without attachment / fixation / absolutes].

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' purification of the three spheres?
    It is this: the completion of the ten wholesome actions.

  • "What is the completion of the bodhisattva great beings' empathy and compassion for all beings?
    It is this: gaining great compassion.

  • "How do bodhisattva great beings not look down on all beings?
    It is this: because of the purity of the field of beings.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' view of the sameness of all dharmas?
    It is this: not adding to and not taking away from all dharmas [Middle Way].

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' realization of the way things are perfect?
    It is the absence of a realization of all dharmas.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' forbearance for non-production?
    The forbearance for all dharmas that are not produced, do not stop, and do not occasion anything
    is forbearance for non-production.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' knowledge of non-production?
    The knowledge that name and form are not produced [U3S]
    is the bodhisattva great beings' knowledge of non-production.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' exposition of the one way things are?
    The absence of habitual ideas about dual phenomena [Uopp]
    is the exposition of the one way things are.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' total destruction of thought constructions?
    It is not entertaining any notion of any dharma. [U2T] [U2T-2T]

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' reversal [transcendence] of views?
    It is the reversal of all the views of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' reversal [transcendence] of afflictions?
    It is the forsaking of all residual impressions, connections, and afflictions.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' level of calm abiding and insight?
    It is this: the knowledge of a knower of all aspects.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' disciplined state of mind?
    It is not taking pleasure in the three realms.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' calmed state of mind?
    It is when all six faculties do not radiate out.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' unobstructed knowledge?
    It is obtaining the buddha eye.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' knowledge that does not enter into attachment?
    It is remaining indifferent to the six sense fields.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' going as they want to any field?
    It is displaying a body wherever there is a circle of retainers.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' reading the minds of all beings?
    It is knowing with their minds the minds and mental factors of all beings.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' play with the clairvoyances?
    Playing with the clairvoyances, they roam from buddhafield to buddhafield in order to see the buddhas, but without entertaining any notion of a buddha.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' viewing of the buddhafields?
    Without moving from any one buddhafield, they also appear in all buddhafields, but they do not entertain any notion of a buddhafield.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' viewing the buddhafields and fully executing them exactly as they have seen them to be?
    Bestriding the level of a majestic wheel-turning emperor of world systems in a great billionfold world system, they abdicate in all those world systems in order to bring beings to maturity, but without falsely projecting anything.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' attending on the buddhas?
    It is attending on the Dharma in order to look after beings.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' properly contemplating the buddha bodies?
    It is properly contemplating the body of dharmas.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' knowledge of higher and lower faculties?
    It is standing in the ten powers and knowing the completion of the faculties by all beings.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' purification of a buddhafield?
    It is purifying the minds of all beings by way of not apprehending [T2] [U2T] anything.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' illusion-like meditative stabilization?
    It is the meditative stabilization standing in which bodhisattva great beings do all that has to be done without mentally engaging any dharma.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' constantly being absorbed in meditation?
    It is the bodhisattva great beings' meditative stabilization that has arisen from maturation. 316

  • "How do bodhisattva great beings bring into being a body in line with the outcome of the wholesome roots of beings?
    Here they appropriate a body, when and as they want to, in line with the outcome of the wholesome roots of beings.

  • "Why do bodhisattva great beings appropriate an existence when and as they want to?
    It is so they will bring beings to maturity.

  • "How is it that bodhisattva great beings have success in line with the prayers they have made?
    Here bodhisattva great beings have success in line with the prayers they have made because they have completed the six perfections.

  • "How is it that bodhisattva great beings have a knowledge that comprehends the sounds of gods, nāgas, yakṣas, gandharvas, asuras, garuḍas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, and ghosts?
    It is this: a detailed and thorough knowledge of creative explanations.

  • "How is it that bodhisattva great beings understand a river of confidence giving a readiness to speak?
    It is this: a detailed and thorough knowledge of the confidence giving a readiness to speak.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect entry into a womb?
    The bodhisattva great beings' taking birth here miraculously in all lifetimes is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect entry into a womb.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect family?
    That bodhisattva great beings take birth in great families is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect family.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect social class?
    That bodhisattva great beings take birth in great sāla tree–like royal families and great sāla tree–like brahmin families is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect social class.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect lineage?
    That bodhisattva great beings descend on the mother's side as have the bodhisattvas of the past is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect lineage.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect retinue?
    It is this, namely, having established beings in awakening, they have just a retinue of bodhisattvas. That is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect retinue.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect birth?
    At the moment of their birth, illumination spreads though all the world systems and causes them to shake in six ways. That is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect birth.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect going forth?
    Bodhisattva great beings go forth to homelessness with many one hundred thousand one hundred million billion beings, and those beings become definite in the three vehicles. That is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect going forth.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect spreading out of a Bodhi tree?
    It has a golden root, a trunk made of beryl, and branches, leaves, and petals made of the seven precious stones. Those branches, leaves, and petals spread an illumination as far as the infinite world systems in the ten directions. That is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect spreading out of a Bodhi tree.

  • "What is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect completion of good qualities?
    The bodhisattva great beings' purification of a buddhafield through bringing beings to maturity is the bodhisattva great beings' perfect completion of good qualities.

  • "Why is it bodhisattva great beings occupying the tenth level have to be called just 'tathāgata'?
    When bodhisattva great beings
    have completed all ten perfections, up to have completed the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha, and knowledge of a knower of all aspects;
    have eliminated all residual impressions, connections, and afflictions; and
    have completed all buddha dharmas, because of that,
    Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings occupying the tenth level have therefore to be called just 'tathāgata.'

  • "Subhūti, what are the ten levels of bodhisattva great beings?
    Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings practicing all six perfections with skillful means,
    trained in the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening,
    up to practicing the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha

  1. pass beyond the Śuklavipaśyanā level, 317 and

  2. pass beyond the Gotra level,

  3. Aṣṭamaka level,

  4. Darśana level,

  5. Tanū level,

  6. Vītarāga level,

  7. Kṛtāvin level,

  8. Pratyekabuddha level, and

  9. Bodhisattva level‍

  10. — that is to say, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings pass beyond these nine levels and stand on the buddha level.

Those, Subhūti, are the ten levels of bodhisattva great beings.


"Thus, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings have set out in the Great Vehicle."

This was the seventeenth chapter, "Level Purification," 318 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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