Ultimate Truth

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by PuerAzaelis » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:30 pm

White Lotus wrote:to say there are no facts is nihilist. to say there are facts is exitential. a double bind. yes, not non existant nor existant.
Ya, if I keep saying neti, neti, no this, no that, no body, no mind, I just end up mentally constipated with no room to move. And end up passing nothing but gas. Hehe. Poop metaphor.

I mean did even Nagarjuna understand Nagarjuna?
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:31 pm

conebeckham wrote:

Shentong is still a Sutra view, as I understand things. I'm not sure your example applies. As for the deity being ultimate, however, this is indeed the case....but if by the deity being ultimate, one understands the ultimate to be, say, a blue-black many armed anthropomorphic figure holding weapons, etc., that is mistaken view of the "ultimate deity."
Buddha's mind, the Dharmakaya and Buddha's body, the Sambogakaya, are one nature, therefore they are both ultimate in that how they exist is how they appear; this is not mistaken.

The Enjoyment Body arises from the Truth Body like a rainbow arising out of an empty sky but they are one nature.

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Malcolm
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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Malcolm » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:36 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
conebeckham wrote:

Shentong is still a Sutra view, as I understand things. I'm not sure your example applies. As for the deity being ultimate, however, this is indeed the case....but if by the deity being ultimate, one understands the ultimate to be, say, a blue-black many armed anthropomorphic figure holding weapons, etc., that is mistaken view of the "ultimate deity."
Buddha's mind, the Dharmakaya and Buddha's body, the Sambogakaya, are one nature, therefore they are both ultimate in that how they exist is how they appear; this is not mistaken.

The Enjoyment Body arises from the Truth Body like a rainbow arising out of an empty sky but they are one nature.
So you mean the three kāyas exist inherently?
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:39 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
This means that the Buddha's view of sentient beings as pure something relative, and not ultimate, in contradiction to your previous claim.
Ultimate doesn't mean absolute, it simply means that there is no contradiction between how something appears and how it exists. Buddhas see all phenomena as manifestations of bliss and emptiness and that's how they exist.
When you say ultimate, which Tibetan/Sanskrit term do you mean? Otherwise, it becomes confusing. When I say ultimate, I mean don dam, paramārtha.

Still, even if you maintain the above, the Buddhas perception of phenomena is still relative.
I'm not using ultimate in the sense of ultimate truth don dam denpa, I'm using it to denote something that appears in the way that it exists. Emptiness is ultimate because there is no contradiction between how it appears to a non-conceptual direct perceiver and how it exists. Forms are also ultimate for Buddhas because they perceive them as mere appearances to mind, inseparable from emptiness, so there is no contradiction between how they appear and how they exist either.

Everything a Buddha perceives is an ultimate truth because it is non-deceptive. Perhaps it's easier to say that everything a Buddha perceives is the truth.
Last edited by Tsongkhapafan on Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:40 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
conebeckham wrote:

Shentong is still a Sutra view, as I understand things. I'm not sure your example applies. As for the deity being ultimate, however, this is indeed the case....but if by the deity being ultimate, one understands the ultimate to be, say, a blue-black many armed anthropomorphic figure holding weapons, etc., that is mistaken view of the "ultimate deity."
Buddha's mind, the Dharmakaya and Buddha's body, the Sambogakaya, are one nature, therefore they are both ultimate in that how they exist is how they appear; this is not mistaken.

The Enjoyment Body arises from the Truth Body like a rainbow arising out of an empty sky but they are one nature.
So you mean the three kāyas exist inherently?
No, where did I say that? All phenomena are dependent related, including a Buddha's body and mind.

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Astus » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:22 pm

Malcolm wrote:But there is nothing in regular sūtra to suggest that a buddha perceives only pure appearances.
What makes something pure and something impure?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by conebeckham » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:23 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
conebeckham wrote:

Shentong is still a Sutra view, as I understand things. I'm not sure your example applies. As for the deity being ultimate, however, this is indeed the case....but if by the deity being ultimate, one understands the ultimate to be, say, a blue-black many armed anthropomorphic figure holding weapons, etc., that is mistaken view of the "ultimate deity."
Buddha's mind, the Dharmakaya and Buddha's body, the Sambogakaya, are one nature, therefore they are both ultimate in that how they exist is how they appear; this is not mistaken.

The Enjoyment Body arises from the Truth Body like a rainbow arising out of an empty sky but they are one nature.
Rupakaya is the collective term for Buddha's bodies...it includes Sambhoghakaya and Nirmanakaya, both of which are "one nature" with Dharmakaya, yes. The Ultimate is Dharmakaya, I have been taught. Tsongkhapafan, does the Nirmanakaya exist how it appears? Is it ultimate?
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:46 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:But there is nothing in regular sūtra to suggest that a buddha perceives only pure appearances.
What makes something pure and something impure?
In general terms, something is pure if it is unmixed with anything else. Pure water for example has no additives.

When it comes to Buddhism, purity or impurity is defined as the presence or absence of delusion and their imprints perhaps? If minds are deluded, they are impure. If actions are motivated by delusions, they are impure. Only Buddha has a completely pure mind which is free from the two obstructions. The presence of delusions and their imprints distort our perceptions and create mistaken appearances.

I think there are relative levels of purity and impurity.
Last edited by Tsongkhapafan on Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:52 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
conebeckham wrote:

Shentong is still a Sutra view, as I understand things. I'm not sure your example applies. As for the deity being ultimate, however, this is indeed the case....but if by the deity being ultimate, one understands the ultimate to be, say, a blue-black many armed anthropomorphic figure holding weapons, etc., that is mistaken view of the "ultimate deity."
Buddha's mind, the Dharmakaya and Buddha's body, the Sambogakaya, are one nature, therefore they are both ultimate in that how they exist is how they appear; this is not mistaken.

The Enjoyment Body arises from the Truth Body like a rainbow arising out of an empty sky but they are one nature.
Rupakaya is the collective term for Buddha's bodies...it includes Sambhoghakaya and Nirmanakaya, both of which are "one nature" with Dharmakaya, yes. The Ultimate is Dharmakaya, I have been taught. Tsongkhapafan, does the Nirmanakaya exist how it appears? Is it ultimate?
This is a good question. It depends who is viewing it. Nirmanakaya is the gross form body of Buddha which appears ordinary to some sentient beings. More spiritually advanced beings can recognise a Buddha's emanations but they would still not be ultimate because those emanations would appear inherently existent to them.

Any appearance of form can only be ultimate for a Buddha because they alone have a perfect realisation of the union of the two truths and can so only they can perceive everything exactly as it exists.

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:23 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
In your citation, the Buddha sees the Tathagatagarbha hidden in all beings-yet he also knows it is hidden. He sees the closed lotus, he sees the kleshas as well.

Buddhas, being omniscient, would therefore of necessity be able to perceive the confused appearances ordinary ignorant beings perceive, as well as the pure nature of sentient beings and the pure nature of the environment, of appearances.
So Buddha hallucinates as well? Confused appearances do not appear to a Buddha's pure mind.
In a lot of Chinese and Asian Buddhisms that stress the interpenetration of natures, Buddha is believed to have all natures within himself, including the natures of delusion and suffering. He is not understood as trapped in these natures, and it is not understood that delusion and samsara arises from within the Buddha as suffering, but rather, that he is necessarily still capable of the potentiality toward manifesting deluded vision in order to minister to deluded beings. The difference with the Buddha is that the Buddha is immune to the delusional effects of manifesting deluded vision, it does not effect the Buddha, since potentiality toward manifesting deluded vision is not necessarily constant manifestation of deluded vision as a result of ignorance.

If one contextualizes "seeing", as it is presented in "Tsongkhapafan's" statements, I can certainly see how someone may claim that Buddha does not "see" delusion, if "seeing" is understood as "grasping-action at the cakṣurvijñāna". In this reading, he would recognize suffering, without needing to "see" it. Its a bit of a contrived reading, however, but that is how I contextualized "Tsongkhapafan's" statement.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by PuerAzaelis » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:36 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:When it comes to Buddhism, purity or impurity is defined as the presence or absence of delusion and their imprints perhaps? If minds are deluded, they are impure. If actions are motivated by delusions, they are impure.
I never understood this. "Delusion" implies somewhere the fact is waiting to be discovered.

So, In Vedanta the snake is revealed to "in fact" be a rope.

But in Dharma the snake functions as a snake and then the rope functions as a rope.

There's no "in fact", just - from this, that arises, and even the "from" is disposable.

So the "ultimate" has to just be my equanimity, I'm ok with the snake, I'm ok with the rope.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Astus » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:43 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:When it comes to Buddhism, purity or impurity is defined as the presence or absence of delusion and their imprints perhaps? If minds are deluded, they are impure. If actions are motivated by delusions, they are impure. Only Buddha has a completely pure mind which is free from the two obstructions. The presence of delusions and their imprints distort our perceptions and create mistaken appearances.
Delusion is the mistake of substantiality. With the removal of that error, all are seen to be empty, hence there is no more grasping. As for appearances, it changes nothing but one's attitude towards them, where before one viewed them as self or possessions of self, after they are seen without such superimposition.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by PuerAzaelis » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:57 am

Saying something is unreal or delusional is simply to affirm the fundamental principles by which we create interpretations. I don't think that's what anybody here means when they disclaim the ultimate.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by muni » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:03 am

Ya, if I keep saying neti, neti, no this, no that, no body, no mind, I just end up mentally constipated with no room to move.
Lol
It depends who is viewing it.
Sorry to pick this out but this is actually hitting a nail somehow. Attachment to or believe in true existing phenomenal world/words by a true existing personal me. This keeps ultimate truth-beyond concepts hidden.
Saying something is unreal or delusional is simply to affirm the fundamental principles by which we create interpretations.
"When the notions of real and unreal
Are absent from before the mind,
Then, there is no other possibility,
But to rest in total peace, beyond concepts." Shantideva.

What can be said or be interpreted as union of the two truths?
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:00 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:When it comes to Buddhism, purity or impurity is defined as the presence or absence of delusion and their imprints perhaps? If minds are deluded, they are impure. If actions are motivated by delusions, they are impure.
I never understood this. "Delusion" implies somewhere the fact is waiting to be discovered.

So, In Vedanta the snake is revealed to "in fact" be a rope.

But in Dharma the snake functions as a snake and then the rope functions as a rope.

There's no "in fact", just - from this, that arises, and even the "from" is disposable.

So the "ultimate" has to just be my equanimity, I'm ok with the snake, I'm ok with the rope.
There is a conventional reality which is correct. For example, a rope cannot be a snake because it cannot perform the functions of a snake. If you see a rope as a snake, that's a wrong awareness, so although a rope is an appearance to mind and doesn't exist from its own side, there are correct appearances and incorrect appearances. In other words, there are facts, even in Buddhism.

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by muni » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:17 am

Ya, if I keep saying neti, neti, no this, no that, no body, no mind, I just end up mentally constipated with no room to move. And end up passing nothing but gas. Hehe.
Good metaphor anyway. :smile:

Interpretations by mental fixations or intellectual fabrications never can do other than go in extremes: existing-not existing. The union of both as the ultimate truth cannot be expressed, cannot be studied. And that is maybe why such treads are so long, since such can trigger to come to ‘know’ what is beyond our to study apprehensions of this mind, beyond this mind. And then come through analyses to a point we cannot further then to let go or surrender mind and its analyses, its’ mental fixations and explorations. Maybe when we end up realizing passing nothing but gas. :tongue:
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Malcolm » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:30 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote: But there is nothing in regular sūtra to suggest that a buddha perceives only pure appearances.
So Buddhas have impure minds? This is a contradiction.
No, there is no contradiction. The problem is not appearances, the problem is clinging; so whether a buddha perceives shit or gold, they are regarded them the same way — a buddha regards them without any accepting or rejecting. But it does not mean that a buddha perceives that all shit smells like roses. For a buddha, roses smell like roses and shit smells like shit.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:53 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote: But there is nothing in regular sūtra to suggest that a buddha perceives only pure appearances.
So Buddhas have impure minds? This is a contradiction.
No, there is no contradiction. The problem is not appearances, the problem is clinging; so whether a buddha perceives shit or gold, they are regarded them the same way — a buddha regards them without any accepting or rejecting. But it does not mean that a buddha perceives that all shit smells like roses. For a buddha, roses smell like roses and shit smells like shit.
Impurity isn't related to Buddha's mind. Buddha's don't see shit, these are hallucinations for impure beings like ourselves. If even gods perceive fluids are nectar, it goes without saying that Buddhas do not perceive impure things.

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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:59 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
So Buddhas have impure minds? This is a contradiction.
No, there is no contradiction. The problem is not appearances, the problem is clinging; so whether a buddha perceives shit or gold, they are regarded them the same way — a buddha regards them without any accepting or rejecting. But it does not mean that a buddha perceives that all shit smells like roses. For a buddha, roses smell like roses and shit smells like shit.
Impurity isn't related to Buddha's mind. Buddha's don't see shit, these are hallucinations for impure beings like ourselves. If even gods perceive fluids are nectar, it goes without saying that Buddhas do not perceive impure things.
This is where you lost me. If the Buddha cannot see defilement how does he know it even exists? How can a doctor treat patients if he is blind to their symptoms?
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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Malcolm
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Re: Ultimate Truth

Post by Malcolm » Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:01 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
So Buddhas have impure minds? This is a contradiction.
No, there is no contradiction. The problem is not appearances, the problem is clinging; so whether a buddha perceives shit or gold, they are regarded them the same way — a buddha regards them without any accepting or rejecting. But it does not mean that a buddha perceives that all shit smells like roses. For a buddha, roses smell like roses and shit smells like shit.
Impurity isn't related to Buddha's mind. Buddha's don't see shit, these are hallucinations for impure beings like ourselves. If even gods perceive fluids are nectar, it goes without saying that Buddhas do not perceive impure things.
Things are neither pure nor impure, "pure and impure" are the dualistic concepts of sentient beings. Buddhas see shit, they just don't relate to it as impure or something to avoid, nor to they relate to gold as something pure to acquire.

Since this is case, if you insist that Buddhas in the human realm do not see water (or do not see pus and blood in a preta realm), I think you are deluded and you do not understand the meaning of conventional truth.

If on the other hand you opine that buddhas do not perceive phenomena such as shit and gold in terms of purity or impurity, then I can go along with this. But to believe that buddhas live in a comic book world of pure lands is naive beyond belief, and it means, as far as I am concerned, you have not understood the real import of the generation stage nor the completion stage.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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