Samdhinirmocana Sutra

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Nicholas Weeks
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Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:28 am

Keenan, Cleary & Powers have full translations in English, that I know of. This sutra is very subtle and wondrous, so a few passages will be posted.

This first one is from page 9 of Cleary's, where a Bodhisattva muses:

"At that time, I thought to myself, 'The appearance of a Buddha
in the world is most wonderful; because of the Buddha's
appearance in the world, it is possible to understand and realize
Ultimate Truth the ultimate truth that is beyond the scope of all thought and
deliberation.' "

The Buddha said, "It is so. It is as you say. I have awakened
to the ultimate truth, which is beyond all thought and reflection.
And I explain it to others, revealing and analyzing it, defining
and elucidating it.
Why? The ultimate truth of which I speak is that
which is inwardly realized by sages, while the scope
of thought and deliberation is what unenlightened people testify
to among themselves. Therefore, you should know that ultimate
truth transcends all objects of thought and deliberation.

"The ultimate truth of which I speak has no form to which
to relate, whereas thought and deliberation operate only in the
sphere of form. Based on this principle, you should know that
ultimate truth transcends all objects of thought and deliberation.
Only consider helping others and forget yourself. Master Hsuan Hua

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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:38 pm

Chapter 7 is on the Ten Bodhisattva Stages and the paramitas. Here is a little on the paramitas:

The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara addressed the Buddha and said: "World-honored One, how do the bodhisattvas observe these six precepts?"

The Buddha answered the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and said: "Good son, there are five aspects under which they must observe these precepts.

The first is that from the first they must have an intense faith in the wondrous doctrinal teachings about the perfections as found in the bodhisattva canon.
The second is that they must zealously cultivate the wondrous wisdoms accomplished through hearing, reflecting, and meditating in the ten practices concerning doctrine.
The third is that they must nurture thoughts of wisdom.
The fourth is that they must draw near to a spiritual counselor.
The fifth is that they must cultivate good qualities without interruption."


From Keenan, p. 84
Only consider helping others and forget yourself. Master Hsuan Hua

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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:45 pm

There are two commentaries on this sutra translated by Powers, one by Asanga and one by Jnanagarbha, Santaraksita's teacher.

http://info.stiltij.nl/publiek/meditati ... -Sutra.pdf
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:26 pm

Samdhinirmocana Sutra [trans. Powers, note 25, chapter 1]

On the eight elaborations (Skt. prapranca):

Wonch'uk - Arya-gambhira-samdhinirmocana-sutra-tika

"Because children are obscured due to differentiating in terms of duality and due to bewilderment with respect to inexpressible objects of activity, they greatly delight in and exaggeratedly adhere to the two types of phenomenon-compounded and uncompounded-and to the eight types of elaborations".

Wonch'uk then cites the Yogacarabhumi:

"Because children do not thoroughly understand suchness in that way, on this basis the eight [types of] conceptions arise, whereby the three [types of] phenomena arise and all the worlds of sentient beings and environments are produced.

1. The first of the eight conceptions is conception of own-being: This [refers to] any differentiations of the specific own-beings of all phenomena and conceptions of 'form' and so forth.
2. The second [type] is conception of attributes: This [includes] conceptions [such as], 'This is demonstrable'; 'This is not demonstrable' with respect to those things very things that are nominally designated as form and so forth.
3. The third [type] is conception that apprehends wholeness: [conceptions] apprehending self, sentient beings, houses, armies, forests, etc. with respect to things that are nominally designated as form and so forth.
4. The fourth [type] is the conception that thinks 'I'.
5. The fifth [type] is the conception that thinks 'mine': [conceptions] apprehending phenomena that are associated with contamination and that are associated with appropriation as 'I' and 'mine'.
6. The sixth [type] is conception of the pleasant.
7. The seventh [type] is conception of the unpleasant.
8. The eight [type] is conception that is reversed form those two.

[The last three] respectively are explained as being 'conceptions arising from things that are beautiful, non-beautiful, and neither of those'.

Hsuan-tsang describes these eight types of conceptions as "undefiled and neutral fruitions that have the nature of knowledges that one is born with. In another way, they have a nature that is conceptual and analytical, With respect to the phrase, 'give rise to three [types of] phenomena': The first three conceptions produce the bases of elaborations of conceptuality and the things that are objects of observation of the six sense powers and the six objects [of their corresponding senses]. The middle two conceptions produce the view of true personhood (Skt. satkaya-drsti) and the pride of thinking 'mine'. The last three respectively produce desire, hatred, and delusion. Because the basis and the object of observation of the sense powers serve as supports they generate the view of true personhood and the pride of thinking 'mine'; and because the view of true personhood and the pride of thinking 'mine' serve as supports one generates desire, anger, and delusion. Therefore, you should know that the factors of the workings of all the worlds of sentient beings and environments are entirely indicated by these three phenomena". (Wonch'uk quoting Hsuan-tsang)
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:01 pm

Samdhinirmocana Sutra [trans. Powers, note 4, chapter 5]

On transmigration and predispositions:

W = Wonch'uk - Arya-gambhira-samdhinirmocana-sutra-tika
B = Byang-chub-rdzu-phrul - Arya-samdhinirmocana-sutra-vyakyana
VJ = Hsuan-tsang - Vijnaptimatratasiddhi

(W) "On the occasion of taking birth in those transmigrations, initially when making the transition between lives, the mind that is a consciousness [containing] all seeds ripens". The mind forms because (B) "at that time, in terms of birthplace, the aspect of the form that is the combination of the semen and blood of father and mother and the basis-consciousness move into a womb and become an establishment and an abiding". The mind "develops... due to continuous operation subsequent to that". Increase takes place "at the time of the arising of the operating consciousness". The mind expands "due to the infusion of predispositions by those operating consciousnesses".

At the beginning of a new life, a being has the karmic latencies of past lives (referred to as seeds), which begin to manifest themselves in the new continuum. They then grow and develop, and as the new life progresses, they in turn lead to production of new predispositions, and so the process continues and maintains itself.


In a previous discussion of the basis-consciousness (W) comments: "Due to the basis-consciousness, through the force of maintaining the three types of predispositions, the continuity of the gap between lives is not cut off". According to (VJ), the three types of dispositions are: (1) predispositions of verbalisation (Skt. abhilapya-vasana), (2) predispositions of apprehending a self (Skt. atmagraha-vasana); and (3) predispositions of the limbs of cyclic existence (Skt. samsaranga-vasana).

The first type (1) includes seeds that predispose a person to make differentiations regarding individual compounded phenomena. These are of two types: (1-a) manifest expressions that define meanings, which are expression of vocal differentiation with respect to meanings; and (1-b) manifest expressions that define objects, which are phenomena of minds and mental factors that understand objects.

The second type (2) includes seeds that predispose one to incorrectly conceive 'I' and 'mine'. These are also of two types: (2-a) innate conceptions of self, which are conceptions of 'I' and 'mine' which are to be discarded by a path of meditation; and (2-b) the imputational conception of 'I' and 'mine' that is an object to be abandoned by the path of seeing.

Due to these two conceptions, sentient beings make distinctions of 'self' and 'other'.

The third type (3) of predisposition includes seeds that induce fruition of the three realms of existence. These are also of two types: (3-a) virtues associated with contamination, which are any actions that induce desirable effects; and (3-b) non-virtues, which are any actions that induce undesirable effects.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:13 pm

Samdhinirmocana Sutra [trans. Powers, note 7, chapter 5]

On the basis-consciousness:

B = Byang-chub-rdzu-phrul - Arya-samdhinirmocana-sutra-vyakyana

The basis-consciousness is established both through reasonings based on the necessity of its existence for continuity and by citations from scriptures that assert its existence (such as the Samdhinirmocana and Lankavatara). See (B) where the functions of the basis-consciousness are described in detail and Jinaputra's Abhidharmasamuccaya-bhasya for eight reasonings establishing its existence.

(B) "If the basis-consciousness did not exist,
(1) appropriation of a body would be impossible;
(2) initial operation [of consciousness] would be impossible;
(3) clear operation [of consciousness] would be impossible;
(4) seeds would be impossible;
(5) karma would be impossible;
(6) bodily feelings would be impossible;
(7) meditative absorptions in which mind is absent would be impossible;
(8) and transmigration of consciousness would be impossible.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:41 pm

Samdhinirmocana Sutra [trans. Powers, chapter 6, pg.87 and note 7, chapter 6]

Understanding the the three characters (Skt. tri-svabhava):

W = Wonch'uk - Arya-gambhira-samdhinirmocana-sutra-tika

"Gunakara, in dependence upon names that are connected with signs, the imputational character (Skt. parikalpita) is known. In dependence upon strongly adhering to the other-dependent character [paratantra] as being the imputational character, the other-dependent character is known. In dependence upon absence of strong adherence to the other-dependent character as being the imputational character, the thoroughly established character (Skt. parinispanna) is known".

(W quoting Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha) "In that way, through entering into [understanding of] the character of objects that appear in the manner of verbal vocalisations, those Bodhisattvas enter into [understanding of] the imputational character. Through entering into [understanding of] cognition-only, they enter into [understanding of] the other-dependent character. How to they enter into [understanding of] the thoroughly established character? They enter after having reversed even conceptions of even cognition-only.

(W) "At that time, since objects of observation and observers are equalised for those Bodhisattvas, the non-conceptual exalted wisdom of equality arises. Therefore, those Bodhisattvas have entered into [understanding of] the thoroughly established character".
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:35 pm

Samdhinirmocana Sutra [trans. Powers, chapter 8, pg.155 and note 13, chapter 8]

Appearances are cognition-only:

B = Byang-chub-rdzu-phrul - Arya-samdhinirmocana-sutra-vyakyana
W = Wonch'uk - Arya-gambhira-samdhinirmocana-sutra-tika

"Bhagavan, are the appearances of the forms of sentient beings and so forth, which abide in the nature of images of the mind, 'not different' from the mind?"

The Bhagavan replied: "Maitreya, they are 'not different'. However, because childish beings with distorted understanding do not recognise these images as cognition-only, just as they are in reality, they misconstrue them".

(B) "Childish beings who do not perceive suchness, whose vision has degenerated due to faults of vision, perceive external objects as existing although they do not exist".
(W) "Even objects of observation of distracted minds are not separate from the mind, but childish beings' minds are in error, and so they consider objects of observation as external objects".
"When they abandon external objects, then they pacify incorrect minds; when they pacify incorrect minds, then they realise the middle way".

Asanga (Mahayanasamgraha) states: "When the mind is in meditative equipoise, whatever images that are objects of knowledge -blue and so forth- that are seen, the mind is seen. Blue and so forth are not objects that are different from mind. By this reasoning, Bodhisattvas should infer that all cognitions are cognition-only".
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:05 pm

Samdhinirmocana Sutra [trans. Powers, chapter 8, pg182-3 and note 28, chapter 8]

The comprehension of the objects in three aspects:

B = Byang-chub-rdzu-phrul - Arya-samdhinirmocana-sutra-vyakyana

"Maitreya, Bodhisattvas also comprehend objects through three aspects. What are the three aspects of objects? They are: objects that are words, objects that are meanings, and objects that are realms".

"Maitreya, 'objects that are words' should be viewed as collections of names and so forth".

"Maitreya, know that 'objects that are meanings' have ten aspects: the character of reality; the character of knowledge; the character of abandonment; the character of actualisation; the character of cultivation; the character of which differentiates the aspects of those characters of reality and so forth; the character of basis and what relates to a basis; the character of phenomena that interrupt knowledge and so forth; the character of concordant phenomena; and the character of the harmfulness of ignorance and the like and benefits of knowledge and the like."

"Maitreya, 'objects that are realms' are the five realms:..."

(B)(1) "Worldly realms" (Skt. loka-dhatu) refers to limitless worldly realms. These are the environments -limitless in the ten directions and also having limitless names- that are objects for Bodhisattvas to purify.
(2) "The realms of sentient beings" (Skt. sattva-dhatu) refers to limitless realms of sentient beings. These are the sixty-four activated and inactivated lineages (Skt. gotra) of sentient beings who are objects for Bodhisattvas to mature.
(3) "The realm of qualities" (Skt. dharma-dhatu) refers to the limitless realms of qualities. These are the realms of sentient beings in the worldly realms that have become afflicted or purified due to virtuous, non-virtuous, and neutral practices, that are to be realised by Bodhisattvas.
(4) "The realm of discipline" (Skt. vinaya-dhatu) refers to the limitless realms of discipline. These are the sentient beings whose lineage has been activated, who are endowed with fortune, are suitable to be liberated from suffering forever, and are to be liberated by Bodhisattvas.
(5) "The realm of methods of discipline" (Skt. vinayopayadhatu) refers to the limitless methods of discipline. These are the methods for freeing those sentient beings whom Bodhisattvas instruct.

"Maitreya, know that all objects are encompassed by these three aspects".
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:16 pm

Samdhinirmocana Sutra [trans. Powers, chapter 8, pg.183-4]

On the three wisdoms:

"Bhagavan, what are the differences between comprehending objects through wisdom arisen from listening, comprehending objects through wisdom arisen from reflection, and, Bhagavan, comprehending objects through wisdom arisen from cultivating samatha and vipasyana?"

The Bhagavan replied: "Maitreya, through wisdom arisen from listening, they abide in words; they take them literally, do not grasp their intent, and do not actualise them. They are concordant with liberation and they comprehend objects that are not liberative."

"Maitreya, through wisdom arisen through reflection, they still adhere to words, but they do not take them literally; they grasp their intent and actualise them. They are very concordant with liberation and they comprehend objects that are not liberative".

"Maitreya, through wisdom that arises from meditation, Bodhisattvas adhere to words and do not adhere to words; they take them literally and grasp their intent; they actualise them through the images that are the focus of samadhi that accord with knowable things. They are completely concordant with liberation and they also comprehend objects that are liberative. Maitreya, these are the differences among them".
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:21 pm

Samdhinirmocana Sutra [trans. Powers, note 25, chapter 9]

Bodhisattvas' ripening of beings:

B = Byang-chub-rdzu-phrul - Arya-samdhinirmocana-sutra-vyakyana

(B) Bodhisattvas have six kinds of skill in means by which they ripen other sentient beings:
(1) Bodhisattvas cause small virtuous roots of sentient beings to bring about limitless effects;
(2) with little difficulty they produce and establish vast and limitless roots of virtue;
(3) they eliminate the anger of those who wish to harm Buddha's teachings;
(4) they cause [ordinary] beings to enter [into the path];
(5) they thoroughly ripen those who have entered;
(6) and they liberate those who have not been ripened.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:40 pm

Samdhinirmocana Sutra [trans. Powers, chapter 9, pg.245]

The three aspects of the paramitas:

"Bhagavan, into how many aspects are the perfections divided?"

"Avalokitesvara, the aspects are threefold. Generosity has three aspects: giving the Dharma, giving material things, and granting fearlessness.

Ethics has three aspects: ethics that overcome non-virtue, ethics that engages in virtue, and ethics that engages in the welfare of beings.

Patience has three aspects: patience that endures injury, patience that does not consider one's own suffering at all, and patience in discerning the Dharma.

Effort has three aspects: effort that is armour, effort applied to virtue, and effort applied for the welfare of sentient beings.

Concentration has three aspects: samadhi of blissful abiding that is an antidote to suffering and the afflictions because it is non-conceptual and peaceful; samadhi that manifestly achieves good qualities; and samadhi that manifestly achieves the welfare of sentient beings.

Wisdom has three aspects: focusing on conventional truth, focusing on ultimate truth, and focusing on the welfare of sentient beings".
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
Bhaiṣajyaguruvaiḍūryaprabharāja

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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:54 pm

Samdhinirmocana Sutra [trans. Powers, chapter 9, pg.261-2]

On the self-generation and ripening of suffering:

"Bhagavan, if the resources of Bodhisattvas are inexhaustible and if they have compassion, why are there poor people in the world?"

"Avalokitesvara, that is solely the fault of the sentient beings themselves. If this were not so, if sentient beings' own faults did not become obstacles, then beings could always engage in actions, and they would have inexhaustible resources; in which case how could any suffering appear in the world?

Avalokitesvara, for example, the fact that hungry ghosts, whose bodies are pained by thirst, perceive the watery ocean as dry is not the ocean's failing. It is a fault resulting from those hungry ghosts' own actions.

Similarly, the absence of good results is not a failing of the generosity of Bodhisattvas. The faulty actions of those sentient beings who are like hungry ghosts are their own fault".
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
Bhaiṣajyaguruvaiḍūryaprabharāja

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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:10 pm

Samdhinirmocana Sutra [trans. Powers, notes 47-9, chapter 9]

On afflictions and tendencies:

W = Wonch'uk - Arya-gambhira-samdhinirmocana-sutra-tika
B = Byang-chub-rdzu-phrul - Arya-samdhinirmocana-sutra-vyakyana

All afflictions fall within two categories: (1) innate (Tib. lhan cig skyes pa) and (2) arisen from imputations (Tib. kun brtags las byung ba). Innate afflictions are (W) "afflictions that are to be abandoned by [a path of] meditation". Afflictions arisen from imputations are "afflictions that are objects to be abandoned by [a path of] seeing". Prior to the first bodhisattva stage these two types of afflictions accompany one another, but when one attains the path of seeing, the non-innate afflictions are completely destroyed.

(B) "Errant tendencies that are like something on the outer later of the skin are abandoned on the first [Bodhisattva] stage. Those that are like something existing in subcutaneous skin are abandoned on the eight stage. Those that are like something existing in the marrow are abandoned on the Tathagata stage".

According to one explanation, one abandons errant tendencies that are like something on the outer later of the skin during the first period of incalculable aeons; during the second period one abandons those that are like something existing in subcutaneous skin; and during the third period one abandons those that are like something existing in marrow. According to another explanation, one abandons the first type during the first two periods of incalculable aeons, abandons the second type during the second period of incalculable aeons, and abandons the third type after having entered the Tathagata stage. The second explanation accords with the words of the Sutra.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
Bhaiṣajyaguruvaiḍūryaprabharāja

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Re: Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Postby Losal Samten » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:49 pm

Lost in China, Found in Tibet: How Wonch'uk Became the Author of the Great Chinese Commentary, by John Powers
http://journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/in ... /8793/2700

The Ontological Status of the Dependent (paratantra) in the Saṃdhinirmocanasūtra and the Vyākhyāyukti, by Klaus-DIeter Mathes
https://www.academia.edu/5614430/Mathes ... C4%81yukti
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
Bhaiṣajyaguruvaiḍūryaprabharāja


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