Eight similes of illusion

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Eight similes of illusion. (S. aṣṭamāyopamā; T. sgyu ma’i dpe brgyad; C. ruhuan yu 如幻喩) Similies or metaphors used as examples to show how phenomena can be empty of inherent existence and yet still appear.

The eight similies are:

  1. A dream: like a dream, objects perceived with the five senses are not there, but they appear through delusion
  2. A magical illusion: like a magic illusion, things are made to appear due to the temporary coming together of causes and conditions
  3. A hallucination or trompe-l'oeil: like a hallucination, things appear, yet there is nothing there
  4. A mirage: like a mirage, things appear, but they are not real
  5. An echo: like an echo, things can be perceived, but there is nothing there, either inside or outside
  6. A city of gandharvas: like a city of gandharvas, there is neither a dwelling nor anyone to dwell
  7. A reflection: like a reflection, things appear, but have no reality of their own
  8. An apparition (S. nirmita; T. sprul pa): like an apparition, there are different types of appearances, but they are not really there

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