Thursday, June 16, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 49 - Irreversible Bodhisattvas have entered Reality as it is - 349

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 349
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 49 - Irreversible Bodhisattvas have entered Reality as it is without apprehending anything or rejecting everything –

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]

49. IRREVERSIBILITY – Irreversible Bodhisattvas have entered Reality as it is without apprehending anything.

(i.e. Résumé: Bodhisattvas who have entered without entering into 'the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing Ground / Suchness / True nature & dynamic of Reality as it is / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]' are said to be irreversible from unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.
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Irreversible Bodhisattvas have entered without entering into 'suchness: the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle'.
They have entered suchness [T1] without apprehending any absolute [T2] [U2T].
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They understand and almost always directly perceive / realise / experience that all dharmas
have this inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing Ground / Basis / Source / Genuine-emptiness / Buddha-nature / Suchness / true nature & dynamic as it is here & now: the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T], the inconceivable Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], the inconceivable Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp], and the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the two truths themselves [U2T-2T / U3S-2T / Uopp-2T].
-
They understand and almost always directly perceive / realise / experience that all dharmas
are inconceivable inseparable spontaneous natural manifestations of this inconceivable unique Ground [UGM].
There is no ground with / without those manifestations, and vice versa.
The Ground and its manifestations are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable.
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"Thus, they do not differentiate the undifferentiated [Ground] and thus enter into it. (i.e. not many, not one…)"
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They understand and almost always directly perceive / realise / experience 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 by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
There is no emptiness with / without those appearances, and vice versa.
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"All dharmas are without attributes, without tokens, and without signs."
-
They understand and almost always directly perceive / realise / experience that all dharmas
are like illusion, reflections, mirage, dreams, echos, magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' [U2T].
-
They understand and almost always directly perceive / realise / experience that 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 equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / free / enlightened, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary / bound / non-enlightened, 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 co-arisen [T1], not empty of inherent existence [T2], not both truths together [2T], not neither of the two truths [1T], and there is no fifth;
– not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth – for whatever 'this' is.
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They understand and almost always directly perceive / realise / experience that there are not real three stages of becoming for any dharma: no real (i) origination / causality / production / beginning / birth / coming, (ii) duration / change / evolution / defilement & purification / life / lasting, (iii) cessation / ending / death / going … in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
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They understand and almost always directly perceive / realise / experience that there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation / ranking / judgment about anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
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They understand and almost always directly perceive / realise / experience that there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / stop / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
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They understand and almost always directly perceive / realise / experience all dharmas as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inconceivable three pure kayas, the true Buddha – in the non-dual sense of those terms: not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth.
They understand and almost always directly perceive / realise / experience all dharmas as indescribable / inconceivable.
-
So they may use without using some valid dharmas / words / concepts / ideas / truths / views / methods / practices / milestones / goals / activities …, but without apprehending anything in absolute terms: using them as possible conventional relative / inter-subjective tools / adapted skillful means, but without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes, without falling into any extremes or middle, without any di-vision between subject, relation / action, and object … This acting more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, with the inconceivable Union of the Two truths free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma.
-
"All dharmas – ex. body / physical, speech / conceptual, mind / mental fabrications; subjects / beings, relations / actions, objects / phenomena / worlds – are 'purified / completed / transcended' simply by understanding and then directly perceiving / realising / experiencing their inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is here & now: the Union of the Two Truths about them [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T].
-
-
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"Because all dharmas [T1] are empty of their own mark [T2] [U2T],
so irreversible bodhisattva great beings enter into the secure state of a bodhisattva.
They do not apprehend [T2] even just a very tiny dharma [T1] [U2T],
so they do not occasion anything,
and because they do not occasion anything, they do not produce it.
They are called irreversible bodhisattva great beings 'who have gained
forbearance for the non-production [T2] of dharmas [T1] [U2T].'
Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes,
those tokens, and those signs are irreversible from awakening.")

The Lord having said this, venerable Subhūti inquired of him,
"Lord, what is the attribute, what is the token, and
what is the sign of irreversible bodhisattva great beings?
How do I know, 'These bodhisattva great beings are irreversible?' "

Venerable Subhūti having thus inquired, the Lord said to him, "Subhūti,

  • here what are called the level of ordinary persons, the level of śrāvakas,
    the level of pratyekabuddhas, the level of bodhisattvas, and the level of tathāgatas ‍—
    all of them are suchness, unchanging, undifferentiated, not two, and not divided.
    They enter into that suchness just as it is.
    Thus, they do not differentiate the undifferentiated
    and thus enter into it.
    -
    Those who have entered like that,
    having heard about suchness just as it is [T1], having transcended it [T2] [U2T],
    have no doubt at all that they are not each separate from suchness, and are not both different and suchness.
    They do not say whatever just comes into their minds, their words are meaningful, and they do not talk nonsense.
    They are not concerned with what others have and have not done;
    they search for what has been well spoken.
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings who have those attributes,
    those tokens, and those signs are irreversible."

"Lord, through what attributes, what tokens, and what signs
should you know that bodhisattva great beings are irreversible?" asked Subhūti.

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "all dharmas [T1] are without attributes, without tokens, and without signs [T2] [U2T]."

The Lord having said this, venerable Subhūti then asked him,
"Lord, if all dharmas are without attributes, without tokens, and without signs,
what are the dharmas bodhisattva great beings do not turn away from again,
on account of which they are taught to be 'irreversible'?

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "you should know that bodhisattva great beings who
    have turned away from form [not accepting, not rejecting any dharma in absolute terms],
    and who have turned away from feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness,
    are, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings.
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings
    who have turned away from the perfection of giving, up to the perfection of wisdom;
    from inner emptiness, up to emptiness that is the nonexistence of an intrinsic nature;
    from the applications of mindfulness, up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha;
    and who have turned away from the śrāvaka level and the pratyekabuddha level, up to awakening,
    are, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings.
    -
    And why?
    -
    Subhūti, it is because a form [T1] where a bodhisattva might be located is without an intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T].
    Similarly, connect this with each, up to an awakening where a bodhisattva might be located is without an intrinsic nature.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings do not look up to others outside the fold
    ‍— those following a secluded religious life, and brahmins; 544
    (i.e. They do not entertain opposition / dualities in absolute terms; ex. right vs. wrong, self vs. others; subject vs. object; relative vs. absolute; the two truths)
    they do not think those following a secluded religious life or brahmins know what needs to be known, see what needs to be seen, or expound an exposition of right view.
    There is no doubt about that, it is impossible.
    They do not grasp rules and rituals as absolute;
    they do not fall into a bad view;
    they do not hold that a spectacle or an auspicious sign makes for cleanliness; 545
    and they do not bow down to other gods, nor do they think they should give them flowers, or garlands, or incense, or creams, or powders, or clothes, or parasols, or flags, or banners.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings are not born in hell, up to they are not born in the eight places that preclude a perfect human birth, and they do not take on being a woman.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings have taken to heart and stand on the ten wholesome actions: 'I have stopped stealing, I inspire others to stop stealing, I speak in praise of stopping stealing, and I speak in praise of others stopping stealing as well, welcoming it. And similarly, up to wrong view.'
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings do not ply the ten unwholesome actions even in a dream, let alone when awake.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, when irreversible bodhisattva great beings pursue the perfection of giving
    they give the gift for the sake of all beings.
    And similarly, up to when they cultivate wisdom.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, when irreversible bodhisattva great beings give a gift of Dharma ‍— a discourse, melodious narration, prediction, up to tale, or exposition ‍— a Dharma they study, they think, 'Through this gift of Dharma, may the intention of all beings be completed.' Having made that gift of Dharma into something shared in common by all beings, they dedicate it to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings
    are not unsure, not of two minds, and do not doubt the deep dharmas."

"Lord, why are irreversible bodhisattva great beings not unsure, not of two minds,
and why do they not doubt the deep dharmas?" asked Subhūti.

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "it is because irreversible bodhisattva great beings do not see any dharma about which they are unsure, or of two minds, or that they doubt at all. They also do not see form, or feeling, or perception, or volitional factors, or consciousness. And similarly, up to they also do not see awakening.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings are endowed with gentle physical action, are endowed with gentle verbal action, and gentle mental action.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings are constantly and always endowed with loving physical action, are endowed with loving verbal action, and loving mental action.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings do not cohabit with five obscurations ‍— namely, desire for sense gratification, malice, drowsiness and dozing, gross mental excitement and uneasiness, and doubt.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings do not have bad proclivities in any way at all.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, be it the going out or the coming back, irreversible bodhisattva great beings' thoughts do not veer off when going out and their thoughts do not veer off when coming back.
    (i.e. Veer off: to begin to go in the wrong direction.)
    Whether going out or coming back, they go applying mindfulness and come back applying mindfulness.
    Mindful they go out and mindful they come back;
    mindful they walk, mindful they pause, mindful they sit, and mindful they rest.
    They are not too hasty in picking up their foot and not too hasty in putting their foot down;
    mindful they pick their foot up and mindful they put their foot down. >
    They traverse the area while looking at the ground.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings' use of robes is impeccable.
    Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings are habitually clean, do not smell bad, are not dusty and dirty, and do not get sick often.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, those eighty thousand maggot families 546 in the bodies of human beings who feed on those bodies are not in the bodies of irreversible bodhisattva great beings as anything at all in any way at all.
    And why?
    Subhūti, it is because the wholesome roots of irreversible bodhisattva great beings rise up above everything ordinary. Therefore those eighty thousand maggot families are not in the bodhisattva great beings' bodies.

  • "Subhūti, as those wholesome roots of the bodhisattva great beings keep on growing, the bodhisattva great beings appropriate a purer and purer body, and appropriate purer and purer speech and mind.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible."

The Lord having said this, venerable Subhūti asked him,
"How are the bodhisattva great beings' bodies pure, speech pure, and mind pure?"

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "as those wholesome roots of bodhisattva great beings keep on growing, those wholesome roots make bodhisattva great beings' crooked bodies, speech, and minds, and their devious bodies, speech, and minds, purer and purer,
    and they conduct themselves more and more with the three types of good conduct to do with the body, with the four types of good conduct to do with speech, and with the three types of good conduct to do with the mind.
    This, Subhūti, is the bodhisattva great beings' pure bodies, pure speech, and pure minds.
    -
    With those pure bodies, pure speech, and pure minds they transcend
    the śrāvaka level and pratyekabuddha level but do not actualize the very limit of reality.
    This too, Subhūti, is the bodhisattva great beings' pure bodies, pure speech, and pure minds.
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings
    are not attached to [T2] wealth and respect,
    are not attached to food, are not even focused on . . .
    up to being a three-robe wearer,
    but still they undertake and keep on at those twelve qualities of the ascetic [T1] [U2T]. 547
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings do not produce a miserly thought, do not produce an immoral thought, do not produce an emotionally upsetting thought, 548 do not produce a lazy thought, do not produce an uncollected thought, do not produce an intellectually confused thought, and do not produce a jealous thought.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings have a steady intellect, a profound intellect, listen to the doctrine from others with respect, and whatever doctrine they have heard from others they merge it all with the perfection of wisdom,
    and thanks to the perfection of wisdom they merge all the ordinary things that have to be done with the true nature of dharmas.
    There is no dharma at all that they view as not united with the dharma-constituent;
    they view them all as united with the perfection of wisdom.
    Subhūti, you should know that marks bodhisattva great beings as irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, Māra the wicked one magically produces the eight great hells in the presence of irreversible bodhisattva great beings and in each of the great hells also magically produces many thousands of bodhisattvas, many hundred thousand bodhisattvas, many hundred thousand one hundred million billion bodhisattvas being burned and cooked, experiencing unbearable, sharp, grating sufferings, and says to them, 'The Tathāgata has prophesied these bodhisattva great beings, all of them, to be irreversible from awakening, and yet they have been born in these hells. The Tathāgata's prophecy that you too are irreversible is a prophecy to do with hell, so from now on let go of this thought of awakening. Then you will not be born in hell; you will on that account go to heaven instead.'
    When Māra says that, if those bodhisattva great beings' thought is not disturbed, 549 if they do not harbor doubt, you should know that those tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas of the past prophesied those bodhisattva great beings.
    Those bodhisattva great beings stand certain in the irreversible element.
    Subhūti, it is impossible that there is any chance the bodhisattvas irreversible from awakening will be born in hell, or in the animal world, or in the world of Yama. It is impossible.
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, if Māra the wicked one comes into the presence of bodhisattva great beings disguised in the form of a follower of the secluded religious life and says, 'Repudiate what you have heard before ‍— namely, that "I must thus cleanse the perfection of giving, up to I must thus cleanse the perfection of wisdom, up to I must thus cleanse the knowledge of all aspects," and that "I must fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening." Confess and reject your rejoicings in all those wholesome roots of past, future, and present tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas with their śrāvaka saṅghas, starting from the first production of the thought, up to the lasting of the good Dharma. What if you were somebody who confesses and rejects those wholesome roots? What you have heard is not the word of the Buddha, it is personally made up by rhymesters. I will tell you those words of the Buddha the Tathāgata has spoken.'
    -
    If, when Māra says that, those bodhisattva great beings are disturbed, are unsure, harbor doubt, then you should know that the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas of the past did not prophesy those bodhisattva great beings, and those bodhisattva great beings do not stand certain in the irreversible element.
    -
    But if those bodhisattva great beings are not disturbed, are not unsure, do not harbor doubt, fall back on the true nature of dharmas, and fall back on the absence of occasioning anything, and on the absence of production;
    do not believe in another;550 and do not place their trust in another when it comes to the perfection of giving, up to the perfection of wisdom, and do not place their trust in another when it comes to awakening,
    then those bodhisattva great beings stand certain in the irreversible element and do not believe in another.
    -
    If, Subhūti, the bodhisattva great beings irreversible from awakening cannot be crushed by those in the Śrāvaka Vehicle or in the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle and are irreversible from unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, just like worthy ones with outflows dried up directly witnessing the true nature of dharmas do not believe in another and are not captured by Māra the wicked one,
    then, Subhūti, never mind that they do not believe in tīrthika religious mendicants, never mind that they do not believe in those in the Śrāvaka Vehicle or in the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle or in Māra the wicked one,
    they do not even place their trust in the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete Buddha.
    It is impossible.
    -
    And why?
    -
    Because they do not see [T2] any dharma at all in which to believe [T1] [U2T],
    and because they do not see form, or feeling, or perception, or volitional factors, or consciousness,
    or the suchness of form, up to or the suchness of consciousness.
    And similarly, up to they do not see awakening, and they do not see the suchness of awakening.
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those reasons, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, Māra the wicked one comes into the presence of bodhisattva great beings disguised in the form of a monk and says, 'This way of life has to do with saṃsāra; it is not a way of life to do with the knowledge of all aspects, so you should put an end to suffering right here.'
    Māra the wicked one teaches the bodhisattva great beings a counterfeit path, a counterfeit path purified of the ordinary aspects of ways of life to do with saṃsāra, or else teaches them the perception of dry bones, or else gives instruction in the first concentration, up to the station of neither perception nor nonperception absorption. 'Venerable, this is the path, and this is the way you progress. It is the path and the way you progress to reach the result of stream enterer, up to the state of a worthy one. Venerable, you should put an end to suffering right here with this path and way of progressing and not experience the sufferings of a way of life in saṃsāra anymore. Hey! Consider why, if your body has not been brought into being right here, you would appropriate another body.'
    -
    Subhūti, if the bodhisattva great beings' minds are not disturbed, are not shaken even when Māra says that, and if, on top of that they think, 'This monk is a boon to me showing me this counterfeit path. It is a counterfeit path that does not even work for the realization of the result of stream enterer, up to the state of a worthy one, does not even work for the realization of a pratyekabuddha's awakening, and does not work for the realization of unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening either.'
    And if, on top of that, again pleasure rises up in them, thinking, 'This monk who shows me those attachments is a boon to me. Having fully comprehended those attachments I will train in all three paths,'
    -
    Māra the wicked one, knowing pleasure has arisen in those bodhisattva great beings, again talks to them, saying, 'Son of a good family, do you want to have a look at those bodhisattva great beings who have served as many lord buddhas as there are sand particles in the Gaṅgā River with what they require ‍— robes, alms, beds and seats, and medicines for sicknesses ‍— who have completed the perfection of giving, up to have cultivated the perfection of wisdom in the presence of as many tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas as there are sand particles in the Gaṅgā River, those bodhisattva great beings who, having attended on as many lord buddhas as there are sand particles in the Gaṅgā River, make inquiries on the topic of just that Bodhisattva Vehicle, asking, "How do you stand in the Bodhisattva Vehicle practicing the perfection of giving, and similarly, practicing up to the perfection of wisdom, practicing the applications of mindfulness, right efforts, legs of miraculous power, faculties, powers, limbs of awakening, and path, and similarly, up to great compassion, and up to the knowledge of all aspects?" Those bodhisattva great beings have lived in accord, practiced in accord, and made an effort in accord with what those lord buddhas have taught but still they have not yet fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening. If those who have been given advice like that, been instructed like that, lived like that, trained over and over again like that have still not reached the knowledge of all aspects, how could someone like you ever reach unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening?'
    -
    If, even after having been dissuaded that like, the thought of those bodhisattva great beings is not changed; if they do not tremble, feel frightened, or become terrified; and if, on top of that, pleasure rises up in them, thinking, 'This monk is a boon to me. He shows me those attachments on account of which even the result of stream enterer is not attained, and similarly, up to even the knowledge of all aspects is not attained,' then Māra the wicked one, knowing the minds of those bodhisattva great beings are uncowed, magically produces a great many monks in that very place and again says, 'All of these are worthy ones with outflows dried up. If they have not set forth to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, but rather abide in the state of a worthy one, how could someone like you ever fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening?'
    -
    If even so those bodhisattva great beings still think, 'Hey! This is Māra the wicked one! He is teaching a counterfeit path!',
    -
    then those bodhisattva great beings are practicing the perfection of wisdom, are irreversible from unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, and do not fall to the śrāvaka level or the pratyekabuddha level.
    -
    On top of that, they think, 'It is impossible that bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of giving, up to cultivating the knowledge of a knower of all aspects will not fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening. There is no chance, it is impossible.'
    -
    Then you should know, Subhūti, that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, if it occurs to irreversible bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom to think, 'Those who have trained in, and are not separated from, the way of life in accord with what the Tathāgata has explained, with attention connected to the perfections, do not lack what is necessary for the perfection of giving, and similarly, up to do not lack what is necessary for the knowledge of all aspects,'
    you should know, Subhūti, that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, if it occurs to irreversible bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom to think, 'Those who comprehend the works of Māra will not be lacking in what is necessary for unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,'
    you should know, Subhūti, that the bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible from unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening."

The Lord having said this, venerable Subhūti then asked him,
"From what do irreversible bodhisattva great beings have to be irreversible
in order to be known to be irreversible?"

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "they turn back from the perception of form [in absolute terms],
    turn back from the perception of feeling, turn back from the perception of perception, turn back from the perception of volitional factors, and turn back from the perception of consciousness;
    and they turn back from the perception of constituents, the perception of sense fields, the perception of greed, the perception of hate, the perception of confusion, the perception of views, the perception of perfections, the perception of emptinesses, and the perception of applications of mindfulness;
    and similarly, the perception of śrāvaka, and perception of pratyekabuddha, up to they turn back from the perception of buddha.
    -
    And why?
    -
    Because all dharmas [T1] are empty of their own mark [T2] [U2T],
    so irreversible bodhisattva great beings enter into the secure state of a bodhisattva.
    -
    They do not apprehend [T2] even just a very tiny dharma [T1] [U2T],
    so they do not occasion anything,
    and because they do not occasion anything, they do not produce it.
    -
    They are called irreversible bodhisattva great beings 'who have gained
    forbearance for the non-production [T2] of dharmas [T1] [U2T].'
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible from awakening."

This was the forty-ninth chapter, "Irreversibility," 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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