Ratnagotravibhāga Mahāyānottaratantraśāstra—An Analysis of the Jewel Disposition, A Treatise on the Ultimate Continuum of the Mahāyāna
Oṃ namaḥ Śrī Vajrasattvāya—Oṃ I pay homage to Glorious Vajrasattva
- Buddha, dharma, assembly, basic element,
- Awakening, qualities, and finally buddha activity—
- The body of the entire treatise
- Is summarized in these seven vajra points. I.1 
(P75a) "Vajra point" refers to the footing or locus of the actuality of the realization that is like a vajra. This actuality, which is to be realized through personally experienced [wisdom] and has an inexpressible nature, is to be understood as being like a vajra because it is difficult to penetrate by any cognitions that arise from studying and reflecting. The words that express this actuality through teaching the path that accords with attaining it are [also] called "footings" because they serve as the support of this [actuality]. In this way, in the sense of being what is difficult to penetrate and in the sense of being [its] support, respectively, that actuality and the letters [that describe it] are [both] to be understood as "vajra footings."
So what does "actuality" and what does "letters" refer to? "Actuality" refers to the sevenfold actuality of realization, that is, the actuality of the Buddha, the actuality of the dharma, the actuality of the assembly, the actuality of the basic element, the actuality of awakening, the actuality of [its] qualities, (J2) and the actuality of [enlightened] activity. These are called "actuality." The words that point out and elucidate this sevenfold actuality of realization are called "letters."
This discussion of the vajra points should be known in detail according to [a number of] sūtras.
Ānanda, the Tathāgata is indemonstrable. He cannot be seen with the eyes. Ānanda, the dharma is inexpressible. It cannot be heard with the ears. Ānanda, the saṃgha is unconditioned. It cannot be worshipped with body or mind.
Śāriputra, (D75a) this actuality is the object of the Tathāgata and [solely] the sphere of the Tathāgata. First of all, Śāriputra, this actuality cannot be correctly [known,] seen, or discriminated even by śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas through their own prajñā, let alone by ordinary naive beings, unless they realize [this actuality] through trust in the Tathāgata. (P75b) Śāriputra, what is to be realized through trust is the ultimate. Śāriputra, "the ultimate" is a designation for the basic element of sentient beings. Śāriputra, "the basic element of sentient beings" is a designation for the tathāgata heart. Śāriputra, "the tathāgata heart" is a designation for the dharmakāya.
Thus, the fourth vajra point is to be understood by following the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśaparivarta. (J3)
Bhagavan, "supreme awakening" is a designation for the dhātu of nirvāṇa. Bhagavan, "the dhātu of nirvāṇa" is a designation for the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata.
Thus, the fifth vajra point is to be understood by following the Āryaśrīmālā[devī]sūtra.
Śāriputra, the dharmakāya that is taught by the Tathāgata is endowed with inseparable attributes and qualities that [can]not be realized as being divisible [from it], which [manifest] in the form of the attributes of a tathāgata that far surpass the sand grains in the river Gaṅgā [in number].
Thus, the sixth vajra point is to be understood by following the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśaparivarta.
Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata does not think and does not conceptualize. Nevertheless, his activity, which has such a nature, operates effortlessly and without thinking and conceptualizing.
Thus, the seventh vajra point (D75b) is to be understood by following the Tathāgataguṇajñānācintyaviṣayāvatāranirdeśa.
In brief, these seven vajra points should be known as the "body" of the entire treatise, in the form of the [seven] summary topics that are the gateways to [what this treatise] teaches.
- In accordance with their specific characteristics (P76a)
- And in due order, the [first] three points of these [seven]
- Should be understood from the introduction in the Dhāraṇirājasūtra
- And the [latter] four from the distinction of the attributes of the intelligent and the victors. I.2
Among these seven vajra points, in accordance with the discussion of their specific characteristics and in due order, the first three points should [also] be understood from the introductory section of the Āryadhāraṇīśvararājasūtra and the remaining four thereafter from [this sūtra’s sections on] the distinction of teaching the [various] attributes of bodhisattvas and tathāgatas. This [sūtra] says:
The Bhagavān has completely and perfectly awakened to the equality of all phenomena, has excellently turned the wheel of dharma, and was endowed with limitless very disciplined assemblies of disciples.
Through these three basic phrases, in due order, one should understand the presentation of [how] to arrive at the full knowledge of the successive arising of the three jewels. The remaining four points are to be understood as the instructions on accomplishing the causes that correspond to the arising of the three jewels.
Here, when dwelling on the eighth bhūmi of bodhisattvas, the [Buddha] attained mastery over all phenomena. (J4) Therefore, [the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra] says that he who went to the supreme heart of awakening is "the one who has completely and perfectly awakened to the equality of all phenomena." When dwelling on the ninth bhūmi of bodhisattvas, he was endowed with [the power of] proclaiming the supreme dharma, correctly knew the ways of thinking of all sentient beings, attained the highest perfection of [teaching in accordance with their] faculties, and was skilled in destroying the concatenations of the latent tendencies of the afflictions of all sentient beings. (D76a) Therefore, [this sūtra] says that he who has completely and perfectly awakened is "the one who has excellently turned the wheel of dharma." On the tenth bhūmi, immediately upon having received the empowerment of a crown prince of the supreme dharma of the Tathāgata, (P76b) his effortless buddha activity became [completely] unhindered. Therefore, [this sūtra] says that he who excellently turned the wheel of dharma is "the one who was endowed with limitless very disciplined assemblies of disciples." That he superbly guided limitless assemblies of disciples is also taught immediately after [the above passage in the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra] by the following passage:
- . . . together with a great bhikṣu saṃgha . . . together with an immeasurable saṃgha of bodhisattvas.
Since [the Buddha] is the one who has superbly guided [disciples] in a progressive manner to the awakening of śrāvakas and the awakening of buddhas, [this sūtra says that he was together with] "those who are endowed with all these qualities."
Then, immediately after the discussion of the praiseworthy qualities of śrāvakas and bodhisattvas, one should know the presentation that discriminates the qualities of the jewel of the Buddha through [the passage about] the manifestation of a palace richly adorned with jewels, which is based on the inconceivable supreme samādhi of the Buddha, the gathering of the retinues of the Tathāgata, their arranging various kinds of offerings of divine substances, and their showering down clouds of praises.
Following that, one should know the presentation that discriminates the qualities of the jewel of the dharma through [the passage about] the splendid arrangement of the dharma throne, light [emerging from the Buddha’s forehead], and the proclamation of the names and the qualities of [various] specifications of the dharma.
Right after that, one should know the presentation that discriminates the qualities of the jewel of the saṃgha through [the passage about] the mutual display of the powers of the spheres that are the objects of the samādhis of bodhisattvas and the description of praising their various qualities.
Thereafter, (J5) again, [one should know] the presentation that discriminates the supreme qualities of these three jewels in their due order, which is to be regarded as the end of the introductory section [of the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra]. [This is taught] by [Dhāraṇīśvararāja,] this oldest son of the supreme dharma king, becoming endowed with the highest fearlessness and self-confidence through [having received] the empowerment of the Buddha’s light rays. (D76b) (P77a) Based on this, he presents a praise of the ultimate [as embodied in] the true qualities of the Tathāgata and discusses the subject matters of the highest dharma of the mahāyāna. [Finally, the Buddha refers to the saṃgha by] describing [how] to attain the fruition of realizing the [mahāyāna dharma], which is the supreme mastery over [all] phenomena.
Next, after the introductory section of the sūtra, the buddha element is explained through a description of the sixty kinds of factors that purify its [natural] purity because it is [only] if the object to be purified is endowed with qualities that purifications of its purity are justified. Taking up this motive, [the Daśabhūmikasūtra] adduces the specific example of the purification [process] of gold [to illustrate the purification process of the buddha element] on the ten bhūmis of bodhisattvas. In this [Dhāraṇīśvararāja] sūtra here, following the description of [the thirty-two kinds of] the activity of the Tathāgata, the example of an impure beryl gem is used:
O son of noble family, take an expert jeweler who knows the procedure of refining gems very well. Having extracted unrefined precious gems from a jewel mine, he washes them in a caustic alkaline solution and then polishes them by cleansing them with a black-hair cloth. However, he does not cease his efforts at [having done] just that. Next, he washes them in caustic [acidic] food liquid and polishes them by cleansing them with a woolen towel. [Again,] however, he does not cease his efforts at [having done] just that. Next, he washes them in a great medicinal elixir and polishes them by cleansing them with a very fine cloth. Thus cleansed and freed from impure substances, [a refined beryl] is called "a noble beryl." (J6) Likewise, O son of noble family, the Tathāgata too, (P77b) upon perceiving the impure basic element of sentient beings, creates weariness in those sentient beings who delight in saṃsāra through his fear-provoking discourses on impermanence, suffering, identitylessness, and impurity, (D77a) thus making them enter the noble discipline of the dharma. However, the Tathāgata does not cease his efforts at [having done] just that. Next, he makes them realize the guiding principle of the tathāgatas through his discourses on emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness. [Again,] however, the Tathāgata does not cease his efforts at [having done] just that. Next, through his discourses on the dharma wheel of irreversibility, that is, his discourses on the complete purity of the three spheres, he makes sentient beings enter the domain of the tathāgatas. Those [sentient beings] with various causal natures [of entering this domain] who enter it all together and realize the true nature of a tathāgata are called "unsurpassable venerable ones."
Having in mind the pure disposition, the tathāgata element, it is said:
- Just as within stony debris
- Pure gold is not seen,
- And then becomes visible through being purified,
- Tathāgatas [become visible] in the world.
Now, what are those sixty kinds of factors of purifying the buddha element? They are the four kinds of ornaments of bodhisattvas, the eight kinds of illuminations of bodhisattvas, the sixteen kinds of the great compassion of bodhisattvas, and the thirty-two kinds of the activity of bodhisattvas.
After the discussion of that, [the sūtra] explains buddha awakening through teaching the sixteen kinds of the great compassion of great awakening. Following the discussion of that, the buddha qualities are explained through teaching the ten powers, the four fearlessnesses, and the eighteen unique qualities of a buddha. (P78a) After the discussion of that, buddha activity is explained through teaching the thirty-two kinds of the unsurpassable activity of a buddha. In this way, the seven vajra points should be understood in detail by way of discussing their specific characteristics according to the [Dhāraṇīśvararāja]sūtra. (D77b) What is the connection between these [seven points]? (J7)
- From the Buddha [comes] the dharma and from the dharma, the noble saṃgha.
- Within the saṃgha, the [tathāgata] heart leads to the attainment of wisdom.
- The attainment of that wisdom is the supreme awakening that is endowed with
- The attributes such as the powers that promote the welfare of all sentient beings. I.3
This describes the connection of [the seven vajra points in] the treatise.
The Three Jewels and the Tathāgata Heart
[Now,] the meaning of these verses is to be explained. Those sentient beings who are guided by the Tathāgata, having taken refuge in the Tathāgata, also take refuge in the dharma and the saṃgha due to their openness that is the natural outflow of the nature of phenomena. Therefore, first [there is] a verse on the jewel of the Buddha.
- You awakened to peaceful buddhahood without beginning, middle, or end.
- Upon your self-awakening, you taught the fearless everlasting path so that the unawakened may awake.
- I pay homage to you who wield the supreme sword and vajra of wisdom and compassion, cut the sprouts of suffering to pieces,
- And break through the wall of doubts concealed by the thicket of various views. I.4
What is taught by this?
- Being unconditioned, effortless,
- Not being produced through other conditions,
- And possessing wisdom, compassion, and power,
- Buddhahood is endowed with the two welfares. I.5
This [verse] describes buddhahood in brief as consisting of eight qualities. What are these eight qualities? They are being unconditioned, effortless, an awakening not through other conditions, (P78b) wisdom, compassion, power, the fulfillment of one’s own welfare, and the fulfillment of the welfare of others. (J8)
- It is unconditioned because its nature
- Is to be without beginning, middle, and end.
- It is declared to be effortless
- Because it possesses the peaceful dharma body.  I.6
- It is not produced through other conditions
- Because it is to be realized personally. (D78a)
- Thus, it is wisdom because it is threefold awakening.
- It is compassion because it teaches the path. I.7
- It is power because it overcomes suffering
- And the afflictions through wisdom and compassion.
- One’s own welfare is by virtue of the first three qualities
- And the welfare of others by virtue of the latter three. I.8
Being "unconditioned" should be understood as the opposite of being conditioned. Here, what is called "conditioned" is that in which arising is perceived and abiding and ceasing are perceived too. Because of the lack of these [three characteristics], buddhahood is to be regarded as being without beginning, middle, and end and as consisting of the unconditioned dharmakāya. It is effortless because all reference points and conceptions are at peace.
It is not produced by other conditions because it is to be realized by self-arisen wisdom (here, udaya means "awakening" and not "arising"). Even though it is unconditioned and has the characteristic of being inactive, from tathāgatahood all activities of the perfect Buddha unfold without effort in an unimpeded and uninterrupted manner until the end of saṃsāra. Thus, buddhahood, which is a truly amazing and inconceivable object, is completely and perfectly realized as being inexpressible in nature by [the Buddha] himself, [that is,] not after having heard [about it] from others, but through the self-arisen wisdom that is not caused by a master. Thereafter, in order to help awaken others, who have not awakened to such an awakening (P79a) and are blind by birth, [the Buddha] teaches them the path that leads to that [awakening]. Therefore, one should understand that [the Buddha] is endowed with unsurpassable wisdom and compassion.
The fearlessness of the path is due to its being beyond the world. Its being beyond the world is due to its never turning back. In due order, the examples of a sword and a vajra elucidate that both the wisdom and compassion of the Tathāgata have the power to overcome the roots of the suffering and the afflictions of others. Here, in brief, the root of suffering consists of anything that comes about as [the five skandhas of] name and form within [any possible saṃsāric] existence. The root of the afflictions (D78b) consists of any views and doubts that are preceded by clinging to a real personality. Here, by virtue of its characteristic of coming forth, the suffering that consists of name and form is to be understood as being represented by a sprout. (J9) Since the power of both the wisdom and the compassion of the Tathāgata cuts through this [suffering], it should be known to be illustrated by the example of a sword. The afflictions to be relinquished through seeing, which consist of said views and doubts and are difficult to understand through mundane wisdom, are difficult to penetrate. Therefore, they resemble a wall concealed by a thick forest. Due to being what breaks through these [afflictions], the power of both the wisdom and the compassion of the Tathāgata should be understood to be illustrated by the example of a vajra.
The instruction on the detailed analysis of these six qualities of the Tathāgata as described should be known in this order according to the Sarvabuddhaviśayāvatārajñānālokālaṃkārasūtra. There it is said:
Mañjuśrī, [through this specification,] "what is without arising and without ceasing" (P79b) [should be understood to be a designation of] the Tathāgata Arhat, the completely perfect Buddha.
Through this, it is explained first that the Tathāgata has the characteristic of being unconditioned. Right after this, the Tathāgata’s being without arising and without ceasing [is illustrated] by nine examples, starting with the example of a reflection of Śakra on a ground of stainless beryl. With regard to the meaning [of this], [the sūtra] says:
Mañjuśrī, likewise, the Tathāgata Arhat, the completely perfect Buddha, does not move, does not reflect, is not discursive, does not think, and does not conceptualize. He is without thought, without conception, without reflection, without mental engagement, peaceful, without arising, and without ceasing. He cannot be seen, cannot be heard, cannot be smelled, cannot be tasted, and cannot be touched. (D79a) He is without characteristics, without cognizing, and without being cognizable.
Thus and further goes the [sūtra’s] discussion of different aspects of peacefulness. Through this, it is explained that the Tathāgata is effortless because in his own actions all discursiveness and conceptions are at peace. Then, the discussion of the [nine] examples in the following passage [of the sūtra] explains the completely perfect awakening of the Tathāgata without any other conditions with regard to the gateways to the completely perfect awakening to the suchness of all phenomena. At the end, after having taught the sixteen aspects of the awakening of the Tathāgata, [the sūtra] says the following:
Here, Mañjuśrī, once the Tathāgata has completely and perfectly awakened to all phenomena’s having such a nature and (P80a) has seen the dharmadhātu of sentient beings to be impure, not stainless, and blemished, (J10) his great compassion, which is called "playful mastery," unfolds for [all] sentient beings.
This states that the Tathāgata is endowed with unsurpassable wisdom and compassion. [In this passage,] "all phenomena’s having such a nature" [refers to phenomena] as they have been taught above as having the nature of the lack of entity."Completely and perfectly awakened" [means] "realized by nonconceptual buddha wisdom that accords with reality." "Of sentient beings" [means] "of those who are categorized as the groups [whose disposition] is certain [in terms of what is correct], [whose disposition] is uncertain, and [whose disposition] is certain in terms of what is mistaken." "The dharmadhātu" [refers to their] tathāgata heart, which in essence is not different from the [Buddha’s] own true nature. "Has seen" [means] "having seen all the aspects [of this tathāgata heart in different beings] with the Buddha’s unobscured eyes." "Impure" [refers to the impurity] of ordinary naive beings due to their afflictive obscurations. "Not stainless" [refers to the impurity] of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas due to their cognitive obscurations. (D79b) "Blemished" [refers to the impurity] of bodhisattvas due to their remainders of either one of both of those [obscurations]. [The Buddha’s compassion is called] "playful mastery" because of having entered into various gateways of perfect means of guidance. That this "compassion unfolds for [all] sentient beings" is because [the Buddha], as being the one who possesses the awakening of having completely and perfectly awakened for the sake of all sentient beings due to [their] being equal [for him to himself], has the intention to [make them] attain the realization of [the Buddha’s] own true nature [that abides in them too]. Thereafter, due to the unfolding of unsurpassable wisdom and compassion, [the Buddha] engages in bringing about his turning of the wheel of the unequaled dharma in an uninterrupted manner. (P80b) This is to be understood as the power of both [wisdom and compassion] with regard to promoting the welfare of others.
Here, from among these six qualities of the Tathāgata, in due order, to be endowed with the first three [qualities] (such as being unconditioned) represents the fulfillment of one’s own welfare, while [being endowed] with the latter three (such as wisdom) represents the fulfillment of the welfare of others. Or, [one can say that] it is [the quality of] wisdom that elucidates the fulfillment of one’s own welfare, which is due to its having the property of being the basis of the completely perfect self-awakening that is the supreme and eternal abode of peace. Compassion and power [indicate] the fulfillment of the welfare of others due to their having the property of being the basis of [the activity of] turning the wheel of the great unsurpassable dharma.
Then, since the jewel of the dharma arises from the jewel of the Buddha, after the [presentation of the Buddha], there follows a verse on the [dharma]:
- Inscrutable as neither nonexistent nor existent nor [both] existent and nonexistent nor other than existent and nonexistent,
- Free from etymological interpretation, to be personally experienced, and peaceful—(J11)
- I pay homage to this sun of the dharma, which shines the light of stainless wisdom
- And defeats passion, aggression, and [mental] darkness with regard to all focal objects. I.9
What is taught by this?
- By virtue of its being inconceivable, free from the dual, nonconceptual,
- Pure, manifesting, and a remedial factor,
- It is what is and what makes free from attachment, respectively—
- The dharma that is characterized by the two realities. I.10
This [verse] describes the jewel of the dharma in brief as consisting of eight qualities. (D80a) What are these eight qualities? They are its being inconceivable, free from the dual, nonconceptual, pure, making manifest, being a counteractive factor, being free from attachment, and being the cause of being free from attachment.
- Freedom from attachment (P81a) consists of
- The two realities of cessation and the path.
- In due order, these two are to be understood
- Through three qualities each. I.11
In due order, among these six qualities, the first three [qualities] (being inconceivable, free from the dual, and nonconceptual) explain the reality of cessation. Therefore, it should be understood that freedom from attachment consists of these [three qualities]. The remaining three qualities (being pure, manifesting, and remedial) explain the reality of the path. Therefore, it should be understood that the cause of being free from attachment consists of those [three qualities]. What is free from attachment is the reality of cessation. What makes free from attachment is the reality of the path. Taking these two together, it is explained that this is "the dharma free from attachment that is characterized by the two realities of purification."
- Because of being inscrutable, because of being inexpressible,
- And because of being the wisdom of the noble ones, it is inconceivable.
- Because of being peaceful, it is free from the dual and without conceptions.
- [In its] three [qualities] such as being pure, it is like the sun. I.12
In brief, the reality of cessation should be understood as being inconceivable for three reasons. For which three [reasons]? [It is inconceivable] because of not being the sphere of scrutiny through the four permutations of nonexistence, existence, [both] existence and nonexistence, or neither; because of being inexpressible through any terms, voices, articulations, avenues of speech, etymologies, designations, conventions, or expressions; and because of being what is to be personally experienced by the noble ones. (J12) (D80b)
How should it be understood here that the reality of cessation is free from the dual and without conceptions? (P81b) It is as the Bhagavān said [in the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśaparivarta]:
"The dual" here refers to [the dual obscurations of] karma and the afflictions. "Conception" refers to improper mental engagement, the cause of the arising of karma and the afflictions. By virtue of realizing the natural cessation of this [improper mental engagement], there is no manifestation of the duo [of karma and the afflictions] or conception. Consequently, there is absolutely no arising of suffering. This is called "the reality of the cessation of suffering." However, it is not that the reality of the cessation of suffering is explained by virtue of the destruction of any phenomenon. As [the Sarvabuddhaviśayāvatārajñānālokālaṃkārasūtra] says at length:
Mañjuśrī, in what lacks arising and lacks ceasing, mind, mentation, and consciousness do not operate. Wherever there is no operation of mind, mentation, and consciousness, there is no improper mental engagement through which any [false] imagination could be taking place. Those who engage in proper mental engagement do not cause ignorance to arise. In those in whom ignorance does not arise, the twelve links of [saṃsāric] existence do not arise. This is nonarising.
As [the Śrīmālādevīsiṃhanādasūtra] says:
However, Bhagavan, the cessation of suffering is not the destruction of phenomena. The name "cessation of suffering," Bhagavan, indicates the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata, which is beginningless, unproduced, unborn, unarisen, without extinction, free from extinction, permanent, eternal, peaceful, everlasting, naturally pure, free from the cocoon of all afflictions, and endowed with inseparable (P82a) and inconceivable buddha attributes that far surpass the sand grains in the river Gaṅgā [in number]. (D81a) Bhagavan, this very dharmakāya of the Tathāgata that is not freed from the cocoon of the afflictions is called "tathāgata heart."
Thus, the presentation of the reality of the cessation of suffering in its entire detail should be understood according to the sūtras.
The paths of seeing and familiarization that [consist of] nonconceptual wisdom are the causes for attaining this dharmakāya of the Tathāgata, which bears the name "cessation of suffering." [This wisdom] is to be understood as resembling the sun by way of being similar to it in three ways for the following reasons. By virtue of being similar to the orb [of the sun’s] being completely pure, it is free from all stains of the proximate afflictions. By virtue of being similar to [the sun’s] being what makes forms manifest, it shines its light on all aspects of knowable objects. By virtue of being similar to [the sun’s] being the remedy for darkness, it serves as the remedy for all aspects of what obstructs seeing reality. (J13)
As for "what obstructs," due to the rising of their latencies, passion, hatred, and bewilderment, which are preceded by mentally engaging in focal objects that have the characteristic of being unreal entities, arise. For naive beings, it is by virtue of these latencies that unreal entities that lack the nature of those [entities that they seem to appear as], through the arising of passion, serve as the causes for [appearing] as something that looks pleasant; through the arising of hatred, as something that looks antagonistic; or, through the arising of bewilderment, as something that looks obscure. In those who take such causes of passion, hatred, and bewilderment, which do not accord with reality, as their focal objects, improper mental engagement (P82b) completely occupies the mind. In those whose minds are occupied with improper mental engagement, any affliction among passion, hatred, and bewilderment manifests. Due to this, they commit actions with body, speech, and mind that arise from passion and (D81b) also commit such actions that arise from hatred and from bewilderment. In turn, from these actions, there will be the succession of rebirths.
In this way, improper mental engagement manifests in naive beings who possess those latencies, grasp at [certain] characteristics, and engage in them as their focal objects. From that, the afflictions arise. From the arising of the afflictions, actions arise. From the arising of actions, there is the arising of birth. So all aspects of the afflictiveness of afflictions, karma, and birth of naive beings operate by virtue of not realizing and not seeing the single basic element in just the way it is in true reality.
[However,] this [afflictiveness] should be seen in the same manner as a thorough investigator [sees] who does not see any characteristics or focal objects of this [afflictiveness]. When neither characteristics nor focal objects are seen, true reality is seen. Thus, these phenomena are completely and perfectly realized by the Tathāgata as being equal by virtue of their equality. In this way, [the Tathāgata] does not see characteristics and focal objects, which are nonexistent, and sees ultimate reality, which is existent, in just the way it is in true reality. By virtue of [this seeing and nonseeing, the Tathāgata] completely and perfectly realizes the equality of all phenomena through the wisdom of equality, in which neither of these two [nonexistent characteristics and the existent ultimate reality] is to be removed or added. This [realization] should be understood as the remedy for all aspects of what obstructs the seeing of true reality. Through the arising of this [remedy], [the Tathāgata] knows that [his mind] is absolutely disassociated and disconnected from the counterpart [of this remedy, that is, everything that obstructs seeing true reality]. (P83a) The paths of seeing and familiarization that consist of nonconceptual wisdom and are the causes for attaining the dharmakāya are to be understood in detail according to the sūtras by following the prajñāpāramitā [sūtras].
Now, since the jewel of the saṃgha of irreversible bodhisattvas arises from the jewel of the mahāyāna dharma, after the [presentation of the dharma], there follows a verse on the [saṃgha]: (J14)
- They perfectly realize that the endpoint of the identitylessness of the entire world is peace
- Because they see that, by virtue of the natural luminosity of the minds in this [world], the afflictions are without nature. (D82a)
- I pay homage to those who see that perfect buddhahood is allpervading, whose intelligence is unobscured,
- And whose wisdom vision has the purity and infinitude of beings as its objects. I.13
What is taught by this?
- By virtue of the purity of the inner
- Wisdom vision of suchness and variety,
- The assembly of the irreversible intelligent ones
- Is [endowed] with unsurpassable qualities. I.14
This [verse] explains in brief that the jewel of the assembly of irreversible bodhisattvas is endowed with unsurpassable qualities by virtue of the purity of the vision of supramundane wisdom in terms of two aspects— [the tathāgata heart as] being suchness and [as] being variety.
- [The wisdom of] suchnessby virtue of
- Realizing the world’s true nature of peace
- Is due to the natural complete purity [of the mind]
- And due to seeing the primordial termination of the afflictions. I.15
Here, [the wisdom of knowing the tathāgata heart as] being suchness should be understood by virtue of realizing, just as it is, the endpoint of the identitylessness of the whole world that is referred to as "persons and phenomena." This is the realization in terms of the principle that persons and phenomena, by virtue of their nature of being absolutely and primordially at peace, are not annihilated. (P83b) In brief, [this realization] arises from two causes—through seeing that mind is naturally luminous and through seeing that its proximate afflictions are primordially terminated and ceased.
Now, (J15) these two [factors]—"mind’s natural luminosity" and "its [concomitant] proximate afflictions"—in relation to the uncontaminated basic element are extremely difficult to understand. For both sound and unsound minds [always] occur alone, without [one of them ever] being associated with the other one. Therefore, [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
Bhagavan, the sound mind is momentary. It is not afflicted by the afflictions. The unsound mind is [also] momentary. Even this [unsound] mind is not afflicted by the afflictions. Bhagavan, the afflictions do not touch the mind, (D82b) nor does the mind [touch] the afflictions. So how, Bhagavan, does the mind, which has this nature of being untouchable [by the afflictions], still become afflicted by darkness? Bhagavan, there is proximate affliction and there is the mind that is proximately afflicted. Still, Bhagavan, the meaning of naturally pure mind’s being afflicted is difficult to understand.
Thus, the instruction on the meaning of [the above passage] "being suchness . . . difficult to understand" should be understood in detail according to the sūtra.
- [The wisdom of] being variety is due to
- The intelligence that encompasses the entire range of the knowable
- Seeing the existence of the true nature
- Of omniscience in all sentient beings. I.16
Now, [the wisdom of the tathāgata heart as] being variety is to be understood due to the supramundane prajñā that encompasses the entire range of knowable entities seeing (P84a) the existence of the tathāgata heart in all sentient beings, even in those who are born in the animal realm. This seeing of bodhisattvas arises on the first bodhisattvabhūmi since they realize the dharmadhātu as being the actuality of omnipresence. (J16)
- Such a realization is the vision
- Of one’s own personal wisdom.
- It is pure in the stainless basic element
- Because it lacks attachment and lacks obstruction. I.17
Thus, in this way, by virtue of [the wisdoms of the tathāgata heart as] being suchness and [as] being variety, the realization of the supramundane path is meant to be the vision of the [mahāyāna] noble ones’ own personal supramundane wisdom, which is not in common with others. In brief, compared to the visions of any other limited [kinds of] wisdom, it is described as being utterly pure for two reasons. For which two [reasons is this]? [It is so] because [this wisdom] lacks attachment and because it lacks obstruction. Here, by virtue of [its knowing the tathāgata heart as] being suchness, [this wisdom] has the naturally pure basic element of sentient beings as its object. (D83a) Therefore, it lacks attachment. By virtue of [its knowing the tathāgata heart as] being variety, it has limitless knowable entities as its objects. Therefore, it lacks obstruction.
Thus, this purity of the vision of the wisdom of bodhisattvas who dwell on the level of irreversibility is to be understood as being unsurpassable because it serves as the basis [or precursor] of the unsurpassable purity of the vision of tathāgata wisdom. (P84b) Or, [it is unsurpassable compared] to the other qualities of bodhisattvas, such as generosity and discipline. Since irreversible bodhisattvas are endowed with this [purity of vision], they represent the refuge of all sentient beings.
There is no mention of the jewel of the śrāvaka saṃgha after the jewel of the assembly of bodhisattvas because the [former] is not worthy of being venerated. Indeed, no learned ones who know the distinction between the qualities of bodhisattvas and śrāvakas would ever cast away the new moon of bodhisattvas with its disk of wisdom and compassion perfecting the vast accumulations of merit and wisdom for great awakening, which is engaged in illuminating the mind streams that consist of the multitudes of the basic elements of innumerable sentient beings and has entered the path that accords with approaching the full moon of the unsurpassable Tathāgata, (J17) and then pay homage to the śrāvakas [instead], who have reached the consummation of their limited wisdom, but [only] engage in illuminating their own mind streams, just as the forms of stars [illuminate only themselves]. Even those bodhisattvas who have given rise to [bodhi] citta for the first time, by virtue of its quality of being based on the purity of their intention to promote the benefit of others, outshine noble śrāvakas, who lack compassion and belong to the class of those who do not support others, though they have reached the perfect purity of immaculately observing [proper] discipline. (D83b) So how much more is this the case for the other qualities of bodhisattvas, such as the ten masteries? Indeed, it is to be said [here]:
- Those who nourish discipline performed for their own sake, (P85a)
- Devoid of compassion for sentient beings with bad discipline,
- And possess the purity of the wealth of discipline [only for] their own nourishment—
- Those noble ones are not called "those with pure discipline."
- Those who give rise to supreme compassion for others
- And adopt discipline support the livelihood of others,
- Just like fire, wind, water, and earth.
- They [truly] possess discipline, [but] others are [only] a likeness of that.
Now, for what purpose and based on what did the Bhagavān teach the three refuges?
- For the purpose of the teacher, the teaching, and the disciples,
- The three refuges are taught
- With regard to those in the three yānas
- And those who have faith in the three activities. I.19
(J18) [The instruction that] "the Buddha is a refuge because of being the highest among humans" is taught and discussed for the purpose of demonstrating the qualities of the teacher, with regard to the persons in the bodhisattvayāna who are suitable to [attain] the state of the Buddha, and those who have faith in the supreme activities related to the Buddha. [The instruction that] "the dharma is a refuge because of being the highest among what is free from attachment" is taught and discussed for the purpose of demonstrating the qualities of the teaching of the teacher, with regard to the persons in the pratyekabuddhayāna who are suitable to realize the profound dharma of dependent origination by themselves, and those who have faith in the supreme activities related to the dharma. [The instruction that] "the saṃgha is a refuge because of being the highest among assemblies" is taught and discussed for the purpose of demonstrating the qualities of the disciples who have well entered the teaching of the teacher, with regard to the persons in the śrāvakayāna who are suitable to realize the discourses that they heard from others, and (P85b) those who have faith in the supreme activities related to the saṃgha. (D84a)
In brief, through this, the Bhagavān taught and discussed these three refuges for those three purposes and with regard to the [above] six [kinds of] persons by distinguishing them from the standpoint of seeming [reality] so that sentient beings enter this [dharma] system in successive order.
- Because of being abandoned, because of having a deceptive nature,
- Because of being nonexistent, and because of being fearful,
- The twofold dharma and the noble saṃgha
- Are not the ultimate supreme refuge. I.20
The dharma is twofold: the dharma as teaching and the dharma as realization. Here, the dharma as teaching refers to reading [or reciting] the teachings, such as the sūtras, and it consists of the collections of the names, words, and letters [of the sūtras and so on]. [This dharma] is said to be like a raft, because it comes to its end through being clearly realized on the path.
The dharma as realization is twofold through being divided into cause and result. That is, [it consists of] the reality of the path and the reality of cessation, (J19) which refers to that through which it is realized and that which [is realized]. Here, the path is included in what has the characteristic of being conditioned. What is included in what has the characteristic of being conditioned has a deceptive and false nature; what has a deceptive and false nature is unreal; what is unreal is impermanent; and what is impermanent is not a [lasting] refuge. Also, according to the system of the śrāvakas, the cessation realized by that path consists of the mere nonexistence of afflictions and suffering, just like the extinction of a lamp. But a nonexistence is not suitable to be either a refuge or a nonrefuge. (P86a)
"The saṃgha" is a term for the assemblies of those in the three yānas. They are always fearful because they take refuge in the Tathāgata, search for final deliverance, [still] have to learn [more] and have [many more] things to do, and are [only] approaching unsurpassable completely perfect awakening. How are they fearful? Even the arhats, who have terminated further existences [in saṃsāra], (D84b) did not destroy their latent tendencies and therefore are always and continuously immersed in a strong sense of fear of all formations [of saṃsāra], as if [being afraid] of an executioner with raised sword. Therefore, even they have not attained the ultimate and blissful final deliverance. [In general, what constitutes a genuine] refuge does not seek refuge [elsewhere]. Just as sentient beings without a refuge are frightened by this or that fear and consequently seek deliverance from those [fears], likewise, arhats have their [kind of] fear and, being frightened by that fear, consequently take refuge in the Tathāgata. Thus, since they have fear, they take refuge and undoubtedly seek for deliverance from that fear. Since they seek for deliverance from fear, they [still] have [more] to learn and have [many more] things to do with regard to destroying the basis of that fear. Since they [still] have [more] to learn, (J20) they are [only] approaching the attainment of the fearless supreme state, that is, unsurpassable completely perfect awakening. Therefore, since the [saṃgha] too is [only] a refuge that is a branch of the [ultimate refuge], it is not the ultimate refuge. Thus, these two refuges [the dharma and the saṃgha] are called "temporary refuges." (P86b)
- Ultimately, however, the single refuge
- Of the world is buddhahood
- Because the sage possesses the body of the dharma
- And because it is the consummation of the assembly. I.21
By virtue of the principle stated earlier, this [verse about the buddha’s being the ultimate refuge explains the following]. Because the sage who is characterized by being unarisen and unceasing possesses the kāya of the dharma that is [characterized by] the two realities of purification and is free from attachment and because the assembly of those in the three yānas has [nothing but] the attainment of the consummate purity of the dharmakāya as its goal, (D85a) ultimately, [buddhahood] is the inexhaustible refuge, the permanent refuge, and the everlasting refuge, which lasts as long as the end of time in this world without protection and refuge. That is, [the ultimate refuge] consists of the tathāgata arhats, the completely perfect buddhas. This instruction on the permanent, everlasting, peaceful, and eternal refuge should be understood in detail according to the Āryaśrīmālā[devī]sūtra.
- They are jewels because their appearance is difficult to encounter,
- Because they are stainless, because they possess power,
- Because they are the ornaments of the world,
- Because they are supreme, and because they are changeless. I.22
In brief, these three that are called "Buddha," "dharma," and saṃgha" are said to be "jewels" by virtue of their resemblance to a jewel in six ways. That is, [they are jewels] by virtue of resembling [jewels] in that their appearance is difficult to encounter because those who have not acquired roots of virtue do not get a chance to meet them even during many eons. [They are also jewels] by virtue of resembling [jewels] in that they are stainless because they are free from all kinds of stains. [They are furthermore jewels] by virtue of resembling [jewels] in their power (P87a) because they are endowed with qualities of inconceivable power, such as the six supernatural knowledges. [They are likewise jewels] by virtue of resembling [jewels] in that they are the ornaments of the world because they are the causes of the splendid intentions of the entire world. [They are also jewels] by virtue of resembling [jewels] in that they are supreme [compared to] artificial jewels because they are supramundane. [Finally, they are jewels] by virtue of resembling [jewels] in that they are changeless through praise, blame, and so on, because their nature is unconditioned. (J21)
Following the discussion of the three jewels, [there follows] one verse about the source of mundane and supramundane purity, from whose existence the three jewels arise.
What is elucidated by this?
- The disposition of the three jewels
- Is the object of those who see everything. (D85b)
- It is fourfold and is inconceivable
- For four reasons in due order I.24
Here,suchness with stains is the basic element that is not liberated from the cocoon of the afflictions, which is called "the tathāgata heart." Stainless suchness is this very same [basic element] as it is characterized by the fundamental change on the buddhabhūmi, which is called "the dharmakāya of a tathāgata." The stainless buddha qualities are the supramundane buddha attributes (such as the ten powers) within that very dharmakāya of a tathāgata that is characterized by the fundamental change. The activity of the victors (P87b) consists of the distinct unsurpassable activities of these very buddha attributes (such as the ten powers), continuing to give prophesying speeches about bodhisattvas in an endless, uninterrupted, and unceasing manner. According to their order, these four points are inconceivable for four reasons. Therefore, they are said to be "the object of omniscience." For which four [reasons are they inconceivable]?
- Since it is pure and yet associated with afflictions,
- Since it is not afflicted and yet becomes pure,
- Since its qualities are inseparable,
- And since [its activity] is effortless and nonconceptual. I.25
Here, suchness with stains is pure and afflicted at one and the same time. This point is inconceivable because it is an object that is not even within the sphere of the pratyekabuddhas who have faith in the principle of the profound dharma. Therefore, (J22) [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
Devī, these two dharmas are difficult to understand. It is difficult to understand that mind is pure by nature. It is difficult to understand that this very mind is proximately afflicted. Devī, those who are able to hear these two dharmas are only you or the bodhisattvas who are endowed with the great attributes. Devī, the remaining ones—all śrāvakas and (D86a) pratyekabuddhas—can understand these two dharmas only through confidence in the Tathāgata.
Now, the point that suchness without stains is originally not afflicted by stains [but] becomes pure later is [also] inconceivable. Therefore, [the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra] says:
The mind is luminous by nature. This is realized just as it is. Therefore, (P88a) it is said, "[The Tathāgata] fully awakened to completely perfect awakening through the prajñā that is characterized by having a single instant."
Next, even on the level of ordinary beings who are absolutely afflicted, there exist the stainless buddha qualities that are without difference earlier and later by virtue of their nature of being inseparable [from the basic element]. This point is [likewise] inconceivable. Therefore, [the Buddhāvataṃsakasūtra] says:
Within the hosts of sentient beings, there is no sentient being whatsoever that is not pervaded by tathāgata wisdom in its entirety. However, through their discriminating clinging, they do not realize tathāgata wisdom. By virtue of becoming free from discriminating clinging, omniscient wisdom, which is self-arisen wisdom, becomes manifest in an unimpeded manner.
O son of the victor, it is as follows. Suppose there were a big canvas the size of the worldly realm that is the biggest chiliocosm in a trichiliocosm. On this big canvas the entire worldly realm that is the biggest chiliocosm in a trichiliocosm would be painted in its complete form. That is, the great ring of iron mountains would be painted in the size of the great ring of iron mountains. The great [golden] ground would be painted in the size of the great [golden] ground. The worldly realm of a dichiliocosm would be painted in the size of the worldly realm of a dichiliocosm, the worldly realm of a chiliocosm in the size of the worldly realm of a chiliocosm, the four-continent [worlds] in the size of the four-continent [world], the great oceans in the size of the great ocean, the continents of Jambū in the size of the continent Jambū, the continents of Pūrvavideha in the size of the continent Pūrvavideha (D86b), the continents of Godāvarī in the size of the continent Godāvarī, the continents of Uttarakuru in the size of the continent Uttarakuru, (P88b) the [Mount] Sumerus in the size of Sumeru, (J23) the palaces of the gods living on the earth in the size of the palaces of the gods living on the earth, the palaces of the gods living in the desire [realm] in the size of the palaces of the gods living in the desire [realm], and the palaces of the gods living in the form [realm] in the size of the palaces of the gods living in the form [realm]. [Thus,] this big canvas would have the size of the vast expanse of the worldly realm that is the biggest chiliocosm in a trichiliocosm. Then, this big canvas would be inserted into a single particle [the size] of the minutest particle. Likewise, just as this big canvas would be inserted into a single particle [the size] of the minutest particle, big canvases of that same size would be inserted inside all particles [the size] of the minutest particle without exception.
Then, there would appear some learned person, clever, intelligent, wise, and endowed with the profound investigative skill pertinent to [these canvases] here. His divine eye would be perfectly pure and lucid. With that divine eye, he would look [and think], "This big canvas of such a nature stays here in such a limited single particle [the size] of the minutest particle. It does not sustain any sentient being." So he would think, "Breaking apart this particle [the size] of the minutest particle with the strength and power of great vigor, I shall make this big canvas into what sustains the whole world." Giving rise to the strength and power of great vigor, he would break apart that particle [the size] of the minutest particle with a tiny vajra and, according to his intention, make that big canvas into what sustains the whole world. Just as for one, he would do the same for all minutest particles without exception.
Likewise, O son of the victor, tathāgata wisdom, (P89a) the immeasurable wisdom (D87a) that is the wisdom that sustains all sentient beings, pervades the mind streams of all sentient beings in its entirety. All these mind streams of sentient beings are also as immeasurable as tathāgata wisdom. Nevertheless, naive beings, who are bound by discriminating clinging, (J24) do not know, cognize, realize, and perceive this tathāgata wisdom. Therefore, the Tathāgata, after having seen the states of all sentient beings [whose nature is the] dharmadhātu with unobstructed tathāgata wisdom, resolves to be a teacher. [He thinks,] "What a pity! These sentient beings do not realize tathāgata wisdom, just as it is, [though] they are pervaded by this tathāgata wisdom. Through teaching them the noble path, I shall remove all the fetters of these sentient beings that they create through discrimination so that they, by themselves, undo the big knot of discrimination through adopting the power of that noble path and then recognize that tathāgata wisdom [in themselves] and attain equality with the Tathāgata."
[Accordingly,] through the teaching of the path of the Tathāgata, they remove all fetters created by discrimination. In those in whom all fetters created by discrimination have been removed, this immeasurable tathāgata wisdom becomes what sustains the entire world.
Now, the activity of the victors operates for sentient beings everywhere simultaneously at all times, effortlessly, nonconceptually, and flawlessly in the respectively appropriate manner in accordance with the intentions of [sentient beings] and (P89b) in accordance with how they are to be guided. This point is inconceivable. Therefore, [the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra] says:
Though tathāgata activity is immeasurable, in order to introduce sentient beings [to it] in just a brief form, it is taught as if having some measure. (D87b) However, O son of noble family, the true tathāgata activity of the Tathāgata is immeasurable, inconceivable, unknowable by the entire world, indescribable by words, difficult to accomplish by others, abiding (J25) in all buddha realms, entailing equality with all buddhas, beyond all activities with effort, nonconceptual due to being equal to space, and without any difference due to being the activity of the dharmadhātu.
After [the sūtra’s] having given the example of the pure beryl, [tathāgata activity] is taught in detail as follows:
Son of noble family, by this specification, inconceivable tathāgata activity is to be understood as entailing equality, being without blame in all respects, being related to the three times, and not interrupting the lineage of the three jewels. Abiding in this inconceivable tathāgata activity, the Tathāgata never abandons the space[-like] nature of his body and yet displays it in all buddha realms. He does not abandon the inexpressible nature of his speech and yet teaches the dharma for sentient beings by way of concordant verbal representations. He is free from all focal objects of the mind and yet knows the activities and intentions of the minds of all sentient beings. (P90a)
- As for what is to be awakened, awakening,
- Its branches, and what causes awakening, in due order,
- One point is the cause and three
- Are the conditions for its purity. I.26
Due to these four topical points comprising everything to be known, the first one is to be regarded as the point of what is to be awakened. Awakening refers to the awakening of that [which is to be awakened]—the second point of awakening. The buddha qualities serve as the branches of awakening—the third point of the branches of awakening. (D88a) It is these very branches of awakening that cause the awakening of others—the fourth point of what causes awakening. Thus, the presentation of the disposition of the three jewels should be understood based on these four points in terms of being the state of a cause and [its three] conditions.
Here, the first one among these four points, due to its being the seed of the supramundane attributes, should be understood as the cause for the arising of the three jewels, which is by virtue of its becoming pure based on one’s personal mental engagement in a proper manner. Thus, "one point is the cause." How is it that the [other] three [points] are conditions? A tathāgata, upon having fully awakened to unsurpassable completely perfect awakening, performs the thirty-two kinds of tathāgata activities through the buddha qualities (such as the ten powers). Thus, by virtue of the voice of someone else [this tathāgata], the [obscured tathāgata heart in certain beings] becomes pure. Based on that, [the latter three points] should be understood as the conditions for the arising of the three jewels. Thus, "three are the conditions."
One should understand that, hereafter, the instruction on the detailed analysis of these four points [will be given] gradually by the remainder of the text.
Now, with regard to suchness with stains, it is said that "all sentient beings possess the tathāgata heart." (P90b) By virtue of which purport is that [said]? (J26)
- Since buddha wisdom enters into the multitudes of beings,
- Since its stainlessness is nondual by nature,
- And since the buddha disposition is metaphorically referred to by [the name of] its fruition,
- All beings are said to possess the buddha [heart]. I.27
- Since the perfect buddhakāya radiates,
- Since suchness is undifferentiable,
- And because of the disposition,
- All beings always possess the buddha heart. I.28
In brief, it is in a threefold sense that the Bhagavān spoke of "all sentient beings always possessing the tathāgata heart." (D88b) That is, [he spoke of this] in the sense that the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata radiates in [or into] all sentient beings, in the sense that the suchness of the Tathāgata is undifferentiable [from the suchness of beings], and in the sense that the tathāgata disposition really exists [in these beings]. These three topical points will be taught [in detail] below [through nine examples] according to the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra. Prior to that, however, the topic [consisting of these three points] is pointed out in all its aspects in the sense in which it is invariably taught in all the words [of the Buddha]. It is based on this that I shall discuss it [now, beginning with] a synopsis.
- In terms of nature and cause, fruition, function, endowment, manifestation,
- Phases, all-pervasiveness,
- Ever-changeless qualities, and inseparability,
- The topic in mind, the ultimate basic element, should be understood. I.29
In brief, the presentation of the tathāgata element, the object of the ultimate wisdom of true reality, should be understood by having in mind ten topics. Which are these ten topics? They are as follows: (1) the topic of the nature, (2) the topic of the cause, (3) the topic of the fruition, (4) the topic of the function, (5) the topic of endowment, (6) the topic of manifestation, (7) the topic of the distinction through phases, (8) the topic of all-pervasiveness, (9) the topic of changelessness, and (10) the topic of inseparability.
Now, (P91a) [there is] a verse in terms of (1) the topic of the nature and (2) the topic of the cause.
- It is always unafflicted by nature,
- Just like a pure jewel, space, and water.
- It comes to life through having faith in the dharma,
- Supreme prajñā, samādhi, and compassion. I.30
(J27) What is taught by the first half of this verse here?
- By virtue of its nature of power,
- Being unchanging, and being moist,
- It resembles the qualities
- Of a wish-fulfilling jewel, space, and water. I.31
Now, these three [points] were already mentioned above. According to the order of these three, the tathāgata element should be understood to resemble the qualities of the purity of a wish-fulfilling jewel, space, and water in terms of its specific characteristics and its general characteristics. To begin with the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata here, in terms of its specific characteristic that is its nature of [having] the power to fulfill what one wishes for and so on, (D89a) it is to be understood as resembling a wishfulfilling jewel. As for suchness, in terms of its specific characteristic that is its nature of being unchanging, it is to be understood as resembling space. As for the tathāgata disposition, in terms of its specific characteristic that is its nature of moistening sentient beings [through its] compassion, it is to be understood as resembling water. As for all [three points] here, in terms of the general characteristic [of the tathāgata element] that is its natural purity of always being absolutely unafflicted by nature, it is to be understood as resembling the quality that is the [natural] purity of a wish-fulfilling jewel, space, and water.
Now, what is taught by the latter half of verse [I.30]?
- Hostility toward the dharma, views about a self,
- Fear of saṃsāra’s suffering,
- And indifference about the welfare of sentient beings—
- These are the four obscurations I.32 (P91b)
- Of those with great desire, tīrthikas,
- Śrāvakas, and self-arisen [buddhas],
- The causes of purity are the four dharmas
- Of having faith and so forth. I.33
In brief, one finds three kinds of sentient beings within the host of sentient beings: (1) those who crave for [saṃsāric] existence, (2) those who crave to be free from [saṃsāric] existence, and (3) those who do not crave for either. Here, (1) those who crave for [saṃsāric] existence are to be known as twofold. (J28) (1a) Those sentient beings who are hostile toward the path to liberation and have no disposition for [attaining] parinirvāṇa only desire saṃsāra but not nirvāṇa. (1b) Some who do follow this dharma of ours, [but] have fallen into the ways of those [who are hostile toward the dharma], dislike the dharma of the mahāyāna. With reference to them, the Bhagavān said [in the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśaparivarta]:
I am not their teacher; nor are they my śrāvakas. Śāriputra, I say that they are greatly filled with darkness, proceeding from one darkness into another darkness, from gloom into greater gloom.
Next, (2) those who crave to be free from [saṃsāric] existence are [also] twofold: (a) those who have entered what is not the means [for liberation] and (D89b) (b) those who have entered these means. Here, (2a) those who have entered what is not the means [for liberation] are again threefold. (2aa) Those who are outside of this [dharma] of ours are the many different kinds of tīrthikas who are other [than us], such as the Carakas, Parivrājakas, and Nirgranthas. (2ab) As for those who follow this dharma of ours [but] whose conduct accords with these [tīrthikas], though they have confidence [in the dharma], they cling to [views] that are difficult to grasp. Who are these [people]? They are those who have views about the person [as being a self] and lack faith in the ultimate. About them, the Bhagavān said:
- Those who do not have confidence in emptiness are not different from the tīrthikas.
(2ac) For those who have views about emptiness and are full of pride [about that], when they are taught emptiness, this very emptiness, which is in fact the door to liberation in this [dharma] of ours, becomes a [wrong] view. (P92a) With respect to them, [the Bhagavān] said [in the Kāśyapaparivarta]:
- O Kāśyapa, a view about the person that has the size of Sumeru is indeed preferable to the view of emptiness of those who are proud of it.
(2b) Those who have entered the means [for liberation] are again twofold: (a) those who belong to the śrāvakayāna and (b) those who belong to the pratyekabuddhayāna. [Both] proceed on the set way of what is rightful.
(3) As for those who do not crave for either [saṃsāric existence or freedom from it], they are those sentient beings with supremely sharp faculties who are perfectly grounded in the mahāyāna. They neither desire saṃsāra (like those with great desire), nor do they fall into what is not the means [for liberation] (like the tīrthikas and so on), nor do they enter [any limited] means [for liberation] (like śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas). Rather, being those who have entered the path to attain the equality of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa, their motivation [is to attain] the nonabiding nirvāṇa, their activities are based on saṃsāra without [however] being afflicted [by it], and their fundamental purity lies in being firmly grounded in compassion and the superior intention. (J29)
Here, (1) those sentient beings who crave for [saṃsāric] existence (those with great desire and those who follow this dharma of ours [but] have fallen into the ways of those [with great desire]) are called "the group of sentient beings [whose disposition] is certain in terms of what is mistaken." (D90a) (2a) Those who crave to be free from [saṃsāric] existence but have entered what is not the means [for liberation] are called "the group of sentient beings [whose disposition] is uncertain." (2b) Those who crave to be free from [saṃsāric] existence and have entered the means [for liberation] as well as (3) those who crave for neither [saṃsāra nor nirvāṇa] and have entered the path to attain the equality [of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa] are called "the group of sentient beings [whose disposition] is certain in terms of what is correct."
Now, apart from those sentient beings who are firmly grounded in the mahāyāna and proceed in an unobscured manner, [all] other sentient beings [can be divided into] (P92b) the following [four kinds]—those with great desire, tīrthikas, śrāvakas, and pratyekabuddhas. In these [four groups], there operate four [kinds of] obscurations with regard to not realizing and not perceiving the tathāgata element. What are these four [obscurations]? They are as follows. Hostility toward the mahāyāna dharma is the obscuration of those with great desire, whose remedy is a bodhisattva’s cultivation of faith in the mahāyāna dharma. Views about a self with regard to phenomena is the obscuration of the tīrthikas who are other [than us], whose remedy is a bodhisattva’s cultivation of prajñāpāramitā. The notion of suffering, that is, the fear of suffering in saṃsāra, is the obscuration of those belonging to the śrāvakayāna, whose remedy is a bodhisattva’s cultivation of samādhis such as the Sky Treasure. To turn away from the welfare of sentient beings or indifference about the welfare of sentient beings is the obscuration of those belonging to the pratyekabuddhayāna,
whose remedy is a bodhisattva’s cultivation of great compassion. These are the four kinds of obscurations of the four kinds of sentient beings. Having cultivated their four remedies (having faith [in the mahāyāna dharma] and so forth), bodhisattvas attain the supreme purity of the dharmakāya, which is the unsurpassable actuality. Those who possess these four causes of accomplishing purity become children of the dharma king in the family of the tathāgatas. How is that? (D90b)
- Those whose seed is the faith in the supreme yāna,
- Whose mother is the prajñā that gives birth to the buddha qualities, (J30)
- Whose womb is blissful samādhi, and whose nanny is compassion
- Are the children who take after the sages. I.34
(P93a) Now, [there is] a verse in terms of (3) the topic of the fruition and (4) the topic of the function [of the tathāgata heart].
- The fruition consists of the pāramitās that are
- The qualities of purity, self, bliss, and permanence.
- It has the function of being weary of suffering
- As well as striving and aspiring to attain peace. I.35
What is taught by the first half of this verse here?
- In brief, the fruition of those [causes]
- Is characterized by being the remedies
- That counteract the four kinds of
- Mistakenness about the dharmakāya. I.36
The four dharmas such as having faith [in the mahāyāna dharma were described] as the causes of the purity of the tathāgata element. In brief, the fruition of those [four causes] should be regarded, in due order and by virtue of their being the remedies that counteract the four kinds of mistakenness, as the four kinds of pāramitās that are the qualities of the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata.
Here, the notion that impermanent entities such as form are permanent, the notion that [entities entailing] suffering are blissful, the notion that [entities] lacking a self have a self, and the notion that impure [entities] are pure are called "the fourfold mistakenness." The fourfold unmistakenness should be understood by way of the opposites of those [four notions]. What is this fourfold [unmistakenness]? It consists of the notion that entities such as form are impermanent, the notion that they [entail] suffering, the notion that they lack a self, and the notion that they are impure. These [notions] are called "the opposite of the fourfold mistakenness." In turn, these [opposites of the fourfold unmistakenness] are meant here to be mistakennesses with regard to the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata, which has the characteristics of being permanent and so on. By virtue of being the remedies for that [latter mistakenness, there is] the presentation of the four kinds of pāramitās that are the qualities of the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata, that is, the pāramitā of permanence, the pāramitā of bliss, (P93b) the pāramitā of a self, and the pāramitā of purity. This passage (D91a) is to be understood in detail according to the [Śrīmālādevī]sūtra:
Bhagavan, sentient beings are mistaken about the five appropriating skandhas that they have taken on. They entertain the notion that what is impermanent is permanent, the notion that what is suffering is bliss, the notion that what lacks a self has a self, and the notion that what is impure is pure. Bhagavan, even all śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas are mistaken about the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata, which has not been seen by the wisdom of emptiness before and is the object of omniscient wisdom [alone]. (J31) Bhagavan, those sentient beings who entertain the notion of permanence, the notion of bliss, the notion of a self, and the notion of purity are the legitimate heart sons of the Bhagavān. Bhagavan, these sentient beings are unmistaken. Bhagavan, these sentient beings have the correct view. For what reason is that so? Bhagavan, this dharmakāya of the Tathāgata is indeed the pāramitā of permanence, the pāramitā of bliss, the pāramitā of a self, and the pāramitā of purity. Those sentient beings who see this dharmakāya of the Tathāgata in that way see correctly. Those who see correctly are the legitimate heart sons of the Bhagavān.
The reverse order of these four pāramitās that are the qualities of the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata should be understood by way of the order of the [above-mentioned four] causes [of purity]. Here, (1) by way of being the opposite of those with great desire who are hostile toward the mahāyāna dharma (P94a) taking delight in impure saṃsāra, the attainment of the pāramitā of purity should be regarded as the fruition of bodhisattvas’ having cultivated faith in the mahāyāna dharma.
(2) By way of being the opposite of the tīrthikas, who are other [than us] and regard the five appropriating skandhas as a self, taking delight in clinging to a nonexistent self, (D91b) the attainment of the pāramitā of the supreme self should be regarded as the fruition of [bodhisattvas’] having cultivated prajñāpāramitā. Thus, all tīrthikas, who are other [than us], claim that [certain] entities such as form, which do not have the nature of that [which they appear as], are the self. [However,] since these entities as they are apprehended by those [tīrthikas] are deceiving in terms of the characteristic of being a self, they never are a self. On the other hand, the Tathāgata has attained the pāramitā of the supreme lack of self of all phenomena through the wisdom of [realizing] true reality just as it is. Since this lack of self, just as it is seen by the [Tathāgata], is undeceiving in terms of its characteristic of not being a self, it is taken to be a self at all times. [Thus, here,] it is the very lack of self that is referred to as "self," just as [the prajñāpāramitā sūtras] speak of "abiding in a nonabiding manner."
(3) By way of being the opposite of those who belong to the śrāvakayāna, who are afraid of the suffering of saṃsāra, (J32) taking delight in the mere pacification of saṃsāric suffering, the attainment of the pāramitā of all mundane and supramundane bliss should be regarded as the fruition of [bodhisattvas’] having cultivated samādhis such as the Sky Treasure.
(4) By way of being the opposite of those who belong to the pratyekabuddhayāna, who are indifferent about the welfare of sentient beings, taking delight in dwelling in solitude, (P94b) the attainment of the pāramitā of permanence should be regarded as the fruition of [bodhisattvas’] having cultivated great compassion because [bodhisattvas] are always and without interruption consumed by their desire for the welfare of sentient beings for as long as saṃsāra exists.
Thus, in due order, the fourfold cultivation of faith, prajñā, samādhi, and compassion by bodhisattvas accomplishes the fruition that is called "the four kinds of pāramitās that are the qualities of purity, self, bliss, and permanence in the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata." By virtue of these [pāramitās], the Tathāgata said, "having reached the full extent of the dharmadhātu, extending to the limits of the element of space, (D92a) and lasting until the end of time." Through having cultivated faith in the supreme dharma of the mahāyāna, the Tathāgata attained the supreme state of the utterly pure dharmadhātu. Therefore, he accomplished the supreme dharmadhātu. Through having cultivated prajñāpāramitā, [the Tathāgata] perfectly realized the space-like lack of self of the world [that consists] of sentient beings and their container. Through having cultivated samādhis such as the Sky Treasure, he displays his mastery over being the supreme lord of dharma everywhere. For the two reasons [presented in the last two sentences, the Tathāgata] extends to the limits of the element of space. Through having cultivated great compassion, [the Tathāgata] is endowed with compassion for all sentient beings beyond the limits of time. It is based on this that [the Tathāgata] lasts until the end of time.
Now, even though they abide in the uncontaminated basic element, for arhats, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas who have attained the [ten] masteries, there are four obstructions to acquiring the four pāramitās that are the qualities of the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata. (P95a) These are [the obstructions] that have (1) the characteristic of a condition, (2) the characteristic of a cause, (3) the characteristic of arising, and (4) the characteristic of perishing.
Here, (1) [the obstruction] that has the characteristic of a condition [refers to] the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance, similar to ignorance [being the condition] of [karmic] formations. (2) [The obstruction] that has the characteristic of a cause [refers to] the uncontaminated karma that is conditioned by the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance and is similar to the [karmic] formations [of ordinary beings]. (3) [The obstruction] that has the characteristic of arising [refers to] the occurrence of three kinds of bodies that are of mental nature and are caused by the uncontaminated karma that is conditioned by the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance, (J33) which is similar to the occurrence of the three [kinds of saṃsāric] existences caused by the contaminated karma that is conditioned by the four appropriating factors. (4) [The obstruction] that has the characteristic of perishing [refers to] the death that is an inconceivable transformation and is conditioned by the occurrence of the [above-mentioned] three kinds of bodies that are of mental nature, similar to aging and death being conditioned by birth.
Here, arhats, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas who have attained the masteries (D92b) have not relinquished the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance that represents the foundation of all proximate afflictions. Therefore, they have not attained the excellent final pāramitā of the purity of all latent tendencies of the foul-smelling afflictive stains. On account of this ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance, they [still] possess subtle [kinds of] engaging in [certain] reference points of characteristics. Therefore, they have not attained the pāramitā of self that is utterly without any [mental] formations. On account of the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance and the uncontaminated karma that is triggered by the subtle engagement in [certain] reference points of characteristics as conditioned by this ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance, there is the arising of the [seemingly physical] skandha that has a mental nature. Therefore, they have not attained the pāramitā of the utter bliss of such [a skandha’s] having ceased. For as long as (P95b) they do not perceive the tathāgata element, which becomes apparent due to the cessation of all afflictiveness in terms of affliction, karma, and birth without exception, they are not free from the death that is an inconceivable transformation. Therefore, they have not attained the pāramitā of permanence that is the state of being absolutely unchanging.
Here, the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance is similar to the afflictiveness of affliction. The formations of uncontaminated karma are similar to the afflictiveness of karma. The occurrence of the three kinds of bodies that are of a mental nature and the death that is an inconceivable transformation are similar to the afflictiveness of birth. This passage is to be understood in detail according to the [Śrīmālādevī]sūtra:
O Bhagavan, the three [kinds of saṃsāric] existences arise [through] being caused by the contaminated karma that is conditioned by the [four] appropriating factors. Likewise, Bhagavan, (J34) the three bodies of a mental nature of arhats, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas who have attained the masteries arise [through] being caused by the uncontaminated karma that is conditioned by the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance. Bhagavan, the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance is the condition for the arising of these three bodies of a mental nature on the three levels [of arhats, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas] and for the origination of uncontaminated karma. (D93a)
Therefore, in these three bodies of a mental nature of arhats, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas who have attained the masteries, there are no pāramitās that are the qualities of purity, self, bliss, and permanence. Hence, [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
- This dharmakāya of the Tathāgata is indeed the pāramitā of permanence, the pāramitā of bliss, the pāramitā of a self, and the pāramitā of purity.
- Because the [dharmakāya] is naturally pure (P96a)
- And free from latent tendencies, it is pure.
- It is the supreme self because the reference points
- Of self and no-self are at peace. I.37
- It is bliss because the skandha of a mental nature
- And its causes have come to an end.
- It is permanent because the equality
- Of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa is realized. I.38
In brief, the pāramitā of purity in terms of the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata should be understood through two reasons—by virtue of the natural purity that is its general characteristic and by virtue of the purity of being stainless that is its particular characteristic. [Its] pāramitā of self should [also] be understood through two reasons—by virtue of being free from the reference points of a self due to having abandoned the extreme of the tīrthikas and by virtue of being free from the reference points of noself due to having abandoned the extreme of the śrāvakas. [Its] pāramitā of bliss should [likewise] be understood through two reasons—by virtue of having overcome [all] linking [to saṃsāra] through latent tendencies due to having relinquished all aspects of the origin of suffering and by virtue of perceiving the cessation of the skandhaof a mental nature due to perceiving all aspects of the cessation of suffering. [Its] pāramitā of permanence should [also] be understood through two reasons—by virtue of not falling into the extreme of extinction due to not denying impermanent saṃsāra and by virtue of not falling into the extreme of eternity due to not superimposing permanent nirvāṇa. As [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
Bhagavan, if someone were to see formations as being impermanent, this would be their view of extinction. (J35) It would not be their correct view. Bhagavan, (D93b) if someone were to see nirvāṇa as being permanent, this would be their view of eternity. It would not be their correct view.
By virtue of this introduction to the principle of the dharmadhātu, it is said that, ultimately, saṃsāra itself is nirvāṇa, (P96b) because [tathāgatas] realize the nonabiding nirvāṇa in which neither [saṃsāra nor nirvāṇa] are conceived.
Moreover, they are free from being close to, or distant from, all sentient beings without difference for two reasons. Therefore, what is explained [here] is the mere attainment of the abode of nonabiding. For which two[reasons is that so]? [In this world] here, without difference, bodhisattvas are not close to any sentient beings because they have relinquished all latencies of craving without exception due to their prajñā. Nor are they distant [from sentient beings] because they do not abandon them due to their great compassion. This is the means for attaining the completely perfect awakening that has the nature of being nonabiding. By virtue of having relinquished all latencies of craving without exception due to their prajñā, bodhisattvas are intent on passing into nirvāṇa for their own benefit and do not remain in saṃsāra like those who do not have the disposition for passing into parinirvāṇa. By virtue of not abandoning suffering sentient beings due to their great compassion, they make efforts in entering saṃsāra for the benefits of others and do not remain in nirvāṇa like those who have the disposition of solely seeking [the personal] peace [of nirvāṇa]. In this way, these two dharmas [prajñā and compassion] are taught to be the fundamental ground for [attaining] unsurpassable awakening:
- With prajñā, they cut through all self-cherishing without exception.
- Because they cherish sentient beings, those full of compassion do not approach peace.
- Relying in this way on intelligence and compassion, the two means for awakening,
- The noble ones approach neither saṃsāra nor nirvāṇa. I.39
Now, what is taught by the latter half of verse [I.35] about (4) the topic of function, which was referred to above [in that verse]?
- If the buddha element did not exist,
- There would be no weariness of suffering,
- Nor would there be the wish, striving, (D94a)
- And aspiration for nirvāṇa. I.40
(J36) As [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says: (P97a)
Bhagavan, if the tathāgata heart did not exist, there would be no weariness of suffering nor the wish, striving, and aspiration for nirvāṇa.
Here, in brief, even in those sentient beings who have [the dispositions that are] certain in terms of what is mistaken, the buddha element, which is the disposition for purity, readily procures this twofold function. It gives rise to weariness of saṃsāra based on seeing the flaws of suffering, and it produces the longing, wish, striving, and aspiration for nirvāṇa based on seeing the benefits of [its] bliss. Here, "longing" [means] "desire." As for "wish," "striving," and "aspiration,""wish" [refers to] not being cowardly about one’s desired aim.
"Striving" [means] to search for the means to attain one’s desired aim. "Aspiration" [refers to] applying one’s intention and mind to one’s desired aim.
- This seeing of the flaws of suffering and the qualities of happiness
- In [saṃsāric] existence and nirvāṇa
- Occurs [only] when the disposition exists
- Because it does not [occur] in those without the disposition. I.41
That persons with pure qualities see the flaws of suffering in saṃsāra and see the qualities of happiness in nirvāṇa occurs [only] when the disposition exists. [Thus,] this [seeing] is not something without a cause or something without a condition. For what reason [is this so]? If such [seeing] could happen without the disposition, without a cause, without a condition, and without entailing the termination of wrongdoing, it would also happen in those with great desire who are without the disposition for nirvāṇa. [However, this seeing] does not occur as long as [sentient beings] have not given rise to faith in the dharma of one of the three [yānas]—the disposition for being pure of adventitious stains—by way of bringing together the four wheels of relying on wise persons and so on. (P97b) Therefore, [the Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra] says:
Therefore, after that, (D94b) the rays of wisdom of the orb of the sun of the Tathāgata fall upon the bodies of even those sfentient beings [whose disposition] is certain in terms of what is mistaken, [thus benefiting them and,] due to producing the causes of future [happiness], (J37) making them thrive through virtuous dharmas.
Also, the statement [in the Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra and others] that "those with great desire have the nature of absolutely not [attaining] parinirvāṇa" [means] that their hostility toward the mahāyāna dharma is the cause for their having great desire. [Thus,] this statement was made for the sake of turning [such people] away from their hostility toward the mahāyāna dharma, having in mind another time. Since the naturally pure disposition exists [in all sentient beings], no one can have the nature of being absolutely impure. Therefore, having in mind that all sentient beings without difference are suitable to become pure, the Bhagavān said:
- Though beginningless, [saṃsāra] entails an end.
- What is naturally pure and consists of permanent dharmas
- Is not seen since it is externally obscured by a beginningless cocoon,
- Just as a golden image that is concealed.
Now, [there follows] a verse about (5) the topic of endowment.
- Just like the ocean, [the disposition of the victors] is an inexhaustible source
- Of immeasurable jewels [in the form of its] qualities.
- Just like a lamp, it is endowed with
- Inseparable qualities by its nature. I.42
What is taught by the first half of this verse here?
- Since the basic element consists of the dharmakāya,
- As well as the wisdom and the compassion of the victor,
- It is taught to be like the ocean
- In terms of a vessel, jewels, and water. I.43
In the due order of [the following] three points, (P98a) the tathāgata element resembles the great sea in three ways. By virtue of that, the topic of endowment is to be understood in terms of [the tathāgata element’s] being associated with [certain] causes. Which are these three points? They consist of [being associated with] (1) the cause of the purity of the dharmakāya, (2) the cause of the attainment of buddha wisdom, and (3) the cause of a tathāgata’s great compassion’s engaging [all beings]. (J38) (1) Here, the cause of the purity of the dharmakāya is to be regarded as the cultivation of faith in the mahāyāna [dharma]. (D95a) (2) The cause of the attainment of buddha wisdom is to cultivate the doors of prajñā and samādhi. (3) The cause of a tathāgata’s great compassion’s engaging [all beings] is a bodhisattva’s cultivation of great compassion. Here, the cultivation of faith in the mahāyāna [dharma] resembles [the ocean’s] being a [big] vessel because the jewels of prajñā and samādhi as well as the water of compassion, [all of which] are immeasurable and inexhaustible, are assembled in it. The cultivation of the doors of prajñā and samādhi resembles the jewels [in this ocean] because it is nonconceptual and is endowed with qualities of inconceivable power. A bodhisattva’s cultivation of compassion resembles the water [in this ocean] because it possesses the characteristic of the single taste that is its nature of supremely moistening [the mind streams of] all beings. [Here, the fact of] these three dharmas’ being associated with the three kinds of causes [mentioned above, that is], their being connected with them, is called "endowment."
Now, what is taught by the latter half of verse [I.42]?
In the due order of [the following] three points, the tathāgata element is similar to a lamp in three ways. By virtue of that, the topic of endowment is to be understood in terms of [the tathāgata element’s] being associated with [certain] results. (P98b) Which are these three points? They consist of [being endowed with] (1) the supernatural knowledges, (2) the wisdom of the termination of contaminations, and (3) the termination of contaminations. Here, (1) the five supernatural knowledges resemble the light [of the flame of a lamp] because they have the characteristic of providing the approach to overcome the darkness of the antagonistic factors of the wisdom of experiencing [true] actuality. (2) The wisdom of the termination of contaminations resembles the heat [of the flame of a lamp] because it has the characteristic of providing the approach to consume the entire fuel of karma and afflictions without exception. (3) The termination of contaminations that is the change of the foundation resembles the color [of the flame of a lamp] because it has the characteristic of utterly stainless (D95b) and pure luminosity. (J39) Here, it is stainless by virtue of the afflictive obscurations’ having been relinquished. It is pure by virtue of the cognitive obscurations’ having been relinquished. It is luminous by virtue of not having the nature of these two adventitious [stains]. Thus, in brief, these seven dharmas in the mind streams of nonlearners (which consist of the [five] uncontaminated supernatural knowledges, wisdom, and relinquishment) [that exist] in the uncontaminated basic element are inseparable from each other, not distinct [from each other], and associated with the dharmadhātu in terms of [both] being equal. This is what is called "endowment" [here].
This example of a lamp with regard to the topic of endowment is to be understood in detail according to the [Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśasūtra]:
Śāriputra, it is as follows. A lamp is endowed with inseparable attributes and possesses indivisible qualities. That is, it is [inseparable] from its light, heat, and color. Or, a jewel is [inseparable] from its radiance, color, and shape. Likewise, Śāriputra, the dharmakāya that is taught by the Tathāgata is endowed with inseparable attributes and qualities that [can]not be realized as being divisible [from it], which [manifest] in the form of the attributes of a tathāgata that far surpass the sand grains in the river Gaṅgā [in number].
Now, [there follows] (P99a) a verse about (6) the topic of manifestation.
- Manifesting differently as the suchness
- Of ordinary beings, noble ones, and perfect buddhas,
- The disposition of the victors is taught
- To sentient beings by those who see true reality. I.45
What is taught by this?
- Ordinary beings are mistaken,
- Those who see reality are the opposite,
- And tathāgatas are most exactly unmistaken
- And free from reference points. I.46
With regard to introducing bodhisattvas to nonconceptual wisdom, it is taught in the prajñāpāramitā [sūtras] and others that the tathāgata element has the general characteristic of being the [natural] purity of the suchness of all phenomena. It should be understood that, in brief, the three [types of] persons engage it in three different ways—ordinary beings who do not see true reality,noble ones who see true reality, and tathāgatas who have reached the ultimate purity of seeing true reality. (D96a) That is, [these persons] are mistaken, unmistaken, (J40) and perfectly unmistaken and free from reference points, respectively. Here, "mistaken" refers to [the way of engaging] of naive beings because they are mistaken in terms of discrimination, mind, and view. "Unmistaken" refers to [the way of engaging] of the noble ones because they, being opposite [to naive beings], have relinquished such [mistakenness]. "Perfectly unmistaken and free from reference points" refers to [the way of engaging] of completely perfect buddhas because they have overcome [all] afflictive and cognitive obscurations, including their latent tendencies.
Following this, the four topics other than this one should be understood as instructions on specific aspects of the topic of manifestation. Now, [there follows] a verse about (7) the topic of the distinction [of the tathāgata heart] through the phases of those three [kinds of] persons. (P99b)
- Its being impure, its being both impure and pure,
- And its being completely pure, in due order,
- Are expressed as "the basic element of sentient beings,"
- "Bodhisattva," and "tathāgata." I.47
What is taught by this?
Any instructions on the uncontaminated basic element that the Bhagavān taught in detail in various dharma specifications are all contained, in brief, in these six topics of its nature, cause, fruition, function, endowment, and manifestation. [This basic element] is to be understood [here] as being taught by way of teaching it, in due order, through three names in its three phases. That is, in its phase of being impure, it is [called] "the basic element of sentient beings." In its phase of being both pure and impure, it is [called] "bodhisattva." In its phase of being completely pure, it is [called] "tathāgata." As the Bhagavān said [in the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśaparivarta]:
Śāriputra, this very dharmakāya, [when] covered by infinite millions of cocoons of afflictions, (D96b) carried away by the stream of saṃsāra, and circling through [all kinds of] births and deaths in the realms of saṃsāra without beginning and end, is called "the basic element of sentient beings." Śariputra, this very dharmakāya, [when] weary of the suffering in the stream of saṃsāra, free from all objects of desire, and (J41) engaging in conduct for the sake of awakening through the eighty-four thousand dharma collections that are contained in the ten pāramitās, is called "bodhisattva." Śāriputra, this very same dharmakāya, [when] liberated from all cocoons of afflictions, (P100a) having gone beyond all suffering, and being free from all stains of proximate afflictions, has become pure, completely pure, and abides in the supremely pure nature of phenomena. It has ascended to the level to be looked upon by all sentient beings, has attained the power over all levels of knowable objects that belongs to the person who is second to none, and has obtained the strength of mastering all phenomena, which has the nature of being unobscured and is unhindered. This is called "the Tathāgata Arhat, the completely perfect Buddha."
[There follows] a verse about (8) the topic of the tathāgata element’s being all-pervading throughout these three phases.
- Just as space with its character
- Of nonconceptuality is present everywhere,
- So the stainless basic element that is
- The nature of the mind is omnipresent. I.49
What is taught by this?
- [Its] general characteristic is that it pervades
- Flaws, qualities, and perfection,
- Just as space [pervades] inferior, middling,
- And supreme kinds of forms. I.50
The nonconceptual nature of the mind of ordinary beings, noble ones, and perfect buddhas is their general characteristic. Therefore, it penetrates, enters, is the same as, is not different from, and is always present in these three phases of flaws, qualities, and the perfection of the purity of these qualities, (D97a) just as space [pervades] earthen, silver, and golden vessels [alike]. Therefore, immediately after the instruction on the three phases, that same [sūtra] says:
Therefore, Śāriputra, the basic element of sentient beings is not other and the dharmakāya is not other. (P100b) Nothing but the basic element of sentient beings is the dharmakāya, and nothing but the dharmakāya is the basic element of sentient beings. In terms of their meaning, they are not two. They are different in letter only.
[There follow] fourteen verses about (9) the topic of this tathāgata element’s being unchangeable by being afflicted or purified, despite being all-pervading throughout those three phases. The [following verse] is to be understood as the synopsis [that precedes] these [fourteen verses].
- Since it is adventitiously associated with flaws
- And since it is naturally endowed with qualities,
- Its true nature of being changeless
- Is the same before as after. I.51
(J42) Since [the basic element] is adventitiously associated with the two flaws of afflictions and proximate afflictions during its phase of being impure and during its phase of being both impure and pure ([taught] by twelve [verses] and by one verse, respectively) and since it is naturally endowed during its phase of being completely pure with the inconceivable buddha qualities that far surpass the sand grains in the river Gaṅgā [in number], are inseparable [from this basic element], and [can]not be realized as being divisible [from it] ([taught] by the fourteenth verse), it is explained that the tathāgata element has the true nature of being absolutely changeless before and later, just like the element of space.
Now, what are the twelve verses about the topic of [the tathāgata element’s] being changeless during its phase of being impure?
- Just as all-pervasive space
- Is untainted due to its subtlety,
- So this [basic element] that abides everywhere
- In sentient beings is untainted. I.52
- Just as the worlds everywhere
- Are born and perish in space,
- So the faculties arise and perish
- In the unconditioned basic element. I.53
- Just as space was never (D97b)
- Burned before by any fires, (P101a)
- So this [basic element] is not consumed
- By the fires of death, sickness, and aging. I.54
- Earth rests upon water, water on wind,
- And wind on space,
- [But] space does not rest on the elements
- Of wind, water, or earth. I.55
- Likewise, skandhas, dhātus, and faculties
- Rest on karma and afflictions,
- And karma and afflictions always rest on
- Improper mental engagement. I.56
- Improper mental engagement
- Rests on the purity of the mind,
- [But] this nature of the mind does not rest
- On any of these phenomena. I.57
- The skandhas, āyatanas, and dhātus
- Should be understood as being like the element of earth.
- The karma and afflictions of living beings
- Should be understood as resembling the element of water. I.58 (J43)
- Improper mental engagement
- Is to be known as being like the element of wind.
- Being without root and not resting [on anything],
- [Mind’s] nature is similar to space. I.59
- Improper mental engagement
- Rests on the nature of the mind,
- And improper mental engagement
- Produces karma and afflictions. I.60
- Skandhas, āyatanas, and dhātus
- Arise and disappear
- From water-like karma and afflictions,
- Just as the evolution and dissolution of the [world]. I.61
- Lacking causes and conditions,
- Lacking aggregation, and lacking
- Arising, ceasing, and abiding,
- The nature of the mind resembles space. I.62
- The luminous nature of the mind
- Is completely unchanging, just like space.
- It is not afflicted by adventitious stains,
- Such as desire, born from false imagination. I.63
How is the tathāgata element’s true nature of being changeless in its phase of being impure explained through this example of space? It is described as follows:
- The mass of water-like karma
- And afflictions does not generate it,
- Nor do the raging fires of death,
- Sickness, and aging consume it. I.64
(J44) (D98a) (P101b) The arising of the skandhas, dhātus, and āyatanas (which resemble [the earth of] the world) is conditioned by karma and afflictions (which resemble masses of water), which [in turn] originate from improper mental engagement (which resembles the wind maṇḍala). [However, their arising] does not generate the nature of the mind (which resembles the element of space). Likewise, the mass of the fires of death, sickness, and aging arises in order to destroy the skandhas, dhātus, and āyatanas (resembling [the earth of] the world) that rest on the aggregation of wind-like improper mental engagement and water-like karma and afflictions. [However,] it should be understood that [these fires] do not dissolve the [nature of the mind] either. Thus, in its phase of being impure, though the entire afflictiveness of afflictions, karma, and birth arises and disappears (just as the world that is the container does), the unconditioned tathāgata element lacks arising and ceasing (just as space). Therefore, it is explained that its true nature is to be absolutely changeless.
This example of space, which refers to "The Introduction to the Light of dharma [called] ‘The Introduction to the Natural Purity [of the Mind],’" should be understood in detail according to the [Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā] sūtra:
Honorable friends, the afflictions are darkness, and the purity [of mind] is light. The afflictions are of weak power, and vipaśyanā is powerful. The afflictions are adventitious, and the nature [of the mind] is fundamentally pure. The afflictions are imagination, and the nature [of the mind] lacks imagination. Honorable friends, it is as follows. This great earth rests on water, water rests on wind, and wind rests on space. But space does not rest [on anything]. Thus, among these four elements, the element of space is more powerful than the element of earth, the element of water, and the element of wind. It is stable, immovable, neither increasing nor decreasing, neither arising nor ceasing, and remains within its own natural state.
Now, those three elements entail arising and ceasing, (P102a) are unstable, and do not remain for a long time. It can be seen that they are changeable, but the element of space lacks any change whatsoever. Likewise, (J45) (D98b) the skandhas, dhātus, and āyatanas rest on karma and the afflictions, karma and afflictions rest on improper mental engagement, and improper mental engagement rests on the natural purity [of the mind]. Therefore, it is said, "The mind is luminous by nature, [but] it is afflicted by adventitious afflictions."
Here, all these phenomena—improper mental engagement, karma and afflictions, as well as skandhas, dhātus, and āyatanas—arise by way of being created by causes and conditions and they cease once they are separated from these causes and conditions. On the other hand, the nature [of the mind] lacks causes and conditions, lacks aggregation, and lacks arising and ceasing.
Here, the nature [of the mind] is like the element of space, improper mental engagement is like the element of wind, karma and afflictions are like the element of water, and the skandhas, dhātus, and āyatanas are like the element of earth. Therefore, it is said that all phenomena are completely devoid of any foundation and have the foundation of being without essence, the foundation of not abiding, the foundation of being pure, and the foundation of being without foundation.
It has [already] been stated that, in its phase of being impure, the nature [of the mind] resembles the element of space in terms of its characteristic of being changeless. In terms of their characteristic of being causes, the improper mental engagement that is based upon this [nature] resembles the element of wind, and karma and afflictions resemble the element of water. In terms of their characteristic of being the maturations [of improper mental engagement, karma, and afflictions], the skandhas, dhātus, and āyatanas that arise from them (P102b) resemble the element of earth.
[However,] it has not been stated that, in terms of their characteristic of being [like] a plague, the fires of death, sickness, and aging that are the causes of the destruction of the [skandhas and so on] resemble the element of fire. (D99a) [Thus,] the following is said [here]:
- The three fires—the fire at the end of an age,
- The one in hell, and ordinary [fire]—
- Should be understood, in due order, as the examples
- For the three fires of death, sickness, and aging. I.65
It should be understood that, in due order, death, sickness, and aging resemble fire for three reasons because [death] causes the six [inner] āyatanas to no [longer be] what is "mine," because [sickness] causes one to experience various pains, and because [aging] causes the formations to ripen. [However,] the tathāgata element in its phase of being impure is not changed even through these three fires of death, sickness, and aging. With regard to this, [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
Bhagavan, "being dead" or "being born" are [merely] worldly conventions. (J46) Bhagavan, "being dead" refers to the cessation of the sense faculties. Bhagavan, "being born" refers to the manifestation of new faculties. However, Bhagavan, the tathāgata heart is not born, does not age, does not die, does not transit, and does not [re]arise. For what reason is that? Bhagavan, the tathāgata heart is beyond being an object that has the characteristic of being conditioned. [Rather,] it is permanent, everlasting, peaceful, and eternal.
Now, [there follows the one] verse about the topic of changelessness in the phase of [the tathāgata element’s] being both impure and pure.
- Having realized the nature of this [basic element] just as it is,
- Free from birth, death, sickness, and aging,
- The intelligent, due to giving rise to compassion for beings,
- Assume the predicaments of birth and so on despite lacking their causes. I.66
What is taught by this?
- The root of the sufferings of death, sickness,
- And aging is removed by the noble ones.
- [Such suffering] is born from the power of karma and afflictions,
- [But] they lack it because they lack these. I.67
(P103a) The substantial cause of the fires of the sufferings of death, sickness, and aging during the phase of [the tathāgata element’s] being impure is the fuel-like being born that is preceded by improper mental engagement, karma, and afflictions. In bodhisattvas during the phase of [the tathāgata element’s] being both impure and pure, who have obtained a body of a mental nature, there is no appearance whatsoever [of such a cause]. (D99b) Because of that, it is understood that the others [the fires of death and so on that are the results of being born] do not blaze at all [either]. (J47)
- Due to their character of compassion,
- They display birth, death, aging, and sickness,
- [But] they are beyond birth and so on
- Because they see [the basic element] as it really is. I.68
Bodhisattvas who are united with roots of virtue, by relying on their mastery over [taking] birth as they wish, connect with [saṃsāra] in its three realms due to their compassion. They display birth, and they also display aging, sickness, and death. However, these phenomena of birth and so on do not exist in them because they see the lack of birth and the lack of arising of the basic element as it really is.
This phase of bodhisattvas is to be understood in detail according to the [Sāgaramatiparipṛcchā]sūtra, which says:
"What are the afflictions that continue saṃsāra and are associated with roots of virtue? They are as follows. [Bodhisattvas] are never content with [their efforts in] seeking out the accumulation of merit, take birth in [saṃsāric] existence as they wish, earnestly desire to meet buddhas, are never weary of maturing sentient beings, make efforts in grasping the genuine dharma, exert themselves in whatever is to be done for sentient beings, are never separated from the motivation of desiring the dharma, and do not abandon their union with the pāramitās. Sāgaramati, these are the afflictions that are associated with roots of virtue, through which bodhisattvas connect [with saṃsāra], but they are never affected by the flaws of these afflictions."
Then [Sāgaramati] said, (P103b) "Bhagavan, if these are roots of virtue, for what reason are they called ‘afflictions’?"
[The Bhagavān] answered, "Sāgaramati, it is as follows. It is through afflictions of such a nature that bodhisattvas connect with [saṃsāra] in its three realms. [Saṃsāra] in its three realms arises from afflictions. Now, (D100a) it is through their skill in means and through bringing about the power of their roots of virtue that bodhisattvas connect with [saṃsāra] in its three realms as they wish. Therefore, [these afflictions] are called ‘afflictions that are associated with roots of virtue.’ [They are called ‘afflictions’] because they connect [bodhisattvas] with [saṃsāra] in its three realms for as long as [these realms] exist, but not because they afflict their minds.
O Sāgaramati, suppose there were a distinguished householder’s only son, who is beloved, handsome, attractive, and lovely to behold. This boy, being a child, would fall into a pit of excrement while dancing. Then the family and the relatives of this boy would see that the boy has fallen into that pit of excrement. Upon seeing this, they would sigh deeply, wail, and lament. However, they would not [be able to] enter that pit of excrement (J48) and pull out the boy. Then the father of this boy would come to this place and see his only son fallen into the pit of excrement. Upon seeing that, out of [his fatherly] love, he would wish to seize his only son, thus hurrying to enter the pit of excrement very quickly without feeling any disgust and pulling him out.
Sāgaramati, this example is given in order to make a certain meaning understood. What is to be regarded as the meaning [illustrated by this example]? Sāgaramati, "the pit of excrement" is a designation for [saṃsāra] in its three realms. "The only son" is a designation for sentient beings. [For] bodhisattvas entertain the notion about all sentient beings that they are [like] their only son. "The mother and the relatives" (P104a) is a designation for the persons who belong to the yānas of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas. [For] upon seeing sentient beings fallen into saṃsāra, they wail and lament, but they are not able to pull them out. "The distinguished householder" is a designation for bodhisattvas who are pure and stainless, possess a mind that is free from stains, and have directly realized the unconditioned dharma (D100b) [but still] link up with [saṃsāra] in its three realms for the sake of maturing sentient beings as they wish. Sāgaramati, such is the great compassion of bodhisattvas that they, despite being completely liberated from all fetters, again assume birth in [saṃsāric] existence. By virtue of being skilled in means and being embraced by prajñā, they are not harmed by [their own] afflictions and teach the dharma to sentient beings in order to relinquish all the fetters of their afflictions."
The instruction in this sūtra passage explains the [tathāgata element’s] phase of being both impure and pure because (1) bodhisattvas who have gained mastery for the sake of acting for the benefit of others connect with births in [saṃsāric] existence through the powers of their roots of virtue and of their compassion as they wish and (2) because they are not afflicted by this [saṃsāric existence] through the powers of their [skill in] means and prajñā.
Here, the manner in which bodhisattvas, upon having arrived at seeing the lack of birth and the lack of arising of the tathāgata element as it really is, attain that true nature of a bodhisattva should be understood in detail according to the [same] sūtra, which says:
Sāgaramati, look at phenomena’s lack of an essence, lack of a creator, lack of an identity, lack of a sentient being, lack of a life force, (J49) lack of a person, and lack of an owner. (P104b) Indeed, they are [simply] created as one wishes. Being thus created, they do not think or imagine. Sāgaramati, bodhisattvas who believe that phenomena are [thus] created do not give rise to weariness of any phenomenon. Their vision of wisdom is immaculate and pure, [seeing] that there is nothing here that causes benefit or harm. In this way, they know the true nature of phenomena as it really is and never cast off the armor of great compassion.
O Sāgaramati, suppose there were a priceless precious jewel of beryl, (D101a) excellently polished, excellently pure, and excellently stainless. Suppose [this jewel] would be thrown into the mud and would remain there for a thousand years. After these thousand years have passed, it would be pulled out of the mud and would be washed and cleansed. Having been rinsed well, perfectly purified, and perfectly polished, it would never lose its nature of being such a pure and stainless precious jewel.
Likewise, Sāgaramati, bodhisattvas know the natural luminosity of the mind of sentient beings, but they [also] see that this [luminosity] is afflicted by adventitious proximate afflictions. Now, bodhisattvas think as follows, "These afflictions do not enter the natural luminosity of the mind of sentient beings. These afflictions are adventitious and are produced by false imagination. I am able to teach the dharma in order to remove the adventitious afflictions of these sentient beings." In this way, a fainthearted state of mind never arises in them. [Instead,] with much greater intensity than such [potential faintheartedness] and in an immediate manner, they give rise to the mind-set for liberating all sentient beings. They also think thus, "These afflictions do not have any power or strength. These afflictions are powerless and of weak power. They have no real foundation. (J50) These afflictions (P105a) are false imagination. When examined with proper mental engagement that accords with true reality, they do not stir. We should scrutinize them in such a way that they may never adhere to us [again]. Indeed, it is good when the afflictions do not adhere, but it is not [good] when they do adhere. If the afflictions were to adhere to me, how could I teach the dharma for the sake of relinquishing the fetters of the afflictions of sentient beings who are bound by the fetters of the afflictions? Look, we will not adhere to the afflictions, so we shall teach the dharma to sentient beings in order to relinquish their fetters of the afflictions. (D101b) On the other hand, in order to mature sentient beings, we should adhere to those afflictions that connect us with saṃsāra and are associated with roots of virtue."
Here, "saṃsāra" implies the three bodies of a mental nature in the uncontaminated basic element that are a reflection of [the bodies of beings in] the three realms. This is [referred to as] saṃsāra because it is formed by uncontaminated roots of virtue. It is also [referred to as] nirvāṇa because it is not formed by contaminated karma and afflictions. With regard to this, [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
- Therefore, Bhagavan, there is both conditioned and unconditioned saṃsāra. There is both conditioned and unconditioned nirvāṇa.
Now, this is called "the phase of being impure and pure" because it entails the operation of minds and mental factors in which the conditioned and the unconditioned are mixed. Furthermore, this [phase] is primarily presented [as occurring] on the [sixth] bodhisattvabhūmi, [called] "The Facing" for the following [two] reasons. [On this bhūmi,] by virtue of having cultivated the unobstructed pāramitā of prajñā, [bodhisattvas] face the supernatural knowledge of the termination of contaminations. [On the other hand,] by virtue of having cultivated great compassion, (P105b) they do not directly realize [this supernatural knowledge of the termination of contaminations] in order to [remain in saṃsāra and] protect all the basic elements of sentient beings.
Likewise, son of noble family, bodhisattvas give rise to the five supernatural knowledges through great effort, great vigor, and the firm cultivation of the superior intention. With their minds purified by dhyānas and supernatural knowledges, they come to face [the wisdom of] the termination of contaminations. [However,] by virtue of having generated the mind-set of great compassion, in order to protect all sentient beings, [instead of merging with the wisdom of the termination of contaminations, they consider sentient beings and therefore turn away from this wisdom and return, appearing even at the level of ordinary beings].
[Thus,] having trained in the wisdom of the termination of contaminations, (D102a) once again, (J51) by virtue of giving rise to unobstructed prajñā through their excellently purified mind, on the sixth [bhūmi] they come to face the termination of contaminations.
In this way, they attain mastery over the direct realization of the termination of contaminations on this bodhisattvabhūmi [called] "The Facing." Therefore, this is explained as the bodhisattvas’ phase [of the tathāgata element’s] being pure. [On the other hand,] by virtue of their character of correctly engaging [in the tathāgata element] and due to their great compassion, thinking, "I shall establish others too in this same correct engagement," they wish to protect sentient beings who engage in a wrong way. Having trained in the means for the bliss of peace without tasting it, out of consideration for sentient beings who are facing saṃsāra, [bodhisattvas] who are facing nirvāṇa rise from the dhyānas [that they cultivate] for the sake of completing [all] the factors [concordant with] awakening and again assume birth in the desire realm as they wish. Therefore, wishing to promote the welfare of sentient beings as quickly as possible, (P106a) they gain mastery over displaying the bodies of ordinary beings by way of [assuming] different births [even] in the forms of various animals. Therefore, this is explained as [the bodhisattvas’] phase [of the tathāgata element’s] being impure.
[There is also] another meaning of verse [I.66].
- [Despite] their realization that this true nature
- Is changeless, the children of the victors
- Are [still] seen as [being subject to] birth and so on
- By those blinded by ignorance—this is amazing! I.69
- Therefore, the means and the compassion
- Of the friends of beings are supreme—
- They have attained the sphere of the noble ones
- And yet show themselves in the sphere of naive beings. I.70
- Being beyond all worlds,
- They do not move away from the world,
- Conducting themselves in the world for the sake of the world
- Without being tainted by worldly stains. I.71
- Just as a lotus born in the water
- Is not tainted by the water,
- So they are born in the world
- But are untainted by worldly dharmas. I.72 (J52)
- Their mind [set] on accomplishing [beneficial] activity
- Is perpetually blazing like fire,
- While always being immersed in
- The absorption of the dhyāna of peace. I.73
- Through the power of the continuing force of previous [actions] (D102b)
- And through being free from all conceptions,
- They do not [need to] make any efforts
- For the sake of maturing living beings. I.74
- In that way, without any effort
- And with unobscured intelligence,
- They always engage in the welfare of sentient beings
- In this world that reaches to the limits of space. I.76
- Having attained this status,
- For the worlds, bodhisattvas are equal
- To tathāgatas in terms of
- Delivering sentient beings. I.77
- [Actually,] however, the difference
- Between bodhisattvas and a buddha
- Is the difference between a particle and the earth
- Or between [the water in] the hoofprint of an ox and the ocean. I.78
Among these ten verses, [the first] nine verses (P106b) [compare the purity of bodhisattvas] with the utter affliction [of those] below the [first] bodhisattvabhūmi "Supreme Joy," and the tenth verse compares [the purity of bodhisattvas] with the utter purity [of buddhas who are] above the [tenth] bodhisattvabhūmi "Dharma Cloud." In brief, [these verses] explain the [respective] purity and impurity of four [kinds of] bodhisattvas on the ten bodhisattvabhūmis. These four [kinds of] bodhisattvas are those who have given rise to [ultimate bodhi]citta for the first time, those who engage in the conduct [of bodhisattvas], those who are irreversible, and those who are prevented [from becoming a buddha] by [only] a single birth. Here, the first and second verses explain the characteristics of the purity of the qualities of bodhisattvas who have given rise to [ultimate bodhi]citta for the first time because on the bhūmi "Supreme Joy," they realize for the first time the supramundane true nature that they had not seen before since beginningless time. The third and fourth verses (J53) explain the characteristics of the purity of the qualities of bodhisattvas who engage in the conduct [of bodhisattvas], starting from the bhūmi "The Stainless One" up through the bhūmi "Gone Afar" because they engage in untainted conduct. The fifth verse (D103a) explains the characteristics of the purity of the qualities of bodhisattvas who are irreversible on the bhūmi "The Immovable One" because they are firmly and uninterruptedly grounded in the samādhis that are the practices for attaining great awakening. The sixth, seventh, and eighth verses explain the characteristics of the purity of the qualities of bodhisattvas who are prevented [from becoming a buddha] by [only] a single birth on the [tenth] bhūmi [called] "Dharma Cloud" because they have perfected all the means for accomplishing their own [welfare] and the welfare of others and thus are prevented from the attainment of unsurpassable, supreme, and fully perfect awakening by [only] a single last birth [after which they attain] the buddhabhūmi. The ninth and tenth verses, respectively, explain the lack of difference and the difference between the purity of the qualities of bodhisattvas who have reached the culmination of [all the means] for the welfare of others and their own welfare and [the purity of the qualities of] tathāgatas. (P107a)
Now, [there follows] the verse about the topic of changelessness in the phase of [the tathāgata element’s] being completely pure.
- [The tathāgata element] is of unchanging character because it is has the nature of being inexhaustible.
- It is the refuge of the world because it has no end in time.
- It is always nondual because it is nonconceptual.
- It also has the nature of indestructibility because its nature is to be uncreated. I.79
What is taught by this?
- It is not born, nor does it die.
- It does not suffer, nor does it age
- Because it is permanent, everlasting,
- Peaceful, and eternal. I.80
- It is not [even] born in the form of bodies
- Of a mental nature because it is permanent.
- It does not [even] die by way of an inconceivable
- Transformation because it is everlasting. I.81 (J54)
- It does not [even] suffer from the subtle sicknesses
- Of latent tendencies because it is peaceful.
- It does not [even] age through uncontaminated
- Formations because it is eternal. I.82
The tathāgata element, which on the buddhabhūmi abides in its own absolutely stainless, pure, and luminous nature, is not even born in the form of bodies of a mental nature because it is permanent in terms of its beginning in time. It does not even die by way of the death that is an inconceivable transformation because it is everlasting in terms of an end in time. (D103b) It does not even suffer from being seized by the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance because it is peaceful in terms of a beginning and an end in time. Not befallen by what is meaningless, it does not even age through the transformation that is the result of uncontaminated karma because it is eternal.
- Here, the meanings of permanent and so on
- With regard to the unconditioned basic element
- Should be understood through two, two,
- Two, and two phrases, respectively. I.83
Here, as for the four terms permanent, everlasting, peaceful, and eternal with regard to the unconditioned basic element, (P107b) respectively, the distinction of the meaning of each single term should be comprehended through two phrases each in terms of a brief statement and its explanation according to the [Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśa]sūtra, which says:
Śariputra, this dharmakāya is permanent—it is of an unchanging nature due to its true nature of being inexhaustible. Śariputra, this dharmakāya is everlasting—it is the everlasting refuge due to equaling the end of time. Śariputra, this dharmakāya is peaceful—it is of a nondual nature due to its true nature of being nonconceptual. Śariputra, this dharmakāya is eternal—it is of an indestructible nature due to its true nature of being uncreated.
(J55) [There follows] a verse about (10) the topic of inseparability of the tathāgata element whose characteristic is that it has reached the culmination of absolute purification in its phase of being completely pure.
- Since it is the dharmakāya, the Tathāgata,
- The reality of the noble ones, and the ultimate nirvāṇa,
- There is no nirvāṇa apart from buddhahood
- Due to its qualities’ being inseparable, just like the sun and its rays. I.84
What is taught by the first half of this verse?
- In brief, (D104a) one should know
- The four synonyms such as the dharmakāya
- For the uncontaminated basic element
- Since it is classified as fourfold in meaning. I.85
In brief, one should know the four synonyms for the uncontaminated basic element, the tathāgata heart, with regard to its four meanings. What are these four meanings?
- [They] are the inseparability of the buddha attributes,
- The disposition for that having been obtained just as it is,
- Its true nature’s being without falsity and deception,
- And its being natural primordial peace. I.86
With regard to the meaning of the inseparability of the buddha attributes [from the tathāgata heart], (P108a) [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
Bhagavan, the tathāgata heart is not empty of the inconceivable buddha attributes that are inseparable [from it], [can]not be realized as being divisible [from it], and far surpass the sand grains in the river Gaṅgā [in number].
With regard to the meaning of the disposition for that [buddhahood] (that is, the nature [of the mind]) having been obtained in an inconceivable manner, it is said:
The distinctive feature of the six āyatanas has been obtained through [the nature of] phenomena since beginningless time and is continuing as such [up through the present].
With regard to the meaning of [its true nature’s] being without falsity and deception, it is said:
Here, ultimate reality is the nirvāṇa whose nature it is to be without deception. For what reason [is that so]? This disposition is permanent by virtue of its true nature of being peaceful.
With regard to the meaning of its being absolute peace, [the Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra] says:
The Tathāgata Arhat, the completely perfect Buddha, who has passed into parinirvāṇa from the very beginning is without arising and without ceasing.
(J56) For these four meanings, in due order, there are four synonyms, namely, dharmakāya, tathāgata, ultimate reality, and nirvāṇa. For [the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśaparivarta] says:
- Śāriputra, "tathāgata heart" is a designation for the dharmakāya.
[The Śrīmālādevīsūtra states:]
Bhagavan, it is not that the Tathāgata is other and (D104b) the dharmakāya is other. Bhagavan, that very dharmakāya is the Tathāgata.
- Bhagavan, the name "cessation of suffering" indicates the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata, which is . . . endowed with such qualities.
- Bhagavan, "the dhātu of nirvāṇa" is a designation for the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata.
(P108b) Now, what is taught by the latter half of verse [I.84]?
- Being the fully perfect awakening in all aspects
- And the removal of [all] stains and their latent tendencies,
- Buddhahood and nirvāṇa
- Ultimately are not two. I.87
Those four synonyms for the uncontaminated basic element are contained in the single undifferentiated meaning of the tathāgata element. Therefore, since those [four] are one in their meaning, by way of the principle of the dharma of nonduality, the two called "buddhahood" (due to its being the fully perfect awakening in all aspects with regard to all phenomena) and "nirvāṇa" (due to its being the relinquishment of [all] stains and their latent tendencies immediately upon this fully perfect awakening) are to be regarded as not being two in the uncontaminated basic element, [that is,] not being different and being inseparable. It is said:
- Liberation has the characteristic of being inseparable
- From its qualities, which are of all kinds,
- Innumerable, inconceivable, and stainless.
- What is this liberation is the Tathāgata.
With regard to the parinirvāṇa of arhats and pratyekabuddhas, [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
- Bhagavan, what is called "nirvāṇa" is [just] a means of the tathāgatas.
This [passage] explains that, just like a city in the middle of the jungle that is magically created for [travelers] who are tired by their long path, this [nirvāṇa of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas] is a means [used] by the completely perfect buddhas, who are the supreme lords of dharma, [so that śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas] do not turn back. [On the other hand, that sūtra] says: (D105a)
Bhagavan, because they have attained nirvāṇa, (J57) the tathāgata arhats, the completely perfect buddhas, are endowed with the qualities that have finally reached their entirety . . . immeasurability . . . inconceivability . . . . and . . . purity.
This [passage] explains that, having attained the nirvāṇa that is characterized by being inseparable from the accomplishment of these four kinds of qualities, (P109a) the completely perfect buddhas have the character of that [nirvāṇa]. Thus since both buddhahood and nirvāṇa have the quality of being inseparable, there is no one who attains nirvāṇa without buddhahood.
Now, through the example of [various] painters, it should be understood that the tathāgatas [have perfected] all these qualities within the uncontaminated basic element because they have accomplished the emptiness that is endowed with all supreme aspects.
- Suppose there were some painters,
- [Each] an expert in a different [body part],
- So that whatever part is known by one of them
- Would not be understood by any other one. I.88
- Then a mighty king would hand
- Them a canvas and order,
- "All of you, on this [canvas]
- Paint my portrait!" I.89
- Having agreed to his [order],
- They would start their painting work,
- [But] then one among these dedicated workers
- Would leave for another country. I.90
- With him gone to another country,
- Due to his absence, the painting
- Would not be completed in all its parts—
- Such is the example that is given. I.91
Here, each one among these [aspects] (generosity and so on) is differentiated into infinite distinctions in terms of being the objects of a buddha. Therefore, they should be understood to be immeasurable. [Also,] they are inconceivable by virtue of their number and power. They are supremely pure because the latent tendencies of the stains that are their antagonistic factors (such as miserliness) have been eliminated.
Here, (D105b) the true nature of nonarising is attained through having cultivated the door of the samādhi of the emptiness endowed with all supreme aspects. Therefore, (P109b) on the bodhisattvabhūmi "The Immovable One," based on the wisdom of the path that is nonconceptual, flawless, uninterrupted, and bears it own natural flavor, (J58) all qualities of the tathāgatas in the uncontaminated basic element are fully accomplished. On the bodhisattvabhūmi "The Excellent One," based on the wisdom of seizing the immeasurable buddha attributes through oceans of innumerable doors of samādhis and dhāraṇīs, the immeasurability of these qualities is fully accomplished. On the bodhisattvabhūmi "Dharma Cloud," based on the wisdom of revealing the secret state of all tathāgatas, the inconceivability of these qualities is fully accomplished. Immediately after that, based on the wisdom of being liberated from all afflictive and cognitive obscurations including their latent tendencies in order to attain the buddhabhūmi, the supreme purity of these qualities is fully accomplished. Since arhats and pratyekabuddhas lack any perceptions based on these four [kinds of] wisdom of said [four] bhūmis, they are said to be far from the dhātu of nirvāṇa that is characterized by being inseparable from the accomplishment of these four kinds of qualities.
- Since prajñā, wisdom, and liberation
- Are illuminating, pervasive, pure,
- And not different, they resemble
- The light, the rays, and the orb of the sun. I.93
The dhātu of nirvāṇa that is characterized by being inseparable from the accomplishment of these four kinds of qualities is described by what is prajñā, what is wisdom, and what is liberation. In due order, these are explained to resemble the sun in four ways—due to three aspects [in terms of prajñā and so on] and due to one [aspect in general]. Here, the supramundane nonconceptual prajñā in the mind stream of a buddha, (P110a) by virtue of engaging in the elimination of the darkness [that obscures] the supreme true reality of [all] knowable objects, (D106a) resembles the illuminating [quality of the sun]. The omniscient wisdom that is attained subsequently to this [prajñā], by virtue of engaging in all aspects of knowable entities without exception, resembles the pervasive web of the rays [of the sun]. The liberation of the nature of the mind that is the basis of these two, by virtue of being utterly stainless and luminous, resembles the purity of the orb of the sun. By virtue of these three having the nature of not being different from the dharmadhātu, they resemble [the fact that] those three [qualities of the sun] are inseparable from it.
- Therefore, without attaining buddhahood,
- Nirvāṇa is not attained,
- Just as it is impossible to see the sun
- After its light and its rays are removed. I.94
(J59) Thus is the true nature of the inseparable qualities of the tathāgatas in this basic element that is endowed with the virtuous attributes whose nature it is to be associated with the [basic element since time] without beginning. Therefore, without realizing the tathāgatahood that is endowed with the vision of the prajñā and wisdom that are without attachment and obstruction, the realization of the dhātu of nirvāṇa, which is characterized by being the liberation from all obscurations, is not suitable to manifest, just as it is not [possible] to see the orb of the sun without seeing its light and its rays. Therefore, [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says the following:
Bhagavan, those who [distinguish] inferior and excellent phenomena do not attain nirvāṇa. Bhagavan, those for whom phenomena are equal attain nirvāṇa. Bhagavan, those for whom wisdom is equal, those for whom liberation is equal, and those for whom the vision of the wisdom of liberation is equal attain nirvāṇa. Therefore, Bhagavan, the dhātu of nirvāṇa is said to be of one taste and of equal taste. That is, (P110b) [it is of equal taste] as the taste of awareness and liberation.
- The presentation of the heart of the victors
- Has been discussed in this way in ten aspects.
- Now, its being enclosed by the cocoon of the afflictions
- Should be understood through examples. I.95
Thus, it was in terms of understanding the true nature that is as everlasting as the end of time (D106b) that the presentation of the tathāgata heart has been discussed through ten topics.
Now, it is in terms of [this tathāgata heart’s] being covered by the afflictions (which have the nature of being associated with it [but] not being connected with it [since time] without beginning) and the pure true nature (which has the nature of being associated and connected with the [tathāgata heart since time] without beginning) that the tathāgata heart’s being concealed by infinite cocoons of the afflictions should be comprehended through nine examples according to the sūtras. What are these nine examples? (J60)
- A buddha in a decaying lotus, honey amid bees,
- Kernels in their husks, gold in filth,
- A treasure in the earth, a sprout and so on from a small fruit,
- An image of the victor in a tattered garment, I.96
- Royalty in the womb of a destitute woman,
- And a precious statue in clay—just as these exist,
- This basic element dwells in sentient beings
- Obscured by the adventitious stains of the afflictions. I.97
- The stains resemble the lotus, the insects, the husks, the filth, the earth, the peel of a fruit,
- The foul-smelling garment, the body of a lowly woman, and the element of earth heated in a fire.
- The supreme basic element has the stainless appearance of the buddha, the honey, the kernels, the gold, the treasure,
- The nyagrodha tree, the precious image, the supreme lord of the world, and the precious statue. I.98
[In the first example,] the stains are like the sheath of a decaying lotus, while the tathāgata element resembles a buddha [within].
- Suppose a man with the stainless divine eye were to see
- A tathāgata shining with a thousand marks,
- Dwelling enclosed in a fading lotus,
- And thus would free him from the sheath of the lotus petals. I.99
- Similarly, the Sugata beholds his own true nature (P111a)
- With his buddha eye even in those who dwell in the Avīci [hell]
- And thus, as the one who is unobscured, remains until the end of time,
- And has the character of compassion, frees it from the obscurations. I.100 (J61)
- Just as someone with the divine eye would perceive an ugly shriveled lotus
- And a sugata dwelling enclosed in it, thus cutting apart its petals,
- So the sage beholds the buddha heart obscured by the sheaths of the stains such as desire and hatred,
- Thus annihilating its obscurations out of his compassion for the world. I.101
[In the second example,] the afflictions are like the insects (D107a) that are bees, while the tathāgata element resembles honey.
- Suppose a clever person were to see
- Honey surrounded by a swarm of insects
- And, striving for it, would completely separate it
- From the swarm of insects with the [proper] means. I.102
- Similarly, the great seer sees that this basic element,
- Which he perceives with his omniscient eye, is like honey
- And thus accomplishes the complete removal
- Of its obscurations that are like bees. I.103
- Just as a person striving for the honey that is covered by billions of insects
- Would remove them from the honey and use that honey as wished,
- So the uncontaminated wisdom in beings is like honey, the afflictions are like bees,
- And the victor who knows how to destroy them resembles that person. I.104
[In the third example,] the afflictions are like the outer husks, while the tathāgata element resembles the inner kernel.
- The kernel in grains united with its husks
- [Can]not be eaten by people, (J62)
- But those wanting food and so on
- Extract it from its husks. I.105
- Similarly, the state of a victor in sentient beings,
- Which is obscured by the stains of the afflictions,
- Does not perform the activity of a perfect buddha in the three existences
- For as long as it is not liberated from the afflictions added on [to it]. I.106
- Just as the kernels in grains such as corn, rice, millet, and barley, not extracted from their husks,
- Still awned, and not prepared well, will not serve as delicious edibles for people, (P111b)
- So the lord of dharma in sentient beings, whose body is not released from the husks of the afflictions,
- Will not grant the pleasant flavor of the dharma to the people pained by the hunger of the afflictions. I.107
[In the fourth example,] the afflictions are like an unclean place full of excrement, while the tathāgata element resembles gold.
- Suppose a traveling person’s [piece of] gold
- Were to fall into a filthy place full of excrement
- And yet, being of an indestructible nature, would remain there
- Just as it is for many hundreds of years.I.108
- A deity with the pure divine eye
- Would see it there and tell a person:
- [There is] gold here, this highest precious substance.
- You should purify it, and make use of this precious substance." I.109 (D107b) (J63)
- Similarly, the sage beholds the qualities of sentient beings,
- Sunken into the afflictions that are like excrement,
- And thus showers down the rain of the dharma onto beings
- In order to purify them of the afflictions’ dirt. I.110
- Just as a deity seeing a [piece of] gold fallen into a filthy place full of excrement
- Would show its supreme beauty to people in order to purify it from stains,
- So the victor, beholding the jewel of a perfect buddha fallen into the great excrement of the afflictions
- In sentient beings, teaches the dharma to these beings for the sake of purifying that [buddha]. I.111
[In the fifth example,] the afflictions are like the ground below, while the tathāgata element resembles a treasure of jewels.
- Suppose there were an inexhaustible treasure
- Beneath the ground within the house of a poor person,
- But that person would not know about this [treasure],
- Nor would the treasure say to that [person], "I am here!" I.112
- Similarly, with the stainless treasure of jewels lodged within the mind,
- Whose nature is to be inconceivable and inexhaustible,
- Not being realized, beings continuously experience
- The suffering of being destitute in many ways. I.113
- Just as a treasure of jewels lodged inside the abode of a pauper would not say
- To this person, "I, the jewel treasure, am here!," nor would this person know about it,
- So the treasure of the dharma is lodged in the house of the mind, and sentient beings resemble the pauper. (P112a)
- It is in order to enable them to attain this [treasure] that the seer takes birth in the world. I.114
[In the sixth example,] the afflictions are like the sheath of the peel [of a fruit], while the tathāgata element resembles a germ in a seed. (J64)
- The germs of the seeds in tree fruits such as mango and palm
- Have the indestructible nature [of growing into a tree].
- Being sown into the earth and coming into contact with water and so on,
- They gradually assume the form of a majestic tree. I.115
- Similarly, the splendid dharmadhātu in sentient beings, covered
- By the sheath of the peel around the fruit of ignorance and so on,
- In dependence on such and such virtues
- Gradually assumes the state of the king of sages. I.116
- Just as, through the conditions of water, sunlight, wind, earth, time, and space,
- A tree grows forth from within the sheath of palm fruits and mangos,
- So the germ in the seed of the perfect buddha lodged inside the peel of the fruit of sentient beings’ afflictions (D108a)
- Will grow into the shoot of dharma through such and such conditions of virtue. I.117
[In the seventh example,] the afflictions are like a filthy garment, while the tathāgata element resembles a precious figure.
- Suppose an image of the victor made of a precious substance
- And wrapped in a filthy foul-smelling cloth
- Were left on the road, and a deity, upon seeing it,
- Speaks about this matter to those traveling by in order to set it free. I.118
- Similarly, the one with unimpeded vision sees the body of a sugata
- Concealed by the stains of various kinds of afflictions
- Even in animals and demonstrates
- The means for its liberation. I.119
- Just as the form of the Tathāgata made of a precious substance, wrapped in a foul-smelling garment,
- And left on the road would be seen by someone with the divine eye and shown to people in order to set it free, (J65)
- So the basic element wrapped in the filthy garment of the afflictions and left on the road of saṃsāra
- Is seen by the victor even in animals, upon which he teaches the dharma for the sake of liberating it. I.120
[In the eighth example,] the afflictions are like a pregnant woman, while the tathāgata element resembles a cakravartin’s having entered the great elements a short time after conception.
- Being born in [saṃsāric] existence is like a place for those without protection,
- Impure sentient beings resemble the pregnant woman,
- The stainless basic element in them is similar to her embryo,
- And due to its existence, these [beings] do have a protector. I.122
- Just as this woman whose body is covered with a dirty garment and who has an unsightly body
- Would experience the greatest suffering in a shelter for those without protection despite this king’s residing in her womb,
- So beings dwell in the abode of suffering due to their minds’ not being at peace through the power of the afflictions
- And deem themselves to be without a protector despite the excellent protectors residing right within themselves. I.123
[In the ninth example,] the afflictions are like a clay mold, while the tathāgata element resembles a golden image.
- Similarly, always seeing the luminosity of [mind’s] nature
- And that the stains are adventitious,
- The one with the highest awakening purifies beings,
- Who are like a jewel mine, from the obscurations. I.125
- Just as an image made of stainless shining gold enclosed in clay would settle
- And a skillful jeweler, knowing about this [gold], would remove the clay,
- So the omniscient one sees that the mind, which resembles pure gold, is settled
- And removes its obscurations by way of the strokes that are the means of teaching the dharma. I.126
The summarized meaning of [all] these examples is as follows.
- Like within a lotus, insects that are bees,
- Husks, excrement, the earth,
- The peel of a fruit, a filthy garment,
- The womb of a woman, and a covering of clay, I.127
- Like a buddha, like honey, like a kernel,
- Gold, a treasure, and a tree,
- Like a precious statue, like a cakravartin,
- And like a golden image, I.128
In brief, this instruction on the examples in the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra explains that the beginningless afflicted phenomena of mind in every basic element of sentient beings are adventitious while the beginningless purified phenomena of mind are connate [with] and inseparable [from this basic element]. (J67) Therefore, it is said:
- Due to the mind’s being afflicted, sentient beings are afflicted. Due to the mind’s being purified, they are purified.
Now, what is the afflictiveness of the mind with regard to which the nine examples such as the sheath of a lotus were taught?
- Desire, hatred, ignorance,
- Their intense outbursts, latent tendencies,
- The stains pertaining to the paths of seeing and familiarization
- As well as to the impure and the pure bhūmis I.130
- Are elucidated by the nine examples
- Of the sheath of a lotus and so on,
- But the cocoons of the proximate afflictions
- In all their variety are infinite millions. I.131
(D109a) In brief, these nine afflictions always exist in an adventitious manner with regard to the naturally pure tathāgata element, just as the sheath of a lotus and so on do with regard to the image of a buddha and so on. Which are these nine? They are as follows. (1) The afflictions that are characterized as the latencies of desire, (2) those that are characterized as the latencies of hatred, (3) those that are characterized as the latencies of ignorance, (4) those that are characterized as the intense outbursts of desire, hatred, and ignorance, (5) those that consist of the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance, (6) those to be relinquished through seeing, (7) those to be relinquished through familiarization, (8) those pertaining to the impure bhūmis, and (9) those pertaining to the pure bhūmis.
(1)–(3) Here, the afflictions in the mind streams of those free from mundane desire, which are the causes for the accumulation of immovable [karmic] formations, accomplish [rebirths in] the form [realm] and the formless realm, and are to be overcome by supramundane wisdom, are called "those that are characterized as the latencies of desire, hatred, and ignorance." (4) The [afflictions] in the mind streams of sentient beings who engage in desire and so on, which are the causes for the accumulation of meritorious and nonmeritorious [karmic] formations, accomplish only [rebirths in] the desire realm, and are to be overcome by the wisdom of familiarizing with the impurity [of the body] and so on, are called "those that are characterized as the intense outbursts of desire, hatred, and ignorance." (5) The [afflictions] in the mind streams of arhats, which are the causes for the operation of uncontaminated karma, accomplish a stainless body of a mental nature, and are to be overcome by the wisdom of the awakening of a tathāgata, are called "those that consist of the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance." As for learners, they are twofold—ordinary beings and noble ones. Here, (6) the [afflictions] in the mind streams of the learners who are ordinary beings, which are to be overcome by the wisdom of first seeing the supramundane dharma, are called "those to be relinquished through seeing." (J68) (D109b) (7) The [afflictions] in the mind streams of the learners who are noble ones, which are to be overcome by the wisdom of familiarizing with the supramundane dharma as it was seen [on the path of seeing], are called "those to be relinquished through familiarization." (8) The [afflictions] in the mind streams of bodhisattvas who have not reached perfection, which are the antagonistic factors of the [first] seven kinds of wisdom bhūmis and are to be overcome by the wisdom of familiarization on the three bhūmis beginning with the eighth one, are called "those that pertain to the impure bhūmis." (9) The [afflictions] in the mind streams of bodhisattvas who have reached perfection, which are the antagonistic factors of the wisdom of familiarization on the three bhūmis beginning with the eighth one and are to be overcome by the wisdom of the vajra-like samādhi, are called "those that pertain to the pure bhūmis."
- Nine afflictions such as desire,
- In brief and in due order,
- Are elucidated by the nine examples
- Of the sheath of a lotus and so on. I.132
In detail, however, by virtue of all the variety of the eighty-four thousand divisions [of the afflictions], they are as infinite as the wisdom of the Tathāgata. Due to this, it is said that the tathāgata heart is concealed by infinite millions of cocoons afflictions.
- The impurities of naive beings,
- Arhats, learners, and the intelligent
- Are [explained] in due order by these four,
- One, two, and two stains, respectively. I.133
The Bhagavān said that all sentient beings possess the tathāgata heart. Here, all sentient beings are said to be, in brief, of four kinds, that is, ordinary beings, arhats, learners, and bodhisattvas. Now, according to their order, their [respective] impurities in the uncontaminated basic element are explained by four, one, two, and two stains of afflictions.
How should the resemblances of these nine afflictions such as desire with the sheath of a lotus and so on be understood and how should the similarity of the tathāgata element with the image of a buddha and so on (D110a) be comprehended?
- Just as a lotus grown from mud
- Is so beautiful at first
- But is no longer attractive later,
- So is the delight of desire. I.134
- Just as the insects that are bees
- Sting sharply upon being agitated,
- So the arising of our hatred
- Produces suffering in our heart. I.135 (J69)
- Just as the kernels of rice and so on
- Are covered by outer husks,
- So the seeing of the essential actuality
- Is obscured by the eggshell of ignorance. I.136
- Just as excrement is disagreeable,
- So is desire to those free from desire. (P113b)
- Being the causes for indulging in desire,
- The outbursts [of the afflictions] are like excrement. I.137
- Just as people would not obtain a treasure
- Hidden in the earth due to not knowing [about it],
- So those obscured by the ground of the latent tendencies
- Of ignorance [do not obtain] the self-arisen. I.138
- Just as the husks of a seed are split apart
- By the gradual growth of the germ and so on,
- So the factors to be relinquished through seeing
- Are removed by seeing true reality. I.139
- The factors to be relinquished through the wisdom of familiarization,
- Whose core—[views about] a real personality—has been relinquished
- As a necessary consequence of the noble path [of seeing],
- Are illustrated by a filthy garment. I.140
- The stains pertaining to the seven bhūmis
- Resemble the stains of the enclosure of a womb.
- Similar to an embryo’s being delivered from its enclosure,
- Nonconceptual wisdom possesses maturation. I.141
- The stains associated with the three [pure] bhūmis
- Should be known to be like a clay mold.
- They are to be overcome by the wisdom
- Of the vajra-like samādhi of great beings. I.142
- Thus, the nine stains such as desire
- Resemble a lotus and so on.
- Due to consisting of three natures,
- The basic element is similar to a buddha and so on. I.143
The similarity of the tathāgata heart—the cause for the purification of the mind—to the nine kinds [of examples of] a buddha image and so on should be understood in terms of its threefold nature. What is this threefold nature?
- Its nature is the dharmakāya,
- Suchness, and also the disposition,
- Which are to be understood through (D110b)
- Three illustrations, one, and five, respectively. I.144
Through the three examples of a buddha image, honey, and a kernel, the basic element is to be comprehended as having the nature of the dharmakāya; through the one example of gold, as having the nature of suchness; and through the five examples of a treasure, a tree, a precious statue, a cakravartin, and a golden image, (J70) as having the nature of the disposition for the arising of the three kinds of buddhakāyas. Here, what is the dharmakāya?
- The dharmakāya is to be known as twofold—
- The utterly stainless dharmadhātu (P114a)
- And its natural outflow (teaching
- The principles of profundity and diversity). I.145
The dharmakāya of buddhas is to be comprehended as twofold. (1) The utterly pure dharmadhātu is the object that is the sphere of nonconceptual wisdom. This is to be understood in terms of being the dharma that is to be personally experienced by the tathāgatas. (2) The cause for [others also] attaining this [pure dharmadhātu], which is the natural outflow of the utterly pure dharmadhātu [of a buddha], consists of the arising of [individually] corresponding [forms of] cognizance in other sentient beings to be guided. This is to be understood in terms of being the dharma that is the teaching. The teaching is also twofold due to the division of the principles of presenting the dharma that is subtle and coarse. That is, it consists of the teaching of the principle of presenting the profound dharma collection of bodhisattvas in terms of ultimate reality and the teaching of the principle of presenting the diversity of the various dharmas such as sūtras, proclamations in song, prophecies, proclamations in verse, aphorisms, and counsels in terms of seeming reality.
- By virtue of its being beyond the world,
- No example for it can be observed in the world.
- Therefore, the basic element is shown
- To resemble the Tathāgata. I.146
- The teaching of the principle of subtle profundity
- Is like the single taste of honey.
- The teaching of the principle of diversity
- Should be understood to resemble a kernel in its various husks. I.147
Thus, (D111a) these three examples of a buddha image, honey, and a kernel explain that all sentient beings possess the heart of a tathāgata in the sense of the tathāgata-dharmakāya’s pervading the realm of all sentient beings without exception. Indeed, there is no sentient being whatsoever in the realm of sentient beings that is outside of the tathāgatadharmakāya, just as form is [never outside of] the element of space. Thus, [the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra] says: (J71)
- Just as (P114b) space is asserted to be always omnipresent,
- This [buddhahood] is held to be always omnipresent.
- Just as space is omnipresent in the hosts of form,
- It is omnipresent in the hosts of sentient beings.
- Because of being changeless by nature,
- Because of being excellent, and because of being pure,
- Suchness is illustrated
- By the analogy of a piece of gold. I.148
Though the mind is associated with infinite phenomena of affliction and suffering, by virtue of its natural luminosity, it does not undergo any change. Therefore, it is called "suchness" in the sense of being unchangeable like excellent gold. Though this [suchness] is without any difference in its nature in all sentient beings, even in those whose mind streams are certain in terms of what is mistaken, it receives the designation "tathāgata" [upon] having become pure of all adventitious stains. Thus, in the sense of suchness’s being undifferentiable, this one example of gold explains that the tathāgata—suchness—is the heart of all these sentient beings. In view of the purity of the nature of the mind, the nondual nature of phenomena, the Bhagavān said the following [in the Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra]:
Here, Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata knows that the grasping at a self is the root. Thus, by virtue of his own purity, he has realized the purity of all sentient beings. What is his own purity and (D111b) what is the purity of sentient beings are not two and cannot be made two.
Thus, [also the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra] says: (P115b)
- Though it is without difference in everything,
- Suchness’s having become pure
- Is the Tathāgata. Therefore,
- All beings possess its heart.
- The disposition is to be known as twofold,
- Being like a treasure and a fruit tree—
- The naturally abiding one without beginning
- And the accomplished one. I.149 (J72) (P116a)
- It is held that the three kāyas are attained
- By virtue of these two dispositions—
- The first kāya, by virtue of the first one,
- And the latter two, by virtue of the second one. I.150
- The beauty of the svābhāvikakāya
- Should be known to be like a precious statue
- Because it is without artifice by nature,
- And is the foundation of precious qualities. I.151
- Since it is the emperor of the great dharma,
- The sambhoga[kāya] is like a cakravartin.
- Because it has the nature of a reflection,
- The nirmāṇa[kāya] is like a golden image. I.152
Thus, the remaining five examples of a treasure, a tree, a precious statue, a cakravartin, and a golden image explain that the tathāgata element is the heart of all these sentient beings in the sense that the disposition for the arising of the three kinds of buddhakāyas exists [in all beings]. Tathāgatahood is indeed what is characterized by the three kinds of buddhakāyas. Therefore, the tathāgata element is the cause for attaining these [buddhakāyas]. Here, the meaning of "dhātu" is the meaning of "cause." Therefore, [the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra] says:
- Now, the tathāgata element exists in each sentient being, arisen in the form of [their] heart, but these sentient beings do not realize this.
Thus, [the Abhidharmamahāyānasūtra] says:
- The dhātu of beginningless time
- Is the foundation of all phenomena.
- Since it exists, all forms of existence
- And also nirvāṇa are obtained.
Here, how is it that [the dhātu] is of beginningless time? With regard to this very tathāgata heart, the Bhagavān (D112a) taught and described that a beginning in time is not perceivable. As for "dhātu," [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
- Bhagavan, this (J73) tathāgata heart is the supramundane heart. It is the naturally pure heart.
As for "the foundation of all phenomena," [this sūtra] says:
Therefore, Bhagavan, (P116b) the tathāgata heart is the foundation, basis, and support of the unconditioned attributes that are connected [to it], inseparable [from it], and [can]not be realized as being divisible [from it]. Bhagavan, the tathāgata heart is also the foundation, basis, and support of the conditioned phenomena that are not connected [to it], separable [from it], and [can] be realized as being divisible [from it].
As for "Since it exists, all forms of existence," [this sūtra] says:
- Bhagavan, since the tathāgata heart exists, the notion of ‘saṃsāra’ is formulated for it.
As for "also nirvāṇa is obtained," [this sūtra] says:
- Bhagavan, if the tathāgata heart did not exist, there would be no weariness of suffering nor the wish, striving, and aspiration for nirvāṇa.
It is thus [that this is explained] in detail.
Now, [the fact that] the tathāgata heart, which is as vast as the dharmakāya, has the characteristic of not being different from suchness, and has the nature of being the disposition that is certain [with regard to buddhahood], exists at all times and everywhere in a manner that is without difference is to be considered in terms of taking [nothing but] the true nature of phenomena as the [supreme] valid authority. As [the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra] says:
Son of noble family, this is the true nature of phenomena: no matter whether tathāgatas arise or do not arise, these sentient beings always have the tathāgata heart.
Here, the nature of phenomena is the principle, the method, and the means through which [it is clear that the true state of phenomena] is just such and that it is not otherwise. In all respects, (D112b) this very nature of phenomena is the resort, and this very nature of phenomena is the principle for the contemplation of the mind and the realization of the mind. It is neither conceivable nor imaginable. It is [only] accessible to intense faith. (J74)
- The ultimate of the self-arisen ones (P117a)
- Is to be realized through confidence alone.
- Those without eyes do not see
- The bright and radiant disk of the sun. I.153
In brief, this is a presentation that four persons do not possess the eyes for seeing the tathāgata heart. Who are these four? They are (1) ordinary beings, (2) śrāvakas, (3) pratyekabuddhas, and (4) bodhisattvas who have newly entered the [mahā]yāna. As [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
Bhagavan, the tathāgata heart is not the sphere of those who have fallen into the views about a real personality, those who delight in what is mistaken, and those whose minds are distracted from emptiness.
Here, (1) those who are called "those who have fallen into the views about a real personality" are ordinary naive beings. Thus, claiming that utterly contaminated phenomena (such as the skandhas) are a self and what is "mine," they cling to the apprehension of "me" and the apprehension of what is "mine." Therefore, they are not able to have faith in the uncontaminated basic element that is the cessation of any real personality either. So how could they possibly realize the tathāgata heart that is the object of omniscience? There is no way [for them to do so].
(2)–(3) Now, those who are called "those who delight in what is mistaken" are the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas. Why is that? For though they should furthermore familiarize with the tathāgata heart as being permanent, they delight [only] in familiarizing with the notion of [all phenomena’s] being impermanent instead of familiarizing with the notion of the [tathāgata heart’s] being permanent. Though they should furthermore familiarize with the tathāgata heart as being bliss, they delight [only] in familiarizing with the notion of [all phenomena’s being] suffering instead of familiarizing with the notion of the [tathāgata heart’s] being blissful. (D113a) Though they should furthermore familiarize with the tathāgata heart as being a self, they delight [only] in familiarizing with the notion of [all phenomena’s] lacking a self instead of familiarizing with the notion of the [tathāgata heart’s] being a self. (P117b) Though they should furthermore familiarize with the tathāgata heart as being pure, they delight [only] in familiarizing with the notion of [all phenomena’s] being impure instead of familiarizing with the notion of the [tathāgata heart’s] being pure. Thus, due to this sequence [of familiarizing with those four notions], they delight in the path that is adverse to attaining the dharmakāya. Therefore, it is said that the basic element, which is characterized by supreme permanence, bliss, self, and purity, is not even the sphere of any śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas. That this [basic element] is not the sphere of those who delight in mistakenness (those who [entertain] the notions of impermanence, suffering, lack of a self, and impurity) was accordingly established by the Bhagavān in detail in the Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra through the example of a jewel in the water of a pond:
O bhikṣus, it is as follows. Suppose that, at the time of the hot season, people were to hitch up their clothes for bathing and play in the water with their own ornaments and objects of pastime. Suppose then that someone there were to cast a genuine beryl stone into the water. (J75) In order to [retrieve] that beryl, all those [people] would leave their ornaments aside and dive [into the water]. [However,] they would [mistakenly] think that the pebbles and the gravel in the [water] are that jewel, seize them, and draw them out [of the water], thinking, "I got the jewel." Dwelling at the bank of the pond, they would then properly discern that those [pebbles and so on] are not the jewel. [They were deceived because] through the power of that jewel, the water of the pond would sparkle like the shine of that [jewel]. Thus, seeing this sparkling water, they would entertain the notion that [the pebbles in it possess] the qualities of that jewel. Eventually, someone there who is skilled and intelligent would actually retrieve that jewel.
Bhikṣus, likewise, not knowing the true reality of phenomena, which is like that jewel, (D113b) you repeatedly meditate through all your clinging to everything as being impermanent, everything as being suffering, everything as being without a self, (P118a) and everything as being impure. You do so many times, [but] all such attempts are meaningless. Therefore, bhikṣus, you should not be like those who are fixated on the pebbles and the gravel in that pond, but you should be skilled in means. Bhikṣus, right within each one of your repeated meditations on everything as being impermanent, everything as being suffering, everything as being without a self, and everything as being impure, which you do many times, [there exists] what is permanent, blissful, pure, and a self.
Thus, the instruction on those who are mistaken with regard to the presentation of the supreme true reality of phenomena should be understood in detail according to the sūtras.
(4) Now, those who are called "those whose minds are distracted from emptiness" are those bodhisattvas who have newly entered the [mahā]yāna and deviate from the principle of what emptiness means in the case of the tathāgata heart. [Among them, there are] those who [wrongly] assert the door to liberation that is emptiness in order to destroy [really existing] entities, [thinking] that parinirvāṇa refers to the extinction and destruction of [previously] really existing phenomena at a later time. Or, [there are] also those who resort to emptiness through focusing on emptiness [as some real entity, thinking] that what is called "emptiness" exists, by way of being distinct from form and so on, as some entity that is to be realized and with which one should familiarize.
What is it that is described here as "the principle of what emptiness means in the case of the tathāgata heart"? (J76)
- There is nothing to be removed from this
- And not the slightest to be added.
- Actual reality is to be seen as it really is—
- Whoever sees actual reality is liberated. I.154
- The basic element is empty of what is adventitious,
- Which has the characteristic of being separable.
- It is not empty of the unsurpassable attributes,
- Which have the characteristic of being inseparable. I.155
What is taught by this? There is no characteristic of afflicted phenomena to be removed from the basic element of the tathāgatas that is completely pure by nature (D114a) because it has the nature of being the emptiness of adventitious stains. (P118b) Nor is the slightest characteristic of purified phenomena to be added to it because it has the nature of inseparable pure attributes. Therefore, [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
The tathāgata heart is empty of all cocoons of afflictions that are separable [from it] and [can] be realized as being divisible [from it]. It is not empty of the inconceivable buddha attributes that are inseparable [from it], [can]not be realized as being divisible [from it], and far surpass the sand grains in the river Gaṅgā [in number].
Thus, one clearly sees that when something does not exist somewhere, the [latter] is empty of the [former]. In accordance with actual reality, one understands that what remains there exists as a real existent. These two verses elucidate the unmistaken defining characteristic of emptiness [in the case of the tathāgata heart] since it [thus] is free from the extremes of superimposition and denial.
Here, those whose minds are distracted from, and stray outside of, this principle of the meaning of emptiness, do not cultivate it in samādhi, and are not one-pointed [with regard to it] are therefore called "those whose minds are distracted from emptiness." Without being introduced to the wisdom of ultimate emptiness, one is not able to realize and directly perceive the nonconceptual basic element. With this in mind, it is said in detail [in the Śrīmālādevīsūtra]:
The very wisdom of [realizing] the tathāgata heart is the tathāgatas’ wisdom of [realizing] emptiness. The tathāgata heart has never been seen before and has never been realized before by any śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas.
Inasmuch as the tathāgata heart is the dharmadhātu heart, it is said not to be the sphere of those who fall into the views about a real personality because the dharmadhātu is the remedy for [all] views. (P119a) Inasmuch as it is the dharmakāya, the heart of [all] supramundane dharmas, (D114b) it is said not to be the sphere of those who delight in mistakenness because the supramundane dharmakāya is explained to be the remedy for mundane dharmas, such as impermanence. Inasmuch as it is the heart of the naturally pure dharmas, it is said not to be the sphere of those whose minds are distracted from emptiness (J77) because the dharmas that are its pure qualities, which are characterized by being inseparable from the supramundane dharmakāya, have the nature of being the emptiness of adventitious stains. Here, to have realized the introduction to the wisdom that is not different from the dharmadhātu as the single principle and thus to behold the natural purity of the supramundane dharmakāya is asserted to be the seeing of the wisdom that accords with true reality. It is said that through this [seeing], the bodhisattvas who dwell on the ten bhūmis see the tathāgata heart [only] a little bit. Thus, it is declared:
- Just as the sun [seen] in the sky through a gap in the clouds [is not seen in its entirety], you are not seen in your entirety here
- Even by the noble ones who have the pure eye of insight but whose insight is limited.
- Bhagavan, [only] those whose perceptiveness is infinite see your dharmakāya
- In its entirety, which pervades the infinite firmament of knowable objects.
[You may wonder,] "If this basic element so difficult to behold is not an object in its entirety even for the supreme noble ones who dwell on the bhūmi that is completely free from attachment, what is the point of this instruction [on the basic element] for [anybody below these bodhisattvas,] beginning with naive beings?" [There follow] two verses about summarizing the purpose of this instruction, with one [presenting] the question and the second one the explanation [in reply].
- Having said here and there that, just like clouds, dreams, and illusions,
- All knowable objects are empty in every respect,
- Why then did the buddhas teach here (P119b)
- That the buddha element exists in each sentient being? I.156
- They taught this so that those in whom they exist
- May relinquish the five flaws of faintheartedness,
- Contempt for inferior sentient beings, clinging to what is unreal, (D115a)
- Deprecating the real dharma, and excessive self-cherishing. I.157
The meaning of these two verses is to be understood in brief by the [following] ten verses. (J78)
- It has been stated that the conditioned phenomena
- In the myriads of beings are void in all aspects,
- With the entities of afflictions, karma,
- And [their] maturations resembling clouds and so on. I.158
- The afflictions resemble clouds, the performance
- Of actions is like the experiences in a dream,
- And the skandhas—the maturations of afflictions and karma—
- Are like the magical manifestations in an illusion. I.159
- It was presented in this way before
- But later in this ultimate continuum here
- It is explained that the basic element exists
- In order to relinquish the five flaws. I.160
- Thus, not having heard about this,
- In some who are fainthearted,
- Due to the flaw of self-contempt,
- The mind-set for awakening does not arise. I.161
- Even if [some] have given rise to bodhicitta,
- They may become proud, [thinking,] "I am superior"
- And entertain the notion of inferiority
- About those in whom bodhicitta has not arisen. I.162
- In those who think like that,
- Perfect wisdom does not arise.
- Therefore, they cling to what is unreal
- And do not realize true reality. I.163
- The flaws of sentient beings are unreal
- Because they are fabricated and adventitious.
- What is real are the qualities, whose nature is pure
- [Due to] the identitylessness of these flaws. I.164
- Those whose minds cling to unreal flaws
- And deprecate the real qualities
- Do not attain the love of seeing
- Themselves and sentient beings as equal. I.165
- However, due to having heard this, there arise in them
- Great ardor, respect [for all] as for the teacher,
- Prajñā, wisdom, and great love.
- Then, through the arising of these five qualities, I.166
- They lack [self-]contempt, regard [all] as equal,
- Are free from flaws, possess the qualities,
- And cherish themselves and sentient beings equally,
- Thus attaining buddhahood swiftly. I.167
(P120a) This completes the first chapter, the topic of the tathāgata heart, in the treatise An Analysis of the Jewel Disposition, A Treatise on the Ultimate Continuum of the Mahāyāna, [with] the exposition of the summarized meaning of the verses. (J79)
[Thus far] suchness with stains has been discussed. At this point, stainless suchness shall be treated. Now, what is this stainless suchness? (D115b) Since this [suchness] is free from all kinds of stains in the uncontaminated basic element of the buddha bhagavāns, it is presented as the fundamental change. In brief, this should be understood in terms of eight points. What are these eight points?
- [Buddhahood] is purity, attainment, freedom,
- One’s own welfare and that of others, the foundation of this,
- And profundity, vastness, and magnanimity
- For as long as time lasts and in accordance [with beings]. II.1
In due order, this verse explains [buddhahood in] eight topics. They are: (1) the topic of [its] nature, (2) the topic of [its] cause, (3) the topic of [its] fruition, (4) the topic of [its] function, (5) the topic of [its] endowment [with qualities], (6) the topic of [its] manifestation, (7) the topic of [its] permanence, and (8) the topic of [its] inconceivability.
(1) Here, the Bhagavān called the basic element that is not liberated from the cocoon of the afflictions "the tathāgata heart." Its purity is to be understood as the nature of the fundamental change. Therefore, [the Śrīmālādevīsūtra] says:
Bhagavan, those who have no doubt about the tathāgata heart that is covered by all the millions of cocoons of the afflictions do not have doubts about the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata that is liberated from all the cocoons of the afflictions.
(2) Wisdom is twofold—supramundane nonconceptual [wisdom] and the mundane [wisdom] that is attained subsequent to it. This mundane and supramundane wisdom—the cause of the fundamental change—is indicated through the term "attainment." [Here,] "attainment" refers to that through which [this fundamental change] is attained.
(3) The fruition of these [two wisdoms] (P120b) is twofold—the twofold freedom that consists of the freedom from afflictive obscurations and the freedom from cognitive obscurations.
(4) The function [of these two fruitions] is the fulfillment of one’s own welfare and that of others, respectively.
(5) Endowment refers to being associated with the foundation of this [function, that is, with the ultimate characteristics of buddhahood].
(6)–(8) Manifestation refers to [this foundation’s] permanently manifesting through the three buddhakāyas that are characterized by profundity, vastness, and magnanimity, respectively, in an inconceivable manner for as long as [saṃsāric] existence remains.
[First, there is] a synopsis:
- Through nature, cause, fruition,
- Function, endowment, manifestation,
- And its permanence (D116a) and inconceivability,
- The buddhabhūmi is determined. II.2
(J80) Now, [there follows] a verse on buddhahood and the means for its attainment, which refers to (1) the topic of nature and (2) the topic of cause.
- Buddhahood, spoken of as being luminous by nature [but] having been obscured by the massive web
- Of the thick clouds of adventitious afflictive and cognitive [obscurations], just as the sun and the sky,
- Is endowed with all the stainless buddha qualities and is permanent, everlasting, and eternal.
- It is attained based on the wisdom that is nonconceptual about [all] phenomena and discriminates them. II.3
The meaning of this verse is to be understood in brief through the [following] four verses.
- Buddhahood is characterized
- By [its] inseparable pure attributes—
- The two characteristics of wisdom and relinquishment—
- Which are similar to the sun and the sky. II.4
- It possesses all the buddha attributes
- Which are beyond the sands of the river Gaṅgā [in number],
- Luminous, unproduced,
- And manifesting in an inseparable manner. II.5
- By virtue of not being established by any nature,
- Being pervasive, and being adventitious,
- Afflictive and cognitive obscurations
- Are described as being like clouds in it. II.6
- The cause of becoming separated
- From the two obscurations is twofold wisdom.
- This wisdom is asserted as the nonconceptual one
- And the one attained subsequent to that. II.7
As for its being said [above] that "purity is the nature of the fundamental change," here, in brief, purity is twofold—natural purity and the purity (P121a) of being without stains. Here, natural purity is [in itself] liberation, but it is not [yet] freed because the luminous nature of the mind has not become freed from adventitious stains. The purity of being without stains is [both] liberation and freed because the luminous nature of the mind has become freed from all adventitious stains without exception, just as water and so on [having become freed from] the stains of silt and so on.
Now, [there follow] two verses on the purity of being without stains, which refer to (3) the topic of fruition. (J81)
- Just as a pond with stainless water’s having become abundant with trees and lotus flowers,
- Just as the full moon’s having been released from the mouth of Rāhu,
- And (D116b) just as the sun, with its rays’ having been liberated from the defilements of clouds and so on,
- This very [buddhahood] appears as liberation because it is endowed with stainless qualities. II.8
- The state of the victor is like the chief of sages, honey, a kernel, gold,
- A treasure of excellent jewels, and a big fruit tree,
- Like a stainless precious representation of the Sugata,
- A supreme lord of the earth, and a golden image. II.9
The meaning of these two verses is to be understood in brief through the [following] eight verses.
- The purity of the adventitious afflictions, such as desire,
- Which is like the water in a pond and so on,
- In brief, is said to be the fruition
- Of nonconceptual wisdom. II.10
- The seeing of the buddha state
- That is endowed with all supreme aspects
- Is explained to be the fruition of the wisdom
- That is attained subsequent to that. II.11
- [Buddhahood] is like a pond with very clear water
- Because it has eliminated the turbidity of the silt of desire
- And because it sprinkles the water of dhyāna
- Upon those to be guided, who resemble lotuses. II.12
- It resembles the stainless full moon
- Because it has been released from Rāhu-like hatred
- And because it pervades the world
- With its rays of great love and compassion. II.13
- This buddhahood is similar to the sun without stains
- Because it is liberated from the clouds of ignorance
- And because it dispels the darkness
- In the world with its rays of wisdom. II.14 (P121b)
- Because it has the nature of being equal to the unequaled,
- Because it bestows the taste of the genuine dharma,
- And because it is free from what is useless,
- It is like the Sugata, honey, and a kernel. II.15 (J82)
- Because it is pure, because it has ended poverty
- By virtue of its substance’s consisting of qualities,
- And because it grants the fruit of liberation,
- It is like gold, a treasure, and a tree. II.16
- Because its body consists of the jewel of the dharma,
- Because it is the supreme lord of human beings,
- And because it has the appearance of a precious form,
- It is like a precious [representation], a king, and an image. II.17
(4) Twofold wisdom—supramundane nonconceptual [wisdom] and the [wisdom] attained subsequent to it—is the cause of the fundamental change that is called a "result of freedom." Its function is the fulfillment of one’s own welfare and that of others. What is the fulfillment of one’s own welfare and that of others here? The attainment of the unobscured dharmakāya by virtue of being liberated from [all] afflictive and cognitive obscurations including their latent tendencies (D117a) is called "the fulfillment of one’s own welfare." What is based on that [fulfillment of one’s own welfare] and consists of [a buddha’s] engagement by way of the twofold mastery over displaying and teaching in the form of the two [rūpa]kāyas in an effortless manner for as long as the world lasts is called "the fulfillment of the welfare of others."
[There follow] three verses on the fulfillment of one’s own welfare and that of others, which refer to this topic of function.
- Being the uncontaminated all-pervasive matrix of indestructible nature
- That is everlasting, peaceful, eternal, and imperishable,
- Tathāgatahood, just as space, is the cause
- For the wise experiencing the objects of the six sense faculties. II.18
- [Though] always serving as the cause for his powerful form and objects
(P122a) The meaning of these three verses is to be understood in brief through the [following] eight verses.
- In brief, the function of the two wisdoms
- Is to be understood as this—
- The perfection of the [vi]muktikāya
- And the purification of the dharmakāya. II.21
- [The vimuktikāya] is uncontaminated because of the cessation
- Of the afflictions together with their latent tendencies.
- Wisdom is held to be all-pervasive
- Because it is without attachment and without obstruction. II.23
- Being unconditioned is due to having
- The nature of being absolutely indestructible.
- This character of indestructibility is the brief statement
- That is explained by "everlasting" and so on. II.24
- Destructibility is to be understood as four kinds
- By virtue of the opposites of "everlasting" and so on,
- Which are putridity, sickness, extinction,
- And death in an inconceivable manner. II.25
- Since it lacks these, it is to be understood as
- Everlasting, peaceful, eternal, and imperishable.
- This stainless wisdom is the matrix
- Because it is the foundation of [all] pure attributes. II.26
- Just as space, which is not a cause,
- Is the cause for forms, sounds, smells,
- Tastes, tangible objects, and phenomena
- Being seen, heard, and so on, II.27 (J84) (D117b)
- Likewise, on account of being unobscured,
- The two kāyas are the cause
- For the arising of uncontaminated qualities
- Within the objects of the sense faculties of the wise. II.28
As for its being said [here] that the Buddha has the characteristic of space, this was said with the ultimate unique buddha characteristics of the tathāgatas in mind. As [the Vajracchedikāprajñāpāramitāsūtra] says:
- If the Tathāgata were to be viewed [just] by way of the thirty-two marks of a great being, a cakravartin king too would become a tathāgata. D16, fol. 131a.6. D16 has "the consummate marks" instead of "the thirty-two marks of a great being."
(5) Now, [there follows] a verse on the ultimate characteristics, which refers to the topic of endowment. (P122b)
- Buddhahood is inconceivable, permanent, everlasting, quiescent, eternal,
- Peaceful, all-pervasive, and free from conception, just like space.
- It is everywhere without attachment and obstruction, free from harsh sensations,
- Invisible, ungraspable, splendid, and stainless. II.29
Here, the meaning of this verse is to be understood in brief through the [following] eight verses.
- One’s own welfare and that of others is taught
- Through the vimukti[kāya] and the dharmakāya.
- This foundation of one’s own welfare and that of others
- Is endowed with the qualities such as being inconceivable. II.30
- Buddhahood is the object of omniscient wisdom [alone].
- Since it is not the object of the three wisdoms,
- It is to be understood as being inconceivable
- [Even] by people with wisdom. II.31
- Since it is subtle, it is not an object of study.
- Since it is the ultimate, it is not [an object] of reflection.
- Since it is the depth of the nature of phenomena,
- It is not [an object] of worldly meditation and so forth. II.32
- For naive beings have never seen it before,
- Just as those born blind [have never seen] form.
- Even noble ones [see it only] as an infant [would glimpse]
- The orb of the sun while lying in the house of a new mother. II.33
- It is permanent because it is free from arising.
- It is everlasting since it is free from ceasing.
- It is quiescent because it is without duality.
- It is eternal since the nature of phenomena [always] remains. II.34 (J85)
- It is peaceful because it is the reality of cessation.
- It is all-pervasive since it realizes everything.
- It is nonconceptual because it is nonabiding.
- It is without attachment since the afflictions are relinquished. II.35
- It is everywhere without obstruction
- Because it is pure of all cognitive obscurations.
- It is free from harsh sensations
- Since it is a state of gentleness and workability. II.36
- It is invisible because it has no form. (D118a)
- It is ungraspable since it has no characteristics.
- It is splendid because it is pure by nature.
- It is stainless because the stains are eliminated. II.37
(6) Now, this tathāgatahood manifests as being inseparable from its unconditioned qualities, just as space. Nevertheless, since it is endowed with unique attributes, one should see that it, through its particular applications of inconceivable great means, compassion, and prajñā and by way of the three stainless kāyas (svābhāvika[kāya], sāmbhogika[kāya], and nairmāṇika[kāya]), manifests as the cause that brings about the benefit and happiness of beings P123a) in an uninterrupted, endless, and effortless manner for as long as [saṃsāric] existence lasts. [Thus, there follow] these four verses here on the distinction of the [three] buddhakāyas, which refer to the topic of manifestation.
- It is the stainless basic element of the tathāgatas,
- Which is endowed with qualities that are immeasurable, inconceivable,
- Unequaled, and far surpass the sand grains in the river Gaṅgā [in number] (J86)
- And which has eradicated all flaws including their latent tendencies. II.39
- Through physical appearances in the form of various light rays of the genuine dharma,
- It makes efforts in accomplishing the goal of liberating beings,
- In its actions resembling the precious king of wish-fulfilling jewels
- [In assuming] various appearances but not having their nature. II.40
- The cause in [various] worlds for introducing [beings]
- To the path of peace, maturing them, and giving them the prophecies
- Is this apparitional form [of the dharmakāya], which always abides in it,
- Just as the element of form does in the element of space. II.41
Now, the summarized meaning of these four verses is to be understood through the [following] twenty verses.
- Its division is its manifestation as three
- Kāyas, such as the svābhāvika[kāya],
- Which are characterized by the attributes that are the qualities
- Of profundity, vastness, and magnanimity. II.43
- Here, the svābhāvikakāya of the buddhas (D118b)
- Is to be understood, in brief,
- As having five characteristics
- And being endowed with five kinds of qualities. II.44
- It is unconditioned, undifferentiable,
- Free from the two extremes,
- And liberated from the three obscurations—
- Afflictive, cognitive, and those of meditative absorption. II.45 (J87)
- Because of being stainless, because of being nonconceptual, (P123b)
- And because of being the sphere of yogins,
- It is pure and luminous by virtue of
- Having the nature of the dharmadhātu. II.46
- The svābhāvika-body is endowed with
- The qualities of being immeasurable,
- Innumerable, inconceivable, unequaled,
- And having reached the perfection of purity. II.47
- By virtue of being vast, not enumerable,
- Not the sphere of dialecticians,
- Absolutely unique, and the elimination of latent tendencies,
- It is, in due order, immeasurable and so on. II.48
- By way of appearing as the dharma [due to]
- Enjoying all kinds of dharma and [due to] form,
- By way of the welfare of sentient beings being uninterrupted
- [Due to] its being the natural outflow of pure compassion, II.49
- By way of fulfilling [all aims] as wished
- In a nonconceptual and effortless manner,
- And by way of [resembling] the miraculous power of a wish-fulfilling jewel,
- The sambhoga [kāya] is presented. II.50
- In terms of instruction, display,
- Uninterrupted activity, effortlessness,
- And appearing [in these ways but] not having their nature,
- Its variety is described as being fivefold. II.51
- Due to the variety of conditions of [different] colors,
- A jewel does not [appear] in its actual state.
- Likewise, due to the variety of conditions of [different] sentient beings,
- The lord does not [appear] in his actual state. II.52
- With great compassion, the knower of the world
- Beholds the world in its entirety.
- Without moving away from the dharmakāya
- And through various emanated forms, II.53
- [He assumes his previous] births, appears
- In Tuṣita, descends from there,
- Enters the womb [of his mother], is born,
- Becomes skilled in the field of arts and crafts, II.54 (J88)
- Enjoys entertainments in the circle of his queens,
- Renounces [all of it], practices asceticism,
- Reaches the seat of awakening,
- Vanquishes the armies of Māra, II.55
- Becomes completely awakened, [turns] the wheel of dharma,
- And passes into nirvāṇa. [All] these deeds
- He demonstrates in impure worlds
- For as long as [saṃsāric] existence lasts. II.56 (D119a)
- Through the words "impermanence," "suffering,"
- "Lack of self," and "peace," the knower of the means
- Creates weariness of the three realms in sentient beings (P124a)
- And makes them cross over into nirvāṇa. II.57
- Those who have entered the path of peace
- And think that they have attained nirvāṇa,
- Through his teachings about the true reality of phenomena,
- Such as in the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka[sūtra], II.58
- He turns away from their former clinging and,
- Through embracing them with prajñā and means,
- Matures them in the supreme yāna
- And prophesies their highest awakening. II.59
- Here, the first one is the dharmakāya
- And the latter two are the two rūpakāyas.
- Just as form abides in space,
- The latter dwell in the first one. II.61
(7) [There follows] a verse on these three kāyas’ manifesting [in order to] bring about the benefit and happiness of beings, which refers to the topic of permanence.
- By virtue of the causes’ being infinite, by virtue of the realms of sentient beings being inexhaustible,
- By virtue of being endowed with compassion, miraculous powers, wisdom, and fulfillment, (J89)
- By virtue of mastering [all] dharmas, by virtue of having vanquished the māra of death,
- And by virtue of lacking any nature, the protector of the world is permanent. II.62
The summarized meaning of this is to be understood through [the following] six verses.
- By virtue of having upheld the genuine dharma
- Through giving up body, life, and possessions,
- By virtue of fulfilling the initial commitment
- In order to benefit all sentient beings and so on, II.63
- By virtue of being liberated through wisdom from grasping
- At [saṃsāric] existence and nirvāṇa as being two,
- By virtue of always being endowed with the fulfillment
- Of the bliss of inconceivable samādhi, II.65
- By virtue of being untainted by worldly dharmas
- While acting in the world,
- By virtue of the māra of death not stirring
- Within the attainment of the state of immortality and peace, II.66
- The first seven reasons [show]
- The permanence of the teacher in terms of the rūpakāyas, (D119b)
- And the latter three [demonstrate]
- His permanence in terms of the dharmakāya. II.68
(8) This manner of the tathāgatas’ attaining [buddhahood], which is characterized by being the fundamental change, is to be understood by its manner of being inconceivable. [Thus, there follows] a verse about the topic of inconceivability.
- Because of being unutterable, because of consisting of the ultimate,
- Because of not being examinable, because of being beyond example, (J90)
- Because of being unsurpassable, and because of not being included in [samsaric] existence or [nirvāṇic] peace,
- The sphere of the Buddha is inconceivable even for the noble ones. II.69
The summarized meaning of this is to be understood through [the following] four verses.
- It is inconceivable because it is inexpressible.
- It is inexpressible because it is the ultimate.
- It is the ultimate because it is incomprehensible by reason.
- It is incomprehensible by reason because it is immeasurable. II.70
- It is immeasurable because it is unsurpassable.
- It is unsurpassable because it is not included [in saṃsāra or nirvāṇa].
- It is not included [in them] because it does not abide [in either one]
- Since it lacks conceptions about their flaws and qualities, respectively. II.71
- Due to the [first] five reasons, [buddhahood] is subtle
- And therefore is inconceivable in terms of the dharmakāya.
- Due to the sixth one, it is not [manifest in] its truly real state
- And therefore is inconceivable in terms of the rūpakāya. II.72
- By virtue of the qualities of unsurpassable wisdom and great compassion,
- The victors, who have accomplished [all] qualities, are inconceivable.
- Therefore, this final stage of the self-arisen ones is not even known
- By the great seers who have obtained the empowerment. II.73
[This completes] the second chapter, entitled the topic of awakening, in the treatise An Analysis of the Jewel Disposition, A Treatise on the Ultimate Continuum of the Mahāyāna. (J91)
The Buddha Qualitities
[In the second chapter,] stainless suchness has been treated. What is to be discussed now are the qualities that are based on this [suchness] and are absolutely stainless due to their nature’s being undifferentiable [from it], just as the radiance, color, and shape of a jewel [are inseparable from that jewel]. Thus, following [the presentation of stainless suchness, there is] (P125a) a verse about the analysis of the buddha qualities.
- One’s own welfare and the welfare of others consist of the ultimate kāya
- And the seeming kāya that is based on it, respectively.
- Due to representing the states of freedom and maturation, respectively,
- They represent the fruition, which is classified as sixty-four qualities. III.1
What is taught [by this]?
- The ultimate body (D120a)
- Is the support of the fulfillment of one’s own [welfare].
- The conventional body of the seer
- Is the support of the fulfillment [of the welfare of] others. III.2
- The first body is endowed with
- The qualities of freedom, such as the powers,
- And the second one, with those of maturation,
- Which are the marks of a great being. III.3
The text hereafter is about what the powers and such are and how they are to be understood.
- The powers are like a vajra for the obscurations of ignorance,
- The fearlessnesses amid the retinue resemble a lion,
- The unique [qualities] of the Tathāgata are similar to space,
- And the sage’s two kinds of display are like the moon [reflected in] water. III.4
[There follow two verses about] the statement that [the Buddha] is endowed with the powers.
- What is the case and what is not the case,
- Maturation of karmas, faculties,
- Constitutions, inclinations,
- The path that leads everywhere, III.5 (J92)
- Afflicted and stainless dhyānas and so on,
- Recollection of [former birth]places,
- The divine eye, and peace—
- Knowing these represents the ten kinds of power. III.6
As for its being said that [these powers] are like a vajra, [the next verse says:]
- [In knowing] what is the case and what is not the case, maturation, constitutions, the various inclinations of beings, the means,
- What is afflicted and purified, the collection of faculties, recollection of former [birth]places,
- The divine eye, and the mode of the termination of contamination, the powers are like a vajra
- Because they pierce the armor, break the immovable wall, and cut down the tree of ignorance. III.7
[There follow two verses about] its being said that [the Buddha] has attained the four fearlessnesses.
- The four kinds of fearlessness are with regard to
- The complete realization of all phenomena,
- The termination of [all] obstacles,
- Teaching the path, and attaining cessation. III.8 (P125b)
- By virtue of knowing and making others know all one’s own entities and those of others that are to be known,
- By virtue of having relinquished and making [others] relinquish the entities to be relinquished, by virtue of having relied [and making others rely] on the means to be relied on,
- And by virtue of having attained and making others attain the unsurpassable and utterly stainless [state] to be attained,
- The noble ones are never paralyzed with fear anywhere since they teach the reality of one’s own welfare and that of others. III.9
As for its being said that [these fearlessnesses] resemble a lion, [the next verse says:]
[There follow five verses about] the statement that [the Buddha] is endowed with the eighteen unique buddha attributes.
- The teacher is without mistakenness and chatter,
- Is never bereft of mindfulness,
- Lacks a mind not resting in meditative equipoise,
- Is free from notions of diversity, III.11
- Lacks indifference without examination,
- His striving, vigor, mindfulness,
- Prajñā, liberation, and vision
- Of the wisdom of liberation never deteriorate, III.12
- The seer lacks mistakenness, chatter, mindlessness, mental agitation,
- Notions of difference, and natural indifference, while there is never any deterioration
- Of his striving, vigor, mindfulness, pure stainless prajñā and liberation,
- And vision of the wisdom of liberation (seeing all objects to be known). III.14
- He engages in the three actions with regard to objects that are preceded by omniscience,
- And the operation of his vast wisdom is always unobstructed with regard to the three times. (J94)
- Thus is this state of the victor, which is endowed with great compassion and realized by the victors.
- By virtue of this realization, he fearlessly turns the great wheel of the genuine dharma in the world. III.15
(P126a) As for its being said that [these unique qualities] are similar to space, [the next verse says:]
- What is the true nature of earth and so on is not found as the true nature of space,
- And the characteristic qualities of space (such as being unobscured) are not [found] in forms [either].
- [Still,] earth, water, fire, wind, and space are equal in being common to [all] the worlds,
- But the unique buddha [qualities] are not in the least common to the worlds. III.16
[There follow nine verses about] the statement that [the Buddha] possesses a physical form with the thirty-two marks of a great being.
- His skin is soft and youthfully tender,
- His body has seven convex surfaces,
- His calves are antelope-like,
- And his private parts are concealed as [they are] with an elephant. III.18
- His arms are hanging [down to the knees],
- [His body] has a pure halo of light around it,
- His neck is stainless like a conch,
- And his jaws are like those of the king of animals. III.20
- His tongue is big and tastes the supreme taste,
- Which is infinite and inconceivable.
- The voice of the self-arisen is like that of a kalaviṅka [bird]
- And has the melodious tone [of the voice] of Brahmā. III.22
- His eyes are beautiful like blue water lilies, with eyelashes like a bull,
- His face is handsome, endowed with the white immaculate ūrṇā hair,
- His head [is crowned by] an uṣṇīṣa, and the skin
- Of the supreme of beings is pure, delicate, and has a golden hue. III.23
- His body hairs, each one separate by itself, are soft and subtle,
- Pointing upward from the body and curling to the right.
- His hair is [colored] like a stainless blue sapphire,
- And he is [well proportioned] like the maṇḍala of a perfect nyagrodha tree. III.24 (P126b)
As for its being said that [the Buddha’s display] is like the moon [reflected in] water, [the next verse says:]
- Just as the splendor of the moon in a cloudless sky
- Is seen in the blue autumn waters of great ponds, (J96)
- So the hosts of the children of the victors see the splendor
- Of the lord on the surfaces of the circles [around] the perfect Buddha. III.26
Thus, these ten powers of the Tathāgata, the four fearlessnesses, the eighteen unique buddha attributes, and the thirty-two marks of a great being, being combined as a single [set], make up sixty-four.
- These sixty-four qualities,
- Each one together with their causes,
- Are to be understood in due order
- Through following the Ratna[dārikā]sūtra. III.27
Here, the instruction that distinguishes these sixty-four qualities of the Tathāgata, as they were explained [above], in detail in the same sequence, (D121b) is to be understood by following the Ratnadārikāsūtra.
Also, four examples were stated [above] for these [four] points [the powers, the fearlessnesses, the unique qualities, and the marks of a great being] in due order—a vajra, a lion, space, and the moon [reflected in] water. The summarized meaning of these is to be understood through the [following] twelve verses.
- Through six powers, three,
- And one, in due order,
- All stains in terms of what is to be cognized, meditative absorption,
- And [the afflictions] including their latent tendencies are eliminated. III.29
- Therefore since these [three stains] are pierced, broken, and cut down
- Like an armor, a wall, and a tree, respectively,
- The powers of the seer are like a vajra,
- Being weighty, firm, strong, and unbreakable. III.30 (P127a)
- Why are they weighty? Because they are firm.
- Why are they firm? Because they are strong.
- Why are they strong? Because they are unbreakable.
- Since they are unbreakable, they are like a vajra. III.31
- Because of being unafraid, because of being indifferent,
- Because of being firm, and because of being supremely powerful,
- The lion of sages resembles a lion,
- Being fearless amid the assemblies of his retinue. III.32 (J97)
- By virtue of possessing all supernatural knowledges,
- He abides independently without being afraid of anything.
- He is indifferent because he sees that he is by nature
- Not equal even to pure sentient beings. III.33
- He is firm because his mind is always
- In samādhi with regard to all phenomena.
- He is powerful because he has supremely transcended
- The ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance. III.34
- As for worldly people, śrāvakas, those who live in solitude,
- The intelligent, and the self-arisen,
- Their insight is increasingly more subtle.
- Therefore, they are illustrated by the five elements. III.35
- Since [the first four] sustain all the worlds,
- They are like earth, water, fire, and wind.
- Since [the fifth] is characterized by being beyond the mundane
- And the supramundane, it resembles space. III.36
- These thirty-two qualities mentioned
- [Here] make up the dharmakāya
- Because they are undifferentiable [from it],
- Just as its radiance, color, and form are [inseparable from] a precious jewel. III.37
- What are called "the thirty-two marks"
- Are the qualities that delight upon being seen
- And are based on the two rūpakāyas—
- The nirmāṇa[kāya] and the one enjoying the dharma. III.38
[This completes] the third chapter, entitled the topic of the qualities, in the treatise An Analysis of the Jewel Disposition, A Treatise on the Ultimate Continuum of the Mahāyāna. (J98)
[In the third chapter,] the stainless buddha qualities have been discussed. [Now,] we shall treat the activity [based on] these [qualities], the deeds of a victor. In brief, this [activity] operates in the two manners of being effortless and uninterrupted. Thus, (P127b) following [the presentation of the buddha qualities], [there are] two verses about the effortless and uninterrupted acts of a buddha.
- The lord always engages without effort
- In the constitutions of those to be guided, the means to guide them,
- The activities of guidance [that suit] the constitutions of those to be guided,
- And in finding the [proper] place and time for this [activity]. IV.1
- Having churned the entire [ocean-like mahā]yāna, which contains the jewels of the host of supreme qualities and the water of wisdom,
- And having seen buddhahood, which is like the vast sky without middle and end pervaded by the sun rays of merit and wisdom,
- [Existing] as a treasure of stainless qualities in all sentient beings without difference,
- The wind-like compassion of the victors blows away the web of the clouds of afflictive and cognitive [obscurations]. IV.2
The summarized meaning of these [two verses] is to be understood through [the following] two and eight verses, respectively.
- Since they lack conceptions as to
- For whom, whereby, where,
- And when which guiding activity [is to be performed],
- [The activity] of the sages is always effortless. IV.3
- "For whom" [refers to] the constitutions of those to be guided;
- "Whereby," to the abundant means;
- "Which," to the guiding activity;
- And "where and when," to the [proper] place and time for this [activity]. IV.4
- "Deliverance" [refers to] the ten bhūmis;
- "The cause of that," to the two accumulations;
- "The result of that," to supreme awakening;
- "Taking hold," to the beings of awakening; IV.6
- "The obscurations of that," to the infinite afflictions,
- Secondary afflictions, and their latent tendencies;
- And "the condition for overcoming them
- That is [present] at all times," to compassion. IV.7
- These six points, in due order,
- Are to be understood
- As being like the ocean, the sun,
- The sky, a treasure, clouds, and wind. IV.8
- Since it [contains] the water of wisdom (D122b) and the jewels of the qualities,
- The highest yāna resembles the ocean. (P128a)
- Since they sustain all sentient beings,
- The two accumulations are like the sun. IV.9
- Since it is vast and is without middle and end,
- Awakening is similar to the element of space.
- Since it has the nature of completely perfect buddhahood,
- The basic element of sentient beings is like a treasure. IV.10
- Since they are adventitious, pervasive, and not established,
- Its afflictions resemble cloud banks.
- Since it accomplishes the dispersion of these [clouds],
- Compassion is like a strong wind. IV.11
- Because of [accomplishing] deliverance for the sake of others,
- Because of regarding sentient beings and oneself as equal,
- And because of there being no end to what is to be done,
- [Buddha] activity is uninterrupted as long as [saṃsāric] existence lasts. IV.12
It has been declared that buddhahood is characterized by being without arising and without ceasing. How is it then that from this unconditioned buddhahood, which has the characteristic of lacking functionality, effortless, uninterrupted, and nonconceptual buddha activity manifests functionality here for as long as the world lasts? In order to give rise to faith in the inconceivable object of the Buddha in those in whom dissent and doubt about the Buddha’s nature of magnanimity have arisen, [there follows] a verse on his magnanimity.
- Like Śakra and a drum, like clouds,
- Brahmā, the sun, and a precious jewel,
- Like an echo, like space and the earth,
- Thus is the Tathāgata. IV.13
(J100) It should be understood that the instruction on the detailed analysis of this verse that represents what the [Jñānālokālaṃkāra]sūtra [says about this topic will be given] in the remainder of the text in due order. (1) [This sūtra] says that [buddha activity] resembles the appearance of Śakra.
- Suppose the ground of the earth
- Consisted of pure beryl
- And, due to its clarity, one would see in it
- The chief of gods with his host of apsaras IV.14
- As well as his palace Vaijayanta,
- Celestial dwellers other than him,
- Their various palaces,
- And their divine abundances. IV.15
- Upon that, the assemblies of men and women (P128b)
- Who dwell on the ground of the earth
- Would take sight of this appearance
- And make the following prayer: IV.16
- "May we too before long
- Become like that lord of gods!"
- Then, in order to attain that [state], (D123a)
- They would immerse themselves in adopting virtue. IV.17
- Though being unaware that this
- Was merely an appearance, they would pass away
- From the earth and be born in heaven
- By virtue of their pure karma. IV.18
- Though this appearance would be absolutely
- Without thought and without activity,
- Its taking place on the earth in that way
- Would nevertheless be of great benefit. IV.19
- Likewise, sentient beings see in their own mind,
- Once it is stainless through confidence and such
- And has cultivated the qualities such as confidence,
- The appearance of the perfect Buddha, IV.20
- Who is endowed with the major and minor marks,
- Performs the various forms of conduct
- (Walking, standing,
- Sitting, and lying), IV.21 (J101)
- Speaks the dharma of peace,
- Rests silently in meditative equipoise,
- Demonstrates all kinds of miraculous displays,
- And possesses great splendor. IV.22
- Having seen it, those who long for it
- Devote their efforts to this buddhahood
- And, through adopting its causes,
- Attain the state they wish for. IV.23
- Though this appearance is absolutely
- Without thought and without activity,
- Its taking place in the worlds
- Is nevertheless of great benefit. IV.24
- Ordinary beings do not understand
- That this is an appearance in their own minds.
- Nevertheless, to see this image
- Becomes fruitful for them. IV.25
- Suppose the earth became completely free from all uneven places, gaps, and dirt
- And were a surface of clear and spotless beryl, with the stainless qualities of a jewel, splendid, and even.
- Due to its purity, a reflection of the array of the abode of the lord of gods, Indra [himself], and the maruts would appear in it,
- But since the earth would gradually lose those qualities, (P129a) [that reflection] would disappear again. IV.27
- In order [to attain] this state, the assemblies of men and women who are devoted to generosity and such,
- Through observing the rules of fasting and spiritual discipline and with a determined mind, would strew flowers and so on.
- Likewise, for the sake of attaining the reflection of the lord of sages in their minds, which resemble a transparent beryl,
- The children of the victors give rise to the mind-sets [of awakening] with a joyful mind. IV.28
- Just as on the pure ground of beryl (D123b)
- The reflection of the body of the lord of gods appears,
- On the pure ground of the minds of beings,
- The reflection of the body of the lord of sages is displayed. IV.29 (J102)
- The appearance and disappearance of this reflection manifests in the world
- Through the power of one’s own mind manifesting in a clear or turbid way.
- Just as the appearance of a reflection in the worlds::,
- It should not be regarded as either real or unreal. IV.30
(2) [That sūtra also] says that [buddha activity] is like the drum of the gods.
- Just as in the heaven of the gods,
- As a result of their previous virtue
- And free from effort, location,
- Mind, form, and conception, IV.31
- The drum of the gods again and again
- Summons all the heedless gods
- Through the sounds "impermanence,"
- "Suffering," "lack of self," and "peace," IV.32
- So the lord, who pervades the world
- In its entirety, with his buddha voice,
- Teaches the dharma, free from effort
- And so on, to those who are suitable. IV.33
- Just as the sound of the divine drum in the heaven of the gods arises from their own karma,
- The sage’s teaching of the dharma in the world also arises from [the world’s] own karma.
- Just as [the drum’s] sound, free from effort, location, body, and mind, brings forth peace,
- So this dharma devoid of those four factors brings forth peace. IV.34
- Just as, when engaging in the troubles of battle in the city of the gods, the sound of this drum
- Arises as the cause for them to be fearless and to engage in the [war]play of being victorious over the forces of the asuras,
- So in the world the dhyānas, formless [absorptions], and so on, arise as the cause for the [Buddha’s] speech (P129b)
- About the principle of the unsurpassable path that destroys the afflictions and pacifies the suffering in sentient beings. IV.35
[You may wonder,] "Why does [this example] here refer [only] to the drum of dharma and not to the cymbals and other kinds of divine [musical instruments]? Due to the power of the previously committed virtuous karma of the gods, without being played [by anybody], these [other instruments] too produce divine sounds pleasant to hear." (J103) [They are not referred to here] because they are dissimilar to the Tathāgata’s voice in terms of four kinds of qualities. What are these? They are as follows: being limited, not beneficial, unpleasant, and not conducive to deliverance. By contrast, the drum of dharma is explained to be unlimited because it summons all the assemblies of heedless gods without exception (D124a) and never misses the [proper] time for [doing] so. It is beneficial because it protects [the gods] from being afraid of any harm [caused by] the hosts of their adversaries, such as the asuras, and because it connects them with the [crucial] point of heedfulness. It is pleasant because it makes [the gods] abandon the delight and pleasure due to wrong desire and because it brings them close to the [true] delight and pleasure of relishing the dharma. It is explained to be conducive to deliverance because it utters the sounds "impermanence," "suffering," "emptiness," and "lack of self" and because it pacifies misfortune and mental disturbance.
In brief, by virtue of being similar to the drum of dharma through these four aspects, the sphere of the voice of the Buddha is most eminent. Thus, [there follows] a verse on the sphere of the voice of the Buddha’s being most eminent.
- Since it is universal, beneficial, pleasant,
- And endowed with the three miraculous displays,
- The voice of the sage is more eminent
- Than the divine cymbals. IV.36
It should be understood that a brief instruction on these four aspects (P130a) [is given] in due order by the [following] four verses.
- In heaven, the many myriads of divine cymbals
- Sound [only] for the sake of kindling the flame of desire,
- But the single voice of those whose character is compassion
- Manifests for the sake of pacifying the cause of the fire of suffering. IV.38 (J104)
- The beautiful and pleasing sounds of the cymbals in heaven
- Are the causes for increasing mind’s agitation,
- But the voice of the magnanimous tathāgatas
- Encourages the intention of entrusting the mind to samādhi. IV.39
- In brief, what is the cause of happiness in [all]
- Infinite worldly realms, the celestial and the earthly,
- Is stated with reference to this voice that appears
- Pervasively in all worlds without exception. IV.40
That the [Buddha] pervades all worldly realms in the ten directions without exception through assuming various physical forms indicates "the miraculous display of miraculous powers." (D124b) That he illuminates the impenetrable mental conduct of all the sentient beings who belong to these [worlds] through his wisdom of [knowing all] ways of the mind is "the miraculous display of pointing out." That he gives instructions and directions about the path that is conducive to deliverance through the utterances of his voice is "the miraculous display of advice."
Thus, the sphere of the Buddha’s voice, like the element of space, is unimpeded and operates without limitation. Still, it is not perceived everywhere in all aspects, but this is not the flaw of the sphere of the Buddha’s voice. In order to teach this [there follows] a verse on its being their own fault for those who are not aware of this [voice].
- Just as those deprived of ears do not hear subtle sounds
- And not all [sounds] become audible even for those with the divine ear,
- So the subtle dharma, the object of the most acute wisdom, (P130b)
- Becomes audible only for those whose minds are not afflicted. IV.41
(3) [That sūtra also] says that [buddha activity] is similar to clouds.
- Just as in the rainy season
- Clouds effortlessly rain down
- Their masses of water on the earth,
- Thus causing abundant harvests, IV.42 (J105)
- So the victor showers down
- The rain of the genuine dharma
- From the clouds of compassion without a thought
- For the sake of the harvests of virtue of beings. IV.43
- Just as clouds, driven by the wind, pour down rain
- On the world where people engage in the path of virtuous actions,
- So, due to the growth of virtue in the world by the wind of compassion,
- The cloud that is the Buddha showers down the rain of the genuine dharma. IV.44
- In [all saṃsāric] existences, [due to] bearing awareness and compassion,
- Abiding in the sky’s sphere without being affected by what is perishable and not perishable,
- And carrying the stainless waters of samādhi and dhāraṇī within it,
- The cloud that is the lord of sages is the cause of the harvests of virtue. IV.45
As for the vessels [of buddha activity] being different in measure:
- Cool, sweet, clear, soft, and light is the rain that is released from clouds,
- [But] it assumes a great many tastes due to coming in contact with places on earth that are full of salt and so on.
- Likewise, the rainwater of the eightfold [path of the] noble ones that is released from being contained in the vast cloud of compassion (D125a)
- Assumes many kinds of tastes due to the differences in the places that are the mind streams of beings. IV.46
As for [buddha activity’s] manifesting indifferently:
- Those who are very open, those who are intermediate,
- And those who are hostile toward the highest yāna,
- These three categories of [beings] respectively
- Resemble humans, peacocks, and hungry ghosts. IV.47
- At the end of the summer, when there are no clouds, humans and the birds that cannot fly in the sky
- [Suffer] on the ground, but hungry ghosts suffer due to the abundance of rainfall during the rainy season. (J106)
- Similarly, those in the world who desire the dharma and those who are hostile toward the dharma [suffer], respectively,
- When the water of the dharma from the cloud banks of compassion does not appear or appears. IV.48
- By raining down thick drops and bringing down hail and lightning,
- Clouds are indifferent toward subtle creatures and those who travel rocky terrains.
- Likewise, the cloud of prajñā and compassion, through its subtle and vast means, methods, and applications, (P131a)
- Is indifferent in all respects toward those with afflictions and those with the latencies of views about a self. IV.49
As for [buddha activity’s] pacifying the fire of suffering:
- Saṃsāra means to be born and to die without beginning and end, and in this ongoing cycling, there are five kinds of paths.
- In these five kinds of pathways, there is no happiness, just as there is no sweet scent in excrement.
- The suffering in it is constant and as if produced from contact with fire, weapons, ice, salt, and so on.
- In order to pacify this [suffering], the cloud of compassion showers down the great rain of the genuine dharma. IV.50
- Since they realize that the suffering of gods is dying and the suffering of humans is searching [for objects of desire],
- Those with prajñā do not even crave for the supreme powerful states among gods and humans.
- For through their prajñā and by virtue of following their confidence in the Tathāgata’s words,
- They discriminate with wisdom, "This is suffering, this is [its] cause, and this is [its] cessation." IV.51
- Just as a disease is to be known, the cause of the disease is to be relinquished,
- The state of well-being is to be attained, and medicine is to be relied upon,
- Suffering, its cause, its cessation, and likewise the path, respectively,
- Are to be known, to be relinquished, to be reached, and to be relied upon. IV.52
(4) (J107) [That sūtra also] says that [buddha activity] is like Mahābrahmā.
- Just as Brahmā, without moving away
- From the abode belonging to Brahmā,
- Effortlessly displays his appearance
- Everywhere in the sphere of the gods, IV.53
- So the sage, without moving away
- From the dharmakāya,
- Effortlessly displays himself to the suitable (D125b)
- Through emanations in all realms. IV.54
- Just as Brahmā does not move away from his palace and yet his constant manifestation in the desire realm
- Is seen by the gods, with their desire for objects being relinquished through this seeing,
- So the Sugata does not move away from the kāya of the genuine dharma and yet is seen by the suitable ones
- In all worlds, with their stains always being relinquished in their entirety by this seeing. IV.55
- Just as, by virtue of his own previous aspiration prayers
- And as a result of the virtues of the gods,
- Brahmā manifests his appearance without effort,
- So does the self-arisen one by means of the nirmāṇakāya. IV.56
As for the invisibility [of the nirmāṇakāya for some beings]:
- Descending [from Tuṣita], (P131b) entering into a womb, being born, arriving at his father’s palace,
- Engaging in amorous sports, living in the forest, vanquishing Māra,
- Attaining great awakening, and teaching the path to the city of peace—
- Displaying [such feats], the sage does not reach the sight of those who do not thrive [through virtue]. IV.57
(5) [That sūtra also] says that [buddha activity] resembles the sun.
- When the sun warms them, the hosts of lotuses bloom
- And kumuda [flowers] close at the very same time. (J108)
- However, just as the sun does not think about the blooming and closing of these
- Water-born [flowers] as being a quality or a flaw, the sun of the noble one here [does not think thus either]. IV.58
The basic elements of sentient beings are of two kinds—those not to be guided and those to be guided. Here, with regard to those to be guided, [there follow] the example of lotuses and the example of vessels with clear water.
- Just as the sun, without thoughts
- And with a single shining of its own rays,
- Causes lotuses to bloom
- And also ripens other [plants], IV.59
- So the sun of the Tathāgata
- Engages, without thoughts,
- The lotuses of the persons to be guided
- With its rays of the genuine dharma. IV.60
- With the two bodies of dharma and form
- Rising in the sky of the seat of awakening,
- The sun of omniscience pervades
- Beings with its rays of wisdom. IV.61
- Due to this, everywhere in [the minds of] those to be guided,
- Which are like receptacles of pure water,
- The innumerable reflections of the sun
- Of the Sugata [appear] simultaneously. IV.62
Thus, though they are without thoughts, the buddhas manifest among the three groups of sentient beings through their display and their instructions. With regard to the order of [this manifesting, there follows] an example of mountains.
- Though always and everywhere pervading
- The sphere of the sky of the dharmadhātu, (D126a)
- The sun of the Buddha shines on the mountains
- Of those to be guided as is appropriate. IV.63 (J109)
- Just as the sun here extending its thousands of beams
- Rises and illuminates the entire world,
- Gradually shining on high, middling, and low mountains,
- So the sun of the victor gradually shines on the hosts of sentient beings. IV.64
As for the orb of light [of the sun of the Buddha’s] being more eminent [than the actual sun]: (P132a)
- The sun does not pervade all realms or the [entire] sphere of the sky,
- Nor does it show [all] knowable objects enveloped in the dense darkness of ignorance,
- But those whose character is compassion illuminate the world and show [all] knowable objects
- With an abundance of light rays that radiate in all kinds of colors and stream forth from each body hair. IV.65
- When the buddhas enter a city, people without eyes [can] see what is meaningful
- And, by virtue of that seeing, know how to be free from the web of what is meaningless.
- Also, the minds of those blinded by ignorance, who have fallen into the foaming sea of [saṃsāric] existence
- And are obscured by the darkness of views, are illuminated by the sun of the Buddha and see matters unseen [before]. IV.66
(6) [That sūtra also] says that [buddha activity] is similar to a wish-fulfilling jewel.
- Just as a wish-fulfilling jewel,
- Though it is without a thought,
- Simultaneously and individually fulfills
- All desires of those who are in its reach, IV.67
- So those of individual intentions who rely
- On the wish-fulfilling jewel of the Buddha
- Hear about the nature of phenomena in its various [aspects],
- But he does not think about them. IV.68
- Just as the precious jewel without thoughts
- Effortlessly grants others their desired gifts, (J110)
- So the sage always remains without effort as is appropriate
- For the sake of others for as long as [saṃsāric] existence lasts. IV.69
As for its being said that the appearance of tathāgatas is difficult to find:
- Just as it is very hard in this world here to obtain a pure gem,
- Be it located in the ocean or resting below the earth, which makes [people] yearn for it,
- So the sight of a tathāgata should be understood as something not easily found
- In the minds of very unsuitable beings who are in the grip of all kinds of afflictions. IV.70
(7) [That sūtra also] says that [buddha activity] is like the sound of an echo.
- Just as the sound of an echo
- Arises in the cognizance of others,
- Is without thought, effortless,
- And abides neither inside nor outside, IV.71
- So the voice of the Tathāgata (D126b)
- Arises in the cognizance of others,
- Is without thought, effortless,
- And abides neither inside nor outside. IV.72
(8) [That sūtra also] says that [buddha activity] is similar to space.
- Though it is insubstantial, without appearance,
- Without support, (P132b) without basis,
- Beyond the pathway of the eyes,
- Formless, and indemonstrable, IV.73
- Highs and lows are seen in space,
- But it is not like that at all.
- Likewise, everything can be seen in the buddhas,
- But they are not like that at all. IV.74
(9) [That sūtra also] says that [buddha activity] is similar to the earth.
- Just as all that grows on the earth
- Comes to grow, thrive, and expand
- Through relying on the ground
- That is without thoughts, IV.75
- So the roots of virtue of beings
- Come to grow without exception
- By relying on the earth of a perfect buddha
- Who is without thoughts. IV.76
(J111) The summarized meaning of [all those] examples [is as follows].
- Since some do not see that activity
- Can be performed without effort,
- The nine kinds of examples were given
- In order to eliminate the doubts of those to be guided. IV.77
- The intelligent who are excellently adorned
- With this light of the wisdom
- That arises from study will swiftly
- Enter the sphere of the buddhas in its entirety. IV.79
- To that end, the nine kinds of examples
- Of Śakra’s appearance on beryl
- And so on were discussed. The [following]
- Describe their summarized meanings— IV.80
- The nonconceptual mind [of the Buddha],
- In which all stirring of effort is at peace,
- Resembles the manifestation of the appearance
- Of Śakra in stainless beryl and so on. IV.82
- In order to establish the meaning of this matter,
- The thesis is "effort is at peace,"
- The reason is "the nonconceptuality of the mind,"
- And the examples are "the appearance of Śakra" and so on. IV.83
- Here, the meaning of this matter
- Is that the nine [features] such as "display"
- Manifest in an effortless manner and without
- The teacher arising or disappearing. I.84
(J112) (D127a) With regard to this point, [there follow] four verses to summarize [all nine] examples. (P133a)
- The one who, like Indra, like a drum, like clouds,
- Like Brahmā, the sun, the precious king of wish-fulfilling jewels,
- Like an echo, space, and the earth, promotes the welfare of others
- Without effort for as long as [saṃsāric] existence lasts is the knower of yoga. IV.85
- The display [of his body] resembles the lord of the gods appearing in a jewel.
- As the one who excellently gives instructions, he is like the drum of the gods.
- His all-pervasive cloud banks of great wisdom and compassion
- Pervade infinite numbers of beings up through the Peak of Existence. IV.86
- Like Brahmā, without moving from his immaculate abode,
- He displays himself by way of many kinds of emanations.
- Similar to the sun, the brilliance of his wisdom always radiates.
- His mind resembles a pure and precious wish-fulfilling jewel. IV.87
- Like an echo, the voice of the victors is unutterable.
- Similar to space, their body is pervasive, formless, and eternal.
- Resembling the earth, here, the buddhabhūmi is the abode of all
- Pure dharmas that are the remedies for beings in every respect. IV.88
Why are the buddha bhagavāns, who are always without arising and ceasing, explained through this instruction on the [nine] examples as being seen to entail arising and disappearing as well as uninterrupted and effortless buddha activity for all beings?
- Owing to the arising and disappearing of virtue,
- The reflection of the Buddha arises and disappears,
- But in terms of the dharmakāya, just like Śakra,
- The sage neither arises nor disappears. IV.90
- Thus, in an effortless manner, his activity,
- Such as displaying [his body], manifests
- From the dharmakāya, which lacks arising and ceasing,
- For as long as [saṃsāric] existence remains. IV.91
- This is the summarized meaning
- Of these examples, and they are discussed
- In this order by way of the latter ones
- Eliminating the dissimilarities of the former. IV.92
- Buddhahood is like [Śakra’s] reflection and yet is dissimilar
- In that [the latter] is not endowed with a voice.
- [In having a voice,] it is like the drum of the gods (P133b) and yet is dissimilar
- In that [the latter] does not promote the welfare [of beings] in every way. IV.93
- [In performing such welfare,] it is similar to a great cloud and yet is dissimilar
- In that [the latter] does not relinquish the seeds of what is meaningless.(D127b)
- [In relinquishing these seeds,] it resembles Mahābrahmā and yet is dissimilar
- In that [the latter] does not mature [beings] completely. IV.94
- [In completely maturing,] it is like the orb of the sun and yet is dissimilar
- In that [the latter] does not dispel darkness completely.
- [In dispelling darkness,] it is similar to a wish-fulfilling jewel and yet is dissimilar
- In that [the latter] is not as difficult to be obtained. IV.95
- It resembles an echo and yet is dissimilar
- In that [the latter] arises from conditions.
- It is similar to space and yet is dissimilar
- In that [the latter] is not the basis of virtue. IV.96
- It is similar to the maṇḍala of the earth,
- Since it is the foundation that serves as
- The support for the fulfillment of all mundane
- And supramundane virtues of beings without exception. IV.97 (J114)
- Since the supramundane path arises
- On the basis of the awakening of the buddhas,
- The path of virtuous actions, the dhyānas,
- The immeasurables, and the formless [absorptions] originate. IV.98
This completes the fourth chapter, the topic of the performance of tathāgata activity, in the treatise An Analysis of the Jewel Disposition, A Treatise on the Ultimate Continuum of the Mahāyāna, [with] the exposition of the summarized meaning of the verses. (J115)
Hereafter, [there follow] six verses on the benefit of the faith of those who have trust in these four points as they have been described.
- The buddha element, buddha awakening,
- The buddha attributes, and buddha activity,
- Being the sphere of the guides [alone],
- Are inconceivable even for pure sentient beings. V.1
- The intelligent whose minds have faith in this object of the victors
- Become the vessels for the collection of qualities.
- Through possessing the desire for these inconceivable qualities,
- They outshine the attainment of merit of all sentient beings. V.2
- Suppose some who strive for awakening were constantly to offer golden realms adorned with jewels,
- Equal [in number] to the particles in [all] buddha realms, to the lords of dharma always, day after day, (P134a)
- While some others were to hear [just] one word of this [dharma] and, upon hearing it, would have faith in it—
- The latter would attain far more merit than the virtue arising from such generosity. V.3
- Suppose some intelligent ones who desire unsurpassable wakening
- Were to effortlessly maintain immaculate discipline with body, speech, and mind for many eons,
- While some others were to hear [just] one word of this [dharma] (D128a) and, upon hearing it, would have faith in it—
- The latter would attain far more merit than the virtue arising from such discipline. V.4
- Suppose some were absorbed here in the dhyānas that extinguish the fire of the afflictions in the three realms of existence
- And would arrive at the perfection of the [meditative] states of the gods and Brahmā, thus possessing the immutable means for perfect awakening,
- While some others were to hear [just] one word of this [dharma] and, upon hearing it, would have confidence in it—
- The latter would attain far more merit than the virtue arising from such dhyānas. V.5 (J116)
- Since generosity just leads to wealth,
- Discipline [just leads to] heaven, and meditation [just] relinquishes the afflictions,
- While prajñā eliminates all afflictive and cognitive [obscurations],
- It is supreme, and its cause is to study this [dharma]. V.6
The summarized meaning of these verses should be understood by the following nine verses.
- With regard to the foundation, its change,
- Its qualities, and the promotion of welfare,
- These four aspects of the object of the wisdom
- Of the victors as they were described, V.7
- The intelligent have faith in [the foundation’s] existing,
- [Its change’s] being possible, and its being endowed with qualities.
- Therefore, they swiftly become suitable
- To attain the state of a tathāgata. V.8
- They are full of confidence and faith, [thinking,]
- "This inconceivable object exists,
- Can be attained by someone like me,
- And, once attained, possesses such qualities." V.9
- Thereby, bodhicitta as the receptacle
- Of qualities such as confidence, vigor,
- Mindfulness, dhyāna, and prajñā
- Is present in them at all times. V.10
- Since that [bodhicitta] is always present,
- The children of the victors are irreversible (P134b)
- And reach the completion
- And purity of the pāramitā of merit. V.11
- Merit refers to the [first] five pāramitās,
- Its completion is due to being nonconceptual
- About the three aspects, and its purity
- Is by virtue of the relinquishment of its antagonistic factors. V.12
- Generosity is the merit that arises from giving,
- Discipline is declared to arise from discipline,
- The pair of patience and dhyāna arises
- From meditation, and vigor is present in all. V.13 (J117)
- Without prajñā, the other [pāramitās] do not represent
- The causes for relinquishing these [obscurations].
- Therefore, prajñā is the highest one, and its root (D128b)
- Is study, so study is supreme [too]. V.15
[Hereafter, (there follow four) verses that describe on which basis (this treatise) was explained, what caused (its composition), how (it was explained), and what (its characteristics) are. First, there is a verse about its basis and what caused (its composition).]
- Thus, on the basis of trustworthy scriptures and reasoning,
- I expounded this [treatise] in order to purify just myself
- And also for the sake of supporting those who are endowed
- With intelligence, faith, and fulfillment of virtue. V.16
[(Next, there is) a verse about how (this treatise) was explained.]
- Just as those with eyes [can] see in dependence on
- A lamp, lightning, a jewel, the moon, and the sun,
- So I expounded this [treatise] in dependence on the sage
- Who is the sun that illuminates the dharma of great meaning. V.17
[(There follows) a verse about what (the characteristics of what) was explained are.]
- Any utterance that is meaningful, is connected with the words of the dharma,
- Relinquishes the afflictions of the three realms,
- And teaches the benefit of peace
- Is the speech of the seer, while others are its opposite. V.18
[(Next, there is) a verse about (the means) by which it was explained.]
- Whatever is said by those with undistracted minds
- Who recognize the victor alone as their teacher (J118)
- And accords with the path of the accumulations for attaining liberation
- Should be respected as much as [the words of] the seer. V.19
[(There follow two) verses about the means of protecting oneself (from becoming deprived of the dharma).]
- In this world, there is no one wiser than the victor, (P135a)
- No other one anywhere who is omniscient and properly knows supreme true reality in its entirety.
- Therefore, one should not deviate from the sūtras taught to be definitive by the seer himself .
- Otherwise, this will harm the genuine dharma through destroying the guidance of the sage. V.20
- The entirety of deprecating the noble ones and blaming the dharma taught by them
- Is the affliction of those with foolish character, created by views that entail clinging.
- Therefore, one’s mind should not be mingled with what is stained by views that entail clinging —
- [Only] a clean garment can be dyed but not one that is tainted by grease or dirt. V.21
[(Next, there is) a verse about the causes for deviating (from the dharma).]
- Because of weak intelligence, because of lacking faith in what is pure, because of relying on false pride,
- Because of having the character of being obscured through destroying the genuine dharma, because of grasping at the expedient meaning as being true reality,
- Because of coveting gain, because of being under the sway of views, because of relying on those who hate the dharma,
- Because of keeping at a distance from those who maintain the dharma, and because of desiring what is inferior, the dharmas of the arhats are rejected. V.22
[(There follow two) verses about the result of deviating (from the dharma).]
- The wise should not be as deeply afraid of fire, terrible snake poison, murderers, or lightning
- As they should be of the loss of the profound dharma. (D129a)
- Fire, snakes, enemies, and lightning may [at most] end one’s life,
- But one would not wander to the most fearsome realm of those in Avīci through such causes. V.23 (J119)
- Even persons who, repeatedly relying on bad friends, [injured] a buddha with bad intention,
- Committed the acts of killing their mother, father, or an arhat, or split the highest community
- Will be swiftly liberated from these [actions] through being absorbed in the meaning of the dharma,
- But how could there be liberation in those whose minds are hostile toward the dharma? V.24
[Finally, there is a verse in order to dedicate the merit attained by the author through this teaching.]
- Having properly expounded the seven topical points (the [three] jewels, the pure basic element,
- Stainless awakening, the qualities, and activity), through the merit I obtained by that,
- May [all] beings behold the seer Amitāyus endowed with infinite light
- And, having seen him, (P135b) attain supreme awakening by virtue of the stainless eye of dharma arising [in them]. V.25
The summarized meaning of these [last] ten verses is to be understood through the [following] three verses.
- The [first] four verses explain
- On what [basis] it was expounded,
- What caused it, how and what [was expounded],
- And what the natural outflow [of the dharma] is. V.26
- Two explain the means of protecting oneself;
- One, the causes for the loss [of the dharma];
- And the following two verses, The result [of this loss]. V.27
This completes the fifth chapter, entitled the topic of the benefit, in the treatise An Analysis of the Jewel Disposition, A Treatise on the Ultimate Continuum of the Mahāyāna, [with] the exposition of the summarized meaning of the verses.
- DP "I pay homage to all buddhas and bodhisattvas." Throughout this translation of RGVV, numbers preceded by J, D, and P in "( )"indicate the page numbers of Johnston’s Sanskrit edition and the folio numbers of the Tibetan versions in the Derge and Peking Tengyur, respectively. In my translation, I have relied on the corrections of the Sanskrit in Takasaki 1966a, 396–99; Kano 2006, 545; de Jong 1968; and Schmithausen 1971; as well as on most of the latter two’s corrections of Takasaki’s and Obermiller’s (1984) English renderings. In the notes on my translation, D and P without any numbers refer to the Tibetan translation of RGVV in the Derge and Peking Tengyur, respectively, while C indicates its version in the Chinese canon.
Dege Edition, Volume PHI, Page 108, Verse 1: ཐེག་པ་ཆེན་པོ་རྒྱུད་བླ་མའི་བསྟན་བཅོས/སྐབས་ཏེ་དང་པོ་/ཚིག་བཅད་-༡
- I generally render vajrapada—lit. "vajra foot(ing)"—as "vajra point." Among the many meanings of pada, those that are relevant here are "footing" (or "basis") and "word."
- Compare the explanation of "vajra"in the Eighth Karmapa’s Lamp (15–16): "The means to generate the actual type of realization of the vajra-like samādhi are as follows. In the beginning, the minds and mental factors of ordinary beings are made pure through the power of the triad of study, reflection, and meditation. Thereafter, without having to rely on the power of any [element] among the triad of study, reflection, and meditation, but in a self-arisen manner, the vajra-like wisdom of realization is able to overcome the hosts of ignorance right upon the light of wisdom’s meeting them for a single moment at the same time. This is just as the orb of the sun, in a single instant of its shining, roots out completely the darkness of the latent tendencies of ignorance. This is the meaning of ‘vajra,’ and therefore it is [also] the meaning of ‘the seven vajra points’ in the Uttaratantra."JKC (10–12) explains the following on what the Uttaratantra teaches and the meaning of "vajra." The basis of explanation of the Uttaratantra is the heart of the matter taught by the Buddha, which is that "all sentient beings always possess the tathāgata heart." Though there are infinite different approaches of explaining this by following distinct scriptures, reasonings, and meditations in both India and Tibet, the masters of the Madhyamaka of definitive meaning assert the following. The entirety of the definitive meanings of all three dharma wheels is included in the two kinds of identitylessness. The ultimate meaning of these is the emptiness of the duality of apprehender and apprehended in terms of persons and in terms of phenomena. However, the manner of being empty is not just a nonimplicative negation. Madhyāntavibhāga I.20 says:
- Emptiness here is the nonbeing
- Of persons and phenomena.
- The real being of this nonbeing
- In it is another emptiness.
- Accordingly, it is the manner of being empty that is an implicative negation—the essence of self-lucid self-awareness—that is taught as the tathāgata heart in the context of the Uttaratantra. This is the vajra of the definitive meaning, which becomes threefold through being divided by its phases, as in Uttaratantra I.47:
- Its being impure, its being both impure and pure,
- And its being completely pure, in due order,
- Are expressed as "sentient being,"
- "Bodhisattva," and "tathāgata."
- Its phase of not being pure of adventitious stains is described as "sentient being," and this expanse is also called "disposition" or "the basic element that is the tathāgata heart." Its phase of possessing both impurity and purity is described as the persons who have entered the path, and from the perspective of isolates, the expanse represents the dharma and the saṃgha. That is, from the perspective of the isolate that is the mere wisdom of the path of seeing, it is the saṃgha. From the perspective of the uninterrupted path, it is the path. From the perspective of the path of liberation and its distinctive features, it is cessation. Its phase of being completely pure is described as the Tathāgata and so on, and the expanse is called "dharmakāya." If this is divided in terms of isolates, it is threefold—awakening, the qualities, and enlightened activity. Therefore, through these internal subdivisions, that vajra is also taught as the seven vajra points. It is easy to understand that the entire definitive meaning of the two latter dharma wheels is included in it, but you may wonder how the definitive meaning of the first wheel—personal identitylessness—is included in it. The basis of purification, the means of purification, and the result of purification of the inferior paths are all included in the suchness with stains. Therefore, the main topic of this treatise is the tathāgata heart, and one should understand that the entirety of the definitive meanings of all three dharma wheels is included in it.
- Skt. artha can also mean "topic" or "meaning," as in a meaning and the words that express it. However, as made clear in the preceding sentence, here the term refers to the actual true nature of all phenomena, which is not a semantic, conceptual, or abstract meaning or topic, but something to be perceived directly. GC (20.25–21.6) also makes this very clear, saying that the seven vajra points are very difficult to be understood through study and reflection because these two are conceptual and the actuality of the vajra points cannot be made a direct object of conceptions. Rather, this actuality is the object of what has the nature of the personally experienced direct perception that arises from meditation. Since this actuality is to be personally experienced and thus is inexpressible, it cannot arise right away on the basis of words. However, it still serves as the subject matter of this treatise because this text teaches the cognitions of study and reflection that represent the causes that accord with, and are the path to, attaining what is to be personally experienced. This is similar to expressing the city Pātaliputra when saying, "This is the way leading to Pāṭaliputra." The same is said in Uttaratantra V.16.
- Sthirādhyāśayaparivartasūtra, D224, fol. 172b.2–3. VT (fol. 9v.2–3) glosses this passage as the Tathāgata’s being "unarisen and characterized by unconditioned wisdom."
- The Kangyur has the title of this text as Sthirādhyāśayaparivartasūtra.
- VT (fol. 9v.3) glosses "this actuality" as "the actuality of the dhātu," with "dhātu" referring to natural purity and "awakening," to the purity of being free from stains.
- This is inserted in accordance with DP.
- Though Edgerton 1953 and Takasaki 1966a take the term sattvadhātu to mean "mass of beings,"this makes no sense in the context of RGVV. Rather, as clearly explained throughout RGVV (particularly on I.48), the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśaparivarta (see the next sentence in this quote as well as other passages from that sūtra on J40 and J41), and the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra (J6), sattvadhātu is an equivalent of tathāgatagarbha.
- Taishō 668, 467a. YDC (243) comments on this quote as follows. "Object" and "sphereto meditative equipoise and subsequent attainment, respectively. As for "known, seen, or discriminated," according to Ngog Lotsāwa, this refers to the knowing during preparation, main practice, and conclusion or the knowing during the paths of preparation, seeing, and familiarization. According to Shang Chökyi Lama, this refers to the knowing through study, reflection, and meditation.
- D45.48, fol. 269a.1–2.
- J dharmakāyaḥ so ’yam avinirbhāgadharmā ’vinirmuktajñānaguṇo, DP chos kyi sku gang yin pa de ni ’di lta ste . . . de bzhin gshegs pa’i chos dag dang / rnam par dbyer med pa’i chos dang ldan pa ma bral ba’i ye shes kyi yon tan can yin no. Schmithausen 1971 suggests to understand the compound avinirmuktajñāna° as vinirmuktatvena jñānam yeṣām na bhavati ("with which knowing them to be divisible [from the dharmakāya] never happens"). The corresponding passage grol bas shes pa in the Śrīmālādevīsūtra (D45.48, fol. 272b.1) seems to support that (though it should read ma grol bas shes pa, which is instead found for the afflictions, which are actually realized as being divisible). Schmithausen also suggests a second possibility of reading this compound as vinirmuktaṃ jñānaṃ yeṣām na bhavati ("whose realization is not divisible [from the realization of the dharmakāya]"). I follow Schmithausen 1971 and Mathes 2008a in translating "qualities that cannot be realized as being divisible" (which corresponds to how the Śrīmālādevīsūtra uses this phrase). However, guṇa is here in the singular, which seems also how GC (24.15–17) understands it (though taking avinirmuktajñāna to mean "inseparable wisdom"). GC comments that the dharmakāya is endowed with inseparable attributes because they are of the same nature as buddha wisdom. Even at the time of being obscured by the afflictions, it possesses the quality of inseparable wisdom (or the feature of wisdom’s being inseparable from it). In brief since the tathāgata heart and its qualities have a connection of identity, the term "kāya" refers to "nature."
- Taishō 668, 467a.
- D185, fol. 187b.4–5.
- The actual title of this sūtra is Tathāgatamahākaruṇānirdeśasasūtra.
- The actual first chapter of this sūtra is called "Array of Ornaments" (rgyan bkod pa zhes bya ba ’dus pa’i le’u; D147, fols. 154a.1–179a.7). However, as we will see, what RGVV calls "introductory section"extends into the next section of the sūtra, which contains the discussion of the various attributes of bodhisattvas and buddhas, but is not marked as a separate chapter. According to GC (25.10–11) and RYC (6), the fourth vajra point (the basic element) is discussed in the section on the attributes of bodhisattvas, while the last three vajra points are found in the section on the attributes of a buddha.
- D147, fol. 142a.4–5. The last phrase is translated in accordance with the sūtra and RGVV (DP), while the Sanskrit of RGVV has the compound anantaśiṣyagaṇasuvinītaḥ, which is to be read as a bahuvrīhi with the different meaning "[the Bhagavān by whom] limitless assemblies of disciples were superbly guided." The same phrase is quoted again in RGVV and is adapted in accordance with the sūtra. However, right thereafter, RGVV clearly explains the above compound to mean "[the Buddha] is the one who has superbly guided [disciples] in a progressive manner to the awakening of śrāvakas and the awakening of buddhas." Thus, the author of RGVV either had a different manuscript of the sūtra or interpreted this phrase differently.
- This phrase is missing in MA, MB, and GC, but J adds the compound anuttaradharmabhāṇakatvasaṃpannaḥ in accordance with DP and C (which is further confirmed by the same phrase appearing in CMW, 437).
- As attributes of the Buddha, this list is also found in the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, D147, fol. 142a.5.
- As already mentioned, different from what the sūtra says, RGVV’s Sanskrit compound anantaśiṣyagaṇasuvinītatāṃ here is to be read as "the fact that limitless assemblies of disciples were superbly guided [by the Bhagavān]." This is also clear from RGVV’s explanation as to where the Buddha guided his disciples ("the awakening of śrāvakas and the awakening of buddhas").
- Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, fol. 142a.6–142b.2.
- Ibid., fol. 143a.1.
- I follow °maṇḍalamāda° in MB and VT (fol. 9v5) against J °maṇḍalavyūha°.
- Lit. "bull-like samādhi."
- Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, fols. 143a.2–152a.2.
- Ibid., fols. 152a.2–153b.6.
- Ibid., fols. 153b.6–157a.6.
- The actual first chapter of the sūtra ends after the preceding section (that is, fol. 157a.6).
- Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, fols. 157a.6–159a.6. For the identification of these passages in the sūtra, see also CMW and Kano 2006, 605–8.
- C, CMW (447–48), GC (30.9–14), and Ngog Lotsāwa’s commentary (Rngog lo tsā ba blo ldan shes rab 1993b, fol. 16b.2) all confirm that this example comes from the Daśabhūmikasūtra. The corresponding passage says: "O sons of the victors, it is as follows. For example, to whichever extent pure gold is heated in a fire by a skilled goldsmith, to that extent it becomes refined, pure, and pliable as he pleases. O sons of the victors, likewise, to the extent that bodhisattvas make offerings to the buddha bhagavāns, make efforts in maturing sentient beings, and are in a state of adopting these kinds of dharmas that purify the bhūmis, to that extent their roots of virtue that they dedicate to omniscience will become refined, pure, and pliable as they please" (for the Sanskrit, see Mathes 2008a, 505).
- Skt. vaiḍūrya. Though this term is often rendered as "lapis lazuli"in translations, this is wrong. The Western name "beryl," chemical formula Be3Al2(SiO3)6, derives from Latin beryllus and Greek beryllos, which come from the Prakrit veruliya and the Sanskrit vaiḍūrya, which is of Dravidian origin and means "to become pale" (interestingly, the word "brilliance" also derives from beryllus). Originally, this term referred to "a precious blue-green color-of-sea-water stone" (usually some kind of aquamarine) but later became used for the mineral beryl in general. Pure beryl is colorless (which is very rare), but there are many varieties of different colors due to its being mixed with other minerals. Beryl crystals range from very small to several meters in size and many tons in weight. The main varieties are aquamarine (blue), emerald (green), golden beryl (pale yellow to brilliant gold), heliodor (green-yellow), Morganite (pink or rose-colored), and red beryl.
- VT (fol. 9v5–6) glosses this as kāñjikādi (kāñjika means "sour gruel" or "water of boiled rice in a state of spontaneous fermentation").
- VT (fol. 9v6) reads gaṇḍikā ("piece of wood"), which fits with the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra and C saying "a piece of wood covered with a cloth." However, VT gives tikṣṇarajaḥ ("acid dust") as its synonym.
- Skt. mahābhaiṣajyarasa, which here seems to refer to mercury (in itself, rasa can also mean mercury, which is used as one of the most potent ingredients in āyurvedic and Tibetan medicine). As for the three cleansing liquids, Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra and DP agree with J on the last one. As for the first two, Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra has "alkali" and "caustic mercury,"while DP say "caustic salty water" and "caustic food liquid" (D mistakenly has zangs instead of zas). YDC (330) says that according to Ngog Lotsāwa and Chaba Chökyi Sengé, the three are "rock salt," "fish broth," and "mercury," while Patsab Lotsāwa speaks of "alkali," "the three fruits (chebulic, beleric, and emblic myrobalans)," and "sulfur." Glosses in RYC (17) say "alkali," "fish broth," and "mercury or a toxic liquid." Thus, this cleansing process here begins with an alkaline solution, continues with an acidic one, and ends with quicksilver.
- These are the three doors to liberation taught extensively in the prajñāpāramitā sūtras—the nature of phenomena is emptiness, causes lack any signs or defining characteristics, and the appearance of results is not bound to expectations or wishes.
- VT (fol. 9v6) glosses this as "the discourses of the mahāyāna."
- Usually, this means to be free from the three notions of agent, object, and action. However, the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra (D147, fol. 177a.6–7) itself explains this purity of the three spheres as follows: "What is the termination of the three spheres? It is that [state] in which mind does not engage in the past, consciousness does not run after the future, and there is no mental engagement in what occurs at present. Since this is the nonabiding of mind, mentation, and consciousness, there is no conceiving of the past, no thinking about the future, and no discursiveness about what occurs at present." In effect, this means that all eight consciousnesses do not operate in this state ("mind" refers to the ālaya-consciousness, "mentation" to the afflicted mind, and "consciousness" to the six remaining consciousnesses). Naturally, mind’s not engaging in the three times as described is reminiscent of similar instructions in the Mahāmudrā tradition. GC (41.7–11) explains the purity of the three spheres according to Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra XII.11ab and its Bhāṣya, which comments that this purity is threefold in terms of that through which buddhas teach (speech and words), how they teach (in the form of instructions and so on), and those who are taught (those who understand through concise or through elaborate statements). Thus, GC says that this refers to the pure speech of those who explain the dharma (such as those who are renowned at Nālandā), the pure dharma to be explained, and the pure mind streams of the disciples.
- Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, D147, fol. 215b.1–7. GC (41.11–24) explains "the dharma wheel of irreversibility" as follows. Since wisdom is irreversible on the eighth bhūmi, it is called "the bhūmi of irreversibility." This means that before that, some people become tired of sitting on a cushion and meditating, thus rising from their cushion as well as from their meditative equipoise. Thus, they do not have poised readiness for meditative equipoise. On the eighth bhūmi, bodhisattvas do not rise from their resting in meditative equipoise in the nature of nonarising. Therefore, it is referred to as "poised readiness for nonarising." Since it also means being irreversible from unarisen wisdom, the teachings that are primarily given on this bhūmi are called "irreversible." Since they are transferred into the mind streams of disciples, they are called a "wheel," which consists of the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra and the other sūtras belonging to this dharma wheel of irreversibility. Those to be guided directly by this dharma wheel are "sentient beings with various causal natures,"with "natures" referring to their dispositions. These sentient beings are the results arisen from different dispositions and thus possess them as their causes. This corresponds to the Saṃdhinirmocanasūtra speaking of "those who have entered all yānas." The fruition of this dharma wheel is "to enter the domain of the tathāgatas"—suchness or the nature of phenomena. Thus, such bodhisattvas realize the true nature of a tathāgata, such as knowing the minds of sentient beings in terms of the true nature of these minds, and, upon having become buddhas, attain the arhathood of the unsurpassable yāna. Therefore, they are called "unsurpassable venerable ones" (see also n. 1183 on "irreversible bodhisattvas"). As for the three dharma wheels with respect to the example of cleansing a beryl, GC (42.25–43.2) says that the first one washes away the afflictions that arise from views about a self. The second one purifies coarse and subtle thoughts of clinging to (real) entities. The third one purifies what are called "the appearances of objects in the mind" because these are obstructions to seeing the tathāgata heart well. Note that GC (44.20–74.26; Mathes 2008a, 243–304) goes into great detail in establishing the superiority of the third dharma wheel in all respects. The Eighth Situpa, in his introduction to the table of contents of the Derge Kangyur (Chos kyi ’byung gnas 1988, 52–53), says that the three wheels of turning the dharma as presented in the Dhāraṇīśvararājaparipṛcchāsūtra are the wheel that speaks of revulsion toward saṃsāra, the wheel about the three doors to liberation, and the irreversible wheel. As for the rationale behind this division, according to the Uttaratantra (II.41 and II.57–59), those to be guided enter the path of peace (of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas) through first being exhorted by way of the teaching on developing revulsion toward their attachment to saṃsāra. Then, through speaking about emptiness, they are matured in the mahāyāna. Finally, through the contents of the irreversible wheel, they engage in the object of all tathāgatas and receive the great prophecy about their own awakening (on the eighth bhūmi). The Seventh Karmapa’s commentary on the Abhisamayālaṃkāra (Chos grags rgya mtsho n.d., 74–84) compares the three turnings in the Saṃdhinirmocanasūtra and the three stages in the Dhāraṇīśvararājaparipṛcchāsūtra, concluding that the first and second stages match perfectly in terms of both their topics and recipients, while the third ones are not the same. For the wheel of irreversibility in the Dhāraṇīśvararājaparipṛcchāsūtra corresponds to the teachings on the tathāgata heart in general and the third phase explained in the Uttaratantra. The Eighth Karmapa’s commentary on the Abhisamayālaṃkāra (Mi bskyod rdo rje 2003, 1:32–35) agrees with this and elaborates as follows. "The wheel of prophecy"in the Uttaratantra is the dharma wheel that teaches that all sentient beings are endowed with the tathāgata heart. It is obvious that Maitreya coined this conventional terminology as a comment on the presentation in the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra. As for Maitreya’s third "wheel of prophecy" and Nāgārjuna’s third "wheel that puts an end to all views," Karmapa Rangjung Dorje said that these two come down to the same essential point in a general way, in the sense that whatever is the final wheel must necessarily be the wheel that teaches freedom from reference points. However, more specifically, Nāgārjuna’s final "wheel that puts an end to all views" states nothing but sheer freedom from reference points, while Maitreya’s final "wheel of prophecy" explains that wisdom free from reference points is the distinctive feature of what is to be experienced by personally experienced wisdom. This is the only difference in terms of these two wheels not representing the same essential point. As for what is of expedient and definitive meaning in the three wheels in the Uttaratantra, the Eighth Karmapa quotes the great Kashmiri paṇḍita Ratnavajra as follows: "The wheel that introduces to the path of peace is the expedient meaning. The wheel of maturation is the wheel that is predominantly of definitive meaning and contains some parts of expedient meaning. The wheel of prophecy is the wheel of nothing but the definitive meaning." According to the Seventh Karmapa (Chos grags rgya mtsho n.d., 85), in themselves, the Dhāraṇīśvararājaparipṛcchāsūtra and the Uttaratantra do not explicitly make a distinction in terms of expedient and definitive meaning. However, Asaṅga’s RGVV (J76; D4025, fols. 113b.7–114a.4) states that Uttaratantra I.155, through saying that the buddha heart is empty of adventitious stains but not empty of being the buddha heart, teaches the unmistaken emptiness by virtue of its being free from the extremes of superimposition and denial. Thus, implicitly, these texts hold that statements about the buddha heart’s being empty (of itself) are of expedient meaning. Ngog Lotsāwa’s commentary on the Uttaratantra (Rngog lo tsā ba blo ldan shes rab 1993b, fols. 1b.2–2a.1) also connects the dharma wheel of irreversibility with the Uttaratantra, saying that the latter explains the true reality of the meaning of the mahāyāna—the intention of the sūtras of definitive meaning (the irreversible dharma wheel), which teach the dharmadhātu as the single principle. The other four Maitreya works, through explaining the meanings of the sūtras of expedient meaning, make beings into suitable vessels for this perfect dharma because they present seeming reality as well as the ultimate that is based on the thinking of others. For further details on the three turnings of the wheel of dharma, see Bu ston rin chen grub 1931, 2:45–56; Brunnhölzl 2004, 527–49; Brunnhölzl 2010, 23–28 and 213–15; and Brunnhölzl 2012a, 48–49).
- CMW (448) says that this verse is from the Laṅkāvatārasūtra. However, this sūtra contains only a partly similar verse (X.751; translated from the Sanskrit):
- The color of gold and the pure gold
- In gravel become visible
- Through cleansing it—so it is with the ālaya
- In the skandhas of sentient beings.
- The Tibetan version ends with "so it is with sentient beings in the skandhas." Note also that RGVV’s verse is in Prakrit, while there is no known Prakrit version of the Laṅkāvatārasūtra. The Ghanavyūhasūtra (D110, fol. 7b.1–3) also contains a verse that corresponds closely to the first three lines of the verse in question:
- In pulverized stone,
- Gold does not appear to exist.
- Through specific cleansing activities,
- The gold will appear.
- GC (44.18–19) quotes this verse from the Ghanavyūhasūtra and identifies it as the basis of RGVV’s citation. The lines that follow this verse in that sūtra say that if one cleanses entities such as the skandhas, dhātus, and āyatanas, buddha does not exist as an entity. However, that does not mean that buddha is nonexistent—those endowed with yoga see the buddha possessing the thirty-two major marks. Another verse in the same sūtra (D110, fol. 13a.5) says:
- The tathāgata heart
- Abides like gold in stone.
- Mentation arises from the ālaya,
- And so does the mental consciousness.
- These are discipline, samādhi, prajñā, and dhāraṇī (Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, D147, fols. 159a.6–167b.1). In due order, VT (fol. 9v6–7) glosses them as not harming sentient beings, loving-kindness, inquisitiveness, and not lacking recollection. According to GC (75.18–19), these four are called "ornaments" because, just as people delight in ornaments adorning the body, one’s retinue takes delight when one possesses these four factors.
- According to VT (fols. 9v7–10r2), these are the illuminations that consist of (1) mindfulness (not letting previously accomplished virtue be lost and striving for virtue not yet accomplished), (2) insight (into the meaning, not just letters), (3) realization (of all phenomena and the intentions of all sentient beings), (4) dharmas (mundane and supramundane dharmas), (5) wisdom (the characteristics of the wisdom of stream-enterers up through buddhas), (6) reality (through being in accordance with reality, being disciplined, and attaining all the fruitions such as stream-enterer), (7) the supernatural knowledges (the illumination of seeing due to beholding all forms through the divine eye and so on), and (8) practice (the illuminations of wisdom and prajñā through practice). The Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra (D147, fols. 167b.1–171a.1) explains the first seven of the eight illuminations as being eightfold and the eighth one as being ninefold. According to GC (76.10), they are called "illuminations" because the entire mahāyāna path is seen through them.
- These are the ways in which bodhisattvas aspire to teach the dharma in order to eliminate sixteen sets of flaws of sentient beings, beginning with thinking, (1) "I will teach the dharma to sentient beings who are bound by the views about a real personality and are mixed up with various views, in order that they relinquish all their views." Furthermore, bodhisattvas aspire to teach the dharma to sentient beings who (2) entertain the fourfold mistakenness of taking what is impermanent to be permanent, suffering to be happiness, what is without a self to be a self, and what is repulsive to be beautiful, in order that these beings relinquish all these mistakennesses, (3) cling to "me" and what is mine and take nonentities to be entities, in order that these beings relinquish their clinging to "me" and what is mine, (4) are obscured by the five obscurations of being tormented by desire, having a lot of anger, being attached to dullness and sleep, having regrets about what is not genuine, and not having gained certainty about the profound dharma, in order that these beings relinquish all these obscurations, (5) are attached by way of the six āyatanas, that is, cling to the characteristics of forms, sounds, scents, tastes, tangible objects, and phenomena that they perceive through their six consciousnesses, in order that these beings relinquish such attachment, (6) entertain pride (feeling superior to inferior beings), excessive pride (feeling superior to one’s peers), overbearing pride (feeling superior to those who are superior to oneself), self-centered pride (claiming everything from form to consciousness as being the self—thinking, "I am all that makes up my existence"), showing-off pride (pride in qualities that one does not actually have), pri e of thinking less of oneself (saying, "I am so insignificant compared to those great beings" with the implication that one can never reach the greatness of one’s teachers but that one is quite important due to having such teachers), and perverted pride (pride about a wrong view’s being the correct view or pride about having something that is actually not a positive quality), in order that these beings relinquish all aspects of pride, (7) have entered bad paths and lack the path of the noble ones, in order that these beings relinquish bad paths and make them attain the path of the noble ones, (8) are the slaves of their craving, cling to wives and children, and, due to lacking self-control, cannot judge themselves, in order that these beings have self-control, are able to judge themselves, and are enabled to go where they like to, (9) are in discord with each other and have a lot of anger, hatred, and malice for each other, in order that these beings relinquish their anger, hatred, and malice, (10) are under the sway of evil companions, lack spiritual friends, and commit evil actions, in order that these being are taken care of by spiritual friends and abandon their evil companions, (11) are over- whelmed by attachment, are not content, and lack the prajñā of the noble ones, in order that these beings relinquish attachment and give rise to the prajñā of the noble ones, (12) regard any maturation of karma as nonexistent and dwell in views about permanence or extinction, in order to introduce these beings to profound dependent origination and the law of karma, (13) are blinded by ignorance and dullness and cling to a self, a sentient being, a life-force, a life-sustainer, an individual, and a person, in order that these beings purify the eye of the prajñā of the noble ones and relinquish all views, (14) delight in saṃsāra and are in the grip of the executioners of the five skandhas, in order to help them emerge from all three realms, (15) are bound by the fetters that are the nooses of the māras and who dwell in deceit and conceit, in order to liberate these beings from all these fetters and have them relinquish their deceit and conceit, and to (16) those for whom the door to nirvāṇa is closed while the door to the lower realms is open, in order to open the door to nirvāṇa and close the door to the lower realms. Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, D147, fols. 171a.1–172b.4. VT (fol. 10r2–6) agrees with these explanations, providing them in abbreviated form.
- On the basis of the sixteen kinds of great compassion, these thirty-two remedy thirty-two forms of improper states of mind or behaviors of beings. Both the sūtra and VT call them "the thirty-two unique activities of bodhisattvas." (1) Bodhisattvas see that sentient beings are asleep in the sleep of ignorance, while they themselves have awoken through prajñā, thus awakening sentient beings through prajñā. (2) Seeing that sentient beings aspire for what is small or inferior, while they aspire for what is vast, they make sentient beings embrace the mahāyāna. (3) Seeing that sentient beings wish for what is not the dharma, while they abide in the dharma, they establish them in wishing for the dharma. (4) Seeing that sentient beings engage in impure livelihood, while they have pure livelihood, they establish them in pure livelihood. (5) Seeing that sentient beings are drowning in wrong views, while they engage in the correct view, they establish them in the correct view of the noble ones. (6) Seeing that sentient beings are unaware and are immersed in improper mental engagement, while they dwell in proper mental engagement that accords with awareness, they establish them in such proper mental engagement. (7) Seeing that sentient beings abide in wrong dharmas, while they engage in the right dharma, they teach them the dharma in order to make them practice the right dharma. (8) Seeing that sentient beings are miserly and thus have a state of mind of clinging, while they give away all material things, they establish them in giving away all such things. (9) Seeing that sentient beings have bad discipline and do not abide by the vows, while they abide by correct discipline, they establish them in the vows of discipline. (10) Seeing that sentient beings have a lot of malice and anger, while they abide in the power of patience and in love, they establish them in the power of patience and in love. (11) Seeing that sentient beings are lazy and have little vigor, while they lack laziness and apply vigor, they establish them in applying vigor. (12) Seeing that sentient beings are distracted and weak in mindfulness, while they rest in meditative equipoise and cultivate samādhi, they establish them in nondistraction, mindfulness, and alertness. (13) Seeing that sentient beings possess corrupted prajñā and thus are inferior and dull, while they possess prajñā and lack dullness, they establish them in great prajñā and being free from dullness. (14) Seeing that sentient beings fall into what is not appropriate and commit improper actions, while they are endowed with skillful means and commit right actions, they establish them in skillful means and committing right actions. (15) Seeing that sentient beings are overwhelmed by their afflictions and engage in the sphere of imagination, conception, and ideation, while they have turned away from all afflictions, they establish them in relinquishing all afflictions. 16) Seeing that sentient beings are fettered by their views about a real personality and entertain reference points, while they understand the views about a real personality and are liberated from being fettered by reference points, they establish them in fully understanding the views about a real personality and being free from reference points. (17) Seeing that sentient beings are not disciplined, restrained, and refined, while they are disciplined and so on, they establish them in being disciplined and so on. (18) Seeing that sentient beings do not repay kindness, do not know that someone has been kind to them, and thus destroy their roots of virtue, while they repay kindness, know that someone has been kind to them, and thus guard their roots of virtue, they establish them in repaying kindness, knowing that someone has been kind to them, and not wasting their roots of virtue. (19) Seeing that sentient beings are under the sway of having fallen into the four rivers and desiring nonvirtue, while they are beyond all these rivers, they establish them in being beyond all these rivers (the four rivers are ignorance, views, becoming, and craving or birth, aging, sickness, and death). The first half of VT (10v2) "[establishing] those who have come through striking with weapons in going beyond all reference points" is strange and probably corrupt (hetyā praharaṇenāgatān sarvopalambhasamatikrame; Nakamura 1992 wants to read hetvāpraharaṇāgatān sarvopalambham abhikrame and translates this as "those who are going to give up the cause overcome all thoughts (which are) construed in their mind," which is not very helpful either). (20) Seeing that sentient beings do not heed and follow advice, while they do so, they establish them in doing so too. VT (10v2) says "[establishing] those who use bad language in using good language." (21) Seeing that sentient beings are ruined in many ways and cling to what is not genuine, while they are not ruined and dwell in the nectar of virtue, they establish them in nonclinging and dwelling in the roots of virtue. (22) Seeing that sentient beings are poor and lack the riches of the noble ones, while they possess the seven riches of the noble ones, they establish them in attaining these riches (the seven riches of the noble ones are confidence, discipline, study, giving, shame, embarrassment, and prajñā). (23) Seeing that sentient beings are always sick and seized by the venomous snakes of the four elements, while their health without any disease is unchanging, they establish them in relinquishing all sickness. (24) Seeing that sentient beings are engulfed in the darkness of ignorance and lack the light of wisdom, while they have attained the light of wisdom, they establish them in the great light of wisdom. (25) Seeing that sentient beings are attached to the three realms and enter the wheel of saṃsāra of the five kinds of beings, while knowing that they themselves are experts in fully understanding the three realms, they establish them in becoming such experts. (26) Seeing that sentient beings have entered the left-sided path and lack the right-sided path, while they dwell on the right-sided path, they establish them on the right-sided path (in India, the left hand is considered impure, so "left-handed" or "left-sided" generally refers to what is impure or wrong, while "right-sided" means pure or correct). (27) Seeing that sentient beings are attached to body and life-force and do not see their flaws, while they disregard body and life-force and see their flaws, they establish them in disregarding body and life-force and seeing their flaws. (28) Seeing that sentient beings are separated from the three jewels, while they abide in not interrupting the continuum of the disposition of the three jewels, they introduce them to not interrupting the continuum of the disposition of the three jewels. (29) Seeing that sentient beings deviate from the genuine dharma, while they fully embrace that dharma, they establish them in fully embracing the dharma. (30) Seeing that sentient beings are distant from the precious teacher and lack the six recollections, while they never let go of these recollections, they establish them in cultivating the six recollections (recollecting the Buddha, the dharma, the saṃgha, discipline, giving, and deities; for details, see Brunnhölzl 2011b, 104 and 270–72). (31) Seeing that sentient beings are obscured by the obscurations of karma and afflictions, while they are free from karma and afflictions, they establish them in such freedom. (32) Seeing that sentient beings are endowed with all nonvirtuous dharmas and have relinquished all virtuous dharmas, while they have relinquished all nonvirtuous dharmas and are endowed with all virtuous dharmas, they establish them in relinquishing all nonvirtuous dharmas and perfecting all virtuous dharmas. Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, D147, fols. 172b.4–174b.6. Apart from the exceptions mentioned above, VT (fol. 10r6–10v4) agrees with these explanations, providing them in abbreviated form.
- Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, D147, fols. 175b.1–185a.6. For the contents of this sūtra passage, see CMW, 450–51.
- Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, D147, fols. 185a.6–215a.3. For these, see the text below and CMW, 451–52.
- In the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, in terms of their respective functions, the ten powers, four fearlessnesses, and eighteen unique qualities are described as "buddha activities" and are numbered as such up to thirty-two. Thus, the sūtra does not contain a separate section on thirty-two kinds of buddha activity apart from this description of the functions of the ten powers, four fearlessnesses, and eighteen unique qualities. This section is followed by a further general discussion of buddha activity (D147, fols. 215a.3–217a.4), which includes the example of purifying a beryl. For further details and variations on the correspondences and the contents of the passages in RGVV about the qualities of the three jewels up through the thirty-two kinds of enlightened activity of buddhas as presented in the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, see CMW (435–52) and Rngog lo tsā ba blo ldan shes rab 1993b (fols. 9a.6–19a.1; translated in Kano 2006, 391–414), and GC (75.5–78.15; translated in Mathes 2008a, 304–11).
- The five chapter headings to follow in this translation of RGVV are inserted by the translator in accordance with the contents and the chapter indications in RGVV at the end of each chapter.
- DP 'rtogs. RGVV makes it clear that this means "awakened" or "realized" (the same goes for udaya in I.7a).
- Often, the three qualities of wisdom, compassion, and power are presented as the three primary defining characteristics of a buddha.
- I follow de Jong’s emendation of ’bhipretotpādaḥ to ’bhipreto notpādaḥ, which is also supported by DP ’dod kyi skye ba ni ma yin no.
- MB avabodhāya against J anubodhāya.
- MB jātyandhabhūtānām against J jātyandhānām.
- I follow MB tadanugamamārga° (DP de rjes su rtogs pa’i lam) and VT (fol. 10v6) °vyapadeśa° against J tadanugāmimārgavyupadeśa.
- VT (fol. 10v5) says that the sword of wisdom cuts through suffering, while the vajra of compassion breaks through the wall (of views and doubts).
- D100, fol. 284b.3 (the insertions in "[ ]"stem from D100).
- This is another name of the god Indra.
- 'Sarvabuddhaviśayāvatārajñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, D100, fol. 280a.2–4. Note that, in the sūtra, this passage precedes the former one.
- Ibid., fol. 280a.4–6.
- J upaśamaprabhedapradeśa (DP nye bar zhi ba’i tshig gi rab tu dbye ba). According to Sarvabuddhaviśayāvatārajñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, D100, the difference between śama and upaśama is that the realization of phenomena’s not really existing results in the mind’s being free from clinging to them.
- J aśuddham avimalaṃ sāṅganam (DP ma dag pa dri ma dang bral ba skyon dang bcas pa). However, the Sarvabuddhaviśayāvatārajñānālokālaṃkārasūtra (D100, fol. 298a.7) has "pure, stainless, and unafflicted" (dag pa dri ma med pa nyon mongs pa med pa), which is confirmed and explained several times with regard to a number of phenomena right before that passage.
- Ibid., fol. 298a.6–7. In D100 this sentence reads, "Here, Mañjuśrī, [in] the Tathāgata, who has completely and perfectly realized all phenomena to be like that and has seen the basic element of sentient beings, great compassion, which is called "playful mastery,"arises for sentient beings because sentient beings are [ultimately] pure, stainless, and undefiled."
- With Takasaki, J abhāvasvabhāvāt is emended to abhāvasvabhāvān.
- See the text below (J29.1ff.) for an explanation of which sentient beings belong to which of these three groups.
- I follow MB °nirviśiṣṭaṃ tathāgatagarbham against J °nirviśiṣṭatathāgatagarbham.
- VT (fol. 11v.1) glosses "all objects" as "cognitive obscurations," "passion and aggression" as "afflictive obscurations," and "darkness" as bewilderment.
- J vipakṣa/pratipakṣa, which literally means "opponent" or "adversary,"but for stylistic reasons, I follow the Tibetan gnyen po.
- The last sentence corresponds to DP, but the Sanskrit alone could also be read as "it is explained that "the dharma free from attachment" (or "what has the nature of being free from attachment") is characterized by the two realities of purification."
- DP ’gog pa.
- Taishō 668, 467b.
- YDC (295) explains that improper mental engagement, in its coarse form, refers to wrong notions, such as clinging to what is impermanent as being permanent. In its subtle form, it consists of all conceptions of dualistic appearances. This improper mental engagement dwells within the luminous nature of the mind, the dharmadhātu, just like clouds in the sky (see Uttaratantra I.52–63).
- In the Yogācāra system, the typical triad of "mind (citta/sems)," "mentation (manas/ yid)," and "consciousness (vijñāna/rnam shes)"refers to the ālaya-consciousness, the afflicted mind, and the remaining six consciousnesses.
- D100, fol. 297a.7–297b.2.
- D45.48 (dkon brtsegs, vol. cha), fol. 272a.2–5. I follow Schmithausen’s emendation of °garbhaḥ sūcyate to °garbhaḥ ity ucyate.
- Throughout, both the Uttaratantra and RGVV use the terms "afflictions" and "proximate afflictions" (upakleśa) as synonyms. This differs from the standard abhidharma use of these terms as specifically referring to the six primary afflictions versus the twenty secondary afflictions. Here, however, the use of upakleśa (lit. "close afflictions") might indicate the close association of the obscuring cocoon of the afflictions with the tathāgata heart. CMW (481–82) remarks that in the specific context of the changelessness of the tathāgata heart during the phases of sentient beings and bodhisattvas, RGVV on I.51 speaks of both afflictions and proximate afflictions. According to CMW, "afflictions"in this context refers to the dense afflictions of sentient beings while "proximate afflictions"indicates the subtle afflictions of the latent tendencies of ignorance in bodhisattvas.
- Among the twelve links of dependent origination, the afflictiveness of afflictions corresponds to ignorance, craving, and grasping, the afflictiveness of karma to formations and becoming, and the afflictiveness of birth to the remaining seven links. Mipham Rinpoche’s commentary on the Madhyāntavibhāga (’Ju mi pham rgya mtsho 1984e, 769.5–770.2) explains that the afflictiveness of afflictions consists of (a) the causes of wrong views, (b) the causes of the three poisons (passion, aggression, and ignorance), and (c) the striving for rebirth. The remedies for (a)–(c) are the realizations of the three doors to liberation—emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness, respectively. The afflictiveness of karma consists of the formation of virtuous and nonvirtuous actions. Its remedy is the realization of the door to liberation that is nonformation. The afflictiveness of birth consists of (a) being born in a new existence, (b) the minds and mental factors that occur in each moment after having born in that existence up through dying, and (c) the continuum of rebirth (the state of dying, the state of birth, and the intermediate state). The remedies for (a)–(c) are the realizations of the lack of birth, the lack of occurrence, and the lack of nature, respectively.
- I follow MB prajñāyate against J pravartate.
- In general, "irreversible bodhisattvas"consist of those bodhisattvas on the paths of preparation, seeing, and familiarization who exhibit specific signs of irreversibility according to their faculties (those who show signs of irreversibility already on their path of preparation are of highest faculties, those who show such signs on the path of seeing are of medium faculties, and those who show these signs on the eighth bhūmi are of lowest faculties). These faculties and their respective signs are discussed in detail in the eighth point ("the signs of irreversible learners") of the fourth topic ("the complete training in all aspects") of the Abhisamayālaṃkāra (IV.38–59). Here, as can be seen from RGVV’s explanation in the text below and CMW (462), "irreversible bodhisattvas" (as well as "the level of irreversibility") refers to bodhisattvas on the path of seeing and above. YDC (259) says that "irreversible"here refers primarily to bodhisattvas on the eighth bhūmi and above.
- Skt. yathāvadbhāvikatā and yāvadbhāvikatā.
- I follow MB yathāvattvaṃ jagac° (confirmed by DP ji lta nyid) against J yathāvat taj jagac°.
- Lit. "second" (dvitīya).
- The phrase "nor does the mind [touch] the afflictions" is missing in J, but appears in MB (nāpi cittaṃ kleśān) and is accordingly rendered in DP and C.
- D45.48, fol. 275a.5–7.
- The Tathāgatagarbhasūtra also says that the body of a tathāgata just like the one of the Buddha exists even in animals (D258, fol. 253a.1–2).
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation of MB suviśuddhim to suviśuddham against J suviśuddhir.
- As a pair, "lack of attachment" and "lack of obstruction"refer to being free from afflictive obscurations and cognitive obscurations, respectively. This is expressed here by supramundane wisdom’s "having the naturally pure basic element of sentient beings as its object" and "having limitless knowable entities as its objects,"respectively.
- I follow Takasaki’s and Schmithausen’s emendation of MB and J avaivartyād to avaivartyā, which is confirmed by VT (fol. 11v5) avivartyā.
- The translation of I.18bc follows Schmithausen’s relating buddhajñānād anuttarāt to avaivartyā, which is confirmed by VT (fol. 11v5) anuttarād buddhajñānād avivartyā āryā bhavanti. However, lines I.18bc could also be read as "Buddha wisdom is unsurpassable. Therefore, the irreversible noble ones . . . ,"which is suggested by DP sang rgyas ye shes bla med phyir / ’phags pa phyir mi ldog pa ni / and RGVV’s comments on these lines.
- J upaniṣad ("cause" or "basis").
- Note that RGVV speaks of only two qualities of the irreversible bodhisattva saṃgha—the wisdom of suchness and the wisdom of variety. However, many Tibetan commentaries count six qualities in Uttaratantra I.13–18, which are subsumed under the two categories of the qualities of awareness and liberation (just as with the eight qualities of the Buddha and the dharma, these two categories are then counted as two additional qualities of the saṃgha). The qualities of awareness are (1) the wisdom of suchness, (2) the wisdom of variety, and (3) wisdom’s being internal. The qualities of liberation are (4)–(5) being pure of both afflictive and cognitive obscurations and (6) being endowed with unsurpassable qualities.
- As Takasaki (1966a, 177n35) points out, C inserts here a verse on the bodhisattva saṃgha’s being superior to the śrāvaka saṃgha in ten points (this verse is not contained in DP either, but it may have been present in a different Sanskrit manuscript). Accordingly, bodhisattvas are superior in terms of their (1) perception of objects, (2) qualities, (3) attainment, (4) nirvāṇa that is attained after having liberated all beings, (5) bhūmis, (6) purity, (7) perfect compassion regarding all beings as equal, (8) birth in the family of tathāgatas due to that birth’s being ultimately unborn, (9) perfect masteries, supernatural knowledges, and so on, and (10) unsurpassable fruition of supreme awakening.
- DP omit the phrase "the mind streams that are the multitudes of . . ." (gaṇasaṃtāna°).
- J ananyapoṣigaṇyam; Pāli anaññaposin refers to the homeless mendicant who does not maintain a family and entertains no passion.
- I follow MB °niṣṭhāgatam apy āryaśrāvakam (confirmed by DP mother phyin par gyur pa yang) against J °niṣṭhāgatam āryaśrāvakam.
- J dvipada (lit. "one with two legs").
- I follow MB bodhisattvayānikān against J bodhisattvān.
- That is, by ascending from taking the saṃgha as refuge to taking the dharma and finally the Buddha as the highest refuge as well as ascending from the śrāvakayāna to the pratyekabuddhayāna and then the bodhisattvayāna. The same goes for having faith in the three activities related to the saṃgha, the dharma, and the Buddha. DP read yāna (the pa) for nay (which can also mean "method," "principle," and "doctrine").
- I follow MB sūtrādideśanāpāṭhaḥ (confirmed by DP mdo sde la sogs pa bstan pa brjod pa) against J sūtrādideśanāyā.
- See, for example, Majjhima Nikāya 22.13–14. Alagaddūpamasutta; in Bhikku Ñāṇamoli and Bhikku Bodhi, trans., The Middle Length Sayings of the Buddha (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1995, 228–29) and the Vajracchedikāprajñāpāramitāsūtra §6, D16, fol. 123a.3, in E. Conze, trans., Perfect Wisdom (Totnes, UK: Buddhist Publishing Group, 2002, 151).
- J ārṣabha (lit. "descending from a bull").
- I follow the interlinear gloss in SM, which has ekaṃ tu in I.21a against J ekatra.
- Referring to DP bden pa gnyis kyi mtshan nyid and a similar phrase above (J11.14) on I.11 ("the dharma free from attachment, which is characterized by the two realities of purification"), Takasaki and Schmithausen insert °lakṣaṇa° between °dvaya° and °virāga°.
- In other words, the dharma is nothing but the "body"of the Buddha in that it embodies everything that the Buddha realized and taught. This accords with one of the interpretations of what dharmakāya means.
- Instead of "ultimately,"DP read "ultimate refuge" (don dam pa’i skyabs) after "everlasting refuge"in the text below.
- J aparāntakoṭisama (lit. "equal to the point that is the later end").
- Certain parts of this and the immediately preceding paragraphs are taken more or less literally from a passage in this sūtra (D45.48, fols. 269a.4–270a.3), with these two paragraphs being like a commentary on that passage.
- J śobha, which can also mean "brilliant," "lustrous," or "beautiful"; DP "virtuous" (dge ba). Thus, from a Buddhist point of view, "splendid or beautiful intentions"are those that are virtuous.
- J śubha, which can also mean "beautiful," "good," "virtuous," "pleasant," "eminent," "bright," and "pure"; DP dge ba. GC (209.21–23) explains that dge ba can refer to Sanskrit śuddhi ("pure"), sukha ("bliss"), and śobha ("beautiful" or "excellent"). What this means here is that the three jewels possess all these qualities.
- I follow Schmithausen’s reading of MB °sambhavo against J °sargako.
- As Takasaki 1966a (49–53) points out, chapters 2–5 of the *Anuttarāśrayasūtra (only available in Chinese) bear the titles Tathāgatadhātuparivarta, Tathāgatabodhiparivarta, Tathāgataguṇaparivarta, and Tathāgatakriyāparivarta, thus corresponding to the last four vajra points. At the end of each chapter, the sūtra discusses the inconceivability of these four topics, with its descriptions being literally the same as in RGVV on I.24–25 (J 21.17–18, 22.5, 22.8–9, and 24.9–25.3 correspond, respectively, to *Anuttarāśrayasūtra, Taishō 16, 470c, 473c, 475c, and 476b–c). Takasaki presents evidence for this sūtra’s having been composed after the RGVV, being modeled upon the latter, probably by Paramārtha.
- Due to the many different ways in which the term āśrayaparivṛtti is used and understood in different texts, it is very difficult to translate it in a way that covers all its many applications. In different presentations, the term āśraya ("foundation" or "basis") can refer to the body, the entirety of one’s psychophysical existence (ātmabhāva), the five skandhas, the physical or mental impregnations of negative tendencies, the six inner āyatanas, the impure or afflicted dependent nature, the ālaya-consciousness, all eight consciousnesses, adventitious stains, suchness, emptiness, the nature of phenomena, the dharmadhātu, nonconceptual wisdom, the nature of the mind, or tathāgatagarbha. Parivṛtti ("change") may refer to the removal of something (either the removal of something in something or the removal of this very something) and its being explicitly or implicitly replaced by something else, the purification of something, the change of something into something else, or the revealing of something without any change within this something through merely eliminating what obscured it (or the very foundation within which any of the above "changes"take place, but which remains changeless itself). Thus, the outcome of this process may be something entirely new, a new form of something preexisting, or the unobscured manifestation of what existed primordially. Though some texts do not explicitly specify the result of the fundamental change, others identify it in many different ways, such as the purified dependent nature, the pure elements of the mind stream, stainless suchness, purified emptiness, the uncontaminated dharmadhātu, the dharmakāya, all kinds of masteries (over phenomena, wisdom, and so on), or the tathāgatagarbha endowed with twofold purity (naturally pure and pure of adventitious stains). According to Paramārtha’s translations and works (preserved only in Chinese), the fundamental change refers to the change of the ālaya-consciousness into "the pure consciousness" (amalavijñāna). In sum, when the āśraya in āśrayaparivṛtti is the psychophysical continuum of an ordinary being or the ālaya-consciousness, it is to be removed and replaced by something else, but when it refers to the nature of phenomena or buddha nature, it is merely to be revealed just as it is. Thus, more common renderings of āśrayaparivṛtti, such as "transformation of the basis" or "revolution of the basis"may be appropriate in certain of the above cases, but when the term applies to the mere revelation of suchness or the tathāgata heart (which is the way in which the term is used in this text), there is no transformation of anything into anything. The only way in which one can speak of a change here is that the state of the tathāgata heart (the foundation) changes from its being obscured to its being unobscured, while there is no change whatsoever in that tathāgata heart itself (similar to space being with and without clouds). Likewise, one cannot really say that, for example, "the ālaya-consciousness has transformed,"because the texts usually explain either that the ālaya-consciousness is purified or that it ceases to exist altogether, but not that it is actually transformed into something else. For more details, see the section on "fundamental change"in the introduction in Brunnhölzl 2012b.
- D45.48, fol. 275b.2–4 (in D45.48, the first sentence reads, "Devī, it is like that" and "pratyekabuddhas" is omitted).
- D147, fol. 210b.6–7 (DP no correspondence for lakṣana). The term samāyukta, following the Tibetan translated as "having,"can also mean "encountered," "joined," "prepared," and "ready." Accordingly, this supreme prajñā is a bodhisattva’s insight in the last moment of the tenth bhūmi that is in fact ready to join with or encounter mind’s natural luminosity in a single instant, which is equivalent to realizing buddhahood. This kind of prajñā is discussed in more detail in the seventh topic ("the instantaneous clear realization") of the Abhisamayālaṃkāra (see Brunnhölzl 2011b, 105–8 and 272–76 as well as Brunnhölzl 2012a, 358–60 and 522–24).
- VT (fol. 11v7) glosses this as clinging to characteristics" (nimittagraha).
- VT (fol. 11v7) glosses this as "naturally" (svarasataḥ).
- J "big manuscript" (mahāpusta), VT (fol. 12r1) "piece of cloth, canvas" (paṭaḥ), DP "big silken cloth" (dar yug chen po), C "roll of scripture."
- This sentence (yad uta mahācakravāḍapramāṇena mahācakravāḍa ālikhito bhavet /) is missing in J, but is present in MA/MB and DP.
- I follow MB tathāśeṣa (confirmed by DP ma lus pa) against J tathānyeṣu.
- I follow MA °jñānāpramāṇāni (confirmed by DP tshad med) against J °jñānapramāṇāni.
- The compound sarvadharmadhātusattvabhavanāni could also be read as "the states of all sentient beings—[their respective] dharmadhātus" or, with DP chos kyi dbyings sems can gyi gnas thams cad "all states of sentient beings—[their] dharmadhātus."
- 1226. DP "wisdom of the noble ones" ( ’phags pa’i ye shes).
- DP "wisdom of the noble ones" ( ’phags pa’i ye shes).
- J pratyabhijñā (Tib. so sor mngon par shes pa) can also mean "to remember" and "to come to one’s self" or "recover consciousness,"which is quite fitting here in the sense of (re)awakening to one’s own true nature of being a buddha.
- D44.43 (phal po che, vol. ga, chapter 32; *Tathāgatotpattisaṃbhavanirdeśa in the Chinese version), fols. 116b.4–117b.6.
- I follow Takasaki’s and Schmithausen’s emendation yathāvaineyikeṣu of J yathāvainayikeṣu.
- DP "tathāgata wisdom" (de bzhin gshegs pa’i ye shes).
- D147, fol. 215a.3–6.
- This phrase (tryadhvānugataṃ) is missing in J, but found in MA/MB, DP, and C.
- D147, fols. 215b.7–216a.3.
- VT (fol. 12r2) glosses this as "the activity of the victor" (jinakriyā)
- The wordings identical or similar to the phrase "all sentient beings possess the tathāgata heart" (also found in the text below right after I.133) or "all sentient beings always possess the tathāgata heart" (see the text below right after I.28) in RGVV occur several times in the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra. As RGVV says just below in the text (following I.28), it is precisely according to that sūtra that the three meanings of this phrase will be explained.
- In the Tibetan editions of the Uttaratantra, this verse follows I.28, and some editions omit it altogether. JKC (50) notes this fact and says that it does belong to the text since Dölpopa, Karma Könshön (a student of the Third Karmapa), Rongtön, Gö Lotsāwa, and others quote and comment on it extensively.
- DP and C reverse the order of verses I.27–28 and insert this sentence between them. For the sake of conforming with the pattern of the respective initial two verses on each one of the three jewels in the text above and the following topics below, Takasaki suggests to insert "What is taught by this?" (anena kiṃ darśitam /) between these two verses.
- This follows Schmithausen’s suggestion of sadbhāvārthena for saṃbhāvārthena. Schmithausen points out that the virtually identical term gotrasadbhāvārtham appears in the text below (J72.8; see the comments on I.149ff.).
- There are many volumes in Tibet as well as by Japanese and Western scholars on how Uttaratantra I.28 in general and its compound buddhagarbhāḥ in particular can be interpreted, so I will highlight just a few points here. As for the somewhat differing Sanskrit and Tibetan versions, spharaṇa in I.28a literally means "quivering," "throbbing," "vibrating," or "penetrating" (the Tibetan here is ’phro ba but khyab pa in the text below in the comments on I.146). Also, Uttaratantra II.13, II.93, and IV.61 use spharaṇa in connection with light rays, and the version of I.28a in Ratnākaraśānti’s Sūtrasamuccayabhāṣya (D3935, fol. 297a.1) says "the illuminating dharmadhātu radiates" (chos dbyings snang byed ’od ’byung). SM 8b "since the welfare of sentient beings depends on the victor,"which is a reformulation of Uttaratantra I.27a and I.28a, suggests an interaction between the dharmakāya of a buddha and the buddha natures of sentient beings. In this vein, an interlinear gloss on verse 11 explicitly relates the twofold dharmakāya—"the utterly stainless dharmadhātu and its natural outflow (teaching the principles of profundity and diversity)"in Uttaratantra I.145 (explained by RGVV as "consisting of the arising of [individually] corresponding [forms of] cognizance in other sentient beings to be guided")—to "the perfect buddhakāya radiates."Compare also the even more explicit explanation on such an interaction between the dharmakāya of a buddha and the tathāgata hearts of beings in CMW on I.28a (473), which says the following. In order to purify the basic element of sentient beings, with the dharmakāya functioning as the support, the sambhogakāya and the nirmāṇakāya perform the welfare of beings through pervading pure and impure retinues, respectively. Therefore, the basis to be purified—the tathāgata heart—exists in all sentient beings. For, if this basis to be purified did not exist in them, their being pervaded by the activity of the three kāyas would be pointless. CMW (480) also says that even those with wrong craving thrive through virtue (the cause for meeting a buddha in the future) because they have the naturally pure disposition. Without this naturally pure disposition, they would not thrive through the light rays of the wisdom of the tathāgatas and virtue. Similarly, YDC (374) answers some objections to enlightened activity by explaining it as the interaction between the dharmakāya of a buddha and the basic element of sentient beings: "‘There is no object for the enlightened activity of awakening to engage because sentient beings are by nature afflicted, similar to the activity of digging for gold’s not engaging anything if there is no gold.’ This is not true—since awakening exists in sentient beings too without any difference, it is that in which enlightened activity engages. ‘But if awakening exists in them without difference, enlightened activity does not need to engage it.’ Since it is obscured by adventitious afflictions, just as the sky is by clouds, these must be dispelled. ‘Enlightened activity does not have the power to do so.’ It does have that power because it entails great compassion." In addition, compare Padma Karpo’s explanation of I.28a in appendix 1. See also Ruegg (1969, 273) and Ruegg (1973, 97), who translates spharaṇa in I.28a as "irradiation." For these reasons, I chose "radiating"for spharaṇa since that English word covers both the meaning of "penetrating" and the sense of the tathāgata heart’s being vibrant with the energy of its natural luminosity (see the example below in this note of violins vibrating). As for vyatibheda in I.28b, rendered as "undifferentiable"above in the text (which corresponds more to Tib. dbyer med), it literally means "pervading." In the Tibetan, I.28c says "because the disposition exists (yod)," and I.28d ends in can, which literally means "to possess." However, can is also a common way to indicate a bahuvrīhi compound in Tibetan translations from Sanskrit, as is the case here. The two most basic renderings of the Sanskrit of the fourth line with its compound buddhagarbhāḥ are "all beings are always such that they contain a buddha/have a buddha as their core." Interestingly, in the early Tibetan translations, this line ended in yin ("are"), which was only replaced by can at a rather late point. The most obvious reason for this is to avoid the reading "all beings are the buddha heart,"which is immediately suggested to readers of Tibetan unfamiliar with the underlying Sanskrit. Though I use the word "possess" in I.28d, it is not meant in the sense of sentient beings’ actually owning buddha nature. Nevertheless, especially some later Tibetan (and Western) commentators greatly emphasize that beings actually possess the buddha heart or even full-fledged buddhahood. This is denied at length by the Eighth Karmapa’s commentary on the Abhisamayālaṃkāra (see Brunnhölzl 2010, 438–43). It is also contradicted by Uttaratantra I.27, which explicitly says that the disposition is not the actual buddhahood or dharmakāya—the fruition—but a case of labeling the cause with the name of its result. So, one way to look at these two verses is in terms of cause, fruition, and their fundamental equality. In this way, the disposition is the cause for the fruition of the buddhakāya, with suchness indicating that this "cause" is not different from the result (the nature of the mind being always the same in sentient beings and buddhas, or, throughout ground, path, and fruition). This is underlined by Uttaratantra I.142ab:
- Its nature is buddhakāya,
- Suchness, and the disposition.
- As the Eighth Karmapa demonstrates in detail, it is impossible to establish verses I.27– 28 as strict logical proofs for buddha nature’s actually existing in all beings or their possessing it (these verses may only serve as indications or metaphors from the perspective of convenient parlance). This is also highlighted by the fact that in the Tibetan tradition, buddha nature is typically considered as a "very hidden phenomenon," which by definition does not lie within the reach of inferential valid cognition, but can be approached only through valid Buddhist scriptures. For a selection of Indian and Tibetan that offer more affirmative explanations of the three "proofs"in Uttaratantra I.27–28, see appendix 1.
- Without going into further details, I would like to present another more path-oriented example that adds to the perspective on the three "proofs,"especially "the buddhakāya radiating." As we saw, the first lines in the three verses I.27, I.28, and I.142 of the Uttaratantra equate buddhakāya, buddha wisdom, and dharmakāya, respectively, clearly indicating that the dharmakāya is not just mere emptiness but—as buddha wisdom—it actively engages and communicates with sentient beings. This is also clearly suggested by Uttaratantra I.145, which describes the dharmakāya as twofold: (a) the completely unstained dharmadhātu and (b) its natural outflow that consists of the teachings of the principles of profundity and diversity—which is used by SM as a gloss of the first line of I.28. RGVV explains that the dharmakāya of buddhas consists not only of (a), which is the dharma that represents the sphere of nonconceptual wisdom and is to be personally experienced by these buddhas. The natural outflow of the pure dharmadhātu (b), which is the cause for attaining (a), consists of the arising of individually corresponding forms of cognizance in the beings to be guided, which is the dharma that is the teaching. This fits with the explanation of line I.28a in the Eighth Karmapa’s Lamp (14–15): "At the point when the wisdom of realization—the awareness that exists primordially as not being different from the sugata heart as the expanse—rises from the expanse that is the profound matrix of the sugata heart, all seeds of obscuration are relinquished. The self-awareness of this wisdom of realization is accomplished through the wisdom of the fundamental change of [having gathered] immeasurable accumulations [of merit and wisdom]. You may wonder, ‘How is it accomplished?’ The cognition that frees from stains [and exists] in the cognizance of sentient beings that is associated with obscurations is blessed by the inconceivable power of the wisdom [of a buddha]. In addition, there [also] exists the element of wisdom in the element that is the cognition [of sentient beings] free from stains. It is by virtue of the power of both [the cognition that frees from stains and is blessed by buddha wisdom and the intrinsic wisdom of sentient beings] that their cognizance fundamentally changes into being without stains, and thus the wisdom of realization becomes of one taste with the dharmakāya."Later, the Lamp (30–31) says: "That certain [beings] to be guided see these miracles of the body, speech, and mind of the [buddhas] is by virtue of the power of both the tathāgatas’ compassion of blessing, emanating, and transforming adventitious seeming [reality] through their having gained mastery over powerful ultimate reality and the tathāgata hearts of those to be guided, whose mind streams are endowed with the tathāgata heart. [Through this,] even ordinary beings are able to realize the miracles of the bhagavāns, the indestructible vajra points." In addition, as mentioned above, the Sanskrit term spharaṇa for "radiates"literally means "vibrates." So, as far as the "awakening"of buddha nature in sentient beings is concerned, one may think of both buddhas and sentient beings as violins, with the "buddha violins"being in perfect tune and playing loudly, clearly, and all the time (teaching the dharma in various ways), while the strings of the "sentient being violins"are covered by a very light cloth. In that situation, the strings of the latter violins will not resound when the former play, but all the strings with the same tuning will at least start to vibrate, even if they are covered by such a light cloth. The less they are covered and the louder the strings of the "buddha violins"play, the stronger they will vibrate, so that the cloth starts moving and gradually slips off the strings, resulting in the strings of the "sentient being violins"gradually resounding louder and clearer too. Likewise, on the path, the more the qualities of buddha nature in beings are stimulated and thus "shake off,"so to speak, their adventitious obscurations, the more these qualities manifest fully. In brief, the first line of Uttaratantra I.28 refers to the "buddha violins"vibrating and the third line to the "sentient being violins." The fact that the former can actually make the latter vibrate too is shown by the second line, which states (in effect) that their "strings"are indeed of the same nature. For further discussions of Uttaratantra I.27–28, see appendix 1 as well as Ruegg 1969, 272–86, Mipham Rinpoche’s Lamp of Certainty (Pettit 1999, 384–87), and Kano 2006.
- RGVV provides an explanation of I.27–28 in the context of matching the nine examples for buddha nature with its threefold nature of dharmakāya, suchness, and the disposition (see I.143–52).
- DP have this sentence in a slightly different form ("This topic in all its aspects should be explained through the sense in which it is invariably taught in all the words [of the Buddha]") immediately after verse I.27 and preceding the above sentence "That is, [he spoke of this] in the sense . . ." As for "the sense in which it is invariably taught in all the words [of the Buddha],"it seems difficult to ascertain that buddha nature is always explained by way of the following ten topics in the scriptures. However, as mentioned in the introduction, the first six seem to be a rather common template, at least in Yogācāra texts, in particular in their descriptions of ultimate reality, and RGVV (J40) says at the end of the sixth topic that the remaining four topics are simply extensions of the sixth one. GC (330) also states that this template of six topics is found in many texts besides the Uttaratantra (such as the Abhidharmasamuccaya) and explains that the first topic "nature" is the main point to be understood, while the remaining five topics represent the means to understand this first topic. In addition, the Uttaratantra also uses the very same six topics in its second chapter to describe awakening, with the seventh and eighth topics in this chapter being again extensions of the sixth one.
- Due to the above-mentioned differences in PD, the section after "By virtue of which purport is that [said]?"reads: "I.28. In brief, it is in a threefold sense that the Bhagavān spoke of ‘all sentient beings always possessing the tathāgata heart.’ I.27. This topic in all its aspects should be explained through the sense in which it is invariably taught in all the words [of the Buddha]. It is based on this that I shall discuss it [here]. That is, [he spoke of this] in the sense that the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata radiates in [or into] all sentient beings, in the sense that the suchness of the Tathāgata is undifferentiated [from the suchness of beings], and in the sense that the tathāgata disposition exists [in these beings]. These three topical points will be taught [in detail] below according to the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra. [Here, I begin with] a synopsis."GC (263.6–7 and 22–25) reads: "I.27. This topic in all its aspects is pointed out through the sense in which it is invariably taught in all the words [of the Buddha]. It is based on this that I shall discuss it first. I.28. In brief, it is in a threefold sense that the Bhagavān spoke of ‘all sentient beings always possessing the tathāgata heart.’ That is, [he spoke of this] in the sense that the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata radiates in [or into] all sentient beings, in the sense that the suchness of the Tathāgata is undifferentiated [from the suchness of beings], and in the sense that the tathāgata disposition really exists [in these beings]. These three topical points will be taught [in detail] below according to the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra. [Here, I begin with] a synopsis."
- Despite the plural "qualities" (sadāvikāritvaguṇesv) here, the comments in the text below make it clear that this point does not so much refer to the qualities of the tathāgata heart’s being changeless (which is also true), but to its very quality of being changeless. Almost all Tibetan commentaries take "qualities"in DP rtag tu mi ’gyur yon tan dbyer med ni as relating to the next point, thus speaking of "ever-changelessness, and the inseparability of the qualities."
- The compound paramatattvajñānaviṣayasya ("the object of the ultimate wisdom of true reality") is a gloss of paramārtha ("the ultimate") in I.29d. Bhāviveka’s Tarkajvālā (D3856, fol. 59a.7–59b.2) lists three different ways in which the compound paramārtha can be read in Sanskrit. Artha ("object," "purpose," or "actuality") refers to what is to be understood, realized, or examined, while parama means "supreme." Thus, (1) since paramārtha is an object and ultimate (or supreme), it is the ultimate object (technically, a karmadhāraya compound). (2) Or it may be read as "the object of the ultimate." Since it is the object of ultimate nonconceptual wisdom, it is the object of the ultimate (a tat- puruṣa compound). (3) Or it can be understood as "that which is in accordance with the ultimate object" (a bahuvrīhi compound). Since the ultimate object exists in the prajñā that is in approximate accordance with the realization of this ultimate object, it is what is in accordance with the ultimate object. In other words, in (1), both parama and artha refer only to the object as opposed to the subject that realizes it. (2) means that parama refers to the subject (wisdom) and artha to the object (emptiness). (3) indicates a reasoning consciousness that cognizes ultimate reality not directly but inferentially. Following Bhāviveka, the majority of Indian *Svātantrikas seem to favor the second way of reading paramārtha, while not denying the first. Candrakīrti’s Prasannapadā (D3860, fol. 163b.5–6) explicitly sides with (1). Yogācāras typically explain the ultimate along the lines of (1) and (2) as being twofold in terms of subject and object. For example, Sthiramati’s commentary on Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra VI.1 (D4034, fols. 74a.3–75b.1) says that the ultimate consists of suchness (the pure dharmadhātu) and nondual non-conceptual wisdom. Suchness is called the ultimate since it is the fruition of having cultivated the path of the noble ones and represents all phenomena. Or, in terms of its being an object, it is the ultimate because it is the object of ultimate nonconceptual wisdom. Obviously, RGVV here explains the term according to (2).
- J anvaya (lit. "descendant" or "the logical connection between cause and effect"), DP "arises" (byung ba).
- Respectively, the three points of power, being unchanging, and being moist in I.31 refer back to the three aspects of the tathāgata heart that were taught in I.27–28—the dharmakāya’s radiating, the suchness of sentient beings and buddhas being undifferentiated, and the disposition existing in all beings.
- J icchantika, DP ’dod chen. VT (fol. 12r4) glosses this term as "those who desire saṃsāra." This term is also used to describe those beings who, according to some, have absolutely no disposition or potential for ever achieving nirvāṇa or buddhahood. However, texts such as RGVV take this term to mean that though these beings possess buddha nature just like all other beings, it is so densely obscured that it will take them a very long time to enter the dharma and attain nirvāṇa.
- VT (fol. 12r4) glosses these people as the Vātsiputrīyas. Being a subsect of the Saṃṃitīyas, the followers of Vatsīputra (a disciple of Śāriputra) asserted an ultimately real person that is inexpressible as being either the same as or different from the five skandhas. However, it seems quite clear that RGVV refers to the Vātsiputrīyas more specifically under (2ab) in the text below, while the persons referred to here seem to be any non-mahāyāna Buddhists who are averse toward the mahāyāna (usually denying it to be an authentic teaching of the Buddha). This is confirmed by CMW (456) that identifies the persons in question here as "the Sendhapas [Theravādins] who have fallen into the hīnayāna" (referring to sectarian non-mahāyāna Buddhists who oppose the mahāyāna, with the Theravādins traditionally being the most outspoken such opponents), while explicitly referring to the persons under (2ab) as the Vātsiputrīyas. In addition, the hīnayāna persons in question here are clearly contrasted with śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas by RGVV under (2b), which says that śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas are those "who have entered the means [for liberation] . . . [and] proceed on the set way of what is rightful." Thus, contrary to the hīnayāna followers mentioned here, śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas are obviously seen as those who properly follow the path of the hīnayāna without denigrating the mahāyāna.
- aishō 668, 467c. The second sentence in DP reads: "Śāriputra, they proceed to the great darkness that is even greater than darkness and possesses great darkness." YDC (280) comments on the Tibetan version of this quote as follows. "Nor are they my śrāvakas"corresponds to the statement "How could there be liberation for those whose mind is hostile toward the dharma?"Accordingly, since such people temporarily are not persons to be guided, it is just their being inferior in that way that is expressed through a negative. The darkness that is even greater than ordinary darkness is ignorance. "Proceeding into great darkness "refers to wandering from suffering into suffering." Possessing great darkness" means possessing both ignorance (the cause) and suffering (its result).
- Lit. "wanderers." This term refers to an inhomogeneous group of roaming Yajurveda adepts and performers of Vedic rituals. They may also have had contacts with the early āyurveda school founded on the Carakasaṃhita by the famous Indian physician Caraka (born c. 300 bCe). VT (fol. 12r4) glosses them as Vaidyas, which here can mean only "those who are experts in medical science."
- This is the general name for wandering mendicants of Brahmanic origin, following orthodox Vedic teachings or heterodox paths (the name for mendicants from other castes on heterodox paths, such as the Buddha, was śramaṇa). Some of these mendicants were mere sophists, some Ājīvikas (the followers of Maskarī Gośalīputra), but most of them experimented with a wide range of gurus and spiritual methods. VT (fol. 12r4) glosses them as "a branch of those who smear their bodies with ashes."
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation of J nirgranthiputra to nirgrantha (putra is missing in MA/MB and has no correspondence in DP either, but is found in C). The followers of this school are better known as the Jainas.
- J durgṛhītagrāhinaḥ, DP nges par gzung dka’ ba’i lta ba ’dzin pa.
- As confirmed by CMW (456), this refers to the Vātsīputrīyas.
- I follow Schmithausen’s suggestion ādeśyamānāyāṃ against mādyamānānāṃ (MB unclear), which is based on C (DP ’di la stong pa nyid du lta ba gang dag, which seems to be corrupt, since the sentence already contains two other instances of stong pa nyid du lta ba).
- VT (fol. 12r4–5) explains that this refers to those who think that there is some phenomenon called "emptiness"that makes entities empty.
- D45.43 (dkon brtsegs, vol. cha), fol. 132b.1–2.
- In general, "superior intention" (Skt. adhyāśaya, Tib. lhag pa’i bsam pa) is a term for the superior altruistic attitude of bodhisattvas that has solely the welfare of others in mind. They care about others with the same spontaneous intensity with which ordinary beings usually strive for their own well-being. This attitude is said to be the immediate prerequisite or cause for the arising of uncontrived genuine bodhicitta even in ordinary beings.
- This group of sentient beings as well as the two following ones were already mentioned above (J10).
- J anāvaraṇagāminaḥ. This can also mean "those who have unobscured attainment,"thus DP "those who have unobscured realization" (sgrib pa med pa rtogs pa).
- This sentence in D45.48 reads, "Bhagavan, even the pure wisdom of all śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas has not seen the object of omniscient wisdom and the dharmakāya of the Tathāgata before."
- D45.48 adds "by virtue of their faith in the Tathāgata."
- D45.48, fols. 273b.3–274a.1.
- I follow MA/MB visaṃvāditatvāt against J visaṃvāditvāt (the same goes for avisaṃvāditatvāt a few lines below).
- I follow MA/MB evātmeti against J evātmani.
- With Schmithausen, I follow MA sattvārthagodhapaliguddhatvād against MB sattvārthapariśodhapariśuddhatvād (corresponding to DP yongs su sbyong ba yongs su dag pa’i phyir) and J sattvārthaphaligodhapariśuddhatvād.
- Daśabhūmikasūtra (Rahder ed., 14ff.): dharmadhātuvipulam ākāśadhātuparyavasānam aparāntakoṭiniṣṭham. In the sūtra, these three phrases occur several times in this order in the lists of attributes of a bodhisattva’s aspiration prayers, veneration of buddhas, and so on.
- These ten are mastery over (1) life span (being able to live for infinite eons), (2) mind (firmly dwelling in samādhi through infinite wisdom), (3) necessities (displaying all worldly realms by blessing them with many embellishments), (4) karma (displaying karmic maturations just at the time when they can be blessed), (5) birth (displaying births everywhere in the worldly realms), (6) creative will power (displaying all worldly realms as being completely filled with buddhas), (7) aspiration prayers (displaying awakening in any buddha realm and at any time one pleases), (8) miraculous powers (displaying all kinds of miraculous feats, such as going to all buddha realms), (9) dharma (displaying the light of the dharma doors without center and periphery), (10) wisdom (displaying a buddha’s powers, fearlessnesses, unique qualities, major and minor marks, and becoming completely perfectly awakened). Usually, it is said that these ten masteries are attained on the eighth bhūmi. However, even bodhisattvas on the lower bhūmis possess certain degrees of such masteries.
- RYC (70) explains that "the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance"refers to the latencies of being ignorant in terms of a phenomenal identity. Based on that, uncontaminated karma is motivated by the subtle ignorance that consists of the cognitive obscurations. YDC (299) explains that the nature of the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance consists of subtle dualistic appearances. Since these function as the support of the latent tendencies of the afflictions, it is called "the ground of latent tendencies."
- DP and C have "body"for Sanskrit ātmabhāva, which is one of its meanings. The term (lit. "becoming or existing of one’s self" or "produced by one’s self") can also refer to the entirety of one’s psychophysical existence as related to a self. The three kinds of mental bodies mentioned here are those assumed by śrāvaka arhats, pratyekabuddha arhats, and bodhisattvas, respectively.
- These are usually listed as desire, (wrong) views, holding (wrong) discipline and spiritual disciplines as paramount, and proclaiming a self (ātmavāda). VT (fol. 12r7) lists them as extreme views (dṛṣṭānta), the appropriating factor of conception (kalpopādāna), the appropriating factor of (wrong) discipline and spiritual disciplines (śīlavratopādāna), and the appropriating factor of existence (bhavopādāna). VT also adds the appropriating factors of a self, craving, and ignorance.
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation acintyapāriṇāmikī against J acintyā pāriṇāmikī (MA/MB °pari°).
- With de Jong, I follow MB °prakarṣa° and DP rab against °pakarṣa° in MA and J. I also conform with DP pha rol tu phyin pa rab kyi mthar thug pa in connecting °prakarṣaparyanta° with °śubhapāramitāṃ.
- One of the literal meanings of the Sanskrit vāsa or vāsanā for "latent tendencies" is "perfuming." Thus, as described here, the latent tendencies of the afflictions are like the lingering traces of the smell of a perfume even when a bottle with perfume has been emptied and washed.
- Skt. saṃudbhūta can also mean "arising" and "being produced,"but those two meanings do not seem appropriate here because the tathāgata heart does not ever arise and DP read ’gags pa las gyur pa.
- D45.48 says "foundation" (rten).
- D45.48, fols. 265b.7–266a.2.
- Ibid., fol. 273b.7.
- I follow MA/MB °vyupaśāntitaḥ and DP nye bar zhi ba against J 'kṣayaśāntitaḥ.
- DP "body" (lus).
- Following de Jong, apakarṣaṇa and samāropaṇa (DP ’brid pa and snon pa) are taken to correspond to the well-known pair apavāda ("denial") and samāropa ("superimposition").
- D45.48, fol. 273a.6–7.
- ccording to VT (fol. 12v1), the reason is that there is no abiding in saṃsāra or nirvāṇa nor any conceptions about them.
- Here and two lines below in the text, I follow Schmithausen’s emendation of pratiṣṭhate to pratitiṣṭhate.
- I follow MB °śamaikāyana° and VT (fol. 12v1) ekāyanaṃ against J śamaikayāna.
- J omits nirdiśati after pratiṣṭhānam iti, which is however found in MB (confirmed by DP bstan pa ni).
- Following Schmithausen and DP ’khor ba, saṃvṛtiṃ is emended to saṃsṛtiṃ.
- D45.48, fol. 274b.5.
- This sentence, which the context clearly calls for, is missing in Sanskrit, but is preserved in DP (de la ’dun pa ni mngon par ’dod pa’o; reconstructed by Takasaki as tatra cchando ’bhilāsa) and C.
- DP and C omit this phrase.
- Skt. asaṃkoca, DP phyogs pa ("directing [one’s mind] toward").
- DP "one’s mind truly striving for one’s desired aim" (gang mngon par ’dod pa’i don la sems mngon par ’dun par byed pa’o). YDC (286–87) explains that upon seeing the benefit of the happiness of nirvāṇa, beings develop the striving of seeing this happiness as a quality, the wish to attain what possesses this quality, the pursuing that seeks for the means to attain it, and the aspiration of delighting in accomplishing the outcome of these means.
- I follow MB agotrāṇāṃ na tad yataḥ and DP gang phyir de / rigs med pa dag med pa’i phyir against J agotrāṇāṃ na vidyate.
- J śuklāṃśa (Pāli sukkāṃsa: "good fortune") P dkar po’i cha D dkar po’i chos C kuśalamūla. According to Takasaki, the Buddhagotraśāstra (Taishō 1610) explains 3 aṃśas— merit, liberation, and attainment.
- This phrase is missing in J, but exists as MB kiṃ kāraṇam and DP de ci’i phyir zhe na.
- I follow Takasaki’s emendation of pāpasamucchedayogena to pāpāsamucchedayogena.
- RYC (81) defines "adventitious" as what is primordially nonexistent or what does not taint the nature of the mind.
- I follow MB satpuruṣasaṃsevādicatuścakra° and VT saṃsevādi (fol. 12v3) as well as DP skyes bu dam pa la bsten [text: brten] pa la sogs pa ’khor lo bzhi against J satpuruṣasaṃsargādicatuḥśukla°.
- The other three wheels are the accumulation of merit, a favorable dwelling place, and proper vows and aspirations. Note that this a case of RGVV’s using the term "disposition" (gotra) not in its usual sense of unconditioned buddha nature but with its other meaning of conditioned virtue. This latter meaning of the term is found frequently in other mahāyāna texts in general and Yogācāra works in particular (such as the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra).
- I follow MB °jñānaraśmayaḥ and DP ye shes kyi ’od zer against J °raśmayaḥ.
- This phrase is not found in J, but in the Sarvabuddhaviśayāvatārajñānālokālaṃkārasūtra (D100), DP, and C.
- D100, fol. 285b.6–7.
- That is, these persons are actually able to attain nirvāṇa at some point in the distant future. This represents a typical case of "the intention with regard to another time,"one of "the four intentions" (Skt. abhisaṃdhi, Tib. dgongs pa) of the words of the Buddha (these four are explained in Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra XII.16ff. and its commentaries). Among them, (1) the intention in terms of equality means to take the three equalities between all buddhas in terms of the accumulations of merit and wisdom, the dharmakāya, and the welfare of beings accomplished by them as the reason for the Buddha’s saying something like "At that time, I was the Tathāgata Vipaśyī." (2) The intention in terms of another meaning means to take the threefold lack of nature of the imaginary, dependent, and perfect natures in terms of characteristics, arising, and the ultimate, respectively, as the reason for the Buddha’s saying something like "All phenomena lack a nature." (3) The intention in terms of another time means to take the time in the far future when a certain person will actually be born in Sukhāvatī as the reason for the Buddha’s saying something like "If you make the aspiration prayer to be born in Sukhāvatī, you will be born there." (4) The intention in terms of the thinking of a person refers to something like the Buddha’s disparaging discipline and praising generosity by intending to make persons who content themselves with discipline alone engage in other means, such as generosity, too. In addition, there are "the four indirect intentions" (Skt. abhiprāya, Tib. ldem dgongs). Just like the Sanskrit and Tibetan words, the English term "intention"can be understood in many ways (see Ruegg 1985), which has led to different (mis)interpretations. Also, the Tibetan terms are often used in different ways than the Sanskrit ones. As the examples for the different kinds of intention and indirect intention show, there is no consistency in what they refer to—it is not always just another meaning (as the content of an intention) or an intention per se, and there also are overlaps. In a general sense, "having something particular in mind"when making a statement often seems more correct. For details, see Broido 1984, Ruegg 1985, and Brunnhölzl 2010, 289–91.
- As already mentioned, according to Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé’s commentary on the Third Karmapa’s Pointing Out the Tathāgata Heart (Kong sprul blo gros mtha’ yas 1990, 133), this verse is from the Abhidharmamahāyānasūtra. As for the question whether the Yogācāra School teaches that some beings have no disposition to attain awakening at all (and what exactly "disposition"means in this context), there have been long-standing and intricate debates in Tibet. The Gelugpa School in particular answers this question in the affirmative and many modern scholars do so too. As mentioned before, unlike the primary meaning of the term gotra in the Uttaratantra, in Yogācāra texts it is not synonymous with buddha nature. Like the Laṅkāvatārasūtra, the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra speaks about five categories of gotra (those of bodhisattvas, pratyekabuddhas, śrāvakas, those with uncertain gotra, and those without gotra). The Laṅkāvatārasūtra identifies the last category with those who just follow their great desire (icchantika) and reject the dharma, thus having eliminated all their roots of virtue and not attaining parinirvāṇa. The Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra follows this very common definition of gotra in general, which is "roots of virtue" (see also Sthiramati’s Madhyāntavibhāgaṭīkā, Yamaguchi 1934, 188). Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra III.4cd and its Bhāṣyā explain that gotra is that from which qualities arise and increase. Also the distinction between the naturally abiding (prakṛtistha) and the accomplished (samudānīta) or unfolding dispositions in this verse differs from how these terms are understood in the Uttaratantra, with the former’s being defined as what has the nature of being a support for further virtue (prakṛti can also mean "cause") and the latter as what is thus supported. On Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra III.9 and III.11, the Bhāṣya comments that accumulating roots of virtue is indispensable for acquiring a disposition, but once the bodhisattva disposition is acquired, it serves as the source of an infinite number of further roots of virtue. Thus, gotra in this sense refers to conditioned and multiple phenomena, whereas gotra in the sense of buddha nature is clearly unconditioned and single. The former sense is also evident from Sthiramati’s commentary (D4034, fols. 41b.6–43a.2), which says that beings have infinite gotras, all of which refer to some (conventional) nature of theirs, such as being an angry or passionate person, or liking sweet versus other tastes. Just as the possession of the gotra of desire functions as the cause for giving rise to desire but not for hatred, the three different gotras of the three yānas are indispensable for there being three yānas. As for Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra III.11, the Bhāṣya explains that to be without disposition means to possess the nature of not attaining parinirvāṇa—either for a certain time (the first four kinds of beings in the verse) or forever (the last one). According to Sthiramati’s commentary (D4034, fols. 48a.4–49b.1), this refers to those who have the nature of not attaining parinirvāṇa (that is, buddhahood) for a certain time and those who have the nature of not attaining any kind of nirvāṇa for a certain time. He says that the first four pertain to those who do possess the bodhisattva disposition, but, by virtue of certain conditions, will temporarily (for many eons) not attain parinirvāṇa (that is, buddhahood). Among these, "those who are solely devoted to wrongdoing"are engaged in the five negative actions without interval. "Those who have completely destroyed the immaculate dharmas"are those who, under the influence of wrong spiritual teachers, have fallen into the wrong view of nihilism, thus denying karma, the three jewels, and so on. "Those who lack the virtue conducive to liberation"have not gathered the complete accumulations of merit and virtue necessary to attain parinirvāṇa, but only the virtues for higher rebirths as gods and humans within saṃsāra. "Those who have inferior immaculate dharmas"have only gathered a fraction of the merit and wisdom necessary to attain parinirvāṇa. Thus, as long as these four do not fully remove their negative actions and wrong views and accumulate the complete accumulations of merit and virtue necessary to attain parinirvāṇa, they will not attain this state. As for those who will not attain any nirvāṇa, "lacking the cause"refers to lacking the roots of virtue and the disposition for any of the nirvāṇas of the three yānas because without such a disposition, they do not attain any of these three nirvāṇas. They do lack the nature of attaining nirvāṇa, just as the natures of stones and trees do not turn into something that has the nature of consciousness, such as minds and mental factors. Thus, in the first four cases, Sthiramati says, "lack of disposition" has only a pejorative sense, while "lacking the cause"means utter nonexistence because they absolutely do not attain nirvāṇa. However, considering the text’s (and the commentators’) understanding of "disposition" (roots of virtue), its explicit stance that all beings possess tathāgatagarbha (IX.37), and its statement that mind is natural luminosity, which is merely obscured by adventitious stains (XIII.18–19), being without gotra (agotraka; the text does not use icchantika) forever is not equivalent to saying that some beings have no buddha nature or absolutely can never attain awakening. Rather, there are some beings who simply never acquire a "disposition"for actually entering any of the yānas in the sense of never acquiring any—or at least a significant— amount of virtue that qualifies as such a disposition (on the Sanskrit atyantam being used here in the temporal sense of "forever"rather than in its meaning "absolutely" and the consequences, see also d’Amato 2003, 126–27 and 132–35). In other words, all beings have the potential for buddhahood, but some just never actualize this potential even remotely, which is exactly why saṃsāra in general is said to be endless. This is basically also what RGVV on I.40–41 explains, using the term gotra in both the above way and also for buddha nature. Sthiramati’s Madhyāntavibhāgaṭīkā (Yamaguchi 1934, 55.19–56.6) on I.19a ("the emptiness of the primordial nature"among the sixteen emptinesses) juxtaposes the positions on there being three versus a single gotra, but takes all of them to be primordial: "As for [I.19a] ‘In order to purify the disposition,’ its emptiness is the emptiness of the primordial nature. The reason for this is that, [according to the Bhāṣya,] ‘disposition is the primordial nature.’ How so? ‘Because of having a nature of its own,’ which means to have a nature of its own from beginningless time that is not adventitious. Just as some [phenomena] in beginningless saṃsāra are sentient and some are insentient, here too, some [sets of] the six āyatanas represent the buddha disposition, some the śrāvaka disposition, and so on. The disposition is not accidental because it has been continuing since beginningless time [up through the present], just as the distinction between what is sentient and insentient. Others say that since all sentient beings are endowed with the tathāgata disposition, the disposition should be understood here in this way" (depending on how the Sanskrit here is reconstructed, "in this way"could also be read as "as suchness," which would conform to the above-mentioned comments by Vasubandhu, Sthiramati, and Asvabhāva on Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra IX.37). Compare also CMW (480–81) that says that even those with great desire thrive through virtue (the cause for meeting a buddha in the future) because they have the naturally pure disposition. Without this pure disposition, they would not thrive through the light rays of the wisdom of the tathāgatas and virtue. This is not contradictory to some sūtras’ explaining that seeing saṃsāra as a flaw and nirvāṇa as a quality does not occur in those with great desire, who have the disposition of absolutely not passing into nirvāṇa. For that explanation pertains to the time of those with great desire not being endowed with the four wheels, whereas at the time of their being struck by the light rays of the wisdom of the Tathāgata, their time of being endowed with the four wheels has come. GC (33.17–21) explains that "being without gotra"refers to being without the unfolding disposition, which is not made explicitly clear in the Laṅkāvatārasūtra. However, it is not just the sheer lack of the unfolding disposition that is called "disposition."Rather, the mere fact that everybody has the naturally abiding disposition does not mean that no one lacks the unfolding disposition. Since everybody who possesses a mind also possesses the naturally abiding disposition, they are said to possess the disposition. However, some Yogācāras take the statement that some beings have no disposition literally.
- The translation follows Schmithausen’s suggestion to understand °guṇayuktasvbhāvataḥ as a predicative ablative that qualifies "disposition of the victors" (jinagarbhaḥ) in I.45c. Takasaki 1966a (400ff.) already pointed out that verses I.30, 35, 42, and 45, though interrupted by several commentarial verses, are to be considered as a unit, with jinagarbhaḥ in I.45c being the subject that is common to all four verses. As mentioned above, the six topics of nature, cause, fruition, function, endowment, and manifestation in these four verses are described in a similar way in verses IX.56–59 of the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra (which are also found as concluding verses in the Buddhabhūmisūtra), where they pertain to the purity of the dharmadhātu as the common subject. As for Takasaki’s different rendering of I.42cd ("because of its nature of being endowed with properties indivisible [from it]"), it seems to correspond exactly to DP dbyer med yon tan dang ldan pa’i / ngo bo nyid phyir.
- This is how DP mthu bsam gyis mi khyab pa’i yon tan dang ldan pa unravels the compound acintyaprabhāvaguṇayoga (other possible readings are Takasaki’s "endowed with inconceivable and powerful virtues" or "endowed with inconceivable power and qualities").
- That is, the purity of the dharmakāya, the attainment of buddha wisdom, and great compassion’s engaging all beings.
- VT (fol. 12v4) glosses "wisdom" as "the wisdom of the termination of contamination" and "stainlessness"as "the termination of contamination."
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation of MB dīpāloṣṇatāvarṇṇasya [or °sā°] dharmamālāśraye to dīpālokoṣṇavarṇasādharmyaṃ amalāśraye against J dīpālokoṣṇavarṇasya sādharmyaṃ vimalāśraye.
- I follow MB āloka against J jvāla.
- DP omit "wisdom."
- VT (fol. 12v5) glosses "the change of the foundation" as "[the contaminations] not even existing as latent tendencies."
- VT (fol. 12v5) glosses "relinquished" as "changed (into something else)" (parāvṛtti).
- MB tadubhayasyā° against J tadubhayā°.
- J omits this word, but see MB anāsravābhijñā° and DP zag pa med pa’i mngon par shes pa.
- I follow MB dharmadhātusamatāsamanvāgamo (confirmed by DP chos kyi dbyings dang mnyam pa nyid kyis ldan pa) against J dharmadhātusamanvāgamo.
- Taishō 668, 467a.
- I follow MB °tathatābhinnavṛttitaḥ and DP de bzhin nyid dbye’i ’jug pa las against J °tathatāvyatirekataḥ. The translation follows Schmithausen’s suggestion to understand this compound as a predicative ablative (as in I.42) qualifying "the disposition of the victors" (thus, closely corresponding in meaning to °bhinnavṛttikaḥ in Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra IX.59b). However, as Schmithausen remarks, RGVV interprets vṛtti as pravṛtti in the sense of the more or less unmistaken ways in which ordinary beings, bodhisattvas, and buddhas engage the tathāgata heart. Besides "manifestation" and "engagement,"both terms can also mean "behavior," "activity," and "function." Further meanings of vṛtti include "mode of being," "nature," "state," and "condition,"while pravṛtti can also mean "advancing" and "cognition."
- This verse closely parallels the words and the meaning of Madhyāntavibhāga IV.12.
- I follow MB tattvadarśinaḥ pṛthagjanasya (confirmed by DP de kho na ma mthong ba’i so so skye bo), while J omits tattvadarśinaḥ.
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation of MB tattvadarśinaviśuddhi° to tattvadarśanaviśuddhi° (confirmed by DP de kho na mthong ba rnam par dag pa), while J omits tattvadarśana°.
- I follow Schmithausen’s suggestion prabhedanirdeśatvena (which is supported by DP dbye ba ston par) against MA/MB prabhedanirdeśādvena and J prabhedanirdeśādeva. On RGVV’s saying here that the remaining four topics (phases, all-pervasiveness, changelessness, and inseparability) are simply extensions of the sixth topic "manifestation,"see RGVV’s statement at the beginning of explaining the ten topics (J26) that the threefold nature of the tathāgata heart (the dharmakāya, suchness, and the disposition) is "invariably taught in all the words [of the Buddha]"through these topics.
- DP omit "basic element."
- I follow DP ’di drug gis ni bsdus pa yi / khams . . . against J and MA/MB, thus replacing samāsataḥ by samāsitaḥ.
- I follow MB nirdiṣṭo against J vidito.
- Taishō 668, 467b.
- Ibid., 467b.
- VT (fol. 12v6) glosses "[can]not be realized as being divisible" as "they do not part from a tathāgata."
- The references to the number of verses about the changelessness of buddha nature in each one of its three phases are rather confusing here since the twelve verses I.52–63 on the phase of its being impure are followed by two further verses (I.64–65) that elaborate on them. The one verse about its phase of being both impure and pure is then I.66, which is followed by twelve more explanatory verses (I.67–78). Finally, the one verse about its phase of being completely pure is I.79, again followed by four commentarial verses (I.80–83).
- This refers to the ancient Indian cosmological model of worlds arising in space due to the four elemental spheres of wind, fire, water, and earth being stacked up in that order and thus supporting the upper spheres. As VT (fol. 13r1) confirms, the element of fire is not mentioned among the four elements in this text because fire is used to illustrate sickness, aging, and death, which destroy one’s prior state of existence.
- Here, the text has indriya, which is always replaced by āyatana below.
- Given the example of space’s being completely unaffected by what arises and ceases in it, I follow DP’s negative before "afflicted" (the Sanskrit and C lack this negative).
- Kano (2006, 1) refers to Sasaki (1991) who traces the Uttaratantra ’s teaching about the progressive arising of afflictions, karma, and the skandhas from improper mental engagement back to the *Abhidharmaprakaraṇapādaśāstra (Taishō 1542, 702b), attributed to Vasumitra (second century). Sasaki also points out similar discussions found in certain mahāyāna sūtras, such as the Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, which is also important for the Uttaratantra and RGVV.
- This is the name of a chapter in the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchāsūtra.
- DP "great seers" (drang srong chen po).
- J kavi, which makes no sense here. Takasaki suggests chavi ("colored") as the better reading, translating it as "darkness."VT (fol. 12v7) has chadi instead, glossed by andhakāra (both meaning "darkness"), and DP also read the corresponding mun pa.
- Skt. mūlaviśuddhā prakṛtiḥ; DP "natural purity is the root" (rang bzhin gyis rnam par dag pa ni rtsa ba’o).
- I follow MA/MB baliyān (comparative of balin°) against J balī yo.
- DP omit "neither increasing."
- This is literally Aṅguttara Nikāya I.10.
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation yaś cāyoniśomanaskāro (confirmed by DP tshul bzhin ma yin pa’i yid la byed pa gang yin pa) of MA paścā yoniśo and MB paścād yoniśo against J paścād yo ‘yoniśomanaskāro. Thus, the text of the citation simply continues and Takasaki’s insertion "After this passage . . . follows" is obsolete.
- I follow MA °visāmagryāṃ (DP dang bral na) against J °visāmagryā.
- J omits "completely devoid of any root,"but MB has mūlaparicchinna (confirmed by DP rtsa ba yongs su chad pa).
- VT (fol. 13r1) glosses this as "the foundation of the nature of phenomena’s being completely pure by virtue of its having the nature of emptiness (śūnyatārūpatvena dharmatāpariśuddhaṃ mūlaṃ)."
- D148, fols. 320b.6–321a.7.
- Skt. upasarga (which can also mean "misfortune," "trouble," and "change occasioned by any disease"), DP ’go(’i) nad ("infectious disease"), C "calamity."
- I follow MA/MB tadupamā against J ta upamā.
- VT (fol. 13r1) glosses "new faculties" as "another existence [consisting of] the faculties of [physical] pleasure and suffering, mental pleasure, mental displeasure, equanimity, the [five] physical [sense faculties], the life [faculty], the mental [faculty], and the five [faculties] of confidence and so on (that is, vigor, mindfulness, samādhi, and prajñā)."
- D and D45.48 omit "does not age."
- D45.48, fol. 274b.3–6.
- The translation of I.66cd follows Schmithausen’s rendering, which is preferable in terms of the meaning in this context. With Takasaki, one could also read these lines as "The intelligent, despite lacking the predicaments of birth and so on, assume their causes due to having given rise to compassion for the world" (this reading seems to be supported by DP skye sogs phongs dang bral yang de yi rgyu [text: rgyus] / blo ldan ’gro la snying rje bskyed phyir bsten /). VT (fol. 13r2) glosses tannidānaṃ as jātiṃ, which seems to suggest that birth is the cause of death, sickness, and aging, but this gloss does not indicate which one of the above two readings is preferable. Though the reading of Takasaki and DP is less likely, it could refer to the explanation just below in the Sāgaramatiparipṛcchāsūtra that bodhisattvas on the bhūmis deliberately retain weak forms of the afflictions, in particular, desire, (the causes of birth and so on) in order to be able to be reborn in saṃsāra to help sentient beings. However, these retained latencies of desire do not have the power to afflict the mind streams of such bodhisattvas, nor can they cause involuntary rebirth in saṃsāra. Still, they retain a connection to the beings in saṃsāra. Another way to say this is that the most refined form of passion is the passion to free sentient beings, which is nothing other than the great compassion of bodhisattvas.
- For lines I.67cd, I follow Schmithausen. However, the commentary interprets jātiḥ as "birth" and takes suffering to be a result of birth, which is in turn caused by karma and afflictions (thus taking these lines to mean "They lack this [suffering] because they lack being born through the power of karma and afflictions"). As Schmithausen points out, this interpretation is difficult to read into these two lines (in particular, the phrase jātis tadabhāvān does not suggest "lacking birth").
- I follow MA °saṃyojanā hi bodhisattvāḥ (supported by DP bhang chub sems dpa’ rnams ni . . . kun tu sbyor ba can) against J saṃyojanād dhi bodhisattvāḥ.
- VT (fol. 13r3) glosses aparikhedaḥ as "unimpeded"with regard to maturing sentient beings.
- I follow MA kuśalamūlabalādhānena and MB kuśalamūlabalādhādhānena (dittography of –dhā) against J kuśalamūlabalānvādhānena.
- DP "merchant or householder" (tshong dpon nam khyim bdag).
- MB reads matṛjñātayaḥ, which accords with DP and the Chinese translations of this sūtra, while the Tibetan translation has *mātṛmitrajñāyataḥ. MA mātāpitṛjñātayaḥ accords with C and is also found in VT (fol. 13r3), but the latter unravels this compound to mean "the relatives of father and mother (mātāpitṛṇāṃ jñātayaḥ)." The translation follows Schmithausen, who prefers the reading of MA since mātāpitṛ can also mean "family." As such, it does not have to include the father, who only appears later on the scene.
- I follow Schmithausen’s suggestion °adhyālamba° (supported by DP ’don pa) against °adhyāśaya°.
- I follow MA kaḥ punar artho draṣṭavyaḥ (supported by DP don gang yin par lta zhe na) against J kaḥ prabhando draṣṭavyaḥ and MB purartho.
- I follow MA/MB hanyate (DP gnod) against J lipyate.
- D152, fols. 85b.5–86b.4.
- Compare the detailed discussion of bodhisattvas on the bhūmis deliberately retaining subtle portions of the afflictions in order to be able to take rebirth in saṃsāra for the welfare of sentient beings, while not being affected by these afflictions or saṃsāra, in the Eighth Karmapa’s commentary on the Abhisamayālaṃkāra (Brunnhölzl 2010, 549–59, 589–90, and 596 and Brunnhölzl 2011b, 135–36).
- gainst yadā in MB and J, but with Schmithausen, I follow MA yathā (P ji lta bar [text: ba’i]) as the correlate of tathā in the text below.
- DP omit "created" in the preceding sentence and "Being thus created," but the Sanskrit quote accords with D152.
- DP gzhan du mi ’gyur ba’i chos.
- DP khong khro.
- DP khro bar mi gyur.
- D152, fol. 85a.2–85b.5.
- D45.48, fol. 271b.2–3.
- DP omit "minds" (sems).
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation of J āsravakṣayābhijñābhimukhy° (MB °ābhimukhyām) to āsravakṣayābhijñābhimukhyād.
- This is the sixth and most supreme of the six supernatural knowledges, which only a buddha possesses. Here, bodhisattvas on the sixth bhūmi are said to be very close to this knowledge.
- DP "man" (mi; Skt. nara instead of nagara)
- This example in the Ratnacūḍaparipṛcchāsūtra (D45.47, fols. 241b.7–242.a5) describes a huge city free from suffering and with many pleasures, which can be reached by several dangerous roads. A man with a single son hears of it, leaves his child behind, and traverses all these dangerous paths. However, when he sets one foot on the thresh- old of the gate of this city, while his other foot is still outside, he remembers his son. Overwhelmed by his fatherly love for him and the worry about his well-being, the man does not enter the city, but returns to fetch his son in order to provide its pleasures for him too. What follows in our text here is the explanation of the meaning of this example. VT also mentions this example here and says that the father stands for bodhisattvas, while his only son exemplifies all sentient beings.
- Ibid., fol. 242a.5–7. The passage in "[ ]" is from this sūtra (de snying rje chen po’i sems skyes nas sems can thams cad yongs su bskyab pa’i phyir zag pa zad pa’i ye shes ’dris par byas pa las sems can rnams la lta bas phyir phyogs te / slar log nas so so’i skye bo’i sa na yang kun du snang ngo /). It seems that both the Sanskrit and DP are missing something here since the first part of this paragraph up through "in order to protect all sentient beings" is clearly an (unfinished) quotation, while the remainder is a further explanation of this quotation.
- DP "unattached" (chags pa med pa) instead of "unobstructed" (thogs pa med pa).
- As it stands, the text’s sentence sa mahākaruṇācittotpādena sarvasattvaparitrāṇāyāsravakṣayajñāne parijayaṃ kṛtvā punar api suparikarmakṛtacetāḥ ṣaṣṭhyām asaṅgaprajñotpādād āsravakṣaye ’bhimukhī bhavati includes the above phrase, "by virtue of having generated the mind-set of great compassion, in order to protect all sentient beings . . ." Thus, this sentence reads as something like: "Having trained in the wisdom of the termination of contaminations by virtue of having generated the mind-set of great compassion, in order to protect all sentient beings, once again, by virtue of giving rise to unobstructed prajñā through their excellently purified mind, they come to face [the wisdom of] the termination of contaminations on the sixth [bhūmi]." However, given the above example and its explanation in the sūtra as well as the text’s own explanations immediately above and below it, it appears to be unsuitable to connect "by virtue of having generated the mind-set of great compassion, in order to protect all sentient beings"with the cultivation of the wisdom of the termination of contaminations. Rather, it is to be connected with the fact that bodhisattvas do not enter this wisdom fully, but return to saṃsāra in order to help sentient beings.
- With de Jong, I follow DP may ngan las ’das pa la mngon du phyogs pa (nirvāṇābhimukhasya) against J nirvāṇavimukhasya.
- I follow Takasaki’s suggestion of pratividhya for MB and J prativicya.
- I follow MA samāpattisamāpannaś and DP synods ’jug la . . . snyoms par zhugs pa yin against samāpattipratipannaś in J and MB.
- I follow Takasaki’s emendation deśanārūpakāyābhyāṃ of J deśanyārūpakāyābhyāṃ.
- "Daily behaviors" (īryāpatha) refers to standing, walking, sitting, and lying down, but the Sanskrit term can also refer to the observances of a religious mendicant.
- RYC (95) says that these four are listed in the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra.
- DP mistakenly "The Immovable One" (mi g.yo ba).
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation °samādhisuvyavasthitatvāt (confirmed by DP ting nge ’dzin la legs par gnas pa’i phyir) of °samādhiṣu vyavasthitatvāt in J and MA/MB.
- With Schmithausen, I follow MB °niryātasya (DP mother phyin pa) against J niṣṭhāgatasya.
- YDC (300–301) explains that bodhisattvas from the second through the seventh bhūmis are beyond all saṃsāric worlds through their prajñā but still engage in these worlds through their compassion without being tainted by them, just like a lotus growing in a pond is not tainted by its muddy ground or water. The minds of bodhisattvas on the eighth bhūmi effortlessly engage in accomplishing the welfare of beings, just like a fire naturally burns up dry firewood. They also rest continuously in a meditative equipoise in which all characteristics have subsided because they have gained mastery over nonconceptual wisdom by virtue of the fundamental change of the afflicted mind. Bodhisattvas on the tenth bhūmi effortlessly and spontaneously accomplish the maturation of sentient beings. The distant cause of this is the power of their previous aspiration prayers up through the ninth bhūmi that they may be able to effortlessly accomplish the welfare of others. The close condition is that they are free from all conceptions of characteristics. From the perspective of the world, the manner in which bodhisattvas during the subsequent attainment of the tenth bhūmi mature sentient beings is equal to that of buddhas in terms of liberating beings from saṃsāra. However, in terms of their own welfare, they are not equal to buddhas—their realization and relinquishment compared to those of buddhas is like the amount of water in a hoofprint versus the amount in the ocean because they still have certain obscurations and seeds of latent tendencies. Also, in their accomplishing the welfare of others, they are equal to buddhas in terms of their enlightened activity’s being effortless, being uninterrupted, and manifesting in all kinds of ways. However, they are not equal to buddhas in accomplishing the welfare of others in all respects because they are not able to confer the empowerment of great light rays that only buddhas can bestow.
- Takasaki translates "because it is endowed with inexhaustible properties" (Skt. akṣyadharmayogataḥ, DP mi zad chos ldan phyir), which is also how Tibetan commentaries usually interpret this phrase. However, the parallel construction of lines a, c, and d in the quote from the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśasūtra in the text below that teaches the same meaning as I.79 (as well as line d in the additional verse in DP) shows that dharma is to be understood as "nature"here too. Moreover, it makes more sense to say that the tathāgata element is permanent and unchanging because it has the nature of being inexhaustible rather than because its qualities are inexhaustible (which is also true but seems not to be the point here).
- DP gnod.
- I follow MB °prabhāsvarāyāṃ (DP ’od gsal ba) against J °prabhāsvaratāyāṃ.
- DP "maturation" (yongs su smin pa).
- J pad is clearly a mistake for dhātau (see commentary in the text below).
- I follow Schmithausen and MB tatraiṣām asaṃskṛte dhātau against J tad eṣām asaṃskṛtadhātau.
- Here, DP insert the following two verses:
- The meaning of being permanent is its character of not changing into anything other
- Because it has the quality of being inexhaustible.
- The meaning of being everlasting is its character of being a refuge
- Because it is equal to the final end.
- The meaning of being peaceful is its true nature of nonduality
- Because it has the nature of being nonconceptual.
- Being eternal has the meaning of being indestructible
- Because it has the quality of being unfabricated.
- Note that these two verses are inserted in an awkward place in DP since they are sandwiched between the sentence that ends in "according to the [Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśa]sūtra" (mdo ji lta ba bzhin shes par bya’o) and the words "As it is said: . . ." (ji skad du), which indicate the beginning of the actual quote from that sūtra. Also, the two verses seem somewhat redundant because they are almost verbatim identical to both Uttaratantra I.79 and the quote from the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśasūtra that follows them. GC (380) also notices the close similarity between the two verses and that sūtra quote and explicitly matches each of the two lines of these verses with the corresponding lines in the quote. In any case, Ut (DP) as well as all Tibetan commentaries consider these two verses to be part of the Uttaratantra.
- Taishō 668, 467a–b. DP’s version of this passage reads: "Śariputra, this unchanging dharmakāya is permanent due to its true nature of being inexhaustible. Śariputra, this dharmakāya that is the everlasting refuge is everlasting due to equaling the end of time. Śariputra, this nondual dharmakāya is peaceful due to being nonconceptual. Śariputra, this indestructible dharmakāya is eternal due to its true nature of being uncreated."
- I follow MB tathāgatadhātor against J tathāgatagarbhasya.
- D45.48, fol. 272a.7–272b.1.
- Skt. prakṛteḥ can be understood as an apposition to "disposition." It could also be read as "the nature of the disposition."DP "by nature" (rang bzhin gyis, though this could just be a common misprint for a genitive gyi).
- According to C, this quote is from a Ṣaḍāyatanasūtra or Ṣaḍindriyarāśisūtra (neither the Pāli, nor the Tibetan, nor the Chinese canons contain sūtras of that name). Both the Pāli and the Chinese canons contain the Saḷāyatanavibhangasutta (Majjhima Nikāya 137), Mahāsaḷāyatanikasutta (Majjhima Nikāya 149), and Saḷāyatanasaṃyutta (Saṃyutta Nikāya 35), but none of them contains this passage. It is however found in the Bodhisattvabhūmi (Wogihara ed., 3.4–6; D4037, fol. 2b.4) and, almost identically, in the Śrāvakabhūmi (D4036, fol. 2a.2–3).
- There is a partly similar passage in the Śrīmālādevīsūtra (D45.48, fols. 272b.7–273a.1).
- D100, fol. 283a.3.
- Taishō 668, 467a.
- D45.48, fol. 269a.2–3.
- Ibid., fol. 272a.2–5.
- Ibid., fol. 269a.1–2.
- With Schmithausen, I follow MA sahābhisaṃbodhāt and DP lhan cig mngon par rdzogs par byang chub pas against J mahābhisaṃbodhāt.
- Modern scholars usually do not consider this verse as part of the Uttaratantra but as part of RGVV. That this verse is not part of the Uttaratantra but a quote from some other text is suggested by the fact that it is followed by iti in the Sanskrit of RGVV and by the corresponding zees bya ba in DP. By contrast, such is never the case for any of the verses of the Uttaratantra in RGVV. Still, RGVV provides some comments on this verse (as it does with certain other verses not from the Uttaratantra) and in its explanation of I.88–92. Maybe due to that or based on a different manuscript, Ut (DP) and all Tibetan commentaries consider this verse to be part of the Uttaratantra. For further comments on it, see CMW (491–92). According to C, this verse is from the Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra, but, as Takasaki already remarks, it is not found there. Maybe C was referring to a partly similar passage in that sūtra: "This [nirvāṇa] is liberation. Liberation is the experience that is most everlasting, immovable, blissful, and permanent. What is this liberation is the Tathāgata" (D120, fol. 78a.1). The Aṅgulimālīyasūtra (D213, fol. 189a.2) also contains two similar lines: "What is nirvāṇa is liberation. What is liberation is the Tathāgata."
- D45.48, fol. 264a.5.
- Ibid., fol. 264a.5–264b.2. The text’s compound sarvāprameyācintyaviśuddhiniṣṭhāgataguṇasamanvāgatā is not found in the sūtra, but its four components sarvāprameyācintyaviśuddhi° are contrasted in four separate sentences with the lack of such qualities in śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas.
- As Takasaki does, this could also be read as "have inseparable qualities" (which is also true), but, as already explained at length, the point here is that buddhahood and nirvāṇa are inseparable.
- Skt. pratiśrutya can also mean "to hear" or "to promise."
- VT (fol. 13v1) glosses tadākārā as śunyatākārā, which relates to the other pāramitās, thus reading "the painters are said to be generosity . . . and so on, which have the aspect of that [emptiness]."DP de rnams is obviously a misprint of de rnam as the equivalent of tadākārā.
- DP add a fifth line de la mngon par sbyin rnams kris between I.92c and I.92d, but Tibetan commentaries usually omit it too.
- I follow MA/MB anutpattikadharmatā° (confirmed by DP mi skye ba’i chos nyid) against J anutpattikadharma° ("the dharma of nonarising"), though the latter is more common as a synonym for emptiness.
- DP "hundreds of thousands" (bray sting).
- Beyond RGVV’s own brief comments on "the emptiness endowed with all supreme aspects," see appendix 4 for more details. GC (386.22–388.26) explains that, in the example of the painters, the canvas symbolizes the tathāgata heart, which has the characteristic of emptiness; the king, all buddhas; the king’s order, the twelve branches of the words of the buddhas; the painters, generosity and so on; the image of the king, the emptiness that is endowed with all supreme phenomena that are the fruitions of the means in their fully complete forms; and the painters receiving the canvas, the realization of the tathāgata heart due to the words of the buddhas. Since all phenomena that are the means are included in the six pāramitās, the coarse elements of this form of emptiness are complete in them. Prajñā is like the head because all knowable objects are viewed through the eye of superior insight. Vigor is like the hands because it collects all virtuous phenomena. Dhyāna and discipline are like the feet because one proceeds on the path with these two. Generosity is like the rich flesh of the body because it creates wealth. Patience is like the hue of the body because it beautifies. Here, the actual image of the king stands for the dharmakāya because it is inseparable from the canvas of the tathāgata heart. The reflection of this image on the canvas in a mirror represents the two rūpakāyas, which thus are only the nominal forms of a buddha. The factors of the means during the phase of the path (which resemble the painters) are the causes for making the image of the dharmakāya clearly manifest. Therefore, they are the cooperative conditions, while the substantial cause is nothing but the suchness with stains. What is to be made clearly manifest through these means are the qualities that abide in the basic element with stains and surpass the sand grains in the Gaṅgā in number. Thus, RGVV says that the four features of these qualities—being of all kinds, being innumerable, being inconceivable, and being stainless—are, in due order, attained on the eight bhūmi up through the buddhabhūmi. However, this is only said in terms of what is primary, but all these four features of the qualities exist already on the eighth bhūmi. This is similar to matching the ten pāramitās with the ten bhūmis by saying that generosity is the primary pāramitā on the first bhūmi and so on, while in fact all ten pāramitās exist on each bhūmi. According to GC, RGVV’s phrase "the samādhi of the emptiness endowed with all supreme aspects"refers to the wisdom of the pure bhūmis that is endowed with all aspects of qualities. "The door of that" consists of having terminated flaws through prajñā and having collected all factors of means through compassion. Through having cultivated these, on the eighth bhūmi, bodhisattvas attain the dharma of nonarising. Therefore, the effortless operation of nonconceptual wisdom from the eighth bhūmi onward is attained through the preceding cultivation of the path that entails effort up through the seventh bhūmi.
- Based on DP rnam pa, I follow Takasaki’s emendation of kāraṇena to ākāreṇa.
- DP omit "prajñā."
- With DP (chugs pa med pa thogs pa med pa’i ye shes kyi gzigs pa mnga ba’i de bzhin gshegs pa), I take asaṅgāpratihataprajñājñānadarśanam as a bahuvrīhi compound qualifying tathāgatatvam.
- DP replaces "phenomena"with "prajñā."D45.48 omits this sentence.
- D45.48, fol. 267a.2–4. The words in "[ ]"are added from D45.48.
- These nine examples stem from the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra (D258, fols. 248a.3–254b.3).
- I follow MA tuṣeṣu sārāny against J tuṣesu sārāny.
- DP "lowly" (ngan ma).
- Skt. prāṇi (lit. "living beings" or "animals").
- With Schmithausen, I follow MA °strīrūpa° against J °strīduḥkha° and take °jvalanābhitaptapṛthivīdhātu° as a unit, which is also confirmed by VT (fol. 13v2) that relates jvalanābhitaptaṃ to pṛthivīdhātuḥ, saying that jvalanābhitaptaṃ refers to heated gold and pṛthivīdhātuḥ to the earth that covers that gold. However, DP read "a lowly woman tormented by the blaze of suffering, and the element of earth" (dug bsngal ’bar bas mngon par gdungs pa’i bud med sa yi khans).
- I follow Schmithausen in linking °vimalaprakhyaḥ with sa dhātuḥ paraḥ and not with °ratnabimba° ("precious statue"in VI.98d). DP read "the stainless supreme basic element resembles . . ." (dang dri med khams mchog mtshungs pa nyid).
- In the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra, this example occurs twice. The introduction of the sūtra describes in detail how the Buddha miraculously manifests in the sky thousands of fragrant opened lotus flowers with buddhas sitting upon them, emitting light. These lotuses blossom and fade at the same time, exuding a foul smell, but the buddhas still remain within them without a stain. In the sūtra’s section of the nine examples proper, this example is presented as it is here in the Uttaratantra. For details of the differences between the nine examples as presented in the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra and the Uttaratantra, see Zimmermann 2002, 105–44.
- With Schmithausen, I follow MA suvarṇam asminn idam agraratnam (supported by DP ’di na yod pa’i gser / rin chen mchog ’di) against suvarṇam asmin navam agraratnam in J and MB.
- DP read "virtuous" (dge ba) for śubha, which can also mean "beautiful," "pleasant," "good," "auspicious," "prosperous," "pure," and "eminent."
- DP ’thon.
- It may seem that this example suggests a growing process of the tathāgata heart, just as a germ or a sprout gradually grows into a tree, which entails the need for supporting conditions such as water and sunlight. However, as Zimmermann (2002, 62–64) shows, the explanation of this example in the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra does not understand this to be the primary thrust of the example but rather emphasizes the imperishable nature of the seed and the fact that the result (the tree) is already contained in the seed, both being of the same nature. Also, conditions such as virtue do not produce buddhahood but only serve as conducive factors for its revelation. The same goes for the simile of a cakravartin in the womb of a poor woman. The emphasis is on the nature of a cakravartin’s being unchanging, whether still being in the womb or being a grown-up person, while the growth process of the embryo is not discussed. The stress lies on the stark contrast between the destitute and ugly woman and the glory of the cakravartin king inside her. In addition, the terminology (such as sugatakāya, tathāgata, tathāgatadhātu, and dharmatā) used in the explanation of these two examples is the same as in all the other examples and does not suggest any kind of growing or ripening process. That is, the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra throughout presents the model of the tathāgata heart with its qualities being revealed as opposed to any kind of gradual development. As Zimmermann (2002, 86–87) suggests, the reformulation of the example of the germ growing into a tree in the Uttaratantra could have been due to the concern that the original example’s statement that the result (the tree) is already present in the seed comes too close to the position of satkāryavāda as espoused by the Sāṃkhya School, which is usually rejected by Buddhists as a form of eternalism. That such a concern was definitely present among at least some readers and commentators of the Uttaratantra is evident from the long-lasting and sometimes vicious debates in Tibet about whether a literal understanding of the teachings on buddha nature means falling into a Hinduist view.
- In the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra, a man traveling on a dangerous path would wrap his golden buddha statue in a tattered garment to hide it from the sight of robbers, but then the statue in that garment would fall by the roadside until someone with the divine eye picked it up and paid homage to it.
- Skt. ātmabhāvam, DP dngos po nyid. As mentioned above, in the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra (D258, fol. 253a.1–2), the Buddha says that a tathāgata’s body like his own dwells in all sentient beings, even in animals.
- I follow MA tiryakṣv apy avalokya (confirmed by DP dud ’gro la yang gzigs nas) against J tiryakṣu vyavalokya.
- In India, this means abandoned by one’s husband or being a widow.
- DP lit. "by the womb" (mngal gyis). However, as the next verse shows, garbha here clearly refers to the embryo of the cakravartin.
- VT (fol. 13v4) glosses "impure sentient beings" as "those who engage in wrongdoing" (pāpācārāḥ).
- VT (fol. 13v4) glosses sannāthāḥ as santaś cāmī nāthāś ca, while DP only have moon bcas (corresponding to sanātha).
- Skt. śāntam, DP zhi ba. This means that the molten gold has cooled down and has become solid.
- With Schmithausen, I follow MA saṃchedayed (corresponding to DP sell bar byed) against J saṃcodayed (the same goes for saṃchedayen and saṃchedayaty against saṃcodayen and saṃcodayaty in I.126).
- I follow MA/MB prahāravidhibhiḥ against J prahāravidhitaḥ. "Strokesto the strokes with a chisel or hammer (DP bridge spayed) to remove the clay mold from the golden statue inside.
- With Schmithausen, I follow MA and MB asaṃbaddhakleśakośeṣv against J asaṃbaddhaṃ kleśakośeṣv.
- In P, everything from here up through the comments on I.130–31 is missing; the text resumes with I.132. The missing passage is inserted out of place on fols. 114b.6–115b.6. Note that among the nine examples in the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra, five are likewise found in other sūtras and three more are at least alluded to. The analogy of a destitute woman carrying a cakravartin in her womb also appears in the Ratnakūta; the example of a treasure below the house of a poor man, in the Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra and the Daśabhūmikasūtra; and the similes of a piece of pure gold in a place full of filth, impoverished people living above a treasure beneath their house, a golden statue in rags, and a golden statue within a clay mold, in the Daśabhūmikasūtra. The Laṅkāvatārasūtra, in one of its descriptions of tathāgatagarbha, alludes to both the first example (as found in the introduction of the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra) and the seventh example (a precious jewel’s being wrapped in a filthy garment). Though illustrating something else, the Mahāmeghasūtra refers to winter rice and so on (kernels in their husks) as not yet fulfilling the benefit of beings and the fruits of a palm tree, a mango tree, and sugar cane (the same enumeration as in the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra) having not yet become a tree.
- Saṃyutta Nikāya III.151.22–23, 151.31–32, and 152.8–9.
- DP "path" (lam).
- Note that I.132 is preceded solely by this lone word "these" and that lines I.132cd correspond literally to lines I.131ab. This is why Johnston suggested that I.132 is not an actual verse, but just a part of the commentary on I.131ab, while the following paragraph explains I.131cd.
- DP have these two sentences in reverse order.
- DP "Just as an unknown treasure is not obtained due to its gems being obscured, so the self-arisen in people [skye la is difficult to construct] is obscured by the ground of the latent tendencies of ignorance" (ji ltar nor ni bsgribs pas na / mi shes gter mi thob pa ltar / de bzhin skye la rang byung nyid / ma rig bag chags sa yis bsgribs /).
- Against Takasaki and DP (ram par smin pa bzhin) understanding °vat in vipākavat as "like,"I follow de Jong’s suggestion of taking vipākavat as a possessive adjective relating to jñānam Thus, the nonconceptual wisdom mentioned here seems to refer to the wisdom on the last three bhūmis that emerges from the stains of the preceding seven bhūmis, just as an embryo emerges from the womb.
- DP omit "wisdom."
- DP "basic element" (khams).
- This means that the Buddha’s words or scriptures are not regarded as outer matter, but as nothing but mental appearances, that is, the aspects of a being’s mind that appear—under the influence of a buddha’s dharmakāya—as the objects of the subjective cognitive aspect of that mind. This notion is commonly found in Yogācāra texts and, in particular, many commentaries on the Abhisamayālaṃkāra. For example, Sthiramati’s Madhyāntavibhāgaṭīkā (Pandeya ed., 1999, 4.7–10; D4032, fol. 190a.4–5) explains the nature of a treatise (Skt. śāstra) as follows: "A treatise consists of the cognizances that appear as the collections of names, words, and letters. Or a treatise consists of the cognizances that appear as the special sounds (or terms) that cause one to attain supramundane wisdom. How do cognizances guide one or express [something]? The cognizances of the listener arise due to the cognizance of the guide and explainer" (for variant readings of this passage in D4032 and Pandeya 1999, see note 1875). Haribhadra’s Abhisamayālaṃkārālokā (Wogihara ed., 7) states about the scriptural prajñāpāramitā, "This teaching [of prajñāpāramitā], on the level of the seeming, has the character of cognition’s appearing as words and letters."Compare also the Eighth Karmapa’s commentary on the Abhisamayālaṃkāra (Brunnhölzl 2010, 23 and 33), which defines the dharma wheel of scriptures as "the cognizance of a disciple that appears either in the form of a buddha’s speech, whose main topics are either the causes, the results, or the nature of nirvāṇa, or, the cognizance that appears as the collections of names, words, and letters that serve as the support for such speech" and the scriptural prajñāpāramitā as "the cognizance that appears as assemblies of names, words, and letters, and is suitable to be observed in the disciples’ consciousnesses that entail dualistic appearances."
- These are the first six of the twelve types of the sūtrayāna teachings of the Buddha ("the twelve branches of the Buddha’s speech"), the remaining six being legends, narratives, reports on the Buddha’s former lives, extensive discourses, discourses on marvelous qualities, and ascertaining discourses.
- The Sanskrit aṇḍa ("egg") is hard to make sense of here (it is probably used in analogy to aṇḍakośa in I.136d, but the result would still be a mixed metaphor of a kernel in an eggshell). Therefore, I follow the Tibetan sbubs (corresponding to kośa). However, given the previous example of one taste, C’s reading "kernels of different tastes" also makes good sense.
- It could be argued that dhātu here takes up that term as it is used in I.146c and elsewhere, where it clearly refers to the basic element of sentient beings. See however the next sentence in which dhātu means "realm."
- IX.15 (the translation follows the Sanskrit of the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra; RGVV has a few slight variations). This verse is the fourth of six verses in the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra (IX.12–17) that explain buddhahood as being "the fundamental change." According to Sthiramati’s Sūtrālaṃkāravṛttibhāṣya (D4034, fol. 113b.5–117a.6), IX.12 states that this fundamental change is endowed with the supreme qualities of the pure dharmas (mirrorlike wisdom, the wisdom of equality, discriminating wisdom, all-accomplishing wisdom, the pure dharmadhātu, and all the buddha qualities such as the ten powers). This fundamental change is obtained through the supramundane nonconceptual wisdom of meditative equipoise seeing all phenomena as being empty and the pure mundane wisdom of subsequent attainment seeing all phenomena as illusions and mirages. IX.13 speaks of the superiority of the fundamental change of buddhahood even over the fundamental changes of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas since they do not have compassion for all beings and do not relinquish all cognitive obscurations. Therefore, buddhas feel compassion even for śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas. IX.14 plays on the word "fundamental change"by adding ten different prefixes to the Sanskrit word vṛtti in āśrayaparivṛtti, most of which highlight the dynamic character of this fundamental change called "buddhahood." Thus, it is a "pro-change"because it is always engaged in the welfare of all sentient beings. It is a "superchange"since it is the best of all phenomena, superior to any mundane phenomena and even to supramundane śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas. It is a "nonchange"because it is the changeless result that consists of the three causes of afflictions (the presence of objects, improper mental engagement, and not having relinquished the latencies of both) not being active anymore. It is a "counterchange"since it does not engage in afflictions or nonvirtue, and counteracts selfish actions. It is an "ongoing change"since it functions all the time (once this fundamental change has occurred, its operation will never decline until the end of saṃsāra) and engages in all the remedies for afflicted phenomena. It is a "dual change"because it first engages in demonstrating full awakening and finally engages in demonstrating nirvāṇa. It is a "nondual change"because, ultimately, it neither engages in saṃsāra nor in nirvāṇa. For by virtue of being endowed with prajñā and compassion, it has relinquished what is conditioned and what is unconditioned, respectively. It is an "equal change"because as far as merely being liberated from all afflictions goes, it is equal in śrāvakas, pratyekabuddhas, and buddhas. It is a "special change"because it is superior to the fundamental changes of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas by virtue of having relinquished the cognitive obscurations and possessing the qualities such as the ten powers. It is an "omnipresent change"because it engages all sentient beings through the three yānas in an omnipresent way. Also, since it is endowed with all these supreme qualities (the uncontaminated dharmas that are the remedies for all afflictions), it operates in a very vast manner. In particular, Sthiramati comments on IX.15 say that just as space is omnipresent in all kinds of phenomena in the three times, the uncontaminated dharmadhātu exists in and pervades the mind streams of all sentient beings. This is to be understood here in terms of buddhas’ experiencing and accepting all beings as not being different from themselves in a perfect manner—"experiencing"here means realizing the equality of themselves and all beings. Buddhahood has the nature of the dharmadhātu, and once the characteristic of the omnipresence of the dharmadhātu is realized on the first bhūmi, a state of mind of perceiving oneself and all beings as equal is attained. Through progressively cultivating the realization of this equality throughout the remaining bhūmis, at the time of buddhahood, this realization is completely perfected in an all-encompassing manner. This is what is called "being omnipresent in the hosts of beings." IX.16 answers the qualm why sentient beings do not realize the dharmadhātu and do not see buddhas despite the dharmadhātu’s always existing and being omnipresent in them. Just as the moon is not seen in vessels that are without water or broken, the mind streams of beings are either like an empty vessel (due to not being filled with the accumulations of merit and wisdom) or their mind streams are impaired (due to being full of afflictions and evil deeds). Despite such beings having the nature of a buddha, they do not see it. Naturally, the reverse applies for beings whose mind streams are endowed with merit and wisdom. Thus, IX.17 says that just as fire burns in places with sufficient fuel but does not burn in places without, buddhas appear and teach when and wherever there are beings to be guided who have gathered sufficient degrees of the fuel that consists of the accumulations of merit and wisdom, but they pass into nirvāṇa when and wherever such beings are not present.
- As Schmithausen remarks, the akṣaras between vikāra° and ataḥ are for the most part illegible. I follow his suggestion of a possible reading vikāran na bhajate (which would require Tib. bsten instead of DP ston).
- As mentioned above, "having arrived at [pure] suchness" or "suchness’ having become pure" (lit. "having arrived at purity") is one of the meanings of "tathāgata" (as a shortened compound of tathatā and āgata).
- As for this partly corrupt sentence (sa ca sarveṣām api . . . prakṛtinirviśiṣṭānāṃ sarvāgantukamalaviśuddhim āgatas tathāgata . . .), I follow Schmithausen’s emendation (sā [MB] ca sarveṣām api . . . prakṛtinirviśiṣṭāpi sarvāgantukamalaviśuddhim āgatā tathāgata . . .) based on DP (de yang . . . sems can thams cad la yang rang bzhin khyad par med du zin kyang / . . . rnam par dag pa la [text: las] gyur pa de bzhin gshegs pa . . .), whose structure moreover accords with a part of Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra IX.37 (sarveṣām aviśiṣṭāpi tathatā śuddhim āgatā tathāgatatvam . . .) quoted in the text below.
- As already implied here, at the beginning of the second chapter (awakening), it will be explained that the tathāgata heart is an equivalent of suchness with stains, while buddhahood or tathāgatahood is equivalent to suchness without stains.
- D100, fol. 297a.5–6. In D100, the first sentence reads: "The Tathāgata knows that the grasping at propounding a self is the root."Right before this, the sūtra speaks of four types of grasping, with the grasping at propounding a self being the most fundamental one.
- IX.37. Besides pointing to the changelessness of suchness, the three elements in this verse (suchness without difference, tathāgata, and heart)—can also be seen as paralleling the three elements in Uttaratantra I.28 (suchness, dharmakāya, and disposition).
- I follow DP mdzes pa as the meaning of śubha here, which seems to fit best with the two reasons in lines I.151cd.
- With Schmithausen, I follow MB gotrasadbhāvārtham adhikṛtya (supported by DP rigs yod pa’i [don gyi] dbang du byas te) against J gotrasvabhāvārtham adhikṛtya.
- D258, fol. 253b.5–6. The canonical versions of the sūtra literally say, "Now, the tathāgata disposition has entered sentient beings and exists within them, but these sentient beings do not realize this." As Zimmermann (2002, 137) notes, a paracanonical translation of the sūtra from Bathang (which is closer to the Sanskrit as quoted in RGVV here) and the Chinese translation by Amoghavajra read "element" (dhātu) instead of "disposition" (gotra). As for "has entered,"in accordance with what the sūtra says a few lines down, bzhugs ("abides") needs to be emended to zhugs. According to Zimmermann, the expression that the tathāgata element has "arisen"in or "entered"sentient beings is probably influenced by this passage’s being found in the context of the example of a cakravartin in the belly of a destitute woman, which says that life has entered (zhugs) the womb of that woman. The phrases, "exists . . . in the form of their heart (or in the form of an embryo)" (RGVV) and "exists within them" (DP: khong na yod; Bathang: snying po la gnas pa) render the same compound garbhagata. As Zimmermann (ibid., 58–60) points out, both meanings are possible from the point of view of Sanskrit grammar, though the latter is the more reasonable one for an unbiased reader (as confirmed by the Tibetan versions of the sūtra). This is also indicated by the corresponding verse I.123 in the Uttaratantra, which speaks of the cakravartin’s abiding within the womb (garbhāntarasthe) and the tathāgata heart’s abiding within sentient beings themselves (svātmāntarastheṣu) as their protector. However, RGVV’s point here is to identify tathāgatagarbha with dhātu, which is then said to be the cause for attaining buddhahood. Therefore, garbha can here mean only "heart" (or embryo), and it is in support of this meaning that RGVV quotes the passage from the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra.
- D45.48, fol. 275a.3–4. D45.48 reads: "Bhagavan, this tathāgata heart is the heart of the supreme dharmadhātu. It is the heart of the dharmakāya. It is the heart of the supramundane dharmas. It is the heart of the naturally pure dharmas."
- Ibid., fol. 274b.2–4. D45.48 reads: "Therefore, Bhagavan, the tathāgata heart is the abode, support, and foundation of the [qualities] that do not abide as being different [from it], are connected [to it], and are known to be liberated from their cocoon (sbubs nas grol ba’i shes pa can). Bhagavan, thus, the tathāgata heart is also the abode, support, and foundation of the external conditioned phenomena that are not connected [to it], do not abide as being different [from it], and are not known to be liberated (shes pa grol ba ma lags pa)."
- Ibid., fol. 274a.6–7. D45.48 reads: "Bhagavan, if the tathāgata heart exists, the word ‘saṃsāra’ is reasonable" ( ’khor ba zhes mchis na ni tshig de rigs pa lags so). DP has "Bhagavan, if the tathāgata heart exists, it is labeled with the word ‘saṃsāra’" (de la ’khor ba zhes tshig gis btags pa lags so).
- Ibid., fol. 274b.5.
- I follow Schmithausen’s emended reading dharmakāyavipulas tathatā° of MB (dharmakāyavipulas tastatathatā°), which corresponds to DP chos kyi sku ltar rgya che ba, against J dharmakāyavipralambhas tathatā°.
- DP "the Tathāgata"instead of "suchness."
- According to C, J emends MB niravaśeṣayogena saṃvadyatanatija to niravaśeṣayogena sattvadhātāv iti. However, I follow DP khyad par med pa’i tshul du yod do / zhes bya ba’i bar ni (corresponding to nirviśeṣayogena saṃvidyata iti yāvat).
- D258, fol. 248b.6. As Ruegg (1969, 330–31) points out, the same statement is found in several other sūtras with regard to impermanence (Aṅguttara Nikāya I.286), dependent origination (Saṃyutta Nikāya II.25, 60, and 124; Dīgha Nikāya I.190; and the Śālistambasūtra [Sanskrit reconstruction in N. Aiyasvami Sastri, Ārya Śālistamba Sūtra (Adyar: Theosophical Society, 1950), 47]), and the nature of phenomena or suchness. As for the latter, the Daśabhūmikasūtra (Rahder ed., 65) says, "No matter whether buddhas have arrived in the world or not, [this] is just what abides as the true nature of phenomena" and the Prajñāpāramitāsūtra in Twenty-Five Thousand Lines (Sanskrit edition by Nalinaksha Dutt, Calcutta Oriential Series 28 [Calcutta, 1934], 198; D9, vol. ka, fol. 313a.6–313b.1) states, "No matter whether tathāgatas have appeared or whether tathāgatas have not appeared, the true state of phenomena, the nature of phenomena, the dharmadhātu, the flawless dharma, suchness, unerring suchness, suchness that is never other, and the true end abide just as they are."Very similar statements are also found in the prajñāpāramitā sūtras in one hundred thousand and eight thousand lines, the Laṅkāvatārasūtra (for page references, see Ruegg 1969), and the Ratnameghasūtra (D231, fol. 69a.4).
- I follow de Jong’s emendation yayaivam (supported by DP gang gis de lta bu) of J paryāyaḥ evam. In the immediately following phrase, I follow MA reading twice evaitat against J reading twice eva tat.
- As already mentioned, GC (432.21–23) explains that the nature of phenomena is called a "reasonable principle" (yukti) because it is justified that this nature and its bearers definitely are in accordance and are never in discordance. It is a "joining method" (yoga) because it causes the bearers of this nature to be joined with it. It is a "means" (upāya) because the mind will be realized through it.
- DP sems nges par rtogs pa dang / sems yang dag par shes pa la ni / chos nyid kyi rtogs pa dang / chos nyid kyi rigs pa yin no. VT (fol. 13v7–14r1) glosses "realization" (saṃjñāpanaṃ) as prabodhaḥ.
- D45.48, fol. 275a.2–3.
- Skt. vidhura can also mean "destitute of" or "devoid of,"but DP read ’gal ba.
- MB has the correct form pravarttayeyuḥ instead of J pravarteyuḥ.
- J omits "which is like that gem" (maṇivad), but MB and DP (MA maṇaṇivad) contain this phrase.
- I follow MA bhūta instead of J bhūtā.
- D120, fol. 33a.4–33b.2. The text of D120 has several variant readings, but none is of significant difference.
- This could also be read as "the principle of the tathāgata heart’s being the [actual] meaning of emptiness."DP has "the tathāgata heart as the principle of emptiness" (stong pa nyid kyi tshul du de bzhin gshegs pa’i snying po).
- "Whose minds are distracted from emptiness"translates the Sanskrit compound śūnyatāvikṣiptacitta, which contains an intriguing ambiguity since it can be understood as a mind distracted by emptiness, toward emptiness, or from emptiness. The primary reading "distracted from emptiness" is supported by the occurrence of śūnyatārthanayād bahiś cittaṃ vikṣipyate in the text below and the consistent rendering stong pa nyid las sems rnam par g.yengs pa in DP (P once has stong pa nyid la). However, the comments here show that this compound also contains the meaning "distracted by or toward emptiness." For the point is that beginner bodhisattvas are distracted by a wrong understanding of emptiness toward a wrong notion of emptiness (either misconceiving it as something that destroys phenomena or as some separate reified entity to be focused on deliberately) and thus are distracted from the correct understanding of emptiness, which is explicitly identified here as the principle of what emptiness means in the case of the tathāgata heart (explained in detail in the comments on I.154–155 in the text below). This ambiguity is reflected in the quotations of the passages from RGVV that contain this Sanskrit compound in other Tibetan texts and translations, which (in a rather inconsistent manner) take this compound to have either one of the above meanings (respectively using la, las, or kyis after stong pa nyid; as mentioned already, the Laṅkāvatārasūtra has kyis). GC (438.26–439.20) comments on RGVV’s paragraph on "those who are distracted from emptiness" as follows. In general, among the four kinds of bodhisattvas mentioned above (those who have generated bodhicitta for the first time, those who have entered bodhisattva conduct, irreversible bodhisattvas, and those obstructed from buddhahood by only a single lifetime), it is impossible for the latter three to be distracted from emptiness. However, since such is possible for those who have generated bodhicitta for the first time, they are called "those who have newly entered the [mahā]yāna." Still, only some of them are distracted from emptiness because there are also those beginner bodhisattvas who first ascertain the ultimate and then generate bodhicitta through the power of the compassion that arises from that ascertainment. Therefore, the Niyatāniyatagatimudrāvatārasūtra explains that there are "the bodhisattvas proceeding as if by ox-cart" who, after having generated bodhicitta, rely on the śrāvakayāna for their practice. The ones who have that disposition are the first kind of those who are distracted from emptiness. Through not directing their minds toward phenomenal identitylessness, when they attain nirvāṇa, they apprehend the impermanence in terms of the previously existing reality of the origin of suffering having discontinued and perished to be nirvāṇa. They also assert the state that is characterized by suffering’s not arising henceforth to be nirvāṇa and emptiness. The second kind of those who are distracted from emptiness are described by the Saṃdhinirmocanasūtra ’s speaking of bodhisattvas on the level of engagement through aspiration who hold that the characteristics of formational phenomena and the characteristics of the ultimate are different or the same (as for the term "engagement through aspiration,"in its more general sense, as is the case here, it refers to both the paths of accumulation and preparation, while its more narrow sense refers to the path of preparation alone). Thus, to assert that what is called "emptiness"—the object that is to be directly realized and with which one should familiarize in a deliberate way —exists as an entity that is different from form and so on means to assert that the characteristics of formational phenomena and the ultimate are different. Since those who hold the characteristics of formational phenomena and the ultimate to be the same apprehend what is not emptiness as emptiness, they too are implicitly included in those who are distracted from emptiness. As for the phrase, "through focusing on emptiness" in RGVV, it is through focusing on emptiness as a (real) entity that the second kind of those who are distracted from emptiness assert emptiness as the door of emptiness and resort to that emptiness. By contrast, Chaba Chökyi Sengé’s commentary on the Uttaratantra (Phyva pa chos kyi seng ge 2006, fol. 63b.5–8) says, "The principle of emptiness—the tathāgata heart—refers to being merely empty of an object to be negated that is something to be eliminated (rnam par bcad pa). Those who deviate from this regard it as something that is positively delimited (yongs gcod)." Thus, he continues to identify bodhisattvas of the first type who have newly entered the mahāyāna as being the Mere Mentalists. He elaborates that "‘the destruction of [previously] really existing phenomena at a later time’ refers to emptiness [in the sense of] the ultimately existent impure dependent [nature’s] having been destroyed later through having been eliminated and thus having become nonexistent. As for this being asserted as nirvāṇa, it is claimed to be the stainless purity [that is the perfect nature]. To assert this as the door to liberation [that is emptiness] means that it is claimed to be the ultimate." Then, Chaba identifies bodhisattvas of the second type who have newly entered the mahāyāna as those who assert emptiness as the emptiness of one thing’s not existing in another one. Regarding this as "what is to be realized and with which one should familiarize" refers to the time of the result and the path, respectively. "Form" consists of the duality of apprehender and apprehended. "An entity that is distinct from form"refers to the self-aware mind that is empty of that duality, which is an implicative negation—the emptiness that is the ultimate dependent nature. "Those who resort to emptiness"are those who claim this limited emptiness.
- DP read "What is the tathāgata that is expressed as the principle of emptiness here?" (de la stong pa nyid kyi tshul du brjod pa de bzhin gshegs pa’i snying po gang zhe na).
- This verse represents one of the most famous and often-cited stanzas in the literature of the mahāyāna, being essential in both the Uttaratantra and the Abhisamayālaṃkāra (V.21). As for its origin, Gampopa’s Ornament of Liberation (Lha rje bsod nams rin chen 1990, 289) says that it is found in the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchāsūtra (D148), but I could not locate it there. Instead, except for the third line, this verse is found in the Śrīmahābalatantra (P36, fol. 34a.6–7). To provide a bit more of the context of these three lines in that tantra, the lines immediately preceding and following them are as follows:
- Once identitylessness in phenomena is realized,
- Mind will be realized.
- Everything is filled with the flavor of being empty—
- This is called "mahāsukhakāya."
- It is prajñāpāramitā—
- In this, there is nothing to be removed
- And not the slightest to add on.
- Who sees true reality is liberated.
- Be it a single disposition, three dispositions,
- Five dispositions, a hundred dispositions, and so on,
- In this true reality, there is no difference.
- Once you have found an ox,
- You don’t search for the traces of that ox.
- Likewise, if you have found the true reality of mind,
- You don’t search for any thoughts at all.
- Note that the last four lines also represent a very common example in the Mahāmudrā tradition. To my knowledge, besides the Śrīmahābalatantra, the Uttaratantra, and the Abhisamayālaṃkāra (and the commentaries on the latter two), there are at least twenty-one further Indian works in which this verse appears: Buddhaghoṣa’s Sumaṅgalavisāraṇī I.12 (in Pāli, attributes the contents to the Buddha); Nāgārjuna’s Kāyatrayastotranāmasyavivaraṇa (D1124, fol. 72a.3), Pratītyasamutpādahṛdayakārikā (D3836, verse 7; some hold that it does not belong to the original Sanskrit stanzas, being added later, but it is found in this text as it appears in the Tibetan canon as well as in an eighth-century Tibetan manuscript from Dunhuang [PT 769]), and Pratītyasamutpādahṛdayavyākhyā (D3837, fol. 149a.1–2); Aśvaghoṣa’s Saundarananda (paraphrase XIII.44) and Śuklavidarśana (a summary of the Śālistambasūtra that begins with this verse); the Bodhisattvabhūmi (Wogihara ed., 48; prose paraphrase); Nāgamitra’s Kāyatrayāvatāramukha (D3890, paraphrased as verse 106); Jñānacandra’s Kāyatrayavṛtti (D3891, fol. 30b.5–6); Sthiramati’s Madhyāntavibhāgaṭīkā (Pandeya ed., 1999, 23; D4032, fol. 203a.6–7); Līlāvajra’s Nāmasaṃgītiṭīkā ad VI.5 (D2533, fol. 54a.5–6; attributing it to Nāgārjuna); the Mahāyānaśraddhotpāda (D. T. Suzuki, Aśvaghoṣa ’s Discourse on "The Awakening of Faith in the Mahāyāna" [Chicago: Open Court, 1900], 57; prose); Candrahari’s Ratnamālā (D3901, fol. 71b.3); Jñānaśrīmitra’s Sākārasiddhi (in Jñānaśrīmitra, Jñānaśrīmitranibandhāvali, 487.16–17) and Sākārasaṃgraha (II.53); Yamāri’s Pramāṇavārttikālaṃkāraṭīkāsupariśuddhā (D4226, vol. me, fol. 3a.7–3b1); Maitrīpa’s (or Nāgārjuna’s) Caturmudrāniścaya (in Maitrīpa, Advayavajrasaṃgraha, 102; D2225, fol. 78b.3–4) and Maitrīpa’s Dohākośapañjikā (Bagchi ed., 1938, 70.1–2; D2256, fol. 187b.4–5); Sahajavajra’s Tattvadaśakaṭīkā (D2254, fol. 170a.3–4); Rāmapāla’s Sekanirdeśapañjikā (D2253, fol. 156a.3–4); and Vibhūticandra’s Bodhicaryāvatāratātparyapañjikāviśeṣadyotanī (D3880, fol. 196b.4).
- DP "its nature is to be free from adventitious stains" (glo bur ba’i dri ma dang bral ba ni ’di’i rang bzhin yin pa).
- P rnam par dbye ba med pa’i chos nyid ni rang bzhin yin pa’i phyir D rnam par dbye ba med pa’i chos dag pa’i chos nyid ni rang bzhin yin pa’i phyir.
- D45.48, fol. 272a.7–272b.1. The Chinese translation of this passage (Taishō 353, 221c) uses the terms "the empty tathāgata heart" and "the nonempty tathāgata heart."
- As already mentioned, these two sentences (with minor variations) originally come from the Cūlasuññatasutta (Majjhima Nikāya 121). They are also found in the Abhidharmasamuccaya (D4049, fol. 76b.3), Vasubandhu’s Madhyāntavibhāgabhāṣya on I.1, Sthiramati’s Madhyāntavibhāgaṭīkā on I.1, the Śatasāhasrikāpañcaviṃśatisāhasrikāṣṭādaśasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitābṛhaṭṭīkā (D3808, fol. 63a.2–3), Jagaddalanivāsin’s Bhagavatyāmnāyānusāriṇīnāmavyākhyā (D3811, fol. 293a.5), and the Bodhisattvabhūmi (Dutt ed., 32.12–13; D4037, fol. 26b.5–6). The larger context in which this passage appears in the Bodhisattvabhūmi (Dutt ed., 32.6–23; D4037, fols. 26b.4–27a.3) is the justification of the correct understanding of emptiness: "Some sṛamaṇas or Brahmans neither assert that of which something is empty nor do they assert what is empty of what. Such is called ‘a bad grasp of emptiness.’ For what reason? Emptiness is reasonable by virtue of that which is empty’s being really existent and by virtue of that of which it is empty not being really existent. By virtue of everything’s being non- existent, where would what be empty of what? Therefore, the emptiness [in the sense] of such [nonexistence] is not reasonable [though the Tibetan supports this reading, the sentence could also be understood as ‘the emptiness of something’s being empty of something is not reasonable’]. Hence, such represents a bad grasp of emptiness. So how is emptiness grasped well? Since one sees that something’s not existing somewhere [means that] the latter is empty of the former, one understands, in accordance with true reality, that what remains there really exists there. This is called ‘engaging emptiness unmistakenly as it accords with true reality.’ . . . Therefore, the entities about which one has notions such as form are empty of the character of the designational terms ‘form’ and so on. What is the remainder here in these entities about which one has notions such as form? It is said to be the bases of the designational terms ‘form’ and so on. As for these two, it is said that one understands, in accordance with true reality, the existence of mere entities and the mere designations as mere entities. One does not superimpose what is not truly real, nor does one deny what is truly real. One does not create any redundancy, nor does one create any deficiency. One does not set up [anything], nor does one reject [anything]. One realizes, in accordance with true reality, what is in accordance with true reality—suchness, whose nature is inexpressible. This is said to be a good grasp of emptiness— its being well realized through perfect prajñā. This [description] is the one that accords with reasoning that establishes tenability and the one through which the inexpressible nature of all phenomena is to be known in an exact manner." The Bodhisattvabhūmi (Dutt ed., 30.27–31.4; D4037, fol. 25b.3–5) also says that those who cling through superimposing existence onto what is not truly real (the specific characteristics of the designations for entities such as forms) and those who absolutely deny the true reality of what is ultimately truly real as having an inexpressible nature (the mere entities that are the bases of designations) have fallen away from the dharma. In addition (Dutt ed., 31.17–19; D4037, fol. 26a.5–6), those who deny both designations and true reality are the chief nihilists, with whom those with pure conduct should not associate and who bring only misery upon themselves and others. The text (Dutt ed., 146.9–14; D4037, fol. 113b.2–4) also lists the distinctive features of the prajñā of bodhisattvas with regard to truly realizing phenomenal identitylessness, which include being utterly peaceful, nonconceptual, free from reference points, and without the two extremes of superimposition and denial (as indicated above). Due to these features, this prajñā should be understood as the one that follows the middle path and realizes true reality. For the original context and the vast range of interpretations of the quote from the Cūlasuññatasutta in the above and other texts, see Dargyay 1990 and Nagao 1991, 51–60. The Eighth Karmapa’s commentary on the Abhisamayālaṃkāra (Brunnhölzl 2010, 510) explains it as follows: "With nondual wisdom (ultimate reality) not existing during any phase of nondual consciousness (seeming reality), one sees or realizes clearly or in a supreme way (that is, in the manner of according with the actual way of being through the prajñā of identitylessness that is a natural outflow of the dharmadhātu) that this wisdom is empty of nondual consciousness (seeming reality). In this nondual wisdom, there always exists the remainder that remains primordially and is primordially empty of the adventitious stains of nondual consciousness—the nondual wisdom that is not enshrouded in these adventitious stains."
- I follow MA/MB viparītaṃ and DP phyin ci ma log pa against J aparyantaṃ.
- As the citation of the passage from the Culasūññatasutta in Sthiramati’s Madhyāntavibhāgaṭīkā shows, what is said here is reminiscent of the explanation in Madhyāntavibhāga I.1 about duality’s not existing in false imagination, while emptiness exists in false imagination. Also, Madhyāntavibhāga I.13 declares the two defining characteristics of emptiness as the nonbeing (or nonexistence) of duality and the being (or existence) of said nonbeing (or nonexistence). That is, emptiness is neither existent as duality nor is it nonexistent altogether because it exists as the very being of the lack of duality. The same meaning is found in I.20 saying that the nonexistence of persons and phenomena is emptiness, while the real existence of the nonexistence of persons and phenomena in it is another emptiness. The Bhāṣya on this comments that emptiness is defined as twofold in this way as the emptiness of what does not exist (persons and phenomena) and the emptiness that is the nature of what does not exist in order to avoid the two extremes of wrongly superimposing actually nonexistent persons and phenomena and wrongly denying the existence of the emptiness of these persons and phenomena. Note that this represents the typical Yogācāra approach to the middle way of avoiding extremes that usually hinges primarily on avoiding the two extremes of wrongly superimposing what does not exist and denying what actually does exist. By contrast, the Madhyamaka approach to the middle way beyond extremes aims at avoiding any notions of existence or nonexistence altogether.
- This is the only instance in RGVV of the compound śūnyatāvikṣiptacitta’s being unraveled as śūnyatārthanayād bahiś cittaṃ vikṣipyate.
- D45.48, fol. 272a.5–6.
- DP "dharmakāya."
- I follow MA/MB lokottaradharmakāya° (confirmed by DP ’jig rten las ’das pa’i chos kyi sku ni) against J lokottaradharma°.
- I follow MA/MB śūnyatāvikṣiptacittānām (confirmed by DP stong pa nyid las sems rnam par g.yengs pa rnams kyi) against J śūnyatāvikṣiptānām.
- I follow MA tadviśuddhiguṇa° and DP de rnam par dag pa’i yon tan against MB and J viśuddhiguṇa°.
- This passage follows the passage already mentioned from the Śrīmālādevīsūtra (D45.48, fol. 275a.2–3) that says that the tathāgata heart is the heart of the dharmadhātu, the heart of the dharmakāya, the heart of the supramundane dharmas, and the heart of the naturally pure dharmas.
- For further comments on Uttaratantra I.154 and the almost identical Abhisamayālaṃkāra V.21 in various Indian and Tibetan texts, see appendices 2 and 3.
- I follow MA/MB bālajanam against J bālapṛthagjanam and DP byi pa so so’i skye bo.
- Schmithausen parallels "here and there" (tatra tatra) with "in each sentient being" (sattve sattve) in the last line. Thus, one would have to translate "Having said that, [in sentient beings] here and there, . . ." However, the more likely meaning is "here and there in the mahāyāna sūtras,"which is confirmed by VT (fol. 14r1) that glosses "here and there" as "in the sūtras." This also corresponds to C’s rendering sūtra [koṭi] ṣu ("sūtra"in transcription!) instead of bhūtakoṭiṣu in I.158b.
- With Takasaki, the Sanskrit of this line could also be read as "everything is to be understood as being empty in all respects,"but I read it following DP shes bya thams cad rnam kun stong pa zhes.
- I follow Schmithausen in taking bhūtakoṭiṣu to mean "in myriads of beings" (though bhūta for "sentient beings" is not so common in mahāyāna texts) rather than DP’s rendering yang dag mtha’ ni, which ignores the plural and locative ending of the Sanskrit (thus reading "the true end is devoid of conditioned phenomena in all aspects"). Interestingly, the translations by Takasaki, de Jong, and Ui (as referenced in de Jong 1968, 48) all agree with DP’s reading of bhūtakoṭi in the singular. Since I.158 is an explanation of I.156ab, with "void" corresponding to "empty," "conditioned phenomena"to "all (knowable objects)," and "in all aspects"to "in every respect," bhūtakoṭiṣu most likely corresponds to "here and there." However, this is where the problem lies, since Schmithausen takes "here and there"to be related to "in each sentient being"in I.156d. Though not impossible, this is not only somewhat strange in this context but, more importantly, contradicted by VT’s above gloss and virtually all Tibetan commentaries, which take "here and there"to mean "in the (prajñāpāramitā) sūtras." If one still accepts that bhūtakoṭiṣu takes up "here and there" (which is likely, given the other correspondences between I.156ab and I.158), C’s rendering "in [myriads of] sūtras" (sūtra [koṭi] ṣu, with "sūtra"in transcription!) instead of bhūtakoṭiṣu seems to make much more sense. Also, if bhūtakoṭiṣu referred back to "in each sentient being,"it would pick up a phrase in I.156d, whereas all other correspondences with I.158 are only to I.156ab. Thus, I would prefer to read I.158ab as "It has been stated in myriads of sūtras that conditioned phenomena are void in all aspects." However, since the Sanskrit and DP as well as all Tibetan commentaries agree on bhūta°, while C is the only exception, I reluctantly follow the former in reading bhūta°.
- Skt. tantre punar ihottare. As mentioned before, this phrase uses the title of the present text (Uttaratantra) in the sense of the teachings on buddha nature being the latest and also highest teachings of the Buddha. VT (fol. 14r1–2) glosses this phrase as "latest text" or "latest section" (uttaragrantha).
- VT (fol. 14r2) glosses "what is unreal" (abhūtaṃ) as "all flaws" and "what is real" (bhūtaṃ) as "all qualities."
- With Schmithausen, I follow MA taddoṣanairātmyaśuddhiprakṛtayo against J and VT (fol. 14r2) taddoṣanairātmyaṃ śuddhiprakṛtayo.
- MB and DP omit "chapter" (paricchedaḥ), but J has inserted it, which is in accordance with all the corresponding sentences at the end of the remaining chapters containing this word too.
- D45.48, fol. 271a.4–5.
- J omits laukikaṃ, but it is present in MB and D.
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation of buddhabhūmiṣv avasthitiḥ to buddhabhūmivyavasthitiḥ (confirmed by DP sangs rgyas sa ni rnam par gnas).
- VT (fol. 14r3) relates "two"to "relinquishment,"referring to the characteristic of the elimination of afflictive and cognitive obscurations.
- I follow MA/MB tasmin against J tasmān.
- I follow MA/MB rajomalādibhyaḥ against J rajojalādibhyaḥ.
- I follow Schmithausen in reading MA as phullapadmadrumāḍhyaḥ (which also makes better sense) against J phullapadmakramāḍhyaḥ (MB very unclear) and DP rim rgyas padmas khebs pa.
- VT (fol. 14r3) glosses "this very" as "the mind free from duality" and "liberation" as "free from afflictions."
- DP mistakenly snang ldan (corresponding to bhātiyuktaṃ instead of bhāti muktaṃ), which is moreover immediately preceded by ’od zer (raśmi), thus reading "just as the sun’s having been liberated from the defilements of clouds and so on, this [buddhahood] possesses radiant light rays . . ."
- Skt. buddhabhāvanidarśanam, DP "The definite attainment of the buddhakāya" (sangs rgyas sku ni nges thob pa).
- VT (fol. 14r3) glosses "what is useless" (phalgu) as "husks" (tvak), which corresponds to DP shun pa.
- VT (fol. 14r4) says that "the very qualities are the substance [of buddhahood]."
- DP gnas yongs su gyur pa ’jig rten las ’das pa rnam par mi rtog pa dang / de’i rjes la thob pa ye shes kyi rgyu can bral ba’i ’bras bu’i ming can gnas yongs su gyur ba’i rgyu yin. The general Buddhist abhidharma lists five types of results: (1) matured results, (2) dominated results, (3) results that accord with their cause, (4) results caused by persons, and (5) results of freedom (or separation). The latter is defined as "the exhaustion or relinquishment of the specific factors to be relinquished through the force of the remedy that is prajñā." Thus, in the general abhidharma, a result of freedom is defined as an absence of factors to be relinquished and thus is an unconditioned nonentity (while the other four results are conditioned entities). A nonentity is defined as "what is not able to perform a function,"but here as well as elsewhere in the Uttaratantra and RGVV, it is made clear many times that buddhahood, despite being unconditioned and a result of freedom, is able to perform the functions of accomplishing the welfare of all sentient beings and so on. The entire fourth chapter is ample testimony to that, representing the detailed answer to the question in RGVV’s introduction to IV.13ff (J99), "It has been declared that buddhahood is characterized by being without arising and without ceasing. How is it then that from this unconditioned buddhahood, which has the characteristic of lacking functionality, effortless, uninterrupted, and nonconceptual buddha activity manifests functionality for as long as the world lasts?"In addition, Uttaratantra II.18– 20 describes enlightened activity in terms of eternal space-like buddhahood’s being the cause for others experiencing pure objects of their six sense faculties. II.38–41 on the topic "manifestation"speaks about the undifferentiable space-like dharmadhātu’s making efforts in accomplishing the liberation of beings through all kinds of appearances, thus being the cause for introducing beings to the path and maturing them. When introducing this topic, RGVV (J85) says, "Now, this tathāgatahood manifests as being inseparable from its unconditioned qualities, just like space. Nevertheless, since it is endowed with unique attributes, one should see that it, through its particular applications of inconceivable great means, compassion, and prajñā and by way of the three stainless kāyas (svābhāvika[kāya], sāmbhogika[kāya], and nairmāṇika[kāya]), manifests as the cause that brings about the benefit and happiness of beings in an uninterrupted, endless, and effortless manner for as long as [saṃsāric] existence lasts."RGVV on I.7 (J8) explicitly affirms that unconditioned buddhahood entails enlightened activity: "Even though it is unconditioned and has the characteristic of being inactive, from tathāgatahood all activities of the perfect Buddha unfold without effort in an unimpeded and uninterrupted manner until the end of saṃsāra." In this regard, it is noteworthy that the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra repeatedly emphasizes that the full revelation or manifestation of the tathāgata heart as buddhahood automatically entails the performance of buddha activity as its main characteristic, thus "describing a tathāgata primarily in terms of dynamic activity" (Zimmermann 2002, 65). Furthermore, SM 8c says that "suchness operates in accordance (anuvṛtti) with the welfare [of beings]."Yamabe (1997, n. 32) also refers to "the Hsien-yang sheng-chiao lun (Taishō 31, 581c5–8), which states that all the actions of the buddhas arise on the basis of the *asaṃskṛta-dharmakāya."
- VT (fol. 14r4) glosses "just as space" as representing the function of one’s own welfare and the remainder of lines II.18cd as representing the function of the welfare of others, with "the wise"being bodhisattvas on the ten bhūmis and wise persons (satpuruṣa).
- VT (fol. 14r4–5) glosses "powerful form" (vibhūtirūpaṃ) as "the excellence or accomplishment of his own form" (svarūpasaṃpatti) and "objects" (artha) as "buddha realms and so on."DP dbang ’byor gzugs don corresponds to the Sanskrit vibhūtirūpārtha but Ut (D) has ’byung med gzugs don ("nonelemental forms and objects"), which is also found in the versions in most Tibetan commentaries (such as GC, HLS, and JKC) and commented on accordingly. Rongtön’s commentary (Rong ston shes bya kun gzigs 1997, 160) says that vibhūti can mean either "powerful" or "nonelemental,"but that it here means the former.
- VT (fol. 14r5) glosses this as "the stainless speech of the victor."
- According to VT (fol. 14r5), discipline is described as fragrance because it is the cause of a buddha’s fragrance.
- Skt. naya, DP tshul, C dharma.
- Skt. susukṣmacintāparamārthagahvaraṃ, DP "who, when one reflects [about this] in a subtle manner, is the one who brings ultimate happiness" (zhib mor bsams pa na don dam bde mdzad).
- I follow dvidhaikedhā in MA/MB and VT (fol. 14r6) as well as DP rnam gnyis rnam gcig against J dvir ekadhā.
- With Schmithausen, I take the three ablatives in II.22.cd as predicative ablatives.
- For the last two lines, C has "It is the matrix because it has the nature of stainless wisdom and pure attributes" (corresponding to amalajñānaśukla°), which is the preferred reading of Schmithausen. However, my translation follows MB padaṃ tad amalajñānam (MA amalaṃ jñānam) śukla°, which is confirmed by DP dri med shes de dkar po yi / chos kyi rten yin phyir na gnas /. In the Yogācāra system in general, as exemplified by Mahāyānasaṃgraha I.48, the usual distinction between the vimuktikāya and the dharmakāya is that the former designates the removal of only the afflictive obscurations as attained by śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha arhats, while the latter represents the removal of both afflictive and cognitive obscurations as well as the possession of all buddha qualities. Thus, when speaking about the dharmakāya as the actual state of buddhahood in a general sense, it is understood that both types of obscurations have been relinquished in it, and it is in this sense that it can be said that the dharmakāya includes the vimuktikāya. Here, the Uttaratantra describes these two kāyas as the two aspects of relinquishment (purity) and realization (wisdom), respectively, of unconditioned perfect buddhahood, without relating them to any distinction between buddhas and arhats (more commonly, it is the svābhāvikakāya that is said to represent the aspect of the purity or the relinquishment of all obscurations). Note, however, that VT (fol. 14r5–6) glosses the vimuktikāya as "the sambhogakāya and the nirmāṇakāya free from the latent tendencies of the afflictions and so on" and its "perfection" (II.21c) as "the production of the accumulation of generosity and so on."Likewise, the vimuktikāya’s being "understood in two ways" (II.22b) is glossed as "as the difference between sambhogakāya and nirmāṇakāya." As for II.21–26, most Tibetan commentaries agree that the nonconceptual wisdom of meditative equipoise (familiarizing with the wisdom of knowing suchness) perfects the vimuktikāya (the ultimate relinquishment), while the wisdom of subsequent attainment (training in the wisdom of knowing variety) purifies the stains of the dharmakāya (the ultimate realization). As for "the vimuktikāya and the dharmakāya being understood in two ways and in one way,"RYC (148–49) relates the two ways to the vimuktikāya (its being liberated from both afflictive and cognitive obscurations), while the one way pertains to the dharmakāya and consists of consummate wisdom. GC (479–80) agrees with describing the vimuktikāya in two ways and the dharmakāya in one way, saying that the former is uncontaminated (because of being free from the afflictive obscurations and their latent tendencies) and all-pervasive (because of lacking the obscurations of attachment and obstruction with regard to all knowable objects). The dharmakāya is unconditioned because it has the nature of being absolutely indestructible. YDC (344–45) explains that the vimuktikāya refers to buddhahood in terms of its aspect of relinquishment, while the dharmakāya refers to it in terms of the aspect of its qualities. Therefore, though śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas make efforts in familiarizing with the lack of a self, they do not train in the entire variety of knowable objects and therefore only attain the vimuktikāya but not the dharmakāya. As for "being understood in two ways,"the vimuktikāya is to be understood in one of these two ways—being uncontaminated because afflictive and cognitive obscurations including their latent tendencies have ceased. The dharmakāya is to be understood in the other one of these two ways—being the wisdom that pervades all knowable objects because it engages them through lacking the obscurations of attachment that obscure suchness and the obscurations of obstruction that obscure variety. Both the vimuktikāya and the dharmakāya are to be understood furthermore in the one way that is common to them both—being unconditioned because they have the nature of being absolutely indestructible. Therefore, YDC says, through the Uttaratantra ’s verses on the nature and the function of awakening, it is clearly taught that buddhas have the wisdom of self-appearance and that this existent wisdom is unconditioned, which is to be understood well by the intelligent. JKC (137–40) agrees with YDC on the vi-muktikāya’s being uncontaminated because it is endowed with the relinquishment of lacking any contaminations. The dharmakāya is all-pervasive because it is endowed with the realization of pervading all knowable objects (Rong ston shes bya kun gzigs 1997, 161 and ’Ju mi pham rgya mtsho 1984b, 448.4 also show the same pattern). Both kāyas are unconditioned because they have the nature of not being produced by causes and conditions. Rongtön, GC, YDC, and JKC agree that these three characteristics of the vimuktikāya and the dharmakāya represent one’s own welfare, while both kāyas are also the foundation of all pure attributes, which represents the welfare of others (RYC speaks only of the dharmakāya as being that foundation). Still, lines II.30ab "one’s own welfare and that of others is taught through the vimuktikāya and the dharmakāya"are taken by all commentaries to mean that the vimuktikāya represents one’s own welfare and the dharmakāya the welfare of others (which is basically just another way of looking at this). For the meanings of "everlasting," "putridity," and so on, in II.24cd–26ab, see CMW.
- I follow DP zhi ba (Skt. śivam, meaning "welfare," "prosperity," "bliss," "auspiciousness," "fortune," or "final liberation").
- VT (fol. 14r6) glosses "the three wisdoms" as "those of study, reflection, and meditation" and "people with wisdom" as "śrāvakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas."
- VT (fol. 14r7) glosses °madhya° as °sthāna°, while Takasaki suggests the reading °sudma° instead of °madhya° (DP khyim).
- Skt. mṛdukarmaṇyabhāvāt. DP read "since it is nondual and workable" (gnyis med las su rung ba’i phyir).
- I follow MA °vṛtty api against J °vṛttyāpi.
- I follow MB tatreme (confirmed by DP tshigs su bcad pa ’di bzhi) against J tatra.
- VT (fol. 14r7) glosses this as "free from the two extremes."
- I follow MB °viyuktaṃ (confirmed by DP bral) against J vimuktaṃ.
- VT (fol. 14r7) glosses "in three ways" as "afflictive obscurations, cognitive obscurations, and obscurations of meditative equipoise."
- DP de rtogs pa.
- I follow J amalaḥ sa dhātuḥ, based on DP dri med dbyings de. MB amalo ’sau (which is unmetrical) should, according to VT (fol. 14r7), read amalaś cāsau āśraya. VT glosses this as "the stainless basis that is the dharmakāya" (amalāśrayo dharmakāyaḥ).
- VT (fol. 14v1) glosses "in the form of various light rays of the genuine dharma" as "the spoken teachings" (deśanoktā).
- Skt. jagadvimokṣārthasamāhṛtodyamaḥ (confirmed by DP ’gro ba’i rnam grol don grub la brtson pa). C has here "it accomplishes the liberation of beings without ever resting,"which seems to correspond to "by way of the welfare of sentient beings being uninterrupted" and "uninterrupted activity"in the commentarial verses II.49d and II.51ab below. Therefore, Schmithausen suggests *jagadvimokṣārtha-sadā-(a)ratodyamaḥ or *°ārtham anāratodyamaḥ for II.40b.
- Against MB and DP, Schmithausen gives preference to C and suggests vicitrabhāso for vicitrabhāvo because II.51c has atatsvabhāvākhyāne. However, bhāva can also mean "appearance" and the contrast bhāva/niḥsvabhāva is rather common in mahāyāna texts.
- VT (fol. 14v1) says that II.40 describes the sambhogakāya and II.41 the nirmāṇakāya.
- VT (fol. 14v1) glosses nirvṛtiḥ/nirvāṇa (lit. "extinction") as "the extinction of the afflictive and cognitive obscurations."
- I follow MB paramācintyaprāptiḥ pratyātmam arhatām (confirmed by VT, fol. 14v1–2) against J paramācintyaprāptiḥ pratyātmaveditā (DP mchog tu mya ngan ’das bsam med / dgra bcom so so’i bdag gyur pa /). Schmithausen’s suggested reading paramācintyā prāptiḥ (or praptā) due to DP’s connecting acintya with nirvṛtiḥ not only contradicts both MB and VT but it is also inconclusive as far as DP goes. For it is not definite that "inconceivable"in DP has to go with "nirvāṇa,"which is clearly shown by JKC and GC taking "inconceivable" as a characteristic of its own (as does C). VT relates both "highest" and "inconceivable"to attainment, speaking of "the arhats’ attainment of the highest inconceivable dharma,"which is then glossed as "buddhahood."
- Schmithausen suggests dharmadhātusvabhāvataḥ instead of MB dharmadhātoḥ svabhāvataḥ. DP "it is luminous because it is pure by virtue of having the nature of the dharmadhātu" (chos dbyings ngo bo nyid kyis / dag pa’i phyir ni ’od gsal ba /). Verses II.45–46 comment on II.38 and II.44ac, so the five characteristics of the svābhāvikakāya are its being (1) unconditioned, (2) undifferentiable from its qualities, (3) free from the two extremes, (4) liberated from the three obscurations, and (5) pure and luminous. Verses II.47–48 explain the five qualities of the svābhāvikakāya, verses II.49–51 the five characteristics of the sambhogakāya, and verses II.52–59 the features of the nirmāṇakāya.
- VT (fol. 14v2–3) divides the compound vicitradharmasaṃbhogarūpadharmāvabhasataḥ into vicitrasaṃbhogadharmāvabhasaḥ (glossing it as "teaching the dharma") and rūpadharmāvabhasaḥ (glossing it as "the display of form"). However, DP read rang bzhin for °rūpa°, and the Tibetan commentaries usually take this compound to mean "By way of enjoying all kinds of dharma and by way of appearing through its natural attributes."Both interpretations come down to the same meaning, referring to the first two characteristics of the sambhogakāya—dharma instructions and the display of a sambhogakāya form with its major and minor marks (as briefly repeated in II.51a). The remaining three characteristics of the sambhogakāya are listed in II.49cd–50c, and all five are briefly repeated in II.51.
- VT (fol. 14v3) glosses "not having their nature" (atatsvabhāva°) as "the dharmadhātu’s lack of nature" (dharmadhātvasvabhāvatā).
- With DP ma g.yos par, aviralaṃ is to be read as avicalan.
- Schmithausen suggests śilpasthānātikauśalam for śilpasthānāni kauśalam.
- DP ngar ’dzin ("ego-clinging"), which is an obvious misreading of sngar ’dzin since arhats of course lack ego-clinging.
- Ut (D) phun tshogs DP sna tshogs ("various").
- Skt. sārtha can also mean " (travel) company" (see Takasaki) or "assembly," but DP don mthun pa confirms the more likely meaning here.
- VT (fol. 14v3–4) glosses "for them" (eṣu) as "for sentient beings."
- As mentioned before, the first six topics that explain the fourth and the fifth vajra points have the same names (nature, cause, fruition, function, endowment, and manifestation). In terms of their contents, the fourth vajra point refers to the tathāgata heart with stains (the cause) and the fifth one to the very same tathāgata heart without stains (the fruition). Therefore, the six topics in each of these two vajra points are naturally related in terms of cause and fruition or in terms of what buddha nature is like while it is still obscured by adventitious stains versus what it is like when it is completely unobscured. For a detailed comparison of the contents of the first six topics of the fourth and fifth vajra points, see appendix 7.
- As will be seen in the text below, in verses II.63–68, two lines each correspond to the ten reasons in II.62 for buddhahood’s being permanent, with "protector of the world"in II.62d (VT fol. 14v6: lokanāthatvāt) being considered the tenth reason.
- I follow MB °pādapraṇetuś ca against J pādaprakāśāc ca.
- The phrase in "[ ]" is found in C.
- I follow VT (fol. 14v6) °śaraṇādyutpattitaḥ against MB and J °śaraṇābhyupapattitaḥ (confirmed by DP skyabs la sogs pa ’thad phyir ro). VT furthermore glosses "refuge" as "dharmakāya, sambhogakāya, nirmāṇakāya."
- . I follow MB nityatāśaraṇānāṃ (confirmed by VT, fol. 14v6) against J nityam aśaraṇānāṃ.
- With de Jong and following DP dpe las ’das pa’i phyir, upamātivṛttitaḥ seems preferable to upamānivṛttitaḥ.
- Takasaki remarks that vyanumeya (DP dpag bya min) here and in the next line should read vyupameya since the latter fits better with its referent upamanivṛttitaḥ in II.69. VT (fol. 14v7) confirms the reading (vi)anumeya while glossing it as (vy)upamā.
- This refers to bodhisattvas on the tenth bhūmi who receive an empowerment through light rays from all buddhas.
- As also explicitly stated in RGVV in its introductory remarks on II.18ff, usually, the ultimate kāya and the fulfillment of one’s own welfare are equated with the dharmakāya, while the welfare of others and the conventional kāyas of seeming reality are equated with the two rūpakāyas. However, VT (fol. 15r1) glosses "one’s own welfare" as "the sambhogakāya, which is the ultimate kāya." "The welfare of others" is "the nirmāṇakāya, which is the seeming kāya based on the sambhoga[kāya]."VT further comments: "The fruition that is the freedom from the afflictions consists of the powers and so on. The maturational fruition consists of the [thirty-two] marks of a great being, which is the fruition that is in common [with others, such as cakravartins]."
- VT (fol. 15v1–2) again glosses "the first body" as the sambhogakāya and "the second one" as the nirmāṇakāya.
- I follow MB tathā tān adhikṛtya against J tathatām adhikṛtya. After this sentence, DP and C add "[First, there is] a synopsis" (uddānam).
- According to VT (fol. 15r7), "the two kinds of display"refers to the Buddha’s appearance through his unique or uncommon qualities and through his common qualities (the thirty-two marks of a great being), which are explained in detail in verses III.11–26 (see in particular III.15 and III.26).
- VT (fol. 15v2–3) glosses "what is the case" as "[karmic] causes"; "maturation of karmas," as "the maturation of these karmic [causes]"; "faculties," as the five mental faculties "such as confidence"; "constitutions," as "having the nature of desire and so on"; "inclinations," as "the inclinations of those who have such natures"; "the path that leads everywhere," as "going to hell due to hateful behavior and to heaven, due to virtuous behavior"; "[afflicted] dhyānas," as "obscurations of dhyāna"; and "peace," as "the termination of contamination." For the individual causes of the ten powers according to the Ratnadārikāsūtra, see the note on III.5–6 in CMW.
- VT (fol. 15v3) glosses "the collection of faculties" as "[the above faculties] being pure and so on, through which the obscurations of dhyāna are relinquished."
- VT (fol. 15v3–4) comments that line III.8b means to realize the reality of suffering, while line III.8c represents the reality of the origin of suffering, with "obstacles"referring to desire and so on.
- MB is rather illegible here, and Schmithausen suggests that, parallel to prāpteḥ paraprāpanād in III.9c, J jñānāt svayaṃjñāpanād (svayam has no correspondence in DP) could well be jñānāt parajñāpanād (there is no correspondence for para° in DP in either line), which is doubtlessly what is meant here.
- Given the parallels in the first and third lines, I follow Schmithausen’s emendation hānihāpanakṛteḥ of J hānihāraṇakṛteḥ (MA/MB hānikaraṇakṛteḥ, which is metrically impossible). This is also supported by DP spangs dang spong mdzad (spong mdzad corresponding to hāpana°, while the metric filler °kṛti is omitted).
- DP "seer" (drang srong).
- In Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, astambhin means "not paralyzed with fear" or "not frightened." In classical Sanskrit, it can mean "to paralyze," "to stop," and "to restrain." DP has "unobstructed" (thogs pa med).
- DP legs gnas (corresponding to susthita).
- DP "firm power" (brtan pa’i rtsal), but according to III.34, "firm" and "powerful"are two separate qualities. For the individual causes of the four fearlessnesses according to the Ratnadārikāsūtra, see the note on III.8–10 in CMW.
- VT (fol. 15v5) glosses "without examination" as "ignorance" and "liberation" as "liberation from the afflictions."
- VT (fol. 15v5–6) glosses "actions" as those of body, speech, and mind.
- VT (fol. 15v6) glosses "others" as love and so on."
- Against J citte na saṃbhedataḥ, I follow VT (fol. 15v6) citteṅkhanaṃ bhedataḥ (corresponding to DP thugs g.yo tha dad), which is glossed as "unsteadiness of mind, meaning the mind that is not in meditative equipoise." Schmithausen suggests cittehitaṃ bhedataḥ [MB °taṃ is clear, while the preceding akṣara is illegible], which is similar in meaning.
- DP omit "vision" (°nidarśanāc) and say "the wisdom of liberation that sees all objects to be known" (shes bya’i don kun gzigs pa’i grol ba’i ye shes).
- DP gang gi/gis (yasya/yena) instead of artheṣu.
- For the individual causes of the eighteen unique qualities according to the Ratnadārikāsūtra, see the note on III.11–15 in CMW.
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation cāṇv api of J cāśv api.
- Given that III.36 is the commentarial verse on III.16cd, I follow VT (fol. 15v5–6) saying that earth, water, fire, and wind in III.36c exemplify the common qualities of worldly people, śrāvakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas, respectively, which are to be enjoyed by all. On the other hand, the unique buddha qualities are completely beyond even the supramundane qualities of śrāvakas and so on and therefore resemble space. However, Schmithausen understands III.16cd as referring to just the unique buddha qualities being on the one hand common to the world (similar to earth, water, fire, and wind) and on the other hand uncommon to the world (similar to space). Though Schmithausen supports his reading by referring to the commentarial verse III.36, VT’s explanation contradicts Schmithausen’s reading of both III.16cd and III.36. Also, the Tibetan commentaries usually explain III.16cd to mean that all five elements including space are common to the world, whereas the unique buddha qualities are not. Thus, ultimately, these qualities cannot even be illustrated by the example of space. In fact, as III.36cd explicitly states, they are even beyond what is supramundane (the qualities of śrāvakas and so on). Besides being listed in the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra (D147, fols. 175b.1–185a.6), as indicated below by Uttaratantra III.27, the ten powers, four fearlessnesses, and eighteen unique qualities are also found in the Ratnadārikāsūtra. This sūtra is available only in two Chinese translations—as chapter 3 of the Mahāsaṃnipātasūtra (Taishō 397) and on its own as Taishō 399 (vol. XIII, 452–72). In Taishō 397, the ten powers and so on are found on pp. 34a ff. They are also contained in the Anuttarāśrayasūtra (Taishō 669, 475b) and other sūtras.
- VT (fol. 15v1) adds that the hands are likewise marked with wheels.
- Skt. aṅguli means both fingers and toes, and the following phrase "hands and feet" indicates both.
- According to VT (fol. 15v1), "shoulders"refers to both arms and legs, thus obviously to shoulders and hips.
- Skt. anunnāma, DP mtho dman med pa.
- According to VT (fol. 15v2), the throat has lines like a conch.
- According to VT (fol. 15v2), there are twenty teeth each in the upper and lower jaws.
- According to VT (fol. 15v2), none are longer or shorter (lit. "high and low").
- Ordinarily, kalaviṅka is a name of the red-green Indian sparrow and the Indian cuckoo alike. In Buddhist texts, however, it is usually considered as a mythical bird with the head of a human (a bodhisattva) and the body of a bird, which already sings marvelously before it breaks its shell. It is often said to live in Amitabha’s pure land Sukhāvatī.
- In Hindu cosmology, this is the son of Mahāpuruṣa, the latter being the primeval man as the soul and original source of the universe. Also, Nārāyaṇa is variously identified as Brahmā, Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa.
- Obviously, the numerical breakdown of the marks into thirty-two in these verses is far from being clear, so different commentaries give different numberings and combine certain features into one (for the list of thirty-two and their causes in GC and RYC, which is based on the Ratnadārikāsūtra, see the note on III.17–25 in CMW). Note also that this list here is just one from among a considerable number of more or less differing lists of the thirty-two marks that are found in various sūtras and treatises (for comprehensive lists, see Xing 2002, 27 and Tan 2011, 146–62). Also, the comments on them and their causes vary in different texts. Despite claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that the major marks (or the minor marks) are of Brahmanic origin or even of early Buddhist origin (all Buddhist sources are quite late; see Tan 2011). As indicated below in the Uttaratantra, its list of the thirty-two major marks (which includes some marks that the Abhisamayālaṃkāra presents as minor marks) is based on the Ratnadārikāparipṛcchāsūtra (Taishō 397, 37b–c) and is also contained in the Anuttarāśrayasūtra (Taishō 669, 474a–b). Except for minor differences in counting, this list is also found in TOK (see Brunnhölzl 2011b, 457–58). For the different list of these marks and their causes in Abhisamayālaṃkāra VIII.13–17, which is based on the prajñāpāramitā sūtras, see Brunnhölzl 2011b, 117–21 (for the eighty minor marks, see 121–25) and Brunnhölzl 2012a, 378–84 and 531–33 (for the minor marks, see 384–88 and 533–37). Except for a few minor changes in the order and some additional features, the Abhisamayālaṃkāra ’s list is basically repeated in Nāgārjuna’s Ratnāvalī II.77–96, and II.98 adds that cakravartins also possess these marks but that their purity, beauty, and clarity matches not even a fraction of those of buddhas. Except for differences in the numbering, chapter 8 of the *Prajñāpāramitāśāstra (Taishō 1509, 90a–91a) ascribed to Nāgārjuna also follows the list in the Abhisamayālaṃkāra¨. For a comparison of the list in the Uttaratantra with the lists in Haribhadra’s Abhisamayālaṃkārālokā and the Mahāvyutpatti, see the notes in Takasaki 1966a on the translation of Uttaratantra III.17–25. For the most detailed presentations of the major marks apart from the prajñāpāramitā sūtras, see the Lakkhaṇasutta (Dīgha Nikāya III.142–79; translated in Walshe 1995, 441–60 and Tan 2011, 180–213; the latter also provides an overview of mainly Pāli sources of both the major and minor marks and discusses the potential Babylonian origin of the former) and the Arthaviniścayasūtra (Samtani 2002, 205–16), which however lists thirty-three marks. See also the Lalitavistarasūtra ([Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1983], 1:155–56), the Mahāvyutpatti (section 17, nos. 236–67; translated in Thurman 1976, 156), and Pawo Tsugla Trengwa’s commentary on the Bodhicaryāvatāra (Dpa’ bo gtsug lag phreng ba n.d., 720–23).
- In III.26b, MB reads "ponds"in plural (hradeṣu ca; though ca is hypermetrical), which corresponds to "surfaces" (taleṣu) in III.26d (MB is illegible here, but VT confirms °tala). DP have no plural for "pond,"nor any equivalents of "great" and said ca. For "splendor" (vibhūta, which can also mean "power," "glory," "abundance," and "greatness"), DP have "form" (gzugs). "Circles" (maṇḍala) is here to be understood as the retinues of the Buddha, which is confirmed by VT’s (fol. 15v3) gloss of sambuddhamaṇḍalatala as "the nature of the retinue of the perfect Buddha" (saṃbuddhaparṣatsvarūpaṃ).
- Schmithausen emends MA/MB ekadhyabhisaṃkṣipya to ekadhyam abhisaṃkṣipya (J ekenābhisaṃkṣipya).
- I follow MB vistaravibhāganirdeśo against J vistaravibhāge nirdeśo and also Schmithausen’s emendation of J °guṇānām api yathānupūrvyā to °guṇānām anayaivānupūrvyā (as supported by DP go rim ’di nyid kris).
- For RYC’s quotes from the Ratnadārikāsūtra that list the individual causes of these sixty-four qualities, see the notes on the corresponding verses in CMW.
- I follow Schmithausen’s suggestion of linking balādiṣu at the beginning of III.29 with III.28.
- Skt. nirvedhikatva. Though DP mistakenly has "impenetrable" (mi phyed pa), as confirmed by VT (fol. 15v3) nairvedhikatvena and C, the point here is that a vajra penetrates other materials, not that it is itself impenetrable.
- Since this verse obviously refers back to and comments on III.16ab, with Schmithausen, I follow C pañcadhātu versus J pañcadhā tu. Thus, the qualities of worldly people, śrāvakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas ("the intelligent") are compared with earth, water, fire, and wind, respectively, while the buddhas ("the self-arisen") with their unique qualities are like space.
- As mentioned above, III.36 is the commentarial verse on III.16cd. VT (fol. 15v5– 6) explains here that earth, water, fire, and wind in III.36c exemplify the qualities of worldly people, śrāvakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas, respectively, which are to be enjoyed by all. On the other hand, the unique buddha qualities are completely beyond even the supramundane—the qualities of śrāvakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas—and therefore resemble space. Note that Schmithausen refers to the following two passages in RGVV to support his reading that the subject of the entire verse III.36 is nothing but the unique buddha qualities: (a) A verse in RGVV (J17.10f) says:
- Those who gave rise to supreme compassion for others
- And adopted discipline support the livelihood of others,
- Just like fire, wind, water, and earth.
- They [truly] possess discipline, [but] others are [only] a likeness of that.
- (b) RGVV’s quote from the Avataṃsakasūtra (J23.14 ad 24.8) says, "tathāgata wisdom, the immeasurable wisdom that is the wisdom that sustains all sentient beings, pervades the mind streams of all sentient beings in its entirety . . . this immeasurable tathāgata wisdom becomes what sustains the entire world." However, it is clear from the context that (a) refers to bodhisattvas and not buddhas. Also, (b) does not refer specifically to the unique buddha qualities as they are discussed in III.16 and III.36 but to buddha wisdom in a very general way.
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation °lakṣaṇākhyā ye or lakṣaṇāhvā ye (supported by DP gang / sum cu rtsa gnyis zhes bya ba) of J lakṣaṇāḥ kāye.
- MB dvidhā tu darśanaṃ, J dvidhā taddarśanaṃ (following DP de mthong ba ni rnam pa gneiss). However, DP thong ba for darśanaṃ means "seeing"instead of "display," as the term was used so far in relation to the rūpakāyas. Thus, in DP, III.39ab reads, "For those who dwell far from and close to purity, the seeing of these [kāyas occurs] in two ways."
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation śuddhavāri° of J śuddhaṃ vāri°, which accords with C and °svacchadakacandra° in III.28d. Also, DP chu dang means "clear/pure water" and not "water and . . ." The most straightforward reading of this verse is that the nirmāṇakāya appears to those distant from purity (ordinary beings, śrāvakas, and pratyekabuddhas), which is just like the reflection of the moon in water, while the sambhogakāya appears to those close to purity (bodhisattvas on the bhūmis), which is just like the actual moon in the sky. However, VT (fol. 15v7) seems to relate III.39d only to "in the maṇḍala of the victor,"saying that "the manifestation in the maṇḍala of the victor for those who are far from purity [occurs] in the form of the nirmāṇa[kāya], which is like [the reflection of] the moon in water, while the manifestation for those who are close to purity is the sambhoga[kāya], which is like the moon in the sky."On this reading, the nirmāṇakāya and sambhogakāya appear only to those in the retinue of a buddha. By contrast, the ways in which a buddha appears "in the world" (that is, outside of his retinue) could implicitly be understood as the appearances of the other two types of nirmāṇakāyas beyond the actual form of a nirmāṇakāya buddha such as Buddha Śākyamuni—artistic nirmāṇakāya forms (such as great artists, healers, and musicians) and incarnate nirmāṇakāya forms (appearing as anything that is beneficial for beings, be it animate or inanimate, such as ordinary beings, animals, or medicine).
- I follow VT (fol. 15v7) apratipraśrabhi° (also suggested by Schmithausen in accordance with J99.16 and J99.21) against J apraśrabdhi°. The same goes for °apratipraśrabdhaṃ against J ° apraśrabdhaṃ (MB aprapra° and °apart°, respectively).
- Skt. sattvadhātu is taken by most commentaries as "constitutions of sentient beings" (C also has "constitution"in IV.4a). However, as GC (528.4–5) points out, "the actual object of buddha activity is the stained tathāgata heart of those to be guided." See also IV.10cd, which comments on IV.2c, saying that the basic element in all sentient beings is like a treasure seen by the buddhas.
- I follow MB and VT (fol. 15v7) nirmathya against J niṣpādya (referring to niryāṇam in IV.5; Schmithausen suggests niryāya). DP read "accomplished" (bsgrubs te).
- See the explanation in IV.9. However, VT (fol. 15v7) glosses "yāna" as "the three yānas."
- I follow VT (fol. 16r1) °ratnāmbugarbhaṃ, which is also Schmithausen’s reading of MB and supported by DP chi mtsho, against J °ratnasvagarbhaṃ. Note that DP yon tan rin chen mchog tshogs does not accord with the position of ratna in that compound and moreover contradicts the explanation of the proper order of this compound in IV.9.
- DP split the long compound puṇya . . . ābham after °raśmi and wrongly relate "the sun rays of merit and wisdom"to "yāna,"while reading "like the vast [all-]pervasive sky without middle and end."My translation follows de Jong and C.
- With Schmithausen, MB is to be read as yā yatra (confirmed by DP gang gang du) instead of J yāvac ca (yā is also found and explained in IV.4c)
- As Schmithausen points out, this verse needs to be connected back to line IV.3d.
- All the instances of "of that"refer to the phrase that immediately precedes them.
- Skt. bodeḥ sattvaḥ parigrahaḥ. This refers to bodhisattvas as the ones who take hold of or attain awakening.
- Both DP and C read "the bhūmis."
- D100, fols. 278b.6–280b.1.
- DP "yāna."
- I follow MB saddharmakāyam adhyātmaṃ (corresponding to DP nang gi dam pa’i chos sku) against J saddharmakāyaṃ madhyasthaṃ.
- With Schmithausen and against Takasaki, I take the compound °viṣamasthānāntaramala as consisting of viṣamasthāna, antara, and mall.
- VT (fol. 16r4) glosses śubhra as "clear, transparent" (svacchā). Śubhra can also mean "radiant," "splendid," "spotless," and "bright"; DP have mazes pa.
- I follow Schmithausen’s suggested reading of MB surapatibhavanavyūhendramarutām against J surapatibhavanaṃ māhendramarutām, with °vyūha being supported by D tshogs (P mistakenly has sna tshogs instead of gas tshogs). The maruts are the storm gods who are the retinue of Indra.
- I follow de Jong’s suggested reading cittāny udpādayanti (supported by D seems rab bskyed byed; P mistakenly has gshegs instead of seems) against J cittān vyutpādayanti and Chowdury’s "correction" citrāṇy utpādayanati (see de Jong 1968, 50). Obviously, this refers to all the kinds of mind-sets that represent or flow from bodhicitta.
- Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, D100, fols. 280b.1–282a.4.
- DP "drum of dharma" (chos kyi raga).
- I follow VT’s (fol. 16r4) gloss of °praṇudanaṃ as °pravartanaṃ. DP have sell ba, thus reading "to dispel the victorious [war]play of the forces of the asuras."
- I follow MB apramādapadasaṃniyojanatayā (supported by DP bag yod pa’i gnas la rab tu sbyor bas) against J apramādasaṃniyojanatayā.
- Skt. vivecana usually means "distinction" or "examination" (corresponding to DP ram par ’byed pa). However, as de Jong points out, in Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, vivecayati means "causing to abandon,"dissuading from." This seems to fit the present context of standing in contrast to "bringing close to" (upasaṃharaṇa) better.
- VT (fol. 16r4) glosses "three miraculous displays" as "display, pointing out, and miraculous powers" (deśanā, ādeśanā [text: adeśanā], ṛddhi). Usually, the three kinds of miraculous displays are explained to be the activities of a buddha’s body (displaying miraculous powers), speech (teaching the dharma in accordance with the minds of those to be guided), and mind (demonstrating the remedies for the afflictions through samādhi). See the comments in the text below following IV.40.
- I follow Takasaki’s emendation of MB saṃbuddhabhūmer upayāti to saṃbuddhabherer upayāti (supported by the context and DP snags rgyas rnga sera). J saṃbuddhatūryasya tu yāti makes no sense here.
- I follow Schmithausen’s reading of MB saṃsārapātālagate tu against J saṃsārapātālagateṣu.
- With de Jong, I follow DP ting ’dzin sems gtod bsam pa skul byed nyid, thus emending °bhāvavācakam to °bhāvacodakam.
- I follow MB tatparyāpannasarvasattva° against J tatparyāpannaṃ sarvasattva° (DP de rtogs is a misspelling of de gtogs).
- I follow MB sarvathopalabhdiḥ (supported by DP (ram pa thams cad kyis dmigs pa) against J sarvaghoṣopalabhiḥ.
- I follow Schmithausen’s suggestion to emend MB atatpradinām to atatpravedinām (supported by C) against J atatprahitānām (DP de ma gtogs pa rnams is an obvious misspelling of de ma rtogs pa rnams).
- Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, D100, fols. 282a.4–283a.5.
- I follow MB sasyasaṃpadāṃ against J sasyasaṃpadaḥ.
- VT (fol. 16r5) glosses "awareness" (saṃvid) as "the four discriminating awarenesses (pratisaṃvid) of dharmas, meanings, semantics, and self-confidence." The awareness of (1) dharmas means to fully know the individual characteristics of all phenomena or to teach the eighty-four thousand doors of dharma as various remedial means in accordance with sentient beings’ different ways of thinking. (2) The awareness of meanings is to fully know the divisions and classifications of all phenomena, that is, knowing the meanings that are expressed by the words and statements about the general characteristics of phenomena—impermanence, suffering, emptiness, and identitylessness—and their ultimate characteristic—the lack of arising and ceasing. (3) The awareness of semantics refers to knowing the languages, symbols, and terms of all the various kinds of sentient beings and being able to please them through this; being able to teach many meanings through a single word; and being free from words that are mistaken, rushed, or repetitive. (4) The awareness that is self-confidence means to be able to hear the dharma from others and eliminate one’s own doubts, explain the dharma to others and thus eliminate their doubts, and speak meaningfully, swiftly, without interruptions, and unimpededly.
- VT (fol. 16r5) glosses "perishable" and "not perishable" as "[saṃsāric] existence" and "nirvāṇa,"respectively.
- Compare the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkārabhāṣya on XX.38cd, which says, "It is called ‘Cloud of dharma’ because the gate of samādhi and the gate of dhāraṇī pervade, like a cloud, the dharma that was heard—the sky-like foundation in which they are deeply immersed" (samādhimukhadhāraṇīmukhavyāpanān meghenevākāśasthālīyāśrayasaṃniviṣṭasya śrūtadharmasya dharmameghety ucyate).
- DP "as for the variety of the vessels" (snood rnams sna tshogs nyid la [text: las] ni).
- VT (fol. 16r6) glosses "those who are intermediate" as "śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas."
- VT (fol. 16r7) glosses "those who desire the dharma" as "bodhisattvas, śrāvakas, and so on."
- I follow VT °meghaughād, which accords with Schmithausen’s reading °meghaughadharma° of MB and is also supported by DP sprain tshogs dagga, against J °meghābhra°.
- I follow DP rod tshan dang ni rdo rje’i me; Skt. aśani and vajrāgni both meaning "lightning."
- VT (fol. 16r7–16v1) takes the compound sūkṣmaprāṇakaśailadeśagamikān to consist of the three components "subtle creatures," "rocks/mountains," and "those who travel the terrain,"glossing them as "those who are hostile [toward the mahāyāna]," "bodhisattvas," and "śrāvakas and so on,"respectively. However, line IV.49d suggests only the two components "subtle creatures" and "those who travel rocky terrains,"which exemplify "the latencies of the afflictions" and "the latencies of the views about a self,"respectively. Also, all Tibetan commentaries speak about those two components, though they interpret them in different ways. Most say that hail and lightning harm many subtle creatures but not peacocks ("those who travel rocky terrain"), while rain benefits the latter. Likewise, the rain of the wisdom of knowing what is subtle (emptiness) and the compassion of what is vast (generosity and so on) pours down equally on the fortunate who have faith in the mahāyāna, purifying their afflictions, and the unfortunate who have strong habitual tendencies of views about a self.
- I follow Takasaki’s emendation of MA/MB kleśagatān dṛṣṭyanuśayān to kleśagatātmadṛṣṭyanuśayān (supported by DP nyon mongs dag ’gyur bdag lta’i bag chags and C). VT (fol. 16v1) glosses °gata° as svarūpa.
- According to VT (fol. 16v1), "five kinds"refers to the six kinds of beings of saṃsāra except the gods.
- I follow VT °śraddhānusārādyā, which accords with de Jong’s suggestion °śraddhānusārād (as per DP dad pa’i rjes ’brangs nas), against °śraddhānumānyād in MA/MB and J.
- VT (fol. 16v1) adds that, through such discrimination, those with prajñā do not cling to any powerful states among gods and humans.
- Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, D100, fols. 283a.5–284b.5.
- DP "the suitable" (skal dan).
- Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, D100, fols. 284b.5–286a.7.
- Kumuda flowers are edible white water-lilies (nymphaea esculenta), which bloom at night and close their leaves during the day.
- VT (fol. 16v2) glosses "three" as bodhisattvas, śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas, and ordinary beings.
- DP mistakenly has "sun."
- DP omit " and stream forth from each body hair."
- Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, D100, fols. 286a.7–287a.4.
- I follow de Jong in relating yugapad to kurute (rather than Takasaki who takes yugapadgocarasthānāṃ as a compound), which also seems to correspond better to DP cir car du / spyod yul gnas pa rnams kyi ni.
- I follow MA durlabhaprādurbhāvās (corresponding to DP ’byung ba rnyed par dka’ ba) against J durlabhaprāptabhāvās.
- Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, D100, fols. 287a.4–288a.5.
- DP "inconceivable" (bsam med pa).
- Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, D100, fols. 288b.4–289a.5.
- Skt. niṣkiṃcane nirābhāse nirālambe nirāśraye / cakṣuṣpathavyatikrānte ’py arūpiṇy anidarśane /. Note that this list is very similar to the list of the characteristics of non-conceptual wisdom in the Dharmadharmatāvibhāga and Vasubandhu’s commentary on it (arūpy anidarśanam apratiṣṭham anābhāsam avijñaptikam aniketam), which is also found in the Avikalpapraveśadhāraṇī (Matsuda 1996, 96.5–6; D142, fol. 3b.4) and the Kāśyapaparivarta (Friedrich Weller, trans., Zum Kāśyapaparivarta [Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1965], 2:97). The Tibetan versified version of the Dharmadharmatāvibhāga and all versions of Vasubandhu’s commentary read brtag tu med pa for arūpi, thus indicating that term’s meaning "ungraspable." The same may apply here too for arūpiṇi (thus, "formless"would be "ungraspable").
- Jñānālokālaṃkārasūtra, D100, fols. 288a.5–288b.4.
- Prayojana can also mean "motive" or intention" (P dugongs pa).
- This refers to the Sarvabuddhaviśayāvatārajñānālokālaṃkārasūtra ("The Sūtra of the Ornament of the Light of Wisdom of Entering the Object of All Buddhas"), which is the source of the nine examples for enlightened activity. The name of this sūtra is explained in IV.79 in order to indicate the purpose or intention behind these examples for effortless buddha activity.
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation jñānālokasvalaṃkṛtāḥ of MA jñānālokāsvalaṃkṛtāḥ against J jñānālokādyalaṃkṛtāḥ and Takasaki jñānālokād alaṃkṛtāḥ.
- I follow VT (fol. 16v5) and MA/MB nirmitir against J vikṛtir.
- I agree with Takasaki that the phrase "of those whose character is compassion"refers to all nine examples and what they teach since it is explicitly used in examples (2) and (5) and example (3) speaks of "the cloud of compassion." However, DP (thugs rje’i bdag nyid thob pa nyid) relate this phrase only to the ninth example (this could also be read as "the attainment of the character of compassion").
- The text has the plural dhiyaḥ, DP thugs.
- Against the natural reading of I.84ab and the context of establishing that activity without effort is possible (as explicitly stated in IV.77), VT (fol. 16v6) says that "the nonconceptuality of the Bhagavān" is the thesis and "effort is at peace"the reason.
- I follow MA divaukasāṃ (supported by DP lha yi) against J vibe rutam.
- "Infinite numbers of beings"could also be read as "the infinite universe."
- I follow MA/MB ghoṣo [’] nakṣaro [’]sau (supported by DP sung de . . . yi ge med) against J ghoṣo ’nakṣarokto.
- DP take darśana as "seeing."
- I follow DP mi bzlog pa. VT (fol. 16v6) glosses asaṃhāryā as ātyantikī, which can mean "continual," "uninterrupted," "infinite," and "total."
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation nānarthabījamuk (or °bījahṛt; supported by DP don med pa’i / sa bon spong min) of MA nānarthabījamut and MB nāna(?)rthabījavat against J no sārthabījavat.
- I follow MA, which contains the second negation na tat against J ca tat.
- I follow MA °saṃpadāṃ against J °saṃpadam.
- I follow VT (fol. 16v7) caturṣu sthāneṣv (supported by DP and C) instead of just sthāneṣv. These four points are vajra points 4 through 7—the tathāgata heart, awakening, its qualities, and its activity.
- DP "those with pure minds" (dagga pa’i seems).
- Instead of °buddhi, DP read "buddha qualities" (snags rgyas yon tan) in the next line.
- VT (fol. 16v7) glosses "this" as "the discussion of the doctrine that explicitly speaks of the buddha element and so on."
- "The meditative states of the gods"refers to the four dhyānas and the four formless absorptions, while the four brahmāvihāras are the four immeasurables of love, compassion, rejoicing, and equanimity that lead to rebirth as the god Mahābrahmā.
- With Schmithausen, I follow MB and J saṃbodhyupāyācyutaḥ (supported by DP rdzogs pa’i byang chub ’pho med thabs bsgoms la) against MA saṃbodhyupāyāc cyutaḥ, whose meaning is also found in C.
- I follow MA/MB °śakyatva° against J °śaktatva°.
- Following DP and C, tatcitta° is to be emended to tannitya°.
- As V.14 explains, these refer to the three spheres of agent, object, and action.
- DP "conceptions" (ram tog).
- DP "miserliness" (ser sna).
- MA/MB cāsyā instead of J cāsya.
- Following this verse, DP and C insert several headings that are absent in the Sanskrit (DP omits the first one here and also the one for V.25), but derived from V.26–28. When available, I follow the text of these headings in DP, with phrases in "( )"being added by the translator. The present heading is a slight modification of Takasaki (1966a, 384) according to the following headings in DP.
- Skt. pratibhā, which can also mean "boldness" or "audacity"; thus DP "self-confidence" (spobs pa).
- DP omit "the words of."
- The words in "[ ]"are found in DP.
- D pulls kleśo vimūdhātmānām together, saying "by those whose character is afflicted and ignorant" (nyon mongs rmongs bdag rnams kris). P says "those who are under the influence of afflictions" (nyon mongs dbang byas rnams kris) and omits "foolish character."
- VT (fol. 17r1) explains that if one’s mind is not mingled with such stains, it is able to become as pure as the beryl and so on in the examples of buddha activity above.
- VT (fol. 17r1) says that the dharma is pure because it is supreme and prevents one from taking saṃsāric existence to be the most important thing.
- VT (fol. 17r1) glosses vyasanaṃ as vināśa.
- I follow de Jong’s emendation lābhagredhatayā (supported by DP rnyed la brkam) of lobhagredhatayā.
- I follow Schmithausen’s emendation vārād of ārād.
- Skt. vadhaka can also mean "executioner," thus DP gushed ma.
- DP "nature of phenomena" (chos nyid), C "genuine dharma."
- I follow MA tasyāsti muktiḥ against J tasmai vimuktiḥ.
- VT (fol. 17r3) regards V.22–23 as describing the causes for deviating from the dharma, while taking only V.24 as explaining the result of that.
- This heading is a modified version of Takasaki’s reconstruction from C (389). However, as V.28 and VT (fol. 17r3) make clear, lines V.25cd refer to the result of having expounded the meaning of the dharma.
- I follow MA yann iṣyandaṃ ca tac chlokaiḥ (supported by DP rgyu mthun pa ni gang yin de) against J yann iṣyandaphalaṃ ślokaiś.
- I follow MA parṣanmaṇḍalakṣantir and VT (fol. 17r4) parṣanmaṇḍale kṣānter against J saṃsāramaṇḍalakṣāntir.
- MA and J dharmārthavāda, VT (fol. 17r4) dharmānuvāda, DP chos brjod pa. According to VT (fol. 17r4), "explaining the dharma" (dharmānuvāda) refers to "engaging in commenting on the seven points such as the Buddha." The first (temporary) result of this is the attainment of poised readiness (for profound true reality) on the bhūmis of the noble ones in the maṇḍala of the retinue of the tathāgata Amitābha, with these bodhisattvas being the chief persons among those who have entered Amitābha’s retinue because they are noble ones. The second (ultimate) result of explaining the dharma is great awakening. In line V.28c, I follow J’s reading of MA as dvidhā ("twofold"), which is confirmed by VT (fol. 17r3) and DP rnam gnyis. Schmithausen suggests taking MA here (which is difficult to read) as "threefold" (tridhā; as in C and Taishō 1595, 270b6) instead of "twofold." For, he says, lines V.25cd enumerate three kinds of result: (1) seeing Amitāyus ("[attaining] the maṇḍala of the retinue"), (2) the arising of the stainless eye of dharma ("[attaining] poised readiness"), and (3) attaining awakening. Therefore, Schmithausen also suggests reading MA "poised readiness in the maṇḍala of the retinue" (parṣanmaṇḍalakṣantir) as "the maṇḍala of the retinue, poised readiness . . ." (pariṣanmaṇḍalaṃ kṣantir). However, it is difficult to take the phrase "by virtue of the arising of the stainless eye of dharma" (amaladharmacakṣur udayāt) in V.25d as a separate result rather than as that through which awakening (the second result) is attained. In addition, the existence of three results is contradicted by VT’s explicit comments on only two results, which are also found in all Tibetan commentaries.
- DP add the following verse of dedication (as the entire RGVV is traditionally attributed to Asaṅga) and a colophon indicating the translators:
- Through whatever inconceivable merit I attained
- Due to explaining the precious genuine dharma of the supreme yāna,
- May all beings become stainless vessels
- For the precious genuine dharma of the supreme yāna.
- This completes the exposition of the Mahāyānottaratantraśāstra authored by the noble protector Maitreya, which was composed by master Asaṅga. It was translated by the great scholar, paṇḍita Sajjana (the grandson of the great scholar, the Brahman Ratnavajra of glorious great Anupamapura), in that very [city] Anupamapura. Anupamapura is identified by some as present-day Śrīnagar in Kashmir.
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