Bodhisattva Behaviour | Śāntideva | 9


Engaging in Bodhisattva Behaviour

by Śāntideva c. 8th century

Part 9

Perfection of Wisdom

(1) The Sage has spoken about all these branches for the sake of discriminating awareness. Therefore, generate discriminating awareness with the wish to pacify sufferings.

(2) Surface and deepest, these are accepted as being the two truths. The deepest aren't cognitive objects of the dualistic mind; the dualistic mind is spoken of (in terms of) the surface.

(3) In light of that, the world is seen to be of two types: yogis and common people. And regarding that, the world of common people is undermined by the yogi world.

(4) Through differences in their intelligence, yogis too are undermined by progressively higher ones, by means of examples accepted by both and because, when not scrutinizing, (both accept that causes function) for the sake of the result.

(5) Functional phenomena are seen by the (common) world and conceptualized to be absolutely existent, and not like an illusion. It's in this regard that there's dispute between the yogis and the (common) world.

(6) But even form and so on, (as perceived by) straightforward cognition itself, is (established only) by popular consensus and not by valid cognition; and that's false, like the popular consensus that what's unclean and so forth is clean and so on.

(7) For the sake of causing the (common) world to enter, the Guardian (Buddha) has taught that there are (truly existent) functional phenomena. Their actual nature, however, is that they aren't "momentary things." (Suppose, like the Sautrāntikas,) you objected, "But, it's supposed to contradict the (common) surface (view)."

(8) (Well,) surface (truth asserted) by yogis has no fault, and that's a seeing of their actual nature in contrast with the (common) world's (view); otherwise, (their) ascertainment of the uncleanliness of a woman's (body, for instance,) would be undermined by the (common) world.

(9) (Furthermore,) from Triumphant Ones, who are like an illusion, (comes) positive force, in the same way as if they (actually) were (truly existent) functional phenomena. Suppose you objected, "But, if a limited being were like an illusion, then how could he take rebirth, once having died?"

(10) (Well,) so long as conditions are gathered together, for that long an illusion lasts as well; and how could a limited being be truly existent merely because his continuity lasts longer?

(11) In murdering, and so on, a person that is (actually) an illusion, there's no negative force, since it hasn't a mind; but, with someone having the (type of) illusion a mind (actually) is, positive and negative forces accrue.

(12) Because mantras and so forth lack the ability, they cannot produce an (actual) illusory mind. And even that illusory one that arises from varying conditions is of varying sorts, (since) nowhere is there one condition having the ability for (producing) all.

(13) (Suppose you asked,) "If, in deepest (truth), someone were released in (natural) nirvana and, in surface (truth), were circling in Saṁsāra; then, since Buddha as well would be circling in Saṁsāra, what use would there be with Bodhisattva behaviour?"

(14) (Well,) even an illusion cannot be turned back, unless the continuity of its conditions is cut. Yet, when the continuity of its conditions is cut, it doesn't arise even in surface (truth).

(15) (Suppose, like the Cittamatra, you then asked,) "When even the deceptive awareness (of it) doesn't (truly) exist, by what is the illusion being focused on?" (Well,) when the illusion itself doesn't (externally) exist, according to you, then, on what is it being focused?”

(16) Suppose (you answered,) "In actuality, it exists as something else: it's an aspect of mind itself." (Well,) when mind itself is what the illusion (actually) is, then what's being seen by what?

(17) It's been said by the Guardian for the World, in fact, "Mind cannot see mind." Just as the edge of a sword cannot cut itself, so (it is with) the mind.

(18) (Suppose you responded,) "But, it's just like how a candle flame perfectly illuminates itself as a phenomenon." (Well,) the flame of a candle isn't being illuminated, since it's not something that had been obscured by darkness.

(19) Suppose (you replied), "Well, a blue object, (for example,) doesn't depend on something else for its being blue, as does a (clear) crystal; so like this, some things are seen that depend on another and some that do not so depend."

(20) (Well,) when something is (an example of) non-blue, it can't make itself blue by itself; (and what blue object can make itself blue by itself?)

(21) (Suppose you persisted,) "But, as it's cognized by a cognition, it can be said, 'The candle flame is illuminating itself.'" (Well,) upon its being cognized by what can that statement be made, "A mind is illuminating itself?"

(22) And when it's never been seen by anyone, then discussing whether it's (self) luminous or not (self) luminous is meaningless, like the beautiful looks of the daughter of a barren woman.

(23) (Suppose you insisted,) "But, if reflexive awareness doesn't exist, then how does a consciousness come to be recalled?" (Well,) a recollection comes about from a connection with another (object) that was experienced, like the poison from a rat.

(24) (And suppose you persisted,) "But, it can illuminate itself, because, when endowed with other conditions, there's the seeing (of others' minds)." (Well,) a (buried treasure) vase that's seen from applying actualized magic eye lotion still wouldn't be the eye lotion itself.

(25) How something is seen, heard, or known is not being nullified in this at all. Here, (instead,) conceptual cognition (of it) as truly existent, which has become the cause for suffering, is being turned back.

(26) (Suppose you said,) "An illusion (of an external object) isn't different from the mind; yet it can't be conceived as non-different." (Well,) if it were a (truly existent) functional phenomenon, how could it not be different? And if (you said) it's not different, it couldn't be a (truly existent) functional phenomenon.

(27) Just as an illusion, though not truly existent, can still be seen, so too is it with what does the seeing. Suppose (you still objected,) "But, Saṁsāra must have a (truly existent) functional phenomenon as its support; otherwise, it would be like space."

(28) (Well,) how could a non-phenomenon come to have a function through its being supported on (a truly existent) functional one? And the mind you (asserted) would get (reduced, in fact,) to something existing alone by itself, accompanied by nothing.

(29) And when the mind would be (naturally) free of cognized objects, then everyone would be a Thusly Gone (Buddha). And if that were the case, what benefit would there be in conceiving of mind-only?

(30) (Suppose you asked,) "Even upon knowing the similarity (of things) with illusion, how does disturbing emotion turn back, when it's the case that lust for an illusory woman can arise even in the one who conjured her?"

(31) (Well, that happens because) the conjurer hasn't rid himself yet of the habit for disturbing emotion toward knowable things, and so, when he sees her, his habit for voidness is still weak in force.

(32) However, by habituating himself to the habit of voidness, he'll rid himself of the habit of (cognizing) phenomena (as truly existent). Then, by habituating himself with "not existing at all," he'll later come to rid himself even of (cognizing) that.

(33) When a (truly existent) functional phenomenon, which is conceived as "not existing," is no longer taken as the mental aim; then lacking a support, how can the non-functional phenomenon (of its non-true existence) remain before the dualistic mind?

(34) When neither a (truly existent) functional phenomenon nor the non-functional one (of its non-true existence) remains before the dualistic mind, then since the other alternatives cannot be the case, there's full pacification into (a state) without mental aim (at the impossible).

(35) (Then,) just as a wish-fulfilling gem and a wish-granting tree fulfil all wishes; likewise, through the power of disciples to be tamed and of prayers, the Enlightening Form of a Triumphant One appears.

(36) For example, just as when a garudika healer has passed away after actualizing a wooden healing post, it still can pacify poison and the like, even when a long time's expired since his passing;

(37) So too, when a Bodhisattva has passed into nirvana, after actualizing the healing-post (body) of a Triumphant One in accord with Bodhisattva behaviour, it still can perform all that's to be done.

(38) (Suppose you asked,) "How can offerings made to something lacking a mind have results?" (Well,) why? Because whether he's still here or has already passed into nirvana, it's been proclaimed as being the same.

(39) According to scriptural authority, results are there, whether from the surface (viewpoint) or that of actuality. It's like, for example, how (you'd say that offerings made) to a truly existent Buddha has results.

(40) (Suppose, like the Hīnayāna, you then objected,) "But, since liberation comes from seeing the (four noble) truths, what's the use of seeing voidness?"

(Well,) why? Because from scriptural authority it's been proclaimed that without this path, there's no purified state.

(41) Suppose (you then objected,) "But, Mahāyāna’s not established (as valid)!" (Well,) how can your scriptures be established? (If you answered,) "Because they're established for both parties." (Well,) they weren't established for you from the start.

(42) Any criterion that would give confidence in them would equally (apply) to the Mahāyāna ones too. And if acceptance by two different parties could make something true, then the Vedas and so on would also become true.

(43) Suppose (you argued), "It's because the Mahāyāna ones are disputed." (Well,) because (your) scriptures are disputed by non-Buddhists and some other (sections within your) scriptures by yourselves and others, they'd have to be discarded (too).

(44) (Suppose you said,) "But the teachings (of the four noble truths) are the root of the (absolute) monkhood (of Arhats)." (Well,) even (absolute) monkhood itself is on difficult grounds, (since) the nirvana of a mind still aimed (at the impossible) is on difficult grounds.

(45) (Suppose you replied,) "But they've become liberated, because they've rid themselves of disturbing emotion." (Well,) that would need to have happened immediately upon that; however, it's seen that despite (their) lacking disturbing emotion, they're still under the power of karma.

(46) Suppose (you then said), "But it's definite that they don't have, still to some extent, craving (as a condition) for obtaining (rebirth)." (Well,) why couldn't it be that a craving that's not with disturbing emotion (is still existing in them,) while still with bewilderment about all?

(47) Through the circumstance of feeling, there's craving, and feeling still exists in them as well. So a mind still having an aim (at the impossible) will come to be settled on one or another.

(48) A mind that's parted from voidness may block (it), but it'll arise once again, as with a trance that lacks distinguishing. Therefore, one needs to meditate on voidness.

(49) (So again,) if you accept as spoken by the Buddha any speech that's made it down into the Sūtras, then why not accept the Mahāyāna, which, for the most part, are equivalent to (your) Sūtras?

(50) If, because of one exception, all would become corrupt; then why, because of one equivalence to (your) Sūtras, wouldn't all have been spoken by the Buddha?

(51) And who would consider unacceptable some speech, the depths of which (even) Mahākāśyapa and the like couldn't fathom, (simply) because you can't understand it?

(52) (After all,) the fruit of (realizing) voidness is this: through freedom from the extremes of attachment and fear, being able to stay in Saṁsāra for the sake of those suffering from being bewildered.

(53) As it's like this, derision's improper in the direction of voidness. Therefore, without indecisively wavering, meditate, please, on voidness.

(54) Voidness is the opponent for the darkness of the emotional and cognitive obscuration; (so) how can someone wishing for omniscience quickly not meditate on it?

(55) (Cognizing) phenomena (as truly existent) gives rise to suffering: generate fear for that. But (realizing) voidness pacifies suffering: so why does fear generate for that?

(56) (Go ahead and) be afraid of whatever, if there were something called a "me"; but as there's nothing that is a “me,” then whose fear will it be?

(57) Teeth, hair, or nails are not a "me"; nor am “I” bones or blood. ("I'm") neither mucous nor phlegm; and nor am “I” lymph or pus.

(58) “I” am not fat or sweat; nor am “I” even lungs or a liver. "I'm" not any of the other inner organs; nor am “I” faeces or urine.

(59) Flesh or skin is not a "me"; nor am “I” temperature or energy-wind. In no way am “I” ever a bodily hole, nor are the six types of consciousness a "me."

(60) And if (a person) were a permanent cognizer (as Saṁkhyā asserts, and) of a sound, the sound would be cognized all of the time. But when bereft of something it cognizes, what does it know, by means of which it could be called a cognizer?

(61) If it could be a cognizer without cognizing (something), then absurdly a stick would also be a cognizer. Therefore, it's certain that without something nearby that it's cognizing, it can't be a cognition.

(62) Suppose (you said), "It itself is then cognizing a sight." (Well,) why doesn't it also hear at that time? If (you answered), "Because the sound's not nearby," (well,) then it's no longer a cognizer of it.

(63) How can something having the nature of the cognizer of a sound become the cognizer of a sight? One can be labelled a father and a son, but not as his absolute nature.

(64) And it's like this (because) sattva, rajas, and tamas (as the absolute nature of both a sound and a sight) are neither a son, nor are they a father; (and because) that (cognizer of a sight) has never been seen with a fundamental nature connected with a cognizer of a sound.

(65) (Suppose you persisted,) "Like a dancer, it's still itself, but seen with another mode (of guise)." (Well then,) it wouldn't be static. And suppose (you clarified), "It's still itself, but (its fundamental nature) is in another mode." (Well then,) its oneness is one without any precedent.

(66) Suppose (you explained), "But its assorted modes (of guise) are not true," then describe, please, its own (innate) natural (guise). Suppose (you answered,) "It's being a cognizer." (Well then), absurdly it would follow that all persons are one.

(67) (Further,) what has intention and what lacks intention - those two would, in fact, become one thing, because their existence is the same. And, if individualities were contrary to fact, then what could be their shared support?

(68) Furthermore, something lacking intention cannot be a self, (as Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika asserts), because of its nature of lack of intention, just like a vase and such things. Now (suppose you claimed), "It's cognizant because of a conjunction with an intention," then it absurdly follows that (this) non-cognizant (self) has perished.

(69) And if the self were (in fact) unchanging, what could have been done to it through (a connection with) an intention? (Moreover,) space is non-cognizant and inert like that, so, it (as well) could become a self.

(70) Suppose (you then objected), "But, without the (true) existence of a (static) self, the connection between behavioural cause and effect would be unreasonable, since, if it perished after having done an action, then whose action would it have been?"

(71) (Well,) since it's established for both of us that the action and result have a different basis, and that the self hasn't an active role in this, isn't it useless to debate on this (point)?

(72) "Someone providing a causal (action) and conjoined with its result" - this has never been seen as an existent thing. It's in reliance on the unity of a continuum that it is taught, "(Only) the agent can be the experiencer (of the results)."

(73) The already-passed and the not-yet-arisen minds are not the self, since they don't exist (now). And well, if the (presently) arising mind were the self, when it perishes, there would, in fact, be no self!

(74) For example, when the trunk of a plantain tree is split into parts, nothing (is found); likewise, when searched for with discerning analysis, a self isn't (found as) an absolute thing.

(75) (Suppose) you asked, "If a limited being didn't exist, toward whom could there be compassion?" (Well,) it would be toward one who was conceptually labelled by a bewildered (mind) that had committed itself to the goal of its fruit.

(76) (Suppose you then asked,) "Whose fruit would it be, if there were no limited being?" (Well,) that's true. It's accepted that (the wish) is due to bewilderment; (yet,) for the sake of pacifying suffering completely, bewilderment about the fruit is not turned back.

(77) But because of bewilderment about the self, the cause of suffering, self-inflation, increases. (Suppose) you said, "But, there's no turning back from that." (Well,) best is meditation on the lack of an (impossible) self.

(78) A body is neither the feet nor the calves; nor is a body the thighs or the hips. The belly or the back is not a body; neither is a body the chest or the arms.

(79) The sides of the torso or the hands are not a body; nor is a body the armpits or the shoulders. The inner organs as well are not it; and neither is a body the head or also the neck. So what (alternative) could a body be here?

(80) If this body were located with a portion in all of these; then, although the parts are located in the parts, where is it itself located?

(81) And if a body itself, in its entirety, were located (everywhere), in the hands and so forth, there would be as many bodies as there were hands and so on.

(82) As a body's not (located) outside or inside (the parts), how could a body exist in terms of the hands and so forth (as their possessor)? As it's also not (a possessor) separate from the hands and so on, how could it possibly be (truly) existent?

(83) Thus, a body's not (truly) existent; but, because of bewilderment in terms of the hands and so forth, a dualistic mind arises of a body. It's like the dualistic mind that arises of a man in terms of a scarecrow, by its feature of having been set up in its shape.

(84) For as long as the conditions are assembled, the body (of a scarecrow) is seen as a man; likewise, for as long as there are hands and so on, a body is seen in terms of them.

(85) Similarly, because of its being a composite of fingers, which one could be a hand? (The same with) that (finger) as well, because of its being a composite of joints; and a joint as well, from the breakdown into its own parts;

(86) And a part as well, through a breakdown into particles; and that particle as well, because of directional divisions; and a directional division too, because of its being without (findable) parts, like space. Consequently, even particles don't (truly) exist.

(87) Therefore, what discerning (person) would be attached to a bodily form, which is like a dream? And when, like that, a body doesn't (truly) exist, then what's a male and what's a female?

(88) If suffering existed by absolute nature, how is it that it doesn't undermine (experiencing) pleasures? And if happiness, for those tormented by grief and the like, were a tasty dish or such things, why doesn't it make them delighted?

(89) Suppose (you answered), "It's not experienced, because it's outshone by something that's more intense." (Well,) how can something not in the nature of an experience still be something (in the category of) a feeling?

(90) Suppose (you replied,) "Couldn't it still be suffering, but in a subtle state, when its gross (level) has been displaced?" (Well, then) you could (also) say that, other than that, it was a slight (level of) joy, and then, (absurdly,) its subtle state would be one of that too.

(91) Suppose (you said), "But, at the arising of incompatible conditions, there's the non-arising of suffering." (Well,) doesn't that (come down to) establishing that a feeling is (merely) something hung on by a conceptual thought?

(92) Because of just that, this discerning analysis needs to be meditated as its opponent; the stability of mind that grows from the field of examining is the food of the yogis.

(93) If there's a gap between a cognitive sensor and its object; where could the meeting of the two occur? And if there's no gap, they'd be a fused unity, so the meeting would be of what with what?

(94) Yet, there can't be penetration of a particle by a particle: they've no empty space and they're of uniform (size). When there's no penetration, there's no commingling; and when there's no commingling, there's no meeting.

(95) Moreover, for something that's partless, how could what might be called "a meeting" properly take place? If a meeting and being partless can be observed (together), then show it, please!

(96) For a consciousness, which is immaterial, a meeting is an impossibility; (that's so) for a composite as well, because it doesn't truly exist, as has been discerningly analysed before.

(97) And so, like that, when contact doesn't truly exist, from what does a feeling arise? For what reason, (then,) is there (all) this trouble? For whom and from what could injury come?

(98) And when there's no (truly existent) one that feels, and feeling, as well, doesn't (truly) exist, then seeing this situation, o craving, why don't you turn yourself back?

(99) Nevertheless, (something) can be seen and also be touched through its having a nature similar to a dream or an illusion. (Further,) a feeling cannot be perceived by a mind from arising simultaneously with it.

(100) And, though a previous one can be remembered by one that arises later, it can't be experienced (by it). (In short, a feeling) can't experience its own self and it can't be experienced by something else.

(101) As there's no (truly existent) one that feels, then, feeling cannot exist absolutely. So, in this bundle that lacks a true self, who can be injured by it?

(102) A mind's not situated in cognitive sensors, in sights and so on, nor in the space in between; a mind isn't inside, nor is it outside, nor can it be found, in fact, anywhere else.

(103) Something that isn't the body nor something else, neither commingled, nor separate in any way, isn't anything (truly existent) at all. Because of that, limited beings are by nature released in Parinirvāṇa.

(104) If the cognition (of something) were prior to what it cognized, then what's it to be aimed at for its arising (to occur)? And if a cognition were simultaneous with what it cognized, (still,) what's it to be aimed at for its arising (to occur)?

(105) Yet, if it occurred after what it cognized, then from what did the cognition (of it) arise? Similarly, it can't be determined that there's a (truly existent) arising of any phenomenon.

(106) (Suppose you objected,) "But if it were like that, then surface (true) things wouldn't exist (at all); and so how, in this case, could there be the two truths? Moreover, if they were being (projected) by others (as veiling) surface (truths), then how could there be someone with a limited mind (unveiled and) released with nirvana?"

(107) (Well,) this would be the deceptive conception of the limited minds of others, but that isn't surface (truth) from our own (point of view). What's ascertained afterwards, that (still) exists, and if not, then surface truth turns out to be something that doesn't exist.

(108) (And so,) what's conceptually examining and what's conceptually examined, the two of them are (dependently) supported, one by the other. And it's by being (dependently) supported by what's in accord with popular consensus, that all analytical discernment is expressed.

(109) But (suppose you objected), "When one would need to analytically discern with a discernment that which has analytically discerned, then there would be an infinite regress for that discernment as well, because of its need to be analytically discerned."

(110) (Well,) when what's analytically discerned is being discerned, a supporting (basis) for that discernment doesn't exist. And because of its being without a supporting (basis), it doesn't arise: that's called (its natural) release in nirvana.

(111) And as for the likes of someone, for whom these two are truly existent, he indeed is on very difficult grounds; (because,) if it's from the power of a cognition that an object's established, then, what supporting (basis) is there for (establishing) the true existence of the cognition?

(112) And if it's from (the power of) what's cognized that a cognition is established, then, what support is there for (establishing) the true existence of what's cognized? On the other hand, if their existence (is established) by the power of each other, then the non-true existence of both would in fact be the case.

(113) (For example,) if, without a child, someone is not a father, (then,) from whom can it arise that someone is a child? (Because,) in the absence of a child, there can be no father. Similar to that, is the non-true existence of those two.

(114) (Suppose you asked,) "A sprout grows from a seed, and just as (the true existence of) the seed is indicated by it, why, by the arising of a cognition from what's cognized, can't its true existence (also) be concluded?"

(115) (Well,) when it's from a cognition different from the sprout that it can be concluded that a seed exists, what can it be from, by means of which, the (true) existence of a cognition cognizing something it cognizes can be concluded?

(116) (Cārvākas, please,) from straightforward cognition, the common world, in fact, sees for itself everything causal. (After all,) a diversity of (plants): lotus stalks and the like, grows by means of a diversity of causes.

(117) Suppose (you asked), "By what has the diversity of causes been made?" (Well,) from a diversity of previous causes. And (suppose you asked further), "Because of what does a cause have the ability to give rise to an effect?" (Well,) it's from the power of previous causes.

(118) If, (as Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika asserts,) the Powerful Lord Īśvara were the cause of the world, so tell me, what is Īśvara in fact? If you said, "The elements," then so be it, but why (all) the fuss over merely a name?

(119) However, earth and the rest are multipart, non-static, inert, and not divine; they're things to be walked over and unclean. So that can't be the Powerful Lord Īśvara.

(120) Īśvara can't be space, because that's inert; he can't be the self, since that's been refuted before. And even (if you said), "The nature of being a creator is in reference to something inconceivable," well then, what's the use of talking about something that's inconceivable?

(121) And what could it be that he wished to create? The self? Well, aren't that, the earth (element) and the rest, and Īśvara supposed to be eternal by nature? Moreover, the arising of cognition from cognizable objects

(122) Is without a beginning, as is happiness and suffering from karma. So tell me, what's been created by him? And if there's no beginning to the cause, how could there be a first instance of its effect?

(123) And why doesn't he always create, when he doesn't depend on anything else? There's nothing else existing not created by him, so what is it on which he depends (to create)?

(124) If what he depends on is a gathering (of conditions), (then, again,) the Powerful Lord Īśvara would become not the cause: (for,) when they're gathered, he'd lack the power not to create, and in their absence, he'd lack the power to create.

(125) And if the Powerful Lord Īśvara must create when not wanting to, it absurdly follows that he's under the power of something else. And if it's when wanting to, he's under the power of want. So where's (the power of) the Powerful Lord who's creating?


(126) Those (Mīmāṁsā) who assert static particles (as the creator) have already been turned back before; while the Sānkhyas assert static primal matter as the cause of the world.

(127) (For them,) the universal constituents, known as sattva/pleasure, rajas/pain, and tamas/neutral sensation, abiding not in imbalance are called primal matter; (while their) imbalance is said to be the world.

(128) But it's illogical for a (partless) unity to be something threefold by nature; and therefore, it doesn't exist. Likewise, the universal constituents can't be (truly) existent, because each of them too has three aspects.

(129) And in the absence of the universal constituents, the (true) existence of sound and the rest becomes very farfetched. Moreover, it's impossible for pleasure and so on to exist in non-conscious clothing and the likes.

(130) Suppose (you said), "Functional phenomena (exist) in the natural guise of their causes." (Well,) haven't functional phenomena already been analysed? (In any case,) the causes, for you, are pleasure and so on themselves: but cotton clothing and the likes don't arise from that at all.

(131) And, if pleasure and so on were to exist from cotton clothing and the likes, then from their absence, pleasure and so on wouldn't exist. Moreover, a static state of pleasure and so on has never been focused upon.

(132) If manifest pleasure and so on were (truly) existent (statically), why isn't (their) experience (always) perceived? Suppose (you said,) "(The sensation) itself goes to a subtle (unmanifest) state." (Well,) how can it be (both) gross and subtle?

(133) Since it would have become subtle (and unmanifest), after having left its gross (manifest) state, its gross and subtle states are non-static. So why not accept the non-staticness like that of all functional phenomena?

(134) And if its gross (manifest) state were no different from pleasure (itself), then the non-staticness of pleasure is obvious. Suppose you asserted, "But something totally non-existent (in the cause) couldn't be produced, because of its being non-existent."

(135) (Well,) then production of something non-existent as a manifest (object) would be (the self-contradiction) into which you're positioned, although you don't want it. And if the effect were positioned in the cause, then a consumer of food would be an eater of excrement!

(136) And for the price of cotton clothing, cottonseed could be bought and worn (instead)! Suppose (you said), "(Although) common people don't see (it), because of bewilderment, precisely that is the position (established) by (Kapila,) the Knower of Reality."

(137) (Well,) cognition of that must (also) exist in common people, so why isn't it seen? Suppose (you answered,) "(That lies) in common people's not being valid cognisers (for that)." (Well,) what they see as manifest, then, would (also) not be true.

(138) (Suppose you retorted), "(But you too assert that) a valid cognizer (for the common world) is not a valid cognizer (for deepest truth). And if that's the case, then wouldn't what was validly cognized by it (also) become false, and therefore, in actuality, meditation on the voidness (of functional phenomena) by it become incorrect?"

(139) (Well, yes, but) when functional phenomena (labelled and) conceptually analysed are not contacted, the non-functional phenomenon of their (non-true existence) would (also) not be grasped. Therefore, concerning any truly existent functional phenomenon that's false, the falsehood of the non-functional phenomenon of its non-true existence would be obvious.

(140) Thus, upon the death of a son in a dream, the conceptual thought that he doesn't exist stops (the arising of) the conceptual thought that he does exist, and yet it is false.

(141) Therefore, with discerning analysis like this, nothing exists that's from no cause at all, or that's sitting there, fixed in conditions, whether separate ones or combined.

(142) In fact, nothing has come from something else; and nothing remains, and nothing goes. (So,) anything taken as truly existent by bewildered minds, what difference does it have from an illusion?

(143) (So,) examine something emanated by illusion and something emanated by causes: where does it come from? Where does it go?

(144) How can there be true existence in some virtual object like a reflection, which is seen (only) in conjunction with something (else) and which doesn't exist when that's absent?

(145) For a functional phenomenon that was (truly) existing, what need would there be for a cause? Then again, if something were (truly) not existing, what need would there be for a cause?

(146) There can be no transformation of a non-phenomenon, even by means of a hundred million causes! How can something in that state become a functional phenomenon? But what else could come into functional existence?

(147) If it isn't a functional phenomenon at the time of being a non-phenomenon, when will it come to exist as a functional phenomenon? But without its functional existence coming to arise, it won't leave being a non-phenomenon.

(148) Without leaving being a non-phenomenon, no occasion will occur for its coming to exist as a functional phenomenon. And a functional phenomenon cannot go to a state of non-functionality, because it would absurdly follow that it had a bipolar true nature.

(149) In that way, as cessation doesn't (truly) exist, and (the arising) of phenomena doesn't (truly) exist either, thus this entire world always has been non-truly arising and non-truly ceasing.

(150) (Therefore,) wandering beings resemble a dream; upon discerning analysis, they're the same as a plantain tree. Whether they're released with nirvana or not released, there's no difference in their actual way of existing.

(151) With all phenomena devoid in that way, what is there that would've been received; what is there that would've been taken away? Who is there who'll become shown respect or contempt, and by whom?

(152) What is there, from which there's pleasure or pain? What is there, to be disliked or liked? What craving is there, that's searching for an actual (findable) nature, and what is it for, that there's craving?

(153) Upon discerning analysis, (what) world of living beings (is there)? Who is (possibly) there that will die (from here)? Who is there that'll come to exist? Who is there that has existed? Who is there that is a relative? (Who is there that is) a friend? (And who is there whose friend it is?)

(154) Those of my type, understand please that all (of them) are like space. But, those wishing for happiness for a "self" get agitated and overexcited

(155) Through fights and festivities as the cause; and then, through the (resulting) distress and overexertion, (disheartening) disputes, and knifings and stabbings of each other, they pass their lives with tremendous difficulties through (their) negative acts.

(156) And (despite) coming and coming to the better rebirth states and experiencing and experiencing manifold pleasures, they fall, after death, to the worse rebirth states and unbearable sufferings for a very long time.

(157) In compulsive existence, cliffs (to fall from) are aplenty; and there it's like this, when actuality is not (known). But since (this and what's) there, in fact, contradict one another, in compulsive existence, it's not like this, when actuality (is known).

(158) There, too, there are incomparable, violent oceans of suffering beyond any end; there, like that, there's little strength; there, as well, there's little life span;

(159) There, as well, with activities for longevity and health, with hunger and exhaustion, with sleep and calamities, and likewise with fruitless company with infantile people,

(160) A lifetime passes quickly, and in vain. Yet, analytical discernment is so difficult to gain! So there, as well, where's there a means for turning back chronic distraction?

(161) There, as well, demonic force is working hard to bring about a fall to the most awful rebirth states. There, (because) there's a profusion of false paths, indecisively wavering is so hard to transcend.

(162) And with the difficulty of gaining a respite again, and the advent of a Buddha even more difficult to gain, and the rapids of disturbing emotion so difficult to get out of, alas, suffering will just go on and on.

(163) Oh dear, it's really fit to feel sad about those who are caught in a rapids of suffering and who fail to see their own terrible situations, although they're in extremely terrible states.

(164) For example, just as some people, abluting and abluting, would jump into fire again and again, and though, in extremely terrible states, proudly (consider) themselves in extremely wonderful situations;

(165) Likewise, there are those who frolic about, fooling around, as if there weren't old age and death. But first, they'll be made to lose their lives, and then comes an unbearable fall to a worse rebirth state.

(166) Oh, when shall I come to bring peace to those tortured by the fires of sufferings like that, with a rain of my build-up of happiness pouring forth from the clouds of my positive force?

(167) Oh, when shall I respectfully build up a network of positive force in a manner of no mental aim (at impossible existence), and then teach voidness to those who've been ruined by (such) mental aim.