|

Sunlight on the Path to Freedom

1 Leave a comment on block 1 0

 

 

 

 

Sunlight on the Path to Freedom

A Commentary to the Diamond Cutter Sutra

 

by Choney Lama, Drakpa Shedrup (1675-1748)

  

translated by Geshe Michael Roach

with Elizabeth van der Pas

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright ©2018 by Geshe Michael Roach.  All rights reserved.

 

Sections may be reproduced with the author’s permission.

Please contact:

geshemichael@gmail.com

 

 

Volume 72 of the Diamond Cutter Wisdom Series

 

 

Diamond Cutter Press

6490 Arizona Route 179A

Sedona, AZ 86351

USA

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Cutting Diamonds: An Introduction………………………………………….. 9

 

A Commentary upon the

Diamond Cutter Sutra entitled

“Sunlight to See the Profound,

The Excellent Path to Travel to Freedom”……………………………………… 37

 

An offering of praise………………………………………………………………………………. 38

 

The meaning of the title…………………………………………………………………………. 41

 

The translator bows……………………………………………………………………………….. 43

 

Setting the scene……………………………………………………………………………………. 43

 

The disciples assemble…………………………………………………………………………… 50

 

Subhuti’s question…………………………………………………………………………………. 52

 

Lord Buddha’s answer…………………………………………………………………………… 58

 

Nirvanicizing every living being……………………………………………………………. 61

 

The emptiness of all things…………………………………………………………………….. 66

 

The ultimate bodhisattva……………………………………………………………………….. 75

 

Giving in emptiness……………………………………………………………………………….. 79

 

The infinite karma of emptiness…………………………………………………………….. 85

 

The emptiness of the Buddha………………………………………………………………… 88

 

Bodhisattvas of the last 500 years…………………………………………………………… 92

 

The Buddha sees you…………………………………………………………………………….. 98

 

The ship of the Dharma……………………………………………………………………….. 102

 

The emptiness of the Dharma………………………………………………………………. 104

 

Infinite good karma……………………………………………………………………………… 114

 

The karma of teaching the Diamond Cutter…………………………………………. 118

 

The emptiness of realizations……………………………………………………………….. 122

 

I am a destroyer of the foe……………………………………………………………………. 136

 

Where the Teacher got the teachings……………………………………………………. 139

 

The emptiness of paradise……………………………………………………………………. 144

 

The emptiness of my body…………………………………………………………………… 148

 

To meditate upon the emptiness of the world……………………………………… 150

 

What is the name of this teaching?………………………………………………………. 158

 

The teacher never taught anything………………………………………………………. 162

 

The emptiness of atoms……………………………………………………………………….. 165

 

The emptiness of the body of the Buddha……………………………………………. 168

 

The karma of sharing wisdom……………………………………………………………… 174

 

The tears of a bodhisattva……………………………………………………………………. 177

 

Beyond all fear…………………………………………………………………………………….. 184

 

Beyond anger………………………………………………………………………………………. 188

 

What it is to speak the truth…………………………………………………………………. 197

 

What it is to have eyes…………………………………………………………………………. 199

 

The karma of teaching the Diamond Cutter…………………………………………. 204

 

The teaching beyond all teachings……………………………………………………….. 207

 

These I lift up, and carry upon my shoulders………………………………………. 209

 

Where this is taught, is a holy place…………………………………………………….. 212

 

You will suffer……………………………………………………………………………………… 214

 

The karma needed to see……………………………………………………………………… 218

 

Again, the question……………………………………………………………………………… 223

 

No teacher was taught…………………………………………………………………………. 227

 

Predicting a Buddha…………………………………………………………………………….. 228

 

Why they have gone thus…………………………………………………………………….. 234

 

No Buddha is enlightened…………………………………………………………………… 235

 

All things are Buddha………………………………………………………………………….. 237

 

We cannot make a paradise…………………………………………………………………. 246

 

What we call “a bodhisattva”………………………………………………………………. 247

 

The eyes of a Buddha…………………………………………………………………………… 248

 

The one who knows our thoughts……………………………………………………….. 255

 

The emptiness of the mind, in time……………………………………………………… 258

 

No mountains of merit…………………………………………………………………………. 262

 

But their result does exist…………………………………………………………………….. 265

 

No signs upon the form……………………………………………………………………….. 267

 

How to deny the Buddha…………………………………………………………………….. 270

 

Neither beings, nor not………………………………………………………………………… 276

 

Enlightenment in the eyes of a Buddha……………………………………………….. 280

 

Nothing not equal………………………………………………………………………………… 282

 

The limitations without emptiness………………………………………………………. 284

 

No Buddhas believe in beings……………………………………………………………… 287

 

And Buddhas free beings…………………………………………………………………….. 288

 

Who the children are……………………………………………………………………………. 291

 

Signs with the reality body………………………………………………………………….. 292

 

Those without perfect signs…………………………………………………………………. 293

 

Not to see the Buddha………………………………………………………………………….. 296

 

Things have not stopped……………………………………………………………………… 301

 

Mastery over things unborn………………………………………………………………… 304

 

We can hold on to goodness………………………………………………………………… 306

 

The Buddha neither comes nor goes……………………………………………………. 308

 

The names of enlightenment………………………………………………………………… 309

 

Ultimately, no atoms……………………………………………………………………………. 314

 

Ultimately, nothing made of atoms……………………………………………………… 318

 

Atoms are not what they seem…………………………………………………………….. 320

 

The emptiness of believing in atoms……………………………………………………. 322

 

Failed views and their non-existent objects………………………………………….. 323

 

Understanding & seeing………………………………………………………………………. 325

 

The power of clear thinking…………………………………………………………………. 327

 

The two collections………………………………………………………………………………. 333

 

What it means to teach accurately……………………………………………………….. 336

 

The nine messages……………………………………………………………………………….. 339

 

The teaching ends………………………………………………………………………………… 344

 

Emptiness: the greatest power……………………………………………………………… 346

 

A final prayer………………………………………………………………………………………. 349

 

How the teaching came to us……………………………………………………………….. 351

 

 

Text of The Diamond Cutter Sutra in Four Languages…………………. 353

 

Appendices……………………………………………………………………….. 482

 

Comparative list of the names of divine beings & places………………………. 483

 

Bibliography of works originally written in Sanskrit…………………………….. 484

 

Bibliography of works originally written in Tibetan……………………………… 495

 

 

 

 

Cutting Diamonds:

An Introduction

 

Background to the English translation

 

The Diamond Cutter Sutra is the oldest printed book in the world with a date inside; there is a Chinese-language copy from the Dunhuang Caves which is dated to 868ad.  It has also been one of the most read and reproduced books in history; in a visit to many Buddhist temples and monasteries (and restaurants!) in the world, you can see copies lying around almost anywhere.

 

This was certainly the case at Rashi Gempil Ling, a Mongolian temple in New Jersey, USA, where I spent about 25 years in training under the eminent Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin.  The first time I actually read a copy of the sutra though was at a shapten ceremony.

 

The shapten is an old Asian custom where a small group of monks is invited to come share lunch at the home of a local family; as we will see, this is in fact more or less how the teaching in the sutra itself starts.  Some 35 years ago I was the junior member in a group of about five monks that walked down the street to the Sochorow family house to do a shapten.

 

The lunch is sort of a reward for the monks first sitting down before the family altar and reciting a sutra out loud, as a blessing for the family members, who will sit nearby and soak in the blessing of a book chanted in a language that they don’t even understand.

 

Our chanting master that day really enjoyed a good meal, and according to the monks’ rule we also had to finish the chanting and lunch before noon.  So we sat down, and he opened up the cloth with the Diamond Cutter in it and took out all the pages (since traditional Asian books used to be written on loose palm leaves, they still have no binding and are just wrapped up in a cloth).  Then he handed each of us a pile of pages to recite out loud, all at the same time.

 

It was chaos but the family seemed to enjoy it, and I received a really juicy part from the middle of the sutra that left me wanting to know what came before and after it.  When I got home I asked Khen Rinpoche if he would teach the book to his students, and in time he did.

 

The sutra has always made a strong impression on me, and I sought out traditional explanations.  The earliest that we have available to us is the commentary by the renowned Indian master Vasubandhu, who lived around the middle of the 4th century.  This is a very brief presentation of about 50 pages in the Tibetan translation (the sutra itself in translation is only 40), and covers seven major topics.

 

The only other explanation we still have from ancient India is the “Great Commentary” of Master Kamalashila, who is dated to about 775ad.  This is 126 pages; as with Vasubandhu’s commentary, the original Sanskrit is missing—and the work seems to have just missed the big wave of translation into Chinese triggered by Master Xuanzang’s journey to India from 629 to 645.  The Tibetan translation of Kamalashila is quite difficult, in part due to apparent corruptions in the carvings; but our translation team has made good progress on the English translation and we foresee releasing it within a few years, as part of the present Diamond Cutter Classics Series.

 

In Tibet, the one great commentary to the Diamond Cutter was composed by Drakpa Shedrup (1675-1748), who is popularly known as Choney Lama, since he came from the Choney region of northeast Tibet and is also an important figure in the history of Choney Gunchen Monastery there.  This is the commentary we present in this volume; it is 88 pages in the Tibetan, and about 450 in the English with transcription and footnotes.

 

The Diamond Cutter forms an important part of the 18 foundational courses of study for the Asian Classics Institute, which I founded in New York in 1991.  This program was meant to provide the modern world with the invaluable contents of the course of study covered by a geshe, or Master of Buddhism, during about 20 years’ time in a traditional monastic university, within the lineage of incomparable Tibetan master, Je Tsongkapa (1357-1419).

 

In preparing the sixth course of this program, I translated something like half of Choney Lama’s commentary; I had always intended to produce a scholarly translation of the entire work when I had time, and have done so some 15 years later.  Inbetween, I taught the text to Ven. Jigme Palmo (Elizabeth van der Pas), an American Buddhist nun who has been my administrative assistant for almost 20 years; so that she could in turn lead a multi-year course on the sutra at the beautiful Diamond Mountain Retreat Center in Arizona, USA.  Ven. Palmo has for many years assisted me in researching some of the finer points and references for this translation, and I would like to thank her here for her lifetime devotion to this work.  I am also grateful to Nick Lashaw, director of the translator program at Sedona College of International Management, for his tireless assistance; and to Stanley Chen, director of the Pure Gold Translation Team of Shenzhen, China, for his help with the Chinese-language version of the sutra.

 

 

Using the sutra in modern life

 

In 1998, I was approached by Trace Murphy of Doubleday Publishers—at that time one of the largest in the world—to do a book which would guide normal people how to use the great ideas of the Asian Classics Institute courses in their everyday professional and personal lives.  Trace had helped direct publications of books by the Pope of the Catholic Church and by Mother Teresa, and with this considerable experience we came up with the concept of presenting great ideas from works like the Diamond Cutter, and describing how I had used them to help found Andin International Diamond Corporation of New York, building it into one of the largest diamond jewelry companies in the world.

 

We decided to call this book itself The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life.  It became a global bestseller and has been translated and published in more than 30 countries.  I was invited to so many places to give lectures on the book that I decided to found, in 2009, a management training company to help meet this demand.

 

This company, the Diamond Cutter Institute (DCI), now provides personal and professional success training to more than 20,000 people per year, in 35 cities around the world.  Our graduates have become presidents of countries or mayors of leading cities; they run some of the world’s largest companies; and they manage some of the most successful relationships and families I’ve ever seen!

 

Obviously then the Diamond Cutter Sutra has been key to bringing the ancient wisdom of Asia to the modern world.  There are three simple lessons that DCI draws from the Diamond Cutter and related literature.  We call them The Pen; The 4 Steps; and The Two Husbands in the Kitchen.

 

 

The Pen

 

“The Pen” is a simple demonstration of the idea of emptiness, which as we will see is the crux of the Diamond Cutter Sutra.  There’s an ancient tradition of teaching this all-important concept by holding up any simple, common object and asking a few questions.

 

And so if I hold up a pen and ask you what it is, you reply, naturally, “It’s a pen!”

 

Next I ask: “Well now suppose a dog comes in the room, and I wave this thing in front of his nose.  What will he do with it?”

 

“He’ll bite it,” you answer.

 

“So does the dog see it as a pen?”

 

“No—he sees this thing as a chewtoy!”

 

“Well then who’s right?” I ask.  “The human or the dog?  Is this thing really a pen, or is it a chewtoy?”

 

You think for a moment and reply, “Well, they’re both right.  After all, the human can use this thing as a pen; and the dog can use it as a chewtoy; and they’re both perfectly happy with it!”

 

“Exactly.  Now suppose I put this object down on the table here.  And then I ask all the humans and all the dogs to leave the room: they go out the door, and we close it behind them.  Now the room is empty.  At that moment, is the object on the table a pen, or is it a chewtoy?”

 

You think for another moment and then answer, “Well, at that moment, when the room is empty and there isn’t a single human or a single dog around, I’d say that this object is just sort of—nothing, nothing yet.”

 

“Good.  Now suppose one of the humans opens the door and comes back in the room, and approaches the table with this thing on top of it.  They reach the table and then they look down.  At that moment, what does this object become?”

 

“Well,” you reply, “at that moment this object becomes a pen!”

 

“Right.  And if the dog walks in first, before the human?  What does this same object become then?”

 

“Well, if the dog walks in first, then this same object becomes a chewtoy.”

 

“Right again.  So now think carefully for a moment and give me a good answer: If this object becomes a pen when the human walks in; and it becomes a chewtoy when the dog walks in; then is the pen coming from the human’s mind, or is it coming from the pen itself?”

 

“Well since it becomes different things when different types of beings walk back in the room, then it can’t be coming from its own side.  It must be coming from the mind of the human!”

 

“Right once more.  But let’s look at that idea.  Is the whole world then just a product of positive thinking?  If we have just proved that the whole world is coming from us, then can we simply close our eyes, and think positively, and make things become whatever we want them to be?”

 

“Well no.  I mean, it is true that the pen is somehow coming from my mind.  But it’s also obvious that this doesn’t mean that I can make things whatever I want them to be, just by wishing.  If that were the case, then everybody in the world would have everything they want, all the time—and obviously we don’t!”

 

That’s all completely correct.  Things may be coming from my mind, but it’s obviously not the case that I can choose how they come from my mind.  There must be some force or power in my mind that makes me see a pen as a pen, and there must be some other force or power in the dog’s mind that makes them see the same object as a chewtoy.  That power is a karmic seed, which we’ll discuss next.

 

So by itself, this object is neither a pen nor a chewtoy.  By itself, it’s just waiting to be something.  The object by itself is a lot like a white movie screen, before the theater employees turn on the movie projector to show the movie on the screen.

 

This object waiting to be something—this blank white movie screen—is exactly the meaning of emptiness, as it is presented in the Diamond Cutter Sutra.

 

 

The 4 Steps

 

The second great concept presented in the Diamond Cutter Sutra is that of karmic seeds, and how they are planted in our mind.  This is best understood with the explanation of Master Vasubandhu, that earliest commentator on the Diamond Cutter.  In the fourth chapter of his famous Treasure House of Higher Knowledge (Abhidharma Kosha), he explains how these seeds create the world around us, and how we can actually “design” our world to be a perfect world, if we know the precise method for planting the necessary seeds.

 

Let’s go back to the human approaching the table with the object lying on top of it.  As the human looks down at the thing, karmic seeds open within their mind.  As a seed opens, a tiny image of a pen emerges from the seed—and the mind pushes this tiny picture out and overlays it upon the object.

 

As the overlay settles down on the colors and shapes that were waiting on the table, the mind begins to see this object as a pen.  A different picture or overlay emerges from the seeds in the dog’s mind: for them, it’s a picture of a chewtoy coming out of the seed, and settling on the colors and shapes out there, and making them appear as a chewtoy.

 

Just as we all intuitively felt, the chewtoy is just as valid as the pen.  In fact, subsequent seeds will open and cause us to see the pen producing letters on a piece of paper; or just as well, tickling the taste buds on a dog’s tongue.

 

And so we can rightly say that—even though the people and things around us are empty, and even though they are products of pictures coming out of our own mind—they still work, quite normally.  A pen that’s coming from seeds in my mind can still make a mess in my pocket, if it breaks open there.

 

The process by which the world comes out of the seeds in my own mind is called, in the ancient wisdom tradition, by various names: “cause and effect”; or “dependence”; or—less friendlily—“dependent origination.”  Whatever we call it, the point is clear: the world by itself is a blank white movie screen, empty, waiting to be something.  And then the karmic seeds in my mind-projector break open and make the people and things around me what they are.

 

Now if we could learn to control this process—if we could learn the precise method for planting these karmic seeds—then we could, in theory, make a perfect world: no hunger, no war; no want, no death.  Here’s where we need Vasubandhu’s 4 Steps for planting karmic seeds.  They are simple, and anyone can use them, regardless of what country or race or religion they may belong to—

 

Step 1

Decide what you want.

Define the goal you would like to reach.  Classical goals for most people around the world are five: right now in my life I would like to reach (1) financial independence; or (2) beautiful professional and personal relationships; (3) great health & youthful energy; (4) a highly creative and peaceful mind; and (5) a world where each and every one of us shares all these blessings equally.

 

Choose some easily defined aspect of one of these goals which you would like to reach within the next 6 weeks or so.  For example: I would like to see my income increase by 10%, so that I could help more people.  Perhaps, for example, you would like to be in the position of the politician Prince Jeta, or the businessman Anatha Pindada, who at the beginning of the Diamond Cutter purchase and provide a garden where Lord Buddha can teach the sutra!

 

Step 2

Choose a karmic partner.

Karmic seeds can normally only be planted by interacting with another living being.  This means you are going to need a karmic partner.  This has to be someone who has the same general goal that you do.  In our example here, this means that you’re going to have to find another person who wants to increase their income, so they can do some kind of good in the world.

 

Step 3

Help them once a week.

Karmic seeds are planted when we see or hear ourselves do something, even if it is just hearing ourselves thinking a thought.  In practical terms, to reach our goal, we’re going to have to undertake some concrete action to help this other person reach their own, similar goal.

 

You are going to have to spend at least one hour a week, for free, helping your karmic partner with one small part of their goal.  It might be calling customers for them, for example; or helping them find the perfect employee.  The sound of each word you say, and the image of each gesture you make, makes an impression upon your own mind—and within a few hours, this impression becomes a karmic seed.

 

Step 4

Put water on the karmic seed.

So those first three steps plant the karmic seed.  But a big problem with karmic seeds is that they can sit around in the mind for a hundred years before they crack open and produce our goal.  There is an ancient method for “watering” the karmic seeds to speed up this process.

 

After all, if it takes three years for the seed to produce my extra income after I help another person, it will be very hard for me to connect that extra income to the actions I took to help that other person.  And then I won’t much believe that the system works, and I won’t use it more often.

 

The traditional method for “watering” the seed so it grows stronger and faster—and in time for us to gain faith in this system—is a simple meditation that at DCI we call “Coffee Meditation” (from something Khen Rinpoche said when he taught this trick to me long ago at the Mongol temple).  As you lay down on your bed and put your head on the pillow to sleep, you pause for a few minutes to think about the kindness that you paid to your karmic partner this week.

 

This is not an act of pride.  (Pride would say, for example, “No one in this whole city can help people as well as I do!”)  Rather, you just play back the mental movie of every little thing you did this week to help your karmic partner.  And—very importantly—you celebrate mentally that you have a new and infallible system for increasing your income!  These two trains of thought have a direct and immediate effect on the seed, and it opens much quicker, to create the world we want.

 

 

The Two Husbands in the Kitchen

 

Perhaps the most important point in the Diamond Cutter Sutra—repeated over and over—concerns the intersection between The Pen (Emptiness) and The 4 Steps (Cause & Effect).  That is, how does the blank white screen (The Pen) provide a “space” for the movie coming out of the projector (karmic seeds planted by the 4 Steps)?

 

This is illustrated perfectly in the DCI teaching tool called “The Two Husbands in the Kitchen”—and if you understand the Two Husbands, then you truly understand the sutra, and the perfection of wisdom.

 

The Two Husbands allegory begins with a working mother who has two young children, and a husband who enjoys watching football on television.  One day her boss at work asks her to come in an hour early the next morning, to participate in a phone conference with overseas staff.

 

Accordingly, she comes to her children’s bedroom that night and says: “Kids, Mommy has to go to work an hour early tomorrow.  So can you both be up, and dressed, with homework all finished and ready to go, at 7am?”

 

The two kids give their solemn promise to be ready!

 

Next morning, at 7 sharp, Mom opens the door to the children’s bedroom.  They are both still in their pajamas, and jumping on the bed and screaming for fun.  Mom gets upset:

 

“You two are the stupidest kids in this whole city!”

 

The children’s feelings are hurt; but they quickly get ready and the day begins.  (It’s important to note here that these hurtful words were heard, not just by the kids, but of course by Mom herself.  So that means they planted a karmic seed.)

 

A week later, Mom is dragging herself home after an especially hard day at work; and picking up the kids; and buying the groceries for dinner.  She’s totally exhausted, but as she reaches out to open the front door to the house, she reminds herself that the best thing she gets from her husband is those amazing hugs, whenever she comes home.

 

She opens the door; sets down the groceries; and throws open her arms.

 

Her husband (who as it turns out, expected dinner an hour earlier) sticks his finger in her face and abruptly yells, “You’re so stupid!”

 

Mom’s reaction, of course, is to think: “I didn’t do anything!  I just open the door and he starts yelling Stupid at me!”

 

But, having gone through The Pen & The 4 Steps, we know better.  When the Mom yelled at her kids the week before, she heard what she herself said; this created an impression upon her mind; and that impression soon became a karmic seed, planted in the soil of the subconscious mind.

 

A week later, in the instant that she opens the door, this seed cracks open—and out comes that tiny image of a yelling husband.  Just as with The Pen, this image flies out and overlays the external shapes and colors, and creates the reality of a yelling husband.

 

There are some very important points here, which will help us grasp the Diamond Cutter Sutra fully:

 

1) How to prove we’re stupid

Of course, normally we indulge in our normal human reaction, and yell back at our husband immediately: “I’m not stupid, you’re stupid.”  This reaction proves that we’re the stupid one, because by hearing ourselves yell back we plant a new negative karmic seed in our mind.  Next week, the seed opens in the kids’ bedroom and we see them misbehaving again.

 

2) Sansara: the downward cycle

When the kids do misbehave, we of course yell at them again; and that plants another seed to see our husband yell; and then we yell at him again, and so on and so on: another downward cycle.  These types of mini-cycles throughout our week add up to a big negative cycle which is called, in Sanskrit, sansara (this is the correct pronunciation)—or the “cycle of pain.”  As we see in its opening pages, the goal of the entire Diamond Cutter Sutra is to break these cycles, and reverse them into a constant upward cycle.

 

3) Two husbands in the kitchen

If you think about it, there are always two husbands in the kitchen anytime one of them yells at us and we haven’t learned about the Diamond Cutter Sutra.  There’s one husband in the kitchen that we feel, instinctively, is not my fault:  “I just walked in the kitchen, and before I had a chance to do anything he yelled at me.”  So we can say that Husband #1 is the one who is not coming from me: who is not like The Pen.

 

And then of course there’s a second husband in the kitchen.  This is the one that—if we just think about it for a few seconds—is popping out of the bad seed I planted when I heard myself yell at my kids last week.  Husband #2 is my fault.

 

4) The cause-and-effect husband

Husband #2 is the cause-and-effect husband: he has emerged from the seed that I planted when I yelled at the kids.  In traditional Buddhist lingo, this is equivalent to the “dependent-origination” husband—which now you know means simply “the husband I planted myself, when I yelled at the kids.”  We need to appreciate that the cause-and-effect husband really does exist.

 

5) The emptiness husband

Husband #1 can also be called the “emptiness husband.”  And that’s because he is not coming from me: he’s not my fault, because I didn’t do anything, and he starts yelling at me. 

 

We call him the “emptiness husband” simply because he doesn’t exist.  Lord Buddha really enjoys putting it this way: “He doesn’t exist now; he never existed before; and he will never exist afterwards.”

 

Because he’s simply impossible.  If The Pen proves anything, it’s that nothing exists which is not coming from our own seeds: from exactly how we’ve treated other people!

 

6) Only an emptiness husband can make you upset

Now when you get upset at your husband after he calls you “stupid,” which husband are you getting upset at?  Is it Husband #1 (who is not my fault, because I didn’t do anything and he’s yelling at me), or is it Husband #2 (who is coming out of the seeds planted by yelling at the kids)?

 

Well it has to be Husband #1 that we’re upset at.  This is because with Husband #2 we realize whose fault he is: MY OWN.  It’s not possible to get upset at a person if you know that they are coming 100% from what I myself did last week to the kids!

 

7) When you get upset, you are literally getting upset at nothing

If all this is true, then every time we get upset at someone (or even something, like the weather or the traffic), we are actually getting upset at something which is not even there, and could never be there.  This means that every negative emotion we’ve ever had in our life was aimed at a thing or at a person that didn’t even exist.

 

When we understand this, we can forever stop being upset, at anything.  (Unless you want to be upset at yourself, for planting the seed in the first place!)

 

According to the Diamond Cutter Sutra, this is the only way that a human being can permanently stop the emotions of getting upset, or getting angry.

 

And there you are.  That’s the entire teaching of the Diamond Cutter Sutra.  Now read Choney Lama’s commentary and get the details!

 

 

The three lives of Choney Lama

 

The commentarial tradition that came out of Sanskrit, and then into the Tibetan and Chinese languages, is an extraordinary one.  It literally contains over 200,000 precious books of Two-Husband knowledge: knowledge that could change this entire world.

 

Just imagine if all of us always remembered that all the people or situations which irritate us are actually coming from us.  Just imagine if all of us understood that sharing what we have, and not competing with each other, is the only way to increase our income.  Just imagine if we could “plant” any life we wanted.  The world would literally become a paradise, for every one of us.

 

This is the contribution that the present book, Choney Lama’s great commentary to the Diamond Cutter Sutra, can make.  And we are infinitely fortunate that it is he who wrote the commentary.

 

Of all the hundreds of great writers in this wisdom tradition, Choney Lama is unique in his ability to present difficult topics in an extremely clear and organized way.  Rather than assuming that he is speaking to an expert in the field, he always guides us gradually, thoroughly, and logically through the teaching.  It is no exaggeration to say that—of all these hundreds of eminent masters in this tradition—it is Choney Lama’s writings which have the best chance of bringing these great, world-saving ideas to the West.

 

Let’s look a bit at the events in his life which formed his thinking and his style of presentation.  We’ll use a number of sources; the most touching is a short autobiographical piece that he wrote in verse during the last year of his life.  This was at the age of 73, which was extremely old in Tibet of the 1700’s—and from the tone of it we feel that he is baring parts of his life and thinking that he never did before, knowing that the end of it may be near.[1]  Choney Lama’s present commentary to the Diamond Cutter, by the way, was written only a few years earlier, and thus we can say represents the culmination of his thinking.

 

In his final review of his time here, the Lama divides his life into three parts: his outer life; his inner life; and his mystical life.  We’ll begin, as he does, with the first.

 

 

His outer life

 

Choney Lama was born in the Amdo province in the northeastern part of Tibet, on the 8th day of the first month of 1675; this is considered an auspicious day of the month as the moon is just over halfway through its waxing.  His mother’s name was Kelsang Men, and his father was Sungkyab Bum.

 

He began to learn reading and writing from his father and others at the age of 7, although his parents would later say that he seemed to master these things without any help from anyone.  At 9 he was ordained by Trichen Gendun Drakpa, the abbot of Choney Gunchen Monastery.  Following the pattern set by sages like Je Tsongkapa centuries before, at the age of 21 he traveled to the capital city of Lhasa to deepen his studies at one of the “Great Three” monasteries.  He entered Sera that year, and began his studies under Tashi Pelsang.

 

As a monk at Sera would do even now, one of Choney Lama’s first tasks was to memorize the Ornament of Realizations of Lord Maitreya and Master Asanga; along with Master Chandrakirti’s Entering the Middle Way.  These two works would have given him a solid foundation in the teachings on emptiness presented by the two branches of the Middle-Way School; and it is said that for ten intense years he rarely slept a full night, steeping himself in Two Husbands Theory.

 

He entered the debate ground early and—again as any young monk would do now—devoted himself to what are known as the “Collected Topics of Logic and Perceptual Theory.”  In his autobiography he says of those years, “I studied the Topics and grasped them quickly; I think it must have been a seed from my past life”—and this seems the case with much of his life and writing to come.

 

From here he went on to the source of the Topics, which is Master Dharmakirti’s Commentary on Valid Perception.  From his excellent commentaries on them, and from his earlier biography, we know that he also mastered the subjects of Higher Knowledge (Abhidharma) and Vowed Morality (Vinaya); and thus completed the five traditional courses of study within the geshe (“master of Buddhism”) program.  He stood for his geshe examinations at the age of 30, debating with distinction before 20,000 monks assembled in Lhasa.

 

In the following year, 1706, he travelled to Tsang Province northwest of Lhasa, where he received his full ordination.  In those times, it was traditional for a monk to spend more years in his novitiate than now; probably a good custom that allowed people more time to consider making the final commitment.  He then entered Gyutu Tantric College, which is one of the two major monasteries of the tradition of Je Tsongkapa dedicated to the study and practice of the higher, secret teachings of Buddhism.

 

For those with an interest in the specific teachers and teachings that most influenced Choney Lama during his formative years, have a look at the extensive description towards the end of Ngawang Tashi’s biography.

 

Again following the pattern of many great teachers, Choney Lama headed back to his home province after completing his studies, in order to share what he had learned.  He caught the eye of the state preceptor of the province, Guoshi Nangso Yeshe, who was laboring to institute a philosophical college at Choney Monastery; they worked together and, when construction was completed in 1714, Choney Lama became its first head.  We also know from the colophons of several of his works that the Guoshi continued to support and encourage his work for years to come.

 

In 1721 Choney Lama resigned his position as head of the philosophical college and devoted himself to six or seven years of writing; this was certainly one of the most productive times of his literary career.  By 1727 though the Goushi had convinced him to return to formal administration and teaching; and in 1729 he went on to found yet another college, this one devoted to the study and practice of the secret teachings.

 

Choney Lama resigned once again around 1737, and spent the final decade of his life writing and teaching privately.  Even in his old age, this included frequent journeys to other parts of Tibet, where he was invited to teach.  He passed from this world in 1748.

 

 

His writings

 

Choney Lama’s writings span the entire subject matter of Buddhism; he had the courage and energy to delve deeply into all of its numerous major topics, each one almost a separate language onto itself.  At the great Mey College of Sera Monastery, his works are considered an entire companion series to the standard textbooks for the college composed by the eminent Kedrup Tenpa Dargye (1493-1568).

 

Oral tradition at Sera Mey says that Choney Lama’s collected works were considered so valuable that almost all copies were kept tightly in the monastery library.  This custom became a tragedy when—during the Cultural Revolution—the library was destroyed during a bombardment, and all these books burned.

 

The Asian Classics Input Project (ACIP) was able to locate an entire set of the Choney Lama’s collected works during our 14-year effort to catalog the massive Tibetan-language collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg; in keeping with the terms of the contract, we were able to scan and then input the entire 11 volumes and make them available without charge to the public.  ACIP director John Brady and staff member Jason Dunbar especially contributed to the success of the effort to recover all of Choney Lama’s writings.

 

A more expanded version in 14 volumes has since been published, and is found in the bibliography.  Both versions of the collected works end with a pair of volumes (numbered Aa and Aa-aa) which seem to have been carved later, as all the dated colophons here (15 of them) relate to the last five years of his life.  The earlier biography contains, at the end, an extensive listing of works completed up to that time, some still uncarved and a number of these it seems still absent from printings of his collected works.

 

The first thing to say about Choney Lama’s writings is that they provide a very solid and thorough philosophical background for anyone seeking to understand this exquisite wisdom tradition.  In order of the great books of the geshe course, he has first composed a massive analysis, in 800 pages, of the Ornament of Realizations, the classic presentation of the concepts of the Independent branch of the Middle-Way School.  If we add his overviews to the same work, as well as his commentary to four of the traditional supplemental topics, Choney Lama has written well over a thousand pages on this topic.

 

As for the higher half of this school—called the “Consequence” branch—he has composed, in six commentaries and analytical treatments, close to another 800 pages.  His textbook on Higher Knowledge (Abhidharma) runs over 400 pages; and his explications of Vowed Morality (Vinaya) more than 200.

 

The final geshe subject—Logic & Perceptual Theory (Pramana)—Choney Lama has covered in his own version of the Collected Topics, in 320 pages.  He has also contributed important works on the Mind-Only School and the “Steps to the Path” (lam-rim in Tibetan)—which can be considered two supplemental topics of the geshe studies.  Here too we can place his work on siddhanta, or the comparative study of religious systems.

 

But we can also say that much of Choney Lama’s mastery and uniquely helpful style derive from his interests beyond the “hard” philosophical subjects.  His collected works are a treasure trove of broad intellectual curiosity and spiritual exploration.  He tackles for example famous deep-practice topics such as The Offering to Lamas, by His Holiness the First Panchen Lama, Lobsang Chukyi Gyeltsen (1565-1662), and other practice texts centered on ones personal teacher; as well as the Miktsema Mantra cycle focused upon Je Tsongkapa.

 

In addition, we see work on the practice of deep retreat, and personal purification, as well as details of how to maintain an ethical way of life, particularly through the three types of vows.  An entire work is devoted to bodhichitta: cultivating a wish to see the entire world become a place of peace and happiness; and we see a work on the concept of spiritual shelter, the foundation of this aspiration.

 

In the secular realm, Choney Lama has written in detail on history; geography; psychology; poetics; grammar; linguistics; and calendrical calculation.  On life itself, he has advised us how to extend human lifetime, and then how to take the journey into the bardo—the world beyond it.

 

It is atypical for great lamas of the lineage of Je Tsongkapa to comment directly upon the earliest teachings of the Buddha, but here again Choney Lama is an exception.  We know that one of the first things he did when he arrived back home after his studies in central Tibet was to offer an oral recitation of the roughly 100,000 pages of the Kangyur: the direct teachings of Lord Buddha from some two thousand years before his time.

 

Inevitably, reading these teachings aloud to his followers must have piqued his interest in many of the works; in his commentary to the Diamond Cutter for example we see him moving freely through the ancient Indian sutras and commentaries for references, and he wrote explanations as well of the Mother Sutras; the Heart Sutra; the sutras on karma; and an important work of Arya Nagarjuna.

 

His biographer notes that Choney Lama studied both ancient Sanskrit and Mongolian; and he himself recommends frequent and deep explorations of the originals of the Buddha; the early Indian masters; and the “Father and his sons”—referring to the 25,000+ pages of brilliant commentary by Je Tsongkapa and his two major disciples, Gyaltsab Je Darma Rinchen (1364-1432) and Kedrup Je Gelek Pel Sangpo (1385-1438).

 

Choney Lama’s relationship to these ancient classics wasn’t just as a reader; like most great lamas, he committed many of them to memory.  His prowess as a memorizer was legendary, and even in his earliest years at Sera he was appointed the kyorpun of his class.  This is the class leader, whose duties include memorizing vast quantities of monastery textbooks and reciting them before the abbot each time the class reaches a new topic.

 

We see from his biography that he also memorized large sections of Je Tsongkapa’s Great Book on the Steps to the Path (Lam-rim Chenmo), as well as all of his Essence of Eloquence; the latter is responsible for Choney Lama’s mastery of the art of interpreting the interchange of ancient Buddhist schools, without which the differences can be mystifying.

 

The Lama’s proficiency in memorization is said to have been particularly important during his participation in the Winter Debates of Jang Monastery.  This was a chance, once a year, for the cream of the geshe candidates from the Great Three monasteries to face off against each other in a month of intermural debate—sort of the Olympics of Buddhist Philosophy which are still held today.  Here he was recognized, again, as preeminent.

 

Beyond his mastery of philosophy and secular studies, Choney Lama excelled in the higher, secret teachings of Buddhism.  Of more than 250 compositions in the various collections of his works, nearly 100 are devoted to these esoteric topics.  Working your way through one of his massive commentaries on the subject is extremely comforting, since again he makes unique efforts to organize the material in a logical way and to attack and resolve, proactively, questions and issues that are sure to come up in a student’s mind.  His treatment of the workings of the inner body is especially enlightening.

 

From his biographies, we learn that a large part of this mastery of the higher teachings began even in his childhood, when his parents and teachers introduced him to the secret cycles of divine beings like Tara; the White Parasol; Bhairava; Vairochana; and Amitayus.  At Sera this expanded to include Guhya Samaja; Medicine Buddha; Manjushri; and Sanvara.

 

It is said that a lot of the reason for Choney Lama’s many writings on these subjects is that he would compose new works as his students at the esoteric college that he founded in 1729 required them for their own studies.  It is also said that these and his other works were in such demand by students and instructors that many of them were carved almost immediately, spontaneously, so that everyone could get a copy.

 

Given that Choney Lama’s writings are one of the best points of access to this wisdom tradition for people in the modern world, our Diamond Cutter Classics Series of translations of ancient Asian literature—which is projected to include 108 works—is emphasizing a number of these masterpieces.  In addition to the present commentary to the Diamond Cutter, our team has also already begun translations of Choney Lama’s texts on the Heart Sutra; Higher Knowledge (Abhidharma); Comparative School Systems (Siddhanta); and Emptiness Meditation (lTa-khrid in Tibetan).

 

The final word on his massive literary output comes from Choney Lama himself: “I may not have been any great master, but it seems that in my past lives I made many prayers to share this wisdom with others—and this is why I was able to write so extensively.”  His biographer Ngawang Tashi puts it a little more bluntly: “He just worked harder than any other lama we ever saw.”

 

 

His inner life

 

In his brief autobiography, Choney Lama then moves on to describing his inner life.  He is brutally frank, knowing that this might be one of the last things he ever writes.  Here are some themes; on the emphasis of his private spiritual practice, he says:

 

It seems like a lot of people focus their private practice on trying to see divine beings, face to face.  I’ve always thought it was more important for me to focus on improving my capacity for love; feeling compassion for those in need; working for a pure and peaceful world; and understanding where reality itself is coming from.

 

Here is what he has to say about meditation:

 

You know, there are deep states of meditative concentration that often don’t have any particularly spiritual content—in scripture they are called “form realm meditations” and “formless realm meditations.”  I see a lot of people making efforts in these.  Myself, I always thought it would be better to try to master the Buddhist practice of taking shelter, where we seek to protect ourselves and others by understanding the Buddha, and emptiness.

 

About his goals, he says:

 

The world is actually a huge downward cycle: painful events triggering reactions in us that create the next painful event.  One of the goals in my life was to try to break this cycle.

 

As for his own personal spiritual progress over the course of a well-spent lifetime, he is quite open, with statements including:

 

Ever since I was a child, I have had moments of spontaneous and very sincere compassion for others.  Over my years of spiritual practice, I have made a very conscious effort to improve on this beautiful foundation.  And I can say that now my concern for others has become, truly, heartfelt and sincere.

 

I don’t know if I can honestly say that I’ve had that breakthrough moment of perceiving all beings in the universe directly, and loving them absolutely, and determining to work for them forever.  On the other hand, I have worked towards this; and I do realize that if I had not, my life would have been wasted.

 

My main practice has been to master emptiness; but to do so in a way where compassion is at the heart of the emptiness.  I can say truthfully that I have had a realization of the very core of this emptiness.

 

On how to reach this highest goal of seeing emptiness directly, he says:

 

The main difference between all the many different historical schools of Buddhism is how they view the concept of emptiness; and more precisely, what it is that emptiness is empty of: the idea of reality that we all have all the time, and which is completely mistaken.

 

How to fix the problem?  Acquaint yourself with what each school believes is absent, in emptiness.  Learn Nagarjuna.  Learn Chandrakirti.  Learn Tsongkapa, and learn his sons.  And be very sure that you understand how things can be completely empty, and still do what they do.

 

Which of course is something we covered very carefully above with The Pen, and the writing that comes out of it.  He says further:

 

The way to learn emptiness is to sit and think it out carefully.  There are a thousand different proofs of emptiness to be found in the scriptures.  For goodness’ sake, learn them!  They will set you free.

 

“And don’t forget,” he says, “that the platform from which you see emptiness is a daily meditation practice.  Learn all the different kinds of meditation, and ride them all the way up to the deepest parts of the secret teachings—the highest teachings of Buddhism.”

 

Reading through the different accounts of Choney Lama’s life—looking at them rather like a curriculum vitae for hiring an amazing person—other, unexpected, virtues seem to repeat themselves:

 

He was no stranger to controversy, or politics

One of the defining moments in Choney Lama’s life is the circumstances under which he stood for his geshe degree.  He was born into the reign of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, an impressive scholar who had also consolidated the center of power in the country, building for example the iconic Potala Palace.

 

Behind this figure though was Desi Sangye Gyatso, minister of state, who spearheaded much of this activity.  The Great Fifth passed away in 1682, and in one of the strangest stratagems of political history, this minister kept the fact hidden for a full 13 years, in part by using an actor to impersonate the deceased luminary.

 

Now geshes were often examined in public during the Great Prayer Festival in the capital, once a year; and Choney Lama had been scheduled to stand, it seems, for sort of a standard geshe degree called a kachupa, or “master of the ten books.”  On the eve of the debates, the ruse was revealed, which led to a storm of controversy.  After a brief power struggle, the minister was murdered—and the Festival cancelled.

 

What looked like a disaster for the young philosopher suddenly turned around.  Twenty thousand monks flooded into the capital, about five times more than for a normal Prayer Festival, and suddenly it was announced that anyone who thought they were qualified were welcome to stand for even the highest geshe degree—the hlarampa.

 

Choney Lama’s teacher at the time, Tsultrim Rinchen, grabbed him and told him to go for it!  But the young man was scared to death and, it seems, even ran away for a brief period.  But then his sense that he should obey his teacher—which we will see was one of the guiding lights of his personality—won out.

 

He did show up for the final debates, and was assigned to defend concepts from the second chapter of Master Dharmakirti’s classic on logic and perceptual theory.  Anyone who has had to debate this particular subject knows that it is one of the most difficult in all of Buddhism.  You can guess of course the end of the story: Choney Lama excelled, and finished the new Festival before one of the largest gatherings of monks in history with the highest geshe degree in hand.

 

One of the figures who helped cool this situation down was the extraordinary Jamyang Shepay Dorje (1648-1721) of Drepung Monastery, who deserves a place right up with Choney Lama in his mastery of all the subjects of the ancient wisdom tradition, and his ability to present them.  We even see in his biography that Choney Lama did some studies with him (the teacher is referred to there by his ordination name, Ngawang Tsundru).  In fact, Choney Lama’s earlier biographer identifies himself as Ngawang Tashi, and there is a good chance that this is the famous disciple of Jamyang Shepa known as “Ngawang Tashi of the Clan of Sey,” who lived 1678-1738.[2]

 

Back home in Choney Province, as we have seen, Choney Lama navigated successfully around powerful government figures such as the Goushi, forging cooperations that led to mutual success.  Like the administrator of any major educational institution around the world, in any historical period, he also had to make some difficult decisions—including, in Choney Lama’s case, a determination to make the curriculum at Choney Monastery one of the toughest in Tibet.  This led naturally to some controversy and resistance from his fellow monks, but again he proved himself adept at diplomacy, and won the day.

 

He had a strong work ethic

As we have seen from his biographer’s comment above, Choney Lama knew how to work, and work hard.  We see even from his childhood that he would sit and memorize prayers, all on his own, and then run out to do chores for his father—which included long stints herding the flocks in the mountains, or writing out letters and other documents in his father’s office.

 

His literary output speaks for itself; and we see a number of incidents in his later life where he literally has to run away and lock himself up in a little hut he had built, just to do his practice and write his books.  In one incident we see him hiding from well-meaning relatives who want to bring him food; and it is said in fact that one of the reasons he agreed to the Goushi’s directive to resume his post as abbot of the monastery was that he was literally starving in his hut, while trying to write more and more books.

 

He took responsibility

Anyone who’s tried to design and build and run a major educational institution like the one Choney Lama did—and he did it successfully, twice—can tell you that there are countless challenges and obstacles; we can say that he was, indeed, a person who took personal responsibility for his fellows, and for getting things done.

 

He was also human!

We get messages from his biographies that Choney Lama though was quite human, and that he knew it.  He comments that in the days when he was recognized as the best debater from Sera during the intermural contests, he had to struggle sometimes with a sense of pride.  On another occasion, we see him declining to engage in a debate with some critics, for fear that he won’t be able to maintain his equanimity.

 

One of the toughest jobs in a Tibetan monastery is known as kangtsen gergen, or “house master.”  This is sort of a glorified babysitter who has to watch over say 20 to 30 very young monks; keep them disciplined; see that they are well fed and dressed; and exhaust them with studies and memorizing, so they stay out of trouble.  At one point in his biography, Choney Lama admits to us that one of the reasons he returned to his home province was that he had heard he was about to be appointed a house master at Sera!

 

He was open to different viewpoints

From his biographies, we learn that Choney Lama grew up in a household that was open to different viewpoints.  His father, we discover, was actually not only a devout Buddhist but also a master of Bon: the ancient shamanic religion of Tibet.  And so as a child, our Lama was watching his father perform Bon divinations of the future (called naktsi in Tibetan) even as his mother was reciting traditional Gelukpa prayers to Tara.  At one point we see him, still a child, leafing through the famous Collected Songs of Milarepa—a saint of yet another Tibetan tradition, the Kagyu—and memorizing his favorite verses.

 

Choney Lama’s father also practiced the path of the Ancient Ones of Tibet: the Nyingma; and for any one seeker to devote themselves to all these different approaches is quite rare in Tibetan culture.  We can say in fact that Choney Lama himself would have later advised against the attempt, given his total grasp of Je Tsongkapa’s insights—but at the same time he would have stood strongly for mutual respect among different paths.

 

There is an interesting incident towards the end of his life, in fact, where Choney Lama is approached by some devoted followers of Bon who entreat him to write several treatises about their own beliefs—which by that time he no longer held.  He kindly agrees to the request, and several biographers note that, although he completed the task, these works were used privately but left uncarved, for fear of the controversy they might raise among fellow members of his monastery.

 

He was devoted to his teachers

The root of the Buddhist path, ever since the time of the Buddha, has always been the relationship between a fully qualified spiritual teacher, and their disciple.  Choney Lama’s devotion to this spiritual way is repeated constantly throughout the story of his life.  We’ve seen how his decision to follow his teacher’s advice at the Great Debate, despite his overwhelming fear of participating, set the tone for his entire life.

 

There is also a tender account in his biography where—on the way home to Choney—he comes to the village of a lama who had taught him briefly on his way to Lhasa more than a decade before.  By now, says Choney Lama, he realizes that what this teacher had shared with him was incomplete, or even incorrect.

 

But at the same time he recognizes that the guru relationship is paramount to spiritual progress; and he determines to help the aging lama in any way he can.  By this point in his travels Choney Lama is completely broke, but he actually pauses in the village for six months and loans himself out for shapten ceremonies (those lunches at the sponsor’s house that we mentioned at the beginning of this introduction), to raise a small bag of coins—which he gracefully offers to his onetime Teacher.  And then once more he hits the road for home.

 

He was very sensitive, and had a big capacity for love

One of the first subjects that Choney Lama ever studied, still as a teenager at home, was medicine; we read that he was apprenticed under the master physician Takri Gelong, and got pretty far along in his studies, learning to treat even advanced diseases with compassion and care.

 

This and other events in his life served to sharpen his feelings of empathy.  We often see that people who have special challenges as infants seem to gain a greater capacity for compassion.  During his earliest years, it is said, his father had gone on a business trip to the east and returned with a dangerous fever, which soon infected his mother.  She was also unable to nurse him, and only some special efforts by an aunt to acquire some mother’s milk saved his life.  It’s intriguing that—much later in his life—Choney Lama has a powerful dream that Tara, a Buddha in female form, is saving his life again, by granting him spiritual milk from her breast.

 

On the road to Lhasa, at a place called Nakchuka, he and his companions were again caught up in a serious epidemic, and several of the group immediately died.  Choney Lama paused, but only briefly—he decided that the best thing he could do for them would be to become the teacher that he eventually did.

 

Even in his later years he was a good son, and we witness a beautiful reunion with his parents upon his return to Choney in 1707.  What we find out later about his first resignation from the abbot’s post is that his mother had died in 1715, and then a dear cousin—Tendzin Sherab—a few years later, from smallpox.  This threw him into such grief that he retired to a hermitage for seven long years of prayer, reflection, and writing.  The first carvings of his works are said to have been a reaction by his students to this period, when they enjoyed only limited contact with him.

 

He knew what was important

One of the last things his biographer has to say about Choney Lama is that he really didn’t care for honors, or meeting famous people, or the like.  He knew what was important, which was educating himself in the path and then practicing what he had learned.

 

 

His mystical life                      

 

This brings us to the final chapter of the Lama’s story, which is his own description of his mystical life—his dreams and visions.  As he is being interviewed for his earlier biography, Choney Lama steadfastly refuses to reveal any of these details because—as he puts it—first of all he wishes to honor the tradition of avoiding any exaggeration of his own spiritual attainments.

 

Secondly, he says, he has noticed that every time he shares his special dreams or visions, even privately with close friends, they stop for months at a time!  But in his final days, in his final autobiographical poem, he breaks down and shares with us at last.

 

There are three visions described there which are especially important for us.  In Choney Lama’s own words,

 

The earliest dream I can remember came to me when I was but a very young boy; and it was repeated several times.  I am standing on the ground of this great earth and looking off towards the eastern sky.  From afar I see several figures flying towards me through the blue: they all look to be Buddhas.  They pause overhead, and then fly off straight to the West.  I still don’t know what this dream means.

 

And I would have another dream.  I am standing looking again to the eastern sky, and suddenly Gentle Voice—Manjushri, the embodiment of the wisdom of all the Buddhas—appears above, shining in russet gold.  He is so beautiful that my breath catches.  Again he is racing away towards the West, but I call up to him and ask him to pause—I am thinking that if he does, then I will have a chance to prostrate myself at his feet, if only for a few moments.  And then suddenly he turns, and dives down, and melts into my chest.  And I think to myself, “Oh yes; now I have received his blessing.”

 

In a third dream I see Nagarjuna, the realized one—the one who saw emptiness directly and wrote the greatest words on how to accomplish this feat.  His body is made of pure gold, shining like the sun, and he also is travelling through the sky, headed West.  He too pauses, and comes, and melts into me—and I awaken with pure joy.

 

If Buddhas really do live forever, and can see all future time; and if Choney Lama really did have a close connection to them, and to their greatest representatives; then it’s not beyond the stretch of the imagination to say that in these dreams he was seeing a message from the future: a future when the greatest works of one of the clearest writers of the ancient wisdom tradition of Asia would be translated, and fly to the West and the rest of the modern world, to help us make a perfect world, together.

 

 

Cutting diamonds

 

A final word.  Over the years since translations of the Diamond Cutter Sutra into modern languages first began to appear, some writers have referred to it simply as the “Diamond Sutra.”  This is a major error, for the true title has great meaning.

 

Interestingly, the only place that a diamond is mentioned in the entire sutra is in the title, which in the original Sanskrit is Vajra Chedika Sutra—where vajra means diamond, and chedika means cutter.  Both Choney Lama and Master Kamalashila (as well as Master Vasubandhu) undertake to explain both the diamond and the cutting, which is one indication of the metaphor’s importance.

 

In its highest interpretation, the diamond represents emptiness itself, for three reasons.  These relate to the ultimate experience, of seeing emptiness directly within a state of deep meditation; and this is the entire point of the teaching in the sutra itself: Lord Buddha desperately wants us to use the Diamond Cutter to learn to see emptiness directly.

 

Even if all we do is to understand emptiness well in an intellectual way (that is, if all we do is to understand The Pen), then according to the Buddha himself we can never again go to a bad place after we die.[3]  But if we go further and see emptiness directly, then—again according to the Buddha—we ourselves will become a Buddha, within the length of 7 lifetimes.[4]  Given that we have already spent billions upon billions of lifetimes in grand cycles of suffering, this is the best thing that could ever happen to us.

 

The power of emptiness to grant us these goals comes from the fact that it is a higher reality; and so we can see the universe in terms of two realities: the one that we experience now in our normal life, and the higher one that we see directly if we study this sutra and similar teachings, and put them into actual practice.

 

The direct perception of emptiness can only occur during a state of deep meditation, and the first time this happens it might continue for say twenty minutes.  During this time, our mind is communing directly with ultimate reality, and we cannot be aware of any object within this normal reality.

 

The karmic seeds necessary to project this experience onto the movie screen of our life are extremely rare and “expensive,” and so the experience itself necessarily “wears out” as the seeds do, quickly, within those twenty minutes.  And then there is a noticeable sensation of “descending” back to our normal reality.

 

When they do return to this normal reality, each and every person who ever directly sees ultimate reality—emptiness—has the same feeling: they search desperately among the objects of normal reality to find any one of them which can remind them of what they have seen, for they know that this will save them, and in time the entire world.

 

And what every person who sees emptiness directly finds is the diamond.  This is the one object in normal reality which is closest to ultimate reality; again, for three reasons.

 

First of all, there are almost no “ultimates” at all in our normal reality.  There is no object which is the longest of all objects, for we can always add another inch; and there is no time which is the shortest of all times, for we can always split that moment again.

 

The diamond though is a naturally-occurring ultimate: it is the hardest thing in the universe, four times harder than ruby or sapphire, which are the next hardest mineral.  Diamond in fact is the only naturally occurring thing which can cut a diamond.

 

Secondly, all diamonds are—chemically and structurally—totally equivalent to each other.  The smallest diamond on the tip of an oil-well drill, and the largest diamond in a ring on the hand of a Hollywood movie star, are exactly the same, in their substance.  Just so, every object in the universe has its own emptiness, and all these emptinesses are exactly the same as each other—no less, no more.

 

That is, for every real husband in a kitchen that has come from me yelling at the kids, there is a corresponding lack of a husband who did not come from me; and this is the emptiness of husbands.

 

Finally, all diamonds are totally clear.  If we could somehow construct a pure diamond wall between you and the page of this book you are reading right now, and there were no light reflecting off it at an angle, you would not be able to see the diamond wall at all.  Diamonds are that clear.

 

Emptiness is exactly the same.  Every object around us in this normal reality possesses its own emptiness, and we have been living surrounded by all these emptinesses for our entire life.  If we had been able to see just one of these thousands of emptinesses directly, for just 20 minutes, our entire being would have been transformed, forever.

 

And yet these emptinesses are invisible to the untrained eye; and as though we were surrounded by a diamond wall, we see right through them without seeing them.

 

So where does the cutting come in?  We’ve said that every person who sees emptiness directly comes immediately to the diamond as the closest representative of emptiness in our normal world.  But the fact is that the diamond is not even remotely close to emptiness: it is simply the closest thing we have here, to remember what we saw on that blessed day.

 

In this sense, the diamond is cut or outshone by what it stands for: compared to real emptiness, it is practically nothing—it is cut, it is smashed.  This is the true meaning of the title, and it is important beyond telling.

 

It is no coincidence then that the diamond appears throughout the ancient wisdom tradition of Asia in such important places.  First of all there is the Diamond Cutter Sutra.  Secondly there is the very name of the highest group of teachings in Buddhism, known collectively as the Vajrayana, or the Diamond Way.  And finally, the form that Lord Buddha took, when he granted these incomparable teachings, is that of Vajradhara: a divine being whose name is, literally, The One Who Holds the Diamond.

 

We pray then that this translation helps the wisdom of this diamond to fly to the West, and to the rest of the modern world—to help people understand The Pen; and how to plant their hopes with the 4 Steps; and how to reach happiness, forever, by seeing that the husband who disappointed them was simply never there.

 

 

Geshe Michael Roach

Rainbow House

Sedona, Arizona USA

March 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunlight on the Path to Freedom

A Commentary

to the Diamond Cutter Sutra

 

 

 

Sunlight on the Path to Freedom

A Commentary to the Diamond Cutter Sutra

 

 

[1]

[folio 1a]

*, ,RDOR GCOD KYI ‘GREL PA THAR PAR BGROD PA’I LAM BZANG ZAB DON GSAL BA’I NYI MA ZHES BYA BZHUGS SO,,

 

Herein contained is a commentary upon the Diamond Cutter Sutra entitled Sunlight to See the Profound, the Excellent Path to Travel to Freedom.

2 Leave a comment on block 2 0

[2]

[f. 1b]

NA MO MANYDZU GHO sh’A YA,

I bow down to Gentle Voice: Manjughosha.[5]

 

 

 

An offering of praise

3 Leave a comment on block 3 0

[3]

,RAB YANGS SGRIB BRAL CHOS SKU’I MKHA’ LA ‘PHAGS,

,STONG NYID ZAB MO’I ‘BRUG SGRA’I DPAL KYIS MDZES,

,GDUL BYA’I ZHING SAR DON GNYIS CHAR GYI RGYUN,

,’BEB MDZAD THUB DBANG CHU ‘DZIN DBANG POR ‘DUD,

I bow down to the Lord of the Able Ones, the king of sponge-like clouds,

Floating high in the great expanse of the sky, the reality body,[6] unobscured,

Stunning in the glory of his thunder, the sound of emptiness profound,

Sending down to fields of students a stream of rain—both of the goals.[7]

 

4 Leave a comment on block 4 0

[4]

,BRTAN PA’I ‘KHOR LO DGRA BCOM RNAM ROL KYIS,

,ZAB DON ‘DRI ZHING LAN KUN LDON LA MKHAS,

,NYON MONGS MED PA’I MCHOG TU LUNG BSTAN PA,

,’PHAGS PA RAB ‘BYOR ZHABS LA GUS PHYAG ‘TSAL,

I prostrate myself at the feet of Subhuti, a realized being who is

The Wheel of Solid Earth,[8]  a destroyer of the enemy[9] in disguise,

Masterful in posing the questions and replies on the profound,

Prophesied as the highest of those free of negative thoughts.

 

5 Leave a comment on block 5 0

[5]

,ZAB DON ‘GREL PAR RGYAL BAS LUNG BSTAN PA,

,KLU SGRUB ‘PHAGS PA LHA DANG ZLA BA GRAGS,

,BLO BZANG RGYAL BA GNYIS PA YAB SRAS SOGS,

,BSHES GNYEN RIM PAR BYON LA PHYAG ‘TSAL LO,

I make obeisance to the spiritual friends who one by one appeared

To clarify the deepest teaching, as foretold by the Victors:

Nagarjuna, and Aryadeva, and Chandrakirti too,

Lobsang the Victor[10] come again—father and sons—and the rest.

 

6 Leave a comment on block 6 0

[6]

` ,’DIR RDOR GCOD DU GRAGS PA SHER PHYIN SUM BRGYA PA’I ‘GREL PA JI LTAR ‘TSAM PA ZHIG DAD PAS BSHAD PAR BYA STE, ,GZHUNG ‘DIS NI BDAG MED KYI DON ‘CHAD PA GTZO BOR MDZAD CING ZLOS TE GSUNGS PA MANG BA DANG, ‘DI LA RGYA ‘GREL GCIG LAS BOD ‘GREL MI SNANG BAS JI BZHIN ‘CHAD DKA’ BAR SNANG NA’ANG RANG BLOS JI LTAR NUS PA BZHIN BSHAD PAR BYA’O,,

Here I will, with great feelings of faith, and in keeping with my own capacity, offer a commentary in explanation of the Perfection of Wisdom in 300 Lines,[11] more commonly known as The Diamond Cutter.

 

It would seem that this text is rather difficult to comment upon correctly, for a number of reasons.  First of all, the work is largely devoted to elucidating the meaning of the absence of a self-nature.  Moreover, Lord Buddha repeats himself quite a number of times during the teaching.  Finally, there appears to be but a single explanation of the work by the masters of ancient India,[12] and none by a Tibetan at all.  Nonetheless, I will undertake a commentary, to the best of my intellectual ability.

 

 

7 Leave a comment on block 7 0

[7]

’DI LA GSUM, SNGON ‘GRO ,DNGOS GZHI, MJUG GI RIM PA’O, ,DANG PO LA GSUM, MTSAN BSGYUR ZHING DON BSHAD PA, ‘GYUR GYI PHYAG ,GLENG GZHI’O, ,DANG PO NI,

 

We will proceed in three steps: the preliminaries, the actual body of the text, and the conclusion.  The first part here has three sections of its own: a translation of the title, along with an explanation of its significance; the translator’s obeisance; and setting the scene.  Here is the first.

 

 

The meaning of the title

 

10 Leave a comment on block 10 0

[K1]

Vajracchedikā nāma Triśatikā Prajñāpāramitā.[13]

 

11 Leave a comment on block 11 0

[folio 215a]

RGYA GAR SKAD DU, A’ARYA BADZRA TZTSE DA KA N’A MA PRA DZNY’A P’A RA MI T’A MA H’A Y’A NA S’U TRA,

 

BOD SKAD DU, ‘PHAGS PA SHES RAB KYI PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA RDO RJE GCOD PA ZHES BYA BA THEG PA CHEN PO’I MDO,

 

In the language of India, this teaching is called Arya Vajrachedika Nama Prajna Paramita Mahayana Sutra.

 

In the language of Tibet, this is Pakpa Sherab Kyi Parol Tu Chinpa Dorje Chupa Shejawa Tekpa Chenpoy Do.

 

In the English language, it is An Exalted Sutra of the Greater Way entitled “The Diamond Cutter”: A Teaching on the Perfection of Wisdom.[14]

 

 

12 Leave a comment on block 12 0

[9]

RGYA GAR SKAD DU, A’ARYA BADZRA ZHES SOGS TE, DE BOD SKAD DU BSGYUR NA, A’ARYA NI ‘PHAGS PA [f. 2a], BADZRA NI RDO RJE, TZTSE DA KA NI GCOD PA, PRADZNY’A NI SHES RAB, P’A RA NI PHA ROL TU, AI TA NI PHYIN PA, N’A MA NI ZHES BYA BA, MA H’A NI CHEN PO, ,Y’A NA NI THEG PA, S’U TRA NI MDO ZHES PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

The root text here begins with “In the language of India,[15] this text is called the Arya Vajra…”  Arya means exalted, and vajra means diamond.  Chedaka is cutter, and prajna is wisdom.  Para means to the other side, while ita means gone, [and the two together mean perfection].  Nama is for entitled.  Maha stands for greater, while yana means way.  Sutra refers to an open teaching given by an enlightened being.

 

 

13 Leave a comment on block 13 0

[10]

’DIR P’A RA MI TA ZHES ‘BYUNG BA NI, P’A RA DANG AI TA’I BAR DU RNAM DBYE GNYIS PA’I AAM BYIN NAS AAm BYAS TE MA AI LA BYIN NAS MTSAMS SBYAR BAS MI TAR SONG BA’O,,

 

How do we get this word paramita?  The ending -am is required between the words para and ita, to represent the second grammar case.[16]  In combination the a of the am drops out, and the resulting m is attached to the ita, which gives us mita.

 

14 Leave a comment on block 14 0

[11]

’DI’I MTSAN DON BSHAD PA NI, BRGYA BYIN KYI LAG GI RDO RJE DE PHYI’I DNGOS PO GZHAN GYIS GZHIG PAR MI NUS SHING, DE’I RI BRAG SOGS KYI DNGOS PO GANG LA BSNUN KYANG THAL BAR BYED NAS BLTAR, GZHUNG ‘DI’I BRJOD BYA DON GYI SHEL {%SHER} PHYIN STONG NYID RTOGS PA’I YE SHES DE LA MI MTHUN PHYOGS KYIS MI TSUGS SHING, DES NYON MONGS PA DANG SDUG BSNGAL THAMS CAD RTZAD NAS GCOD PA’I DON NO,,

Here is the significance of the name.  The worldly god named “Destruction of the Thousand”[17] wields a diamond bolt, which no physical object in the entire world can ever break.  A mere touch of this bolt though can reduce mountains of stone and other such things to dust.  The subject of this work is the actual perfection of wisdom; that is, the wisdom with which one perceives emptiness.  The point of the title is that the antithesis of this wisdom can never affect it in the least; and that the wisdom, on the other hand, cuts from its root anything to do with negative emotions, along with each and every form of suffering in the world.

 

 

The translator bows

 

16 Leave a comment on block 16 0

[K2]

SANGS RGYAS DANG BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ THAMS CAD LA PHYAG ‘TSAL LO,,

 

I bow down to all Buddhas and bodhisattvas.

 

 

17 Leave a comment on block 17 0

[13]

GNYIS PA ‘GYUR PHYAG GI DON NI SLA‘O,,

The import of the second point, the translator’s obeisance, is self-evident.[18]

 

 

Setting the scene

 

19 Leave a comment on block 19 0

[K3-K5]

(1) [p. 19] Evaṃ mayā śrutam.[19]  Ekasmin samaye BhagavānŚrāvastyāṃ viharati sma Jetavane’nāthapiṇḍadasyārāme mahatā bhikṣusaṃghena sārthaṃ trayodaśabhirbhikṣuśataiḥ saṃbahulaiśca bodhisattvairmahāsattvaiḥ.

 

‘DI SKAD BDAG GIS THOS PA DUS GCIG NA, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS MNYAN DU YOD PA NA RGYAL BU RGYAL BYED KYI TSAL MGON MED ZAS SBYIN GYI KUN DGA’ RA BA NA DGE SLONG STONG NYIS BRGYA LNGA BCU’I DGE SLONG GI DGE ‘DUN CHEN PO DANG, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO RAB TU MANG PO DANG THABS GCIG TU BZHUGS TE,

 

These words once I heard.  The Conqueror was residing at Shravasti, in the park of Anatha Pindada in the gardens of Prince Jeta.  In convocation with him was a great gathering of 1,250 monks who were listeners, as well as an immense number of bodhisattvas who were great beings.[20]

 

 

20 Leave a comment on block 20 0

[15]

GSUM PA GLING {%GLENG} BZHI’I, {%GZHI’I no comma} GZHUNG ‘DI SMAD CES SDUD PA PO BDAG GIS THOS PA NI DUS GCIG GI TSE NA, ,BCOM LDAN ‘DAS MNYAN YOD NA RGYAL BU RGYAL BYED KYI TSAL MGON MED ZAS SBYIN GYI KUN DGA’ RA BA NA, DGE SLONG GI DGE ‘DUN CHEN PO NYAN THOS STONG NYIS BRGYA LNGA BCU DANG, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ RAB TU MANG PO DAG DANG THABS GCIG STE LHAN CIG TU BZHUGS SO,,

Third comes the third preliminary, where the scene is set.  The speaker is the person who compiled the words of this text, who says “I heard” the following.  “Once,” meaning at a certain time, the Conqueror was residing at Shravasti, in the park of Anatha Pindada at the gardens of Prince Jetavan.[21]  In convocation with him—that is, together with him—was a great gathering of 1,250 monks who were listeners,[22] as well as an immense number of bodhisattvas who were great beings.[23]

 

21 Leave a comment on block 21 0

[16]

DE YANG RGYA GAR NA MNYAN YOD SOGS GRONG KHYER CHEN PO DRUG YOD PA LAS, MNYAN YOD ‘DI RGYAL PO GSAL RGYAL GYI MNGA’ ‘OG TU GTOGS SHING, DER RGYAL PU RGYAL BYED CES BYA BA’I SKYED MO’I TSAL PHUN SUM TSOGS PAS GZHI BZANG BA YOD DO,

In India there were six great cities,[24] including the one known as “Shravasti.”  This particular city was located in the domain of King Prasena Jita, and contained a particularly excellent site—the exquisite gardens of one known as Prince Jetavan.

22 Leave a comment on block 22 0

[17]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS SANGS RGYAS NAS LO CHA SHAS SONG BA’I [f. 2b] SKABS ZHIG NA KHYIM BDAG MGON MED ZAS SBYIN ZHES BYA BAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS ‘KHOR BCAS RGYUN DU BZHUGS PA’I GNAS GTZUG LAG KHANG CHEN PO BZANG BA ZHIG ‘DEBS PAR ‘DOD NAS, RGYAL BU RGYAL BYED LA TSAL DE GANG BA’I GSER SRANG STONG PHRAG DU MA BYIN NAS RGYAL BYED KYI TSAL DE NYOS SO,,

There came a time, several years after the Conqueror[25] attained his enlightenment, when a certain householder by the name of Anatha Pindada resolved that he would construct a large, wondrous temple where Lord Buddha and his retinue could reside on a regular basis.  To this end he approached Prince Jetavan and purchased his gardens by paying him many thousands of gold coins, enough in fact to fill the gardens themselves.

23 Leave a comment on block 23 0

[18]

RGYAL BYED KYIS KYANG SGO KHANG PHYOGS NAS SA DUM BU ZHIG BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA PHUL TE, TSAL DER MGON MED ZAS SBYIN GYIS SH’A RI’I BU LA BRTEN NAS LHA MI’I BZO ‘OS KUN DGA’ RA BA KHYAD PAR DU ‘PHAGS PA ZHIG BZHENGS TE ZIN PA NA BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RGYAL BYED KYI BSAM PA MKHYEN NAS, GTZUG LAG KHANG GI MING YANG DE BSTUN GYIS BTAGS SO,,

Jetavan as well offered to the Conqueror a parcel of land that had been part of the quarters for the caretakers of the property.  In these gardens Anatha Pindada, availing himself of the abilities of Shariputra,[26] directed artisans from the lands of both gods and men to construct an extraordinary park.  When the park was completed, the Conqueror, perceiving that Jetavan wished it, named the main temple after him.

 

 

24 Leave a comment on block 24 0

[19]

MGON MED ZAS SBYIN ‘DIS CHU NANG DANG SA ‘OG NA YOD PA’I RIN PO CHE’I GTER RNAMS MTHONG ZHING RANG DGAR BLANGS NAS LONGS SPYOD NUS PA STON PA’I SBYIN BDAG GI CHED DU BSAM PA BZHIN DU SKYE BA BZUNG BA’I SKYES CHEN DAM PA ZHIG GO,,

Anatha Pindada, by the way, was a great being who had purposely taken a birth as someone who could act as the Teacher’s sponsor.  He had the power to see deposits of precious gems and metals deep underwater or below the earth itself, and could utilize these riches whenever he wished.

 

26 Leave a comment on block 26 0

[K6-K8]

Atha khalu Bhagavānpūrvāhṇakālasamaye nivāsya pātracīvaramādāya Śrāvastīṃ mahānagarīṃ piṇḍāya prāvikṣat.  Atha khalu BhagavānŚrāvastīṃ mahānagarīṃ piṇḍāya caritvā kṛtabhaktakṛtyaḥ paścādbhaktapiṇḍapātapratikrāntaḥ pātracīvaraṃ pratiśāmya pādau prakṣālya nyaṣīdatprajñapta evāsane paryaṅkamābhujya ṛjuṃ kāyaṃ praṇidhāya pratimukhīṃ smṛtimupasthāpya.

 

DE NAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS SNGA DRO’I DUS KYI TSE SHAM THABS DANG CHOS GOS SKU LA GSOL TE LHUNG BZED [f. 215b] BSNAMS NAS MNYAN YOD KYI GRONG KHYER CHEN POR BSOD SNYOMS KYI PHYIR ZHUGS SO, ,DE NAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS MNYAN YOD KYI GRONG KHYER CHEN POR BSOD SNYOMS KYI PHYIR GSHEGS NAS BSOD SNYOMS KYI ZHAL ZAS MJUG TU GSOL TE ZAS KYI BYA BA MDZAD NAS ZAS PHYI MA’I BSOD SNYOMS SPANGS PAS, LHUNG BZED DANG CHOS GOS BZHAG NAS ZHABS BSIL TE GDAN BSHAMS PA LA SKYIL MO KRUNG BCAS NAS SKU DRANG POR BSRANG STE DRAN PA MNGON DU BZHAG NAS BZHUGS SO,,

 

In the morning then the Conqueror donned his monk’s robes and outer shawl, took up his sage’s bowl, and entered the great city of Shravasti for requesting his meal.  After collecting the food, he returned from the city and partook of it.  When he had finished eating he put away his bowl and shawl, for he was a person who had given up eating in the latter part of the day.  Lord Buddha then washed his feet and seated himself on a cushion that had been set forth for him.  He crossed his legs in the full lotus position, straightened his back, and placed his thoughts into a state of contemplation.

 

 

27 Leave a comment on block 27 0

[21]

DE NAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS GDUL BYA’I DON DU SNGA DRO’I DUS SU CHOS GOS RNAM GSUM SKU LA GSOL ZHING LHUNG BZED BSNAMS NAS MNYAN YOD KYI GRONG KHYER CHEN POR BSOD SNYOMS KYI PHYIR TE CHED DU GSHEGS SO, ,BSOD SNYOMS BLANGS TE MJUG TU SLAR BYON NAS ZHAL ZAS GSOL BA’I BYA BA MDZAD DO, ,ZAS PHYI MA PHYI DRO’I BSOD SNYOMS ZA BA SPANGS NAS, LHUNG BZED SOGS BZHAG NAS ZHABS BKRUS SHING BSIL TE, GDAN BSHAMS PA NYID LA DKYIL MO KRUNG BCAS NAS SKU DRANG POR SRANG STE, GZHUNG ‘DI STON PAR ‘GYUR BA MKHYEN PA’I DRAN PA MNGON DU BZHAG NAS BZHUGS SO,

In the morning then, for his disciples’ benefit, the Conqueror donned his monk’s robes and outer shawl, took up his sage’s bowl, and entered the great city of Shravasti for requesting his meal.  When he had collected the food, he returned from the city and then partook of it.  When he had finished eating he put away his bowl and shawl, for he was a person who had given up the later meal.  He washed his feet and then seated himself on a cushion that had been set forth for him.  He crossed his legs in the full lotus position, straightened his back, and placed his thoughts into a state of contemplation.

 

28 Leave a comment on block 28 0

[22]

,BCOM LDAN ‘DAS BSOD SNYOMS LA ‘BYON PA NI, RANG NYID BSOD SNYOMS [f. 3a] KYI ZAS ZA DGOS PA’I CHED MIN GYI, GDUL BYA LA TSOGS GSOG PA DANG CHOS STON PA SOGS KYI CHED DU’O,,

 

We should speak a bit here about the fact that the Conqueror went to request food.  As far as the Buddha is concerned, there is no need at all to go and ask for his meal.  Rather, he does so only so that his disciples will have an opportunity to collect masses of good karma, or else in order to give instruction in the Dharma, or for some similar reason.

 

 

29 Leave a comment on block 29 0

[23]

SANGS RGYAS LA NI BKRES SKOM ‘BYUNG MI SRID PAR GSER ‘OD LAS BSHAD CING, GSOL DGOS NA’ANG RANG NYID NAM MKHA’ MDZOD KYI YE SHES LA DBANG BSGYUR BAS YO BYAD KYIS PHONGS PA MI SRID LA, SA RDO SOGS GSER DNGUL RIN PO CHER BSGYUR NUS SHING,

The Sutra of Golden Light explains how it is completely impossible for a Buddha to suffer hunger or thirst. [27]  And even if they did need to eat or drink something, it is a complete impossibility that the Buddhas would ever find themselves without sufficient supplies; they could take care of themselves perfectly well, for they have gained total mastery over what we call the “knowledge of the store of space.”[28]  They have as well the ability, should they so desire, to turn dirt or stones or other things of the like into gold, or silver, or precious jewels.

 

 

30 Leave a comment on block 30 0

[24]

DE DAG DANG ZAS DMAN PA DAG KYANG RO BRGYA LDAN PA’I ZAS SU BSGYUR BA DANG, ZAS NGAN PA CI ‘DRA BA ZHIG YIN KYANG SANGS RGYAS KYI ZHAL DU BZHES PA NA RO PHUN SUM TSOGS PA GZHAN PHYIS MYONG BAR MI ‘GYUR BA LTA BU’I ZAS SU ‘GYUR TE, MNGON RTOGS RGYAN LAS, ‘DI LA RO MI ZHIM PA RO MCHOG SNANG, ,ZHES GSUNGS PA’I DON YANG DE’O,,

Furthermore Buddhas have the power to transform such objects, and also inferior kinds of food, into feasts of a thousand delectable flavors.  No matter how poor some meal might be, it turns to a matchless, savory banquet as soon as a Buddha touches it to his or her lips—delicious in a way that no other kind of being could ever in his life experience.  The Jewel of Realizations is making this same point when it says “To them, even a terrible taste turns delicious to the supreme.”[29]

 

 

31 Leave a comment on block 31 0

[25]

SNGON STON PAS ZLA BA GSUM DU RTA CHAS KYI NAS GSOL DGOS PA’I TSUL BSTAN PA’I TSE, KUN DGA’ BO’I BSAM PA LA STON PA RGYAL PO’I RIGS SU SKYES KYANG, DA LTA RTA CHOS GSOL BA’I DUS ‘BYUNG NGO SNYAM DU YID SKYO BA’I TSE, STON PAS ZHAL NAS NAS KYI ‘BRU GCIG BYUNG STE ‘DI ZO ZHIG CES GSUNGS NAS BYIN PAS KUN DGA’ BOS ZOS PA NA TSIM STE, DE NAS NYIN ZHAG BDUN DU ZAS ZA DGOS PA’I ‘DU SHES MA SKYES PAS NGO MTSAR DU GYUR PA BZHIN NO,,

There was a time before when, for three months, the Teacher pretended to be so destitute that he was forced to eat the barley that we usually use for horse fodder.  His disciple Ananda was depressed by the sight, thinking to himself, “Now the day has come that the Teacher, who was born into royalty, is reduced to eating horse fodder.”  The Teacher then took a single piece of the grain from his mouth, handed it to Ananda, and instructed him to eat it.  The disciple complied, and was filled; in fact, for an entire week thereafter he felt no urge to eat anything at all, and was overcome with amazement.  This incident applies here too.[30]

 

32 Leave a comment on block 32 0

[26]

GSER ‘OD LAS STON PAS BSOD SNYOMS LEN PAR MDZAD CING GSOL BA LTAR SNANG YANG DON LA GSOL BA MED CING, BSHANG GCI YANG LEN {%MED} PAR BSHAD LA, GSANG BA BSAM GYIS MI PHYAB {%KHYAB} PA’I MDO LAS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA’I SKU NI GSER GYI GAR BU LTA BU STE, SKU LA KHONG STONG DANG PHO PA KHOR {%LONG} KA RGYU MA [f. 3b] SOGS KYANG MED PAR BSHAD DE DON LA GNAS SO,,

The Golden Light relates how—despite the fact that the Teacher appeared to have to go for requesting his meal, and seemed as well to eat it—in truth he did not eat, and had no feces or urine either.[31]  The Sutra of the Inconceivable explains as well that the holy body of the Ones Thus Gone[32] are like a lump of solid gold: there is no cavity inside, and no organs like the stomach, nor large or small intestines.[33]  This is actually the way it is.

 

The disciples assemble

 

34 Leave a comment on block 34 0

[K9]

Atha khalu saṃbahulā bhikṣavo yena Bhagavāṃstenopasaṃkrāman upasaṃkramya Bhagavataḥ pādau śirobhirabhivandya Bhagavantaṃ triṣpradakṣiṇīkṛtya ekānte nyaṣīdan.  (2) Tena khalu punaḥ samayenāyuṣmān Subhutistasyāmeva parṣadi saṃnipatito’bhūtsaṃniṣaṇṇaḥ.  

 

DE NAS DGE SLONG MANG PO BCOM LDAN ‘DAS GA LA BA DER DONG STE LHAGS NAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYI ZHABS LA MGO BOS PHYAG ‘TSAL TE BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA LAN GSUM BSKOR BA BYAS NAS PHYOGS GCIG TU ‘KHOD DO, ,YANG DE’I TSE TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR ‘KHOR DE NYID DU ‘DUS PAR GYUR TE ‘DUG GO ,

 

Then a great number of monks advanced towards the Conqueror and, when they had reached his side, bowed and touched their heads to his feet.  They circled him in respect three times, and seated themselves to one side.  At this point the junior monk Subhuti was with this same group of disciples, and took his seat with them.

 

 

35 Leave a comment on block 35 0

[28]

DE NAS DGE SLONG MANG PO YANG BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYI DRUNG DU LHA GRAS {%LHAGS} PA STE PHYIN NAS LAN GSUM BSKOR BA BYAS NAS PHYOGS GCIG STE LHAN CIG TU ‘KHOD DO, ,DER MA ZAD, DE’I TSE GNAS BRTAN RAB ‘BYOR YANG ‘KHOR DE NYID DU ‘DUS NAS ‘DUG GO ,

The root text is saying that, then, a great number of monks too advanced to the side of (which is to say approached) the Conqueror.  Then they circled him in respect three times, and seated themselves to “one side”; that is, they sat down all together.  Not only that, but at this point the respected elder[34] named Subhuti was with this same group of disciples, and took his seat with them.

 

36 Leave a comment on block 36 0

[29]

` ,GNYIS PA DNGOS GZHI GZHUNG DON BSHAD PA LA GNYIS, THOG MAR ZHUS TSUL DANG, DE’I LAN RNAMS RIM PAR BSHAD PA’O, ,DANG PO NI,

We now begin the second step in our commentary to the sutra, which is an explanation of the actual body of the text.  This itself comes in two parts: a description of how the teaching was initially requested, and then an explanation of the series of answers that followed.  Here is the first of these.

 

 

 

Subhuti’s Question

 

38 Leave a comment on block 38 0

[K10]

Atha khalvāyuṣmān Subhūtirutthāyāsanādekāṃsamuttarāsaṅgaṃ kṛtvā dakṣiṇaṃ jānumaṇḍalaṃ pṛthivyāṃ pratiṣṭhāpya yena [p. 20] Bhagavāṃstenāñjaliṃ praṇamya Bhagavantametadavocat.

 

DE NAS TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR STAN LAS LANGS TE BLA GOS PHRAG PA GCIG TU GZAR NAS PUS MO G-YAS PA’I LHA NGA SA LA BTZUGS TE BCOM LDAN ‘DAS GA LA BA DE LOGS SU THAL MO SBYAR BA BTUD DE BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA ‘DI SKAD CES GSOL TO,,

 

Then the junior monk Subhuti rose from his cushion, dropped the corner of his upper robe from one shoulder in a gesture of respect, and knelt with his right knee to the ground.  He faced the Conqueror, joined his palms at his heart, and bowed.  Then he beseeched the Conqueror, in the following words:

 

 

39 Leave a comment on block 39 0

[31]

DE NAS TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR RANG GI ‘DUG PA’I STAN LAS LANGS TE, BLA GOS TE STOD GOS PHRAG PA G-YON PA’I PHYOGS GCIG TU GZAR NAS, RKANG PA G-YON PA’I MTHIL DANG, G-YAS PA’I PUS MO’I LHA NGAS {%NGA SA} LA BTZUGS TE BCOM LDAN ‘DAS PHYOGS GA LA BA DER THAL MO SBYAR BA BTUD NAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA ‘DI SKAD CES GSOL TO,,

And then the junior monk Subhuti rose from his cushion, and dropped the corner of his upper robe—his higher robe—from one shoulder in a gesture of respect, and knelt with his right knee to the ground.  He faced the Conqueror, joined his palms at his heart, and bowed.  Then he beseeched the Conqueror, in the following words:

 

 

41 Leave a comment on block 41 0

[K11]

Āścaryaṃ Bhagavan, paramāścaryaṃ Sugata yāvadeva Tathāgatenārhatā Samyaksaṃbuddhena bodhisattvā mahāsattvā anuparigṛhītāḥ parameṇānugraheṇa.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS KYIS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO RNAMS LA PHAN GDAGS PA’I DAM PA JI SNYED PAS PHAN BTAGS PA DANG,

 

O Conqueror, the Buddha, the One Gone Thus, the Destroyer of the Foe, the Totally Enlightened One has given much beneficial instruction to the bodhisattvas who are great beings.  All the instruction he has ever given has been of benefit.

 

 

Āścaryaṃ Bhagavan yāvadeva Tathāgatenārhatā Samyaksaṃbuddhena bodhisattvā mahāsattvāḥ parīnditāḥ paramayā parīndanayā.

 

DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I [f. 216a] SANGS RGYAS KYIS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO RNAMS YONGS SU GTAD PA’I DAM PA JI SNYED PAS YONGS SU GTAD PA NI, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, NGO MTSAR LAGS SO, ,BDE BAR GSHEGS PA, NGO MTSAR LAGS SO,,

 

And the One Gone Thus, the Destroyer of the Foe, the Totally Enlightened One, has as well instructed these bodhisattvas who are great beings by granting them clear direction.  All the clear direction he has ever granted, o Conqueror, has been a wondrous thing.  It is, o Conqueror, a wondrous thing.

 

 

42 Leave a comment on block 42 0

[33]

DE NAS TSIG SNA BSDUS TE BRJOD NA, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KHYOD KYIS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO RNAMS LA CHOS KYI SGO NAS ‘DI PHYI RNAMS LA PHAN GDAGS PA’I DAM PA MCHOG JI SNYED PA CIG MDZAD NAS PHAN GDAGS PA DANG, YANG BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ RNAMS LA GNAS DANG CHOS DANG BKAR GDAGS PA’I YONGS SU GTAD PA RNAM PA GSUM GYI DAM PA JI SNYED PAS YONGS SU GTAD PAR MDZAD NA, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS NGO MTSAR CHE SOGS ZHES GSOL TO,,

To put it simply, Subhuti beseeches the Buddha by saying: O Conqueror, you have given much instruction to the bodhisattvas who are great beings; and in a spiritual sense it has been of the highest benefit, the ultimate help, for both their present and future lives.  Whatever instruction you have ever given, all of it has been of this same benefit.  You have as well instructed these bodhisattvas by granting them three kinds of clear direction.  You have directed them towards the source, and towards the dharma, and towards the commands.  Subhuti then tells the Conqueror how wondrous this is, and so on.

 

43 Leave a comment on block 43 0

[34]

DE LA GNAS NI DGE BA’I BSHES GNYEN LA GTAD PA DANG, CHOS NI DES PHAN ‘DOGS BYED DU BCUG PA DANG, BKAR BTAGS PA NI BYANG SEMS KHYED RNAMS KYIS SEMS CAN LA PHAN GDAGS PAR BYA’O ZHES GTAD PA STE SLOB DPON K’A MA SH’I’I DGONGS PA’O,,

In Master Kamalashila’s thinking here the word “source” would refer to directing a disciple to a spiritual guide.  The word “dharma” would signify how this guide leads his disciple to engage in what is beneficial.  And the “commands” would describe the Buddha’s directions: “You, my bodhisattva, must act to help all living beings.”[35]

 

 

45 Leave a comment on block 45 0

[K12a]

Tatkathaṃ Bhagavanbodhisattvayānasaṃprasthitena kulaputreṇa vā kuladuhitrā vā sthātavyaṃ kathaṃ pratipattavyaṃ kathaṃ cittaṃ pragrahītavyam.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I THEG PA LA YANG DAG PAR ZHUGS PAS JI LTAR GNAS PAR BGYI, JI LTAR BSGRUB PAR BGYI, JI LTAR SEMS RAB TU GZUNG BAR BGYI,

 

And now, o Conquering One, what of those who have entered well into the way of the bodhisattva?  How shall they live?  How shall they practice?  How should they keep their thoughts?

 

 

46 Leave a comment on block 46 0

[36]

ZHUS TSUL DNGOS NI [f. 4a] BCOM LDAN ‘DAS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I THEG PA LA YANG DAG PAR ZHUGS PAS JI LTAR GNAS PAR BGYI, JI LTAR BSGRUB PAR BGYI, JI LTAR SEMS RAB TU GZUNG BAR BGYI ZHES DON TSAN GSUM ZHUS SO, ,GNYIS PA LAN LA,

This brings us to the actual way in which the sutra was requested.  Subhuti asks the Conqueror, “What of those who have entered well into the way of the bodhisattva?”  He phrases his question in three different sections: “How shall they live?  How shall they practice?  How should they keep their thoughts?”  Here secondly we explain the Buddha’s reply.

 

48 Leave a comment on block 48 0

[K12b-13]

Evamukte Bhagavānāyuṣmantaṃ Subhūtimetadavocat

 

DE SKAD CES GSOL PA DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR LA ‘DI SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL TO,,

 

This did Subhuti ask, and then the Conqueror spoke the following words, in reply to Subhuti’s question:

 

 

sādhu sādhu Subhūte evametatSubhūte evametadyathā vadasi.  AnuparigṛhītāsTathāgatena bodhisattvā mahāsattvāḥ parameṇānugraheṇa parīnditāsTathāgatena bodhisattvā mahāsattvāḥ paramayā parīndanayā.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, LEGS SO, ,LEGS SO, ,RAB ‘BYOR, DE DE BZHIN NO, ,DE DE BZHIN TE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO RNAMS LA PHAN GDAGS PA’I DAM PAS PHAN BTAGS SO, ,DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO RNAMS LA YONGS SU GTAD PA’I DAM PAS YONGS SU GTAD DO,,

 

O Subhuti, it is good, it is good.  O Subhuti, thus it is, and thus is it: the One Thus Gone has indeed done benefit to the bodhisattvas who are great beings, by granting them beneficial instruction.  The One Thus Gone has indeed given clear direction to the bodhisattvas who are great beings, by granting them the clearest of instruction.

 

 

49 Leave a comment on block 49 0

[38]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS RAB ‘BYOR GYIS DE LTAR ZHUS PA LA THUGS DGYES NAS LEGS SO DANG DE YIN PA’I BDEN KHA GNAS STE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ RNAMS LA PHAN GDAGS PA DANG, YONGS SU GTAD PAR ZHAL GYIS BZHES SO,,

The Conqueror is greatly pleased by the request that Subhuti submits to him, and so he says “It is good.”  Then he provides his affirmation of the truth of what Subhuti has spoken, by assenting that the One Thus Gone has indeed done benefit to the bodhisattvas who are great beings, and has indeed given them clear direction.

 

51 Leave a comment on block 51 0

[K14]

Tena hi Subhūte śṛṇu sādhu ca suṣṭhu ca manasi kuru.  Bhāṣiṣye’haṃ teyathā bodhisattvayānasaṃprasthitena sthātavyaṃ yathā pratipattavyaṃ yathā cittaṃ pragrahītavyam.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DE’I PHYIR NYON LA LEGS PAR RAB TU YID LA ZUNGS SHIG DANG, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I THEG PA LA YANG DAG PAR ZHUGS PAS JI LTAR GNAS PAR BYA BA DANG, JI LTAR BSGRUB PAR BYA BA DANG, JI LTAR SEMS RAB DU GZUNG BAR BYA BA NGAS KHYOD LA BSHAD DO,,

 

And since it is so, o Subhuti, listen now to what I speak, and be sure that it stays firmly in your heart, for I shall reveal to you how it is that those who have entered well into the way of the bodhisattva should live, and how they should practice, and how they should keep their thoughts.

 

 

52 Leave a comment on block 52 0

[40]

RGYU MTSAN DE’I PHYIR NA, LEGS PAR NYON LA LEGS PAR YID LA MI BRJED PAR ZUNGS SHIG CES DANG, GONG DU ZHUS PA’I JI LTAR GNAS PAR BYA BA SOGS GSUM KHYOD LA BSHAD PAR BYA’O ZHES GSUNGS,

“And since this reason is so,” continues the Buddha, “listen well now to what I speak, and be sure that it stays firmly, without ever being forgotten.  For I shall reveal to you the answer to those three questions about how these beings should live, and so on.”

 

54 Leave a comment on block 54 0

[K15-K16a]

Evaṃ Bhagavan ityāyuṣyān Subhūtirbhagavataḥ pratyaśrauṣīt.

(3) Bhagavānasyaitadavocat.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE BZHIN NO, ,ZHES GSOL NAS TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR BCOM LDAN ‘DAS [f. 216b] KYI LTAR NYAN PA DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS ‘DI SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL TO,,

 

 “Thus shall I do, o Conqueror” replied the junior monk Subhuti, and he sat to listen as instructed by the Conqueror.  The Conqueror too then began, with the following words:

 

 

55 Leave a comment on block 55 0

[42]

LAN LA RAB ‘BYOR GYIS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS DE DE BZHIN NO ZHES GSOL NAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYI GSUNGS PA LTAR MNYAN PA DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA ‘CHAD PAR ‘GYUR BA ‘DI SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL TO, ,RAB ‘BYOR ‘DI NYAN THOS KYI TSUL BZUNG BA TZAM MA GTOGS, DON LA ‘JAM DPAL GYI SPRUL PAR SNANG LA, STON PAS YUM GSUNGS PA’I TSE RAB ‘BYOR NYID YUM GYI MDO THOG MAR ‘CHAD PA POR BSGOS TE DGONGS GZHI CHE’O,,

In reply then Subhuti proffers to the Conqueror, “Thus shall it be.”  He sits to listen as instructed by the Conqueror, and the Conqueror too begins his explanation with the words that follow.  This Subhuti, by the way, is only posing as a disciple: in reality he would appear to be an emanation of Manjushri himself.  When the Teacher spoke the sutras on the Mother of the Buddhas, it was none other than Subhuti that he would appoint to give the opening presentations—and there is a special significance to why he did so.

 

 

Lord Buddha’s answer

 

56 Leave a comment on block 56 0

[43]

GZHUNG GI BSDUS DON LA SLOB DPON K’A MA SH’I LAS, SEMS BSKYED PA DANG, PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA LA SBYOR BA DANG, GZUGS SKU THOB PAR ‘DUN PA NAS, SANGS RGYAS KYIS YONGS SU BTZAL BA’I BAR BCVO BRGYAD BSHAD CING, DE’I DANG PO BCU DRUG NI YONGS SPYOD KYI SA DANG, DE NAS GCIG NI LHAG BSAM DAG PA’I SA DANG, BCVO BRGYAD PA NI [f. 4b] SANGS RGYAS KYI SA DANG SBYAR NAS ‘CHAD DO, ,’DIR CUNG ZAD BSDUS NAS ‘CHAD PAR ‘DOD PAS DANG PO BYANG CHUB TU SEMS BSKYED PA NI,

As for the general structure of the text, Master Kamalashila makes his presentation in a total of eighteen different points.[36]  These begin with relating the text to the Wish for enlightenment, and then to the perfections, and then discussing the aspiration for the Buddha’s physical body.  After covering all the others, he reaches finally the part where the Buddha has completed his pronouncement.  Master Kamalashila provides his commentary by relating the first sixteen of these points to levels of personal practice.  The one point that follows then he relates to the levels of those who act out of total personal responsibility.  Point number eighteen refers, lastly, to the level of a Buddha.  My intention here is to offer a somewhat more concise explanation, and I begin with the part that concerns the Wish for enlightenment.

 

58 Leave a comment on block 58 0

[K16b-K17]

Iha Subhūte bodhisattvayānasaṃprasthitenaiva cittamutpādayitavyam

 

yāvantaḥ Subhūte sattvāḥ sattvadhātau sattvasaṃgraheṇa saṃgṛhītā aṇḍajā vā jarāyujā vā saṃsvedajā vā aupapādukā vā rūpiṇo vā arūpiṇo vā saṃjñino vāsaṃjñino vā naivasaṃjñino nāsaṃjñino vā yāvānkaścitsattvadhātuḥ prajñapyamānaḥ prajñapyate te ca [p. 21] mayā sarve’nupadhiśeṣe nirvāṇadhātau parinirvāpayitavyāḥ.  Evamaparimāṇānapi sattvānparinirvāpya na kaścitsattvaḥ parinirvāpito bhavati.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI LA BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I THEG PA LA YANG DAG PAR ZHUGS PAS ‘DI SNYAM DU,

 

BDAG GIS JI TZAM SEMS CAN DU BSDU BAS BSDUS PA SGO NGA LAS SKYES PA’AM, MNGAL NAS SKYES PA’AM, DROD GSHER LAS SKYES PA’AM, BRDZUS TE SKYES PA’AM, GZUGS CAN NAM, GZUGS MED PA’AM, ‘DU SHES CAN NAM, ‘DU SHES MED PA’AM, ‘DU SHES MED ‘DU SHES MED MIN NAM, SEMS CAN GYI KHAMS JI TZAM SEMS CAN DU GDAGS PAS BTAGS PA DE DAG THAMS CAD PHUNG PO LHAG MA MED PA’I MYA NGAN LAS ‘DAS PA’I DBYINGS SU YONGS SU MYA NGAN LAS BZLA’O, ,DE LTAR SEMS CAN TSAD MED PA YONGS SU MYA NGAN LAS BZLAS KYANG SEMS CAN GANG YANG YONGS SU MYA NGAN LAS BZLAS PAR GYUR PA MED DO, ,SNYAM DU SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O,,

 

Subhuti, this is how those who have entered well into the way of the bodhisattva must think to themselves as they feel the Wish to achieve enlightenment:

 

I will bring to nirvana the total amount of living beings, every single one numbered among the ranks of living kind: those who were born from eggs, those who were born from a womb, those who were born through warmth and moisture, those who were born miraculously, those who have a physical form, those with none, those with conceptions, those with none, and those with neither conceptions nor no conceptions.  However many living beings there are, in whatever realms there may be, anyone at all labelled with the name of “living being,” all these will I bring to total nirvana, to the sphere beyond all grief, where none of the parts of the person are left at all.

 

Yet even if I do manage to bring this limitless number of living beings to total nirvana, there will be no living being at all who was brought to their total nirvana.

 

 

59 Leave a comment on block 59 0

[45]

RAB ‘BYOR ‘DI LA BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I THEG PA LA ZHUGS PAS THOG MAR SEMS BSKYED PA’I TSE ‘DI SNYAM DU SEMS PAR BYA STE, BDAG GIS NI SEMS CAN GYI KHAMS DPAG TU MED CING GRANGS MED PA ZHIG YOD PA JI TZAM PA DE RNAMS SKYE GNAS KHYI {%KYI} SGO NAS SEMS CAN GYI RIGS SU BSDU BAS BSDUS PA NA, SGO NGA LAS SKYES PA’AM, DE BZHIN DU MNGAL DANG, DROD GSHER DANG, RDZUS TE SKYES PA BZHI DANG,

 

What the root text is saying is: “Subhuti, this is how those who have entered the way of the bodhisattva must think to themselves first as they feel the Wish to achieve enlightenment: Whatever realms there may be, and however many living beings there are, they reach to infinity; they are countless.  If one were to classify those numbered among the ranks of living kind by type of birth, there would be four: those who were born from eggs, and then those who were born from a womb, those who were born through warmth and moisture, and those who were born miraculously.

 

 

60 Leave a comment on block 60 0

[46]

‘DOD KHAMS DANG GZUGS KHAMS NA YOD PA’I SEMS CAN GZUGS CAN DANG, GZUGS MED NA YOD PA’I GZUGS CAN MA YIN PA DANG, ‘BRAS BU CHE BA DANG SRID RTZE’I SEMS CAN LAS GZHAN PA’I ‘DU SHES CAN GYI SEMS CAN DANG, ‘BRAS BU CHE BA’I PHYOGS GCIG GI SEMS CAN RNAMS ‘DU SHES MED PA DANG,

 

Then again there are the beings living in the desire realm and the form realm: those who have a physical form.  There are also the beings in the formless realm: those with no physical form.[37]  There are “those with conceptions,” meaning the beings who live in all the levels except the ones known as the Great Result and the Peak of Existence.[38]  There are “those with no conceptions,” which refers to a portion of the beings who reside at the level of the Great Result.

 

 

 

Nirvanicizing every living being

 

61 Leave a comment on block 61 0

[47]

SRID RTZER SKYES PA’I SEMS CAN RNAMS ‘DU SHES RAGS PA MED CING PHRA BA MED PA ‘ANG MA YIN PA STE, MDOR NA SEMS CAN GYI KHAMS CI TZAM DU SEMS CAN ZHES MING GIS GDAGS PAS BTAGS PA DE DAG THAMS CAD SGRIB GNYIS DANG SDUG BSNGAL GYI PHUNG PO LHAG MA MED PA’I MI GNAS PA’I MYA NGAN LAS ‘DAS PA’I DBYINGS SU YONGS SU MYA NGAN LAS BZLA’O SNYAM DU SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O,,

In addition are the beings who have been born at the level of the Peak of Existence: those with no coarse kinds of conceptions but who on the other hand are not such that they have no subtle conceptions.  The point, in short, is that I speak of all living beings: of anyone at all labelled with the name of “living being.”  All these will I bring to total nirvana, to the sphere beyond all grief, where one no longer remains in either of the extremes—and where none of the two kinds of obstacles, and none of the suffering heaps or parts to the person, are left at all.[39]

 

 

62 Leave a comment on block 62 0

[48]

DON BSDU NA SEMS CAN DE THAMS CAD MI GNAS PA’I MYANG ‘DAS SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS KYI SKU NGO BO NYID SKU THOB PA’I CHED DU SEMS BSKYED PA’O,,

To summarize, these bodhisattvas develop the Wish for the sake of bringing all these different living beings to the state of that nirvana where one no longer remains in either of the extremes; to bring them to the reality body, the essence body,[40] of the Buddha.

 

 

63 Leave a comment on block 63 0

[49]

SEMS CAN KUN SDUG BSNGAL GSUM PO CI RIGS LAS SKYOB ‘DOD KYI SNYING RJE CHEN PO SNGON DU BTANG NAS MYANG ‘DAS [f. 5a] MTHAR THUG LA ‘GOD ‘DOD KYI SEMS GSAR DU BSKYED PA DANG, SNGAR BSKYED ZIN PA ZHIG YIN NA NI BSKYED PA DE GSAL BTAB STE GO ‘PHEL DU BYED PA’O,,

 

The reference here is either to someone who is feeling the Wish for the first time, or to someone who has already been able to develop it.  The first of these two has been practicing the emotion of great compassion, where one wishes to protect all living beings from any of the three different kinds of suffering they may be experiencing.  This has made them ready for their first experience of the state of mind where they intend to lead all sentient kind to the ultimate nirvana.  The latter of the two, the one who has already developed the Wish, is re-focusing their mind on their mission, and thus increasing the intensity of their Wish.

 

 

64 Leave a comment on block 64 0

[50]

SKYE GNAS BZHI LAS SGO NGA {%SGONG} SKYES NI, MI DANG SLU {%KLU} DANG BYA SOGS LA YOD CING, MNGAL SKYES NI MI DANG DUD ‘GRO DANG YI DVAGS LA‘ANG YOD DO, ,DROD SKYES LA PHYI’I DNGOS PO LO TOG SOGS MANG YANG MIS RGYAL PO SPYI BO SKYES LTA BU DANG DBYAR DUS SU SKYES PA’I ‘BU SRIN PHAL CHER RO,,

Here is a little on the four types of birth.  Birth from an egg exists among humans, serpentines, birds, and other creatures.  Birth from the womb is found with humans and animals, and is also one of the ways in which craving spirits take birth.  There are many examples of inanimate objects which grow from warmth and moisture—crops and so on.  Among humans though there was the case of the king called “Headborn.”[41]  The majority of the insects which appear in the summer are also born this way.

 

 

65 Leave a comment on block 65 0

[51]

BRDZUS SKYES NI BSKAL PA DANG PO’I MI RNAMS DANG LHA DANG DMYAL BA PA RNAMS DANG BAR DO BA DANG LHA MIN DUD ‘GRO LA ‘ANG YOD DO, ,MI LA SGO NGA {%SGONG} SKYES NI STON PA’I DUS SU DGE BSNYEN MA SA GA LAS SGO NGA MANG PO DANG DE LAS BU MANG PO ZHIG BYUNG BAR BSHAD PA LTAR RO,,

Miraculous birth occurs with the humans who appear at the beginning of the world, and with pleasure beings, hell beings, inbetween beings, and near pleasure-beings.  It is also one of the ways in which animals take birth.  An example of birth from an egg among humans would be the story that we see of Saga, who possessed the lifetime vows of a laywoman.  She gave a great number of eggs, and from these eggs grew boys.[42]

 

66 Leave a comment on block 66 0

[52]

GONG ‘DI NI KUN RDZOB PA’I SEMS BSKYED TSUL YIN LA, DE LA SMON SEMS DANG ‘JUG SEMS GNYIS TE, GTZO BOR TSOGS SBYOR GYI GNAS SKABS LA DGONGS PAR SEMS SO,,

The above description applies to the way in which a person thinks as he or she feels what we call the “deceptive” Wish for enlightenment.[43]  It refers both to the Wish in the form of a prayer and to the Wish in the form of actual activities.  I would say as well that Lord Buddha’s intention at this point is to refer primarily to the Wish as it occurs at the paths of accumulation and of preparation.[44]

 

 

67 Leave a comment on block 67 0

[53]

SEMS BSKYED KYI MTSAN NYID YONGS SU RDZOGS PA LA GZHAN SANGS RGYAS LA ‘GOD ‘DOD TZAM GYIS MI CHOG GI, RANG YANG SANGS RGYAS THOB ‘DOD ZHIG NGES PAR DGOS SO, ,DE’I PHYIR BYAMS PAS, SEMS BSKYED PA NI GZHAN DON PHYIR, ,YANG DAG RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB ‘DOD, ,CES GSUNGS TE, GZHAN DON PHYIR ZHES PAS GZHAN MYANG ‘DAS LA ‘GOD ‘DOD DANG, RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB ‘DOD CES RANG RDZOGS BYANG THOB ‘DOD ZHIG DGOS ZHES BSHAD DO,,

For a person to feel a Wish for enlightenment which is complete in every necessary characteristic, it is not sufficient simply to intend to lead all other living beings to the state of Buddhahood.  Rather, you must have the desire that you yourself reach this state as well.  This is exactly why Maitreya stated that “The Wish for enlightenment consists of the intention to reach total enlightenment for the sake of others.”[45]  The part about “the sake of others” is meant to indicate that you must intend to lead other beings to nirvana, whereas the part about the “intention to reach total enlightenment” means that you must intend to reach perfect Buddhahood yourself.

 

 

68 Leave a comment on block 68 0

[54]

SEMS BSKYED DE BDAG MED RTOGS PA’I LTA BAS ZIN DGOS PAR BSTAN PA’I PHYIR DE LTAR SEMS CAN TSAD MED PA ZHIG MI GNAS PA’I MYANG ‘DAS LA YONGS SU [f. 5b] ‘GOD PAR ‘DOD CING, BKOD DU ZIN KYANG DON DAM PAR SEMS CAN GANG YANG YONGS SU MYA NGAN LAS ‘DAS PA THOB PAR ‘GYUR BA MED DO SNYAM DU SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O,,

Lord Buddha wants us to understand that this Wish for enlightenment must be imbued with that correct view wherein you perceive that nothing has a self-nature.  This is why he states that we must develop a Wish for enlightenment where we intend to lead this limitless number of living beings to the nirvana beyond both extremes, but where at the same time we realize that, even if we do manage to bring them to this total nirvana, there will be no living being at all who achieved it, and who also existed ultimately.

 

69 Leave a comment on block 69 0

[55]

’DIR MYA NGAN ZHES ‘BYUNG BA NI MYA NGAN NI LAS NYON GNYIS DANG SDUG BSNGAL TE DE LAS BZLAS PA NI LAS NYON DANG SDUG BSNGAL LAS THAR PA‘AM ‘DAS PA’I MYANG ‘DAS SO,,

The Tibetan term for “nirvana” means “passing beyond sorrow.”  The “sorrow” mentioned here refers to the pair of karma and negative emotions, as well as to suffering.  The nirvana to which you wish to bring beings then refers to a state of escaping from the combination of karma and bad thoughts, along with suffering: it means to go beyond them.

 

 

70 Leave a comment on block 70 0

[56]

DES NA BZLAS ZHES PA NI MYANG ‘DAS DANG DE LA ‘GOD PA’I DON DU YANG ‘GYUR RO, ,GZHUNG ‘DIS SO SKYE LA DON DAM SEMS BSKYED RJES MTHUN PA ZHIG BSTAN CING, DON DAM SEMS BSKYED DNGOS KYANG BSTAN TE ‘PHAGS PA KHO NA YOD DO,,

 

This is why the unusual Tibetan verb here refers not only to nirvana, but to the act of bringing someone to nirvana as well.  The root text at this point is meant to indicate that ordinary beings can possess something that approximates the ultimate Wish for enlightenment.  It is also indicating the existence of the actual ultimate Wish for enlightenment, which only realized beings possess.[46]

 

 

The emptiness of all things

 

71 Leave a comment on block 71 0

[57]

SLOB DPON K’A MA LA SH’I LAS, SKABS ‘DIR LTA BA’I SKOR MANG PO ZHIG BSHAD CING, DE YANG ‘DI’I GZHUNG ‘OG MA RNAMS NI STONG NYID KYI LTA BA DANG SBYAR NAS GSUNGS PA’I DON SHES PA LA DGOS PA’I DBANG DU MDZAD PA YIN PAS GAL CHE YANG, ‘DIR MANG DU ‘GYUR DOGS NAS BSDUS TE MTSON TZAM BRJOD NA,

At this juncture in his commentary, Master Kamalashila presents a great deal of explanation concerning the correct view of reality.  He does so because he realizes that this background is very important for a proper understanding of the remainder of the root text, which is all spoken relative to the correct view of emptiness.  If I did the same here in my own commentary I fear it would become too long for the reader, and so I will cover some of these points now, but only in the very briefest way, just to give you a taste.

72 Leave a comment on block 72 0

[58]

KUN BYANG GI CHOS THAMS CAD KYANG THA SNYAD TZAM DU YOD PAR ‘JOG GI ,DON DAM DPYOD BYED KYI RIGS PAS DPYAD NAS DPYAD MI BZOD CING BTAGS DON MI RNYED DE, DE LA DGAG BYA NGOS ZIN NA ‘GOG SLA BAS THOG MAR DGAG BYA JI LTA BU YIN BRJOD NA,

Now each and every existing object, be it part of the side of existence which is tied up with negative emotions, or part of the pure side, is established as existing only by virtue of terms.  If one performs an analysis with reasoning which examines an object in an ultimate sense, no object can bear such examination, and we fail to locate what we gave our label.  Here the thing we deny is easier to deny if we can identify it clearly.  As such I will speak a bit about what this thing we deny is like.[47]

 

73 Leave a comment on block 73 0

[59]

DGAG BYA LA SPYIR ‘DOD TSUL MANG YANG ‘DIR DBU MA THAL ‘GYUR BA’I LUGS LTAR BSHAD PAR BYA’O,,

Generally speaking there are a great number of different positions that exist about what the object we deny exactly is.  Here though I will give my explanation according to the position of the Consequence Group of the Middle-Way School.[48]

 

 

74 Leave a comment on block 74 0

[60]

DE YANG MDO LAS, DE DAG RTOG PA’I DBANG GIS BZHAG PA YIN, ,ZHES DANG, BZHI BRGYA PA’I ‘GREL PA LAS, RTOG PA YOD PA KHO NAS YOD PA NYID DANG ZHES SOGS DAG RJES DGONGS PA RAB GSAL LAS, CHOS RNAMS RTOG PA’I DBANG GIS BZHAG PAR GSUNGS TE, CHOS THAMS CAD RTOG PAS BTAGS [f. 6a] PA TZAM DANG RTOG PA’I DBANG GIS BZHAG PAR GSUNGS PA MANG NGO ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR,

As sutra says, “They are all created by thoughts.”[49]  The Commentary to the Four Hundred too contains lines such as the one which says, “It is only due to the existence of concepts that existence itself can exist, and…”[50]  The Lord, in his Illumination of the True Thought, says as well that “These lines [from sutra] are describing how all existing things are established by force of concepts; and we see many other such statements, that all existing objects are simply labelled with our concepts, and are established only by force of concepts.”[51]

 

 

75 Leave a comment on block 75 0

[61]

CHOS THAMS CAD RTOG PAS BTAGS PA’I DPE NI, THAG PA KHRA BO YUL MI GSAL BA NA GNAS PA’I TSE KHA CIG LA ‘DI SBRUL LO SNYAM PA’I BLO ‘BYUNG NGO, ,DE’I TSE THAG PA DE’I TSOGS PA DANG CHA SHAS GANG YANG SBRUL DU MED KYANG, DE LA SBRUL LO SNYAM PA’I SBRUL NI RTOG PAS BTAGS PA TZAM DU ‘CHAR RO,,

There is a metaphor used to describe how all existing things are labelled with our concepts.  When you put a rope with a checkered pattern on it in a dark corner, some people might get the impression that it’s a snake.  The truth at this point though is that nothing about the rope is a snake: neither the rope as a whole, nor the parts of the rope.  Nonetheless the person thinks of the rope as a snake, and this snake is an example of something which only makes its appearance as something labelled with a concept.

 

76 Leave a comment on block 76 0

[62]

DE BZHIN DU PHUNG PO ‘DI LA BRTEN NAS NGA’O SNYAM DU ‘BYUNG YANG, PHUNG PO’I TSOGS PA DANG RGYUN DANG CHA SHAS GANG YANG NGA’I MTSAN GZHIR ‘JOG RGYU MED CING, PHUNG PO LAS NGO BO THA DAD PA GZHAN ZHIG KYANG NGA’I MTSAN GZHIR BZUNG MED PAS, NGA DE NI PHUNG PO LA BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA TZAM YIN GYI, RANG GI NGO BO NYID KYIS GRUB PA MED DO,,

In the same way, the heaps of parts that make us up serve as a basis for us to get the impression “This is me.”  There is nothing at all about these heaps as a whole, nor their continuation over time, nor their separate components, that we could establish as being an actual representation of “me.”  At the same time though there is nothing else, nothing essentially separate from these heaps of parts to ourselves, that we could consider an actual representation of “me” either.  As such, this “me” is merely something labelled upon the heaps of parts that make us up; there is nothing which exists by its own essence.

 

77 Leave a comment on block 77 0

[63]

DE LTAR YANG ‘PHAGS PA’I RIN CHEN ‘PHRENG BA LAS,

 

,SKYES BU SA MIN CHU MA YIN,

,ME MIN RLUNG MIN NAM MKHA’ MIN,

,RNAM SHES MA YIN KUN MIN NA,

,DE LAS GZHAN PA’I SKYES BU GANG,

 

,ZHES GSUNGS TE,

This too is the point being made in the String of Precious Jewels, by the realized being Nagarjuna:

If it’s true that the persona is not the element

Of earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind,

Not space, or consciousness, not all of them,

Then how could it ever be anything else?[52]

 

78 Leave a comment on block 78 0

[64]

SA MIN NAS RNAM SHES MIN ZHES PAS SKYES BU’I KHAMS DRUG GI CHA SHAS RE RE BA DANG, KUN MIN ZHES PAS KHAMS DRUG GI TSOGS PA SKYES BU’I BDAG TU ‘JOG PA BKAG CING, RKANG PA PHYI MAS KHAMS RNAMS LAS NGO BO THA DAD PA’I BDAG BKAG GO ,

The part of the verse that goes from “not earth” up to “not consciousness” is meant to deny that you could ever establish a self-nature of the person in any of the six elements that make up a persona, considered separately.  The words “not all of them” are meant to deny that you could establish such a self-nature in the collection of the six elements, considered as a whole.  The final line of the verse denies that there could be any self-nature which was essentially separate from these same elements.

 

79 Leave a comment on block 79 0

[65]

‘O NA SKYES BU STE GANG ZAG JI LTAR ‘JOG PA YANG DE NYID LAS,

 

,SKYES BU KHAMS DRUG ‘DUS PA’I PHYIR,

,YANG DAG MA YIN JI LTA BAR,

,DE BZHIN KHAMS NI RE RE YANG,

,’DUS PHYIR YANG DAG NYID DU MIN,

 

,ZHES GSUNGS TE, RGYU MTSAN DES NA SKYES BU NI RANG GI KHAMS DRUG ‘DUS PA’I STENG [f. 6b] DU BTAGS PA TZAM MA GTOGS, YANG DAG PAR MA GRUB BO,,

How then do we establish the existence of the persona (which in this case simply means “person”)?  The same work says:

 

Because the persona includes all six elements,

It’s nothing that purely exists;

Just so, because they include their parts,

None of these elements purely exist.[53]

 

Given the reason stated above, the persona is nothing more than something labelled upon the six elements that make them up—it does not though purely exist.

 

80 Leave a comment on block 80 0

[66]

DE JI LTA BA BZHIN DU KHAMS RNAMS KYANG RANG RANG GI CHA SHAS ‘DUS PA LA BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA YIN PA’I PHYIR YANG DAG PAR MA GRUB ZHES BSTAN TO, ,DE BZHIN DU PHUNG SOGS KYI CHOS THAMS CAD KYANG RANG RANG GI CHA SHAS DANG TSOGS PA LA BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA YIN PA’I PHYIR RANG DBANG DU GRUB PA MED CES SBYOR RO,,

Just so, none of these elements themselves exist purely, for they too are simply labelled upon the parts that they include.  This same reasoning can be applied to the heaps of parts that make up a person, and all other objects as well: you can say about all of them that, because they are labelled on their parts and their whole, they do not exist independently.

 

 

81 Leave a comment on block 81 0

[67]

RANG GI GZUGS PHUNG NI YAN LAG LNGA SOGS LA BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA DANG, YAN LAG RNAMS KYANG CHA CAN PHUNG PO DANG RANG GI PHYOGS KYI CHA LA BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA DANG, NYING LAG SOR MO LTA BU YANG RANG GI CHA CAN DANG CHA SHAS LA BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA DANG,

 

The physical heap of parts that I myself possess is something labelled upon my five appendages and so on; these appendages themselves are something labelled upon the body as a whole and the parts that go off to each side of it; and the smaller appendages like fingers and toes too are labelled upon their whole and their parts.

 

82 Leave a comment on block 82 0

[68]

BUM PA NI RANG GI MCHU ZHABS LTO BA SOGS LA BTAGS PA DANG, MCHU ZHABS SOGS KYANG RANG GI CHA SHAS DANG CHA CAN BUM PA LA BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA SOGS GZUGS CAN RNAMS LA ‘GRE ZHING,

A water pitcher is something labelled on its spout and base and other parts; the spout and base and such in turn are labelled on their parts and whole; and so on—the same pattern applies to all physical objects.

 

 

83 Leave a comment on block 83 0

[69]

SHES PA RNAMS KYANG SKAD CIG SNGA PHYI DANG DMIGS PA SOGS LA BRTEN NAS DANG, ‘DUS MA BYAS RNAMS KYANG RANG GI GDAGS GZHI SO SO LA BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA STE, RGYAS PAR GZHAN DU BSHAD ZIN TO,,

 

Mental things too are labelled on mental events of successive moments, and through the objects towards which they function, and so on.  Even uncaused phenomena are labelled upon the respective bases that take their labels.  All this I have covered before, in other writings.

 

84 Leave a comment on block 84 0

[70]

DES NA BRTEN NAS BYUNG BA DANG BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA MA YIN PA’I CHOS MED PAS, BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA MA YIN PAR YOD PA DE BRTAG PA MTHA’ GZUNG GI DGAG BYA’I TSAD DO, ,DE LTAR YANG, RTZA SHE LAS,

 

,GANG PHYIR BRTEN ‘BYUNG MA YIN PA’I,

,CHOS ‘GA’ YOD PA MA YIN PAS,

,DE PHYIR STONG PA MA YIN PA’I,

,CHOS ‘GA’ YOD PA MA YIN NO,

 

,ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

Given the above, there does not exist anything which does not occur in dependence, or which is not labelled through a dependent relationship.  Therefore the point at which we can say something is the object denied by our search for a hypothetical self-existent thing would be any time that thing existed without having been labelled through a dependent relationship.  This too is why The Root Text on Wisdom states:

 

No object which does not occur

Through dependence even exists at all;

As such no object could exist

At all if it weren’t empty.[54]

 

85 Leave a comment on block 85 0

[71]

MDOR NA BDAG GAM GANG ZAG BTAGS DON BTZAL BA’I TSE MI RNYED KYANG THA SNYAD DU SGYU MA DANG SPRUL PA LTAR [f. 7a] BYA BYED ‘THAD PA DE BZHIN DU CHOS THAMS CAD LA’ANG ‘DRA STE, SDUD PA LAS,

 

,BDAG CI ‘DRA BAR DE ‘DRAR SEMS CAN THAMS CAD SHES,

,SEMS CAN THAMS CAD CI ‘DRA DE ‘DRAR CHOS KUN SHES,

 

,ZHES DANG,

In short, when you search for the thing given the name of “self” or “me” you will never find anything; despite this, the fact that things can do something is completely right and proper, in the sense of an illusion, or magic.  And this fact applies to each and every existing thing there is.  As the Shorter Sutra on the Perfection of Wisdom states,

 

You should understand that the nature of every single living being is the same as that of yourself.  You should understand that the nature of all existing objects is the same as that of every living being.[55]

 

 

86 Leave a comment on block 86 0

[72]

TING NGE ‘DZIN RGYAL PO LAS KYANG,

 

,JI LTAR KHYOD KYIS BDAG GI ‘DU SHES NI,

,SHES PA DE BZHIN KUN LA BLOS SBYAR BYA,

 

,ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

 

The King of Concentration says as well,

 

You should apply what you understand

About how you think of yourself

To every thing there is.[56]

 

 

87 Leave a comment on block 87 0

[73]

DE BZHIN DU SBYIN SOGS KYI CHOS RNAMS KYANG THA SNYAD BTAGS PA TZAM DU YOD PA MA GTOGS, RANG BZHIN GYIS STONG PAR SHES DGOS PA LA DGONGS NAS DNGOS PO CI LA YANG MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA SBYIN PAR BYA’O ZHES SOGS GSUNGS SO,,

All this is true as well for objects like the perfection of giving and so on: they exist only through being labelled with a term, and are empty of any natural existence.  Seeking to make us realize how necessary it is to understand this fact, Lord Buddha makes statements like “Perform the act of giving without staying in any object at all.”

 

88 Leave a comment on block 88 0

[74]

GNAD CHE BA ‘DI SHES DGOS TE, JI SRID BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS PA LAS MA GROL CING STONG NYID KYI DON MA RTOGS PAR DE SRID DU SANGS RGYAS KYIS DNGOS SU RJES SU BZUNG YANG THAR PA THOB MI NUS PA’I PHYIR TE,

This is the most important thing for us to learn: so long as we are still not free of the chains of grasping to things as truly existing, and so long as we have yet to grasp the meaning of emptiness, then we will never be able to achieve freedom, even if the Buddha should appear himself and try to lead us there.

 

 

89 Leave a comment on block 89 0

[75]

MGON PO KLU SGRUB KYIS,

 

,GANG DAG STONG NYID MI SHES PA,

,DE DAG THAR PA BSTEN MA YIN,

,’GRO DRUG SRID PA’I BTZON RAR NI,

,RMONGS PA DE DAG ‘KHOR BAR ‘GYUR,

 

,ZHES GSUNGS SHING,

 

This is supported by the words of the savior Nagarjuna:

 

Freedom is a complete impossibility

For anyone who does not understand emptiness.

Those who are blind will continue to circle

Here in the prison of six different births.[57]

 

 

90 Leave a comment on block 90 0

[76]

‘PHAGS PA LHAS KYANG, DNGOS PO’I ‘DU SHES CAN LA THAR PA MED CES BSHAD PA’I PHYIR DANG, GZHAN YANG MANG NGO,,

 

Master Aryadeva as well has spoken that “For those who conceive of things, freedom does not exist.”[58]  And there are many other such quotations.

 

 

The ultimate bodhisattva

 

92 Leave a comment on block 92 0

[K18-K19]

Tatkasya hetoḥ sacetSubhūte bodhisattvasya sattvasaṃjñā pravarteta na sa bodhisattva iti vaktavyaḥ.

 

Tatkasya hetoḥ na sa Subhūte bodhisattvo vaktavyo yasya sattvasaṃjñā pravarteta jīvasaṃjñā vā pudgalasaṃjñā vā pravarteta.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, GAL TE BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS CAN DU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG NA, DE BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES MI BYA BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, GANG SEMS CAN DU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG GAM, SROG TU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG GAM, GANG ZAG TU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG NA, DE BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES MI BYA BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Why is it so?  Because, Subhuti, if a bodhisattva were to slip into conceiving of someone as a living being, then we could never call them a “bodhisattva.”

 

Why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, if anyone were to slip into conceiving of someone as a living being, or as something that lives, or as a person, then we could never call them a “bodhisattva.”

 

 

93 Leave a comment on block 93 0

[78]

GONG GI PHRO NI, BDEN PAR GRUB PA’I SEMS CAN GANG YANG MYANG ‘DAS THOG {%THOB} PA MED PAR SEMS BSKYED DGOS PA’I RGYU MTSAN LA DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR ZHES BOS NAS GAL TE BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG SEMS CAN LA SEMS CAN DU BDEN PAR GRUB PA’I ‘DU SHES ‘JUG NA, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ DE BDAG MED RTOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES MI BYA’O,,

Here we return to where we left off in the root text.  One may ask, “Why is it so?  What reason is there for saying that we should develop a Wish for enlightenment, while still understanding that there is no truly existing being at all who ever achieves this nirvana?”  Lord Buddha first calls Subhuti by name, and then explains that we could never call any particular bodhisattva a “bodhisattva who had realized the meaning of no-self-nature” if this bodhisattva were to slip into conceiving of any living being as a living being who existed truly.

 

94 Leave a comment on block 94 0

[79]

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, [f. 7b] BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG SEMS CAN LA SEMS CAN DU BDEN PA’I ‘DU SHES ‘JUG GAM, SROG TU STE SROG LDAN DU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG GAM, GANG ZAG TU BDEN PA’I ‘DU SHES BDEN ‘DZIN SKYE ZHING ‘JUG NA NI, DE BDEN MED SHES PA’I BYANG SEMS ZHES BYAR MI RUNG BA’I PHYIR RO,,

Why is it so?  Here’s why.  Suppose that a particular bodhisattva were to slip into any conception of a living being as being, in truth, a living being; or of “life” (meaning “something alive”) as being, in truth, something alive; or of a person as being, in truth, a person.  Suppose, in short, that they were to grasp to these things as being true.  It would then be wrong to refer to them as bodhisattvas who understood how things are not true.

 

95 Leave a comment on block 95 0

[80]

’JUG PA LAS, DON DAM SEMS BSKYED RGYUD LA MA SKYES NA DON DAM PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES MI BYA BAR GSUNGS PA NI STONG NYID MNGON SUM DU RTOGS MA MYONG NA DON DAM PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES MI BYA BA’I DON YIN LA,

 

Entering the Middle Way says that if a person has yet to develop the ultimate form of the Wish for enlightenment in their mind, then they cannot be referred to as an “ultimate bodhisattva.”  What this is saying is that—if a person has yet to experience the direct perception of emptiness—then they cannot be called an “ultimate bodhisattva.”[59]

 

 

96 Leave a comment on block 96 0

[81]

‘DIR NI TSOGS SBYOR GNYIS NA BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ YOD PAS DE’I DBANG DU BYAS NAS BSHAD DO,,

Here in terms of this text though there can be a bodhisattva who is on either the path of accumulation or the path of preparation.  And so we’ve made our explanation in that context.

 

97 Leave a comment on block 97 0

[82]

SEMS CAN ZHES PA’I SGRA DON NI ‘KHOR BAR KUN TU GDUNG BA’I SEMS PA CAN DANG,

The literal meaning of the word “living being” (Tib: sem-chen) is “Any being who possesses (chen) thoughts (sempa) of torment here in the cycle of pain.”

 

98 Leave a comment on block 98 0

[83]

SROG NI TSE ‘DI’I RIS MTHUN SKAL MNYAM RDZOGS PA’I BAR GNAS PA DANG,

“Life” or “something alive” here refers to the sustained presence of a single type of being in their present incarnation, until such time as this presence comes to an end.

 

 

99 Leave a comment on block 99 0

[84]

GANG ZAG NI BAG CHAGS DMAN PAS RGYUD GANG ZHING ‘KHOR BAR ZAG PAR BYED PA’I SGO NAS BRJOD CING,

 

A “person” (Tib: gang-sak) is given this name because their mind stream is filled (gang) with inferior mental seeds, which have caused them to fall (sak) into the cycle of pain.

 

100 Leave a comment on block 100 0

[85]

‘DIR BDAG CES MA BYUNG YANG ‘OG TU ‘BYUNG BAS BDAG NI NGA’O SNYAM PA’I NGAR ‘DZIN SKYE BA’I GZHI’I DON TE, BSLAB BTUS MCHAN ‘GREL LAS BSHAD DO,,

 

Even though the word “self” doesn’t occur in the text at this point, we will be seeing it below; and so we should explain it.  The annotated commentary to the Compendium of Trainings says that “self” refers to the basic element there when we start grasping to me—as we think to ourselves Me.[60]

 

 

101 Leave a comment on block 101 0

[86]

DE DAG NI GANG ZAG GI MING GI RNAM GRANGS YIN YANG, GANG ZAG YIN NA GONG GI SGRA DON DE TSANG BAS MA KHYAB CING, SEMS CAN DANG GANG ZAG GNYIS LA YANG KHYAB CHE CHUNG YOD DO,,

Now generally speaking all the terms here are synonyms for the word “person.”  Technically speaking though it is not the case that if someone is a “person” they necessarily fit the linguistic description of the word we’ve just given.  There furthermore happens to be a difference in the number of beings covered by the words “living being” and “person.”[61]

 

 

 

Giving in emptiness

 

102 Leave a comment on block 102 0

[87]

DE LTAR SEMS BSKYED NAS SPYOD PA LA SLOB TSUL NI, SBYIN PAS MTSON NAS PHAR PHYIN GZHAN RNAMS LA’ANG SLOB PAR STON PAS DANG PO SBYIN PA NI,

There is a specific way in which we conduct ourselves after we have managed to develop the state of mind described here.  Lord Buddha wants to use the perfection of giving as a model by which we can train ourselves in all the other perfections as well, and so he chooses first to speak of giving.

 

 

104 Leave a comment on block 104 0

[K20-K21a]

 (4) Api tu khalu punaḥ Subhute na bodhisattvena vastupratiṣṭhitena dānaṃ dātavyam na kvacitpratiṣṭhitena dānaṃ dātavyam na rūpapratiṣṭhitena dānaṃ dātavyam na śabdagandharasaspraṣṭavyadharmeṣu pratiṣṭhitena dānaṃ dātavyam.  Evaṃ hi Sūbhūte bodhisattvena mahāsattvena dānaṃ dātavyaṃ yathā na nimittasaṃjñāyāmapi pratitiṣṭhet.

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAS DNGOS PO LA MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA SBYIN NO, ,CHOS GANG LA YANG MI GNAS PAR [f. 217a] SBYIN PA SBYIN NO, ,GZUGS LA’ANG MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA SBYIN PAR BYA’O, ,SGRA DANG, DRI DANG, RO DANG, REG BYA DANG, CHOS LA’ANG MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA SBYIN NO, ,RAB ‘BYOR, CI NAS MTSAN MAR ‘DU SHES PA LA’ANG MI GNAS PA DE LTAR BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAS SBYIN PA SBYIN NO,,

 

And I say, o Subhuti, that a bodhisattva performs the act of giving without staying in things.  They perform the act of giving without staying in any object at all.  They perform the act of giving without staying in things that you see.  They perform the act of giving without staying in sounds, and without staying in smells, or tastes, or things that you touch, or in objects of the thought.

 

O Subhuti, bodhisattvas perform the act of giving without conceiving of any thing in any way as a sign.  That is how they give.

 

 

105 Leave a comment on block 105 0

[89]

YANG RAB ‘BYOR BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAS DNGOS PO LA MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA SBYIN PAR BYA’O ZHES PA’I [f. 8a] DNGOS PO NI SBYIN BYA’I DNGOS PO STE DE DANG SBYIN PA DANG GANG LA SBYIN PA’I ‘KHOR GSUM GYI DNGOS PO GSUM LA BDEN ZHEN GYIS MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA BYED PA’O,,

And so the Buddha continues, “And I say, o Subhuti, that a bodhisattva performs the act of giving without staying in things.”  The word “things” here refers to the thing which is given; to the giving itself; and to the person to whom the object is given: the three things that we call the “three spheres.”

And bodhisattvas perform the act of giving without “staying” in these things, which is to say, without any belief that they are true.

 

106 Leave a comment on block 106 0

[90]

DE NI BYAMS SMON LAS,

 

,DNGOS PO KUN LA MI GNAS PAR,

,SER SNA MA MCHIS SBYIN GTONG SHOG

 

,CES DANG,

This sentiment is reflected as well in the Prayer of Loving One:

May I learn to do my giving

In a state where holding back

Is simply not even possible:

Staying not in a single thing.[62]

107 Leave a comment on block 107 0

[91]

,GANG GIS SBYIN PA GANG LA SBYIN,

,SBYIN PA JI LTAR MI DMIGS PA’I,

,SBYIN PA

 

,ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR DANG,

So too we see:

Give in a state

Where there is no one who gives,

And no one they give it to,

And neither giving at all.[63]

 

 

108 Leave a comment on block 108 0

[92]

DBU MA ‘JUG PA LAS,

 

,SBYIN PA SBYIN BYA LEN PO GTONG POS STONG,

,’JIG RTEN ‘DAS PA’I PHA ROL PHYIN CES BYA,

,GSUM PO DAG LA CHAGS SKYES GYUR PA DE,

,’JIG RTEN PA YI PHA ROL PHYIN CES BSTAN,

Entering the Middle Way puts it this way:

 

We call it a perfection

Beyond the normal world:

It is void of a gift,

Of taker and giver.

And we say it is

A perfection of the world

Whenever one gives

With belief in these three.[64]

 

109 Leave a comment on block 109 0

[93]

ZHES SBYIN PA’I ‘KHOR GSUM BDEN MED DU MNGON SUM DU RTOGS PA’I SHES RAB ZIN PA’I SBYIN PA DE ‘JIG RTEN LAS ‘DAS PA’I SBYIN PA’I PHAR PHYIN DANG, DES MA ZIN PA’I SBYIN PA ‘JIG RTEN PA’I PHAR PHYIN DU BSHAD DE,

What this is saying is that it is a perfection of giving which is beyond the normal world whenever someone does their giving under the influence of that state of wisdom in which they have perceived, directly, that none of the three spheres in the act of giving has any truth of its own.  And it is a perfection that belongs to the normal world if they perform their giving without being under this influence.

 

110 Leave a comment on block 110 0

[94]

SNGA MA ‘PHAGS PA DANG PHYI MA SO SKYE LA YOD PA’O, ,LAM MA ZHUGS NA SBYIN PA YOD KYANG SBYIN PA’I PHAR PHYIN MED CING GZHAN LNGA LA’ANG ‘DRA’O,,

The former type of giving is possessed by realized beings; and the latter is had by normal beings.[65]  It is possible for a person to perform an act of giving before they enter one of the paths; but it is not possible then for this to be the perfection of giving.  And the same is true for the other five perfections.

 

111 Leave a comment on block 111 0

[95]

SBYIN PA SBYIN PA LA BRTZON PA LTA BU NI JI LTAR GNAS PAR BYA ZHES PA’I DON DANG, DE’I ‘KHOR GSUM LA BDEN PAR MI ZHEN PA NI JI LTAR BSGRUB PAR BYA ZHES PA’I DON DANG, BDEN MED DU RTOGS PA’I BLO LA SEMS RTZE GCIG TU BYED PA NI SEMS RAB TU GZUNG BAR BYA ZHES PA’I DON DU BSHAD DE, PHAR PHYIN GZHAN LA’ANG SBYAR BAR BYA’O,,

 

There are a number of expressions here.  One is that “We should stay in our giving just as those who are striving in their giving.”  Another is “We should try to practice in a way where we have no belief that the three spheres of this act are real.”  And they are both to be explained as meaning “Maintain, perfectly, a state of mind where you are single-pointedly absorbed in the understanding that nothing is true.”

 

112 Leave a comment on block 112 0

[96]

SBYIN PA’I ‘KHOR GSUM DU MA ZAD DNGOS PO GZHAN CI LA YANG BDEN PAR ZHEN TE MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA BYA’O,,

The fact is that not only are we to avoid, as we perform our giving, ever staying in the three spheres of the act of giving; we are in fact at the same time to avoid staying in any kind of belief that any object at all is true.

 

113 Leave a comment on block 113 0

[97]

CUNG ZAD PHYE STE BSHAD PA NI GZUGS LA DANG [f. 8b] SGRA DANG DRI DANG RO DANG REG BYA DANG CHOS LA YANG BDEN ZHEN GYIS MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA BYA’O ZHES PA STE,

We could elaborate a bit here.  What’s being said is that we should do our giving without any belief that forms, sounds, smells, tastes, things to touch, or things in general are true.

 

114 Leave a comment on block 114 0

[98]

GZUGS NI PHYI ROL GYI GZUGS MIG SHES GYI YUL RNAMS DANG, SGRA NI RNA BA’I YUL, DRI NI SNA’I YUL, RO NI LCE’I YUL, REG BYA NI LUS KYI YUL, CHOS NI YID KYI YUL TE, JI LTA JI SNYED PA’I CHOS THAMS CAD DO,,

When we talk of “forms” here we’re speaking of the objects of the consciousness of the eye.  “Sounds” are the objects of the ear; “smells” the objects of the nose; “tastes” the objects of the tongue; and “things to touch” the objects of the body sense.  “Things in general” here refers to the objects of the thought—and so we are, in short, referring to both the total amount of existing things and to the way they really exist as well.

 

115 Leave a comment on block 115 0

[99]

RAB ‘BYOR CHOS THAMS CAD THA SNYAD BTAGS PA TZAM DU YOD PA MA GTOGS, RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PA RDUL TZAM YANG MED PA’I PHYIR RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PAR ‘DZIN PA NI PHYIN CI LOG TU ZHEN PA YIN PAS,

And what Lord Buddha is saying then is: “O Subhuti, every single object in the universe exists only through our projections; they have not a single atom of any other kind of existence—any natural existence.  As such, anyone who holds that things could exist through any nature of their own is entertaining a belief which is completely mistaken.

 

116 Leave a comment on block 116 0

[100]

CI NAS KYANG RANG BZHIN KYIS GRUB PAR ZHEN PA’I MTSAN MAR ‘DZIN PA’I ‘DU SHES LA BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAS GNAS PAR MI BYA’O,,

“And bodhisattvas never stay in any kind of conception where they hold to the signs of things, where they believe in any way at all that things could exist through any nature of their own.”

 

117 Leave a comment on block 117 0

[101]

MTSAN MAR ‘DZIN PA NI BDEN ‘DZIN GYI MING GI RNAM GRANGS TE, BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS NA SKYON CHE BA’I DPE ‘OG TU ‘CHAD DO,,

“Holding to the signs of things” is just another way of saying “holding to things as being true.”  Further on we’ll be hearing a metaphor for just what a serious mistake it is to live in the chains of holding to things as being true.

 

 

 

The infinite karma of emptiness

 

119 Leave a comment on block 119 0

[K21b]

Tatkasya hetoyaḥ Subhūte bodhisattvo’pratiṣṭhito dānaṃ dadāti tasya Subhūte puṇyaskandhasya na sukaraṃ pramāṇāmudgrahītum.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA SBYIN PA DE’I BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO NI, RAB ‘BYOR, TSAD GZUNG BAR SLA BA MA YIN PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Why is it so?  Think, o Subhuti, of the mountains of merit collected by any bodhisattva who performs the act of giving without staying.  This merit, o Subhuti, is not something that you could easily ever measure.

 

 

120 Leave a comment on block 120 0

[103]

BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS PA’I SBYIN SOGS LAS BSOD NAMS CHEN PO ‘BYUNG MOD, BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS PA DANG BRAL BA’I SGO NAS SBYIN SOGS BSGRUB PA NA BSOD NAMS LHAG PAR CHE BAR NGES ZHES STON PA NI, DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA SBYIN PA DE’I BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO CHE BA’I MTHA’ TSAD NI GZHAN GYIS GZUNG BAR SLA BA MIN TE DKA’ BA’I PHYIR RO,

One would have to admit that a person locked in the chains of grasping to some true existence can collect a great amount of merit through acts of giving and the like.  But suppose a person is able to practice giving and the rest after he has freed himself from these same chains.  Their merit then is certain to be ever much greater.  And it is to emphasize this point that the Buddha says, Why is it so?  Think, o Subhuti, of the mountains of merit collected by any bodhisattva who performs the act of giving without staying.  This merit is not something whose limit you could easily ever measure; in fact, it would be quite difficult to measure.

 

 

122 Leave a comment on block 122 0

[K22]

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte sukaraṃ pūrvasyāṃ diśi ākāśasya pramāṇamudgrahītum. 

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

No hīdaṃ Bhagavan.

 

Bhagavānāha.

 

Evaṃ dakṣiṇapaścimottarāsvadha ūrdhvaṃ digvidikṣu samantāddaśasu dikṣu sukaramākāśasya pramāṇamudgrahītum.

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

No hīdaṃ Bhagavan.

 

Bhagavānāha.

 

Evameva Subhūte yo bodhisattvo’pratiṣṭhito dānaṃ dadāti tasya Subhūte puṇyaskandhasya na sukaraṃ pramāṇamudgrahītum. Evaṃ hi Subhūte bodhisattvayānasaṃprasthitena dānaṃ dātavyaṃ yathā na nimittasaṃjñāyāmapi pratitiṣṭhet.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, SHAR PHYOGS KYI NAM MKHA’I TSAD GZUNG BAR SLA’AM,

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE NI, MA LAGS SO,,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

DE BZHIN DU LHO DANG, NUB DANG, BYANG DANG, STENG DANG, ‘OG GI PHYOGS DANG, PHYOGS MTSAMS DANG, PHYOGS BCU’I NAM MKHA’I TSAD GZUNG BAR SLA’AM,

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE NI, MA LAGS SO,,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DE BZHIN DU BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG MI GNAS PA’I SBYIN PA SBYIN PA DE’I BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO YANG TSAD GZUNG BAR SLA BA MA YIN NO,,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Would it be easy to measure the space to the east of us?

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, it would not.

 

The Conqueror said,

 

And just so, would it be easy to measure the space in any of the main directions to the south of us, or to the west of us, or to the north of us, or above us, or below us or in any of the other directions from us?  Would it be easy to measure the space to any of the ten directions from where we now stand?

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

Conqueror, it would not.

 

Then the Conqueror said:

 

And just so, Subhuti, it would be no easy thing to measure the mountains of merit collected by any bodhisattva who performs the act of giving without staying.

 

 

123 Leave a comment on block 123 0

[105]

DE’I DPE STON PA NI, SHAR LA SOGS PA PHYOGS BCU’I NAM MKHA’I TSAD GZUNG BA SLA BA MA YIN PA LTA BU STE, RAB ‘BYOR DE BZHIN DU ZHES SOGS KYIS DPE BSTAN PA’I DON BSDUS SO,,

The root text here is presenting an example.  It would be no easy thing to measure the space to the east or any of the rest of the ten directions reaching out from the particular point where we are now.  Then the Buddha summarizes the point of the example with the words that start with “And just so, Subhuti…

 

 

The emptiness of the Buddha

 

125 Leave a comment on block 125 0

[K23-K25a]

(5) [p. 22] Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte lakṣaṇasaṃpadā Tathāgato draṣṭavyaḥ.

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

No hīdaṃ Bhagavan na lakṣaṇasaṃpadā Tathāgato draṣṭavyaḥ.  Tatkasya hetoḥ yā sā Bhagavan lakṣaṇasaṃpat Tathāgatena bhāṣitā saivālakṣaṇasaṃpat.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAR BLTA’AM,

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, [f. 217b] DE NI, MA LAGS TE, MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAR MI BLTA’O, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PAR GANG GSUNGS PA DE NYID MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PA MA MCHIS PA’I SLAD DU’O,,

 

Now Subhuti, what do you think?  Should we consider someone to be One Thus Gone, just because they possess the totally exquisite signs that we find on a Buddha’s body?

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

Oh Conquering One, we should not.  We should not consider anyone One Thus Gone just because they possess the totally exquisite signs that we find on a Buddha’s body.  And why not?  Because when the One Thus Gone himself described the totally exquisite signs on a Buddha’s body, he stated at the same time that they were impossible.

 

 

Evamukte Bhagavānāyuṣmantaṃ Subhūtimetadavocat.

 

Yāvat Subhūte lakṣaṇasaṃpattāvanmṛṣā yāvadalakṣaṇasaṃpattāvanna mṛṣeti hi lakṣaṇālakṣaṇatastathāgato draṣṭavyaḥ.

 

(6) Evamukte āyuṣmān SubhūtirBhagavantametadavocat.

 

 

DE SKAD CES GSOL PA DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR LA ‘DI SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL TO,,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PA DE TZAM DU RDZUN NO, ,JI TZAM DU MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PA MED PA DE TZAM DU MI RDZUN TE, DE LTAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA MTSAN DANG MTSAN MED PAR BLTA’O,,

 

DE SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL PA DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR GYIS ‘DI SKAD CES GSOL TO,,

 

 

And then the Conqueror spoke to the junior monk Subhuti again, as follows:

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  The totally exquisite signs on a Buddha’s body, as such, are deceptive.  The totally exquisite signs on a Buddha’s body are also not deceptive, but only insofar as they do not exist.  And so you should see the One Thus Gone as having no signs, no signs at all.

 

Thus did the Conqueror speak.  And then the junior monk Subhuti replied to the Conquering One, as follows:

 

 

126 Leave a comment on block 126 0

[107]

SBYIN SOGS BSOD NAMS KYI TSOGS LAS SANGS RGYAS KYI GZUGS SKU ‘GRUB PAR ‘GYUR [f. 9a] ZHING, GZUGS KYI SKU NI MTSAN DPES BRGYAN PA’O, ,RAB ‘BYOR ‘DI {%’DI JI} SNYAM DU SEMS ZHES PA NI, RAB ‘BYOR KHYOD KYIS DON ‘DI LA JI LTAR YIN SNYAM DU SEMS PA STE BSAM,

 

The merit of acts such as giving and the rest bring us the physical body of a Buddha, and this physical body is adorned with various major signs and minor marks.  The words “Now Subhuti, what do you think?” mean “Subhuti, turn your mind to this subject, and think about how it could be—contemplate upon it.”

 

 

127 Leave a comment on block 127 0

[108]

DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA’I GZUGS KYI SKU RNAM PA GNYIS NI MTSAN DPE PHUN SUM TSOGS PA DANG LDAN PA YIN MOD, ‘ON KYANG MTSAN DPE PHUN SUM TSOGS PA YOD PA DE TZAM GYIS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAR LTA BA STE ‘DOD PAR BYA BA YIN SNYAM MA’AM ZHES DRIS PA NA,

 

The Buddha then asks Subhuti, “Assume for a minute that someone possessed the totally exquisite signs and marks, or the two physical bodies, of One Thus Gone.  Would that in itself require us to consider them—that is, assert that they are—One Thus Gone?  What do you think?”

 

 

128 Leave a comment on block 128 0

[109]

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS DE NI DE LTAR BLTA BA MA LAGS SO ZHES GSOL TE, CUNG ZAD DBYE BA NI MTSAN DPE PHUN SUM TSOGS PA YOD PA DE TZAM GYIS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAR BLTA BAR MI BGYID DE,

Subhuti replies to the Buddha with the words starting off from, “We should not consider them so.”  At this point we have to draw a slight distinction.  One should not necessarily consider someone One Thus Gone simply because they possess the totally exquisite signs and marks.

 

 

129 Leave a comment on block 129 0

[110]

DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GZUGS KYI SKU’I MTSAN DPE PHUN SUM TSOGS PA GANG GSUNGS PA DE NYID KUN RDZOB TU SGYU MA LTAR YOD PAR GSUNGS KYI, DON DAM PAR MTSAN DPE PHUN SUM TSOGS PA MA MCHIS PA’I SLAD DU’O ZHES GSOL TO,,

“And why not?” says Subhuti.  He answers himself by saying, “Because when the One Thus Gone himself described the totally exquisite signs and marks on a Buddha’s body, he stated at the same time that they existed deceptively, in the way of an illusion.  Signs and marks of this kind that existed ultimately, however, would be a complete impossibility.”

 

130 Leave a comment on block 130 0

[111]

GZUGS SKU’I MTSAN DPE RNAMS NI RI MOS BRIS PA’I GZUGS BRNYAN LTAR RKYEN TSOGS PA LAS BYUNG BA’I KUN RDZOB BRDZUN PA’I GNAS TSUL YIN GYI, BDEN PA’I RANG BZHIN MIN NO ZHES STON PA NI, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA CI TZAM DU MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PA DE TZAM DU BRDZUN NO ZHES GSUNGS,

The signs and marks on the physical body of the Buddha are like an image drawn on a piece of paper: they are not the real thing—they exist in a deceptive manner, as things that occur when all of their causes have gathered together.  They do not exist as something with a true nature.  To indicate this fact, Lord Buddha says to Subhuti, “Insofar as the totally exquisite marks on a Buddha’s body exist, as such they are deceptive.”

 

 

131 Leave a comment on block 131 0

[112]

‘O NA MI BRDZUN PA GANG ZHE NA, JI TZAM DU MTSAN DPE PHUN SUM TSOGS PA RNAMS BDEN BAR MED PA DE TZAM NI MI BRDZUN ZHING BDEN TE, DE LTAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA BDEN PAR GRUB PA’I MTSAN DANG MTSAN MA MED PAR BLTA BAR BYA’O,,

 

“Well then what,” you may ask, “is meant by the following words: ‘the signs are not deceptive’?”  The totally exquisite signs and marks on a Buddha’s body are also not deceptive, and true, but only insofar as they do not exist truly.  And so you should see the One Thus Gone as having no marks, no marks to indicate his nature, at all.

 

 

132 Leave a comment on block 132 0

[113]

’DIS GZUGS SKU [f. 9b] LA MTHA’ GNYIS SEL TE, GZUGS SKU DANG DE’I MTSAN DPE RNAMS KUN RDZOB BRDZUN PA’I STONG TSUL DU YOD PAS SKUR ‘DEBS SEL ZHING,

 

The section here helps to prevent us from falling into either one of the two extremes.  The physical body of the Buddha and its various signs and marks do exist—albeit in a deceptive way, in a false or empty way—and this fact keeps us from the extreme of denying the existence of something which actually does exist.

 

 

133 Leave a comment on block 133 0

[114]

BDEN GRUB KYI MTSAN DANG MTSAN MA MED PAR BSTAN PAS SGRO ‘DOGS KYI MTHA’ SEL BA’I PHYIR RO, ,DE’I SNGA MAS GZUGS SKU DANG PHYI MAS CHOS KYI SKU BSTAN TE NGO BO NYID SKU GTZO CHE’O,,

 

The text though also states that there exist no signs, and no signs that would indicate any nature, which also exist truly.  This fact keeps us from the extreme of asserting the existence of something which actually does not exist.  The former of these two is referring to the physical body of a Buddha.  The latter is referring to the reality body, and chiefly to the essence body.

 

Bodhisattvas of the last 500 years

 

135 Leave a comment on block 135 0

[K25b]

Asti Bhagavankecitsattvā bhaviṣyantyanāgate’dhvani paścime kāle paścime samaye paścimāyāṃ pañcaśatyāṃ Saddharmavipralopakāle vartamāne ya imeṣvevaṃrūpeṣu sūtrāntapadeṣu bhāṣyamāṇeṣu bhūtasaṃjñāmutpādayiṣyanti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS LNGA BRGYA THA MA LA DAM PA’I CHOS RAB TU RNAM PAR ‘JIG PAR ‘GYUR BA NA SEMS CAN GANG LA LA DAG ‘DI LTA BU’I MDO SDE’I TSIG BSHAD PA ‘DI LA YANG DAG PAR ‘DU SHES BSKYED PAR ‘GYUR BA LTA MCHIS SAM,

 

O Conqueror, what will happen in the future, in the days of the last five hundred, when the holy Dharma is approaching its final destruction?  How could anyone of those times ever see accurately the meaning of the explanations given in sutras such as this one?

 

 

Bhagavāha.

 

Subhūte tvameva voca. Asti kecitsattvā bhaviṣyantyanāgate’dhvani paścime kāle paścime samaye paścimāyāṃ pañcaśatyāṃ Saddharmavipralope vartamāne ya imeṣvevaṃrūpeṣu sūtrāntapadeṣu bhāṣyamāṇeṣu bhūtasaṃjñāmutpādayiṣyanti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, KHYOD ‘DI SKAD DU, MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS LNGA BRGYA THA MA LA DAM PA’I CHOS RAB TU RNAM PAR ‘JIG PAR ‘GYUR BA NA SEMS CAN GANG LA LA DAG ‘DI LTA BU’I MDO SDE’I TSIG BSHAD PA ‘DI LA YANG DAG PAR ‘DU SHES BSKYED PAR ‘GYUR BA LTA MCHIS SAM ZHES MA ZER CIG ,

 

And the Conqueror replied,

 

Subhuti, you should never ask the question you have just asked: “What will happen in the future, in the days of the last five hundred, when the Dharma is approaching its final destruction?  How could anyone of those times ever see accurately the meaning of the explanations given in sutras such as this one?”

 

 

136 Leave a comment on block 136 0

[116]

DE LTA BU’I CHOS GZUGS KYI SKU BSHAD PA’I MDO ‘DI LA YID CHES SHING MOS PA’I SEMS CAN MA ‘ONGS PA ‘BYUNG NGAM ZHES PA NI, RAB ‘BYOR GYIS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS LNGA BRGYA’I THA MA LA DAM PA’I CHOS RAB TU RNAM PAR ‘JIG PAR ‘GYUR BA NA SOGS TE,

 

The next issue is whether or not there will be anyone at all in the future who believes in, or has any great interest in, sutras such as this one—sutras which explain the nature of the dharma body, and the physical body, of a Buddha.  In order to raise this issue, Subhuti asks the question that begins with “O Conqueror, what will happen in the future, in the days of the last five hundred, when the holy Dharma is approaching its final destruction?”

 

 

137 Leave a comment on block 137 0

[117]

LAN DU BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR KHYOD DE SKAD MA ZER CIG CES PA NI KHYOD MA ‘ONGS PA NA DE LTA BU’I GANG ZAG ‘BYUNG MI ‘BYUNG LA DOGS PA MA ZA NAS MA ‘DRI SHIG CES PA’I DON NO,

In reply, the Conqueror speaks: “O Subhuti, you should never ask the question you have just asked.”  What he means here is that Subhuti should never entertain the uncertainty of wondering whether or not there will be anyone of this type in the future; and if he never had this doubt, Subhuti would never ask the question.

 

139 Leave a comment on block 139 0

[K26]

Api tu khalu punaḥ Subhūte bhaviṣyantyanāgate’dhvani bodhisattvā mahāsattvāḥ paścime kāle paścime samaye paścimāyāṃ pañcaśatyāṃ Saddharmavipralope vartamāne guṇavantaḥ śīlavantaḥ prajñāvantaśca bhaviṣyanti ya imeṣvevaṃrūpeṣu sūtrāntapadeṣu bhāṣyamāṇeṣu bhūtasaṃjñāmutpādayiṣyanti.

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS LNGA [f. 218a] BRGYA THA MA LA DAM PA’I CHOS RAB TU RNAM PAR ‘JIG PAR ‘GYUR BA NA BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO TSUL KHRIMS DANG LDAN PA, YON TAN DANG LDAN PA, SHES RAB DANG LDAN PA DAG ‘BYUNG STE,

 

I say to you, o Subhuti, that in the future, in the days of the last five hundred, when the holy Dharma is approaching its final destruction, there will come bodhisattvas who are great beings, who possess morality, who possess the fine quality, and who possess wisdom.

 

 

Na khalu punaste Subhūte bodhisattvā mahāsattvā ekaBuddhaparyupāsitā bhaviṣyanti naikaBuddhāvaropitakuśalamūlā bhaviṣyanti api tu khalu punaḥ Subhūte [p. 23] anekaBuddhaśatasahasraparyupāsitā anekaBuddhaśatasahasrāvaropitakuśalamūlāste bodhisattvā mahāsattvā bhaviṣyanti.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO DE DAG KYANG SANGS RGYAS GCIG LA BSNYEN BKUR BYAS PA MA YIN, SANGS RGYAS GCIG LA DGE BA’I RTZA BA BSKYED PA MA YIN GYI, RAB ‘BYOR, SANGS RGYAS BRGYA STONG MANG PO LA BSNYEN BKUR BYAS SHING, SANGS RGYAS BRGYA STONG DU MA LA DGE BA’I RTZA BA DAG BSKYED PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO DAG ‘BYUNG NGO,,

 

And these bodhisattvas who are great beings, o Subhuti, will not be ones who have rendered honor but to a single Buddha, or who have collected stores of virtue with a single Buddha.  Instead, o Subhuti, they will be ones who have rendered honor to many hundreds of thousands of Buddhas, and who have collected stores of virtue with many hundreds of thousands of Buddhas.  Such are the bodhisattvas, the great beings, who then will come.

 

 

140 Leave a comment on block 140 0

[119]

RAB ‘BYOR MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS SU DAM PA’I CHOS ‘JIG PAR ‘GYUR BA’I TSE NA YANG, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO LHAG PA TSUL KHRIMS KYI BSLAB PA DANG LDAN PA DANG, LHAG PA TING NGE ‘DZIN GYI BSLAB PA’I YON TAN DANG LDAN PA DANG, LHAG PA SHES RAB GYI BSLAB PA GSUM DANG LDAN PA DAG NGES PAR ‘BYUNG STE,

O Subhuti, says the text, in the future, even when the holy Dharma is approaching its final destruction, there will come bodhisattvas who are great beings.  They will possess the extraordinary form of the training of morality; they will possess that fine quality which consists of the extraordinary form of the training of concentration, and they will possess the extraordinary form of the training of wisdom.

 

141 Leave a comment on block 141 0

[120]

BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO DE DAG KYANG SNGON SANGS RGYAS GCIG TZAM LA BSNYEN BKUR ZHING DGE BA’I RTZA BA BSKYED PA MA YIN GYI, SANGS RGYAS ‘BUM PHRAG DU MA LA BSNYEN BKUR ZHING DGE RTZA BSKYED PA YIN PAR NGAS MKHYEN TO ZHES PA’O,,

And these bodhisattvas who are great beings will not be ones who have rendered honor to or collected stores of virtue with only a single Buddha, but instead they will be ones who have rendered honor to and collected stores of virtue with many hundreds of thousands of Buddhas.  This fact, says the Conqueror, is something I can perceive right now.

 

142 Leave a comment on block 142 0

[121]

K’A SH’IS LNGA BRGYA THA MA ZHES BYA BA LA BRGYA PHRAG LNGA’I TSOGS NI LNGA BRGYA STE, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYI BSTAN PA LNGA BRGYA PHRAG LNGA’I BAR DU GNAS ZHES GRAGS PAS ZHES BSHAD PA’I [f. 10a] LNGA BRGYA PHRAG LNGA NI LO NYIS STONG LNGA BRGYA’I BAR DU BSTAN PA GNAS ZHES PA’O,,

Master Kamalashila explains the expression “days of the last five hundred” as follows: “Five hundred” here refers to a group of five hundreds; it refers to the well-known saying that “The teachings of the Conqueror will remain for five times five hundred.”  As such, the “five times five hundred” refers to the length of time that the teachings will remain in the world: 2,500 years.[66]

 

 

143 Leave a comment on block 143 0

[122]

BSTAN PA’I GNAS TSAD LA MDO DANG DGONGS ‘GREL DAG LAS BSHAD TSUL MI ‘DRA BA MANG STE, THUB PA’I BSTAN PA LO STONG DANG NYIS STONG DANG NYIS STONG LNGA BRGYA DANG LNGA STONG DU GNAS PAR BSHAD PA’ANG YOD DE DGONGS PA NI MI ‘GAL LO,,

 

On the question of just how long the teachings will survive in this world, we see a number of different explanations in the various sutras and commentaries upon them.  These state that the teachings of the Able One will last for a thousand years, or two thousand, or two and a half thousand, or five thousand years.  When we consider their intent though these various statements are not in contradiction with each other.

 

144 Leave a comment on block 144 0

[123]

MI ‘GAL BA’I TSUL NI ‘GA’ ZHIG ‘BRAS BU DANG SGRUB PA’I DUS DANG ‘GA’ ZHIG NI LUNG GI DUS LA DGONGS SHING, LA LA NI ‘PHAGS YUL GYI DBANG DU MDZAD PAR MNGON NO,,

 

The reason for their lack of contradiction is that some of these works are meant to refer to the length of time that people will still be achieving goals, or still be practicing.  Still others refer to the length of time that the physical records of these teachings remain in our world.  Some, finally, appear to be referring to the Land of the Realized.[67]

 

 

145 Leave a comment on block 145 0

[124]

DE LTA BU’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ NI ‘PHAGS YUL GYI ‘DZAM GLING RGYAN DRUG LTA BU SOGS DANG, BOD DU NI SA PAn DANG BU STON DANG RJE YAB SRAS LTA BU’O,,

 

There are many examples of the kinds of bodhisattvas mentioned at this point in the text.  In the Land of the Realized, there have been the “Six Jewels of the World of Jambu,” and others like them.  In Tibet there have been high beings like the Sakya Pandita, or Buton Rinpoche, or the Three Lords—the father and his spiritual sons.[68]

 

 

 

The Buddha sees you

 

147 Leave a comment on block 147 0

[K27-K28]

ya imeṣvevaṃrūpeṣu sūtrāntapadeṣu bhāṣyamāṇeṣvekacittaprasādamapi pratilapsyante.  Jñātāste Subhūte Tathāgatena Buddhajñānena dṛṣṭāste Subhūte Tathāgatena Buddhacakṣuṣā Buddhāste Subhūte Tathāgatena. Sarve te Subhūte’prameyamasaṃkhyeyaṃ puṇyaskandhaṃ prasaviṣyanti pratigrahīṣyanti.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, GANG DAG ‘DI LTA BU’I MDO SDE’I TSIG BSHAD PA ‘DI LA SEMS DAD PA GCIG TZAM RNYED PAR ‘GYUR BA DE DAG NI, RAB ‘BYOR, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS MKHYEN TO, ,RAB ‘BYOR, DE DAG NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GZIGS TE, RAB ‘BYOR, SEMS CAN DE DAG THAMS CAD NI, BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO DPAG TU MED PA BSKYED CING RAB TU SDUD PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

Suppose, o Subhuti, that a person reaches even just a single feeling of faith for the words of a sutra such as this one.  The One Thus Gone, Subhuti, knows any such person.  The One Thus Gone, Subhuti, sees any such person.  Such a person, o Subhuti, has produced, and gathered safely into themselves, a mountain of merit beyond any calculation.

 

 

148 Leave a comment on block 148 0

[126]

DE’I TSE SEMS CAN GANG DAG ‘DI LTA BU’I MDO SDE SHER PHYIN STON PA’I GZHUNG RNAMS LA THOS BSAM GYIS DAD PA MANG PO LTA CI SEMS DANG BA GCIG TZAM ZHIG RNYED CING BSKYED PAR ‘GYUR BA’I SEMS CAN DE RNAMS NI, DA LTA NAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS MKHYEN CING GZIGS TE SEMS CAN DE DAG GIS BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO DPAG TU MED PA BSKYED CING SDUD PAR ‘GYUR RO, ,MKHYEN PA NI BSAM PA DANG GZIGS PA NI GZUGS LA SOGS PA’O,,

 

Suppose, says the text, that a person of those future days reaches, or senses within them, even just a single feeling of admiration for a sutra such as this one: for one of the great books which teaches the perfection of wisdom; much less if they experience a great many moments of such faith over the course of the traditional steps of classroom learning, and contemplation, upon these works.  From this moment on, the One Thus Gone knows and sees that any such person has produced, and gathered safely into themselves, a mountain of merit beyond any calculation.  He “knows” the person’s thoughts, and “sees” their visual form and such.

 

150 Leave a comment on block 150 0

[K29]

Tatkasya hetoḥ na hi Subhūte teṣāṃ bodhisattvānāṃ mahāsattvānāmātmasaṃjñā pravartate na sattvasaṃjñā na jīvasaṃjñā na pudgalasaṃjñā pravartate.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO DE DAG NI, BDAG TU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG PAR MI ‘GYUR ZHING, SEMS CAN DU ‘DU SHES PA MA YIN, SROG TU ‘DU SHES PA MA YIN TE, GANG ZAG TU’ANG ‘DU SHES ‘JUG PAR MI ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Why is it so?  Because, Subhuti, these bodhisattvas who are great beings never slip into any conception of something as a self, nor do they slip into any conception of something as a living being, nor any conception of something as being alive, nor any conception of something as a person.

 

 

151 Leave a comment on block 151 0

[128]

RGYU MTSAN DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ DE DAG NI BDAG DANG SEMS CAN DANG SROG DANG GANG ZAG TU BDEN PAR ‘DZIN PA’I ‘DU SHES MNGON ‘GYUR BA ‘JUG PAR MI ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR RO, ,BDAG DANG GANG ZAG SOGS KYI SGRA DON NI GONG DU BSHAD PA LTAR TE,

 

One may ask the reason why the above is so.  It’s because these particular bodhisattvas will entertain no manifest conception of something as a self, or as a living being, or as being alive, or as a person.  The denotation of the words “self” and “person” and so on here are the same as I have mentioned earlier.

 

 

152 Leave a comment on block 152 0

[129]

K’A SH’IS NI NGA’O SNYAM DU BDAG YOD PAR ‘DZIN PA NI BDAG TU ‘DU SHES PA’O, ,BDAG GIR YOD PAR ‘DZIN PA NI SEMS CAN DU ‘DU SHES PA’O, ,[f. 10b] BDAG DE NYID KYI TSE JI SRID GNAS KYI BAR YONGS SU ‘DZIN PA NI SROG TU ‘DU SHES PA’O, ,YANG DANG YANG DU ‘GRO BA DAG TU ‘GRO BAR ‘DZIN PA NI GANG ZAG TU ‘DZIN PA’O ZHES BSHAD DE,

 

Master Kamalashila at this point says:

 

The expression “conceive of something as a self” means thinking “me,” or grasping that the self exists.  “Conceiving of something as a living being” means grasping that something belonging to the self exists.  “Conceiving of something as being alive” means continuing to grasp to the same “self” as above, but for the entire length of ones life.  “Conceiving of something as a person” means grasping that those who are born again and again are born.[69]

 

 

153 Leave a comment on block 153 0

[130]

BDAG GIR ‘DZIN PA’I DON SNGA MA DANG CUNG MI ‘DRA’O, ,DE LTA BU’I ‘DU SHES RAGS PA MI ‘JUG PA NI BDAG MED RTOGS PA’I SKABS LA DGONGS SO,,

Thus the meaning of grasping to something as belonging to the self is a bit different than before.  When the text says that these bodhisattvas entertain no such coarse conceptions, it is referring specifically to the occasions at which one realizes the lack of a self-nature.

 

 

 

155 Leave a comment on block 155 0

[K30-K32]

Nāpi teṣāṃ Subhūte bodhisattvānāṃ mahāsattvānāṃ dharmasaṃjñā pravartate.  Evaṃ nādharmasaṃjñā.  Nāpi teṣāṃ Subhūte saṃjñā nāsaṃjñā pravartate.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, BYANG CHUB [f. 218b] SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO DE DAG CHOS SU ‘DU SHES PA DANG, CHOS MED PAR YANG ‘DU SHES MI ‘JUG STE, DE DAG NI, ‘DU SHES DANG, ‘DU SHES MED PAR YANG ‘DU SHES ‘JUG PAR MI ‘GYUR RO,,

 

Subhuti, these bodhisattvas who are great beings neither slip into any conception of things as things, nor do they slip into any conception of things as not being things.  They neither slip into any conception of a thought as a conception, nor do they slip into any conception of a thought as not being a conception.

 

 

Tatkasya hetoḥ sacetSubhūte teṣāṃ bodhisattvānāṃ mahāsattvānāṃ dharmasaṃjñā pravarteta sa eva teṣāmātmagrāho bhavet sattvagrāho jīvagrāhaḥ pudgalagrāho bhavet.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, GAL TE BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO DE DAG CHOS SU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG NA, DE NYID DE DAG GI BDAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR ZHING, SEMS CAN DU ‘DZIN PA DANG, SROG TU ‘DZIN PA DANG, GANG ZAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Why is it so?  Because if, Subhuti, these bodhisattvas who are great beings were to slip into any conception of things as things, then they would grasp these same things as being a “self”; they would grasp them as being a living being; they would grasp them as being something that lives; they would grasp them as a person.

 

 

Sacedadharmasajñā pravarteta sa eva teamātmagrāho bhavetssattvagrāho jīvagrāha pudgalagrāha iti.         

 

GAL TE CHOS MED PAR ‘JUG NA’ANG DE NYID DE DAG GI BDAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR ZHING, SEMS CAN DU ‘DZIN PA DANG, SROG TU ‘DZIN PA DANG, GANG ZAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

And even if they were to slip into thinking of them as not being things, that too they would grasp as being a “self”; and as being a living being; and as being something that lives; and as being a person.

 

156 Leave a comment on block 156 0

[132]

DE RNAMS BDAG TU SOGS BDEN ZHEN GYIS MI ‘JUG PAR MA ZAD, GZUGS SOGS LA THA SNYAD DU CHOS SU BDEN PAR ‘DU SHES PA DANG, CHOS SU MED PAR YANG BDEN ZHEN GYIS ‘DU SHES MI ‘JUG STE, DE DAG NI DE LTA BU’I ‘DU SHES YOD PA DANG ‘DU SHES MED PAR YANG ‘JUG PAR MI ‘GYUR RO,,

The text is saying: “Not only do these beings avoid entertaining a belief in things as being something true; neither do they entertain any conception of physical form and other things as being true things nominally.  Nor as well do they entertain any conception where they believe that these things are not things.”

 

 

157 Leave a comment on block 157 0

[133]

RNAM PA GCIG TU NI GZUGS LA SOGS PA KUN RDZOB PA’I CHOS DANG, KUN RDZOB PA’I CHOS RNAMS BDEN PAR MED PA LA’ANG BDEN ZHEN GYI ‘DU SHES MI ‘JUG PA’I DON DU BSHAD KYANG RUNG STE, ‘DU SHES DE LTAR ‘JUG NA SKYON DU ‘GYUR BA NI, CHOS SU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG NA YANG SOGS DANG, CHOS BDAG MED PAR ‘DU SHES ‘JUG NA YANG ZHES SOGS DANG ‘BREL LO,,

 

From another point of view, it is appropriate as well to gloss the passage as follows.  Physical form and other such things are deceptive objects, and deceptive objects are not something which is true.  These bodhisattvas avoid entertaining even the conception where one believes that this fact itself is something true.  If one in fact did entertain such a conception, then certain problems would arise—and this explains the relevance of the two paragraphs that come next in the root text, the one that mentions “If they were to entertain any conception of things as things” and so on; and the other that starts with “If they were to entertain them as not being things” that had a self.

 

The ship of the Dharma

 

159 Leave a comment on block 159 0

[K33-K34]

Tatkasya hetoḥ na khalu punaḥ Subhūte bodhisattvena mahāsattvena Dharma udgrahītaṣyo nādharmaḥ.  Tasmādiya Tathāgatena sadhāya vāgbhāitā.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, YANG RAB ‘BYOR, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAS CHOS KYANG LOG PAR GZUNG BAR MI BYA STE, CHOS MA YIN PA YANG MI GZUNG BA’I PHYIR RO, ,DE BAS NA, DE LAS DGONGS TE DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS

 

Why is it so?  Because, Subhuti, the bodhisattvas never hold the Dharma in the wrong way either.  Nor do they hold what is not the Dharma.  This then is what the One Thus Gone meant when he said:

 

 

Kolopamaṃ DharmaparyāyamājānadbhiDharmā eva prahātavyāḥ prāgevāDharmā iti.

 

CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI GZINGS LTA BUR SHES PA RNAMS KYIS CHOS RNAMS KYANG SPANG BAR BYA NA, CHOS MA YIN PA RNAMS LTA CI SMOS ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

 

Those who understand that this presentation of the Dharma is like a ship leave even these teachings of Dharma behind.  What need then is there to mention what they do with that which is not the Dharma?

 

 

160 Leave a comment on block 160 0

[135]

YANG CHOS KYANG LOG PAR GZUNG BAR MI BYA STE, CHOS MA YIN PA YANG MI GZUNG BA’I PHYIR RO ZHES PA’I CHOS NI LUNG GI DAM PA’I CHOS BDEN ZHEN GYIS LOG PAR MI GZUNG BA DANG, CHOS MA YIN PA NI DAM PA’I CHOS MA YIN PA MU STEGS KYI GZHUNG SOGS MI GZUNG BAR BSHAD PA LTAR NA DPYAD DGOS PAR SNANG NGO,,

Neither should we hold the Dharma itself in the wrong way; nor should we hold to what is not the Dharma.  It is explained that the “Dharma” being mentioned here is that highest Dharma, in the form of the word of the Buddhas; and we are advised not to hold it in the wrong way in the sense of believing that it is real.  And then that which is “not the Dharma” would refer to not holding to things like the scriptures of the non-Buddhists.  It would appear that we should re-examine this particular interpretation.

 

161 Leave a comment on block 161 0

[136]

RGYU MTSAN DE BAS NA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS TSUL DE LA DGONGS NAS LUNG GI CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI GRU GZINGS LTA BU STE GRU GZING NI CHU’I PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA NA MI DGOS PAR SHES PA LTA BU MTHAR  PHYIN PA’I [f. 11a] KYIS NI, ‘BRAS BU THOB BYED KYI THABS LUNG GI TSOGS LTA BU’I CHOS RNAMS KYANG ‘BRAS BU THOB PA’I TSE ‘DOR ZHING SPANG BAR BYA NA, DAM PA’I CHOS MA YIN PA RNAMS ‘DOR BA GZHIR BCAS TE LTA CI SMOS SO ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

This then is why—this then is what the One Thus Gone meant when he said that—this presentation of the Dharma is like a ship.  We understand that, once we have crossed over a body of water in a ship to the far shore, then we no longer have any need of the ship itself.  Realized beings who have reached the final goal are the same.  Once they reach this goal, then they abandon or leave behind even these teachings of the Dharma—even those collections of physical Dharma which are the means for us to reach the goal.  What need then is there to mentiongiven then what we just said, the sutra is saying—what these beings do with that which is not the Dharma?

 

162 Leave a comment on block 162 0

[137]

DE NI ‘BRAS BU THOB PA’I TSE DGOS PA GRUB ZIN PAS LUNG DE LTA BU RANG DON DU DGOS PA MED PA DANG, DE LA RAG MA LAS PA’I DON NO,,

 

The point here is that—once we have achieved the goal—then the purpose for physical Dharma like this has already been accomplished; and it is no longer of any need, at least, for reaching ones own goals: one will no longer need to depend upon it.

 

 

The emptiness of the Dharma

 

164 Leave a comment on block 164 0

[K35]

 (7) [p. 24] Punaraparaṃ Bhagavānāyuṣmantaṃ Subhūtimetadavocat.

 

GZHAN YANG BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR LA ‘DI SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL TO,,

 

And the Conqueror said these words as well to the junior monk Subhuti:

 

 

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte asti sa kaściddharmo yasTathāgatenānuttarā samyaksaṃbodhirityabhisaṃbuddhaḥ kaścidvā DharmasTathāgatena deśitaḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG YOD [f. 219a] DAM, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS CHOS GANG YANG BSTAN TAM,

 

Subhuti, what do you think?  Is there any such thing as an enlightenment where Those Gone Thus reach some incomparable, perfect, and total Buddhahood?  And does the One Thus Gone ever teach any Dharma at all?

 

 

165 Leave a comment on block 165 0

[139]

YANG BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS CHOS GANG BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB TU MNGON PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DANG GSUNGS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG YOD CING BSTAN NAM SNYAM DU SEMS SAM ZHES GSUNGS PA NA,

And then the Conqueror says as well these words to the junior monk Subhuti.  “Is there any such thing as an enlightenment where Those Gone Thus reach some incomparable, perfect, and total Buddhahood?  And does the One Thus Gone ever teach any Dharma at all?  What do you think?”

 

167 Leave a comment on block 167 0

[K36]

Evamukte āyuṣmān SubhūtirBhagavantametadavocat.

 

DE SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL PA DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR GYIS ‘DI SKAD CES GSOL TO,,

 

Then the junior monk Subhuti replied to the Conqueror, in the following words:

 

 

Yathāhaṃ Bhagavan Bhagavato bhāṣitasyārthamājānāmi nāsti sa kaściddharmo yas Tathāgatenānuttarā samyaksaṃbodhirityabhisaṃbuddhaḥ nāsti Dharmo yasTathāgatena deśitaḥ.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS GSUNGS PA’I DON ‘DI BDAG GIS ‘TSAL BA LTAR NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MA MCHIS SO, ,DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG BSTAN PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MA MCHIS SO,,

 

O Conqueror, as far as I can catch the thrust of what the Conqueror has spoken thus far, then I would have to say that it is impossible for there to be any such thing as an enlightenment where Those Gone Thus could ever reach some incomparable, perfect, and total enlightenment.  And it is impossible as well for there to be any such thing as a Dharma that the One Thus Gone could ever teach.

 

 

168 Leave a comment on block 168 0

[141]

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS LAN DU BDAG GIS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS GSUNGS PA’I DON ‘TSAL BA STE GO ZHING SHES PA LTAR NA, DON DAM PAR SANGS RGYAS PA DANG BSTAN PA’I CHOS GANG YANG MA MCHIS SO,,

And in reply Subhuti says, “As far as I catch the thrust of what the Conqueror has spoken thus far, then I would have to say that it is impossible for there to be any such thing as an enlightenment, or any such thing as a Dharma which is taught.”

 

 

 

170 Leave a comment on block 170 0

[K37-38]

Tatkasya hetoḥ yo’sau Tathāgatena dharmo’bhisaṃbuddho deśito vā agrāhyaḥ so’nabhilapyaḥ.  Na sa dharmo nādharmaḥ.

 

Tatkasya hetoḥ asaṃskṛtaprabhāvitā hyāryapudgalāḥ.

 

 

DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS CHOS GANG YANG MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’AM BSTAN PA DE NI, GZUNG DU MA MCHIS, BRJOD DU MA MCHIS TE, DE NI, CHOS KYANG MA LAGS, CHOS MA MCHIS PA YANG MA LAGS PA’I SLAD DU’O,,

 

DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, ‘PHAGS PA’I GANG ZAG RNAMS NI, ‘DUS MA BGYIS KYIS RAB TU PHYE BA’I SLAD DU’O,,

 

And why is this the case?  Because it is impossible for there to be any such thing as an enlightenment which the One Thus Gone reached, or a Dharma which he taught, which could ever be held.  It is impossible for there to be any such thing that could ever be described.  And this is because it is neither true that these things exist, nor that it is impossible for them to exist.

 

And why is that?  Because these persons who are realized beings distinguish all these things, perfectly, through that which is unproduced.

 

 

171 Leave a comment on block 171 0

[143]

RGYU MTSAN NI DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA,

“And why is this the case?” continues Subhuti.

 

 

172 Leave a comment on block 172 0

[144]

DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS THA SNYAD DU RANG GIS MNGON DU BYAS SHING, MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’AM, THA SNYAD DU CHOS BSTAN PA’O ZHES BSHAD KYANG

In a nominal sense, we can say that there is something which Those Gone Thus do themselves bring about.  We can also say, in this sense, that they reach some total enlightenment; or that nominally they do teach the Dharma.

 

173 Leave a comment on block 173 0

[145]

DON DAM PAR SANGS RGYAS PA DANG DES BSTAN PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MED CING DE DAG GI BDEN STONG CHOS NYID DE ‘PHAGS PA’I MNYAM GZHAG GI GZIGS NGO NA YOD PA LTAR THA SNYAD PA’I BLO DON MTHUN GYIS GZUNG DU MA MCHIS,

From an ultimate point of view though there is no becoming enlightened, nor any Dharma at all which those who’ve become enlightened teach.  Nor could the emptiness of any real existence that these things possess ever be held—it would be impossible for it to be held—by any state of mind operating in nominal reality in any accurate way, at least in the way that they appear to the mind of a person in the deep meditation of a realized being.

 

174 Leave a comment on block 174 0

[146]

TSIG GIS SPROS MED KYI TSUL DU BRJOD DU MA MCHIS TE, DE DAG NI DON DAM PAR CHOS KYANG MA LAGS, THA SNYAD DU CHOS MA MCHIS LA STE MED PA YANG MA LAGS PA’I SLAD DU STE [f. 11b] DE’I PHYIR RO,,

It is impossible for there to be any such thing that could ever be described in words without creating elaborations.  And this is because—this is for the reason that—it is neither true that these things exist, ultimately, nor that it is impossible for them—nor does it ever happen that they fail—to exist in a nominal way.

 

175 Leave a comment on block 175 0

[147]

RGYU MTSAN DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, ‘PHAGS PA’I GANG ZAG RNAMS NI CHOS THAMS CAD RANG BZHIN GYIS STONG PA ‘DUS MA BYAS KYI CHOS NYID MNGON SUM DU RTOGS MYONG BAS RAB TU PHYE BA STE BZHAG PA’I SLAD DU’O ZHES ZHUS SO, ,’DI DAG NI ‘PHAGS PA’I MNYAM GZHAG YE SHES KYI GZIGS NGOR SPROS PA DANG BRAL BA LA DGONGS SO,,

And why, for what reason, is that?  Because people who are realized beings have undergone an experience of realizing, directly, that each and every object which exists is the unproduced: that is, is something which is empty of having any nature of its own.  Which is to say, they distinguish all these things—they establish them—with this experience.  This is what Subhuti then respectfully speaks in reply. The actual point of this last part is to describe how the absence of elaboration—elaborating on things to where they seem to have some nature—makes its appearance to the perceptions of the meditative wisdom of a realized being.

 

 

176 Leave a comment on block 176 0

[148]

DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA RNAMS NI THA SNYAD DU SANGS RGYAS PAR ‘DOD DGOS MOD, DON DAM PAR SANGS MA RGYAS PA NI, GONG DU BRJOD PA LTAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA YANG RANG GI PHUNG PO LA BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA TZAM MA GTOGS, RANG GI ZAG MED KYI PHUNG PO RE RE BA DANG TSOGS PA DANG DE LAS NGO BO THA DAD PA GANG YANG DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA MIN TE,

We would admittedly have to agree that Those Gone Thus have, in a nominal sense, attained enlightenment.  But here is how it is that they cannot attain enlightenment in any ultimate sense.  As described above, even Those Gone Thus are only persons who are projected upon the various parts to them.  There is no One Gone Thus who exists in any other way: who is any one of the immaculate parts to them, individually; or who is the combination of these parts; or who is such that they are independent of these parts either.

 

 

177 Leave a comment on block 177 0

[249]

MGON PO KLU SGRUB KYIS RTZA BA SHES RAB KYI RAB BYED NYER GNYIS PA LAS,

 

It’s just the way that our savior, Nagarjuna, has described it in the 22nd chapter of his Root Text on Wisdom—

 

 

178 Leave a comment on block 178 0

[150]

,DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA PHUNG PO MIN,

,PHUNG PO LAS GZHAN MA YIN TE,

,DE LA PHUNG PO DER DE MED,

,DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA PHUNG LDAN MIN,

,DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA GANG ZHIG YOD,

,ZHES DANG,

Those Gone Thus are not their parts;

Nor something other than their parts.

You cannot say of Them

That they do not exist in their parts;

But nor are the Ones Thus Gone

Not beings that possess their parts.

And so where could you ever find

A being who was One Thus Gone?[70]

 

 

179 Leave a comment on block 179 0

[151]

,PHUNG PO RNAMS LA MA BRTEN PAR,

,DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA ‘GA’ YANG MED,

 

He also said, in the same work:

 

There could never exist One Gone Thus

At all whose existence didn’t depend

Upon their parts, the heaps.[71]

 

 

180 Leave a comment on block 180 0

[152]

CES GSUNGS TE, ‘DIR GZHUNG GI RKANG PA DANG PO GNYIS SU BYAS PA NI GO BDE BA’I CHED DO,,

 

We have by the way in this case adjusted the phrasing of the lines of the work cited to make it easier to understand.

 

 

181 Leave a comment on block 181 0

[153]

DE LTAR NA DE ‘TSANG RGYA BA DANG RGYAS PA YANG THA SNYAD DU YOD KYANG RANG BZHIN GYIS MED DE MTSON TZAM MO,,

 

And so saying that—even though becoming enlightened or having become enlightened do exist in a nominal sense, but not through any nature of their own—is just to take a single representative case.

 

 

182 Leave a comment on block 182 0

[154]

DES CHOS BSTAN PA YANG RANG BZHIN GYIS MED TSUL NI GSANG BA BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB PA’I MDO LAS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS THA NA YIG ‘BRU GCIG KYANG MA GSUNGS SO, ,GSUNG PAR MI ‘GYUR RO, ,ZHES PA’I DON RTZA SHES RAB BYED NYER LNGA [f. 12a] PA LAS,

 

Neither does the Dharma that these Enlightened Ones teach exist through any nature of its own.  To show how this is true, the Sutra on the Inconceivable says,

 

Those Gone Thus have never spoken

Even a single syllable; nor will they ever.[72]

 

The 25th chapter of the Root Text on Wisdom explains this statement in the following way:

 

 

183 Leave a comment on block 183 0

[155]

,SPROS PA NYER ZHI ZHI BA DANG,

,DMIGS PA THAMS CAD NYER ZHI ZHING,

,SANGS RGYAS RNAMS KYIS GANG DU YANG,

,SU LA’ANG CHOS ‘GA’ MA BSTAN TO,,

They live in the peace

Of having put to rest

Every elaboration;

And they’ve put to rest

Every object as well.

And so the Buddhas

Never teach the Dharma

To anyone, in any place at all.[73]

 

 

184 Leave a comment on block 184 0

[156]

ZHES PA’I ‘GREL PAR RJES, SANGS RGYAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS MYA NGAN LAS ‘DAS PA SPROS PA THAMS CAD NYE BAR ZHI ZHING ZHI BA’I NGO BO LA MTSAN MAR MI GNAS PA’I TSUL GYIS GNAS PA DE’I TSE,

 

The Lord Tsongkapa comments upon these lines as follows—

 

The Buddhas, the Conquerors, live in nirvana: in a state where they never stay in the signs of things: they remain in the very essence of peace, where they have put to rest each and every elaboration of things.

 

 

185 Leave a comment on block 185 0

[157]

MTSAN MAR ‘DZIN PA’I DMIGS PA THAMS CAD NYE BAR ZHI ZHING MI DMIGS PA’I PHYIR DE’I DBANG DU BYAS NA SANGS RGYAS RNAMS KYIS NI LHA YUL LAM MI YUL GANG DU YANG KUN NAS NYON MONGS SAM RNAM PAR BYANG BA’I CHOS ‘GA’ YANG MA BSTAN TO, ,ZHES DANG,

They have as well put to rest every way of looking at objects where they hold to any signs of their existing in and of themselves.  And because they no longer look at things this way—from this point of view—the Buddhas never teach any kind of Dharma at all: they teach neither about those things which are tied up with negative emotions, nor about those where these emotions have been cleaned away.  They teach not the Dharma in the lands of the gods, or the lands of humans, or in any other place at all.[74]

 

 

186 Leave a comment on block 186 0

[158]

SANGS RGYAS KYIS SU LA’ANG CHOS MA BSTAN NA GSUNG RAB KYI THA SNYAD SNA TSOGS DANG ‘DI DAG MNGON PA JI LTAR ‘GYUR ZHE NA, STON PAS KHO BO CAG LA CHOS BSTAN TO ZHES PA ‘DI NI GDUL BYA MA RIG PA’I GNYID DANG LDAN PA’I RMI LAM RMI BZHIN PA RNAMS KYI RANG GI RNAM RTOG LAS BYUNG BA YIN NO, ,ZHES GSUNGS SHING,

 

Je Tsongkapa continues further with:

 

Someone then might ask the following question: “If the Buddhas never teach the Dharma to anyone, then how have all the various forms of the Dharma come to be—including the one right here, before our eyes?”  The answer is that, when people say that “The Teacher granted us a teaching on the Dharma,” this is simply something that is coming from the imaginations of disciples who are deep in the sleep of ignorance—it is all just their dreams.[75]

 

 

187 Leave a comment on block 187 0

[159]

‘PHAGS PA NAM MKHA’ MDZOD KYIS ZHUS PA’I MDO LAS KYANG ‘BYUNG STE RTOGS DKA’ BA’I GNAS SO,,

This point is also made in the Sutra Requested by the Realized Being Gagana Ganja, and it is a very difficult thing to understand fully.[76]

 

 

188 Leave a comment on block 188 0

[160]

‘DIR BSHAD PA LTAR ‘OG NAS KYANG SANGS RGYAS KYIS CHOS MA BSTAN ZHES GSUNGS PA’I DON YANG SHES PAR BYA’O,,

Later on in the sutra we’ll be seeing another reference to how the Buddhas never teach the Dharma.  You can read that the same way that we’ve explained it here in this section.

 

 

189 Leave a comment on block 189 0

[161]

MDOR NA CHOS KYANG MA LAGS ZHES PAS RTAG PA’I MTHA’ DANG, CHOS MA MCHIS PA MA LAGS ZHES PAS CHAD PA’I MTHA’ BKAG PA STE, SGRO SKUR GYI MTHA’ GNYIS SPANGS NAS ‘PHAGS PA’I GANG ZAG RNAMS ZHES SOGS KYIS THA SNYAD DU ‘PHAGS PA’I GANG ZAG CHEN [f. 12b] PO DAG GIS ‘DUS BYAS KYI CHOS NYID MNGON DU RTOGS SHING MYANG ‘DAS MNGON DU BYAS PAR ‘JOG CES GSUNGS PA’O,

To summarize then, we can say that the part about things not existing is meant to prevent us from falling into the extreme of thinking that things could never change.  The part about it being impossible for things to exist is meant then to keep us from the extreme of thinking that things have stopped.  And this brings the sutra to the part about realized beings, by talking about giving up the two extremes of thinking that something is there when it’s not, and thinking that nothing’s there when it is.  What this part is describing is how these great ones, these realized beings, bring about a perception of the unproduced—meaning the real nature of things—and thus bring about their nirvana.

 

Infinite good karma

 

191 Leave a comment on block 191 0

[K39a]

 (8) Bhagavānāha.

 

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte yaḥ kaścitkulaputro vā kuladuhitā vemaṃ trisāhasramahāsāhasraṃ lokadhātuṃ saptaratnaparipūrṇaṃ [p. 25] kṛtvā Tathāgatebhyo’rhadbhyaḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhebhyo dānaṃ dadyāt api nu sa kulaputro vā kuladuhitā vā tato nidānaṃ bahu puṇyaskandhaṃ prasunuyāt.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, RIGS KYI BU’AM, RIGS KYI BU MO GANG LA LA ZHIG GIS STONG GSUM GYI STONG CHEN PO’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS ‘DI RIN PO CHE SNA BDUN GYIS RAB TU GANG BAR BYAS TE SBYIN PA BYIN NA, RIGS KYI BU’AM, RIGS KYI BU MO DE GZHI DE LAS BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO MANG DU BSKYED DAM,

 

And once more the Conqueror spoke:

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Suppose some son or daughter of noble family were to take all the planets of this great world system, a system with a thousand of a thousand of a thousand planets, and cover them with the seven kinds of precious substances, and offer them to someone.  Would that son or daughter of noble family create many great mountains of merit from such a deed?

 

 

192 Leave a comment on block 192 0

[163]

DE LTAR SANGS RGYAS PA DANG CHOS BSTAN PA SOGS CHOS THAMS CAD DON DAM PAR MED KYANG THA SNYAD DU YOD PAS SBYIN PA BYIN PA LAS BSOD NAMS CHEN PO ‘BYUNG MOD, DE LAS KYANG CHOS ‘DI LA THOS BSAM SGOM PA’I NYAMS LEN BYAS PA’I BSOD NAMS LHAG PAR CHE’O ZHES STON PA NI, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA KHYOD ‘DI {%’DI JI} SNYAM DU SEMS, RIGS KYI BU DANG BU MO GANG LA LA ZHIG GIS,

With this next section of the sutra, Lord Buddha wishes to demonstrate a certain fact.  In the sections above we have spoken about the act of becoming enlightened, and of teaching the Dharma, and so on.  Neither these, nor any other object in the universe, exists ultimately.  Nonetheless, they do exist nominally.  As such, one would have to admit that anyone who performs an act of giving does acquire great merit thereby.  Yet anyone who carries out the process of learning, or contemplating, or meditating upon this teaching acquires infinitely greater merit.

 

To convey this point, the Conqueror asks Subhuti the question beginning with “What do you think?  Suppose some son or daughter of noble family were to take this great world system, a system with a thousand of a thousand of a thousand planets…”

 

 

193 Leave a comment on block 193 0

[164]

JI SKAD DU MDZOD LAS,

 

,GLING BZHI PA DANG NYI ZLA DANG,

,RI RAB DANG NI ‘DOD LHA DANG,

,TSANGS PA’I ‘JIG RTEN STONG LA NI,

,STONG NI SPYI PHUD YIN PAR ‘DOD,

,DE STONG LA NI STONG GNYIS PA,

,BAR MA’I ‘JIG RTEN KHAMS YIN NO,

,DE STONG LA NI STONG GSUM MO,

 

,ZHES ‘BYUNG BA LTAR,

 

The system mentioned here is described in the Treasure House of Higher Knowledge as follows:

A thousand sets of all four continents with

A sun and moon, Mount Supreme, pleasure

Beings of the desire, and world of the

Pure agreed on as an elementary system.

A thousand of these is a second-order kind,

The intermediate type of world system.

A third-order system is a thousand of these.[77]

 

194 Leave a comment on block 194 0

[165]

STONG GSUM GYI STONG CHEN PO’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS ‘DI GSER DANG DNGUL DANG SHEL DANG BEE d’URYA DANG RDO’I SNYING PO DANG SPUG DANG MU TIG DMAR PO STE RIN PO CHE SNA BDUN GYIS GANG BAR BYAS TE, GZHAN LA SBYIN PA BYIN NA BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO MANG DU BSKYED DAM DRIS PAS,

 

“Suppose further,” continues Lord Buddha, “that they were to cover all the planets of this system with the seven kinds of precious substances: with gold, silver, crystal, lapis, the gem essence [emerald], karketana stone, and crimson pearl.  And say then that they offered them to someone.  Would they create many great mountains of merit from such a deed, from giving someone else such a gift?”

 

 

 

196 Leave a comment on block 196 0

[K39b-K40]

Subhūtirāha.

 

 Bahu Bhagavan bahu Sugata sa kulaputro vā kuladuhitā vā tatonidānaṃ puṇyaskandhaṃ prasunuyāt.  Tatkasya hetoḥ yo’sau Bhagavan puṇyaskandhastathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ askandhaḥ sa Tathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ.  TasmātTathāgato bhāṣate puṇyaskandhaḥ puṇyaskandha iti.

 

197 Leave a comment on block 197 0

[f. 219b]

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, MANG LAGS SO, ,BDE BAR GSHEGS PA, MANG LAGS TE, RIGS KYI BU’AM, RIGS KYI BU MO DE GZHI DE LAS BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO MANG DU BSKYED DO, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO DE NYID PHUNG PO MA MCHIS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO, ,ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

 

Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, many would it be.  O You who have Gone to Bliss, it would be many.  This son or daughter of noble family would indeed create many great mountains of merit from such a deed.  And why is it so?  Because, o Conqueror, these same great mountains of merit are great mountains of merit that could never exist.  And for this very reason do the Ones Gone Thus speak of “great mountains of merit, great mountains of merit.”

 

 

198 Leave a comment on block 198 0

[167]

LAN DU RAB ‘BYOR GYIS BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO MANG BAR ZHUS SHING BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO DE YANG RMI LAM DANG SGYU MA LTA BUR THA SNYAD TZAM DU YOD PAR ‘JOG LAGS KYI, BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO DE NYID DON DAM PAR PHUNG POR GRUB PA MA MCHIS SHING, THA SNYAD DU DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DE LA BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO, ,BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO ZHES THA SNYAD MDZAD CING GSUNGS SO ZHES GSOL,

In response, Subhuti replies: It would be many great mountains of merit—and these same great mountains of merit are mountains of merit that we could establish as existing only in name, only in the way that a dream or an illusion exists: these same great mountains of merit though could never exist as mountains that existed ultimately.  The Ones Thus Gone as well speak in a nominal sense of “great mountains of merit, great mountains of merit”—applying the name to them.

 

 

199 Leave a comment on block 199 0

[168]

‘DIS NI LAS DKAR NAG SNGAR BYAS PA [f. 13a] DANG PHYIS BYED PAR ‘GYUR BA’I ‘DAS PA ‘GAGS SHING MA ‘ONGS PA DA LTA MA BYUNG BAS MED KYANG, SPYIR YOD PAR ‘DOD DGOS SHING DE NYID BYED PA PO’I SEMS RGYUD DANG ‘BREL BA LAS ‘BRAS BU ‘BYUNG BAR ‘DOD DGOS TSUL LA SOGS BSTAN TE CUNG DKA’ BA’I GNAS YIN NO,,

 

This section is meant to demonstrate a number of different points.  Black and white deeds that you have committed before now, and which you are going to commit later, are such that the ones in the past have stopped, and the ones in the future are yet to come.  Therefore they are non-existent; but we have to agree that, generally speaking, they exist.  We also have to agree that they are connected to the mind stream of the person who committed them, and that they produce their appropriate consequences for this person.  These and other difficult issues are raised in the words above.

 

 

The karma of teaching the Diamond Cutter

 

201 Leave a comment on block 201 0

[K41]

Bhagavānāha.

 

 Yaśca khalu punaḥ subhūte kulaputro vā kuladuhitā vemaṃ trisāhasramahāsāhasraṃ lokadhātuṃ saptaratnaparipūrṇaṃ kṛtvā Tathāgatebhyo’rhadbhyaḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhebhyo dānaṃ dadyāt yaśca ito Dharmaparyāyādantaśaścatuṣpādikāmapi gāthāmudgṛhya parebhyo vistareṇa deśayet saṃprakāśayet ayameva tatonidānaṃ bahutaraṃ puṇyaskandhaṃ prasunuyādaprameyasaṃkhyeyam.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, RIGS KYI BU’AM, RIGS KYI BU MO GANG GIS STONG GSUM GYI STONG CHEN PO’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS ‘DI RIN PO CHE SNA BDUN GYIS RAB TU GANG BAR BYAS TE SBYIN PA BYIN PA BAS, GANG GIS CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI LAS THA NA TSIG BZHI PA’I TSIGS SU BCAD PA GCIG TZAM BZUNG NAS GZHAN DAG LA YANG ‘CHAD CING YANG DAG PAR RAB TU STON NA, DE GZHI DE LAS BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO CHES MANG DU GRANGS MED DPAG TU MED PA BSKYED DO,,

 

And then the Conqueror said,

 

Suppose, o Subhuti, that some son or daughter of noble family were to take all the planets of this great world system, a system with a thousand of a thousand of a thousand planets, and cover them all with the seven kinds of precious substances, and offer them to someone.  Suppose on the other hand that anyone held but a single verse of four lines from this particular presentation of the Dharma, and explained it to others, and taught it correctly.  By doing the latter, a person would create many more great mountains of merit than with the former: the mountains of their merit would be countless, and beyond all calculation.

 

 

202 Leave a comment on block 202 0

[170]

TSIGS SU BCAD PA ZHES ‘BYUNG BA NI ‘DI BOD SKAD DU TSIGS BCAD MA YIN KYANG LEGS SBYAR GYI SKAD LA TSIGS BCAD DU BSGRIGS RGYU YOD PA LA DGONGS PA’O, ,BZUNG BA NI TSIG BLO LA BZUNG BA DANG, GLEGS BAM LAG TU YOD PA LA’ANG BYAR RUNG ZHING KHA TON BYED PA DANG,

We should first say something about the word “verse” here.  Although the sutra in Tibetan is not written in verse, the idea is that one could put it into verse in Sanskrit.  The word “hold” refers to “holding in the mind,” or memorizing.  It can also apply to holding a volume in one’s hand and, in either case, reciting the text out loud.

 

 

203 Leave a comment on block 203 0

[171]

YANG DAG PAR ‘CHAD PA NI TSIG BRJOD CING LEGS PAR ‘CHAD PA DANG, STON PA NI DON LEGS PAR STON PA LA BSHAD CING DE NI GTZO CHE BA’I DBANG DU MDZAD PA’O, ,DE LTAR BZUNG BA SOGS BYAS NA DE LAS BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO CHES GRANGS MED CING DPAG TU MED PA ZHIG BSKYED DO,,

The phrase “explain it correctly” is explained as stating the words of the sutra and explaining them well.  The phrase “teach it correctly” is explained as teaching the meaning of the sutra well, and this is the most important part.  Suppose now that one held the sutra and did the other things mentioned with it, rather than the other good deed described.  This person would then create great mountains of merit that were ever more countless, and beyond all calculation.

 

205 Leave a comment on block 205 0

[K42]

Tatkasya hetoḥ ato nirjātā hi Subhūte Tathāgatānāmarhatāṃ Samyaksaṃbuddhānāmanuttarā samyaksaṃbodhirato nirjātāśca Buddhā Bhagavantaḥ.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS RNAMS KYI BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB NI, ‘DI LAS BYUNG STE, SANGS RGYAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS RNAMS KYANG ‘DI LAS SKYES PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Why is it so?  Because, Subhuti, this is where the matchless and totally perfect enlightenment of the Ones Thus Gone, the Destroyers of the Foe, the Totally Enlightened Buddhas, comes from.  It is from this as well that the Buddhas, the Conquerors, are born.

 

 

206 Leave a comment on block 206 0

[173]

RGYU MTSAN NI, ZANG ZING GI SBYIN PA BYIN PA LAS CHOS KYI SBYIN PA BYIN PA PHAN YON LHAG PAR CHE ZHING, DER MA ZAD, YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS KYI BYANG CHUB NI GZHUNG ‘DI’I BRJOD BYA’I DON STONG NYID RTOGS PA’I SHER PHYIN ‘DI LAS THOB CING BYUNG STE, SANGS RGYAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS RNAMS KYANG ‘DI NYAMS SU BLANGS PA LAS SKYES PA’I PHYIR RO,,

The reason for this is as follows.  The act of giving someone the Dharma is of much more benefit that the act of giving material things.  Not only that, but the enlightenment of the totally enlightened Buddhas comes from—is achieved through—the perfection of wisdom: the realization of emptiness which forms the subject matter of this text.  It is from putting this into practice as well that the Buddhas, the Conquerors, are born.

 

208 Leave a comment on block 208 0

[K43]

Tatkasya hetoḥ Buddhadharmā Buddhadharmā iti Subhūte‘buddhadharmāścaiva te Tathāgatena bhāṣitāḥ. Tenocyante Buddhadharmā iti.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS RNAMS SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS RNAMS ZHES BYA BA NI, SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS DE DAG MED PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS [f. 220a] PAS GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR TE, DES NA, SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS RNAMS ZHES BYA’O,,

 

Why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, these qualities of an Enlightened Being—what we call the “qualities of an Enlightened Being—are qualities of an Enlightened Being which Those Gone Thus have said could never even exist.  And that in fact is why we can speak of the “qualities of an Enlightened Being.”

 

 

209 Leave a comment on block 209 0

[175]

THA SNYAD DU DE LTAR YIN KYANG DON DAM PAR THOB PAR BYAR MED DE, SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS RNAMS ZHES BYA BA NI SANGS RGYAS KYI STOBS BCU LA SOGS PA DE DAG THA SNYAD DU BTAGS PA TZAM MA GTOGS, DON DAM PAR DE DAG MED PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA DE’I PHYIR TE,

 

This though is the way that it is nominally; ultimately speaking, there is nothing that is attained.  When the sutra at this point mentions “qualities of an Enlightened Being,” it’s referring to attributes such as the ten forces.[78]  The reason that nothing is attained is that, as Those Gone Thus have themselves said, all these qualities are only projections; they have no ultimate existence.

 

 

210 Leave a comment on block 210 0

[176]

‘ON KYANG [f. 13b] KUN RDZOB TZAM DU SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS RNAMS LA DE DANG DER THA SNYAD GDAGS SO ZHES PA’O,,

But what they also say is that, deceptively speaking, we can speak of these things as such and such a quality of an Enlightened Being.

211 Leave a comment on block 211 0

[177]

NYAN THOS ‘PHAGS PA RNAMS KYIS KYANG ‘BRAS BU GANG THOB PA DE YANG BDAG MED RTOGS NAS THOB PA YIN GYI, DE MA RTOGS PAR THOB PAR MI NUS SO ZHES STON PA NI,

 

The high spiritual goals attained by realized beings on the listener track are achieved because of their perception of selflessness; without such a perception, they would never be able to achieve them.  It’s to convey this point that the next section of the sutra is presented.

 

The emptiness of realizations

 

213 Leave a comment on block 213 0

[K44]

 (9) Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte api nu srotaāpannasyaivaṃ bhavati mayā srotaāpattiphalaṃ prāptamiti.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, RGYUN DU ZHUGS PA ‘DI SNYAM DU, BDAG GIS RGYUN DU ZHUGS PA’I ‘BRAS BU THOB BO SNYAM DU SEMS SAM,

 

Now Subhuti, what do you think?  Do those who have entered the stream ever think to themselves, “Now I have attained the goal of entering the stream”?

 

 

214 Leave a comment on block 214 0

[K45]

Subhūtirāha.

 

No hīdaṃ Bhagavan.  Na srotaāpannasyaivaṃ bhavati mayā srotaāpattiphalaṃ prāptamiti.  Tatkasya hetoḥ na hi sa Bhagavankaṃciddharmamāpannaḥ.  Tenocyate srotaāpanna iti.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE NI, MA LAGS SO, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE NI, CI LA’ANG ZHUGS PA MA MCHIS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA, RGYUN DU ZHUGS PA ZHES BGYI’O,,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, they do not.  And why is it so?  It is, o Conqueror, because it would be impossible for them to enter anything at all.  And this is precisely why we can even speak of a “stream enterer.”

 

215 Leave a comment on block 215 0

[179]

RAB ‘BYOR RGYUN TU ZHUGS PAS ‘DI JI SNYAM DU BDAG GI RGYUN TU ZHUGS PA’I ‘BRAS BU THOB BO SNYAM DU BDEN PAR ZHEN CING SEMS SNYAM MAM ZHES GSUNGS PA NA, RAB ‘BYOR GYIS DE NI MA LAGS SO,,

Here then the Buddha says,

Now Subhuti, what do you think?  Do those who have entered the stream ever think to themselves—do they ever grasp to this thing as existing in truth—with the idea,
“Now I have attained the goal of entering the stream”?

And Subhuti answers,

They do not.

216 Leave a comment on block 216 0

[180]

RGYU MTSAN LA RGYUN TU ZHUGS PA DE NI DON DAM PAR ‘JUG BYA GANG LA YANG ZHUGS PA MA MCHIS KYANG, THA SNYAD DU THAR PA’I LAM RGYUN LA ZHUGS PAS NA RGYUN TU ZHUGS PAR ZHES BGYI’O,,

And the reason that Subhuti gives for this is that “it would be impossible for this stream enterer to enter anything at all,” at least in an ultimate way.  From a nominal point of view though we can speak of them as a “stream enterer,” for they have entered into the stream of the path that leads to freedom.

 

 

218 Leave a comment on block 218 0

[K46]

Na rūpamāpanno na śabdān na gandhān na rasān na spraṣṭavyān dharmānāpannaḥ.  Tenocyate srotaāpanna iti.

 

GZUGS LA’ANG MA ZHUGS, SGRA LA MA LAGS, DRI LA MA LAGS, RO LA MA LAGS, REG BYA LA MA LAGS CHOS LA’ANG MA ZHUGS TE, DES NA, RGYUN DU ZHUGS PA ZHES BGYI’O,,

 

They neither enter into things that you can see, nor into words, nor into smells, nor into tastes, nor into things you can touch, nor into objects of the thought.  And this again is precisely why we can even speak of them as having entered the stream.

 

 

219 Leave a comment on block 219 0

[182]

DON DAM PAR GANG LA YANG MA ZHUGS SHING GZUGS DANG SGRA DANG DRI DANG RO DANG REG BYA DANG CHOS RNAMS LA YANG DON DAM PAR BZUNG NAS ZHUGS PA MA LAGS SO,,

Neither do they enter, in an ultimate sense, into things that you can see, nor into words, nor smells, nor into tastes, nor into things you can touch, nor into objects of the thought—meaning of course that they do not enter into them in the sense of believing that they exist in some ultimate way.

 

 

221 Leave a comment on block 221 0

[K47]

SacedBhagavan srotaāpannasyaivaṃ bhavenmayā srotaāpattiphalaṃ prāptamiti sa eva tasyātmagrāho bhavet sattvagrāho jīvagrāhaḥ pudgalagrāho bhavediti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, GAL TE RGYUN DU ZHUGS PA DE ‘DI SNYAM DU, BDAG GIS RGYUN DU ZHUGS PA’I ‘BRAS BU THOB BO, ,SNYAM DU SEMS PAR GYUR NA, DE NYID DE’I BDAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR LAGS SO, ,SEMS CAN DU ‘DZIN PA DANG, SROG TU ‘DZIN PA DANG, GANG ZAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR LAGS SO,,

 

And if it happened, o Conqueror, that a stream-enterer were to think to themselves, “I have attained the goal of entering the stream,” then they would begin to grasp to some self in it.  And they would begin to grasp to a living being, and to something that lives, and to a person.

 

 

222 Leave a comment on block 222 0

[184]

RJES ‘JUG PA’I t’IK CHEN DU SKABS ‘DI DRANGS TE, RGYUN ZHUGS KYI SA THOB MKHAN DANG THOB BYA’I ‘BRAS BU BDEN PAR BZUNG NAS, BDAG GIS RGYUN ZHUGS THOB BO SNYAM DU SEMS NA, DE NYID DE YI BDAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR RO ZHES PAS

Je Tsongkapa, in his great commentary upon Entering the Middle Way, refers to this section in the following words:

Suppose a person were to hold—when someone attains the level of entering the stream—that the person who did the attaining and the spiritual goal they had attained existed in some real way; that is, suppose that they thought to themselves, in a wrong way, “I have just attained the level of entering the stream.”  They would then, the reference is saying, be holding to some self-nature of this.[79]

 

 

223 Leave a comment on block 223 0

[185]

GANG ZAG DANG ‘BRAS BU BDEN ‘DZIN BDAG ‘DZIN DU GSUNGS PA’I DANG PO NI, GANG ZAG GI BDAG ‘DZIN DANG, GNYIS PA NI CHOS KYI BDAG ‘DZIN NO,,

 

In effect then the text, when it refers to holding to some self-nature, is referring to holding both the person and the spiritual goal they’ve reached as having some self-nature.  The former of these then would be an example of our tendency to hold to the person as having some self-nature, and the latter an example of our tendency to hold to things as having some self-nature.

224 Leave a comment on block 224 0

[186]

RGYUN ZHUGS KYIS BDEN PA LA BZUNG NAS BDAG GIS ‘BRAS BU THOB BO SNYAM DU MI ‘DZIN PA NI, BDEN ‘DZIN GYI YUL SUN PHYUNG BA’I DBANG DU MDZAD PA YIN GYI,

But in actual fact when we say that someone who has entered the stream does not hold to this self-nature—that they do not think to themselves “I have attained this spiritual goal” in any way of holding that it’s real—then what we’re saying is that they have managed to debunk the object that the tendency to see things as real is holding on to.

 

 

225 Leave a comment on block 225 0

[187]

LHAN SKYES KYI ‘DZIN PA YANG MED PAR BSTAN PA MIN NO, ,DES NI PHYI MA RNAMS KYANG SHES PAR BYA’O ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR RO,,

 

But we’re not saying that they no longer possess at this point the inborn tendency to hold things in this way.  And what the sutra is stating then is that we can apply the same general description to the rest of the four traditional goals here.[80]

 

 

226 Leave a comment on block 226 0

[188]

DON NI RGYUN ZHUGS SOGS [f. 14a] BZHI’I BRAL BA’I ‘BRAS BU ‘GOG BDEN THOB PA LA STONG NYID NGES PAR RTOGS DGOS PAR BSTAN CING, DE LA BDEN MED RTOGS NAS BDEN ‘DZIN GYI ZHEN YUL SUN ‘BYIN DGONGS PAR BSHAD PA’O,,

The point of this citation then is to say that, when we attain these examples of the higher truth of the end of suffering—when we attain the “result” or “goal” stage of any of the four steps of stream-entering and so on, where we are free of the corresponding obstacles—it must only and without exception be done by perceiving emptiness.[81]  This all relates to the fact that what Je Rinpoche really has in mind when he speaks of “debunking the object that the tendency to see things as real is holding on to” is that one does so after perceiving that nothing has any true nature of its own.

 

227 Leave a comment on block 227 0

[189]

DES NA BDEN ‘DZIN GYI ZHEN YUL SUN ‘BYIN MYONG MA MYONG NI BDEN MED RTOGS MYONG MA MYONG BA’I SGO NAS ‘JOG STE,

 

Thus we can say that the question of whether or not someone has been able to debunk the existence of the object that the tendency to see things as real thinks it sees is decided by whether or not the person has been able to perceive the fact that nothing is real.

 

 

228 Leave a comment on block 228 0

[190]

JI SRID GZHI GANG LA BDEN PAR GRUB BAM MA GRUB SNYAM DU SPYOD PA ZHUGS PA NA BDEN ZHEN LAS ‘DA’ MI NUS PA’I BAR DE SRID DU BDEN ‘DZIN GYI ZHEN YUL SUN ‘BYIN MI NUS PAS BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS PAR ‘JOG GO ,

 

As long as a person is still relating to any particular thing with uncertainty in their mind as to whether it exists in truth or not—so long as they are still unable to transcend their belief in things as real—then they remain unable to debunk the existence of the object that our tendency to see things as real thinks is there.  And on this basis then we would say they are still chained by the fetters of holding that things are real.

 

 

 

230 Leave a comment on block 230 0

[K48]

Bhagavānāha.

 

Takiṃ manyase Subhūte api nu sakṛdāgāmina evaṃ [p. 26] bhavati mayā sakṛdāgāmiphalaṃ prāptamiti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, LAN GCIG PHYIR ‘ONG BA ‘DI SNYAM DU, BDAG GIS LAN GCIG PHYIR ‘ONG BA’I ‘BRAS BU THOB BO, ,SNYAM DU SEMS SAM,

 

Then the Conqueror spoke again:

 

What, o Subhuti, do you think?  Do those who are to return but once ever think to themselves, “Now I have achieved the goal of returning but once”?

 

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

No hīdaṃ Bhagavan na sakṛdāgāmina evaṃ bhavati-mayā sakṛdāgāmiphalaṃ prāptamiti.  Tatkasya hetoḥ na hi sa kaściddharmo yaḥ sakṛdāgāmitvamāpannaḥ.  Tenocyate sakṛdāgāmīti.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE NI, MA LAGS SO, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, GANG LAN GCIG PHYIR ‘ONG BA NYID DU ZHUGS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MA [f. 220b] MCHIS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA, LAN GCIG PHYIR ‘ONG BA ZHES BGYI’O,,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, they do not.  And why is it so?  Because it is impossible for there ever to be any such state, of having reached the point of needing to return but once.   And this is precisely why we can speak of someone who needs to return but once.

 

 

231 Leave a comment on block 231 0

[K49]

Bhagavānāha.

 

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte api nu anāgāmina evaṃ bhavati mayānāgāmiphalaṃ prāptamiti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, PHYIR MI ‘ONG BA ‘DI SNYAM DU, BDAG GIS PHYIR MI ‘ONG BA’I ‘BRAS BU THOB BO, ,SNYAM DU SEMS SAM,

 

 

And once again did the Conqueror speak:

 

Subhuti, what do you think?  Do those who need never return at all ever think to themselves, “Now I have achieved the goal of never having to return at all”?

 

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

No hīdaṃ Bhagavan na anāgāmina evaṃ bhavati-mayā anāgāmiphalaṃ prāptamiti.  Tatkasya hetoḥ na hi sa Bhagavan kaściddharmo yo’nāgāmitvamāpannaḥ.  Tenocyate anāgāmīti.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS DE NI, MA LAGS SO, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, GANG PHYIR MI ‘ONG BA NYID DU ZHUGS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MA MCHIS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA, PHYIR MI ‘ONG BA ZHES BGYI’O,,

 

Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, they do not.  And why is it so?  Because it is impossible for there ever to be any such state, of having reached the point of never needing to return at all.  And this is precisely why we can speak of someone who need never return at all.

 

 

232 Leave a comment on block 232 0

[K50-K51a]

Bhagavānāha.

 

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte api nu arhata evaṃ bhavati-mayā arhattvaṃ prāptamiti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DGRA BCOM PA ‘DI SNYAM DU, BDAG GIS DGRA BCOM PA NYID THOB BO, ,SNYAM DU SEMS SAM,

 

And the Conqueror said,

 

Subhuti, what do you think?  Do those who have destroyed the foe ever think to themselves, “Now I have achieved the state of destroying the foe”?

 

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

No hīdaṃ Bhagavan nārhata evaṃ bhavati-mayā arhattvaṃ prāptamiti.  Tatkasya hetoḥ na hi sa Bhagavan kaściddharmo yo’rhannāma.  Tenocyate arhanniti.  SacedBhagavan arhata evaṃ bhavet-mayā arhattvaṃ prāptamiti sa eva tasyātmagrāho bhavet sattvagrāho jīvagrāhaḥ pudgalagrāho bhavet.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE NI, MA LAGS SO, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, GANG DGRA BCOM PA ZHES BGYI BA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MA MCHIS PA’I SLAD DU’O, ,BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, GAL TE DGRA BCOM PA ‘DI SNYAM DU, BDAG GIS DGRA BCOM PA NYID THOB BO, ,SNYAM DU SEMS PAR GYUR NA, DE NYID DE’I BDAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR LAGS SO, ,SEMS CAN DU ‘DZIN PA DANG, SROG TU ‘DZIN PA DANG, GANG ZAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR LAGS SO,,

 

To this Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, they do not.  And why is it so?  Because it is impossible for there ever to be any such state, of having destroyed the foe.  For suppose, o Conqueror, that such a destroyer of the foe were to think to themselves, “Now I have achieved the state of destroying the foe.”  They again would then begin to grasp to some self in it.  And they would begin to grasp to a living being. and to something that lives, and to a person.

 

 

233 Leave a comment on block 233 0

[192]

DE BZHIN DU LAN CIG PHYIR ‘ONG BA DANG PHYIR MI ‘ONG BA DANG DGRA BCOM PA GSUM LA SBYAR NAS GSUNGS PA LTAR TE DON NI SNGAR LTAR RO,,

 

The same statements are then made with reference to persons at three different spiritual levels: those who return but once; those who need never return at all; and those who have destroyed the foe.  And they can be understood in the same way as we’ve just explained.

 

 

234 Leave a comment on block 234 0

[193]

RGYUN ZHUGS SOGS BZHI LA ZHUGS PA DANG ‘BRAS GNAS ZUNG RE YOD PAS SO SOR PHYE NA GANG ZAG YA BRGYAD DANG, ZUNG RE BSDOMS NA SKYES BU ZUNG BZHIR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

There are two divisions to each of these four spiritual goals—of entering the stream and so on.  These two are called “entered” and “residing in the result.”  Multiplying them out then we get what are traditionally referred to as the “eight practitioners”; or else the “four pairs of practitioners” if we consider them in sets for each goal.

 

 

235 Leave a comment on block 235 0

[194]

‘DI’I BZHI LA BSHAD PA MANG DU YOD KYANG MTSON TZAM NI RGYUN ZHUGS DGE SBYONG TSUL GYI ‘BRAS BU ‘GOG BDEN NI MTHONG SPANGS KUN SBYOR GSUM SPANGS PA’I SGO NAS BZHAG PAS,

There are many different ways of explaining these four; here is just a taste of how we do it.  We can speak of the truth of the end of suffering which is the result of the method of those who practice the path of virtue and who are stream-enterers.  This end of suffering is established by virtue of ones having eliminated within oneself the three bonds which are overcome by seeing.

 

 

236 Leave a comment on block 236 0

[195]

DE LTA BU’I ‘BRAS BU DE THOB NAS DE LA GNAS PA LA NI RGYUN ZHUGS ‘BRAS GNAS DANG, DE THOB PHYIR DU ‘BAD CING ZHUGS PA LA DE’I ZHUGS PA ZHES BYA ZHING,

When we have attained this type of goal and are residing in this achievement then we’re referred to as a “stream-enterer who is residing in the result.”  When we are still making efforts to get to this goal—still entered into the undertaking—then we’re referred to as a “stream-enterer who is just entering.”

 

 

237 Leave a comment on block 237 0

[196]

KUN SBYOR GSUM NI, ‘JIG LTA DANG TSUL ZHUGS MCHOG ‘DZIN DANG THE TSOM NYON MONGS CAN NO, ,’JIG LTA LA LHAN SKYES YOD KYANG ‘DIR KUN BTAGS SO,,

 

What we call the “three bonds” are the view of destruction; the viewpoint where we hold mistaken codes of behavior and asceticisms as supreme; and forms of doubt infected with negative emotions.  There does of course exist an inborn form of the view of destruction, but the one we’re referring to here is the one which is learned.[82]

 

 

238 Leave a comment on block 238 0

[197]

PHYIR ‘ONG GIS ‘BRAS BU NI ‘DOD NYON DRUG PA SPANGS PA’I CHA NAS ‘JOG CING, ,DE LA GNAS PA NI DE’I [f. 14b] ‘BRAS GNAS DANG, DE THOB PHYIR DU BRTZON PAS ‘JUG PA NI DE’I ZHUGS PA’O,,

 

The point at which we say that one has attained the spiritual goal of returning but once is when they have eliminated the sixth of the negative emotions relating to the realm of desire.[83]  To “reside” at this level means to attain it and then be there.  To be “entering” this level means where we are still engaged in entering: where we are still exerting ourselves to attain it.

 

 

239 Leave a comment on block 239 0

[198]

PHYIR MI ‘ONG GI ‘BRAS BU NI ‘DOD NYON DGU PA SPANGS PA’I CHA NAS ‘JOG CING, DE LA GNAS PA DANG DE’I CHED DU ZHUGS PA NI ‘BRAS GNAS DANG ZHUGS PA’O,,

 

The point at which we have achieved the goal of not having to return is when we have eliminated the ninth of the negative emotions in the desire realm.  Then “residing” or “entering” this goal would be where we have already reached it and are staying there; and where engaged in trying to attain it.

 

 

240 Leave a comment on block 240 0

[199]

DGRA BCOM PA’I ‘BRAS BU NI SRID RTZE’I NYON MONGS DGU PA SPANGS PA’I CHA NAS ‘JOG CING, ‘BRAS BU DE LA GNAS PA DANG DE THOB PHYIR ZHUGS PA NI DGRA BCOM ‘BRAS GNAS DANG ZHUGS PA STE ZHIB NA MANG DU BSHAD DGOS PAR SNANG NGO,,

 

The point at which we have attained the goal of having destroyed the enemy is when we have eliminated the ninth negative emotion of the level known as the “Peak of Existence.”[84]  Residing in this goal, and being engaged in trying to attain it, are what then we would refer to the “residing in the result” of a foe-destroyer and “entering” into this state.  It would appear to me that if you wanted any real detail on all this I’d have to go into a great deal of explanation.

 

 

241 Leave a comment on block 241 0

[200]

LAN CIG PHYIR ‘ONG BA’I DON NI ‘DOD KHAMS SU DA DUNG SKYE BA LAN GCIG LEN DGOS PA DANG, PHYIR MI ‘ONG BA NI DE LEN MI DGOS PA’O,,

 

When we speak of a “once-returner,” what we mean is that the person still needs to take one more rebirth in the desire realm.  And then “non-returner” means that the person doesn’t need to take any more rebirths in this realm.

 

 

242 Leave a comment on block 242 0

[201]

GZHAN YANG PHYIR ‘ONG GI ‘BRAS BU NI, KUN SBYOR GSUM DANG ‘DOD PA LA ‘DUN PA DANG GNOD SEMS TE THA MA’I CHA MTHUN LNGA SPANGS PA’I SGO NAS ‘JOG PA DANG,

 

There is also a system where they describe the goal of “returner” as meaning that one has eliminated the three bonds; attraction to the objects of the desire realm; and malice—the five negative emotions that we call “consistent with the end.”[85]

 

 

243 Leave a comment on block 243 0

[202]

PHYIR MI ‘ONG GI ‘BRAS BU NI KHAMS GONG MA GNYIS KYI ‘DOD CHAGS DANG RGOD PA DANG NGA RGYAL DANG MA RIG PA’I PHYOGS GCIG SPANGS PA’I SGO NAS ‘JOG TSUL YOD CING,

 

This same system would say that the goal of non-returning would be achieved when one had eliminated desire, mental agitation, pride, and a certain portion of ignorance, with regard to the higher two realms.

 

 

244 Leave a comment on block 244 0

[203]

‘DI DAG RNAMS NYAN THOS KHO NA STE, ‘DIR THAL ‘GYUR BA’I LUGS SU THAMS CAD ‘PHAGS PA YIN LA, KUN BTUS KYI LUGS LA RGYUN ZHUGS ZHUGS PA LA SO SKYE YOD KYANG GZHAN THAMS CAD ‘PHAGS PA’O,,

 

All of the practitioners described here by the way are listeners; according to the view of the Consequence Group of the Middle-Way School on this point, all of them are realized beings.  The system of the Compendium would say that a person still entering the state of a stream-enterer could be an ordinary being; and then all the rest are realized beings.[86]

 

 

245 Leave a comment on block 245 0

[204]

MDOR NA RGYUN ZHUGS SOGS BZHI PO DES THOB MKHAN DANG THOB BYA’I ‘BRAS BU LA BDEN ZHEN MI BYED CING, BDEN ‘DZIN LHAN SKYES YOD SRID KYANG DE’I ZHEN YUL SUN MA PHYUNG BA NI MED DE, DE THAMS CAD KYANG STONG NYID RTOGS PA SNGON DU SONG BA’I PHYIR RO,,

To sum, we can say that people who have attained these four goals of entering the stream and so on never entertain any belief that either themselves—the person who has attained the particular goal—nor the goal that they have attained could exist in truth.  And although it’s the case that they could still have the innate form of grasping to things as being real, it is never the case that they have failed to debunk the object that this tendency thinks it sees.  And that’s because each and every one of them has already had an experience of the perception of emptiness.

 

 

I am a destroyer of the foe

 

247 Leave a comment on block 247 0

[K51b-K52]

Tatkasya hetoḥ ahamasmi BhagavaṃsTathāgatenārhatā Samyaksaṃbuddhena araṇāvihāriṇāmagryo nirdiṣṭaḥ.  Ahamasmi Bhagavan arhanvītarāgaḥ.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, BDAG NI, ,DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS KYIS NYON MONGS PA MED PAR GNAS PA RNAMS KYI MCHOG TU BSTAN TE, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS [f. 221a] BDAG ‘DOD CHAGS DANG BRAL BA DGRA BCOM PA LAGS KYANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, BDAG ‘DI SNYAM DU, BDAG NI, DGRA BCOM PA’O,,

 

O Conqueror, I declare that the Ones Thus Gone—those Destroyers of the Foe who are the Totally Enlightened Buddhas—reside in the highest of all those states that are free of negative emotions.  And I am, o Conqueror, a person who is free of desire; I am a foe destroyer.  But I do not, o Conqueror, think to myself, “I am a destroyer of the foe.”

 

 

Na ca me Bhagavannevaṃ bhavati arhannasmyahaṃ vītarāga iti.  Sacenmama Bhagavannevaṃ bhavet mayā arhattvaṃ prāptamiti na māṃ Tathāgato vyākariṣyadaraṇāvihāriṇāmagryaḥ Subhūtiḥ kulaputro na kvacidviharati tenocyate araṇāvihārī araṇāvihārīti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, GAL TE BDAG ‘DI SNYAM DU, BDAG GIS DGRA BCOM PA NYID THOB BO, ,SNYAM DU SEMS PAR GYUR NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS BDAG LA RIGS KYI BU RAB ‘BYOR NI, NYON MONGS PA MED PAR GNAS PA RNAMS KYI MCHOG YIN TE, CI LA’ANG MI GNAS PAS NA, NYON MONGS PA MED PAR GNAS PA, NYON MONGS PA MED PAR GNAS PA ZHES LUNG MI STON LAGS SO,,

 

For suppose, o Conqueror, that I did think to myself, “I have attained the state of a Foe Destroyer.”  If I did think this way, then the One Thus Gone could never have given me the final prediction: he could never have said:

 

O son of noble family, o Subhuti, you will reach the highest of all those states that are free of the mental afflictions.  Because you will stay in no state at all, you will have reached the state free of mental afflictions; you will have reached what we call the “state free of mental afflictions.”

 

 

248 Leave a comment on block 248 0

[206]

DE NAS RAB ‘BYOR GYIS BDAG THA SNYAD DU NYON MONGS SPANGS PA’I DGRA BCOM PA [f. 15a] LAGS KYANG, BDAG GIS BDAG NI DGRA BCOM PA’O SNYAM DU BDEN PAR MI ‘DZIN LAGS SO ZHES DANG,

Then Subhuti explains,

I am, nominally speaking, a foe destroyer.  But it is also true that I do not, while grasping to some true existence, think to myself, “I am a destroyer of the foe.”

 

 

249 Leave a comment on block 249 0

[207]

GAL TE DE LTAR ‘DZIN NA NI BDAG KYANG NYON MONGS CAN DU ‘GYUR BAS DGRA BCOM PA MA YIN PAR ‘GYUR RO, ,BDAG NI DGRA BCOM PA YIN TE, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BDAG LA THA SNYAD DU RIGS KYI BU RAB ‘BYOR NI NYON MONGS PA MED PA RNAMS KYI MCHOG TU LUNG BSTAN LA,

 

If I did grasp to it this way then I would start to have negative emotions, and then I would stop being a foe destroyer.  But I am a foe destroyer, and the Conqueror has given me the final prediction: he has told me, “Nominally speaking Subhuti, son of noble family, you will have reached the highest of all those states that are free of the negative emotions.”

 

 

250 Leave a comment on block 250 0

[208]

DON DAM PAR CI LA YANG MI GNAS PAS NA NYON MONGS PA MED PAR GNAS PAR ZHES LUNG MI STON TE,

In an ultimate sense though, because I stay in no state at all, he could never have given me the final prediction; he could never have said, “O son of noble family, o Subhuti, you will reach the state free of negative emotions.”

 

 

251 Leave a comment on block 251 0

[209]

DON DAM PAR GNAS BYA DANG GNAS BYED DANG GNAS PA PO GANG YANG MA GRUB PA’I PHYIR RO ZHES BSHAD DE,

 

This is because, ultimately speaking, there does not even exist any place to stay, no thing to make one stay there, nor even anyone who stays there.

 

 

252 Leave a comment on block 252 0

[210]

THAL ‘GYUR BAS BDEN ‘DZIN NYON MONGS SU BZHED PA DANG MTHUN NO,,

 

All this is consistent with the position of the Consequence Group, which says that grasping to some true existence is a negative emotion.

253 Leave a comment on block 253 0

[211]

DON DAM PAR THOB BYA DANG THOB BYED DANG THOB MKHAN RNAMS MED PAR MA ZAD, DON DAM PAR BLANG BAR BYA BA’I CHOS KYANG MED CES STON PA NI,

Ultimately speaking then there is nothing for one to achieve, and nothing that helps one achieve it, and no one even to do the achieving.  But we can say even further that, again speaking ultimately, there is no Dharma at all that one takes up, and practices.  In order to demonstrate this point, Lord Buddha states the following.

 

 

 

Where the Teacher got the teachings

 

255 Leave a comment on block 255 0

[K53]

Bhagavānāha.

 

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte asti sa kaściddharmo yas Tathāgatena Dīpaṃkarasya Tathāgatasyārhataḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhasyāntikādudgṛhītaḥ.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS MAR ME MDZAD LAS GANG BLANGS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG YOD DAM,

 

And then the Conqueror spoke yet again:

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Was there anything at all which the One Thus Gone ever received from that One Thus Gone, the Destroyer of the Foe, the Perfectly Enlightened Buddha called “Maker of Light”?

 

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

No hīdaṃ Bhagavan. Nāsti sa kaściddharmo yas Tathāgatena Dīpaṃkarasya Tathāgatasyārhataḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhasyāntikādudgṛhītaḥ.

 

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE NI, MA LAGS TE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS MAR ME MDZAD LAS GANG BLANGS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MA MCHIS SO,,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, there was not.  There exists nothing at all which the One Thus Gone received from that One Thus Gone, the Destroyer of the Foe, the Perfectly Enlightened Buddha called “Maker of Light.”

 

 

256 Leave a comment on block 256 0

[213]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA NGAS SNGON SANGS RGYAS MAR ME MDZAD LAS DON DAM PAR GANG BLANGS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG YOD SNYAM MAM ZHES DRIS PA NA, RAB ‘BYOR GYIS DE MA MCHIS SO ZHES LAN PHUL,

The Conqueror asks, “O Subhuti, do you think that there was any Dharma at all which I, the One Thus Gone, in those days long ago took up, ultimately speaking, from the Buddha called ‘Maker of Light’?”[87]  And Subhuti offers up the reply, “No, there never could have been such Dharma.”

257 Leave a comment on block 257 0

[214]

‘DIR SGOS SU SANGS RGYAS MAR ME MDZAD KYI MTSAN NAS SMOS PA NI, STON PAS SNGON GZHON NU CHOS KYI SPRIN DU GYUR PA’I TSE, SANGS RGYAS MAR ME MDZAD KYIS BYIN GYIS BRLABS PA LA BRTEN NAS MI SKYE BA’I CHOS LA BZOD PA CHEN PO THOB CING, SA BRGYAD PA MNGON DU MDZAD PA NA

 

This specific reference, wherein Lord Buddha speaks of the Buddha “Maker of Light” by name, recalls an event which had taken place long before.  In those times our Teacher was a youth known as “Cloud of Dharma.”  Due to the blessing of the Buddha “Maker of Light,” he was able to achieve a stage known as the “great mastery of things that never grow,” and to bring about the eighth bodhisattva level.

 

 

258 Leave a comment on block 258 0

[215]

MAR ME MDZAD KYIS KHYOD LA MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS SU SANGS RGYAS SH’AKYA THUB PA ZHES BYA BAR ‘GYUR RO ZHES LUNG [f. 15b] BSTAN PA’I BKA’ DRIN DRAN PA’I CHED DE ‘OG TU BSHAD PAR BYA’O,,

When this had happened, Light Maker gave him the final prediction, saying “In the future, you will become the Buddha known as ‘Shakyamuni’.”[88]  In order to remember the kindness that Light Maker paid on this occasion, Lord Buddha speaks these words; we’ll talk more of this later on.

 

259 Leave a comment on block 259 0

[216]

MI SKYE BA’I CHOS LA BZOD PA CHEN PO THOB PA NI, NYON MONGS SPANGS SHING CHOS THAMS CAD RANG BZHIN GYIS STONG PA’I CHOS NYID MTHA’ DAG MNGON SUM DU RTOGS PA’I MI RTOG YE SHES LA GOMS PA DBANG BSGYUR THOB PA’I PHYIR MNYAM GZHAG GI GNAS SKABS SU MA ZAD , RJES THOB KYI SKABS SU YANG ‘DUS BYAS KYI CHOS THAMS CAD BDEN STONG SGYU MA LTA BU ‘BA’ ZHIG TU SNANG BAR ‘GYUR RO,,

We should say a little about this expression, the “great mastery of things that never grow.”  This refers to a point at which one has eliminated the negative emotions, and achieved total mastery, fluency, in meditating upon non-conceptual wisdom, which perceives directly each and every instance of the very nature of all things, their emptiness of any natural existence.  As such, all caused objects appear to this person exclusively in the nature of an illusion, as empty of any true existence, not only during periods of deep meditation but during the times between these meditations as well.

260 Leave a comment on block 260 0

[217]

MI SKYE BA’I CHOS LA BZOD PA THOB PAS CHOS THAMS CAD BDEN MED DU MNGON SUM DU GZIGS SHING GANG LUNG BSTAN PA DANG THOB PAR BYA BA DANG ‘TSANG RGYA BAR ‘GYUR BA THAMS CAD KYANG RANG BZHIN GYIS STONG PAR GZIGS PAS, MAR ME MDZAD LAS BDEN GRUB KYI CHOS GANG YANG BLANGS SNYAM DU ZHEN PA MED DO,,

When one reaches the stage of the great mastery of things that never grow, one directly perceives that no object at all has any true existence.  One perceives that what was predicted to finally happen, and the thing one is to achieve, and becoming enlightened—all of them—are empty of any natural existence.  As such the Buddha had no belief that he was taking up any truly existing Dharma at all from the Buddha, Light Maker.

261 Leave a comment on block 261 0

[218]

DE YANG LUNG STON PA’I DUS SU GANG DU LUNG BSTAN PA’I SANGS RGYAS DE MED CING, LUNG BSTAN PA’I DUS KYI GANG ZAG DE LUNG BSTAN NAS SANGS RGYAS PA’I TSE NGA MED KYANG, THA SNYAD DU ‘TSANG RGYA BAR LUNG BSTAN PA DANG SANGS RGYAS PA’I BAR GYI GANG ZAG RNAMS RGYUD GCIG YIN ZHING, DUS SNGA PHYI’I NGA RNAMS SO SOR MA PHYE BAR SNGA PHYI’I NGA KUN LA RJES SU ‘GRO BA’I NGA SPYI ZHIG YOD PAS DE LA DGONGS NAS KHYOD MA ‘ONGS PA NA SANGS RGYAS DER ‘GYUR RO ZHES LUNG BSTAN PA’O,,

It is true that, at the time that the final prediction is made, the Buddha who is predicted does not yet exist.  And it is true that, by the time he becomes a Buddha, the person who received the prediction no longer exists.  In a nominal sense though there is a single continuum, a single person, who exists from the point of the prediction up to the point of enlightenment.  There does exist a general kind of “me,” one which extends to the whole “me” of the past and the future, where we do not divide out the separate me’s of some specific points in the past and future.  It is with reference to this general “me” that the Buddha grants his final prediction, and says “You will become such and such a Buddha.”

 

262 Leave a comment on block 262 0

[219]

DPER NA SKYE BA SNGA PHYI RNAMS DANG TSE STOD SMAD KYI NGA RNAMS DA LTA’I DUS KYI NGA ‘DI MIN YANG DE DAG GIS BYAS PA LA NGAS BYAS SO ZHES DANG, DE DAG GIS BYED PA YANG NGAS BYED PAR ‘GYUR RO ZHES THA SNYAD ‘DOGS NUS PA BZHIN NO,,

To give an example, it is true that the particular me’s of specific past or future lives, or else the particular me’s of some point early on in your life, or later on in your life, are not the “me” you are at this present moment in time.  Nonetheless it is allowable for us to say, of things that those me’s have done or are going to do, “I did that,” or “I am going to do that.”  It’s just the same with the final prediction.

 

263 Leave a comment on block 263 0

[220]

DE BZHIN DU NGAS KHANG PA DANG, ,[f. 16a] ZHVA GOS LHVAM SOGS ‘DI DANG ‘DI BYA’O ZHES BRJOD PA’I DUS SU KHANG PA SOGS MED KYANG MA ‘ONGS PA NA ‘BYUNG ‘GYUR LA BSAMS TE BRJOD PA LTA BU STE, THA SNYAD TZAM DU ‘BYUNG YANG RANG BZHIN GYIS SKYE BA MED DO,

We also say things like “I am going to build a house,” or “I am going to make a hat, or some clothes, or a pair of shoes.”  Even though the house and the rest have no existence at the moment that we say these things, we can speak nonetheless of them, for we are thinking of them in the sense of something that will come about in the future.  And they will occur, if only nominally; but they will not come forth through any nature of their own.

 

264 Leave a comment on block 264 0

[221]

RANG BZHIN GYIS SKYE NA NI KHANG PA SOGS BYA’O SNYAM PA’I DUS NA’ANG KHANG PA SOGS YOD CES ‘DOD DGOS KYANG DE MED DO,,

If they could come about through some nature of their own, then the house and so forth would have to exist even at the time that we are saying, “I will build a house” or whatever—but in fact they do not.

 

265 Leave a comment on block 265 0

[222]

DE LTA BU LA DGONGS NAS, MA DROS PAS ZHUS PA’I MDO LAS,

 

,GANG ZHIG RKYEN LAS SKYES PA DE MA SKYES,

,DE LA SKYE BA’I RANG BZHIN YOD MA YIN,

,RKYEN LA RAG LAS GANG DE STONG PAR BSHAD,

,GANG ZHIG STONG NYID SHES DE BAG YOD YIN,

 

,ZHES GSUNGS SHING, SNGAR BSHAD PA’I BDEN MED SGRUB PA’I RIGS PA RNAMS KYANG ‘DIR YANG SBYAR RO,,

This is exactly the idea expressed in the Sutra Requested by Anavatapta, where it says:

 

Nothing which is born from conditions

Is ever born at all;

It has no nature of being born.

 

Anything that depends on conditions

Is said to be empty;

Those who understand emptiness

Truly have awareness.[89]

 

You can also apply at this point all the reasonings presented earlier for demonstrating how things have no true existence.

 

266 Leave a comment on block 266 0

[223]

RGYU LAS ‘BRAS BU RNAMS SKYE YANG RANG BZHIN GYIS MI SKYE BA’I TSUL DE BZHIN LEGS PAR SHES NA DBU MA’I LUGS GYI RANG BZHIN GYIS STONG PA LA BYA BYED ‘THAD TSUL SHES SHING, SNANG STONG ZUNG ‘JUG GI DBU MA’I LAM YANG RNYED PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

At some point you will gain a really correct understanding of how—despite the fact that results do come from causes—they do not come from these causes through any nature of their own.  At that moment, you will finally grasp the way in which Middle-Way philosophy describes how, despite the fact that things are empty of any natural existence, they can still quite properly work and function as they do.  At that point too you will have discovered the Middle Way itself, the path where the appearance of the normal world and emptiness itself are inseparably married together.

 

 

 

The emptiness of paradise

 

268 Leave a comment on block 268 0

[K54]

 [p. 27] Bhagavānāha.

 

Yaḥ kaścitSubhūte bodhisattva evaṃ vadet ahaṃ kṣetravyūhān niṣpādayiṣyāmīti, sa vitathaṃ vadet.

 

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG LA LA ZHIG ‘DI SKAD DU, BDAG GIS ZHING BKOD PA RNAMS BSGRUB PAR BYA’O, ,ZHES ZER NA, DE NI, MI BDEN PAR SMRA BA’O,,

 

Then the Conqueror spoke once more,

 

Suppose, o Subhuti, that some bodhisattva were to say, “I am working to bring about my paradise.”  This would not be spoken true.

 

 

269 Leave a comment on block 269 0

[K55]

Tatkasya hetoḥ kṣetravyūhāḥ kṣetravyūhā iti Subhūte avyūhāste Tathāgatena bhāṣitāḥ.  Tenocyante kṣetravyūhā iti.

 

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, [f. 221b] RAB ‘BYOR, ZHING BKOD PA RNAMS ZHING BKOD PA RNAMS ZHES BYA BA NI, BKOD PA DE DAG MED PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR TE, DES NA, ZHING BKOD PA RNAMS ZHES BYA’O,,

 

 

Why is it so?  Because the Ones Thus Gone have stated that these paradises, what we call “paradises,” these lands that we work to create, do not even exist.  And this is precisely why we can even call them “paradise.”

 

 

270 Leave a comment on block 270 0

[225]

DE LTAR ‘TSANG RGYA BA LA GANG DU ‘TSANG RGYA BA’I ZHING DAG BSGRUB DGOS PAR STON PA NI, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG LA LA ZHIG BDAG GIS ZHING BKOD PA RNAMS BDEN ZHEN GYIS DON DAM PAR BSGRUB BAR BYA’O SNYAM ZHES ZER NA, TSIG DE NI MI BDEN PAR SMRA BA’O,

 

Lord Buddha wishes to indicate that, in order for a person to reach the enlightenment described above, he or she must first bring about a paradise in which to achieve the enlightenment.  Therefore the Conqueror says to Subhuti,

 

Suppose some bodhisattva were to say or think to themselves—while holding a belief in true existence, and referring to ultimate existence—”I am working to bring about paradises.”  This statement would not be spoken true.

 

271 Leave a comment on block 271 0

[226]

DE’I RGYU MTSAN NI, ‘TSANG RGYA BA’I GNAS KYI ZHING GI BKOD PA PHUN SUM TSOGS PA RNAMS NI RGYU RKYEN DU MA TSOGS NAS BYUNG BA RGYU MA LTA BU’I BKOD PA YIN GYI, DON DAM [f. 16b] PAR BKOD PA DE DAG MED PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR TE,

Why is this the case?  The reason is that the Ones Thus Gone have stated that these perfect paradises, these places where you achieve your enlightenment, are put there like an illusion; that is, they occur because a great many causes and conditions have come together.  But lands which have been put there in an ultimate sense, say the Buddhas, do not even exist.

272 Leave a comment on block 272 0

[227]

ON KYANG MA BRTAG MA DPYAD PA’I BLO NGO NA YOD PAS THA SNYAD DU ZHING GI BKOD PA RNAMS ZHES BYA’O, ,SANGS RGYAS KYI ZHING DU MA ZAD, SNOD BCUD KYI BKOD PA THAMS CAD KYANG CHA SHAS DU MA TSOGS PA LA BTAGS PA STE, KHANG PA LA SOGS PA BZHIN NO, ,DE DAG THAMS CAD KYANG RIGS PAS RDUL PHRA RAB KYI BAR BSHIG NA CI YANG MA YIN PA’I BAR ‘GYUR TE MTSON TZAM MO,,

Since though they do exist to that state of mind which performs no check or analysis, we can nominally call them “paradise.”  This fact refers not only to the paradise of a Buddha, but also to each and every thing which has ever been put here: to both the world where beings live, and to the beings who live in the world.  All of these are simply a label put on the collection of a number of parts: they are all the same as a house, for example.  And all of these are such that, should you break them down mentally all the way to their tiniest atoms, you would reach the point where they are nothing at all.  (This is the briefest sketch of the meaning for you.)

 

 

274 Leave a comment on block 274 0

[K56]

Tasmāttarhi Subhūte bodhisattvena mahāsattvena evamapratiṣṭhitaṃ cittamutpādayitavyaṃ yanna kvacitpratiṣṭhitaṃ cittamutpādayitavyam.  Na rūpapratiṣṭhitaṃ cittamutpādayitavyaṃ na śabdagandharasaspraṣṭavyadharmapratiṣṭhitaṃ cittamutpādayitavyam.

 

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DE LTA BAS NA, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN POS ‘DI LTAR MI GNAS PAR SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O, ,CI LA’ANG MI GNAS PAR SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O, ,GZUGS LA’ANG MI GNAS PAR SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O, ,SGRA DANG, DRI DANG, RO DANG, REG BYA DANG, CHOS LA’ANG MI GNAS PAR SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O,,

 

 

Since this is so, o Subhuti, those bodhisattvas who are great beings develop their wish without staying in these thoughts.  They develop their wish without staying in anything at all.  They develop their wish without staying in anything you can see.  They develop their wish without staying either in sounds, nor in smells, nor in tastes, nor in things you can touch, nor in objects of the thought.

 

275 Leave a comment on block 275 0

[229]

DE LTA BAS NA BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHING GI BKOD PA BSGRUB PAR BYA BA NA ‘DI LTAR BDEN ZHEN GYIS MI GNAS PAR SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O, ,DON DAM PAR CI LA YANG MI GNAS SHING GZUGS SGRA SOGS KYI CHOS GANG LA BDEN ZHEN GYIS MI GNAS PAR SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O,,

Since this is so, says Lord Buddha, bodhisattvas who are working to bring about their paradise should develop their Wish for enlightenment without residing in any such state where they hold a belief in some true existence.  They should develop their Wish without residing in any state where they believe in the ultimate existence of anything at all.  They should develop their Wish without residing in any state where they hold a belief in some true existence of any object at all: visible form, or any of the rest.

 

The emptiness of my body

 

277 Leave a comment on block 277 0

[K57]

Tadyathāpi nāma Subhūte puruṣo bhavedupetakāyo mahākāyo yattasyaivaṃ rūpa ātmabhāvaḥ syāt tadyathāpi nāma Sumeruḥ parvatarājaḥ.  Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte api nu mahān sa ātmabhāvo bhavet.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI LTA STE, DPER NA, SKYES BU ZHIG LUS ‘DI LTA BUR GYUR TE, ‘DI LTA STE, RI’I RGYAL PO RI RAB TZAM DU GYUR NA, RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, LUS DE CHE BA YIN NAM,

 

O Subhuti, it is thus: Suppose, for example, that someone’s body were to grow this large—suppose it were to grow as large as the king of all mountains, Mt. Sumeru.  What do you think, Subhuti?  Would that person’s body be large?

 

278 Leave a comment on block 278 0

[231]

PHYI’I ZHING GI BKOD PA LTA BUR MA ZAD, BCUD KYI GANG ZAG GI LUS KYI BKOD PA YANG RKYEN TSOGS PA TZAM LAS DON DAM PAR GRUB PA MED DO ZHES STON PA NI, ,RAB ‘BYOR DPER NA SKYES BU ZHIG LUS RI’I RGYAL PO RI RAB TZAM DU GYUR NA LUS DE CHE BA YIN SNYAM MAM ZHES DRIS PA NA, ,

Lord Buddha wishes to show that the above applies not only to outer things such as paradises, but also to the beings who inhabit this world: to objects such as the body of a person.  He wishes to show that they too exist only because conditions have come together, and not in an ultimate way.  Therefore he asks Subhuti, “Suppose some person’s body were to grow to the size of the king of mountains, Mt. Sumeru.  What do you think?  Would that body be something large?”

 

 

279 Leave a comment on block 279 0

[232]

 

(10) Subhūtirāha.

 

Mahān sa Bhagavān, mahān Sugata sa ātmabhāvo bhavet.  Tatkasya hetoḥ ātmabhāva ātmabhāva iti Bhagavan na bhāvaḥ sa Tathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ.  Tenocyata ātmabhāva iti.  Na hi Bhagavan sa bhāvo nābhāvaḥ.  Tenocyate ātmabhāva iti.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, LUS DE CHE BA LAGS SO, ,BDE BAR GSHEGS PA, LUS DE CHE LAGS SO, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DE DNGOS PO MA MCHIS PAR GSUNGS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA, LUS ZHES BGYI’O, ,DE DNGOS PO MA MCHIS PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS TE, DES NA, LUS CHE ZHES BGYI’O,,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, such a body would be large.  O you who have Gone to Bliss, such a body would be large.  And why so?  Because Those Gone Thus have stated that it could never be a thing at all.  And this is precisely why we can even speak of a “body.”  Because Those Gone Thus have stated that it could never be a thing at all, we call it a “large body.”

 

 

280 Leave a comment on block 280 0

[233]

LAN DU LUS DE CHE BAR ZHUS SHING, LUS DE NYID CHA DU MA TSOGS PA’I PHUNG PO THA SNYAD TZAM DU YOD KYI, CHA LA MA BLTOS PA’I DNGOS PO STE NGO BOR MED PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS TE, ‘JIG RTEN GYI THA SNYAD DU LUS DE LA CHE’O ZHES BYA’O, ,DES NA DON DAM PAR LUS SU GRUB PA MA MCHIS PA’I KUN RDZOB PA’I LUS DE LA LUS ZHES BYA’O,,

And Subhuti respectfully replies, “Such a body would be large.”  Those Who Have Gone Thus though have stated that this same body exists only as a term applied to the heaps, to some collection of a great many parts.  It could never be a thing at all which existed in essence; that is, it could never be something which did not depend on its parts, say they.  And this is why we can call such a body “large,” in the sense that words are used in the everyday world.  And so what we call “the body” is the body which exists in a deceptive sense: one that could never exist as a body in any ultimate sense.

281 Leave a comment on block 281 0

[234]

LUS CHE BAS MTSON NAS GZUGS CHE CHUNG THAMS CAD KYANG DE DANG ‘DRA BAR SBYAR RO, ,DE LTAR GSUNGS PA NI SNOD [f. 17a] BCUD THAMS CAD KYANG RANG BZHIN GYIS STONG PAR BSGOM PA’I TSUL BSHAD PA’O,,

 

Here a large body is just a representative example; we are meant to apply this reasoning to all physical objects, large or small.  The entire statement here in the sutra is aimed at showing us how to meditate upon the fact that each and every detail of the world and the beings who inhabit it is empty of any natural existence.

 

 

 

To meditate upon the emptiness of the world

 

283 Leave a comment on block 283 0

[K58]

Bhagavānāha.

 

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte yāvatyo Gaṅgāyāṃ mahānadyāṃ vālukāstāvatya eva Gaṅgānadyo bhaveyuḥ.  Tāsu yā vālukāḥ, api nu tā bahvayo bhaveyuḥ.

 

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, GANGG’A’I KLUNG GI BYE MA JI SNYED PA GANGG’A’I KLUNG YANG DE SNYED KHO NAR GYUR NA, DE DAG GI BYE MA GANG YIN PA DE DAG MANG BA YIN NAM,

 

 

And again did the Conqueror speak:

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Suppose you counted every drop of water in the Ganges River, and then had exactly that many Ganges Rivers.  Would the number of drops in this many Ganges Rivers be very many?

 

 

284 Leave a comment on block 284 0

[236]

DE LTAR BSGOMS PA’I PHAN YON STON PA LA DPE NI, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA GANGG’A’I KLUNG GI BYE MA JI SNYED PA GANGG’A’I KLUNG YANG DE SNYED KHO NAR GYUR NA, DE DAG GI BYE MA DE DAG GRANGS MANG NGAM ZHES DRIS PA NA,

Lord Buddha then goes on to give a metaphor to illustrate the extraordinary spiritual benefits of undertaking just such a meditation.  He begins by asking Subhuti a question: “O Subhuti, suppose you had a quantity of Ganges Rivers that were exactly equal themselves in number to the number of drops of water in the Ganges River.  Would that be very many drops of water?”

 

 

285 Leave a comment on block 285 0

[237]

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

Tā eva tāvadBhagavan bahvayo Gaṅgānadyo bhaveyuḥ.  Prāgeva yāstāsu Gaṅgānadīṣu vālukāḥ.       

 

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS [f. 222a] GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, GANGG’A’I KLUNG DE DAG NYID KYANG MANG LAGS NA, DE DAG GI BYE MA LTA SMOS KYANG MI ‘TSAL,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, if the amount of drops in just this one Ganges River is so great, then who need mention the amount of drops in so very many Ganges Rivers?

 

 

286 Leave a comment on block 286 0

[238]

LAN LA GANGG’A’I KLUNG DE DAG NYID KYANG MANG NA DE DAG GI BYE MA RNAMS MANG BA LTA SMOS KYANG CI ‘TSAL TE BRJOD MI DGOS SO ZHES GSOL,

And then in response Subhuti proffers the following: “Since that would be such a great number of Ganges Rivers, what need mention that the drops of water in these rivers would be a great number as well?”

 

 

288 Leave a comment on block 288 0

[K59]

Bhagavānāha.

 

Ārocayāmi te Subhūte, prativedayāmi te.  Yāvatyastāsu Gaṅgānadīṣu vālukā bhaveyustāvato lokadhātūn kaścideva strī vā puruṣo vā saptaratnaparipurṇaṃ kṛtvā Tathāgatebhyo’rhadbhayaḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhebhyo [p. 28] dānaṃ dadyāt.

 

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, KHYOD MOS PAR BYA, KHYOD KYIS KHONG DU CHUD PAR BYA’O, ,GANGG’A’I KLUNG DE DAG GI BYE MA JI SNYED PA DE SNYED KYI ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS KYI SKYES PA’AM, BUD MED GANG LA LA ZHIG GIS RIN PO CHE SNA BDUN GYIS RAB TU GANG BAR BYAS TE DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS RNAMS LA SBYIN PA BYIN NA,

 

 

Then the Conqueror said,

 

O Subhuti, try to imagine it.  Try to comprehend it.  Think now of a mass of planets equal in number to the number of drops in all these Ganges Rivers.  And then imagine that some son or daughter of noble family has come and covered all of them with the seven kinds of precious substances, and then gone and made a gift of these planets to the One Gone Thus, to the Destroyer of the Foe, the Totally Enlightened One, the Buddha.

 

 

Tat kiṃ manyase Subhūte api nu sā strī vā puruṣo vā tatonidānaṃ bahu puṇyaskandhaṃ prasunuyāt.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, SKYES PA’AM BUD MED DE, GZHI DE LAS BSOD NAMS MANG DU BSKYED DAM,

 

What do you think, Subhuti?  Would they create much merit from such a deed?

 

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

Bahu Bhagavan, bahu Sugata strī vā puruṣo vā tatonidānaṃ puṇyaskandhaṃ prasunuyādaprameyamasaṃkhyeyam.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, MANG LAGS SO, ,BDE BAR GSHEGS PA, MANG LAGS TE, SKYES PA’AM BUD MED DE, GZHI DE LAS BSOD NAMS MANG DU BSKYED DO,,

 

 

Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, many would it be.  O you who have Gone to Bliss, it would be many.  This son or daughter of noble family would indeed create much merit from such a deed.

 

 

289 Leave a comment on block 289 0

[240]

DE NAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA KHYOD MOS PA STE ‘DOD PA BSKYED PA DANG KHYOD KYIS DON DE KHONG DU CHUD PAR BYA’O, ,GANGG’A’I KLUNG DE DAG GI BYE MA’I JI SNYED PA’I GRANGS KYI ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS RNAMS SKYES PA’AM BUD MED GANG GIS GSER DNGUL SOGS SNGAR BSHAD PA LTAR RIN PO CHE SNA BDUN GYIS GANG BAR BYAS TE DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA RNAMS LA MCHOD DE SBYIN PA BYIN NA BSOD NAMS MANG NGAM ZHES DRIS PA’I LAN DU CHES MANG BAR ZHUS SO,,

And then the Conqueror says to Subhuti, “Now you should try to really aspire—that is, you should really try to want to know—and then you will grasp what I am about to say.

 

Suppose this number of drops of water within this many Ganges Rivers were each one to become an individual planet.   And then suppose some man or woman were to cover these planets with gold or silver or the like—with, as we mentioned before, the seven different kinds of precious substances.   And suppose further that they were to take these planets and make an offering of them to the Ones Gone Thus.  Would they, in so doing, accumulate a great deal of merit?”

 

And then Subhuti respectfully replies, “They would accumulate an infinite amount of merit by doing so.”

 

290 Leave a comment on block 290 0

[241]

GANGG’A’I KLUNG ZHES PA NI MA DROS MTSO NAS ‘BAB PA’I CHU BO GANGG’A LA BZHED PA DANG, RGYA MTSO CHEN PO LA BZHED PA’I TSUL GNYIS DANG, BYE MA YANG BYE MA YONGS GRAGS DANG, CHU’I THIGS PA’I RDUL LA BYED PA’I TSUL GNYIS SNANG NGO,,

There are two different systems of explaining what “Ganges River” refers to in this context.  One says that it is an allusion to the Ganges that according to tradition springs from the great lake called “Neverwarm” and descends then into India.

 

Another says that it is actually a reference to the great salt sea.  We even see two different ways of explaining the word “drops” here.  One takes it as drops in their usual meaning, while another takes it to refer still further to the number of atoms which compose each individual drop.

 

 

 

292 Leave a comment on block 292 0

[K60]

(11) Bhagavānāha.

 

Yaśca khalu punaḥ Subhūte strī vā puruṣo vā tāvato lokadhātūn saptaratnaparipūrṇaṃ kṛtvā Tathāgatebhyo’rhadbhayaḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhebhyo dānaṃ dadyāt.  Yaśca kulaputro vā kuladuhitā vā ito Dharmaparyāyādantaśaścatuṣpādikāmapi gāthāmudgṛhya parebhyo deśayet saṃprakāśayet.  Ayameva tatonidānaṃ bahutaraṃ puṇyaskandhaṃ prasunuyādaprameyamasaṃkhyeyam.

 

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, GANG GIS ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS DE SNYED RIN PO CHE SNA BDUN GYIS RAB TU GANG BAR BYAS TE DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS RNAMS LA SBYIN PA BYIN PA BAS, GANG GIS CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI LAS THA NA TSIG BZHI PA’I TSIGS SU BCAD PA TZAM BZUNG NAS GZHAN DAG LA YANG BSHAD DE YANG DAG PAR RAB TU BSTAN NA, DE NYID DE’I GZHI DE LAS BSOD NAMS CHES [f. 222b] MANG DU GRANGS MED DPAG TU MED PA BSKYED DO,,

 

 

And the Conqueror said,

 

Yes Subhuti, suppose that someone did do this: suppose they did take all these planets, and cover them with the seven kinds of precious substances, and offer them as a gift to the One Gone Thus, the Destroyer of the Foe, the Totally Enlightened One, the Buddha.  And now suppose that someone else held but a single verse of four lines from this particular presentation of the Dharma, and explained it to others, and taught it correctly.  This second person would create much more merit from their action; their merit would be countless, and beyond all calculation.

 

 

293 Leave a comment on block 293 0

[243]

DPE BSHAD PA DE LAS GZHUNG ‘DI ‘DON CING NYAN SEMS SGOMS PA’I PHAN YON LHAG PAR CHE’O ZHES PA NI, GANG GIS CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI LAS THA NA ZHES PA NI MA THA’O, ,GZHAN NI SNGAR LTAR RO,,

 

This same example is used when Lord Buddha expresses what massive benefit it is to recite this sutra as one contemplates its meaning, while they listen to what they are saying.  He speaks of anyone who does so with this presentation of the Dharma “even so little” as a certain amount—meaning so infinitely tiny an amount.  And then the rest here goes as before.

 

 

 

295 Leave a comment on block 295 0

[K61]

Api tu khalu punaḥ Subhute yasmin pṛthivīpradeśe ito Dharmaparyāyādantaśaścatuṣpādikāmapi gāthāmudgṛhya bhāṣyeta vā saṃprakāśyeta vā.  Sa pṛthivīpradeśaścaityabhūto bhavet sadevamānuṣāsurasya lokasya.  Kaḥ punarvādo ye imaṃ Dharmaparyāyaṃ sakalasamāptaṃ dhārayiṣyanti vācayiṣyanti paryavāpsyanti.  Parebhyaśca vistareṇa saṃprakāśayiṣyanti.

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, SA PHYOGS GANG NA CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI LAS THA NA TSIG BZHI PA’I TSIGS SU BCAD PA TZAM ‘DON TAM, BTON PA’I SA PHYOGS DE, LHA DANG, MI DANG, LHA MA YIN DU BCAS PA’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI MCHOD RTEN DU GYUR PA YIN NA,

 

And I say to you further, o Subhuti: any place where even just a single verse of four lines from his particular presentation of the Dharma is read out loud, or has ever before been read out loud, thereby becomes a stupa, a place where the entire world, along with its gods, and men, and demigods, can come and pay them honor.

 

 

296 Leave a comment on block 296 0

[245]

YANG RAB ‘BYOR ZHES SOGS KYIS RNAM GRANGS STON TE, ‘DON PA SOGS  [f. 17B] LAS PHAN YON DE LTAR ‘BYUNG BAR MA ZAD, GZHUNG ‘DI LEGS PAR ‘DON PA DANG ‘DI’I DON STON CING NYAMS SU LEN PA’I SA PHYOGS SAM GNAS DE NI GZHAN GYI MCHOD PA’I RTEN DU ‘GYUR PA YIN PAS,

 

And then the Buddha continues into the part about “And I say further to you, o Subhuti,” except that now he’s speaking of teaching someone this particular presentation of the Dharma.  “It’s not just that you would derive this kind of benefit from reciting this text,” Lord Buddha is saying.  “Just think of any place or spot on earth where anyone recites this sutra properly, and then teaches its meaning, and where people then are actually putting it into practice.  That place then becomes a stupa where other people can actually come and present their offerings.”

 

 

 

297 Leave a comment on block 297 0

[246]

 

(12) Parameṇa te Subhūte āścaryeṇa samanvāgatā bhaviṣyanti. tasmiṃśca Subhūte pṛthivīpradeśe śāstā viharatyanyatarānyataro vā vijñagurusthānīyaḥ.

 

SU ZHIG CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI LEN PA DANG, ‘DZIN PA DANG, KLOG PA DANG, KUN CHUB PAR BYED PA DANG, TSUL BZHIN DU YID LA BYED PA DE, NGO MTSAR RAB DANG LDAN PAR GYUR PA LTA CI SMOS, SA PHYOGS DE NA STON PA YANG BZHUGS TE, BLA MA’I GNAS GZHAN DAG KYANG GNAS SO,,

 

And if this is so, then there is no need to say that any person who takes up this particular presentation of the Dharma, or who holds it, or reads it, or comprehends it, or thinks of it in the proper way, thereby becomes someone who is truly wondrous.  And this is because we can then say that the Teacher himself is in that place, as is every other spiritual teacher who has ever lived.

 

 

298 Leave a comment on block 298 0

[247]

DE LTA NA GZHUNG ‘DI’I TSIG BLO LA LEN CING ‘DZIN PA DANG, GLEGS BAM ‘CHANG BA DANG, DE KLOG PA DANG, DE’I DON KUN CHUBS STE SHES PA DANG, DON TSUL BZHIN DU NYAMS LEN GYIS YID LA BYED PA’I GANG ZAG DE NI NGO MTSAR RAB DANG LDAN PAR ‘GYUR BA LTA CI SMOS TE, SA PHYOGS DE NA STON PA SANGS RGYAS SAM BLA MA SKYES BU DAM PA GANG YANG RUNG BA GNAS SO,,

And so let’s consider further, the Buddha is saying, anyone who “takes up” or commits this sutra to memory, or even just holds the book in their hands, or goes on to read it, or further comprehends its meaning—that is, who knows it; and finally goes on to put it into practice in their personal life.

 

A person who is intent on relating to the sutra in this way is the most remarkable man or woman possible.  We could even say then that in this place the Teacher himself—the Buddha—or a true Lama, or some other kind of Holy Being, had taken up their residence.

 

 

What is the name of this teaching?

 

300 Leave a comment on block 300 0

[K62]

Evamukte āyuṣmān SubhūtirBhagavantam etadavocat.

 

DE SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL PA DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR GYIS ‘DI SKAD CES GSOL TO,,

 

Thus did the Buddha speak.

 

And then the junior monk Subhuti addressed the following words, with great respect, to the Conqueror:

 

 

Ko nāma ayaṃ bhagavan Dharmaparyāyaḥ, kathaṃ cainaṃ dhārayāmi. 

 

Evamukte Bhagavānāyuṣmantaṃ Subhūtim etadavocat.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI’I MING CI LAGS, JI LTAR GZUNG BAR BGYI, DE SKAD CES GSOL PA DANG,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR LA ‘DI SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL TO,,

 

O Conqueror, what is the name of this particular presentation of the Dharma?  How are we to consider it?

 

Then the Conqueror spoke the following to the junior monk Subhuti:

 

 

301 Leave a comment on block 301 0

[K63]

Prajñāpāramitā nāmāyaṃ Subhūte Dharmaparyāyaḥ.  Evaṃ cainaṃ dhāraya.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI SHES RAB KYI PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA ZHES BYA STE, ‘DI DE LTAR ZUNGS SHIG ,

 

Subhuti, this particular presentation of the Dharma is known as the “perfection of wisdom,” and that is how you should consider it.

 

302 Leave a comment on block 302 0

[249]

DE NAS RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GZHUNG ‘DI’I MING CI LTAR LAGS ZHES ZHUS PA NA, LAN DU BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS ‘DI’I MING LA GZHUNG SHES RAB GYI PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA ZHES BYA STE ‘DI’I MING DE LTAR ZUNGS SHIG CES PA NI,

 

Then Subhuti asks, “What is the name of this text?” In reply the Conqueror states, “Its name is the ‘perfection of wisdom,’” and “that is how you should consider it to be named.”

 

 

303 Leave a comment on block 303 0

[250]

BRJOD BYA DON GYI SHER PHYIN BRJOD BYAR BYAS NAS STON PAS RJOD BYED GZHUNG LA BRJOD BYA’I MING GIS BTAGS PA’O, ,’DIS SHES RAB KYI PHAR PHYIN GYI MING GIS MTSON TE PHAR PHYIN GZHAN YANG BSTAN TO,,

The subject matter selected by the Teacher, the subject expressed by the text, is the perfection of wisdom in its actual form.  The point here then is that the Teacher has named the text that expresses this subject by using the name of the subject it expresses.  Here the name of the perfection of wisdom is meant to represent all the other perfections as well.

 

 

 

304 Leave a comment on block 304 0

[251]

 

Tatkasya hetoḥ yaiva Subhūte prajñāpāramitā [p. 29] Tathāgatena bhāṣitā.  Saiva apāramitā Tathāgatena bhāṣitā.  Tenocyate prajñāpāramiteti

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS SHES RAB KYI PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA GANG GSUNGS PA DE NYID PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA MED PA’I PHYIR TE, DES NA, SHES RAB KYI PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA ZHES BYA’O,,

 

Why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, that same perfection of wisdom spoken by the Ones Thus Gone is a perfection of wisdom that doesn’t even exist.  And this is precisely why we can call it the “perfection of wisdom.”

 

 

305 Leave a comment on block 305 0

[252]

DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS SHES RAB KYI PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA ZHES GANG GSUNGS PA DE NYID DON DAM PAR PHA ROL TU PHYIN PAR GRUB PA MED CING, DES NA THA SNYAD DU SHES RAB KYI PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA ZHES ‘DOGS SO,,

That same perfection of wisdom spoken by the Ones Thus Gone to be the “perfection of wisdom” is a perfection of wisdom that doesn’t even exist as a perfection of wisdom in an ultimate sense.  And this is why we can, in a nominal sense, label it the “perfection of wisdom.”

 

 

306 Leave a comment on block 306 0

[253]

DON DAM PAR MED CING THA SNYAD DU YOD PAR BSHAD PA ‘DI ‘DRA THAMS CAD KYIS KYANG MTHA’ GNYIS SPANGS PA’I BDEN GNYIS ZUNG DU ‘JUG PA’I DBU MA’I LAM STON TE, DE YANG RANG BZHIN GYIS STONG PA DANG THA SNYAD DU YOD PA GNYIS DUS GCIG TU GZHI GCIG GI STENG DU ‘DU BAR STON PA’O,,

All these kinds of explanations, where they state that things do not exist ultimately but do exist nominally, illustrate the path of the Middle Way, wherein the two truths are accepted as an inseparable unity—which functions to prevent completely the two extremes.  They illustrate, in short, how the quality of being empty of any natural existence, and the quality of existing nominally, coexist with each other as simultaneous attributes of any single object.

 

 

308 Leave a comment on block 308 0

[f. 18a] PHAR PHYIN ZHES PA’I SGRA DON NI, ‘KHOR BA’I RGYA MTSO’I PHA ROL TU PHYIN PAR BYED PA DANG PHYIN ZIN PA’I DON TE, SNGA MA LTAR NA SLOB LAM NA YOD CING, PHYI MA NI SANGS RGYAS KYI SA NA YOD DE RNAM MKHYEN DANG DON GCIG GO ,

Here is a bit on the literal meaning of the expression “perfection,” or “gone to the other side.”[90]  This term connotes either that thing which takes you to the other side of the ocean of cyclic life, or else the state of having already reached that other side.  Taken the former way, the expression refers the perfection of wisdom as it exists on the paths of those who are still learning.[91]  Taken the latter way, it refers to the perfection of wisdom which exists at the level of a Buddha, and is equivalent to the knowledge of all objects.

 

 

309 Leave a comment on block 309 0

[255]

SHER PHYIN GYI SGRAS BRJOD PA TZAM LA NI, RANG BZHIN DANG GZHUNG DANG LAM DANG ‘BRAS BU’I SHER PHYIN LTA BU MANG STE KHYAD PAR SHES DGOS KYANG MA BRJOD DO,,

 

If we go beyond its strictest sense, there are many different usages of the term “perfection of wisdom”: it can refer to the “natural,” or the “textual,” or the “path,” or the “resulting” perfection of wisdom.[92]  It’s important to be able to distinguish between all these, but it would be beyond the scope of this commentary for me to discuss them here.

 

 

310 Leave a comment on block 310 0

[256]

MDOR NA BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS KYIS ZIN PA’I STONG NYID RTOGS PA’I YE SHES LA SHER PHYIN DU GSUNGS PA’I SHER PHYIN ‘DI NI SBYIN PA’I PHAR PHYIN SOGS PHAR PHYIN DANG PO LNGA SANGS RGYAS KYI SAR ‘KHRID PAR BYED PA’I THABS KHYAD PAR CAN YIN TE ‘CHAD PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

To put it briefly, what was spoken of as the “perfection of wisdom” refers to that knowledge which is imbued with the wish to attain enlightenment, and which perceives emptiness.  It is this same perfection of wisdom which acts as an extraordinary kind of method for taking the first five perfections—those of giving and the rest[93]—and leading them up to the point of enlightenment.  I will speak further of this later.

 

The teacher never taught anything

 

312 Leave a comment on block 312 0

[K64]

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte.  Api nu asti sa kaścidDharmo yas Tathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ ?

 

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG GSUNGS PA’I CHOS DE GANG [f. 223a] YANG YOD DAM,

 

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Is there any Dharma at all which the Ones Thus Gone ever speak?

 

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

No hīdaṃ Bhagavan.  Nāsti sa kaścidDharmo yas Tathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ.

 

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG GSUNGS PA’I CHOS DE DAG GANG YANG MA MCHIS SO,,

 

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, none of the Dharmas ever spoken by the Ones Thus Gone exists at all.

 

 

313 Leave a comment on block 313 0

[258]

‘DIR SHES RAB KYI PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA GANG GSUNGS PA DE ZHES SHER PHYIN GSUNGS PAR BSHAD PA NI, ‘O NA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DON DAM PAR GSUNGS PA’I CHOS GZHAN YOD DAM SNYAM PA NA, DE MED CES STON PA NI CHOS DE GANG YANG YOD SNYAM MAM ZHES DRIS PA’I TSE,

In the part before this one, Lord Buddha mentioned “the perfection of wisdom spoken by the Ones Thus Gone,” and explained how it could be the perfection of wisdom.  Someone might think to themselves, “Are there though any other Dharmas which were spoken by the Ones Thus Gone, and which do exist in an ultimate sense?” In order to answer this question with an emphatic “No!” the Buddha poses a question to Subhuti: “Is there any such Dharma at all?”

314 Leave a comment on block 314 0

[259]

LAN DU RAB ‘BYOR GYIS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG GSUNGS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG DON DAM PAR MA MCHIS SO ZHES LAN PHUL TE, SNGAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS CHOS BSTAN PA MA MCHIS PAR GSUNGS PA’I DON BSHAD PA DANG ‘DRA’O,,

In reply, Subhuti offers up the following answer: “None of the Dharmas ever spoken by the Ones Thus Gone even exist, at least in an ultimate sense.”  The point here is very similar to the one before, where it said that the teaching of the Dharma by the Ones Thus Gone did not even exist.

 

 

316 Leave a comment on block 316 0

[K65]

Bhagavānāha.

 

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte yāvat trisāhasramahāsāhasre lokadhātau pṛthivīrajaḥ kaccit tadbahu bhavet ?

 

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, STONG GSUM GYI STONG CHEN PO’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS NA SA’I RDUL PHRA RAB JI SNYED YOD PA DE MANG BA YIN NAM,

 

 

And the Conqueror spoke again:

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  If we took all the atoms of dust that exist in all the planets of the great world system—a system with a thousand of a thousand of a thousand planets—would that be a great many atoms of dust?

 

317 Leave a comment on block 317 0

[261]

DE NAS YANG DE RDUL PHRA RAB DANG RDUL PHRA RAB BSAGS PA’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS DON DAM PAR MA GRUB ZHES STON PA NI, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA STONG GSUM ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS NA SA’I RDUL JI SNYED YOD PA DE MANG NGAM ZHES DRIS PAR,

 

Now further Lord Buddha wishes to show us how neither atoms nor the very planets which are composed of these atoms can exist in an ultimate way.  First the Buddha asks Subhuti whether the total number of atoms of dust in all the planets within a great world system—a system with a thousand of a thousand of a thousand planets—would be a great many atoms of dust.

 

The emptiness of atoms

 

318 Leave a comment on block 318 0

[262]

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

Bahu Bhagavan bahu Sugata pṛthivīrajo bhavet.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, SA’I RDUL DE MANG LAGS SO, ,BDE BAR GSHEGS PA, MANG LAGS SO,,

 

Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, it would indeed be a great many atoms of dust.  O One who has Gone to Bliss, a great many would that be.

 

 

319 Leave a comment on block 319 0

[K66]

Tatkasya hetoḥ yattad Bhagavan pṛthivīrajas Tathāgatena bhāṣitam arajastadBhagavaṃsTathāgatena bhāṣitam.  Tenocyate pṛthivīraja iti.  Yo’pyasau lokadhātusTathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ adhātuḥ sa Tathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ.  Tenocyate lokadhāturiti.

 

DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, SA’I RDUL GANG LAGS PA DE, RDUL MA MCHIS PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA, SA’I RDUL ZHES BGYI’O, ,’JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS GANG LAGS PA DE KHAMS MA MCHIS PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS TE, DES NA, ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS ZHES BGYI’O,,

 

And why is it so?  Because, o Conqueror, the Ones Gone Thus have stated that whatever atoms of dust there may be are atoms of dust that could never exist.  And this is precisely why we can speak of them as “atoms of dust.”

 

The Ones Thus Gone have stated as well that whatever planets there may be are planets that could never exist.  And this is precisely why we can speak of them as “planets.”

 

321 Leave a comment on block 321 0

[f. 18b] LAN DU DE MANG NGO ZHES ZHUS SHING, SA’I RDUL PHRA RAB GANG YIN PA DE RNAMS NI DON DAM PAR RDUL DU GRUB PA MA MCHIS PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS TE, DON DAM PAR MED CING THA SNYAD DU YOD PA DES NA SA’I RDUL ZHES BGYI’O, ,

And then Subhuti respectfully replies, “It would indeed be a great many.”  He goes on to say that the Ones Gone Thus have stated that these same atoms of dust could never exist as atoms, in an ultimate sense.  And it is precisely because these atoms do not exist ultimately—but do exist nominally—that we can even call them “atoms of dust.”

 

 

322 Leave a comment on block 322 0

[264]

DES NA RDUL PHRA RAB BSAGS PA’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS GANG YIN PA DE YANG DON DAM PAR ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS SU GRUB PA MA MCHIS PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA THA SNYAD DU ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS ZHES BGYI’O,,

 

This in turn explains why whatever planets there may be which are composed of conglomerations of these particles of dust could never themselves be planets, in an ultimate sense.  And “because”—or for the reason that—the Ones Gone Thus have said this of them, they are in a nominal sense referred to as “planets.”

 

323 Leave a comment on block 323 0

[265]

DE DAG DON DAM PAR GRUB PA MED PA’I RIGS PA PHYOGS TZAM NI, RDUL PHRA RAB BSAGS PA’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS RNAMS KYANG RDUL PHRA RAB ‘DUS PA’I STENG DU BTAGS PA TZAM YIN GYI, RDUL PHRA RAB RE RE BA DANG TSOGS PA DANG DE LAS DON GZHAN NA ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS ZHES PA ZHIG LOGS SU MED DE, DPER NA BUM PA’I MCHU ZHABS LTO BA SOGS TSOGS PA LA BUM PAR BTAGS PA BZHIN NO,,

We might pause here and give just a partial presentation of the logic which is used to prove that these planets do not in fact exist in an ultimate sense.  Planets composed of conglomerations of atoms are nothing more than a projection applied to these atoms.  And there is in fact no other, separate thing called a “planet” which is either any of the atoms considered individually; nor the sum of these atoms alone; nor something unrelated to these two.  It’s similar to the idea that a “vase” is no more than an object projected onto the sum of its parts—things like the lip of the vase, its base, and its belly.

324 Leave a comment on block 324 0

[266]

RDUL PHRA RAB GCIG LA PHYOGS BZHI DANG STENGS ‘OG GI PHYOGS DRUG YOD DAM MED, YOD NA DE RANG GI PHYOGS KYI CHA DRUG LAS CHE BAR ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR PHRA RAB KYI DON MED LA, DE’I PHYOGS DRUG MED NA NI GO SA MNON PA’I NUS PA MED PA’I PHYIR NA RDUL GZUGS CAN MA YIN PAR THAL ZHING DNGOS MED DU’ANG ‘GYUR RO,,

We need to ask ourselves a question: Does a single atom, the supposed smallest building block of matter, possess its six directions?  That is, does it have one part each facing the four different directions, and then a top and a bottom facing up and down?  If it does, then of course the atom itself would have to be bigger than the sides facing in these six directions—and then we could no longer call it an “atom” or smallest piece of something.  And if the atom didn’t possess sides facing in these six directions, then it could never occupy a position in space; which would in turn mean that it wasn’t really matter.  In fact then it would become a non-existent.

 

 

325 Leave a comment on block 325 0

[267]

DES NA RDUL PHRA RAB GCIG NI YAN GAR DU GNAS MI NUS PAS GZHAN DANG TSOGS SHING ‘DUS PA LA LTOS DGOS PAS RDUL PHRA RAB RANG DBANG GIS MA GRUB CING, DE MA GRUB PAS DE BSAGS PA’I [f. 19a] RDUL RAGS PA’ANG RANG DBANG GIS MA GRUB CES BYA’O,,

Neither then could a single atom ever exist independently: it would have then to exist only in conjunction with, as a composite part of, other pieces of matter.  In such case, no single atom would possess any independent existence; and then neither could any more gross physical object which was composed of such atoms.

 

 

326 Leave a comment on block 326 0

[268]

MDOR NA RDUL PHRA RAB NI GCIG GI RANG BZHIN DU BDEN PAR MED CING, ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS NI DU MA TSOGS PA’I RANG BZHIN DU BDEN PAR MA GRUB CES STONG NYID BSGOM PAR BSHAD PA’O,,

To put it in a nutshell, the fact is that no atom can have any nature, any true nature, of being one thing.  Neither can any planet have a nature, any true nature, of being composed of a conglomerate of many such atoms.  This is the meditation on emptiness that we are being asked to do.

 

 

327 Leave a comment on block 327 0

[269]

SLOB DPON KA MA SH’I LAS ‘DI’I SKABS KYI ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS NI SEMS CAN GYI ‘JIG RTEN LA DGONGS PAR BSHAD, SEMS CAN GNAS PA’I GZHI MA DAG PA’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS SO,,

Master Kamalashila says that the planets or worlds mentioned here are meant as worlds of the kind inhabited by suffering beings.  They are worlds which are still in their original condition of impurity, worlds of pain.

 

 

The emptiness of the body of the Buddha

 

329 Leave a comment on block 329 0

[K67]

Bhagavānāha.

 

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte dvātriṃśanmahāpuruṣa lakṣaṇais Tathāgato’rhan Samyaksaṃbuddho draṣṭavyaḥ ?

 

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, SKYES BU CHEN PO’I MTSAN SUM CU RTZA GNYIS PO DE DAG GIS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS SU BLTA’AM,

 

 

The Conqueror spoke once more:

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Should we consider someone to be One Thus Gone, a Destroyer of the Foe, a Totally Enlightened One, a Buddha, just because they possess the 32 signs of a great being?

 

 

Subhūtirāha.

 

No hīdaṃ Bhagavan. Dvātriṃśanmahāpuruṣa lakṣaṇais Tathāgato’rhan Samyaksaṃbuddho draṣṭavyaḥ.  Tatkasya hetoḥ yāni hi tāni Bhagavan dvātriṃśanmahāpuruṣa lakṣaṇāni Tathāgatena bhāṣitāni alakṣaṇāni tāni BhagavaṃsTathāgatena bhāṣitāni.  Tenocyante dvātriṃśanmahāpuruṣa lakṣaṇānīti.

 

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE NI, MA LAGS SO, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, SKYES BU CHEN PO’I MTSAN SUM CU RTZA GNYIS PO GANG DAG DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA DE DAG MTSAN MA MCHIS PAR DE BZHIN [f. 223b] GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA’I MTSAN SUM CU RTZA GNYIS ZHES BGYI’O,,

 

 

Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, we should not.  Why is it so?  Because these 32 signs of a great being described by Those Gone Thus were said, by Those Gone Thus, to be signs that could never exist.  And this is precisely why we can speak of them as “the 32 signs of One Gone Thus.”

 

 

330 Leave a comment on block 330 0

[271]

DE NAS ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS SU MA ZAD, SANGS RGYAS KYI GZUGS SKU DANG DE’I MTSAN DPE YANG DON DAM PAR MA GRUB CES PA NI,

Lord Buddha next wants to express to us how not only are the various worlds something that cannot exist in an ultimate way, but this is true as well of the body of form of a Buddha, and the signs and marks upon this body.

331 Leave a comment on block 331 0

[272]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA SKYES BU CHEN PO DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA’I MTSAN SUM CU RTZA GNYIS PO DE DAG TSOGS PA’I SKU TZAM ZHIG DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAR BLTA BA STE GZUNG BAR BYA SNYAM MAM ZHES DRIS PA NA,

And so the Conqueror says to Subhuti, “What do you think?  Should we see”—meaning, should we considersomeone as being One Thus Gone, just because they possess that holy body composed of the 32 signs that we find on the form of a Great Being, One Who Is Gone Thus?

332 Leave a comment on block 332 0

[273]

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS DE MA LAGS TE, RGYU MTSAN NI SKYES BU CHEN POS SANGS RGYAS KYI MTSAN SO GNYIS PO GANG DAG DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS THA SNYAD DU YOD PAR GSUNGS PA DE DAG NI DON DAM PAR MTSAN MA MCHIS PAR GSUNGS BA’I SLAD DU STE ZHES SGRO ‘DOGS RTAG MTHA’ BKAG CING,

Subhuti replies, saying “Oh Conquering One, we should not.  And for what reason should we not?  Because the Great Beings have stated that the 32 signs of a Buddha—which were described by the One Thus Gone as existing only nominally—are, in an ultimate sense, impossible: it is impossible for them to be signs in this sense.”  This statement of Subhuti’s is meant to prevent the reader from falling into the extreme of saying that things never change: of saying that there is something there when, in truth, there is not.

333 Leave a comment on block 333 0

[274]

DES NA THA SNYAD DU DE DAG LA SKYES BU CHEN PO’I MTSAN RNAMS ZHES BYA’O ZHES PAS SKUR ‘DEBS CHAD MTHA’ BKAG BA ‘DI LTA BU GZHAN LA YANG ‘DRA’O,,

“And this then is why,” Subhuti is saying, “that nominally speaking these can be referred to as the ‘signs of a Great Being’.”  With this he is trying to prevent us from falling into the extreme of thinking that things have stopped altogether: of saying that there is nothing there when, in fact, there is.  This explanation of the lines can be applied to the other sections as well.

334 Leave a comment on block 334 0

[275]

MTSAN BSTAN PA’I SHUGS LA DPE BYAD BRGYAD CU YANG BSTAN TE, DPE BYAD RNAMS NI MTSAN GYI ‘KHOR YIN PA’I PHYIR RO,,

This direct mention of the various major signs upon the body of an Enlightened Being is meant also to refer to the 80 minor marks upon such a body, since the signs always come along with the marks.

335 Leave a comment on block 335 0

[276]

MTSAN [f. 19b] SO GNYIS NI MNGON RTOGS RGYAN LAS, PHYAG ZHABS ‘KHOR LO’I MTSAN DANG RUS SBAS ZHABS, ,ZHES SOGS DANG, DPE BYAD BRGYAD CU NI, THUB PA’I SEN MO ZANGS MDOG DANG, ,ZHES SOGS KYIS BSTAN PA LTAR RO,,

The actual 32 signs are described in the Ornament of Realizations with the lines that include, “The mark of a wheel upon his holy palms and soles; and feet like those of a turtle.”  And the 80 marks come in the lines from the same text that include, “The fingernails of the Able Ones, copper in color.”[94]

 

 

336 Leave a comment on block 336 0

[277]

SANGS RGYAS KYI GZUGS SKU GNYIS LA MTSAN DPE GSAL RDZOGS YOD PAR MA THOB PA NA BDEN ZHEN GYIS SANGS RGYAS NI MTSAN DPE ‘DI TZAM GYI SGO NAS ‘JOG GAM SNYAM NA,

One might then wonder whether—if a person saw that someone else possessed the two holy bodies of form which belong to a Buddha, complete with the signs and marks in their complete clarity—then they could only, on the basis of these, consider that person a Buddha, albeit doing so while this observer was in a state of mind where they still believed that things existed truly.

 

337 Leave a comment on block 337 0

[278]

DE NI MA YIN TE SANGS RGYAS KYI GZUGS KYI SKU RNAM PA GNYIS LA NI CHOS KYI SKU MNGON DU BYAS PA’I SGO NAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA ZHES BRJOD KYI, MTSAN DPE DANG LDAN PA’I SKU THOB PA TZAM GYI SGO NAS BZHAG PA MA YIN PA’I PHYIR TE,

But this in fact is not the case, since the two holy bodies of form possessed by a Buddha are only referred to as “One Gone Thus” insofar as the person has brought about the reality body.  It is not that a person is established as being One Gone Thus only by virtue of having attained the holy body possessed of the signs and marks.

338 Leave a comment on block 338 0

[279]

BRGYAD STONG PA LAS, GZUGS KYI SKU BRNYES PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA ZHES BYA BA’I GRANGS SU MI ‘GRO YI, RNAM PA THAMS CAD MKHYEN PA NYID BRNYES PAS NI DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA ZHES BYA BA’I GRANGS SU ‘GRO’O ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR RO,,

This point is brought out in the 8,000 Verses on Wisdom, where it says—

One isn’t counted among the ranks of those said to have “Gone That Way” by having attained the holy body of form.  Rather, they are counted among these ranks by having attained the state of perfect omniscience.[95]

 

 

339 Leave a comment on block 339 0

[280]

SKU MTSAN DPES BRGYAN PA’I GZUGS SKU MTHONG NAS DE LA BDEN ZHEN GYIS PHYAG ‘TSAL BA SOGS LEGS PA’I LAM BSOD NAMS KYI TSOGS KYIS BSDUS PA YIN MOD,

Now we would have to admit that—if a person laid eyes upon just such a holy body of form, adorned with the various sings and marks, and then made prostrations to this body, but in a state of mind where they still believed that things existed truly—then this and other such actions would still be a part of the path of goodness: they would still be included as part of the collection of merit.

 

340 Leave a comment on block 340 0

[281]

GANG DAG PA {%NGA} LA GZUGS SU MTHONG, ,ZHES SOGS KYI SKABS SU ‘CHAD PA LTAR BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS PA’I SKYON CAN YIN TE,

 

But this merit would still be shackled by the tendency to believe that things are real—as we will be explaining below, when we treat the lines that start with: “Whoever sees me in things you can see…”[96]

 

 

341 Leave a comment on block 341 0

[282]

MNGON RTOGS RGYAN LAS KYANG, RGYAL LA SOGS LA CHAGS PA PHRA, ZHES PA’I SKABS SU TSUL DE LTA BU LA BDEN ZHEN GYI CHAGS PA’I SKYON YOD PAR BSHAD PA’I PHYIR RO,,

This fact is reflected in the Ornament of Realizations where it speaks of “a subtle form of attachment towards the Victors and the rest.”[97]  The reference here is to a faulty state of mind during a good action of the type we’ve mentioned: where we still have some craving to things being real.

342 Leave a comment on block 342 0

[283]

SKABS ‘DIR BDEN ‘DZIN NI MA RIG PAR ‘DOD DGOS PAS, MA RIG PAS KUN NAS BSLANGS TE DGE BA’I LAS BSAGS NA ‘KHOR BAS BSDUS PA’I MNGON MTHO DANG, MI DGE BA’I LAS BSAGS NA NI NGAN ‘GRO’I LUS ‘GRUB PAS GZHUNG DU MA LAS BSHAD DO,,

 

We’d have to say that, in the context we have here, the belief in reality mentioned refers to a kind of ignorance.  And there are many major scriptures which state that—if we collect good karma, but we are motivated to do so by ignorance—then all we achieve is a higher rebirth, still within the cycle of pain.  If—motivated by the same ignorance—we collect bad karma, then all we achieve is the body of one living in the lower realms.

343 Leave a comment on block 343 0

[284]

GZHUNG ‘DI LA BRTEN NAS DE LTAR DAG MA DAG GI, ,[f. 20a] CHOS THAMS CAD RANG BZHIN GYIS STONG BAR SHES SHING BSGOMS NA PHAN YON CHE’O ZHES STON PA NI,

And the next lines of the sutra are meant to demonstrate to us that—if we can avail ourselves of such scriptures, and thus see that there is no object in the universe, be it pure or impure, which has any nature of its own; if we can understand this point, and meditate upon it—then it will be of great benefit for us.

 

 

The karma of sharing wisdom

 

345 Leave a comment on block 345 0

[K68]

(13) Bhagavānāha.

 

Yaśca khalu punaḥ Subhūte strī vā puruṣo vā dine dine Gaṅgānadīvālukāsamānātmabhāvān parityajet evaṃ parityajan Gaṅgānadīvālukāsamān kalpāṃstānātmabhāvān parityajet yaśca ito [p. 30] Dharmaparyāyadantaśaścatuṣpādikāmapi gāthāmudgṛhyaparebhyo deśayet saṃprakāśayet ayameva tatonidānaṃ bahutaraṃ puṇyaskandhaṃ prasunuyādaprameyamasaṃkhyeyam.

 

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, SKYES PA’AM BUD MED GANG GIS LUS GANGG’A’I KLUNG GI BYE MA SNYED YONGS SU BTANG BA BAS, GANG GIS CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI LAS THA NA TSIG BZHI PA’I TSIGS SU BCAD PA TZAM BZUNG STE GZHAN DAG LA YANG BSTAN NA, DE GZHI DE LAS BSOD NAMS CHES MANG DU GRANGS MED DPAG TU MED PA BSKYED DO,,

 

 

And then the Conqueror said,

 

And I tell you further, o Subhuti: Suppose some woman or man were to give away their own body, and do this with as many bodies as there are drops of water in the Ganges.  And suppose on the other hand that someone held even so little as four lines of verse from this teaching, and taught it to others.  The second person would create much greater merit from their act than the former; their merit would be countless, and beyond all calculation.

 

346 Leave a comment on block 346 0

[286]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA GANG ZAG GANG GIS RANG GI LUS KYI SBYIN PA GANGG’A’I KLUNG GI BYE MA SNYED BTANG BA LAS KYANG, CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI LAS TSIG BZHI PA’I TSIGS SU BCAD PA TZAM BZUNG ZHING GZHAN DAG LA STON CING BSGOMS NA BSOD NAMS LHAG PAR CHE’O ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

The Conqueror begins here by describing to Subhuti a man or woman who could give away their own body, the same number of times that there are drops of water in the Ganges River itself.  He then says that anyone who held no more than a single verse of four lines from this particular presentation of the Dharma—who imparted it to others, and meditated upon it—would create even greater merit.

347 Leave a comment on block 347 0

[287]

‘DI NI ‘PHAGS PA LHAS,

,BSOD NAMS CHUNG NGUS CHOS ‘DI LA,

,THE TSOM ZA BA YANG MI ‘GYUR,

,THE TSOM ZOS PA TZAM GYIS KYANG,

,SRID PA HRUL POR BYED PAR ‘GYUR,

 

,ZHES GSUNGS PA LTA BU’I PHAN YON ‘BYUNG BA LA YANG DGONGS MOD,

Now we would first have to admit that these lines are meant to describe the great benefits that one would accrue—benefits like those described by Aryadeva when he says,

Those of lesser merit

Will not even reach some suspicion

That this Dharma teaching is true.

Anyone who could though reach

No more than this simple suspicion

Would rip apart the very fabric

Of the cycle of suffering.[98]

 

 

348 Leave a comment on block 348 0

[288]

PHYIS ‘BYUNG GI GDUL BYA BLO DMAN DAD PA DANG LDAN PA RNAMS PHAN YON LA SPRO BA SKYES NAS GZHUNG LA THOS BSAM GYIS ‘JUG PA’I CHED BSNGAGS BRJOD KYI TSUL DU, TSIG BZHI PA’I TSIGS SU BCAD PA TZAM GZUNG ZHING BRJOD NA PHAN YON RGYA CHEN PO DE LTA BU ‘BYUNG BAR GSUNGS SHING,

What’s really happening though is that Lord Buddha is extolling the sutra in an excessive way so that disciples of lesser intellect who come later—disciples who do though have a lot of faith in the teachings—might be encouraged by the benefits listed, to the extent that they decide to engage in both learning and contemplating its words.  This then is why he states that massive benefits can be won by a person who does no more than hold or utter a single verse of four lines from it.

 

349 Leave a comment on block 349 0

[289]

DGONGS GZHI DNGOS NI DE LTAR BSTAN PA’I DON GYI SHER PHYIN LAS DE LTA BU’I PHAN YON RDZOGS PAR THOB PAR ‘GYUR BA LA DGONGS KYI, GZHUNG BKLAG PA TZAM LAS DE LTA BU’I PHAN YON GYI PHYOGS GCIG LAS RDZOGS PAR MIN NO, ,TSUL ‘DI NI DE LTA BU’I SKABS GZHAN LA’ANG SHES DGOS SO,,

What Lord Buddha though really means to describe here is the benefits that one will only obtain in full from reaching the actual perfection of wisdom described in books which are themselves only referred to as the “perfection of wisdom.”  The fact is that one can actually obtain no more than a fraction of these benefits if all they ever do is to read the text.  You should understand that this fact applies as well to all other such statements in the sutra.

 

 

 

The tears of a bodhisattva

 

351 Leave a comment on block 351 0

[K69]

(14) Atha khalvāyuṣmān SubhūtirDharmavegenāśrūṇi prāmuñcat.  So’śrūṇi pramṛjya Bhagavantam etadavocat.

 

DE NAS TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR CHOS KYI SHUGS KYIS MCHI MA PHYUNG STE, DES MCHI MA PHYIS NAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA ‘DI SKAD CES GSOL TO,,

 

And then, by the sheer power of the teaching, the junior monk Subhuti began to weep.  And when he had wiped away his tears, he spoke to the Conqueror in the following words:

 

 

352 Leave a comment on block 352 0

[K70]

Āścaryaṃ Bhagavan paramāścaryaṃ Sugata yāvadayaṃ Dharmaparyāyas Tathāgatena bhāṣito’grayāna saṃprasthitānāṃ sattvānāmarthāya śreṣṭhayāna saṃprasthitānām arthāya yato me Bhagavan jñānamutpannam.  Na mayā Bhagavan jātvevaṃrūpo Dharmaparyāyaḥ śrutapūrvaḥ.

 

’DI LTAR CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA NI, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, NGO MTSAR LAGS SO, ,BDE BAR GSHEGS PA, NGO MTSAR LAGS SO, ,BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, BDAG GI YE SHES SKYES TSUN CHAD BDAG GIS CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI SNGON NAM YANG MA THOS SO,,

 

This presentation of the Dharma given by Those Gone Thus, o Conqueror, is wondrous.  O You who have Gone to Bliss, it is truly a wonder.  O Conqueror, in all the time that has passed from the time I was able to gain wisdom until now, I have never heard this presentation of the Dharma.

 

 

353 Leave a comment on block 353 0

[291]

DE LTAR GSUNGS PA NA RAB ‘BYOR GYIS CHOS ZAB MO ‘DI THOS NAS NGO MTSAR SKYES PA’I SHUGS STOBS KYIS SPYAN LAS MCHI MA PHYUNG STE,

 

And when Lord Buddha had said these things, then by the sheer force and power of this profound teaching Subhuti began to weep.

 

 

354 Leave a comment on block 354 0

[292]

RAB ‘BYOR DES MCHI MA PHYIS NAS [f. 20b] BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA SHER PHYIN GYI CHOS ‘DI DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA JI SNYED BYON CING BZHUGS PA THAMS CAD KYIS GSUNGS PA NI NGO MTSAR CHE’O,,

 

And when he, Subhuti, had wiped away his tears, he said to the Conqueror, It is something wondrous that—however many Conquerors have come before, or stay with us now—they have all spoken this teaching of the perfection of wisdom.

 

 

355 Leave a comment on block 355 0

[293]

RAB ‘BYOR BDAG GIS NI RANG LA ‘PHAGS PA’I YE SHES SKYES TSUN CHAD NAS CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI MA THOS SHING, DER MA ZAD SNGON NAM YANG ‘DI MA THOS SO ZHES PA NI

 

“In all the time that has passed from the time that I was able to gain the wisdom of a realized being up until now, I”—meaning Subhuti—”have never heard this presentation of the Dharma.  And not only that, it can as well be said that such a presentation was never heard by anyone before.”

 

 

356 Leave a comment on block 356 0

[294]

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS SNGON ‘DI LTA BU MA THOS PA MA YIN GYI, SHER PHYIN GYI CHOS ZAB MO ‘DI LTA BU GZHAN GYIS THOS PAR DKA’ BAR BSTAN PA’O,,

 

By the way, it’s not really the case that Subhuti had never heard a teaching like this before.  He’s simply trying to indicate to us how difficult it would be for other people to hear just such a profound teaching on the perfection of wisdom.

 

 

358 Leave a comment on block 358 0

[K71]

Paramea te Bhagavan āścaryea samanvāgatā bodhisattvā bhaviyanti, ye iha sūtre bhāyamāe śrutvā bhūtasajñāmutpādayiyanti.  Tatkasya heto yā caiā Bhagavan bhūtasajñā saiva abhūtasajñā.  Tasmāt Tathāgato bhāate bhūtasajñā bhūtasajñeti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, MDO BSHAD PA ‘DI LA GANG DAG YANG DAG PAR ‘DU SHES BSKYED PAR ‘GYUR BA’I SEMS CAN DE DAG NI, NGO MTSAR RAB DANG LDAN PAR ‘GYUR LAGS SO, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, YANG DAG PAR ‘DU SHES PA GANG LAGS PA DE NYID ‘DU SHES MA MCHIS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DE BAS NA, YANG DAG PAR ‘DU SHES YANG DAG PAR ‘DU SHES ZHES DE [f. 224a] BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS SO,,

 

O Conqueror, any living being who can think correctly of the sutra that you have just taught is wondrous in the highest.  And why is it so?  Because, o Conqueror, this same correct thinking is something that could never exist.  And this is precisely why Those Gone Thus have spoken of thinking correctly; of what we call “thinking correctly.”

 

 

359 Leave a comment on block 359 0

[296]

NGO MTSAR CHE TSUL NI, MDO SDE ‘DI BSHAD PA’I TSIG DANG DON LA SEMS CAN GANG DAG BDEN ZHEN MED PA YANG DAG PA’I ‘DU SHES SKYED PAR ‘GYUR BA’I SEMS CAN DE DAG NI, THAR PA’I BAG CHAGS ‘JOG CING SANGS RGYAS THOB PA’I RGYU CHEN PO BZUNG BAS NA NGO MTSAR CHEN PO RAB DANG LDAN PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

And just how is it so wondrous?  Consider any living being who can think correctly—that is, who can think without believing that things are real—about both the words and the meaning of the sutra that Lord Buddha has just taught.  These types of people have planted a seed for freedom—they hold within them now a powerful cause that will bring them to attain enlightenment itself.  Thus then they are wondrous in the highest.

 

 

360 Leave a comment on block 360 0

[297]

YANG DAG PA’I ‘DU SHES ZHES BSHAD PA GANG YIN PA DE NI BDEN PAR ZHEN PA’I ‘DU SHES MA MCHIS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA BDEN ZHEN MED CING BDEN MED RTOGS PA’I ‘DU SHES DE LA YANG DAG PA’I ‘DU SHES ZHES DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS SO,,

 

And this is because this same “correct thinking” is something that could never exist as a kind of thinking where one believed in things as being real.  This is precisely why Those Gone Thus have used the expression “thinking correctly” to describe a kind of thinking where one no longer believes in things as being real: where one rather thinks in a way where they have realized that things have no reality.

 

 

362 Leave a comment on block 362 0

[K72]

Na mama Bhagavan āścaryaṃ yadahamimaṃ Dharmaparyāyaṃ bhāṣyamāṇam avakalpayāmi adhimucye.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, BDAG CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI BSHAD PA LA RTOG CING MOS PA NI,

 

O Conqueror, the fact that I can feel this way towards this presentation of the Dharma that you have made, the fact that I believe in it, is for me no surprising belief.

 

 

Ye’pi te Bhagavan sattvā bhaviṣyantyanāgate’dhvani paścime kāle paścime samaye paścimāyāṃ pañcaśatyāṃ saddharmavipralope vartamāne ye imaṃ Bhagavan Dharmaparyāyam udgrahīṣyanti dhārayiṣyanti vācayiṣyanti paryavāpsyanti parebhyaśca vistareṇa saṃprakāśayiṣyanti te paramāścaryeṇa samanvāgatā bhaviṣyanti.

 

BDAG LA MOS PA MA LAGS KYI, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, SLAD MA’I TSE SLAD MA’I DUS LNGA BRGYA THA MA LA SEMS CAN GANG DAG CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI LEN PA DANG, ‘DZIN PA DANG, KLOG PA DANG, KUN CHUB PAR BGYID PA DE DAG NI, NGO MTSAR RAB DANG LDAN PAR ‘GYUR LAGS SO,,

 

But when I think, o Conqueror, of those to come in the future—of those in the last five hundred who take up this particular presentation of the Dharma, and who hold it, or read it, or comprehend it—then truly do they seem to me wondrous in the highest.

 

 

363 Leave a comment on block 363 0

[299]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS BDAG CHOS ‘DI BSHAD PA’I DON LA DAD PAS RTOG CING SHES NAS MOS PA SKYES PA ‘DI NI, ,BDAG LA NGO MTSAR CHEN PO BYUNG BA MA LAGS KYI,

 

“O Conqueror,” continues Subhuti, “the fact that I can feel this way about the meaning of the Dharma that you have just presented, because I have faith; and the fact that I believe in it, because I grasp it; is for me is no greatly surprising thing.

 

 

364 Leave a comment on block 364 0

[300]

SLAD MA’I DUS SU SEMS CAN GANG DAG STONG NYID KYI DON LA MOS SHING CHOS ‘DI LEN PA SOGS BYED PA DE DAG NI NGO MTSAR CHEN PO RAB DANG LDAN PAR ‘GYUR LAGS SO,,

 

“But when I think,” he continues, “of those to come in the future—of the beings who in those coming days will believe in what emptiness is, and who take up” and such “this presentation of the Dharma, then truly do they seem to me wondrous in the highest.”

 

 

365 Leave a comment on block 365 0

[301]

TSUL ‘DI NGO MTSAR CHE STE, MGON PO KLU SGRUB ZHABS KYIS,

 

,CHOS RNAMS STONG PA ‘DI SHES NAS,

,LAS DANG [f. 21a] ‘BRAS BU BSTAN PA GANG,

,NGO MTSAR BAS KYANG ‘DI NGO MTSAR,

,RMAD BYUNG BAS KYANG ‘DI RMAD BYUNG,

 

,ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR RO,,

 

And indeed this is a wondrous thing, for as our Protector, Nagarjuna, also puts it—

 

When I think of someone

Who comprehends that things

Are empty, and who

Goes on to teach about

Action and consequence,

Then truly I feel

It is more wondrous than wondrous

More miraculous than miraculous.[99]

 

 

366 Leave a comment on block 366 0

[302]

GZHAN GYI DON SNGAR BSHAD ZIN CING, ‘BRI BA LA NI DA ‘BRI ‘BYUNG BA LTAR NA DON GZHAN LA ‘BRI BA DANG, DA ‘BRI ‘BYUNG BA LTAR NA YI GER ‘BRI BA DANG SBYOR TE, ‘ON KYANG DBU MTHA’ LAS, YI GE ‘BRI MCHOD SBYIN PA DANG, ,ZHES ‘BYUNG BA LTAR NA PHYI MA’O,,

 

The meaning of the rest of the section here we’ve gone through earlier on.  The Tibetan word driwa can have two different meanings: one to re-direct a person to something other; and one to write down in words.  But the reference here [as it comes later, referring to the good karma of writing out the sutra] is to the latter—as Middle and the Extremes mentions, “The good deeds of writing it down in words, offering it, giving it…”[100]

 

 

367 Leave a comment on block 367 0

[303]

GZHUNG ‘DI DAG GIS NI JI LTAR GNAS PA DANG BSGRUBS PA DANG GZUNG BAR BYA BA’I TSUL BSTAN TO,,

 

All the sections of the sutra up to this point have described then the answer to the question of how we are to live; how we are to practice; and how we are to keep our thoughts.

 

 

369 Leave a comment on block 369 0

[K73]

Api tu khalu punarBhagavan na teṣāmātmasaṃjñā pravartiṣyate na sattvasaṃjñā na jīvasaṃjñā na pudgalasaṃjñā pravartiṣyate nāpi teṣāṃ kācitsaṃjñā nāsaṃjñā pravartate.  Tatkasya hetoḥ yā sā Bhagavan ātmasaṃjñā [p. 31] saivāsaṃjñā.  Yā sattvasaṃjñā jīvasaṃjñā pudgalasaṃjñā saivāsaṃjñā.  Tatkasya hetoḥ sarvasaṃjñāpagatā hi buddha Bhagavantaḥ.

 

YANG BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE DAG NI, BDAG TU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG PAR MI ‘GYUR, SEMS CAN DU ‘DU SHES PA DANG, SROG TU ‘DU SHES PA DANG, GANG ZAG TU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG PAR MI ‘GYUR LAGS SO, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, BDAG TU ‘DU SHES PA DANG, SEMS CAN DU ‘DU SHES PA DANG, SROG TU ‘DU SHES PA DANG, GANG ZAG TU ‘DU SHES PA GANG LAGS PA DE DAG NYID ‘DU SHES MA MCHIS PA’I SLAD DU’O, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, SANGS RGYAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS RNAMS NI, ‘DU SHES THAMS CAD DANG BRAL BA’I SLAD DU’O,,

 

And these beings who come, o Conquering One, will not be beings who ever slip into any conception of something as a self; or into any conception of something as a living being; or into any conception of something as being alive; or into any conception of something as being a person.

 

And why is it so?  Because, o Conqueror, these same conceptions—conceiving of something as a self, or as a living being, or as being alive, or as being a person—could never exist at all.  And why is this so?  Because the Enlightened Ones, the Conquerors, are free of every kind of conception.

 

 

370 Leave a comment on block 370 0

[305]

MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS NA GZHUNG ‘DI LTA BU LA THOS BSAM BSGOMS PAS ‘JUG PA’I SEMS CAN DE DAG LA NI, GANG ZAG GI BDAG TU ‘DU SHES RAGS PA ‘JUG PAR MI ‘GYUR ZHING, DE BZHIN DU SEMS CAN DANG SROG DANG GANG ZAG TU BDEN ZHEN GYI ‘DU SHES CI RIGS ‘JUG PA STE SKYE BAR MI ‘GYUR RO,,

 

Consider those beings to come in the future, who engage in a scripture such as this by learning it, or contemplating it, or meditating upon it.  They will not then be people who engage in any obvious form of the idea that a person is a person.  Neither will they ever have come to them any of the different conceptions where they believe that someone is a living being, or something that lives, or a person who is real.

 

 

371 Leave a comment on block 371 0

[306]

RGYU MTSAN NI DE LTA BU’I BDAG TU ‘DU SHES PA SOGS NI ZHEN YUL LA PHYIN CI LOG TU ZHUGS PA YIN PAS, DE NYID YANG DAG PA’I ‘DU SHES THAMS CAD DANG BRAL BA’I PHYIR RAM, ‘DU SHES DAG DON DAM PAR ‘DU SHES SU GRUB PA RANG BRAL BA’I PHYIR ZHES PA’O ZHUS PA NA,

 

The reason for this is that conceiving of oneself as oneself and so on in the way described is to be completely mistaken about the object that one thinks one sees.  And someone like this then would have lost every correct way of thinking.  You could also say that the thinking itself would have lost itself—if all these ways of thinking were thought to exist as thinking in some ultimate way.

 

 

 

Beyond all fear

 

373 Leave a comment on block 373 0

[K74]

Evamukte Bhagavānāyuṣmantaṃ Subhūtimetadavocat.

 

DE SKAD CES GSOL PA DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR LA ‘DI SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL TO,,

 

And when Subhuti had spoken these words, the Conqueror spoke to this junior monk Subhuti as follows:

 

 

Evametat Subhūte evametat.  Paramāścaryasamanvāgatāste sattvā bhaviṣyanti ye iha Subhūte sūtre bhāṣyamāṇe notrasiṣyanti na saṃtrasiṣyanti na saṃtrāsamāpatsyante.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DE DE BZHIN NO, ,DE DE BZHIN TE, MDO ‘DI BSHAD PA ‘DI LA GANG DAG MI SKRAG MI DNGANG ZHING DNGANG BAR MI ‘GYUR BA’I SEMS CAN DE DAG NI, NGO MTSAR RAB DANG LDAN PAR [f. 224b] ‘GYUR RO,,

 

O Subhuti, thus it is, and thus is it.  Any living being who receives an explanation of this sutra and who is not made afraid, and is not frightened, and who does not become frightened, is wondrous in the highest.

 

                  

                   [K75]

Tatkasya heto paramapāramiteya Subhūte Tathāgatena bhāitā yadutāpāramitā.  Yā ca Subhūte Tathāgata paramapāramitā bhāate tāmaparimāā api Buddhā Bhagavanto bhāante.  Tenocyante paramapāramiteti.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA DAM PA ‘DI NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS TE, PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA DAM PA GANG DAG DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA DE, SANGS RGYAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS DPAG TU MED PA RNAMS KYIS KYANG GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR TE, DES NA, PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA DAM PA ZHES BYA’O,,

 

Why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, the One Thus Gone now speaks to you the highest perfection; and the highest perfection which the One Thus Gone now speaks to you is that same highest perfection which Conquering Buddhas beyond any number to count have spoken as well.  And this is precisely why we can even speak of it as the “highest perfection.”

 

 

374 Leave a comment on block 374 0

[308]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA DE DE BZHIN NO ZHES PA DANG, RGYU MTSAN NI, MA ‘ONGS PA NA SEMS CAN GANG DAG MDO SDE ‘DI BSHAD PA’I TSIG DON THOS PA NA, DE LTAR THAMS CAD BDEN PAR MED NA LAS ‘BRAS SOGS BYA BYED MI ‘THAD CING MED PAR ‘GYUR RO SNYAM DU YID MI SKRAG CING MI DNGANG LA, SHIN TU DNGANG [f. 21b] BAR MI ‘GYUR ZHING YID CHES TE MOS PA DE DAG NI NGO MTSAR RAB DANG LDAN PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

In future days, certain living beings will receive, they will listen to, an explanation of the meaning of the words of this sutra.  And yet they will not be made afraid, and they will not be frightened, and they will not become extremely frightened, by any such thought as: “If this is so, and if nothing at all exists in a true way, then all the ways in which things like karma and its consequences work cannot be right, and so really nothing at all can work.”  Rather they will find a greater belief, an even greater faith, in all these objects.  And beings like this will be truly wondrous.

 

 

375 Leave a comment on block 375 0

[309]

BDEN PAR GRUB NA BSGYUR DU MI RUNG BAS LAS ‘BRAS LA SOGS PA’I BYA BYED THAMS CAD BZHAG TU MI RUNG ZHING MI ‘THAD LA, BDEN PAR MED PA’AM RANG BZHIN GYIS MA GRUB PA LA BYA BYED THAMS CAD DANG MYANG ‘DAS SOGS

 

If things did exist in a true way, then it would be improper to say that they ever changed.  And then it would be improper, it would never be right, to describe all the workings of things like karma and its consequences.  The way in which all things work, and nirvana itself, and everything else are all quite proper.  And none of these objects has any true existence, none of them has any nature of their own.

 

 

376 Leave a comment on block 376 0

[310]

‘THAD PA’I TSUL NI, RJES RTEN ‘BREL BSTOD PA LAS,

 

,RANG BZHIN LDOG PA MED PA’I PHYIR,

,CHOS RNAMS RANG BZHIN ‘GA’ YOD NA,

,MYA NGAN ‘DAS PA MI RUNG ZHING,

,SPROS KUN LDOG PA MED PAR GSUNGS,

 

,ZHES DANG,

 

How all this can be is described by Lord Tsongkapa in his Praise from Interdependence:

 

Reaching the state of nirvana could never occur,

And elaborations too could never be stopped,

If objects had any nature of their own, because

A nature could not be stopped, you stated.[101]

 

 

377 Leave a comment on block 377 0

[311]

,RANG BZHIN GYIS NI STONG PA DANG,

,BYA BYED ‘THAD PAS MI ‘GAL ZHING,

,DE LAS LDOG PAR MTHONG BA NA,

,STONG LA BYA BA MI RUNG ZHING,

,ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR RO,,

 

He also says,

 

Since things are empty of any nature

And the way things work is right,

There is no contradiction between them.

Those who see things the opposite

Think nothing can work with emptiness…[102]

 

378 Leave a comment on block 378 0

[312]

NGO MTSAR CHE BA’I RGYU MTSAN NI, CHOS KUN RANG BZHIN GYIS MA GRUB PAR STON PA’I GZHUNG PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA DAM PA MCHOG ‘DI NI DA LTA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA NGAS GSUNGS TE, SNGON SANGS RGYAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS DPAG TU MED PA RNAMS KYIS GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Here is the reason why it will be so wondrous.  The holy, or highest, perfection of wisdom—a work which teaches how no object exists through any nature of its own—is now being spoken to you by myself, by the One Thus Gone.  And this is the same perfection of wisdom which has been spoken in the past by Conquering Buddhas who are beyond any number to count.

 

 

379 Leave a comment on block 379 0

[313]

DE NI GONG DU RGYU ‘BRAS KYI CHOS RNAMS RANG BZHIN GYIS MED PAR BSHAD PA LA YID CHES PA’I GNAS SU ‘DZIN PA’I CHED DU GSUNGS PA’O, ,RGYU MTSAN DES NA PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA DAM PA ZHES BYA’O,,

 

Lord Buddha makes this statement because he wants his listeners to consider what he has just said above as something authoritative.  What he has just said, remember, is that nothing involved with cause and effect has any nature of its own.  And this reason is why we can call it the “holy perfection of wisdom.”

 

 

380 Leave a comment on block 380 0

[314]

DE NAS BZOD PA’I PHAR PHYIN SGOS SU ‘CHAD PA NI,

This brings us to the part of the sutra which focuses on the perfection of patience.

 

 

Beyond anger

381 Leave a comment on block 381 0

[315]

 

                   [K76]

Api tu khalu punaḥ Subhute yā Tathāgatasya kṣāntipāramitā saiva apāramitā.

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA’I BZOD PA’I PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA GANG YIN PA DE NYID PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA MED DO,,

 

And I say to you further, o Subhuti, that the perfection of patience spoken by the Ones Thus Gone is a perfection that doesn’t even exist.

 

382 Leave a comment on block 382 0

[316]

RAB ‘BYOR BZOD PA’I PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA ZHES GANG GSUNGS PA’I PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA DE NYID DON DAM PAR MED PAS GANG GIS BZOD PA DANG JI LTAR RAM GANG BZOD PA DANG, GANG LA BZOD PA’I ‘KHOR GSUM LA BDEN ZHEN GYIS GZUNG BAR BYAR MI RUNG STE,

“O Subhuti,” begins Lord Buddha here, “what we call the ‘perfection of patience’ spoken by the Enlightened Ones is a perfection that doesn’t even exist, ultimately speaking.  For this reason it is wrong for us to grasp—with our tendency to believe that things are real—to any of the three elements in an act of patience: to anyone who is being patient; to the way they are being patient, or to the event they are having patience in; or to the person towards whom they are having their patience.

 

383 Leave a comment on block 383 0

[317]

 

                   [K77]

Tatkasya hetoḥ yadā me Subhūte Kalirājā aṅgapratyaṅgamāṃsānyacchaitsīt nāsīnme tasmin samaye ātmasaṃjñā vā sattvasaṃjñā vā jīvasaṃjñā vā pudgalasaṃjñā vā nāpi me kācitsaṃjñā vā asaṃjñā vā babhūva.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, GANG GI TSE KA LINGKA’I RGYAL POS NGA’I YAN LAG DANG, NYING LAG RNAM PAR BCAD PAR GYUR PA DE’I TSE NGA LA BDAG TU ‘DU SHES SAM, SEMS CAN DU ‘DU SHES SAM, SROG TU ‘DU SHES SAM, GANG ZAG TU ‘DU SHES KYANG MA BYUNG ZHING, NGA LA ‘DU SHES CI YANG MED LA, ‘DU SHES MED PAR GYUR PA YANG MA YIN PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, there was a time when the King of Kalingka was cutting off the larger limbs, and the smaller appendages, of my body.  At that moment there came into my mind no conception of a self, nor of a sentient being, nor of a living being, nor of a person—I had no conception at all.  But neither did I not have any conception.

 

385 Leave a comment on block 385 0

[f. 22a] RGYU MTSAN NI RAB ‘BYOR SNGON GYI DUS GANG GI TSE KA LINGKA’I RGYAL POS NGA KHO RANG GI BUD MED DANG ‘BREL LAM SNYAM PA’I DOGS NGAN BYUNG STE RAL GRIS NGA’I YAN LAG DANG NYING LAG SOR MO RNAMS BCAD PAR GYUR PA DE’I TSE,

For what reason is it so?  Because long ago there was a time, o Subhuti, when the king of Kalingka got the evil suspicion that I had engaged in relations with his women.  And so he was cutting off the larger limbs, and smaller appendages of my body.  (The latter refers to the fingers and toes.)

386 Leave a comment on block 386 0

[319]

NGAS BZOD PA’I ‘KHOR GSUM BDEN MED DU SHES NAS BZOD PA BSGOMS PAS, THA SNYAD PA’I NGA LA DMIGS NAS NGA’O SNYAM DU BDAG TU BDEN PAR ZHEN PA’I ‘DU SHES NAS GANG ZAG TU BDEN PAR ZHEN PA’I ‘DU SHES KYANG MA BYUNG ZHING,

At that moment I practiced patience, keeping my mind on an understanding of the lack of true existence to each of the three elements to the act of patience.  As I focused on the “me” which exists nominally, there came into my mind no conception where I held any belief in some truly existing “me”: and so I had no conception of anything from a truly existing “self” up to a truly existing “person.”

387 Leave a comment on block 387 0

[320]

DE’I TSE NGA LA DE LTA BU’I BDEN ZHEN GYI ‘DU SHES CI YANG MED LA, THA SNYAD DU ‘DU SHES GZHAN MED PAR GYUR PA YANG MA YIN TE,

 

At that moment I had no conception at all of any such conception that something was existing truly.  At the same time though it was neither as if I had no other, nominal conceptions at all.

388 Leave a comment on block 388 0

[321]

BZOD DO SNYAM PA’I SDUG BSNGAL DANG LEN DANG GNOD PA LA JI MI SNYAM PA DANG, BDEN MED DU RTOGS PA’I CHOS LA NGES SEMS KYI ‘DU SHES RNAMS YOD PA’I PHYIR RO SNYAM DU DGONGS SO,,

What Lord Buddha is saying here is the following.  I did have the thought that I would have to keep my patience: I did have the thought to take the pain on willingly, and not to be upset about the harm being done to me.  And I did have the kind of conception where I reconfirmed my knowledge of how I had perceived that no existing object has any true existence.

 

 

389 Leave a comment on block 389 0

[322]

 

                   [K78]

Tatkasya hetoḥ sacenme Subhūte tasmin samaye ātmasaṃjñā abhaviṣyat vyāpādasaṃjñāpi me tasmin samaye’bhaviṣyat.  Sacetsattvasaṃjñā jīvasaṃjñā pudgalasaṃjñābhaviṣyat vyāpādasaṃjñāpi me tasmin samaye’bhaviṣyat.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, GAL TE DE’I TSE BDAG TU ‘DU SHES BYUNG NA, DE’I TSE GNOD SEMS KYI ‘DU SHES KYANG ‘BYUNG LA, SEMS CAN DU ‘DU SHES PA DANG, SROG TU ‘DU SHES PA DANG, GANG ZAG TU ‘DU SHES PA BYUNG NA, DE’I TSE GNOD SEMS KYI ‘DU SHES KYANG ‘BYUNG BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Why is it so?  Suppose, o Subhuti, that at that moment any conception of a self had come into my mind.  Then the thought to harm someone would have come into my mind as well.

 

The conception of some sentient being, and the conception of some living being, and the conception of person, would have come into my mind.  And because of that, the thought to harm someone would have come into my mind as well.

 

390 Leave a comment on block 390 0

[323]

RGYU MTSAN NI GAL TE DUS DE’I TSE NGA LA NGA’O SNYAM DU DON DAM PAR BDAG TU ‘DU SHES PA SOGS YOD NA NI DE’I TSE GZHAN LA GNOD SEMS KYI ‘DU SHES KYANG ‘BYUNG BAR ‘GYUR NA DE MA BYUNG BA’I PHYIR RO ZHES SO,,

Here is the reason why it is so.  Suppose that at that moment any conception of a self, where I thought of “me” as existing in an ultimate way, had come into my mind.  Or suppose any of the other conceptions mentioned had come into my mind.  Then the thought to harm someone would have come into my mind as well; but the fact is that it did not.

 

392 Leave a comment on block 392 0

[K79]

Tatkasya hetoḥ abhijānāmyahaṃ Subhūte atīte’dhvani pañca jātiśatāni yadahaṃ kṣāntivādī ṛṣirabhūvam.  Tatrāpi me nātmasaṃjñā babhūva na sattvasaṃjñā na jīvasaṃjñā na pudgalasaṃjñā babhūva.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, NGAS MNGON PAR SHES TE, ‘DAS PA’I DUS NA NGA TSE RABS LNGA BRGYAR BZOD PAR SMRA BA ZHES BYA BA’I DRANG SRONG DU GYUR PA DE NA YANG NGA LA BDAG TU ‘DU SHES MA BYUNG, SEMS CAN DU ‘DU SHES PA DANG, SROG TU ‘DU SHES [f. 225a] PA DANG, GANG ZAG TU ‘DU SHES PA MA BYUNG NGO,,

 

I see it, o Subhuti, with my clairvoyance: I took, in times past, five hundred births as the sage called “Teacher of Patience.”  And all during that time I never had any conception of a self, or of a living being, or of something being alive, or of a person.

 

393 Leave a comment on block 393 0

[325]

DER MA ZAD, NGAS MNGON PAR SHES SHING MKHYEN TE, NGA SNGON TSE RABS LNGA BRGYAR BZOD PA SMRA BA ZHES BYA BA’I DRANG SRONG DU GYUR PA’I DUS SU RKYEN DE LTA BU LA BRTEN NAS GZHAN GYIS NGA’I YAN LAG SOGS BCAD PA NA BDAG TU ‘DU SHES SOGS MA BYUNG NGO,,

And not only that; there is more that I can see, with my powers of clairvoyance.  In actuality I took, in times past, five hundred births as the sage called “Teacher of Patience.”  And during that time, due to the same sort of events, people were cutting off my limbs and so on—but still I never had any conception of a self or the rest.

394 Leave a comment on block 394 0

[326]

GAL TE YAN LAG BCAD PA’I DUS KYI NGA DE STON PA MIN ZHING, STON PA YANG DE’I DUS KYI NGA DE MIN PAS, STON PAS NGA’I YAN LAG RNAMS GSUNGS PA DE JI LTAR [f. 22b] ‘THAD SNYAM NA,

 

Now a question may come up in our readers’ minds.  The “me” who existed at the time when the limbs were being cut off was not yet the Teacher; neither was the Teacher the “me” who existed in that past time.  And so how can it be accurate for the Teacher to refer here to “my limbs”?

395 Leave a comment on block 395 0

[327]

BDEN MOD, ‘DI’I LAN ZHIB TU BSHAD NA MANG DU ‘GYUR BAS, BSDU NA DE NI RGYUD GCIG PA LA DGONGS SHING SKYON MED TSUL GONG DU CUNG ZAD BSHAD CING ‘CHAD PAR BYA’O,,

Your point is not ill taken; as for the answer, I am afraid that this work would go on overly long if I were to reply in detail.  To put it briefly, we have already explained above—and we will say more later on—about how these words are spoken with reference to a single continuum of being, and how therefore there is no inconsistency.

396 Leave a comment on block 396 0

[328]

NGA’O SNYAM PA’I BDAG TU ZHEN PA YOD NA GNOD SEMS SOGS ‘BYUNG BA NI, RNAM ‘GREL LAS,

 

,BDAG YOD NA NI GZHAN DU SHES,

,BDAG GZHAN CHA LA ‘DZIN DANG SDANG,

,’DI DAG DANG NI YONGS ‘BREL BAS,

,NYES PA THAMS CAD ‘BYUNG BAR ‘GYUR,

,ZHES BSHAD PA BZHIN NO,,

 

On this idea that—if we entertain some belief in a self where we say to ourselves, “This is me, ” we will begin as well to entertain thoughts of harming someone—the Commentary on Valid Perception states:

 

Once there is a self,

There is the idea of “other”;

And then we hold tight

To the “self” side

And we feel dislike

For the “other” side.

Once we become enmeshed

In these two different sides,

Every other problem possible

Then starts to come to us.[103]

 

397 Leave a comment on block 397 0

[329]

 

                   [K80]

Tasmāttarhi Subhūte bodhisattvena mahāsattvena sarvasaṃjñā [p. 32] vivarjayitvā anuttarāyāṃ Samyaksaṃbodhau cittamutpādayitavyam.  Na rūpapratiṣṭhitaṃ cittamutpādayitavyam na śabdagandharasaspraṣṭavyadharmapratiṣṭhitaṃ cittamutpādayitavyam na dharmapratiṣṭhitaṃ cittamutpādayitavyam nādharmapratiṣṭhitaṃ cittamutpādayitavyam na kvacitpratiṣṭhitaṃ cittamutpādayitavyam.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DE LTA BAS NA, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS DPA’ CHEN POS ‘DU SHES THAMS CAD RNAM PAR SPANGS TE BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB TU SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O, ,GZUGS LA MI GNAS PAR SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O, ,SGRA DANG, DRI DANG, RO DANG, REG BYA DANG, CHOS LA’ANG MI GNAS PAR SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O, ,CHOS MED PA LA’ANG MI GNAS PAR SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O, ,CI LA’ANG MI GNAS PAR SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O,,

 

And this is why, o Subhuti, that the bodhisattvas who are great beings give up every kind of conception, and develop within themselves the Wish to achieve perfect and total enlightenment.

 

And they develop the Wish within them without staying in any of the things you see, nor in sounds, nor in smells, nor in tastes, nor in the things you can touch, nor in any object of the thought as well.  Neither do they develop this Wish within them staying in what these objects lack.  They develop the Wish without staying in anything at all.

 

 

398 Leave a comment on block 398 0

[330]

DE LTA BU’I BZOD PA’I STOBS KYIS NGA SANGS RGYAS PAS RGYU MTSAN DE LTA BAS NA BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ RNAMS KYIS DE LTA BU’I BDAG TU ‘DU SHES PA RNAM PAR SPANGS TE BLA NA MED PA’I BYANG CHUB TU SEMS BSKYED CING GONG ‘PHEL DU BYA’O,,

Because my patience was of this level of power, I became enlightened; this itself is the reason why bodhisattvas must give up the conception of any such self, and develop within themselves, to a higher and higher degree, the Wish to achieve matchless enlightenment.

 

399 Leave a comment on block 399 0

[331]

BZOD PA’I ‘KHOR GSUM LA BDEN ZHEN GYIS MI GNAS PAR MA ZAD, GZUGS SGRA SOGS LA YANG DE LTAR MI GNAS SHING, KUN RDZOB PA’I CHOS GANG CI LA YANG BDEN ZHEN GYIS MI GNAS PA DANG, KUN RDZOB PA’I CHOS BDEN PAR MED PA’I DON DAM PA LA YANG BDEN ZHEN GYIS GNAS PAR MI BYA’O,,

And it’s not only the case that they avoid “staying” in the three elements of the act of patience—which is to say, avoid believing that these elements exist in reality.  Neither should they stay in things you see, nor in sounds, nor in the rest.  Nor in fact must they stay in any deceptive type of object at all, in the sense of believing that they exist in reality.  Nor finally must they stay even in the lack of reality to these deceptive objects, believing even that it exists in reality.

 

400 Leave a comment on block 400 0

[332]

RGYU MTSAN NI GZUGS SGRA SOGS LA ZHEN CING GNAS PA’I YUL GZUGS SOGS GANG YIN PA DE NYID DON DAM PAR MI GNAS PA STE MA GRUB PA’I PHYIR RO ZHES SO,,

The Teacher then concludes by saying, And for what reason is it so?  Because none of these things to see or sounds or the rest—none of these very things to see that we believe in, or stay in—ever stay in any ultimate way themselves, never exist in any ultimate way themselves.

 

 

401 Leave a comment on block 401 0

[333]

 

                   [K81]

Tatkasya hetoḥ tatpratiṣṭhitaṃ tadevāpratiṣṭhitam.  Tasmādeva Tathāgato bhāṣate apratiṣṭhitena bodhisattvena dānaṃ dātavyam.  Na rūpaśabdagandharasasparśadharmapratiṣṭhitena dānaṃ dātavyam.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, GNAS PA GANG YIN PA DE NYID MI GNAS PA’I PHYIR TE, DE BAS NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS ‘DI SKAD DU, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAS MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA SBYIN PAR BYA’O,, ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

 

And why is it so?  Because these stayings never stay themselves.  And this then is why the One Thus Gone has said that “Bodhisattvas should undertake the practice of giving without staying.”

 

 

402 Leave a comment on block 402 0

[K82]

Api tu khalu punaḥ Subhūte bodhisattvena evaṃrūpo dānaparityāgaḥ kartavyaḥ sarvasattvānāmarthāya.  Tatkasya hetoḥ yā caiṣā Subhūte sattvasaṃjñā saiva asaṃjñā.  Ya evaṃ te sarvasattvās Tathāgatena bhāṣitāsta eva asattvāḥ.

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAS ‘DI LTAR SEMS CAN THAMS CAD KYI DON GYI PHYIR SBYIN PA YONGS SU GTANG BAR BYA’O, ,SEMS CAN DU ‘DU SHES PA GANG YIN PA DE NYID KYANG ‘DU SHES MED PA STE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS SEMS CAN THAMS CAD CES GANG GSUNGS PA DE BDAG NYID KYANG MED PA’O,,

 

And I say to you further, o Subhuti, that this is how bodhisattvas give all that they have, for the sake of every living being.  And this same conception of anyone as a living being is a conception that does not exist; when the One Gone Thus speaks of “every living being,” they too are living beings that do not even exist.

 

 

403 Leave a comment on block 403 0

[334]

DE BAS NA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ CI LA YANG DON DAM PAR MI GNAS PAR SBYIN PA SBYIN PAR BYA’O ZHES GSUNGS TE, DES MTSON NAS TSUL KHRIMS SOGS GZHAN LA’ANG SBYOR BAR DGONGS SO,,

 

And this then is why the One Thus Gone has said that “Bodhisattvas should undertake the practice of giving without staying, in an ultimate way, in anything at all.”  You should further understand that all this pertaining to the perfection of giving is meant as a model to be applied as well to all the other perfections, of ethical living and the rest.

 

404 Leave a comment on block 404 0

[335]

BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAS [f. 23a] NI BDEN ZHEN MED PA’I TSUL ‘DI LTAR SBYIN PA YONGS SU GTONG BA DANG TSUL KHRIMS SRUNG SOGS BYA’O,,

Which is to say that bodhisattvas should give all that they have, in the way explained here—without believing that any of it is real—and maintain an ethical way of life, and all the rest, in the very same way.

 

 

405 Leave a comment on block 405 0

[336]

SEMS CAN DU BDEN PAR ‘DU SHES PA DE NYID KYANG DON DAM PAR ‘DU SHES MED PA DANG, THA SNYAD DU SEMS CAN GANG DAG CES GSUNGS PA’I SEMS CAN DE DAG NYID KYANG SEMS CAN DU RANG BZHIN GYIS MED PA’O,,

And this same conception of anyone as a living being is a conception that does not, ultimately speaking, exist; when nominally speaking they speak of any particular living being, these too are living beings that do not even exist through any nature of their own.

 

 

What it is to speak the truth

 

407 Leave a comment on block 407 0

[K83]

Tatkasya hetoḥ bhūtavādī Subhūte Tathāgataḥ satyavādī tathāvādī ananyathāvādī Tathāgataḥ na vitathavādī Tathāgataḥ.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA NI, YANG DAG PAR GSUNG BA, BDEN PAR GSUNG BA, DE BZHIN NYID DU GSUNG BA STE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA NI, MA NOR BA DE BZHIN NYID GSUNG BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

And why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, the One Thus Gone is one who speaks right.  He is one who speaks true.  He is one who speaks precisely what is.  The One Thus Gone is one that speaks, without error, precisely that which is.

 

 

                   [K84]

Api tu khalu punaḥ Subhūte yas Tathāgatena Dharmo’bhisaṃbuddho deśito nidhyātaḥ na tatra satyaṃ na mṛṣā.

 

408 Leave a comment on block 408 0

[f. 225b] YANG RAB ‘BYOR, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS CHOS GANG MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’AM, BSTAN PA DE LA NI, BDEN PA YANG MED, RDZUN PA YANG MED DO,,

 

And I speak to you further, o Subhuti, of that thing where Those Gone Thus reach some absolutely total enlightenment; and of that thing which is the Dharma that they teach.  It has no truth, and it has no deception.

 

409 Leave a comment on block 409 0

[338]

RGYU MTSAN NI RAB ‘BYOR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DE LTAR CHOS RNAMS BDEN STONG DU BSHAD PA NI BRDZUN DU GSUNGS PA MA YIN TE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA NI PHYIN CI MA LOG PAR YANG DAG PAR GSUNG BA DANG, RNAM PA GZHAN DU MI ‘GYUR BA’I BDEN PAR GSUNG BA DANG, CHOS RNAMS KYI GNAS TSUL JI LTA BA DE BZHIN NYID DU GSUNG BA PO STE, LOG PAR GSUNG BA PO MA YIN PA’I PHYIR RO,,

And for what reason is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, the One Thus Gone—when he explains thus how every existing thing is void of any reality—is not someone who is speaking falsely.  The One Thus Gone is one who speaks right, and who never speaks wrong.  He always speaks the truth—a truth which could never be any other way.  He is one who speaks precisely what is, which is to say, exactly as all things really are.  He is not someone who could ever speak in an erring way.

410 Leave a comment on block 410 0

[339]

RAB ‘BYOR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS THOB BYA’I CHOS GANG YANG SANGS RGYAS PA’AM BSTAN PA DE RNAMS LA BDEN PA DON DAM PA’I CHOS RNAMS BDEN PAR GRUB PA YANG MED CING, RDZUN PA KUN RDZOB PA’I CHOS RNAMS KYANG BDEN PAR GRUB PA MED DO ZHES SO,,

And I speak to you, o Subhuti, of that thing where Those Gone Thus reach some enlightenment; and of that thing which is the Dharma that They teach.  These have no truth, a truth where ultimately existing things exist in reality.  Neither do they have any deception, where deceptively existing things exist in reality.

411 Leave a comment on block 411 0

[340]

KA MA LA SH’I LAS NI, KUN RDZOB RNAMS DON DAM DPYOD PA’I RIG SHES KYI NGO BOR MED PAS MI BDEN CING RDZUN PA LA BSHAD PA LTAR SNANG STE, GZHUNG ‘DIS MTHA’ GNYIS SEL BA’ANG YIN NO,,

It would appear that Master Kamalashila in his commentary at this point is saying that—because they do not exist to the perception of a state of mind which is investigating whether they exist in an ultimate way—then objects within deceptive reality lack reality: they are false.  You can say then that this work is moreover denying both extremes.

412 Leave a comment on block 412 0

[341]

BDEN MED RTOGS MA RTOGS PA’I DBANG GIS SBYIN SOGS KYI BYED LAS LA KHYAD PAR YOD CES STON PA NI,

The next lines of the sutra are meant to indicate that there is a vast difference in how things work between the perfections of giving and so on done with or without a realization of the fact that nothing is real.

 

What it is to have eyes

 

413 Leave a comment on block 413 0

[342]

 

                   [K85]

Tadyathāpi nāma Subhūte puruṣo’ndhakārapraviṣṭo na kiṃcidapi paśyet evaṃ vastupatito bodhisattvo draṣṭavyo yo vastupatito dānaṃ parityajati.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI LTA STE, DPER NA, MIG DANG LDAN PA’I MI ZHIG MUN PAR ZHUGS NA CI YANG MI MTHONG BA DE BZHIN DU GANG DNGOS POR LHUNG BAS SBYIN PA YONGS SU GTONG BA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ BLTA’O,

 

This, Subhuti, is how it is.  Think of the example of a man who has eyes to see, but who is sitting in the dark.  He sees nothing at all.  You should consider a bodhisattva who has fallen into things, and who then practices the act of giving, to be just like this man.

 

 

414 Leave a comment on block 414 0

[343]

‘DI LTA STE DPER NA, MIG DANG LDAN PA’I MI ZHIG MUN PA CHEN POR ZHUGS NAS YUL GZUGS KYI DNGOS PO CI YANG GSAL BAR MI [f. 23b] MTHONG BA DE BZHIN DU,

This is how it is.  Think of the example of a man who has eyes to see, but who is sitting in pitch darkness.  He clearly sees nothing at all of the visible things around him.

415 Leave a comment on block 415 0

[344]

BYANG SEMS GANG BDEN MED LA BLO KHA MA PHYOGS SHING BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS BA’I MNGON ZHEN GYI LTA BA’I G-YANG DU LHUNG NAS SBYIN PA GTONG BA’I BYANG SEMS RNAMS NI DPE DE DANG ‘DRA BA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAR BLTA BAR BYA’O,,

You should consider someone else to be just like this man; and that is a bodhisattva who has fallen into the chasm of the view where one fails to ever direct their mind to the fact that nothing is real—where one has a false belief in things, shackled by a tendency to grasp to things as true.  When such a bodhisattva then goes on to practice the act of giving, they are just like the example of the blind man.

 

 

417 Leave a comment on block 417 0

[K86]

Tadyathāpi nāma Subhūte cakṣuṣmān puruṣaḥ prabhātāyāṃ rātrau sūrye’bhyudgate nānavidhāni rūpāṇi paśyet evamavastupatito bodhisattvo draṣṭavyo yo’vastupatito dānaṃ parityajati.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI LTA STE, DPER NA, NAM LANGS TE NYI MA SHAR NAS MIG DANG LDAN PA’I MIS GZUGS RNAM PA SNA TSOGS DAG MTHONG BA DE BZHIN DU GANG DNGOS POR MA LHUNG BAS SBYIN PA YONGS SU GTONG BA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAR BLTA’O,,

 

And now, Subhuti, think of this man, a man who has eyes to see, as dawn breaks and the sun rises into the sky; think how then he sees a whole variety of different forms.  You should consider a bodhisattva who has not fallen into things, and who then practices the act of giving, to be just like this man.

 

 

418 Leave a comment on block 418 0

[346]

YANG ‘DI LTA STE, NAM LANGS TE NYI MA SHAR NAS MIG DANG LDAN PA’I MIS YUL GZUGS BZANG NGAN RNAM PA SNA TSOGS MTHONG BA DE BZHIN DU,

And now think of this other man—a man with eyes to see—who as the dawn breaks and the sun rises into the sky then sees a whole variety of different forms: objects both pleasing and repulsive.

419 Leave a comment on block 419 0

[347]

BYANG SEMS GANG BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS PA’I DNGOS POR MA LHUNG BAS SBYIN PA YONGS SU GTONG BA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ RNAMS NI DPE DE DANG ‘DRA BAR BLTA BAR BYA’O ZHES

The sutra then compares a certain type of bodhisattva to a man who has eyes, and who sees the things around them.  It says that we should consider a bodhisattva who avoids “falling into things,” meaning a bodhisattva who is no longer shackled by the tendency to hold things as real, as being like the example just described.

420 Leave a comment on block 420 0

[348]

BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS PA’I SBYIN PA NI MI MUN PAR ZHUGS NAS GZUGS MI MTHONG BA DANG ‘DRA ZHING, BDEN MED RTOGS PA’I SBYIN PA NI MIG LDAN GYIS GZUGS MTHONG BA DANG ‘DRA BAR BSHAD CING,

The point being made is that an act of giving performed by someone who is still shackled by the tendency to hold things as being real is just like sitting in the darkness and not being able to see the visible objects around you.  An act of giving performed by someone who has realized that things have no reality is just like the case where someone with eyes sees all of the visible objects around them.

421 Leave a comment on block 421 0

[349]

GZHAN YANG BDEN MED RTOGS PA’I SHES RAB KYIS MA ZIN PA’I SBYIN SOGS LNGA NI DMUS LONG LTA BU DANG, BDEN MED RTOGS PA’I SHES RAB KYI PHAR PHYIN NI LONG ‘KHRID MIG LDAN DANG ‘DRA STE,

We can moreover say that the first five perfections of giving and the rest—when performed by a person whose mind is not imbued with the wisdom that allows them to realize the fact that nothing is real—are similar to a blind man.  And a perfection of wisdom where one realizes that things have no reality is similar to a person with eyes who is leading a blind person.

422 Leave a comment on block 422 0

[350]

SDUD PA LAS,

,DMUS LONG DMIGS BU MED PA BYE BA KHRAG KHRIG RNAMS,

,LAM YANG MI SHES GRONG KHYER ‘JUG PAR GA LA ‘GYUR,

,SHES RAB MED NA MIG MED PHA ROL PHYIN LNGA ‘DI,

,DMIGS BU MED PAS BYANG CHUB REG PAR NUS MA YIN,

 

As the abbreviated presentation of the perfection of wisdom puts it,

You can have a crowd of even billions or trillions of people;

But if they are blind, and have no guide to lead them,

They will not even be able to locate the road—

Much less make their way to the gates of the city.

If the five perfections have no eyes

Because they have no wisdom,

And further lack any guide to lead them,

Then you will never be able to touch enlightenment.[104]

 

 

423 Leave a comment on block 423 0

[351]

ZHES GSUNGS PA’I MJUG TU, PHAR PHYIN DANG PO LNGA PO DE BDEN MED RTOGS PA’I SHER PHYIN GYIS MA ZIN NA MIG MED LTA BU DANG SANGS RGYAS KYI SAR BSGROD MI NUS SHING, ZIN NA MIG LDAN LTA BU DANG DER BGROD NUS SO ZHES SNGON MA [f. 24a] DANG SBREL NAS STON PA NI,

Subsequent to these lines, this same text goes on to bridge to the former section by describing how—if the first five perfections are not imbued with a perfection of wisdom wherein one realizes that things have no reality—then it’s as if we have no eyes; and then we would never be able to travel to the level of a Buddha.  If though those first five are imbued with this particular perfection, then we would be able to travel there.  Here are the relevant lines:

424 Leave a comment on block 424 0

[352]

,GANG TSE SHES RAB KYIS NI RAB TU ZIN GYUR NA,

,DE TSE MIG RNYED GYUR CING ‘DI YI MING THOB BO,

 

,ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

When they are truly imbued with wisdom,

Then they find their eyes, and deserve the name.[105]

 

 

425 Leave a comment on block 425 0

[353]

DPAL LDAN ZLA BA GRAGS PAS DBU MA ‘JUG PA LAS KYANG,

,JI LTAR LONG BA’I TSOGS KUN BDE BLAG TU,

,MIG LDAN SKYES BU GCIG GIS ‘DOD PA YI,

,YUL DU ‘KHRID PA DE BZHIN ‘DIR YANG BLOS,

,MIG NYAMS YON TAN BLANGS TE RGYAL NYID ‘GRO

,ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

The glorious Chandrakirti says as well, in his Entering the Middle Way—

A single person with eyes

Can easily lead an entire mass

Of blind people to where they want to go.

Just so, in this case here,

Understanding can help

The other fine qualities up to stand,

And walk them to the Victory.

 

 

 

The karma of teaching the Diamond Cutter

 

426 Leave a comment on block 426 0

[354]

 

                   [K87]

Api tu khalu punaḥ Subhūte ye kulaputrā vā kuladuhitaro vā imaṃ Dharmaparyāyamudgrahīṣyanti dhārayiṣyanti vācayiṣyanti paryavāpsyanti [p. 33] parebhyaśca vistareṇa saṃprakāśayiṣyanti jñātāste Subhūte Tathāgatena buddhajñānena dṛṣṭāste Subhūte Tathāgatena buddhacakṣuṣā buddhāste Tathāgatena.  Sarve te Subhūte sattvā aprameyamasaṃkhyeyaṃ puṇyaskandhaṃ prasaviṣyanti pratigrahīṣyanti.

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, RIGS KYI BU’AM, RIGS KYI BU MO GANG DAG CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI LEN PA DANG, ‘DZIN PA DANG, KLOG PA DANG, KUN CHUB PAR BYED PA DANG, GZHAN DAG LA YANG RGYA CHER YANG DAG PAR RAB TU STON PA DE DAG NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS MKHYEN, DE DAG NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GZIGS TE, SEMS CAN DE DAG THAMS CAD NI, BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO DPAG TU MED PA BSKYED PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

I speak to you further, o Subhuti, of those sons or daughters of noble family who take up this particular presentation of the Dharma, and who hold it, or read it, or comprehend it, or who go on to impart it to others in detail, and accurately.  These are the kind of people that the Ones Gone Thus know.  These are the kind of people that the Ones Gone Thus look upon.  Any living being like these people has created a mountain of merit which is beyond all calculation.

 

 

427 Leave a comment on block 427 0

[355]

DE NAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS DA LTA DANG MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS SU GZHUNG ‘DI ‘DZIN ‘CHANG SOGS BYED PA’I GANG ZAG GANG ‘BYUNG BA NI DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DA LTA NAS MKHYEN CING GZIGS TE,

The Conqueror then says that the Ones Gone Thus know—they look upon and see—those people both now and in future days who will hold and do the rest with this crucial teaching.

428 Leave a comment on block 428 0

[356]

SEMS CAN DE DAG THAMS CAD NI BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO DPAG TU MED PA BSKYED PAR ‘GYUR RO ZHES PA NI, SANGS RGYAS KYIS SEMS CAN DE DAG LA THUGS KYIS DGONGS SHING BSOD NAMS CHE’O ZHES SPRO BA BSKYED PA’O,,

And so he then says that “any living being like these people has created a mountain of merit which is beyond all calculation.”  What he seeks to do with these words is to strike joy in the hearts of his listeners, by assuring them that the Buddhas are turning their own hearts to such people, and that they see how great is the merit these people make.

 

 

430 Leave a comment on block 430 0

[K88]

(15) Yaśca khalu punaḥ Subhūte strī vā puruṣo vā pūrvāhṇakālasamaye Gaṅgānadīvālukāsamānātmabhāvān parityajet evaṃ madhyāhnakālasamaye Gaṅgānadīvālukāsamānātmabhāvān parityajet sāyāhnakālasamaye Gaṅgānadīvālukāsamānātmabhāvān parityajet anena paryāyeṇa bahūni kalpakoṭiniyutaśatasahasrāṇyātmabhāvān parityajet.

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, SKYES PA’AM, BUD MED GANG ZHIG SNGA DRO’I DUS KYI TSE LUS GANGG’A’I KLUNG GI BYE MA SNYED YONGS SU GTONG LA, PHYED KYI DUS DANG, PHYI DRO’I DUS KYI TSE YANG LUS GANGG’A’I KLUNG GI BYE MA SNYED YONGS SU GTONG STE, RNAM GRANGS ‘DI LTA [f. 226a] BUR BSKAL PA BYE BA KHRAG KHRIG ‘BUM PHRAG DU MAR LUS YONGS SU GTONG BA BAS,

 

And I say to you further, o Subhuti: suppose there were some man or woman who could give away, in a single morning time of day, their own body, the same number of times that there are drops of water in the Ganges River itself.  And suppose then at midday, and in the evening, they would again give away their own body, the same number of times that there are drops of water in the Ganges River.  And suppose they were to keep up this kind of behavior for many billion upon trillions of eons, giving their bodies away.

 

 

431 Leave a comment on block 431 0

[358]

GZHAN YANG GANG GIS SNGA DRO DANG PHYI DRO’I DUS RNAMS DANG BSKAL PA MANG POR LUS KYI SBYIN PA GANGG’A’I KLUNG GI BYE MA SNYED KYIS MTSAN PA’I LUS GTONG ZHING,

And the Buddha says further: Suppose there were someone who could give away their body the number of times represented by the total number of drops of water contained in the Ganges River itself; and that they were to keep up doing this with bodies in both the morning and in the evening, for many many eons.

 

432 Leave a comment on block 432 0

[359]

 

                   [K89]

Yaścemaṃ Dharmaparyāyaṃ śrutvā na pratikṣipet ayameva tatonidānaṃ bahutaraṃ puṇyaskandhaṃ prasunuyādaprameyamasaṃkhyeyam kaḥ punarvādo yo likhitvā udgṛhṇīyāddhārayedvācayetparyavāpnuyāt parebhyaśca vistareṇa saṃprakāśayet.

 

GANG GIS CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI THOS NAS MI SPONG NA, DE NYID GZHI DE LAS BSOD NAMS CHES MANG DU GRANGS MED DPAG TU MED PA BSKYED NA, GANG GIS YI GER BRIS NAS LEN PA DANG, ‘DZIN PA DANG, KLOG PA DANG, KUN CHUB PAR BYED PA DANG, GZHAN DAG LA YANG RGYA CHER YANG DAG PAR RAB TU STON PA LTA CI SMOS,

 

I say to you that anyone who hears this particular presentation of the Dharma, and who never thereafter gives it up, creates much greater merit from this single act than the others do: their merit is countless, and beyond all calculation.  And what need have I to mention then the merit of those who take it up by writing it down, or who hold it, or read it, or comprehend it, or who go on to impart it to others in detail, and accurately?

 

 

433 Leave a comment on block 433 0

[360]

BTANG BA’I PHAN YON LAS GANG GIS GZHUNG ‘DI RDZOGS PAR THOS SHING MOS NAS BLOS MI SPONG NA, DE’I BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO SNGA MA LAS KYANG CHE NA GANG GZHUNG ‘DI YI GER ‘BRI BA SOGS BYAS NA BSOD NAMS DE LAS CHE BA LTA CI SMOS ZHES GSUNGS,

And then suppose that someone were to hear this particular text in its entirety, and believed in it enough that they would never give it up.  If the mountain of merit that they thus amassed is greater even then the one we described above, then what need mention how great the merit would be if a person were to write this work down in words, and did the other things mentioned?

434 Leave a comment on block 434 0

[361]

DE YANG LEN PA NAS RAB TU STON PA’I BAR SNGA MA SNGA MA LAS PHYI MA PHYI MA BSOD NAMS TE PHAN YON CHE BAR ‘GYUR RO,,

You should understand, by the way, that each of the acts mentioned—from holding the sutra up to imparting it to others in detail—creates greater merit, is of greater benefit, than each preceding act.

 

 

The teaching beyond all teachings

 

435 Leave a comment on block 435 0

[362]

 

                   [K90]

Api tu khalu punaḥ Subhūte acintyo’tulyo’yaṃ Dharmaparyāyaḥ.  Ayaṃ ca Subhūte Dharmaparyāyas Tathāgatena bhāṣito’grayānasaṃprasthitānāṃ sattvānāmarthāya śreṣṭhayānasaṃprasthitānāṃ sattvānāmarthāya.  Ye imaṃ Dharmaparyāyamudgrahīṣyanti dhārayiṣyanti vācayiṣyanti paryavāpsyanti parebhyaśca vistareṇa saṃprakāśayiṣyanti jñātāste Subhūte Tathāgatena buddhajñānena dṛṣṭāste subhūte Tathāgatena buddhacakṣuṣā buddhāste Tathāgatena.

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI NI, BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB CING MTSUNGS PA MED DE, CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI NI, THEG PA MCHOG LA YANG DAG PAR ZHUGS PA’I SEMS CAN RNAMS KYI DON DANG, THEG PA PHUL DU PHYIN PA LA YANG DAG PAR ZHUGS PA’I SEMS CAN RNAMS KYI DON GYI PHYIR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS SO,,

 

Again I say to you, o Subhuti, that this presentation of the Dharma is inconceivably great, and beyond all compare.  This presentation of the Dharma was spoken by the Ones Gone Thus for those living beings who have entered well into the highest of all ways; and it was spoken for those living beings who have entered well into the foremost of ways.

 

 

436 Leave a comment on block 436 0

[363]

BSNGAGS PA NI CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS [f. 24b] ‘DI’I DON ZAB PA DANG RTOGS DKA’ BA’I PHYIR BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB CING ‘DI DANG MNYAM PA’I MTSUNGS PA GZHAN MED DE,

Lord Buddha now sings the praises of the sutra.  He says that this presentation of the Dharma is inconceivably great, since its meaning is so profound, and so difficult to grasp.  And he says that it is beyond all compare, since there is none other that is equal to it.

437 Leave a comment on block 437 0

[364]

‘DI LA THOS BSAM BSGOMS PA BYAS PA’I ‘BRAS BU RNAM PAR SMIN PA YANG RGYA CHE BA BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB PA NYID DU RIG PA STE SHES PAR BYA’O,,

One should also know—one should realize—that the karmic fruits which ripen from the acts of hearing this teaching, and contemplating upon it, and meditating on it are as well nothing less than inconceivably vast.

438 Leave a comment on block 438 0

[365]

CHOS ‘DI NI THEG PA DMAN PA LA MOS PA RNAMS KYI CHED DU GTZO BOR MA YIN GYI, THEG PA MCHOG DANG THEG PA PHUL DU PHYIN PA THEG PA CHEN PO’I LAM DU ZHUGS PA’I SEMS CAN BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ RNAMS KYI DON GYI PHYIR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS SO,,

This presentation of the Dharma was not spoken by the Ones Gone Thus primarily for the sake of those who are attracted to the lower way; rather, it was taught for those living beings, those bodhisattvas, who have entered into the path of the highest of all ways—of the foremost of ways: of the greater way.

439 Leave a comment on block 439 0

[366]

THEG PA MCHOG DANG THEG PA PHUL DU PHYIN PA GNYIS KA THEG PA CHEN PO’I MING GI RNAM GRANGS SO,,

When the sutra here speaks of the “highest of all ways” and the “foremost of ways,” these are both just different names for the greater way.

 

 

 

These I lift up, and carry upon my shoulders

 

440 Leave a comment on block 440 0

[367] 

 

       [K91]

441 Leave a comment on block 441 0

[p. 34] Sarve te Subhūte sattvā aprameyeṇa puṇyaskandhenāṃ samanvāgatā bhaviṣyanti.  Acintyenātulyenāmāpyenāparimāṇena puṇyaskandhena samanvāgatā bhaviṣyanti.  Sarve te Subhūte sattvāḥ samāṃśena bodhiṃ dhārayiṣyanti vacayiṣyanti paryavāpsyanti.

 

GANG DAG CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI LEN PA DANG, ‘DZIN PA DANG, KLOG PA DANG, KUN CHUB PAR BYED PA DANG, GZHAN DAG LA YANG RGYA CHER YANG DAG PAR RAB TU STON PA DE DAG NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS MKHYEN, DE DAG NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GZIGS TE, SEMS CAN DE DAG THAMS CAD NI, BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO DPAG TU MED PA DANG LDAN PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

Think of those who take up this particular presentation of the Dharma, or hold it, or read it, or comprehend it, or who go on to impart it to others in detail, and accurately.  These are the kind of people that the Ones Gone Thus know.  These are the kind of people that the Ones Gone Thus look upon.  Any living being like these people is possessed of a mountain of merit beyond all calculation.

 

 

442 Leave a comment on block 442 0

[K92]

BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB PA DANG, MTSUNGS PA MED PA DANG, GZHAL DU MED PA DANG, TSAD MED PA DANG LDAN [f. 226b] PAR ‘GYUR TE, SEMS CAN DE DAG THAMS CAD NGA’I BYANG CHUB PHRAG PA LA THOGS PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

They are possessed of a mountain of merit which is inconceivable, which is beyond all comparison, which cannot be measured, which is beyond all measure.  Any such living being is one that I lift up, and carry forth upon my own shoulders, to the enlightenment I have reached.[106]

 

 

443 Leave a comment on block 443 0

[368]

BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB PA DANG, MTSUNGS PA MED PA DANG, GZHAL DU MED PA DANG, TSAD MED PA DANG LDAN [f. 226b] PAR ‘GYUR TE, SEMS CAN DE DAG THAMS CAD NGA’I BYANG CHUB PHRAG PA LA THOGS PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

They are possessed of a mountain of merit which is inconceivable, which is beyond all comparison, which cannot be measured, which is beyond all measure.  Any such living being is one that I lift up, and carry forth upon my own shoulders, to the enlightenment I have reached.

 

 

444 Leave a comment on block 444 0

[369]

DE LTA BU’I THEG PA CHEN PO’I SEMS CAN GANG DAG CHOS ‘DI LEN PA DANG ‘DZIN PA SOGS BYED PA DE DAG NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DA LTA NAS MKHYEN CING GZIGS TE SEMS CAN DE DAG NI BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO DPAG TU MED PA DANG, BLOS BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB PA DANG, DE DANG MTSUNGS PA MED PA DANG, MTHA’ GZHAL DU MED PA DANG, TSAD MED PA DANG LDAN PAR ‘GYUR TE SEMS CAN DE DAG THAMS CAD KYANG DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA NGA’I BYANG CHUB KYI GO ‘PHANG PHRAG PA LA THOGS PA LTAR MYUR DU THOB PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

We are to think now of all those people of the greater way who will ever take up this Dharma teaching, or hold it, and so on.  These are the kind of people that the Ones Gone Thus know even now; that they look upon even now.  Any living being like these people is possessed of a mountain of merit which is beyond all calculation; which cannot be conceived by the mind; to which nothing can be compared; which has no limits; which is beyond all measure.  And any such living being is one that “I, the One Gone Thus, practically lift up and carry forth upon my own shoulders”: they are ones who will speedily attain the goal.

 

 

445 Leave a comment on block 445 0

[370]

 

                   [K93]

Tatkasya hetoḥ na hi śakyaṃ Subhūte ayaṃ Dharmaparyāyo hīnādhimuktiakaiḥ sattvaiḥ śrotum nātmadṛṣṭikairna sattvadṛṣṭikairna jīvadṛṣṭikairna pudgaladṛṣṭikaiḥ.  Nābodhisattvapratijñai sattvaiḥ śakyamayaṃ Dharmaparyāyaḥ śrotuṃ vā udgrahītuṃ vā dhārayituṃ vā vācayituṃ vā paryavāptuṃ vā.  Nedaṃ sthānaṃ vidyate.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, DMAN PA LA MOS PA RNAMS KYIS CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI MNYAN PAR MI NUS TE, BDAG TU LTA BA RNAMS KYIS MA YIN, SEMS CAN DU LTA BA RNAMS KYIS MA YIN, SROG TU LTA BA RNAMS KYIS MA YIN ZHING, GANG ZAG TU LTA BA RNAMS KYIS MNYAN PA DANG, BLANG BA DANG, GZUNG BA DANG, KLOG PA DANG, KUN CHUB PAR BYED MI NUS TE, DE NI, GNAS MED PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

And why is it so?  O Subhuti, those who are attracted to lesser things are incapable of hearing this presentation of the Dharma.  Neither is it something for those who see some self, or for those who see some living being, or for those who see something that lives; and those who see some person are incapable of hearing it; they are incapable of taking it up; they are incapable of holding it; they are incapable of reading it; and they are incapable too of comprehending it.  There would never be any place for them to do so.

 

 

446 Leave a comment on block 446 0

[371]

RGYU MTSAN NI, CHOS DMAN PA LA MOS PA RNAMS KYIS NI CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ZAB MO ‘DI LA THOS BSAM BSGOMS PA’I TSUL GYIS MNYAN PAR BYAR MI NUS TE, GANG ZAG GI BDAG TU LTA BA DANG SEMS CAN DANG SROG DANG GANG ZAG TU BDEN ZHEN GYIS LTA ZHING,

 

And for what reason is it so?  Those who are attracted to lesser things are incapable of hearing or contemplating or meditating upon this particular profound presentation of the Dharma.  This is because, out of their intense belief that things are real, they see some kind of self-nature to the person; they see them as some living being, as something that lives, as a person.

 

 

447 Leave a comment on block 447 0

[372]

‘DOD PA’I GANG [f. 25a] ZAG PHYI ROL PA LTA BU RNAMS KYIS GZHUNG ‘DI’I TSIG DON MNYAN PA DANG BLANG BA SOGS BYED MI NUS TE, DE BYED PA’I GNAS SAM GO SKABS MED PA’I PHYIR TE, DE LTA BU’I SEMS CAN RNAMS KYIS BDAG MED PA’I DON MI ‘DOD PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

People who believe in things this way—people like those who are still outside of this worldview—are incapable of hearing the meaning of the words of this particular teaching; they are incapable of taking it up, and all the rest mentioned.  And this is because there would never be any place or opportunity for them to do so, since people like this have no belief in the idea that nothing is itself.

 

 

 

Where this is taught, is a holy place

 

449 Leave a comment on block 449 0

[K94]

Api tu khalu punaḥ Subhūte yatra pṛthivīpradeśe idaṃ sūtraṃ prakaśayiṣyate pūjanīyaḥ sa pṛthivīpradeśo bhaviṣyati sadevamānuṣāsurasya lokasya.  Vandanīyaḥ pradakṣiṇīyaśca sa pṛthivīpradeśo bhaviṣyati, caityabhūtaḥ sa pṛthivīpradeśo bhaviṣyati.

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, SA PHYOGS GANG NA MDO SDE ‘DI STON PA’I SA PHYOGS DE, LHA DANG, MI DANG, LHA MA YIN DU BCAS PA’I ‘JIG RTEN GYIS MCHOD PAR ‘OS PAR ‘GYUR RO, ,SA PHYOGS DE PHYAG BYA BAR ‘OS PA DANG, BSKOR BA BYA BAR ‘OS PAR YANG ‘GYUR RO, ,SA PHYOGS DE NI, MCHOD RTEN LTA BUR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

And I say further to you, o Subhuti: Any place where this sutra is taught thereby becomes a place worthy of the offerings of the entire world, with its gods, and men, and demigods.  It becomes a place which is worthy of their prostrations, and worthy of their circumambulations.  That place becomes something like a stupa.

 

 

450 Leave a comment on block 450 0

[374]

YANGS PHYOGS GANG NA MDO SDE ‘DI STON PA’I SA PHYOGS DE LHA DANG MI DANG LHA MA YIN DANG BCAS PA’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI SEMS CAN RNAMS KYIS MCHOD PA DANG PHYAG BYA BA DANG BSKOR BAR BYA BA’I ‘OS SU ‘GYUR TE, SA PHYOGS DE MCHOD RTEN LTA BUR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

Furthermore, any particular place where this sutra is taught thereby becomes a place worthy of the offerings and prostrations and circumambulations of every living being in the entire world, with its gods, and men, and demigods.  That place becomes something in fact like a stupa.

 

 

451 Leave a comment on block 451 0

[375]

‘DI NI MNGON RTOGS RGYAN LAS, BYANG CHUB DANG NI RTEN MCHOD NYID, ,ZHES PA’I RTZA BA’I MDO YUM RGYAS ‘BRING BSDUS GSUM DANG ‘GREL PA RNAMS LAS NI BYANG SEMS SGOM LAM PA GANG DU BZHUGS PA’I GNAS DE GZHAN GYIS BKUR BA’I GNAS MCHOD RTEN LTA BUR GSUNGS PA DANG ‘DRA LA,

 

This is similar to the statement in the Ornament of Realizations where it says, “They are becoming enlightened; they are nothing less than an offering shrine.”[107]  The sutras which provide the source for this idea—the three of the extensive, medium-length, and more abbreviated versions of the Mother, as well as the various classical commentaries upon these—explain that any place where a bodhisattva who is on the path of habituation stays thereby becomes like a stupa or offering shrine: a locus for the honor of others.

 

 

452 Leave a comment on block 452 0

[376]

GTZO BO NI GZHUNG ‘DI’I BRJOD BYA DON GYI SHER PHYIN KHYAD PAR CAN RGYUD LA SKYES PA’I GANG ZAG BZHUGS PA’I GNAS LA DGONGS SO, ,GONG DU ‘DI LTA BU ZHIG SONG YANG GZHI SO SO’I DBANG DU MDZAD PA’O,,

 

The main place that Lord Buddha has in mind as he speaks these words is any location where there stays a person who possesses in his or her mind an extraordinary form of the actual perfection of wisdom which is the subject of this text. Now it is true that a part much like this has already come before, but it is repeated here for the different context.

 

 

You will suffer

 

453 Leave a comment on block 453 0

[377]

 

                   [K95]

Api tu ye te Subhūte kulaputrā vā kuladuhitaro vā imānevaṃrūpān sūtrāntānudgrahīṣyanti dhārayiṣyanti vācayiṣyanti paryavāpsyanti yoniśaśca manasikariṣyanti parebhyaśca vistareṇa saṃprakāśayiṣyanti te paribhūtā bhaviṣyanti suparibhūtāśca bhaviṣyanti.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, RIGS KYI BU’AM RIGS KYI BU MO GANG DAG ‘DI LTA BU’I MDO SDE’I TSIG ‘DI DAG LEN PA DANG, ‘DZIN PA DANG, KLOG PA DANG, KUN CHUB PAR BYED PA DE DAG NI, MNAR BAR ‘GYUR, SHIN TU MNAR BAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

O Subhuti, any son or daughter of noble family who takes up a sutra like this, or who holds it, or reads it, or comprehends it, will suffer.  They will suffer intensely.

 

 

454 Leave a comment on block 454 0

[378]

SNGA MA LAS GZHAN YANG RAB ‘BYOR RIGS KYI BU’AM BU MO GANG MDO SDE ‘DI ‘DZIN ‘CHANG SOGS BYED CING DON NYAMS SU LEN PA’I SEMS CAN DE DAG NI NAD SNA TSOGS DANG ‘THAB RTZOD ‘TSANG ‘DRU DANG BCING RDEG SOGS KYIS MNAR BA DANG SHIN TU MNAR BA’I SDUG BSNGAL MYONG BAR ‘GYUR BA YOD SRID KYANG, SKYON CHEN PO MA YIN TE,

 

There is furthermore some additional text at this point which differentiates it from the preceding, similar passage.  Lord Buddha says, “Think further, o Subhuti, of any son or daughter of noble family who holds or carries or does any of the other actions mentioned with this sutra; who puts it into practice.  Living beings like this may well suffer from a whole variety of illnesses; they may come to live in conflict, they may be criticized, they may be imprisoned or beaten and others of the like.  It is possible that they might experience, in fact, intense suffering; but this will be no great problem for them.

 

 

456 Leave a comment on block 456 0

[K96]

Tatkasya hetoḥ yāni ca teṣāṃ Subhūte sattvānāṃ paurvajanmikānyaśubhāni karmāṇi kṛtānyapāyasaṃvartanīyāni dṛṣṭa eva dharme paribhūtatayā tāni paurvajanmikānyaśubhāni karmāṇi kṣapayiṣyanti Buddhabodhiṃ cānuprāpsyanti.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, SEMS CAN DE DAG GIS TSE RABS SNGA MA’I MI DGE BA’I LAS NGAN SONG DU SKYE BAR ‘GYUR BA GANG DAG BYAS PA DAG TSE ‘DI NYID LA MNAR BAS, TSE RABS SNGA MA’I MI DGE BA’I LAS DE DAG ‘BYANG BAR ‘GYUR TE, SANGS RGYAS KYI BYANG [f. 227a] CHUB KYANG ‘THOB PAR ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, such beings are purifying non-virtuous karma from the entire string of their previous lives, karma that would have taken them to the three lower realms.  As they purify this karma, it causes them to suffer here in this life.  As such they will succeed in cleaning away the karma of these non-virtuous deeds of their previous lifetimes, and they will as well achieve the enlightenment of a Buddha.

 

 

457 Leave a comment on block 457 0

[380]

RGYU MTSAN DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, SEMS CAN DE DAG GIS NI TSE RABS ‘DI DANG SNGA [f. 25b] MA’I DUS SU MI DGE BA’I LAS CHEN PO NGAN SONG GSUM DU SKYE BAR ‘GYUR BA’I LAS GANG DAG BYAS PA DE DAG THAMS CAD KYI ‘BRAS BU NI TSE ‘DI NYID KYI THOG LA SMIN TE SDUG BSNGAL GYIS MNAR BA DE’I STOBS KYIS TSE RABS SNGA MA’I MI DGE BA’I LAS DE DAG THAMS CAD ‘BYANG BA STE DAG PAR ‘GYUR TE, SANGS RGYAS KYI BYANG CHUB KYANG MYUR DU THOB PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

And for what reason is this so?  These living beings have committed karma—both in this life and in the string of their previous lives—which is very serious non-virtuous karma, and which would have taken them to a birth in the three lower realms.  The fruits of all the karma of this kind that they possess within them will now flower here, within this very same life.  But the power of the suffering that strikes them now will purify and clean them of each and every non-virtuous deed of their previous lifetimes, and they will in fact go on to achieve the enlightenment of the Buddha very quickly.

 

 

458 Leave a comment on block 458 0

[381]

SHER PHYIN LA BRTZON PA’I GNYEN PO KUN TU SPYOD PA’I STOBS KYIS NI SDIG LAS RNAMS KYI RTZA BA BDAG ‘DZIN BCOM STE THAR PA DANG THAMS CAD MKHYEN PA YANG THOB PAR ‘GYUR ZHES BSHAD NA, NGAN ‘GROR SKYE BA’I LAS RNAMS ‘JOMS PA LTA CI SMOS SO,,

 

Exerting oneself here in the perfection of wisdom constitutes that one of the four powers—the one known as “the power of applying the antidote.”[108]  And this power destroys that tendency to grasp to things as themselves which is the very root of all our bad deeds.  And then, the sutra is saying, we will be able even to attain liberation, and the state of all-knowing.  If this is true, then there is no need to mention that the power destroys those karmas which would cause us to be born into the realms of misery.

 

 

459 Leave a comment on block 459 0

[382]

TSUL DE LTAR RTOG GE ‘BAR BA SOGS NAS BSHAD CING,

THAR PA CHEN PO LAS KYANG,

 

,NGAN ‘GROR SKYE BA’I SDIG YOD KYANG,

,MGO BO NA BA TZAM GYIS ‘BYANG,

 

ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

 

This way that things work is described as well in works such as the Blaze of Reasoning.  The Book of the Great Liberation says as well,

 

You may even be possessed

Of bad deeds that would have taken you

To a birth in the lower realms;

But they are cleaned away from you now

With no more than a simple headache.[109]

 

 

460 Leave a comment on block 460 0

[383]

DPER NA SA BON BTAB KYANG CHU LUD DROD GSHER SOGS GTAN MED NA MYU GU MI SKYE BA LTAR BDAG ‘DZIN SPONG NUS NA NI, BSAGS PA’I LAS CI YOD KYANG GROGS NYON MONGS MED PAS RNAM SMIN ‘BYIN MI NUS TE,

 

You can for example go and plant a seed in the ground; but if this seed is totally devoid of water and nutrients and warmth and wetness—conditions like this—then no sprout will ever pop up its head.  It’s the same with karma: Once we are able to eliminate within us the tendency to hold that things are themselves, then it doesn’t matter how much karma we may have accumulated in the past—without states of negative emotion to support it, this karma will have no power to produce its expected result.

 

 

461 Leave a comment on block 461 0

[384]

RNAM ‘GREL LAS,

 

,SRID PA’I SRED LAS RNAM BRGAL BA’I,

,LAS GZHAN ‘PHEN NUS MA YIN TE,

,LHAN CIG BYED PA ZAD PHYIR RO,

 

,ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR RO,,

 

As the Commentary on Valid Perception puts it,

 

The karma of one who has crossed over

The sea of craving existence

Can no longer project another,

For the contributing factors are finished.[110]

 

 

 

The karma needed to see

 

462 Leave a comment on block 462 0

[385]

 

                   [K97]

Abhijānāmyahaṃ Subhūte atīte’dhvanyasaṃkhyeyaiḥ kalpairasaṃkhyeyatarairdīpaṃkarasya Tathāgatasyārhataḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhasya pareṇa paratareṇa [p. 35] caturaśītiBuddhakoṭiniyutaśatasahasrāṇyabhūvan ye mayārāgitāḥ ārāgya na virāgitāḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, NGAS MNGON PAR SHES TE, ‘DAS PA’I DUS BSKAL PA GRANGS MED PA’I YANG CHES GRANGS MED PA NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS MAR ME MDZAD KYI PHA ROL GYI YANG CHES PHA ROL NA, SANGS RGYAS BYE BA KHRAG KHRIG ‘BUM PHRAG BRGYAD CU RTZA BZHI DAG BYUNG BA NGAS MNYES PAR BYAS TE, MNYES PAR BYAS NAS THUGS MA PHYUNG BAR BYAS TE,

 

Subhuti, I see this with my powers of clairvoyance.  In days long past—over the course of countless eons that are themselves even more than uncountable; far beyond the time even before the time of the One Gone Thus, the Destroyer of the Foe, the Perfect and Totally Enlightened One named “Maker of Light”—there came 840 billion billion Buddhas.  I was able to please them all, and never disturb their hearts.

 

 

463 Leave a comment on block 463 0

[386]

RAB ‘BYOR NGAS MNGON PAR SHES SHING MKHYEN TE, SNGON ‘DAS PA’I BSKAL PA GRANGS MED PA’I YANG CHES GRANGS MED PA DANG, SANGS RGYAS MAR ME MDZAD KYI SNGA ROL GYI YANG CHES SNGA ROL GYI DUS NA, SANGS RGYAS BYE BA KHRAG KHRIG ‘BUM PHRAG BRGYAD CU RTZA BZHI DAG BYUNG BA DE DAG NGAS MCHOD CING BSNYEN BKUR BA SOGS KYIS [f. 26a] THUGS MNYES PAR BYAS TE MI MNYES PAR MA BYAS SHING THUGS SUN PHYUNG BA MA BYAS TE,

 

Subhuti, I see this, I know it, with my powers of clairvoyance.  In days long past—over the course of countless eons that are themselves even more than uncountable; far beyond the time even before the time of the Buddha named “Maker of Light”—there came 840 billion billion Buddhas.  I was able to please them all with offerings, and by paying honor to them, and through other such deeds; and never did I displease them—never did I disturb their hearts.

 

 

464 Leave a comment on block 464 0

[387]

 

                   [K98]

Yacca mayā Subhūte te Buddhā Bhagavanta ārāgitāḥ ārāgya na virāgitāḥ yacca paścime kāle paścime samaye paścimāyāṃ pañcaśatyāṃ saddharmavipralopakāle vartamāne imānevaṃrūpān sūtrāntānudgrahīṣyanti dhārayiṣyanti vācayiṣyanti paryavāpsyanti parebhyaśca vistareṇa saṃprakāśayiṣyanti asya khalu punaḥ Subhūte puṇyaskandhasyāntikādasau paurvakaḥ puṇyaskandhaḥ śatatamīmapi kalāṃ nopaiti sahasratamīmapi śatasahasratamīmapi koṭimamipi koṭiśatatamīmapi koṭiśatasahasratamīmapi koṭiniyutaśatasahasratamīmapi.  Saṃkhyāmapi kalāmapi gaṇanāmapi upamāmapi upaniṣadamapi yāvadaupamyamapi na kṣamate.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, SANGS RGYAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS DE DAG NGAS MNYES PAR BYAS NAS THUGS BYUNG BAR MA BYAS PA GANG YIN PA DANG, PHYI MA’I DUS LNGA BRGYA THA MAR GYUR PA NA, MDO SDE ‘DI LEN PA DANG, ‘DZIN PA DANG, KLOG PA DANG, KUN CHUB PAR BYED PA GANG YIN PA LAS, RAB ‘BYOR, BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO ‘DI LA BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO SNGA MAS BRGYA’I CHAR YANG MI PHOD, STONG GI CHA DANG, ‘BUM GYI CHA DANG, GRANGS DANG, CHA DANG, BGRANG BA DANG, DPE DANG, ZLA DANG, RGYUR YANG MI BZOD DO,,

 

But then Subhuti, there are those who, in the days of the last five hundred, will take up this sutra, and hold it, and read it, and comprehend it.  And I tell you, o Subhuti, that the great mountains of merit that I collected from pleasing all those Buddhas, all those Conquerors, and from never disturbing their hearts, would not come to a hundredth of the mountains of merit that these ones to come will create.  Nor would it come to a thousandth part, nor one part in a hundred thousand, nor any other countable part, any part at all; the difference could never be put in numbers; there is no example I could use; no comparison; no reason at all to attempt any comparison.

 

 

465 Leave a comment on block 465 0

[388]

NGAS DE LTAR BYAS PA’I BSOD NAMS DANG, PHYI MA’I DUS LNGA BRGYA’I THA MA LA MDO SDE ‘DI ‘BRI BA SOGS BYED PA’I BSOD NAMS GANG YIN PA GNYIS LAS, BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO PHYI MA ‘DI CHE STE

 

Now consider the merit that I created in this way, and compare it to the merit of those who, in the days of the last five hundred, perform the acts of writing and so on with this sutra.  The mountains of merit created in the latter case are the greater of the two.

 

 

466 Leave a comment on block 466 0

[389]

BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO SNGON MAS ‘DI LA CHA BRGYAR BGOS PA’I BRGYA’I CHA STE ‘AM GCIG TZAM GYI BAR NYE BAR MI PHOD MI ‘GRO ZHING, DE BZHIN DU STONG GI CHA DANG ‘BUM GYI CHA DANG GRANGS DANG TSAD DANG BGRANG BA DANG DPE DANG ZLA DANG RGYUR YANG ‘GRAN PAR MI BZOD PA STE MI NUS SO,,

 

The mountains of merit from the former act would not come to the amount of one of the parts that you get by dividing the latter merit into hundreds—would not amount even to a hundredth.  Nor would it come to a thousandth part, nor one part in a hundred thousand, nor any other countable part, any measure; the difference could never be put in numbers; there is no example that could be used; no comparison; no reason at all to attempt any comparison.

 

 

467 Leave a comment on block 467 0

[390]

DE DAG KUN NI DPE MTSON PA YIN YANG, CHA NI CHA SHAS CHE CHUNG DANG GRANGS MANG NYUNG MI ‘DRA ZHING DPE MI ‘DRA BA YANG DO ZLA MI MNYAM PA DANG RGYU MTSAN MI ‘DRA BA DANG, BGRANG BA NI MTSUNGS PAR BGRANG DU MI RUNG BA’O,,

 

Now admittedly all the elements listed here are metaphorical; but we can say that “part” refers to greater or lesser components.  “Countable” means this many more or less; “example” is a reference to different illustrations.  “No comparison” is to say that nothing is its equal; “reason” refers to all the various ones you could think of; and “putting in numbers” means finding a number that could equal the amount of merit—and none of these ever could.

 

 

468 Leave a comment on block 468 0

[391]

 

                   [K99]

(16) Sacetpunaḥ Subhūte teṣāṃ kulaputrāṇāṃ kuladuhitṝṇāṃ vā ahaṃ puṇyaskandhaṃ bhāṣeyam yāvatte kulaputrā vā kuladuhitaro vā tasmin samaye puṇyaskandhaṃ prasaviṣyanti pratigrahīṣyanti unmādaṃ sattvā anuprāpnuyuścittavikṣepaṃ vā gaccheyuḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, GAL TE DE’I TSE RIGS KYI BU’AM RIGS KYI BU MO DAG BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO JI SNYED RAB TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR BA’I RIGS KYI BU’AM RIGS KYI BU MO DE DAG GI BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO NGAS BRJOD NA, SEMS CAN RNAMS MYO MYO POR ‘GYUR TE, SEMS ‘KHRUGS PAR ‘GYUR RO, ,

 

And suppose, o Subhuti, that I were to describe just how many mountains of virtue would come to be possessed by one of these women or men of noble family, the ones to come who will create those mountains of merit.  The living beings who heard me then would go mad; their minds would be thrown into chaos.

 

 

469 Leave a comment on block 469 0

[392]

GAL TE DE DAG GIS BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO JI SNYED CIG RAB TU BSKYED CING ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR BA’I BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO ‘DI LTA BU’O ZHES LEGS PAR PHYE ZHING BRJOD NA, BLO DMAN PA’I SEMS CAN RNAMS YID MI CHES SHING YID MYOS MYOS POR TE RMONGS NAS SEMS RAB TU ‘KHRUGS PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

And suppose that Lord Buddha were to distinguish or to describe just how many mountains of virtue would be created and then come to be possessed by these people: “It would be about this many mountains of merit.”  The living beings of lesser minds who heard him then would never believe him; they would go mad; their minds would be thrown into confusion, into chaos.

 

 

471 Leave a comment on block 471 0

[K100]

Api tu khalu punaḥ Subhūte acintyo’tulyo’yaṃ Dharmaparyāyas Tathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ.  Asya acintya eva vipākaḥ pratikāṅkṣitavyaḥ.

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, CHOS KYI RNAM [f. 227b] GRANGS ‘DI BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB STE, ‘DI’I RNAM PAR SMIN PA YANG BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB PA NYID DU RIG PAR BYA’O,,

 

I tell you further, o Subhuti; and you must understand it: this presentation of the Dharma is absolutely inconceivable; and how its power ripens in the future is nothing less than absolutely inconceivable as well.

 

 

472 Leave a comment on block 472 0

[394]

CHOS KYI RNAM GRANGS ‘DI GZHUNG NYUNG YANG DON RGYA CHE BAS BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB CING, ‘DI’I DON NYAMS SU BLANGS PA’I RNAM PAR SMIN PA’I ‘BRAS BU YANG BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB BO,,

 

Although this particular presentation of the Dharma is one of few pages, its meaning is vast—and so it is absolutely inconceivable.  And how the power created by one who puts its meaning into actual practice ripens in the future is nothing less than absolutely inconceivable as well.

 

 

473 Leave a comment on block 473 0

[395]

RNAM PAR SMIN PA’I ‘BRAS BU ZHES PA’I RNAM SMIN GYI ‘BRAS BU KHO NA LA MI GZUNG GI ,RGYU MTHUN DANG BDAG ‘BRAS DANG BRAL ‘BRAS SOGS KYANG [f. 26b] SDUD DO, ,’DI LTA BU ZHIG GONG DU YANG BYUNG MOD, SKABS DON THA DAD LA DGONGS NAS GSUNGS SO,,

 

Lord Buddha speaks here of results ripening from karma; but you shouldn’t think that he is thus limiting his description only to karmic results.  Other classical types of results—those we call “consistent with their cause”; or “owner” results; or “results of separation” and so on—are also meant to be included here.[111]  Again we would have to concede that a part like this has come already in the text of the sutra; but it is repeated here with the intent that it be applied to this separate context.

 

 

 

Again, the question

 

475 Leave a comment on block 475 0

[K101]

(17) Atha khalvāyuṣmān SubhūtirBhagavantametadavocat.

 

DE NAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR GYIS ‘DI SKAD CES GSOL TO,,

 

And then the junior monk Subhuti replied to the Conquering One, as follows:

 

 

Kathaṃ Bhagavan bodhisattvayānasaṃprasthitena sthātavyam kathaṃ pratipattavyam kathaṃ cittaṃ pragrahītavyam.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I THEG PA LA YANG DAG PAR ZHUGS PAS JI LTAR GNAS PAR BGYI, JI LTAR BSGRUB PAR BGYI, JI LTAR SEMS RAB TU GZUNG BAR BGYI,

 

O Conquering One, what of those who have entered well into the way of the bodhisattva?  How shall they live?  How shall they practice?  How should they keep their thoughts?

 

 

Bhagavānāha.

 

Iha Subhūte bodhisattvayānasaṃprasthitena evaṃ [p. 36] cittamutpādayitavyam

 

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI LA BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I THEG PA LA YANG DAG PAR ZHUGS PAS ‘DI SNYAM DU,

 

 

And the Conqueror replied,

 

Subhuti, this is how those who have entered well into the way of the bodhisattva must think to themselves as they feel the Wish to achieve enlightenment:

 

 

Sarve sattvā mayā anupadhiśeṣe nirvāṇadhātau parinirvāpayitavyāḥ. evaṃ sa sattvān parinirvāpya na kaścitsattvaḥ parinirvāpito bhavati.

 

BDAG GIS SEMS CAN THAMS CAD PHUNG PO LHAG MA MED PA’I MYA NGAN LAS ‘DAS PA’I DBYINGS SU YONGS SU MYA NGAN LAS BZLA’O, ,DE LTAR SEMS CAN RNAMS YONGS SU MYA NGAN LAS BZLAS KYANG SEMS CAN GANG YANG YONGS SU MYA NGAN LAS BZLAS PAR GYUR PA MED DO, ,SNYAM DU SEMS BSKYED PAR BYA’O,,

 

I will bring every single living being to total nirvana, to that realm beyond all grief, where they no longer possess any of the heaps of things that make up a suffering person.  Yet even if I do manage to bring all these living beings to total nirvana, there will be no living being at all who was brought to their total nirvana.

 

 

Tatkasya hetoḥ sacet Subhūte bodhisattvasya sattvasaṃjñā pravarteta na sa bodhisattva iti vaktavyaḥ.  Jīvasaṃjñā vā yāvatpudgalasaṃjñā vā pravarteta na sa bodhisattva iti vaktavyaḥ.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, GAL TE BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SEMS CAN DU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG NA, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES MI BYA LA, GANG ZAG GI BAR DU ‘DU SHES ‘JUG NA YANG DE BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES MI BYA BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

And why is it so?  Because, Subhuti, if a bodhisattva were to slip into conceiving of someone as a living being, then we could never call them a “bodhisattva.”  And so too if they were to slip ino thinking of someone in all the ways up to thinking of them as a person, neither then could we ever call them a “bodhisattva.”

 

 

Tatkasya hetoḥ nāsti Subhūte sa kaściddharmo yo bodhisattvayānasaṃprasthito nāma.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, GANG BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I THEG PA LA YANG DAG PAR ZHUGS PA ZHES BYA BA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MED PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Why is it so?  Because, Subhuti, there doesn’t even exist any such thing as what we have called “those who have entered well into the way of the bodhisattva.”

 

 

476 Leave a comment on block 476 0

[397]

YANG BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I THEG PA LA ZHUGS PAS JI LTAR GNAS PAR BGYIS ZHES SOGS ZHUS SO, ,SNGAR ‘DI LTA BU ZHIG SONG YANG TSOGS LAM DANG MOS SPYOD KYI SA’I DBANG DU MDZAD LA,

 

Now once again the Conquering One responds to Subhuti on the question of how those who have entered well into the way of the bodhisattva should live, and so on.  Again, we have seen a section like this already; but there the context was the path of accumulation, and the levels of belief.[112]

 

 

477 Leave a comment on block 477 0

[398]

‘DIR NI MTHONG LAM THOB PA LA NYE BA DANG DE THOB PA’I SKABS NAS DE LTAR BYED PA LA DGONGS NAS GSUNGS TE DON NI SNGAR BSHAD ZIN PA LTAR RO, ,BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I THEG PA LA ZHUGS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG BDEN PAR GRUB PA MED DO ZHES MJUG BSDUS SO,,

Here though repeating the same wording is intended to fit the context of being either close to attaining the path of seeing or having already attained this path.  The meaning of the section is the same as we explained previously; here it is like a summary for describing how nothing related to entering the way of the bodhisattva could ever exist in truth.

 

No teacher was taught

 

479 Leave a comment on block 479 0

[K102]

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte asti sa kaściddharmo yas Tathāgatena Dīpaṃkarasya Tathāgatasyāntikādanuttarāṃ Samyaksaṃbodhimabhisaṃbuddhaḥ ?

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN [f. 228a] GSHEGS PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA MAR ME MDZAD LAS GANG BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG YOD DAM,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Was there anything at all which the One Thus Gone ever received from the One Thus Gone called “Maker of Light,” which helped bring about my total enlightenment within the unsurpassed, perfect, and total state of a Buddha?

 

 

480 Leave a comment on block 480 0

[400]

YANG RAB ‘BYOR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA NGAS SNGON SANGS RGYAS MAR ME MDZAD LAS CHOS GANG DON DAM PAR BLANGS NAS SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE GANG DAG YOD SNYAM MAM ZHES DRIS PA NA,

Now again the Buddha addresses Subhuti, asking him, “Was there any teaching which I, the One Thus Gone, ever received—long ago, and in some ultimate way—from the Buddha whose name was ‘Maker of Light’?  What do you think: Did there even exist any such teaching which helped bring about my enlightenment?”

481 Leave a comment on block 481 0

[401]

 

Evamukte āyuṣmān SubhūtirBhagavantametadavocat.

 

DE SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL PA DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR GYIS ‘DI SKAD CES GSOL TO,,

 

Thus did the Conqueror speak, and then did the junior monk Subhuti reply to him, as follows:

 

Yathāhaṃ Bhagavato bhāṣitasyārthamājānāmi nāsti sa Bhagavan kaściddharmo yas Tathāgatena Dīpaṃkarasya Tathāgatasyārhataḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhasyāntikādanuttarāṃ samyaksaṃbodhimabhisaṃbuddhaḥ.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS; DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA MAR ME MDZAD LAS GANG BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE YANG MA MCHIS SO,,

 

O Conqueror, there never could have been anything at all which the One Thus Gone ever received from the One Thus Gone called “Maker of Light” which helped bring about your total enlightenment within the unsurpassed, perfect, and total state of a Buddha.

 

 

482 Leave a comment on block 482 0

[402]

LAN DU RAB ‘BYOR GYIS DE MA MCHIS SO ZHES GSOL PA DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS DE DE BZHIN NO ZHES TSIG DANG, DE DE BZHIN NO ZHES DON LA BDEN KHA GNANG STE, DE LTA BU’I CHOS GANG YANG MED DO,,

And then in reply Subhuti respectfully speaks that “there could never have been anything at all” like that.  The Conqueror then validates this statement; he first validates the words that have been spoken by saying, “It is thus.”  Then he validates the meaning of what was spoken by saying, “And thus is it”—the point being that there never did exist anything like that.

 

 

 

Predicting a Buddha

 

483 Leave a comment on block 483 0

[403]

 

Evamukte Bhagavānāyuṣmantaṃ Subhūtimetadavocat.

 

DE SKAD CES GSOL PA DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR LA ‘DI SKAD CES BKA’ STZAL TO,,

 

Thus did he speak, and then did the Conqueror reply to the junior monk Subhuti, in the following words:

 

 

Evametat Subhūte evametat.  Nāsti Subhūte sa kaściddharmo yas Tathāgatena Dīpaṃkarasya Tathāgatasyārhataḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhasyāntikādanuttarāṃ samyaksaṃbodhimabhisaṃbuddhaḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DE DE BZHIN NO, ,DE DE BZHIN TE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA MAR ME MDZAD LAS GANG BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS  PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MED DO,,

 

O Subhuti, it is thus, and thus is it.  There is nothing at all which the One Thus Gone ever received from the One Thus Gone called “Maker of Light” which helped me bring about my total enlightenment within the unsurpassed, perfect, and total state of a Buddha.

 

 

                  

484 Leave a comment on block 484 0

[K103]

Sacetpunaḥ Subhūte kaściddharmas Tathāgatenābhisaṃbuddho’bhaviṣyat na māṃ DīpaṃkarasTathāgato vyākariṣyat.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, GAL TE DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE ‘GA’ ZHIG YOD PAR GYUR NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA MAR ME MDZAD KYIS NGA LA BRAM ZE’I KHYE’U,

 

And if there had been, o Subhuti, anything of the sort where the One Thus Gone reached his total enlightenment, well then the One Gone Thus, “Maker of Light,” could never have granted me my final prediction, by saying—

 

 

Bhaviṣyasi [p. 37] tvaṃ māṇava anāgate’dhvani Śākyamunirnāma Tathāgato’rhan Samyaksaṃbuddha iti.

 

KHYOD MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS NA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS SH’AKYA THUB PA [f. 228b] ZHES BYA BAR ‘GYUR RO, ,ZHES LUNG MI STON PA ZHIG NA,

 

O child of Brahman family, in days to come you will become One who has Gone Thus, a Destroyer of the Foe, a Totally Enlightened Buddha called “Able One of the Shakya Clan.”

 

 

Sasmāttarhi Subhūte Tathāgatenārhatā Samyaksaṃbuddhena nāsti sa kaściddharmo yo’nuttarāṃ Samyaksaṃbodhimabhisaṃbuddhaḥ, tasmādahaṃ Dīpaṃkareṇa Tathāgatena vyākṛta.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI LTAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MED PAS, DE’I PHYIR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA MAR ME MDZAD KYIS NGA LA

 

But since, o Subhuti, there was nothing of the sort where the One Thus Gone before you now reached his total enlightenment within the unsurpassed, perfect, and total state of a Buddha, well then the One Gone Thus named “Maker of Light” did in fact grant me my final prediction, by saying—

 

 

Bhaviṣyasi tvaṃ māṇava anāgate’dhvani Śākyamunirnāma Tathāgato’rhan Samyaksaṃbuddha.

 

BRAM ZE’I KHYE’U, KHYOD MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS NA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS SH’AKYA THUB PA ZHES BYA BAR ‘GYUR RO, ,ZHES LUNG BSTAN TO,,

 

O child of Brahman family, in days to come you will become One who has Gone Thus, a Destroyer of the Foe, a Totally Enlightened Buddha called “Able One of the Shakya Clan.”

 

 

485 Leave a comment on block 485 0

[404]

GAL TE DE ‘DRA BA’I CHOS ‘GA’ ZHIG YOD PAR GYUR NA NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA MAR ME MDZAD KYIS NGA LA BRAM ZE’I KHYE’U KHYOD MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS ‘DI TZAM NAS SANGS RGYAS SH’AKYA THUB PA ZHES BYA BAR ‘GYUR RO ZHES LUNG MI STON PA ZHIG NA, MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS GANG YANG BDEN PAR GRUB PA MED PA’I PHYIR NA, DE’I TSE DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA MAR ME MDZAD KYIS NGA LA DE LTAR BYANG CHUB TU LUNG BSTAN TO,,

If there had been any such thing, anything of the sort, then the One Gone Thus, “Maker of Light,” could never have granted the Buddha his final prediction, saying “O Child of Brahman family, in so and so many days to come you will become the Buddha called ‘Able One of the Shakya Clan’.”  But the fact is that—because there’s nothing about a fully enlightened Buddha which does exist in truth—then the One Thus Gone named “Maker of Light” actually did at that time “grant this final prediction of my enlightenment to me.”

 

 

486 Leave a comment on block 486 0

[405]

DE YANG GANG GIS GANG ZHIG GANG DU LUNG [f. 27a] BSTAN PA’I CHOS RNAMS NI THA SNYAD BTAGS YOD MING RKYANG TZAM YIN GYI, DON DAM PAR GRUB PA MED PA’I TSUL GONG DU BRJOD ZIN TO,,

Now the person who makes such a prediction, and who they make the prediction about, and the prediction they make for them are things that only in name: only as a projection.  As we’ve already explained above, they have no ultimate kind of existence.

487 Leave a comment on block 487 0

[406]

SANGS RGYAS MAR ME MDZAD BYON NAS BSKAL PA GRANGS MED GCIG DANG DGU BCU RTZA GCIG YIN PAR MDO LAS BSHAD CING, ‘DUS PA’I RTZA RGYUD KYI ‘GREL PA SGRON GSAL GYI MCHAN BU LAS KYANG RJES, MAR ME MDZAD NI BSKAL CHEN GRANGS MED GCIG DANG DGU BCU RTZA GCIG GI GONG ROL TU BYUNG STE ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

The open teachings state that a single “countless” eon, plus another 91 eons, have passed since the time of the Buddha named “Maker of Light.”  In a note to the Lamp of Illumination commentary upon the root tantra of the Secret Collection, Je Rinpoche also states that “Light Maker came into this world a ‘countless’ eon, plus another 91 eons, ago.”[113]

488 Leave a comment on block 488 0

[407]

DE’I TSE STON PA BRAM ZE’I KHYE’U CHOS KYI SPRIN DU GYUR PA’I DUS SU LUS LA SANGS RGYAS DE NYID KYIS ZHABS BZHAG STE BYIN GYIS BRLABS PAS MI SKYE BA’I CHOS LA BZOD PA CHEN PO THOB NAS ‘TSANG RGYA BAR LUNG BSTAN TE,

The Teacher, Lord Buddha, had in those days taken a birth as a son of a Brahmin named “Cloud of the Dharma.”  And then this same Buddha came and blessed the child by placing his holy foot upon his body; he then gave him the final prediction, saying “First you will achieve great mastery over those things which never began; and then you will become enlightened.”[114]

489 Leave a comment on block 489 0

[408]

SPYIR MI SKYE BA’I CHOS LA BZOD PA THOB PA LA CHUNG ‘BRING CHEN PO GSUM STE, CHUNG NGU SBYOR LAM BZOD PA DANG, ‘BRING MTHONG LAM DANG, CHEN PO DGRA BCOM THOB PA NAS ‘BYUNG ZHING, THEG CHEN GYI DBANG DU BYAS NA SA BRGYAD PA NAS THOB BO,

Generally speaking, this state of mastery over things which have never begun can take three different forms: the lesser, the medium, and the greater.  We attain the lesser form when we reach the “mastery” stage of the path of preparation;[115] the medium form when we reach the path of seeing; and the greater form when we become an enemy destroyer.  Relative to the greater way, it starts from our attainment of the eighth bodhisattva level.

490 Leave a comment on block 490 0

[409]

BZOD PA DE GSUM GANG RUNG THOB PA LA ‘DUS BYAS KYI CHOS RNAMS RANG BZHIN GYIS SKYE BA MED PAR RTOGS DGOS PA’I PHYIR STONG NYID NGES PAR RTOGS DGOS LA, ‘BRING DANG CHEN PO LA NI STONG NYID MNGON SUM DU RTOGS DGOS SHING, CHEN PO LA NI NYON MONGS YANG SPANGS DGOS SO,,

Whichever of these three types of mastery we attain, we must first come to the realization that no produced thing ever begins through any nature of its own—which is to say, we must definitely perceive emptiness.  For the medium and greater forms of the mastery, this emptiness must be perceived directly; and for the greater form we must in addition eliminate our negative emotions.

491 Leave a comment on block 491 0

[410]

DES NA ‘TSANG RGYA BAR DNGOS LUNG STON PA LA STONG NYID RTOGS PA SNGON DU SONG BA ZHIG NGES PAR DGOS PAS, BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS PA’I BYANG SEMS LA DNGOS LUNG STON PAR [f. 27b] MI MDZAD DE,

Thus we can say that—for us to receive a precise prediction that we are going to attain enlightenment—we must be someone who has already had a perception of emptiness.  This means that a Buddha would not grant a precise prediction to a bodhisattva who was still locked in the chains of holding things as being real.

492 Leave a comment on block 492 0

[411]

THOB BYA THOB BYED KYI CHOS LA BDEN PAR ZHEN NAS BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS PA RNAMS NI DNGOS LUNG BSTAN PA’I SNOD DU MI RUNG BA’I PHYIR TE, BDEN GRUB KYI CHOS BSGYUR DU MI NUS PAS THOB BYED SOGS GANG YANG ‘JOG TU MI RUNG BAR SNGAR BSHAD ZIN PA’I PHYIR RO,,

And that’s because a person who was still locked in the chains of believing that these particular things were real—something to be reached, and something that helped them reach it—would be no proper vessel to receive a precise prediction.  This in turn (as we’ve already covered) is due to the fact that any object which existed in reality could never change—which would mean that they couldn’t be something that helped us reach a goal, or anything of the like.

 

Why they have gone thus

 

493 Leave a comment on block 493 0

[412]

[K104]

Tatkasya hetoḥ Tathāgata iti Subhūte bhūtatathatāyā etadadhivacanam.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA ZHES BYA BA NI, YANG DAG PA DE BZHIN NYID KYI TSIG BLA DVAGS YIN PA’I PHYIR RO,

 

And why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, the very words “One Gone Thus” are an expression that refers to the real nature of things.

494 Leave a comment on block 494 0

[413]

LUNG STON PA’I RGYU MTSAN LA DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA ZHES BRJOD PA DE NI CHOS THAMS CAD BDEN PAS STONG PA YANG DAG PA’I DE BZHIN NYID KHONG DU CHUD PA’I YE SHES KYI TSIG BLA GDAGS TE DE’I SGO NAS BRJOD PA’I PHYIR RO,,

And why is it that this in particular would be needed for the prediction to be made?  Think of the very words, “One Thus Gone.”[116]  The very reason that we use the expression itself is because it refers to the wisdom with which we grasp the real nature, or thusness, of all things: the fact that they are empty of any true existence.

495 Leave a comment on block 495 0

[414]

BSDU NA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA ZHES PA’I DON NI SGRIB GNYIS SPANGS PA’I DE BZHIN NYID MNGON DU BYAS SHING KHONG DU CHUD PA STE, THUGS DE BZHIN NYID JI LTA BA DE BZHIN DU GSHEGS PA’AM MKHYEN PA’I DON NO,,

More briefly, the very meaning of the expression “One Thus Gone” is that we have brought about “thusness” in the sense of having eliminated both of the types of obstacles; and we have grasped thusness.  The point then is that our holy heart has gone into the very way that thusness is—meaning we know it.

 

 

 

No Buddha is enlightened

 

497 Leave a comment on block 497 0

[K105-106a]

Tatkasya heto Tathāgata iti Subhūte anutpādadharmatāyā etadabhivacanam.  Tathāgata iti Subhūte dharmocchedasyaitadabhivacanam.  Tathāgata iti Subhūte atyantānutpannasyaitadabhivacanam.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, GANG LA LA ZHIG ‘DI SKAD DU, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS KYIS BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS SO, ,ZHES ZER NA, DE LOG PAR SMRA BA YIN NO,,

 

Now suppose, o Subhuti, that someone were to say, “The One Gone Thus, the Destroyer of the Foe, the Perfect and Totally Enlightened One, reached his total enlightenment within the unsurpassed, perfect, and total state of a Buddha.”  This would not be spoken true.

 

 

Tatkasya heto eva Subhūte anutpādo ya paramārtha.  Ya kaścit Subhūte eva vadet Tathāgatenārhatā Samyaksabuddhena anuttarā Samyaksabodhirabhisabuddheti sa vitatha vadet.  Abhyācakīta mā sa Subhūte asatodjrhītena.  Tatkasya heto nāsti Subhūte sa kaściddharmo yas Tathāgatena anuttarā Samyaksabodhimabhisabuddha.  Yaśca Subhūte Tathāgatena dharmo’bhisabuddho deśito vā tatra na satya na mṛṣā.  Tasmāt Tathāgato bhāate sarvadharmā Buddhadharmā iti. 

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MED PA’I PHYIR RO, ,RAB ‘BYOR, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS CHOS GANG MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA DE LA BDEN PA YANG MED, RDZUN PA YANG MED DE, DE BAS NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS CHOS THAMS CAD SANGS RGYAS [f. 229a] KYI CHOS SO, ZHES GSUNG NGO,,

 

And why is it so, Subhuti?  Because there is no such thing as One Gone Thus reaching their total enlightenment within the unsurpassed, perfect, and total state of a Buddha.

 

Subhuti, this thing—where One Gone Thus reached their total enlightenment—is something which involves neither anything which is real nor anything which is false.  And this is why the Ones Gone Thus have said that “Every existing thing is something of the Buddhas.”

 

 

498 Leave a comment on block 498 0

[416]

SEMS CAN LA LA ZHIG ‘DI SKAD DU DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA NI DON DAM PAR BYANG CHUB TU MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS SO ZHES ZER NA TSIG DE LOG PAR SMRA BA NYID YIN NO, ,RGYU MTSAN NI DON DAM PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MED PA’I PHYIR RO,,

Now suppose that someone—some living being—were to say, “The One Gone Thus reached their total enlightenment within the perfect and total state of a Buddha.”  These words would not be spoken true at all.  And that’s because there is nothing at all about a Buddha which is perfectly true.

499 Leave a comment on block 499 0

[417]

‘DI LTA BU ZHIG GONG DU SONG YANG SKABS SO SO DANG SBYAR BA STE, TSIG LA ZLOS PA YOD KYANG DON LA ZLOS SKYON MED CING, ‘DI’I DON LEGS PAR SHES PA NI RTZA BA RANG BZHIN MED PA’I DON SHES PA LA THUG GO ,

A part similar to this has admittedly come before in the sutra; but its application to this particular context is unique.  We can thus say that there is a repetition of a section but none of the compositional fault of redundancy.  Really understanding this point here goes back to the understanding the foundational concept that nothing has any nature of its own.

500 Leave a comment on block 500 0

[418]

DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS CHOS GANG SANGS RGYAS PA’AM BSTAN PA DE LA RANG BZHIN GYI GRUB PA’I DON DAM PA’I CHOS BDEN PA YANG MED CING, DER GRUB PA’I KUN RDZOB PA’I CHOS BRDZUN PA YANG MED DO,,

This thing where the One Gone Thus reaches their enlightenment—here meaning an ultimate thing, a thing about this teaching that could exist through some nature of its own—could never be real.  Neither though could it be false, in the sense of being some object within deceptive reality which existed with the same kind of nature.

501 Leave a comment on block 501 0

[419]

‘DI LA ‘CHAD TSUL MI ‘DRA BA GZHAN [f. 28a] ZHIG KYANG SNANG NGO,,

We should note that there appear other ways of explaining this particular section.

 

 

 

All things are Buddha

 

502 Leave a comment on block 502 0

[420]

                   [K106b]

Tatkasya heto sarvdharmā iti Subhūte adharmās Tathāgatena bhāitā.  Tasmāducyante sarvadharmā Buddhadharmā iti.

 

,RAB ‘BYOR, CHOS THAMS CAD CES BYA BA NI, DE DAG THAMS CAD CHOS MED PA YIN TE, DE BAS NA, CHOS THAMS CAD SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS ZHES BYA’O,

 

And when we speak of “every existing thing,” o Subhuti, we are talking about every existing thing that has no existence.  And this, in fact, is why we can say that “Every existing thing is something of the Buddhas.”

 

 

503 Leave a comment on block 503 0

[421]

RGYU MTSAN DE BAS NA BDEN GNYIS KYIS BSDUS PA’I CHOS THAMS CAD KHYAD PAR MED PAR RANG BZHIN GYIS STONG PA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS KHONG DU CHUD CING MNGON DU MDZAD CING, DE’I DBANG DU BYAS NA CHOS THAMS CAD BDEN PAS STONG PA’I DE BZHIN NYID NI SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS SKU DANG ‘DRA BAS CHOS THAMS CAD LA SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS ZHES BYA’O,,

And it is for this reason—this is why—the Ones Gone Thus have grasped and actualized the fact that all of the objects included within either of the two realities are empty, equally empty, of possessing any nature of their own.  In this sense then we can say that all the objects that exist are objects which have to do with the Buddhas, since the suchness represented by the fact that everything in the universe is empty of any real existence is itself something similar to the reality body of a Buddha.

504 Leave a comment on block 504 0

[422]

‘DI NI MNGON RTOGS RGYAN LAS, DE DAG RANG BZHIN MTSAN NYID CAN, ,ZHES DANG,

This idea is reflected in the Ornament of Realizations, where it says that “That is the nature which is natural to them.”[117]

505 Leave a comment on block 505 0

[423]

RIN PO CHE MTHA’ ZHES BYA BA’I MDO LAS, ‘JAM DPAL GYIS SH’A RI’I BU KHYOD CHOS THAMS CAD SANGS RGYAS KYI KHYU MCHOG DANG MNYAM PAR MOS SAM ZHES DRIS PA NA,

It also recalls the following section from the sutra known as The Jewel End of All Things:

And then the glorious Gentle Voice asked Shariputra, “Do you believe that every existing thing there is is completely equivalent to the bull who heads the herd of all enlightened beings?”

506 Leave a comment on block 506 0

[424]

LAN DU ‘JAM DPAL ‘DI LTAR BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS NI CHOS THAMS CAD RANG BZHIN GYIS DBEN PAR MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS TE, DE LTAR MOS SO ZHES ‘BYUNG BA DANG ‘DRA’O,,

Shariputra replied, “O Gentle Voice, the Conqueror has reached his total enlightenment within the fact that all the objects in the universe are devoid of any nature of their own.  And so I do believe that they are, in this sense.”[118]

507 Leave a comment on block 507 0

[425]

SANGS RGYAS DANG GZUGS SOGS KYI CHOS THAMS CAD DON DAM PAR MED PA YIN TE DE’I PHYIR CHOS THAMS CAD SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS SO ZHES GSUNGS PA’I DON YANG DE BZHIN NO,,

The same thought is expressed in the lines that refer to “every existing thing (which itself refers to both a Buddha, and to everything from physical matter on up) that has no ultimate sort of existence.  Therefore every existing thing is something of the Buddhas.”

 

508 Leave a comment on block 508 0

[426]

 

                   [K107]

Tadyathāpi nāma Subhūte puruṣo bhavedupetakāyo mahākāyaḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI LTA STE, DPER NA, MI ZHIG LUS DANG LDAN ZHING LUS CHEN POR GYUR PA BZHIN NO,,

 

You can think, o Subhuti, of the illustration of a person with a body, whose body becomes larger.

 

509 Leave a comment on block 509 0

[427]

DE LA DPE STON PA NI, SKYES BU ZHIG MI’I LUS DANG LDAN ZHING LUS CHEN POR GYUR PA BZHIN NO ZHES GSUNGS,

Lord Buddha then presents an illustration for this idea when he says that it is similar to someone who possesses the body of a human, and whose body becomes larger.

510 Leave a comment on block 510 0

[428]

SLOB DPON KA MA LA SH’I LAS ‘DI’I DON LA LUS DANG LDAN PA NI BYANG SEMS KYI LUS DANG LUS CHEN PO SANGS RGYAS KYI SKU LA SBYAR BA LTAR SNANG LA,

Now it does seem that Master Kamalashila interprets this part in a way where “person with a body” refers to the body of a bodhisattva, while a “body become larger” refers to the body of a Buddha.

511 Leave a comment on block 511 0

[429]

‘DI LTAR BSHAD PAR BYA STE, SKYES BU LUS CHUNG NGU ZHIG RIM GYIS SKYES NAS CHER SONG BA’I LUS NI SNGA MA LA LTOS TE LUS CHEN PO ZHES THA SNYAD BYED PA LTAR,

It seems to me though that the intent of the passage could be explained in the following way.  Think of a person who starts with a small body which gradually grows larger and larger.  We can apply the expression “large body” to the body at the end of this process, since it is large relative to the body at earlier points of the process.

513 Leave a comment on block 513 0

[f. 28b] SEMS CAN THAMS CAD KYI SEMS BDEN PAS STONG PA’I CHOS NYID DE LA SGRIB PA RIM GYIS SBYANGS TE MTHAR SGRIB PA MTHA’ DAG ZAD NAS SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS SKUR GYUR PA NI DPE DE’I DON NO ZHES BYAS NA DGONGS PAR ‘GRO’AM SNYAM MO,,

The minds of all living beings have an obstacle which prevents them from seeing the actual nature of things—where things are empty of any true existence.  We gradually clear away these obstacles, until in the end we finish off each and every one of them, and go into the reality body of an Enlightened Being.  This then catches the point of the illustration.

 

 

514 Leave a comment on block 514 0

[431]

 

         [K108]

Āyumān Subhūtirāha.

 

Yo’sau BhagavasTathāgatena puruo bhāita upetakāyo mahākāya iti akāya sa BhagavasTathāgatena bhāitaḥ.  Tenocyate upetakāyo mahākāya iti.

 

 

TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS MI ZHIG LUS DANG LDAN ZHING LUS CHEN PO ZHES GANG GSUNGS PA DE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS LUS MA MCHIS PAR GSUNGS TE, DES NA, LUS DANG LDAN ZHING LUS CHEN PO ZHES BGYI’O,,

 

 

And then the junior monk Subhuti spoke again:

 

O Conqueror, the One Gone Thus has just spoken of a person with a body, whose body becomes larger.  This same body, the One Thus Gone has also stated, is a body that could never exist.  And this is precisely why we can say a “person with a body,” or “a larger body.”

 

 

         [K109a]

Bhagavānāha.

 

Evametat Subhūte.  Yo bodhisattva evaṃ vadet.  Ahaṃ sattvān parinirvāpayiṣyāmiti na sa bodhisattva iti vaktavyaḥ. 

 

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DE DE BZHIN TE, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG ‘DI SKAD DU, BDAG GIS SEMS CAN RNAMS YONGS SU MYA NGAN LAS BZLA’O, ,ZHES ZER NA, DE BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES MI BYA’O,,

 

 

And then the Conqueror spoke again:

O Subhuti, this is how it is. Suppose some bodhisattva were to say, “I will bring all living beings to total nirvana.”  We could never then call them a “bodhisattva.”

 

 

 

515 Leave a comment on block 515 0

[432]

DE NAS RAB ‘BYOR GYIS DE LA BU’I DPE’I LUS DE DON DAM PAR LUS SU MA GRUB KYANG, THA SNYAD DU DE LTAR ‘JOG GO ZHES ZHUS PA NA BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS DE DE BZHIN NO ZHES SOGS GNANG NGO,,

Subhuti then respectfully addresses the Buddha by noting, on this point, that the body in the example of the child’s growth may not exist in any ultimate way, but can still be established as existing nominally.  The Conqueror then concurs with this position, in the words that include “This is how it is.”

516 Leave a comment on block 516 0

[433]

YANG, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAS THA SNYAD SGYU MA LTA BU’I TSUL GYIS SEMS CAN DPAG TU MED PA MI GNAS PA’I MYANG ‘DAS LA ‘GOD PAR SEMS BSKYED DGOS KYANG, DON DAM PAR SEMS CAN GANG YANG DE LA ‘GOD PA MED CES STON PA NI,

Here is the point which is covered in the text next.  A bodhisattva must reach the Wish for enlightenment where they want to bring an immeasurable number of living beings to the kind of nirvana which is beyond all staying, but only in a way which is nominal—which is like an illusion.  There is no such thing though as bringing any living being at all to such a place in some ultimate sense.

517 Leave a comment on block 517 0

[434]

BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG ZHIG ‘DI SNYAM DU, BDEN ZHEN GYIS BDAG GIS SEMS CAN RNAMS YONGS SU MYA NGAN LAS BZLA’O ZER NA, DE BDAG MED KYI DON SHES PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES MI BYA’O,,

Suppose then that some bodhisattva were to think to themselves, “I will bring all living beings to total nirvana in a way where I still imagine that things are real.”  We could never then call them a “bodhisattva who understood what it meant to say there was no self to things.

 

 

 

518 Leave a comment on block 518 0

[435]

                   [K109b]

519 Leave a comment on block 519 0

[p. 38] Tatkasya hetoḥ asti Subhūte sa kaściddharmo yo bodhisattvo nāma.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, GANG BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES BYA BA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG YOD DAM,

 

Why is it so?  Subhuti, do you think there is any such thing as what we call a “bodhisattva?”

 

 

         [K110]

Subhūtirāha.

 

No hīdaṃ Bhagavan.  Nāsti sa kaściddharmo yo bodhisattvo nāma.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE NI, MA MCHIS LAGS SO,,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

O Conqueror, no such thing could ever be.

 

520 Leave a comment on block 520 0

[436]

RGYU MTSAN NI DON DAM PAR BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES BYA BA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG YOD SNYAM MAM ZHES DRIS PA NA, LAN DU RAB ‘BYOR DE LTA BU YOD PA MA LAGS ZHES GSOL,

And why is it so?  The Buddha then asks, “Do you think there is any such thing as what we call a ‘bodhisattva’?”  And Subhuti respectfully replies, “No such thing could ever be.”

 

521 Leave a comment on block 521 0

[437]

 

         [K111]

Bhagavānāha.

 

Sattvāḥ sattvā iti Subhūte asattvāste Tathāgatena bhāṣitāḥ tenocyante sattvā iti.  Tasmāt Tathāgato bhāṣate-nirātmānaḥ sarvadharmā nirjīvā niṣpoṣā niṣpudgalāḥ sarvadharmā iti.

 

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DE BAS NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS CHOS THAMS CAD NI, SEMS CAN MED PA, SROG MED PA, GANG ZAG MED PA’O, ,ZHES GSUNG NGO,,

 

 

The Conqueror then said,

This is why, o Subhuti, that the One Thus Gone says that all existing things are such that no living being exists, and nothing that lives exists, and no person exists.

 

522 Leave a comment on block 522 0

[438]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA DE MED PA’I RGYU MTSAN DE BAS NA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA KUN BYANG GI CHOS THAMS CAD GANG ZAG GI BDAG TU GRUB PA’I SEMS CAN MED PA, SROG MED PA, GANG ZAG MED PA’O ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

And the Conqueror then says to Subhuti, “This is why—it is because no such thing could ever be—that the One Thus Gone says that all existing things, whether they be part of the negative side of things or the enlightened, are such that no living being exists, and nothing that lives exists, and no person exists, who possesses some ‘self’ of the person.”

523 Leave a comment on block 523 0

[439]

BSDU NA BDAG NI THOB PAR BYED PA’O, ,’DI NI THOB PAR BYA BA’I CHOS SO SNYAM DU BDEN ZHEN GYIS ‘JUG NA MED PA LA YOD PAR RLOM PA MNGON PA’I NGA RGYAL CAN [f. 29a] DU BSHAD PAS MI RUNG ZHES PA STE BDEN PAR GRUB NA BSGYUR DU MI RUNG BA’I PHYIR CHOS GANG LA’ANG THOB BYA THOB BYED SOGS BZHAG TU MI RUNG NGO ZHES GONG DU BSHAD ZIN TO,,

To sum then, let’s take the case of someone who, with a belief that things are real, thinks to themselves that “I am going to achieve this or that,” or “This is the thing that I’m going to achieve.”  What’s being said in the text is that they would then be a person who had some extreme kind of delusion of grandeur—a delusion where they thought something existed, when in truth it didn’t exist at all.  This then would be “wrong,” the text is saying—because if things existed in truth then it would be wrong for them ever to exhibit change.  Then further it would be wrong to say about any object at all that it could either be achieved or cause us to achieve anything.  This point has already been explained previously.

524 Leave a comment on block 524 0

[440]

‘DI DAG GIS NI JI LTAR BSGRUB PAR BYA ZHES PA’I DON BDAG MED BSGOM TSUL BSTAN TO,,

All of these sections have been addressing the question at the beginning of the sutra of “How should they practice?”  That is, they have instructed us in how we are to meditate upon the lack of a self.

525 Leave a comment on block 525 0

[441]

DE NAS SEMS CAN MYANG ‘DAS LA ‘GOD PA LA BDEN ZHEN MI BYED PAR MA ZAD, SANGS RGYAS KYI ZHING GZUNG BA YANG THA SNYAD DU BYED KYANG BDEN ZHEN GYIS MI BYA’O ZHES STON PA NI,

The next section of the text is meant to demonstrate the following point.  Not only are we never to think about guiding living beings to nirvana in a state of mind where we still believe that things are real.  We are further never to think that we could take possession of a Buddha paradise in some way where we were still believing that things were real—even though it is the case that we can take such possession in a nominal sense.

 

 

 

We cannot make a paradise

 

526 Leave a comment on block 526 0

[442]

 

                   [K112]

Ya Subhūte bodhisattva eva vadet.  Aha ketravyūhānnipādayiyāmīti sa vitatha vadet.  Tatkasya heto ketravyūhā ketravyūhā iti Subhūte avyūhāste Tathāgatena bhāitāḥ.  Tenocyante ketravyūhā iti.

 

RAB [f. 229b] ‘BYOR, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG ZHIG ‘DI SKAD DU, BDAG GIS ZHING BKOD PA RNAMS BSGRUB BO, ,ZHES ZER NA, DE YANG DE BZHIN DU BRJOD PAR BYA’O,,

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR ZHING BKOD PA RNAMS ZHING BKOD PA RNAMS ZHES BYA BA DE NI, DE DAG BKOD PA MED PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR TE, DES NA ZHING BKOD PA RNAMS ZHES BYA’O,,

 

And suppose, o Subhuti, that some bodhisattva were to say, “I am working to bring about my paradise.”  That would not be spoken rightly. 

 

Why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, the paradise that you are working to bring about when you say “I am working to bring about my paradise” is something that the One Thus Gone has said that you could never bring about.  And this is precisely why we can even speak of them as a “paradise to bring about.”

 

527 Leave a comment on block 527 0

[443]

RAB ‘BYOR BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG ZHIG ‘DI SNYAM DU, BDAG GIS GANG DU ‘TSANG RGYA BA’I GNAS KYI ZHING GI BKOD PA PHUN SUM TSOGS PA RNAM PAR DON DAM PAR BSGRUB PAR BYA’O ZHES ZHEN CING TSIG GIS ZER NA, DE YANG DE BZHIN DU BRJOD CING ZHEN PAR BYAR MI RUNG NGO,,

And suppose, o Subhuti, that some bodhisattva were to think to themselves, “I am working to bring about a perfect paradise, the place where I will become enlightened, in a way which is ultimately real.  That is, suppose they were to entertain this kind of belief, and express it in their words.  That too would not be spoken rightly; it would not be a right sort of belief.

528 Leave a comment on block 528 0

[444]

RGYU MTSAN LA ZHING GI BKOD PA DE DAG NI, KUN RDZOB TU TSOGS SHING ‘DUS PA SGYU MA LTAR YOD PA LAS GZHAN BDEN PAR GRUB PA’I BKOD PA MED PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR TE, DES NA THA SNYAD DU ZHING BKOD PA RNAMS ZHES BYA’O,,

Why, for what reason, would that be the case?  It’s because the One Thus Gone has said that there is no such creating of a paradise—of paradises that were brought about in a way which was real, rather than existing, in a deceptive way, as a collection or a gathering of other things; as something that resembled an illusion.  Thus it is that we speak of paradises which are brought about in a nominal way.

 

 

 

What we call “a bodhisattva”

 

529 Leave a comment on block 529 0

[445]

 

                   [K113]

Yaḥ Subhūte bodhisattvo nirātmāno dharmā nirātmāno dharmā ityadhimucyate TathāgatenĀrhatā Samyaksaṃbuddhena bodhisattvo mahāsattva ityākhyātaḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG ZHIG CHOS RNAMS NI, BDAG MED PA’O, ,CHOS RNAMS NI, BDAG MED PA’O, ,ZHES MOS PA DE NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA DGRA BCOM PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS KYIS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’O, ,ZHES BRJOD DO, ,

 

And suppose again, o Subhuti, that there were a bodhisattva who believed that no existing object has a self, that “no existing object has a self.”  This now is a person that the One Thus Gone, the Destroyer of the Foe, the Perfect and Totally Enlightened One would call a bodhisattva: a “bodhisattva.”

 

 

530 Leave a comment on block 530 0

[446]

BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ GANG ZHIG ‘DI SNYAM DU GZUGS SOGS KYI CHOS RNAMS NI, GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED PA DANG, CHOS KYI BDAG MED PA’O SNYAM DU MOS SHING RTOGS PA DE NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS BDAG MED RTOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ CHEN PO ZHES BRJOD DO, ,’DIS KYANG BDAG MED GNYIS BSGOM DGOS PAR BSHAD DO,,

Suppose again that there were a bodhisattva who believed and realized, in their thoughts, that no existing object—none of the things from physical form on up—had any self-nature to a person, nor any self-nature to things.  This then is a person that the One Thus Gone would call a great bodhisattva: one who had perceived the fact that nothing has any such “self.”  This section of the sutra as well then is meant to indicate that we should be meditating upon the two types of a lack of any self.

531 Leave a comment on block 531 0

[447]

‘O NA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA BDAG MED KYI DON GZIGS PA’I MKHYEN PA JI LTAR [f. 29b] YOD SNYAM NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA SPYAN LNGA KHYAD PAR CAN YOD DO ZHES STON PA NI,

“Well then,” you may think to yourself, “just what kind of knowledge does One Thus Gone possess that they use to see this particular object—the lack of a self?”  The next section answers this question, by saying that One Thus Gone possesses an extraordinary form of the five kinds of eyes.

 

The eyes of a Buddha

 

532 Leave a comment on block 532 0

[448]

 

         [K114]

(18) Bhagavānāha

 

tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte saṃvidyate Tathāgatasya māṃsacakṣuḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA SHA’I SPYAN MNGA’AM,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Does the One Thus Gone possess the eyes of flesh?

 

 

Subhūtirāha

 

evametadBhagavan saṃvidyate Tathāgatasya māṃsacakṣuḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE DE LTA LAGS TE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA SHA’I SPYAN MNGA’O,,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, it is indeed so: the One Thus Gone does possess the eyes of flesh.

 

 

Bhagavānāha

 

tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte saṃvidyate Tathāgatasya divyaṃ cakṣuḥ.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA LHA’I SPYAN MNGA’AM,

 

And the Conqueror said,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Does the One Thus Gone possess the eyes of a god?

 

 

Subhūtirāha

 

evametadBhagavan saṃvidyate Tathāgatasya divyaṃ cakṣuḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE DE LTA LAGS TE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA LHA’I SPYAN MNGA’O,,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, it is indeed so: the One Thus Gone does possess the eyes of a god.

 

 

Bhagavānāha

 

tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte saṃvidyate Tathāgatasya prajñācakṣuḥ.

 

 

 

And the Conqueror said,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Does the One Thus Gone possess the eyes of wisdom?

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA SHES RAB KYI SPYAN MNGA’AM,

 

 

 

Subhūtirāha

 

evametadBhagavan saṃvidyate Tathāgatasya prajñācakṣuḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR [f. 230a] GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE DE LTA LAGS TE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA SHES RAB KYI SPYAN MNGA’O,,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, it is indeed so: the One Thus Gone does possess the eyes of wisdom.

 

 

Bhagavānāha

 

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte saṃvidyate Tathāgatasya dharmacakṣuḥ.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA CHOS KYI SPYAN MA NGA’AM,

 

And the Conqueror said,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Does the One Thus Gone possess the eyes of all things?

 

Subhūtirāha

 

evametadBhagavan saṃvidyate Tathāgatasya dharmacakṣuḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE DE LTA LAGS TE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA CHOS KYI SPYAN MNGA’O,,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, it is indeed so: the One Thus Gone does possess the eyes of all things.

 

 

Bhagavānāha

 

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte [p. 39] saṃvidyate Tathāgatasya Buddhacakṣuḥ.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA SANGS RGYAS KYI SPYAN MNGA’AM,

 

And then the Conqueror said,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Does the One Thus Gone possess the eyes of an Enlightened Being?

 

 

Subhūtirāha

 

EvametadBhagavan saṃvidyate Tathāgata Buddhacakṣuḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE DE LTA LAGS TE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA SANGS RGYAS KYI SPYAN MNGA’O,,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, it is indeed so: the One Thus Gone does possess the eyes of an Enlightened Being.

 

 

533 Leave a comment on block 533 0

[449]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA SHA’I SPYAN DANG, LHA DANG, SHES RAB DANG, CHOS DANG, SANGS RGYAS SPYAN MNGA’AM ZHES DRIS PA NA, LAN DU RAB ‘BYOR GYIS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA DE DAG MNGA’O ZHES GSOL TO,,

The Conqueror then asks of Subhuti, “Does the One Thus Gone possess the eyes of flesh, and the eyes of a god, and the eyes of wisdom, and the eyes of all things, and the eyes of an Enlightened Being?”  And Subhuti respectfully replies, “The One Thus Gone does possess each of them.”

534 Leave a comment on block 534 0

[450]

SPYIR SPYAN LNGAS YUL MTHONG TSUL LA RGYA CHE CHUNG YOD KYANG ‘DIR SANGS RGYAS DANG SBYAR NA, SHA’I SPYAN GYIS NI ‘JIG RTEN KHAMS KYI GZUGS PHRA RAGS THAMS CAD MNGON SUM DU GZIGS SHING,

Generally speaking, the five different types of eyes have differing capacities of seeing things, either more or less widely.  In this section though we can relate them to the eyes that a Buddha possesses.  Their eyes of flesh then would see, directly, all of the grosser and more subtle forms that existed in the entire world.

535 Leave a comment on block 535 0

[451]

LHA’I SPYAN GYIS SEMS CAN RNAMS KYI SKYE ‘CHI’I RIM SOGS DANG, SHES RAB KYI SPYAN GYIS BDAG MED PHRA RAGS THAMS CAD DANG,

The “eyes of a god” belonging to an Enlightened Being see all the stages of life, such as a person’s birth, and their death.  The “eyes of wisdom” which they possess see all the forms of the lack of a self—both the more subtle and the more gross.

536 Leave a comment on block 536 0

[452]

CHOS KYI SPYAN GYIS KUN RDZOB PA’I RAB DBYE THAMS CAD DANG, SANGS RGYAS KYI SPYAN GYIS NI BDEN GNYIS KYIS BSDUS PA’I CHOS THAMS CAD JI LTA BA BZHIN DU MNGON SUM DU GZIGS PA’O,,

The “eyes of all things” of an Enlightened Being see all the many classifications of deceptive things.  The “eyes of an Enlightened Being” directly perceive, exactly as they are, each and every existing object subsumed within the two truths.

537 Leave a comment on block 537 0

[453]

DE LA SHA’I SPYAN DANG LHA’I SPYAN NI MIG GI DBANG PO’AM DE LA BRTEN PA’I DBANG SHES YIN LA, GZHAN GSUM NI YID SHES SO,,

The “eyes of flesh” mentioned here, and the “eyes of a god,” represent either the sense power of the eye, or the sense consciousness which is based upon it.  The other three types of eyes are all different forms of consciousness of the thoughts.

538 Leave a comment on block 538 0

[454]

‘ON KYANG DE DAG NI RANG GI YUL SO SO BA’I DBANG DU BYAS PA STE, SANGS RGYAS KYIS MIG SHES SOGS DBANG SHES RNAMS KYIS KYANG CHOS THAMS CAD GZIGS PAS RNAM MKHYEN DNGOS DANG KHYAD PAR MED PAR BSHAD CING,

This last statement though is made with reference to the different objects which these different kinds of eyes perceive.  The fact is that a Buddha perceives all the objects there are in the universe with their sense powers—with their visual and similar forms of consciousness.  Thus, the scriptures explain, their eyes are actually no different from their omniscience itself.

539 Leave a comment on block 539 0

[455]

MDO LAS, SANGS RGYAS KYI GTZUG TOR GYIS KYANG GZIGS SO ZHES SOGS DANG,

As another sutra puts it,

Buddhas see things even with crown of flesh on the top of their head.[119]

 

 

540 Leave a comment on block 540 0

[456]

MTSAN BRJOD DU, SKRA YANG RDO RJE ‘BAR BA STE, ,ZHES PA’I SKABS SU SANGS RGYAS KYI SKU’I CHA THAMS CAD KYIS SHES BYA MKHYEN PAR [f. 30a] BSHAD PA LTAR RO,,

Chanting the Names also says, “Even your hair is the diamond of flame”[120]—and this section is explained as meaning that each and every part of the holy body of a Buddha perceives all the objects there are.

541 Leave a comment on block 541 0

[457]

DE YANG SANGS RGYAS KYI SKU DANG DBANG SHES YID SHES DANG NGO BO GCIG PA’I TSUL GYIS ‘JUG PA LA DGONGS PAR SEMS LA,

It would seem to me that the intent of this passage is to say that the holy body of a Buddha, and their sense consciousnesses, engage in objects in such a way as to be one with their mental consciousness.

542 Leave a comment on block 542 0

[458]

BDE MCHOG RTZA RGYUD LE’U LNGA BCU PA LAS KYANG,

,KUN TU PHYAG DANG ZHABS LDAN ZHING,

,KUN TU SPYAN DANG DBU DANG ZHAL,

,ZHES PA’I SKABS SU YANG DE BZHIN DU ‘BYUNG NGO,,

We see a section from Chapter 50 of the root secret text of Highest Bliss which expresses a similar idea when it says,

You are everywhere hands and feet;

Everywhere eyes, and head, and lips.[121]

543 Leave a comment on block 543 0

[459]

DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA SPYAN DE LTA BU MNGA’ BAS CHOS THAMS CAD GZIGS SHING, SEMS CAN RNAMS KYI SEMS RGYUD KYANG GZIGS SO ZHES STON PA NI,

The next section of our sutra is meant to express the idea that—since Those Gone Thus do possess these different types of eyes—they see all things; and further see into the mind of every living being.

 

 

 

The one who knows our thoughts

 

544 Leave a comment on block 544 0

[460]

 

         [K115]

Bhagavānāha

 

tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte yāvantyo Gaṅgāyāṃ mahānadyāṃ vālukāḥ api nu tā vālukās Tathāgatena bhāṣitāḥ.  Tāvatya eva Gaṅgānadyo bhaveyuḥ tāsu vā vālukāḥ tāvantaśca lokadhātavo bhaveyuḥ kaccidbahavaste lokadhātavo bhaveyuḥ.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, GANGG’A’I KLUNG GI BYE MA JI SNYED PA GANGG’A’I KLUNG YANG DE SNYED DU GYUR LA, DE DAG GI BYE MA JI SNYED PA DE SNYED KYI ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS SU GYUR NA, ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS DE DAG CI MANG BA YIN NAM,

                           

Then the Conqueror said,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Suppose you had a quantity of Ganges Rivers equal themselves in number to the number of drops of water in the Ganges River.  And suppose that every one of the drops of water in all these rivers became a separate planet.  Would this be very many planets?

 

 

Subhūtirāha

 

evametadBhagavan evametat Sugata.  Bhāṣitās Tathāgatena vālukāḥ.

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, it is indeed so: that would be a great many planets.

 

 

545 Leave a comment on block 545 0

[461]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA DPER NA GANGG’A’I KLUNG GI BYE MA’I GRANGS MANG PO JI SNYED YOD PA DE TZAM DU, GANGG’A’I KLUNG YANG GRANGS DE SNYED KHO NAR GYUR NA ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS DE DAG MANG NGAM ZHES DRIS PA NA, LAN DU RAB ‘BYOR GYIS MANG ZHES ZHUS PAS,

The Conqueror then says, “O Subhuti, suppose for example that you had a quantity of Ganges Rivers exactly equal themselves in number to the number of drops of water in the Ganges River.  And suppose that every one of the drops of water in all these rivers became a separate planet.  Would this be very many planets?”  And in reply Subhuti says respectfully that it would be a great many.

 

 

546 Leave a comment on block 546 0

[462]

 

Bhagavānāha

 

yāvantaḥ Subhūte teṣu lokadhātuṣu sattvāḥ, teṣāmahaṃ nānābhāvāṃ cittadhārāṃ prajānāmi.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS DE DAG NA SEMS CAN JI SNYED YOD PA DE DAG GI BSAM PA THA [f. 230b] DAD PA’I SEMS KYI RGYUN NGAS RAB TU SHES SO,,

 

And the Conqueror said,

 

O Subhuti, I know, perfectly, the separate mindstreams—each of the thoughts—that each of the total number of living beings in each of these planets possesses.

 

 

                   [K116]

Tatkasya hetoḥ cittadhārā cittadhāreti Subhūte adhāraiṣā Tathāgatena bhāṣitā tenocyate cittadhāreti.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, SEMS KYI RGYUN ZHES BYA BA NI, DE RGYUN MED PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR TE, DES NA, SEMS KYI RGYUN ZHES BYA’O,,

 

Why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, that thing we call a “mindstream’ is a mindstream that the One Thus Gone has said does not even exist.  And this is precisely why we can call it a “mindstream.”

 

 

547 Leave a comment on block 547 0

[463]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS DE DAG THAMS CAD NA YOD PA’I SEMS CAN DE DAG GI BSAM PA SNA TSOGS PA MI ‘DRA BA THA DAD PA’I SEMS KYI RGYUN DANG RNAM PA NGAS RAB TU SHES SO,,

And the Conqueror says, “I know, perfectly, the separate mindstreams—each of the many thoughts—that each of the living beings in each of these planets possesses.”

548 Leave a comment on block 548 0

[464]

DE LTAR YIN KYANG SEMS CAN GYI SEMS KYI RGYUN NI DON DAM PAR RGYUN ZHES BYA BAR GRUB PA MED PAR NGAS BSHAD DE, DON DAM PAR MED PA DES NA THA SNYAD DU SEMS KYI RGYUN ZHES BYA BAR BRJOD DO,,

“And even though that is the case,” continues the Buddha, “I say that none of the mindstreams of these living beings could ever exist as a stream in any ultimate sense.  And it is precisely because of this—that they cannot exist in any ultimate sense—that we can call them a “mindstream.”

549 Leave a comment on block 549 0

[465]

‘DIS SPYAN LNGA DANG SPYAN LNGA’I YUL RNAMS KYANG THA SNYAD TZAM DU ‘JOG GI ,DON DAM PAR MA GRUB CES BSTAN TO,,

This last section then is meant to demonstrate to us how the five different kinds of eyes, and the objects of these five kinds of eyes, are established only nominally; how they cannot though exist in any ultimate sense.

 

 

 

The emptiness of the mind, in time

 

551 Leave a comment on block 551 0

[K117]

Tatkasya hetoḥ atītaṃ subhūte cittaṃ nopalabhyate.  Anāgataṃ cittaṃ nopalabhyate.  Pratyutpannaṃ cittaṃ nopalabhyate.

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DAS PA’I SEMS KYANG DMIGS SU MED, MA ‘ONGS PA’I SEMS KYANG DMIGS SU MED, DA LTAR BYUNG BA’I SEMS KYANG DMIGS SU MED PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

And why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, a mind which is past is non-existent.  And a mind in the future is non-existent.  And a mind that is going on at the present is non-existent as well.

 

552 Leave a comment on block 552 0

[467]

‘DAS PA’I SEMS RNAMS NI ‘DAS ZIN PA’I PHYIR DON DAM PAR DMIGS SU MED, MA ‘ONGS PA’I SEMS RNAMS KYANG DA LTA MA SKYES SHING MA BYUNG BA’I PHYIR DON DAM PAR MED, [f. 30b] DA LTAR BYUNG BA’I SEMS RNAMS KYANG RANG DBANG GIS MED PA’I PHYIR DON DAM PAR MED DO,,

States of mind which are past don’t exist in any ultimate way, for they are passed.  Neither do future states of mind exist in any ultimate way, since they have yet to arise: they are yet to come.  Nor even do states of mind occurring at the present moment exist in any ultimate way, for they do not exist in and of themselves.

553 Leave a comment on block 553 0

[468]

SEMS ZHES PA NI GTZO SEMS TZAM MA YIN GYI, SEMS DANG SEMS BYUNG THAMS CAD SDUD PA’O,,

When we say “mind” or “state of mind” here, we are speaking not just of main mind; rather, we are including mind and all the mental functions.

554 Leave a comment on block 554 0

[469]

SEMS BYUNG RNAMS LAS TSOR BA RNAMS NI BDEN PAR ‘DZIN PA’I GZHI CHE STE, TSOR BA BDE SDUG DRAG PO BYUNG BA NA BDAG TU ‘DZIN PA’I BLO YANG SHUGS DRAG SKYE BA’I PHYIR RO,,

Of all of the different kinds of mental functions, ones that we are more likely to grasp onto as being “real” are our various feelings.  This is because we tend to go into intense states of mind that grasp onto some self-nature to things, whenever we undergo intense feelings of either pleasure or pain.

 

555 Leave a comment on block 555 0

[470]

DES NA TSOR BA BDEN PAR MA GRUB PAR STON PA’I RIGS PA MANG YANG RTZA BA NI, ,ZHI BA LHAS, GANG TSE TSOR BO ‘GA’ MED NA, ,TSOR BA ‘GA’ YANG YOD MIN TE, ,ZHES GSUNGS PA ‘DI LTA BU YIN LA,

There are then many different forms of reasoning used to demonstrate that feelings do not exist in and of themselves; the principal one though is the following.  As Master Shantideva has put it,

If it’s the case that there is

No one at all who feels,

Then neither can there be

Any feeling that they feel.[122]

 

 

556 Leave a comment on block 556 0

[471]

DE NI TSOR BA MYONG BA PO’I BDAG NI RANG BZHIN GYIS MED NA DE LA SKYE BA’I TSOR BA RANG BZHIN GYIS GA LA YOD DE, KHYAD GZHI MED PA’I KHYAD CHOS MI SRID PA’I PHYIR,

The point here is that—if there is no person who is experiencing the feeling and who exists in and of themselves—then neither can there be at all any feeling that comes to them which exists in and of itself.  This is because it is impossible to have a quality which has no object to which it pertains.

557 Leave a comment on block 557 0

[472]

TSOR BA BDE SDUG NI LUS YID DANG ‘PHROD MI ‘PHROD PA’I NGO BOR SKYES NAS MYONG BA YIN GYI, NGO BO NYID KYIS NI MIN TE, LUS YID GANG RUNG MED NA TSOR BA YANG MED CING, LUS YOD KYANG YID MED NA’ANG TSOR BA MI MYONG BA’I PHYIR TE, RO DANG SA RDO SOGS BSHIG KYANG TSOR BA BDE SDUG MI ‘BYUNG BA BZHIN NO,,

Feelings of pleasure and pain are something that is experienced when either body or mind take on an aspect of well-being or the opposite.  It is not though that they occur in and of themselves.  First of all, no feeling could ever occur at all if there were no body or mind.  Secondly, if all one had were a body but no mind, they could never experience feelings either.  You can for example smash things like a corpse, or earth or stone, but they don’t get any feeling of pleasure or pain.

558 Leave a comment on block 558 0

[473]

MDOR NA TSOR BA LA SOGS PA’I SHES PA KUN KYANG DMIGS PA LA BRTEN NAS MAR ME’I ‘OD BZHIN DU THA SNYAD TZAM DU SKYE’I, DE LTA BU LA MA BRTEN PAR RANG DBANG GIS MI SKYE BAS RANG BZHIN GYIS MA GRUB BO,,

We can summarize then by saying that all states of mind involved with feeling and the like depend upon the object towards which they are focused; they thus arise only nominally, in the way that light emanates from a butter lamp.  They cannot though arise on their own, without depending on something like this object of focus—and thus they do not exist through some nature of their own.

559 Leave a comment on block 559 0

[474]

RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PA, BDEN PAR GRUB PA, DON DAM PAR GRUB PA, RANG GI NGO BOS GRUB PA, RANG GI MTSAN NYID KYIS GRUB PA, RANG DBANG GIS GRUB PA, YANG DAG PAR GRUB PA, BLTOS [f. 31a] MED DU GRUB PA RNAMS NI DON GCIG MING GI RNAM GRANGS TZAM MO, ,’DIS SEMS JI LTAR GZUNG BAR BYA BA’I TSUL BSTAN TO,,

The following expressions all have the same meaning—they are all simply different ways of saying the same thing: existing through some nature of its own; existing in truth; existing ultimately; existing through its own essence; existing by definition; existing in and of itself; existing absolutely; and existing without relying on anything else.

The preceding section then is meant to answer the original question of how we should keep our thoughts.

 

 

560 Leave a comment on block 560 0

[475]

GAL TE SEMS KYI RGYUN RANG BZHIN GYIS MED NA, SEMS LA BRTEN NAS SBYIN PA BTANG BA SOGS LAS ‘BRAS BU MI ‘BYUNG NGAM SNYAM PA LA SEMS KYI RGYUN SOGS RANG BZHIN GYIS MED KYANG THA SNYAD DU SEMS LA BRTEN NAS ‘BRAS BU ‘BYIN NO ZHES STON PA NI,

Now you might wonder to yourself, “If the stream of the mind does not exist through any nature of its own, are you saying then that we can’t get any result from actions—such as giving things to others—which depend on this same mind?”  The next section then is meant to present the reply to this concern: to assure us that—although it is indeed the case that things like the stream of the mind do not exist through any nature of their own—nonetheless results can be produced, in a nominal sense, through the medium of the mind.

 

 

 

No mountains of merit

 

561 Leave a comment on block 561 0

[476]

 

                   [K118]

(19) Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte yaḥ kaścitkulaputro vā kuladuhitā vā imaṃ trisāhasramahāsāhasraṃ lokadhātuṃ saptaratnaparipūrṇaṃ kṛtvā Tathāgatebhyo’rhadbhayaḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhebhyo dānaṃ dadyāt api nu sa kulaputro vā [p. 40] kuladuhitā vā tatonidānaṃ bahu puṇyaskandhaṃ prasunuyāt.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, GANG GIS STONG GSUM GYI STONG CHEN PO’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS ‘DI RIN PO CHE SNA BDUN GYIS YONGS SU GANG BAR BYAS TE SBYIN PA BYIN NA, RIGS KYI BU’AM, RIGS KYI BU MO DE, GZHI DE LAS BSOD NAMS MANG DU BSKYED DAM,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Suppose someone were to take all the planets of this great world system, a system with a thousand of a thousand of a thousand planets, and cover them all with the seven kinds of precious substances, and offer them to someone.  Would that son or daughter of noble family create many great mountains of merit from such a deed?

 

 

562 Leave a comment on block 562 0

[477]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS RAB ‘BYOR LA GANG GIS STONG GSUM GYI STONG CHEN PO’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS ‘DI GSER DANG DNGUL SOGS SNGAR BSHAD PA’I RIN PO CHE SNA BDUN GYIS GANG BAR BYAS TE GZHAN LA SBYIN PA BYIN NA, DE LAS BSOD NAMS MANG DU BSKYED DAM ZHES DRIS PA NA,

The Conqueror at this point then asks Subhuti, “Suppose someone were to take all the planets of this great world system, a system with a thousand of a thousand of a thousand planets, and cover them with seven kinds of precious substances”—meaning, with the gold and silver and other substances that we mentioned before—”and offer them to someone.  Would they create a great deal of merit from such a deed?”

563 Leave a comment on block 563 0

[478]

 

Subhūtirāha

 

bahu Bhagavan bahu Sugata.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, MANG LAGS SO, ,BDE BAR GSHEGS PA, MANG LAGS SO,,

 

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, many would it be.  O You who have Gone to Bliss, it would be many. 

 

 

         [K119]

Bhagavānāha

 

evametat Subhūte, evametat.  Bahu sa kulaputro vā kuladuhitā vā tatonidānaṃ puṇyaskandhaṃ prasunuyādaprameyamasaṃkhyeyam.  Tatkasya hetoḥ puṇyaskandhaḥ puṇyaskandha iti Subhūte askandhaḥ sa Tathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ.  Tenocyate puṇyaskandha iti.  Sacet punaḥ Subhūte puṇyaskandho’bhaviṣyat na Tathāgato’bhāṣiṣyat puṇyaskandhaḥ puṇyaskandha iti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DE DE BZHIN NO, ,DE DE BZHIN TE, RIGS KYI BU’AM, RIGS KYI BU MO DE, GZHI DE LAS BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO MANG DU BSKYED DO, ,RAB ‘BYOR, GAL TE BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG POR GYUR NA, BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO ZHES DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS MI GSUNG NGO,,

 

The Conqueror said,

 

O Subhuti, thus it is, and thus is it.  That son or daughter of noble family would indeed create many great mountains of merit from such a deed.  And yet, o Subhuti, if these great mountains of merit were in fact great mountains of merit, then the One Thus Gone would never call these great mountains of merit “great mountains of merit.”

 

 

564 Leave a comment on block 564 0

[479]

LAN DU DE MANG NGO ZHES GSOL NAS, RAB ‘BYOR LA DE DE BZHIN NO ZHES SOGS BDEN KHA BYIN NO,,

And Subhuti replies respectfully, “O Conqueror, many would it be.”  The Buddha then confirms the truth of his disciple’s words, by saying “Thus it is” and so on.

565 Leave a comment on block 565 0

[480]

BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO DE DAG NI THA SNYAD DU SGYU MA LTAR TSOGS PA LAS BYUNG BA YIN GYI, DE LTA BU LA MA BLTOS PAR GAL TE RANG GI NGO BO NYID KYIS GRUB NA BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO ZHES DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS MI GSUNG NGO,,

The great mountains of merit thus created are, in a nominal sense, produced by a combination of things, in the same way that an illusion is.  Yet if they were produced without depending on this sort of thing—that is, if they existed through some essential nature of their own—then the One Thus Gone would never refer to them as “great mountains of merit.”

566 Leave a comment on block 566 0

[481]

RGYU MTSAN NI BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO ZHES PA’I PHUNG PO’I DON NI TSOGS PA’I DON YIN LA, RANG DBANG GIS GRUB NA TSOGS PA LA MA BLTOS PAR GRUB PAR ‘GYUR RO ZHES DGONGS SO,,

The reason here is that—when we speak of a “great mountain of merit”—the “mountain” implies a combination or collection of things.  The point that Lord Buddha is making is that—if things existed in and of themselves—then they would exist without depending upon any such collection of things.

567 Leave a comment on block 567 0

[482]

GAL TE BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO BDEN PAR MED NA DE LAS ‘KHRUNGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS KYI GZUGS KYI SKU YANG MED PAR ‘GYUR RO SNYAM NA DE MI ‘GYUR ZHES STON PA NI,

Another question then would arise in ones mind: “If these great mountains of merit have no true existence, then wouldn’t it also be the case that the holy body of form—the physical form of a Buddha—that was born of these heaps could never exist either?”  The next section of the sutra is meant to reply to this concern, by saying “No, it wouldn’t be the case.”

 

 

 

But their result does exist

 

568 Leave a comment on block 568 0

[483]

 

                   [K120]

(20) Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte rūpakāyapariniṣpattyā Tathāgato draṣṭavyaḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, GZUGS KYI SKU YONGS SU GRUB PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS [f. 231a] PAR BLTA’AM,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Should we ever consider someone One Gone Thus simply because they have attained the physical form of an Enlightened Being?

 

 

         [K121]

Subhūtirāha

 

no hīdaṃ Bhagavan.  Na rūpakāyapariniṣpattyā Tathāgato draṣṭavyaḥ.  Tatkasya hetoḥ.  Rūpakāyapariniṣpattī rūpakāyapariniṣpattiriti Bhagavan apariniṣpattireṣā Tathāgatena bhāṣitā.  Tenocyate rūpakāyapariniṣpattiriti.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE NI, MA LAGS TE, GZUGS KYI SKU YONGS SU GRUB PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAR MI BLTA’O, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, GZUGS KYI SKU YONGS SU GRUB PA, GZUGS KYI SKU YONGS SU RDZOGS PA ZHES BGYI BA NI, DE YONGS SU GRUB PA MA MCHIS PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA, GZUGS KYI SKU YONGS SU GRUB PA ZHES BGYI’O,,

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, it is not so: we should never consider someone One Gone Thus simply because they have attained the physical form of an Enlightened Being.  And why is it so?  Because, o Conqueror, the attainment of the physical form of an Enlightened Being—this thing we call the “attainment of the physical form of an Enlightened Being—is an attainment that the One Thus Gone has said could never exist.  And this is precisely why we can even call it the “attainment of the physical form of an Enlightened Being.”

 

 

569 Leave a comment on block 569 0

[484]

GZUGS KYI SKU YONGS SU GRUB PA ‘DI LA DON DAM PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAR BLTA BA STE BZUNG ZHING [f. 31b] ‘DOD PAR BYA SNYAM ‘AM ZHES DRIS PA NA,

Lord Buddha asks then, “What do you think?  Should we ever consider (meaning ‘hold’ or ‘believe’) that someone is”—in an ultimate way—”One Gone Thus simply because they attained the physical form of an Enlightened Being?”

570 Leave a comment on block 570 0

[485]

LAN DU DE NI MA LAGS TE, DE LA DE LTAR BLTA BAR MI BGYI LAGS SO ZHES GSOL,

And Subhuti respectfully replies, “It is not so; we should never consider anyone that way.”

571 Leave a comment on block 571 0

[486]

RGYU MTSAN NI GZUGS KYI SKU YANG RGYU RKYEN TSOGS PA LAS GRUB KYI, DON DAM PAR GRUB PA MA MCHIS PA BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO DANG ‘DRA STE, THA SNYAD DU GZUGS KYI SKUR GRUB PA ZHES BRJOD DO,,

The reason is that the physical form of an Enlightened Being is also something that is produced by the combining of its causes and factors; it is not however something that could exist in some ultimate way.  In this sense it is similar to those great mountains of merit: that is, we can—just nominally—refer to it as the “physical form of an Enlightened Being.”

572 Leave a comment on block 572 0

[487]

GAL TE GZUGS KYI SKU ZHIG YOD NA DE’I MTSAN DPE RNAMS BDEN GRUB TU YOD SNYAM NA DE MED CES STON PA NI,

Another issue could be posed now: “If the physical form of an Enlightened Being does exist, then there must also exist—in a real way—the signs and marks of an Enlightened Being upon this form.”

 

 

 

No signs upon the form

 

574 Leave a comment on block 574 0

[K122]

Bhagavānāha

 

tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte lakṣaṇasaṃpadā tathāgato draṣṭavyaḥ.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PAS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAR BLTA’AM,

 

Then the Conqueror said,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Should we ever consider someone One Gone Thus simply because they possess the exquisite signs of an Enlightened Being?

 

 

Subhūtirāha

 

no hīdaṃ Bhagavān.  Na lakṣaṇasaṃpadā Tathāgato draṣṭavyaḥ.  Tatkasya hetoḥ yaiṣā Bhagavan lakṣaṇasaṃpat Tathāgatena bhāṣitā alakṣaṇasaṃpadeṣā Tathāgatena bhāṣita.  Tenocyate lakṣaṇasaṃpaditi.

 

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE NI, MA LAGS TE, MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAR MI BLTA’O, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PAR GANG GSUNGS PA DE, MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PA MA MCHIS PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA, MTSAN PHUN SUM TSOGS PA ZHES BGYI’O,,

 

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, it is not so: we should never consider someone One Gone Thus simply because they possess the exquisite signs of an Enlightened Being.  And why is it so?  Because the signs of an Enlightened Being which have been described by the One Gone Thus are signs of an Enlightened Being that the One Gone Thus has said could never exist.  And this is precisely why we can even call them “signs of an Enlightened Being.”

 

575 Leave a comment on block 575 0

[489]

MTSAN DPE PHUN SUM TSOGS PAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAR BLTA BAR BYA SNYAM ‘AM ZHES DRIS PA’I LAN DU DE LTAR BLTA BAR MI BYA’O,,

And so Lord Buddha asks, “Should we ever consider someone One Gone Thus simply because they possess the exquisite signs and marks of an Enlightened Being?”  In reply, Subhuti says, “We should never consider them thus.”

576 Leave a comment on block 576 0

[490]

DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA’I SKU LA MTSAN DPE PHUN SUM TSOGS PA BDEN GRUB TU YOD PA’I SGO NAS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAR BDEN ZHEN GYIS MI BLTA STE,

The idea here is that we should never consider someone to be One Gone Thus through any kind of belief that they are real: through any belief that the exquisite signs and marks exist upon the physical form of One Gone Thus in some real way.

577 Leave a comment on block 577 0

[491]

MTSAN DPE PHUN SUM TSOGS PA DE DAG NI TSOGS SHING ‘DUS PA’I DNGOS PO SGYU MA LTAR GRUB PAS DON DAM PAR MTSAN DPE PHUN SUM TSOGS PAR GRUB PA MA MCHIS KYANG, THA SNYAD DU DE SKAD CES BRJOD DO,,

These exquisite signs and marks are things which exist in the way of an illusion: which have been produced by the combination or assembling of other things.  As such, they could never exist, in an ultimate way, as exquisite signs and marks; nonetheless, we can call them—in a nominal sense—what we do.

578 Leave a comment on block 578 0

[492]

‘DI LTA BU ZHIG SNGAR YANG BYUNG MOD, DE NI MOS SPYOD KYI SA NAS NYAMS SU LEN PA’I DBANG DU MDZAD CING, ‘DIR NI LHAG BSAM DAG PA ‘PHAGS PA’I SA NAS NYAMS SU LEN PA’I DBANG DU MDZAD CES KA MA LA SH’I LAS GSUNG NGO,,

Master Kamalashila explains that—although a section like this has admittedly already occurred earlier on in the sutra—that earlier section was spoken with reference to our practice at the point where we are still practicing at the levels where our grasp of emptiness is largely based on belief.  The present section then is meant to refer to the point where we are practicing at the levels where our sense of personal responsibility is “pure”—at levels where we are already a realized being.

 

 

 

How to deny the Buddha

 

579 Leave a comment on block 579 0

[493]

 

         [K123]

(21) Bhagavānāha

 

Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte api nu Tathāgatasyaivaṃ bhavati mayā dharmo deśita iti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA ‘DI SNYAM DU, NGAS CHOS BSTAN TO ZHES DGONGS SO,,

 

And the Conqueror said,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Does the One Thus Gone ever think to himself, “Now I will teach the Dharma?”

 

 

580 Leave a comment on block 580 0

[K124-K125]

Bhagavānāha

 

yaḥ Subhūte [p. 41] evaṃ vadet Tathāgatena dharmo deśita iti sa vitathaṃ vadet.  Abhyācakṣīta māṃ sa Subhūte asatodgṛhītena.  Tatkasya hetoḥ dharmadeśanā dharmadeśaneti Subhūte nāsti sa kaściddharmo yo dharmadeśanā nāmopalabhyate.

 

SNYAM NA,  [f. 231b] RAB ‘BYOR, DE LTAR MI BLTA STE, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG BSTAN PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MED DO,,

 

If you think he does, then I tell you, o Subhuti, that you should never see it that way, for there doesn’t exist any Dharma that the One Thus Gone ever teaches.

 

 

RAB ‘BYOR, SU ZHIG ‘DI SKAD DU, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS CHOS BSTAN TO, ,ZHES ZER NA, RAB ‘BYOR, DE NI, MED PA DANG, LOG PAR ZIN PAS NGA LA SKUR BAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

Subhuti, anyone who ever says that “The One Thus Gone teaches the Dharma” is talking about something that doesn’t even exist, and is completely mistaken, and is denying who I am.

 

 

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, CHOS BSTAN PA ZHES BYA BA DMIGS PAR ‘GYUR BA’I CHOS BSTAN PA CHOS BSTAN PA ZHES BYA BA DE, GANG YANG MED PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, the teaching of the Dharma that you are thinking of when you say “teaching of the Dharma” is a “teaching of the Dharma” that does not exist at all.

 

 

581 Leave a comment on block 581 0

[494]

DE BZHIN DU DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS BSTAN PA’I CHOS MED CES GSUNGS PA’I DON YANG GONG DU BSHAD PA LTAR RO,,

We can understand, in the same way, the meaning of the statement that there doesn’t exist any Dharma that the One Thus Gone ever teaches—explaining it as we did above.

582 Leave a comment on block 582 0

[495]

GAL TE DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DON DAM PAR CHOS BSTAN TO ZHES BDEN ZHEN GYIS DAM BCA’ ZHING ZER NA, DE NI MED PA LA YOD PAR ZHEN CING LOG PAR RTOG PA’I BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS ZIN PA’I [f. 32a] BCINGS PA YIN PAS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA NGA LA SKUR BA BTAB PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

Anyone, on the other hand, who ever says that “The One Gone Thus does, ultimately speaking, teach the Dharma”—who makes this assertion with a tendency to grasp to things as real—is then grasping to something existing that doesn’t even exist; and they would be chained by this mistaken idea of true existence.  As such, says Lord Buddha, “They are denying who I am.”

583 Leave a comment on block 583 0

[496]

RGYU MTSAN NI CHOS DANG CHOS BSTAN PA ZHES BYA BA NI THA SNYAD TZAM MA GTOGS GANG YANG DON DAM PAR MA GRUB PA’I PHYIR RO ZHES PA’I DON NI SNGAR BSHAD ZIN CING,

The reason for saying this is that—as we’ve explained it already earlier—the Dharma itself, and the teaching of this Dharma, are “things that exist only nominally; they are not something that in any way could exist in an ultimate sense.”

584 Leave a comment on block 584 0

[497]

‘DIR LUNG GIS BRJOD NA, MDO LAS,

 

,MING NI GANG DAG GANG GIS NI,

,CHOS RNAMS GANG DANG GANG BRJOD PA,

,DE DANG DE NI YOD MA YIN,

,DE NI CHOS RNAMS CHOS NYID DO,

 

,ZHES DANG,

We can also express this in terms of scriptural authority.  As sutra says,

Any existing object at all

Which can be expressed in terms

Of names

Is an existing object

That doesn’t even exist;

This

Is the thingness of things.[123]

 

 

585 Leave a comment on block 585 0

[498]

RIN PO CHE MTHA’I MDO LAS KYANG, ‘JAM DPAL GYIS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA ‘DI NA GANG DANG GANG GIS GANG DANG GANG BRJOD PA’I CHOS DE DANG DE LA, CHOS DE DANG DE MA MCHIS LAGS SO, ,GANG MA MCHIS PA DE NI STONG PA LAGS SO, ,ZHES DANG,

In the Sutra of the End of the Jewel it says as well,

O Manjushri, the One Gone Beyond, the Conqueror, says this: Anything at all here which finds expression through any means at all is something which I say cannot in fact be the thing it’s supposed to be.  And anything which cannot be a thing in this way is what we call “emptiness.”[124]

586 Leave a comment on block 586 0

[499]

RNAM ‘GREL LAS KYANG,

,SGRA RNAMS KYI NI BRDAR BTAGS STON,

,DE NI THA SNYAD CHED DU BYAS,

,DE TSE RANG GI MTSAN NYID MED,

,CES GSUNGS PA LTAR RO,,

The Commentary on Valid Perception states too that—

Anything which is expressed

In terms of being called with a name

Is something we describe as “nominal,”

And has then no nature of its own.[125]

587 Leave a comment on block 587 0

[500]

‘DI DAG GI DON RGYA CHE YANG MTSON TZAM NI, BUM SOGS KYI CHOS RNAMS LA NI DE DANG DE’O ZHES BRJOD PA’I TSE SGRAS NI DNGOS SU DON SPYI BRJOD KYI, BUM SOGS RANG MTSAN RNAMS NI SGRA’I DNGOS KYI BRJOD BYAR RANG DBANG DU MED PAS,

 

Now this is truly a massive subject, but here we’ll touch on it just a bit.  When we speak of a water jug or any similar thing as being “this,” or “that,” the words that we use do directly express the idea of the actual object; we cannot say though that the actual thing itself is, in some automatic way, what the word is directly referring to.

588 Leave a comment on block 588 0

[501]

DE DAG NI RANG RANG GI MING GI THA SNYAD ‘JUG PA’I GZHIR RANG DBANG GIS MA GRUB CING, SGRA DE DANG DE’I BRJOD BYA’I RANG LDOG RNAMS NI BDEN PAR MA GRUB CES STON PA’O,,

What’s being expressed by the sutra at this point is the following.  None of these things is, in any natural or automatic way, the thing which the name we use for it refers to.  The fact of a word and the thing it is used to refer to is, again, something not something which exists in some real way.

589 Leave a comment on block 589 0

[502]

DER GRUB NA NI GNOD BYED CI YOD ZHE NA, YOD DE, ‘PHAGS PA THOGS MED KYIS THEG BSDUS LAS,

“But if it were to exist in some real way,” you may ask, “what would be the problem?”  The realized being Asanga has given us an answer on this, in his Abbreviated Presentation of the Greater Way—

 

,MING GI SNGA ROL BLO MED PHYIR,

,MANG [f. 32b] BA’I PHYIR DANG MA ‘DRES PHYIR,

,DE YI BDAG NYID BDAG MANG DANG,

,BDAG ‘DRES ‘GAL BAS ‘GRUB PAR ‘GYUR,

Before it is given the name,

There is no idea of it;

It would be many,

And they never mix.

There would be many itselfs,

Or it would be themselves;

And so our point is proven

By these inconsistencies.[126]

 

 

590 Leave a comment on block 590 0

[503]

ZHES GSUNGS PA’I DON BSDUS TE BRJOD NA, SGRA RNAMS NI DON DE DANG DE LA THA SNYAD KYI DBANG GIS ‘JUG GI ,DNGOS PO’I DBANG GIS MI ‘JUG STE,

We’ll just summarize what this is saying.  Words do refer to this or that object in a nominal way, but not in any automatic way.

591 Leave a comment on block 591 0

[504]

BUM SOGS KYI CHOS GANG LA YANG DE’I MING MA BTAGS PA’I SNGA ROL DU BUM SOGS KYI ‘DU SHES MI SKYE BA DANG, DON GCIG LA YANG MING SNA TSOGS KYIS BRJOD CHOG PA DANG, DON DU MA LA YANG MING GCIG GIS BRJOD CHOG PA’I PHYIR,

We don’t think of anything—whether it be a water jug or something else—as “water jug” before it is given the name of “water jug.”  And even if there’s only one thing there, it’s permissible for us to refer to it with a whole variety of different names.  We can also refer to many different things with the same name.

592 Leave a comment on block 592 0

[505]

DNGOS PO’I DBANG GIS ‘JUG NA NI, MING MA BTAGS PA’I SNGON DU YANG DE’O SNYAM PA’I ‘DU SHES ‘BYUNG BAR THAL BA DANG, DON GCIG DU MAR THAL ZHING DON DU MA YANG CIG GYUR LA,

If names applied to things in some automatic way, then it would have to be the case that—even before someone called something by a certain name—we would be thinking of it with that name.  And the one thing then would have to be many, and the many one.

593 Leave a comment on block 593 0

[506]

BUM SOGS MED PA’I GZHIR YANG DE DAG GI MING NAS BRJOD PA YOD PA’I PHYIR DE NA BUM SOGS KYANG YOD PAR ‘GYUR BAS SEMS CAN ‘GA’ YANG BUM SOGS KUN GYIS MI PHONGS PAR THAL BAR ‘GYUR BA SOGS MANG NGO,,

Even in a place where there is no water jug (or whatever it may be), we can still say “water jug.”  And if the name applied to a thing automatically, then just by saying “water jug” there would have to be a water jug there.  And then nobody in the world would have to go without water jugs, or anything else!  There are thus these, and many other, logical inconsistencies with the idea.

 

 

 

Neither beings, nor not

 

595 Leave a comment on block 595 0

[K126]

Evamukte āyuṣmān SubhūtirBhagavantametadavocat:

 

asti Bhagavan kecitsattvā bhaviṣyantyanāgate’dhvani paścime kāle paścime samaye paścimāyāṃ pañcaśatyāṃ saddharmavipralope vartamāne ya imānevaṃrūpān dharmān śrutvā abhiśraddhāsyanti.

 

DE NAS BCOM LDAN ‘DAS LA TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR GYIS ‘DI SKAD GSOL TO,,

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, MA ‘ONGS PA’I DUS NA SEMS CAN GANG DAG ‘DI LTA BU’I CHOS BSTAN PA ‘DI THOS NAS MNGON PAR YID CHES PAR ‘GYUR BA MCHIS SAM,

 

And then the junior monk again addressed the Conqueror, in the following words:

 

O Conqueror, will there be, in days to come, any living being who ever hears a teaching of the Dharma like this and who believes completely what it says?

 

 

596 Leave a comment on block 596 0

[K127]

Bhagavānāha

 

na te Subhūte sattvā nāsattvāḥ.  Tatkasya hetoḥ sattvāḥ sattvā iti Subhūte sarve te Subhūte asattvāstathāgatena bhāṣitāḥ.  Tenocyante sattvā iti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DE DAG NI, SEMS CAN YANG MA YIN, SEMS CAN MED PA YANG MA YIN NO, ,DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, SEMS CAN RNAMS ZHES BYA BA NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DE DAG SEMS CAN MED PAR GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR TE, DES NA, SEMS CAN RNAMS ZHES BYA’O,,

 

And the Conqueror replied,

O Subhuti, such beings will not be living beings, nor will they not be a living being.  Why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, the things we call “living beings” are living beings that the Ones Gone Thus have said are not.  And that is precisely why we can call them “living beings.”

 

 

597 Leave a comment on block 597 0

[508]

DE NAS RAB ‘BYOR GYIS MA ‘ONGS PA NA SEMS CAN GANG DAG ‘DI LTA BU’I CHOS ZAB MO BSHAD PA ‘DI THOS NA YID CHES PAR ‘GYUR RAM ZHES ZHUS PA ‘DI LTA BU ZHIG GONG DU YANG SONG MOD, GZHI DANG DGOS PA THA DAD PA’I DBANG GIS SO,,

After this, Subhuti asks the question, “O Conqueror, will there be, in days to come, any living being who ever hears a teaching of the Dharma like this and who believes completely what it says?”  A section like this has, admittedly, already come in the sutra; but the question here is made with respect to a different subject, and for a different purpose.

 

 

598 Leave a comment on block 598 0

[509]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS KYANG DE’I LAN SONG ZIN PA LA DGONGS NAS, SEMS CAN DE DAG NI SEMS CAN DU DON DAM PAR GRUB PA YANG MA YIN, THA SNYAD DU SEMS CAN MED PA YANG MA YIN NO,,

The Conqueror too is bearing in mind that he has already responded to this question, and so now he begins the part about how such beings will not be, in an ultimate sense, living beings; nor will they not, nominally, be a living being.

599 Leave a comment on block 599 0

[510]

RGYU MTSAN NI SEMS CAN RNAMS ZHES BYA BA NI DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DON DAM PAR [f. 33a] SEMS CAN MED PAR GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR TE, KUN RDZOB TU SEMS CAN RNAMS ZHES BYA’O,,

And what is the reason this is so?  Because the things we call “living beings” are living beings that the Ones Gone Thus have said are not, in any ultimate sense.  We just call them “living beings” in a deceptive sense.

600 Leave a comment on block 600 0

[511]

KUN RDZOB TU SEMS CAN ‘JOG TSUL NI, MDO LAS,

,JI LTAR YAN LAG TSOGS RNAMS LA,

,BRTEN NAS SHING RTAR BRJOD PA LTAR,

,DE BZHIN PHUNG PO RNAMS BRTEN NAS,

,KUN RDZOB SEMS CAN ZHES BYA’O,

,ZHES ‘BYUNG BA LTAR RO,,

But just how is it that we say that someone is a “living being in a deceptive sense”?  As sutra puts it,

 

Think of how we call something a “wagon”

Through using the collection of its parts;

In the same way we call someone a “living being”

In a deceptive sense, through using their heaps.[127]

 

 

 

Enlightenment in the eyes of a Buddha

 

602 Leave a comment on block 602 0

[K128]

(22) Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte api nu asti sa kaściddharmaḥ yas Tathāgatenānuttarāṃ Samyaksaṃbodhimabhisaṃbuddhaḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG YOD DAM,

 

O Subhuti, what do you think?  Is there any such thing as One Gone Thus reaching their total enlightenment within the unsurpassed, perfect, and total state of a Buddha?

 

 

Āyuṣmān Subhūtirāha

 

no hīdaṃ Bhagavan.  Nāsti sa Bhagavan kaściddharmo yas Tathāgatenānuttarāṃ Samyaksaṃbodhimabhisaṃbuddhaḥ.

 

TSE DANG LDAN PA RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA,

 

603 Leave a comment on block 603 0

[f. 232a] BCOM LDAN ‘DAS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG MA MCHIS LAGS SO,,

 

The junior monk Subhuti replied,

O Conqueror, there could never be any such thing as the One Gone Thus reaching their total enlightenment within the unsurpassed, perfect, and total state of a Buddha.

 

 

604 Leave a comment on block 604 0

[K129]

Bhagavānāha

 

evametat Subhūte, evametat.  Aṇurapi tatra dharmo na saṃvidyate nopalabhyate.  Tenocyate anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhiriti.

 

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA,

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DE DE BZHIN NO, ,DE DE BZHIN TE, DE CHOS CUNG ZAD KYANG MED CING MI DMIGS TE, DES NA, BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB CES BYA’O,,

 

And the Conqueror said,

 

O Subhuti, thus it is, and thus is it.  There is no such thing at all: it is non-existent.  There is no such thing, not in the least: it is something non-existent.  And that is precisely why we can even call it the “unsurpassed, perfect, and total state of a Buddha.”

 

605 Leave a comment on block 605 0

[513]

SNGON BZHIN DU SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DE GANG YANG YOD SNYAM ‘AM ZHES DRIS PA’I LAN DU DE MED TSUL ZHUS PA NA, DE DE BZHIN NO ZHES SOGS GNANG STE, DE LA DON DAM PAR SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS CUNG ZAD KYANG DMIGS SU MED DE, THA SNYAD DU RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB TU SANGS RGYAS PA’O ZHES BRJOD DO,,

And then, as we saw before, Lord Buddha asks Subhuti whether there is any such thing as someone’s reaching their total enlightenment.  And Subhuti responds by describing how there is not.  To this Lord Buddha then grants his approval, with “Thus it is” and so on.  He says that, ultimately speaking, there is no such thing at all: it cannot be seen to exist.  It is in a nominal sense that we reach enlightenment, within the total state of a Buddha.

606 Leave a comment on block 606 0

[514]

GONG DU ‘DI LTA BU ZHIG SONG BA NI SLOB LAM GYI DBANG DU MDZAD CING, ‘DI NI SANGS RGYAS KYIS JI LTA BA BZHIN GZIGS PA’I RIG NGOR MED PA LA DGONGS SO ZHES KA SH’IS BSHAD DO,,

Master Kamalashila says that the section like this one which came before related to the path where we are still learning; the section here, on the other hand, is meant to describe how this particular thing could never exist in the eyes of a Buddha themselves, seeing as they do all things perfectly.

 

 

 

Nothing not equal

 

607 Leave a comment on block 607 0

[515]

 

                   [K130]

(23) Api tu khalu punaḥ Subhūte samaḥ sa dharmo na tatra kaścidviṣamaḥ.  Tenocyate anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhiriti.  Nirātmatvena niḥsattvatvena nirjīvatvena niṣpudgalatvena samā sā anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhiḥ sarvaiḥ kuśalairdharmairabhisaṃbudhyate.

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, CHOS DE NI, MNYAM PA STE, DE LA MI MNYAM PA GANG YANG MED PAS DES NA, BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB CES BYA’O, ,BLA NA MED PA YANG DAG PAR RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB DE NI, BDAG MED PA DANG, SEMS CAN MED PA DANG, SROG MED PA DANG, GANG ZAG MED PAR MNYAM PA STE, DGE BA’I CHOS THAMS CAD KYIS MNGON PAR RDZOGS PAR ‘TSANG RGYA’O,,

 

I say to you further, o Subhuti, that this thing is completely equal; there is nothing at all about it which is not equal.  This too is precisely why we can call it the “unsurpassed, perfect, and total state of a Buddha.”  This unsurpassed, perfect, and total state of a Buddha is “completely equal” in being something without a self, and without a living being, and without something that lives, and without any person.  Every single thing which is virtue leads to this total enlightenment.

 

 

608 Leave a comment on block 608 0

[K131]

Tatkasya hetoḥ kuśalā dharmāḥ kuśalā dharmā iti Subhūte adharmāścaiva te Tathāgatena bhāṣitāḥ.  Tenocyante kuśalā dharmā iti.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, DGE BA’I CHOS RNAMS DGE BA’I CHOS RNAMS ZHES BYA BA NI, DE DAG DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS CHOS MED PA NYID DU GSUNGS TE, DES NA DGE BA’I CHOS RNAMS ZHES BYA’O,,

 

O Subhuti, the One Gone Thus has said that these same things of virtue that we are talking about when we speak of “things of virtue” are things of virtue that don’t even exist.  And this is precisely why we can call them “things of virtue.”

 

 

609 Leave a comment on block 609 0

[516]

YANG RAB ‘BYOR CHOS GANG YIN PA DE THAMS CAD NI BDEN PAR MA GRUB PAR MTSUNGS SHING MNYAM PA STE, DE LTA BU’I MNYAM PA DE’I DBANG DU BYAS PA LA MI MNYAM PA’I CHOS GANG YANG MED PAS SO,,

The Buddha says now, “I say to you further, o Subhuti, that none of the things that exist exist in any real way; and in this they are equivalent, they are equal.  And this is because—relative to this way in which things are equal—there is nothing at all which is not equal.

610 Leave a comment on block 610 0

[517]

MNYAM PA DE YANG SEMS CAN MED PA, SROG MED PA, GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED PAR MNYAM PA STE, DON DAM PAR CHOS SU GRUB PA MED KYANG THA SNYAD DU SBYIN SOGS DGE BA’I CHOS DE DAG THAMS CAD KYIS DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA SANGS RGYAS SHING, SANGS RGYAS KYI THUGS RGYUD KYI DGE BA’I CHOS RNAMS LA’ANG SANGS RGYAS ZHES BYA’O,,

This kind of equal is equal in the sense that it is without any self to a living being, it is without any self to something that lives, and is without any self to a person.  Ultimately speaking, there is nothing at all that exists as a thing; nonetheless, in a nominal sense, every single thing which is virtue leads to the total enlightenment of One Gone Thus, of a Buddha.  And we can as well refer to all the virtuous things within the holy heart of a Buddha as “a Buddha.”

611 Leave a comment on block 611 0

[518]

SEMS CAN MED PA [f. 33b] SOGS GSUM GYIS SGRO ‘DOGS KYI MTHA’ BKAG CING, DGE BA’I CHOS DE DAG ZHES SOGS KYIS SKUR ‘DEBS KYI MTHA’ ‘GAG PA’I SGO NAS MTHA’ GNYIS BSAL TE,

The three parts here including being “without a living being” are all meant to prevent us from falling into the extreme of overrating things, while the part about “things which are virtue” is meant to keep us from the extreme of underrating things.  And so in this way we avoid both the extremes.

 

 

 

The limitations without emptiness

 

612 Leave a comment on block 612 0

[519]

 

                   [K132]

(24) [p. 42] Yaśca khalu punaḥ Subhute strī vā puruṣo vā yāvantastrisāhasramahāsāhasre lokadhātau sumeravaḥ parvatarājānaḥ tāvato rāśīn saptānāṃ ratnānāmabhisaṃhṛtya Tathāgatebhyo’rhadbhayaḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhebhyo dānaṃ dadyāt…

 

YANG RAB ‘BYOR, RIGS KYI BU’AM, RIGS KYI BU MO GANG LA LA ZHIG GIS STONG GSUM GYI STONG CHEN PO’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS NA RI’I RGYAL PO RI RAB GANG DAG JI SNYED  [f. 232b] YOD PA DE TZAM GYI RIN PO CHE SNA BDUN GYI PHUNG PO MNGON PAR BSDUS TE SBYIN PA BYIN PA BAS,

 

And I say to you further, o Subhuti:

 

Think of all the number of universal mountains that you would find on all the planets of this great world system: a system with a thousand of a thousand of a thousand planets.  And suppose that some daughter or son of noble family were to pile together the same number of heaps of the seven precious things, each heap the same size as the mountain, and offer it as a gift to someone.

 

 

…yaśca kulaputro vā kuladuhitā vā itaḥ prajñāpāramitāyā dharmaparyāyādantaśaścatuṣpādikāmapi gāthāmudgṛhya parebhyo deśayet asya Subhūte puṇyaskandhasya asau paurvakaḥ puṇyaskandhaḥ śatatamīmapi kalāṃ nopaiti yāvadupaniṣadamapi na kṣamate

 

GANG GIS SHES RAB KYI PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA ‘DI LAS THA NA TSIG BZHI PA’I TSIGS SU BCAD PA TZAM BZUNG NAS GZHAN DAG LA YANG BSTAN NA, RAB ‘BYOR, BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO ‘DI LA BSOD NAMS KYI PHUNG PO SNGA MA DES BRGYA’I CHAR YANG MI PHOD PA NAS RGYU’I BAR DU YANG NYE BAR MI BZOD DO,,

 

Suppose that someone else were to take up, and teach to others, even so little as a single verse of four lines from this perfection of wisdom.  I tell you, o Subhuti, that the mountain of created by the first person would not come to even a hundredth part of the mountain of merit created by the second; it would not come to any of the parts we spoke of before, all the way up to saying that there would be no reason to attempt any comparison between the two.

 

 

613 Leave a comment on block 613 0

[520]

DON DAM PAR CHOS RNAMS MA GRUB NA ‘ANG THA SNYAD DU SEMS CAN GANG LA LA ZHIG GIS STONG GSUM GYI STONG CHEN PO’I ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS NA RI’I RGYAL PO RI RAB JI SNYED PA DE LTA BU’I TSAD KYI GSER LA SOGS PA’I RIN PO CHE SNA BDUN GYI PHUNG PO RNAMS BSDUS TE SBYIN PA BYIN PA BAS KYANG,

Now even though there is nothing in the universe that exists in any ultimate sense, nonetheless certain people could indeed pile together great heaps of the seven different precious things—gold and the rest—that were the same size as the universal mountains that existed on all of the planets in planets of this great world system: a system with a thousand of a thousand of a thousand planets.  And they could offer this as a gift to someone.

614 Leave a comment on block 614 0

[521]

GANG ZAG GANG GIS GZHUNG ‘DI YONGS RDZOGS LTA CI, ‘BRAS BU SANGS RGYAS THOB PA’I CHED DU DMIGS NAS, THA NA TSIG BZHI PA’I TSIGS SU BCAD PA GCIG TZAM DANG, DE’I DON LEGS PAR BZUNG NAS GZHAN DAG LA YANG BSTAN NA, SNGA MA SBYIN PA’I BSOD NAMS DES PHYI MA ‘DI LA CHA BRGYAR BGOS PA’I GCIG GI CHAR YANG NYE BAR MI ‘GRO BA NAS RGYU’I BAR DU MI BZOD DO ZHES PA’I DON NI SNGAR BSHAD PA LTAR RO,,

Suppose though that some person were to take up—were to grasp, well, the meaning of—even so little as a single verse of four lines from this classic (much less the entire text), and teach it to others, with the goal of reaching the goal of enlightenment.  The merit created by the previous act of giving would not come to even a hundredth part of the merit of the latter; all the way up to saying that there would be no reason to attempt any comparison between the two, as we explained it before.

615 Leave a comment on block 615 0

[522]

DE LTA BU’I SBYIN PA’I BSOD NAMS LAS KYANG SHER PHYIN ‘DI LA THOS BSAM BYAS PA’I PHAN YON CHE BAR BSHAD PA’I DGONGS PA NI STONG NYID MA RTOGS PA’I SBYIN ‘BRAS CHE YANG MNGON MTHO LHA MI’I GO ‘PHANG THOB PAR ‘GYUR GYI,

 

Here is the thinking behind this idea that the benefit of learning and contemplating the perfection of wisdom is greater even than the merit of the other act.  The fruits of an act of giving where one is not grasping emptiness may indeed be great, but they can only help one attain a higher rebirth—the state of a pleasure being, or human.

 

 

616 Leave a comment on block 616 0

[523]

SHER PHYIN LA THOS BSAM SOGS BYAS NA NGES LEGS THAR PA DANG THAMS CAD MKHYEN PA’I GO ‘PHANG THOB PAR ‘GYUR BA LA DGONGS PA STE, ‘ON KYANG ‘DI NI SGOM LAM GYI SKABS LA DGONGS SAM SNYAM MO,,

If however we engage in practices such as learning and contemplating the perfection of wisdom, we can thereby attain certain good: that is, freedom, and the state of knowing all things.  And so this is the thought behind this section; although I would also say that I believe that this section here is intended to describe the stage at which we are on the path of habituation.

 

 

No Buddhas believe in beings

 

617 Leave a comment on block 617 0

[524]

 

                   [K133]

(25) Tatkiṃ manyase Subhūte api nu Tathāgatasyaivaṃ bhavati mayā sattvāḥ parimocitā iti na khalu punaḥ Subhūte evaṃ draṣṭavyam.  Tatkasya hetoḥ nāsti Subhūte kaścitsattvo yas Tathāgatena parimocitaḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA ‘DI SNYAM DU, NGAS SEMS CAN RNAMS DKROL LO ZHES DGONGS SO, ,SNYAM NA, RAB ‘BYOR, DE DE LTAR MI BLTA’O, ,DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, RAB ‘BYOR, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GANG BKROL BA’I SEMS CAN DE DAG GANG YANG MED PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Subhuti, what do you think?  Does the One Thus Gone ever think to himself, “I am going to free all living beings”?  If you think that they do, then I tell you, o Subhuti, you should never see it like this.  And why is it so?  Because, o Subhuti, there is no living being at all that Those Gone Thus could ever free.

 

618 Leave a comment on block 618 0

[525]

DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA LA SEMS CAN DU BDEN ZHEN MED CES STON PA NI, RAB ‘BYOR DE BZHIN GSHEGS [f. 34a] PAS RJES THOB NA’ANG ‘DI SNYAM DU NGAS GDUL BYA’I SEMS CAN RNAMS BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS PA LAS DON DAM PAR BGROL BAR BYA’O ZHES THUGS LA DGONGS PA YOD DAM SNYAM NA,

Next comes a section which is intended to express how Those Gone Thus have no belief at all that living beings are real.  And so Lord Buddha says, “Subhuti, what do you think? Does the One Thus Gone ever think to himself—even in the aftermath of the direct perception of emptiness—”I am going to free, in an ultimate way, all the living beings who are my disciples from the shackles of believing that things are real”?  Does he ever have this sort of thought in his mind?

619 Leave a comment on block 619 0

[526]

RAB ‘BYOR KHYOD DE LTAR MI BLTA’O, ,RGYU MTSAN NI DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS DON DAM PAR SEMS CAN GANG BDEN ‘DZIN GYIS BCINGS PA LAS BKROL TE THAR BAR BYAS PA’I SEMS CAN DE DAG GANG YANG MED PA’I PHYIR RO,,

And then he tells Subhuti that he should never see it like this.  The reason why this is so is that there is no living being at all that Those Gone Thus could ever free—could ever liberate, in any ultimate sense—from the shackles of believing that things are real.

 

 

And Buddhas free beings

 

620 Leave a comment on block 620 0

[527]

 

                   [K134]

Yadi punaḥ Subhūte kaścitsattvo’bhaviṣyadyas Tathāgatena parimocitaḥ syāt sa eva Tathāgatasyātmagrāho’bhaviṣyat sattvagrāho jīvagrāhaḥ pudgalagrāho’bhaviṣyat.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, GAL TE DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS SEMS CAN GANG LA LA ZHIG BKROL BAR GYUR NA, DE NYID DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA’I BDAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR, SEMS CAN DU ‘DZIN PA DANG, SROG TU ‘DZIN PA DANG, GANG ZAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

And if, o Subhuti, the One Gone Thus ever did free some living being, then he would be grasping to some self of the One Gone Thus, and to some living being, or to something that lives, or to some person of the One Gone Thus.

 

 

                   [K135]

Ātmagrāha iti Subhūte agrāha eṣa tathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ.  Sa ca bālapṛthagjanairudgṛhītaḥ.

 

RAB ‘BYOR, BDAG TU ‘DZIN CES BYA BA NI, DE ‘DZIN PA MED PAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PAS GSUNGS NA, DE YANG BYIS PA SO SO’I SKYE BO RNAMS KYIS BZUNG NGO,,

 

And the One Gone Thus, o Subhuti, has said that this very act that we call “grasping to some self” is a grasping to this that doesn’t even exist.  It is, in fact, something that common beings, those who are still children, grasp to.