Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 70 - An Explanation of Serial Action, Training, and Practice - 370

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 370
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 70 - An Explanation of Serial Action, Training, and Practice –

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]

70. AN EXPLANATION OF SERIAL ACTION, TRAINING, AND PRACTICE –  Transcending both extremes of inherent existence (the extreme of naïve realism) and complete non-existence (the extreme of nihilism / nothingness / mere-emptiness). The inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T], or the Union of existence and non-existence [Uopp].

(i.e. Résumé: 

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti asked him,

"Lord, if there is not even the patience that arises in a natural order for someone with the perception of an existing thing [in absolute terms / the extreme of naïve realism], how could there be attainment, and how could there be clear realization?


"Given that there is not, is there the patience that arises in a natural order for someone with the perception of a non-existent thing [in absolute terms / the extreme of nihilism]?

Is there the Śuklavipaśyanā level, Gotra level, Aṣṭamaka level, Darśana level, Tanū level, Vītarāga level, Kṛtāvin level, Pratyekabuddha level, Bodhisattva level, and cultivation of the path?

And, thanks to the cultivation of the path, are the afflictions connected with śrāvakas and the afflictions connected with pratyekabuddhas eliminated?

When obstructed by those afflictions, there is no entry into the secure state of a bodhisattva.

Unless they have entered into the secure state of a bodhisattva, there is no gaining the knowledge of all aspects, and if they have not gained the knowledge of all aspects, there is no elimination of all residual impressions, connections, and afflictions.


"Lord, standing and production [T1] do not [inherently] exist [T2] [U2T] on account of any dharma at all;

they will have no ability to reach the knowledge of all aspects through those unproduced dharmas."


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

"Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so!

There is no patience that arises in a natural order for someone with the notion of a non-existent thing [in absolute terms / the extreme of nihilism].

Similarly, connect this with each, up to there is no elimination of all residual impression connections."
(i.e. Clear realization about the true nature & dynamic of all dharmas: All dharmas are not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever 'this' is. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. They are appearing / conventional / relative, but still empty of inherent existence; they are empty of inherent existence [T2], but still conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].)

"Lord, do bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom

have the perception of an existing thing [in absolute terms / the extreme of naïve realism]

or the perception of a non-existent thing [in absolute terms / the extreme of nihilism];

or the perception of form [T1] [in absolute terms],

up to the perception of consciousness;

up to or the perception of the knowledge of all aspects;

or the perception of greed

or the perception of the abandonment of greed, the perception of hatred

or the perception of the abandonment of hatred,

or the perception of confusion

or the perception of the abandonment of confusion;

or the perception of ignorance

or the perception of the abandonment of ignorance, the perception of volitional factors

or the perception of the abandonment of volitional factors, the perception of consciousness

or the perception of the abandonment of consciousness, the perception of name and form

or the perception of the abandonment of name and form, the perception of the six sense fields

or the perception of the abandonment of the six sense fields, the perception of contact

or the perception of the abandonment of contact, the perception of feeling

or the perception of the abandonment of feeling, the perception of craving

or the perception of the abandonment of craving, the perception of appropriation

or the perception of the abandonment of appropriation, the perception of existence

or the perception of the abandonment of an existence, the perception of birth

or the perception of the abandonment of birth, the perception of old age and death

or the perception of the abandonment of old age and death,

or the perception of pain, lamentation, suffering, mental anguish, and grief

or the perception of the abandonment of pain, lamentation, suffering, mental anguish, and grief;

or the perception of suffering

or the perception of the abandonment of suffering, the perception of origination

or the perception of the abandonment of origination, the perception of cessation

or the perception of the realization of cessation,

or the perception of the path

or the perception of cultivation of the path; and similarly,

or the perception of . . . , up to the knowledge of all aspects

or the perception of the elimination of all residual impression connections?"


"Subhūti, they do not," replied the Lord.

"Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom

do not have the perception of any phenomenon at all [T1] as an existing thing [the extreme of naïve realism]

or the perception of it as a non-existent thing [the extreme of nihilism].
(i.e. Clear realization about the true nature & dynamic of all dharmas: All dharmas are not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever 'this' is. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. They are appearing / conventional / relative, but still empty of inherent existence; they are empty of inherent existence [T2], but still conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].)


"Subhūti, where there is no perception of anything [T1] as an existing thing [the extreme of naïve realism] [T2] [U2T]

or perception of it as a non existent thing [the extreme of nihilism],

that is the bodhisattva great beings' patience that arises in a natural order;

where there is no perception of anything [T1] as an existing thing [the extreme of naïve realism] [T2] [U2T]

or perception of it as a non existent thing [the extreme of nihilism],

that is their meditation on the path;

and where there is no perception of anything [T1] as an existing thing [the extreme of naïve realism] [T2] [U2T]

or perception of it as a non existent thing [the extreme of nihilism],

 that is their result.


"Subhūti, the bodhisattva great beings' path is a non [inherently] existent thing [T1] [U2T].

Clear realization (69.14) is a non [inherently] existent thing [T2] [but still appearing [T1]] [U2T].

In this way, Subhūti, you should thus know that

all phenomena [T1] are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T]." [B48]
(i.e. Clear realization about the true nature & dynamic of all dharmas: All dharmas are not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever 'this' is. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. They are appearing / conventional / relative, but still empty of inherent existence; they are empty of inherent existence [T2], but still conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].)

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti asked him,

"Lord, if all phenomena [T1] are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T],

how did the Tathāgata fully awaken to all the phenomena [T1] that are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T],

and, having fully awakened to them, gain control over the range of all phenomena?"


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

"Subhūti, here, earlier when I was practicing the bodhisattva's practice of the six perfections, detached from sense objects, detached from wrong unwholesome dharmas, up to perfectly accomplishing and dwelling in the fourth concentration, even while apprehending a causal sign of the concentrations and the branches of the concentrations [T1] I did not falsely project those concentrations and those branches of the concentrations, did not relish the experience of the concentrations, and did not falsely consider the concentrations a fact [T2] [U2T].

I made my mind incline toward becoming absorbed in those concentrations in their purified forms to make the performance of miraculous power manifest.

I made my mind incline toward making divine ear knowledge manifest, toward making knowledge of the ways of thinking manifest, toward making knowledge that recollects previous states of existence manifest, and to making divine eye knowledge manifest.

Even though I apprehended a causal sign of those clairvoyances to be made manifest [T1], I did not falsely project them, did not relish their experience, and did not falsely consider them a fact [T2] [U2T].

I became absorbed in those clairvoyances [T1] seeing them like space [T2] [U2T].

Subhūti, with the wisdom of the unique single instant, having fully awakened to the unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening that correctly knows,689 'This is suffering, this is the origination of suffering, this is the cessation of suffering, and this is the path leading to the cessation of suffering,' endowed with the ten tathāgata powers, and endowed with the four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, and eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha, I prophesied the three masses of beings." 690

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti asked him,

"Lord, how has a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha

produced the four concentrations [T1] that are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T] [T2] [U2T]?

How have they produced the clairvoyances []T1] that are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T]?

And how, given that beings [T1] do not [inherently] exist [T2] [U2T], have they still prophesied the three masses of beings?"


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

"Subhūti, were an intrinsic nature of sense objects or of wrong unwholesome dharmas to exist, or their intrinsic existence, or their dependent existence to exist, then, Subhūti, earlier when I was practicing the bodhisattva's practice I would not

have realized sense objects [T1] that are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T],

and wrong unwholesome dharmas [T1] that are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature,

and perfectly accomplished and dwelled in the first concentration.

-

Subhūti, because sense objects and wrong unwholesome dharmas [T1] are not existent things, or non-existent things, or intrinsically existent things, or dependently existent things,

but quite the opposite‍ — they [T1] are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence)‍ [T2] [U2T]

— therefore earlier when I was practicing the bodhisattva's practice, detached from sense objects, detached from wrong unwholesome dharmas, I perfectly accomplished and dwelled in the first concentration that has applied thought and has sustained thought and joy and happiness born of detachment, and similarly, connect this with each, up to the fourth concentration.


"Subhūti, were clairvoyant knowledges existing things, intrinsically existent things. or dependently existent things, then, Subhūti, I would not have realized that all clairvoyant knowledges [T1] are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T] and fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.

-

Subhūti, because in all clairvoyant knowledges there is no existing thing, there is no intrinsically existent thing, or dependently existent thing, but quite the opposite‍ —

they are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T]

therefore the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete Buddha

comprehended all the clairvoyant knowledges [T1] that are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T], and fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening."

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti asked him,

"Lord, if, even while all phenomena [T1] are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T], bodhisattva great beings will fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening through the four concentrations and five clairvoyances, well then, Lord, how, even while all phenomena [T1] are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T], will there be serial action, serial training, and serial practice ‍— the serial action, serial training, and serial practice through which they will fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening?" 691


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

"Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings from the very outset have heard from the lord buddhas,

from the bodhisattvas attending on many buddhas,

and from the worthy ones, non-returners, once-returners, and the stream enterers

that an intrinsic nature of the lord buddhas [T1] is non-existent [T2] [U2T],

an intrinsic nature of pratyekabuddhas [T1] is non-existent [T2] [U2T],

an intrinsic nature of worthy ones [T1] is non-existent [T2] [U2T],

an intrinsic nature of non-returners [T1] is non-existent [T2] [U2T],

an intrinsic nature of once-returners [T1] is non-existent [T2] [U2T],

an intrinsic nature of stream enterers [T1] is non-existent [T2] [U2T],

an intrinsic nature of all noble beings [T1] is non-existent [T2] [U2T],

and that all compounded phenomena [T1] do not have an intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T]

even as tiny as the part occupying the tip of a strand of hair.

Even though the bodhisattva great beings have heard that, still it occurs to them to think,

'Given that an intrinsic nature of the lord buddhas, up to of stream enterers [T1] is non-existent [T2] [U2T],

whether I will fully awaken or whether I will not fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,

the intrinsic nature of all dharmas [T1] is just non existent [T2] [U2T].

When I fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening I will,

having fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,

establish all beings dwelling in the perception of existing things [T1]

in the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T].'

"Subhūti, those bodhisattva great beings set out for perfect, complete awakening so that all beings will pass into complete nirvāṇa.

They undertake the serial action, serial training, and serial practice in which earlier bodhisattva great beings trained and fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.

They first of all train in the six perfections, training in the perfection of giving, perfection of morality, perfection of patience, perfection of perseverance, perfection of concentration, and perfection of wisdom.


"Training in the perfection of giving they personally give gifts, establish others in giving, speak in praise of giving, and speak in praise of others giving gifts as well, welcoming it. Through that familiarization with giving they will gain a huge heap of enjoyments. Free from miserly thoughts they give gifts‍ — they give food to those begging for food, drinks to those who want drink, transport to those who want transport, clothes to those who want clothes, incense to those who want incense, flower garlands to those who want flower garlands, creams to those who want creams, beds to those who want beds, pillows to those who want pillows,692 homes to those who want a home, and lamps to those who want lamps‍ — they give whatever human requirements are appropriate.


"They, with just that giving, guard the aggregate of morality, and with just that giving, and morality, meditative stabilization, wisdom, liberation, and knowledge and seeing of liberation they transcend the śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha levels. Having transcended the śrāvaka level and pratyekabuddha level, they enter into the secure state of a bodhisattva; having entered into the secure state of a bodhisattva, they purify a buddhafield, bring beings to maturity, then gain the knowledge of all aspects and turn the wheel of the Dharma. Having turned the wheel of the Dharma, they establish beings in the three vehicles and free them from saṃsāra. Therefore, Subhūti, through the bodhisattva great beings' giving there is serial action, and this action, in its entirety, cannot be apprehended. And why? Because it has no intrinsic nature.


"Furthermore, Subhūti, starting from the first production of the thought, bodhisattva great beings personally practice the perfection of morality, and also establish others in the perfection of morality, and similarly, connect this with each, up to welcoming it. With that morality they also attain the preeminent state of a god and the preeminent state of a human and give wealth to destitute beings. Having given it they establish beings in morality, and establish them in meditative stabilization, wisdom, liberation, and the knowledge and seeing of liberation. With that aggregate of morality, aggregate of meditative stabilization, aggregate of wisdom, aggregate of liberation, and aggregate of knowledge and seeing of liberation they transcend the śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha levels. Having transcended them, with just that aggregate of morality, up to aggregate of knowledge and seeing of liberation they enter into the secure state of a bodhisattva, and similarly, connect this with each, up to free beings from saṃsāra. Therefore, Subhūti, through the bodhisattva great beings' morality there is serial action, and this action, in its entirety, cannot be apprehended. And why? Because it has no intrinsic nature.


"Furthermore, Subhūti, starting from the first production of the thought, bodhisattva great beings personally practice the perfection of patience, and also establish others in the perfection of patience, and similarly, connect this with each, up to welcoming it. While practicing that perfection of patience they satisfy beings by giving, establish them in morality, establish them in meditative stabilization, up to and establish them in the knowledge and seeing of liberation. With that aggregate of morality, aggregate of meditative stabilization, aggregate of wisdom, aggregate of liberation, and aggregate of knowledge and seeing of liberation they transcend the śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha levels. Having transcended the śrāvaka level and pratyekabuddha levels . . . , similarly, connect this with each, up to gain awakening.


"Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings personally persevere at all wholesome dharmas, and also establishes others in perseverance, and similarly, connect this with each, up to welcoming it. Similarly, connect this with each, up to it has no intrinsic nature.


"Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings personally become absorbed in the concentrations, become absorbed in the immeasurables and formless absorptions, and also establish others in . . . , up to the formless absorptions, and similarly, connect this with each, up to speak in praise of the concentrations, immeasurables, and formless absorptions, and speak in praise of those who are becoming absorbed in the concentrations, immeasurables, and formless absorptions as well, welcoming it. Abiding in those concentrations, and in those immeasurables and formless absorptions, they satisfy beings by giving, establish them in morality, establish them in patience, establish them in perseverance, establish them in meditative stabilization, establish them in wisdom, establish them in liberation, and establish them in the knowledge and seeing of liberation. Endowed with that knowledge and seeing of liberation they transcend the śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha levels. Having transcended them, with that knowledge and seeing of liberation they enter into the secure state of a bodhisattva. Similarly, connect this with each, from gain the knowledge of all aspects, up to it has no intrinsic nature.


"Furthermore, Subhūti, starting from the first production of the thought, bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom satisfy beings by giving, establish them in morality, establish them in patience, establish them in perseverance, establish them in meditative stabilization, establish them in wisdom, establish them in liberation, and establish them in the knowledge and seeing of liberation.


"While practicing the perfection of wisdom they personally give gifts, guard morality, make a practice of being patient, make a vigorous effort, become absorbed in meditative stabilization, and cultivate wisdom. They also establish others in giving, establish them in morality, establish them in patience, establish them in perseverance, establish them in meditative stabilization, and establish them in wisdom, connect this with each, up to welcoming it. Endowed with the perfection of giving, perfection of morality, perfection of patience, perfection of perseverance, perfection of concentration, perfection of wisdom, and with skillful means, they transcend the śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha levels, will enter into the secure state of a bodhisattva, and will fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening. Connect this with each, up to it has no intrinsic nature.


"Therefore, Subhūti, there is the bodhisattva great beings' serial action, and serial training, and serial practice as well.


"Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings training in serial action, serial training, and serial practice, starting from the first production of the thought, with attention connected to the knowledge of all aspects,

believe that all phenomena [T1] are without an intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T]

and cultivate

mindfulness of the BUDDHA,

mindfulness of the DHARMA,

mindfulness of the SAṄGHA,

mindfulness of MORALITY,

mindfulness of GIVING AWAY, and

mindfulness of the GOGS.

"Subhūti, how do bodhisattva great beings cultivate mindfulness of the BUDDHA?

Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings

do not pay attention to tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas as form,

and do not pay attention to them as feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness.

And why?

Because form [T1] has no intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T]

and anything without an intrinsic nature is a non [inherently] existent thing,

and because feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness have no intrinsic nature and anything without an intrinsic nature is a non [inherently] existent thing.

Mindfulness of the Buddha [T1], therefore, is not being mindful and not paying attention [T2] [U2T].

(i.e. Clear realization: "They are not completely 'non-existent' either": All dharmas are not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever 'this' is. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. They are appearing / conventional / relative, but still empty of inherent existence; they are empty of inherent existence [T2], but still conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].)


"Furthermore, Subhūti,

you should not pay attention to a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha as the thirty-two major marks of a great person,

you should not pay attention to the body golden in color,

you should not pay attention to the halo extending the length of the outstretched arms,

and you should not pay attention to how it has eighty minor signs.

And why?

Because that body [T1] has no intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T]

and anything without an intrinsic nature is a non [inherently] existent thing.

Mindfulness of the Buddha [T1], therefore, is not being mindful and not paying attention [T2] [U2T].


"Furthermore, Subhūti, you should not pay attention to a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha as the aggregate of morality, you should not pay attention to the aggregate of meditative stabilization, you should not pay attention to aggregate of wisdom, you should not pay attention to the aggregate of liberation, and you should not pay attention to the aggregate of knowledge and seeing of liberation.

And why?

Because they [T1] have no intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T]

and anything without an intrinsic nature is a non [inherently] existent thing. 

Mindfulness of the Buddha [T1], therefore, is not being mindful and not paying attention [T2] [U2T].


"Furthermore, Subhūti, you should not pay attention to a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha as the ten tathāgata powers, four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, great love, great compassion, or eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha.

And why?

Because they [T1] have no intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T]

and anything without an intrinsic nature is a non [inherently] existent thing. 

Mindfulness of the Buddha [T1], therefore, is not being mindful and not paying attention [T2] [U2T].


"Furthermore, Subhūti, you should not pay attention to a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha as a dependent origination.

And why?

Because it [T1] has no intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T]

and anything without an intrinsic nature is a non [inherently] existent thing. 

Mindfulness of the Buddha [T1], therefore, is not being mindful and not paying attention [T2] [U2T].

(i.e. Clear realization: "They are not completely 'non-existent' either": All dharmas are not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever 'this' is. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. They are appearing / conventional / relative, but still empty of inherent existence; they are empty of inherent existence [T2], but still conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].)


"Subhūti, that is how bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom should pay attention to the Buddha.


"Therefore, Subhūti, there is the bodhisattva great beings' serial action, and serial training, and serial practice as well.

When they are training in this serial action, and training in serial training and serial practice,

they complete the four applications of mindfulness;

complete the four right efforts, four legs of miraculous power, five faculties, five powers, seven limbs of awakening, and eightfold noble path;

complete the emptiness meditative stabilization, signlessness meditative stabilization, and wishlessness meditative stabilization;

up to and complete the knowledge of all aspects [T1] by way of the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T].

They fully awaken to all phenomena [T1] as just the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T],

but they do not have the perception of intrinsic nature or the perception of non-existence.
(i.e. Clear realization about the true nature & dynamic of all dharmas: All dharmas are not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever 'this' is. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. They are appearing / conventional / relative, but still empty of inherent existence; they are empty of inherent existence [T2], but still conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].)

"Subhūti, how do bodhisattva great beings cultivate mindfulness of the DHARMA?

Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom

should not pay attention to wholesome dharmas,

should not pay attention to unwholesome dharmas, and

should not pay attention to dharmas that are an object of moral inquiry and are not an object of moral inquiry, or are ordinary and extraordinary, noble and not noble, with outflows and without outflows, belonging to the desire realm, belonging to the form realm, or belonging to and not belonging to the formless realm, or to compounded dharmas and uncompounded dharmas.

And why?

Because those dharmas [T1] have no intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T]

and anything without an intrinsic nature is a non [inherently] existent thing.

Mindfulness of the Dharma, therefore, is not being mindful and not paying attention.

When they have trained in this dharma-constituent [T1] 693 by way of the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T], they gain . . . , up to the knowledge of all aspects.

They fully awaken to all dharmas [T1] as the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T].

They do not have the perception of intrinsic nature or the perception of non-existence.

Subhūti, that is how bodhisattva great beings should cultivate a mindfulness of the Dharma.

There is not even an atom of a mindfulness dharma there,

so what further need is there to say that there is no absence of mindfulness?

"Subhūti, how do bodhisattva great beings cultivate mindfulness of the SAṄGHA?

Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom

should be mindful that the lord's śrāvaka saṅgha [T1]‍ — those four pairs of persons and eight individual persons 694‍ —

have no intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T].

Connect this with those four pairs of persons and eight individual persons [T1] are categories of the absence of an intrinsic nature [T1] [U2T], of a non [inherently] existent thing.

Having paid attention to this as just a non [inherently] existent thing,

having gained the knowledge of all aspects . . . , up to mindfulness of the Saṅgha

is not being mindful and not paying attention.

Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings should cultivate mindfulness of the Saṅgha like that.

There is not even an atom of a mindfulness dharma there. 695


"Subhūti, how do bodhisattva great beings cultivate mindfulness of MORALITY?

Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom, starting from the first production of the thought, grounded in an unpunctured, unflagging, unadulterated, untarnished, autonomous, well-completed morality praised by the wise and conducive to meditative stabilization,

pay attention to that morality [T1] as the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T],

paying attention in such a way that there is not even an atom of the action of mindfulness.

Connect this with each, up to they will gain the knowledge of all aspects [T1]

but have no perception of an existing thing or perception of a non-existent thing. [T2] [U2T]


"Subhūti, how should bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom pay attention to being mindful of GIVING AWAY?

Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom, starting from the first production of the thought,

should be mindful to give away material possessions and to give the doctrine [T1],

by way of the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T],

without producing the thoughts on account of their giving away, that 'I am giving' or 'I am not giving,' or 'I am giving away' or 'I am not giving away.'

They should not produce those thoughts even if giving away a major or minor part of the body.

And why?

Because it [T1] has no intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T].

They practice mindfulness of giving away like that.

Practicing like that they gradually gain . . . up to the knowledge of all aspects.

It is thus, Subhūti, that bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom should pay attention to giving away.


"Subhūti, how should bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom pay attention to mindfulness of THE GODS?

Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom should pay attention to those stream enterers who have taken birth among the Cāturmahā­rājika gods, up to those who have taken birth among the Para­nirmita­vaśa­vartin gods [T1], by way of the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T].

And why?

Because they [T1] have no intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T]

and anything without an intrinsic nature is a non [inherently] existent thing.

Therefore, they should pay attention to those gods [T1]

by way of the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T].

There is not even an atom of the action of mindfulness there.

Paying attention like that they gradually pay attention . . . ,

up to the knowledge of all aspects and gain . . . ,

up to the knowledge of all aspects.


"Furthermore, Subhūti, they should pay attention to those non-returners living in the form realm and living in the formless realm [T1] by way of the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T].

And why?

Because they [T1] have no intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T]

and anything without an intrinsic nature is a non [inherently] existent thing.

Therefore, they should pay attention to those gods [T1]

by way of the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T].

Similarly, connect this with each, up to they will gain the knowledge of all aspects.


"Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings should pay attention to all those six mindfulnesses like that.


"Therefore, Subhūti,

bodhisattva great beings paying attention to all those six mindfulnesses have serial action, and have serial training, and serial practice.

"Furthermore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings who want to complete the serial action, serial training, and serial practice

should train in inner emptiness, up to should train in the emptiness of its own mark;

should train in the four applications of mindfulness;

and similarly, connect this with each, up to should train in great compassion [T1],

by way of the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T].

When they train in the awakening path like that,

they fully awaken to all phenomena [T1] that are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T].

There is not even an atom of the action of mindfulness there,

so what further need is there to say that there is no form, up to however could there be the knowledge of a knower of all aspects?

It is impossible.


"Therefore, Subhūti, there is serial action of bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom,

there is serial training and serial practice,

but thought activity action, thought activity training, and the path of thought activity [T1]

do not [inherently] exist there [T2] [U2T]."

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti said to him,

"Lord, if all phenomena [T1] are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T],

well then,

there is no [inherently existing] form, [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]
up to there is no [inherently existing] consciousness; [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

there are no [inherently existing] aggregates, [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

there are no [inherently existing] constituents, and [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

there are no [inherently existing] sense fields; [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

there are no [inherently existing] applications of mindfulness, [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

and similarly, up to there is no [inherently existing] knowledge of all aspects; [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

there is no [inherently existing] Buddha, [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled one]

there is no [inherently existing] Dharma, and [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled one]

there is no [inherently existing] Saṅgha; [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled one]

there is no [inherently existing] path, [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

there is no [inherently existing] result, [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

there is no [inherently existing] defilement, [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

there is no [inherently existing] purification, [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

there is no [inherently existing] attainment, and [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

there is no [inherently existing] clear realization; [just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]

and similarly, up to there are no [inherently existing] phenomena, any of them."[just conventional / relative / intersubjective / merely labeled ones]


Venerable Subhūti having said that, the Lord asked him,

"Subhūti, do you think you can apprehend a 'there-is' or a 'there-is-not'
in all phenomena [T1] that are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T]?"

(i.e. Clear realization: "They are not completely 'non-existent' either": All dharmas are not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever 'this' is. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. They are appearing / conventional / relative, but still empty of inherent existence; they are empty of inherent existence [T2], but still conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].)


"No, Lord," he replied.

"You cannot apprehend a 'there-is' or a 'there-is-not'

in any phenomena [T1] that are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T]."


"Subhūti," he asked further,

"if all phenomena [T1] are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T],

how, on that account, could there be no form, 

up to how could there be no consciousness, 

and similarly, connect this with each,

 up to how could there be no attainment,

and how could there be no clear realization? 

How could that be?"
(i.e. The true nature of Reality as it is here & now is not non-existence / mere-emptiness / nothingness / nihilism; it is the Union of the Two Truths, the Union of existence & non-existence.)

(i.e. Clear realization: "They are not completely 'non-existent' either": All dharmas are not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever 'this' is. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. They are appearing / conventional / relative, but still empty of inherent existence; they are empty of inherent existence [T2], but still conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].)


The Lord having asked that, venerable Subhūti answered him, 

"Lord, even though I am not of two minds and do not entertain any doubt about these dharmas, still, at a time yet to come, householder beings, those who have gone forth to homelessness, are in the Śrāvaka Vehicle, are in the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle, and are in the Bodhisattva Vehicle, will say,

'Were all phenomena [T1] to be the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T],

then, since all phenomena [T1] would be the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence) [T2] [U2T], who would become defiled or purified?' (i.e. flirting with nihilism)

Without an understanding of defilement and purification they will ruin morality, ruin view, and ruin conduct. 

Those whose morality has been ruined, view has been ruined, and conduct has been ruined can expect to die in one or other of the three terrible forms of life‍ — life in the hells, or life in the animal world, or life in the world of Yama. 

Lord, seeing the danger of this happening in the future I have questioned the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete Buddha on just this matter. 

Lord, I am not of two minds about these dharmas and do not entertain any doubt about them."


"Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so!" said the Lord. "It is exactly as you say!"

This was the seventieth chapter, "An Explanation of Serial Action, Training, and Practice," 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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