THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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"Ananda, the seeing awareness does not perceive by itself. It depends upon form and emptiness for its existence. You are now in the Jeta Grove where you see brightness in the morning and darkness in the evening. Deep in the night you will see brightness when the moon arises and darkness when no moon is visible. The brightness and darkness are discerned by the seeing. 3:186

”Is the seeing identical in substance with brightness, darkness, and emptiness, or are they not the same substance? Are they the same and yet different, or are they not the same and yet not different? 3:187

”Ananda, suppose seeing were one with brightness, darkness, and emptiness. It so happens that where there is darkness there is no brightness, and where there is brightness there is no darkness, because the two cancel each other out. If it were one with darkness, it would cease to exist in brightness; if it were one with brightness, it would cease to exist in darkness. Such being the case, how could it perceive both brightness and darkness? If brightness and darkness differ from each other, how can they form a unity with seeing, which transcends production and destruction? 3:187

”Suppose that the essence of seeing were not of one substance with brightness and darkness, and that you were separate from light, darkness, and emptiness. Then what shape and appearance would the source of the seeing have, as you distinguish it? 3:188

”In the absence of darkness, brightness, and emptiness, the seeing would be the same as hair on a tortoise or horns on a hare. How could we establish the seeing perception without the presence of the three qualities of brightness, darkness, and emptiness? 3:189

How could we say that the seeing was one with darkness and brightness, since brightness and darkness are opposites? Yet, how can we say that it was different from the three qualities mentioned, since in their absence the seeing perception can never be established? 3:189

”How could we say that the seeing was not one with emptiness, since no boundary is established between them when they are separated from each other? How could we say that they were not different, since the seeing always remains unchanged, regardless of whether it is perceiving brightness or perceiving darkness? 3:190

”You should examine this in even greater detail, investigate it minutely, consider and contemplate it carefully. The light comes from the sun and darkness from the absence of the moon; penetration belongs to emptiness, and solidity returns to the earth. From what does the essence of seeing arise? 3:191

”Seeing has awareness, and emptiness is inanimate: they do not mix and unite. Nor can it be that the essence of seeing arises spontaneously without an origin. 3:191

”If the faculties of seeing, hearing, and knowing are by nature all pervasive and unmoving, you should know that the stable, boundless emptiness, together with the unstable elements such as earth, water, fire, and wind, are together known as the six elements. They are, in nature, true and perfectly fused and thus are the Treasury of the Thus Come One, fundamentally devoid of production and destruction. 3:192

”Ananda, your nature is so submerged that you have not realized that your seeing, hearing, awareness, and knowing are basically the Treasury of the Thus Come One. You should contemplate seeing, hearing, awareness, and knowing to see whether they are subject to production and extinction; whether they are identical or different; whether they are not subject to production and extinction; and whether they are not identical and not different. 3:192

”You still don’t know that in the Treasury of the Thus Come One the nature of seeing is enlightened brightness; the essence of enlightenment is bright seeing. Pure at its origin, it pervades the Dharma Realm. 3:193

”It accords with living beings’ minds in response to their capacity to know. Consider, for example, the sense organ of seeing. Its seeing pervades the Dharma Realm. The same is true of the luster of the wonderful virtue of hearing, smelling, tasting, contact, and knowing. Since they fill emptiness in the ten directions throughout the Dharma Realm, how could there be any fixed location in which they are found? 3:194

”It is experienced to whatever extent is dictated by the law of karma. Ignorant of this fact, people in the world are so deluded as to assign its origin to causes and conditions or to spontaneity. These mistakes, which arise from the discriminations and reasoning processes of the conscious mind, are nothing but the play of empty words which have no real meaning. 3:195

”Ananda, the nature of consciousness has no source, but is a false manifestation based on the six organs and objects. Now, take a look at the entire holy assembly gathered here. As you glance at each one in turn, everything you see is like what is seen in a mirror, where nothing has any special distinction. 3:195

”However, your consciousness will identify them one by one: for example, Manjushri, Purna, Maudgalyayana, Subhuti, and Shariputra. 3:198

”Does the discerning faculty of the conscious mind come from seeing, from forms, or from emptiness, or does it arise suddenly without a cause? 3:199

”Ananda, suppose your consciousness came from seeing. If there were no brightness, darkness, form, and emptiness - if these four did not exist you could not see. With seeing non existent, what would be the origin of your consciousness? 3:200

”If your consciousness arose from form rather than from seeing, it would not see either in brightness or in darkness. In the absence of brightness and darkness, it would not see form or emptiness, either. In the absence of form, where would your consciousness come from? 3:200

”If it came from emptiness, it is neither an appearance nor the seeing. Since it does not see, it is unable by itself to discern brightness, darkness, form, or emptiness. Since it is not an appearance, it is in itself devoid of external conditions. Therefore, there is no place for seeing, hearing, awareness, and knowing to be established. 3:201

”Since its location is devoid of these two, the consciousness that arises from emptiness would be the same as non existent. Even if it did exist, it would not be the same as a thing. Even if your consciousness came forth from it, how would it discern anything? 3:202

”If it suddenly comes forth without a cause, why can’t you discern the moonlight within the sunlight? 3:202

”You should investigate this even more carefully, discriminate it in detail, and look into it. The seeing belongs to your eyes; the appearances are considered to be the environment; what has an appearance is existent; what is without any appearance is non existent. What, then, are the conditions that cause the consciousness to come into being? 3:203

”The consciousness moves and the seeing is quiet; they do not mix and unite. Smelling, hearing, awareness, and knowing are the same way. Nor should it be that the condition of consciousness exists spontaneously without an origin. 3:203

”If this conscious mind does not come from anywhere, you should know that the same is true of the mind, which makes distinctions, and the seeing, hearing, awareness, and knowing, which are all complete and tranquil. Their nature is without an origin. They and emptiness, earth, water, fire, and wind are together called the seven elements. Their true natures are perfectly fused, and all are the Treasury of the Thus Come One, fundamentally devoid of production and extinction. 3:204

”Ananda, your mind is coarse and shallow, and so you do not realize that the seeing and hearing are the Treasury of the Thus Come One, and you do not discover that knowing is the same way. You should contemplate these six locations of consciousness: are they the same or different? Are they empty or existent? Are they neither the same nor different? Are they neither empty nor existent? 3:205

”You basically do not know that in the Treasury of the Thus Come One the nature of consciousness is bright and knowing. Enlightened brightness is the true consciousness. The wonderful enlightenment is tranquil and pervades the Dharma Realm. 3:206

”It encompasses the emptiness of the ten directions and issues forth in it. How can it have a location? 3:206

”It is experienced to whatever extent is dictated by the law of karma. Ignorant of this fact, people in the world are so deluded as to assign its origin to causes and conditions or to spontaneity. These mistakes, which arise from the discriminations and reasoning processes of the conscious mind, are nothing but the play of empty words which have no real meaning.” 3:207

At that time, Ananda and the Great Assembly, filled with the subtle, wonderful instruction of the Buddha, the Thus Come One, were peaceful in body and mind and were without obstructions. Everyone in the Great Assembly became aware that his or her mind pervaded the ten directions, beholding emptiness in the ten directions as one might look at a leaf or at an object held in one’s hands. 3:208

All the things that exist in the world were the wonderfully bright inherent mind of Bodhi. 3:211

The essence of the mind was completely pervading and contained the ten directions. 3:212

Then they looked back upon their bodies born of their parents as a fine mote of dust blown about in the emptiness of the ten directions; sometimes visible, sometimes not, as a single bubble floating on the clear, vast sea, appearing from nowhere and disappearing into oblivion. They comprehended and knew for themselves, and obtained their fundamental wonderful mind, which is everlasting and cannot be extinguished. 3:212

They bowed to the Buddha and placed their palms together, having obtained what they had never had before. Then, facing the Thus Come One, Ananda spoke verses in praise of the Buddha. 3:214

”The wonderfully deep Dharani,
the unmoving Honored One,
The Foremost Shurangama King
is seldom found in the world. 3:214

“It melts away my upside down thoughts
gathered in a million kalpas.
So I needn’t endure asamkhyeya aeons
to obtain the dharma body. 3:216

“I wish now to achieve the result
and become an honored king,
Who then returns to save as many beings
as there are sand grains in the Ganges.
I offer this deep thought to those who are as countless
as the motes of dust of the Buddhalands,
To repay the kindness shown me by the Buddha. 3:217

“In obeisance I ask the World Honored One to certify
my vow to first enter the five turbid evil realms.
If there is even one being who hasn’t become a
Buddha, at death I will not reach for Nirvana. 3:220 .

“May the exalted hero’s awesome strength,
his kindness and compassion,
Search out and dispel even the most subtle
of my doubts. 3:223

“Causing me to quickly attain the
supreme enlightenment,
And sit in the Bodhimanda of the
worlds of the ten directions. 3:225

“Should even the shunyata nature entirely melt away,
This vajra mind will never waver.” 3:225

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