Verses from the Centre

Contents

Sanskrit: Mula madhyamaka karika.

Tibetan: dBu ma rtsa ba’i tshig le’ur byas pa shes rab ces bya ba.

by Nagarjuna

Romanization and Literal English Translation

of the Tibetan Text

by

Stephen Batchelor

Sharpham College

April 2000

Preface

This document contains the romanized Tibetan text of Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika together with a literal English translation. Two Tibetan texts were consulted: the versions found in (1) The Asian Classics Input Project, Woodblock to Laser Source CD, Release A,Produced under the direction of Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin, Washington DC, 1993, and(2) Dbuma Rigs Tshogs Drug: The Six Yukt Shastra of Madhyamika (pp. 1-37), edited by Prof. L.P. Lhalungpa. Delhi: 1970. The version here relies on both sources as well as the text embedded in the prose of Tsongkhapa’s An Ocean of Reason: A Great Exposition of the Root Text Verses from the Center (rTsa she tik chen rigs pa’i rgya mtsho). Varanasi: mTho slob dge ldan spyi las khang, 1973.

Each Tibetan verse is followed by a literal English translation. This translation served as the first draft for the free poetic version published in Stephen Batchelor. Verses from the Center: A Buddhist Vision of the Sublime. New York: Riverhead Books, 2000.

In making the English translation, the primary authority was Tsongkhapa’s fourteenth century commentary: An Ocean of Reason: A Great Exposition of the Root Text Verses from the Center.

The following translations from Sanskrit were also consulted:

Inada, Kenneth K. Nagarjuna: A Translation of his Mulamadhyamakakarika with an Introductory Essay. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1970.

Kalupahana, David J. Nagarjuna: The Philosophy of the Middle Way. Albany: SUNY, 1986.

Streng, Frederick. Emptiness -- A Study in Religious Meaning. Nashville, New York: Abingdon, 1967.

As was the following translation from the Tibetan:

Garfield, Jay L. The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Any mistakes are my own.

Stephen Batchelor

Sharpham College

April, 2000

 

Abbreviations

In the comments that follow some of the verses, the abbreviations refer to the works below. The number after the abbreviation refers to the page number of the editions cited.

Lha. Dbuma Rigs Tshogs Drug: The Six Yukt Shastra of Madhyamika (pp. 1-37), edited by Prof. L.P. Lhalungpa. Delhi: 1970.

Ts. Tsongkhapa. An Ocean of Reason: A Great Exposition of the Root Text Verses from the Center (rTsa she tik chen rigs pa’i rgya mtsho). Varanasi: mTho slob dge ldan spyi las khang, 1973.

K. Kalupahana, David J. Nagarjuna: The Philosophy of the Middle Way. Albany: SUNY, 1986.

The title given in brackets below the title at the head of each chapter is the name of the poem found in Verses from the Center: A Buddhist Vision of the Sublime.

 

 

Contents

1. Investigation of Conditions (Conditions)

2. Investigation of Coming and Going (Walking)

3. Investigation of the Sense Organs (Seeing)

4. Investigation of the Aggregates(Body)

5. Investigation of the Elements (Space)

6. Investigation of Desire and the Desirous One (Addiction)

7. Investigation of Birth, Abiding and Perishing (Birth)

8. Investigation of Act and Actor (Actors)

9. Investigation of the Presence of Something Prior (Already)

10. Investigation of Fire and Firewood (Fire)

11. Investigation of Extremes of Before and After (Before)

12. Investigation of Anguish (Anguish)

13. Investigation of Samskaras (Change)

14. Investigation of Connections (Connection)

15. Investigation of Essences (Essence)

16. Investigation of Bondage and Freedom (Life)

17. Investigation of Actions and Fruits(Acts)

18. Investigation of Self and Things (Self)

19. Investigation of Time (Time)

20. Investigation of Combination (Combination)

21. Investigation of Rising and Passing (Disappearance)

22. Investigation of the Tathagata (Buddhanature)

23. Investigation of Error (Confusion)

24. Investigation of the Ennobling Truths (Awakening)

25. Investigation of Nirvana (Nirvana)

26. Analysis of the Twelve Links of Becoming (Contingency)

27. Investigation of Views (Opinion)

 

Tsongkhapa on Nagarjuna

 

[Translator’s homage]

 

dBu ma rtsa ba'i tshig le'ur byas pa Shes rab ces bya ba bzhugs so // //

rgya gar skad du // Pra dzny'a n'a ma m'u la ma dhy'a ma ka k'a ri ka

bod skad du //'jam dpal gzhon nur gyur pa la phyag 'tshal lo

 

 

Herein lie the Root Verses of the Center called “Intelligence”. In the language of India: Prajnanamamulamadhyamakakarika. In the language of Tibet: dBu ma rtsa ba'i tshig le'ur byas pa shes rab ces bya ba. I prostrate to the youthful Manjushri.

 

 

[Nagarjuna’s homage]

/gang gis rten cing ‘brel par ‘byung//’gag pa med pa skye med pa//chad pa med pa rtag med pa//’ong pa med pa ‘gro med pa//tha dad don min don gcig min//spros pa nyer zhi zhi bstan pa//rdzogs pa’i sangs rgyas smra rnams kyi//dam pa de la phyag ‘tsal lo/

I bow down to the most sublime of speakers, the completely awakened one who taught contingency (no cessation, no birth, no annihilation, no permanence, no coming, no going, no difference, no identity) to ease fixations.

 

 

 

 

1. Investigation of Conditions

(Conditions)

1. /bdag las ma yin gzhan las min//gnyis las ma yin rgyu med min//dngos po gang dag gang na yang//skye ba nam yang yod ma yin/

1. No thing anywhere is ever born from itself, from something else, from both or without a cause.

2. /rkyen rnams bzhi ste rgyu dang ni//dmigs pa dang ni de ma thag//bdag po yang ni de bzhin te//rkyen lnga pa ni yod ma yin/

2. There are four conditions:Causes, objects, immediate and dominant. There is no fifth.

3. /dngos po rnams kyi rang bzhin ni//rkyen la sogs pa yod ma yin//bdag gi dngos po yod min na//gzhan dngos yod pa ma yin no/

3. The essence of things does not exist in conditions and so on. If an own thing does not exist, an other thing does not exist.

4. /bya ba rkyen dang ldan pa med//rkyen dang mi ldan bya ba med//bya ba mi ldan rkyen ma yin//bya ba ldan yod ‘on te na/

4. There is no activity which has conditions. There is no activity which does not have conditions. There are no conditions which do not have activity, and none which do have activity.

5. /’di dag la brtan skye bas na//de phyir ‘di dag rkyen ces grag//ci srid mi skye de srid du//’di dag rkyen min ci ltar min/

5. Since something is born in dependence upon them, then they are known as “conditions”. As long as it is not born, why are they not non-conditions?

6. /med dam yod pa’i don la yang//rkyen ni rung ba ma yin te//med na gang gi rkyen du ‘gyur//yod na rkyen gyis ci zhig bya/

6. It is impossible for something that either exists or not to have conditions. If it were non-existent, of what would they be the conditions? If it were existent, why would it need conditions?

7. /gang tshe chos ni yod pa dang//med dang yod med mi ‘grub pas//ci ltar sgrub byed rgyu zhes bya//de ltar yin na mi rigs so/

7. When things cannot be established as either existent, non-existent or both, how can one speak of an “establishing cause.” Such would be impossible.

8. /yod pa’i chos ‘di dmigs pa ni//med pa kho na nye bar bstan//ci ste chos ni dmigs med na//dmigs pa yod par ga la ‘gyur/

8. An existent phenomenon is clearly said to have no object at all. If the phenomenon has no object, where can the object exist?

9. /chos rnams skyes pa ma yin na//’gag pa ‘thad par mi ‘gyur ro//de phyir de ma thag mi rigs//’gags na rkyen yang gang zhig yin/

9. If phenomena are not born, it is invalid for there to be cessation. Therefore, an immediate [condition] is unreasonable. What, having ceased, can also be a condition?

10. /dngos po rang bzhin med rnams kyi//yod pa gang phyir yod min na//’di yod pas na ‘di ‘byung zhes//bya ba ‘di ni ‘thad ma yin/

10. Because the existence of essence-less things does not exist, it is incorrect to say:“When this exists, that arises.”

11. /rkyen rnams so so ‘dus pa la//’bras bu de ni med pa nyid//rkyen rnams la ni gang med pa//de ni rkyen las ci ltar skye/

11. There is no effect at all in the conditions individually or together. How can that which is not in the conditions itself be born from conditions?

12. /ci ste ‘bras bu de med kyang//rkyen de dag las skye ‘gyur na//rkyen min las kyang ‘bras bu ni//ci yi phyir na skye mi ‘gyur/

12. If, although the effect is not there, it is born from those conditions, why is an effect not born from what are not its conditions?

13. /’bras bu rkyen gyi rang bzhin ni//rkyen rnams bdag gi rang bzhin min//bdag dngos min las ‘bras bu gang//de ni ci ltar rkyen rang bzhin/

13. Effects [are of] the nature of conditions. Conditions do not have own nature. How can those effects of what does not have own nature [be of] the nature of conditions?

14. /de phyir rkyen gyi rang bzhin min//rkyen min rang bzhin ‘bras bu ni//yod min ‘bras bu med bas na//rkyen min rkyen du ga la ‘gyur/

14. Therefore, [it does] not have the nature of conditions, nor is there an effect with the nature of non-conditions. Since there is no effect, what could [be its] non-conditions or conditions?

 

2. Investigation of Coming and Going

(Walking)

1. /re zhig song la mi 'gro ste/ /ma song ba la'ang 'gro ba min/ /song dang ma song ma gtogs par/ /bgom pa shes par mi 'gyur ro/

1. Then there is no going in what has gone; there is no going also in what has not [yet] gone. Motion is unknowable apart from what has gone and not [yet] gone.

2. /gang na g.yo ba de na 'gro/ /de yang gang phyir bgom pa la/ /g.yo ba song min ma song min/ /de phyir bgom la 'gro ba yod/

2. Where there is moving, there there is going. Furthermore, because moving is within motion -- and is neither gone nor not [yet] gone, therefore, there is going within motion.

3. /bgom la 'gro ba yin par ni/ /ji lta bur na 'thad par 'gyur/ /gang tshe 'gro ba med pa yi/ /bgom pa 'thad pa med phyir ro/

3. How can going be possible within motion? Because motion that is not going is impossible.

 

4. /gang gi bgom pa la 'gro ba/ /de yi bgom la 'gro med par/ /thal bar 'gyur te gang gi phyir/ /bgom la 'gro ba yin phyir ro/

4. For whomever there is going within motion, for him it will follow that there [could be] no going within motion, because there is going within motion.

Or, following the structure and wording of v. 10: “To claim that there is going within motion implies that there could be no going within motion, because it is asserted there is going within motion.”

5. /bgom la 'gro ba yod na ni/ /'gro ba gnyis su thal 'gyur te/ /gang gis de bgom gyur ba dang/ /de la 'gro ba gang yin pa'o/

5. If there were going within motion, it would follow that going would be twofold: that by which one becomes someone in motion [in a place] and [that by which one] goes in that [place].

6. /'gro ba gnyis su thal 'gyur na/ /'gro ba po yang gnyis su 'gyur/ /gang phyir 'gro po med par ni/ /'gro ba 'thad par mi 'gyur phyir/

6. If going were twofold, the goer also would be twofold, because going is impossible without a goer.

7. /gal te 'gro po med gyur na/ /'gro ba 'thad par mi 'gyur te/ /'gro ba med na 'gro ba po/ /yod pa nyid du ga la 'gyur/

7. If there were no goer, going would be impossible. If there were no going, where could a goer be existent?

8. /re zhig 'gro po mi 'gro ste/ /'gro ba po min 'gro ba min/ /'gro po 'gro po min las gzhan/ /gsum pa gang zhig 'gro bar 'gyur/

8. When a goer does not go, a non-goer cannot go; what third one other than a goer and a non-goer could go? [cf. v. 15]

9. /gang tshe 'gro ba med par ni/ /'gro ba 'thad par mi 'gyur na/ /re zhig 'gro po 'gro'o zhes/ /ji ltar 'thad pa nyid du 'gyur/

9. When a goer* is impossible without going, then how is it possible to say: “a goer goes”?

* ‘gro ba: Ts. 102 glosses this as ‘gro ba po = ‘goer’ which makes more sense and agrees with K. 123. Could this be a textual corruption? l.2 would read better as: ‘gro po thad par mi ‘gyur na.

10. /gang gi phyogs la 'gro ba po/ /'gro ba de la 'gro med pa'i/ /'gro po yin par thal 'gyur te/ /'gro po 'gro bar 'dod phyir ro/

10. To claim that a goer goes implies that there could be a goer who does not go, because it is asserted that a goer goes. [cf. v. 4]

11. /gal te 'gro po 'gro ‘gyur na/ /'gro ba gnyis su thal 'gyur te/ /gang gis 'gro por mngon pa dang/ /'gro por gyur nas gang 'gro ba'o/

11. If the goer goes, it would follow that going would be twofold: that which reveals* the goer and that which goes once [he] has become a goer.

*Ts. 103 understands mgon as brjod, i.e. “that which allows someone to be designated as a goer.” This agrees with K. 124 (vyapadesa).

12. /song la 'gro ba'i rtsom med de/ /ma song ba la'ang 'gro rtsom med/ /bgom la rtsom pa yod min na/ /gang du 'gro ba rtsom par byed/

12. If a beginning of going does not exist in what has gone, [if] a beginning of going does not exist also in what has not [yet] gone [and if] there does not exist a beginning within motion, wherein is a beginning of going made?

13. /'gro ba rtsom pa'i snga rol na/ /gang du 'gro ba rtsom 'gyur ba’i/ /bgom pa med cing song ba med/ /ma song 'gro ba ga la yod/

13. Before a beginning of going, there is not any motion or anything which has gone wherein going could begin. How can going exist in what has not [yet] gone?

14. /'gro rtsom rnam pa thams cad du/ /snang ba med pa nyid yin na/ /song ba ci zhig bgom pa ci/ /ma song ci zhig rnam par brtag/

14. If a beginning of going is simply not apparent in any way, examine: what has gone? what is motion? what has not [yet] gone?

15. /re zhig 'gro po mi sdod de/ /'gro ba po min sdod pa min/ /'gro po 'gro po min las gzhan/ /gsum pa gang zhig sdod par 'gyur/

15. When a goer does not stay, a non-goer cannot stay; what third one other than a goer and a non-goer could stay? [cf. v. 8]

16. /gang tshe 'gro ba med par ni/ /'gro po 'thad par mi 'gyur na/ /re zhig 'gro po sdod do zhes/ /ji ltar 'thad pa nyid du 'gyur/

16. When a goer is not possible without going, how then is it possible [to say]: “a goer stays.”

17. /bgom las ldog par mi 'gyur te/ /song dang ma song las kyang min/ /'gro ba dang ni 'jug pa dang/ /ldog pa yang ni 'gro dang mtshungs/

17. There is no reversal of motion*, nor also of what has gone [and] what has not [yet] gone. [Reversal of] going, engagement [to stay] and reversal [of staying] are similar to going.

* Ts. 105 connects the “reversal of motion” with the “starting to stay”. Skt. seems explicitly to mention “staying”. In the following line, Ts. explains that there is no reversal of motion in either what has gone or not yet gone because both are devoid of going. “Reversal of motion” seems to mean simply “stopping.” Ts’s comm. on l c-d is difficult to trace, suggesting that he may be following a different version of the root text. My rendition of c-d is tentative. K. 127 has: “Movement, commencement and cessation (of movement) are all comparable to motion.”

18. /'gro ba de dang 'gro ba po/ /de nyid ces kyang byar mi rung/ /'gro ba dang ni 'gro ba po/ /gzhan nyid ces kyang byar mi rung/

18. It is inappropriate to say: “going and a goer are the same.” It is inappropriate to say: “going and a goer are different.”

19. /gal te 'gro ba gang yin pa/ /de nyid 'gro po yin gyur na/ /byed pa po dang las nyid kyang/ /gcig pa nyid du thal bar 'gyur/

19. If whatever is going were a goer, it would follow that the actor and the act would be the same too.

20. /gal te 'gro dang 'gro ba po/ /gzhan pa nyid du rnam brtag na/ /'gro po med pa'i 'gro ba dang/ /'gro ba med pa'i 'gro por 'gyur/

20. If going and a goer were conceived as different, there could be going without a goer and a goer without going.

21. /gang dag dngos po gcig pa dang/ /dngos po gzhan pa nyid du ni/ /grub par gyur pa yod min na/ /de gnyis grub pa ji ltar yod/

21. If things are not established as the same and as different, how can they be established?

22. /'gro ba gang gis 'gro por mngon/ /'gro ba de ni de 'gro min/ /gang phyir 'gro ba'i snga rol med/ /gang zhig gang du 'gro bar 'gyur/

22. That very going by which a goer is made evident does not [enable a goer to] go. Because there is no [goer] before going, who would be going where?

23. /'gro ba gang gis 'gro por mngon/ /de las gzhan pa de 'gro min/ /gang phyir 'gro po gcig pu la/ /'gro ba gnyis su mi 'thad do/

23. [A going] which is other than the going by which a goer is made evident does not [enable a goer to] go. Because it is impossible for going to be twofold within a single goer.

24. /'gro po yin par gyur pa ni/ /'gro rnam gsum du 'gro mi byed/ /ma yin par ni gyur de yang/ /'gro rnam gsum du 'gro mi byed/

24. One who is a goer does not go in the three aspects of going. Also one who is not [a goer] does not go in the three aspects of going.

25. /yin dang ma yin gyur pa yang/ /'gro rnam gsum du 'gro mi byed/ /de phyir 'gro dang 'gro po dang/ /bgrod par bya ba'ang yod ma yin/

25. One who is and is not [a goer] also does not go in the three aspects of going. Therefore, going and a goer and also that which is gone over do not exist.

'gro ba dang 'ong ba brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa gnyis pa'o/////

 

 

 

3. Investigation of the Sense Organs

(Seeing)

1. /lta dang nyan dang snom pa dang/ /myong bar byed dang reg byed yid/ /dbang po drug ste de dag gi/ /spyod yul blta bar bya la sogs/

1. Seeing and hearing and smelling and tasting and touching, mind are the six sense organs; their experienced objects are what-is-seen and so forth.

2. /lta de rang gi bdag nyid ni/ /de la lta ba ma yin nyid/ /gang zhig bdag la mi lta ba/ /de dag gzhan* la ji ltar lta/

[Lha. *de bzhin bdag]

 

2. Seeing does not see itself. How can what does not see itself see anything else?

3. /lta ba rab tu bsgrub pa'i phyir/ /me yi dpes ni nus ma yin/ /song dang ma song bgom pa yis/ /de ni lta bcas lan btab bo/

3. The example of fire is not able to fully establish seeing. It, along with seeing, has been refuted by “gone”, “not gone” and “going.”

4. /gang tshe cung zad mi lta bar/ /lta bar byed pa ma yin no/ /blta bas lta bar byed ces byar/ /de ni ji ltar rigs par 'gyur/

4. When not seeing the slightest thing, there is no act of seeing. How can it [then] be reasonable to say: “seeing sees”?

5. /lta ba lta nyid ma yin te/ /lta ba min pa mi lta nyid/ /lta ba nyid kyis lta ba po'ang/ /rnam par bshad par shes par bya/

5. Seeing does not see; non-seeing does not see. It should be understood that seeing explains the seer too.

6. /ma spang lta po yod min te/ /lta ba spangs par gyur kyang ngo/ /lta po med na blta bya dang/ /lta ba de dag ga la yod/

6. Without letting go of [seeing] a seer does not exist; in letting go of seeing, there is also [no seer]. If there is no seer, where can there be what-is-seen and seeing?

7. /ci ltar pha dang ma dag las/ /brten nas bu ni ‘byung bar bshad/ /de bzhin mig dang gzugs brten nas/ /rnam par shes pa ‘byung bar bshad/

7. Just as it is said that a child emerges in dependence on a father and a mother, likewise it is said that consciousness emerges in dependence upon an eye and a visual form.

8. /blta bya lta ba med pa'i phyir/ /rnam par shes la sogs pa bzhi/ /yod min nye bar len la sogs/ /ji lta bur na yod par 'gyur/

8. Because there is no what-is-seen and no seeing, the four such as consciousness do not exist. How can clinging etc. exist?

9. /lta bas nyan dang snom pa dang/ /myong bar byed dang reg byed yid/ /nyan pa po dang mnyan la sogs/ /rnam par bshad par shes par bya/

9. It should be understood that seeing explains hearing and smelling and tasting and touching, mind, hearer, what is heard, etc.

dbang po brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa gsum pa'o////

4. Investigation of the Aggregates

(Body)

1. /gzugs kyi rgyu ni ma gtogs par/ /gzugs ni dmigs par mi 'gyur ro/ /gzugs zhes bya ba ma gtogs par/ /gzugs kyi rgyu yang mi snang ngo/

1. Apart from the cause of form, form is not perceived. Apart from “form”, the cause of form also does not appear.

[Ts. 128 gives “the eye etc.”as examples of “form” and “the four elements” as examples of the “causes of form.”]

2. /gzugs kyi rgyu ni ma gtogs par/ /gzugs na gzugs ni rgyu med par/ /thal bar gyur te don gang yang/ /rgyu med pa ni gang na'ang med/

2. If there were form apart from the cause of form, it would follow that form is without cause; there is no object at all that is without cause.

3. /gal te gzugs ni ma gtogs par/ /gzugs kyi rgyu zhig yod na ni/ /'bras bu med pa'i rgyur 'gyur te/ /'bras bu med pa'i rgyu med do/

3. If a cause of form existed apart from form, it would exist as a cause without fruit; causes without fruit do not exist.

4. /gzugs yod na yang gzugs kyi ni/ /rgyu yang 'thad par mi 'gyur nyid/ /gzugs med na yang gzugs kyi ni/ /rgyu yang 'thad par mi 'gyur nyid/

4. If form existed, a cause of form would be untenable; if form did not exist, a cause of form would be untenable.

5. /rgyu med pa yi gzugs dag ni/ /'thad par mi rung rung min nyid/ /de phyir gzugs kyi rnam par rtog/ /'ga' yang rnam par brtag mi bya/

5. Forms which do not have a cause are not at all tenable. Therefore, do not conceive the concept of form at all.

[Ts. 129-30 explains “rung min nyid” as being an added emphasis. To “not conceive of the concept of form” he regards as unworthy for the yogin who beholds reality. He cites Buddhapalita, who explains how it is “inappropriate,” in contrast to “how appropriate it would be to reflect on non-abiding.”]

6. /'bras bu rgyu dang 'dra ba zhes/ /bya ba 'thad pa ma yin te/ /'bras bu rgyu dang mi 'dra zhes/ /bya ba'ang 'thad pa ma yin no/

6. It is untenable to say, “the fruit is like the cause.” It is also untenable to say, “the fruit is unlike the cause.”

7. /tshor dang 'du shes 'du byed dang/ /sems dang dngos po thams cad kyang/ /rnam pa dag ni thams cad du/ /gzugs nyid kyis ni rim pa mtshungs/

7. Feeling and perception, impulses and mind and all things are comparable in every aspect, at every stage with form.

8. /stong pa nyid kyis brtsad byas tshe/ /gang zhig lan 'debs smra byed pa/ /de yi thams cad lan btab min/ /bsgrub par bya dang mtshungs par 'gyur/

8. When having argued by means of emptiness, everything of that one who objects is not an objection; it is similar to what is to be established .

9. /stong pa nyid kyis bshad byas tshe/ /gang zhig skyon 'dogs smra byed pa/ /de yi thams cad skyon btags min/ /bsgrub par bya dang mtshungs par 'gyur/

9. When having explained by means of emptiness, everything of that one who finds fault is not a fault; it is similar to what is to be established.

phung po brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa bzhi pa'o////

 

5. Investigation of the Elements

(Space)

1./nam mkha'i mtshan nyid snga rol na/ /nam mkha' cung zad yod ma yin/ /gal te mtshan las snga gyur na/ /mtshan nyid med par thal bar 'gyur/

1. Not the slightest bit of space exists prior to the characteristics of space. If [space] existed prior to its characteristics, it would follow that it would be without characteristics.

2./mtshan nyid med pa'i dngos po ni/ /'ga' yang gang na'ang yod ma yin/ /mtshan nyid med pa'i dngos med na/ /mtshan nyid gang du 'jug par 'gyur/

2. A thing without characteristics does not exist anywhere at all. If a thing without characteristics does not exist, to what do characteristics extend?

3./mtshan nyid med la mtshan nyid ni/ /mi 'jug mtshan nyid bcas la min/ /mtshan bcas mtshan nyid med pa las/ /gzhan la'ang 'jug par mi 'gyur ro/

3. Characteristics do not extend to that which has no characteristics; nor to what possesses characteristics. They also cannot extend to something other than what either possesses or does not have characteristics.

4./mtshan nyid 'jug pa ma yin na/ /mtshan gzhi 'thad par mi 'gyur ro/ /mtshan gzhi 'thad pa ma yin na/ /mtshan nyid kyang ni yod ma yin/

4. If characteristics do not extend [to something] , something characterized would be impossible. If something characterized is impossible, characteristics too would not exist.

5./de phyir mtshan gzhi yod min te/ /mtshan nyid yod pa nyid ma yin/ /mtshan gzhi mtshan nyid ma gtogs pa'i/ /dngos po yang ni yod ma yin/

5. Therefore, something characterized does not exist and characteristics do not exist. There also does not exist a thing which is apart from being something characterized or a characteristic.

6./dngos po yod pa ma yin na/ /dngos med gang gi yin par 'gyur/ /dngos dang dngos med mi mthun chos/ /gang gis dngos dang dngos med shes/

6. If there is not a thing, of what can there be a non-thing? By whom are the opposites thing and non-thing known [as] a thing and a non-thing?

[Ts. 140 understands “a thing” to refer to the obstructive matter of which space, as a negation and hence a non-thing, is a negation of.]

7./de phyir nam mkha' dngos po min/ /dngos med ma yin mtshan gzhi min/ /mtshan nyid ma yin khams lnga po/ /gzhan gang dag kyang nam mkha' mtshungs/

7. Therefore, space is not a thing; it is not a non-thing; it is not something characterized; it is not a characteristic. The other five elements too are similar to space.

8./blo chung gang dag dngos rnams la/ /yod pa nyid dang med nyid du/ /blta ba des ni blta bya ba/ /nye bar zhi ba zhi mi mthong/

8. Those of small minds see things as existent and non-existent. They do not behold the utter pacification of what is seen.

khams brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa lnga pa'o/ // /

 

6. Investigation of Desire and the Desirous One

(Addiction)

1. /gal te 'dod chags snga rol na//'dod chags med pa'i chags yod na//de la brten nas 'dod chags yod//chags yod 'dod chags yod par 'gyur/

1. If a desirous one without desire exists before desire, desire would exist dependent on that [desirous one]. [When] a desirous one exists, desire exists.

2. /chags pa yod par 'gyur na'ang*//'dod chags yod par ga la 'gyur//chags pa la yang 'dod chags ni//yod dam med kyang rim pa mtshungs/

[*Ts. 146 chags pa yod par ma ‘gyur na but acknowledges that Buddhapalita & Sherab Dronme follow the reading above. Ts. 147-9 has a lengthy discussion about the difference between the old and new translations of these verses.]

 

2. If there were no desirous one, how could there be desire? The same follows for the desirous one too: [it depends on] whether desire exists or not.

3. /'dod chags dang ni chags pa dag//lhan cig nyid du skye mi rigs//'di ltar 'dod chags chags pa dag //phan tshun ltos pa med par 'gyur/

3. It is not reasonable for desire and the desirous one to arise as co-existent. In this way desire and the desirous one would not be mutually contingent.

4. /gcig nyid lhan cig nyid med de//de nyid de dang lhan cig min//ci ste tha dad nyid yin na//lhan cig nyid du ji ltar 'gyur/

4. Identity has no co-existence: something cannot be co-existent with itself. If there were difference, how could there be co-existence?

5. /gal te gcig pu lhan cig na//grogs med par yang der 'gyur ro//gal te tha dad lhan cig na//grogs med par yang der 'gyur ro/

5. If the identical were co-existent, [co-existence] would also occur between the unrelated; if the different were co-existent, [co-existence] would also occur between the unrelated.

[grogs med par is translated by K, G [and Gnoli] as “without association”. The Tibetan literally means “without assistance”. Grogs pa is the defining characteristic of rkyen (condition), i.e. it implies a functional relationship, usually causal; it is what helps something become what it is.]

6. /gal te tha dad lhan cig na//ci go 'dod chags chags pa dag //tha dad nyid du grub 'gyur ram//des na de gnyis lhan cig 'gyur/

6. If the different were co-existent, how would desire and the desirous one be established as different or, if that were so, [how would] those two be co-existent?

[this verse seems to say no more than v.7 below, but says it less neatly]

7. /gal te 'dod chags chags pa dag//tha dad nyid du grub gyur na//de dag lhan cig nyid du ni//ci yi phyir na yongs su rtog/

7. If desire and the desirous were established as different, because of what could one understand them as co-existent?

8. /tha dad grub par ma gyur pas//de phyir lhan cig 'dod byed na//lhan cig rab tu grub pa'i phyir//tha dad nyid du yang 'dod dam/

8. If one asserts them to be co-existent because they are not established as different, then because they would be very much established as co-existent, would one not also have to assert them to be different?

9. /tha dad dngos po ma grub pas//lhan cig dngos po 'grub mi 'gyur//tha dad dngos po gang yod na//lhan cig dngos por 'dod par byed/

9. Since different things are not established, co-existent things are not established. If there existed any different things, one could assert them as co-existent things.

10. /de ltar 'dod chags chags pa dag//lhan cig lhan cig min mi 'grub//'dod chags bzhin du chos rnams kun//lhan cig lhan cig min mi 'grub/

10. In that way, desire and the desirous one are not established as co-existent or not co-existent. Like desire, all phenomena are not established as co-existent or not co-existent.

[Ts. 153 explains “all phenomena” to refer to hatred and the hater, stupidity and the confused one, and proceeds to reconstruct v.1 substituting “hatred” for “desire” etc.]

 

'dod chags dang chags pa brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa drug pa'o //

 

7. Investigation of Birth, Abiding and Perishing

[Skt. title is “investigation of the compounded - samskrta”]

(Birth)

1. /gal te skye ba 'dus byas na/ /de la mtshan nyid gsum ldan 'gyur/ /ci ste skye ba 'dus ma byas/ /ji ltar 'dus byas mtshan nyid yin/

1. If birth were compounded, it would possess the three characteristics [of a compound]. If birth were uncompounded, how would it be a characteristic of a compound?

2. /skye la sogs gsum so so yis/ /'dus byas mtshan nyid bya bar ni/ /nus min gcig la dus gcig tu/ /'dus pa yang ni ji ltar rung/

2. The three such as birth cannot individually be that which characterises compounds. How is it possible for one at one time to be compounded [of all three]?

3. /skye dang gnas dang 'jig rnams la/ /'dus byas mtshan nyid gzhan zhig ni/ /gal te yod na thug med 'gyur/ /med na de dag 'dus byas min/

3. If birth, abiding and perishing had an other characteristic of being compounded, this would be endless. If not, they would not be compounded.

4. /skye ba'i skye bas rtsa ba yi/ /skye ba 'ba' zhig skyed par byed/ /rtsa ba'i skye bas skye ba yi/ /skye ba'ang skyed par byed pa yin/

4. The birth of birth gives birth to the root birth alone. The root birth also is that which gives birth to the birth of birth.

5. /gal te khyod kyi skye ba'i skyes/ /rtsa ba'i skye ba skyed byed na/ /khyod kyi rtsa bas ma bskyed des/ /de ni ji ltar skyed par byed/

5. If your birth of birth gives birth to the root birth, how does that which is not yet born from your root give birth to that [root birth]?

6. /gal te khyod kyi rtsa ba yis/ /bskyed pa de yis rtsa skyed na/ /des ma bskyed pa'i rtsa ba des/ /de ni ji ltar skyed par byed/

6. If that which is born from your root birth gives birth to the root, how does that root which is born from that give birth to that [from which it is born]?

7. /gal te ma skyes pa de yis/ /de skyed pa ni byed nus na/ /khyod kyi skye bzhin pa de yis/ /de skyed par ni 'dod la rag/

7. If that which has not been born is able to give birth to that, that of yours which is being born should be able to give birth to that.

[v. 4-7: This is a clear example of another hand interfering with the text. Not only is it incapable of being reset as poetry, it is incompatible with the style of the verses that precede and especially those that follow. Also cf. MMK 1: 7-9]

8. /ji ltar mar me rang dang gzhan/ /snang bar byed pa de bzhin du/ /skye ba'ang rang dang gzhan gyi dngos/ /gnyis ka skyed par byed pa yin/

8. Just as lamplight illuminates itself and others, likewise birth too gives birth to both itself and the thing of others.

[“itself and the thing of others” is the clumsy Tibetan form of svaparaatma, cf. svabhava / parabhava.]

9. /mar me dang ni gang dag na/ /de 'dug pa na mun pa med/ /mar mes ci zhig snang bar byed/ /mun pa sel bas snang byed yin/

9. Wherever lamplight is present there is no darkness. What does lamplight illuminate? It illuminates by dispelling darkness.

10. /gang tshe mar me skye bzhin pa/ /mun pa dang ni phrad med na/ /ji ltar mar me skye bzhin pas/ /mun pa sel bar byed pa yin/

10. If, when lamplight is being generated, it does not encounter darkness, how does the generation of lamplight dispel darkness?

11. /mar me phrad pa med par yang/ /gal te mun pa sel byed na/ /'jig rten kun na gnas pa'i mun/ /'di na gnas pa des sel 'gyur/

11. If darkness is dispelled even though it does not encounter lamplight, this [lamplight] dwelling here would eliminate the darkness that dwells in all the worlds.

12. /mar me* rang dang gzhan gyi dngos/ /gal te snang bar byed 'gyur na/ /mun pa'ang rang dang gzhan gyi dngos/ /sgrib par 'gyur bar the tshom med/

[Ts. *mes]

 

12. If lamplight illuminated itself and the thing of others, darkness too would without doubt obscure itself and the thing of others.

13. /skye ba 'di ni ma skyes pas/ /rang gi bdag nyid ji ltar skyed/ /ci ste skyes pas skyed byed na/ /skyes na ci zhig bskyed du yod/

13. How can unborn birth give birth to itself? If the born gives birth, when it has been born, what would be born?

14. /skyes dang ma skyes skye bzhin pa/ /ji lta bur yang mi skyed pa/ /de ni song dang ma song dang/ /bgom pas rnam par bshad pa yin/

14. The born and the unborn, the being born do not in any way give birth. That has been explained by the gone, not gone and going.

15. /gang tshe skye ba yod pa na/ /skye bzhin 'di 'byung med pa'i tshe

ji ltar skye la brten nas ni/ /skye bzhin zhes ni brjod par bya/

15. When being born does not arise in what is born, then how can one say “[it is] being born in dependence on the born”?

16. /rten cing 'byung ba gang yin pa/ /de ni ngo bo nyid kyis zhi/ /de phyir skye bzhin nyid dang ni/ /skye ba yang ni zhi ba nyid/

16. Whatever is dependently arising, that is by nature pacified. Therefore, being born and what is born too are pacified.

[Ts. 174-6 gives a good summary of the identity of dependent arising and emptiness with citations, including (174): “Whoever sees dependent and relational arising sees the Dharma; whoever sees the Dharma sees the Buddha.” and (175) “What is born from conditions is unborn. By its very nature it has no birth. What is dependent on conditions is said to be empty. He who knows emptiness is conscientious (bag yod)”]

17. /gal te dngos po ma skyes pa/ /'ga' zhig gang na yod gyur na/ /de ni skye 'gyur dngos po de/ /med na ci zhig skye bar 'gyur/

17. If any unborn thing existed anywhere, on being born that [unborn] thing would not exist. If so, what would be born?

18. /gal te skye ba de yis ni/ /skye bzhin pa ni skyed byed na/ /skye ba de ni skye ba lta/ /gang zhig gis ni skyed par byed/

18. If that which has been born gives birth to what is being born, what [other thing] that has been born would be giving birth to that which has been born?

19. /gal te skye ba gzhan zhig gis/ /de skyed thug pa med par 'gyur/ /ci ste skye ba med skye na/ /thams cad de bzhin skye bar 'gyur/

19. If another [thing] that has been born gives birth [to it], this would be endless. If it is born without [another] which has been born [OR if it is born without being born], everything would be born like that [i.e. causelessly].

20. /re zhig yod dang med pa yang/ /skye bar rigs pa ma yin zhing/ /yod med nyid kyang ma yin zhes/ /gong du bstan pa nyid yin no/

20. Thus it is not reasonable for what exists or does not exist to be born. It has been shown above that there is no existent or non-existent.

21. /dngos po 'gag bzhin nyid la ni/ /skye ba 'thad par mi 'gyur ro/ /gang zhig 'gag bzhin ma yin pa/ /de ni dngos por mi 'thad do/

21. It is not tenable for a thing that is perishing to be born. It is not tenable for that which is not perishing to be a thing.

22. /dngos po gnas pa mi gnas te/ /dngos po mi gnas gnas pa min/ /gnas bzhin pa yang mi gnas te/ /ma skyes gang zhig gnas par 'gyur/

22. A thing that has remained does not remain. A thing that has not [yet] remained does not remain. That which is remaining also does not remain. What unborn [thing] can remain?

23. /dngos po 'gag bzhin nyid la ni/ /gnas pa 'thad par mi 'gyur ro/ /gang zhig 'gag bzhin ma yin pa/ /de ni dngos por mi 'thad do/

23. It is not possible for a thing that is perishing to remain. It is not possible for that which is not perishing to be a thing.

24. /dngos po thams cad dus kun tu/ /rga dang 'chi ba'i chos yin na/ /gang dag rga dang 'chi med par/ /gnas pa'i dngos po gang zhig yod/

24. If all things at all times are aging and dying phenomena, what things are there which could remain without aging and dying?

25. /gnas pa gnas pa gzhan dang ni/ /de nyid kyis kyang gnas mi rigs/ /ji ltar skye ba rang dang ni/ /gzhan gyis bskyed pa ma yin bzhin/

25. It is not reasonable for what remains to remain due to something else that remains or due to itself. This is like how what has been born is not given birth to by itself or another. [cf. v.18-19]

26. /'gags pa 'gag par mi 'gyur te/ /ma 'gags pa yang 'gag mi 'gyur/ /'gag bzhin pa yang de bzhin min/ /ma skyes gang zhig 'gag par 'gyur/

26. What has ceased does not cease. What has not ceased also does not cease. Likewise what is ceasing also does not. What unborn [thing] can cease? [cf. v. 22]

27. /re zhig dngos po gnas pa la/ /'gag pa 'thad par mi 'gyur ro/ /dngos po mi gnas pa la yang/ /'gag pa 'thad par mi 'gyur ro/

27. It is not possible for a thing which has remained to cease. It is also not possible for a thing which has not remained to cease.

[past tense “has remained” follows Skt. (K .175). Tib. and Ts. 183 could read: “It is not possible for a thing which remains to cease. It is also not possible for a thing which does not remain to cease.”]

28. /gnas skabs de yis gnas skabs ni/ /de nyid 'gag pa nyid mi 'gyur/ /gnas skabs gzhan gyis gnas skabs ni/ /gzhan yang 'gag pa nyid mi 'gyur/

28. A particular state [of something] does not cause that particular state itself to cease. Moreover, another particular state does not cause that particular state to cease.

[Ts. 184 illustrates this with the example of milk and curds (butter), i.e.: milk does not cause milk to cease, nor do curds cause milk to cease.]

29. /gang tshe chos rnams thams cad kyi/ /skye ba 'thad par mi 'gyur ba/ /de tshe chos rnams thams cad kyi/ /'gag pa 'thad par mi 'gyur ro/

29. When the birth of all phenomena is not possible, then the cessation of all phenomena is not possible.

30. /re zhig dngos po yod pa la/ /'gag pa 'thad par mi 'gyur ro/ /gcig nyid na ni dngos po dang/ /dngos po med pa 'thad pa med/

30. Cessation is not possible in an existent thing. Thingness and nothingness are not possible in one.

31. /dngos po med par gyur pa la'ang/ /'gag pa 'thad par mi 'gyur ro/ /mgo gnyis pa la ji ltar ni/ /gcad du med pa de bzhin no/

31. Cessation is not possible also in what is not a thing. This is similar to how there is no cutting off a second head. [i.e. a person cannot be beheaded twice]

32. /'gag pa rang gi bdag nyid kyis/ /yod min 'gag pa gzhan gyis min/ /ji ltar skye ba rang dang ni/ /gzhan gyis skyed pa ma yin bzhin/

32. Cessation does not exist by its own self, nor does cessation [exist] by something else. This is like how what has been born is not given birth to by itself or another [cf. 25]

33. /skye dang gnas dang 'jig pa dag/ /ma grub phyir na 'dus byas med/ /'dus byas rab tu ma grub pas/ /'dus ma byas ni ji ltar 'grub/

33. Because birth and remaining and perishing are not established, there is no conditioned. Because the conditioned is utterly unestablished, how can the unconditioned be established?

34. /rmi lam ji bzhin sgyu ma bzhin/ /dri za'i grong khyer ji bzhin du/ /de bzhin skye dang de bzhin gnas/ /de bzhin du ni 'jig pa gsungs/

34. Like a dream, like a magician’s illusion, like a city of gandharvas, likewise birth and likewise remaining, likewise perishing are taught.

skye ba dang gnas pa dang 'jig pa brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa bdun pa'o//// /

8. Investigation of Act and Actor

(Actors)

1. /byed po yin par gyur pa de/ /las su gyur pa mi byed do/ /byed po ma yin gyur pa yang/ /las su ma gyur mi byed do/

1. One who exists as an actor does not do that which exists as an act. One who does not exist as an actor also does not do that which does not exist as an act.

2. /yin par gyur la bya ba med/ /byed po med pa'i las su'ang 'gyur/ /yin par gyur la bya ba med/ /las med byed pa por yang 'gyur/

2. One who exists has no activity; [something] would also exist as an act without an actor. One who exists has no activity; [something] would also exist as an actor without an act.

3. /gal te byed por* ma gyur pa/ /las su ma gyur byed na ni/ /las la rgyu ni med par 'gyur/ /byed pa po yang rgyu med 'gyur/

[*Lha. po]

 

3. If one who does not exist as an actor did that which does not exist as an act, the act would have no cause; the actor too would have no cause.

4. /rgyu med na ni 'bras bu dang/ /rgyu yang 'thad par mi 'gyur ro/ /de med na ni bya ba dang/ /byed pa po dang byed mi rigs/

 

4. If there were no cause, effect and cause would not be evident. If they were non-existent, activity and agent and doing would not be evident.

5. /bya ba la sogs mi rigs na/ /chos dang chos min yod ma yin/ /chos dang chos min med na ni/ /de las byung ba'i 'bras bu med/

 

5. If activity etc. did not appear, dharma and adharma would not be evident. If dharma and adharma did not exist, there would be no fruit that comes from them.

6. /'bras bu med na thar pa dang/ /mtho ris 'gyur pa'i lam mi 'thad/ /bya ba dag ni thams cad kyang/ /don med nyid du thal bar 'gyur/

 

6. If there were no fruit, the path of liberation and higher states would not be appropriate. Also it would follow that all activities are meaningless.

7. /byed pa por gyur ma gyur pa/ /gyur ma gyur de mi byed de/ /yin dang ma yin gyur cig* la/ /phan tshun 'gal bas** ga la yod/

[*Lha. gcig; **ba]

 

7. One who exists and does not exist as an actor does not do what exists and does not exist [as an act]. Since existence and non-existence are mutually contradictory in one [thing], where can they exist?

8. /byed pa por ni gyur pa yis/ /ma gyur las ni mi byed de/ /ma gyur pas kyang gyur mi byed/ /'dir yang skyon der thal bar 'gyur/

 

8. One who exists as an actor does not do an act which is not existent. One who does not exist [as an actor] also does not do what exists [as an act]. Here too faults will follow for one.

9. /byed pa por ni gyur pa dang/ /bcas pa las ni ma gyur dang/ /gyur ma gyur pa mi byed de/ /gtan tshigs gong du bstan phyir ro/

 

9. One who exists as an actor does not do what does not exist as an act and what neither exists or not [as an act], because of what was demonstrated by the proof above.

[Verses 9-11 are suspect. This degree of systematic nit-picking as well as the scholarly reference to “the proof above” seem out of character.]

10. /byed pa por ni ma gyur pas*/ /las ni gyur dang bcas pa dang/ /gyur ma gyur pa mi byed de/ /gtan tshigs gong du bstan phyir ro/

[*Lha. pa]

 

10. One who does not exist as an actor does not do what exists as an act and what neither exists or not [as an act], because of what was demonstrated by the proof above.

11. /byed pa por gyur ma gyur ni/ /las su gyur dang ma gyur pa/ /mi byed 'di* yang gtan tshigs ni/ /gong du bstan pas shes par bya/

[*Lha.Ts. ‘dir]

 

11. One who neither exists nor does not exist as an actor does not do that which exists and does not exist as an act. Here too this is to be known through the proof demonstrated above.

12. /byed pa po las brten* byas shing/ /las kyang byed po de nyid la/ /brten nas 'byung ba ma gtogs pa**/ /'grub pa'i rgyu ni ma mthong ngo/

[*Lha. byed po las la brten; **par]

 

12. An actor depends on acts and acts too occur in dependence on an actor. Apart from this, one does not see a cause which is established.

13. /de bzhin nyer len shes par bya/ /las dang byed po bsal* phyir ro/ /byed pa po dang las dag gis/ /dngos po lhag ma** shes par bya/

[*Lha. gsal; **ma’ang]

 

13. Likewise, one should understand clinging, because act and actor are dispelled. Remaining things too should be understood by means of actor and act.

byed pa po dang las brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa brgyad pa'o/ // /

9. Investigation of the Presence of Something Prior

(Already)

1. /lta dang nyan la sogs pa dang //tshor sogs dang yang dbang byas pa //gang gi yin pa de dag gi //snga rol de yod kha cig smra /

1. Some say that whatever is involved in seeing, hearing etc. and feeling etc. exists prior to them.

2. /dngos po yod pa ma yin na //lta ba la sogs ji ltar 'gyur //de phyir de dag snga rol na //dngos po gnas pa de yod do /

2. If [that] thing is not evident, how can there be seeing etc? Therefore, the presence [of that] thing [must] exist before them.

3. /lta dang nyan la sogs pa dang //tshor ba la sogs nyid kyi ni //snga rol dngos po gang gnas pa //de ni gang gis gdags par bya /

3. What configures/makes known that thing which is present before seeing and hearing etc. and feeling etc.?

4. /lta ba la sogs med par yang //gal te de ni gnas gyur na //de med par yang de dag ni //yod par 'gyur bar the tshom med /

4. If it were present even without seeing etc., there would be no doubt that they would exist even without it.

5. /ci yis gang zhig gsal bar byed //gang gis ci zhig gsal bar byed //ci med gang zhig ga la yod //gang med ci zhig ga la yod /

5. It is illuminated by them; they are illuminated by it. How could it exist without them? How could they exist without it?

6. /lta la sogs pa thams cad kyi //snga rol gang zhig yod pa min //lta sogs nang nas gzhan zhig gis //gzhan gyi tshe na gsal bar byed /

6. It is not evident prior to the totality of seeing etc. From among seeing etc. a different one illuminates [it] at different times.

7. /lta la sogs pa thams cad kyi //snga rol gal te yod min na //lta la sogs pa re re yi //snga rol de ni ji ltar yod /

7. If it is not evident prior to the totality of seeing etc., how can it be evident prior to [each of them] seeing etc. individually?

8. /lta po de nyid nyan po de //gal te tshor po'ang de nyid na //re re'i snga rol yod gyur na //de ni de ltar mi rigs so /

8. If the seer itself [were] the hearer and the feeler [were] it too, if it existed prior to each, in that way it would not make sense.

9. /gal te lta po gzhan nyid la //nyan pa po gzhan tshor gzhan na //lta po yod tshe nyan por* 'gyur //bdag kyang mang po nyid du 'gyur /

[*Ts. po; Lha. por]

 

9. If the seer were different, the hearer different, the feeler different, at the time the seer exists, there would be a hearer. Many selves would come about.

10. /lta dang nyan la sogs pa dang //tshor ba dag la sogs pa dang* //gang las 'gyur ba'i 'byung de la'ang //de ni yod pa ma yin no /

[*Ts. & Lha. yang]

 

10. Also it is not evident in the elements from which seeing and hearing etc. and feeling etc. occur.

11. /lta dang nyan la sogs pa dang //tshor ba dag la sogs pa yang //gang gi yin pa gal te med //de dag kyang ni yod ma yin /

11. If that to which seeing and hearing etc. and feeling etc. belong is not evident, they too could not be evident.

12. /gang zhig lta la sogs pa yi //snga rol da lta phyi na med //de la yod do med do zhes //rtog pa dag ni ldog par 'gyur /

12. Reject the concepts “it exists,” “it doesn’t exist” about that which is not evident prior to, now or after seeing etc.

snga rol na gnas pa brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa dgu pa'o // //

10. Investigation of Fire and Firewood

(Fire)

1. /bud shing gang de me yin na //byed pa po dang las gcig 'gyur //gal te shing las me gzhan na //shing med par yang 'byung bar 'gyur /

1. If firewood were fire, actor and act would be one. If fire were other than wood, it would occur even without wood.

2. /rtag tu 'bar ba nyid du 'gyur //'bar byed rgyu las mi 'byung zhing //rtsom pa don med nyid du 'gyur //de lta yin na las kyang med /

2. [Fire] would burn permanently and would not arise from causes for burning. Starting [a fire] would be meaningless. If it were like that, there would also be no act.

3. /gzhan la ltos pa med pa'i phyir //'bar bar byed rgyu las mi 'byung //rtag tu 'bar ba yin na ni //rtsom pa don med nyid du 'gyur /

3. Because [fire] does not depend on anything else, it would not arise from causes for burning. If it burned permanently, starting it would be meaningless.

4. /de la gal te 'di snyam du //sreg bzhin bud shing yin sems na //gang tshe de tsam de yin na //gang gis bud shing de sreg byed /

4. Concerning this, if one thinks that while burning it is firewood, if it is such only at that time, by what could that firewood be ignited?

5. /gzhan phyir mi phrad phrad med na //sreg par mi 'gyur mi sreg na //'chi bar mi 'gyur mi 'chi na //rang rtags dang yang ldan par gnas /

5. Because [fire] is other, it would not connect; if it did not connect, it would not ignite; if it did not ignite, it would not die; if it did not die, it would also remain in possession of its own characteristic.

6. /ji ltar bud med skyes pa dang //skyes pa'ang bud med phrad pa bzhin //gal te shing las me gzhan yang //shing dang phrad du** rung bar 'gyur /

6. Just as a woman connects with a man and a man too with a woman, although fire is other than wood, it is fit to connect with wood.

7. /gal te me dang shing dag ni //gcig gis gcig ni bsal gyur na //shing las me gzhan nyid yin yang //shing dang phrad par 'dod la rag /

7. If fire and wood eliminated each other, even though fire is something other than wood, it would have to connect with wood.

8. /gal te shing ltos me yin la //gal te me ltos shing yin na //gang ltos me dang shing 'gyur ba //dang por grub pa gang zhig yin /

8. If fire were dependent on wood and wood were dependent on fire, of what becomes fire and wood dependently, which would be established first?

9. /gal te shing ltos me yin na //me grub pa la sgrub par 'gyur //bud par bya ba'i shing la yang //me med par ni 'gyur pa yin /

9. If fire were dependent on wood, [already] established fire would be established [again]. Firewood also would be [such] even without fire.

10. /gal te dngos po gang ltos 'grub //de nyid la yang ltos nas ni //ltos bya gang yin de 'grub na //gang la ltos nas gang zhig 'grub /

10. If a thing (A) is established dependently (on B), [but] if what it depends upon (B) is established also in dependence on that very thing (A), what would be established in dependence on what?

11. /dngos po ltos grub gang yin pa //de ma grub na ji ltar ltos //ci ste grub pa ltos she na //de ni ltos par mi rigs so /

11. How can a thing (A) which is established dependently (on B) be dependent (on B) when it (A) is not established? If one asks, “how can establishment be dependent?” It is not reasonable for it (A) to be dependent.

12. /shing la ltos pa'i me med de //shing la ma ltos me yang med //me la ltos pa'i shing med de //me la ma ltos shing yang med /

12. There is no fire that is dependent on wood; there is also no fire that is not dependent on wood. There is no wood that is dependent on fire; there is also no wood that is not dependent on fire.

13. /me ni gzhan las mi 'ong ste //shing la'ang me ni yod ma yin //de bzhin shing gi lhag ma ni //song dang ma song bgom pas bstan /

13. Fire does not come from something else; fire also does not exist in wood. Likewise, the remainder of wood has been shown by gone, not-gone and going.

14. /shing nyid me ni ma yin te //shing las gzhan pa me yang med //me ni shing dang ldan ma yin //me la shing med der de med /

14. Wood itself is not fire; fire is also not something other than wood. Fire does not possess wood; wood does not exist in fire; that (fire) does not exist in it.

15. /me dang shing gis bdag dang ni //nye bar len pa'i rim pa kun //bum snam sogs dang lhan cig tu //ma lus par ni rnam par bshad /

15. Through fire and wood is explained without exception all the stages of self and the grasped and at the same time jugs, cloth and so on.

16. /gang dag bdag dang dngos po rnams //de bcas nyid dang tha dad par //ston pa de dag bstan don la //mkhas so snyam du mi sems so /

16. I do not think those who teach the identity or difference of self and things are wise in the meaning of the teaching.

me dang bud shing brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa bcu pa'o //

 

 

11. Investigation of Extremes of Before and After

(Before)

1. /sngon mtha’ mngon nam zhes zhus tshe/ /thub pa chen pos min zhes gsungs/ /’khor ba thog ma tha med de/ /de la sngon med phyi ma med/

1. When asked, “is a before-extreme evident?” the great Muni said, “it is not.” Samsara has no beginning, no end; it has no before, no after.

2. /gang la thog med tha med par/ /de la dbus ni ga la yod/ /de phyir de la snga phyi dang/ /lhan cig rim pa mi ‘thad do/

2. For that without beginning [and] end, where can a middle be in that? Therefore, it is not possible for it to have before, after, and simultaneous phases.

3. /gal te skye ba snga gyur la/ /rga shi phyi ma yin na ni/ /skye ba rga shi med pa dang/ /ma shi bar yang skye bar ‘gyur/

3. If birth were before and aging/death after, there would be birth without aging/death and also without dying one would be born.

4. /gal te skye ba ‘phyi ‘gyur la/ /rga shi snga ba* yin na ni/ /skye ba med pa’i rga shi ni/ /rgyu med par ni ji ltar ‘gyur/

[*Lha ma]

4. If birth were after and aging/death before, how could there be an uncaused aging/death which has no birth?

5. /skye ba dang ni rga shi dag/ /lhan cig rung ba ma yin te/ /skye bzhin pa ni ‘chi ‘gyur zhing/ /gnyis ka rgyu med can du ‘gyur/

5. It is not suitable for birth and aging/death to be simultaneous; that which is being born would be dying and both would be without cause.

6. /gang la snga phyi lhan cig gi/ /rim pa de dag mi srid pa’i/ /skye ba de dang rga shi de/ /ci yi phyir na spro* bar byed/

[Lha *spros]

6. Why fixate on that birth, that aging/dying, for which the phases of before, after, simultaneity are impossible?

7. /‘khor ba ‘ba’ zhig sngon gyi mtha’/ /yod ma yin par ma zad kyi/ /rgyu dang ‘bras bu nyid dang ni/ /mtshan nyid dang ni mtshan gzhi nyid/

7. It is not just samsara alone that has no before-extreme, cause and fruit themselves, and characteristics and the basis for characteristics themselves,

8. /tshor dang tshor po nyid dang ni/ /don yod gang dag ci yang rung/ /dngos rnams thams cad nyid la yang/ /sngon gyi mtha’ ni yod ma yin/

8. feeling and the feeler, whatever is suitable to bear meaning, also all things have no before-extreme.

/sngon dang phyi ma’i mtha’ brtag pa zhes bya ste rab tu byed pa bcu gcig pa’o//

 

 

 

12. Investigation of Anguish

(Anguish)

[Tib. has “Investigation of what is made by me and made by others” while Skt. has duhkha.]

1. /kha cig sdug bsngal bdag gis byas //gzhan gyis byas dang gnyi gas byas //rgyu med pa* las 'byung bar 'dod //de ni bya bar mi rung ngo /

[*Lha. par]

1. Some assert that anguish arises from being made by self, made by other, by both, without cause. To do that is not suitable.

2. /gal te bdag gis byas gyur na //de phyir brten nas 'byung mi 'gyur //gang phyir phung po 'di dag la //brten nas phung po de dag 'byung /

2. If it were made by self, therefore it would not be contingently arising, because those aggregates arise contingently on these aggregates.

[A difficulty with this entire chapter is to know what bdag (self) refers to in the context of the creation of anguish. Does it refer to “oneself”, i.e. the person who suffers, or to anguish “itself?” In verse 2, the latter reading would seem to suggest itself, but then it would be at odds with the subsequent verses, where N. explicitly introduces the ideas of svapudgala and parapudgala (one’s own person and the other person) as the creators of anguish. Verse 10, with its comparison of anguish with external things, likewise would suggest the latter reading. I have chosen to translate the entire chapter (thus leaving v. 10 ambiguous) in the former sense. The crucial issue here, I feel, is the confusion around what it means to say “I cause myself pain.”]

 

3. /gal te 'di las de gzhan zhing //gal te de las 'di gzhan na //sdug bsngal gzhan gyis byas 'gyur zhing //gzhan de dag gis de byas 'gyur /

3. If that were other than this and if this were other than that, anguish would be made by other and that would be made by those others.

[ Ts. 244 is happy with the reading of c-d by Buddhapalita and Sherab Dronme: /gzhan de dag gis ‘di byas pas//sdug bsngal gzhan gyis byas par ‘gyur/ = “...anguish would be made by others since those others made this.”]

4. /gal te gang zag bdag gis ni //sdug bsngal byas na gang bdag gis //sdug bsngal byas pa'i gang zag ni* //sdug bsngal ma gtogs gang zhig yin /

[*Lha. de]

4. If anguish were made by one’s own person, who would that person be who has made anguish by himself, but is not included in the anguish?

5. /gal te gang zag gzhan las ni //sdug bsngal 'byung na gzhan zhig gis //sdug bsngal de byas gang sbyin de //sdug bsngal ma gtogs ji ltar rung /

5. If anguish arose from another person, how could it be suitable for there to be [someone] not included in the anguish, who has been given it by another who made the anguish?

6. /gal te gang zag gzhan sdug bsngal //'byung na gang gis de byas nas //gzhan la ster ba'i gang zag gzhan //sdug bsngal ma gtogs gang zhig yin /

6. If anguish arose [from] another person, who would that other person be who, having made it, gives it to someone else, but is not included in the anguish?

[Ts. 246 points out that this verse is not found in Buddhapalita or Sherab Dronme, but is found in Chandrakirti.]

 

7. /bdag gis byas par ma grub pas //sdug bsngal gzhan gyis ga la byas //gzhan gyis sdug bsngal gang byed pa //de ni de yi bdag byas 'gyur /

7. Since it is not established as made by self, how can anguish have been made by other? [For] whatever anguish is made by other, that has been made by his self.

8. /re zhig sdug bsngal bdag byas min //de nyid kyis ni de ma byas //gal te gzhan bdag ma byas na //sdug bsngal gzhan byas ga la 'gyur /

8. Anguish is not made [by] self; that is not made by that itself. If it is not made by an other self, how can anguish be made by other?

9. /gal te re res byas gyur na //sdug bsngal gnyis kas byas par 'gyur //bdag gis ma byas gzhan ma byas* //sdug bsngal rgyu med ga la 'gyur /

[*Lha. gzhan gyis ma byas bdag ma byas]

9. If it is made by each, anguish would be made by both. Not made by self, not made by other, how can anguish have no cause?

10. /sdug bsngal 'ba' zhig rnam pa bzhi //yod ma yin par ma zad kyi //phyi rol dngos po dag la yang //rnam pa bzhi po yod ma yin /

10. Not only does anguish alone not have the four aspects, external things too do not have the four aspects.

bdag gis byas pa dang gzhan gyis byas pa brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa bcu gnyis pa'o // ///

 

13. Investigation of Samskaras

(Change)

1. /bcom ldan ‘das kyis chos gang zhig//bslu ba de ni brdzun zhes gsungs//’du byed thams cad bslu ba’i chos//des na de dag brdzun pa yin/

1. The Bhagavan said that whatever dharma is deceptive, that is false. All conditions [are] deceptive dharmas, thus they are false.

[The key to this verse lies in the source of the statement of the Buddha. Hopkins points out that a similar statement is found in the Dhatuvibhanga-sutra of the Majjhima Nikaya [MN 140: 26, p.1093]. This passage is translated from the Pali as: “For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an undeceptive nature - Nibbana. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing [this truth] possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbana, which has an undeceptive nature.” Tsongkhapa’s outline treats this verse under the heading: “explaining non-inherent existence by means of a citation well-known to others.” He then cites this text, which reads: “Bhikshus, whatever phenomenon is a deceptive conditioned thing, (‘dus byas) that is false and whatever phenomenon - nirvana - is undeceptive, that is the sublime truth.” And then another: “Likewise, a conditioned thing is also a deceptive phenomenon. It is also an utterly perishing phenomenon.” [Ts. 250-1]]

 

2. /gal te bslu chos gang yin pa//de brdzun de la ci zhig bslu//bcom ldan ‘das kyis de gsungs pa//stong nyid yongs su bstan pa yin/

2. If whatever is a deceptive phenomenon is false, what is deceptive about it [in what way is it deceptive]? That statement by the Bhagavan is a complete presentation of emptiness.

3. /dngos rnams ngo bo nyid med de*//gzhan du ‘gyur ba snang phyir ro//dngos bo ngo bo nyid med med//gang phyir dngos rnams stong pa nyid/

[* Ts. na]

 

3. Things have no essential nature because they are seen to change into something else. Things do not lack an essential nature because things are emptiness.

4. /gal te ngo bo nyid med na//gzhan du ‘gyur ba gang gi yin//gal te ngo bo nyid yod na// gzhan du 'gyur bar ji ltar rung */

[* Lha. ci ltar bur na gzhan du ‘gyur]

4. If there were no essential nature, whose [nature] would it be to change into something else? If there were an essential nature, how would it be possible to change into something else?

5. /de nyid la ni gzhan ‘gyur med//gzhan nyid la yang yod ma yin//gang phyir gzhon nu mi rga ste//gang phyir rgas pa’ang mi rga ‘o/

5. This itself does not change into something else. The other itself too does not [either]. Because youth does not age. Because age too does not age.

6. /gal te de nyid gzhan ‘gyur na//’o ma nyid ni zhor ‘gyur ro//’o ma las gzhan gang zhig ni//zho yi dngos po yin par ‘gyur/

6. If this itself changes into something else, milk itself would be curds. Something other than milk would be the being of curds.

7. /gal te stong min cung zad yod//stong pa’ang cung zad yod par ‘gyur//mi stong cung zad yod min na//stong pa* yod par ga la ‘gyur/

[Lha. pa’ang]

 

7. If a bit of the non-empty existed, a bit of the empty would also exist. If there did not exist a bit of the non-empty, how could the empty exist?

8. /rgyal ba rnams kyis stong pa nyid//lta kun nges par ‘byung bar gsungs//gang dag stong pa nyid lta ba//de dag bsgrub tu med par gsungs//

8. The Conquerors taught emptiness as the forsaking of all views. Those who view emptiness are taught to be without realisation [incurable/incorrigible].

[The source here is given by Candrakirti and Tsongkhapa as the Ratnakuta Sutra, i.e. a Mahayana text. “The earliest Mahayana sutras now extant appear to be some of those collected in what came to be called the Ratnakuta. ... Some of these were translated into Chinese as early as the latter part of the 2nd century AD.” Warder. Indian Buddhism, 356. The Kasyapaparivarta seems to be one of these early sections, in Warder it is sometimes synonymous with the Ratnakuta (in contrast to the Great Ratnakuta). It also originates from Andra in South India.

Tsongkhapa quotes a large chunk of the Kasyapaparivarta (‘od srungs kyis zhus pa), pp 260-1, which concludes with this passage: “The Bhagavan said: ‘Likewise, Kasyapa, if emptiness is the emerging from (forsaking of) all views, then Kasyapa, he who views emptiness alone cannot possibly be cured.”]

 

'du byed brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa bcu sum pa'o // //

 

 

 

14. Investigation of Connections

(Connection)

1. /blta bya lta ba lta ba po//gsum po de dag gnyis gnyis dang//thams cad kyang ni phan tshun du//phrad par ‘gyur ba yod ma yin/

1. The seen, the seeing and the seer: these three do not mutually connect

[as] pairs or all [together].

2. /de bzhin ‘dod chags chags pa dang//chags par bya ba nyon mongs pa//lhag pa rnams dang skye mched kyi//lhag ma’ang rnam pa gsum gyis so/

2. Likewise desire, desiring and the desired, the remaining afflictions and also the remaining sense-fields do [not connect] by three aspects.

3. /gzhan dang gzhan du phrad ‘gyur na//gang phyir blta bya la sogs la//gzhan de yod pa ma yin pa//de phyir phrad par mi ‘gyur ro/

3. If the other connects to the other, because the seen and so forth do not exist [as] other, therefore there is no connection.

4. /blta bya la sogs ‘ba’ zhig la//gzhan nyid med par ma zad kyi//gang yang gang dang lhen cig tu//gzhan par nyid du mi ‘thad do/

4. Not only are the seen and so forth alone not existing as other,

it is invalid for anything simultaneous with something to be other [than it].

5. /gzhan ni gzhan la brtan te gzhan//gzhan med par gzhan gzhan mi ‘gyur//gang la brten te gang yin pa//de ni de las gzhan mi ‘thad/

5. The other is other in dependence upon the other. Without the other, the other would not be other. It is invalid for whatever is dependent on something to be other than that.

6. /gal te gzhan ni gzhan las gzhan//de tshe gzhan med par gzhan ‘gyur//gzhan med par ni gzhan ‘gyur ba//yod min de yi phyir na med/

6. If the other was other than the other, then, without the other, it would be other. Without the other it would not be other. Therefore, it does not exist.

7. /gzhan nyid gzhan la yod ma yin//gzhan ma yin la’ang yod ma yin//gzhan nyid yod pa ma yin na//gzhan nam de nyid yod ma yin//

7. Otherness does not exist in the other. Nor does it exist in what is not other. If otherness does not exist, neither the other nor that itself exists.

8. /de ni de dang phrad pa med//gzhan dang gzhan yang phrad mi ‘gyur//phrad bzhin pa dang phrad pa dang//phrad pa po yang yod ma yin/

8. That does not connect with that. The other too does not connect with the other. The connecting, the connection and the connector too do not exist.

phrad pa brtag pa zhes bya ste rab tu byed pa bcu bzhi pa'o // //

 

 

15. Investigation of Essences

(Essence)

1. /rang bzhin rgyu dang rkyen las ni//’byung bar rigs pa ma yin no//rgyu dang rkyen las gang byung ba’i//rang bzhin byas pa can du ‘gyur/

1. It is unreasonable for an essence to arise from causes and conditions.

Whatever essence arose from causes and conditions would be something that has been made.

2. /rang bzhin byas pa can zhes byar//ci ltar bur na rung bar ‘gyur//rang bzhin dag ni bcos min dang//gzhan la ltos pa med pa yin/

2. How is it possible for there to be “an essence which has been made?”

Essences are not contrived and not dependent on anything else.

3. /rang bzhin yod pa ma yin na//gzhan gyi dngos po ga la yod//gzhan gyi dngos po’i rang bzhin no//gzhan gyi dngos po yin zhes brjod/

3. If an essence does not exist, how can the thingness of the other exist?

[For] the essence of the thingness of the other is said to be the thingness of the other.

[There is a problem here with the Tibetan translation from Sanskrit. Svabhava is translated as rang bzhin, but parabhava rather clumsily as gzhan gyi dngos po [the term first appears in I:3]. A Tibetan reader would thus lose the etymological connection between “own-thing” (svabhava) and “other-thing” (parabhava), which then link up with “thing” (bhava) and no-thing (abhava). Nagarjuna is playing on the word “thing”.]

4. /rang bzhin dang ni gzhan dngos dag//ma gtogs dngos po gang [Ts.=ga] la yod//rang bzhin dag ni gzhan dngos dag//yod na dngos po ‘grub par ‘gyur/

4. Apart from an essence and the thingness of the other, what things are there? If essences and thingnesses of others existed, things would be established.

5. /gal te dngos po ma grub na//dngos med grub par mi ‘gyur ro//dngos po gzhan du ‘gyur ba ni//dngos med yin par skye bo smra/

5. If things were not established, non-things would not be established.

[When] a thing becomes something else, people say that it is a non-thing.

6. /gang dag rang bzhin gzhan dngos dang//dngos dang dngos med nyid lta ba//de dag sangs rgyas bstan pa la//de nyid mthong ba ma yin no/

Those who view essence, thingness of the other, things and non-things do not see the suchness in the teaching of the awakened.

7. /bcom ldan dngos dang dngos med pa//mkhyen pas ka tya ya na yi//gdams ngag las ni yod pa dang//med pa gnyi ga’ang dgag par mdzad/

7. Through knowing things and non-things, the Buddha negated both existence and non-existence in his Advice to Katyayana.

8. /gal te rang bzhin gyis yod na//de ni med nyid mi ‘gyur ro//rang bzhin gzhan du ‘gyur ba ni//nam yang ‘thad pa mi ‘gyur ro/

8. If [things] existed essentially, they would not come to non-existence.

It is never the case that an essence could become something else.

9. /rang bzhin yod pa ma yin na//gzhan du ‘gyur ba gang gi yin//rang bzhin yod pa yin na yang//gzhan du ‘gyur ba gang gi yin/

9. If essences did not exist, what could become something else? Even if essences existed, what could become something else?

 

10. /yod ces bya ba rtag par ‘dzin//med ces bya ba chad par lta//de phyir yod dang med pa la//mkhas pas gnas par mi bya’o/

10. “Existence” is the grasping at permanence; “non-existence” is the view of annihilation. Therefore, the wise do not dwell, in existence or non-existence.

11. /gang zhig rang bzhin gyis yod pa//de ni med pa min pas rtag//sngon byung da ltar med ces pa//das na chad par thal bar ‘gyur/

11. “Since that which exists by its essence is not non-existent,” is [the view of] permanence. “That which arose before is now non-existent,”leads to [the view of] annihilation.

rang bzhin brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa bco lnga pa'o // //

 

 

16. Investigation of Bondage and Freedom

(Life)

1. /gal te ‘du byed ‘khor zhe na//de dag rtag na mi ‘khor te//mi rtag na yang ‘khor mi ‘gyur//sems can la yang rim ‘di mtshungs/

1. If it is said that impulses are “samsara”, if they were permanent, they would not move around. Even if impermanent, they would not move around. Sentient beings too are similar in this respect.

2. /gal te gang zag ‘khor zhe na//phung po skye mched khams rnams la//de ni rnam pa lngas bstal na//med na gang zhig ‘khor bar ‘gyur/

2. If it is said that persons “move around,” if they are non-existent when searched for in five aspects among the aggregates, sense fields and elements, what would move around?

3. /nye bar len nas nyer len par//’khor na srid pa med par ‘gyur//srid med nye bar len med na//de gang ci zhig ‘khor bar ‘gyur/

3. If one moves around in having clung [to something] and then clinging [to something else], there would be no becoming. If there were no clinging and no becoming, who would move around?

4. /‘du byed mya ngan ‘da’ bar ni//ci ltar bur yang mi ‘thad do//sems can mya ngan ‘da’ bar yang//ci ltar bur yang ‘thad mi ‘gyur/

4. It is in no way feasible that impulses go beyond misery.

And it is in no way feasible that living beings go beyond misery.

5. /skye ‘jig chos can ‘du byed rnams//mi ‘ching grol bar mi ‘gyur te//snga ma bzhin du sems can yang//mi ‘ching grol bar mi ‘gyur ro/

5. Impulses that have the properties of being born and dying are not bound and will not be freed. In the same way as above living beings too are not bound and will not be freed.

6. /gal te nye bar len ‘ching na//nye bar len bcas ‘ching mi ‘gyur//nye bar len med mi ‘ching ste//gnas skabs gang zhig ‘ching bar ‘gyur/

6. If clinging binds, the one who has clinging would not be bound.

And there would be no bondage without clinging. In what situation would there be bondage?

7. /gal te bcing bya’i snga rol na//’ching ba yod na ‘ching la rag//de yang med de lhag ma ni//song dang ma song bgom pas bstan/

7. If binding existed prior to one who is bound, [that unbound person] would depend on binding. That too cannot be. The rest has been explained by the gone, the not-gone and the going.

8. /re zhig bcings pa mi ‘grol te//ma bcings pa yang grol mi ‘gyur//bcing pa grol bzhin yin ‘gyur na//bcing dang grol ba dus gcig ‘gyur/

8. Those who are bound will not be free. And those who are not bound will not be free. If those who are bound become free, bondage and freedom would be simultaneous.

9. /bdag ni len med mya ngan ‘da’//myang ‘das bdag gir ‘gyur ro zhes//de ltar gang dag ‘dzin de yis//nyer len ‘dzin pa chen po yin/

9. “I, without clinging, am beyond misery. Nirvana is mine.” Those who grasp in that way have great grasping and clinging.

10. /gang la mya ngan ‘das bskyed med//’khor ba bsal ba’ang yod min pa//de la ‘khor ba ci zhig yin//mya ngan ‘das pa’ang ci zhig brtag/

10. When nirvana is not born and samsara not eliminated, then what is samsara? And what is considered as nirvana?

bcings pa dang thar pa brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa bcu drug pa'o // //

 

 

 

17. Investigation of Actions and Fruits

(Acts)

 

1. /bdag nyid legs par sdom pa dang//gzhan la phan ‘dogs byams sems gang//de chos de ni ‘di gzhan du//’bras bu dag gi sa bon yin/

1. Restraining oneself well and loving thoughts that benefit others are the Dharma which is the seed of fruits here and elsewhere.

2. /drang srong mchog gi las rnams ni//sems pa dang ni bsams par gsungs//las de dag gi bye brag ni//rnam pa du mar yongs su bsgrags/

2. The great sage has taught all actions to be intention and what is intended. The specifics of those actions are well known to be of many kinds.

3. /de la las gang sems pa zhes//gsungs pa de ni yid gyir ‘dod//bsams pa zhes ni gang gsungs pa//de ni lus dang ngag gir ‘dod/

3. In this respect action spoken of as “intention” is regarded as being that of mind. That spoken of as “what is intended” is regarded as being that of body and speech.

4. /ngag dang bskyod dang mi spong ba’i//rnam rig byed min zhes bya gang//spong ba’i rnam rig byed min pa//gzhan dag kyang ni de bzhin ‘dod/

4. Whatever (1) speech and (2) movements and (3) “unconscious not-letting-go,” (4) other kinds of unconscious letting-go are also regarded like that.

5. /longs spyod las byung bsod nams dang//bsod nams ma yin tshul de bzhin//sems pa dang ni chos de bdun//las su mngon par ‘dod pa yin/

5. (5) Goodness that arises from enjoyment/use and in the same manner (6) what is not goodness,[and] (7) intention. These seven dharmas are clearly regarded as action.

[This seven-fold division of acts is not traceable to any school of which I am aware. The simpler division into restraint and love found in v. 1 serves a similar purpose to v. 4&5 and has the added advantage of leading into v. 6 through its mention of “fruits”.]

 

6. /gal te smin pa’i dus bar du//gnas na las de rtag par ‘gyur//gal te ‘gags na ‘gag gyur pas//ci ltar ‘bras bu skyed par ‘gyur/

6. If the action remained until the time of ripening, it would become permanent. If it stopped, by having stopped, how could a fruit be born?

7. /myu gu la sogs rgyun gang ni//sa bon las ni mngon par ‘byung//de las ‘bras bu sa bon ni//med na de yang ‘byung mi ‘gyur/

7. The continuum of sprouts and so on clearly emerges from seeds, and from that fruits. If there were no seeds, they too would not emerge.

8. /gang phyir sa bon las rgyun dang//rgyun las ‘bras bu ‘byung ‘gyur zhing//sa bon ‘bras bu’i sngon ‘gro ba//de phyir chad min rtag ma yin/

8. Because continuums are from seedsand fruits emerge from continuums and seeds precede fruits, therefore, there is no annihilation and no permanence.

9. /sems kyi rgyun ni gang yin pa//sems las mngon par ‘byung bar ‘gyur//de las ‘bras bu sems lta zhig//med na de yang ‘byung mi ‘gyur/

9. The continuum of mind clearly emerges from mind, and from that fruits. If there were no mind, they too would not emerge.

10. /gang phyir sems las rgyun dang ni//rgyun las ‘bras bu ‘byung ‘gyur zhing//las ni ‘bras bu’i sngon ‘gro ba//de phyir chad min rtag ma yin/

10. Because continuums are from minds and fruits emerge from continuums and actions precede fruits, therefore, there is no annihilation and no permanence.

11. /dkar po’i las kyi lam bcu po//chos sgrub pa yi thabs yin te//chos kyi ‘bras bu ‘di gzhan du//’dod pa’i yon tan rnam lnga po/

11. The ten paths of white action are the means of practising Dharma. Here and elsewhere, the fruits of Dharma are the five kinds of sensual qualities.

12. /gal te brtag pa der gyur na//nyes pa chen po mang por ‘gyur//de lta bas na brtag pa de//’dir ni ‘thad pa ma yin no/

12. If it were as that investigation, many great mistakes would occur. Therefore, that investigation is not valid here.

13. /sangs rgyas rnams dang rang rgyal dang//nyan thos rnams kyis gang gsungs pa’i//brtag pa gang zhig ‘dir ‘thad pa//de ni rab tu brjod par bya/

13. I will fully declare the investigation which is taught by the Buddhas, Pratyekabuddhas and Sravakas, which is valid here.

[The explicit denunciation of v. 12 and the strident certainty of v. 13 are an uncharacteristically heavy-handed and wordy way of telling us that the “right” view is about to be given. Yet the text presents all voices with sympathy, suggesting a developmental account of ethics in Buddhism rather than a “we’re right - you’re wrong” version.]

 

14. /dpang rgya ji ltar de bzhin chud//mi za las ni bu lon bzhin//de ni khams las rnam pa bzhi//de yang rang bzhin lung ma bstan/

14. Just like a contract, irrevocable action is like a debt. In terms of realms, there are four types. Moreover, its nature is unspecified.

 

[nb. “nature” = Skt. prakrti = Tib. rang bzhin]

 

15. /spong bas spang ba ma yin te//sgom pas spang ba nyid kyang yin//de phyir chud mi za ba yis//las kyi ‘bras bu skyed par ‘gyur/

15. It is not let go of by letting go, but only let go of by cultivation. Therefore through irrevocability are the fruits of acts produced.

16. /gal te spong bas spang ba dang//las ‘pho ba yis ‘jig ‘gyur na//de la las ‘jig la sogs pa’i//skyon rnams su ni thal bar ‘gyur/

16. If it perished through being let go of by letting go and the transcendence of the action, then faults would follow such as the perishing of actions.

17. /khams mtshungs las ni cha mtshungs dang//cha mi mtshungs pa thams cad kyi//de ni nyid mtshams sbyor ba’i tshe//gcig pu kho nar skye bar ‘gyur/

17. The very [irrevocability] of all actions in similar or dissimilar realms, that one alone is born when crossing the boundary [i.e. reborn].

18. /mthong ba’i chos la rnam gnyis so//thams cad* las dang las kyi de//tha dad par ni skye ‘gyur zhing//rnam par smin kyang gnas pa yin/

[*Ts. kun kyi]

18. In the visible world there are two kinds. Actions of all [types] and that [irrevocability] of actions are produced as different things and remain [so?] even on ripening.

19. /de ni ‘bras bu ‘pho ba dang//shi bar gyur na ‘gag par ‘gyur//de yi rnam dbye zag med dang//zag dang bcas par shes par bya/

19. When the fruit is transcendent and when one dies, that ceases. One should know its divisions to be without-corruption and with-corruption.

20. /stong pa nyid dang chad med dang//’khor ba dang ni rtag pa min//las rnams chud mi za ba’i chos//sangs rgyas kyis ni bstan pa yin/

20. Emptiness is not annihilation and samsara is not permanent. The dharma of the irrevocability of actions is taught by the Buddha.

21. /gang phyir las ni skye ba med//’di ltar rang bzhin med de’i phyir//gang phyir de ni ma skyes pa//de phyir chud zad mi ‘gyur ro/

21. Because actions are not born, in this way they have no nature. Therefore, because they are not born, therefore they are irrevocable.

22. /gal te las la rang bzhin yod//rtag par ‘gyur par the tshom med//las ni byas pa ma yin ‘gyur//rtag la bya ba med phyir ro/

22. If actions existed [by] nature, without doubt they would be permanent. Actions would not be done [by an agent] because what is permanent cannot be done.

23. /ci ste las ni ma byas na//ma byas pa dang phrad ‘jigs ‘gyur//tshangs spyod gnas pa ma yin pa’ang//de la skyon du thal bar ‘gyur/

23. If actions were not done [by anyone], one would fear meeting what [one] has not done. Also the fault would follow for that [person] of not dwelling in the pure life.

24. /tha snyad thams cad nyid dang yang//’gal bar ‘gyur bar the tshom med//bsod nams dang ni sdig byed pa’i//rnam par dbye ba’ang ‘thad mi ‘gyur/

24. All conventions also without doubt would be contradictory. Also the distinction between doing good