Thursday, May 31, 2012

Treatise on the Golden Lion

By Fazang (643-712 CE)
Translated by C. C. Chang

[Ten observations are given here to illustrate the Huayan Doctrine through the medium of the golden lion in Her Majesty's palace.]

1. To understand the principle of dependent-arising.

2. To distinguish form and Emptiness.

3. To summarize the three characters.

4. To reveal the non-existence of forms.

5. To explain the truth of the unborn.

6. To discuss the five doctrines.

7. To master the ten mysteries.

8. To embrace the six forms.

9. To achieve the perfect Wisdom of Bodhi.

10. To enter into Nirvāna.

1. To understand the principle of dependent-arising. This is to say that gold has no inherent nature of its own [i.e., no Svabhāva]. It is owing to the artistry of the skillful craftsman that the form of the lion arises. This arising is the result solely of the cause-conditioning; therefore it is called the arising through dependent-arising.

2. To distinguish form and Emptiness. This means that the form of the lion is unreal; what is real is the gold. Because the lion is not existent, and the body of the gold is not non-existent, they are called form/Emptiness. Furthermore, Emptiness does not have any mark of its own; it is through forms that [Emptiness] is revealed. This fact that Emptiness does not impede the illusory existence of forms is called form/Emptiness [sê-k'ung].

3. To summarize the three characters. Because of men's delusory perceptions, the lion [seems to] exist [in a concrete manner]; this is called the character of universal imagination [parikalpita]. The [manifestation] of the lion appears to be existing, this is called the character of dependency on others [paratantra]. The nature of gold never changes, this is called the character of perfect reality [parinispanna].

Survey of Hua-Yen Buddhism

The next great school that helped define the Chinese Buddhist experience is the Hua-yen (“Wreath”) School, founded by Tu-shun (557-640). Tu-shun was a practitioner of meditation and a student of the Avatamsaka (Hua-yen) Sutra. While Tu-shun was the First Patriarch of Hua-yen Buddhism, it was really the Third Patriarch, Fa-tsang (643-712), who was the real architect of the school. Fa-tsang served as preceptor to four emperors and wrote the systematic philosophy of Hua-yen Buddhism. This philosophy is considered to be one of the most complex and difficult to understand in the Buddhist world. However, it gives us a glimpse into one of the profound dimensions of the Chinese Buddhist experience. [BIBE, 213]

Specifically, Hua-yen was interested in the interrelatedness of what is called the Dharmadhatu, the “realm of all dharmas,” or the totality of the cosmos. In the devotional writings based on the Avatamsaka Sutra, Hua-yen taught that the great Dharmadhatu is itself the very body of Vairocana Buddha. Therefore, to realize the true nature or suchness of the cosmos is to discover the Buddha-nature of all existence. In its philosophical writings, again based on the Avatamsaka Sutra, Hua-yen taught that the totality of the Dharmadhatu arises in an interdependence that is wondrous and harmonious. When one sees this marvelous harmony, one generates a deeper commitment to living the Bodhisattva Path in a way that embodies that harmony in daily life. Hua-yen sought to explain its experience of this wondrous vision of the cosmos in order to help Buddhists attain a liberating insight into the harmonious nature of the Dharmadhatu. [BIBE, 213-4]

The Relationship Between Li and Shi
Four Approaches to the Dharmadhatu
The First Approach
First is the ordinary experience of existence that reveals the “realm of phenomena” (Chinese: shih), or the myriad dharmas. According to Hua-yen, this is the vision of the cosmos with which the early Buddhist tradition, such as Theravada, works in order to gain Nirvana by the purification of the negative phenomena in one’s consciousness. [BIBE, 214]
The Second Approach
Second is the experience of existence that reveals the emptiness of all phenomena, the true suchness of all things. This is the “realm of principle” (Chinese: li), with which Mahayana works in order to attain Buddhahood. Through this second vision, one realizes that the real and inherent “principle,” or nature of things, is always pure. While phenomena may be either pure or impure, in essence they are empty of the independent nature one conceives them to have. Realizing this emptiness, the dependent arising of existence, reveals the inherent purity as the Buddha-nature of all phenomena. This inherent purity as the principle of existence is likened to a clear mirror. While the mirror may reflect pure and impure images, its essential clarity is never lost. [BIBE, 214]
The Third Approach
Now we come to the third experience of the cosmos, namely, seeing “the realm of the non-obstruction between principle (li) and phenomena (shih).” This non-obstruction refers to the fundamental Mahayana identity of emptiness with phenomena, or Nirvana with samsara. For Hua-yen, these two aspects of reality “interpenetrate” such that the essential purity of suchness is not lost, and the diversity of dependently arisen phenomena is maintained.

Once Fa-tsang presented this notion of mutual penetration in a lecture to Empress Wu. In her palace, he used a golden statue of a lion to illustrate his ideas. Later, he used this lecture to compose his famous Treatise on the Golden Lion....In the first gate, it is said that the gold (emptiness) and the lion (the totality of phenomena or forms) come into being simultaneously. In the second gate, it is said that the oneness of this dependent arising in which all things condition each other does not obstruct the unique identities of each thing in the cosmos

Form and Emptiness

2. This means that the form [i.e. phenomenon] of the lion is unreal; what is real is the gold [i.e. principle]. Because the lion is not existent [since it is “empty”], and the body of the gold is not non-existent [since it has “quasi existence” within the infinitely malleable matrix of reality], they are called form/Emptiness. Furthermore, Emptiness does not have any mark of its own; it is through forms that [Emptiness] is revealed [i.e. principle is “unconditioned” since it is the “thusness” of reality itself, but it finds expression in “conditioned” things]. This fact that Emptiness does not impede the illusory existence of forms is called form/Emptiness.

 The Fourth Approach

Finally we arrive at the fourth experience of the cosmos in which one sees “the realm of the non-obstruction between phenomena (shih and shih).” Here, we are not looking at the relationship between emptiness and phenomena, but at the relationship between the phenomena themselves. For Hua-yen, the vision of this non-obstruction reveals that the dependent arising of all phenomena exists as a totality of dynamic interrelatedness. It also reveals that the phenomena making up this totality are related to one another by what Hua-yen calls “mutual identification” and “mutual penetration.” [BIBE, 215]

The jeweled net of Sakra is also called Indra’s Net, and is made up of jewels. The jewels are shiny and reflect each other successively, their images permeating each other over and over. In a single jewel they all appear at the same time, and this can be seen in each and every jewel. There is really no coming or going. Now if we turn to the southwest direction and pick up one of the jewels to examine it, we will see that this one jewel can immediately reflect the images of all of the other jewels. Each of the other jewels will do the same. Each jewel will simultaneously reflect the images of all the jewels in this manner, as will all of the other jewels. The images are repeated and multiplied in each other in a manner that is unbounded. Within the boundaries of a single jewel are contained the unbounded repetition and profusion of the images of all the jewels. The reflections are exceedingly clear and are completely unhindered.

If you sit in one jewel, you will at that instant be sitting repeatedly in all of the other jewels in all directions. Why is this? It is because one jewel contains all the other jewels. Since all the jewels are contained in this one jewel, you are sitting at that moment in all the jewels. The converse that all are in one follows the same line of reasoning. Through one jewel you enter all jewels without having to leave that one jewel, and in all jewels you enter one jewel without having to rise from your seat in the one jewel.

Mutual Identification

The mutual identification of all things does not imply a kind of static identification by which one might say, for example, that fire is the same as ice. Rather, in the Hua-yen vision, all phenomena in the cosmos are dependently arising together simultaneously. Each phenomenon provides a condition for the arising of the whole cosmos, and the particular totality of the cosmos is dependent on the conditions provided by all of its parts. If one part, one thing, was different or not present, the totality would itself be different. In dependent arising, each phenomenon plays an identical role in the mutual forming of the universe....In realizing this mutual identification, a person discovers that he or she owes his or her existence to countless beings throughout the universe. This discovery gives one a deeper sense of gratitude and respect for other beings. One also feels a deeper sense of responsibility for how one uses his or her existence, given its effect on the universe. This discovery will also give one a greater aspiration to benefit all living beings (bodhicitta).

Treatise on the Golden Lion
Mastering the Ten Mysteries/Gates

[7] In each eye, ear, limb, joint and hair of the lion is [reflected] a golden lion. All these golden lions in all the hairs simultaneously enter into a single hair. Thus in each hair, there are an infinite number of lions. In addition, all single hairs, together with their infinite number of lions, enter into a single hair. In a similar way, there is an endless progression [of realms interpenetrating realms] just like the jewels of Indra’s net.
[BIBE, 217; cf. OBS, 271]

Hua-yen in Practice

In Hua-yen practice, tranquility meditation is used to enable a person to find emptiness as the quiescent nature of all things. This leads to detachment and inner calm in the midst of the world. Then through insight meditation one sees this emptiness functioning as the forms of the world. This functioning is experienced as an interpenetrating, fascinating, and wonderful matrix of dependent arising. This insight, in turn, leads to a rejection of world renunciation and a compassion for all living beings who fail to see this hidden harmony and are caught in afflictive mental formations. Thereby, one dwells spiritually neither in samsara nor Nirvana but courses freely as a bodhisattva in the matrix of the cosmos seeking the benefit of others. Hua-yen’s vision of this matrix of mutual identification and penetration, where all things are interwoven in perfect balance and harmony, was very appealing to the Chinese world, which had always appreciated both harmony and nature. [BIBE, 218]


Introduction To San-Lun Buddhism

The San-lun school is the Chinese form of the Indian Madhyamaka school. San-lun literally means "Three Treatise". It refers to the three written works fundamental for the school:

1. Madhyamaka-karika ("Memorial Verses on the Middle Teaching", by Nagarjuna): It has twenty-seven short chapters (400 verses). The main attempt is to refute the Hinayana teaching and also to analyze non- Buddhism teachings.

2. Shata-shastra ("Treatise on the Hundred Songs", by Aryadeva, 170-270, the fifteenth patriarch in the Indian lineageof Zen): The main attempt is to refute various philosophical theories opposed to Buddhism in order to show the real meaning of Mahayana.

3. Dvadashadvara-shastra ("Treatise of the Twelve Gates", by Nagarjuna): The main attempt is to refute the Hinayana teaching and other non-Buddhism teachings.

These three texts were translated into Chinese and provided with commentary by Kumarajiva(344-413) in the 5th century. Kumarajiva passed these texts on to his Chinese monk students. Among them Dao-sheng, Seng-jao, Dao-zong, and Seng-lang are the most outstanding scholars in the group and they are also the four major contributors who actually laid the foundation of this school.

In the 6th century the most important representatives of this school were Fa-lang (507-581) and his foreign student Chi-tsang (or Jia-shan, 549-623) and under them the San-lun school experienced a major upsurge, In the 7th century it was brought to Japan by Ekwan, a Korean student of Chi-tsang. After the appearance of the Fa-hsiang school, the San-lun school decreased in importance.

The school believes that each thing exists only in virtue of its opposite, all things are only relative and without essence (svabhavata), i.e. are empty (shunyata). In other words, the existence of one presupposes the existence of the other. Opposites are mutually dependent, therefore such entities can not really exist. The theory is based on the discussion of the experiential facts from the Prajnaparamita-sutra. From Nagarjuna's explanation, emptiness means the absence of an essence in thing but not their nonexistence as phenomena. The phenomenal world is characterized by manifoldness (prapancha), which is the basis of all mental representations and thus creates the appearance of an external world. To prove the theory can actually be experimental, a logical analysis is essential to the school. The methodological approach of rejecting all opposites is the basis of the Middle Way of San-lun. This middle position is clearly expressed in the "eight negations":

1. No creation (Chinese, "sian").

2. No elimination (Chinese, "mei").

3. No destruction (Chinese, "dwan").

4. No eternity (Chinese, "shang").

5. No unity (Chinese, "I")

6. No manifoldness (Chinese, "ie").

7. No arriving. (Chinese, "lai").

8. No departing (Chinese, "chui")
From this analysis, the San-lun school draws the conclusion the basic nature of the world is conditioned arising (pratitya-samutapada). It is unreal and empty, since through it none of the above eight phenomena (such as creation and elimination) are available.

Similar to other Chinese Buddhism schools, San-lun also undertakes a division of the Buddha's teaching into different categories. This school postulates that the Buddha's teaching can be categorized in "two paths and three turns". The two paths are:

1. The path of shravakas (lit., "hearer"): it is essentially the Hinayana teaching.

2. The path of bodhisattvas (lit., "enlightenment being"): it is the Mahayana teachings. The San-lun school is part of the path.

The school also distinguishes three phases of doctrine as three "turning dharma wheels". Turning, in other words, is the action of giving teachings. The dharma wheel is the content of the universal rules that lead the practitioners to the enlightenment. Each "turning dharma wheel" is a full cycle of teaching that satisfied various audiences in different circumstance:

1. Turning the fundamental wheel: The first phase is that of the Avatamsaka-sutra period, which represents the beginning of the Buddh's teaching career. This teaching was meant for bodhisattvas, other students at that time were not ready to understand this instruction.

2. Turning the application wheel: The second phase extends from the Agamas-sutra to the Lotus Sutra, includes all the teachings of the Hinayana and the Mahayana, is directed toward shravakas, pratyekabuddhas (lit., "solitary awakened one"), and bodhisattvas.

3. Turning the conclusive wheel: The third phase follows the period of the Lotus Sutra. In this period beings were ready to accept the conclusive single Buddha-vehicle (ekayana).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Introduction to Hua-Yen Buddhism - 7

Fa-tsang: Cultivation of Contemplation of the Inner Meaning of the Hua-yen:

The Ending of Delusion and Return to the Source

The full teaching is inconceivable— when you look into a single atom it appears all at once. The complete school is unfathomable— by observing a fine hair it is all equally revealed. Functions are separated in the essence, however, and are not without different patters; phenomena are manifest depending on noumenon and inherently have a unitary form. It is like this: when sickness occurs, medicine is developed; when delusion is born, knowledge is established. When the sickness is gone, the medicine is forgotten; it is like using an empty fist to stop a child's crying. When the mind is penetrated, phenomena are penetrated; empty space is adduced to represent universality. One awakened, once enlightened, what obstruction or penetration is there? The clinging of the hundred negations is stopped; the exaggeration and underestimation of the four propostions is ended. Thereby we find that medicine and sickness both disappear, quietude and confusion both melt and dissolve; it is thereby possible to enter the mysterious source, efface "nature" and "characteristics", and enter the realm of reality.

Here in this work I am collecting the mysterious profundities and summing up the great source, producing a volume of scripture within an atom, turning the wheel of the Teaching on a hair. Those with clarity will grow in virtue on the same day; the blind have no hope in many lives. For those who understand the message, mountains are easy to move; for those who turn away from the source, ounces are hard to take.

Because sentient beings are deluded, they think illusion is to be abandoned and think reality is to be entered; when they are enlightened, illusion itself is reality— there is no other reality besides to enter. The meaning here is the same; entering without entering, it is called entry. Why? Entering and not entering are fundamentally equal; it is the same one cosmos. The "Treatise on Awakening of Faith" says, "If sentient beings can contemplate no thought, this is called entering the gate of true thusness."

As for the five cessations, first is cessation by awareness of the pure emptiness of things and detachment from objects. This means that things in ultimate truth are empty and quiescent in their fundamental nature; things in conventional truth seem to exist yet are empty. The ultimate and conventional, purely empty, are null and groundless; once relating knowledge is stilled, objects related to are empty. Mind and objects not constraining, the essence pervades, empty and open. At the moment of true realization, cause and effect are both transcended. The Vimalakirti scripture says, "The truth is not in the province of cause, nor in effect." Based on this doctrine we call it cessation by awareness of the pure emptiness of things and detachment from objects. Second is cessation by contemplation of the voidness of person and cutting off desire. That is, the five clusters have no master— this is called void. Empty quietude without any seeking is called cutting off desire. Therefore it is called cessation by contemplation of the voidness of person and cutting off desire. Third is cessation because of the spontaneity of the profusion of natural evolution... Fourth is cessation by the light of concentration shining forth without thought. This refers to the precious jewel of the blessed universal monarch with a pure jewel net... Fifth is formless cessation in the mystic communion of noumenon and phenomena.

Sixth is the contemplation of the net of Indra, where principal and satellites reflect one another. This means that with self as principal, one looks to others as satellites or companions; or else one thing or principle is taken as principal and all things or principles become satellites or companions; or one body is taken as principal and all bodies become satelllites. Whatever single thing is brought up, immediately principal and satellite are equally contained, multiplying infinitely— this represents the nature of things manifesting reflections multiplied and remultiplied in all phenomena, all infinitely. This is also the infinite doubling and redoubling of compassion and wisdom. It is like when the boy Sudhana gradually traveled south from the Jeta grove until he reached the great tower of Vairocana's ornaments. For a while he concentrated, then said to Maitreya, "O please, Great Sage, open the door of the tower and let me enter." Maitreya snapped his fingers and the door opened. When Sudhana had entered, it closed as before. He saw that inside the tower were hundreds and thousands of towers, and in front of each tower was a Maitreya Bodhisattva, and before each Maitreya Bodhisattva was a boy Sudhana, each Sudhana joining his palms before Maitreya. This represents the multiple levels of the cosmos of reality, like the net of Indra, principal and satellites reflecting each other. This is also the contemplation of noninterference among all phenomena.

Introduction to Hua-Yen Buddhism - 6

Chih-yen: Ten Mysterious Gates of the Unitary Vehicle of the Hua-yen

Multiplicity within unity and unity within multiplicity are represented in this treatise not only in terms of the interdependence or mutual definition of numbers but also in terms of a holistic view in which every part includes the whole by virtue of being inextricably related. By emphasizing the relationship of teacher, teaching, and student, as well as the interdependence of phenomena and principles, Chih-yen establishes this very principle of relativity as the central and pervasive principle of the comprehensive, unitary teaching of the Hua-yen. Thus the Hua-yen teaching subsumes all the Buddhist teachings, specifically and generally, into a whole which transcends, wtihout obliterating, the multitude of differences in the doctrines and practices of Buddhism.

There are ten aspects of interdependent origination which are all interrelated:

1) Simultaneous complete interrelation— this is explained in reference to the interrelation

2) The realm of the net of Indra— this is explained in terms of metaphor.

3) Latent concealment and revelation both existing— this is explained in terms of conditions.

4) Minute containment and establishment— this is explained in terms of forms and characteristics.

5) Separate phenomena of the ten time divisions variously existing— this is explained in terms of time divisions.

6) The purity and mixture of the repositories containing all virtues— this is explained in terms of practice.

7) One and many containing each other without being the same— this is explained in terms of noumenon.

8) All things freely identifying with each other— this is explained in terms of function.

9) Creation only by the operation of mind— this is explained in terms of mind.

10) Using phenomena to illustrate the Teaching and produce understanding— this is explained in terms of knowledge.

In each of these ten gates are also ten, all together making a hundred. These ten are:

1) doctrine and meaning

3) understanding and practice

4) cause and result

5) person and dharma

6) divisions of sphere and stage

7) teaching and knowledge, teacher and disciple

8) prinicpal & satellites, objective & subjective realms

9) retrogression & progression, substance & function

10) adaptation to the faculties, inclinations, and natures of beings.

Introduction to Hua-Yen Buddhism - 5

The Ten Mysterious Gates

These ten aspects of the mutual inclusion of all phenomena as delineated by Tu Shun were further developed by Chih-yen and Fa-tsang into the famous doctrine of the ten mysterious gates:

1) simultaneous complete correspondence: all things come from interdependent origination,
simulataneously depending on each other for their manifestation.

2) freedom and noninterference of extension and restriction, or breadth and narrowness:
all interdependent things have both these limited & unlimited aspects, in that as conditional individual phenomena they are integral partrs of the whole universe.

3) one and many containing each other without being the same: the power of one phenomenon enters into all other phenomena, while the power of all other phenomena enters into one. The doings of a society affect the individual in that society while the doings of the individual affect the society— this is but two ways of saying that each individual in a society affects, directly or indirectly, every other individual.

4) mutual identification of all things: the two aspects (one and many) are shown to merge into one suchness; this is likened to water and waves containing each other.

5) existence of both concealment and revelation: when one thing is identified with all things, then the all is manifest and the one is concealed. When all things are identified with one, then one is manifest and the many is cncealed.

6) establishment of mutual containment even in the minute: even the most minute particle contains all things, like a mirror reflecting the myriad forms.

7) realm of Indra's net: The net of Indra is a net of jewels: not only does each jewel reflect all
the other jewels but the reflections of all the jewels in each jewel also contain the reflections of all the other jewels, ad infinitum. This "infinity of infinities" represents the interidentification and interpenetration of all things as illustrated in the preceding gates.

8) using a phenomenon to illustrate a principle and produce understanding: Since one and all
are mutually coproduced, one can be used to illustrate all— that is to say, for example, that the relativity of one phenomenon reveals the relativity of all. This concept is often referred as the Buddhist teaching being revealed on the tip of a hair or in a mote of dust.

9) separate phenomena of the ten time frames variously existing: The ten time frames are the past, present, and future of the past, present, and future, and the totality— that is, the past of the past, the present of the past, the future of the past, the past of the present, the present of the present, the future of the present, the past of the future, the present of the future, the future of the future, and the totality of all these times.

10) the principal and satellites completely illumined and containing all qualities: when one thing is made the focus, it becomes the "principal" while everything else is a multitude of "satellites" of the principal.

Introduction to Hua-Yen Buddhism - 4

The Four Realms of Reality

The dialect of Hua-yen philosophy is consummated in the doctrine of the four realms of reality, comprehending both conventional and absolute reality. The four realms are the realm of phenomena, the realm of noumenon (which means the principle of emptiness), the realm of noninterference between noumenon and phenomena, and the realm of noninterference among phenomena... Tu Shun's "Contemplation of Reality-Realm" explores ten aspects of the noninterference of noumenon and phenomena:

1) aspect of noumenon pervading phenomena: emptiness is wholly present in all things; in terms of impermanence, it means that transience is inherent in all things.

2) aspect of phenomena pervading noumenon: the noumenon in any particular phenomenon is the same as the noumenon in all other phenomena. The space in one atom, seen from the standpoint of space itself and not the boundaries of phenomena, is one with the whole of space.

3) aspect of the formation of phenomenoa based on noumenon: since phenomena are conditional their existence depends on their relativity— they can only exist because of their very lack of inherent identity.

4) aspect of phenomena being able to show noumenon: for phenomena, there would be no medium of expression & perception of the principle of relativity— indeed there would be no relativity.

5) aspect of removing phenomena by means of noumenon: By bringing the awareness of noumenon or emptiness to the fore, one views the nonabsoluteness or nonfinality of the characteristics or appearance of things.

6) aspect of phenomena being able to conceal noumenon: the surface of things, the obvious appearances, obscure the noumenon. While we all have Buddha nature, our attachments & illusions prevent us from being aware of it.

7) aspect of the true noumenon being identical to phenomena: the noumenon is not outside of things

8) aspect of phenomena being identical to noumenon: phenomena, originating interdependently, being products of causes & conditions, have no individual reality, and in that sense are identical to the noumenon, emptiness.

9) aspect of true noumenon not being phenomena: emptiness qua emptiness is not the characteristics of form. The appearance of discrete phenomena is an illusion; although the illusion is in reality empty, emptiness is not the illusion.

10) aspect of phenomena not being noumenon: phenomena qua phenomena are not noumenon, that characteristics or appearances are not essence. These last two aspects view noumenon and phenomena as extremes, on the basis of which they are correlative.

Introduction to Hua-Yen Buddhism - 3

Emptiness and Relativity

To delve into the philosophy of Hua-yen Buddhism, it is necessary to deal with the doctrine of emptiness, which is central to Buddhism... A very simple and useful way to glimpse emptiness— usually defined in the Hua-yen scripture as emptiness of intrinsic nature or own being— is by considering things from different points of view. What for one form of life is a waste product is for another form of life an essential nutrient; what is a predator for one species is prey to another. In this sense it can be seen that things do not have fixed, self-defined nature of their own; what they "are" depends upon the relationships in terms of which they are considered. Even if we say that something is the sum total of its possibilities, still we cannot point to a unique, intrinsic, self-defined nature that characterizes the thing in its very essence.

Fa-tsang expounds the essential nondifference of the two senses of the three natures. Though the real nature, going along with conditions, becomes defiled or pure, it never loses its inherent purity— tha is indeed why it can become defiled or pure according to conditions. This purity is likened to a clear mirror reflecting the defiled and pure while never losing the clarity of the mirror— indeed it is precisely because the mirror does not lose its clarity that it can reflect defiled and pure forms. By the reflection of defiled and pure forms, in fact, we can know that the mirror itself is clear. So it is, Fa-tsang explains, with the principle of true thusness: it not only becomes defiled and pure without affecting its inherent purity but by its becoming defiled or pure its inherent purity is revealed. Not only does it reveal its inherent purity without obliterating defilement and purity; it is precisely because of its inherent purity that it can become defiled and pure. Here "inherent purity" means emptiness of inherently fixed nature whereas relative "defilement" and "purity" depend on action and the experiencing mind. All mundane and holy states are manifestations of "thusness", yet the essential nature of thusness— which is naturelessness— is not affected.

This brings us to the relative nature. Fa-tsang says that although it is through cause and conditions that seeming existence appears, yet this seeming existence cannot have inherent nature or essential reality because whatever is born of conditions has no essence or nature of its own. If it is not essenceless, then it does not depend on conditions; and if it does not depend on conditions, then it is not seeming existence. Since the establishment of seeming existence must proceed from a set of conditions, it has no inherent reality of its own. Therefore, Fa-tsang continues, the Ta-chih-tu lun says: "Observe that all things are born from causes and conditions, and so have no individual reality, and hence are ultimately empty. Ultimate emptiness is called transcendent wisdom." By conditional origination, Fa-tsang points out, absence of inherent nature is revealed; when the Chung lun says "because there is the truth of emptiness, all things can be established," this is showing conditional production by menas of absence of inherent nature. Fa-tsang then quotes the Nirvana scripture, saying, "Phenomena exist because of causality and are void because of essencelessness," concluding that absence of inherent nature and causality are identical. Thus are the real nature and the relative nature harmonized and seen to be different views of the same truth.

Introduction To Hua-Yen Buddhism - 2 - Lineage

The Hua-yen teachings were originally projected in the Chinese field largely through the works of five eminent monks who are known as the founders or patriarchs of the Hua-yen school:

Tu Shun (557-640):

Contemplation of the Realm of Reality (Fa-chieh kuan)

Mysteries of the Realm of Reality of the Hua-yen

Cessation and Contemplation in the Five Teachings of the Hua-yen

Ten Mysterious Gates of the Unitary Vehicle of the Hua-yen

(Hua-yen i-ch'eng shih hsuan men)

Chih-yen (600-668):

Record of Searches into the Mysteries of the Hua-yen Scripture

Fifty Essential Questions and Answers on the Hua-yen

Fa-tsang (643-712):

Treatise on the Golden Lion

Record of Investigation into the Mysteries of the Hua-yen Scripture

Forest of Topics in the Hua-yen (Hua-yen ts'e lin)

Treatise on the Divisions of Doctrine in the Unitary Vehicle of the Hua-yen

Treatise on the Five Teachings (Wu chiao chang)

Record of Musings on the Realm of the Teaching of the Hua-yen

Record of Doctrines Forming the Pulse of the Hua-yen Scripture

Treatise on Development of the Will for Enlightenment According to the Hua-yen

Treatise on the Three Treasures Established in the Book on Clarification of Method

A Hundred Gates of the Ocean of Meanings in the Hua-yen Scripture

Cultivation of Contemplation of the Inner Meaning of the Hua-yen:

The Ending of Delusion and Return to the Source

Cheng-kuan (738-839 or 760-820):

Eighteen Questions and Answers on the 'Entry into the Realm of Reality'

Explanations of Verses on the Seven Locations and Nine Assemblies

Contemplation of the Five Clusters (Wu yun kuan)

Contemplation of the Merging of the Three Sages

Teaching of the Mind Essentials of the Hua-yen

Tsung-mi (780-841):

Comprehensive Introduction to a Collection of Expositions of the Sources of Ch'an

Commentary on Yuan-chiao ching, Scripture on Complete Enlightenment

Study of the Basis of Man (Taoist, Confucian, and Buddhist teachings)

Introduction to Hua-Yen Buddhism - 1

Vairocana Buddha
The Hua-yen doctrine shows the entire cosmos as a single nexus of conditions in which everything simultaneously depends on, and is depended on by, everything else. Seen in this light, then, everything affects and is affected by, more or less immediately or remotely, everything else; just as this is true of every system of relationships, so is it true of the totality of existence. In seeking to understand individuals and groups, therefore, Hua-yen thought considers the manifold as an integral part of the unit and the unit as an integral part of the manifold; one individual is considered in terms of relationships to other individuals as well as to the whole nexus, while the whole nexus is considered in terms of its relation to each individual as well as to all individuals.

The ethic of the Hua-yen teaching is based on this fundamental theme of universal interdependence; while the so-called bodhisattva, the person devoted to enlightenment, constantly nourishes aspiration and will going beyond the world, nevertheless the striving for completion and perfection, the development of ever greater awareness, knowledge, freedom, and capability, is continually reinvested, as it were, in the world, dedicated to the liberation and enlightenment of all beings. The awakening and unfolding of the complete human potential leads to realms beyond that of conventional experience, and indeed to ultimate transcendence of all conditional experience, yet the bodhisattva never maligns the ordinary and does not forsake it, instead translating appropriate aspects of higher knowledge into insights and actions conducive to the common weal. It is generally characteristic of Mahayana or universalistic Buddhism that the mundane welfare of beings is considered a legitimate, if not ultimate, aim of bodhisattva activity, and many aspects of the ethical and practical life of bodhisattvas may be seen in this light... Bodhisattvas therefore strive to benefit all equally, without losing sight of the diversity and complexity of the means necessary to accomplish this end.

The Hua-yen Scripture

The T'ang dynasty (618-907), during which the Hua-yen school of Buddhism emerged and was fully articulated, was a period of remarkable activity in Chinese Buddhism as a whole. At least 39 Indian and Central Asian monks provided Chinese translations of hundreds of Buddhist texts, while over 50 Chinese monks traveled to India in search of Buddhist learning and lore... Historically speaking, it is often said that there are four major schools of Chinese Buddhism— the T'ien-t'ai, Hua-yen, Ch'an, and Ching-t'u schools. The former two are usually noted for their philosophy while the latter two are noted for their meditational practices; both philosophy & practice are, however, included in all four schools with varying degrees of emphasis & complexity.

No Temples on Ssukungshan

Past the lakes and swamps I journeyed
with the moon on my shoulders I reached Ssukung
where a cloud partch holds my robe together
and the snow fills me up when I'm hungry

--Hui-k'o - The Second Patriarch of Ch'an
Record of the Masters of the Lankavatara Sutra

Translated By Red Pine

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The 108 Kinds of Emotional Desires (Klesas)

108 kinds of emotional distress: (S. Klesas, J. Bonno) This doctrine is from the Abhidharma; The different kinds of Emotional Distress (S. Klesas or Klistomanas) are the afflictions of mind that stain or defile comprehension of realities (dharmas). Most kinds (darsana-heya klesas) are conceptual errors (false views) and can be eliminated by the path of insight, which is proper knowledge of the four truths. The most intractable (bhavana-heya klesas) must be eliminated through the cultivation of meditation practice because they are habitual and ingrained compulsions. The 108 different kinds are calculated as follows:

There are 36 in the Realm of Desire:
A. 10 eliminated by knowledge of the Truth of Suffering: greed, hatred, ignorance, conceit, doubt & the five false views (disbelief in cause & effect, clinging to views, belief in the ego, belief in extremes, and belief that rituals will lead to salvation)

B. 7 eliminated by knowledge of the Truth of Origination: The above ten except belief in the ego, belief in extreme views, and belief that rituals will lead to salvation

C. 7 eliminated by knowledge of the Truth of Extinction: The same as above

D. 8 eliminated by knowledge of the Truth of the Path: The same as above except belief in that ascetic practice or rituals will lead to salvation is added.

E. 4 eliminated only through practice of meditation: greed, hatred, ignorance & conceit - To a degree these four can be eliminated by knowledge of the Four Truths as conceptual errors, but there is a habitual and ingrained aspect to these that can only be eliminated by the intensive practice of introspective meditation. Doubt and the Five Views can be entirely eliminated through knowledge.
There are 31 each in the Realms of Form & Formlessness (Total of 62): In these two realms there is no hatred because they are purified from the desire for food or sex. Since the Realm of Desire associated with much suffering, it is easier to eliminate the relatively more crude afflictions. Since the Realms of Form & Formlessness are associated with more subtle kinds of contentment, it is more difficult to eliminate these afflictions.

A. 9 eliminated in each by knowledge of the Truth of Suffering (like above but without hatred)
B. 6 eliminated in each by knowledge of the Truth of Origination (like above but without hatred)
C. 6 eliminated in each by knowledge of the Truth of Extinction (like above but without hatred)
D. 7 eliminated in each by knowledge of the Truth of The Path (like above but without hatred)
E. 3 eliminated in each by greed, ignorance, & conceit
The 10 secondary afflictions (Upaklesas): absence of shame, absence of embarrassment (before others), envy, stinginess, regret, sleepiness, restlessness (distraction), sloth, anger, and the concealment of wrongdoing.

36 + 31+ 31 + 10 = 108