Nirvana Sutra

Appreciation of the "Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra"

"Nirvana Sutra" Continued (Z35)

 

     Subhadra asked, "How does one sever all [samsaric] existence?"

     The Bhagavat replied, "Noble son, if any individual engages in the true / real ideation, all [samsaric] existence will be severed."

     Subhadra asked, "Bhagavat, how should one know true / real ideation?"

     "Noble son, the ideation of non-ideation should be known as the true / real ideation."

     "Bhagavat, how is the ideation of non-ideation to be known?"

     "Noble son, all phenomena [dharmas] are devoid of their own defining [external, distinguishing] attributes / characteristics [lakshanas], devoid of the defining attributes [lakshanas]of what is another, devoid of both their own and other defining attributes. They are devoid of the defining attribute of being without cause, devoid of the defining attribute of result, devoid of the defining attribute of being experienced, devoid of the defining attribute of being an agent, devoid of the defining attribute of being an experiencer; devoid of the defining attribute of being an entity/ thing [dharma] and devoid of the defining attribute of not being an entity / thing. They are devoid of the defining attributes of male or female, devoid of the defining attribute of a human being; they are devoid of the defining attribute of an atom, devoid of the defining attribute of time and season. They are devoid of the defining attribute of having been done for oneself, devoid of the defining attribute of being done for another, devoid of the defining attribute of being done for both oneself and another. They are devoid of the defining attribute of existence and they are devoid of the defining attribute of non-existence; they are devoid of the defining attribute of being a producer and devoid of the defining attribute of being a product. They are devoid of the defining attribute of cause and devoid of the defining attribute of being a secondary cause; they are devoid of the defining attribute of result and devoid of the defining attribute of being a secondary result. They are devoid of the defining attribute of day and night, devoid of the defining attribute of light and darkness. They are devoid of the defining attribute of what is seen and devoid of the defining attribute of being a seer; they are devoid of the defining attribute of what is heard and devoid of the defining attribute of being a hearer; they are devoid of the defining attribute of what is felt and known and devoid of the defining attribute of being a feeler and a knower. They are devoid of the defining attribute of awakening [bodhi] and devoid of the defining attribute of being one who attains awakening. They are devoid of the defining attribute of karma and devoid of the defining attribute of being one responsible for karma; they are devoid of the defining attribute of klesha [negative mental or behavioural mode] and devoid of the defining attribute of being one who is responsible for kleshas. Noble son, wherever lakshanas [defining attributes] are extinguished is termed the true / real lakshana.