Manifestation Potentials [三能變]
According to Fa-hsiang 's doctrine, all sentient beings and non-sentient
matters are manifestations of consciousnesses. The seeing portion
is the ability to be conscious and aware, while the seen portion
is the phenomena in the entire world. Both portions are the integrated
manifestation of the eight consciousnesses. These eight consciousnesses
can be classified into three groups with respect to its characteristic
of manifestation of the object-domains [境].
It is known as Three Manifestation Potentials.
- Primary Manifestation [初能變] --
also known as Ripening Manifestation [異熟能變].
It refers to the 'seeds' in Alaya consciousness. When they come
across the causal conditions that advance or enhance to a higher
state, it will then manifest to object-domains.
- Secondary Manifestation [次能變]
-- also known as Thinking Manifestation [思量能變].
It refers to the Manas consciousness. Though the seeds are ripened
to manifest, they must rely on the Manas consciousness to think
and create a virtual 'self', so as to realize the 'existence'
of the relative object-domains.
- Third Manifestation [第三能變] --
also known as Discriminative Manifestation [了別能變].
It refers to the first six consciousnesses. All phenomena and
object-domains ('six dusts') can only be recognized and discriminated
by the six sense organs. Just like sleeping, we are not aware
of any 'existence' as our sense organs do not function.
Kinds of Conditional Arising [四緣生法]
The manifestation of consciousnesses to all Form Dharmas, Mind
Dharmas and other Dharmas depends on the causal conditions, which
must be necessary and sufficient. There are four kinds of conditions:
- Causal conditions [因緣] -- the
cause of any effect due to the interaction between the seeds of
the Alaya consciousness and the subsequent actions and phenomena.
They are the conditions based on immediate causes.
- Non-intermittent conditions [無間緣]
-- immediate cause without interval. It confines to the Mind Dharmas
only. It refers to the prior thought and subsequent thought, one
after the other without interval.
- Conditioned conditions [所緣緣]
-- causal conditions that influence other conditions. It refers
to the Dharmas of Mental Functions.
- Augmenting conditions [增上緣] --
like a catalyst to accelerate a condition to come to effect.
Views on No-self and Two Obstructions
In Buddhism, there are two views on No-self. 'Self' means the self-nature
Firstly, ordinary people do not understand the emptiness of the
Five Skandhas, thus believe in the existence of independent and
self-controlled 'self'. It is known as the view of being-self [人我見].
Similarly, ordinary people insist to have a real substratum and
function for Dharmas, as they arise from the causal conditions.
In reality, a Dharma has no self-nature. It is known as the view
of Dharma-self [法我見].
Both of them are wrong, according to the analysis of the eight
consciousnesses. If we can break the view of being-self, we will
be liberated from the Obstruction of Affliction [煩惱障].
It is what the Hinayana practitioners aim to achieve in the state
For the Mahayana Bodhisattva, they can thoroughly understand the
meaning of causal conditions of all Dharmas, and hold the view of
no-self in both being and Dharmas. Thus, they are liberated from
the Obstruction of Wrong View [所知障].
As they understand Dharma of dependence upon others [依他起性],
they will certify the Dharma of ultimate and perfect reality [圓成實性].
Wisdom of Buddha [四智]
When one's knowledge and wisdom have been perfected through cultivation,
the eight consciousnesses will turn into perfect wisdom as follows:
- Wisdom that Accomplishes All [成所作智]
-- transformed from the five consciousnesses.
- Wisdom of Good Observation [妙觀察智]
-- transformed from the mind-consciousness (Mano-consciousness)
- Wisdom of equanimity [平等性智]
-- transformed from the Manas-consciousness
- Wisdom of Magnificent Mirror [大圓鏡智]
-- transformed from the Alaya-consciousness
Fivefold Practice in Mere Consciousness [五重唯識觀]
There are five levels of contemplation for the cultivation and
practice in Fa-hsiang sect.
- To sever the unreal and keep the real [遣虛存實]
-- It refers to the Threefold Nature of Dharmas. We should sever
the Dharmas of sole imagination, leaving the Dharmas of dependence
upon others and the Dharmas of ultimate and perfect reality. With
respect to relativity of existence and emptiness, emptiness is
severed and existence is kept.
- To renounce the impure and retain the pure [捨濫留純]
-- We should renounce the external defiled objects and phenomena,
and retain in the state of pureness in our internal mind. With
respect to the relativity of mind and object / phenomena, the
object / phenomena is renounced and the mind is retained.
- To follow the 'branches' and proceed to the 'main' [攝末歸本]
-- It refers to the Four Functional Portions of Dharmas. We should
follow the 'branches' of the seen portion and the seeing portion
of Dharmas, so as to proceed to the original ('main') self-realizing
or self-assuring portion of Dharmas. With respect to the relativity
of substratum and function, the function is to be manipulated
so as to go back to the substratum.
- To conceal the weakness and reveal the strength [隱劣顯勝]
-- 'Weakness' refers the mental functions [心所],
and 'strength' refers to the master of mind [心王],
the eighth consciousness. With respect to the mental functions
and the master of mind, the former should be concealed, while
the latter should be revealed.
- To discard the phenomena and certify the noumenon [遣相證性]
-- to discard the discriminative phenomena, and certify the non-discriminative
noumenon, with respect to the relativity of phenomena and noumenon.
The first four are the characteristics of Mere Consciousness and
the last one is the nature of Mere Consciousness.