Verse II.18 Variations
ध्रुवं शिवं शाश्वतमच्युतं पदम्
तथागतत्वं गगनोपमं सताम्
dhruvaṃ śivaṃ śāśvatamacyutaṃ padam
tathāgatatvaṃ gaganopamaṃ satām
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.
- Non souillé, omniprésent, indestructible,
- Stable, paisible, éternel, sans transmigration et source [de qualités],
- Le Tathāgata est, comme l’espace, la cause de l’expérience
- Des objets qui s’offrent aux six facultés des êtres purs.
RGVV Commentary on Verse II.18
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(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 (D17a) 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
yattu dvividhaṃ lokottaramavikalpaṃ tatpṛṣṭhalabdhaṃ ca jñānamāśrayaparivṛtterheturvisaṃyogaphalasaṃjñitāyāḥ/ tatkarma svaparārthasaṃpādanamityuktam/ tatra katamā svaparārthasaṃpat/ yā savāsanakleśajñeyāvaraṇavimokṣādanāvaraṇadharmakāyaprāptiriyamucyate svārthasaṃpattiḥ/ yā tadūrdhvamā lokādanābhogataḥ kāyadvayena saṃdarśanadeśanāvibhutvadvayapravṛttiriyamucyate parārthasaṃpattirit/ tasyāṃ svaparārthasaṃpattau karmārthamārabhya trayaḥ ślokāḥ/
anāsravaṃ vyāpyavināśadharmi ca
dhruvaṃ śivaṃ śāśvatamacyutaṃ padam/
tathāgatatvaṃ gaganopamaṃ satām
No Chinese commentary defined.
Other English translations
Obermiller (1931) 
- Immaculate, of all-pervading Wisdom, imperishable,
- Firm, quiescent, eternal, and motionless,
- The Buddha (in his corporeal forms) is the cause
- That the pure faculties of sense perceive their objects
- As space is the receptacle for all things.
Takasaki (1966) 
- Buddhahood45), being the foundation,
- Immaculate and all-pervading,
- Of unperishable nature, and everlasting,
- Quiescent, constant and unchangeable,
- Is, like space, the cause for the Intelligent
- To experience the objects through 6 sense-organs.
Fuchs (2000) 
- Rid of pollution [and] all-pervasive, [true buddhahood] has an indestructible nature
- since it is steadfast, at peace, permanent, and unchanging. As the abode [of qualities]
- a tathagata is similar to space. For the six sense-faculties of a saintly being
- it forms the cause to experience their respective [pure] objects [of perception].
Commentaries on this verse
- Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon Unicode Input
- Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon Unicode Input
- Brunnhölzl, Karl. When the Clouds Part: The Uttaratantra and its Meditative Tradition as a Bridge between Sūtra and Tantra. Boston: Snow Lion Publications, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, 2014.
- 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).
- Obermiller, E. "The Sublime Science of the Great Vehicle to Salvation Being a Manual of Buddhist Monism." Acta Orientalia IX (1931), pp. 81-306.
- Takasaki, Jikido. A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Uttaratantra): Being a Treatise on the Tathāgatagarbha Theory of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Serie Orientale Roma 33. Roma: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente (ISMEO), 1966.
- Fuchs, Rosemarie, trans. Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra. Commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul and explanations by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso. Ithaca, N. Y.: Snow Lion Publications, 2000.