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Manual Of Prajna Paramita

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BUDDHIST REFUGE

Level 1of The Perfection of Wisdom (Prajna Paramita)


Reading One: The Three Kinds of Refuge

From the presentation on The Three Refuges found in the Analysis of the Perfection of Wisdom, by Kedrup Tenpa Dargye (1493-1568):


Here we will discuss the line of the root text which says, “The Three Jewels, the Buddha and the rest.” Let us first consider the section of the middle-length sutra on the Mother which includes the lines:

Do not think that this very Knowledge of All Things is something which applies to what you can see, and do not think it is separate from what you can see. Just so, never view what you can see itself as being real.

These are the “Instruction on the Three Jewels,” for they are words from the middle-length sutra on the Mother which give us the following advice:

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These Three Jewels are no place of refuge for persons who seek an ultimate liberation. They are a place of refuge for persons who seek a liberation only in words.

Our analysis of this section will proceed in three parts: a refutation of our opponent’s position, a presentation of our own position, and a rebuttal of their objections.

Here is the second section, in which we present our own position. There is a specific reason why the Three Jewels are established as being the refuges for practitioners of the three classes. From the point of view of cause refuge, practitioners of all three classes take refuge in all three of the Jewels. But from the point of view of result refuge, those of the Listener class aspire chiefly to attain the state of a foe destroyer.

Those of the class of Self-Made Buddhas aspire chiefly to attain that meditative wisdom where they abide in a meditation of cessation, a state where all the obstacles of the mental afflictions have been eliminated.

Those of the Greater Way aspire chiefly to attain the Buddha Jewel, one who possesses that cause within him which will allow him to turn the wheel of the dharma, in its entirety, for disciples of all three classes. This then is the reason why the Three Jewels are established as being refuges for practitioners of the three classes.

The definition of the Buddha Jewel is “That ultimate place of refuge, the one which has completely satisfied both the needs.” There are two kinds of Buddha Jewel: the apparent Buddha Jewel, and the ultimate Buddha Jewel.

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This Buddha Jewel posseses eight different fine qualities, beginning with the quality of being uncaused. As the Higher Line states,

This is the One, the Buddha:

He is uncaused, He is spontaneous,

He is realized by no other way;

He has knowledge, and love, and power;

He has satisfied both the needs.

The definition of the Dharma Jewel is “The enlightened side of truth, either in the form of a cessation, or in the form of a path, or both.” In name only this Jewel can be divided into two kinds: the ultimate Dharma Jewel, and the apparent Dharma Jewel.

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The definition of the Sangha Jewel is “A realized being who possesses any number of the eight fine qualities of knowledge and liberation.” In name only, this Jewel can be divided into two kinds: the ultimate Sangha Jewel, and the apparent Sangha Jewel.

The definition of an ultimate refuge is “Any refuge where the journey along the path has reached its final goal.”

The definition of an apparent refuge is “Any refuge where the journey along the path has not reached its final goal.”

The definition of taking refuge is “Any movement of the mind that acts of its own accord, and consists of hoping that some object outside of one’s self will be able to render one assistance.”

In name only, taking refuge may be divided into two: taking refuge in words, the expression of refuge; and taking refuge in thoughts, the reliance on refuge. An example of the first would be something like the words you use as you take refuge.

The latter is of two types: ordinary taking of refuge, and exceptional taking of refuge. The definition of the first is “Any movement of the mind which acts of its own accord, and consists of hoping that some ordinary type of refuge will render one assistance.”

The definition of the latter is “Any movement of the mind which acts of its own accord, and consists of hoping that any one or number of the Three Jewels will render one assistance.”

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There are five different kinds of this extraordinary taking of refuge: the taking of refuge which is shared with practitioners of a lesser scope, the taking of refuge which is shared with practitioners of a medium scope, the taking of refuge which is shared with practitioners of a greater scope, cause refuge, and result refuge.

Here are their respective definitions. The first is defined as: “First, you feel a personal fear for the sufferings of the births of misery. Second, you believe that the Three Jewels possess the power to protect you from these sufferings. Finally you have a thought which acts of its own accord: it is a hope, or something of the type, that some one or number of the Three Jewels will render you assistance, to protect you from these sufferings.

The second is defined as: “First, you feel a personal fear for each and every suffering of the cycle of life. Second, you believe that the Three Jewels possess the power to protect you from these sufferings. Finally you have a movement of the mind which acts of its own accord: it is a hope, or something of the type, that some one or number of the Three Jewels will render you assistance, to protect you from these sufferings.

The third is defined as: “Any movement of the mind which acts of its own accord, and consists of hoping that any one or number of the Three Jewels will render assistance, to protect every living being from the sufferings of the cycle of life.”

The fourth is defined as: “Any movement of the mind which acts of its own accord, and consists of hoping that any one or number of the Three Jewels, as already achieved in another person, will render assistance.” The fifth is defined as: “Any movement of the mind which acts of its own accord, and consists of hoping that any one or number of the Three Jewels, as they are to be achieved within ones self, will render assistance.”

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There is a specific purpose for taking refuge in the Three Jewels. A temporal purpose is that they can provide you the highest form of protection. The ultimate purpose is to attain the state of enlightenment.

Taking refuge also serves as the foundation for all the different kinds of vows. When you take refuge, you thereby join the ranks of the “ones inside”: you become a Buddhist. This taking refuge acts as well to slam shut the door to the births of misery. These and others are the purpose for taking refuge in the Three.


Reading Two: The Wish for Enlightenment

From the presentation on The Wish for Enlightenment found in the Overview of the Perfection of Wisdom, by Kedrup Tenpa Dargye (1493-1568):

Here we will discuss the lines of the root text which begin with “The wish for enlightenment is, for the benefit of others…” First we will relate this concept to the original texts, and then we will analyze it in detail.

Here is the first. We find the following lines in sutra:

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Sharibu, those who wish to gain total enlightenment, a knowledge of every kind of thing, must train themselves in the perfection of wisdom. Those who wish this, and that, must train themselves in the wisdom perfection.

The root text and commentary include other lines that begin with “The wish for enlightenment is” and continue up to “the twenty-two.” The function of these latter sections is to clarify the hidden meaning of the words of the sutra, including as it does the essential nature of the wish for enlightenment.

As such, we can understand the definition of the wish for enlightenment as “The wish to achieve total enlightenment for the benefit of others.”

Here is the section in which we present our own position. The definition of the greater way’s wish for enlightenment is as follows.

First, it is that main mental awareness belonging to the greater way, which is focused on achieving total enlightenment for the benefit of others, and which is matched with a state of mind that is associated with it: the aspiration to achieve total enlightenment.

Secondly, it is a knowledge belonging to the greater way, which acts as a door for entering the greater way (or is something of the type), and which is included into the activity side of the standard division into the two of “view” and “activity.”

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Here next are the divisions of this wish. Nominally, the wish can be divided into the apparent wish for enlightenment and the ultimate wish for enlightenment. In essence, it can be divided into the wish of prayer and the wish of engagement. In terms of level, it can be divided into the four types that begin with “the wish that acts out of belief.” In terms of how the wish is developed, there are three types, starting with the “king’s wish.”


Reading Three: What is Nirvana?

From the presentation on Nirvana found in the Analysis of the Perfection of Wisdom, by Kedrup Tenpa Dargye (1493-1568):

Here secondly is the section in which we present our own position. The definition of nirvana is “A cessation which comes from the individual analysis, and which consists of having eliminated the mental-affliction obstacles in their entirety.”

In name only, nirvana can be divided into the following four types: natural nirvana, nirvana with something left over, nirvana with nothing left over, and nirvana which does not stay.

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The following all refer to the same thing: natural nirvana, the natural Mother, the natural perfection of wisdom, the natural Dharma Body, and ultimate truth. The definition of nirvana with something left over is: “A cessation which comes from the individual analysis, and which consists of having eliminated the mental-affliction obstacles in their entirety, but where one still has the suffering heaps that are a result of his past actions and bad thoughts.” A classical example of this would be the nirvana found in the mental stream of a listener who is a foe destroyer, and who has not yet shucked off the heaps he took on. The definition of nirvana with nothing left over is: “A cessation which comes from the individual analysis, and which consists of having eliminated the mental-affliction obstacles in their entirety, and where one is free of the suffering heaps that are a result of his past actions and bad thoughts.” A classical example of this would be the nirvana found in the mental stream of a listener who is a foe destroyer, and who has shucked off the heaps he took on.

The definition of nirvana which does not stay is: “A cessation which comes from the individual analysis, and which consists of having eliminated both kinds of obstacles in their entirety.” A classical example of this would be the truth of cessation in the mental stream of a realized being who is a Buddha. The nirvana we are describing here is not something that one can achieve by using any method at all. Rather, you must achieve it with the training of wisdom, which realizes that nothing has any self nature; this wisdom must be under the influence of the first two trainings, and with it you must habituate yourself to what you were already able to realize.

This fact is supported by the King of Concentrationh states:

Suppose you are able to analyze

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One by one those things that have no self;

And after that you habituate

Yourself to what you analyzed individually.

This is what then leads you to

Achieve your freedom; nirvana beyond grief.

It is impossible for any other

Cause to bring this peace to you.

Reading Four: The Object We Deny

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From the presentation on The Object We Deny found in the Overview of the Perfection of Wisdom, by Kedrup Tenpa Dargye (1493-1568):


Next we will explain what it means when we say that the three of basic knowledge, path knowledge, and the knowledge of all things have no real nature of arising. This explanation has three parts: identifying what it is we deny with reasoning that treats the ultimate; introducing the various reasons used to deny this object; and, once we have established these two, detailing the steps to develop correct view.

The first of these has two sections of its own: a demonstration of why we must identify what it is we deny, and then the actual identification of this object. Before a person can develop within his mind that correct view which realizes emptiness, he must first identify the final object which is denied with reasoning that treats the ultimate. As the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life states,

Until you can find what you thought was there,

You can never grasp how it cannot exist.

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Suppose that what you sought to deny was the existence of a water pitcher in a certain place. If before you started you had no mental picture of what a water pitcher looked like, you would never be able to verify with an accurate perception that it wasn’t there. Here it’s just the same. What we seek to deny is that things could really exist. If before we start we have no mental picture of what a thing that really exists would be like, then we can never have a clear idea of emptiness: the simple absence where the object that we deny isn’t there.

Here now is the actual identification of the object we deny. Suppose something were to occur in some way that was opposite to the way that all the phenomena of physical form and so on exist deceptively. Anything that could occur this way would be precisely the final object we deny with reasoning that treats the ultimate. Therefore we must first explain how it is that all the phenomena of physical form and the rest exist deceptively.

The second part to the discussion of how things exist deceptively consists of an explanation of the various scriptural references. First we will give a brief treatment of these references, and after that talk about how this system establishes the two truths; this latter step will include an instructive metaphor. Here now is the briefer treatment.

There is a specific reason why we say that all these phenomena, physical form and the rest, exist deceptively. They are described this way because their existence is established by means of a deceptive state of mind, one which is not affected by a temporary factor that would cause it to be mistaken.

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That state of mind which acts to establish the existence of physical form and other such things, and which is colored by seeing things as being real, and which is not affected by a temporary factor that would cause it to be mistaken, is only the deceptive mind. This deceptive state of mind though is not the actual grasping to real existence, for it holds its object in a way which is consistent with what the object actually is. The state of mind is deceptive in that the deceptive mind is affected by the tendency to grasp to things as being real.

Therefore any and every object whose existence is established by a consistent state of mind belonging to a living being who is not a Buddha is said to exist “deceptively.” The deceptive state of mind occurs by force of a deep mental seed which causes it to be mistaken; this is a seed for the tendency to grasp to things as being real, and it has been in our minds for time without beginning. This seed makes every living creature who is not a Buddha see every existing phenomenon, physical form and the rest, look as if it were a pure, discrete entity. And so we call a state of mind “deceptive” when it holds that physical form and all other things purely exist, whereas in fact they are quite the opposite: they do not purely exist. We say it is “deceptive” (Sanskrit: sawˆ vr¸ti] because such a state of mind is itself blind to the way things really are, and also because it functions in a sense to screen (Sanskrit: vr¸] or cover other things; it keeps us from seeing their suchness.

So now we can define the final object which we deny by reasoning that treats the ultimate. It is any object of the mind that could exist on its side through its own unique way of being, without its existence having to be established by the fact of its appearing to a state of mind that is not impaired. This is true

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because the final way in which physical form and all other such phenomena exist deceptively is that they are established as existing by force of a state of mind which is not impaired by any temporary factor that would cause it to be mistaken.

There is an instructive metaphor we can use for describing how physical form and other such phenomena are from our side established as existing, by the fact of their appearing to a state of mind which is not impaired; while at the same time these objects of our mind exist on their own side through their own way of being.

Suppose a magician is making a little piece of wood appear as a horse or cow. Seeing the piece of wood as a horse or cow comes from the side of the viewer, by the force of his own mind, as his eyes are affected by the spell of the magician. And yet the piece of wood, from its side, is appearing this way as well. Both conditions must be present.

There is a reason why the first condition must be present: the condition of being established from the side of the viewer, by force of his own mind, as his eyes are affected by the spell of the magician. If this condition didn’t have to be present, then a spectator whose eyes were not affected by the spell would have to see the wood appear as the animal, whereas in actuality he does not.

At this same time the second condition, that the piece of wood appear from its own side as a horse or cow, must be present as well. If this condition didn’t have to be present, then the piece of wood’s appearing as a horse or cow would have to show up as well in places where there were no piece of wood, whereas in actuality it does not.

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In this same way are the phenomena of physical form and the rest established by force of a state of mind which is not impaired. They are labeled with names, through an unimpaired state of mind and a name which is consistent with what they are.

They do not however exist on their side through their own unique way of being, without their existence having to be established by the fact of their appearing to a state of mind that is not impaired. If they were to exist this way, then they would have to be the ultimate way things are. And if they were, then they would have to be realized directly by a state of mind which was not mistaken; by the wisdom of a realized being who is not a Buddha, and who in a state of balanced meditation is directly realizing the way things are. In fact though they are not directly realized by such a wisdom.

Suppose a magician makes a little piece of wood appear as a horse or cow. Spectators whose eyes have been affected by his spell both see the piece of wood as a horse or cow and believe that it really is. The magician himself only sees the horse or cow; he has no belief that it is real. A spectator who arrives later, who hasn’t had the spell cast on him, neither sees the piece of wood as a horse or cow nor believes that it is.

Three different combinations of seeing and believing exist as well with physical form and other such phenomena. The kind of people we call “common” people, those who have never had a realization of emptiness, both see and believe that form and the rest really exist. Bodhisattvas who are at one of the pure levels see phenomena as really existing during the periods following emptiness meditation; but they do not believe it. Realized beings who are not yet Buddhas, and who are in the state where they are realizing the way things are directly, neither see physical form and other such phenomena as really existing, nor do they believe that they really exist.

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The Implication and Independent branches of the Middle Way school are identical in asserting that to exist really, to exist purely, to exist just so, to exist ultimately, and the idea where you hold that things could exist these ways are all objects which are denied by reasoning that treats the ultimate.

The Independent branch though does not agree that to exist from its own side, to exist by nature, to exist in substance, to exist by definition, and the idea where you hold that form and other such phenomena could exist these ways are also objects which are denied by reasoning that treats the ultimate. They say that in fact anything that exists must exist these ways, with the exception of existing in substance. (There is some question though about things that are nominal.) They assert that any functional thing that exists must exist in substance.

Neither the Implication nor the Independent branches of the Middle Way school asserts that to exist as the way things are, to exist as ultimate truth, or to exist as the real nature of things is the final object which is denied by reasoning that treats the ultimate; for if something is ultimate truth, it always exists in all these three ways.


Reading Five: The Proofs for Emptiness

From the presentation on The Proofs for Emptiness ["The Emptiness of One or Many"] found in the Analysis of the Perfection of Wisdom, by Kedrup Tenpa Dargye (1493-1568):

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Here secondly is our own position.

Consider the three: basic knowledge, path knowledge, and the knowledge of all things.

They do not really exist;

For they exist neither as one thing which really exists, nor as many things which really exist.

They are, for example, like the reflection of a figure in a mirror.

The Jewel of the Middle Way supports this when it says,

The things of self and other

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Are free of being purely one

Or being purely many,

And so they have no nature:

Just like a reflection.

Consider these same things.

They do not exist as one thing which really exists;

For they are things with parts.

The one always implies the other, for if something existed as one thing which really exists, then it could never be a thing which appeared one way but actually existed in a different way.

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They do not exist as many things which really exist, because they do not exist as one thing which really exists. The one always implies the other, for many things come from bringing together a group of things that are one.

The implication in the original statement is true, for if something really existed, it would have to exist either as one thing that really existed or as many things that really existed. This is always the case, for if something exists it must exist either as one or as many.

Here is the “Sliver of Diamondreasoning, for denying that things can come from causes:

Consider all inner and outer things that perform a function. They do not arise ultimately, For they do not arise from themselves, and they do not arise ultimately from something other than themselves, and they do not arise from both, and they do not arise without a cause.

These things do not arise from themselves, because they do not arise from a cause which is such that, if something were the cause, it would have to be the thing it caused.

They do not arise ultimately from something which is other than themselves, for they neither arise ultimately from a cause which is other than themselves and which is unchanging, nor do they arise ultimately from a cause which is other from themselves and which is changing.

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They do not arise ultimately from both the above, because they do not arise ultimately from either one of them individually.

They do not arise without a cause, because that would be utterly absurd. The implication in the original statement is true, for if something were to arise ultimately, it would have to arise ultimately through one of the four possibilities mentioned.

Here is the reasoning called “The Denial that Things which Exist or Do Not Exist could Arise,” which we use for denying that things can come from results:

Consider results. They do not arise ultimately, For results which exist at the time of their cause do not arise ultimately, and results that do not exist at the time of their cause do not arise ultimately, and results that both exist and do not exist at the time of their cause do not arise ultimately, and results that neither exist nor do not exist at the time of their cause do not arise ultimately.

The implication is proven in the same way as above.

Here is the reasoning known as “The Denial that Things could Arise through Any of the Four Possibilities,” which we use for denying that things can come from both causes and results:

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Consider the functional things of causes and results. They do not arise ultimately, For multiple results of multiple causes do not arise ultimately, and single results of multiple causes do not arise ultimately, and multiple results of single causes do not arise ultimately, and single results of single causes do not arise ultimately.

[From the Overview:] Here we will explain the fifth type of reasoning, the one based on interdependence, and known as the “King of Reasons.” First we will present the reasoning, and then secondly prove the validity of its elements.

Consider all inner and outer things that perform a function.

They are not real, For they are interdependent. The reasoning can also be stated as:

Consider all inner and outer things that perform a function. They do not arise really, For they arise in dependence on other things which act as their causes and conditions.

Either way you state the reasoning, the following part should be added at the end: They are, for example, like the reflection of a figure in a mirror. This reasoning is correct, for it is spoken by the Protector (Nagarjuna):

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Anything that occurs in interdependence

Is also peace in its very essence.

It is also proven by the Sutra Requested by Anavatapta, which states:

Anything that arises from other factors

Does not arise;

It has no nature of arising in this way.

I teach that anything which relies

On any other factor

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Is empty.

He who understands emptiness

Acts rightly.

Now we will prove the various elements of this reasoning. This consists of two steps: proving the relationship between the subject and the reason, and proving the relationship between the reason and the characteristic asserted. Here is the first:

Consider all inner and outer things that perform a function. They are interdependent, For they consist of a label applied to their parts; they exist in dependence on their parts.

The relationship between the reason and the characteristic asserted is proved as follows:

If something either consists of a label applied to its parts, or exists in dependence on its parts, then it cannot be real;

For if something were real, neither of these two could apply to it.

This is true because, if something were real, it would have to exist without relying on anything else.

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Proving the relationship between the subject and the reason in the latter version of the reasoning is simple. This is how we prove the relationship between the subject and the characteristic asserted in this same version:

If something arises in dependence on other things which act as its causes and conditions, it cannot arise really,

For if something were to arise really, it would have to arise without relying on anything else.

Both versions of the reasoning represent a type of logic where the presence of something which cannot coexist with something else is used to prove that inner and outer things which perform a function either do not exist really or do not have any nature of arising really. This is true because both of the reasons stated are such that they cannnot coexist with existing really.

There is a specific reason why we refer to this reasoning, the one based on interdependence, as the “King of Reasons.” First of all, each of the other reasonings here ultimately comes down to the reasoning of interdependence. Secondly, this reasoning allows one to eliminate, in one step, both the extreme of permanence and the extreme of ending focussed towards this particular subject or basis of dispute.

Reading Six: Who is Maitreya?

From the presentation on The Text of Maitreya found in the Overview of the Perfection of Wisdom, by Kedrup Tenpa Dargye (1493-1568):

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Here is how these others make their argument. They say that “It is incorrect to relate the opening lines [of the Jewel of Realizations], the ones that are an offering of praise, to any need of the author himself. This is because Maitreya possesses no state of mind where he is aspiring to fulfill his own needs, and because the lines appear here only as a means to induce persons other than the author to follow the work.”

Here secondly is our own position. It is incorrect to make the argument that appeared earlier, for such an argument only reveals that the person making it has failed to undertake exhaustive study and contemplation of the major scriptures of the greater way. How can we say this? Let us first ask the following: do you make this argument assuming that the Holy One (Maitreya) is a Buddha, or do you make it assuming that he is a bodhisattva?

Suppose you say that you are making the former assumption. Doing so represents a failure to distinguish between speaking in the context of the way which is shared, the way of the perfections, and speaking in the context of the way which is not shared; that is, the way of the secret word.

The teaching of the secret way says that the holy Maitreya is a Buddha. This is true because—according to the secret way—Manjushri is a Buddha, and the reasons for His being so apply equally to Maitreya in every respect.

It is correct for us to say that the way of the perfections is the way which is “shared,” and that the way of the secret word is the way which is “not shared.” This is because such a description is found in a great number of authoritative works. The Steps of the Path to Buddhahood, for example, speaks about “how to train oneself in the way which is shared—the way of the perfections, and how to train oneself in the way which is not shared—the way of the secret word.” The Concise Steps as well includes the lines:

Thus is the path which is shared,

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The one which is required

At both the stage of the cause

As well as the stage of result

In the higher way,

The path which is supreme.

There is another description that mentions the “way for common disciples” and the “way for unique disciples.” It is apparent that these expressions, [which use the same Tibetan term,] have the same connotation as “shared” and “not shared” above.

Someone might assert that “In the context of the way of the perfections, the way of the secret word is not accepted.” This though is incorrect, for the Brief Commentary includes a section where it states that presenting the bodies of a Buddha as being exactly four is moreover not inconsistent with the way of the secret word. This section reads: “Nor moreover is this inconsistent with the other division of the teachings.”

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There are other reasons too which prove that there is a way of the secret word. It is stated with authority that the ability to fly in the sky, and other such miraculous abilities described in the Tantra of the Garuda, occur through the power of the being who has spoken the tantra. This is true because the Commentary on Valid Perception states:

There do exist the ones who know

The tantra and can in cases

Use the secret word with success;

These are the proof. It’s mainly the power

Of the one who taught it,

And following his precepts.

Beyond this type of reasoning, I personally am unable to accept all the other things that people say on this point.

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Here next we will demonstrate that it is also incorrect to make the argument above under the assumption that Maitreya is a bodhisattva. We ask those who make such an argument: Are we to assume then that the definition of the wish for enlightenment presented in the Ornament is a definition which is less than comprehensive? Because isn’t it true that, according to your argument, this definition would fail to cover the wish for enlightenment at the tenth bodhisattva level?

And wouldn’t this be the case, because—according to you—wouldn’t a person at the tenth bodhisattva level have fulfilled his own needs without having to stop his feeling of being satisfied with nothing more than putting a final end to the truth of suffering and the truth of its origin?

And wouldn’t this be the case, because—according to you—doesn’t such a person aspire to fulfill his own needs completely, and yet also fail to see that attaining the Dharma Body is necessary for him to do so?

The above statements should help you grasp a number of crucial points.

Realize first of all that, if something is the greater way’s wish for enlightenment, it must be linked with an associate state of mind, an aspiration to fulfill one’s own needs, which means the Dharma Body. Realize secondly that, if something is that state of mind in which one aspires to fulfill his own needs—meaning the Dharma Body—then it is a state of mind in which one aspires to fulfill his own needs.

The above arguments demonstrate then that the Maitreya who authored the Ornament is a bodhisattva who has one life to go. This is true since the Mother includes a line which says, “Go and ask Maitreya there; he is a bodhisattva who has one life to go.” Moreover, the Higher Line states that Maitreya authored it in order to utilize the word of the Able One to purify himself of the obstacles to omniscience.

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CLASS NOTES

Class One: Perfection of Wisdom; the Three Jewels

[Everything in this course is from the Svatantrika school]

Perfection of Wisdom

Shakyamuni Buddha taught it for 51 years; three books remain:

GYE DRING DU SUM

long middle short three

The long sutra on Prajna Paramita Sutra has 100,000 verses

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The middle sutra has 20,000 verses

The short has 8,000 verses

Together they are called YUM, or mother, because the perfection of wisdom produces all the Buddhas.

These books only remain in Tibetan. The Sanskrit libraries were burned by Moslems invading India.

The commentary was taught by Maitreya to Asanga (~350 A.D.). The commentary on the three books above by Asanga/Maitreya is called Ornament of Realizations (short GYEN in Tibetan). It’s 50 pages in a code, so we need a commentary on this commentary. That commentary is by Haribhadra (850 A.D.), called Clarification. That one is too hard also, as is

Je Tsongkhapa’s commentary (~1400). So we study the commentary by Kedrup Tempa Dargye (1493-1568), called the Analysis of the Perfection of Wisdom.

Definition of Prajñaparamita: - The perception of emptiness under the influence of the desire to help all sentient beings. - emptiness with love (bodhichitta).

Realization or understanding of emptiness (wisdom) without bodhichitta isn’t perfected. Bodhichitta without understanding emptiness isn’t perfected.

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Arya is anyone who has direct perception of emptiness.

Arhant is anyone who has reached nirvana. After you perceive emptiness directly, it requires training and the application of that direct perception of emptiness to your thoughts to change the way you think and behave to reach nirvana and become an Arhant.

There are three levels of Perfection of Wisdom:

1.) Perfection of Wisdom of the path - one who has seen emptiness directly and has bodhichitta. This person is not yet a Buddha.

2.) Perfection of Wisdom of the result - One who has seen emptiness directly and sees all things simultaneously as both empty and deceptive reality. Sees all past, present, and future simultaneously. This person is a Buddha.

3.) Books about Perfection of Wisdom and teachings. (The sounds of the words of the Buddha.)

RefugeBuddha, Dharma, SanghaThree Jewels

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For refuge to be real, there must be:

(1) fear of suffering, i.e. wanting protection (renunciation), and

(2) belief that something can help/protect you. Nothing in the world can protect you from suffering, except for the Three Jewels. (Called jewels because we go to them for refuge.)

The Buddha Jewel is the ultimate protection. The Buddha has reached the end of the path and has satisfied both needs (his own and others’).

The Dharma Jewel is the teachings. The Buddha is no good to you if he or she can’t communicate with you. The teachings are in:

1) books/words

2) in the hearts of people who have the paths/ideas in their mindstreams. The Dharma jewel is two parts: path: (idea) which leads you out of suffering, and cessation: which is stopping bad qualities within you.

The Sangha Jewel is anyone who has perceived emptiness directly.

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Ultimate Refuge - any refuge where the process of the journey along the path has reach its final goal, i.e. a Buddha or something about a Buddha.


Class Two: Refuge – Five Divisions/ Eight Qualities of a Buddha

Definition of going for Refuge:

YUL SHEN-LA RANG-TOB-KYI REWA CHAWAY SEMPA

object another to itself power by hope all movement of the mind

KHAMDREY TSENYI

going for refuge definition

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Refuge is that thought which of its own power puts all its hopes in another (external) object. Going for refuge is different from the object of refuge. You go for refuge to the object of refuge.

Two kinds of refuge:

1.) ordinary - People in the world take refuge in worldly or material things (food, sex, $).

2.) exceptional - Buddhist refuge in the Three Jewels. When you have refuge, you have the state of mind of being fearful, and go for protection with the absolute certainty that it will help.

Five divisions of Buddhist (exceptional) refuge:

Three types of practitioner:

KYEBU CHUNG DRING CHENPO SUM

person small middle big/great three

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1.) Small: Small scope is the minimum motivation you can have and still be Buddhist. Wanting to escape the three lower rebirths. If you work with this motivation, you will get all things you need in this life also, because the virtues necessary to avoid lower rebirth are the same ones that bring happiness now.

2.) Medium: Motivation is to escape all forms of suffering cyclic existance. Understand that all is suffering and every satisfaction is transient.

3.) Great: Motivation to escape all forms of suffering for self and all others. (Must also have lower and medium motivations)

GYUI KYAMDRO DREBUI KHAMDRO cause going for refuge result going for refuge

4.) Result refuge: Going for refuge in my own future Sanghahood, Dharmahood, Buddhahood.

5.) Cause refuge: Going for refuge in some quality which has already been achieved in another person, going for refuge to another person who has the Three Jewels already established in their mind.

Why take refuge - In the short term (this life) there is no better protection. In the long term, you can achieve Buddhahood (because you must have refuge to practice tantra, which leads to Buddhahood.)

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Eight qualities of a Buddha (from Uttaratantra by Maitreya/Asanga)

1.) Uncaused - his Dharmakaya is uncaused; the emptiness of his omniscience is uncaused; his emptiness is uncaused.

2.) Spontaneous - the Buddha will spontaneously appear to any being as soon as they are ready or ripe; similar to the moon always being ready to appear in any water that exists.

3.) Realized by no other way - one can’t perceive the Dharmakaya conceptually or with sense perception.

4.) Knowledge - aware of our condition of suffering.

5.) Love - cares about all.

6.) Power - to do something based upon love and knowledge of our condition. His power is to teach you.

7.) and 8.) Fulfills both needs – mine and his. He has no suffering. He is totally available to fulfill our needs; we aren’t able to take advantage because of our Karmic disposition.

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Class Three: Bodhicitta and Mind

Short Definition of Bodhichitta:

SEMKYE PA NI SHEN DUN DU YANGDAY DZOKPAY JANGCHUB DU

Bodhichitta is for the sake of others total Enlightemnent the wish

Bodhichitta is defined as the wish to achieve total enlightenment for the sake of others.

The Svatantrika (lower Madhyamika) school says there are three Buddhahoods, i.e. three tracks, each with a different goal:

Mahayana——————(has five paths)——————> Buddhahood

Self-made Buddhas——-(has five paths)——————> Nirvana

Listeners (Shravakas)—-(has five paths)——————> Nirvana (called “listeners” because

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they can hear and teach Mahayana, but don’t practice it.)

Each type of Buddhahood has five paths: accumulation, preparation, seeing, meditation, and no more learning. Each set of paths has different realizations while on those paths; each track perceives a different type of emptiness. Both nirvanas and Buddhahood have eliminated all suffering, but only Buddhahood has omniscience of all things.

There are three different semkyes, or wishes for enlightenment: mahayana semkye is to benefit all sentient beings. The other two are for the two nirvanas above – listeners and selfmade Buddhas.

Long definition of Bodhichitta:

First, it is the main mental awareness belonging to the greater way, which is focussed on achieving total enlightenment for the benefit of others, and which is matched with a state of mind that is associated with it: the aspiration to achieve total enlightenment. Secondly, it is a knowledge belonging to the greater way, which acts as a door for entering the greater way (or is something of the type), and which is included into the activity side of the standard division into the two of “view” and “activity”.

Bodhichitta is the “main” mind: it holds the two thoughts of Bodhichitta – wanting to be a Buddha and wanting to help all sentient beings. Because the mind can’t hold two thoughts simultaneously, then Bodhichitta must be main mind; otherwise it would lose Bodhichitta when thinking of wanting to help all sentient beings.

The main mind can hold two complimentary thoughts simultaneously, but not two different thoughts. Main mind is awareness of an objectholding the object in the mind. Secondary mind is feeling good, bad, etc. about that object. Main mind focuses on the object and secondary mind follows after that.

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The definition of bodhichitta uses “mental awareness” to qualify that this doesn’t refer to the sensory consciousness or awareness of the Buddha.

It uses “belonging to the greater way” to signify that pre-bodhichitta (artificial or “sugar-cane” bodhichitta) – that bodhichitta which we try to force upon ourselves or try to get – isn’t what is meant. Rather, it means the feeling just comes without effort. That is the real and genuine bodhichitta, and the entry into Mahayana.

The use of “for the benefit of others” in the definition of Bodhichitta clarifies that it doesn’t mean the enlightenment of listeners or solitary realizers.

It uses “total enlightenment” to qualify that it’s the wish for the enlightenment of Buddhahood rather than of nirvana.


Class Four: Classifications of Bodhicitta

The Five Paths to Buddhahood:

(The names don’t necessarily describe each path accurately.)

Accumulation: To get on the first path, one must generate renuciation (and bodhichitta for Mahayana). This primarily refers to renunciation, and not to the accumulation of merit, although we do accumulate merit with renunciation.

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Preparation: Preparing to see emptiness directly. The intellectual understanding of emptiness.

Seeing: Direct perception of emptiness (only takes a few minutes). The first bodhisattva bhumi is gained when you see emptiness with compassion in your heart.

Habituation: Getting used to and practicing what you saw in emptiness and reorienting your perception of what you see around you daily to agree with the perception of emptiness. Getting rid of inborn habit of seeing things as self-existant. (This takes a long time to practice.)

No more learning: Nirvana or Buddhahood attained. Got rid of all bad thoughts permanently.

Classifying bodhichitta by level of spiritual understanding (four types)

1. MUPA CHUPAY SEMKYE

belief act wish for enlightenment

Person acting out of belief that things aren’t self-existant - has enlightened wish to help all sentient beings, and hasn’t seen emptiness. Want to help sentient beings and wants to become Buddha to do so. Realizes that they see things as deceptive reality and has belief that emptiness exists. Thinks things are self-existant, sees things as self-existant, and believes that things are not self-existant. (This kind of bodhichitta occurs on paths of accumulation and preparation.)

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2. HLAKSAM DAKPAY SEMKYE

takes absolute pure wish for enlightenment personal responsibility

Someone who has experienced emptiness directly and sees things as they really are, so that bodhichitta is more intelligent and stronger. Has given up intellectual belief in self-existance as a result of seeing emptiness. Knows things are not self-existant, but is forced to see them that way outside of emptiness meditation. Has inate belief/view of self-existance. Sees things as empty in meditation and self-existant out of meditation. Person who permanently no longer has any belief in self-existance because of having seen emptiness directly. Doesn’t believe in self-existance, but still sees things as deceptive reality and has the seeds to see things as deceptive. (Occurs on paths of seeing and habituation.)

3. NAMPAR MINPAY SEMKYE

ripening bodhichitta

Someone who looks at sentient beings and wants to help. When looking at sentient beings, doesn’t see them as self-existant, but still has seeds to see them as self-existant. Has given up inate belief of self-existance; no longer sees self as self-existent. Outside of meditation, sees everything as empty. Has given up the inborn habit of seeing things as self-existant. Can never again see things as self-existant, although still has the seeds to see things that way. Not a Buddha yet, because there are still karmic seeds in the mind to see things as self-existant.

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Doesn’t think things are self-existant, doesn’t see things as self-existant, but has the seeds to see things as self-existant. (The path of habituation has this kind of bodhichitta. Bhumis eight through ten occur here.)

4. DRIPPA PAKPAY SEMKYE

obscurations eliminated bochichitta

This person doesn’t think things are self-existant and doesn’t see them as self-existant.

There are no more seeds to see self-existance. This is a Buddha.

Dividing bodhichitta by the way one thinks (three types):

1. GYALPO TABUI SEMKYE

king – like bodhichitta

“I’ll get enlightenment first and then lead others to enlightenment.”

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2. DZIBU TABUI SEMKYE

shepherd – like bodhichitta

“I’ll make sure others achieve enlightenment and then I’ll do it.”

3. NYENPA TABUI SEMKYE

ferryman – like bodhichitta

“I want to reach enlightemnent at the same time as all sentient beings. We’ll go together.”

Dividing Bodhichitta by its basic nature (two types):

1. MUNPA SEMKYE

prayer bodhichitta

The wish for enlightenment that does not directly depend on taking the bodhisattva vow and engaging in bodhisattva deeds.

2. JUKPA SEMKYE

engaging bodhichitta

The wish for enlightenment that directly depends on taking the vow and actually engaging in the bodhisattva deeds. (When you take a vow to do or not to do something, then the action is much more powerful; breaking the vow is much more detrimental.)

Apparent bodhichitta - Wanting to become a Buddha to help all sentient beings.

Ultimate bodhichitta - Direct perception of emptiness. (Nothing directly to do with helping others.)


Class Five: Definitions of Nirvana

What is Nirvana?

NYUN-DRIP MA-LU-PA PANG PAY SO SOR TAK-GOG NYANG-DE

klesha obstacle in their eliminated one-by-one see cessation nirvana

mental affliction entirety

Nyun-drip means the mental afflictions (bad thoughts) and bak-chaks (potentials for bad thoughts, seeds, mental stains and predispositions to behave similarly again) that block or stop you from nirvana. A seed is a potential (to get angry, for instance) which will be triggered by events in the future.

Nyang-de, or nirvana, is an abbreviation for nyang-ngen (grief) le (beyond) depa (gone), or gone beyond grief.

Definition of nirvana:

Nirvana is a cessation which comes from the individual analysis, and which consists of having eliminated the mental-affliction obstacles (and bak-chaks) in their entirety from your mental stream. Here, individual analysis refers to realizing the Four Arya Truths one-by-one after seeing emptiness directly.

Cessations can be divided into two types: those you get before seeing emptiness (you have these on the first two paths) and those you get from seeing emptiness directly (on the third path – the path of seeing).

The Four Noble Truths should be translated as the Four Arya Truths, because you see each of the four truths after becoming an arya (seeing emptiness), as you come down from the direct perception of emptiness. You see that life is suffering, and the cause (your own bad thoughts),cessation (and you see how many lives you have until you are finished), and the cause of cessation (the path).

A bak-chak is an energetic potential or seed which arises when conditions are right. Once you see emptiness directly, you stop creating new causes for suffering, but you still have past seeds to experience. The process of death practice largely involves going through death without activating our bak-chaks. They’re there, but by not watering or activating them, they can’t cause our lower rebirth.

A mental affliction is mental – made of mind.


Class Six: Divisions of Nirvana

Four Types of Nirvana: (there are more, but we’re doing only four)

1.) RANG-SHIN NYANG-DE

natural nirvana

Natural nirvana. This is ultimate reality. It’s been like this forever, it occurs naturally. (This is a misnomer, because it’s not a real nirvana. It’s grouped with nirvana because it can never cause mental afflictions.) (continued in class six)

2.) HLAK – CHE NYANG-DE

something having nirvana

left-over posessing

Nirvana with something left over: you attain nirvana and still have your body left over to finish this life, as well as karmic seeds.

3.) HLAK – ME NYANG-DE

nothing left over nirvana

Nirvana with nothing left over: you attain nirvana and don’t have a body after you die. Still have some karmic seeds.

4.) MI-NE-PAY NYANG-DE SI – TA SHI – TA

not to stay nirvana samsara edge/extreme peace edge/extreme

Nirvana which does not stay in the extreme of samsara or in the extreme of peace (i.e. lower nirvana). Means the nirvana of a Buddha. Some lower schools say that when you reach nirvana with nothing left over, there is no longer a body or mind to the person; there is a person existing some way in cessation.

Five Heaps or Piles: (skandas)

1) Physical body

2) Feeling (mental function of feeling) – sensory and emotional – You are always feeling. Can be divided into pain, pleasure, or neutral.

3) Discrimination - ability to distinguish between two things. (It’s a mental function)

4) Other Factors - everything not included in the other four heaps.

5) Main mind-consciousness - Six types: mental awareness, eye, ear, nose, taste, and touch awareness.

Out of the 46 mental functions feeling and discrimination are separate, because they are the source of samsara. You discriminate between two things, and say, “I like this and don’t like that.”

Things needed to get to Nirvana - all must be present:

1.) DAK – ME TOK-PAY SHE-RAB KYI LAP-PA

self-nature no realization wisdom of training

Training in the wisdom realizing emptiness. The training of wisdom that realizes that nothing has any nature of its own (i.e. wisdom realizing emptiness).

2.) LAP-PA DAN-PO NYI-KYI SIN-PA

training first two of under influence

Doing so under the influence of finely-tuned morality and concentration (the first two trainings)

3.) TOK – SIN GOM – PA

realization already habituate, or get used to

Getting used to what you’ve already realized about emptiness by habituating the mind.

Four results of the Buddhist path:

1.) Stream-enterer - first step of being on your way out of samsara. Seeing emptiness directly, and becoming an arya.

2.) Once-returner - Will take rebirth in the desire realms one more time.

3.) Non-returner - Will not come back to the six desire realms again.

4.) Arhant - “foe-destroyer” has attained nirvana by destroying the bad thoughts and their seeds.


Class Seven: Proof of Emptiness; Understanding the Gak-ja

Identifying the object that we deny:

GAK – JA

to deny or refute object to be

Gak-ja means self-existant thing, a thing which exists by itself. There is no such thing. It is self-nature. The thing or object which we deny exists; the thing which emptiness is empty of.

When we speak of emptiness, emptiness means something is missing or isn’t there. The gak-ja is what isn’t there in emptiness.

If you don’t know what emptiness is empty of, you can’t study emptiness. If you don’t understand what exists, you can’t refute its existance (ex. if you don’t know what a vase is, you can’t prove there isn’t one on the table.) You must have good understanding of what a self-existant thing is.

The gak-ja does not really exist. If it did exist, it would have to exist in a way opposite to the way in which things really do exist (conventionally or deceptively). You can’t have a negative emotion unless you are focused on a gak-ja - a thing which doesn’t even exist.

LO NU – ME LA NANG-WAY WANG – GI SHAK – TSAM

mind hurt not to appears power by the established just

(i.e. mind unimpaired by as existing illness, anger, drugs, etc.)

Svatantrika position of how things exist (in conventional reality or dependant origination): Things exist in dependence on

1.) the thing being out there (ex. flowers), and

2.) someone perceiving them with an unimpaired mind. Both factors must be present. It does not exist out there through some way of being on its own.

The gak-ja is anything which appears without one of the two factors above being present. If something existed out there on its own without depending on me perceiving it or it appearing to me, that’s a gak-ja.

The way in which things exist conventionally is that the flowers appear to me and I see them.

They don’t exist out there on their own as a self-existant thing. We normally see things as a gak-ja, independent of factors, and out there self-existantly.

Example: The Magic Show

The magician in a crowd takes a stick, casts a spell, and turns it into a horse. The crowd sees a horse. The magician sees a horse, but believes it’s a stick. The spell requires a stick and a perceiver.

If there were no stick, then everything you look at would appear as a horse. The first component is important – something out there must appear as a stick or a horse (must have some stickness or horseness), or everything I see would appear as a stick or horse. If there were no spell, the crowd wouldn’t see the horse; they need the state of mind to see the horse.

Someone who comes up to the crowd after the spell just sees a stick there.

1.) Spectators - see a horse and believe there’s a horse there.

2.) Magician - sees a horse and doesn’t believe there’s a horse there.

3.) Latecomer - doesn’t see a horse and doesn’t believe there’s a horse there.

Corresponds to:

1.) Someone who has not seen emptiness directly sees things as self-existant and believes they are self-existant.

2.) Someone who has seen emptiness directly and who is not in meditation sees things as self-existant and but doesn’t believe it.

3.) Someone (not a Buddha) abiding in direct perception of emptiness doesn’t see things as self-existant and doesn’t believe they are self-existant.


Class Eight: Five Different Proofs of Emptiness

Five ways to prove emptiness: (elaborations for each follow in the next section.)

1.) CHIK – DU DREL

one many empty

The emptiness of one or many; do they exist as one or many?

2.) DORJE SEKMA

diamond sliver

Sliver of diamond: Things can’t arise from themselves, or from something else, or from both, or without a cause (i.e. neither from themselves nor from something else).

3.) YU – ME KYE – GOK

exist not to arise to deny

Denial that things which exist or do not exist could arise. Denying that a thing could grow (arise) from a thing that exists, or from something that does not exist, or from both, or from neither.

4.) MU – SHI KYE – GOK

possibilities four to arise to deny

The denial that things could arise through any of the four possibilities. Denying that multiple results come from multiple causes, denying that single results come from multiple causes, denying that multiple results come from single causes, denying that single results come from single causes.

5.) TEN – DREL GYI – RIKPA (also called RIK-PAY GYALPO)

interdependence of reasoning ( of reasons king )

Reasoning of interdependence (dependant origination) (also known as King of Reasonings).

Things are not self-existant because they depend upon other things.

How to prove a logical statement:

There are three (sometimes four) parts to every logical statement. The first part is the subject.

Example of the first argument, the emptiness of one or many:

1.) The first proof of emptiness (the emptiness of one or many) takes as its subject these three knowledges:

Consider the three knowledges:

a.) Basic knowledge - perception of selflessness.

b.) Path knowledge - perception of emptiness by a bodhisattva.

c.) Knowledge of all things.

2.) The second part of a logical statement is the characteristic we are asserting – what we are trying to prove – or the thing the other person doesn’t see:

They do not exist really. (Really refers to being self-existant, independent of my perception, and their appearing–i.e. as a gak-ja–from their own side.)

3.) The third part of a logical statement is the reason:

Because they do not exist really as one, they do not exist really as many.

4.) The fourth part of a logical statement is a supporting example (preferably something the other person has seen).

They are, for example, like a reflection of an image in a mirror. The image looks real, but isn’t.


Class Nine: First Proof of Emptiness – One or Many

Elaboration on how to prove a logical statement

Logical statements:

1.) Consider the sun subject

2.) The sun is not blue characteristic to be proven

3.) Because it is yellow reason

Proof of one or many:

If you prove that something doesn’t exist as one or as many, then you’ve proved it doesn’t exist at all, because there are no other options except not existing. One and many encompass all possible things.

Three relationships have to be there for a proof to be valid:

1.) The reason has to be a quality of the subject, i.e. the reason must be true about the subject. Here, 3 does connect to 1; the sun must be yellow, or you can’t apply the proof.

2.) The relationship between the reason and the characteristic it proves must be sound. Therefore, here it must be true that if 3 is true, then 2 occurs, i.e. if something is yellow, then it cannot simultaneously be blue.

3.) The relationship between the characteristic to be proven and its reason must be such that if you negate the characteristic to be proven and you negate the reason, their relationship is still true. Therefore, if you negate 2, 3 is also negated, as shown by the example: if the sun is not not blue (i.e. is blue), then it is not yellow. The person you’re proving it to must see and accept that the sun is yellow. He or she must accept that it can’t be yellow and blue sumultaneously, and that if it’s blue, it can’t be yellow.

All of these elements must already be present in their mind. The proof ties them all together, and points to the correct conclusion. Before, he had seen the sun, known what yellow is, and known that if something is yellow, it can’t be blue. He had thought the sun was blue because he had never tied the elements together before.

Statement of the first proof of emptiness – one or many

1.) Consider the three knowledges (see last week’s notes). They do not exist really because they don’t really exist as one or many. If you leave out “really”, then they do exist (as many). “Really” qualifies them, meaning that they exist dependent upon someone’s perception.

2.) The three knowledges do not exist really.

3.) For they do not exist really as one or really as many. If you can prove that a thing can not exist as one, then it can not exist as many, either. Here, many means a collection of the one(s), not many different things, but many of the one. For example, if you can prove that a Martian does not exist, then you don’t need to prove that 100 Martians don’t exist. We will prove that something (in this instance the three knowledges) doesn’t exist as one, really.

Proof of the first proof – things don’t exist really as one.

1.) Consider the three knowledges. (subject)

2.) They don’t really exist as one. (characteristic to be proven)

3.) This is because they have parts (according to the Svatantrika definition of emptiness.) (reason)

The three relationships must hold true:

a) 3 connects to 1 accurately.

b) If 3 is true, then 2 is true,

c) If 2 is negated, then 3 is negated.

How to prove that if they have parts they do not really exist as one (if 3, then 2):

Example: a pen – When you look at a pen, you cannot see the pen. You see the parts of the pen, for example the top, bottom, etc. It’s impossible to see the pen without looking at the parts of the pen. While you’re looking at the parts of the pen, it’s impossible to see the pen. You are seeing the top and then the bottom, then the back, etc. not the pen. You see various parts and clues, and then paint a complete picture in your mind of a pen for the thing which is out there, and believe it’s out there as a “pen”, rather than as a mental construct. If you perceive the parts, you can’t perceive the whole (one). If you weren’t perceiving the parts, you couldn’t see the object as existing at all.

Even when you focus on one part, you can’t see it. When you look at the top, it has parts too – the top of it, the bottom of it, etc. Ad infinitum, as above. So where does anything come from; how do we perceive it if we can’t even see one complete part of it? Your mind fills in the image in a certain way caused by your past mental karma/seeds/mental functions. For this reason, even though I want my mind to fill everything in as pleasure, it doesn’t. For example, I want to perceive every meal as tasty, but that doesn’t happen.

How to prove that the three knowledges have parts (that 3 is true of 1)

Take the approach that if we prove that everything has parts, this will also apply to the three knowledges. All things can be classified as changing and unchanging. Changing things are classified as either physical or mental. Physical things can be classified as gross or subtle.


All things

/ \

changing unchanging

/ \

physical mental / \

gross subtle


To prove that all things have parts, we must prove that each subdivision

Gross physical things:

1.) If you cover part of a physical thing, another part is still there, so there must be parts. Covering two fingers leaves three fingers, so fingers are parts. Otherwise when you cover two fingers, none would be left.

2.) If you didn’t have parts, when you moved one arm then the other would move, if it weren’t a separate part.

Subtle physical things:

Consider an atom. Do atoms touch, combine, or blend into each other, or do they occupy each other’s space so that every part of one atom is touched by the atom next to it? (O vs. OO) If they touch each other then there must be sides to it, which means it has parts (top, left, etc.).

If they existed in a way where every surface and point of an atom touched every surface and point of all others, then there would only be one atom in existance, and we wouldn’t have discrete objects like food, etc.

Mental things: (includes mind and mental functions, i.e. basic awareness and all the functions like anger, concentration, etc.)

Mental things have direct and remote causes:

Direct means happening right after the event, ex. Nina’s visual awareness of him. The direct cause is her visual awareness of him the moment before. Her eye, his skin, etc. are contributing factors, not a direct cause. Her perceiving him is the direct result. The direct cause flip-flops into the direct result without any time lapse. Like snapping fingers twice fast, with no space in between.

Remote means happening a moment or more after an event, with some pause between the events. For example, snap the fingers and pause before snapping a second time. The first snap is a remote cause of perceiving the second snap because you perceived the pause in between. Because mental things stream so that there are direct and remote causes for them (based upon time elapsed), they have parts. One mental event is composed of direct and remote causes – these are its parts, and to have them time must have elapsed. If there weren’t parts, then every prior mental event which leads to the next one would have to occur simultaneously and there would be one moment in time where everything occurred.

Unchanging things:

There are three main types: cessations, empty space, and emptiness.

Cessations include mental afflictions and their seeds. As an absence of something, their nature is unchanging. You don’t get more or less free of afflictions, you’re just free, so it’s unchanging in that its nature is constant. The parts are: cessation of intellectual belief in selfexistance, and cessation of inate or inborn belief in self-existence.

Empty space is defined as the absence of an obstruction. Its parts are north, south, east, etc.

Emptiness never changes; it can go in and out of existence; it has no beginning or end. Each object has its own emptiness, and all objects’ emptinesses are the parts of emptiness.

If everything in the universe has parts, then nothing exists really, which we have just proved.


Class Ten: Who is Maitreya?

In Tibetan: JAM-PA

In Sanskrit: Maitreya

In the open teachings, he is considered a bodhisattva; in the secret teachings he is considered a Buddha.

The teacher is the only connection to the Buddha. Without the teacher, you can’t learn the wisdom of enlightenment. He is the only window to the information, so you should treat him well. Even if he isn’t a Buddha, you should treat him as one anyway, because of this. As a Buddha, Maitreya still has the desire to fulfill his own needs.

b) The person who practices the tantra must be someone who is leading a very pure life.

Source

jetsongkapa.wordpress.com