Verse III.16

From Buddha-Nature

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Ratnagotravibhāga Root Verse III.16

Verse III.16 Variations

या क्षित्यादिषु धर्मता न नभसः सा धर्मता विद्यते
ये चानावरणादिलक्षणगुणा व्योम्नो न ते रूपिषु
क्षित्यम्बुज्वलनानिलाम्बरसमा लोकेषु साधारणा
बुद्धावेणिकता न चाश्वपि पुनर्लोकेषु साधारणा
E. H. Johnston as input by the University of the West.[1]
yā kṣityādiṣu dharmatā na nabhasaḥ sā dharmatā vidyate
ye cānāvaraṇādilakṣaṇaguṇā vyomno na te rūpiṣu
kṣityambujvalanānilāmbarasamā lokeṣu sādhāraṇā
buddhāveṇikatā na cāśvapi punarlokeṣu sādhāraṇā
E. H. Johnston as input by the University of the West.[2]
ས་སོགས་ལ་ཡོད་ཆོས་གང་ཡིན་པའི་ཆོས་ཉིད་དེ་ནི་ནམ་མཁའི་མིན། །
ནམ་མཁའི་མཚན་ཉིད་སྒྲིབ་མེད་ལ་སོགས་མཚན་ཉིད་གང་དེ་གཟུགས་ལ་མེད། །
ས་ཆུ་མེ་རླུང་ནམ་མཁའ་མཚུངས་པ་འཇིག་རྟེན་དག་ན་ཐུན་མོང་སྟེ། །
མ་འདྲེས་ཉིད་ནི་རྡུལ་ཕྲན་ཙམ་ཡང་འཇིག་རྟེན་དག་ན་ཐུན་མོང་མིན། །
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.
La terre et les autres éléments n’ont pas la même nature que l’espace ;
Les caractéristiques de la forme n’ont rien à voir
avec l’absence d’obstacles et les autres particularités de l’espace.
La terre, l’eau, le feu et l’air, de même que l’espace,
sont communs à [tous les] mondes,
Mais les [qualités] exclusives [des bouddhas] n’ont pas même
une particule en commun avec le monde.

RGVV Commentary on Verse III.16

།ནམ་མཁའ་བཞིན་ཞེས་བྱ་བ་ནི། ས་སོགས་ལ་ཡོད་ཆོས་ཉིད་གང་ཡིན་ཆོས་ཉིད་དེ་ནི་ནམ་མཁའི་མིན། །ནམ་མཁའི་མཚན་ཉིད་སྒྲིབ་མེད་ལ་སོགས་མཚན་ཉིད་གང་དེ་གཟུགས་ལ་མེད། །ས་ཆུ་མེ་རླུང་{br}ནམ་མཁའ་མཚུངས་པ་འཇིག་རྟེན་དག་ན་ཐུན་མོང་སྟེ། །མ་འདྲེས་ཉིད་ནི་རྡུལ་ཕྲན་ཙམ་ཡང་འཇིག་རྟེན་དག་ན་ཐུན་མོང་མིན།

Other English translations[edit]

Obermiller (1931) [6]
The properties which characterize
The elements of Matter, the solid and the rest,
Are absent in the element of space.
And the property of space which consists in its being penetrable
Does not exist with the elements of Matter.
However the solid, the liquid, the hot, the moving elements and that of Space likewise,
Are common to all the (material) worlds,
But the Exclusive Properties have not in the least
Anything in common with the worldly elements.
Takasaki (1966) [7]
The nature found in the earth and the rest
Is not the nature of space,
And the properties of space represented by
Non-obstruction, etc., are absent in material things;
The earth, water, fire, wind and the sky, likewise,
Are common to all the [material] worlds,
But the Exclusive Properties of the Buddha
Are not in the least common to those worlds.
Fuchs (2000) [8]
The nature of any of the properties native to earth and so on is not
the nature of space.
Any of the features of space, such as being non-obstructive and so
on, is not a feature of the visible.
Earth, water, fire, air, and space, being equally [elements], have
something in common in the world.
The unmixed qualities and worldly beings have nothing in common,
not even as much as a single atom.

Textual sources[edit]

Commentaries on this verse[edit]

Academic notes[edit]

  1. Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon Unicode Input
  2. Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon Unicode Input
  3. 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.
  4. I follow Schmithausen’s emendation cāṇv api of J cāśv api.
  5. 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.
  6. Obermiller, E. "The Sublime Science of the Great Vehicle to Salvation Being a Manual of Buddhist Monism." Acta Orientalia IX (1931), pp. 81-306.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.