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 +A COMMENTARY ON THE AWAKENING MIND
 +
 +Nagarjuna
 +
 +Sanskrit title: Bodhicittavivarana
 +
 +Tibetan title: byang chub sems kyi 'grel pa
 +
 +Homage to glorious Vajrasattva!
 +
 +It has been stated:
 +Devoid of all real entities;
 +Utterly discarding all objects and subjects,
 +Such as aggregates, elements and sense-fields;​
 +Due to sameness of selflessness of all phenomena,
 +One’s mind is primordially unborn;
 +It is in the nature of emptiness.
 +Just as the blessed Buddhas and the great bodhisattvas have generated the mind of
 +great awakening, I too shall, from now until I arrive at the heart of awakening,
 +generate the awakening mind in order that I may save those who are not saved, free
 +those who are not free, relieve those who are not relieved, and help thoroughly
 +transcend sorrow those who have not thoroughly transcended sorrow.
 +Those bodhisattvas who practice by means of the secret mantra, after having
 +generated awakening mind in terms of its conventional aspect in the form of an
 +aspiration, must [then] produce the ultimate awakening mind through the force of
 +meditative practice. I shall therefore explain its nature.
 +
 +1
 +Bowing to the glorious Vajra Holder
 +Who embodies the awakening mind,
 +I shall explain here the meditative practice
 +Of awakening mind that destroys cyclic existence.
 +
 +2
 +The Buddhas maintain the awakening mind
 +To be not obscured by such conceptions
 +As consciousness of “self,” “aggregates” and so on;
 +It is always characterized by emptiness.
 +
 +3
 +It is with a mind moistened by compassion
 +That you must cultivate [awakening mind] with effort.
 +The Buddhas who embody great compassion
 +Constantly develop this awakening mind.
 +
 +4
 +The self postulated by the extremists,
 +When you thoroughly analyze it with reasoning,
 +Within all the aggregates [of body and mind],
 +Nowhere can you find a locus for this.
 +
 +5
 +Aggregates exist [but] are not permanent;
 +They do not have the nature of selfhood.
 +A permanent and an impermanent cannot
 +Exist as the support and the supported.
 +
 +6
 +If the so-called self does not exist,
 +How can the so-called agent be permanent?
 +It there were things then one could
 +Investigate their attributes in the world.
 +
 +7
 +Since a permanent cannot function [to cause]
 +In gradual or instantaneous terms,
 +So both without and within,
 +No such permanent entity exists.
 +
 +8
 +If it were potent why would it be dependent?
 +For it would bring forth [everything] at once.
 +That which depends upon something else
 +Is neither eternal nor potent.
 +
 +9
 +If it were an entity it would not be permanent
 +For entities are always momentary;
 +And with respect to impermanent entities,
 +Agency has not been negated.
 +
 +10
 +This world devoid of self and so on
 +Is utterly vanquished by the notions
 +Of aggregates, elements and the sense-fields,​
 +And that of object and subject.
 +
 +11
 +[Thus the Buddhas] who seek to help others
 +Have taught to the Disciples
 +The five aggregates: form, feelings, perception,
 +volitional forces and consciousness.
 +
 +12
 +The excellent among the bi-peds
 +Always taught as well “Forms appear as mass of foams;
 +Feelings resemble bubbles in water;
 +And perception is like a mirage;
 +
 +13
 +Mental formations are like the plantain trees;
 +Consciousness is like a magical illusion.”
 +Presenting the aggregates in this manner,
 +[The Buddhas] taught thus to the bodhisattvas.
 +
 +14
 +That which is characterized by the four great elements
 +Is clearly taught to be the aggregate of form.
 +The rest are invariably established
 +Therefore as devoid of material form.
 +
 +15
 +Through this the eyes, visible forms and so forth,
 +Which are described as the elements,
 +These should be known also as [the twelve] sense-fields,​
 +And as the objects and the subjects as well.
 +
 +16
 +Neither atom of form exists nor is sense organ elsewhere;
 +Even more no sense organ as agent exists;
 +So the producer and the produced
 +Are utterly unsuited for production.
 +
 +17
 +The atoms of form do not produce sense perceptions,​
 +For they transcend the realm of the senses.
 +[If asserted] that they are produce through aggregation,​
 +[Production through] collection too is not accepted.
 +
 +18
 +Through division in terms of spatial dimensions
 +Even the atom is seen as possessing parts;
 +That which is analyzed in terms of parts,
 +How can it logically be [an indivisible] atom?
 +
 +19
 +With respect to a single external object
 +Divergent perceptions can arise.
 +A form that is beautiful to someone,
 +For someone else it is something else.
 +
 +20
 +With respect to the same female body,
 +Three different notions are entertained
 +By the ascetic, the lustful and a [wild] dog,
 +As a corpse, an object of lust, or food.
 +
 +21
 +“It’s the sameness of the object that functions,​” [if asserted],
 +Is this not like being harmed in a dream?
 +Between the dream and wakeful state there is no difference
 +Insofar as the functioning of things is concerned.
 +
 +22
 +In terms of objects and subjects,
 +Whatever appears to the consciousness,​
 +Apart from the cognitions themselves,
 +No external objects exist anywhere.
 +
 +23
 +So there are no external objects at all
 +Existing in the mode of entities.
 +The very perceptions of the individual consciousnesses
 +Arise as appearances of the forms.
 +
 +24
 +Just as a person whose mind is deluded
 +Sees magical illusions and mirages,
 +And the cities of gandharva spirits,
 +So too forms and so on are perceived.
 +
 +25
 +To overcome grasping at selfhood
 +[The Buddha] taught aggregates, elements and so on.
 +By abiding in the [state of] mind only,
 +The beings of great fortune even renounce that [teaching].
 +
 +26
 +For those who propound consciousness [only]
 +This manifold world is established as mind [only]
 +What might be the nature of that consciousness?​
 +I shall now explain this very point.
 +
 +27
 +“All of this is but one’s mind,”
 +That which was stated by the Able One
 +Is to alleviate the fear of the childish;
 +It is not [a statement] of [final] truth.
 +
 +28
 +The imputed, the dependent,
 +And the consummate – they have
 +Only one nature of their own, emptiness;
 +Their identities are constructed upon the mind.
 +
 +29
 +To those who delight in the great vehicle
 +The Buddha taught in brief
 +Selflessness in perfect equanimity;
 +And that the mind is primordially unborn.
 +
 +30
 +The proponents of yogic practices assert
 +That a purified mind [effected] through
 +Mastery of one’s own mind
 +And through utter revolution of its state
 +Is the sphere of its own reflexive awareness.
 +
 +31
 +That which is past is no more;
 +That which is yet to be is not obtained;
 +As it abides its locus is utterly transformed,​
 +So how can there be [such awareness in] the present?
 +
 +32
 +Whatever it is it’s not what it appears as;
 +Whatever it appears as it is not so;
 +Consciousness is devoid of selfhood;
 +[Yet] consciousness has no other basis.
 +
 +33
 +By being close to a loadstone
 +An iron object swiftly moves forward;
 +It possesses no mind [of its own],
 +Yet it appears as if it does.
 +
 +34
 +Likewise the foundational consciousness too
 +Appears to be real though it is false;
 +In this way it moves to and fro
 +And retains [the three realms of] existence.
 +
 +35
 +Just as the ocean and the trees
 +Move about though they possess no mind;
 +Likewise foundational consciousness too
 +Move about in dependence upon the body.
 +
 +36
 +So if it is considered that
 +Without a body there is no consciousness,​
 +You must explain what it is this awareness
 +That is the object of one’s own specific knowledge.
 +
 +37
 +By calling it specific awareness of itself,
 +You are asserting it to be an entity;
 +Yet by stating that “it is this,”
 +You are asserting it also to be powerless.
 +
 +38
 +Having ascertained oneself
 +And to help others ascertain,
 +The learned proceeds excellently
 +Always without error.
 +
 +39
 +The cognizer perceives the cognizable;
 +Without the cognizable there is no cognition;
 +Therefore why do you not admit
 +That neither object nor subject exists [at all]?
 +
 +40
 +The mind is but a mere name;
 +Apart from its name it exists as nothing;
 +So view consciousness as a mere name;
 +Name too has no intrinsic nature.
 +
 +41
 +Either within or likewise without,
 +Or somewhere in between the two,
 +The conquerors have never found the mind;
 +So the mind has the nature of an illusion.
 +
 +42
 +The distinctions of colors and shapes,
 +Or that of object and subject,
 +Of male, female and the neuter –
 +The mind has no such fixed forms.
 +
 +43
 +In brief the Buddhas have never seen
 +Nor will they ever see [such a mind];
 +So how can they see it as intrinsic nature
 +That which is devoid of intrinsic nature?
 +
 +44
 +“Entity” is a conceptualization;​
 +Absence of conceptualization is emptiness;
 +Where conceptualization occurs,
 +How can there be emptiness?
 +
 +45
 +The mind in terms of the perceived and perceiver,
 +This the Tathagatas have never seen;
 +Where there is the perceived and perceiver,
 +There is no enlightenment.
 +
 +46
 +Devoid of characteristics and origination,​
 +Devoid of substantive reality and transcending speech,
 +Space, awakening mind and enlightenment
 +Possess the characteristics of non-duality.
 +
 +47
 +Those abiding in the heart of enlightenment,​
 +Such as the Buddhas, the great beings,
 +And all the great compassionate ones
 +Always understand emptiness to be like space.
 +
 +48
 +Therefore constantly meditate on this emptiness:
 +The basis of all phenomena,
 +Tranquil and illusion-like,​
 +Groundless and destroyer of cyclic existence.
 +
 +49
 +As “non-origination” and as “emptiness,​”
 +Or as “no-self,​” [grasping at] emptiness [as such],
 +He who meditates on a lesser truth,
 +That is not [true] meditation.
 +
 +50
 +The notions of virtue and non-virtue
 +Characterized by being [momentary and] disintegrated;​
 +The Buddha has spoken of their emptiness;
 +Other than this no emptiness is held.
 +
 +51
 +The abiding of a mind which has no object
 +Is defined as the characteristic of space;
 +[So] they accept that meditation on emptiness
 +Is [in fact] a meditation on space.
 +
 +52
 +With the lion’s roar of emptiness
 +All pronouncements are frightened;
 +Wherever such speakers reside
 +There emptiness lies in wait.
 +
 +53
 +To whom consciousness is momentary,
 +To them it cannot be permanent;
 +So if the mind is impermanent,​
 +How could it be inconsistent with emptiness?
 +54
 +In brief if the Buddhas uphold
 +The mind to be impermanent,​
 +How would they not uphold
 +That it is empty as well.
 +55
 +From the very beginning itself
 +The mind never had any [intrinsic] nature;
 +It is not being stated here that an entity
 +Which possesses intrinsic existence [somehow] lacks this.
 +56
 +If one asserts this one abandons
 +The locus of selfhood in the mind;
 +It’s not the nature of things
 +To transcend one’s own intrinsic nature.
 +57
 +Just as sweetness is the nature of molasses
 +And heat the nature of fire,
 +Likewise we maintain that
 +The nature of all phenomena is emptiness.
 +58
 +When one speaks of emptiness as the nature [of phenomena],
 +One in no sense propounds nihilism;
 +By the same token one does not
 +Propound eternalism either.
 +59
 +Starting with ignorance and ending with aging,
 +All processes that arise from
 +The twelve links of dependent origination,​
 +We accept them to be like a dream and an illusion.
 +60
 +This wheel with twelve links
 +Rolls along the road of cyclic existence;
 +Outside this there cannot be sentient beings
 +Experiencing the fruits of their deeds.
 +61
 +Just as in dependence upon a mirror
 +A full image of one’s face appears,
 +The face did not move onto the mirror;
 +Yet without it there is no image [of the face].
 +62
 +Likewise aggregates recompose in a new existence;
 +
 +
 +7
 +Yet the wise always understand
 +That no one is born in another existence,
 +Nor does someone transfer to such existence.
 +63
 +In brief from empty phenomena
 +Empty phenomena arise;
 +Agent, karma, fruits, and their enjoyer –
 +The conqueror taught these to be [only] conventional.
 +64
 +Just as the sound of a drum as well as a shoot
 +Are produced from a collection [of factors],
 +We accept the external world of dependent origination
 +To be like a dream and an illusion.
 +65
 +That phenomena are born from causes
 +Can never be inconsistent [with facts];
 +Since the cause is empty of cause,
 +We understand it to be empty of origination.
 +66
 +The non-origination of all phenomena
 +Is clearly taught to be emptiness;
 +In brief the five aggregates are denoted
 +By [the expression] “all phenomena.”
 +67
 +When the [ultimate] truth is explained as it is
 +The conventional is not obstructed;
 +Independent of the conventional
 +No [ultimate] truth can be found.
 +68
 +The conventional is taught to be emptiness;
 +The emptiness itself is the conventional;​
 +One does not occur without the other,
 +Just as [being] produced and impermanent.
 +69
 +The conventional arises from afflictions and karma;
 +And karma arises from the mind;
 +The mind is accumulated by the propensities;​
 +When free from propensities it’s happiness.
 +70
 +A happy mind is tranquil indeed;
 +A tranquil mind is not confused;
 +To have no confusion is to understand the truth;
 +By understanding the truth one attains freedom.
 +71
 +It’s described as suchness and as the reality-limit,​
 +As signlessness and as the ultimate truth,
 +As the supreme awakening mind;
 +It’s described also as the emptiness.
 +72
 +Those who do not understand emptiness
 +Are not receptive vehicle for liberation;
 +Such ignorant beings will revolve
 +In the existence prison of six classes of beings.
 +73
 +When this emptiness [as explained]
 +Is thus meditated upon by yogis,
 +No doubt there will arise in them
 +
 +
 +8
 +A sentiment attached to others’ welfare.
 +74
 +“Towards those beings that have
 +Bestowed benefits upon me in the past,
 +Such as through being my parents or friends,
 +I shall strive to repay their kindness.”
 +75
 +“To those beings that are being scorched
 +By the fire of afflictions in existence’s prison,
 +Just as I have given them sufferings [in the past],
 +It’s befitting [today] that I give them happiness.”
 +76
 +The fruits which are desirable or undesirable
 +In the form of fortunate or unfortunate births in the world,
 +They come about from helping the sentient beings
 +Or harming them.
 +77-78
 +If by relying upon the sentient beings
 +The unexcelled state [of Buddhahood] is brought about,
 +So what is so astonishing about the fact
 +That whatever prosperities there are in the gods and humans,
 +Such as those enjoyed by Brahma, Indra and Rudra,
 +And the [worldly] guardians of the world,
 +There is nothing in this triple world system
 +That is not brought forth by helping others?
 +79
 +As hell beings, as animals and as hungry ghosts,
 +The different kinds of sufferings,
 +Which sentient beings experience,
 +These come about from harming others.
 +80
 +Hunger, thirst, and attacking each other,
 +And the agony of being tormented,
 +Which are difficult to avert and unending –
 +These are the fruits of harming others.
 +81
 +[Just as] there is Buddhahood and awakening mind
 +And the fortunate birth [on the one hand]
 +And the unfortunate birth [on the other],
 +Know that the [karmic] fruition of beings too is twofold.
 +82
 +Support others with all possible factors;
 +Protect them as you would your own body.
 +Detachment towards other sentient beings
 +Must be shunned as you would a poison.
 +83
 +Because of their detachment,
 +Did not the Disciples attain lesser awakening?
 +By never abandoning the sentient beings
 +The fully awakened Buddhas attained awakening.
 +84
 +Thus when one considers the occurrence of
 +The fruits of beneficial and non-beneficial deeds,
 +How can anyone remain even for an instant
 +Attached [only] to one’s own welfare?
 +85
 +Rooted firmly because of compassion,
 +
 +
 +9
 +And arising from the shoot of awakening mind,
 +The [true] Awakening that is the sole fruit of altruism –
 +This the conqueror’s children cultivate.
 +86
 +When through practice it becomes firm,
 +Then alarmed by other’s suffering,
 +The [bodhisattvas] renounce the bliss of concentration
 +And plunge even to the depths of relentless hells.
 +87
 +This is indeed amazing, praiseworthy it is;
 +This is the excellent way of the sublime;
 +That they give away their own flesh
 +And wealth is not surprising at all.
 +88
 +Those who understand this emptiness of phenomena
 +Yet [also] conform to the law of karma and its results,
 +That is more amazing than amazing!
 +That is more wondrous than wondrous!
 +89
 +Those who wish to save sentient beings,
 +Even if they are reborn in the mires of existence,
 +They are not sullied by the stains of its events;
 +Just like the petals of a lotus born in a lake.
 +90
 +Though bodhisattvas such as Samantabhadra
 +Have burned the wood of afflictions
 +With the wisdom fire of emptiness,
 +They still remain moistened by compassion.
 +91
 +Those under the power of compassion
 +Display acts of departing, birth and merriment,
 +Renouncing kingdom, engaging in ascetic penance,
 +Great awakening and defeating the maras;
 +92
 +Turning the wheel of dharma,
 +Entering the realm of all gods,
 +And likewise display the act of going
 +Beyond the bounds of sorrow.
 +93
 +In guises of Brahma, Indra and Vishnu,
 +And that of fierce Rudra forms,
 +They perform the compassionate dance
 +With acts bringing peace to the beings.
 +94
 +For those disheartened on existence’s road,
 +For their respite the two wisdoms that lead
 +To the great vehicle had been taught;
 +They are [however] not ultimate.
 +95
 +So long not exhorted by the Buddhas,
 +So long the Disciples will remain
 +In a bodily state of wisdom
 +Swoon and intoxicated by absorption.
 +96
 +When exhorted then in diverse forms
 +They will become attached to others’ welfare;
 +And if they gather stores of merit and wisdom,
 +
 +
 +10
 +They will attain the Buddha’s [full] awakening.
 +97
 +Because the propensities for two [obscurations] exist,
 +These propensities are referred to as seeds [of existence];
 +From the meeting of the seeds with conditions
 +The shoot of cyclic existence is produced.
 +98
 +[The paths] revealed by the saviors of the world,
 +Which follow the pattern of beings’ mentalities,​
 +Differ variously among the diverse people
 +Due to the diverse methods [employed by the Buddhas].
 +99
 +[The instructions] differ as the profound and as the vast;
 +On some occasions [an instruction] is characterized by both;
 +Though such diverse approaches are taught,
 +They are [all] equal in being empty and non-dual.
 +100
 +The retention powers and the [bodhisattva] levels,
 +As well as the perfection of the Buddhas,
 +The omniscient ones taught these to be
 +Aspects of the awakening mind.
 +101
 +Those who fulfill other’s welfare in this way
 +Constantly through their body, speech and mind,
 +Who advocate the dialectic of emptiness,
 +There is no dispute at all of being nihilistic.
 +102
 +Neither in cyclic existence nor in nirvana
 +The great beings reside;
 +Therefore the Buddhas taught here
 +The non-abiding nirvana.
 +103
 +The single taste of compassion is merit;
 +The taste of emptiness is most excellent;
 +Those who drink [the elixir of emptiness] to realize
 +Self and other’s welfare are conqueror’s children.
 +104
 +Bow to them with your entire being;
 +They are always worthy of honor in the three worlds;
 +These guides of the world reside
 +As representatives of the Buddhas.
 +105
 +This awakening mind is stated
 +To be the highest [ideal] in the great vehicle;
 +So with an absorbed [determined] effort
 +Generate this awakening mind.
 +106
 +To accomplish self and others’ welfare
 +No other means exist in the world;
 +Apart from the awakening mind
 +To date the Buddhas saw no other means.
 +107
 +The merit that is obtained
 +From mere generation of awakening mind,
 +If it were to assume a form
 +It will fill more than the expanse of space.
 +
 +
 +11
 +108
 +A person who for an instant
 +Meditates on the awakening mind,
 +The heap of merit [obtained from this],
 +Not even the conquerors can measure.
 +109
 +A precious mind that is free of afflictions,​
 +This is the most unique and excellent jewel;
 +It can be neither harmed nor stolen by
 +Such robbers as the mara of afflictions.
 +110
 +Just as aspirations of the Buddhas
 +And the bodhisattvas are unswerving,
 +Likewise those who immerse themselves in
 +Awakening mind must hold firm their thought.
 +
 +111
 +Even with wonder you should strive
 +As explained here [in the preceding lines];
 +Thereafter you will yourself realize
 +Samantabhadra’s [great enlightened] deeds.
 +
 +112
 +By praising the awakening mind hailed by the excellent conquerors,
 +The incomparable merits I have obtained today from this act,
 +May through this all sentient beings submerged in the waves of
 +existence ocean
 +
 +Travel on the path trodden by the leader of the bipeds.
 +
 +This concludes [[A Commentary on the Awakening Mind]] composed by the [[great master]] [[Arya]] [[Nagarjuna]]. It was translated and edited by the Indian abbot Gunakara and the
 +translator Rapshi Shenyen, and was later revised by the Indian abbot Kanakavarma and the Tibetan translator Patsap Nyima Drak.
 +
 +© English translation. [[Geshe]] [[Thupten Jinpa]], 2006; revised 2007. This translation was prepared on the basis of reading the Tibetan root text against Smriti
 +Jnanakirti’s commentary (Tengyur, Derge, rgyud ‘grel Ci, p.117a-142b) and Gomchen Ngawang Drakpa’s commentary entitled Jewel Garland (The Collected Works of
 +Gomchen Ngawang Drakpa, vol.ka).
  
bodhicittavivarana_translation_by_thupten_jinpa.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:10 (external edit)