John Tan and I likes this explanation of Non-Arising by Kyle Dixon:

As sentient beings our minds are afflicted by delusion [avidyā] which causes us to misperceive conditioned phenomena (persons, places, things). And as a result we believe that we interact with objects and entities that have "arisen" or have been born and now exist. We also then believe that said objects will disintegrate at some point and said entities will die, including ourselves, thus ceasing to exist, being rendered non-existent, the second of the four extremes that pertain to an entity.

When we awaken to see the actual nature of phenomena, then we experientially recognize that those objects and entities have never arisen/been born in the first place. And that is "non-arising". That lack of initial birth or origination means the entity or dharma that could coincide with any of the four extremes is unfindable.

A simple way to communicate it would be akin to wandering in the desert and suddenly perceiving an oasis with foliage and water etc., one would be elated and would truly be convinced that there is an oasis there. Convinced that trees, grass, water are all present there and one is genuinely perceiving objects that they have encountered, that these objects exist, have originated in the desert and are real.

Upon getting closer to the oasis the appearance begins to dissipate and one realizes that the oasis was only a mirage from the very beginning. At that point one has a realization that is akin to "non-arising", because one recognizes that the oasis was merely a byproduct of causes and conditions, governed by confusion, and was never there to begin with, it was non-arisen from the very beginning. As such it makes no sense to say that the oasis as an entity ever existed, or ceased to exist, or both or neither, the oasis was simply a misconception predicated on ignorance from the very beginning.

In the same way all phenomena appear to originate due to the presence of ignorance [avidyā], however once ignorance is uprooted then phenomena are seen to be primordially unoriginated. As discussed in the Yukisastikakarika:

        When the perfect gnosis sees that things come from ignorance as condition, nothing will be objectified, either in terms of arising or destruction.


        Since the Buddhas have stated that the world is conditioned by ignorance, why is it not reasonable [to assert] that this world is [a result of] conceptualization?

        Since it comes to an end when ignorance ceases; why does it not become clear then that it was conjured by ignorance?

The Acintyastavaḥ states:

        Like a dream, an illusion, [or] seeing two moons: Thus have You seen the world, as a creation not created as real. Like a son who is born, established, and dies in a dream, the world, You have said, is not really born, does not endure, and is not destroyed... According to cognition of truth, [however], You maintain that there is no annihilation or permanence. [You] assert that the entire world is empty of substance, like a mirage.

Here, the Lokātītastava discusses how origination and destruction or cessation that leads to non-existence are rendered impossibilities after recognizing non-arising:

        You have stated that all arising is like the arising of an illusion. Therefore You have fully understood that this world has arisen due to imagination. It is unreal, [and] not having originated it cannot be destroyed.

That is how the limbs of the tetralemma are rendered null and void. Therefore as you can see these explanations are fully in line with the actual logic and reasoning of the buddhadharma.


0 Responses