The Four Wisdoms

28. Q: It’s stated that the eight consciousnesses are turned into the Four Wisdoms, and then the Four Wisdoms bind together forming the trikaya; which, then, of these eight states will pool together to form one Buddha-wisdom and then, which Wisdoms are then said to be the transformation into One Consciousness?
A: The five senses (smell, taste, etc.) relate to the five states of consciousness thereby forming the Perfecting Wisdom. Intellect (sixth state), or the mental consciousness, becomes the Wonderful Observing Wisdom. The seventh state with its discriminating awareness becomes the Universal Wisdom. Lastly, the eighth consciousness alone becomes the Mirror-Like Wisdom.
Q: Well, then, do the Four Wisdoms really differ from one another or are they the same?
A: In Substance they remain the same, only the names vary.
Q: Well if their Substance is identical, why do they bare different appellations? And if it is true that these designations are only used as expedients, what is it that is constitutive of one substance that is named “Great-Mirror Wisdom”?
A: That which is still and void—motionless—is the Great Mirror Wisdom. That which is capable of facing mind-defilements without attaching to them through love or aversion, is the Universal Wisdom. That which has the ability to discriminate and discern the wide-field of sensory impressions, while at the same time never experiencing unbridled and reactionary patterns of thought is Wonderful Observing Wisdom. That which can direct all the sense faculties into observing phenomena without being constrained by dualism is known as Perfecting Wisdom.
Q: When the Four Wisdoms combine to form the trikaya, which of them solely becomes one body, and which of them comes-together to form one Body?
A: The Great Mirror Wisdom solely makes up the Dharmakaya. Universal Wisdom exclusively constructs the Sambhogakaya. While both Wonderful Observing Wisdom and Perfecting Wisdom constitutes the Nirmanakaya. Of course, the three Bodies are only specified differently to expediently assist those worldlings who lack the necessary insight to comprehend their unifying nature. For those who are fruitfully endowed with Buddha-gnosis, their Absolute Nature is neither rooted in permanence nor non-permanence.

The Four Wisdoms are the basis of a Yogacara construct that leaves out the usual Fifth Wisdom, or dharmadhātuprakṛtijñāna—the essential nature of the Dharmahātu. A passage from the Blog, The Vajrasamādhi Sutra, says “With neither conception nor mentation, there will be no creation or extinction [of the mind]. The mind will not arise and be in Reality. All [eight] consciousnesses will be peaceful and calm. The currents [of desire, existence, and ignorance] will not arise. [One then] accesses the purity of the five dharmas [relating to the five aggregates of form, feeling, perception, formation and consciousness].” This also pertains with what is covered extensively in these blogs and that is the nature of the Five Dhyani Buddhas, and how they transmute the negative energies of the Skandhas into Noble Wisdom. From the yogacara perspective, this rests on essentially four of them: the Great Mirror Wisdom of Aksobhya; the Universal Wisdom of Ratnasambhava; the Wonderful Observing Wisdom of Amitabha; and the Perfecting Wisdom of Amoghasiddhi. A fifth can be added here and that is, the-All Encompassing Wisdom of Vairocana, who is essentially a compilation of the other four making up the real nature of the Dharmadhātu (dharmadhātuprakṛtijñāna). The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism explains it all thusly:

The five are the wisdom of the essential nature of the DHARMADHĀTU (dharmadhātuprakṛtijñāna or dharmadhātusvabhāvajñāna), the mirror-like wisdom (ADARŚAJÑĀNA), the wisdom of equality (SAMATĀJÑĀNA), the wisdom of specific knowledge (PRATYAVEKṢAṆAJÑĀNA), and the wisdom of having accomplished what was to be done (KṚTYĀNUṢṬHĀNAJÑĀNA). The five wisdoms are considered to derive from specific transformations of the nine types of consciousness (VIJÑĀNA), which occur when a cultivator consummates one’s practice: dharmadhātuprakṛtijñāna is derived from the transformation of the ninth consciousness, the “immaculate consciousness” (AMALAVIJÑĀNA); adarśajñāna from the eighth, the “storehouse consciousness” (ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA); samatājñāna from the seventh, “defiled mental consciousness” (KLIṢṬAMANAS); the pratyavekṣaṇajñāna from the sixth, “mental consciousness” (MANOVIJÑĀNA); and kṛtyānuṣṭhānajñāna from the five sensory consciousnesses. The YOGĀCĀRA school initially discussed only the latter four types of wisdom, without the dharmadhātuprakṛtijñāna that derived from amalavijñāna. The full list of five wisdoms appears to derive from the “Sūtra of the Buddha Stage” (S. BUDDHABHŪMISŪTRA; C. Fodi jing), which refers to five kinds of dharmas that are incorporated in the stage of great enlightenment, viz., the four earlier types of wisdom listed in Yogācāra materials, plus the pure dharmadhātu, corresponding to dharmadhātuprakṛtijñāna. In esoteric Buddhism, these wisdoms are personified as the five buddhas depicted in the diamond-realm MAṆḌALA (vajradhātumaṇḍala).

[Buswell  Jr., Robert E.; Donald S., Jr. Lopez. The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Kindle Locations 19148-19174). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.]

29. Q: How can one perceive the true nature of the Buddhakaya?
A: It means that one no longer perceives or considers anything as existing or non-existing.
Q: What are you actually saying?
A: Quite simply it means forever avoiding such dual-constructs as existence or non-existence. Remember, once you avoid either one of them the other can never stand on its own footing. Thus, detaching oneself from this duality of existence versus non-existence, one will finally and unequivocally SEE the True Body of the Buddha.
Q: Yet, even if the constructs of existence/non-existence have no true legitimacy, then how can the construct of the Buddhakaya as well have any validity?
A: It becomes conceptualized only when one asks about it. If you never ask, the conceptual framework of the Buddhakaya would never arise. This is something similar to that of a bright mirror—in itself empty of all images, but if an image were to be suddenly thrust in front of it, it would reflect the image. In and of itself it reflects no-thing, it is clear and boundless imagelessness.

30. Q: What is the meaning of “never being separate from the Buddha”?
A: When one’s mind is completely free and void of the concepts birth and death and remains just in quiescent-stillness—in that motionlessness one is perpetually with the Buddha.

31. Q: What is the meaning of the Supramundane Dharma?
A: It is mere worldliness.
Q: Excuse me? I inquired about the “Supramundane”, why do you refer to it as being worldly?
A: In mundane parlance the Supramundane Dharma as you so imply would derive its meaning as it apparently relates to worldly factors. The Actual Supramundane neither exists nor non-exists, thus it pertains neither to the worldly nor to the transcendental. The Diamond Sutra states, “If their minds cling to the notion of a Dharma, then they are still entrapped in the notion of an ego-self; if their minds should cling to the notion of a non-Dharma, then they would continue to be entrapped in the notion of an ego-self. Hence, one should not cling to the notion of a Dharma or non-Dharma.” This is embracing the True Dharma. If one understands this non-dual doctrine then one is truly delivered.

32. Q: What is the meaning behind “The Middle Way”?
A: It designates the extremes.
Q: I don’t understand. I asked about the meaning behind “The Middle Way” and you reply that it designates the extremes???
A: The conceptual notion of extremes derives from the middle and vice versa. And yet, if you never postulate the notion of extremes then wherein would be the middle? The “Middle” you are referring to was first employed in relation to extremes. Hence “Middle” and “extremes” are derivative of one-another and both are impermanent. The same holds true to the Skandhas: form, sensation, thought, volitional movement, and mortal consciousness.
Q: What is the essence behind these “Skandhas”?
A: When the mind allows what is essentially non-formal to become formal so much so that they become “birthed” within, then this is known as the aggregate of form. This leads to the accumulation of the “eight winds” [benefit and loss; fame and ignominy; praise and ridicule; suffering and happiness.] which produces a wrong series of ideations that become manifested into the aggregate of sensation. Thereafter, the deluded mind proceeds to activate a series of perceptions that these sensations arouse, thus leading to the aggregate of thought. This inevitably leads to the piling-up of reactionary motivations based on these irregular thought ideations of certain causal preferences, thereby forming the aggregation of excessive volitional movement. As a result of these accumulated interactions of these given aggregates, they become concretized into a mortal consciousness with its hoarding-chamber (alaya-vijnana) creating an incessant whirlpool of these aggravated impressions.

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