My final translation for some time.

Original text by 'One Thought Traveler'


Self-Form, Common-Form, No-Form, Mind-Form – Understanding these Four Step Dharmas, from Sentient Beings to Buddha

(2012-06-16 06:47:03)


Question: Why does wood have wood-form, fire has fire-form, water... mountains, rivers, the great earth and the ten thousand phenomena each have its own form? Could it be that Buddha sees the world as only “One”?

木自身没有形象,火自身没有形 象,水也自身没有形象,山河大地,一切万物,自身无相,相是众缘合和而有。譬如红花,我们总认为,不看花时,花仍是红的,花还是那种形象,花还是花。事实 上,这是众生的一种坚固妄想!花呈红色,因光、因明、因眼、因识,因众生无始来妄习业力等众缘和合,才有一“红色”。散掉这些因缘,也无红色也无花,甚至 也无看花的人。

Wood itself does not have form, fire itself does not have form, water itself does not have form, mountains, rivers and the great earth, every ten thousand phenomena, in itself is without form, form/appearance is only present due to the aggregation of conditions. For example (with regards to) a red flower, we all think that when we are not looking at the flower, the flower is still red, the flower is of that shape/form, the flower is still a flower. In reality, this is a kind of firmly held delusional thinking of sentient beings! Flower assumes red colour due to light, due to brightness, due to eye, due to consciousness, due to sentient beings' beginningless habits of delusional thinking and karma, and other various conditions coming together, only then is there a “red colour”. When those causes and conditions have scattered away, there is also no red colour and no flower, so much so that there is not even the person that sees the flower.

我们总以为事物是有属性的,事 物的属性归事物自身所有,并且固定不变,并非如此!诸佛经过深思观察,发现一切事物无相,相是心藉一切缘和合而生!世上并无单独的事物存在,一切事物是个 众缘假合,幻化而体,虚妄不实!一切事物并不是它看上去的样子,若能见到事物并不是它看上去的样子,将能看到真理。

We always think that things have attributes, that the attributes of things belong to the things in themselves, and moreover are solid and changeless, but it is not so! All Buddhas having gone through deep contemplation, discovered that all things are without form, form is arising by means of mind and all conditions coming together! The world actually does not have independently existing things, all things are illusory coming together of various conditions, formed via magical change/transformation, are illusory without reality! All things are actually not what they would appear to be, if (one) can see that things are not as they seem, (one) will then be able to see the truth.

譬如山谷里的风声,我们总是以 为,当风走过山谷,即使我们不倾听,那风声也存在,也有一“风声”这样的东西存在!并非如此:风声,因风、因空、因耳、因听、因识、因业等众缘相合才有一 “风声”存在,倘若去除诸缘中任何一缘,将无“风声”这一物。例如,如果没有我们的听和识别,那么风声仅仅是空气的波动,它没有声也没有音。

For example, we always think that (with regards to) the sound of the wind in the valley, when the wind is passing through the valley, even if we did not listen for it, that sound of wind still exists, there still exists such a thing as “sound of wind”! It is actually not so: sound, is due to wind, due to space, due to ears, due to listening, due to consciousness, due to karma etc, many conditions meeting together, only then is there the presence of “sound of wind”, if we removed any one condition from all of those conditions, there shall not be such a phenomena as “sound of wind”. For example, if there were not our listening and conscious-discernment, then the sound of wind would purely be the fluctuation of wind movement, it would not have tone nor sound.

因此,世间一切事物皆无自相; 其相,是以心为因,以诸法为缘,和合而成!我们以为事物有其自身的形象,并固定不变,是我们的坚固妄想。我们有证据:譬如红花,我们以为红花是红的,即使 我们不看时!为什么呢?理由是,我们下次再看时,它还是“红色”。由此我们推知,花朵一直是红的,红色是某一朵花的固定属性。此是妄见,非花实相!

Therefore, every thing in the world are without self-form; its form, is due to mind as cause, due to various phenomena as conditions, formed through their meeting together (of causes and conditions)! We thought that things have their own image, that is fixed without changing, that is our firmly held delusional thinking. We have proof: for example with regards to red flower, we think that red flower is red, even if we do not see it! Why is that so? The reason is because, the next time we see it, it will still be “red”. Henceforth, we infer that flower has always been red, red color is a certain flower's fixed attribute. This is a delusional view, it is not flower's true nature!


Could Buddha have seen the world as “One”? I lift my eyes to gaze at the world: sees that willow is green, sky is blue, many flowers are multicolored, wind is cool, fire is red, water is soft and flexible... all phenomena, looking from its surface, aren't different from what you have seen! However I do know, all dharmas are not real, all dharmas have its name and form, but are all changing magically/illusorily, and are without real substance!

在我的眼中,既有诸法的自相, 也有诸法的共相,但我知道,彼皆无相,一切相是心相。相相如同梦见,都无自性!一切事物没有自相,也没有共相,一切事物是无相的。一切事物是无相的,为什 么看起来又各有形象呢?此是心相,心所赋予。一切事物的形象,是心造就的;心创造眼前事物之形象,与创造梦中之诸物,同等无异。只是众生忘了心最初是怎样 工作的,并坚执分别梦世界和此世界的不同,久而久之便有了对此世界的这种真实错觉。

In my eyes, there is both the dharmas' self-form, and the dharmas' common-form, however I do know that all of those are without form, all forms are mental appearances. All forms are equivalent to dream visions, they are all without self-nature! All things are without self-form, and without common-form, all things are actually without forms. All things are without forms, then, why does it seem to have various forms and shapes? Such is mental appearance, it is conferred upon by the mind. The form of all things are mental creations; the mind creates the forms of what appears before the eyes, it is similar without difference with the creations of objects in dreams. It is only that sentient beings forgot how the mind initially functions, therefore strongly attaches to discriminating the difference between the dream world and this world, and over time there comes to formation such perceptual delusions with regards to this world.


All practitioners, if we understand “self-form, common-form, no-form, mind-form” – these four-step dharmas, we would then be able to (transform from) sentient beings to Buddha. Departing from self-form, leaping from self-form into common-form, this is the Two Vehicles (Hinayana and Pratyekabuddha)'s viewpoint, departing from common-form and understanding all dharmas are empty of form, such as Bodhisattva's viewpoint; due to no-form, realizing that all forms are mental appearances, that is Great Bodhisattva's viewpoint. Understanding that mind is empty; all empty dharmas, return and flow into Buddha! If practitioners can see common-form, (they) can depart from self-form; if (they) can see no-form, then (they) can depart from common-form; if (they) can understand no-form, (they) can understand mind-appearance! Only understanding the first two, that would be the position of commoners; if we further understand the latter two, we enter into the position of sainthood. All fellow practitioners, understand these four dharmas, from sentient beings arrive at Buddha(hood)!
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