THE PERFECTION OF WISDOM
This is dedicated to Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche. This teaching is about
Bodhisattvas, for Bodhisattvas and anyone living according to these principles,
or, wanting to learn and apply these to the lives of countless beings as well as
their own for the benefit of all — all within this same instant. To these same
principles is the Rinpoche’s life dedicated...so too, for him and his endless
stream of life and blessings is this.
In prayer for all,
Table of Contents
Chapter I — The Practice of the Knowledge of All Modes;
Chapter II — Sakra;
Chapter III — Reverence for the Receptacle of the Perfections, which holds
Immeasurable Good Qualities;
Chapter IV — The Proclamation of Qualities;
Chapter V — The Revolution of Merit;
Chapter VI — Dedication and Jubilation;
Chapter VII — Hell;
Chapter VIII — Purity;
Chapter IX — Praise;
Chapter X — Proclamation of the Qualities of Bearing in Mind;
Chapter XI — Mara's Deeds;
Chapter XII — Showing the World;
Chapter XIII — Unthinkable;
Chapter XIV — Similes;
Chapter XV — Gods;
Chapter XVI — Suchness;
ChapterXVII — Attributes, Tokens, and Signs of Irreversibility;
Chapter XVIII — Emptiness;
Chapter XIX — The Goddess of the
Chapter XX — Discussion of Skill in Means;
Chapter XXI — (More of) Mara's Deeds;
Chapter XXII — The Good Friends;
Chapter XXIII — Sakra;
Chapter XXIV — Conceit;
Chapter XXV — Training;
Chapter XXVI — Like Illusion;
Chapter XXVII — The Core;
Chapter XXVIII — Avakirnakusuma;
Chapter XXIX — Approaches;
Chapter XXX — Sadaprarudita;
Chapter XXXI — Dharmodgata;
Chapter XXXII — Entrusting
The Practice of the Knowledge of All Modes
Thus I now hear at this time. The Lord, dwelling at Rajagriha, on the Vulture
Peak, together with a great gathering of 1,250 beings, all of these Arhats, -
their outflows being dried up, undefiled, fully controlled, quite free in heart,
well free and wise, thoroughbreds, great Serpents, their work being done, their
task getting accomplished, their burdens laying down, their own weal becoming
accomplished, with fetters which bound these to becoming extinguished, hearts
quite free by right understanding, in perfect control of whole mind with the
exception of one single person, i.e., the Venerable Ananda.
The Lord says to the Venerable Subhuti, the Elder: "Make it clear now, Subhuti,
to Bodhisattvas, the great beings, starting from perfect wisdom, how
Bodhisattvas, the great beings go forth into perfect wisdom!"
Herein the Venerable Sariputra thinks to himself: Will this Venerable Subhuti,
the Elder, expound perfect wisdom of himself, through the operation and force of
own-power in revealing wisdom, or through the Buddha's might?
The Venerable Subhuti, knowing through the Buddha's might, the Venerable
Sariputra to be in such wise discoursing, says to the Venerable Sariputra:
"Whatsoever, Venerable Sariputra, the Lord's Disciples teach, all this is to be
known as Tathagata's work. In dharma which Tathagatas demonstrate, the devoted
ones train and realize true nature and hold this in mind. Herein nothing which
these teach contradicts true nature of dharma. Whatsoever these sons and
daughters of good family may expound as nature of dharma, this these do not
bring into contradiction with actual nature of dharma.
2. THE EXTINCTION OF SELF
Herein the Venerable Subhuti, by the Buddha's might, said to the Lord: "The Lord
says, 'Make it clear now, Subhuti, to Bodhisattvas, the great beings, starting
from perfect wisdom, how Bodhisattvas, the great beings go forth into perfect
wisdom!'" As one speaks of a 'Bodhisattva', which dharma does this word
'Bodhisattva' denote? Lord, I see neither this dharma 'Bodhisattva', nor any
dharma called 'perfect wisdom'. Since I neither find, nor apprehend, nor see
this dharma 'Bodhisattva', nor any dharma called 'perfect wisdom', what
Bodhisattva do I instruct and admonish, in what perfect wisdom? And yet, O
Lord, as this is pointed out, a Bodhisattva heart is known as neither cowed, nor
stolid...neither despairing nor despondent, as one neither turns away nor is
dejected or trembling, neither is frightened or terrified, it is just this
Bodhisattva, this great being which comes to be instructed in perfect wisdom. It
is precisely this which is recognized as the perfect wisdom of any Bodhisattva,
as one's instruction in perfect wisdom. As one thus stands firm, this is one's
instruction and admonition. As a Bodhisattva courses in perfect wisdom and is
developing such...this one so trains oneself, as one does not pride oneself on
or with any thought of enlightenment [with which one begins one's career]. Any
thought is no thought, since in its essentially aware nature thought is
Sariputra: This thought which is no thought, is this something
Subhuti: Is here existing, or can one apprehend in this state of
absence of thought either a 'here is' or a 'here is not'?...
Sariputra: No, not this.
Subhuti: Is this now a suitable question which the Venerable
Sariputra asks whether this thought which is no thought is something which is?
Sariputra: So, what is this absence of thought?
Subhuti: It is without modification or discrimination.
Sariputra: Well do you expound this, Subhuti, you whom the Lord
declares to be foremost of any who dwell in Peace. And for this is seen to be
foremost of any who dwell in Peace. And for this reason [i.e. as one does not
pride oneself on any thought of enlightenment] is a Bodhisattva considered as
incapable of turning away from full enlightenment, and as one who never ceases
from taking perfect wisdom to heart. Whether one perseveres in training on the
level of Disciple, or Pratyekabuddha, or Bodhisattva, - does one listen to this
perfection of wisdom, take this up, bear this in mind, recite this, study this,
spread this among others, and in this very perfection of wisdom does one train
and exert oneself. In this very perfection of wisdom does one endowed with skill
in means exert oneself, concentrating on procuring any and all dharmas which
constitute a Bodhisattva. In just this perfection of wisdom any and all dharmas
which constitute a Bodhisattva, and in which one trains and exerts oneself, are
indicated in full detail. Any being which aspires to train for full
enlightenment also listens, takes up, bears in mind, recites, studies and
spreads this perfection of wisdom. Any being which is endowed with skill in
means exerts oneself in just this perfection of wisdom, with the aim of
procuring any and all dharmas which constitute a Buddha.
Subhuti: As I who do not find anything to correspond to the words
'Bodhisattva', or 'perfect wisdom', -which Bodhisattva do I now instruct and
admonish in which perfect wisdom? It is truly regrettable as I, while unable to
find either thing itself, merely in words might cause a Bodhisattva to arise and
to pass away. Even so, this, thusly designated, is neither continuous nor
not-continuous, neither discontinuous nor not-discontinuous. And why?
Simply...this does not exist. This is why this is neither continuous nor
not-continuous, neither discontinuous, nor not-discontinuous. A Bodhisattva,
being as unafraid as this unfathomable and perfect wisdom is indicated can be
recognized as not lacking in perfect wisdom, and, as one in this irreversible
stage of Bodhisattva, standing firmly in consequence of not taking one's stand
anywhere. So too, a Bodhisattva coursing in perfect wisdom and developing as
such, neither does nor even can stand in form, feeling, perception, impulse
and consciousness, due to this fact...as one stands in, or is set in view
regarding form, etc., as such, one courses only in its formative influence, and
one can neither gain perfect wisdom, exert oneself upon nor fulfill this. As
one does not fulfill perfect wisdom, neither can one go forth to all-knowledge,
so long as one remains trying to appropriate the essentially elusive. In perfect
wisdom form, feeling, perception, impulse and consciousness is/are not
appropriated. So, the non-appropriation of form, etc., is not form, etc. [the 5
skandhas], and perfect wisdom also cannot be appropriated. It is thus which a
Bodhisattva courses in perfect wisdom. This concentrated insight of a
Bodhisattva is called 'the non-appropriation of all dharmas'. It is vast, noble,
unlimited and steady, not shared by any of the Disciples or Pratyekabuddhas.
All-knowledge cannot be taken hold of, as it cannot be seized through any sign.
Could all-knowledge be seized through a sign, Srenika the Wanderer could not
gain faith in this our doctrine and tradition. Srenika the Wanderer believes
resolutely in cognition of all-knowing, and as a faith-follower he enters
cognition with a limited scope. He does not take hold of these skandhas. Nor
does he review cognition with joyful zest and pleasure. He views this neither as
from inside form, etc., nor as from outside, nor as from both inside and
outside, nor as from other than form, etc. In this scripture passage, Srenika
the Wanderer, as one who always resolutely believes in cognition of the
all-knowing, is called a faith-follower. He takes true nature of dharmas as his
standard, and resolutely believes in signlessness such as he neither takes hold
of any dharma, nor apprehends any dharma which he even might appropriate or
release. He does not even care about Nirvana. This also can be known as a
Bodhisattva's perfect wisdom, as he does not take hold of form, etc., and he
does not enter Nirvana midway before he realizes ten powers of Tathagatas, his
four grounds of self-confidence, and the eighteen dharmas peculiar to a Buddha.
Herein too is known as a Bodhisattva's perfection of wisdom. Further, any
Bodhisattva coursing in perfection of wisdom and developing this, considers and
meditates on what perfection of wisdom is, on one demonstrating perfect wisdom,
and on perfect wisdom as dharma which does not exist, which cannot be
apprehended. Only as these considerations make a type of wordless sense, and
do not make one doubtful or afraid, can be one be known as, or come to be known
as a Bodhisattva taken hold of by perfect wisdom.
Sariputra: How can a Bodhisattva become known as 'taken hold of
by perfect wisdom', as form does not possess the own-being of form, and as well
the other skandhas; as perfect wisdom does not possess own-being of perfect
wisdom; and as all-knowledge does not possess own-being of all-knowledge?
Subhuti: It is so, Sariputra. Form does not possess own-being of
form, and as well the other skandhas. Perfect wisdom does not possess any mark
(of being) 'perfect wisdom'. A mark does not possess own-being of a mark. Any
'thing' whatsoever as 'marked' does not possess own-being as [or for] being
marked, and this which is seen or thought of as own-being does not possess any
mark of [being] own-being, neither as any of vision, sound, thought, word nor
concept, nor subject or object.
Sariputra: Even so, the Bodhisattva training in this goes forth
Subhuti: Such a one does. As any and all dharmas are unborn, and
do not go forth. As a Bodhisattva courses thus, one comes nearer all-knowledge.
To such and any extent as one comes nearer all-knowledge, one's body, thought
and marks are known as exceedingly pure, for the sake of maturing beings, and
one meets with Buddhas. It is thus any Bodhisattva coursing in perfect wisdom
comes nearer all-knowledge.
Subhuti speaks further concerning the Bodhisattva: One courses
in a sign as one courses in any form, feeling, perception, impulse, or
consciousness, or, in the sign of any of these skandhas, or in ideas such as
'form is a sign', or in production of form, or in the stopping or destruction of
form, or in the idea that 'form is empty', or 'I course', or 'I am a
Bodhisattva'. For one actually courses in the idea 'I am a Bodhisattva' as a
basis. Or, as it occurs to one 'one coursing thus, courses in perfect wisdom
and develops it', one courses only in a sign. Such a Bodhisattva is known as
unskilled in means.
Sariputra: So, how does a Bodhisattva course as one coursing in
Subhuti: One does not course in skandhas, nor in any sign of
such skandas, nor in ideas such as 'skandhas are signs', nor in production of
skandhas, nor in any stopping or destruction of such, nor in any idea such as
'skandhas are empty', or 'I course', or 'I am a Bodhisattva'. And, this also
doesn't occur to this one, 'one coursing thus courses in perfect wisdom and
develops it'. One courses but one does not entertain such ideas as 'I course',
'I do not course', 'I course and I do not course', 'I neither course nor do I
not course', and the same [four] with 'I will course'. One does not go near any
dharma at all as all dharma are unapproachable and unappropriatable. So, a
Bodhisattva purely cognizes and is as undifferientiated concentrated insight
'Not grasping at any dharma' by name or appearance, and regardless whether vast,
noble, unlimited and steady, not shared by any of the Disciples or
Pratyekabuddhas. As one dwells as this concentrated insight, a Bodhisattva
quickly realizes full enlightenment which Tathagatas of this time predict for
one such as this. But as one dwells in such concentration, one neither reviews
nor thinks 'I am collected', 'I will enter concentration', 'I am entering into
concentration', 'I have entered into concentration'. All these thoughts or
notions in any and all ways do not exist for one such as this.
Sariputra: Can one show forth such concentration?
Subhuti: No, Sariputra. Because any one of these ones born of
good family neither knows nor perceives it.
Sariputra: You say one neither knows nor perceives it?
Subhuti: I do, for such concentration does not exist.
The Lord: Well said, Subhuti. And thus a Bodhisattva trains
herein, as one trains
in perfect wisdom.
Sariputra: As one thus trains, one trains in perfect wisdom?
The Lord: As one thus trains, one trains in perfect wisdom.
Sariputra: As one thus trains, which dharmas does one train in?
The Lord: One does not train in any dharma whatsoever. Dharmas
do not exist in such a way as people without such training are accustomed to
Sariputra: So, how do these exist?
The Lord: As these do not exist, so these exist. And so, since
these do not exist [avidyamana], these are called [result of] ignorance
[avidya]. People not diligent and untrained in such have settled down in these.
Although these do not exist, these people nonetheless have constructed all
dharmas. Having constructed these, yet attached to two extremes, these people
neither know nor see dharmas in their true reality. So these beings construct
all dharmas which yet do not exist. Having constructed these, people settle down
in two extremes. Depending on this link as a basic fact, beings now construct
past, future and present dharmas. Now, once constructed these settle down in
name and form. Thusly constructed are any and all dharmas, which yet do not
exist, and these beings as such neither know nor see any path as it truly is. In
consequence these ones do not go forth from any triple world, and do not wake up
to any reality limit. For this reason ones such as these come to be styled as
'fools'. Such ones as these reveal faith neither to self nor others in the true
nature of dharma. But a Bodhisattva does not settle down in any dharma.
Sariputra: As one trains thus, is a Bodhisattva trained in
The Lord: As one thus trains oneself, a Bodhisattva does not
even train in all-knowledge, and yet one trains in all dharmas. As one thus
trains oneself, a Bodhisattva trains in all-knowledge, comes near to this and
goes forth to it.
Subhuti: As, O Lord, someone asks, -- "Does this illusory one
train in all-knowledge, does one come near this, does one go forth to it?" --How
does one explain it?
The Lord: I ask you a counter-question which you may answer as
best you can.
Subhuti: Well said, O Lord. And the Venerable Subhuti listened
to the Lord.
The Lord: Do you think, Subhuti, form, feeling, perception,
impulse and consciousness, is one thing, and illusion another?
Subhuti: No Lord, it is not so illusion being one thing, and
these skandhas, another; this very form is illusion, this very illusion is form.
The Lord: Do you think, Subhuti, this notion 'Bodhisattva', this
denomination, this concept, this conventional expression, - is the five grasping
Subhuti: Yes, it is. A Bodhisattva training oneself in perfect
wisdom trains oneself as an illusory person for full enlightenment. One bears
in mind these five grasping aggregates are this illusory person as well. The
Lord says form is as an illusion. And as this is true of form, this is true also
of six sense organs, and of five grasping aggregates.
Subhuti: Do Bodhisattvas newly set out in this vehicle not
tremble, hearing this exposition?
The Lord: These ones tremble getting into hands of bad friends,
but not getting into hands of good friends.
Subhuti: Who are a Bodhisattva's good friends?
The Lord: The ones instructing and admonishing these in the
perfections. The ones pointing out to Bodhisattvas deeds which are seen as being
of Mara, and saying, 'this is how faults and deeds seen as being of Mara come to
be recognized. These are faults and deeds seen as being of Mara. Get rid of
these as you recognize these.' These ones are known as good friends of a
Bodhisattva, as great beings, armed with great armor and set out in this great
vehicle, and mounted on this great vehicle.
3. THE MEANING OF 'BODHISATTVA'
Subhuti: Regarding what the Lord is saying, as speaking of
'Bodhisattva', --what is meant by this word 'Bodhisattva'?
The Lord: Nothing real is meant by this word 'Bodhisattva'. A
Bodhisattva trains oneself in non-attachment to any and all dharmas. The
Bodhisattvas, great beings, awake in non-attachment to full enlightenment in a
sense in which one understands any and all dharmas. As one has enlightenment as
one's aim, this 'enlightenment-being' [Bodhisattva], this great being, is so
4. THE MEANING OF 'GREAT BEING'
Subhuti: So, as the Lord is speaking of a Bodhisattva as 'great
being', --for what reason is a Bodhisattva called 'great being'?
The Lord: Any Bodhisattva is called 'great being' through
understanding such as any of these reveal to countless masses and collections of
beings' access to their own unlimited awareness.
Sariputra: It is clear also to me this understanding through
which a Bodhisattva is called 'great being'.
The Lord: Make it clear what you think now!
Sariputra: Any Bodhisattva is called 'great being' through
understanding such as any of these demonstrate dharma as truly as it is, and
great errors are forsaken and dissolved - such erroneous views as any assumption
of a self, a being, a living soul, a person, of becoming, of not-becoming, of
annihilation, of eternity, of individuality, etc. - erroneous views or notions
of things or beings of any intrinsically non-dependent inherencies, or as such
may lose any or all attributes assumed of such inherencies.
Subhuti: It is clear also to me this understanding through which
any Bodhisattva is called 'great being'.
The Lord: Make clear, Subhuti, what you think now!
Subhuti: Any Bodhisattva is called 'great being' as being simply
unattached to and uninvolved in any thought of enlightenment, any thought of
all-knowledge, any thought without outflows, any unequalled thoughts or any
thought of equaling the unequalled, or thoughts as either shared or unshared by
any of the Disciples or Pratyekabuddhas. Any thought of all-knowledge is
without outflows, and unincluded [in any empirical world]. Respecting
all-knowledge, and regarding any thought which is without outflows and
unincluded, one remains unattached and uninvolved. In coming to understand this
as such, any Bodhisattva comes to be styled as 'great being'.
Sariputra: For what reason is one unattached even to this
thought, and uninvolved in such?
Subhuti: As such, this is no thought.
Sariputra: Is this thought, which is no thought, something which
Subhuti: Is here existing now, or can one apprehend in this
state of absence of thought, either a 'here is' or 'here is not'?
Sariputra: No, not even this.
Subhuti: So...how can Venerable Sariputra ask, or even say, 'is
such thought, which is no thought, something which is'?
Sariputra: Well do you expound this, Subhuti, whom the Lord
announces as foremost, as dwelling in Peace.
Herein the Venerable Purna, son of Maitrayani, says to the Lord:
'Great being' is one thus called, armed in great armor is such a being, one set
out in this great vehicle, such is mounted on this great vehicle. This is why
one comes to be styled as 'great being'.
Subhuti: How great is this which entitles one to be called
'armed in great armor'?
The Lord: Here the Bodhisattva, the great being, thinks thus:
'countless beings do I lead to Nirvana yet here is neither one leading to
Nirvana, nor any being led thus'. However many beings one may lead to Nirvana,
yet neither has any being been led to Nirvana, nor had any led others to it. As
such is this true nature of dharmas, seeing this nature as such, is illusory.
Subhuti, just as a clever magician, or magician's apprentice conjures up at
these crossroads a great crowd of people and makes these vanish again... What do
you think, Subhuti, is anyone killed by anyone, or murdered, or destroyed, or
made to vanish?
Subhuti: No indeed, Lord.
The Lord: Even so a Bodhisattva, great being, leads countless
beings to Nirvana, and yet not any being has been led to Nirvana, nor has one
led others to it. Hearing this exposition without fear is a great thing which
entitles this Bodhisattva to be known as 'armed with the great armor'.
Subhuti: As I understand the meaning of the Lord's teaching, as
certainly not armed with an armor this Bodhisattva, this great being, is known.
The Lord: So it is. As all-knowledge is not made, not unmade,
not affected. Such beings also for whose sake one is armed with great armor are
not made, not unmade, not effected.
Subhuti: So it is. For form, feeling, perception, impulse,
consciousness, is neither bound nor freed. And such is true also of Suchness of
form, Suchness of feeling, Suchness of perception, Suchness of impulse or
Suchness of consciousness
Purna: But what now is the form of which you say is neither
bound nor freed, and what this Suchness of form, etc.?
Subhuti: The form of any illusory being is neither bound nor
freed. Suchness of form of an illusory being is neither bound nor freed. In
reality it is not here at all, it is isolated, it is unproduced. This is the
great armor, the great non-armor of a Bodhisattva, a great being, armed as the
great armor, set out in this great vehicle, mounted on the great vehicle.
After these words the Venerable Purna is silent.
5. THE MEANING OF 'GREAT VEHICLE'
Subhuti: It is thus, O Lord, a Bodhisattva, great being, is
armed with great armor, and is set out in the great vehicle, is mounted on the
great vehicle. But what is this great vehicle? How does one know any one thus
set out in this great vehicle? Whence does it go forth and whither? Who or what
being sets out in it? Where does it stand? Who or what being goes forth by means
of this great vehicle?
The Lord: 'Great vehicle' is a synonym of immeasurableness.
'Immeasurable' is infinite, and as such no thing by which to determine any
measurement either by name nor number, saying this is as such or this many. By
means of perfections a Bodhisattva sets out. From this triple world one goes
forth. One sets out to where is no objective support whatsoever. Such is a
Bodhisattva, a great being going forth, -but not going forth to anywhere. Nor
does one set out in this as one does not stand anywhere, yet stands on
all-knowledge by way of making a stand nowhere. And finally, by means of this
great vehicle no one goes forth, no one has gone forth, no one will go forth.
As neither of these dharmas exist, - one going forth, and this by which one goes
forth - neither can these be got at. Since any and all dharmas do not exist,
what dharma could go forth by what dharma? It is thus Subhuti, a Bodhisattva, a
great being, is armed with great armour, and is mounted on the great vehicle.
Subhuti: The Lord speaks of the 'great vehicle'. Surpassing the
world with its Gods, beings and Asuras, such a vehicle goes forth. It is the
same as space, and exceedingly great. As in space, so in this vehicle is room
for immeasurable and incalculable beings. Such is this great vehicle of the
Bodhisattvas, these great beings. One neither sees its coming, nor going, and
its abiding as such, does not exist. Thus one cannot get at any beginning of
this great vehicle, nor at any end, nor at any middle. Yet, such is
self-identical everywhere. Thus, hereof one speaks of a 'great vehicle'.
The Lord: Well said, Subhuti. So it is. It is thusly the great
vehicle of the Bodhisattvas, the great beings. Trained herein Bodhisattvas reach
all-knowledge, have reached it, will reach it.
Purna: This Elder Subhuti, as asked about perfect wisdom,
fancies the great vehicle is something which can be pointed out.
Subhuti: Have I, O Lord, spoken of the great vehicle without
transgressing against perfect wisdom?
The Lord: You have. In agreement with perfect wisdom you point
out the great vehicle.
Subhuti: Through the Buddha's might O Lord, moreover, a
Bodhisattva setting out on this journey does not approach the goal of full
Bodhisattvahood from any beginning, nor any ending, nor from any middle either.
Bodhisattvas are as boundless as form, feeling, perception, impulse and
consciousness are boundless. One does not approach any idea such as 'a
Bodhisattva is form', etc. This also does not exist, and is not apprehended.
Thus in each and every way neither do I get at any of the dharmas which
constitute a Bodhisattva, nor do I see any dharma which the word 'Bodhisattva'
denotes. Perfect wisdom also is neither seen nor got at. All-knowledge also
neither is seen nor got at. As in each and every way these dharmas are neither
seen nor apprehended, -what dharma does one instruct and admonish, through what
dharma, in what dharma? 'Buddha', 'Bodhisattva', 'perfect wisdom', all these are
mere words. What 'things' being such as these denote is something uncreated? It
is as with any self or notion hereof. Although we speak of a 'self', yet
absolutely any self is some 'thing' uncreated. Since herein all dharmas are
without own-being, what is form, etc., which cannot be seized, and which is
something uncreated? Thus any fact -such as all dharmas are without own-being
...is the same as any fact that these are uncreated. Yet non-creation of any and
all dharmas differs from these dharmas. How do I instruct and admonish
non-creation in perfect wisdom which is also non-creation? And yet, one cannot
apprehend as other than uncreated all dharmas, regardless whether these are
thought of as constituting a Buddha, or a Bodhisattva, or one marching to
enlightenment. If any Bodhisattva as this is being taught is not afraid, one can
know 'this Bodhisattva, this great being courses in perfect wisdom, develops,
investigates, and meditates on and as such.' At such a time as a Bodhisattva
investigates these dharmas in perfect wisdom, at such a time one does not
approach form and other skandhas, nor go to any of these. Nor does one review
any production of form, etc., nor any stopping. For non-production of form,
etc., is not form, etc. Any non-passing-away of form, etc., is not form, etc.
Non-production and form are herein neither two nor divided. Inasmuch as one
calls any thing 'form', etc., one makes a count of what is not two. Thus,
Bodhisattvas investigate in perfect wisdom any and all dharmas in any and all
modes as such may merely indicate, yet one does not at any time approach form,
feeling, perception, impulse, or consciousness.
Sariputra: As I understand the teaching of the Venerable
Subhuti, a Bodhisattva also is non-produced. Yet, as a Bodhisattva is
non-produced, how does one go on this difficult pilgrimage, and how can one
possibly endure any experience of sufferings which one is said to undergo for
the sake of beings?
Subhuti: I do not look for a Bodhisattva going on any difficult
pilgrimage. In any case, one coursing in perception of difficulties is not a
Bodhisattva. One generating a perception of difficulties is unable to work the
weal of countless beings. On the contrary, one forms the notion of ease, one
forms this notion of all beings, whether men or women, are one's parents and
children, and thus one goes on pilgrimage of a Bodhisattva. A Bodhisattva
identifies all beings with one's parents or children, yes, even with one's own
self, like this: "As I myself aspire to be quite free from all sufferings, just
so all beings aspire to be quite free from all sufferings." In addition
regarding all beings, one forms the notion: "I do not desert all these beings. I
aspire to set these free from any measureless heap of sufferings! And I do not
produce towards any a thought of hate, even though I might be dismembered a
hundred times!" It is thus a Bodhisattva lifts up one's heart. As one dwells as
one whose heart is this way, one neither courses nor dwells as one perceiving
difficulties. And further a Bodhisattva produces the thought, "as in each and
every way a self does not exist, and so not got at, so in each and every way all
dharmas do not exist, and are not got at." Such a one applies this notion to
all dharmas, inside and outside. As one dwells as one whose heart is as such,
one neither courses nor dwells as one perceiving difficulties. But as the
Venerable Sariputra said, "non-produced is the Bodhisattva,"...indeed it is so,
"non-produced is any Bodhisattva."
Sariputra: Further, is just such a Bodhisattva non-produced, or
dharmas also which constitute one?
Subhuti: Dharmas which constitute a Bodhisattva are also
Sariputra: Are only dharmas which constitute a Bodhisattva
non-produced, or also any state of all-knowledge?
Subhuti: Any state of all-knowledge is also non-produced.
Sariputra: Is just the state of all-knowledge non-produced, or
also any and all dharmas which constitute it?
Subhuti: Dharmas which constitute all-knowledge are also
Sariputra: Are just dharmas which constitute all-knowledge
non-produced, or also any common people?
Subhuti: Any common people are also non-produced.
Sariputra: Are just any common people non-produced, or also
dharmas which constitute these?
Subhuti: Dharmas which constitute any common people are also
Sariputra: If, Venerable Subhuti, the Bodhisattva is
non-produced and also dharmas which constitute one as such, and also the state
of all-knowledge, and also dharmas which constitute this, and also any common
people, and also dharmas which constitute these, - surely, the state of
all-knowledge is reached by a Bodhisattva without any exertion?
Subhuti: I do not wish for any attainment of any unproduced
dharma, nor reunion with one. Further, does one attain an unproduced attainment
though unproduced dharma?
Sariputra: So is unproduced attainment got at through unproduced
dharma, or through produced dharma?
Subhuti: Is unproduced dharma produced, or unproduced?
Sariputra: Is production a dharma which is a non-production, or
is non-production dharma which is production?
Subhuti: To talk of production as non-production-dharma is not
Sariputra: To talk of non-production is also not intelligible.
Subhuti: Non-production is just talk. Non-production just
appears before the mind's eye. Non-production is just a flash in the mind.
Absolutely it is nothing more.
Sariputra: In the first rank of preachers of dharma should the
Venerable Subhuti be placed. For in whatever way he may be questioned, he finds
a way out; he does not swerve from the correct teaching about true nature of
Dharma, and he does not contradict true nature of Dharma.
Subhuti: This is the Lord's Absolute...the essence of Disciples
without any support, so in whatever way these are questioned, these find a way
out, do not contradict true nature of dharmas, nor depart from such. This is
such as this, as these do not rely on any dharmas.
Sariputra: Well said, Subhuti. And what is this perfection of
the Bodhisattvas which allows these to not lean on any dharmas?
Subhuti: Perfection of wisdom, beneficial to all the three
vehicles, is also perfection which allows these to not lean on any dharma, due
to it showing all dharmas as having no support and can thus give none. As any
Bodhisattva remains unafraid as this deep perfection of wisdom is being taught,
one can know such a one is adjusted to perfection of wisdom, and one is not
lacking in this attention to true facts about dharmas.
Sariputra: How is it a Bodhisattva does not lack in attention
being adjusted to perfect wisdom? For if a Bodhisattva is not lacking in
attention, one automatically lacks in adjustment to perfection of wisdom. And if
one does not lack in adjustment to perfection of wisdom, one is lacking in
attention. But if in a Bodhisattva the two facts that one is not lacking in
attention, and one is not lacking in dwelling in perfection of wisdom belong
together, then all beings also will not be lacking in dwelling in perfection of
wisdom because these also dwell not lacking in attention.
Subhuti: Well said, and yet I must reprove you, although the
Venerable Sariputra has taken hold of the matter correctly as far as the words
are concerned. One knows attention is without own-being in the same way in which
beings are without own-being; attention has no real existence in the same way in
which beings have no real existence; attention is isolated in the same way in
which beings are isolated; attention is unthinkable in the same way in which
beings are unthinkable; acts of mental attention do not undergo any process
which leads to enlightenment in the same way in which beings do not undergo any
process; acts of attention do not in any real sense undergo any process which
leads to enlightenment, any more than beings do. It is through attention of such
a character as this I wish a Bodhisattva, a great being, may dwell in this
At this time, many Gods are coming to the assembly and taking
their seats: Sakra, Chief of Gods, with forty thousand Gods of the Thirty-three;
the four world-guardians, with twenty thousand Gods belonging to the retinue of
the four Great Kings; Brahma, ruler of this world system, with ten thousand Gods
belonging to the company of Brahma; and five thousand Gods of the Pure Abode.
And yet...the might of the Buddha with his majesty and authority surpasses even
the splendor of these Gods, a reward for the deeds these have done here, even in
Sakra: These many thousands of Gods, Subhuti, have come to this
assembly, and taken seats, as we want to hear about perfect wisdom from the Holy
Subhuti, and to listen to his advice to the Bodhisattvas, to his instruction and
admonition how these Bodhisattvas stand in perfect wisdom, how train in it, how
one devotes oneself to it?
Subhuti: Let me now explain it to you, through the Buddha's
might, majesty and authority. The Gods, not yet aspiring to full enlightenment
should do so. Any however, being certain to have got safely out of this world
[i.e., the Arhats having reached their last birth, and thinking to have done
with it all] are unfit for full enlightenment as these are not willing to go,
from compassion, back into birth-and-death. And why? The flood of birth and
death hems these ones in. Incapable of repeated rebirths, these ones are unable
to aspire to full enlightenment. And yet, these may still aspire to full
enlightenment, and I confirm such as these also. I do not obstruct their
wholesome root. For one should uphold distinguished dharmas above all others.
The Lord: Well said, Subhuti. You well encourage Bodhisattvas.
Subhuti now says to the Lord: We are grateful to the Lord, and
not ungrateful. For the Lord, in presence of Tathagatas leads for our sake the
holy life with enlightenment as his view. Even as he definitely develops
Bodhisattva realization [as being dedicated to a thought of enlightenment],
disciples still instruct and admonish him in these perfections, and by his
coursing herein is revealing utmost cognition, to and for beneficence of
unlimited beings. So also do we help, champion, aid and sustain Bodhisattvas, as
these Bodhisattvas we help, champion, aid and sustain, soon come to know full
2. HOW TO STAND IN EMPTINESS, OR THE PERFECTION OF WISDOM
So, now Subhuti says to Sakra: Listen now, Kausika, and attend
well as I teach you how a Bodhisattva stands in perfect wisdom. Through standing
in emptiness, one stands in perfection of wisdom. Armed with great armor, the
Bodhisattva thus develops so one does not take one's stand on any of these: not
on form, feeling, perception, impulses, consciousness; not on eye, ear, nose,
tongue, body, mind; not on forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables,
mind-objects; not on eye-consciousness, etc., until we come to: not on
mind-consciouness, etc., until we come to: not on the elements, i.e., earth,
water, fire, wind, ether, consciousness: not on the pillars of mindfulness,
right efforts, roads to psychic power, faculties, powers, limbs of
enlightenment, limbs of the Path; not on the fruits of Streamwinner,
Once-Returner, Never-Returner, or Arhatship; not on Pratyekabuddhahood, nor on
Buddhahood. One does not take one's stand on the idea, 'this is form', 'this is
feeling', etc., to: 'this is Buddhahood'. One does not take one's stand on any
ideas like 'form, feeling, perception, impulse, or consciousness, is permanent,
or impermanent'; 'form, etc., is ease or ill'; 'form, etc., is self, or not
self', 'form, etc., is lovely or repulsive', or even that 'form, etc., is empty,
or apprehended as something'. One does not take one's stand on any notion such
as the fruits of the holy life derive their dignity from something called
'Unconditioned'. Or this - a Streamwinner is worthy of gifts, and will be reborn
seven times at the most. Or, a Once-Returner is worthy of gifts and, as one has
not yet quite realized through to any end, one makes an end of ill after one has
once more come into this world. Or, a Never-Returner is worthy of gifts and,
without once more returning to this world, realizes Nirvana elsewhere. Or, an
Arhat is worthy of gifts and just here in this very existence will win Nirvana
in the realm of Nirvana leaving nothing behind. Or, a Pratyekabuddha is worthy
of gifts, and will win Nirvana after rising above the level of a Disciple, but
without having attained any level of a Buddha. Or even, a Buddha is worthy of
gifts, and will win Nirvana in the Buddha-Nirvana, in the realm of Nirvana
leaving nothing behind, once one rises above the levels of a common being, of a
Disciple, and of a Pratyekabuddha, wroughts the weal of countless beings, leads
to Nirvana countless hundreds of thousands of niyutas of kotis of beings,
assures countless beings of Discipleship, Pratyekabuddhahood and full
Buddhahood, is standing [!] on the stage of a Buddha and does a Buddha's work,
-even now on this a Bodhisattva does not take one's stand.
Hereupon the Venerable Sariputra thought to himself: If even
here upon this one does not take one's stand, how does one stand, and train
oneself? The Venerable Subhuti, through the Buddha's might, read his thoughts
and said: What do you think, Sariputra, where does Tathagata stand?
Sariputra: Nowhere does Tathagata stand. A Tathagata mind
neither seeks nor relies upon support. Ones such as these stand neither in what
is conditioned, nor in what is unconditioned, nor do these emerge from such.
Subhuti: Even so a Bodhisattva stands and trains oneself. One
decides this, "as the Tathagata does not stand anywhere, nor not stand, nor
stand apart, nor not stand apart, so also I stand." Just so one trains oneself,
"as Tathagata is stationed, so also I stand, and train myself." Just so one
trains oneself, "as the Tathagata is stationed, so do I stand, well in place as
without a place to stand upon." Even so Sariputra, a Bodhisattva stands and
trains oneself. As one trains thus, one adjusts oneself to perfection of
wisdom, and never ceases from taking it to heart.
3. THE SAINTS AND THEIR GOAL ARE ILLUSIONS
So, now here comes this thought to some of the Gods in this
assembly: "What the fairies talk and murmur, we understand this though mumbled.
But, Subhuti is just telling us what we do not understand." Subhuti read these
thoughts, and said: "Here is no-thing to understand, nothing at all to
understand. Nothing in particular is indicated, nothing in particular is
Hereupon the Gods thought: "May the Holy Subhuti enlarge on
this! May the Holy Subhuti enlarge on this! What the Holy Subhuti here explores,
demonstrates and teaches, is remoter than remote, subtler than subtle, deep
beyond depth." Subhuti read these thoughts, and said: "No one can attain any
fruit of holy life or keep it, - from the Streamwinner's fruit to full
enlightenment - unless one patiently accepts this... - the elusiveness of
Now these Gods thought: "What could one wish any beings to be
like who are worthy to listen to the doctrine from the Holy Subhuti?" Subhuti
read these thoughts, and said: "These learning doctrine from me one might wish
to be like an illusory magical creation, for these neither hear my words nor
experience the facts which are here and now expressed."
Gods: Beings like a magical illusion, are these not in truth
just an illusion?
Subhuti: Like a magical illusion are these beings, like a dream.
For not two different things are magical illusion and beings are dreams and
beings. Any and all objective facts also are like a magical illusion, like a
dream. The various classes of saints, from Streamwinner to Buddhahood, also are
like a magical illusion, like a dream.
Gods: A fully enlightened Buddha also, you say, is like a
magical illusion, is like a dream? Buddhahood also, you say, is like a magical
illusion, is like a dream?
Subhuti: Even Nirvana, I say, is like a magical illusion, is
like a dream. How much more so anything else?!
Gods: Even Nirvana, Holy Subhuti, you say, is like an illusion,
is like a dream?
Subhuti: If perchance here could be anything even more
distinguished, of such too I say is like an illusion, like a dream. For not two
different things are illusion and Nirvana, are dreams and Nirvana.
Hereupon the Venerable Sariputra, the Venerable Purna, son of
Maitrayani, the Venerable Mahakoshthila, the Venerable Mahakatyayana, the
Venerable Mahakashyapa, and the other Great Disciples, together with many
thousands of Bodhisattvas, said: "Who, Subhuti, are these grasping this perfect
wisdom as here explained?"
Hereupon the Venerable Ananda said to these Elders:
"Bodhisattvas incapable of falling back grasp this, or beings, persons reaching
sound views, or Arhats in whom the outflows are realized as dried up."
Subhuti: No one grasps this perfect wisdom as here explained
[i.e. explained in such a way as really no explanation at all]. For no dharma at
all is being indicated, lit up, or communicated. So here too, is not even one
4. SAKRA'S FLOWERS
Now this thought comes to Sakra: Let me now, in order to do
worship to this discourse on dharma which is being taught by the Holy Subhuti,
conjure up some flowers, and scatter them over the Holy Subhuti. Sakra conjured
up flowers, and scattered them over the Venerable Subhuti. The Venerable Subhuti
thought to himself by the way of reply: These flowers which [now] appear among
the Gods of Thirty-three I had not noticed before. These flowers, which Sakra
scatters, are magical creations. They are not issued from trees, shrubs or
creepers. These flowers which Sakra is scattering are mind-made. Sakra replied:
"These flowers are not issuing forth at all. For here are really no flowers
whether they issue forth from mind, trees, shrubs, or creepers." So, Subhuti
now says to him: "As you say, Kausika, 'these flowers do not issue forth at all,
neither from mind, nor from trees shrubs or creepers', for this which never
issues forth is not a flower."
Note to interpolation: [any numbers appearing in square brackets refer to the
versified version of Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines.]
5. TRAINING IN PERFECT WISDOM
So now the thought occurs to Sakra, Chief of Gods: Profoundly wise,
surely, is the Holy Subhuti, as he explains this merely nominal existence [of
all separate things], and yet even so does not bring it into conflict with any
norm of truth, but enlarges on such and quite simply expounds it. Sakra now
says to the Venerable Subhuti: "So it is. The Bodhisattva so trains oneself [in
this insight] as Holy Subhuti points out."
Subhuti: Truly one so dedicated does. As one thus trains, one does
not train to achieve any results of a Streamwinner, nor in any other fruits of
the holy life, even up to Buddhahood. For as one trains oneself on any of these
stages, one trains oneself in, or as buddha-nature, or toward pure and
undifferientiated cognition of all-knowledge; and so in the immeasurable and
incalculable Buddha-dharmas. So in this, one trains oneself neither for the
increase of form, feeling, perception, impulse, or consciousness, nor yet for
their decrease;  neither to appropriate form, etc., nor to let them go. Nor
does one train oneself to get hold of any other dharma even up to all-knowledge,
nor to produce one, or make one disappear. As one thus trains, a Bodhisattva
trains in all-knowledge, and dedicated thusly, goes forth to all-knowledge.
Sakra: Does a Bodhisattva go forth to all-knowledge, even though one
does not train oneself to get hold of any dharmas, -even of all-knowledge, -nor
to produce one, or make one disappear?
Subhuti: One such as this does. 
Sakra now says to Sariputra: How or where does a Bodhisattva search
for perfect wisdom?
Sariputra: In the exposition of the Venerable Subhuti.
Sakra: Through whose might, and on whose authority, does the Holy
Subhuti teach perfect wisdom?
Sariputra: Through the Tathagata’s might, and on his authority.
Subhuti: It is indeed the Tathagata’s might, Sakra, by which such
perfect wisdom is taught. And as you ask, ‘How or where does a Bodhisattva
search for perfect wisdom?’, the answer is: One should not search for such in
form, nor in any other skandhas; nor in any thing which is other than form, or
other than any other skandhas. Because, perfect wisdom is not one of these
skandhas, nor yet other than these. 
6. THE INFINITUDE OF PERFECT WISDOM
Sakra: This perfection of wisdom, Subhuti, is a great perfection,
unlimited, measureless, infinite.
Subhuti: So it is. And why? Perfect wisdom is great, unlimited,
measureless and infinite because form, feelings, etc., are so. Hence one does
not settle down in any such conviction that this is a ‘great perfection,’ and
‘unlimited perfection,’ a ‘measureless perfection,’ or ‘infinite perfection.’
This is how and why perfect wisdom is a great perfection, unlimited, measureless
and infinite.  Perfect wisdom is an infinite perfection because objects as
well as [individual] beings are infinite. Perfect wisdom is an infinite
perfection because one cannot get at the beginning, middle, or end of any
objective fact [since as a dharma, such have no own-being]. Moreover, perfect
wisdom is infinite perfection as all objective facts are endless and boundless,
and any beginning, middle, or end are not apprehended. For one cannot apprehend
the beginning, middle and end of form, or any such skandhas. In such a way as
this perfect wisdom is infinite perfection by reason of this infinitude of
objects. And further still, any being is endless and boundless as one cannot
get at any beginning, middle or end. Thus perfect wisdom is infinite perfection
by reason of this infinitude of beings.
Sakra: How is it, Holy Subhuti, this perfect wisdom is an infinite
perfection by reason of this infinitude of beings?
Subhuti: It is not so because of their exceedingly great number and
Sakra: So, how now Holy Subhuti, is perfect wisdom an infinite
perfection by reason of the infinitude of beings? 
Subhuti: Well Kausika, what factual entity does the word ‘being’
Sakra: The word ‘being’ denotes no dharma or non-dharma. It is a
term which is added on [to any of this which is really here]...as something
adventitious, groundless, as no-thing in itself, unfounded in any objective fact
Subhuti: Is herein [i.e., by uttering this word ‘being’] any being
showing up [as an ultimate fact]?
Sakra: No indeed, Holy Subhuti!
Subhuti: So, as no being whatsoever is showing up, how is herein an
infinitude of these beings? For, if any Tathagata, with a voice of infinite
range, with this deep thunder of a voice, pronounces, for aeons countless as the
sands of the Ganges, this word ‘being,’ ‘being,’ – would this Tathagata hereby
produce or stop any being whatsoever, either in this past, future or present?
Sakra: No indeed, Holy Subhuti! Because any being is pure from
beyond even any beginning, perfectly pure.
Subhuti: In this way also perfect wisdom is this infinitude of
perfection by reason of this identical infinitude of beings. In this manner also
any infinitude of perfect wisdom can be known from this infinitude of beings.
Hereupon these Gods around Indra, Brahma and Prajapati, and these
hosts of men and women around Rishis as well thrice shouted forth in triumph:
Hail the Dharma! Hail the Dharma! Hail the Dharmahood of Dharma! Also these
added: Beautifully does Subhuti the Elder even just now indicate, demonstrate,
show and clarify how thusly any Tathagata comes to be manifest. As potential
Tathagatas we henceforth regard any Bodhisattva possessing fullness of this
perfection of wisdom and who here so dwells within.
The Lord now speaks: So it is, O Gods! So do I, as I met a
Tathagata, Dipankara, in the bazaar of Dipavati, the royal city, possess the
fullness of this perfection of wisdom, so Dipankara, a Tathagata predicted one
day I am to be fully enlightened, and said to me: “You, young Brahmin, in this
future period, after incalculable aeons, become a Tathagata, Sakyamuni by name,
- endowed with knowledge and virtue, Well-Gone, a world-knower, unsurpassed,
tamer of beings to be tamed, teacher of Gods and people, a Buddha, a Blessed
The Gods replied: This is wonderful, O Lord, this is exceedingly
wonderful, O Well-Gone, how much all-knowledge is nourished and promoted in
these Bodhisattvas, these great beings, by this perfection of wisdom!
REVERENCE FOR THE RECEPTACLE OF THE PERFECTIONS, WHICH HOLDS
IMMEASURABLE GOOD QUALITIES
1. WORLDLY ADVANTAGES OF PERFECT WISDOM
The Lord sees these Gods assembled and seated, and the monks,
nuns, laymen and laywomen assembled and seated, and he speaks thus to these
Gods: Mara and his hosts are unable to harm anyone taking up this perfection of
wisdom, bearing this in mind, teaching, studying or spreading this. Humans and
ghosts alike are unable to harm these. Nor do these die untimely deaths. Any
deities setting out for full enlightenment, but not yet having hold of this
perfection of wisdom, as these approach any person who does so and listen, these
also take up, bear in mind, teach, study, and spread this perfection of wisdom.
A person devoted to this perfection of wisdom certainly experiences no fear, one
certainly never becomes stiff with fright, - whether one be in a forest, at the
foot of a tree, in an empty shed, an open place, a road, a highway, or the
woods, or on any ocean.
The Four Great Kings: It is wonderful, O Lord, any beings taking
up, bearing in mind, etc., this perfection of wisdom, for these discipline
beings in the three vehicles, and yet do not perceive any being. We, O Lord, do
protect such a person.
Sakra, Brahma and other Gods likewise promise to protect any
follower of perfect wisdom.
Sakra: It is wonderful, O Lord, by taking up, etc., this
perfection of wisdom, one gains many advantages even here and now. Does one,
taking up perfection of wisdom, take up all the six perfections?
The Lord: Yes. And further, by taking up, etc., perfection of
wisdom, one gains advantages even here and now. Listen attentively, as I now
teach you which ones these are.
So be it, Lord, replied the Gods.
The Lord: The quarrels, contentions and contradictions of any
opposing this dharma simply vanish away; the intentions of opponents remains
unfulfilled. It is a fact for any followers taken hold of by perfect wisdom
such disputes simply vanish away, and do not abide. This is one advantage even
here and now. Here, we have an herb, Maghi by name, which is a cure for all
poison. Suppose a viper, famished, is to see a creature and pursue it, following
the scent, in order to eat it; but now, this creature goes to a patch of Maghi
and stands here, we know the smell of the herb causes the snake to turn back.
As the healing quality of this herb is so powerful it overpowers the viper's
poison, just so do quarrels, contentions and contradictions to which any
follower of perfect wisdom is exposed, become stilled, appeased through this
piercing flame of perfect wisdom, through its power, its strength, through
impregnation with its power. These simply vanish, and neither grow, nor abide.
And why? It is perfect wisdom which appeases all evil, - from [ordinary] greed
to seizing on Nirvana (?) - and does not increase it. And these Gods and all
these Buddhas, and all these Bodhisattvas, protect this follower of perfect
wisdom. This is an advantage even here and now. And further, the speech of any
follower of perfect wisdom is acceptable, soft, measured and adequate. Wrath and
conceit do not overpower such as these. As one concentrates with diligence to
reveal such facts in one's life, perfect wisdom tames and transforms this one.
Wrath and conceit does not increase. Neither enmity nor ill will take hold of
one such as this, not even a tendency towards these. One turns mindful and
friendly. Such a one reflects: "As I foster ill will in myself, my faculties go
to pieces, such that any features beneficial to any and all beings are consumed,
and it is in any case quite illogical as I, being set out for full enlightenment
and aspiring to train myself for such, might allow myself to come under the sway
of wrath." In this way one quickly regains one's mindfulness. This is another
advantage even here and now.
Sakra: It is wonderful how this perfection of wisdom is set up
for the control and training of the Bodhisattvas.
The Lord: Well, even further Kausika, as any follower of perfect
wisdom may go into battle, even to the very front of it, one such could not
possibly lose one's life in it. It is impossible for one to lose one's life from
the attack of somebody else. If someone strikes this one, with sword, or stick,
or clod of earth, or anything else - one's body cannot be hit.
As, a great lore is this perfection of wisdom; a lore without measure, a
quite measureless lore, an unsurpassed lore, a lore which equals the unequalled
is this perfection of wisdom. As one trains oneself in this lore, one is intent
neither on disturbing one's own peace nor others. The Bodhisattva, the great
being training in this lore, uncovers and reveals full enlightenment, gains the
gnosis of all-knowing. This is another advantage here and now.
Further, as here or wherever this perfection of wisdom is
written down in a book, and is put up and worshipped, where it is taken up,
borne in mind, etc., any beings so engaged can come to no harm, except as
inclined toward such for past deeds. This is another advantage even here and
Just the same too, Kausika, humans and ghosts go to the terrace
of enlightenment, or to its neighborhood, or its interior, or to the foot of the
tree of enlightenment, and cannot be hurt by humans or ghosts, or be injured by
these, or taken possession of, even with the help of evil animal beings, except
for in compensation for former deeds. In this, these past, future, and present
Tathagatas come to uncover and reveal their enlightenment, and in this,
promoting and revealing to these beings fearlessness, lack of hostility, lack of
fright. Just so Kausika, any place in which one takes up, bears in mind, etc.,
perfection of wisdom, in it beings cannot be hurt by beings. Perfection of
wisdom makes any spot of earth wherever it is into a true shrine for beings, -
worthy of being worshipped and adored, - into a shelter for beings coming to it,
a refuge, a place to rest and final relief. This is another advantage here and
2. THE CULT OF PERFECT WISDOM COMPARED WITH THE CULT OF THE BUDDHAS
Sakra: Suppose here are two persons. One of these two, a son or
daughter of good family, has written down this perfection of wisdom, made a copy
of it; this one now puts it up, and honors, reveres, worships, and adores this
with heavenly flowers, incense, perfumes, wreaths, unguents, aromatic powders,
strips of cloth, parasols, banners, bells, flags, with rows of lamps all round,
and with manifold kinds of worship. The other deposits in Stupas relics of the
Tathagata, having gone to Parinirvana; this one takes hold of these and
preserves these; honors, worships and adores these with heavenly flowers,
incense, etc., as the other does. Which one of these two, O Lord, would beget
The Lord: I question you on this point, and you may answer to
the best of your ability. The Tathagata, as acquiring and knowing full
enlightenment or all-knowledge, in which practice does the Tathagata train in
order for such an all-knowledge-personality to have been revealed?
Sakra: It is in just this perfection of wisdom the Tathagata
acquires and knows full enlightenment or all-knowledge.
The Lord: So, the Tathagata does not derive any name from the
fact one acquires this physical personality, but from the fact one acquires
all-knowledge. And this all-knowledge of Tathagatas comes forth as a result of
taking up just this perfection of wisdom. The physical personality of
Tathagatas, on the other hand, is the result of the skill in means of perfection
of wisdom. And this very sameness is a sure foundation for [acquisition of]
cognition of all-knowing by others. Supported by this foundation the revelation
of cognition of all-knowing takes place, the revelation of Buddha-body, of
Dharma-body, and of Sangha-body. Acquisition of the physical personality is thus
the cause of cognition of all-knowing. As a sure foundation of whatever
cognition, it has for all beings, become a true shrine, worthy of being saluted
respectfully, of being honored, revered and adored. Once thus gone to
Parinirvana my relics also are worshipped. It is for this reason the person
copying and worshipping perfection of wisdom begets a different type of merit.
For, in doing so, this one worships cognition of all-knowing. The son or
daughter of good family, having made a copy of the perfection of wisdom, and
worshipping it, begets different merit. For by worshipping the perfection of
wisdom one worships cognition of all-knowing.
Sakra: How can it be...people of Jambudvipa, who do not copy
this perfection of wisdom, nor take it up, nor study it, nor worship it, do not
know the Lord is teaching such as the cultivation of the perfection of wisdom is
greatly profitable! How is it these ones are not aware what the Lord teaches
supports the cultivation of the perfection of wisdom and brings great
advantages, fruits and rewards! But these do not know this, these are not aware
of this! These have no faith in it!
The Lord: What do you think, Kausika, how many of the people of
Jambudvipa are endowed with perfect faith in the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha?
Sakra: Only a few.
The Lord: So it is, Kausika. Only a few people of Jambudvipa are
endowed with perfect faith in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Fewer than
these few are ones attaining the fruits of a Streamwinner, and, after this, the
fruit of a Once-Returner, or of a Never-Returner. Fewer still are any attaining
Arhatship. Fewer still realize Pratyekabuddha-enlightenment. Fewer still raise
any thoughts to full enlightenment. Fewer still are any, purifying by removing
obstacles, and hereby raising thoughts to full enlightenment, and even now
continuously strengthening such thoughts. Fewer still are any who, raising
these thoughts thusly to full enlightenment, and strengthening such thoughts,
now in addition dwell with vigor exerted. Fewer still are any who pursue
meditation on perfection of wisdom. Fewer still are any coursing and applying
perfection of wisdom. Fewer still are any who, coursing and striving toward
perfection of wisdom, abide on any irreversible Bodhisattva-stage. Fewer still,
coursing and striving steadily in perfection of wisdom, are any who come to know
full enlightenment. Fewer still, coursing and striving in perfection of wisdom,
do actually know full enlightenment. Now, as to any Bodhisattvas standing on any
irreversible Bodhisattva-stage, knowing and revealing full enlightenment, these
expound perfection of wisdom to other sons and daughters of good family who are
earnestly intent, who train themselves and strive in perfection of wisdom. And
these in their turn take up perfection of wisdom, study and worship it. Here
are, on the other hand, countless beings who raise thoughts to enlightenment,
who strengthened such thoughts of enlightenment, which course towards
enlightenment, -- and perhaps just one or two of these can abide on any
irreversible Bodhisattva-stage! For full enlightenment is difficult to reveal,
and indeed is hard to come up to if one has inferior vigor, is slothful or
displays characteristics defined as an inferior being, allows inferior thoughts,
notions, intentions and wisdom. So, if someone wants quickly to know full
enlightenment, one indefatigably and continually hears and studys this very
perfection of wisdom. One comes to understand this...as Bodhisattvas Tathagatas
train in perfection of wisdom; also oneself need train in such; for she is
Tathagatas Teacher. In any case, upon any Tathagata's disappearance into final
Nirvana, Bodhisattvas run back to this very perfection of wisdom. Here and now,
Kausika, if someone builds, for the worship of the Tathagata once having
disappeared into final Nirvana, many kotis of Stupas made of the seven precious
things, enshrining herein such relics of Tathagatas, and all one's life honor
these with flowers, etc., does this one on the strength of such actions, beget a
great deal of merit?
Sakra: Indeed, such a one does, O Lord.
The Lord: Vastly different is any merit of someone truly
believing in this perfection of wisdom; who, trustingly confiding in this,
resolutely intent on this, serene in one's faith, with one's thoughts raised to
enlightenment in earnest intent...hears this, learns this, bears this in mind,
recites and studies this, spreads, demonstrates, explains, expounds and repeats
this, illuminates this in detail to others, uncovers this meaning, investigates
this with one's mind; and who, using wisdom to one's fullest extent, thoroughly
examines this; who copies this, and preserves and stores away the copy so this
good dharma lasts long, so this guide of the Buddhas might not be annihilated,
so the good dharma might not disappear, so the Bodhisattvas, great beings might
continue being assisted since this guide does not give out, - and who, finally,
honors and worships this perfection of wisdom...well Kausika, vastly different
is any merit of any devotee of perfection of wisdom compared not only with a
person building many kotis of Stupas made of seven precious things, enshrining
the relics of Tathagatas...it is even more vastly different than any merit of
one completely filling the entire Jambudvipa with such Stupas. It is vastly
different than any merit produced by all beings in a four-continent world system
even as each single one of these built such a Stupa. Or, equally, as all beings
in a small chiliocosm, or in a medium dichiliocosm, or in a great trichiliocosm
were to do likewise. Or if, to put an imaginary case forth...all beings in any
great trichiliocosm simultaneously became human beings, and each one of these
built such a Stupa; and if each one of these, having built all such Stupas, and
honoring such for an aeon or the remainder of an aeon; still, any devotee of
perfection of wisdom has vastly different merit than any kind or amount of merit
resulting from the effect of the meritorious deeds of all such beings as were to
erect and worship those countless Stupas.
Sakra: So it is, O Lord. For any person honoring perfection of
wisdom...in an absolute sense...such a one honors any and all past, future and
present Buddhas in all world systems, which can all be simultaneously
comprehended by only the cognition of a single Buddha. Such a one's merit is
different than any kind or amount of merit of all beings in great trichiliocosms
countless like the sands of the Ganges, even if each single being in these built
a Stupa, and if each one of these having built all such Stupas, and were to
honor these for an aeon or the remainder of an aeon.
3. PERFECT WISDOM, A GREAT SPELL
The Lord: So it is, Kausika. The merit of any devotee of
perfection of wisdom is entirely different; such is immeasurable, incalculable,
inconceivable, incomparable, illimitable. From perfection of wisdom
all-knowledge of Tathagatas comes forth; from all-knowledge has come forth the
cult of the relics of Tathagata. Here the difference in merit of any devotee of
the perfection of wisdom bears no proportion at all to the accumulation of merit
born from building Stupas, made of the seven precious things, enshrining the
relics of Tathagatas.
Herein forty thousand gods in the assembly are saying to Sakra,
the Chief of Gods: Sir! Do take up perfection of wisdom! The perfection of
wisdom, Sir, take this up, recite such, study such and explain such for
unlimited benefit of any and all beings!
The Lord: Kausika, do take up perfection of wisdom, recite,
study and explain it! If the Asuras form any idea of fighting with the Gods of
the Thirty-three, and if you, Kausika, have studied, and then recite and explain
perfection of wisdom by bringing this to mind, the Asuras will drop such ideas.
Sakra: A great lore is this perfection of wisdom, a lore without
measure, a quite measureless lore, an unsurpassed lore, an unequalled lore, a
lore which equals the unequalled.
The Lord: So it is, Kausika. For it is due to this lore, i.e.
perfection of wisdom, Buddhas of any and all times come to reveal and know full
enlightenment. Due to this, Buddhas of any future know it. Thanks to this,
Buddhas of any present know it. Thanks to this is it known and revealed.
Thanks to just this lore ten wholesome ways of acting are revealed in the world,
the four trances associated with the limbs of enlightenment, the four Unlimited
associated with the limbs of enlightenment, the four formless attainments upheld
by the limbs of enlightenment, the six super-knowledges associated with the
limbs of enlightenment, in short the eighty-four thousand articles of dharma,
cognition of Buddha, cognition of self-existent, inconceivable cognition.
However, as at times it -seems- no Tathagatas are in the world...it is
Bodhisattvas, -endowed with skill in means as a result of hearing the outpouring
of perfection of wisdom in any past (whenever here are Buddhas), full of pity
for beings, come into this world out of pity, -who foster in the world the ten
wholesome ways of acting, the four trances as dissociated from the limbs of
enlightenment, etc. to: the five super-knowledges as dissociated from the limbs
of enlightenment. Just as thanks to the disk of the moon all the herbs, stars
and constellations are illuminated according to their power and strength, so, as
Tathagata -seem- to pass beyond and this good dharma -seems- to have
disappeared, in any seeming absence of Tathagatas, whatever righteous, upright,
outstanding, or wholesome life is conceived and manifested in worlds, all coming
forth from the Bodhisattva, is brought forth by one, is spread from one's skill
in means. But skill in means of Bodhisattvas is known as coming forth from
perfection of wisdom. Moreover, any such as are devoted to perfection of wisdom,
expect herein many advantages here and now.
Sakra: Which are these advantages?
The Lord: These devotees do not die any untimely death, nor from
poison, or sword, or fire, or water, or staff, or violence. As these bring to
mind, repeat, and apply this perfection of wisdom, the calamities which threaten
these from kings and princes, from king's counselors and king's ministers, do
not take place. As kings, etc., may try to do harm to these who again and again
bring to mind, repeat and apply perfection of wisdom, such kings, etc., do not
succeed; for perfection of wisdom upholds such devotees. Although kings, etc.,
may approach these ones with harmful intent, they instead decide to greet these,
and to converse. For this perfection of wisdom entails an attitude of
friendliness and compassion amongst and within all beings. Herein, even though
any devotee of the perfection of wisdom may be in the middle of a wilderness
infested with venomous vipers, neither beings nor ghosts can harm these, except
as in a return for past deeds.
Hereupon one hundred Wanderers of other sects approached the
Lord with hostile intent. Sakra, Chief of Gods, perceived these Wanderers from
afar, and he reflected: Surely, these Wanderers of other sects are approaching
the Lord with hostile intent. Let me now recall as much of this perfection of
wisdom as I have learned from the Lord, bring it to mind, repeat, apply and
spread it, so these Wanderers cannot approach the Lord, and the preaching of
this perfection of wisdom may not be interrupted.
Hereupon, Sakra, Chief of Gods, recalls as much of this
perfection of wisdom as he is learning from the Lord, brings it to mind,
repeats, applies and spreads it. The Wanderers of other sects hereupon
reverently saluted the Lord from afar, and went off on their way.
So, now it occurred to the Venerable Sariputra: For what reason
do these heretical Wanderers reverently salute the Lord from afar, and now
depart on their way?
The Lord: As Sakra, Chief of Gods, perceived the thoughts of
such hostile Wanderers of other sects, he recalled this perfection of wisdom,
brought it to mind, repeated, applied, and spread it, with the object of turning
back the Wanderers of other sects who wanted to quarrel, dispute and obstruct,
and prevented these from approaching this place the perfection of wisdom is
being taught. And I have granted permission to Indra, Chief of Gods. I saw not
even one pure dharma in these Wanderers. They all wanted to approach with
hostile intent, with thoughts of enmity.
Hereupon it occurred to Mara, the Evil One: The four assemblies
of Tathagata are assembled, and seated face to face with Tathagata. Face to face
with Tathagata these Gods of the realm of sense-desire and of the realm of form
are sure to be predicted in this assembly as Bodhisattvas to full enlightenment.
Let me now approach to blind them. - Herein Mara conjured up a fourfold army,
and is moving towards the place the Lord is.
Now, again it occurs to Sakra, chief of gods: Surely, I can see
this is Mara, the Evil One, who has conjured up a fourfold army moving towards
the place the Lord is. But the array of this army is not the array of King
Bimbisara's army, nor of King Prasenajit's army, not of the army of the Sakyas
or of the Licchavins. It is seen for a long time Mara the Evil One pursues the
Lord, looking for any chance to enter, searching for a chance to enter, intent
on hurting beings. I now recall this perfection of wisdom, bring it to mind,
repeat, apply and spread it. Hereupon Sakra recalls just this perfection of
wisdom, brought it to mind, repeated, applied and spread it. Immediately Mara,
the Evil One, is seen as turning back again, and going on his way.
The Gods of the Thirty-three conjured up heavenly Mandarava
flowers, flew through the air, and scattered these over the Lord. Now in triumph
these cry: "For a long time surely is this perfection of wisdom coming to these
people of Jambudvipa!" Seizing more Mandarava flowers, these scattered and
strewed these over the Lord, and said: "It is seen how Mara and his host have no
chance to enter any beings who preach and develop this perfection of wisdom, or
which course in it. Any beings hearing and studying perfection of wisdom are
endowed with no small wholesome root. These who come to hear of this perfection
of wisdom fulfill duties also under the Jinas of other times. How much more so
any studying and repeating it who are trained in Thusness progress to such and
make endeavours regarding such; these are people honoring Tathagatas. For it is
in this perfection of wisdom one searches for all-knowledge. Just as all jewels
are brought forth by a great ocean, and are searched for through it, just so the
great jewel of all-knowledge of Tathagatas is searched for through the great
ocean of perfection of wisdom."
The Lord: So it is, Kausika. It is from great oceans of
perfection of wisdom the great jewel of all-knowledge of Tathagatas comes forth.
4. PERFECT WISDOM, AND THE OTHER PERFECTIONS
Ananda: The Lord does not praise perfection of giving, nor any
of the first five perfections; he does not proclaim their name. Only perfection
of wisdom does the Lord praise, its name alone he proclaims.
The Lord: So it is, Ananda. For perfection of wisdom controls
the five perfections. What do you think, Ananda, can giving - undedicated to
all-knowledge be called perfect giving?
Ananda: No, Lord.
The Lord: The same is true of the other perfections. What do you
think, Ananda, is wisdom inconceivable which turns over the wholesome roots by
the dedication of these to all-knowledge?
Ananda: Yes, it is inconceivable, completely inconceivable.
The Lord: Perfection of wisdom is given it's name by us from
supreme excellence [paramatvat]. Through perfection of wisdom these wholesome
roots, dedicated to all-knowledge are given the name of 'perfections.' It is
due to this dedication of wholesome roots to all-knowledge this perfection of
wisdom controls, guides and leads the five perfections. The five perfections are
in this manner contained in this perfection of wisdom, and the term 'perfection
of wisdom' is just a synonym for the fulfilling of all six perfections. In
consequence, as perfection of wisdom is proclaimed, all six perfections are
proclaimed. Just as gems, scattered about in the great earth, grow as all
conditions are favorable; and the great earth is their support, and these grow
supported by the great earth; even so, embodied in perfection of wisdom, the
five perfections rest in all-knowledge, these grow supported by perfection of
wisdom; and as upheld by perfection of wisdom are these given the name of
'perfections.' So, it is just this perfection of wisdom controling, guiding and
leading these five perfections.
5. FURTHER ADVANTAGES FROM PERFECT WISDOM
Sakra: So far the Tathagata has not proclaimed all the qualities
of perfection of wisdom, qualities which one acquires by learning, studying and
repeating perfection of wisdom. For how else could the limited amount of
perfection of wisdom which I learned from the Lord, have spread when just now
heretics and Mara were turned away?
The Lord: So it is, Kausika. Moreover, not only by learning,
studying, and repeating perfection of wisdom does one develop these qualities,
but also one who is reverent towards, and concentrating on a copy of this also
is taught, and develops advantages here and now. 
Sakra: I also protect ones who are reverent towards and
concentrating on a copy of this perfection of wisdom, and still more so ones who
in addition learn, study and repeat this.
The Lord: Well said, Kausika. Moreover, as anyone repeats this
perfection of wisdom, many hundreds of Gods come near, many thousands, many
hundreds of thousands of Gods, so as to listen to Dharma. And, as these hear
Dharma, these Gods want to induce a readiness to speak in one speaking of
Dharma. Even when one may not be willing to talk, these Gods still expect,
through their respect for Dharma, a readiness to speak is induced in such a one
as this, and this one now feels an urge to expound this. This again is another
quality which someone acquires just here and now by learning, studying, and
repeating perfection of wisdom. Moreover, the minds of any discoursing on this
perfection of wisdom remain uncowed in front of these four assemblies. These
have no fear of being plied with questions from hostile persons. For perfection
of wisdom protects these ones. Immersed in perfection of wisdom one does not see
the hostility, nor any who act with hostility, nor any who want to be hostile.
In this way upheld by perfection of wisdom, one remains unaffected by censure
and fear. These qualities also someone acquires just here and now while
learning, studying and repeating this perfection of wisdom. In addition, one is
dear to one's mother and father, to friends, relatives and kinsmen, to Shramanas
and Brahmanas. One is competent and capable of refuting, in accordance with
Dharma, any counter-arguments which may arise, and is able to deal with
counter-questions. These qualities also someone acquires just here and now while
learning, studying and repeating perfection of wisdom. Moreover, Kausika, among
the Gods of the Four Great Kings, any Gods setting out for full enlightenment
make up their minds to come to this place here as someone puts up a copy of
perfection of wisdom, and is reverent toward and concentrated in this. These
come, look upon the copy of this perfection of wisdom, salute this respectfully,
pay homage to this, learn, study and repeat this. So also do these depart again.
And this applies to all Gods, up to even the Highest of Gods. And any son or
daughter of good family pray the Gods, Nagas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Asuras,
Garudas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, beings and ghosts, in any ten directions in
countless world systems, do, with the help of this book, see perfection of
wisdom, salute respectfully, pay homage, learn, study and repeat such as it is;
as also these return to their respective worlds; and these ones also give to any
ones abiding in these places as well, just this gift of dharma. Do not however
think, Kausika, only in this four continent world, the Gods of the realm of
sense-desire and of the realm of form, who set out for full enlightenment decide
to come to this place. Not so, as well, Kausika, do you view it! No, all the
Gods in the great trichiliocosm, setting out for full enlightenment, decide to
come to this place. These come, look upon a copy of this perfection of wisdom,
salute it respectfully, pay homage to it, learn, study and repeat it. Moreover,
the house, room or palace of any devotee of perfection of wisdom is well
guarded. No one does harm to such as these, except as in return for past deeds.
This is another quality which one acquires just here and now. For very powerful
Gods, and even other supernatural beings, decide to come to this place.
Sakra: How does one know these Gods, or even other supernatural
beings, have come to this place to hear, etc., perfection of wisdom?
The Lord: As one perceives anywhere a sublime radiance or smells
a superhuman odor not smelled before, now one can know for certain a God, or
other supernatural being is present, is come near. Further, clean and pure
habits attract such Gods, etc., and makes them enraptured, overjoyed, full of
zest and gladness. But divinities of minor power, having before occupied such a
place as these come to manifest, decide to leave it. For these cannot endure the
splendor, majesty and dignity of such very powerful Gods, etc. As these very
powerful Gods, etc., decide to come to such a one repeatedly, any such devotee
of perfection of wisdom gains an abundance of serene faith. This is another
quality which any son or daughter of a good family acquires just here and now.
Further on, one does not form any unclean or impure habits within the unbound
circumference of this abode of guidance to Dharma; otherwise one's deep respect
for it remains incomplete. Moreover, any devotee of the perfection of wisdom
does not become fatigued in either body or mind. At ease one lies down, at ease
one walks about. In one's sleep one beholds no evil dreams. As one sees anything
in one's dreams, one will just see the Tathagatas, or Stupas, or Bodhisattvas,
or Disciples of the Tathagata. As one hears sounds, one hears just the sound
of perfections and the wings to enlightenment. One just sees the trees of
enlightenment; and underneath these, the Tathagatas, as these awaken to full
enlightenment. And likewise one sees how the fully Enlightened turn the wheel of
dharma. And many Bodhisattvas one beholds, chanting just this perfection of
wisdom, delighted by its chorus, which proclaims how all-knowledge is gained,
how the Buddha-field is purified. One is shown this action of skill in means.
One hears the sublime sound of full enlightenment of these Buddhas, the Lords:
"In this direction, in this part of the world, in this world system, under this
name, the Tathagatas demonstrate Dharma, surrounded and accompanied by many
thousands of Bodhisattvas and Disciples, nay by many hundreds of thousands of
niyutas of kotis of Bodhisattvas and Disciples." As one beholds such dreams, one
sleeps at ease, one awakens at ease. Even as food is thrown into it, one's body
still feels at ease and exceedingly light. No trend of thought arises in this
one from excessive eagerness of food. One takes only a mild interest in food. A
devotee of perfection of wisdom has no strong desire for food, and only a mild
interest in it, even as a monk, who practices Yoga, and who emerged from trance,
-merely as one's thoughts overflow with other interests. For to the extent one
gives oneself up to devotion to development of perfection of wisdom, to such
extent do heavenly beings provide one with heavenly food. These qualities also
does one acquire here and now. But again, Kausika, as someone makes a copy of
perfection of wisdom, and is reverent towards and concentrated in it, but does
not learn, study, repeat and apply this; and as someone else truly believes in
the perfection of wisdom, trustingly confides in it, and, resolutely intent on
it, serene in one's faith, one's thoughts raised toward enlightenment, in
earnest intent, hears, learns, bears in mind, recites and studies such as this
perfection of wisdom provides for, spreads, demonstrates, explains, expounds and
repeats such as this is, illuminates it in detail for others, uncovers meaning,
investigates with one's mind, and, using one's wisdom to the fullest, thoroughly
examines, copies, and preserves and stores away the copy, so such good dharma
lasts long, so this guide of Tathagatas might not be annihilated, so good dharma
does not disappear, so Bodhisattvas, these great beings, continue to be
assisted, since their guide does not fail, - and finally, honors and is reverent
toward and concentrated in this perfection of wisdom; well, Kausika, this latter
begets vastly different merit. Any aspiring to acquire these distinguished
qualities here and now, will diligently imitate such a one as this, and these
truly believe in perfection of wisdom, etc., as their guide does not fail. One
resolves to share this with any aspiring to such. So this great eye of this
Guide of Buddhas does not fail, neither for one such as this, nor for others in
quest of virtue. In addition this perfection of wisdom at all times is honored
and held in concentrated reverence.
THE PROCLAMATION OF QUALITIES
1. RELATIVE VALUE OF TATHAGATA-RELICS AND OF PERFECT WISDOM
The Lord: If, Kausika, on this one hand you are given this
Jambudvipa filled up to the top with relics of the Tathagatas; and if, on this
other hand, you could share in a written copy of this perfection of wisdom;
...and if now you have to choose between the two, which one do you take?
Sakra: Just this perfection of wisdom, Lord. For I see such as,
within my esteem for this Guide of Tathagatas, in true understanding this also
is the body of Tathagatas. As the Lord says: "The Dharma-bodies are Buddhas,
these are Lords. But of this, noble Sangha, do not think this individual body
is my body. Rather, noble Sangha, see me as this accomplishment of Dharma-body."
But this Tathagata-body needs be seen as brought about by the reality-limit,
i.e. by perfection of wisdom. It is not, O Lord, that I lack in respect for
these relics of Tathagata. On the contrary, I have a real respect for them. As
come forth from perfection of wisdom are these relics of Tathagatas revered, and
herein as one reveres just this perfection of wisdom, now also the reverence of
these relics of the Tathagata is brought to fulfillment, as the relics of
Tathagata come forth from perfection of wisdom. It is as with my own godly seat
in Sudharma, the hall of Gods. As I am seated on it, the Gods come to wait on
me. But as I am not, the Gods, out of respect for me, pay their respect to this
seat, circumambulate it, and go away again. For these recall as seated on this
seat, Sakra, the Chief of Gods, demonstrates Dharma to Gods of the Thirty-three.
In this same way, perfection of wisdom is the real eminent cause and condition
which feeds and reveals all-knowledge of Tathagatas. The relics of Tathagatas,
on this other hand, are true deposits of all-knowledge, but these are neither
true conditions, nor reasons for production of such cognition. As the cause of
cognition of all-knowingness perfection of wisdom is also revered and
concentrated upon through relics of Tathagata. For this reason, of the two lots
now mentioned, I choose just this perfection of wisdom. But it is not because I
lack in respect for the relics of Tathagata. Even choosing thusly I have real
respect for these, for these relics are worshipped as these are pervaded by this
perfection of wisdom. And, if I had to choose between a copy of perfection of
wisdom on this one side, and even a great trichiliocosm filled to the top with
relics of the Tathagata on this other, I still choose just this perfection of
wisdom, for the same reasons. For the relics of Tathagata are true deposits of
cognition of all-knowingness, but such cognition itself is come forth from
perfection of wisdom. So just here, of these two lots I choose just this
perfection of wisdom. But it is not due to any lacking in respect for the relics
of Tathagata. In choosing thus I have real respect for these. These, however,
are worshipped as having come forth from perfection of wisdom, and as such are
pervaded by it.
2. SIMILE OF THE WISHING JEWEL
It is like a priceless jewel with the property of preventing
beings and ghosts from entering the place it is put. If someone were possessed
by a ghost, one only needs to introduce this jewel, and any ghost departs. If
someone oppressed by the wind applies this jewel as one's body is inflated, one
holds back that wind, and prevents it from getting worse, appeasing it. It has
similar effects applied to a body burning with bile, choked with phlegm, or
painful as a result of a disease arising from a disorder of the humors. It
illuminates the blackest darkness of night. In the heat it cools the spot of
earth it is placed. In the cold it warms it. Its presence drives vipers and
other noxious animals from districts which are infested with these. If any woman
or man is bitten by a viper, one need only show these this jewel; and its sight
counteracts that poison, and makes it depart. Such are the qualities of this
jewel. If one has a boil in the eye, or clouded eyesight, or a disease in the
eye, or a cataract, one need only place this jewel on the eyes, and its mere
presence removes and appeases these afflictions. Such are its qualities. Placed
in water, it dyes the water all through with its own color. Wrapped in a white
cloth, and thrown into water, it makes the water white. Equally, as wrapped or
bound in a black-blue, or yellow, or red, or crimson cloth, or into cloth of any
other color, it dyes the water into which it is thrown the color of the cloth.
It also clears up any turbidity which may have arisen in the water. Endowed with
such qualities is this jewel.
Ananda: Do these jewels, Kausika, belong to the world of the
Gods, or to the people of Jambudvipa?
Sakra: These are found among the Gods. The jewels found among
the people of Jambudvipa, on the other hand, are rather coarse and small, and
not endowed with such qualities. As such these are infinitely inferior to these
heavenly jewels. But the ones among the Gods are fine and full of all possible
qualities. As this jewel is now put in a basket, or even placed upon it, this
basket still is desirable after the jewel had again been taken out. The basket,
through the qualities of the jewel, becomes an object of supreme longing. In the
same way, O Lord, the qualities of cognition of all-knowing are derived from
just this perfection of wisdom. On this account the relics of Tathagatas thus
gone to Parinirvana are reverently concentrated upon. For these are true
repositories of the cognition of all-knowingness. And as any demonstration of
Dharma by Buddhas and Lords in all world systems is venerated and held in
reverence as it comes forth from perfection of wisdom, so also the
Dharma-discourser's demonstration of Dharma. As a king is revered, as his royal
might gives courage to a great body of people, so also the speaker of Dharma,
because, through this might of this Dharma-body, one such as this gives courage
to a great body of people. But the relics of Tathagatas are revered for this
same reason one reveres demonstrations of Dharma, and expositors of Dharma.
3. SUPREME VALUE OF THE PERFECTION OF WISDOM
So now, O Lord, as here are two lots; and as not only this great
trichiliocosm, but as all world systems, countless as the sands of the Ganges,
filled with relics of Tathagatas, is established as this first lot; and a copy
of perfection of wisdom as this second lot and I am invited to choose either,
and to take such, I take just this perfection of wisdom. It is not, O Lord, for
any lack of respect for relics of Tathagatas. My respect for these is a real
one. But it is perfection of wisdom pervading all-knowledge such as these relics
of Tathagatas are revered, as these come forth from all-knowledge. In
consequence any reverence for and concentration upon perfection of wisdom is in
effect a worship of Buddhas, these Lords past, future and present. Moreover O
Lord, anyone who aspires to see, in accordance with Dharma, the Buddha, these
Lords who just now exist in immeasurable and incalculable world systems, needs
course now in perfection of wisdom, make endeavours in, and develop such as this
The Lord: So it is, Kausika. All Tathagatas owe their
enlightenment to just this perfection of wisdom, - whether these live in this
past, future or present. I also, Kausika, am just now a Tathagata due to
perfection of wisdom.
Sakra: A great perfection is this perfection of wisdom. For it
allows Tathagatas to rightly know and behold thoughts and doings of all beings.
The Lord: So it is, Kausika. It is due to a Bodhisattva coursing
for a long time in perfection of wisdom by which one rightly knows and beholds
thoughts and doings of all beings.
Sakra: Does a Bodhisattva course only in the perfection of
wisdom, and not in the other perfections?
The Lord: One such as this courses in all these six perfections.
But it is just this perfection of wisdom which controls the Bodhisattva as one
gives a gift, or guards morality, or perfects oneself in patience, or exerts
vigour, or enters into meditative trance, or has insight into Dharmas. One
cannot attain to any distinction or difference between these six perfections,
all being upheld by skill in means and dedicated to perfection of wisdom,
dedicated to all-knowledge. Just as no distinction or difference is conceived
between shadows cast by different trees in Jambudvipa, -though their colors may
differ, and their shapes, and their leaves, flowers and fruits, and their height
and circumference, but these are all just called-shadows - even so one can
neither attain nor ascribe to any distinction or difference between these six
perfections, - neither can all of these Bodhisattvas upheld by skill in means,
dedicated to perfection of wisdom, dedicated to all-knowledge.
Sakra: Endowed with great qualities is this perfection of
wisdom, with immeasurable qualities, with boundless qualities!
THE REVOLUTION OF MERIT
1. THE PERFECTION OF WISDOM A SOURCE OF GREAT MERIT, AND A DIFFERENT MERIT
Sakra: Let us again consider two people. The one truly believes
perfection of wisdom, trustingly confides in such, studies, copies, repeats and
discourses regarding such, since their guide does not fail. And as this one
hears this exposition, this one also unhesitatingly resolves to not abandon this
perfection of wisdom, -surely so greatly profitable, so great an advantage, so
great a fruit, so great a reward, endowed of such and great qualities (!) - this
one guards and preserves such as this is, for such is exceedingly hard to
develop, and by oneself, one honors, reveres and adores this.
Now, the other person first venerates this, and now gives a copy to another
son or daughter of a good family who, having aspirations towards this and eager,
asks for such. Which one of these two persons begets greater merit...on this one
hand the one who intends to give this all away, or on this other hand, the one
who does not?
The Lord: I question you on this point, and you may answer to
the best of your abilities. If this one person by oneself is to honor the
relics of Tathagata after one's Paranirvana, minister, revere, and preserve
these relics; and now, if this other not only oneself honors these relics of
the Tathagata, ministers, reveres and preserves these, but in addition reveals
these to others, gives these away, and shares them knowing hereby the reverence
of these relics will become even more widespread, and from compassion and true
sympathy for beings; so answer now Kausika, which one of these two persons
begets great merit, and which a different kind of merit: The one who, while
worshipping them oneself, reveals, gives and shares these with others...or the
one who by oneself, singularly worships these?
Sakra: Surely Lord, the one who shares these with others.
The Lord: So it is, Kausika. Any person revealing perfection of
wisdom for others to behold and develop as regards inclinations, always seeking
to help others, purely intent on revealing such completely, ...anyone on the
strength of this begets greater merit, and indeed not merely greater merit, but
a different merit all together. For such merit has no limit, and as such is
beyond any determinations of lesser and greater, and indeed other than any
determinations whatsoever, which might be even recognized as merit. If in
addition this one goes to persons who are fit vessels for this perfection of
wisdom, and shares this with these, one begets still different merit. And so
too, Kausika, is great indeed any merit of someone who instigates all beings in
Jambudvipa to observe ten ways of wholesome action, and establishes these in
Sakra: To be sure Lord, great this seems to be.
The Lord: Different even still is any merit of someone who makes
a copy of this perfection of wisdom, believes in and has faith in such, faith
serene and firm; who constantly reveals one's thoughts toward enlightenment, and
with earnest intention gives this perfection of wisdom to another Bodhisattva
who steadily reveals one's thoughts to enlightenment; who does first of all
perfect oneself by tireless writing and reciting; and after much zealous labor,
one persuades the other Bodhisattva, explaining this perfection of wisdom,
instigating to such, filling one with enthusiasm for this, making such a one
rejoice in this, and does by one's words, lead one to this, educate one in this,
illuminate these benefits to such a one, cleanse one's thought and remove one's
doubt; and who addresses such a one as follows: "Come here, you of good family,
do train yourself in just this Path of Bodhisattvas, for as a result of this
training, this coursing, this struggling you surely and quickly awake to full
enlightenment. After this you go on to educate an infinite number of beings in
the complete extinction of the substratum begotten of beginningless rebirths, in
other words, in the revelation of the reality-limit." As this one intends to
reveal this completely, this one's merit is infinite and different still from
any worldly merits. And this is true even if it is compared with the merit of
someone who establishes in the observation of the ten wholesome ways of acting
all the beings in world systems of any size, even in all the world systems in
existence or not in existence, numerous as the sands of Ganges River. Or if it
is compared with that of someone establishing others in the four trances, the
four Unlimited, the four formless attainments, the five superknowledges, in any
number of world systems. In each case any person not only writing this
perfection of wisdom and reciting it by oneself, but writing such for others and
revealing such completely to these, easily begets a different type of merit
than merit itself. Moreover, Kausika, one also begets a different merit still as
one may be conversant with the meaning while reciting this perfection of wisdom;
and having written such for others, still reveals such completely, expounds and
lights this up, both in it's meaning and letter.
2. THE COUNTERFEIT PERFECTION OF WISDOM
Sakra: Can any one now expound this perfection of wisdom?
The Lord: Yes, anyone thus conversant with this meaning can
expound such to someone not understanding it. For in any time a counterfeit of
perfection of wisdom may arise. As one hears this counterfeit, a person not
understanding it as such needs be wary of making obeisance to it, as this one,
though not understanding, may want to realize full enlightenment.
Sakra: How might one recognize in any time if and when the
counterfeit perfection of wisdom is expounded?
The Lord: In any time here be monks and nuns whose bodies are
undeveloped, whose moral conduct, thought and wisdom are undeveloped, who are
stupid, dumb like sheep, without wisdom. As these announce to expound
perfection of wisdom, these actually expound its counterfeit. These expound the
counterfeit perfection of wisdom by teaching impermanence of form, feeling,
perception, impulse and consciousness is to be interpreted as destruction of
these just mentioned skandhas. To strive for such insight, according to them,
is coursing in perfection of wisdom. But on the contrary, do not view
impermanence of these skandhas as destruction of such. For to view things in
such a way means to course in the counterfeit perfection of wisdom. For this
reason, Kausika, does one with understanding expound effortlessly and correctly
the meaning of truth and in perfection of wisdom. By so expounding this, one
realizes different and limitless merit.
3. THE PERFECTION OF WISDOM UNLIMITED AND DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER
And any such merit is quite different than if one even thought
of oneself as, or even attempted to accept responsibility for, any ability
whatsoever to establish any beings in, say, any number of world systems, even in
the fruit of a Streamwinner. And such holds good also for the fruit of any
Once-Returner, of any Never-Returner, and of any Arhat. Any Bodhisattva of true
and right intention merely recognizes this goaless goal, indicates such, and
puts before themselves this path for the beneficence of any and all limitless
beings. For it is perfection of wisdom which brings about any fruit of any
Once-Returner, of any Never-Returner, and of any Arhat. And any Bodhisattva
increases one's endurance by reflecting this way, for, as by training oneself in
perfection of wisdom, one comes to obtain dharmas which sooner or later
constitute a Buddha, and one comes ever nearer to revealing for the benefit of
any and all beings, full enlightenment. For one knows by training oneself in
this training, coursing in and struggling in such, one brings forth any and all
fruits of holy life, from fruits of a Streamwinner to Buddhahood. Any merit of
any person sharing perfection of wisdom also is vastly different from any one
establishing in Pratyekabuddhahood any number of beings in any number of world
systems. Moreover, Kausika, as someone reveals any such thing as is for full
enlightenment to the hearts of as many beings as are in Jambudvipa; and someone
else not only indicated how it is possible for these to reveal their very hearts
to full enlightenment, but also in addition gives these a copy of this
perfection of wisdom; or, as one such as this presents a copy of this perfection
of wisdom to an irreversible Bodhisattva, in consideration of any possibility
that this Bodhisattva may allow oneself to be trained in such, make endeavours
about and develop such, and as a result of any growth, increase or abundance of
the perfection of wisdom, fulfill the Buddha-dharmas; now, compared with the
former person, one begets a vastly different type of merit, for certainly once
one is awakened to full enlightenment, one cannot help but to indicate the end
to the sufferings of countless beings. Thus, one's merit is vastly different,
even as the other person thinks to raise to full enlightenment the hearts of any
number of beings in any number of world systems. Or, let us again compare two
persons: The first presents a copy of this perfection of wisdom to any number of
beings in any number of world systems, beings which are irreversible from full
enlightenment, who definitely set out for such; yet, the second person, in
addition expounds this to these ones according to the meaning and according to
the letter. Does this one not on the strength of this beget much great merit?
Sakra: One's merit is indeed great. One can neither easily
calculate this heap of merit, nor count it, nor find anything even similar to,
or resembling, or with which it can be compared.
The Lord: Still, Kausika, vastly different is any merit of
someone who in addition instructs and admonishes in this perfection of wisdom
these irreversible Bodhisattvas aspiring to quickly realize full enlightenment.
And further, still another Bodhisattva may arise, saying one may realize full
enlightenment even more quickly than they. As someone instructs and admonishes
in the perfection of wisdom this Bodhisattva of even quicker understanding, one
begets a still vast and different type of merit.
Sakra: To the extent any Bodhisattva comes nearer to full
enlightenment, to such an extent one is instructed and admonished in the
perfection of wisdom, for such brings one nearer and nearer Suchness. As one
comes nearer Suchness, one confers many fruits and advantages on any having done
services for one, i.e., on the ones through whom one enjoys one's robes,
alms-bowl, lodging, and medicinal appliances for sickness. One's merit now
becomes still larger, in consequence of the fact one comes nearer to full
Subhuti: Well said, Kausika. You fortify these belonging to the
Bodhisattva-vehicle, help these, and stand by these. Even so do you act. Any
holy disciple wanting to give help to all beings, as such, fortifies
Bodhisattvas in their attitude to full enlightenment, helps these, and stands by
these. In this same way does one in diligence act. For begotten of perfection of
wisdom is full enlightenment of Bodhisattvas. Just so, as Bodhisattvas do not
produce any thought of enlightenment, such do not train themselves in full
enlightenment, nor in any six perfections, and as a consequence these do not
awaken to full enlightenment. But as the Bodhisattvas do train themselves in the
Bodhisattva-training, in these six perfections, so now do these produce this
thought of enlightenment, so even now do these awaken to full enlightenment.
The Supreme Merit of Dedication
Maitreya: On the one side we have on the part of a Bodhisattva,
meritorious work which is founded on this Bodhisattva's rejoicing at the merit
of others, and on one's dedication of merit to the utmost enlightenment of all
beings; on the other side is, on the part of all beings, the meritorious work
founded on giving, on morality, on meditational development. Among these the
meritorious work of a Bodhisattva founded on jubilation and dedication is
declared to be vastly different, excellent, sublime, unequalled, and equaling
Subhuti: A Bodhisattva, a great being, considers the world with its
ten directions, in every direction, extending everywhere. One such as this
considers the world systems quite immeasurable, quite beyond reckoning, quite
measureless, quite inconceivable, infinite and boundless.
Such ones consider in each of three time periods, in each single
direction, in each single world system, the Tathagatas - as quite immeasurable,
quite beyond reckoning, quite measureless, quite inconceivable, infinite and
boundless, fully revealing final Nirvana in the realm of Nirvana and leaving
nothing behind, - their tracks cut off, their course cut off, their obstacles
annulled and dissolved, guides through the world of becoming, their tears dried
up, with all their impediments crushed, their own burdens laid down, with their
own weal reached, in whom any fetters of becoming are extinguished, whose
thoughts are well freed by right understanding, and who have attained and
maintain completely equanimous perfection in control of their entire hearts.
One considers these from right here, beginning with an appearance of
this thought of enlightenment, proceeding throughout and beyond any time and
any realization of full enlightenment through finally entering, or a revelation
of Nirvana, as Suchness and a totality of Nirvana which leaves nothing behind,
and a dissolution of any spans of time beyond even any thought in considerations
of some vanishing of good Dharma as exposited by each of these Tathagatas.
One considers this mass of morality, this mass of concentration,
this mass of wisdom, this mass of emancipation, this mass of vision and
cognition of emancipation of such Buddhas and Lords.
In addition, one considers any store of merit associated with six
perfections, with achievement of qualities of Buddha and nature, and with
perfections of self-confidence and of powers; and also anyone associated with
any perfection of superknowledges, of comprehension, of vows; and any store of
merit associated with the accomplishment of cognition of all-knowingness, with
solicitude for beings, any great friendliness and great compassion, and
immeasurable and incalculable Buddha-qualities.
And one also considers the full enlightenment and its all
encompassing residual happiness borne of contentment from right actions and
contemplation, and perfection of sovereignty over all dharmas, and such an
accomplishment of immeasurable and unconquered supreme wonderworking power which
finally conquers all, and this power of the Tathagata's cognition of what is
truly real, which is without a slightest of defiled covering, attachment or
obstruction, unequalled, equal to unequalled, incomparable, without measure, and
such power of Buddha-nature and cognition preeminent among these powers, the
obtainment of such supreme ease which results from four grounds of
self-confidence, and the obtainment of Dharma through realization of this
ultimate reality of all dharmas.
One also considers the turning of the wheel of Dharma, the carrying
of the torch of Dharma, the beating of the drum of Dharma, the filling up the
conch shell of Dharma, the wielding of the sword of Dharma, the pouring down of
the rain of Dharma, and the refreshment of all beings through the gift of
Dharma, through its presentation to them. One further considers any store of
merit of any and all who are educated and trained by demonstrations of Dharma, -
whether these concern any dharmas of Buddhas, or any of Pratyekabuddhas, or of
Disciples, - who believe in these, who are fixed on these, who are bound to end
up in full enlightenment.
One also considers the store of merit, associated with these six
perfections, of all Bodhisattvas of whom Buddhas and Lords have predicted full
enlightenment. A Bodhisattva considers any store of merit of all persons who
belong to the Pratyekabuddha vehicle, and of whom the enlightenment of said
Pratyekabuddha is predicted. One considers the meritorious work founded on
giving, morality and meditational development of the four assemblies of Buddhas
and Lords, (i.e. of the monks and nuns, the laymen and laywomen). One considers
the roots of good planted during all this time by Gods, Nagas, Yakshas,
Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras and Mahoragas, by beings and ghosts, and
also by animals, at any such time as Buddhas and Lords demonstrate Dharma, and
as these enter Parinirvana, and as these had entered Parinirvana - due to
Buddhas and Lords, due to Dharma, due to Sangha, and due to persons of right
mind-culture. In one's meditation the Bodhisattva piles up the roots of good of
all these, all this quantity of merit without exception or remainder, rolls this
into one lump, weighs this, and rejoices over this with the most excellent and
sublime jubilation, the highest and utmost jubilation, with none above it and
unequalled, equaling the unequalled. Having thus rejoiced, one utters the
remark: "I turn over into full enlightenment this meritorious work founded on
jubilation. May this feed full enlightenment of myself and of all beings!"
Now, as concerns these foundations through which any person
belonging to the Bodhisattva-vehicle rejoices, concerning these objective
supports and points of view...does one apprehend in such a way as these
objective supports and views are treated as signs?
Maitreya: No, these have not.
Subhuti: As one treats as an objective support or as a sign any
foundation which does not in truth exist, or any objective support which does
not in truth exist, does one at this point not have a perverted perception,
perverted thought, perverted views? For in a greedy person also, as one
discriminates a nonexisting entity [or foundation] and ponders on such -
thinking permanence in impermanence, ease in suffering, any self in what is
truly not any self, loveliness or not in what is thought either repulsive or not
- here arises a perverted perception, perverted thought, perverted view. And as
the foundation [or entity], the objective support, the point of view are
non-existent, so is enlightenment, so is the thought of enlightenment and so all
dharmas or points of view...what thought does one turn over into full
enlightenment, or what meritorious work founded on jubilation does one turn over
into what utmost, right and perfect enlightenment?
Maitreya: This is neither rightly intended nor understood to be
taught or expounded in front of a Bodhisattva who has newly set out in the
vehicle. For one may lose whatever little faith one may have gleaned, whatever
little affection, serenity and respect which one may have gathered. Only in
front of an irreversible Bodhisattva is this rightly intended, understood,
taught and expounded. Alternatively, a Bodhisattva propped up by a good friend
is hereby not cowed, nor becomes stolid, nor cast down, nor depressed, does not
turn the mind away from this, nor has one's back broken, nor tremble, be
frightened, be terrified. Thus does such a Bodhisattva turn over into
all-knowledge the meritorious work founded on jubilation.
Subhuti: Thusly any thought by which one has rejoiced and turned
over, or dedicated any wholesome root connected with jubilation, - any such
thought of rejoicing is at the time of turning over extinct, stopped, departed,
reversed. So here now, and in any time and way, what is any thought by which one
turns over to full enlightenment? Or, what is any thought which turns over into
full enlightenment (any) meritorious work founded on jubilation? Or, as no two
thoughts can ever meet, how can anyone by one thought turn over, or dedicate,
another thought? Neither is it possible to turn over nor overturn, nor transform
any thought as far as its own being is concerned.
Sakra: The Bodhisattvas newly set out in the vehicle need to beware
of being afraid upon hearing this exposition. How does a Bodhisattva turn any
meritorious work founded on jubilation over into full enlightenment? And how
does someone who takes hold of the meritorious work founded on jubilation
succeed in taking hold of any thought connected with jubilation, and how does
one who turns over this thought connected with jubilation succeed in turning it
Herein the Venerable Subhuti turned his mind to the Bodhisattva
Maitreya, concentrated his mind on him, and spoke thus: Here the Bodhisattva
considers any merit connected with these timeless Buddhas and Lords, in the way
we described before. One piles up wholesome roots of all these, all of any
quantity whatsoever of wholesome roots without exception and remainder, rolls
such into one lump, weighs this, and rejoices over this. One thus thinks to turn
this meritorious work founded on jubilation over to full enlightenment. How can
the Bodhisattva when one thus turns over, be without perverted perception,
perverted thought, perverted view?
How Perverted Views Can
Maitreya: The Bodhisattva must not, as a result of any thought by
which one is turning this over, become one perceiving any thought. It is thus
meritorious work founded on jubilation becomes such as is turned into, or rather
perhaps, revealed as full enlightenment.
Subhuti: If one does not perceive any thought, identifying it as
'this is that thought,' as such a Bodhisattva has no perverted perception,
thought or view. But if one perceives the thought by which one turns this over,
identifying it as 'this is that thought,' as such one becomes one who perceives
thought. As a result one has perverted perception, thought and view.
But any Bodhisattva turns over rightly, not wrongly, as one
perceives and brings to mind any thought which turns over in such a way as one
regards it as 'just extinct,' extinct as 'stopped, departed, reversed'; and as
one reflects thusly, as what is extinct cannot be turned over; and as this
extinctness as 'stopped, departed, reversed,' is the very dharmic nature also of
any thought by which one turns over, and also of the dharmas through which one
turns over, as well as of the dharmas to which one turns over, it is thus any
Bodhisattva turn this over.
One considers any future Buddhas, present Buddhas, or past, future
and present Buddhas in this same way in which one considers any past Buddhas.
So now, under which circumstances is one without perverted perception,
thought or views? If, while one turns over, one brings to mind any dharmas as
extinct, stopped, departed, reversed, and any dharma into which it is turned
over as inextinguishable, this, [the wholesome root] becomes something which is
turned over into full enlightenment. For one does not settle down in any process
If further one considers no dharma can be turned over into a dharma,
it becomes something which is turned over into full enlightenment. It is thus
by which any Bodhisattva who turns over is without perverted perception, thought
or view, for one does not settle down in any process of dedication. If further,
one perceives any thought cannot cognize any thought, neither of itself nor
another, nor can dharma cognize dharma, now too, this has become something which
is turned over into full enlightenment. This is the supreme maturity of any
But if, on the other hand, a Bodhisattva perceives any accumulation
of merit, one cannot turn it over into full enlightenment due to one settling
down in some process of dedication.
If further one reflects this (any) accumulation of merit is isolated
and quietly calm, and also any meritorious work founded on jubilation is
isolated and quietly calm...one turns over into full enlightenment.
But, if in addition one does not even perceive any conditioned
events are calmly quiet and isolated, such is perfection of wisdom of such a
Bodhisattva. But one does not turn over into full enlightenment if one perceives
this to be any wholesome root of Buddhas, the Lords having gone to Parinirvana;
or as this wholesome root by which it is turned over is just as illusory and is
of the same kind, has the same mark, belongs to the same class, has the same
own-being. For Buddhas and Lords do not allow a dedication to take place through
One neither brings to mind nor turns over any wholesome root to full
enlightenment if one brings about a sign by reflecting anything which is past is
extinct, stopped, departed, reversed; what is future has not yet arrived; and of
any present no stability is got at, and that this which is not got at has no
sign or range.
On the other hand one also does not turn over to full enlightenment
if one fails to bring about a sign or to bring to mind anything whatsoever as a
result of sheer inattentiveness, or if one fails to attend as a result of lack
of mindfulness, or of lack of understanding. But such and said wholesome root
becomes something which is turned over into full enlightenment on condition of
one bringing to mind such and said sign, but does not treat it as any sign. It
is thus the Bodhisattva trains oneself herein. This is known as one's skill in
means. When, through skill in means, one turns over any wholesome root, one is
near to all-knowledge. The Bodhisattva wanting to train oneself in this skill in
means, however, constantly commits to hearing just this perfection of wisdom,
studying it and asking questions derived from it. For without the help of
perfection of wisdom one untaught cannot enter on the work of dedication by
means of perfection of wisdom. But one does not make a statement to any effect
such as thanks to perfection of wisdom it is possible to transform any
meritorious work into full enlightenment. For stopped are any such personal
lives, stopped are any such karma-formations, calmly quiet, isolated, lacking in
Moreover, as this person has brought about a sign, and made a
discrimination, one perceives what is truly real in what is not truly real as it
were truly real, and one would transform a basis into what is without basis.
Buddhas, the Lords do not allow one's wholesome roots to become something which
is in this way transformed into full enlightenment, for even these become to one
so inclined a great basis. Even the Parinirvana of Buddhas and Lords, one so
inclined treats as a sign and discriminates, thusly one believes oneself to get
at Nirvana from a viewpoint, and this is not the dedication carried out by one
who perceives any basis which the Tathagatas have called a source of great
welfare. For this process of dedication is not without poison, not without torn.
It is just as with foods seeming excellent, but is really poisonous.
Its color, smell, taste and touch seem desirable, but nevertheless, as poisonous
it is best shunned and not eaten by circumspect people. Although food, stupid
people might think it best to be eaten. The color, smell, taste and touch of
this food promise happiness, but its transformation in any person eating it
surely leads to a painful conclusion. As a result one incurrs death, or deadly
Just so some perceivers of a basis who seize badly the meaning of
what is well taught, badly distinguish it, badly master it, and misunderstand
it, not understanding the meaning as it really is, these instruct and admonish
others to consider the mass of merit of the past, future and present Buddhas and
Lords, in the way described before, to rejoice at it, and to turn over into full
enlightenment the meritorious work founded on jubilation. Thus this turning
over, since it is being carried out by means of a sign, is turned into
poisonousness. It is just like the poisonous food mentioned before. Here can be
no turning over for someone who perceives a basis. For a basis is poisonous and
has a range. Herein a person who belongs to the vehicle of Bodhisattvas does not
train oneself thus. How now does one train oneself? How does one take hold of
the wholesome root of the past, future and present Buddhas and Lords? And how
does anything which is taken hold of become something which is successfully
taken hold of? How does one turn over? And how does it become something which is
successfully turned over into the supreme enlightenment?
Here the son or daughter of a good family who belongs to the vehicle
of Bodhisattvas, and who does not want to calumniate Tathagatas, thus rejoices
over all and any wholesome root, and turns it over thus: "I rejoice in this
wholesome root which is considered in the way in which Tathagatas with their
Buddha-cognition and their Buddha-eye know and see it, -its kind such as it is,
its class such as it is, its quality such as it is, its own-being such as it is,
its mark such as it is, and its mode of existence such as it is. And I thus turn
this over in such a way as these Tathagatas can allow this wholesome root to be
turned over into full enlightenment."
As one thus rejoices, thus turns over, a Bodhisattva becomes free
from guilt. The righteousness of Buddhas, the Lords, is rejoiced in. This
wholesome root becomes something which is turned over into full enlightenment.
And one does not calumniate any Tathagatas. In this way one's turning over
becomes a non-poisonous turning over, a great turning over, a turning over into
the dharma-element; it becomes perfect, quite perfect, through this earnest
intention and resolve of one thus turning over. Moreover, someone who belongs to
the vehicle of Bodhisattvas turns this over with understanding all morality,
concentration, wisdom, emancipation, vision and cognition of emancipation, are
unincluded in any world of sense-desire, the world of form, the formless world,
and as such these are neither past, future, nor present.
For everything that is in any three periods of time or in any triple
world is unincluded in ultimate reality. In consequence the turning over is also
unincluded, and so is the dharma [i.e. Buddhahood] into which this process of
transformation is being turned, - if only one firmly believes this. As a
Bodhisattva turns over in such a way, such ones as this one is can never again
lose the turning over, and it becomes unincluded, non-poisonous, a great turning
over, a turning over of the dharma-element, perfect, quite perfect. But, on the
other hand, as one settles down in what one may turn over, and treats it as a
sign, one now turns it over wrongly. A Bodhisattva, however, turns over with the
idea such as it is through this turning over into the dharma-element, as the
Buddhas, the Lords know and permit it, this wholesome root becomes something
which has been turned over into full enlightenment, successfully turned over.
This is the right method of turning it over. And in this way it becomes
something that has been turned over into supreme enlightenment, successfully
The Lord: Well said, Subhuti, well said. You perform the office of
the Teacher as you demonstrate Dharma to the Bodhisattvas. For it is this
turning over, which is the turning over of the dharma-element, which is the
turning over of a Bodhisattva. He thinks: "As the Buddhas and Lords know and see
this wholesome root in this dharmahood, -its kind such as it is, its class such
as it is, its quality such as it is, its own-being such as it is, its mark such
as it is, its mode of existence such as it is, -so I rejoice in it as these. And
as these grant permission, so I turn it over."
Considerations of Merit
This heap of merit of a Bodhisattva, which is born from this turning
over of any Dharma-element, is declared to be superior to the accumulation of
merit on the part of someone instigating to, and establishing in the ten
wholesome ways of action all beings in the great trichiliocosms which are
countless as the sands of the Ganges. It remains superior also if these beings
would gain the four trances, or the four Unlimited, or the four formless
attainments, or the five superknowledges; or equally if these become
Streamwinners, etc., to: Pratyekabuddhas. And yet this is not all. If all beings
in all world systems set out for supreme enlightenment, and if, Subhuti, each
single Bodhisattva were to furnish for aeons as countless as the sands of the
Ganges all these beings in the various great trichiliocosms, countless as the
sands of the Ganges, with all which may be needed...but give this gift while
perceiving a basis...and now, proceeding in this manner, we imagine all these
beings are a single one, and if each single Bodhisattva for aeons countless as
the sands of Ganges did furnish all these Bodhisattvas with all these may ever
need, and treat these with respect; if thus each single one of all these
Bodhisattvas all together would give this gift, do not these Bodhisattvas on the
strength of this beget a great deal of merit?
Subhuti: A great deal indeed, O Lord. This heap of merit defies
calculation. Surely if it were a material thing, it could not find room in even
the great trichiliocosms countless as the sands of the Ganges.
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. And yet, this accumulation of merit,
due to giving on the part of any Bodhisattvas perceiving a basis, is
infinitesimal and even different, as concerns merit, when attempts are made to
compare any such merit with anything whatsoever which may or even may not be
begotten by someone belonging to the vehicle of Bodhisattvas, and who, as taken
hold of by perfection of wisdom and by skill in means, affects this or any
wholesome root so as to indicate to such it's turning over into full
enlightenment by means of this turning over of the dharma-element. For although
the basis-perceiving Bodhisattvas give a good many gifts, these also reckon
these gifts up as 'good' and 'many.'
Now, upon this, twenty thousand Gods of the Four Great Kings, with
folded hands paid homage to Lord, and said: "This transformation into
all-knowledge of wholesome roots by any having been taken hold of by perfection
of wisdom and by skill in means, is a great transformation of Bodhisattvas...for
it surpasses any and all accumulation of merit, derived from giving, of any
Bodhisattvas basing such giving on something, however great it may be."
So now, again upon this one hundred thousand Gods of the
Thirty-three rain down on Lord heavenly flowers, incense, perfumes, wreaths,
ointments, aromatic powders, jewels and garments. These worship the Lord with
heavenly parasols, banners, bells, flags, and with rows of lamps all around, and
with manifold kinds of worship. Playing on heavenly musical instruments [in
honor of the Lord] these now say: "This transformation of dharma-element is
surely a great transformation of any Bodhisattva, as it is in deed and view
different than any and all heaps of accumulated merit resulting from gifts of
Bodhisattvas having a basis in anything whatsoever, for this great
transformation is taken hold of by perfection of wisdom and skill in means."
All the other classes of Gods appear on this scene, worshipping
Lord, and now raise their voices saying: "It is wonderful, O Lord, to any such
extent as this transformation of a wholesome root by these Bodhisattvas which,
being taken hold of by perfection of wisdom and by skill in means, is different
or other than any heap of merit of Bodhisattvas having a basis in something,
even though it has accumulated for such a long time, and is procured by such
Now the Lord speaks to these Gods, from the gods belonging to the
Pure Abode downwards: "Let us leave the case of the accumulation of merit of all
beings in countless world systems who are definitely set out for full
enlightenment, and any giving gifts for the sake of gaining full enlightenment.
Let us also, in the same manner, consider the case of all beings in countless
world systems which, having made a vow to gain full enlightenment, and having
raised thoughts to enlightenment, give gifts on the extensive scale described
before. In this other hand we consider a Bodhisattva, taken hold of by
perfection of wisdom and by skill in means, who takes hold of the wholesome
roots of all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Pratyekabuddhas and Disciples, and of
all other beings also the wholesome roots which have been planted, will be
planted, and are being planted, and who rejoices over these all in the way
described above. Then infinitesimal and different is any accumulation of merit
on the part of the former Bodhisattvas who give gifts while perceiving a basis -
just because of this perceiving of any basis.
Subhuti: The Lord describes the jubilation over the wholesome roots
of all beings as a most excellent jubilation. For what reason is this jubilation
a most excellent one?
The Lord: If any person belonging to the vehicle of Bodhisattvas
does not seize on this past, this future and present dharmas, does not mind
these, does not get at these, does not construct, nor discriminate these, does
not see nor review these, if one considers these with this conviction...'all
dharmas are fabricated by thought construction, unborn, not come forth, not
come, not gone,' and this, 'no dharma is ever produced or stopped in this past,
this future or present'; if one considers any dharmas in such a way, herein
one's jubilation is in accordance with the true nature of such dharmas, and so
is one's transformation [of any merit] into full enlightenment. This is the
first reason why the jubilation of the Bodhisattva is a most excellent one. The
meritorious work founded on giving on the part of Bodhisattvas who perceive a
basis, who have a basis in view, is infinitesimal and quite different when
compared with the transformation of the wholesome root by any Bodhisattvas.
Moreover, Subhuti, someone who belongs to the vehicle of the Bodhisattvas,
wanting to rejoice in the wholesome roots of all Buddhas and Lords, rejoices in
such a way: "As emancipation is unoriginated, [since the obstacles from
defilements and from the recognizable have ceased], so the gift; so the
morality, etc.; so the jubilation, so the meritorious work founded on
jubilation; as emancipation, so transformation, so Buddhas and Lords,
Pratyekabuddhas and Disciples who have entered Parinirvana; as emancipation, so
transformation, so are any dharmas which are seen as past, or stopped; and
likewise the dharmas which are seen as future, or not yet produced; and the
dharmas which are seen as present, or proceeding just now; as emancipation so
all seen as past, future and present Buddhas and Lords. Thus, I rejoice with the
most excellent jubilation in the true nature of any dharmas, which are unbound,
unfreed, unattached. So, now I turn this meritorious work founded on jubilation
over into full enlightenment; but really no turning over takes place, as nothing
is passed on, nothing destroyed. This is the second reason why the jubilation of
the Bodhisattva is a most excellent one.
But to return to the question of merit. Let us now consider this
case here as all these beings in countless world systems are definitely set out
for full enlightenment, and so, in order to advance to full enlightenment,
these, for countless aeons undertake the obligation of observing morality, i.e.
good conduct of body, speech and mind, - but while perceiving a basis.
Nevertheless their accumulation of merit is infinitesimal compared with this of
a Bodhisattva's limitless equanimity derived from jubilation, - merely due to
this simple fact in which these beings in countless world systems perceive a
basis. And the same is true, if all these beings for countless aeons practice
patience, although these were ever so much abused, struck and reviled; or if
these practice vigour, and under no circumstances would be cast down, or
conquered by sloth and torpor; or, finally, if these enter the trances. As long
as any such as these carry out such practices while perceiving a basis, any
merit is infinitesimal compared with this of any Bodhisattva who rejoices over
the wholesome roots of all beings with the most excellent yet equanimous
jubilation, and transforms this wholesome root into supreme enlightenment.
Hymn to The
Perfection of Wisdom
Sariputra: Perfection of wisdom, O Lord, is accomplishment of
cognition of all-knowing. Perfection of wisdom is realized as all-knowledge.
The Lord: So it is, Sariputra, as you say.
Sariputra: Veneration towards perfection of wisdom polishes away
obscurities, revealing light, O Lord. I pay homage to perfection of wisdom! She
is worthy of homage. She is unstained, and thus entire worlds along with
complete systems cannot stain her. Regardless whether viewed from, in or as
absolute unification, beings come to reveal her as spontaneous source of light,
having dispelled any limitations, and things of any triple worlds. Holding her
in supreme reverence leads beings away from blinding darkness caused by
defilements and wrong views. As this is her nature, we find shelter. Most
excellent is her impartial abiding. Within us she is revealed as cause to seek
the safety of wings of enlightenment. Realization of her brings light to the
blind. Our being is permeated by her light so all fear and distress may be
forsaken within her revelation. Veneration of her aquires the five eyes, and
shows this path to all beings. She herself is an organ of vision. Her knowledge
disperses the gloom and darkness of delusion. She does nothing about all
dharmas. She becomes the path and guide any who have strayed on to an obscure
road. She is identical with all-knowledge. She never produces any dharma because
she cast off any residues relating to both kinds of coverings, these produced by
defilements and these produced by any thing whatsoever. She does not stop any
dharma, herself unstopped and unproduced...is this perfection of wisdom. She is
mother of the Bodhisattvas, on account of emptiness of own mark. As the donor of
the jewel of all Buddha-dharmas she brings about the ten powers (of a Buddha).
She cannot be crushed. She protects the unprotected with the help of the four
grounds of self-confidence. She is the antidote to birth-and-death. She reveals
this clear knowingness of the true nature of any own-being of all dharmas, for
she does not stray away from it. The perfection of wisdom of Buddhas, the Lords,
sets in motion this wheel of Dharma.
Predominance of Perfect Wisdom Over
How does a Bodhisattva stand in perfection of wisdom, how attend and pay
homage to it?
The Lord: In every way the perfection of wisdom is treated as our
Sakra now asks Sariputra: Wherefrom, and for what reason does this
question of the holy Sariputra arise?
Sariputra: It arises as I hear it said, "a Bodhisattva being taken
hold of by perfection of wisdom and skill in means transforms into all-knowledge
any so-called meritorious work founded on jubilation. Ones such as these delve
even beyond the entire meritorious works founded on giving, morality, patience,
vigour, and trance of all Bodhisattvas observing any basis whatsoever." It is
just perfection of wisdom which guides these five perfections in their intention
and direction on this path toward all-knowledge. Just as, Kausika, people born
blind, one hundred, or one thousand, or one hundred thousand of them, cannot,
without a leader, go along a path and get to a village, town or city; - just
so, Giving, Morality, Patience, Vigour and Trance cannot alone be called
'perfections,' for without perfection of wisdom these are as if born blind, here
now without their leader and unable to traverse the path to all-knowledge, and
still less can these reach all-knowledge. However, as Giving, Morality,
Patience, Vigour and Trance are taken hold of by perfection of wisdom, now these
are in deed and propriety termed 'perfections', for these five perfections
acquire this organ of vision which enables these to evolve along this path to
all-knowledge, and to reach all-knowledge.
by Perfect Wisdom
Sariputra said to the Lord: How does any Bodhisattva consummate
perfection of wisdom?
The Lord: By pure cognition and establishment in one's view of the
non-consummation of form, feeling, perception, impulse, and consciousness. The
non-consummation of the five skandhas, this is called 'consummation of
perfection of wisdom'. In this way nothing is affected, so the consummation of
the five skandhas is called consummation of perfection of wisdom.
Sariputra: When perfection of wisdom is consummated by such a
consummation, what dharma, or what of any phenomena whatsoever does it procure?
The Lord: When consummated in such a way, perfection of wisdom does
not procure any dharma, and in consequence of this fact she comes to be styled
'perfection of wisdom.'
Sakra: So, O Lord, perfection of wisdom does not even procure
The Lord: Perfection of wisdom does not procure even this, as this
is formed as, or from some basis, or some mental process, or some volitional
Sakra: So, how does perfection of wisdom procure?
The Lord: In so far as this does not procure, to this extent this
Sakra: This is wonderful, O Lord, to see any extent to which
perfection of wisdom neither produces nor stops any dharma. For the purpose of
non-production and of non-stopping of all dharmas is perfection of wisdom set
up, without, however, being really present.
Subhuti: If any Bodhisattva perceives this also, one might keep far
away from perfection of wisdom, treating this as worthless and insignificant,
and fail to act on it.
The Lord: This is quite true. For here perfection of wisdom is lit
up, and here form does not become lit up, nor other skandhas, nor any fruits of
this holy life, up to Buddhahood.
Subhuti: Perfection of wisdom is great perfection, O Lord!
Why the Perfection
of Wisdom is Great
[Perfection of Wisdom is here stated
as the Great Perfection.
for 1st Century.]
The Lord: Tell what you think, Subhuti, in what manner is perfection
of wisdom a great perfection?
Subhuti: This neither makes form (solidity), feelings (sensations),
perceptions (experiences) will (volition), and consciousnesses (states of mind)
greater nor smaller, and does not assemble nor disperse form, etc. This also
neither strengthens nor weakens the powers of Tathagata, nor does this assemble
or disperse these. This does not even make all-knowledge greater or smaller,
nor does this assemble or disperse it. For all-knowledge is unassembled
[uncollected] and undispersed [undisturbed]. In the event any Bodhisattva
perceives even this, one courses not in perfection of wisdom, so how much more
so if one forms the notion: "Thus do I, endowed with cognition of all-knowing,
demonstrate dharma to beings, thus do I lead these beings to final Nirvana." For
this apprehension of these beings is a basis fact, for when one says, "I lead
these beings to final Nirvana," this cannot be an outcome of perfection of
wisdom. This indeed is a great basis of apprehension on one's part. For the
absence of own-being in beings needs to be known as belonging to the very
essence of perfection of wisdom. One needs know this perfection of wisdom is
without own-being in the same way in which beings are without own-being; also,
perfection of wisdom is unthinkable, because beings are naturally as well; also
perfection of wisdom has an indestructible nature because beings do as well;
and perfection of wisdom taken as it naturally is, does not undergo any process
which leads to enlightenment as well...for beings, as these are naturally, do
not undergo such a process ; also this way in which Tathagatas arrive at full
possession of powers is understood as the way in which beings arrive thus at
full possession of their power. It is in this manner which perfection of wisdom
is the great perfection. [rdzogs chen]
Causes of Belief in
Perfection of Wisdom
Sariputra: Bodhisattvas reborn here, resolutely believe or have
direct knowing in deep perfection of wisdom without hesitation, doubt or
stupefaction, here these decease and enduring beyond any duration do these
practice. These ones following this doctrine of perfection of wisdom, understand
its meaning, and instruct others in it both by any method which reveals the
meaning and by any method which reveals the doctrine.
The Lord: Thus it is, Sariputra. One can know this as such
Bodhisattvas are reborn here as decease in other world systems in which one
honors and questions Buddhas, the Lords. Any such Bodhisattvas as decease in
other world systems in which one honors and questions Buddhas, the Lords, are
reborn here and upon hearing this deep perfection of wisdom being taught,
identify perfection of wisdom as teacher, and are definitely convinced beyond
even such questions one is face to face with ones teacher...such a one can know
one sees the teacher. As perfection of wisdom is being taught, and as one
listens attentively, pays respect to this even before one hears this, and does
not cut this story short...such a Bodhisattva is known as one practicing for
long, even beyond duration. And as well, one herein honors many Buddhas.
Subhuti: Is it at all possible to hear perfection of wisdom, to
distinguish and consider her, to make statements and to reflect about her? Can
one explain or learn such as because of certain attributes, tokens or signs this
is perfection of wisdom, or such as here this is perfection of wisdom, or over
there...that is perfection of wisdom?
The Lord: No indeed, Subhuti. Perfection of wisdom cannot be
expounded, learned, distinguished, considered, stated, or reflected upon by
means of any or all skandhas, nor by means of any or all elements, nor means of
any or all sense-fields. This is a consequence of fact. All dharmas are
isolated, absolutely isolated without any basis, as said and known. Nor can
perfection of wisdom be understood other than by the skandhas, elements or
sensefields. For just the very skandhas, elements and sense-fields are empty,
isolated and calmly quiet. [without basis] It is thus, Subhuti, as perfection
of wisdom and skandhas, elements and sense-fields are neither many as more than
one, nor even one, nor one divided. [again, without basis] As a result of
emptiness, isolatedness and quietude these cannot be apprehended. The lack of a
basis of, or for apprehension in any and all dharmas, this is called 'perfect
wisdom.' Whatever, wherever, whenever, or however pure cognition reveals no
perception, appellation, conception, contrivance or conventional expression,
hereof one speaks 'perfection of wisdom.'
Subhuti: For how long is any Bodhisattva known as one who practices,
who makes endeavours about this deep perfection of wisdom?
The Lord: One must make one's own distinction in this, owing to the
unequal endowment of different Bodhisattvas.
Causes and Consequences of
It is quite possible some Bodhisattvas, although perhaps seeing or having seen
many hundreds, many thousands, many hundreds of thousands of Buddhas, and have
led and continue to lead the holy life, in any present 'time' may nevertheless
have no faith in perfection of wisdom. The reason is now as whenever, some have
no respect for this profound perfection of wisdom as it is taught, even in the
presence of Buddhas and Lords. Wherever might be a lack of respect for this is
also in like measure a lack of desire to learn more about this, a lack of honor
recognized in this, and thus a lack in faith and unwillingness to ask questions.
Lacking in faith these hereupon walk out of assemblies. It is just because in
any past these have produced, accumulated, piled up and collected karma
conducive to the ruin of dharma that also at any present these walk out when
this deep perfection of wisdom is being taught. From the lack of respect,
without faith and firm belief in perfection of wisdom, these lack also in accord
either in body or in thought. Lacking in accord these do not know, see,
recognize or make known this perfection of wisdom. First any such as these do
not believe, and so do not hear, so as to not see, and here these do not
recognize this and thus produce, accumulate, pile up and collect karma conducive
to the ruin of dharma within these lives, any and ultimately all. This in its
turn will bring about karma conducive to weakness in wisdom. This in its turn
will make such as these refuse, reject and revile this perfection of wisdom
while it is being taught, and so rejecting this will walk out. But by rejecting
this perfection of wisdom these reject the all-knowledge of Buddhas and Lords,
past, future and present. Not content with having vitiated merely their own
continuities, so too these as if all aflame, deter, dissuade, turn away others
also, -beings of less intelligence, seemingly less wisdom, merit and wholesome
roots, endowed with but a little faith, affection, serenity, and desire-to-do,
beginners, essentially unqualified, -trying to take away even what little faith,
affection, serenity and desire-to-do may be present. These bid one not to train
in this, and finally declare this is not the Buddha's word. These first vitiate
and estrange their own communities, and even those of 'others'. Hereby these
calumniate perfection of wisdom. To calumniate perfection of wisdom means to
calumniate all-knowledge, and hereof the past, future and present Buddhas. These
cause themselves removal from the presence of the Buddhas and Lords,
self-deprived of Dharma, self-expelled from Sangha. In each and every way these
will be, of their own-self's shut out from Triple Jewel. Such activities cut
down the welfare and happiness of all-beings, and these will collect karma
conducive to the great hells. As these have raised such karma-formations, these
will be reborn in great hells, for many hundreds of years, many thousands of
years, indeed for many hundreds of thousands of niyutas of kotis of aeons. From
one great hell these will pass on to another. After a long time this world of
these is consumed by fire. Yet such as these are hurled into the great hells in
another world system, and again these pass on from great hell to great hell.
When also such as this world is consumed by fire, yet still these are hurled
into the great hells in another world system, here still these pass on from
great hell to great hell. When also this world is consumed by fire, this karma
of ones such as these is still unexhausted, still has some residue of efficacy
and, deceasing now here, these are still reborn in great hells and experience
great sufferings in these, until the time when yet even this world is once more
consumed by fire. These still as even unto our own-selves, as we see,
experience a karma which involves many painful feelings. And why? Because their
teachings are so misleading.
Sariputra: Does not even the effect of the five deadly sins bear no
proportion to this misconduct of mind and speech?
The Lord: It does not. All these ones opposing perfection of wisdom
and dissuading others from it are beings like unto ones by and to whom are not
granted any vision. How can any become intimate with these, how can any gain
wealth, honor, position? As a matter of fact, regard these as defamers of
dharma, as mere rubbish, as pitchguards, as mere vipers. These are beings
breeding misfortune, these ruin anyone listening. Regard these seeking to defame
perfection of wisdom as beings which seek to defame Dharma.
Sariputra: The Lord has not told us about the length of time such a
person must spend in the great hells.
The Lord: Leave that alone, Sariputra. If this were announced,
anyone hearing it needs to beware lest hot blood spurt from their mouths, lest
any incur death or deathly pain, lest harsh oppression weigh any down, lest the
dart of grief enter their hearts, lest any drop down with a big fall, lest any
shrivel up and wither away, lest any be overpowered by great fright. So...the
Lord refused to answer the Venerable Sariputra's question. For a second time,
for a third time the Venerable Sariputra spoke thus to the Lord: Tell me, O
Lord, the length of such a person's sojourn in hell, as a guidance for future
The Lord: Because one has brought about, accumulated, piled up and
collected this karma of mind and speech one must sojourn for a long while in the
great hells. Just so much guidance will be given to future generations, so one
will, in consequence of the unwholesome karma-formations of this misconduct of
speech and mind, experience pain for just so long. The mere announcement of the
measureless magnitude of one's pain will be a sufficient anxiety to virtuous
sons and daughters of good family. The mere announcement will turn any of these
away from activities conducive to the ruin of dharma, so even now these cause
formations of merit, and these ones will not reject the good dharma, even to
save their lives, for these do not wish to meet with such pains.
Subhuti: Such a person needs become well-restrained in the deeds of
one's body, speech or mind. For so great a heap of demerit is begotten by such
false teaching. Which, O Lord, is the deed, or are the deeds begeting so great a
heap of demerit?
The Lord: Such false teachings do. Just here are deluded beings,
persons who, having left the world for the well-taught Dharma-Vinaya, decide to
defame, to reject, to oppose this perfection of wisdom. But to oppose the
perfection of wisdom is to oppose the enlightenment of Buddhas and Lords. And
this means one opposes such all-knowledge of Buddhas and Lords in this past,
future and present. To oppose all-knowledge means to oppose Dharma. To oppose
Dharma means to oppose the community of Disciples of Tathagatas. And as one
opposes also the community of Disciples of Tathagatas, such a one is shut out in
each and every way from the Triple Jewel. One is acquiring an unwholesome
karma-formation which cannot be equaled, for such is immeasurable and
Subhuti: For what reason do these lack faith, and oppose this
perfection of wisdom?
The Lord: Such as these are beset by Mara. One's karma is conducive
to weakness in wisdom, and so one has no faith or serene confidence in profound
Dharma. Endowed with those two evil dharmas one opposes this perfection of
wisdom. Moreover, Subhuti, this person will be one who is in the hands of
friends which are other than good; or may be one who has not yet practiced; or
one who has settled down in the skandhas and determined a basis for things; or
one who exalts oneself and deprecates others, looking out for faults. Endowed
also with these four attributes is this person believing this perfection of
wisdom needs opposition whenever and wherever this is being taught.
Depth and Purity of
Subhuti: It is hard to gain confidence in perfection of wisdom if
one is unpracticed, lacks in wholesome roots and is in the hands of any friend
who may be other than good, this friend being any one possessed of less than
right intent, speech, action, and concentration toward countless beings.
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. It is hard to gain confidence in
perfection of wisdom if one is unpracticed, has only diminutive wholesome roots,
is dull-witted, does not care, learns little, displays inferior understanding of
wisdom, relies on any friends who may be other than good, is not eager to learn,
and who is unwilling to ask questions and who remains unpracticed in wholesome
Subhuti: How deep indeed Lord, how profound is perfection of wisdom,
as being so hard to gain confidence in?
The Lord: Form is neither bound nor freed, because form has no
own-being as innate, inherent, or individualized in any true or absolute sense.
Any material process is wont to be assumed if, or as any do not exist. Any
starting point of any material process [or an equivalent to form] is neither
bound nor freed within or beyond any perceptibility, because any starting point
of any material process is without own-being. Any end of material process is
likewise without own-being, because in this same way, any truly profound
explicitness of being, be-ness, or presence, cannot exist as any part of a
nonexistent own-being of some present form. Discursive facts within and of
themselves are ephemeron, illusive, and transitory. And this same applies for
any remaining skandhas, i.e., feeling, perception, impulse, and consciousness.
In short...any 'thing' whatsoever.
Subhuti: It is hard, it is exceedingly hard Lord, to gain confidence
in perfection of wisdom if one is unpracticed, has planted no wholesome roots,
is in the hands of any friend who may be other than good, has come to be or is
under what is descried to be the sway of Mara, is lazy or of small vigour, or is
not attentive to mindfulness.
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. Because purity of form is identical
with purity of fruit, and purity of fruit is identical with purity of form. It
is thus this purity of form and this purity of fruit can neither be multiplied
nor counted as two, nor are these one divided. And Subhuti, not even can these
be counted as one, as these have no basis, no ground from which to determine any
singleness. Neither can these be broken, nor cut apart. It is thus, as this
purity of form comes from purity of fruit, and purity of this fruit from this
purity of form. And the same relevance exists between purity of form and purity
of all-knowledge. The same applies to any other skandhas whatsoever.
Sariputra: Fathomless, O Lord, is perfection of wisdom!
The Lord: From purity is revealed dissolution of defilement and
Sariputra: A source of illumination beyond any source is perfection
The Lord: From purity.
Sariputra: A light is perfect wisdom.
The Lord: From purity.
Sariputra: Not subject to rebirth is perfect wisdom.
The Lord: From purity.
Sariputra: Free from defilement is perfect wisdom.
The Lord: From purity.
Sariputra: Here is neither attainment nor reunion as perfect wisdom.
The Lord: From purity.
Sariputra: Perfect wisdom does not reproduce anyself.
The Lord: From purity.
Sariputra: Here is absolutely no rebirth of perfect wisdom, whether
world of sense-desire, or in any world of form, or in any formless
The Lord: From purity.
Sariputra: Perfect wisdom neither knows or perceives.
The Lord: From purity.
Sariputra: What does perfect wisdom neither know nor perceive?
The Lord: Form, and the other skandhas. And why? From purity.
Sariputra: Perfect wisdom neither helps nor hinders all-knowledge.
The Lord: From purity.
Sariputra: Perfect wisdom neither gains nor abandons any dharma.
The Lord: From purity.
Subhuti: The purity of form, etc., is due to purity of self.
The Lord: Because such is absolutely pure.
Subhuti: The purity of fruit, and purity of all-knowledge, are due
purity of self.
The Lord: Because of such absolute purity.
Subhuti: The absence of attainment and reunion is due to purity of
The Lord: Because of such absolute purity.
Subhuti: The boundlessness of form, etc., is due to boundlessness of
The Lord: Because of such absolute purity.
Subhuti: Any Bodhisattva who understands such thus, is perfect
The Lord: Because of such absolute purity.
Subhuti: Moreover, perfection of wisdom does not stand on any shore
on this side,
nor on any shore beyond, nor athwart the two.
The Lord: Because of such absolute purity.
Subhuti: A Bodhisattva treating even insight as any object of
hereby parts from perfection of wisdom, and gets far away from such.
The Lord: Well said, Subhuti. For also names, as any things whatsoever are
called and assumingly adjudicated as such, and signs, as any one thing or group
of things owing or lending any more or less or even equal substantialness or
reality to another, are sources of attachment.
Subhuti: It is wonderful, O Lord, to see any extent to which
perfection of wisdom is well learned, well explained, well rounded off. The Lord
even announces these sources of attachment.
Sariputra: Which, Subhuti, are these attachments?
Subhuti: It is an attachment if one perceives any skandhas are
empty, or past dharmas are past dharmas, future dharmas are future dharmas, and
present dharmas are present dharmas. Such are merely names. It is an attachment
if one forms any notion such as "someone who belongs to the vehicle of the
Bodhisattvas begets a great a heap of merit through one's first production of
any thought of enlightenment." Such are merely signs.
Sakra: In which manner, Subhuti, is any thought of enlightenment a
source of attachment?
Subhuti: One is attached as one perceives of any thought of
enlightenment as "this is a [any] first thought of enlightenment," and one now
thinks to convert such to full enlightenment while conscious one is doing so.
For it is quite impossible to turn over essential original nature of thought, by
thought. Any thought or thing neither is nor is not as truth and reality, as one
is merely aware as such, and merely indicates in some way or fashion, such to
such ('others') within Suchness.
To reveal or have such revealed in this way, one does not waste any self or
thing away, and the manner which one rouses others to Suchness is the sanction
of Buddhas. As such, one succeeds in abandoning any and all points of
The Lord: Well said, Subhuti, you make Bodhisattvas aware of these
points of attachment. I now announce other, more subtle attachments. Listen to
these well, and pay good attention as I teach these to you.
Say on, O Lord, and the Venerable Subhuti listened in silence.
The Lord: Here Subhuti, any son or daughter of good family, full of
faith, attends to Tathagata through some sign. But, so many signs, so many
attachments! Such as this is also, Subhuti, from signs comes attachment. It is
in this way of being, as this one is conscious, that one rejoices in all dharmas
with no outflows of Buddhas and Lords thought of as either past, or of some
future or even this present. After such rejoicing one simply turns over into
full enlightenment any wholesome root which is associated with one's act of
jubilation. As a matter of difference however, this true nature of even these
dharmas is neither past, nor future, nor present; for such lie quite outside any
of these three periods called time. For this reason such cannot be converted,
for as Suchness this quite simple truth is such as any dharmas whatsoever cannot
be treated as any sign, nor as any objective support, and in absolute truth can
neither be seen, nor heard, nor felt, nor known, for any and all of these
involve one's illusive self in this much more complicated process of be-ing as,
perhaps, over and against this simple nature as such. (?)
Subhuti: Beyond any depth, beyond any presence, O Lord, is
essential original nature of dharmas.
The Lord: Because such is isolated.
Subhuti: Unfathomable is essential nature of perfect wisdom.
The Lord: As any and all essential nature is pure and isolated, here
is revealed perfection of wisdom as deepening toward essential nature, yet not
as perfect wisdom.
Subhuti: Isolated is essential nature as perfect wisdom. I pay
homage to perfection of wisdom.
The Lord: Also all dharmas are isolated as essential nature. And the
isolatedness of essential nature to all dharmas is identical with perfection of
wisdom. For Tathagatas fully know all dharmas as not made.
Subhuti: Here do all dharmas have the character of not being fully
known by the Tathagatas?
The Lord: It is just through essential nature these dharmas are not
some'thing'. Nature for such as these is no-nature, and no-nature are these as
nature. All dharmas have one mark only, i.e. no mark. It is for such a reason
all dharmas have a character of not being fully known by Tathagatas. Here are no
two natures of dharma, but just one single one is nature of all dharmas. And
nature of all dharmas is not nature, and no-nature is their nature. It is thus
all these points of attachment are abandoned.
Subhuti: Deepening still, O Lord, is perfection of wisdom.
The Lord: Through depth such as this is like unto space.
Subhuti: Hard to understand, O Lord, is perfection of wisdom.
The Lord: Nothing is fully known by the enlightened.
Subhuti: Unthinkable, O Lord, is perfection of wisdom.
The Lord: Perfection of wisdom is neither some'thing' thought can
know, nor which thought may even have any access to.
Subhuti: As such, not some'thing' made is perfection of wisdom, O
The Lord: As such, neither can maker be apprehended nor any'thing'
Subhuti: How under these or any circumstances, does any Bodhisattva
course as perfect wisdom?
The Lord: A Bodhisattva courses as perfect wisdom if, while coursing
one does not course in skandhas; or if one does not course in any conviction
such as skandhas are impermanent or are empty, or these are neither defective
nor entire. And if one does not even course in any conviction such as form is
neither any defectiveness nor entirety of itself as form, and the same for any
'other' skandhas, one courses as perfect wisdom, but only inasmuch as any
perceptible manifestation to any of us may allow, or to such a greater or lesser
degree as one may for one's self make perceptible. Whatsoever degree this may
or may not come to be, to be sure perfect wisdom is beyond even such.
Subhuti: It is wonderful, O Lord, how well such reasons for
attachment and non-attachment of Bodhisattvas is explained.
The Lord: One courses in perfect wisdom if one does not course in
any idea such as form is with attachment, or without attachment. And as for
form, so for any other skandhas, the sight organ, etc., to even such as feeling
born from eye contact; so for any physical elements, the six perfections, the
thirty-seven wings of enlightenment, the powers, any grounds of self-confidence,
any analytical knowledge, the eighteen special Buddha-dharmas and fruits of holy
life, from the fruit of a Streamwinner to all-knowledge. When one courses thus,
a Bodhisattva does not generate attachment to anything, from form to
all-knowledge. For all-knowledge is unattached, it is neither bound nor freed,
and here is no-thing whatsoever which can rise above or beyond this, such as
this is, even unto any self. It is thus, Subhuti, Bodhisattvas course in perfect
wisdom through rising completely above any and all attachments. 
Space or an Echo
Subhuti: It is wonderful, O Lord, how deep is this Dharma, I mean
perfection of wisdom. Demonstration neither diminishes nor increases this.
Non-demonstration also neither diminishes nor increases this.
The Lord: Well said, Subhuti. It is just as if any Tathagatas,
during one's entire life, speak in praise of space, without hereby increasing
the volume of space; and space does not diminish either, while one is not
speaking in praise for it. Or, it is as with an illusory man. Praise neither
penetrates him nor wins him over. When here is no praise he is neither affected,
nor frustrated. So, true nature of any or all dharmas is just so, whether such
gets demonstrated or not.
Subhuti: A doer of what is hard is any Bodhisattva who, while
coursing in perfection of wisdom, neither loses heart nor gets elated; who
persists in making endeavours about this and does not turn back. Any development
toward revealing perfect wisdom through dissolution of, or as any and all
obscuration, is like some sort of development toward space. Homage is paid to
any Bodhisattvas who are armed with this armor. For with space these want to be
armed when, for the sake of beings these put on the armor. Armed with great
armor is a Bodhisattva, a liberator is any Bodhisattva when one wants to be
armed with an armor, and win full enlightenment for the sake of beings who are
like space, who are like the realm of dharma. Such is one who wants to liberate
like unto space, one who aspires even to get rid of space, one who has won this
armor of this great perfection of vigor, this Bodhisattva who is armed with this
armor for the sake of beings who are like unto space, who are like unto this
realm of Dharma.
Hereupon a certain monk saluted the Lord with folded hands and said
to the Lord: I pay homage, O Lord, to perfection of wisdom! For such neither
produces nor stops any dharma whatsoever.
Sakra: If someone, holy Subhuti, makes efforts about this perfection
of wisdom, what are these efforts about...or toward?
Subhuti: One makes efforts about or toward space. And one makes
one's efforts about or toward a mere vacuity if one decides to train as perfect
wisdom or to work toward such as perfection of wisdom.
Sakra: Please, O Lord, command me to shelter, defend and protect any
son or daughter of good family who bears in mind this perfection of wisdom!
Subhuti: Sakra, can you see any dharma which you intend to shelter,
defend and protect?
Sakra: Not so, holy Subhuti.
Subhuti: So when a Bodhisattva stands in perfection of wisdom as
this is being expounded, just this is one's shelter, defense and protection. On
the other hand, if and when one is lacking in view of perfect wisdom, beings and
ghosts looking for entry will gain entrance into one such as this. One does,
however, want to arrange shelter, defense and protection for a Bodhisattva
coursing in view of perfect wisdom. What do you think, Kausika, are you able to
arrange shelter, defense and protection for an echo?
Sakra: Not so, holy Subhuti.
Subhuti: Just so, any Bodhisattva coursing and dwelling in view of
perfect wisdom, comprehends all dharmas are like an echo. One does not think
about such, does not review, identify, or perceive such, and knows such dharmas
do not exist, their reality does not appear, cannot be found, cannot be got at.
If one dwells thus, one courses in view of perfect wisdom.
Hereupon and through the Buddha's might the four Great Kings in this
great trichiliocosm, and all these Sakras, Chiefs of Gods, and all these great
Brahma Gods, and Sahapati, the great Brahma -all came to this place the Lord is.
Reverently these are saluting the Lord's feet with their heads and are walking
three times round the Lord, and are now standing on one side. Through the
Buddha's might and through his miraculous power their minds were impressed by
sight of a thousand Buddhas.
In these very words, by these monks called Subhuti, etc., is this
very perfection of wisdom being expounded, just this very chapter of perfection
of wisdom. With reference to just this these Sakras, Chiefs of Gods, ask
questions and counter-questions. At this very spot of earth is just this
perfection of wisdom being taught. Maitreya also, the Bodhisattva, the great
being will, as he wins the supreme enlightenment at this very spot of earth,
teach this very same perfection of wisdom.
Perfect Wisdom Perfectly Pure
Subhuti: To call this 'perfect wisdom,' O Lord, is merely giving this a name.
And what this name corresponds to cannot be got at. One speaks of a 'name' with
reference to any merely nominal entity. Even perfection of wisdom cannot be
found or got at. In so far as this is a word, in so far is this perfect wisdom;
in so far as this is perfect wisdom, in so far is this a word. No duality of
dharmas between these two can either be found or got at. For what reason does
Maitreya, the Bodhisattva, the great being, as he wins the supreme
enlightenment, preach just this very same perfection of wisdom at this very spot
of earth in just these same words?
The Lord: The reason is Maitreya will give cause to this fading away
of any and all obscurations to his understanding, fully enlightened, the fact
these skandhas are neither permanent nor impermanent, for such are neither bound
nor freed, as these are absolutely pure.
Subhuti: Perfectly pure indeed is perfection of wisdom.
The Lord: Perfect wisdom is perfectly pure as any and all skandhas
are pure, and so, do to non-production are perfectly pure, their non-stopping,
their non-defilement and their non-purification. This is pure as space is pure
and skandhas are stainless, and any defiling forces cannot in truth take hold of
such as these. Perfect wisdom is perfectly pure for, like space or an echo, such
is unutterable, incommunicable, and offers no basis for apprehension. Such is
perfectly pure as being not covered by any dharma, either stained or stainless.
Subhuti: It is indeed a great gain to these sons and daughters of
good family such as these even come to hear of such perfection of wisdom. How
much greater the gain as these take up, bear in mind, recite, study, spread,
teach, explain and master this. Their eyes, ears, nose, tongues and bodies come
to be free from disease, and their minds free from stupefaction. These do not
die any violent death. Many thousands of Gods follow closely behind. Whenever,
on the eight, fourteenth and fifteenth day, one talks Dharma, any son or
daughter of good family teaches perfection of wisdom, so here as well one begets
a great deal of merit.
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. Many thousands of Gods, Subhuti, follow
closely behind this son or daughter of good family, and many thousands of Gods
come to this place as perfect wisdom is being elucidated and revealed. Desirous
of hearing Dharma, these, all of these, protect any preacher of Dharma who
teaches perfection of wisdom to any with right intentions and the propensity to
listen and learn. For perfect wisdom is most precious in the world with its
Gods, beings and Asuras. This also is a reason why such a person begets a
different type of merit than any which might be considered as great merit. On
the other hand, here also are many obstacles to this deep perfection of wisdom
being written, taken up, borne in mind, recited, studied, spread, developed,
explained and repeated. For very precious things provoke much hostility. The
more excellent such teachings are, the more violent the hostility. But this is
most precious in entire world systems, this perfection of wisdom which is being
undertaken for the benefit and happiness of these worlds by showing all dharmas
as being neither produced nor destroyed, neither defiled nor purified. And
perfect wisdom does not cling to any dharma, nor defile any dharma, nor take
hold of any dharma. Any and all dharmas neither exist nor are any got at. As it
is not apprehended perfection of wisdom is without any stain. 'To be free from
stains,' is the same thing as perfect wisdom and it is the same thing such as
skandhas are free from stains as perfect wisdom is without any stain. A
Bodhisattva courses in perfect wisdom if one does not perceive even this, for
beyond perception and concepts is perfect wisdom. Moreover, this perfection of
wisdom neither enters nor places anything like 'itself' into any dharma, neither
reveals nor defines any dharma, and neither brings in any dharma nor carries one
The Second Turning of the
Wheel of Dharma
So, hereupon a great many thousands of Gods in this intermediate
realm call out aloud with cries of joy, waving their garments, and saying: We
now indeed see this second turning of the wheel of dharma taking place in
The Lord: This, Subhuti, is not the second turning of the wheel of dharma.
No dharma can be turned forwards or backwards. Just this is a Bodhisattva's
perfection of wisdom...just this approaches the pinnacle of perception and
concept as this great perfection. This is beyond any such thing as turning.
Subhuti: This is a great perfection of any Bodhisattva who,
unattached to all dharmas, wants to know full enlightenment, and who yet is not
enlightened about any dharma, or who turns the wheel of dharma and yet does not
show up any dharma. For no dharma is here got at, no dharma is indicated, and no
dharma moves on any dharma. For absolutely, reproduction is alien to all
dharmas. Nor does, nor can any dharma turn back any other dharma. From the
beginningless beginning any and all dharmas are not being reproduced, since
their essential nature is isolated.
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. For emptiness does neither proceed nor
recede, and such holds good also for the Signless and the Wishless. To
demonstrate this is to demonstrate all dharmas. But no one has demonstrated
this, no one has heard this, no one has received this, and no one realizes this,
in this past, present or future. Nor by this demonstration of dharma does anyone
ever go to Nirvana. Nor by this demonstration of dharma has anyone ever been
made worthy of gifts.
Modes and Qualities of
Subhuti: This is perfection of such as no-thing whatsoever is not,
as space is not something which is. Perfection of wisdom equals any such as
unequalled, dharmas are not apprehended. Perfection of wisdom is isolated, on
account of absolute emptiness. Perfection of wisdom cannot be crushed, as
dharmas are not apprehended. Perfection of wisdom is trackless, as both body and
mind are absent. Perfection of wisdom has no own-being, neither comes nor goes.
Perfection of wisdom is inexpressible, as any dharmas are not discriminated.
Perfection of wisdom is nameless, as any skandhas whatsoever cannot be
apprehended. Perfection of wisdom does not go away, as having not come hither,
no dharma ever goes away. One cannot partake of this perfection of wisdom, as no
dharma can be seized. Perfection of wisdom is inexhaustible, as indelible to
inexhaustible dharma. Perfection of wisdom has no genesis, as no dharma ever
really comes about. Perfection of wisdom does nothing, as no doer can be
apprehended. Perfection of wisdom does not generate [cognize] anything, as any
and all dharmas are without self. Perfection of wisdom does not pass on, as here
is no genesis of decease or rebirth. Perfection of wisdom does not discipline,
as this past, future and present periods are not apprehended. Perfection of
wisdom is as a dream, an echo, a reflected image, a mirage, or an illusion, and
is indicated as precision of non-production. Perfection of wisdom is free from
defilement, as greed, hate, and delusion have no own-being. Perfection of wisdom
knows no purification, as no possible receptacle [which might have to be
purified] can be apprehended. Perfection of wisdom is spotless, as space is
spotless. Perfection of wisdom is free from impediments, as spontaneously
present throughout and beyond any and all mental attitudes to dharmas.
Perfection of wisdom has no mental attitude, as it is imperturbable. Perfection
of wisdom is unshakeable, as is stability of any realm of dharma. Perfection of
wisdom knows no greed, as here is no falseness in dharmas. Perfection of wisdom
does not rise up, as here is no discrimination in dharmas. Perfection of wisdom
is quiet, as no sign is apprehended as all dharmas. Perfection of wisdom is
faultless, as perfection of all virtues. Perfection of wisdom is undefiled, as
imagination is something which is not. Neither living nor dying being is found
as perfection of wisdom, as the reality-limit. Perfection of wisdom is
unlimited, as the manifestation of all dharmas does not rise up. Perfection of
wisdom does not follow after duality of opposites, as such does not settle down
in any or all dharmas. Perfection of wisdom is undifferentiated, as all dharmas
are still but speciously indicated. Perfection of wisdom is untarnished, as such
is free from any longing for some jewel of Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas.
Perfection of wisdom is undiscriminated, as this is basic identity to all which
is discriminated. Perfection of wisdom is infinite, as any nature of dharma is
unlimited. Perfection of wisdom is unattached, as this is non-attachment to all
dharmas. Perfection of wisdom is unconditioned, as all dharmas are impermanent
and merely an indication of such as this is. Perfection of wisdom is as space,
as any nature of dharma is identical as impermanence. Perfection of wisdom is
Empty, as any or all dharmas are not apprehended. Perfection of wisdom is
not-self, as here is no settling down in any or all dharmas. Perfection of
wisdom is markless, as here is no reproduction in dharmas.
Perfection of this is of total emptiness, as endless and
boundless. Perfection of this is as the wings of enlightenment, such as is
pillars of mindfulness, etc., as these cannot be apprehended. This is
perfection of Emptiness, of the Signless, of the Wishless, as the three doors to
deliverance cannot be apprehended. This is perfection of the eight deliverances,
as these cannot be apprehended. This is perfection of the nine successive
stations, as the first trance, etc., cannot be apprehended. This is perfection
of the four Truths, as ill, old age and death cannot be apprehended. This is
perfection of the ten perfections, as giving, etc., cannot be apprehended. This
is perfection of the ten powers, as such cannot be crushed. This is perfection
of the four grounds of self-confidence, as absolutely such cannot be cowed. This
is perfection of the analytical knowledges, as such is unobstructed when
unattached to all-knowledge. This is perfection of all the special
Buddha-dharmas, as these transcend all counting. This is perfection of
Suchness as Tathagatas, as here is no falseness in any and all dharmas. This is
perfection of any as Self-existent, as all dharmas have not own-being.
Perfection of wisdom is perfection of cognition of all-knowing, as such is aware
within all of any modes of any own-being of all dharma.
~PROCLAMATION OF THE QUALITIES OF BEARING IN
Past Deeds, and the Present Attitude to
So now this thought is occurring to Sakra, Chief of Gods: These who
come to hear of perfection of wisdom act in consideration and view of what is
quite mundanely considered 'former' Jinas. These herein continue endlessly
planting wholesome roots in view of countless Buddhas, take hold of, and are
well taken hold of by good friends. Possessed of siddhis which are eventually
realized as already in place beyond any common worldly determination as to why
or how any dharma whatsoever comes to be, these who, taking up this perfection
of wisdom bear in mind, study, spread and explain this, even now perform such
In addition and also beyond any conscious or discursive efforts as such,
these beings simultaneously train in Thusness and progress in Thusness, yet make
no efforts whatsoever about Thusness. As thought, word, or concept, such is not
inherent to anything from beyond any beginning yet effortlessly cognized as
such, for as propensity and intent do come to allow, eventually is thus
understood. These beings are endowed with more than trifling wholesome roots.
These are beings honoring many Buddhas, and who again and again question these.
It is just perfection of wisdom which these have heard in any past and yet still
hear in this presence of manifest/unmanifest Tathagatas. These beings plant
wholesome roots in view of all Buddhas. So, this is simply the way which these
sons and daughters of good family are. As just this perfection of wisdom is
being taught, these explain, understand and repeat this, do not become cowed nor
stolid, do not become cast down nor depressed, do not turn their minds away from
this nor have their backs broken, and as well, do not tremble, neither be
frightened nor terrified.
Sariputra, now reading Sakra's thoughts says: As an irreversible
Bodhisattva any person becomes and is so regarded who, when just this deep
perfection of wisdom is being taught and explained, has faith in it, and,
trusting, firmly believing, this one's heart full of serene faith, reveals to
all sentient beings bodhicitta, a thought directed towards enlightenment, takes
up, expounds, reveals, writes down, repeats, and/or develops this perfection of
wisdom, trains in Thusness, progresses toward Thusness, and yet makes no effort
about Thusness as basis or object. For this perfection of wisdom is exceedingly
profound and herein someone with diminutive wholesome roots, who is unwilling to
ask questions, learns nothing when face to face with any Buddhas and Lords in
any time and who does not practice as yet in any time, cannot just here believe
in this very profound perfection of wisdom. As to any who neither believe in
this nor understand this, and who decide to reject this within these three
times, these reject this deep perfection of wisdom as this is being taught, and
this in consequence of inadequacy as regards their development of wholesome
roots. For any who have not practiced do not now practice, and will not
practice, such as these cannot believe in this perfection of wisdom. As these
reject this now, these reject this equally in any past, for what's present is
equally past as is likewise and at once this future. To see now, Sakra, is ever
present in any mere thought of three times. For what seems passed only seems
passed as any present thought could perceive, as well as any future which ever
was to be. This is the reason why as this deep perfection of wisdom is being
taught, in any time whatsoever these have no faith, or patience, or pleasure, or
desire-to-do, no vigour, no vigilance or resolve. In any past as well, these
presently, then, question neither Buddhas, the Lords, nor their disciples.
Sakra: Deep, indeed exceedingly profound, O holy Sariputra, is
perfection of wisdom. So this is not at all astonishing, even as this is being
taught that a Bodhisattva might not believe in this, if one did not practice in
Sakra now said to the Lord: I pay homage, O Lord, to perfection of
wisdom! One pays homage to cognition of all-knowing as one pays homage to
perfection of wisdom.
The Lord: So it is. For from this comes forth all-knowledge of
Buddhas, the Lords, and, conversely, perfection of wisdom is brought about as
such which comes forth from cognition of all-knowing. This is why one aspires to
course, stand, progress, and make efforts in perfection of wisdom.
Sakra: How does a Bodhisattva coursing in perfection of wisdom,
become one who stands in perfect wisdom? How does one make efforts in regards to
perfection of wisdom?
The Lord: Well said, well said, Kausika. Well said, again, well
said, Kausika, since you have decided to question Tathagata about this matter,
for in this questioning you have been inspired by Buddha's might. Here, Kausika,
a Bodhisattva coursing in, or as perfect wisdom does not make any stand in form,
feeling, perception, impulse or consciousness, does not develop as any basis any
notion such as 'this is form, this is feeling, this is perception, this is
impulse', or 'this is consciousness'...for this means one makes efforts about
any or all of these as form, feeling, perception, impulse, or consciousness.
One does not apply oneself to any notion such as this is form, this is feeling,
etc. Insofar as one does not apply oneself to any notion such as 'this is form,
this is feeling, etc.', one does not stand in any notion such as 'this is form,
this is feeling, etc.' Thus, one is known as one standing in perfect wisdom,
thusly one makes efforts in or as perfect wisdom.
Subhuti: Here a simile from a song of old presents to mind: A
certain devata, in the far extreme of the night, her extreme radiance lighting
up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, went to the Blessed One. On arrival, having
bowed down to him, she stood to one side. As she was standing there, she said to
him, "Tell me, dear sir, how you crossed over the flood."
"I crossed over the flood without pushing forward, without staying in place."
"But how, dear sir, did you cross over the flood without pushing forward,
without staying in place?"
"When I pushed forward, I was whirled about. When I stayed in place, I sank. And
so I crossed over the flood without pushing forward, without staying in place."
The devata: "At long last I see a brahman totally unbound, who without pushing
forward, without staying in place, has crossed over the entanglements of the
world." That is what the devata said.
The Teacher approved. Realizing that "The Teacher has approved of me," she bowed
down to him, circumambulated him -- keeping him to her right -- and then
vanished right there.
Sariputra: Deep, O Lord, is perfection of wisdom. Hard to fathom
is perfection of wisdom. Hard to grasp is perfection of wisdom. Unlimited is
perfection of wisdom.
The Lord: So it is, Sariputra. One does not stand in any notion
such as "form, feeling, perception, impulse, or consciousness, is deep."
Insofar as one does not stand in any such notion as, 'one makes efforts about
form, etc.' one does not make efforts about any such notion as "form , etc., is
deep." In so far as one makes no efforts about any such notion, one does not
stand in any notion as "form, etc., is deep."
Qualifications of a Bodhisattva Who Obtains
Sariputra: Only when presented to an irreversible Bodhisattva, to
any Bodhisattva predestined to enlightenment, is deep perfection of wisdom
understood, and only so may this herein be taught. For such do not hesitate, do
not doubt, do not get stupefied, and not dispute this.
Sakra: What is the fault in teaching this perfection of wisdom in
front of an unpredestined Bodhisattva?
Sariputra: If Kausika, unpredestined, a Bodhisattva obtains this
perfection of wisdom, for vision, praise, worship and hearing, and if one
remains unafraid as one hears this, one can be sure this one comes from afar, is
set out for long in this vehicle, and this one's wholesome roots are well
matured. It is not long from now onwards until this one receives the prediction
to supreme enlightenment. One can be sure this prediction is near, and comes to
one before one passes by one, two or three Tathagatas. And, of course, one
pleases the Tathagatas whom one passes by, pleases these permanently, and so one
sees to it the vision of these Tathagatas bears the fruit of the prediction, so
it leads one to the prediction to supreme enlightenment [itself]. Once come from
afar, O Lord, set out for long in this great vehicle, with wholesome roots well
matured is this Bodhisattva obtaining this perfection of wisdom for vision,
praise, worship, hearing and understanding. How much more so if one not only
hears this, but also takes this up, bears this in mind, preaches, studies,
spreads, explains and repeats such as this.
The Lord: So it is, Sariputra, as you have said.
Five Similes to Illustrate Nearness to
Sariputra: A simile or example flashes into my mind, O Lord. Just as
we are sure a person belonging to this vehicle of Bodhisattvas, when one dreams
that one sits on the terrace of enlightenment, is actually near to supreme
enlightenment...just so, we can be sure a person who fulfils these conditions
just outlined has come from afar, and is set out for long in the vehicle of the
Bodhisattvas, and is near this prediction to enlightenment. We can be sure
Buddhas, the Lords, will predict this Bodhisattva to win full enlightenment. For
a Bodhisattva is set out for long in this vehicle, and one's wholesome roots are
mature, if one gets to this deep perfection of wisdom, even if one gets no
further than hearing this. How much more so if one would also bear it in mind,
etc., to: repeat it. For the thoughts of beings not without an abundance of
accumulations of karma conducive to the ruin of dharma become adverse to this
deep perfection of wisdom, do sway away from this. Through the abundance of such
karma, beings who do not collect wholesome roots find neither satisfaction nor
faith in this reality-limit. But any such beings who do find satisfaction and
faith in this are people who collected wholesome roots, well collected these.
A person coming out of a huge wild forest, one hundred miles big, up
to a thousand miles big, might see certain signs which indicate a town, or other
inhabited place, -such as cowherds, or cattle keepers, or boundary lines, or
gardens, or groves. From these signs one infers the nearness of an inhabited
place. One feels happier, and robbers no longer worry this one. Just so a
Bodhisattva for whom this deep perfection turns up can know one is quite near to
supreme enlightenment, and before long one will receive the prediction to such.
One also no longer need be afraid of the level of the Disciples and
Pratyekabuddhas. For this sign has appeared to this one, i.e., one has received
this deep perfection of wisdom for vision, praise, worship, hearing, and/or
The Lord: So it is, Sariputra. May you make clear also this section.
For what you say, and what you will say, is due to the Buddha's might.
Sariputra: A person, desirous of seeing the great ocean, might
travel to it. As long as on one's travels one sees a tree, or the sign of a
tree, a mountain, or the sign of a mountain, one knows the great ocean is still
far away. But when one no longer sees either tree or mountain, one knows the
great ocean is quite near to here. For this great ocean gradually slopes away,
and within it there is neither tree nor mountain. So, although one may not yet
see the great ocean directly before one's eyes, one nevertheless can be quite
certain the ocean is quite near, not much farther away from here. Similar is the
case of any Bodhisattva hearing this deep perfection of wisdom. One can know
this...even although perhaps one has not yet been face to face with these
Tathagatas, and predicted to supreme enlightenment, nevertheless one is quite
near this prediction. For one has received this deep perfection of wisdom for
vision, praise, worship, hearing, and/or understanding.
Likewise, in this spring, O Lord, as last year's leaves are withered
away, one can see sproutings on many trees. The people of Jambudvipa are glad,
because as these see these symptoms in the woods, these ones know soon also
flowers and fruits come out. For they see such signs in the trees. Just so, O
Lord, one can be sure that a Bodhisattva, when one receives this deep perfection
of wisdom, as this even turns up for one, such a one has become matured in one's
wholesome roots for a long time. It is just because of the existence of these
wholesome roots in such a one, this deep perfection of wisdom has bent over to
whoever this is. Then any divinities who see the Buddhas of any past are
delighted, overjoyed and enchanted, as these feel surely it is not long until
this Bodhisattva receives this prediction to full enlightenment, since also with
any Bodhisattvas of any past these are the symptoms of their coming prediction
to full enlightenment.
Likewise O Lord, a woman pregnant with a heavy womb, is twisted and
all weary, she does not walk about a great deal, takes little food, finds little
rest, speaks little, has little strength but many pains, often cries out aloud
and abstains from habitual cohabitation. She realizes she experiences all these
unpleasant feelings in her body as a result of indulging in unwise attention in
the past, practicing it, developing it, making much of it. As these symptoms are
being seen in her, one can be sure before long she will give birth to a child.
Just so, when for a Bodhisattva this deep perfection of wisdom turns up for the
sake of vision, praise, worship, hearing, and/or understanding, and if, as one
hears this, one's thought delights in this, and one develops aspirations toward
this, so one can be sure before long one will receive prediction to full
Why Bodhisattvas are Well-Favored by
Subhuti: It is wonderful to see this extent to which the Tathagata
well takes hold of Bodhisattvas, well encompasses and favors such as these.
The Lord: This is because these Bodhisattvas practice for the weal
and happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world. Out of compassion
for Gods and men, for the benefit, the weal and happiness of a great mass of
people do these want to win supreme enlightenment, and hereafter to demonstrate
The Right Attitude to
Subhuti: How does a Bodhisattva which courses toward perfect
wisdom, become increasingly perfect?
The Lord: A Bodhisattva courses toward perfect wisdom as this
coursing itself being neither any growth nor any diminution of form, feeling,
perception, impulse, and/or consciousness, and is reviewed as one reviews
neither dharma nor no-dharma. This is how, and thus one's coursing toward
perfect wisdom is realized as increasingly perfect.
Subhuti: This is surely unthinkable.
The Lord: Ultimately, form is as unthinkable as any skandhas, or,
things being thought of as going together to make-up other things. As
ultimately one perceives neither any nor all of form, feeling, perception,
impulse, and/or consciousness as unthinkable, one courses in perfect wisdom.
Sariputra: Who or what with zeal, complete dedication, and earnest
devotion is merely aware, even unto emptiness?
The Lord: Any Bodhisattva practicing with zeal, complete dedication,
and earnest devotion, in verity even unto emptiness as perfect wisdom, is merely
aware, even unto emptiness.
Sariputra: What is Bodhisattva practice, and what is the meaning of
the word 'practice'?
The Lord: A Bodhisattva neither constructs power nor ground such as
self-confidence nor Buddha-dharmas, nor even all-knowledge...for power or ground
as self-confidence, Buddha-dharmas, or even all-knowledge is as unthinkable as
any and all dharmas. Thus as practice, a Bodhisattva courses neither within
nor without perfect wisdom. For no true reason is one called Bodhisattva, as
such is the meaning of the word 'practice'.
Subhuti: Deep, O Lord, is one's learning, realizing and
understanding as perfection of wisdom is indicated as such. Such is a heap of
treasure. Such is a pure heap, as pure as space. It is not surprising many
obstacles arise to any reciting, reading, writing, studying, contemplating
and/or understanding perfection of wisdom as such.
The Lord: Many obstacles to one's reciting, reading, etc., this
perfection of wisdom are always present. For Mara, the Evil One, is seen as
making many difficulties, as even here for one of these, one hurries with one's
task of copying this out. If one has one month to do it in, or two months, or
three months, one need merely carry on with this writing. If one has a year or
more, even so one need just carry on with writing perfection of wisdom [since
after, or even during this time, one may be slowed or even prevented by any kind
of interruptions]. It is a fact, such as in respect of precious things,
difficulties are wont to arise.
Subhuti: Here, O Lord, when perfection of wisdom is being studied,
Mara, the Evil One, is seen in ways to show zeal, and exert himself to cause
The Lord: In spite of this he is powerless to cause really effective
obstacles to any Bodhisattva which gives undivided attention to any task.
The Bodhisattva Sustained by
Sariputra: O Lord...as Mara the Evil One is seen as any presenting
preventative obstacles to this studying perfection of wisdom, how can any beings
actually study this, and through whose might can these progress?
The Lord: Through might of Buddhas, Lords, and Tathagatas these
study, these progress and train in or as Thusness. This same nature of Buddhas
and Lords which stands, holds and maintains immeasurable and incalculable
world-systems, brings to mind and upholds anyone learning and studying
perfection of wisdom. Buddhas bring to mind and assist any such as these. It is
impossible to cause any obstacle to any beings brought to mind and upheld by
Sariputra: Is this Buddha's might, sustaining power and grace which
Bodhisattvas deeply study as perfection of wisdom, and progressively train in or
The Lord: So it is, Sariputra. As such, these are known to
Tathagatas, these are sustained and seen by Tathagatas, and the Tathagatas
behold these with this Buddha eye. And these Bodhisattvas which study perfection
of wisdom progressively train in or as Thusness, stand as such with no true
ground in any decision to enlightenment. Just to study perfection of wisdom
without progressively training in or as Thusness, these do not stand poised in
Suchness but nevertheless are known to Tathagatas, sustained and seen by
Tathagatas, and the Tathagatas behold these with this Buddha eye. With
continual study of perfection of wisdom, the mental excitation is greatly
profitable to these, a great advantage, fruit and reward. For, as aiming at
ultimate reality, perfection of wisdom is set up for penetration by all beings
into this nature of what dharmas truly are.
Prediction about the Spread of
Moreover, these Sutras in accord with six perfections continue as
such after the parinirvana of Tathagata, appearing in this South. As in this
South these spread to this East, and as well this North and West -- at any time
this Dharma Vinaya is as freshly made cream, and as good law, dissolves as
Dharma-Body (dharmakaya). In equal taste with, as, and by these which put forth
right effort, and study, devote, dedicate, and preserve perfection of wisdom,
are with, as, and by Tathagatas. Tathagatas accord with, sustain and see such as
these, and behold these with this Buddha eye.
Sariputra: Will perfection of wisdom at the last of time, in the
last period, be deeply widespread in this northern direction, in this northern
part of the world?
The Lord: Even in this North, any which make right efforts deep in
perfection of wisdom, even as these simply hear this, make this widespread. As
set out for long in this vehicle the Bodhisattvas who know study this perfection
of wisdom and beyond even this.
Description of Bodhisattvas Who Will Study Perfect
Sariputra: Bodhisattvas in this North which deeply study perfection
of wisdom, are these many or few?
The Lord: These are many, a good many Bodhisattvas in this North.
But only a few are among these which deeply study perfection of wisdom, and
which as this is being taught, are not demoralized by it. As set out for long in
this vehicle are known already beings such as these which pursue, question, and
worship Tathagatas - one's thus gone as one's thus come. These are as perfect,
enhancing as well as benefiting all beings. As such these are, as is all. Mere
awareness and bare realization are these as spontaneously self-existent,
primordial and beyond even purity itself. As, for, and to these do Tathagatas
speak as, for, and to all-knowledge. Even as these pass beyond present births,
any thoughts, even unto all-knowledge and perfection of wisdom, persist by
force of habit [karma]. And this very discoursing these both discuss and are
contented within concerning the ultimate enlightenment. Such as these are
perfection of wisdom and all-knowledge as related to this. These are neither
obstructed nor diverted even by Mara, much less other beings, whether such use
will, power, or mantras. As diamond resolve (avidriya samadana) and
irresistibly these approach full enlightenment. From hearing perfection of
wisdom these daughters and sons of good family gain an uncommon degree of zest,
confidence and unshakable faith. For all beings these plant wholesome roots.
Face to face with Tathagatas, these utter a vow: "Coursing in practice of
Bodhisattvas, we are this we indicate, the way to full enlightenment of many
hundreds of living beings, yea, many niyutas of kotis of living beings. We
indicate perfect enlightenment to these, instigate and empower, help such to
come forth, help these to establish such, help these to irreversible right
effort and action." And as these are thought as my thought, these daughters and
sons of good family belong to the vehicle of Bodhisattvas who make this vow. As
these are confirmed in their faith these attain to rebirth yet in many
Buddha-fields, and even here come face to face with Tathagatas, which indicate
Dharma and as such these hear in deep detail perfection of wisdom. In many
Buddha-fields these indicate this view for all beings as dissolving obstacles to
full realization, and help these beings as this quest for full enlightenment of
Sariputra: It is wonderful to think this past and future, as
present dharma is no-thing. Tathagatas do not experience such as unaware...no
dharma is not cognized, yet beyond even purity...aware as space. Neither is
conduct as anything, anywhere, nor anybeing unaware. Such as these cognize even
conduct of Bodhisattvas who are zealous for enlightenment, yet even of the
slightest earnest intent, for these too exert vigour, if even of slight. And yet
O Lord, among these born of good family who at any time deeply study this
perfection of wisdom, and exert themselves on behalf of these six perfections
and of the benefit of all beings, and seek, search and strive deeply to obtain
perfection of wisdom, some still do not obtain this, while others obtain this
without striving to get this. What, O Lord, is the reason for this?
The Lord: So it is, Sariputra. In this past and future, or as
present, dharma is nothing. Tathagatas do not see, hear and feel such as
unaware. It is further true at these times in these periods, some Bodhisattva
who hunt and search for perfection of wisdom do not get this. Others do get this
without hunting and searching. These are Bodhisattvas which in this past
persistently hunted and searched for this perfection of wisdom. It is of such
impetus of this former wholesome root these realize perfection of wisdom, in
spite of the fact these do not now hunt and search for this. And also Sutras
different from this, which welcome perfection of wisdom, of their own accord
come to these. It is a principle Sariputra, a Bodhisattva which persistently
hunts and searches for perfection of wisdom, after one or two births, realize
this, also the other Sutras in accord with perfect wisdom come to one on their
Sariputra: Will only these Sutras in accord with six perfections
come to this one, and no others?
The Lord: Here also other profound Sutras come to this son or
daughter of good family of their own accord. It is as a rule Sariputra, that,
Bodhisattvas which indicate this teaching for others on their way to full
enlightenment, helping these in their quest for such, help them to
irreversibility, and these who also train in this, after these pass through this
present birth, on their own these deep Sutras come to these, Sutras which are in
accord with non-apprehension of a basis, and which accord with emptiness, and
also accord with the six perfections.
Deeds of Mara
Subhuti: The Lord proclaims virtues of sons and daughters of good
family. Are any obstacles here which arise in such ones?
The Lord: Many obstacles are here, and are seen and thought of as
the deeds of Mara.
Subhuti: What kind of obstacles are these?
The Lord: The Bodhisattvas discoursing this perfection of
wisdom, either understand this after a long time, or, as understanding is
generated, it immediately becomes disturbed. Or some write yawning, laughing and
sneering, or study this with thoughts disturbed. Or write with minds on other
things, not gaining in mindfulness. These may write as deriding or sneering at
one another, or with distracted eyes. This writing is in mutual discord. "We
gain no firm footing in it, we derive no enjoyment from it"...with such words
these take their leave. As such thoughts derive from a source seemingly devoid
of serene faith these think "I am not predestined for perfection of
wisdom,"...and get up and leave. Or, as these merely see and think this book
does not name the place they're born, does not mention their own name and clan,
nor of their mother and father, nor of their family, these may decide to not
listen to perfection of wisdom, and take their leave. Each time these take their
leave, again and again these take to birth-and-death for as many aeons as they
have productions of thought, and still even now, at some point during these
aeons these ones may make new efforts. All this, and for what reason?
Bodhisattvas refusing to listen deeply to perfection of wisdom cannot go forth
to spiritual dharmas, be these worldly or supramundane.
The Perfection of Wisdom and the Sutras of
In addition, some of us may or may not recognize whether or not we
belong to this vehicle of the Bodhisattvas, and some give up and think to
abandon perfection of wisdom...this understanding beyond knowledge which
nourishes this cognition of all-knowing. We might decide to look for other
Sutras, the understanding of which may or may not come to reveal this uniform
awareness for our nourishment, this pure cognition common to beings beyond
number, yet exceedingly rare to be found and understood. Indeed, as rare as a
turtle which happens upon a single life preserving float amidst an infinite
ocean, which ferries it upon it's natural currents to a shore of rest and
nourishment. Indeed, Subhuti, exceedingly rare is this.
Many of us do not learn and understand perfection of wisdom, and thus
presently do not want to train in both worldly and universal spiritual dharmas,
nor do we avail ourselves of these. As we do not learn and understand
perfection of wisdom, we cannot avail ourselves of worldly or universal
Though all possess this identical potential, some get rid of and abandon
perfection of wisdom, which is the root of the comprehension of worldly and
universal spiritual dharmas as these are, and instead decide to look for support
in what are different branches. As a dog spurns a morsel of food offered by
it's master, and takes a mouthful of water from a servant instead, just so,
beings recognized as implicitly related to this vehicle of Bodhisattvas spurn
perfection of wisdom which is the taproot revealing cognizance of all-knowing,
yet decide to look for the core, for growth, for Buddhahood, in vehicles of
Disciples as Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas, which corresponds to branches, leaves
and foliage. This also may be seen as done to them by Mara.
Again, all beings have equal potential yet do not equally recognize
concentrated right effort and mindfulness towards perfection of wisdom and
apply this, hereby nourishing cognition of all-knowing. Still most of us at
one time or another get rid of, abandon, spurn, or even simply forget perfection
of wisdom, and decide to study, as if superior to this, Sutras by which we
welcome the level of a Disciple or Pratyekabuddha which are compared to
branches, leaves and foliage. A Bodhisattva does not train in the same way in
which a being recognized as belonging to the vehicle of a Disciple or
Pratyekabuddha is trained.
How does a Disciple and Pratyekabuddha train? Well, I make up my mind thus,
following this teacher over here and the knowledge I derive hereof, I in my turn
teach others what I come to understand, and so one single self I have tamed, one
single self I pacify, one single self I lead to final Nirvana. Thus I
undertake exercises and practices which are intended to bring about wholesome
roots for the sake of taming myself, pacifying myself, leading myself to
Bodhisattvas train ourselves differently. On the contrary, we train
ourselves thus: "To benefit infinite sentient beings equally as one, in coming
to realize Suchness as such and indicating such to sentient beings beyond
number. This process of perfection of wisdom as well as this Bodhisattva
vehicle is being so indicated, shown, and proven as available to all, hereby
clears the path for liberation from samsara of infinite sentients and revelation
of Nirvana. Also, propensities allowing, karma neutralized...the eventual
clearing of obstructions to the reality-limit, any may become revealed to full
enlightenment and advancement to parinirvana...the whole immeasurable universe
of beings. With this right intention a Bodhisattva engages all the exercises
which bring about the wholesome root. But one boasts not regarding this...For
imagine a being which, unable to see an elephant, would try to determine it's
color and shape. In the darkness this one would touch and examine the foot of
the elephant, and decide that the color and shape of the elephant should be
inferred from his foot. Is this an intelligent thing to do?
Subhuti: No, Lord!
The Lord: The same is true of any persons who belong to the vehicle
of the Bodhisattvas, who do not understand this perfection of wisdom and ask no
Yet, while desirous of full enlightenment, these spurn this and prefer to
look to the Sutras which welcome the level of Sravakas or Pratyekabuddhas. Also
this is -seen- as being done -to- any one of these by Mara. If a person who
desires jewels would not look for them in the great ocean, but in a puddle in a
cows footprint, and would thus in effect equate the great ocean with the water
in a cow's footprint, would this one be using one's potential for intelligence
Subhuti: No, Lord!
The Lord: Well and now, the same applies to any beings which vow to
this vehicle of Bodhisattvas which...though we make ourselves available to
perfection of wisdom, we nevertheless cut ourselves off from continuous exposure
and reference to this, without plunging or probing at all times, in all times
exceedingly deeper as a means of perfection to endless, placeless, timeless
Yet...we may still prefer the Sutras which welcome any level of
Sravakas or Pratyekabuddhas through advocating dwelling in concentrated but
unconcerned inactivity, and which do not recommend the vehicle of the
Bodhisattvas, but only the taming, appeasing, Nirvana of one single self. The
decision to seclusion, to the fruits of a holy life, from the fruit of a
Streamwinner to Pratyekabuddhahood, to enter Parinirvana after one has in this
very life freed thought from the outflows without further clinging, -that means
to be in accord with the level of a Sravaka as Disciple or Pratyekabuddha.
Bodhisattvas do not focus thought only to such as this. For as we
have set out in this great vehicle Bodhisattvas don a great armour. Our thoughts
are not singularily focused to any unconcernedness whatsoever. For we are
concentrated as diamonds, guides of the world, promoters of the world's weal.
Here, we continuously and always train in and as these six perfections. But as
beings which vow to the vehicle of the Bodhisattvas, and without knowing and
understanding Sutras which accord with the six perfections spurn perfection of
wisdom, and prefer these Sutras which welcome this level of Sravakas as
Disciples, or Pratyekabuddha, -our wholesome root is yet immature, our
intelligence still obscured and yet lacking in profound qualities, our
resoluteness still weak. We may reflect as a mason, or mason's apprentice, who
wants to build a palace of the size of the Vaijayanta palace, and who takes its
measure from measuring the car of sun or moon. A similar procedure is adopted by
us if we are to reject perfection of wisdom and in earnest try to find
all-knowledge through Sutras in accord with this level of Sravakas as Disciples,
and Pratyekabuddhas, Sutras which recommend the taming, appeasing, and Nirvana
of nothing more than one individual being as self only. If we would look for
such Sutras and train with these intentions, would these Bodhisattvas, this type
which we turn to be, be using much of our intelligence?
Subhuti: No, Lord!
The Lord: This also is -seen as being- done to such by Mara. In
truth and ultimately undeniable my friend, such is done unto ourselves by this
turn within and pandering to what is wantonly believed to be the sole needs and
comforts of singularity and individual appeasement, and, while yet donning a
cloak of austerity, hereby yielding still only a mask of humility...and
misleading and contrived wisdom.
So, suppose a person who first sees a universal monarch, and makes
determinations from the signs of what is seen in his complexion, shape, beauty
and majesty. Then, this peson does the same with the commander of a fort. If
the person were unable to make a distinction, and then this one were to say to
the commander of a fort, just like this is the universal monarch in complexion,
shape, beauty and majesty, if this one were to, in other words, equate universal
monarch with the commander of a fort, would this be an intelligent thing to do?
Subhuti: No, Lord!
The Lord: The same applies to persons who avow themselves to this
Bodhisattva-vehicle and who in some future reject this perfection of wisdom, and
seek for all-knowledge through sutras associated with level of Sravaka as
Disciple, or Pratyekabuddha. This also is -seen as- done to these ones by Mara.
On the contrary, I certainly do not say, "Bodhisattvas, seek for all-knowledge
through the Sutras associated with the level of Sravaka as Disciple or
Pratyekabuddha." Bodhisattvas certainly do not go forth to reveal supreme
enlightenment unless trained in what Tathagatas have announced in the perfection
of wisdom as the skill in means of these Bodhisattvas. For the full knowledge of
a Bodhisattva is unknown in other Sutras.
Here now, Subhuti, Tathagatas seeing this advantage in perfection of
wisdom, by manifold methods show this to Bodhisattvas, instigate and introduce
these ones to this, fills these with enthusiasm about this, make these rejoice
at this, entrusts these with this, in the knowledge herein that any Bodhisattva
may become irreversible to full enlightenment. Subhuti, do these Bodhisattvas
appear to be very intelligent who, having obtained and met with the
irreversible, the great vehicle, and then again abandon this, turn away from
this, and prefer an inferior vehicle?
Subhuti: No, Lord!
The Lord: If a starving man refuses superior and excellent food, and
prefers to eat inferior and stale food, is he using the full potential of his
Subhuti: No, Lord!
The Lord: Just so, Subhuti, in the future some Bodhisattvas still
refuse this perfection of wisdom, and prefer the Sutras associated with the
level of Sravaka, the Disciple or Pratyekabuddha, and still seek all-knowledge
through Sutras which welcome the level of Disciple or Pratyekabuddha. Do these
Bodhisattvas use the full potential of their intelligence?
Subhuti: No, Lord!
The Lord: Also, this is -seen as- being done to these ones by Mara.
A man who had got a priceless gem and who considered it equal to a gem of
inferior value and quality, is he using the full potential of his intelligence?
Subhuti: No, Lord!
The Lord: So, here too, in this future some persons belonging to the
vehicle of the Bodhisattvas who, though these have got this deep and brightly
shining gem of perfect wisdom, nevertheless think this should be considered
equal with the vehicle ofSravakas, these Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas, and
decide to seek all-knowledge and skill in means on the level of Disciple or
Pratyekabuddha. Are these using the full potential of intelligence?
Subhuti: No, Lord!
The Lord: This also is -seen as- being done to such as these by
of Mara (2)
Moreover Subhuti, as perfection of wisdom is being indicated,
demonstrated, explained, learned, recited, repeated, or even merely written
down, many flashes of insight come up in bewildering multitudes, and these make
for confusion of thought. This also -is seen as having been- done to us by Mara.
Subhuti: Is it at all possible to write down perfection of wisdom?
The Lord: No, Subhuti. It is also -seen as- a deed of Mara as one
writes down perfection of wisdom, this one either thinks this is perfection of
wisdom which is written down, or is not perfection of wisdom which is written
down, or one adheres to perfection of wisdom either in the letters, or as
something not in the letters.
Moreover Subhuti, while these write down perfection of wisdom, our
minds are on all sorts of things: places, villages, towns, cities, country
districts, nations, royal cities, pleasure groves, preceptors, tales, robbers,
bathing places, streets, palanquins, occasions for happiness, occasions for
fear, women, men, neuters, unsuitable situations, mother and father, brothers
and sisters, friends, maternal relatives, kinsmen, chief wives, sons and
daughters, houses, food and drink, clothes, beds, seats, livelihood,
obligations, occasions of greed, hate and delusion, on right times, lucky times,
unlucky times, on songs, music, dances, poems, plays, treatise, business, jokes,
musical shows, sorrows, troubles, and...ourselves.
These and other acts of attention Mara, the Evil One, -is seen to-
arrange as perfection of wisdom is being indicated, studied, or merely written
down, and thus he -is seen to cause- obstacles and confusion of thought to
Bodhisattvas. Bodhisattvas recognize this as being -merely seen as a deed of-
Mara, and avoid it, mostly by avoiding seeing it as such. [!] In addition, our
thoughts may also be on kings, royal princes, elephants, horses, chariots and
troops of soldiers. Also this is -seen as having been- done to us by Mara. In
addition, our thoughts may be on fire, temptations, money, corn and affluence.
This also Mara is -seen as- doing to him.
Moreover, difficulties arise about gain, honor, robes, alms-bowl,
lodging, and medicinal appliances for use in sickness, or alternatively,
thoughts relishing gain...honor and fame torment Bodhisattvas which indicate,
explain, repeat or merely write perfection of wisdom. This also is -seen as-
Mara doing this to us. We recognize and avoid -seeing these as- "deeds of
Furthermore, Mara, the Evil One, comes while Bodhisattvas indicate,
expound, write, etc., perfection of wisdom, and he brings along those very deep
Sutras which are in accord with the limits of Sravakas as Disciples and
Pratyekabuddhas. He advises us to...train in these, write, expound, and repeat
these, for from this all-knowledge is created. But, Bodhisattvas skilled in
means are not long for these Sutras. For although these indicate Emptiness, the
Signless and Wishless, still any skill in means of Bodhisattvas are neither
announced nor alluded to. A Bodhisattva which remains without this more refined
knowledge of distinction of the cognition of cognition of skill in means, deeply
spurns this true perfection of wisdom, and seeks instead skill in means in the
Sutras which accord with the limitations of Sravakas as Disciples and
Pratyekabuddhas. This also is -seen as- Mara's deed being done to this
Sources of Discord between
Guide and Pupil
As well, here are deeds which are seen to be of Mara and have the
potential to ruin any or all chances of cooperation between any guide and pupil.
First of all, perhaps the pupil is enthusiastic, and aspires to engage
perfection of wisdom, but the guide is indolent, and does not aspire to
Or, the guide is untiring, and inspired to indicate perfection of
wisdom, while the pupil is tired or too busy. Secondly, it may be that the pupil
is quite diligent, and aspires to engage, to bear in mind, indicate, study,
spread, or merely to write about this process of perfection of wisdom, is
clever, intelligent and blest with good memory; but the one who may guide moves
into a different district, or is unacquainted with main points, unacquainted
with details, and without higher knowledge.
Or, this guide may be untiring, in possession of the higher
knowledge, inspired to indicate perfection of wisdom; but the pupil set out for
another district, or is unacquainted with main points, unacquainted with
details, without higher knowledge. Further, the guru may be a person who
attaches weight to fleshly things, to gain, honor and robes, while the pupil is
a person of few wishes, easily contented, and quite detached.
Or one or the other or both may be persons unwilling to give away
anything of value. This also causes discord, when it is a question of training
toward perfect wisdom, or of copying this, such as this is. On the other hand, a
pupil may be full of faith, inspired by merely hearing of the process of
perfection of wisdom and of understanding the meaning of this, liberal and
generous; but the lama has no faith, is too easily satisfied, and does not
aspire to expound regarding perfection of wisdom.
Or, the pupil may be full of faith, and aspire to hear and to
understand the meaning; but it may be that the guru, because some obstacle
hinders access to Dharma, does not have these Sutras, or cannot fathom them; a
pupil would obviously be out of touch with a guide who has not obtained these.
Or again, a guide may aspire to point out, while a pupil is not
single-minded and aspiring at least to hear this. Further, it may be that the
pupil does not want to listen because hindered by sloth, weighed down by bodily
fatigue, but the Rinpoche is willing to point out; conversely, any guide may,
although the pupil wants to listen, not want to teach because hindered by sloth
or physical fatigue. This discord also makes writing, speaking and study
Misdirection of Aim
Moreover, while beings write, or indicate perfection of wisdom, or
train in the process, someone comes along and belittles life in the hells, in
the animal world, among the Pretas and Asuras, saying "so ill are all these
forms of life, so ill are all conditioned things; do make an end to just this
length of cloth, and leave these beings to their fate." This also is -seen as- a
work of Mara.
Or again, some being comes along and praises life among the Gods:
"So happy are the Gods, so happy is life in the heavens. One will do well here
to end sense-desires in the world of sense-desires, enter into the well-known
trances in the world of form, and enter into the well-known attainments in the
Considered in a view with wisdom, all this is nothing but rebirth in
suffering. The Lord has said: "I do not praise any kind of rebirth in becoming,
because this lasts no longer than a finger-snap. For everything conditioned is
"Anything causing fear is ill. All in the triple world is empty. All
dharmas are without self. As any of these wise may come to understand all is
thus devoid of eternity, is impermanent and ill, doomed to reversal, now these
may just here attain to the fruits of holy life, from the fruit of a
Streamwinner to Arhatship.
"However, let us now beware of meeting any further with such
attainments, which are really failures, and which abound in suffering. But
nevertheless, to some Bodhisattvas this is a source of anxiety [because these
come to feel deterred from the quest for full enlightenment in favor of aspiring
to rebirth among the Gods.] This also is -seen as- Mara doing this." (!)
More Discord between Lama
Furthermore, the Lama may be a monk who is fond of solitude while
the pupils prefer a communal life. He tells them he will give this perfection of
wisdom to any coming to where he is, but not to any who do not. In their desire
and zeal for dharma which these value they go to where the lama is, and still he
gives these no opportunity to learn anything. He is one eager for trifling bits
of fleshy things, but these do not want to give him anything that he values.
Wherever he goes he is short of food, surrounded by troubles, and in danger of
his life. And his pupils hear from others that that place is short of food, full
of troubles and dangers to life. And that lama will say to these children of
good family: This place is short of food. Of course, all you of good family, you
may come here if you wish. But I am afraid that you will regret having come.
This is a subtle device by which he outwardly rejects them. In disgust they will
interpret these remarks as signs of refusal, not as signs of a desire to give.
Convinced he does not want to give, they do not go to where he is.
Moreover, this lama may have set out for a spot where there is
danger from vermin, from beasts of prey, from ghosts. And he yet still moves
from there to a wilder place with beasts of prey, snakes and robbers, marked by
drought and famine. To these prospective pupils he says: "You are aware, I
suppose, in this spot for which we have set out are many dangers, from vermin,
beasts of prey, flesh-eating ghosts, and it is swarming with snakes and robbers,
it has neither food nor water. So you must be able to experience a great deal
of suffering." Thus he outwardly rejects these with a subtle device. Disgusted,
they do not go with him, and turn back.
Finally, the teacher may be one of the monks who attaches weight to
relations with the friendly families who feed them. All the time he goes to see
them, he is kept very busy that way, and refuses those prospective pupils on the
ground that, first of all, there is someone I must go and see. This also is a
source of discord when this perfection of wisdom is being written and studied.
This also is -seen as- Mara's work. In such ways Mara appears to bestir himself
to prevent people from learning, studying, teaching and writing this perfection
of wisdom. Here then, Subhuti, all these factors which prevent cooperation
between guide and pupil needs be only recognized as Mara's deeds, and being so
seen, one is admonished to try to avoid them.
Mara seen as Dissuading from
Subhuti: What, O Lord, is the reason why Mara is seen to make such
great efforts and bestir himself to prevent, by this or that device, people from
learning and studying this process of perfection of wisdom?
The Lord: Perfection of wisdom is a beginningless and thus endless
source of all-knowledge of Buddhas, the Lords, which in its turn is the source
of endless devotion of Tathagatas, which leads immeasurable and incalculable
beings to dissolve their defilements and obscurations by this simple revelation.
So, to any, having dissolved their defilements, Mara is seen as not being able
to gain entry, and this gives him cause for distress and being dispirited, and
the dart of sorrow is realized as having vexed him. In consequence, as the
process of this perfection of wisdom is being written and studied, he is seen as
making in his great tribulation a tremendous effort, bestirring himself, and
with this or that device, to attempt to prevent the study of this perfection of
wisdom. Mara, the Evil One, is seen moreover, as coming along in a guise of a
Sramana, a religious mendicant, and attempting to cause dissent.
In order to dissuade the ones born of good family who have but
recently set out in the vehicle he will say: "This is not the great perfection
of wisdom which your Honors listen to. As it has been handed down in my Sutras,
as it is included in my Sutras, such is the perfection of wisdom. Thus it is
seen as some 'him', or an 'other', attempting to sow doubts in the minds of the
Bodhisattvas having but recently set out in the vehicle, whose intelligence is
usually not too expansive, but rather sluggish and limited, who are usually
lacking in vision, and whose enlightenment in any future is not as yet
predicted. Seized by doubt these will not learn, study or write this perfection
of wisdom. This also is seen as Mara doing this to them. Moreover, Mara may be
seen as coming along in guise of a Buddha, with magically created monks around
him, and maintain that some Bodhisattva coursing in profound Dharmas is one who
realizes the reality-limit, and should be happy to become a Disciple and NOT a
Bodhisattva, as this Bodhisattva certainly has. This also is seen as one of
Mara's deeds. Subhuti, when this perfection of wisdom is being written and
studied, Mara, the Evil One, produces these deeds which I mention, as well as
many others. These all may come to be seen, recognized by a Bodhisattva, and
avoided, not cultivated. The Bodhisattva may come to reply to these with
vigour, mindfulness and self-possession.
Antagonism between Mara and
Subhuti: So it is, O Lord. Whatever is very precious, this provokes
much hostility. Because it is so superior, being hard to get, and of great
value. One can herein expect as a rule many obstacles will arise to this
perfection of wisdom. When, overawed by these obstacles, someone becomes lazy,
one can come to know that those people who decide not to learn, study and write
this perfection of wisdom are people who are seen as beset by Mara have but
recently set out in the vehicle, their intelligence is small, sluggish, limited
and perverted,  and their thought refuses to function in these very sublime
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. And while it is true that these deeds of
Mara which we see as such are bound to arise, a great many agencies will arise
in their turn which oppose the faults of Mara. Those who decide to learn, study
and write this perfection of wisdom are swayed by Buddha’s might, by his
sustaining power, by his grace.  For whereas Mara, the Evil One, will be
seen to make great efforts to cause obstacles, the Tathagatas in turn send help.
~SHOWING THE WORLD~
Perfect Wisdom the Mother of All
The Lord: It is as with a mother who has many children, - five, or
ten, or twenty, or thirty, or forty, or fifty, or one hundred or one thousand.
As she falls ill, we each do whatever is possible to prevent this mother from
dying, to keep her alive as long as possible, to keep any unpleasantness away
from her body. As we are aware of the fact to her we owe our existence, as in
her own great pain she brings us into this world, as she instructs us in the way
of this world.
We now look directly to her, give her anything to ease her
discomfort and suffering, protect her well, make much of her, and we hope she is
free from pain- derived from contact with eyes, ear, nose, tongue, body or mind,
or coming from wind, bile, phlegm, or a disorder of the humours, or from
stinging insects, mosquitoes, or crawling animals, from beings or from ghosts,
from anything falling upon her, or tearing her asunder, or from a disastrous
In this way we honor our mother by giving her all this which may
ease her suffering, allow for her to know how dear she is, cherish and protect
her, as we are aware she is our mother and begetter, who, in her own great pain,
brings us into this world and instructs us always in the way of this world.
In just this same way Tathagatas bring this perfection of wisdom
to mind, and it is through their might, sustaining power and grace we write,
learn, study, spread and repeat this. And these Tathagatas, which also dwell in
other world systems just now, -for the weal and happiness of all, with great
compassion for all and for the weal and happiness of this great body of beings,
with compassion as this absolute sameness of all beings- these bring this
perfection of wisdom to mind, and are of great zeal, as this perfection of
wisdom is lasting, as it is not destroyed, as what's seen as Mara and his host
cannot prevent this perfection of wisdom from being taught, written, and
So fond are Tathagatas of this perfection of wisdom, as much do
these cherish and protect its process of perfection. Wisdom is mother and
begetter, her process of perfection indicates and reveals to us all-knowledge,
her perfection instructs us as the way of the world. As her perfection do
Tathagatas appear. As her perfection begets, indicates and realizes pure
cognition as all-knowing, this perfection indicates to us and as us this world
as it is. This all-knowledge of Tathagatas appears as her most profound
Tathagatas of three times as well as beyond are enlightened
perfection of wisdom. It is as this perfection of wisdom these Tathagatas are
instructed and generated...and instruct and generate us in this world, so we may
be instructed and generated...and instruct and generate as well. Thus we come,
thus we go.
Flashes of enlightening and pure undifferentiated awareness, identical with
absolute emptiness, this dark as pitch notion, infinite as space.
How Tathagatas Know
Subhuti: How does perfection of wisdom instruct Tathagatas in this
world, and what is this the Tathagatas call 'world'?
The Lord: The five skandhas are by the Tathagatas declared as
'world' [loka]. Which five? Form, feeling, perception, impulse, and
Subhuti: How do five skandhas come to be shown up by perfection of
wisdom of Tathagatas, or what is shown up by her?
The Lord: Skandhas are shown and realized by this perfection of
wisdom of Tathagatas as 'this world' [loka], as these do not crumble, nor
crumble away [lujyante, pralujyante]. These five skandhas are emptiness as to
any own-being and devoid of any own-being and sameness, inasmuch as can be said
with any meaning whatsoever of emptiness, so, can neither crumble nor crumble
away. As this sense, this perfect wisdom instructs these Tathagatas in this
world. As emptiness can neither crumble nor crumble away, so the Signless, the
Wishless, the Uneffected, the Unproduced, Non-existent, and all-completeness of
any Realm of Dharma.
How Tathagatas Know Thoughts of All
Moreover Subhuti, due to this perfection of wisdom, Tathagatas quite
naturally know immeasurable and incalculable beings as these really are. This
comes about through the inevitable dissolution of obscurations. For, herein is
simultaneously revealed an increase toward, or away from pure cognition,
depending on one's perspective and relationship to these six perfections and
Noble Eightfold Path, primarily right intention and right action. Eventually
this 'pinnacle' awareness comes about as all-knowledge. This is, however,
completely different and other than bits and pieces of knowing formulated of
some discursive thought process. This naked realization is of an objectless and
purely undifferentiated experience of this uniform non-existence of any
individualized or collective own-being within any sentience whatsoever.
Again, Tathagatas are naturally aware of thoughts and actions of
immeasurable and incalculable beings, since 'here' or anywhere, in anytime, or
in anyway for any beings is no real existence. This indication only of some
thing called existence, exists neither as separate individualities as many
'ones', nor any totality of individualities, neither any singular one, nor any
grouping of two or more, and not even simply as one divided into many...because
ultimately and this means even now, any beings and things are incalculable and
immeasurable. And even still, Tathagatas, again due to this perfection of
wisdom, are naturally aware of the collected thoughts of countless beings as
only 'collected thoughts'. And how do Tathagatas come to be cognizant of this?
This is naturally cognized, for as pure awareness, this
"collectedness of thought" is realized as equivalent to extinct [for, any thing
called singular, lone or individual thought, etc., speaking also in terms which
are 'thought of' as having an existential basis and from some 'point of view'
in existence, does not exist, and is purely cognized as not-other than already
as infinitely absolute by Tathagatas. But, this doesn't materialize or manifest
as having been thought of. - What does matter in truth is...what is such as
eventually becomes thought as any relative result of it's 'original' pristine
continuum of absolution? or even, What is any thought at any 'time' or 'place' a
result of, in spite or regardless of what we may think?]
This extinction is just non-extinction, as this which is realized as
extinct, 'is' no-thing to be extinct and as such is merely non-extinct.
Furthermore, Tathagatas are naturally cognizant of distracted thoughts of
beings as such, as these Tathagatas realize 're'-occupation with any thought as
mere distraction, for just as objects of this world, even thought is known as
external, and a grave distraction from this sourceless-source of which these are
spontaneously manifest with neither time nor limitation. Not even mindfulness
can be effortlessly directed as such toward this realm of Dharma. For even as
in this consideration of 'the one divided into many', ...in truth, what is this
dreamed of 'one anything' other than, as a basis (?), from which to determine
its singularity? As here is no-thing other than this 'one', this 'one' has
no-thing or support upon which to lean to determine either itself, or any
phenomena whatsoever as this or these dharmas. So as even one cannot be
determined as such, how much more so hundreds of ones? How much more so
hundreds of thousands of ones? How much more so hundreds of thousands of
niyutas of kotis of ones? Such is what is meant as immeasurable and
incalculable. Such, in this true aspect is infinite. This 'one', all 'ones',
are exactly identical as being only an instantaneous reflection of an
inexplicable and spontaneous interdependence merely seeming to be individuated
by habits coming to be established from beyond any thought or knowledge of this
process of reification, hereby 'creating', first of all, this duality called
thought itself, (ignorance) so as to attempt to determine some separateness of
an illusion of even this non-existent oneness...an appearing of some thing, from
the essentially pure infinite space/awareness as ground of any and all being.
Suchness is a wholeness at once of space and primordial awareness. Here is
neither one nor parts of one, neither many individual ones nor none. As
Suchness is beyond thought and measurement, Such is as Suchness is.
On another hand, Tathagatas realize these thoughts as ultimate reality, and
as such are without marks, cannot extinguish, just as any true continuity is
not interrupted, not distracted. These cannot, as emptiness, be directed on
external objects. Tathagatas are cognizant of and realize the infinite and
inexhaustible mind of being, of be-ness. Tathagatas are aware, as compassion.
All beings are understood, for as cognizant mind these buddhas naturally realize
immeasurable non-extinction of space as immeasurable non-extinction of mind.
Buddha-Mind as this infinite continuum is neither produced nor sustained in any
time, cognizes neither production nor cessation, neither gives nor requires any
support. As infinity cannot be measured, as inexhaustible is Dharma. Tathagatas
realize obscurred minds and the cause of obscuration. Such as Tathagatas
realize these minds of people are not actually obscurred by perverted views,
which, as nothing other than wrong ideas, are also not sustained. Tathagatas
realize unobscure thoughts. Tathagatas see these minds being transparently
luminous as essential original nature. Tathagatas realize slack thoughts as
well as the reasoning by which they occur. Tathagatas realize these thoughts
are unable to slouch on any resting place. Tathagatas cognize tensely active
thoughts as these are. A Tathagata realizes these thoughts are exerted so as to
win dispassion, and these can no longer be exerted when nothing is left which
can be seized upon.
Tathagatas realize thoughts as outflows. As such one realizes even
these thoughts as without own- being, as false representations of no-thing.
Tathagatas realize thought as this is merely as this might seem. Anyone merely
aware comes to realize, as an outflow any thought is non-existent. As
continuity is pure, no-thing neither is nor is not directed, or not. Tathagatas
realize any thoughts such as these merely seem to be, yet are not as these are.
Tathagatas realize a greedy mind is not mind as empty awareness, as
mind is not a greedy mind. Tathagatas realize 'any' mind as free from greed.
Such as these realize any mind as with thoughts of greed is not a greedy mind,
as thought of greed and even mind non-exist as 'true reality', as mind which
forsakes greed is not greed, nor even mind as detached from greed. Tathagatas
naturally realize minds as greedy and as free from greed. These realize in the
same manner, minds as hateful and as free of hate, as deluded, as well as
without delusion. Tathagatas as awareness realize any thoughts of beings.
Tathagatas realize thoughts as not joined to this world of appearance, as these
do not appear as the world of appearance. Tathagatas realize extensive or
abundant thoughts. Tathagatas realize thoughts neither diminish nor increase;
as thoughts can not depart. For thought cannot do so as thoughts cannot be other
than this realm of Dharma, thus is here no-where here and nothing outside this
to even consider, inasmuch as thought merely could. Tathagatas realize thoughts
as neither great, as this which these may be, nor lacking as this which these
may not. These Tathagatas realize these thoughts neither come hither nor go
away, as any reality such as thought, is not included in the present as such.
Tathagatas realize thoughts which are thought of as great, merely
appear different, as any and all are the same, for such neither appears as
sameness, yet neither are these different, nor do these exist in any form of
own-being whatsoever. For here, any thought which is thought of as 'here' is
no thought nor other, nor even awareness as present. Tathagatas realize thought
without limitation, as such lean on nothing. Tathagatas realize thought with
perceiving attributes perceive thought as own-being, for as no thought exists
without perceptible attributes, still any and all thought is without marks,
these are neither isolated nor not isolated as any object, nor as imperceptible,
neither within nor without any range of the three or five kinds of vision. As
primordial emptiness/awareness, Tathagatas realize reacting thoughts as
emptiness, and as devoid of objective support as these are of subjective
sustanence. Tathagatas realize non-reacting thoughts without 're'-occupation as
non-dual, as neither having any own-self nor other against which to react.
Tathagatas realize lower [energy] thoughts as no self-conceited imagining.
Tathagatas realize supreme [infinitely energetic] thoughts as unimpeded, just
as the least thought is neither apprehended nor ignored.
Tathagatas realize unconcentrated thoughts as attached to
differences; [directed as faulty representations of this world as separate
things, such thoughts are distracted], for any such thoughts cannot achieve
synthesis, due to these being unconcentrated. Tathagatas realize concentrated
thoughts as neither same nor different from dharma, for distractions
dissolve, revealing synthesis, and increasingly concentrated and rarified
thoughts are like unto space. Tathagatas realize this which appears as
unemancipated thought is already now emancipated, as these are non-existent as
'own-being'. Tathagatas realize emancipated thoughts, as these cannot grasp any
thought of any past, nor of any future, or even any present, as thought is not
even present. Tathagatas realize imperceptible thoughts as neither here nor
perceived as reality, as such cannot be discerned; for even as such, thought
being discerned falls short of perfect reality, and such cannot be grasped, -
not by the eye of wisdom, not by the heavenly eye, how much less by the fleshly
eye, since it does not come within the range of any of these eyes.
Furthermore, Tathagatas naturally realize tendencies of countless
beings to make positive and negative statements about objects.  These ideas
arise in dependence on form and other skandhas. How do any beings discern
dependence on these skandhas of these positive and negative statements? If we
take such statements as, "Tathagatas continue to exist after death", and
"Tathagatas do not continue to exist after death", and "Tathagatas do and do not
continue to exist after death", and "Tathagatas neither do nor do not continue
to exist after death", these statements refer to these skandhas known as
'Tathagatas' only and these statements have no basis in the true reality of
Tathagatas. This holds good of similar statements, i.e. when one says: "Eternal
are self and the world, -just that is the truth, everything else is delusion."
And so if one maintains either self and the world are non-eternal, are both
eternal and non-eternal, neither eternal nor non-eternal, such statements still
refer merely to these skandhas.  Or, similarly, if one maintains that self
and the world are finite, or not finite, or both finite and not finite, or
neither finite nor not finite. Or, finally, if one says "that which is the soul,
that is the body," or "one thing is the soul, another the body," all these
statements refer only to skandhas. It is a result of perfection of wisdom [in
verse and application] these Tathagatas realize these positive and negative
statements for what these are.  Tathagatas cognize even skandhas as
identical with Suchness.
This is how and why as a result of perfection of wisdom [in
verse and application], these positive and negative statements are realized as
these are. It is thus Tathagatas reveal to realization Suchness of Tathagatas,
as of skandhas, as Suchness of positive and negative statements. And just as
this is Suchness of skandhas, as well is this Suchness of worlds. As this is
said by Tathagatas..."these five skandhas are reckoned as world(s)." So here,
Subhuti, as such is Suchness of skandhas, such is Suchness of these worlds; as
such is Suchness of this world, such is Suchness of all dharmas; as such is
Suchness of all dharmas, such is Suchness as fruit of a Streamwinner, so on up
to: as such is Suchness of Pratyekabuddhahood, such is Suchness of Tathagatas.
As a result, Suchness, -Suchness of Tathagatas, of skandhas, of dharmas, of holy
Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas- is just Suchness without a trace of variety such
as positivity and negativity, as nothing beyond even one, non-different,
non-extinguishable, unaffected, non-dual, nor with even a question of duality.
 In humbleness and compassion of perfection of wisdom, Suchness as
Tathagatas is neither realized nor not realized, as Such is as Suchness. Thus
Tathagatas reveals this world to this infatuated world [as such is also]
preoccupied as unreasoned passion(s). Thusly this vision of worlds takes place.
Thus...perfect wisdom is mother of Tathagatas, as such spontaneously appear,
neither as her result nor not. Thus...Tathagatas, neither realizing nor not
realizing Suchness, cognize Suchness of worlds, as Non-falseness, as unaltered
Suchness. Thus, as these neither do nor do not 'realize' Suchness [tathata]
Tathagatas are called, 'Tathagata'.
Subhuti: Suchness is beyond fathom and unfathomable, O Lord.
Enlightenment of Buddhas and Lords is neither brought about nor revealed through
nor by Suchness, yet merely as Suchness...neither within nor without any times,
any place, neither as direction nor directionless. Whoever else neither realizes
nor does not realize Suchness? Any irreversible Bodhisattvas, or Arhats whose
right intentions are fulfilled, or persons whom achieve as right views these
fathomless stations described by Tathagatas as Suchness, as Tathagata are
enlightened as these.
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. Suchness, as Tathagatas fully neither
do nor do not 'realize', is inexhaustible, as Tathagatas are purely aware
[beyond thought and word...as space] of Suchness as such, and can describe
Suchness as inexhaustible...for Suchness, neither fully 'realized' nor not...is
infinitely pure awareness [as space...dharmakaya].
Fathomless Marks and How They
So now, headed by Sakra, Chief of Gods, the Gods of the realm of
sense-desire and of the realm of form and twenty thousand of the Gods of the
realm of Brahma have come to see the Lord, salute his feet with their heads, and
standing to one side, these ask: As fathomless dharmas are revealed, how, O
Lord, are the marks fixed onto these? 
The Lord: Marks are fixed on to the fact these fathomless dharmas
are empty, signless, wishless [the three doors to deliverance], not brought
together, not produced, not stopped, not defiled, not purified, so, as such
these non-exist, beyond even samsara and nirvana, as does also this realm of
Dharma, and Suchness. As these marks are not supported by anything such are like
unto space. These marks are not fixed on by Tathagatas, as these cannot be
reckoned among skandhas. As these are not dependent on skandhas, such are not
fixed on by Gods, Nagas nor any beings, and these cannot be shaken off by the
world with its Gods, beings and Asuras. For even this world with its Gods,
beings and Asuras has just this mark. No hand has fixed on these marks. Would
this be correct to say space is fixed on something?
The Gods: No, Lord, as it would have to be conditioned.
The Lord: Well said, and this is true, O Gods. Regardless of whether
Tathagatas are produced or not,  these marks stand out just as such. In
accordance with what stands out, just as such Tathagatas describe this reality,
as such Tathagatas fully realize it. As such are Tathagatas called 'Tathagata'.
Subhuti: Fathomless, O Lord, are these marks as Tathagatas fully
realize perfection of wisdom as unattached cognition/awareness of Tathagatas.
This field in this unattached cognition is perfection of wisdom, this range of
The World Shown
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. With this process of perfection of
wisdom are Tathagatas instructed within worlds. As Tathagatas are spontaneously
interdependent with dharma, as also with this perfection of wisdom, to this
extent are these dharmas which stand without support fully realized by
Tathagatas, as these take their stand nowhere. As such, these dwell
interdependently as just Dharma. Tathagatas treat Dharma with respect, revere,
worship and adore this, as these realize this essential nature of dharma is just
perfection of wisdom. Just as all-knowledge of Tathagatas is realized as
perfection of wisdom, Tathagatas are grateful and thankful for her. With justice
can Tathagatas be called "grateful and thankful" [kritajna kritavedin]. With
gratitude and thankfulness Tathagatas  favor and cherish this vehicle for
such is this path by which these realize full enlightenment. One knows this
gratitude and thankfulness of Tathagatas. In addition, Tathagatas fully know all
dharmas as neither made [akrita] nor unmade, as not brought together. This also,
one knows as gratitude and thankfulness of Tathagatas. It is as gratitude to
perfection of wisdom this cognition of Tathagatas thus proceeds in all dharmas.
This is another aspect of the fact this perfection of wisdom simultaneously
instructs Tathagatas in this world.
Subhuti: But how can perfect wisdom instruct Tathagatas in this
world if all dharmas are unknowable and imperceptible?
The Lord: It is good, Subhuti, as you question Tathagata about this
matter. All dharmas are indeed unknowable and imperceptible as these are empty,
and cannot lean on anything. It is thus all these dharmas are, as perfect
wisdom, fully known by Tathagatas. Another reason also perfection of wisdom can
be regarded as the instructress of Tathagatas in this world is that none of
the skandhas is viewed.
Subhuti: How can here be a non-viewing of form, feeling, perception,
impulse, or consciousness?
The Lord: As in this continuum arises merely an apparent act of
consciousness which has no skandhas as objective support, here this non-viewing
of form, etc., takes place. But, just this non-viewing of the skandhas is
viewing of the world. This is the way in which this world is viewed by
Tathagatas. Thus perfection of wisdom acts as instructress in these worlds to
Tathagatas. And how does perfection of wisdom show up this world for what it is?
She shows this world as empty, unthinkable, calmly quiet. As purified of itself
she shows up the world, she makes it known, she indicates it, yet does nothing.
Five Attributes of
Subhuti: Unfathomable, O Lord, is perfect wisdom. As a great
enterprise this perfection of wisdom becomes of itself when illucidated and
revealed through any exceedingly refined vortex of cognition and awareness. Such
comes to be simply revealed as unthinkable, incomparable, immeasurable,
incalculable, ...as an enterprise equaling the unequalled.
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. How and why does this come to be an
unthinkable enterprise? Unthinkable is Tathagatahood, Buddhahood, [our]
spontaneous self-existence which is at all times empty of any self or notions
whatsoever, truly as this state of all-knowledge, yet still comes to be revealed
as such. On such as this one cannot reflect with one's thought, since this can
be neither any object as thought, nor of volition, nor of any dharmas which
constitute thought. Why is it this incomparable enterprise? One cannot reflect
on Tathagatahood, etc., nor compare these as such. Why is it immeasurable?
Tathagatahood, etc., is immeasurable. Why is it incalculable? Tathagatahood,
etc., is incalculable. Why is any enterprise equal to such as this unequalled?
Nothing can equal Tathagatas, as fully Enlightened Ones, as Self-existent, as
All-knowing, can anything be superior to such as these as totally equanimous?
Subhuti: Do these five attributes apply only to Tathagatahood, etc.,
or also to the skandhas, and to all dharmas?
The Lord: These attributes apply to skandhas as well as all dharmas
also. Also the skandhas, and also all dharmas are unthinkable. As skandhas
(i.e., form, feeling, perceptions, impulses, and/or consciousness) regard or
'show up' as in relation to true essential nature, here is neither thought nor
volition, nor any of these dharmas which constitute thought, nor any comparing.
For and as this reason, skandhas and all dharmas are also unthinkable and
uncomparable. These are also immeasurable, as one cannot conceive of a measure
of any nor all skandhas, since such a measure cannot itself exist as a
consequence of infinitude [and as all dharmas relate to such]. These are also
incalculable, as these are beyond any possibility of counting. These are also
equal to the unequalled, as all dharmas are space. So do you think, Subhuti,
here even exists (as related to space)...any sameness, or counting, or measure,
or comparison, or thought, or any dharma which might even constitute thought?
Subhuti: No, Lord.
The Lord: In like manner Dharma is unthinkable, incomparable,
immeasurable, incalculable, equal to no-thing even such as no equal...as
Tathagata-dharma. Tathagata-dharma is unthinkable as all thought is as naught,
is incomparable as such is beyond all comparison. Words such as 'unthinkable'
and 'incomparable' denote any and all objects as consciousness as do
'immeasurable', 'incalculable' and 'equal to the unequalled'. Any measure,
calculation and sameness is as naught, as Tathagata-dharma is immeasurable,
incalculable, equal to no-thing as such has no equal. This is immeasurable,
incalculable, equal to no-thing as this immeasurableness and incalculability is
as space. Dharma is incomparable as any sense, as space is incomparable. Dharma
cannot be placed side by side, as such cannot be compared. Dharma is
unthinkable, incomparable, immeasurable, incalculable, equal to no-thing as such
in this same sense, as space is this attribute.
Spiritual Rebirth Resulting
from This Knowledge
As any doctrine of unthinkability, etc., is being taught, the minds
of hundreds of monks who are ripened are freed from the outflows, without
further clinging, and so are the minds of two thousand nuns in similar ripeness.
[i.e., Four outflows; 1) sense-desire, 2) becoming 3) ignorance 4) false views.
The extinction of these four outflows constituted arhatship.] Six thousand lay
brethren and three thousand lay sisters obtain the pure, dispassionate,
unstained eye of Dharma. Twenty thousand Bodhisattvas secure the patient
acceptance of dharmas which fail to be produced. The Lords have predicted these
to secure enlightenment in this very Bhadrakalpa [an auspicious aeon in which
one thousand Buddhas are to appear]. And as to these lay brethren and lay
sisters, whose dharma-eye is purified, these also are predestined by the Lords,
and these also are free, without further clinging, from any outflows.
Take Hold Of
Subhuti: Unfathomable, O Lord, is perfect wisdom. Certainly as a
great venture this is set upon.
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. All-knowledge is entrusted to
perfection of wisdom, and so is these levels of a Pratyekabuddha and the level
of all the Disciples. An anointed king, a Kshatriya, who feels strong and secure
in his kingdom, entrusts all his business concerning his kingly office, and the
city and the kingdom to his minister, and he himself has few cares and his
burden is light. Just so, whatever dharmas of Buddhas, Pratyekabuddhas, or
Disciples may be possible are all entrusted to the perfection of wisdom. It is
the perfection of wisdom which in these does the work. It is in this manner that
perfect wisdom is set upon for a great venture, i.e. so one cannot take hold of
form, feeling, perception, impulse, or consciousness, nor settle down in it and
so also for skandhas, so also for the fruits of this holy life, from the fruit
of a Streamwinner to this state of all-knowledge.
Subhuti: In what way is perfection of wisdom set upon so one cannot
take hold of this state of all-knowledge, nor settle down in this?
The Lord: Do we view Arhatship as any real dharma which we could
take hold of, or settle down in?
Subhuti: No, Lord!
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. I also do not view Tathagatahood as
real, and here I do not take hold of it, do not settle down in this. For this
reason all-knowledge also is a state in which one neither takes hold of
anything, nor settles down in anything.
Subhuti: Bodhisattvas who have but newly set out in the vehicle, and
whose wholesome roots are but small, must beware not to tremble when hearing
this exposition. On the other hand, Bodhisattvas do, on hearing this
unfathomable perfection of wisdom, firmly believe this as these may have become
suitable for Buddhahood, have fulfilled their duties in view of the Jinas of any
time, and have planted wholesome roots continuously.
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti.
of the Gods
So now...the Gods of the realm of sense-desire and of the realm of
form said to the Lord: Unfathomable, O Lord, is this perfection of wisdom, hard
to see, hard to understand. Bodhisattvas who resolutely believe in this
unfathomable perfection of wisdom fulfill their duties in accord with Jinas of
any time, must have planted wholesome roots continuously. If, O Lord, all the
beings in this great trichiliocosm, for an aeon or the remainder of an aeon,
course as any stage of a Faith-follower; on the other hand someone for one day
only is finding pleasure in patient acceptance of this unfathomable perfection
of wisdom, and as one searches this, as one reflects on this, weighs this up,
investigates this and is meditating on this, this latter being unveils
realization of view and knowledge as all these things.
The Lord: As someone hears, O Gods, this unfathomable perfection of
wisdom, meditation, joyful effort, patience, self-discipline, generosity... then
one can rightly expect one's realization to take place more quickly than
realizations of those who course on any stage of a faith-follower for an aeon,
or for the remainder of an aeon.
The Gods: A great perfection is this perfection of wisdom! With
these words, they saluted the Lord's feet with their heads, thrice walked round
the Lord, decided to go away from this presence of the Lord, took friendly leave
of him, and moved away. Before these had not gone far, yet these disappeared
from sight, and these Gods of the realm of sense-desire departed for the world
of sense-desire, and these Gods of the realm of form departed for the
and Past Rebirths
Subhuti: As a Bodhisattva, on merely hearing this, immediately
believes in this unfathomable perfection of wisdom, does not become cowed,
stolid, paralysed, or stupefied, does not doubt or hesitate, but delights to
perfect wisdom, -where does one decease, where is one reborn?
The Lord: As a Bodhisattva reacts in such a way to perfection of
wisdom, delights in seeing and hearing this, bears this in mind and develops
this, keeps one's attention fixed on this without diverting it elsewhere, feels
an urge to take this up, bears this in mind, speaks this, studys and spreads
this, as, once one hears perfect wisdom, one follows and pursues the reciters of
dharma and does not let these go, until one realizes this perfection of wisdom
in one's heart or has it in the form of a book, just as a cow does not abandon
her young calf, -this Bodhisattva deceases among people and is reborn among
Subhuti: Is a Bodhisattva, which is endowed with just these
qualities crossed in other Buddha-fields just as being reborn here?
The Lord: It is possible any Bodhisattva which is endowed with these
qualities, is, just as being reborn here, crossed in other Buddha-fields, as
such honors and questions Buddhas and Lords. One may also cross among Tushita
Gods. This may be, as such honors Maitreya, the Bodhisattva, and persistently
questions him concerning this perfection of wisdom.
Past Deeds of a Bodhisattva Who Fails in
On another hand, as any Bodhisattva past or present hears this
unfathomable perfection of wisdom and yet asks no questions, or so doing listens
not to any reply, this one may be reborn among people and hear this unfathomable
perfection of wisdom being taught, hesitates and is stupefied and cowed, this is
one of these who are unwilling to ask questions and listen. Any Bodhisattva,
again, may have had or does have a right attitude to this unfathomable
perfection of wisdom, for one, two, three, four or five days, and for a certain
time has faith in this, but again is withdrawn and no longer feels like asking
questions about nor listening to this. It is a fact such a Bodhisattva has not
or does not all the time ask questions about nor listen to and pursue this
unfathomable perfection of wisdom and as such, one may at one time feel urged to
pursue and hear this fathomless perfection of wisdom, but not so at other times
urged to pursue and listen; such a one again falls from faith and is
disheartened, as intelligence is unsteady like cotton wool. Such a Bodhisattva
has but lately set out in the vehicle. Having come but lately to this vehicle,
one loses faith, serene confidence and one's urge to this. In other words one no
longer takes up this perfection of wisdom nor pursues it. Such a one moves on
either of two levels, on the level of a Disciple, or on the level of a
As a ship is wrecked in the middle of the ocean, people die in the
water without getting to shore, unless these find support on a log, or plank, or
any floating object. These who manage to gain such support do not die in the
water; this being so, safely and unhindered these cross over to a shore beyond,
and stand, unhurt and uninjured, on firm ground. In this same way, any
Bodhisattva which is endowed with but little faith, just little serene
confidence, little affection, little aspiration, and which does not gain support
of perfection of wisdom, incurrs a fall in the middle of a bad road, and,
without having attained to the state of all-knowledge, stands in Discipleship or
Pratyekabuddhahood. Different is this case for any Bodhisattva of full faith,
which accepts this patiently, develops a taste for this, as full aspiration,
vigour, vigilance, resolve, earnest intention, renunciation, a title which is
respected, joyous zest, elation, serene confidence, affection in this, and
persistence to realize full enlightenment, which gains support as perfection of
wisdom; in realizing this perfection of wisdom, one stands in all-knowledge. As
one uses a badly baked jar to carry water in, this jar does not last long, and
actually quickly falls to pieces and melts away. In its unbaked condition this
jar actually soon comes to an end on the ground. Likewise, although any
Bodhisattva obtains all these qualities enumerated above, from faith to a
persistent aspiration for enlightenment, as one does not take hold of perfection
of wisdom and skill in means, one is bound to come to a bad fall in the middle
of a bad road, in other words, one falls on this level of a Disciple or
Pratyekabuddha. But, as one which carries water, from a river, or lake, or pond,
or well, or any water-bearing place in a well-baked jar, a jar such as this,
with the water, gets safely and uninjured to the house, simply due to the
well-baked condition of this jar. Just so, any Bodhisattva, which develops not
only these qualities enumerated above, but which in addition takes hold of
perfection of wisdom and skill in means, does not in the middle of a bad road
incur a fall, and, unhurt and uninjured, stands in all-knowledge.
A person who is exercising little intelligence launches into the water a
seafaring vessel which was not caulked or repaired, and had been tied to its
moorings for a long time, overloads it with goods, and climbs on board, and sets
out on it. This ship is doomed to collapse before it has conveyed the goods
across the water. When this ship bursts asunder, this merchant, exercising
little intelligence, who is unskilled in means, loses a huge fortune, a great
source of wealth. Just so a Bodhisattva with all the qualities enumerated above,
but lacks perfection of wisdom and skill in means, without realizing the wealth
of all-knowledge collapses midway, incurrs a fall; this Bodhisattva loses a
great deal of wealth, and has also lost a great deal of wealth for others,
having lost all-knowledge, which is a huge fortune and a great source of wealth;
not to mention the collapse in the middle of the bad road, resulting in
realization unto the level of Disciple or Pratyekabuddha. An intelligent
merchant, on the other hand, constructs a solid ship and launches it with proper
care into the water, loads it with goods and distributes these evenly, and with
a favourable wind this vessel gradually sails to the country which is the goal
of this voyage. This ship does not collapse in the water, it goes to as it is
meant to go, and the merchant will win great wealth in the shape of world-like
jewels. Likewise, as any Bodhisattva of peerless faith, and these other
qualities enumerated above, in addition is taken hold of by perfect wisdom
through her perfection and does not lack skill in means, one such as this does
not collapse in the middle of a bad road, does not incur a fall, and stands
fully enlightened like unto Suchness. It is a fact as a Bodhisattva with
peerless faith, and the other qualities enumerated above, in addition, develops
these dharmas as is taken hold of by perfect wisdom through her perfection, and
does not lack skill in means, these do not hasten obscurred thought realizing
the level of a Disciple or Pratyekabuddha. On the contrary these dharmas face
all-knowledge, as such these set out for this, as these dissolve any
obscurations to realization of full enlightenment.
As any person is aged, even advanced in years, physically weakened, say one
hundred and twenty years old, and as one falls ill in one's body, could one rise
from one's bed without being taken hold of by others?
Subhuti: No, Lord!
The Lord: And as one such as this does rise from one's bed, this one
has not the strength to walk even for half a mile. Wasted away by both old age
and illness this one does not walk about for any length of time, even as this
one may be able to rise from this bed. Likewise, as any Bodhisattva as having
developed all these qualities enumerated above, does not oneself come to be
magnetized by perfect wisdom through her perfection, and lacks skill in means,
although set out for full enlightenment, one such as this nevertheless collapses
in the middle of a road, and incurrs a fall, as this one produces subtle
obscurities and now realizes the level of Disciple or Pratyekabuddha. This is an
unavoidable consequence of the fact of not bringing oneself to a point of being
magnetized by perfect wisdom through her perfection, and is lacking skill in
means. So...here now, as two strong beings take hold of this old and sick being,
and carefully lift this one up, and promise this one may go wherever this one
wishes, and as far as this one wishes, as these are assisting this one, and one
does not fall along this way to the place one is headed to. In this same way, a
Bodhisattva of peerless faith, etc., and which is assisted by perfect wisdom and
her perfection, and endowed with skill in means, does not collapse in the middle
of a road, does not incur a fall, and is able to reach this station, i.e. the
station of full enlightenment.
Subhuti: How does a Bodhisattva which is just beginning stand in
perfect wisdom... how train oneself?
The Lord: Such a Bodhisattva tends to, loves and honors good
friends. Any good friends are such as instruct and admonish this Bodhisattva in
perfection of wisdom, and such as expound its meaning. These expound this
perfection as follows: "Come here, you born of good family, make endeavours in
these six perfections. Achieve generosity, guard morality, perfect patience
and exert with vigour, enter into concentration  or mastery of perfection
in wisdom, - all this turn over for no reason. Such is nature as
Suchness...unthinkable, intangible, full enlightenment. Do not misconstrue full
enlightenment as form, or any skandhas. Intangible also is all-knowledge.
Neither long for nor settle in any levels, as for instance, of Sravaka as
Disciple or Pratyekabuddha."
It is thus Subhuti, a Bodhisattva beginning gradually through these
good friends enters into the perfecting of wisdom, by, through, and from her
unlimited and all permeating perfectness.
How a Bodhisattva
Subhuti: Doers of what is difficult are these Bodhisattvas which set
out to realize fully benevolent enlightenment. Due to this practice of these six
perfections as herein described, these do not wish to realize some private
Nirvana of some own-being. Bodhisattvas survey these highly painful worlds of
beings. These aspire to realize full enlightenment, and still these do not
tremble at birth-and-death.
The Lord: So it is. Doers of what is difficult are these
Bodhisattvas which set out for the benefit and happiness of worlds, out of
compassion. - "We are a shelter for worlds, a refuge, a place of rest, a
complete relief, islands, lights, and leaders of worlds. We equanimously reveal
full enlightenment and resort to these worlds," - with these words these ones
make diligent efforts to realize such full enlightenment. 
1. How is any Bodhisattva awakened to full enlightenment and come to
be the shelter of worlds? These bring to light the nature of
suffering and even by doing this, so offer protection from sufferings which
belong to these deep skandhas of birth-and-death. Also these struggle and make
efforts to rid the worlds of any and all sufferings, whether a hurt by some
slight of heart, a bruised knee or deep and severe as causing the pains of both
birth and death.
2. How are these the worlds refuge?
These reveal as free from birth, decay, illness, death, sorrow,
lamentation, pain, sadness and despair any beings who are doomed to undergo
these by bringing understanding of the true and complete nature of these
conditions, to any beings who desire to know and are willing to listen.
3. How are these the worlds resting place?
Tathagatas demonstrate Dharma to beings so they may learn to not
embrace anything whatsoever.
Subhuti: How does this non-embracing come about?
The Lord: Non-embracing comes about, or more accurately, is
realized regarding form, feeling, perception, impulse, and consciousness, and is
the same as in any skandhas (dharmas or phenomena). What comes to be revealed is
an inherent non-arising and uniform non-sustainability, from which is
non-production, and so non-stopping.  As no thing whatsoever CAN BE
revealed in, or, of any beginning, how could any such thing stop? This is
revealed and eventually realized as true of any and all skandhas -which would
have been- seen, or thought of, or experienced as either thoughts, words and
writings, or even actions, as these merely indicate notions only of form,
feeling, perception, impulse, or consciousness of anything whatsoever as
already being non-embraced. What does not exist, in truth cannot BE embraced.
One thus learns not to even think to embrace anything as a result of this
cognition and vision. Non-embracing is "already established" as of itself and
timelessly self-existent. Once revealed, what comes about is our realization of
Such. All dharmas are non-embracing for such cannot be embraced, and these are
also non-arising as lacking attributes such as, coming into being (to begin
with!), and consequently dwelling in time, duration and place, and ceasing to
4. How are these the complete relief of worlds?
Any state of form is not form, but formless; and so beyond form, and
this same fact applies to any state of feeling, perception, impulse and
consciousness, and all dharmas.
Subhuti: If form, etc., and all dharmas (as any phenomena) are
beyond mere appearance, as such these Bodhisattvas fully know and realize all
dharmas, as here is no discrimination between them. [the gradual dawning of the
realization of all-knowledge.]
The Lord: So it is. Beyond these mere appearances, here is no
discrimination. Through this non-discrimination are all dharmas fully known to
Bodhisattvas. This also is most difficult yet effortless, as Bodhisattvas
meditate on all dharmas (at once), and neither realize , nor are cowed, and
these meditate thus: "In this way are all dharmas fully known...and thus
awakened as full enlightenment, we demonstrate and reveal these dharmas."
5. How are these the islands of worlds?
'Islands' are pieces of land limited by water, as rivers or great
lakes. Just so form, etc., is only limited at its perceived beginning and end,
and so are all dharmas. This limitation of all dharmas is the same as this Calm
Quiet, this Sublime, as Nirvana, as this which is Really Existing, the
Unperverted or Undifferentiated.
6. How are these the lights of worlds?
Here these Bodhisattvas, once having come to realize full
enlightenment, cannot help but to reveal it's light and susequent knowledge to
help dispell this dark obscurity and defiled gloom of non-cognizance from beings
who for long are enveloped as the membrane of this eggshell of ignorance, and
overcome by darkness, so these illuminate these beings through wisdom. 
7. How are these leaders of worlds?
As these are enlightened, Bodhisattvas demonstrate Dharma in order
to reveal this absence of production and stopping as but one attribute of
infinite quintessential nature of skandhas, and also as these very same dharmas
which constitute and distinguish ordinary people, Sravakas as Disciples,
Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas and Buddhas, indeed all dharmas which are no
dharma, yet uniform in essence and no thing in general.
8. How are these the resort of worlds?
As these are enlightened, Bodhisattvas demonstrate Dharma by
teaching these skandhas are situated as one and the same as this space of
worlds. All dharmas exist in equal balance and exchange, as and with space. This
does not come, this does not go, this is the same as space. Space neither comes
nor goes, is neither made nor unmade, nor affected; space neither stands up to,
nor as such does space last, nor endure; such is neither produced nor stopped.
The same is true of all dharmas which are, as this fashion of space,
indiscriminate.  Only within mind's less refined activity as consciousness
is thought lent of itself to discriminate...and such fathers this great
delusion, mothers this great illusion, and begets this great suffering. Only
within mind's exceedingly refined activity toward cognizance of pure spacelike
awareness is thought lent of itself to reveal it's nature from beyond even
uniform stillness and emptiness. As such is realized as naught, and devoid of
any possible notion evolved of subjective states or objective perusal, is
begotten of nothing and purely spontaneous. To even say borne of the stuff of
stars, does Suchness no justice, yet provides a general directive. As this
emptiness of skandhas neither comes nor goes, neither does this emptiness of
dharmas, for dharmas are situated as emptiness, and situated as such these
dharmas do not depart. These are situated as signless, wishless, ineffective; as
non-production, no-birth, non-arising as absence of relativity and polarity, as
dream and self, as this boundless, as this calm quiet, as Nirvana, as this
Unrecoverable; these neither come, nor go, and are situated as immobility; these
are situated as form, etc.,  and also as full enlightenment of Arhats and
Subhuti: Who can understand this perfection of wisdom?
The Lord: Bodhisattvas which course under Tathagatas, and which
mature these wholesome roots.
Subhuti: What is own-being to such as these?
The Lord: To these, own-being is isolated from any need for
Subhuti: Bodhisattvas so situated as these fully know this resort,
these demonstrate and show this as available to all beings? Is it in this sense
these resort to all beings? 
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. It is in this sense a Bodhisattva, as
one knowing full enlightenment, resorts to countless beings.
Subhuti: A doer of what is difficult is any Bodhisattva which arms
oneself with this armor: "To immeasurable and incalculable beings I indicate
The Lord: This armor of such a Bodhisattva is, however, not
connected with skandhas, nor is it put on for any sake of form, feeling,
perceptions, impulses, or consciousness. It is not connected with any level of
Sravakas as Disciples, or Pratyekabuddhas, or any Buddha, nor put on for any
own-self nature. Truly unconnected with any and all dharma is this armor of any
Bodhisattva which is armed with this great armour.
Subhuti: Three standpoints one does not aspire to as a Bodhisattva
which is armed with this great armor and which courses thus in unfathomable
wisdom. Which three? The level of a Sravaka, or, Disciple, or of a
Pratyekabuddha, or of a Buddha. 
The Lord: For what reason do you say this? This is, of course,
impossible, here cannot be any Bodhisattva belonging to either vehicle of the
Sravakas as Disciples or Pratyekabuddhas. But, since ones such as these put on
this armor to benefit all beings, these truly aspire to become Buddhas.
Subhuti: Fathomless, O Lord, is perfect wisdom as such is
perfection. This cannot be developed by anything, nor by anyone, nor is
anything or anyone to be developed. As perfect wisdom nothing whatsoever has
been brought to perfection. The development of perfect wisdom is like
development of space, or all dharmas, or non-attachment, the infinite, what is
non-arising, or has no-taking-hold-of.
The Lord: So it is as you say, any Bodhisattva making adjustments
toward unfathomable and perfect wisdom is regarded as irreversible unto
realization. Now, as such a Bodhisattva does not and can not settle down within
unfathomable and perfect wisdom, nor in the declarations or counsels of others;
one does not merely go by 'someone else' whom one puts one's trust in. As
fathomless perfection of wisdom is taught, one is not cowed, or stolid, nor does
one turn one's back; one does not tremble, nor manifest fright or terror; one
does not hesitate nor doubt, nor get stupefied, but one is immersed in and fully
saturated, is resolutely intent, and delights in being totally permeated in and
by this vision and hearing. One knows in a former life already one explores
perfection of wisdom. As now, as unfathomable perfect wisdom is taught as her
perfection, one does not tremble, is not frightened, nor terrified.
Subhuti: By means of what mode does any Bodhisattva which does not
tremble as this unfathomable perfection of wisdom is taught apperceive perfect
The Lord: A Bodhisattva apperceives perfect wisdom through a series
[of thoughts] which are inclined toward all-knowledge. Such is this process of
perfection of wisdom.
Subhuti: How does one apperceive such a series of thoughts? 
The Lord: As a series of thoughts which indicate space, are prone to
space, steadily yield non-substance as space. This apperception is realized as
a series of thoughts which indicate full awareness. And why? Full awareness is
immeasurable and unlimited. What is immeasurable and unlimited...this is not
form, nor any skandha. This is not attainment, nor reunion, nor getting
anywhere; not any path nor its fruit; not cognition, nor consciousness; no
genesis, nor destruction, nor production, or passing away, or stopping, neither
development, nor annihilation. Such is not made by anything, nor does this come
from anywhere, such does not go to anywhere, as such does not stand in any place
or spot. On the contrary, such can merely be indicated as "immeasurable,
unlimited." As immeasurable infinite space is immeasurable full, or infinite
awareness. This is immeasurableness as such does not, nay cannot lend itself
to being fully known by anything, be it form, or any skandha, or any of these
six perfections. Form is all-knowledge, and so are the skandhas, and even these
Here now, Sakra approached  and said: Unfathomable, O Lord, is
perfect wisdom. It is impossible to fully fathom, impossible to fully see,
impossible to fully cognize or understand. This thought of Tathagatas which
considers this depth of dharma, and who, seated on this terrace of
enlightenment, has just realized full enlightenment, is inclined to carefree
non-action, and not to demonstration of dharma.
The Lord: So it is. Deep certainly is this dharma I fully know.
Nothing has been, or will be, or is fully known, and such is this unfathomable
depth of this dharma. This dharma which I fully know is unfathomable as the
depth of space, beyond the depth of the self, the depth not-coming of all
dharmas, and of their not going. 
Sakra: It is wonderful, O Lord, it is astonishing, O Well-Gone! As
contrary to the ways of the whole world is this dharma demonstrated, - it
teaches one not to seize upon dharmas, yet this world is wont to grasp at
Subhuti: As non-observation of all dharmas, to be sure, is this
dharma set forth. Nowhere is this dharma obstructed. Identical with space this
dharma is, beyond even ultimacy marked with non-obstruction, as no trace can be
purely cognized of such prior to, during, or after, any dharma which is
indicated only by, what's best described as objective observation and
appearance. When purely cognized unconditionally, dharma (as all phenomena
whatsoever) comes to be revealed as some 'thing' which can only seem to be what
it is, yet neither is nor can be what it seems. No-dharma exists as such yet
all dharmas are. At what seems the very least, perception will vouch for such.
Yet, perception 'itself' is identical with this mysterious dharma. These are
'all' identical. So now, any dharmas -as- such, cognized -in- such cannot be
purely cognized as other -than- such. So, here is no counterpart, as pure
emptiness without any second, nor even a first from which a second might be
determined Such is incalculable, beyond number, immeasureable, truly
infinite...purely no-thing whatsoever. Here is no opponent, as such is beyond
all opposites. Such as this is appears without a trace. Here can be no cause,
indeed, here is no cause to become as such. This is non-produced (as, by some
other acting as producer, or doing something to produce), as here is no occasion
such as rebirth from some thing other than what this simply is. Here can be no
path, as in truth no path exists which can be cognized.
Sakra and the Gods: Born as this image of the Lord is Disciple holy
Subhuti, this Elder. Whichever dharma Subhuti demonstrates is merely indicated,
truly an emanation of emptiness. 
Subhuti: As he is not born is Subhuti the Elder born as this image
of Tathagata. He is born as this reflection of Tathagatas Suchness. As neither
coming nor going, so Subhuti, of Suchness neither comes nor goes. With nothing
whatsoever to establish any beginning, Subhuti the Elder simply is this
Tathagatas Suchness. Suchness as Tathagata and Suchness as all dharmas is this
same thing...these are 'both' Suchness and same as Subhuti this Elder. This
image as Subhuti the Elder is Suchness; hence this same manner of Tathagatas.
Yet, Suchness is also empty of anything as Suchness, so as this
non-image of Suchness Subhuti emanates. It is in this sense Elder Subhuti is
emanated as this image of Tathagatas as a result of the non-establishable order
of Suchness of Tathagata. Subhuti's Suchness is immutable and unchangeable,
undiscriminated and undifferentiated Suchness of Tathagatas. Thusly Subhuti
this Elder, immutable, unchangeable, undiscriminated, undifferentiated, through
this Suchness, is this very image of any and all Tathagata.
So again, just as this Suchness of Tathagatas, immutable and
undifferentiated, is nowhere obstructed, so also Suchness of all dharmas is
immutable and undifferentiated. Suchness of Tathagatas, and this Suchness of all
dharmas, are infinite and unlimited Suchness, neither two, nor any division of
any one is possible. A non-dual Suchness, however, is nowhere, is 'from'
nowhere, 'belongs to' nowhere. It is as it is Suchness belonging nowhere it is
non-dual. Here through non-producible Suchness this Elder Subhuti is emanated
even as non-image of all Tathagatas. Non-producible Suchness, however, is no
time not Suchness  and non-dual. It is in this non-sense [be careful with
this!] Elder Subhuti emanates as any and all imagery of 'the race' of Tathagatas
beyond any and all phenomena. As Suchness of Tathagata is undiscriminated and
undifferentiated, at all times and in all dharmas, so Suchness of the Emanant
For this reason, although this seems a duality in which Subhuti has
been conjured up from Suchness of Tathagatas, nevertheless nothing is lopped off
'from' any Suchness, which as unbound infinity devoid even of any center or
direction, remains perfect and unbroken, as one cannot apprehend any real OR
imagined outside agent which could break such apart. In this sense is the
Emanant Subhuti the Elder [as other than Eminent] emanated as this image of any
As Suchness of Tathagata cannot be other than, or outside Suchness
of any and all dharmas, so also Suchness of Subhuti. So also, whatever is, or
appears as outside Suchness of dharmas, this is nothing which is not also
Suchness. Suchness of Subhuti is here just the same as Suchness of all dharmas,
Suchness of all Tathagatas. Subhuti the Elder undergoes this experience of
Suchness of all dharmas. As such an emanated image of Suchness is Subhuti called
"emanated such as Tathagatas." It is also by and as Suchness of Tathagatas [and
not only his own] he conforms to Suchness. It is just through Suchness of
Tathagatas he conforms to any 'past' Suchness, as it is also through any 'past'
Suchness he conforms to Suchness of Tathagatas. Likewise with future and present
dharmas as Suchness. It is through Suchness of Tathagatas he conforms to any
such 'thing' as past, future and present Suchness, and it is through any past,
future and present Suchness he conforms to Suchness of Tathagatas. In this
sameness of elucidation, Suchness of Subhuti, and any past, future and present
Suchness, and Suchness of the Tathagatas, are not two, nor any division such as
any past, future, or present. Suchness of any and all dharmas and Suchness of
Subhuti are anywhere or as anyway not two, nor any division.  And also,
Suchness of the Lord as he is a Bodhisattva is Suchness of the Lord as he
realizes full enlightenment. And this is same Suchness through which any
Bodhisattva, as one definitely realizes full enlightenment, comes to be called
The Earth Shakes and Many
As this disquisition of Suchness of the Tathagatas takes place, the
great earth shakes in six ways, stirs, quakes, is agitating, resounding and
tumbling, as Tathagata remove any obstruction to full enlightenment.
Subhuti: It is thus, O Gods, Subhuti the Elder is emanates as this
formless form of Tathagata. But he is not emanated as an image of form, nor any
fruits of a holy life, from the fruit of a Streamwinner to Buddhahood. As any
dharmas which may appear to be born after the image of anything, or in any image
of which these may appear to be born, do not exist, still are these not got at,
thusly Subhuti the Elder emanates in the image of Tathagata.
Sariputra: Suchness, O Lord, courses beyond even depth!
The Lord: So it is, Sariputra.
Yet as this disquisition of Suchness is expounded, the minds of
three hundred monks are freed from the outflows, without any further clinging.
Five hundred nuns obtain the pure, dispassionate and unstained dharma-eye. 
Five thousand Gods, who in the past had made the necessary preparations, acquire
this patient acceptance of dharmas which fail to be produced. And the minds of
six thousand Bodhisattvas are freed from the outflows, without any further
Perfect Wisdom and
Skill in Means
Sariputra knows the thoughts of these Bodhisattvas are free from the
outflows, without any further clinging, and asks the Lord for the reason, or
cause, of such.
The Lord: These Bodhisattvas honor five hundred Buddhas, and during
all this time are generous, disciplined, perfecting patience, exercise
diligence, and concentration. But these are not upheld by perfect wisdom and
lack in skill in means. And so, although these gain this path of emptiness,
course in Signlessness, put their minds to work on Wishlessness, yet still
wanting skill in means these realize the reality limit, and come forth on the
level of Sravaka Disciple or Pratyekabuddha, still not coming forth toward the
level of a Buddha. Suppose here is a very huge bird, one hundred, or up to five
hundred miles large, but without any wings, or with crippled or damaged wings.
This bird now wants to fly down to Jambudvipa from the Heaven of the Gods of
Thirty-three. In intermediate space, the middle of its journey  to
Jambudvipa, it wants to return to the Gods of Thirty-three, is it able to do so?
Sariputra: No, Lord.
The Lord: And can it hope to come down on Jambudvipa without damage
Sariputra: No, Lord. It is bound to get damaged and injured, and as
it drops down on Jambudvipa it incurrs death or deadly pain. Just the fact that,
whereas its body is huge, the strength of its wings is insufficient, so it just
drops down from above.
The Lord: So it is, Sariputra. Even as a Bodhisattva, after one
raises one's mind to full enlightenment, for countless aeons, gives gifts, shows
discipline, perfects patience, exercises diligence, and has excellent
concentration, how ever great this setting forth and this thought raised to full
enlightenment, -as one is not upheld by perfect wisdom and lacks skill in
means, one is bound to fall on the level of Sravaka Disciple or Pratyekabuddha.
Furthermore, Sariputra, it may be as this Bodhisattva brings to mind, and
retains in one's mind,  of the Buddhas and Lords, past, future and present,
the self-discipline, the concentration, the wisdom, the emancipation, the vision
and cognition of emancipation, -but all this after the manner of a sign, this
sign being an object of attention, a basis of recognition, or some such occasion
for entrancement. This one now neither knows nor sees self-discipline of
Tathagatas, nor their concentration, or wisdom, or emancipation, nor their
vision and cognition of emancipation. Ignorant of these, blind to these, one
hears this word 'emptiness', treats this as a sign, and wishes to covert [this
(imagined) mass of merit] over into full enlightenment [which one regards as
emptiness]. As consequence such a one as this remains on the level of a Sravaka
Disciple or Pratyekabuddha, -as the fact is, this one is not upheld by perfect
wisdom, and as well does this one lack in skill in means, both more silent than
a whisper, and a gentle wind from space providing innate guidance.
Sariputra: As I understand the meaning of the Lord's teaching,
although a Bodhisattva is joined to a huge carriage of merit, as long as this
one is not upheld by perfect wisdom and is without skill in means, such a one
lacks the good friend, and this one's attainment of full enlightenment is
uncertain. A Bodhisattva aspiring to reveal full enlightenment for others and
self, in this develops this perfection of wisdom, even as skillful means.
The Lord: So it is, Sariputra. 
Sakra and the Gods: Unfathomable, O Lord, is perfect wisdom!
Difficult to win, exceedingly hard to win is full enlightenment!
The Lord: So it is, O Gods. Deep is this perfection of wisdom.
Difficult to win, exceedingly hard to win is full enlightenment, as one is weak
in wisdom, below the mark in diligence and resolve, unskilled in means, and as
one serves friends who have less than good intent and action.
Subhuti: How is it the Lord says full enlightenment is difficult to
know , exceedingly difficult to acknowledge, as here is no one who can get at
enlightenment? As emanations of emptiness are all dharmas, no dharma exists
which is able to win enlightenment. All dharmas are empty. This dharma for the
forsaking of which dharma is demonstrated, this dharma does not exist. As well
is this dharma which  might have been enlightened in full enlightenment,
and this which could have been enlightened, and this which might have cognized
[the enlightenment], and this which could have cognized such, -all these dharmas
are empty. In this manner I am inclined to think that full enlightenment is easy
to win, not hard to win.
The Lord: As this cannot possibly come about is full enlightenment
difficult to obtain, attain, or get at, as in reality this enlightenment is not
here, for this can neither be discriminated nor figured as any base or ultimacy
whatsoever, as this is not fabricated [in either reality or false appearences].
Sariputra: As this is empty is this hard to win, O Subhuti. Such
does not occur to space as winning full enlightenment. As such...for instance,
as without own-being...any and all dharmas are [already] known in enlightenment.
All dharmas are space. And, Subhuti, if full enlightenment were easy to win,
then countless Bodhisattvas would not turn away from this. As countless
Bodhisattvas do turn away from this, here one can discern  full
enlightenment is hard to win, exceedingly hard to win.
Subhuti: But, Sariputra, does form, feeling, perception, impulse, or
consciousness, turn away from full enlightenment?
Sariputra: No, Subhuti.
Subhuti: Is this dharma which turns away from full enlightenment
other than form, etc.?
Sariputra: No, Subhuti.
Subhuti: Does Suchness of form, etc., turn away?
Sariputra: No, Subhuti. 
Subhuti: Is this dharma which turns away from full enlightenment
other than the Suchness of form, etc.?
Sariputra: No, Subhuti.
Subhuti: Does form, etc., know full enlightenment?
Sariputra: No, Subhuti.
Subhuti: Is the dharma which knows full enlightenment other than
Sariputra: No, Subhuti.
Subhuti: Does Suchness of form, etc., know full enlightenment?
Sariputra: No, Subhuti. 
Subhuti: Is the dharma which knows full enlightenment other than the
Suchness of form, etc.?
Sariputra: No, Subhuti.
Subhuti: Should form, etc., be known in full enlightenment, or any
dharma other than form, etc.  or the Suchness of form, etc., or a dharma
other than the Suchness of form, etc.?
Sariputra: No, Subhuti.
Subhuti: Does Suchness turn away from full enlightenment?
Sariputra: No, Subhuti.
Subhuti: Is some dharma which turns away from full enlightenment in
Sariputra: No, Subhuti. 
Subhuti: What, Sariputra, is this dharma which turns away from full
enlightenment, as we consider this as standing in this nature of dharmas, which
is just emptiness, as so to is this manner of taking no stand in any dharma? Or
what dharma is this Suchness? Is it perhaps Suchness is turned away?
Sariputra: No, Subhuti.
Subhuti: As thus in ultimate truth and as things stand, no dharma is
apprehended as real, what is this dharma which is turned away from full
Sariputra: As one adopts this method of considering dharmas as
ultimate reality, which Subhuti the Elder uses in this exposition, indeed here
is no dharma which turns away from full enlightenment. But now, Venerable
Subhuti, here is no longer any ground for the distinction of these who set their
hearts on enlightenment into three kinds of persons, who differ with respect to
the vehicle which these have chosen, as described by the Tathagata. According to
this exposition of the Venerable Subhuti, here is only one vehicle [for those
whose hearts are set on enlightenment], this being the Buddha-vehicle, the
Bodhisattva-vehicle, the great vehicle.
Purna: First of all the Venerable Sariputra must ask the Venerable
Subhuti the Elder whether he admits even one single kind of being whose heart is
set on enlightenment, and who uses either the vehicle of the Sravaka Disciples,
or that of the Pratyekabuddhas, or the great vehicle.
Sariputra: Subhuti, do you admit even one single kind of being whose
heart is set on enlightenment, and who uses either the vehicle of the Disciples,
or that of the Bodhisattvas, or the great vehicle? 
Subhuti: Sariputra, do you see as Suchness of Suchness even one
single being whose heart is set on enlightenment [i.e. as a real entity], be
this one who uses the vehicle of the Sravaka Disciples, or that of the
Pratyekabuddhas, or the great vehicle?
Sariputra: No so, Subhuti. Suchness, first of all, is not
apprehended as of three kinds, how much less any being whose heart is set on
Subhuti: Is now Suchness apprehended as of one kind even?
Sariputra: Not so, Subhuti.
Subhuti: Do you now perhaps see in Suchness even one single dharma
which would constitute a being whose heart is set on enlightenment?
Sariputra: Not so, Subhuti.
Subhuti: Thus in ultimate truth and as things stand, such a dharma
which constitutes any being whose heart is set on enlightenment cannot be
apprehended, where do you get the idea "this one belongs to the vehicle of the
Disciples, that one to the vehicle of the Pratyekabuddhas, that one to the great
vehicle?" Any Bodhisattva which hears this absence of difference, distinction or
differentiation between the three kinds of persons who set their hearts on
enlightenment, in so far as we are each and all 'encompassed' as Suchness, and
do not become cowed or stolid in mind, do not turn back, now any of these one's
know such as these go forth to enlightenment. 
The Lord: Well said, Subhuti. Through this might and sustaining
power of Tathagata you are inspired to say this.
Sariputra: To which enlightenment, O Lord, will these Bodhisattvas
The Lord: To this full and supreme enlightenment, so difficult to
Requisites of Going Forth To
Subhuti: How does a Bodhisattva behave, how does one train, as one
wants to go forth in realization to this full enlightenment?
The Lord: The Bodhisattva adopts the same attitude towards all
beings, one's mind is even, equanimous towards all beings, one does not handle
others with an uneven mind, but with a mind which is friendly, well disposed,
helpful, free from aversion, avoiding harm and hurt, and handles others as if
these were one's mother, father, son or daughter.  As a refuge and one able
to benefit any and all beings does any Bodhisattva behave towards all beings,
does one train oneself, as one wants to know full enlightenment. A Bodhisattva
stands in abstention from all evil, as also one gives gifts, guards discipline,
perfects patience, exerts diligence, enters into mental stabilization, achieves
mastery through perfection of wisdom, surveys conditioned co-production, both in
direct and in reverse order; and also one instigates, incites and encourages
others to do the same. One takes the same stance in everything from the
meditation on these truths, to such a stage as one reaches certainty. As a
Bodhisattva this one is liberated from defilements and samsaric bondage, and as
one matures any and all beings, instigates these to do the same, and incites and
encourages these. As one longs eagerly for all this and trains oneself in it, so
everything is uncovered to ones such as these, from form to the established
order of dharma.
~ATTRIBUTES, SIGNS, AND TOKENS OF IRREVERSIBILITY
Various Tokens of
Subhuti: What, O Lord, are any attributes, tokens and signs of an
irreversible Bodhisattva, and how do we know any Bodhisattva is irreversible?
The Lord: This level of 'we common people', this level of 'we
Disciples', this level of 'we Pratyekabuddhas', this level of 'we Buddhas' --
these levels and we are all called the 'Level of Suchness'. Thought as well,
all these are Suchness, not two, nor any one divided, neither discriminated
amongst, nor undiscriminated between, a Bodhisattva is revealed as within
Suchness and not other than this nature of dharma. Realizing one's firm stance
as Suchness, one neither imagines nor discriminates in this. With this sense
awakened is one revealed thus. Once this is realized, even if one goes away from
this assembly, because one's hearing is also Suchness, one does not and can not
in any circumstance hesitate, does not and can not become perplexed, does not
and can not doubt, and one is not stupefied by thought [concerning any or all of
form, feeling, perceptions, impulses, or consciousness] as 'it is not thus'. On
the contrary, one is firmly aware as 'it is just thus, just Suchness', and with
this, one realizes one's being as such. Just so, one does not prattle away about
everything which comes into one's head. Such a one only speaks if this is
considered beneficial for another, and not if this may not. One does not look in
final judgement on what others do or don't do. Endowed with such attributes,
tokens and indications of Suchness, a Bodhisattva may be borne in mind as
irreversible from full enlightenment.
An irreversible Bodhisattva can not pander to Shramanas and Brahmins
of 'other schools', telling these what anyone knows is worth knowing, or what
anyone sees is worth seeing. 
A Bodhisattva pays no homage to strange Gods, offers these no
flowers, incenses, etc., and cannot put one's trusts in these. A Bodhisattva is
no more reborn in places of woe, nor does one ever again become a different sex.
As well, Subhuti, an irreversible Bodhisattva undertakes to observe the ten
avenues [ways] of wholesome action. One observes, as one instigates others to
observe, abstention from taking life, abstention from taking what is not given,
abstention from wrong conduct as regards sensuous pleasures, abstention from
intoxicants as tending to cloud the mind, abstention from lying speech,
abstention from malicious speech, abstention from harsh speech, abstention from
indistinct prattling, abstention from covetousness, abstention from ill will,
abstention from wrong views. 
It is true an irreversible Bodhisattva observes these ten ways of
wholesome action, and instigates any others to observe these, incites and
encourages these to do so, establishes and confirms others in these. Even in
Bodhisattva dreams one never commits offenses against these ten precepts, and
one does not build on such offenses in one's mind. Even in one's dreams an
irreversible Bodhisattva keeps the ten wholesome paths of action present in
mind. Also, as an irreversible Bodhisattva masters a text of dharma, and offers
this to others, in mind one builds upon the welfare and happiness of all beings
as such, and one offers this gift of dharma in common to all beings, with no
What's more, as deep dharmas are taught, a Bodhisattva is not
hesitant, is not perplexed, is not doubtful, is not stupefied. One only says
what is beneficial, speaks gently and in moderation. One exhibits little sloth
and torpor, and loses all latent biases to evil. Whether one goes out or comes
back, this mind does not wander, but one's mindfulness is fixed. As one steps on
this ground one knows what one does, and as one lifts up and puts down one's
feet one neither loiters nor hurries but remains at ease. A Bodhisattvas robe is
free from lice, one's habits are clean, one is rarely ill, and afflictions are
few. In one's body these eighty thousand families of worms which are present in
the bodies of other beings cannot at all develop, as these wholesome roots
insure one's place within this whole world. And as these wholesome roots such as
these go on increasing, in due course one gains perfect purity of body, speech
and thought. 
Subhuti: What is known as perfect purity of thought on the part of a
The Lord: As these wholesome roots go on increasing, in due course
one gains a state of mind in which one developes few cares, and is free from
treachery, deceit, crookedness and craftiness. In addition this perfect purity
of thought also consists in transcending through and beyond levels of Sravaka
Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas, while yet facing these, and being in perfect
accord with any such ways, still just as intent on mutuality and benevolence.
And what's more, an irreversible Bodhisattva is not one to attach exclusivity to
gain, honor, or fame, or to robes, alms bowl, lodging or medicinal appliances
for use in sickness. This is not one who is full of envy and meanness. And, as
profound dharmas are revealed, one does not lose heart; but intelligence grows
steady, and, one's intelligence runs deep. With respect one hears Dharma from
others, ever with a view to learn. All these dharmas one hears from others are
united as perfection of wisdom, and also all worldly arts and professions one
unites, thanks to this perfection of wisdom, as this very nature of dharma. Here
is no dharma which one does not see as yoked to the nature of dharmas, and each
dharma one sees is simply engaged in this effort. 
So now, Mara, the Evil One, is (only thought of as being) the one
conjuring up visions of the eight great hells, with many hundreds, many
thousands, many hundreds of thousands of Bodhisattvas in these, and he says to
an irreversible Bodhisattva: "These Bodhisattvas, described by the Tathagata as
irreversible, are reborn in these great hells. Just so you also, since you are
described as irreversible, fall into these great hells. Confess this, this
thought of enlightenment is an error! What is Buddhahood to you? Abandon it! In
this way you avoid rebirth in the hells. As you act thus you are one who goes to
heaven." As the mind of the Bodhisattva does not waver, is not put out, is
certain in one's knowledge an irreversible Bodhisattva cannot possibly be reborn
against one's will in the hells, this is another token of his irreversibility.
Even so, Mara, the Evil One, is seen as coming along possibly in the
guise of a Shramana, and saying: "Give up what you hear up to now, abandon what
you gain so far! As you follow this advice, we again and again approach you, and
say to you: 'What you hear just now is not the word of Buddha. It is poetry, the
work of poets. But what I here teach to you, this is the teaching of Buddha,
this is the word of the Buddha.'" Upon hearing this, as any Bodhisattva wavers
and is put out, one can know, such is not predicted by the Tathagata, this one
is not fixed on full enlightenment,  as this one does not stand firmly in
this element of irreversibility. But again, even as one hears these words of
Mara, one does not waver, but remains as this nature of dharma, to
Non-production, to Non-stopping, to the Unaffected, this is not one of these who
put their trust in others.
An Arhat, a monk who has outflows dried up, does not go by what is
said by merely someone else whom one trusts in, but has placed the nature of
dharma directly before one's own eyes...before, or beyond, anyone or anything
whatsoever...and Mara is seen as having no access to one such as this.
Just so, any irreversible Bodhisattva can neither be crushed nor
inflated by beings belonging to the vehicle of Sravaka Disciples and
Pratyekabuddha, and one cannot, by this very nature, backslide into the level of
Disciples or Pratyekabuddhas, as any such as this are fixed on all-knowledge,
and end up in perfect enlightenment. It is quite certain any Bodhisattva who
stands firmly in the element of irreversibility cannot possibly be led astray by
So, someone may come to the irreversible Bodhisattva and say: "A
journey in birth-and-death is this coursing in perfection of wisdom, and not a
journey of someone who is in quest of enlightenment. If you put an end to all
suffering in this very life you no longer experience all the sufferings and
disappointments which are bound up with this plane of birth-and-death. Aye
surely, in this very life already this personality of yours is finished, so why
do you think of taking upon yourself another one [for the benefit of other
beings]?" Even now the Bodhisattva neither wavers nor is put out, even as Mara
himself appears to say to this one: "Just look at these Bodhisattvas which for
countless aeons present the necessities of life  to Buddhas and Lords,
which lead holy lives in the presence of countless Buddhas, which honor
countless Buddhas and Lords, and question these about just this vehicle of the
Bodhisattvas, asks these how a Bodhisattva should stand, hear the answer of the
Tathagatas, and act on it!
"In spite of the fact these stand, course and exert as they do, this
very day these do not yet know full enlightenment! These stand firm in
instruction, train themselves like this, -but do not reach all-knowledge! How do
you reach full enlightenment ever?" Even as one does not waver and is not put
out, then Mara, the Evil One, seems to conjure up some monks in this place, and
say: "These monks are Arhats, with outflows dried up. These who set out for
enlightenment, in the meantime have reached Arhatship, and are established in
it. How do you ever reach full enlightenment?" It is quite certain any
Bodhisattva must be irreversible from full enlightenment for, as this is being
said and expounded, one's mind does not waver and is not put out.
As this mind of a Bodhisattva which hears from a stranger these
discouraging remarks still does not become excluded from the true nature of
dharma, and one does not go back on it, as one does not change one's mind, as
one recognizes these deeds of Mara as appearing for exactly what these are, it
is quite impossible for one which courses correctly in these perfections not to
Mara, the Evil One, cannot possibly gain entry to a Bodhisattva
which not only courses but also trains oneself correctly, which does not lack in
these practices described by Tathagatas, which is completely adjusted to this
mental activity which is associated with these perfections.  As any
Bodhisattva recognizes these deeds of Mara, as one hears discouraging remarks
from strangers, one does not desist, nor slide back, nor change one's mind, and
one perceives these deeds of Mara for exactly what these are, this is another
token of irreversibility.
So now, an irreversible Bodhisattva does not piece together a
perception of skandhas, (i.e. form, feeling, perception, impulses, or
consciousness), nor produce one. As the irreversible Bodhisattva which through
dharmas empty of their own marks definitely entered on this certainty of
salvation, as a Bodhisattva does not apprehend even this dharma we now behold
(in any moments)...so this one cannot piece it together, or produce it. One says
here, "a Bodhisattva is irreversible as one patiently accepts the cognition of
non-production." This is another token of irreversibility.
What's more, Mara, the Evil One, comes along in the guise of a monk
and tries to deter the Bodhisattva with the words: "The same as space is this
all knowledge. It is a dharma which is not, it is non-existent. Who can anoint
oneself with such as this, who fully know it? Here is no one who goes forth to
such, here is no one who can fully know such, nothing can be fully known, here
is no one who understands, here is nothing which can be understood. Due to this
fact that at all times these dharmas are the same as space, it is useless to
resist, revealed and seen as a deed of Mara is this doctrine which 'one knows
full enlightenment,' is not a Buddha's teaching." A son or daughter of good
family now cognizes, realizes and knows this  kind of critical examination
is seen as just a deed of Mara. After one makes this reflection, one makes
one's mind firm, unshakeable, irrestible. This is another token of
More Tokens of
So now, an irreversible Bodhisattva is one inquiring even beyond,
and transcending any level of Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas, and proceeding in a
direction toward all-knowledge. According to plan one comes to first, second,
third and fourth trance stages, and dwells within absorbtion in these four
trances. One realizes complete mastery over these trances, meaning one enters
into trances, but a future rebirth is not determined by their influence. It is
on dharmas of the sphere of sense-desire one bases one's rebirth. This also is
known as a mark of irreversibility in irreversible Bodhisattvas.
Also an irreversible Bodhisattva does not attach weight to any name,
nor to renown, title or fame. One does not get attached to any [particular] name
[which in any case is absent in emptiness]. One's mind remains undismayed, and
interested only in the welfare of all beings. Whether one goes out or comes
back, one's mind does not wander, and one remains ever mindful.
When one lives the life of a householder, one has no great love for
pleasant things, and one does not want these too much. For, it is realized that
it's with fear and disgust one possesses all pleasant things. [fear of the
possessed item's loss, and disgust at their decrepitude or lacking being better
than what it is]. Situated in a wilderness infested with robbers one would eat
one's meals in fear, and with the constant thought  of getting away, of
getting out of this wilderness, and not with repose.
Just so an irreversible Bodhisattva living the life of a
householder, possesses pleasant things simply without caring for too much for
them, without eagerness, without attachment. One is not one of these people who
care for dear and pleasant forms. These who live the lives of householders and
who are involved in the five kinds of sensuous pleasures do not earn their
living in an irregular way, but in the right way. Neither do these incur death
in a state of sin, nor do these inflict injuries on others. These incite all
beings to realize this supreme happiness, -these worthy beings, these great
beings, superbeings, excellent beings, splendid beings, powerful of beings,
sublime beings, valiant beings, heroes of beings, leaders of beings, waterlilies
of beings, lotuses of beings, thoroughbred beings, Nagas of beings, lions of
beings, trainers of beings! It is in this spirit which Bodhisattvas live the
life of householders, in as much as these are impregnated with the power of
perfection of wisdom, and this is another token of their irreversibility.
So now, Vajrapani, the great Yaksha, constantly follows behind the
irreversible Bodhisattva. Unassailable, the Bodhisattva cannot be defeated by
either men or ghosts. All beings find it hard to conquer one, and one's mind is
not disturbed [by their attacks]. One's faculties are all complete, and one is
not deficient in any of these. One possesses the organs of a virile being, 
not those of an impotent being. One does not in any way embark on these spells,
mutterings, herbs, magical formulae, medical incantations, etc., which are the
work of beings. One earns one's livelihood in a clean way, not in a wrong way.
One's character is neither quarrelsome nor disputatious. One's views are
upright, one does not exalt oneself nor deprecate others. With these and other
similar qualities this one is endowed. Such as these do not predict to women or
men these will have a son or daughter. Such faulty ways of making oneself
acceptable will not be this one's. All this is another token of irreversibility.
So now, Subhuti, I'll indicate the attributes, tokens and signs of
an irreversible Bodhisattva. Endowed with these one is known as irreversible
from full enlightenment. Again, which are these? The following: One does not
give oneself over to occupation and preoccupation with the skandhas, the
sense-fields, the elements, and with conditioned coproduction. One is not
preoccupied with the kind of talk a person is fond of in society, with talk
about kings, and robbers, about armies and battles; about villages, 
cities, market towns, countries, kingdoms, and capitals; about oneself, about
ministers and prime ministers; about women, men and neuters; about journeys,
parks, monasteries, palaces, pools, lakes, ponds, lotus ponds, woods, gardens
and mountains; about Yakshas, Rakshasas, Pretas, Pishacas, Kataputana-demons and
Kumbhanda-demons; about food, drink, dresses, ornaments, perfumes, garlands and
ointments; about roads, crossroads, streets, markets, palanquins and people;
about songs, dances, tales, actors, dancers, and wandering singers; about the
ocean, about rivers, about islands.
These do not devote themselves to talk which obstructs dharma, to
the kind of talk which delights the common people, but to talk on perfection of
wisdom, and these are people who do not lack in mental activities which are
associated with all-knowledge. But talk about fightings and strife, about
quarrels and disputes these avoid. These are willing for what is right, and not
willing for what is wrong. These praise without causing dissension, and not in
order to cause dissension. These want friendship, and not its opposite. These
speak dharma, and not its opposite. These plan to gain a vision of Tathagatas
which dwell in other world systems, and thus these increasingly produce thoughts
which lead to their presence. According to plan these are come near them, and
so these do not lack in the vision of Tathagatas,  nor in opportunities for
honoring and serving them. Furthermore, as an irreversible Bodhisattva
definitely terminated one's existence among the Gods, -whether these belong to
the sphere of sense-desire, or the sphere of form, or the formless sphere, -one
is turned over to just this middle region, in Jambudvipa. For in the border
countries are only a few beings with a good knowledge of the arts, of poetry, of
mantras, of secret lore, of the standard treatises, of portents and of the
meaning of religion, but in the middle region these are turned to abundance. But
any who are turned over to the border regions these are at least revealed again
in the big towns. This is another mark of irreversibility.
Furthermore, to an irreversible Bodhisattva it does not occur to ask
oneself whether one is irreversible or not. No question about it arises, as one
is not uncertain about the stage one made, and one does not sink down below
such. Just as a Streamwinner has no hesitations or doubts about the fruit of a
Streamwinner, if that is the stage which is this one's right, just so an
irreversible Bodhisattva neither questions nor doubts about being on this stage
of a Bodhisattva, as this stage is one's right stage, here is no uncertainties
about this stage which is right, nor does one sink below such. And one quickly
sees through any deed appearing as Mara's that may arise, and does not come
under his sway.  A person who commits one of the deadly sins never again,
until one's death, loses this thought of this action, one cannot get rid of it
or remove it, but it follows after one until the time of one's death. Just so
this irreversible mind of an irreversible Bodhisattva learns to stand firm on
this irreversible stage which is one's right, and even this whole world, with
its Gods, beings and Asuras, cannot deflect, divert or diverge such a one from
this. One recognizes any deeds as being -only seen to be- of Mara which may
arise, as these do, and does not come under their sway.
One such as this is free from hesitations and doubts about this stage which
any can realize, even after one passes through this present life the thoughts
which are characteristics of Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas do not arise in
beings such as this. As one passes through this present life one thinks: "Here
is not a case in which any shall not realize full enlightenment. Anyone is sure
to realize full enlightenment, I stand firm on this stage which also I realize
One can no longer be led astray by others, and on the stage which is
anyone's by nature, one can neither be crushed nor inflated, if one in one's
nature adheres to the principle of Suchness in and as all, and beyond even such,
as such is. For, as one stands firm on this, one's mind is insuperable, one's
cognition is insuperable. Suppose Mara, the Evil One, in the guise of Buddha
himself were to come to this one, and say: "Realize Arhatship in this very life!
You are not predestined to full enlightenment. You have not the attributes,
tokens and signs with which a Bodhisattva must be endowed in order to realize
full enlightenment. Why now do you course in this?"
If the Bodhisattva now experiences a change of heart, one can know one is not
predicted to full enlightenment by the Tathagatas of the past.  On the
other hand, as one considers, "I see this, surely, as Mara, the Evil One, who
comes along after he by magical means, adopts the disguise of the Buddha, as all
are beset by Mara, this is but one of Mara's magical creations, but certainly
not Tathagata. A Tathagata speaks to the effect as one not realizing only
Arhatship, and not otherwise," as one sees and understands "I see this, surely,
is as Mara, the Evil One, who is manufacturing a magical double of the
appearance of the Buddha, and who wants to estrange any and all beings from
supreme enlightenment," and now at this Mara turns back...this Bodhisattva
certainly in the past is predicted to full enlightenment by the Tathagatas, and
stands firmly in this irreversible Bodhisattva stage. Where these attributes,
tokens, and signs are found as a Bodhisattva, here one can be certain, beyond
any shadow or doubt of this: -as one exudes these qualities, so this one is
predicted by Tathagatas in the past, and stands firm on this irreversible
Bodhisattva-stage and as one exudes such attributes, tokens and signs of an
irreversible Bodhisattva this is another token of irreversibility. In addition
to this...an irreversible Bodhisattva gains this good dharma even as this costs
one one's life and any belongings. Here one makes a supreme effort to gain this
good dharma, through affection and respect for Buddhas and Lords, past, future
and present. In one's firm conviction- "the Dharma-bodies are Buddhas and
Lords"...one realizes this good dharma not only of the past Buddhas and Lords,
but also of the present and future Buddhas and Lords. One is convinced as one
also is within the ranks of these which are reckoned as future Buddhas and
Lords, ...as one also is predicted to this supreme enlightenment, also one is
known as already having gained this good dharma. So, these considerations one
bears in mind as, in one's efforts to gain this good dharma, one renounces even
one's life and one's belongings, as one does not lose heart, nor become
indolent. This is another token of irreversibility. Moreover, as Tathagata
demonstrates dharma, an irreversible neither hesitates nor doubts.
Subhuti: Does one also neither hesitate nor doubt when a Disciple
The Lord: No, such a one does not. For a Bodhisattva which acquires
this patient acceptance of dharmas which fail to produce, or be productive or
produced, neither hesitates nor doubts as one hears about this unobstructed true
nature of all dharmas. Endowed with these virtues a Bodhisattva is irreversible.
 These also are known as the exudation of attributes, tokens and signs of a
Bodhisattva which is irreversible from full enlightenment.
Subhuti: This is wonderful, O Lord, how great and with what
unlimited and measureless qualities a Bodhisattva is endowed!
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. Irreversible Bodhisattvas come to
reveal TO self and others pure, undifferentiated cognition as non-produced,
innate and simply beyond any conceptual fixations AS 'self and others', and
still just beyond any notions born OF these [skandhas]. Suchness comes to be
realized as it's truth of center-lessness, boundary-lessness, beginning- and
thus end-lessness, and to which Sravaka Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas as yet
have no claim.
Subhuti: Truly beyond any convention or standard whatsoever the Lord
can and does expound how an irreversible Bodhisattva represents and emanates
these attributes, tokens and signs. So now might the Lord indicate these
unfathomable positions of Bodhisattvas as are connected through inconceivable
The Lord: Well said Subhuti. Surely, you bring up unfathomable
positions as you want to hear discoursing on this subject as well.
"Unfathomable", Subhuti, is Emptiness which is a synonym of Signlessness,
Wishlessness, Uneffectedness. Such is Unproduced, as in...No-birth,
Non-existent, Dispassioned of Cessation, Nirvana and Departing. 
Subhuti: Is this a synonym only of these, or of all dharmas?
The Lord: Indeed Subhuti, such is a synonym of all dharmas, as form,
feeling, impulses, perception and consciousness, is unfathomable. Choose any
dharma or dharmas whatsoever, and 'unfathomable', among all such and unlimited
is synonymous with and as such. How are any and all skandhas unfathomable? Just
as unfathomable as Suchness, so unfathomable is any and all skandhas. As
unfathomable Suchness is any and all skandhas, etc., to include nothing
throughout, even as no skandha...so completely unfathomable is form, feeling,
perception, impulse and consciousness. Even as here is no form, etc., this is
the fathomlessness of form, etc.
Subhuti: Such is wonderful, O Lord, how subtle a device is -such- as
allows for this relativity of form, etc., and indicates Unfathomable Nirvana at
this same time.
How to Attend to
The Lord: As a Bodhisattva reflects, ponders and meditates on these
unfathomable positions which are connected through inconceivable perfect wisdom,
and strives to stand, train and progress as is ordained, described and explained
in this perfection of wisdom,  now, as one may do so for, say, one day
only, how great the deed is which one does during this one day! As a person,
moved by considerations of greed, had made a date with a handsome, attractive,
and good-looking other person, and as now this other person is held back by yet
something or other and could not leave one's house, what do you think, Subhuti,
with what would this other person's preoccupations be connected?
Subhuti: With this other person, of course. One thinks about this
other one coming, about things these do together, and about joy, fun and delight
one has with the other.
The Lord: Does this person entertain many such ideas in the course
of this day?
Subhuti: Many indeed, O Lord.
The Lord: As many such ideas as this person entertains in the course
of this day, so for each vibration comprising each of the thoughts from each
idea, hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of kotis of aeons for each of
these vibrations, a Bodhisattva spurns birth-and-death, turns one's back on it,
and has resolve enough to end this.
As one stands, trains, progresses, meditates and strives as is
ordained, described and explained in this perfection of wisdom, one's faults and
obscuring defilements dissolve which are a turning away from full
enlightenment.  As one Bodhisattva gives one's self up to devotion to
perfect wisdom, and does deeds for one day only while dwelling completely in
mental activities connected with perfect wisdom; and yet another Bodhisattva
lacks connections with perfect wisdom, but gives gifts for countless
aeons...more discretely refined attributes has the Bodhisattva which, for one
day only, makes endeavours connected with perfect wisdom. A Bodhisattva which
for one day only makes endeavours connected with perfect wisdom, begets merit
other than the greatest merit of another Bodhisattva which for countless aeons
gives and bestows gifts on all classes of holy persons, -from Streamwinners to
Tathagatas - but lacks this discretion regarding perfect wisdom. And, as the
other Bodhisattva not only bestows gifts as indicated, but in addition observes
these moral precepts, but still lacks in connecting these with perfect wisdom,
this Bodhisattva which dwells in connection with perfect wisdom, begets other
merit, as this one emerges from this mental work on perfect wisdom, and
demonstrates dharma. And this remains true  even as the other Bodhisattva
in addition were endowed with patience. Even as in addition the other
Bodhisattva exerts vigour, and makes endeavours about the trances and wings of
enlightenment, but is still lacking connections in perfect wisdom...a
Bodhisattva which, as one gives this gift of dharma, as said before, turns this
over to full enlightenment, one such as this begets a different type of merit
all together which benefits all sentient beings, than the Bodhisattva which yet
does not make such connections in perfect wisdom. The merit of a Bodhisattva
which not only gives this gift of dharma, not only turns this over to full
enlightenment, but employs the kind of turning over which is being taught in
this perfection of wisdom begets another type of merit indeed...beyond any
reckonings whatsoever, of 'greater or lesser'. So, as a Bodhisattva which does
all this, makes no further efforts than these visible and more tangible ones
about it in meditative seclusion,  this one's merit is very great perhaps,
yet still, different than this merit of one which also makes effort about this
in meditative seclusion and which in addition, is taken hold of by perfect
wisdom as coursing in her perfection, and now is open in this meditative
seclusion, and is not devoid of perfect wisdom. The latter begets yet other
Subhuti: How can one say that one begets the greater merit since
the Lord has described all accumulations as the result of false discrimination?
The Lord: In this case also the accumulation of merit on the part of
any Bodhisattva who courses in perfect wisdom must be described as just empty,
worthless, insignificant and unsubstantial. To the extent any Bodhisattva goes
on contemplating all dharmas in this manner, to this extent this is one which
does not lack affinities with perfect wisdom. And to the extent one does not
lack affinities with perfect wisdom, to this extent one begets immeasurable and
incalculable merit, beyond any tabulation of such as would result in some
accumulation deemed as worth or of some value.
Subhuti: Is any distinction made or difference noticed between
immeasurable and incalculable?
The Lord: Such is "immeasurable" as in such, even measurement cannot
exist nor take place. Such is "incalculable" as even any sense or effort to
count such is exhausted and even numbers to count such as one or many, or even
as one divided into many cannot take place.
Subhuti: Is here any reason to assume skandhas (form, feeling,
perception, impulse, consciousness) are immeasurable?
The Lord: Yes. 
Subhuti: Of what is this term "immeasurable" a synonym?
The Lord: Are not all dharmas described as "empty"?
Subhuti: Yes, and simply so, as quite empty Tathagata describes all
The Lord: And being empty, such are also inexhaustible of emptiness.
And what is emptiness is also immeasurableness. So here and now, according to
ultimate reality, neither distinction nor difference is apprehended between
dharmas, nor can any 'between' dharmas even begin to be assumed. As talk these
are described by Tathagata. One merely talks as one speaks of "immeasurable", or
"incalculable", or "inexhaustible", or of "empty", or "signless", or "wishless",
or 'this Unaffected", or "Non-production", "no-birth", "non-existence",
"dispassion", "cessation", "Nirvana". This exposition is being described by
Tathagata as the consummation of demonstrations. 
Subhuti: It is wonderful to see such an extent to which Tathagata
demonstrates true nature of dharmas, and yet one cannot properly talk about true
nature of dharmas, [in any sense of even predicating distinctive attributes to
truly non-existent separate real entities around and through us]. As I humbly
understand this meaning of Tathagatas teaching, neither any nor all dharmas can
be talked about, in any proper sense.
The Lord: So it is, for none can properly express emptiness of
dharmas in words, and ever and always can such, be merely indicated.
Neither Growth nor
Subhuti: Can something truly have growth, or diminution, as it is
beyond all distinctive words, and even characteristics?
The Lord: No Subhuti.
Subhuti: But, as no growth or diminution occurs of any entity or
dharma which is beyond all distinctive words and even characteristics, so also
can neither growth nor diminution of these six perfections occur. And now, how
does a Bodhisattva realize full enlightenment through the force of these six
perfections, as these do not grow, and how does one even come close to full
enlightenment, since without fulfilling these perfections, one cannot come close
to full enlightenment? 
The Lord: So it is, Subhuti. Here is certainly neither growth nor
diminution of a perfection-entity. A Bodhisattva coursing in perfection of
wisdom who develops affinities toward perfect wisdom, and comes to be skilled in
means, does obviously not think, "this perfection of giving grows, this
perfection of giving diminishes". Rather, such a one knows, "this perfection of
giving is a mere word and a characteristic". As one gives a gift one IS turning
any and all 'merit' over thus: in totally equanimous reflection for any
accountability whatsoever, one comes to reveal that such as 'merits' cannot be
had outside of or in addition to the infinite fullness of emptiness, for such IS
"always" already had...merely in the simple realization that even the mental
activities, the production of thought, the roots of good which are involved in
the act of giving...IS to and for the total benefit of countless sentient
beings. However, IN such a revelation one turns these over in such an
'automatic' way as one respects this actual reality of full enlightenment. One
proceeds in this way as one takes upon oneself these moral obligations, as one
perfects oneself in patience,  as one exerts diligence, enters into the
trances, courses in perfection of wisdom, AS one develops and maintains
affinities to perfect wisdom. See?
Subhuti: So now, what is this supreme enlightenment? 
The Lord: It is Suchness Subhuti. However, Suchness neither grows
nor diminishes. A Bodhisattva which repeatedly and often dwells in mental
activities connected with Suchness dwells near supreme enlightenment, and any
such as these do not lose these mental activities. This is certain as here can
be neither growth nor diminution of any entity or dharma as such is beyond any
and all words and even characteristics, and here neither the perfections, nor
any dharmas, can grow or diminish. So, it is thus as dwelling in mental
activities of this kind a Bodhisattva is one ever nearing perfect enlightenment,
yet in Suchness also are neither considerations of distance as, near or far, nor
of time as, sooner or later. For now Subhuti, this is all.
~THE GODDESS OF THE GANGES
Subhuti: As a Bodhisattva realizes full enlightenment, is this due
to production of the first thought of enlightenment, or due to the last thought
of enlightenment? These two acts of thought are nowhere synthesized [and here<