What Is the Three Dharma-Seals About? (3)


© Anonymous, May 29, 2013 at 10:52 PM (http://tantrismuskritik.blogspot.tw/2013/04/what-is-three-dharma-seals-about-2-of-2.html?showComment=1369839172745#c1297458865425022705")

The realization of the Three Dharma-Seals can bring forth in a Mahayana bodhisattva the insightful samadhi of liberation with regard to the overall reality of the three realms, together with the wisdom of true reality and the prajna wisdom. The level of the Three Samadhis he has realized thus surpasses the ones realized by sound-hearers.

We can understand from the basic principle mentioned above that the realization of the Three Dharma-Seals will bring forth the Three Samadhis, for the realization of the Three Dharma-Seals will bring out some sort of conviction with respect to the dharma-realm [dharmadhatu].

What kind of conviction is this? It’s a decisive and unwavering understanding about the overall appearance (characteristics) of the dharma-realm, which will bring forth wisdom. Insomuch as such understanding and wisdom are unshakeable and will bring about one’s correct insight of liberation with conviction, one is said to have attained the samadhi of liberation. Thus, the Three Dharma-Seals is actually the Three Samadhis and vice versa. The Three Samadhis refer to the conviction (which corresponds with the mental function of concentration) that is brought about by personal realization of the Three Dharma-Seals.

Now that you understand why the Three Dharma-Seals are called the Three Samadhis and the Three Liberation Ways, I’ll give a detailed discussion of the Three Dharma-Seals.

To help you better understand the content of the Three Dharma-Seals, I’ll divide them into two types: among the Three Dharma-Seals (“all formations are impermanent, all dharmas are of no-self, and nirvana is tranquility”), we can begin with observing the ones about all formations and all dharmas.

What these two dharma-seals underscore is the immensity of the number of dharmas and therefore they can be grouped as one type. “Nirvana is tranquility” is the second type of dharma-seal because it does not concern an amount but point to the existence of a particular dharma. Therefore, we can group the Three Dharma-Seals into two types: one refers to all formations and all dharmas, which are dharmas of an arising-and-ceasing nature, whereas the nirvana is the second type and refers to a dharma of a neither-arising-nor-ceasing nature, one that is characterized by no birth, no cessation, coolness, realness, everlasting and unchangeable.

I have to remind again, the most important thing in learning Buddhist teachings is that the Buddha dharmas should be put together, from the start to the end that all have to be fitted into a whole picture. Like a complete jigsaw puzzle, instead of bits and pieces. Otherwise there will be no true wisdom in it. (Part 3)

1 comment:

  1. Here we can see that the Three Dharma-Seals actually describes two classes of dharma in the dharma-realm.

    These two kinds of dharma are entirely different from each other in nature, with one class being the dharma of an arising-and-ceasing nature and the other a neither-arising-nor-ceasing nature. The latter is nirvana, or the eighth vijnana Tathagatagarbha.

    The arising-and-ceasing dharma-seals are connected to the Four Noble Truths, in particular the truth of suffering. The truth of suffering means that everything within the three realms and the six paths of rebirth is afflicted with sufferings, which is why in the sound-hearer sutras, it is sometimes said that everything is suffering.

    As a matter of fact, all being suffering is sometimes regarded as the fourth dharma-seal in the Buddha dharma. The amount of the arising-and-ceasing dharmas can be increased ad infinitum or reduced all the way to zero. Hence, the arising-and-ceasing dharma-seals are like the arising-and-ceasing dharmas in that they can be increased or decreased. This is the type of arising-and-ceasing dharma-seals among the Three Dharma-Seals.

    The second type of dharma-seal is the dharma-seal of nirvana, which is a neither-arising-nor-ceasing and everlasting dharma. It is a unique dharma and one that is in a class of its own in the dharma-realm. Because of this, its quantity cannot be increased or decreased.

    The Three Dharma-Seals specially established by the Buddha is to confirm that the life of every sentient being is a dharma-seal.

    One part of every life is of an arising-and-ceasing nature whereas the other is neither-arising-nor-ceasing. The part that is neither-arising-nor-ceasing is the eighth vijnana Tathagatagarbha. The part of an arising-and-ceasing nature is our five aggregates because they undergo all kinds of changes.

    This is indeed the key difference between the Three Samadhis realized by sound-hearers and bodhisattvas: sound-hearers have realized that “all formations are impermanent” and “all dharmas are of no-self”; once they have extinguished these arising-and-ceasing dharmas, they are said to have realized nirvana, for they themselves will become a non-arising dharma in future lifetimes. This is not the case for bodhisattvas.

    When bodhisattvas realize the Three Dharma-Seals, they do so by means of directly realizing the eighth vijnana Tathagatagarbha along with the arising-and-ceasing dharmas. Therefore, their realization of the Three Dharma-Seals is more complete than that of the sound-hearers. (Part 4)