Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 71 - The True Nature of Dharmas That Cannot Be Apprehended - 371

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 371
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 71 - The True Nature of Dharmas that cannot be Apprehended –

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]

71. THE TRUE NATURE OF DHARMAS THAT CANNOT BE APPREHENDED – Signlessness, non-apprehension and non-duality: Just directly realising the absence [T2] of an apprehended object [T1] [U2T] is attainment. All virtuous methods / practices should be combined with more and more wisdom / Union of the Two Truths [U2T], without any attachment / fixation / absolutes.

(i.e. Résumé: 

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti asked him,

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

Lord, what reality do bodhisattva great beings who have set out for unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening for the welfare of beings see?"


"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

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

in exactly the same way bodhisattva great beings set out for unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.

And why?

Subhūti, an apprehended object is severely limiting.

Someone who perceives an apprehended object has no attainment, has no clear realization, and has no unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening."

"Lord, without an apprehended object is there attainment, is there clear realization, and is there unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening?"


"Subhūti,

just [directly realising] the absence [T2] of an [inherently existing] apprehended object [T1] [U2T]
is attainment,

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the attainment of just the absence [T2] of an [inherently existing] apprehended object [T1] [U2T] is clear realization,

and just the absence [T2] of an [inherently existing] apprehended object [T1] [U2T] is unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,

because it does not complicate the dharma-constituent.

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To want an attainment, or clear realization, or unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,

which is just the absence [T2] of an [inherently existing] apprehended object [T1] [U2T],

is simply to want to complicate the dharma-constituent."


"Lord, if in the absence [T2] of an [inherently existing] apprehended object [T1] [U2T]
there is no [inherently existing] [T2] attainment [T1] [U2T],
there is no [inherently existing] [T2] clear realization [T1] [U2T],
and there is no [inherently existing] [T2] unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening [T1] [U2T], 696

if just the absence [T2] of an [inherently existing] apprehended object [T1] [U2T] is attainment,
just the absence [T2] of an [inherently existing] apprehended object [T1] [U2T] is clear realization,
and just the absence [T2] of an [inherently existing] apprehended object [T1] [U2T] is unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,

in that case, Lord, how will there be the bodhisattva great beings' first level, how a second level, up to how a tenth level; how will there be forbearance for the non-production of dharmas?

How will there be the five clairvoyances arisen from maturation, 697

how will there be giving arisen from maturation,

how will there be morality arisen from maturation,

how will there be patience arisen from maturation,

how will there be perseverance arisen from maturation,

how will there be concentration arisen from maturation, and

how will there be wisdom arisen from maturation?

How will there be those maturation dharmas of these bodhisattvas that are in an unbroken stream, and situated in which they bring beings to maturity, purify a buddhafield, and attend on the lord buddhas with food, drink, clothes, transportation, incense, garlands, beds, seats, lamps, and things that make human life enjoyable‍ — food and so on that does not finish even though the maturation is for the worship of the physical remains of the buddhas after complete nirvāṇa, for as long as they remain, and for the śrāvakas?"


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

"Subhūti, it is just because of that absence [T2] of an [inherently existing] apprehended object [T1] [U2T] that there is a first level, up to a tenth level;

and it is just because of it that there are the clairvoyances arisen from maturation, that there are those wholesome roots on account of which they work for the welfare of beings,

up to and even after having passed into complete nirvāṇa there are still the acts of worship.

It is just because of it that giving arisen from maturation exists, as well as morality, patience, perseverance, concentration, and wisdom arisen from maturation.

It is just because of it that wholesome roots arisen from maturation exist."


The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti asked,

"Lord, what distinction and what differentiation is there between

the absence [T2] of an [inherently existing] apprehended object [T1] [U2T],

and giving, morality, patience, perseverance, concentration, wisdom, and the clairvoyances?"


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

"Subhūti, there is no differentiation at all between giving, up to the clairvoyances in

the absence [T2] of an [inherently existing] apprehended object [T1] [U2T].

Subhūti, an exposition is made differentiating between unsullied giving, morality, patience, perseverance, concentration, wisdom, and the clairvoyances."

"Lord, how is an exposition made that differentiates between unapprehended giving, morality, patience, perseverance, concentration, wisdom, and the clairvoyances?"


"Subhūti, here when bodhisattva great beings are practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T]

  • they give a gift [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] something to be given (object-1),
    without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] a recipient (object-2),
    without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] a giver (subject), and
    without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] giving (relation / action);

  • they guard morality [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] morality as an object,

  • cause patience to arise [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] patience as an object,

  • make an effort at perseverance [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] perseverance as an object,

  • become absorbed in concentration [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] concentration as an object,

  • cultivate wisdom [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] wisdom as an object,

  • and practice the clairvoyances [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] the clairvoyant knowledges as an object;

  • they cultivate the applications of mindfulness [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] the applications of mindfulness as an object,

  • up to cultivate the eightfold noble path [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] the eightfold noble path as an object;

  • they cultivate the three meditative stabilizations [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] the emptiness meditative stabilization, signlessness meditative stabilization,

  • up to or wishlessness meditative stabilization as an object [T1];

  • they bring beings to maturity [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] beings as an object;

  • they purify a buddhafield [T1]without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] a buddhafield as an object;

  • and they fully awaken to awakening [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] the buddha-dharmas as an object.

  • Subhūti, in that way bodhisattva great beings practice the perfection of wisdom [T1] without apprehending [in absolute terms] anything [T2] [U2T].

Subhūti, Māra and the Māra class of gods are hard pressed to overpower bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] in that way."

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti asked him,

"Lord, when bodhisattva great beings are practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T],

how do they incorporate the six perfections in a single thought;

how do they incorporate the four concentrations, four immeasurables, four formless absorptions, four applications of mindfulness, four right efforts, four legs of miraculous power, five faculties, five powers, seven limbs of awakening, and eightfold noble path; and

how do they incorporate the three gateways to liberation, ten tathāgata powers, four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, great compassion, eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha, and the thirty-two major marks and eighty minor signs of a great person?"


"Subhūti, here when bodhisattva great beings are practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T],

  • whatever gift they give [T1], their giving is informed by nothing other than the perfection of wisdom [U2T] [U2T].

  • Whatever morality they guard, whatever patience they cultivate, whatever perseverance they make an effort at,
    and whatever concentration they become absorbed in [T1], they are informed by nothing other than the perfection of wisdom [U2T] [U2T].

  • Whatever concentrations they become absorbed in [T1], they too are informed by nothing other than the perfection of wisdom [U2T] [U2T];

  • whatever immeasurables they become absorbed in [T1], they too are informed by nothing other than the perfection of wisdom [U2T] [U2T];

  • and whatever formless absorptions they become absorbed in [T1], they too are informed by nothing other than the perfection of wisdom [U2T] [U2T].

  • Whatever applications of mindfulness they cultivate, and similarly, connect this with each, up to the eighty minor signs of a great person [T1], they are informed by nothing other than the perfection of wisdom [U2T] [U2T]."

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti asked,

"Lord, how, informed by the perfection of wisdom [U2T], do bodhisattva great beings incorporate the six perfections in a single thought, and similarly, up to how do they incorporate the eighty minor signs?"


"Subhūti, here when bodhisattva great beings are practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T],

  • whatever gift they give [T1], it is informed by nothing other than the perfection of wisdom
    and they do not have a dualistic notion about it [T2] [U2T] [Uopp].

  • Whatever morality they guard [T1], they do not have a dualistic notion about it [T2] [U2T] [Uopp];

  • whatever patience they cultivate [T1], they do not have a dualistic notion about it [T2] [U2T] [Uopp];

  • whatever perseverance they make an effort at [T1], they do not have a dualistic notion about itv;

  • whatever concentration they become absorbed in [T1], they do not have a dualistic notion about it [T2] [U2T] [Uopp],

  • and similarly, connect this with each, up to . . . the eighty minor signs they accomplish [T1], they do not have a dualistic notion about them [T2] [U2T] [Uopp]."

"Lord, when bodhisattva great beings are practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T],

how do they not, when giving a gift, have a dualistic notion about it,
and similarly, up to when they accomplish the eighty minor signs, how do they not have a dualistic notion about them?"


"Subhūti, here when bodhisattva great beings are practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T],

they complete the perfection of giving. Having included all six perfections within their perfection of giving, they give gifts.

Similarly, they complete all the dharmas on the side of awakening,

up to and having included all six perfections within the path, they cultivate the path.


"Subhūti, here when the time is right for bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] to give a gift,

  • they give the gift [T1] while remaining in a thought without outflows [T2] [U2T].

  • Remaining in a thought without outflows,
    they do not see [T2] [inherently existing] causal signs [T1] [U2T] of 'someone to whom I am giving,' 'something I am giving,' or 'someone who is giving.'

  • They give the gift [T1] with a thought free from [T2] [inherently existing] causal signs [T1] [U2T],
    with a thought without outflows, without craving, and without ignorance.
    They do not even see [T2] the thought [T1], do not even see [T2] the giving [T1],
    up to and do not see [T2] all dharmas [T1] [U2T].


"Furthermore, Subhūti, here when bodhisattva great beings are practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T],

  • they guard morality [T1] with a thought free from [T2] [inherently existing] causal signs [T1] [U2T].
    They do not even see [T2] the morality [T1], up to do not see [T2] all dharmas [T1] [U2T].

  • They cultivate patience with a thought free from [T2] [inherently existing] causal signs [T1] [U2T].
    They do not even see [T2] the patience [T1], up to do not see [T2] all dharmas [T1] [U2T].
    They do not see [T2] those buddha-dharmas [T1].

  • They make an effort at perseverance [T1] with a thought free from [T2] [inherently existing] causal signs [T1] [U2T].
    They do not even see [T2] the perseverance, up to do not see [T2] all dharmas [T1] [U2T].

  • They become absorbed in concentration [T1] with a thought free from [T2] [inherently existing] causal signs [T1] [U2T].
    They do not even see [T2] the concentration.

  • They complete . . . , up to all the buddha-dharmas [T1]
    but they do not see [T2] them all [T1] [U2T].

  • They cultivate wisdom [T1] with a thought free from [T2] [inherently existing] causal signs [T1] [U2T],

  • and similarly, connect this with each, up to all the buddha-dharmas [T1] [U2T].

  • They cultivate the four applications of mindfulness [T1] with a thought free from [T2] [inherently existing] causal signs [T1] [U2T],

  • and similarly, connect this with each, up to accomplish the eighty minor signs [T1] [T2]."

"Lord, given that all dharmas [T1] are without [T2] [inherently existing] causal signs [T1] [U2T]
and do not occasion [T2] anything [in absolute terms] [T1] [U2T],

how is the perfection of giving completed;

how are the perfection of morality, perfection of patience, perfection of perseverance, perfection of concentration, and perfection of wisdom completed;

how are the four applications of mindfulness, four right efforts, four legs of miraculous power, five faculties, five powers, seven limbs of awakening, and eightfold noble path completed;

how are the emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness meditative stabilizations completed;

and how are the ten tathāgata powers, four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, and eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha completed?"


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

"Subhūti, here when bodhisattva great beings are practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T],

  • they give gifts [T1] with a thought free from [T2] [inherently existing] causal signs [T1] [U2T];

  • they give food to those begging for food, up to whatever human requirements are appropriate; 698

  • and, having made a gift of it, 699 they give the inner (major and minor parts of the body) or outer (wife, son, daughter, the kingdom) to beggars.


"If someone comes up to those bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] and says to them, 'This sort of gift you have given is worthless, so what use will it be?" it occurs to them to think, 'These beings are criticizing me, saying, "This piffling gift you have given is useless," but still, this is a gift that I should give, not a gift I should not give.' They make that gift into something shared in common by all beings and dedicate it to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, and one way or the other they make the dedication in such a way that they still do not see [T2] a causal sign; they do not see [T2] 'something I am giving,' 'someone to whom I am giving,' or 'someone who is giving,' or see something the dedication is for, a dedication, something being dedicated, someone who is dedicating, or a place when the giving has been done where one dedicates it to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.

And why?

It is because of inner emptiness, outer emptiness, inner and outer emptiness, the emptiness of emptiness, and similarly, connect this with each, up to the emptiness of its own mark.

They thus see what the dedication is for, what will be dedicated, and who will dedicate.

When they have dedicated it like that, they have done the dedication well.

They bring beings to maturity and take possession of a buddhafield.

They complete the perfection of giving, and complete the perfection of morality, perfection of patience, perfection of perseverance, perfection of concentration, perfection of wisdom, the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening, the emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness meditative stabilizations, up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha, but still without grasping at the result.


"To illustrate, Subhūti, the Para­nirmita­vaśa­vartin gods bring all their goods into being just by thinking about them.

Similarly, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings complete all their goods just by thinking about them too.

With that richness of goods, they attend on the buddhas, satisfy the world with its gods, humans, and asuras, and by giving them to beings attract them and establish them in the three vehicles.

Bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] thus complete the perfection of giving.

"Subhūti, how do bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] complete the perfection of morality?

Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] complete the perfection of morality.

They gain a noble morality without outflows, incorporated into the path, gained through the true nature of dharmas.

That personal morality, furthermore, is unflagging, unpunctured, unadulterated, unfragmented, autonomous, untarnished, well-completed morality praised by the wise.

  • On account of that morality they do not grasp any dharmas as absolute‍ [U2T]

  • they do not grasp form as absolute;

  • or feeling, or perception, or volitional factors, or consciousness;

  • or the thirty-two major marks of a great person;

  • or a great sāla tree–like royal family, or a great sāla tree–like brahmin family, or a great sāla tree–like business family;

  • or the Cāturmahā­rājika gods;

  • or the Trāyastriṃśa, or Yāma, or Tuṣita, or Nirmāṇarati, or Para­nirmita­vaśa­vartin, or Brahmakāyika, or Brahmapurohita, or Brahmapārṣadya, or Parīttābha, or Apramāṇābha, or Ābhāsvara, or Parīttaśubha, or Apramāṇaśubha, or Śubhakṛtsna, or Bṛhatphala, or Asaṃjñisattva, or Avṛha, or Atapa, or Sudṛśa, or Sudarśana, or Akaniṣṭha, or Ākāśānantyāyatana, or Vijñānānantyāyatana, or Ākiṃcityāyatana, or Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana;

  • or the result of stream enterer, or the result of once-returner, or the result of non-returner, or the state of a worthy one, or a pratyekabuddha's awakening;

  • or the empire of a wheel-turning emperor, or sovereignty over an empire.

On the contrary, they make it into something shared in common by all beings and dedicate it by way of signlessness, non-apprehending, and non-duality to the knowledge of all aspects by way of ordinary convention, but not ultimately.

Through that completion of the perfection of morality and skillful means they generate the four concentrations without relishing them. They accomplish those divine eyes arisen from maturation that see the lord buddhas dwelling and maintaining themselves in the eastern direction, a seeing of those bodhisattvas not lost until full awakening to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening. The divine eyes see the lord buddhas dwelling and maintaining themselves in world systems in the south, west, north, and the intermediate directions, a seeing of those bodhisattvas not lost until full awakening to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening. With superhuman, purified divine hearing, a hearing that is not lost until their own and others' needs have been taken care of, they hear the voices of the lord buddhas. With knowledge of the ways of thinking they know with their minds the thoughts of those lord buddhas and with that knowledge of the ways of thinking take care of the needs of beings. With knowledge that recollects previous states of existence, they give an exposition of earlier action, action that will not be lost once it has been done. With knowledge that outflows are extinguished, they establish beings in the result of stream enterer, up to establish them in the state of a worthy one, establish them in a pratyekabuddha's awakening, and establish them in unsurpassed awakening. They establish beings in whatever wholesome dharmas they are capable of. Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings

thus complete the perfection of morality with a thought free from [inherently existing] causal signs. [B49]

"Subhūti, how do bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] complete the perfection of patience when dharmas are without [inherently existing] causal signs, without effort, not apprehended, and do not occasion anything?

Starting from the first production of the thought up until seated at the site of awakening,

those bodhisattva great beings should not provide an opportunity for even a single feeling of emotional upset to arise even if all beings come and deal blows with sticks, clubs, and swords.


"There bodhisattva great beings should cultivate two sorts of patience.

What are the two?

They are being patient in the face of all beings criticizing and humiliating them, as well as dealing blows with sticks, clubs, and swords, and having forbearance for dharmas that are not produced.


"There, when being humiliated and reproached, or dealt blows with sticks, clubs, and swords, bodhisattva great beings should analyze like this: 'Who is humiliating and reproaching me, or dealing me blows with sticks, clubs, and swords?'

They should analyze the intrinsic nature of dharmas [U2T].

When they analyze their intrinsic nature and do not even apprehend just the dharmas themselves, how could they ever apprehend an intrinsic nature of dharmas?

When they analyze the intrinsic nature of dharmas like that, it occurs to them to think, 'Who is cutting or stabbing me?'

When they analyze the intrinsic nature of dharmas like that, they gain the forbearance for dharmas that are not produced [U2T].


"What is forbearance for dharmas

It is the state in which affliction is not produced and the state in which knowledge does not leave anything out.


"Persisting with these two types of patience they complete the four concentrations;

they complete the four immeasurables, four formless absorptions, four applications of mindfulness, up to eightfold noble path;

and they complete the three gateways to liberation, ten tathāgata powers, four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, and eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha.

Standing in those noble dharmas without outflows, extraordinary dharmas not shared in common with śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas, they complete the noble clairvoyant knowledges,

and having completed those clairvoyances they persist with those clairvoyances,

seeing with the purified divine eye the lord buddhas in the eastern direction,

and, seeing them, also obtain mindfulness of the Buddha.

Their mindfulness of the Buddha is unbroken until full awakening to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.

Similarly, as well, up to the intermediate directions.


"With the divine ear constituent, they take up all that is said by those lord buddhas, and, having taken it up, practice for suchness and teach to beings the doctrine for suchness. They know with their minds the thoughts of those lord buddhas. With the knowledge of the ways of thinking, they also know with their minds the thoughts of all beings. Knowing the thoughts of all beings, they teach them the doctrine for suchness. With knowledge that recollects previous states of existence, they know the wholesome roots of those beings and through those wholesome roots get them excited and activate them. With knowledge that outflows are extinguished, they cause beings to enter the three vehicles and establish them there. Subhūti, those bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] with skillful means bring beings to maturity, purify a buddhafield, practice the knowledge of all aspects, and, having completed the knowledge of all aspects and fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, turn the wheel of the Dharma.

In that way, Subhūti, the perfection of patience of bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] is completed.

"Subhūti, how do bodhisattva great beings complete the perfection of perseverance when dharmas are without [inherently existing] causal signs, without effort, not apprehended, and do not occasion anything?

Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] in full possession of physical effort and in full possession of mental effort become absorbed in the first concentration and stay there, up to become absorbed in the fourth concentration and stay there. Absorbed in the four concentrations they experience various performances of miraculous power: They stroke both the sun and moon with their hands. In full possession of that physical effort they approach those lord buddhas standing in the many hundred thousand world systems in the eastern direction and wait on those lord buddhas with robes, alms, beds and seats, medicines for sicknesses, and requirements. Those robes and alms of theirs, furthermore, do not run out until they fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening. And, having fully awakened, the world with its gods, humans, and asuras feels joy from the robes and alms. So, when they have entered into complete nirvāṇa their physical remains are worshiped too.


"Through just that enactment of miraculous power they approach and listen to the doctrine from those lord buddhas, and until they fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, nothing at all that they have heard is lost. Practicing the knowledge of all aspects, they bring beings to maturity and purify a buddhafield. In that way, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings in full possession of physical effort practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] complete the perfection of perseverance.

"Subhūti, how do bodhisattva great beings in full possession of the noble mental effort without outflows incorporated into the path and as a branch of the path 700 complete the perfection of perseverance?

Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings in full possession of mental 701 effort practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] provide no opportunity for unwholesome physical action and provide no opportunity for unwholesome verbal action.

  • They do not grasp as absolute either 'permanent' or 'impermanent';
    or 'happiness' or 'suffering';
    or 'self' or 'selfless';
    or 'compounded' or 'uncompounded';
    or 'desire realm' or 'form realm' or 'formless realm';
    or 'realm with outflows' or 'realm without outflows';
    or 'first concentration' up to or 'fourth concentration';
    or 'love' or 'compassion' or 'joy' or 'equanimity';
    or 'the station of endless space' up to or 'the station of neither perception nor non-perception';
    or 'applications of mindfulness' or 'right efforts'
    or 'legs of miraculous power'
    or 'faculties'
    or 'powers'
    or 'limbs of awakening'
    or 'eightfold noble path';
    or 'emptiness' or 'signlessness' or 'wishlessness.'

  • They do not grasp . . . , up to 'the buddhadharmas are permanent' or 'impermanent,'
    or 'happiness' or 'suffering,' or 'self'
    or 'selfless' as absolute.

  • They do not grasp 'the result of stream enterer,' or 'the result of once-returner,' or 'the result of non-returner,'
    or 'the state of a worthy one,' or 'a pratyekabuddha's awakening' as absolute.

  • Similarly, connect this with each, up to they do not grasp 'stream enterer,' up to or 'pratyekabuddha,' or 'bodhisattva' as absolute.

  • They do not grasp as absolute 'these beings are in the Darśana category,'
    or 'these beings are in the Tanū category,'
    up to 'these beings are in the associated with the lower realms category,'
    'these are in the associated with the upper realms category,'
    'these are in the pratyekabuddha category,'
    or even 'these are in the knowledge of path aspects category.'

And why?

Because the intrinsic nature on account of which they would be categorized as having that intrinsic nature [T1] does not exist [inherently [T2] [U2T].


  • "Even on the verge of death, in full possession of mental effort
    they work for the welfare of beings [T1] but without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] beings;

  • complete the perfection of perseverance [T1] but also without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] that perseverance;

  • complete . . . , up to the buddha-dharmas [T1] but without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] those buddha-dharmas;

  • and purify a buddhafield [T1] but without apprehending [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T] a buddhafield.

  • In full possession of that physical and mental effort
    they appropriate all wholesome dharmas [T1] but without being attached to them [T2] [U2T],
    and, unattached, pass on from buddhafield to buddhafield,
    and pass on from world system to world system working for the welfare of beings.

Whatever miracle of miraculous power they want to magically create, they magically create those miracles of miraculous power, be it with a rain of flowers, with a burst of fragrance, with a clap of thunder, with the sound of music, or with an earthquake;

be it by revealing the earth made up of the seven precious stones, by emitting light from themselves for the sake of beings in darkness, by emitting a perfumed smell, or by making a sacrifice without killing anything;

or be it by stopping killing, up to stopping wrong view.

Whatever means are appropriate for working for the welfare of beings, those means they utilize to work for the welfare of beings: looking after some with giving, looking after others with morality, for the sake of some giving away a major or minor part of their body, for the sake of others giving away a son and wife, for the sake of some giving away a kingdom, and for the sake of others giving away themselves.


"In that way, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings in full possession of mental effort practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T], standing in dharmas without a name and without a causal sign (i.e. beyond causality / production, acausality / non-production, both together, neither), complete the perfection of perseverance.

"Subhūti, how do bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T], standing in dharmas without a name and without a causal sign (i.e. beyond causality / production, acausality / non-production, both together, neither), complete the perfection of meditative stabilization?

Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] complete all meditative stabilizations except a tathāgata's meditative stabilization.


"Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings

  • detached from [T2] [inherently existing] sense objects [T1] [U2T], detached from wrong unwholesome dharmas, perfectly accomplish

  • and dwell in the first concentration that has applied thought and has sustained thought and joy and happiness born of detachment.

  • They perfectly accomplish and dwell in . . . , up to the fourth concentration;

  • perfectly accomplish and dwell pervading all the world with a mind endowed with love, up to with a mind endowed with equanimity; and perfectly accomplish and dwell in the station of neither perception nor non-perception.

  • From the perfection of meditative stabilization they become absorbed in and emerge from the eight deliverances in a conforming and non-conforming order;

  • they perfectly accomplish and dwell in the nine serial absorptions and the emptiness meditative stabilization;

  • they perfectly accomplish and dwell in the signlessness meditative stabilization and wishlessness meditative stabilization;

  • they perfectly accomplish and dwell in the uninterrupted meditative stabilization;

  • and they perfectly accomplish and dwell in the elevated meditative stabilization, the perfect meditative stabilization, and the vajropama meditative stabilization.

  • Dwelling in this perfection of meditative stabilization they perfectly accomplish and dwell in the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening.

  • Dwelling in this perfection of meditative stabilization, with the knowledge of a knower of path aspects, they incorporate the collection of meditative stabilizations into the knowledge of path aspects, and, having passed beyond the Śuklavipaśyanā level, Gotra level, Aṣṭamaka level, Darśana level, Tanū level, Vītarāga level, Kṛtāvin level, and Pratyekabuddha level, they enter into the secure state of a bodhisattva and complete the Buddha level.

  • But even though they practice those they do not, in the interim, acquire the results.

  • Standing in this perfection of meditative stabilization, they pass on from buddhafield to buddhafield and attend on the lord buddhas.

  • Through their attendance on those lord buddhas, they generate wholesome roots from those lord buddhas and purify a buddhafield.

  • They pass on from world system to world system working for the welfare of beings, looking after some with giving, and looking after others with morality, others with meditative stabilization, others with wisdom, others with liberation, and others with the knowledge and seeing of liberation.

  • They establish some in the result of stream enterer, and similarly, connect this with each, up to establish some in the state of a worthy one, and establish some in a pratyekabuddha's awakening.

  • They connect beings with whatever wholesome dharmas are to be imparted to them.

  • Standing in this perfection of meditative stabilization, they accomplish all the dhāraṇī gateways,

  • acquire the four detailed and thorough knowledges,

  • and acquire the clairvoyances arisen from maturation.

  • They are never again born in a mother's womb and never again indulge in sense gratification.

  • There is no birth they do not take and yet they are still unsullied by the disadvantages of those births.

And why?

  • Because they see well that all dharmas are like an illusion ['There, but not there.'] [U2T].

  • Having realized the fact that all compounded phenomena are like an illusion [U2T],
    they work for the welfare of all beings [T1]
    even though beings and even the designation of a being [T1] cannot be apprehended there [T2] [U2T].

  • Without personally apprehending [T2] anything [T1] [U2T],
    they cause all beings to remain free from apprehending anything based on ordinary convention [T1],
    but not ultimately [T2] [U2T].

  • Standing in this perfection of meditative stabilization, they practice all the concentrations, deliverances, and absorptions, and until fully awakening to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening are never separated from the perfection of meditative stabilization.

  • Standing in this perfection of meditative stabilization they find and produce within themselves the knowledge of all aspects.

  • Standing there they eliminate all residual impressions and connections, and, having eliminated all residual impressions and connections, they work for their own and others' welfare.

  • As they are working for their own and others' welfare, they become worthy of the offerings of the world with its gods, humans, and asuras.


"In that way, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] complete the signless perfection of meditative stabilization.

"Subhūti, how, when all dharmas are without a causal sign (i.e. beyond causality / production, acausality / non-production, both together, neither), do bodhisattva great beings complete the perfection of wisdom [U2T]?

Subhūti, here bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T]

  • do not see [T2] any dharma as truly existent or thoroughly established.

  • They do not see [T2] form as truly existent or thoroughly established,

  • up to and do not see [T2] consciousness as truly existent or thoroughly established;

  • they do not see [T2] the production of form,

  • up to and do not see [T2] the production of consciousness; a

  • and because they do not see [T2] the production of form,

  • up to do not see [T2] the production of consciousness,

  • they do not see [T2] an opening for the production of form

  • and do not see [T2] . . . , up to an opening for the production of consciousness,

  • and therefore they do not see [T2] the amassing of form,

  • do not see [T2] . . . , up to the amassing of consciousness;

  • and similarly, up to they do not see [T2] an opening for the production of all dharmas 702 with outflows and without outflows, because they see that they are in vain, ring hollow, and are pointless.

  • When they contemplate like that, they do not apprehend an intrinsic nature of form;

  • similarly, connect this with each, up to they do not apprehend an intrinsic nature of all dharmas with outflows and without outflows,

  • because those practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T]
    believe about all dharmas that they are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature [T2] (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence of all appearing dharmas [U2T]).

  • On account of believing like that and practicing inner emptiness,
    up to practicing the emptiness of its own mark,
    they do not settle down on any dharma;

  • they do not settle down on form, or feeling, or perception, or volitional factors, or consciousness;

  • and similarly, connect this with or on any dharma, up to awakening.


"Practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] that is

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

they complete the awakening path‍ — namely,

  • they complete the six perfections,

  • up to the dharmas on the side of awakening, the ten tathāgata powers, the four fearlessnesses, the four detailed and thorough knowledges, the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha, and the eighty minor signs.

  • Standing on the bodhisattva's path that is those maturation dharmas, 703 when they complete the six perfections and the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening and complete the clairvoyances arisen from maturation,

  • they gather into a retinue with giving those beings who can be gathered with giving;

  • those who can be gathered with morality,

  • who can be gathered with meditative stabilization,

  • who can be gathered with wisdom,

  • and who can be gathered with liberation;

  • and they gather into a retinue with the knowledge and seeing of liberation those beings who can be gathered with the knowledge and seeing of liberation.

  • They establish in the result of stream enterer those beings who can be established in the result of stream enterer;

  • those who can be established in the result of once-returner,

  • who can be established in the result of non-returner,

  • who can be established in the state of a worthy one,

  • and who can be established in a pratyekabuddha's awakening;

  • and they establish in awakening those beings who can be established in awakening.

  • Connect this to them all in the same way.


  • "Performing various miraculous powers, they go to as many world systems as there are sand particles in the Gaṅgā River,

  • and in those world systems they magically produce those jewels‍ — the sorts of jewels they want there, when and as they want them, completely fulfilling the desires of those beings‍ — passing on from world system to world system.

  • Having seen those world systems, they take possession of a buddhafield with all the possessions and enjoyments there of the sort the Para­nirmita­vaśa­vartin gods have, and the possessions and enjoyments that come about in other buddhafields, the type that they do not even need to seek for.


  • "Practicing the knowledge of path aspects,
    through the perfection of giving, the perfection of morality, up to the perfection of wisdom [U2T] arisen from maturation, through the clairvoyances arisen from maturation, and the awakening path arisen from maturation,
    they perfect all the perfections and gain the knowledge of all aspects.


"To the extent that they have not held onto [T2] form [T2] [U2T] [in absolute terms],

up to consciousness, up to have not held onto all dharmas‍ [in absolute terms] —

have not held onto the wholesome or unwholesome,

ordinary or extraordinary,

with outflows or without outflows,

compounded or uncompounded‍ [in absolute terms] —

then even when they have fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,

the possessions and enjoyments in their buddhafield [T1] will not be held on to either [T2] [U2T].

And why?

Because all dharmas [T1] have not been held on to because nothing can be apprehended [T2] [U2T].


"In that way, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom [U2T] complete the perfection of wisdom [U2T] by way of signlessness."


This was the seventy-first chapter, "The True Nature of Dharmas That Cannot Be Apprehended," 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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