Verse II.53 Variations
RGVV Commentary on Verse II.53
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
eṣāṃ khalu caturṇāṃ ślokānāṃ piṇḍārtho viṃśatiślokairveditavyaḥ/
yattadbuddhatvamityuktaṃ sarvajñatvaṃ svayaṃbhuvām/
nirvṛtiḥ paramācintyaprāptiḥ pratyātmaveditā//42//
tatprabhedastribhiḥ kāyairvṛttiḥ svābhāvikādibhiḥ/
tatra svabhāvikaḥ kāyo buddhānāṃ pañcalakṣaṇaḥ/
pañcākāraguṇopeto veditavyaḥ samāsataḥ//44//
prabhāsvaraṃ viśuddhaṃ ca dharmadhātoḥ svabhāvataḥ//46//
viśuddhipāramīprāptairyuktaṃ svābhāvikaṃ vapuḥ//47//
nirvikalpaṃ nirābhogaṃ yathābhiprāyapūritaḥ/
cintāmaṇiprabhāvarddheḥ sāṃbhogasya vyavasthitiḥ//50//
deśane darśane kṛtyāsraṃsane'nabhisaṃskṛtau/
atatsvabhāvākhyāne ca citratoktā ca pañcadhā//51//
raṅgapratyayavaicitryādatadbhāvo yathā maṇeḥ/
mahākaruṇayā kṛtsnaṃ lokamālokya lokavit/
jātakānyupapattiṃ ca tuṣiteṣu cyutiṃ tataḥ/
garbhā[va]kramaṇaṃ janma śilpasthānāni kauśalam//54//
antaḥpuraratikrīḍāṃ naiṣkramyaṃ duḥkhacārikām/
saṃbodhiṃ dharmacakraṃ ca nirvāṇādhigamakriyām/
kṣetreṣvapariśuddheṣu darśayatyā bhavasthite//56//
udvejya tribhavāt sattvān pratārayati nirvṛttau//57//
paripācyottame yāne vyākarotyagrabodhaye//59//
gāmbhīryau dāryamāhatmyameṣu jñeyaṃ yathākramam//60//
prathamo dharmakāyo'tra rūpakāyau tu paścimau/
vyomni rūpagatasyeva prathame'ntyasya vartanam//61//
No Chinese commentary defined.
Other English translations
Obermiller (1931) 
- Full of Commiseration, with a perfect knowledge of the world,
- He has (mercifully) looked down upon the living beings.
- And, without stirring from his Cosmical Body,
- Has manifested himself in various emanations.
Takasaki (1966) 
- [The Buddha], being the knower of the world,
- Perceiving fully the world, with Great Compassion,
- Manifests himself in various apparitional forms,
- Without being separated from his Absolute Body.
Fuchs (2000) 
- [The Supreme Nirmanakaya] knows the world and having gazed upon
- all worldly [beings demonstrates] out of his great compassion
- [twelve wondrous deeds]. Without moving away from the dharmakaya
- he manifests through various [aspects] of an illusory nature.
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.
- 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.
- 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.