Chapter I — The Practice of the Knowledge of All Modes (RiBa)
The Practice of the Knowledge of All Modes
Thus I now hear at this time. The Lord, dwelling at Rajagriha, on the Vulture Peak, together with a great gathering of 1,250 beings, all of these Arhats, - their outflows being dried up, undefiled, fully controlled, quite free in heart, well free and wise, thoroughbreds, great Serpents, their work being done, their task getting accomplished, their burdens laying down, their own weal becoming accomplished, with fetters which bound these to becoming extinguished, hearts quite free by right understanding, in perfect control of whole mind with the exception of one single person, i.e., the Venerable Ananda.
The Lord says to the Venerable Subhuti, the Elder: "Make it clear now, Subhuti, to Bodhisattvas, the great beings, starting from perfect wisdom, how Bodhisattvas, the great beings go forth into perfect wisdom!"
Herein the Venerable Sariputra thinks to himself: Will this Venerable Subhuti, the Elder, expound perfect wisdom of himself, through the operation and force of own-power in revealing wisdom, or through the Buddha's might?
The Venerable Subhuti, knowing through the Buddha's might, the Venerable Sariputra to be in such wise discoursing, says to the Venerable Sariputra: "Whatsoever, Venerable Sariputra, the Lord's Disciples teach, all this is to be known as Tathagata's work. In dharma which Tathagatas demonstrate, the devoted ones train and realize true nature and hold this in mind. Herein nothing which these teach contradicts true nature of dharma. Whatsoever these sons and daughters of good family may expound as nature of dharma, this these do not bring into contradiction with actual nature of dharma.
2. THE EXTINCTION OF SELF
Herein the Venerable Subhuti, by the Buddha's might, said to the Lord: "The Lord says, 'Make it clear now, Subhuti, to Bodhisattvas, the great beings, starting from perfect wisdom, how Bodhisattvas, the great beings go forth into perfect wisdom!'" As one speaks of a 'Bodhisattva', which dharma does this word 'Bodhisattva' denote? Lord, I see neither this dharma 'Bodhisattva', nor any dharma called 'perfect wisdom'. Since I neither find, nor apprehend, nor see this dharma 'Bodhisattva', nor any dharma called 'perfect wisdom', what Bodhisattva do I instruct and admonish, in what perfect wisdom? And yet, O Lord, as this is pointed out, a Bodhisattva heart is known as neither cowed, nor stolid...neither despairing nor despondent, as one neither turns away nor is dejected or trembling, neither is frightened or terrified, it is just this Bodhisattva, this great being which comes to be instructed in perfect wisdom. It is precisely this which is recognized as the perfect wisdom of any Bodhisattva, as one's instruction in perfect wisdom. As one thus stands firm, this is one's instruction and admonition. As a Bodhisattva courses in perfect wisdom and is developing such...this one so trains oneself, as one does not pride oneself on or with any thought of enlightenment [with which one begins one's career]. Any thought is no thought, since in its essentially aware nature thought is transparently luminous.
Sariputra: This thought which is no thought, is this something which is?
Subhuti: Is here existing, or can one apprehend in this state of absence of thought either a 'here is' or a 'here is not'?...
Sariputra: No, not this.
Subhuti: Is this now a suitable question which the Venerable Sariputra asks whether this thought which is no thought is something which is?
Sariputra: So, what is this absence of thought?
Subhuti: It is without modification or discrimination.
Sariputra: Well do you expound this, Subhuti, you whom the Lord declares to be foremost of any who dwell in Peace. And for this is seen to be foremost of any who dwell in Peace. And for this reason [i.e. as one does not pride oneself on any thought of enlightenment] is a Bodhisattva considered as incapable of turning away from full enlightenment, and as one who never ceases from taking perfect wisdom to heart. Whether one perseveres in training on the level of Disciple, or Pratyekabuddha, or Bodhisattva, - does one listen to this perfection of wisdom, take this up, bear this in mind, recite this, study this, spread this among others, and in this very perfection of wisdom does one train and exert oneself. In this very perfection of wisdom does one endowed with skill in means exert oneself, concentrating on procuring any and all dharmas which constitute a Bodhisattva. In just this perfection of wisdom any and all dharmas which constitute a Bodhisattva, and in which one trains and exerts oneself, are indicated in full detail. Any being which aspires to train for full enlightenment also listens, takes up, bears in mind, recites, studies and spreads this perfection of wisdom. Any being which is endowed with skill in means exerts oneself in just this perfection of wisdom, with the aim of procuring any and all dharmas which constitute a Buddha.
Subhuti: As I who do not find anything to correspond to the words 'Bodhisattva', or 'perfect wisdom', -which Bodhisattva do I now instruct and admonish in which perfect wisdom? It is truly regrettable as I, while unable to find either thing itself, merely in words might cause a Bodhisattva to arise and to pass away. Even so, this, thusly designated, is neither continuous nor not-continuous, neither discontinuous nor not-discontinuous. And why? Simply...this does not exist. This is why this is neither continuous nor not-continuous, neither discontinuous, nor not-discontinuous. A Bodhisattva, being as unafraid as this unfathomable and perfect wisdom is indicated can be recognized as not lacking in perfect wisdom, and, as one in this irreversible stage of Bodhisattva, standing firmly in consequence of not taking one's stand anywhere. So too, a Bodhisattva coursing in perfect wisdom and developing as such, neither does nor even can stand in form, feeling, perception, impulse and consciousness, due to this fact...as one stands in, or is set in view regarding form, etc., as such, one courses only in its formative influence, and one can neither gain perfect wisdom, exert oneself upon nor fulfill this. As one does not fulfill perfect wisdom, neither can one go forth to all-knowledge, so long as one remains trying to appropriate the essentially elusive. In perfect wisdom form, feeling, perception, impulse and consciousness is/are not appropriated. So, the non-appropriation of form, etc., is not form, etc. [the 5 skandhas], and perfect wisdom also cannot be appropriated. It is thus which a Bodhisattva courses in perfect wisdom. This concentrated insight of a Bodhisattva is called 'the non-appropriation of all dharmas'. It is vast, noble, unlimited and steady, not shared by any of the Disciples or Pratyekabuddhas. All-knowledge cannot be taken hold of, as it cannot be seized through any sign. Could all-knowledge be seized through a sign, Srenika the Wanderer could not gain faith in this our doctrine and tradition. Srenika the Wanderer believes resolutely in cognition of all-knowing, and as a faith-follower he enters cognition with a limited scope. He does not take hold of these skandhas. Nor does he review cognition with joyful zest and pleasure. He views this neither as from inside form, etc., nor as from outside, nor as from both inside and outside, nor as from other than form, etc. In this scripture passage, Srenika the Wanderer, as one who always resolutely believes in cognition of the all-knowing, is called a faith-follower. He takes true nature of dharmas as his standard, and resolutely believes in signlessness such as he neither takes hold of any dharma, nor apprehends any dharma which he even might appropriate or release. He does not even care about Nirvana. This also can be known as a Bodhisattva's perfect wisdom, as he does not take hold of form, etc., and he does not enter Nirvana midway before he realizes ten powers of Tathagatas, his four grounds of self-confidence, and the eighteen dharmas peculiar to a Buddha. Herein too is known as a Bodhisattva's perfection of wisdom. Further, any Bodhisattva coursing in perfection of wisdom and developing this, considers and meditates on what perfection of wisdom is, on one demonstrating perfect wisdom, and on perfect wisdom as dharma which does not exist, which cannot be apprehended. Only as these considerations make a type of wordless sense, and do not make one doubtful or afraid, can be one be known as, or come to be known as a Bodhisattva taken hold of by perfect wisdom.
Sariputra: How can a Bodhisattva become known as 'taken hold of by perfect wisdom', as form does not possess the own-being of form, and as well the other skandhas; as perfect wisdom does not possess own-being of perfect wisdom; and as all-knowledge does not possess own-being of all-knowledge?
Subhuti: It is so, Sariputra. Form does not possess own-being of form, and as well the other skandhas. Perfect wisdom does not possess any mark (of being) 'perfect wisdom'. A mark does not possess own-being of a mark. Any 'thing' whatsoever as 'marked' does not possess own-being as [or for] being marked, and this which is seen or thought of as own-being does not possess any mark of [being] own-being, neither as any of vision, sound, thought, word nor concept, nor subject or object.
Sariputra: Even so, the Bodhisattva training in this goes forth to all-knowledge?
Subhuti: Such a one does. As any and all dharmas are unborn, and do not go forth. As a Bodhisattva courses thus, one comes nearer all-knowledge. To such and any extent as one comes nearer all-knowledge, one's body, thought and marks are known as exceedingly pure, for the sake of maturing beings, and one meets with Buddhas. It is thus any Bodhisattva coursing in perfect wisdom comes nearer all-knowledge.
Subhuti speaks further concerning the Bodhisattva: One courses in a sign as one courses in any form, feeling, perception, impulse, or consciousness, or, in the sign of any of these skandhas, or in ideas such as 'form is a sign', or in production of form, or in the stopping or destruction of form, or in the idea that 'form is empty', or 'I course', or 'I am a Bodhisattva'. For one actually courses in the idea 'I am a Bodhisattva' as a basis. Or, as it occurs to one 'one coursing thus, courses in perfect wisdom and develops it', one courses only in a sign. Such a Bodhisattva is known as unskilled in means.
Sariputra: So, how does a Bodhisattva course as one coursing in perfect wisdom?
Subhuti: One does not course in skandhas, nor in any sign of such skandas, nor in ideas such as 'skandhas are signs', nor in production of skandhas, nor in any stopping or destruction of such, nor in any idea such as 'skandhas are empty', or 'I course', or 'I am a Bodhisattva'. And, this also doesn't occur to this one, 'one coursing thus courses in perfect wisdom and develops it'. One courses but one does not entertain such ideas as 'I course', 'I do not course', 'I course and I do not course', 'I neither course nor do I not course', and the same [four] with 'I will course'. One does not go near any dharma at all as all dharma are unapproachable and unappropriatable. So, a Bodhisattva purely cognizes and is as undifferientiated concentrated insight 'Not grasping at any dharma' by name or appearance, and regardless whether vast, noble, unlimited and steady, not shared by any of the Disciples or Pratyekabuddhas. As one dwells as this concentrated insight, a Bodhisattva quickly realizes full enlightenment which Tathagatas of this time predict for one such as this. But as one dwells in such concentration, one neither reviews nor thinks 'I am collected', 'I will enter concentration', 'I am entering into concentration', 'I have entered into concentration'. All these thoughts or notions in any and all ways do not exist for one such as this.
Sariputra: Can one show forth such concentration?
Subhuti: No, Sariputra. Because any one of these ones born of good family neither knows nor perceives it.
Sariputra: You say one neither knows nor perceives it?
Subhuti: I do, for such concentration does not exist.
The Lord: Well said, Subhuti. And thus a Bodhisattva trains herein, as one trains in perfect wisdom.
Sariputra: As one thus trains, one trains in perfect wisdom?
The Lord: As one thus trains, one trains in perfect wisdom.
Sariputra: As one thus trains, which dharmas does one train in?
The Lord: One does not train in any dharma whatsoever. Dharmas do not exist in such a way as people without such training are accustomed to suppose.
Sariputra: So, how do these exist?
The Lord: As these do not exist, so these exist. And so, since these do not exist [avidyamana], these are called [result of] ignorance [avidya]. People not diligent and untrained in such have settled down in these. Although these do not exist, these people nonetheless have constructed all dharmas. Having constructed these, yet attached to two extremes, these people neither know nor see dharmas in their true reality. So these beings construct all dharmas which yet do not exist. Having constructed these, people settle down in two extremes. Depending on this link as a basic fact, beings now construct past, future and present dharmas. Now, once constructed these settle down in name and form. Thusly constructed are any and all dharmas, which yet do not exist, and these beings as such neither know nor see any path as it truly is. In consequence these ones do not go forth from any triple world, and do not wake up to any reality limit. For this reason ones such as these come to be styled as 'fools'. Such ones as these reveal faith neither to self nor others in the true nature of dharma. But a Bodhisattva does not settle down in any dharma.
Sariputra: As one trains thus, is a Bodhisattva trained in all-knowledge?
The Lord: As one thus trains oneself, a Bodhisattva does not even train in all-knowledge, and yet one trains in all dharmas. As one thus trains oneself, a Bodhisattva trains in all-knowledge, comes near to this and goes forth to it.
Subhuti: As, O Lord, someone asks, -- "Does this illusory one train in all-knowledge, does one come near this, does one go forth to it?" --How does one explain it?
The Lord: I ask you a counter-question which you may answer as best you can.
Subhuti: Well said, O Lord. And the Venerable Subhuti listened to the Lord.
The Lord: Do you think, Subhuti, form, feeling, perception, impulse and consciousness, is one thing, and illusion another?
Subhuti: No Lord, it is not so illusion being one thing, and these skandhas, another; this very form is illusion, this very illusion is form.
The Lord: Do you think, Subhuti, this notion 'Bodhisattva', this denomination, this concept, this conventional expression, - is the five grasping skandhas?
Subhuti: Yes, it is. A Bodhisattva training oneself in perfect wisdom trains oneself as an illusory person for full enlightenment. One bears in mind these five grasping aggregates are this illusory person as well. The Lord says form is as an illusion. And as this is true of form, this is true also of six sense organs, and of five grasping aggregates.
Subhuti: Do Bodhisattvas newly set out in this vehicle not tremble, hearing this exposition?
The Lord: These ones tremble getting into hands of bad friends, but not getting into hands of good friends.
Subhuti: Who are a Bodhisattva's good friends?
The Lord: The ones instructing and admonishing these in the perfections. The ones pointing out to Bodhisattvas deeds which are seen as being of Mara, and saying, 'this is how faults and deeds seen as being of Mara come to be recognized. These are faults and deeds seen as being of Mara. Get rid of these as you recognize these.' These ones are known as good friends of a Bodhisattva, as great beings, armed with great armor and set out in this great vehicle, and mounted on this great vehicle.
3. THE MEANING OF 'BODHISATTVA'
Subhuti: Regarding what the Lord is saying, as speaking of 'Bodhisattva', --what is meant by this word 'Bodhisattva'?
The Lord: Nothing real is meant by this word 'Bodhisattva'. A Bodhisattva trains oneself in non-attachment to any and all dharmas. The Bodhisattvas, great beings, awake in non-attachment to full enlightenment in a sense in which one understands any and all dharmas. As one has enlightenment as one's aim, this 'enlightenment-being' [Bodhisattva], this great being, is so called.
4. THE MEANING OF 'GREAT BEING'
Subhuti: So, as the Lord is speaking of a Bodhisattva as 'great being', --for what reason is a Bodhisattva called 'great being'?
The Lord: Any Bodhisattva is called 'great being' through understanding such as any of these reveal to countless masses and collections of beings' access to their own unlimited awareness.
Sariputra: It is clear also to me this understanding through which a Bodhisattva is called 'great being'.
The Lord: Make it clear what you think now!
Sariputra: Any Bodhisattva is called 'great being' through understanding such as any of these demonstrate dharma as truly as it is, and great errors are forsaken and dissolved - such erroneous views as any assumption of a self, a being, a living soul, a person, of becoming, of not-becoming, of annihilation, of eternity, of individuality, etc. - erroneous views or notions of things or beings of any intrinsically non-dependent inherencies, or as such may lose any or all attributes assumed of such inherencies.
Subhuti: It is clear also to me this understanding through which any Bodhisattva is called 'great being'.
The Lord: Make clear, Subhuti, what you think now!
Subhuti: Any Bodhisattva is called 'great being' as being simply unattached to and uninvolved in any thought of enlightenment, any thought of all-knowledge, any thought without outflows, any unequalled thoughts or any thought of equaling the unequalled, or thoughts as either shared or unshared by any of the Disciples or Pratyekabuddhas. Any thought of all-knowledge is without outflows, and unincluded [in any empirical world]. Respecting all-knowledge, and regarding any thought which is without outflows and unincluded, one remains unattached and uninvolved. In coming to understand this as such, any Bodhisattva comes to be styled as 'great being'.
Sariputra: For what reason is one unattached even to this thought, and uninvolved in such?
Subhuti: As such, this is no thought.
Sariputra: Is this thought, which is no thought, something which is?
Subhuti: Is here existing now, or can one apprehend in this state of absence of thought, either a 'here is' or 'here is not'?
Sariputra: No, not even this.
Subhuti: So...how can Venerable Sariputra ask, or even say, 'is such thought, which is no thought, something which is'?
Sariputra: Well do you expound this, Subhuti, whom the Lord announces as foremost, as dwelling in Peace.
Herein the Venerable Purna, son of Maitrayani, says to the Lord: 'Great being' is one thus called, armed in great armor is such a being, one set out in this great vehicle, such is mounted on this great vehicle. This is why one comes to be styled as 'great being'.
Subhuti: How great is this which entitles one to be called 'armed in great armor'?
The Lord: Here the Bodhisattva, the great being, thinks thus: 'countless beings do I lead to Nirvana yet here is neither one leading to Nirvana, nor any being led thus'. However many beings one may lead to Nirvana, yet neither has any being been led to Nirvana, nor had any led others to it. As such is this true nature of dharmas, seeing this nature as such, is illusory. Subhuti, just as a clever magician, or magician's apprentice conjures up at these crossroads a great crowd of people and makes these vanish again... What do you think, Subhuti, is anyone killed by anyone, or murdered, or destroyed, or made to vanish?
Subhuti: No indeed, Lord.
The Lord: Even so a Bodhisattva, great being, leads countless beings to Nirvana, and yet not any being has been led to Nirvana, nor has one led others to it. Hearing this exposition without fear is a great thing which entitles this Bodhisattva to be known as 'armed with the great armor'.
Subhuti: As I understand the meaning of the Lord's teaching, as certainly not armed with an armor this Bodhisattva, this great being, is known.
The Lord: So it is. As all-knowledge is not made, not unmade, not affected. Such beings also for whose sake one is armed with great armor are not made, not unmade, not effected.
Subhuti: So it is. For form, feeling, perception, impulse, consciousness, is neither bound nor freed. And such is true also of Suchness of form, Suchness of feeling, Suchness of perception, Suchness of impulse or Suchness of consciousness
Purna: But what now is the form of which you say is neither bound nor freed, and what this Suchness of form, etc.?
Subhuti: The form of any illusory being is neither bound nor freed. Suchness of form of an illusory being is neither bound nor freed. In reality it is not here at all, it is isolated, it is unproduced. This is the great armor, the great non-armor of a Bodhisattva, a great being, armed as the great armor, set out in this great vehicle, mounted on the great vehicle.
After these words the Venerable Purna is silent.
5. THE MEANING OF 'GREAT VEHICLE'
Subhuti: It is thus, O Lord, a Bodhisattva, great being, is armed with great armor, and is set out in the great vehicle, is mounted on the great vehicle. But what is this great vehicle? How does one know any one thus set out in this great vehicle? Whence does it go forth and whither? Who or what being sets out in it? Where does it stand? Who or what being goes forth by means of this great vehicle?
The Lord: 'Great vehicle' is a synonym of immeasurableness. 'Immeasurable' is infinite, and as such no thing by which to determine any measurement either by name nor number, saying this is as such or this many. By means of perfections a Bodhisattva sets out. From this triple world one goes forth. One sets out to where is no objective support whatsoever. Such is a Bodhisattva, a great being going forth, -but not going forth to anywhere. Nor does one set out in this as one does not stand anywhere, yet stands on all-knowledge by way of making a stand nowhere. And finally, by means of this great vehicle no one goes forth, no one has gone forth, no one will go forth. As neither of these dharmas exist, - one going forth, and this by which one goes forth - neither can these be got at. Since any and all dharmas do not exist, what dharma could go forth by what dharma? It is thus Subhuti, a Bodhisattva, a great being, is armed with great armour, and is mounted on the great vehicle.
Subhuti: The Lord speaks of the 'great vehicle'. Surpassing the world with its Gods, beings and Asuras, such a vehicle goes forth. It is the same as space, and exceedingly great. As in space, so in this vehicle is room for immeasurable and incalculable beings. Such is this great vehicle of the Bodhisattvas, these great beings. One neither sees its coming, nor going, and its abiding as such, does not exist. Thus one cannot get at any beginning of this great vehicle, nor at any end, nor at any middle. Yet, such is self-identical everywhere. Thus, hereof one speaks of a 'great vehicle'.
The Lord: Well said, Subhuti. So it is. It is thusly the great vehicle of the Bodhisattvas, the great beings. Trained herein Bodhisattvas reach all-knowledge, have reached it, will reach it.
Purna: This Elder Subhuti, as asked about perfect wisdom, fancies the great vehicle is something which can be pointed out.
Subhuti: Have I, O Lord, spoken of the great vehicle without transgressing against perfect wisdom?
The Lord: You have. In agreement with perfect wisdom you point out the great vehicle.
Subhuti: Through the Buddha's might O Lord, moreover, a Bodhisattva setting out on this journey does not approach the goal of full Bodhisattvahood from any beginning, nor any ending, nor from any middle either. Bodhisattvas are as boundless as form, feeling, perception, impulse and consciousness are boundless. One does not approach any idea such as 'a Bodhisattva is form', etc. This also does not exist, and is not apprehended. Thus in each and every way neither do I get at any of the dharmas which constitute a Bodhisattva, nor do I see any dharma which the word 'Bodhisattva' denotes. Perfect wisdom also is neither seen nor got at. All-knowledge also neither is seen nor got at. As in each and every way these dharmas are neither seen nor apprehended, -what dharma does one instruct and admonish, through what dharma, in what dharma? 'Buddha', 'Bodhisattva', 'perfect wisdom', all these are mere words. What 'things' being such as these denote is something uncreated? It is as with any self or notion hereof. Although we speak of a 'self', yet absolutely any self is some 'thing' uncreated. Since herein all dharmas are without own-being, what is form, etc., which cannot be seized, and which is something uncreated? Thus any fact -such as all dharmas are without own-being ...is the same as any fact that these are uncreated. Yet non-creation of any and all dharmas differs from these dharmas. How do I instruct and admonish non-creation in perfect wisdom which is also non-creation? And yet, one cannot apprehend as other than uncreated all dharmas, regardless whether these are thought of as constituting a Buddha, or a Bodhisattva, or one marching to enlightenment. If any Bodhisattva as this is being taught is not afraid, one can know 'this Bodhisattva, this great being courses in perfect wisdom, develops, investigates, and meditates on and as such.' At such a time as a Bodhisattva investigates these dharmas in perfect wisdom, at such a time one does not approach form and other skandhas, nor go to any of these. Nor does one review any production of form, etc., nor any stopping. For non-production of form, etc., is not form, etc. Any non-passing-away of form, etc., is not form, etc. Non-production and form are herein neither two nor divided. Inasmuch as one calls any thing 'form', etc., one makes a count of what is not two. Thus, Bodhisattvas investigate in perfect wisdom any and all dharmas in any and all modes as such may merely indicate, yet one does not at any time approach form, feeling, perception, impulse, or consciousness.
Sariputra: As I understand the teaching of the Venerable Subhuti, a Bodhisattva also is non-produced. Yet, as a Bodhisattva is non-produced, how does one go on this difficult pilgrimage, and how can one possibly endure any experience of sufferings which one is said to undergo for the sake of beings?
Subhuti: I do not look for a Bodhisattva going on any difficult pilgrimage. In any case, one coursing in perception of difficulties is not a Bodhisattva. One generating a perception of difficulties is unable to work the weal of countless beings. On the contrary, one forms the notion of ease, one forms this notion of all beings, whether men or women, are one's parents and children, and thus one goes on pilgrimage of a Bodhisattva. A Bodhisattva identifies all beings with one's parents or children, yes, even with one's own self, like this: "As I myself aspire to be quite free from all sufferings, just so all beings aspire to be quite free from all sufferings." In addition regarding all beings, one forms the notion: "I do not desert all these beings. I aspire to set these free from any measureless heap of sufferings! And I do not produce towards any a thought of hate, even though I might be dismembered a hundred times!" It is thus a Bodhisattva lifts up one's heart. As one dwells as one whose heart is this way, one neither courses nor dwells as one perceiving difficulties. And further a Bodhisattva produces the thought, "as in each and every way a self does not exist, and so not got at, so in each and every way all dharmas do not exist, and are not got at." Such a one applies this notion to all dharmas, inside and outside. As one dwells as one whose heart is as such, one neither courses nor dwells as one perceiving difficulties. But as the Venerable Sariputra said, "non-produced is the Bodhisattva,"...indeed it is so, "non-produced is any Bodhisattva."
Sariputra: Further, is just such a Bodhisattva non-produced, or dharmas also which constitute one?
Subhuti: Dharmas which constitute a Bodhisattva are also non-produced.
Sariputra: Are only dharmas which constitute a Bodhisattva non-produced, or also any state of all-knowledge?
Subhuti: Any state of all-knowledge is also non-produced.
Sariputra: Is just the state of all-knowledge non-produced, or also any and all dharmas which constitute it?
Subhuti: Dharmas which constitute all-knowledge are also non-produced.
Sariputra: Are just dharmas which constitute all-knowledge non-produced, or also any common people?
Subhuti: Any common people are also non-produced.
Sariputra: Are just any common people non-produced, or also dharmas which constitute these?
Subhuti: Dharmas which constitute any common people are also non-produced.
Sariputra: If, Venerable Subhuti, the Bodhisattva is non-produced and also dharmas which constitute one as such, and also the state of all-knowledge, and also dharmas which constitute this, and also any common people, and also dharmas which constitute these, - surely, the state of all-knowledge is reached by a Bodhisattva without any exertion?
Subhuti: I do not wish for any attainment of any unproduced dharma, nor reunion with one. Further, does one attain an unproduced attainment though unproduced dharma?
Sariputra: So is unproduced attainment got at through unproduced dharma, or through produced dharma?
Subhuti: Is unproduced dharma produced, or unproduced?
Sariputra: Is production a dharma which is a non-production, or is non-production dharma which is production?
Subhuti: To talk of production as non-production-dharma is not intelligible.
Sariputra: To talk of non-production is also not intelligible.
Subhuti: Non-production is just talk. Non-production just appears before the mind's eye. Non-production is just a flash in the mind. Absolutely it is nothing more.
Sariputra: In the first rank of preachers of dharma should the Venerable Subhuti be placed. For in whatever way he may be questioned, he finds a way out; he does not swerve from the correct teaching about true nature of Dharma, and he does not contradict true nature of Dharma.
Subhuti: This is the Lord's Absolute...the essence of Disciples without any support, so in whatever way these are questioned, these find a way out, do not contradict true nature of dharmas, nor depart from such. This is such as this, as these do not rely on any dharmas.
Sariputra: Well said, Subhuti. And what is this perfection of the Bodhisattvas which allows these to not lean on any dharmas?
Subhuti: Perfection of wisdom, beneficial to all the three vehicles, is also perfection which allows these to not lean on any dharma, due to it showing all dharmas as having no support and can thus give none. As any Bodhisattva remains unafraid as this deep perfection of wisdom is being taught, one can know such a one is adjusted to perfection of wisdom, and one is not lacking in this attention to true facts about dharmas.
Sariputra: How is it a Bodhisattva does not lack in attention being adjusted to perfect wisdom? For if a Bodhisattva is not lacking in attention, one automatically lacks in adjustment to perfection of wisdom. And if one does not lack in adjustment to perfection of wisdom, one is lacking in attention. But if in a Bodhisattva the two facts that one is not lacking in attention, and one is not lacking in dwelling in perfection of wisdom belong together, then all beings also will not be lacking in dwelling in perfection of wisdom because these also dwell not lacking in attention.
Subhuti: Well said, and yet I must reprove you, although the Venerable Sariputra has taken hold of the matter correctly as far as the words are concerned. One knows attention is without own-being in the same way in which beings are without own-being; attention has no real existence in the same way in which beings have no real existence; attention is isolated in the same way in which beings are isolated; attention is unthinkable in the same way in which beings are unthinkable; acts of mental attention do not undergo any process which leads to enlightenment in the same way in which beings do not undergo any process; acts of attention do not in any real sense undergo any process which leads to enlightenment, any more than beings do. It is through attention of such a character as this I wish a Bodhisattva, a great being, may dwell in this dwelling.
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