Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 74 - The unique true nature & dynamic of all dharmas - 374

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 374
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 74 - The unique true nature & dynamic of all dharmas –

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]

74. EXPOSITION OF THE SAMENESS OF DHARMAS – The inconceivable unique true nature & dynamic of all dharmas: the Union of the Two Truths, Union of the three spheres, Union of opposites.

(i.e. Résumé: All dharmas have the same unique inconceivable all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic as it is here & now: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle; beyond existence & non-existence, causality & acausality, difference & identity, manyness & oneness, purity & impurity, permanence & impermanence, continuity & discontinuity, emptiness & non-emptiness … Thus all activities / practices / teaching should be done while being fully aware of this; acting without acting, without apprehending anything, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes, without falling into any extreme or middle.
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The dharma-constituent: the inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharma, the dharmadhatu / dharmata / suchness / genuine-emptiness / buddha-nature / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] / Ground / Basis / Source.
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All dharmas are like illusions / reflections / mirages / dreams / echos / magical tricks: "There, but not there!"
Appearing in dependence & relatively functional [T1] <==> but empty of inherent existence [T2];
empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
All dharmas are not really arising / caused / existent / efficient / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-caused / non-existent / non-efficient / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is.
Meaning their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferation, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma.
So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth [U2T].
Emptiness does not deny conventional concepts / truths / practices / methods / goals / causality / appearances / tools / adapted skillful means; on the contrary one truth supports the other.
Even if everything is empty of inherent existence, there is a way to use all dharmas without any attachment / fixations / absolutes if one uses them while being fully aware of their true nature & dynamic: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.
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… it is because of that, that bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom with skillful means pursue the bodhisattva's way of life for the sake of beings … without any attachment / fixation / absolutes.)

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,
"Lord, how have bodhisattva great beings realized well
what marks dharmas as dharmas?"
(i.e. What is the true nature & dynamic of all dharmas? What is their true mark that is not a mark?
Answer: the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths.)

"Subhūti, to illustrate, a magical creation
(i.e. All dharmas are like illusions / reflections / mirages / dreams / echos / magical tricks: "There, but not there!" Appearing in dependence & relatively functional [T1] <==> but empty of inherent existence [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. They are not really arising / caused / existent / efficient / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-caused / non-existent / non-efficient / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is. Meaning their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferation, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth [U2T]. Emptiness does not deny conventional concepts / truths / practices / methods / goals / causality / appearances / tools / adapted skillful means; on the contrary one truth supports the other. Even if everything is empty of inherent existence, there is a way to use all dharmas without any attachment / fixations / absolutes if one uses them while being fully aware of their true nature & dynamic: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)

  • has nothing to do with greed, hatred, and confusion;
    it has nothing to do with form,
    up to it has nothing to do with consciousness;
    and similarly, it has nothing to do with inner and outer dharmas,
    has nothing to do with bad proclivities and obsessions,
    has nothing to do with dharmas with outflows and without outflows,
    and has nothing to do with ordinary and extraordinary dharmas, those shared in common and not shared in common, or those that are compounded and uncompounded;
    and it has nothing to do with the path
    and has nothing to do with the results.
    To have realized well what marks the dharmas as being dharmas is like that."

"Lord, how do they meditate on the path of a magical creation?"
(i.e. What does it mean to be like magical creations?
Answer: indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferation, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma.)

"Subhūti,

  • it is based on meditating on the path
    on account of which they
    are not defiled,
    are not purified,
    and do not appear in any of the five forms of life in saṃsāra."

"Lord, how do bodhisattva great beings realize all dharmas that are non-existent things?"
(i.e. It is a realisation that is not a real realisation because of the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres: subject, relation / action, object.)

"Subhūti," asked the Lord in return,

  • "is there any existent thing apprehended in a tathāgata's magical creation,
    thanks to which it is defiled and is purified?"

"No, Lord. Lord,

  • there is no existent thing apprehended [T2] [U2T] in a tathāgata's magical creation thanks to which it is defiled and is purified; there is no existent thing [T2] [U2T] in the five forms of life in saṃsāra."

"Subhūti, to have realized well what marks the dharmas as being dharmas is like that," said the Lord.

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,
"Lord, is all form like a tathāgata's magical creation?
Are all feeling, all perception, all volitional factors, and all consciousness like a tathāgata's magical creation?"
(i.e. All dharmas in both samsara & nirvana – physical, conceptual, mental; pure or impure – are like that: Union of the Two Truths. No exception at all.)

"Subhūti,

  • all form is like a tathāgata's magical creation.
    (i.e. All dharmas are like illusions / reflections / mirages / dreams / echos / magical tricks: "There, but not there!" Appearing in dependence & relatively functional [T1] <==> but empty of inherent existence [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. They are not really arising / caused / existent / efficient / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-caused / non-existent / non-efficient / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is. Meaning their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferation, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth [U2T]. Emptiness does not deny conventional concepts / truths / practices / methods / goals / causality / appearances / tools / adapted skillful means; on the contrary one truth supports the other. Even if everything is empty of inherent existence, there is a way to use all dharmas without any attachment / fixations / absolutes if one uses them while being fully aware of their true nature & dynamic: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)
    All feeling, all perception, all volitional factors, and all consciousness are like a tathāgata's magical creation."

"Lord, if all are like a tathāgata's magical creation, and if a magical creation has no form, has no feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness, and has no defilement or purification, and if the five forms of life in saṃsāra from which beings will be liberated do not exist [T2] [U2T],
how is there going to be a bodhisattva great being's personal heroic power?"

"What do you think, Subhūti," asked the Lord,

  • "earlier when bodhisattva great beings practiced the bodhisattva's practice,
    did they apprehend any being to be liberated from hell,
    or the animal world, or the world of Yama, or from being a human or a god?"

"No, Lord."

"Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so!

  • Bodhisattva great beings do not apprehend any [T2] being to be liberated from the three realms [T1] [U2T].
    (i.e. And do not reject them either. Why? Because they are not existent, but still not completely non-existent either.)

  • And why?
    Because they know, see, and are aware that
    all phenomena are like an illusion and are like a magical creation."
    (i.e. All dharmas are like illusions / reflections / mirages / dreams / echos / magical tricks: "There, but not there!" Appearing in dependence & relatively functional [T1] <==> but empty of inherent existence [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. They are not really arising / caused / existent / efficient / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-caused / non-existent / non-efficient / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is. Meaning their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferation, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth [U2T]. Emptiness does not deny conventional concepts / truths / practices / methods / goals / causality / appearances / tools / adapted skillful means; on the contrary one truth supports the other. Even if everything is empty of inherent existence, there is a way to use all dharmas without any attachment / fixations / absolutes if one uses them while being fully aware of their true nature & dynamic: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)

"Lord, if bodhisattva great beings know, see, and are aware that
all phenomena are like an illusion and are like a magical creation,
then for whose sake do they practice the six perfections, four concentrations, four immeasurables, four formless absorptions, thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening, and path to awakening; purify a buddhafield; and bring beings to maturity?"

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

  • "Subhūti, if, just on their own, beings knew that all dharmas are like a dream and are like a magical creation, then bodhisattva great beings would not practice the bodhisattva's practice for the sake of beings for incalculable eons either.
    But, Subhūti,
    beings do not know that all dharmas are like an illusion and are like a magical creation just on their own,
    so bodhisattva great beings, practicing the six perfections,
    bring beings to maturity and purify a buddhafield."
    (i.e. All dharmas are like illusions / reflections / mirages / dreams / echos / magical tricks: "There, but not there!" Appearing in dependence & relatively functional [T1] <==> but empty of inherent existence [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. They are not really arising / caused / existent / efficient / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-caused / non-existent / non-efficient / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is. Meaning their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferation, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth [U2T]. Emptiness does not deny conventional concepts / truths / practices / methods / goals / causality / appearances / tools / adapted skillful means; on the contrary one truth supports the other. Even if everything is empty of inherent existence, there is a way to use all dharmas without any attachment / fixations / absolutes if one uses them while being fully aware of their true nature & dynamic: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,
"Lord, if all phenomena are like a dream, like an apparition, like an illusion, like a mirage, and like a magical creation, where are beings such that by practicing the perfection of wisdom bodhisattva great beings cause them to advance beyond that location?"

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "beings are located in unreal names and causal signs,
    so, practicing the perfection of wisdom, bodhisattva great beings
    cause them to advance beyond names and causal signs."

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,
"Lord, what is a name, and what is a causal sign?"

The Lord said,

  • "Subhūti, these‍ — namely, name and causal sign‍ — are names plucked out of thin air.
    And these‍ — namely, name or causal sign, or form, or . . . , up to consciousness, or woman, or man, or boy, or girl, or hell, or animal world, or world of Yama, or god, or human, or compounded dharma, or uncompounded dharma, or result of stream enterer, or result of once-returner, or result of non-returner, or state of a worthy one, or pratyekabuddha's awakening, or unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening‍ — are made-up name designations.
    Subhūti, the basic nature of all dharmas is name because they point somewhere. 806
    All compounded phenomena are just mere names.
    Simple, ordinary folk are attached to them, so bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom dissuade them with skillful means, saying, 'You should not get attached to this word that has arisen when there is false imagination of the unreal, on account of false imagination, and which is empty of an intrinsic nature and without any real basis.
    The learned do not settle down on empty dharmas [U2T].'
    Subhūti, that is how bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom with skillful means teach the Dharma to beings.

"What, Subhūti, is a causal sign?

  • Subhūti, that to which simple, ordinary folk become attached is a causal sign. There are two.

Which two?

  • They are the causal sign of form and the causal sign of the formless.

"Subhūti, what is the causal sign of form?

  • Subhūti, here, given that all these dharmas are momentary, when there is grasping of any gross or subtle or exemplary or vile form at all through false imagination, that is said to be the causal sign of form.

"Subhūti, what is the causal sign of the formless?

  • Subhūti, when affliction is generated through false imagination on account of having grasped any formless dharma at all as a casual sign, that is said to be the causal sign of the formless.

  • "Simple, ordinary folk become attached to them, so bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom detach them from those causal signs with skillful means and cause them to enter into the signlessness entity, establishing them there.
    One way or the other they cause them to enter into it and establish them in it in such a way that they do not fall into the duality of 'this is a causal sign, and this is the absence of a causal sign.'
    It is thus, Subhūti, that bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom detach them from causal signs with skillful means and cause them to enter into, and establish them in, the element of no signs."

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,
"Lord, if all dharmas end up as simply that‍ — end up as simply the absence of a causal sign like that‍ — then, Lord, how will bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom become personally special on account of wholesome dharmas, and establish others as special on account of wholesome dharmas, complete level after level, and also cause beings to make a practice of them?"

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

  • "Subhūti, if a causal sign were to be an existent thing, not a non-existent thing, then bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom would not become special on account of wholesome dharmas and would not establish others as special on account of wholesome dharmas.
    But, Subhūti, a causal sign [T1] is not an existent thing like that, it is a non-existent thing [T2] [U2T].
    (i.e. Freedom from all marks: ex. All dharmas are not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not dependently arisen, not empty of inherent existence, not both truth together, not neither.)
    Therefore, Subhūti,
    bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom by way of signlessness
    bring the perfection of concentration to completion,
    by way of signlessness bring the perfection of perseverance to completion,
    and similarly, connect this with by way of signlessness bring the perfection of patience to completion,
    bring the perfection of morality to completion,
    and bring the perfection of giving to completion;
    bring the immeasurables, formless absorptions, and applications of mindfulness to completion;
    up to bring the eightfold noble path to completion;
    bring inner emptiness to completion,
    bring outer emptiness to completion,
    bring inner and outer emptiness to completion,
    and similarly, connect this with each, up to by way of signlessness bring the emptiness that is the non-existence of an intrinsic nature to completion;
    bring the deliverances to completion,
    bring the successive absorption stations to completion,
    and similarly, connect this with each, up to by way of signlessness bring the ten tathāgata powers to completion,
    up to bring the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha to completion.
    Having brought those wholesome dharmas to completion,
    they connect other with those wholesome dharmas as well, by way of signlessness.

  • "Subhūti, if any causal sign, even just posited as a part of the tip of a strand of hair, were to exist, and bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom were not to awaken fully to dharmas through the absence of a sign, the absence of mindfulness, and the absence of attention, they also would not establish beings in suchness just as it is, in all dharmas without outflows.
    Subhūti, it is because all dharmas are without outflows, without signs, without mindfulness, and without attention, Subhūti, that bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom work for the welfare of all beings through dharmas without outflows."
    (i.e. Freedom from all marks: ex. All dharmas are not with signs, not without signs, not both together, not neither; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; not caused, not uncaused, not both together, not neither; not efficient, not non-efficient, not both together, not neither; not dependently arisen, not empty of inherent existence, not both truth together, not neither; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, for whatever 'this' is.)

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,
"Lord, if all dharmas are without signs, without mindfulness, and without attention,
well then, Lord, how do you enumerate 'these are dharmas with outflows,
these are dharmas without outflows;
these are dharmas shared in common
and these are dharmas not shared in common;
these are śrāvaka dharmas,
these are pratyekabuddha dharmas,
these are bodhisattva dharmas,
and these are buddha-dharmas'?"

Venerable Subhūti having asked that, the Lord asked him in return,

  • "What do you think, Subhūti, is signlessness one thing and śrāvaka dharmas another?"

"No, Lord."

  • "What do you think, Subhūti, is signlessness one thing and pratyekabuddha dharmas another,
    is signlessness one thing and bodhisattva dharmas another,
    or is signlessness one thing and the buddha-dharmas another?"

"No, Lord."

  • "Well then, Subhūti, is signlessness itself the result of stream enterer, the result of once-returner, the result of non-returner, the state of a worthy one, the pratyekabuddha dharmas, the bodhisattva dharmas, and a buddha?"

"That is so, Lord."

  • "By the same token, Subhūti, you should know that all dharmas are signless,
    so bodhisattva great beings training in all those signless dharmas
    grow on account of all wholesome dharmas‍ — namely, grow on account of the six perfections, 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, up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha.

"And why?

  • Because there is nothing bodhisattva great beings should train in other than
    training in dharmas that are emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness.

"And why?

  • Subhūti, it is because all wholesome dharmas are included within these three gateways to liberation.
    Thus, the emptiness of its own mark is the emptiness gateway to liberation;
    the absence of a causal sign is the signlessness gateway to liberation; and
    the absence of occasioning anything is the wishlessness gateway to liberation.
    (i.e. Freedom from all marks: ex. All dharmas are not with signs, not without signs, not both together, not neither; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; not caused, not uncaused, not both together, not neither; not efficient, not non-efficient, not both together, not neither; not dependently arisen, not empty of inherent existence, not both truth together, not neither; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, for whatever 'this' is.)
    -
    The bodhisattva great beings training in those three gateways to liberation [T2]
    train in the five aggregates [T1] [U2T],
    train in the twelve sense fields,
    train in the eighteen constituents,
    train in the four formless absorptions,
    train in the four noble truths,
    train in the twelve links of dependent origination,
    train in inner emptiness,
    train in outer emptiness,
    train in inner and outer emptiness,
    up to train in the emptiness that is the non-existence of an intrinsic nature,
    train in the four applications of mindfulness,
    up to train in the eightfold noble path, train in the ten tathāgata powers,
    and train in the four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, and eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha."

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,
"Lord, how do bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom
train in the five appropriating aggregates?"
(i.e. Using the five aggregates … while being aware of the true nature & dynamic of the five aggregates …, without apprehending anything, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes, without falling for any extreme or middle.)

"Subhūti," he replied,

  • "here bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom
    are aware of form, which is to say,
    they are aware of how form arises [T1],
    how form ceases [T1],
    and of the suchness of form [U2T].

"How are they aware of form?

  • They are aware that just as, for example, a mass of foam is without a core,
    similarly form also is full of holes, a conduit for waste water 807 without any core at all.

"How are they aware of the arising of form?

  • Form does not come from anywhere and does not go anywhere,
    so they are aware that the arising of form is like that, coming from nowhere and going nowhere.
    Subhūti, they are aware that the arising and passing away of form is like that, coming from nowhere and going nowhere.

"How are they aware of the suchness of form?

  • They are aware that there is no production, no cessation, no coming, no going, no defilement, no purification, no increase, and no decrease in suchness.
    That is how they are aware of suchness.
    Furthermore, Subhūti, the way things are does not deviate from the way things are, that is why it is called suchness.
    In it there is no falsehood.
    That is also why it is called suchness.
    They are aware that the suchness of form is like that.

"How are they aware of feeling?
How are they aware of the arising of feeling?
How are they aware of the passing away of feeling?
How are they aware of the suchness of feeling?

  • To illustrate, the arising and passing away of a water bubble is hollow.
    They are aware that feeling is like that. It does not come from anywhere and does not go anywhere.
    They are aware that the arising and passing away of feeling is like that.

How are they aware of the suchness of feeling?

  • Suchness does not deviate from the way things are.
    They are aware that the suchness of feeling is like that.

"How are they aware of perception?

  • To illustrate, you absolutely cannot apprehend any water in a mirage. 808 They are aware that a perception is like that. It does not come from anywhere and does not go anywhere. They are aware that the arising and passing away of a perception is like that. How are they aware of the suchness of perception? They are aware that the suchness of perception is just like the suchness of feeling.

"How are they aware of volitional factors?

  • To illustrate, if you peel away each of the layers of bark of a plantain tree, you cannot apprehend a core. They are aware that volitional factors are like that. How are they aware of the arising and passing away of volitional factors? They do not come from anywhere and do not go anywhere. They are aware that the arising and passing away of volitional factors is like that.

How are they aware of the suchness of volitional factors?

  • They are aware that the suchness of volitional factors is just like the suchness of feeling.

"How are they aware of consciousness?

  • They are aware that consciousness is just like a mass of four-unit forces conjured up by a magician. It does not come from anywhere and does not go anywhere. They are aware that the arising and passing away of consciousness is like that.

How are they aware of the suchness of consciousness?

  • They are aware that the suchness of consciousness is just like the suchness of feeling. Therefore, they are aware of the suchness of consciousness.

"How do they know the [eighteen] constituents?

  • "As for the eye constituent, it is empty of an eye constituent's intrinsic nature.
    They are aware that the eye constituent is like that.

How do they know the form constituent?

  • The form constituent is empty of a form constituent's intrinsic nature.
    They are aware that the form constituent is like that.

How do they know the eye consciousness constituent?

  • The eye consciousness constituent is empty of an eye consciousness constituent's intrinsic nature.
    They are aware that the eye consciousness constituent is like that.

"How are they aware of the ear constituent, sound constituent, and ear consciousness constituent . . . ; the nose constituent, smell constituent, and nose consciousness constituent . . . ; the tongue constituent, taste constituent, and tongue consciousness constituent . . . ; the body constituent, feeling constituent, and body consciousness constituent . . . ; and the thinking-mind constituent?

  • The thinking-mind constituent is empty of a thinking-mind constituent's intrinsic nature.
    They are aware that the thinking-mind constituent is like that.

How do they know the dharma constituent?

  • The dharma constituent is empty of a dharma constituent's intrinsic nature.
    They are aware that the dharma constituent is like that.

How do they know the thinking-mind consciousness constituent?

  • The thinking-mind consciousness constituent is empty of a thinking-mind consciousness constituent's intrinsic nature.
    They are aware that the thinking-mind consciousness constituent is like that.
    Therefore, they are aware of the eighteen constituents.

"How are they aware of the sense fields?

  • The inner sense fields are empty of the inner sense fields' intrinsic nature,
    and the outer sense fields are empty of the outer sense fields' intrinsic nature.
    They are aware that the sense fields are like that.

"How are they aware of the noble truths?

  • They are aware of the noble truth of suffering, and they are aware of the noble truths of origination, cessation, and the path.

How are they aware of the noble truth of suffering?

  • They are aware of it as suffering, aware of it as a truth, and aware that 'it is truth for noble beings.' They are aware that, freed from bifurcation and non-dual, it is truth for noble beings. So too origination, so too cessation, and so too the path leading to the cessation of suffering as well‍ — they are aware that these are truths for noble beings.

"How are they aware of the suchness of suffering?

  • The suchness of suffering is exactly like that. 809

  • That is how they are aware of the suchness of suffering. So too are they aware of the suchness of origination, cessation, and the path.

"How are they aware of dependent origination?

  • They are aware that a dependent origination is unproduced. Similarly, they are aware that a dependent origination does not cease, is not annihilated, is not eternal, is not one and is not many, does not come and does not go, and is without thought construction and at peace."

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,
"Lord, if bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom are aware in that way of those dharmas that are different from each other, well then, Lord, does that not complicate the dharma-constituent?" (i.e. The dharma-constituent: the inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharma, the dharmadhatu / dharmata / suchness / genuine-emptiness / buddha-nature / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] / Ground / Basis / Source.)

"Subhūti," replied the Lord,

  • "it would be complicated if any other dharma not included in the dharma-constituent were to be apprehended, but, Subhūti, no other dharma not included in the dharma-constituent is found, so no other dharma that might complicate the dharma-constituent can be apprehended.

And why?

  • Subhūti, it is because no other dharma not included in the dharma-constituent‍ — none at all‍ — is found by either a tathāgata or a tathāgata's śrāvakas, so, since they have not apprehended it, they do not say, 'There is some other dharma not included in the dharma-constituent that can be apprehended.' Subhūti, that is how bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom should train in the dharma-constituent (i.e. The dharma-constituent: the inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharma, the dharmadhatu / dharmata / suchness / genuine-emptiness / buddha-nature / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] / Ground / Basis / Source.)."

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,
"Lord, in what are bodhisattva great beings training in the dharma-constituent trained?"

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

  • "Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings training in the dharma-constituent are trained in all dharmas.

And why?

  • Subhūti, it is because all dharmas are the dharma-constituent." (i.e. The dharma-constituent: the inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharma, the dharmadhatu / dharmata / suchness / genuine-emptiness / buddha-nature / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] / Ground / Basis / Source.)

"Lord, why are all dharmas the dharma-constituent?"

  • "Subhūti, it is because whether the tathāgatas arise or whether the tathāgatas do not arise, this dharma-constituent of dharmas remains in an undifferentiated way.
    Subhūti, these‍ — namely, all wholesome and unwholesome, and compounded and uncompounded dharmas‍ — are the dharma-constituent.
    Therefore, Subhūti, when bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom have trained in the dharma-constituent, they have trained in all dharmas."

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti further inquired of him,
"Lord, if all dharmas are the dharma-constituent, (i.e. The dharma-constituent: the inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharma, the dharmadhatu / dharmata / suchness / genuine-emptiness / buddha-nature / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] / Ground / Basis / Source.)
well then, Lord,
how should bodhisattva great beings train in the perfection of wisdom?
Similarly, how should they train in the perfection of concentration,
how should they train in the perfection of perseverance,
how should they train in the perfection of patience,
how should they train in the perfection of morality, and
how should they train in the perfection of giving; and similarly,
how should bodhisattva great beings train in the first concentration, and
how should they train in the second concentration, third concentration, and fourth concentration; and similarly,
how should they train in love, and
how should they train in compassion, joy, and equanimity; and similarly,
how should they train in the station of endless space,
up to in the station of neither perception nor non-perception; and similarly,
how should they train in the applications of mindfulness, and similarly,
how should they train in the right efforts, legs of miraculous power, faculties, powers, limbs of awakening, and eightfold noble path;
how should they train in emptiness, and
how should they train in signlessness and wishlessness;
how should they train in the eight deliverances, and
how should they train in the absorptions; and similarly,
how should they train in the ten tathāgata powers, and
how should they train in the four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, great compassion, and the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha;
how should they train in order to accomplish the clairvoyances and the thirty-two major marks of a great person;
how should they train in order to accomplish the eighty minor signs;
how should they train in order to be born in great sāla tree–like royal families,
how should they train in order to be born in great sāla tree–like brahmin families, and
how should they train in order to be born in great sāla tree–like business families;
how should they train in order to be born among the Cāturmahā­rājika gods,
how should they train in order to be born among the Trāyastriṃśa gods, and
how should they train in order to be born among the Yāma, Tuṣita, Nirmāṇarati, and Para­nirmita­vaśa­vartin gods, and among the Brahmakāyika gods, and among the Brahmapurohita, Brahmapārṣadya, Parīttābha, Apramāṇābha, Ābhāsvara, Parīttaśubha, Apramāṇaśubha, Śubhakṛtsna, Bṛhatphala, and Asaṃjñisattva gods; 810
how should they train in order not to be born among them;
how should they train in order to be born among the Śuddhāvāsa‍ — the Avṛha, Atapa, Sudṛśa, Sudarśana, and Akaniṣṭha gods;
how should they train in order to be born in the Ākāśānantyāyatana, up to in the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana;
how should they train in the production of the first thought, and
how should they train in the production of the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth thought; and
how should they train at the śrāvaka level,
how should they train at the pratyekabuddha level,
how should they train at the bodhisattva level,
how should they train at bringing beings to maturity,
how should they train at purifying a buddhafield,
how should they train at the dhāraṇī gateways,
how should they train in all the meditative stabilizations, and
how should they train in the awakening path by training in which they will know all dharmas in all their aspects?

Lord, these conceptualizations do not exist in the dharma-constituent, (i.e. The dharma-constituent: the inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharma, the dharmadhatu / dharmata / suchness / genuine-emptiness / buddha-nature / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] / Ground / Basis / Source.)
so would bodhisattva great beings not be practicing in error or else be engaging in thought construction where there is no thought construction?

And why?

Lord, because
in the dharma-constituent [reality as it is] those conceptualizations [T1] do not [inherently] exist [T2] [U2T].
Form is not the dharma-constituent, and feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness are not the dharma-constituent;
the dharma-constituent is not other than form,
and the dharma-constituent is not other than feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness.
Just form is the dharma-constituent and just the dharma-constituent is form,
up to just consciousness is the dharma-constituent and just the dharma-constituent is consciousness.
Similarly, like the repetitive section for the inner dharmas, connect this with all dharmas."

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

  • "Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so! It is exactly as you say!
    Subhūti, just form is the dharma-constituent,
    and just feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness are the dharma-constituent;
    and just the dharma-constituent is form,
    and just the dharma-constituent is feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness.
    Subhūti, if bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom were to see some other dharma not included in the dharma-constituent, they would not rest in unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.
    -
    So, because all dharmas are the dharma-constituent,
    bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom therefore are
    aware of all dharmas as they really are, the dharma-constituent. (i.e. The dharma-constituent: the inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharma, the dharmadhatu / dharmata / suchness / genuine-emptiness / buddha-nature / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] / Ground / Basis / Source.)
    -
    But even though bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom are aware of all dharmas as they really are, the dharma-constituent, still they teach the nameless dharmas with names and conventional terms: 'this is form, this is feeling, this is perception, these are volitional factors, this is consciousness'; similarly, connect this with each, up to 'this is awakening.'
    (i.e. All dharmas are like illusions / reflections / mirages / dreams / echos / magical tricks: "There, but not there!" Appearing in dependence & relatively functional [T1] <==> but empty of inherent existence [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. They are not really arising / caused / existent / efficient / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-caused / non-existent / non-efficient / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is. Meaning their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferation, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth [U2T]. Emptiness does not deny conventional concepts / truths / practices / methods / goals / causality / appearances / tools / adapted skillful means; on the contrary one truth supports the other. Even if everything is empty of inherent existence, there is a way to use all dharmas without any attachment / fixations / absolutes if one uses them while being fully aware of their true nature & dynamic: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)

  • "To illustrate, Subhūti, a clever, well-trained magician or magician's apprentice, having done some conjuring over a suitable material prop, might make various things appear‍ — namely, a woman's body, or a man's body, or an elephant's body, or a horse's body, or a bull's body, or a garden, or a delightful park, or a delightful river, or a delightful lotus pond.
    Having displayed various coverings, mats and carpets, 811 there, they make flowers, flower garlands, 812 and soft and hard food appear, and delight people with singing and music.
    They give gifts, or guard morality, or make a practice of being patient, or make a vigorous effort, or play in the meditative stabilizations, or cultivate wisdom, or they exhibit there, in those sorts of ways, great sāla tree–like royal families, great sāla tree – like brahmin families, or great sāla tree–like business families; or they show the Cāturmahā­rājika gods, or show the axial mountain Sumeru, or show the Trāyastriṃśa gods, or show the Yāma, or Tuṣita, or Nirmāṇarati, or Para­nirmita­vaśa­vartin gods; or show . . . , up to the formless 813 Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana gods; or show those who are stream enterers, or once-returners, or non-returners, or worthy ones, or pratyekabuddhas; or show bodhisattvas‍ — starting from those who have first produced the thought, are practicing the perfection of giving, and are practicing the perfection of morality, perfection of patience, perfection of perseverance, perfection of concentration, and perfection of wisdom; those who are practicing on the first level, up to are practicing on the tenth level; those who are practicing in the secure state of a bodhisattva, and are accomplishing the clairvoyances and playing with them, bringing beings to maturity, purifying a buddhafield, and playing in the concentrations, deliverances, meditative stabilizations, and absorptions; those who are giving away the major or minor parts of their bodies, undertaking the difficult practices, illuminating world systems, and accomplishing the ten tathāgata powers, and accomplishing the fearlessnesses, detailed and thorough knowledges, great love, and great compassion‍ — or show a buddha's body with all the major and minor limbs completed.
    When they do so, those beings with a naturally childish disposition think about this and understand as follows: 'Ah! This man has made such a display of these various bodies, and similarly, connect this with each, up to the buddha's body that these people accept it as real. He is really well trained to somehow or other make it all beautiful and delightful.'
    Those with a naturally intelligent disposition who are there, who are brilliant, wise, and endowed with the ability to investigate and reflect on those bodies, think about this and understand that, 'Here there is nothing at all that can be apprehended, so this man is delighting those groups of beings with things that are not real. Thus they think what an amazing, marvelous Dharma that an understanding arises that these people are perceiving a materially existence in regard to these things where nothing materially exists at all.' 814

  • "Similarly, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom
    do not see any other dharma not included in the dharma-constituent,
    and it is true that while practicing the perfection of wisdom,
    they do not apprehend a being or the designation of a being,
    but still, endowed with skillful means 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.
    -
    They personally guard morality . . . , they personally make a practice of being patient . . . , they personally make a vigorous effort . . . , they personally also become absorbed in concentration . . . , and they personally also cultivate wisdom, establish others in wisdom, speak in praise of wisdom, and speak in praise of others cultivating wisdom as well, welcoming it.
    Similarly, connect this with: They personally take up the ten wholesome actions and they cause others to take up the ten wholesome actions, welcoming it.
    They personally take up the five-point training, up to welcoming it;
    they personally observe the eight-branched confession and restoration, up to welcoming it;
    they personally accomplish and dwell in the first concentration,
    up to the fourth concentration, love, compassion, joy, and equanimity, and the station of endless space,
    up to the station of neither perception nor non-perception, up to welcoming it;
    they personally cultivate the applications of mindfulness,
    up to the eightfold noble path, up to the three gateways to liberation, eight deliverances, nine serial absorptions, ten tathāgata powers, four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha, and thirty-two major marks and eighty minor signs of a great person, up to welcoming it.

  • "Subhūti, if the dharma-constituent were not exactly the same later as it was before, and if it were not like that in between as well, bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom would not with skillful means speak about the dharma-constituent, bring beings to maturity, and purify a buddhafield.
    But, Subhūti, it is because the dharma-constituent is exactly the same later as it was before, and is like that in between as well‍ — it is because of that, Subhūti, that bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom with skillful means pursue the bodhisattva's way of life for the sake of beings."

This was the seventy-fourth chapter, "Exposition of the Sameness of Dharmas," 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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