Great Vehicle [Ritual of] Repentance for Indulgence in the Six Faculties (Daeseung yukjeong chamhoe), by Wonhyo 大乘六情懺悔
Translated by A. Charles Muller
March 28, 2016
By the Bhikṣu Wonhyo 1
If you start your journey relying on the Dharmadhātu,
You will not take a single false step in any of the four bodily postures
Mindful of the inconceivable virtues of the buddhas,
Always contemplating things as they really are, you erase your karmic hindrances.
For the purpose of limitless sentient beings in the six courses of rebirth,
I take refuge in the countless buddhas of the ten directions.
The buddhas are not different [from each other] and yet are not the same.
One is all, all are one.
Though there is no place to abide, there is no non-abiding.
Though one does nothing, there is nothing not done.
Each and every major and minor mark, each and every pore [of the buddhas' bodies]
Pervades limitless realms and extends throughout all future time,
With neither hindrance nor obstruction. Making no distinctions,
They edify sentient beings without a moment's rest.
How is this so?
The ten directions and the three times—one atom, a single moment,
Saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are not two things—they are not distinguished.
Great compassion and prajñā are neither grasped nor relinquished.
This is because one gains association with the distinctive characteristics [of the Buddha]. 2
Now, in this place—the World of the Lotus Store, 3
Vairocana Buddha sits on his lotus throne,
Emitting limitless illumination, and gathering countless sentient beings,
He turns the unturnable wheel of the Great Vehicle Dharma.
A great multitude of bodhisattvas extending throughout space
Experience the unexperienciable joy of the Great Vehicle Dharma.
Yet while we reside in this
Faultless place of the three treasures of the one reality,
We neither see nor hear, as if deaf and blind.
Have we no Buddha-nature? How did it come to this?
Through nescience and cognitive distortion we deludedly construct external objects,
Attaching to “I” and “mine,” creating all kinds of karma.
Because of these veils, we can neither see nor hear [properly],
Just like hungry ghosts who approaching a river, see fire.
Therefore now, before the Buddha, with profound shame,
We arouse the mind of enlightenment, sincerely repenting.
I and other sentient beings, since time immemorial,
Having been drugged by nescience, committed countless crimes.
Including the five heinous crimes and the ten evil behaviors, there is nothing we haven't done.
Whether doing it oneself, getting someone else to do it, or taking joy in someone else doing it, 4
Myriad crimes such as these, though beyond counting,
Are fully known by all the holy ones.
Deeply ashamed of our past sins,
We dare not repeat them in the future.
然 5 此諸罪、實無所有。
Yet these crimes do not truly exist.
[They are nothing other than] clusters of conditions that come together and are provisionally called “karma.”
Engaged in conditions there is no karma, and apart from conditions there is also no karma.
[This karma] is neither inside nor outside, nor does it exist somewhere in between.
The past is already gone, the future has not yet arrived, and the present does not linger.
Hence its creation is due to its not abiding, and therefore it is also unarisen.
Previously existent, it does not arise; previously non-existent, from whence does it come?
If you say [karma] was originally non-existent and has now come to be existent
These two implications put together are called “production.”
[This means that] at the time of its original non-existence it is not presently existent,
And at the time of its present existence it is not originally non-existent.
Before and after do not extend into each other, existence and non-existence do not meet.
If the two implications do not match, where can there be production?
Once the meaning of “combining” has been refuted, being disintegrated, it is also not established.
There is neither combination nor disintegration, neither existence nor non-existence.
At the time of non-existence, nothing exists, so in contrast to what would there be non-existence?
At the time of existence, there is no non-existence, so for whom do we say that there is existence?
Neither before nor after, neither existence nor non-existence can be posited.
We should know that the essence of karma is originally unproduced,
And thus from the beginning is incapable of production.
In what place can there possibly be non-production?
Neither production nor non-production are possible, and
Saying that they are not possible is also not possible.
The nature of karma is like this, and so are the buddhas.
As the [Nirvāṇa] Sūtra says:
It is like sentient beings creating various kinds of karma—it could be good or bad, and [it is not limited to] being either internal or external. This karma-nature being neither existent nor non-existent is also not like this. Originally non-existent, now existent, there is no lack of causal production, no creation and no reception [of experiential rewards]. Karmic fruition is gained [only] the confluence [of various factors] at the appropriate time. 6
If we can repeatedly contemplate reality like this with a repentant attitude,
There is no way to commit the four grave offenses and five heinous acts.
They are just like thin air, which can't be burnt.
One who lacks a conscience and shame
Cannot accurately contemplate karma.
And even though karma lacks any essence of criminality, one ends up going to hell.
It is like the case of a conjured tiger, which furthermore bites the conjurer.
Therefore, in the presence of the buddhas of the ten directions,
You should feel profound conscience and shame and practice repentance.
At the time you express this repentance, you should not think you are doing anything special.
Thus you should contemplate the true character of repentance.
If the sins that are repented have never had a place to exist,
Where is the repenter?
[Given the fact that] both repenter and the repented are unobtainable,
Where, exactly is the practice of repentance to be carried out?
Once you have fully repented of your karmic hindrances,
You should also repent your indulgence in the [objects of] the six sense faculties [saying:].
I, as well as sentient beings from time immemorial,
Have not understood how all phenomena are originally unproduced.
In states of deluded thought and cognitive distortion,
We imagine “I” and “mine.”
Within, we establish the six sense bases, and depending on these give rise to cognition.
Externally, we construct the six data fields and attach to them as if they truly exist
We do not realize that these are all the products of our own mind,
That like a dream, or an illusion, they have never existed.
Herein we mistakenly perceive characteristics of gender and so forth, giving rise to the afflictions.
From being bound to these afflictions, we are long submerged in the ocean of suffering, and do not strive to get out.
If we calmly contemplate on this, is it not amazing?
It is like the drowsiness that fogs the mind when one is going to sleep.
[In the dream] we [might] deludedly see ourselves as being carried away in a great river,
Without realizing that it is actually a dream.
Feeling like we are really drowning, we are scared to death.
Then, not yet awake, we have another dream,
And [in this state] say “what I saw was a dream, which was not real.”
Because of the mind's intelligence, one is aware of the dream within a dream,
And thus, not be afraid of drowning.
Yet we are still unable to be aware that we are lying on the bed.
Head shaking and hands trembling, we struggle to really wake up.
When we are finally awake and reflect back on the prior dream,
Neither the river nor our drowning selves had a place of existence.
We see nothing but ourselves quietly lying on the bed.
It is the same with the long dream [of cyclic existence].
Nescience obscures the mind, such that one deludedly creates the six destinies, and continues to experience the eight kinds of suffering.
Inwardly, from the inconceivable perfuming of all buddhas,
Outwardly, with the power of the great compassionate vow of the buddhas, we gain a trace of belief and understanding.
I and other sentient beings are merely asleep, in a long dream, which we deludedly imagine to be real.
The agreeable and disagreeable objects in the six sense fields and the two characteristics of male and female
Are nothing but the content of our dream, and have never been real.
So what is there to be unhappy and happy about? What is there to desire and hate?
If we repeatedly engage in this kind of contemplation of our existence being like a dream,
We can gradually cultivate and attain the samādhi that maintains awareness of the dreamlike nature of our cognitive existence.
Based on this samādhi one attains the level of patient acceptance based on awareness of the non-arising of phenomena.
From this one suddenly and clearly awakens from the long dream,
And thus knows that this continuous flow has originally never existed.
There is only this one mind, sleeping in this same bed.
If you are able to free yourself like this, and repeatedly contemplate,
Even though the objects in the six fields that are cognized are not to be regarded as real,
With shame for your afflictions, you cannot be self-indulgent.
This is called the great vehicle repentance of the [indulgence in] the objects of the six senses.
1. This text is translated from the version contained in HBJ 842a-844a. The note in the colophon of the HBJ version indicates that this is a recension of the text contained in the Taishō shinshū daizōkyō, no. 1908.
2. These are the special characteristics of the Buddha that are not shared by sentient beings, arhats, pratyekabuddhas, etc. (Skt. āveṇika-buddha-dharma). Most commonly referred to in this context are the eighteen special characteristic. For a list of these, see the term 十八不共法 in the DDB.
3. According to the Avataṃsaka-sūtra 華嚴經, the world created through the vows and practices of Vairocana Buddha 盧遮那佛. It rests on a great lotus-flower (Skt. kusuma-tala-garbha-vyūhalaṃkāra-lokadhātu-samudra). Abbreviated as 華藏界.
4. These are aspect of sinful behavior analyzed in Vinaya texts. See, for example, the Dasheng sanjū chanhui jing 大乘三聚懺悔經, T 1493.24.1091c-92a.
5. Commentators have suggested 然 for this lacuna. 而 would also be a reasonable candidate.
6. Abridgment of T 374.12.555b27-c1