Chapter Ten: Refuting Misconceptions of the Self

 

When the inner self is not

Female, male or neuter,

It is only out of ignorance

That you think your own self male. [10.226]

 

When all the elements are not

Male, female or neuter,

How is that which depends on them

Male, female or neuter? [10.227]

 

Your self is not my self and thus there is

No such self, since it is not ascertained.

Does the conception not arise

In relation to impermanent things? [10.228]

 

From one rebirth to another

The person changes like the body.

It is illogical for yours to be

Separate from the body and permanent. [10.229]

 

Intangible things do not

Produce so-called motility.

Thus the life force is not

Agent of the body’s movements. [10.230]

 

Why [teach] non-violence and wonder about

Conditions for a permanent self?

A diamond never has to be

Protected against woodworm. [10.231]

 

If your self is permanent

Because of remembering other lives,

How can your body be impermanent

When you see a scar previously formed? [10.232]

 

If the self when possessing that

Which has mind is a knower,

By that [same argument] that which has mind would be

Mindless and the person permanent. [10.233]

 

A life force which has pleasure and so forth

Appears as various as pleasure and so forth.

Thus like pleasure it is not

Suitable as something permanent. [10.234]

 

If consciousness is permanent

An agent is superfluous.

If fire is permanent

Fuel is unnecessary. [10.235]

 

A substantial entity, unlike an action,

Does not alter until it disintegrates.

Thus it is improper to claim

The person exists but consciousness does not. [10.236]

 

At times one sees potential consciousness,

At other consciousness itself.

Because of being like molten iron

The person undergoes change. [10.237]

 

Merely [a small part with] mind is conscious

But the person is as vast as space.

Therefore it would seem as though

Its nature is not to be conscious. [10.238]

 

If the self is in everyone then why

Does another not think of this one as “I”?

It is unacceptable to say that

It is obscured by itself. [10.239]

 

There is no difference between

The insane and those for whom

The attributes are the creator

But are never conscious. [10.240]

 

What is more illogical

Than that the attributes should always

Know how to construct homes and so forth

But not know how to experience them? [10.241]

 

The active is not permanent.

The ubiquitous is actionless. [10.242ab]

 

The actionless is like the non-existent.

Why do you not prefer selflessness? [10.242cd]

 

Some see it as ubiquitous and for some

The person is the mere [size of the] body.

Some see it as a mere particle.

The wise see it as non-existent. [10.243]

 

How can what is permanent be harmed,

Or the unharmed be liberated?

Liberation is irrelevant

For one whose self is permanent. [10.244]

 

If the self exists it is inappropriate

To think there is no self

And false to claim one attains nirvana

Through certain knowledge of reality. [10.245]

 

If it exists at liberation

It should not be non-existent before.

It is explained that what is seen

Without anything is its nature. [10.246]

 

If the impermanent discontinues

How could there be grass at present?

If, indeed, this were true,

No one would have ignorance either. [10.247]

 

Even if the self exists

Form is seen to arise from other [causes],

To continue by virtue of others

And to disintegrate through others. [10.248]

 

Just as the sprout which is a product

Is produced from a product, the seed,

Similarly all that is impermanent

Comes from the impermanent. [10.249]

 

Since functional things arise

There is no discontinuation

And because they cease

There is no permanence. [10.250]

 

SUMMARIZING STANZA
 
Through familiarity with meditating on
The impermanence, suffering, and uncleanness of cyclic existence,
Abandon the limitless views of the self,
Both innate and those imputed by tenets.
 
 
This concludes the tenth chapter of the Four Hundread Stanzas on the Yogic Deeds, showing how to meditate on refuting the self.

 

 
 
                                                           <- Prev    Next  ->