Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 23 - Hard to Understand - 323

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 323
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 23 - Hard to Understand –

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

More Analysis of Mahayana Sutras : https://www.gilehtblog.com/2021/03/table-of-content.html


[Back to Résumés of chapters 1-41]

23. HARD TO UNDERSTAND – Teaching without teaching the inconceivable, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes – by way of not apprehending anything.

(i.e. Résumé:
In this perfection of wisdom, the three vehicles…‍ are taught in detail [T1], by way of not apprehending anything [T2] [U2T].
-

That is acting without acting,
but without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes;
without falling into any extreme or middle;
without any duality / di-vision between subject & object & action, cause & causality & effect, right & wrong, movement & rest, samsara & nirvana;
more and more in accord with the Middle Way: not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / improving / doing in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively;
thus more and more in accord with the transcendent perfection of wisdom;
more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is;
more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]
beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma.
-
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 (mere designations) [U3S], not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional / useless / meaningless. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
Because all dharmas are like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' [U2T].
All dharmas are not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth – for whatever 'this' is.
Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s); beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma.
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"All dharmas" includes all dharmas with their characteristics / properties / qualities / marks / relations / activities …, with their names / labels; ex. the five aggregates, the eighteen elements, the six paramitas, the eighteen emptinesses, the two truths, suchness, the Union of the Two truths, even buddhahood / nirvana.
-
So they say: this perfection of wisdom is so deep, so hard to behold, so hard to understand, so peaceful, so sublime, so subtle, so private, so not an object of speculative thought, so brilliant, so absolutely noble, and so much an object to be known by the learned and wise.)

Then it occurred to those gods to think,

  • "What would the elder Subhūti accept those listening to the Dharma to be like?"

Then venerable Subhūti, understanding in his mind the thoughs occurring to those gods, said to those gods,

  • "Gods,
    I would accept those listening to the doctrine to be like illusory beings.
    I would accept those listening to the doctrine to be like magically created beings.
    They will not listen to, master, or directly realize anything at all."

Then those gods asked venerable Subhūti,

  • "Venerable monk Subhūti,
    are beings like an illusion,
    and are those listening to the doctrine like an illusion?
    Are beings like a magical creation,
    and are those listening to the doctrine like a magical creation?"

"Exactly so, gods, exactly so," replied Subhūti.

  • _________________________________________________
    "Beings are like an illusion, and______________________
    those listening to the doctrine are like an illusion._______
    Beings are like a magical creation, and________________
    those listening to the doctrine are like a magical creation.
    _________________________________________________

  • "Beings, gods, are like a dream and are like an illusion.
    Form, too, gods, is like a dream [F.255.a] and is like an illusion.
    Feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness, gods, are like a dream and are like an illusion.
    The eyes, gods, are like a dream and are like an illusion,
    and similarly the ears, nose, tongue, body, and thinking mind are like a dream and are like an illusion.
    A form, gods, is like a dream and is like an illusion,
    and a sound, a smell, a taste, a feeling, and dharmas are like a dream and are like an illusion.
    Eye consciousness, eye contact, and the feeling that arises from the condition of eye contact are like a dream and are like an illusion.
    Similarly, ear . . . nose . . . tongue . . . body . . . and thinking-mind consciousness, thinking-mind contact, and the feeling that arises from the condition of thinking-mind contact are like a dream and are like an illusion.

  • "The perfection of giving is like a dream and is like an illusion,
    and the perfection of morality, perfection of patience, perfection of perseverance, perfection of concentration, and perfection of wisdom are like a dream and are like an illusion.

  • "Inner emptiness is like a dream and is like an illusion,
    up to the emptiness that is the non-existence of an intrinsic nature is like a dream and is like an illusion.

  • "The applications of mindfulness too are like a dream and are like an illusion,
    and the right efforts, legs of miraculous power, faculties, powers, limbs of awakening, eightfold noble path, ten powers, fearlessnesses, detailed and thorough knowledges, and distinct attributes of a buddha are like a dream and are like an illusion.

  • "The result of stream enterer [F.255.b] is also like a dream and is like an illusion,
    and a stream enterer is also like a dream and is like an illusion.
    The result of once-returner and a once-returner, the result of non-returner and a non-returner, and the state of a worthy one and a worthy one are also like a dream and are like an illusion.
    A pratyekabuddha's awakening is also like a dream and is like an illusion,
    and a pratyekabuddha is also like a dream and is like an illusion.
    Unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening is also like a dream and is like an illusion,
    and buddhahood is also like a dream and is like an illusion."

Then those gods asked venerable Subhūti,

  • ___________________________________________
    "Venerable monk Subhūti,_____________________
    is even buddhahood like a dream, like an illusion?
    Is nirvāṇa like a dream and like an illusion too?"__
    ___________________________________________

"Gods," replied Subhūti,

  • "I declare that even nirvāṇa is like a dream and is like an illusion,
    and if there is any dharma superior even to nirvāṇa, I declare that it too is like a dream and is like an illusion.

And why?

  • Gods, it is because a dream, an illusion, and nirvāṇa are not two and are not divided."

Then venerable Śāripūtra, venerable Mahā­maudgalyāyana, venerable Mahākauṣṭhilya, venerable Mahākātyāyana, venerable Pūrṇa Maitrāyaṇī­putra, venerable Mahākāśyapa, and many thousands of bodhisattvas inquired of the venerable monk Subhūti,

  • "Who will be the recipients of this perfection of wisdom so deep, so hard to behold, so hard to understand, so peaceful, so sublime, so subtle, so private, 388 so not an object of speculative thought, so brilliant, so absolutely noble, and so much an object to be known by the learned and wise?"

Those great śrāvakas and great bodhisattvas having thus inquired, venerable Subhūti said to them,

  • "Venerable Ones,
    bodhisattva great beings irreversible from awakening will be the recipients of this perfection of wisdom so deep, so hard to behold, so hard to understand, so peaceful, so sublime, so subtle, so private, so not an object of speculative thought, so brilliant, so absolutely noble, and so much an object to be known by the learned and wise.
    Persons 389 who have seen the truths, or worthy ones with outflows dried up, or those who have completed their plan, or those who have served well the victors, or those whose wholesome roots have grown under many hundred millions of buddhas, or sons and daughters of good families who have been mentored by spiritual friends
    also will be the recipients of this perfection of wisdom so deep, so hard to behold, so hard to understand, so peaceful, so sublime, so subtle, so private, so not an object of speculative thought, so brilliant, so absolutely noble, so much an object to be known by the learned and wise.

  • __________________________________________________
    "They will not construct the idea that form is empty,______
    and they will not construct the idea that emptiness is form.
    __________________________________________________
    They will not construct the idea that feeling . . . perception . . . volitional factors . . . and consciousness is empty,
    and they will not construct the idea that emptiness is consciousness. [F.256.b]

  • "They will not construct the idea that form is signless,
    and they will not construct the idea that signlessness is form.
    They will not construct the idea that feeling . . . perception . . . volitional factors . . . and consciousness is signless,
    they will not construct the idea that signlessness is consciousness.

  • "They will not construct the idea that form is wishless,
    and they will not construct the idea that wishlessness is form.
    They will not construct the idea that form does not arise,
    and they will not construct the idea that non-arising is form.
    They will not construct the idea that form does not stop,
    and they will not construct the idea that non-stopping is form.
    Similarly, they will not construct the idea that form is calm, is not calm, is isolated, and is not isolated.

  • "They will not construct the idea that feeling . . . perception . . . volitional factors . . . and consciousness is wishless,
    and they will not construct the idea that wishlessness is consciousness.
    Similarly, they will not construct the idea that it does not arise, does not stop, is calm, or is isolated.
    Similarly, they will not construct the idea that the constituents, sense fields, dependent origination, perfections, dharmas on the side of awakening, inner emptiness, up to the emptiness that is the nonexistence of an intrinsic nature, applications of mindfulness, right efforts, legs of miraculous power, faculties, powers, limbs of awakening, eightfold noble path, ten powers, four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha, [F.257.a] meditative stabilizations, dhāraṇī gateways, and similarly, the result of stream enterer, result of once-returner, result of non-returner, state of a worthy one, or state of a pratyekabuddha are like that either.

  • "They will not construct the idea that the knowledge of all aspects is empty,
    and they will not construct the idea that emptiness is the knowledge of all aspects.
    They will not construct the idea that the knowledge of all aspects is signless,
    and they will not construct the idea that signlessness is the knowledge of all aspects.
    They will not construct the idea that the knowledge of all aspects is wishless,
    and they will not construct the idea that wishlessness is the knowledge of all aspects.
    They will not construct the idea that the knowledge of all aspects does not arise, does not stop, is calm, or is isolated.

  • "They will not construct the idea that the compounded element is empty,
    and they will not construct the idea that emptiness is the compounded element.
    They will not construct the idea that the compounded element is signless,
    and they will not construct the idea that signlessness is the compounded element.
    They will not construct the idea that the compounded element is wishless,
    and they will not construct the idea that wishlessness is the compounded element.
    Similarly, they will not construct the idea the compounded element does not arise, does not stop, is calm, or is isolated.

  • "They will not construct the idea that the uncompounded element is empty,
    and they will not construct the idea that emptiness is the uncompounded element.
    They will not construct the idea that the uncompounded element is signless,
    and they will not construct the idea that signlessness is the uncompounded element.
    They will not construct the idea that the uncompounded element is wishless,
    and they will not construct the idea that wishlessness is the uncompounded element.
    Similarly, they will not construct the idea the uncompounded element does not arise, does not stop, is calm, or is isolated.

  • "Gods,
    ________________________________________________________
    in this way nobody will be a recipient of this perfection of wisdom
    that is so deep, so absolutely noble, so brilliant, _______________
    and so much an object to be known by the learned and wise.____
    ________________________________________________________
    -
    And why?
    -
    Because here no Dharma at all is pointed out, explained, or taught,
    and just as no Dharma at all is pointed out, explained, or taught,
    so too no being at all will be the recipient of it."

Then venerable Śāriputra inquired of venerable Subhūti, 390

  • "Is it not the case that in this perfection of wisdom the three vehicles‍ — that is, the Śrāvaka Vehicle, the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle, and the perfect, complete Buddha Vehicle‍ — are taught in detail?

  • Is it not the case that the first production of the thought up until the tenth production of the thought are taught for the assistance of bodhisattva great beings? Is it not the case that the bodhisattva's path is taught‍ — that is, the perfection of giving, perfection of morality, perfection of patience, perfection of perseverance, perfection of concentration, and perfection of wisdom; the applications of mindfulness, right efforts, legs of miraculous power, faculties, powers, limbs of awakening, eightfold noble path, ten powers, fearlessnesses, and detailed and thorough knowledges; up to the distinct attributes of a buddha?

  • So, is it also not the case that bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom will miraculously take birth and appear?

  • So, is it also not the case that they will become those whose clairvoyances naturally do not decline?

  • Is it also not the case that those kinds of wholesome roots on account of which they pass, if they want to, from buddhafield to buddhafield and respect, revere, honor, and worship those lord buddhas‍ — that such wholesome roots that bring that about will flourish?

  • Is it not the case that they will not forget the stream of the Dharma they will listen to, right up until they fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening?

  • Is it not the case that by way of meditative absorption without distraction they will always be in meditative absorption?

  • And is it not the case that they will become those with an unimpeded confident readiness, an unbroken confident readiness, a meditatively absorbed confident readiness, an appropriate confident readiness, a connected confident readiness, a meaningful confident readiness, and a superior confident readiness that rises above all the world?"

"Exactly so, Venerable Śāriputra, exactly so," replied Subhūti.

  • "It is just as you say.
    ________________________________________________________
    In this perfection of wisdom the three vehiclesare taught in detail
    ________________________________________________________
    — that is, the Śrāvaka Vehicle, the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle, and the perfect, complete Buddha Vehicle‍ — .
    Connect this in the same way, up to it is taught for the assistance of bodhisattva great beings that they will become those with a superior confident readiness that rises above all the world.
    __________________________________________________________
    And it is taught, furthermore, by way of not apprehending anything.
    __________________________________________________________

  • It is taught by way of not apprehending what?
    It is taught by way of not apprehending a self,
    up to by way of not apprehending one who knows and one who sees;
    by way of not apprehending form;
    by way of not apprehending feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness;
    by way of not apprehending the eyes;
    by way of not apprehending the ears, nose, tongue, body, or thinking mind;
    by way of not apprehending the earth element, water element, fire element, wind element, space element, or consciousness element;
    by way of not apprehending the perfection of giving, perfection of morality, perfection of patience, perfection of perseverance, perfection of concentration, or perfection of wisdom;
    by way of not apprehending inner emptiness, up to the emptiness that is the nonexistence of an intrinsic nature;
    by way of not apprehending the applications of mindfulness, right efforts, legs of miraculous power, faculties, powers, limbs of awakening, or eightfold noble path; and
    by way of not apprehending the ten powers, fearlessnesses, detailed and thorough knowledges, or distinct attributes of a buddha,
    up to by way of not apprehending the knowledge of all aspects."

Venerable Śāriputra then asked venerable Subhūti,

  • "In this perfection of wisdom, why are the three vehicles taught in detail by way of not apprehending anything, up to why is it taught for the assistance of bodhisattva great beings that they will become those with a superior confident readiness that rises above all the world by way of not apprehending anything?"

Subhūti replied,

  • "Venerable Śāriputra,
    it is because of inner emptiness that the three vehicles are taught in detail by way of not apprehending anything.
    It is because of outer emptiness, up to the emptiness that is the nonexistence of an intrinsic nature that the three vehicles are taught in detail by way of not apprehending anything.
    Up to it is because of inner emptiness that it is taught for the assistance of bodhisattva great beings that they will become those with a superior confident readiness that rises above all the world.
    It is because of outer emptiness, up to the emptiness that is the nonexistence of an intrinsic nature that it is taught for the assistance of bodhisattva great beings that they will become those with a superior confident readiness that rises above all the world."

This was the twenty-third chapter, "Hard to Understand," 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 [cause / path]

  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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