[259] The Empty, False And Middle Contemplations Of The Buddha’s Dharma Teachings 佛法之空假中观

[259] [The] Empty, False [And] Middle Contemplations Of [The] Buddha’s Dharma [Teachings]


Those Three Truths [and] Three Contemplations, [are] thus [the] essential points within [the] Buddha’s Dharma [teachings].


Speaking about principles’ nature, [they are] then named as truths, [with] truths then [being] principles. Speaking about practices, [they are] then named as contemplations, [with] contemplations then [being] cultivation.


Absolute [i.e. Ultimate; Supramundane] Truth [is with] one dharma not established, [and] Relative [i.e. Conventional; Mundane] Truths [are with the] ten thousand dharmas completely gathered.


[The] principle of contemplating Absolute Truth, [is] named as Emptiness Contemplation. [The] principle of contemplating Relative Truths, [is] named as False [i.e. Provisional] Contemplation.


Emptiness Contemplation [is] thus contemplating that True Suchness’ Dharma-nature [with] one dharma not established. This [is] also [the] emptiness of emptiness [and] existence, [these] two [kinds of] emptiness. This then [is the] Heart Sūtra’s ‘characteristics [of] emptiness’ of ‘all dharmas [are] characteristics [of] emptiness.’


Not only [are] forms empty, [and] emptiness empty, also [with] Bodhi [and] Nirvāṇa, [they are] likewise empty. If having one dharma [that is] not empty, [this is] not named [as] True Emptiness.

[Note: The Middle Contemplation is then with the Middle Truth of the Middle Path between Emptiness Contemplation and False Contemplation contemplating. (中观即以空观与假观之间之中道之中谛而观。) The Middle Contemplation is not of emptiness and not of the false, is also of emptiness and also of the false. (中观非空非假,亦空亦假。)]


[With] this emptiness of [the] Three Contemplations’ Emptiness Contemplation, how can [there be] with [the] ten thousand matters not paid attention [to], not doing [and] handling them?


[The] ‘Relative’ [i.e. mundane; common; worldly] of Relative Truths, [is] not [that] ‘mundane’, of [the] lowly, debased, elegant [and] vulgar, thus with creating [and] establishing, naming it as [the] ‘Relative’. [The] ‘False’ [is] likewise not [the] ‘false’ of ‘true [or] false’, likewise [being the] ‘False’ of creating [and] establishing.


That contemplation of contemplating [the] principles of Relative Truths, [is] named as False Contemplation. With [the] nature [and] essence of [the] Absolute Truth [with] one dharma not established, [it is] complete [with] all gathered meritorious virtues of all Six Perfections’ ten thousand practices’ all Dharma [teachings].


[As] this then [is the] Heart Sūtra’s ‘all dharmas’ of ‘all dharmas [are] characteristics [of] emptiness’, how can [this be] with ordinary beings undertaking it? Ordinary beings, [are] thus [by the] two truths [of] suffering [and] accumulation those gathered. This emptiness [and the] false [are] thus [the] Complete Teachings’ complete [and] wonderful path’s principles, [that those of the] Two Vehicles still [do] not [have] their parts [in], moreover ordinary beings.

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (First Compilation): Fourth Reply Letter [To] Jiāng Yìyuán;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (259th Short Section): 8th Chapter: Explanations [On] Common Doubts [And] Confusions: Discussion [On] Principles [And] Practices (8th Short Section)
[Ref: #259 / 8.8]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Related Text:

Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence

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