Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 66 - A Demonstration of Skillful Means - 366

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 366
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 66 - A Demonstration of Skillful Means –

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]

66. A DEMONSTRATION OF SKILLFUL MEANS– All bodhisattva practices should be done while being aware of the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres – ex. subject / actor / giver / cause, relation / action / generosity / causality, object result / gift / recipient / effect – [U2T-3S]; otherwise they turn into poisons. All practices should be done with a bodhicitta motivation.

(i.e. Résumé: 

Then venerable Subhūti inquired of the Lord,

"Lord, bodhisattva great beings who do not attend on the lord buddhas, do not plant wholesome roots, and are not looked after by spiritual friends‍ — those bodhisattva great beings would not gain the knowledge of all aspects, would they?"


"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

"bodhisattva great beings who have not attended on the lord buddhas, have not planted wholesome roots, and have not been looked after by spiritual friends would not gain the knowledge of all aspects.

And why?

Even bodhisattva great beings who have attended on the lord buddhas, have planted wholesome roots,

and have been looked after by spiritual friends will not be able to gain the knowledge of all aspects,

never mind bodhisattva great beings who have not attended on the lord buddhas, have not planted wholesome roots, and have not been looked after by spiritual friends. It is impossible that they will gain the knowledge of all aspects.

Therefore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings should attend on the lord buddhas,

plant wholesome roots, and rely on spiritual friends."


"Lord, why would even bodhisattva great beings who attend on the lord buddhas, plant wholesome roots, and rely on spiritual friends not gain the knowledge of all aspects?"


"It is because of being separated from skillful means.

It is because they have not heard that method from those lord buddhas and have not planted wholesome roots and not relied on those spiritual friends who are the spiritual friends that would teach them that method."


"Lord, what are those skillful means, in possession of which bodhisattva great beings gain the knowledge of all aspects?"


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

"Subhūti, here, starting from the production of the first thought, when bodhisattva great beings practice the perfection of giving they give gifts to the lord buddhas, the pratyekabuddhas and śrāvakas, and to those in human form and nonhuman form, with attention connected to the knowledge of all aspects.

But, endowed with attention connected to the knowledge of all aspects [T1],

they do not entertain the notion that giving is giving (relation / action) ,

do not entertain the notion that the recipient is a recipient (object-2),

and do not entertain the notion that the giver is a giver (subject) [T2] [U2T-3S].

And why?

Because they see all dharmas [T1] as empty of their own mark,

as not thoroughly established, and as not having come into being [T2] [U2T].

They enter into the mark that marks all dharmas as dharmas, entering into all dharmas marked as being without the capacity to function and not occasioning anything.

Endowed with those skillful means they grow and flourish on wholesome roots;

growing and flourishing on wholesome roots, they practice the perfection of giving;

and practicing the perfection of giving they bring beings to maturity and purify a buddhafield,

but without hoping for a result from giving‍ — a result from giving that they would enjoy in saṃsāra.

On the contrary, they practice the perfection of giving in order to protect beings and in order to liberate beings."


This was the sixty-sixth chapter, "A Demonstration of Skillful Means," 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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