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Diamond Sutra - Part 15 Unchecked

DISCLAIMER - This transcript has not been checked by Sangharakshita, and may contain mistakes and mishearings. Checked and reprinted copies of all seminars will be available as part of the Complete Works Project.

by Sangharakshita

Dipankara gives him the n&ce of Shakyamuni for the first tirr~ as well. Icn't knw if
there' S any real significance in that.
S:
IlBy the narre of Shakyatnuni"- a muni of the Shakya tribe. It1s a sort of pat- ronymic.
What does 'muni' rt~an?
S:
'Muni' ir~ans one who is silent' and also 'one who is wise' - saretiires trans- Tated as
'silent sage' It basically n~ans 'one who is silent'. Because he is silent he is assutted to be wise,
like a wise old wl , who sat in an oak ,in the pean, you knw it don't you?
_____ Yes. (Laughter).
S:
The little verse about the wise old aal, you must \&~'-' it ,it' 5 a nursery rhyme: A
wise old wl sat in an oak, The more he heard,the less he spdke, The less he spcke,the more he
heard, Wasn't he a wise old bird.
(Laughter)
You haven't heard that one? Well you miss all these nursery rhymes going to public school.
(Laughter). One of the disadvantages of a public school education.You do the classics these
days. (Laughter). So a'muni' is perhaps a little bit like that. The more he hears the less he says
and the less he says the more he hears,and in that way he becanes very wise indeed. (Pause)
Anyway let's go on,if there isn't any query,and do 6c.
&.
The Bodhisattva at the end of his career
17c. And why? 'Tathagata', Subhuti, is synonymous with true Suchness (tathata).-l7d. And
whosoever, Subhuti, were to say, 'The Tathagata has fully known the utmost, right and perfect
enlightenment', he would speak falsely. And why? [(There is not any dharma by which the
Tathagata has fully known the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment. And that dharma
which the Tathagata has fully known and demonstrated, on account of that there is neither
truth nor fraud.)] Therefore the Tathagata teaches, 'all dharmas are the Buddha's own and
special dharmas'. And why? 'All-dharmas', Subhuti, have as no-dharmas been taught by the
Tathagata. Therefore all dharmas are called the Buddha's own and special dharmas.-l7e. ([Just
as a man, Subhuti, might be endowed with a body, a huge body.fl~ubhuti said: That man of
whom the Tathagata spoke as 'endowed with a body, a huge body', as a no-body he has been
taught by the Tathagata. Therefore is he called, 'en- dowed with a body, a huge body'.
S:
So is there anything new here?
_____ "All dharmas are the Buddha's ~~i and special dharmas"
S:
Yes. So what does this nean? - "All dharrnas are the Buddha' S Own and special
dhant~"? (Pause) . It's as though anything belongs to the Buddha,or everything belongs to the
Buddha. You can't sort of tie the Buddha down to being this or that specific thing.The Buddha
is ,as it were ,identical with ertptiness.All dhartnas are enpty.Therefore the Buddha as
eirpty,possesses all dharmas.If one wanted to put it in more logical form,one could say
that.The Buddha possesses,so to speak,all dharrtas by virtue of his realisation of that sunyata
~'~ all dharmas essentially are. You may r~rert~r that one of the consorts of one of the so
called dhyani Buddhas
ds. 14 S (ctd.): is called £~armaki).~armaki) means ,roughly speaking, "one who considers all as
mine".Here of course in a positive sense.All things are hers because she does not anything
as hers. (Pause).
_____ I don't know if it said before that'Tathagata is synonymous with true Suchness"?
S: I don't think it was said before.It's like saying that the Buddha is synonymous with
Lnlightenment,the Buddha is the embodiment of bodhi,in as much as he has realised it.In the
same way,the Tathagata is no different from tathata,the ultimate,or the absolute,inasmuch as
he has realised that.You can interpret Tathagata not only as the one who has thus gone,or thus
come,that is to say gone like that or come like that,but one who has gone to or come from a
state of suchness,tathata,or thusness. (Pause).
6u~ Subhuti: I know we have touched on this beforekl am not clear on this, on the truth or
fraud. "And that dharma which the Tathagata has fully known and demonstrated,on account
of that there is nt~ther truth ~or fraud."
S: - 1'- is as though the demonstration goes ultimately beyond the extremes,so to speak,of
truth and fal~t.If~~ think of \ruth~~~~~~~~, related to existvice,and fraud as relat~d to
noCn2e~xi~tCncek~~as~he trascendental is ~nd~5the Perfection of Wisdom is,must be
beyond truth and falsehood,or truth and fraud at the same time. (Pause).
It is truth presumably in the more dualistic sense,mundane truth. (Pause). When we
spoke about ,changing the subject slightly,but not altogether, when we spoke about the
different ways in which Perfect Vision might arise,was humiliation included among them?
________________ No, not really.
S:
Not really no. One could consider including it perhaps.
Subhuti: In a sense ~~~ %La~tS~ ~o%L
~ talk~'~bout death~~
S: Yes, well,and we talked about illness also didn't we
Subhuti:Humiliat ion seems to be quite tied UP with the Bardo. When the Bardo
experience opens up, in a sense you experience a humiliation.
S:
Though the emphasis seems to be more on sort of experience of being
overwhe lmed. Yes,humiliating
' cut down to size'. It's as
ds.14 &
though reality cuts you down to size. (Pause) Let's go on then to 6d.
6d.
The Dodhisattva's attitude to his tasks
l7f. The Lord said: So it is, Subhuti. The Bodhisattva who~would say, 'I will lead beings to
Nirvana', he should not be called a 'Bodhi-being'. And why? Is there, Subhuti, any dharma
named 'Bodhi-being'?-Subhuti repiled: No indeed, 0 Lord.-The Lord said: Because of that the
Tathagata teaches, 'seffless are all dharmas, they have not the character of living beings, they
are without a living soul, without personality'.-l7g. [(If any Bodhi- sattva should say, 'I will
create harmonious Buddha- fields')], he likewise should not be called a Bodhi-being. [(And
why? 'The harmonies of Buddhafields, the har- mo~nies of Buddhafields', Subhuti, as
no-harmonies have they been taught by the Tathagata. Therefore he spoke of 'harmonious
Buddhafields'.)]-l7h. The Bodhi- sattva, however, Subhuti, who is intent on 'without self are
the dharmas, without self are the dharmas', him the Tathagata, the Arhat, the fully
Enlightened One has declared to be a Bodhi-being, a great being.
S,: A slightly new theme emerges~here at the end. "The Bodhisattva, however, Subhuti, who
is intent on 'without if are the dharm~~ without self are the dharmas', hirn the Tathagata has
declared to be a Bodhi-being."
There are the two kinds of nair~tmya. There is the pudgala- nairatmya and the
dharma-nairatmya, the second of those being peculiar to the Mahayana. So it is as though the
Buddha is saying that it is this preoccupation with dharma-nairatmya or dharma-sunyata that
makes a Bodhisattva a Bodhisattva. The Bodhisattva is preoccupied with this deeper level of
sunyata which goes even beyond the pudgala-nairatmya.
Vessantara:
What is it th a,t mke 5 the danger of the dharma-nairatyma?
- I ca~~
.'~ ',~'~- Is it that through that one.~is it thaty're still clinging to a subtle form of self
or the building blocks out of which you can return to the&self? Or is it that you're still stuck
in concepts and words, sort of separate from experience?
S~: Well, according to the traditional interpretation, the traditional way of lotiking at things,
you've simply transferred from the pudgala to the dharmas~the so-called ultimate constitu
ents of the pudgala- your notion of an entity. You've broken down the pudgala; you've seen
that the pudgala, the self or the ~tma or whatever, is not something solid, is not something
impartite. You see that it's composite,
ds. 14 iz~4. therefore that it's conditioned, therefore that it's transitory and unsatisfactory. But
you've broken it down into a number of elements, a number of psycho-physical constituents,
which you now proceed to re- gard as ultimate, in the same way that formerly you regarded
the pudgala as ultimate. So you've transferred that concept of ultimacy from the pudgala to
the dharmas. So you're back where you started from, in a way, but in a subtler sort of way.
So one has to realize that the dharmas just as much as the so-called pudgala are just
almost arbitrary conceptual constructions. You need not stop there, you can go further, you
can analyze further. The dharmas are not ultimate, you can go on and on indefinitely and
that
possibility of going on and on indefinitely is represented by the ;~ c~~~~ 6L o~L'- ~~ idea,k
an idea to begin with, of dharma-nairatmya or dharma-sunyata.
So it would thus seem that we're going over pretty much the same ground in this
section as earlier on in the Sutra. Let's press on then to 7:
7.
THE BUDDHAS
7a.
The Buddha's Five Eyes
l8a. What do you think, Subhuti, does the fleshly eye of the Tathagata exist?-Subhuti replied:
So it is, 0 Lord, the fleshly eye of the Tathagata does exist.-The Lord asked: What do you
think, Subhuti, does the Tathagata's : heavenly eye exist, his wisdom eye, his Dharma-eye, his
Buddha-eye?~ubhuti replied: So it is, 0 Lord, the heavenly eye of the Tathagata does exist,
and so does his wisdom eye, his Dharma-eye and his Buddha-eye.
S.: So we ~onder what the significance of this is. There's ...

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