The Tathagata Has Never Uttered a Word

Again Mahamati said: It is said by the Blessed One that from the night of the Enlightenment till the night of the Parinirvana, the Tathagata in the meantime has not uttered even a word, nor will he ever utter; for not-speaking is the Buddha's speaking. According to what deeper sense is it that not-speaking is the Buddha's speaking?

The Blessed One replied: By reason of two things of the deeper sense, Mahamati, this statement is made. What are the two things: They are the truth of self-realisation and an eternally-abiding reality. According to these two things of the deeper sense the statement is made by me.

Of what deeper sense is the truth of self-realisation? What has been realised by the Tathagatas, that is my own realisation, in which there is neither decreasing nor increasing; for the realm of self-realisation is free from words and discriminations, having nothing to do with dualistic terminology.

What is meant by an eternally-abiding reality? The ancient road of reality, Mahamati, has been here all the time, like gold, silver, or pearl preserved in the mine, Mahamati; the Dharmadhatu abides foreover, whether the Tathagata appears in the world or not; as the Tathagata eternally abides so does the reason (dharmata) of all things; reality foreover abides, reality keeps its order, like the roads in an ancient city. For instance, Mahamati, a man who is walking in a forest and discovering an ancient city with its orderly streets may enter into the city, and having entered into it, he may have a rest, conduct himself like a citizen, and enjoy all the pleasures accruing therefrom. What do you think, Mahamati? Did this man make the road along which he enters into the city, and also the various things in the city?

Mahamati said: No, Blessed One.

The Blessed One said: Just so, Mahamati, what has been realised by myself and other Tathagatas is this reality, the eternally-abiding reality (sthitita), the self-regulating reality (niyamata), the suchness of things (tathata), the realness of things (bhutata), the truth itself (satyata). For this reason, Mahamati, it is stated by me that from the night of the Tathagata's Enlightenment till the night of his entrance into Nirvana, he has not in the meantime uttered, nor ever will utter, one word. So it is said:

From the night of Enlightenment till that of Nirvana, I have not in the meantime made any proclamation whatever.

It is on account of the deeper meaning that the eternally-abiding reality of self-realisation is talked of by me; and between myself and [all the other] Buddhas, in this respect, there is no distinction whatever. -The Lankavatara Sutra

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