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The PrÓsa´gika presentation of the base has five parts: (1) the object of negation in the view of selflessness, (2) the reasonings refuting the object of negation, (3) the basic objects of the two truths, (4) the uncommon features [of the PrÓsa´gika system], and (5) the valid cognizers certifying the above as well as an elimination of error. [The first two are translated here.]
All of cyclic existence and nirvana
Appearing and renowned [to the mind]
The varieties [of phenomena] and their mode [emptiness]
Are posited by the inborn non-analytical [awareness]
As existing according to the conventions of the world.
Therefore, existing objectively [without just being an imputation] there by thought,
Substantially existing, existing by way of its own character,
Existing from its own [the objects] side,
Truly existing, existing in its own right, and so forth
Are synonymously what is negated.
Forms and so forth are the phenomena of cyclic existencethe afflicted classand [the phenomena of nirvana]the pure class (see pp. 201-12). These phenomena are all included within the varieties and their mode which appear to and are renowned to the mind. All these phenomena must be posited [as existing] for the inborn worldly [mind] which does not analyze [to try to find] the object designated and does not superimpose [falsity] through the conception [of phenomena] as truly existent. [ka, p. 131]
Therefore, all the varieties and their mode [their emptiness] are only imputed [from the subjects side to] there [the objects side] by terms and thoughts. This is because these phenomena, except for being just nominally imputed [from the subjects side] to there, are not their individual parts, nor the mere composite of their parts, nor the continuum [of their moments], etc.  For example, in darkness a coiled speckled rope is imputed by thought to be a snake, and from a distance a cairn [a pile of stones] is merely imagined to be a human. NÓgÓrjunas Precious Garland says: 599
Because the phenomena of forms [which have the obstructiveness of which space is the absence] are only names, space also is just a name [and does not exist inherently. If someone said that forms exist inherently, then] when the elements do not exist [inherently], how could forms exist [inherently]? Therefore, even name-only-ness does not exist [inherently because that which possesses a name does not exist inherently]. [kha, p. 132]
Ôryadevas Four Hundred says: 600
Without [imputation by] thought [like the imputation of a snake to a rope] there is no [finding of] the existence of desire and so forth. If so, who with intelligence would maintain that a real object is [produced dependent on] thought? [For, being imputed by thought and existing as its own reality are contradictory.]
ChandrakŃrtis Commentary on (Ôryadevas) Four Hundred says: 601
Undoubtedly, those which exist only through the existence of thought and those which do not exist when there is no thought are to be ascertained as not existing by way of their own entities, like a snake imputed to a coiled rope. 
Also, the Meeting of Father and Son Sutra says: 602 [ga, p. 133]
O Great King, a person, a being, has the six constituents, the six bases of contact, and the eighteen activities of mind.
Based on what is it said that the person has the six constituents? Great King, the six constituents are these: the constituent of earth, the constituent of water, the constituent of fire, the constituent of wind, the constituent of space, and the constituent of consciousness. Great King, these are the six constituents. My saying that a person has the six constituents is based on this.
Based on what is it said that a person has the six bases of contact? Great King, the six bases of contact are these: the base of contact which is the eye for seeing forms, the base of contact which is the ear for hearing sounds,  the base of contact which is the nose for smelling odors, the base of contact which is the tongue for sensing tastes, the base of contact which is the body for feeling the tangible, and the base of contact which is the mind for knowing phenomena. Great King, these are the six bases of contact. My saying that the person has the six bases of contact is based on this.
Great King, based on what is it said that the person has the eighteen activities of mind? Great King, the eighteen activities of mind are these. When a human sees a form with his eyes, he experiences the form as pleasurable, painful, or neutral. When he hears a sound with his ears, he experiences the sound as pleasurable, painful, or neutral. When he smells an odor with his nose, he experiences the odor as pleasurable, painful, or neutral.  When he senses a taste with his tongue, he experiences the taste as pleasurable, painful, or neutral. When he feels the tangible with his body, he experiences the tangible as pleasurable, painful, or neutral. When he realizes a phenomenon with his mind, he experiences it as pleasurable, painful, or neutral. Great King, these six experiences of pleasure, these six experiences of displeasure, and these six experiences of neutrality are in brief the eighteen activities of mind. Great King, these eighteen are activities of mind. Great King, my saying that these activities are the eighteen activities of mind is based on this.
Great King,  the constituent of earth is of two types: internal and external. Great King, what is the internal constituent? It is, inside the body, any of the hard and solid aspects, the close, conjoined with consciousness. Also, what are they? The internal earth constituent is to be known as hair, mustache, nails, 603 teeth, impurities, excrement, skin, lfesh, veins, sinews, bones, marrow, heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, spleen, diaphragm, large intestine, small intestine, bladder, urinary canal, anal canal, anus, brain, veins of the brainalso, any type of hardness, solidity, and the close, conjoined with consciousness inside the body.
Great King, what is the external earth constituent? Any type of hardness, solidity, the non-close  not conjoined with consciousness is to be known as the external earth constituent.
Great King, when the internal earth constituent arises, it does not come from anywhere. When it ceases, it does not go anywhere.
Great King, a woman thinks of the internal, I am a woman. Having imputed, I am a woman, internally, she thinks of the external with respect to a man, A man. Having imputed man to the man externally, she becomes desirous and wishes to join with the external man.
The man also thinks of the internal, I am a man. Having imputed, I am a man, internally, he thinks of the external with respect to a woman, A woman. Having imputed woman to the woman externally, he becomes desirous and wishes to join with the external woman. Through desiring to join, they join together. Through the cause of joining there is the state of the fluid embryo.
Great King, both the imputed and the imputer do not [inherently] exist.  There is no woman in the woman [that is, in the basis of the imputation woman]. There is no man in the man [that is, in the basis of the imputation man]. Though they are thus non-existent, wrong thought is generated, but even this thought does not exist inherently.
Even the joining and the fluid embryo do not exist inherently as is imagined. How can that which does not exist inherently become hard?
Great King, having understood thought thus, you should understand hardness. It is to be understood that whenever hardness is produced, it does not come from anywhere, Great King, this body has a time in the end of going to the cemetery. When its hardness disintegrates and ceases, it does not go east, south, west, north, up, down, or to the intermediate directions. Great King, view thus the internal earth constituent.
Great King, there are occasions when the world abides in the sky as a heavenly mansion of BrahmÓ,  consisting of the seven types of precious substances. O King, when its hardness arises, it does not come from anywhere. Though it abides as the massive [mountains], hard and firm, established through the cause of the diamonds of the ChakravÓša and MahÓchakravÓša mountains, when its hardness arises, it does not come from anywhere. Though it abides as Meruthe King of Mountains YugaŘdhara, NimiŘdhara, ń¨Ódhara, Vajradhara, Khadiraka, Vinataka, Ashvakar§a, Sudarshana, MahÓsudarshana, Bare [Mountains], 604 GandhamÓdana, or the KŃ˝Ódri which are other than those,  or though it abide as the billion world systems including everything, or though it abide as an earth eighty thousand yojanas in height and sixty thousand yojanas in width, O King, when its hardness arises, it does not come from anywhere.
Great King, when this world is destroyed, there is a time when this great earth is burnt by fire, or destroyed by water, or wrecked by wind. When it is burnt by fire, there will be no smoke, and there will be no remains of ashes. For instance, when the flame of a butter or oil lamp burns space, there is no smoke and no remains of ashes. Just so, when this world system of one billion worlds is burnt by fire, there will be no smoke, and there will be no remains of ashes.
Also, when it is destroyed by water, there is no remainder. For instance,  when salt dissolves in water, there is no remainder. Just so, when this world system of one billion worlds is destroyed by water, there will be no remains.
When it is wrecked by wind, there will be no remainder. For instance, when a scattering wind drives about, no little birds are seen remaining. Just so, when this world system of one billion worlds is wrecked by wind, there will not be even a little remainder.
Great King, the arising of the earth constituent is thus empty. The destruction and arising of the earth constituent are also empty of inherent existence. Great King, the earth constituent, except for only being a designation, should not be viewed as an earth constituent. That which has the designation [the basis of the designations woman or man] is not the woman and is not the man. Thus, O King, with wisdom realize these as they are in reality. 
The meaning of this Sutra is that [the constituents and so forth] do not exist, except as only nominal imputations. This is indicated by the quote from the beginning through to The earth constituent, except for only being a designation, should not be viewed as an earth constituent. Then the passage, That which has the designation is not the woman and is not the man, explains that the basis of the imputationthat which has the nameis not the phenomenon which is imputed, a woman or a man.
NÓgÓrjunas Precious Garland, condensing the meaning of that, says: 605
If a person is not earth, not water,
Not fire, not wind, not space,
Not consciousness, and not all of them,
What person is there other than these? [nga, p. 133]
The passage a person is not earth, not water, not fire, not wind, not space, not consciousness explains that a person is not each of the bases of the imputation person. The statement not all explains that a person is not even the composite of the bases of imputation person [that is, not even the composite of the six constituents]. The statement What person is there other than these? explains that there is no person which does not depend on [the six constituents that are] the bases of the imputation person.
Thus,  the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras say that even [the highest of phenomena,] nirvanas and emptinesses, are only established [from the subjects side to] there [the objects side] through names and thoughts. Similarly, [the PrÓsa´gika system,] unlike SvÓtantrika and so forth, asserts that the members of the following list, except for being different names, are [hypothetical] 606 synonyms. [The PrÓsa´gika system] treats these terms as [hypothetical] synonyms in that they are what is negated by the reasonings [proving emptiness. The terms that mean self in the view of selflessness are:]
Ôryadevas Four Hundred says: 607
All these [phenomena] are not self-powered;
Thus, there is no self [inherent existence].
ChandrakŃrtis commentary says, 608 Here, that which has its own intrinsic existence, has inherent existence, has its own power, or has no dependence on another would exist by itself; therefore, it would not be a dependent-arising. [cha, p. 134]
(See pp. 539-47) The root text says: 
The MÓdhyamikas, those free from the extremes,
Posit all actions and agents
In this [system] of no existence from [the objects] own side
And of imputation by name and thought there [to the object].
Anything coarser or finer than this
Is an extreme of permanence or annihilation.
Thus, that which is to be refuted [by reasoning] must be identified from its subtlest level. For, if it is not, one cannot ascertain the actual non-existent which is the negative [of self]. For, ShÓntidevas Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds says: 609
Without contacting the superimposed existent
One cannot apprehend its non-existence.
Also, one cannot ascertain the emptiness of former and later births, for example, without ascertaining that aspect which is their non-existence by way of their own being. Thus, the emptiness of births is not ascertained through only perceiving an utter vacuity that is merely the non-perception of former and later births. BuddhapÓlita, the honorable ChandrakŃrti, and many others assert this; BuddhapÓlita says [in his commentary on NÓgÓrjunas Treatise on the Middle Way]: 610
Also, [ChandrakŃrtis] Clear Words says: 611
[The Nihilists say,] This world [or life] does not exist [as an effect of past lives]. A future world does not exist. [Also] spontaneously born sentient beings [such as hell-beings] do not exist, and so forth.  What is the difference between their view and the [MÓdhyamikas] view that all things are not produced and do not cease?
[Answer:] There is a great difference between these two. Not knowing the meaning of emptiness, you think that these two are similar. Acting with equanimity [that is, indifference] when one has not analyzed [to find that all sentient beings should be valued equally] and acting with equanimity when one has so analyzed are similar only in that both can be characterized as acting with equanimity. However, acting with equanimity but without analysis is involved in the entwinements of ignorance. Acting with equanimity when one has analyzed [is the result of knowledge and] is used by the Supramundane Victors. [ja, p. 134]
Just as these two differ very greatly, so here also the perceptions [found in the texts of the Nihilists] such as, This world does not exist, [meaning that this life is not the effect of other lives] are thoughts beclouded with ignorance. However, the other one [the MÓdhyamika] who sees that all phenomena are not [inherently] produced and do not [inherently] cease because they are empty of existing by way of their own being has preceded his conclusion with the mind of analysis.  Therefore, these two [Nihilist and MÓdhyamika] are very different.
Here some say, The MÓdhyamikas are indistinguishable from Nihilists because they propound that virtuous and non-virtuous actions, agents, fruits, and all worlds [lives] are empty of inherent existence. Also, the Nihilists say that these are non-existent. Therefore, MÓdhyamikas are indistinguishable from Nihilists.
It is not so.
MÓdhyamikas are proponents of dependent-arising; they say that due to arising dependent on, or reliant on, causes and conditions 612 allthis world, the next, and so forthlack inherent existence. The Nihilists do not ascertain that future worlds [future lives] and so forth do not truly exist (abhÓva, dngos po med pa) because of being empty of inherent existence due to being dependent-arisings.
Therefore, [the PrÓsa´gikas] refute the subtle object of negationthat is, refute that even particles exist from their own side but know how to posit all actions and agents of cyclic existence and nirvana within [asserting] that all phenomena are only nominalities and only imputations by thought. [A person who maintains such a system] is a MÓdhyamikaone who does not abide in the extreme of existence or permanence [such as asserting that phenomena] exist inherently, etc., and who [through propounding] the suitability of the existence of all phenomena conventionally as only nominalities, does not abide in the extreme of non-existence or annihilation. As [Buddha] says in the KÓshyapa Chapter: 613
[Inherent] existence is the one extreme. No [conventional] existence is the second extreme. That which is the center between these two is unanalyzable [because it cannot be analyzed just as it is by thinking about it], is undemonstrable [because it cannot be explained to another just as it is], is not a support [because it is not an object of the senses], is unperceivable [because from the viewpoint of the mind directly realizing it duality has disappeared], is unknowable [because it cannot be ascertained just as it is by a dualistic mind], and is placeless [because it is not a place or source of the aąictions]. KÓshyapa, this is called the middle path, individual analysis of phenomena. [nya, p. 135]
Also, such is said in NÓgÓrjunas Treatise on the Middle Way: 614
[Inherent] existence is a holding to permanence.
No [conventional] existence is a view of nihilism.
Therefore, the wise do not abide in either
[Inherent] existence or no [conventional] existence.
Also, through affixing inherent existence (svabhÓva, rang bzhin) [to the refutation of existence] the extreme of non-existence is avoided.  [This is because that which is negated as a predicate of phenomena is only inherent existence and not existence in general; a negation of existence in general would be an extreme of non-existence because phenomena do exist conventionally.] The extreme of [inherent] existence is avoided by [affirming that phenomena are] only imputations [and thus not inherently existent]. Therefore, the SvÓtantrikas estimation of what is to be negated [merely true existence and not inherent existence] is coarser than that [of the PrÓsa´gikas who refute that phenomena inherently exist even conventionally].
Also, with respect to this assertion of phenomena as only imputations, some Tibetans [wrongly] do not accept even worldly trueness and falseness. [It is true that there is no difference between] an illusory horse created by a magician and an actual horse with respect to their existing or not in accordance with how they appear. [Both an illusory horse and an actual horse appear as if they inherently exist, but in fact do not; therefore, they equally do not exist even conventionally in accordance with how they appear.] However, if one does not accept a [worldly] 615 trueness and falseness with respect to whether something does or does not exist, then one contradicts ChandrakŃrti: 616
If the world does not harm you, based on the world itself
Refute these [conventionalities].
You and the world debate about these,
And afterwards I will rely on the stronger.
And, Do not lose the conventionalities renowned in the world. And, Perceivers of falsities are asserted as two types [those perceiving the real and unreal relative to a worldly consciousness].
One should understand that [not accepting any worldly trueness and falseness] does not pass beyond adhering to extremes. [Asserting a coarser object of negation] also does not pass beyond adhering to extremes. Thus, one should cast aside [such assertions].
3.2 REASONINGS REFUTING INHERENT EXISTENCE
This section has two parts : brief indication and extensive explanation.
3.2.1 Brief indication of the reasonings refuting inherent existence
(See pp. 127-9)
Question: [The two selflessnesses, i.e., the lack of inherent existence in persons and in other phenomena] are realized by way of separate reasonings. Is this similar to the opinion of SvÓtantrikas and below [i.e., ChittamÓtrins] and some Tibetan PrÓsa´gikas that the objects negated in the two selflessnesses differ in that the selflessness of persons is coarser and the selflessness of other phenomena is subtler?
Answer: [No, the two selflessnesses are realized by way of separate reasonings, but the object of negation, inherent existence, is the same in each case; thus, one is not coarser or subtler than the other.] Though the two selflessnesses do not differ in subtlety, the reasonings used for their realization are separate. In order to indicate this the root text says:
There are the two selves
Of persons and [other] phenomena.
The non-existence of these there
Is asserted as the two selflessnesses.
A self of [other] phenomena
Is refuted by the four:
The diamond slivers and so forth.
A self of persons is refuted
By the fivefold and sevenfold [reasons].
Both also [are refuted] by dependent-arising.
ChandrakŃrtis Commentary on (Ôryadevas) Four Hundred says: 617
Here self is an inherent existence (svabhÓva) of phenomena, that is, non-dependence on another. The non- existence of this is selflessness. [ta, p. 136]This [selflessness] is realized as twofold through a division into persons and [other] phenomenaa selflessness of persons and a selflessness of [other] phenomena. 
Thus, the self to be negated is non-dependence or non-reliance on another, the other being terms, thoughts, and so forth. Absences of this self on its basespersons and [other] phenomenaare respectively posited as the selflessness of persons and of phenomena. This is the thought of the master BuddhapÓlita.
Four types of reasonings refute a self of phenomena [other than persons], whereas a self of persons is refuted by the reasoning in Sutra and in NÓgÓrjunas Treatise 618 that is a searching for it in five ways. A self of persons is also refuted in ChandrakŃrtis Supplement by the reasoning that is a searching for [but not finding the self] in seven ways. [ChandrakŃrti added to the fivefold reasoning] two more refutations based on the teaching that the mere composite of the five aggregates is the basis of the imputation [and not the I]; these refute the assertions that the mere composite of the aggregates is the self and that the shape [of the body] is the self.
Both selves [of persons and of phenomena] are refuted by the reasoning that they lack being one and many and by the reasoning that they are dependent-arisings. These will now be explained.
Copyright Jeffrey Hopkins, 1994. All Rights Reserved.