Proto-Maadhyamika in the Paali canon

By Luis O. Gomez
Philosophy East and West
26:2 April 1976
p. 137-165

p. 137 El que allí llega de vero de sí mismo desfallesce; cuanto sabia primero mucho baxo le parece, y su sciencia tanto cresce, que se queda no sabiendo, toda sciencia trascendiendo. These words of Saint John of the Cross could be taken as the epitome of the wisdom of the mystics--beyond all human science, not to be grasped by rational discourse.(1) The mystic dwells in the unassailable fortress of his own silence. Unfortunately (or, perhaps rather fortunately), there is more than one way of abiding in the sublime bliss of the silentium mysticum, and more than one way to attain it. There are legitimate and spurious ecstasies, variously defined by different traditions. Moreover, whether he remains silent or speaks, the mystic cannot avoid returning to the province of worldly convention, where silence would speak as much as words. Silence is not univocal, nor is it noncommittal, yet the ineffable seems to require it. There is no reason for ignoring the beauty and mystery of this dilemma. This is the mystic bind, a tension that has not been ignored by more than one mystic tradition; thus there is the famous koan: Wu-tsu said: 'Traveling a road you meet a man of the Way, do not greet him with words nor with silence. But, tell me then, with what will you greet him?' The equivocal nature of silence extends of course to the experience that evokes it, and nothing is gained by asserting that all mystics just preach and praise ultimate silence. Nor can we avoid the important role of doctrinal contents and framework in the formation and direction of a mystical path of silence. The idea that one could escape the complexities of Buddhist thought, for example, by characterizing it as a via mystica or as a "yoga" would be rather simplistic. Even if the original "enlightenment experience" of the founder was an experience beyond all thought categories, it was nevertheless in some way specific. The experience behind the yoga is not contentless even when defined as such. This is not to say that the idea of a "doctrine of freedom from all conceptual contents" or "an experience free from the constraints of conceptual thought" is an impossibility. There is a certain specificity to silence, and to the very idea of the absence of a theoretical position; otherwise all the proponents of the voie du silence would have to agree with even their most vociferous opponents, and this has yet to happen. In fact, not only is the mystical science of silence indeed a difficult science and a definite commitment to a specific mode of behavior or apprehension, there are also different modes of this "mystical science." The injunction to seek ------------------------------- Luis O. Gomez is Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies, Department of Far Eastern Languages and Literatures, at the University of Michigan. p. 138 silence or to stop verbal profuseness can have more than one purpose, more than one intended meaning. Obviously, the mystics themselves consider that the insufficiency of language operates at more than one level. In this article a few of these levels will be considered in the very specific framework of the A.t.thakavagga of the Suttanipaata, while exploring possible parallels between this Paali text and the Madhyamaka of Naagaarjuna. At the outset I would like to suggest that we isolate, merely as a heuristic device, a few of the categories within which one could consider various Buddhist views (not always purely mystical) on the insufficiency, inadequacy, or obstrusiveness of words. These categories are not always mutually exclusive, but at the same time one does not necessarily lead to or contain the other. One could distinguish two greater categories: (1)The Buddhist, in attempting to explain the experience of the goal, or the goal itself, may and often does affirm that words cannot describe the goal (words cannot encompass the goal); and (2) in describing the path to that goal, he may insist that words are an impediment in the path (by words one does not reach the goal). To a greater or lesser extent, most Buddhists agree on the first proposition, but their emphasis on the second and their interpretation of the connection between the first and the second differ radically from one school to another. These two basic categories can be broken down in several ways. One could be tempted to think that "silence about the Buddha" is primarily ontological in purport and the "the Buddha's silence" is methodological in nature, but this is only partly true. Silence about the goal cannot be reduced to an ontological stance. This type of silence includes a very heterogeneous lot, for example, pragmatic silence as in the parable of the poisoned arrow(3)---a clear case of methodological silence. One may also subsume under the first category of silence about the goal the subclass of laudatory silence, as in those cases when we are simply told that the Buddha is so inscrutable that words are inadequate to praise him. There is also the silence of the Buddha himself, who "never preached a single dharma.(4) This class is inextricably related to both main categories; but, though it spans both the goal and the path, it also includes the important class of silence as an element in the behavior which follows becoming a Buddha. Under silence about the goal the most important class is, nevertheless, ontological silence. The ultimate goal does not belong to the realm of the speakable. A Buddha cannot be reached "by the roads of speech."(5) Our second main category, silence as part of the path, also may be taken to include a variety of doctrines about language. There is the pragmatic silence mentioned in the previous category: if speech is superfluous in the practice of the path, then it is merely a waste of time. (6) But speech can also be misleading, it could, by its very nature, lead astray the follower of the path. This quality of speech could be due to simple moral reasons or to psychological reasons or even to epistemological reasons. That is to say, talk could be an impediment because it is the epitome of the world's sham and frivolousness, as in "the most p. 139 talked about," etc. Or it may be an impediment insofar as it leads to a mental distraction, agitation, and turbulence. Lastly, it could constitute an obstacle because it offers a semblance of reality, thus fooling the practitioner into complacently believing that he has seen face-to-face what he simply knows by words. The Buddhist scriptures move back and forth from one category to the other, perhaps with very good reasons, for thirst (t.r.s.naa) and nescience (avidyaa) exist by mutual generation.(7) Silence about and in the goal is mystical silence proper, that is, the silentium mysticum. But silence in the path could be described more accurately as "ascetic silence," that is, silence as a preparatory exercise (propaedeutica mystica) .(8) Basically it falls into two classes: the path-silence proper which leads directly into mystical silence and moral or eremetical silence which simply prepares the environmental ground for the former.(9) Ascetic silence, for instance, can be a way of emptying the mind in order to make it receptive to an influx of external light, as in the infused contemplation of some of the Christian mystics. This type of ascetic silence is often connected to, but still separable from, the silence that stems from humility: the recognition of man's impotence before the might of God. These two differ from eremitical silence, the purpose of which is to retreat from worldly commitment and business, as in the beatus ille qui procul negotiis. But all these forms can and often do coalesce in one ascetic practice, often appearing in the instructions of the ascetics as interdependent and mutually reinforced. TEXTUAL NOTE Some of these views on words and silence form the leading themes in the fourth book of the Suttanipaata and are found in several significant passages in the fifth book. The last two books of the Suttanipaata, A.t.thakavagga and Paaraayanavagga, respectively, constitute no doubt the oldest strata of the work and belong to the oldest of the Paali texts.(10) The significance of these passages cannot be exaggerated. In many ways they anticipate (rather than foreshadow) some of the key doctrines of the Great Vehicle and often help establish possible connections or smooth transitions from the Buddhism of the Nikaayas to the Buddhism of the Great Vehicle. One is tempted to discover here a common ground, unfortunately neglected by the Abhidharmist and long forgotten by the Great Vehicle.(11) When I first read the Mahaaviyuuha-sutta of the Suttanipaata I was impressed not only by its freshness and directness, but also by its originality. Somehow its advocacy of abstention from disputes and arguments stood out as a unique stance that could not be easily reduced to a simplistic doctrine of abstention from disputes for the sake of the peace of noninvolvement. It also seemed evident that the pronouncements made in this sutta could not be reduced to other, more common teachings of the Paali Canon without doing some violence to the text. Stock phrases which in the Canon were used to indicate the highest p. 140 knowledge, such as "jaanaami passaami" and "",(l2) were used here to indicate the false science of those who were still attached to views. Moreover their attachment was not deemed to be merely the attachment to wrong views, but to views in general. Also, there was no question here of teaching the superior dharma, rather the point was that the true follower of the path would not prefer any dharma; he would make no claims to the possession of a higher dharma.(13) Further consideration of Suttanipaata passages from the A.t.thakavagga and the Paaraayana showed that these two sections differ radically even from the rest of the Sn itself. The Suttanipaata passages we have considered in this article--mostly from the A.t.thaka--stand out among the Paali texts much like the Mahaaviyuuhasutta. These passages strike the reader as some of the most explicit and representative statements of an extreme apophatic tendency found elsewhere in Buddhist literature. This tendency---or is it a contemplative tradition of some kind?--reappears later in the literature of the Perfection of Wisdom, and, even more patently, in the Praasa^ngika Maadhyamika and in the various Ch'an lines. This tendency could be characterized in the theoretical realm as the doctrine of no-views, and in the practical realm as the practice of practicing no dharmas. In its more extreme manifestations this tendency is diametrically opposed to the doctrine of right-views and the practice of gradually and systematically cultivating the true or pure dharmas. "Morally" it stands on an ascetic discipline of silence which corresponds and leads to the higher goal of silencing the mind's imaginative-discursive faculties, whereupon the mystic reaches the ultimate state of inner silence, considered to be itself beyond all possible theoretical description. Contrary to the customary insistence on "right views" the A.t.thakavagga speaks of giving up all views. One cannot avoid feeling that the injunction of the Nikaayas to give up hankering for truth, views, morality, and vows is only taken in earnest in the A.t.thaka.(14) The men of wisdom are described again and again as those who do not find support or preference in anything:(15) They fancy not, they prefer not, and not a single dharma do they adopt. No true brahman can be led by vows or morality; he who is thus, gone beyond, does not rely on anything. (803)(16) Instructions to the follower of the path could not be more explicit: Renounce all vows and moralities, and [all] those acts, whether blamable or unblamable, throw away [all ideas of] purity and impurity, fare dispassionate, grasp not at peace. (900) As we will see presently, this is no injunction to moral indifference. In what way is total renunciation like indifference? How is this renunciation completed? The Suttanipaata shows that there is p. 141 still more to deny in defining the path. This mystical science excludes all views and theories: Giving up assumption, unattached, he builds no reliance on knowledge itself... he does not rely on any view whatsoever. (800)(17) This attitude, if we may describe it thus, has important behavioral consequences which the stanza summarizes with the phrase "he does not take sides among [those who uphold] the various assumptions."(18) But, for the time being, let us remain with the topic of not relying on views. This idea is in fact well known to us through the traditional doctrine of the Middle Path--avoiding the two extremes. Thus, not to rely on views is in a certain way a form of nondualism. However, one could not overemphasize the distinctive mark of the nondualism of the A.t.thakavagga (A.t.tha).(19) As in so many passages from the Suutra literature, the Middle Path is primarily the path of nonattachment. Such passages put on trial attachment and its destructive psychological effects, not the metaphysical validity of the two extremes. The mind moors in diverse opinions, clutches at them passionately. The clinging to views of this opinionated being is what perverts him; which opinion might be the "correct" one is ultimately irrelevant. The A.t.tha's recommendation is to abandon this mooring or installation (nivesana) in views, this leaning toward the extremes of this or that, which is the result of the mind's forging an immutable apperception (sa~n~naa) of things. The truly wise are free of these fixations. According to the fourth poem of the A.t.tha: He who has no leanings here to either of the two extremes: being or not being, here or beyond, he has no moorings whatsoever, no clutching while distinguishing among dharmas. (801)(20) He has not formed (or fancied) even the least apperception in what is here seen, heard or thought.., (802)(21) He is not like those who are "entranced by the passion of their views" (891d).(22) For he knows that men are not released by means of opinions and theories: If a man were made pure by viewing, or if he could abandon sorrow by means of knowledge, then one still having additives (sopadhiko) would be purified by something other [than himself]. It is indeed mere opinion to speak thus. (789)(23) A true brahman is not called pure because of something other, whether seen or heard, whether vows of morality or something thought. [He lives] unsoiled by sin or merit, having given up assumptions, not fashioning any more here. (790)(24) The Mahaaniddesa fails to understand the true purport of this passage when it glosses: "If a man were made pure... by another, impure path, by a false path...other than the Noble Eightfold Path...."(25) The very context of the whole poem (788-795, A.t.tha section iv), shows that the view under attack is that of him who relies on knowledge (pacceti about things seen, heard or thought. Moreover, another stanza, from section xiv, confirms our interpretation: p. 142 Only he should bring himself to rest. not elsewhere should the bhikkhu seek peace. For him who has brought himself to rest there are no assumptions, whence, then, could there be non-assumption? (919) (26) This emphasis on ''self" in opposition to "other" has no immediate metaphysical implications. It is simply a forceful manner of expressing complete detachment from all dharmas: Whatever dharma he knows. whether in himself or outside, in it he makes no station; for the good do not call this true rest. (917)(27) Let him not by such [a dharma be led to] think that something is better, or worse, or even the same. Touched by multiple forms, let him remain without distinguishing or fancying (vikappayan) himself. (918)(28) We may now return to section iv and let the concluding stanzas sum up the message of the poem: They do not fancy, they do not prefer, they do not say: 'This is total purification'. Once free from the knotted knot of grasping, they have longing for nothing in the world. (794) Gone beyond all limits, a true brahman, he has no clutchings. whether by knowing or seeing. He does not delight in passion nor does he delight in dispassion. For him there is nothing more to clutch at here. (795)(29) The theme of grasping or clutching recurs throughout the A.t.ha, and the root of this grasping is always presented as bound to opinions and talk. It is extremely difficult to go beyond our habitual mooring in views because of our habit of clutching at our distinctions among dharmas (801. 795ab). This grasping, moreover, is the cause of our delusion (84lab) . Upon it a man builds his world of preferences, attachments, pat-ties, contentions and disputes (862-873). But, what is the cause of our preferences and attachments? The misdirected mind, specifically the wrongly applied faculty of apperception (sa~n~naa).(30) Apperception leads to dualities, graspings, conflicts, and sorrow because of its two primary functions: its power to conceptualize and define (sa.mkhaa) and its tendency toward division and multiplicity (papa~nca). The capacity of these faculties to generate friction and frustration is reinforced by the root apperception of "I" and "mine." The A.t.tha, however, does not have a consistent doctrine on the question of what causes what, nor does it offer a complete or clear teaching on the role of the idea of a self or an "I." In one key passage it seems that the "I" idea and "thirst" have similar or rather parallel roles: Let him bring to a stop all the root of conception and dispersion, [that is, ] the thought `I am'. Whichever thirst there is in him let him drive away as he trains ever mindful. (916)(31) Venturing a free gloss of this stanza, one may understand the process by which mindfulness destroys the moorings and hankerings of the mind in the following way: mindfulness pulls the mind back to the ever-fleeting present, away from its extensions into the past and the future.(32) In this way it acts in exactly the opposite direction of the process of apperception, and thus uproots con- p. 143 ception (by which the "I" freezes reality to fit our views and desires) and dispersion (by which the mind runs out after things in order to make them "mine").(33) In the extremely important, yet obscure final stanzas of the Kalahavivaadasutta (A.t.tha, poem xi), after a pithy description of how "form is made to cease"(34) by means of the control of apperception,(35) the poem concludes: "for dispersion with conception have apperception for their cause." (874)(36) The causal series presented in this poem reminds us of the one described in the Sakka-pa~nhaa-sutta of the Diigha: (37) both take human conflict and aggression as the final effect (not old age and death) , both offer primarily psychological explanations of the problem, without explicit references to cosmological or eschatological conceptions. In both texts man's choosing between the dear and the not dear is at the root of friction and frustration, and this picking and choosing is rooted in wishing or wanting (chanda). In the Diigha, chanda depends on vitakka (mental discourse), and vitakka depends on mental (and verbal) dispersion (papa~nca). The Kalahavivaada is more subtle, but also more repetitive and less linear. This is not the occasion to deal with this difficult passage in detai1,(38) suffice it here to say that, according to this sutta, opinions and desire (or wishes: chanda) are equally rooted in the dualities of pleasant and unpleasant, coming to be and ceasing to be. These dualities are caused by contact (phassa), which here seems to be synonymous with appropriation and the idea of "mine." Contact depends on name and form, and name and form can be "made to cease"(39) by bringing about a change in the process of apperception. Thus, the calming or bringing to rest of the process of apperception which lies at the root of clinging, and therefore of suffering, is the ultimate goal of the way of silence. Not holding on to any view, not mooring in things seen, heard, or thought, quieting down all talk (vaada) and contention (vivaada) is an important part in the process of quieting down affective and cognitive dispersion (prapa~nca); the other element in the process, mindfulness, is properly the instrumental arm by means of which the mind is brought to a state of emptiness from apperception. And this state of emptiness is the only state that is beyond suffering. Having arrived at this juncture where the abandonment of views and opinions is justified in terms of its place in the process of overcoming suffering, we are introduced to another type of silence: the silence of the goal. The goal is clearly a state in which "name and form are no more." This is not a state of unconsciousness, obviously, but we must take a few lines to allow the Sn itself to dispel those suspicions of nihilism which are still provoked by the over-enthusiastic rhetoric of apophatic Buddhism. Perhaps such suspicions are aroused with particular force by the deservedly famous Upasiivamaa.navapucchaa of the Paaraayana(section vii: 1069-1076). There we are told how to reach release in the following words, which summarize much of what has been said above: p. 144 Mindfully watching the [realm of] no-thing, (40) relying [only] on "there is not", cross the flood. Giving up desire, detached from all talk, day and night look into the extinction of thirst. (1070) He who has left behind attachment to all desires, relying on no-thing, abandoning ought else, is released in the ultimate release from apperception. There he is firm, not to be followed. (1071)(41) This passage should not be interpreted in terms of the meaning that its vocabulary has in other parts of the Tipi.taka, but, if it is understood as literally as possible, it will reveal to us a fresh and illuminating message. The realm of no-thing (aaki~nca~n~nam), for instance, cannot properly be construed as a reference to the classical hierarchy of the samaapatti. Here this "nothing" is at the very core and apex of the meditational path. It is that upon which the practitioner establishes his meditation. Giving up external perturbations (desire-- talk) he mindfully looks into the empty, still point of his concentration. In order to look into this point he must rely on "no-thing" and give up everything else (sense objects, sensations, conceptions, etc.). This practice leads to release from apperception. Is this then a state of unconsciousness? In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, one still finds the term sa~n~na (sa.mj~naa being taken to mean "consciousness"(42) That the meaning of the term is close to some of the Western philosophical uses of "apperception" is clear from the scholastic literature and from scattered contextual evidence.(43) In the Sn, sa~n~na is the basis for conception and verbal distinctions (874) , apperceptions are formed or fashioned (pakappitaa... sa~n~naa) (802), they can be the object of attachment (792, 847), and together with views they are the primary object of grasping (847) . It is also difficult to see how the term sa~n~naa could mean "perception" in the context of the Sn, where the sa~n~naa are found to be formed or fashioned by the mind, and where we are told that dualities arise from the apperception of permanence (886). But then, is the Upasiivamaa.navapucchaa speaking of a cessation of apperception or conceptualization when it defines the highest goal as "the release from sa~n~na"? This question is best answered by the Kalahavivaada. The problem there is how to bring to rest all "name and form."(44) In other words, how do you stop the conflict of dualities which is at the root of all worldly conflicts? Form is made to cease in the following way according to the sutta: When he has not an apperception of apperceptions, when he had not an apperception of non-apperception, when he does not not apperceive, when he does not have apperceptions without an object, for him who has attained to this, form ceases, for apperception is the cause of dispersion and conception. (874)(45) No matter how we interpret the term sa~n~naa, it is obvious that the paradoxical rhetoric of this passage does not justify assuming that the goal is in any way the mere stopping of mind processes or perception tour court. Another passage in the A.t.tha throws some light on the meaning of the abandonment of apperception. In the Maagandiyasutta, known by title to the p. 145 compilers of the Sa.myuttanikaaya,(46) the goal is described in the following terse lines: The truly wise does not form opinions on the basis of views or things thought out, he is not made thus. He would not be led by actions nor by learning, he would not be led to moorings of any kind. (846) For him who is detached from apperceptions there are no knots, released by insight he has no delusions. Those who hold on to apperceptions and views go around in the world in constant conflict. (847)(47) The stopping of apperceptions follows the bringing to rest of all predispositons of the mind (732).(48) With this, all strife is ended: For nowhere in the world does the pure fashion views about being or non-being. The pure, having abandoned all sham and opinions, completely detached, who could reach him? (786) Attachment leads to talk about dharmas. How then, and who, could talk about the detached? For the has no assumptions, nor is he without assumptions; he is here cleansed of all view. (787)(49) The clear emphasis on nonduality and freedom from opinions, freedom from talk (whether it be what the man released from apperception would have to say about the world, or what the world would have to say about him), is in fact quite apposite in the frame of reference of the path suggested in the A.t.tha. The Paaraayana uses a somewhat different terminology. There the is fixed in becoming and is thus perturbed by becoming; the goal is to bring this to rest. This is not the place to discuss the meaning of this elusive term, but for the Paaraayana I find Hare's rendering quite appropriate ("mind at work"), and the usual "consciousness" very inappropriate. (50) Be that as it may, we are here concerned only with the fact that in the section on the questions of Upasiiva (quoted earlier), the Paaraayana abstains from asserting the cessation of the, and actually speaks of a release from apperception (sa~n~naavimokhe). Moreover, in this very same passage the question of language is brought up again in a manner reminiscent of the A.t.tha and not so characteristic of the Paaraayana. In the first place, the discipline of the path includes detachment from talk (virato kathaahi) (1070). In the second place, the goal, the highest release, is found in the release from apperception (1072). Lastly, the man who has attained to this goal is himself beyond the province of language and conception, he cannot be in any way described or defined: "... he who is thus cooled and released, is there for such a one any ideation (" "As a flame blown out by a gust of wind "ceases" and cannot be reached by conception, in the same way the muni, released from name and body, "ceases" and cannot be reached by conception." (1074)(51) He who has gone to cessation, is he no more? Or is he in eternal well being?..." (1075) "Of him who has gone to cessation there is no measure, there is nothing in p. 146 terms of which they could speak about him. When all dharmas have been uprooted, all the ways of speech have also been uprooted." (1076)(52) These lines bring to mind immediately the concluding lines of the Kalahavivaada: Some wise men say that the highest here is the cleansing of the spirit, still others among [the wise] who call themselves experts on the "remainderless"(53) say that it is passing away. (876) But knowing that they rely still, the Muni knows and examines [the object of] their reliance.(54) The man who is released does not seek dispute, he does not give himself to becoming nor to non-becoming. (877) According to these passages, the way to the goal is a way of silence, the goal is beyond words, and the man of the goal is himself beyond all talk and speculation. Because an essential part of the solution to the problem of sorrow and conflict is the eradication of all "moorings of the mind", attachments to apperceptions, the path and the goal can best be described in terms of a nonduality or middle path. The man of wisdom seeks to abandon the thirst for nonexistlence as much as the thirst for becoming (856, 1068, 801). The path is also described in terms of this nonduality: Cleansing is not attained by things seen or heard, nor by knowledge, nor by the vows of morality, nor is it attained by not seeing or not hearing, nor by not knowing, nor by absence of morals and vows. Abandoning all these, not grasping at them he is at peace, not relying, he would not hanker for becoming. (839)(55) It is again significant that the Paaraayana's formulations of nonduality are often softer.(56) For instance, instead of speaking of not grasping at any dharma, as does the A.t.tha, the Paaraayana says that the man of wisdom (here called bhikkhu in contrast to, which is more common in the A.t.tha) is an expert in all dharmas (1039, 1112). The A.t.tha is always very explicit about its radical views: When a man confined in views puts something first in the world as "the highest", calling all else "the lowest," he has not gone beyond dispute. (796) The experts call a knot (bond) that leaning on which one regards everything else to be lowly. Therefore the bhikkhu does not lean on anything seen, heard or thought, nor no morals and vows. (797)(57) Those who, grasping at views argue and say: "Only this is the truth," to them you should say when talk begins: "There are none here to reply to you in strife." (832) But those who do follow a path of not taking sides, who do not oppose views by means of views, from them who will you obtain, Pasuura, from them who here do not have a "highest" to grasp at? (833)(58) In conclusion, it is obvious then that the A.t.tha's intention is not to propose a different view. Nor does it propose a nonview (systematic rejection of all views). The involved rhetoric of this short text seems to be aimed at an injunction to detachment from the tendency of the mind to become fixed in cognitive and affective extremes, in immutable mind-made polarities. I do not believe we could consistently interpret the A.t.tha as the pronouncement of a self-serving p. 147 Buddhist who believes that the clash of views is counterproductive merely because there is only one correct view and that he who possesses that view (that is, the Buddhist) can afford not to enter the ring of dispute, for, after all, he knows that he is right. No, we have in the A.t.tha a doctrine of nonduality, found elsewhere in the Paali Canon only sporadically. Whether the practice of such a doctrine is humanly possible is another question, which is not the concern of this article. The A.t.tha does, however, point at a possible reason why such a doctrine is necessary: There are not in fact many and various truths, except for the worldly apperception of "permanents." Fashioning arguments on views, they pronounce a duality of dharmas: `true and false." (886)(59) The holding on to these apperceptions of immutable principles or objects is growing roots in mere figments of the imagination. The stability of these principles is deceptive, for they are in fact wrought by an unstable mind: Who still has principles (dhammaa) fashioned, constructed, prejudiced and not cleansed, when he sees advantage in assumption, he is [only] relying on a "peace" which depends on agitation. (784)(60) The defender of views, of course. favors his own views above all others (904), but, The true brahman does not attach himself to fancies or concepts, he does not regard any view as all important, nor is he a friend of knowledge. Yet, having known the opinions of men at large, he regards even-mindedly the extremes at which others clutch. (911)(61) Whatever opinions are held by men at large, he, having known, does not form attachment to any of them. Why should the unattached seek attachment, he who does not give in to things seen or heard? (897)(62) But together with its pronouncements on views and talk, the A.t.tha weaves in important contemplative and moral (or, perhaps better, ascetic) recommendations. Mooring in views, grasping at apperceptions, is not fundamentally a cognitive process and it must be stopped by a specific method of ascetic training. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . One should train ever mindful, driving out whatever thirst there is within. (916cd) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Touched by multiple forms, he will not make a station in them fancing himself [as this] or that.(918cd)(63) He should grow calm in himself, the bhikkhu would not seek peace from something else.... (919ab) These lines are followed by specific instructions on how to attain "calm within himself": p.148 His eyes do not roll about,(64) he turns his ear away from village talk, he does not hanker after flavors, nor does he consider as "mine" anything in the world. (922) He does not gather and make store of things to eat, drink, chew, or wear, nor is he afraid of not obtaining these. (924) Let him be intent on contemplation, not loitering around, let him put a stop to worrying, let him not be unheedful. He will seek to dwell in a spot where noises are few. (925) He would not be led to speaking falsehood, ever watchful, he is free of sham and malice,(65) he will not despise others for their way of life, for their wisdom, for their morals or vows. (931) But the most characteristic elements in the conduct of the sage are his nongrasping at the ideas of `me' and `mine' and the resulting detachment from views, opinions, and comparative judgments: He who has no idea of `mine' in all names and forms, nor grieves at what is not, he loses nothing in the world. (950) For whom there is no 'this is mine' or `another's is that' with respect to anything, he has found nothing to make into `mine' and never grieves `this is not mine'. (951) The muni does not speak of `equal', `low' or `high'; serene, having left all egotism behind, he does not grasp at anything nor does he reject anything. (954) This man who does not form a support on anything is then free from the thirst to become one thing or stop being another. (856)(66) He is no longer attached to views and opinions, which are nothing but our attempt to fashion the world in our own image. Calm. free of desire to become, of desire to establish himself, he turns away from talks and disputes (859); he is in fact beyond talk, for his virtues, his calm, and his detachment do not belong to the province of talk and conception (913-914, 876-877, 1076). The distinctive moralizing tone of many passages in the A.t.tha cannot be overlooked. At times one cannot avoid the feeling that the whole discourse is about the bliss of escaping worldly noise and strife. One is reminded of the words of Fray Luis de Leon: iQue descansada vida la del que huye del mundanal ruido; y sigue la escondida senda por donde han ido los pocos sabios que en el mundo han sido !(67) But the passages we have quoted above should convince the reader that the moralizing and the praise of the hermit's life are, in fact, ancillary to a more fundamental message. Views and disputes are not simply abandoned out of the convenience and peace of la vida retirada; at their roots is a fundamental error, wrong apperception, and a fundamental moral wrong, clinging to `I' and `mine'. Views and disputes are the external signs of passionate apperception; talking, opinionating, gimmicking are the signs of inner turbulence and crazy p. 149 grasping, The path recommended in the A.t.tha is then a path of detachment, but primarily of detachment through silence, outer and inner silence. Moreover, the goal itself is very appropriately a state of silence in the sense that the apperceptive faculty is "calmed into submission." At this stage the mind rests only on its silent center. Because it clings now to no apperception, because it is free of dispersions and fixations, there is no way that it, the mind itself, can be described or pinpointed by the way of talk or concept. Thus, the primary purpose of methodological silence is not disengagement or solitude but the discovery of the inner silence which is calm. With regard to ontological silence, the A.t.tha does not present a full theory in the sense of a metaphysical edifice or groundwork for the ineffability of the ultimate goal. Nor can we interpret the A.t.tha in terms of a given right-views theory. In other words, the A.t.tha is not proposing an indirect or preparatory means of establishing or cultivating a specific right view, nor a world view which must be hidden under the mantle of silence or protected from the worldly by reserving it for only those who are worthy of it. What is found in the A.t.tha is (1) a psychology of human friction and frustration, and (2) a few pointers to a human condition beyond the present state of friction and frustration--all of which can be summarized in an injunction to practice a type of silent mindfulness and concentration, in which no specific view is to be sought or upheld. Thus, the A.t.tha's doctrine of silence in is no way empty of a theory. There is, certainly, a basic theory with regard to clinging and the ineffability of nonclinging. The A.t.tha's doctrine, however, is a `no-doctrine'' in the sense that someone who accepts this doctrine is expected to have an attitude with respect to it which is precisely the contrary of what we normally expect from someone who espouses a theory. And this is not the philosophical silence of skepticism nor the methodological bracketing of the phenomenologist. It is the simple fact that to be practically consistent, a theory of the silencing of the moorings of apperception must be self-abrogating. Thus, the theory is incomplete without the practice because theory cannot silence itself by itself. It must culminate in a practice which will bring its consummation by consuming it.(68) COMPARATIVE NOTE One is of course immediately tempted to compare the religion without an ultimate concern of the A.t.tha with the speculative flights of the Maadhyamika. There too prapa~nca and adhinive`sa stand out as two of the main enemies.(69) There too all views (d.r.s.ti) are to be given up for the sake of a goal about which the Great Sage never pronounced a single word. According to the Prasannapadaa (Pras 351),(70) emptiness is also called because it is defined as the stopping of all mental and linguistic dispersion (prapa~nca). This dispersion is nothing but talk, the talk that chains men to things (Pras 373, 448); it involves the conflict between the multiple polarities that define things in the world: p. 150 knowledge and the knowable, speakable and speaker, doer and act, cause and effect, jars, clothes, crown and chariots, form and sensation, women and men, gain and loss, happiness and sorrow, fame and disrepute, blame and praise, etc... (350) When the mind seizes at things there is this dispersion (350-351) from which results the mind's uncontrolled fancying (ayoni`so vikalpa: 350-351,374, 452).(71) As part of this mental disorder, mooring (abhinive`sa) in the ideas of `I' and `mine' grows; and this is the root of the perturbation of the kle`sas, which is the cause of rebirth. (351) Only when seizing at an immutable form for things ceases, through the vision of emptiness, does the whole series end. (350-351) The goal then is to put to rest all seizing or apprehending sarvopalambhopa`samah: xxv. 24a) , putting to rest the dispersions of the mind (prapa~ncopa`samah: xxv. 24b). This goal is not defined by any ultimate principle, the Buddha in fact never taught a single dharma (xxv. 24cd). For what is sought is the bringing to calm of the harborings of the mind. The Maadhyamika seeks to stop all apprehensions of an immutable reality, thing or principle, all apperceptions of being and not being, coming to be and ceasing to be. For, When no being is obtained, which one could imagine not to exist, then, deprived of all basis, how could non-being stand before the mind? When neither being nor non-being stand before the mind, then, having no where else to go, without support, the mind is brought to rest.(72) Thus, the true function of emptiness is to free the mind of its own harborage and hankering. Emptiness, then, cannot constitute itself a view, a principle; it cannot be reified if it is to fulfill its liberating role: The non-operation of all views which is the escape from all grasping and mooring, that is here emptiness. (247) Emptiness, wrongly perceived brings destruction.... (xxiv. II) The conquerors describe emptiness as the escape from all views, but those for whom emptiness is a view, they are called `incurable'. (xiii. 8) The Master spoke of the abandonment of both coming to be and ceasing to be, therefore, cannot be appropriately called neither being nor non-being. (xxv. 10) Ultimately, truth is beyond the reaches of knowledge itself, beyond all speech. (374) When the mind processes [of fancying and apprehending] are no more, whence would there be a superimposition of signs (nimitta), without this [superimposition] whence would there be the process of speech. It is therefore firmly established that the Blessed Buddhas have never taught anything. (364) A Buddha is free of all fancying and mental fashioning. He is therefore beyond all speech, He never preached any dharmas. (366) Further-more, nothing can be said about the Buddha. Those who believe that they can come to understand the Buddha through the prolixity of their talk and speculation have not seen the Buddha in truth (xxii. 15). They are like blind p. 151 men looking at the sun. (448)(73) The Maadhyamika doctrines referred to above are all strongly reminiscent of the A.t.tha. Yet, there are no parallels in the A.t.tha corresponding to the philosophical groundwork of the Madhyamaka. We miss the rhetoric of the tetralemma, the ontological framework of causation and dependent origination, the double truth, etc. It is true that the analogy does not break down because of these differences; the basic elements which we recognized in the A.t.tha are for the most part in the Madhyamaka: silence as a part of the way to calming the workings of wrong apprehension, a goal beyond all talk and the conqueror of the goal who is beyond all description or verbal apprehension. And these are, no doubt, characteristic of and central to the teachings of both A.t.tha and Madhyamaka. Yet, the differences that exist are seldom unimportant, though they may be considered subtle or marginal to the religious quest. The radical statement of "Buddha's silence" as found in the Madhyamaka is not to be found anywhere in the A.t.tha, or, for that matter, in the whole Paali Canon. One thing is to say that Buddhas do not cling to views and do not enter into disputes, and another is to say that from the moment of his awakening the Buddha never spoke a word. It is not only a question of emphasis or rhetorical pyrotechnics. There is an important philosophical difference. In the first case we are dealing with a very concrete description of the way to do something and of the results that follow, in the second case we are dealing with the ontological explanation and justification of the experience and its value, We find agreement on the fact that truth is not multiple (Madhyamaka xviii.9, A.t.tha 886ab), but the A.t.tha makes no attempt to define the one truth. The Madhyamaka, it is true, ends up by declaring that the one truth is neither truth, nor untruth, etc. (xvii 8), but the point is that while Naagaarjuna seeks to establish dialectically and ontologically the value and significance of nonapprehension, the A.t.tha is taking that very nonapprehension as the point of departure for practical injunctions. The A.t.tha requires silence because it contributes to final calm and release, the Maadhyamika, because all dharmas are beyond speech, ineffable, empty and from the beginning pure (Pras. 539). The A.t.tha does not seem to be at all concerned with the existence of a formed body of Buddhist --doctrines (if there was one of them), or with the possibility that these doctrines could be incompatible with its teachings of nonduality, whereas Naagaarjuna is patently conscious of the conflict. On the one hand, he seeks to derive as much as possible of his doctrine from the rhetoric of older speculations and dogmas. On the other hand, he is forced to construct a hierarchy of two levels of truth, by means of which he will secure a place among Buddhist "truths" to the specifics of the path as taught in the suutras. It is true that the "ultimate truth" of the Madhyamaka is beyond all words and understandings (Pras. 493) and is thus placed on a similar position as the goal of the A.t.tha; but the moment that a "conventional truth" is posited the situation changes. This conventional truth or transactional truth (vyavahaara) p. 152 is a necessary element in the plan of the path, for without it one could never reach the ineffable ultimate (xxiv.l0). Such subtleties are a far cry from the direct and simple injunction to silence of the A.t.tha. The "double truth" could imply. Naagaarjuna's protestations notwithstanding, the hypostatizing of silence.(74) The A.t.tha is content with freely jumping from silence to speech, Naagaarjuna is still concerned with the inconsistency. In other words, the A.t.tha seems to have understood effortlessly that silence is not to be reified, that mystical silence is not literal or physical silence. The Maadhyamika, on the other hand, requires the most abstruse rhetoric to wrestle with the dilemma of words vs. silence. But the greatest difference between the two doctrines lies in their points of departure. The A.t.tha sets out to find (or describe) a practical solution to human sorrow, not merely the abstract sorrow of rebirth, but the everyday sorrow of strife and aggression. Naagaarjuna sets out to prove that all dharmas lack self-subsistence (ni.hsvabhaavaadharmaa.h). This leads to a concern with conduct in the case of the A.t.tha, and, on the other hand, a concern with dialectics in the case of Naagaarjuna.(75) SPECULATIVE NOTE In conclusion, the A.t.tha's "theory of no-theory" can be compared rather successfully with the Praasa^ngika Maadhyamika stand. Parallels between the two doctrines become more obvious and valuable if we are willing to concede that the practical motivations or imperatives behind the Maadhyamika are close to those of the A.t.thakavagga. Moreover, the Maadhyamika's opposition to the dharma and theories of the Abhidharmists is thoroughly consistent, though by no means identical with the A.t.tha's rejection of all mooring in dharmas. At this point several highly speculative questions arise. First, do we have in the A.t.thakavagga an early example of a continuous tradition of apophatic Buddhism? If so, could we be justified in speaking of a "protomaadhyamika" in the A.t.thakavagga? Last, what is the historical connection, if any, of this proto-Maadhyamika and a possible Indian "proto-Ch'an"? There is more than one reason why these legitimate historical questions must remain in the speculative realm. One does not have to bring back to life the specter of "original Buddhism" to be able to speak of earlier or latter strata in the Canon, and the A.t.tha no doubt belongs to the earliest.(76) The words "earliest" or "quite early," however, do not mean much in terms of absolute chronology, nor do they, in the least, help to clarify the A.t.tha's doctrinal or historical role in the development of Buddhist dogmatics. Moreover, the propriety of the term "protomaadhyamika" depends also on the establishment of a definite connection between the A.t.tha and the Maadhyamikas. One first step in this direction would be to show that Naagaarjuna knew the A.t.thakavagga or that he belonged to a monastic or contemplative tradition stemming from a religious milieu close or identical p. 153 to that of the A.t.thakavagga. Although the later seems likely, it is a thesis falsification insofar as reliable spiritual lineages and hagiographies are wanting. As to Naagaarjuna's knowledge of the Paali Canon, it seems quite obvious that he must have known some form of the Sa.myukta and the Madhyama AAgamas, and by implication we may conclude that he knew the other AAgamas, but there is no foolproof way of determining specifically which were the texts he was familiar with. Most certainly he believed that the avyaak.rtaani held much of the key to understanding the whole of the Buddha's message, but there is no way of ascertaining whether the was in anyway pivotal to his exegesis of the canonical texts. If the connection with Naagaarjuna is difficult, or impossible to establish, any connection with the Ch'an tradition must remain in the realm of pure speculation. (77) It is somewhat suggestive that some Indian masters found Ch'an congenial to their view of the path. It is also interesting to note that as Maadhyamika turned toward a svaatantrika position, and its abhidharmic traits became stronger, it eventually found itself in frank opposition to the no-doctrine path of Ch'an at the bSam-yas debate ("Council of Lhasa"). In the present state of our knowledge it would be more reasonable to discard the possibility of a one-line transmission and assume that the apophatic teachings of the A.t.tha, the Maadhyamika and, perhaps, the Ch'an, represent one type of path theory. It is also more accurate to envision this type not as a unique and isolated phenomenon, but rather as one tendency among others that grew among a complex of doctrinal attempts to define, refine, or map out the Buddhist mystical path. Thus, in spite of the differences and difficulties outlined above, the Maadhyamaka and the A.t.tha both belong to the same type of Buddhist tradition with regard to the value of views and the function of conceptual thought. This is the same type to which such traditions as the Ch'an belong, and which is characterized by the rejection of all views: views are not given up for the sake of right views, what is to be abandoned is attachment to views. Because such interpretation of the path presupposes the goal of complete eradication of the conceptual harborages of the mind, it is often connected to a doctrine of jiivan-mukti or "leap theory'' of release. This class of Buddhist plans of the path should be contrasted to the "right-views" theories in which the cultivation of right views and the gradual transformation of mind is emphasized.(78) There are, of course, intermediate types, such as we find in the latter Maadhyamika of the Bhaavanaakramas. While most Buddhists agree that the goal is beyond words, the issue is whether the transition from specific verbal directives or descriptions of the path to its consummation in the final face-to-face experience of the goal is best understood as a quantitative transformation or as a qualitative leap. The problem for the gradualist is the textual and philosophic tradition which states that all dharmas, being interdependent, are empty, therefore ungraspable and from the beginning at peace. Such doctrines seem to exclude the possibility p. 154 or functional value of a gradual path, or of any path at all.(79) By the same token, the "leap theory" must explain how it is that specific actions must precede awakening and the final obtainment of the goal. If no specific steps are called for how is it that not everyone is immediately liberated?(80) The Madhyamaka attacks the problem by using the traditional abhidharmic understanding of the middle path as pratiitya-samutpaada. Causal connection guarantees the specificity of the path. However, Naagaarjuna is forced to bring in his double-truth theory to save this very causal connection after he has undermined it through his critique of self-subsistence (svabhaava). The A.t.tha, on the other hand, never considers these problems. Perhaps, if we had to get an answer from the A.t.tha, we could assume that the answer is to be found in the fact that true nonclinging to views includes the negation of all hypostases of negation: neither attached to passion nor attached to dispassion (A.t.tha 795, 813. et al.). In the end, in spite of all his scholastic efforts, Naagaarjuna would probably agree with the A.t.tha, for neither of the two is proposing calm and silence as a reifiable absolute but as a self-abolishing directive to nonclinging. In principle, the problem of the function of the path in emptiness never should have arisen, but precisely because negation is in no way univocal, it had to arise. The fundamental illusions which are at the root of samsaric bondage belong to the realm of language and conceptualization. But silence by itself leads nowhere, first, because the process of conceptualizing is indissolubly connected with a basic state of thought and speech dispersion (prapa~nca) which is affective as well as cognitive, and second, because silence itself belongs to the realm of speech. Thus, our picture of the Middle Path would be incomplete and unfaithful if we were to overemphasize the cognitive aspect (avidyaa) at the expense of the affective (t.r.s.naa), or if we were to take the directive to silence as an injunction to live in the bliss of the deaf and the mute. The wrongly directed minding (ayoni`so manasikaara), which is at the base of the agitation of becoming, must be uprooted by a complete bringing to rest of clinging, affective and cognitive. The pitfall of mystical ineffability is that the directive to silence, if understood at a purely cognitive level, could be reified and transformed into a new apprehension of speech, a source of further dispersion of thought and wordiness. The directive of the A.t.tha thus comes close to that of the Maadhyamaka: to take the pronouncements on emptiness as the true view is to moor in emptiness as if it were another object for clinging. But, unlike the Maadhyamaka, the A.t.tha very aptly emphasizes the connection between conduct (abstention from strife, dispute, and frivolous talk) and meditation (mindfulness, contemplation) on the one hand, and the abandonment of clinging to views, on the other. That is, the A.t.tha clearly sees the interconnectedness of the various levels of silence. The Madhyamaka lacks such a perception; but Naagaarjuna's masterwork is an attempt at grounding the practice in a philosophical rhetoric, it is not a guide to practice. We should not make too much of its silence with respect to the affective and practical side of nonclinging, or assume that Naagaarjuna was ignorant of this p. 155 important aspect of Buddhism as a path of liberation. In conclusion, one should not be too harsh with Naagaarjuna. Many of the passages from the A.t.tha that we have discussed above cannot be harmonized in any way with much of what is found in the abhidharma tradition of the Hiinayaana, against which, no doubt, Naagaarjuna was reacting in the spirit of a tradition close to that of the A.t.tha. In his study on prapa~nca and sa~n~naa, ~Naa.naananda makes it a point to criticize the Madhyamika for its excessive dialecticism.(81) I tend to agree with his stance in this regard, something of the spirit of the Tripi.taka is lost among so much dialectical flourish, but I cannot avoid feeling that ~Naa.naananda has chosen the wrong man to pick on. It is true that both the Prajnaapaaramitaa and the Maadhyamika (and later, in a similar spirit, even Ch'an) tend to fall (almost addictively) into formulistic word games and overlook the simple, practical recommendations of some of the passages in the Paali Canon, especially in the Nikaayas. But, then, the same accusation could be made against the whole of Buddhism, much of the Tripi.taka included. The religion which rose out of the Buddha's silence is no doubt one of the most verbose, abstruse and pedantic of them all. And this applies in particular to the abhidharma that Naagaarjuna was attempting to refute. In many ways, Buddhism has failed to follow the advice of the A.t.thakavagga: to keep away from contentions and disputes by not grasping at views. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Early Buddhist views on the role of language and theorization do not contain anything comparable to a theory of language. With the exception of the older parts of the Suttanipaata (A.t.thakavagga and Paaraayana) and scattered passages in the Nikaayas, the Paali tradition has adopted a view of avidyaa which suggests a condemnation of specific theories or views, rather than an outright rejection of the clinging to theorizing and opinionating. The ineffability of the goal is not taken to imply the impossibility of theorization (as in the Maadhyamika) , and theorization is not seen as inextricably connected to clinging (as in the Suttanipaata) . Nevertheless, the Paali tradition preserves, in the Suttanipaata and elsewhere, several important passages in which one could perhaps discover some kind of "proto-Maadhyamika."(82) These classic lines suggest, however, several interpretations. not all of which lead necessarily to a Maadhyamika position. The Paali tradition contains in the first place (and in a considerable majority of the cases) passages which approach the question of languages from a variety of ontological angles, namely: from a moral perspective (slander, falsehood, etc., as generators of unwholesome roots) , from the perspective of the prophylaxis of meditation (frivolous talk destroys calm and concentration), from the point of view of established doctrinal truth (one should not adopt or promulgate false teachings), etc. But the least frequent passages are of greater interest. These we have placed into two basic categories: (1) goal-silence (the goal is p. 156 utterly undescribable) and (2) path-silence (talking and theorizing are obstacles in the path). The various levels at which these views on language and conceptualization are developed do not necessarily meet in the texts and conceivably could be considered or accepted separately and disconnectedly, as they often are. However, they could all fall into one pattern built around the ineffability of the goal. And this happens in the A.t.thakavagga, where the root of suffering and becoming is discovered in the mind's tendency to passionately cling to its own fancies: its own prolific conceptualizations, rooted in wrong apperception (sa~n~naa). This view of the position of the conceptual process in the plan of the path is theoretically close to Naagaarjuna, and in this sense one could easily interpret most of the authentic works of Naagaarjuna as consistent with at least one non-Mahaayaana tradition.(83) Or one could propose a type or tendency common to both the A.t.tha and Maadhyamika surviving also in isolated passages in the Nikaayas, such as some canonical interpretations of the `indeterminables' (avyaak.rtaani). However, one all important difference subsists between the tone of the A.t.tha and that of the Madhyamaka. Some key passages from the A.t.tha could be called "proto-Maadhyamika" passages in the sense that they anticipate some of the axial concepts of the Maadhyamika. The A.t.tha, however, contains explicit directives, consonant with its moralizing tone, for the eradication of clinging and the abandonment of theorization, and clearly makes way for a corresponding contemplative and ascetic practice. References to this practice are absent in the Madhyamaka and scarce in the other works of Naagaarjuna.(84) Moreover, the theoretical framework of the Maadhyamika is totally absent from the A.t.tha. The twofold truth, emptiness, causation, and dependent origination, the indeterminables, the tetralemma, the equivalence of sa.msaara and, are conspicuous by their absence. But then, perfect correspondence would be just that, and not anticipation. Whether one is willing to bestow the honorific of "proto-Maadhyamika" on the A.t.tha depends mainly on whether one is willing to recognize the practical core around which Naagaarjuna's dialectical edifice has been built. BIBLIOGRAPHY Note: References to Paali texts are all to the Paali Text Society editions. by volume and page numbers unless otherwise indicated. Abbreviated References Abhidharmako`sa: . references by ko`sasthaana and kaarikaa numbers in P. Pradhan, Abhidharm- Koshabhasya of Vasubandhu (Patna: K. P. Jayaswal Institute, 1967) A.s.taada`sa: referred to by folio of the Gilgit Manuscript as edited by Edward Conze. The Gilgit Manuscript of the A.s.taada`sasaahasrikaapraj~naa- paaramitaa, Serie Orientale Roma, 26 and 46, (Rome: ISMEO, 1962, 1974). p. 157 Bhaavanaakramas: G. Tucci, Minor Buddhist Texts, Part II Serie Orientale Roma, IX. 2, (Rome: ISMEO, 1958) . Sde-dge xylograph. Tohoku No. 3926. G. Tucci, Minor Buddhist Texts, Part III Serie Orientale Roma, 48, (Pome: ISMEO, 1971). Bodhicaryaavataara: references to chapter and stanza nos. in L. de la Vallee-Poussin's, ed., in Bibliotheca Indica (Calcutta, 1901-1914). Bodhicaryaavataara Pa~njikaa: references to page in the edition mentioned above. Chalmers: R. (Lord) Chalmers, Buddha's Teachings, Harvard Oriental Series, No. 37 (Cambridge, Mass., 1932). Da`sabhuumika: Ryuko Kondo, Da`sabhuumii`svaro naama Mahaayaanasuutram (Tokyo: Daijyo Bukkyo Kenkyo-kai [sic], 1936). Ga.n.davyuuha: ed. P. L. Vaidya (Darbhanga: Mithila Institute, 1969). Hare: E. M. Hare, Woven Cadences, Sacred Books of the Buddhist, 15 (London, 1948). Ka`syapaparivarta: ed. (Baron)A. von Stael-Holstein (Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1926). Lalitavistara: S. Lefmann, Lalita-Vistara, Leben und Lehre des Caakya-Buddha, Vol. 2 (Halle, 1902, 1908). Madhyamaka: references to chapter and karika in L. de la Vallee-Poussin, Muulamadhyamakakaarikaas de Naagaarjuna avec la Prasannapadaa Commentaire de Candrakiirti, Bibliotheca Buddhica, No. 11 (St. Petersburg, 1903-1913). Madhyaantavibhaaga-.Tiikaa: ed. Susumu Yamaguchi (Nagoya: Librairie Hajinkaku, 1934). Mahaavastu: ed. Emile Senart, 3 vols. (Paris, 1882-- 1897). Neumann: K. E. Neumann, Die Reden Gotamo Buddhos aus der Sammlung der Bruchstucke Suttanipaato des Paali Kanons, (Leipzig, 1911). Nyanaponika: annotated German translation of Suttanipaata, (Konstanz: Verlag Christiani, 1955). Pa~ncavi.m`sati: Pa~ncavi.m`satisaahasrikaapraj~naapaaramitaa, ed. Nalinaksha Dutt, Calcutta Oriental Series, No. 28 (London, 1934). Prasannapadaa: ref. to pages in Madhyamaka, above. Vajracchedikaa: Vajracchedikaapraj~naapaaramitaa, ed. E. Conze, Serie Orientale Roma, XIII, 2d ed. (Rome: ISMEO, 1974). NOTES 1. The stanza is from St. John's poem "Coplas del mismo hechas sobre un extasis de harta contemplacion", pp. 410-412 in Ruano's edition: Crisogono de Jesus, Matias del Ni~no Jesus, y Lucinio Ruano, Vida y obras de San Juan de la Cruz, Doctor de la Iglesia Universal, (Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1972). The lines can be prosaicly translated: "He who truly arrives there, will loose consciousness of himself; whatever he used to know now seems insignificant to him, yet his science grows so much that afterwards he remains knowing, even beyond all science.'' The gulf that separates the Christian mystic's view of silence and ignorance as conditions of the mystic path and goal from that of the Buddhist can be fully appreciated by perusing St. John's remarks in Noche oscura, I. 10 ff., II.11 ff., these chapters are analyzed in Leonard A. McCann, The Doctrine of the Void in St. John of the Cross (Toronto: Basilian Press, 1955). Compare also, St. John's comments on the lines " ... la musica callada, la soledad sonora..." in Cantico espiritual, canciones 14 y 15, sec. 25-26, in Ruano. Also, Dichos de luz y amor, 131, and Federico Ruiz-Salvador, Introduccion a San Juan de la Cruz (Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1968), pp. 99-104, 429-442. 2. Wu-men-kuan, case xxxvi. Furuta Shokin, Mumonkan, (Kyoto: Kadogawa Bunsho, 1968) , p. 124. The problem of words and silence is repeatedly taken up in the Ch'an tradition, confer, for example, the locus classicus in Yuan-wu's comments on the Pi-yen lu's case lxv (pp. 269-278 in Asahino Sogen's edition, Hekigan-roku (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1937). In this passage the simplistic stereotype of Ch'an's aversion to words is exposed for what it is. There is a parallel case in Wu-men-kuan xxxii; also compare case xxiv. Yuan-wu, by the way, chastises Vimalakiirti for his superficial "answer" to Ma~njusri's question. Important desiderata in this area of Ch'an are studies p. 158 of the mo-chao ch'an and k'an-hua ch'an conflict and, of course, on the yen-ch'uan kung-an (gosen koan). 3. Majjhima Nikaaya, I. 426-432. 4. The Paali Canon never used such a strong formula to express the ineffability of the Buddhist message. The stronger form is clearly Mahaayaana. The classical statement is found in Prasannapadaa, p. 366, a passage quoted by Bu-ston to show that sectarian and school differences in Buddhism are "ultimately" meaningless. 5. See our comments on Suttanipaata 1076, below. The "roads of speech" are also mentioned in the Ka`syapaparivarta, section 125: "He does not moor in Dharma even in terms of dispassionateness, how much less then by the utterances of the roads of speech!" (vaakpathodaaharena). Compare A^nguttara Nikaaya, II. 9, where the Tathagata is said to be vaadapathaativatta. Also compare, Ga.n.davyuuha (Vaidya) pp. 17, 21, 22 and 184, Da`sabhuumika (Kondo) p.14, Pa~ncavi.m`satii, p. 212, and A.s. taada`sa, folio 253a. 6. Cf. the interpretation of prapa~nca as "delay" or "obstacle" in the Pali Text Society Dictionary, s.v. Also, compare, Pa~ncavi.m`sati pp. 200, 491-492, and A.s.taada`sa f. 250a. 7. Itivuttaka, p. 34; Abhidharmako`sa, III. vs. 27 - 29 and VI. vs. 3 (corresponding to L. de la Vallee-Poussin, III. pp. 69-72, 88-91, and VI. pp. 136-139. 8. E. Cornelis, in his Valeurs chretiennes des religions non chretiennes (Paris: Ed. du Cerf, 1965), p. 162, mentions the fact that Jaspers considers "que la secheresse meme des nomenclatures de l'abhidharma est un procede stylistique exactement adapte aux necessites d'une propedeutique au silence mystique." Unfortunately no reference is given. 9. The distinctions we have drawn here seem to be purely a priori or, better, formal, and similarities on this point do not contain necessary material implications. Some of these distinctions are made explicitly by St. John in Subida del Monte Carmelo, III.II.I, "... para que el alma se venga a unir con Dios en esperanza, ha de renunciar toda posesion de la memoria, pues que, para que la esperanza sea entera de Dios, nada ha de haber en la memoria que no sea Dios; y como (tambien hemos dicho) ninguna forma, ni figura, ni imagen, ni otra noticia que pueda caer en la memoria sea Dios ni semejante a El, ahora celestial, ahora terrena, natural o sobrenatural.... de aqui es que, si la memoria quiere hacer alguna presa de algo desto, se impide para Dios..." Similar considerations appear in, op. cit., III.3.13, 5.3, and passim. For mystical silence, cf. Llama de amor viva, 2.21, and Dichos de luz y amor,, 27, 99, and, on the anagoge, 138. On ascetic silence, see Subida, III.3.4, 5.1-2, and 9; Dichos, 117, 121, 155, 179, and St. John's letter of 22 November 1587 to the nuns at Beas,in Ruano, p. 371. In some of these passages ascetic and eremitic silence are not separated in any way, as is to be expected. 10. Regarding the age of the Suttanipaata and the "Arthavargiiya" see the summary of the question in Yamada Ryujo, Daijo Bukkyo Seiritsu Ron Josetsu, Shiryo Hen: Bongo Butten no Shobunken, (Kyoto: Heirakuji, 1959) , pp. 54-55 (on Arthavargiiya), 25-27 and 48 (on Suttanipaata). 11. In the scholastic literature, the Suttanipaata is quoted extensively only in the paracanonical work (canonical in Burma). There is, however, one full commentary attributed to Buddhaghosa, the Paramatthajotikaa (the first part of which is dedicated to the Khuddakapaa.tha), and commentaries to books IV (A.t.thakavagga) and V (Paaraayanavagga), the Mahaa- and Niddesa, respectively (both canonical). 12. Sn, 908, 911. Henceforth all references to Suttanipaata will be given with the abbreviation Sn followed by the stanza number, according to the Paali Text Society edition, or simply with the stanza number when the context leaves no doubt about the source. 13. Sn 905 and passim. 14. On the traditional d.r.sti-`siilavrata-paraamar`sa, cf. Abhidharmako`sa, V. 7-8. But also compare A^nguttara-Nikaaya (henceforth, AN), II., p. 42: "kaamesanaa bhavesanaa brahmacariyesanaa saha iti saccaparaamaaso di.t.thithana samussaya"; AN, III. p. 377, Majjhima-Nikaaya (henceforth, MN), I., p. 433. Digha-Nikaaya (henceforth, DN), III., p. 48, etc. Compare the use of upaadaana in MN, I., pp. 50-51: "kaamupaadaana.m di.t.thupaadaana.m siilabbatupaadaana.m attavaadupaadaana.m", also, MN.I., pp. 95-97. Detachment from all virtues and convictions is also prescribed by St. John. Confer, for example. Subida del Monte Carmelo, Book II, i.2, xxix.8, and III, iii.3 and ix.3, but contrast Book II, xvii.4 and also Cautelas, 3, and Cantico Espiritual, iii.3, the inconsistencies in St. John clearly are due to reasons quite different from the ones behind similar inconsistencies in Buddhism, p. 159 see, for example, Subida II, vi,l ff. and Noche Oscura, I, vi.8. The relinquishment of virtue is not to be construed as antinomianism; in Buddhism the number of texts substantiating this point are legion. Perhaps one of the most apposite loci classici is the Sama.nama.n.dikasutta (MN, II., pp. 22-29). `siila-vrata (siilabbata or siilavata) could be read as a determinative or a copulative compound, but in Sn 839 the word is broken up as a copulative. The word `siila, incidentally, is also closer to the etymological meaning of our words moral and morality (mores) than to the contemporary usage of these terms. 15. In quotations, the stanza number will follow each stanza being quoted. 16. A number of difficulties arise in translating this passage. Purekkharoti seems to mean "prefer" (as per 794 and 859), as it does sometimes in classical Sanskrit, but it also suggests the idea of "prejudging" or "predetermining." Also, neyya (as in 846) could mean "to be followed" or "imitated," that is, "to be copied, pin pointed or figured out" by means of his habits (`siila) and convictions (vrata). 17. Here atta (apta) is clearly "what is adopted or assumed (cognitively and affectively)," compare, 787 and 790ff. Hare translates "assumption" and Nyanaponika, not so gracefully, "das einst Geglaubte," implying that there is a new `belief' to be adopted once the past (non-Buddhist) beliefs have been abandoned. I am translating ni-`sri and its derivatives (nissaya, nissito, etc.) with various forms of the verb "to rely." Hare uses "trust" or "have recourse," which is quite alright, but I prefer to preserve something of the literal meaning of "leaning on." 18. "Sa ve viyattesu na vaggasaarii" (800c). 19. Henceforth A.t.tha will stand for A.t.thakavagga. 20. The first line, "Yassuubhayante pa.nidhiidha n' atthi," is rendered by Hare: "Who here directs his thoughts to neither course"; Nyanaponika, "Der kein Verlangen hat nach beiden Enden," Neumann. "Nach beiden Enden wer da nimmer hinspaht"; Chalmers, "When pray'rs for future life... cease." Basically, the problem seems to be pa.nidhi, Neumann and Chalmers take this world in its ]ate meanings, but it is more appropriately construed in its literal meaning of "placing down [-forth]," hence, "direct" or "fix" [the mind]. Hare and Nyanaponika are both acceptable, but Nyanaponika's rendering fits the context better. As usual, be follows Mahaa-Niddesa closely, where the word is glossed (p. 109), "ta.nhaa...abhijjhaa, lobho...." But, in this passage the inclination (pa.nidhi) being described is something more than mere longing; the word obviously refers to inclination in general, and the two extremes could be emotional, moral, or conceptual. 21. Kappa and pakappayati: "form [in the mind]," "fancy," the process by means of which the apperception (sa~n~naa) is formed, this gives rise to the multiplicity of fancies or imaginings (vikappa). The dividing factor is the papa~nca, the fixation factor is the sa^nkhaa. The kappa is the active function of the "moulding" (Hare) of the sa^nkhaara. See the pertinent notes of Nyanaponika in pp. 266 (on Sn 209), 281 (on Sn 373), 293 (on Sn 530), 257-258 (Sn 148), and 293 (on the key stanza 538). However, his comments on sa^nkhaara, p.305. are not as apposite, since he fails to see the closeness of the Sn usage to another, related term: abhisa^nkharoti. His interpretation of sa~n~naa in the Kalahavivaada also seems to be a bit off the mark, for he still feels that the term is being used there in the context of the classical four samaapatti schema, which is obviously not the case. Nyanaponika, however, does take the term as we do in a latter part of his note on stanza 874, where he translates papa~ncasa.mj~naasa^nkhaa with "Vorstellung und Begriff der Vieiheitswelt, " (p.332). But his translation of 874d is weak: "Denn vom Bewusstsein stammt die Vielheitswelt in ihren Teilen," this in spite of his commentary notes. Muta has also been variously interpreted; I take it to belong with the root man (thus, with muni, etc.). Compare sa.mmuti and stanzas 714, 798-799, 846, and, especially 839. Nyanaponika's "Erfahrendes' seems to me a good compromise between the commentatorial derivation from m.r`s- and the derivation from man-; he takes it, though, correctly to be cognate to mata. (Also, compare,, p. 298, and Mahaa-Niddesa, pp. 87-89.) It would seem pertinent at this point to mention two important passages from the Nikayas in which nonattachment to things seen, heard, etc. is formulated in the succint manner of the A.t.tha, but in obvious reference to mindfulness. The Bahiya-sutta (Udaana I. 10) is the most condensed of the two and makes no explicit reference to craving for sense objects. This aspect of the doctrine is p. 160 brought out in the Maalu^nkya-sutta (or Maalukya) of the Sa^myuttra Nikaaya (hence-forth, SN), IV., pp. 72-74, where mindfulness is presented not only as the antidote to lust, but also as the final condition of the mind, beyond all dualities and moorings of the mind (Saara.t.thapakaasinii, however, interprets differently). Compare, also, Theragaahaa, stanzas 794-817. 22. "Sandhi.t.thiraagena hi te `bhirattaa." 23. I take upadhi literally (upa-dhaa), but there is, of course a certain sense of "cover up," "sham." The poet is playing here with the idea of foraneous matter (a~n~nena) piling up as "additives" or "agglutinants" to build up a semblance of a self. An upadhi is a "substratum" only in the sense that it is a base we build in order to have something to lean on, but it is not a real base, it is something added to the true nature of things, not something underlying them or giving any real support to illusion. 24. "Fashioning", pakubbamaano. Compare, abhi(ni)sa^m- kharoti. 25. Pp. 85-86. Followed by Nyanaponika in 789 and 790. 26. This passage could not be more reminiscent of the Maahdyamika. Compare, also, Sn 795d, 813d, and 860d. 27. "Rest," nibbuti. 28. "Naatumaanam vikappayan ti.t.the." An equally acceptable rendering: "Though touched my multiple forms, he would not make a station [in them] fancying himself [to be this or that]." Evidently, vikappayan is to be taken in the sense of "separating and contrasting" oneself with respect to the multiple forms of the world. Thus, Nyanaponika, "Nicht moge man sein Selbst vergleichend unterscheiden." The word ruupa, however, encompasses much more than the "Tugenden" of Nyanaponika's rendering. 29. Nyanaponika takes samuggahiita as a noun meaning "dogmas," but it is clearly a participle of much broader meaning, and interchangeable with uggahita, "that which is grabbed, grasped, or clutched." The change from the third person plural of 794 to the singular of 795 is in the original text. 30. Sec note 21, herein. Also see Bhikkhu Nanananda's excellent study on papa~nca and papa~ncasa~n~na-sa^nkhaa: Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1971). Our interpretation of sa~n~naa (sa^mj~naa) is also confirmed by the scholastics: see, for example, Abhidharmako`sa, . II. stanza 47ab, and commentary to II. stanza 24 and I. stanza 14cd; Visuddhimagga chapter XIV, par. 130. 31. "Muula.m papa~ncasa^mkhaayaa / mantaa asmiiti sabbam uparundhe / yaa kaaci ta.nhaa ajjhatta.m / taasa.m vinayaa sadaa sate sikkhe //"Compare, Sn 1111: "ajjhatta~n ca bahiddhaa ca vedana.m naabhinandato / eva.m satassa carato uparujjhati //" The doctrine of no-self is not presented explicitly in the Sn. There are, however, two important passages that could be interpreted as statements of such a doctrine. In the classical passage at Sn 1119, the Buddha is attributed the words: "su~n~nato loka.m avekkhasu... sadaa sato attaanudi.t.thim uuhacca...." ("regard the world as empty... always mindful, uproot views about [the / your] self"). Whether we construe these lines as an example of anattavaada in the classical sense or as an example of the A.t.tha's teaching advising the monk not to fancy himself as being this or that, being or not being (918, see note 28, herein), is truly not as important as the fact that this passage brings out the important connections: `emptiness-mindfulness-selflessness'. The other passage which seems to contain a pronouncement on the self question is Sn 756: "anattani attamaanam passa loka.m... nivi.t.tham naamaruupasmim, `ida.m sacca.m' ti ma~n~nati." ("See that the world has thoughts of self with regard to that which is not [the] self, mooring in name and form, the world thinks "this is the true". ) 32. Compare note 31, herein, and Sn 1070-1072 (discussed below), also, 855, 1041, 1055-1056, 1105-1111. Less important, but of some interest are 933, 1026, 1035-1036, 1039, 1062, 1119 (see note 31, herein). Notice that most passages on mindfulness are from the Paaraayana. 33. In the practice of mindfulness, no doubt one must find the first irreconciliable difference between Christian and Buddhist mysticism. A few passages in St. John's Subida seem, for a moment, to be speaking of something close to mindfulness (and there is, to be sure, a certain minimal point of contact). Thus, Subida, II. 12. 3, II. 14. 11, and III. 2. 14, emphasize the importance of withdrawing from the fruit of the "imiginative faculties" and emptying the mind of everything except the "memory" of God. But the true nature and purpose of this withdrawal (olvido, in contrast to p. 161 sm.rti) comes through transparently in II. 8-9, II. 12. 4ff., II. 14. 10, and III. 11-14, Llama 3. 19-21 and of course in the whole edifice of the noche pasiva del espiritu in Noche oscura. A careful perusal of these passages shows how superficial any attempt would be at reducing one type of mysticism to the terms of another, as attempted by so many (see, for example, George Grimm in his "Christian Mysticism in the Light of the Buddha's, " Indian Historical Quarterly 4 (1928): 306-338). 34. On the basis of 872 we must surmise that in 873-874 ruupam stands for naamaruupa. Equivalent, no doubt, to the naamakaaya of 1074. Compare, 530, 736, 756. 35. This is the only way I can interpret what is described in 874, discussed below. Compare, the Po.t.thapaada-sutta (DN I.178 ff.), where (p.181) the idea of control, rather than suppression, is clearly suggested. 36. "Sa~n~nanidaana hi papa~ncasa.mkhaa." Compare 916, also 530, 886, and 1041. Compare Itivuttaka, pp. 53-54, but contrast Udaana, p. 77. 37. DN I.276-277. 38. Compare also the causation "series" in the Dvayataanupassanaa-sutta, Sn, pp. 139 ff. 39. The Paali is here less active: "form... ceases," "vibhoti ruupam." 40. On this refreshingly different use of the term aaki~nca~n~na, confer, Sn 976, 1063, 1091, 1098- 1100, 1115. Also, Compare, aki~ncana, in 490, 501, 620, 645, and, of less value, 176, 455. 41. "Anaanuyaayii": Hare, "untrammelled," Nyanaponika, following Cuula-Niddesa, "nicht weiter-wandern." Perhaps better, "not having anything else to follow," that is, he is an 42. Also, "perception." By Nyanamoli, for instance, in his Path of Purification. Confer, note 21, herein. 43. Confer, notes 30 and 36, herein. 44. Confer notes 34 and 39, herein. The context of the sutra itself does not allow a literal interpretation, that is, "making body and mind to cease completely." The cessation is to take place in this life. Confer the ditthaddhammaabhinibbutaa of 1087. But, perhaps this is to be interpreted like the di.t.the dhamme aniitiham of 1053, or in the light of the twofold typology of nirvaana (sopaadisesa and nirupaadisea). 45. There is no place here for the reduction of this passage to the meditational stage of the eighth aruupa-samaapatti (nevasa~n~naanaasa~n~naa) . Compare, Nyanaponika pp. 331-332). Mahaa-Niddesa considers the person who has gone through the path described here as an aruupa-magga-sama^ngii (pp.279-280) and does not seem to appreciate the ascending and dialectic nature of the four steps. It also seems to ignore the fact that the Kalahavivaada is explicitly talking about the complete ending of becoming and sorrow. At any rate, the meaning of the four (or five) samaapattis is not at all clear, particularly if we insist on nevasa~n~naanaas~n~nasamaapatti and the nirodhasamaapatti as mental states "without perception" or "without feeling." It is difficult to see how the sa~n~naavedayitanirodha, which is beyond the state of nevasa~n~naanaasa~n~naa, could be a simple return to "na sa~n~naa." The key to the term is no doubt in the word vedayita. But a clarification must await further research. The canonical literature is not always very helpful. Passages where the highest samaapatti is praised and recommended without a clear definition are abundant (see, for example, AN IV. 429-432, 433-434, and MN I 159-160). In other places the canon seems to confirm interpretations like those of Buddhaghosa with words such as those of MN III. 45: "ayam, bhikkhave, bhikkhu na ki^mci ma~n~nati, na kuhi~nci ma~n~nati, na kenaci ma~n~nati." But, then, contrast MN 111. 28: "puna ca param, bhikkhave, saariputto sabbaso nevasa~n~naanaasa~n~naayatana^m samatikkamma sa~n~naavedayitanirodha^m upasampajja viharati / pa~n~naaya cassa disvaa aasavaa parikkhiinaa honti / so taaya samaapattiyaa sato vu.t.thahati / so taaya samaapattiyaa sate vu.t.thahitvaa ye dhammaa atiitaa niruddhaa viparinataa te dhamme samanupassati `eva^m kirame dhammaa ahutvaa sambhonti hutvaa pa.tiventi' ti / so tesu dhammesu anupaayo anapayo anissito appa.tibaddho vipamutto visa^myutto vimaariyaadikatena cetasaa viharati / so `natthi uttari nissaranam ti pajaanaati / tabbahuliikaaraa natthitvevassa hoti /". Also, compare, the analysis of the jhaanas and samaapattis in the Cuulasu~n~nataa-sutta of the MN (III. pp. 104 ff.). Release is not always attained by way of the samapattis (a fact well known to the defenders of the satipa.t.thaana or vipassanaa meditation system) . Confer. for example, Mahaasatipatthaana-sutta, DN II., pp. 290ff., and Sama~n~naphala-sutta, DN I., pp. 75ff. Compare, also, the analysis of the samaapattis in DN I., pp. 178ff. (Potthapaada-sutta). In the traditional account of the Buddha's enlighten- p. 162 ment it is said that Sakyamuni learnt the third and fourth samaapattis from his teachers Kalama and Ramaputra, realized that these did not lead to emancipation, and proceeded to develop his own method. The nirodhasamaapatti is not presented as the culmination of the new path. See references in Andre Bareau, Recherches sur la biographie du Buddha, Premiere Partie (Paris: Ecole Francaise d' Extreme Orient, 1963). See also, Buddhacarita, Canto XII. The (pp. 76, 100) enumerates five samaapattis with terms reminiscent of the Sn: sa~n~naa, asa~n~na, nevasa~n~naanaasa~n~naa, vibhuutasa~n~naa, nirodhasa~n~naa. Dhammapaala, commenting on this unorthodox list, is obviously at a loss as to its meaning. Compare, Nyanaponika, pp. 331-332. 46. SN III.,p.9. 47, Notice the contrast between the person who is sa~n~na-ratta and the one who is pa~n~naavimutta and, therefore, sa~n~naaviratta. 48. "Sabbasa^mkhaarasama thaa sa~n~naaya uparodhanaa," compare, the passages in note 27, herein. 49. It is interesting to note that a person's views are here taken to be in some way the basis and cause of the view others take of him. Could we say that a person's "own thing" and "gimmick" is that by which others and he himself identify his own being? 50. The vi~n~naana of the Sn is closer to the vij~napti (active) of Yogaacaara psychology, than to the fundamental awareness of consciousness. It is the active and upalabdhi of the mind (Abhidharmako`sa I. vs. 16a.), the act of notation by means of which the sa~n~naa operates (Abhidharmako`sa II. vs. 34ab.). 51. I am not at all satisfied with my rendering, "ceases," for atta.m paleti (gacchati). This is a standard idiom for the setting of the sun, and, as pointed out by Nyanaponika in his note (p. 355),. it has been purposefully chosen to avoid both the idea of annihilation and the idea of a permanent blissful abode, a duality about which Upasiva will question the Buddha in the next stanza (1075). Compare also, 876-877. The simile of fire is also used to avoid both extremes: fire, one of the basic elements, does not cease to exist, it simply becomes imperceptible or ungraspable when it runs out of fuel. On this point, confer, E. Frauwallner, Geschichte der indischen Philosophie, vol. 1(Salzburg: Otto Muller Verlag, 1953) , pp. 225ff., and his important reference to Mahaabhaarta XII.187.2, 5-6 in note 131, p. 470. Also, to the question "so uda vaa so n'atthi udaahu ve sassatiyaa arogo" (1075), the answer is: "... na pamaa.nam atthi," etc. (1076) translated below. 52. Compare, note 5, herein. Also the stock phrase for many of the passages on the indeterminables (avyaak.rtaani), where the topic is the uprooting of the thirst and the grasping of the skandhas, by means of which one could pinpoint a person of the world, but not a Buddha who has uprooted them. Confer, for example, SN IV., pp. 373-380, 384, 401-403, (compare, SN IV., p. 52). On the viannana of the man who is released, compare the Upaya-sutta of SN III. 53-54. 53. "Remainderless" : anupaadisesa!! 54. The idea that the Buddha "sees through" those who, believing themselves experts in release, are still deeply rooted in attachment, reminds me of Kierkegaard's ironist, who sees through the inauthenticity of the pious. Compare, for example, the Concluding Unscientific Postscript, trans. D. F. Swenson and W. Lowrie, (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1941, pp. 537-544. Another interesting, but also partial parallel is found in St. John's remarks on those who cling to the mental images of meditation without letting go into the void of contemplation (Subida del Monte Carmelo,II.xii.6) 55. The question is not the metaphysical validity of any theory, of any of the extremes, but rather the deceit and destructiveness of clinging. The problem is mooring in views; 785ab, "di.t.thiinivesaa na hi svaativattaa / dhammesu niccheyya samuggahiita.m." Both extremes are a bond (801), whether it is becoming or nonbecoming makes no difference (776, 856, 786, 877, 1068). 56. The differences between Paaraayana and A.t.tha are mostly differences of emphasis. Both texts are very close, especially when compared with the rest of the Sn. But differences in approach, language, meter, and style suggest different origins for A.t.tha and Paaraayana. 57. Notice that no view is to be the considered the highest. As we will point out below, this "choicelessness" creates a problem for the formulation of directives in the path. This is the "nondual bind" which has important philosophical and practical implications, especially in the Mahaayaana. I have considered some of these implications in an article on the Buddhist "absolute" to appear shortly in the special volume on Buddhism of Estudios de Asia y Africa del Norte (Mexico, DF) p. 163 58. A "highest" could also be a "beyond" (param). How far off the mark is the Mahaa-Niddesa at times will be appreciated from its gloss of the word visenikatvaa: "senaa vuccati maarasenaa / kaayaduccarita.m maarasenaa, vaciiduccarita.m maarasenaa, manoduccarita.m maarasenaa... sabbaakusalaabhisa.mkhaaraa maarasenaa / yato catuuhi ariyamaggehi sabbaa ca maarasenaa sabbe ca patisenikaraa kilesaa jitaa ca paraajitaa... tena vuccati visenikatvaa ti..." (pp. 174-175). 59. This is one of the most doubtful passages in the A.t.tha, it is also one of the few with evident metaphysical implications (possible parallel to Maadhyamika ontology, too). The Pali reads: "na h'eva saccaani bahuuni naanaa /a~n~natra sa~n~naaya niccaani loke." Chalmers: "Apart from consciousness, no diverse truths exist." Hare: "Indeed there are not many divers truths, Save from surmise on `lasting' in the world." Nyanaponika: "Nicht gibt es Wahrheit vielerlei, verschieden, Von ew'ger Geltung in der Welt, es sei denn bloss im Dunken." Neumann: "Verschieden vielfach kenn' ich keine Wahrheit, Bloss wahrgenommen die da ewig bleibe...." Only Hare comes close to an acceptable rendering. The word sa~n~naaya must be construed verbally with niccaani as its object. The Chinese (Taisho 198, p. 182-b-14) is unclear. 60. "Kuppapa.ticcasanti.m