Manual Of Prajna Paramita
Reading One: The Three Kinds of Refuge
Here we will discuss the line of the root text which says, “The Three Jewels, the Buddha and the rest.” Let us first consider the section of the middle-length sutra on the Mother which includes the lines:
Do not think that this very Knowledge of All Things is something which applies to what you can see, and do not think it is separate from what you can see. Just so, never view what you can see itself as being real.
Our analysis of this section will proceed in three parts: a refutation of our opponent’s position, a presentation of our own position, and a rebuttal of their objections.
Here is the second section, in which we present our own position. There is a specific reason why the Three Jewels are established as being the refuges for practitioners of the three classes. From the point of view of cause refuge, practitioners of all three classes take refuge in all three of the Jewels. But from the point of view of result refuge, those of the Listener class aspire chiefly to attain the state of a foe destroyer.
Those of the class of Self-Made Buddhas aspire chiefly to attain that meditative wisdom where they abide in a meditation of cessation, a state where all the obstacles of the mental afflictions have been eliminated.
Those of the Greater Way aspire chiefly to attain the Buddha Jewel, one who possesses that cause within him which will allow him to turn the wheel of the dharma, in its entirety, for disciples of all three classes. This then is the reason why the Three Jewels are established as being refuges for practitioners of the three classes.
The definition of the Buddha Jewel is “That ultimate place of refuge, the one which has completely satisfied both the needs.” There are two kinds of Buddha Jewel: the apparent Buddha Jewel, and the ultimate Buddha Jewel.
This is the One, the Buddha:
He is uncaused, He is spontaneous,
He is realized by no other way;
He has satisfied both the needs.
The definition of the Dharma Jewel is “The enlightened side of truth, either in the form of a cessation, or in the form of a path, or both.” In name only this Jewel can be divided into two kinds: the ultimate Dharma Jewel, and the apparent Dharma Jewel.
The definition of the Sangha Jewel is “A realized being who possesses any number of the eight fine qualities of knowledge and liberation.” In name only, this Jewel can be divided into two kinds: the ultimate Sangha Jewel, and the apparent Sangha Jewel.
In name only, taking refuge may be divided into two: taking refuge in words, the expression of refuge; and taking refuge in thoughts, the reliance on refuge. An example of the first would be something like the words you use as you take refuge.
The latter is of two types: ordinary taking of refuge, and exceptional taking of refuge. The definition of the first is “Any movement of the mind which acts of its own accord, and consists of hoping that some ordinary type of refuge will render one assistance.”
There are five different kinds of this extraordinary taking of refuge: the taking of refuge which is shared with practitioners of a lesser scope, the taking of refuge which is shared with practitioners of a medium scope, the taking of refuge which is shared with practitioners of a greater scope, cause refuge, and result refuge.
Here are their respective definitions. The first is defined as: “First, you feel a personal fear for the sufferings of the births of misery. Second, you believe that the Three Jewels possess the power to protect you from these sufferings. Finally you have a thought which acts of its own accord: it is a hope, or something of the type, that some one or number of the Three Jewels will render you assistance, to protect you from these sufferings.
The second is defined as: “First, you feel a personal fear for each and every suffering of the cycle of life. Second, you believe that the Three Jewels possess the power to protect you from these sufferings. Finally you have a movement of the mind which acts of its own accord: it is a hope, or something of the type, that some one or number of the Three Jewels will render you assistance, to protect you from these sufferings.
The third is defined as: “Any movement of the mind which acts of its own accord, and consists of hoping that any one or number of the Three Jewels will render assistance, to protect every living being from the sufferings of the cycle of life.”
The fourth is defined as: “Any movement of the mind which acts of its own accord, and consists of hoping that any one or number of the Three Jewels, as already achieved in another person, will render assistance.” The fifth is defined as: “Any movement of the mind which acts of its own accord, and consists of hoping that any one or number of the Three Jewels, as they are to be achieved within ones self, will render assistance.”
There is a specific purpose for taking refuge in the Three Jewels. A temporal purpose is that they can provide you the highest form of protection. The ultimate purpose is to attain the state of enlightenment.
Taking refuge also serves as the foundation for all the different kinds of vows. When you take refuge, you thereby join the ranks of the “ones inside”: you become a Buddhist. This taking refuge acts as well to slam shut the door to the births of misery. These and others are the purpose for taking refuge in the Three.
Reading Two: The Wish for Enlightenment
Here we will discuss the lines of the root text which begin with “The wish for enlightenment is, for the benefit of others…” First we will relate this concept to the original texts, and then we will analyze it in detail.
Here is the first. We find the following lines in sutra:
Sharibu, those who wish to gain total enlightenment, a knowledge of every kind of thing, must train themselves in the perfection of wisdom. Those who wish this, and that, must train themselves in the wisdom perfection.
The root text and commentary include other lines that begin with “The wish for enlightenment is” and continue up to “the twenty-two.” The function of these latter sections is to clarify the hidden meaning of the words of the sutra, including as it does the essential nature of the wish for enlightenment.
First, it is that main mental awareness belonging to the greater way, which is focused on achieving total enlightenment for the benefit of others, and which is matched with a state of mind that is associated with it: the aspiration to achieve total enlightenment.
Secondly, it is a knowledge belonging to the greater way, which acts as a door for entering the greater way (or is something of the type), and which is included into the activity side of the standard division into the two of “view” and “activity.”
Here next are the divisions of this wish. Nominally, the wish can be divided into the apparent wish for enlightenment and the ultimate wish for enlightenment. In essence, it can be divided into the wish of prayer and the wish of engagement. In terms of level, it can be divided into the four types that begin with “the wish that acts out of belief.” In terms of how the wish is developed, there are three types, starting with the “king’s wish.”
Reading Three: What is Nirvana?
Here secondly is the section in which we present our own position. The definition of nirvana is “A cessation which comes from the individual analysis, and which consists of having eliminated the mental-affliction obstacles in their entirety.”
The following all refer to the same thing: natural nirvana, the natural Mother, the natural perfection of wisdom, the natural Dharma Body, and ultimate truth. The definition of nirvana with something left over is: “A cessation which comes from the individual analysis, and which consists of having eliminated the mental-affliction obstacles in their entirety, but where one still has the suffering heaps that are a result of his past actions and bad thoughts.” A classical example of this would be the nirvana found in the mental stream of a listener who is a foe destroyer, and who has not yet shucked off the heaps he took on. The definition of nirvana with nothing left over is: “A cessation which comes from the individual analysis, and which consists of having eliminated the mental-affliction obstacles in their entirety, and where one is free of the suffering heaps that are a result of his past actions and bad thoughts.” A classical example of this would be the nirvana found in the mental stream of a listener who is a foe destroyer, and who has shucked off the heaps he took on.
The definition of nirvana which does not stay is: “A cessation which comes from the individual analysis, and which consists of having eliminated both kinds of obstacles in their entirety.” A classical example of this would be the truth of cessation in the mental stream of a realized being who is a Buddha. The nirvana we are describing here is not something that one can achieve by using any method at all. Rather, you must achieve it with the training of wisdom, which realizes that nothing has any self nature; this wisdom must be under the influence of the first two trainings, and with it you must habituate yourself to what you were already able to realize.
Suppose you are able to analyze
One by one those things that have no self;
And after that you habituate
Yourself to what you analyzed individually.
This is what then leads you to
It is impossible for any other
Reading Four: The Object We Deny
Next we will explain what it means when we say that the three of basic knowledge, path knowledge, and the knowledge of all things have no real nature of arising. This explanation has three parts: identifying what it is we deny with reasoning that treats the ultimate; introducing the various reasons used to deny this object; and, once we have established these two, detailing the steps to develop correct view.
The first of these has two sections of its own: a demonstration of why we must identify what it is we deny, and then the actual identification of this object. Before a person can develop within his mind that correct view which realizes emptiness, he must first identify the final object which is denied with reasoning that treats the ultimate. As the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life states,
Until you can find what you thought was there,
Suppose that what you sought to deny was the existence of a water pitcher in a certain place. If before you started you had no mental picture of what a water pitcher looked like, you would never be able to verify with an accurate perception that it wasn’t there. Here it’s just the same. What we seek to deny is that things could really exist. If before we start we have no mental picture of what a thing that really exists would be like, then we can never have a clear idea of emptiness: the simple absence where the object that we deny isn’t there.
Here now is the actual identification of the object we deny. Suppose something were to occur in some way that was opposite to the way that all the phenomena of physical form and so on exist deceptively. Anything that could occur this way would be precisely the final object we deny with reasoning that treats the ultimate. Therefore we must first explain how it is that all the phenomena of physical form and the rest exist deceptively.
The second part to the discussion of how things exist deceptively consists of an explanation of the various scriptural references. First we will give a brief treatment of these references, and after that talk about how this system establishes the two truths; this latter step will include an instructive metaphor. Here now is the briefer treatment.
There is a specific reason why we say that all these phenomena, physical form and the rest, exist deceptively. They are described this way because their existence is established by means of a deceptive state of mind, one which is not affected by a temporary factor that would cause it to be mistaken.
That state of mind which acts to establish the existence of physical form and other such things, and which is colored by seeing things as being real, and which is not affected by a temporary factor that would cause it to be mistaken, is only the deceptive mind. This deceptive state of mind though is not the actual grasping to real existence, for it holds its object in a way which is consistent with what the object actually is. The state of mind is deceptive in that the deceptive mind is affected by the tendency to grasp to things as being real.
Therefore any and every object whose existence is established by a consistent state of mind belonging to a living being who is not a Buddha is said to exist “deceptively.” The deceptive state of mind occurs by force of a deep mental seed which causes it to be mistaken; this is a seed for the tendency to grasp to things as being real, and it has been in our minds for time without beginning. This seed makes every living creature who is not a Buddha see every existing phenomenon, physical form and the rest, look as if it were a pure, discrete entity. And so we call a state of mind “deceptive” when it holds that physical form and all other things purely exist, whereas in fact they are quite the opposite: they do not purely exist. We say it is “deceptive” (Sanskrit: sawˆ vr¸ti] because such a state of mind is itself blind to the way things really are, and also because it functions in a sense to screen (Sanskrit: vr¸] or cover other things; it keeps us from seeing their suchness.
So now we can define the final object which we deny by reasoning that treats the ultimate. It is any object of the mind that could exist on its side through its own unique way of being, without its existence having to be established by the fact of its appearing to a state of mind that is not impaired. This is true
because the final way in which physical form and all other such phenomena exist deceptively is that they are established as existing by force of a state of mind which is not impaired by any temporary factor that would cause it to be mistaken.
There is an instructive metaphor we can use for describing how physical form and other such phenomena are from our side established as existing, by the fact of their appearing to a state of mind which is not impaired; while at the same time these objects of our mind exist on their own side through their own way of being.
Suppose a magician is making a little piece of wood appear as a horse or cow. Seeing the piece of wood as a horse or cow comes from the side of the viewer, by the force of his own mind, as his eyes are affected by the spell of the magician. And yet the piece of wood, from its side, is appearing this way as well. Both conditions must be present.
There is a reason why the first condition must be present: the condition of being established from the side of the viewer, by force of his own mind, as his eyes are affected by the spell of the magician. If this condition didn’t have to be present, then a spectator whose eyes were not affected by the spell would have to see the wood appear as the animal, whereas in actuality he does not.
At this same time the second condition, that the piece of wood appear from its own side as a horse or cow, must be present as well. If this condition didn’t have to be present, then the piece of wood’s appearing as a horse or cow would have to show up as well in places where there were no piece of wood, whereas in actuality it does not.
In this same way are the phenomena of physical form and the rest established by force of a state of mind which is not impaired. They are labeled with names, through an unimpaired state of mind and a name which is consistent with what they are.
They do not however exist on their side through their own unique way of being, without their existence having to be established by the fact of their appearing to a state of mind that is not impaired. If they were to exist this way, then they would have to be the ultimate way things are. And if they were, then they would have to be realized directly by a state of mind which was not mistaken; by the wisdom of a realized being who is not a Buddha, and who in a state of balanced meditation is directly realizing the way things are. In fact though they are not directly realized by such a wisdom.
Suppose a magician makes a little piece of wood appear as a horse or cow. Spectators whose eyes have been affected by his spell both see the piece of wood as a horse or cow and believe that it really is. The magician himself only sees the horse or cow; he has no belief that it is real. A spectator who arrives later, who hasn’t had the spell cast on him, neither sees the piece of wood as a horse or cow nor believes that it is.
Three different combinations of seeing and believing exist as well with physical form and other such phenomena. The kind of people we call “common” people, those who have never had a realization of emptiness, both see and believe that form and the rest really exist. Bodhisattvas who are at one of the pure levels see phenomena as really existing during the periods following emptiness meditation; but they do not believe it. Realized beings who are not yet Buddhas, and who are in the state where they are realizing the way things are directly, neither see physical form and other such phenomena as really existing, nor do they believe that they really exist.
The Implication and Independent branches of the Middle Way school are identical in asserting that to exist really, to exist purely, to exist just so, to exist ultimately, and the idea where you hold that things could exist these ways are all objects which are denied by reasoning that treats the ultimate.
The Independent branch though does not agree that to exist from its own side, to exist by nature, to exist in substance, to exist by definition, and the idea where you hold that form and other such phenomena could exist these ways are also objects which are denied by reasoning that treats the ultimate. They say that in fact anything that exists must exist these ways, with the exception of existing in substance. (There is some question though about things that are nominal.) They assert that any functional thing that exists must exist in substance.
Neither the Implication nor the Independent branches of the Middle Way school asserts that to exist as the way things are, to exist as ultimate truth, or to exist as the real nature of things is the final object which is denied by reasoning that treats the ultimate; for if something is ultimate truth, it always exists in all these three ways.
Reading Five: The Proofs for Emptiness
Here secondly is our own position.
They do not really exist;
The things of self and other
Are free of being purely one
Or being purely many,
And so they have no nature:
Just like a reflection.
Consider these same things.
For they are things with parts.
The one always implies the other, for if something existed as one thing which really exists, then it could never be a thing which appeared one way but actually existed in a different way.
They do not exist as many things which really exist, because they do not exist as one thing which really exists. The one always implies the other, for many things come from bringing together a group of things that are one.
The implication in the original statement is true, for if something really existed, it would have to exist either as one thing that really existed or as many things that really existed. This is always the case, for if something exists it must exist either as one or as many.
Consider all inner and outer things that perform a function. They do not arise ultimately, For they do not arise from themselves, and they do not arise ultimately from something other than themselves, and they do not arise from both, and they do not arise without a cause.
They do not arise ultimately from something which is other than themselves, for they neither arise ultimately from a cause which is other than themselves and which is unchanging, nor do they arise ultimately from a cause which is other from themselves and which is changing.
They do not arise ultimately from both the above, because they do not arise ultimately from either one of them individually.
They do not arise without a cause, because that would be utterly absurd. The implication in the original statement is true, for if something were to arise ultimately, it would have to arise ultimately through one of the four possibilities mentioned.
Consider results. They do not arise ultimately, For results which exist at the time of their cause do not arise ultimately, and results that do not exist at the time of their cause do not arise ultimately, and results that both exist and do not exist at the time of their cause do not arise ultimately, and results that neither exist nor do not exist at the time of their cause do not arise ultimately.
The implication is proven in the same way as above.
Consider the functional things of causes and results. They do not arise ultimately, For multiple results of multiple causes do not arise ultimately, and single results of multiple causes do not arise ultimately, and multiple results of single causes do not arise ultimately, and single results of single causes do not arise ultimately.
[From the Overview:] Here we will explain the fifth type of reasoning, the one based on interdependence, and known as the “King of Reasons.” First we will present the reasoning, and then secondly prove the validity of its elements.
Consider all inner and outer things that perform a function.
Either way you state the reasoning, the following part should be added at the end: They are, for example, like the reflection of a figure in a mirror. This reasoning is correct, for it is spoken by the Protector (Nagarjuna):
Anything that occurs in interdependence
Anything that arises from other factors
Does not arise;
I teach that anything which relies
On any other factor
Now we will prove the various elements of this reasoning. This consists of two steps: proving the relationship between the subject and the reason, and proving the relationship between the reason and the characteristic asserted. Here is the first:
For if something were real, neither of these two could apply to it.
Proving the relationship between the subject and the reason in the latter version of the reasoning is simple. This is how we prove the relationship between the subject and the characteristic asserted in this same version:
For if something were to arise really, it would have to arise without relying on anything else.
Both versions of the reasoning represent a type of logic where the presence of something which cannot coexist with something else is used to prove that inner and outer things which perform a function either do not exist really or do not have any nature of arising really. This is true because both of the reasons stated are such that they cannnot coexist with existing really.
There is a specific reason why we refer to this reasoning, the one based on interdependence, as the “King of Reasons.” First of all, each of the other reasonings here ultimately comes down to the reasoning of interdependence. Secondly, this reasoning allows one to eliminate, in one step, both the extreme of permanence and the extreme of ending focussed towards this particular subject or basis of dispute.
Reading Six: Who is Maitreya?
Here is how these others make their argument. They say that “It is incorrect to relate the opening lines [of the Jewel of Realizations], the ones that are an offering of praise, to any need of the author himself. This is because Maitreya possesses no state of mind where he is aspiring to fulfill his own needs, and because the lines appear here only as a means to induce persons other than the author to follow the work.”
Here secondly is our own position. It is incorrect to make the argument that appeared earlier, for such an argument only reveals that the person making it has failed to undertake exhaustive study and contemplation of the major scriptures of the greater way. How can we say this? Let us first ask the following: do you make this argument assuming that the Holy One (Maitreya) is a Buddha, or do you make it assuming that he is a bodhisattva?
Suppose you say that you are making the former assumption. Doing so represents a failure to distinguish between speaking in the context of the way which is shared, the way of the perfections, and speaking in the context of the way which is not shared; that is, the way of the secret word.
The teaching of the secret way says that the holy Maitreya is a Buddha. This is true because—according to the secret way—Manjushri is a Buddha, and the reasons for His being so apply equally to Maitreya in every respect.
It is correct for us to say that the way of the perfections is the way which is “shared,” and that the way of the secret word is the way which is “not shared.” This is because such a description is found in a great number of authoritative works. The Steps of the Path to Buddhahood, for example, speaks about “how to train oneself in the way which is shared—the way of the perfections, and how to train oneself in the way which is not shared—the way of the secret word.” The Concise Steps as well includes the lines:
Thus is the path which is shared,
The one which is required
At both the stage of the cause
As well as the stage of result
In the higher way,
The path which is supreme.
There is another description that mentions the “way for common disciples” and the “way for unique disciples.” It is apparent that these expressions, [which use the same Tibetan term,] have the same connotation as “shared” and “not shared” above.
Someone might assert that “In the context of the way of the perfections, the way of the secret word is not accepted.” This though is incorrect, for the Brief Commentary includes a section where it states that presenting the bodies of a Buddha as being exactly four is moreover not inconsistent with the way of the secret word. This section reads: “Nor moreover is this inconsistent with the other division of the teachings.”
There are other reasons too which prove that there is a way of the secret word. It is stated with authority that the ability to fly in the sky, and other such miraculous abilities described in the Tantra of the Garuda, occur through the power of the being who has spoken the tantra. This is true because the Commentary on Valid Perception states:
There do exist the ones who know
The tantra and can in cases
These are the proof. It’s mainly the power
Of the one who taught it,
And following his precepts.
Here next we will demonstrate that it is also incorrect to make the argument above under the assumption that Maitreya is a bodhisattva. We ask those who make such an argument: Are we to assume then that the definition of the wish for enlightenment presented in the Ornament is a definition which is less than comprehensive? Because isn’t it true that, according to your argument, this definition would fail to cover the wish for enlightenment at the tenth bodhisattva level?
And wouldn’t this be the case, because—according to you—wouldn’t a person at the tenth bodhisattva level have fulfilled his own needs without having to stop his feeling of being satisfied with nothing more than putting a final end to the truth of suffering and the truth of its origin?
And wouldn’t this be the case, because—according to you—doesn’t such a person aspire to fulfill his own needs completely, and yet also fail to see that attaining the Dharma Body is necessary for him to do so?
The above statements should help you grasp a number of crucial points.
Realize first of all that, if something is the greater way’s wish for enlightenment, it must be linked with an associate state of mind, an aspiration to fulfill one’s own needs, which means the Dharma Body. Realize secondly that, if something is that state of mind in which one aspires to fulfill his own needs—meaning the Dharma Body—then it is a state of mind in which one aspires to fulfill his own needs.
The above arguments demonstrate then that the Maitreya who authored the Ornament is a bodhisattva who has one life to go. This is true since the Mother includes a line which says, “Go and ask Maitreya there; he is a bodhisattva who has one life to go.” Moreover, the Higher Line states that Maitreya authored it in order to utilize the word of the Able One to purify himself of the obstacles to omniscience.
[Everything in this course is from the Svatantrika school]
GYE DRING DU SUM
long middle short three
The middle sutra has 20,000 verses
The short has 8,000 verses
The commentary was taught by Maitreya to Asanga (~350 A.D.). The commentary on the three books above by Asanga/Maitreya is called Ornament of Realizations (short GYEN in Tibetan). It’s 50 pages in a code, so we need a commentary on this commentary. That commentary is by Haribhadra (850 A.D.), called Clarification. That one is too hard also, as is
Arhant is anyone who has reached nirvana. After you perceive emptiness directly, it requires training and the application of that direct perception of emptiness to your thoughts to change the way you think and behave to reach nirvana and become an Arhant.
2.) Perfection of Wisdom of the result - One who has seen emptiness directly and sees all things simultaneously as both empty and deceptive reality. Sees all past, present, and future simultaneously. This person is a Buddha.
2) in the hearts of people who have the paths/ideas in their mindstreams. The Dharma jewel is two parts: path: (idea) which leads you out of suffering, and cessation: which is stopping bad qualities within you.
YUL SHEN-LA RANG-TOB-KYI REWA CHAWAY SEMPA
Two kinds of refuge:
Three types of practitioner:
KYEBU CHUNG DRING CHENPO SUM
person small middle big/great three
1.) Small: Small scope is the minimum motivation you can have and still be Buddhist. Wanting to escape the three lower rebirths. If you work with this motivation, you will get all things you need in this life also, because the virtues necessary to avoid lower rebirth are the same ones that bring happiness now.
Why take refuge - In the short term (this life) there is no better protection. In the long term, you can achieve Buddhahood (because you must have refuge to practice tantra, which leads to Buddhahood.)
5.) Love - cares about all.
SEMKYE PA NI SHEN DUN DU YANGDAY DZOKPAY JANGCHUB DU
Bodhichitta is for the sake of others total Enlightemnent the wish
Each type of Buddhahood has five paths: accumulation, preparation, seeing, meditation, and no more learning. Each set of paths has different realizations while on those paths; each track perceives a different type of emptiness. Both nirvanas and Buddhahood have eliminated all suffering, but only Buddhahood has omniscience of all things.
First, it is the main mental awareness belonging to the greater way, which is focussed on achieving total enlightenment for the benefit of others, and which is matched with a state of mind that is associated with it: the aspiration to achieve total enlightenment. Secondly, it is a knowledge belonging to the greater way, which acts as a door for entering the greater way (or is something of the type), and which is included into the activity side of the standard division into the two of “view” and “activity”.
Bodhichitta is the “main” mind: it holds the two thoughts of Bodhichitta – wanting to be a Buddha and wanting to help all sentient beings. Because the mind can’t hold two thoughts simultaneously, then Bodhichitta must be main mind; otherwise it would lose Bodhichitta when thinking of wanting to help all sentient beings.
The main mind can hold two complimentary thoughts simultaneously, but not two different thoughts. Main mind is awareness of an object – holding the object in the mind. Secondary mind is feeling good, bad, etc. about that object. Main mind focuses on the object and secondary mind follows after that.
It uses “belonging to the greater way” to signify that pre-bodhichitta (artificial or “sugar-cane” bodhichitta) – that bodhichitta which we try to force upon ourselves or try to get – isn’t what is meant. Rather, it means the feeling just comes without effort. That is the real and genuine bodhichitta, and the entry into Mahayana.
Class Four: Classifications of Bodhicitta
(The names don’t necessarily describe each path accurately.)
Accumulation: To get on the first path, one must generate renuciation (and bodhichitta for Mahayana). This primarily refers to renunciation, and not to the accumulation of merit, although we do accumulate merit with renunciation.
Habituation: Getting used to and practicing what you saw in emptiness and reorienting your perception of what you see around you daily to agree with the perception of emptiness. Getting rid of inborn habit of seeing things as self-existant. (This takes a long time to practice.)
1. MUPA CHUPAY SEMKYE
Person acting out of belief that things aren’t self-existant - has enlightened wish to help all sentient beings, and hasn’t seen emptiness. Want to help sentient beings and wants to become Buddha to do so. Realizes that they see things as deceptive reality and has belief that emptiness exists. Thinks things are self-existant, sees things as self-existant, and believes that things are not self-existant. (This kind of bodhichitta occurs on paths of accumulation and preparation.)
2. HLAKSAM DAKPAY SEMKYE
Someone who has experienced emptiness directly and sees things as they really are, so that bodhichitta is more intelligent and stronger. Has given up intellectual belief in self-existance as a result of seeing emptiness. Knows things are not self-existant, but is forced to see them that way outside of emptiness meditation. Has inate belief/view of self-existance. Sees things as empty in meditation and self-existant out of meditation. Person who permanently no longer has any belief in self-existance because of having seen emptiness directly. Doesn’t believe in self-existance, but still sees things as deceptive reality and has the seeds to see things as deceptive. (Occurs on paths of seeing and habituation.)
3. NAMPAR MINPAY SEMKYE
Someone who looks at sentient beings and wants to help. When looking at sentient beings, doesn’t see them as self-existant, but still has seeds to see them as self-existant. Has given up inate belief of self-existance; no longer sees self as self-existent. Outside of meditation, sees everything as empty. Has given up the inborn habit of seeing things as self-existant. Can never again see things as self-existant, although still has the seeds to see things that way. Not a Buddha yet, because there are still karmic seeds in the mind to see things as self-existant.
Doesn’t think things are self-existant, doesn’t see things as self-existant, but has the seeds to see things as self-existant. (The path of habituation has this kind of bodhichitta. Bhumis eight through ten occur here.)
4. DRIPPA PAKPAY SEMKYE
obscurations eliminated bochichitta
This person doesn’t think things are self-existant and doesn’t see them as self-existant.
1. GYALPO TABUI SEMKYE
2. DZIBU TABUI SEMKYE
shepherd – like bodhichitta
“I’ll make sure others achieve enlightenment and then I’ll do it.”
3. NYENPA TABUI SEMKYE
ferryman – like bodhichitta
1. MUNPA SEMKYE
2. JUKPA SEMKYE
The wish for enlightenment that directly depends on taking the vow and actually engaging in the bodhisattva deeds. (When you take a vow to do or not to do something, then the action is much more powerful; breaking the vow is much more detrimental.)
Class Five: Definitions of Nirvana
What is Nirvana?
NYUN-DRIP MA-LU-PA PANG PAY SO SOR TAK-GOG NYANG-DE
Nyun-drip means the mental afflictions (bad thoughts) and bak-chaks (potentials for bad thoughts, seeds, mental stains and predispositions to behave similarly again) that block or stop you from nirvana. A seed is a potential (to get angry, for instance) which will be triggered by events in the future.
Nirvana is a cessation which comes from the individual analysis, and which consists of having eliminated the mental-affliction obstacles (and bak-chaks) in their entirety from your mental stream. Here, individual analysis refers to realizing the Four Arya Truths one-by-one after seeing emptiness directly.
Cessations can be divided into two types: those you get before seeing emptiness (you have these on the first two paths) and those you get from seeing emptiness directly (on the third path – the path of seeing).
The Four Noble Truths should be translated as the Four Arya Truths, because you see each of the four truths after becoming an arya (seeing emptiness), as you come down from the direct perception of emptiness. You see that life is suffering, and the cause (your own bad thoughts),cessation (and you see how many lives you have until you are finished), and the cause of cessation (the path).
A bak-chak is an energetic potential or seed which arises when conditions are right. Once you see emptiness directly, you stop creating new causes for suffering, but you still have past seeds to experience. The process of death practice largely involves going through death without activating our bak-chaks. They’re there, but by not watering or activating them, they can’t cause our lower rebirth.
Class Six: Divisions of Nirvana
Four Types of Nirvana: (there are more, but we’re doing only four)
1.) RANG-SHIN NYANG-DE
Natural nirvana. This is ultimate reality. It’s been like this forever, it occurs naturally. (This is a misnomer, because it’s not a real nirvana. It’s grouped with nirvana because it can never cause mental afflictions.) (continued in class six)
2.) HLAK – CHE NYANG-DE
something having nirvana
3.) HLAK – ME NYANG-DE
nothing left over nirvana
4.) MI-NE-PAY NYANG-DE SI – TA SHI – TA
Nirvana which does not stay in the extreme of samsara or in the extreme of peace (i.e. lower nirvana). Means the nirvana of a Buddha. Some lower schools say that when you reach nirvana with nothing left over, there is no longer a body or mind to the person; there is a person existing some way in cessation.
4) Other Factors - everything not included in the other four heaps.
1.) DAK – ME TOK-PAY SHE-RAB KYI LAP-PA
2.) LAP-PA DAN-PO NYI-KYI SIN-PA
training first two of under influence
3.) TOK – SIN GOM – PA
Identifying the object that we deny:
GAK – JA
to deny or refute object to be
If you don’t know what emptiness is empty of, you can’t study emptiness. If you don’t understand what exists, you can’t refute its existance (ex. if you don’t know what a vase is, you can’t prove there isn’t one on the table.) You must have good understanding of what a self-existant thing is.
The gak-ja does not really exist. If it did exist, it would have to exist in a way opposite to the way in which things really do exist (conventionally or deceptively). You can’t have a negative emotion unless you are focused on a gak-ja - a thing which doesn’t even exist.
LO NU – ME LA NANG-WAY WANG – GI SHAK – TSAM
The gak-ja is anything which appears without one of the two factors above being present. If something existed out there on its own without depending on me perceiving it or it appearing to me, that’s a gak-ja.
Example: The Magic Show
The magician in a crowd takes a stick, casts a spell, and turns it into a horse. The crowd sees a horse. The magician sees a horse, but believes it’s a stick. The spell requires a stick and a perceiver.
If there were no stick, then everything you look at would appear as a horse. The first component is important – something out there must appear as a stick or a horse (must have some stickness or horseness), or everything I see would appear as a stick or horse. If there were no spell, the crowd wouldn’t see the horse; they need the state of mind to see the horse.
Someone who comes up to the crowd after the spell just sees a stick there.
1.) Someone who has not seen emptiness directly sees things as self-existant and believes they are self-existant.
Class Eight: Five Different Proofs of Emptiness
Five ways to prove emptiness: (elaborations for each follow in the next section.)
1.) CHIK – DU DREL
one many empty
2.) DORJE SEKMA
3.) YU – ME KYE – GOK
exist not to arise to deny
4.) MU – SHI KYE – GOK
possibilities four to arise to deny
The denial that things could arise through any of the four possibilities. Denying that multiple results come from multiple causes, denying that single results come from multiple causes, denying that multiple results come from single causes, denying that single results come from single causes.
5.) TEN – DREL GYI – RIKPA (also called RIK-PAY GYALPO)
Things are not self-existant because they depend upon other things.
How to prove a logical statement:
Example of the first argument, the emptiness of one or many:
Consider the three knowledges:
c.) Knowledge of all things.
3.) Because it is yellow reason
Proof of one or many:
If you prove that something doesn’t exist as one or as many, then you’ve proved it doesn’t exist at all, because there are no other options except not existing. One and many encompass all possible things.
Three relationships have to be there for a proof to be valid:
2.) The relationship between the reason and the characteristic it proves must be sound. Therefore, here it must be true that if 3 is true, then 2 occurs, i.e. if something is yellow, then it cannot simultaneously be blue.
3.) The relationship between the characteristic to be proven and its reason must be such that if you negate the characteristic to be proven and you negate the reason, their relationship is still true. Therefore, if you negate 2, 3 is also negated, as shown by the example: if the sun is not not blue (i.e. is blue), then it is not yellow. The person you’re proving it to must see and accept that the sun is yellow. He or she must accept that it can’t be yellow and blue sumultaneously, and that if it’s blue, it can’t be yellow.
All of these elements must already be present in their mind. The proof ties them all together, and points to the correct conclusion. Before, he had seen the sun, known what yellow is, and known that if something is yellow, it can’t be blue. He had thought the sun was blue because he had never tied the elements together before.
1.) Consider the three knowledges (see last week’s notes). They do not exist really because they don’t really exist as one or many. If you leave out “really”, then they do exist (as many). “Really” qualifies them, meaning that they exist dependent upon someone’s perception.
3.) For they do not exist really as one or really as many. If you can prove that a thing can not exist as one, then it can not exist as many, either. Here, many means a collection of the one(s), not many different things, but many of the one. For example, if you can prove that a Martian does not exist, then you don’t need to prove that 100 Martians don’t exist. We will prove that something (in this instance the three knowledges) doesn’t exist as one, really.
The three relationships must hold true:
a) 3 connects to 1 accurately.
b) If 3 is true, then 2 is true,
c) If 2 is negated, then 3 is negated.
How to prove that if they have parts they do not really exist as one (if 3, then 2):
Example: a pen – When you look at a pen, you cannot see the pen. You see the parts of the pen, for example the top, bottom, etc. It’s impossible to see the pen without looking at the parts of the pen. While you’re looking at the parts of the pen, it’s impossible to see the pen. You are seeing the top and then the bottom, then the back, etc. not the pen. You see various parts and clues, and then paint a complete picture in your mind of a pen for the thing which is out there, and believe it’s out there as a “pen”, rather than as a mental construct. If you perceive the parts, you can’t perceive the whole (one). If you weren’t perceiving the parts, you couldn’t see the object as existing at all.
Even when you focus on one part, you can’t see it. When you look at the top, it has parts too – the top of it, the bottom of it, etc. Ad infinitum, as above. So where does anything come from; how do we perceive it if we can’t even see one complete part of it? Your mind fills in the image in a certain way caused by your past mental karma/seeds/mental functions. For this reason, even though I want my mind to fill everything in as pleasure, it doesn’t. For example, I want to perceive every meal as tasty, but that doesn’t happen.
How to prove that the three knowledges have parts (that 3 is true of 1)
Take the approach that if we prove that everything has parts, this will also apply to the three knowledges. All things can be classified as changing and unchanging. Changing things are classified as either physical or mental. Physical things can be classified as gross or subtle.
To prove that all things have parts, we must prove that each subdivision
Gross physical things:
1.) If you cover part of a physical thing, another part is still there, so there must be parts. Covering two fingers leaves three fingers, so fingers are parts. Otherwise when you cover two fingers, none would be left.
2.) If you didn’t have parts, when you moved one arm then the other would move, if it weren’t a separate part.
Consider an atom. Do atoms touch, combine, or blend into each other, or do they occupy each other’s space so that every part of one atom is touched by the atom next to it? (O vs. OO) If they touch each other then there must be sides to it, which means it has parts (top, left, etc.).
If they existed in a way where every surface and point of an atom touched every surface and point of all others, then there would only be one atom in existance, and we wouldn’t have discrete objects like food, etc.
Direct means happening right after the event, ex. Nina’s visual awareness of him. The direct cause is her visual awareness of him the moment before. Her eye, his skin, etc. are contributing factors, not a direct cause. Her perceiving him is the direct result. The direct cause flip-flops into the direct result without any time lapse. Like snapping fingers twice fast, with no space in between.
Remote means happening a moment or more after an event, with some pause between the events. For example, snap the fingers and pause before snapping a second time. The first snap is a remote cause of perceiving the second snap because you perceived the pause in between. Because mental things stream so that there are direct and remote causes for them (based upon time elapsed), they have parts. One mental event is composed of direct and remote causes – these are its parts, and to have them time must have elapsed. If there weren’t parts, then every prior mental event which leads to the next one would have to occur simultaneously and there would be one moment in time where everything occurred.
Cessations include mental afflictions and their seeds. As an absence of something, their nature is unchanging. You don’t get more or less free of afflictions, you’re just free, so it’s unchanging in that its nature is constant. The parts are: cessation of intellectual belief in selfexistance, and cessation of inate or inborn belief in self-existence.
Class Ten: Who is Maitreya?
In Tibetan: JAM-PA
The teacher is the only connection to the Buddha. Without the teacher, you can’t learn the wisdom of enlightenment. He is the only window to the information, so you should treat him well. Even if he isn’t a Buddha, you should treat him as one anyway, because of this. As a Buddha, Maitreya still has the desire to fulfill his own needs.