Perceiving The Arts An Introduction To The Humanities

The imagined view () of reality does not give us a true knowledge of it, and the relativity view () reduces it into nothingness: if so, where does our boat of enlightenment get anchored? The tells us that there is a third way of viewing existence, called Parinishpanna, "perfected", which allows us to become truly acquainted with reality as it is. It is this "perfected" knowledge whereby we are enabled to see really into the nature of existence, to perceive rightly what is meant by Svabhava, and to declare that there is no Svabhava as is imagined by the ignorant and that all is empty ().

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Again, Mahamati, by good and bad are meant the eight Vijnanas. What are the eight? They are the Tathagata-garbha known as the Alayavijnana, Manas, Manovijnana, and the system of the five Vijnanas as described by the philosophers. Now, Mahamati, the system of the five Vijnanas is together with the Manovijnana, and there is an undivided succession and differentiation of good and bad, and the entire body moves on continuously and closely bound together; moving on, it comes to an end; but as it fails to understand that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of Mind-only, there is the rising of another Vijnana [-system] following the cessation of the first; and the Manovijnana in union with the system of the five Vijnanas, perceiving the difference of forms and figures, is set in motion, not remaining still even for a moment—this I call momentariness. Mahamati, momentary is the Alayavijnana known as the Tathagata-garbha, which is together with the Manas and with the habit-energy of the evolving Vijnanas— this is momentary. But [the Alayavijnana which is together] with the habit-energy of the non-outflows () () is not momentary. This is not understood by the ignorant and simple-minded who are addicted to the doctrine of momentariness. Not understanding the momentariness and non-momentariness of all things, they cherish nihilism whereby they even try to destroy the unmade (). Mahamati, the system itself of the five Vijnanas is not subject to transmigration, nor does it suffer pleasure and pain, nor is it conducive to Nirvana. But, Mahamati, the Tathagata-garbha is together with the cause that suffers pleasure and pain; it is this that is set in motion and ceases to work; it is stupefied by the fourfold habit-energy. But the ignorant do not understand it, as their thoughts are infused with the habit-energy of discrimination which cherishes the view of momentariness.

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Further, Mahamati, of the five Dharmas—name, appearance, discrimination, right knowledge, and suchness— appearance is that which is seen as having such characteristics as form, shape, distinctive features, images, colours, etc. —this is "appearance." Out of this appearance ideas are formed such as a jar, etc., by which one can say, this is such and such, and no other; this is "name." When names are thus pronounced, appearances are determined1 and there is "discrimination, " saying this is mind and this is what belongs to it. That these names and appearances are after all unobtainable because when intellection is put away the aspect of mutuality [in which all things are determined] ceases to be perceived and imagined—this is called the "suchness" of things. And this suchness may be characterised as truth, reality, exact knowledge, limit, source, self-substance, the unattainable. This has been realised by myself and the Tathagatas, truthfully pointed out, recognised, made public, and widely shown. When, in agreement with this, [the truth] is rightly understood as neither negative nor affirmative, discrimination ceases to rise, and there is a state conformable to self-realisation by means of noble wisdom, which is not the course of controversy pertaining to the philosophers, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas; this is "right knowledge."

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At that time Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva again () said this to the Blessed One: Pray tell me, Blessed One, about the attainment of self-realisation by noble wisdom, which does not belong to the path and the usage of the philosophers; which is devoid of [all such predicates as] being and non-being, oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness, existence and non-existence, eternity and non-eternity; which has nothing to do with the false imagination, nor with individuality and generality; which manifests itself as the truth of highest reality; which, going up continuously by degrees the stages of purification, enters upon the stage of Tathagatahood; which, because of the original vows unattended by any striving, will perform its works in infinite worlds like a gem reflecting a variety of colours; and which is manifested [when one perceives how] signs of individuation rise in all things as one realises the course and realm of what is seen of Mind itself, and thereby I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas are enabled to survey things from the point of view which is not hampered by marks of individuality and generality nor by anything of the false imagination, and may quickly attain supreme enlightenment and enable all beings to achieve the perfection of all their virtues.

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These, Mahamati, are the outcome of discrimination carried on by the ignorant and simple-minded, and there is no gradual nor simultaneous rising of existence. Why? Because, Mahamati, if there is a simultaneous rising of existence, there would be no distinction between cause and effect, and there would be nothing to characterise a cause as such. If a gradual rising is admitted, there is no substance that holds together individual signs, which makes gradual rising impossible. While a child is not yet born, Mahamati, the term father has no significance.1 The logician argues that there is that which is born and that which gives birth by the mutual functioning of such causal factors as cause, subsistence, continuity, acceleration, and others; and they conclude that there is a gradual rising of existence. But, Mahamati, this gradual rising does not obtain except by reason of their attachment to the notion of self-nature. When the [ideas of] body, property, and abode are cherished in what is nothing but the manifestation of Mind itself, the external world is perceived under the aspects of individuality and generality, which, however, are not realities; and therefore, Mahamati, neither a gradual nor a simultaneous rising of things is possible. It is only when the Vijnana evolves by reason of discrimination which discriminates the manifestation of Mind itself [that existence is said to come into view]. For this reason, Mahamati, you must strive to get rid of notions of gradation and simultaneity in the combination of the causal activities. Thus it is said: