Thursday, June 16, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 43 - All dharmas are inconceivable - 343

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 343
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 43 - All dharmas are inconceivable –

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 42-87]

43. INCONCEIVABLE – All dharmas are deep, inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled.

(i.e. Résumé: All dharmas are deep, inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled – not ‘this’, not ‘non-this’, not both together, not neither, for whatever ‘this’ is – because their true nature & dynamic is the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. Because they are like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: ‘There, but not there.’
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This perfection of wisdom is deep because the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now is deep, indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s). Because the Union of the Two Truths is deep / indescribable / inconceivable.
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The Tathāgata use conventional dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted-skillful-means / words / concepts / names / labels / ideas / truths / views / actions / methods / practices / milestones / goals / marks … <==> but never in absolute terms – not even for dependent origination, emptiness, the perfection of wisdom, awakening,  the tathāgatas, the Ground / Basis / Source / the Union of the Two truths –. Thus He is always acting without acting, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes; thus in perfect accord with the inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / true nature & dynamic of as it is of all dharmas.
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The perfection of wisdom gives birth (without giving birth) to the tathāgatas.
The perfection of wisdom reveals (without revealing) the world [the true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharmas] to the tathāgatas – by pointing out the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas: appearing but empty, empty but still dependently appearing & relatively functional.
That dharma, the perfection of wisdom the tathāgatas respect, revere, honor, and worship, is the true nature of dharmas.
The perfection of wisdom reveals to the tathāgatas that the world (all dharmas) is inconceivable.
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i.e. Inconceivable: All dharmas are not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not dependent, not independent, not both together, not neither; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; not dependently co-arisen [T1], not empty of inherent existence  [T2], not both truths together [2T], not neither of the two truths [1T]; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither – for whatever 'this' is. All dharmas are beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma, beyond causality / production and acausality / non-production, matter-energy, space & time.
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This perfection of wisdom has been made available through the tremendous work of the lords. This perfection of wisdom has been made available through inconceivable work, incomparable work, immeasurable work, work equal to the unequaled.
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All dharmas are inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled because they are not something to be known, to be apprehended – because they are empty of inherent existence, not really existent / caused / functional <==> because dependently co-arisen, merely labeled / imputed by the mind, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional / useless / meaningless; and vice versa; because their true nature & dynamic is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle.
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Therefore, the buddhas too are inconceivable and the buddha-dharmas inconceivable as well.
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Liberation / completion / purification / omniscience / enlightenment is not gained by rejecting / abandoning samsara / appearances and accepting / seeking nirvana / emptiness. It is gained by training and directly perceiving / realising / experiencing the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now beyond all extremes & middle [U2T].
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So, Bodhisattvas should train in perceiving / realising / experiencing without perceiving / realising / experiencing the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about any & all dharmas: that all dharmas are like an inconceivable Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent / caused / functional <==> because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed / designated by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional / useless / meaningless.
And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
Note: Something could be co-dependent with its parts and wholes (when applicable), with its causes & conditions and effects (when applicable), with its conceptual opposite(s) (always), and especially co-dependent with the subject / mind merely labeling / imputing it (always).
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That all dharmas are like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' [U2T].
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That all dharmas are not existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, 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 dependent, not independent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not dependently arisen, not empty of inherent existence, not both truths together, not neither of the two truths, and there is no fifth; not equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / free / enlightened, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary / incomplete / non-enlightened, 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 the true nature & dynamic as it is of any / all dharmas is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s);
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That all dharmas have no real three stages of becoming: origination, duration / change, cessation, or complete absence of those.
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That there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
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That there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / nagate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
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That we may as well perceive everything as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas, the true Buddha – in the non-dual sense of those terms: not this, not non-this …
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All this applies to all dharmas: ex. the three vajras – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind –; the three spheres – subject, relation / action / process, object –; apparent opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc.; name / label & referent / basis; the three stages of becoming – origination, duration / change, cessation –, the three times & space; all Buddha-dharmas, all words / concepts / ideas / teachings / views / methods / practices / milestones / levels / goals; samsara & nirvana; even the two truths themselves, and their 'Union', even the Ground and its manifestations.
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This way one can still use valid useful dharmas / tools / adapted skillful means … conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, but never in absolute terms.
That is 'acting without acting', without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes about anything involved – ex. subject, relation / action, object; or apparent opposites –;
without falling into any extreme or middle in relation to any group of opposites;
without accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / improving / doing anything in absolute terms,
without rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms,
without changing / defiling / improving / purifying anything in absolute terms,
just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps somebody to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth;
without any di-vision between the three spheres – subject, relation / action, object –;
thus more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now,
more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle.
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The important point is that in Reality as it is, in awakening / enlightenment, there are still valid useful conventional tools / adapted skillful means / qualities / virtues / words / symbols / images / concepts / thoughts / feelings / ideas / truths / views / methods / practices / goals / three spheres – subject / beings / relations / activities, objects / phenomena – / body, speech & mind … that can be used without being used to help all sentient beings still stuck in samsara because of their ignorance of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U3S / Uopp / U2T-2T / Middle Way free from all extremes & middle]. Emptiness does not deny conventional concepts, truths & activities; on the contrary the two truths are primordially inseparable / interdependent / in harmony. The same for samsara & nirvana.)

Then as many gods as there were stationed in the great billionfold world system, living in the desire realm, and living in the form realm took sandalwood powders and specifically approached the Lord, went up to him, bowed their heads to the feet of the Lord, and stood to one side. Even while standing to one side those gods living in the desire realm and living in the form realm said to the Lord,

  • "Lord, this revelation of the perfection of wisdom is deep.
    Why, Lord, is the perfection of wisdom deep?"

The Lord replied,

  • "Gods, this perfection of wisdom is deep because it is marked 509 by emptiness [U2T].
    Gods, the perfection of wisdom
    is marked by signlessness,
    is marked by wishlessness,
    marked by the absence of occasioning anything,
    marked by the absence of production,
    marked by the absence of stopping,
    marked by the absence of defilement,
    marked by the absence of purification,
    marked by the absence of an existent thing,
    marked by an intrinsic nature, 510
    marked by the absence of a foundation,
    marked by the absence of annihilation,
    marked by the absence of going on and on forever,
    marked by the absence of unity,
    marked by the absence of difference,
    marked by the absence of coming,
    marked by the absence of going,
    and is marked by space.
    Gods, since this perfection of wisdom is marked like that,

the Tathāgata uses the conventional label as an ordinary conventional term [T1],
but not as an ultimate one [T2] [U2T].

  • "Gods, the world with its gods, humans, and asuras cannot disturb those marks.
    And why?
    Gods, it is because the world with its gods, humans, and asuras has just the marks it has as well.
    Gods, a mark does not disturb a mark.
    A mark does not know a mark.
    A mark does not know the absence of a mark.
    The absence of a mark does not know a mark.
    And the absence of a mark does not know the absence of a mark.
    Therefore, in that mark, and in that absence of a mark,
    and also in them both that which makes known,
    or who makes known, or to whom it is made known,
    or the intrinsic nature of whom it is made known to do not exist.

  • "Gods, those marks are not occasioned by form,
    and they are not occasioned by feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness.
    They are not occasioned by the perfection of giving.
    They are not occasioned by the perfection of morality, patience, perseverance, concentration, or wisdom. They are not occasioned by all the emptinesses.
    They are not occasioned by the dharmas on the side of awakening;
    they are not occasioned by the powers, fearlessnesses, detailed and thorough knowledges,
    or distinct attributes of a buddha;
    and they are not occasioned by the knowledge of all aspects.
    Gods, they are not human or nonhuman, or with outflows or without outflows,
    or ordinary or extraordinary, or compounded or uncompounded,
    because all marks [T1] have no mark [T2] [U2T].

  • "Gods, if somebody says 'the mark of space is like this,' would they be making a correct statement?"

  • "Lord, they would not be making a correct statement," said the gods.
    "And why?
    Lord, space is not known through any mark, because the space element is uncompounded."

"Gods," said the Lord,

  • "whether the tathāgatas arise or whether the tathāgatas do not arise
    the element of marks simply remains as it really is [T1], the element of no marks [T2] [U2T].
    A tathāgata has perfectly and fully awakened to that [U2T], therefore a tathāgata is called 'a tathāgata.' "

"Lord," replied the gods,

  • "because a tathāgata has fully awakened to those marks [U2T], the knowledge of a tathāgata is unattached.
    Those are the marks with which a tathāgata remains teaching all marks,
    and these marks a tathāgata has fully awakened to are deep.

  • "Lord, the Tathāgata has given an exposition of all marks by giving an exposition of the perfection of wisdom.
    Lord, this perfection of wisdom within the range of the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas is deep,
    and it is totally amazing that the Tathāgata has fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening through practicing it, and, having fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,
    has differentiated all the marks [T1]:
    has differentiated the mark of form,
    and the marks of feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness;
    up to has differentiated the mark of all dharmas;
    and has differentiated the mark of the knowledge of all aspects."

Then the Lord said to those gods living in the desire realm and living in the form realm,

  • "The mark of form is something that can show itself [T1], 511
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to that very form through the absence of a mark [T2] [U2T].
    -
    Similarly, the mark of feeling is experience . . . ;
    the mark of perception is taking up . . . ;
    the mark of volitional factors is occasioning something . . . ;
    and the mark of consciousness is a specific cognition [T1],
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to that through the absence of a mark [T2] [U2T].

  • The mark of the aggregates is suffering,
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to those through the absence of a mark.
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    The mark of the constituents is like a poisonous snake,
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to those through the absence of a mark.
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    The mark of the sense fields is a gateway to coming about,
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to those through the absence of a mark.
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    The mark of dependent origination is where everything is complete,
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to that through the absence of a mark.
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    The mark of the perfection of giving is abandoning,
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to that through the absence of a mark.
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    The mark of the perfection of morality is not getting overheated. . . ; 512
    the mark of the perfection of patience is not being upset . . . ;
    the mark of the perfection of perseverance is not being able to be crushed . . . ;
    the mark of the perfection of concentration is being collected . . . ; and
    the mark of the perfection of wisdom is rejecting, 513
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to that through the absence of a mark.
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    The mark of the four concentrations . . . ; the four immeasurables . . . ;
    and the four formless absorptions is being undisturbed,
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to them through the absence of a mark.
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    The thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening are marked by causing escape,
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to them through the absence of a mark.
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    The mark of emptiness is detachment . . . ;
    the mark of signlessness is peace . . . ; and
    the mark of wishlessness is eliminating suffering,
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to that through the absence of a mark.
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    The mark of the deliverances is causing release,
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to them through the absence of a mark.

  • Similarly, connect the powers with the mark of being very certain . . . ;
    the fearlessnesses with the mark of being very firmly grounded . . . ;
    the detailed and thorough knowledges with the mark of being something that cannot be torn away . . . ;
    great love with the mark of supplying benefit . . . ;
    great compassion with the mark of protecting . . . ;
    great joy with the mark of great delight in all the buddha dharmas . . . ;
    great equanimity with the mark of remaining indifferent toward pleasure and pain, gaining and not gaining, fame and infamy, and praise and blame that cause faults in beings . . . ; 514
    and the distinct attributes of a buddha with the mark of not being partaken of,
    but the Tathāgata has fully awakened even to them through the absence of a mark.

  • The mark of the knowledge of a knower of all aspects is direct perception,
    but a tathāgata has fully awakened even to that through the absence of a mark.

  • Thus, gods, a tathāgata has fully awakened to all dharmas [T1] through the absence of a mark [T2] [U2T].
    Therefore, gods, the Tathāgata is said to have knowledge that is unattached."

Then the Lord said to venerable Subhūti,

  • "Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom gives birth to the tathāgatas,
    worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas.
    The perfection of wisdom reveals the world to the tathāgatas.
    Why?
    The tathāgatas are contingent on this dharma, that is, the perfection of wisdom.
    They respect, revere, honor, and worship this dharma.
    Therefore, Subhūti, that dharma,
    the perfection of wisdom the tathāgatas respect, revere, honor, and worship, is the true nature of dharmas.
    And why?
    Subhūti, the lord buddhas have appeared from this perfection of wisdom.

  • "Subhūti, the Tathāgata is cognizant of what has been done, and acknowledges what has been done.
    Subhūti, those who say 'the Tathāgata is cognizant of what has been done and acknowledges what has been done' make a correct statement.
    And how does the Tathāgata demonstrate that he is cognizant of what has been done, and acknowledge what has been done?
    Subhūti, since the Tathāgata, having traveled in that vehicle and on that path, fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, therefore the Tathāgata respects, reveres, honors, worships, protects, and treasures just that vehicle and just that path.
    You should view that as the Tathāgatas' cognizance of what has been done and acknowledgment of what has been done. 515

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti,
    the Tathāgata fully awakens to all dharmas [T1] as not done and not changed] because there is no doer [T2] [U2T];
    because there is no body, 516 he fully awakens to them [T1] as not done [T2] [U2T].
    Subhūti, the full awakening by the Tathāgata to all dharmas as without the act of doing, thanks to the perfection of wisdom,
    that is the Tathāgata's cognizance of what has not been done,
    and acknowledgment of what has not been done.
    Furthermore, Subhūti, thanks to the perfection of wisdom,
    on account of being ultimately unoriginated, the Tathāgata has engaged with all the dharmas of the unmade transcendental knowledge. 517

  • "Subhūti, because of this one of many explanations,
    the perfection of wisdom gives birth to the tathāgatas."

"Lord, when all dharmas are not producers and are not revealers,
how then does the perfection of wisdom give birth to the tathāgatas and reveal the world?" asked Subhūti.

"Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so!" replied the Lord.

  • "All dharmas are not producers and are not revealers.
    And why, Subhūti, are all dharmas not producers and not revealers?
    Subhūti, it is because all dharmas [T1] are empty [T2] [U2T] ring hollow, are in vain, are a fraud, and are pointless.
    Because of this one of many explanations, Subhūti,
    all dharmas are not producers and are not revealers.

  • "And why, Subhūti, are all dharmas not producers and not revealers?
    Subhūti, it is because all dharmas are without a foundation and do not belong to anything.
    Because of this one of many explanations, Subhūti,
    all dharmas are not producers and are not revealers.
    Therefore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom gives birth to the tathāgatas and reveals the world.

  • "It reveals it, moreover, because form is not seen.
    It reveals it because feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness are not seen.
    Therefore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom gives birth to the tathāgatas and reveals the world."

"Lord, how, because form, feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness are not seen,
does it reveal it?" asked Subhūti.

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "when a consciousness with form as objective support does not arise,
    because, Subhūti, form is thus not seen, it reveals the world.
    Similarly, when a mind with feeling . . . , perception . . . , volitional factors . . . , and consciousness as objective support does not arise, because consciousness is thus not seen, it reveals the world.
    Connect this in the same way with each, up to when a consciousness with the knowledge of all aspects as objective support does not arise, because, Subhūti, the knowledge of all aspects is thus not seen, it reveals the world.
    Therefore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom gives birth to the tathāgatas and reveals the world."

"Furthermore, Subhūti,

  • how does the perfection of wisdom give birth to the tathāgatas and reveal the world?
    Subhūti, here this perfection of wisdom points out 'the world [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T].'
    -
    How does it point out 'the world is empty'?
    It points out 'the world that is the five aggregates [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]';
    it points out 'the world that is the eighteen constituents [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]';
    it points out 'the world that is the twelve sense fields [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]';
    it points out 'the world that is the path of the ten wholesome actions [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]';
    it points out 'the world that is the four concentrations, four immeasurables, and four formless absorptions [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]';
    it points out 'the world that is the twelve links of dependent origination arising from ignorance as its condition [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]';
    it points out 'the world that is the sixty-two views, the view of the perishable collection, and so on, [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]';
    it points out 'the world that is the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]';
    it points out 'the world that is the six perfections [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]';
    similarly, it points out 'the world that is inner emptiness, outer emptiness, inner and outer emptiness,
    up to the emptiness that is the nonexistence of an intrinsic nature [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]';
    similarly, it points out 'the world that is the ten powers, four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, and eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]';
    up to and it points out 'the world that is the knowledge of all aspects [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T].'
    Therefore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom gives birth to the tathāgatas and reveals the world.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, the tathāgatas
    are aware the world [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T],
    perfectly know the world [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T],
    realize the world [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T],
    and comprehend the world [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T].
    Therefore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom gives birth to the tathāgatas and reveals the world.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti,
    the perfection of wisdom reveals to the tathāgatas 'the world [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T].'
    How does it reveal 'the world [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T]'?
    It is because it reveals 'the world that is the aggregates, the constituents, the sense fields, the path of the ten wholesome actions, the four concentrations, four immeasurables, and four formless absorptions, dependent origination, the sixty-two views (the view of the perishable collection and so on), the six perfections, the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening, all the emptinesses, the powers, the fearlessnesses, the detailed and thorough knowledges, the distinct attributes of a buddha, and the knowledge of all aspects [T1] is empty [T2] [U2T].'
    Therefore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom gives birth to the tathāgatas and reveals the world.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom reveals to the tathāgatas that the world is inconceivable.
    How does it reveal that the world is inconceivable?
    It reveals that the world that is from the five aggregates up to the knowledge of all aspects is inconceivable.
    Similarly, it reveals that the world that is utterly isolated, inner emptiness, up to and the emptiness that is the nonexistence of an intrinsic nature is inconceivable.
    Therefore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom gives birth to the tathāgatas and reveals the world.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom reveals to the tathāgatas that the world is calm.
    How does it reveal that the world is calm?
    It reveals that the world that is the aggregates, constituents, sense fields, up to and the knowledge of all aspects is calm.
    Therefore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom gives birth to the tathāgatas and reveals the world.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom reveals to the tathāgatas that the world is just [genuine-]emptiness [U2T].
    How does it reveal that the world is just emptiness?
    It reveals that the world that is the five aggregates is just emptiness, it reveals that the world that is . . . up to the knowledge of all aspects is just emptiness.
    Therefore, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom gives birth to the tathāgatas and reveals the world.

  • "Subhūti, this perfection of wisdom reveals the world to the tathāgatas such that there is no perception of the world here at all, and neither is there any perception of the world beyond.
    And why?
    Because those dharmas that cause the perception of the world here or a perception of the world beyond do not exist."

Subhūti said,

  • "Lord! This perfection of wisdom has been made available through the tremendous work of the lords.
    Lord, this perfection of wisdom has been made available through inconceivable work, incomparable work, immeasurable work, work equal to the unequaled."

"Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so!" replied the Lord.

  • "This perfection of wisdom has been made available through the tremendous work of the tathāgatas.
    And how, through tremendous work, has this perfection of wisdom been made available?
    Protecting, supporting, and not giving up on all beings is the tremendous work of the tathāgatas.
    Because of this one of many explanations, Subhūti,
    the perfection of wisdom has been made available through the tremendous work of the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas.

  • "How has this perfection of wisdom been made available through the inconceivable work of the tathāgatas? Subhūti, buddhahood, tathāgatahood, the self-originated state, and the state of all-knowing are inconceivable.
    Because of this one of many explanations, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom has been made available through the inconceivable work of the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas.

  • "How has this perfection of wisdom been made available through the incomparable work of the tathāgatas? Subhūti, among the mass of beings there is no being at all to which the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas can be related in thought or to whom they can be compared.
    Because of this one of many explanations, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom has been made available through the incomparable work of the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas.

  • "How has this perfection of wisdom been made available through the immeasurable work of the tathāgatas? Subhūti, buddhahood, tathāgatahood, the self-originated state, and the state of all-knowing are immeasurable; nobody takes their measure.
    Because of this one of many explanations, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom has been made available through the immeasurable work of the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas.

  • "How has this perfection of wisdom been made available through the work of the tathāgatas that is equal to the unequaled?
    There is no equal of the tathāgatas, so however could there be something superior?
    Because of this one of many explanations, Subhūti, the perfection of wisdom has been made available through the work of the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas that is equal to the unequaled."

"Lord, are buddhahood, tathāgatahood, the self-originated state, and the state of a knower of all aspects inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled?" asked Subhūti.

"Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so!" replied the Lord.

  • "Subhūti, buddhahood, tathāgatahood, the self-originated state, and the state of all-knowing are inconceivable. Similarly, Subhūti, buddhahood, tathāgatahood, the self-originated state, and the state of all-knowing are incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled.

  • "Subhūti, in that which is the natural state of dharmas all mind and mental factor dharmas [T1] are not apprehended [T2] [U2T]. 518
    Subhūti, form is inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled because it is not something to be known.
    Similarly, Subhūti, feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness are inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled
    because they are not something to be known,
    up to the knowledge of all aspects is inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled
    because it is not something to be known."

"Lord," asked Subhūti,

  • "why is form inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, equal to the unequaled, and not something to be known;
    feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, equal to the unequaled, and not something to be known;
    up to the knowledge of all aspects inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, equal to the unequaled, and not something to be known?"

The Lord said,

  • "Subhūti, because the intrinsic nature of form is no intrinsic nature it is inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, equal to the unequaled, and not something to be known.
    -
    Subhūti, because the intrinsic nature of feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness is no intrinsic nature they are inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, equal to the unequaled, and not something to be known, up to because the intrinsic nature of the knowledge of all aspects is no intrinsic nature it is inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, equal to the unequaled, and not something to be known.

  • "What do you think, Subhūti, can you, in form that is inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, equal to the unequaled, and not something to be known, apprehend form?
    Similarly, Subhūti, can you apprehend feeling . . . , perception . . . , volitional factors . . . , or consciousness in consciousness that is inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, equal to the unequaled, and not something to be known?
    What do you think, Subhūti, can you apprehend . . . up to the knowledge of all aspects in the knowledge of all aspects that is inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, equal to the unequaled, and not something to be known?"

"No, Lord," replied Subhūti.

"Because of this one of many explanations, Subhūti," continued the Lord,

  • "all dharmas are inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled.
    -
    Subhūti, these are the dharmas that are inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled.
    -
    Similarly, Subhūti, the tathāgata dharmas of the tathāgatas are inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, equal to the unequaled, and not anything to be known.
    Subhūti, these tathāgata dharmas of the tathāgatas are
    inconceivable because there is no conceiving;
    incomparable because there is no comparing;
    immeasurable because there is no measuring;
    uncountable because there is no counting; and
    equal to the unequaled because there is no equal or unequal.
    Because of this one of many explanations, Subhūti,
    all dharmas are inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled.

  • "Subhūti, those tathāgata dharmas of the tathāgatas are
    inconceivable because they are beyond conception;
    incomparable because they are beyond comparing;
    immeasurable because they are beyond measuring;
    uncountable because they are beyond counting; and
    equal to the unequaled because they are beyond equal and unequal.
    Because of this one of many explanations, Subhūti,
    all dharmas are inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled.

  • "Subhūti, inconceivable is a word for no conception.
    Subhūti, incomparable is a word for no comparing.
    Subhūti, immeasurable is a word for no measuring.
    Subhūti, uncountable is a word for beyond counting.
    Subhūti, equal to the unequaled is a term for unequaled and not equal. 519

  • "Subhūti, those tathāgata dharmas of the tathāgatas are inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled.
    Subhūti, they are inconceivable because space is inconceivable.
    Similarly, they are incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled because they are similar to space.
    Therefore, Subhūti, the dharmas of the tathāgatas are inconceivable, incomparable, immeasurable, uncountable, and equal to the unequaled.
    All the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas, and the world with its celestial beings, cannot think about, compare, measure, or count them.
    Therefore, the buddhas too are inconceivable and the buddhadharmas inconceivable as well."

When this "Inconceivable, Incomparable, Immeasurable, Uncountable, and Equal to the Unequaled" chapter, one of many explanations of the Dharma, was being expounded, five hundred monks stopped appropriating anything and their minds became freed from outflows, and two thousand nuns stopped appropriating anything and their minds became freed from outflows as well. Dust-free and stainless, the Dharma eye of sixty thousand laymen became clear about the dharmas; and dust-free and stainless, the Dharma eye of thirty thousand laywomen became clear about the dharmas as well. Twenty thousand bodhisattvas also gained forbearance for the nonproduction of dharmas and the Lord prophesied they would become buddhas right in this Fortunate Age.

This was the forty-third chapter, "Inconceivable," 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 [U2T]

  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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