Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 81 - Practicing in accord with Reality - 381

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 381
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 81 - Practicing in accord with Reality –

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]

81. YOGIC PRACTICE OF THE ULTIMATE – Acting / practicing without acting / practicing – more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T].

(i.e. Résumé: Acting / practicing without acting / practicing – more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic or Reality as it is here & now, more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T].
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All dharmas are 'purified' by directly perceiving / realising / experiencing without perceiving / realising / experiencing their inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is here & now: that they are all empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> because dependently co-arisen / interdependent, merely labeled / imputed by the mind; like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' [U2T]; equal, pure, perfect …
The inconceivable Union of the Two Truths, or Union of the three spheres, or Union of apparent opposites, is called here 'sameness' – all pointers to the indescribable / inconceivable.
Even if everything is empty of inherent existence, beyond causality, like illusions, indifferentiable in absolute terms, there are still valid useful conventional relative differentiations / dualities / words / concepts / ideas / views / activities / methods / practices / milestones / goals. They could be used, but without any attachment / fixation / absolutes.
Bodhisattvas should act more and more in accord with the two inseparable aspects of Reality as it is here & now, the Union of the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T].
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Liberation / completion / purification / omniscience / enlightenment is not gained by rejecting / abandoning samsara / appearances and accepting / seeking nirvana / emptiness. It is gained by training and directly perceiving / realising / experiencing the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now beyond all extremes & middle [U2T].
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So, Bodhisattvas should train in perceiving / realising / experiencing without perceiving / realising / experiencing the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about any & all dharmas: that all dharmas are like an inconceivable Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent / caused / functional <==> because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed / designated by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional / useless / meaningless.
And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
Note: Something could be co-dependent with its parts and wholes (when applicable), with its causes & conditions and effects (when applicable), with its conceptual opposite(s) (always), and especially co-dependent with the subject / mind merely labeling / imputing it (always).
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That all dharmas are like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' [U2T].
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That all dharmas are not existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not dependent, not independent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not dependently arisen, not empty of inherent existence, not both truths together, not neither of the two truths, and there is no fifth; not equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / free / enlightened, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary / incomplete / non-enlightened, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth – for whatever 'this' is.
Meaning the true nature & dynamic as it is of any / all dharmas is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s);
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That all dharmas have no real three stages of becoming: origination, duration / change, cessation, or complete absence of those.
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That there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
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That there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / nagate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
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That we may as well perceive everything as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas, the true Buddha – in the non-dual sense of those terms: not this, not non-this …
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All this applies to all dharmas: ex. the three vajras – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind –; the three spheres – subject, relation / action / process, object –; apparent opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc.; name / label & referent / basis; the three stages of becoming – origination, duration / change, cessation –, the three times & space; all Buddha-dharmas, all words / concepts / ideas / teachings / views / methods / practices / milestones / levels / goals; samsara & nirvana; even the two truths themselves, and their 'Union', even the Ground and its manifestations.
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This way one can still use valid useful dharmas / tools / adapted skillful means … conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, but never in absolute terms.
That is 'acting without acting', without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes about anything involved – ex. subject, relation / action, object; or apparent opposites –;
without falling into any extreme or middle in relation to any group of opposites;
without accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / improving / doing anything in absolute terms,
without rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms,
without changing / defiling / improving / purifying anything in absolute terms,
just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps somebody to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth;
without any di-vision between the three spheres – subject, relation / action, object –;
thus more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now,
more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle.
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The important point is that in Reality as it is, in awakening / enlightenment, there are still valid useful conventional tools / adapted skillful means / qualities / virtues / words / symbols / images / concepts / thoughts / feelings / ideas / truths / views / methods / practices / goals / three spheres – subject / beings / relations / activities, objects / phenomena – / body, speech & mind … that can be used without being used to help all sentient beings still stuck in samsara because of their ignorance of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U3S / Uopp / U2T-2T / Middle Way free from all extremes & middle]. Emptiness does not deny conventional concepts, truths & activities; on the contrary the two truths are primordially inseparable / interdependent / in harmony. The same for samsara & nirvana.)

(i.e. From the Introduction: Summary of the chapters: i.­182-183
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The sameness of all phenomena is purification. Even so, bodhisattvas produce the thought of unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, thinking, "I will complete the perfections and every good quality that benefits beings," [T1] knowing they are illusory [T2 ] [U2T]. In reality, even the bodhisattvas are illusory, so no illusion is training in any illusion. That the Tathāgata has fully awakened is a designation by ordinary convention [T1]. Ultimately there is no clear realization at all [T2] [U2T].
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Sameness is where there is no existing thing, no intrinsic existence, and nothing that has been expressed. It is not the support and not within the range of anyone. In sameness nothing has a distinguishing feature. Ordinary beings and tathāgatas are the same. Phenomena with different marks come to have the same mark because of emptiness. Bodhisattvas remain in sameness, in emptiness [T2], while working for the benefit of others [T1] [U2T].)

Then venerable Subhūti inquired of the Lord,

  • "Lord, for someone who sees reality, defilement does not happen and purification does not happen, and even for someone who does not see reality, defilement does not happen and purification does not happen. This is because, Lord, all dharmas [T1] are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature [T2]  [U2T]. So, there is no defilement and there is no purification for something that does not exist, and there is no defilement and there is no purification even for something that does exist. Lord, if there is no defilement and there is no purification even for something that exists in itself, and if there is no defilement and there is no purification even for something that is the non-existence of an intrinsic nature,
    well then, what is that purification the Lord has been speaking about?"

"Subhūti," he replied,

  • "I have said that which is the sameness of all dharmas is purification."

"Lord, what is the sameness of all dharmas?" he asked.

"Subhūti," he replied,

  • "that suchness, unmistaken suchness, unaltered suchness, the true nature of dharmas, the dharma-constituent, the establishment of dharmas, the certification of dharmas‍ — that establishment of dharmas, that dharma-constituent that remains as it is whether the tathāgatas arise or whether the tathāgatas do not arise‍ — that, Subhūti, is called purification.

  • Subhūti, that term is simply used conventionally by way of ordinary convention;
    it is inexpressible, not amenable to ordinary language,
    and inexpressible by verbal communication, sound, or word."

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti inquired further of him,

  • "Lord, if all dharmas are like an illusion, like a dream, like an echo, like an apparition, like a reflection in the mirror, like a mirage, like a city of the gandharvas, and like a magical creation,
    well then, how,
    given that dharmas are like an illusion, up to like a magical creation,
    are non-existent things and are not materially existent,
    do bodhisattva great beings produce the thought of unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,
    thinking, 'I will complete the perfection of giving,'
    up to 'I will complete the perfection of wisdom,'
    and similarly, 'I will complete the perfection of skillful means, the perfection of prayer, the perfection of power, the perfection of knowledge, and the perfection of clairvoyance;
    I will complete absorption into the four concentrations,
    and I will complete the four immeasurables and four formless absorptions;
    I will cultivate the four applications of mindfulness,
    up to I will cultivate the eightfold noble path;
    I will gain the eight deliverances, nine serial absorptions, ten tathāgata powers, four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, great love, great compassion, confident readiness, and the dhāraṇī gateways;
    I will complete the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha and will gain . . . ,
    up to the thirty-two major marks and eighty minor signs of a great person;
    I will complete the immeasurable light that causes an illumination pervading a great billionfold world system;
    and, having sought out the mental constructions of beings in world systems in the ten directions just by turning my mind to them, I will complete Brahmā's melodious voice that will teach them the Dharma exactly according to their beliefs with a single melodious sound'?"

"Subhūti," he replied,

  • "what do you think, those dharmas you have described, they are like an illusion, like a dream, like an echo, like an apparition, like a reflection in the mirror, like a mirage, like a city of the gandharvas, and like a magical creation, are they not?"

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

  • "If those dharmas are like an illusion, like a dream, up to like a magical creation, well then, Lord, how, given that those dharmas are like an illusion, like a dream, up to like a magical creation, would bodhisattva great beings have practiced the perfection of wisdom?
    Lord, an illusion, a dream, up to a magical creation are unreal, and, Lord, the unreal is unable to practice the perfection of giving, up to practice the perfection of wisdom, up to practice the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening; similarly, the unreal is unable to practice . . . , up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha and fully awaken to the knowledge of all aspects."

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

  • "Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so! The unreal is unable to practice the perfection of giving, up to practice the perfection of wisdom.
    The unreal is unable to practice . . . , up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha and fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.
    What do you think, Subhūti, does the perfection of giving fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, up to does the perfection of wisdom fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening? Do the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening, the fourteen emptinesses, the noble truths, the concentrations, the immeasurables, the formless absorptions, the deliverances, the dhāraṇī gateways, emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness, the clairvoyances, up to the ten tathāgata powers, the four fearlessnesses, the four detailed and thorough knowledges, or the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening?"

"No, Lord."

  • "Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so! The perfection of giving does not fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha do not fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.

And why?

  • Subhūti, it is because all these dharmas have been brought into being and are the outcome of intentions, 837 and the knowledge of all aspects cannot be reached through dharmas that have been brought into being and are the outcome of intentions.

  • "But still, Subhūti, all those dharmas establish the path and bring about the path, even though they do not cause a result to be obtained. In those dharmas, what does not arise and does not stop is also what has no mark.
    Bodhisattva great beings, therefore, starting from the first production of the thought, are aware that those wholesome dharmas they undertake, whatever the wholesome dharma may be‍ — the perfection of giving, up to or the perfection of wisdom, up to or the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha‍ — are all like an illusion.
    But without completing those dharmas‍ — the perfection of giving, up to the perfection of wisdom, up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha‍ — they cannot bring beings to maturity or reach the knowledge of all aspects,
    so whatever the wholesome dharma the bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom undertake, they are aware that all are like a dream,
    up to aware that all are like a magical creation.
    When they are practicing the perfection of wisdom, they are aware that . . . ,
    up to the knowledge of all aspects is like a dream,
    up to aware that it is like a magical creation.
    They are aware that those beings too are practicing a practice like a dream, up to are practicing a practice like a magical creation.
    Therefore bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom apprehend all illusion-like phenomena as things that do not exist, and, apprehending them like that, accomplish the knowledge of all aspects,
    up to apprehend all magical creation-like phenomena as things that do not exist, and, apprehending them like that, reach the knowledge of all aspects.

  • "The perfection of giving cannot be grasped, up to the perfection of wisdom cannot be grasped, up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha cannot be grasped, so bodhisattva great beings, knowing that all phenomena cannot be grasped, set out for unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.

And why?

  • Because all phenomena are like a dream, up to like a magical creation, cannot be grasped and are things that do not exist, and, except that all beings do not know and do not see those phenomena, 838 phenomena that cannot be grasped are not able to reach phenomena that cannot be grasped.

  • "Therefore, bodhisattva great beings set out for unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening for the sake of all beings. Starting from the first production of the thought, whatever gifts they give, they give all for the welfare of beings; whatever morality they guard, whatever patience they practice, whatever effort they make, whatever meditative stabilization they become absorbed in, and whatever wisdom they cultivate, they cultivate all for the sake of beings, not for their own sake.

  • "Bodhisattva great beings would not even set out for unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening except for the sake of all beings. When they practice the perfection of wisdom, bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom free beings stuck in the perception of a being where there is no being, stuck in the perception of self where there is no self‍ — they free from these errors beings stuck in the perception of a creature, a child of Manu, one born of Manu, a living being, one who lives, a person, an individual, one who does, one who feels, one who makes someone else do, a motivator, one who motivates, one who knows, up to one who sees, up to where there is no one who sees. Having freed them from those errors, they establish them in the realm of immortality. Having established them there, habitual ideas do not arise and do not move about, so the habitual idea of a notion of self, up to the habitual idea of the notion of one who does, do not habitually occur. Having forsaken all that moving, shaking, false projection, and thought construction, they regularly become absorbed in and stay with a mind free from false projection.

  • "Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom with skillful means do not personally settle down on any dharma at all, and also establish all beings in non-settling as well, but as an ordinary convention, not ultimately."

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,

  • "Lord, is the dharma a tathāgata has fully awakened to, fully awakened to
    as an ordinary convention or as an ultimate?"

"Subhūti,

  • 'a tathāgata has taught this dharma, a tathāgata has fully awakened to this dharma' is a convention designated by ordinary language, because in 'this dharma has fully awakened to that dharma' there is nothing at all that can be apprehended.

And why?

  • Because 'this dharma has fully awakened to that dharma' falsely considers something a fact, because there is no attainment or clear realization at all dualistically."

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,

  • "Lord, if there is no attainment or clear realization at all dualistically,
    well then, is there an attainment and clear realization non-dualistically?"

"Subhūti,

  • there is no clear realization dualistically and there is no clear realization non-dualistically either.
    Here, where there is no duality and no non-duality, that is clear realization.

And why?

  • Because 'this is clear realization; this clearly realizes' is thought construction.
    In the sameness of dharmas there is no thought construction,
    because the absence of thought construction is the sameness of dharmas."

"Lord, given that dharmas are the non-existence of an intrinsic nature, what is this 'sameness of dharmas'?"

"Subhūti,

  • here where there is no existing thing, 839 no intrinsic existence, and nothing that has been expressed, that is the sameness of dharmas.
    The sameness of dharmas is not something that can be expressed.
    Setting aside the sameness of dharmas, there is no dharma at all that can be apprehended.
    The sameness of dharmas has passed completely beyond all dharmas.
    The sameness of dharmas is not the support and not within the range of simple folk or noble beings."

"Lord, is that sameness of dharmas not within the range even of a tathāgata?"

"Subhūti,

  • that sameness of dharmas is not within the range of all noble beings,
    and neither is it within the range of stream enterers, or once-returners, or non-returners,
    or worthy ones, or pratyekabuddhas, or bodhisattvas, or even tathāgatas."

"Lord, is a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha not in control of the entire range of dharmas?" 840

"Subhūti," he replied,

  • "were the sameness of dharmas one thing and a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha another,
    a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha might have control of the entire range of dharmas,
    but, Subhūti, that sameness that is the sameness of foolish, ordinary people, that sameness of faith followers and Dharma followers, that sameness of stream enterers, and similarly, connect this with that sameness of once-returners, non-returners, worthy ones, and pratyekabuddhas, and that sameness of tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas‍ — there is not the slightest difference in that sameness.
    The sameness of ordinary people and the sameness of noble beings is the same sameness.
    In a sameness that is the same, the duality 'this is an ordinary person, up to this is a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha' does not exist.
    In a sameness that is the same, those dharmas 'this is an ordinary person, up to this is a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha' all cannot be apprehended."

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

  • "Lord, if, in the sameness of all dharmas, 'this is an ordinary person, this is a stream enterer,' up to 'this is a pratyekabuddha, this is a bodhisattva,' up to 'this is a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha' all cannot be apprehended, in that case foolish, ordinary people, faith followers and Dharma followers, stream enterers, once-returners, non-returners, worthy ones, pratyekabuddhas, bodhisattvas, and even tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas would not have specific features."

"Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so!

  • In the sameness of dharmas, foolish, ordinary people, up to tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas do not have specific features."

"Lord, if, in the sameness of dharmas, foolish, ordinary people, faith followers, up to tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas do not have specific features, well then, Lord, from where do the Three Jewels‍ — the Buddha Jewel, Dharma Jewel, and Saṅgha Jewel‍ — appear in the world?"

"What do you think, Subhūti,

  • is the Buddha Jewel one thing, the Dharma Jewel another, the Saṅgha Jewel another, and the sameness of dharmas yet another?"

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

  • "The way I understand the meaning of what you, Lord, have said, is that the Buddha Jewel is not one thing, the Dharma Jewel another, the Saṅgha Jewel another, and the sameness of dharmas yet another. That Buddha Jewel, that Dharma Jewel, that Saṅgha Jewel, and that sameness of dharmas‍ — all those dharmas are not conjoined, are not disjoined, are formless, do not show themselves, and are not obstructed and have only one mark‍ — that is, no mark. So, Lord, how has this presentation of dharmas that have no marks made by the Lord into 'this is an ordinary person, this is a stream enterer, up to this is a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha' come about?"

Venerable Subhūti having said that, the Lord asked him,

  • "Subhūti, were a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha not to have awakened fully to complete awakening, and, having not fully awakened, not made a presentation of dharmas, would it be obvious that there is hell; would it be obvious that there is the animal world, the world of Yama, humans and gods; the Cāturmahā­rājika gods, up to the Para­nirmita­vaśa­vartin, Brahmakāyika, up to those in the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana absorption; the four applications of mindfulness, up to the eightfold noble path; inner emptiness, and similarly, connect this with each, up to the emptiness that is the non-existence of an intrinsic nature, up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha?"

"No, Lord."

  • "So then, Subhūti, that a tathāgata makes a presentation of dharmas without moving from the sameness of dharmas is their personal heroic power."

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,

  • "Lord, is the way in which a tathāgata does not move from the sameness of dharmas how ordinary people, up to pratyekabuddhas do not move from the sameness of dharmas, and similarly how bodhisattvas do not move from the sameness of dharmas?"

"Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so!

  • They do not move from the sameness of dharmas and do not pass beyond the sameness of dharmas.

And why?

  • Because just that suchness, unmistaken suchness, unaltered suchness, true nature of dharmas, dharma-constituent, establishment of dharmas, certification of dharmas, and very limit of reality of tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas
    is itself the suchness, unmistaken suchness, unaltered suchness, true nature of dharmas, dharma-constituent, establishment of dharmas, certification of dharmas, and very limit of reality of ordinary people,
    and just that is the suchness, unmistaken suchness, unaltered suchness, true nature of dharmas, dharma-constituent, establishment of dharmas, certification of dharmas, and 841 very limit of reality
    of faith followers and Dharma followers, Aṣṭamakas, stream enterers, once-returners, non-returners, worthy ones, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas
    they all do not pass beyond the sameness of dharmas.

And why?

  • Because their suchness, unmistaken suchness, unaltered suchness, true nature of dharmas, dharma-constituent, establishment of dharmas, certification of dharmas, and very limit of reality is just that‍ — there is no other 'sameness of dharmas' than those."

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti inquired further of him,

  • "Lord, if just that true dharmic nature of all dharmas is just that true dharmic nature of ordinary people, and if the true dharmic nature of stream enterers, once-returners, non-returners, worthy ones, pratyekabuddhas, bodhisattvas, and tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas is just that as well, in that case, Lord, given that those‍ — namely, form, feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness‍ — have different marks,
    given that the true dharmic nature of form is one thing, of feeling another, of perception another, of volitional factors another, and the true dharmic nature of consciousness another;
    the true dharmic nature of the eyes is one thing, and the true dharmic nature of the ears, nose, tongue, body, and thinking mind another;
    the true dharmic nature of a form one thing, and the true dharmic nature of a sound, a smell, a taste, a feeling, and dharmas another;
    the true dharmic nature of the earth element one thing, and the true dharmic nature of the water element, fire element, wind element, space element, and consciousness element another;
    the true dharmic nature of greed, hatred, and confusion one thing, and the true dharmic nature of instances of views another;
    of the concentrations another, of the immeasurables another, of the formless absorptions another;
    of the applications of mindfulness another, up to of the eightfold noble path another;
    of emptiness another, of signlessness another, of wishlessness another;
    of inner emptiness another, up to of the emptiness that is the non-existence of an intrinsic nature another;
    of the deliverances another, of the absorptions another, of the tathāgata powers another, of the fearlessnesses another, of the detailed and thorough knowledges another, and of the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha another;
    and given that the true dharmic nature of the compounded element is one thing, and of the uncompounded element another,
    in that case, Lord, how do those dharmas with different marks come to have one mark?

  • How have bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom stayed there and made a differentiation of dharmas?

  • Without making a differentiation of dharmas, bodhisattva great beings are not able to practice the perfection of wisdom, so, Lord, how do bodhisattva great beings practice the perfection of wisdom, go from level to level, enter into the secure state of a bodhisattva, having entered into the secure state of a bodhisattva transcend the śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha levels, and having transcended them complete the perfection of the clairvoyances?

  • How do bodhisattva great beings while playing with the clairvoyances complete the perfection of giving, up to complete the perfection of meditative stabilization; while playing, pass on from buddhafield to buddhafield, attend on the lord buddhas and plant wholesome roots in relation to them, and with those wholesome roots bring beings to maturity and purify a buddhafield?"

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

  • "Subhūti, in regard to what you have said‍ — 'If just that true dharmic nature of all dharmas is just that true dharmic nature of ordinary people, and if the true dharmic nature of tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas is just that as well, how is it right that those dharmas with different marks come to have the one mark of the true nature of dharmas?'‍ —
    Subhūti, what do you think, is that which is the true dharmic nature of form not emptiness,
    up to is that which is the true dharmic nature of the Tathāgata not emptiness?"

"It is emptiness, Lord."

  • "Well then, Subhūti, is there any dharma with a distinct mark apprehended in emptiness‍ — form with a distinct mark, up to consciousness with a distinct mark, up to a tathāgata?"

"No, Lord."

  • "Subhūti, from just this explanation you should understand that in the true dharmic nature of dharmas there are no ordinary people and there is nothing other than ordinary people,
    up to there is no tathāgata and there is nothing other than the Tathāgata."

"Lord, is that true nature of dharmas a compounded phenomenon or is it an uncompounded phenomenon?"

"Subhūti,

  • it is not a compounded phenomenon and it is not an uncompounded phenomenon either.
    (i.e. The true nature of any dharma is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable.)
    An uncompounded phenomenon other than a compounded phenomenon cannot be apprehended, and a compounded phenomenon other than an uncompounded phenomenon cannot be apprehended either.
    Therefore, Subhūti, both those dharmas‍ — the compounded element and the uncompounded element‍ — are not conjoined and not disjoined, are formless, cannot be pointed out, do not obstruct, and have only one mark‍ — that is, no mark.
    (i.e. Union of apparent opposites [Uopp]. They are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable. So, we cannot really discriminate / differentiate between them.)
    A tathāgata employs this language according to ordinary convention, but not ultimately.
    (i.e. Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. Everything is appearing but empty, empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently appearing & relatively functional. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].)
    In the ultimate there is no physical volitional factor, no verbal volitional factor, and no mental volitional factor, and in the ultimate something other than a physical volitional factor, verbal volitional factor, and mental volitional factor cannot be apprehended.
    That which is the sameness of compounded and uncompounded dharmas is the ultimate [Uopp / U2T-opp].

  • "Therefore, bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom do not move from the ultimate [T2], all the while doing the work that bodhisattvas have to do [T1] [U2T]."
    (i.e. Acting without acting, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes; more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now, more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T].)

This was the eighty-first chapter, "Yogic Practice of the Ultimate," 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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