Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Guide To the Bodhisattva Way Of Life - Chapter Nine

Author: Shantideva Bodhisattva  (* Shantideva Bodhisattva is known as a direct disciple of Manjusri Bodhisattva)

The Key of becoming a Bodhisattva:

One who wishes to protect oneself and others quickly, should practice exchanging oneself for others, which is a great mystery.

All those who are unhappy in the world are so as a result of their desire for their own happiness.

All those who are happy in the world are so as a result of their desire for the happiness of others.

Enough of such talk!

Note the difference between the fool who seeks his own benefit, and the sage who works for the benefit of others.

One, who does not exchange his own happiness for the suffering of others, surely does not achieve Buddhahood. How could one find happiness even in the cycle of existence?

Therefore, in order to alleviate my own suffering and to alleviate the suffering of others, I give myself up to others, and I accept others as my own self.
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9

 [In copying this ancient manuscript we discovered various translations from different traditions. The reader can be comforted to know that they all agreed with one another in substance, however, some were easier to understand in places then others. In making this text available we worked hard to ensure that it would be comprehensible. In every case we selected the verse that we felt was easiest to understand. BIONA ED.]

Chapter Nine
Affection of Wisdom

1. The Sage taught this entire system for the sake of wisdom. Therefore, with the desire to ward off suffering, one should develop this wisdom.

2. This truth is recognized as being of two kinds: conventional and ultimate. Ultimate reality is beyond the scope of the intellect. The intellect is called conventional reality.

3. In the light of this, people are seen to be of two types: the contemplative and the ordinary person; the ordinary folks are superseded by the contemplatives. [The contemplative perceives the ordinary, worldly persons viewpoint to be incorrect. (Ed.)]

4. Due to the difference in their intelligence, even contemplatives are refuted by successfully higher ones by means of analogies accepted by both parties, regardless of what they aim to prove.

5. Ordinary people see and imagine things as real and not illusory. It is in this respect that there is disagreement between the contemplatives and the ordinary people.

6. Even the objects of direct perception, such as form and the like, are established by consensus and not by verifying cognition. That consensus is false, as is the general agreement that pure things are impure, for example.

7. The Protector taught things in order to bring people to understanding. Qualm: If these things are not ultimately, but only conventionally, momentary, this is inconsistent.

8. Madhyamika: There is no fault in the conventional truth of the contemplatives. In contrast to ordinary people, they see reality. Otherwise, ordinary people would invalidate the perception of women as impure.

9. Qualm: How can there possibly be merit due to the Jina who is like an illusion, as is the case if he is truly existent? If a sentient being is like an illusion, why is he reborn again after he dies?

10. Madhyamika: Even an illusion lasts for as long as the collection of its conditions. Why should a sentient being truly exist merely because its continuum lasts a long time?

11. Yogacarin: If consciousness does not exist, then there is no sin in killing an illusionary person. Madhyamika: On the contrary, when one is endowed with the illusion of consciousness, vice and merit do arise.

12. Yogacarin: an illusionary mind is not possible, since mantras and the like are unable to produce it. Madhyamika: Diverse illusions originate on account of diverse conditions. Nowhere does a single condition have the ability to produce everything.

13. Yogacarin: If one could be ultimately emancipated, and yet transmigrate conventionally, then even the Buddha would transmigrate. So what would be the point of the Bodhisattva way of life?

14. Madhyamika: When its conditions are not destroyed, an illusion does not cease either. Due to a discontinuity of its conditions, it does not originate even conventionally.

15. Yogacarin: When even a mistaken cognition does not exist, by what is an illusion ascertained?

16. Madhyamika: If, for you an illusion itself does not exist, what is apprehended? Even if it is an aspect of the mind itself, in reality it exists as something different.

17. Yogacarin: If the mind itself is an illusion, then what is perceived by what? Madhyamika: The Protector of the World stated that the mind does not perceive the mind. Just as a sword cannot cut itself, so it is with the mind.

18. Yogacarin: It illuminates itself, as does a lamp. Madhyamika: A lamp does not illuminate itself, for it is not concealed by darkness.

19. Yogacarin: A blue object does not require something else for its blueness, as does a crystal. So something may or may not occur in dependence on something else.

20. Madhyamika: As is the case of non-blueness, blue is not regarded as its own cause. What blue by itself could make itself blue?

21. Yogacarin: It is said; that a lamp illuminates once this is cognized with awareness. The mind is said to illuminate once this is cognized with what?

22. Madhyamika: If no one perceives whether the mind is luminous or not, then there is no point in discussing it, like the beauty of a barren woman's daughter.

23. Yogacarin: If self-cognizing awareness does not exist, how is consciousness recalled? Madhyamika: Recollection comes from its relation to something else that was experienced, like a rats poison.

24. Yogacarin: It illuminates itself, because the mind, endowed with other conditions, perceives. Madhyamika: A Jar seen due to the application of a magical ointment is not the ointment itself.

25. The Manner in which something is seen, heard, or cognized is not what is refuted here, but the conceptualization of its true appearance, which is the cause of suffering, is rejected here.

26. If you fancy that an illusion is neither different from the mind, nor non different, then if it is a really existing thing, how can it not be different? If it is not different, then it does not really exist.

27. Just as an illusion can be seen even though it does truly exist, so it is with the observer, the mind. Yogacarin: The cycle of existence has its basis in reality or else it would be like space.

28. Madhyamika: How can something that does not exist have any efficacy by being based on something real? You have approached the mind as being an isolated unity.

29. If the mind were free from any apprehended object, then all beings would be Tath¨¢gatas. Thus, what good is gained by speculating that only the mind exists?

30. Yogacarin: Even when the similarity to illusion is recognized, how does a mental affliction cease, since lust for an illusory woman arises even in the mind of the one who created her?

31. Madhyamika: Because her creator's imprints of mental afflictions toward objects of knowledge have not been eliminated, when seeing her, his imprint of emptiness is weak.

32. By building up the imprints of emptiness, the imprint of existence is diminished; and after accustoming oneself to the fact that nothing truly exists, even that diminishes.

33. Yogacarin: If it is conceived that a phenomenon that does not really exist cannot be perceived, then how can a non-entity, which is without basis, stand before the mind?

34. Madhyamika: When neither an entity nor a non-entity remains before the mind, then since there is no other possibility, having no objects, it becomes calm.

35. Just as a wish fulfilling gem, or a wish granting tree satisfies desires, so the image of the Jina is seen, because of his vow and his disciples.

36. When a charmer against poison dies, after completing a pillar, that pillar neutralizes poisons and the like, even for a long time after his death.

37. Likewise, the pillar of the Jina, completed with accordance with the Bodhisattva way of life, accomplishes all tasks, even when the bodhisattva has passed into Nirvana.

38. Hinayananist: How could worship offered to something that has no consciousness be fruitful? Madhyamika: Because it is taught that it is the same whether he is present or has passed into Nirvana.

39. According to the scriptures, effects of worship do exist, whether conventionally or ultimately, in the same way that worship offered to the true Buddha is said to be fruitful.

40. Hinayananist: Liberation comes from understanding the four noble truths, so what is the point of perceiving emptiness? Madhyamika: Because the scripture states that there is no awakening without this path.

41. Hinayananist: The Mahayana is certainly not authenticated. Madhyamika: How is your scripture authenticated? Hinayananist: Because it is authenticated by both of us. Madhyamika: Then it is not authenticated by you from the beginning.

42. Apply the same faith and respect to the Mahayana as you do to it. If something is true because it is accepted by two different parties, then the Vedas and the like would also be true.

43. If you object that the Mahayana is controversial, then reject your own scripture because it is contested by heterodox groups and because parts of your scriptures are contested by your own people and others.

44. The teaching has its root in the monk-hood and the monk-hood is not on a firm footing. For those whose minds are subject to grasping, Nirvana is not on a firm footing either.

45. If your objection is that liberation is due to the elimination of mental afflictions, then it should occur immediately afterward. Yet one can see the power of Karma over those people, even though they had no mental afflictions.

46. If you think that as long as there is no craving there is no grasping onto rebirth, why could their craving, even though free of mental afflictions, not exist as delusion?

47. Craving has its cause in feeling, and they have feeling. The mind that has mental objects has to dwell on one thing or another.

48. Without emptiness the mind is constrained and arises again, as in non-cognitive meditative equipoise. Therefore, one should meditate on emptiness.

49. If you acknowledge the utterances that correspond to the sutras as the words of the Buddha, why do you not respect the Mahayana, which for the most part is similar to your sutras?

50. If the whole is faulty because one part is not acceptable, why not consider the whole as taught by the Jina because one part is similar to the Sutras?

51. Who will not accept the teachings not fathomed by leaders such as Maha- Kassapa just because you failed to understand them?

52. Remaining in the cycle of existence for the sake of those suffering due to delusion is achieved through freedom from attachment and fear. That is a fruit of emptiness.

53. Thus, no refutation is possible with regard to emptiness, so one should meditate on emptiness without hesitation.

54. Since emptiness is the antidote to the darkness of afflictive and cognitive obstructions, how is it that one desiring omniscience does not promptly meditate on it?

55. Let fear arise towards something that produces suffering. Emptiness pacifies suffering. So why does fear of it arise?

56. If there were something called "I," fear could come from anywhere. If there is no "I," whose fear would there be?

57. Teeth, hair, and nails are not "I," nor am I bone, blood, mucus, phlegm, puss, or lymph.

58. Bodily oil is not I, nor are sweat, fat, or entrails, the cavity of the entrails is not "I," nor is excrement or urine.

59. Flesh is not "I," nor are sinews, heat, or wind. Bodily apertures are not "I," nor, in any way, are the six consciousnesses.

60. If the awareness of sound were "I," then sound would always be apprehended. But without an object of awareness, what does it cognize on account of which is called awareness?

61. If that which is not cognizant were awareness, a piece of wood would be awareness. Therefore, it is certain there is no awareness in the absence of its object.

62. Why does that which cognizes form not hear it as well? Samkhya: Because of the absence of sound, there is no awareness of it.

63. Madhyamika: How can something that is of the nature of the apprehension of sound be the apprehension of form? One person may be considered as a father and a son, but not in terms of ultimate reality,

64. Since Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas are neither a father nor a son. Moreover its nature is not seen as related to the apprehension of sound.

65. If it is the same thing taking another guise, like an actor, he too is not permanent. If he has different natures, then this unity of his is unprecedented.

66. If another guise is not the true one, then describe its natural appearance. If it were the nature of awareness, then it would follow that all people would be identical.

67. That which has volition and that which has no volition would be identical because their existence would be the same. If difference were false, then what would be the basis for similarity?

68. That which is not conscious is not "I", because it lacks consciousness, like a cloth and the like. If it were consciousness because it has consciousness, than it would follow that when it stops being conscious of anything, it would vanish.

69. If the self is not subject to change, what is the use of its consciousness? Thus, this implies that space, which lacks consciousness and activity, has a self.

70. Objection: Without the self, the relationship between an action and its result is not possible, for if the agent of an action has perished, who will have the result?

71. Madhyamika: When both of us have agreed that an action and its result have different bases and that the self has no influence in this matter, then there is no point in arguing about this.

72. One who has the cause cannot possibly be seen as being endowed with the result. It is pointed out that the existence of the agent and the experiencer (sic) of the consequences depends upon the unity of their continuum of consciousness.

73. The past or future mind is not "I", since it does not exist. If the mind were "I", then when it had vanished, the "I" would not exist anymore.

74. Just as the trunk of a plantain tree is nothing when cut into pieces, in the same way, the "I" is non-existence when sought analytically.

75. Qualm: If no sentient being exists, for whom is there compassion? Madhyamika: For one who is imagined through delusion, which is accepted for the sake of the task.

76. Qualm: If there is no sentient being, whose is the task? Madhyamika: True. The effort, too, is due to delusion. Nevertheless, in order to alleviate suffering, delusion with regard to one's task is not averted.

77. However, grasping onto the "I", which is a cause of suffering, increases because of the delusion with regard to the self. If this is the unavoidable result of that, meditation on identity-less-ness is the best.

78. The body is not the feet, the calves, nor the thighs. Nor is the body the hips, the abdomen. The back, the chest, or the arms.

79. It is not the hands, the sides of the torso, or the armpits, nor is it characterized by the shoulders. Nor is the body the neck or the head. Then what here is the body?

80. If this body partially exists in all of these, and its parts exist in their parts, where does it stand by itself?

81. If the body were located in its entirety in the hands and other limbs, there would be just as many bodies as there are hands and so forth.

82. The body is neither inside nor outside. How can the body be in the hands and other limbs? It is not separate from the hands and the like. How, then, can it be found at all?

83. Thus, the body does not exist. However, on account of delusion, there is the impression of the body with regard to the hands and the like, because of their specific configuration, just as there is the impression of a person with regard to a pillar.

84. As long as a collection of conditions lasts, the body appears like a person. Likewise, as long as it lasts with regard to the hands and the like, the body continues to be seen in them.

85. In the same way, since it is an assemblage of toes, which one would be a foot? The same applies to a toe, since it is an assemblage of joints, and to a joint as well, because of its division into its own parts.

86. Even the parts can be divided into atoms, and an atom itself can be divided according to its cardinal directions. The section of a cardinal direction is space, because it is without parts. Therefore, an atom does not exist.

87. What discerning person would be attached to form, which is just like a dream? Since the body does not exist, then who is a woman and who is a man?

88. If suffering truly exists, why does it not oppress the joyful? If delicacies and the like are a pleasure, why do they not please someone struck by grief and so forth?

89. If it is not experienced because it is overpowered by something more intense, how can that which is not of the nature of experience be a feeling?

90. Objection: Surely there is suffering in its subtle state while its gross state is removed. Madhyamika: If it is simply another pleasure, then that subtle state is a subtle state of pleasure.

91. If suffering does not arise when the conditions for its opposite have arisen, does it not follow that a "feeling" is a false notion created by conceptual fabrication?

92. Therefore, this analysis is created as an antidote to that false notion. For the meditative stabilizations that arise from the field of investigations are the food of contemplatives.

93. If there is an interval between a sense faculty and its object, where is the contact between the two? If there is no interval, they would be identical. In that case, what would be in contact with what?

94. One Atom cannot penetrate another, because it is without empty space and is of the same size as the other. When there is no penetration, there is no mingling there is no contact.

95. How, indeed, can there be contact with something that has no parts? If part-less-ness can be observed when there is contact, demonstrate this.

96. It is impossible for consciousness, which has no form, to have contact; nor is it possible for a composite, because it is not a truly existent thing, as investigated earlier.

97. Thus, when there is no contact, how can feeling arise? What is the reason for this exertion? Who can be harmed by what?

98. If there is no one to experience feeling and if feeling does not exist, then after understanding this situation, why, oh craving, are you not shattered?

99. The mind that has a dream-like and illusion-like nature sees and touches. Since feeling arises together with the mind, it is not perceived by the mind.

100. What happen earlier is remembered but not experienced by what arises later. It does not experience itself, nor is it experienced by something else.

101. There is no one who experiences feeling. Hence, in reality, there is no feeling. Thus, in this identity-less bundle, who can be hurt by it?

102. The mind is not located in the sense facilities, or in form and other sense-objects, or in between them. The mind is also not found inside, or outside, or anywhere else.

103. That which is not in the body nor anywhere else, neither intermingled nor somewhere separate, is nothing. Therefore, sentient beings are by nature liberated.

104. If cognition is prior to the object of cognition, in dependence on what does it arise? If cognition is simultaneous with the object of cognition, in dependence on what does it arise?

105. If it arises after the object of cognition, from what would cognition arise? In this way it is ascertained that no phenomenon comes into existence.

106. Objection: If conventional truth does not exist, how can there be the two truths? If it does exist due to another conventional truth, how can there be a liberated sentient being?

107. Madhyamika: One is an ideation of someone else's mind, and one does not exist by one's own conventional truth. After something has been ascertained, it exists; if not, it does not exist as a conventional reality either.

108. The two, conception and the conceived, are mutually dependent; just as every analysis is expressed by referring to what is commonly known.

109. Objection: But if one analyzes by means of analysis which itself is analyzed, then there is an infinite regress, because that analysis can also be analyzed.

110. Madhyamika: When the object of analysis is analyzed, no basis for analysis is left. Since there is no basis, it does not arise, and that is called "nirvana."

111. A person for whom these two are truly existent is in an extremely shaky position. If an object exists because of the power of cognition, how does one arrive at the true existence of cognition?

112. If cognition exists because of the power of the object of cognition, how does one arrive at the true existence of cognition? If their existence is due to their mutual power, neither can exist.

113. Objection: If there is no father without a son, how can there be a son? Madhyamika: Just as in the absence of a son there is no father, in the same way these two do not exist.

114. Objection: A sprout arises from a seed. The seed is indicated by that sprout. Why does cognition that arises from the object of cognition not ascertain the true existence of that object of cognition?

115. Madhyamika: It is ascertained that a seed exists owing to a cognition that is not the same as a sprout. How is the existence of a cognition cognized, since the object of cognition is ascertained by that cognition?

116. People observe every cause through direct perception, since the components of a lotus, such as the stalk and so forth, are produced by a variety of causes.

117. Qualm: What makes the variety of causes? Madhyamika: a preceding variety of causes. Qualm: How can a cause give an effect? Madhyamika: Because of the power of the preceding causes.

118. Nyaya-Vaisesika: Isvara is the cause of the world. Madhyamika: Then explain who Isvara is. If he is the elements, so be it; but then why tussle over a mere name?

119. Moreover, the earth and other elements are not one; they are impermanent, inactive, and not divine. They can be stepped on and are impure. That is not Isvara.

120. Space is not the Lord because it is inactive. Nor is it the Self, because that has been refuted. How can the inconceivable creatorship of the Inconceivable One be describes?

121. What does he desire to create? If he desires to create a self, are not that self, the nature of the earth and other elements, and Isvara eternal? Cognition is due to the object of cognition and is without beginning.

122. Happiness and suffering are the result of action. Say then, what did he create? If the cause has no beginning, how can its effect have a beginning?

123. If he does not depend on anything else, why does he not always create? There is nothing whatsoever that is not created by him. So on what would he depend?

124. If Isvara depends on a collection of conditions, then again, he is not the cause. He cannot refrain from creating when there is a collection of conditions, nor can he create in their absence.

125. If Isvara creates without desiring to do so, it would follow that he is dependent on something other than himself. Even if he desires to create, he is dependent on that desire. Whence is the supremacy of the creator?

126. Those who claim the atoms are permanent have been refuted earlier. The Samkhyas consider a primal substance as the permanent cause of the world.

127. The universal constituents-sattva, rajas, and tamas-remaining in equilibrium, are called the primal substance. The universe is explained by their dis-equilibrium.

128. It is implausible that a single thing has three natures, so it does not exist. Likewise, he universal constituents do not exist, since they would each be comprised of three constituents.

129. In the absence of the three universal constituents, the existence of sound and other sense objects is far fetched. There is also no possibility of pleasure and the like in unconscious things such as cloth and so on.

130. If you argue that things have the nature of causes, have things not been analyzed away? For you, pleasure and the like are the cause, but cloth and the like are not the result of that cause.

131. Happiness and other feelings may be due to things such as a cloth, but in their absence, there would be no happiness and so on. The permanence of happiness and other feelings is never ascertained.

132. If the manifestation of happiness truly exists, why is the feeling not apprehended? If you see that it becomes subtle, how can it be gross and subtle?

133. Objection: It is subtle upon leaving its gross state. Its grossness and subtlety are impermanent. Madhyamika: Why do you not consider everything impermanent in that way?

134. If its gross state is not different from happiness, then the impermanence of happiness is obvious. If you think that something non-existent does not arise, because it has no existence whatsoever, then you have accepted, even against your will, the origination of something manifest that was non-existent.

135. If you accept that the effect is present in the cause, then one who eats food would be eating excrements, and a cotton tree seed would be bought at the price of a cloth and worn as a garment.

136. If you argue that ordinary people do not see this because of delusion, this is the case even for one who knows reality.

137. Even ordinary people know that. Why do they not see it? If you argue that ordinary people have no verifying cognition, then even their perception of something manifest is false.

138. Samkhya: If verifying cognition is not verifying cognition, then what is not verified falsely? In reality, the emptiness of phenomena is not ascertained through that verifying cognition.

139. Madhyamika: Without detecting an imagined thing, its non-existence is not apprehended. Therefore, if a thing is false, its non-existence is clearly false.

140. Thus, when in a dream a son has died, the thought 'he does not exist' prevents the arising of the thought of his existence; and that too is false.

141. Therefore, with this analysis, nothing exists without a cause, nor is it contained in its individual, or combined causal conditions.

142. Nothing comes from something else, nothing remains, and nothing departs. What is the difference between an illusion and that which is considered by fools as real?

143. Examine this: As for that which is created by illusion and that which is created by causes, where do they come from and where do they go?

144. How can there be true existence in something artificial, like a reflection, which is perceived only in conjunction with something else, and not in its absence?

145. For something that already exists, what need is there for a cause? If something does not exist, what is the need for a cause?

146. Something that does not exist will not be subject to change, even with millions of causes. How can something in that state be existent. What else can come into existence?

147. If there is no existent thing at the time of non-existent, when will an existent thing come into existence? For that non-existent thing will not disappear as long as the existent thing is not produced.

148. When a non-existent thing has not disappeared, there is no opportunity for the existent thing. An existent thing does not does not become non-existent; since it would follow that it would be of two natures.

149. Thus, there is neither cessation nor coming into existence at any time. Therefore, this entire world does not arise or cease.

150. States of existence are like dreams; upon analysis, they are similar to plantain trees. In reality, there is no difference between those who have attained Nirvana and those who have not.

151. When all phenomena are empty in this way, what can be gained and what can be lost? Who will be honored or despised by whom?

152. Whence comes happiness or suffering? What is pleasant and what is unpleasant? When investigated in its own nature, what is craving and for what is craving?

153. Upon investigation what is the world of living beings, and who will really die here? Who will come into existence, and who has come into existence, who is a relative, and who is a friend of whom?

154. May those who are like me apprehend everything as being like space. They rage and rejoice by means of dispute and jubilation.

155. Seeking their own happiness with evil deeds they live miserably with grief, troubles, despair, and cutting and stabbing each other.

156. After repeatedly entering the fortunate states of existence and becoming accustomed to pleasure again and again, they die and fall into the miserable states of existence in which there is long and intense anguish.

157. There are many pitfalls in mundane existence, but there is not this truth here. There is mutual incompatibility. Reality could not be like this.

158. There are incomparable, violent, boundless oceans of suffering. Strength is scanty there; and the life span is short there as well.

159. There, too, in practices for long life and health, in hunger, fatigue, and weariness, in sleep and calamities, and in unprofitable associations with fools,

160. Life passes by swiftly and in vain. Discrimination is difficult to obtain there. How could there be a way to prevent habitual distractions?

161. There, too, Mara tries to throw them into very wretched states. There, because of the abundance of wrong paths, doubt is difficult to overcome.

162. And leisure is hard to obtain again. The appearance of a Buddha is extremely rare. The flood of mental afflictions is difficult to impede. Alas, what a succession of suffering!

163. Ah, there should be a great pity for those adrift in the flood of suffering, who, although miserable in this way, do not recognize their wretched situation.

164. Just like one who repeatedly immerses himself in water but must enter fire again and again, so they consider themselves fortunate, although they are extremely miserable.

165. As they live like this, pretending that they are not subject to aging and death, terrible calamities come, with death the foremost of them.

166. Thus, when might I bring relief to those tormented by the fire of suffering, with the requisites of happiness springing forth from the clouds of my merit?

167. When shall I respectfully teach emptiness and the accumulation of merit-in terms of conventional truth and without reification-to those whose views are reified?

Continue to Chapter Ten (Dedication)

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