Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 86 - The explanation of dharmas not coming or going - 386

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 386
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 86 - The explanation of tathāgatas not coming or going –

Source: https://read.84000.co/translation/toh10.html

More Analysis of Mahayana Sutras : https://www.gilehtblog.com/2022/07/toc-400.html


[Back to Résumés of chapters 42-87]

[Introductory notes:

  • All Buddhist teachings, including the Prajnaparamita Sutras, are about
    awakening from the illusions of our indirect (dualistic, conceptual) knowledge,
    from our mistaken motivations and actions based on this indirect knowledge,
    from the limitless & centerless self-conditioning / karmic cycle based on our ignorance.
    -
    All Buddhist teachings, including the Prajnaparamita Sutras, are about
    awakening to the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now (direct knowledge),
    and to choose & act more and more in accord with it.
    -
    So it is not about improving our capacity for discrimination / differentiation;
    it is not about 'accepting / affirming / seeking / doing this'
    while 'rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / stopping / not-doing that'
    as if things were inherently existing,
    and having inherently existing characteristics / properties / attributes / qualities / relations / oppositions / processes / activities.
    -
    It is more about personally spontaneously non-dualistically non-conceptually
    directly perceiving / realising / experiencing the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of all dharmas [U2T].
    -
    It is this inconceivable 'non-dualistic non-conceptual non-conditioned pure direct knowledge / wisdom' that is the liberating factor.
    That is the perfection of wisdom (Prajnaparamita).

  • This true nature of Reality as it is here & now, true nature & dynamic of all dharmas,
    is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
    It is beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations,
    beyond all conditioning / karma. It is beyond all conditioned indirect knowledge and activities based on them.
    It is beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation / dualities,
    causality / production / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time.
    -
    And 'beyond / free-from / transcending' does not mean that we need to
    reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / stop / not-do those,
    but just to directly realise their inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is here & now [U2T],
    -
    [U2T] We need to directly realise that all dharmas are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent / caused / functional <==> and being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma [U3S], not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional / useless / meaningless. And that one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T].
    To understand and then directly realise the exact nature of the inter-relation between those two aspects / truths (dependent origination and emptiness) is the ultimate realisation of a Buddha.
    -
    [U3S] We need to directly realise that all perceived objects / phenomena are co-dependent / co-emergent / co-evolving with the subject / mind perceiving / fabricating / imagining / merely labeling them [U3S] in dependence of its already accumulated conditioning / karma. The perceived world is not purely objective (objects-only), not purely subjective (subject/mind-only), not purely processes / actions (processes/actions-only), not a combination of them, not none of them. And vice versa for the subject / mind, and relation / action. [U3S / U3S-2T / U3S-opp]
    The non-duality subject / observer and object / observed / world and their inter-relation / action is an important aspect to gain omniscience, liberation from all cognitive obscurations.
    -
    [Uopp] We need to directly realise that apparent opposites of any duality / triad / quad / etc. are not really different / separate / in opposition, but are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony [T1] <==> thus all empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma [Uopp / Uopp-2T / Uopp-3S].
    The non-duality of all dharmas is an important concept / tool; the Union of the three spheres [U3S], and the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] are specific cases of the Union of opposites [Uopp]; and vice versa.
    -
    [U2T-2T] We need to directly realise that even the two truths are like that : they are themselves empty of inherent existence <==> because themselves conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [U2T-2T], themselves merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S-2T]; themselves two inseparable apparent opposites [Uopp-2T].

The two truths and their relation:

  • T1: The first truth, relative truth, covers the multiplicity of conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means, merely labeled / imputed / imagined / co-created by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma (in a limitless and centerless cycle [U3S]), not completely non-existence / non-causality / non-functionality.
    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).
    The conventional / relative truth covers everything physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; all subjects / beings, relations / actions, objects / phenomena; all apparent opposites; even the two truths themselves. It covers all tools, adapted skillful means, words, symbols, images, concepts, ideas, truths, views, methods, practices, milestones, goals, teachings, all dharmas of the Buddha-dharma, even the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Union of the Two Truths. It covers everything in both samsara & nirvana, pure & impure, enlightened or unenlightened.

  • T2: The second truth covers the unicity of the emptiness of inherent existence of all dharmas, not real existence / causality / functionality.

  • U2T: These two truths, like any other pair of apparent opposites, are not really separate and in opposition, but are more like: inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony [T1] <==> thus themselves empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T-2T]. We call their inconceivable inter-relation 'the Union of the Two Truths'; but it is not like the coming together of two previously separate / independent things. They are more like: primordially not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma.

  • The two truths (dependent origination and emptiness) are mere temporary imperfect tools, a raft,
    to help us to get to the 'inconceivable' by refuting what 'Reality as it is' is not;
    by refuting all conditioned extreme views, like:
    existence / dharma, non-existence / non-dharma, both together, neither;
    – having characteristics / properties / attributes / qualities / features / relations / oppositions / processes / activities / changes, not having characteristics / properties / attributes / qualities / features / relations / oppositions / processes / activities / changes, both together, neither;
    – being joined, being disjoined, both together, neither;
    – being limited / spatially / timely, unlimited / spaceless / timeless, both together, neither;
    difference / manyness / diversity / duality, identity / oneness / sameness / non-duality, both together, neither;
    permanence / continuity / eternity, impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation, both together, neither;
    dependence / causality / production / functionality, independence / acausality / non-production / non-functionality, both together, neither;
    emptiness, non-emptiness, both together, neither;
    conventional / relative / illusory / unreal / false, absolute / universal / non-illusory / real / true, both together, neither;
    dependent origination [T1 - 1st truth only], emptiness of inherent existence [T2 - 2nd truth only],
      both truths together [2T - as if different and in opposition], neither of the two truths [1T - as if identical and one];
    subject / mind, relation / action / process, object / phenomena, a combination of those, none of those;
    past, present, future, a combination of those, none of those;
    individuality, collectivity, universality, a combination of those, none of those;
    being equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / free / enlightened,
      being unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary / incomplete / unenlightened, both together, neither;
    – originated/born / existent / changing / ceasing/dying, unarisen / non-existent / unchanging / unceasing, both together, neither;
    describable / conceivable / comparable, indescribable / inconceivable / incomparable, both together, neither;
    – with name & sign / existent / wishful, signlessness / emptiness / wishfulness, both together, neither;
    'this', 'not-this', both together, neither – for whatever 'this' is.

  • So, in a sense, all dharmas – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena; of samsara or nirvana – are like illusions / reflections / mirages / dreams / echos / magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' Not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). They are like illusions … but not exactly the same. Ex. Dreaming that a bus is running toward you cannot permanently injure you; the same for a monster on TV.

  • 'The inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T]' is the inconceivable unique all-encompassing timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, true nature & dynamic of all dharmas in both samsara & nirvana. It is the only thing that is like that: unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing. It is also called the Ground / Basis / Source / Genuine-emptiness / Buddha-nature / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Primordial awareness / the very limit of reality / Dharma-constituent … It looks like an 'ultimate' but nobody should grasp at it, get attached to it either. It is just like a finger pointing at the moon, not the moon itself, which is indescribable / inconceivable, and has to be directly perceived / realised / experienced in the here & now. It is what meditators are trying to directly perceive / realise / experience, their true nature as it is here & now, the true nature of their mind / subject inseparable from all phenomena / object: not one, not two, not both together, not neither. But this Ground is inseparable from its manifestations [UGM]; so it is not by rejecting appearances / thinking / concepts / the world that one will directly perceive his/her true nature as it is here & now. It is by directly realising that everything, all manifestations inseparable from the Ground, partake its primordial qualities: timelessness, spacelessness, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, enlightenment – in the non-dual sense of these words: not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither. Everything is this Ground / Union of the Two Truths [U2T].

The two truths in terms of activities:

  • T1: The first truth covers acting more and more in accord with valid useful conventional / relative / inter-subjective truths, views, methods, practices, milestones, goals, teachings … It is using valid useful conventional / relative / inter-subjective tools, adapted skillful means, words, symbols, images, concepts, ideas, truths, views, methods, practices, milestones, goals, teachings; thus acting more and more in accord with the first truth: dependent origination, relativity, causality, not complete non-existence / non-causality / non-functionality.

  • T2: The second truth covers acting without acting in absolute terms, without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes about anything involved – subject, relation / action, objects –; without falling into any extreme or middle (ex. non-existence / nothingness / mere-emptiness / nihilism); not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / improving / doing in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / stopping / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively; without any di-vision between the three spheres; thus more and more the second truth: the emptiness of inherent existence of all dharmas.

  • U2T: Acting more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T] is acting more and more in accord with valid useful conventional truths, methods, goals … but without grasping at anything (ex. subject / cause, relation / action / causality / production, object / effect) as if inherently existing and with inherently existing characteristics / properties / attributes / qualities / relations / opposition / actions, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes.

  • Examples:
    existing without existing, being without being, having without having,
    acting without acting without any attachment / fixation / absolutes, acquiring without acquiring,
    arising without arising, changing without changing, moving / relaxing / resting without moving / relaxing / resting, ceasing without ceasing,
    seeing / perceiving without seeing / perceiving,
    apprehending without apprehending,
    constructing without constructing thoughts,
    hoping without hoping, desiring without desiring, fearing without fearing, ignoring without ignoring,
    understanding without understanding,
    knowing without knowing, finding without finding,
    paying attention to without paying attention to, standing in without standing in, settling down on without settling down on,
    entertaining without entertain the notion of the three spheres,
    producing / causing / making / occasioning without producing / causing / making / occasioning,
    generating without generating the motivations of bodhicitta,
    practicing without practicing the six paramitas,
    giving without giving, guarding without guarding morality, cultivating without cultivating patience, making without making effort,
    meditating / contemplating without meditating / contemplating, cultivating without cultivating wisdom,
    perfecting without perfecting, completing without completing,
    mastering without mastering, being skilled in without being skilled in,
    training without training, teaching without teaching, leading / guiding without leading / guiding, establishing without establishing,
    purifying / defiling without purifying / defiling the five aggregates, accomplishing without accomplishing,
    incorporating without incorporating, reaching without reaching, realising without realising,
    experiencing without experiencing, actualising without actualising, illuminating without illuminating,
    awakening without awakening, unifying without unifying,
    thinking without thinking, conceptualising without conceptualising, differentiating without differentiating,
    labeling without labeling, designating without designating, characterising without characterising, defining without defining,
    separating without separating, joining without joining, unifying without unifying,
    comparing without comparing, ranking without ranking, accumulating without accumulating,
    accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing without accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing,
    rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / stopping / subtracting / not-doing without rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / stopping / not-doing,
    composing without composing, liberating without liberating.

  • 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 truths & activities; on the contrary the two truths are primordially inseparable / interdependent / in harmony. The same for samsara & nirvana.

The three spheres: ex.

  • i. The subject / actor / goer / perceiver / knower / acquirer / owner / characteristic,

  • ii. The relation / action / going / perceiving / knowing / acquiring / having / characterisation,

  • iii. The object / result / destination / perceived / known / acquired / possessions / karma / 5 aggregates / body & speech & mind / characterised.

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 visible.

Note: All comments within (i.e. …) or [...] are from the commentator (me), not the translators.)




86. DHARMODGATA – The explanation of tathāgatas not coming or going.

(i.e. Résumé: The explanation of tathāgatas not coming or going – There are no real three stages of becoming – origination / coming, duration / existence / change, cessation / going – for anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. All dharmas are empty of inherent existence <==> because dependently co-arisen, merely labeled / imputed by the mind. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other one. 'All dharmas' includes the Tathāgatas and this Perfection of Wisdom. So this spiritual yearning has to be put in its rightful context. There is no ultimate absolute to grasp / accept / affirm / seek, and nothing to reject / negate / abandon / destroy / stop in absolute terms.
-
To get to the Perfection of Wisdom one needs to be ready to let go of all attachments – including attachment to the body of Tathagata –. Like being happy when he comes, and unhappy when he goes. Like desperately seeking an absolute truth / perfection of wisdom.
-
In Reality as it is there are no real coming, existence / abiding / changing, and going of anything; no real three stages of becoming for anything – origination / birth / production, duration / life / change, cessation / death / stopping –. So there is nothing to accept, nothing to reject in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / intersubjectively, as possible temporary imperfect tools / adapted skillful means. In Reality as it is, nothing really comes / originates / arises, exists, changes / gets-defiled or purified, and goes / ceases in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
-
"We need to understand analytically the way things really are  [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]."
-
What we are seeking without seeking, the tathāgata, is the inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless limitless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Ground / Basis / Source / Genuine-emptiness / Buddha-nature / very limit of reality / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths beyond all extremes & middle [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]. It does not come or go; it is impossible to be separated from it; and it is not an absolute to grasp.
-
Note: It would be ill-advised to think that one has to mutilate his/her body in order to show respect for his/her guru, or in order to reach the perfection of Wisdom. That is not acting in accord with Reality as it is here & now.
No respectable guru / teacher would expect / require that.
This human life is rare and very precious; it should not be wasted in ill-advised desperate demonstrations of artificial devotion.
The problem is not our body, speech and mind, not our five aggregates, not appearances, but our attachment to them, our ignorance about their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now.)

(i.e. From chapter 85:
-
"Bodhisattvas are not attached to or obstructed by anything." 1075
-
At that very moment, son of a good family,
-
you should understand analytically the way things really are [U2T].
[i.e. The true nature & dynamic of our mind, of the limitless and centerless karmic cycle [U3S].]
-
And what, son of a good family, is the way things really are?
-
It is this: all dharmas are without defilement and are without purification [Uopp].
-
And why?
-
Because all dharmas [T1] are empty of an intrinsic nature [T2] [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T].
-
All dharmas [T1] are devoid of a being, devoid of a living being, devoid of a person, [T2] [U2T]
like an illusion, like a dream, like an echo, and like a mirage. (i.e. 'There, but not there.' [U2T].))

(i.e. Also from chapter 85:
____________________________________________________________________________
"So, son of a good family, I am asking you__________________________________
where those tathāgatas came from and where those tathāgatas have gone."
____________________________________________________________________________
Please teach me about the coming and going of those tathāgatas
so we will be knowledgeable about the coming and going of those tathāgatas
and will not become separated from seeing the tathāgatas.' ")

(i.e. Logic of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, of the unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine Ground / basis / Source / Genuine-emptiness / Buddha-nature / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths beyond all extremes & middle:
-
Because {all dharmas are like a Union of being empty of inherent existence, not really existent / caused / functional [T2] <==> because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S], not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional; and vice versa, one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]} <==> then {all dharmas are not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither – for whatever 'this' is [tetralemma]}.
And vice versa, one implies / proves / enables the other: [tetralemma] <==> [Union of the Two Truths].
-
Meaning, the true nature & dynamic of all dharmas is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s);
-
All dharmas are beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma, beyond all laws / causality / production, form / matter-energy, space & time.
-
All dharmas are like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' [U2T].
-
There are no real three stages of becoming for anything – origination / birth / coming / production, duration / life / change, cessation / death / going / stopping, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
-
There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / differentiate / judge them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
In that sense there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / stop / 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 Truths [U2T].)


"Having said this, the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata said to the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita,

  • 'Son of a good family, tathāgatas have not come from anywhere and have not gone anywhere [in absolute terms].
    They do not move from suchness.
    The Tathāgata is suchness.

  • " 'Son of a good family, there is no coming or going [in absolute terms] in what is not produced [in absolute terms].
    The Tathāgata is not produced.

  • " 'Son of a good family, there is no coming or going [in absolute terms] in the very limit of reality.
    The Tathāgata is the very limit of reality.

  • " 'Son of a good family, there is no coming or going [in absolute terms] in emptiness.
    The Tathāgata is emptiness.

  • " 'Son of a good family, there is no coming or going [in absolute terms] in things as they really are.
    The Tathāgata is things as they really are.

  • " 'Son of a good family, there is no coming or going [in absolute terms] in what is separated from greed.
    The Tathāgata is separated from greed.

  • " 'Son of a good family, there is no coming or going [in absolute terms] in a cessation.
    The Tathāgata is a cessation.

  • " 'Son of a good family, there is no coming or going [in absolute terms] in the element of space.
    The Tathāgata is the element of space.

  • " 'Son of a good family, the Tathāgata is not other than those dharmas.
    Son of a good family, the suchness of those dharmas
    and the suchness of the Tathāgata is a single suchness.
    Suchness, son of a good family, cannot be divided.
    Son of a good family, the one suchness is beyond being counted as two or three because of this‍ — namely, it is not a state of being.

  • " 'Son of a good family, it is just like this: a man oppressed by the sun at midday in the middle of the last month of the hot season might see a shimmering mirage and run after it, thinking, "I will drink some water from it." What do you think, son of a good family, has that water come from somewhere and gone somewhere? Has it gone anywhere, to the ocean in the eastern direction, or the ocean in the southern direction, or the ocean in the western direction, or the ocean in the northern direction?'

"Sadāprarudita said,

  • 'Son of a good family, given that a mirage has no water, how could it come or go?
    Son of a good family, a man with a naturally childish disposition, a naturally confused disposition, oppressed by the sun, sees a mirage and forms the notion of water where there is no water, even though, in its basic nature, water does not exist there.'

" 'Exactly so, son of a good family, exactly so,' replied Dharmodgata.

  • 'And so too, son of a good family, do those with deep-seated attachment to a tathāgata's form or voice mentally construct the coming or going of a tathāgata.
    Those who mentally construct a coming and going of a tathāgata [in absolute terms] are all said to have naturally childish dispositions, naturally confused dispositions, just like the person who forms the notion of water where there is no water.
    And why?
    It is because a tathāgata should not be viewed as a form body; the tathāgatas are dharma bodies.
    Son of a good family,
    _______________________________________________________________________________
    the true nature of dharmas does not come or go [in absolute terms],
    and similarly there is no coming or going of the tathāgatas [in absolute terms].
    _______________________________________________________________________________

  • " 'Son of a good family, it is just like this:
    there is no coming or going of a group of elephants, or a group of horses, or a group of chariots, or a group of infantry conjured up by a magician.
    Similarly, son of a good family,
    _____________________________________________________________________
    there is no coming or going of a tathāgata's body [in absolute terms].
    _____________________________________________________________________

  • " 'Son of a good family, it is just like this:
    in a dream a person who has fallen asleep sees one or two or three or four or five or ten or twenty or thirty or forty or fifty or even more tathāgatas than that, but when they wake up, they do not see even a single tathāgata. Son of a good family, what do you think, did those tathāgatas come from anywhere or go anywhere?'

" 'Son of a good family,' replied Sadāprarudita,

  • 'there is no dharma established at all in a dream.
    A dream is lie.
    It is not real.' 1106

" 'Exactly, son of a good family,' said Dharmodgata.

  • 'The Tathāgata has said,
    _______________________________
    "All dharmas are like a dream."
    _______________________________
    Son of a good family, those who do not understand that the Tathāgata's teaching "all dharmas are like a dream" is in accord with reality have a deep-seated attachment to a tathāgata as a name body 1107 or form body.
    -
    Those who do not understand the true nature of dharmas like that mentally construct the coming or going of a tathāgata.
    Those foolish, ordinary people who accept that a tathāgata has come or has gone, they all have gone, are going, 1108 and will go through the six forms of life in cyclic existence, and they are all far from the perfection of wisdom; they are all far from the buddha-dharmas.

  • " 'Furthermore, son of a good family, those who know that the Tathāgata's teaching
    "all dharmas are like a dream" is in accord with the reality that all dharmas are like a dream
    __________________________________________________________________
    do not mentally construct the coming or going [in absolute terms]
    or production or stopping of any dharma [in absolute terms].
    __________________________________________________________________
    -
    Those who do not mentally construct the coming or going or production or stopping of any dharma
    ________________________________________________
    know a tathāgata as the true nature of dharmas.
    ________________________________________________
    -
    Those who know a tathāgata as the true nature of dharmas
    _________________________________________________________________________________
    do not mentally construct the coming or going of a tathāgata [in absolute terms].
    _________________________________________________________________________________
    -
    Those who know that the true dharmic nature of a tathāgata is like that
    are close to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,
    and they are practicing the perfection of wisdom.
    -
    A city's almsgiving to those śrāvakas of the Lord will not be in vain.
    They are each of them worthy of the world's gifts.

  • " 'Son of a good family, it is just like this:
    The jewels that are in the ocean do not come from the eastern direction, and they do not come from the south, west, or north, the intermediate directions, or below or above‍ — from anywhere in the ten directions‍ — but still those jewels arise in the ocean based on the wholesome roots of those beings.
    They do not arise without a cause;
    they have originated dependently, contingent on cause, conditions, and support,
    and the jewels that are held back have not changed places to be somewhere else in the worlds of the ten directions.
    But still, when the conditions are right, those jewels separate themselves out,
    and when conditions are not right, the separating out of those jewels does not occur. 1109

" 'Similarly, son of a good family, when a body of those tathāgatas comes into being,
it does not come from anywhere and it does not go anywhere [in absolute terms] [T2] in the worlds of the ten directions,
but still the body of those lord buddhas is not without a cause.
It has come into being from earlier practice, contingent on cause and conditions,
from the maturation of past actions, originated from its cause [T1] [U2T].
When those conditions are right, that body comes into being,
and when conditions are not right, the coming into being of that body does not manifest.

  • " 'Son of a good family, it is just like this:
    When a sound is produced from a vīṇā, it does not come from anywhere, and when it stops it does not go anywhere‍ — it does not change places to be somewhere else.
    It originates dependently, contingent on causes and contingent on conditions‍ — namely, contingent on an oval-shaped trough, contingent on a leather skin, contingent on strings, contingent on a bow, contingent on the neck, and contingent on the energy the person expends on it.
    The sound originates from the vīṇā but that sound does not come out of the oval-shaped trough of the vīṇā, does not come out of the leather skin, does not come out of the strings, does not come out of the bow, does not come out of the neck, and does not come out of the energy the person expends on it.
    Rather, it resounds from the complete collection of them.
    Also, the stopping of that sound does not go anywhere.

" 'Similarly, son of a good family, the bodies of those lord buddhas
come into being contingent on causes and contingent on conditions [T1].
They come into being not from a single cause and from a single condition
but from many wholesome roots.
The separating out of a body of a buddha is not from a single wholesome root,
and it is also not without a cause,
coming into being from the complete collection of many causes and conditions [T1].
It has not come from anywhere [in absolute terms] [T2],
and, when the collection of causes and conditions is not there,
it also has not gone anywhere [in absolute terms] [T2].

  • " 'So, son of a good family,
    ____________________________________________________________________
    you should view the coming and going of those tathāgatas like that.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Son of a good family,
    ________________________________________________________________________________
    you should comprehend the true dharmic nature of all dharmas like that as well.
    ________________________________________________________________________________
    -
    Son of a good family,
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________
    so long as you have the awareness that all dharmas have not been produced and have not stopped,
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________
    you will be destined for unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening
    and will definitely be practicing the perfection of wisdom and skillful means.'

"When this explanation of tathāgatas not coming or going had been given, the earth shook greatly:
the entirety of this great billionfold world system shook in six ways, that is, it shook, shook greatly, and shook violently; it quaked, quaked greatly, and quaked violently.
All of Māra's habitations were churned up and unnerved, and the grass, branches of the trees, and forests, as many as there were, in the great billionfold world system all bowed specifically in the direction of the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata.
Flowers out of season were strewn from the sky above and a rain of flowers descended.
Śatakratu, head of the gods, and the Four Mahārājas also showered down on, showered over, and showered right over the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita divine sandalwood powder and divine flowers and said, 'Through your power today we have also heard a lecture sprung from the ultimate that is an explanation that is antithetical to all worlds and is not for those who take a stand on the perishable collection.'

"Then the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita asked the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata,

  • 'Son of a good family, what caused this great shaking of the world to happen? What is the reason for it?'

" 'Son of a good family,' replied Dharmodgata,

  • 'it is because, on account of my explanation, when you asked about tathāgatas not coming and not going,
    eight thousand beings gained forbearance for the nonproduction of dharmas,
    eighty billion produced the thought of unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,
    and for sixty-four thousand beings the dust-free and stainless Dharma eye became clear.'

"Then the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita became endowed with an immense joy and delight, thinking,

  • 'I have found something excellent to find, because this explanation from my asking about the perfection of wisdom, and about tathāgatas not coming and going, has worked for the welfare of so many beings.
    Just because of this, I, with the finest wholesome root to bring unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening to completion, will have no more uncertainty in regard to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.
    I will, without doubt, become a tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha.'
    Endowed with that joy and delight he levitated to the height of seven palm trees into the sky and, standing there at the height of seven palm trees, thought, 'Standing in the sky, I should show respect to the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata.'

"Then Śatakratu, head of the gods, seeing the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita levitating, and knowing in his mind what he was thinking, gave him divine mandārava flowers and said,

  • 'Son of a good family, show respect to the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata with these flowers. This is my assistance to you, because, son of a good family, through your power, the needs of many thousands of beings have been looked after. Son of a good family, those enthusiastic beings who remain with such enthusiasm as you have for infinite, incalculable eons for the sake of all beings are hard come by.'

"The bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita then took those flowers from Śatakratu, head of the gods, and showered them down on, showered them over, and showered them right over the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata and with his own body hovered over him and said to him,

  • 'Son of a good family, I give myself to you from now on, to wait on you and to serve you.' Having offered himself, he stayed in front of him with his palms cupped together in a gesture of supplication.

"Then that merchant's daughter and the retinue of five hundred said to the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita,

  • 'Son of a good family, we too give ourselves to you. Through this wholesome root, may we too acquire those dharmas and may we too wait on the buddhas and bodhisattvas along with you and remain close by you.'

"The bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita then said to that merchant's daughter and the five hundred,

  • 'Young women, if you are here with a surpassing intention in regard to me, then give yourself to me with that noblest intention and I will accept you.'

"The young women replied,

  • 'Out of an absolutely surpassing intention in regard to you we are imitating you. With the noblest of intentions we give ourselves to you to do with as you want.'

"Then the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita, having adorned the five hundred led by the merchant's daughter with all adornments, and having decked out the five hundred carriages, gave them all to the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata, saying,

  • 'I offer these attendants and these five hundred carriages to you for your enjoyment and use.'

"Then Śatakratu, head of the gods, complimented that son of a good family,

  • 'Excellent, excellent, son of a good family!
    Bodhisattva great beings should give all their personal possessions away like that.
    Bodhisattva great beings with that sort of thought to give things away will quickly and fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening. In that way, having worshiped the Dharma preachers, they are able to hear about the perfection of wisdom and skillful means, because those previous tathāgatas, worthy ones, unsurpassed, perfectly complete buddhas while they were previously pursuing the career of a bodhisattva also continually gave things away like that, inquired about the perfection of wisdom and skillful means, and fully accomplished unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.'

"Then, to fully grow the wholesome root of the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita, the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata accepted the five hundred girls led by the merchant's daughter and the five hundred carriages and, having accepted them, returned them to the son of a good family, Sadāprarudita.

"Then the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata got up from his seat and went into his house. When the sun had set it occurred to the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita to think, 'I have come like this on account of wanting the Dharma, so were I to sit or lie down it would not be becoming of me. It would not be good, so I will remain in these two ways of carrying myself‍ — either standing or walking about‍ — until the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata comes back to teach the Dharma.

"The bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata then became absorbed in a meditative stabilization for seven years, remaining in the countless, infinite meditative stabilizations of a bodhisattva that come about from the perfection of wisdom and skillful means.
And during those seven years the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita did not think about sense experience, did not think a malicious thought, did not think a violent thought, and was not greedy for a taste.
On the contrary, he only thought, 'When will the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata emerge? We must arrange the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata's Dharma seat on which the son of a good family will sit and expound the Dharma, and we must sprinkle water on the ground in the place where the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata will be teaching the perfection of wisdom and skillful means, and we must smooth it out well1110 and strew various flowers upon it.'
Those five hundred girls led by the merchant's daughter followed the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita in the training, passing the time in the two ways of carrying themselves and using him as the model for everything they had to do.

"Then the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita heard a divine sound announcing,
'In a week the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata will emerge from meditative stabilization, and having emerged he will take a seat in the middle of the city and teach the Dharma.'
Having heard that divine voice, the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita felt great pleasure, rapture, and joy;
he was overjoyed and felt a mental happiness.
Together with the five hundred girls led by the merchant's daughter, he swept that spot and set up a Dharma seat decorated with all the jewels.
Then those young women each took off their upper shawls and spread them over that seat on which the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata was to sit and teach the Dharma.

"Then, when the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita wanted to sprinkle water on that spot, Māra the wicked one made all the water disappear so that the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita, unable to find water anywhere, would become depressed and unhappy and change his mind, so that his wholesome root would shrivel up and those acts of worship would lose their luster. Māra having made the water disappear, Sadāprarudita sought everywhere but could not find water.

"It then occurred to the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita to think, 'I will stab my body and sprinkle my blood on this spot. Why? Because this spot is very dusty, and it would not be proper were dust particles to come from here 1111 and land on the body of the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata. What should I do with this body of mine that is definitely subject to destruction? It is better my body is destroyed in this sort of action than in an action over which I have no power. Put there because of the desire for sense gratification caused by sense objects, it is absolutely not appropriate that many hundreds and thousands of such bodies of mine have been destroyed under such conditions.'

"The bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita then took a sharp sword, stabbed all over his body, and sprinkled his blood all around on that very spot; and all those five hundred young ladies led by the merchant's daughter, following the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita in their training, took sharp swords, stabbed all over their own bodies, and sprinkled their blood on that spot too. Māra the wicked one found no change in the minds of the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita and those young ladies that would have provided him an opportunity to stand in the way of their virtuous practice.

"Then it occurred to Śatakratu, head of the gods, to think, 'It is amazing how much this bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita wants the Dharma, how firm he is in his commitment, how armed he is with the great armor, how little he concerns himself with his body, life, and possessions, and how he has set out in order to reach unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, which is to say, with the surpassing aspiration, "Having fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, I will free beings from the infinite sufferings of saṃsāra." '

"Then Śatakratu, head of the gods, employed his controlling power to turn all that blood into divine sandalwood water, and the supreme, sublime, inconceivable fragrance of that divine sandalwood water completely filled five hundred yojanas around that spot with its aroma.

"Śatakratu, head of the gods, then said to the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita,

  • 'Excellent, excellent, son of a good family! Your perseverance is inconceivable, and your desire for the Dharma and your search for the Dharma are unsurpassed. Son of a good family, those previous tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas also fully accomplished unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening with such a surpassing aspiration, such perseverance, and such a desire for the Dharma.'

"Then it occurred to the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita to wonder,

  • 'I have spread out the Dharma seat for the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata, I have swept this spot, and I have sprinkled it, but now, where am I going to find flowers to strew over this spot and to strew over the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata when he is explaining the Dharma?'

"Śatakratu, head of the gods, then said to the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita,

  •  'Son of a good family, take these divine mandārava flowers and spread flowers around on those places.
    You should also strew them over the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata when he is sitting on the lion throne explaining the Dharma.'
    Saying that, he gave him a thousand loads of mandārava flowers.

The bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita took those flowers and spread some of them on that spot, and some of them he kept to strew over the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata.

"Then, after seven years had passed, the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata emerged from meditative stabilization, came specifically to where the seat for teaching the Dharma was, sat on the seat that had been spread out, and taught the perfection of wisdom at the head of a surrounding retinue of many hundreds of thousands.
The moment the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita saw the bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata, he obtained a happiness just like that of a monk when he is absorbed in the first concentration with single pointed attention.

"You should know this bodhisattva great being Dharmodgata's exposition of the perfection of wisdom as this:

All dharmas are the same, so the perfection of wisdom is the same; 1112
all dharmas are isolated, so the perfection of wisdom is isolated;
all dharmas do not move, so the perfection of wisdom does not move;
all dharmas do not falsely project anything, so the perfection of wisdom does not falsely project anything;
all dharmas are not puffed up, so the perfection of wisdom is not puffed up;
all dharmas have one taste, so the perfection of wisdom has one taste;
all dharmas are limitless, so the perfection of wisdom is limitless;
all dharmas do not arise (no coming), so the perfection of wisdom does not arise;
all dharmas do not cease (no going), so the perfection of wisdom does not cease;
space has no limits, so the perfection of wisdom has no limits;
the ocean has no limits, so the perfection of wisdom has no limits;
Sumeru is a complex of colors, 1113 so the perfection of wisdom is a complex of colors;
space is without thought construction, so the perfection of wisdom is without thought construction;
form is limitless, so the perfection of wisdom is limitless, and
similarly, feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness are limitless, so the perfection of wisdom is limitless;
the earth element is limitless, so the perfection of wisdom is limitless;
the water element, fire element, and wind element are limitless, so the perfection of wisdom is limitless;
the space element is limitless, so the perfection of wisdom is limitless; 1114
the diamond-like dharma, 1115 is the same so the perfection of wisdom is the same;
all dharmas are unadulterated, so the perfection of wisdom is unadulterated;
all dharmas are unfindable, so the perfection of wisdom is unfindable;
all dharmas are in the same state of disintegration, 1116 so the perfection of wisdom is in the same state of disintegration;
all dharmas are without exertion, so the perfection of wisdom is without exertion; and
all dharmas are inconceivable, so the perfection of wisdom is inconceivable.

"Then the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita, while seated just like that,

generated the sarva­dharma­samatā meditative stabilization. 1117
He also came into the possession of the sarva­dharma­vivikta meditative stabilization,
the sarva­dharmācalana meditative stabilization,
the sarva­dharmāmanana meditative stabilization,
the sarva­dharmāstambhita meditative stabilization,
the sarva­dharmaikarasa meditative stabilization,
the sarva­dharmāparyanta meditative stabilization,
the sarva­dharmānutpāda meditative stabilization,
the sarva­dharmānirodha meditative stabilization,
the gaganāparyata meditative stabilization,
the samudrāparyanta meditative stabilization,
the meru­vicitra meditative stabilization,
the gaganākalpa meditative stabilization,
the rūpāparyanta meditative stabilization,
the vedanā-, saṃjñā-, saṃskāra-,
and vijñānāparyanta meditative stabilizations,
the pṛthivī­dhātvaparyanta meditative stabilization,
the abdhātu-, tejodhātu-, and vāyu­dhātvaparyanta meditative stabilizations,
the ākāśa­dhātvaparyanta meditative stabilization, 1118
the vajropama meditative stabilization,
the sarva­dharmāsaṃbheda meditative stabilization,
the sarva­dharma­svabhāvānupalabdhi 1119 meditative stabilization,
the sarva­dharmāvibhāvanāsamatā 1120 meditative stabilization,
the sarva­dharma­niśceṣṭa meditative stabilization, and
the sarva­dharmācintya meditative stabilization.
-
Starting with those, the bodhisattva great being Sadāprarudita came into possession of six million meditative stabilization gateways."

This was the eighty-sixth chapter, "Dharmodgata," 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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