Monday, May 31, 2010

Lankavatara Sutra Chapter 3, Section LXX

I'm using the usual translation....and as usual, I'm not authorized to say a word by a teacher;  my words and comments  are my responsibility alone.

The Buddha explains:

"All things are unborn" is not to be maintained by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva as valid. Why? Of this thesis it is to be stated that anything of which something is asserted partakes thereby of the nature of being, and that the reason for this thesis is characterised with the quality of birth; while it is being asserted by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva that all things are unborn, the very assertion destroys his thesis. The thesis that all things are unborn acts against the one who holds it because it is born of the principle of mutuality.

"All things are unborn" is still a form of dualistic thinking.  Furthermore, the sentence "all things are unborn" is self-referential, leading to a paradox.  The Buddha continues:

As with [the thesis that] all things are unborn, so with [the thesis that] all things are empty and have no self-nature—neither is to be maintained by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva. But, Mahamati, this is to be pointed out by the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, that things in their self-nature are like Maya, like a dream; for they are in one way perceived [as existing] and in another way are not perceived [as such], and all things are thus seen in [two] ways, in accordance either with knowledge or ignorance. Let it be pointed out that all things are like Maya and a dream, except when the feeling of fear is aroused in the minds of the ignorant. Mahamati, the ignorant and the simple-minded are addicted to the views of being and non-being, and are liable to tremble [at our teaching]; Mahamati, let them not be frightened away from the Mahayana. 

It's hard to give up attachments of whatever form, and our inability to fully grasp this and act within this leads to disturbance.

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