Thus I have heard. Once, Athena met King Tisamenus in the royal palace of Thebes. Tisamenus asked a question.
Tisamenus: Is there one essence which exists as the essence of all things or are there many essences?
Athena: From the point of view of ultimate reality there is only one essence. This is because all things are ultimately the vacuum which manifests as all things. It is also because each atom-moment when it is taken by itself as a ground has no truth value and is indeterminate. That which is indeterminate has no truth value and has no determinate definition. Since all atom-moments taken as grounds are a manifestation of the vacuum the atom-moments and the vacuum cannot be different grounds. Since anything which is indeterminate is equally the same indeterminate reality the vacuum and every atom-moment taken as a ground must be the same essence. From the point of view of relative reality there are an infinite number of essences. Each atom-moment taken as a ground,each series taken as a ground and infinite time-space taken as a ground can from the relative perspective all be seen as different grounds. Since there are an infinite number of atom-moments there must be from the relative point of view an infinite number of essences.
When Athena had finished preaching this Sutra Tisamenus was jubilant. Tisamenus accepted Athena's teaching and began to follow it with great veneration.
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