THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Volume 3

P6 The mind entrance.
Q1 Brings up example to reveal the false.


Sutra:

“Ananda, consider, for example, a person who becomes so fatigued that he goes to sleep. Having slept soundly, he awakens and tries to recollect what he experienced while asleep. He recalls some things and forgets others. Thus, his upside-downness goes through production, dwelling, change, and extinction, which are taken in and returned to a center habitually, each following the next without ever being overtaken. This is known as the mind organ or intellect. The mind and the fatigue are both Bodhi. Persistence produces the characteristic of fatigue.

Commentary:

Ananda, consider, for example, a person who becomes so fatigued that he goes to sleep.
He’s too tired and wants to sleep. Having slept soundly, he awakens and tries to recollect what he experienced while asleep. He recalls some things and forgets others. When he wakes up, he sees the defiling objects before him, and he will be able to think about some of the experiences he encountered and unable to think about others because he has forgotten them. Thus, his upside-downness - this is upside-downness in the mental process, and in it are the four aspects of production, dwelling, change, and extinction. Take sleeping, for example: thinking about going to sleep is production. Actual sleeping is dwelling. On the verge of waking from sleep is the state of change. Having awakened and not wishing to sleep any more is the extinction of sleep. So, within sleeping itself there is production, dwelling, change, and extinction. There is also production, dwelling, change, and extinction in people’s thoughts. First thinking of something is production. Dwelling is your actually thinking about your pursuing the false thought you struck up. Change is when you finish thinking about it. Extinction is when you are no longer thinking of it. Just within one thought there are the four divisions. The Buddhadharma is inexhaustible and unending, once you look into it deeply. Take a telephone call, for example. Production is the phone ringing; dwelling is when you are talking on the phone; change is when you are about to complete the call; and extinction is when you have finished speaking. There is production, dwelling, change, and extinction to everything, no matter what it is.

There is production, dwelling, change, and extinction in the human lifespan, as well. One’s birth is production. One has a period of dwelling in the world. Sickness is change, and death is extinction. But, does a person return to emptiness after one process of production, dwelling, change, and extinction? No. There is still the production, dwelling, change, and extinction of future lives. In a future life the environment changes, but there is still production, dwelling, change, and extinction. So production, dwelling, change, and extinction is a very important concept within Buddhism. Absolutely anything can be used to illustrate the principle. This table is another example. When this piece of wood was growing it was sealed with the destiny to become this table; that is production. Dwelling is when it was made into the table. It will not always remain as it is now, and after a long period of use it will fall apart, and that is change. Once it falls apart it cannot be used any longer, so it is burned, and that is extinction.

Worlds also undergo production, dwelling, change, and extinction. A world takes a long time to undergo production. It takes twenty small kalpas to produce a world. It dwells for twenty small kalpas. It undergoes destruction for twenty small kalpas, and it is empty for twenty small kalpas. That is production, dwelling, destruction, and emptiness, which is the same as production, dwelling, change, and extinction.

How many years is a kalpa?

It is 139,600 years. A thousand kalpas is counted as one small kalpa. Twenty small kalpas count as one medium kalpa. Four medium kalpas make one great kalpa. Production, dwelling, destruction, and emptiness take a great kalpa. Our knowledge of history reaches back for only a few thousand years - not even the extent of a single kalpa. The reach of our knowledge is very small. Kalpas, too, have production, dwelling, destruction, and emptiness - production, dwelling, change, and extinction.

Taken in and returned to a center habitually. The mind takes in the defiling appearances of production, dwelling, change, and extinction, in this case during sleep. These appearances return to the organ of the human mind, each following the next without ever being overtaken. The production, dwelling, change, and extinction of thoughts in the mind are like waves on water.

This is known as the mind organ or intellect. Of the six organs of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind, the mind is now being discussed. The mind and the fatigue originate in Bodhi. Persistence produces the characteristic of fatigue. This is also a perseverance within the true nature of Bodhi which produces the characteristic of fatigue.

Q2 Explains that the false has no substance.


Sutra:

“The two defiling objects of production and extinction stimulate a sense of knowing which in turn grasps these inner sense data, reversing the flow of seeing and hearing. Before the flow reaches the ground it is known as the faculty of intellect.

Commentary:

The two defiling objects of production and extinction stimulate a sense of knowing.
The defiling objects of the mind lie within the mind. The mind conditions dharmas which are subject to production and extinction. There are also dharmas which are not subject to production and extinction, but the dharmas conditioned by the mind are dharmas of production and extinction, which are defiling objects. A nature of aware knowing accumulates and dwells in their midst, and in turn grasps these inner sense data. “Grasps” here means the same as “taking in,” mentioned above. Reversing the flow of seeing and hearing. The defiling objects of seeing and hearing revert to the sixth mind consciousness. Before the flow reaches the ground - before this reverting current has reached the eighth mind consciousness - it is known as the faculty of intellect. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, bodily sensation, and knowing: the sixth of these consciousnesses is the knowing awareness nature in the organ of the mind.

”Before the flow reaches the ground” can also refer to the reverting current flowing back into the mind. What is the reverting current? When the mind’s thought conditions dharmas, it is as if there is a current which flows back into the mind. Before the flow reaches the eighth consciousness, there is a nature of aware knowing in the sixth mind consciousness.

Sutra:

“Apart from the two sets of defiling objects of waking and sleeping and of production and extinction, the faculty of intellect is originally without substance.

Commentary:

Apart from the two sets of defiling objects of waking and sleeping -
of being asleep and of being awake - and of production and extinction - and of the two defiling objects of production and extinction - the faculty of intellect is originally without substance. It, too, does not have a substantial nature.

Q3 It has no source.

Sutra:

“Thus, Ananda, you should know that the faculty of intellect does not come from waking, sleeping, production, or extinction, nor does it arise from the sense organ, nor is it produced from emptiness.

Commentary:

Thus, Ananda
- from the doctrine which has been explained, Ananda, you should know that the faculty of intellect - the nature of aware knowing - does not come from waking, sleeping, production, or extinction, nor does it arise from the sense organ - nor does it come out of the organ of the mind. Nor is it produced from emptiness. Nor is it produced from within emptiness.

Sutra:

“For what reason? If it came from waking, it would disappear at the time of sleeping, so how could it experience sleep? If it came from production, it would cease to exist at the time of extinction, so how could it undergo extinction? If it came from extinction it would disappear at the time of production, so how could it know about production?

Commentary:

For what reason? If it came from waking
- if the nature of aware knowing arose when one was awake - it would disappear at the time of sleeping. It would disappear when one is asleep, and how could it experience sleep? If it weren’t there when one was asleep, what would be meant by sleep? If it came from production, it would cease to exist at the time of extinction. When there was extinction, it would be gone, so how could it undergo extinction? Who is it who would undergo extinction? If it came from extinction it would disappear at the time of production, so how could it know about production? In that case, it would cease to be when there was production. Without the nature of aware knowing, who would know there was production?

Sutra:

“Suppose it came from the sense organ; waking and sleeping cause only a physical opening and closing respectively. Apart from these two movements, the faculty of intellect is as unsubstantial as flowers in space, because it is fundamentally without a self nature.

Commentary:

Suppose it came from the sense organ -
if you say it comes from the organ of the mind, then waking and sleeping - these two characteristics - cause only a physical opening and closing respectively. There is an opening and closing in accord with your own body. Apart from these two movements of wakefulness and sleep the faculty of intellect is as unsubstantial as flowers in space, because it is fundamentally without a self nature. Apart from the opening and closing, it is the same as nonexistent. It has no self-nature.

Sutra:

“Suppose it came from emptiness; the sense of intellect would be experienced by emptiness instead of by the mind. Then what connection would that have with your entrance?

Commentary:

Suppose it came from emptiness -
if it were emptiness that produced the nature of aware knowing - the sense of intellect would be experienced by emptiness instead of by the mind. If it were emptiness itself that knew, then what connection would that have with your entrance? What connection would that have with you?

Q4 Concludes by returning the false to the true.

Sutra:

“Therefore, you should know that the mind entrance is empty and false, since it neither depends upon causes and conditions for existence nor is spontaneous in nature.

Commentary:

Therefore, you should know that the mind entrance is empty and false.
The mind entrance is also an empty falseness. Since it neither depends upon causes and conditions for existence - it is not produced from causes and conditions - nor is spontaneous in nature. Ultimately, then, why do you have a nature of aware knowing? It is produced from a persistence within the nature of the wonderful true suchness of the treasury of the Thus Come One, which gives rise to the characteristic of fatigue.

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