Thursday, May 10, 2012

Class 14 - Dharma & Sangha Jewels 8 Qualities

Download PDF's of Class Handouts, Notes, and MP3 Tracks from the 14th class of Spring 2012 term held on Thursday, May 10.  (FYI:  No class was held on Monday, May 7.)

DOWNLOAD Handouts - text for Class 14:

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).

Handout 13 - General Meaning's 5 Topics that explain Three Refuge Objects:  #2 - (b)  Mahayana Tenets: (1) Nature (meaning) of the (ii) Dharma Jewel, cont.; and (iii) Sangha Jewel (per 8 qualities cited in Maitreya’s Uttaratantra (Sublime Continuum).  #3 - Difference between Conventional Refuge (not a genuinely final refuge) & Ultimate Refuge (genuinely final refuge, e.g., Buddha Rupakayas).

ALL SPRING 2012 PDF Handouts are HERE.

Track 1 - Review:  Buddha Jewel’s Eight Qualities per (Maitreya) Mahayana Tenets:
Qualities (1) – Unconditioned; (2) Spontaneously Accomplished; (3) Not Realized by Other conditions; (4) Knowledge; (5) Love; (6) Ability; (7) Own Benefit; (8) Others’ Benefit.
  • Categorizing Own Benefit & Others’ Benefit Qualities:  
    • Per Maitreya’s categorization, 
      • Qualities 1-3 are subsumed into the (7) Own Benefit category
      • Qualities 4-6 are in Others’ Benefit category.
    • Per categorization based on whether or not the qualities manifest to the perception of sentient beings:
      • Qualities 1-6 are Own Benefit qualities.  
      • Saṃbhogakāya and Nirmāṇakāya are Others’ Benefit qualities.


The Dharma is inconceivable,  free of 'the two', and free of the conceptual awareness,
It is pure, luminous, and the aspect of an antidote;

It is that which is [freed from attachment], that which frees from attachment;
It is imbued with the very characteristics of the two truths.
- Maitreya, Uttaratantra (Sublime Continuum)

[Review] Dharma Jewel of Cessation’s Three QualitiesFree of the
  1. Four Extremes
  2. Two (contaminated Karma and Afflictions), 
  3. Conceptual awareness of improper mental engagement (i.e., a specific mind that is part of the process of generating delusions).
Dharma Jewel of Arya Paths:
  • Effect of Dormant minds on Manifest minds
    • On sentient beings;
    • On Aryas on the Path of Seeing (dormant minds of Bodhicitta & realization of Emptiness):
  • Delusions that can (e.g., attachment) or cannot (e.g., anger) arise in mental continua of Arya Bodhisattvas on Path of Seeing.
    • Meanings of Attachment and Love. 
Track 2 - Dharma Jewel of Arya Paths (Truths of the Path) - Qualities 4-6:

    4Pure (its naturally free of defilements).
    5Luminous (realizes Conventional Truths & Ultimate Truths - not simultaneously until Buddhahood);
    6. Aspect of an Antidote.
  • Differentiate Antidote from Direct Antidote:
  • Every Path is an Antidote; but only one Path is a Direct Antidote.
  • Direct Antidote is the mind that realizes Emptiness directly which is the:
    • only Direct Antidote; and 
    • Antidote to all delusions.
  • All other Antidotes temporarily reduce delusions sufficiently to allow development of the Direct Antidote.
Dharma Jewel is either that which is free of attachment (Truth of Cessation) or that which frees from attachment (Truth of Path) - Qualities 7 & 8:

    7.  Truth of Cessation (subsumes Qualities 1-3):  "that which is [freed from attachment]"

ATTACHMENT:  Are Cessations always cessations of some type of Attachment? 

Two-fold Categorization of Obstructions:
  • Afflictive Obstructions - overcome by Bodhisattva Aryas on the First-Seventh Ground (bhumi) 
  • Cognitive Obstruction - overcome by Bodhisattva Arhats on the 8th-10th Grounds to attain Buddhahood.
  • Afflictive Obstructions here are termed Attachment.
Track 3 - Questions & Answers.

Track 4 - Truth of Path /Arya Path (subsumes Qualites 4-6) is :
  • "that which frees from attachment", i.e., produces Cessations (including cessations of cognitive obstructions [the imprints of attachments]); and
  • is free from attachment.
Dharma Jewel is the Actual Object of Refuge 
  • Distinguish:  Taking refuge primarily in something; and something being an Actual Object of Refuge. 
  • Dharma is the defining characteristic of Buddha and Sangha Jewels:
    • Persons -- Buddha or Sangha Jewels -- are not actual objects of refuge.
    • Sangha and Buddha Jewels are special because they possess the Dharma Jewel (Truth of Cessation and Truth of the Path).
  • Truth of the Path, analogous to the Sun is: 
    • Naturally Pure (of darkness of Wrong Views), 
    • Luminous (in realizing reality), and  
    • Eliminates Darkness (of all obscurations).


Since they have pure perception of
The mode of existence, of the varieties, and of the inner wisdom,
And since they are wise, the Assembly, who never regresses,
Has unsurpassable qualities.
Sangha Jewels possess at least one of Eight Qualities that reflect two aspects:  Pure Perception & Freedom from Obstructions.

Sangha Jewel Qualities 1-3Pure Perception [self-originated awareness (རང་བྱུང་ཡེ་ཤེས་) is a Wisdom mind that:
  • Directly realizes its object (without dependence on conceptuality or words); i.e.,
  • Directly realizes: 
    • Ultimate Truth
    • Conventional Truth, and 
    • Sentient Being’s Buddha Nature (Tathāgatagarbha).
  1.  Pure Perception realizes that Ultimate Truth (ultimate mode of existence of all phenomena) is the Truth of the Path.

  2.  Pure Perception realizes Conventional Truth by -- after first eliminating false appearance of phenomena (i.e., of inherent/objective true existence from their own power) -- establishing that phenomena exist through mere imputation.
  • Understanding Conventional Truth is more difficult for us than understanding Ultimate Truth, as the understanding is sequential.
  3.  Pure Perception of Bodhisattva Arya Jewels realizes sentient beings’ Buddha Nature (Tathāgatagarbha).

Meaning of Sangha Jewel exemplified by Eight Qualities is not a pervasion, e.g., Solitary Realizers do not necessarily realize all beings' Buddha Nature.
  • Valid Pervasion demonstrate the Eight Doors of Pervasion that prove two phenomena are equivalent (Spring 2011 Handout 29), e.g.:
    •  Whatever is an Arya Jewel is necessarily a Sangha Jewel; 
    •  Whatever is a Sangha Jewel is necessarily an Arya Jewel; 
    •  Whatever is not an Arya Jewel is necessarily not a Sangha Jewel, 
    •  Whatever is not a Sangha Jewe is necessarily not an Arya Jewel,
    •  If an Arya Jewel exists, a Sangha Jewel necessarily exists.
    •  If a Sangha Jewel exists, an Arya Jewel necessarily exists.
    •  If an Arya Jewel does not exist, a Sangha Jewel necessarily does not exist.
    •  If a Sangha Jewel does not exist, an Arya Jewel necessarily does not exist.
Maitreya’s meaning described by Eight Characteristics provides us more details about the Sangha Jewel.

Questions & Answers / Discussion:
  • Reasons why Arya Bodhisattva must have pure perception of Buddha Nature.
  • Homework:  Why must practitioners prioritize others' welfare over self-benefit if the welfare of self and others are equally important.
Sangha Jewel Qualities 4-6Freedom from at Least One of the Three Obstructions.


Three-fold Categorization of Obstructions:
  • Obstruction of Attachment (i.e., Afflictive Obstructions) -  Sangha Jewel Quality 4.
  • Obstruction of Obscuration (i.e., Cognitive Obstructions) - Sangha Jewel Quality 5.
  • Common Obstructions  - Sangha Jewel Quality 6,
4.  Free of Obstructions of Attachment (ཆགས་པའི་སྒྲིབ་པ་).
    Obstructions of Attachment refers to:
  • Anything associated with Attachment, including 
  • the mind that perceives inherent existence (i.e., Afflictive Obstructions).
    • Some traditions stress Attachment as root (rather than ignorance) because attachment to the Self arises so quickly after grasping onto the inherent existence of the self.
  • Upon eliminating the Obstructions of Attachment the Arya becomes an Arhat.
  5.  Free of Obstructions of Obscuration (ཐོགས་པའི་སྒྲིབ་པ་), a/k/a Cognitive Obstructions (to Omniscience).
  6.  Free of Common Obstructions (དམན་པའི་སྒྲིབ་པ་).
  • Two interpretations of Common Obstructions by scholars:   
    • Common Obstructions refer to the mind that aspires to merely attain self-liberation, which in itself, is an incredible mind in itself; but in comparison, Mahayana philosophers, however, hold that mind to be an obstruction to generating Bodhicitta, which they hold as superior.
    • Common Obstructions refer to obstructions to meditative stabilization.
Technically, a Sangha Jewel need not be free of any of those three obstructions:  At the first moment of realizing Emptiness directly, person possesses the quality of Knowledge and is a Sangha Jewel, yet has not used that tool of the Path to eliminate any obstructions.  Before rising from that meditation session, the Arya will be freed of certain obstructions.

  7.  Knowledge (subsumes Qualities 1-3):   "Since they are wise, the Assembly, who never regresses ..." due to their Wisdom from the Paths of Seeing, Meditation, or No-More-Learning.

  8.  Release (subsumes Qualities 4-6) or elimination of different obstructions.

NOTES of Class 14 (May 10) rough draft transcript of class offered for what it's worth.

If any of the LINKS don't work, please leave a COMMENT or notify us by E-Mail.
This is the 14th 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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All of the mp3 lectures for this entry have broken links