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Seng-Chao



Spiritual quotes of Seng-Chao

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T he sage moves within the thousand transformations but does not change, and travels on ten thousand paths of delusion but always goes through. This is so because he leaves the vacuous self-nature of things as it is and does not employ the concept of vacuity to make vacuous. Therefore the scripture says, "Marvellous, the World-Honored One (Buddha). You establish all dharmas in their places without disturbing Reality. (1) He does not depart from reality in order to establish them in their places; reality is right where they are established. This being so, is the Way far away? Reality is wherever there is contact with things. Is the sage far away? Realize him in one's life and there will be spiritual intelligence. (TSD, 45:152-153)




Buddhism / Mahayana 2301 | 
Seng Chao, Treatises, The emptiness of the Unreal, Ch.2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 21. 
(1) Fang-kuang ching, ch. 20, TSD, 8:140.







T hus there are reasons why all dharmas are nonexistent and therefore cannot be considered to be existent, and there are reasons why they are not nonexistent and therefore cannot be considered to be nonexistent. Why? Suppose we say that they are existent. Such existence is not true (or absolute). Or suppose we say that they are nonexistent. But phenomena have already taken shape. In as far as things have already taken shape, they cannot be said to be nonexistent, and since they have no true existence, they cannot be said to be really existent. From this, the principle of the emptiness of the unreal should become clear.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2300 | 
Seng Chao, Treatises, The emptiness of the Unreal, Ch.2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 21. 







T he Mo-ho-yen lun says, "Since all dharmas arise through causation, therefore they should have [only relative] existence. [Likewise] since all dharmas arise through causation, therefore they should not have [absolute] existence. Since all nonexistent dharmas arise through causation, they should have [only relative] existence. And since all existent dharmas arise through causation, they should have no [absolute] existence." As we think about it, are these words about existence and nonexistence merely intended for disagreement?




Buddhism / Mahayana 2299 | 
Seng Chao, Treatises, The emptiness of the Unreal, Ch.2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 21. 







T he reason for this is this: If the existence of things is true (absolute) existence, this existence should be eternal by its own nature and should not depend on causes to be existent. If the nonexistence of things were absolute nonexistence, it should be eternal nonexistence by its own nature and should not depend on causes to be nonexistent. If existence is not existence by its own nature but depends on causes to be existent, we know that although it [appears to] exist, it has no true existence. Since it has no true existence, it cannot be called existence in the real sense although it exists.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2298 | 
Seng Chao, Treatises, The emptiness of the Unreal, Ch.2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 21. 







W hat shall we say? Shall we say that things are nonexistent? Then the heterodox view [that things are annihilated] would not be erroneous. Shall we say that things are existent? Then the view that things are eternal would be correct. Because things are not nonexistent, the heterodox view is therefore erroneous, and because things are not existent, therefore the eternalist's view is incorrect. Thus the true words of the absolute truth are that things are neither existent nor nonexistent.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2297 | 
Seng Chao, Treatises, The emptiness of the Unreal, Ch.2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 21. 







T his is to make clear that the sage, in his attitude toward the myriad things, leaves the vacuous nature of things as it is and does not need to disintegrate it before he can penetrate it.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2296 | 
Seng Chao, Treatises, The emptiness of the Unreal, Ch.2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 21. 







T herefore the actuality of things cannot be equated with their names, and names in their true meanings cannot be matched by things. This being so, absolute truth remains tranquil outside of any elucidation through names. How can it be expressed by letters and words?




Buddhism / Mahayana 2295 | 
Seng Chao, Treatises, The emptiness of the Unreal, Ch.2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 21. 







T he Supreme Vacuity which neither comes into [nor goes out of] existence is probably the subtle principle in the reflection of the mysterious mirror of prajna (wisdom) and the source of all existence. Unless one possesses the intelligence and special penetrating power of a sage, how can he harmonize his spirit with the realm of neither existence nor nonexistence? Therefore the perfect man penetrates the infinite with his wonderful mind and the finite cannot obstruct him. He applies to the utmost his ears to listen and his eyes to see, and sound and color cannot restrict him. Is this not because he leaves the vacuous self-nature of things as it is and therefore they cannot affect his spiritual intelligence?
Therefore the sage exercises his true mind and is in accord with principle (li), and there is no obstruction which he cannot pass through. He views the transformation of all things with the clear understanding that [they are all of] one material force (1) and therefore he is in accord with
whatever he may encounter. Since there is no obstruction which he cannot pass through, therefore he can mix with the impure and achieve purity, and since he is in accord with whatever he encounters, he sees the unity of things as he comes in contact with them. Since this is the case, although the ten thousand forms (phenomenal things) seem to be different, they are not so in themselves. As they are not different in themselves, it follows that these [apparent] forms are not the real forms.
As these forms are not the real forms, although they [appear to be] forms, they are not [real] forms at all.





Buddhism / Mahayana 2294 | 
Seng Chao, Treatises, The emptiness of the Unreal, Ch.2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 21. 
This description of the mind of the sage is strikingly similar to those by Chuang Tzu and Kuo Hsiang." The desired state is practically identical with Chuang Tzu's becoming one with the universe and Kuo Hsiang's quiet harmony with all things. In all cases there is "no more deliberate mind of one's own" (wu-hsin) and consequently there is no obstruction between the self and the other but complete harmony without distinction.





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