ORIGIN OF MAN
RECONCILIATION OF THE TEMPORARY WITH THE REAL DOCTRINE
EVEN if Reality is the origin of life, there must be in all probability some causes for its coming into existence, as it cannot suddenly assume the form of body by accident. In the preceding chapters I have refuted the first four doctrines, merely because they are imperfect, and in this chapter I shall reconcile the temporary with the eternal doctrine. In short, I shall show that even Confucianism is in the right. That is to say, from the beginning there exists Reality (within all beings), which is one and spiritual. It can never be created nor destroyed. It does not increase nor decrease itself. It is subject to neither change nor decay. Sentient beings, slumbering in (the night of) illusion from time immemorial, are not conscious of its existence. As it is hidden and veiled, it is named Tathagata-garbha. On this Tathagata-garbha the mental phenomena that are subject to growth and decay depend.
Real Spirit, as is stated (in the Açvaghosa's Çastra), that transcends creation and destruction, is united with
[1. A. 'The doctrines refuted above are reconciled with the real doctrine in this chapter. They are all in the right in their pointing to the true origin.'
2 A. 'The first section states the fifth doctrine that reveals the Reality, and the statements in the following sections are the same as the other doctrines, as shown in the notes.'
3 A. 'The following statement is similar to the fourth doctrine explained above in the refutation of the phenomenal existence subject to growth and decay.' Compare Çraddhotpada-çastra.]
illusion, which is subject to creation and destruction; and the one is not absolutely the same as nor different from the other. This union (with illusion) has the two sides of enlightenment and non -enlightenment,' and is called Alaya-vijñana. Because of non-enlightenment, it first arouses itself, and forms some ideas. This activity of the Vijñana is named 'the state of Karma.  Furthermore, since one does not understand that these ideas are unreal from the beginning, they transform themselves into the subject (within) and the object (without), into the seer and the seen. One is at a loss how to understand that these external objects are no more than the creation of his own delusive mind, and believes them to be really existent. This is called the erroneous belief in the existence of external objects. In consequence of these erroneous beliefs, he distinguishes Self and non-self, and at last forms the erroneous belief of Atman. Since he is attached to the form of the Self, he yearns after various objects agreeable to the sense for the sake of the good of his Self. He is offended, (however), with various disagreeable objects, and is afraid of the injuries and troubles which they bring on him. (Thus) his foolish passions are strengthened step by step.
Thus (on one hand) the souls of those who committed the crimes of killing, stealing, and so on, are born, by the influence of the bad Karma, in hell, or among Pretas, or among beasts, or elsewhere. On the other hand, the souls of those who, being afraid of such sufferings, or being
[1. A. 'The following statement is similar to the doctrine of Dharma-laksana.'
2. Here Karma simply means an active state; it should be distinguished from Karma, produced by actions.
3. A. 'The following statement is similar to the second doctrine, or Hinayanism.'
4. A. 'The following statement is similar to the first doctrine for men and Devas.']
good-natured, gave alms, kept precepts, and so on, undergo Antarabhava by the influence of the good Kharma, enter into the womb of their mothers.
There they are endowed with the (so-called) Gas, or material (for body). The Gas first consists of four elements and it gradually forms various sense-organs. The mind first consists of the four aggregates, and it gradually forms various Vijñanas. After the whole course of ten months they are born and called men. These are our present bodies and minds. Therefore we must know that body and mind has each its own origin, and that the two, being united, form one human being. They are born among Devas and Asuras, and so on in a manner almost similar to this.
Though we are born among men by virtue of 'the generalizing Karma,' yet, by the influence of 'the particularizing Karma,' some are placed in a high rank, while others in a low; some are poor, while others rich; some enjoy a long life, while others die in youth; some are sickly, while others healthy; some are rising, while others are falling; some suffer from pains, while others enjoy pleasures. For instance, reverence or indolence in the previous existence, working as the cause, brings forth high birth or low in the present as the effect. So also benevolence in the past results in long life in the present; the taking of life, a short life; the giving of alms, richness
[1. The spiritual existence between this and another life.
2. A. 'The following statement is similar to Confucianism and Taoism.'
3. A. 'This harmonizes with the outside opinion that Gas is the origin.'
4. (1) Earth, (2) water, (3) fire, (4) air,
5. (1) Perception, (2) consciousness, (3) conception, (4) knowledge.
6. The Karma that determines different classes of beings, such as men, beasts, Pretas, etc,
7. The Karma that determines the particular state of an individual in the world.]
miserliness, Poverty. There are So many particular cases of retribution that cannot be mentioned in detail. Hence there are some who happen to be unfortunate, doing no evil, while others fortunate, doing no good in the present life. So also some enjoy a long life, in spite of their inhuman conduct; while others die young, in spite of their taking no life, and so forth. As all this is predestinated by 'the particularizing Karma' produced in the past, it would seem to occur naturally, quite independent of one's actions in the present life. Outside scholars ignorant of the previous existences, relying simply on their observations, believe it to be nothing more than natural.
Besides, there are some who cultivated virtues in the earlier, and committed crimes in the later, stages of their past existences; while others were vicious in youth, and virtuous in old age. In consequence, some are happy in youth, being rich and noble, but unhappy in old age, being poor and low in the present life; while others lead poor and miserable lives when young, but grow rich and noble when old, and so on. Hence outside scholars come to believe that one's prosperity or adversity merely depends on a heavenly decree.
The body with which man is endowed, when traced step by step to its origin, proves to be nothing but one primordial Gas in its undeveloped state. And the mind with which man thinks, when traced step by step to its source, proves to be nothing but the One Real Spirit. To tell the truth, there exists nothing outside of Spirit, and even the Primordial Gas is also a mode of it, for it is one of the external objects projected by the above-stated Vijñanas, and is one of the mental images of Alaya, out of whose
[1. A. 'This harmonizes with the outside opinion that everything occurs naturally.'
2. A. 'This harmonizes with the outside opinion that everything depends on providence.']
idea, when it is in the state of Karma, come both the subject and the object. As the subject developed itself, the feebler
ideas grow stronger step by step, and form erroneous beliefs that end in the production of Karma. Similarly, the object increases in size, the finer objects grow gradually grosser, and gives rise to unreal things that end in the formation of Heaven and Earth. When Karma is ripe enough, one is endowed by father and mother with sperm and ovum, which, united with his consciousness under the influence of Karma, completes a human form.
According to this view (of Dharmalaksana), things brought forth through the transformations of Alaya and the other Vijñanas are divided into two parts; one part (remaining), united with Alaya and the other Vijñanas, becomes man, while the other, becoming separated from them, becomes Heaven, Earth, mountains, rivers, countries, and towns. (Thus) man is the outcome of the union of the two; this is the reason why he alone of the Three Powers is spiritual. This was taught by the Buddha himself when he stated that there existed two different kinds of the four elements--the internal and the external.
Alas! O ye half-educated scholars who adhere to imperfect doctrines, each of which conflicts with another! Ye that seek after truth, if ye would attain to Buddhahood, clearly understand which is the subtler and which is the grosser (form of illusive ideas), which is the originator and
[1. A. 'As above stated.'
2. A. "In the beginning, according to the outside school, there was 'the great changeableness,' which underwent fivefold evolutions, and brought out the Five Principles. Out of that Principle, which they call the Great Path of Nature, came the two subordinate principles of the Positive and the Negative. They seem to explain the Ultimate Reality, but the Path, in fact, no more than the 'perceiving division ' of the Alaya. The so-called primordial Gas seems to be the first idea in the awakening Alaya, but it is a mere external object."
3. Ratnakuta-sutra (?), translated into Chinese by Jñanagupta.]
which is the originated. (Then) give ye up the originated and return ye to the originator, and to reflect on the Spirit, the Source (of all). When the grosser is exterminated and the subtler removed, the wonderful wisdom of spirit is disclosed, and nothing is beyond its understanding. This is called the Dharma-sambhoga-kaya. It can of itself transform itself and appear among men in numberless ways. This is called the Nirmana-kaya of Buddha.
[1. Every Buddha has three bodies: (1) Dharma-kaya, or spiritual body; (2) Sambhoga-kaya, or the body of compensation; (3) Nirmana-kaya, or the body capable of transformation.]