The so-called “beings of the world” each rely on their own views, each rely on their own dharma and each rely on their own dialectical positions, thus generating disputation. Frivolous discourse constitutes the basis of disputation. The arisal of frivolous discourse is based upon all manner of views. This is as noted in a spoken verse:
It is on account of accepting dharmas that there is debate.
If there were no [such] acceptance, what would be debated?
Accepting, not accepting, and other such views,—
This man has gotten rid of them all.
The practitioner who, according with reality, is able to be aware of this, does not tender acceptance nor become attached to any dharma or to any frivolous discoursing. Neither does he hold the view, “This is real,” or involve himself in disputes with others. He is able to know the sweet dew flavor of the Buddha Dharma. If one is not this way, he thereby slanders the Dharma.
If one refuses to accept any other dharma, does not have knowledge of it, and does not take it up, he is a person devoid of wisdom. If all dialecticians behaved like this then it would follow that they are all devoid of wisdom. How is this so? Because none of them accept anyone else’s dharma. This is the so-called case of every person maintaining that his own dharma is the foremost in purity while holding that the dharmas of others are but false discourse and impure.
Take for instance the worldly methods of correction. The ancient methods of correction involve corporeal punishments, execution and all manner of impurity. The people of the world have faith in them, accept them, carry them out, and are of the opinion that they are truly pure [practices]. But from the standpoint of others, the good people and superiors (@ryas) among the renunciates, these [practices] are the most impure.
It is the dharma of [certain] non-Buddhist renunciates to stand on one foot in five kinds of hot [substances], to pull out their hair, and so forth. The followers of Nirgranthaputra are of the opinion that this constitutes refined wisdom. Other people say that this is deluded dharma. All manner of other such dharmas of the non-Buddhist renunciates, laypeople, and brahmans are each regarded by themselves as good while anything else is considered to be false discourse.
Within this Dharma of the Buddha there are also the V@ts|putr|ya
bhik+us who say, “Just as the four great elements unite to constitute the dharma of the eye, so too the five aggregates unite to constitute the dharma of the person.” In the V@ts|putr|ya
abhidharma, it states, “The five aggregates are not separate from the person. The person is not separate from the five aggregates. One cannot say that the five aggregates are the person or that apart from the five aggregates there is a person. ‘Persons’ belong to a fifth ‘inneffable’ repository of Dharma.”
The cultivators of the Way who are followers of the Sarv@stiv@da lineage say, “The spiritual ‘person’ cannot be found in any category, at any time, or via any dharmic method. It is like the horns of a hare or the fur of a turtle which are eternally nonexistent. Moreover, [although] the eighteen sense realms, the twelve sense bases and the five aggregates possess an actual existence, no person exists herein.”
Then again, within the Dharma of the Buddha, the cultivators of the Way who belong to the Vaipulya lineage declare, “All dharmas are neither produced nor destroyed. They are empty and devoid of that which exists. They are like the horns of a hare or the fur of a turtle which are eternally nonexistent.”
All of the dialectical masters such as these each defend their own dharma and refuse to accept other dharmas, [maintaining], “This is true and everything else is false discourse.” If one accepts [only] one’s own dharma, honors [only] one’s own dharma, and cultivates [only] one’s own dharma, while refusing to accept or honor another’s dharma, maintaining that it is faulty,—if one maintains that this constitutes purity and has attained the benefit of the supreme meaning, then among all of them, there are none which are impure. How is this so? Because they all [exclusively] love their own dharma.
To be continued