Monday, August 09, 2010

Lankavatara Sutra Chapter 3, Section LXXIX

As usual, I am using this text. My condensation of this section would be as follows:

1.  Impermanency that exists in existence and non-existence, is meant that things made of the elements are by nature subject to destruction and have nothing in them one can take hold of, while the elements themselves are never set in motion.

2. Impermanency that is no-birth is meant that there is neither permanency nor impermanency; that in all things there is no [dualistic] evolution of being and non-being, and that nothing is seen to exist, even when they are examined into the last atom.  This not seeing of anything is another name for no-birth, and not for birth. This  is the nature of impermanency that is no-birth, and as this is not understood, all the philosophers cherish the view of impermanency that is based on birth.

3. The conception of impermanency as objective existence means that there is a discrimination in [the philosopher's] own mind as to that which is not permanent and that which is not impermanent. What is the sense of this?  It means that there is a thing called impermanency which in itself is not subject to destruction, but by whose working there is the disappearance of all things; and if not for impermanency there will be no disappearance of all things. It is like a stick or a stone, or like a hammer breaking other things to pieces while itself remains unbroken. [This is the philosopher's meaning but] as we actually see things about us, there is no such mutual differentiation which compels us to say that here is impermanency the cause, and there is the disappearance of all things as the effect; there is no such differentiation of cause and effect, and we cannot say: Here is impermanency as cause and there is the effect. When there is thus no differentiation of cause and effect, all things are permanent since no cause exists to render them otherwise.

4. The Buddha advocates neither for permanency nor for impermanency. Why? For these reasons: external objects are not admitted; the triple world is taught as not being anything else but the Mind itself; multiplicities of external existences are not accepted; there is no rising of the elements, nor their disappearance, nor their continuation, nor their differentiation; there are no such things as the elements primary and secondary; because of discrimination there evolve the dualistic indications of perceived and perceiving; when it is recognized that because of discrimination there is a duality, the discussion concerning the existence and non-existence of the external world ceases because Mind-only is understood. Discrimination  rises from discriminating a world of effect-producing works; no discrimination takes place when this world is not recognized. Then a man ceases to cherish the discrimination of existence and non-existence which rises out of his own mind, he sees that things, either of this world or of a higher world, or of the highest, are not to be described as permanent or impermanent, because he does not understand the truth that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of the Mind itself. As [the meaning of] discrimination is not understood by all the philosophers who have fallen into wrong ideas of dualism and who are people of no [spiritual] attainment, impermanency comes up to them as a subject for discussion. The triple aspect of all things as distinguished as of this world, of a higher world, and of the highest, is the outcome of word-discrimination, but this is not understood by the ignorant and simple-minded.  Thus:

5. According to the Buddha, there is nothing in the world but the Mind itself, and all that is of duality has its rise from the Mind and is seen as perceived and perceiving; an ego-soul and what belongs to it—they exist not.

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