“Fundamental of the Middle Way” & “Averting the Arguments” (MulamadhyamakaKarikas & Vigrahavyavartani) by Nagarjuna – Part 3

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“Fundamental of the Middle Way” & “Averting the Arguments” (MulamadhyamakaKarikas & Vigrahavyavartani) by Nagarjuna – Part 3

[CHAPTER 19 – An Analysis of Time (kala) (time) – 6 verses – No real space-time limits of anything, no real space or time]
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#1.
If “the present” and “future” exist presupposing “the past,”
“The present” and “future” will exist in “the past.”
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#2.
If “the present” and “future” did not exist there [in “the past”],
How could “the present” and “future” exist presupposing that “past?
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#3.
Without presupposing “the past” the two things [“the present” and “future”] cannot be proved to exist.
Therefore neither present nor future time exist.
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#4.
In this way the remaining two [times] can be inverted.
Thus one would regard “highest,” “lowest” and “middle,” etc., as oneness and difference. (or “after,” “before” and “middle”, or “right,” “left” and “middle” …)
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#5.
A non-stationary “time” cannot be “grasped”; and a stationary “time” which can be grasped does not exist.
How, then, can one perceive time if it is not “grasped”?
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#6.
Since time is dependent on a thing (bhava), how can time [exist] without a thing?
There is not any thing which exists; how, then, will time become [something]?
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[CHAPTER 20 – An Analysis of the Aggregate (samagri) of Causes and Conditions (cause and effect) – 24 verses
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#1.
If a product (phala) is produced through the aggregate of causes and conditions,
And exists in an aggregate, how will it be produced in the aggregate?
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#2.
If a product is produced in the aggregate of causes and conditions,
And does not exist in the aggregate, how will it be produced in the aggregate?
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#3.
If the product is in the aggregate of causes and conditions,
Would it not be “grasped” [i.e., located] in the aggregate? But it is not “grasped” in the aggregate.
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#4.
If the product is not in the aggregate of causes and conditions,
Then the causes and conditions would be the same as non-causes and non-conditions.
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#5.
If a cause, having given the cause for a product, is stopped,
Then that which is “given” and that which is stopped would be two identities of the cause.
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#6.
If a cause without having given the cause for a product is stopped
Then, the cause being stopped, the product would be produced as something derived from a non-cause (ahetuka).
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#7.
If the product would become visible concomitantly with the aggregate [of causes and conditions],
Then it would logically follow that the producer and that which is produced [exist] in the same moment.
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#8.
If the product would become visible before the aggregate,
Then the product, without being related to causes and conditions, would be something derived from a non-cause.
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#9.
If, when the cause of the product is stopped, there would be a continuation of the cause,
It would logically follow that there would be another production of the previous producing cause.
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#10.
How can that which is stopped, i.e., something which has disappeared, produce the arising of a product?
How could a cause which is enclosed by its product, even though it persists, originate [that product]?
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#11.
Or if that [cause] were not enclosed by the product, which product would it produce?
For the cause does not produce the product, having seen or not having seen [the product].
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#12.
There is no concomitance of a past product with a past cause, a future [cause] or present [cause].
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#13.
Certainly there is no concomitance of the present product with future cause, past [cause] or present [cause].
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#14.
Certainly there is no concomitance of a future product with a present cause, future [cause] or past [cause].
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#15.
If there is no concomitance whatever, how would the cause produce the product?
Or if a concomitance exists, how would the cause produce the product?
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#16.
If the cause is empty of a product, how would it produce the product?
If the cause is not empty of a product, how would it produce the product?
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#17.
A non-empty product would not be originated, [and] a non-empty [product] would not be destroyed.
Then that is non-empty which will not originate or not disappear.
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#18.
How would that be produced which is empty?
How would that be destroyed which is empty?
It logically follows, then, that which is empty is not originated and not destroyed.
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#19.
Certainly a oneness of cause and product is not possible at all.
Nor is a difference of cause and product possible at all.
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#20.
If there were a oneness of the cause and product, then there would be an identity of the originator and what is originated.
If there were a difference of product and cause, then a cause would be the same as that which is not a cause.
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#21.
Can a cause produce a product which is essentially existing in itself (svabhva)?
Can a cause produce a product which is not essentially existing in itself (svabhava)?
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#22.
It is not possible to have “what is by its nature a cause” (hetutva) of “that which is not producing.”
If “what is by its nature a cause” is not possible, whose product will exist?
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#23.
How will that [aggregate of causes and conditions] produce a product when
That which is the aggregate of causes and conditions does not produce itself by itself?
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#24.
The product is not produced by the aggregate;
nor is the product not produced by the aggregate.
Without the product, how is there an aggregate of conditions?
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[CHAPTER 21 – An Analysis of Origination (sambhava) and Disappearance (vibhava) (coming to be and passing away) – 21 verses
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#1.
There is no disappearance either with origination or without it.
There is no origination either with disappearance or without it.
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#2.
How, indeed, will disappearance exist at all without origination?
[How could there be] death without birth?
There is no disappearance without [prior] origination.
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#3.
How can disappearance exist concomitantly with origination?
Since, surely, death does not exist at the same moment as birth.
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#4.
How, indeed, will origination exist at all without disappearance?
For, impermanence does not fail to be found in existent things ever.
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#5.
How can origination exist concomitantly with disappearance?
Since, surely, death does not exist at the same moment as birth.
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#6.
When two things cannot be proved either separately or together,
No proof exists of those two things.
How can these two things be proved?
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#7.
There is no origination of that which is destructible, nor of that which is not-destructible.
There is no disappearance of that which is destructible nor of that which is non-destructible.
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#8.
Origination and disappearance cannot exist without an existent thing.
Without origination and disappearance an existent thing does not exist.
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#9.
Origination and disappearance does not obtain for that which is empty.
Origination and disappearance does not obtain for that which is non-empty.
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#10.
It does not obtain that origination and disappearance are the same thing.
It does not obtain that origination and disappearance are different.
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#11.
[You argue:] Origination, as well as disappearance, is seen.
[Therefore] it would exist for you.
[But] origination and disappearance are seen due to a delusion.
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#12.
An existent thing does not originate from [another] thing;
and an existent thing does not originate from a non-existent thing.
Also, a non-existent thing does not originate from another non-existent thing;
and a non-existent thing does not originate from an existent thing.
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#13.
An existent thing does not originate either by itself or by something different.
Or by itself and something different [at the same time]. How, then, can it be produced?
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#14.
For someone assuming an existent thing, either an eternalistic or nihilistic point of view would logically follow,
For that existent thing would be either eternal or liable to cessation.
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#15.
[An opponent objects:]
For someone assuming an existent thing, there is not [only] eternalism or nihilism,
Since this is existence: namely, the continuity of the originating and stopping of causes and product.
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#16.
[Nagarjuna replies:]
If this is existence: namely, the continuity of originating and stopping of causes and product,
It would logically follow that the cause is destroyed because the destroyed thing does not originate again.
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#17.
If there is self-existence of something which is intrinsically existing, then non-existence does not obtain.
At the time of nirvana there is destruction of the cycle of existence (bhavasamtana) as a result of the cessation.
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#18.
If the last [part of existence] is destroyed, the first [part of] existence does not obtain.
If the last [part of existence] is not destroyed, the first [part of] existence does not obtain.
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#19.
If the first [part of existence] were produced while the final part were being destroyed,
There would be one thing being destroyed and being produced [both at the same time].
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#20.
If the one “being destroyed” and the one “being produced” cannot exist together,
Can someone be produced in those “groups of universal elements” (skandhas) in which he is [also] “dying”?
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#21.
Thus, the chain of existences is not possible in any of the tree times [i.e. past, present, and future];
And if it does not exist in the three times, how can the chain of existences exist?
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[CHAPTER 22 – An Analysis of the “Fully Completed” (Tathagata) (the Buddha) – 16 verses
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#1.
That one [who is “fully-completed”] is not the “groups of universal elements” (skandha),
nor something other than the “groups”;
the “groups” are not in him, nor is he in them;
The “fully completed” does not possess the “groups.”
What, then, is the “fully completed”?
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#2.
If the Buddha exists dependent on the “groups,” then he is not “that which exists by itself” (svabbava)
And how can he exist as something else (parabhava) (“other-existence”) if he is not “that which exists by itself” (svabbava)?
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#3.
That which exists presupposing another existent thing is properly called a “non-individual self” (anatma).
How will that which is a non-individual self become the “fully completed”?
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#4.
And if there is no self-existence (svabhava), how would it have an “other-existence” (parabhava)?
What would that “fully completed” [reality] be without either a self-existence or other-existence?
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#5.
If some kind of “fully completed” [thing] would exist without dependence on the “groups,”
It is dependent now; therefore it exists dependent [on something].
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#6.
There is no kind of “fully completed” [being] which is not dependent on the “groups.”
And whatever is not non-dependent—how will it become dependent?
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#7.
There is nothing whatever that is dependent on [the “groups”] and there is no thing whatever on which something does not depend.
There would not exist in any way a “fully completed” [being] without being dependent on [the “groups”].
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#8.
That [fully completed being] which does not exist by its actual reality (tattva) or by some other reality (anyatva) according to the five-fold examination—
How is the “fully completed” [being] perceived by being dependent?
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#9.
So when there is dependence, self-existence does not exist;
And if there is no self-existence whatever, how is an other-existence possible?
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#10.
Thus “dependence” and “that which is dependent” are completely empty (sunya).
How is that empty “fully completed one” known through that which is empty?
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#11.
One may not say that there is “emptiness” (sunya) (1)
nor that there is non-emptiness. (2)”
Nor that both [exist simultaneously] (3),
nor that neither exists (4);
the purpose for saying [“emptiness”] is for the purpose of conveying knowledge.
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#12.
How, then, will “eternity,” “non-eternity,” and [the rest of] the Tetralemma apply to bliss (santa)?
How, then, will “the end,” “without end,” and [the rest of] the Tetralemma apply to bliss?
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#13.
That image of nirvana [in which] the Buddha (Tathagata) either “is” or “is not”—
By him who [so imagines nirvana] the notion is crudely grasped.
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#14.
Concerning that which is empty by its own nature (svabhava), the thoughts do not arise that:
The Buddha “exists” or “does not exist” after death.
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#15.
Those who describe in detail the Buddha, who is unchanging and beyond all detailed description—
Those, completely defeated by description, do not perceive the “fully completed” [being].
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#16.
The self-existence of the “fully completed” [being] is the self-existence of the world.
The “fully completed” [being] is without self-existence [and] the world is without self-existence.
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[CHAPTER 23 – An Analysis of Errors (viparyasa) (the perverted views) – 25 verses
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#1.
It is said that desire (raga), hate, and delusion are derived from mental fabrication (samkalpa),
Because they come into existence presupposing errors as to what is salutary and unsalutary.
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#2.
Those things which come into existence presupposing errors as to what is salutary and unsalutary
Do not exist by their own nature (svabhava); therefore the impurities (klesa) do not exist in reality.
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#3.
The existence or non-existence of the individual self (atma) is not proved at all.
Without that [individual self], how can the existence or non-existence of the impurities be proved?
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#4.
For impurities exist of somebody, and that person is not proved at all.
Is it not so that without someone the impurities do not exist of anybody?
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#5.
In reference to the view of having a body of one’s own, the impurities do not exist in what is made impure according to the five-fold manner.
In reference to the view of having a body of one’s own, that which is made impure does not exist in the impurities according to the five-fold manner.
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#6.
The errors as to what is salutary and non-salutary do not exist as self-existent entities (svabhavatas)
Depending on which errors as to what is salutary and non-salutary are then impurities?
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#7.
Form, sound, taste, touch, smell, and the dharmas: this six-fold
Substance (vastu) of desire, hate, and delusion is imagined.
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#8.
Form, sound, taste, touch, smell, and the dharmas are
Merely the form of a fairy castle, like a mirage, a dream.
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#9.
How will “that which is salutary” or “that which is non-salutary” come into existence
In a formation of a magical man, or in things like a reflection?
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#10.
We submit that there is no non-salutary thing unrelated to a salutary thing.
[And in turn] depending on which, there is a salutary thing; therefore, a salutary thing does not obtain.
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#11.
We submit that there is no salutary thing unrelated to a non-salutary thing,
[And in turn] depending on which, there is a non-salutary thing; therefore a non-salutary thing does not obtain.
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#12.
If “what is salutary” does not exist, how will there be desire [for it]?
And if “what is non-salutary” does not exist, how will there be hatred [for it]?
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#13.
Even if the notion “What is permanent is in something impermanent” is in error,
How can this notion be in error since “what is impermanent” does not exist in emptiness?
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#14.
Even if the notion “what is permanent is in something impermanent” is in error,
Is not then the notion concerning emptiness, i.e., that it is impermanent, in error?
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#15.
That by which a notion is formed, the notion, those who have notions, and that which is grasped [in the notion]:
All have ceased; therefore, the notion does not exist.
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#16.
If a notion is not existing either as false or true,
Whose is the error? Whose is the non-error?
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#17.
Nor do errors of someone who has erred come into existence.
Nor do errors of someone who has not erred come into existence.
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#18.
And errors of someone who is at present in error do not come into existence.
Now you examine of whom do errors really come into existence!
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#19.
How in all the world will errors which have not originated come into existence?
And if errors are not originated, how can there be someone involved in error?
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#20.
Since no being is produced by itself, nor by something different,
Nor by itself and something different at the same time, how can there be someone involved in error?
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#21.
If the individual self, “what is pure,” “what is eternal,” and happiness really exist,
Then the individual self, “what is pure,” “what is eternal,” and happiness are not errors.
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#22.
But if individual self, “what is pure,” “what is eternal,” and happiness do not exist,
Then non-individual self, “what is impure,” “what is impermanent” and sorrow (dukkha) do not exist.
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#23.
From the cessation of error ignorance ceases;
When ignorance has ceased, conditioning forces (samskara) and everything else cease.
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#24.
If any kind of self-existent impurities belong to somebody,
How in all the world would they be eliminated? Who can eliminate that which is self-existent?
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#25.
If any kind of self-existent impurities do not belong to somebody,
How in all the world would they be eliminated? Who can eliminate that which is non-self-existent?
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[CHAPTER 24 – An Analysis of the Holy Truths (aryasatya) (the noble truths) – 40 verses
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#1.
If everything is empty, there is no origination nor destruction.
Then you must incorrectly conclude that there is non-existence of the four holy truths.
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#2.
If there is non-existence of the four holy truths, the saving knowledge, the elimination [of illusion],
The “becoming” [enlightened] (bhavana), and the “realization” [of the goal] are impossible.
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#3.
If there is non-existence, then also the four holy “fruits” do not exist.
In the non-existence of fruit there is no “residing in fruit” nor obtaining.
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#4.
When the community [of Buddhists] does not exist, then those eight “kinds of persons” [i.e., four abiding in the fruit and four who are obtaining] do not exist.
Because there is non-existence of the four holy truths, the real dharma does not exist.
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#5.
And if there are no dharma and community, how will the Buddha exist?
By speaking thus, [that everything is empty] certainly you deny the three jewels [i.e., the Buddha, the dharma, and the community].
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#6.
You deny the real existence of a product, of right and wrong,
And all the practical behavior of the world as being empty.
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#7.
We reply that you do not comprehend the point of emptiness;
You eliminate both “emptiness” itself and its purpose from it.
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#8.
The teaching by the Buddhas of the dharma has recourse to two truths:
The world-ensconced truth (T1) and the truth which is the highest sense (T2).
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#9.
Those who do not know the distribution (vibhagam) of the two kinds of truth
Do not know the profound “point” (tattva) (T3) in the teaching of the Buddha.
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#10.
The highest sense [of the truth] (T2) is not taught apart from practical behavior (T1),
And without having understood the highest sense (T2) one cannot understand nirvana (T3).
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#11.
Emptiness, having been dimly perceived, utterly destroys the slow-witted.
It is like a snake wrongly grasped or [magical] knowledge incorrectly applied.
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#12.
Therefore the mind of the ascetic [Guatama] was diverted from teaching the dharma,
Having thought about the incomprehensibility of the dharma by the stupid.
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#13.
Time and again you have made a condemnation of emptiness,
But that refutation does not apply to our emptiness.
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#14.
When emptiness “works”, then everything in existence “works”. (A)
If emptiness “does not work”, then all existence “does not work”. (B)
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#15.
You, while projecting your own faults on us, (i.e. objectifying emptiness)
Are like a person who, having mounted his horse, forgot the horse!(i.e. a tool)
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#16.
If you recognize real existence on account of the self-existence of things,
You perceive that there are uncaused and unconditioned things.
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#17.
You deny “what is to be produced,” cause, the producer, the instrument of production, and the producing action,
And the origination, destruction, and “fruit.”
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#18.
The “originating dependently” we call “emptiness”;
This apprehension, i.e., taking into account [all other things], is the understanding of the middle way.
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#19.
Since there is no dharma whatever originating independently,
No dharma whatever exists which is not empty.
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#20.
If all existence is not empty, there is neither origination nor destruction.
You must wrongly conclude then that the four holy truths do not exist.
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#21.
Having originated without being conditioned, how will sorrow (dukkha) come into existence?
It is said that sorrow (dukkha) is not eternal; therefore, certainly it does not exist by its own nature (svabbava).
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#22.
How can that which is existing by its own nature originate again?
For him who denies emptiness there is no production.
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#23.
There is no destruction of sorrow (dukkha) if it exists by its own nature.
By trying to establish “self-existence” you deny destruction.
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#24.
If the path [of release] is self-existent, then there is no way of bringing it into existence (bhavana);
If that path is brought into existence, then “self-existence,” which you claim does not exist.
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#25.
When sorrow (dukkha), origination, and destruction do not exist,
What kind of path will obtain the destruction of sorrow (dukkha)?
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#26.
If there is no complete knowledge as to self-existence, how [can there be] any knowledge of it?
Indeed, is it not true that self-existence is that which endures?
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#27.
As in the case of complete knowledge, neither destruction, realization, “bringing into existence,”
Nor are the four holy fruits possible for you.
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#28.
If you accept “self-existence,” and a “fruit” is not known by its self-existence,
How can it be known at all?
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#29.
In the non-existence of “fruit,” there is no “residing in fruit” nor obtaining [the “fruit”];
When the community [of Buddhists] does not exist, then those eight “kinds of persons” do not exist.
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#30.
Because there is non-existence of the four holy truths, the real dharma does not exist.
And if there is no dharma and community, how will the Buddha exist?
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#31.
For you, either the one who is enlightened (buddha) comes into being independent of enlightenment,
Or enlightenment comes into being independent of the one who is enlightened.
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#32.
For you, some one who is a non-buddha by his own nature (svabhava) but strives for enlightenment (i.e. a Bodhisattva)
Will not attain the enlightenment though the “way of life of becoming fully enlightened.”
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#33.
Neither the dharma nor non-dharma will be done anywhere.
What is produced which is non-empty? Certainly self-existence is not produced.
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#34.
Certainly, for you, there is a product without [the distinction] of dharma or non-dharma.
Since, for you, the product caused by dharma or non-dharma does not exist.
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#35.
If, for you, the product is caused by dharma or non-dharma, be non-empty?
How can that product, being originated by dharma or non-dharma empty?
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#36.
You deny all mundane and customary activities
When you deny emptiness [in the sense of] dependent co-origination (patytya-samutpada).
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#37.
If you deny emptiness, there would be action which is unactivated.
There would be nothing whatever acted upon, and a producing action would be something not begun.
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#38.
According to [the doctrine of] “self-existence” the world is free from different conditions;
Then it will exist as unproduced, undestroyed and immutable.
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#39.
If non-emptiness does not exist, then something is attained which is not attained;
There is cessation of sorrow (dukkha) and actions, and all evil is destroyed.
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#40.
He who perceives dependent co-origination (patytya-samutpada)
Also understands sorrow (dukkha), origination, and destruction as well as the path [of release].
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[CHAPTER 25 – An Analysis of Nirvana (nirvana) – 24 verses
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#1.
If all existence is empty, there is no origination nor destruction.
Then whose nirvana through elimination [of suffering] and destruction [of illusion] would be postulated?
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#2.
If all existence is non-empty, there is no origination nor destruction.
Then whose nirvana through elimination [of suffering] and destruction [of illusion] would be postulated?
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#3.
Nirvana has been said to be neither eliminated nor attained, neither annihilated nor eternal,
Neither disappeared nor originated.
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#4.
Nirvana is certainly not an existing thing, for then it would be characterized by old age and death.
In consequence it would involve the error that an existing thing would not become old and be without death.
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#5.
And if nirvana is an existing thing, nirvana would be a constructed product (samskrta),
Since never ever has an existing thing been found to be a non-constructed-product (asamskrta).
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#6.
But if nirvana is an existing thing, how could [nirvana] exist without dependence [on something else]?
Certainly nirvana does not exist as something without dependence.
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#7.
If nirvana is not an existing thing, will nirvana become a non-existing thing?
Wherever there is no existing thing, neither is there a non-existing thing.
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#8.
But if nirvana is a non-existing thing, how could [nirvana] exist without dependence [on something else]?
Certainly nirvana is not a non-existing thing which exists without dependence.
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#9.
That state which is the rushing in and out [of existence] when dependent or conditioned—
This [state], when not dependent or not conditioned, is seen to be nirvana.
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#10.
The teacher [Gautama] has taught that a “becoming” and a “non-becoming” (vibhava) are destroyed;
Therefore it obtains that: Nirvana is neither an existent thing nor a non-existent thing.
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#11.
If nirvana were both an existent and a non-existent thing,
Final release (moksa) would be [both] an existent and a non-existent thing; but that is not possible.
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#12.
If nirvana were both an existent and a non-existent thing,
There would be no nirvana without conditions, for these both [operate with] conditions.
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#13.
How can nirvana exist as both an existent thing and a non-existent thing,
For nirvana is a non-composite-product (asamskrta), while both an existent thing and a non-existent thing are composite products (samskrta).
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#14.
How can nirvana exist as both an existent and a non-existent thing?
There is no existence of both at one and the same place, as in the case of both darkness and light.
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#15.
The assertion: “Nirvana is neither an existent thing nor a non-existent thing”
Is proved if [the assertion]: “It is an existent thing and a non-existent thing” were proved.
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#16.
If nirvana is neither an existent thing nor a non-existent thing,
Who can really arrive at [the assertion]: “neither an existent thing nor a non-existent thing”?
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#17.
It is not expressed if the Glorious One [the Buddha] exists (1) after his death,
Or does not exist (2), or both (3) or neither (4).
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#18.
Also, it is not expressed if the Glorious One exists (1) while remaining [in the world],
Or does not exist (2), or both (3) or neither (4).
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#19.
There is nothing whatever which differentiates the existence-in-flux (samsara) from nirvana;
And there is nothing whatever which differentiates nirvana from existence-in-flux.
.
#20.
The extreme limit (koti) of nirvana is also the extreme limit of existence-in-flux;
There is not the slightest bit of difference between these two.
.
#21.
The views [regarding] whether that which is beyond death is limited by a beginning or an end or some other alternative
Depend on a nirvana limited by a beginning (purvanta) and an end (aparanta),
.
#22.
Since all dharmas are empty, what is finite? What is infinite?
What is both finite and infinite? What is neither finite nor infinite?
.
#23.
Is there anything which is this or something else, which is permanent or impermanent,
Which is both permanent and impermanent, or which is neither?
.
#24.
The cessation of accepting everything [as real] is a salutary (siva) cessation of phenomenal development (prapanca);
No dharma anywhere has been taught by the Buddha of anything.
.
*******************************************************
*******************************************************
*******************************************************
.
[CHAPTER 26 – An Analysis of the Twelve Components (dvadasanga) (the twelve spokes) – 12 verses
.
#1.
“What is hidden by ignorance (1)” (avidyanivrta) has caused the three kinds of conditioned things (2) (samskara) to be made for rebirth —
By those actions it [i.e., ” what is hidden by ignorance”] goes forward.
.
#2.
Consciousness (3), presupposing that which is conditioned (samskara), enters on its course.
When consciousness is begun, the “name-and-form’- (namarupa) (4) is instilled.
.
#3.
When the “name-and-form” is instilled, the six domains of sense perceptions (5) (ayatana) are produced.
Having arrived at the six domains of sense perceptions, the process of perception begins to function.
.
#4.
Consciousness begins to function presupposing the eye, the visual forms, and ability of mental association—
Presupposing “name-and-form.”
.
#5.
That which is the coincidence (6) (samnipata) of visual form, consciousness, and the eye:
That is sensual perception; and from perception, sensation (7) begins to function.
.
#6.
“Craving (8)” (trsna) [for existing things] is conditioned by sensation.
Certainly [a person] craves for the sake of sensation.
The one who craves acquires the four-fold acquisition (9) (upadana)
[namely sexual pleasure, false views, ascetic morality and vows, and the doctrine of self-existence].
.
#7.
When the acquisition exists, the acquirer begins to function (10) (i.e. existence, becoming).
If he were someone without acquisition, that being would be released, and would not exist.
.
#8.
That being is the five “groups of universal elements” (skandha). Because of a being, birth (11) begins to function.
Growing old, dying, sorrow (dukkha) (12), etc., grief and regrets,
.
#9.
Despair and agitation: all this results from birth;
That “produced being” is a single mass of sorrows (dukkha).
.
#10.
Thus the ignorant people construct the conditioned things (samskara); [that is] the source for existence-in-flux.
The one who constructs is ignorant; the wise person is not [one who constructs] because he perceives true reality.
.
#11.
When ignorance ceases, the constructed phenomena do not come into existence.
A person’s cessation of ignorance proceeds on the basis of “becoming” [enlightened] through knowledge.
.
#12.
Through cessation of every [component] none functions;
That single mass of sorrow (dukkha) is thus completely destroyed.
.
*******************************************************
*******************************************************
*******************************************************
.
[CHAPTER 27 – An Analysis of the Views (drsti) About Reality (dogmas) – 30 verses
.
#1.
Those [views] relating to the limits of the past reality are: “The world is eternal,” etc.,
[And “I have existed in the past,” “I have not existed in the past,” etc.]
.
#2.
The assertion: “I will not become something different in a future time,”
“I will become [something different],” and the alternative, etc., are relating to an end [in the future].
.
#3.
[The assertion:] “I existed in a past time (1)” does not obtain,
Since this [present being] is not (i.e. “ii” is not the same as “i”) that one who [was] in a former birth.
.
#4.
Were he [in a previous birth], that individual self (atma) which he acquires [in coming into existence] would be different.
Moreover, what kind of individual self is there without acquisition (upadana)?
.
#5.
If it were held that: “There is no individual self without the acquisition,”
Then the individual self would be [only] the acquisition or it is not an individual self [at all].
.
#6.
The individual self is not the acquisition, since that [acquisition] appears and disappears.
Now really, how will “he who acquires” become “that which is acquired?
.
#7.
Moreover, it does not obtain that the individual self is different from the acquisition.
If the individual self were different, it would be perceived without the acquisition; but [in fact] it is not so perceived.
.
#8.
Thus that [individual self] is not different from nor identical to the acquisition.
The individual self is not without acquisition; but there is no certainty that “It does not exist.”
.
#9.
[The assertion:] “I have not existed in a past time (2)” does not obtain,
For that one [now living] is not different (i.e. “ii” is not different than “i”) from that one who was in a former birth.
.
#10.
If that [present person] were different, he would exist in exclusion of that [former] one.
Therefore either that [former person] persists, or he would be born eternal!
.
#11.
— note 4 : Verse 11 is not available in the Sanskrit test, but it is known from the Tibetan translation
.
#12.
There is no existing thing which is “that which has not existed prior.” Therefore, the error logically follows that
Either the individual self is “what is produced” or it originates without a cause.
.
#13.
Thus the view concerning the past which [asserts] “I have existed (1),” or “I have not existed (2),”
Both [“existed and not existed”] (3) or neither (4): this does not obtain at all.
.
#14.
[The views:] “I will become something in a future time (1′),”
Or “I will not become (2′) [something],” etc. (3′) (4′), [should be considered] like those [views] of the past.
.
#15.
If “This is a man, this is a god” [obtains], then eternity (i) exists,
For god is unproduced, and certainly something eternal would not be born.
.
#16.
If man is different from god, there would exist something non-eternal (ii).
If man is different from god, then a continuity does not obtain.(i.e. they cannot be different)
.
#17.
If one part were divine and another part human, (i.e. a man with an eternal soul)
Then there would be something non-eternal [together with] that which is eternal (iii); but that is not possible.
.
#18.
If something both non-eternal and eternal were proved,
Then, no doubt, something “neither eternal nor non-eternal (iv)” is proved.
.
#19.
If someone, having come from somewhere, in some way goes somewhere again,
Then there would be existence-in-flux with no beginning; but this is not the case.
.
#20.
If someone who is eternal does not exist, who will exist being non-eternal,
Or who being both eternal and non-eternal, or devoid of these two [characteristics]?
.
#21.
If the world would come to an end, how would an other-world come into existence?
If the world would not come to an end, how would an other-world come into being?
.
#22.
Since the continuity of the “groups of universal elements” (skandhas) [from one moment to the next] functions like flames of lamps,
[The view:] “both having an end and not having an end” is not possible.
.
#23.
If the former [“groups”] would disappear, those [new] “groups” which are dependent on those [former] “groups” would not arise;
Therefore, the world would come to an end (ii).
.
#24.
If the former [“groups”] would not disappear, these [new] “groups” which are dependent on those [former] “groups” would not arise;
Therefore, the world would be eternal (i).
.
#25.
If one part were finite and the other were infinite,
The world would be both finite and infinite (iii); but this is not possible.
.
#26.
Therefore, how can it be that one part of “one who acquires” [karma] will be destroyed, (i.e. the body – man?)
And one part not destroyed? (i.e. the very subtle mind — the divine part?) This is not possible.
.
#27.
How, indeed, can it be that one part of the acquisition [of karma] (i.e. the learning stored in the body) will be destroyed,
And one part not destroyed? (i.e. the learning stored in the mind) That, certainly does not obtain.
.
#28.
If the [view] “both finite and infinite” were proved,
Then no doubt, “neither finite nor infinite” (i.e. nothing at all) could be proved.
.
#29.
Because of the emptiness of all existing things,
How will the views about “eternity,” etc., come into existence, about what, of whom, and of what kind?
.
#30.
To him, possessing compassion, who taught the real dharma
For the destruction of all views—to him, Gautama, I humbly offer reverence.
.
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.
[CHAPTER VIGRAHAVYAVARTANI : AVERTING THE ARGUMENTS
A traduction of Vigrahavyavartani by Nagarjuna.
The Sanskrit text used for this translation is found in “The Vigrahavyavartani of Nagarjuna,” E. H. Johnston and Arnold Kunst, eds., MCB, IX (July, 1951), 108-51.
.
[PART 1 – The Arguments of the Opponents]
.
#1.
If self-existence (svabhava) does not exist anywhere in any existing thing,
Your statement, [itself] being without self-existence, is not able to discard self-existence.
.
#2.
But if that statement has [its own] self-existence, then your initial proposition is refuted;
There is a [logical] inconsistency in this, and you ought to explain the grounds of the difference [between the principle of validity in your statement and others].
.
#3.
Should your opinion be that [your statement] is like “Do not make a sound,” this is not possible;
For in this case by a [present] sound there will be a [future] prevention of that [sound].
.
#4.
If [your statement] were that: “This is a denial of a denial,” that is not true;
Thus your thesis, as to a defining mark (laksanata) – not mine – is in error.
.
#5.
If you deny existing things while being seen by direct perception,
Then that direct perception, by which things are seen, also does not exist.
.
#6.
By [denying] direct perception inference is denied, as also Scripture and analogy.
[As well as] the points to be proved by inference and Scripture and those points to be proved by a similar instance (drstanta).
.
#7.
The people who know the modes of the dharmas know [there is] a good self-existence of good dharmas.
As to the others, the application is the same.
.
#8.
There is a self-existence of liberation in those [dharmas] mentioned as liberative modes of dharmas.
Likewise, there is that which is non-liberative, etc.
.
#9.
And, if there would be no self-existence of dharmas, then that would be “non-self existence”;
In that case the name (nama) would not exist, for certainly there is nothing without substance [to which it refers].
.
#10.
If [one asserts:] That which is self-existent exists, but the self-existence of the dharmas does not exist,
One should give the explanation concerning that of which there is self-existence without dharmas.
.
#11.
As there must be a denial of something that exists, as [in in the statement:] “There is not a pot in the house,”
That denial of yours which is seen must be a denial of self-existence that exists.
.
#12.
Or if that self-existence does not exist, what do you deny by that statement?
Certainly, the denial of what does not exist is proved without a word!
.
#13.
Just as children erroneously apprehend that there is “non-water” in a mirage,
So you would erroneously apprehend a non-existing thing as deniable.
.
#14.
If this is so, then there is the apprehensions “what is apprehended” and the one who apprehends,
Also the denial, “what is denied” and the one who denies– six-all together.
.
#15.
However, if the apprehension, “what is apprehended” and the one who apprehends do not exist.
Then is it not true that denial, “what is denied,” and the one who denies do not exist?
.
#16.
If denial, “what is denied,” ant the one who denies do not exist,
Then all existing things as well as the self-existence of them are proved [since you have eliminated their denial].
.
#17.
Because of non-self-existence there is no proof of any grounds [of knowledge]; whence are your grounds?
There is no proof of a “point” possible for you if it has no grounds.
.
#18.
If the proof of your denial of a self-existent thing is not a result of grounds of knowledge,
Then my affirmation of the existence of a self-existent thing is proved without grounds.
.
#19.
Or if you maintain: “The real existence of grounds is such that it is a non-self-existent thing (asvabhava) this is not justified;
Because no thing whatever in the world exists lacking it own nature (nishvabhava).
.
#20.
When it is mid: The denial precedes “what is denied,” this is not justified.
[Denial] is not justified either later or simultaneously. Therefore self-existence is real.
.
[PART II – Nagarjuna’s Reply to the Arguments of the Opponents]
.
21.
If any thesis does not bear on the totality of causes and conditions, or on them separately,
Is not emptiness proved because of the fact that there is no self-existence in existing things (1)?
.
#22.
The “being dependent nature” of existing things: that is called “emptiness.”
That which has a nature of “being dependent”—of that there is a non-self-existent nature.
.
#23.
Just as a magically formed phantom could deny a phantom created by its own magic,
Just so would be that negation.
.
#24.
This statement [regarding emptiness] is not “that which is self-existent”; therefore, there is no refutation of my assertion.
There is no inconsistency and [thus] the grounds for the difference need not be explained.
.
#25.
[Regarding] “Do not make a sound”—this example introduced by you is not pertinent,
Since there is a negation of sound by sound. That is not like [my denial of self -existence] .
.
#26.
For, if there is prevention of that which lacks self-existence by that which lacks self-existence,
Then that which lacks self-existence would cease, and self-existence would be proved.
.
#27.
Or, as a phantom could destroy the erroneous apprehension concerning a phantom woman that:
“There is a woman,” just so this is true in our case.
.
#28.
Or else the grounds [of proof] are that which is to be proved; certainly sound does not exist as real.
For we do not speak without accepting, for practical purposes, the work-a-day world.
.
#29.
If I would make any proposition whatever, then by that I would have a logical error;
But I do not make a proposition; therefore I am not in error.
.
#30.
If there is something, while being seen by means of the objects of direct perceptions, etc.,
[It is] affirmed or denied. That [denial] of mine is a non-apprehension of non-things.
.
#31.
And if, for you, there is a source [of knowledge] of each every object of proof,
Then tell how, in turn, for you there is proof of those sources.
.
#32.
If by other sources [of knowledge] there would be the proof of a source — that would be an “infinite regress”;
In that case neither a beginning, middle, nor an end is proved.
.
#33.
Or if there is proof of those [objects] without sources, your argument is refuted.
There is a [logical] inconsistency in this, and you ought to explain the cause of the difference [between the principles of validity in your statement and others].
.
#34.
That reconciliation of difficulty is not [realized in the claim:] “Fire illumines itself.”
Certainly it is not like the non-manifest appearance of a pot in the dark.
.
#35.
And if, according to your statement, fire illumines its own self,
Then is this not like a fire which would illumine its own self and something else?
.
#36.
If, according to your statement, fire would illumine both its “own self” and an “other self,”
Then also darkness, like fire, would darken itself and an “other self.”
.
#37.
Darkness does not exist in the glow of a fire; and where the glow remains in an “other individual self,”
How could it produce light? Indeed light is the death of darkness.
.
#38.
[If you say:] “Fire illumines when it is being produced,” this statement is not true;
For, when being produced, fire certainly does not touch (prapnoti) darkness.
.
#39.
Now if that glow can destroy the darkness again and again without touching it,
Then that [glow] which is located here would destroy the darkness in “every corner” of the world.
.
#40.
If your sources [of knowledge] are proved by their own strength (svatas), then, for you, the sources are proved without respect to “that which is to be proved”;
Then you have a proof of a source, [but] no sources are proved without relation to something else.
.
#41.
If, according to you, the sources [of knowledge] are proved without being related to the objects of “that which is to be proved,”
Then these sources will not prove anything.
.
#42.
Or if [you say]: What error is there in thinking, “The relationship of these [sources of knowledge to their objects] is [already] proved”?
[The answer is:] This would be the proving of what is proved. Indeed “that which is not proved” is not related to something else.
.
#43.
Or if the sources [of knowledge] in every case are proved in relation to “what is to be proved,”
Then “what is to be proved” is proved without relation to the sources
.
#44.
And if “what is to be proved” is proved without relation to to the sources [of knowledge],
What [purpose] is the proof of the sources for you—since that for the purpose of which those [sources] exist is already proved!
.
#45.
Or if, for you, the sources [of knowledge] are proved in relation to “what is to be proved,”
Then, for you, there exists an interchange between the sources and “what is to be proved.”
.
#46.
Or if, for you, there are the sources [of knowledge] being proved when there is proof of “what is to be proved,” and if “what is to be proved” exist when
The source is proved, then, for you, the proof of them both does not exist.
.
#47.
If those things which are to be proved are proved by those sources [of knowledge], and those things which are proved
By “what is to be proved,” how will they prove [anything]?
.
#48.
And if those sources [of knowledge] are proved by what is to be proved, and those things which are proved
By the sources, how will they prove [anything]?
.
#49.
If a son is produced by a father, and if that [father] is produced by that very son [when he is born],
Then tell me, in this case, who produces whom?
.
#50.
You tell me! Which of the two becomes the father, and which the son-
Since they both carry characteristics of “father” and “son”? In that case there is doubt.
.
#51.
The proof of the sources [of knowledge] is not [established] by itself, not by each other, or not by other sources;
It does not exist by that which is to be proved and not from noting at all.
.
#52.
If those who know the modes of the dharmas say that there is good self-existence of good dharmas,
That [self-existence] must be stated in contradistinction to something else.
.
#53.
If a good self-existence were produced in relation to [something else],
Then that self-existence of the good dharmas is an “other existence.” How then, does [self-existence] exist?
.
#54.
Or if there is that self-existence of good dharmas, while not being related to something else,
There would be no state of a spiritual way of life.
.
#55.
There would be neither vice nor virtue, and worldly practical activities would not be possible;
Self-existent things would be eternal because that without a cause would be eternal.
.
#56.
Regarding [your view of] bad, “liberative,” and undefined [dharmas], there is an error;
Therefore, all composite products (samskrta) exist as non-composite elements (asamskrta).
.
#57.
He who would impute a really existing name to a really existing thing
Could be refuted by you; but we do not assert a name.
.
#58.
And that [assertion]: “The name is unreal”—would that relate to a real or a non-real thing?
If it were a real thing, or if it were a non-real thing—in both cases your entire proposition is refuted.
.
#59.
The emptiness of all existing things has been demonstrated previously;
Therefore, this attack is against that which is not my thesis.
.
#60.
Or if [it is said]: “Self-existence exists, but that [self-existence] of dharmas does not exist”—
That is questionable; but that which was said [by me] is not questionable.
.
#61.
If the denial concerns something real, then is not emptiness proved?
Then you would deny the non-self-existence of things.
.
#62.
Or if you deny emptiness, and there is no emptiness,
Then is not your assertion: “The denial concerns something real” refuted?
.
#63.
Since anything being denied does not exist, I do not deny anything;
Therefore, [the statement]: “You deny”—which was made by you—is a false accusation.
.
#64.
Regarding what was said concerning what does not exist: “The statement of denial is proved without a word,”
In that case the statement expresses: “[That object] does not exist”; [the words] do not destroy that [object].
.
#65.
Regarding the great censure formerly made by you through the instance of the mirage—
Now hear the ascertainment whereby that instance is logically possible.
.
#66.
If that apprehension [of the mirage] is “something which is self-existent,” it would not have originated presupposing [other things];
But that apprehension which exists presupposing [other things]—is that not emptiness?
.
#67.
If that apprehension is “something which is self-existent,” with what could the apprehension be negated?
This understanding [applies] in the remaining [five factors:
“what is apprehended,”
the one who apprehends,
the denial,
“what is denied,”
and the one who denies];
therefore that is an invalid censure.
.
#68.
By this [argument] the absence of a cause [for denying self-existence] is refuted—on the basis of the similarity [with the foregoing]:
Namely, that which was already said regarding the exclusion of the instance of the mirage.
.
#69.
That which is the cause for the three times is refuted from what is similar to that [given] before;
Negation of cause for the three times affirms emptiness.
.
#70.
All things prevail for him for whom emptiness prevails;
Nothing whatever prevails for him for whom emptiness prevails.
.
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[End]

 

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