The Dharani “Entering into Nonconceptuality”

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The Dharani “Entering into Nonconceptuality” (Skt. Avikalpapraveśadhāraṇī; Tib. རྣམ་པར་མི་རྟོག་པར་འཇུག་པའི་གཟུངས།, Wyl. rnam par mi rtog par ‘jug pa’i gzungs) is a short Mahayana sutra that came to be particularly influential in Yogachara circles. The central theme of the sutra is the attainment of the non-conceptual realm, reached through the practice of relinquishing all conceptual signs by not directing the mind toward them. The sutra presents the progressive stages through which bodhisattvas can abandon increasingly subtle conceptual signs and eliminate the erroneous ideas that lead to the objectification of phenomena.

In common with a small number of other texts in the General Sutra section of the Kangyur that are labelled “dharani” and do not include the word “sutra” in their titles at all, the text is nevertheless presented in the style of a sutra. It is not a dharani in the sense in which that term is applied to a large number of scriptures containing a specific mantra-like formula recited in order to bring about a desired result—and indeed contains no such formula at all—but is rather a sutra about a dharani, the same term being used here in a somewhat different sense to refer to a spiritual quality or aspect of realization.


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Kangyur, Toh 142.