Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 80 - There is no real basis, defilement or purification - 380

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 380
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 80 - There is no real basis, defilement or purification –

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]

80. TEACHING THAT THERE IS NO DEFILEMENT OR PURIFICATION – No real basis at all – called suchness and unmistaken suchness – has been set down.

(i.e. Résumé: There is no real basis, defilement or purification.
No real basis at all – called suchness and unmistaken suchness – has been set down.
There is no real defilement / samsara or purification / nirvana / awakening.
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All dharmas are like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, ehos, magical creations: 'There, but not there.'
They have no inherently existing basis whatsoever – not even something called 'suchness' or Union of the Two Truths.
So there are no real three stages of becoming for anything – origination, duration / change, cessation.
And all dharmas are not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither – for whatever 'this' is.
Ex. They are not defiled / impure, not pure, not both together, not neither.
So there is no real defilement or purification of anything in absolute terms; no real accumulation of karma, rebirth and six realms of samsara; no real cause / path and fruition / awakening – just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
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Union of the Two Truths about apparent opposites like: good & bad, defilement & purification, pure & impure, samsara & nirvana, subject & object, cause & effect, existence & non-existence, difference & identity, manyness & oneness, duality & non-duality, dependent origination & emptiness, relative & absolute, ground & manifestations, …
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The ultimate meaning of (the 12 links of) dependent origination is emptiness of inherent existence;
the ultimate meaning of emptiness id dependent origination.
Those two truths are inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-arisen, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, non-dual, in harmony <==> thus both empty of inherent existence.
There is no absolute 'dependent origination', or 'emptiness', or 'Union of the Two Truths' … to grasp.)

Then venerable Subhūti inquired of the Lord, 834

  • "Lord, if all dharmas [T1] are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature (i.e. All dharmas are empty of inherent existence <==> because dependently co-arisen / interdependent, merely labeled / imputed by the mind; not really caused / made / existent / changing / functional / ceasing, not completely non-caused / non-made / non-existent / non-changing / non-functional / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither; not many, not one, not both together, not neither; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither – for whatever 'this' is.) [T2] [U2T],
    if they have not been made (or not-made …) by buddhas, have not been made by pratyekabuddhas, have not been made by worthy ones, have not been made by non-returners, have not been made by once-returners, have not been made by stream enterers, and have not been made by those bodhisattva great beings who are practicing for this awakening,
    well then, Lord, why in these dharmas is there a distinction made between them, or a presentation of them thus: 'These are beings in hell, these in the animal world, these in the world of Yama, these are gods, these are humans; because of this karma they are in hell, because of this in the animal world, because of this in the world of Yama, because of this they are gods, because of this humans, because of this Brahmakāyika, up to Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana gods; because of this karma they are stream enterers, up to because of this karma they are pratyekabuddhas, because of this karma they are bodhisattvas, and because of this karma they are tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas'?

  • Lord, in a dharma that is not real there is no action such that, on account of such an action, they would go to hell, or to the animal world, or to the world of Yama, or take birth as a god or human, up to a Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana god; or reach the result of stream enterer, or reach the result of once-returner, or the result of non-returner, or the state of a worthy one, or a pratyekabuddha's awakening; or be a bodhisattva, or practice the awakening path, or reach the knowledge of all aspects, or, having reached that, cause beings to be liberated from saṃsāra."

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

  • "Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so! It is exactly as you say!
    Subhūti, whereas in a dharma that is not real there is no karma, there is no action, 835 and there is no result, unlettered, foolish, ordinary people uneducated about the noble dharmas do not know that dharmas are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature, and because of thought that has arisen on account of error, 836 accumulate a variety of karma.
    Certain sorts of bodies come into being because of that: the bodies of beings in hell, or in the animal world, or in the world of Yama, or of gods, or of humans, up to of the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana gods come into being. In a dharma that is not real there is no action, there is nothing being done, and there is no result‍ — that which is not real is just not real.

  • "Again, Subhūti, in regard to what you have said‍ — In a dharma that is not real there is no action such that, on account of such an action, they would reach . . . , up to the result of stream enterer, or reach . . . , up to the state of a worthy one, or a pratyekabuddha's awakening; or be a bodhisattva great being practicing the knowledge of path aspects, or reach the knowledge of all aspects of a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha, or, having reached that, cause beings to be liberated from saṃsāra‍ — Subhūti, what do you think, is the path not a non-existent thing,
    or is the result of stream enterer not a non-existent thing,
    or is the result of once-returner not a non-existent thing,
    or is the result of non-returner not a non-existent thing,
    or is the state of a worthy one not a non-existent thing,
    or is a pratyekabuddha's awakening not a non-existent thing,
    or is the knowledge of path aspects not a non-existent thing,
    up to or is the knowledge of all aspects not a non-existent thing?"

"Lord, the path [T1] is a non-existent thing [T2] [U2T] (i.e. an empty of inherent existence thing <==> because interdependent). . . ,
up to the knowledge of all aspects are non-existent things."

  • "Subhūti, well then, does a non-existent phenomenon reach a non-existent phenomenon?"

"No, Lord."

  • "So then, Subhūti, that which is a non-existent thing and that which is the path, both of those phenomena are neither conjoined with nor disjoined from anything, are formless, do not show themselves, are not obstructed, and have only one mark‍ — that is, no mark.
    Therefore, Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom with skillful means dissuade beings who settle down on the aggregates, who settle down on an existent thing because of four errors‍ — the perception of impermanence as permanence, the perception of suffering as happiness, the perception of the selfless as self, and the perception of the unclean as clean‍ — from believing in an existent thing."

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti asked him,

  • "Lord, is there some real basis called suchness and unmistaken suchness,
    that was or is, that foolish, ordinary people stand on and settle down on as 'a real basis';
    and if there is not, how do they accumulate karma, the type of karma on account of which they are not freed from the five forms of life in saṃsāra?"
    (i.e. 'Real basis': Also rendered as "existent thing," "real thing," and "something that exists."
    Suchness: The quality or condition of things as they really are, which cannot be conveyed in conceptual, dualistic terms.)

"Subhūti,

  • no real basis at all has been set down, other than in error, where foolish ordinary persons stand and accumulate karma, not even as much as a part of the tip of a strand of hair.
    Therefore, Subhūti, to the extent possible I will explain this to you with an illustration in order to cover just this topic in more detail for the intelligent to understand.

"What do you think, Subhūti, when somebody dreaming a dream experiences a sense of gratification through the five sorts of sense objects, is there any corresponding real basis for the dreamer of the dream?"

"Lord, if even just the dream is not there, how could there ever be a real basis where the dreamer of the dream stands and experiences a sense of gratification through the five sorts of sense objects?"

"What do you think, Subhūti, are there any compounded or uncompounded dharmas, with outflows or without outflows, that are not like a dream?"

"Lord, there are not any compounded or uncompounded dharmas, with outflows or without outflows, that are not like a dream."

"What do you think, Subhūti, in a dream are there the five forms of life in saṃsāra?"

"No, Lord."

"What do you think, Subhūti, in a dream is there any meditation on a path thanks to which there would be no defilement and there would also be no purification?"

"No, Lord. Lord, that dharma is without a real basis, has no designation, and is not something designated by any utterances, stems, or inflected words."

The Lord then asked, "What do you think, Subhūti, is there any karma accumulated by the reflection seen on the surface of a mirror, on account of which it will become a being in hell, or in the animal world, or in the world of Yama, or a god, or a human?"

"No, Lord. Lord, if that reflection itself, other than coaxing foolish ordinary persons into believing it is true, has no real basis, how could it ever have accumulated any karma, on account of which it becomes a being in hell, or in the animal world, or in the world of Yama, or a god, or a human?"

"What do you think, Subhūti, is there any meditation on a path there, thanks to which there would be no defilement and there would also be no purification?"

"No, Lord. Lord, if even just that reflection has no real basis, how could there be a meditation on a path there, thanks to which there would be no defilement and there would also be no purification?"

"What do you think, Subhūti, is there any karma accumulated by an echo echoing in a river valley, a verdant valley in the foothills, a dense jungle, or a mountain retreat, or from a crevice in a cliff, on account of which it becomes a being in hell, or in the animal world, or in the world of Yama, or a god, or a human, or a god living in the desire realm, or a god living in the form realm, up to or a god in the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana?"

"No, Lord. Lord, if even that echo itself has no real basis, how could it ever have accumulated any karma, on account of which it becomes a being in hell, or in the animal world, or in the world of Yama, or a god, or a human, or a god living in the desire realm, or a god living in the form realm, up to or a god in the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana?"

"What do you think, Subhūti, is there any meditation on a path in that echo, thanks to which there would be no defilement and there would also be no purification?"

"No, Lord. Lord, if even just that echo is absolutely not there, how could there be any meditation on a path there, thanks to which there would be no defilement and there would also be no purification?"

"What do you think, Subhūti, is there any karma accumulated by the perception of water in a mirage where there is no water, by the perception of a river where there is no river, by the perception of a city where there is no city, or by the perception of a park where there is no park, on account of which it goes to hell, up to or goes to the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana?"

"No, Lord. Lord, when, other than being an error of perception, a state of visual delusion, there is absolutely no water in that mirage, there is no river, no city, and no park, how could it ever have accumulated any karma on account of which it goes to hell, up to or goes to the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana?"

"What do you think, Subhūti, is there any meditation on a path in that error of perception, thanks to which there would be no defilement and there would also be no purification?"

"No, Lord. Lord, if even just that error of perception is absolutely not there, how could there be a meditation on a path there, thanks to which there would be no defilement and there would also be no purification?"

"What do you think, Subhūti, when a magician conjures up a variety of magical creations‍ — conjures up a collection of elephants, or a collection of horses, or a collection of bulls, or a collection of foot soldiers, or a collection of chariots, or a woman's body, or a man's body‍ — is there any karma accumulated in those magical creations, on account of which they would go to hell, up to or go to the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana?"

"No, Lord. Lord, when those magical creations have no real basis at all set down where they might stand and accumulate karma, not even as much as a part of the tip of a strand of hair, how could they ever have accumulated any karma, on account of which they would go to hell, up to or go to the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana?"

"What do you think, Subhūti, in those magical creations is there any meditation on a path, thanks to which there would be no defilement and there would also be no purification?"

"No, Lord. Lord, if even just those creations themselves are absolutely not there, how could there be any meditation on a path there, thanks to which there would be no defilement and there would also be no purification?"

"What do you think, Subhūti, when a tathāgata's magical creation magically creates another magical creation, is there any karma accumulated in that magical creation, on account of which it would go to hell, up to or go to the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana?"

"No, Lord. Lord, when that magical creation itself has no real basis, how could it ever have accumulated any karma, on account of which it would go to hell, up to or go to the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana?"

"What do you think, Subhūti, in that magical creation is there any meditation on a path, thanks to which there would be no defilement and there would also be no purification?"

"No, Lord."

"Subhūti, is there any defilement or purification happening there?"

"None at all, Lord,"

"Subhūti, just as there is no defilement happening at all
and just as there is no purification happening at all there,
similarly there is no defilement or purification.
And why?
Because defilement happens and purification happens to those beings who live grasping at 'I' and grasping at 'mine,' but for those with perfect vision, defilement does not happen and purification does not happen.
And just as those with perfect vision do not become defiled and do not become purified,
similarly there is no defilement or purification."

This was the eightieth chapter, "Teaching That There is No Defilement or Purification," 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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