Engaging in Bodhisattva Behavior – Shantideva
translated from the Tibetan, as clarified by the Sanskrit
by Alexander Berzin, 2004
9. Far-Reaching Discriminating Awareness
(1) The Sage has spoken about all these branches
For the sake of discriminating awareness.
Therefore, generate discriminating awareness
With the wish to pacify sufferings.
(2) Surface and deepest,
These are accepted as being the two truths.
The deepest aren't cognitive objects of the dualistic mind;
The dualistic mind is spoken of (in terms of) the surface.
(3) In light of that, the world is seen to be of two types:
Yogis and common people.
And regarding that, the world of common people
Is undermined by the yogi world.
(4) Through differences in their intelligence,
Yogis too are undermined by progressively higher ones,
By means of examples accepted by both and because,
When not scrutinizing, (both accept that causes function)
for the sake of the result.
(5) Functional phenomena are seen by the (common) world
And conceptualized to be absolutely existent,
And not like an illusion. It's in this regard
That there's dispute between the yogis and the (common) world.
(6) But even form and so on,
(as perceived by) straightforward cognition itself,
Is (established only) by popular consensus and not by valid cognition;
And that's false, like the popular consensus that
What's unclean and so forth is clean and so on.
(7) For the sake of causing the (common) world to enter,
The Guardian (Buddha) has taught that there are
(truly existent) functional phenomena.
Their actual nature, however, is that they aren't "momentary things."
(Suppose, like the Sautrantikas,) you objected,
"But, it's supposed to contradict the (common) surface (view)."
(8) (Well ,) surface (truth asserted) by yogis has no fault,
And that's a seeing of their actual nature in contrast with
the (common) world's (view);
Otherwise, (their) ascertainment of the uncleanliness
of a woman's (body, for instance,)
Would be undermined by the (common) world.
(9) (Furthermore,) from Triumphant Ones, who are like an illusion,
(comes) positive force,
In the same way as if they (actually) were
(truly existent) functional phenomena.
Suppose you objected, "But, if a limited being were like an illusion,
Then how could he take rebirth, once having died?"
(10) (Well,) so long as conditions are gathered together,
For that long an illusion lasts as well;
And how could a limited being be truly existent
Merely because his continuity lasts longer?
(11) In murdering, and so on, a person that is (actually) an illusion,
There's no negative force, since it hasn't a mind;
But, with someone having the (type of) illusion a mind (actually) is,
Positive and negative forces accrue.
(12) Because mantras and so forth lack the ability,
They cannot produce an (actual) illusory mind.
And even that illusory one
that arises from varying conditions
Is of varying sorts,
(Since) nowhere is there one condition
Having the ability for (producing) all.
(13) (Suppose you asked, )
"If, in deepest (truth), someone were released in (natural) nirvana
And, in surface (truth), were circling in samsara;
Then, since Buddha as well would be circling in samsara,
What use would there be with bodhisattva behavior?"
(14) (Well,) even an illusion cannot be turned back,
Unless the continuity of its conditions is cut.
Yet, when the continuity of its conditions is cut,
It doesn't arise even in surface (truth).
(15) (Suppose, like the Chittamatrins, you then asked,)
"When even the deceptive awareness (of it) doesn't (truly) exist,
By what is the illusion being focused on?"
(Well,) when the illusion itself doesn't (externally) exist,
according to you,
Then, on what is it being focused?
(16) Suppose (you answered,)
"In actuality, it exists as something else:
It's an aspect of mind itself."
(Well,) when mind itself is what the illusion (actually) is,
Then what's being seen by what?
(17) It's been said by the Guardian for the World, in fact,
"Mind cannot see mind."
Just as the edge of a sword cannot cut itself,
So (it is with) the mind.
(18) (Suppose you responded,)
"But, it's just like how a candle flame
Perfectly illuminates itself as a phenomenon."
(Well,) the flame of a candle isn't being illuminated,
Since it's not something that had been obscured by darkness.
(19) Suppose (you replied),
"Well, a blue object, (for example,) doesn't depend on something else
For its being blue, as does a (clear) crystal;
So like this, some things are seen that depend on another
And some that do not so depend."
(20) (Well,) when something is (an example of) non-blue,
It can't make itself blue by itself;
(And what blue object
Can make itself blue by itself?)
(21) (Suppose you persisted,)
"But, as it's cognized by a cognition,
It can be said, 'The candle flame is illuminating itself.'"
(Well,) upon its being cognized by what
can that statement be made,
"A mind is illuminating itself?"
(22) And when it's never been seen by anyone,
Then discussing whether it's (self) luminous
Or not (self) luminous is meaningless,
Like the beautiful looks of the daughter of a barren woman.
(23) (Suppose you insisted,)
"But, if reflexive awareness doesn't exist,
Then how does a consciousness come to be recalled?"
(Well,) a recollection comes about from a connection
With another (object) that was experienced, like the poison from a rat.
(24) (And suppose you persisted,)
"But, it can illuminate itself, because,
When endowed with other conditions,
there's the seeing (of others' minds)."
(Well,) a (buried treasure) vase that's seen from applying
actualized magic eye lotion
Still wouldn't be the eye lotion itself.
(25) How something is seen, heard, or known
Is not being nullified in this at all.
Here, (instead,) conceptual cognition (of it) as truly existent,
which has become the cause for suffering,
Is being turned back.
(26) (Suppose you said,)
"An illusion (of an external object) isn't different from the mind;
Yet it can't be conceived as non-different."
(Well,) if it were a (truly existent) functional phenomenon,
how could it not be different?
And if (you said) it's not different,
it couldn't be a (truly existent) functional phenomenon.
(27) Just as an illusion, though not truly existent, can still be seen,
So too is it with what does the seeing.
Suppose (you still objected,) "But, samsara must have a (truly existent)
functional phenomenon as its support;
Otherwise, it would be like space."
(28) (Well,) how could a non-phenomenon come to have a function
Through its being supported on (a truly existent) functional one?
And the mind you (asserted) would get (reduced, in fact,)
To something existing alone by itself, accompanied by nothing.
(29) And when the mind would be (naturally) free of cognized objects,
Then everyone would be a Thusly Gone (Buddha).
And if that were the case, what benefit would there be
In conceiving of mind-only?
(30) (Suppose you asked,)
"Even upon knowing the similarity (of things) with illusion,
How does disturbing emotion turn back,
When it's the case that lust for an illusory woman
Can arise even in the one who conjured her?"
(31) (Well, that happens because) the conjurer hasn't rid himself yet
Of the habit for disturbing emotion toward knowable things,
And so, when he sees her,
His habit for voidness is still weak in force.
(32) However, by habituating himself to the habit of voidness,
He'll rid himself of the habit of (cognizing) phenomena
(as truly existent).
Then, by habituating himself with "not existing at all,"
He'll later come to rid himself even of (cognizing) that.
(33) When a (truly existent) functional phenomenon,
which is conceived as "not existing,"
Is no longer taken as the mental aim;
Then lacking a support, how can the nonfunctional phenomenon
(of its non-true existence)
Remain before the dualistic mind?
(34) When neither a (truly existent) functional phenomenon
nor the nonfunctional one (of its non-true existence)
Remains before the dualistic mind,
Then since the other alternatives cannot be the case,
There's full pacification into (a state) without mental aim
(at the impossible).
(35) (Then,) just as a wish-fulfilling gem
And a wish-granting tree fulfill all wishes;
Likewise, through the power of disciples to be tamed and of prayers,
The Enlightening Form of a Triumphant One appears.
(36) For example, just as when a garudika healer
has passed away
After actualizing a wooden healing post,
It still can pacify poison and the like,
Even when a long time's expired since his passing;
(37) So too, when a bodhisattva has passed into nirvana,
After actualizing the healing-post (body) of a Triumphant One
In accord with bodhisattva behavior,
It still can perform all that's to be done.
(38) (Suppose you asked,)
"How can offerings made to something lacking a mind
(Well,) why? Because whether he's still here
Or has already passed into nirvana,
It's been proclaimed as being the same.
(39) According to scriptural authority, results are there,
Whether from the surface (viewpoint) or that of actuality.
It's like, for example, how (you'd say that offerings made)
To a truly existent Buddha has results.
(40) (Suppose, like the Hinayanists, you then objected,)
"But, since liberation comes from seeing the (four noble) truths,
What's the use of seeing voidness?"
(Well,) why? Because from scriptural authority it's been proclaimed
That without this path, there's no purified state.
(41) Suppose (you then objected,)
"But, Mahayana's not established (as valid)!"
(Well,) how can your scriptures be established?
(If you answered,) "Because they're established for both parties."
(Well,) they weren't established for you from the start.
(42) Any criterion that would give confidence in them
Would equally (apply) to the Mahayana ones too.
And if acceptance by two different parties
could make something true,
Then the Vedas and so on would also become true.
(43) Suppose (you argued),
"It's because the Mahayana ones are disputed."
(Well,) because (your) scriptures are disputed by non-Buddhists
And some other (sections within your) scriptures
by yourselves and others,
They'd have to be discarded (too).
(44) (Suppose you said,)
"But the teachings (of the four noble truths)
are the root of the (absolute) monkhood (of arhats)."
(Well,) even (absolute) monkhood itself is on difficult grounds,
(Since) the nirvana of a mind still aimed (at the impossible)
Is on difficult grounds.
(45) (Suppose you replied,)
"But they've become liberated, because they've rid themselves
of disturbing emotion."
(Well,) that would need to have happened immediately upon that;
However, it's seen that despite (their) lacking disturbing emotion,
They're still under the power of karma.
(46) Suppose (you then said),
"But it's definite that they don't have, still to some extent,
Craving (as a condition) for obtaining (rebirth)."
(Well,) why couldn't it be that a craving
that's not with disturbing emotion
(Is still existing in them,) while still with bewilderment about all?
(47) Through the circumstance of feeling, there's craving,
And feeling still exists in them as well.
So a mind still having an aim (at the impossible)
Will come to be settled on one or another.
(48) A mind that's parted from voidness
May block (it), but it'll arise once again,
As with a trance that lacks distinguishing.
Therefore, one needs to meditate on voidness.
(49) (So again,) if you accept as spoken by the Buddha
Any speech that's made it down into the sutras,
Then why not accept the Mahayana, which,
for the most part,
Are equivalent to (your) sutras?
(50) If, because of one exception,
All would become corrupt;
Then why, because of one equivalence to (your) sutras,
Wouldn't all have been spoken by the Buddha?
(51) And who would consider unacceptable
Some speech, the depths of which
(Even) Mahakashyapa and the like couldn't fathom,
(Simply) because you can't understand it?
(52) (After all,) the fruit of (realizing) voidness is this:
Through freedom from the extremes of attachment and fear,
Being able to stay in samsara
For the sake of those suffering from being bewildered.
(53) As it's like this, derision's improper
In the direction of voidness.
Therefore, without indecisively wavering,
Meditate, please, on voidness.
(54) Voidness is the opponent for the darkness
Of the emotional and cognitive obscurations;
(So) how can someone wishing for omniscience quickly
Not meditate on it?
(55) (Cognizing) phenomena (as truly existent)
gives rise to suffering:
Generate fear for that.
But (realizing) voidness pacifies suffering:
So why does fear generate for that?
(56) (Go ahead and) be afraid of whatever,
If there were something called a "me";
But as there's nothing that is a "me,"
Then whose fear will it be?
(57) Teeth, hair, or nails are not a "me";
Nor am "I" bones or blood.
("I'm") neither mucous nor phlegm;
And nor am "I" lymph or pus.
(58) "I" am not fat or sweat;
Nor am "I" even lungs or a liver.
"I'm" not any of the other inner organs;
Nor am "I" feces or urine.
(59) Flesh or skin is not a "me";
Nor am "I" temperature or energy-wind.
In no way am "I" ever a bodily hole,
Nor are the six types of consciousness a "me."
(60) And if (a person) were a permanent cognizer
(as Samkhya asserts, and) of a sound,
The sound would be cognized all of the time.
But when bereft of something it cognizes, what does it know,
By means of which it could be called a cognizer?
(61) If it could be a cognizer without cognizing (something),
Then absurdly a stick would also be a cognizer.
Therefore, it's certain that without something nearby
that it's cognizing,
It can't be a cognition.
(62) Suppose (you said),
"It itself is then cognizing a sight."
(Well,) why doesn't it also hear at that time?
If (you answered), "Because the sound's not nearby,"
(Well,) then it's no longer a cognizer of it.
(63) How can something having the nature
of the cognizer of a sound
Become the cognizer of a sight?
One can be labeled a father and a son,
But not as his absolute nature.
(64) And it's like this (because)
(as the absolute nature of both a sound and a sight)
Are neither a son, nor are they a father;
(And because) that (cognizer of a sight) has never been seen
With a fundamental nature connected with a cognizer of a sound.
(65) (Suppose you persisted,)
"Like a dancer, it's still itself,
but seen with another mode (of guise)."
(Well then,) it wouldn't be static.
And suppose (you clarified), "It's still itself,
but (its fundamental nature) is in another mode."
(Well then,) its oneness is one without any precedent.
(66) Suppose (you explained),
"But its assorted modes (of guise) are not true,"
Then describe, please, its own (innate) natural (guise).
Suppose (you answered,) "It's being a cognizer."
(Well then), absurdly it would follow that all persons are one.
(67) (Further,) what has intention and what lacks intention -
those two would, in fact, become one thing,
Because their existence is the same.
And, if individualities were contrary to fact,
Then what could be their shared support?
(68) Furthermore, something lacking intention
cannot be a self, (as Nyaya-Vaisheshika asserts),
Because of its nature of lack of intention,
just like a vase and such things.
Now (suppose you claimed), "It's cognizant
because of a conjunction with an intention,"
Then it absurdly follows that (this) noncognizant (self)
(69) And if the self were (in fact) unchanging,
What could have been done to it
through (a connection with) an intention?
(Moreover,) space is noncognizant and inert like that,
So, it (as well) could become a self.
(70) Suppose (you then objected),
"But, without the (true) existence of a (static) self,
The connection between behavioral cause and effect
would be unreasonable,
Since, if it perished after having done an action,
Then whose action would it have been?"
(71) (Well,) since it's established for both of us
That the action and result have a different basis,
And that the self hasn't an active role in this,
Isn't it useless to debate on this (point)?
(72) "Someone providing a causal (action) and conjoined
with its result" -
This has never been seen as an existent thing.
It's in reliance on the unity of a continuum
that it is taught,
"(Only) the agent can be the experiencer (of the results)."
(73) The already-passed and the not-yet-arisen minds
Are not the self, since they don't exist (now).
And well, if the (presently) arising mind were the self,
When it perishes, there would, in fact, be no self!
(74) For example, when the trunk of a plantain tree
Is split into parts, nothing (is found);
Likewise, when searched for with discerning analysis,
A self isn't (found as) an absolute thing.
(75) (Suppose) you asked,
"If a limited being didn't exist,
Toward whom could there be compassion?"
(Well,) it would be toward one who was conceptually labeled
by a bewildered (mind)
That had committed itself to the goal of its fruit.
(76) (Suppose you then asked,)
"Whose fruit would it be, if there were no limited being?"
(Well,) that's true. It's accepted that (the wish)
is due to bewilderment;
(Yet,) for the sake of pacifying suffering completely,
Bewilderment about the fruit is not turned back.
(77) But because of bewilderment about the self,
The cause of suffering, self-inflation, increases.
(Suppose) you said, "But, there's no turning back from that."
(Well,) best is meditation on the lack of an (impossible) self.
(78) A body is neither the feet nor the calves;
Nor is a body the thighs or the hips.
The belly or the back is not a body;
Neither is a body the chest or the arms.
(79) The sides of the torso or the hands are not a body;
Nor is a body the armpits or the shoulders.
The inner organs as well are not it;
And neither is a body the head or also the neck.
So what (alternative) could a body be here?
(80) If this body were located
With a portion in all of these;
Then, although the parts are located in the parts,
Where is it itself located?
(81) And if a body itself, in its entirety,
Were located (everywhere), in the hands and so forth,
There would be as many bodies
As there were hands and so on.
(82) As a body's not (located) outside or inside (the parts),
How could a body exist in terms of the hands and so forth
(as their possessor)?
As it's also not (a possessor) separate from the hands and so on,
How could it possibly be (truly) existent?
(83) Thus, a body's not (truly) existent;
But, because of bewilderment
in terms of the hands and so forth,
A dualistic mind arises of a body.
It's like the dualistic mind that arises
of a man in terms of a scarecrow,
By its feature of having been set up in its shape.
(84) For as long as the conditions are assembled,
The body (of a scarecrow) is seen as a man;
Likewise, for as long as there are hands and so on,
A body is seen in terms of them.
(85) Similarly, because of its being a composite of fingers,
Which one could be a hand?
(The same with) that (finger) as well,
because of its being a composite of joints;
And a joint as well, from the breakdown into its own parts;
(86) And a part as well, through a breakdown into particles;
And that particle as well, because of directional divisions;
And a directional division too, because of its being
without (findable) parts, like space.
Consequently, even particles don't (truly) exist.
(87) Therefore, what discerning (person) would be attached
To a bodily form, which is like a dream?
And when, like that, a body doesn't (truly) exist,
Then what's a male and what's a female?
(88) If suffering existed by absolute nature,
How is it that it doesn't
undermine (experiencing) pleasures?
And if happiness, for those tormented by grief and the like,
were a tasty dish or such things,
Why doesn't it make them delighted?
(89) Suppose (you answered),
"It's not experienced, because it's outshone
By something that's more intense."
(Well,) how can something not in the nature of an experience
Still be something (in the category of) a feeling?
(90) Suppose (you replied,)
"Couldn't it still be suffering, but in a subtle state,
When its gross (level) has been displaced?"
(Well, then) you could (also) say that, other than that,
it was a slight (level of) joy,
And then, (absurdly,) its subtle state would be one of that too.
(91) Suppose (you said),
"But, at the arising of incompatible conditions,
There's the non-arising of suffering."
(Well,) doesn't that (come down to) establishing that
A feeling is (merely) something hung on by a conceptual thought?
(92) Because of just that, this discerning analysis
Needs to be meditated as its opponent;
The stability of mind that grows
from the field of examining
Is the food of the yogis.
(93) If there's a gap between
a cognitive sensor and its object;
Where could the meeting of the two occur?
And if there's no gap, they'd be a fused unity,
So the meeting would be of what with what?
(94) Yet, there can't be penetration of a particle by a particle:
They've no empty space and they're of uniform (size).
When there's no penetration, there's no commingling;
And when there's no commingling, there's no meeting.
(95) Moreover, for something that's partless,
How could what might be called "a meeting"
properly take place?
If a meeting and being partless can be observed (together),
Then show it, please!
(96) For a consciousness, which is immaterial,
A meeting is an impossibility;
(That's so) for a composite as well,
because it doesn't truly exist,
As has been discerningly analyzed before.
(97) And so, like that, when contact doesn't truly exist,
From what does a feeling arise?
For what reason, (then,) is there (all) this trouble?
For whom and from what could injury come?
(98) And when there's no (truly existent) one that feels,
And feeling, as well, doesn't (truly) exist,
Then seeing this situation, O craving,
Why don't you turn yourself back?
(99) Nevertheless, (something) can be seen and also be touched
Through its having a nature similar to a dream or an illusion.
(Further,) a feeling cannot be perceived by a mind
From arising simultaneously with it.
(100) And, though a previous one can be remembered
by one that arises later,
It can't be experienced (by it).
(In short, a feeling) can't experience it's own self
And it can't be experienced by something else.
(101) As there's no (truly existent) one that feels,
Then, feeling cannot exist absolutely.
So, in this bundle that lacks a true self,
Who can be injured by it?
(102) A mind's not situated in cognitive sensors,
in sights and so on,
Nor in the space in between;
A mind isn't inside, nor is it outside,
Nor can it be found, in fact, anywhere else.
(103) Something that isn't the body nor something else,
Neither commingled, nor separate in any way,
Isn't anything (truly existent) at all. Because of that,
Limited beings are by nature released in parinirvana.
(104) If the cognition (of something) were prior to what it cognized,
Then what's it to be aimed at for its arising (to occur)?
And if a cognition were simultaneous with what it cognized,
(Still,) what's it to be aimed at for its arising (to occur)?
(105) Yet, if it occurred after what it cognized,
Then from what did the cognition (of it) arise?
Similarly, it can't be determined that there's
A (truly existent) arising of any phenomenon.
(106) (Suppose you objected,)
"But if it were like that, then surface (true) things
wouldn't exist (at all);
And so how, in this case, could there be the two truths?
Moreover, if they were being (projected) by others
(as veiling) surface (truths),
Then how could there be someone with a limited mind
(unveiled and) released with nirvana?"
(107) (Well,) this would be the deceptive conception
of the limited minds of others,
But that isn't surface (truth) from our own (point of view).
What's ascertained afterwards, that (still) exists,
And if not, then surface truth turns out to be something that doesn't exist.
(108) (And so,) what's conceptually examining and what's
The two of them are (dependently) supported, one by the other.
And it's by being (dependently) supported by what's in accord
with popular consensus,
That all analytical discernment is expressed.
(109) But (suppose you objected),
"When one would need to analytically discern
With a discernment that which has analytically discerned,
Then there would be an infinite regress
for that discernment as well,
Because of its need to be analytically discerned."
(110) (Well,) when what's analytically discerned is being discerned,
A supporting (basis) for that discernment doesn't exist.
And because of its being without a supporting (basis),
it doesn't arise:
That's called (its natural) release in nirvana.
(111) And as for the likes of someone, for whom
these two are truly existent,
He indeed is on very difficult grounds;
(Because,) if it's from the power of a cognition
that an object's established,
Then, what supporting (basis) is there for (establishing)
the true existence of the cognition?
(112) And if it's from (the power of) what's cognized
that a cognition is established,
Then, what support is there for (establishing)
the true existence of what's cognized?
On the other hand, if their existence (is established)
by the power of each other,
Then the non-true existence of both would in fact be the case.
(113) (For example,) if, without a child, someone is not a father,
(Then,) from whom can it arise that someone is a child?
(Because,) in the absence of a child, there can be no father.
Similar to that, is the non-true existence of those two.
(114) (Suppose you asked,)
"A sprout grows from a seed,
And just as (the true existence of) the seed is indicated by it,
Why, by the arising of a cognition from what's cognized,
Can't its true existence (also) be concluded?"
(115) (Well,) when it's from a cognition different from the sprout
That it can be concluded that a seed exists,
What can it be from, by means of which, the (true) existence
Of a cognition cognizing something it cognizes
can be concluded?
(116) (Charvakas, please,) from straightforward cognition,
The common world, in fact, sees for itself everything causal.
(After all,) a diversity of (plants): lotus stalks and the like,
Grows by means of a diversity of causes.
(117) Suppose (you asked),
"By what has the diversity of causes been made?"
(Well,) from a diversity of previous causes.
And (suppose you asked further), "Because of what
does a cause have the ability to give rise to an effect?"
(Well,) it's from the power of previous causes.
(118) If, (as Nyaya-Vaisheshika asserts,) the Powerful Lord Ishvara
were the cause of the world,
So tell me, what is Ishvara in fact?
If you said, "The elements," then so be it,
But why (all) the fuss over merely a name?
(119) However, earth and the rest are multipart,
Nonstatic, inert, and not divine;
They're things to be walked over and unclean.
So that can't be the Powerful Lord Ishvara.
(120) Ishvara can't be space, because that's inert;
He can't be the self, since that's been refuted before.
And even (if you said), "The nature of being a creator
is in reference to something inconceivable,"
Well then, what's the use of talking about
something that's inconceivable?
(121) And what could it be that he wished to create? The self?
Well, aren't that, the earth (element) and the rest,
And Ishvara supposed to be eternal by nature?
Moreover, the arising of cognition from cognizable objects
(122) Is without a beginning, as is happiness and suffering
So tell me, what's been created by him?
And if there's no beginning to the cause,
How could there be a first instance of its effect?
(123) And why doesn't he always create,
When he doesn't depend on anything else?
There's nothing else existing not created by him,
So what is it on which he depends (to create)?
(124) If what he depends on is a gathering (of conditions),
(Then, again,) the Powerful Lord Ishvara would become
not the cause:
(For,) when they're gathered, he'd lack the power
not to create,
And in their absence, he'd lack the power to create.
(125) And if the Powerful Lord Ishvara must create
when not wanting to,
It absurdly follows that he's under the power of something else.
And if it's when wanting to, he's under the power of want.
So where's (the power of) the Powerful Lord who's creating?
(126) Those (Mimamsakas) who assert static particles
(as the creator)
Have already been turned back before;
While the Samkhyas assert
Static primal matter as the cause of the world.
(127) (For them,) the universal constituents,
Known as sattva/pleasure, rajas/pain,
and tamas/neutral sensation,
Abiding not in imbalance are called primal matter;
(While their) imbalance is said to be the world.
(128) But it's illogical for a (partless) unity
to be something threefold by nature;
And therefore, it doesn't exist.
Likewise, the universal constituents can't be (truly) existent,
Because each of them too has three aspects.
(129) And in the absence of the universal constituents,
The (true) existence of sound and the rest becomes very farfetched.
Moreover, it's impossible for pleasure and so on
To exist in non-conscious clothing and the likes.
(130) Suppose (you said),
"Functional phenomena (exist) in the natural guise of their causes."
(Well,) haven't functional phenomena already been analyzed?
(In any case,) the causes, for you, are pleasure and so on themselves:
But cotton clothing and the likes don't arise from that at all.
(131) And, if pleasure and so on were to exist
from cotton clothing and the likes,
Then from their absence, pleasure and so on wouldn't exist.
Moreover, a static state of pleasure and so on
Has never been focused upon.
(132) If manifest pleasure and so on were (truly) existent (statically),
Why isn't (their) experience (always) perceived?
Suppose (you said,) "(The sensation) itself
goes to a subtle (unmanifest) state."
(Well,) how can it be (both) gross and subtle?
(133) Since it would have become subtle (and unmanifest),
after having left its gross (manifest) state,
Its gross and subtle states are nonstatic.
So why not accept the nonstaticness like that
Of all functional phenomena?
(134) And if its gross (manifest) state were no different
from pleasure (itself),
Then the nonstaticness of pleasure is obvious.
Suppose you asserted, "But something totally nonexistent (in the cause)
Couldn't be produced, because of its being nonexistent."
(135) (Well,) then production of something nonexistent
as a manifest (object)
Would be (the self-contradiction) into which you're positioned,
although you don't want it.
And if the effect were positioned in the cause,
Then a consumer of food would be an eater of excrement!
(136) And for the price of cotton clothing,
Cottonseed could be bought and worn (instead)!
Suppose (you said), "(Although) common people don't see (it),
because of bewilderment,
Precisely that is the position (established) by (Kapila,)
the Knower of Reality."
(137) (Well,) cognition of that must (also) exist
In common people, so why isn't it seen?
Suppose (you answered,) "(That lies) in common people's
Not being valid cognizers (for that)."
(Well,) what they see as manifest, then, would (also) not be true.
(138) (Suppose you retorted),
"(But you too assert that) a valid cognizer (for the common world)
is not a valid cognizer (for deepest truth).
And if that's the case, then wouldn't what was validly cognized by it
(also) become false,
And therefore, in actuality, meditation on the voidness
(Of functional phenomena) by it become incorrect?"
(139) (Well, yes, but) when functional phenomena
(labeled and) conceptually analyzed are not contacted,
The nonfunctional phenomenon of their (nontrue existence)
would (also) not be grasped.
Therefore, concerning any truly existent
functional phenomenon that's false,
The falsehood of the nonfunctional phenomenon
of its nontrue existence would be obvious.
(140) Thus, upon the death of a son in a dream,
The conceptual thought that he doesn't exist
Stops (the arising of) the conceptual thought
That he does exist, and yet it is false.
(141) Therefore, with discerning analysis like this,
Nothing exists that's from no cause at all,
Or that's sitting there, fixed in conditions,
Whether separate ones or combined.
(142) In fact, nothing has come from something else;
And nothing remains, and nothing goes.
(So,) anything taken as truly existent by bewildered minds,
What difference does it have from an illusion?
(143) (So,) examine something emanated by illusion
And something emanated by causes:
Where does it come from?
Where does it go?
(144) How can there be true existence
In some virtual object like a reflection,
Which is seen (only) in conjunction with something (else)
And which doesn't exist when that's absent?
(145) For a functional phenomenon that was (truly) existing,
What need would there be for a cause?
Then again, if something were (truly) not existing,
What need would there be for a cause?
(146) There can be no transformation of a non-phenomenon,
Even by means of a hundred million causes!
How can something in that state become a functional phenomenon?
But what else could come into functional existence?
(147) If it isn't a functional phenomenon
at the time of being a non-phenomenon,
When will it come to exist as a functional phenomenon?
But without its functional existence coming to arise,
It won't leave being a non-phenomenon.
(148) Without leaving being a non-phenomenon,
No occasion will occur for its coming to exist
as a functional phenomenon.
And a functional phenomenon cannot go to a state
Because it would absurdly follow that it had a bipolar true nature.
(149) In that way, as cessation doesn't (truly) exist,
And (the arising) of phenomena doesn't (truly) exist either,
Thus this entire world always has been
Non-truly arising and non-truly ceasing.
(150) (Therefore,) wandering beings resemble a dream;
Upon discerning analysis, they're the same as a plantain tree.
Whether they're released with nirvana or not released,
There's no difference in their actual way of existing.
(151) With all phenomena devoid in that way,
What is there that would've been received;
What is there that would've been taken away?
Who is there who'll become shown respect or contempt,
and by whom?
(152) What is there, from which there's pleasure or pain?
What is there, to be disliked or liked?
What craving is there, that's searching
for an actual (findable) nature,
And what is it for, that there's craving?
(153) Upon discerning analysis, (what) world of living beings (is there)?
Who is (possibly) there that will die (from here)?
Who is there that'll come to exist? Who is there that has existed?
Who is there that is a relative? (Who is there that is) a friend?
(And who is there whose friend it is?)
(154) Those of my type, understand please
That all (of them) are like space.
But, those wishing for happiness for a "self"
Get agitated and overexcited
(155) Through fights and festivities as the cause;
And then, through the (resulting) distress and overexertion,
(Disheartening) disputes, and knifings and stabbings of each other,
They pass their lives with tremendous difficulties
through (their) negative acts.
(156) And (despite) coming and coming to the better rebirth states
And experiencing and experiencing manifold pleasures,
They fall, after death, to the worse rebirth states
And unbearable sufferings for a very long time.
(157) In compulsive existence, cliffs (to fall from) are aplenty;
And there it's like this, when actuality is not (known).
But since (this and what's) there, in fact, contradict one another,
In compulsive existence, it's not like this, when actuality (is known).
(158) There, too, there are incomparable, violent
Oceans of suffering beyond any end;
There, like that, there's little strength;
There, as well, there's little life span;
(159) There, as well, with activities
for longevity and health,
With hunger and exhaustion,
With sleep and calamities, and likewise
With fruitless company with infantile people,
(160) A lifetime passes quickly, and in vain.
Yet, analytical discernment is so difficult to gain!
So there, as well, where's there a means
For turning back chronic distraction?
(161) There, as well, demonic force is working hard
To bring about a fall to the most awful rebirth states.
There, (because) there's a profusion of false paths,
Indecisively wavering is so hard to transcend.
(162) And with the difficulty of gaining a respite again,
And the advent of a Buddha even more difficult to gain,
And the rapids of disturbing emotion
so difficult to get out of,
Alas, suffering will just go on and on.
(163) Oh dear, it's really fit to feel sad
About those who are caught in a rapids of suffering
And who fail to see their own terrible situations,
Although they're in extremely terrible states.
(164) For example, just as some people,
abluting and abluting,
Would jump into fire again and again,
And though, in extremely terrible states,
Proudly (consider) themselves
in extremely wonderful situations;
(165) Likewise, there are those who frolic about,
Fooling around, as if there weren't old age and death.
But first, they'll be made to lose their lives,
And then comes an unbearable fall to a worse rebirth state.
(166) Oh, when shall I come to bring peace
To those tortured by the fires of sufferings like that,
With a rain of my buildup of happiness
Pouring forth from the clouds of my positive force?
(167) Oh, when shall I respectfully build up a network
of positive force
In a manner of no mental aim (at impossible existence),
And then teach voidness to those
Who've been ruined by (such) mental aim.
Join us in trying to benefit others.
Support our work!
This website relies completely on donations. Its maintenance, preparation of the remaining 70% of our planned material, and further translating is costly. Although we currently have 80 volunteers, 23 essential team members require payment. Help us raise the 100,000 euros (US $150,000) required each year
to continue providing our website free of charge.
Reaching Our Goal (40%)