Chapter XXV — Training (RiBa)

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Chapter XXV


How a Bodhisattva is Trained in All-Knowledge

Subhuti: In which training, O Lord, does a Bodhisattva train to be trained in all-knowledge?

The Lord: A Bodhisattva trains in Extinction, in Non-production, in Non-stopping, in No-birth, in the absence of positivity, in Isolatedness, in Dispassion, in Space, in the element of dharma, and Nirvana.

Subhuti: How do these amount to a training in all-knowledge?

The Lord: Do you think, Subhuti, this Suchness which is (also) Tathagatas, which is the prime cause of Tathagata being a Tathagata, can this become extinct?

Subhuti: No, Lord. For extinction cannot become extinct, extinction being inextinguishable. [425]

The Lord: Suchness of Tathagata is primordial essence of Tathagata, as a Tathagata, is this now produced, or stopped, or born; or does this become or cease to become; or does this become isolated; or impassioned or dispassionate; or does this become like space, or does this become of the nature of dharma?

Subhuti: No, Lord.

The Lord: Does this Suchness then, or even now, enter Nirvana?

Subhuti: No, Lord.

The Lord: Now...Subhuti, any Bodhisattva which trains oneself trains thus, "Suchness does not, indeed can not get extinct" one trains thus, one realizes this perfection of all training. One cannot be crushed by what is seen or thought to be Mara, or by what is seen or thought to be Mara's associates or by Mara's host.

Soon one reveals to oneself this condition of irreversibility which becomes realized by others. Soon one sits on this terrace of enlightenment. One courses in one's own range. [426]

One is trained in the dharmas by which one is revealed as a facilitator and guide to realization, in great friendliness, great compassion, great sympathetic joy, as well as great and equanimous impartiality. One trains as turning the wheel of dharma with three revolutions and twelve aspects. One trains to indicate these revelations and the realization herein to no limit of beings. One trains to ensure non-interruption of this lineage of Tathagatas. One trains by opening this door and indicating such, as well as revealing this deathless element. Any being not training thusly is however, incapable of this sublime training. A weakling cannot train in this training.

As these which train thusly are the very cream of beings which indicate realization to any and all beings, these persevere and reach this state of elevated awareness for these beings. A Bodhisattva which trains thus is not reborn in the hells, nor among animals, nor in the realms of the Pretas, nor among the Asuras, nor in outlying districts [among barbarous populations], nor in the families of outcasts or fowlers, of hunters, fishermen or butchers, nor in any families of a kind in which one is addicted to the lower deeds. This one is not blind, deaf, or one-eyed; neither a cripple nor hunch-backed, nor a being with withered hand or arm, nor limping, nor lame, or stunned, [427] not tremulous, quivering or shaky; this one's limbs are not puny, nor incomplete, nor abnormal; such a one is not weak, nor have a bad complexion or shape; these faculties are not inferior nor incomplete, but are in every way perfect; and this one also has a melodious voice.

Such a one as this is not a person who takes life, or who takes what is not given, or who goes wrong about sense-desires, or who speaks falsely, or maliciously, or harshly, or who prattles indistinctly, or who is covetous, or who harbours ill will in one's heart, or who has wrong views, and does not earn a livelihood in some wrong fashion. This one is not reborn among the long-lived Gods, does not take up bad moral practices, does not take hold of unreal dharmas, and does not get reborn through the influences of trances and [formless] attainments. For here is skill in means, and endowed with this, one does not get reborn among the long-lived Gods. But what is this skill in means of a Bodhisattva? This is just this perfection of wisdom. And this one applies oneself to this skill in means in such a way as, endowed with this, a Bodhisattva enters into these trances without being reborn through the influence of these trances. [428] As one trains thus, any Bodhisattva incurs the perfect purity of these powers, of these grounds of self-confidence, of these Buddha-dharmas. One reaches all this.

Subhuti: As we all know, O Lord, all dharmas are by nature perfectly pure. But now, with regard to this, whichever dharma does any Bodhisattva incur and reach perfect purity of these powers, these grounds of self-confidence and these Buddha-dharma?

The Lord: Well it is which you ask, Subhuti. For all dharmas are just by [their essential original] nature perfectly pure. A Bodhisattva which trains in perfection of wisdom does not lose heart and remains uncowed although all dharmas are by nature perfectly pure, now this is this perfection of wisdom. But the foolish neither know nor see these dharmas are really so constituted, and these neither know nor see the true nature of dharmas, even as this comes to be revealed. On behalf of such beings and things the Bodhisattva struggle on and exert vigour so any who do not know may be enabled to know, so any who do not see may choose to see. In this training these train, and here [in the world of appearance] a Bodhisattva realizes these powers through making these available to countless beings, these grounds of self-confidence, and all Buddha-dharmas. As these train thus, Bodhisattvas wisely (naturally come to) know these throbbing thoughts and actions of any and all beings, of any and all persons as these persons really are. And now, in this we go beyond the knowledge of the thoughts and actions of others. We traverse this ground upon which no foot gains footing, no words can mention, no thought can think, and neither can any eye behold. [429]

The Fewness of Bodhisattvas

On this earth, few are places free from stones, few the spots where gold and silver are found. Much more numerous are saline deserts, arid deserts, places covered with grass, or thorns, or steep chasms. Just so, in the worlds of beings few Bodhisattvas exist which train in this training in all-knowledge, i.e. in the training toward perfect wisdom which is perfect nature. Much more numerous are these which train in the training characteristics of Sravakas, Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas.

Furthermore, Subhuti, in the worlds of beings few do deeds which lead to the authority of a universal monarch. Much more numerous are these which do deeds which lead to the authority of a commander of a fort. Just so, in these worlds of beings few are Bodhisattvas which are mounted on this path of perfect wisdom and/or nature, and which now are resolved to reveal and realize full enlightenment. Much more numerous are these which mount on the path of Sravakas, Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas.

Furthermore, few only do deeds which permit these to become Sakra, Chief of Gods. Much more numerous are those whose deeds lead to the world of [the minor] Gods. Just so, few beings only are Bodhisattvas which train in this training as the perfecting of wisdom. Much more numerous are these Bodhisattvas which train in the training of Sravakas, Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas. [430]

Furthermore, few beings only do deeds which permit these to become Brahma. Much more numerous are any whose deeds lead to Brahma's assembly. Just so, few beings only are irreversible to full enlightenment. Much more numerous are Bodhisattvas which turn away from full enlightenment.

Here now, Subhuti, in the worlds of beings few beings exist which set out toward full enlightenment. Fewer are these which progress toward Thusness. Still fewer are these very few which make endeavours about and toward perfecting wisdom. Still fewer even are these very very few Bodhisattvas which are irreversible from full enlightenment. A Bodhisattva which aspires to be numbered among these very, very few irreversible Bodhisattvas now train in just this perfection of wisdom, and make endeavours about this. Moreover, Subhuti, no harsh thoughts arise to a Bodhisattva which thus trains in perfecting this nature as wisdom, nor any doubting thought, or an envious or mean thought, or an immoral thought, or a thought of ill will, or a lazy thought, or a distracted thought, or a stupid thought.

The Perfection of Wisdom Comprehends All Perfections

It is thus as a Bodhisattva trains in the perfection of wisdom, [431] all the perfections are automatically incorporated, taken up, followed and included. The view of individuality includes all the sixty-two views, and even so, for a Bodhisattva which trains in this perfection of wisdom, all the perfections are included in this. As long as someone's life-faculty is present, all faculties are included in this. Even so for a Bodhisattva which trains in this perfection of wisdom all the wholesome dharmas are included in this. As someone's life faculty is not present, all faculties are not present. Even so, for a Bodhisattva which trains in perfect wisdom, any unwholesome dharmas are stopped as only non-cognition is stopped, and all these perfections are included in this, and automatically revealed and realized.

Merit from Perfect Wisdom

Here and now, Subhuti, a Bodhisattva which has aspirations to reveal and realize all perfections trains in this perfection of wisdom. As one trains in this perfection of wisdom, a Bodhisattva trains in this which is unfathomable perfection as is any being. And herein lies this answer to this greatest of mysteries. For one's merit is different and unfathomable. Subhuti, consider all beings in the great trichiliocosm, are these many?

Subhuti: Even in Jambudvipa alone, here are many beings, how many more are here in this great trichiliocosm?

The Lord: As one single Bodhisattva, during one's entire life, furnishes all these beings with robes, alms bowl, lodging, medicinal appliances for use in sickness, and all which brings these happiness, -[432] does such a Bodhisattva on the strength of this beget a great deal of merit?

Subhuti: One does, O Lord.

The Lord: Yet Subhuti, a different and unthinkable merit still does this Bodhisattva beget as a result of developing this perfection of wisdom, of buddha-nature, for even the duration of a finger-snap. So greatly profitable is this perfection of wisdom of Bodhisattvas, as she feeds these revelations of this supreme enlightenment. A Bodhisattva here now trains in perfecting wisdom as this aspiration to full realization, revealed as this supreme position common to all beings, as a protector of any which are helpless and helps these to reach this sphere of the Buddha, to emulate the humaness of the Buddha, to sport as a Buddha's sport, to roar a Buddha's lion roar, to reach the accomplishment of a Buddha, and to explain this dharma in this great trichiliocosm. As a Bodhisattva trains in this perfection of wisdom, I do not see the accomplishment in which one does not train.

Bodhisattvas and Disciples

Subhuti: Is now a Bodhisattva also trained in this accomplishment of a Sravaka, a Disciple?

The Lord: He also trains in this. But one does not train with intentions of always continuing with these accomplishments of a Sravaka, or Disciple, or with any idea of making this or anything one's own. [433] Not thus does one train. One also knows qualities of the Disciples, but does not abide with these. One assimilates these, without opposing these.

One trains with the intention as one demonstrates and reveals also these virtues of the Disciples. As one trains thus, a Bodhisattva is revealed in a condition here as one worthy of receiving gifts from the world with its Gods, beings and Asuras. These surpass others which are worthy of gifts, associated with Disciples or Pratyekabuddhas. And all-knowledge is near to such one's as these. As one trains thus, a Bodhisattva does not part from this perfection of wisdom, but courses in this, is not lacking in the dwelling of this perfection of wisdom. As one courses thus a Bodhisattva is known as "unfailing, definitely unfailing" with regard to all-knowledge, and does not settle on any level of a Sravaka, Disciple or Pratyekabuddha.

One such as this is near to full enlightenment. As, however, such may occur to this one "this is the perfection of wisdom which brings this all-knowledge," -now, one which has such a notion does not course in this perfection of wisdom. On the contrary any such as this have no notion whatsoever of perfecting wisdom. Do not perceive or review "this is the perfection of wisdom," or "this is the perfection of wisdom," or "this feeds all-knowledge." As one courses thus, a Bodhisattva courses in this perfection of wisdom.

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