ings are the basis for the ways to enlightenment known as the Sravakayana and Pratyeka
buddhayana. The most extensive collections of First Turning teachings are preserved inPali and Chinese canons.
2.2 The Second Turning Wheel of Dharma (Mahayana I)
This is the Medieval period of the turning of the wheel of Dharma. The place was
or Vulture Peak Mountain near Rajagriha. The audience were Bodhi
sattvas and some Sravakas as well. The contents of the teaching were ³All phenomenaare empty of its characteristics, signless, beginningless, without end and so on, while fo
cussing on wisdom and compassion to work for the benefit of others.´ Later these teach
ings about emptiness were further explained by Nagarjuna in the Madhyamika philoso
phy. They were collected into a varieties of Prajnaparamita Sutras.The teachings of the Second and Third Turnings, much more difficult to compre
hend, provide the path to complete liberation. These teachings are the basis for the way of enlightenment known as the Bodhisattvayana.While the First Turning teachings reveal the emptiness of the self, the Second Turn
ing teachings demonstrate the emptiness of all elements of reality, transcending all limitsand extreme views (Skt:
). As already said, revealing the Prajñaparamita,the transcendent wisdom that ³crosses over´ to fully enlightened knowledge, the SecondTurning teachings proclaim that no thing, no phenomena, no element of existence, existsin and of itself.
The teachings of the Second Turning are the Prajñaparamita Sutras,which convey the Perfection of Wisdom in lengthy texts of
0000and 8000 lines. Shorter expressions of the Prajñaparamita teachings include the DiamondSutra and the Heart Sutra.
2.3 The Third Turning Wheel of Dharma (Mahayana II)
The Buddha turned the wheel of the Dharma for a third time at Vaisal and other places.Two turnings lie at the heart of the third turning. First, the Buddha taught that while allapparent reality is empty, it is not utterly non
existent, thus combatting any misunder
standing of the second turning as nihilistic. In this way, the Third turning teachings ascer
tain the ultimate nature of reality by means of an analysis in terms of the three natures of dharma (Skt:
): the imaginary, the dependent, and the absolute (Skt:
parikal- pita, paratantra
). Once we realize that our own version of reality isrelatively worthless, we begin to make contact with a world that is resplendent. This isthe teaching on luminosity, or
. Second, the Buddha articulated the teachingsof Buddha nature. The Buddha¶s third turning teachings are found in the Avatamsaka Su
tra, Samdhinirmocana sutra, Ratnakuta Sutra, the Lankavatara Sutra and a series of Tathagatagarbha Sutra. The third turning was held at Vaisali, Padmagarbha and other places. The audiences were both Sravaka and Mahayanist. The later development andschool was Yogacara.
ays of Enlightenment
, (Berkeley: Dharma Publishing,
3), p. 25