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Śāntideva then states, “The Buddha is not a self either, he benefits others selflessly just as a wish-fulfilling gem or a magical tree, or an anti-poison pillar does.” (IX.35-37) To which the hīnayāna advocate rejoins, “How could worship offered to something which has no consciousness be beneficial?” (IX.38) Śāntideva replies, “Whether or not the Buddha [...]

Śāntideva states, “Merit comes from a Conqueror who is like an illusion in the same way as it would if he was truly existent.” (IX.9) In other words, you do not need to posit the inherent existence of even the Buddha for there to be merit and demerit. Merit and demerit are dependently originated and [...]

The Two Truths

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Chapter nine begins with the statement, “It is for the sake of wisdom that the Sage taught this entire collection of preparations. Therefore, in the desire to put an end to suffering, one should develop wisdom.” (IX.1) Śāntideva now turns to the cultivation of the perfection of wisdom as understood from the Consequentialist (S. Prāsaṅgika) [...]