The Jewel of the Dharma

We next turn to the Dharma as the Second Vajra-point. “From the Jewel of the Buddha comes the Jewel of the Doctrine.” This is presented with the same structure: a direct homage to the Blessed Teaching of the Tathagata by highlighting its prominent aspects. Then it enumerates the eight qualities of the Dharma.


(Kārikā 2).

I bow before the sun of-the Doctrine,
Which is neither non-being nor being,
Nor both being and non-being together,
And neither different from being nor from non-being;
Which cannot be speculated upon and is beyond explanation,
But revealed [only] by introspection and is quiescent;
And which, with rays of light of the immaculate Wisdom,
Destroys passion, hatred and darkness
with respect to all the basis of cognition.

The Dharma is likened unto a blazing sun whose Light dispels the powers of darkness; in a similar fashion, when one self-realizes the import of the Holy Dharma, all defiled dharmata are completely dissipated. Thus, one essentially puts-on the Luminous Mind of the Buddha. The worldlings can only perceive that something is or is not. Whereas the Buddha’s perspective is neither this nor that (neti-neti), neither being nor non-being, neither existence nor non-existence.

What the Buddha is pointing to is that, as long as we are talking in terms of existence or even non-existence (which is as if, instead of going out of the front door we have just gone out of the back door), both are taking a fixed position about some solid thing–there is still a separate ‘thingness’ there. What the Buddha is pointing to is that which does not come forth, that which is standing out, i.e. a condition of nature, mental or physical. What the Buddha is pointing to here is the Unconditioned, that which does not stand out, that which is not created, that which is not born of dying. (Bikkhu Amaro)

This can only be recognized through the disincarnate-mind, one that defines quiescence itself. This is reflective of Noble Wisdom: Āryajñāna

Thus, the Lanka VI: 224-25; 11. 15-17, 1-2:

When the Name, Sense-perception, Discrimination, Right Knowledge, and Suchness (are comprehended) by the yogis, (who are) facing (both) the worldly existence (and) the abode of bliss (characteristic of) the happy mental condition (of him who) has seen the Dharma, they (the yogis) are kept away from (the opposing) views of being and non-being, eternity and annihilation, (and therefore) they are (pre)-entering the noble path of Tathagata’s inner realization.

§ 1. Eightfold Quality of the Doctrine.
What is shown by this śloka?
Because of its being unthinkable, non-dual,
and being non-discriminative,
And because of its pureness, manifestation and hostility;
The Doctrine, which is Deliverance and also
by which arises Deliverance
Has the characteristics of the two Truths.

By this verse, in brief, the Jewel of the Doctrine is explained as being contracted by eight qualities. Which are the eight qualities? They are 1) unthinkability (acintyatva), 2) non-duality (advayatā), 3) non-discriminativeness (nirvikalpatā), 4) purity, (śuddhi), 5) [being] manifest (abhivyaktikarana), 6) hostility [against obstacles] (pratipakatā), 7) Deliverance [from passions] (virāga), and 8) cause of Deliverance (virāgahetu).

Acintyatva: inconceivability, meant to reconcile apparently contradictory notions.

Advayatā: the Real Unique Principle of Non-Duality.

Nirvikalpatā: What is nonconceptuality (nirvikalpatā)? In brief, it is threefold:
(i) contentment (santuṣṭinirvikalpatā),
(ii) absence of error (aviparyāsanirvikalpatā) and
(iii) absence of vain speculation (niṣprapañca-nirvikalpatā).

Śuddhi: a purification, clearing-away all that is unwholesome.

Abhivyaktikarana: exacting excellence in a form of manifestation; this is a modification of the intellect and gnosis belonging to the primordial spirit: puruṣa.

Pratipaksatā: adamant opposition to all obstacles.

Virāga: having a dispassionate spirit.

Virāgahetu: motivating cause of deliverance.

The cessation and the path

§ 2. Nirodha-satya and Mārga-satya.
Deliverance is summarized
In both truths, Extinction and Path,
Which are each to be known
By three qualities according to order.

Nirodha-satya: the Truth of Cessation resulting in permanent liberation.

Mārga-satya: the Truth of the Path (towards Noble self-realization). Traditionally being the “fourth” of the Four Noble Truths. “Path (mārga), because the path leads to liberation from suffering and rebirth; stated more technically, it leads from the state of the ordinary person (PṚTHAGJANA) to the state of the noble one (ĀRYA)”; (Buswell  Jr., Robert E.; Donald S., Jr. Lopez. The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Kindle Locations 40404-40406). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition)

§ 3. The Doctrine as the Truth of Extinction.
Because of its being beyond speculation and explanation,
And because of its being the knowledge of Saints,
Unthinkability [of the Doctrine should be known];
Because of quiescence it is non-dual and non-discriminative,
And three [qualities], purity etc., are akin to the sun.

1) acintyatva: Unthinkability of the Truth of Extinction, in short, should be known by three causes. By which three? Because, 1) it is not a sphere of speculation even by four categories [of existence] i.e. nonbeing, being, being and non-being together, and neither being nor non-being; 2) it cannot be explained by any sound, voice, speech, way of speech, explanation, agreed term, designation, conversation [and so forth]; and 3) it is to be revealed by the introspection of Saints. (Ārya)

2) advayatā & 3) nirvikalpatā. How should here be understood nonduality and non-discriminativeness of the Truth of Extinction? It is taught by the Lord as follows 1 6 ):

“O Śāriputra, quiescent is this Absolute Body [of the Buddha], having the nature of being non-dual and non-discriminative”.

Here, dual (dvaya) means ‘action’ or ‘active force ‘ (karman), [as by deed, word and thought] ‘ and ‘ Defilement (kleśa); discrimination (vikalpa) means ‘Irrational Thought (ayoniśomanasikāra)’ which is the cause of origination of Action and Defilements. By knowing deeply that this Irrational thought is extinct by nature, consequently, there is no origination of duality and discrimination; for this reason there is absolutely no origination of Suffering. This is called the Truth of Extinction of Suffering. It should never be explained that, because of extinction of something, it is [called] the Truth of Extinction of Suffering. It is said as follows:

The śāstra cites scripture passages that make reference to the Tathagatakaya:

“And this very Absolute Body of the Tathāgata (Tathagatakaya) , 0 Lord, [when it is] unreleased from the covering of moral defilements, is called the Matrix of Tathāgata”. Thus, the [Truth] Body of the Tathagata: Dharmakaya.

Paragraph Four next makes reference to the Doctrine as the Truth of the Path. When this True-Path (Noble Wisdom) is Self-realized, the Dharma-Mind becomes illumined, hence seeing the True-Nature of reality with perfect clarity.


Now, how are we to search (for the Absolute Truth)? (Answer):—It is to be perceived through the complete negation (of the separate reality) of every object and characteristic feature. As soon as we cease to perceive the (separate unreality) of the objects or their characteristic marks, we come to perceive the Absolute Truth. In such a way the Lord has viewed all the elements and has come to Supreme Enlightenment, (the intuition of) their unity. Through the non-perception of the separate elements on account of their unreality, and through the intuition of the Absolute as the true reality (—the essence of everything cognizable), comes the Transcendental Wisdom perceiving the unity of the elements. For this wisdom both (the imputed reality of the separate elements and their ultimate Nonsubstantiality) are not something to be, respectively, rejected or established anew. Through this one comes to Supreme Enlightenment, the full intuition of the monistic essence of the elements. Here the Transcendental Wisdom which, thus arising, cognizes the points to be shunned as completely annihilated and (essentially) unreal, is to be viewed as the antidote against all the impediments to the perception of the Absolute Truth. This Transcendental Wisdom which represents the Paths of Illumination and Contemplation, is the cause for the attainment of the Cosmical Body (Dharmakaya). It is to be known in detail from the Prajñāpāramitā-Sūtras.

This last reference to the Prajñāpāramitā puts to rest the claim that the Ratna was written to surpass the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. Indeed, it did not supersede it, but rather complimented it in a superlative fashion.

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