Chapter Seven: Analysis of the Characteristics of the Conditioned

If arising were conditioned,
It would possess these three characteristics.
If arising were unconditioned,
How could it be a characteristic of the conditioned? [7.1]

Arising and the other two are each
Incapable of characterizing the conditioned.
But how could they simultaneously
Come together anywhere? [7.2]

If arising, abiding, and cessation themselves
Bear further characteristics of the conditioned,
There will be an infinite regress.
Yet if they do not, they are not conditioned. [7.3]

Due to the arising of arising,
There arises only fundamental arising,
Yet fundamental arising is responsible
For the arising of arising as well. [7.4]

If your “arising of arising”
Produces fundamental arising,
How could it do so when not produced
By this “fundamental arising?” [7.5]

If the product of this “fundamental arising”
Itself produces fundamental arising,
Then how could fundamental arising produce it,
When it has not been produced by that? [7.6]

If that which has not yet arisen
Were capable of production,
Your assertion of production by the currently arising
Would have been acceptable. [7.7]

Just as a light illumines
Both itself and other things,
Birth produces both itself
As well as other things. [7.8]

Light itself and the place where it is—
Neither of these have any darkness.
What does light illuminate?
Illumination occurs by dispelling darkness. [7.9]

When light that is currently arising
Does not encounter darkness,
How could the currently arising light
Illuminate the darkness? [7.10]

If light were to dispel darkness,
Even without encountering it,
Then the one right here would dispel
All the darkness in the world. [7.11]

If light could illumine
Both itself and other things,
Darkness would undoubtedly conceal
Both itself and other things as well. [712]

When it has not arisen itself,
How could arising produce its own nature?
If it does so having already arisen,
Having arisen, what is it that is produced ? [7.13]

The arisen, unarisen, and arising
Are not produced in any way.
This was explained before
By what was, will be, and is being traversed. [7.14]

When there is arising,
Current arising occurs,
Yet, when there is none, how can you claim
That this current arising is based on arising? [7.15]

That which originates dependently
Is peace by its very essence.
Arising and the currently arising as well
Are, therefore, peace itself. [7.16]

If an unarisen entity were to exist somewhere,
Then that could arise.
But, when it does not exist,
What sort of thing could then arise? [7.17]

If arising gives rise
To the currently arising,
Then what, in turn,
Gives rise to arising? [7.18]

If arising is due to a separate arising
There will be an infinite regress.
If it arises without arising,
Then so does everything else. [7.19]

The existent and nonexistent cannot reasonably arise.
Something that is both
Cannot do so either.
Indeed, this has already been explained. [7.20]

A thing that is currently ceasing
Cannot reasonable arise.
A thing that is not currently ceasing
Cannot reasonably be a thing. [7.21]

A thing that has abided does not abide,
A thing that has yet to abide does not abide,
And no currently abiding thing abides either.
What thing abides that does not arise? [7.22]

A thing that is currently ceasing
Cannot reasonably abide
A thing that is not currently ceasing
Cannot reasonably be a thing. [7.23]

All things, at all times,
Are subject to aging and death.
What thing then remains
Free from aging and death? [7.24]

Abiding cannot reasonably abide
Due to itself, or due to another.
The case was the same with arising,
Which arises neither by itself nor through another. [7.25]

A thing that has ceased does not cease,
A thing that has yet to cease does not cease,
And no currently ceasing thing ceases either.
What thing ceases that did not arise? [7.26]

A thing that abides
Cannot reasonably cease,
Yet a thing that does not abide
Cannot reasonably cease either. [7.27]

The same state does not
Bring an end to itself,
Nor is it that a different state
Makes the initial one cease. [7.28]

When no phenomenon’s arising
Makes any sense,
No phenomenon’s cessation,
Makes any sense either. [7.29]

A thing that exists
Cannot have a cessation,
Because the same thing cannot
Be both thing and no thing. [7.30]

A thing that does not exist
Cannot have a cessation,
Just as it is impossible
To cut off a second head. [7.31]

Cessation is neither brought about
By itself nor by anything else,
Just as arising is not produced
By itself or something else. [7.32]

As arising, abiding, and cessation are not established,
There is nothing that is conditioned.
Since the conditioned lacks any establishment,
How could the unconditioned be established? [7.33]

Like a dream, like an illusion,
Like a city of scent-eaters –
This is how arising, abiding,
And cessation are taught to be. [7.34]                           <- Prev    Next ->


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