illusion metaphor

From Rangjung Yeshe Wiki - Dharma Dictionary
Revision as of 14:35, 6 July 2006 by Rangjung (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

སྒྱུ་མའི་དཔེ་sgyu ma'i dpe māyopāma

Metaphors used to describe the inconcrete, empty, nature of phenomena

Phenomenas are like a :
rmi lamsvapanadream
sgyu mamāyamagical illusion
mig 'khrulindrajālaoptical illusion
smig sgyumarīcīmirage
chu zlajalacandrareflections of the moon in water
me long nang gi gzugs brnyandarpaṇabiṃbareflections in a mirror
sgra brnyanpratiśabdaecho
dri za'i grong khyergandharvafairy city of Gandharvas
'gal ma'í khor loalātacakraphosphene
'ja' mtshonindraraṅgarainbow
glogvidyutaflash of lightning
chu burbudbudwater bubbles
sprul pa nirmāṇaphantom or a magical creation

I believe that mgal me'i 'khor lo is the correct spelling for the Tibetan that corresponds to alātacakra. I don't think it means 'phosphene.' It just means the illusion of a circle that occurs when you whirl a burning branch around in a circle. 'Whirling firebrand' is one of the usual ways to translate it. mgal dum means branches that have been left hanging from the tree (but dead and dried), which are taken down for the purpose. See the fairly long entry on alātacakra in Malalasekera's Encyclopaedia of Buddhism (Ceylon 1964), 1st fascicle, p. 379: "wheel of fire, of a fire-brand whirled in the air, used as a simile which is much fancied by almost all schools of Buddhist thought. It symbolises the transitory, hence the illusory and essenceless nature of things, and also restless or unceasing motion." The entry continues for most of a page.