Mahayana Lankavatara Sutra




(Taisho Tripitaka 0672)

Translated into Chinese duriong Torng Dynasty by Tripitaka Master Siksananda

Translated into English by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki



Chapter 01: Ravana Asking for Instruction

Chapter 02: Collection of All the Dharmas

Chapter 03: On Impermanency

Chapter 04: On Intuitive Understanding

Chapter 05: On the Deduction of the Permanency and Impermanency of Tathagatahood

Chapter 06: On Momentariness

Chapter 07: On Transformation

Chapter 08: Stop Meat Eating

Chapter 09: Dharani

 

Table of Contents   | C1 | C2 | C3 | C4 | C5 | C6 | C7 | C8 | C9

 

Mahayana Lankavatara Sutra



Translated into English by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki



Chapter 1: Ravana Asking for Instruction


Om! Homage to the Triple Treasure! Homage to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!

Thus have I heard. The Bhagavan once stayed in the Castle of Lanka, which is situated on the peak of Mount Malaya on the great ocean, and which is adorned with flowers made of jewels of various kinds. He was with a large assembly of Bhikshus(monks) and with a great multitude of Bodhisattvas, who had come together from various Buddha-lands. The Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, headed by the Bodhisattva Maha-mati(Great Wisdom), were all perfect masters of the various Samadhis, the [tenfold] self-mastery, the [ten] powers, and the [six] psychic faculties; they were anointed by the hands of all the Buddhas; they all well understood the significance of the objective world as the manifestation of their own Heart; they knew how to maintain [various] forms, teachings, and disciplinary measures, according to the various mentalities and behaviours of beings; they were thoroughly versed in the five Dharmas, the [three] Svabhavas, the [eight] Vijnanas(consciousness), and the twofold non-Self.

At that time, the Bhagavan, who had been preaching in the palace of the Great Oceanic Dragon King, came out at the expiration of seven days and was greeted by an innumerable host of heavenly beings including Sakra, Brahma, and dragon kings. Looking at Lanka on Mount Malaya, the Bhagavan smiled and said, "By the Tathagatas of the past, who were Arhats and Fully-Enlightened Ones, this Truth was made the subject of their discourse, at that castle of Lanka on the mountain-peak of Malaya, -- the Truth realizable by noble wisdom in one's inmost self, which is beyond the reasoning knowledge of the philosophers as well as the state of consciousness of the Sravakas(Voice-hearers) and Pratyekabuddhas(Conditional-Awakeners). I, too, would now for the sake of Ravana, Overlord of the Yakshas, discourse on this Truth."
 
[Inspired] by the sacrosanct power of the Tathagata, Ravana, Lord of the Rakshasas, heard the Buddha's voice. Indeed, the Bhagavan, surrounded and accompanied by an in-numerable host of Sakra, Brahma, Guardian Gods, and heavenly dragons, came out of the palace of the Great Oceanic Dragon King; and looking at the waves of the ocean and also at the mental agitations going on in those assembled, [he thought of] the ocean of the Alaya-consciousness (Alaya-vijnana) where the evolving Vijanas [like the waves] are stirred by the wind of objectivity. While he was standing there [thus absorbed in contemplation, Ravana saw him and] uttered a joyous cry, saying: "I will go and request of the Buddha to enter into Lanka; for the long night [of transmigrations) he would probably profit, do good, and gladden the gods as well as human beings."

Thereupon, Ravana, Lord of the Rakshasas, with his attendants, riding in his floral celestial chariot, came up where the Buddha was, and having arrived there he and his attendants came out of the chariot. Walking around the Buddha three times from left to right, they played on a musical instrument, beating it with a stick of blue Indra (saphire), and hanging the lute at one side, which was inlaid with the choicest lapis lazuli and supported by [a ribbon of] priceless cloth, yellowish-white like jewels, they sang with various notes such as Saharshya, Rishabha, Gandhara, Dhaivata, Nishada. Madyama, and Kaisika, which were melodiously modulated in Grama, Murchana, etc.; the voice in accompaniment with the flute beautifully blended with the measure of the Gatha (verses):

"The truth-treasure whose principle is the self-nature of Mind, has no selfhood (nairatmyam), stands above all reasoning, and is free from impurities; it points to the knowledge attained in one's inmost self; Lord, show me here the way leading to the Truth.

2. "The Sugata is the body in whom are stored immaculate virtues; in him are manifested [bodies] trans-forming and transformed; he enjoys the Truth realised in his inmost self; may he visit Lanka. Now is the time, Muni!

3. "This Lanka was inhabited by the Buddhas of the past, and [they were] accompanied by their sons who were owners of many forms. Lord, show me now the highest Truth, and the Yakshas who are endowed with many forms will listen.¡±

Thereupon, Ravana, the Lord of Lanka, further adapting the Totaka rhythm sang this in the measure of the Gatha.

4. After seven nights, the Bhagavan leaving the ocean which is the abode of the Makara, the palace of the sea-king, now stands on the shore.

5. Just as the Buddha rises, Ravana, accompanied by the Apsaras and Yakshas numerous, by Suka, Sarana, and learned men,

6. Miraculously goes over to the place where the Lord is standing. Alighting from the floral vehicle, he greets the Tathagata reverentially, makes him offerings, tells him who he is, and stands by the Lord.

7. "I who have come here, am called Ravana, the ten-headed king of the Rakshasas, mayest thou graciously receive me with Lanka and all its residents.

8. "In this city, the inmost state of consciousness realised, indeed, by the Enlightened Ones of the past was disclosed on this peak studded with precious stones.

9. "Let the Bhagavan, too. surrounded by sons of the Victorious One, now disclose the Truth immaculate on this peak embellished with precious stones; we, together with the residents of Lanka, desire to listen.

10. "The Lankavatara Sutra which is praised by the Buddhas of the past [discloses] the inmost state of consciousness realized by them, which is not founded on any system of doctrine.

11. "I recollect the Buddhas of the past surrounded by sons of the Victorious One recite this Sutra; the Bhagavan, too, will speak.

12. "In the time to come, there will be Buddhas and Buddha-Sons pitying the Yakshas; the Leaders will discourse on this magnificent doctrine on the peak adorned with precious stones.

13. "This magnificent city of Lanka is adorned with varieties of precious stones, [surrounded] by peaks, refreshing and beautiful and canopied by a net of jewels.

14. "Bhagavan, here are the Yakshas who are free from faults of greed, reflecting on [the Truth] realized in one's inmost self and making offerings to the Buddhas of the past; they are believers in the teaching of the Mahayana and intent on disciplining one another.

15. "There are younger Yakshas, girls and boys, desiring to know the Mahayana. Come, Bhagavan, who art our Teacher, come to Lanka on Mount Malaya.

16. "The Rakshasas, with Kumbhakara at their head, who are residing in the city, wish, as they are devoted to the Mahayana, to hear about this inmost realization.

17. "They have made offerings assiduously to the Buddhas in the past and are to-day going to do the same. Come, for compassion's sake, to the Lanka, together with [thy] sons.

18. "Mahamati, accept my mansion, the company of the Apsaras, necklaces of various sorts, and the delightful Asoka garden.

19. "I give myself up to serve the Buddhas and their sons; there is nothing with me that I do not give up [for their sake]; Great Muni, have compassion on me!¡±

20. Hearing him speak thus, the Lord of the Triple World said, "King of Yakshas, this mountain of precious stones was visited by the Leaders in the past.

21. "And, taking pity on you, they discoursed on the Truth revealed in their inmost [consciousness]. [The Buddhas of] the future time will proclaim [the same] on this jewel-adorned mountain.

22. "This [inmost Truth] is the abode of those Yogins who stand in the presence of the Truth. King of the Yakshas, you have the compassion of the Sugatas and myself."

23. The Bhagavan accepting the request [of the King] remained silent and undisturbed; he now mounted the floral chariot offered by Ravana.

24. Thus Ravana and others, wise sons of the Victorious One, honoured by the Apsaras singing and dancing, reached the city.

25. Arriving in the delightful city [the Buddha was] again the recipient of honours; he was honoured by the group of Yakshas including Ravana and by the Yaksha women.

26. A net of jewels was offered to the Buddha by the younger Yakshas, girls and boys, and necklaces beautifully ornamented with jewels were placed by Ravana about the neck of the Buddha and those of the sons of the Buddha.

27. The Buddhas together with the sons of the Buddha and the wise men, accepting the offerings, discoursed on the Truth which is the state of consciousness realised in the inmost self.

28. Honouring [him as] the best speaker, Ravana and the company of the Yakshas honoured Mahamati and requested of him again and again:1

29. "Thou art the asker of the Buddha concerning the state of consciousness realized in their inmost selves, of which we here, Yakshas as well as the sons of the Buddha, are desirous of hearing. I, together with the Yakshas, the sons of the Buddha, and the wise men, request this of thee.

30. "Thou art the most eloquent of speakers, and the most strenuous of the Yogins; with faith I beg of thee. Ask [the Buddha] about the doctrine, O thou the proficient one!

31. "Free from the faults of the philosophers and Pratyeka-buddhas and Sravakas is the Truth of the inmost consciousness, immaculate and culminating in the stage of Buddhahood."

32. Thereupon the Bhagavan created jewel-adorned mountains and other objects magnificently embellished with jewels in an immense number.

33. On the summit of each mountain the Buddha himself was visible, and Ravana, the Yaksha, also was found standing there.

34. Thus the entire assembly was seen on each mountain-peak, and all the countries Were there, and in each there was a Leader.

35. Here also was the King of the Rakshasas and the residents of Lanka, and the Lanka created by the Buddha rivaling [the real one].

36. Other things were there, too, -- the Asoka with its shining woods, and on each mountain-peak Mahamati was making a request of the Buddha,

37. Who discoursed for the sake of the Yakshas on the Truth leading to the inmost realization; on the mountain-peak he delivered a complete sutra with an exquisite voice varied in hundreds of thousands of ways.

38. [After this] the teacher and the sons of the Buddha vanished away in the air, leaving Ravana the Yaksha himself standing [above] in his mansion.

39. Thought he, "How is this? What means this? and by whom was it heard? What was it that was seen? and by whom was it seen? Where is the city? and where is the Buddha?

40. "Where are those countries, those jewel-shining Buddhas, those Sugatas? Is it a dream then? or a vision? or is it a castle conjured up by the Gandharvas?

41. "Or is it dust in the eye, or a fata morgana, or the dream-child of a barren woman, or the smoke of a fire-wheel, that which I saw here?¡±

42. Then [Ravana reflected], "This is the nature as it is (dharmata) of all things, which belongs to the realm of Mind, and it is not comprehended by the ignorant as they are confused by every form of imagination.

43. "There is neither the seer nor the seen, neither the speaker nor the spoken; the form and usage of the Buddha and his Dharma -- they are nothing but discrimination.

44. "Those who see things such as were seen before, do not see the Buddha; [even] when discrimination is not aroused, one does not see1 the Buddha; the Buddha being fully-enlightened is seen where the world itself is not evolved.

The Lord of Lanka was then immediately awakened [from his reflection], feeling a revulsion (paravriti) in his Heart and realizing that the world was nothing but his own Heart: he was settled in the realm of non-discrimination, was urged by the stock of his past good deeds, acquired the cleverness of understanding all the texts, obtained the faculty of seeing things as they are, was no more dependent upon others, observed things excellently with his own wisdom (buddhi), gained the insight that was not of discursive reasoning, was no more dependent upon others, became a great Yogin of the discipline, was able to manifest himself in all excellent forms, got thoroughly acquainted with all skilful means, had the knowledge of the characteristic aspects of every stage, by which he would surmount it skillfully, was delighted to look into3 the self-nature of Citta, Manas, Manovijnana, got a view whereby he could cut himself loose from the triple continuation, had the knowledge of disposing of every argument of the philosophers on causation, thoroughly understood the Tathagata-garbha, the stage of Buddhahood, the inmost self, found himself abiding in the Buddha-knowledge; [when suddenly] a voice was heard from the sky, saying, "It is to be known by oneself.¡±

"Well done, well done, Lord of Lanka! Well done, indeed, Lord of Lanka, for once more! The Yogin is to discipline himself as thou doest. The Tathagatas and all things are to be viewed as they are viewed by thee; otherwise viewed, it is nihilism. All things are to be comprehended by transcending the Citta, Manas, and Vijnana as is done by thee. Thou shouldst look inwardly and not become attached to the letter and a superficial view of things; thou shouldst not fall into the attainments, conceptions, experiences, views, and Samadhis of the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers; thou shouldst not have any liking for small talk and witticism; thou shouldst not cherish the notion of self-substance, nor have any thought for the vainglory of rulership, nor dwell on such Dhyanas as belong to the six Dhyanas, etc.

"Lord of Lanka, this is the realization of the great Yogins: to destroy the discourses advanced by others, to crush mischievous views in pieces, to keep themselves properly away from ego-centered notions, to cause a revulsion in the depths of the mind fittingly by means of an exquisite knowledge. Such are sons of the Buddha who walk in the way of the Mahayana. In order to enter upon the stage of self-realisation as attained by the Tathagatas, the discipline is to be pursued by thee.

"Lord of Lanka, conducting thyself in this manner, let thee be further purified in the way thou hast attained; by disciplining thyself well in Samadhi and Samapatti, follow not the state realised and enjoyed by the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers, which rises from the imagination of those who discipline themselves according to the practices of the puerile philosophers. They cling to the individual forms of the world created by their egotistical ideas; they maintain such notions as element, quality, and substance; they cling tenaciously to views originating from ignorance; they become confused by cherishing the idea of birth where prevails emptiness; they cling to discrimination [as real]; they fall into the way of thinking where obtains [the dualism of] qualifying and qualified.

"Lord of Lanka, this is what leads to various excellent attainments, this is what makes one grow aware of the inmost attainment, this is the Mahayana realisation. This will result in the acquirement of an excellent condition of existence.

"Lord of Lanka, by entering upon the Mahayana discipline the veils [of ignorance] are destroyed, and one turns away from the multitudinous waves of the Vijnana and falls not into the refuge and practice of the philosophers.

"Lord of Lanka, the philosophers' practice starts from their own egotistic attachments. Their ugly practice arises from adhering to dualistic views concerning the self-nature of the Vijnana.

"Well done, Lord of Lanka; reflect on the signification of this as you did when seeing the Tathagata before; for this, indeed, is seeing the Tathagata."

At that time it occurred to Ravana: "I wish to see the Bhagavan again, who has all the disciplinary practices at his command, who has turned away from the practices of the philosophers, who is born of the state of realizations in the inmost consciousness, and who is beyond [the dualism of] the transformed and the transforming. He is the knowledge realized by the Yogins, he is the realization attained by those who enjoy the perfect bliss of the Samadhi which they gain by coming to an intuitive understanding through meditation. May I see thus [again] the Compassionate One by means of his miraculous powers in whom the fuel of passion and discrimination is destroyed, who is surrounded by sons of the Buddha, who has penetrated into the minds and thoughts of all beings, who moves about everywhere, who knows everything, who keeps himself away from work (kriya) and form (lakshana); seeing him may I attain what I have not yet attained, [retain] what I have already gained, may I conduct myself with non-discrimination, abide in the joy of Samadhi and Samapatti, and attain the ground where the Tathagatas walk, and in these make progress."

At that moment, the Bhagavan recognizing that the Lord of Lanka is to attain the Anutpattika-dharma-kshanti (Uncreated-Dharma-Forbearance) showed his glorious compassion for the ten-headed one by making himself visible once more on the mountain-peak studded with many jewels and enveloped in a net-work of jewels. The ten-headed King of Lanka saw the splendour again as seen before on the mountain-peak, [he saw] the Tathagata, who was the Arhat and the Fully-Enlightened One, with the thirty-two marks of excellence beautifully adorning his person, and also saw himself on each mountain-peak, together with Mahamati, in front of the Tathagata, the Fully-Enlightened One, putting forward his discourse on the realization experienced by the Tathagata in his inmost self, and, surrounded by the Yakshas, conversing on the verbal teachings and stories [of the Buddha]. Those [Buddha]-lands were seen with the Leaders.1

Then the Bhagavan beholding again this great assembly with his wisdom-eye, which is not the human eye, laughed loudly and most vigorously like the lion-king. Emitting rays of light from the tuft of hair between the eyebrows, from the ribs, from the loins, from the Srivatsa on the breast, and from every pore of the skin, ¡ªemitting rays of light which shone flaming like the fire taking place at the end of a kalpa, like a luminous rainbow, like the rising sun, blazing brilliantly, gloriously -- which were observed from the sky by Sakra, Brahma, and the guardians of the world, the one who sat on the peak [of Lanka] vying with Mount Sumeru laughed the loudest laugh. At that time the assembly of the Bodhisattvas together with Sakra and Brahma, each thought within himself:

"For what reason, I wonder, from what cause does the Blessed One who is the master of all the world (sarva-dharma-vasavartin), after smiling first, laugh the loudest laugh? Why does he emit rays of light from his own body? Why, emitting [rays of light], does he remain silent, with the realizations [of the Truth] in his inmost self, and absorbed deeply and showing no surprise in the bliss of Samadhi, and reviewing the [ten] quarters, looking around like the lion-king, and thinking only of the discipline, attainment, and performance of Ravana?"

At that time, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva who was previously requested by Ravana [to ask the Buddha concerning his self-realizations], feeling pity on him, and knowing the minds and thoughts of the assembly of the Bodhisattvas, and observing that beings to be born in the future would be confused in their minds because of their delight in the verbal teaching (desanapatha), because of their clinging to the letter as [fully in accordance with] the spirit (artha), because of their clinging to the disciplinary powers of the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers, -- which might lead them to think how it were that the Tathagatas, the Bhagavans, even in their transcendental state of consciousness should burst out into loudest laughter -- Mahamati the Bodhisattva asked the Buddha in order to put a stop to their inquisitiveness the following question: "For what reason, for what cause did this laughter take place?"

Said the Bhagavan: "Well done, well done, Mahamati! Well done, indeed, for once more, Mahamati! Viewing the world as it is in itself and wishing to enlighten the people in the world who are fallen into a wrong view of things in the past, present, and future, thou undertakest to ask me the question. Thus should it be with the wise men who want to ask questions for both themselves and others. Ravana, Lord of Lanka, O Mahamati, asked a twofold question of the Tathagatas of the past who are Arhats and perfect Buddhas; and he wishes now to ask me too a twofold question in order to have its distinction, attainment, and scope ascertained -- this is what is never tasted by those who practice the meditation of the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers; and the same will be asked by the question-loving ten-headed one of the Buddhas to come."

Knowing that, the Bhagavan said to the Lord of Lanka, thus: "Ask, thou Lord of Lanka; the Tathagata has given thee permission [to ask], delay not, whatever questions thou desirest to have answered, I will answer each of them with judgment to the satisfaction of your heart. Keeping thy seat of thought free from [false] discrimination, observe well what is to be subdued at each stage; ponder things with wisdom; [seeing into] the nature of the inner principle in thyself, abide in the bliss of Samadhi; embraced by the Buddhas in Samadhi, abide in the bliss of tranquillization; going beyond the Samadhi and understanding attained by the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas, abide in [the attainment of the Bodhisattvas] in the stages of Acala, Sadhumati, and Dharmamegha; grasp well the egolessness of all things in its true significance; be anointed by the Buddhas in Samadhi at the great palace of lotus-jewels. 1Surrounded by the Bodhisattvas who are sitting on lotuses of various sorts each supported by the gracious power of the Buddhas, thou shalt find thyself sitting on a lotus and each one of the Bodhisattvas looking at thee face to face. This is a realm beyond the imagination. Thou shouldst plan out an adequate plan and establish thyself at a stage of discipline by planning out such a plan as shall include [all kinds of] skilful means, so that thou comest to realize that realm which is beyond imagination; and thou shouldst attain the stage of Tathagatahood in which one is able to manifest oneself in various forms, and which is something never seen before by the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, philosophers, Brahma, Indra, Upendra, and others."

At that moment the Lord of Lanka being permitted by the Bhagavan, rose from his seat on the peak of the jewel-mountain which shone like the jewel-lotus immaculate and shining in splendour; he was surrounded by a large company of celestial maidens, and all kinds of garlands, flowers, perfumes, incense, unguents, umbrellas, banners, fiags, necklaces, half-necklaces, diadems, tiaras, and other ornaments whose splendour and excellence were never heard of or seen before, were created; music was played surpassing anything that could be had by the gods, Nagas, Yakshas, Rakshasas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, and men; musical instruments were created equal to anything that could be had in all the world of desire and also such superior musical instruments were created as were to be seen in the Buddha-lands; the Bhagavan and the Bodhisattvas were enveloped in a net of jewels; a variety of dresses and high banners was made rising high in the air as high as seven tala trees to great [the Buddha], showering great clouds of offerings, playing music which resounded [all around], and then descending from the air, [the Lord of Lanka] sat down on the peak of the jewel-mountain ornamented with magnificent jewel-lotus whose splendour was second only to the sun and lightning. Sitting he made courtesy smiling first to the Bhagavan for his permission and proposed him a twofold question: " It was asked of the Tathagatas of the past, who were Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones, and it was solved by them. Bhagavan, now I ask of thee; [the request] will certainly be complied with by thee as far as verbal instruction is concerned1 as it was by the Buddhas [of the past]. Bhagavan, duality was discoursed upon by the Transformed Tathagatas and Tathagatas of Trans-formation, but not by the Tathagatas of Silence.2 The Tathagatas of Silence are absorbed in the blissful state of Samadhi, they do not discriminate concerning this state, nor do they discourse on it. Bhagavan, thou assuredly wilt discourse on this subject of duality. Thou art thyself a master of all things, an Arhat, a Tathagata. The sons of the Buddha and myself are anxious to listen to it."

The Bhagavan said, "Lord of Lanka, tell me what you mean by duality?"

The Lord of the Rakshasas, who was renewed in his ornaments, full of splendour and beauty, with a diadem, bracelet, and necklace strung with vajra thread, said, "It is said that even dharmas are to be abandoned, and how much more adharmas. Bhagavan, why does this dualism exist that we are called upon to abandon? What are adharmas (non-dharma)? and what are dharmas? How can there be a duality of things to abandon -- a duality that arises from falling into discrimination, from discriminating self-substance where there is none, from [the idea of] things created (bhautika) and uncreated, because the non-differentiating nature of the alayavijnana is not recognized? Like the seeing of a hair-circle as really existing in the air, [the notion of dualism] belongs to the realm of intellection not exhaustively pur-gated. This being the. case as it should be, how could there be any abandonment [of dharmas and adharmas]?"

Said the Bhagavan, "Lord of Lanka, seest thou not that the differentiation of things, such as is perceived in jars and other breakable objects whose nature it is to perish in time, takes place in a realm of discrimination [cherished by] the ignorant? This being so, is it not to be so understood? It is due to discrimination [cherished by] the ignorant that there exists the differentiation of dharma and adharma. Noble wisdom (aryajnana), however, is not to be realised by seeing [things this way]. Lord of Lanka, let it be so with the ignorant who follow the particularised aspect of existence that there are such objects as jars, etc., but it is not so with the wise. One flame of uniform nature rises up depending on houses, mansions, parks, and terraces, and burns them down; while a difference in the flames is seen according to the power of each burning material which varies in length, magnitude, etc. This being so, why is it not to be so understood? The duality of dharma and adharma thus comes into existence. Not only is there seen a fire-flame spreading out in one continuity and yet showing a variety of flames, but from one seed, Lord of Lanka, are produced, also in one continuity, stems, shoots, knots, leaves, petals, flowers, fruit, branches, all individualized. As it is with every external object from which grows [a variety of] objects, so also with internal objects. From ignorance there develop the Skandhas, Dhatus, ayatanas, with all kinds of objects accompanying, which grow out in the triple world where we have, as we see, happiness, form, speech, and behaviour, each differentiating [infinitely]. The oneness of the Vijnana is grasped variously according to the evolution of an objective world; thus there are seen things inferior, superior, and middling, things defiled and free from defilement, things good and bad. Not only, Lord of Lanka, is there such a difference of conditions in things generally, there is also seen a variety of realisations attained innerly by each Yogin as he treads the path of discipline which constitutes his practice. How much more difference in dharma and adharma do we not see in a world of particulars which is evolved by discrimination? Indeed, we do.

"Lord of Lanka, the differentiation of dharma and adharma comes from discrimination. Lord of Lanka, what are dharmas? That is, they are discriminated by the discriminations cherished by the philosophers, Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and ignorant people. They think that the dharmas headed by quality and substance are produced by causes¡ª[these are the notions] to be abandoned. Such are not to be regarded [as real] because they are appearances (lakshana). It comes from one's clinging [to appearances] that the manifestations of his own Mind are regarded as reality (dharmata). Such things as jars, etc., are products of discrimination conceived by the ignorant, they exist not; their substances are not attainable. The viewing of things from this viewpoint is known as their abandonment.

"What, then, are adharmas? Lord of Lanka, [dharmas] are unattainable as to their selfhood, they are not appearances born of discrimination, they are above causality; there is in them no such [dualistic] happening as is seen as reality and non-reality. This is known as the abandoning of dharmas. What again is meant by the unattainability of dharmas? That is, it is like horns of a hare, or an ass, or a camel, or a horse, or a child conceived by a barren woman. They are dharmas the nature of which is unattainable; they are not to be thought [as real] because they are appearances. They are only talked About in popular parlance if they have any sense at all; they are not to be adhered to as in the case of jars, etc. As these [unrealities] are to be abandoned as not comprehensible by the mind (vijnana), so are things (bhava) of discrimination also to be abandoned. This is called the abandoning of dharmas and adharmas. Lord of Lanka, your question as to the way of abandoning dharmas and adharmas is hereby answered.

"Lord of Lanka, thou sayest again that thou hast asked [this question] of the Tathagatas of the past who were Arhats and Fully-Enlightened Ones and that it was solved by them. Lord of Lanka, that which is spoken of as the past belongs to discrimination; as the past is thus a discriminated [idea], even so are the [ideas] of the future and the present. Because of reality (dharmata) the Tathagatas do not discriminate, they go beyond discrimination and futile reasoning, they do not follow the individuation-aspect of forms (r¨±pa) except when [reality] is disclosed for the edification of the unknowing and for the sake of their happiness.1 It is by transcendental wisdom (prajna) that the Tathagata performs deeds transcending forms (animittacara); therefore, what constitutes the Tathagatas in essence as well as in body is wisdom (jnana). They do not discriminate, nor are they discriminated. Wherefore do they not discriminate the Manas? Because discrimination is of the self, of soul, of personality. How do they not discriminate? The Manovijnana is meant for the objective world where causality prevails as regards forms, appearances, conditions, and figures. Therefore, discrimination and non-discrimination must be transcended.

"Lord of Lanka, beings are appearances, they are like figures painted on the wall, they have no sensibility [or consciousness]. Lord of Lanka, all that is in the world is devoid of work and action because all things have no reality, and there is nothing heard, nothing hearing. Lord of Lanka, all that is in the world is like an image magically transformed. This is not comprehended by the philosophers and the ignorant. Lord of Lanka, he who thus sees things, is the one who sees truthfully. Those who see things otherwise walk in discrimination; as they depend on discrimination, they cling to dualism. It is like seeing one's own image reflected in a mirror, or one's own shadow in the water, or in the moonlight, or seeing one's shadow in the house, or hearing an echo in the valley. People grasping their own shadows of discrimination uphold the discrimination of dharma and adharma and, failing to carry out the abandonment of the dualism, they go on discriminating and never attain tranquility, By tranquility is meant oneness (ekagra), and oneness gives birth to the highest Samadhi, which is gained by entering into the womb of Tathagatahood, which is the realm of noble wisdom realized in one's inmost self."

(End of Chapter 1)


Table of Contents   | C1 | C2 | C3 | C4 | C5 | C6 | C7 | C8 | C9

Mahayana Lankavatara Sutra



Translated into English by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki



Chapter 2: Collection of All the Dharmas

     
At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva who had visited all the Buddha-lands, together with all the Bodhisattvas, rose from his seat by the power of the Buddhas, drawing his upper garment over one shoulder, placing his right knee on the ground and with folded hands, turning in the direction of the Bhagavan, respectfully saluted him, and praised him with the following verses:

1. As thou reviewest the world with thy transcendental knowledge and compassion, it is to thee like an ethereal flower, of which one cannot say whether it is born or destroyed, as [the category of] being and non-being is inapplicable to it.

2. As thou reviewest all things with thy transcendental knowledge and compassion, they are to thee like visions, they are beyond the reach of intellectual grasp, as [the category of] being and non-being is inapplicable to them.

3. As thou reviewest the world with thy transcendental knowledge and compassion, it is to thee always like a dream, of which one cannot say whether it is permanent or destructible, as [the category of] being and non-being is inapplicable to it.

4. In the Dharmakaya, whose self-nature is like a vision or a dream, what is there to praise? When no thought arises as to existence or as to not-having-self-nature, then there is praise.

5. Of a thing whose appearance is not visible because of its being beyond the senses and their objects, how can it be praised or blamed, O Muni?

6. With thy transcendental knowledge and compassion which are above form, thou comprehendest the egolessness of things and persons, and art thyself always clean and free from the hindrances of passion and knowledge.

7. Thou dost not vanish in Nirvana, nor is Nirvana abiding in thee; for it transcends the duality of knowing and known and of being and non-being.

8. Those who see the Muni so serene and beyond birth [and death] will be cleansed of attachment, stainless both in this world and in the other.

At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva praising the Bhagavan with such verses as these, made his own name known to the Bhagavan.

9. I am Mahamati, Bhagavan, and am well versed in the Mahayana. I wish to ask one hundred and eight questions of thee who art most eloquent.

10. Hearing his words the Buddha, the best knower of the world, looking over the whole assembly, spoke to the son of the Sugata thus:

11. Ask me, sons of the Victorious, and Mahamati, you ask and I will instruct you in self-realization.

At that moment Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva who was given by the Bhagavan the opportunity to speak, prostrated himself at the feet of the Bhagavan and asked:

12. How can one be cleansed of false intellection? Whence does it arise? How can one perceive errors? Whence do they arise?

13. Whence come lands, transformation, appearance, and philosophers? Wherefore is the state of imagelessness, the gradations, and whence are the sons of the Victorious?

14. Where is the way of emancipation? Who is in bondage? By what is he redeemed? What is the mental state of those who practise the Dhyanas? Whence is the triple vehicle?

15. What is that which is born of causation? What is effect? What is cause [or that which works]? Whence the doctrine of duality? Whence does it arise?

16. Wherefore is the tranquilising exercise of formlessness? And that of complete extinction? Wherefore the extinction of thoughts? And how is one awakened from it?

17. How does action rise? Whence is the behaviour of those who hold the body? Whence [this] visible [world]? Whence the conditions? Whence the entrance upon the stages?

18. Who is it that breaks through this triple existence? What is the abode? What is the body? Where does that which is abiding arise? Whence comes the son of the Buddha?

19. Who attains the psychic faculties, the self-masteries, the Samadhis? How is the mind tranquilised? Pray tell me, O Bull-like Victor?

20. What is the alaya? And whence the ManoVijnana? How does the visible [world] rise? How does it cease from being visible?

21. Whence are families and no-families? What is meant by Mind-only? The setting up of marks? And whence [the doctrine of] egolessness?

22. Why is there no being? What kind of teaching is in accordance with popular thinking? How can one cease cherishing eternalism (sasvata-darshana) and nihilism (uccheda-darshana)?

23. How is it that you do not differ from the philosophers as regards appearance? Tell me, whence is the rise of the Nyaya school? Its future?

24. What is meant by emptiness? What do you understand by momentary destruction? Whence is the Womb? And whence is the stability of the world?

25. Why is the world like a vision and a dream? How does it resemble the city of the Gandharvas? Why it is to be regarded as like a mirage, or like the moon reflected in water? Pray tell me.

26. What are the elements of enlightenment? Whence are the constituents of enlightenment? Wherefore is a revolution, and the disturbance of a kingdom? And how does the realiztic view of existence (bhavadrishti) take its rise?

27. What is meant by the world being above birth and death? or being like the flower in the air? How do you understand it? Why do you regard it as being beyond words?

28. How is it not subject to discrimination? How is it like the sky? Of how many sorts is suchness? How manifold is the Mind? How many Paramitas are there?

29. Whence is the gradation of the stages? What is the state of imagelessness? Wherefore is the twofold egolessness? How is one cleansed of [the hindrance of] knowledge?

30. Of how many kinds is knowledge (jnana)? O Leader! How many moral precepts are there? and forms of being? Whence are the families born of gold and jewel and pearl?

31. Of whom is speech born? Whence is the differentiation of beings? Whence are the sciences, offices, arts? and by whom are they made manifest?

32. Of how many sorts are gathas? What is prose? What is metre? Of how many sorts is reasoning and exegesis?

33. How many varieties of food and drink are there? Whence does sexual desire originate? Whence are there kings, sovereigns, and provincial rulers?

34. How does a king protect his dominion? Of how many groups are heavenly beings? Whence are the earth, stars, constellations, the moon, and the sun?

35. How many kinds of emancipation are there? of the Yogins? How many kinds of discipleship? And how about the masters?

36. How many kinds of Buddhahood are there? And how many of the Jataka Tales? How numerous are the evil ones? How numerous are the heretics?

37. What is meant by [the doctrine] that there is nothing but thought-construction? Pray tell me, thou Most Eloquent One?

38. Whence are the clouds in the sky? the wind? What is meant by recollection? by wisdom (medha)? Whence are trees and vines? Pray tell me, Lord of the Triple World?

39. How do horses, elephants, and deer get caught? Wherefore are there fools and despicable people? Pray tell me, thou Charioteer of the Mind?

40. Wherefore are the six seasons mentioned? What is meant by the Icchantika [one who is without Buddha-nature]? Pray tell me whence is the birth of a man? of a woman? of a hermaphrodite?

41. How does one retrograde in the Yoga exercises? How does one make progress in them? How many exercises are there? and how are men kept abiding in them? Pray tell me.

42. Beings are born in the various paths of existence, what are their specific marks and forms? How is abundance of wealth acquired? Pray tell me, thou who art like the sky?

43. Whence is the Sakya family? And the one born of Ikshvaku? Whence is the Rishi Long-Penance? What is taught by him?

44. How is it that thou art thus apparent everywhere in every land, surrounded by such Bodhisattvas of such various names and forms?

45. Why is meat not to be eaten? Why is it forbidden? Whence was the carnivorous race born, who eats meat?

46. Why are the lands shaped like the moon, the sun, the Sumeru, the lotus, the swatika, and the lion? Pray tell me.

47. Wherefore are the lands shaped like a capsized and upturned net of Indra which is composed of all sorts of jewels? Pray tell me why?

48. Wherefore are [the lands] shaped in the form of a lute or a drum? Like various flowers and fruits? Like the sun and the moon which are so stainless? Pray tell me.

49. Whence are the Buddhas of Transformation? Whence are the Buddhas of Maturity [or Recompense]? Whence are the Buddhas who are endowed with transcendental knowledge of suchness? Pray tell me.

50. Why does not one attain enlightenment in the world of desire? Pray tell me. What is the meaning of your being enlightened in the Akanishtha by shaking off all the passions?

51. After my passing who will be the upholder of the Discipline [or Doctrine, sasana]! How long should the teacher abide? How long should the teaching continue?

52. How many sorts of established truths are there? And how many of philosophical views? Whence is morality? And what constitutes the being of a Bhikshu? Pray tell me.

53. What is meant by a state of revulsion [or turning-back]? Whence is a state of imagelessness, [which is realized] by the Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Sravakas?

54. By whom are the psychic powers of this world attained? What are the super-worldly ones? By what means does the mind enter upon the seven stages? Pray tell me.

55. How many kinds of Brotherhood are there? And how does a dissension take place in a Brotherhood! Whence are medical treatises for beings? Pray tell me.

56. You say that you were among the Buddhas Kasyapa, Krakuchanda, and Kanakamuni; tell me wherefore so, O Great Muni!

57. Whence is the doctrine that there is no ego-soul in beings? Whence is the doctrine of eternity, and of annihilation? Wherefore do you not everywhere announce the doctrine of Mind-only as the truth?

58. What is meant by the forest of men and women? And by the forest of Karitaki and Amali? Whence are the mountains Kailasa, Cakravada, and Vajrasamhanana?

59. Among these, whence are the mountains decorated with various sorts of jewels and filled with Rishis and Gandharvas? Pray tell me.

60. Hearing this [which constitutes] the wonderful doctrine of the Mahayana and also the most excellent heart of the Buddhas, the Great Hero, the Buddha, the One Most Excelled in the Knowledge of the World, [spoke thus]:

61. Well done! Well done! O Mahaprajna-Mahamati! Listen well, and I will tell you in order regarding your questions.

62. Birth, no-birth, Nirvana, emptiness, transmigration, having-no-self-nature, Buddhas, sons of the Paramitas,

63. The Sravakas, Bodhisattvas, the philosophers, those who are capable of formless deeds, the Meru, oceans, mountains, islands, lands, the earth,

64. The stars, the sun, the moon, the philosophers, the Asura, emancipations, the self-masteries, the psychic faculties, the Dhyanas, the Samadhis,

65. The extinctions (nirodha), the supernatural powers, the elements of enlightenment, and the paths, Dhyanas, the unmeasurables, the aggregates (skandhas), and the comings-and-goings.

66. Samapattis, the extinctions, the stirrings of mind, explanations in words, the Citta, Manas, and Vijnanas, egolessness, the five Dharmas,

67. Self-nature, the discriminating, the discriminated, the visible [world], dualism--whence are they? Various forms of vehicles, families, those born of gold, jewels, and pearls?

68. The Icchantika, the original elements, the wandering-about, one Buddhahood, knowledge, the known, the marching, the attainment, and the existence and non-existence of beings?

69. How are horses, elephants, deer caught? Pray tell me how. What is a proposition, a teaching established by the conjunction of reason and illustration?

70. Whence is cause and effect? Various errors? and also reason? [Why the statement that there is] nothing but Mind, that there is no objective [literally, seen] world, that there is no ascending of the stages?

71. Whence is the state of imagelessness and revulsion which is a hundredfold? You tell me. Likewise about medical treatises, arts, crafts, sciences, and teachings?

72. And also what are the measurements of the mountains, Sumeru, and the earth? What are the measurements of the ocean, moon, and sun? Tell me.

73. How many particles of dust are there in the body of a being? How many of the coarser ones, of the finer ones, and of the middle ones? How many particles of dust in every land? How many in every dhanva?

74. In measuring distance how much is a hasta, a dhanu, a krosa, a yojana, a half-yojana? How many of rabbit-hairs, of window-dust, louse-eggs, or ram-hairs, of barley?

75. How many grains of barley in a prastha? How many grains of barley in a half-prastha? Likewise how many in a drona, in a kharya, a laksha, a koti, a vimvana?

76. How many atoms are there in a mustard-seed? How many mustard-seeds are there in a rakshika? How many in a bean, in a dharana, in a mashaka?

77. How many dharanas are there in a karsha? How many karshas in a pala? and how many palas are there in Mount Sumeru which is a huge accumulation [of masses]?

78. You should ask me thus, O son! Why do you ask me otherwise? How many atoms are there in the body of a Pratyekabuddha, of a Sravaka, of a Buddha, and of a Bodhisattva? Why do you not ask me in this wise?

79. How many atoms are there at the top of a flame? How many atoms are in the wind? How many in each sense-organ? How many in a pore of the skin? in the eyebrows?

80. Whence are these men of immense wealth, kings, great sovereigns? How is the kingdom taken care of by them? And how about their emancipation?

81. Tell whence is prose and metre. Why is sexual desire universally cherished? Whence is the variety of foods and drinks? Whence the man-woman forest?

82. Wherefore are the mountains of Vajrasamhanana? Tell me whence, wherefore; are they like a vision, a dream, and a fata-morgana?

83. Whence is the arising of clouds? And whence do the seasons rise? Whence is the nature of taste? Whence is woman, man, and hermaphrodite?

84. Whence are the adornments and the Bodhisattvas? Ask me, O my son! Whence are the divine mountains embellished by the Rishis and Gandharvas?

85. Whence is the way of emancipation? Who is in bondage? By whom is he delivered? What is the state of one who practises tranquillisation? What is transformation, and who are those philosophers?

86. What is meant by non-existence, existence, and no-effect? Whence arises the visible world? How can one be cleansed of false intellection? Whence does false intellection arise?

87. Whence arises action? And whence its departure? Tell me. How does the extinction of thought take place? And what is meant by a Samadhi?

88. Who is the one that breaks through the triple world? What is the position? What is the body? Wherefore the doctrine that beings have no ego-soul? What is meant by a teaching in accordance with the world?

89. Do you ask me about the marks? Do you ask me about egolessness? Do you ask me about the womb, about the Nyaya philosophers, O son of the Victor?

90. How about eternalism and nihilism? How is the mind tranquillised? Again [how about] speech, knowledge, morality, family, O son of the Victor?

91. What is meant by reasoning and illustrating, by master and disciple, by manifoldness of beings, food and drink, sky, intelligence, evil ones, and the statement that there is nothing but the thought-constructed?

92. What do you ask me concerning trees and vines, O son of the Victor? What about diversity of lands, and about Long-Penance the Rishi?

93. What is your family? Who is your master? You tell me, O son of the Victor. Who are the people who are despised? How is it that in the Yoga you do not attain enlightenment in the world of desire, but that in the Akanishtha there is realization?

94. What do you ask me about reasoning? What about the psychic faculties belonging to this world, and about the nature of a Bhikshu?

95. Do you ask me about Buddhas of Transformation, Buddhas of Maturity [or Recompense]? About Buddhas of the Knowledge of Suchness? And whence is the Bodhisattva?

96. You ask me, O son of the Victor, about the lands that are devoid of light, resembling a lute, a drum, and a flower, and about the mind abiding in the seven stages?

97. You ask me such and many other questions, which are in accordance with the marks [of Truth?] and free from erroneous views.


98.1 I will instruct you as regards realization and its teaching; listen to me intently; I will give you an explanation of the statements, O son, listen to me, in regard to the one hundred and eight statements as recounted by the Buddhas.

At that moment Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said to the Bhagavan: What is meant by the one hundred and eight statements?

The Bhagavan said: A statement concerning birth is no statement concerning birth; a statement concerning eternity is no statement concerning eternity. [The topics thus negated are as follows:1] the characteristic marks, abiding and changing, moment, self-nature, emptiness, annihilation, mind, the middle, permanence, causation, cause, the passions, desire, means, contrivance, purity, inference [or conclusion], illustration, a disciple, a master, a family, the triple vehicle, imagelessness, vows, the triple circle, form, duality of being and non-being, bothness, the noble wisdom of self-realization, the bliss of the present world, lands, atoms, water, a bow, reality, numbers and mathematics, the psychic powers, the sky, clouds, the arts and crafts and sciences, the wind, the earth, thinking, thought-constructions, self-nature, the aggregates, being, insight, Nirvana, that which is known, the philosophers, disorder, a vision, a dream, a mirage, a reflection, a circle made in the dark by a fire-brand, the city of the Gandharvas, the heavens, food and drink, sexuality, philosophical views, the Paramitas, morality, the moon and the sun and stars, truth, effect, annihilation and origination, medical treatment, the characteristic marks, the limbs, arts and sciences, Dhyana, error, the seen [world], protection, dynasty, Rishi, kingdom, apprehension, treasure, explanation, the Icchantika, man, woman, and hermaphrodite, taste, action, the body, false intellection, motives, sense-organs, the Samskrita, cause and effect, the Kanishtha, the seasons, a luxuriant growth of trees, vines and shrubs, multiplicity, entering into the teaching, systems of morality, the Bhikshus, the powers added [by the Buddha], the lutes. These are the one hundred and eight statements recounted by the Buddhas of the past.

At that moment, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said again to the Bhagavan: In how many ways, Bhagavan, does the rise, abiding, and ceasing of the Vijnanas take place?

The Bhagavan replied: There are two ways, Mahamati, in which the rise, abiding, and ceasing of the Vijnanas take place, and this is not understood by the philosophers. That is to say, the ceasing takes place as regards continuation and form. In the rise of the Vijnanas, also, these two are recognisable: the rise as regards continuation and the rise as regards form. In the abiding, also, these two [are discernible]: the one taking place as regards continuation and the other as regards form.

[Further,] three modes are distinguishable in the Vijnanas: (1) the Vijnana as evolving, (2) the Vijnana as producing effects, and (3) the Vijnana as remaining in its original nature.

[Further,] Mahamati, in the Vijnanas, which are said to be eight, two functions generally are distinguishable, the perceiving and the object-discriminating. As a mirror reflects forms, Mahamati, the perceiving Vijna a perceives [objects]. Mahamati, between the two, the perceiving Vijnana and the object-discriminating Vijnana, there is no difference; they are mutually conditioning. Then, Mahamati, the perciving Vijnana functions because of transformation's taking place [in the mind] by reason of a mysterious habit-energy, while, Mahamati, the object-discriminating Vijnana functions because of the mind's discriminating an objective world and because of the habit-energy accumulated by erroneous reasoning since beginningless time.

Again, Mahamati, by the cessation of all the sense-Vijnanas is meant the cessation of the alayaVijnana's variously accumulating habit-energy which is generated when unrealities are discriminated. This, Mahamati, is known as the cessation of the form-aspect of the Vijnanas.

Again, Mahamati, the cessation of the continuation-aspect of the Vijnanas takes place in this wise: that is to say, Mahamati, when both that which supports [the Vijnanas] and that which is comprehended [by the Vijnanas] cease to function. By that which supports [the Vijnanas] is meant the habit-energy [or memory] which has been accumulated by erroneous reasoning since beginningless time; and by that which is comprehended [by the Vijnanas] is meant the objective world perceived and discriminated by the Vijnanas, which is, however, no more than Mind itself.

Mahamati, it is like a lump of clay and the particles of dust making up its substance, they are neither different nor not-different; again, it is like gold and various ornaments made of it. If, Mahamati, the lump of clay is different from its particles of dust, no lump will ever come out of them. But as it comes out of them it is not different from the particles of dust. Again, if there is no difference between the two, the lump will be indistinguishable from its particles.

Even so, Mahamati, if the evolving Vijnana are different from the alayaVijnana, even in its original form, the alaya cannot be their cause. Again, if they are not different the cessation of the evolving Vijnanas will mean the cessation of the alayaVijnana, but there is no cessation of its original form. Therefore, Mahamati, what ceases to function is not the alaya in its original self-form, but is the effect-producing form of the Vijnanas. When this original self-form ceases to exist, then there will indeed be the cessation of the alayaVijnana. If, however, there is the cessation of the alayaVijnana, this doctrine will in no wise differ from the nihilistic doctrine of the philosophers.

This doctrine, Mahamati, as it is held by the philosophers, is this: When the grasping of an objective world ceases the continuation of the Vijnanas is stopped; and when there is no more of this continuation in the Vijnanas, the continuation that has been going on since beginningless time is also destroyed. Mahamati, the philosophers maintain that there is a first cause from which continuation takes place; they do not maintain that the eye-Vijnana arises from the interaction of form and light; they assume another cause. What is this cause, Mahamati? Their first cause is known as spirit (pradhana), soul (purusha), lord (isvara), time, or atom.

Again, Mahamati, there are seven kinds of self-nature: collection (samudaya), being (bhava), characteristic marks (lakshana), elements (mahabhuta), causality (hetu), conditionality (pratyaya), and perfection (nishpatti).1

Again, Mahamati, there are seven kinds of first principle [or highest reality, paramartha]: the world of thought (citta-gocara), the world of knowledge (jnana-), the world of super-knowledge (prajna-), the world of dualistic views (drishti-), the world beyond dualistic views, the world beyond the Bodhisattva-stages, and a world where the Tathagata attains his self-realization.

Mahamati, this is the self-nature, the first principle, the essence, which constitutes the being of the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones of the past, present, and future, whereby, perfecting things of this world and of a world beyond this, they, by means of a noble eye of transcendental wisdom, enter into various phases of existence, individual and general, and establish them. And what is thus established by them is not to be confused with the erroneous teachings generally held by the philosophers.

Mahamati, what are these erroneous teachings accepted generally by the philosophers? [Their error lies in this] that they do not recognise an objective world to be of Mind itself which is erroneously discriminated; and, not understanding the nature of the Vijnanas which are also no more than manifestations of Mind, like simple-minded ones that they are, they cherish the dualism of being and non-being where there is but [one] self-nature and [one] first principle.

Again, Mahamati, my teaching consists in the cessation of sufferings arising from the discrimination of the triple world; in the cessation of ignorance, desire, deed, and causality; and in the recognition that an objective world, like a vision, is the manifestation of Mind itself.

Mahamati, there are some Brahmans and Sramanas who assume something out of nothing, saying that there exists a substance which is bound up in causation and abides in time, and that the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas have their genesis and continuation in causation and, after thus existing, pass away.

They are those, Mahamati, who hold a destructive and nihilistic view concerning such subjects as continuation, activity, rising, breaking-up, existence, Nirvana, the path, karma, fruition, and truth. Why? Because they have not attained an intuitive understanding [of the Truth], because they have no fundamental insight of things. Mahamati, it is like a jar broken in pieces which is unable to function as a jar; again, it is like a burnt seed which is incapable of sprouting. Even so, Mahamati, their Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas which they regard as subject to changes are really incapable of uninterrupted transformation because their views do not originate from the perception of an objective world as a manifestation of Mind itself which is erroneously discriminated.

If again, Mahamati, something comes out of nothing and there is the rise of the Vijnanas by reason of a combination of the three effect-producing causes, we can say the same of a non-existing thing, that a tortoise would grow hair and sands produce oil. [As this is impossible] this proposition does not avail, it ends in affirming nothing. And, Mahamati, it follows that deed, work, and cause [of which they speak] will be of no use, and so also with their reference to being and non-being. Mahamati, when they argue that there is a combination of the three effect-producing causes, they do this by the principle of cause and effect [which is to say, by the principle that something comes out of something and not of nothing]; and thus there are [such things as] past, present, and future, and being and non-being. As long as they remain on their philosophic ground, their demonstration will be by means of their logic and text-books, for the memory of erroneous intellection will ever cling to them. 1 Thus, Mahamati, simple-minded ones, poisoned by an erroneous view, declare the incorrect way of thinking taught by the ignorant to be the one presented by the All-Knowing One.

Again, Mahamati, there are some Brahmans and Sramanas who recognising that the external world which is of Mind itself is seen as such owing to the discrimination and false intellection practised since beginningless time, know that the world has no self-nature and has never been born, it is like a cloud, a ring produced by a firebrand, the castle of the Gandharvas, a vision, a mirage, the moon as reflected in the ocean, and a dream; that Mind in itself has nothing to do with discrimination and causation, discourses of imagination, and terms of qualification (lakshya-lakshana); that body, property, and abode are objectifications of the alayaVijnana,1 which is in itself above [the dualism of] subject and object; that the state of imagelessness which is in compliance with the awakening of Mind itself,2 is not affected by such changes as arising, abiding, and destruction.

The Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas, Mahamati, will before long attain to the understanding that Nirvana and Samsara are one. Their conduct, Mahamati, will be in accordance with the effortless exhibition of a great loving heart that ingeniously contrives means [of salvation], knowing that all beings have the nature of being like a vision or a reflection, and that [there is one thing which is] not bound by causation, being beyond the distinction of subject and object; [and further] seeing that there is nothing outside Mind, and in accordance with a position of unconditionality, they will by degrees pass through the various stages of Bodhisattvahood and will experience the various states of Samadhi, and will by virtue of their faith understand that the triple world is of Mind itself, and thus understanding will attain the Samadhi Mayopama. The Bodhisattvas entering into the state of imagelessness where they see into the truth of Mind-only, arriving at the abode of the Paramitas, and keeping themselves away from the thought of genesis, deed, and discipline, they will attain the Samadhi Vajravimbopama which is in compliance with the Tathagatakaya and with the transformations of suchness. After achieving a revulsion in the abode [of the Vijnanas], Mahamati, they will gradually realize the Tathagatakaya, which is endowed with the powers, the psychic faculties, self-control, love, compassion, and means; which can enter into all the Buddha-lands and into the sanctuaries of the philosophers; and which is beyond the realm of Citta-mano-manoVijnana. Therefore, Mahamati, these Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who wish, by following the Tathagatakaya, to realize it, should exercise themselves, in compliance with the truth of Mind-only, to desist from discriminating and reasoning erroneously on such notions as Skandhas, Dhatus, ayatanas, thought, causation, deed, discipline, and rising, abiding, and destruction.

Perceiving that the triple existence is by reason of the habit-energy of erroneous discrimination and false reasoning that has been going on since beginningless time, and also thinking of the state of Buddhahood which is imageless and unborn, [the Bodhisattva] will become thoroughly conversant with the noble truth of self-realization, will become a perfect master of his own mind, will conduct himself without effort, will be like a gem reflecting a variety of colours, will be able to assume the body of transformation, will be able to enter into the subtle minds of all beings, and, because of his firm belief in the truth of Mind-only, will, by gradually ascending the stages, become established in Buddhahood. Therefore, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva be well disciplined in self-realization.

Then Mahamati said: Teach me, Bhagavan, concerning that most subtle doctrine which explains the Citta, Manas, ManoVijnana, the five Dharmas, the Svabhavas, and the Lakshanas; which is put in practice by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; which is separated from the state of mind which recognises a world as something outside Mind itself; and which, breaking down all the so-called truths established by words and reasonings, constitutes the essence of the teachings of all the Buddhas. Pray teach this assembly headed by the Bodhisattvas gathering on Mount Malaya in the city of Lanka; teach them regarding the Dharmakaya which is praised by the Tathagatas and which is the realm of the alayaVijnana which resembles the ocean with its waves. Then the Bhagavan again speaking to Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this: The reasons whereby the eye-consciousness arises are four. What are they? They are: (1) The clinging to an external world, not knowing that it is of Mind itself; (2) The attaching to form and habit-energy accumulated since beginningless time by false reasoning and erroneous views; (3) The self-nature inherent in the Vijnana; (4) The eagerness for multiple forms and appearances. By these four reasons, Mahamati, the waves of the evolving Vijnanas are stirred on the alayaVijnana which resembles the waters of a flood. The same [can be said of the other sense-consciousnesses] as of the eye-consciousness. This consciousness arises at once or by degrees in every sense-organ including its atoms and pores of the skin; the sense-field is apprehended like a mirror reflecting objects, like the ocean swept over by a wind. Mahamati, similarly the waves of the mind-ocean are stirred uninterruptedly by the wind of objectivity; cause, deed, and appearance condition one another inseparably; the functioning Vijnanas and the original Vijnana are thus inextricably bound-up together; and because the self-nature of form, etc., is not comprehended, Mahamati, the system of the five consciousnesses (Vijnanas) comes to function. Along with this system of the five Vijnanas, there is what is known as ManoVijnana [i. e., the thinking function of consciousness], whereby the objective world is distinguished and individual appearances are distinctly determined, and in this the physical body has its genesis. But the ManoVijnana and other Vijnanas have no thought that they are mutually conditioned and that they grow out of their attachment to the discrimination which is applied to the projections of Mind itself. Thus the Vijnanas go on functioning mutually related in a most intimate manner and discriminating a world of representations.

As the Vijnanas thus go on functioning [without being conscious of their own doings], so the Yogins while entering upon a state of tranquillisation (Samapatti) are not aware of the workings of the subtle habit-energy [or memory] within themselves; for they think that they would enter upon a state of tranquillisation by extinguishing the Vijnanas. But [in fact] they are in this state without extinguishing the Vijnanas which still subsist because the seeds of habit-energy have not been extinguished; and [what they imagine to be] an extinction is really the non-functioning of the external world to which they are no more attached. So it is, Mahamati, with the subtle working of the alayaVijnana, which, except for the Tathagata and those Bodhisattvas who are established on the stages, is not easy to comprehend; [especially] by those who practise the discipline belonging to the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers, even with their powers of Samadhi and transcendental knowledge, it is difficult to distinguish. Only those who, understanding fully all the aspects of the different stages of Bodhisattvahood by the aid of their transcendental knowledge, acquiring a definite cognition as regards the meaning of the separate propositions, planting roots of goodness in the Buddha-lands that know no limits, and keeping themselves away from the discriminations and false reasonings that arise from recognising an external world which is of Mind itself, would retire into a secluded abode in the forest and devote themselves to the practice of the spiritual discipline, either high, or low, or middling, only those are capable of obtaining an insight into the flowing of Mind itself in a world of discrimination, of being baptised by the Buddhas living in the lands without limits, and of realizing the self-control, powers, psychic faculties, and Samadhis. Surrounded by good friends and the Buddhas, Mahamati, they are capable of knowing the Citta, Manas, ManoVijnana, which are the discriminating agents of an external world whose self-nature is of Mind itself; they are capable of crossing the ocean of birth and death which arises by reason of deed, desire, and ignorance. For this reason, Mahamati, the Yogins ought to exercise themselves in the discipline which has been given them by their good friends and the Buddhas.

At that time the Bhagavan recited the following verses:

99. Like waves that rise on the ocean stirred by the wind, dancing and without interruption,

100. The alaya-ocean in a similar manner is constantly stirred by the winds of objectivity, and is seen dancing about with the Vijnanas which are the waves of multiplicity.

101. Dark-blue, red, [and other colours], with salt, conch-shell, milk, honey, fragrance of fruits and flowers, and rays of sunlight;

102. They are neither different nor not-different: the relation is like that between the ocean and its waves. So are the seven Vijnanas joined with the Citta (mind).

103. As the waves in their variety are stirred on the ocean, so in the alaya is produced the variety of what is known as the Vijnanas.

104. The Citta, Manas, and Vijnanas are discriminated as regards their form; [but in substance] the eight are not to be separated one from another, for there is neither qualified nor qualifying.

105. As there is no distinction between the ocean and its waves, so in the Citta there is no evolution of the Vijnanas.

106. Karma is accumulated by the Citta, reflected upon by the Manas, and recognised by the ManoVijnana, and the visible world is discriminated by the five Vijnanas.

107. Varieties of colour such as dark-blue, etc., are presented to our Vijnana. Tell me, Great Muni, how there are these varieties of colour like waves [on the ocean]?

108. There are no such varieties of colour in the waves; it is for the sake of the simple-minded that the Citta is said to be evolving as regards form.

109. There is no such evolving in the Citta itself, which is beyond comprehension. Where there is comprehension there is that which comprehends as in the case of waves [and ocean].

110. Body, property, and abode are presented as such to our Vijnanas, and thus they are seen as evolving in the same way as are the waves.

111. The ocean is manifestly seen dancing in the state of waveness; how is it that the evolving of the alaya is not recognised by the intellect even as the ocean is?

112. That the alaya is compared to the ocean is [only] for the sake of the discriminating intellect of the ignorant; the likeness of the waves in motion is [only] brought out by way of illustration.

113. When the sun rises it shines impartially on people high and low; so thou who art the light of the world shouldst announce the truth (tattvam) to the ignorant.

114. How is it that in establishing thyself in the Dharma thou announcest not the truth? If the truth is announced by me, the truth is not in the mind.2

115. As the waves appear instantly on the ocean, or [images] in a mirror or a dream, so the mind is reflected in its own sense-fields.3

116. Owing to a deficiency in conditions the evolution [of the Vijnanas] takes place by degrees.4 The function of the ManoVijnana is to recognise and that of the Manas is to reflect upon,

117. While to the five Vijnanas the actual world presents itself. There is no gradation when one is in a state of collectedness (samahita).5 Like unto a master of painting or his pupils,

118.1 Who arrange colours to produce a picture, I teach. The picture is not in the colours, nor in the canvas, nor in the plate;

119. In order to make it attractive to all beings, a picture is presented in colours. What one teaches, transgresses; for the truth (tattva) is beyond words.

120. Establishing myself in the Dharma, I preach the truth for the Yogins. The truth is the state of self-realization and is beyond categories of discrimination.

121. I teach it to the sons of the Victorious; the teaching is not meant for the ignorant. What is seen as multitudinous is a vision which exists not.

122. The teaching itself is thus variously given, subject to transgression; the teaching is no teaching whatever if it is not to the point in each case.

123. According to the nature of a disease the healer gives its medicine; even so the Buddhas teach beings in accordance with their mentalities.

124. This is indeed not a mental realm to be reached by the philosophers and the Sravakas; what is taught by the leaders is the realm of self-realization.


Further, Mahamati, if the Bodhisattva should wish to understand fully that an external world to be subsumed under categories of discrimination, such as the grasping (subject) and the grasped (object), is of Mind itself, let him be kept away from such hindrances as turmoil, social intercourse, and sleep; let him be kept away from the treatises and writings of the philosophers, from things belonging to the vehicles of Sravakahood and Pratyekabuddhahood; let the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva be thoroughly acquainted with objects of discrimination which are to be seen as of Mind itself.

Further, Mahamati, when the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva establishes himself in the abode where he has gained a thorough understanding of Mind by means of his transcendental knowledge, he should later discipline himself in the cultivation of noble wisdom in its triple aspect. What are the three aspects of noble wisdom, Mahamati, in which he has to discipline himself later? They are: (1) imagelessness; (2) the power added by all the Buddhas by reason of their original vows; and (3) the self-realization attained by noble wisdom. Having mastered them, the Yogin should abandon his knowledge of Mind gained by means of transcendental wisdom, which still resembles a lame donkey; and entering upon the eighth stage of Bodhisattvahood, he should further discipline himself in these three aspects of noble wisdom.

Then again, Mahamati, the aspect of imagelessness comes forth when all things belonging to the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas and philosophers are thoroughly mastered. Again, Mahamati, as to the power added, it comes from the original vows made by all the Buddhas. Again, Mahamati, as to the self-realization aspect of noble wisdom, it rises when a Bodhisattva, detaching himself from viewing all things in their phenomenality, realizes the Samadhi-body whereby he surveys the world as like unto a vision, and further goes on to the attainment of the Buddha-stage. Mahamati, this is the triplicity of the noble life. Furnished with this triplicity, noble ones will attain the state of self-realization which is the outcome of noble wisdom. For this reason, Mahamati, you should cultivate noble wisdom in its triple aspect.

At that moment, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva knowing what was going on in the minds of the Bodhisattvas who were gathered there, and empowered by the power added to him by all the Buddhas, asked the Bhagavan concerning the doctrine known as examining into the reality of noble wisdom. Tell me, Bhagavan, the doctrine of examining into the reality of noble wisdom, depending on which the one hundred and eight statements are to be distinguished--the doctrine depending on which the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones will analyse and disclose the nature and course of false imagination for the sake of the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who have fallen into the way of looking at things from their aspects of generality and individuality. Thus the Bodhisattvas will be instructed in the analysis and thorough examination of false imagination, and thereby they will have the passage purified which leads to the egolessness of things and persons, and get an illumination on the stages of Bodhisattvahood; and, further, going beyond the bliss of the tranquillisations1 belonging to all the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers, will attain the Dharmakaya of the Tathagata, which belongs to the realm and course of Tathagatahood transcending thought and in which there is no rising of the five Dharmas. That is to say, they will attain the Tathagata-body which is the Dharma intimately bound up with the understanding born of transcendental knowledge, and which, entering into the realm of Maya, reaches all the Buddha-lands, the heavenly mansions of Tushita, and the abode of the Akanishtha.

Said the Bhagavan: Mahamati, there are some philosophers who are addicted to negativism, according to whose philosophical view the non-existence of the hare's horns is ascertained by means of the discriminating intellect which affirms that the self-nature of things ceases to exist with the destruction of their causes; and they say that all things are non-existent just like the hare's horns.

Again, Mahamati, there are others who, seeing distinctions existing in things as regards the elements, qualities, atoms, substances, formations, and positions, and, attached to the notion that the hare's horns are non-existent, assert that the bull has horns.

There are, Mahamati, those who have fallen into the dualistic way of thinking, being unable to comprehend the truth of Mind-only; they desire to discriminate a world which is of Mind itself. Mahamati, body, property, and abode have their existence only when measured in discrimination. The hare's horns neither are nor are not; no discrimination is to be made about them. So it is, Mahamati, with all things, of which neither being nor non-being can be predicated; have no discrimination about them!

Again, Mahamati, those who have gone beyond being and non-being, no more cherish the thought that the hare has no horns; for they never think that the hare has no horns because of mutual reference, nor do they think that the bull has horns because no ultimate substance is to be obtained however minutely the analysis of the horns may go on even to the subtlest particle known as atom: [that is,] the state in which noble wisdom is realized is beyond being and non-being.

At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: Is it not this way, Bhagavan, that, seeing how discrimination takes place, we proceed to refer this to the non-rising of discrimination and infer that the horns exist not?

The Bhagavan said: No, indeed, Mahamati, the non-existence of the horns has no reference to the non-rising of discrimination. Why is it not so? Because there is discrimination owing to the idea of the horns. Indeed, depending upon the idea of the horns, Mahamati, discrimination takes place. And because of this dependence of discrimination upon the idea of the horns, Mahamati, and because of this relationship of dependence and apart from the anyananya1 relationship, one talks of the non-existence of the hare's horns, surely not because of the reference [to the horns of the bull]. If again, Mahamati, discrimination is different (anya) from the hare's horns, it will not take place by reason of the horns [and therefore the one is not different from the other]; but if it is not different (ananya), there is a discrimination taking place by reason of the horns [and therefore the one is different from the other]. However minutely the atoms are analysed, no horn [-substance] is obtainable; the notion of the horns itself is not available when thus reasoned. As neither of them [that is, the bull's nor the hare's] are existent, in reference to what should we talk of non-existence? Therefore, Mahamati, the reasoning by reference as regards the non-existence of the hare's horns is of no avail. The non-existence of the hare's horns is asserted in reference to their existence [on the bull; but really a horn itself has no existence from the beginning]; have therefore no discrimination about it! Mahamati, the dualism of being and non-being as held by the philosophers does not obtain as we see in the reasoning of horns.

Again, Mahamati, there are other philosophers affected with erroneous views, who are attached to such notions as form, cause, and figure; not fully understanding the nature of space and seeing that space is disjoined from form, they proceed to discriminate about their separate existences. But, Mahamati, space is form, and, Mahamati, as space penetrates into form, form is space. To establish the relation of supporting and supported, Mahamati, there obtains the separation of the two, space and form. Mahamati, when the elements begin to evolve [a world] they are distinguishable one from another; they do not abide in space, and space is not non-existent in them.

It is the same with the hare's horns, Mahamati, whose non-existence is asserted in reference to the bull's horns. But, Mahamati, when the bull's horns are analysed to their minutest atoms, which in turn are further analysed, there is after all nothing to be known as atoms. The non-existence of what, is to be affirmed in reference to what? As to the other things, too, this reasoning from reference does not hold true.

At that time, again, the Bhagavan said this to Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva; Mahamati, you should discard the views and discriminations that are concerned with the horns of a hare and a bull, with space and form. And also, Mahamati, let you and other Bodhisattvas reflect on the nature of discrimination which they have of the Mind itself, and let them go into all the Bodhisattva-lands where they should disclose the way of disciplining themselves in the manifestations of Mind itself.


Then at that time the Bhagavan recited these verses:

125. The world [as we see it] exists not, pluralities of things rise from the Mind being seen [externally]; body, property, and abode are manifested to us as of the alayaVijnana.

126. The leaders talk about the Citta, Manas, [Mano-]Vijnana, the [triple] Svabhava, the five Dharmas, the twofold egolessness, and purification.

127. Long and short, etc., exist mutually bound up; when existence is asserted, there is non-existence, and where non-existence is asserted, there is existence.

128. Analysed down to atoms, there is indeed no form to be discriminated as such; what can be established is the [truth of] Mind-only, which is not believed by those who cherish erroneous views.

129. This does not belong to the realm of the theoreticians nor to that of the Sravaka; the Buddhas disclose the way of self-realization.

At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva made a request of the Bhagavan regarding the purification of the outflow which comes from recognising an objective world which is of Mind itself, saying, How, O Bhagavan, is the outflow purified that takes place from recognising an external world which is of Mind itself? Is the purification instantaneous or gradual?

Replied the Bhagavan: The outflow that takes place from recognising an external world which is of Mind itself is gradually purified and not instantaneously. Mahamati, it is like the amra fruit which ripens gradually and not instantaneously; in the same way, Mahamati, the purification of beings1 is gradual and not instantaneous. Mahamati, it is like the potter making pots, which is done gradually and not instantaneously; in the same way, Mahamati, the purification of beings by the Tathagata is gradual and not instantaneous. Mahamati, it is like grass, shrubs, herbs, and trees, that grow up gradually from the earth and not instantaneously; in the same way, Mahamati, the purification by the Tathagata of beings is gradual and not instantaneous; Mahamati, it is like the mastery of comedy, dancing, singing, music, lute-playing, writing, and [other] arts, which is gained gradually and not instantaneously; in the same way, Mahamati, the purification by the Tathagata of all beings is gradual and not instantaneous.

Mahamati, it is like a mirror indiscriminately and instantaneously reflecting in it forms and images; in the same way, Mahamati, the purification by the Tathagata of all beings is instantaneous, who makes them free from discrimination and leads them to the state of imagelessness. Mahamati, it is like the sun or the moon revealing all forms instantaneously by illuminating them with its light; in the same way, Mahamati, the Tathagata, by making all beings discard the habit-energy which issues from the erroneous views they entertain in regard to an external world which is of the Mind, instantaneously reveals to all beings the realm of unthinkable knowledge which belongs to Buddhahood. It is like the alayaVijnana making instantaneously a world of body, property, and abode, which is what is seen of Mind itself; in the same way, Mahamati, the Nishyanda-Buddha, instantaneously maturing the mentality of beings, places them in the palatial abode of the Akanishtha mansion where they will become practisers of various spiritual exercises. Mahamati, it is like the Dharmata-Buddha shining forth instantaneously with the rays that issue from the Nishyanda-Nirmana [-Buddha]; in the same way, Mahamati, the noble truth of self-realization instantaneously shines out when the false [dualistic] views of existence and non-existence are discarded.

And yet again, Mahamati, what the Dharniata-Nishyanda-Buddha [that is, the Buddha that flows out of the absolute Dharma] teaches is that all things are comprehensible under the aspects of individuality and generality, for they are bound up with causes and conditions of habit-energy which is accumulated by not recognising an external world as of Mind itself; that by reason of clinging to these false imaginations there is multitudinousness of unrealities, which resemble the various scenes and persons created magically and imagined as really in existence. Further again, Mahamati, false imaginations arise from clinging to the notion of relativity. To illustrate: when the magician depending upon grass, wood, shrubs, and creepers, exercises his art, all beings and forms take shape, magically-created persons are produced, which appear endowed with individuality and material body, and they are variously and fancifully discriminated. While they are thus manifesting themselves, Mahamati, there is no substantiality in them. Likewise, Mahamati, based on the notion of relativity the false imagination recognises a variety of appearances which are distinguished by a discriminating mind. And as their individual appearances are imagined and adhered to, there is habit-energy, and, Mahamati, so long as the fancying goes on we have here all that is needed to constitute the self-nature of the false imagination. Mahamati, this is the discourse of the Nishyanda Buddha.

Again, Mahamati, it is the doing of the Dharmata-Buddha to establish the exalted state of self-realization which transcends the phenomena of the [empirical] mind.

Again, Mahamati, what the Nirmita-Nirmana-Buddha [or Buddha of transformation] establishes concerns such matters as charity, morality, meditation, tranquillisation, various forms of transcendental knowledge and of understanding, the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas, emancipation, the Vijnanas, and the ways in which they function, the forms which they take, their distinctions and their performances. The Buddha discloses against the philosophical views that which surpasses forms.

Again Mahamati, the Dharmata-Buddha is unconditioned, free from conditions, has nothing to do with all doings, senses, and measurements, and does not belong to the world of the ignorant, Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers, who are always clinging to the notion of an ego. For this reason, Mahamati, you should discipline yourself in the excellent and exalted way leading to self-realization; you should keep yourself away from the views that recognise the reality of an external world apart from the Mind itself.


Further again, Mahamati, in the life of the Sravaka-vehicle, there are two aspects to be distinguished, namely, the excellent and exalted state of self-realization, and the attachment to the notion of self-nature arising from discrimination. What is the excellent, exalted state of self-realization belonging to the Sravakas? This is a state of mental concentration which is attained when one realizes states of emptiness, egolessness, suffering, and impermanence, and the truth that is free from passions and is ever serene; when one annihilates notions belonging to the externality of things, such as the Skandhas, Dhatus, ayatanas, individuality and generality; and when one has an insight into reality as it is. Entering upon this state of mental concentration the Sravakas will attain the blissful abode of exalted self-realization in which there is the emancipation belonging to a Dhyana, the path and fruit of a Samadhi, and the deliverance of a Samapatti, but in which there is as yet no discarding of habit-energy and no escape from the imperceivable transformation of death. This, Mahamati, is the Sravaka's exalted state of self-realization. Having attained this exalted and blissful condition of self-realization as realized by the Sravakas, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva may not enjoy by himself the bliss of cessation, the bliss of Samapatti, but should think compassionately of other beings and keep ever fresh his original vows. Mahamati, in whatever exalted and blissful state of self-realization the Bodhisattva may find himself, he should never exert himself in the exalted and blissful state of self-realization as attained by the Sravakas.

Mahamati, what is meant by the attachment to the notion of self-nature arising from discrimination? This attachment takes place when a man, seeing that the elements and the qualities such as blue, yellow, warmth, humidity, motility, and rigidity, have never been created by a creator, yet clings to the notions of individuality and generality in accordance with the measures laid down in books of logic. Mahamati, the Bodhisattva, knowing what this is, must abandon it. Conforming himself to the egolessness of things and holding back the wrong views regarding the egolessness of a person, the Bodhisattva should keep himself on the continuously-ascending journey along the stages. This is the Sravaka's attachment to the notion of self-nature arising from the discrimination of existence.

At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: According to the Bhagavan's teaching, the eternal-unthinkable is the exalted condition of self-realization and also of highest reality. Now, do not the philosophers also talk about the creative agent being the eternal-unthinkable?

The Bhagavan replied: No, Mahamati, the eternal-unthinkable considered by the philosophers to be characteristic of their creator is untenable. Why? Because, Mahamati, the eternal-unthinkable as held by the philosophers is not in conformity with the idea of a cause itself. When, Mahamati, this eternal-unthinkable is not in conformity with the idea of a cause itself how can this be proved tenable? Again, Mahamati, if what is claimed to be the eternal-unthinkable is in conformity with the idea of a cause [which is eternal] in itself, it can be eternal; but since the idea of a creator is based upon that of a [further] cause, it cannot be the eternal-unthinkable.

But, Mahamati, my highest reality is the eternal-unthinkable since it conforms to the idea of a cause and is beyond existence and non-existence. Because it is the exalted state of self-realization it has its own character; because it is the cause of the highest reality it has its causation; because it has nothing to do with existence and non-existence it is no doer; because it is to be classed under the same head as space, Nirvana, and cessation it is eternal. Therefore, Mahamati, it is not the same as the eternal-unthinkable of the philosophers; the eternal-unthinkable of the Tathagatas is thatness realized by noble wisdom within themselves. For this reason, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva discipline himself in order to attain by means of noble wisdom the truth of self-realization which is the eternal-unthinkable.

Again, further, Mahamati, the eternal-unthinkable of the philosophers is not characterised with eternality because it has a cause which is not eternal; what they regard as eternal is not eternal as it is not characterised with the power that can create itself. If again, Mahamati, the philosophers prove the eternality of their eternal-unthinkable in contradistinction to the becoming and therefore the non-eternality of things created, Mahamati, by the same reasoning I can prove that their eternality has no reason to be known as such just because things created are non-eternal owing to their becoming.

If again, Mahamati, the eternal-unthinkable of the philosophers is in conformity with the idea of a cause, what they regard as characteristic of a cause is a non-entity like the horns of a hare; and, Mahamati, their eternal-unthinkable is no more than a verbal discrimination, in which, Mahamati, the philosophers' fault consists. Why? Because, Mahamati, mere verbal discriminations are, indeed, the hare's horns, on account of their having no characteristic of a self-cause. Mahamati, moreover, my eternal-unthinkable is really eternal because it finds its cause in the exalted state of self-realization, and because it has nothing to do with a creator, with being and non-being. Its eternality is not derived from the reasoning which is based upon the external notion of being and non-being, of eternity and non-eternity. If the eternal-unthinkable is eternal in consideration of the non-existence and eternality of external things, we can say of this kind of the eternal-unthinkable that the philosophers do not know what is meant by characteristically self-caused. As they are outside the state of self-realization attainable by noble wisdom, Mahamati, their discourse is not to the point.

Further, Mahamati, those who, afraid of sufferings arising from the discrimination of birth-and-death, seek for Nirvana, do not know that birth-and-death and Nirvana are not to be separated the one from the other; and, seeing that all things subject to discrimination have no reality, imagine that Nirvana consists in the future annihilation of the senses and their fields. They are not aware, Mahamati, of the fact that Nirvana is the alayaVijnana where a revulsion takes place by self-realization. Therefore, Mahamati, those who are stupid talk of the trinity of vehicles and not of the state of Mind-only where there are no images. Therefore, Mahamati, those who do not understand the teachings of the Tathagatas of the past, present, and future, concerning the external world, which is of Mind itself, cling to the notion that there is a world outside what is seen of the Mind and, Mahamati, go on rolling themselves along the wheel of birth-and-death.

Further, Mahamati, according to the teaching of the Tathagatas of the past, present, and future, all things are unborn. Why? Because they have no reality, being manifestations of Mind itself, and, Mahamati, as they are not born of being and non-being, they are unborn. Mahamati, all things are like the horns of the hare, horse, donkey, or camel, but the ignorant and simple-minded who are given up to their false and erroneous imaginations, discriminate things where they are not; therefore, all things are unborn. That all things are in their self-nature unborn, Mahamati, belongs to the realm of self-realization attained by noble wisdom, and does not belong essentially to the realm of dualistic discrimination cherished by the ignorant and simple-minded. The self-nature and the characteristic marks of body, property, and abode evolve when the alayaVijnana is conceived by the ignorant as grasping and grasped; and then they fall into a dualistic view of existence where they recognise its rise, abiding, and disappearance, cherishing the idea that all things are born and subject to discrimination as to being and non-being. Therefore, Mahamati, you should discipline yourself therein [i. e. in self-realization].

Again further, Mahamati, there are five groups of people, each of whom attains its own [spiritual] insight. What are the five? They are: (1) the group of people whose insight belongs to the Sravaka-vehicle; (2) the group of people whose insight belongs to the Pratyekabuddha-vehicle; (3) the group of people whose insight belongs to the Tathagata-vehicle; (4) the group of indefinite character; and (5) the group of people to whom no insight is possible.

Mahamati, how does one know the group of people whose insight belongs to the Sravaka vehicle? There are people the hair of whose body will stand on end when they know and realize the nature of the Skandhas, Dhatus, ayatanas, and [what is meant by] generality and individuality; their intellect will leap with joy on knowing and practising what belongs to appearance and not on practising what they know of the uninterrupted chain of causation, --such ones, Mahamati, are said to be of the group whose insight belongs to the Sravaka vehicle. Having had an insight into their own vehicle, they abide at the fifth or the sixth stage where they do away with the rising of the passions, but not with the habit-energy; they have not yet passed beyond the inconceivable transformation-death, and their lion-roar is, "My life is destroyed, my morality is established, etc."; they will then discipline themselves in the egolessness of persons and finally gain the knowledge of Nirvana.

Again, Mahamati, there are others who, believing in such things as ego, being, vital principle, nourisher, supreme spirit, or personal soul, will seek Nirvana in them. Again, Mahamati, there are still others who, seeing that all things exist by depending upon causes, will recognise in this the way to Nirvana. But, Mahamati, as they have no insight into the egolessness of things, there is no emancipation for them. This, Mahamati, is where those of the Sravaka-vehicle and the philosophers make the mistake in their insight by regarding non-deliverance as deliverance. Therefore, Mahamati, you ought to discipline yourself in order to escape this wrong view.

Now, Mahamati, they belong to the group of the Pratyekabuddha-vehicle who will shed tears and feel the hair of their body stand on end when the Pratyekabuddha's insight is shown to them. When the teaching to keep themselves away from social relations and entanglements, not to become attached to the external world and its manifold form, to perform miraculous powers by which they can divide their own body and appear double or perform the transformations, is disclosed to them, they are thereby entreated. Recognising that they are of the group whose insight belong to the Pratyekabuddha-vehicle, their discourses will be in conformity with the insight of the Pratyekabuddha-vehicle. This, Mahamati, is the characteristic feature of the group of people whose insight belongs to the Pratyekabuddha-vehicle.

Now, Mahamati, three aspects are distinguishable in the insight belonging to the group of the Tathagata-vehicle. They are: (1) an insight whereby one sees into the self-nature of things, which is no self-nature; (2) an exalted insight which is the attainment of self-realization; and (3) an insight into the immensity of the external Buddha-lands. When, Mahamati, these three aspects are disclosed one after another and also when the inconceivable realm of the alayaVijnana is disclosed, where body, property, and abode are seen to be the manifestation of Mind itself, a man will not be frightened, nor terrified, nor show any sign of fear; then such a one is to be known as of the group of people whose insight belongs to the Tathagata-vehicle. This is, Mahamati, the characteristic feature of the insight of those who belong to the Tathagata-vehicle.

Again, Mahamati, when these three forms of insight are disclosed to a man, he may thereby be pursuaded to discipline himself in them. This, Mahamati, is the stage of preparation for the establishment of his own group. In order that he may go up to the stage of imagelessness, there is this establishment. But the Sravaka who will purify his own habit-energy of passions by attaining an inner perception into the alaya and by seeing into the egolessness of things, will settle himself in the bliss of the Samadhi and finally will attain the body of Tathagatahood.

Then the Bhagavan recited these verses:

130. The fruit of the Stream-entered, and that of the Once-to-come; the fruit of the Not-to-come and Arhatship-- all these are due to mental perturbation.

131. The triple vehicle, the one vehicle, and the no-vehicle, of these I talk, for the sake of the dull-witted, and [also] for the wise, solitude-loving ones.

132. The gate of highest reality has nothing to do with the two forms of thought-construction [subject and object]; Where the imageless stands, why should we establish the triple vehicles?

133. The Dhyanas, the immeasurables, and the no-form Samadhis, and the thought-cessation--all these are not at all found in Mind-only.

Again, Mahamati, how is it that the Icchantika1 never awaken the desire for emancipation? Because they have abandoned all the stock of merit, and because they cherish certain vows for all beings since beginningless time. What is meant by abandoning all the stock of merit? It refers to [those Buddhists] who have abandoned the Bodhisattva collection [of the canonical texts], making the false accusation that they are not in conformity with the sutras, the codes of morality, and the emancipation. By this they have forsaken all the stock of merit and will not enter into Nirvana. Secondly again, Mahamati, there are Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who, on account of their original vows made for all beings, saying, "So long as they do not attain Nirvana, I will not attain it myself," keep themselves away from Nirvana. This, Mahamati, is the reason of their not entering into Nirvana, and because of this they go on the way of the Icchantika.

Again, Mahamati said; Who, Bhagavan, would never enter Nirvana?

The Bhagavan replied: Knowing that all things are in Nirvana itself from the very beginning, the Bodhisattva-Icchantika would never enter Nirvana. But those Icchantikas who have forsaken all the stock of merit [finally] do. Those Icchantikas, Mahamati, who have forsaken all the stock of merit might some day be influenced by the power of the Tathagatas and be induced at any moment to foster the stock of merit. Why? Because, Mahamati, no beings are left aside by the Tathagatas. For this reason, Mahamati, it is the Bodhisattva-Icchantika who never enters into Nirvana.

Further, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva be well acquainted with the three kinds of Svabhava (self-nature). [What are the three? They are (1) false discrimination, (2) knowledge of relativity, and (3) perfect knowledge.] Now, Mahamati, false discrimination rises from form (nimitta). How, Mahamati, does it rise from form? In [the consideration of] the relativity aspect of Svabhava, realities appear in various ways, as having forms, signs, and shapes; when, Mahamati, these objects, forms, and signs are adhered to [as real], this adherence takes place in two ways. The Tathagatas, Arhats, and Fully-Enlightened Ones thus declare false discrimination to consist in attachment to names and attachment to objects. By the attachment to objects is meant, Mahamati, to get attached to inner and external things [as realities]. By the attachment to names is meant to recognise in these inner and external things the characteristic marks of individuality and generality and to regard them as definitely belonging to the objects. These two modes of attachment, Mahamati, constitute false discrimination. The knowledge of the relativity-aspect (paratantra) rises from the separation of subject (asraya) and object (alambana).

Now, Mahamati, what is perfect knowledge? It is realized when one casts aside the discriminating notions of form, name, reality, and character; it is the inner realization by noble wisdom. This perfect knowledge, Mahamati, is the essence of the Tathagata-garbha.

Then the Bhagavan recited this verse:

134. Form, Name, and Discrimination [correspond to] the two forms of Svabhava, and Right Knowledge and Suchness [correspond to] the Perfect Knowledge aspect.

This, Mahamati, is called the doctrine that examines into the nature of the five Dharmas and the two Svabhavas (self-nature), and constitutes the state of self-realization attained by noble wisdom, and in this you and other Bodhisattvas are to discipline yourselves.

Further again, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva have a thorough understanding as to the nature of the twofold egolessness. Mahamati, what is this twofold egolessness? [It is the egolessness of persons and the egolessness of things. What is meant by egolessness of persons? It means that] in the collection of the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas there is no ego-substance, nor anything belonging to it; the Vijnana is originated by ignorance, deed, and desire, and keeps up its function by grasping objects by means of the sense-organs, such as the eye, etc., and by clinging to them as real; while a world of objects and bodies is manifested owing to the discrimination that takes place in the world which is of Mind itself, that is, in the alayaVijnana. By reason of the habit-energy stored up by false imagination since beginningless time, this world (vishaya) is subject to change and destruction from moment to moment; it is like a river, a seed, a lamp, wind, a cloud; [while the Vijnana itself is] like a monkey who is always restless, like a fly who is ever in search of unclean things and defiled places, like a fire which is never satisfied. Again, it is like a water-drawing wheel or a machine, it [i. e., the Vijnana] goes on rolling the wheel of transmigration, carrying varieties of bodies and forms, resuscitating the dead like the demon Vetala, causing the wooden figures to move about as a magician moves them. Mahamati, a thorough understanding concerning these phenomena is called comprehending the egolessness of persons.

Now, Mahamati, what is meant by the egolessness of things? It is to realize that the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas are characterised with the nature of false discrimination. Mahamati, since the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas are destitute of an ego-substance, being no more than an aggregation of the Skandhas, and subject to the conditions of mutual origination which are causally bound up with the string of desire and deed; and since thus there is no creating agent in them, Mahamati, the Skandhas are even destitute of the marks of individuality and generality; and the ignorant, owing to their erroneous discrimination, imagine here the multiplicity of phenomena; the wise, however, do not. Recognising, Mahamati, that all things are devoid of the Citta, Manas, ManoVijnana, the five Dharmas, and the [three] Svabhavas, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva will well understand what is meant by the egolessness of things.

Again, Mahamati, when the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva has a good understanding as regards the egolessness of things, before long he will attain the first stage [of Bodhisattvahood] when he gets a definite cognition of the imageless. When a definite acquisition is obtained regarding the aspect of the stages [of Bodhisattvahood], the Bodhisattva will experience joy, and, gradually and successively going up the scale, will reach the ninth stage where his insight is perfected, and [finally the tenth stage known as] Great Dharmamegha. Establishing himself here, he will be seated in the great jewel palace known as "Great Lotus Throne" which is in the shape of a lotus and is adorned with various sorts of jewels and pearls; he will then acquire and complete a world of Maya-nature; surrounded by Bodhisattvas of the same character and anointed like the son of the Cakravarti by the hands of the Buddhas coming from all the Buddha-lands, he will go beyond the last stage of Bodhisattvahood, attain the noble truth of self-realization, and become a Tathagata endowed with the perfect freedom of the Dharmakaya, because of his insight into the egolessness of things. This, Mahamati, is what is meant by the egolessness of all things, and in this you and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should well exercise yourselves.

At that time, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: Pray teach me about making an assertion and refuting it so that I and other Bodhisattvas, getting rid of the erroneous views that may rise from assertion and refutation, may at once realize supreme enlightenment. Having been enlightened they would keep themselves away from the eternalistic assertions as well as from the nihilistic refutations, and leave your enlightenment eye unrefuted.

Then the Bhagavan again, understanding the request of Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, recited this verse:

135. Assertions and refutations are not to be found in the Mind-only; the ignorant who understand not that the Mind is [seen in] the form of body, property, and abode, wander about with assertions and refutations.

At that moment the Bhagavan said this to elucidate the meaning of this verse: Mahamati, there are four forms of assertion made concerning things not in existence. What are the four? (1) The assertion about individual marks that are non-existent; (2) the assertion about philosophical views which are non-existent [i. e., not true]; (3) the assertion about a cause which is non-existent; and (4) the assertion about objects that are non-existent. These, Mahamati, are the four assertions.

Again, Mahamati, what is meant by the refutation? It means not examining properly, because of ignorance, any assertions based on errors. This, Mahamati, is what characterises assertion and refutation.

Further, Mahamati, what are the characteristics of the assertion made about individual marks that have no existence? It concerns the marks of individuality and generality in the Skandhas, Dhatus and ayatanas, which do not really exist; but taking them for realities and getting attached to them, a man may affirm that they are just so and not otherwise. This, Mahamati, characterises the assertion of individual marks which are non-existent.1 This assertion and discrimination, Mahamati, concerning individual marks that are not existent, rises from one's attachment to the habit-energy which is amassed, since beginningless time, by varieties of erroneous views issuing from false imagination. This, Mahamati, characterises the assertion of individual marks which are non-existent.

Again, Mahamati, by the assertion of philosophical views which are non-existent [i. e., not true], is meant that in the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas, [some philosophers] assume the existence of an ego, a being, a soul, a living being, a nourisher, or a spirit. This is said, Mahamati, to be the assertion of some philosophical views which are nonexistent [i. e., not true].

Again, Mahamati, by the assertion of a cause that is nonexistent is meant that [some philosophers] assume the causeless birth of a first Vijnana, which later comes to have a Maya-like non-existence; that is to say, the originally unborn Vijnana begins to function under the conditions of eye, form, light, and memory. The functioning goes on for a while and then ceases. This, Mahamati, is the assertion of a cause that is non-existent.

Again, Mahamati, the assertion about objects that are not-existent is an assertion arising from the attachment to such non-working existences as space, cessation, and Nirvana. These, Mahamati, are neither existent nor nonexistent; for all things are devoid of the alternatives of being and non-being and are to be known, Mahamati, as the horns of a hare, a horse, or a camel, or like a hair-net. They are discriminated as realities by the ignorant who are addicted to assertions and refutations as their intelligence has not penetrated into the truth that there is nothing but what is seen of the Mind itself. It is otherwise with the wise. This, Mahamati, is the characteristic point of the assertion about objects which are non-existent. For this reason, Mahamati, one should avoid the views based on assertion and refutation.

Further, Mahamati, the Bodhisattvas who are thoroughly acquainted with the nature of the Citta, Manas, and ManoVijnana, of the five Dharmas, of the [three] Svabhavas, and of the twofold Egolessness, will assume various personalities for the sake of benefitting others, just like the imagination that evolves from the seat of the relativity knowledge, and again, like the mysterious gem that reflects varieties of colours. Going over to all the Buddha-lands and assemblages, the Bodhisattvas will listen to the Buddhas, discourse on the nature of all things which are like a vision, a dream, an illusion, a reflection, and the lunar vision in water, and which have nothing to do with birth-and-death, eternality, and extinction; the Bodhisattvas, thus facing the Tathagatas, will listen to their discourses on the truth that does not belong to the Sravaka- and Pratyekabuddha-vehicle. They will then attain a hundred thousand Samadhis, indeed, a hundred thousand niyutas of kotis of Samadhis, and by means of these Samadhis they will go around from one country to another; they will do homage to the Buddhas, be born in all the celestial mansions, where they will discourse on the Triple Treasure, manifesting Buddha-bodies; and, surrounded by Sravakas and Bodhisattvas, they will, in order to free them from the alternatives of being and non-being, instruct them to understand thoroughly what is meant by an objective world which is nothing but Mind itself and in which there are no realities.

At that time the Bhagavan recited this verse:

136. When those who are born of the Buddha see that the world is no more than Mind itself, they will obtain a body of transformation, which has nothing to do with effect-producing works, but which is endowed with the powers, psychic faculties, and self-control.

At that time again Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva made a request of the Bhagavan. Tell me, Bhagavan, how all things are empty, unborn, non-dual, and have no self-nature, so that I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas might be awakened in the teaching of emptiness, no-birth, non-duality, and the absence of self-nature, and, quitting the discrimination of being and non-being, quickly realize the highest enlightenment.

Then the Bhagavan said this to Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva: Now, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well upon what I tell you.

Replied Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, I will indeed, Bhagavan. The Bhagavan said: Emptiness, emptiness, indeed! Mahamati, it is a term whose self-nature is false imagination. Because of one's attachment to false imagination, Mahamati, we have to talk of emptiness, no-birth, non-duality, and absence of self-nature. In short, then, Mahamati, there are seven kinds of emptiness: (1) The emptiness of individual marks (lakshana), (2) the emptiness of self-nature (bhavasvabhava), (3) the emptiness of no-work (apracarita), (4) the emptiness of work (pracarita), (5) the emptiness of all things in the sense that they are unpredicable (nirabhilapya), (6) the emptiness in its highest sense of ultimate reality realizable only by noble wisdom, and (7) the emptiness of mutuality (itaretara) which is the seventh.

Mahamati, what then is the emptiness of individual marks? It is that all things have no [such distinguishing] marks of individuality and generality. In consideration of mutuality and accumulation, [things are thought to be realities], but when they are further investigated and analysed, Mahamati, they are non-existent, and not predicable with individuality and generality; and because thus no such ideas as self, other, or both, hold good, Mahamati, the individual marks no longer obtain. So it is said that all things are empty as to their self-marks.

Again, Mahamati, what is meant by the emptiness of self-nature? Mahamati, it is that all things in their self-nature are unborn, hence the emptiness of self-nature, and it is therefore said that things are empty in their self-nature.

Again, Mahamati, what is meant by the emptiness of no-work? It is that the Skandhas are Nirvana itself and there is no work doing in them from the beginning. Therefore, one speaks of the emptiness of no-work.

Again, Mahamati, what is meant by the emptiness of work? It is that the Skandhas are devoid of an ego and its belongings, and go on functioning when there is a mutual conjunction of cause and action. Thus one speaks of the emptiness of work.

Again, Mahamati, what is meant by the emptiness of all things in the sense that they are unpredicable? It is that the nature of the false imagination is not expressible, hence the emptiness of all things in the sense of their unpredicability. Thus one speaks of the emptiness of unpredicability.

Again, Mahamati, what is meant by the emptiness in its highest sense of ultimate reality realizable by noble wisdom? It is that in the attainment of an inner realization by means of noble wisdom there is no trace of habit-energy generated by all the erroneous conceptions [of beginningless past]. Thus one speaks of the highest emptiness of ultimate reality realizable by noble wisdom.

Again, Mahamati, what is meant by the emptiness of mutual [non-existence]? It is this: when a thing is missing here, one speaks of its being empty there. For instance, Mahamati, in the lecture-hall of the Mrigarama there are no elephants, no bulls, no sheep, but as to the Bhikshus I can say that the hall is not devoid of them; it is empty only as far as they [i. e. the animals] are concerned. Further, Mahamati, it is not that the lecture-hall is devoid of its own characteristics, nor that the Bhikshu is devoid of this Bhikshuhood, nor that in some other places, too, elephants, bulls, and sheep are not to be found. Mahamati, here one sees all things in their aspect of individuality and generality, but from the point of view of mutuality (itaretara) some things do not exist somewhere. Thus one speaks of the emptiness of mutual [non-existence].

These, Mahamati, are the seven kinds of emptiness of which mutuality ranks the lowest of all and is to be put away by you.

Again, Mahamati, not that things are not born, but that they are not born of themselves, except when seen in the state of Samadhi--this is what is meant by "all things are unborn." To have no self-nature is, according to the deeper sense, to be unborn, Mahamati. That all things are devoid of self-nature means that there is a constant and uninterrupted becoming, a momentary change from one state of existence to another; seeing this, Mahamati, all things are destitute of self-nature. So one speaks of all things having no self-nature.

Again, Mahamati, what is meant by non-duality? It means that light and shade, long and short, black and white, are relative terms, Mahamati, and not independent of each other; as Nirvana and Samsara are, all things are not-two. There is no Nirvana except where is Samsara; there is no Samsara except where is Nirvana; for the condition of existence is not of mutually-exclusive character.1 Therefore, it is said that all things are non-dual as are Nirvana and Samsara. For this reason, Mahamati, you should discipline yourself in [the realization of] emptiness, no-birth, non-duality, and no-self-nature.

Then at that time the Bhagavan recited this couplet of verses:

137. I always preach emptiness which is beyond eternalism and nihilism; Samsara is like a dream and a vision, and karma vanishes not.

138. Space, Nirvana, and the two forms of cessation-- thus the ignorant discriminate the things which are not effect-producing, but the wise stand above being and non-being.

At that time again, the Bhagavan said this to Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva; This [teaching of] emptiness, no-birth, non-duality, and no-self-nature is found in all the sutras of all the Buddhas, and this doctrine is recognised in every one of them. However. Mahamati, the sutras are the teaching in conformity with the dispositions of all beings and deviate from the [real] sense, and not the truth-preserving statement. Mahamati, it is like unto the mirage which entices the deer with its treacherous springs, the springs are not there but the deer are attached, imagining them to be real. So with the teachings disclosed in all the sutras, they are for all beings for the gratification of their own discriminating minds. They are not the truth-preserving statements meant for noble wisdom to grasp. For this reason, Mahamati, be in conformity with the sense and be not engrossed in the word-teaching.

At that time, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: Now the Bhagavan makes mention of the Tathagata-garbha in the sutras, and verily it is described by you as by nature bright and pure, as primarily unspotted, endowed with the thirty-two marks of excellence, hidden in the body of every being like a gem of great value, which is enwrapped in a dirty garment, enveloped in the garment of the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas, and soiled with the dirt of greed, anger, folly, and false imagination, while it is described by the Bhagavan to be eternal, permanent, auspicious, and unchangeable. Is not this Tathagata-garbha taught by the Bhagavan the same as the ego-substance taught by the philosophers? The ego as taught in the systems of the philosophers is an eternal creator, unqualified, omnipresent, and imperishable.

The Bhagavan replied: No, Mahamati, my Tathagata-garbha is not the same as the ego taught by the philosophers; for what the Tathagatas teach is the Tathagata-garbha in the sense, Mahamati, that it is emptiness, reality-limit, Nirvana, being unborn, unqualified, and devoid of will-effort; the reason why the Tathagatas who are Arhats and Fully-Enlightened Ones, teach the doctrine pointing to the Tathagata-garbha is to make the ignorant cast aside their fear when they listen to the teaching of egolessness and to have them realize the state of non-discrimination and imagelessness. I also wish, Mahamati, that the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas of the present and future would not attach themselves to the idea of an ego [imagining it to be a soul]. Mahamati, it is like a potter who manufactures various vessels out of a mass of clay of one sort by his own manual skill and labour combined with a rod, water, and thread, Mahamati, that the Tathagatas preach the egolessness of things which removes all the traces of discrimination by various skilful means issuing from their transcendental wisdom, that is, sometimes by the doctrine of the Tathagata-garbha, sometimes by that of egolessness, and, like a potter, by means of various terms, expressions, and synonyms. For this reason, Mahamati, the philosophers' doctrine of an ego-substance is not the same as the teaching of the Tathagata-garbha. Thus, Mahamati, the doctrine of the Tathagata-garbha is disclosed in order to awaken the philosophers from their clinging to the idea of the ego, so that those minds that have fallen into the views imagining the non-existent ego as real, and also into the notion that the triple emancipation is final, may rapidly be awakened to the state of supreme enlightenment. Accordingly, Mahamati, the Tathagatas who are Arhats and Fully-Enlightened Ones disclose the doctrine of the Tathagata-garbha which is thus not to be known as identical with the philosopher's notion of an ego-substance. Therefore. Mahamati, in order to abandon the misconception cherished by the philosophers, you must strive after the teaching of egolessness and the Tathagata-garbha.

At that moment then the Bhagavan recited this verse:

139. The personal soul, continuity, the Skandhas, causation, atoms, the supreme spirit, the ruler, the creator, --[they are] discriminations in the Mind-only.

At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva in consideration of future generations made this request again of the Bhagavan: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, about the perfecting of the discipline whereby the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas become great Yogins.

The Bhagavan replied: There are four things, Mahamati, by fulfilling which the Bodhisattvas become great Yogins. What are the four? They are: (1) To have a clear understanding as to what is seen of Mind itself,2 (2) to discard the notions of birth, abiding, and disappearance, (3) to look into [the truth] that no external world obtains, and (4) to seek for the attainment of inner realization by noble wisdom. Provided with these four things the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas become great Yogins.

How, Mahamati, does the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva come to have a clear understanding as to what is seen of Mind itself? He comes to it by recognising that this triple world is nothing but Mind itself, devoid of an ego and its belongings, with no strivings, no comings-and-goings; that this triple world is manifested and imagined as real, under the influence of the habit-energy accumulated since beginningless time by false reasoning and imagination, and with the multiplicity of objects and actions in close relationship, and in conformity with the ideas of discrimination, such as body, property, and abode. Thus, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva acquires a thoroughly clear understanding as to what is seen of Mind itself.

How again, Mahamati, does the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva discard notions of birth, abiding, and disappearance? By this it is meant that all things are to be regarded as forms born of a vision or a dream and have never been created since there are no such things as self, the other, or bothness. [The Bodhisattvas] will see that the external world exists only in conformity with Mind-only; and seeing that there is no stirring of the Vijnanas and that the triple world is a complicated network of causation and owes its rise to discrimination, they find that all things, inner and external, are beyond predicability, that there is nothing to be seen as self-nature, and that [the world] is not to be viewed as born; and thereby they will conform themselves to the insight that things are of the nature of a vision, etc., and attain to the recognition that things are unborn. Establishing themselves on the eighth stage of Bodhisattvahood, they will experience a revulsion [in their consciousness] by transcending the Citta, Manas, and ManoVijnana, and the five Dharmas, and the [three] Svabhavas, and the twofold Egolessness, and thereby attain the mind-made body (Manomayakaya). Thus, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva will discard the notion of birth, abiding, and disappearance.1

Said Mahamati,1 what is meant by the will-body, Bhagavan? The Bhagavan replied: It means that one [in this body] can speedily move unobstructed as he wills; hence the will-body, Mahamati. For instance, Mahamati, the will [or mind] travels unobstructed over mountains, walls, rivers, trees, etc., many a hundred thousand yojanas they may be away, when a man recollects the scenes which had previously come into his perception, while his own mind keeps on functioning in his body without the least interruption or hindrance. In the same fashion, Mahamati, the will-body, in the attainment of the Samadhi called Maya-like and adorned with such marks as the powers, the psychic faculties, and the self-control, will be born in the noble paths and assemblies, moving about as freely as he wishes, as he recalls his original vows and worlds in order to bring all beings to maturity.

Then, Mahamati, what is meant by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva having a good insight into the non-existence of external objects? It means, Mahamati, that all things are like unto a mirage, a dream, a hair-net; and seeing that all things are here essentially because of our attachment to the habit-energy of discrimination which has been maturing since beginningless time on account of false imagination and erroneous speculation, the Bodhisattvas will seek after the attainment of self-realization by their noble wisdom. Mahamati, furnished with these four things, Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas become great Yogins. Therefore, in these, Mahamati, you should exercise yourself.


At that time Mahamati again made a request of the Bhagavan: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, about the causation of all things, whereby I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas can see into the nature of causation, and by getting rid of the discrimination [which issues in the philosophical views of] eternalism and nihilism, we may no more discriminate as to the gradual or simultaneous rising of all things.

Replied the Bhagavan: Mahamati, there are two factors of causation by which all things come into existence: external and inner. Mahamati, the external factors are a lump of clay, a stick, a wheel, thread, water, a worker, and his labour, the combination of all of which produces a jar. As with the jar, Mahamati, which is made of a lump of clay, or a piece of cloth made of thread, or a matting made of fragrant grass, or the sprout growing out of a seed, or fresh butter which is produced from sour milk by a man churning it with his own labour, so it is, Mahamati, with all things which, governed by external causes, appear one after another in continuous succession. As regards the inner factors of causation, Mahamati, they are of such kind as ignorance, desire, and action, which make up our idea of causation. Born of these, Mahamati, there is the manifestation of the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas. They are not separable [realities]1 but discriminated [as such] by the ignorant.

Now, Mahamati, there are six causes: (1) possibility-cause, (2) dependence-cause, (3) objectivity-cause, (4) agency-cause, (5) manifesting-cause, and (6) indifference-cause.2 The possibility-cause means, Mahamati, that when a cause to be becomes effective there is the rising of things inner and outer. The dependence-cause means, Mahamati, that when conditions to be, become effective there is the rising of the Skandha-seeds, etc., inner and outer. Further, the objectivity-cause means, Mahamati, that bound by the objective world [the Vijnana] keeps up its continuous activity. Again, Mahamati, the agency-cause means that like a sovereign king a cause invested with supreme authority asserts itself. Again, the manifesting-cause means that when the discriminating faculty rises, as the result it reveals individual marks as a lamp does forms, etc. Lastly, the indifference-cause means that when there is a dissolution the power of combination discontinues, and there rises a state of non-discrimination.

These, Mahamati, are the outcome of discrimination carried on by the ignorant and simple-minded, and there is no gradual nor simultaneous rising of existence. Why? Because, Mahamati, if there is a simultaneous rising of existence, there would be no distinction between cause and effect, and there would be nothing to characterise a cause as such. If a gradual rising is admitted, there is no substance that holds together individual signs, which makes gradual rising impossible. While a child is not yet born, Mahamati, the term father has no significance.1 The logician argues that there is that which is born and that which gives birth by the mutual functioning of such causal factors as cause, subsistence, continuity, acceleration, and others; and they conclude that there is a gradual rising of existence. But, Mahamati, this gradual rising does not obtain except by reason of their attachment to the notion of self-nature. When the [ideas of] body, property, and abode are cherished in what is nothing but the manifestation of Mind itself, the external world is perceived under the aspects of individuality and generality, which, however, are not realities; and therefore, Mahamati, neither a gradual nor a simultaneous rising of things is possible. It is only when the Vijnana evolves by reason of discrimination which discriminates the manifestation of Mind itself [that existence is said to come into view]. For this reason, Mahamati, you must strive to get rid of notions of gradation and simultaneity in the combination of the causal activities. Thus it is said:

140. Nothing whatever is born or ceases to exist by reason of causation; when causation is discriminated there is birth and cessation.

141. It is not to keep off the idea of birth and disappearance which takes place in causation; it is to keep off the wrong imagination as to causation, which is cherished by the ignorant.

142. The being and non-being of things subject to causation has no reality; the triple world owes its existence to the Mind put into confusion by reason of habit-energy.

143. Not ever being in existence, what things are there that are born? [but] in causation nothing is lost; when effect-producing objects (samskrita) are regarded as like unto a barren woman's child or a flower in the sky, one perceives that grasping (subject) and grasped (object) are an error and desists [from committing the same error].

144. There is nothing that is to be born, nor is there anything that has been born; even causation is not; it is because of wordly usage that things are talked of as existing.


At that moment again Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, about the teaching known as the essence of discrimination as regards words, whereby, Bhagavan, I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, comprehending and becoming well acquainted with the essence of discrimination as regards words, will be thoroughly informed of the signification of two things, expression and expressed, and, thereby immediately attaining supreme enlightenment, will explain the signification of these two things, expression and expressed, for the purification of all beings.

Replied the Bhagavan: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well, for I will tell you about it.

Well done! said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and listened to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: There are, Mahamati, four kinds of word-discrimination. They are: (1) Words denoting individual marks, (2) dream-words, (3) words growing out of the attachment to erroneous speculations and discriminations, and (4) words growing out of the discrimination that knows no beginning.

Now, Mahamati, the words denoting individual marks rise from discriminating forms and characteristic signs as real in themselves and becoming attached to them. The dream-words, Mahamati, rise from the unreal surroundings which reveal themselves [before the mind] when it recollects its previous experience. The words growing out of the attachment to erroneous speculations and discriminations, Mahamati, rise from recollecting deeds once previously committed. The words growing out of the discrimination that has been functioning since beginningless time, Mahamati, rise from the habit-energy whose seeds have been growing out of the clinging to erroneous speculations and false imaginations since beginningless time. I say, Mahamati, these are the four features of word-discrimination, which is the answer to your question.

At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva requested of the Bhagavan to speak on this subject: Pray tell me again, Bhagavan, about the conditions whereby the word-discrimination manifests itself. Where, whence, how, and by whom do words indicating discrimination take place among the people?

Said the Bhagavan: Mahamati, the word-discrimination goes on taking place by the coordination of the head, chest, nose, throat, palate, lips, tongue, and teeth.

Said Mahamati; Again, Bhagavan, are words to be considered different (anya) or not-different (ananya) from discrimination?

Replied the Bhagavan: Mahamati, they are neither different nor not-different. Why? Because words rise, Mahamati, with discrimination as their cause. If, Mahamati, words are different from discrimination, they cannot have it for cause. Then if they are not different, words cannot express the sense, which they do. Therefore, words and discrimination are neither different nor not-different.

Then Mahamati said: Again, Bhagavan, are words themselves the highest reality? or is what is expressed in words the highest reality?

The Bhagavan replied: Mahamati, words are not the highest reality, nor is what is expressed in words the highest reality. Why? Because the highest reality is an exalted state of bliss, and as it cannot be entered into by mere statements regarding it, words are not the highest reality. Mahamati, the highest reality is to be attained by the inner realization of noble wisdom; it is not a state of word-discrimination; therefore, discrimination does not express the highest reality. And then, Mahamati, words are subject to birth and destruction; they are unsteady, mutually conditioning, and are produced by the law of causation. And again, Mahamati, what is mutually conditioning and produced by the law of causation cannot express the highest reality, because the indications [pointing to the distinction between] self and not-self are non-existent. Mahamati, words are these indications and do not express [the highest reality].

Further, Mahamati, word-discrimination cannot express the highest reality, for external objects with their multitudinous individual marks are non-existent, and only appear before us as something revealed out of Mind itself. Therefore, Mahamati, you must try to keep yourself away from the various forms of word-discrimination.


Thus it is said:

145. In all things there is no self-nature, words too are devoid of reality; as the ignorant understand not what is meant by emptiness, yes, by emptiness, they wander about.

146. In all things there is no self-nature, they are mere words of people; that which is discriminated has no reality; [even] Nirvana is like a dream; nothing is seen to be in transmigration, nor does anything ever enter into Nirvana.

147. As a king or a wealthy householder, giving his children various clay-made animals, pleases them and makes them play [with the toys], but later gives them real ones; 148. So, I, making use of various forms and images of things, instruct my sons; but the limit of reality (bhutakoti) can [only] be realized within oneself.

At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva again said this to the Bhagavan: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, about the attainment of self-realization by noble wisdom, which does not belong to the path and the usage of the philosophers; which is devoid of [all such predicates as] being and non-being, oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness, existence and non-existence, eternity and non-eternity; which has nothing to do with the false imagination, nor with individuality and generality; which manifests itself as the truth of highest reality; which, going up continuously by degrees the stages of purification, enters upon the stage of Tathagatahood; which, because of the original vows unattended by any striving, will perform its works in infinite worlds like a gem reflecting a variety of colours; and which is manifested [when one perceives how] signs of individuation rise in all things as one realizes the course and realm of what is seen of Mind itself, and thereby I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas are enabled to survey things from the point of view which is not hampered by marks of individuality and generality nor by anything of the false imagination, and may quickly attain supreme enlightenment and enable all beings to achieve the perfection of all their virtues.

Replied the Bhagavan: Well done, well done, Mahamati! and again, well done, indeed, Mahamati! Because of your compassion for the world, for the benefit of many people, for the happiness of many people, for the welfare, benefit, happiness of many people, both of celestial beings and humankind, Mahamati, you present yourself before me and make this request. Therefore, Mahamati, listen well and truly, and reflect, for I will tell you.

Assuredly, said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: Mahamati, since the ignorant and the simple-minded, not knowing that the world is what is seen of Mind itself, cling to the multitudinousness of external objects, cling to the notions of being and non-being, oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness, existence and non-existence, eternity and non-eternity, as being characterised by self-nature which rises from discrimination based on habit-energy, they are addicted to false imaginings. Mahamati, it is like a mirage in which the springs are seen as if they were real. They are imagined so by the animals who, thirsty from the heat of the season, would run after them. Not knowing that the springs are their own mental hallucinations, the animals do not realize that there are no such springs. In the same way, Mahamati, the ignorant and simple-minded with their minds impressed by various erroneous speculations and discriminations since beginningless time; with their minds burning with the fire of greed, anger, and folly; delighted in a world of multitudinous forms; with their thoughts saturated with the ideas of birth, destruction, and subsistence; not understanding well what is meant by existent and non-existent, by inner and outer; the ignorant and simple-minded fall into the way of grasping at oneness and otherness, being and non-being. Mahamati, it is like the city of the Gandharvas which the unwitted take for a real city, though it is not so in fact. This city appears in essence owing to their attachment to the memory of a city preserved in seed from beginningless time. This city is thus neither existent nor non-existent. In the same way, Mahamati, clinging to the memory (vasana) of erroneous speculations and doctrines since beginningless time, they hold fast to ideas such as oneness and otherness, being and non-being, and their thoughts are not at all clear about what is seen of Mind-only. Mahamati, it is like a man, who, dreaming in his sleep of a country variously filled with women, men, elephants, horses, cars, pedestrians, villages, towns, hamlets, cows, buffalos, mansions, woods, mountains, rivers, and lakes enters into its inner appartments and is awakened. While awakened thus, he recollects the city and its inner apartments. What do you think, Mahamati? Is this person to be regarded as wise, who is recollecting the various unrealities he has seen in his dream?

Said Mahamati: Indeed, he is not, Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan continued: In the same way the ignorant and simple-minded who are bitten by erroneous views and are inclined toward the philosophers, do not recognise that things seen of the Mind itself are like a dream, and are held fast by the notions of oneness and otherness, of being and non-being. Mahamati, it is like the painter's canvas on which there is no depression nor elevation as imagined by the ignorant. In the same way, Mahamati, there may be in the future some people brought up in the habit-energy, mentality, and imagination based on the philosophers' erroneous views; clinging to the ideas of oneness and otherness, of bothness and not-bothness, they may bring themselves and others to ruin; they may declare those people nihilists who hold the doctrine of no-birth apart from the alternatives of being and non-being. They [argue against] cause and effect, they are followers of the wicked views whereby they uproot meritorious causes of unstained purity. They are to be kept far away by those whose desires are for things excellent. They are those whose thoughts are entangled in the errors of self, other, and both, in the errors of imagining being and non-being, assertion and refutation, and hell will be their final refuge. Mahamati, it is like the dim-eyed ones who, seeing a hair-net, would exclaim to one another, saying: "It is wonderful! it is wonderful! Look, O honourable sirs!" And the said hair-net has never been brought into existence. It is in fact neither an entity nor a non-entity, because it is seen and not seen. In the same manner, Mahamati, those whose minds are addicted to discrimination of the erroneous views as cherished by the philosophers, and who are also given up to the realiztic ideas of being and non-being, oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness, will contradict the good Dharma, ending in the destruction of themselves and others. Mahamati, it is like a firebrand-wheel which is no real wheel but which is imagined to be of such character by the ignorant, but not by the wise. In the same manner, Mahamati, those whose minds have fallen into the erroneous views of the philosophers will falsely imagine in the rise of all beings oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness.

Mahamati, it is like those water-bubbles in a rainfall which have the appearance of crystal gems, and the ignorant taking them for real crystal gems run after them. Mahamati, they are no more than water-bubbles, they are not gems, nor are they not-gems, because of their being so comprehended [by one party] and being not so comprehended [by another]. In the same manner, Mahamati, those whose minds are impressed by the habit-energy of the philosophical views and discriminations will regard things born as nonexistent and those destroyed by causation as existent.

1Further, Mahamati, by setting up the three forms of measure and the [five] members of a syllogism, [the philosophers] make the discrimination that there is a reality existing by itself, which is attained by the realization of noble wisdom, and devoid of the two Svabhavas. [This discrimination however is] not right. [The Buddhist doctrine is this:] Mahamati, when a [psychological] revulsion takes place in the Yogins [by the transcendence of] the Citta, Manas, and Vijnana, they cast off the [dualistic] discrimination of grasped and grasping in what is seen of Mind itself, and entering the Tathagata-stage attain the realization of noble wisdom; and in this there is no thought of existence and non-existence. Again, Mahamati, if there is the grasping of existence and non-existence in the realm attained by the Yogins, there will be in them the grasping of an ego, a nourisher, a supreme soul, or a person. Again, Mahamati, the teaching pointing to self-nature, individuality and generality of things, is that of the Transformation Buddha and not that of the Dharmata Buddha. Again, Mahamati, such teaching is meant for the ignorant, being in conformity with their mentality, their way of thinking and viewing things; any establishment that favours the way of self-nature, fails to reveal the truth of self-realization to be attained by noble wisdom and the blissful abode of the Samadhi.

Mahamati, it is like the trees reflected in water; they are reflections and yet are not-reflections, the trees are [real] figures, and yet no-figures. In the same manner, Mahamati, those who are impressed by the habit-energy of the philosophical views carry on their discrimination regarding oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness, being and non-being, for their minds are not enlightened as regards what is seen of Mind-only.

Mahamati, it is like a mirror reflecting all colours and images as afforded by the conditions and without discrimination; and they are neither images nor not-images, because they are seen as images and also as not-images. And, Mahamati, they are discriminated forms of what is seen of Mind itself, which are known to the ignorant as images. In the same manner, Mahamati, oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness, are reflected images of Self-Mind while they appear as if real.

Mahamati, it is like an echo giving the sound of a human voice, of a river, or of the wind; it is neither existent nor non-existent, because it is heard as a voice and yet as not a voice. In the same way, Mahamati, the notions of being and non-being, oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness are the discriminations of Self-Mind and habit-energy.

Mahamati, it is like a mirage which in conjunction with the sun appears with its flowing waves on the earth where there are no grass, shrubs, vines, and trees. They are neither existent nor non-existent, according to the desire for them or its absence. In the same way, Mahamati, the discriminating Vijnana of the ignorant which is impressed with the habit-energy of false imaginations and speculations since beginningless time, is stirred like a mirage even in the midst of reality revealed by means of noble wisdom, by the waves of birth, subsistence, and destruction, of oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness, being and non-being.

Mahamati, it is like Pisaca who by means of his spell makes a corpse or a wooden image throb with life though it has no power of its own; but here the ignorant cling to the non-existent imagining them to have the power of movement. In the same way, Mahamati, the ignorant and simple-minded committing themselves to the erroneous philosophical views are thoroughly devoted to the ideas of oneness and otherness, but their assertion is not at all well grounded. For this reason, Mahamati, in order to attain the noble reality attainable within yourself, you should cast off the discriminations leading to the notions of birth, abiding, and destruction, of oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness, being and non-being.

Therefore, it is said:

149. The Skandhas, of which the Vijnana is the fifth, resemble the reflections of the trees in water; they are to be regarded as Maya and a dream, they are so by thought-construction; make no discriminations!

150. This triple world resembles a hair-net, or water in a mirage which is agitated; it is like a dream, Maya; and by thus regarding it one is emancipated.

151. Like a mirage in the spring-time, the mind is found bewildered; animals imagine water but there is no reality to it.

152. Thus the Vijnana-seed is evolved and the world comes into view; the ignorant imagine it is born, just like the dim-eyed ones perceive things in the darkness.

153. Since beginningless time, the ignorant are found transmigrating through the paths, enwrapped in their attachment to existence; as a wedge is induced by another wedge, they are led to the abandonment [of their wrappage].

154. By regarding the world as always like a magically-moving corpse, or a machine, or like a dream, or a lightning, or a cloud; the triple continuation is torn asunder and one is emancipated.

155. There is here nothing of thought-construction, it is like an image in the air; when they thus understand all there is nothing to know.

156. Here is nothing but thought-construction and name. You seek in vain for individual signs; the Skandhas are like a hair-net wherein discrimination goes on.

157. A world of multitudes1 is a hair-net, a vision, a dream, and the city of the Gandharvas; it is [a wheel made by] a firebrand, a mirage; it is a non-entity, only an appearance to people.

158. Eternity and non-eternity; oneness, too, bothness and not-bothness as well: these are discriminated by the ignorant who are confused in mind and bound up by errors since beginningless time.

159. In a mirror, in water, in an eye, in a vessel, and on a gem, images are seen; but in them there are no images [i. e. realities] anywhere to take hold of.

160. Like a mirage in the air, so is a variety of things mere appearance; they are seen in diversity of forms, but are like a child in a barren woman's dream.

Further, Mahamati, the religious teaching of the Tathagatas is free from the four statements. That is, it is devoid of oneness and otherness, of bothness and not-bothness, is free from being and non-being, assertion and refutation; the religious teaching of the Tathagatas is headed by the [four noble] truths, the [twelvefold] chain of origination, and [the eightfold noble] path leading to emancipation. The religious teaching of the Tathagatas, Mahamati, is not fastened to these ideas: Prakriti, Isvara, causelessness, spontaneity, atoms, time and self-nature. Again, Mahamati, [the Tathagatas, leading beings] successively forwards like the leader of a caravan, in order to purify them from the two hindrances of passion and knowledge, will establish them in the one hundred and eight statements of imagelessness and also in the characteristic distinctions of the vehicles, of the stages [of Bodhisattvahood], and of the constituents [of enlightenment].

Further, Mahamati, there are four kinds of Dhyanas. What are the four? They are: (1) The Dhyana practised by the ignorant, (2) the Dhyana devoted to the examination of meaning, (3) the Dhyana with Tathata (suchness) for its object, and (4) the Dhyana of the Tathagatas.

What is meant by the Dhyana practised by the ignorant? It is the one resorted to by the Yogins exercising themselves in the discipline of the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas, who perceiving that there is no ego-substance, that things are characterised with individuality and generality, that the body is a shadow and a skeleton which is transient, full of suffering and is impure, persistently cling to these notions which are regarded as just so and not otherwise, and who starting from them successively advance until they reach the cessation where there are no thoughts. This is called the Dhyana practised by the ignorant.

Mahamati, what then is the Dhyana devoted to the examination of meaning? It is the one [practised by those who,] having gone beyond the egolessness of things, individuality and generality, the untenability of such ideas as self, other, and both, which are held by the philosophers, proceed to examine and follow up the meaning of the [various] aspects of the egolessness of things and the stages of Bodhisattvahood. This is the Dhyana devoted to the examination of meaning.

What, Mahamati, is the Dhyana with Tathata for its object? When [the Yogins recognise that] the discrimination of the two forms of egolessness is mere imagination, and that where he establishes himself in the reality of suchness (yathabhuta) there is no rising of discrimination, I call it the Dhyana with Tathata for its object.

What, Mahamati, is the Dhyana of the Tathagata? When [the Yogin], entering upon the stage of Tathagatahood and abiding in the triple bliss which characterises self-realization attained by noble wisdom, devotes himself for the sake of all beings to the [accomplishment of] incomprehensible works, I call it the Dhyana of the Tathagatas. Therefore, it is said:

161. There are the Dhyana for the examination of meaning, the Dhyana practised by the ignorant; the Dhyana with Tathata for its object, and the pure Dhyana of the Tathagata.

162. The Yogin, while in his exercise, sees the form of the sun or the moon, or something looking like a lotus, or the underworld, or various forms like sky, fire, etc.

163. All these appearances lead him to the way of the philosophers; they throw him down into the state of Sravakahood, into the realm of the Pratyekabuddhas.

164. When all these are tossed aside and there is a state of imagelessness, then a condition in conformity with Tathata presents itself; and the Buddhas will come together from all their countries and with their shining hands will stroke the head of this benefactor.


At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva again said this to the Bhagavan: Thou speakest of Nirvana, Bhagavan. What is meant by this term Nirvana?

Replied the Bhagavan: When the self-nature and the habit-energy of all the Vijnanas, including the alaya, Manas, and ManoVijnana, from which issues the habit-energy of wrong speculations--when all these go through a revulsion, I and all the Buddhas declare that there is Nirvana, and the way and the self-nature of this Nirvana is emptiness, which is the state of reality.

Further, Mahamati, Nirvana is the realm of self-realization attained by noble wisdom, which is free from the discrimination of eternality and annihilation, existence and non-existence. How is it not eternality? Because it has cast off the discrimination of individuality and generality, it is not eternality. How about its not being annihilation? It is because all the wise men of the past, present, and future have attained realization. Therefore, it is not annihilation.

Again, Mahamati, the great Parinirvana is neither destruction nor death. Mahamati, if the great Parinirvana is death, then it will be a birth and continuation. If it is destruction, then it will assume the character of an effect-producing deed. For this reason, Mahamati, the great Parinirvana is neither destruction nor death. Neither has it anything to do with vanishing;l it is the goal of the Yogins. Again, Mahamati the great Parinirvana is neither abandonment nor attainment, neither is it of one meaning nor of no-meaning; this is said to be Nirvana.

Further, Mahamati, Nirvana conceived by the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas consists in recognising individuality and generality, in escaping social intercourse, in not having a perverted view of the world, and not raising discrimination. This is their notion of Nirvana.

Further, Mahamati, there are two kinds of characteristic signs of self-nature. What are these two kinds? They are the attachment to words as having self-nature, and the attachment to objects as having self-nature. The attachment to words as having self-nature, Mahamati, takes place owing to one's clinging to the habit-energy of words and false imaginings since beginningless time. And the attachment to objects as having self-nature, Mahamati, takes place from not knowing that the external world is no more than Self-Mind.

Further, Mahamati, there are two kinds of the sustaining power which issues from the Tathagatas who are Arhats and Fully-Enlightened Ones; and sustained by this power [the Bodhisattvas] would prostrate themselves at their feet and ask them questions. What is this twofold power that sustains the Bodhisattvas? The one is the power by which they are sustained to go through the Samadhis and Samapattis; while the other is the power whereby the Buddhas manifest themselves in person before the Bodhisattvas and baptise them with their own hands. Then, Mahamati, sustained by the power of the Buddhas, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas at their first stage will attain the Bodhisattva-Samadhi, known as the Light of Mahayana, which belongs to the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas. They will immediately see the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones appearing before them personally, who come from all the different abodes in the ten quarters of the world and who now facing the Bodhisattvas will impart to them their sustaining power displayed with the body, mouth, and words. Mahamati, as is the case with Vajragarbha the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, and with other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who are in possession of similar character and virtue, so, Mahamati, with the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas at the first stage, they will attain the Tathagatas' power sustaining them in their Samadhis and Samapattis. By virtue of their stock of merit accumulated for a hundred thousand kalpas, they will, successively going up the stages and getting thoroughly acquainted with what they should do and should not do, finally reach the stage of Bodhisattvahood called Dharmamegha. Here the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva finds himself seated on a throne in the Lotus Palace, and surrounded by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas of a similar class; a tiara decorated and ornamented with all kinds of precious stones is on his head, and his body1 shines brilliantly like the moon in the yellowish gold colour of the Campaka flower. The Buddhas now come from their worlds in the ten quarters, and with their lotus-like hands, sprinkle the forehead of the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva who is seated on the throne in the Lotus Palace; the Buddhas thus give him a baptism personally by hand as when a great king invested with supreme authority [baptises his crown-prince]. This Bodhisattva and these Bodhisattvas are said to be sustained by the Buddhas' power, being thus baptised by [their] hands. Mahamati, this is the twofold sustaining power imparted to the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, who, sustained by this twofold sustaining power, personally come into the presence of all the Buddhas. In no other way are the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones to be interviewed.

Further, Mahamati, whatever Samadhis, psychic faculties, and teachings are exhibited by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, they are sustained by the twofold sustaining power of all the Buddhas. If, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas show their eloquence without the Buddhas' sustaining power, the ignorant and simple-minded will also show their eloquence. [But the latter do not.] Why? Because of the sustaining power [on the one hand] and its absence [on the other]. Where the Tathagatas enter with their sustaining power there will be music not only in various musical instruments and vessels but also even in grass, shrubs, trees, and mountains, Mahamati, yes, in towns indeed, palaces, houses, and royal abodes. How much more those endowed with sentiency! The mute, blind, and deaf will be cured of their deficiencies, Mahamati, and will enjoy their emancipation. Such, Mahamati, is the great extraordinary virtue of the sustaining power imparted by the Tathagatas.

Further, Mahamati said: Why is it, Bhagavan, that when the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas are established in the Samadhis and Samapattis, and when they are baptised at the most exalted stage, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones, bestow their sustaining power on them?

Replied the Bhagavan: It is in order to make them avoid the evil ones, karma, and passions, to keep them away from the Dhyana and stage of the Sravakahood, to have them realize the stage of Tathagatahood, and to make them grow in the truth and experience already attained. For this reason, Mahamati, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones sustain with their power the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas. If they were not thus sustained, Mahamati, they would fall into the way of thinking and feeling as cherished by the wrong philosophers, Sravakas, or evil ones, and would not attain the highest enlightenment. For this reason, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas are upheld by the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones. Thus it is said:

165. The sustaining power is purified by the Buddhas' vows; in the baptism, Samadhis, etc., from the first to the tenth [stage], [the Bodhisattvas are in the embrace of the Buddhas].

At that time again Mahamati the Bodhisattva said thus to the Bhagavan: The chain of origination as told by the Bhagavan depends on a cause producing an effect, and that it is not a theory established on the principle of a self-originating substance. The philosophers also proclaim a causal origination when they say that all things rise conditioned by a supreme spirit, Isvara, a personal soul, time, or atom. How is it that the rise of all things is explained by the Bhagavan in another terminology bearing on causation but in its meaning not different? Bhagavan, the philosophers explain birth from being and non-being, while, according to the Bhagavan, all things coming into existence from nothingness pass away by causation,1 that is to say, the Bhagavan has Ignorance from which there rises Mental Conformation until we reach Old Age and Death. This teaching as explained by the Bhagavan is the doctrine of no-causation and not that of causation. According to the Bhagavan,2 "that being so, this is"--if this is simultaneous conditionality and not successive mutuality, it is not right. There, Bhagavan, the philosophers, teaching excels, and not thine. Why? The cause assumed by the philosophers is not dependent upon the chain of origination and produces effects. But, Bhagavan, thy cause has reference to its effect and the effect to its cause, and thus there is an interconnection of causal links, and from this mutuality follows the fault of non-finality. When people talk about, "That being so, this is. " there is a state of causelessness.

Replied the Bhagavan: Not so, Mahamati, mine is not a causeless theory of causation which results in an [endless] interconnection of causes and conditions. I speak of "That being so, this is" because of my seeing into the nature of the external world which is nothing but Self-Mind and because of its unreality of grasped (object) and grasping (subject). However, Mahamati, when people clinging to the notion of grasped and grasping fail to understand the world as something seen of Mind itself; and, Mahamati, by them the fault is committed as they recognise the external world as real with its beings and non-beings, but not by my theory of causation.

Further, Mahamati said: Bhagavan, is it not because of the reality of words that all things are? If not for words, Bhagavan, there would be no rising of things. Hence, Bhagavan, the existence of all things is by reason of the reality of words.

Said the Bhagavan: Even when there are no [corresponding] objects there are words, Mahamati; for instance, the hare's horns, the tortoise's hair, a barren woman's child, etc. --they are not at all visible in the world but the words are; Mahamati, they are neither entities nor nonentities but expressed in words. If, Mahamati, you say that because of the reality of words the objects are, this talk lacks in sense. Words are not known in all the Buddha-lands; words, Mahamati, are an artificial creation. In some Buddha-lands ideas are indicated by looking steadily, in others by gestures, in still others by a frown, by the movement of the eyes, by laughing, by yawning, or by the clearing of the throat, or by recollection, or by trembling. Mahamati, for instance, in the worlds of the Steady-Looking and in those of Exquisite Odours, and in the Buddha-land of Samantabhadra the Tathagata, Arhat, Fully-Enlightened One, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas by steadily looking without a wink attain the recognition of all things as unborn and also various most excellent Samadhis. For this reason, Mahamati, the validity of all things has nothing to do with the reality of words. It is observed, Mahamati, even in this world that in the kingdom of such special beings as ants, bees, etc., they carry on their work without words. Thus it is said:

166. As space, the hare's horns, and a barren woman's child are non-entities except as expressed in words, so is this existence imagined.

167. When causes and conditions are in combination the ignorant imagine the birth [of this world]; as they fail to understand this reason, they wander about in the triple world which is their dwelling.

At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva again said this to the Bhagavan: Bhagavan, where dost thou pronounce sound to be eternal?

The Bhagavan replied: According to error, Mahamati; since even to the wise there is this error, only that they are free from perversion. Mahamati, it is like the unwitted in the world who conceive a perverted idea regarding a mirage, a firebrand wheel, a hair-net, the city of the Gandharvas, Maya, a dream, a reflected image, and an Aksha-purusha, but with the knowing it is not so, though it. does not mean that those illusions do not appear to them. When, Mahamati, there is this error, diversities of forms are seen, though to this error the idea of impermanence is inapplicable. Why? Because it cannot be characterised with the ideas of being and non-being. Again, Mahamati, how are the ideas of being and non-being inapplicable to this error? Because all the ignorant take in varieties of situations, like the waves of the ocean and the waters of the Ganges which are not seen by the Pretas, but seen [by others]. For this reason, Mahamati, the error-existence [or this world of illusion] is not, but as this water is manifest to other people it is not a non-existence either. Thus to the wise, the error is neither a perversion nor a non-perversion. And for this reason, Mahamati, the error in itself is characterised with permanency, having the nature of non-distinction [as far as its own appearance is concerned]. Mahamati, being discriminated as regards its diversified individual signs, the error is perceived as differentiated. Thus the error, [as far as its own nature is concerned], is characterised with permanency. Again, Mahamati, how is the error to be considered reality? Mahamati, for this reason that as regards this error the wise cherish neither a perverted knowledge nor an unperverted knowledge. It is [such as it is and] not otherwise. In case, Mahamati, the wise should cherish any thought whatever in this error, it goes contrary to the reality attainable by noble wisdom. If there is anything at all here it is the prattling of the ignorant, it is not the talk of the wise.

Again, when the error is discriminated according to a perverted and an unperverted view, it gives rise to two classes of family, one of which is the family of the wise, and the other the family of the ignorant and simple-minded. Now, Mahamati, the family of the wise is divisible into three kinds, that is, the Sravakas, the Pratyekabuddhas, and the Buddhas. Mahamati, how does the Sravakayana family rise from the discrimination whereby the ignorant conceive the error? Mahamati, there is the rise of the Sravakayana family where the attachment to the notions of individuality and generality is kept up. This is the way, Mahamati, this error gives rise to the Sravakayana family. Mahamati, how does the Pratyekabuddhayana family rise as the error is discriminated? Mahamati, when in this error the attachment to the notions of individuality and generality leads one to a retirement from social life, there rises the Pratyebuddhayana family. Mahamati, how is there the rise of the Buddhayana family when this error is discriminated by the intelligent? Mahamati, when the world is understood to be nothing but Mind itself, the existence and non-existence of external objects ceases to be discriminated, and there is the rise of the Buddhayana family. Mahamati, this is the family, that is, what is meant by the family.

Again, Mahamati, when the error is discriminated by the ignorant, there is the manifestation of varieties of objects which calls forth the assertion [on their part] that this is so and not otherwise; whence rises the family of the transmigration vehicle. For this reason, Mahamati, the error is discriminated by the ignorant as characterised by multitudinousness, and this error is neither a reality nor an unreality. Thus, Mahamati, this error being discriminated by the wise turns into Tathata (suchness) with them, by virtue of a revulsion which takes place in them concerning the Citta, Manas, ManoVijnana, false reasoning, habit-energy, the [three] Svabhavas, and the [five] Dharmas. Thus, Mahamati, there is this statement that Tathata is Mind emancipated. Mahamati, the meaning of this statement is here thus clearly expressed by me, that is, by the discarding of discrimination is meant the abandonment of all discriminations. So much for this statement.

Mahamati said, Bhagavan, is the error an entity or not?

The Bhagavan replied: It is like Maya, Mahamati, the error has no character in it making for attachment; if, Mahamati, the error had any character in it making for attachment, no liberation would be possible from the attachment to existence, the chain of origination would be understood in the sense of creation as held by the philosophers.

Mahamati said: Bhagavan, if the error is like Maya, it will thereby be the cause of another error.

The Bhagavan said: No, Mahamati, Maya cannot be the cause of the error, because of its incapability of producing evils and faults; and thus, Mahamati, Maya does not give rise to evil thoughts and faults. Again, Mahamati, Maya has no discrimination of itself; it rises when invoked by the magical charm of a certain person. It has in itself no habit-energy of evil thoughts and faults that, issuing from self-discrimination, affect it. [Therefore,] there are no faults in it. This is only due to the confused view fondly cherished by the ignorant regarding Mind, and the wise have nothing to do with it. So it is said:

168. The wise do not see [the(?)] error, nor is there any truth in its midst; if truth is in its midst, [the(?)] error would be truth.

169. If there is the rising of individual forms (nimitta) apart from all error, this will indeed be error, the defiled is like darkness.

Further, Mahamati, Maya is not an unreality, because it has the appearance of reality; and all things have the nature of Maya.

Said Mahamati: Is it, Bhagavan, that all things are like Maya because Maya is something imagined and clung to as having multitudinousness of individual forms? Or is it due to the incorrect imagining of individual forms? If all things have the likeness of Maya because Maya is something imagined and clung to as having multitudinousness of individual forms, then see, Bhagavan, things are not like Maya. Why? Because forms are seen in the multitudinousness of individual signs not without due causes. If they ever appear without due causes, assuming the multitudinousness of individual signs and shapes, [then] they would be like Maya. For this reason, Bhagavan, that things are like Maya is not because they [i. e. all things and Maya] are both alike in being imagined and clung to as having multitudinousness of individual signs.

Said the Bhagavan: It is not, Mahamati, that all things are Maya because they are both alike in being imagined and clung to as having multitudinousness of individual signs, but that all things are like Maya because they are unreal and like a lightning-flash which is seen as quickly disappearing. Mahamati, a lightning appears and disappears in quick succession as is manifest to the ignorant; in the same way, Mahamati, all things assume individuality and generality according to the discrimination [of the Mind] itself. When the state of imagelessness2 is recognised, objects which are imagined and clung to as in possession of individual signs cease to assert themselves. Thus it is said:

170. Maya is not without reality, because it has something resembling it; the reality of all things is talked of [in a similar manner]; they are unreal like a lightning-flash [appearing and disappearing] quickly, and therefore they are regarded as resembling Maya.


Further, Mahamati said: Now according to the Bhagavan, all things are unborn and resemble Maya; but, Bhagavan, is there not the fault of contradiction between the previous statement and the later one? It is asserted by thee that that all things are unborn is due to their having the nature of Maya.1

The Bhagavan replied: Mahamati, when all things are asserted to be unborn because of their having the nature of Maya, there is no fault of contradiction between my previous statement and my later one. Why? Because birth is no-birth, when it is recognised that the world that presents itself before us is no more than Mind itself; and as to all external objects of which we state that they are or are not, they are to be seen as non-existent and unborn; and thus, Mahamati, there is here no fault of contradiction between my previous statement and my later one. But, Mahamati, in order to cast aside the philosophers' thesis on birth by causation, it is asserted that all things are like Maya and unborn. Mahamati, the philosophers who are the gathering of the deluded, foster the notion of deriving the birth of all things from that of being and non-being, and fail to regard it as caused by the attachment to the multidinousness which rises from the discrimination [of the Mind] itself. Mahamati, no fear rises in me [by making this statement].2 In this light, Mahamati, the term "unborn" is to be understood.

Again, Mahamati, the teaching that all things exist is given in order to admit transmigration, to check nihilism which says "Nothing is," and to make my disciples accept the doctrine that asserts the reality of karma in various forms and birth in the various worlds, for by admitting the terminology of existence we admit transmigration. Mahamati, the teaching that all things are characterised with the self-nature of Maya is meant to make the ignorant and simple-minded cast aside the idea of self-nature in anything; as they cherish the thoughts characterised with error, as they do not clearly grasp the meaning of the world which is no more than the Mind itself, they imagine and cling to causation, work, birth, and individual signs; in order to check this I teach that all things are characterised in their self-nature with the nature of Maya and a dream. Attached to erroneous thoughts they contradict both themselves and others by not seeing all things as they really and truly are. Mahamati, to see all things as they really and truly are means to realize that there is nothing to be seen but Mind itself. So it is said:

171. In the theory of no-birth, causation is not accepted [as is maintained by the ignorant]; where existence is accepted transmigration prevails; seeing that [all things] are like Maya, etc., one does not discriminate individual signs.

Further, Mahamati, we will explain the characteristics of name-body, the sentence-body, and the syllable-body; for when name-body, sentence-body, and syllable-body are well understood, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas conformable to the signification of a sentence and a syllable will quickly realize supreme enlightenment and thereby awaken all beings to it. Mahamati, by name-body is meant the object depending on which a name obtains, the body is this object; in another sense the body means substance (sarira). Mahamati, this is the body of a name. By the body of a sentence is meant what it signifies, the real object, determining its sense definitely. In another sense, it completes its reference. Mahamati, this is my teaching as regards the sentence-body. By the syllable-body is meant that by which names and sentences are indicated; it is a symbol, a sign; in another sense, it is something indicated.

Again, Mahamati, the sentence (pada) -body means the completion of the meaning expressed in the sentence. Again, Mahamati, a name (or a letter, nama) means each separate letter distinguished as to its self-nature from a to ha. Again, Mahamati, a syllable (vyanjana) is short, long, or lengthy. Again, Mahamati, regarding the sentence (pada) -body the idea of it is obtained from the foot-prints left on the road by elephants, horses, people, deer, cattle, cows, buffalos, goats, rams, etc. Again, Mahamati, names (nama) and syllables (vyanjana) belong to the four Skandhas which being formless are indicated by names; thus are names made. By means of the differently characterised names there are syllables (vyanjana); thus are syllables made. This, Mahamati, is the meaning of the body of a name (nama), a sentence (pada), and a syllable (vyanjana). You should endeavour to have a thorough understanding of these terms. It is thus said:

172. Because of the distinction between nama, pada, and vyanjana, the ignorant, the dull-witted, stick to them like the elephant in deep mud.

Further, Mahamati, in the time to come, those wrong-headed ones who are inclined to false speculations owing to their deficiency of knowledge concerning truth and cause may be asked by the wise, regarding that which is liberated from the dualistic conceptions of things such as oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness; and thus asked, they may answer, saying, "It is no question; it is not at all properly put--that is to say, the question: Are form, etc. and transiency to be considered one or different?"

In the same way, Nirvana and the Skandhas, indices and indicated, qualities and qualified, realities and the elements, seen and seeing, dust and atoms, knowledge and the Yogins--[are these to be considered one or different?] Such questions concerning the various aspects of existence lead successively from one thing to another without end, and those who are asked about these unexplainable questions would declare that they were put aside by the Bhagavan as impossible to answer. However, these deluded people are unable to realize [the meaning of] what they heard [from the Buddha] because of their deficiency of knowledge. The Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones do not explain these things to all beings because of their wish to keep the latter from the fear-inspiring phrases.

Mahamati, these inexplicables (vyahriani) are not taken up for consideration by the Tathagatas in order to keep the philosophers away from their wrong views and theories. Mahamati, the philosophers may declare thus: what life is that is the body, or life is one thing, body is another. In these they make inexplicable statements. Mahamati, entirely bewildered by the idea of a creator, the philosophers make an inexplicable statement, but that is not found in my teaching. In my teaching, Mahamati, discrimination does not take place because I teach to stand above grasped and grasping. How could there be any setting aside here? But, Mahamati, to those who are addicted to grasped and grasping, as they do not have a thorough understanding of the world which is no more than what is seen of the Mind itself, there is something to be set aside [as inexplicable]. Mahamati, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones teach the Dharma to all beings by means of the four forms of questioning and answering. As to the propositions that are set aside [as inexplicable], Mahamati, they are made use of by me on some other occasions for those whose senses are not yet fully matured; but for those of matured senses there is nothing to set aside.

Further, Mahamati, all things being devoid of doing and doer are unborn; as there is no doer, all things are therefore said to be unborn. Mahamati, all things are without self-nature. Why? Because, Mahamati, when they are examined by self-knowledge, there are no such signs obtainable which characterise them with individuality and generality; therefore, all things are said to have no self-nature. Again, Mahamati, in all things there is no taking birth, no going-out. Why? Because, Mahamati, the signs of individuality and generality are seen as existing and yet they are non-existent; they are seen as going out, and yet they do not go out. For this reason, Mahamati, all things are neither taking birth, nor are they going out. Again, Mahamati, all things are never annihilated. Why? For this reason that the individual signs that make up the self-nature of things are nonexistent, and all things are beyond reach. Therefore, all things are said never to be annihilated. Again, Mahamati, all things are not eternal. Why? Because the rising of individual signs is characterised with non-eternality. Therefore, all things are said not to be eternal. Again, Mahamati, all things are eternal. Why? Because the rising of individual signs is no-rising and is non-existent; and all things are eternal because of their non-eternality. Therefore, Mahamati, all things are said to be eternal. Thus it is said:

173. 1The four kinds of explanation are: direct statement, questioning, discernment, and setting aside; whereby the philosophers are kept away.

174. The Sankha and the Vaiseshika philosophers teach birth from a being or from a non-being; all that are proclaimed by them are the inexplicables.

175. When the self-nature [of all things] is examined by knowledge, it is beyond reach; therefore, they are without self-nature and unattainable.

At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva again said this to the Bhagavan: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, regarding the Stream-entered and their special attainment which characterises the state of the Stream-entered, whereby I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas thoroughly becoming acquainted with the Stream-entered and their special attainment characterising the state of the Stream-entered, will proceed to know the means and conduct which characterises the state of the Once-returning, Never-returning, and Arhatship; and they will then explain the Dharma to all beings in this manner. Having understood the twofold form of egolessness and having cleansed themselves of the twofold hindrance, they will by degrees go through the stages of Bodhisattvahood each of which has its own characteristics, and attaining Tathagatahood whose spiritual realm is beyond conceivability, they will be like a multicoloured gem and will accomplish what is good for the lives of all beings, providing them with every teaching, condition, deportment, body, and enjoyment.

Replied the Bhagavan: Listen well Mahamati, and take well to heart; I will tell you.

Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva answering him said: Very well, Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan then said this: Mahamati, in the fruit attained by the Sravakas, three kinds are distinguishable. What are the three? They are graded, Mahamati, low, middle, and the highest. The low ones will be reborn seven times when their existence will come to an end; the middling will attain Nirvana in three or five births; the highest will attain Nirvana in this birth. Mahamati, for these three classes [of the Stream-entered] there are three kinds of knots: weak, middling, and strong. What are these three knots, Mahamati? They are: (1) the view of an individual personality, (2) doubt, and (3) the holding-on to moral practices. Mahamati, when all these three knots arc in succession promoted to the higher stage then1 will be the attainment of Arhatship.

Mahamati, there are two kinds of the view of an individual personality; that is, (1) the inborn one and (2) the one due to the false imagination; it is like [the relation between] the relativity view and the false imagination [of the three] Svabhavas. For instance, Mahamati, depending on the relativity view of things there arise varieties of attachments to the false imagination. But this [existence] is neither a being, nor a non-being, nor a being-and-non-being; it is not a reality because of the false imagination, and, being discriminated by the ignorant, assumes varieties of individual signs to which they are strongly attached just as the deer does to a mirage. Mahamati, this is the view of an individual personality falsely imagined by the Stream-entered, which has been accumulated for a long time by their ignorance and attachment. This is destroyed when the egolessness of a person is attained by which the clinging ceases.

Mahamati, the inborn view of an individual personality as held by the Stream-entered [is destroyed in this way]. When this body which belongs equally to each of us is considered, it is perceived that it consists of form and the other four Skandhas, that form takes its rise from the elements and their belongings, that the elements are mutually conditioning, and that hence there is no aggregate known as form. When thus the Stream-entered realize that the idea of being and non-being is a partial view [of truth], the view of individual personality is destroyed. When the view of individual personality is thus destroyed, covetousness will never assert itself. This, Mahamati, is what characterises the view of individual personality.

Again, Mahamati, as regards the nature of doubt, when the Dharma is attained, and realized, and thoroughly understood as to its characteristics, and when the twofold view of individual personality is destroyed as previously described, no doubt is cherished in the teaching [of the Buddhas]. And there is no thought [in the minds of the Stream-entered] to follow the lead of any other teacher because of [the difference between] purity and non-purity. This,. Mahamati, is what is meant by doubt [discarded] by the Stream-entered.

Again, Mahamati, how is it that the Stream-entered do not hold themselves to the morality? They do not because they clearly see into the nature of suffering wherever they may be reborn. [What is meant by] the holding? Mahamati, that the ignorant and simple-minded observe the rules of morality, piety, and penance, is because they desire thereby to attain worldly enjoyments and happinesses; they cherish the hope of being born in agreeable conditions. And [the Stream-entered] do not hold [to the rules of morality], for their thoughts are turning only towards the exalted state of self-realization, and the reason why they devote themselves to the details of morality is that they wish to master such truths as are in conformity with non-discrimination and undefiled outflows. This, Mahamati, is the way in which the Stream-entered Ones hold to morality and piety. Mahamati, by thus breaking up the three knots the Stream-entered will discard covetousness, anger, and folly.

Mahamati said: Many kinds of covetousness are taught by the Bhagavan; which one of them is to be cast aside?

The Bhagavan replied: The world where love grows, i. e., the desire for sexual embrace, showing itself in beating, slapping, suggesting, kissing, embracing, smelling, looking-sidewise, or gazing may give one momentary pleasures but is productive of future grief. [With the Stream-entered] there is no greed for such. Why? Because they are abiding in the bliss of the Samadhi which they have attained. Hence this casting aside, but not of the desire for Nirvana.

Again, Mahamati, what is the fruit of the Once-returning? There is once in them the discrimination of forms, signs, and appearances; but as they learn not to view individual objects under the aspect of qualified and qualifying, and as they know well what marks the attainment of the Dhyana, they once come back into the world, and putting an end to suffering, realize Nirvana. Hence the appellation "Once-returning. "

Again, Mahamati, what is meant by Never-returning? It means that while there is yet the viewing of individual objects as characterised by being and non-being in the past, present, and future, the discrimination does not return with its errors and faults, the dormant passions do not assert themselves, and the knots are completely cut off never to return. Hence the appellation "Never-returning."

Again, Mahamati, the Arhat is the one who has attained the Dhyanas, Samadhis, emancipations, powers, psychic faculties, and with whom there are no more passions, sufferings, and discriminations. Hence the appellation "Arhat."

Mahamati said: Now, the Bhagavan declares that there are three kinds of Arhats: to which one of the three is this term "Arhat" to be applied? To one who makes straightway for the path of cessation? Or to one who neglects all his accumulated stock of merit for the sake of his vow to enlighten others? Or to one who is a form of the Transformation [Buddha]?

Replied the Bhagavan: Mahamati, [the term "Arhat"] applies to the Sravaka who makes straightway for the path of cessation, and to no others. Mahamati, as for the others, they are those who have finished practising the deeds of a Bodhisattva; they are forms of the Transformation Buddha. With skilful means born of their fundamental and original vows, they manifest themselves among the multitudes in order to adorn the assemblages of the Buddhas. Mahamati, here in these paths and abodes of existence they give out varieties of teachings which are based on discrimination; that is to say, as they are above such things as the attainment of the fruit, the Dhyanas, the Dhyana-practisers, or subjects for meditation, and as they know that this world is no more than what is seen of the Mind itself, they discourse on the fruit attained [for the sake of all beings]. Further, Mahamati, if the Stream-entered should think."These are the fetters, but I am disengaged from them, " they commit a double fault: they still hold to the vices of the ego, and they have not freed themselves from the fetters.

Further, Mahamati, in order to go beyond the Dhyanas, the immeasurables, and the formless world, the signs of this visible world which is Mind itself should be discarded. The Samapatti leading to the extinction of thought and sensation does not enable one to transcend the world of particulars, for there is nothing but Mind. So it is said:

176. The Dhyanas, the immeasurables, the formless, the Samadhis, and the complete extinction of thought (nirodha)--these do not exist where the Mind alone is.

177. The fruit of the Stream-entered, and that of the Once-returning, and that of the Never-returning, and Arhatship--these are the bewildered states of mind.

178. The Dhyana-practiser, the Dhyana, the subject for it, the destruction, the seeing of the truth, --these are no more than discriminations; when this is recognised there is emancipation.

Further, Mahamati, there are two kinds of intellect: the intellect as an examining function, and the intellect which functions in connection with the attachment to ideas of discrimination. As for the intellect that examines, Mahamati, it is that act of intellect which examines into the self-nature of things, finding it to be devoid of the four propositions, and unattainable. This is known as the intellect that examines. What is meant by [being devoid of] the four propositions? It means to be devoid of oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness, being and non-being, eternity and non-eternity. These are called the four propositions. Mahamati, train yourself to examine carefully all things as regards these four propositions. What, Mahamati, is the intellect which functions in connection with the attachment to ideas of discrimination? It is the intellect with which the Mind is discriminated and the ideas arising therefrom are adhered to [as real]; and this adherence gives rise to the conceptions of warmth, fluidity, motility, and solidity as characterising the gross elements; while the tenacious holding to proposition, reason, definition, and illustration, leads to the assertion of a non-entity [as entity]. This is called the intellect that functions in connection with the attachment to ideas of discrimination.

This, Mahamati, is what characterises the two kinds of intellect, in accordance with which the Bodhisattvas, thoroughly mastering the signs of egolessness of persons and things, and, by means of knowledge of imagelessness, becoming conversant with the stage of examination and practice, will attain the first stage [of Bodhisattvahood] and acquire one hundred Dhyanas. Attaining the excellent Samadhis, they will see one hundred Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, they will enter into one hundred kalpas that were prior to the present and also into those that will follow the present, they will illuminate one hundred Buddha-lands, and, illuminating one hundred Buddha-lands, they will understand the signs belonging to the higher stages; and by virtue of the most exalted vows they will manifest wonderful powers, they will be baptised by [the Buddhas] when they reach the stage of Dharmamegha (law-cloud); and realizing the inmost realm of the Tathagatas, they will be provided with things which are closely connected with the ten inexhaustible vows; and, in order to bring all beings into maturity, they will shine out in various forms with the rays of transformation; they will be quite absorbed in the bliss of self-realization.

Further, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas are to be well acquainted with the primary and the secondary elements. How do the Bodhisattvas know the primary and the secondary elements? Mahamati, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas are to know this that the truth is that the primary elements have never come into existence, and that, Mahamati, these elements are unborn. Thus understood, there is nothing in the world but what is discriminated [by our imagination]. When it is recognised that the visible world is no more than Mind itself, external objects cease to be realities, and there is nothing but what is discriminated by the mind and perceived [as external]. That is to say, let it be understood that the triple world has nothing to do with the primary and the secondary elements, that it is removed from the four propositions and philosophical systems, that it has nothing to do with a personal ego and what belongs to it; and that it establishes itself in the abode of real reality, where it is seen in its own form, i. e. in its unborn state.

Mahamati, what is meant by the elements derived from the primary elements? The element discriminated as vascidity produces the realm of water, inner and outer; the element discriminated as energy produces the realm of fire, inner and outer; the element discriminated as motility produces the realm of air, inner and outer; the element discriminated as divisibility of form gives birth to the realm of earth together with space, inner and outer. Because of the attachment to the incorrect truths there is the aggregation of the five Skandhas giving rise to the elements primary and secondary.

Again, Mahamati, the Vijnana has its cause in our attachment to and the desire for the multitudinousness of statements and objective fields; and it continues to evolve in another path of existence. Mahamati, the secondary elements such as earth, etc., [are said] to have their cause in the primary elements which, however, are non-existent. Because, Mahamati, of things endowed with being, characteristics, marks, perceivableness, abode, and work, one can say that they are born of the combination of various effect-producing [elements]; but not of things which are devoid of characteristic marks. For this reason, Mahamati, the elements primary and secondary are the discriminations of the philosophers and not mine.

Further, Mahamati, I will explain what characterises the self-nature of the Skandhas. Mahamati, what are the five Skandhas? They are form, sensation, thought, conformation, and consciousness. Mahamati, four of these have no material forms--sensation, thought, conformation, and consciousness. Form, Mahamati, belongs to what is made of the four primary elements, and these elements differ from one another in their individual signs. But the four Skandhas that are without form cannot be reckoned as four, they are like space. For instance, Mahamati, space cannot be numbered, and it is due to our discrimination that it is designated as such; in the same way, Mahamati, the Skandhas that are beyond calculability as they have no number-marks, are not to be predicated as existing and non-existing, and are beyond the four propositions; but to the ignorant they are described as subject to numeration, but not so to the wise.

Again, Mahamati, by the wise the five Skandhas are regarded as thought-constructions, devoid of [dualisties such as] otherness and not-otherness; for they are like varieties of forms and objects in a vision, like images and persons in a dream. As they have no better substance for their support, and as they obstruct the passage of noble wisdom, there is what is known as the Skandha-discrimination. This, Mahamati, is what characterises the self-nature of the Skandhas. This discrimination must be discarded by you, and having discarded this, you should declare the truth of solitude. Keeping back the views held by the philosophers, the truth of solitude is to be announced in all the Buddha-assemblies, Mahamati, and thereby the teaching of the egolessness of things is purified and you will enter upon the stage of Far-going (duramgama). Entering upon the stage of Duramgama you will become the master of many Samadhis, and, attaining the will-body you will realize the Samadhi known as Mayopama (Maya-like). Thoroughly conversant with the powers, psychic faculties and self-control, you will be the supporter of all beings like the earth. Mahamati, as the great earth is the supporter of all beings, so is the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva the supporter of all beings.

Further, Mahamati, there are four kinds of Nirvana. What are the four? They are: (1) the Nirvana which is attained when the self-nature of all things is seen as nonentity; (2) the Nirvana which is attained when varieties of individual marks characterising all things are seen as non-entities; (3) the Nirvana which is attained when there is the recognition of the non-existence of a being endowed with its own specific attributes; and (4) the Nirvana which is attained when there takes place the severance of the bondage conditioning the continuation of individuality and generality of the Skandhas. Mahamati, these four views of Nirvana belong to the philosophers and are not my teaching. According to my teaching, Mahamati, the getting rid of the discriminating ManoVijnana--this is said to be Nirvana.

Mahamati said: Does not the Bhagavan establish eight Vijnanas?

The Bhagavan replied: I do, Mahamati.

Mahamati said: If eight Vijnanas are established, why do you refer to the getting-rid of the ManoVijnana and not of the seven [other] Vijnanas [as well]?

The Bhagavan said: With the ManoVijnana as cause and supporter, Mahamati, there rise the seven Vijnanas. Again, Mahamati, the ManoVijnana is kept functioning, as it discerns a world of objects and becomes attached to it, and by means of manifold habit-energy [or memory] it nourishes the alayaVijnana. The Manas is evolved along with the notion of an ego and its belongings, to which it clings and on which it reflects. It has no body of its own, nor its own marks; the alayaVijnana is its cause and support. Because the world which is the Mind itself is imagined real and attached to as such, the whole psychic system evolves mutually conditioning. Like the waves of the ocean, Mahamati, the world which is the mind-manifested, is stirred up by the wind of objectivity, it evolves and dissolves. Thus, Mahamati, when the ManoVijnana is got rid of, the seven Vijnanas are also got rid of. So it is said:

179. I enter not into Nirvana by means of being, of work, of individual signs; I enter into Nirvana when the Vijnana which is caused by discrimination ceases.

180. With it [i. e. the ManoVijnana] for its cause and support, the Manas secures its use; the Vijnana causes the Citta to function, and is supported [by it].

181. Like a great flood where no waves are stirred because of its being dried up, the Vijnana [-system] in its various forms ceases to work when there is the annihilation [of the ManoVijnana].


Further, Mahamati, I will tell you about the various features of the false imagination (parikalpita); and when you and the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas are well acquainted with each of them in its specific form, you will get away from discrimination; and seeing well and knowing the way of inner realization by noble wisdom and also the ways of speculation by the philosophers, you will cast off discriminations such as grasped and grasping, and will not be induced to discriminate in respect to the multiple aspects of relativity-knowledge (paratantra), as well as the forms of the false imagination. What are the various features of the false imagination, Mahamati? They are the discriminations as regards (1) words (abhilapa), (2) meaning, (3) individual marks, (4) property, (5) self-nature, (6) cause, (7) philosophical views, (8) reasoning, (9) birth, (10) no-birth, (11) dependence, and (12) bondage and emancipation. These, Mahamati, are the various features of the false imagination.

Now, Mahamati, what is the discrimination of words? That is the becoming attached to various sweet voices and singing--this is the discrimination as regards words.

What is the discrimination of meaning? It is the discrimination by which one imagines that words rise depending on whatever subjects they express, and which subjects one regards as self-existent and belonging to the realization of noble wisdom.

What is the discrimination of individual marks? It is to imagine in whatever is denoted by words the multitudinousness of individual marks which are like a mirage, and, clinging tenaciously to them, to discriminate all things according to these categories: warmth, fluidity, motility, and solidity.

What is the discrimination of property? It is to desire a state of wealth such as gold, silver, and various precious stones.

What is the discrimination of self-nature? It is to make discrimination according to the imaginary views of the philosophers in reference to the self-nature of all things which they stoutly maintain, saying, "This is just it, and there is no other."

What is the discrimination of cause? That is, to distinguish the notion of causation in reference to being and non-being and to imagine that there are cause-signs--this is the discrimination of cause.

What is the discrimination of philosophical views? That means getting attached to the philosophers' wrong views and discriminations concerning such notions as being and non-being, oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness.

What is the discrimination of reasoning? It means the teaching whose reasoning is based on the grasping of the notion of an ego-substance and what belongs to it.

What is the discrimination of birth? It means getting attached to the notion that things come into existence and go out of it according to causation.

What is the discrimination of no-birth? It is to discriminate that all things are from the beginning unborn, that the causeless substances which were not, come into existence by reason of causation.

What is the discrimination of dependence? It means the mutual dependence of gold and the filament [which is made of gold].

What is the discrimination of bondage and emancipation? It is like imagining that there is something bound because of something binding as in the case of a man who by the help of a cord ties a knot or loosens it.

These, Mahamati, are the various features of the false imagination, to which all the ignorant and simple-minded ones cling, imagining that things are or are not. Those attached to the notion of relativity are attached to the notion of multitudinousness of things rising from the false imagination. It is like seeing varieties of objects depending on Maya, but these varieties thus revealing themselves are discriminated by the ignorant as something other than Maya itself according to their way of thinking. Now, Mahamati, Maya and varieties of objects are neither different nor one. If they were different, varieties of objects would not have Maya for their cause. If Maya were one with varieties of objects, there would be no distinction between the two, but as there is the distinction these two--Maya and varieties of objects--are neither one nor different. For this reason you and the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should never give yourselves up to the notion of being and non-being.


So it is said:

182. The Citta is bound up with the objective world; the intellect's function is to speculate; and in the excellent state of imagelessness there is the evolving of transcendental wisdom (prajna).

183. According to the false imagination, [self-substance] is, but from the point of view of relativity (paratantra) it is not; owing to perversion, what is discriminated is grasped [as real]; in the relativity there is no discrimination.

184. Multitudinousness of differentiations is imagined [as real by the ignorant], but being like Maya they obtain not; varieties of individual forms are discriminated as such, but they [really] do not obtain.

185. [To imagine] individual forms is wrong, it puts one in bondage; they are born of Mind due to the false imagination of the ignorant; based on the relativity they are discriminated.

186. The existence thus subjected to discrimination is no other than its relativity aspect; the false imagination is of various forms; based on the relativity, discrimination is carried on.

187. Conventional truth (samvriti) and ultimate truth (paramartha)--if there be a third, non-entity is its cause; the false imagination belongs to the conventional; when it is cut asunder, there is the realm of the wise.

188. As to the Yogins there is one reality which reveals itself as multiplicity and yet there is no multiplicity in it; so is the nature of the false imagination.

189. As by the dim-eyed a variety of objects is seen and imagined while the dimness itself is neither a form (rupa) nor a no-form (arupa), so is the relativity [discriminated] by the unknowing ones.

190. As is pure gold, water free from dirt, the sky without a cloud, so is [the Mind] pure when detached1 from the false imagination.

191. Falsely-imagined existence is not, but from the relativity point of view it is, assertion and refutation are destroyed when one is freed from the imagination.

192. If the relativity-aspect of existence is, while the imagination is not, this means that there is a being apart from being and that a being is born of a non-being.

193. Depending on the false imagination there obtains the relativity-aspect of existence; from the conjunction of form and name there rises false imagination.

194. False imagination can never be perfect knowledge (nishpanna), it is not productive of anything else [but itself]; then one knows what is meant by ultimate truth whose self-nature is purity.

195. There are ten kinds2 of false imagination and six kinds of relativity; in the knowledge of Tathata innerly attained there is no differentiation.

196. Truth consists in [knowing] the five Dharmas and also the three Svabhavas; when the Yogin thus comprehends [the truth], he does not transgress Tathata.

197. According to the form of relativity, there are those names that belong to false imagination; and the various aspects of false imagination arise from relativity.


198. When well pondered with intelligence (buddhi) there is neither relativity nor false imagination; where perfect knowledge is, there is nothing [dualistically] existent; for how with intelligence can discrimination take place?

199. Where perfect knowledge is, the existent cannot be qualified with being and non-being; in what cannot be qualified with being and non-being, how can there be these two Svabhavas?

200. Because of false imagination, the two Svabhavas are established; where there is false imagination multitudinousness of things is recognised, which being purified the [spiritual] condition of the wise obtains.

201. Where there is false imagination there is multitudinousness of objects, which are discriminated under the aspect of relativity; if otherwise discriminated, one becomes attached to the teachings of the philosophers.

202. What is imagined being subjected to further imagination, there are various views from which rises the doctrine of causal origination; when the dualistic discrimination is got rid of, there indeed is perfect knowledge.1

Further, Mahamati said: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, about the one vehicle that characterises the inner realization of noble wisdom, whereby, Bhagavan, I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, becoming conversant with the one vehicle which marks the inner attainment of noble wisdom, may be established without depending on anybody else in the teaching of the Buddha.

Said the Bhagavan: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect within yourself as I tell you.

Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said, Yes, I will, Bhagavan; and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

Thereupon the Bhagavan said: In accordance with the authoritative teachings in which there are no discriminations, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva retire by himself to a quiet secluded place, where he may reflect within himself, not relying on anybody else, but by means of his own inner intelligence, in order to discard erroneous views and discriminations, make successive advances and exert himself to finally enter upon the stage of Tathagatahood. This, Mahamati, is the characteristic feature of the inner realization to be gained by means of noble wisdom.

What characterizes the way of the one vehicle? I call it the one vehicle because thereby one recognizes and realizes the path leading to the one vehicle. How is this path of the one vehicle to be recognized and realized? The recognition of the one vehicle is obtained when there is no rising of discrimination by doing away with the notion of grasped and grasping and by abiding in the reality of suchness (yathabhuta). Mahamati, this recognition of the one vehicle, except by the Tathagata himself, has never been obtained before by anybody else--the philosophers, Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, Brahmans, etc. For this reason, Mahamati, this is known as the one vehicle.

Mahamati said: For what reason is it that the Bhagavan speaks of the triple vehicle and not of the one vehicle?

The Bhagavan replied: Because there is no teaching whereby the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas can realize Nirvana by themselves, I do not speak of the one vehicle. Thus, Mahamati, the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas are disciplined, segregated, and trained in meditation according to the discourse of the Tathagata, whereby they are led to emancipation and not by themselves.

Further, Mahamati, as they have not yet destroyed the habit-energy (memory) of karma and the hindrance of knowledge, all the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas are unable to realize the egolessness of things and have not attained the inconceivable transformation-death, I preach to the Sravakas [and Pratyekabuddhas] the triple vehicle and not the one vehicle. When, Mahamati, destroying all the evil habit-energy, they realize the egolessness of things, they who are now free from the evil habit-energy will not be intoxicated by the Samadhis and will be awakened into the realm of no-evil-outflows. Now being taken into a super-world which is the realm of no-evil-outflows, they will gather up all the material for the attainment of the Dharmakaya which is of severeign power and beyond conception. So it is said:

203. The Deva vehicle, the Brahma vehicle, the Sravaka vehicle, the Pratyekabuddha vehicle, and the Tathagata vehicle, of these I speak.

204. So long as there is a mind making conscious efforts, there can be no culmination as regards the various vehicles; when a revulsion takes place in the mind, there is neither a vehicle nor one who rides in it.

205. There is really no establishment of various vehicles, and so I speak of the one vehicle; but in order to carry the ignorant I talk of a variety of vehicles.

206. There are three emancipations, and in all things there is no ego-substance; knowledge and passions are of the same nature, when [one is] emancipated they are discarded.

207. Like a piece of wood floating on the waves of the ocean, the Sravaka obsessed with individual marks is driven along [the stream of existence].

208. Though disengaged from the actively-functioning passions, they [the Sravakas] are still bound up with the habit-energy of the passions; intoxicated with the liquor of the Samadhi, they still have their abode in the realm of outflows.

209. In this there is no course of finality, nor retrogression either; [losing himself] in the attainment of the Samadhi-body, he is not at all awakened even to the end of kalpas.

210. Like unto the drunkard who, being awakened from his intoxication, regains his intelligence, [the Sravakas] will have the realization of the Buddha's truth, which is his own body.

(End of Chapter 2)


 

Table of Contents   | C1 | C2 | C3 | C4 | C5 | C6 | C7 | C8 | C9

 

Mahayana Lankavatara Sutra



Translated into English by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki



Chapter 3: On Impermanency


At that time again the Bhagavan said this to Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva: I will tell you, Mahamati, about the various forms of the will-body; listen well and reflect well within yourself. I will tell you.

Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said; I will, Bhagavan, and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan then said this: There are three kinds of will-body, Mahamati. What are the three? They are: (1) the will-body obtained in the enjoyment of the Samadhi; (2) the will-body obtained by recognizing the self-nature of the Dharma; and (3) the will-body which is assumed [by a Bodhisattva according to] the class of beings [to be saved] and which perfects and achieves [without a thought of its own achievement]. By realizing the higher stages successively after the first is attained, the Yogin will experience them [all].

Now, Mahamati, what is the will-body attained in the enjoyment of the Samadhi? It is this: when [the Yogin] in the third, fourth, fifth stages removes the various discriminations going on in his mind and is at rest,1 the waves of consciousness are no more stirred in the Mind-ocean and the Vijnana functions are quieted, the bliss of which is enjoyed by him; and when he thus recognizes the non-existence of the external world, which is no more than his own mind, he is said to have the will-body.2

What is the will-body obtained by recognizing the self-nature of the Dharma? When [the Yogin] of the eighth stage has a thoroughgoing penetration into the nature of things which is like Maya and not image-producing, he experiences a revulsion at the seat of consciousness and obtains the Samadhi known as Maya-like and other Samadhis. By entering upon the Samadhis he gains a body which exhibits various powers of self-mastery and supernatural activity, which moves according to his wish as quickly as a flower opens up, which resembles Maya, a dream, and a reflected image, and which is not a product of the elements but has something analogous to what is produced of the elements, which is furnished with all the differences appertaining to the world of forms and yet is able to follow up all the assemblages in the Buddha-lands. This is the body which has a thoroughgoing knowledge of the self-nature of the Dharma and for this reason is called will-body.

Now what is the will-body which is born in accordance with the class and which perfects and achieves? When [the Yogin] is thoroughly conversant with all the characteristics of self-realisation and its bliss which pervades the teachings of the Buddha, he is said to have the body which is will-made, born with [the class], perfecting and achieving. Mahamati, you should exert yourself in order to have a thoroughly penetrating knowledge of these three marks of the will-body. So it is said:

1. My Mahayana is neither a vehicle, nor a sound, nor words; it is neither the truth, nor emancipation, nor the realm of imagelessness.

2. Yet the Mahayana is a vehicle on which the Samadhis are carried leading to various creative activities; the several forms of the will-body are adorned with the flowers of the sovereign will.


At that time again Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: The five immediacies are preached by the Bhagavan; and what are these five, Bhagavan, which being committed by a son or a daughter of a good family cause them to fall into the Avici hell?

The Bhagavan replied: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect, for I will tell you.

Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said; Certainly, Bhagavan, and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said thus to him: What are the five immediacies? They are: (1) the murdering of the mother, (2) of the father, (3) of the Arhat, (4) the breaking-up of the Brotherhood, and (5) causing the body of the Tathagata to bleed from malice.

Now what is meant by the mother of all beings? It is desire which is procreative, going together with joy and anger and upholding all with motherliness. Ignorance representing fatherhood brings about one's rebirth in the six villages of the sense-world. When there takes place a complete destruction of both roots, fatherhood and motherhood, it is said that mother and father are murdered. When there is a complete extermination of the subordinate group of passions such as anger, etc., which are like an enemy, a venomous rat, the murdering of the Arhat is said to take place. What is meant by the breaking-up of the Brotherhood? When there is a complete fundamental breaking-up of the combination of the Skandhas whose characteristic mark is a state of mutual dependence among dissimilarities, it is said that the Brotherhood is split up. Mahamati, when the body of the eight Vijnanas, which erroneously recognizes individuality and generality as being outside the Mind--which is seen [by the ignorant] in the form of an external world--is completely extirpated by means of faulty discriminations, that is, by means of the triple emancipation and the non-outflows, and when thus the faulty mentality of the Vijnana-Buddha is made to bleed, it is known as an immediacy-deed. These,

Mahamati, are the five inner immediacies, and when they are experienced by a son or a daughter of a good family, there is an immediacy-deed of realisation as regards the Dharma.

Further, Mahamati, there are five external immediacies which I will point out to you, in order that you and other Bodhisattvas in the future may thereby be saved from ignorance. What are these five? They are those immediacies which are described in the canonical texts, and those who commit these crimes can never experience any one of these manifestations, except those Transformation [-Buddhas] who are sustained by the power [of the Tathagatas] and have already attained a realisation. The Sravakas of transformation, Mahamati, who are sustained by the sustaining power either of the Bodhisattvas or Tathagatas, may see somebody else practising deeds of wickedness, and they will repeatedly make great efforts to turn him away from his wickness and faulty views, and to make him realise the non-reality of wickedness and faulty views by laying down his burden. This is the way I demonstrate facts of the transformation, the sustaining power, and the realisation. Mahamati, there is, however, no realisation for those who are sheer offenders of the immediacies, except when they come to the recognition of the truth that an external world is nothing but1 the Mind itself, seeing that body, property, and abiding place are discriminations, and that the notion of an ego and its belongings are to be kept away; or, when they are released from the fault of self-discrimination by encountering a good friend at some time or other, or at any time, and being born in some other path of existence. So it is said:

3. Desire is said to be the mother and ignorance the father; the Vijnana which recognizes an objective world is [compared to] the Buddha.

4. The secondary group of passions is the Arhat, the amassing of the five Skandhas the Brotherhood; as these are to be destroyed immediately they are known as immediacy-deeds.

Again Mahamati said: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, what makes the Buddhas and the Bhagavans such as they are: that is, [what is] the Buddha-nature of the Buddhas?

Said the Bhagavan: when the egolessness of things as well as of persons is understood, when the knowledge of the twofold hindrance is thoroughly taken hold of, when the twofold death (cyuti) is accomplished, and when the twofold group of passions is destroyed, there, Mahamati, is the Buddha-nature of the Buddhas and the Bhagavans. When these teachings are experienced by the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas, this is their Buddha-nature. So it is said:

5. The twofold egolessness, the twofold group of passions, the twofold hindrance, and the inconceivable transformation-death, --when these are attained, there is the Tathagata.

At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: According to what deeper sense2 did you make this announcement before the congregation, that "I am all the Buddhas of the past," and that "I have gone through many a birth in varieties of forms, being thus at times the king Mandhatri, Elephant, Parrot, Indra, Vyasa, Sunetra, and other beings in my one hundred thousand births?"

Said the Bhagavan: There are, according to the deeper sense, four kinds of sameness distinguished, Mahamati, and the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones make this assertion: I was thus at that time the Buddha Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni, and KaSyapa. What are the four kinds of sameness which are distinguished according to the deeper sense? They are: (1) sameness of letters, (2) sameness of words, (3) sameness of teachings, and (4) sameness of the body. According to this fourfold sameness in the deeper sense, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones make the announcement before the congregation.

Again Mahamati said: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, what makes the Buddhas and the Bhagavans such as they are: that is, [what is] the Buddha-nature of the Buddhas?

Said the Bhagavan: when the egolessness of things as well as of persons is understood, when the knowledge of the twofold hindrance is thoroughly taken hold of, when the twofold death (cyuti) is accomplished, and when the twofold group of passions is destroyed, there, Mahamati, is the Buddha-nature of the Buddhas and the Bhagavans. When these teachings are experienced by the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas, this is their Buddha-nature. So it is said:

5. The twofold egolessness, the twofold group of passions, the twofold hindrance, and the inconceivable transformation-death, --when these are attained, there is the Tathagata.

At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: According to what deeper sense2 did you make this announcement before the congregation, that "I am all the Buddhas of the past," and that "I have gone through many a birth in varieties of forms, being thus at times the king Mandhatri, Elephant, Parrot, Indra, Vyasa, Sunetra, and other beings in my one hundred thousand births?"

Said the Bhagavan: There are, according to the deeper sense, four kinds of sameness distinguished, Mahamati, and the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones make this assertion: I was thus at that time the Buddha Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni, and KaSyapa. What are the four kinds of sameness which are distinguished according to the deeper sense? They are: (1) sameness of letters, (2) sameness of words, (3) sameness of teachings, and (4) sameness of the body. According to this fourfold sameness in the deeper sense, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones make the announcement before the congregation.

Now, Mahamati, what is the sameness of letters? It is that my name is [spelt] B-u-d-d-h-a, and these letters are also used for other Buddhas and Bhagavans; Mahamati, these letters in their nature are not to be distinguished one from another; therefore, Mahamati, there is the sameness of letters.

Now, Mahamati, what is the sameness of words with regard to the Tathagatas, Arhats, and Fully-Enlightened Ones? It is that sixty-four sounds of the Brahman language are distinguished by me, and these identical sixty-four sounds of the Brahman language are also uttered by the Tathagatas, Arhats, and Fully-Enlightened Ones, and their Kalavinka-like notes are the same with all of us, as we are indistinguishable in this respect.

Now, Mahamati, what is the sameness of the body? It is that I and other Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones are the same as regards our Dharmakaya and the [thirty-two] signs and the [eighty] minor excellencies of bodily perfection--no distinction existing among us, except that the Tathagatas manifest varieties of forms according to the different dispositions of beings, who are to be disciplined by varieties of means.

Now, Mahamati, what is the sameness of the teaching? It is that I as well as they [other Tathagatas] are all conversant with the teachings belonging to the thirty-seven branches of enlightenment. According to the deeper sense which is concerned with this fourfold sameness, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones make their announcement before the congregation. So it is said:

6. "I am KaSyapa, Krakucchanda, and Kanakamuni"; this I preach who come out of the sameness for the sake of the sons of the Buddha.

Again Mahamati said: It is said by the Bhagavan that from the night of the Enlightenment till the night of the Parinirvana, the Tathagata in the meantime has not uttered even a word, nor will he ever utter; for not-speaking is the Buddha's speaking. According to what deeper sense is it that not-speaking is the Buddha's speaking?

The Bhagavan replied: By reason of two things of the deeper sense, Mahamati, this statement is made. What are the two things: They are the truth of self-realisation and an eternally-abiding reality. According to these two things of the deeper sense the statement is made by me. Of what deeper sense is the truth of self-realisation? What has been realised by the Tathagatas, that is my own realisation, in which there is neither decreasing nor increasing; for the realm of self-realisation is free from words and discriminations, having nothing to do with dualistic terminology.

What is meant by an eternally-abiding reality? The ancient road of reality, Mahamati, has been here all the time, like gold, silver, or pearl preserved in the mine, Mahamati; the Dharmadhatu abides foreover, whether the Tathagata appears in the world or not; as the Tathagata eternally abides so does the reason (dharmata) of all things; reality foreover abides, reality keeps its order, like the roads in an ancient city. For instance, Mahamati, a man who is walking in a forest and discovering an ancient city with its orderly streets may enter into the city, and having entered into it, he may have a rest, conduct himself like a citizen, and enjoy all the pleasures accruing therefrom. What do you think, Mahamati? Did this man make the road along which he enters into the city, and also the various things in the city?

Mahamati said: No, Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said: Just so, Mahamati, what has been realised by myself and other Tathagatas is this reality, the eternally-abiding reality (sthitita), the self-regulating reality (niyamata), the suchness of things (tathata), the realness of things (bhutata), the truth itself (satyata). For this reason, Mahamati, it is stated by me that from the night of the Tathagata's Enlightenment till the night of his entrance into Nirvana, he has not in the meantime uttered, nor ever will utter, one word. So it is said:

7. From the night of Enlightenment till that of Nirvana, I have not in the meantime made any proclamation whatever.1

8. It is on account of the deeper meaning that the eternally-abiding reality of self-realisation is talked of by me; and between myself and [all the other] Buddhas, in this respect, there is no distinction whatever.

At that time, Mahamati made this request of the Bhagavan: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, about the being and non-being of all things; and when myself and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas are freed of the notions of being and non-being, may we quickly attain supreme enlightenment.

The Bhagavan replied: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said, Certainly, Bhagavan, and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

Then the Bhagavan said: People of this world are dependent on two things, Mahamati, that is, they are dependent on the idea of being and on that of non-being, and they fall into the views whereby they take pleasure either in nihilism or in realism. They imagine emancipation where there is no emancipation.

Now, Mahamati, who are the people dependent on the notion of being? It means this that they regard the world as rising from causation which is really existent, and that the actually existing and becoming world does not take its rise from causation which is non-existent. This will not be the case if the world is something non-existing. They thus talk of the really-existing world as arising from the reality of causation. This is the realistic view of causation as held by some people.

Now, Mahamati, what is meant by being dependent upon the idea of non-being? It means, Mahamati, admitting greed, anger, and folly, and yet discriminating as regards the non-reality of what makes up greed, anger, and folly; and, Mahamati, there is one who does not admit the reality of things because of their being devoid of individual marks; and there is another who, seeing that the Buddhas, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas are free from greed, anger, and folly, because of all things being devoid of individual marks, [think that greed, anger, and folly] do not exist.

Now, Mahamati, who of these is the one doomed to ruin?

Said Mahamati; Bhagavan, it is he who, admitting greed, anger, and folly, yet refuses to admit them.

The Bhagavan said: Well said indeed, Mahamati! Again thou hast indeed spoken well, Mahamati! Not only is he himself doomed to ruin because of his notion of greed, anger, and folly as existent and yet as not-existent, but he ruins even the character of the Buddha, the Sravaka, and the Pratyekabuddha. Why? Because the passions are not to be taken hold of innerly and outwardly, because they are neither different nor not-different. Mahamati, greed, anger, and folly too are not to be taken hold of innerly as well as outwardly; they have no substance of their own and they are not to be admitted; Mahamati, as there is no reality in the nature of greed, anger, and folly, [he who fails to understand this] is the one who ruins the character of the Buddha, Sravaka, and Pratyekabuddha. The Buddha, Sravaka, and Pratyekabuddha are by nature emancipated as there is in them no cause for being bound and binding; Mahamati, [on the other hand,] where there is a state of being bound there are the binding and the cause of bondage. [And yet there is] one who talks thus, [that is, denies causation]; such is doomed to ruin. Mahamati, this characterises nihilism and realism.

This is stated by me in accordance with the deeper sense. It is better to cherish the notion of an ego-substance as much as Mount Sumeru than to have the notion of emptiness derived from the self-conceited view of being and non-being. One who is conceited in the view of being and non-being is indeed doomed to ruin. Those who are delighted in cherishing notions of individuality and generality fail to understand that an external world is nothing but Mind itself and has no reality; and as they do not understand this they regard things external as transient, for they suffer every moment changes which follow one after another, now splitting, now dividing, while the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas succeeding one another and combining with one another, now come forward and now pass away. They who thus disregarding words of the scriptures are given up to wrong discriminations are also doomed to ruin. So it is said:

9. As far as the duality of being and non-being extends, there is the realm of intellection; when this realm vanishes, intellection completely ceases.

10. When the external world is not grasped [as real] there is neither causation nor reality; there is the essence of suchness (thatata), which is the [spiritual] realm of the wise.

11. Those who believe in the birth of something that has never been in existence and, coming to exist, finally vanishes away, --which leads them to assert that things come to exist, things pass away, according to causation, --such people have no foothold in my teaching.

12. It is not by the philosophers, not by the Buddhas, not by myself, not by anybody else, but by causation that being obtains; how can one talk of non-being?

13. When being obtains by causation, who can bring about non-being? By reason of the wrong views based on the doctrine of birth, being and non-being are discriminated.

14. When it is realised that there is nothing born, nothing passing away, there is no way to admit its being and not-being; the world is to be regarded as quiescent.

At that time again Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva requested of the Bhagavan, saying: Pray point out to me, Bhagavan; pray point out to me, Sugata; pray point out to me, Tathagata, Arhat, Fully-Enlightened One! Pray tell me, Most Excellent One! What is the characteristic of the realisation by which I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, becoming thoroughly conversant with its meaning, may quickly attain the highest enlightenment, and, relying upon themselves, will not be led away by any speculations or philosophies?

Said the Bhagavan: Then listen well, Mahamati, and well reflect within yourself; I will tell you.

Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said; Certainly, I will; and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

Thereupon the Bhagavan said this: There are two ways of characterising the realisation attained by all the Sravakas, the Pratyekabuddhas, and the Bodhisattvas: the realisation itself and the teaching [about it]. Now, Mahamati, by the realisation itself is meant that it is the realm of inner attainment; its characteristic features are that it has nothing to do with words, discriminations, and letters; that it leads one up to the realm of non-outflows; that it is the state of an inner experience; that it is entirely devoid of philosophical speculations and [the doings of] evil beings; and that, destroying philosophical speculations and [the doings of] evil beings, it shines out in its own inner light of attainment. These, Mahamati, are the characteristics of the realisation.

Now, Mahamati, what is meant by the teaching [concerning it]? It is variously given in the nine divisions of the doctrinal works; it keeps one away from the dualistic notions of being and non-being, of oneness and otherness; first making use of skilful means and expedients, it induces all beings to have a perception [of this teaching] so that whoever is inclined towards it, may be instructed in it. This, Mahamati, is the characteristic of the teaching. Let, therefore, Mahamati, you and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas exert yourselves in this.

15. Realisation and teaching, self-attainment and doctrinal instruction--those who have an insight into the difference will not be led away by philosophical authorities.

16. There is no truth in any object that is imagined by the ignorant; deliverance is where there is no objective world; why is this not sought by the speculators?

17. The world of the Samskritas is observed as the continuation of birth-and-death, whereby dualisms are nourished, and because of this perversion [the truth] is not perceived.

18. There is just one truth, which is Nirvana--it has nothing to do with the Manas (intellection); the world seen as subject to discrimination resembles a plantain tree, a dream,1 a vision.

19. No greed there is, no anger, nor folly either, and again, no personal ego; from desire start the Skandhas, which resemble a dream.

At that time again Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva requested of the Bhagavan, saying: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, pray tell me, Sugata, regarding what characterises wrong discrimination (abhutaparikalpa). Bhagavan, tell me as to the how, what, why, and who of wrong discrimination, which, when rising and going on, constitutes what is known as wrong discrimination; that is to say, to what kind of thought is the term wrong discrimination applicable? or what kind of discrimination is to be called wrong?

The Bhagavan said: Well said, well said, Mahamati; and again, well said, indeed, Mahamati! You who have been admitted [into the order of Bodhisattvas], Mahamati, think of this matter which is worth asking about, for the welfare of many people, for the happiness of many people, because of your compassion for the world, for the benefit of the multitudes, for the welfare and happiness of celestial beings and humankind. Therefore, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well within yourself as I tell you.

Certainly, Bhagavan; said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

Then the Bhagavan said thus to him: When the multitudinousness of objects is wrongly imagined [as real] and attached to, discrimination goes on evolving; and, Mahamati, as people are attached tenaciously to the notion of grasping, as they have not ascertained in their minds as to the nature of the objective world which is no more than the Mind itself, as they have fallen into the dualistic view of being and non-being, and, Mahamati, as they are nourished by the habit-energy of the views and discriminations of the philosophers, they perceive the multitudinousness of external objects [as real] and become attached to them; and for this reason a system of mentation--mind and what belongs to it --is discriminated and is spoken of [as real], and with the assertion of an ego-soul and its belongings, the system goes on functioning.

Said Mahamati: As you say, Bhagavan, when the multitudinousness of external objects is wrongly imagined [as real] and attached to by people, discrimination goes evolving on; and they fall into the dualistic view of being and non-being,1 they nourish the views and discriminations of the philosophers which are based on the notion of grasped and grasping; and as they perceive the multitudinousness of external objects [as real] and become attached to them, a system of mentation--mind and what belongs to it --is discriminated and is spoken of [as real] and goes on functioning owing to the fact that the external world is not recognized as nothing but the Mind itself, and that the multitudinousness of things is tenaciously clung to as subject to [the notion of] being and non-being. This being the case, Bhagavan, the multitudinousness of external objects which is characterised with the dualism of being and non-being, is to be said neither existent nor non-existent, and does not render itself to the formation of the philosophical views. [Inasmuch as the external world owes its existence to discrimination, it in itself must be said to be devoid of all forms of dualism.] Bhagavan, in the same way the highest reality is declared to be devoid of [all forms of logical analysis such as] the means of proof, sense-perception, syllogistic arguments, illustration, reasoning, etc. How is it, Bhagavan, that while, on the one hand, the discrimination of multiplicity is said to go on operating on the strength of the attachment which attaches itself to the multiplicity of external unrealities, the attachment, on the other hand, to the highest reality does not give rise to discrimination which goes on functioning in its own way? Is it not, Bhagavan, unfair reasoning on your part to say, "It gives rise [to discrimination]" in one place, and to say in another place, "It does not"? 2According to the Bhagavan, depending on and attaching to the dualism of being and non-being, there evolve views characteristic of wrong discrimination as when the magician produces varieties of people that are not at all real and complete objects. Thus signs of existence and non-existence are falsely imagined and go on so imagined; [but in fact existence itself is] devoid of discrimination. If so, how does one come to cherish the dualism as held by a man of the world?

Said the Bhagavan: Mahamati, discrimination, indeed, does not evolve, nor is it put away. Why? Because there is no evolving of discrimination as regards being and non-being; because the perception of objective realities is not real; because all that is seen is to be recognized as nothing but the Mind itself. Mahamati, discrimination does not evolve, nor is it put away. But, Mahamati, for the sake of the ignorant who are addicted to discriminating the multiplicity of things which are of their own Mind, it is said by me that discrimination whose first function is to produce effects takes its rise owing to the attachment to the aspect of multiplicity as characteristic of objects. How otherwise, Mahamati, can the ignorant and simple-minded have an insight into the Mind itself which they discriminate, and see themselves freed from the notion of an ego and what belongs to it, and also freed from the wrong conception of cause and effect? And, again, how can they recognize that there is nothing but Mind itself and cause a revulsion at the inmost seat of consciousness (citta-sraya)? How can they have a clear perception of all the stages and attain the inner realisation of the Tathagatas, which transcends the five Dharmas, the three Svabhavas, and the idea of reality as well as discrimination? For this reason, Mahamati, I state that discrimination takes its rise from our attachment to the multiplicity of objects which are not real, and that emancipation comes from our thoroughly understanding the meaning of reality as it is and also the meaning of multiplicity of things which evolve from discrimination. So it is said:

20. Those who, regarding the world as evolving from causes and conditions, are attached to these notions as well as to the fourfold proposition, fail to understand my teaching.

21. The world cannot be predicated anywhere as being, or as non-being, or as being-and-non-being, as is discriminated by the ignorant who regard it as subject to causes and conditions,

22. When the world is seen [to be unpredicable with such notions as] being, non-being, or being-and-non-being, a change takes place in the mind, and egolessness is attained.

23. All things are unborn because they are born of causation; anything that is born of causation is an effect, and from an effect nothing is produced.

24. From an effect no effect is produced; [if you assert this,] you commit the fault of a double effect; and this double effect being untenable, no existence comes from an effect.

25. When the Samskrita [i. e. anything produced] is regarded as free from [the dualism of] depended and depending, there decidedly is Mind-only, and hence my teaching of Mind-only.

26. The [Mind as] norm is the abode of self-nature which has nothing to do with a world of causation; of this norm which is perfect existence and the highest Brahma, 1 I speak.

27. An ego-soul is a truth belonging to thought-construction, in which there is no real reality; the self-nature of the Skandhas is also a thought-construction, as there is no reality in it.

28. The sameness is of four kinds: individual forms, cause, the coming into being,1 and the sameness of non-ego is the fourth: these are subjects of discipline for the Yogins.

29. [There is a state which is] removed from all philosophical views, free from imagined and imagining, of no attainment, and of no birth--this I call Mind-norm.

30. Of neither existence nor non-existence do I speak, but of Mind-only which has nothing to do with existence and non-existence, and which is thus2 free from intellection.

31. Suchness (tathata), emptiness, realm of truth (dharmadhatu), the various forms of the will-body-- these I call Mind-only.

32. Multiplicity of objects evolves from the conjunction of habit-energy and discrimination; it is born of Mind, but is regarded by people as existing outwardly: this I call Mind-only.

33. The external world is not, and multiplicity of objects is what is seen of Mind; body, property, and abode-- these I call Mind-only.

At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: This is said by the Bhagavan that the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and others should not grasp meaning [or reality, artha], according to words. But, Bhagavan, why should not the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva grasp meaning from words? What are words? What is meaning?

Said the Bhagavan: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect within yourself well; I will tell you.

Thereupon said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, Certainly, Bhagavan; and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan then said this to him: Now, Mahamati, how is speech produced? Depending on discrimination and habit-energy [or memory] as the cause, there is the conjunction and the distinction of sounds and letters, which, issuing from the teeth, jaws, palate, tongue, lips, and the cavity of the mouth, make mutual conversations possible. This is speech. Now, Mahamati, what is meaning? The Bodhisattva-Mahasattva is said to have grasped meaning well, when, all alone in a lonely place, he walks the path leading to Nirvana, by means of his transcendental wisdom (prajna) which grows from learning, thinking, and meditation, and causing a revulsion first at the source of habit-energy by his self-knowledge (svabuddhi), abides on the stages of self-realisation where he leads a life full of excellent deeds.

Further, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva who is conversant with words and meaning observes that words are neither different nor not-different from meaning and that meaning stands in the same relation to words. If, Mahamati, meaning is different from words, it will not be made manifest by means of words; but meaning is entered into by words as things [are revealed] by a lamp. It is, Mahamati, like a man carrying a lamp to look after his property. [By means of this light] he can say: This is my property and so is kept in this place. Just so, Mahamati, by means of the lamp of words and speech originating from discrimination, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas can enter into the exalted state of self-realisation which is free from speech-discrimination.

Further, Mahamati, if a man becomes attached to the [literal] meaning or words and holds fast to their agreement in regard to the original state of Nirvana which is unborn and undying, the Triple vehicle, the one vehicle, the five [Dharmas], mentation, the [three] Svabhavas, etc., he will come to cherish views either affirmative or negative. As varieties of objects are seen in Maya and are discriminated [as real], statements are erroneously made, discriminations erroneously go on. It is by the ignorant that discriminations thus go on; it is otherwise with the wise.

So it is said:

34. 1Those who following words, discriminate and assert various notions, are bound for hell because of their assertions.

35. The ego-soul is not with the Skandhas, nor are the Skandhas in the ego-soul. They are not as they are discriminated, nor are they otherwise.

36. The reality of objects is seen being discriminated by the ignorant; if it were so as they are seen, all would be seeing the truth.

37. As all things are unreal, there is neither defilement nor purity; things are not as they are seen, nor are they otherwise.

Further, Mahamati, I will tell you about the features of Jnana (absolute knowledge) and Vijnana (relative knowledge)2; and when you and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas are well conversant with these distinctive features of Jnana and Vijnana, you will quickly realise supreme enlightenment. There are three kinds of Jnana--worldly, super-worldly, and transcendental. Now, worldly knowledge belongs to the philosophers and to the ignorant and simple-minded who are attached to the dualistic views of being and non-being. Super-worldly knowledge belongs to all the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas who are attached to the notions of individuality and generality. Transcendental knowledge which is free from the dualism of being and non-being, belongs to the Bodhisattvas and takes its rise when they thoroughly examine things of imagelessness, see into the state of no-birth and no-annihilation, and realise egolessness at the stage of Tathagatahood

Vijnana is subject to birth and destruction, and Jnana is not subject to birth and destruction. Further, Mahamati, Vijnana falls into [the dualism of] form and no-form, being and non-being, and is characterised with multiplicity; but Jnana is marked with the transcendence of [the dualism of] form and no-form. Further, Mahamati, Vijnana is characterised with accumulation and Jnana with non-accumulation. Jnana is of three kinds: that which assertains individuality and generality, that which assertains birth and decay, and that which assertains no-birth and no-decay.

Further, Mahamati, Jnana is devoid of attachment; Vijnana attaches itself to the multitudinousness of objects. Again, Vijnana is produced from the concordance of the triple combination; Jnana, in its self-nature, has nothing to do with combination or concordance. Again, Mahamati,2 Jnana is characterised with unattainability; it is the inner state of self-realisation by noble wisdom, and as it neither enters nor goes out, it is like the moon in water. So it is said:

38. Karma is accumulated by Citta, and discriminated by Jnana; and one acquires by Prajna the state of imagelessness and the powers.

39. Citta is bound up with an objective world, Jnana evolves with reflection; and Prajna evolves in the exalted state of imagelessness and in the excellent conditions.

40. Citta, Manas, and Vijnana are devoid of thoughts and discriminations;3 it is the Sravakas and not the Bodhisattvas that try to reach reality by means of discrimination.

41. The Tathagata's Jnana is pure, [resting] in quietude in the most excellent patience [or recognition of truth]; it is productive of excellent sense and is devoid of purposive-ness (samudacara-varijitam).

42. Prajna, with me, is of three kinds; whereby the wise grow powerful, individual signs are discriminated, and all things are manifested.1

43. My Prajna has nothing to do with the two vehicles, it excludes the world of beings; that of the Sravakas evolves from their attachment to the world of beings; the Tathagata's Prajna is spotless2 because of its being in accord with Mind-only.

Further, Mahamati, there are nine kinds of transformation as held by the philosophers endorsing the doctrine of transformation. They are: (1) the transformation of form; (2) the transformation of characteristics; (3) the transformation of cause; (4) the transformation of concordance; (5) the transformation of view; (6) the transformation of origin; (7) the transformation of nature; (8) the transformation of manifest conditions; and (9) the transformation of manifest work. These, Mahamati, are the nine views of transformation expounded by all the philosophers in accordance with their secret teaching, and they are all founded upon the dualism of being and non-being.

Now, Mahamati, by the transformation of form is meant the alteration of form in appearance as gold takes various shapes when made into all kinds of ornament. For example: gold is seen made into a bracelet, a necklace, a fylfot, or what not; though the gold itself remains the same, varieties of articles [made of it] are all different in form, that is, in their transformations. In the same way, Mahamati, there is a general transformation of things which is discriminated by other philosophers as coming from a causal agency. They are not right, nor are they otherwise. All differentiation in transformation is to be regarded as due to discrimination, such as the thickening of milk into curds and the ripening of fruit into a liquor. Mahamati, like this thickening and ripening each transformation is a transformation rising from discrimination, which is discriminated by the philosophers; really there is nothing transformed, for the external objects of which being and non-being are discriminated, are what is seen of Mind itself and have no reality of their own. In the same way, Mahamati, what is regarded by the ignorant and simple-minded as the evolving of objects is no more than the discrimination of their own mind, and, Mahamati, there is really nothing evolving, nothing disappearing, as it is like seeing things that evolve in a vision and a dream. Mahamati, it is like perceiving the rise and disappearance of things in a dream; it is like the birth and death of a barren woman's child. So it is said:

44. The transformation of the form in time, and the embracing [of the soul] in the elements and sense-organs, which is in its middle-way existence (antarabhava)--they who [thus] imagine [the birth of a child] are not wise men.

45. The Buddhas do not discriminate the world as subject to the chain of origination; but they regard the causation which rules this world as something like the city of the Gandharvas.

At that time, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva asked the Bhagavan to explain concerning the deep-seated attachment to the existence of all things and the way of emancipation, saying: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, pray tell me Tathagata, Arhat, Fully-Enlightened One, concerning the characteristics of our deep attachment to existence and of our detachment from it. When I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas understand well the distinction between attachment and detachment, we shall know what is the skilful means concerning them, and shall no more become attached to words according to which we grasp meaning. When we understand well what is meant by attachment to the existence of all things and the detachment from them, we shall destroy our discrimination of words and letters; and, by means of our wisdom (buddhi), enter into all the Buddha-lands and assemblies; be well stamped with the stamp of the powers, the self-control, the psychic faculties, and the Dharanis; and, well furnished with the wisdom (buddhi) in the ten inexhaustible vows and shining with varieties of rays pertaining to the Transformation Body, behave ourselves with effortlessness like the moon, the sun, the jewel, and the elements; and hold such views at every stage as are free from all the signs of self-discrimination; and, seeing that all things are like a dream, like Maya, etc., [shall be able to] enter the stage and abode of Buddhahood, and deliver discourses on the Dharma in the world of all beings and ill accordance with their needs, and free them from the dualistic notion of being and non-being in the contemplation of all things which are like a dream and Maya, and free them also from the false discrimination of birth and destruction; and. finally, [shall be able to] establish ourselves where there is a revulsion at the deepest recesses [of our consciousness], which is more than words [can express].

Said the Bhagavan: Well said, well said, Mahamati! Listen well to me then, Mahamati, and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said, Certainly, I will, Bhagavan; and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said to him thus: Mahamati, immeasurable is our deep-seated attachment to the existence of all things the significance of which we try to understand after words. For instance, there are the deep-seated attachments to signs of individuality, to causation, to the notion of being and non-being, to the discrimination of birth and no-birth, to the discrimination of cessation and no-cessation, to the discrimination of vehicle and no-vehicle, of Samskrita and Asamskrita, of the characteristics of the stages and no-stages, and the attachment to discrimination itself, and to that arising from enlightenment, the attachment to the discrimination of being and non-being on which the philosophers are so dependent, and the attachment to the triple vehicle and the one vehicle, which are discriminated.

These and others, Mahamati, are the deep-seated attachments cherished by the ignorant and simple-minded to their discriminations. Tenaciously attaching themselves to these the ignorant and simple-minded go on ever discriminating like the silk-worms who, with their own thread of discrimination and attachment, enwrap not only themselves but others and are charmed with the thread; and thus they are ever tenaciously attached to the notions of existence and non-existence. [But really] Mahamati, there are no signs here of deep-seated attachment or detachment. All things are to be seen as abiding in solitude where there is no evolving of discrimination. Mahamati, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva should have his abode where he can see all things from the viewpoint of solitude.

Further, Mahamati, when the existence and non-existence of the external world are understood to be due to the seeing of the Mind itself in these signs, [the Bodhisattva] can enter upon the state of imagelessness where Mind-only is, and [there] see into the solitude which characterises the discrimination of all things as being and non-being and the deep-seated attachments resulting therefrom. This being so, there are in all things no signs of a deep-rooted attachment or of detachment. Here, Mahamati, is nobody in bondage, nobody in emancipation, except those who by reason of their perverted wisdom1 recognize bondage and emancipation. Why? Because in all things neither being nor non-being is to be taken hold of.

Further, Mahamati, there are three attachments deep-seated in the minds of the ignorant and simple-minded. They are greed, anger, and folly; and thus there is desire which is procreative and is accompanied by joy and greed; closely attached to this there takes place a succession of births in the [five] paths. Thus there are the five paths of existence for all beings who are found closely attached [to greed, anger, and folly]. When one is cut off from this attachment, no signs will be seen indicative of attachment or of non-attachment.

Further, Mahamati, depending upon and attaching to the triple combination which works in unison, there is the continuation of the Vijnanas incessantly functioning; and because of the attachment there is a continued and deep-felt assertion of existence. When the triple combination which causes the functioning of the Vijnanas no more takes place, there is the triple emancipation, and when this is kept in view, there is no rising of any combination. So it is said:

46. The imagining of things not existent--this is characteristic of attachment [deeply seated in all beings]; when the truth of this is thoroughly understood, the net of attachment is cleared away.

47. The ignorant take hold of the knowledge of existence according to words and are bound up like the silk-worm with their own discriminations; hence their ignorance of attachment [deeply seated in their minds].


Further, Mahamati said: According to the Bhagavan, in all things that are variously discriminated by discrimination there is no self-nature, as it is nothing but [the creation of] false imagination (parikalpita); if, Bhagavan, it is but [the creation of] false imagination and there is nothing in the world which is to be conceived as indicative of self-nature, does it not, Bhagavan, come to this, according to your statement, that there is neither defilement nor purification, because all things are of the nature of false imagination?

Said the Bhagavan: Mahamati, it is just as you say. The self-nature of things is the discrimination of the ignorant and simple-minded, and it is not as it- is discriminated by them. Mahamati, it is the creation of false imagination; nothing indicative of self-nature is to be ascertained. But, Mahamati, there is the self-nature of things such as is ascertained by the wise, by their wise knowledge, by their wise insight, by their wise transcendental vision.

Said Mahamati: Bhagavan, if there is the self-nature of things such as is ascertained by the wise, by their wise knowledge, by their wise insight, by their wise transcendental vision which is neither human nor celestial vision, and if there is no such self-nature as is discriminated by the ignorant and simple-minded, how, Bhagavan, can the ignorant and the simple-minded abandon their discriminations, as they have no way to recognize the presence of an exalted reality (aryabhavavastu)? For they are neither perverted nor unperverted, Bhagavan. [that is, they are what they are]. Why? Because they are unable to have an insight into the self-nature of exalted reality, because they see the course of things in the aspect of being and non-being. And Bhagavan, the reality1 cannot be such as is discriminated even by the wise, because the aspect of reality as it is in itself cannot be an object [of discrimination by anybody]; because, Bhagavan, what appears to the wise as the self-nature of reality is no more than the creation of their imagination, which is predicable with the notion of causation and no-causation; that is, they also cherish in their own way the idea of a being with self-nature. [And they would say] that this is a realm that belongs to somebody else and is not that [of the ignorant]. This is committing the fault of non-finality, for thus what constitutes the self-nature of reality becomes impossible to know. Bhagavan, what is derived from the imagination cannot be the self-nature of reality. How is it that while things are said to exist owing to the imagination2 [or discrimination], they are said again not to be such as are imagined?

Bhagavan, [it is true that] according to the way the imagination is carried on, the self-nature of reality conceived may vary; for when the cause is not alike, the notion of reality that thus comes to be cherished may not be alike. But according to you, Bhagavan, while the imagination is kept on going with the wise as well as with the ignorant, the latter alone fail to see reality as it is; and yet you tell us that the reason why it is said that things are not really such as are imagined by the imagination is to make all beings discard their imagination. Now, Bhagavan, is it that in order to have all beings free from the notion of being [which is realism] and of non-being [which is nihilism], you in turn make them cherish a realistic view of existence1 by telling them to uphold the idea of the self-nature of reality, whereby they are led to cling to the realm of noble wisdom? Why do you deny the truth of solitude by teaching the doctrine of reality whose self-nature is [according to you] noble wisdom?

Said the Bhagavan: Mahamati, it is not true that I deny truth of solitude, nor that I fall into a realistic view by upholding the noble doctrine of self-existing reality. But in order to save all beings from becoming frightened, who are addicted from beginningless past to the notion of self-nature, it is told them that there is truth of solitude, after making them realise by means of noble wisdom that reality in its self-nature is made the subject of attachment [by the ignorant]. Mahamati, the doctrine of self-nature is not taught by me. But, Mahamati, those who have realised by themselves truth of solitude as it really is and are abiding in it, will see that [this existence of] error has no form; and thereby knowing that what is seen is nothing but the Mind itself, they are kept away from [dualistically] viewing an external world3 under the aspect of being and non-being; they are stamped well with the stamp of suchness which is gained by the triple emancipation; they will have an intuition into the self-nature of all things by the wisdom which is acquired within themselves, and thus get away from such ideas of reality as to lead themselves to realism and nihilism.

Further, Mahamati, the thesis: "All things are unborn" is not to be maintained by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva as valid. Why? Of this thesis it is to be stated that anything of which something is asserted partakes thereby of the nature of being, and that the reason for this thesis is characterised with the quality of birth; while it is being asserted by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva that all things are unborn, the very assertion destroys his thesis. The thesis that all things are unborn acts against the one who holds it because it is born of the principle of mutuality. Even when this thesis of no-birth is to be maintained within the extent of existence itself, the notion of no-birth cannot hold itself in it, and the statement, the thesis, that all things are unborn is destroyed since it is dependent on the members of the syllogism. As regards the thesis maintaining the no-birth1 of being and non-being, Mahamati, this thesis, to be valid, must be within the limits of existence itself; but there is no aspect of existence which can be regarded either as being or as non-being. If, Mahamati, the no-birth of all things is to be asserted by this thesis of no-birth, the very attempt defeats the thesis itself.2 Therefore, this thesis is not to be upheld. Because many faults come out in connection with the members of the syllogism, and because in these syllogistic members there is a mutual mixing-up of reasons, this thesis is not to be upheld.

As with [the thesis that] all things are unborn, so with [the thesis that] all things are empty and have no self-nature--neither is to be maintained by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva. But, Mahamati, this is to be pointed out by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, that things in their self-nature are like Maya, like a dream; for they are in one way perceived [as existing] and in another way are not perceived [as such], and all things are thus seen in [two] ways, in accordance either with knowledge or ignorance. Let it be pointed out that all things are like Maya and a dream, except when the feeling of fear is aroused in the minds of the ignorant. Mahamati, the ignorant and the simple-minded are addicted to the views of being and non-being, and are liable to tremble [at our teaching]; Mahamati, let them not be frightened away from the Mahayana. So it is said:

48. There is no self-nature, no thought-construction, no reality, no alaya-Vijnana; these, indeed, are so many discriminations cherished by the ignorant who like a corpse are bad logicians.

49. All things are unborn--[this thesis] is established by all the philosophers; [but] nothing whatever is ever born, [no establishment is needed,] things are all linked by causation.

50. All things are unborn--no such discrimination is made by transcendental knowledge; when a certain conclusion is made depending on a cause, there is no sound judgment in it.

51. As a hair-net is what is wrongly perceived by those who are dim-eyed, so existence discriminated [as real] is due to the wrong discrimination of the ignorant.

52. The triple world is no more than thought-construction (Prajnapti), there is no reality in its self-nature; by means of this thought-constructed reality, logicians go on discriminating.

53. Individual form, reality, thought-construction, -- these are [only] a mental disturbance; transcending all this, my sons will walk where there is no discrimination.

54. As in a mirage in the air, the thought of water is cherished where there is no water, so things are seen by the ignorant otherwise than by the wise.

55. The insight of the wise, who move about in the realm of imagelessness, is pure, is born of the triple emancipation, is released from birth and destruction.

56. Where all things are wiped away, even a state of imagelessness ceases to exist for the Yogins; in the sameness of existence and non-existence, the fruit [of wisdom] is born to the wise.

57. How does existence cease to exist? How does the sameness take place? When the mind fails to understand [the truth], there is disturbance inside, outside, and in the middle; with the cessation [of the disturbance] the mind sees the sameness.


Further, Mahamati said: It is told by the Bhagavan, again, that [true] knowledge is gained independent of any object supporting it, and whatever statements one makes about it are no more than thought-construction, and that as this thought-construction is not to be seized as real, the seizing act of the seizer itself ceases, and when there is thus no seizing, knowledge which is known as discrimination no more evolves. Now, Bhagavan, [how is transcendental knowledge unobtainable?] Is it unobtainable because of our not recognizing the generality and individuality of things, their pluralities, their unities? Or is it unobtainable because [such ideas as] individuality, generality, multiplicity, and self-nature overpower one another? Or is it unobtainable because of the obstructions presented by a wall, a mountain, an earth-work, a rampart, or by earth, wind, water, or fire? Or because of remoteness or nearness? Or does the knowledge fail to obtain its object of cognition because of [the imperfection of] the sense-organs due to youth, age, or blindness? If, Bhagavan, knowledge was not obtainable because of our not recognizing individuality, generality, unity and plurality, then, Bhagavan, such cannot be [transcendental] knowledge; it is to be called ignorance (aJnana), for in spite of the fact that objects to be known are before us we do not know them. Again, if knowledge is unobtainable because [such ideas as] individuality, generality, multiplicity, and self-nature overpower one another, such is ignorance (aJnana). Bhagavan, it is not [transcendental] knowledge. Where there is something to be known, Bhagavan, knowledge evolves; where there is nothing, none evolves; knowledge is possible [only] where there is a correspondence with that which is known. Again, if knowledge is unobtainable because of the obstruction presented by a wall, mountain, earthwork, rampart, or by earth, water, wind, or fire, or due to farness or nearness, or on account of the imperfection of the sense-organs as in the case of an infant, the aged, and the blind, such as is unattainable is not [transcendental] knowledge; it is ignorance, for the object to be known is there but the knowing faculty is lacking.

Said the Bhagavan: Mahamati, such [knowledge as is unobtainable] is not ignorance, such is [transcendental] knowledge; Mahamati, it is not ignorance. It is not because of the deeper sense that I say this, but when [we know that] there is knowledge gained independent of any supporting object, whatever statements we make about it are no more than thought-constructions. That [transcendental] knowledge is unobtainable is due to the recognition that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of the Mind, and that these external objects to which being and non-being are predicated are non-existent. As this [knowledge] is unobtainable, there is no evolving of knowing and known, and as thus the triple emancipation is realised, there is unattainable knowledge [which is transcendental]. But logicians being under the habit-energy of the wrong reasoning which has been carried on since beginningless time as to existence and non-existence are unable to know all this, and, while not knowing it, they are concerned with [such notions as] external objects, substances, forms, indications, existence and non-existence; and yet they declare that the cessation of discrimination is [the state of] the Mind-only. As they are tenaciously clinging to the thought of an ego-soul and all that belongs to it, they are really unable to understand what is meant by the doctrine of Mind-only, and go on discriminating knowing and known. And because of their discriminating knowing and known, they think of things as existent and non-existent, and declaring that [transcendental knowledge] is unobtainable, abide in nihilism. So it is said:

58. If [transcendental] knowledge fails to see an objective world which lies before it, such is ignorance and not knowledge; this teaching belongs to the logicians.

59. If [transcendental] knowledge fails to see, though various obstructions far and near, its own unique object that does not present itself [as an object], such is to be called wrong knowledge.

60. If [transcendental] knowledge fails to know, on account of defective senses such as infancy, old age, and blindness, its own object which is present, such is to be called wrong knowledge.

Further, Mahamati, the ignorant and simple-minded keep on dancing and leaping fascinated with their wrong reasonings, falsehoods, and self-discriminations, and are unable to understand the truth of self-realisation and its discourse in words; clinging to the external world which is seen of the Mind itself, they cling to the study of the discourses which are a means and do not know properly how to assertain the truth of self-realisation which is the truth unspoiled by the fourfold proposition.

Said Mahamati: Bhagavan, it is just as you say. Pray tell me, Bhagavan, about the characteristic features of the truth of self-realisation and about the discourses on it, whereby I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas in future time, understanding what they are, may keep ourselves away from the wrong logicians such as the philosophers and those who belong to the vehicles of the Sravaka and the Pratyekabuddha.

Said the Bhagavan: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Certainly, Bhagavan; said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: Mahamati, there are two forms of teaching the truth attained by the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones of the past, present, and future. They are: the teaching by discourses, and the teaching by the establishment of self-realisation. What is meant

by the studying of the discourses is this, Mahamati: there are various materials and canonical texts and discourses by which sentient beings are taught according to their dispositions and inclinations. What then is the truth of self-realisation by which the Yogins turn away from discriminating what is seen of the Mind itself? There is an exalted state of inner attainment which does not fall into the dualism of oneness and otherness, of bothness and not-bothness; which goes beyond the Citta, Manas, and ManoVijnana; which has nothing to do with logic, reasoning, theorising, and illustrating; which has never been tasted by any bad logicians, by the philosophers, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas, who have fallen into the dualistic views of being and non-being-- this I call self-realisation. This, Mahamati, is what characterises the truth of self-realisation and discoursing on it, and in this you and the other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas are to discipline themselves. So it is said:

61. I have two forms of teaching the truth: self-realisation and discoursing. I discourse with the ignorant and [disclose] self-realisation to the Yogins.

At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: It was told at one time by the Bhagavan, the Tathagata, the Arhat, the Fully-Enlightened One, that the Lokayatika who is [skilled in] various forms of incantation and in the art of eloquence is not to be honoured, adored, and reverently attended upon; for what one gains from such devotions is worldly enjoyments and not the Dharma [or Truth]. For what reason is this said, Bhagavan, that by devoting ourselves to the Lokayatika who is skilled in varieties of incantations and in the art of eloquence, worldly enjoyments are gained but not the Dharma [or Truth]?

Said the Bhagavan: The Lokayatika who is skilled in varieties of incantations and in the art of eloquence, Mahamati, puts the minds of the ignorant in utter confusion by means of various reasonings, by [clever manipulation of] words and phrases, and what he teaches being the mere prattle of a child as far as one can make out is not at all in accordance with truth nor in unison with sense. For this reason, Mahamati, the Lokayatika is said to be skilled in varieties of incantations and in the art of eloquence. He attracts the ignorant by making clever use of various words, [but] he never leads them to the way of truth and right teaching. As he himself does not understand what all things mean, he puts the minds of the ignorant into utter confusion by his dualistic views, thus ruining himself. Not being released of the transition from one path to another, not understanding that there is nothing but what is seen of the Mind itself, and attaching himself to the idea of self-nature in external things, the Lokayatika knows no deliverance from discrimination. For this reason, Mahamati, the Lokayatika who is clever in various incantations and in the art of eloquence, being thus never emancipated from such calamities1 as birth, age, disease, sorrow, lamentation, pain, and despair, leads the ignorant into bewilderment by means of various words, phrases, reasons, examples, and conclusions.

Mahamati, Indra was a brilliant [Lokayatika] whose knowledge made him master of many treatises and who was himself the author of a work on sound. He had a disciple who assuming the body of a serpent went up to heaven and got into the society of the god Indra. Making up a thesis he challenged the god: Either your one-thousand-spoked chariot be smashed to pieces, or every one of my own serpent-hoods be cut off. In the argument the Lokayatika disciple who had assumed the form of a serpent defeated [the god-opponent], whereupon the one-thousand-spoked chariot was smashed to pieces. The disciple then came down again to this world. In such a way, Mahamati, [the Lokayatika] has a system composed of various reasonings and exemplifications, and, knowing well even the minds of the animal world, puts the gods and fighting demons in utter confusion by means of various words and phrases; he then makes them tenaciously adhere to the notion of coming and going (ayavyaya); how much more human beings! For this reason, Mahamati, the Lokayatika is to be shunned, for he carries with him the cause leading to the birth of pain. No homage, no reverence, no service is to be shown him. Mahamati, the attainment of the Lokayatika does not go beyond the realm of the body and knowledge belonging to it, though he may explain his materialism by using varieties of words and phrases amounting to a hundred thousand. But in after times, after five hundred years, divisions will take place [among his followers] leading them to wrong reasonings and demonstrations; divisions will abound because of this, not being able to hold disciples. Thus, Mahamati, materialism splitting into many parties and adhering to varieties of reasonings is explained by the philosophers, each of whom clings to his way of reasoning as he knows no truth existing by itself. While this is not at all the case with [all] the philosophers who have their own treatises and doctrines, materialism is asserted under various disguises which are explained by a hundred thousand different methods; there is in them [also] no truth existing by itself, and they do not recognize that theirs is materialism because of their stupidity.

Said Mahamati: If all the philosophers teach materialism by means of various words, phrases, examples, and conclusions, which are not the truth as it is, but are their own selfish assertions tenaciously maintained, does not the Bhagavan too teach materialism by means of various words and phrases, to the assemblages of the gods, demons, and human beings, who come from various countries--I say, materialism which is not the truth of self-realisation but is something like the discourses of all the philosophers?

The Bhagavan said: I do not teach materialism, nor coming-and-going (ayavyaya). But I teach, Mahamati, that which is not coming-and-going. Now, Mahamati, coming means production and mass, it is born of accumulation. Going, Mahamati, means destruction. That which is not coming-and-going is designated unborn. Mahamati, I do not teach anything approaching the discrimination of the philosophers. For what reason? Because there are no external objects, there is nothing to get attached to; when one abides in Mind-only, beyond which there is no external world, dualism ceases; as there is no realm of form based on discrimination, one comes to recognize that there is nothing but what is seen of the Mind itself; and for these reasons the discrimination of what is seen of the Mind itself does not take place. Owing to the cessation of discrimination, one enters into the triple emancipation where is the state of no-form, emptiness, and effortlessness. Hence it is called deliverance.

I remember, Mahamati, when I was staying in a certain place, a Brahman Lokayatika approached where I was and having approached suddenly asked me, saying: Gautama, is all created?

I said this to him: Brahman, if all is created, this is the first school of materialism.

Guatama, is all uncreated?

Brahman, if all is uncreated, this is the second school of materialism. Thus [to state that] all is non-eternal, or that all is eternal, or that all is born, or that all is unborn, this, Brahman, is the sixth school of materialism.

Again, Mahamati, the Brahman Lokayatika said this to me: Gautama, is all one? Is all different? Is all characterised with bothness? Is all characterised with not-bothness? Is all to be regarded as subject to causation since all is seen as born of varieties of causes?

This, Brahman, is the tenth school of materialism.

Again, Gautama, is all explainable? Is all unexplainable? Is there an ego-soul? Is there no ego-soul? Is this world real? Is this world not-real? Is there another world? Is there no other world? Is another world existent or non-existent?1 Is there emancipation? Is there no emancipation? Is all momentary? Is all not momentary? Are space, Apratisa?khya-nirodha,2 and Nirvana, O Gautama, are they created or uncreated? Is there the middle existence? Is there no middle existence?

I then said this to him, Mahamati: If so, Brahman, this is materialism. It is not mine. O Brahman, it is your worldly philosophy. I explain, Brahman, that the triple world has its cause in the habit-energy of discrimination going on since beginningless time on account of error and wrong reasoning: for discrimination takes place. Brahman, because it is not recognized that there is no external world but the Mind itself, and not because an external world is seen as the object of cognition. According to the philosophers, there is a triple concordance of an ego-soul, sense-organs, and an objective world, but such is not mine. Brahman, I do not belong to the school of causation, nor to the school of no-causation, except that I teach the chain of origination as far as the thought-constructed world of grasped and grasping exists depending on discrimination. This is not understood by you and others who cherish the notion of an ego-soul and its continuity. Mahamati, space, Nirvana, and causation exist in enumeration; as realities they are unobtainable. Hence the question whether they are created or not requires no answering.

Again, Mahamati, the Brahman Lokayatika said this: Is the triple world to be regarded as caused by ignorance, desire, and action? or is it causeless?

Brahman, this twofold question again belongs to materialism.

Gautama, are all things to be conceived under the aspect of individuality and generality?

This, too, Brahman, belongs to materialism. So long as there is a mental perturbation which makes one cling to an objective world of discrimination, there is materialism.

Further, Mahamati, this Brahman materialist said this to me: Gautama, is there any philosophy that is not of the world? All the truth that is taught by all the philosophers by means of varieties of words and phrases, by means of reasons, examples, and conclusions, by general consent, Gautama, belongs to me.

Brahman, there is something that does not belong to you, though it is not beyond the truth of general consent, nor independent of varieties of words and phrases, and further, it is not out of accord with reason.

[The Brahman asked,] Is there any philosophy that is not of the world and yet belongs to the general opinion of the world?

Brahman, there is that which does not belong to materialism and which is not reached by your wisdom nor by that of the philosophers who cling to false discriminations and wrong reasonings as they fail to see the unreality of external objects. By this is meant the cessation of discrimination. When it is recognized that there is nothing beyond what is seen of the Mind itself, the discrimination of being and non-being ceases; as thus there is no external world as the object of perception, discrimination abides in its own abode.1 This is not of materialism; it belongs to me, it does not belong to you. By abiding in its own abode is meant that it ceases to evolve; as discrimination is no more born, it is said to have ceased to evolve. This, Brahman, is not of materialism. In short, Brahman, if there is any coming-and-going of the Vijnanas, a vanishing-and-appearing, a solicitation, an attachment, an intense affection, a philosophical view, a theory, an abode, a touch, the clinging to various signs, assemblage, continuity, desire (trishna), and attachment to a cause, this, Brahman, is materialism of yours but not mine.

Mahamati, I was thus questioned by the Brahman materialist, who came to me, and when he was thus sent off ho silently departed.

At that time there came to the Bhagavan the King of the Nagas, called Krishnapakshaka, who assumed the body of a Brahman and said thus: Gautama, is there not another world?

Now, young man, whence do you come?

Gautama, I am come from White Isle.

Brahman, that is another world.

The young man thus refuted and put to silence made himself invisible without asking me anything about my own teaching, which stands in opposition to his;1 he thought within himself: This son of the Sakyas stands outside of my own system; he is a pitiable fellow, he belongs to the school which holds the cessation of signs and causes, he talks of the cessation of discrimination which will take place when there is the cognition of an external world as something seen of one's own discrimination. And, Mahamati, you too ask me how, for one who serves the Lokayatika skilled in various incantations and in the art of eloquence, there are worldly enjoyments and not the attainment of the Dharma.

Said Mahamati; What is meant, Bhagavan, by the words, "the objects of worldly enjoyment" and "the Dharma"?

Said the Bhagavan: Well said, well said, Mahamati! You have thought deeply about this twofold meaning, having in view present and future generations. Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Certainly, Bhagavan; said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: What is meant by a worldly object of enjoyment, Mahamati? It means that which can be touched, attracted by, wiped off, handled, and tasted; it is that which makes one get attached to an external world, enter into a dualism on account of a wrong view, and appear again in the Skandhas, where, owing to the procreative force of desire, there arise all kinds of disaster such as birth, age, disease, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, etc. This is called the object of worldly enjoyment by myself and other Buddhas. This, Mahamati, is the attainment of worldly enjoyments and not that of the Truth. It is materialism which one learns by serving the Lokayatika.

Mahamati, what is meant by the attainment of the Dharma (Truth)? When the truth of Self-mind and the twofold egolessness are understood, and further, when the nature of the egolessness of things and persons is seen into, discrimination ceases to assert itself; when the various stages of Bodhisattvahood are thoroughly perceived one after another, the Citta, Manas, and ManoVijnana are turned away; and when one enters upon the path of baptism by the wisdom of all the Buddhas, and takes hold of the [ten] inexhaustible vows,1 one becomes sovereign master of all things by virtue of a life of effortlessness. Hence it is called the Dharma, as one is thereby released from all philosophical views, unsound reasonings, discriminations, and dualistic notions. As a rule, Mahamati, the philosophical views lead the ignorant, though not the wise, to a dualism, that is, to nihilism and eternalism. Eternalism rises from embracing a doctrine of no-causation, while nihilism rises from believing in the annihilation of causal conditions and in the non-existence of a cause. I teach, however, the Dharma so called which is [subject to] the conditions of rising, abiding, and destruction. This, Mahamati, is the conclusion with regard to worldly enjoyment and the Dharma. So it is said:

62. Beings are subdued by the reception (samgraha), and are brought into subjection by the moral precepts (Sila); they are removed from philosophical views by transcendental knowledge (Prajna) and are nourished by the emancipations

63. All that is taught by the philosophers to no purpose is materialism; where the realistic view of cause and effect is cherished, there is no self-realisation.

64. I teach to my group of disciples one self-realisation which has nothing to do with cause and effect, being free from materialism.

65. There is nothing but that which is seen of the Mind itself, the duality too is of the Mind; while existence1 is [observed as divided into] the grasped and the grasping, it has nothing to do with eternalism or nihilism.

66. As long as mentation goes on, there is materialism; when there is no rising of discrimination, the world is seen as of Mind itself.

67. "Coming" (ayam) means the originating of the objective world as effect, and "going" (vyayam) is the not-seeing2 of the effect; when one thoroughly understands the "coming-and-going," discrimination ceases.

68. Eternity and non-eternity, 'the made and not-made, this world and that world--all these and other [ideas] belong to materialism.


At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: Nirvana, Nirvana is talked of by the Bhagavan; what does this term designate? What is the Nirvana that is discriminated by all the philosophers?

Said the Bhagavan: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Certainly, Bhagavan; said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: As to such Nirvanas as are discriminated by the philosophers, there are really none in existence. Some philosophers conceive Nirvana to be found where a system of mentation no more operates owing to the cessation of the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas, or to the indifference to the objective world, or to the recognition that all things are impermanent; or where there is no recollection of the past and present, just as when a lamp is extinguished, or when a seed is burnt, or when a fire goes out, because then there is the cessation of all the substrate, which is explained by the philosophers as the non-rising of discrimination. But, Mahamati, Nirvana does not consist in mere annihilation.

Again, some explain deliverance by going to another quarter and abode, as when a wind stops blowing, when the discrimination of objects ceases. Again, some philosophers explain deliverance by the getting-rid of the [dualistic] view of knower and known. Some conceive deliverance to be the cessation of discrimination where one sees permanence and impermanence.

Again, some explain the discrimination of various forms as the bearer of pain, and yet not understanding that there is nothing but what is seen of the Mind itself, are alarmed by the notion of form, and seek their happiness in formlessness.1 In this they cherish the notion of Nirvana.

Again some conceive this to be Nirvana: that in consideration of generality and individuality recognizable in all things inner and outer, they are never destroyed, maintaining their being throughout the past, present, and future. Again some conceive that Nirvana is an ego-soul, a being, a vital force, a nourisher, a supreme spirit, and the indestructability of all things.

Again, Mahamati, some philosophers owing to their foolishness declare this to be Nirvana: that there is a primary substance, there is a supreme soul, and they are seen differently by each, and that they produce all things from the transformations of the qualities.

Some conceive Nirvana to consist in the extinction of merit and demerit; some in the destruction of the passions by means of knowledge; some in regarding ISvara as the free creator of the world. Some think that the world is born of interaction and that there is no [special] cause other than this cause, and clinging to it they have no awakening because of stupidity, and they conceive Nirvana to consist in this non-awakening.

Again, Mahamati, some philosophers conceive Nirvana to be the attaining of the true path. Some cherish the thought of Nirvana as where there is the union of qualities and their owner, from which there is oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness. Some imagine that Nirvana is where they see the self-nature of things existing all by its own nature, such as the variegated feathers of the peacock, variously formed precious stones, or the pointedness of a thorn.

Some, Mahamati, conceive Nirvana in the recognition of the twenty-five Tattvas (truths); some in the king's observance of the teaching of the six virtues. Some, seeing that time is a creator and that the rise of the world depends on time, conceive that Nirvana consists in recognizing this fact. Again, Mahamati, some conceive being to be Nirvana, some non-being, while some conceive that all things and Nirvana are not to be distinguished one from the other.

All these views of Nirvana severally advanced by the philosophers with their reasonings are not in accord with logic, nor are they acceptable to the wise. Mahamati, they all conceive Nirvana dualistically and in a causal connection. By these discriminations, Mahamati, all philosophers imagine Nirvana, but there is nothing rising, nothing disappearing here, -[and there is no room for discrimination.] Mahamati, each philosopher relying on his own text-book from which he draws his understanding and intelligence, examines [the subject] and sins against [the truth], because [the truth] is not such as is imagined by him; [his reasoning] ends in setting the mind to wandering about and becoming confused, as Nirvana is not to be found anywhere.

Again, Mahamati, there are others who, roaring with their all-knowledge as a lion roars, explain Nirvana in the following wise: that is, Nirvana is where it is recognized that there is nothing but what is seen of the Mind itself; where there is no attachment to external objects, existent or nonexistent; where, getting rid of the four propositions, there is an insight into the abode of reality as it is; where, recognizing the nature of the Self-mind, one does not cherish the dualism of discrimination; where grasped and grasping are no more obtainable; where all logical measures are not seized upon as it is realised that they never assert themselves; where the idea of truth is not adhered to but treated with indifference because of its causing a bewilderment; where, by the attainment of the exalted Dharma which lies within the inmost recesses of one's being, the two forms of egolessness are recognized, the two forms of passions subsided, and the two kinds of hindrance cleared away; where the stages of Bodhisattvahood are passed one after another until the stage of Tathagatahood is attained, in which all the Samadhis beginning with the Mayopama (Maya-like) are realised, and the Citta, Manas, and ManoVijnana are put away:1 [here indeed they say Nirvana is to be found].

69. Nirvana is severally conceived by the philosophers; but theirs is no more than imagination, it is not the way of emancipation.

70. Released of bound and binding and free from all expediencies, the philosophers imagine they are emancipated, but emancipation is not to be found there.

71. Divided into many a school are the systems of the philosophers; there is thus no emancipation in them, because of their imagination stupidly carried on.

72. Wrongly imbued with the ideas of cause and effect, all the philosophers are beguiled, and their is thus no emancipation for them who are of the dualistic school of being and non-being.

73. The ignorant are delighted with discoursing and false reasoning [but] they are unable to raise any great intelligence towards truth (tattva), discoursing is a source of suffering in the triple world, while truth is the extinguisher of suffering.

74. Like an image seen in a mirror, which is not real, the Mind is seen by the ignorant in a dualistic form in the mirror of habit-energy.

75. When it is not thoroughly understood that there is nothing but what is seen of the Mind itself, dualistic discriminations take place; when it is thoroughly understood that there is nothing but what is seen of the Mind itself, discrimination ceases,

76. Mind is no other than multiplicity, [and yet it is] devoid of qualified and qualifying; forms are visible but not in the way as seen discriminated by the ignorant.

77. The triple world is no other than discrimination, there are no external objects; discrimination sees multiplicity, this is not understood by the ignorant.

78. [The truth] is told [differently] discriminated in the different sutras because of names and notions; [yet] apart from words no meaning is attainable.


At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to him: Tell me, Bhagavan, Tathagata, Arhat, Fully-Enlightened One, concerning the self-nature of Buddhahood, whereby I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, understanding well what constitutes the self-nature1 of the Tathagata, may have both ourselves and others awakened [in the truth].

The Bhagavan said: Then, Mahamati, ask me as you desire, according to which I will answer.

Mahamati replied: Bhagavan, is the Tathagata, the Arhat, the Fully-Enlightened One to be considered unmade or made, an effect or a cause, predicated or predicating, an expression or that which is expressed, knowledge or that which is knowable? Is the Bhagavan different from all these expressions, or not?

The Bhagavan said: If the Tathagata, Arhat, Fully-Enlightened One is to be described by those expressions, he is neither made nor unmade, neither an effect nor a cause. Why? Because the error of dualism would here be committed. If, Mahamati, the Tathagata is something made, he is impermanent; if he is impermanent, anything made would be a Tathagata, which is not desired by myself and other Tathagatas. If he is something unmade, his self-essence being attainment, all the preparations brought forward [for the realisation of Tathagatahood] will be useless, like a hare's horns, or a barren woman's child, because of their never having been made. That which is neither an effect nor a cause, Mahamati, is neither a being nor a non-being; and that which is neither a being nor a non-being is outside the four propositions. The four propositions, Mahamati, belong to worldly usage. That which is outside the four propositions is no more than a word, like a barren woman's child. Mahamati, a barren woman's child is a mere word and is beyond the four propositions. As it is beyond them, the wise know it to be not subject to measurement. So is the meaning of all the terms concerning the Tathagata to be understood by the wise.

It is told by me that all things are egoless; by this is meant, Mahamati, that they are devoid of selfhood; hence this egolessness. What I mean is that all things have each its own individuality which does not belong to another, as in the case of a cow and a horse. For example, Mahamati, the being of a cow is not of horse-nature, nor is the being of a horse of cow-nature. This [exemplifies] the case of neither being nor non-being. Each of them is not without its own individuality, each is such as it is by its own nature. In the same way, Mahamati, things are not each without its own individuality, they are such as they are, and thus the ignorant and simple-minded fail to understand the signification of egolessness by reason of their discrimination; indeed, they are not free from discrimination. The same is to be known exactly about all things being empty, unborn, and without self-nature.

In the same way the Tathagata and the Skandhas are neither not-different nor different. If he is not different from the Skandhas, he is impermanent as the Skandhas are something made. If they are different, they are two separate entities; the case is like a cow's horns. As they look alike, they are not different; as the one is short and the other long, they are different. [This can be said] of all things. Mahamati, the right horn of a cow is thus different from her left horn; so is the left from the right; the one is longer or shorter than the other. The same can be said of varieties of colours. Thus the Tathagata and the Skandhas are neither different nor not-different the one from the other.

In the same way, the Tathagata is neither different nor not-different from emancipation, he can be described in terms of emancipation. If the Tathagata is different from emancipation, he partakes of the nature of a material object; if he does he is impermanent. If he is not different, there will be no distinction in the attainments of the Yogins, and, Mahamati, a distinction is seen in the Yogins; therefore, [the Tathagata] is neither different nor not-different [from emancipation].

In the same way, knowledge is neither different nor not-different from that which is known. That, Mahamati, which is neither eternal nor not-eternal, neither effect nor cause, neither effect-producing nor not-effect-producing, neither knowledge nor that which is knowable, neither predicated nor predicating, neither the Skandhas nor different from the Skandhas, neither that which is expressed nor expression, nor bound-up with oneness and otherness, with bothness and not-bothness, --this is something removed from all measurement; that which is removed from all measurement is not expressible in words;1 that which is not expressible1 is something unborn; that which is unborn is not subject to destruction; that which is not subject to destruction is like space, and, Mahamati, space is neither an effect nor a cause. That which is neither an effect nor a cause is something unconditioned. That which is unconditioned goes beyond all idle reasonings. That which goes beyond all idle reasonings, that is the Tathagata. Mahamati, this is the essence of perfect enlightenment, this is the self-nature of Buddhahood which is removed from all senses and measurements. So it is said:

79. That which is released from senses and measurements is neither an effect nor a cause; it has nothing to do with knowledge and that which is to be known; it is free from predicated and predicating.

80. There is something which is nowhere to be seen by anybody as the Skandhas, causation, enlightenment; of that which is nowhere to be seen by anybody, what description can we make?

81. It is not something made nor unmade, it is neither an effect nor a cause, it is neither the Skandhas nor not-Skandhas, nor is it other than the combination.

82. There is something that is not to be seen by the discrimination of its being, nor is it to be known as nonexistent; such is the self-essence of all things.

83. Accompanied by being, there is non-being; accompanied by non-being there is being; as thus non-being is not to be known [by itself], being is not to be discriminated.

84. Those who cling to mere words, not knowing what is meant by an ego-soul and egolessness, are immersed in dualism; they are corrupted and lead the ignorant to corruption.

85. When they see my religion liberated from all detriments, they behold properly, they do not defile the world-leaders.

At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: Tell me, Bhagavan; tell me, Sugata. Mention is made in the canonical books of the Bhagavan's being subject neither to birth nor to destruction, and it is declared by you that this being subject neither to birth nor to destruction is an epithet of the Tathagata. Now, Bhagavan, by this being subject neither to birth nor to destruction, is a non-entity meant? And is it another name for the Tathagata, as is declared by the Bhagavan? It is taught by the Bhagavan that all things are subject neither to birth nor to destruction because they are not to be seen in the dualistic aspect of being and non-being. If all things are unborn, Bhagavan, no one can take hold of anything because nothing has ever been born; and if that is another name of something, what can this something be, Bhagavan?

The Bhagavan said: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Certainly, Bhagavan, said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: Mahamati, the Tathagata is not a non-entity; nor is he to be conceived as all things are, as neither born nor disappearing; nor is he to look around for causation [in order to appear before others]; nor is he without signification; I refer to him as unborn. Nevertheless, Mahamati, there is another name for the Tathagata when his Dharmakaya assumes a will-body. This is what goes beyond the comprehension of the philosophers, Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and those Bodhisattvas still abiding in the seventh stage. The unborn, Mahamati, is synonymous with the Tathagata.

For instance, Mahamati, Indra is [sometimes known as] Sakra, [sometimes? as] Purandara; hand is hasta, kara, pani; the body is tanu, deha, Sarira; the earth is p?ithivi, bhumi, vasu?dhara; the sky is kha, akaSa, gagana; all these objects each in its way are designated with many names, synonymously used and discriminated; but on account of these different names different objects are not to be imagined, nor are they without their self-nature. The same, Mahamati, can be said of myself, for I come within the range of hearing of ignorant people, in this world of patience, under many names, amounting to a hundred thousand times three asamkhyeyas, and they address me by these names not knowing that they are all other names of the Tathagata. Of these, Mahamati, some recognize me as the Tathagata, some as the Self-existent One, some as Leader, as Vinayaka (Remover), as Parinayaka (Guide), as Buddha, as Rishi (Ascetic), as Bull-king, as Brahma, as Vishnu, as iSvara, as Original Source (pradhana), as Kapila, as Bhutanta (End of Reality), as Arishta, as Nemina, as Soma (moon), as the Sun, as Rama, as Vyasa, as Suka, as Indra, as Balin, as Varuna, as is known to some; while others recognize me as One who is never born and never passes away, as Emptiness, as Suchness, as Truth, as Reality, as Limit of Reality, as the Dharmadhatu, as Nirvana, as the Eternal, as Sameness, as Non-duality, as the Undying, as the Formless, as Causation, as the Doctrine of Buddha-cause, as Emancipation, as the Truth of the Path, as the All-Knower, as the Victor, as the Will-made Mind. Mahamati, thus in full possession of one hundred thousand times three asamkhyeyas of appellations, neither more nor less, in this world and in other worlds, I am known to the peoples, like the moon in water which is neither in it nor out of it. But this is not understood by the ignorant who have fallen into the dualistic conception of continuity.1 Though they honour, praise, esteem, and revere me, they do not understand well the meaning of words and definitions; they do not distinguish ideas, they do not have their own truth, and, clinging to the words of the canonical books, they imagine that not being subject to birth and destruction means a non-entity, and fail to see that it is one of the many names of the Tathagata as in the case of Indra, Sakra, Purandara. They have no confidence in the texts where the self-standing truth is revealed, since in their study of all things they follow mere words as expressed in the texts trying thereby to gain into the meaning.

Thus, Mahamati, these deluded ones would declare that as words are so is meaning, that meaning is not otherwise than words. For what reason? Because meaning has no body of its own and cannot be different from words. That the unintelligent declare words to be identical with meaning, is due to their ignorance as to the self-nature of words. They do not know, Mahamati, that words are subject to birth and death whereas meaning is not. Mahamati, words are dependent on letters, but meaning is not. As meaning is freed from existence and non-existence, it is not born, it has no substratum. And, Mahamati, the Tathagatas do not teach the doctrine that is dependent upon letters. As to letters, their being or non-being is not attainable; it is otherwise with the thought that is never dependent on letters. Again, Mahamati, anyone that discourses on a truth that is dependent on letters is a mere prattler because truth is beyond letters. For this reason, Mahamati, it is declared in the canonical text by myself and other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that not a letter is uttered or answered by the Tathagatas. For what reason? Because truths are not dependent on letters. It is not that they never declare what is in conformity with meaning; when they declare anything, it is according to the discrimination [of all beings]. If, Mahamati, the truth is not declared1 [in words] the scriptures containing all truths will disappear, and when the scriptures disappear there will be no Buddhas, Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and Bodhisattvas; and when there is no one [to teach], what is to be taught and to whom? For this reason, then, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva is not to become attached to the words of the canonical texts. Mahamati, owing to the functioning of the minds of sentient beings, the canonical texts sometimes deviate from their straightforward course; religious discourses are given by myself and other Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones in response to varieties of faiths on the part of beings, in order to remove them from [the bondage of] the Citta, Manas and ManoVijnana, and not for the attainment and establishment of self-realisation which issues from noble wisdom. When there is the recognition of the fact that all things are characterised with imagelessness and that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of the Mind itself, there is the discarding of the dualistic discrimination.

Therefore, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva be in conformity with the meaning and not with the letter. Mahamati, a son or a daughter of a good family who conforms himself or herself to the letter will ruin his or her understanding of ultimate reality1 and will cause others to fail to recognize [the truth]. Continuing to cherish wrong views, one's own assertion is confounded by the philosophers who do not understand well what characterises all the stages of the Dharma, and who have no adequate knowledge as to the interpretation of words. If they well understand what characterises all the stages of the Dharma and are adequately equipped with the interpretation of words and expressions, and have a good understanding of the meaning and reason of all things, they will properly enjoy by themselves the bliss of formlessness while others are properly established in the Mahayana. Being properly embraced in the Mahayana they will, Mahamati, be in the embrace of the Buddhas, Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and Bodhisattvas. Being embraced by the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Pratyekabuddhas, and Sravakas, they will [in turn] embrace all beings. Embracing all beings they will embrace the good Dharma. The good Dharma being embraced, the Buddha-seeds will not be destroyed. When the Buddha-seeds are not destroyed, the excellent abodes will be attained. When thus these excellent abodes are attained, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas will see to it that [all beings], being established in the Mahayana, are born there [in the excellent abodes], and fortifying themselves with the tenfold supernatural power and assuming various forms, they will discourse on the Dharma in conformity to its true nature (tathatva), and with a thorough knowledge of various wishes and characteristics of beings. Now the true nature of things (tathatva) is characterised by non-differentiation and trueness, it is neither coming nor departing, it puts a stop to all idle reasonings, and it is called the truth (tattvam).

Therefore, Mahamati, let son or daughter of a good family take good heed not to get attached to words as being in perfect conformity with meaning, because the truth is not of the letter. Be not like the one who looks at the finger-tip. For instance, Mahamati, when a man with his finger-tip points at something to somebody, the finger-tip may be taken wrongly for the thing pointed at; in like manner, Mahamati, the people belonging to the class of the ignorant and simple-minded, like those of a childish group, are unable even unto their death to abandon the idea that in the finger-tip of words there is the meaning itself, and will not grasp ultimate reality because of their intent clinging to words which are no more than the finger-tip to them. To give another illustration, Mahamati: boiled rice is the proper food for infants, to whom [suppose] somebody gave uncooked food to eat. In this case, this one is to be considered to be out of his sense because of his not knowing how to prepare food properly. So it is with that which is neither born nor destroyed, Mahamati; it will not manifest itself to anybody unless he is well disciplined in it. Therefore, you should most assuredly discipline yourself in this and not be like one who grasping his own finger-tip sees the meaning there. For this reason, Mahamati, you should energetically discipline yourself to get at the meaning itself.

Mahamati, the meaning is alone with itself (vivikta) and is the cause of Nirvana. Words are bound up with discrimination and are the carrier of transmigration. Meaning, Mahamati, is attained from much learning, and this much learning, Mahamati, means to be conversant with meaning and not with words. To be conversant with meaning means [to ascertain] the view which is not at all associated with any philosophical school and which will keep not only yourself but others from falling into [the false views]. Being so, Mahamati, this is said to be learned much in meaning. Therefore, let seekers for meaning reverently approach those [who are much learned in it], but those who are attached to words as being in accord with meaning, they are to be left to themselves and to be shunned by truth-seekers.

Further, Mahamati to whom the Buddha's spiritual powers were added, said: There is nothing specially distinguishable in the Buddha's teaching of no-birth and no-annihilation. Why? Because all the philosophers also declare, Bhagavan, their causes to be unborn and not to be annihilated; and you, too, Bhagavan, declare space, Aprati-samkhyanirodha (annihilation), and Nirvana to be unborn and not to be annihilated. The philosophers declare, Bhagavan, that the world rises from causal agencies and causation, while the Bhagavan too declares that the world takes its rise from ignorance, desire, deed, discrimination, which work in accordance with the law of causation. Both thus refer to causation, the difference being in names only.

So with the rise of external objects, both you and they assume external causation. Thus, there is no distinction between your teaching, Bhagavan, and that of the philosophers. [With them] there are nine substances which are regarded as unborn and not to be annihilated: atoms, supreme soul (pradhana), ISvara, creator (prajapati), etc., while, Bhagavan, you assert that all things are neither born nor annihilated as their being and non-being is unattainable. Now as the elements are indestructible, their self-nature is neither born nor annihilated; while following various courses of transformation, what constitutes their essential nature is not abandoned. Though your notion of the elements may differ in form, Bhagavan, it is what has been imagined by all the philosophers as well as by yourself. For this reason this teaching of yours has nothing distinctive. If there is anything distinctive by which the teaching of the Tathagata excels that of the philosophers, pray tell me. Bhagavan, if there is nothing distinctive in your own teaching, we can say that there is something of Buddhahood in the teaching of all the philosophers, because in them there is a cause pointing to no-birth and no-annihilation. It was declared by the Bhagavan that many Tathagatas are not born simultaneously in the same district in one world. But if the rule of cause and effect with regard to being and non-being holds true, and your own teaching leaves nothing contradicting behind, there must be many Tathagatas [rising at the same time and in the same locality].

The Bhagavan said: Mahamati, my [teaching of] no-birth and no-annihilation is not like that of philosophers who also speak of no-birth and no-annihilation; nor is it like their doctrine of birth and impermanency. Why? Because, Mahamati, that to which the philosophers ascribe the characteristics of no-birth and no-change is the self-nature of all things. But mine is not that which falls into the dualism of being and non-being. Mine, Mahamati, goes beyond the dualism of being and non-being; has nothing to do with birth, abiding, and destruction; is neither existent nor non-existent. How is it not non-existent? Because multitudinousness of objects is to be seen as like Maya and a dream; I say that it is not non-existent. How is it not existent? Because there are no characteristic signs to be perceived as belonging to the self-nature of things; they are seen [in one sense as individual objects] and not seen [as such in another sense]; again they are [something in one sense] graspable [and in another sense] ungraspable. For this reason, things are existent and non-existent.

But when it is understood that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of the Mind itself, discrimination no more rises, and one is thus established in his own abode which is the realm of no-work. The ignorant work and discriminate but not the wise. Mahamati, [the doings of the ignorant] are unrealities discriminated, realities confounded; they are like the city of the Gandharvas, like magically-created figures. To illustrate, Mahamati, here is a city of the Gandharvas where children see magically-created people, merchants, and many others, going in or coming out, and imagine that they are really people going in and coming out. It is owing to this discrimination characterised by perturbation that such takes place. It is the same, Mahamati, with the ignorant that they have a confused perception of birth and no-birth. There is really nothing made or unmade, like the rising of magically-created people; for magically-created people are neither born nor annihilated, because here is no question whatever as to their existence or non-existence. In like manner, all things have nothing to do with birth and destruction, except that the ignorant cherishing false ideas imagine the birth and annihilation of objects. It is, however, not so with the wise. By false ideas it is meant that objects are not judged as they are in themselves. They are nothing else. When [reality] is discriminated other than it is, there is the clinging to the idea that all things have their self-nature and what is alone by itself is not seen, and when what is alone by itself is not seen there is no disappearance of discrimination. For this reason, Mahamati, an insight into formlessness excels, and not an insight into form; as form causes another birth, it excels not. By formlessness, Mahamati, is meant the disappearance of discrimination.

No-birth and no-annihilation,1 this I call Nirvana. By Nirvana, Mahamati, is meant the looking into the abode of reality as it really is in itself; and when, along with the turning-back of the entire system of mentation (citta-caitta-kalapa), there is the attainment of self-realisation by means of noble wisdom, which belongs to the Tathagatas, I call it Nirvana.


So it is said:

86. In order to remove [the notion of] birth and to accomplish [that of] no-birth, I teach the doctrine of no-cause; but this is not understood by the ignorant.

87. This all is unborn, but that does not mean that there are no objects; they are seen to be like the city of the Gandharvas, a dream, and Maya; objects are here, but causeless.

88. Tell me how things are unborn, without self-nature1 and empty. When things are seen by [transcendental] knowledge, they are not subject to combination and are unobtainable; therefore, I declare that they are empty, unborn, and without self-nature.

89. Considered one by one combination is there, the world appears to exist, but nothing is really existing; it is not as it is conceived by the philosophers; when combination is dissolved, nothing is left to be seen.

90. As is a dream, a hair-net, Maya, the city of the Gandharvas, and a mirage, which rise into view causelessly, so is the multitudinousness of the world.

91. By keeping down the theory of no-causation,2 no-birth is demonstrated; when the theory of no-birth is declared, my law-eye3 is never destroyed; when the theory of no-cause is pointed out, the philosophers are horrified.

92. [Mahamati asked].4 How, by whom, where, and wherefore does the theory of no-cause make its appearance? [The Bhagavan answered.]4 When things (samskrita) are perceived as neither subject to causation nor above it, then the view maintained by the philosophers of birth and destruction is done away with.

93. [Mahamati asked;] Is non-being no-birth? or does it look for causation? or is it a being's name without a [corresponding] reality? Pray tell me.

94. [The Bhagavan answered,] Non-being is not no-birth, nor does it look for causation, nor is it a being's name, nor is it a name without a [corresponding] object.

95. Here is a reality which does not belong to the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, nor to the philosophers; neither does it belong to the Bodhisattvas who have entered upon the seventh stage; this is what characterises no-birth.

96. The doing away with the notion of cause and condition, the giving up of a causal agency, the establishment of the Mind-only--this I state to be no-birth.

97. The getting-rid of [the idea that] things are caused, the removal of [the dualism of] imagined and imagining, the being liberated from the alternatives of being and non-being--this I state to be no-birth.

98. The mind liberated from its objective world, the getting-rid of the twofold Svabhava [parikalpita and paratantra], a turning-up at the seat of mentation--this I state to be no-birth.

99. No external existence, no non-existence, not even the grasping of mind; [things are like] a dream, a hair-net, Maya, [the city of] Gandharvas, a mirage;1 the abandonment of all the philosophical views, --this is what characterises no-birth.

100. Thus too all these words will be understood, that is, emptiness, having no self-nature, etc.; [the world] is empty, not, indeed, because of its being empty, but because of its being empty in the sense of being unborn.

101. A system [of mentality] may have its rise and fall owing to causation; when there is a dissolution of the system, there is neither birth nor annihilation.

102. When a dissolution somewhere takes place among the members of the system, such existence ceases as is discriminated by the philosophers by means of [such categories as] oneness and separateness.

103. Nothing is born; being is not, non-being is not, nowhere is being-and-non-being; except that where there is a system, there is the rising of things and their dissolution.

104. It is only in accordance with general convention that a chain2 of mutual dependence is talked of; birth has no sense when the chain of dependence is severed.

105. As there is nothing generating, there is no-birth, free from the faults of the philosophers; I talk of this conventionally according [to the theory of] concatenation, and this is not intelligible to the ignorant.

106. If there is anything born somewhere apart from concatenation, here is one who is to be recognized as an advocate of no-causation as he destroys concatenation.

107. If concatenation works [from outside] like a lamp revealing all kinds of things, this means the presence of something outside concatenation itself.

108. All things are devoid of self-nature, have never been born, and in their original nature are like the sky; things separated from concatenation belong to the discrimination of the ignorant.

109. There is another kind of no-birth which is the self-essence of things realised by the wise; its birth is no-birth, and in this no-birth there is a recognition.1

110. When this entire world is regarded as concatenation, as nothing else but concatenation, then the mind gains tranquillity.

111. Ignorance, desire, karma, etc. --these are the inner concatenation; a ladle, clay, a vessel, a wheel, etc., or seeds, the elements, etc. --these are external concatenations.

112. If there is any other existence born of concatenation, this goes against the law of concatenation; those [who hold this view] are not established in the principles of correct reasoning.

113. If there is an object coming to exist and yet is non-existent, by what law of causation is there the recognition of it? Things here are of mutual origination, and for this reason causation is declared.

114. Heat, fluidity, motility, solidity--such notions are discriminated by the ignorant; there is a system of relations, no individual objects exist; hence the denial of self-nature [as constituting the realness of objects].

115. The physician varies his treatment according to diseases though there is no difference in the principle [of healing]; the difference comes from varieties of diseases.

116. In like manner, [in order to save] generations of beings from their disease of passions with which they are ill, I teach people with my doctrines, knowing the power of their senses.

117. My doctrine does not vary, but the passions and powers are differentiated; there is just one vehicle; auspicious is the eightfold path.

At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: Impermanence, impermanence--this is the discrimination of the philosophers, Bhagavan, and you, too, declare in the canonical texts that all composite things are impermanent, to be subject to birth and destruction is the nature of things; but, Bhagavan, is this right or wrong? And how many kinds of impermanency [are there], Bhagavan?

Said the Bhagavan: Mahamati, there are eight1 kinds of impermanency as discriminated by the philosophers, but not by me. What are the eight kinds? (1) Some say that there is origination and then cessation--this is impermanency: that is to say, Mahamati, in the beginning there is something born which ceases to exist--this is impermanency. (2) Some explain impermanency as the changing of shape. (3) Some say, form2 itself is impermanent. (4) Some regard impermanency to consist in the changing of form (rupa), saying that in a continuous, uninterrupted existence of all things there takes place a change in their natural flavour; for instance, milk going through a transformation turns into sour milk, and that such an invisible decomposition happens to all things; this is called impermanency. (5) Some imagine that there is an objective existence (bhava) which is called impermanency. (6) Some imagine that existence and non-existence--this is impermanency. (7) Some say that not being born is impermanency; because of all things being impermanent, and because of impermanency being inherent in them.

Now, Mahamati, by impermanency that exists in existence and non-existence, is meant that things made of the elements1 are by nature subject to destruction and have nothing in them one can take hold of, while the elements themselves are never set in motion.

By impermanency that is no-birth is meant that there is neither permanency nor impermanency; that in all things there is no [dualistic] evolution of being and non-being, and that nothing is seen to exist, even when they are examined into the last atom. This not seeing of anything is another name for no-birth, and not for birth. This, Mahamati, is the nature of impermanency that is no-birth, and as this is not understood, all the philosophers cherish the view of impermanency that is based on birth.

Further, Mahamati, by the conception of impermanency as objective existence is meant that there is a discrimination in [the philosopher's] own mind as to that which is not permanent and that which is not impermanent. What is the sense of this? It means that there is a thing called impermanency which in itself is not subject to destruction, but by whose working there is the disappearance of all things; and if not for impermanency there will be no disappearance of all things. It is like a stick or a stone, or like a hammer breaking other things to pieces while itself remains unbroken. [This is the philosopher's meaning but] as we actually see things about us, there is no such mutual differentiation which compels us to say that here is impermanency the cause, and there is the disappearance of all things as the effect; there is no such differentiation of cause and effect, and we cannot say: Here is impermanency as cause and there is the effect. When there is thus no differentiation of cause and effect, all things are permanent since no cause exists to render them otherwise. Mahamati, as to the disappearance of all things, there is a cause, but it is not in the understanding of the ignorant and simple-minded. When the cause is of a dissimilar nature, the [same] effect is not produced. In case it does, the impermanency of all things is an example of dissimilar effect, and there is no distinction between cause and effect. But the distinction between cause and effect is observed in them. If there is an [objective] existence to be known as impermanence, it will be characterized with the nature of an effect-producing cause, and there will be one entity contained in all things. When the notion is cherished of a cause-producing effect, this means that impermanence the cause is impermanent because it partakes of the nature of the effect which is impermanent. All things then are not to be regarded as impermanent but as permanent.

If impermanency [as the cause] resides within all things, it will come under the three divisions of time. It passes away together with things past; its future is not yet here as things of the future are still unborn; in the present it breaks up together with things of the present.

Form [or matter] results from the combination and variation of the elements; as the primary elements and the secondary elements are neither different nor not-different, they are by nature not subject to destruction, because according to the philosophers the elements are indestructible. [But, Mahamati,] it is an established fact that the entire triple world with its elements primary and secondary is born, abides, and disappears. How do the philosophers conceive a separate existence of impermanency which is independent of the elements primary and secondary, while the elements themselves are neither set in motion nor destroyed because they cling to the notion of self-nature [as eternally unchangeable]?

The conception of impermanency as existing in the first origination which ceases to continue [is not tenable for three reasons]; the elements cannot produce one another, because each has its self-nature different from the others. Each individual one cannot produce itself because there is no differentiation in it. The [mutually] separated origination of the elements is impossible because there is no correspondence between the two. Hence the conclusion that the conception of origination-impermanency is untenable.

By the conception of impermanency in consideration of changes taking place in external form is meant that the elements primary and secondary are not subject to dissolution. What is known as dissolution, Mahamati, even when closely examined until atoms are reached, is not the destruction of the elements primary and secondary but of their external forms whereby the elements assume different appearances as short or long; but, in fact, nothing is destroyed in the elemental atoms. What is seen as ceased to exist is the external formation of the elements. This view is cherished by the Samkhya school.

By the impermanency of external shapes is meant the impermanency of form (rupa); what is impermanent is thus the external shape and not the elements. If the elements themselves are impermanent all our everyday experiences come to naught. This is cherishing the view of the Lokayatika, according to which all things are reducible to mere words because their self-nature is never seen as born.

By the impermanency of changes is meant the changing of forms (rupa) and not the changing of the elements themselves as is seen in various ornamental articles of gold which assume various forms. While there is no disappearance in the nature of gold, the ornamental articles variously change in form.

These and other views of impermanency as changes are discriminated variously by the philosophers as is here described. Fire may burn all the elements but their self-nature can never be burned; when each goes asunder by itself, there is the destruction of what constitutes the elements primary and secondary.

However, Mahamati, I am neither for permanency nor for impermanency. Why? For these reasons: external objects are not admitted; the triple world is taught as not being anything else but the Mind itself; multiplicities of external existences are not accepted; there is no rising of the elements, nor their disappearance, nor their continuation, nor their differentiation; there are no such things as the elements primary and secondary; because of discrimination there evolve the dualistic indications of perceived and perceiving; when it is recognized that because of discrimination there is a duality, the discussion concerning the existence and non-existence of the external world ceases because Mind-only is understood. Discrimination rises from discriminating a world of effect-producing works; no discrimination takes place when this world is not recognized.1 Then a man ceases to cherish the discrimination of existence and non-existence which rises out of his own mind, he sees that things, either of this world or of a higher world, or of the highest, are not to be described as permanent or impermanent, because he does not understand the truth that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of the Mind itself. As [the meaning of] discrimination is not understood by all the philosophers who have fallen into wrong ideas of dualism and who are people of no [spiritual] attainment, impermanency comes up to them as a subject for discussion. Mahamati,2 the triple aspect of all things as distinguished as of this world, of a higher world, and of the highest, is the outcome of word-discrimination, but this is not understood by the ignorant and simple-minded. So it is said:

118. By the deluded philosophers the notion of impermanency is discriminated as origination-cessation, as transformation of external forms, as an [independent] existence, as form.

119. There is no destruction of things; the elements abide for ever as regards their self-essence; immersed in varieties of views the philosophers discriminate impermanency.

120. To these philosophers there is no destruction, no birth; the elements are permanent as regards their self-essence; who ever discriminates impermanency? [This is the position of the philosophers.]

121. [According to the Buddha,] there is nothing in the world but the Mind itself, and all that is of duality has its rise from the Mind and is seen as perceived and perceiving; an ego-soul and what belongs to it--they exist not.

122. The abode and realm of Brahma, etc. --I declare all to be of Mind-only, outside Mind-only, Brahma, etc., are not attainable.

(End of Chapter 3)


 

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Mahayana Lankavatara Sutra



Translated into English by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki



Chapter 4: On Intuitive Understanding


At that time again Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, about the state of perfect tranquillisation (nirodha) and its further development as attained by all the Bodhisattvas, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas; for when this further development is thoroughly understood by myself and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas all may be saved from being confounded by the happiness which comes from the attainment of perfect tranquillisation and also from falling into the confused state of mind of the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers.

Said the Bhagavan: Then listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Certainly, Bhagavan, said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: Those Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who have reached the sixth stage as well as all the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas attain perfect tranquillisation. At the seventh stage, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, giving up the view of self-nature as subsisting in all things, attain perfect tranquillisation in every minute of their mental lives, which is not however the case with the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas; for with them there is something effect-producing, and in their attainment of perfect tranquillisation there is a trace [of dualism], of grasped and grasping. Therefore, they do not attain perfect tranquillisation in every minute of their mental lives which is possible at the seventh stage. They cannot attain to [the clear conviction of] an undifferentiated state of all things and the cessation of [all] multiplicities. Their attainment is due to understanding the aspect of all things in which their self-nature is discriminated as good and as not-good. Therefore, until the seventh stage there is not a well-established attainment of tranquillisation in every minute of their mental lives.

Mahamati, at the eighth stage the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas cease cherishing discriminative ideas that arise from the Citta, Mana and ManoVijnana. From the first stage up to the sixth, they perceive that the triple world is no more than the Citta. Manas, and ManoVijnana, that as it is born of a discriminating mind there is no ego-soul and what belongs to it, and that there is no falling into the multitudinousness of external objects except through [the discrimination of] the Mind itself. The ignorant turning their self-knowledge (svajnana) towards the dualism of grasped and grasping fail to understand, for there is the working of habit-energy which has "been accumulating since beginningless time owing to false reasoning and discrimination.

Mahamati, at the eighth stage there is Nirvana for the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas and Bodhisattvas; but the Bodhisattvas are kept away by the power of all the Buddhas1 from [being intoxicated by] the bliss of the Samadhi, and thereby they will not enter into Nirvana. When the stage of Tathagatahood is not fulfilled there would be the cessation of all doings, and if [the Bodhisattvas] were not supported [by the Buddhas] the Tathagata-family would become extinct. Therefore, the Buddhas, the Bhagavans, point out the virtues of Buddhahood which are beyond conception. Therefore, [the Bodhisattvas] do not enter into Nirvana, but the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas, engrossed in the bliss of the Samadhis, therein cherish the thought of Nirvana.

At the seventh stage, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva properly examines into the nature of the Citta, Manas, and ManoVijnana; he examines into [such subjects as] ego-soul and what belongs1 to it, grasped and grasping, the egolessness of persons and things, rising and disappearing, individuality and generality; he skilfully ascertains the fourfold logical analysis; he enjoys the bliss of self-mastery; he enters successively upon the stages; he knows the differences obtaining in the various elements of enlightenment. The grading of the stages is arranged by me lest the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, not knowing what is meant by individuality and generality and failing to understand the continuous development of the successive stages, should fall into the philosophers' wrong way of viewing things. But, Mahamati, there is really nothing rising, nothing disappearing, all is nothing except what is seen of the Mind itself; that is, the continuous development of the successive stages and all the multiple doings of the triple world [¡ªthey are all of Mind itself]. This is not understood by the ignorant. I and all the Buddhas1 establish the doctrine of the stages which develop successively as do all the doings of the triple world.

Further, Mahamati, the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas at the eighth stage of Bodhisattvahood are so intoxicated with the happiness that comes from the attainment of perfect tranquillisation, and, failing to understand fully that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of the Mind itself, they are thus unable to overcome the hindrances and habit-energy growing out of their notions of generality and individuality; and adhering to the egolessness of persons and things and cherishing views arising therefrom, they have the discriminating idea and knowledge of Nirvana, which is not that of the truth of absolute solitude. Mahamati, when the Bodhisattvas face and perceive the happiness of the Samadhi of perfect tranquillisation, they are moved with the feeling of love and sympathy owing to their original vows, and they become aware of the part they are to perform as regards the [ten] inexhaustible vows. Thus, they do not enter Nirvana. But the fact is that they are already in Nirvana because in them there is no rising of discrimination. With them the discrimination of grasped and grasping no more takes place; as they [now] recognise that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of the Mind itself, they have done away with the thought of discrimination concerning all things. They have abandoned adhering to and discriminating about such notions as the Citta, Manas, and ManoVijnana, and external objects, and self-nature; however, they have not given up the things promoting the cause of Buddhism; because of their attainment of the inner insight which belongs to the stage of Tathagatahood; whatever they do all issues from their transcendental knowledge.

It is like a man crossing a stream in a dream. For instance, Mahamati, suppose that while sleeping a man dreams that he is in the midst of a great river which he earnestly endeavours with all his might to cross by himself; but before he succeeds in crossing the stream, he is awakened from the dream, and being awakened he thinks: "Is this real or unreal?" He thinks again: "No, it is neither real nor unreal. By reason of the habit-energy of discrimination which has been accumulated by experience ever since beginningless time, as multiplicities of forms and conditions are seen, heard, thought, and recognised, there is the perception and discrimination of all things as existent and nonexistent; and for this reason my ManoVijnana experiences even in a dream all that has been seen by myself."

In the same way, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas of the eighth stage of Bodhisattvahood, after passing through the first up to the seventh stage, observe that "there is no more rising in them of discrimination since all things are seen as like Maya, etc., when they have an intuitive understanding of the [true] nature of all things, and [further] observing that, therefore, there is the cessation of all things as to grasped and grasping which rise from one's ardent desire for things, and also observing how the mind and what belongs to it carry on their discrimination, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas never relax their efforts to practise the teachings of the Buddhas. Mahamati, they will exercise themselves to make those who have not yet attained the truth attain it. For the Bodhisattvas, Nirvana does not mean extinction; as they have abandoned thoughts of discrimination evolving from the Citta, Manas, and ManoVijnana, there is for them the attainment of the recognition that all things are unborn. And, Mahamati, in ultimate reality there is neither gradation nor continuous succession; [only] the truth of absolute solitude (viviktadharma) is taught here in which the discrimination of all the images is quieted. So it is said:

1. The abodes and the stages of Buddhahood are established in1 the Mind-only which is imageless¡ªthis was told, is told, and will be told by the Buddhas.

2. The [first] seven stages are [still] of the mind, but here the eighth is imageless; the two stages, [the ninth and the tenth,] have [still] something to rest themselves on; the [highest] stage that is left belongs to me.

3. Self-realisation and absolute purity¡ªthis stage is my own; it is the highest station of MaheSvara, the Akanishtha [heaven] shining brilliantly.

4. Its rays of light move forward like a mass of fire; they who are bright-coloured, charming, and auspicious transform the triple world.

5. Some worlds are being transformed, while others have already been transformed;2 there I preach the various vehicles which belong to my own stage.

6. But [from the absolute point of view] the tenth is the first, and the first is the eighth; and the ninth is the seventh, and the seventh is the eighth.

7. And the second is the third, and the fourth is the fifth, and the third is the sixth; what gradation is there where imagelessness prevails?

(End of Chapter 4)


 

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Mahayana Lankavatara Sutra



Translated into English by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki



Chapter 5: On the Deduction of the Permanency and Impermanency of Tathagatahood

At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: Is the Bhagavan, the Tathagata, the Arhat, the Fully-Enlightened One, permanent or impermanent?

Said the Bhagavan: Mahamati, the Tathagata is neither permanent nor impermanent. Why? Because either way there is a fault connected with it. Mahamati, what fault is connected with either assertion? If the Tathagata is permanent, he will be connected with the creating agencies. For, Mahamati, according to all the philosophers the creating agencies are something uncreated and permanent. But the Tathagata is not permanent [in the same sense] as the uncreated are permanent. If he is impermanent, he will be connected with things created. Because the Skandhas which are predicable as qualified and qualifying are nonexistent, and because the Skandhas are subject to annihilation, destructibility is their nature. Mahamati, all that is created is impermanent as is a jug, a garment, straw, a piece of wood, a brick, etc., which are all connected with impermanency. Thus all the preparations for the knowledge of the All-Knowing One will become useless as they are things created. On account of no distinction being made, the Tathagata, indeed, would be something created. For this reason, the Tathagata is neither permanent nor impermanent.

Again, Mahamati, the Tathagata is not permanent for the reason that [if he were] he would be like space, and the preparations one makes for Tathagatahood would be useless. That is to say, Mahamati, space is neither permanent nor impermanent as it excludes [the idea of] permanence and impermanence, and it is improper to speak of it as characterised with the faults of oneness and otherness, of bothness and not-bothness, of permanence and impermanence. Further, Mahamati, it is like the horns of a hare, or a horse, or an ass, or a camel, or a frog, or a snake, or a fly, or a fish; [with the Tathagata] as with them here is the permanency of no-birth. Because of this fault of the permanency of no-birth, the Tathagata cannot be permanent.

However, Mahamati, there is another sense in which the Tathagata can be said to be permanent. How? Because the knowledge arising from the attainment of enlightenment [ = an intuitive understanding] is of a permanent nature, the Tathagata is permanent. Mahamati, this knowledge, as it is attained intuitively by the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones, is, indeed, permanent. Whether the Tathagatas are born or not, this Dharmata, which is the regulative and sustaining principle to be discoverable in the enlightenment of all the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers, abides, and this sustaining principle of existence is not like the emptiness of space, which, however, is not understood by the ignorant and simple-minded. Mahamati, this knowledge of enlightenment belonging to the Tathagatas comes forth from transcendental knowledge (prajnajnana); Mahamati, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones do not come forth from the habit-energy of ignorance which is concerned with the Citta, Manas, and ManoVijnana, and the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas. The triple world originates from the discriminating of unrealities, but the Tathagatas do not originate from the discriminating of unrealities. Where duality obtains, Mahamati, there is permanency and impermanency because of its not being one. Mahamati, [the truth of] absolute solitude is, indeed, non-dualistic1 because all things are characterised with non-duality and no-birth. For this reason, Mahamati, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones are neither permanent nor impermanent. Mahamati, as long as there is word-discrimination, there follows the faulty notion of permanency and impermanency. The destruction of the notion of permanency and impermanency as held by the ignorant, Mahamati, comes from the getting rid of the knowledge that is based on discrimination, and not from the getting rid of the knowledge that is based on the insight of solitude. So it is said:

1. By keeping away permanency and impermanency, [and yet] by keeping permanency and impermanency in sight, those who always see the Buddhas will not expose themselves to the power of the philosophical doctrines.

2. When permanency and impermanency are adhered to all the accumulation [one makes for the attainment of reality] will be of no avail; by destroying the knowledge that is based on discrimination, [the idea of] permanency and impermanency is kept back.

3. As soon as an assertion is made, all is in confusion; when it is understood that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of the Mind itself, disputes never arise.

(Ends of Chapter 5)


 

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Mahayana Lankavatara Sutra



Translated into English by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki



Chapter 6: On Momentariness


At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva made a request of the Bhagavan, saying: Bhagavan, tell me; Sugata, tell me about the rising and disappearing of the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas. In case there is no ego-soul, what is it that comes to exist and to disappear? The ignorant who are attached to the notion of rising and disappearing, fail to understand the extinction of pain, and thus they know not what Nirvana is.

Said the Bhagavan: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said: Certainly, Bhagavan; and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: Mahamati, the Tathagata-garbha holds within it the cause for both good and evil, and by it all the forms of existence are produced. Like an actor it takes on a variety of forms, and [in itself] is devoid of an ego-soul and what belongs to it. As this is not understood, there is the functioning together of the triple combination from which effects take place. But the philosophers not knowing this are tenaciously attached to the idea of a cause [or a creating agency]. Because of the influence of habit-energy that has been accumulating variously by false reasoning since beginningless time, what here goes under the name of alayaVijnana is accompanied by the seven Vijnanas which give birth to a state known as the abode of ignorance. It is like a great ocean in which the waves roll on permanently but the [deeps remain unmoved; that is, the Alaya-] body itself subsists uninterruptedly, quite free from fault of impermanence, unconcerned with the doctrine of ego-substance, and thoroughly pure in its essential nature.

As to the other seven Vijnanas beginning with the Manas and ManoVijnana, they have their rise and complete ending from moment to moment; they are born with false discrimination as cause, and with forms and appearances and objectivity as conditions which are intimately linked together; adhering to names and forms, they do not realise that objective individual forms are no1 more than what is seen of the Mind itself; they do not give exact information regarding pleasure and pain; they are not the cause of emancipation; by setting up names and forms which originate from greed, greed is begotten in turn, thus mutually conditioned and conditioning. When the sense-organs which seize [upon the objective world] are destroyed and annihilated, the other things immediately cease to function, and there is no recognition of pleasure and pain which are the self-discrimination of knowledge; thus there is the attainment of perfect tranquillisation in which thoughts and sensations are quieted, or there is the realisation of the four Dhyanas, in which truths of emancipation are well understood; whereupon the Yogins are led to cherish herein the notion of [true] emancipation, because of the not-rising [of the Vijnanas].

[But] when a revulsion [or turning-back] has not taken place in the alayaVijnana known under the name of Tathagata-garbha, there is no cessation of the seven evolving Vijnanas. Why? Because the evolution of the Vijnanas is depending on this cause; but this does not belong to the realm of the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and those who are disciplining themselves in the exercises of the philosophers. As they [only] know the egolessness of the self-soul, as they [only] accept the individuality and generality of the Skandhas, Dhatus, and ayatanas, there is the evolving of the Tathagata-garbha. When an insight into the five Dharmas, the three Svabhavas, and the egolessness of all things is obtained, the Tathagata-garbha becomes quiescent. By causing a revulsion in the continuous development of the graded stages, [the Bodhisattva] may not be led astray in the path [of enlightenment] by those philosophers who hold different views. Thus establishing himself at the Bodhisattva stage of Acala (immovable), he obtains the paths leading to the happiness of the ten Samadhis. Supported by the Buddhas in Samadhi, observing the truths of the Buddha which go beyond thought and his own original vows, not entering into the happiness of the Samadhi which is the limit of reality, but by means of the self-realisation which is not generally gained by the paths of discipline belonging to the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers, he obtains the ten paths of discipline which belong to the noble family [of the Tathagatas], and [also obtains] the knowledge-body created by the will which is removed from the [premeditated] workings of Samadhi. For this reason, Mahamati, let those Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who are seeking after the exalted truth effect the purification of the Tathagata-garbha which is known as alayaVijnana.

Mahamati, if you say that there is no Tathagata-garbha known as alayaVijnana, there will be neither the rising nor the disappearing [of an external world of multiplicities] in the absence of the Tathagata-garbha known as alayaVijnana. But, Mahamati, there is the rising and disappearing of the ignorant as well as the holy ones. [Therefore], the Yogins, while walking in the noble path of self-realisation and abiding in the enjoyment of things as they are, do not abandon working hard and are never frustrated [in their undertakings]. Mahamati, this realm of the Tathagata-garbha is primarily undefiled and is beyond all the speculative theories of the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers; but it appears to them devoid of purity, as it is soiled by these external defilements. This is not the case with the Tathagatas, Mahamati; with the Tathagatas it is an intuitive experience as if it were an amalaka fruit held in the palm of the hand.

This, Mahamati, was told by me in the canonical text relating to Queen Sr¨©mala, and in another where the Bodhisattvas, endowed with subtle, fine, pure knowledge, are supported [by my spiritual powers] ¡ªthat the Tathagata-garbha known as alayaVijnana evolves together with the seven Vijnanas. This is meant for the Sravakas who are not free from attachment, to make them see into the egolessness of things; and for Queen Sr¨©mala to whom the Buddha's spiritual power was added, the [pure] realm of Tathagatahood was expounded. This does not belong to the realm of speculation as it is carried on by the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and other philosophers, except, Mahamati, that this realm of Tathagatahood which is the realm of the Tathagata-garbha-alayaVijnana is meant for those Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who like you are endowed with subtle, fine, penetrating thought-power and whose understanding is in accordance with the meaning; and it is not for others, such as philosophers, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas, who are attached to the letters of the canonical texts. For this reason, Mahamati, let you and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas discipline yourselves in the realm of Tathagatahood, in the understanding of this Tathagata-garbha-alayaVijnana, so that you may not rest contented with mere learning. So it is said:

1. The Garbha of the Tathagatas is indeed united with the seven Vijnanas; when this is adhered to, there arises duality, but when rightly understood, duality ceases.

2. The mind, which is the product of intellection since beginningless time, is seen like a mere image; when things are viewed as they are in themselves, there is neither objectivity nor its appearance.

3. As the ignorant grasp the finger-tip and not the moon, so those who cling to the letter, know not my truth.

4. The Citta dances like a dancer; the Manas resembles a jester; the [Mano-] Vijnana together with the five [Vijnanas] creates an objective world which is like a stage.1


At that time, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva made a request of the Bhagavan, saying: Pray tell me, Bhagavan; pray tell me, Sugata, concerning the distinguishing aspects of the five Dharmas, the [three] Svabhavas, the [eight] Vijnanas, and the twofold egolessness. By [recognising] the distinguishing aspects of the twofold egolessness, I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas will be able to establish those truths while effecting a continuous development through the various stages of Bodhisattvahood. It is said that by these truths we can enter into all the Buddha-truths, and that by entering into all the Buddha-truths we can enter even into the ground of the Tathagata's inner realisation.

Said the Bhagavan: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Certainly, Bhagavan, said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: Mahamati, I will tell you about the distinguishing aspects of the five Dharmas, the [three] Svabhavas, the [eight] Vijnanas, and the twofold egolessness. The five Dharmas are: name, form, discrimination, right knowledge, and suchness. [When these are thoroughly comprehended] by the Yogins, they enter into the course of the Tathagata's inner realisation, where they are kept away from such views as eternalism and nihilism, realism and negativism, and where they come face to face with the abode of happiness belonging to the present existence as well as to the Samapatti (tranquillisation). But, Mahamati, as the ignorant do not understand that the five Dharmas, the [three] Svabhavas, the [eight] Vijnanas, and the twofold egolessness, together with the external objects which are regarded as existent and nonexistent¡ª [all these are no more than] what is seen of the Mind itself¡ªthey are given to discrimination, but it is otherwise with the wise.

Said Mahamati: How is it that the ignorant are given up to discrimination and the wise are not?

Said the Bhagavan: Mahamati, the ignorant cling to names, ideas, and signs; their minds move along [these channels]. As thus they move along, they feed on multiplicities of objects, and fall into the notion of an ego-soul and what belongs to it, and cling to salutary appearances. As thus they cling, there is a reversion to ignorance, and they become tainted, karma born of greed, anger, and folly is accumulated. As karma is accumulated again and again, their minds become swathed in the cocoon of discrimination as the silk-worm; and, transmigrating in the ocean of birth-and-death (gati), they are unable, like the water-drawing wheel, to move forward. And because of folly, they do not understand that all things are like Maya, a mirage, the moon in water, and have no self-substance to be imagined as an ego-soul and its belongings; that things rise from their false discrimination; that they are devoid of qualified and qualifying; and have nothing to do with the course of birth, abiding, and destruction; that they are born of the discrimination of what is only seen of the Mind itself; and assert1 that they are born of ISvara, time, atoms, or a supreme spirit, for they follow names and appearances. Mahamati, the ignorant move along with appearances.

Further, Mahamati, by "appearance" is meant that which reveals itself to the visual sense and is perceived as form, and in like manner that which, appearing to the sense of hearing, smelling, tasting, the body, and the ManoVijnana, is perceived as sound, odour, taste, tactility, and idea, ¡ªall this I call "appearance."

Further, Mahamati, by "discrimination" is meant that by which names are declared, and there is thus the indicating of [various] appearances. Saying that this is such and no other, for instance, saying that this is an elephant, a horse, a wheel, a pedestrian, a woman, or a man, each idea thus discriminated is so determined.

Further, Mahamati, by "right knowledge" is meant this: when names and appearances are seen as unobtainable owing to their mutual conditioning, there is no more rising of the Vijnanas, for nothing comes to annihilation, nothing abides everlastingly; and when there is thus no falling back into the stage of the philosophers, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas, it is said that there is right knowledge. Further, Mahamati, by reason of this right knowledge, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva does not regard name as reality and appearance as non-reality.

When erroneous views based on the dualistic notion of assertion and negation are gotten rid of, and when the Vijnanas cease to rise as regards the objective world of names and appearances, this I call "suchness." Mahamati, a Bodhisattva-Mahasattva who is established on suchness attains the state of imagelessness and thereby attains the Bodhisattva-stage of Joy (pramudita).

When [the Bodhisattva] attains the stage of Joy, he is kept away from all the evil courses belonging to the philosophers and enters upon the path of supra-worldly truths. When [all] the conditions [of truth] are brought to consummation, he discerns that the course of all things starts with the notion of Maya, etc.; and after the attainment of the noble truth of self-realisation, he earnestly desires to put a stop to speculative theorisation; and going up in succession through the stages of Bodhisattvahood he finally reaches the stage of Dharma-Cloud (dharmamegha). After being at the stage of Dharma-Cloud, he reaches as far as the stage of Tathagatahood where the flowers of the Samadhis, powers, self-control, and psychic faculties are in bloom. After reaching here, in order to bring all beings to maturity, he shines like the moon in water, with varieties of rays of transformation. Perfectly fulfilling1 the [ten] inexhaustible vows, he preaches the Dharma to all beings according to their various understandings. As the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, Mahamati, have entered into suchness, they attain the body which is free from the will and thought-constructions.2

Again, Mahamati said: Are the three Svabhavas to be regarded as included in the five Dharmas, or as having their own characteristics complete in themselves?

The Bhagavan said: The three Svabhavas, the eight Vijnanas, and the twofold egolessness¡ªthey are all included [in the five Dharmas]. Of these, name and appearance are known as the Parikalpita [false imagination]. Then, Mahamati, discrimination which rises depending upon them, is the notion of an ego-soul and what belongs to it, ¡ªthe notion and the discrimination are of simultaneous occurrence, like the rising of the sun and its rays. Mahamati, the discrimination thus supporting the notion of self-nature which subsists in the multiplicities of objects, is called the Paratantra [dependence on another]. Right knowledge and suchness, Mahamati, are indestructible, and thus they are known as Parinishpanna [perfect knowledge].

Further, Mahamati, by adhering to what is seen of the Mind itself there is an eightfold discrimination. This comes from imagining unreal individual appearances [as real]. When the twofold clinging to an ego-soul and what belongs to it is stopped, there is the birth of the twofold egolessness. Mahamati, in these five Dharmas are included all the Buddha-truths and also the differentiation and succession of the [Bodhisattva-] stages, and the entrance of the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Tathagatas into the state of self-realisation by means of their noble wisdom.

Further, Mahamati, of the five Dharmas¡ªname, appearance, discrimination, right knowledge, and suchness¡ª appearance is that which is seen as having such characteristics as form, shape, distinctive features, images, colours, etc. ¡ªthis is "appearance." Out of this appearance ideas are formed such as a jar, etc., by which one can say, this is such and such, and no other; this is "name." When names are thus pronounced, appearances are determined1 and there is "discrimination, " saying this is mind and this is what belongs to it. That these names and appearances are after all unobtainable because when intellection is put away the aspect of mutuality [in which all things are determined] ceases to be perceived and imagined¡ªthis is called the "suchness" of things. And this suchness may be characterised as truth, reality, exact knowledge, limit, source, self-substance, the unattainable. This has been realised by myself and the Tathagatas, truthfully pointed out, recognised, made public, and widely shown. When, in agreement with this, [the truth] is rightly understood as neither negative nor affirmative, discrimination ceases to rise, and there is a state conformable to self-realisation by means of noble wisdom, which is not the course of controversy pertaining to the philosophers, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas; this is "right knowledge."

These are, Mahamati, the five Dharmas, and in them are included the three Svabhavas, the eight Vijnanas, the twofold egolessness, and all the Buddha-truths. In this, Mahamati, reflect well with your own wisdom and let others do [the same] and do not allow yourself to be led by another. So it is said:

5. The five Dharmas, the Svabhavas, the eight Vijnanas, and the twofold egolessness¡ªthey are all embraced in the Mahayana.

6. Name, appearance, and discrimination [correspond to] the first two Svabhavas, while right knowledge and suchness are the Parinishpanna.


At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: It is told by the Bhagavan in the canonical text the Tathagatas of the past, present, and future are like the sands of the river Ganga. Bhagavan, is this to be accepted literally? or is there another distinct meaning? Pray tell me, Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said: Mahamati, do not take it in its literal sense; for, Mahamati, the Buddhas of the three divisions of time are not measurable by the measurement of the sands of the Ganga. Why? Because an analogy which is superior to anything of the world and surpasses it cannot be called an analogy, since there is in it something resembling and something not resembling. The Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones do not give out such an analogy that has in it something resembling and something not resembling and that is superior to the world and surpasses it. But this comparison is only given out, Mahamati, by myself and the Tathagatas, in which the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones are said to be like the sands of the river Ganga; the idea is to terrify those ignorant and simple-minded ones who, tenaciously clinging to the idea of permanency and impermanency, and giving themselves up to the ways of thinking and the erroneous views of the philosophers, follow up the wheel of transmigration. To those who, anxious to escape the intricacies of the wheel of existence, seek after the excellent state, thinking how this could be realised, it is told them that the appearance of the Tathagatas is not like the blooming of the Udumbara flower, because they will thereby see that the attainment of Buddhahood is not a difficult undertaking and will pu1 forward their energy. But it is told in the canonical text that the Tathagatas appear as rarely as the Udumbara flower, and this is in consideration of those people who are to be led by me. Mahamati, however, no one has ever seen the Udumbara flower blooming, nor will anyone; while, Mahamati, the Tathagatas are at present in the world, they were seen and are to be seen. To say that the Tathagatas appear as rarely as the Udumbara flower has [really] no reference to the establishment of the truth itself. When, Mahamati, the establishment of the truth itself is pointed out, it surpasses beyond measure anything in the world that can be offered as an analogy to it, because [the ignorant] are incapable of believing. And thus there is an unbelief on the part of the ignorant and simple-minded. There is indeed no room for analogies to enter in the realm of self-realisation which is effected by means of noble wisdom. The truth transcends all the notions that are characteristic of the Citta, Manas, and ManoVijnana. The truth is the Tathagatas, and, therefore, in them there is nothing describable by analogy.

But, Mahamati, [sometimes] a comparison is made use of; that is to say, the Tathagatas are said to be like the sands of the river Ganga, because they are the same and impartial [to all things], because they are free from imagination and discrimination. For example, Mahamati, the sands of the river Ganga are tossed about by the fishes, tortoises, porpoises, crocodiles, buffalos, lions, elephants, etc., but they are free from imagination and discrimination; for they do not resent, saying."We are down-trodden," or "We are not." They are non-discriminative, pure in themselves, separated from defilement. In the same way, Mahamati, the self-realisation of noble wisdom which has been attained by the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones, is like the river Ganga, and their powers, psychic faculties, and self-control are like the sands; and however much they are tossed about by the fishes of the philosophers, by the ignorant who belong to other schools, they are not troubled by imaginations and discriminations. Because of their original vows, the Tathagatas [whose hearts are] filled with all the happiness of the Samapatti are not troubled by imaginations and discriminations with regard to beings. Therefore, the Tathagatas, like the sands of the river Ganga, are free from partiality because of their being devoid of likes and dislikes.

To illustrate, Mahamati: as the sands of the river Ganga partake of the character of the earth, the conflagration that will break out at the end of the Kalpa may burn the earth but does not destroy its self-nature. Mahamati, the earth is not consumed because of its being inseparably connected with the element of fire, and it is only the ignorant and simple-minded that on account of their falling into false ideas imagine the earth being consumed by fire. But as it supplies the material cause to the element fire, it is never consumed. In the same way, Mahamati, the Dharmakaya of the Tathagatas, like the sands of the river Ganga, is never destroyed.

To illustrate, Mahamati: the sands of the river Ganga are immeasurable. In the same way, Mahamati, the rays of light of the Tathagatas are beyond measure, which arc-emitted by them in all the Buddha-assemblies in order to bring beings to maturity and arouse them [to the knowledge of the truth].

To illustrate, Mahamati: the sands of the river Ganga do not assume another nature than itself remaining forever the same. In the same way, Mahamati, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones are neither evolving nor disappearing in transmigration because in them the cause of making them come into existence is destroyed.

To illustrate, Mahamati: the sands of the river Ganga are unconcerned whether they are carried away or whether more is added into them. In the same way, Mahamati, the knowledge of the Tathagatas which is exercised for the maturing of beings is neither exhausted nor augmented, because the Dharma is without a physical body. Mahamati, that which has a physical body is subject to annihilation, but not that which has no physical body; and the Dharma is not a physical body.

To illustrate, Mahamati: the sands of the river Ganga, however much they are compressed for the sake of the ghee and oil, are destitute of them. In the same way, Mahamati, the Tathagatas never abandon their deep concerns1 and original vows and happiness as regards the Dharmadhatu, however hard they are oppressed with pain for the sake of beings, as long as all beings have not yet been led into Nirvana by the Tathagatas, who are endowed with a great compassionate heart.

To illustrate, Mahamati: the sands of the river Ganga are drawn along with the flow of the stream, but not where there is no water. In the same way, Mahamati, the Tathagata's teaching in regard to all the Buddha-truths takes place along the flow of the Nirvana-stream; and for this reason the Tathagatas are said to be like the sands of the river Ganga.

Mahamati, in tathagata ("thus come") there is no sense of "going away"; Mahamati, "going away" means destruction. Mahamati, the primary limit of transmigration is unknown. Not being known, how can I talk of the sense of "gong away"? The sense of "going away," Mahamati, is annihilation, and this is not known by the ignorant and simple-minded.

Mahamati said: If, Bhagavan, the primary limit of transmigration of all beings is unknowable, how is the emancipation of beings knowable?

The Bhagavan said: Mahamati, when it is understood that the objective world is nothing but what is seen of the Mind itself, the habit-energy of false speculations and erroneous discriminations which have been going on since beginningless time is removed, and there is a revulsion [or turning-back] at the basis of discrimination¡ªthis is emancipation, Mahamati, and not annihilation. Therefore, Mahamati, there cannot be any talk about endlessness. To be endless in limit, Mahamati, is another name for discrimination. Apart from discriminations there are no other beings. When all things external or internal are examined with intelligence, Mahamati, knowing and known are found to be quiescent. But when it is not recognised that all things rise from the discrimination of the Mind itself, discrimination asserts itself. When this is understood discrimination ceases. So it is said:

7. Those who regard the removers of obstruction [i. e., Buddhas] as neither destroyed nor departed for ever, like the sands of the Ganga, see the Tathagata.

8. Like the sands of the Ganga they are devoid of all error: they flow along the stream and are permanent, and so is the essence [or nature] of Buddhahood.

At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan; Tell me, Bhagavan; tell me, Sugata, Tathagata, Arhat, Fully-Enlightened One, regarding the momentary destruction of all things and their distinctive signs. Bhagavan, what is meant by all things being momentary?

The Bhagavan replied: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Certainly, Bhagavan; said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: Mahamati, all things, all things we speak of, and they are good or bad, effect-producing or not effect-producing, of this world or of super-world, faulty or faultless, of evil flowings or the non-flowings, receptive or non-receptive. In short, Mahamati, the five appropriating1 Skandhas have their rise from the habit-energy of the Citta, Manas, and ManoVijnana, they are imagined good or bad. Mahamati, the happiness of the Samadhi and the attainments [resulting therefrom], which belong to the wise by reason of their abiding in the happiness of the existing world, are called the non-outflowing goods.

Again, Mahamati, by good and bad are meant the eight Vijnanas. What are the eight? They are the Tathagata-garbha known as the alayaVijnana, Manas, ManoVijnana, and the system of the five Vijnanas as described by the philosophers. Now, Mahamati, the system of the five Vijnanas is together with the ManoVijnana, and there is an undivided succession and differentiation of good and bad, and the entire body moves on continuously and closely bound together; moving on, it comes to an end; but as it fails to understand that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of Mind-only, there is the rising of another Vijnana [-system] following the cessation of the first; and the ManoVijnana in union with the system of the five Vijnanas, perceiving the difference of forms and figures, is set in motion, not remaining still even for a moment¡ªthis I call momentariness. Mahamati, momentary is the alayaVijnana known as the Tathagata-garbha, which is together with the Manas and with the habit-energy of the evolving Vijnanas¡ª this is momentary. But [the alayaVijnana which is together] with the habit-energy of the non-outflows (anasrava) is not momentary. This is not understood by the ignorant and simple-minded who are addicted to the doctrine of momentariness. Not understanding the momentariness and non-momentariness of all things, they cherish nihilism whereby they even try to destroy the unmade (asamskrita). Mahamati, the system itself of the five Vijnanas is not subject to transmigration, nor does it suffer pleasure and pain, nor is it conducive to Nirvana. But, Mahamati, the Tathagata-garbha is together with the cause that suffers pleasure and pain; it is this that is set in motion and ceases to work; it is stupefied by the fourfold habit-energy. But the ignorant do not understand it, as their thoughts are infused with the habit-energy of discrimination which cherishes the view of momentariness.

Further, Mahamati, gold, vajra, and the relics of the Buddha, owing to their specific character, are never destroyed but remain the same until the end of time. If, Mahamati, the nature of enlightenment is momentary, the wise would lose their wiseness (aryatva), but they have never lost it. Mahamati, gold and vajra remain the same until the end of time; remaining the same they are neither diminished nor increased. How is it that the ignorant, failing to recognise the hidden meaning of all things internal and external, discriminate in the sense of momentariness?

Further, Mahamati said: It is again said by the Bhagavan that by fulfilling the six Paramitas Buddhahood is realised. What are the six Paramitas? And how are they fulfilled?

The Bhagavan replied: Mahamati, there are three kinds of Paramitas. What are the three? They are the worldly, the super-worldly, and the highest super-wordly. Of these, Mahamati, the worldly Paramitas [are practised thus]: Adhering tenaciously to the notion of an ego-soul and what belongs to it and holding fast to dualism, those who are desirous for this world of form, etc., will practise the Paramita of charity in order to obtain the various realms of existence. In the same way, Mahamati, the ignorant will practise the Paramitas of morality, patience, energy, Dhyana, and Prajna. Attaining the psychic powers they will be born in Brahma's heaven.

As to the super-worldly Paramitas, they are practised by the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas whose thoughts are possessed by the notion of Nirvana; the Paramitas of charity, etc. are thus performed by them, who, like the ignorant, are desirous of enjoying Nirvana for themselves.

Again, Mahamati, as to the highest super-worldly Paramitas, [they are practised] by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who are the practisers of the highest form of spiritual discipline; that is, perceiving that there is nothing in the world but what is only seen of the Mind itself, on account of discrimination, and understanding that duality is of the Mind itself, they see that discrimination ceases to function; and, that seizing and holding is non-existent; and, free from all thoughts of attachment to individual objects which are of the Mind itself, and in order to benefit and give happiness to all sentient beings, [the Bodhisattvas] practise the Paramita of charity. While dealing with an objective world there is no rising in them of discrimination; they just practise morality and this is the Paramita [of morality]. To practise patience with no thought of discrimination rising in them and yet with full knowledge of grasped and grasping ¡ªthis is the Paramita of patience. To exert oneself with energy from the first part of the night to its end and in conformity with the disciplinary measures and not to give rise to discrimination¡ªthis is the Paramita of energy. Not to cherish discrimination, not to fall into the philosopher's notion of Nirvana¡ªthis is the Paramita of Dhyana. As to the Paramita of Prajna: when the discrimination of the Mind itself ceases, when things are thoroughly examined by means of intelligence, there is no falling into dualism, and a revulsion takes place at the basis, while previous karma is not destroyed; when [transcendental knowledge] is exercised for the accomplishment of self-realisation, then there is the Paramita of Prajna. These, Mahamati, are the Paramitas and their meanings.


So it is said:

9. The created (Samskrita) are empty, impermanent, momentary¡ªso the ignorant discriminate; the meaning of momentariness is discriminated by means of the analogies of a river, a lamp, and seeds.

10. All things are non-existent, they are not-momentary, quiescent, not subject to destruction, and unborn¡ª this, I say, is the meaning of momentariness.

11. Birth and death succeed without interruption¡ª this I do not point out for the ignorant. Owing to the uninterrupted succession of existence, discrimination moves on in the [six] paths.

12. Ignorance is the cause and there is the general rising of -minds, when form is not yet born, where is the abode of the middle existence?

13. If another mind is set in motion in an uninterrupted succession of deaths, where does it find its dependence as form is not established in time?

14. If mind is set in motion, somewhere, somehow, the cause is an unreal one; it is not complete; how can one know of its momentary disappearances?

15. The attainment of the Yogins, gold, the Buddha-relics, and the heavenly palace of Abhasvara are indestructible by any worldly agencies.

16. Ever abiding are the truths attained by the Buddhas and their perfect knowledge; the nature of Buddhahood as realised [by them]¡ªhow can there be momentariness in them?

17. The city of the Gandharvas, Maya-like forms¡ªhow can they be otherwise than momentary? Realities are characterised with unreality, and how can they be causal agencies?

(End of Chapter 6)


 

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Mahayana Lankavatara Sutra



Translated into English by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki



Chapter 7: On Transformation


At that time again, Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva said this to the Bhagavan: [How was it that] the Arhats were given assurance by the Bhagavan of their attainment of supreme enlightenment? [How can] all beings attain Tathagatahood without realising the truths of Parinirvana? [What does it mean that] from the night when the Tathagata was awakened to supreme enlightenment until the night when he entered into Parinirvana, between these times the Tathagata has not uttered, has not pronounced, a word. [What is the meaning of this] that being always in Samadhi the Tathagatas neither deliberate nor contemplate? [How do] Buddhas of transformation, being in the state of transformation, execute the works of the Tathagatas? How is the succession of momentary decomposition explained which takes place in the Vijnanas?

[Further, what do these statements mean] that Vajrapa?i is constantly with [the Tathagata] as his personal guard; that the primary limit is unknown and yet cessation is knowable; that there are evil ones, their activities, and left-over karma? Bhagavan, [facts of] karma-hindrance are said to be shown [by the Tathagata in the incident of] Canca the daughter of a Brahmin, of Sundar¨© the daughter of a mendicant, an empty bowl, etc.; how can the Bhagavan with these unexhausted evils attain all-knowledge?

The Bhagavan replied: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Certainly, Bhagavan; said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: The realm of Nirvana where no substratum is left behind is according to the hidden meaning and for the sake of the practisers who are thereby inspired to exert themselves in the work of the Bodhisattvas. Mahamati, there are Bodhisattvas practising the work of the Bodhisattva here and in other Buddha-lands, who, however, are desirous of attaining the Nirvana of the Sravaka-yana (Voice-hearer's vehicle). In order to turn their inclination away from the Sravakayana and to make them exert themselves in the course of the Mahayana, the Sravakas in transformation are given assurance [as to their future Buddhahood] by the Body of Transformation; but this is not done by the Dharmata-Buddha. This giving assurance to the Sravakas, Mahamati, is declared according to the hidden meaning. Mahamati, that the abandonment of passion-hindrance by the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas is not different [from that by the Tathagatas] is due to the sameness of the taste of emancipation, but this does not apply to the abandonment of knowledge-hindrance. Knowledge-hindrance, Mahamati, is purified when the egolessness of things is distinctly perceived; but passion-hindrance is destroyed when first the egolessness of persons is perceived and acted upon, for [then] the Manovijnana ceases to function. Further, dharma-hindrance is given up because of the disappearance of the habit-energy [accumulated in] the alayavijnana, it is now thoroughly purified.

There is an eternally-abiding reality [which is to be understood] according to the hidden meaning, because it is something that has neither antecedents nor consequents. The Tathagata points out the Dharma without deliberation, without contemplation, and by means of such words that are original and independent. Because of his right thinking and because of his unfailing memory, he neither deliberates nor contemplates, he is no more at the stage of the fourfold habit-energy, he is free from the twofold death, he has relinquished the twofold hindrance of passion and knowledge.

Mahamati, the seven Vijnanas, that is, Manas, Manovijnana,, eye-vijnana, etc., are characterised with momentariness because they originate from habit-energy, they are destitute of the good non-flowing factors, and are not transmigratory. What transmigrates, Mahamati, is the Tathagata-garbha which is the cause of Nirvana as well as that of pleasure and pain. This is not understood by the ignorant whose minds are torn asunder by the notion of emptiness.

Mahamati, the Tathagatas who are accompanied by Vajrapa?i are the Tathagatas transformed in transformation and are not the original Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones. The original Tathagatas, Mahamati, are indeed beyond all sense and measurement, beyond the reach of all ignorant ones, Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and philosophers. [These Tathagatas] are abiding in the joy of existence as it is, as they have reached the truth of intuitive knowledge by means of Jnanakshanti. Thus Vajrapa?i is not attached to them. All the Buddhas of Transformation do not owe their existence to karma; in them there is no Tathagatahood, but apart from them there is no Tathagatahood either. Like the potter who is dependent on various combinations, [the Buddha of Transformation] does his work for sentient beings; he teaches the doctrine meeting conditions, but not the doctrine that will establish the truth as it is, which belongs to the noble realm of self-realisation.

Further, Mahamati, on account of the cessation of the six Vijnanas the ignorant and simple-minded look for nihilism, and on account of their not understanding the alayavijnana they have eternalism. The primary limit of the discrimination of their own minds is unknown, Mahamati. Emancipation is obtained when this discrimination of Mind itself ceases. With the abandonment of the fourfold habit-energy the abandonment of all faults takes place.

So it is said:1

1. The three vehicles are no-vehicle; there is no Nirvana with the Buddhas; it is pointed out that the assurance of Buddhahood is given to all that are freed from faults.

2. Ultimate intuitive knowledge, Nirvana that leaves no remnant, ¡ªthis is told according to the hidden meaning in order to give encouragement to the timid.

3. Knowledge is produced by the Buddhas, and the path is pointed out by them: they move in it and not in anything else, therefore there is no Nirvana with them.

4. Existence, desire, form (rupa), theorising¡ªthis is the fourfold habit-energy; this is where the Mano-vijnana takes its rise and the alaya and Manas abide.

5. Nihilism and the idea of impermanency rise because of the Manovijnana, the eye-vijnana, etc.; eternalism rises from [the thought that] there is no beginning in Nirvana, intelligence, and theorisation.

(End of Chapter 7)


 

Table of Contents   | C1 | C2 | C3 | C4 | C5 | C6 | C7 | C8 | C9

 

Mahayana Lankavatara Sutra



Translated into English by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki



Chapter 8: Stop Meat Eating


At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva asked the Bhagavan in verse and again made a request, saying: Pray tell me, Bhagavan, Tathagata, Arhat, Fully-Enlightened One regarding the merit of not eating meat, and the vice of meat-eating; thereby I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas of the present and future may teach the Dharma to make those beings abandon their greed for meat, who, under the influence of the habit-energy belonging to the carnivorous existence, strongly crave meat-food. These meat-eaters thus abandoning their desire for [its] taste will seek the Dharma for their food and enjoyment, and, regarding all beings with love as if they were an only child, will cherish great compassion towards them. Cherishing [great compassion], they will discipline themselves at the stages of Bodhisattvahood and will quickly be awakened in supreme enlightenment; or staying a while at the stage of Sravakahood and Pratyekabuddhahood, they will finally reach the highest stage of Tathagatahood.

Bhagavan, even those philosophers who hold erroneous doctrines and are addicted to the views of the Lokayata such as the dualism of being and non-being, nihilism, and eternalism, will prohibit meat-eating and will themselves refrain from eating it. How much more, O World Leader, he who promotes one taste for mercy and is the Fully-Enlightened One; why not prohibit in his teachings the eating of flesh not only by himself but by others? Indeed, let the Bhagavan who at heart is filled with pity for the entire world, who regards all beings as his only child, and who possesses great compassion in compliance with his sympathetic feelings, teach us as to the vice of meat-eating and the merit of not eating meat, so that I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas may teach the Dharma.

Said the Bhagavan: Then, Mahamati, listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.

Certainly, Bhagavan; said Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and gave ear to the Bhagavan.

The Bhagavan said this to him: For innumerable reasons, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to eat any meat; I will explain them: Mahamati, in this long course of transmigration here, there is not one living being that, having assumed the form of a living being, has not been your mother, or father, or brother, or sister, or son, or daughter, or the one or the other, in various degrees of kinship; and when acquiring another form of life may live as a beast, as a domestic animal, as a bird, or as a womb-born, or as something standing in some relationship to you; [this being so] how can the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva who desires to approach all living beings as if they were himself and to practise the Buddha-truths, eat the flesh of any living being that is of the same nature as himself? Even, Mahamati, the Rakshasa, listening to the Tathagata's discourse on the highest essence of the Dharma, attained the notion of protecting [Buddhism], and, feeling pity, refrains from eating flesh; how much more those who love the Dharma! Thus, Mahamati, wherever there is the evolution of living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and, thinking that all beings are [to be loved as if they were] an only child, let them refrain from eating meat. So with Bodhisattvas whose nature is compassion, [the eating of] meat is to be avoided by him. Even in exceptional cases, it is not [compassionate] of a Bodhisattva of good standing to eat meat. The flesh of a dog, an ass, a buffalo, a horse, a bull, or man, or any other [being], Mahamati, that is not generally eaten by people, is sold on the roadside as mutton for the sake of money; and therefore, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva should not eat meat.

For the sake of love of purity, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva should refrain from eating flesh which is born of semen, blood, etc. For fear of causing terror to living beings, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva who is disciplining himself to attain compassion, refrain from eating flesh. To illustrate, Mahamati: When a dog sees, even from a distance, a hunter, a pariah, a fisherman, etc., whose desires are for meat-eating, he is terrified with fear, thinking, "They are death-dealers, they will even kill me." In the same way, Mahamati, even those minute animals that are living in the air, on earth, and in water, seeing meat-eaters at a distance, will perceive in them, by their keen sense of smell, the odour of the Rakshasa and will run away from such people as quickly as possible; for they are to them the threat of death. For this reason, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva, who is disciplining himself, to abide in great compassion, because of its terrifying living beings, refrain from eating meat. Mahamati, meat which is liked by unwise people is full of bad smell and its eating gives one a bad reputation which turns wise people away; let the Bodhisattva refrain from eating meat. The food of the wise, Mahamati, is what is eaten by the Rishis; it does not consist of meat and blood. Therefore, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva refrain from eating meat.

In order to guard the minds of all people, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva whose nature is holy and who is desirous of avoiding censure on the teaching of the Buddha, refrain from eating meat. For instance, Mahamati, there are some in the world who speak ill of the teaching of the Buddha; [they would say,] "Why are those Sramana who carry out pure practices, reject the celestial beings' food, but like the carnivorous animals who fill their stomachs with fleshes, go wandering about in the world thoroughly terrifying living beings, disregarding the life of a Sramana and destroying the vow of a Brahmin? There is no Dharma, no discipline in them." There are many such adverse-minded people who thus speak ill of the teaching of the Buddha. For this reason, Mahamati, in order to guard the minds of all people, let the Bodhisattva whose nature is full of pity and who is desirous of avoiding censure on the teaching of the Buddha, you should not eat meat.

Mahamati, there is generally an offensive odour to a corpse, which goes against nature; therefore, let the Bodhisattva refrain from eating meat. Mahamati, when flesh is burned, whether it be that of a dead man or of some other living creature, there is no distinction in the odour. When flesh of either kind is burned, the odour emitted is equally noxious. Therefore, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva, who is ever desirous of purity in his discipline, wholly refrain from eating meat.

Mahamati, when sons or daughters of good family, wishing to exercise themselves in various disciplines such as the attainment of a compassionate heart, the holding a magical formula, or the perfecting of magical knowledge, or starting on a pilgrimage to the Mahayana, retire into a cemetery, or to a wilderness, or a forest, where demons gather or frequently approach; or when they attempt to sit on a couch or a seat for the exercise; they are hindered [because of their meat-eating] from gaining magical powers or from obtaining emancipation. Mahamati, seeing that thus there are obstacles to the accomplishing of all the practices, let the Bodhisattva, who is desirous of benefiting himself as well as others, wholly refrain from eating meat.

As even the sight of objective forms gives rise to the desire for tasting their delicious flavour, let the Bodhisattva, whose nature is pity and who regards all beings as his only child, wholly refrain from eating meat. Recognising that his mouth smells most obnoxiously, even while living this life, let the Bodhisattva whose nature is pity, wholly refrain from eating meat.

[The meat-eater] sleeps uneasily and when awakened is distressed. He dreams of dreadful events, which makes his hair rise on end. He is left alone in an empty hut; he leads a solitary life; and his spirit is seized by demons. Frequently he is struck with terror, he trembles without knowing why, there is no regularity in his eating, he is never satisfied. In his eating1 he never knows what is meant by proper taste, digestion, and nourishment. His visceras are filled with worms and other impure creatures and harbour the cause of leprosy. He ceases to entertain any thoughts of aversion towards all diseases. When I teach to regard food as if it were eating the flesh of one's own child, or taking a drug, how can I permit my disciples, Mahamati, to eat food consisting of flesh and blood, which is gratifying to the unwise but is abhorred by the wise, which brings many evils and keeps away many merits; and which was not offered to the Rishis and is altogether unsuitable?

Now, Mahamati, the food I have permitted [my disciples to take] is gratifying to all wise people but is avoided by the unwise; it is productive of many merits, it keeps away many evils; and it has been prescribed by the ancient Rishis. It comprises rice, barley, wheat, kidney beans, beans, lentils, etc., clarified butter, oil, honey, molasses, treacle, sugar cane, coarse sugar, etc.; food prepared with these is proper food. Mahamati, there may be some irrational people in the future who will discriminate and establish new rules of moral discipline, and who, under the influence of the habit-energy belonging to the carnivorous races, will greedily desire the taste [of meat]: it is not for these people that the above food is prescribed. Mahamati, this is the food I urge for the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who have made offerings to the previous Buddhas, who have planted roots of goodness, who are possessed of faith, devoid of discrimination, who are all men and women belonging to the Sakya family, who are sons and daughters of good family, who have no attachment to body, life, and property, who do not covet delicacies, are not at all greedy, who being compassionate desire to embrace all living beings as their own person, and who regard all beings with affection as if they were an only child.

Long ago in the past, Mahamati, there lived a king whose name was Simhasaudasa. His excessive fondness for meat, his greed to be served with it, stimulated his taste for it to the highest degree so that he [even] ate human flesh. In consequence of this he was alienated from the society of his friends, counsellors, kinsmen, relatives, not to speak of his townsmen and countrymen. In consequence he had to renounce his throne and dominion and to suffer great calamities because of his passion for meat.

Mahamati, even Indra who obtained sovereignty over the gods had once to assume the form of a hawk owing to his habit-energy of eating meat for food in a previous existence; he then chased ViSvakarma appearing in the guise of a pigeon, who had thus to place himself on the scale. King Sivi feeling pity for the innocent [pigeon had to sacrifice himself to the hawk and thus] to suffer great pain. Even a god who became Indra the Powerful, after going through many a birth, Mahamati, is liable to bring misfortune both upon himself and others; how much more those who are not Indra!

Mahamati, there was another king1 who was carried away by his horse into a forest. After wandering about in it, he committed evil deeds with a lioness out of fear for his life, and children were born to her. Because of their descending from the union with a lioness, the royal children were called the Spotted-Feet, etc. On account of their evil habit-energy in the past when their food had been flesh, they ate meat even [after becoming] king, and, Mahamati, in this life they lived in a village called Kutiraka ("seven huts"), and because they were excessively attached and devoted to meat-eating they gave birth to Dakas and Dakinis who were terrible eaters of human flesh. In the life of transmigration, Mahamati, such ones will fall into the wombs of such excessive flesh-devouring creatures as the lion, tiger, panther, wolf, hyena, wild-cat, jackal, owl, etc.; they will fall into the wombs of still more greedily flesh-devouring and still more terrible Rakshasas. Falling into such, it will be with difficulty that they can ever obtain a human womb; how much more [difficult] attaining Nirvana!

Such as these, Mahamati, are the evils of meat-eating; how much more numerous [evil] qualities that are born of the perverted minds of those devoted to [meat-eating]1. And, Mahamati, the ignorant and simple-minded are not aware of all this and other evils of meat-eating, and the merits of not eating meat. I tell you, Mahamati, that seeing these evils and merits the Bodhisattva whose nature is pity should eat no meat.

Mahamati, in most cases, slaughters are done for meat-eaters, If no one eats meat, there will be no destroyer of life, therefore, eating meat produce the same sin as killing. Those in the world who addict to the flavor of meat would eat even human flesh, not to mention the flesh of birds, beasts, and so forth. Mahamati, in most cases nets and other devices are prepared in various places by people who have lost their sense on account of their appetite for meat-taste, and thereby many innocent victims are destroyed for the sake of the price [they bring in]--such as birds, Kaurabhraka, Kaivarta, etc., that are moving about in the air, on land, and in water. There are even some, Mahamati, who are like Rakshasas hard-hearted and used to practising cruelties, 2 who, being so devoid of compassion, would now and then look at living beings as meant for food and destruction-- no compassion is awakened in them.

It is not true, Mahamati, that meat is proper food and permissible for the Sravaka when [the victim] was not killed by himself, when he did not order others to kill it, when it was not specially meant for him. Again, Mahamati, there may be some unwitted people in the future time, who, beginning to lead the homeless life according to my teaching, are acknowledged as sons of the Sakya, and carry the Kashaya robe about them as a badge, but who are in thought evilly affected by erroneous reasonings. They may talk about various discriminations which they make in their moral discipline, being addicted to the view of a personal soul. Being under the influence of the thirst for [meat-] taste, they will string together in various ways some sophistic arguments to defend meat-eating. They think they are giving me an unprecedented calumny when they discriminate and talk about facts that are capable of various interpretations. Imagining that this fact allows this interpretation, [they conclude that] the Bhagavan permits meat as proper food, and that it is mentioned among permitted foods and that probably the Tathagata himself partook of it. But, Mahamati, nowhere in the sutras is meat permitted as something enjoyable, nor it is referred to as proper among the foods prescribed [for the Buddha's followers].

If however, Mahamati, I had the mind to permit [meat-eating], or if I said it was proper for the Sravakas [to eat meat], I would not have forbidden, I would not forbid, ail meat-eating for these Yogins, the sons and daughters of good family, who, wishing to cherish the idea that all beings are to them like an only child, are possessed of compassion, practise contemplation, mortification, and are on their way to the Mahayana. And, Mahamati, the interdiction not to eat any kind of meat is here given to all sons and daughters of good family, whether they are cemetery-ascetics of forest-ascetics, or Yogins who are practising the exercises, if they wish the Dharma and are on the way to the mastery of any vehicle, and being possessed of compassion, conceive the idea of regarding all beings as an only child, in order to accomplish the end of their discipline.

In the canonical texts here and there the process of discipline is developed in orderly sequence like a ladder going up step by step, and one joined to another in a regular and methodical manner; after explaining each point meat obtained in these specific circumstances is not interdicted.1 Further, a tenfold prohibition is given as regards the flesh of animals found dead by themselves. But in the present sutra all [meat-eating] in any form, in any manner, and in any place, is unconditionally and once for all, prohibited for all. Thus, Mahamati, meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit. Meat-eating, I tell you, Mahamati, is not proper for homeless monks. There may be some, Mahamati, who would say that meat was eaten by the Tathagata thinking this would calumniate him. Such unwitted people as these, Mahamati, will follow the evil course of their own karma-hindrance, and will fall into such regions where long nights are passed without profit and without happiness. Mahamati, the noble Sravakas do not eat the food taken properly by [ordinary] men, how much less the food of flesh and blood, which is altogether improper. Mahamati, the food for my Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and Bodhisattvas is the Dharma and not flesh2-food; how much more the Tathagata! The Tathagata is the Dharmakaya, Mahamati; he abides in the Dharma as food; his is not a body feeding on flesh; he does not abide in any flesh-food. He has ejected the habit-energy of thirst and desire which sustain all existence; he keeps away the habit-energy of all evil passions; he is thoroughly emancipated in mind and knowledge; he is the All-knower; he is All-seer; he regards all beings impartially as an only child; he is a great compassionate heart. Mahamati, having the thought of an only child for all beings, how can I, such as I am, permit the Sravakas to eat the flesh of their own child? How much less my eating it! That I have permitted the Sravakas as well as myself to partake of [meat-eating], Mahamati, has no foundation whatever.

So it is said:

1. Liquor, meat, and onions are to be avoided, Mahamati, by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas and those who are Victor-heroes.

2. Meat is not agreeable to the wise: it has a nauseating odour, it causes a bad reputation, it is food for the carnivorous; I say1 this, Mahamati, it is not to be eaten.

3. To those who eat [meat] there are detrimental effects, to those who do not, merits; Mahamati, you should know that meat-eaters bring detrimental effects upon themselves.

4. Let the Yogin refrain from eating flesh as it is born of himself, as [the eating] involves transgression, as [flesh] is produced of semen and blood, and as [the killing of animals] causes terror to living beings.

5. Let the Yogin always refrain from meat, onions, various kinds of liquor, allium, and garlic.

6. Do not anoint the body with sesamum oil; do not sleep on a bed, perforated with spikes; for the living beings who find their shelter in the cavities and in places where there are no cavities may be terribly frightened.2

7. From eating [meat] arrogance is born, from arrogance erroneous imaginations issue, and from imagination is born greed; and for this reason refrain from eating [meat].

8. From imagination, greed is born, and by greed the mind it stupefied; there is attachment to stupefaction, and there is no emancipation from birth [and death].

9. For profit sentient beings are destroyed, for flesh money is paid out, they are both evil-doers and [the deed] matures in the hells called Raurava (screaming), etc.

10. One who eats flesh, trespassing against the words of the Muni, is evil-minded; he is pointed out in the teachings of the Sakya as the destroyer of the welfare of the two worlds.

11. Those evil-doers go to the most horrifying hell; meat-eaters are matured in the terrific hells such as Raurava, etc.

12. There is no meat to be regarded as pure in three ways: not premeditated, not asked for, and not impelled; therefore, refrain from eating meat.

13. Let not the Yogin eat meat, it is forbidden by myself as well as by the Buddhas; those sentient beings who feed on one another will be reborn among the carnivorous animals.

14. The meat-eater is ill-smelling, contemptuous, and born deprived of intelligence; he will be born again and again among the families of the Candala(slaughterman), the Pukkasa, and the Domba.

15. Prom the womb of Dakin¨© he will be born in the meat-eaters' family, and then into the womb of a Rakshas¨© and a cat; he belongs to the lowest class of men.

16. Meat-eating is rejected by me in such sutras as the Hastikakshya, the Mahamegha, the Nirvana, the Anglimalika, and the Lankavatara.

17. [Meat-eating] is condemned by the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Sravakas; if one devours [meat] out of shamelessness he will always be devoid of sense.

18. One who avoids meat, etc., will be born, because of this fact, in the family of the Brahmins or of the Yogins, endowed with knowledge and wealth.

19. Let one avoid all meat-eating [whatever they may say about] witnessing, hearing, and suspecting; these theorisers born in a carnivorous family understand this not.

20. As greed is the hindrance to emancipation, so are meat-eating, liquor, etc., hindrances.

21. There may be in time to come people who make foolish remarks about meat-eating, saying, "Meat is proper to eat, unobjectionable, and permitted by the Buddha."

22. Meat-eating is a medicine; again, it is like a child's flesh; follow the proper measure and be averse [to meat, and thus] let the Yogin go about begging.

23. [Meat-eating] is forbidden by me everywhere and all the time for those who are abiding in compassion; [he who eats meat] will be born in the same place as the lion, tiger, wolf, etc.

24. Therefore, do not eat meat which will cause terror among people, because it hinders the truth of emancipation; not to eat meat-- this is the mark of the wise.

(End of Chapter 8)


 

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Mahayana Lankavatara Sutra



Translated into English by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki



Chapter 9: Dharani


At that time the Bhagavan addressed Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva: Mahamati, you should hold forth these magical phrases of the Lankavatara, which were recited, are recited, and will be recited by the Buddhas of the past, present, and future. I will recite them here for the benefit of the proclaimers of the Dharma, who will retain them in memory.
They are:

Tutte, tutte--vutte, vutte--patte, patte--katte, katte--amale, amale--vimale, vimale--nime, nime--hime, hime--vame, vame--kale, kale, kale, kale--atte, matte--vatte, tutte--jnette, sputte--katte, katte--latte, patte--dime dime--cale, cale--pace, pace--badhe, bandhe--ance, mance--dutare, dutare--patare, patare--arkke, arkke--sarkke, sarkke--cakre, cakre--dime, dime-hime, hime --tu tu tu tu --du du du du --ru ru ru ru --phu phu phu phu --svaha.

These, Mahamati, are the magical phrases of the Lankavatara Mahayana Sutra: If sons and daughters of good family should hold forth, retain, proclaim, realise these magical phrases, no one should ever be able to effect his descent upon them. Whether it be a god, or a goddess, or a Naga, or a Nagi, or a Yaksha, or a Yakshi, or an Asura, or an Asuri, or a Garuda, or a Garudi, or a Kinnara, or a Kannari, or a Mahoraga, or a Mahoragi, or a Gandharva, or a Gandharvi, or a Bhuta, or a Bhuti, or a Kumbhanda, or a Kumbhandi, or a Pisara, or a Pisaci, or an Austaraka, or an Austaraki, or a Apasmara, or an Apasmari, or a Rakshasa, or a Rakshasi, or a Daka, or a Dakini, or an Aujohara, or an Aujohari, or a Kataputana, or a Kataputani, or an Amanushya, or an Amanushyi, --no one of these will be able to effect his or her descent [upon the holder of these magical phrases]. If any misfortune should befall, let him recite the magical phrases for one hundred and eight times, and [the evil ones] will, wailing and crying, turn away and go in another direction.

I will tell you, Mahamati, other magical phrases. They are:

Padme, padmadeve--hine, hini, hine--cu, cule, eulu, cule--phale, phula, phule--yule, ghule, yula, yule--ghule, ghula, ghule--pale, pala, pale--munce, munce, munce--cchinde, bhinde, bhanje, marde, pramarde, dinakare--svaha.

If, Mahamati, any son or daughter of good family should hold forth, retain, proclaim, and realise these magical phrases, on him or her no [evil beings] should be able to make their descent. Whether it be a god, or a goddess, or a Naga, or a Nagi, or a Yaksha, or a Yakshi, or an Asura, or an Asuri, a Garuda, or a Garudi, or a Kinnara, or a Kinnari, or a Mahoraga, or a Mahoragi, or a Gandharva, or a Gandharvi, or a Bhuta, or a Bhuti, or a Kumbhanda, or a Kumbhandi, or a Pisaca, or a Pisaci, or an Austaraka, or an Austaraki, or an Apasmara, or an Apasmari, or a Rakshasa, or a Rakshasi, or a Daka, or a Dakini, or an Aujohara, or an Aujohari, or a Kataputana, or a Kataputani, or an Amanushya, or an Amanushyi--no one of these will be able to effect his or her descent upon [the holder of these magical phrases]. By him who will recite these magic phrases, the [whole] Lankavatara Sutra will be recited. These magic phrases are given by the Blessed One to guard against the interference of the Rakshasas.

(End of Chapter 9)


 

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