42 Stanzas of the Practice of Holy Transcendental Wisdom

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42 Stanzas of the Practice of Holy Transcendental Wisdom

Post by phantom59 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:35 am

Draw forth extreme love, yearning, and devotion;
Making confession, eradicate the obstructing defilements.
Listen, ye of the world, to that which is taught by the sages,
Which they received from the divine ones, concerning transcendental wisdom.
The water of all the rivers of india
Which causes the flowers, fruits, vegetables and trees to grow,
Is said to spring from the dragon-lord of lake manasarowar,
Through the great power of his grace.
Just so, whatever dharma the disciples of the victor affirm,
Whatever reasoning they authoritatively reveal, inspired by the great one,
Concerning the acquisition of the fruit that is supreme holy bliss,
That revelation springs from the personal presence of the tathagata!
For that which the victor has taught concerning the dharma,
His authentic students have all thoroughly practiced.
From direct experience born of such practice, they teach:
Thus their teaching comes not from their personal power, but from the grace of the buddha.
Know that absolute transcendental wisdom is not something to be developed;
There is no enlightened-being to be evolved, no mind of enlightenment.
Thus, when this is proclaimed, if not confused and not fearful,
Then shall the bodhisattva engage in the wisdom of the blissful ones.
Not in form, feelings, thought, volition,
Nor in consciousness do they find a locality to rest on.
Held not by universal phenomena, they wander homeless.
Grasping not at anything, they win the enlightenment of the blissful ones.
Just as the ascetic srenika in his realization,
Through meditating on the complexes, discerned nothing concrete:
Just so, the bodhisattva, intuiting the real nature of phenomena,
Abides in wisdom, not striving for cessation.
Enquiring whose is this wisdom and from whence,
He comes to see that all phenomena are empty (sunya).
Through that direct examination, without confusion or fearfulness,
The bodhisattva approaches unto enlightenment.
To be engaged in form, thought, feelings, volition
And consciousness, and not to wisely cognize
That these complexes are empty, for the bodhisattva is
To engage in images (nimitta), while ignoring creation's non-origination.
Not in form, thought, feelings, volition
Nor consciousness does he engage—homeless he wanders;
Without grasping for wisdom, so he proceeds.
Seeing non-origination, the peace of contemplation is his.
The bodhisattva abides in the peace of his own self,
His future marked out by those tathagatas who have gone before.
Whether absorbed in quietude or not,
He knows the ground of existent phenomena.
Thus engaged, he engages in the wisdom of the blissful ones,
Yet he apprehends no phenomena in which he engages.
Thus engaging, he wisely knows this to be a non-engagement.
And that is the practice of the absolute transcendental wisdom!
Of that which is not, unwisely one conceives it to be;
Trying to manufacture knowledge out of ignorance.
Both knowledge and ignorance are fluctuating phenomena.
Wisely recognizing this, the bodhisattva goes forth.
He realizes that the five complexes are an illusion,
Yet he makes not illusion one thing and the complexes another.
Freed from the concept of diversity, he enters into peace.
And that is the practice of the absolute transcendental wisdom!
Those who have good spiritual friends and clear insight
Are without fear when they hear of the mother gnosis.
But those with evil friends and who are easily misguided,
Are ruined thereby, just as an unbaked pot is ruined by moisture.
For what reason do we use the term "bodhisattva"?
By means of breaking through attachment, of cutting attachment,
Having arrived at non-attachment, he knows enlightenment.
Therefore he is named an bodhisattva.
Great giver, great intelligence, great source of grace,
He rides the mahayana of the supreme victors,
And clothed in the great armour, he subdues the artful demon (mara).
Thus we define him by the term "great-being".
It is like a magical illusion projected in a courtyard
Of a great crowd of people having their heads cut off.
In that all those beings are merely a magicians illusion,
Just so he knows that everything is a creation, and he has no fear.
Form, thoughts, feelings, volition
And consciousness, are not bound and [therefore] cannot be liberated.
Thus, with an intrepid mind, he enters upon enlightenment.
For the superior person, that is the best of armours.
And what is this vehicle of enlightenment?
It is that whereby one guides all beings to nirvana.
This vehicle is like a great spaceship in space,
Capable of carrying all who are on it to safety, happiness and bliss.
Traveling beyond our world, he escapes our grasp;
"Gone to nirvana," and yet no one can describe what he attains.
Like a fire extinguished, no one can say where he has gone.
So, how can we define him who has attained cessation.
A bodhisattva's past, present, and future elude us;
Time's three aspects no where affects him.
He is pure, beyond conditioning and differentiation.
And that is the practice of the absolute transcendental wisdom!
At that time when with insight the bodhisattva
Thus engaged, reflects upon non-origination,
He engenders great compassion without any concept of beings.
And that is the practice of the absolute transcendental wisdom!
But when the concept of beings and the concept of suffering leads him to think:
"Suffering I shall remove, the salvation of the world I shall accomplish!";
Then the bodhisattva constructs a self and beings.
This is not the practice of the absolute transcendental wisdom.
He should wisely realize that beings are like his own self,
And all beings are like all phenomena, in that
Both origination and non-origination are inconceivable.
And that is the practice of the absolute transcendental wisdom!
All words belonging to worldly phenomena must be abandoned,
All that has arisen and been created must be transcended.
The immortal, supreme, incomparable gnosis is then acquired.
That is the sense in which we refer to wisdom as transcendental.
Thus the bodhisattva engages, free of misunderstanding.
He abides in the gnosis of means and wisdom,
Knowing that all phenomena are utterly without a ground.
And that is the practice of the absolute transcendental wisdom!
On form he does not take a stand, nor on feelings,
On thought he does not take a stand, nor on volition.
On consciousness he does not take a stand: in ultimate reality alone he stands.
And that is the practice of the absolute transcendental wisdom!
Changing and changeless, suffering and bliss, ugly and beautiful,
Self and no-self are an emptiness just thatness is.
Hence he takes no stand on attaining the fruit of a saint,
The stage of individual realization, or the obtaining of buddha-hood.
The master himself was not stationed in either the unconditioned dimension,
Or in the conditioned, but freely wandered without a home.
Thus the bodhisattva stands not on locality nor support;
A locality without locality is that locality by the victor called.
They who wish to be disciples of the blissful ones,
Or individually-realized, or kings of the dharma,
Reach not their aim except through resort to this patience.
They are moving across, but see not yet the further shore.
Teachers of the dharma and students of the teaching,
Acquirers of individual-realization and likewise planetary lords (ksanti),
Wise and learned beings who obtain nirvana:
These [attainments] are merely a dream, says the tathagata.
Four types of persons are not alarmed by this—
Sons of the victor who are skilled in truth, non-reversible saints,
Saints free of sin and neurosis and confusion,
And, fourth, those who the spiritual teachers have carefully matured.
Thus engaged, the intelligent and learned bodhisattva
Studies not for sainthood nor the stage of individual realization.
He studies the buddha-dharma solely for [acquiring] omniscience.
A non-study is that study, for there is no student who studies.
The acquisition of more or less forms is not the aim here,
Nor the possession of knowledge through the study of various doctrines.
Omniscience alone can he hope to acquire by this study.
To that he, the student, goes forth, delighting in its quality.
Form is not wisdom, nor is wisdom found in form,
In consciousness, thoughts, feelings, nor in volition.
These are not wisdom and wisdom is not found in them.
Like the dimension of space, it is without break or division.
The ground of objective experience is unbounded,
And likewise the ground of all beings is unbounded.
Just as the dimension of space is unbounded,
So is the wisdom of the world-knowers unbounded.
The masters have taught that concepts are just words.
Renounce conceptualization and the way is opened to the supreme!
Those who succeed in transcending thought,
Having attained the transcendental, fulfill the teaching.
If for ages countless as the sands of the ganges,
The master himself were to utter the word "beings",
No "being" would arise therefrom all is pure from the first!
And that is the practice of the absolute transcendental wisdom!
Thus the victor summed up his understanding by saying:
"When all I said and did conformed to ultimate transcendence,
Then this prediction I received from him who went before:
'In future time thou shalt the Buddha become!'"

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