What Is the Three Dharma-Seals About? (1)


© Anonymous, April 8, 2013 at 11:09 PM (http://tantrismuskritik.blogspot.tw/2013/04/why-vijnanas-sense-roots-or-five.html?showComment=1366619898684#c6905816502299628476")

Let's start with a bit advanced Buddha dharma. The first is a brief introduction on the Three Dharma-Seals 三法印. One needs some concentration or zoom lens mind to understand the entire content.

The Three Dharma-Seals, also called the Three Samadhis or the Three Liberation Ways. To begin with, let’s define the meaning of dharma-seal. The dharma-seal is a standard specially established by the Buddha for the verification of one’s realization of Buddha dharma. If we want to discuss the Buddha dharma, we need to have some kind of standard, and this standard is the Three Dharma-Seals. Put it a different way, if a person’s discourse of the Buddha dharma cannot be certified by the Three Dharma-Seals, then what he or she says about the Buddha dharma ought to be wrong. Conversely, if the content of the Buddha dharma being expressed is certified by the Three Dharma-Seals, then it must be correct. Hence, the Three Dharma-Seals establish a standard for the learning and practicing of Buddha dharma.

Now what is the Three Dharma-Seals about? Someone once said: “the term Three Dharma-Seals did not come into existence until the time of Mahayana Bodhisattva Nagarjuna.” This statement is not entirely true. Although this term was proposed at the time of Bodhisattva Nagarjuna, we can actually find it in sutras. For example, in the Precept [Vinaya] Division of the sound-hearer [sravaka] dharma, the sutra Mulasarvastivada Vinaya records: “All formations are impermanent, all dharmas are of no-self, and tranquility is nirvana; these are the Three Dharma-Seals.” This account proves that the term Three Dharma-Seals can be found in the sutras of the Precept Division, which are the earliest sutras. If we look at the Agama Sutras, in the eightieth sutra of the Samyukta Agama, the Buddha also mentioned the “Noble Dharma-Seal” and said that this Noble Dharma-Seal can purify Buddhist learners’ views and understanding. Only that when the Buddha talked about the Noble Dharma-Seal, he used the terms Emptiness Samadhi, No-Appearance Samadhi and Samadhi of Having Nothing. (Part 1)

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