THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
Summary of the Stores
Furthermore, these Three Stores in general have two doors according to what they explain. The first is in terms of the exclusiveness of their natures, for Sutras explain the three studies, Vinaya only the two studies of precepts and the mind, and Shastras only the study of wisdom, as is discussed in the Samparigraha Shastra. Two, in terms of how they unite and what they properly are, among the Three Stores, Sutras properly explain samadhi, Vinaya explains precepts, and Shastras explain wisdom, while in union, each links with all three.
Furthermore – to continue in the same vein as before – these Three Stores, the Sutra Store, the Vinaya Store, and the Shastra Store, in general have two doors according to what they explain. In general there are two kinds of doors involved. The first is in terms of the exclusiveness of their natures. That means which ones they are able to illustrate. For example, among precepts, samadhi, and wisdom, which do Sutras explain? Which does the Vinaya explain, and which do Shastras explain? First, the Sutras are considered, for Sutras explain the Three Studies.
The three studies – precepts, samadhi, and wisdom – are all included in the Sutra Store. Vinaya only explains the two studies of precepts and the mind. The Vinaya illustrates the study of precepts and the study of the mind, the study of the mind being the study of samadhi. That’s because samadhi is within your mind, and so the study of the mind is the study of samadhi. Why is that? It’s because from holding the precepts you can give rise to the power of samadhi and have a mind that’s in samadhi, so the precept store includes those two studies. And Shastras only contain the study of wisdom. What Shatras explain is wisdom; they help you understand principles, as is discussed in the Samparigraha Shastra. If you want to know and understand this in detail, you can consult the Mahayana-samparigraha-shastra which sets this forth at length.
Two, in terms of how they unite and what they properly are…The second door is that of uniting and properly being – uniting with others and properly being what they are themselves. e.g., one may basically by concerned with samadhi, but be connected with precepts and wisdom. Among the Three Stores, Sutras properly explain samadhi. Properly speaking, Sutras illustrate the study of samadhi – they are basically concerned with samadhi. Vinaya explains precepts. Vinaya – “taming and subduing Dharma” – properly illustrates the precepts, and Shastras explain wisdom. The Shastra Store properly concerns itself with the study of wisdom. Precepts, samadhi and wisdom are known as the “Three Non-outflow Studies.” If you can maintain these three non-outflow studies, then you will obtain the fruit of no-outflows. While in union each links with all three. If you talk in terms of which of the others they connect with, then Sutras basically are the door that can unite with precepts and unite with wisdom. The basic door or precept can also connect with samadhi and with wisdom. The basic door of wisdom can also unite with the door of samadhi and that of precepts, but those two are not its primary substance – what it properly is. What it unites with is subsidiary. So, whereas in relation to precepts, samadhi, and wisdom each of the Three Stores of Sutras, Vinaya, and Shastras has what it properly is, yet each, too, has connections with the others.
The Second, Explaining the Two Stores: One, The Sound-Hearer Store, Two, The Bodhisattva Store. That is, insofar as the previous Three Stores illustrate the principles, practices, and fruitions of Sound-Hearers, they are called the “Sound-Hearer Store.” To the extent that the illustrate the principles, practices, and fruitions Bodhisattvas, they are called the “Bodhisattva Store.”
The Second, explaining the Two Stores. After the Three Stores there are also the Two Stores, which are: One, the Sound-Hearer Store, and two, the Bodhisattva Store. The Sound-Hearer Store also includes those Enlightened to Conditions. Sound-Hearers have that name because they:
Hear the sound of the Buddha and enlighten to the Way.
They cultivate the Dharmas of the Four Sagely Truths and the Twelve Links of Causes and Conditions.
Those Twelve Links of Conditioned Co-production are cultivated by those Enlightened to Conditions – which is what they are called when there is a Buddha in the world. When no Buddha is in the world, they are called those Solitarily Enlightened, because they become enlightened on their own. The Sound-Hearer Vehicle corresponds to the Lesser Vehicle, also called “the Two Vehicles,” the two being the Sound-Hearers and those Enlightened to Conditions. Bodhisattvas are of the Great Vehicle, and so in the Hsien Shou School, they talk about the Three Stores and the Two Stores. This Sutra teaches Bodhisattvas, and is Great Vehicles Dharma. Bodhisattvas cultivate the Six Paramitas and the ten thousand conducts.
The Six Paramitas
Each of those six can reach to the other shore, but you have to actually practice them. If you cultivate the Dharma of giving to perfection, then you will reach the other shore. If you don’t cultivate it to perfection, then of course you don’t arrive there.
They lead one to the other shore if one cultivates them truly. For example, if you truly practice giving, you don’t just give away wealth external to the body, but even give away your body’s internal wealth. External wealth means countries, cities, wives, and children, all of which you give away. Shakyamuni Buddha could have been a wheel-turning sage king, but he didn’t do it. He left home to cultivate the Way, externally renouncing his country and his house, his wife, and his son, Rahula.
Inner wealth means head, eyes, brains, and marrow in his bones; he could renounce them – that internal wealth. For the sake of the Dharma, he forgot about himself. In order to seek the Great Vehicle Buddhadharma, he renounced thousands of lives. That is to practice the Bodhisattva-Way.
You say “But that’s really hard. It may be possible to give away one’s country, house, wife, and children, but how can one give away one's own head? Its also not easy to give away one’s own eyes.” Right. That’s why having to give away his eyes made Shariputra retreat from his resolve for Bodhi, so it’s no wonder you say they can’t be given up. Yet, even if they’re impossible to renounce, if you can’t renounce, you can’t obtain. If you could give, you would receive. If you do give, you get – what? You obtain the unsurpassed fruit of Bodhi, and reach the other shore. So you should give and get. You can’t give or get, but if you could give and get, then that would be to reach the other shore.
You say, “I can’t get myself to give.” Then you won’t get – how could you? You say, “There’s something to this principle, but doesn’t it say in the Heart Sutra ‘no knowing and no obtaining’” What’s that all about, obtaining. You can explain it that way. The Heart Sutra is talking about Prajna, which has no marks. You can’t compare the “obtaining” involved in giving with the “obtaining” of Prajna. Both are “obtaining,” but one is Mr. Smith obtaining and the other is Mr. Jones obtaining. The obtaining may be the same, but the practice has a bit of difference to it. So, if you give to the ultimate, that means you give away what you can’t give up, then whatever you want can be yours.
An example is someone who basically can’t give up his body to the Buddhadharma, thinking of leaving home and then not doing it, over and over again. Then when the person’ profuse emotions get a little less thick, and the opportune conditions ripen, the person decides to leave home in a matter of a few hours. That’s renouncing and obtaining. If you can give, you can get; if you can’t give, you can’t get.
The second Paramita is holding precepts. When you hold precepts, you should do so to the utmost; otherwise you won’t reach Paramita – you won’t make it to the other shore. Patience, the third, is the same way. If you cannot stand something and say, “Uah! I can’t take it, I can’t stand it,” if you stand it, then you have taken it. If you stand it, then you’ve stood it. Who tells you not to stand it? Who tells you not to bear it? All of that is just upside-down thinking and false thoughts – being unable to put down the “self.” You say, “I can’t stand it! I can’t bear it!” If you didn’t have an I, who would you say stands it and bears it? Who holds the precepts? If there is no I there is no mark of self and so no mark of others, no mark of living beings, and no mark of a lifespan.
Talking about this is all well and good, but when the test topics are posted, you’re unable to compose the essays. You forget all about this. You have to be able to pass the tests, say, “It’s just the case of having nothing to do and finding something to do.” And “That’s the way things are,” and write your essays.
Vigor is the same. You need to be vigorous about what you can’t be vigorous and say, “What simply cannot do, I shall do!” Do it, and you have done it. It’s just a difference in one word. There’s really nothing to it. Dhyana samadhi works the same. You say, “I just keep sitting here and I can’t enter samadhi.” You still know you haven’t entered samadhi, so how could you enter samadhi? Sitting there is just sitting there. Even if you fall asleep, just keep it up. Don’t pay any attention. That’s entering samadhi. If you keep thinking, “Why don’t I enter Samadhi? How come I haven’t gone into samadhi?” your false thought will chase samadhi away. Samadhi says, “He’s always thinking about entering samadhi, and that won’t do. We just won’t let him do it.” By having one false thought after another, you defeat yourself.
The sixth Paramita is wisdom. No one can say, “I can’t be wise.” You can say, “I can’t give, I can’t hold precepts, I can’t be patient, I can’t be vigorous, I can’t have samadhi, but you don’t say, “I can’t be wise.” Are you stupid? Everyone says to himself, “I have wisdom.” People think they’re not bad in this respect, that everyone should notice how clever they are. They saying goes, “Anyone can say that he is clever.” Sometimes people say, “I’m sharp,” meaning “smart.” Of course there’s another way to explain sharp and that is to be like a knife that can kill people with its sharpness. Everyone thinks he has wisdom, but it’s only if you can use it that it is wisdom. If you can’t, it’s not.
That is, insofar as the previous Three Stores – Sutras, Vinaya, and Shastras – illustrate the principles, practices, and fruitions of Sound-Hearers, they are called the “Sound-Hearer Store.” “Sound-Hearers” cultivate the Four Truths and the Twelve Links of Causes and Conditions, which are simply the principles of the Sound-Hearer Vehicles, and they are their “practices,” the doors of conduct which they cultivate. By using these doors of conduct, one obtains the positions of the fruitions.
The Four Fruits of Arhatship
When one is certified as having attained the first fruition, one cuts off delusions of views, which are described as:
When faced with states,
one gives rise to greed and love.
The second fruition brings certification to the partial cutting off of thought delusions, which are described as:
Being confused about principles,
one gives rise to discriminations.
You don’t understand theory and principle, become confused, and start making discriminations. The more you think, the more wrong you are; the more wrong you are, the more false thinking you strike up. You’re confused about principle, start thinking, and bring forth thought delusions. An example is when someone basically has no reason to doubt, but begins to doubt. That’s thought delusions. Basically when you see a state, you shouldn’t move, and as soon as you move, that’s called view delusions. When you are certified to attaining the fruitions of Arhatship, you cut off view and thought delusions.
The Bodhisattva Vehicle works the same way. To the extent that they illustrate the principles, practices, and fruitions of Bodhisattvas, they are called the “Bodhisattva Store.” What fruition do Bodhisattvas become certified to? They are certified as having obtained the Ten Grounds, Equal Enlightenment, and – in the end, they very highest – Wonderful Enlightenment. That’s a very simple discussion of the Three Vehicles and the Two Vehicles.
Therefore, the Alamkara Shastra Part Four says, “These Three Stores, due to the distinction of superior and inferior vehicles, further make up the Sound Hearer Store and the Bodhisattva-Store.” The Mahayana Samparigraha agrees with this.
Previously it talked about distinguishing a Sound Hearer Vehicle and a Bodhisattva Vehicle and now it cites some textual references to substantiate that distinction, saying, therefore, the Alamkara Shastra, the Mahayana-Sutra-Alamkara-Shastra in Part Four says: “These Three Stores,” those of Sutras, Vinaya, and Shastras which were talked about before, “Due to the distinction of superior and inferior vehicles, the superior vehicles being the Great Vehicle, which is said to be the Bodhisattva Vehicle, and the inferior vehicle being the Lesser Vehicle, which is said to be the Sound Hearer Vehicle, “Further make up the Sound Hearer Store and the Bodhisattva Store.” Because they are different, a division into two can be made: the Sound Hearer Vehicle and the Bodhisattva Vehicle. The Mahayana-Samparigraha agrees with this. The Mahayana-SamparigrahaShastra says the same thing.
Then since these two vehicles are identical in principle and fruition, they are combined.
Then since these two vehicles , the Bodhisattva Vehicle and the Sound Hearer Vehicles, are identical in principle and fruition, being different in name but not in their fruit of principle, therefore they are combined. They are put together and mentioned as one. You could also say the Two Vehicles mean the Sound Hearer Vehicle and the Vehicle of Those Enlightened to Conditions, that they are identical with each other in principle and fruition and so combined. Here, though, it refers to the Two Stores of Sound Hearers and of Bodhisattvas.
If one makes distinctions based upon the teachings and the practices, then they are opened out to Three Vehicles, and constitute Three Stores, as in the Universal Transcendence and similar sutras. Furthermore, because those Enlightened to Conditions for the most part do not rely on the teaching and appear when no Buddha is in the world, and when a Buddha is in the world are grouped with the Sound Hearers, there is simply a division into two, that being the difference between Great and Small, Half and While.
If one makes distinctions based upon the teachings and the practices, then they are opened out to Three Vehicles, and constitute Three Stores, as in the Universal Transcendence and similar sutras. The Three stores are those of Sound Hearers, Those Enlightened to Conditions, and Bodhisattvas. Moreover, the Vehicles of Those Enlightened to Conditions and of Sound Hearers can be combined so there are Two Vehicles – the Sound Hearer Vehicle and the Bodhisattva Vehicle, also called the Two Stores: the Sound Hearer Store and the Bodhisattva Store. Why is that? It is furthermore, because those Enlightened to Conditions for the most part do not rely on the teachings.
Those Enlightened to Conditions cultivate the Twelve Links of Conditioned Co-production and enlighten to the Way, and appear when no Buddha is in the world. When there isn’t a Buddha in the world they are called those Solitarily Enlightened to Conditions, so they don’t necessarily rely upon teachings and doctrines to become enlightened. When there is a Buddha, such as Shakyamuni Buddha, in the world, then they are grouped with the Sound Hearers. They are not set apart and called Those Solitarily Enlightened to Those Enlightened to Conditions, but are just called Sound Hearers with the rest. For that reason, there is simply a division into two. Sometimes there are just Two Stores, those of Bodhisattvas and Sound Hearers, the Sound Hearer Store eclipsing the distinction between the Two Vehicles of Sound Hearers and Those Enlightened to Conditions, that being the difference between Great and Small, Half and Whole. That amounts to the difference between the Great Vehicle and the mall Vehicles, the Half Word Teaching and the Whole Word Teaching.
The Small Vehicle Teaching is called the Half Word Teaching.
The Great Vehicle Teaching is called the Whole Word Teaching.
The Agama Period’s Teaching is that of the Half Word,
The Prajna and Dharma Flower-Nirvana Periods’ Teaching are Whole Word Teaching.
This is also like the fact that a small child, if told to study books studied by adults, won’t be able to do it. It can only be taught to read at children’s level, word by word, such as “one,” “two,” “three,” “four,” bit by bit until it learns to recognize short, simple words, “half-words” as compared to longer, more complex words, the “whole words.”
(Note: the terms apply to Chinese Characters. The child first learns the simple radicals, the “half-characters,” and afterwards learns to combine them into “whole characters.”)
The Small Teaching and the Initial Teaching are “Half-Word” Teachings. The Final Teaching is partly Half-Word teaching and partly Whole Word Teaching.
The Sudden Teaching and the Perfect Teaching are both Whole Word Teaching.
The Final Teaching is a “Revelation of the Whole to the Half.”
If makes clear the Whole Word Teaching to those of the Half Word Teaching. That is the distinction as applied to the Five Teachings of the Hsien Shou School. When applied to the Four Teachings of the T’ien T’ai School,
The Store Teaching and the Connecting Teaching are Half-Word Teachings,
The Separate Teaching and the Perfect Teaching are Whole Word Teachings.
The Hsien Shou and T’ien T’ai Schools are largely similar and only slightly different in their methods. In studying the Buddhadharma, one needs to start with the Half-Word Teachings and then go on to the Whole Word Teachings. That’s what’s known as proceeding in order and making gradual progress, advancing step by step.