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...... ... .  . .  .  .
The Buddhist "Not this, Not this"


            SOME WESTERN  PHILOSOPHERS  hold the view  that a
        proposition is meaningful only when it is verifiable.
        These thinkers are not so naive as to demand that the
        lowest  common denominator  of experience  verify the
        proposition.  They  are  willing, of course, to grant
        that  a  scientific  proposition  difficult  for  the
        layman to comprehend has been verified by telescopes,
        microscopes, atom-smashers, and  so on, in procedures
        which  the layman  has neither  the reining  nor  the
        opportunity to duplicate.  In a comparable sense, the
        propositions  of the spiritual life are verified by a
        relatively   small   number   of  persons   who  have
        exceptional    faculty    and   opportunity.    These
        "privileged"   few   find   it   difficult,  if   not
        impossible,  to  communicate  their  experiences   to
        others.  This  is the case  with  the  states  called
        "mystical."  Thus,  William  James,  in  his  classic
        Varieties  of Religious Experience  (Lectures XVI and
        XVII, "Mysticism") informs us that the mystical state
        is  especially  characterized   by  ineffability  and
        noetic  quality.(1) But the Indian teachers  long ago
        evolved   an  indirect   method  of  teaching   these
        exceptional  states.  They referred  to them in terms
        which  the multitude  could  understand--in terms  of
        those ordinary  things  which those  states  are not.
        Even more, they showed how to attain  those states by
        dissociation from what they are not.

            The basic postulate  of various Indian systems --
        certainly  of Buddhism --  is that something  or some
        entity   is  enlightened   when  free  from  defiling
        conditions. Another  postulate  is  that  supernormal
        experiences    have   a   sensory    character.    In
        illustration, the Western  terminology  "Extrasensory
        Perception" (ESP), popularized by Dr.  John H.  Rhine
        of Duke University, postulates  five senses,  while
        Buddhist doctrines set forth six sense organs (or
        1. There  is also  much  to be said  for the contrary
           view, as expressed by Alfred Jules Ayer, Language,
           Truth  and Logic  (New  York: Dover  Publications,
           Inc., n.d.), p.  119: "The  fact  that  he  cannot
           reveal what he `knows,' or even himself  devise an
           empirical  test to validate  his `knowledge, shows
           that  his  state  of mystical  intuition  is not a
           genuinely  cognitive state.  So that in describing
           his  vision  the  mystic  does  not  give  us  any
           information  about the external  world;  he merely
           gives us indirect information  about the condition
           of his own mind."

        "powers," indriyas)--the ordinary  five  and the mind
        (manas) itself--and so there is no place  within  the
        Buddhist  system for the terminology  "ESP" Thus, the
        Buddhist author Asa^nga writes,

        And it was said by the Bhagavat  with respect  to the
        world  of  sentient  beings, "Monks  I see  with  the
        purified  divine  eye, transcending  the human [eye],
        that  sentient  beings  both passing  away  and being
        born,...after the breaking up of the  body, are  born
        among the gods in the good destiny, heaven world"  In
        that way, the Bhagavat, possessing  the eye that sees
        with direct perception, explained the impermanence of
        the world of sentient beings.(2)

        These  and other  postulates  gave  rise to questions
        leading  to  various  philosophical  positions.   For
        example,   is   the   enlightened    entity    always
        enlightened;   or  sometimes  potentially,  sometimes
        actually, enlightened? Is the  enlightened  entity  a
        complete  buddha  by  virtue  of  dissociation   from
        defilement; and, if not, what else must be added? Are
        subject and object reducible  to a common substratum;
        and, if so, what  is the nature  of this  substratum?
        Accordingly, a number of Buddhist  schools  arose and
        in the course  of the  centuries  engaged  in a great
        variety of philosophical  disputes and--like  Western
        philosophy  (for  the most  part) with  religious  or
        theological  postulates  in the background, expressed
        or implied.(3)

            The  present  paper,  while  exhibiting   certain
        positions  of both  early  and late  Buddhism, barely
        treats the differentiated philosophical positions but
        does   present   a  number   of  the  most  important
        postulates  of  the  Indian  Buddhist  schools.   The
        approach,   leading   to   a   commentary    on   the
        Praj~naapaaramita-h.rdaya-suutra,    favors     certain
        teachings   of  the  Yogaacaara school. That   Suutra
        succinctly   shows  the  connotation   of  "voidness"

            A number of modern writers  have maintained  that
        the   term   "`suunyataa"   does   not  really   mean
        "voidness," or "emptiness." Apparently motivated by a
        kind regard  for Buddhism, they  wish to save it from
        the bad repute  of teaching  "nihilism."  The present
        writer holds that, when early Buddhist  authors  used
        this Sanskrit  term, which  was translated  into both
        Chinese  and  Tibetan  as "emptiness," they  intended
        this basic meaning. Hence, it is proper to
        2. Wayman,   Analysis    of    the    `Sraavakabhuumi
           Manuscript, University  of California Publications
           in Classical Philosophy, Vol. 17 (Berkeley and Los
           Angeles: University California Press, 1961),p.131.

        3. A possible exception, not discussed in the present
           article, is the doctrine of apoha of the Buddhist
           logicians.  Cf.  Satkari  Mookerjee, The  Buddhist
           Philosophy of Universal Flux (Calcutta: University
           of Calcutta, 1935), pp.  119-120: "The  word 'cow'
           only engenders  a conceptual  image of the reality
           `cow, '  but  as  this  conceptual   image  has  a
           self-identity   distinct   from   that   of  other
           concepts, its distinctive  character  is felt  and
           distinction  means  negation  of what  it is not."
           However, it occurs  to me that this  doctrine  may
           rest  upon  the  Cittamaatra  ("Mind-Only") school
           position  that the world is really mind (or mental
           substance,  citta),  and  hence  that  the  yogin,
           contemplating   an  image  as  a  single  area  of
           thought, with cessation of other thoughts, has the
           object present in its true (because  truly mental)

        translate  the  term  into  English  as  "emptiness,"
        "voidness," or "vacuity."  This  is not  to deny  the
        connotation  of an unexpressed  factor, hinted  at by
        negation  of the  expressible, just  as a mystery  is
        suggested by a deserted village.

            It remains to say that a celebrated source of the
        "not  this, not  this"  idea  is the B.rhadaara.nyaka
        Upani.sad  (IV.v.15),  which  belongs  to  the  period
        immediately  preceding  the time  of Gautama  Buddha:
        "That  Self  (AAtman) is not  this, it  is  not  that
        [this] (neti, neti). It is unseizable, for it cannot
        be  seized;   indestructible,  for   it   cannot   be
        destroyed; unattached, for it does not attach itself;
        is unbound, does  not tremble, is not injured...."(4)
        Strictly  speaking, this passage is not setting forth
        an   indescribability   of  the   AAtman.(5)  Indeed,
        Radhakrishnan's  translation(6) reads, "That self is (to
        be described as) not this, not this." In other words,
        the AAtman  is there  described  by negatives  --  in
        terms of what it is not.

                        THE MIDDLE PATH

            The story of the Buddha's  life shows that before
        attainment of enlightenment  (bodhi) he, as a prince,
        was occupied with sense gratification  and that later
        he spent six fruitless years of austerities.  Then he
        returned  to  a moderate  amount  of  food(7) prior
        to his forty-nine  days of meditation  beneath the
        bodhi tree.

            In his first sermon, called "Suutra  Setting into
        Motion  the  Wheel  of  the  Law," he  spoke  of  two
        extremes,   one   "whose   application    is   wholly
        concentrated  in pleasure  and lust"  and  the  other
        "whose application is in mortification  of the self,"
        and he spoke  of a middle  path  avoiding  those  two
        extremes,  which  tends  to  quiescence,  supernormal
        faculty,(8) illumination, and nirvaana.  This  middle
        path  he explained  as the Eightfold  Noble  Path.(9)
        Thus  we  see  that  the  Buddhist  path  begins  and
        continues with a "not this, not this." Later
        4. Sarvepalli  Radhakrishnan  and Charles  A.  Moore,
            eds.,  A  Source   Book   in  Indian   Philosophy
            (Princeton: Princeton  University  Press,  1957),
            pp. 88-89.

        5. As, for example, claimed in ibid., p. 77.

        6. S. Radhakrishnan,  The  Principal  Upani.sads  (New
            York: Harper & Brothers, 1953), p. 286.

        7. In Buddhism, there are four kinds  of food: morsel
            food   (coarse   or  subtle) ,  (sense)  contact,
            volition, and perception; cf.  Sa.myutta-nikaaya,
            Part  II ("Nidaana-vagga,"), Paali  Text, p.  98.
            Since the future Buddha's  austerities  were of a
            mental as well as physical  nature, we may assume
            that he returned to a moderate amount of all four
            kinds of food.

        8. In the Paali scriptures  there are six supernormal
            faculties   --   magical   powers,  divine   ear,
            knowledge  of  another's  mental  make-up, divine
            eye,  remembrance   of  former   existences,  and
            extinction  of  the  fluxes;   cf.   Nyanatiloka,
            Buddhist Dictionary (Colombo: Frewin & Co., Ltd.,
            1950), pp. 2-3.

        9. Dines  Andersen, A Paali  Reader  (London: Luzac &
            Co., 1935), pp. 66-67.

        we shall  see that this  is also  the case  with  the
        Buddhist goal, whether it be nirvaana or Buddhahood.

            Naagaarjuna   writes:  "Who  expounded  voidness,
        dependent  origination, and the middle path, with one
        and the same meaning,..."(10) In the same work he says:

        Whatever the origination in dependence on entities
        That is voidness;
        And that origination occurs in dependence
        Because it has no "own origination" (svabhaava).(11)

        Presumably    applicable    is   the   discourse   to
        Kaatyaayana(12) where the twelve-membered  formula of
        dependent  origination  is set  forth  as the  middle
        doctrine  that  avoids  (the  doctrines)  "Everything
        exists"  and  "Everything  exists  not."  Naagaarjuna
        refers to this discourse  in his Madhyamaka-kaarikaas
        (XV. 7).

            The earliest Yogaacaara  standpoint  is set forth
        in the Madhyaanta-vibha^nga, a work which  Asa^nga  is
        supposed  to have received  from  the future  Buddha,
        Maitreya, in the Tu.sita Heaven.  The first two verses
        of the first chapter read:

        There is the imagination of unreality (abhuutaparikalpa);
        In it there is no duality [of subject and object].
        There is voidness in it;
        And it is in that [voidness].
        Therefore everything is explained as
        Neither [exclusively] void nor [exclusively] non-void;
        By reason of the reality (sattva) [of the imagination
          of unreality], the non-reality [of duality], and
          the reality [mutually of voidness and the imagination
          of unreality],
        That is the middle path.(13)

        The  Madhyaanta-vibha^nga  further  teaches  that  the
        "imagination   of  unreality"   constructs  dependent
        origination  as well  as the duality  of subject  and
        object  and teaches  that liberation  is achieved  by
        eliminating   this   duality.    According   to   the
        commentary, "That is the middle  path" means avoiding
        the extremes of only voidness or only non-voidness.

            It is plain  that the Yogaacaara  disagrees  with
        the previously delineated
        10. E. H. Johnston and A. Kunst, "Vigrahavyaavartanii
            of Naagaarjuna," Melanges chinois et bouddhiques,
            IX (1948-1951), 151:
                ya.h `suunyataa^m pratiityasamutpaada^m /
                madhyamaa^m pratipada^m ca /
                ekaartha^m nijagaada ...

        11. Ibid., verse 22.

        12. Sa^myutta-nikaaya,  Part  II  ("Nidaana-Vagga") ,
            Paali Text, p. 17.

        13. Susumu  Yamaguchi, ed.  and  trans.,  Sthiramati.
            Madhyaantavibhaaga.tiikaa    (Nagoya:    Librarie
            Hajinkaku,  1934) ,  Tome  I,  pp.  10,  15.  The
            expressions  within  brackets  are based upon the

        Maadhyamika  stand  of  Naagaarjuna  as  regards  the
        theoretical formulation of the path.  Furthermore, in
        philosophical  contrast with the Maadyamika position,
        this Yogaacaara treatise does not hold that dependent
        origination  has the same meaning  as voidness  or as
        the middle  path.  The latter  school  maintains  two
        principles  throughout: [1] voidness, on the absolute
        side,  and  [2]  imagination   of  unreality  on  the
        phenomenal side.  Naagaarjuna  apparently  holds that
        the two (although  he may use different  terminology)
        are merely aspects of the same thing.

            A   similar    problem   arises   in   `Sa^mkara's
        Vedaantism:  Is  the  power   of  illusion   (maayaa)
        distinct from Brahman?(11)

            The  foregoing  raises  the question, "Does  that
        theoretical difference between the two schools affect
        the practical  `treading'  of the path in the form of
        the Eightfold  Noble Path of early Buddhism or in the
        form of the six perfections  of Mahaayaana Buddhism?"
        The answer  appears  to be that there is no necessary
        practical difference.  Naagaarjuna  says, "Everything
        is valid  for the one for whom voidness  is valid."(15)
        Voidness  here is the great principle  of efficiency.
        Likewise, in the Madhyaanta-vibha^nga (I.  17-19), the
        persevering  bodhisattva  is  voidness.   However,  it
        cannot  be denied  that Naagaarjuna  is difficult  to
        understand, and his primary stress on "voidness"  may
        well have contributed to a one-sided appreciation  of
        this doctrine. The Yogaacaara's equal emphasis on the
        "void"  and  the "non-void"  seems  more  clearly  to
        justify in a theoretical  way all six perfections  of
        the  bodhisattva, and  to  discourage  the  one-sided
        emphasis  on the sixth  perfection, the insight  that
        "sees"   the  void.   To  bring   our  some   of  the
        implications, we should touch briefly upon the buddha

            A buddha  is said to have the three bodies called
        the Dharma  Body  (dharmakaaya) and the two kinds  of
        Formal  Body  (ruupakaaya),  the  Body  of  Enjoyment
        (sambhogakaaya)  and  the   Body   of  Transformation
        (nirmaanakaaya).  In the bodhisattva  section  of his
        Lam  rim chen  mo, Tsong-kha-pa  (1357-1419),
        founder  of the Gelugpa  school of Tibetan  Buddhism,
        quotes  many sources  to show the necessity  for both
        insight (praj~naa) and the means (upaaya); and in his
        reform  of the Buddhist  Tantras, his S^ags  rim chen
        mo, he shows their relation to the Buddha bodies with
        these words:

            Regarding  that, profound  comprehending  insight
        accomplishes  the Dharma  Body, and broad  means  the
        Formal Body;  and insight unfurnished  with the means
        or  the  means   unfurnished   with  insight   cannot
        accomplish either of the two bodies. Therefore one
        14. If  we  regard  the  two  ultimate  entities   as
            distinct,  the  cardinal  idea  is  that  at  the
            "limit"  of the meditative  process there are two
            entities, even if inseparable (with the meditator
            himself excluded).

        15. Madhyamaka-kaarikaa  (XXIV,  14a-b) :  sarvam  ca
            yujyate tasya `suunyataa yasya yujyate /.

        must  not be unfurnished  with  either  the means  or
        insight:  this   is  the   general   tenet   of   the

        In the bodhisattva  teachings, the "means"  indicates
        the first five perfections, namely, giving, morality,
        forebearance,    striving,   and    meditation.    In
        Tsong-kha-pa's  S^nags  rim chen  mo, the "means"  is
        shown to indicate  also the ma.n.dala  (magic  circle
        containing  the symbolic  palace) in which initiation
        takes place. In any case, the "means" constitutes the
        best of the phenomenal aspects.

            There is little  doubt that there was and is more
        enthusiasm   in  some   quarters   for  the  doctrine
        "perfection  of insight", with  emphasis  on voidness,
        than  for  the  doctrine  "the  means  attended  with
        insight, "  with  equal  emphasis  on  practice   and
        voidness.  Comparable  to this  in Hindu  terminology
        would  be a greater  leaning  to knowledge  (j~naana)
        than  to works  (karma).  Hence, we find  `Saantideva
        quoting  the Sarvadharmavaipulya-sa^mgraha-suutra  as

        Maitreya, this attainment  of six perfections  of the
        bodhisattvas is for complete illumination.  Regarding
        that,  those  men  of  delusion  will  say  this:  "A
        bodhisattva   should   train  himself   only  in  the
        perfection  of insight.  What  has he to do with  the
        remaining  perfections?" They  think  that  any other
        perfection should be disparaged. Regarding that, what
        do  you  think,  Invincible  One;  did  the  King  of
        Kaa`si(18) have poor insight, who save  his own flesh
        to the hawk  for the  sake  of the  pigeon?" Maitreya
        replied,  "O  Bhagavat, he  did  not!"  The  Bhagavat
        spoke, "Maitreya, when I, engaged  in the bodhisattva
        practice, accumulated  the roots of merit  associated
        with  the six perfections, was there  any injury  [to
        me] by those  roots  of merit?" Maitreya  replied, "O
        Bhagavat, there  was  not!" The Bhagavat  spoke, "You
        also,(19) Invincible  One, arrived at the perfections
        of    giving,    morality,   forbearance,   striving,
        meditation, and  insight  in  sixty  aeons  for  each
        perfection.  Regarding  that, those  men  of delusion
        will say this: "There
        16. S^nags  rim chen mo, Peking  ed., A Catalogue  of
            the Tohoku University Collection of Tibetan Works
            on Buddhism  (Sendai: The  Seminary  of Indology,
            Tohoku University, 1953), No.  5281.  16a-5: / de
            la zab mo rtogs  pa.hi `ses  rab kyis chos kyi sku
            da^n / rgya che ba.hi  thabs  kyis gzugs  kyi sku
            sgrub  pa da^n / thabs  da^n bral ba.hi  `ses rab
            da^n  `ses rab da^n bral  ba.hi  thabs  kyis  sku
            g~nis sgrub par mi nus pas thabs da^n `ses rab ya
            ma bral ba dgos so zes pa .hdi  ni theg pa chen po
            pa spyi.hi grub pa.hi mtha.h .ho/.

        17. `Siksaasamuccaya,      C.      Bendall,      ed.,
            Bibliographie-Buddhica, Vol.  I (St.  Petersburg,
            1902)  (photomechanic   reprint,   `s-Gravenhage,
            1957), 97.6, ff. The first "regarding that" of my
            translation  renders "tat," correcting the text's

        18. He  is  better  known  as  King  `Sibi.  For  the
            Buddhist  version  of the  story, written  in the
            form of a Jaataka, see Etienne Lamotte, Le Traite
            de la grande  vertu de sagesse  (Louvain: Bureaux
            du  Museon, 1944),Vol.  I, pp.  255-256.  As  the
            present  writer has discussed  the Hindu version,
            "Studies   in  Yama   and  Maara, "  Indo-Iranian
            Journal,   III   (1959) ,  115-116,  it   becomes
            especially  clear why that king did not have poor
            insight: through  his  perfection  of  giving  he
            defeated Death itself.

        19. The  meaning   "also"   does  not  appear  to  be
            recognized  for  the Sanskrit  "taavat," and  the
            translation  here is due to the Tibetan  "kya^n."
            The implication is that Maitreya went through the
            same process as Gautama Buddha. This is the usual
            meaning   of   the   epithet   of   the   Buddha,
            "tathaagata," "Who has arrived the same way."

        is enlightenment  by a single  method, namely, by the
        method of voidness." They will be impure of conduct.

            The composers of the Mahaayaana  literature could
        well  have quoted  to the defenders  of what  are now
        called  the Pali  scriptures  ("original"  Buddhism):
        "There are more things  in heaven and earth, Horatio,
        than are dreamt  of in your  philosophy."  Also there
        arose  a  number  of  Mahaayaana  scriptures   called
        "Embryo  of the Tathaagata" Suutras, which teach that
        every  sentient  being  has  hidden  within  him  the
        "Embryo  of the Tathaagata," or the Dharma  Body.(20)
        These particular Suutras became quite influential  in
        China.   Consistent   with   the  viewpoint   of  the
        Mahaayaana  Suutra  quoted above, the reason that the
        embryo is generally  "hidden"  is that the multitudes
        are unregenerate  in the Buddhist  sense: they refuse
        to adopt the best phenomenal aspects.

            In any case, the "middle  path," which really led
        nowhere, was difficult  both to tread and to discuss.
        In the course of time, it was mentioned less and less
        -- was it understood more and more? -- and Mahaayaana
        Buddhism wrote extensively  about the six perfections
        and about the means and insight.


            In Buddhist phraseology, there are three gateways
        to   liberation   (vimok.samukha) :   the   undirected
        (apranihita),  the  voidness  (`suunyataa),  and  the
        signless (aanimitta) gateways.  It will be noted that
        all three names  are negations.  There  are different
        explanations  of this triad  in the various  Buddhist
        schools.  Here the Yogaacaara explanation is followed
        as  a  preparation  for  the  interpretation  of  the

            The  Mahaayaanasuutraala^mkaara   (by  author   or
        authors  unknown) is authoritative  in the Yogaacaara
        school as well as in Tibetan Buddhism  generally.  It
        sets  forth(21)  that  the  four  aphorisms   of  the
        Buddhist doctrine are taught by way of the meditative
        sessions(22)   (upani.sad   state)  of   those   three
        concentrations  (samaadhis).  That  is  to  say,  the
        aphorisms   "All   the   forces   (sa^mskaaras)   are
        impermanent"   and  "All  the  forces  are  suffering
        (du.hkha)" are taught
        20. There  is  no essential  difference  between  the
            teaching that every sentient being has the Dharma
            Body  and Tsong-kha-pa's  teaching  that insight,
            when  attended  with the means, accomplishes  the
            Dharma Body.  The crux is the meaning of "having"
            something. Do the living beings "have" life?

        21. Text, pp. 148-149.

        22. Among  the  various  explanations   of  the  word
            "upani.sad," the  well-known  one by Radhakrishnan
            (The  Principal  Upani.sads, p.  19), to wit: the
            pupils' "sitting  down near" the teacher  to learn
            from him the secret  doctrine, may not be correct
            for  the meaning  of the  word  in the  titles  of
            certain    celebrated    and    ancient    Indian
            philosophical     texts.     Nevertheless,    the
            interpretation  "sitting  near  the  teacher"  --
            understood metaphorically for the mental level --
            seems  beautifully  relevant  to this  much later
            Buddhist  context  of meditation.  In translating
            upani.sadbhaava  by  "meditative  session,"  with
            adoption of the word "session," upon recalling  a
            line    of   Shakespeare's,   that   metaphorical
            interpretation is unfortunately curtailed.

        through  the meditative  session  of the "undirected"
        concentration;   "All   the  natures   (dharmas)  are
        selfless  (anaatma)," through  that of the "voidness"
        (concentration) ;  "Nirvaa.na  is  calm  (`saanta), "
        through that of the "signless" concentration.

            Asa^nga   gives  an  explanation   of  the  three
        gateways in his `Sraavakabhuumi.  Here he states that
        they are based  on the pair, the conditioned  and the
        unconditioned,  and  he  follows  with  philosophical

        Among those, the conditioned is the five personality
        aggregates   (skandhas)  connected  with  the  three
        realms.  Furthermore, the unconditioned is nirvaana.
        This pair --  the conditioned  and the unconditioned
        -- is called "real" (sat). Furthermore, this [which]
        is called "self," "sentient  being," "living being,"
        or "creature" -- this is "unreal" (asat).(23)

        The undirected  gateway amounts to an aversion toward
        the conditioned  by reason  of seeing  the faults and
        disadvantages   therein.   The  signless  gateway  is
        directed  toward  nirvaana,  with  a  view  of  calm,
        excellence, and  exit.  The voidness  gateway  is the
        knowing and seeing of unreality to the same extent as
        there is unreality.

            Asa^nga's   preference   for  that   metaphysical
        position   is  reasonably   related   to  his  strong
        moralistic  attitudes.(24) In agreement  with ancient
        Buddhism, he  regards  the  noble  person  (aarya) as
        better  than the vulgar  person  (p.rthagjana).  But,
        considered as "selves," they are unreal. How save the
        situation? Their nobility and vulgarity are real: the
        conditioned  is  real.   In  his  commentary  on  the
        Paramaartha-gaathaa, (25)  he  makes  no  distinction
        between  these two kinds  of persons  as regards  the
        "perfect    self"    (parini.spanna-aatman)   :    the
        unconditioned is also real.

            It  is possible  that  Asanga  has  in  mind  the
        initial  verses  of the Madhyaantavibhanga, as quoted
        in the preceding  section.  He may even  have written
        that  work.  "Reality,"  "non-reality,"  and  [again]
        "reality" of the second stanza appear consistent with
        the  three  gateways  to  liberation   explained   by
        Asa^nga.   That   is  to  say,  the  first   gateway,
        "undirected,"  is  based  on  the  conditioned, which
        Asa^nga  explains  as "real." The second, "voidness,"
        is based on unreality  [seeing it as unreality].  The
        third, "signless," is  based  on  the  unconditioned,
        which, again, is real.(26)
        23. The discussion  in Chinese translation  occurs in
            Taisho,  Vol.   30,  436b-25,  f.   The  Buddhist
            Sanskrit   now  translated   is  from  the  Bihar
            Society's   photographic    manuscript   of   the
            `Sraavakabhuumi,  and  does  not  happen   to  be
            included  in the published  work  referred  to in
            note    2,    above:   /    tatra    sa^msk.rta^m
            traidhaatuka-pratisa^myuktaa.h pa~ncaskandh(aa.h) /
            asa^msk.rta^m  puna.h nirvaa.na^m / idam ubhaya^m
            / yac  ca sa^msk.rta^m  yac  caasa^msk.rta^m  ity
            ucyate  / sat  punar  idam  ucyate  / aatmaa  vaa
            sat(t) vo vaa jiivo vaa jantur vaa idam asat /.

        24. For  example, two  commentaries  on the "morality
            chapter" of his Bodhisattvabhuumi were translated
            into Tibetan.  Asa^nga certainly  takes all pains
            to  write  on  the  subject  of  morality  in  an
            attractive manner.

        26. Cf.  the  ten  ox-herding  pictures  in  Daisetz
            Teitaro Suzuki, Essarys in Zen Buddhism.

        25. As edited  and translated  in the work cited  in
            note 2, above. Cf. pp. 166-167.

            Since  Asa^nga  is  occupied   principally   with
        meditation  practice  in his `Sraavakabhuumi, he does
        not launch into subtle philosophical  discussions  in
        that  work.  If  we  assume  a consistency  with  the
        Madhyaanta-vibha^nga position, we must ourselves infer
        that   the  reality   of  the   conditioned   is  the
        "imagination  of unreality"  and that the reality  of
        the  unconditioned   is  "voidness."  Certainly  this
        position  is not  philosophical  idealism.  As  Moore
        writes,(27) "Accordingly, whatever  esse  is  percipi
        may mean, it does at least assert  that whatever  is,
        is experienced."  But the reality  of the conditioned
        and the unconditioned  does not require experience or
        perception.  Indeed, this theory  holds that whatever
        is  perceived  through  the  duality  of subject  and
        object  is  unreal.  Such  viewpoints  in  Mahaayaana
        Buddhism  are more properly to be discussed  with the
        terminology  of Indian philosophy than with the names
        of  modern  Western  philosophical  schools, realism,
        idealism, etc.  Ordinarily, Mahaayaana Buddhism would
        say that the statement  "Duality  is unreal"  is made
        from    the    standpoint    of   "absolute    truth"


            No more than the Upani.sadic  AAtman  is nirvaa.na
        to be called  "indescribable."  There  are  certainly
        many statements  about nirvaana in Buddhist works, as
        can be seen by the diversity  of views  in an article
        by Obermiller.(28)

            The Buddhist  works set forth  two basic kinds of
        nirvaana --  nirvaa.na with a remainder, and nirvaana
        without a remainder.  The first kind is the nirvaa.na
        with a remainder  of the five personality  aggregates
        in  a purified  condition.  The  second  kind  is the
        nirvaa.na  without  a remainder  of those personality
        aggregates.  According to the Maadhyamika  viewpoint,
        as set forth by the Tibetan  author Tsong-kha-pa, and
        as  translated  in Obermiller's  article,(29) we must
        interpret these two nirvaa.nas differently, according
        to  whether  they  concern  attainment   through  the
        Hiinayaana, i.e., by the arhat, or attainment through
        the   Mahaayaana,   i.e.,   by   the   buddhas    and
        bodhisattvas.  In the case  of the  arhat, the  first
        kind means that the five personality  aggregates  are
        freed  from  defiling  influences, but the life force
        continues.  When that force is cut off, the arhat has
        the  second  kind  of nirvaa.na  --  he abandons  the
        personality   aggregates  in  their  gross  form  and
        assumes existence in a spiritual body called
            First   Series   (London:  Rider   &   Company,  1958
            impression), between  pp.  192 and 193.  But  the
            meaning may differ.

        27. G.  E.  Moore, Philosophical  Studies  (Paterson:
            Littlefield, Adams & Company, 1959), p.7.

        28. E.   Obermiller,  "Nirvaa.na   according  to  the
            Tibetan   Tradition, "  The   Indian   Historical
            Quarterly, X (1934), 211-257.

        29. Ibid., pp. 220-221.

        "body   made  of  mind"  (manomaya-kaaya) .   In  the
        Mahaayaana  sense, the nirvaa.na with a remainder  is
        the  two  Formal  Bodies   of  the  Buddha,  and  the
        nirvaa.na  without  a remainder  is the dharma-kaaya.
        The  Mahaayaana  nirvaa.na  is  often  called  "nirvaa.na
        without   fixed   abode"   (aprati.s.thita-nirvaa.na)
        because  it  is  limited  neither  to  the  quiescent
        nirvaa.na, i.e., the one without  a remainder, nor to
        sa^msaara, i.e., the one with a remainder.  Sa^msaara
        is the phenomenal world.

            In  his  commentary  on the  Paramaartha-gaathaa,
        Asa^nga  uses the word "release" (mok.sa) in place of
        "nirvaa.na"   as  applied   to  the  two  kinds   (of
        nirvaa.na). According to him, the "release" is of the
        mind.   The  first   release   is  from   corruptions
        (kle`sa-mok.sa),  and  the  second  release  is  from
        materials (vastu-mok.sa). In further explanation, the
        first  kind of release  involves  elimination  of the
        "stain of corruption" (kle`sa-sa^mkle`sa); the second
        kind, elimination  of the "stain  of action  (karma)"
        and of the "stain  of birth  (janma)." Elsewhere,(30)
        Asa^nga lists four corruptions that corrupt the mind:
        unwisdom (avidyaa), self-viewpoint, "I-am" pride, and
        mark of craving. This application of nirvaa.na to the
        mind is consistent with the previous information that
        the two nirvaa.nas in the Hiinayaana  sense imply the
        potential  and actual  separation  of a "body made of

            The second kind of release  appears  to reproduce
        the state  beings  have  at the outset  of evolution,
        when  they  are  made  of mind  and have  such  other
        attributes    as   being    self-luminous,   etc.(31)
        Tsong-kha-pa(32) explains  that, while  those  beings
        have   bodies   approximating   the   illusory   body
        (maayaadeha) (i.e., the sa^mbhogakaaya  of a buddha),
        they   do  not  know   the   illusory   concentration
        (maayopama-samaadhi) (i.e., in which the natures  are
        seen  as  illusion),  and  so, through  a  series  of
        transformations, they gradually  lose their  original
        good qualities (of the body made of mind) and acquire
        the  ordinary  bodies  of men, as we now  know  them.
        Hence, that particular concentration is essential for
        becoming  a complete  buddha, but it is not  required
        for attaining the Hiinayaana  nirvaa.na.  Perhaps this
        is the reason that Naagaajuna  goes to the trouble of
        rejecting  the latter nirvaa.na in Chapter XXV of his

            When Naagaarjuna  states  in verse 19 of the same
        chapter that there is no
        30. Vidhushekhara  Bhattacharya, The Yogaacaarabhuumi
            of AAcaarya Asa^nga, Part I (Calcutta: University
            of Calcutta, 1957), p. 11, lines 6--7.

        31. For example, J. J.  Jones, trans., The Mahaavastu
            (London: Luzac & Company, 1949), Vol. I, p. 285.

        32. Lhasa edition of collected  works, Vol.  Cha, the
            Dpal gsa^n  ba .hdus  pa.hi  gnad kyi don gsal ba,
            folio  20b,  A  Catalogue  of  Tohoku  University
            Collection  of Tibetan Works on Buddhism (Sendai:
            The  Seminary  of  Indology,  Tohoku  University,
            1953), No. 5290.

        33. This   chapter,  together   with   Candrakiirti's
            commentary, was translated  in Th.  Stcherbatsky,
            The Conception  of Buddhist Nirvaa.na (Leningrad:
            The Academy of Sciences of the

        distinction  between nirvaana  and sa^msaara, we again
        see the essential difference  between the Maadhyamika
        and  the  Yogaacaara  by recalling  Asa^nga's  positive
        contrast  of the unconditioned  and the  conditioned,
        and  observing   that  the  Maadhyamika   makes  such
        contrasts  only  with  negative  statements.  As  the
        writer understands the Yogaacaara type of Mahaayaana,
        it adds the bodhisattva  path for the goal of abiding
        in both the conditioned with great compassion and the
        unconditioned  with  illumination.   The  Maadhyamika
        nirvaa.na  is  stated  in  verse  3 of  that  chapter
        (Stcherbatsky's translation):

            What neither is released, nor is it ever reached,
            What neither is  annihilation, nor is it eternality,
            What never disappears, nor has it been created,
            This is Nirvaa.na (World's Unity, the Unexpressible).

            The Hiinayaana  nirvaa.na is described by what has
        been eliminated -- corruption and the life force.  It
        can be given  a positive  explanation  in terms  of a
        body  made of mind, but this  is incomprehensible  in
        ordinary  ways  of thinking, which  accept  as senses
        only  the  five  outer  senses, not  recognizing  the
        sensory  powers  of the mind  itself.  The Mahaayaana
        nirvaa.na is described by the limitations avoided, It
        can also be given a positive explanation  in terms of
        the  bodies  of the Buddha.  These  are  a matter  of
        religious belief.  They are also incomprehensible  in
        ordinary ways of thinking.

            Various statements  of the foregoing sections can
        be  illustrated  by,  as  well  as  help  clarify,  a
        celebrated  and  brief  Buddhist  Suutra, undoubtedly
        read and pronounced more often in the West as well as
        in  the  Orient  than  any  other  Praj~naapaaramitaa
        Suutra.  The shorter  text has been  translated  many
        times.  My first translation attempt(34) was from the
        Sanskrit  text  edited  by Muller  and Nanjio.(35) It
        took into account certain commentaries  on the longer
        text   in   the   Tibetan   Tanjur.    One   of   the
        commentaries(36)   gave    a   (to   me)   convincing
        explanation  of the concluding mantras (incantations)
        by reference to preced-
            U.S.S.R., 1927).  His translation  of the chapter
            is incorporated in Radhakrishnan  and Moore, eds.,
            A Source Book in Indian Philosophy, pp. 342-345.

        34. In Berkeley  Bussei, 1957  (a publication  of the
            Buddhist   Churches   of  America  Study  Center,
            Berkeley, California).

        35. F.  Max  Muller  and  Bunyiu  Nanjio, eds.,  "The
            Ancient Palm Leaves..."  in Anecdota  Oxoniensia,
            Aryan Series, Vol.  III (Oxford: Clarendon Press,
            1884), pp. 48-50.

        36. Numbered   3820   in  the  Tohoku   Kanjur-Tanjur
            Catalog,      the      Bhagavatiipraj~naapaarami-
            taah.rdaya.tiikaarthapradiipa-naama  by Phyag  na
            rdo rje (Vajrapaa.ni).

        ing parts of the Suutra.  However, those commentaries
        are apparently by authors of Maadhyamika  persuasion,
        and my present interpretation is based principally on
        Yogaacaara  materials.(37) Asa^nga's  explanation  of
        the three gateways apparently  provides the clue.  In
        what  follows, the indented  passages  constitute  my
        translation  of the Praj~naapaaramitaa-h.rdaya-suutra
        on the basis of the text edited by Muller and Nanjio,
        with a difference of reorganization and relocation of
        the  statements  concerning   the  mantras.   In  the
        original text, these statements occur at the very end
        of  the  Suutra.  In  my  presentation,  which  takes
        account  of the above-mentioned  commentary, they are
        reorganized   into  four  sentences  which  are  then
        relocated   to  follow  directly  the  four  numbered
        remarks    by   Avalokite`svara,   to   which    they
        respectively refer.  The non-in-dented material is my

            The noble Avalokite`svara, while  engaged  in the
            performance   of  the  profound   perfection   of
            insight, observed that the personality aggregates
            are five and perceived chat they are void of "own

        Concerning   that  initial  insight,  Avalokite`svara

            (1) "Here, O `Saariputra, form  is  voidness, and
            voidness   is  indeed  form.   Voidness   is  not
            different  from form; form is not different  from
            voidness. What is form, that is voidness; what is
            voidness, that is form. The same is the case with
            [the   other   personality   aggregates   called]
            feelings, ideas, motivations,  and  perceptions."
            Therefore, one should  know the great  mantra  of
            the  perfection  of insight, the mantra  of great
            wisdom,   as   follows:   Going!   Going!   (gate

        `Saariputra was one of the two chief disciples of the
        Buddha  and  was  the  foremost  disciple  in insight
        (Paali,  pa~n~na) .   He  is  represented   as  being
        instructed   in   the   perfection   of  insight   by
        Avalokite`svara, the bodhisattva of compassion.  Here
        the  meditator  is  in  the  undirected   gateway  or
        concentration  because  he is successively  examining
        the five personality  aggregates ---  the conditioned
        --  in a manner producing  detachment  without regret
        from  them, which  is the  implication  of the  title
        "undirected." The same word (apra.nihita) could also
        37. The  interpretations  of  Suzuki  and  Conze  are
            worthy of consideration: Daisetz Teitaro  Suzuki,
            Essays  in Zen  Buddhism, Third  Series  (London:
            Luzac  &  Company,  1934), pp.  189-  206: Edward
            Conze, "The  Heart  Sutra  Explained," The Middle
            Way issues of Nov., 1955, pp. 104-107, 119; Feb.,
            1956,  pp.  147-153;  May, 1956, pp.  20-24;  and
            August,  1956,  pp.  76-81.   See  Edward  Conze,
            Buddhist  Wisdom  Books, containing  the  Diamond
            Sutra   and  the  Heart  Sutra,  translated   and
            explained  (London: George  Allen  & Unwin, Ltd.,

        38. The word "gate"  is the vocative  of "gati."  The
            latter is grammatically  "state or process" (-ti)
            of what is indicated  by the verb  root gam-  (to
            go) .  The  expression  "the  going  renders  the
            literal significance  of "gati" but not the usual
            usages  of  this  Sanskrit  word.   However,  the
            literal  significance   is  consistent  with  the
            central    idea    of   the   Praj~naa-paaramitaa
            scriptures,   in   which   "insight"   (praj~naa)
            envisages the world as a great gerundive -- doing
            without a doer, going without a goer.  But, while
            "insight"  envisages   no  goer,  the  latter  is
            assured by the "means" (upaaya).

        be translated  in the present context  "not entrusted
        (to) ."  Every   one  of  the  statements   "Form  is
        voidness," etc., is an identification  "A is B." That
        is to say, the  meditator  is exercising  the  naming
        faculty. But he names in a way that defeats the usual
        worldly namings.  The identification with voidness is
        explained  in the Paali scripture  Sa^myutta-nikaaya:
        "Because, AAnanda, it is  void  of  self  or  of what
        belongs to self, therefore  it is said, "The world is
        void.'"(39) The spirit of this employment  of insight
        on  an intellectual  level  may  be familiar  to  the
        reader through the writings  of the Stoic philosopher
        Epictetus.   Thus   he  writes   in  his   Discourses
        (IV.i.11): "Body, then, is not  our own, but  subject
        to everything stronger than itself." And he writes in
        the Enchiridion (XI): "Never say of anything, `I


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