71.2 The Absolute Mind
71.3 The Three Delusions
71.4 The Threefold Contemplation
Based on the Three Universal Truths, Tien-tai believes there is a true state or noumenon, which can be realized through its manifested phenomena. There is no noumenon besides phenomena, and phenomenon itself is noumenon in nature. Thus the Tien-tai established The Triple Truth [三諦], or the Threefold Truth of Emptiness, Falseness and Mean, which is one of the characteristics of the Tien-tai doctrines providing the structure for its interpretation of the Buddha Dharma.
71.1.3 The Truth of Mean [中諦]
Mean is the true and very state of Emptiness and Falseness. It is the synthesis of emptiness and temporary existence, of universality and particularity. The Triple Truth must not be treated separately because they are perpetually united and in harmony. These three truths emphasize the idea of totality and mutual identification, i.e. the whole and its part are identical. In this respect, the whole cosmos is present in the tip of hair, and one thought is the three thousands worlds. It is regarded as the inter-penetrations of all Dharmas.
This concept is summarized by Chih-I in his writing:
The perfect Triple Truth means that it is not only the Middle Path, which completely includes the Buddha-Dharma, but also the real and the mundane (truths). This Triple Truth is perfectly integrated: one-in-three and three-in-one.
to the Tien-tai doctrine, the Absolute Mind embraces the entire
universe in its entity. It is equivalent to the True Suchness [真如],
or the Womb of the Tathagata [如來藏], the Buddha Nature [佛性],
the Dharmadhatu [法界], etc.
The Three Delusions are (1) Delusion on View and Thought (2) Delusion on 'Chen-sha', and (3) Delusion on Fundamental Ignorance.
(1) Delusion on View and Thought [見思惑] -- As we are deluded in principle, what we view is false. As we are deluded in phenomena, what we think is wrong. It refers to the delusion of ordinary people who do not understand the emptiness as the reality of universe and life, and attach to the Dharmas. Thus, we are afflicted due to lack of understanding of the Truth of Emptiness.
(2) Delusion on 'Chen-sha' or Minute Dust-like Delusion [塵沙惑] -- 'Chen-sha' is translated as 'dust' and 'sand'. It means we are deluded by numerous phenomena, as many as and as minute as sand and dust, which are temporary in existence, or so-called 'false'. Thus, we are afflicted due to lack of understanding of the Truth of Falsehood.
(3) Delusion on Fundamental Ignorance [無明惑] -- As we
are deluded by the Fundamental Ignorance, we do not understand the
Truth of Mean, and thus are not enlightened.In order to break the
Three Delusions, we have to practice the Threefold Contemplations
to the Triple Truth and the Three Delusions, Tien-tai sect sets
forth the doctrine of the Threefold Contemplation in One Mind, which
breaks the Three Delusions and attains the Three Wisdoms. The details
are as follows: