Thursday, June 16, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 50 - The Signs of Irreversibility - 350

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 350
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 50 - The signs of irreversibility –

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.
-
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.
-
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.
-
Note: All comments within (i.e. …) or [...] are from the commentator (me), not the translators.)


[Back to Résumés of chapters 42-87]

50. TEACHING THE SIGNS OF IRREVERSIBILITY – Irreversible Bodhisattvas have entered Reality as it is without apprehending anything, or rejecting everything.

(i.e. Same résumé as chapter 49: Irreversible Bodhisattvas have entered Reality as it is without apprehending anything, or rejecting everything.
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.
-
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].
-
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.
-
"Thus, they do not differentiate the undifferentiated [Ground] and thus enter into it. (i.e. not many, not one…)"
-
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.
-
"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.
-
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.
-
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.
-
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].
-
-
-
"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.")

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, Māra the wicked one comes into the presence of bodhisattva great beings and discourages them, saying, 'The knowledge of all aspects is like space; it is the nonexistence of an intrinsic nature, and it is empty of its own mark. These dharmas are like space as well; they are the nonexistence of an intrinsic nature, and they are empty of their own marks. In dharmas that are like space with a nonexistent intrinsic nature and empty of their own marks, you cannot apprehend any dharma at all which might fully awaken, through which you might fully awaken, and which will be fully awakened to. All those dharmas are like space with a nonexistent intrinsic nature and empty of their own marks, so this‍ — namely, this teaching that you should fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening‍ — will frustrate you. It is meaningless, it is the work of Māra, it is not a teaching of the perfectly complete buddha. Son of a good family, reject those ways of thinking or else they will bring you misfortune and suffering and a descent into error.'

  • "There, when he says that, those sons of a good family or daughters of a good family, having heard those words, think, 'In this case we have to look closely. These are the works of Māra causing a separation from unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening. Thus, dharmas [T1] are like space with a nonexistent intrinsic nature and are empty of their own marks [T2] [U2T]. Beings do not know, do not see, and do not comprehend them, so we, having buckled on the space-like armor with a nonexistent intrinsic nature empty of its own mark, having fully awakened to the knowledge of all aspects, will teach the doctrine that provides a definite escape. We will establish them in the result of stream enterer, the result of once-returner, the result of non-returner, and the state of a worthy one. We will establish them in the state of a pratyekabuddha, and we will establish them in unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.'

  • "There, starting from their first production of the thought [T1],
    when bodhisattva great beings hear those doctrines
    they must be firm in their thought, must be unwavering in their thought,
    and must not be robbed of their thought.
    -
    If, endowed with a firm thought, an unwavering thought, a thought that cannot be stolen,
    they practice the six perfections,
    they will enter into the secure state of a bodhisattva [irreversibility]."

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,
"Lord, do you call bodhisattva great beings irreversible from awakening 'irreversible,'
or do you call bodhisattvas who turns back 'irreversible'?"

Venerable Subhūti having asked this, the Lord said to him,

  • "Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattvas are said to 'turn back' (from the śrāvaka level or the pratyekabuddha level),
    and bodhisattvas who turn back are said to be 'irreversible.' "

"Lord, why are irreversible bodhisattvas said to 'turn back,'
and why are bodhisattvas who turn back said to be 'irreversible'?" asked Subhūti.

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "the bodhisattvas who have turned back from the śrāvaka level or the pratyekabuddha level,
    Subhūti, are the bodhisattvas who have turned back who are said to be 'irreversible.'
    Subhūti, the bodhisattvas who have NOT turned back from the śrāvaka level or the pratyekabuddha level, Subhūti, are the irreversible bodhisattva who are said to have 'turned back.'
    (i.e. The Middle Way: not accepting not rejecting them in absolute terms. Using them as conventional / relative / inter-subjective tools / adapted skillful means, but never in absolute terms.)

  • "You should know, Subhūti, that being endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs, bodhisattva great beings are marked as irreversible from awakening.
    -
    Māra the wicked one cannot dissuade bodhisattvas endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs from unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings irreversible from awakening
    become absorbed when and as they want to in the first concentration,
    up to become absorbed in the fourth concentration,
    up to become absorbed in the cessation absorption.
    Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings
    become absorbed when and as they want to in the four applications of mindfulness,
    up to become absorbed in the eightfold noble path,
    up to become absorbed in the meditative stabilization on emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness.
    They accomplish the five clairvoyances;
    gain mastery over the four concentrations, four immeasurables,
    four formless absorptions, and the cessation absorption;
    cultivate all four applications of mindfulness;
    and similarly, become absorbed in . . . up to the eightfold noble path and in the meditative stabilization on emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness;
    and accomplish the five clairvoyances,
    but still they do not appropriate the result of the concentrations,
    and similarly, up to do not appropriate the result of the cessation absorption,
    do not gain the result of stream enterer, and similarly, up to do not gain a pratyekabuddha's awakening.
    When and as they want to, and at will, they appropriate a body.
    That is, they appropriate a body with which they can work for the welfare of beings [T1].
    (i.e. The Middle Way: not accepting not rejecting them in absolute terms. Using them as conventional / relative / inter-subjective tools / adapted skillful means, but never in absolute terms.)
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible from awakening.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings
    endowed with attention to awakening, inseparable from the thought of awakening [T1],
    do not focus on [T2] form [T1] [U2T], 551
    do not focus on [T2] a mark,
    do not focus on [T2] the body,
    do not focus on [T2] giving, and similarly,
    up to do not focus on [T2] wisdom,
    do not focus on [T2] the concentrations,
    do not focus on [T2] the immeasurables,
    do not focus on [T2] the formless absorptions,
    do not focus on [T2] the clairvoyant knowledges,
    do not focus on [T2] the tathāgata powers,
    do not focus on [T2] the fearlessnesses,
    up to do not focus on [T2] awakening,
    do not focus on [T2] the purification of a buddhafield,
    do not focus on [T2] bringing beings to maturity,
    do not focus on [T2] seeing the buddhas, and
    do not focus on [T2] growing wholesome roots.
    (i.e. The Middle Way: not accepting not rejecting them in absolute terms. Using them as conventional / relative / inter-subjective tools / adapted skillful means, but never in absolute terms.)
    -
    And why?
    -
    Because those dharmas [T1] are like space [T2] [U2T];
    they are the nonexistence of an intrinsic nature and
    they are empty [T2] of their own marks [T1] [U2T].
    -
    Subhūti, those bodhisattva great beings irreversible from awakening
    are endowed with this attention to being a bodhisattva
    while carrying themselves in all four ways.
    Whether going out or coming back, they do not come back with their thoughts veering off
    and do not go out with their thoughts veering off.
    They do not stand up with their thoughts veering off,
    they do not walk with their thoughts veering off,
    they do not sit down with their thoughts veering off,
    and they do not lie down with their thoughts veering off.
    (i.e. Veer off: to begin to go in the wrong direction – ex. to the Śrāvaka level or in the Pratyekabuddha level.)
    Mindful they come back, and mindful they go, walk, stand, sit, and lie down.
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible from awakening.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings living the life of a householder make a show of the five sorts of sense objects through skillful means in order to bring beings to maturity.
    They give gifts to beings, they give food to those seeking food, up to 552 they give whatever human requirements are appropriate.
    They personally practice the perfection of giving, and they inspire others to practice the perfection of giving, speak in praise of practicing the perfection of giving, and speak in praise of others practicing the perfection of giving as well, welcoming it.
    Similarly, connect this with they speak in praise of others practicing . . .
    up to the perfection of wisdom as well, welcoming it.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti,
    those bodhisattva great beings irreversible from awakening living the life of a householder
    give the gift of the world filled up with the seven precious stones,
    up to give the gift of this great billionfold world system filled up with the seven precious stones [T1],
    but without making use of sense objects [T2] [U2T],
    constantly and always practicing celibacy, without oppressing anyone by unleashing the oppression that causes others mental distress.
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible from awakening.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, the yakṣa Vajrapāṇi, with the thought, 'Before long this bodhisattva great being will fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,' constantly and always shadows those irreversible bodhisattva great beings, to guard and protect them just like he shadows me, the unsurpassed, perfectly complete buddha.
    As long as the five vajra families are constantly and always shadowing them, humans and nonhumans cannot oppress them, and nobody, in truth, in this world‍ — the gods, or Māras, or brahmins‍ — can withstand them.
    -
    Their thought does not become distracted from attention to awakening
    up to and including when fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.
    Those bodhisattvas' faculties‍ — namely, the eye faculty, up to the thinking-mind faculty, faith faculty, perseverance faculty, mindfulness faculty, meditative stabilization faculty, and wisdom faculty‍ — are not incomplete. They are good people. They do not become dishonorable people."

"What, Lord, makes bodhisattva great beings good people, not dishonorable people?" asked Subhūti.

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "to the extent the thought of awakening of bodhisattva great beings does not waver,
    to that extent they are good people, not dishonorable people.
    -
    "Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible from awakening.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, irreversible bodhisattva great beings paying attention in those ways to being a bodhisattva do not, as anyone at all in any way at all, make use of, or get somebody else to make use of, spells, magical formulas, medicines, or herbs to procure women by casting a spell over them.
    They do not do anything at all to procure women by casting a spell over them.
    They do not demonstrate the miracle of foretelling what will happen to a man or a woman: 'It is going to be a boy,' 'It is going to be a girl,' 'Your family line will flourish,' 553 'You are going to live long.'
    -
    And why?
    -
    Subhūti, it is because those bodhisattva great beings
    _________________________________________________________________________
    do not see [T2] in phenomena [T1] that are empty of their own marks [T2]
    any causal signs [T1] [U2T],______________________________________________
    and because they do not see [T2] any causal signs [T1] [U2T],____________
    they live by a pure livelihood.____________________________________________
    __________________________________________________________________________
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible from awakening.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti, listen well and hard and pay attention,
    and I will speak to you about attributes, tokens, and signs‍ —
    those attributes, tokens, and signs endowed with which irreversible bodhisattva great beings should know that irreversible bodhisattva great beings are irreversible from awakening."

Venerable Subhūti said to the Lord,
"Indeed I will," and listened to the Lord accordingly.

The Lord said,

  • "Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings
    practicing this deep perfection of wisdom [T2]
    inseparable from paying attention in those ways to being a bodhisattva [T1]
    are not preoccupied [T2] with aggregates,
    and are not preoccupied [T2] with constituents and sense fields.
    Why?
    Because they stand in emptiness and so do not see any dharma that is inferior or superior.

  • "They are not preoccupied [T2] with talk about robbers.
    Why?
    Because where dharmas are empty of their own marks,
    they do not see a staying together or a stealing away of any dharma.

  • "They are not preoccupied [T2] with talk about armies.
    Why?
    Because standing in the emptiness of a basic nature, 554
    they do not see a state of less or a state of more in any dharma.

  • "They are not preoccupied [T2] with talk about a battle that is underway.
    Why?
    Because all dharmas abide in suchness,
    so they do not see attachment or rage in any dharma.

  • "They are not preoccupied [T2] with talk about settlements.
    Why?
    Because standing in the emptiness of all dharmas,
    they do not see an accumulation or non-accumulation in any dharma.

  • "They are not preoccupied [T2] with talk about villages.
    Why?
    Because standing in the emptiness of space,
    they do not see a collection or what is not a collection in any dharma.

  • "They are not preoccupied [T2] with talk about market towns.
    Why?
    Because standing at the very limit of reality,
    they do not see an increase or reduction in any dharma.

  • "They are not preoccupied [T2] with talk about self, and similarly,
    up to they are not preoccupied [T2] with talk about one who knows and one who sees.
    Why?
    Because all dharmas are absolutely pure.

  • "More than anything else, inseparable from attention connected with . . .
    up to the knowledge of all aspects,
    they stay preoccupied with talk about the perfection of wisdom.

  • "They stand in all six perfections [U2T].
    Practicing the perfection of giving they do not live preoccupied [T2] with miserliness;
    practicing the perfection of morality they do not live preoccupied [T2] with immorality;
    practicing the perfection of patience they do not live preoccupied [T2] with upsets;
    practicing the perfection of perseverance they do not live preoccupied [T2] with laziness;
    practicing the perfection of concentration they do not live preoccupied [T2] with distraction; and
    practicing the perfection of wisdom they do not live preoccupied [T2] with intellectual confusion.
    Living with the emptiness of all dharmas they want just the Dharma, not what is not the Dharma.
    Involved with the dharma-constituent they do not praise a dharma that can be broken down.
    They accept the lord buddhas and the bodhisattva great beings as their spiritual friends;
    inspire Śrāvaka Vehicle and Pratyekabuddha Vehicle sons of a good family and daughters of a good family to take up, enter into, be led into, and be established in full awakening to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening;
    please the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas and, to behold them, are born where they are dwelling and maintaining themselves.
    They are born there when and as they want, and they stay with that attention day and night, that is, with the attention to the buddhas.

  • "And why?
    Subhūti, it is because, in general,
    bodhisattva great beings irreversible from awakening
    produce attention associated with the desire realm, stand on the ten wholesome actions, and are born in those buddhafields where the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas have manifested and are dwelling and maintaining themselves;
    they produce the first concentration,
    up to become absorbed in the station of neither perception nor nonperception absorption;
    and they are born in those buddhafields where the tathāgatas, worthy ones,
    perfectly complete buddhas have manifested and are dwelling and maintaining themselves.
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible from awakening.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti,
    irreversible bodhisattva great beings
    practicing this perfection of wisdom and standing in inner emptiness,
    up to standing in the emptiness that is the nonexistence of an intrinsic nature;
    and standing in the applications of mindfulness,
    and similarly, connect this with each,
    up to standing in the emptiness, signless, and wishless gateways to liberation
    do not harbor any doubt about whether 'I am irreversible from awakening,' or 'I am not irreversible from awakening.'
    They are not unsure about their level.
    -
    And why?
    -
    _________________________________________________________________
    Because they do not see [T2] even a mere tiny dharma [T1] [U2T]
    that is irreversible or that is not irreversible [Uopp].______________
    _________________________________________________________________
    -
    For example, Subhūti, those standing at the level of the result of stream enterer are not unsure and do not harbor any doubt about their own level.
    Similarly, connect this with each, up to those standing at the buddha level are not unsure and do not harbor any doubt.
    Similarly, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings standing on their own level are not unsure and do not harbor any doubt about it either.
    Standing on that irreversible level they purify a buddhafield, bring beings to maturity, comprehend whatever works of Māra come up, do not come under the control of the works of Māra, and, having comprehended all the works of Māra, pulverize them to bits.
    -
    To illustrate, Subhūti, those who commit an inexpiable sin do not separate from the thought of that inexpiable sin up until death.
    The thought of their inexpiable sin haunts them and they cannot shake themselves free of the thought of the inexpiable sin in any way at all.
    They are obsessed with the thought up until they die.
    -
    Similarly, Subhūti, with irreversible bodhisattva great beings' irreversible thought — it cannot be differentiated or shaken, and the world with its gods, humans, and asuras cannot turn it back.
    -
    And why?
    -
    Because with that irreversible thought they have gone beyond the world with its gods, humans, and asuras and entered into the flawlessness that is a perfect state.
    They are stationed on their own level and, with perfect control over the clairvoyances, purify a buddhafield, bring beings to perfection, and pass on from buddhafield to buddhafield to behold, salute, and hear the doctrine from the lord buddhas there.
    They generate wholesome roots from those lord buddhas in those buddhafields, make inquiries of those lord buddhas, and, questioning them, serve them.

  • "Subhūti, the bodhisattva great beings standing like that comprehend whatever works of Māra come up, do not come under the control of whatever works of Māra come up, and purify 555 those works of Māra at the very limit of reality with skillful means.
    They are not uncertain and harbor no doubt about their own level.
    -
    And why?
    -
    ________________________________________________________________
    Because they have no uncertainty about the very limit of reality,
    and they do not conceive of the very limit of reality as one or two.
    __________________________________________________________________
    Because of such an understanding,
    they do not produce a thought at the śrāvaka level or the pratyekabuddha level
    even after returning back to a life.
    -
    And why?
    -
    Subhūti, it is because bodhisattva great beings
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    do not see in dharmas that are empty of their own marks___________________
    any dharma at all that is produced, or stops, or is defilement, or purification.
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    Subhūti, even after returning back to a life, those bodhisattva great beings do not think, 'I will not fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening';
    rather, they think, 'There is no doubt about it, I will fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.' 556
    -
    And why?
    -
    Subhūti, it is
    because unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening [T1] is empty of its own mark [T2] [U2T].
    Subhūti, the bodhisattva great beings thus stand on their own level,
    and on their own level they do not place their trust in others;
    on their own level they cannot be crushed.
    -
    And why?
    -
    Subhūti, it is because irreversible bodhisattva great beings standing like that are endowed with knowledge that cannot be stolen.

  • "Subhūti, if Māra the wicked one disguised in the form of a buddha comes into the presence of irreversible bodhisattva great beings and says, 'You should gain the state of a worthy one right here. Your unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening has not been prophesied. You have not even gained that forbearance for the nonproduction of dharmas on account of which those tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas would prophesy your unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening. You do not have the attributes, the tokens, or the signs‍ — those attributes, tokens, and signs, endowed with which your unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening would be prophesied.'
    -
    Subhūti, if bodhisattva great beings hear those words but still are not cowed, do not tense up, and if their state of mind is not altered, if their minds do not become terrified, then,
    Subhūti, those bodhisattva great beings should know, 'Those tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas have prophesied my unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.'
    -
    Why?
    -
    It is because of knowing, 'I am endowed with those dharmas on account of which a bodhisattva great being's unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening would be prophesied.'

  • "Subhūti, Māra the wicked one disguised in the form of a buddha comes into the presence of irreversible bodhisattva great beings and says, 'Your unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening has not been prophesied. You are destined for the śrāvaka level or pratyekabuddha level.'
    Even so, Subhūti, if those bodhisattva great beings still think, 'Hey! This is Māra or a person possessed by Māra disguised in the form of a buddha who has come. The tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete Buddha does not inspire bodhisattva great beings to take up the śrāvaka level or the pratyekabuddha level,'
    then, Subhūti, those bodhisattva great beings should know that they have been prophesied.

  • "Subhūti, Māra the wicked one disguised in the form of a buddha comes into the presence of irreversible bodhisattva great beings reading aloud and reciting the expanded class of sūtras from memory and says, 'Those sūtras you are occupying yourself with are not the sūtras taught by the buddhas and śrāvakas, they are taught by Māra.'
    Even so, if those bodhisattva great beings know him, thinking, 'Hey! This is Māra or a person possessed by Māra separating me 557 from unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,' then, Subhūti, those bodhisattva great beings should know that those past tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas have prophesied their unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, and those bodhisattva great beings should know that they are standing on the irreversible level.
    -
    Why?
    -
    Subhūti, it is because they have those attributes, tokens, and signs of the bodhisattva great beings irreversible from 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 practicing this perfection of wisdom
    will give up even themselves, give up even their lives to look after the doctrine.

  • "Subhūti, those bodhisattva great beings make an effort to look after the good doctrine in such a way as to look after the doctrine of past, future, and present lord buddhas.
    -
    Why?
    -
    Because they think, 'If I look after the good doctrine it becomes an act of worship of the past, future, and present lord buddhas. I will be looking after the good doctrine of the past, future, and present buddhas as well.'

  • _______________________________________________________________________________
    "What is the good doctrine for the sake of which they give up even themselves?
    _______________________________________________________________________________
    -
    Here it is the doctrine that the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete Buddha teaches, that
    _______________________________________
    'all dharmas [T1] are empty [T2] [U2T].'
    _______________________________________
    -
    It is the one that certain fools reject and argue against, saying,
    'That is not the Dharma, that is not the Vinaya, that is not the Teacher's Doctrine.'
    -
    Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings will give up even themselves for the sake of that doctrine.

  • "Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings should train in that as follows.
    They should train, thinking, 'When the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas appear in the future, I will be included among their number. It has been prophesied of me, too, that I will be there. That doctrine for the sake of which I would give up even myself and would give up even my life is my doctrine too.' -
    -
    Seeing that reality, Subhūti, forces the bodhisattva great beings to give up even themselves for the sake of the good doctrine.
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible from awakening.

  • "Furthermore, Subhūti,
    -
    irreversible bodhisattva great beings are not unsure and do not harbor doubts
    about the Dharma teaching of the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas.
    -
    They look after everything those lord buddhas have said,
    and having thus taken it up, those teachings are not lost.
    -
    And why?
    -
    Because they have obtained the dhāraṇīs."

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,
"Lord, on account of which dhāraṇī bodhisattva great beings have obtained
are the sūtras spoken by the tathāgatas not lost?"

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "because they have obtained the dhāraṇī for bearing the sūtras spoken by the tathāgatas in mind,
    they are not lost."

"Lord, is it only the sūtras spoken by the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas
that they do not harbor doubts about, and not the ones śrāvakas have spoken, or the gods have spoken, or the nāgas have spoken, or the yakṣas have spoken, or the gandharvas have spoken, or the asuras have spoken, or the garuḍas have spoken, or the kinnaras have spoken, or the mahoragas have spoken?" asked Subhūti.

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "whatever the sound, conventional term, and voice, in every case the bodhisattva great beings are not unsure and do not harbor doubts about it.
    -
    And why?
    -
    Subhūti, it is because they have obtained a dhāraṇī.
    -
    Subhūti, you should know that bodhisattva great beings endowed with those attributes, those tokens, and those signs are irreversible from awakening."

This was the fiftieth chapter, "Teaching the Signs of 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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