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b. Belief in the Existence of Atman in Things.

As the World-honored One (Bhagavat), considering the inferior intellectual calibre of Çrâvakas and Pratyekabuddhas, taught them only the doctrine of non-personal âtman, [and did not make any further

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demonstration of the doctrine], the people have in the meantime formed a fixed idea on the transitoriness of the five skandhas, 1 and, being terrified at the thought of birth and death, have fanatically craved for Nirvâna.

In order that this clinging may be eliminated, be it clearly understood that the essence of the five skandhas is uncreate, there is no annihilation of them; that since there is no annihilation of them, they are in their [metaphysical] origin Nirvâna itself; that if one be absolutely freed from particularisation and attachment, one will understand that all things both pure and defiled have only relative existence.

Be it therefore known that all things in the world from the beginning are neither matter (rûpa), nor mind (citta), nor intelligence (prajñâ), nor consciousness (vijñâna), nor non-being (abhâva), nor being (bhâva); they are after all inexplicable. The reason why the Tathâgata nevertheless endeavors to instruct by means of words and definitions is through his good and excellent skilfulness [or expediency, upâya-kauçalya]. 2 He only provisionally makes use of words and definitions to lead all beings, while his real object is to make them abandon symbolism and directly enter

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into the real reality (tattva). Because if they indulge themselves in reasonings, attach themselves to sophistry, and thus foster their subjective particularisation, how could they have the true wisdom (tattvajñâna) and attain to Nirvâna?


112:1 See p. 104, footnote.

112:2 See the second chapter of the Saddharmapundarîka Sûtra, in which Buddha teaches how the only one yâna (vehicle) is split through his transcendental upâya (skilfulness or expediency) into three yânas: Çrâvakayâna, Pratyekabuddhayâna, and Bodhisattvayâna.

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