Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 82 - The unborn unchanging unceasing true nature of all dharmas - 382

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 382
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 82 - The unborn unchanging unceasing true nature of all dharmas, including the two truths –

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]

82. THE UNCHANGING TRUE NATURE OF DHARMAS – The inconceivable unborn unchanging unceasing true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharmas – including dependent origination and emptiness –.

(i.e. Résumé: The inconceivable unborn unchanging unceasing true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharmas – including dependent origination / impermanence / non-duality and emptiness – is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths.
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The inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pure true nature & dynamic of all dharmas – including of dependent origination and emptiness – is this inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T].
The unchanging true nature of all dharmas is NOT mere-emptiness, but Genuine-emptiness free from all extremes & middle = the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle.
Also named: the Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Suchness / the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now.
Everything – including dependent origination / impermanence / non-duality and emptiness – is like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: 'There but not there.'
Everything – including dependent origination / impermanence / non-duality and emptiness – is not existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither – for whatever 'this' is. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable.
Emptiness is also empty of inherent existence because dependently co-arisen, merely labeled / imputed by the mind; a simple temporary imperfect concept / tool / adapted skillful means. We can use it but without any attachment / fixation / absolutes.
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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 without training
and directly perceiving / realising / experiencing without 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 – including dependent origination / impermanence / non-duality and emptiness – 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 – including dependent origination / impermanence / non-duality and emptiness – are like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' [U2T].
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That all dharmas – including dependent origination / impermanence / non-duality and emptiness – 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 – including dependent origination / impermanence / non-duality and emptiness –.
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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 – including dependent origination / impermanence / non-duality and emptiness – 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 – including dependent origination / impermanence / non-duality and emptiness – 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.­184-185
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The training in giving gifts and so on is done without moving from the ultimate, without moving from sameness. Whatever the perfection of a phenomenon, the phenomenon is empty of that. When one magical creation has created another magical creation [T1], there is nothing real there that is not empty [T2] [U2T]. "This is a magical creation, this is an emptiness" is a contortion.
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Some phenomena are magically created by afflictive emotions, some by actions;
some are magically created by śrāvakas, some by pratyekabuddhas,
some by bodhisattvas, some by tathāgatas.
Even nirvāṇa, a phenomenon that does not coax you into believing it is true, is just an illusion.
Ultimately, there will never be anything called "the emptiness of an intrinsic nature" that has to be understood.)

Then venerable Subhūti asked the Lord,

"Lord, if the sameness [non-duality] of all dharmas is empty of a basic nature,
then no dharma does anything [in absolute terms],
so how, while dharmas are not doing anything and are not anything at all [T2],
do bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom
i) not move from the ultimate [T2]
ii) but still work for the welfare of beings by way of giving gifts, kind words, beneficial actions, and consistency between words and deeds? [T2] [U2T]"
(i.e. Acting [T1] without acting, but without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes & oppositions [T2] [U2T], without falling for any extreme or middle, without any duality / di-vision between subject & object & action, cause & effect & causality, right & wrong, movement & rest, samsara & nirvana; without accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, without rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively – as possible temporary adapted skillful means [T1]; more and more in accord with the Union of the inconceivable Two Truths [U2T].)

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

"Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so! It is exactly as you say!
Subhūti, emptiness does not do anything that has to be done or that does not have to be done;
there is nothing at all [inherently existing]. 842
Yet, Subhūti, were these beings to understand this by themselves, in that case the Tathāgata would not,
without moving from the ultimate, cause the separation of beings from the perception of self,
and having separated them, free them from saṃsāra with emptiness,
or similarly, cause the separation of beings from the perception of a being, up to the perception of one who does;
the notion of form, up to the perception of consciousness;
the perception of eyes, up to the perception of thinking mind;
the perception of the earth element, up to the perception of the consciousness element;
the perception of compounded element, and having separated them, establish them in the uncompounded element of emptiness."

"Lord, of what is emptiness empty?" 843

"Subhūti, whatever the perception of it, it is empty of that.
(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the two truths themselves [U2T-2T]: ex. Emptiness is also dependently co-arisen, merely labeled / imputed by the mind <==> thus empty of inherent existence. The two truths are also like illusions / reflection / mirages / magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' Also not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; etc.
Bodhisattvas can use [T1] without using concepts like dependent origination and emptiness, the two truths, but without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes & oppositions [T2] [U2T], without falling for any extreme or middle, without any duality / di-vision between subject & object & action, cause & effect & causality, right & wrong, movement & rest, samsara & nirvana; without accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, without rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively – as possible temporary adapted skillful means [T1]; more and more in accord with the Union of the inconceivable Two Truths [U2T].)
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Subhūti, when one magical creation has created another magical creation,
is there any real thing there that is not empty?"

"No, Lord. In a magical creation something real that is not emptiness does not exist.
That which is the emptiness [T2] and that which is the magical creation [T1]
are not joined and not disjoined ‍— both those dharmas are empty of emptiness." 844
(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the two truths themselves [U2T-2T]: The two truths are both empty of inherent existence <==> because conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means, merely labeled / imputed by the mind. The two truths are also like illusions / reflection / mirages / magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' Also not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; etc.)

"Subhūti, what do you think, is there a contortion into 'this is a magical creation; this is an emptiness'?"

"No, Lord. And why? Because in emptiness, those dharmas
'this is a magical creation [T1]' and 'this is an emptiness [T2]' are not two [and not one] [U2T]."
(i.e. Inseparability / interdependence / co-definition / co-relativity / co-dependence / co-emergence / co-evolution / co-cessation / co-transcendence / harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. The two truths are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither.)

"Subhūti, there is no form, or feeling, or perception, or volitional factors, or consciousness
that is not a magical creation, and whatever is a magical creation is an emptiness,"
(i.e. Saying that something is like an illusion / reflection / mirage / magical trick: 'There, but not there.' is saying that it is not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither. It is saying that it is appearing but empty, empty [T2] but still conventionally dependently co-appearing relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. it is saying that its true nature & dynamic is the Union of the Two Truths [U2T].)

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

"Lord, if those ordinary dharmas are magical creations [U2T], are these extraordinary dharmas ‍— namely, the four applications of mindfulness, four right efforts, four legs of miraculous power, five faculties, five powers, seven limbs of awakening, and eightfold noble path; and the ten tathāgata powers, four fearlessnesses, four detailed and thorough knowledges, and eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha ‍— also magical creations [U2T]? And their results, whatever they are, and those persons that appear on account of them ‍— the stream enterer, once-returner, non-returner, worthy one, pratyekabuddha, bodhisattva, and tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha ‍— are those dharmas magical creations [U2T] as well?"

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

"Subhūti, there where all dharmas are thus magical creations [U2T], some are magically created by śrāvakas, some are magically created by pratyekabuddhas, some are magically created by bodhisattvas, some are magically created by tathāgatas, some are magically created by afflictive emotions, and some are magically created by actions, 845 so in that way all dharmas are like a magical creation [U2T]."
(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas – pure or impure – [U2T-all].)

"Lord, are this 'abandonment,' and those other dharmas ‍— the result of stream enterer, result of once-returner, result of non-returner, and state of a worthy one ‍— also magical creations [U2T]? And are those other dharmas ‍— the pratyekabuddha level, the buddha level, and the elimination of all residual impressions, connections, and afflictions ‍— also magical creations [U2T]?"

"Subhūti, whatever the dharma, be it a production or cessation, it is a magical creation [U2T]."

"Lord, what is the dharma that is not a magical creation?"

"Subhūti, that which has no production (dependent origination) and no cessation is not a magical creation [U2T]."

"And what, Lord, is that?"

"It is nirvāṇa ‍— that which has the quality of not coaxing you into believing it is true.
Those dharmas are not a magical creation."

"Lord, according to what you have said, Lord, that 'not moving from emptiness and not stained by duality either there is no dharma at all that is not emptiness,' then even that which has the dharma of not coaxing you into believing it is true, nirvāṇa, is magically created [U2T]."

"Exactly so, Subhūti, exactly so! Subhūti, all dharmas are empty of an intrinsic nature [U2T]. They have not been made by śrāvakas, have not been made by pratyekabuddhas, have not been made by bodhisattva great beings, and have not been made by tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas. That [T1] which is empty of an intrinsic nature [T2 ] [U2T] is nirvāṇa."

The Lord having said that, venerable Subhūti asked him,

"Lord, if a person who is beginning the work is going to understand the emptiness of an intrinsic nature [U2T], how should they be advised and instructed?"

"Subhūti, does a thing that really existed before become a thing that does not exist later?
Subhūti, here there is no existent thing, nor a non-existent thing, and there is not something's own existence (self-production), nor any existence from something else (other-production), so how will there ever be anything called 'emptiness of an intrinsic nature' that has to be understood?"
(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the two truths themselves [U2T-2T].)

This was the eighty-second chapter, "The Unchanging True Nature 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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