MAHAYANAVIMSAKA OF NAGARJUNA
MAHAYANAVIMSAKA OF NAGARJUNA:
ADORATION TO THE THREE TREASURES
1. I make my obeisance to the Buddha who is wise, free from all attachment, and whose powers are beyond conception, and who has kindly taught the truth which cannot be expressed by words.
A painting of the sky, even if the painter is Leonardo da Vinci, is never THE sky. It is “about” the sky, a version.
And all versions are bound, limited, “dead”.
And yet it is only the conceptual, phenomenal context that communication (with words or otherwise) is possible, ergo, the communication itself is conceptual, no matter who the communicator is.
2 In the transcendental truth there is no origination (utpada), and in fact, there is no destruction (nirodha).
Nothing has ever happened, existentially speaking.
In a dream, there is origination, there is destruction,
there is movement, there is change, there is becoming and there is unbecoming. T
here is chaos and out of chaos, stars are born, black holes formed.
There are World Wars, there are holocausts,
there is shame of the vanquished,
there is pride of the victor,
there are Mother Theresa’s and the pride of charity.
All nuances of the dream.
Wake up in the morning sipping a cup of tea, the issues of the dream,
the great ethos and pathos, are they of any import?
Did they really occur?
The Buddha is like the sky (which has neither origination nor cessation), and the beings are like him, and therefore they are of the same nature.
That from which the dream manifested can neither originate or cease.
From a conceptual, phenomenal context any reference to that,
any attempt to depict that, can only be a painting of the sky,
And yet the “wave” as an symbol of the illusory phenomenal world,
when you pick up a wave in your hand, all you get is water.
The illusory mirage is nothing but the sun’s rays.
This illusory phenomenal world is not different or apart to that
which manifests it.
It is an objective expression of what can be called as pure subjectivity.
Potentiality actualizing its potentiality.
They are not two and are thus of the same nature, same essence.
3. There is no birth either on this or the other side (of the world).
When nothing has ever happened,
A compound thing (samskrta) originates from its conditions.
The dance is a dance, because a dancer is dancing.
The dancer is a dancer because a dance has come to be.
Where is the separation between the two?
Potentiality actualizing its innate potentiality,
not as something separate to it,
but itself appears to itself, without any change to itself.
Therefore it is sunya by its nature.
The term “sunya” has been much misunderstood to mean “dead nothingness”.
Since nothing has ever happened,
a conceptual terminology used is sunyatta,
but a sunyatta of total potentiality.
This fact comes into the range of knowledge of an omniscient one.
In a conceptual entity, the apperception of the true identity may “occur”.
Not as an act of will, but through pure non-volitionality
in relation to the conceptual entity.
4. All things by nature are regarded as reflections.
As appearances in Consciousness.
They are pure and naturally quiescent, devoid of any duality, equal, and remain always and in all circumstances in the same way (tathata).
Tathata means “Isness”.
There is an “isness” in all things, to all objects within a dream.
An object in a dream cannot follow any other allotted role except its “is-ness”.
Likewise the conceptual entity which has assumed on itself the mantle of being a subject to all the object he/she observes,
is itself an object which can do nothing but follow its “is-ness”.
A conceptual entity, a biological computer , has no
volition but to follow the program of its is-ness.
So if shame is arising at this moment, if great profound thoughts of non-duality are arising at this moment,
or you are busy cutting the throat of an innocent bystander, t
he conceptual entity is just following its “is-ness”.
The consequences of the enactment of the “is-ness”,
faced by that conceptual entity is also entirely as per the “is-ness” of what it is to be.
5. In fact, worldings attribute atman to what is not atman,
Atman or soul, is just the ego’s attempts to perpetuate itself.
Seeing the temporal nature of the current identity, the body-mind complex,
it latches on to a more permanent eternal option, Atman.
and in the same way they imagine happiness, misery, indifference, passions and liberation.
The need to be, by the conceptual entity, thereby establishing that it is something apart from a mere cognized object, is just the “me-entity” or “personal doership” in operation.
With this “entitification”, the Pandora Box of happiness (which immediately gives birth to what misery is supposed to be), indifference (which immediately gives birth to what passion is supposed to be),
liberation (which immediately gives birth to what bondage is supposed to be), t
he Pandora Box is open.
And thus the “me-entity” suffers or is happy, for it sees that sometimes the actions which it believes it is taking,
gets it what it hoped to get in the first place (and hence it is happy)
and sometimes it doesn’t (and hence it suffers).
The “me-entity” further realizes that there is no guarantee as to which of its actions will produce what
and that the Life it knows is totally uncertain,
death may occur for no reason or rhyme.
And thus is born the sense of “insecurity” which in turn drives
its seeking of solace, consolations or icons of security like Meditation,
the Holy Bible/Gita/Koran, or a Guru,
or in today’s times, Web based Lists which discuss/debate such spiritual matters.
It seeks to dis-identify with the body because it sees the temporal frailty
and looks for more permanent solutions,
like identifying with the Holy Spirit, Consciousness, God, whatever.
Anything which can assuage the insecurity.
And the joke is that when and if the recognition takes place, occurs, there is no recognizer left, to affirm, confirm or validate.
That is why statements like the I am the Holy Spirit, Consciousness, etc are oxymoron statements.
The question then that arises is why does this me-entity come to be in the first place.
First of all, it does not come to be, it appears to be in operation, like a mirage.
It appears to be, so that a “me and ‘you” appears to come to be and Life ,
which is only a complex of multiple relationships between a “me” and “you”, Life comes to be.
Without the “me and the ‘you, the duality of this me/you,
Life cannot be as we know it.
For this dialogue which is part of Life, there has to be an “X”
and another who is not-X
and then the game of dialogue can merrily carry on.
Whereas the truth is that it is really Consciousness dialoguing
this particular commentary,
6 – 7. Birth in the six realms of existence in the world, highest happiness in the heaven, great pain in the hell,–these do not come within the perview of truth (i.e. cannot be accepted as true); nor do the notions that unmeritorious actions lead to the extreme misery, old age, disease, and death, and meritorious actions surely bring about good results.
Good actions, bad actions, doing, not-doing, believing, not believing,
all issues of the dream.
Waking up, sip some tea from the hot cup..
It is owing to false notions that beings are consumed by fire of passions even as a forest is burnt by forest conflagration and fall into the hells, etc.
A conceptual entity, a dreamed character, has the false notion that he or she IS, to feel shame, or guilt, or blame.
Hence imaging the states of what is supposed to be Hell (and thus what is supposed to be Heaven)
is subject to Heaven and Hell,
both states being part of the dream.
As illusion prevails so do beings make their appearance. The world is illusory and it exists only on account of its cause and conditions.
The world (cognized) exists because an illusory cognizer is around to cognize it.
If nobody heard the sound of the falling tree in deep forest, did the tree fall ?.
8. As a painter is frightened by the terrible figure of a Yaksa which he himself has drawn, so is a fool frightened in the world (by his own false notions).
The cognized and the cognizer are both illusions,
hence can there be any reality to it’s fears or joys?
9. Even as a fool going himself to a quagmire is drowned therein, so are beings drowned in the quagmire of false notions and are unable to come out thereof.
So long there is a seeking for liberation, a doing towards seeking,
the seeker fundamentally pre-supposes that he or she is bound.
The seeking and the pre-supposition are two sides of the same coin.
Can’t have one without the other.
Like a shadow.
And thus all seeking is trying to stamp out your own shadow.
10. The feeling of misery is experienced by imagining a thing where in fact it has no existence. Beings are tortured by the poison of false notions regarding the object and its knowledge.
Objects in a dream, with it great ethos and pathos.
Waking up in the morning, sip your cup of tea.
11. Seeing these helpless beings with a compassionate heart one should perform the practices of the highest knowledge (bodhicarya) for the benefit of them.
That is why speech takes place by the ones who know,
knowing that any speech is a corruption, falsity.
12. Having acquired requisites thereby and getting unsurpassable bodhi one should become a Buddha, the friend of the world, being freed from the bondage of false notions.
Phenomena are just the objective expression of that which IS.
Knowing it is an illusion, fully participate in it, if that is what comes up,
fully withdraw, when that comes up.
Nothing to reject, nothing to accept.
13. He who realizes the transcendental truth knowing the pratityasamutpada (or the manifestation of entities depending on their causes and conditions), knows the world to be sunya and devoid of beginning, middle or end.
Nothing ever happened.
14. The samsara and nirvana are mere appearances; the truth is stainless, changeless, and quiescent from the beginning and illumined.
Nothing ever happened,
yet that which-is, IS.
15. The object of knowledge in dream is not seen when one awakes.
Because the one who wakes up, does not consider himself/herself to be merely another object.
Thus the sleep-dream is understood, but not this waking dream.
Similarly the world disappears to him who is awakened from the darkness of ignorance.
In deep sleep, all your profanities and all your profundities,
all your relationships and all your ethos and pathos,
all are no more,
you the “me-entity” are no more.
The creation of illusion is nothing but illusion. When everything is compound there is nothing which can be regarded as a real thing. Such is the nature of all things
Nothing has ever happened.
Happenings are only with the conceptual context of space and time,
which themselves are conceptual constructs.
16. One having origination (jati) does not originate himself. Origination is a false conception of the people. Such conceptions and (conceived) beings, these two are not reasonable.
When nothing has happened,
17. All this is nothing but mind (citta) and exists just like an illusion. Hence originate good and evil actions and from them good and evil birth.
Good, Bad, Evil,
all dynamics of the dream,
within a dream
18. When the wheel of the mind is suppressed, all things are suppressed. Therefore all things are devoid of atman (independent nature), and consequently they are pure.
No conceptual entity has volition.
19. It is due to thinking the things which have no independent nature as eternal, atman, and pleasant that this ocean of existence (bhava) appears to one who is enveloped by the darkness of attachment and ignorance.
To a “me-entity”, with a sense of personal doership,
hence having the issue to become something , enlightened or a buffoon,
this “me-entity” is subject to the rise and crash of the “wave”.
20. Who can reach the other side of the great ocean of samsara which is full of water of false notions without getting into the great vehicle (i.e., Mahayana) ?
Without apperception of the truth,
all doing is round and round the mulberry bush.
How can these false notions arise in a man who thoroughly knows this world which has originated from ignorance?
Once the apperception “occurs”,
where is the “me-entity” left
to have any notions,
right or wrong?
Author: Sandeep Chaterjee
Source: The Convenant