[Buddha-l] Pudgalavada - Vasumitra

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Fri Dec 8 00:02:41 MST 2006

Continuing from the previous message, the passages that TCC summarizes (but
doesn't translate on pp.47-48), are T.25.1506.18b14-17.

He summarizes thus:
"a) patience (k.saanti), in which the practitioner profoundly penetrates the
reality of compounded things;
b) name (naama), in which the mind of the practioner becomes imperturbable
in correct reflection.
c) perception (xiang , sa.mj~naa) or clear comprehension; this includes the
stage of the supreme worldly dharma (laukikaagradharma) since it is so with
the perception of the Buddha."

The Chinese (as presented in the Taisho) is:
得真知識故正思惟 。

I won't belabor technical analysis (I'm sure Stephen will recognize those),
but only point out a few relevant features.

1. TCC treats this passage as consisting of three elements (ksanti, nama,
samjna), while Paramartha and Xuanzang list FOUR items (ksanti, nama,
nimitta, and laukikaa agra-dharmaa.h). TCC believes this entire text tries
to list everything in three-s, and so predisposes himself to treat this
passage in that way. But we quickly see in the Chinese that the fourth term
is present here as well, though TCC has subsumed it in the third item -- in
fact, he basically defines the third item (samjna/perception) by the fourth.
That's a clue.

2. The line 是謂名如夢中見親如鏡中像。 needs to be repunctuated thus:

Quickly translating what it says, with this new punctuation:

得真知識故正思惟 。
Attaining true mental content (TCC suggests abhisamaya) one therefore is in
correct reflective thought (yoni"so-manaskaara -- see previous message).

While contemplating the skandhas, dhaatus, aayatanas, impermanence,
suffering, emptiness and no-self, if one wishes for sukha, this is called
k.saanti (forebearance).

Correct reflective thought (yoni"so-manaskaara) with an imperturbable
(ani~njya) mind (manas) is called naama (name).

如夢中見親, 如鏡中像。如是苦 觀 想 [=> 相]。
Just as one sees someone familiar in a dream, or an image in a mirror, just
so does one contemplate the nimitta of suffering.

是世間第一法。由世尊想 [=> 相]。是謂近行禪。
The laukika-agra-dharma [i.e., the highest meditative insight] due to taking
the World Honored One as a nimitta, is called "Drawing Near [to Nirvana]
while Practicing Samadhi."

I'm sure Stephen will find several things to quibble about in my
translation, but the pertinent passage is the second to last, the one in
which the third item of the list of four (ksanti, etc.) is described. We are
given examples of "images," types of objects: someone familiar appearing in
a dream, or an image in a mirror. These are nimittas.

Dan Lusthaus

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