Chapter Seventeen: Analysis of Action and Its Results

Restraining oneself properly,
Helping others, and a loving mind-
These are Dharma, seeds that bear fruit
Both here and hereafter. [17.1]
The Sumpreme Sage has taught
That action is volition and the willed
The subdivions of these actions
Are set forth in great detail. [17.2]
That which is taught as "actions of volition"
Is asserted to be mental,
While the so-called "intended actions"
Are physical and verbal. [17.3]
Speech and movement;
Imperceptible nonabstinence-
And imperceptible abstinence --
These are similarly asserted. [17.4]
The merit that arises from enjoyment
And the demerit, in a similar manner,
Along with volition---
These seven principles are held to be action. [17.5]
If an action would remain until ripening
Then it would be permanent
If it ceases, then having ceased,
How could it produce an effect?[17.6]
The continuum of the sprout and so forth
Manifests from the seed,
Due to which the fruit comes about;
Without the seed, it would not arise. [16.7]
The continuum arises from the seed,
And from the continuum come the fruit.
Therefore, the seed precedes the fruit.
Hence, there is no annihilation or permanence.   [17.8]
That which is the continuum of mind
Manifest from the mind,
And from that emerges the effect.
Without this mind, it would not occur.  [17.9]
The continuum arises from the mind,
And from the continuum comes the effect.
Therefore, the action precedes the effect.
And there is no annihilation or permanence.  [17.10]
The ten avenues of wholesome action
Are the means for performing Dharma
Here and hereafter, the fruits of Dharma
Are the five sense pleasures.  [17.11]  
When it come to this account,
There are numerous and significant flaws.
Hence, this account
Is untenable here.  [17.12]  
The account given by the Buddhas,
The self-realized buddhas, and the listeners
Is the one that is tenable here.
That, then, shall be set forth.  [17.13]
Nondisipation resembles a promissory note.
The action then is the debt.
It is fourfold with reference to the realms
And its nature is neutral. [17.14]
It is not eliminated by elimination,
Yet it is eliminated through cultivation.
Therefore, it is due to nondissipation
That the effects of action are produced. [17.15]
If it were eliminate by elimination
Or destroyed by a transference of action,
Various flaws would ensue,
Such as the destruction of action.[17.16]
All those associated with realm-specific actions,
Whether congruent or incongruent,
Manifest as only one
When linking takes place. [17.17]
During the present life it arises
Separately with each instance
Of the two types of action,
Remaining even after the ripening. [17.18]
It ceases at tranference
To the fruition or at death.
It should be understood that it is divided
In terms of the defiling and undefiling. [17.19]
Emptiness and absence of annihilation,
Cyclic existence and absence of permanence-
The phenomenon of nondissipation
Is the teaching of the Buddha. [17.20]
Why does action not arise?
Because it has no nature 
Because it does not arise,
Action does not dissipate. [17.21]
If action had a nature,
It would, undoubtedly, be permanent.
Action would not be created
Because the permanent cannot be active.   [17.22]
If action were uncreated, there would be fear
Of encountering that which had not been done.
A lack of pure conduct
Would follow as a flaw as well.  [17.23]
 Undoubtedly, this would
Contradict all conventions.
The distinction between virtuous persons and sinners
Would no longer make sense. [17.24]
The ripening that has already ripened
Would go on ripening again and again.
For if it possessed a nature,
Action would remain present.  [17.25]
Action is constituted by the afflictions,
But the afflictions are not real.
If afflictions are not real,
How could action be so?  [17.26]
Action and affliction are taught
To be conditions for the body.
If action and affliction are empty,
Then what can be said of the body?  [17.27]
The consumer is that being
Who is obscured by ignorance and has craving.
This being is not different from the agent,
Yet neither are these two identical.  [17.28]
Because action does not arise
Based on conditions
Or based on noncondtions,
There is no agent either. [17.29]
If there is no action and no agent,
How could there be a result produced by action?
If there is no result,
How could there be a consumer? [17.30]
The Teacher, is a perfect miracle,
Creates emanations,
And these emanations again
Create further emanations.   [17.31]
Likewisde, the act performed by the agent
Resembles an emanation,
Just as when one emanation
Gives rise to another.   [17.32]
Affliction, action, the body,
The agent, and the result
Are all like a city of scent-eaters,
Like an illusion, and like a dream. [17.33] .               <- Prev   Next -> 




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