Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Lankavatara Sutra Chapter 2, Section XXXIII

Disclaimer: I didn't get any authority to teach anything.

As usual, I'm using the translation at this link.

Mahāmati asks the Buddha: Where, whence, how, and by whom do words indicating discrimination take place among the people?

The Buddha replies, in effect:Word-discrimination goes on taking place by the coordination of the head, chest, nose, throat, palate, lips, tongue, and teeth, and words themselves are neither different nor non-different from discrimination.

Because words rise, Mahāmati, with discrimination as their cause. If, Mahāmati, words are different from discrimination, they cannot have it for cause. Then if they are not different, words cannot express the sense, which they do. Therefore, words and discrimination are neither different nor not-different.

The Buddha continues, in response to the "reality" of words: "[W]ords are not the highest reality, nor is what is expressed in words the highest reality. Why? Because the highest reality is an exalted state of bliss, and as it cannot be entered into by mere statements regarding it, words are not the highest reality. Mahāmati, the highest reality is to be attained by the inner realization of noble wisdom; it is not a state of word-discrimination; therefore, discrimination does not express the highest reality."

This "inner realization of the noble wisdom" is the realization of emptiness, sunyata. (The root word of "noble," is the Pali ariya, also meaning "ideal" or "universal," and that meaning should be apparent from the Buddhist context. )

Finally, the Buddha notes that words, like all other phenomena, "only appear before us as something revealed out of Mind itself"

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