The soul as birth-and-death (samsâra) comes forth [as the law of causation] from the Tathâgata's womb (Tathâgatagarbha). But the immortal [i.e., such-ness]
and the mortal [i.e., birth-and-death] coincide with each other. 1 Though they are not identical, they are not a duality. [Thus when the absolute soul assumes a relative aspect by its self-affirmation] it is called the all-conserving mind (âlaya-vijñâna). 2
The same mind has a twofold significance as the organiser and the producer of all things.
Again it embraces two principles: (1) Enlightenment; (2) Non-enlightenment.
Enlightenment is the highest quality of the mind; it is free from all [the limiting] attributes of subjectivity (smrti). As it is free from all [limiting] attributes
of subjectivity, it is like unto space (âkâça), penetrating everywhere, as the unity of all (dharmadhâtu). That is to say, it is the universal Dharmakâya 1 of all Tathâgatas.
On account of this Dharmakâya, all Tathâgatas are spoken of as abiding in enlightenment a priori.
Enlightenment a priori is contrasted with enlightenment a posteriori. Through enlightenment a posteriori is gained no more than enlightenment a priori.
Now we speak of enlightenment a posteriori; because there is enlightenment a priori, there is non-enlightenment,
and because there is non-enlightenment we can speak of enlightenment a posteriori.
Again, when the mind is enlightened as to its own ultimate nature, it is called perfect enlightenment; when it is not enlightened as to its ultimate nature, it is not perfect enlightenment.
Common people 1 (prthagjana), who, becoming conscious of errors that occur in a succession of their mental states, abstain from making conclusions, may be spoken of as enlightened; but in reality theirs is non-enlightenment.
Çrâvakas, 2 Pratyekabuddhas, and those Bodhisattvas
who have just entered their course, recognising the difference between subjectivity and the transcending of subjectivity both in essence and attributes, have become emancipated from the coarse form of particularisation. This is called enlightenment in appearance.
Bodhisattvas of the Dharmakâya, 1 having recognised that subjectivity and the transcending of subjectivity have no reality of their own [i.e., are relative], have become emancipated from the intermediate form of particularisation. This is called approximate enlightenment.
Those who have transcended the stage of Bodhisattvahood and attained the ultimate goal, possess a consciousness which is consistent and harmonious;
they have recognised the origin from which consciousness [or mentation] starts. 1 This will truly be called enlightenment.
Having transcended the attributes of enlightenment and the subtlest form of particularisation, they [i.e., Buddhas] have gained a perfect and eternal insight into the very nature of the soul [i.e., suchness], because the latter now presents itself to them in its absolute and immutable form. 2 Therefore they are called Tathâgatas, and theirs is perfect enlightenment; and therefore it is said in the Sûtra 3 that those who have an insight into the non-reality of all subjectivity, attain to the wisdom of the Tathâgata.
In the preceding statement we referred to the origin from which consciousness [or mentation] starts according to the popular expression. In truth there is no such thing as the origin of consciousness [or mentation]; for consciousness [being purely subjective] has no absolute [but only a phenomenal] existence. How can we then speak of its origin?
The multitude of people (bahujana) are said to be
lacking in enlightenment, because ignorance (avidya) prevails there from all eternity, because there is a constant succession of confused subjective states (smrti) from which they have never been emancipated.
But when they transcend their subjectivity, they can then recognise that all states of mentation, viz., their appearance, presence, change, and disappearance [in the field of consciousness] have no [genuine] reality. 1 They are neither in a temporal nor in a spatial relation with the one soul, 2 for they are not self-existent.
When you understand this, you also understand that enlightenment a posteriori cannot be manufactured, for it is no other thing than enlightenment a priori [which is uncreate and must be discovered]. 3
And again enlightenment a priori, when implicated in the domain of defilement [i.e., relativity], is differentiated into two kinds of attributes:
(1) Pure wisdom (prajñâ?); (2) Incomprehensible activity (karma?). 4
By pure wisdom we understand that when one, by virtue of the perfuming 1 power of the Dharma, disciplines himself truthfully [i.e., according to the Dharma], and accomplishes meritorious deeds, the mind [i.e., âlaya-vijñâna] which implicates itself with birth-and-death will be broken down, and the modes of the evolving-consciousness 2 will be annulled; while the pure and genuine wisdom of the Dharmakâya manifests itself. 3
Though all modes of consciousness and mentation are mere products of ignorance, ignorance in its ultimate nature is identical and not-identical 4 with enlightenment a priori; and therefore ignorance in one sense is destructible, while in the other sense it is indestructible.
This may be illustrated by [the simile of] the water and the waves which are stirred up in the ocean. Here the water can be said to be identical [in one sense] and not-identical [in the other sense] 5 with the waves. The waves are stirred up by the wind, but the water remains the same. When the wind ceases, the motion of the waves subsides; but the water remains the same.
Likewise, when the mind of all creatures which in, its own nature is pure and clean, is stirred up by the wind of ignorance (avidya), the waves of mentality (vijñâna) make their appearance. These three [i.e., the mind, ignorance, and mentality], however, have no [absolute] existence, and they are neither unity nor plurality. 1
But the mind though pure in its essence is the source of the awakened [or disturbed] mentality. When ignorance is annihilated, the awakened mentality is tranquilised, whilst the essence of the wisdom remains unmolested. 2
Incomprehensible activity which we know proceeds from pure wisdom, uninterruptedly produces all excellent spiritual states. That is to say, the personality (kâya) of the Tathâgata, 3 which in exuberance contains immeasurable and ever-growing merits, reveals itself to all beings according to their various predispositions [or characters], and accomplishes for them innumerable [spiritual] benefits.
Further there is a fourfold significance in the nature
of enlightenment whose purity may be likened unto space or a bright mirror.
The first great significance which may be likened unto space and a bright mirror, is trueness as negation (çûnyatâ), in the sense that enlightenment is absolutely unobtainable by any modes of relativity or by any outward signs of enlightenment.
The second great significance which may be likened unto space and a bright mirror, is trueness as affirmation (açûnyatâ), in the sense that all things [in their ultimate nature] are perfect and complete, and not subject to destruction; in the sense that all events in the phenomenal world are reflected in enlightenment, so that they neither pass out of it, nor enter into it, and that they neither disappear nor are destroyed; that they are in one eternal and immutable soul which by none of the defiled things can be defiled and whose wisdom-essence enveloping immeasurable and innumerable merits, becomes the cause of perfuming the minds of all beings.
The third great significance which may be likened unto space and a bright mirror, is the affirmation as free from the hindrances (âvarana), in the sense that enlightenment is forever cut off from the hindrances both affectional (kleçâvarana) and intellectual (jñeyâ-varana), as well as from the mind [i.e., âlaya-vijñâna] which implicates itself with birth-and-death, since it is in its true nature clean, pure, eternal, calm, and immutable.
The fourth great significance which may be likened unto space and a bright mirror, is the affirmation as unfolding itself, in the sense that on account of a liberation from the hindrances, it transforms and unfolds itself, wherever conditions are favorable, in the form of a Tathâgata or in some other forms' in order that all beings might be induced thereby to bring their root 1 of merit (kuçalamûla) to maturity. 2
By the so-called non-enlightenment, we mean that as the true Dharma [i.e., suchness] is from all eternity not truthfully recognised in its oneness, there issues forth an unenlightened mind and then subjectivity (smrti). But this subjectivity has no self-existence independent of enlightenment a priori.
To illustrate: a man who is lost goes astray because he is bent on pursuing a certain direction; and his confusion has no valid foundation other than that he is bent on a certain direction.
It is even the same with all beings. They become
unenlightened, foster their subjectivity and go astray, because they are bent on enlightenment. But non-enlightenment has no existence of its own, aside from its relation with enlightenment a priori. And as enlightenment a priori is spoken of only in contrast to non-enlightenment, and as non-enlightenment is a non-entity, true enlightenment in turn loses its significance too. [That is to say, they are simply relative.]
In blindness 1 there arose non-enlightenment of which three aspects are to be noted. These three are not independent.
The first aspect is ignorant action (avidyakarma?). 2 A disturbance 3 of the mind [i.e., âlaya-vijñâna] caused by non-enlightenment characterises the beginning of karma. When enlightened, the mind is no more disturbed.
[paragraph continues] But by its disturbance misery (duhkha) is produced according to the law of causation.
The second aspect is that which perceives [i.e., the ego or subject]. In consequence of the disturbance of the mind there originates that which perceives an external world. When the mind is not disturbed, perception does not take place.
The third aspect is the external world. Through perception an unreal external world originates. Independent of that which perceives [i.e., the ego or subject], there is no surrounding world [or the object]. 1
Conditioned by the unreal external world, six kinds of phenomena arise in succession.
The first phenomenon is intelligence [i.e., sensation]. Being affected by the external world the mind becomes conscious of the difference between the agreeable and the disagreeable.
The second phenomenon is succession [i.e., memory]. Following upon intelligence, memory retains the sensations agreeable as well as disagreeable in a continuous succession of subjective states.
The third phenomenon is clinging. Through the retention and succession of sensations agreeable as well as disagreeable, there arises the desire of clinging.
The fourth phenomenon is an attachment to names
[paragraph continues] [or ideas, samjñâ], etc. 1 By clinging the mind hypostasises all names whereby to give definitions to all things.
The fifth phenomenon is the performance of deeds (karma). On account of attachment to names, etc., there arise all the variations of deeds, productive of individuality.
The sixth phenomenon is the suffering due to the fetter of deeds. Through deeds suffering arises in which the mind finds itself entangled and curtailed of its freedom.
Be it therefore known that all defiled things do not exist by themselves, for all of them have arisen from ignorance.
Now there is a twofold relation between enlightenment and non-enlightenment: (1) identity; (2) nonidentity.
The relation of identity may be illustrated by the
simile of all kinds of pottery which though different are all made of the same clay. Likewise the undefiled (anâçrava) 1 and ignorance (avidya) and their various transient forms come all from one and the same entity. Therefore Buddha teaches 2 that all beings are from all eternity ever abiding in Nirvâna. 3 In truth enlightenment cannot be manufactured, nor can it be created; it is absolutely intangible; it is no material existence that is an object of sensation.
The reason why enlightenment nevertheless assumes tangible material form is that it suffers defilement 4 which is the source of all transient forms of manifestation. Wisdom itself has nothing to do with material phenomena whose characteristic feature is
extension in space, and there are no attributes there by which wisdom can become tangible. This is the meaning of Buddha's brief statement just referred to.
The relation of non-identity may be illustrated by the difference that obtains among the various kinds of pottery. The relation among the undefiled and ignorance and their various transient forms of manifestation is similar to it.
And again, by the law of causation (hetupratyaya) in the domain of birth-and-death (samsâra) we mean that depending on the mind [i.e., âlaya-vijñâna] an evolution of the ego (manas) and consciousness (vijñâna) 1 takes place in all beings.
What is meant by this?
In the all-conserving mind (âlaya-vijñâna) ignorance obtains; and from the non-enlightenment starts that which sees, that which represents, that which apprehends an objective world, and that which constantly particularises. This is called the ego (manas).
Five different names are given to the ego [according to its different modes of operation].
The first name is activity-consciousness (Karma-vijñâna?) in the sense that through the agency of ignorance an unenlightened mind begins to be disturbed [or awakened].
The second name is evolving-consciousness [pravrtti-vijñâna, i.e., the subject], in the sense that when the mind is disturbed, there evolves that which sees an external world.
The third name is representation-consciousness, in the sense that the ego (manas) represents [or reflects] an external world. As a clean mirror reflects the images of all description, it is even so with the representation-consciousness. When it is confronted, for instance, with the five objects of sense, it represents them at once, instantaneously, and without any effort.
The fourth name is particularisation-consciousness, in the sense that it discriminates between different things defiled as well as pure.
The fifth name is succession-consciousness [i.e., memory], in the sense that continuously directed by the awakening consciousness [or attention, manaskara] it [manas] retains and never loses or suffers the destruction of any karma, good as well as evil, which had been sown in the past, and whose retribution, painful as well as agreeable, it never fails to mature, be it in the present or in the future; and also in the
sense that it unconsciously recollects things gone by, and in imagination anticipates things to come.
Therefore the three domains 1 (triloka) are nothing but the self-manifestation of the mind [i.e., âlaya-vijñâna which is practically identical with suchness, bhûtatathatâ]. 2 Separated from the mind, there would be no such things as the six objects of sense.
Since all things, owing the principle of their existence to the mind (âlaya-vijñâna), are produced by subjectivity (smrti), all the modes of particularisation are the self-particularisation of the mind. The mind in itself [or the soul] being, however, free from all attributes, is not differentiated. Therefore we come to the conclusion that all things and conditions in the phenomenal world, hypostasised and established only through ignorance (avidya) and subjectivity (smrti) on the part of all beings, have no more reality than the images in a mirror 3 They evolve simply from
the ideality of a particularising mind. When the mind is disturbed, the multiplicity of things is produced; but when the mind is quieted, the multiplicity of things disappears.
By ego-consciousness (manovijñâna) we mean that all ignorant minds through their succession-consciousness cling to the conception of I and not-I [i.e., a separate objective world] and misapprehend the nature of the six objects of sense. The ego-consciousness is also called separation-consciousness, or phenomena-particularising-consciousness, because it is nourished by the perfuming 1 influence of the prejudices (âçrava), intellectual as well as affectional.
The mind [or consciousness, vijñâna] that starts from the perfuming influence of ignorance which has no beginning cannot be comprehended by the intellect of common people (prthagjana), Çrâvakas and Pratyekabuddhas.
It is partially comprehended by those Bodhisattvas at the stage of knowledge-and-practice, who discipline themselves., practise contemplation and become the Bodhisattvas of the Dharmakâya; while even those who have reached the highest stage of Bodhisattvahood cannot thoroughly comprehend it.
The only one who can have a clear and consummate knowledge of it is the Tathâgata. 2
While the essence of the mind is eternally clean and pure, the influence of ignorance makes possible the existence of a defiled mind. But in spite of the defiled mind, the mind [itself] is eternal, clear, pure, and not subject to transformation.
Further as its original nature is free from particularisation, it knows in itself no change whatever, though it produces everywhere the various modes of existence.
When the oneness of the totality of things (dharmadhâtu) is not recognised, then ignorance as well as particularisation arises, and all phases of the defiled mind are thus developed. But the significance of this doctrine is so extremely deep and unfathomable that
it can be fully comprehended by Buddhas and by no others. Now there are six different phases of the defiled 1 mind thus developed:
1. Interrelated [or secondary] defilement by attachment, from which Çrâvakas, Pratyekabuddhas and those Bodhisattvas at the stage of faith-adaptation can be freed.
2. Interrelated [or secondary] defilement by succession, from which Bodhisattvas with strenuous efforts at the stage of faith, can partially be freed, and at the stage of pure-heartedness, completely.
3. Interrelated [or secondary] defilement by the particularising intelligence, from which Bodhisattvas are gradually freed during their advancement from the stage of morality to the stage of wisdom, while upon reaching the stage of spirituality, they are eternally freed from it.
4. Non-interrelated [or primary] defilement by belief
in an external world, which can be exterminated at the stage of matter-emancipation.
5. Non-interrelated [or primary] defilement by belief in a perceiving mind, which can be exterminated at the stage of mind-emancipation.
6. Non-interrelated [or primary] defilement by the fundamental activity, which can be exterminated in entering upon the stage of Tathâgatahood, passing through the highest stage of Bodhisattvahood.
From not recognising the oneness of the totality of things (dharmadhâtu), Bodhisattvas can partially be liberated by passing first from the stage of faith and the stage of contemplation to the stage of pure-heartedness; while when they enter upon the stage of Tathâgatahood, they can once for all put an end [to the illusion].
By "interrelated" we mean that there is [in this case] a distinction [or consciousness of a duality] between the mind in itself and particularisation, that there is [here] a distinction [or consciousness of a duality] between the defiled and the pure, [and therefore] that there is [here] an interrelation between that which perceives and that which determines.
By "non-interrelated" we mean that the mind [in this case] is perfectly identified with non-enlightenment, so that there is no distinction [or consciousness of a duality] between these two, [and therefore] that there is no consciousness of interrelation between that which perceives and that which determines.
The defiled mind is called affectional hindrance (kleçâvarana), because it obscures the fundamental wisdom of suchness (bhûtatathatâ). Ignorance is called intellectual hindrance (jñeyâvarana), because it obscures the spontaneous exercise of wisdom from which evolve all modes of activity in the world.
What is meant by this?
On account of the defiled mind attachment affirms itself in innumerable ways; and there arises a distinction [or consciousness] between that which apprehends and that which is apprehended. Thus believing in the external world produced by subjectivity, the mind becomes oblivious of the principle of sameness (samatâ) that underlies all things.
The essence of all things is one and the same, perfectly calm and tranquil, and shows no sign of becoming; ignorance, however, is in its blindness and delusion oblivious of enlightenment, and, on that account, cannot recognise truthfully all those conditions, differences, and activities which characterise the phenomena of the universe.
Further we distinguish two phases of the self-manifestation of the mind [i.e., âlaya-vijñâna, under the law of causation] as birth-and-death (samsâra). The first is the cruder phase, being the state of an interrelated mind; the second is the more refined phase, being the state of a non-interrelated mind. The crudest phase is the subjective condition of common people (prthagjana); the more refined of the crude or
the cruder of the refined is the subjective state of a Bodhisattva. 1 These two phases [of the âlaya-vijñâna as the principle of birth-and-death] originate through the perfuming power of ignorance.
The birth-and-death (samsâra) has its raison d’être (hetu) and its cause [or condition, pratyaya]. Non-enlightenment is the raison d’être, and the external world as produced by subjectivity is the condition. When the raison d’être is annihilated, the condition is annihilated [i.e., loses its conditioning power]. When the condition is annihilated, the state of an interrelated mind is annihilated. When the raison d’être is annihilated, the state of a non-interrelated mind [too] is annihilated.
It may be asked: If the mind be annihilated, how can there be mentation? If mentation really occurs, how can there be annihilation?
In reply we say that while the objection is well founded, we understand by the annihilation, not that of the mind itself, but of its modes [only].
To illustrate: the water shows the symptoms of disturbance when stirred up by the wind. Have the wind annihilated, and the symptoms of disturbance on the water will also be annihilated, the water itself remaining the same. Let the water itself, however, be annihilated, the symptoms of disturbance would no more be perceptible; because there is nothing
there through which it can show itself. Only so long as the water is not annihilated, the symptoms of disturbance may continue.
It is even the same with all beings. Through ignorance their minds become disturbed. Let ignorance be annihilated, and the symptom of disturbance will also be annihilated, while the essence of the mind [i.e., suchness] remains the same. Only if the mind itself were annihilated, then all beings would cease to exist, because there would be nothing there by which they could manifest themselves. But so long as the mind be not annihilated, its disturbance may continue.
A constant production of things defiled and pure is taking place on account of the inter-perfuming of the four different powers which are as follows: the first is the pure dharma, that is, suchness (bhûatathatâ); the second is the principle of defilement, that is, ignorance (avidya); the third is the subjective mind, that is, activity-consciousness (karmavijñâna?); the fourth is the external world (vishaya) of subjectivity, that is, the six objects of sense.
By "perfuming" we mean that while our worldly clothes [viz., those which we wear] have no odor of their own, neither offensive nor agreeable, they acquire one or the other according to the nature of the substance with which they are perfumed.
Now suchness is a pure dharma free from defilement. It acquires, however, a quality of defilement owing to the perfuming power of ignorance. On the
other hand, ignorance has nothing to do with purity. Nevertheless, we speak of its being able to do the work of purity, because it in its turn is perfumed by suchness.
How are defiled things continually produced by perfuming?
Determined by suchness [in its relative aspect], ignorance becomes the raison d’être of all forms of defilement. And this ignorance perfumes suchness, and, by perfuming suchness, it produces subjectivity (smrti). This subjectivity in its turn perfumes ignorance. On account of this [reciprocal] perfuming, the truth is misunderstood. On account of its being misunderstood, an external world of subjectivity appears [viz., a conception of particulars as particulars]. Further, on account of the perfuming power of subjectivity, various modes of individuation are produced. And by clinging to them, various deeds are done, and we suffer as the result miseries, mentally as well as bodily.
There are two senses in what we call the perfuming power of the external world of subjectivity": (1) that which strengthens particularisation; 1 (2) that which strengthens attachment.
There are again two senses in what we call-the perfuming power of the subjective mind": (1) that
which strengthens the fundamental activity-consciousness, whereby Arhats, Pratyekabuddhas and Bodhisattvas are subject to the miseries of birth and death; (2) that which strengthens the phenomena-particularising-consciousness, whereby all common people (prthagjana) are subject to the miseries of being fettered by prior deeds (karma).
There are also two senses in what we call "the perfuming power of ignorance": (1) a fundamental perfuming, in the sense that the activity-consciousness is thereby actualised; (2) a perfuming of intellect and affection, in the sense that the phenomena-particularising-consciousness is thereby actualised.
How are pure things constantly produced by perfuming?
Suchness perfumes ignorance, and in consequence of this perfuming the mind involved in subjectivity is caused to loathe the misery of birth and death 1 and to seek after the blessing of Nirvâna. This longing and loathing on the part of the subjective mind in turn perfumes suchness. On account of this perfuming influence we are enabled to believe that we are in possession within ourselves of suchness whose essential nature is pure and immaculate; and we also recognise that all phenomena in the world are nothing but the illusory manifestation of the mind (âlaya-vijñâna) and have no reality of their own. Since we
thus rightly understand the truth, we can practise the means of liberation, can perform those actions which are in accordance [with the Dharma]. Neither do we particularise, nor cling to. By virtue of this discipline and habituation during the lapse of innumerable asamkhyeyakalpas, 1 we have ignorance annihilated.
As ignorance is thus annihilated, the mind [i.e., âlaya-vijñâna] is no more disturbed so as to be subject to individuation. As the mind is no more disturbed, the particularisation of the surrounding world is annihilated. When in this wise the principle and the condition of defilement, their products, and the mental disturbances are all annihilated, it is said that we attain to Nirvâna and that various spontaneous displays of activity are accomplished. 2
There are two senses in what we call "the perfuming of the subjective mind": (1) the perfuming of the phenomena-particularising-consciousness, whereby all common people (prthagjana), Çrâvakas, and Pratyekabuddhas are induced to loathe the misery of birth and death, and, each according to his own capacity, to step towards the most excellent knowledge (bodhiparinishpatti); (2) the perfuming of the ego (manas), whereby courageously making up their minds, Bodhisattvas unhesitatingly step towards and enter into Nirvâna, that has no fixed abode.
There are also two senses in what we call "the perfuming of suchness": (1) essence-perfuming, and (2) activity-perfuming.
The Essence-Perfuming.--Embracing in full from all eternity infinite spotless virtues (anâçrava) and incomprehensibly excellent spiritual states that can efficiently exercise an eternal and incessant influence upon all beings, suchness thereby perfumes the minds of all beings. 1
In consequence of this perfuming power, they are caused to loathe the misery of birth and death, and to long for the blessing of Nirvâna, and believing that they are in possession within themselves of the true,
valid Dharma, to call forth their aspiration (cittotpâda) 1 and to discipline themselves.
Here a question arises: If all beings are uniformly in possession of suchness and are therefore equally perfumed by it, how is it that there are some who do not believe in it, while others do; and that there are such immeasurable stages and inequalities among them, which divide the path from the first stage of aspiration up to the last stage of Nirvâna, while according to the Doctrine all these differences should be equalised?
In reply we say this: Though all beings are uniformly in possession of suchness, the intensity [of the influence] of ignorance, the principle of individuation, that works from all eternity, varies in such manifold grades as to outnumber the sands of the Ganges. And it is even so with such entangling prejudices (kleça or âçrava) as the ego-conception, intellectual and affectional prejudices, etc. [whose perfuming efficiency varies according to the karma previously accumulated by each individual],--all these things being comprehended only by the Tathâgata. Hence such immeasurable degrees of difference as regards belief, etc. 2
Further, there is made in the doctrine of all Buddhas a distinction between raison d’être (hetu) and cause (pratyaya). When both are fully satisfied, the final goal [of Buddhism] is attained and actualised.
To illustrate: the combustible nature of the wood is the raison d’être of a fire. But if a man is not acquainted with the fact, or, though acquainted with it, does not apply any method [whereby the potential principle can be actualised], how could he produce a fire and burn the wood?
It is even so with all beings. Although they are in possession of suchness as the perfuming raison d’être, yet how could they attain to Nirvâna, if they do not happen, as the cause, to see Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, or good sages, or even if they see them, do not practise good deeds (caryâ), do not exercise wisdom (prajñâ), do not destroy prejudices (kleça)?
Conversely, by the cause alone, i.e., by their mere happening to see all good sages, it is not sure for them that they will be induced to loathe the misery
of birth and death and to long for the blessing of Nirvâna, unless indeed they were in possession within themselves of the intrinsic perfuming principle as the raison d’être. It is, therefore, only when both the raison d’être and the cause are fully actualised that they can do so.
How are the raison d’être and the cause to be fully actualised?
Now, there is an inherent perfuming principle in one's own being, which, embraced and protected by the love (maitrî) and compassion (karunâ) of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, is caused to loathe the misery of birth and death, to believe in Nirvâna, to cultivate their root of merit (kuçalamûla), to habituate oneself to it, and to bring it to maturity.
In consequence of this, one is enabled to see all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and, receiving instructions from them, is benefited, gladdened, induced to practise good deeds, etc., till one attain to Buddhahood and enter into Nirvâna.
The Activity-Perfuming.--By this is meant nothing else than the perfuming influence of the external cause over all beings. It asserts itself in innumerable ways. Briefly speaking we may distinguish two kinds of it: (1) individual; and (2) universal.
The Individual Cause.--All beings since their first aspiration (cittotpâda) till the attainment of Buddhahood are sheltered under the guardianship of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who, responding to the requirements
of the occasion, transform themselves and assume the actual forms of personality.
Thus for the sake of all beings Buddhas and Bodhisattvas become sometimes their parents, sometimes their wives and children, sometimes their kinsmen, sometimes their servants, sometimes their friends, sometimes their enemies, sometimes reveal themselves as devas or in some other forms.
Again Buddhas and Bodhisattvas treat all beings sometimes with the four methods of entertainment, 1 sometimes with the six pâramitâs, 2 or with some other deeds, all of which are the inducement for them to make their knowledge (bodhi) perfect.
Thus embracing all beings with their deep compassion (mahâkarunâ), with their meek and tender heart, as well as their immense treasure of blissful wisdom, Buddhas convert them in such a way as to suit their [all beings’] needs and conditions; while all beings thereby are enabled to hear or to see Buddhas, and, thinking of Tathâgatas or some other personages, to increase their root of merit (kuçalamûla.).
This individual cause is divided into two kinds: (1) that which takes effect immediately, enabling one without delay to attain to Buddhahood; (2) that which takes effect gradually, enabling one to attain to Buddhahood only after a long interval.
Each of these two is further divided into two kinds: (1) that which increases one's root of merit; (2) that which induces one to enter into the path (mârga).
The Universal Cause.--With universal wisdom (samatâjñâna?) and universal wishes (samatâpranidhâna?) all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas desire to achieve a universal emancipation of all beings. This desire is eternal and spontaneous on their part. And now as this wisdom and these wishes have the perfuming power over all beings, the latter are caused to think of or to recollect all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, so that sometimes hearing them, sometimes seeing them, all beings thereby acquire [spiritual] benefits (hitatâ). That is, entering into the samâdhi of purity, they destroy hindrances wherever they are met with, and obtain all-penetrating insight, 1 that enables one to become conscious of the absolute oneness (samatâ) of the universe (sarvaloka) and to see innumerable Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. 2
Again, this perfuming of the essence and the activity may be divided into two categories: (1) that which is not yet in unison [with suchness]; (2) that which is already in unison [with suchness].
By that perfuming which is not yet in unison [with suchness] we understand the religious discipline of
common people (prthagjana), Çrâvakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and novice Bodhisattvas. While their strength of faith (çraddhâbala) perfumed by the ego (manas) and the ego-consciousness (manovijñâna) enables them to continue their religious discipline, they have not yet attained to the state of non-particularisation, because their discipline is not yet in unison with the essence of suchness; nor have they yet attained to the spontaneity of action (svayamkarma?) 1, because their discipline is not yet in unison with the activity of suchness.
By that perfuming which is already in unison [with suchness], we understand the religious discipline of Bodhisattvas of the Dharmakâya. They have attended to the state of non-particularisation, because their discipline is in unison with the self-essence of all Tathâgatas; they have attained to the spontaneity of action, because their discipline is in unison with the wisdom and activity of all Tathâgatas. Allowing themselves
to be influenced only by the power of the Dharma, their discipline acquires a nature of spontaneity and thereby perfumes suchness and destroys ignorance.
Again the incessant perfuming of the defiled dharma [i.e., ignorance] from all eternity works on; but when one attains to Buddhahood, one at once puts an end to it.
The perfuming of the pure dharma [i.e., suchness] works on to eternity, and there is no interruption of it. Because by virtue of the perfuming of the Dharma, that is, suchness, subjectivity is on the one hand annihilated, and the Dharmakâya is on the other hand revealed, and the perfuming process of the activity [of suchness] thus originated forever goes on.
61:1 Cf. the Bhagavadgîtâ, Chap. IX., p. 84: "I am immortality and also death; and I, O Arjuna! am that which is and that which is not," See also Chap. X., p. 90.
61:2 Âlaya or Alaya comes from the root lî, which means: adhere; melt, dissolve; sit upon, dwell in, stay in, etc.; while its nominal form laya means: act of clinging; melting, fusion, solution, dissolution; rest, repose; place of rest, residence, house, dwelling. According to Paramârtha, who belongs to the so-called "Older Translators," the original Sanskrit equivalent of the "all-conserving mind" seems to be alaya or aliya, for he translates it by Wu mo shih, not-disappearing mind, in the sense that this mind retains everything in it. But Hsüan-tsang, the leader of the "New Translators," renders it by tsang shih, that is, the mind that hoards or preserves, or dwelling-mind or receptacle-mind, according to which the original seems to be âlaya, or laya with the prefix â instead of its negative form with the particle a. The ultimate significance of the term in question, however, does not materially differ, whether it is wu mo, not-disappearing, or tsang, house, place of keeping things. My translation of the same is rather liberal, in order to make it more intelligible to the general reader. Some other names given to the âlaya-vijñâna are citta, mind; âdâna, the supporting; âçraya, foundation or seeds.
62:1 There seems to be a general misconception about the exact significance of the term Dharmakâya which constitutes the central point of the Mahâyâna system. Most Western Buddhist scholars render it the Body or Personality of the Law, understanding by law the doctrine of Buddha. This may be correct in the Southern Buddhism as well as in its historical sense, because after the Nirvâna of Buddha it was quite natural for his disciples to personify the doctrine of their teacher, as their now only living spiritual leader. But in the course of time it acquired entirely different significance and ceased to mean the personification of the Doctrine. Now dharma, as aforesaid, does not only mean law or doctrine, but also it means an individual object, an idea, a substance, or, when it is used in its broadest sense, existence in general. Kâya means a body or person, but not in the sense of an animated, sentient being; it denotes a system in which parts are connected, a unified whole, that which forms a basis, etc. Dharmakâya therefore signifies that which constitutes the ultimate foundation of existence, one great whole in which all forms of individuation are obliterated, in a word, the Absolute. This objective absolute being meanwhile has been idealised by Mahâyânists so that that which knows is now identical with that which is known, because they say that the essence of existence is nothing but intelligence pure, perfect, and free from all possible worries and evils.
63:1 Prthagjana has a technical sense in Buddhism, for any one that is ignorant of the doctrine of non-Atman and commits all those actions which lead one to a constant transmigration, is counted among the profanum vulgus, to distinguish him from the Çrâvaka, Pratyekabuddha, and Bodhisattva.
63:2 The Saddharmapundarîka-Sûtra contains an explanation of these terms generally adopted by Mahâyânists, which read as follows (see Kern's English translation of the same, Chap. III., p. 80): "Now, Çâriputra, the beings who have become wise have faith in the Tathâgata, the father of the world, and consequently apply themselves to his commandments. Amongst them there are some who, wishing to follow the dictates of an authoritative voice, apply themselves to the commandment of the Tathâgata to acquire the knowledge of the four great truths, for the sake of their own complete Nirvâna. These one may say to be those who, coveting the vehicle of the disciple (Çrâvaka), fly from the triple world." . . . This is the definition given to the Çrâvakayâna. We proceed next to that of the Pratyekabuddhayâna: "Other beings, desirous of the science without a master, of self-restraint and tranquillity, apply themselves to the commandment of the Tathâgata to learn to understand causes and effects (i.e., the twelve chains of relation) for the sake of their own complete Nirvâna. These one may say to be those who, coveting the vehicle of the Pratyekabuddha, p. 64 fly from the triple world." Those who belong to these two classes desire to achieve only the salvation of their own, and not that of all mankind, in which respect Bodhisattvas stand far superior to them. We read in the same Sûtra to the following effect: "Others again, desirous of the knowledge of the all-knowing, the knowledge of Buddha, the knowledge of the self-born one, the science without a master, apply themselves to the commandment of the Tathâgata to learn to understand the knowledge, powers, and freedom from hesitation, of the Tathâgata, for the sake of the common weal and happiness, out of compassion to the world, for the benefit, weal, and happiness of the world at large, both gods and men, for the sake of the complete Nirvâna of all beings. These one may say to be those who, coveting the great vehicle (mahâyâna), fly from the triple world. Therefore they are called Bodhisattva Mahâsattva." (The italics are mine.)
64:1 Those who have recognised the all-prevailing Dharmakâya, but who have not as yet been able to perfectly identify themselves with it.
65:1 Consciousness, i.e., mentation or mental activity, is transient, it takes place in time, and must not be confused with soul, or suchness, or eternal wisdom.
65:2 In the older translation these passages are somewhat simplified.
65:3 The Lankâvatâra Sûtra. There are three Chinese translations of the same still extant among the Japanese Tripitaka collection: (1) by Guṇabhadra, A. D. 443, four fasciculi; (2) by Bodhiruci, A. D. 513, ten fasciculi; (3) by Çikshânanda, A. D. 700-704, seven fasciculi.
66:1 The older translation differs a little, but agrees in the main.
66:2 The older translation reads: "The four states of mentation are simultaneous [they belong together in time, i.e., they are in uninterrupted succession], but have no self-existence, because enlightenment a priori always remains in its sameness."
66:3 This passage is wanting in the older translation.
66:4 The differentiation of enlightenment into two distinct qualities, wisdom and action, or, according to the terminology of later Mahâyânists, wisdom and love, constitutes one of the principal thoughts of the Mahâyâna Buddhism and shows a striking similarity to the Christian conception of God who is considered to be full of infinite love and wisdom.
67:1 This term will be explained later on. See p. 84.
67:2 For the explanation see below, p. 76.
67:3 Note that the Dharmakâya is not the "Body of the Law," but suchness (bhûtatathatâ) itself, which transcends the limits of time and space as well as the law of causation.
67:4 Literally, "neither identical nor not-identical."
67:5 Literally, "neither identical nor not-identical."
68:1 That is, they are one in one sense, but different in the other sense.
68:2 In the older translation the last two paragraphs read:
"Likewise the mind of all beings though clean and pure in its own nature is disturbed [or awakened] through the wind of ignorance. Neither the mind nor ignorance has any form and attribute (of its own]. They condition each other. But the mind itself not being the principle of disturbance its movability will cease when ignorance is gone, though its essence, wisdom, remains unmolested."
68:3 Or the Tathâgatagarbha.
70:1 Max Müller renders the term by "stock of merit," but I think "stock" is not very fitly adopted to denote the sense usually attached to it by Buddhists. According to them, karma, be it meritorious or not-meritorious, has an efficient power to bear the fruit; therefore every act done by us like the root of a plant has a regenerative force potentially reserved within itself, and does not, like a stock of things which are not necessarily alive, remain dormant lacking productive powers in it.
70:2 According to the older translation, the first significance is called the "mirror of transcendental (or empty) trueness"; the second, the "mirror of the perfuming principle"; the third, the "mirror of the dharma of liberation"; and the fourth, the "mirror of the perfuming cause."
71:1 Rather "carelessness." This is missing in the older translation.
71:2 The term "ignorant action" reminds us of Schopenhauer's "blind will" and we might translate the Chinese terms pu chiao ignorant or unconscious, by "blind." On the other hand, the expression reminds one of Goethe's words in Faust: Im Anfang war die That," i.e., in the beginning there was karma; and this karma starting in an unenlightened condition was blind or ignorant, it was as yet unconscious of its goal which is the attainment of the eternal truth, the discovery of enlightenment a priori. Cf. also the Chândogya Upanisad, VI, 2.
71:3 By "disturbance" is meant that the mind or soul, awaking from a state of perfect sameness and tranquillity, discriminates the subject and the object, me and not-me. The "disturbance" itself, however, is neither good nor bad; the fault lies in clinging to this dual aspect of existence as absolute, utterly ignoring their fundamental identity. Efface the clinging from your mind, and you are purified and saved.
72:1 This is the idealistic phase of the Mahâyâna Buddhism. Berkeley says: "Take away the perceiving mind and you take away the objective world."
73:1 Here is again a strange agreement with Western philosophy. The nominalists speak of names as mere flatus vocis and the things-in-themselves (i.e., what is conceived by names) are declared to be unknowable by Kant. Dr. Paul Carus goes one step further by declaring that there are no things-in-themselves, but forms-in-themselves, viz., the eternal types of beings or Plato's ideas. The clinging to names is based on the metaphysical error of interpreting names as entities or things-in-themselves, which exhibits the nominalistic phase of Buddhism. On the other hand, the strong emphasis laid on the reality of suchness, or what Dr. Carus calls the purely formal, shows the realistic phase of Buddhism. The word "hypostasises" used in the next passage means literally in the younger translation "firmly builds a basis for," in the older one we read literally "one sets separately forth what is unreal, i.e., names and words."
74:1 A dharma not subject to the transformation of birth and death is called wu lou in Chinese and anâçrava in Sanskrit. It is commonly used in contrast to yu lou and sâçrava, which means "defiled" or "conditional."
74:2 This teaching is set forth in the fourth chapter of the Vimalakîrtinirdeça Sûtra, one of the most popular Mahâyâna texts in China as well as in Japan. There are several Chinese translations still extant, the earliest of which was produced during the first half of the third century of the Christian era.
74:3 Observe that Nirvâna is here used as a synonym of suchness (bhûtatathatâ).
74:4 That is to say, being mixed up in the material world. "Defilement" does not necessarily mean evil or immorality. Anything that does not come directly from the fountain-head of suchness, but is in some way or other "perfumed" by ignorance, the principle of individuation, is called defiled or impure. From the ethical point of view it may be good or bad, according to our subjective attitude towards it. All that should be avoided is a clinging to the phenomenal existence.
75:1 Manovijñâna in the older translation. Now vijñâna (or manovijñâna), manas and citta are to a certain extent synonymous and interchangeable, as all designating that which feels, thinks and wills, or what is commonly called mind. According to a general interpretation of Mahâyânists, the following distinction is made among them: citta, mind, is more fundamental, somehow corresponding to the conception of the soul, for it has the inherent capacity for ideation as well as for the power of storing up within itself the results of experience; the most characteristic feature of the manas, the ego, is to constantly reflect on itself and to unconsciously assert the existence of the ego; the vijñâna, consciousness, is principally the faculty of feeling, perceiving, discriminating, judging, etc., in short, general mental activity or consciousness.
77:1 They are: (1) Domain of feeling (kâmaloka); (2) Domain of bodily existence (rûpaloka); (3) Domain of incorporeality (arûpaloka).
77:2 The mind or âlaya-vijñâna is suchness (or, as Dr. Carus would say, "purely formal thought,") in its operation, where it may be called the rational principle in nature or the Gesetzmässigkeit of the cosmos. It manifests itself not only in human reason, but appears also as the principle of individuation, determining all particular forms of existence, as will be explained in the following lines.
77:3 Compare Schopenhauer's conception of the world as Vorstellung.
78:1 The term will be explained later.
78:2 The same idea is expressed in the Crîmâlâ Sûtra as well as in the Lankâvatara Sûtra where Buddha preaches the unfathomableness p. 79 of the nature of suchness which, though pure in its essence, is yet subject to defilement or conditionality,--the mystery that can be comprehended only by a fully enlightened mind. Referring to this incomprehensibility of the relation of suchness and ignorance, let me quote what Herbert Spencer says in his First Principles (American ed., p. 45): "For every religion, setting out though it does with tacit assertion of a mystery, forthwith proceeds to give some solution of this mystery; and so asserts that it is not a mystery passing human comprehension. But an examination of the solutions they severally propose, shows them to be uniformly invalid. The analysis of every possible hypothesis proves, not simply that no hypothesis is sufficient, but that no hypothesis is even thinkable. And thus the mystery which all religions recognise, turns out to be a far more transcendent mystery than any of them suppose--not a relative, but an absolute mystery." Is not the relation of suchness and ignorance the very mystery to which Spencer makes the allusion here? Açvaghosha's solution is that only Buddha can grasp it.
80:1 The defilement which is the product of the evolution of the âlaya-vijñâna, is of two kinds, primary and secondary. The primary defilement is a priori, originating with the birth of the mind. There is as yet no distinct consciousness in it of the duality of the subject and the object, though this is of course tacitly asserted. Açvaghosha calls the primary defilement "non-interrelated," meaning that there is no deliberate reflexion in the ego to assert itself. The secondary defilement called "interrelated" on the other hand explicitly assumes the ego in contradistinction to the non-ego and firmly clings to this conception, which brings forth all selfish desires and actions on the part of the defiled mind. The former being more fundamental than the latter is completely effaced from the mind only after going through all different stages of religious discipline.
83:1 The older translation adds: The most refined of the refined is the spiritual state of a Buddha.
85:1 The older translation has "subjectivity" instead of "particularisation." These two terms are synonymous and frequently interchanged in the later translation as well as in the older one.
86:1 Birth and death do not necessarily refer to our life only, but in their widest sense to the phenomenal world.
87:1 Literally, countless ages, but it has a technical meaning. Childer's Pali Dictionary, sub voce: "The term kalpa is given to certain vast periods or cycles of time, of which there are three, Mahâkalpa, Asamkhyeyakalpa and Antarakalpa. All the Cakravâtas are subject to an alternate process of destruction and renovation, and a Mahâkalpa is a period which elapses from the commencement of a cakravâta to its complete destruction. Each Mahâkalpa is subdivided into four Asamkhyeyakalpâs. . . . Each Asamkhyeyakalpa contains twenty Antarakalpas, an Antarakalpa being the interval that elapses while the age of man increases from ten years to an asamkhyeya, and then decreases again to ten years; this period is of immense duration." See also the third Koçathâna (chapter) of the Abhidharmakoça by Vasubandhu.
87:2 Notice that Nirvâna is not inactivity or nothingness as commonly supposed. It is, according to Açvaghosha, the annihilation p. 88 of the ego-conception, freedom from subjectivity, insight into the essence of suchness, or the recognition of the oneness of existence.
88:1 The older translation: "(1) Embracing from all eternity things spotless and possessing in full some inconceivable activity and (2) being capable to objectify itself, suchness through these two attributes constantly and eternally exercises its perfuming power."
89:1 This has a technical sense and is explained below.
89:2 The view here set forth is illustrated in the fifth chapter of the Saddharma-pundarîka Sûtra by the relation of the rain and plants. "Then, Kâçyapa, the grasses, shrubs, herbs, and wild trees in this universe, such as have young and tender stalks, twigs, leaves, and foliage, and such as have middle-sized stalks, twigs, leaves, and foliage, and such as have the same fully developed, all those grasses, shrubs, herbs, and wild trees, smaller and greater p. 90 (other) trees will each, according to its faculty and power, suck the humid element from the water emitted by that great cloud, and by that water which, all of one essence, has been abundantly poured down by the cloud, they will each, according to its germ [i.e., karma], acquire a regular development, growth, shooting up, and bigness; and they will produce blossoms and fruits, and will receive, each severally, their names. Rooted in one and the same soil, all those [different] families of plants and germs are drenched and vivified by water of one essence throughout." (Kern's English Translation, p. 119. The italics and words in brackets are by the present translator.)
92:1 Catvâri-sangrahavastûni in Sanskrit. They are (1) dâna, charity; (2) priyavacana, endearing speech; (3) arthacaryâ, beneficial action; (4) samânârthâ, co-operation.
92:2 This is explained below.
93:1 Literally, an unimpeded eye.
93:2 The older translation differs a little, but without any considerable change in the meaning.
94:1 The spontaneity of action means action without attachment or free from the ego-conception. It is somewhat similar to Lao-Tze's idea of wu wei, non-assertion. Cf. also the following passages from the Bhagavadgîtâ, Chap. IV., p. 59: "Actions defile me not. I have no attachment to the fruit of actions." p. 60: "He is wise among men, he is possessed of devotion, who sees inaction in action and action in inaction." . . . "Forsaking all attachment to the fruit of action, always contented, dependent on none, he does nothing at all, though he engages in action." p. 64: "He . . . who identifies his self with every being, is not tainted though he performs (action)." "Action in inaction and inaction in action" exactly coincides with the practical side of Açvaghosha's doctrine of suchness (bhûtatathatâ).