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] !that 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! [all these are no more than] what is seen of the Mind itself!they 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, !all 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!they 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, !the 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!name, appearance, discrimination, right knowledge, and suchness! appearance is that which is seen as having such characteristics as form, shape, distinctive features, images, colours, etc. !this 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!this 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!they 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!this 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!this 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! 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 !this 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!this is the Paramita of energy. Not to cherish discrimination, not to fall into the philosopher's notion of Nirvana!this 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!so 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! this, I say, is the meaning of momentariness.

11. Birth and death succeed without interruption! 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]!how can there be momentariness in them?

17. The city of the Gandharvas, Maya-like forms!how 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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