Anattalakkhana Sutta. — The characteristic of no-Self — [anattā·lakkhaṇa] But it is because rūpa is anatta that rūpa lends itself to dis·ease, and that it cannot. The Anatta-Lakkhana Sutta explains how a wrong view of self arises within impermanence and how this wrong view of self results in ongoing suffering. lakkhaṇa Su a taught by the Buddha. This discourse, when produced in pe-wri en copy, comprised pages because it was meticu- lously anscribed by.
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Is there Self in the 25 existences or not? Every being has Buddha-Nature. This is the Self. Such Self has, from the very beginning, been under cover of innumerable defilements. That is why man cannot see it. She has true gold concealed in her house.
But none of the people of her house, whether big or small, anarta of it. But there is a stranger, who, through expediency, says to the poor woman: You must now go and weed the land! If you let my son see where the gold is hidden, I will soon work for you. I shall point it out to your son. The woman sees it, is gladdened, and begins to respect that person.
The case is the same with the Buddha-Nature which man has. Nobody can lakkhanq it.
Fall Retreat Talk 5 Anatta Lakkhana Sutta
This is analogous to the gold which the poor woman possessed and yet could not see. I now let persons see the Buddha-Nature that they possess, which is overspread by defilements. This is analogous to the poor woman who cannot see the gold, even though she possesses it.
The Tathagata now reveals to all beings the storehouse of Enlightenment, which is the Buddha-Nature, as it is called. If all beings see this, they are gladdened and will take refuge in the Tathagata. The good expedient is the Tathagata, and the poor woman is all the innumerable beings, and the cask of true gold anqtta the Buddha-Nature. The people of the world say that there is Self, and within Buddhism, too, we say that there is Self.
The people of the world say that there ,akkhana Self, but there is no Buddha-Nature. This is having the idea of Self in [what is] non-Self. This is an inversion.
This is the idea of the non-Self in the Self. That is why the Tathagata tells his disciples to practise selflessness. This is the third inversion. The case is the same with all beings. They do not come near to a good teacher of the Way. So, they cannot see the Buddha-Nature which is within, even though they possess it. And they are reigned over by greed, lust, anger, and ignorance.
So they fall into the realms of hell, animals, hungry ghosts, asuras, candalas, and get born in such various houses as Kshatriya, Brahmin, Vaishya and Sudra. The karma generated by the mind leads a person, though born a human, into such lives as a cripple, lame, deaf, blind or dumb person, and to the 25 existences, where such as greed, lust, anger and ignorance reign over the mind, and the person is unable to know of the presence of the Buddha-Nature.
The wrestler says that the gem has gone away, even though it is [actually] in his body. The same with beings, too. For example, even when a person is told of the unholy self, he cannot know the true quality of the Self. The same is true of my disciples. As they do not befriend a good teacher of the Way, they practise non-Self and do not know where it [Self] is.
They do not know the true nature of selflessness. How, then, could they know the true nature of the Self itself?
Thus, O good man, the Tathagata says that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature. All these beings are reigned over by innumerable defilements and thus do not know the whereabouts of the Buddha-Nature. When illusion is dispelled, there arises knowledge and brightness. It is thus the case that what rests undisclosed [latent] in the Tathagata is innumerable and is difficult for beings to think about.
Beings are sterile in fortune and do not come across this grass. The same applies to the Buddha-Nature. As defilement overspreds [them], beings cannot see.
For example, the water of the great ocean tastes salty all the same, but it contains in it the best of water, as in the case of milk. Also, the Himalayas are perfect in various virtues and produce various medicines, but there are also poisonous herbs. It is the same with the bodies of all beings.
There are the four poisonous serpents, but there is also present the great king of all-wonderful medicine.
Anatta-lakkhana Sutta: Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic
So-called Buddha-Nature is not something that has been made. Only, it is overspread by defilement. Only a person who thoroughly cuts it away, whether he be a Kshatriya, Brahmin, Vaishya or Sudra sees the Buddha-Nature and attains unsurpassed Enlightenment.
For example, should the thunder roll in the sky, the clouds disperse and all the tusks of the elephant will be covered with flower-petals. If there is no thunder, the flowers do not come about.
Also, this is as in the case where there is no denotative name. The same is also the case with the Buddha-Nature of [all] beings. It is always overspread by various defilements and is not seen. That is why I say that beings do not possess the Self.
One with Wisdom discriminates things and does not say that all is non-eternal. Because man possesses the seed of the Buddha-Nature. When non-Self is talked about, common mortals say that there cannot be Self in the Buddhist teaching. One who is wise should know that non-Self is a temporary existence and is not true.
Knowing thus, one should not have any doubt. When the hidden Tathagatagarbha is stated as being empty and quiet, common mortals will think of ceasing and extinction. This is to adjust beings and because he is aware of the occasion. Such non-self is, as occasion arises, spoken of, and it is [also] said that there is the Self.
This is as in the case of the learned Doctor, who knows well the medicinal and non-medicinal qualities of milk. It is not as with common mortals, who might measure the size of anaatta own self. That is why he says: What is this Self? This is anqtta in the case of the great Doctor who well understands the milk medicine. The same is the case with the Tathagata. The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic Thus it was heard by me. At one time the Blessed One was living in the deer park of Isipatana near Benares.
There, indeed, the Blessed One addressed the group of five monks. Volitional formations are impermanent…. What is Impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself.
What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self. And what, Radha, suttta subject to cessation? Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness is subject to cessation. Self here refers to the True Self, not the false or conventional self designated in this world.
The Buddha discovered that nibbana is atta and only by doing so was he able to say that the five aggregates are anatta… the Buddha realised that atta is different from conditioned dhammas.
There is no conventionality, however great or small or even minute, involved in the mind. But it does not mean the atta that is together anatts anatta that is another stage of conventionality which is still the path to nibbana.
The doctrine of the Self shines brilliantly; it is like the rising of the apocalyptic fire [lit. On ascending the throne, he asks the ministers: Its colour was pure, and it was like an utpala-lotus. A Bodhisattva-mahasattva is also like that — he appears in the world and expounds the true nature of the Self.
After he has expounded it, he departs, as for example like the prince who takes the wondrous sword and flees to another country.
In this anafta people do not know the nature of the Self, [just] as, for example, the various ministers do not know the nature wnatta the sword.
While a Bodhisattva discourses thus about the quality of the Self, ordinary people do not but impute various false concepts to the Self, just as when asked about the attributes of the sword the [ministers] reply that it is like the horn of a ram. These ordinary people generate false views in succession from one on to the other. In order to eliminate such false views, the Tathagata reveals and discourses on the non-existence of a self, just as when the prince tells his various ministers that there is no such sword in his treasury.
This manner of Lakkhaan is shown in the Buddha-Dharma with the example of the real sword. Noble Son, should there be any ordinary person who is able well to expound this, then he [speaks] in accordance with unsurpassed Buddha-Dharma.