Wednesday, December 09, 2015

The meaning that establishes the One Vehicle.

Here's a small section I translated recently from Paramartha's "Treatise on the Evolving Consciousness" (轉識論) in which he discusses the "Thrity Verses" (Trimsika karikas) by Vasubandhu.

"If a person cultivates the Path of Wisdom, those who do not yet abide in this meaning of consciousness-only are not able to extinguish or be free from the latent tendencies of the two holdings which give birth to the multitude of delusions, because the roots are not extinguished. From the meaning of this, therefore is established the One Vehicle that in each and every case allows the study of the Bodhisattva Path."  (T31n1587_p0063b28)  

The "two holdings" refers to holding the two beliefs that there is a "self" and there are "things."  The latent propensities of these two holdings are known as the seeds (bija) of the unconscious mind (alayavijnana), and even though we may have some insight into the nature of reality (kensho) to cut down the manifest activity of self and things and confirm that these two holdings are illusory, the latent propensities of the view of self and things can still lie dormant to sprout anew. Thus if the seeds and roots of self and things are not extinguished by what is called the realization of the two-fold emptiness, then the two holdings will regrow into the multitude of delusions even after we have cultivated some of fruits and vegetables of the Path of Wisdom. This is why it is said that our karma is ancient and tangled and not easily uprooted.

This section shows that when referring to "consciousness-only" and "evolving consciousness," Paramartha views Vasubandhu's "Thirty Verses" from the One Vehicle perspective of Queen Srimala's Lion's Roar Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra and is not taking the "later Yogacara" view of Xuanzang. In this discourse, Paramartha says that the meaning of "consciousness-only" is called "the world-transcending non-discriminating wisdom," the "wisdom of circumstances without differentiations," the "wisdom of suchness," and "is also called turning back to the basis (asraya-paravrtti)." This "turning back" will be familiar to Zen students from its presence in both Dogen's Fukanzazengi and Hakuin's Song of Zazen as well as found in the Platform Sutra of the Six Ancestor Huineng.. 

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