Handout 12 - General Meaning's 5 Topics that explain Three Refuge Objects: #2 - Identifying the nature (i.e., meaning) of the three objects of refuge: Nature (i.e., meaning) of the three Jewels according to: a) Hearer Tenets (Vaibashika & Sautantrika Tenets), cont. b) Mahayana Tenets (Chittamatra, Madhyamika Svatantrika & Madhyamika Prasangika Tenets): (1) Nature (meaning) of the (i) Buddha Jewel, (ii) Dharma Jewel (per 8 qualities cited in Maitreya’s Uttaratantra (Sublime Continuum).
Track 1 - Review:
- Causal Refuge and Resultant Refuge.
- Manifest, Slightly Hidden & Extremely Hidden Phenomena.
- Mahayana Tenets: Mind Only (Cittamātra - སེམས་ཙམ་པ་), Middle Way (Mādhyamika - དབུ་མ་པ་) Autonomy (Svātantrika - རང་རྒྱུད་པ་), and Middle Way Consequentialist (Prāsaṅgika - ཐལ་འགྱུར་པ་) Schools.
- Nature/Meaning of Buddha Jewel: “Perfected final refuge that is endowed with the Eight Qualities” (Maitreya’s Uttaratantra cited in Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s General Meaning).
- Eight Qualities Exemplify Buddha Jewel:
- “Self-Benefit Qualities of Buddhas” [Quality (7)]: (1) Unconditioned; (2) Spontaneously Accomplished; (3) that which is Not Realized by Other Conditions;
- “Others Benefit Qualities" possessed by Buddhas” [Quality (8)]: (4) Knowledge; (5) Love; (6) Ability;
- "Two-fold Benefit Qualities": (7) Benefit for Self (Qualities 1-3); and (8) Benefit for Others (Qualities 4-6).
- Oneself & Others are Equally Important: Ego Grasping and Cherishing unbalance sentient beings, so we train in holding the importance of others as greater than ourselves. Self and other are relative.
Quality 1 – Unconditioned: Buddha’s unconditioned Svabhāvikakāya (Nature Truth Body) is free of the defilement of true/ultimate existence:
- This aspect of the Svabhāvikakāya, the Emptiness of true/ultimate existence of Buddha’s Mental Consciousness (Jñānakāya), is Unconditioned because it is a negative, i.e., permanent (in sense of unchanging) phenomenon.
- Explanation of Svabhāvikakāya: Freedom of Buddha’s Mental Consciousness (Jñānakāya) from 2 types of defilements:
- Svabhāvikakāya, Free of Natural Defilement of Inherent Existence, is one aspect of Buddha Nature.
- Buddha Nature has Two Aspects:
- Lack of Inherent Existence of Sentient Beings’ Mental Consciousnesses (emphasized in Second Turning of the Wheel teachings).
- Sentient Beings’ (subtle) Mental Consciousnesses (emphasized in Third Turning of the Wheel teachings).
- Importance of the Buddha Nature that is Lack of Inherent Existence of our Mental Consciousnesses:
- Without its Lack of inherent existence, our Mental Consciousness could not be transformed.
- Realizing its lack of inherent existence allows us to transform our Mental Consciousness.
- Cause of all our problems is Not perceiving/understanding the lack of inherent existence.
- Svabhāvikakāya is Free Adventitious Defilements (anger, attachment, etc., which produce all the problems of the world).
- Adventitious Defilements only exist in the Mental Consciousness of sentient beings. Delusions are mental consciousnesses; not sense consciousnesses.
- Two freedoms of the Svabhāvikakāya are of one nature with the Mental Consciousness (Jñānakāya) [i.e., exist on the basis of the Mental Consciousness]
Questions & Answers.
Track 3 - Quality 2 - Spontaneously Accomplished: Buddha’s spontaneously accomplished Svabhāvikakāya is free of Adventitious Defilements, i.e., is the Cessations of:
- Afflictive Obstructions (that keep us from Self-Liberation).
- Cognitive Obstructions (that keep us from Buddhahood)
Quality 3 – “That (i.e., two Svabhāvikakāyas) which is Not Realized by Other Conditions (mere words or conceptuality)”:
- Can (upon reaching the Path of Seeing) directly experience the Svabhāvikakāya that is the lack of inherent existence of the Jñānakāya.
- Cannot (even as Aryas) realize the Svabhāvikakāya that is cessation of defilements.
NOTES of Class 12 (May 4) rough draft transcript of class offered for what it's worth.
This is the 12th class of the Spring 2012 term Perfection of Wisdom course
which addresses Refuge, the 3rd sub-topic of the 2nd Topic
(Mahayana Practice Instructions) of Chapter 1 of Maitreya's
Ornament for Clear Realizations - Abhisamayalamkara.