THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Brahma Conduct

Chapter Sixteen --------------

At that time, the god-son Proper Mindfulness said to Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva, “Disciple of the Buddha, in all worlds the multitudes of Bodhisattvas rely on the Thus Come Ones’ teaching, don the dyed robes and leave the home life. How do they attain the purity of Brahma Conduct and, from the position of a Bodhisattva, further ascend to the Unsurpassed Bodhi Way?”

Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva said: Disciple of the Buddha, when the Bodhisattva Mahasattva cultivates Brahma conduct, he should use ten dharmas as his basis of thought, and formulate the intention and contemplate them.

That is to say: body, body karma, speech, speech karma, thought, thought karma, the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha, and the Precepts. He should contemplate in this way: “Is the body Brahma Conduct?” Up to and including “are the Precepts Brahma Conduct?”

If the body were Brahma Conduct, then we should know that this Brahma Conduct would not be good, would not be Dharma, that it would be turbid, stinking and evil, and impure.

That it would be disgusting, rebellious, mixed and defiled, that it would be a dead corpse, and would be a clump of worms.

If body karma were Brahma Conduct, then walking, standing, sitting, and lying down, looking left and looking right, bending and extending, looking up and looking down would be Brahma Conduct.

If speech were Brahma Conduct, then Brahma Conduct would be voice and breath, chest, tongue, throat and lips, expulsion, retraction, constriction and release, loudness and softness, clarity and indistinctness.

If speech karma were Brahma Conduct, then Brahma Conduct would be compliments and inquiries, generalizations and elaborations, metaphorical speech and direct speech, speech in praise and slanderous speech, hypothetical speech, speech adapted to the world, and evident speech.

If the mind were Brahma Conduct, then Brahma Conduct would have to be perception, observation, discrimination, various kinds of discriminations, recollection, various kinds of recollections, consideration, various kinds of considerations, illusions, and slumber and dreams.

If mind karma were Brahma Conduct, then one should know that Brahma Conduct would be thought and feeling cold or hot, hungry or thirsty, miserable or happy, worried or pleased.

If the Buddha were Brahma Conduct, then would form be the Buddha? Would feeling be the Buddha? Would thinking be the Buddha? Would formations be the Buddha? Would consciousness be the Buddha? Would the marks be the Buddha? Would the characteristics be the Buddha? Would spiritual penetrations be the Buddha? Would karmic deeds be the Buddha? Would fruit retribution be the Buddha?

If the Dharma were Brahma Conduct, then would still extinction be the Dharma? Would Nirvana be the Dharma? Would non-production be the Dharma? Would non-arisal be the Dharma? Would ineffability be the Dharma? Would non-differentiation be the Dharma? Would non-acting be the Dharma? Would non-assemblage be the Dharma? Would non-according be the Dharma? Would non-attainment be the Dharma?

If the Sangha were Brahma Conduct, then would the procession towards streamwinner be the Sangha? Would the fruit of streamwinner be the Sangha? Would the procession towards Once-Returner be the Sangha? Would the fruit of Once-Returner be the Sangha? Would the procession towards Never-Returner be the Sangha? Would the fruit of Never-Returner be the Sangha? Would the procession towards Arhat be the Sangha? Would the fruit of Arhat be the Sangha? Would the Three Clarities be the Sangha? Would the Six Penetrations be the Sangha?

If the precepts were Brahma Conduct, then would the platform area be the precepts? Would the questioning about purity be the precepts? Would the teaching of awesome deportment be the precepts? Would the three karmavachana pronouncements be the precepts? Would the Upadhyaya be the precepts? Would the Acharyas be the precepts? Would the shaving of the head be the precepts? Would donning the kashaya sashes be the precepts? Would begging for food be the precepts? Would proper livelihood be the precepts?

After contemplating in this way, do not grasp at the body, do not grasp at cultivation, and do not dwell in dharmas. The past is already extinguished, the future has not yet arrived, and the present is empty and still. There is no one who creates karma, and there is no one who receives retribution. This world does not move, and other worlds do not change. Among these things what dharma can be called Brahma Conduct? Where does Brahma Conduct come from? To whom does Brahma Conduct belong? Who or what is its substance? By whom is it created? Is it existent? Is it non-existent?

Is it form? Is it non-form? Is it feeling? Is it non-feeling? Is it thinking? Is it non-thinking? Is it activities? Is it non-activities? Is it consciousness? Is it non-consciousness?

Contemplating in this way, because Brahma Conduct cannot be got at; because the three periods of time are all empty and still; because one’s mind has no grasping or attachment; because one’s mind has no obstructions; because what one practices is non-dual; because of expedients of self-mastery; because of receiving the Dharma of no-marks; because of contemplating the Dharma of no-marks; because of knowing that the Buddha and Dharmas are level and equal; because of endowment with all Buddhadharmas, therefore it is called Pure Brahma Conduct.

Moreover, one should cultivate ten kinds of dharmas. What are the ten? They are: the knowledge of what is and what is not the case; the knowledge of the karmic retributions in the past, present, and future; the knowledge of all dhyanas, liberations, and samadhis; the knowledge of all superior and inferior faculties; the knowledge of the various kinds of understandings; the knowledge of the various kinds of realms; the knowledge of where all paths lead; the knowledge of the unobstructed Heavenly Eye; the knowledge of the unobstructed penetration of past lives; and the knowledge of forever cutting off habitual energy. Each and every one of the Tathagata’s ten powers is to be contemplated. Within each power are unlimited meanings which must be investigated.

After one has heard them one must produce a mind of great kindness and compassion. One must contemplate all beings without renouncing or separating from them. One must consider all dharmas without resting. One must practice unsurpassed karma without seeking for rewards. One must completely understand that all states are like dreams, illusions, shadows, echoes, and also like transformations.

If all Bodhisattvas are in this way able to make contemplation interact with practice, and if within all dharmas they do not give rise to dual understanding, then all Buddhadharmas will quickly manifest before them. At the time of first bringing forth the mind they right then obtain anuttarasamyaksambodhi. They know that all dharmas are just the self-nature of the mind. They accomplish the wisdom body, and become enlightened not because of others.

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