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Prajnaparamitahrdayasutra

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The Heart Sutra

When Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva was practicing the profound Prajna Paramita, he investigated and perceived the five Skandhas and saw that they were all non-existent, thus securing his deliverance from all suffering and difficulty.

"Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness; emptiness does not differ from form. Form itself is emptiness; emptiness itself is form. So too are feeling, cognition, mental function and consciousness in relation to emptiness.

Shariputra, all dharmas are empty of characteristics. They are not created, not annihilated, not impure, not pure, and they neither increase nor decrease. Therefore, in emptiness there is no form, feeling, cognition, mental function, or consciousness; no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind; no sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch, and ideas; no field of the eyes, up to and including no field of mind-consciousness1, and no ignorance or ending of ignorance, up to and including no old age and death, or ending of old age and death.2 There are no Four Noble Truths, no wisdom and no gain. Because nothing is gained, the Bodhisattva, through reliance on Prajna Paramita, has no hindrances in his heart. Because there is no hindrance, he is not afraid, is free from contrary and delusive ideas and attain the Final Nirvana.

All Buddhas of the past, present and future attain enlightenment through reliance on Prajna Paramita. Therefore, know that Prajna Paramita is a great spiritual mantra, a great bright mantra, a supreme mantra, an unequalled mantra. It can remove all suffering; it is genuine and not false. That is why the mantra of Prajna Paramita was spoken. Recite it like this:

GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA!


THE HEART SUTRA

When Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva was practicing the profound Prajna Paramita, he illuminated the five Skandhas and saw that they were all empty, and he crossed beyond all suffering and difficulty.Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness: emptiness does not differ from form. Form itself is emptiness; emptiness itself is form. So too are feeling, cognition, mental function and consciousness.

Shariputra. all Dharmas are empty of characteristics. They are not produced, not destroyed, not defiled, not pure, and they neither increase nor decrease. Therefore, in emptiness there is no form, feeling, cognition, mental function, or consciousness; no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, or mind; no sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch, or dharmas; no field of the eyes, up to and including no field of mind-consciousness: and no ignorance or ending of ignorance, up to and including no old age and death, or ending of old age and death. There is no suffering, no accu no way, no wisdom and no attaining.


Because nothing is attained, the Bodhisattva, through reliance on Prajna Paramita, is unimpeded in his mind. Because there is no impediment, he is not afraid, and he leaves distorted dreamthinking far behind. Ultimately Ninana! All Buddhas of the past, present and future attain enlightenment through reliance on Prajn Paramita. Therefore, know that Prajna Paramita is a great spiritual mantra, a great bright mantra, a supreme mantra, an unequalled mantra. It can remove all suffering; it is genuine and not false. That is why the mantra of Prajna Paramita was spoken. Recite it like this: GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA!

(Note: Tathagata = Buddhas)


The Heart Sutra

O-oh Sariputra, what is seen does not differ from what is empty, nor does what is empty differ from what is seen; what is seen is empty, what is empty is seen.

It is the same for sense perception, imagination, mental function and judgement. O-oh Sariputra, all the empty forms of these dharmas neither come to be nor pass away and are not created or annihilated, not impure or pure, and cannot be increased or decreased.

Since in emptiness nothing can be seen, there is no perception, imagination, mental function or judgement. There is no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or consciousness. Nor are there sights, sounds, odors, tastes, objects or dharmas. There is no visu-al world, world of consciousness or other world.

There is no ignorance or extinction of ignorance and so forth down to no aging and death and also no extinction of aging and death. There is neither suffering, causation, annihilation nor path.

There is no knowing or unknowing. Since nothing can be known, Bodhisattvas rely upon Prajna Paramita and so their minds are unhindered. Because there is no hindrance, no fear exists and they are far from inverted and illusory thought and thereby attain nirvana.

All the Buddhas in the three per-i-ods of time fully accomplish the an-nut-ta-ra-sam-yak sambod-hi by relying upon Prajna Paramita. Therefore, Prajna Paramita is known as the most divine mantra, the great enlightening mantra, the utmost mantra, the in-com-pa-ra-ble mantra, destroyer of all suffering! since what is true is not in vain, listen to the mantra of the Prajna Paramita--it goes like this: GATE GATE PA-RA GATE PARASAM GATE BOD-HI SVA-HA!


THE DIAMOND SUTRA

The Vajracchedika-prajna-paramita Sutra

Thus have I heard. Once upon a time, the Buddha sojourned in the Jetavana park near Sravasti with an assembly of twelve hundred and fifty bhiksus. One day, at mealtime, the World Honoured One put on His robe, took His bowl, and entered the great town of Sravasti to beg for His food. After He had begged from door to door, He returned to His place. When He had taken His meal, He put away His robe and bowl, washed His feet, arranged His seat and sat down.

At the time, the elder Subhuti who was in the assembly, rose from his seat, uncovered his right shoulder, knelt upon his right knee, respectfully joined the palms of his hands and said to the Buddha: 'It is very rare, O World Honoured One! how well the Tathagata protects and thinks of all Bodhisattvas; how well He instructs all the Bodhisattvas.

"O World Honoured One, when virtuous men or women develop the supremeenlightenment mind, how should their minds abide and how should they be subdued?' The Buddha said: 'Excellent, excellent, Subhuti! As you say, the Tathagata protects, cherishes and instructs Bodhisattvas so well. Now listen attentively and I will tell you how the minds of virtuous men and women, who develop the supreme enlightenment mind, should thus abide and be subdued. (Subhuti replied: ) 'Oh yes, World Honoured One, I shall be glad to hear (your instruction).'


The Buddha said: 'Subhuti, all Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas should subdue their minds as follows: All living beings born from eggs, wombs, humidity or by transformation, with or without form, either thoughtful or thoughtless, and neither thoughtful nor thoughtless are all led by me to the final nirvana for the extinction of reincarnation. Although immeasurable, uncountable and unlimitable numbers of living beings are thus led to (the final nirvana for) the extinction of reincarnation, it is true that not a living being is led there. Why so, Subhuti? (Because) if a Bodhisattva (still) clings to the false notion (laksana) of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, he is not ( a true) Bodhisattva. 'Furthermore, Subhuti, a Bodhisattva's mind should not abide anywhere when giving alms; that is to say, he should give without a mind abiding in form, or he should give without a mind abiding in sound, or in smell, or in taste, or in touch or in things . Subhuti thus a Bodhisattva should give alms without a mind abiding in false notions of form (laksana). 'Why? (Because) if a Bodhisattva's mind does not abide in forms .(laksanas) when practising charity (dana), his merit will be inconceivable and immeasurable. Subhuti, what do you think? Can you think of and measure the extent of space in the East?'


'I cannot, World Honoured One!'

'Subhuti, can you think of and measure (all) the extent of space in the South, West and North, as well as in the intermediate directions, including the zenith and nadir?' 'I cannot, World Honoured One!'

'Subhuti, (when) a Bodhisattva practises charity without a mind abiding in forms, his merit is equally inconceivable and immeasurable.' 'Subhuti, a Bodhisattva's mind should thus abide as taught.

'Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Tathagata be seen by means of His bodily form?' 'No, World Honoured One, the Tathagata cannot be seen by means of His bodily form. Why? Because when the Tathagata speaks of bodily form, it is not (real) form.'

The Buddha said to Subhuti: 'Everything with form is unreal; if all forms are seen as unreal, the Tathagata will be perceived.' Subhuti said to the Buddha: 'World Honoured One, will there be living beings who can develop a true belief in these words, sentences and chapters when they are expounded to them?'

The Buddha said: 'Subhuti, do not speak like that. In the last 500 years, before the final passing of the Tathagata, there will be those who will observe the rules of morality and perform good actions which will result in blessing. These people will be able to develop a faith in these sentences (which they will consider as embodying the Truth. You should know that they will not have planted good roots in just one, two, three, four, or five Buddha lands. They will have planted them in countless thousands and tens of thousands of Buddha lands. Upon hearing these sentences, there will arise in them a single

thought of pure faith. Subhuti, the Tathagata knows and sees all; these living beings will thus acquire immeasurable merits. Why? (Because) they will have wiped out false notions of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, of Dharma and Not-Dharma. Why? (Because) if their minds grasp form (laksana), they will (still) cling to the notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. If their minds grasp the Dharma, they will (still) cling to the notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Why? (Because) if their minds grasp the Not-Dharma, they will (still) cling to the notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Therefore, one should not grasp and hold on to the notion of Dharma as well as that of NotDhama. This is why, the Tathagata always

said: "Ye Bhiksus, should know that the Dharma I expound is likened to a raft." Even the Dharma should be cast aside; how much more so the Not-Dharma? 'Subhuti, what do you think? Has the Tathagata (in fact) obtained Supreme Enlightenment (Anubodhi)? Does the Tathagata (in fact) expound the Dharma?' Subhuti replied: 'As I understand the meaning of the Buddha's teaching, there is no fixed Dharma called Supreme Enlightenment and there is also no fixed Dharma the Tathagata can expound. Why? (Because) the Dharma the Tathagata expounds cannot be clung to and cannot be expressed (in words); it is neither Dharma nor Not-Dharma. Why is this? All Bhadras and Aryas differ on account of the Eternal Asamskrta Dharma.' 'Subhuti' what do you think? If someone filled the Universe with the seven treasures and gave them all as alms, would his merit be great?'


Subhuti replied: 'Very great, World Honoured One. Why? Because this merit is not the nature of merit, the Tathagata says it is great.' 'Subhuti, if on the other hand, someone received and kept even a four line stanza of this sutra and expounded it to others, his merit would surpass that (of the giver of treasures). Why? (Because), Subhuti, all Buddhas and their Supreme-Enlightenment-Dharma originate from this sutra. Subhuti, the so-called Buddhas and Dharmas are not real Buddhas and Dharmas. 'Subhuti, what do you think? Can one who has entered the stream (srota-apanna) have this thought (in his mind): I have obtained the fruit of entering the stream?'


Subhuti replied: 'No, World Honoured One. Why? Because srota-apanna means 'entering the stream', but actually there is no entry into either form, sound, smell, taste, touch or dharma. Therefore, he is called srota-apanna.' 'Subhuti, what do you think? Can a Sakrdagamin have this thought (in his mind): I have obtained the fruit of a Sakrdagamin?' Subhuti replied: 'No, World Honoured One. Why? Because Sakrdagamin means „once more to come", but actually there is neither coming nor going. Therefore, he is called a Sakrdagamin.' 'Subhuti, what do you think? Can an Anagamin have this thought (in his mind): I have obtained the fruit of an Anagamin?' Subhuti replied: 'No, World Honoured One. Why? Because Anagamin means "nocoming" but actually there is no such a thing as no-coming. Therefore, he is called an Anagamin.'


'Subhuti, what do you think? Can an Arhat have this thought (in his mind): I have obtained the enlightenment of an Arhat?' Subhuti replied: 'No, World Honoured One. Why? Because there is no Dharma which is called Arhatship. World Honoured One, if an Arhat thinks "I have obtained the enlightenment of an Arhat", he will still grasp and hold on to the notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. World Honoured One, the Buddha has declared that I have obtained the Passionless Samadhi and that I surpass all men. I am, therefore, the highest passionless Arhat. World Honoured One, I do not think "I am a passionless Arhat" for, World Honoured One, if I had thought "I have attained Arhatship", the World Honoured One would not have said: "Subhuti takes delight in- the calm and quiet, free from temptation and distress." The fact that Subhuti does not act (mentally) is called the calm and quiet in which Subhuti takes delight.' The Buddha said to Subhuti: 'What do you think.? Did the Tathagata obtain anything from the Dharma, when in the past He was with Dipamkara Buddha?'


'No, World Honoured One. When the Tathagata was with Dipamkara, He did not obtain anything from the Dharma.' 'Subhuti, what do you think? Do Bodhisattvas adorn Buddha lands (by their moral actions)?' 'No. World Honoured One. Why? Because this is not real adornment; it is (merely) called the adornment of Buddha lands.' 'Subhuti, this is why all Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas should thus develop a pure and clean mind which should not abide in form, sound, smell, taste, touch and dharma. They should develop a mind which does not abide in anything. 'Subhuti, supposing a man has a body as great as mount Sumeru, what do you think? Would such a body be great?' Subhuti replied: 'Very great, World Honoured One. Why? Because the Buddha says it is not the real body but is (merely) called a great body.' 'Subhuti, if there were as many rivers like the Ganges as there are grains of sand in the Ganges, would the total of grains of sand in all these rivers be

very great?'

Subhuti replied: 'Very great, World Honoured One! These rivers would be innumerable; how much more so would be their sand-grains.' 'Subhuti, I now tell you truly. If a virtuous man or woman filled a number of universes, as great as the number of sand-grains in all these rivers, with the seven treasures, and gave them all away in alms (dana), would his or her merit be great?' Subhuti replied: 'Very great, World Honoured One!'

The Buddha said to Subhuti: 'If a virtuous man or woman receives and holds (in mind) even a four-line stanza of this sutra and expounds it to others, his or her merit will surpass that of the almsgiver. Furthermore, Subhuti, wheresoever this sutra or even one of its four-line stanzas is expounded, you should know that all devas, men and asuras should make their offerings there as if the place was a Buddha stupa or a Buddha temple. How much more so if someone is

able to receive, hold (in mind), read and recite the whole sutra! Subhuti, you should know that such a person will achieve the highest and rarest Dhama. Wheresoever this sutra may be found the Buddha and His respected disciples will be there also.' Subhuti then asked the Buddha: 'World Honoured One, what name should be given to this sutra and how should we receive and hold it (in mind)?' The Buddha said: 'This sutra should be called The Diamond prajna-paramita" under which name you should receive and hold it. Why? Because, Subhuti, the Prajna- paramita as expounded by the Buddha, is not Prajna- paramita but is (merely) so called.' 'Subhuti, what do you think Does the Tathagata expound the Dharma?' Subhuti said: 'World Honoured One, the Tathagata does not expound anything.'


'Subhuti, what do you think? Are there many particles of dust in the universe?'


Subhuti replied: 'Many, World Honoured One!

' 'Subhuti, the Tathagata says these particles of dust are not (real), (but) are (merely) called particles of dust. The Tathagata says the universe is not (real), but it is (merely) called the universe.'

'Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Tathagata be perceived by means of His thirty-two physical characteristics (laksanas)?' 'No, World Honoured One. The Tathagata cannot be perceived by them. Why? Because the Tathagata says they are not real but are (merely) called the thirty-two physical characteristics.'

'Subhuti, if on the one hand, a virtuous man or woman, in giving alms (dana), sacrifices as many lives as there are sand-grains in the Ganges, and on the other hand, someone receives and holds (in mind) even a four-line stanza of this sutra, and expounds it to other, the merit resulting from the latter will

be greater.'

At that time, after listening to this sutra, Subhuti had understood its profound meaning and was moved to tears. He said to the Buddha: 'How rare, O World Honoured One! The Buddha has expounded such a very profound sutra. Since I have acquired the wisdom eye, I have not heard of such a sutra. World Honoured One, if someone after listening to this sutra believes that his mind is clean and pure, he will realise reality. We should know that such a person will achieve the highest and rarest merit. World Honoured One, this Reality is not Reality but the Tathagata calls it Reality. World Honoured One, as I now listen to this sutra I have no difficulty in believing, understanding, receiving and holding it, but in the last epoch, the last five hundred year period if there be a man who (happens to) listen to this sutra, believes, understands receives and holds it, he will be most rare. Why? Because he will no longer (think in terms of) an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Why? Because the forms of an ego, a personality, a being and a life are not forms. Why?

Because when he has rejected all forms he is called a Buddha.'

The Buddha said: 'Just so! Subhuti, just so! If on the one hand, there be a man who listens to this sutra and is not filled with alarm, fear, or dread, you should know that such a person is most rare. Why? Because, Subhuti, as the Tathagata says, the first perfection ( paramita) is not so (but) is (merely) called the first perfection (paramita).


'Subhuti, the Tathagata speaks of the Perfection of Patience (ksanti paramita) which is not but is called the Perfection of Patience. Why? Because, Subhuti, in (a) past (life) when my body was mutilated by Kaliraja, I had at that time no notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Why? Because, in the past, when my body was dismembered, if I (still) held the conception of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, I would have been stirred by feelings of anger and hatred. Subhuti, I also remember that in the past, during my former five hundred lives, I was a Ksantyrsi and held no conception of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Therefore, Subhuti, Bodhisattvas should forsake all conceptions of form and resolve to develop the

Supreme Enlightenment Mind (Anuttara-samyaksam-bodhi). Their minds should not abide in form, sound, smell, taste, touch and dharma. Their minds should abide nowhere. If minds abide somewhere, it will be in falsehood. This is why the Buddha says that Bodhisattvas' minds should not abide in form when practising charity (dana). Subhuti, all Bodhisattvas should thus make offerings for the welfare of all living beings. The Tathagata speaks of forms which

are not forms and of living beings who are not living beings. 'Subhuti, the Tathagatas' words are true and correspond to reality. They are ultimate words, neither deceitful nor heterodox. Subhuti, the Dharma the Tathagata has obtained is neither real nor unreal. 'Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva practises charity ( dana ) with a mind abiding in things (dharma), he is like a man entering the darkness where he cannot see anything; (but) if a Bodhisattva practises dana with a mind not abiding in dharma, he is like a man with open eyes, who can see everything in the sunshine.

'Subhuti, in future ages, if a virtuous man or woman is able to receive, hold (in mind), read and recite this sutra, the Tathagata, by means of His Buddha Wisdom, will know and see clearly that such a person will achieve immeasurable and unlimitable merits. Subhuti, if (on the one hand) a virtuous man or woman sacrifices in the practice of charity (dana), as many lives as the sand-grains of the Ganges in the morning, at midday and again in the evening, and continues so doing throughout numberless aeons; and if (on the other hand) a person after listening to this sutra believes in his own mind without (further) contradiction, the latter's merit will surpass that of the former. How much more so if this sutra is written, received, held, read, recited and expounded to others!

'Subhuti, to sum up, the merits resulting from this sutra are inconceivable, inestimable and without limit. The Tathagata expounds it to those initiated into the Mahayana and the Supreme Yana. If they are able to receive, hold (in mind), read and recite it and expound it widely to others, the Tathagata will know and will see that they will achieve inexpressible and inconceivable merits that are without measure or limit. They will bear (responsibility for) the Tathagata's Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttara-samyaksambodhi.) Why? Because, Subhuti, those who take delight in the Hinayana and hold the view of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, cannot listen to, receive, hold (in mind), read and recite this sutra and explain it to others.

'Subhuti, wheresoever this sutra may be found, all worlds of devas, men and asuras should make offerings, for you should know that such a place is just a stupa which should be revered, worshipped and circumambulated, with offerings of flowers and incense. 'Furthermore, Subhuti, if a virtuous man or woman receives, holds (in mind), reads and recites this sutra and is despised by others, this person who is bound to suffer from evil destinies in retribution for his past sins, and whose karmic Sins are now eradicated by the others' contempt, will attain Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttarasamyak-sambodhi).

'Subhuti, I remember that in the past countless aeons before the advent of Dipamkara Buddha, I met 84,000 milliards of Buddhas to whom I made offerings and whom I served faultlessly. Now if in the last period (of 500 years) in the Buddha kalpa someone is able to receive, hold (in mind), read and recite this sutra, his merits will far exceed mine which resulted from my offerings made to Buddhas, for mine cannot be reckoned as one hundredth, one thousandth, one ten thousandth or one hundred thousandth part thereof; in fact no computation or comparison is possible. Subhuti, in the last period of the Buddha kalpa, if a virtuous man or woman is able to receive, hold (in mind), read and recite this sutra, my full statement of this person's merits will create derangement, doubt and disbelief in the minds of all listeners. Subhuti, you should know that as the meaning of this sutra is inconceivable, so is the fruit of its reward.'

At the time, Subhuti asked the Buddha: 'World Honoured One, if a virtuous man or woman is determined to develop the Supreme Enlightened Mind, how should his or her mind abide and how should it be subdued?' The Buddha said to Subhuti: 'A virtuous man or woman who is determined to develop the Supreme Enlightened Mind, should thus develop it: I have to lead all living beings to put a stop to (reincarnation) and escape (suffering), and when they have been so led, not one of them in fact stops (reincarnating) or escapes suffering. Why? Because, Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva clings to the notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, he is not a (true) Bodhisattva. Why? Because, Subhuti, there is not really a Dharma which can develop the Supreme-Enlightenment-Mind. 'Subhuti, what do you think? When the Tathagata was with Dipamkara Buddha, did He have any Dharma by means of which He attained Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttarasamyak-sambodhi)?'

'No, World Honoured One. As I understand the meaning of the Buddha's teaching, when He was with Dipamkara Buddha, He had no Dharma by means of which He attained "Supreme Enlightenment".' The Buddha said: 'Just so! Subhuti, just so! There was really no Dharma by means of which the Tathagata attained Supreme Enlightenment. Subhuti, if there had been, Dipamkara Buddha would not have predicted: "In your next life, you will be a Buddha named Sakyamuni". 'Why is it? Because "Tathagata" means the suchness of all Dharmas. If someone still says: "The Tathagata obtained Supreme Enlightenment," I tell you, Subhuti, there is no Dharma by means of which the Buddha did so, (because), Subhuti, that Enlightenment was by itself neither real nor unreal. This is why the Tathagata says that all Dharmas are Buddha's Dharmas. Subhuti, these so-called Dharmas are not, but are (expediently), called all Dharmas. Subhuti, supposing there is a man whose body is great.'

Subhuti said: 'World Honoured One, the great body of which the Tathagata speaks is not great, but is (expediently) called a great body.' 'Subhuti, in like manner, if a Bodhisattva says: "I should lead uncountable living beings to put a stop to (reincarnation) and escape (from suffering)", he cannot be called a Bodhisattva. Why? Because there is really no dharma called the Bodhisattva (stage). Therefore, the Buddha says: "Of all dharmas, there is not a single one which possesses an ego, a personality, a being and a life." Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva says: "I should adorn Buddha lands", he cannot be called a Bodhisattva. Why? Because when the Tathagata speaks of such adornment it is not, but is (expediently), called adornment. Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva is thoroughly versed in (the doctrine of) the unreality of ego and of things (dharma), the Tathagata will call him a true Bodhisattva. 'Subhuti, what do you think.? Does the Tathagata possess human eyes?

'Yes, World Honoured One, the Tathagata possesses human eyes.'
'Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata possess deva eye?'
'Yes, World Honoured One, the Tathagata possesses deva eyes.'
'Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata possess wisdom eyes?'
'Yes, World Honoured One, the Tathagata possesses wisdom eyes.
'Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata possess Dharma eyes?
'Yes, World Honoured One. The Tathagata possess Dharma eyes'
'Subhuti, What do you think? Does the Tathagata possess Buddha eyes?'
'Yes, World Honoured One, the Tathagata possesses Buddha eyes.'
'Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata say that the sand-grains in the Ganges are sand-grains?
'Yes, World Honoured One, the Tathagata says they are sand-grains'

'Subhuti, what do you think? If there were as many Ganges rivers as sand-grains in the Ganges, and if there were as many Buddha realms as sandgrains of all these Ganges rivers, would there be many world systems.?' 'Many, World Honoured One!'

The Buddha said the living beings in all these world systems have many different minds which are all known to the Tathagata. Why? Because the minds the Tathagata speaks of are not minds, but are (expediently) called minds. And why? Because, Subhuti, neither the past, the present nor the future mind can be found.

'Subhuti, what do you think.? If someone filled the universe with the seven treasures and gave all away in his practice of dana, would this (good) cause enable the giver to gain a great merit?' 'Yes, World Honoured One, because of this (good) cause the giver would gain a great merit.' 'Subhuti, if the merit was real, the Tathagata would not say it was great. He says so because there is no merit. 'Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Buddha be perceived by His completely perfect physical body (rupa-kaya)?' 'No, World Honoured One, the Tathagata should not be so perceived. Why? Because the Buddha says the completely perfect rupa-kaya is not, but is called the completely perfect rupakaya.'

'Subhuti' what do you think? Can the Tathagata be perceived by His completely perfect forms? 'No, World Honoured One, the Tathagata should not be so perceived, because the Tathagata says the completely perfect forms are not, but are called completely perfect forms.'

'Subhuti, do not say that the Tathagata thinks: "I must expound the Dharma". Do not have such a thought. Why? Because if someone says so, he will really slander the Buddha and be unable to understand my teaching. Subhuti, when (the 'Tathagata) expounds the Dharma, there is really no Dharma to teach: but this is (expediently) called teaching the Dharma.'

Then the wise Subhuti said to the Buddha: 'World Honoured One, will there be in future ages living beings who will believe this Dharma when they hear it?' The Buddha said: 'Subhuti, the living beings (you just mentioned) are neither living nor not living beings. Why? Because, Subhuti, the Tathagata says these living beings are not (really), but they are (expediently), called living beings.' Subhuti said to the Buddha: 'World Honoured One, does your (own) attainment of Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi) mean that you have not gained anything whatsoever?'

The Buddha replied: 'Just so, Subhuti, just so, I have not gained even the least Dharma from Supreme enlightenment, and this is called Supreme Enlightenment. Furthermore, Subhuti, this Dharma is universal and impartial; wherefore it is called Supreme Enlightenment. The practice of all good virtues (Dharmas), free from attachment to an ego, a personality, a being and a life, will result in the attainment of Supreme Enlightenment. Subhuti. the so-called good virtues (Dharmas), the Tathagata says, are not good, but are (expediently) called good virtues. 'Subhuti, if (on the one hand) a man, in his

practice of charity (dana) gives away the seven treasures piled up in a heap as great as all the Mounts Sumeru in the Universe put together, and (on the other hand) another man receives, holds (in mind) reads and recites even a four-line stanza of this Prajna-paramita Sutra, and expounds it to others, the merit resulting from the former's dana will not be worth one-hundredth, one-thousandth, one-ten-thousandth and onehundred thousandth part of that obtained by the latter, as no conceivable comparison can be made between the two. 'Subhuti, what do you think? You should not say the Tathagata has this thought (in His mind): "I should liberate living beings." Subhuti, you should not think so. Why? Because there are really no living beings whom the Tathagata can liberate. If there were, the Tathagata would hold (the concept of) an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Subhuti, (when) the Tathagata speaks of an ego, there is in reality no ego, although common men think so. Subhuti, the Tathagata says common men are not, but are (expediently) called, common men. 'Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Tathagata be recognised by His thirty-two physical characteristics?' Subhuti replied: 'Yes, yes, He can.'

The Buddha said: 'Subhuti, if the Tathagata can be recognised by His thirty-two physical characteristics, a world ruler (cakravarti) would be the Tathagata.'

Subhuti said to the Buddha: 'World Honoured One, as I understand your teaching, the Tathagata cannot be recognised by His thirty-two physical characteristics.

Thereupon, the World Honoured One recited the following gatha:

'He who sees me by outward appearance

(And) seeks me in sound,

Treads the heterodox path

(And) cannot perceive the Tathagata.

'Subhuti, if you have ( in your mind) this thought: "The Tathagata does not rely on His possession of characteristics to obtain supreme Enlightenment," Subhuti, banish that thought. Subhuti, if you think it while developing the Perfect Enlightenment Mind, you will advocate the annihilation of all Dharmas. Do not have such a thought. Why? Because one who develops the Supreme Enlightenment Mind, does not advocate the annihilation (of things). 'Subhuti, if (on the one hand) a Bodhisattva gave in his practice of dana, all the seven treasures in quantities sufficient to fill worlds as many as sandgrains in the Ganges, and (on the other hand) another man comprehended that all

dharmas were egoless and thereby achieved perfection of patience (ksanti), the latter's merit would surpass that of the former. Why? Because, Subhuti, all Bodhisattvas do not receive reward for their merits.'

Subhuti asked the Buddha: 'World Honoured One, why do Bodhisattvas not receive reward for their merits?' 'Subhuti, Bodhisattvas should have no longing and no attachment when they practise meritorious virtues; therefore, they do not receive a reward. 'Subhuti, if someone says the Tathagata comes or goes, sits or lies, he does not understand what I mean. Why? Because the Tathagata has neither whence (to come) nor whither (to go); therefore, He is called the Tathagata.

'Subhuti. what do you think? If a virtuous man or woman reduced to dust all the worlds in the Universe, would those particles of dust many?' Subhuti replied: 'Many, World Honoured One. Why? Because if they really existed, the Buddha would not say they were particles of dust. And why? Because when the Buddha speaks of particles of dust, they are not, but are (expediently) called, particles of dust. World Honoured One, when the Tathagata speaks of worlds, they are not, but are (expediently) called, worlds. Why? Because if they really exist, they are just agglomerations. The Tathagata speaks of agglomerations which are not, but are (expediently) called, agglomerations.'

'Subhuti, that which is called an agglomeration cannot be spoken of, but the vulgar man has longing for and attachment to this thing. 'Subhuti, what do you think? If someone says: "The Buddha speaks of the view of an ego, a personality, a being and a life", Subhuti, does that person understand what I mean?" 'No, World Honoured one, that person does not understand. Why? Because (when) the Tathagata speaks of the view of an ego, a Personality, a being and a life, it is not really, (but) is (expediently) called the view of an ego, a personality a being and a life.' 'Subhuti, he who develops the Supreme Enlightenment Mind, should thus know, see, believe and comprehend (all things); he should not set up the perception of things (dharma-laksana) in his mind. Subhuti, the so-called form of things (dharma-laksana), the Tathagata says is not, but is, (expediently) called the form of things. 'Subhuti, if on the one hand, someone gave away in alms (dana) the seven treasures inquantities sufficient to fill all the worlds in uncount-able aeons, and if on the other hand, a virtuous man or woman developed the Bodhi-mind, and received, held (in mind), read and recited even a four-line stanza of this sutra and expounded it to others, the latter's merit would surpass that of the former. In what manner should it be taught to others? By teaching it without attachment to form with the immutability of the absolute.


Why is it? Because: -

All phenomena are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble and a shadow,

Like dew and lightning.

Thus should you contemplate them'.

When the Buddha had finished expounding this sutra, the elder Subhuti, together with bhiksus, bhiksunis, upasakas, upasikas, and all the worlds of devas, men and asuras who had listened to His teaching, were filled with joy and believed received and observed it.


THE DIAMOND SUTRA

History

Buddha once dwelt in Anathapindika's Park, in the Jeta Grove at Sravasti, with 1,250 monks and many Bodhisattvas. Near dawn, Buddha clothed himself, took up his bowl and entered the great city of Sravasti to collect food offered as alms. Having returned and eaten, Buddha put away his bowl and cloak, bathed his feet, and sat with legs crossed and body upright upon the seat arranged for him, mindfully fixing attention in front of himself. Many monks approached Buddha, showing great reverence, and seated themselves about him. A monk called Subhuti arose from his seat in the midst of the monks and, showing great respect for Buddha, said: "It is wonderful how much Buddha has helped the Bodhisattvas. How should men and women who set out on the Bodhisattva Path progress, and how should they control their thoughts?" Lead all beings to nirvana

Buddha replied: "Listen carefully. All Bodhisattvas should hold this thought: Every kind of created being which can be called a 'being', egg-born, formed in a womb, born from moisture or produced by metamorphosis, or with form or without, all these I guide towards Nirvana even though no being at all has been led to Nirvana.

"Why? If in a Bodhisattva the conception of 'being', 'egotistic entity', 'personality' or 'separate existence' should take place, this Bodhisattva would not be an authentic being of wisdom and compassion.


Practice virtue

"A Bodhisattva should practice virtue without regard to appearances, unsupported by sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations or mental attachments. A Bodhisattva should practice virtue without attachment to externals. Why? This is the way to being Buddha." Tathagata's phenomenal attributes

Buddha then asked Subhuti, "But what do you think? Can the Tathagata be recognized by any phenomenal attribute?" "No, Buddha. Why? Because the Tathagata has taught that the possession of phenomenal attributes is in fact non-possession of any phenomenal attributes." Buddha elaborated: "Where there is possession of phenomenal attributes, there is delusion; where there is non-possession of any phenomenal attributes, there is no delusion. The Tathagata is therefore recognized by the attribute of having no phenomenal attributes." Ask about future Subhuti then asked Buddha: "In the future, in the last five centuries when the way is obscured, will any beings understand the truth of these teachings?" Buddha answered: "Do not say this, Subhuti! Even then, in the remote future, there will be beings who will understand the truth when these words are taught. There will even then be Bodhisattvas meritorious in conduct, practised in virtue and full of wisdom who will understand the truth when they hear these teachings. Such Bodhisattvas, Subhuti, will not have honoured one Buddha alone, nor will they have rooted their merit under just one Buddha. Rather, these Bodhisattvas, who will find serene faith awakened upon hearing the words of this teaching, will have honoured and rooted themselves in merit under countless Buddhas. They are known to the Tathagata through his Buddha-thought; they are seen by the Tathagata with his Buddha-eye. Hence they are fully known to the Tathagata, and they will all acquire and produce inestimable merit.


"And why? Because, Subhuti, these Bodhisattvas will have no perception of an egotistic self, neither of a separate entity nor of a soul, no perception of a personality. Nor will they even have a

perception of dharma or adharma, for in them there will be neither perception nor non-perception. Explain dharma "How can this be? If these Bodhisattvas, Subhuti, should perceive either dharma or adharma, they would think of an ego, a separate entity, a soul or a personality. Therefore the Tathagata has taught this saying with a hidden meaning: 'Those who know that the teachings about dharma are like a raft, should renounce dharma and, even more, renounce adharma.' " Buddha asked: "Do you think, Subhuti, that the Tathagata knows any dharma as the ultimate and perfect enlightenment? Has the Tathagata ever set forth such a teaching?"

Subhuti reponded: "Not according to my understanding of the teachings of the Tathagata. Why? The dharma which the Tathagata fully knows and has set forth can neither be thought nor formulated in words, for it is neither dharma nor adharma." Merit is non-merit "What do you think, Subhuti," Buddha asked, "if a man or woman filled a thousand million worlds with the seven treasures and made a gift of them to the Tathagata, would they accumulate inestimable merit?" Subhuti answered: "The merit accrued would be beyond reckoning. Why? Because the Tathagata has taught that such merit is nonmerit." One who has entered the stream

"What do you think, Subhuti," Buddha asked, "does a one who has entered the stream which flows to enlightenment, say 'I have entered the stream'?" "No, Buddha", Subhuti replied. "For he has won no dharma and therefore he is called one who has entered the stream. No objects of sight or hearing have been won, no smells or tastes, no objects of touch nor even objects of mind. Thus he is called one who has entered the stream. If the thought 'the fruit of entering the stream has been attained by me' occurred to such a one, then he would be seizing upon a self, or personality, a soul or a concept of being." One who must return once

Buddha asked: "Subhuti, do you think that one who has to return but once again, even entertains the thought 'the fruit of a once-returner is mine'?" "No Buddha," Subhuti replied. "For nothing ultimately real has won the status of a once-returner: that is why he is called once-returner." One who will not return

"Do you think", Buddha asked, "that the one who will not return at all, ever thinks 'the fruit of the never-returner is mine'?" "No, Buddha," Subhuti answered. "For nothing which can be considered ultimately real has won the status of never-returner'." One who is fully enlightened "Then," Buddha asked, "does the fully enlightened one, ever think, 'full enlightenment is mine'?"

"Indeed not," Subhuti answered, "for nothing ultimately real is called fully enlightened, and that is why one who is fully enlightened is called fully enlightened. If one who is fully enlightened ever thought 'the fruit of being fully enlightened is mine', he would grasp a self, a personality, a soul or a concept of being." Dharma is non-dharma

"Do you think, Subhuti," Buddha then asked, "there is any dharma or attainment which the Tathagata acquired from the fully enlightened one?" "No, not one," Subhuti replied. Perfection is non-perfection

Buddha said: "If a Bodhisattva declared 'I perfect serene Buddhafields', his words would be false. Why? Because the Tathagata has taught that the perfection of serene Buddha-fields is non-perfection. Thus the Tathagata speaks of serene Buddha-fields. "The Bodhisattva should develop a thought which is in no way dependent upon sights, sounds, smells tastes, tactile sensations or mental objects. Existence is non-existence

"Suppose, Subhuti, a man had an enormous body, like Sumeru, the king of mountains. Would the sense of personal existence he had also be enormous?" "Yes, indeed, Buddha," Subhuti answered. "His sense of personal existence would be enormous. But the Tathagata has taught that personal existence is no-existence, for it is in fact neither existence nor non-existence. So it is called 'personal existence'." Summarize the teaching on dharma Subhuti asked Buddha: "What is this teaching on dharma and how shall it be remembered?"

Buddha answered: "This teaching, Subhuti, is known as Prajnaparamita, the perfection of wisdom, and you should remember it as such. Yet the very discourse the Tathagata has taught as 'the perfection of wisdom' is exactly the teaching which is not the perfection of wisdom. Thus it is only called Prajnaparamita.

"Do you think, Subhuti, that the Tathagata has taught any special dharma?" "No, Buddha," Subhuti answered, "not at all!" Interlude Subhuti, hearing this discourse on dharma, understood it and was moved to tears. He spoke: "Buddha! The teaching of the Tathagata regarding dharma is most precious. Through it, Buddha-cognition has arisen in me. Never have I witnessed such a teaching! Blessed are those who when this discourse is taught, have true perception. Yet true perception is in fact no perception, though the Tathagata teaches true perception.

"When this discourse on dharma is being taught, it is easy for me to accept and believe it. But in future days, when the teaching wanes, beings will listen to this teaching, retain it, ponder it, and illuminate it for others, and they will be blessed indeed. For in them no sense of self, no conception of an entity, no perception of personality, will exist. A sense of self is no sense, in truth, a conception of being is no conception, and a perception of personality is no perception. The Buddhas have transcended all perceptions!"

Buddha said: "It is as you say, Subhuti. Blessed indeed are those beings who do not tremble with fear or awe when they hear this teaching. The Tathagata has taught parama paramita, the supreme perfection. And this teaching of the Tathagata is also the teaching of countless Buddhas. "Further, Subhuti, the perfection of patience taught by the Tathagata is in reality no perfection. Why? When the Raja of Kalinga mutilated my body, I had at that time no sense of self, no conception of a being, no perception of personality. If such a conception or perception had arisen at that time, anger and hatred would have arisen in me. But for five hundred lives I have been a sage suffused with patience, having no sense of self, no conception of being, no perception of personality. Practice virtue

"A Bodhisattva, once he has relinquished all perceptions, raises his thought to the enlightenment. He releases a thought free of form, sound, smell, taste, touch or mental activity, free even from dharma and adharma, for all such supporting conditions are in reality no support at all. Hence the Tathagata teaches: virtue should be practised by a Bodhisattva who relies on no supporting conditions.

"A Bodhisattva should practise virtue in this way for the welfare of all beings. And yet, the perception of a being, Subhuti, is no perception. All those beings just spoken of are in fact no beings. The Tathagata does not speak falsely, but rather speaks the truth, in accord with reality. Yet the dharma which the Tathagata has attained and now illuminates for others is neither real nor unreal. Renouncing virtue

"A Bodhisattva who is attached to conceptions and perceptions, and who renounces virtue, is like a man groping in the dark. A Bodhisattva who is free from conceptions and perceptions, and who renounces virtue, is like a man whose eyes see all things clearly in the bright morning sun." Interlude 2 Buddha said: "Those good men and women who will take up this teaching on dharma, who will think on it, recite it, study it, and who will illuminate the whole of it for others, they are known to the Tathagata. He recognizes them by his Buddha-cognition and

perceives them with his Buddha-eye. These good beings will each bring to fruitation immeasurable and incalculable merit. "I recollect through my Buddha-cognition, Subhuti, that in the remote past, aeons before the supremely enlightened one, I faultlessly served millions of Buddhas throughout incalculable ages. Nevertheless, the merit gained by those who take up, remember, study, recite and explain to others this discourse in the future, when the way is obscured, will surpass the merit gained in the service I rendered to all Buddhas millions of times over. Their merit has no number; it is incalculable and incomparable.

"If I were to teach just how vast this merit which will be gained in the future is, Subhuti, good men and women who hear me would become confused, mentally disturbed and even frantic. But since the Tathagata has taught that this discourse on dharma is inconceivable, an incommensurable karmic fruit should be expected from it." Lead all beings to nirvana 2

Subhuti asked: "How, Buddha, does one who seeks the Bodhisattva Path tread it?" Buddha answered: "One who sets out on the Bodhisattva Path should continuously think, 'I must lead all brings to absolute Nirvana; nevertheless, even when all beings have been led to Nirvana, no being in reality has been led to Nirvana.' For if the idea of a being, entity or personality should arise in him, he is not a Bodhisattva. He who has set out on the Bodhisattva Path is not one of the dharmas.

"Do you think, Subhuti, that when the Tathagata was with the enlightened one there was any dharma by which he came to know supreme enlightenment?" "There was not," Subhuti answered, "any dharma by which the Tathagata has known supreme enlightenment."

"For this reason," Buddha said, "'Tathagata signifies attributelessness, and if someone were to say, 'The Tathagata has fully known supreme enlightenment. The dharma of the Tathagata is neither real nor unreal. Hence the Tathagata teaches that all dharmas are the Buddha's own special dharmas. Why? The Tathagata has taught that all dharmas together are no dharma named 'Bodhisattva'?"

"No, Buddha," Subhuti answered.

"Thus," Buddha continued, "the Tathagata teaches that all dharmas are selfless and are not beings, entities or personalities. Even if a Bodhisattva wished to create tranquil Buddha-fields, he should not be called a Bodhisattva, for the Tathagata has taught that tranquil Buddha-fields are not really tranquil Buddha-fields.

"Subhuti, the Bodhisattva who continually swells on the selflessness of all dharmas, however, is known by the Tathagata, the supremely enlightened one, as a Bodhisattva of Great Courage." What does the tathagata see?

Buddha asked Subhuti: "What do you think? Does the Tathagata possess the physical eye?"
"Yes, Buddha," Subhuti replied.
"Does the Tathagata possess the divine eye of enlightenment?"
"Surely, Buddha, the Tathagata possesses it."
"Does the Tathagata possess the eye of transcendental wisdom, Subhuti?"
"Indeed he does, Buddha."
"Does the Tathagata possess the dharma eye?"
"Yes, Buddha."

"And, Subhuti, does the Tathagata possess the Buddha-eye of universal compassion?" "Without doubt, Buddha, the Tathagata possesses all these eyes." Comments on the mind "Subhuti, I know the mind of every sentient being in all the host of universes, regardless of any modes of thought, conceptions or tendencies. For all modes, conceptions and tendencies of thought are not mind. And yet they are called 'mind'. Why? It is impossible to retain past thought, to seize future thought and even to hold present thought." Form is no-form

"Is the Tathagata to be seen," Buddha asked, "in the manifestation of his form?" "Indeed not," Subhuti replied, "for the Tathagata has taught that the manifestation of his form is no manifestation, even though it is called 'the manifestation of his form'."


The Buddha said: "Does the Tathagata think, 'I have demonstrated dharma'? If anyone says, 'The Tathagata has demonstrated dharma', he speaks falsely, for he misunderstands the Tathagata by grabbing at what is not there. There is no dharma which could be taught as a demonstration of dharma." Being is non-being

Subhuti asked: "in the distant future when the way is obscured, will there be beings who, upon hearing these dharmas, will believe them?" "Subhuti," Buddha replied, "they would be neither beings not nonbeings, for the Tathagata has taught that beings are not in truth beings, even though he has called them 'beings'. Summary of dharma

"Do you think, Subhuti," Buddha asked, "there is any dharma by which the Tathagata has known supreme enlightenment?" "There is no such dharma, Buddha."

"Thus, Subhuti, no atom of dharma is to be found. Therefore, enlightenment is called supreme. This dharma is identical only with itself, and is undifferentiated. Therefore it is called 'supreme enlightenment'. Being unique and undifferentiated because of the absence of a self, entity or personality, this supreme enlightenment is known as the collectivity of all good dharmas. But Subhuti, the Tathagata has taught that dharmas are not in truth dharmas, even though they are called 'dharmas'.

"Does a Tathagata ever think, 'I have liberated beings'? Never imagine this, Subhuti, for there is no being to be liberated by the Tathagata. If the Tathagata thought to liberate any being, a concept of self, entity or personality would have arisen in him. The Tathagata has taught that the concept of self is no concept. Nevertheless, common people cling to the concept of self. The Tathagata has taught that the common people are not common people, even though they are called 'common people'."

Who sees me by form, Who sees me in sound, Perverted are his footsteps upon the way; For he cannot perceive the Tathagata. The Buddhas are seen through dharma, From dharma-bodies their guidance comes; But the nature of dharma is never discerned, It cannot be grasped by the mind alone. Examples of misinterpretation

The Buddha said: "No one should say, 'Those who set out upon the Bodhisattva Path presume the annihilation of a dharma', for it is not so, Subhuti. Those who tread the Bodhisattva Path do not presume the annihilation of any dharma.

"Suppose, Subhuti, that a man or woman filled with the seven treasures as many galaxies as there are grains of sand in the great Ganges, and then offered them all to the Tathagatas; and suppose a Bodhisattva patiently forbore all dharmas, which in themselves have no essence. This Bodhisattva would gain an immeasurably greater merit. And yet a Bodhisattva should gain no merit."

"But would not, Buddha," Subhuti asked, "a Bodhisattva gain much merit?"

"He would gain it, Subhuti, but he should not grasp it."

Buddha continued: "If anyone says that the Tathagata comes or goes, sits or reclines, he fails to understand my teaching. Why? The Tathagata has neither whence nor whither, and therefore he is called the supremely enlightened one'.

"If a man or woman took a galaxy for every particle of dust in this vast galaxy and thoroughly ground each one until it was reduced to atoms, would the heap of atoms be great?"

"Indeed, Buddha," Subhuti answered, "the heap of atoms would be immense. And yet this enormous heap of atoms is not really a heap of atoms, even though it is called 'a heap of atoms'.

"Further, although the Tathagata has said 'galaxy', he teaches that it is not in truth a galaxy. For, Buddha, if there were in truth a galaxy, it would be a material object to be seized upon, and the Tathagata has taught that there is no seizing at all." "Indeed, Subhuti," Buddha said, "this 'seizing upon a material object' is a convention of language, an expression devoid of real content. It is neither dharma nor adharma, even though ordinary people have seized upon it foolishly.

"Suppose, Subhuti, that someone said that the Tathagata has taught a conception of a self, an entity or a personality. Would he be right?" Subhuti answered: "Not at all, Buddha. That which the Tathagata has called 'a conception of self' is no conception." "Therefore, Subhuti," Buddha said, "one who has set out on the Bodhisattva Path should know all dharma and view them intently. Yet he should know them and view them in a way which does not give rise to a perception of any dharma. Why? The Tathagata has taught that perception of a dharma is no perception, even though it is called 'perception of a dharma'. Conclusion

"If even a Bodhisattva of Great Courage filled innumerable galaxies with the seven precious treasures, and offered them as a gift to the supremely enlightened ones, his merit would not compare with the immeasurable merit of a good man or woman who took just one stanza from this Prajnaparamita discourse on dharma and remembered, recited, studied and illuminated it for others. How is this done? In a way which is free from appearances. Thus one illuminates it for others."

Like a meteor, like darkness, as a flickering lamp, An illusion, like hoar-frost or a bubble, Like clouds, a flash of lightning, or a dream: So is all conditioned existence to be seen. Thus spoke Buddha.


THE DIAMOND SUTRA

(translated by A.F.Price)


The Convocation of the Assembly

Thus have I heard. Upon a time Buddha sojourned in Anathapindika's Park by Shravasti with a great company of bhikshus, even twelve hundred and fifty. One day, at the time for breaking fast, the World-honored One enrobed, and carrying His bowl made His way into the great city of Shravasti to beg for His food. In the

midst of the city He begged from door to door according to rule. This done, He returned to His retreat and took His meal. When He had finished He put away His robe and begging bowl, washed His feet, arranged His seat, and sat down.


Subhuti Makes a Request

Now in the midst of the assembly was the Venerable Subhuti. Forthwith he arose, uncovered his right shoulder, knelt upon his right knee, and, respectfully raising his hands with palms joined, addressed Buddha thus: World-honored One, if good men and good women seek the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment, by what criteria should they abide and how should they control their thoughts? Buddha said: Very good, Subhuti! Just as you say, the Tathagata is ever-mindful of all the Bodhisattvas, protecting and instructing them well. Now listen and take my words to heart: I will declare to you by what criteria good men and good women seeking the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment should abide, and how they should control their thoughts.

Said Subhuti: Pray, do, World-honored One. With joyful anticipation we long to hear.


The Real Teaching of the Great Way

Buddha said: Subhuti, all the Bodhisattva-Heroes should discipline their thoughts as follows: All living creatures of whatever class, born from eggs, from wombs, from moisture, or by transformation whether with form or without form, whether in a state of thinking or exempt from thought-necessity, or wholly beyond all thought realms -- all these are caused by Me to attain Unbounded Liberation Nirvana. Yet when vast, uncountable, immeasurable numbers of beings have thus been liberated, verily no being has been liberated. Why is this, Subhuti? It is because no Bodhisattva who is a real Bodhisattva cherishes the idea of an egoentity, a personality, a being, or a separated individuality.


Even the Most Beneficent Practices are Relative

Furthermore, Subhuti, in the practice of charity a Bodhisattva should be detached. That is to say, he should practice charity without regard to appearances; without regard to sound, odor, touch, flavor or any quality. Subhuti, thus should the Bodhisattva practice charity without attachment. Wherefore? In such a case his merit is incalculable. Subhuti, what do you think? Can you measure all the space extending eastward? No, World-honored One, I cannot.

Then can you, Subhuti, measure all the space extending southward, westward, northward, or in any other direction, including nadir and zenith? No, World-honored One, I cannot.

Well, Subhuti, equally incalculable is the merit of the Bodhisattva who practices charity without any attachment to appearances. Subhuti, Bodhisattvas should persevere one-pointedly in this instruction.


Understanding the Ultimate Principle of Reality

Subhuti, what do you think? Is the Tathagata to be recognized by some material characteristic? No, World-honored One; the Tathagata cannot be recognized by any material characteristic. Wherefore? Because the Tathagata has said that material characteristics are not, in fact, material characteristics. Buddha said: Subhuti, wheresoever are material characteristics there is delusion; but whoso perceives that all characteristics are in fact no-characteristics, perceives the Tathagata.


Rare is True Faith

Subhuti said to Buddha: World-honored One, will there always be men who will truly believe after coming to hear these teachings? Buddha answered: Subhuti, do not utter such words! At the end of the last fivehundred-year period following the passing of the Tathagata, there will be selfcontrolled men, rooted in merit, coming to hear these teachings, who will be inspired with belief. But you should realize that such men have not strengthened their root of merit under just one Buddha, or two Buddhas, or three, or four, or five Buddhas, but under countless Buddhas; and their merit is of every kind. Such men, coming to hear these teachings, will have an immediate uprising of pure faith, Subhuti; and the Tathagata will recognize them. Yes, He will clearly perceive all these of pure heart, and the magnitude of their moral excellences.


Wherefore? It is because such men will not fall back to cherishing the idea of an ego-entity, a personality, a being, or a separated individuality. They will neither fall back to cherishing the idea of things as having intrinsic qualities, nor even of things as devoid of intrinsic qualities. Wherefore? Because if such men allowed their minds to grasp and hold on to anything they would be cherishing the idea of an ego-entity, a personality, a being, or a separated individuality; and if they grasped and held on to the notion of things as having intrinsic qualities they would be cherishing the idea of an ego-entity, a


personality, a being, or a separated individuality. Likewise, if they grasped and held on to the notion of things as devoid of intrinsic qualities they would be cherishing the idea of an ego-entity, a personality, a being, or a separated individuality. So you should not be attached to things as being possessed of, or devoid of, intrinsic qualities. This is the reason why the Tathagata always teaches this saying: My teaching of the Good Law is to be likened unto a raft. [Does a man who has safely crossed a flood upon a raft continue his journey carrying that raft upon his head?] The Buddha-teaching must be relinquished; how much more so mis-teaching!


Great Ones, Perfect Beyond Learning, Utter no Words of Teaching

Subhuti, what do you think? Has the Tathagata attained the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment? Has the Tathagata a teaching to enunciate? Subhuti answered: As I understand Buddha's meaning there is no formulation of truth called Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment. Moreover, the Tathagata has no formulated teaching to enunciate. Wherefore? Because the Tathagata has said that truth is uncontainable and inexpressible. It neither is nor is it not. Thus it is that this unformulated Principle is the foundation of the different systems of all the sages.


The Fruits of Meritorious Action

Subhuti, what do you think? If anyone filled three thousand galaxies of worlds with the seven treasures and gave all away in gifts of alms, would he gain great merit? Subhuti said: Great indeed, World-honored One! Wherefore? Because merit partakes of the character of no-merit, the Tathagata characterized the merit as great. Then Buddha said: On the other hand, if anyone received and retained even only four lines of this Discourse and taught and explained them to others, his merit would be the greater. Wherefore? Because, Subhuti, from this Discourse issue forth all the Buddhas and the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment teachings of all the Buddhas. Subhuti, what is called "the Religion given by Buddha" is not, in fact Buddha-Religion.


Real Designation is Undesignate

Subhuti, what do you think? Does a disciple who has entered the Stream of the Holy Life say within himself: I obtain the fruit of a Stream-entrant? Subhuti said: No, World-honored One. Wherefore? Because "Stream-entrant" is merely a name. There is no stream-entering. The disciple who pays no regard to form, sound, odor, taste, touch, or any quality, is called a Stream-entrant.

Subhuti, what do you think? Does an adept who is subject to only one more rebirth say within himself: I obtain the fruit of a Once-to-be-reborn? Subhuti said: No, World-honored One. Wherefore? Because "Once-to-be-reborn" is merely a name. There is no passing away nor coming into existence. [The adept who realizes] this is called "Once-to-be-reborn."


Subhuti, what do you think? Does a venerable one who will never more be reborn as a mortal say within himself: I obtain the fruit of a Non-returner? Subhuti said: No, World-honored One. Wherefore? Because "Non-returner" is merely a name. There is no non-returning; hence the designation "Non-returner."

Subhuti, what do you think? Does a holy one say within himself: I have obtained Perfective Enlightenment? Subhuti said: No, World-honored One. Wherefore? Because there is no such condition as that called "Perfective Enlightenment." World-honored one, if a holy one of Perfective Enlightenment said to himself "such am I," he would necessarily partake of the idea of an ego-entity, a personality, a being, or a separated individuality. World-honored One, when the Buddha declares that I excel amongst holy men in the Yoga of perfect quiescence, in dwelling in seclusion, and in freedom from passions, I do not say within myself: I am a holy one of Perfective Enlightenment, free from passions. World-honored One, if I said within myself: Such am I; you would not declare: Subhuti finds happiness abiding in peace, in seclusion in the midst of the forest. This is because Subhuti abides nowhere: therefore he is called, "Subhuti, Joyful-Abider-in-Peace, Dweller-in-Seclusion-inthe-Forest."


Setting Forth Pure Lands

Buddha said: Subhuti, what do you think? In the remote past when the Tathagata was with Dipankara Buddha, did he have any degree of attainment in the Good Law? No, World-honored One. When the Tathagata was with Dipankara Buddha he had no degree of attainment in the Good Law. Subhuti, what do you think? Does a Bodhisattva set forth any majestic Buddhalands?

No, World-honored One. Wherefore? Because setting forth majestic Buddha-lands is not a majestic setting forth; this is merely a name. [Then Buddha continued:] Therefore, Subhuti, all Bodhisattvas, lesser and great, should develop a pure, lucid mind, not depending upon sound, flavor, touch, odor, or any quality. A Bodhisattva should develop a mind which alights upon no thing whatsoever; and so should he establish it. Subhuti, this may be likened to a human frame as large as the mighty Mount Sumeru. What do you think? Would such a body be great? Subhuti replied: Great indeed, World-honored One. This is because Buddha has explained that no body is called a great body.


The Superiority of Unformulated Truth

Subhuti, if there were as many Ganges rivers as the sand-grains of the Ganges, would the sand-grains of them all be many? Subhuti said: Many indeed, World-honored One! Even the Ganges rivers would be innumerable; how much more so would be their sand-grains? Subhuti, I will declare a truth to you. If a good man or good woman filled three thousand galaxies of worlds with the seven treasures for each sand-grain in all those Ganges rivers, and gave all away in gifts of alms, would he gain great merit? Subhuti answered: Great indeed, World-honored One!

Then Buddha declared: Nevertheless, Subhuti, if a good man or good woman studies this Discourse only so far as to receive and retain four lines, and teaches and explains them to others, the consequent merit would be far greater.


Veneration of the True Doctrine

Furthermore, Subhuti, you should know that wheresoever this Discourse is proclaimed, by even so little as four lines, that place should be venerated by the whole realms of Gods, Men and Titans as though it were a Buddha-Shrine. How much more is this so in the case of one who is able to receive and retain the whole and read and recite it throughout! Subhuti, you should know that such a one attains the highest and most wonderful truth. Wheresoever this sacred Discourse may be found there should you comport yourself as though in the presence of Buddha and disciples worthy of honor.


How this Teaching should be Received and Retained

At that time Subhuti addressed Buddha, saying: World-honored One, by what name should this Discourse be known, and how should we receive and retain it? Buddha answered: Subhuti, this Discourse should be known as "The Diamond of the Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom" - thus should you receive and retain it. Subhuti, what is the reason herein?

According to the Buddha-teaching the Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom is not really such. "Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom" is just the name given to it. Subhuti, what do you think? Has the Tathagata a teaching to enunciate? Subhuti replied to the Buddha: World-honored One, the Tathagata has nothing to teach.

Subhuti, what do you think? Would there be many molecules in [the composition of] three thousand galaxies of worlds? Subhuti said: Many indeed, World-honored One! Subhuti, the Tathagata declares that all these molecules are not really such; they are called "molecules." [Furthermore,] the Tathagata declares that a world is not really a world; it is called "a world." Subhuti, what do you think? May the Tathagata be perceived by the thirty-two physical peculiarities [of an outstanding sage]?

No, World-honored One, the Tathagata may not be perceived by these thirty-two marks. Wherefore? Because the Tathagata has explained that the thirty-two marks are not really such; they are called "the thirty-two marks." Subhuti, if on the one hand a good man or a good woman sacrifices as many lives as the sand-grains of the Ganges, and on the other hand anyone receives and retains even only four lines of this Discourse, and teaches and explains them to others, the merit of the latter will be the greater.


Perfect Peace Lies in Freedom from Characteristic Distinctions

Upon the occasion of hearing this Discourse Subhuti had an interior realization of its meaning and was moved to tears. Whereupon he addressed the Buddha thus: It is a most precious thing, World-honored One, that you should deliver this supremely profound Discourse. Never have I heard such an exposition since of old my eye of wisdom first opened. World-honored One, if anyone listens to this Discourse in faith with a pure, lucid mind, he will thereupon conceive an idea of Fundamental Reality. We should know that such a one establishes the most remarkable virtue. World-honored One, such an idea of Fundamental Reality is not, in fact, a distinctive idea; therefore the Tathagata teaches: "Idea of Fundamental Reality" is merely a name. World-honored One, having listened to this Discourse, I receive and retain it with faith and understanding. This is not difficult for me, but in ages to come - in the last five-hundred years, if there be men coming to hear this Discourse who receive and retain it with faith and understanding, they will be persons of most

remarkable achievement. Wherefore? Because they will be free from the idea of an ego-entity, free from the idea of a personality, free from the idea of a being, and free from the idea of a separated individuality. And why? Because the distinguishing of an ego-entity is erroneous. Likewise the distinguishing of a personality, or a being, or a separated individuality is erroneous. Consequently those who have left behind every phenomenal distinction are called Buddhas all.

Buddha said to Subhuti: Just as you say! If anyone listens to this Discourse and is neither filled with alarm nor awe nor dread, be it known that such a one is of remarkable achievement. Wherefore? Because, Subhuti, the Tathagata teaches that the First Perfection [the Perfection of Charity] is not, in fact, the First Perfection: such is merely a name. Subhuti, the Tathagata teaches likewise that the Perfection of Patience is not the Perfection of Patience: such is merely a name. Why so? It is shown thus, Subhuti: When the Rajah of Kalinga mutilated my body, I was at that time free from the idea of an ego-entity, a personality, a being, and a separated individuality. Wherefore? Because then when my limbs were cut away piece by piece, had I been bound by the distinctions aforesaid, feelings of anger and hatred would have been aroused in me.


Subhuti, I remember that long ago, sometime during my past five-hundred mortal lives, I was an ascetic practicing patience. Even then was I free from those distinctions of separated selfhood. Therefore, Subhuti, Bodhisattvas should leave behind all phenomenal distinctions and awaken the thought of the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment by not allowing the mind to depend upon notions evoked by the sensible world - by not allowing the mind to depend upon notions evoked by sounds, odors, flavors, touch-contacts, or any qualities. The mind should be kept independent of any thoughts which arise within it. If the mind depends upon anything it has no sure haven. This is why Buddha teaches that the mind of a Bodhisattva should not accept the appearances of things as a basis when exercising charity. Subhuti, as

Bodhisattvas practice charity for the welfare of all living beings they should do it in this manner. Just as the Tathagata declares that characteristics are not characteristics, so He declares that all living beings are not, in fact, living beings.

Subhuti, the Tathagata is He who declares that which is true; He who declares that which is fundamental; He who declares that which is ultimate. He does not declare that which is deceitful, nor that which is monstrous. Subhuti, that Truth to which the Tathagata has attained is neither real nor unreal. Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva practices charity with mind attached to formal notions he is like unto a man groping sightless in the gloom; but a Bodhisattva who practices charity with mind detached from any formal notions is like unto a man with open eyes in the radiant glory of the morning, to whom all kinds of objects are clearly visible. Subhuti, if there be good men and good women in future ages, able to receive, read and recite this Discourse in its entirety, the Tathagata will clearly perceive and recognize them by means of His Buddha-knowledge; and each one of them will bring immeasurable and incalculable merit to fruition.


The Incomparable Value of This Teaching

Subhuti, if on one hand, a good man or a good woman performs in the morning as many charitable acts of self-denial as the sand-grains of the Ganges, and performs as many again in the noonday and as many again in the evening, and continues so doing throughout numberless ages, and, on the other hand, anyone listens to this Discourse with heart of faith and without contention, the latter would be the more blessed. But how can any comparison be made with one who writes it down, receives it, retains it, and explains it to others!

Subhuti, we can summarize the matter by saying that the full value of this Discourse can neither be conceived nor estimated, nor can any limit be set to it. The Tathagata has declared this teaching for the benefit of initiates of the Great Way; He has declared it for the benefit of initiates of the Supreme Way. Whosoever can receive and retain this teaching, study it, recite it and spread it abroad will be clearly perceived and recognized by the Tathagata and will achieve a perfection of merit beyond measurement or calculation - a perfection of merit unlimited and inconceivable. In every case such a one will exemplify the Tathagata-Consummation of the Incomparable Enlightenment. Wherefore? Because, Subhuti, those who find consolation in limited doctrines involving the conception of an ego-entity, a personality, a being, or a separated individuality are unable to accept, receive, study, recite and openly explain this Discourse.

Subhuti, in every place where this Discourse is to be found the whole realms of Gods, Men and Titans should offer worship; for you must know that such a place is sanctified like a shrine, and should properly be venerated by all with ceremonial obeisance and circumambulation and with offerings of flowers and incense.

Purgation through Suffering the Retribution for Past Sins

Furthermore, Subhuti, if it be that good men and good women who receive and retain this Discourse are downtrodden, their evil destiny is the inevitable retributive result of sins committed in their past mortal lives. By virtue of their present misfortunes the reacting effects of their past will be thereby worked out, and they will be in a position to attain the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment.

Subhuti, I remember the infinitely remote past before Dipankara Buddha. There were 84,000 myriads of multimillions of Buddhas and to all these I made offerings; yes, all these I served without the least trace of fault. Nevertheless, if anyone is able to receive, retain, study and recite this Discourse at the end of the last [500-year] period, he will gain such a merit that mine in the service of all the Buddhas could not be reckoned as one-hundredth part of it, not even one thousand myriad multimillionth part of it - indeed, no such comparison is possible.

Subhuti, if I fully detailed the merit gained by good men and good women coming to receive, retain, study and recite this Discourse in the last period, my hearers would be filled with doubt and might become disordered in mind, suspicious and unbelieving. You should know, Subhuti, that the significance of this Discourse is beyond conception; likewise the fruit of its rewards is beyond conception.


No One Attains Transcendental Wisdom

At that time Subhuti addressed Buddha, saying: World-honored One, if good men and good women seek the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment, by what criteria should they abide and how should they control their thoughts? Buddha replied to Subhuti: Good men and good women seeking the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment must create this resolved attitude of mind: I must liberate all living beings, yet when all have been liberated, verily not any one is liberated. Wherefore? If a Bodhisattva cherishes the idea of an egoentity, a personality, a being, or a separated individuality, he is consequently not a Bodhisattva, Subhuti. This is because in reality there is no formula which gives rise to the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment.

Subhuti, what do you think? When the Tathagata was with Dipankara Buddha was there any formula for the attainment of the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment? No, World-honored One, as I understand Buddha's meaning, there was no formula by which the Tathagata attained the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment.

Buddha said: You are right, Subhuti! Verily there was no formula by which the Tathagata attained the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment. Subhuti, had there been any such formula, Dipankara Buddha would not have predicted concerning me: "In the ages of the future you will come to be a Buddha called Shakyamuni"; but Dipankara Buddha made that prediction concerning me because there is actually no formula for the attainment of the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment. The reason herein is that Tathagata is a signification implying all formulas. In case anyone says that the Tathagata attained the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment, I tell you truly, Subhuti, that there is no formula by which the Buddha attained it. Subhuti, the basis of Tathagata's attainment of the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment is wholly beyond; it is neither real nor unreal. Hence I say that the whole realm of formulations is not really such, therefore it is called "Realm of formulations."


Subhuti, a comparison may be made with [the idea of] a gigantic human frame. Then Subhuti said: The World-honored One has declared that such is not a great body; "a great body" is just the name given to it. Subhuti, it is the same concerning Bodhisattvas. If a Bodhisattva announces: I will liberate all living creatures, he is not rightly called a Bodhisattva. Wherefore? Because, Subhuti, there is really no such condition as that called Bodhisattvaship, because Buddha teaches that all things are devoid of selfhood, devoid of separate

individuality. Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva announces: I will set forth majestic Buddha-lands, one does not call him a Bodhisattva, because the Tathagata has declared that the setting forth of majestic Buddha-lands is not really such: "a majestic setting forth" is just the name given to it. Subhuti, Bodhisattvas who are wholly devoid of any conception of separate selfhood are truthfully called Bodhisattvas.


All Modes of mind are Really Only Mind

Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata possess the human eye? Yes, World-honored One, He does. Well, do you think the Tathagata possesses the divine eye? Yes, World-honored One, He does. And do you think the Tathagata possesses the gnostic eye? Yes, World-honored One, He does. And do you think the Tathagata possesses the eye of transcendent wisdom? Yes, World-honored One, He does. And do you think the Tathagata possesses the Buddha-eye of omniscience? Yes, World-honored One, He does.

Subhuti, what do you think? Concerning the sand-grains of the Ganges, has the Buddha taught about them? Yes, World-honored One, the Tathagata has taught concerning these grains. Well, Subhuti, if there were as many Ganges rivers as the sand-grains of the Ganges and there was a Buddha-land for each sand-grain in all those Ganges rivers, would those Buddha-lands be many?

[[[Subhuti]] replied]: Many indeed, World-honored One!

Then Buddha said: Subhuti, however many living beings there are in all those Buddha-lands, though they have manifold modes of mind, the Tathagata understands them all. Wherefore? Because the Tathagata teaches that all these are not Mind; they are merely called "mind". Subhuti, it is impossible to retain past mind, impossible to hold on to present mind, and impossible to grasp future mind.


Absolute Reality is the Only Foundation

Subhuti, what do you think? If anyone filled three thousand galaxies of worlds with the seven treasures and gave all away in gifts of alms, would he gain great merit? Yes, indeed, World-honored One, he would gain great merit! Subhuti, if such merit was Real, the Tathagata would not have declared it to be great, but because it is without a foundation the Tathagata characterized it as "great."


The Unreality of Phenomenal Distinctions

Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Buddha be perceived by His perfectly formed body?

No, World-honored One, the Tathagata cannot be perceived by His perfectly formed body, because the Tathagata teaches that a perfectly-formed body is not really such; it is merely called "a perfectly-formed body."

Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Tathagata be perceived by means of any phenomenal characteristic? No, World-honored One, the Tathagata may not be perceived by any phenomenal characteristic, because the Tathagata teaches that phenomenal characteristics are not really such; they are merely termed "phenomenal characteristics."

Section XXI. Words cannot express Truth. That which Words Express is not Truth Subhuti, do not say that the Tathagata conceives the idea: I must set forth a Teaching. For if anyone says that the Tathagata sets forth a Teaching he really slanders Buddha and is unable to explain what I teach. As to any Truth-declaring system, Truth is undeclarable; so "an enunciation of Truth" is just the name given to it.

Thereupon, Subhuti spoke these words to Buddha: World-honored One, in the ages of the future will there be men coming to hear a declaration of this Teaching who will be inspired with belief?

And Buddha answered: Subhuti, those to whom you refer are neither living beings nor not-living beings. Wherefore? Because "living beings," Subhuti, these "living beings" are not really such; they are just called by that name.


It Cannot be Said that Anything is Attainable

Then Subhuti asked Buddha: World-honored One, in the attainment of the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment did Buddha make no acquisition whatsoever?

Buddha replied: Just so, Subhuti. Through the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment I acquired not even the least thing; therefore it is called "Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment."


The Practice of Good Works Purifies the Mind

Furthermore, Subhuti, This is altogether everywhere, without differentiation or degree; therefore it is called "Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment." It is straightly attained by freedom from separate personal selfhood and by cultivating all kinds of goodness. Subhuti, though we speak of "goodness", the Tathagata declares that there is no goodness; such is merely a name.


The Incomparable Merit of This Teaching

Subhuti, if there be one who gives away in gifts of alms a mass of the seven treasures equal in extent to as many mighty Mount Sumerus as there would be in three thousand galaxies of worlds, and if there be another who selects even only four lines from this Discourse upon the Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom, receives and retains them, and clearly expounds them to others, the merit of the latter will be so far greater than that of the former that no conceivable comparison can be made between them.


The Illusion of Ego

Subhuti, what do you think? Let no one say the Tathagata cherishes the idea: I must liberate all living beings. Allow no such thought, Subhuti. Wherefore? Because in reality there are no living beings to be liberated by the Tathagata. If there were living beings for the Tathagata to liberate, He would partake in the idea of selfhood, personality entity, and separate individuality. Subhuti, though the common people accept egoity as real, the Tathagata declares that ego is not different from non-ego. Subhuti, those whom the Tathagata referred to as "common people" are not really common people; such is merely a name.


The Body of Truth has no Marks

Subhuti, what do you think? May the Tathagata be perceived by the thirty-two marks [of a great man]? Subhuti answered: No, the Tathagata may not be perceived thereby. Then Buddha said: Subhuti, if the Tathagata may be perceived by such marks, any great imperial ruler is the same as the Tathagata. Subhuti then said to Buddha: World-honored One, as I understand the meaning of Buddha's words, the Tathagata may not be perceived by the thirty-two marks. Whereupon the World-honored One uttered this verse: Who sees Me by form, Who seeks Me in sound, Perverted are his footsteps upon the Way, For he cannot perceive the Tathagata.


It is Erroneous to Affirm that All Things are Ever Extinguished

Subhuti, if you should conceive the idea that the Tathagata attained the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment by reason of His perfect form, do not countenance such thoughts. The Tathagata's attainment was not by reason of His perfect form. [On the other hand] Subhuti, if you should conceive the idea that anyone in whom dawns the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment declares that all manifest standards are ended andextinguished, do not countenance such thoughts. Wherefore? Because the man in whom the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment dawns does not affirm concerning any formula that it is finally extinguished.


Attachment to Rewards of Merit

Subhuti, if one Bodhisattva bestows in charity sufficient of the seven treasures to fill as many worlds as there are sand-grains in the river Ganges, and another, realizing that all things are egoless, attains perfection through patient forbearance, the merit of the latter will far exceed that of the former. Why is this, Subhuti? It is because all Bodhisattvas are insentient as to the rewards of merit. Then Subhuti said to Buddha: What is this saying, World-honored One, that Bodhisattvas are insentient as to rewards of merit? [And Buddha answered]: Subhuti, Bodhisattvas who achieve merit should not be fettered with desire for rewards. Thus it is said that the rewards of merit are not received.


Perfect Tranquility

Subhuti, if anyone should say that the Tathagata comes or goes or sits or reclines, he fails to understand my teaching. Why? Because Tathagata has neither whence nor whither, therefore is He called "Tathagata".


SThe Integral Principle===


Subhuti, if a good man or a good woman ground an infinite number of galaxies of worlds to dust, would the resulting minute particles be many? Subhuti replied: Many indeed, World-honored One! Wherefore? Because if such were really minute particles Buddha would not have spoken of them as minute particles. For as to this, Buddha has declared that they are not really such. "Minute particles" is just the name given to them. Also, World-honored One, when the Tathagata speaks of galaxies of worlds, these are not worlds; for if reality could be predicated of a world it would be a self-existent cosmos and the Tathagata teaches that there is really no such thing. "Cosmos" is merely a figure of speech. [Then Buddha said]: Subhuti, words cannot explain the real nature of a cosmos. Only common people fettered with desire make use of this arbitrary method.


Conventional Truth Should be Cut Off

Subhuti, if anyone should say that Buddha declares any conception of egoity do you consider he would understand my teaching correctly? No, World-honored One, such a man would not have any sound understanding of the Tathagata's teaching, because the World-honored One declares that notions of selfhood, personality, entity and separate individuality, as really existing, are erroneous - these terms are merely figures of speech. [Thereupon Buddha said]: Subhuti, those who aspire to the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment should recognize and understand all varieties of things in the same way and cut off the arising of [[[views]] which are mere] aspects. Subhuti, as regards aspects, the Tathagata declares that in reality they are not such. They are called "aspects".


The Delusion of Appearances

Subhuti, someone might fill innumerable worlds with the seven treasures and give all away in gifts of alms, but if any good man or any good woman awakens the thought of Enlightenment and takes even only four lines from this Discourse, reciting, using, receiving, retaining and spreading them abroad and explaining them for the benefit of others, it will be far more meritorious. Now in what manner may he explain them to others? By detachment from appearances - abiding in Real Truth. - So I tell you - Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting world:

A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;

A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,

A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.

When the Buddha finished this Discourse the venerable Subhuti, together with the bhikshus, bhikshunis, lay-brothers and sisters, and the whole realms of Gods, Men and Titans, were filled with joy by His teaching, and, taking it sincerely to heart they went their ways.


Introduction to the Lankavatara Sutra===


By D.T. Suzuki


This sutra is said to have been given by Bodhidharma to his chief disciple Hui-k'e as containing the essential teaching of Zen. Since then it has been studied chiefly by Zen philosophers. But being full of difficult technical terms in combination with a rugged style of writing, the text has not been so popular for study as other Mahayana sutras, for instance, the Pundarika, the Vimalakirti, or the Vajracchedika. The chief interlocutor is a Bodhisattva called Mahamati, and varied subjects of philosophical speculation are discussed against a background of deep religious concern. The topic most interesting for the reader of this book is that of svapratyatmagati, i.e. self-realization of the highest truth. Some of the terms may be explained here: "Birth and death" (samsara in Sanskrit) always stands contrasted to "Nirvana". Nirvana is the highest truth and the norm of existence while birth and death is a world of particulars governed by karma and causation. As long as we are subject to karma we go from one birth to another, and


suffer all the ills necessarily attached to this kind of life, though it is a form of immortality. What Buddhists want is not this. "Mind only" (cittamatra) is an uncouth term. It means absolute mind, to be distinguished from an empirical mind which is the subject of psychological study. When it begins with a capital letter, it is the ultimate reality on which the entire world of individual objects depends for its value. To realise this truth is the aim of the Buddhist life. By "what is seen of the Mind-only" is meant this visible world including that which is generally known as mind. Our ordinary

experience takes this world for something that has its "self-nature", i.e. existing by itself. But a higher intuition tells us that this is not so, that it is an illusion, and that what really exists is Mind, which being absolute knows no second. All that we see and hear and think of as objects of the vijnanas are what rise and disappear in and of the Mind-only. This absolute Mind is also called in the Lankavatara the Dharma of Solitude (viviktadhama), because it stands by itself. It also signifies the Dharma's being absolutely quiescent. There is no "discrimination" in this Dharma of Solitude, which means that

discrimination belongs to this side of existence where multiplicities obtain and causation rules. Indeed, without this discrimination no world is possible. Discrimination is born of "habit-energy" or "memory", which lies latently preserved in the "alayavijnana" or all-conserving consciousness. This consciousness alone has no power to act by itself. It is altogether passive, and remains Inactive until a particularizing agency touches it. The appearance of this agency is a great mystery which is not to be solved by the intellect; it is something to be accepted simply as such. It is awakened "all of a

sudden", according to Asvaghosha. To understand what this suddenness means is the function of "noble wisdom" (aryajnana). But as a matter of experience, the sudden awakening of discrimination has no meaning behind it. The fact is simply that it is awakened, and no more; it is not an expression pointing to something else. When the Alayavijnana or the all-conserving consciousness is considered a store-house, or better, a creative matrix from which all the

Tathagatas issue, it is called "Tathagatagarbha". The Garbha is the womb. Ordinarily, all our cognitive apparatus is made to work outwardly in a world of relativity, and for this reason we become deeply involved in it so that we fail to realize the freedom we all intrinsically possess, and as a result we are annoyed on all sides. To turn away from all this, what may psychologically be called a "revulsion" or "revolution" must take place in our inmost consciousness. This is not however a mere empirical psychological fact to be explained in terms of consciousness. It takes place in the deepest recesses of our being. The original Sanskrit is paravrittasraya. The following extracts (noted in the text) are from my English translation (1932) of the original Sanskrit text edited by Bunyu Nanjo, 1923.


The Lankavatara Sutra]]

[[Self-Realisation of Noble Wisdom

Chapter I

Discrimination

Thus have I heard. The Blessed One once appeared in the Castle of Lanka which is on the summit of Mt. Malaya in the midst of the great Ocean. A great many Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas had miraculously assembled from all the Buddha-lands, and a large number of bhikshus were gathered there. The Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas with Mahamati at their head were all perfect masters of the various Samadhis, the tenfold Self-mastery, the ten Powers, and the six Psychic Faculties. Having been annointed by the Buddha’s own hands, they all well understood the significance of the objective world; they all knew how to apply the various means, teachings and diciplinary measures according to the various mentalities abd behaviours of beings; they were all thoroughly versed in the five Dharmas. The three Svabhas, the eight Vijnanas, and the twofold Egolessness.


The Blessed One, knowing the mental agitations going on in the minds of those assembled (like the surface of the ocean stirred into waves by the passing winds), and his great heart moved by compassion, smiled and said: In the days of old the Tathagatas of the past who were Arhats and fully-enlightened Ones came to the Castle of Lanka on Mount Malaya and discoursed on the Truth of Noble Wisdom that is beyond the reasoning knowledge of the philosophers as well as being beyond the understanding of ordinary diciples and masters; and which is realisable only within the inmost conciousness; for your sakes, I too, would discourse on the same Truth. All that is seen in the world is devoid of effort and action because all things in the world are like a dream, or like an image miraculously projected. This is not comprehended by the philosophers and the ignorant, but those who thus see things see them truthfully. Those

who see things otherwise walk in discrimination and, as they depend upon discrimination, they cling to dualism. The world as seem by discrimination is like seeing one’s own image reflected in a mirror, or one’s shadow, or the moon reflected in water, or an echo heard in a valley. People grasping their own shadows of discrimination become attached to this thing and that thing and failing to abandom dualism they go on forever discriminating and thus never attain tranquility. By tranquility is meant Oneness, and Oneness gives birth to the highest Samadhi which is gained by entering into the realm of Noble Wisdom that is realisable only within one’s inmost conciousness.


Then all Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas rose from their seats and respectfully paid homage and Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva sustained by the power of the Buddhas drew his upper garment over one shoulder, knelt and pressing his hands together, praised him in the following verses: As though reviewest the world with thy perfect intelligence and compassion, it must seem to thee like an ethereal flower of which one cannot say: it is born, it is destroyed, for the terms beings and non-being do not apply to it.

As though reviewest the world with thy perfect intelleigence and compassion, it must seem to thee like a dream of which it cannot be said: it is permanent or it is destructible, for the being and non-being do not apply to it.

As though reviewest all things by the perfect intelligence and compassion, they must seem to thee like visions beyond the reach of the human mind, as being and non-being do noy apply to them.

With thy perfect intelligence and compassion which are beyond all limit, thou comprehendest the egolessness of things and persons, and art free and clear from the hindraces of passion and learning and egoism.

Thou dost not vanish into Nirvana, nor does Nirvana abide in thee, for Nirvana trancends all duality of knowing and known, of being and non-being. Those who see thee thus, serene and beyond conception, will be enmancipated from attachment, will be cleansed of all defilments, both in this world and in the spiritual world beyond.

In this world whose nature is like a dream, there is place for praise and blame, but in the ultimate Reality of Dharmakaya which is far beyond the senses and the discriminating mind, what is there to praise? O Thou most Wise!


Then said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva: O blessed One, Sugata, Arhat and Fully-Enlightened One, pray tell us about the realisation of Noble Wisdom which is beyond the path and usage of philosophers; which is devoid of all predicates such as being and non-being, oneness and otherness, bothness and non-bothness, existence and non-existence, enternity and non-eternity; which has nothing to do with individuality and generality, nor false-imagination, nor any illusion arising from the mind itself; but which manifests itself as the Truth of Highest Reality. By which, going uo continously by the stages of purification, one enters at last upon the stage of Tathagatahood, whereby, by the power of his original vows unattended by any striving, one will radiate its influence to infinite worlds, like a gem reflecting its variegated colors, whereby I and other Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas will be enabled to bring all beings to the same perfection of virtue.


Said the Blessed One: Well done, well done, Mahamati! And again, well done, indeed! It is because of your compassion for the world, because of the benefit it will bring upon many people both human kind and celestial, that you have presented yourself before us to make this request. Therefore, Mahamati, listen well and truly reflect upon what I shall say, for I will instruct you.

Then Mahamati and the other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas gave devout attention to the teaching of the Blessed One.

Mahamati, since the ignorant and simple-minded, not knowing that the world is only something seen of the mind itself, cling to the multitudiousness of external objects, cling to the notions of beings and nonbeing, oness and otherness, bothness and non-bothness, existence and non-existencem enternity and noneternity, and think that they have a self-nature of their own, and all of which rises from the discriminations of the mind and is perpetuated by habit-energy, and from which they are given over to false imagination. It is all like a mirage in which springs of water are seen as if they were real. They are thus imagined by animals who, made thirsty by the heat of the season, run after them. Animals not knowing that the springs are an hallucination of their own minds, do not realise that there are no such springs. In the same way, Mahamati, the ignorant and simple-minded, their minds burning with the fires of greed, anger and folly, finding delight in a world of multitudinous forms, their thoughts obsessed with ideas of birth, growth and destruction, not well understanding what is meant by existence and nonexistence, and being impressed by erroneous discriminations and speculations since beginningless time, fall into the habit of grasping this and that and thereby becoming attached to them.

It is like the city of the Gandharvas which the unwitting take to be a real city though it is not so in fact. The city appears as in a vision owing to their attachment to the memory of a city preserved in the mind as a seed; the city can thus be said to be both existent and non-existent. In the same way, clinging to the memory of erroneous speculations and doctrines accumulated since beginningless time, the hold fast to such ideas as oneness and otherness, being and non-being, and their thoughts are not at all clear as to what after all is only seen of the mind. It is like a man dreaming in his sleep of a country that seems to be filled with various men, women, elephants,

horses, cars, pedestrians, villages, towns, hamlets, cows, buffalos, masions, woods, mountains, rivers and lakes, and who moves about in that city until he is awakened. As he lies half awake, he recalls the city of his dreams and reviews his experiences there; what do you think, Mahamati, is this dreamer who is letting his mind dwell upon the various unrealities he has seen in his dream,- is he to be considered wise or foolish? In the same way, the ignorant and simple-minded who are favorably influenced by the erroneous views of the philosophers do not recognise that the views that are influencing them are only dream-like ideas originating in the mind itself, and consenquently they are held fast by their notions of oneness and otherness, of being and non-being. It is like a painter’s canvas on which the ignorant imagine they see the elevations and depressions of mountains and valleys.

In the same way there are people today being brought up under the influence of similar erroneous views of oneness and otherness, of bothness and not-bothness, whose mentality is being conditioned by the habit-energy of these false-imaginings and who later on will declare those who hold the true doctrine of no-birth, to be nihilist abd by so doing will bring themselves abd others to ruin. By the natural law of cause and effect these followers of pernicious views uproot meritorious causes that otherwise would lead unstained purity.

They are to be shunned by those whose desires are for more excellent things. It is like the dim-eyed ones who seeing the hairnet exclaim to one another: "It is wonderful! Look, Honorable sirs, it is wonderful!" But the hairnet has never existed; in fact; it is neither an entity, nor a non-entity, for it has both been seen and has not been seen. In the same manner those whose minds have been addicted to the discriminations of the errouneous views cherished by the philosophers which are given over to the unrealistic views of being and non-being, will contradict the good Dharma and will end in the destruction of themselves and others.


It is like a wheel of fire made by a revolving firebrand which is no wheel but which is imagined to be one by the ignorant. Nor is it a not-a-wheel because it has not been seen by some. By the same reasoning, those who are in the habit of listening to the discriminations and views of the philosophers will regard things born as non-existent and those destroyed by causation as existent. It is like a mirror relfecting colors abd images as determined by conditions but without any partiality. It is like the echo of the wind that gives the sound of a human voice. It is like a mirage of moving water seen in a desert. In the same way the discriminating mind of the ignorant which has

been heated by false-imaginations and speculations is stirred into mirage-like waves by the winds of birth, growth and destruction. It is like the magician Pisaca, who by means of his spells makes a wooden image or a dead body to throb with life, through it has no power of its own. In the same way the ignorant and the simple-minded, committing themselves to erroneous philosphical views become thoroghly devoted to the ideas of oneness and otherness, but their confidence is not well grounded. For this reason, Mahamati, you and other Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas should cast off all discriminations leading to the notions of birth, abiding, and destruction, of oneness and otherness, of bothness and not-bothness, of being and non-being and thus getting free of the bondage of habit-energy become able to attain reality realisable wihtin yourselves of Noble Wisdom.


Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: Why is it that the ignorant are given up to discrimination and the wise are not? The Blessed One replied: it is because the ignorant cling to names, signs and ideas; as their minds move along these channels they feed on multiplicities of objects and fall into the notion of and ego-soul and what belongs to it; they make discriminations of good and bad among appearances and cling to the agreeable. As they thus cling there is a reversion to ignorance, and karma born of greed, anger and folly, is accumulated. As the accumulation of karma goes on they become imprisioned in a cocoon of discrimination and are thenceforth unable to free

themselves from the round of birth and death. Because of folly they do not understand that all things are like maya, like the reflection of the moon in water, that there is no self-substance to be imagined as an ego-soul and its belongings, and that all their definite ideas rise from their false discriminations of what exists only as it is seen of the mind itself. They do not realise that things have nothing to do with qualify and qualifying, nor with the course of birth, abiding and destruction, and instead they assert that they are born of a creator, of time, of atoms, of some celestial spirit. It is because the ignorant are given up to discrimination that they move along with the stream of appearances, but it is not so with the wise.


Chapter II

False-Imaginations and Knowledge of Appearances

Then Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva spoke to the Blessed One, saying: You speak of the erroneous views of the philosophers, will you please tell us of them, that we may be on our guard against them?

The Blessed One replied, saying: Mahamati, the error in these erroneous teachings that are generally held by the philosophers lies in this: they do not recognise that the objective world rises from the mind itself; they do not understand that the whole mind-system also arises from the mind itself; but depending upon these manifestations of the mind as being real they go on discriminating them, like the simple-minded ones that they are, cherishing the dualism of this and that, of being and non-being, ignorant to the fact that there is but one common Essence.


One the contrary my teaching is based upon recognition that the objective world, like a vision, is a manifestation of the mind itself; it teaches the cessation of ignorance, desire, deed and casualty; it teaches the cessation of suffering that arises from the discriminations of the triple world.

There are some Brahman scholars who, assuming something out of nothing, assert that there is substance bound up with causation which abides in time, and that the elements that make up personality and its environment have their genesis and continuation in causation and after thus existing, pass away. Then there are other scholars who hold a destructive and nihilistic view concerning such subjects as continuation, activity, breaking-up, existence, Nirvana, the Path, karma, fruition and Truth. Why? Because they have not attained an intuitive understanding of Truth itself and therefore they have no clear insight into the fundamentals of things. They are like a jar broken into pieces which is no longer able to fuction as a jar; they are like a burnt seed which is no longer capable of sprouting. But the elements that make up personality and its environment which they regard as subject to change are really incapable of uninterrupted transformations. Their views are based upon erroneous discriminations of the objective world; they are not based upon true conceptions.


Again, if it is true that something comes out of nothing and there is the rise of the mind-system by reason of the combinations of the three effect-producing causes, we could say the same of any non-existing thing: for instance, that a tortoise could grow hair, or sand produce oil. This proposition is of no avail; it ends up in affirming nothing. It follows that the deed, work and cause of which they speak is of no use, and so also is their reference to being and non-being, if they argue that there is a combination of the three effect-

producing causes, they must do it on the principle of cause and effect, that is, that something comes out of something and not out of nothing. As long a world of relativity is asserted, there is an ever recurring chain of causation which cannot be denied under any circunstance, therefore we cannot talk of anything comming to and end or of cessation. As long as these scholars remain on their philosophical ground their demostration must conform to logic and their textbooks, and the memory habit of erroneous intellection will ever cling to them. To make the matter worse, the simple-minded ones, poisoned by these erroneous view, will declare this incorrect way of thinking taught by the ignorant, to be the same as that presented by the All-knowing One.


But the way of instruction presented by the Tathagatas is not based on assertions and refutations by means of words and logic. There are four forms of assertion that can be made concerning things not in existence, namely, assertions made about individual marks that are not in existence; about objects that are not in existence, about a cause that is non-existent; and about philosophical views that are erroneous. By refutation is meant that one, because of ignorance, has not examined properly the error that lies at the base of these assertions.


The assertion about individual marks that really have no existence, concerns the distinctive marks as percived by the eye, ear, nose, etc., as indicating individuality and generality in the elements that make up personality and its external world; and then, taking these marks for reality and getting attached to them, to ge into the habit or affirming that things are just so and not otherwise.


The assertion about objects that are non-existent is an assertion that rises from attachment to these associated marks of individuality and generality. Objects in themselves are neither in existence nor in non-existence and are quite devoid of the alternative of being and non-being; and should only be thought of as one thinks of the horns of a hare, a horse, or a camel, which never existed. Objects are discriminated by the ignorant who are addicted to assertion and negation, because their intelligence has not been acute enough to penetrate into the truth that there is nothing but what is seen of the mind itself.


The assertion of a cause that is non-existent assumes the causeless birth of the first element of the mindsystem which later comes to have only a maya-like non-existence. That is to say, there are philosophers who assert that an originally unborn mind-system begins to fuction under the conditions of eye, form, light and memory, which functioning goes on for a time and then ceases. This is a example of a cause that is non-existent.


The assertion of philosophical views concerning the elements that make up personality and its environing world that are non-existent, assume the existence of an ego, a being, a soul, a living being, a "nourisher", or a spirit. This is an example of philosophical views that are not true. It is this combination of discrimination of imaginary marks of individuality, grouping them and giving them a name and becoming attached to them as objects, by reason of habit-energy that has been accumulated since beginningless time, that one builds up erroneous views whose only basis is false-imaginations. For this reason Bodhisattvas should avoid all discussions relating the assertions and negations whose only basis is words and logic.


Word-discrimination goes on by the coordination of brain, chest, nose, throat, palate, lips, tongue, teeth and lips. Words are neither different nor not-different from discrimination. Words rise from discrimination as their cause; if words were different from discrimination they could not have discriminationfor their cause; then again, if words are not different, they could not carry and express meaning. Words, therefore, are produced by causation and are mutually conditioning and shifting and, just like things, are subject to birth and destruction.


There are four kinds of word discrimination, all of which are to be avoided because they are alike unreal. First there are words indicating individual marks which rise from discriminating forms and signs as being real in themselves and, then, becoming attached to them. There are memory-words which rise from the unreal surroundings which come before the mind when it recalls some previous experience. Then there are words growing out of attachment to the erroneous distinctions and speculations of the mental processes. And finally, there are words growing out of inherited prejudices as seeds of habit-energy accumulated since beginingless time, or which had their origing in some long forgotten clinging to falseimagination and erroneous speculation.


Then there are words where there are no corresponding objects, as for instance, the hare’s horns, a barren woman’s child, etc.,- there are no such things but we have the words, just the same. Words are an artificial creation; there are Buddha-lands where there are no words. In some Buddha-lands ideas are indicated by looking steadily, in other gestures, in still others by a frown, by a movement of the eyes, by laughing, by yawning, by the clearing of the throat, or by trembling. For instance, in the Buddha-land of the Tathagata Samantabhadra, Bodhisattvas, by a dhyana transcending words and ideas, attain recognition of all things as un-born and they, also, experience various most excellent Samadhis that transcend words. Even in this world such specialised beings as ants and bees carry on their activities very well without recourse to words. No, Mahamati, the validity of things is independent of the validity of words.


Moreover, there are other things that belong to words, namely, the syllable-body of words, the name-body of words, and the sentence-body of words. By the syllable-body is meant that by which words and sentences are set up or indicated: there is a reason for some syllables, some are mnemonic, and some are choosen arbitrarily. By name-body is meant the object depending upon which name-words obtains its significance, or in other words, name-body is the "substance" of a name-word. By sentence-body is meant the completion of the meaning by

expressing the word more fully in a sentence. The name for this sentence-body is suggested by the footprints left in the road by elephants, horses, people, deer, catlle, goats, etc. But neither words nor sentences can exactly express meanings, for words are only sweet sounds that are arbitrarily chosen to represent things, they are not the things themselves, which in turn are only manifestations of mind. Discrimination of meaning is based upon false-imagination that these sweet sounds which we call words and which are dependent upon whatever subjects they are supposed to stand


for, and which subjects are supposed to be self-existent, all of which is based on error. Diciples should be on their guard against the seductions of words and sentences and their illusive meanings, for by them the ignorant and the dull-witted become entangled and helpless as an elephant floundering about in the deep mud. Words and sentences are produced by the law of causation and are mutually conditioning,- they cannot express highest Reality. Moreover, in highest Reality there are no differentiations to be discriminated and there is nothing to be predicated in regards to it. Highest Reality is an exalted state of bliss, it is not a state of word-discrimination and it cannot be entered into by mere statements concerning it. The Tathagatas have a better way of teaching, namely, through self-realisation of Noble Wisdom.


Mahamati asked the Blessed One: Pray tell us about the causation of all things whereby I and other Bodhisattvas may see into the nature of causation and may no more discriminate it as to the gradual or simultaneous rising of all things? The Blessed One replied: There are two factors of causation by reason fo which all things come into seeming existence: external and internal factors. The external factors are a lump of clay, a stick, a wheel, a thread, water, a worker, and his labor, the combination of all which produces a jar. As with a jar which is made froma lump of clay, or a piece of cloth made from thread, or matting made from

fragant grass, or a sprout growing out of a seed, or fresh butter made sour milk by a man churning it; so it is with all things which appear one after another in continuous succesion. As regards the inner factors of causation, they are of such kinds as ignorance, desire, purpose, all of which enter into the idea of causation. Born of these two factors there is a manifestation of personality and the individual things that make up its environment, but they are not indivual and distinctive things: they are only so discriminated by the ignorant.


Causation may be divided into six elements: indifference-cause, manifesting-cause, possibility-cause, agency-cause, objective-cause, manifesting-cause. Indifference-cause means that if there is no discrimination present, there is no power of combination present and so no combination takes place, or of present there is dissolution. Dependance-cause means that the elements must be present. Possibility-cause means that when a cause is to become effective there must be a suitable meeting of conditions both internal and external. Agency-cause means that there must be a principle vested with supreme authority like a sovereing king present and asserting itself. Objectivity-cause means that to be a part of the objective world the mind-system must be in existence and must be keeping up its continuous activity. Manifesting-cause means that as the discriminating faculty of the mind-system becomes busy individual marks will be revealed as forms are revealed by the light of a lamp.


All causes are thus seen to be the outcome of discrimination carried on by the ignorant and simpleminded, and there is, therefore, no such thing as gradual or simultaneous rising of existence. If such a thing as the gradual rising of existence is asserted, it can be dissaproved showing that there is no basic susbtance to hold the individual signs together which makes gradual rising impossible. If

smultaneous rising of existence is asserted, there would ne no distinction between cause and effect and there will be nothing to characterise a cause as such. While a child is not yet born, the term father has no significance. Logicians argue that there is that which is born and that which gives birth by the mutual fuctioning of such casual factors as cause, substance, continuity, acceleration, etc., and so they conclude that there is a gradual rising of existence; but this gradual rising does not obtain except by reason of attachment to the notion of a self-nature.


When ideas of body, property and abode are seen, discriminated and cherished in what after all is nothing but what is conceived of the mind itself, and external world is perceived under the aspect of individuality and generality which, however, are not realities and, therefore, neither a gradual nor a simultaneous rising of things is possible. It is only when the mind-system comes into activity and discriminates the manifestations of mind that existence can be said to come into view. For these reasons, Mahamati, you must get rid of notions of graduation and simultaneity in the combination of casual activities.


Mahamati said: Blessed One; To what kind of discrimination and to what kind of thoughts should the term, false-imaginations, be applied? The Blessed One replied: So long as people do no understand the true nature of the objective world, they fall into the dualistic view of things. They imagine the multiplicity of external objects to be real and become attached to them and are nourished by their habit-energy. Because of this system of mentationmind and what belongs to it-is discriminated and is thought of as real; this leads to the assertion of an ego-soul and its belongings, and thus

the mind-system goes on fuctioning. Depending upon and attaching itself to the dualistic habit of mind, they accept the views of the philosophers founded upon these erroneous distinctions, of being and non-being, existence, and non-existence, and there evolves what we call, false-imaginations. But Mahamati, discrimination does not evolve nor is it put away because, when all that is seen is truly recognized to be nothing but the manifestation of mind, how can discrimination as regards being and non-being evolve? It is for the sake of the ignorant who are addicted to the discriminations of the multiplicity of

things which are of their own mind, that it is said by me that discrimination takes rise owing to attachment to the aspect of multiplicity which is characteristic of objects. How otherwise the ignorant and simple-minded recognize that there is nothing but what is seen of the mind itself, and how otherwise can they gain an insight into the true nature of mind and be able to free themselves from wrong conceptions of cause and effect? How otherwise can they gain a clear conception of the Bodhisattva stages, and attain and "turning-about" in the deepest seat of their consciousness, and finally attain

an inner self-realization of Noble Wisdom which transcends the five Dharmas, the three Self-natures, and the whole idea of a discriminated Reality? For this reason it is said by me that discrimination takes rise from the mind becoming attached to the multiplicities of things which in themselves are not real, and that emancipation comes from throughly understanding the meaning of Reality as it truly is. False-imaginations rise from the consideration of appearances; things are discriminated as to form, signs and shape; as to having color, warmth, humidity, mobility or rigidity. False-imagination consists in becoming attached to these appearances and their names. By attachment to objects is meant, the getting attached to inner and outer things as if they

were real. By attachment to names is meant, the recognition in these inner and outer things of the characteristic marks of individuation and generality, and to regard them definitely belonging to the names of the objects. False-imagination teaches that because all things are bound up with causes and conditions of habit-energy that has been accumulating since beginingless time by not recognizing that the external world is of mind itself, all things are comprehensible under the aspects of individuality and genereality. By reason of clinging to these false-imaginations there is multitudinousness of appearances which are imagined to be real but which are only imaginary. To illustrate: when a magician depending on grass, wood, shrubs and creepers,

exercises his art, many shapes and beings take form that are only magically created; sometimes they even make figures that have bodies and that move and act like human beings; they are variously and fancifully discriminated but there is no reality in them; everyone but children and the simple-minded know that they are not real. Likewise based upon the notion of relativity false-imagination perceives a variety of appearances which the discriminating mind proceeds to objectify and name and become attached to, and memory and habit-energy perpetuate. Here is all that is necessary to constitute the self-nature of falseimagination. The various features of false imaginations can be distinguished as follows: as regards to words, meaning, individual marks, property,

self-nature, cause, philosphical views, reasoning, birth, nobirth, dependence, bondage and emancipation. Discrimination of words is the becoming attached to various sounds carrying familiar meanings. Discrimination of meaning comes when one imagines that words rise depending upon whatever subjects they express, and which subjects are regarded as selfexistent. Discrimination of individual marks is to imagine that whatever is denoted in words concerning the multiplicities of individual marks (which in themselves are like a mirage) is true, and clinging tenaciously to them, to discriminate all things according to such categories as warmth, fluidity, motility, and solidity. Discrimination of property is to desire a state of wealth, such as gold, silver, and

various precious stones. Discrimination of self-nature is to make discriminations according to the views of the philosophers in reference to the self-nature of all things which they imagine and stoutly maintain to be true, saying: "This is just what it is and it cannot be otherwise." Discrimination of cause is to distinguish the notion of causation in reference to being and non-being and to imagine that there are such things as "cause-signs". Discrimination of philosophical views means considering different views relating to the notions of beings and non-being, oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness, existence and non-existence, all of which are erroneous, and becoming attached to particular views. Discrimination of reasoning means the

teaching whose reasoning is based on the grasping of the notion and ego-substance and what belongs to it. Discrimination of birth means getting attached to the notion that things come into existence and pass out of existence by reason of causation. Discrimination of no-birth is to see that causeless substances


which were not, come into existence by reason of causation. Discrimination of dependence means the mutual dependence of gold and the filaments made of it. Discriminations of bondage and imagination is like imagining that there is something bound because something binding, as in the case of a man who ties a knot and then loosens one. These are the various features of false-imagination to which all the ignorant and simpleminded cling. Those attached to the

notions of relativity are attached to the notions of the multitudinousness of things which arises from false-imagination. It is like seeing varieties of objects depending on maya, but these varieties thus revealing themselves are discriminated by the ignorant as something other than maya itself, according to their way of thinking. Now the truth is, maya and varieties of objects are neither different nor not different; if they were different, varieties of objects objects would have no maya for their characteristic; if they were not different there would be no distiction between them. But as there is a distinction these two-maya and variety of objects-are neither different nor not different, for the very good reason: they are one thing.


Mahamati said to the Blessed One: Is error an entity or not? The Blessed One replied: Error has no character in it making for attachment; if error had such a character no liberation would be possible from its attachment to existence, and the chain of origination would only be understood in the sense of creation as upheld by the philosophers. Error is like maya, also, and as maya is incapable from producing other

maya, so error in itself cannot produce error; it is discrimination and attachment that produce evil thoughts and faults. Moreover, maya has no power of discrimination in itself; it only rises when invoked by the charm of a magician. Error has in itself no habit-energy; habit-energy only rises from discrimination and attachment. Error in itself has no faults; faults are due to the confused discriminations fondly cherished by the ignorant concerning ego-soul and its mind. The wise have nothing to do either with maya or error.

Maya, however, is not an unreality because it only has the appearance of reality; all things have the nature of maya. It is not because all things are imagined and clung to because of the multitudinousness of individual signs, that they are like maya; it is because they are alike unreal and as quickly appearing and disappearning. Being attached to erroneous thoughts they confuse and contradict themselves and others. As they do not clearly grasp the fact that the world is no more than mind itself, they imagine and cling to causation, work, birth and individual signs, and their thoughts are characterized by error and falseimaginations. The teaching that all things are characterized by the self-nature of maya and a dream is meant to make the ignorant and simple-minded cast aside the idea of self-nature in anything.


False-imagination teaches that such things as light and shade, long and short, black and white are different and are to be discriminated; but they are not independent of each other; they are only different aspects of the same thing, they are terms of relation and not of reality. Conditions of existence are not of a mutually exclusive character; in essence things are not two but one. Even Nirvana and Samsara’s world of life and death are aspects of the same thing, for there is no Nirvana expect where is Samsara, and Samsara except where is Nirvana. All duality is falsely imagined.


Mahamati, you and all Bodhisattvas should dicipline yourselves in the realisation and patience acceptance of the truths of the emptiness, un-bornness, no self-natureness, and the non-duality of all things. This teaching is found in all the sutras of all the Buddhas and is presented to meet the varied dispositions of beings, but it is not the Truth itself. These teachings are only a finger pointing towards Noble Wisdom. They are like a mirage with its springs of water which the deer take to be real and chase after. So with the teachings in all the sutras: They are intended for the consideration and guidance of the discriminating minds of all people, but they are not the Truth itself, which can only be self-realised within one’s deepest consciousness. Mahamati, you and akk the Bodhisattvas must seek for this inner self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, and not be captivated by word-teachings.

Chapter III


Right Knowledge or Knowledge of Relations

Then Mahamati said: Pray tell us, Blessed One, about the being and the non-being of all things?


The Blessed One replied: People of this world are dependent in their thinking on one of two things: on the notion of being whereby they take pleasure in realism, or in the notion of non-being whereby they take pleasure in nihilism; in either case they imagine enmancipation where there is no enmancipation. Those who are dependent upon notions of being, regard the world as rising from a causation that is really existent, and that this actually existing and becoming world does not take its rise from a causation that is non-existent. This is the realistic view as held by some people. Then there are other people who are dependent on the notion of the non-being of all things. These people admit the existence of greed, anger and folly, and at the same time they deny the existence of things that produce greed, anger and folly. This is not rational, for greed, anger and folly are no more to be taken hold as real; they neither have substance nor individual marks. Where there is a state of bondage, there is binding and means for binding; but where there is enmancipation, as in the case of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, masters and diciples, who have ceased to believe in both being and non-being, there is neither bondage, binding nor means for binding.


It is better to cherish the notion of an ego-substance than to entertain the notion of emptiness derived from the view of being and non-being, for those who so believe fail to understand the fundamental fact that the external world is nothing but a manifestation of mind. Because they see things as transient, as rising from cause and passing away from cause, now dividing, now combining into the elements which make up the aggregates of personality and its external world and now passing away, they are doomed to suffer every moment from the changes that follow one after another, and finally are doomed to ruin.


Then Mahamati asked the Blessed One, saying: Tell us, Blessed One, how all things can be empty, unborn, and have no self-nature, so that we may awakened and quickly realise highest enlightenment?

The Blessed One replied: What is emptiness, indeed! It is a term whose very self-nature is falseimagination, but because of one’s attachment to false-imagination we are obliged to talk of emptiness, nobirth, and no self-nature. There are seven kind of emptiness: emptiness of mutuality which is nonexistent; emptiness of individual marks; emptiness of self-nature; emptiness of no-work, emptiness of work; emptiness of all things in the sense that they are unpredictable, and emptiness in its highest sense of Ultimate Reality.


By emptiness of of mutuality which is non-existent is meant that when a thing is missing here, one speaks of it being empty here. For instance: in the lecture hall of Mrigarama there are no elephants present, nor bulls, nor sheep; but as to monks there are many present. We can rightly speak of the hall being empty as far as animals are concerned. It is not asserted that the hall is empty of its own characteristics, or that the monks are empty of that which makes their monkhood, nor that in some other place there are no elephants, bulls, nor sheep to be found. In this case we are speaking of things in their aspect of individuality and generality, but from the point of view of mutuality some things do not exist somewhere. This is the lowest form of emptiness and is to be sedulously put away.


By emptiness of individual marks is meant that all things have no distinguishing marks of individuality and generality. Because mutual relations and interactions things are superficially discriminated but when they are further and more carefully investigated and analysed they are seen to be non-existent and nothing as to individuality and generality can be predicated of them. Thus when individual marks can no longer be seen, ideas of self, otherness and bothness, no longer hold good. So it must be said that all things are empty of self-marks.


By emptiness of self-nature is meant that all things in their self-nature are un-born; therefore, it is said that things are empty as to self-nature. By emptiness of no-work is meant that the aggregate of elements that makes up personality and its external world is Nirvana itself and from the beginning there is no activity in them; therefore, one speaks of the emptiness of no-work. By emptiness of work is meant that the aggregates being devoid of an ego and its belongings, go on fuctioning automatically as there is mutual conjuction of causes and conditions; thus one speaks of the emptiness of work. By emptiness of all things in the sense that they are unpredictable is meant that, as the very self-nature of falseimagination is inexpressible, so all things are unpredictable, and, therefore, are empty in that sense. By emptiness in the highest sense of the emptiness of Ultimate Reality is meant that the in the attainment of inner self-realisation of Noble Wisdom there is no trace of habit-energy generated by erroneous conceptions; thus one speaks of the highest emptiness of Ultimate Reality.


When things are examined by right knowledge there are no signs obtainable which could characterise them with marks of individuality and generality, therefore, they are said to have no self-nature. Because these signs of individuality and generality are both seen as existing and yet are known to be non-existent, are seen as going out and yet are known not to be going out, they are never annihilated. Why is this true? For this reason; because individual signs that should make up the self-nature of all things are non-existent. Again in their self-nature things are both eternal and non-eternal. Things are not eternal because the marks of individuality appear and disappear, that is, the marks of self-nature are characterise by noneternality. On the other hand, because things are un-born and are only mind-made, they are in a deep sense eternal. That is, things are eternal because of their very non-eternality.


Further, besides understanding the emptiness of all things both in regard to substance and self-nature, it is necessary for Bodhisattvas to clearly understand that all things are un-born. It is not asserted that things are not born in a superficial sense, but that in a deep sense they are not born of themselves. All that can be said, is this, that relatively speaking, there is a constant stream of becoming, a momentary and uninterrupted change from from one state of appearance to another. When it is recognised that the world as it presents itself is no more than a manifestation of mind, then birth is seen as no-birth, and all existing objects, concerning which discrimination asserts that they are and are not, are non-existent and, therefore, un-born; being devoid of agent and action things are un-born.


If things are not born of being and non-being, but are simply manifestations of mind itself, they have no reality, no self-nature:- they are like the horns of a hare, a horse, a donkey, a camel. But the ignorant and simple-minded, who are given over to their false and erroneous imaginings, discriminate things where they are not. To the ignorant the characteristic marks of the self-nature of body-property-and-abode seem to be fundamental and rooted in the very nature of mind itself, so they discriminate their multitudinousness and become attach to them.


There are two kinds of attachment: attachment to objects as having a self-nature, and attachment to words as having self-nature. The first takes place by not knowing that the external world is only a manifestation of mind itself; and the second arises from one’s clinging to words and names by reason of habit-energy. In the teaching of no-birth, causation is out of place because, seeing that all things are like maya and a dream, one does not discriminate individual signs. That all things are un-born and have no self-nature because they are like maya is asserted to meet the thesis of the philosophers that birth is by causation. They foster the notion that the birth of all things is derived from the concept of being and non-being, and fail to regard it as it truly is,- as caused by attachments to the multitudinousness which arises from discriminations of the mind itself.


Those who believe in the birth of something that has never been in existence and, comming into existence, vanishes away, are obliged to assert that things come to exist and vanish away by causation – such people find no foothold in my teachings. When it is realised that there is nothing born, and nothing passes away, then there is no way to admit being and non-being, and the mind becomes quiescent.


Then Mahamati said to the Blessed One: The philosophers declare that the world rises from casual agencies according to the law of causation; they state that their cause is unborn and is not annihilated. They mention nine primary elements: Ishvara the Creator, the Creation, atoms, etc., which being elementary are unborn and not to be annihilated. The Blessed One, while teaching that all things are unborn and that there is no annihilation, also declares that the world takes its rise from ignorance, discrimination, attachment, deed, etc., working according to the law of causation. Though the two sects of elements may differ in form and name, there does not appear to be any essential difference between the two positions. If there is anything that is distinctive and superior in the Blessed One’s teaching, pray tell us, Blessed One, what is it?


The Blessed One replied: My teaching of no-birth and no-annihilation is not like that of the philosophers, nor is it like their doctrine of birth and impermacency. That to which the philosophers ascribe the charateristic of no-birth and no-annihilation is the self-nature of all things, which causes them to fall into the dualism of being and non-being. My teaching transcends the whole conception of being and nonbeing; it has nothing to do with birth, abiding and destruction; nor with existence and non-existence. I teach that the multitudinouesness of objects have no reality in themselves but are only seen of mind and, therefore, are of the nature of maya and a dream. I teach the non-existence of things because they carry no signs of any inherent self-nature. It is true that in one sense they are seen and discriminated by the senses as individualised objects; but in another sense, because of the absence of any characteristic marks of selfnature, they are not seen but are only imagined. In one sense they are graspable, but in another sense, they are not graspable.


When it is clearly understood that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of the mind itself, discrimination no more rises, and the wise are established in their true abode which is the realm of quietude. The ignorant discriminate and work trying to adjust themselves to external conditions, and are constantly perturbed in mind; unrealities are imagined and discriminated, while realities and no seen and ignored. It is not so with the wise. To illustrate: What the ignorant see is like the magically-created city of the Gandharvas, where children are shown, street and houses, and phantom merchants, and people going in and comming out. This with its streets and houses and people going in and comming out, are not thought of as being born or annihilated, because in their case there is no question as to their existence or non-existence. In like manner, I teach, that there is nothing made nor un-made; that there is nothing that has connection with birth and destruction except as the ignorant cherish falsely imagined notions as to the reality of the external world. When objects are not seen and judged as they truly are in themselves, there is discrimination and clinging to the notions of being and non-being, and individualised self-nature, and as long as these notions of individuality and self-nature persist, the philosophers are bound to explain the external world by a law of causation. This position rises the question of a first cause which the philosophers meet by asserting that their first cause, Ishvara and the primal elements, are un-born and unannihilate; which position is without evidence and is irrational.


Ignorant people and worldly philophers cherish a kind of no-birth, but it is not the no-birth which I teach. I teach the un-bornness of the un-born essence of all things which teaching is established in the minds of the wise by their self-realisation of Noble Wisdom. A ladle, clay, a vessel, a wheel, or seeds, or elements – these are external conditions; ignorance, discrimination, attachment, habit, karma, - these are inner conditions. When this entire universe is regarded as concatenation and as nothing else but concetenation, then the mind, but its patient acceptance of the truth that all things are un-born, gains tranquility.


Chapter IV


Perfect Konwledge or Knowledge of Reality.

Then Mahamati asked the Blessed One: Pray tell us, Blessed One, about the five Dharmas, so that we may fully understand perfect knowledge? The Blessed One replied: The five Dharmas are: appearance, name, discrimination, right-knowledge, and Reality. By appearence is meant that which reveals itself to the senses and to the discriminating-mind and is perviced as form, sound, odour, taste, and touch. Out of these appearances ideas are formed, such as clay, water, jar, etc., by which one says: this is such and such a thing and no other,- this is name. When appearances are constrasted and names compared, as when we say: this is an elephant, this is horse, a cart, a pedestrian, a man, a woman, or, this is mind and what belongs to it, - the things thus named are said to be discriminated. As these discriminations come to be seen as mutually conditioning, as empty of selfsubstance, as un-born, and thus come to be seen as they truly are, that is, as manifestations of the mind itself, - this is right-knowledge. By it the wise cease to regard appearances and names as realities.


When appearances and names are put away and all discrimination ceases, that which remains is the true and essential nature of things and, as nothing can be predicated as to the nature of essence, it is called the "Suchness" of Reality. This universal, undifferentiated, inscrutable, "Suchness" is the only Reality but it is variously characterised by Truth, Mind-essence, Transcendental Intelligence, Noble Wisdom, etc. This Dharma of the imagelessness of the Essence-nature of Ultimate Reality is the Dharma which has been proclaimed by all the Buddhas, and when all things are understood in full agreement with it, one is in possesion of Perfect Knowledge, and is on his way to the attainment of the Transcendental Inteeligence of the Tathagatas.


Then Mahamati said to the Blessed One: Are the three self-natures, of things, ideas, and Reality, to be considered as included in the Five Dharmas, or as having their own characteristics complete in themselves.

The Blessed One replied: The three self-natures, the eightfold mind-system, and the twofold egolessness are all included in the Five Dharmas. The self-natures of things, of ideas, and of the sixfold mind-system, correspond with the Dharma of appearance, name and discrimination; the self-nature of Universal Mind and Reality corresponds to the Dharmas of right-knowledge and "Suchness". By becoming attached to what is seen of the mind itself, there is an activity awakened which is perpetuated by habit-energy that becomes manifest in the mind-system, from the activities of the mindsystem there rises the notion of an ego-soul and its belongings; the discrimintations, attachments, and notion of an ego-soul, rising simultaneously like the sun and its rays of light.


By the egolessness of things is meant that the elements that make up the aggregates of personality and its objective world being characterised by the nature of maya and destitute of anything that can be called self-substance, are therefore un-born and have no self-nature. How can things be said to have an egosoul? By the egolessness of persons is meant is that in the aggregates that make up personality there is no ego-substance, nor anything that is like an ego-susbtance nor that belongs to it. The mind-system, which is the most characteristic mark of personality, originated in ignorance, discrimination, desire and deed; and its activities are perpetuated by perceiving, grasping and becoming attached to objects as if they were real. The memory of these

discriminations, desires, attachments and deeds is stored in Universal Mind since beginningless time, ad is still being accumulated where it conditions the appearance of personality and its environment and brings about constant change and destruction from moment to moment. The manifestations are like a river, a seed, a lamp, a cloud, the wind; Universal mind in its voraciousness to store up everything, is like a monkey never at rest, like a fly ever in search of food and without partiality, like a fire that is never satisfied, like a water-lifting machine that goes on rolling. Universal mind as defiled by habit-energy is like a magician that causes phantom things and people to appear and move about. A throrough understanding of these things is necessary to an understanding of the egolessness of persons.


There are four kinds of Knowledge: Appearance-knowledge, relative-knowledge, perfect-knowledge, and Transcendental Intelligence. Appearance-knowledge belongs to the ignorant and simple-minded who are addicted to the notion of being and non-being, and who are frightened at the thought of being un-born. It is produced by the concordance of the triple combination and attaches itself to the multiplicities of objects; it is characterised by attainability and accumulation; it is subject to birth and destruction. Appearance-knowledge belongs to word-mongers who revel in discriminations, assertions and negations. Relative-knowledge belongs to the mind-world of the philosophers. It rises from the mind’s ability to arrange, combine and analyse these relations by its powers of discursive logic and imagination, by reason of which it is able to peer into the meaning and significance of things. Perfect-knowledge belongs to the world of the Bodhisattvas who recognise that all things are but manifestations of mind; who clearly understand the emptiness, the un-borness, the egolessness of all things; and who have entered into an understanding of the Five Dharmas, the twofold egolessness, and into the truth of imagelessness. Perfect-knowledge differentiates the Bodhisattva stages, and is the pathway and entrance into the exalted state of self-realisation of Noble Wisdom.


Perfect-knowledge (jnana) belongs to the Bodhisattvas who are entirely free from the dualism of being and non-being, no-birth and no-annihilation, all assertions and negations, and who, by reason of selfrealisation, have gained an insight into the truth of egolessness and imagelessness. They no longer discriminate the world as subject to causation: they regard the causation that rules the world as something like the fabled city of the Gandharvas. To them the world is like a vision and a dream, it is like the birth and death of a barren-woman’s child; to them there is nothing evolving and nothing disappearing.


The wise who cherish Perfect-knowledge, may be divided into three classes, disciples, masters and Arhats. Common disciples are separated fro masters as common disciples continue to cherish the notion of individuality and generality; masters rise from common disciples when, forsaking the erros of individuality and generality, they still cling to the notion of an ego-soul by reasons of which they go off by themselves into retirement and solitude. Arhats rise when the error of all discrimination is realised. Error being discriminated by the wise turns into Truth by virtue of the "turning-about" that takes place within the deepest consciousness. Mind, thus emancipated, enters into perfect self-realisation of Noble Wisdom. But, Mahamati, if you assert that there is such a thing as Noble Wisdom, it no longer holds good, because anything of which something is asserted thereby partakes of the nature of being and is thus characterised with the quality of birth. The very assertion: "All things are un-born" destroys the truthfulness of it. The same is true of the statements: "All things are empty", and "All things have no self-nature",- both are untenable when put in the form of assertions. But when it is pointed out that all things are like a dream and a vision, it means that in one way they are perceived, and in another way they are not perceived; that is, in ignorance they are perceived but in Perfect-knowledge they are not perceived. All assertions and negations being thought-constructions are un-born. Even the assertion that Universal Mind and Noble Wisdom are Ultimate Reality, is thought construction and, therefore, is un-born. As "things" there is no Universal Mind, there is no Noble Wisdom, there is no Ultimate Reality. The insight of the wise who move about in the realm of imagelessness and its solitude is pure. That is, for the wise all "things" are wiped away even the state of imagelessness ceases to exist.


Chapter V

The Mind System

Then Mahamati said to the Blessed One: Pray tell us, Blessed One, what is meant by mind (citta)?


The Blessed One replied: All things of this world, be they seemingly good or bad, faulty or faultless, effect-producing or not effect-producing, receptive or non-receptive, may be divided into two classes: evil out-flowings and the non out-flowing good. The five grasping elements that make up the aggregates of personality, namely, form, sensation, perception, discrimination, and consciousness, and that are imagined to be good and bad, have their rise in the habit-energy of the mind-system,- they are the evil out-flowings of life. The spiritual attainments and the joys of the Samadhis and the fruitage of the Samapatis that come the wise throgh their self-realisation of Noble Wisdom and that culminate in their return and participation in the relations of the triple world are called the non out-flowing good.

The mind-system which is the source of the evil out-flowings consists of the five sense-organs and their accompanying sense-minds (vijnanas) all of which are unified in the discriminating-mind (manovijnana). There is an unending succesion of sense-concepts flowing into this discriminating or thinking-mind which combines them and discriminates them and passes judgement upon them as to their goodness or badness. Then follows aversion to or desire for them and attachment and deed; thus the entire system moves on continuously and closely bound together. But it fails to see and understand that what it sees and discriminates and grasps is only a manifestation of its own activity and has no other basis, and so the mind goes on erroneously perceiving and discriminating differences of forms and qualities, not remaining still even for a minute.

In the mind-system there are three modes of activity distinguishable: the sense-minds fuctioning while remaining in their original nature, the sense-minds as producing effects, and the sense-minds as evolving.

By normal fuctioning the sense-minds grasp appropiate elements of their external world, by which sensation and perception arise at once and by degrees in every sense-organ and every sense-mind, in the pores of the skin, and even in the atoms that make up the body, by which the whole field is apprehended like a mirror reflecting objects, and not realising that the external world itself is only a manifestation of mind. The second mode of activity produces effects by which these sensations react on the discriminating mind to produce perceptions, attractions, aversions, grasping, deed andhabit. The third mode of activity has to do with the growth, development and passing of the mind-system, that is, the mind-system is in subjection to its own habit-energy

accumulated from beginningless time time, as for instance: the "eyeness" in the eye that predisposes it to grasp and become attached to multiple forms and appearances. In this way the activities of the evolving mind-system by reason of its habit-energy stirs up waves of objectivity in the face of Universal Mind which in turn conditions the activities and evolvement of the mind-system. Appearances, perception, attraction, grasping, deed, habit, reaction, condition one another incessantly, and the fuctioning sense-minds, the discriminating-mind and Universal Mind are thus bound up together. Thus, by reason of discrimination of that which by nature maya-like and unreal falseimagination and erroneous reasoning takes place, action follows and its habit-energy

accumulates thereby defiling the pure face of Universal Mind, and as a result the mind-system comes into fuctioning and the physical body has its genesis. But the discriminating-mind has not thought that by its discriminations and attachments it is conditioning the whole body and so the sense-minds and discriminating-mind go on mutually related and mutually conditioned in a most intimate manner and building up a world of representations out of the activities of its own imagination. As a mirror reflects forms, the percieving senses percieve appearances which the discriminating-mind gathers together and proceeds to discriminate, to name and become attached to. Between these two fuctions there is no gap, nevertheless, they are mutually conditioning. The

percieving sense grasp that for which they have an affinity, and there is a transformation takes place in their structure by reason of which the mind proceeds to combine, discriminate, apprise, and act; then follows habit-energy and the establishing of the mind and its continuance. The discriminating-mine because of its capacity to discriminate, judge, select and reason about, is also called the thinking-mind, or intellectual-mind. There are three divisions of its mental activity: mentation which fuctions in connection with attachment to objects and ideas, mentation that fuctions in connection with general ideas, and mentation that examines into the validity of these general ideas. The mentation which fuctions in connection with

attachment to objects and ideas derived from discrimination, discriminates the mind from its mental processes and accepts the ideas from it as being realand becomes attached to them. A variety of false judgements are thus arrived at as to being, multiplicity, individuality, value, etc., a strong grasping takes place which is perpetuated by habit-energy and thus discrimination goes on asserting itself. These mental processes give rise to general conceptions of warmth, fluidity, motility, and solidity, as characterising the objects of discimination, while the tenacious holding to these general ideas gives rise to proposition, reason, definition, and illustration, all of which lead to the assertions of relative knowledge and the establishment of confidence in birth, self-nature, and an ego-soul. By mentation as an examining fuction is meant the intellectual act of examining into these general conclusions as to their validity, significance, and truthfulness. This is the faculty that leads to understanding, right-knowledge and points the way to self-realisation.


Then Mahamati said to the Blessed One: Pray tell us, Blessed One, what relation ego-personality bears to the mind-system? The Blessed One replied: To explain it, it is first necessary to speak of the self-nature of the five grasping aggregates that make up personality, although as i have already shown they are empty, un-born, and without self-nature. These five grasping aggregates are: form, sensation, perception, discrimination, consciousness. Of these, form belongs to what is made of the so-called primary elements, whatever they may be. The four remainding aggregates are without form and ought not to be reckoned as four, because they merge imperceptibly into one another. They are like space which cannot be numbered; it is only due to imagination that they are discriminated and likened to space. Because things are endowed with appearances of being, characteristic-marks, percievablesness, abode, work, one can say that they are born of effect-producing causes, but this cannot be said of these four intangible aggregates for they are without any form of marks. These four mental aggregates that make up personality are beyond calculability, they are beyond the four propositions, they are not to be predicated as existing or as not existing, but together they constitute what is known as mortal-mind. They are even more maya-like and dream-like than are things, nevertheless, as discriminating mortal-mind they obstruct the self-realisation of Noble Wisdom. But it is only by the ignorant that they are enumerated and thought of as an ego-personality; the wise do not do so. This discrimination of the five aggregates that make up personality and that serve as a basis for an ego-soul and ground for its desires and self-interests must be given up, and in its place the truth of imagelessness and solitude should be established.


Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: Pray tell us, Blessed One, about Universal Mind and its relation to the lower mind-system? The Blessed One replied: The sense-minds and their centralised discriminating-mind are related to the external world which is a manifestation of itself and is given over to pervceiving, discriminating, and grasping its maya-like appearances. Universal Mind (Alaya-vijnana) transncends all individuation and limits. Universal Mind is thoroughly pure in its essential nature, subsisting unchanged and free from faults of impermanence, undisturbed by egoism, unruffled by distinctions, desires and aversions. Universal Mind is like a great ocean, its surface rufflled by waves and surges but its depths remaining forever unmoved. In itself it is devoid of personality and all that belongs to it, but by reason of the defilments upon its face it is like an actor a plays a variety of parts, among which a mutual fuctioning takes place and the mind-system arises. The principle of intellection becomes divided and mind, the fuctions of mind, the evil out-flowings of mind, take on individuation. The sevenfold gradation of mind appears: namely, intuitive self-realisation, thinking-desiring-discriminating, seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, and all their interactions and reactions take their rise. The discriminating-mind is the cause of the sense-minds and is their support and with them is kept fuctioning as it describes and becomes attached to a world of objects, and then, by means of its habitenergy, it defiles the face of Universal Mind. Thus Universal Mind becomes the storage and clearing house of all the accumulated products of mentation and action since beginningless time.


Between Universal Mind and the individual discriminating-mind is the intuitive-mind (manas) which is dependent upon Universal Mind for its cause and support and enters into relation with both. It partakes of the universality of Universal Mind, shares its purity, and like it, is above form and momentariness. It is through the intuitive-mind that the good non out-flowing emerge, are manifested and are realised. Fortunate it is that intuition is not momentary for if the enlightenment which comes by intuition were momentary the wise would loose their "wiseness" which the do not. But the intuitive-mind enters into relations with the lower mind-system, shares its experiences and reflects upon its activities. Intuitive-mind is one with Universal Mind by reason of its participation in Transcendendal Intelligence (Arya-jnana), and is one with the mind-system by its comprehension of differentiated knowledge (vijnana). Intuitive-mind has no body of its own nor any marks by which it can be differentiated. Universal Mind is its cause and support but it is evolved along with the notion of an ego and what belongs to it, to which it clings and upon which it reflects. Through intuitive-mind, by the faculty of intuition which is a mingling of both indentity and percieving, the inconceivable wisdom of Universal Mind is revealed and made realisable. Like Universal Mind it can not be the source of error.


Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: Pray tell us, Blessed One, what is meant by the cessation of the mind-system? The Blessed One replied: The five sense-fuctions and their discriminating and thinking fuction have their risings and complete ending from moment to moment. They are born with discrimination as cause, with form and appearance and objectivity closely linked together as condition. The will-to-live is the mother, ignorance is the father. By setting up names and forms greed is multiplied and thus the mind goes on mutually conditioning and being conditioned. By becoming attached to names and forms, not realising that they have no more basis than the activities of the mind itself, error rises, false-imagination as to pleasure and pain rises, and the way to emancipation is blocked. The lower system of sense-minds and the discriminating-mind do not really suffer pleasure and pain – they only imagine they do. Pleasrue and pain are the deceptive reactions of mortal-mind as it grasps an imaginary objective world. There are two ways in which the ceasing of the mind-system may take place: as regards form, and as regards continuation. The sense-organs fuction as regards form by the interaction of form, contact and grasping; and they cease to fuction when this contact is broken. As regards continuation,- when these interactions of form, contact and grasping cease, there is no more continuation of the seeing, hearing and other sense fuctions; with the ceasing of these sense fuctions, the discriminations, graspings and attachments of the discriminating-mind cease; and with their ceasing act and eed and they habit-energy cease, and there is no more accumulation of karma-defilment on the face of Universal Mind.


If the evolving mortal-mind were of the same nature as Universal Mind the cessation of the lower mindsystem would mean the cessation of Universal Mind, but they are different for Universal Mind is not the cause of mortal-mind. There is no cessation of Universal Mind in its pure and essence-nature. What ceases to fuction is not Universal Mind in its essence-nature, but is the cessation of the effect-producing defilments upon its face that have been caused by the accumulation of the habit-energy of the activities of the discriminating and thinking mortal-mind. There is no cessation of Divine Mind which, in itself, is the abode of Reality and the Womb of Truth. By the cessation of the sense-minds is meant, not the cessation of their percieving fuctions, but the cessation of their discriminating and naming activities which are centralised in the discriminating mortalmind. By the cessation of the mind-system as a whole is meant, the cessation of discrimination, the clearing away of the various attachments, and, therefore, the clearing away of the defilments of habitenergy in the face of Universal Mind which have been accumulating since beginningless time by reason of these discriminations, attachments, erroneous reasonings, and following acts. The cessation of the continuation aspect of the mind-system, namely, the discriminating mortal-mind the entire world of maya and desire disappears. Getting rid of the discriminating mortal-mind is Nirvana.


But the cessation of the discriminating-mind can not take place until there has been a "turning-about" in the deepest seat of consciousness. The mental habit of looking outward by the discriminating-mind upon an external objective world must be given up, and a new habit of realising Truth within the intuitive-mind by becoming one with the Truth itself must be established. Until this intuitive self-realisation of Noble Wisdom is attained. The evolving mind-system will go on. But when an insight into the five Dharmas, the three self-natures, and the twofold egolessness is attained, then the way will be opened for this "turningabout" to take place. With the ending of pleasure and pain, of conflicting ideas, of the disturbing interests of egoism, a state of tranqulisation will be attained in which the truths of emancipation will be fully understood and there will be no further evil out-flowings of the mind-system to interfere with the perfect self-realisation of Noble Wisdom.


Chapter VI

Transcendental Intelligence

Then said Mahamati: Prey tell us, Blessed One, what constitutes Transcendental Intelligence?


The Blessed One replied: Transcendental Intelligence is the inner state of self-realisation of Noble Wisdom. It is realised suddenly and intuitively as the "turning-about" takes place in the deepest seat of consciousness; it neither enters nor goes out – it is like the moon seen in water. Transcendental Intelligence is not subject to birth nor destruction; it has nothing to do with combination nor concordance; it is devoid of attachment and accumulation; it transcends all dualistic concepts.

When Transcendental Intelligence is considered, four things must be kept in mind: words, meanings, teachings and Noble Wisdom (Arya-prajna). Words are employed to express meanings but they are

dependent upon discriminations and memory as cause, and upon the employment of sounds and letters by which a mutual transference of meaning is possible. Words are only symbols and may and may not clearly and fully express the meaning intended and, moreover, words may be understood quite differently from what was intended by the speaker. Words are neither different nor not different from meaning and meaning stands in the same relation to words. If meaning is different from words it could not be made manifest by means of words; but meaning is illumined by words as things are by a lamp. Words are just like a man carrying a lamp to look for his property, by which he can say: this is my property. Just so, by means of words and speech originating in discrimination, the Bodhisattva can enter into the meaning of the teachings of the Tathagatas and through the meaning he can enter the exalted state of self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, which, in itself, is free from word discrimination. But if a man becomes attached to the literal meaning of words and holds fast to the illusion that words and meaning are in agreement, especially such things as Nirvana which is un-born and un-dying, or as to distinctions of the Vehicles, the five Dharmas, the three self-natures, the he will fail to understand the true meaning and will become entangled in assertions and refutations. Just as varieties of objects are seen and discriminated in dreams and in visions, so ideas and statements are discriminated erroneously and error goes on multiplying.

The ignorant and simple-minded declare that meaning is not otherwise than words, that as words are, so is meaning. They think that as meaning has no body of its own that it cannot be different from words and, therefore, declare meaning to be indentical to words. In this they are ignorant of the nature of words, which are subject to birth and death, whereas meaning is not; words are dependent upon letters and meaning is not; meaning is apart from existence and non-existence, it has no substratum, it is un-born. The Tathagatas do not teach a Dharma that is dependent upon letters. Anyone who teaches a doctrine that is dependent upon letters and words is a mere prattler, because Truth is beyond letters and words and books.


This does not mean that letters and books never declare what is in conformity with meaning and truth, but it means that words and books are dependent upon discriminations, while meaning and truth are not; moreover, words and books are subject to the interpretation of individual minds, while meaning and truth are not. But if Truth is not expressed in words and books, the scriptures which contains the meaning of Truth would disappear, and when the scriptures there will be no more disciples and masters and Bodhisattvas and Buddhas, and there will ne nothing to teach. But no one must become attached to the words of the scriptures because even the canonical texts sometimes deviate from their straightfoward course owing to the imperfect fuctioning of sentient minds. Religious discourses are given by myself and other Tathagatas in response to the varying needs and faiths of all manner of being, in order to free them

from dependance upon the thinking fuction of the mind-system, but they are not given to take the place of self-realisation of Noble Wisdom. When there is recognition that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of the mind itself, all dualistic discriminations will be discarded and the truth of imagelessness will be understood, and will be seen to be in conformity with the meaning rather than with words and letters. The ignorant and simple-minded being fascinated with their self-imaginations and erroneous reasonings, keep on dancing and leap about, but are unable to understand the discourse by words about the truth of self-realisation, much less are they able to understand the Truth itself. Clinging to the external world, they cling to the study of books which are a means only, and do not know properly how to ascertain the truth of self-realisation, which is Truth unspolied by the four propositions. Self-realisation is an exalted state of inner attainment which transcends all dualistic thinking and which is above the mind-system with its logic, reasoning, theorising, and illustrations. The Tathagatas discourse to the ignorant, but sustain Bodhisattvas as they seek self-realisation of Noble Wisdom.


Therefore, let every disciple take good heed not to become attached to words as being in perfect conformity with meaning, because Truth is not in the letters. When a man with his finger-tip points to something to somebody, the finger-tip may be mistaken for the thing pointed at; in the like manner the ignorant and simple-minded, like children, are unable even to the day of their death to abandon the idea that the finger-tip of words where there is meaning itself. They cannot realise Ultimate Reality because of their intent clinging to words where intended to be no more than a pointing finger. Words and their discrimination bind one to the dreary round of rebirths into the world of birth-and-death.; meaning stands alone and is a guide to Nirvana. Meaning is attained by much learning, and much learning is attained by becoming conversant with the meaning and not with words; therefore, let seekers for truth reverently apporach those who are wise and avoid the sticklers for particular words.


As for teachings: there are priests and popular preachers who are given to ritual and ceremony and who are skilled in the various incantations and in the art of eloquence; they should not be honored nor reverently attended upon, for what one gains from them is emotional excitement and worldly enjoyment; it is not the Dharma. Such preachers, by their clever manipulation of words and phrases and various reasonings and incantations, being the mere prattle of a child, as far as one can make out and not at all in accordance with truth nor in unision with meaning, only serves to awaken sentient and emotion, while it stupefies the mind. As he himself does not understand the meaning of all things, he only confuses the minds of his hearers with his dualistic views. Not understanding himself, that there is nothing but what is seen of the mind, and himself attached to the notion of self-nature in external things, and unable to know one path from another, he has no deliverance to offer others. Thus these priests and popular preachers who are clever in various incantations and skilled in the art of eloquence, themselves never being emancipated from such calamities as birth, old age, disease, sorrow, lamentation, pain and despair, lead the ignorant to bewilderment by means of their various words, phrases, examples, and conclusions.


Then there are the materialistic philosophers. No respect nor service is to be shown to them because their teaching, though they may be explained using hundred of thousands of words and phrases, do not go beyond the concerns of this world and this body and in the end they lead to suffering. As the materialistic recognise no truth existing by itself, they are split up into many schools, each which clings to its own way of reasoning.


But there is that which does not belong to materialism and which is not reached by the knowledge of the philosophers who cling to false-imaginations and erroneous reasonings because they fail to see that, fundamentally, there is no reality in external objects. When it is recognised that there is nothing beyond what is seen of the mind itself, the discrimination of being and non-being ceases and, as there is thus no external world of object of perception, nothing remains but the solitude of Reality. This does not belong to the materialistic philosophers, it is the domain of the Tathagatas. If such things are imagined as the comming and going of the mind-system, vanishing and appearing, solicitation, attachment, intenses affection, a philosphic hypothesis, a theory, an abode, a sense-concept, atomic attraction, organism, growth, thirst, grasping,- these things belong to materialism, they are not mine. These are

things that are the object of worldly interest, to be sensed, handled and tasted; these are the things that appear in the elements that make up the aggregates of personality where, owing to the procreative force of lust, there arise all kinds of disaster, birth, sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, disease, old age, death. All these things concerns worldly interests and enjoyment; they lie along the path of the philosophers, which is not the path of the Dharma. When true egolessness of things and persons is understood , discrimination ceases to assert itself; the lower mind-system ceases to fuction; the various Bodhisattva stages are followed one after another; the Bodhisattva is able to utter his ten inexhaustible vows and is anointed by all the Buddhas. The Bodhisattva becomes master of himself and of all things by virtue of a life of spontaneous and radiant effortlessness. Thus the Dharma, which is Transcendental Intelligence, transcends all discriminations, all false-reasonings, all philosophical systems, all dualism.


Then Mahamati said to the Blessed One: In the Scriptures mention is made of the Womb of Tathagatahood and it is taught that that which is born of it is by nature bright and pure, originally unspotted and endowed with the thirty-two marks of excellence. As it is described it is a precious gem but wrapped in a dirty garment soiled by greed, anger, folly and false-imagination. We are taught that this Buddha-nature immanent in everyone is eternal, unchanging, auspicious. It is not this which is born of the Womb of Tathagatahood the same as the soul-substance that is taught by the philosophers? The Divine Atman as taught by them is also claimed to be eternal, inscrutable, unchanging, imperishable. It there, or is there not a difference? The Blessed One replied: No, Mahamati, my Womb of Tathagatahood is not the same as the Divine Atman as taught by the philosophers. What i teach is Tathagatahod in the sense of Dharmakaya, Ultimate Oneness, Nirvana, emptiness, unbornness, unqualifiedness, devoid of will-effort. The reason why I teach the doctrine of Tathagatahood is to cause the ignorant and simple-minded to lay aside their fears as they listen to the teaching of egolessness and come to understand the state of non-discrimination and


imagelessness. The religious teaching of the Tathagatas are just like a potter making various vessels by his own skill of hand with the aid of rob, water and thread, out of the one mass of clay, so the Tathagatas by their command of skillful means issuing from Noble Wisdom, by various terms, expressions, and symbols, preach the twofold egolessness in order to remove the last trace of discrimination that is preventing disciples from attaining a self-realisation of Noble Wisdom. The doctrine of the Tathagatawomb is disclosed in order to awaken philosphers from their clinging to the notion of a Divine Atman as a transcendental personality, so that their minds that have become attached to the imaginary notion of a "soul" as being something self-existing, may be quickly awakened to a state of perfect enlightement. All such notions as causation, succesion, atoms, primary elements, that make up personality, personal soul, Supreme Spirit, Sovereing God, Creator, are all figments of the imagination and manifestations of mind. No, Mahamati, the Tathagata’s doctrine of the Womb of Tathagatahood is not the same as the philosopher’s Atman.

The Bodhisattva is said to have well grasped the teaching of the Tathagatas when, all alone in a lonely place, by means of his Transcendental Intelligence, he walks the path leading to Nirvana. Thereon his mind will unfold by percieving, thinking, meditating, and, abiding in the practise of concentration until he attains the "turning-about" at the source of habit-energy, he will thereafter lead a life of excellent deeds. His mind concentrated on the state of Buddhahood, he will become thoroughly conversant with the noble truth of self-realisation; he will become perfect master of his own mind; he will be like a gem radiating many colors; he will be able to assume bodies of transformation; he will be able to enter into the minds of all to help them; and; finally, by gradually ascending the stages he will become established in the perfect Transcendental Intelligence of the Tathagatas. Nevertheless, Transcendental Intelligence (Arya-jnana) is not Noble Wisdom (Arya-prajna) itself; only an intuitive awareness of it. Noble Wisdom is a perfect state of imagelessness; it is the Womb of "Suchness"; it is the all-conserving Divine Mind (Alaya-vijnana) which in its pure Essence forever abides in perfect patience and undisturbed tranquility.


Chapter VII

Self-Realisation

Then said Mahamati: Pray tell us, Blessed One, what is the nature of Self-realisation by reason of which we shall be able to attain Transcendental Intelligence?


The Blessed One Replied: Transcendental Intelligence rises when the intellectual-mind reaches its limit and, if things are to be realised in their true and essence nature, its processes of mentation, which are based on particularised ideas, discriminations and judgements, must be transcended by an appeal to some higher faculty of cognition, if there be such a higher faculty. There is such a faculty in the intuitive-mind (Manas), which as we have seen is the link between the intellectual-mind and Universal Mind. While it is not an individualised organ like the intellectual-mind, it has that which is much better,- direct dependence upon Universal Mind. While intuition does not give information that can be analysed and discriminated, it gives that which is far superior,- self-realisation through indentification.


Mahamati then asked the Blessed One, saying: Pray tell us, Blessed One, what clear understandings an earnest disciple should have if he is to be successful in the discipline that leads to self-realisation? The Blessed One replied: There are four things by the fulfilling of which an earnest disciple may gain self-realisation of Noble Wisdom and become and Bodhisattva-Mahasattva: First, he must have a clear understanding that all things are only manifestations of mind itself; second, he must discard the notion of birth, abiding and disappearance; third, he must clearly understand the egolessnes of both things and persons; and fourth, he must have a true conception of what constitutes self-realisation of Noble Wisdom. Provided with these four understandings, earnest disciples may become Bodhisattvas and attain Transcendental Intelligence.


As to the first; he must recognise and be fully convinced that this triple world is nothing but a complex manifestation of one’s mental activities; that is devoid of selfness and its belongings; that there are no striving, no commings, no goings. He must recongnise and accept the fact that this trple world is manifested and imagined as real only under the influence of habit-energy that has been accumulated since beginningless past by reason of memory, false-imagination, false-reasoning, and attachments to the multiplicities of objects and reactions in close relationship and in conformity to ideas of body-property and-abode.


As the to second; hemust recognise and be convinced that all things are to be regarded as forms seen in a vision and a dream, empty of substance, un-born and without self-nature; that all things exist only by reason of a complicated network of causation which owes its rise to the discrimination and attachment and which eventuates in the rise of the mind-system and its belongings and evolvements.

As to the third; he must recognise and patiently accept the fact that his own mind and personality is also mind-constructed, that it is empty of substance, unborn and egoless. With these three things clearly in mind, the Bodhisattva will be able to enter into the truth of imagelessness. As to the fourth; he must have a true conception of what constitutes self-realisation of Noble Wisdom. First, it is not comparable to the perceptions attained by the sense-mind, and neither is comparable to the cognition of the discriminating and intellectual-mind. Both of these presuppose a difference between self and not-self and the knowledge so attained is characterised by individuality and generality. Selfrealisation is based on identity and oneness; there is nothing to be discriminated nor predicated concerning it. But to enter into it the Bodhisattva must be free from all presuppositions and attachments to things, ideas and selfness.

Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: Prey tell us, Blessed One, concerning the characteristics of deep attachments to existence and as to how we may become detached from existence?

The Blessed One replied: When one tries to understand the significance of things by means of words and discriminations, there follow immeasurably deep-seated attachments to existence. For instance: there are the deep-seated attachments to signs of individuality, to causation, to the notion of being and non-being, to the discrimination of birth and death, of doing and of not-doing, to the habit of discrimination itself upon which philosophers are so dependent.


There are three attachments that are especially deep-seated in the minds of all: greed, anger and infatuation, which are based on lust, fear and pride. Back to these lies discrimination and desire which is procreative and is accompanied with excitement and avariciousness and love of comfort and desire for eternal life; and, following, is a succesion of rebirths on the five paths of existence and a continuation of attachments. But if these attachments are broken off, no signs of attachment nor of detachment will remain because they are based on things that are non-existent; when this truth is clearly understood the net of attachment is cleared away.

But depending upon and attaching itself to to the triple combination which works in unision there is the rising and the continuation of the mind-system incessantly fuctioning, and because of it there is the deepfelt and continuous assertion of the will-to-live. When the triple combination that causes the fuctioning of the mind-system ceases to exist, there is the triple emancipation and there is no further rising of any combination. When the existence and the non-existence of the external world are recognised as rising from the mind itself, then the Bodhisattva is prepared to enter into the state of imagelessness and therein to see into the emptiness which characterises all discrimination and all the deep-seated attachments resulting therefrom. Therein he will see no signs of deep-rooted attachment nor detachment; therein he will see no one in bondage and no one in emancipation, expect those who themselves cherish bondange and emancipation, because in all things there is no "substance" to be taken hold of.


But so long as these discriminations are cherished by the ignorant and simple-minded they go on attaching themselves to them and, like the silkworms, go on spinning their thread of discrimination and enwrapping themselves and others, and are charmed with their poison. But to the wise there are no signs of attachment nor of detachment; all things are seen as abiding in solitude where there is no evolving of discrimination. Mahamati, when you and other Bodhisattvas understand well the distinction between attachment and detachment, you will be in possesion of skillful means for avoiding becoming attached to words according to which one proceeds to grasp meanings. Free from the domination of words you will be able to establish yourselves where there will be a "turning-about" in the deepst seat of consciousness by means of which you will attain self-realisation of Noble Wisdom and be able to enter into all the

Buddha-lands and assemblies. There you will be stamped with the stamp of powers, self-command, the psychic faculties, and will be endowed with the wisdom and the power of the ten inexhaustible vows, and will become radiant with the variegated rays of the Transformation Bodies. Therewith you will shine without effort like the moon, the sun, the magic wishing-jewel, and at every stage will view things as being of perfect oneness with yourself, uncontaminated by any self-consciousness. Seeing that all things are like a dream, you will be able to enter into the stage of the Tathagatas and be able to deliver discourses on the Dharma to the world of beings in accordance with their needs and be able to free them from all dualistic notions and false discriminations.


Mahamati, there are two ways of considering self-realisation: namely, the teachings about it, and the realisation itself. The teachings as variously given in the nine divisions of the doctrinal works, for the instructions of those who are inclined toward it, by making use of skillful means and expedients, are intended to awaken in all beings a true perception of the Dharma. The teachings are designed to keep one away from all dualistic notions of being and non-being and oneness and otherness.

Realisation itself is within the inner consciousness. It is an inner experience that has no connection with the lower mind-system and its discriminations of words, ideas and philosophical speculations. It shines out with its own clear light to reveal the error and foolishness of mind-constructed teachings, to render impotent evil influences from without, and to guide one unerringly to the realm of the good nonoutflowings. Mahamati, when the earnest diciple and Bodhisattva is provided with these requirements, the way is open to his perfect attainment of self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, and to the full enjoyment of the fruits that arise therefrom.


Then Mahamati asked the Blessed One, saying: Pray tell us, Blessed One, about the One Vehicle which the Blessed One has said characterises the attainment of the inner self-realisation of Noble Wisdom?

The Blessed One replied: In order to discard some easily discriminations and erroneous reasonings, the Bodhisattva should retire by himself to a quiet, secluded place where he may reflect within himself without relying on anyone else, and there let him exert himself to make successive advances advances along the stages; this solitude is the characteristic feature of the inner attainment of self-realisation of Noble Wisdom.


I call this the One Vehicle, not because it is the One Vehicle, but because it is onlyin solitude that one is able to recognise and realise the path of the One Vehicle. So long as the mind is distracted and is making conscious effort, there can be no culmination as regards the various vehicles; it is only when the mind is alone and quiet that it is able to forsake the discriminations of the external world and seek realisation of an inner realm where there is neither vehicle nor one who rides in it. I speak of the three vehicles in order to carry the ignorant. I do not speak much about the One Vehicle because there is no way by which earnest disciples and masters can realise Nirvana, unaided. According to the discourses of the Tathagatas earnest disciples should be segregated and disciplined and trained in meditation and dhyana whereby they are aided by many devices and expedients to realise emancipation. It is

because earnest disciples and masters have not fully destroyed the habit-energy of karma and the hindrances of discriminative knowledge and human passion that they are often unable to accept the twofold egolessness and the inconceivable transformation death, that I preach the triple vehicle and not the One Vehicle. When earnest disciples have gottan rid of all their evil habit-energy and been able to realise the twofold egolessness, then they will not be intoxicated by the bliss of the Samadhis and will be awakened into the super-realm of the good non-outflowings. Being awakened into the realm of the good non-outflowings, they will be able to gather up all the requisities for the attainment of Noble Wisdom which is beyond conception and is of sovereing

power. Bu really, Mahamati, there are no vehicles, and so i speak of the One Vehicle. Mahamati, the full recognition of the One Vehicle has never been attained by either earnest disciples, masters, or even by the great Brahma; it has been attained only by the Tathagatas themselves. That is the reason that it is known as the One Vehicle. I do not speak much about it because there is no way by which earnest disciples can realise Nirvana unaided.


Then Mahamati asked the Blessed One, saying: What are the steps that will lead an awakened disciple toward the self-realisation of Noble Wisdom? The Blessed One replied: The beginning lies in the recognition that the external world is only a manifestation of the activities of the mind itself, and that the mind grasps it as an external world simply because of its habit of discrimination and false-reasoning. The disciple musy get into the habit of looking at things truthfully. He must recognise the fact that the world has no self nature, that it is un-born, that it is like a passing cloud, like an imaginary wheel made by a revolving firebrand, like the castle of the Gandharvas, like the moon reflected in the ocean, like a vision, a mirage, a dream. He must come to understand that mind in its essence-nature has nothing to do with discrimination nor causation; he must not listen to discourses based on

the imaginary terms and qualifications; he must understand that Universal Mind in its pure essence is a state of imagelessness, that it is only because of the accumulated defilments on its face that body-property-and-abode appear to be its manifestations, that in its own pure nature it is unaffected and unaffecting by such changes as rising, abiding and destruction; he must fully understand that all these things come with the awakening of the notion of an ego-soul and its conscious mind. Therefore, Mahamati, let those disciples who wish to realise Noble Wisdom by following the Tathagata Vehicle desist from all discrimination and erroneous reasoning about personality and its senseworld or about such ideas as causation, rising, abiding and destruction, and

exercise themselves in the discipline of dhyana that leads to the realisation of Noble Wisdom. To practice dhyana, the earnest disciple should retire to a quiet and solitary place, remembering that lifelong habits of discriminative thinking cannot be broken off easily nor quickly. There are four kinds of concentrative meditation (dhyana): The dhyana practiced by the ignorant; the dhyana devoted to the examination of meaning; the dhyana with "suchness" (tathata) for its object; and the dhyana of the Tathagatas. The dhyana practiced by the ignorant is the one resorted to by those who are following the example of the disciples and masters but who do not understand its purpose and, therefore, it becomes "still-sitting" with vacant minds. This dhyana is practiced, also, by those who, despising the body, see it as a shadow and a skeleton full of suffering and impurity, and yet who cling to the notion of an ego, seek to attain emancipation by the mere cessation of thought.

The dhyana devoted to the examination of meaning, is the one practised by those who, perceiving the untenability of such ideas as self, other and both, which are held by the philosophers, and who have passed beyond the twofold-egolessness, devote dhyana to an examnitation of the significance of egolessness and the differentiations of the Bodhisattvas stages.

The dhyana with Tathata, or "Suchness", or Oneness, or Divine Name, for its object is practised by those earnest disciples and masters who, while fully recognising the twofold egolessness and the imagelessness of Tathata, yet cling to the notion of ultimate Tathata.

The dhyana of the Tathagatas is the dhyana of those who are entering upon the stage of Tathagatahood and who, abiding in the triple bliss which characterises the self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, are devoting themselves for the sake of all beings to the accomplishement of incomprehensible works for their emancipation. This is the pure dhyana of the Tathagatas. Whe all lesser things and ideas are transcended and forgotten, and there remains only a perfect state of imagelessness where Tathagata and Tathata are merged into perfect Oneness, then the Buddhas will come together from all their Buddha-lands and with shining hands resting on his forhead will welcome a new Tathagata.


Chapter VIII

The Attainment of Self-Realisation

Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: Pray tell us more as to what constitutes the state of selfrealisation?


The Blessed One replied: In the life of an earnest disciple there are two aspects that are to be distinguished: namely, the state of attachment to the self-natures arising from discrimination of himself and his field of consciousness to which he is related; and second, the excellent and exalted state of selfrealisation of Noble Wisdom. The state of attachment to the discriminations of the self-natures of things, ideas and selfhood is accompanied by emotions of pleasure or aversion according to experience or as laid down in books of logic. Conforming himself to the egolessness of things and holding back wrong views as to his egoness, he should abandon these thoughts and hold himself firmly to the continuously ascending journey of the stages. The exalted state of self-realisation as it relates to an earnest disciple is a state of mental concentration in which he seeks to indentify himself with Noble Wisdom. In that effort he must seek to annihilate all vagrant thoughts and notions belonging to the externality of things, and all ideas of individuality and generality, of suffering and impermanence, and cultivate the noblest ideas of egolessness and emptiness and imagelessness; thus will he attain a realisation of truth that is free from passion and is ever serene. When this active effort at mental concentration is succesful it is followed by a more passive, receptive state of Samadhi in which the earnest disciple will enter into the blissful abode of Noble Wisdom and experience its consumations in the transformations of Samapatti. This is an earnest disciple’s first experience of the exalted state of realisation, but as yet there is no discarding of habit-energy nor escaping from the transformation of death.

Having attained this exalted and blissful state of realisation as far as it can be attained by disciples, the Bodhisattva must not give himself up to the enjoyment of its bliss, for that would mean cessation, but should think compassionately of other beings and keep ever fresh his original vows; he should never let himself rest nor exert himself in the bliss of the Samadhis.


But, Mahamati, as earnest disciples go on trying to advance on the path that leads to full realisation. There is one danger against which they must be on their guard. Disciples may not appreciate that the mindsystem, because of its accumulated habit-energy, goes on fuctioning, more or less unconsciously, as long as they live. They may sometimes think that they can expedite the attainment of their goal of tranquilisation by entirely supressing the activities of the mind-system. This is a mistake, for even if the activities of the mind are supressed, the mind will still go on fuctioning because the seeds of habit-energy will still remain in it. What they think is extinction of mind, is really the non-fuctioning of the mind’s external world to which they are no longer attached. That is, the goal if tranquilisation is to be reached not by supressing all mind activity but by getting rid of discriminations and attachments.


Then there are others who, afraid of the suffering incident to the discriminations of life and death, unwisely seek Nirvana. They have come to see that all things subject to discrimination have no reality and so imagine that Nirvana must consist in the annihilation of the senses and their fields of sensation; they do not appreciate that birth-and-death and Nirvana are not separate one from the other. They do not know that Nirvana is Universal Mind in its purity. Therefore, these stupid ones who cling to the notion that Nirvana is a world by itself that us outside what is seen of the mind, ignoring all the teachings of the Tathagatas concerning the external world, go on rolling themselves along the wheel of birth-and-death. But when they experiment the "turning-about" in their deepest consciousness which will bring with it the perfect self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, then they will understand. The true functioning of the mind is very subtle and difficult to be understood by young disciples, even masters with all their powers of right-knowledge and Samadhis often find it baffling. It is only the Tathagatas and the Bodhisattvas who are firmly established on the seventh stage who can fully understand its workings. Those earnest disciples and masters who wish to fully understand all the aspects of the different stages of Bodhisattvahood by the aid of their right-knowledge must do so by becoming thoroughly conviced that objects of discrimination are only seen to be so by the mind and, thus, by keeping themselves away from all discriminations and false reasonings which are also of the mind itself, by ever seeking to see things truly (yathabhutam), and by planting roots of goodness in Buddha-lands that know no limits made by differentiations.


To do all this the Bodhisattva must keep himself away from all turmoil, social excitements and sleepiness; let him keep away from the treasies and writtings of worldly philosophers, and from the ritual and ceremonies of professional priestcraft. Let him retire to a secluded place in the forest and there devote himself to the practice of the various spiritual disciplines, because it is only by so doing that he will become capable of attaining in this world of multiplicities a true insight into the workings of Universal Mind in its Essence. There surrounded by his good friends the Buddhas, earnest disciples will become capable of understanding the significance of the mind-system and its place as a mediating agent between the external world and Universal Mind and he will become capable of crossing the ocean of birth-anddeath which rises from ignorance, desire and deed.


Having gained a thorough understanding of the mind-system, the three self-natures, the twofold egolessness, and established himself in the measure of self-realisation that goes with that attainment, all of which may be gained by his right-knowledge, the way will be clear to the Bodhisattva’s further advance along the stages of Bodhisattvahood. The disciple should then abandon the understanding of mind which he has gained by right-knowledge, which in comparison with Noble Wisdom is like a lame donkey, and entering on the eight stage of Bodhisattvahood, he should then disciple himself in Noble Wisdom according to its three aspects.


These aspects are: First, imagelessness which come forth when all things belonging to dicipleship, mastership, and philosophy are thoroughly mastered. Second, the power added by all the Buddhas by reason of their original vows including the identification of their lives and the sharing of their lives and the sharing of their merit with all sentient lives. Third, the perfect self-realisation that thus far has only been realised in a measure. As the Bodhisattva succeeds in detaching himself from viewing all things, including his own imagined egoness, in their phenomenality, and realises the states of Samadhi and Samapatti whereby he surveys the world as a vision and a dream, and being sustained by all the Buddhas, he will be able to pass on to the full attainment of the Tathagata stage, which is Noble Wisdom itself. This is the triplicity of the noble life and being furnished with this triplicity the perfect self-realisation of Noble Wisdom has been attained.



Then Mahamati asked the Blessed One, saying: Blessed One, is the purification of the evil out-flowings of the mind which come from clinging to the notions of an objective world and an empirical soul, gradual or instantaneous?

The Blessed One replied: There are three characteristic out-flows of the mind, namely, the evil outflowings that rise from thirst, grasping and attachment; the evil out-flowings that arise from the illusions of the mind and the infatuations of egoism; and the good non-outflowings that arise from Noble Wisdom. The evil out-flowings that take place from recognising an external world, which in truth is only a manifestation of mind, and from becoming attached to it, are gradually purified and not instantaneously. Good behavior can only come by the path of restraint and effort. It is like a potter making pots that is done gradually and with attention and effort. It is like the mastery of comedy, dancing, singing, luteplaying, writing, and any other art; it must be acquired gradually and laboriously. Its reward will be a clearing insight into the emptiness and transciensy of all things.

The evil out-flowings that arise from the illusions of the mind and the infatuations of egoism, concerns the mental life more directly and are such things as fear, anger, hatred and pride; these are purified by study and meditation and that, too, must be attained gradually and not instantaneously. It is like the amra fruit that ripens slowly; it is like grass, shrubs, herbs and trees that grow up from the earth gradually. Each must follow the path of study and meditation by himself gradually and with effort, but because of the original vows of the Bodhisattvas and all the Tathagatas who have devoted their merits and identified their lives with all animate life that all may be emancipated, they are not without aid and encouragement; but even with the aid of the Tathagatas, the purification of the evil out-flowings of the mind are at best


slow and gradual, requiring both zeal and patience. Its reward is the gradual understanding of the twofold egolessness and its patience acceptance, and the feet well set on the stages of Bodhisattvahood.

But the good non-outflowings that come with the self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, is a purification that comes instantaneously by the grace of the Tathagatas. It is like a mirror reflecting all forms and images instantaneously and without discrimination; it is like the sun or moon revealing all forms instantaneously and illuminating them dispassionately with its light. In the same way the Tathagatas lead earnest disciples to a state of imagelessness; all the accumulations of habit-energy and karma that had been collecting since beginningless time because of attachment to erroneous views which have been entertained regarding an ego-soul and its external world, are cleansed away, revealing instantaneously the realm of Transcendental Intelligence that belongs to Buddhahood. Just as Universal Mind defiled by accumulations of habitenergy and karma reveals multiplicities of ego-souls and their external worlds of false-imagination, so Universal Mind cleared of its defilments through the gradual purifications of the evil out-flowings that come by effort, study and meditation, and by the gradual self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, at the long last, like the Dharmata Buddha shining forth spontaneously with the rays that issue from its pure Selfnature, shines forth instantaneously. By it the mentality of all Bodhisattvas is matured instantaneously: they find themselves in the palatial abodes of the Akanistha heavens, themselves spontaneously radiating the various treasures of its spiritual abundance.


Chapter IX

The Fruit of Self-Realisation

Mahamati asked the Blessed One: Prey tell us, Blessed One, what is the fruitage that comes with the selfrealisation of Noble Wisdom? The Blessed One replied: First, there will come a clearing insight into the meaning and significance of things and following that will come an unfolding insight into the significance of spiritual ideals (Paramitas) by reason of whichthe Bodhisattva will be able to enter more deeply into the abode of imagelessness and be able to experience the higher Samadhis and gradually to pass through the higher stages of Bodhisattvahood. After experiencing the "turning-about" in the deepest seat of consciousness, they will experience other Samadhis even to the highest, the Vajravimbopama, which belongs to the Tathagatas and their transformations. They will be able to enter into the realm of consciousness that lies beyond the consciousness of the mind-system, even the consciousness of Tathagatahood. They will become endowed with all the powers, psychic faculties, self-mastery, loving compassion, skillful means, and ability to enter into other Buddha-lands. Before they had attained self-realisation of Noble Wisdom they had been influenced by the self-interests of egoism, but after they attain self-realisation they will find themselves reacting spontaneously to the impulses of a great and compassionate heart endowed with skillful and boundless means and sincerly and wholly devoted to the emancipation of all beings.


Mahamati said: Blessed One, tell us about the sustaining power of the Tathagatas by which the Bodhisattvas are aided to attain self-realisation of Noble Wisdom?

The Blessed One replied: There are two kinds of sustaining power, which issue from the Tathagatas and are at the service of the Bodhisattvas, sustained by which the Bodhisattvas should prostrate themselves before them and show their appreciation by asking questions. The first kind of sustaining power is the Bodhisattva’s own adoration and faith in the Buddhas by reason of which the Buddhas are able to manifest themselves and render their aid and to ordain them with their own hands. The second kind of sustaining power is the power radiating from the Tathagatas that enables the Bodhisattvas to attain and to pass through the various Samadhis and Samapattis without becoming intoxicated by their bliss.


Being sustained by the power of the Buddhas, the Bodhisattva even at the first stage will be able to attain the Samadhi known as the Light of Mahayana. In that Samadhi Bodhisattvas will become conscious of the presence of the Tathagatas comming from all their different abodes in the ten quarters to impart to the Bodhisattvas their sustaining power in various ways. As the Bodhisattva Vajragarbha was sustained in his Samadhis and as many other Bodhisattvas of like degree and virtue have been sustained, so all earnest disciples and masters and Bodhisattvas may experience this sustaining power of the Buddhas in their Samadhis and Samapattis. The disciple’s faith and the Tathagata’s merit are two aspects of the same sustaining power and by it alone are the Bodhisattvas enabled to become one with the company of the Buddhas.

Whatever Samadhis, psychic faculties and teachings are realised by the Bodhisattvas, they are made possible only by the sustaining power of the Buddhas; if it were otherwise, the ignorant and the simpleminded might attain the same fruitage. Wherever the Tathagatas enter with their sustaining power there will be music, not only music made by human lips and played by human hands on various instruments, but there will be music among the grass and shrubs and trees, and in the mountains and towns and palaces and hovels; much more will there be music

in the heart of those endowed with sentiency. The deaf, dumb and blind will be cured of their deficiencies and will rejoice in their emancipation. Such is the extraordinary virtue of the sustaining power imparted by the Tathagatas. By the bestowal of this sutaining power, the Bodhisattvas are enabled to avoid the evils of passion, hatred and enslaving karma; they are enabled to transcend the dhyana of the beginners and to advance beyond the experience and truth already attained; they are enabled to demostrate the Paramitas; and finally, to attain the stage of Tathagatahood. Mahamati, if it were not for this sustaining power, they would relapse into the ways and thoughts of the philosophers, easy-going disciples and the evil-minded, and would thus fall short of the highest attainement. For these reasons, earnest disciples and sincere Bodhisattvas are sustained by the power of all the Tathagatas.


Then said Mahamati: It has been said by the Blessed One that by fulfilling the six Paramitasm Buddhahood is realised. Pray tell us what the Paramitas are, and how they are to be fulfilled?

The Blessed One replied: The Paramitas are ideals of spiritual perfection that are to be the guide of the Bodhisattvas on the path to self-realisation. There are six of them but they are to be considered in three different ways according to the progress of the Bodhisattva on the stages. At first they are to be considered as ideals for the worldly life; next as ideals for the mental life; and, lastly, as ideals of the spiritual and unitive life. In the worldly life where one is still holding tenaciously to the notions of an ego-soul and what concerns it and holding fast to the discriminations of dualism, if only for worldly benefits, one should cherish ideals of charity, good behavior, patience, zeal, thoughtfulness and wisdom. Even in the worldly life the practice of these virtues will bring rewards of happiness and success.

Much more in the mind-world of earnest disciples and masters will their practice bring joys of emancipation, enlightement and peace of mind, because the Paramitas are grounded on right-knowledge and lead to thoughts of Nirvana, even if the Nirvana of their thoughts is for themselves. In the mind-world the Paramitas become more ideal and more sympathetic; charity can no longer be expressed in the giving of impersonal gifts but will call for the more costly gifts of sympathy and understanding; good behavior will call for something more than

outward conformity to the five precepts because in the light of the Paramitas they must practise humilty, simplicity, restraint and self-giving. Patience will call for something more than forbearance with external circunstances and the temperaments of other people: it will now call for patience with one’s self. Zeal will call for something more than industry and outward show of earnestness: it will call for more self-control in the task of following the Noble Path and in manifesting the Dharma in one’s own life. Thoughtfulness will give way to mindfulness wherein discriminated meanings and logical deductions and rationalisations will give way to intuitions of significance and spirit. The Paramita of Wisdom (Prajna) will no longer be concerned with pragmatic wisdom and erudition, but will reveal itself in its true perfectness of All-inclusive Truth which is Love.

The third aspect of the Paramitas as seen in the ideal perfection of the Tathagatas can only be fully understood by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who are devoted to the highest spiritual disciple and have fully understood that there is nothing to be seen in the world but that which issues from the mind itself; in whose minds the discrimination of dualities has ceased to fuction; and seizing and clinging has become non-existent. Thus free from all attachements to individual objects and ideas, their minds are free to consider ways of benefiting and giving happiness to others, even to all sentient beings. To the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas the ideal of charity is shown in the self-yielding of the Tathagata’s hope of Nirvana that all may enjoy it together. While having relations with an objective world there is no rising in the minds of the Tathagatas of discriminations between the interests of self

and the interests of others, between good and evil,- there is just the spontaneity and effortless actuality of perfect behavior. To practise patience with full knowledge of this and that, of grasp and grasping, but with no thought of discrimination nor of attachment,- that is the Tathagatas Paramita of Patience. To exert oneself with energy from the first part of the night to its end in conformity with the disciplinary measures with no rising of discrimination as to comfort or discomfort,- that is the Tathagata’s Paramita of Zeal. Not to discriminate between self and others in thoughts of Nirvana, but to keep the mind fixed on Nirvana,- that is the Paramita of Mindfulness. As to the Prajna-Paramita, which is Noble Wisdom, who can predicate it? When in Samadhi the mind ceases to discriminate and there is only perfect and love-filled imagelessness, then an inscrutable "turning-about" will take place in the inmost consciousness and one will have attained self-realisation of Noble Wisdom,- that is the highest Prajna-Paramita.


Then Mahamati said to the Blessed One: You have spoken of an astral-body, a "mind-vision-body" (manomayakaya) which the Bodhisattvas are able to assume, as being one of the fruits of self-realisation of Noble Wisdom: pray tell us, Blessed One, what is meant by such transcendental body? The Blessed One replied: There are three kinds of such transcendental bodies: First, there is one in which the Bodhisattva attains enjoyment of the Samadhis and Samapattis. Second, there is the one which is assumed by the Tathagatas according to the class of beings to be sustained, and which achieves and perfects spontaneously with no attachment and no effort. Third, there is the one in which the Tathagatas receive their intuition of Dharmakaya. The transcendental personality that enters into the enjoyment of the Samadhis comes with the third, fourth and fifth stages as the mentations of the mind-system become quieted and waves of consciouness are no more stirred on the face of Universal Mind. In this state, the conscious-mind is still aware, in a measure, of the bliss being experienced by this cessation of the mind’s activities.


The second kind of transcendental personality is the kind assumed by Bodhisattvas and Tathagatas as bodies of transformation by which they demostrate their original vows in the work of achieving and perfecting; it comes with the eighth stage of Bodhisattvahood. When the Bodhisattva has a thoroughgoing penetration into the maya-like nature of things and understands the dharma of imagelessness, he will experience the "turning-about" in his deepest consciousness and will become able to experience the higher Samadhis even to the highest. By entering into these exalted Samadhis he attains a personality that transcends the conscious-mind, by reason of which he obtains supernatural powers of self-mastery and activities because of which he is able to move as he wishes, as quickly as a dream changes as quickly as an image changes in a mirror. This transcendental body is not a product of the elements and yet there is something in it that is analogous to what is so produced; it is furnished with all the differences appertaining to the world of form but without their limitations; possessed of this "mind-vision-body" he is able to be present in all the assemblages in all the Buddha-lands. Just as his thoughts move instantly and without hindrance over walls and rivers and trees and mountains, and just as in memory he recalls and visits the scenes of his past experiences, so, while his mind keeps fuctioning in the body, his thoughts may be a hundred thousand yojanas away. In the same fashion the trasncendental personality that experiences the Samadhi Vajravimbopama will be endowed with supernatural powers and psychic faculties and self-mastery by reason of which he will be able to follow the noble paths that lead to the assemblages of the Buddhas, moving about as freely as he may wish. But his wishes will no longer be self-centered nor tainted by discrimination and attachment, for this transcendental personality is not his old body, but is the transcendental embodiment of his original vows of self-yielding in order to bring all beings to maturity.

The third kind of transcendental personality is so ineffable that it is able to attain intuitions of the Dharmakaya, that is, it attains intuitions of the boundless and inscrutable cognition of Universal Mind. As Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas attain the highest of the stages and become conversant with all the treasures to be realised in Noble Wisdom, they will attain this inconceivable transformation-body which is the true nature of all the Tathagatas past, present and future, and will participate in the blissful peace which pervades the Dharma of all the Buddhas.


Chapter X

Discipleship: Lineage of the Arhats

Then Mahamati asked the Blessed One: Prey tell us how many kinds of disciples there are?


The Blessed One replied: There are as many kinds of disciples as there are individuals, but for convenience they may be divided into two groups: disciples of the lineage of the Arhats, and disciples known as Bodhisattvas. Disciples of the lineage of the Arhats may be considered under two aspects: First, according to the number of times they will return to this life of birth-and-death; and second, according to their spiritual progress. Under the first aspect, they may be subdivided into three groups: The "Streamentered," the "Once-returning," and the "Never-returning."


The Stream-entered are those disciples, who having freed themselves from the attachments to the lower discriminations and who have cleansed themselves from the twofold hindrances and who clearly understand the meaning of the twofold egolessness, yet who still cling to the notion of individuality and generality and to their own egoness. They will advance along the stages to the sixth only to succumb to the entrancing bliss of the Samadhis. They will be reborn seven times, or five times, or three times, before they will be able to pass the sixth stage. The Once-returning are the Arhats, and the Never-returning are the Bodhisattvas who have reached the seventh stage.

The reasons for these graduations is because of their attachment to the three degrees of false-imagination: namely, faith in moral practices, doubt, and the view of their individual personality. When this three hindrances are overcome, they will be able to attain the higher stages. As to moral practices: the ignorant, simple-minded disciples obey the rules of morality, piety and penance, because they desire thereby to gain worldly advancement and happiness, with the added hope of being reborn in more favorable conditions. The Stream-entered ones do not cling to moral practices for any hope of reward for their minds are fixed on the exalted state of self-realisation; the reason they devote themselves to the details of morality is that they wish to master such truths as are in conformity with the undefiled out-flowings. As regards the hindrance of doubt in the Buddha’s teaching, that will continue so long as any of the notions of discrimination are cherished and will disappear when they disappear. Attachment to the view of individual personality will be gotten rid of as the disciple gains a more thorough understanding of the notions of being and non-being, self-nature and egolessness, thereby getting rid of the attachments to his own selfness that goes with those discriminations. By breaking up and clearing away these three hindrances the Stream-entered one will be able to discard all greed, anger and folly.


As for the Once-returning Arhats; there was once in them the discrimination of form, signs, and appearances, but as they gradually learned by right-knowledge not to view individual objects under the aspect of quality and qualifying, and as they became acquainted with what marks the attainment of the practice of dhyana, they have reached the stage of enlightement where in one more rebirth they will be able to put an end to the clinging to their own self-interests. Free from this burden of error and its attachments, the passions will no more assert themselves and the hindrances will be cleared away forever.

Under the second aspect disciples may be grouped according to the spiritual progress they have attained, into four classes, namely, disciples (sravaka), masters (pratyekabuddha), Arhats, and Bodhisattvas.


The first class of disciples mean well but they find it difficult to understand unfamiliar ideas. Their minds are joyful when studying about and practising the things belonging to appearances that can be discriminated, but they become confused by the notion of an uninterrupted chain of causation, and they become fearful when they consider the aggregates that make up personality and its object world as being maya-like, empty and egoless. They were able to advance to the fifth or sixth stage where they are able to do away with the rising of passions, but not with the notions that give rise to passion and, therefore, they are unable to get rid of the clinging to an ego-soul and its accompanying attachments, habits and habitenergy. In this same class the disciples are the earnest disciples of other faiths, who clinging to the notions of such things as, the soul as an external entity, Supreme Atman, Personal God, seek a that is in harmony with them. There are others, more materialistic in their ideas, who think that all things exist in dependance upon causation and, therefore, that Nirvana must be in like dependence. But none of these, earnest though they be, have gained an insight into the truth of the twofold egolessness and are, therefore, of limited spiritual insights as regards deliverance and non-deliverance; for them there is no emancipation. They have great self-confidence but they can never gain a true knowledge of Nirvana until they have learned to disciple themselves in the patient acceptance of the twofold egolessness.


The second class of masters are those who have gained a high degree of intellectual understanding of the truths concerning the aggregates that make up personality and its external world but who are filled with fear when they face the significance and consequences of these truths, and the demands which their learning makes upon them, that is, not to become attached to the external world and its manifold forms making for comfort and power, and to keep away from the entanglements of its social relations. They are attracted by the possibilities that are attainable by so doing, namely, the possesion of miraculous powers such as dividing the personality and appearning in different places at the same time, or manifesting bodies of transformation. To gain these powers they even resort to the solitary life, but this class of master never gets beyond the seductions of their learning and egoism, and their discourses are always in conformity with that characteristic and limitation. Among them are many earnest disciples who show a degree of spiritual insight that is characterised by sincerity and undismayed willingness to meet all the demands that the stages make upon them. When they see that all that nakes up the objective world is only a manifestation of mind, that it is without self-nature, un-born and egoless, they accept it without fear, and when they see their own ego-soul is also empty, un-born and egoless, they are untroubled and undismayed, with earnest purpose they seek to adjust their lives to the full demands of these truths, but they cannot forget the notions that lie back of these facts, especially the notion of their own conscious ego-self and its relation to Nirvana. They are of the Stream-entered class.


The class known as Arhats are those earnest masters who belong to the returning class. But their spiritual insight they have reached the sixth and seventh stages. They have thoroughly understood the truth of the twofold egolessness and the imagelessness of Reality; with them there is no more discrimination, nor passions, nor pride of egoism; they have gained an exalted insight and seen into the immensity of the Buddha-lands. By attaining an inner perception of the true nature of Universal Mind they are steadily purifying their habit-energy. The Arhats has attained emancipation, enlightement, the Dhyanas, the Samadhis, and his whole attention is given to the attainment of Nirvana, but the idea of Nirvana causes mental perturbations because he has the wrong idea of Nirvana. The notions of Nirvana in his mind is divided: he discriminated Nirvana from self, and self from others. He has attained some of the fruits of self-realisation but he still thinks and discourses on the Dhyanas, subjects for meditation, the Samadhis, the fruits. He pridefully says: "There are fetters, but I am disengaged from them." His is a double fault: he both denounces the vices of the ego, and still cling to its fetters. So long as he continues to discriminate notions of dhyana, dhyana practice, subjects fro dhyana, right-knowledge and truth, there is a bewildered state of mind,- he has not attained perfect emancipation. Emancipation comes with the acceptance of imagelessness.


He is master of the Dhyanas and enters into the Samadhis, but to reach the higher stages one must pass beyond the Dhyanas, the immeasurables, the world of no-form, and the bliss of the Samadhis into the Samapattis leading to the cessation of thought itself. The dhyana-practicer, dhyana, the subject of dhyana, the cessation of thought, once-returning, never-returning, all these are divided and bewildering states of mind. Not until all discrimination is abandoned is there perfect emancipation. Thus the Arhats, master of the dhyanas, participating in the Samadhis, but unsupported by the Buddhas yields to the entrancing bliss of the Samadhis – and passes to his Nirvana. Disciples and masters and Arhats may ascend the stages up to the sixth. They perceive that the triple world is no more than mind itself; they perceive that there is no becoming attached to the multiciplicites of external objects except through the discriminations and activities of the mind itself; they perceive that there is no ego-soul; and, therefore, they attain a measure of tranquilisation. But their tranqulisation is not perfect every minute of their lives, for with them there is something effect-producing, some grasped and


grasping, some lingering trace of dualism and egoism. Though disengaged from the habit-energy of passion and, becoming intoxicated with the wine of the Samadhis, they will have their abode in the realm of the out-flowings. Perfect tranqulisation is possible only with the seventh stage. So long as their minds are in confusion, they cannot attain to a clear conviction as to the cessation of all multiplicity and the actuality of the perfect oneness of all things. In their minds the self-nature of things is still discriminated as good and bad, therefore, their minds are in confusion and they cannot pass beyond the sixth stage. But at the sixth stage all discrimination ceases as they become engrossed in the bliss of the Samadhis wherein they cherish the thought of Nirvana and, as Nirvana is possible at the sixth stage, they pass into their Nirvana, but it is not the Nirvana of the Buddhas.


Chapter XI

Bodhisattvahood and Its Stages

Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: Will you tell us now about the disciples who are Bodhisattvas?


The Blessed One replied: The Bodhisattvas are those earnest disciples who are enlightened by reason of their efforts to attain self-realisation of Noble Wisdom and who have taken upon themselves the task of enlightening others. They have gained a clear understanding of the truth that all things are empty, unborn, and of a maya-like nature; they have ceased from viewing things discriminatively and from considering them in their relations; they thoroughly understand the truth of twofold egolessness and have adjusted themselves to it with patient acceptance; they have attained a definite realisation of imagelessness; and they are abiding in the perfect-knowledge that they have gained by self-realisation of Noble Wisdom.

Well stamped by the seal of "Suchness" they entered upon the first of the Bodhisattva stages. The first stage is called the stage of Joy (Pranudita). Entering this stage is like passing out of the glare of the shadows into a realm of "no-shadows"; it is like passing out of the noise and tumult of the crowded city into the quietness of solitude. The Bodhisattva feels within himself the awakening of a great heart of compassion and he utters his ten original vows: To honor and serve all Buddhas; to spread the knowledge and practice of the Dharma; to welcome all comming Buddhas; to practice the six Paramitas; to persuade all beings to embrace the Dharma; to attain a perfect understanding of the universe; to attain a perfect understanding of the mutuality of all beings; to attain perfect self-realisation of the oneness of all the Buddhas and Tathagatas in self-nature, purpose and resources; to become acquainted with all skillful means for the carrying out of these vows for the emancipation of all beings; to realise supreme enlightement through the perfect self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, ascending the stages and entering Tathagatahood.

In the spirit of these vows the Bodhisattva gradually ascends the stages to the sixth. All earnest disciples, masters and Arhats have ascended thus far, but being enchanted by the bliss of the Samadhis and not being supported by the power of the Buddhas, they pass to their Nirvana. The same fate would befall the Bodhisattvas except for their sustaining power of the Buddhas, by that they are enabled to refuse to enter Nirvana until all beings can enter Nirvana with them. The Tathagatas point out to them the virtues of Buddhahood which are beyond the conception of the intellectual-mind, and they encourage and strengthen the Bodhisattvas not to give in to the enchantment of the bliss of the Samadhis, but to press on to further advancement along the stages. If the Bodhisattvas had entered Nirvana at this stage, and they would have done so without the sustaining power of the Buddhas, there would have been the cessation of all things and the familiy of the Tathagatas would have become extinct. Strengthened by the new strength that comes to them from the Buddhas and with more perfect insight that is theirs by reason of their advance in self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, they re-examine the nature of the mind-system, the egolessness of personality, and the part that grasping and attachment and habit-energy play in the unfolding drama of life; they re-examine the illusions of the fourfold logical analysis, and the various elements that enter into enlightement and self-realisation, and, in the thrill of their new powers of self-mastery, the Bodhisattvas enter upon the seventh stage of Far-going (Durangama).

Supported by the sustaining power of the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas at this stage enter into the bliss of the Samadhi of perfect tranquilisation. Owing to their original vows they are transported by emotions of love and compassion as they become aware of the part they are to perform in the carrying out of their vows for emancipation of all beings. Thus they do not enter into Nirvana, but, in truth, they too are already in Nirvana because because in their emotions of love and compassion there is no rising of discrimination; henceforth, with them, discrimination no more takes place. Because of Transcendental Intelligence only one conception is present – the promotion of the realisation og Noble Wisdom. This is called the Bodhisattva’s Nirvana – the losing oneself in the bliss of perfect self-yielding. This is the seventh stage, the stage of Far-going.

The eighth stage, is the stage of No-recession (Acala). Up to this stage, because of the defilments upon the face of Universal Mind caused by the accumulation of habit-energy since beginningless time, the mind-system and all that pertains to it has been evolved and sustained. The mind-system fuctioned by the discriminations of an external and objective world to which it became attached and by which it was perpetuated. But with the Bodhisattva’s attainment of the eighth stage there come a "turning-about" within his deepest seat of consciousness from self-centered egoism to universal compassion for all beings, by which he attains perfect self-realisation of Noble Wisdom. There is an instant of cessation of the delusive activities of the whole mind-system; the dancing of the waves of habit-energy on the face of Universal Mind are forever stilled, revealing its own inherent quietness and solitude, the inconceivable Oneness of the Womb of Tathagatahood.

Henceforth there is no more looking outward upon an external world by senses and sense-minds, nor a discrimination of particularised concepts and ideas and propositions by an intellectual-mind, no more grasping, nor attachment, nor pride of egoism, nor habit-energy. Henceforth there is only the inner experience of Noble Wisdom which has been attained by entering into its perfect Oneness.


Thus establishing himself at the eighth stage of No-recession, the Bodhisattva enters into the bliss of the ten Samadhis, but avoiding the path of the disciples and masters who yielded themselves up to their entrancing bliss and who passed to their Nirvanas, and supported by his vows and the Transcendental Intelligence which now is his and being sustained by the power of the Buddhas, he enters upon the higher paths that lead to Tathagatahood. He passes through the bliss of the Samadhis to assume the transformation body of a Tathagata that through him all beings may be emancipated. Mahamati, If there had been no Tathagata-womb and no Divine Mind then there would have been no rising and disappearance of the aggregates that make up personality and its external world, no rising and disappearance of ignorant people nor holy people, and no task for Bodhisattvas; therefore, while walking in the path of self-realisation and entering into the enjoyments of the Samadhis, you must never abandon working hard for the emancipation of all beings and your self-yielding love will never be in vain. To philosophers the conception of Tathagata-womb seems devoid of purity and soiled by these external manifestations, but it is not so understood by the Tathagatas,- to them it is not a proposition of philosophy but an intuitive experience as real as though it was an amalaka fruit held in the palm of the hand.


With the cessation of the mind-system and all its evolving discriminations, there is cessation of all strain and effort. It is like a man in a dream who imagines he is crossing a river and who exerts himself to the utmost to do so, who is suddenly awakened. Being awake, he thinks: "Is this real or is it unreal?" Being now enlightened he knows that it is neither real nor unreal. Thus even when the Bodhisattva arrives at the eighth stage, he is able to see all things truthfully and, more than that, he is able to thoroughly understand the significance of all dream-like things of his life as to how they came to pass and as to how they pass away. Ever since beginningless time the mind-system has perceived multiplicities of forms and conditions and ideas which the thinking-mind has discriminated and the empirical-mind has experienced and grasped and clung to. From this has risen habit-energy that by its accumulation has conditioned the illusions of existence and non-existence, individuality and generality, and has thus perpetuated the dream-state of false-imagination. But now, to the Bodhisattvas of the eighth stage, life is past and is remembered as it truly was – a passing dream.


As long as the Bodhisattva had not passed the seventh stage, even though he had attained an intuitive understanding of the true meaning of life and its maya-like nature, and as to how the mind carried on its discriminations and attachments yet, nevertheless, the cherishing of the notions of these things had continued and, although he no longer experienced within himself any ardent desire for things nor any impulse to grasp them yet, nevertheless, the notions concerning them persisted and perfumed his efforts to

practise the teachings of the Buddhas and to labor for the emancipation of all beings. Now, in the eighth stage, even the notions have passed away, and all effort and striving is seen to be unnecessary. The Bodhisattva’s Nirvana is perfect tranquilisation, but it is not extinction nor inertness; while there is an entire absence of discrimination and purpose, there is the freedom and spontaneity of potentiality that has come with the attainment and patience acceptance of the truths of egolessness and imagelessness. Here is perfect solitude, undisturbed by any gradation or continuous succesion, but radiant with the potency and freedom of its self-nature which is the self-nature of Noble Wisdom, blissfully peaceful with the serenity of Perfect Love.

Entering upon the eighth stage, with the "turning-about" at the deepest seat of consciousness, the Bodhisattva will become conscious that he has received the second kind of Transcendental-body (Manomayakaya). The transition from mortal-body to Transcendental-body has nothing to do with mortal death, for the old body continues to fuction and the old mind serves the needs of the old body, but now it is free from the control of mortal mind. There has been an inconceivable transformation-death (accintyaparinama-cyuti) by which the false-imagination of his particularised individual personality has been transcended by a realisation of his oneness with the universalised mind of Tathagatahood, from which realisation there will be no recession. With that realisation he finds himself amply endowed with all the Tathagata’s powers, psychic faculties, and self-mastery, and, just as the good earth is the support of all beings in the world of desire (karmadathu), so the Tathatagatas become the support of all beings in the Transcendental World of No-form.

The first seven of the Bodhisattva stages were in the realm of mind and the eighth, while transcending mind, was still in touch with it; but in the ninth stage of Transcendental Intelligence (Sadhumati), by reason of his perfect intelligence and insight into the imagelessness of Divine Mind which he had attained by self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, he is in the realm of Tathagatahood. Gradually the Bodhisattva will realise his Tathagata-nature and the possesion of all its powers and psychic faculties, self-mastery, loving compassion, and skillful means, and by means of them will enter into all the Buddha-lands. Making use of these new powers, the Bodhisattva will assume various transformation-bodies and personalities for the sake of benefiting others. Just as in the former mental life, imagination had risen from relativeknowledge, so now skillful means rise spontaneously from Transcendental Intelligence. It is like the magical gem that reflects instantaneously appropiate responses to one’s wishes. The Bodhisattva passes over to all the assemblages of the Buddhas and listens to them as they discourse on the dream-like nature of all things and concerning the truths that transcend all notions of being and non-being, that have no relation to birth and death, nor to eternality nor extinction. Thus facing the Tathagatas as they discourse on Noble Wisdom that is far beyond the mental capacity of disciples and masters, he will attain a hundred thousand Samadhis, indeed, a hundred thousand nyutas of kotis of Samadhis, and in the spirit of these Samadhis he will instantly pass from one Buddha-land to another, paying homage to all the Buddhas, being born into all the celestial mansions, manifesting Buddha-bodies, and himself discoursing on the Triple Treasure to lesser Bodhisattvas that they too may partake of the fruits of self-realisation of Noble Wisdom.

Thus passing beyond the last stage of Bodhisattvahood, he becomes a Tathagata himself endowed with all the freedom of the Dharmakaya. The tenth stage belongs to the Tathagatas. Here the Bodhisattva will find himself seated upon a lotus-like throne in a splendid jewel-adorned palace and surrounded by Bodhisattvas of equal rank. Buddhas from all Buddha-lands will gather about him and with their pure and fragant hands resting on his forehead will give him ordination and recognition as one of themselves. Then they will assign him a Buddha-land that he may posses and perfect as his own.

The tenth stage is called the Great Truth Cloud (Dharmamegha), inconceivable, inscrutable. Only the Tathagatas can realise perfect Imagelessness and Oneness and Solitude. It is Mahesvara, the Radiant Land, the Pure Land, the Land of Far-distances; surrounding and surpassing the lesser worlds of form and desire (karmadathu), in which the the Bodhisattva will find himself at-one-moment. Its rays of Noble Wisdom which is the self-nature of the Tathagatas, many-colored, entrancing, auspicious, are transforming the triple world as other worlds have been transformed in the past, and still other worlds will be transformed in the future. But in the Perfect Oneness of Noble Wisdom there is no gradation nor succesionnor effort. The tenth stage is the first, the first is the eighth, the eighth is the fifth, the fifth the seventh: what gradation can there be where perfect Imagelessness and Oneness prevail? And what is the reality of Noble Wisdom? It is the ineffable potency of the Dharmakaya; it has no bounds nor limits; it surpasses all the Buddha-lands, and pervades the Akanistha and the heavenly masions of the Tushita.


Chapter XII

Tathagatahood Which Is Noble Wisdom

Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: It has been taught in the canonical books that the Buddhas are subject to neither birth nor destruction, and you have said that "the Un-born" is one of the names of the Tathagatas; does that mean that the Tathagata is a non-entity? The Blessed One replied: The Tathagata is not a non-entity nor is he to be conceived as other things are as neither born nor disappearing, nor is he subject to causation, not is he without significance; yet I refer to him as "The Un-born." There is yet another name for the Tathagata. "The Mind-appearing One" (Manomayakaya) which his Essence-body assumes at will in the transformations incident to his work of emancipation. This is beyond the understanding of common disciples and masters and even beyond the full comprehension of those Bodhisattvas who remain in the seventh stage. Yes, Mahamati, "The Unborn" is synonymous with Tathagata.

Then Mahamati said: If the Tathagatas are un-born, there does not seem to be anything to take hold of – no entity – or is there something that bears another name than entity? And what can that "something" be?

The Blessed One replied: Objects are frequently known by different names according to different aspects that they present, -- the god Indra is sometimes known as Shakra, and sometimes as Purandara. These different names are sometimes used interchangeably and sometimes they are discriminated, but different objects are not to be imagined because of the different names, nor are they without individuation. The same can be said of myself as I appear in this world of patience before ignorant people and where I am known by uncounted trillions of names. They address me by different names not realizing that they are all names of the one Tathagata. Some recognize me as Sun, as Moon; some as a reincarnation of the ancient sages; some as one of "ten powers"; some as Rama, some as Indra, and some as Varuna. Still there are others who speak of me as The Un-born, as Emptiness, as "Suchness," as Truth, as Reality, as Ultimate Principle; still there are others who see me as Dharmakaya, as Nirvana, as the Eternal; some speak of me as sameness, as non-duality, as un-dying, as

formless; some think of me as the doctrine of Buddhacausation, or of Emancipation, or of the Noble Path; and some think of me as Divine Mind and Noble Wisdom. Thus in this world and in other worlds am I known by these uncounted names, but they all see me as the moon is seen in the water. Though they all honor, praise and esteem me, they do not fully understand the meaning and significance of the words they use; not having their own self-realization of Truth they cling to the words of their canonical books, or to what has been told to them, or to what they have imagined, and fail to see that the name they are using is only one of the many names of the Tathagata. In their studies they follow the mere words of the text vainly trying to gain the true meaning, instead of having confidence in the one "text" where self-confirming Truth is revealed, that is, having confidence in the self-realization of noble Wisdom.


Then said Mahamati: Pray tell us, Blessed One, about the self-nature of the Tathagatas?

The Blessed One replied: If the Tathagata is to be described by such expressions as made or un-made, effect or cause, we would have to describe him as neither made, nor un-made, nor effect, nor cause; but if we so described him we would be guilty of dualistic discrimination. If the Tathagata is something made, he would be impermanent; if he is impermanent anything made would be a Tathagata. If he is something un-made, then all effort to realize Tathagatahood would be useless. That which is neither an effect or cause, is neither a being nor a non-being, and that which is neither a being nor non-being is outside the four propositions. The four propositions belong to worldly usage ; that which is outside them is no more than a word, like a barren-woman’s child; so are all the terms concerning the Tathagata to be understood. When it is said that all things are egoless, it means that all things are devoid of self-hood. Each thing may have its own individuality—the being of a horse is not of cow nature—it is such as it is of its own nature and is thus discriminated by the ignorant, but, nevertheless, its own nature is of the nature of a dream or vision. That is why the ignorant and the simpleminded, who are in the habit of discriminating appearances, fail to understand the significance of egolessness. It is not until discrimination is gotten rid of that the fact that all things are empty, un-born and without self-nature can be appreciated.

Mahamati, all these expressions as applied to the Tathagatas are without meaning, for that which is none of these is something removed from all measurement, and that which is removed from all measurement turns into a meaningless word; that which is a mere word is something un-born; that which is un-born is not subject to destruction; that which is not subject to destruction is like space and space is neither effect nor cause; that which is neither effect nor cause is something unconditioned; that which is unconditioned is beyond all reasoning; that which is beyond all reasoning, -- that is the Tathagata. The self-nature of Tathagatahood is far removed from all predicates and measurements; the self-nature of Tathagatahood is Noble Wisdom.


Then Mahamati said to the Blessed One: Are the Tathagatas permanent or impermanent?

The Blessed One replied: The Tathagatas are neither permanent nor impermanent; if either is asserted there is error connected with the creating agencies for, according to the philosophers, the creating agencies are something uncreated and permanent. But the Tathagatas are not connected with the so-called creating agencies and in that sense he is impermanent. If he is said to be impermanent then he is connected with things that are created for they also are impermanent. For these reasons the Tathagatas are neither permanent nor impermanent.

Neither can the Tathagatas be said to be permanent in the sense that space is said to be permanent, or that the horns of a hare can be said to be permanent for, being unreal, they exclude all ideas of permanency or impermanency. This does not apply to the Tathagatas because they come fourth from the habit-energy of ignorance which is connected with the mind-system and the elements that make up personality. The triple world originates from the discrimination of unrealities and where discrimination takes place there is duality and the notion of permanency and impermanency, but the Tathagatas do not rise from the discrimination of unrealities. Thus, as long as there is discrimination there will be the notion of permanency and impermanency; when discrimination is done away with, Noble Wisdom, which is based on the significance of solitude, will be established.


However, there is another sense in which the Tathagatas may be said to be permanent. Transcendental Intelligence rising with the attainment of enlightenment is of a permanent nature. This Truth-essence which is discoverable in the enlightenment of all who are enlightened, is realizable as the regulative and sustaining principle of Reality, which forever abides. The Transcendental Intelligence attained intuitively by the Tathagatas by their self-realization of Noble Wisdom, is a realization of their own self-nature, -- in this sense the Tathagatas are permanent. The eternal-unthinkable of the Tathagatas is the "suchness" of noble Wisdom realized within themselves. It is both eternal and beyond thought. It conforms to the idea of a cause and yet is beyond existence and non-existence. Because it is the exalted state of NobleWisdom, it has its own character. Because it is the cause of highest Reality, it is its own causation. Its eternality is not derived from reasonings based on external notions of being and non-being, nor of eternality nor non-eternality. Being classed under the same head as space, cessation, Nirvana, it is eternal. Because it has nothing to do with existence and non- existence, it is no creator; because it has nothing to do with creation, nor with being and non-being, but is only revealed in the exalted state of noble Wisdom, it is truly eternal.


When the twofold passions are destroyed, and the twofold hindrances are cleared away, and the twofold egolessness is fully understood, and the inconceivable transformation death of the Bodhisattva is attained – that which remains is the self-nature of the Tathagatas. When the teachings of the Dharma are fully understood and are perfectly realized by the disciples and masters, that which is realized in their deepest consciousness is their own Buddha-nature revealed as Tathagata.

In a true sense there are four kinds of sameness relating to Buddha-nature: there is sameness of letters, sameness of words, sameness of meaning, and sameness of Essence. The name of the Buddha is spelt: BU-D-D-H-A; the letters are the same when used for any Buddha or Tathagata. When the Brahmans teach they use various words, and when the Tathagatas teach they use the very same words; in respect to the words there is a sameness between us. In the teachings of all the Tathagatas there is a sameness in meaning. Among all the Buddhas there is a sameness of meaning. They all have the thirty-two marks of excellence and the eighty minor signs of bodily perfection; there is no distinction among them except as they manifest various transformations according to the different dispositions of beings who are to be disciplined and emancipated by various means. In the Ultimate Essence which is Dharmakaya, all the Buddhas of the past, present and future, are of one sameness.


Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: It has been said by the Blessed One that from the night of Enlightenment to the night of the Parinirvana, the Tathagata has uttered no word nor ever will utter a word. In what deep meaning is this true? The Blessed One replied: By two reasons of deepest meaning is it true: In the light of Truth self-realized by Noble Wisdom; and in the Truth of an eternally-abiding Reality. The self-realization of Noble Wisdom by all Tathagatas is the same as my own self-realization of Noble Wisdom; there is no more, no less, no difference, and all the Tathagatas bear witness that the state of self-realization is free from words and discriminations and has nothing to do with the dualistic way of speaking, that is, all beings receive the teachings of the Tathagatas through self-realization of Noble Wisdom, not though words of discrimination.

Again Mahamati, there has always been an eternally-abiding Reality. The "substance" of Truth (dharmadhatu) abides forever whether a Tathagata appears in the world or not. So does the Reason of all things (dharmata) eternally abide; so does Reality (paramartha) abide and keep its order. What has been realized by my myself and all other Tathagatas is this Reality (Dharmakaya), the eternally-abiding selforderliness of Reality; the "suchness" (tathata) of all things; the realness of things (bhutata); Noble Wisdom which is Truth itself. The sun radiates its splendor spontaneously on all alike and with no words of explanation; in like manner do the Tathagatas radiate the Truth of Noble Wisdom with no recourse to words and to all alike. For these reasons is it stated by me that from the night of enlightenment to the night of the Tathagata’s Parinirvana, he has not uttered, nor will he utter, one word. And the same is true of all the Buddhas.


Then said Mahamati: Blessed one, you speak of the sameness of all Buddhas, but in other places you have spoken of Dharmata-Buddha, Nishyanda-Buddha and Nirmana-Buddha as though they were different from each other; how can they be the same and yet different? The Blessed One replied: I speak of the different Buddhas as opposed to the views of the philosophers who base their teachings on the reality of an external world of from and who cherish discrimination and attachments arising therefrom; against the teachings of these philosophers I disclose the Nirmana-Buddha, the Buddha of Transformations. In the many transformations of the Tathagata stage, the Nirmana-Buddha establishes such matters as charity, morality, patience, thoughtfulness, and tranquillization: by rightknowledge he teaches the true understanding of maya-like nature of the elements that make up personality and its external world; he teaches the true nature of the mind-system as a whole and in the distinctions of its forms, functions and ways of performance. In a deeper sense, the Nirmana-Buddha symbolizes the principles of differentiation and integration by reason of which all component things are distributed, all complexities simplified, all thoughts analyzed; at the same time it symbolizes the harmonizing, unifying power of sympathy and compassion; it removes all obstacles, it harmonizes all differences, it brings into perfect Oneness the discordant many. For the emancipation of all beings the Bodhisattvas and Tathagatas assume bodies of transformation and employ many skilful devices,-- this is the work of the NirmanaBuddha.


For the enlightenment of the Bodhisattvas and their sustaining along the stages, the Inconceivable is made realizable. The Nishyanda-Buddha, the "Out-flowing-Buddha," though Transcendental Intelligence, reveals the true meaning and significance of appearances, discrimination, attachment; and of the power of habit-energy which is accumulated by them and conditions them; and of the un-bornness, the emptiness, the egolessness of all things. Because of Transcendental Intelligence and the purification of evil outflowings of life, all dualistic self-realization of Noble Wisdom the true Imagelessness of Reality is made manifest. The inconceivable glory of Buddhahood is made manifest in rays of Noble Wisdom; Noble Wisdom is the self-nature of the Tathagatas. This is the work of the Nishyanda-Buddha. In a deeper sense, the Nishyanda-Buddha symbolizes the emergence of the principles of intellection and compassion but as yet undifferentiated and in perfect balance, potential but unmanifest. Looked at from the in-going side of the Bodhisattva, Nishyanda-Buddha is seen in the glorified bodies of the Tathagatas; looked at from the fourth-going side of Buddhahood, Nishyanda-Buddha is seen in the radiant personalities of the Tathagatas ready and eager to manifest the inherent Love and Wisdom of the Dharmakaya.


Dharmata-Buddha is Buddhahood in its self-nature of perfect oneness in whom absolute Tranquility prevails. As noble Wisdom, Dharmata-Buddha transcends all differentiated knowledge, is the goal of intuitive self-realization, and is the self-nature of the Tathagatas. As Noble Wisdom, Dharmata-Buddha is the ultimate Principle of Reality from which all things derive their being and truthfulness, but which in itself transcends all predicates. Dharmata-Buddha is the central sun which holds all, illumines all. Its inconceivable Essence is made manifest in the "out-flowing" glory of Nishyanda-Buddha and in the transformations of the Nirmana-Buddha.


Then said Mahamati: Pray tell us, Blessed One, more about the Dharmakaya?


The Blessed One replied: We have been speaking of it in terms of Buddhahood, but it is inscrutable and beyond predicate we may just as well speak of it as the Truth-body, or the Truth-principle of ultimate Reality (Paramartha). This Ultimate Principle of Reality may be considered as it is manifested under seven aspects: First, as Citta-gocara, it is the world of spiritual experience and the abode of the Tathagatas on their outgoing mission of emancipation. It is Noble Wisdom manifested as the principle of irradiancy and individuation. Second, as Jnana, it is the mind-world and its principle of the intellection and consciousness. Third as Dristi, it is the realm of dualism which is the physical world of birth and death wherein are manifested all the differentiation, desire, attachment and suffering.


Fourth, because of the greed, anger, infatuation, suffering and need of the physical world incident to discrimination and attachment, it reveals a world beyond the realm of dualism wherein it appears as the integrating principle of charity and sympathy. Fifth, in a realm still higher, which is the abode of the Bodhisattva stages, and is analogous to the mind-world, where the interests of hear transcend those of the mind, it appears as the principle of compassion and self-giving, Sixth, in the spiritual realm where the Bodhisattvas attain Buddhahood, it appears as the principle of perfect Love (Karuna). Here the last clinging to an ego-self is abandoned and the Bodhisattva enters into his realization of noble Wisdom which is the bliss of the Tathagata’s perfect enjoyment of his inmost nature. Seventh as Prajna it is the active aspect of the Ultimate Principle wherein both the forth-going and the in-coming principles are alike implicit and potential, and wherein both Wisdom and Love are in perfect balance, harmony and the Oneness.


These are the seven aspects of the ultimate Principle of the Dharmakaya, by reason of which all things are made manifest and perfected and then reintegrated, and all remaining within its inscrutable Oneness, with no signs of individuation, nor beginning, nor succession, nor ending, We speak of it as Dharmakaya, as Ultimate Principle, as Buddhahood, as Nirvana; what matters it? They are only other names for NobleWisdom. Mahamati, you and all Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should avoid the erroneous reasoning of the philosophers and seek for self-realization of Noble Wisdom.


Chapter XIII

Nirvana

Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: Pray tell us about Nirvana?


The Blessed one replied: the term, Nirvana, is used with many different meanings, by different people, but these people may be divided into four groups: There are people who are suffering, or who are afraid of suffering, and who think of Nirvana; there are philosophers who try to discriminate Nirvana; there are the class of disciples who think of Nirvana in relation to themselves; and finally there is the Nirvana of the Buddhas.Those who are suffering or who fear suffering, think of Nirvana as an escape and recompense. They imagine that Nirvana consists in the future annihilation of the senses and the senseminds; they are not aware that this life-and-death world and Nirvana are not to be separated. These ignorant ones, instead of meditating on the imageless of Nirvana, talk of different ways of emancipation. Being ignorant of, or not understanding, the teachings of the Tathagatas, they cling to the

notion of Nirvana that is outside what is seen of the mind and, thus, go on rolling themselves along with the wheel of life and death. As to the Nirvana discriminated by the philosophers: there really are none. Some philosophers conceive Nirvana to be found where the mind-system no more operates owing to the cessation of the elements that make up personality and its world; or is found where there is utter indifference to the objective world and its impermanency. Some conceive Nirvana to be a state where there is no recollection of the past or present, just as when a lamp is extinguished, or when a seed is burnt, or when a fire goes out; because then there is the cessation of all the substrata, which is explained by the philosophers as the non-rising

of discrimination. But this is not Nirvana, because Nirvana does not consist in simple annihilation and vacuity. Again, some philosophers explain deliverance as though it was the mere stopping of discrimination, as when the wind stops blowing, or as when one by self-effort gets rid of the dualistic view of knower and known, or gets rid of the notions of permanency and impermanency; or gets rid of the notions of good and evil; or overcomes passion by means of knowledge-to them Nirvana is deliverance. Some, seeing in "form" the bearer of pain alarmed by the notion of "form" and look for happiness in a world of "no-form." Some conceive that in consideration of individuality and generality recognizable in all things inner and outer, that there is no destruction and that all beings maintain their being forever and, in this eternality, see Nirvana. Others see the eternally of things in the conception of Nirvana as the absorption of the finite-soul in the supreme Atman; or who see all things as a manifestation of the vital-force of some Supreme Sprit to which all return; and some, who are especially silly, declare that there are two primary things, a primary substance and a primary soul, that react

differently upon each other and thus produce all things from the transformations of qualities; some think that the world is born of action and interaction and that no other cause is necessary; others think that Ishvara is free creator of all things; clinging to these foolish notions, there is no awakening, and they consider Nirvana to consist in the fact that there is no awakening. Some imagine that Nirvana is where self-nature exists in its own right, unhampered by other self-natures, as the variegated feathers of a peacock, or various crystals, or the pointedness of a thorn. Some conceive being to be

Nirvana, some non-being, while others conceive that all things and Nirvana are not to be distinguished from one another. Some, thinking that time is the creator and that as the rise of the world depends on time, they conceive that Nirvana consists in the recognition of time as Nirvana. Some think that there will be Nirvana when the "twenty-five" truths are generally accepted, or when the king observes the six virtues, and some religionists think that Nirvana is the attainment of paradise. These views severally advanced by the philosophers with their various seasonings are not in accord with logic nor are they acceptable to the wise. They all conceive Nirvana dualistically and in some causal connection; by these discriminations philosophers imagine Nirvana, but where there is no rising and no disappearing, how can there be discrimination? Each philosopher relying on his own textbook from which he draws his understanding, sins against the truth, because truth is not where he imagines it to be. The only result is that it sets his mind to wandering about and becoming more confused as Nirvana is not to be found by mental searching, the more his mind becomes confused the more he confuses other people. As to the

notion of Nirvana as held by disciples and masters who still cling to the notion of an ego-self, and who try to find it by going off by themselves into solitude: their notion of Nirvana is an eternity of bliss like the bliss of the Samadhis-for themselves. They recognize that the world is only a manifestation of mind and that all discriminations are of the mind, and so they forsake social relations and practice various spiritual disciplines and in solitude seek self-realization of Noble Wisdom by self-effort. They fallow the stages to the sixth and attain the bliss of the Samadhis, but as they are still clinging to egoism they do not attain the "turning-about" at the deepest seat of consciousness and, therefore, they are not free from the thinking-mind and the accumulation of its habit-energy. Clinging to the bliss of the Samadhis, they pass to their Nirvana, but it is not the Nirvana of the Tathagatas. They are of those who have "entered the stream"; they must return to this world of life and death.


Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: When the Bodhisattvas yield up their stock of merit for the emancipation of all beings, they become spiritually one with all animate life; they themselves may be purified, but in others there yet remain unexhausted evil and unmatured karma. Pray tell us, Blessed One, how the Bodhisattvas given assurance of Nirvana? And what is the Nirvana of the Bodhisattvas? The Blessed One replied: Mahamati, this assurance is not an assurance of numbers nor logic; it is not the mind that is to be assured but the heart. The Bodhisattva's assurance comes with the unfolding insight that fallows passion hindrances cleared away, knowledge hindrance purified, and egolessness clearly perceived and patiently accepted. As the mortal-mind ceases

to discriminate, there is no more thirst for life, no more sex-lust, no more thirst for learning, no more thirst for eternal life; with the disappearance of these fourfold thirsts, there is no more accumulation of habit-energy; with no more accumulation of habitenergy the defilements on the face of the Universal Mind clear away, and the Bodhisattva attains selfrealization of Noble Wisdom that is the heart's assurance of Nirvana. There are Bodhisattvas here and in other Buddha-lands, who are sincerely devoted to the Bodhisattva's mission and yet who cannot wholly forget the bliss of the Samadhis and the peace of Nirvana-for themselves. The teaching of Nirvana in which there is no substrate left behind, is revealed according to a hidden meaning for the sake

of these disciples who still cling to thoughts of Nirvana for themselves, that they may be inspired to exert themselves in the Bodhisattva's mission of emancipation for all beings. The Transformation-Buddhas teach a doctrine of Nirvana to meet conditions as they find them, and to give encouragement to the timid and selfish. In order to turn their thoughts away from themselves and to encourage them to a deeper compassion and more earnest zeal for others, they are given assurance as to the future by the sustaining power of the Buddhas of Transformation, but not by the Dharmata-Buddha. The Dharma which establishes

the Truth of Noble Wisdom belongs to the realm of the Dharmata-Buddha. To the Bodhisattvas to the seventh and eighth stages, Transcendental Intelligence is revealed by the DharmataBuddha and the Path is pointed out to them which they are to follow. In the perfect self-realization of Noble Wisdom that fallows the inconceivable transformation death of the Bodhisattva's individualized will-control, he no longer lives unto himself, but the life that he lives thereafter is the Tathagata's universalized life as manifested in its transformations. In this perfect self-realization of Noble Wisdom the Bodhisattva

realizes that for the Buddhas there is no Nirvana. The death of a Buddha, the great Parinirvana, is neither destruction nor death, else would it be birth and continuation. If it were destruction, it would be an effect-producing deed, which is not. Neither is it a vanishing nor an abandonment, neither is it attainment, nor is it of no attainment; neither is it of one significance nor of no significance, for there is no Nirvana for the Buddhas. The Tathagata's Nirvana is where it is recognized that there is nothing but what is seen of the mind itself; is where, recognizing the nature of the self-mind, one no

longer cherishes the dualisms of discrimination; is where there is no more thirst nor grasping; is where there is no more attachment to external things. Nirvana is where the thinking-mind with all its discriminations, attachments, aversions and egoism is forever put away; is where logical measures, as they are seen to be inert, are no longer seized upon; is where even the notion of truth is treated with indifference because of its causing bewilderment; is where, getting rid of the four propositions, there is insight into the abode of Reality. Nirvana is where the twofold passions have subsided and the

twofold hindrances are cleared away and the twofold egolessness is patiently accepted; is where, by the attainment of the "turning-about" in the deepest seat of consciousness, self-realization of Noble Wisdom is fully entered into,--that is the Nirvana of the Tathagatas.Nirvana is where the Bodhisattva stages are passed one after another; is where the sustaining power of the Buddhas upholds the Bodhisattvas in the bliss of the Samadhis; is where compassion for others transcends all thoughts of self; is where the Tathagata stage is finally realized. Nirvana is the realm of the DharmataBuddha; it is

where the manifestation of Noble Wisdom that is Buddhahood expresses itself in Perfect Love for all; it is where the manifestation of Perfect Love that is Tathagatahood expresses itself in Noble Wisdom for the enlightenment of all -there, indeed, is Nirvana! There are two classes of those who may not enter the Nirvana of the Tathagatas: there are those who have abandoned the Bodhisattva ideals, saying, they are not in conformity with the sutras, the codes of morality, nor with emancipation. Then there are the true Bodhisattvas who, on account of their original vows made for the sake of all beings,

saying, "So long as they do not attain Nirvana, I will not attain it for myself," voluntarily keep themselves out of Nirvana. But no beings are left outside by the will of the Tathagatas; some day each and every one will be influenced by the wisdom and love of the Tathagatas of Transformation to lay up stock of merit and ascend the stages. But, if they only realized it, they are already in the Tathagata's Nirvana for, in Noble Wisdom, all things are in Nirvana from the beginning.


- - End of Translation - -

Translated by Suzuki and Goddard

As in the version found in A Buddhist Bible


BIONA Version The Lankavatara Sutra Dream World {A Commentary}


Discrimination

Thus have I heard:

The Blessed One once appeared in the Castle of Lanka, which is on the summit of Mt. Malaya in the midst of the great Ocean. A great many BodhisattvasMahasattvas had miraculously assembled from all the Buddha-lands, and a large number of Bhikshus were gathered there. The Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas with Mahamati at their head were all perfect masters of the various Samádhis, the tenfold Self-mastery, the ten Powers, and the six Psychic Faculties. Having been anointed by the Buddha’s own hands, they all well understood the significance of the objective world; they all knew how to apply the various means, teachings and disciplinary measures according to the various mentalities and behaviors of beings; they were all thoroughly versed in the

five Dharmas, the three Svabhavas, the eight Vijnanas, and the twofold Ego-lessness. The Blessed One, knowing the mental agitations going on in the minds of those assembled (like the surface of the ocean stirred into waves by the passing winds), and his great heart moved by compassion, smiled and said, "In the days of old the Tathágatas of the past who were Arhats and fully-enlightened Ones came to the Castle of Lanka on Mount Malaya and discoursed on the Truth of Noble Wisdom that is beyond the reasoning knowledge of the philosophers as well as being beyond the understanding of ordinary disciples and masters; and which is realizable only within the inmost consciousness; for your sakes, I too, would discourse on the same Truth. All that is seen in the world is devoid

of effort and action because all things in the world are like a dream, or like an image miraculously projected. This is not comprehended by the philosophers and the ignorant, but those who thus see things see them truthfully. Those who see things otherwise walk in discrimination and, as they depend upon discrimination, they cling to dualism. The world as seen by discrimination is like seeing one’s own image reflected in a mirror, or one’s shadow, or the moon reflected in water, or an echo heard in a valley. People grasping their own shadows of discrimination become attached to this thing and that thing and failing to abandon dualism they go on forever discriminating and thus never attain tranquility. By tranquility is meant Oneness, and Oneness gives birth to the highest Samádhi, which is gained by entering into the realm of Noble Wisdom that is realizable only within one’s inmost consciousness.


Then all Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas rose from their seats and respectfully paid him homage and Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva sustained by the power of the Buddhas drew his upper garment over one shoulder, knelt and pressing his hands together, praised him in the following verses: As you review the world with your perfect intelligence and compassion, it must seem to you like an ethereal flower of which one cannot say: it is born, it is destroyed, for the terms beings and non-being do not apply to it. As you review the world with your perfect intelligence and compassion, it must seem to you like a dream of which it cannot be said: it is permanent or it is destructible, for the being and non-being do not apply to it.


As you review all things by your perfect intelligence and compassion, they must seem to you like visions beyond the reach of the human mind, as being and non-being do not apply to them. With your perfect intelligence and compassion, which are beyond all limit, you comprehend the ego-less-ness of things and persons, and are free and clear from the hindrances of passion and learning and egoism. You do not vanish into Nirvana, nor does Nirvana abide in you, for Nirvana transcends all duality of knowing and known, of being and non-being. Those who see thee thus, serene and beyond conception, will be emancipated from attachment, will be cleansed of all defilements, both in this world and in

the spiritual world beyond. In this world whose nature is like a dream, there is place for praise and blame, but in the ultimate Reality of Dharmakaya, which is far beyond the senses and the discriminating mind, what is there to praise? O you who are most Wise! Then said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva: O blessed One, Sugata, Arhat and Fully-Enlightened One, pray tell us about the realization of Noble Wisdom which is beyond the path and usage of philosophers; which is devoid of all predicates such as being and non-being, oneness and otherness, both-ness and non-both-ness, existence and non-existence, eternity and non-eternity; which has nothing to do with individuality and generality, nor false-imagination,

nor any illusions arising from the mind itself; but which manifests itself as the Truth of Highest Reality. By which, going up continuously by the stages of purification, one enters at last upon the stage of Tathágata-hood, whereby, by the power of his original vows unattended by any striving, one will radiate its influence to infinite worlds, like a gem reflecting its variegated colors, whereby I and other Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas will be enabled to bring all beings to the same perfection of virtue. Said the Blessed One: Well done, well done, Mahamati! And again, well done, indeed! It is because of your compassion for the world; because of the benefit it will bring upon many people both human kind and celestial, that you have presented yourself before us to make this request. Therefore, Mahamati, listen well and truly reflect upon what I shall say, for I will instruct you.


Then Mahamati and the other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas gave devout attention to the teaching of the Blessed One. Mahamati, since the ignorant and simple-minded, not knowing that the world is only something seen of the mind itself, cling to the multitudinous-ness of external objects, cling to the notions of beings and non-being, oneness and otherness, both-ness and non-both-ness, existence and non-existence eternity and non-eternity, and think that they have a self-nature of their own, and all of which rises from the discriminations of the mind and is perpetuated by habitenergy, and from which they are given over to false imagination. It is all like a mirage in which springs of water are seen as if they were real. They are imagined by animals who, made thirsty by the heat of the season, run after them. Animals not knowing that the springs are merely hallucinations of their own minds, do not realize that there are no such springs. In the same way, Mahamati, the ignorant and simple-minded, their minds burning with the

fires of greed, anger and folly, finding delight in a world of multitudinous forms, their thoughts obsessed with ideas of birth, growth and destruction, not well understanding what is meant by existence and non-existence, and being impressed by erroneous discriminations and speculations since beginning-less time, fall into the habit of grasping this and that and thereby becoming attached to them. It is like the city of the Gandharvas which the unwitting take to be a real city when in fact it is not so. The city appears as in a vision owing to their attachment to the memory of a city preserved in the mind as a seed; the city can thus be said to be both existent and non-existent. In the same way, clinging to the memory of erroneous speculations and doctrines accumulated since beginning-less time, they hold fast to such ideas as oneness and otherness, being and non-being, and their thoughts are not at all clear as to what after all is only seen of the mind. It is like a man dreaming in his

sleep of a country that seems to be filled with various men, women, elephants, horses, cars, pedestrians, villages, towns, hamlets, cows, buffalos, mansions, woods, mountains, rivers and lakes, and who moves about in that city until he is awakened. As he lies half awake, he recalls the city of his dreams and reviews his experiences there; what do you think, Mahamati, is this dreamer who is letting his mind dwell upon the various unrealities he has seen in his dream, is he to be considered wise or foolish? In the same way, the ignorant and simpleminded who are favorably influenced by the erroneous views of the philosophers do not recognize that the views that are influencing them are only dream-like ideas originating in the mind itself, and consequently they are held fast by their notions of oneness and otherness, of being and non-being. It is like a painter’s canvas on which the ignorant imagine they see the elevations and depressions of mountains and valleys.


In the same way there are people today being brought up under the influence of similar erroneous views of oneness and otherness, of both-ness and not-bothness, whose mentality is being conditioned by the habit-energy of these falseimaginings and who later on will declare those who hold the true doctrine of no-birth which is free from the alternatives of being and non-being, to be nihilists and by so doing will bring themselves and others to ruin. By the natural law of cause and effect these followers of pernicious views uproot meritorious causes that otherwise would lead to unstained purity. They are to be shunned by those whose desires are for more excellent things.


It is like the dim-eyed ones who seeing a hairnet exclaim to one another: "It is wonderful! Look, Honorable sirs, it is wonderful!" But the hairnet has never existed; in fact; it is neither an entity, nor a non-entity, for it has both been seen and has not been seen. In the same manner those whose minds have been addicted to the discriminations of the erroneous views cherished by the philosophers which are given over to the unrealistic views of being and nonbeing, will contradict the good Dharma and will end in the destruction of themselves and others. It is like a wheel of fire made by a revolving firebrand which is no wheel but which is imagined to be one by the ignorant. Nor is it a not a wheel because

it has not been seen by some. By the same reasoning, those who are in the habit of listening to the discriminations and views of the philosophers will regard things born as non-existent and those destroyed by causation as existent. It is like a mirror reflecting colors and images as determined by conditions but without any partiality. It is like the echo of the wind that gives the sound of a human voice. It is like a mirage of moving water seen in a desert. In the same way the discriminating mind of the ignorant, which has been heated by falseimaginations and speculations, is stirred into mirage-like waves by the winds of

birth, growth, and destruction. It is like the magician Pisaca, who by means of his spells makes a wooden image or a dead body to throb with life, though it has no power of its own. In the same way the ignorant and the simple-minded, committing themselves to erroneous philosophical views become thoroughly devoted to the ideas of oneness and otherness, but their confidence is not well grounded. For this reason, Mahamati, you and other Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas should cast off all discriminations leading to the notions of birth, abiding, and destructions, of oneness and otherness, of both-ness and not-both-ness, of being and non-being and thus getting free of the bondage of habit-energy become able to attain reality realizable within yourselves of Noble Wisdom.


Then said Mahamati to the Blessed One: Why is it that the ignorant are given up to discrimination and the wise are not? The Blessed One replied: it is because the ignorant cling to names, signs and ideas; as their minds move along these channels they feed on multiplicities of objects and fall into the notion of an ego-soul and what belongs to it; they make discriminations of good and bad among appearances and cling to the agreeable. As they thus cling there is a reversion to ignorance, and karma born of greed, anger and folly, is accumulated. As the accumulation of karma

goes on they become imprisoned in a cocoon of discrimination and are thenceforth unable to free themselves from the round of birth and death. Because of folly they do not understand that all things are like Maya, like the reflection of the moon in water, that there is no self-substance to be imagined as an ego-soul and its belongings, and that all their definite ideas rise from their false discriminations of what exists only as it is seen of the mind itself. They do not realize that things have nothing to do with qualify and qualifying, nor with the course of birth, abiding and destruction, and instead they assert that they are born of a creator, of time, of atoms, of some celestial spirit. It is because the ignorant are given up to discrimination that they move along with the stream of appearances, but it is not so with the wise.


False-Imaginations and Knowledge of Appearances

Then Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva spoke to the Blessed One, saying: You speak of the erroneous views of the philosophers, will you please tell us of them, that we may be on our guard against them?

The Blessed One replied, saying: Mahamati, the error in these erroneous teachings that are generally held by the philosophers lies in this: they do not recognize that the objective world rises from the mind itself; they do not understand that the whole mind-system also arises from the mind itself; but depending upon these manifestations of the mind as being real they go on discriminating them, like the simple-minded ones that they are, cherishing the dualism of this and that, of being and non-being, ignorant to the fact that there is but one common Essence.


On the contrary my teaching is based upon recognition that the objective world, like a vision, is a manifestation of the mind itself; it teaches the cessation of ignorance, desire, deed and causality; it teaches the cessation of suffering that arises from the discriminations of the triple world. There are some Brahman scholars who, assuming something out of nothing, assert that there is a substance bound up with causation, which abides in time, and that the elements that make up personality and its environment have their genesis and continuation in causation and after thus existing, pass away. Then there are other scholars who hold a destructive and nihilistic view concerning such subjects as continuation, activity, breaking-up, existence, Nirvana, the Path, karma, fruition and Truth. Why, because they have not attained an intuitive understanding of Truth itself and therefore they have no clear

insight into the fundamentals of things. They are like a jar broken into pieces, which is no longer able to function as a jar; they are like a burnt seed, which is no longer capable of sprouting. But the elements that make up personality and its environment, which they regard as subject to change are really incapable of uninterrupted transformations. Their views are based upon erroneous discriminations of the objective world; they are not based upon the true conception.

Again, if it is true that something comes out of nothing and there is the rise of the mind-system by reason of the combinations of the three effect-producing causes, we could say the same of any non-existing thing: for instance, that a tortoise could grow hair, or sand produce oil. This proposition is of no avail; it ends up in affirming nothing. It follows that the deed, work and cause of which they speak is of no use, and so also is their reference to being and non-being, if they argue that there is a combination of the three effect-producing causes, they must do it on the principle of cause and effect, that is, that something comes out of something and not out of nothing. As long a world of relativity is asserted, there is an ever-recurring chain of causation, which cannot be denied under any circumstance; therefore we cannot talk of anything coming to an end or of cessation. As long as these scholars remain on their philosophical ground their demonstration must conform to logic and their textbooks, and the memory habit of erroneous intellection will ever cling to them. To make the matter worse, the simple-minded ones, poisoned by this erroneous view, will declare this incorrect way of thinking taught by the ignorant, to be the same as that presented by the All-knowing One. But the way of instruction presented by the Tathágatas is not based on assertions and refutations by means of words and logic. There are four forms of assertion that can be made concerning things not in existence, namely, assertions made about individual marks that are not in existence; about objects that are not in existence, about a cause that is non-existent; and about philosophical views that are erroneous. By refutation is meant that one, because of ignorance, has not examined properly the error that lies at the base of these assertions.


The assertion about individual marks that really have no existence, concerns the distinctive marks as perceived by the eye, ear, nose, etc., as indicating individuality and generality in the elements that make up personality and its external world; and then, taking these marks for reality and getting attached to them, to get into the habit or affirming that things are just so and not otherwise. The assertion about objects that are non-existent is an assertion that rises from attachment to these associated marks of individuality and generality. Objects in themselves are neither in existence nor in non-existence and are quite devoid of the alternative of being and non-being; and should only be thought of as one thinks of the horns of a hare, a horse, or a camel, which never existed. Objects are discriminated by the ignorant who are addicted to assertion and negation, because their intelligence has not been acute enough to penetrate into the truth that there is nothing but what is seen of the mind itself.


The assertion of a cause that is non-existent assumes the causeless birth of the first element of the mind-system, which later on comes to have only a Maya-like non-existence. That is to say, there are philosophers who assert that an originally unborn mind-system begins to function under the conditions of eye, form, light and memory, which functioning goes on for a time and then ceases. This is an example of a cause that is non-existent. The assertion of philosophical views concerning the elements that make up personality and its environing world that are non-existent, assume the existence of an ego, a being, a soul, a living being, a "nourisher", or a spirit. This is an example of philosophical views that are not true. It is this combination of discrimination of imaginary marks of individuality, grouping them and giving them a name and becoming attached to them as objects, by reason of habitenergy that has been accumulated since beginning-less time, that one builds up erroneous views whose only basis is false-imaginations. For this reason Bodhisattvas should avoid all discussions relating to assertions and negations whose only basis is words and logic.


Word-discrimination goes on by the coordination of brain, chest, nose, throat, palate, tongue, teeth and lips. Words are neither different nor not different from discrimination. Words rise from discrimination as their cause; if words were different from discrimination they could not have discrimination for their cause; then again, if words are not different, they could not carry and express meaning. Words, therefore, are produced by causation and are mutually conditioning and shifting and, just like things, are subject to birth and destruction. There are four kinds of word discrimination, all of which are to be avoided because they are alike unreal. First there are words indicating individual marks which rise from discriminating forms and signs as being real in themselves and, then, becoming attached to them. There are memory-words, which rise from the unreal surroundings, which come before the mind when it recalls some previous experience. Then there are words growing out of attachment to the

erroneous distinctions and speculations of the mental processes. And finally, there are words growing out of inherited prejudices as seeds of habit-energy accumulated since beginning-less time, or which had their origin in some long forgotten clinging to false-imagination and erroneous speculation. Then there are words where there are no corresponding objects, as for instance, the hare’s horns, a barren woman’s child, etc., there are no such things but we have the words, just the same. Words are an artificial creation; there are Buddha-lands where there are no words. In some Buddha-lands ideas are indicated by looking steadily, in others by gestures, in still others by a frown, by a movement of the eyes, by laughing, by yawning, by the clearing of the throat, or by trembling. For instance, in the Buddha-land of the Tathágata Samantabadra, Bodhisattvas, by a Dhyana transcending words and ideas, attain recognition of all things as un-born and they, also, experience various most excellent Samádhis that transcend words. Even in this world such specialized beings as ants and bees carry on their activities very well without recourse to words. No, Mahamati, the validity of things is independent of the validity of words. Moreover, there are other things that belong to words, namely, the syllablebody of words, the name-body of words, and the sentence-body of words. By the

syllable-body is meant that by which words and sentences are set up or indicated: there is a reason for some syllables, some are mnemonic, and some are chosen arbitrarily. By name-body is meant the object depending upon which a name-word obtains its significance, or in other words, name-body is the "substance" of a name-word. By sentence-body is meant the completion of the meaning by expressing the word more fully in a sentence. The name for this sentence-body is suggested by the footprints left in the road by elephants, horses, people, deer, cattle, goats, etc. But neither words nor sentences can exactly express meanings, for words are only sweet sounds that are arbitrarily chosen to represent things, they are not the things themselves, which in turn are only manifestations of mind. Discrimination of meaning is based upon the false-imagination that these sweet sounds which we call words and which are depend