Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lankavatara Sutra Chapter 3, Section LXIX

As you might have guessed, I'm using this translation, and of course nobody authorized me to say anything.  Take my words at your own risk. 

The Buddha says, "The self-nature of things is the discrimination of the ignorant and simple-minded, and it is not as it- is discriminated by them. [I]t is the creation of false imagination; nothing indicative of self-nature is to be ascertained. But, Mahamati, there is the self-nature of things such as is ascertained by the wise, by their wise knowledge, by their wise insight, by their wise transcendental vision.   Mahamati asks, among other questions, "Blessed One, what is derived from the imagination cannot be the self-nature of reality. How is it that while things are said to exist owing to the imagination [or discrimination], they are said again not to be such as are imagined?"


How can if discrimination is faulty and arising from false imagination lead to accurateness, from a the perspective of the Lankavatara sutra?

 Finally, we have in this passage:


Now, Blessed One, is it that in order to have all beings free from the notion of being [which is realism] and of non-being [which is nihilism], you in turn make them cherish a realistic view of existence by telling them to uphold the idea of the self-nature of reality, whereby they are led to cling to the realm of noble wisdom? Why do you deny the truth of solitude by teaching the doctrine of reality whose self-nature is [according to you] noble wisdom?
Said the Blessed One: Mahamati, it is not true that I deny truth of solitude, nor that I fall into a realistic view by upholding the noble doctrine of self-existing reality. But in order to save all beings from becoming frightened, who are addicted from beginningless past to the notion of self-nature, it is told them that there is truth of solitude, after making them realise by means of noble wisdom that reality in its self-nature is made the subject of attachment [by the ignorant]. Mahamati, the doctrine of self-nature is not taught by me. But, Mahamati, those who have realised by themselves truth of solitude as it really is and are abiding in it, will see that [this existence of] error has no form; and thereby knowing that what is seen is nothing but the Mind itself,  they are kept away from [dualistically] viewing an external world under the aspect of being and non-being; they are stamped well with the stamp of suchness which is gained by the triple emancipation; they will have an intuition into the self-nature of all things by the wisdom which is acquired within themselves, and thus get away from such ideas of reality as to lead themselves to realism and nihilism.
 It's good to have a bit of non-dualism in the morning.  As I've written in the past much of this sutra is quite repetitive in its themes, but you have to marvel at the myriad ways in which the notion of non-duality is continually expressed here.

30 comments:

Barry said...

Mumon, Are you using the "epistomized" translation created by Dwight Goddard, based on DT Suzuki's work? After reading these posts of yours, I'd like to read it myself. (I mean this as a compliment!)0

Mumon said...

Barry,
I think this work simply says, "translated by" Suzuki, so I don't know if it's also the work of Goddard.

I thank you for your comments here; it takes time to tease meaning out of these passages, and while there is a "selfish" purpose in this (encouraging me to actually read the sutra)I'm very glad other folks are able to get some meaning out of this as well.

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