Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lankavatara Sutra Chapter 2, Sections LV and LVI

As I keep saying I'm using the translation here, and as usual, and I'm just doing this as an ordinary guy...and, to begin with, again appealing to Suzuki's introduction to the text.  We are at the last two sections of Chapter 2, and I think, just from the unfamiliarity of the first word in LV that I quote from Suzuki:

Citta comes from the root cit, "to think", but in the Lanka the derivation is made from the root ci, "to pile up", "to arrange in order". The Citta is thus a storehouse where the seeds of all thoughts and deeds are accumulated and stored up. The Citta, however, has a double sense, general and specific. When it is used in the general sense it means "mind", "mentation", "ideas", including the activities of Manas and Manovijnana, and also of the Vijnanas; while specifically it is a synonym of Alayavijnana in its relative aspects, and distinguishable from all the rest of the mental faculties. When, however, it is used in the form of Citta-matra, Mind-only, it acquires still another connotation. We can say that Citta appears here in its highest possible sense, for it is then neither simply mentation nor intellection, nor perception as a function of consciousness. It is identifiable with the Alaya in its absolute aspect. This will become clearer later on.
Alayavijnana is alaya+vijnana, and alaya is a store where things are hoarded for future use. The Citta as a cumulative faculty is thus identified with the Alayavijnana. 

 And so the text says...

182. The Citta is bound up with the objective world; the intellect's function is to speculate; and in the excellent state of imagelessness there is the evolving of transcendental wisdom (prajñā).
183. According to the false imagination, [self-substance] is, but from the point of view of relativity (paratantra) it is not; owing to perversion, what is discriminated is grasped [as real]; in the relativity there is no discrimination.
184. Multitudinousness of differentiations is imagined [as real by the ignorant], but being like Māyā they obtain not; varieties of individual forms are discriminated as such, but they [really] do not obtain.
185. [To imagine] individual forms is wrong, it puts one in bondage; they are born of Mind due to the false imagination of the ignorant; based on the relativity they are discriminated.
186. The existence thus subjected to discrimination is no other than its relativity aspect; (131) the false imagination is of various forms; based on the relativity, discrimination is carried on.
It is repetitive, to be sure, no doubt giving its heritage as a teaching text, but the point does indeed bear repeating...living in nonduality or nondiscrmination in all our activities is the point here.

Finally, in LVI...

Further, Mahāmati said: Pray tell me, Blessed One, about the one vehicle that characterises the inner realisation of noble wisdom, whereby, Blessed One, I and other Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas, becoming conversant with the one vehicle which marks the inner attainment of noble wisdom, may be established without depending on anybody else in the teaching of the Buddha.
Said the Blessed One: Then, Mahāmati, listen well and reflect within yourself as I tell you.
Mahāmati the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva said, Yes, I will, Blessed One; and gave ear to the Blessed One.
Thereupon the Blessed One said: In accordance with the authoritative teachings in which there are no discriminations, Mahāmati, let the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva retire by himself to a quiet secluded place, where he may reflect within himself, not relying on anybody else, but by means of his own inner intelligence, in order to discard erroneous views and discriminations, make successive advances and exert himself to finally enter upon the stage of Tathagatahood. This, Mahāmati, is the characteristic feature of the inner realisation to be gained by means of noble wisdom.
What characterises the way of the one vehicle? I call it the one vehicle because thereby one recognises and realises the path leading to the one vehicle. How is this path of the one vehicle to be recognised and realised? The recognition of the one vehicle is obtained when there is no rising of discrimination by doing away with the notion of grasped and grasping and by abiding in the reality of suchness (yathābhūta). Mahāmati, this recognition of the one vehicle,  except by the Tathagata himself, has never been obtained before by anybody else—the philosophers, Śrāvakas, Pratyekabuddhas, Brahmans, etc. For this reason, Mahāmati, this is known as the one vehicle...

There is really no establishment of various vehicles, and so I speak of the one vehicle; but in order to carry the ignorant I talk of a variety of vehicles.

So the Lankavatara sutra text too, is skillful means, so that all can move through life, I'd say.

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