[260] Form And Emptiness Are Equally Unattainable 色空均不可得

[260] Form [And] Emptiness [Are] Equally Unattainable


‘Form [is] not different [from] emptiness; emptiness [is] not different [from] form; form is [the] same [as] emptiness; emptiness is [the] same [as] form.’ [These] four lines, [are the] most difficult [to] understand. All schools that annotate [on these], each spread their views [on them].


According [to Yìn]guāng’s humble opinion, [if of] form, that essence [is] unattainable, [then of] emptiness, how can [there] be true nature of emptiness [that is] attainable?


[The] below two lines, repeat explanation [of the] meanings of [the] above two lines. [This] truly [is] then, [with] form and emptiness, equally unattainable.


‘Feeling, perception, volition [and] consciousness, [are] likewise thus.’ [This] then is [to] ‘contemplate [upon and] realise [the] five aggregates [to] all [be of] emptiness.’


[The] five aggregates, since [are] all unattainable, [this] then is true emptiness’ true form, thus saying, ‘All dharmas are characteristics [of] emptiness.’


[Since] these ‘all dharmas are characteristics [of] emptiness’, [they are] thus without arising, ceasing, defiling, purifying, increasing [and] decreasing, and [with the] five aggregates, six sense objects, twelve sense bases, eighteen realms, Four Truths, twelve causes [and] conditions, Six Perfections, and wisdom with Nirvāṇa [too].


(Nirvāṇa then, [is the] true nature of [the] word ‘attainment’.)


Only this true form within, [is] without these ordinary, noble [and] other dharmas, thus able [to have those] from [the] ordinary arriving [to be the] noble, cultivating [the] causes [to] attain [their] fruits.


For example, like [a] house [that is] empty, [it is] then able [to have] dwelling people. If it [is] not empty, people [have] what cause [for] dwelling?


[With the] cause [of] emptiness, then can [there be] true cultivation [and] true realisation.


If not [with] emptiness, then without this function. [This] must not [be] misunderstood. [If] misunderstood, [this] then destroys all Buddhas’ Right Dharma. Assuming principles as practice, this [is] named [as an] evil view, not named [as] knowing [the] Dharma. [There] should [be] detailed contemplating [of] this.

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (Second Compilation): Reply Letter [To] Layperson [Practising] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (260th Short Section): 8th Chapter: Explanations [On] Common Doubts [And] Confusions: Discussion [On] Principles [And] Practices (9th Short Section)
[Ref: #260 / 8.9]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Related Text:

Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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