THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS

 

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C H A P T E R   I I

PRAJNA

Sutra:

The following day, at the invitation of Magistrate Wei,the Master took his seat and said to the great assembly,“All of you purify your minds and think about Maha Prajna Paramita.”

Commentary:

This second chapter of the Sutra is an explanation of Prajna, given by the Master upon the request of Magistrate Wei.

Prajna is a Sanskrit word which means “wisdom.” There are three kinds of Prajna: literary Prajna, contemplative Prajna, and real mark Prajna.

Because the word Prajna encompasses these three meanings, it has a fuller connotation than the word “wisdom.” Therefore the Chinese translators of Sutras did not translate it, but instead transliterated it.

The Sixth Patriarch took his seat and said, “All of you shouldquit daydreaming. Listen to the Dharma with a pure mind and a united heart. Be mindful of Maha Prajna Paramita.”

Maha Prajna Paramita is called “great wisdom.” Maha meansgreat; Prajna means wisdom; Paramita means arrived at the other shore.

Sutra:

He then said, “Good Knowing Advisors, the wisdom of Bodhi and Prajna is originally possessed by worldly people themselves. It is only because their minds are confused that they are unable to enlighten themselves and must rely on a great Good Knowing Advisor who can lead them to see their Buddha-nature. You should know that the Buddha-nature of stupid and wise people is basically not different. It is only because confusion and enlightenment are different that some are stupid and some are wise. I will now explain for you the Maha Prajna Paramita Dharma in order that each of you may become wise. Pay careful attention, and I will explain it to you.

“Good Knowing Advisors, worldly people recite‘Prajna’ with their mouths all day long and yet do not recognize the Prajna of their self-nature. Just as talking about food will not make you full, so, too, if you only speak of emptiness you will not see your own nature in ten thousand ages. In the end you will not have obtained any benefit.

“Good Knowing Advisors, Maha Prajna Paramita is a Sanskrit word which means ‘great wisdom which has arrived at the other shore.’ It must be practiced in the mind, and not just recited in words. When the mouth recites and the mind does not practice, it is like an illusion, a transformation, dew drops, or lightning. However, when the mouth recites and the mind practices, then mind and mouth are in mutual accord. One’s own original nature is Buddha; apart from the nature there is no other Buddha.”

Commentary:

The Master said, “Worldly people recite ‘Prajna, Prajna, Prajna,’ but they do not know the Prajna of their own original nature, or their own inherent wisdom. You may recite recipes from a cookbook from morning to night saying, ‘This is delicious!’ but you will never fill your stomach that way. Saying ‘Prajna is empty’ is not to do anything about it. In the end it is of no benefit. It is nothing more than ‘head-mouth zen’ and will not help you to see your own inherent Prajna.”

Instead, see everything as empty and put it aside: see it, smash it, and put it down. Empty everything. Then you need not recite it all day long with your mouth. If your mouth recites but your mind does not practice, your recitation is a worthless illusion. If you see the Prajna wisdom of your own nature, you will not become entangled in stupid affairs. You will not be ignorant. If you remain ignorant, your mind is not practicing.

If you use your mind as well as your mouth in cultivating Prajna, you will see that your own fundamental nature is itself the Buddha.

Everyone can realize Buddhahood. You need only cultivate. What should you cultivate? Your nature. Do not seek outside yourself, but turn the light inward; reverse the illumination and look within.

Sutra:

“What is meant by Maha? Maha means ‘great.’ The capacity of the mind is vast and great like empty space, and has no boundaries. It is not square or round, great or small. Neither is it blue, yellow, red or white. It is not above or below, or long or short. It is without anger, without joy, without right, without wrong, without good, without evil, and it has no head or tail.

“All Buddha-lands are ultimately the same as empty space. The wonderful nature of worldly people is originally empty, and there is not a single dharma which can be obtained. The true emptiness of the self-nature is also like this.

“Good Knowing Advisors, do not listen to my explanation of emptiness and then become attached to emptiness. The most important thing is to avoid becoming attached to emptiness. If you sit still with an empty mind you will become attached to undifferentiated emptiness.”

Commentary:

Because the mind first thought of going there, we now send  rockets to the moon. The mind has no limits or boundaries. You can’t say that it is big or small, for there is nothing bigger and nothing smaller.

The self-nature is the Middle Way. Your true mind is neither right nor wrong, true or false. In your true mind there are no thoughts of good or evil. Therefore the Sixth Patriarch asked Hui Ming, the ex-soldier who had come to steal the robe and bowl,“With no thoughts of good and with no thoughts of evil, at just this moment, what is the Superior One Hui Ming’s original face?” He posed this question to reveal that there is neither good nor evil in the true mind. As they say in philosophy, “It has no head or tail!”

There is not even one single dharma. It is empty.

The self-nature is like empty space;
It contains within itself both truth and falsehood.
Enlighten yourself to the original substance;
In one penetration, penetrate all.

“When you hear me say that Prajna is empty, do not become attached to undifferentiated emptiness. If you do you will sit as if dead,” continued the Sixth Patriarch.We should cultivate true emptiness, which is wonderful existence, not vacuity. In true emptiness everything is known and everything is not known.

Understanding, complete and clear,
Like water reflecting the moon.
The mind in samadhi, like the sky,
For ten thousand miles, not a cloud.

Sutra:

“Good Knowing Advisors, the emptiness of the universe is able to contain the forms and shapes of the ten thousand things: the sun, moon, and stars; the mountains, rivers, and the great earth; the fountains, springs, streams, torrents, grasses, trees, thickets, and forests; good and bad people, good and bad dharmas, the heavens and the hells, all the great seas, Sumeru and all mountains–all are contained within emptiness. The emptiness of the nature of worldly men is also like this.

“Good Knowing Advisors, the ability of one’s own nature to contain the ten thousand dharmas is what is meant by ‘great.’ The myriad dharmas are within the nature of all people. If you regard all people, the bad as well as the good, without grasping or rejecting, without producing a defiling attachment, your mind will be like empty space. Therefore it is said to be ‘great,’ ‘Maha.’”

Commentary:

Empty space not only holds all good things, it includes all bad people as well. Empty space would never say, “You bad person! Get out of my empty space! Good people, come on in!”

In the same way, you should see good and bad people without being attached to the good or repulsed by the bad. As I have told you before, bad people have something in them which is extremely good. You should hope that they reform. I have many disciples who do not obey me. I tell them to go south and all day long they run north; I tell them to go east and they go west. Although they disobey, I wait patiently because I know the time will come when they will change.

All good and all bad are included within the self-nature; you should neither grasp it nor cast it aside. Grasping and rejecting are defiling attachments.

Sutra:

“Good Knowing Advisors, the mouth of the confused person speaks, but the mind of the wise person practices. There are deluded men who sit still with empty minds, vainly thinking of nothing and declaring that to be something great. One should not speak with these people because of their deviant views.

“Good Knowing Advisors, the capacity of the mind is vast and great, encompassing the Dharma realm. Its function is to understand clearly and distinctly. Its correct function is to know all. All is one; one is all. Coming and going freely, the mind’s substance is unobstructed. That is Prajna.”

Commentary:

The deluded person does not do what must be done. He merely talks. A wise person, on the other hand, always puts principle into practice, not with head-mouth zen, but with constant cultivation.

The Great Master said, “You are all very wise. The vast mind pervades the all-inclusive Dharma realm. It is like a mirror; when things come, it reflects them; when things go, it is empty. The true mind knows everything when it is used. To have Prajna is to have complete understanding and be free of all stupidity.”

Sutra:

“Good Knowing Advisors, all Prajna wisdom is produced from one’s own nature; it does not enter from the outside. Using the intellect correctly is called the natural function of one’s true nature. One truth is all truth. The mind has the capacity for great things, and is not meant for practicing petty ways. Do not talk about emptiness with your mouth all day and in your mind fail to cultivate the conduct that you talk of. That would be like a common person calling himself the king of a country, which cannot be. People like that are not my disciples.”

Commentary:

Do not seek Prajna outside your self-nature. Do not make the mistake of using the intellect, the discriminating mind. The self-nature is not meant for small things.

The Great Master said, “Do not say, ‘Empty, empty, empty, Prajna, Prajna, Prajna...’ People who do that are not my disciples.” Why? Because they don’t listen. I tell them not to get attached to emptiness, and they get attached to emptiness. I tell them not to get attached to existence and they get attached to existence. I tell them not to have sexual desire, and they still do not cut it off. “Oh, no problem,” they say, “Slowly, slowly.”

Sutra:

“Good Knowing Advisors, what is meant by ‘Prajna?’ Prajna in our language means wisdom. Everywhere and at all times, in thought after thought, remain undeluded and practice wisdom constantly; that is Prajna conduct. Prajna is cut off by a single deluded thought. By one wise thought, Prajna is produced. Worldly men, deluded and confused, do not see Prajna. They speak of it with their mouths, but their minds are always deluded. They constantly say of themselves, ‘I cultivate Prajna!’ and though they continually speak of emptiness, they are unaware of true emptiness. Prajna, without form or mark, is just the wisdom mind. If thus explained, just this is Prajna wisdom.”

Commentary:

If you have Prajna, then in thought after thought you clearly understand; in thought after thought you are not confused; in thought after thought you have no ignorance.

“Prajna is cut off by a single deluded thought.” To speak of it as “cut off” is merely an analogy. Actually it is not cut off. How could proper wisdom, which is without production or destruction, be cut off? “Cutting off” merely describes the moment of delusion, because at that moment Prajna is not apparent.

“By one wise thought Prajna is produced.” When you are not deluded or confused, Prajna is produced. I will give you an example of how confusion cuts off Prajna: When people say that drinking is harmful, smoking is not good, and taking confusing drugs is bad, and you do not believe it, you cut off Prajna. If you change, you give rise to Prajna and true intelligence. When someone tries to teach you, but you refuse to understand or believe, that is delusion. In short, delusion is to know clearly that something is wrong, but to go ahead and do it anyway. Such delusion cuts off Prajna. The great majority of people in this world are deeply deluded, for they do not see Prajna and they do not know how to cultivate it.

Their mouths speak about wisdom, but their actions betray their stupidity. They talk about Prajna saying, “Emptiness is Prajna. There are twenty kinds of emptiness related to Prajna.You should empty everything.” But they do not know true emptiness. Perhaps they understand a little of the Sutras, or recite a few lines of a mantra, but even though they speak they do not change their own faults and therefore do not recognize true emptiness.

You must give up ignorance, bad habits, faults, ando bstructions, if you are to understand true emptiness.

“Prajna, without form or mark, is the wisdom mind.” Wisdom has no form or characteristic. Didn’t the Sixth Patriarch just say that Prajna is neither long nor short, neither square nor round, neither big nor small? Nor is it green, yellow, red, white or black. What is it, then? It is the wise mind, free from ignorance, which knows right dharmas from wrong dharmas.

Sutra:

What is meant by Paramita? It is a Sanskrit word which in our language means ‘arrived at the other shore,’ and is explained as ‘apart from production and extinction.’ When one is attached to states of being, production and extinction arise like waves on water. That is what is meant by ‘this shore.’ To be apart from states of being, with no production or extinction, is to be like freely flowing water. That is what is meant by ‘the other shore.’ Therefore it is called ‘Paramita’.

Commentary:

To reach the other shore is to be separated from birth and death. This shore is birth and death; the other shore is Nirvana. To go from this shore to the other, you must cross the great sea of afflictions. Because there are afflictions, there is also birth, death, and Nirvana. If you have no afflictions, then birth and death are Nirvana and Nirvana is birth and death. Birth, death, and Nirvana are nothing more than names.

The absence of birth and death is Nirvana. If you have no afflictions, then in the midst of birth and death you have no birth and death. We are born and we die because of affliction. This is very important and you should all remember it: birth and death exist because of afflictions; affliction exists because of ignorance; and ignorance is simply whatever you don’t understand.

What don’t you understand? What do you understand? Knowing you do not understand is ignorance. Knowing you do understand is Prajna. There is just that small difference.

“When one is attached to states of being, production and extinction arise like waves on water.” What is meant by the other shore? What is Nirvana? Nirvana is like water without waves. When the wind rises, the waves swell. The wind of ignorance, the waves of affliction are “this shore.”

“To be apart from states, with no production or extinction, is to be like freely flowing water.” The principle is clear: the nature is like water, the water of wisdom. When there are no waves, there is no birth and death.

We should work hard to understand why our minds have so many extraneous thoughts. These thoughts are like so many waves. Without them there would be no production or extinction, no birth or death. With production and extinction you are on this shore, but if you separate yourself from production and extinction you are like freely flowing water, permeating the universe with wisdom. That is what is meant by ‘the other shore.’

That section of text is very useful. Use a little effort and you will understand it and derive from it inexhaustible benefit.

Sutra:

“Good Knowing Advisors, deluded people recite with their mouths, but while they recite they live in falsehood and in error. When there is practice in every thought, that is the true nature. You should understand this dharma, which is the Prajna dharma; and cultivate this conduct, which is the Prajna conduct. Not to cultivate is to be a common person, but in a single thought of cultivation, you are equal to the Buddhas.”

Commentary:

In each thought, avoid doing stupid things. If you understand this dharma, you realize that Prajna is to refrain from stupidity. What is stupidity? Doing what you absolutely should not do. Most important is the matter of sexual desire. You absolutely should not give rise to sexual desire, for when it arises you get confused and forget everything. You forget Prajna, you forget Paramita. At that time you cannot even recite their names. You become involved in it and no longer pay attention to principle.Although it is the stupidest thing one can do, people still like to do it. They want to be stupid instead of wanting to cultivate the Prajna dharma. If you want to cultivate and practice Prajna for even a single thought, you must cut off desire and cast out love.The absence of sexual desire is the practice of Prajna and “in a single thought of cultivation, you are equal to the Buddhas.”

Sutra:

“Good Knowing Advisors, common people are Buddhas and affliction is Bodhi. Past thoughts deluded are the thoughts of a common person. Future thoughts enlightened are the thoughts of a Buddha. Past thoughts attached to states of being are afflictions, and future thoughts separate from states of being are Bodhi.”

Commentary:

Where does the Buddha come from? He starts out as a common person. Yes, the Buddha was a common person who cultivated and eventually achieved Buddhahood. Why are we common people? Simply because we do not cultivate the Prajna dharma. Our nature flows out and becomes emotion; our emotions flow out and become desire. Common people are that way. But the returning of desire to one’s own nature, so that one is unmoved by ignorance: that is the Buddha.

“Affliction is Bodhi.” Without affliction there is no Bodhi. So you say, “Then I will not get rid of my afflictions. I will keep them.” If you keep them, they are still afflictions, and afflictions are just afflictions. You should use a scientific method to temper your afflictions. How? Actually, this change is no change, it is merely a returning to your original nature.

My hand, for example, has a palm and a back to it. The back of the hand represents affliction and the palm represents Bodhi. All you need to do is flip it over and everything is all right. There is no addition or subtraction required. Just turn it over! If you do not turn it over, you are off by just that margin, and affliction is affliction and Bodhi is Bodhi. But as soon as you turn it around, affliction is Bodhi and birth and death is Nirvana. I have often spoken of this. At Berkeley I said:

Affliction is Bodhi, ice is water,
Birth and death and Nirvana are empty dharmas.

If you understand, then dharmas are also empty. If you do not understand, then there are still dharmas. You should understand that people and dharmas are both empty.

“Past thoughts deluded are the thoughts of a common person. Future thoughts enlightened are the thoughts of a Buddha.” With stupid thoughts, you are common person; with wisdom and enlightenment, you are a Buddha.

“Past thoughts attached to states of being are afflictions, and future thoughts separate from states of being are Bodhi.” When thought is attached to states, affliction arises. You may think,“This is San Francisco. It surely isn’t the same as New York!” Fundamentally San Francisco and New York are the same. They are both big cities. But you make distinctions. “In San Francisco,” you say, “there is no snow, but New York has lots of snow.” This is just the discriminating mind. Basically the two cities are the same.

If you are unattached to states of being, you will not have so much affliction. If you do not use your discriminating mind, there is no affliction. Past thoughts, which were attached to states, discriminated between San Francisco and New York, and therefore affliction arose. A later thought, which is unattached, makes you say, “They are empty! San Francisco and New York are the same. Why bother to discriminate one from the other?” If you do not discriminate, that is Bodhi.

It is easy to speak that way, but putting down all discrimination is another matter. That is difficult. When you understand that kind of state, there is no home and no country. There is nothing at all. This is to “produce that thought which is nowhere supported.” It is also to “produce that body which is nowhere supported.” Not dwelling anywhere, you can manifest a body that can go everywhere. Is this not wonderful dharma? It is nothing less than Bodhi. There’s no need to sigh. If you can been lightened, then you are enlightened. If you can’t be yet, then slowly, slowly, you can be.

Nature in samadhi,
Demons defeated:
Everyday–happiness.

False thought
not arising:
Everywhere–peace.

When your mind is in samadhi, there is not so much false thinking. Everyday you are happy and at peace. Why are you unhappy now? Because of false thoughts. Without false thoughts, every place is the Land of Ultimate Bliss, and you can “produce that body which is nowhere supported.”

Sutra:

“Good Knowing Advisors, Maha Prajna Paramita is the most honored, the most supreme, the foremost. It does not stay; it does not come or go. All Buddhas of the three periods of time emerge from it. You should use great wisdom to destroy affliction, defilement, and the five skandhic heaps. With such cultivation as that you will certainly realize the Buddha Way, transforming the three poisons into morality, concentration, and wisdom.

Commentary:

The Great Master again addressed the assembly, saying, “In the self-nature of each of you there is limitless wisdom. Maha Prajna Paramita is originally fully present within your self-nature. You need not seek it outside.

“It does not stay; it does not come or go.” The Prajna wisdom of your self-nature is unattached. All Buddhas of the three periods of time, the past, present and future, issue from Maha Prajna Paramita–the highest, most supreme, most honored, number one dharma.

“You should use this great wisdom, not small wisdom, to destroy affliction, defilement and the five skandhic heaps of form, feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness. Without Prajna you cannot see that the five heaps are empty, and therefore you have affliction and are unable to cut off defilement. If you wish to have genuine Prajna, you must‘illumine and view the five skandhas all as empty,’ as Avalokiteshvara did when deeply practicing the Prajna Paramita. Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva worked a long time practicing the deep Prajna Paramita. He could not, in just a short time, illumine and view the five heaps as empty. If you practice the deep Prajna Paramita, you can see the five heaps in this way, and when you destroy all affliction and attachment to sense objects, the original Prajna nature manifests itself.

“With such cultivation as that, you will certainly realize the Buddha Way, transforming the three poisons into morality, concentration, and wisdom.” There is no doubt that you will realize the Way, turning greed, hatred, and stupidity into morality, concentration, and wisdom. Let’s see whether or not you can change. If you change, you will dwell in Prajna; if you do not change, you will wander among the deluded.

Sutra:

“Good Knowing Advisors, my Dharma-door produces 84,000
wisdoms from the one Prajna. Why? Because worldly people have 84,000 kinds of defilement. In the absence of defilement, wisdom is always present, since it is not separate from the self-nature.

“Understand that this dharma is just no-thought, no-remembrance, non-attachment, and the non-production of falsehood and error. Use your own true-suchness nature, and, by means of wisdom, contemplate and illuminate all dharmas without grasping or rejecting them. That is to see one’s own nature and realize the Buddha Way.

“Good Knowing Advisors, if you wish to enter the extremely deep Dharma realm and the Prajna samadhi, you must cultivate the practice of Prajna. Hold and recite The Diamond Prajna Sutra and that way you will see your own nature.”

Commentary:

The Sixth Patriarch said, “From one kind of wisdom, measureless Prajnas are produced.” These 84,000 kinds of wisdom are just 84,000 kinds of Prajna. If you change the defilement of external objects, it becomes wisdom.

Do not use your discriminating consciousness to contemplate and illuminate all dharmas. Use wisdom.

If you wish to enter the Sutra store and have wisdom like the sea, if you wish to master all dharmas and the Prajna Samadhi, you must cultivate the Prajna conduct. How do you practice the Prajna Dharma-door? Hold and recite The Diamond Prajna Sutra. Because the Sixth Patriarch became enlightened upon hearing The Diamond Sutra, he tells everyone, “You should all recite The Diamond Sutra. Hold it in your mind. Do not be distracted or forgetful. Hold The Diamond Sutra and you will see your own nature.”

In reciting Sutras it is essential to avoid giving rise to false thinking and extraneous thoughts. Once there was a man who recited The Diamond Sutra every day. One night he dreamt that a ghost asked him to take him across to a more favorable rebirth just as we perform the Ullambana ceremony on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in order to take across parents from this and past lives. The ghost said, “Please recite a Sutra to take me across.”

“How many times shall I recite it?” the man asked.

The ghost said, “One recitation will be enough.”

The next day, halfway through the recitation, one of the man’s servants brought him a cup of tea. He pushed the cup aside, thinking, “I do not want it,” and continued to recite.

That evening the ghost returned. “You promised to recite the Sutra for me,” he said, “but you only recited half of it.”

“What do you mean?” the man replied, “I recited the whole Sutra.”

The ghost said, “You recited the whole Sutra, but halfway through you thought, ‘I do not want it,’ so the merit from the second half of the recitation was lost.”

The man then realized what happened. “Yes,” he replied “I did think, ‘do not want,’ but it was tea I did not want, not the Sutra’s merit.”

It took only these words “I do not want” halfway through the recitation to convince the ghosts and spirits that he did not want the merit. Probably the ghosts took the merit for themselves. The man said, “I will recite it again.” This time he recited without interruption and the next evening the ghost happily bowed to him in thanks for the compassionate recitation.

So when you recite The Diamond Sutra do not think, “I do not want.” Reciting “Subhuti, Subhuti, I don’t want Subhuti,” Subhuti will probably run away.

Sutra:

“You should know that the merit and virtue of this Sutra is immeasurable, unbounded, and indescribable, as the Sutra text itself clearly states.

“This Dharma-door is the Superior Vehicle, taught for people of great wisdom and superior faculties. When people of limited faculties and wisdom hear it, their minds give rise to doubt.

“Why is that? Take for example the rain which the heavenly dragons shower on Jambudvipa. Cities and villages drift about in the flood like thorns and leaves. But if the rain falls on the great sea, its waters neither increase nor decrease.

“If people of the Great Vehicle, the Most Superior Vehicle, hear The Diamond Sutra, their minds open up, awaken, and understand. They then know that their original nature itself possesses the wisdom of Prajna. Because they themselves use this wisdom constantly to contemplate and illuminate, they do not rely on written words.

“Take for example the rain water. It does not come from the sky. The truth is that the dragons cause it to fall in order that all living beings, all plants and trees, all those with feeling and those without feeling may receive its moisture. In a hundred streams it flows into the great sea and there unites in one substance. The wisdom of the Prajna of the original nature of living beings acts the same way.”

Commentary:

People without good roots say, “The Diamond Sutra is meaningless! What good points does reciting it have? If you recite it every day, can you go without eating and still live? Keep reciting and we will see if you can go without eating.” People of shallow roots and wisdom do not believe in this Sutra.

The great sea represents people of great roots and energy. As soon as they hear this dharma, they realize that Prajna is originally complete within the self-nature, and so they believe it. People of small roots and wisdom, however, are like grass and leaves which float on the surface of the water and sink as soon as it rains. They doubt the Great Vehicle Dharma.

Reflecting within, it is not necessary for those of great wisdom to be highly literate in order to understand Prajna wisdom.

The Prajna wisdom of the self-nature of living beings is just like the rain from the heavens which flows into the great sea. The sea represents our inherent wisdom. No matter how much rain falls, the sea neither increases nor decreases.

The Buddhadharma is like a great sea;
Only those with faith can enter.

It may also be said, “Only those with wisdom can enter,” because without wisdom it is difficult to enter this sea.

Sutra:

“Good Knowing Advisors, when people of limited faculties hear this Sudden Teaching, they are like the plants and trees with shallow roots which, washed away by the great rain, are unable to grow. But at the same time, the Prajna wisdom which people of limited faculties possess is fundamentally no different from the Prajna that men of great wisdom possess.

“Hearing this Dharma, why do they not become enlightened? It is because the obstacle of their deviant views is a formidable one and the root of their afflictions is deep. It is like when thick clouds cover the sun: if the wind does not blow, the sunlight will not be visible.

“Prajna wisdom is itself neither great nor small. Living beings differ because their own minds are either confused or enlightened. Those of confused mind look outwardly to cultivate in search of the Buddha. Not having awakened to their self-nature yet, they have small roots.

“When you become enlightened to the Sudden Teaching, you do not grasp onto the cultivation of external things. When your own mind constantly gives rise to right views, afflictions and defilement can never stain you. That is what is meant by seeing your own nature.”

Commentary:

Deluded people do not become enlightened because their deviant views are too strong and too formidable an obstruction, and cause them to disbelieve. Their ignorance is great and they give rise to much affliction, which is like thick clouds covering the sun. The sunlight is simply the Prajna of your self-nature and the clouds are your deviant views and afflictions. If no wind blows the clouds away, the sunlight will not shine through.

Some living beings are heavily afflicted by bad habits. Having created a great deal of bad karma, they are confused. Those with fewer bad habits and lighter karma can become enlightened. The confused person seeks the Dharma outside his own mind. Seeking outwardly, he does not recognize the originally complete Buddha of his own self-nature. The more he seeks the Buddha outside the farther away he goes.

You should enlighten yourself and not seek outside. If you hear the Sudden Teaching you may become enlightened right away. Understand the Prajna of your own nature and always hold to right knowledge and vision. You will then be without affliction or defilement.

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