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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Of him who has conquered the unstable


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style="text-align: justify;">that this doctrine is called the middle doctrine (_madhyamaka_) [Footnote ref 1]. Existence and non-existence have only a relative truth (_samv@rtisatya_) in them, as in all phenomena, but there is no true reality (_paramarthasatya_) in them or anything else. Morality plays as high a part in this nihilistic system as it does in any other Indian system. I quote below some stanzas from Nagarjuna's _Suk@rllekha_ as translated by Wenzel (P.T.S. 1886) from the Tibetan translation.

6. Knowing that riches are unstable and void (_asara_) give according to the moral precepts, to Bhikshus, Brahmins, the poor and friends for there is no better friend than giving.

7. Exhibit morality (_s'ila_) faultless and sublime, unmixed and spotless, for morality is the supporting ground of all eminence, as the earth is of the moving and immovable.

8. Exercise the imponderable, transcendental virtues of charity, morality, patience, energy, meditation, and likewise wisdom, in order that, having reached the farther shore of the sea of existence, you may become a Jina prince.

9. View as enemies, avarice (_matsaryya_), deceit (_s'a@thya_), duplicity (_maya_), lust, indolence (_kausidya_), pride (_mana_), greed (_raga_), hatred (_dve@sa_) and pride (_mada_) concerning family, figure, glory, youth, or power.

15.

Since nothing is so difficult of attainment as patience, open no door for anger; the Buddha has pronounced that he who renounces anger shall attain the degree of an anagamin (a saint who never suffers rebirth).

21. Do not look after another's wife; but if you see her, regard her, according to age, like your mother, daughter or sister.

24. Of him who has conquered the unstable, ever moving objects of the six senses and him who has overcome the mass of his enemies in battle, the wise praise the first as the greater hero.

29. Thou who knowest the world, be equanimous against the eight worldly conditions, gain and loss, happiness and suffering, fame and dishonour, blame and praise, for they are not objects for your thoughts.

37. But one (a woman) that is gentle as a sister, winning as a friend, careful of your well being as a mother, obedient as a servant her (you must) honour as the guardian god(dess) of the family.

40. Always perfectly meditate on (turn your thoughts to) kindness, pity, joy and indifference; then if you do not obtain a higher degree you (certainly) will obtain the happiness of Brahman's world (_brahmavihara_).

41. By the four dhyanas completely abandoning desire (_kama_), reflection (_vicara_), joy (_priti_), and happiness and pain (_sukha, du@hkha_) you will obtain as fruit the lot of a Brahman.

49. If you say "I am not the form, you thereby will understand I am not endowed with form, I do not dwell in form, the form does not dwell in me; and in like manner you will understand the voidness of the other four aggregates."

50. The aggregates do not arise from desire, nor from time, nor from

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[Footnote 1: See _Madhyamikav@rtti_ (B.T.S.), p. 160.]

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nature (_prak@rti_), not from themselves (_svabhavat_), nor from the Lord (_is'vara_), nor yet are they without cause; know that they arise from ignorance (_avidya_) and desire (_t@r@s@na_).

51. Know that attachment to religious ceremonies (_s'ilabrataparamars'a_), wrong views (_mithyad@r@s@ti_) and doubt (_vicikitsa_) are the three fetters.


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