MulamadhyamakaKarikas & Vigrahavyavartani by Nagarjuna

40

"Fundamental of the Middle Way" & "Averting the Arguments"
(MulamadhyamakaKarikas & Vigrahavyavartani)
by Nagarjuna

FROM: Emptiness – A Study in Religious Meaning,
by Frederick J. Streng,
(Nashville and New York: Abingdon Press, 1967);
Appendix A & B; pp. 183-227
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A translation of MulamadhyamakaKarikas by Nagarjuna, as preserved in Candrakirti's Prasannapada. The Sanskrit text used for this translation is found in MulamadhyamakaKarikas (mabhyamikasutra) de Nagariuna aver la Prasannapada, Commentaire de Candrakirti, Louis de La Vallée Poussin, ed. (St Petersbourg, 1913).
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The whole text is mainly composed of 27 chapters of varying number of verses.
Followed by the Vigrahavyavartani.
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CONTENTS :
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[Introductory Verses]
[CHAPTER 1 – An Analysis of Conditioning Causes (pratyaya) (conditions) – 14 verses – Causality, dependent origination, determinism, control]
[CHAPTER 2 – An Analysis of "Going to" (change or movement) – 25 verses – The illusion of continuity through change or movement]
[CHAPTER 3 – An Analysis of "Vision" and Other Sense-Faculties (the sense-fields) – 9 verses – The six senses, direct perception, the six objects / world]
[CHAPTER 4 – An Analysis of the "Groups of Universal Elements" (skandhas) (the aggregates) – 9 verses – The five aggregates, explained/caused by their basic underlying causes; emptiness of emptiness]
[CHAPTER 5 – An Analysis of the "Irreductible Elements" (dhatus) (the elements) – 8 verses – The irreducible elements defined by their basic characteristics]
[CHAPTER 6 – An Analysis of Desire (raga) and One Who Desires (rakta) –in the Context of Their Separateness and Concomitance] (affection and the person affected) – 10 verses – Concomitance, a person and his acquired strong habits, the concomitant factors of consciousness]
[CHAPTER 7 – An Analysis of Composite Products (samskrta) (origination, duration, and decay) – 34 – verses – The three stages of becoming: origination, duration / transformation, cessation; impermanence of all products and moments of consciousness]
[CHAPTER 8 – An Analysis of the Product (Karma) and the Producer (Karaka) (action and agent) – 13 verses – Tetralemma, cycle of samsara, and Liberation]
[CHAPTER 9 – An Analysis of "the Pre-existent Reality" (purva) (grasper and grasping) – 12 verses – No permanent owner of the six senses, perceiver before perception]
[CHAPTER 10 – An Analysis of Fire and Kindling (fire and fuel) – 16 verses – Non-duality of self & the five aggregates of clinging; non-duality of dependent origination and emptiness]
[CHAPTER 11 – An Analysis of the Past (purva) and Future Limits (aparakiti) –of Existence] (samsara) – 8 verses – Explaining samsara and “no-self” without using any inherent dharma.]
[CHAPTER 12 – An Analysis of Sorrow (dukkha) (suffering) – 10 verses – Dukkha cannot be caused by a personality, internal, external, both or neither]
[CHAPTER 13 – An Analysis of Conditioned Elements (samskara) (the real) – 8 verses – Dukkha is not due to things that exist and are impermanent]
[CHAPTER 14 – An Analysis of Unification (samsarga) (combination) – 8 verses – The inseparability of the three realms; or of body, speech and mind]
[CHAPTER 15 – An Analysis of a Self-existent Thing (svabhava) (being and non-being) – 11 verses – The provisional and definitive teachings; a changing thing or being is not the same, nor different]
[CHAPTER 16 – An Analysis of Being Bound (bandhana) and Release (moksa) (bondage and release) – 10 verses – No personal rebirths or Liberation]
[CHAPTER 17 – An Analysis of Action (karma) and Its Product (phala) (action and its results) – 33 verses – The whole chain of karma formation and its fruits is empty, like a magic trick]
[CHAPTER 18 – An Analysis of the Individual Self (atma) (the self and phenomena) – 12 verses – Nirvana is realizing the non-dual nature of the self and everything, beyond causality, production, conceptualization, or the four extremes]
[CHAPTER 19 – An Analysis of Time (kala) (time) – 6 verses – No real space-time limits of anything, no real space or time]
[CHAPTER 20 – An Analysis of the Aggregate (samagri) of Causes and Conditions (cause and effect) – 24 verses
[CHAPTER 21 – An Analysis of Origination (sambhava) and Disappearance (vibhava) (coming to be and passing away) – 21 verses
[CHAPTER 22 – An Analysis of the "Fully Completed" (Tathagata) (the Buddha) – 16 verses
[CHAPTER 23 – An Analysis of Errors (viparyasa) (the perverted views) – 25 verses
[CHAPTER 24 – An Analysis of the Holy Truths (aryasatya) (the noble truths) – 40 verses
[CHAPTER 25 – An Analysis of Nirvana (nirvana) – 24 verses
[CHAPTER 26 – An Analysis of the Twelve Components (dvadasanga) (the twelve spokes) – 12 verses
[CHAPTER 27 – An Analysis of the Views (drsti) About Reality (dogmas) – 30 verses
[CHAPTER VIGRAHAVYAVARTANI : AVERTING THE ARGUMENTS
[PART 1 – The Arguments of the Opponents]
[PART II – Nagarjuna's Reply to the Arguments of the Opponents]
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[CHAPTER Introductory Verses]
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"I salute him, the fully-enlightened, the best of speakers,
who preached the non-ceasing and the non-arising,
the non-annihilation and the non-permanence,
the non-identity and the non-difference,
the non-appearance and the non-disappearance,
the dependent arising,
the appeasement of obsessions and the auspicious."
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[CHAPTER 1 – An Analysis of Conditioning Causes (pratyaya) (conditions) – 14 verses – Causality, dependent origination, determinism, control]
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#1.
Never are any existing things found to originate
From themselves, from something else, from both, or from no cause.
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#2.
There are four conditioning causes
A cause (hetu) (1), objects of sensations (2), "immediately preceding condition," (3) and of course the predominant influence (4) there is no fifth.
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#3.
Certainly there is no self-existence (svabhava) of existing things in conditioning causes, etc;
And if no self-existence exists, neither does "other-existence" (parabhava).
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#4.
The efficient cause (kriya – primary condition, root cause, motive) does not exist possessing a conditioning cause,
Nor does the efficient cause exist without possessing a conditioning cause.
Conditioning causes are not without efficient causes,
Nor are there [conditioning causes] which possess efficient causes.
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#5.
Certainly those things are called "conditioning causes" whereby something originates after having come upon them;
As long as something has not originated, why are they not so long (i.e. during that time) "non-conditioning-causes"?
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#6.
There can be a conditioning cause neither of a non-real thing (1) nor of a real thing (2).
Of what non-real thing is there a conditioning cause? And if it is [already] real, what use is a cause?
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#7.
If an element (dharma) occurs which is neither real nor non-real (4) nor both real- and-non- real (3),
How can there be a cause which is effective in this situation?
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#8.
Just that which is without an object of sensation is accepted as a real element;
Then if there is an element having no object of sensation, how is it possible to have an object of sensation?
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#9.
When no elements have originated, [their] disappearance is not possible.
Therefore it is not proper to speak of an ''immediately preceding condition"; for if something has already ceased, what cause is there for it.
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#10.
Since existing things which have no self-existence are not real,
It is not possible at all that: "This thing 'becomes' upon the existence of that other one."
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#11.
The product does not reside in the conditioning causes, individually or collectively,
So how can that which does not reside in the conditioning cause result from conditioning causes?
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#12.
Then the "non-real" would result from those conditioning-causes.
Why then would a product not proceed also from non-causes?
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#13.
On the one hand, the product [consists in its] conditioning causes;
on the other hand, the causes do not consist of themselves.
How can a product [resulting] from [conditioning causes] not consisting of themselves be consisting of those causes?
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#14.
Therefore, that product does not consist in those causes; [yet] it is agreed that a product does not consist of non-causes.
How [can there be] a conditioning cause or non-cause when a product is not produced?
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[CHAPTER 2 – An Analysis of "Going to" (change or movement) – 25 verses – The illusion of continuity through change or movement]
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#1.
[Nagarjuna:] That which is already gone to (gatam – goer after the going – iii)
is not that which is "being gone to" (gamyate);
more so, "that which is not yet gone to" (agatam – goer before the going – i)
is certainly not that "being gone to." (gamyate)
Also, the "present going to" (gamyamana – actual goer – ii)
without "that which is already gone to" and "that which is not yet gone to"
is not "being gone to".
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#2.
[An opponent objects:]
Where there is activity (cesta – visible activity) there is a "process of going" (gatis – real going process), and that activity (visible activity) is in the "present going to" (gamyamane – ii).
Then "process of going" (gatis – real going process) is inherent in the "present going to" (gamyamane – ii) [since] the activity (visible activity) is not in "that which is already gone to" (iii) nor in "that which is not yet gone to." (i)
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#3.
[Nagarjuna answers:]
How will the "act of going" (gamanam – visible activity & displacement) of "present going to" (gamyamana – ii) be produced,
Since both kinds of the "act of going" (visible activity & displacement) [as applied to an active process and to the activity of going through space] simply are not produced (i.e. originating) in the "present going to" (ii)?
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#4.
Having the "act of going" (gamanam – visible activity & displacement) of "present going to" (gamyamanasya – ii) has necessarily resulted in a lack of "the present going to" (ii) of the "process of going" (gati – real going process),
For the "present going to" (gamyamana – ii) is the "being gone to" (gamyate).
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#5.
[Recognizing] the "act of going" (visible activity & displacement) of "present going to" (ii) results in two [kinds of] "acts of going" (gamanadvaya – visible activity & displacement):
One by which there is "present going to" (gamyamana – ii), the other which is the "act of going" (gamana – visible activity & displacement).
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#6.
Two "goers" (gantarau) would fallaciously follow as a consequence of two "acts of going," (visible activity & displacement)
Since certainly the "act of going" (visible activity & displacement) is not produced without a "goer".
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#7.
If there is no going (gamana) (i.e. gamana = "act of going") without a "goer" (gantara),
How will the "goer" (ganta / self-existing subject) come into being when there is no "going" (gamana) (i.e. gamana = "act of going")?
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#8.
The "goer" does not go (move);
consequently a "non-goer" certainly does not go (move).
What third [possibility] goes (moves) other than the "goer" and "non-goer"?
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#9.
It is said: "The 'goer' goes" (moves) How is that possible,
When without the "act of going" (gamana – visible movement) no "goer" is produced?
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#10.
Those who hold the view that the "goer" "goes" (moves) must [falsely] conclude
That there is a "goer" without the "act of going" (visible activity & displacement) since the "act of going" (visible activity & displacement) is obtained (icchata) by a "goer."
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#11.
If the "goer" "goes" (moves), then two acts of going (visible activity & displacement) [erroneously] follow;
[One is] that by which the "going on" (ganta) is designated, and [the second is] the real "goer" (ganta / self-existing subject) who "goes"(moves).
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#12.
The "state of going to" (gatum) is not begun in "that which is already gone to" (gatam – iii), nor in "that which is not yet gone to" (agatam – i);
Nor is the "state of going to" begun in "present going to" (gamyamana – ii).
Where then is it begun?
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#13.
"Present going to" (ii) does not exist previous to the beginning of the "act of going," (visible activity & displacement)
nor does "that which is already gone to" (iii) exist where the "act of going" (visible activity & displacement) should begin.
How can the "act of going" (visible activity & displacement) [begin] in "that which is not yet gone to" (i)?
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#14.
It is mentally fabricated what is "that which is already gone to" (gatam – iii), "present going to" (gamyamana – ii) and "that which is not yet gone to" (agatam – i);
Therefore, the beginning of the "act of going" (visible activity & displacement) is not seen in any way.
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#15.
A "goer" does not remain unmoved (na tistati); then certainly the "non-goer" does not remain unmoved.
What third [possibility] other than "goer" and "non-goer" can thus remain unmoved?
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#16.
It is said that a "goer" continues to be [a "goer"].
But how can that be possible,
Since a "goer"(ganta / self-existing subject) lacking the "act of going" (gamanam – visible activity & displacement) is simply not produced?
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#17.
[The "goer"] does not continue to be [a goer] as a result of "present going to" (ii) or "that which is already gone to" (iii) or "that which is not yet gone to,"(i)
For then the act of going (gamana – visible activity & displacement) [would be] origination while the "process of going" (gati – real going process) would be the same as cessation.
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#19.
And if the "act of going" (visible movement) and the "goer" are identical,
The fallacy logically follows that the "person acting" (kartus) and the action (karma) are identical.
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#20.
Alternatively, if the "goer" is different from the "process of going" (gati – – real going process),
The "act of going" (gamana – visible activity & displacement) would exist without the "goer" and the "goer" would exist without the "act of going." (visible activity & displacement)
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#21.
Neither the identity nor the essential difference is established (siddhi) regarding the two [conceptions "goer" and "act of going" (visible activity & displacement)].
If these two [alternatives] are not established, in what way is [this problem] to be understood?
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#22.
The "goer" is defined by that which is in the "process of going" (real going process);
he does not go to that [destination] which is determined by the "process of going" (real going process)
because there is no prior "process of going". (gati – real going process)
Indeed someone goes somewhere.
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#23.
The "goer" does not go to that [destination] other than that "process of going" (real going process)- by which he is defined as "goer",
Because when one goes [somewhere] (i.e. else) two "processes of going" (real going processes) cannot be produced.
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#24.
A real "goer" does not motivate three kinds of "acts of going": [real, non-real, and real-and-non-real];
Nor does a non-real ["goer"] motivate three kinds of motion.
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#25.
Also, a real-non-real ["goer"] does not motivate three kinds of motion.
Therefore,
the "process of going" (gati – real going process),
the "goer" (ganta / self-existing subject)
and "a destination to be gone to" (gantavyam)
do not exist (inherently).
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[CHAPTER 3 – An Analysis of "Vision" and Other Sense-Faculties (the sense-fields) – 9 verses – The six senses, direct perception, the six objects / world]
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#1.
Vision, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thought
Are the six sense faculties.
The area of their concern is that which is seen [heard, smelled] and so forth.
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#2.
Certainly vision does not in any way see its own self.
Now if it does not see its own self, how can it possibly see something else?
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#3.
An understanding of vision is not attained through the example of fire [which, itself, burns].
On the contrary, that [example of fire] together with vision is refuted by [the analysis of] "present going to," "that which is already gone to," and "that which is not yet gone to." (in Chapter 2)
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#4.
When no vision occurs, nothing whatsoever is being seen.
How, then, is it possible to say: Vision sees?
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#5.
Therefore, vision does not see, and "no-vision" does not see.
Nevertheless, it is explained that also the "seer" is to be known only by his vision.
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#6.
There is no "seer" with vision or without vision;
Therefore, if there is no "seer," how can there be vision and the object seen?
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#7.
As the birth of a son is said to occur presupposing the mother and the father,
Knowledge is said to occur presupposing the eye being dependent on the visible forms.
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#8.
Since the "object seen" and the vision do not exist (independently, on their own),
there is no four-fold [consequence]: knowledge, etc. [cognitive sensation, affective sensation, and "desire"].
Also, then, how will the acquisition (upadana) [of karma] and its consequences [i.e., existence, birth, aging, and death] be produced?
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#9.
[Likewise] hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thought are explained as vision.
Indeed one should not apprehend the "hearer," "what is heard," etc. [as self-existent entities].
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[CHAPTER 4 – An Analysis of the "Groups of Universal Elements" (skandhas) (the aggregates) – 9 verses – The five aggregates, explained/caused by their basic underlying causes; emptiness of emptiness]
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#1.
Visible form (rupa) is not perceived without the basic cause of visible form (rupakarana);
Likewise the basic cause of visible form does not appear without the visible form.
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#2.
If the visible form existed apart from its basic cause, it would logically follow that visible form is without cause;
But there is nothing anywhere [arising] without cause.
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#3.
On the other hand, if there would be a basic cause apart from visible form,
The basic cause would be without any product; but there is no basic cause without a product.
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#4.
Just as when there is visible form no basic cause of form obtains,
So when there is no visible form no basic cause of form obtains.
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#5.
Furthermore, it does not obtain that no visible form exists without a basic cause,
One should not construe any constructs concerning the form.
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#6.
Just as it does not obtain that the product is the same as the cause,
So it does not obtain that product is not the same as the cause.
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#7.
Also, sensation, thought, mental conception, conditioned elements (samskara) and
All "things" (bhava) are to be dealt with in the same way as visible form.
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#8.
Whoever argues against "emptiness" in order to refute an argument,
For him everything, including the point of contention (sadhya) is known to be unrefuted.
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#9.
Whoever argues by means of "emptiness" in order to explain an understanding,
For him, everything including the point to be proved (sadhya) is known to be misunderstood.
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[CHAPTER 5 – An Analysis of the "Irreductible Elements" (dhatus) (the elements) – 8 verses – The irreducible elements defined by their basic characteristics]
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#1.
Space does not exist at all before the defining characteristic of space (akasalaksana).
If it would exist before the defining characteristic, then one must falsely conclude that there would be something without a defining characteristic.
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#2.
In no case has anything existed without a defining characteristic.
If an entity without a defining characteristic does not exist, to what does the defining characteristic apply?
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#3.
There is no functioning of a defining characteristic in a case where there is [already] a defining characteristic or where there is not a defining characteristic.
And it can function in nothing except where there is a defining characteristic or where there is not a defining characteristic.
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#4.
When there is no related function (sampravrtti) (i.e. defining process), it is not possible to have "that to which a defining characteristic applies."
And if "that to which a defining characteristic applies" is not possible, then a defining characteristic cannot come into existence.
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#5.
Therefore, "that to which a defining characteristic applies" does not exist (i.e independently); and certainly a defining characteristic itself does not exist (i.e independently).
Now, something does not exist without "that to which a defining characteristic applies" and the defining characteristic.
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#6.
If the existing thing (1) (bhava) does not exist, how then would the non-existing thing (2) (abhava) come into existence?
And who holds: the existing-and-non-existing (3) thing which does not have the properties of an existing-and-non-existing thing (4)?
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#7.
Therefore space is
neither an existing thing
nor a non-existing thing,
neither something to which a defining characteristic applies (i.e. separate from a defining characteristic)
nor a defining characteristic. (i.e. the same as a defining characteristic)
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Also, the other five irreducible elements can be considered in the same way as space.
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#8.
But those unenlightened people who either affirm reality or non-reality
Do not perceive the blessed cessation-of-appearance of existing things.
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[CHAPTER 6 – An Analysis of Desire (raga) and One Who Desires (rakta) –in the Context of Their Separateness and Concomitance] (affection and the person affected) – 10 verses – Concomitance, a person and his acquired strong habits, the concomitant factors of consciousness]
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#1.
If the "one who desires" would exist before desire itself, then desire may be regarded.
When desire becomes related to "one who desires," then desire comes into existence.
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#2.
If there is no one who desires, how then will desire come into being?
[And the question] whether desire exists or does not exist likewise holds true for the one who desires.
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#3.
Further, it is not possible for both desire and the one who desires to be produced concomitantly.
Indeed, desire and the one who desires come into being independent of each other.
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#4.
Concomitance does not exist in that which is only one thing, [for] certainly something which is only one thing cannot be concomitant.
But yet, how will concomitance come into being if there are separate (prthak) things?
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#5.
If concomitance applied to that which is only one thing, then that one "with concomitance" would be that one "without [concomitance]."
If concomitance applied to separate things, then that one "with concomitance" would be that one "without [concomitance]."
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# 6.
And if concomitance applied to separate things, what is the proof for the separation of both desire and the one who desires,
[Since] that which is non-separate is concomitant.
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#7.
Or, if the separateness of desire and the one who desires really were proved,
Why do you imagine the concomitance of them both?
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#8.
You postulate concomitance by saying: neither is proved separate from [the other].
[And] you postulate separateness even more to prove concomitance.
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#9.
Because separateness is not proved, concomitance is not proved.
What kind of separateness must exist for you to establish concomitance?
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#10.
Thus there is no proof that the desire is concomitant with or not concomitant with one who desires.
From [this analysis of] desire [it can be shown that for] every fundamental element (dharma) there is no proof of concomitance or non-concomitance.
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[CHAPTER 7 – An Analysis of Composite Products (samskrta) (origination, duration, and decay) – 34 – verses – The three stages of becoming: origination, duration / transformation, cessation; impermanence of all products and moments of consciousness]
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#1.
If origination (utpada) is a composite product, then the three characteristics [of existence: "origination," "duration," and "dissolution"] are appropriate.
But if origination is a non-composite (asamstrta), then how [could there be] characteristics of a composite product?
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#2.
When the three are separate, origination of either of the other two characteristics does not suffice to function as a characteristic.
If united in a composite product, how could they all be at one place at one time?
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#3.
If origination, duration, and dissolution are other [secondary] characteristics of composite products,
It is an infinite regress. If this is not so, they are not composite products.
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#4.
The "originating origination" (utpadotpada) (i.e. the beginning of the origination) is only the origination of the basic origination (mulotpada) (i.e. the beginning of the product);
Also the origination of the basic [origination] (i.e. the beginning of the beginning of the product) produces the "originating origination." (i.e. the beginning of the origination)
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#5.
But if, according to you, the originating origination (i.e. self-originating origination) produces basic origination, (i.e. also causes the beginning of the product)
How, according to you, will this [originating origination] (i.e. self-originating origination) produce that [basic origination] (i.e. the beginning of the product) if [it itself] is not produced by basic origination (i.e. the beginning of the product)?
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#6.
If, according to you, that which has originated through basic [origination] (i.e. referring to the dependent originating origination) produces basic [origination], (i.e. like affirming that the effect exist before the cause)
How does the basic [origination], which is yet unproduced by that [originating origination] (i.e. self-originating origination), cause that [originating origination] (i.e. self-originating origination) to be originated?
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#7.
According to you, this, while originating, would certainly cause that to originate—
If this, not being produced, would be able to cause origination.
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#8.
[The opponent claim:]
As a light is the illuminator of both itself and that which is other than itself,
So origination would originate both itself and that which is other than itself.
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#9.
[Nagarjuna answers:]
There is no darkness in the light and there where the light is placed.
What could the light illumine? Indeed illumination is the getting rid of darkness.
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#10.
How is darkness destroyed by the light being originated,
When the light, being originated, does not come in contact with darkness?
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#11.
But then, if darkness is destroyed by a light having n