For Baby-Boomers the old TV Game-Show, To Tell the Truth, has some fond memories, in particular during its Black & White heydays from the mid-50’s into the mid-60’s. Its inception runs as follows:
The show features a panel of four celebrities whose object is the correct identification of a described contestant who has an unusual occupation or experience. This central character is accompanied by two impostors who pretend to be the central character; together, the three persons are said to belong to a “team of challengers.” The celebrity panelists question the three contestants; the impostors are allowed to lie but the central character is sworn “to tell the truth”. After questioning, the panel attempts to identify which of the three challengers is telling the truth and is thus the central character. (Wiki)
At the conclusion of the show, the “real” central character stands-up. We may draw a similar analogy in today’s blog as the True Real Dharma-King—with his Lion’s Roar—stands-up tall and proud and reveals the True Nature of the Buddhadharma as the Noble Tathagata-Arhat-Samyaksambuddha, right in the face of Mara’s dharma-imposters. From Wayman’s translation:
“The Tathagata, having shattered and defeated the four Maras by the incomparable victory of a Buddha, gained the Dharmakaya which is superior to all the worlds and which cannot conceivably be witnessed by any sentient being. Having been made Lord of the Doctrine unhindered in all stages of the knowable, he rightly saw that there is no duty or stage beyond this to be left over or to be understood. Having properly entered the supreme incomparable stage which is fearless and endowed with the power of the ten powers, and having clearly seen all the knowable with unhindered knowledge, he uttered the Lion’s roar with the knowing, ‘There is nothing to be known beyond this.’ “(Wayman)
Along with Mara’s deceptors, the Śrāvakas and Pratyekabuddhas are not true “Noble” Dharma-heirs to the boundless Noble Truths:
“Lord, the meaning of ‘Noble’ does not apply to any of the Disciples or Self-Enlightened ones. Both have a measurable merit, and because their merit is ancillary to that [Truth] the Disciples and the Self-Enlightened ones are called ‘Noble’ (arya). The Noble Truths are not Truths belonging to the Disciples and the Self-Enlightened ones and are not merit belonging to them. Lord, these truths were first discovered by the Tathagata-Arhat-Samyaksambuddhas; and after being fully understood by them were revealed and taught to the world which is enclosed in the shell of nescience. That is the way one should understand the Noble Truths.” (Wayman)
“When all things—the [underlying] defilements and active defilements, more numerous than the sands of the Ganges—which should be cut off have been cut off, one will be able to realize the inconceivable Buddha-Dharmas, which are [also] more numerous than the sands of the Ganges. He will penetrate all dharmas without obstruction, become all-knowing and all-seeing, be free from all faults, achieve all merits, and become a great Dharma king who has gained mastery of all dharmas and who has realized the state of free command of all dharmas. He will be able to make the lion’s roar: ‘I have ended my rebirths; I have fully cultivated pure conduct; I have done what should be done; and I am no more subject to [samsaric] existence.’ This is why the World-Honored One constantly makes his firm proclamation in a lion’s roar based on the ultimate truth.
Queen Srīmālā likewise issues forth the Great Lion’s Roar as she, too, is a mouthpiece for the Blessed Noble Ones. Hence she receives the crown of Dharmahood. In a real sense, her “Lion’s Roar” serves as an expedient tool to instill a proper urgency in sentient beings to awaken to their own salvific storehouse (Tathagatagarbha).
“World-Honored One, the knowledge of being no more subject to [samsaric]existence is of two kinds. What are the two? The first [knowledge] belongs to the Tathagatas. The Tathagatas have vanquished, with their harnessing and subduing power, the four demons; have transcended all worlds and are esteemed by all sentient beings; have realized the inconceivable, pure Dharma-body; have attained mastery in all fields of knowledge; are unexcelled and supremely magnificent; leave nothing more to do and see no further stage to realize; are endowed with the ten powers; have ascended to the supreme stage of fearlessness; and observe all dharmas without hindrance. Therefore, they can make the true lion’s roar, proclaiming that they are no more subject to [samsaric] existence.
the four demons: the Four Maras; from Wayman’s footnote:
Mara means “death” either metaphorically or concretely. There are four Maras: 1. The personality-aggregate Mara is the five grasping aggregates. Man dies among these. 2. The defilement Mara is the reason for man’s birth and hence for his death. 3. The killing Mara fixes the time of death. 4. The son-of-the-gods Mara obstructs the yogin who is trying to transcend death. This Mara is king of the Paranirmita-vaśavartin gods. According to Vasubandhu, the Buddha defeated the son-of-the-gods Mara at dusk beneath the Tree of Enlightenment by passing through the four “boundless states”—love, compassion, sympathetic joy, and indifference. At the time of enlightenment at dawn, he defeated both the defilement Mara and the personality-aggregate Mara. At Vaiśāli, three months before passing into Nirvana, he repressed the life motivation and thus defeated the killing Mara. This data is drawn from Wayman, “Buddhism,” in Historia Religionum.
endowed with the ten powers: Wayman:
He discerns the possible and the impossible. This is the first power of the unlimited intellects. He knows every direction of the path. This is the second power. He knows the various realms in the world. This is the third power. He knows the diversity of faiths. This is the fourth power. He knows the addictions and merits of other persons. This is the fifth power. He recognizes the auspicious and inauspicious force of karma. This is the sixth power. He knows defilement and purification; knows meditation and equipoises. This is the seventh power. He knows the many modes of his former lives. This is the eighth power. There is the ninth power when he has the perfectly clear divine eye. There is the tenth power when he attains the destruction of all defilements.
Among those, the fifth power is substituted for “the power of knowing what is and is not the best sense organ” of the Mahāvyutpatti list ; and the ninth power is more fully stated in other lists as “the power of knowing death, transfer, and rebirth.” The expression “unlimited intellects” (aprameya-buddhi) stresses the discriminative faculty. In some Mahayana lists of “five eyes” the expression “knowledge eye” (jñāna-cakṣus) is substituted for the Dharma-eye, consistent with the stress on knowledge in the ten powers. The Pali Anguttara-Nikāya (v. 32-36) also associates the lion’s roar with the ten powers (cf. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy and I. B. Horner, Gotama the Buddha, pp. 222-24.). For the most extended treatment of the ten powers, see Lamotte, Le traité, III, 1505-66.
“The second [knowledge of being no more subject to samsaric existence] belongs to the Arhats and Pratyekabuddhas. They have been released from the fear of countless births and deaths and are enjoying the bliss of liberation; therefore, they think. ‘I have left the frightful samsara behind and will suffer no more pain.’
“World-Honored One, by making this observation, the Arhats and Pratyekabuddhas also claim that they are no more subject to [samsaric] existence. However, they have not realized the highest state of relief and rest—nirvana. On the other hand, if they are not deluded by the Dharma they have realized, they will be able to understand [that there are] states they have not realized. [saying to themselves,] ‘Now I have only realized an incomplete state’; and they will definitely attain supreme enlightenment. Why? Because [the vehicles of] the Śrāvakas and the Pratyekabuddhas are both included in the Mahayana, and the Mahayana is the Buddha-vehicle. This being the case, the three vehicles are the One Vehicle.
the Mahayana is the Buddha-vehicle. This being the case, the three vehicles are the One Vehicle: see reference to this in the Queen’s Mahayana.
“One who realizes the One Vehicle attains supreme enlightenment. Supreme enlightenment is nirvana. Nirvana is the pure Dharma-body of the Tathagata. To realize the Dharma-body is the One Vehicle. The Tathagata is not different from the Dharma-body; the Tathagata is the Dharma-body. The realization of the ultimate Dharma-body is the ultimate One Vehicle.
Once again, as was stressed within the aforementioned Blog, “the Great-One-Vehicle” IS Self-Realized as the Absolute Buddha Body of the Dharmakaya. Wayman’s translation here:
‘Nirvana-realm’ is an expression for the Dharmakaya of the Tathagata. The ultimate realization of the Dharmakaya is the One Vehicle. Lord, the Tathagata is not one thing, and the Dharmakaya something else, but the Tathagata is himself the Dharmakaya. The ultimate realization of the Dharmakaya is the ultimate of the One Vehicle.
“The ultimate One Vehicle is that which is apart from [ordinary] continuity. Why? World-Honored One, if one says that the abiding time of the Tathagata is immeasurable, equal to the boundless future, and that the Tathagata can benefit the world with limitless compassion and limitless vows, he is said to speak well. If one says that the Tathagata is permanent, is an unending Dharma, and is the ultimate refuge of all sentient beings, he is also said to speak well. Therefore, the Tathagata, the Worthy One, the Supremely Enlightened One, is an inexhaustible refuge, an ever-abiding refuge, and an ultimate refuge, for an infinite length of time stretching into the future, in a world without [any other] protection or refuge.
The Best-Protection is in the Lord of the Dharma-Body Absolute, the wholly Deathless One, devoid of beginning and cessation.
“The Dharma is the path of the One Vehicle. The Sangha is the assembly of the three vehicles. However, the Dharma and the Sangha are partial refuges, not ultimate refuges. Why? Although the path of the One Vehicle is taught, it is no longer mentioned after one has attained the ultimate Dharma-body. Because they have fear, those in the assembly of the three vehicles take refuge in the Tathagata and learn and practice the Dharma, they are still in the active process of working toward supreme enlightenment themselves. Therefore, the two refuges are only limited refuges, not ultimate ones.
As stated, the ultimate refuge is in the Deathless-Body (Dharmakaya) of the Absolute Dharma-Lord. The other Trikaya-Components, the Dharma and Assembly, while essential in early formation and even perpetually so in honor of the Blessed Noble Ones, are partial-refuges, limited without the Dharma-Lord of Absolute Truth.
“When sentient beings are subdued by the Tathagata and take refuge in the Tathagata, their thirst is relieved by the nectar of Dharma, and they generate faith and joy; [consequently] they take refuge also in the Dharma and the Sangha. These two refuges are [conceived as] refuges because of sentient beings’ faith generated through the quenching of their thirst by the nectar of Dharma. The Tathagata is not such a refuge; the Tathagata is a true refuge. Nevertheless, in terms of the ultimate truth, to take refuge in the Dharma and the Sangha is to take ultimate refuge in the Tathagata. Why? The Tathagata is not different from these two refuges; the Tathagata is the three refuges.
Love that line: the Tathagata IS the three refuges. In an Absolute-Sense the Trikaya is [Three-in-One]—Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. The Buddha Who Awakens us, the Dharma that Enlightens us, and the Sangha that Sustains us.
“Why is the path of the One Vehicle taught? The Tathagata, the Supreme One, is endowed with the four fearlessnesses and is able to make the true lion’s roar. If the Tathagatas, in accordance with sentient beings’ needs, teach the two vehicles as skillful means, [then the two vehicles they teach] are no other than the Great Vehicle, because in the highest truth there are no two vehicles. The two vehicles both merge into the One Vehicle and the One Vehicle is the vehicle of supreme truth.
A reinforcement of a section from the opening blog in this series:
“According to the Śrī-mālā, the “One Vehicle” (ekayāna) is the Great Vehicle (mahāyana) which incorporates all vehicles. The Śrī-mālā agrees with the Lotus Sutra that the “Great Vehicle” is the Buddha Vehicle which has discovered and taught all Buddha truth.”
THE BOUNDLESS NOBLE TRUTHS:
“World-Honored One, when Srivakas and Pratyekabuddhas reach the initial realization of the four noble truths, it is not with the one [supreme] knowledge that they eradicate the underlying defilements, realize the merits of complete knowledge of the four noble truths, or understand the essence of the four truths. World-Honored One, they lack the supramundane knowledge, so the four knowledges [of the four truths] come to them gradually, each conditioning the next. World-Honored One, the supramundane knowledge, like a diamond [which cuts things at one stroke], is not gradual in nature.
the supramundane knowledge, like a diamond [which cuts things at one stroke]: bear this in mind for what’s coming next
“World-Honored One, the Arivakas and Pratyekabuddhas eradicate the underlying defilements by knowing the noble truths in many ways, but they do not possess the supreme, supramundane knowledge. Only the Tathagata, the Worthy One, the All-Knowing One, can break up the shells of all defilements by his inconceivable knowledge of emptiness; it is beyond the domain of the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas.
“World-Honored One, the ultimate knowledge which shatters the shells of defilements is called the supreme, supramundane knowledge. The initial knowledge of the noble truths is not the ultimate knowledge; it is knowledge only leading to supreme enlightenment.
The initial knowledge of the noble truths is not the ultimate knowledge; it is knowledge only leading to supreme enlightenment: the following are “standardized” representations of the Noble Truths”:
The sixteen active aspects of the Four Noble Truths ( ṣoḍāśa-ākāra), which are sixteen ways of analysing the meaning of the Four Noble Truths, include four ways for each noble truth. The first noble truth is analysed as (1) containing the meanings of impermanence (anitya); (2) unsatisfactoriness (duḥkha); (3) emptiness (śūnya); (4) no-self (anātmaka). The second noble truth contains the implications of (5) the cause of suffering (hetu); (6) gathering (samudaya); (7) continuation ( prabhava); (8) conditions (ppratyaya). The third noble truth implies (9) extinction of physical attachments (nirodha); (10) the calming of afflictions (śānta); (11) the sublimity of no discomfort ( praṇita); (12) escape from all difficult circumstances (nihsaraṇa). Within the fourth noble truth are seen (13) the path to cessation (mārga); (14) accordance with the correct principle (nyāya); (15) activity leading to nirvana ( pratipatti ); (16) transcendence of life and death (nairyāṇika).
Regarding the object, all Buddhas attained bodhi through observation of the four noble truths. (The Concept of the Buddha, its evolution from early Buddhism to the trikāya theory, Guang Xing)
The following is also included here since the main catalyst for the continuation of Dependent Origination is grasping or craving; indeed, this insatiable mechanism is the source of all impending suffering:
The cause of dissatisfaction and suffering is trishna: a basic craving, which is called kama-trishna in the case of craving for pleasure, bhava-trishna or thirst-for-existence in the case of the more basic compulsion to assert, confirm and maintain oneself as an inherently existent, important, separate individual, and to fill the concomitant sensation of lack, or vibhava-trishna when this thirst or craving turns toward self-annihilation. (Buddhism and Dzogchen: The Doctrine of the Buddha and the Supreme Vehicle of Tibetan Buddhism, Elias Capriles)
Now then, be prepared for what is coming, for it totally relates to the Premium representation of the Noble Truths.
“World-Honored One, the true meaning of the word ‘noble’ does not apply to [those who follow] the two vehicles. Why? The Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas are said to be noble merely because they can attain a Small part of the merits [of a Tathagata]. World-Honored On, the [real] noble truths are not truths belonging to Sravakas or Pratyekabuddhas, and are not merits belonging to them. The [real] noble truths are realized only by a Tathagata, a Worthy One, a Perfectly Enlightened One, and afterwards revealed, demonstrated, and explained to sentient beings in the world who are confined in shells of ignorance. Hence the name ‘noble truths.’
This is revolutionary: The [real] noble truths are realized only by a Tathagata, a Worthy One, a Perfectly Enlightened One. Wayman designates this as the Tathagata-Arhat-Samyaksambuddha—which is applicable ONLY to the Tathagata as the Authentic-Enlightened One; yea, the only who called-out suffering for what it is and later “perfectly” Self-realized its cessation. In this sense, the “Noble Truths” are his innovation and a source for a major breakthrough for those enclosed in a world of dukkha.
“World-Honored One, the [real] noble truths arc very profound, subtle, difficult to perceive, hard to understand, and not to be discriminated; they are beyond the realm of thought and speculation, and they transcend the credence of all the world. They are known only to Tathagatas, Worthy Ones, Perfectly Enlightened Ones. Why? These truths explain the very profound Tathagata-embryo. The Tathagata-embryo belongs in the realm of the Buddha and is beyond the domain of the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas. Since the noble truths are explained on the basis of the Tathagata-embryo, and since the Tathagata-embryo is profound and subtle, the noble truths are also profound and subtle, difficult to perceive, hard to understand, and not to be discriminated; they are beyond the realm of thought and speculation, and transcend the credence of all the world. They can be known only by a Tathagata, a Worthy One, a Perfectly Enlightened One.
“If one has no doubt about the Tathagata-embryo, which (in ordinary beings] is wrapped in an incalculable number of defilements, he will also have no doubt about the Dharma-body of the Tathagata, which is beyond all defilement.
The Tathagatagarbha is not an objective-other. In context of the Srimala Sutra, it is a Dynamism bearing a soteriological principle within samsara; it is the very essence of the Noble Truths and the sole-vehicle of awakening. The true inner-mystic impetus of this can only be ultimately known by the Tathagatas.
“World-Honored One, if one can have true faith in the Tathagata-embryo and the Buddha’s Dharma-body—the inconceivable, esoteric realm of the Buddha—he will then be able to believe in and understand well the two meanings of the noble truths.
What follows next is critical in the understanding of the Noble Truths as standard, and premium truths; it needs to be [bracketed] in Husserlian fashion as a context that will need to be returned to again.
[“What are the two meanings of the noble truths? They are the active and the non-active. The active noble truths are the four noble truths in an incomplete sense. Why? When one has to rely on others for protection, he cannot completely know suffering, eradicate all causes of suffering, realize the complete cessation of suffering, or follow in its entirety the path leading to the cessation of suffering. Therefore, he cannot know conditioned things, unconditioned things, or nirvana.
The active (conditional and constrictive) Noble Truths are incomplete because they are dependent upon intellectual motivators. The implication in this section is that one is dependent upon someone else with these intellectual motivators who then transfer the conditional concepts of suffering; there is no self-knowledge here.
Wayman’s translation says:
That being the case, not only are there both the constructed and the unconstructed samsara, but also there are both the constructed and unconstructed Nirvana.
For the bodhichild, unconstructed samsara, meaning unconditional samsara, is nirvana. For unaware sentient beings, the constructed or dependent and constricted samsara, nirvana is samsara.
“World-Honored One, the non-active noble truths refer to the four noble truths in the complete sense. Why? Because, when one can rely on himself for protection, he can completely know suffering, eradicate all causes of suffering, realize the complete cessation of suffering, and follow in its entirety the path leading to the cessation of suffering.
This refers to the ‘sole-victor’ over samsaric-existence, Gautama Buddha. He worked through the dependent links and won insight for himself and “by himself” when he sat beneath the blessed bodhi-tree. In complete fashion, the Blessed One later relayed to his disciples that these sacred and “Noble” Truths can only be known (self-realized) by oneself alone.
“Thus, there are in all eight noble truths mentioned; however, the Buddha teaches them only [in terms of] four noble truths. The meaning of the non-active four noble truths is perfectly realized only by Tathagatas, Worthy Ones, Perfectly Enlightened Ones, and is beyond the capacity of Arhat, and Pratyekabuddhas. Why? Because nirvana is not to be realized by any dharma, whether superior or inferior, whether low, middle, or high.
Suffering IS samsara whereas the nirvanic Kingdom of Self is totally devoid of suffering; this nirvanic-edge can only be self-realized without the aids of any dharmas.
“What does it mean that the Tathagatas perfectly realize the non-active truths? The Tathagatas, the Worthy Ones, the Supremely Enlightened Ones, completely know suffering; have eradicated all causes of suffering, which are the defilements; have realized the complete cessation of all suffering, [even that[ derived from the aggregates of a mind-created body; and have followed in its entirety the path leading to the cessation of suffering.]
The Noble Ones do not need the first three Noble Truths, but only the last—complete cessation of suffering. This indicates the previous qualifier: the supramundane knowledge, like a diamond [which cuts things at one stroke]. It’s all done through one, un-graduated, masterful stroke of inner self-realization.
“World-Honored One, the term ‘cessation of suffering’ does not imply the destruction of anything. Why? Because the cessation of suffering has no beginning, no action, no origination, and no end; it is ever-abiding, immovable, intrinsically pure, and free from the shell of defilements.
For the Noble Ones, there is no-suffering to begin with, since all dukkha has to do with skandhic and not nirvanic reality.
“World-Honored One, the Tathagata has achieved inconceivable Dharmas more numerous than the sands of the Ganges, Dharmas which embody the wisdom of liberation and which are referred to as the Dharma-body. World-Honored One, when this Dharma-body is not apart from defilements, it is called the Tathagata-embryo.
The Tathagatagarbha as soteriological principle.
“World-Honored One, the Tathagata-embryo is the Tathagata’s knowledge. of emptiness. The Tathagata-embryo has never been seen or realized by any Sravaka or Pratyekabuddha. It is perceived and witnessed only by the Buddhas.
No-one can witness the inner-workings of the bodhichild since it’s not an objective-other. It is a supernal-realization of the Buddhas.
“World-Honored One, the knowledge of emptiness of the Tathagata-embryo is of two kinds. What are the two? The first is the knowledge that the Tathagata-embryo is empty: that it is apart from all defilements and apart from knowledge which does not lead to liberation. The second is the knowledge that the Tathagata-embryo is not empty: that it contains inconceivable Dharmas more numerous than the sands of the Ganges, which embody the Buddhas’ wisdom of liberation.
The Tathagatagarbha is empty of all defilements; it is also Full of Its own inconceivable dharma-manifestations.
“World-Honored One, the advanced Sravakas can, through faith, gain access to these two knowledges, of emptiness. World-Honored One, the knowledge of emptiness possessed by the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas is connected with and revolves around the four wrong views. Therefore, no Sravaka or Pratyekabuddha has ever perceived or realized the complete cessation of suffering. Only the Buddha has realized it directly; he has eradicated all defilements and followed in its entirety the path leading to the cessation of suffering.
the four wrong views: Wayman classifies these as “The Disciples and Self-Enlightened ones rightly regard the “impermanent” of samsara as “impermanent,” and likewise the other three. But they fail to regard the “permanence” of the Dharmakaya, and so their voidness knowledge does not lead to the cessation of all suffering.”
“World-Honored One, of the four noble truths, three truths are impermanent, and one truth is permanent. Why? The three noble truths [of suffering, the cause of suffering, and the path leading to the cessation of suffering] belong to the realm of conditioned dharmas. What is condition is impermanent, and what is impermanent is destructible. What is destructible is not true, not permanent, and not a refuge. Therefore, in the ultimate sense, the three noble truths are not true, not permanent, and not a refuge.
The first three truths are standardized and conditional and vincible; in and of themselves they are inadequate as a path to self-awakening and liberation and thus are not true-refuge.
“World-Honored One, the noble truth of the cessation of suffering is beyond the realm of conditioned dharmas. What is beyond the realm of conditioned dharmas is ever-abiding by nature. What is ever-abiding by nature is indestructible. What is indestructible is true, permanent, and a refuge. For this reason, World-Honored One, the noble truth of the cessation of suffering is in the ultimate sense true, permanent, and a refuge.
The fourth Noble Truth is premium and unconditional. Absolute-cessation is Invincible Truth and is the best refuge.
“World-Honored One, this noble truth of the cessation of suffering is inconceivable. It is beyond the realm of all sentient beings’ mind and consciousness: it is also beyond the domain of all Arhats’ and Pratyckabuddhas’ knowledge. Just as the myriad colors cannot be seen by a man born blind, or as the sun cannot be seen by a seven-day-old infant, so the noble truth of the cessation of suffering cannot be an object of ordinary people’s mind and consciousness, nor is it in the domain of any Sravakas’ or ‘ Pratyekabuddhas’ knowledge.
“The consciousness of ordinary people refers to the two extreme views. The knowledge of Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas means their pure knowledge.
The knowledge of the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas is limited, impermanent and inadequate.
“Extreme views mean [the views which wise when] one clings to the five aggregates as the self and makes various discriminations. There are two extreme views. What are the two? The eternalistic view and the nihilistic views.
“World-Honored One, If one sees samsara as impermanent and nirvana as permanent, his view is neither nihilistic nor eternalistic, but is the right view. Why? When deluded people see that bodies, sense-organs, and that which thinks and feels all perish in this life, but do not understand the continuation of existence, then, being blind and without the eye of wisdom, they conceive a nihilistic view. When they see the continuity of the mind but fail to see the aspect of its momentary perishing, then being ignorant of the [true’ state of consciousness, they conceive an eternalistic view.
“World-Honored One, the before-mentioned truth is beyond all discrimination and beyond inferior understanding. Because fools have delusive thoughts and cling to misconceived ideas, they believe either nihilism or eternalism.
Absolute Truth is not representative of nihilism or eternalism; It avoids both extremes by keeping the self centered on the Mind of the Tathagatas and no-thing else.
“World-Honored Onc, concerning the five aggregates, deluded sentient beings consider the impermanent to be permanent, suffering to be joy, nonself to be self, and the impure to be pure. The Srivakas and Pratyekabuddhas, with all their pure wisdom, never glimpse the Buddha’s Dharma-body or the state of the Tathagata.
Deluded minds are indicative of a heavy reliance of the skandhic-consciousness; they believe the true to be false and the false to be real; being confined to conditioned-samsara in this fashion, they will not even catch a glimpse of the Dharmakayic-epiphany.
“If a sentient being, out of faith in the Tathagata, regards the Tathagata as permanent, joyous, pure, and possessing a self, he does not see [the Tathagata] wrongly; he sees him correctly. Why? Because the Dharma-body of the Tathagata is the perfection of permanence, the perfection of joy, the perfection of self, and the perfection of purity. Those sentient beings who assume such a view are said to have the right view. Those who assume the right view are called the true sons of the Buddha, born from the Buddha’s mouth, born from the true Dharma, born from the Dharma miraculously, and heirs to the Buddha-Dharma.
Wayman quotes from the Ratnagotravibhāga that these ‘Dharma –heirs’ are those, “whose seed is conviction in the highest vehicle; whose mother is Insight (prajñā) for procreation of the Buddha natures; whose womb is the felicity of meditation (dhyāna); and whose nurse is compassion. They are the sons, taking after the Munis.”
“World-Honored One, the so-called pure knowledge is the perfection of knowledge of all Arhats and Pratyckabuddhas. Even this pure knowledge, pure as it is said to be, cannot embrace the realm of the noble truth of the cessation of suffering, let alone the knowledge of (those who practice] the four reliant. Why, then, does the World-Honored One teach the four reliances? In order that the novices of the three vehicles may not be ignorant of the Dharma and may eventually realize its meaning.
The four reliance’s: 1.) One should cultivate by resort to the meaning (artha), not by resort to the letter (vyañjana). 2.) One should cultivate by resort to the doctrines (dharma), not by the resort to personalities (pudgala). 3.) One should cultivate by resort to knowledge (jñāna), not by resort to perception (vijñāna). 4.) One should cultivate by resort to a scripture of final meaning (nitārtha), not by resort to a scripture of provisional meaning (neyārtha). [Wayman]
“World-Honored One, these four penances are mundane dharmas. World-Honored One, there is one reliance which is the highest of all reliant, which is the supramundanc, supreme, and ultimate reliance–namely, (nirvana,] the noble truth of the cessation of suffering.
The most noblest and blest of all truths: the Nirvanic Self-realization, when all dukkha is cessated (as never having been there to begin with, since dukkha is skandhic-dependent, the imposter to truth, and thus illusory)