THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Volume 7

L3 A detailed explanation of the intermingled retributions.

Sutra:

When this deviant thought combines with thinking, it becomes locations and places. When it combines with seeing, it becomes inspection and testimonies. When it combines with hearing, it becomes huge crushing rocks, ice and frost, dirt and fog. When it combines with smelling, it becomes a great fiery car, a fiery boat, and a fiery jail. When it combines with tasting, it becomes loud calling, wailing, and regretful crying. When it combines with touch, it becomes sensations of large and small, where ten thousand births and ten thousands deaths are endured every day, and of lying with one's face to the ground.

Commentary:


When this deviant thought combines with thinking, it becomes locations and places. "Deviant thought" means that the things one thinks about are improper, and one indulges in fantasies, that is, one's thoughts dwell on strange and weird things. When the deviant thought receives a retribution directed at itself, it turns into evil places of inquisition and interrogation. When it combines with seeing, it becomes inspection and testimonies. "Inspection" refers to the offense-spotting mirror in the hells. When you arrive, you have to go before the mirror and watch all the offenses you created in your life appear there, just as if they were frames of a movie. They are all in vivid detail, and there's no way you can back out of them. You can't avoid owning up to them. If you refuse to admit them, you have to endure "testimonies," in which people prove what you did. When it combines with hearing, it becomes huge crushing rocks. They close in on the four sides surrounding you and crush you between them. And it's cold with ice and frost, and there is dirt and fog. This hell is polluted, a yellow haze defiles the atmosphere so that you can't see anything and you get dizzy and disoriented.

When it combines with smelling, it becomes a great fiery car. This does not refer to trains that take us on vacations here in the world, but rather to a car red-hot with fire that one is forced to sit in. A fiery boat means that the entire boat is ablaze and you must climb aboard. A fiery jail is a prison full of fire that you must enter. When it combines with tasting, it becomes loud calling, wailing, and regretful crying. The noise in this hell is tremendous. One experiences regret in this hell and one moans and weeps.

When it combines with touch, it becomes sensations of large and small, big hells and little hells, where ten thousand births and ten thousands deaths are endured every day. In the course of one single day, one dies a myriad times and is born a myriad times. And it becomes lying with one's face to the ground. Whether lying down, crawling, or standing up, one undergoes punishment. In general, this is not a pleasant place to be. It's not a likely spot to want to go, for the pain and suffering is tremendous.

I4 General conclusion: they are empty and false.
J1 Concludes that they are falsely created.


Sutra:

Ananda, these are called the ten causes and six retributions of the hells, which are all created by the confusion and falseness of living beings.

Commentary:

Ananda, these are called the ten causes and six retributions of the hells. Many different hells have just been named, and all come from the ten habitual causes, which are these:

1. lust
2. greed
3. arrogance
4. hatred
5. deception
6. lying
7. animosity
8. views
9. injustice
10. litigation

They result in the six intermingling retributions that involve the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind as they react to forms, sounds, smells, tastes, objects of touch, and dharmas. These hells are all created by the confusion and falseness of living beings. They come from giving rise to falseness within the one truth, Once ignorance arises, various karmic manifestations result from it. From the karma, various offenses are created. But if one returns the hearing to hear the self-nature and cultivates this path to enlightenment, then all this karma becomes empty. It disappears.

J2 Distinguishes the comparative weight of the offenses.

Sutra:

If living beings create this evil karma simultaneously, they enter the Avichi Hell and endure limitless suffering, passing through limitless kalpas.

Commentary:


If living beings create this evil karma simultaneously, they enter the Avichi Hell. If they indulge in behavior that includes all ten causes and all six intermingling retributions, they go to the Avichi Hell. It is an Relentless Hell, but it is the most severe one, so here it is named specifically. Basically all the Relentless Hells can be called Avichi, but here the most severe one is specifically given that name. In that hell, they endure limitless suffering, passing through limitless kalpas.

Sutra:

If each of the six sense organs creates them and if what is done includes each state and each sense organ, then the person will enter the Eight Relentless Hells.

Commentary:


If each of the six sense organs creates them: if the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind each create these offenses, the ten habitual causes, but not all at the same time as in the previous passage, and if what is done includes each state and each sense organ, then the person will enter the Eight Relentless Hells.

What's done means what the sense organs do in reaction to the states of the sense objects, the kind of karma they create. "Each state" refers to the sense objects and "each sense organ" to the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind individually. "What is done" is the offenses which are created from the habitual causes. Here, all the sense organs create all the habitual causes, but they do not do it simultaneously. A person who follows his six sense organs and six sense objects to create such offenses will undergo the retributions of the eight Relentless Hells. There are eight hot and eight cold hells, and this refers to the eight cold hells.

Sutra:

If the three karmas of body, mouth, and mind commit acts of killing, stealing, and lust, the person will enter the eighteen hells.

Commentary:


If the three karmas of body, mouth, and mind commit acts of killing, stealing, and lust, there are three evils of the body.

1. killing
2. stealing
3. lust

There are four evils of the mouth.

1. loose speech
2. false speech
3. harsh speech
4. backbiting

There are three evils of the mind.

1. greed
2. hatred
3. stupidity

If the karmas of the body, mouth, and mind are not pure, then one creates these ten evils. The person will enter the eighteen hells. There are terrible punishments in these eighteen consecutive hells.

Sutra:

If the three karmas are not all involved, and there is perhaps just one act of killing and/or of stealing, then the person must enter the thirty-six hells.

Commentary:

In the situation described above, the karma created was heavy. Now, the three karmas are not all involved in making offenses. If the three karmas are not all involved, and there is perhaps just one act of killing and/or of stealing: maybe the person commits one murder or one theft, or he commits murder and a theft, or he commits a murder and an act of lust or a theft. In short, he doesn't do them all, but some partial combination of them. The offense karma of a person in that situation is a bit lighter. Then the person must enter the thirty-six hells. Although he has to undergo more hells, the offenses are lighter and the suffering in these hells is not as severe.

Sutra:

If the sense organ of sight alone commits just one karmic offense, then the person must enter the one hundred and eight hells.

Commentary:

If the sense organ of sight is the source of all offenses. It is said:

If the eyes didn't see it, the mouth would not be gluttonous for it.
If the ears didn't hear it, the mind would not make transgressions concerning it.

If you didn't see something good to eat, your mouth would not commit the offense of gluttony. If the ears did not hear lovely sounds, the mind would not give rise to thoughts of desire. Seeing them is the beginning of evil and the source of offenses. Therefore, the text says: If the sense organ of sight alone commits just one karmic offense, perhaps it commits only one of the three karmas of the body: killing, or stealing, or lust. Then the person must enter the one hundred and eight hells.

J3 Even the heavy offenses are clearly an arisal of falseness.

Sutra:

Because of this, living beings who do certain things create certain karma, and so in the world they enter collective hells, which arise from false thinking and which originally are not there at all.

Commentary:


Because of this, because of the various circumstances described above, living beings who do certain things create certain karma. They do individual things, they create their own special offenses, and then they have to undergo a retribution. And so in the world they enter collective hells. All the people who create a particular kind of karma enter that collective hell. Each category of offense has its retribution, and all who create that offense collectively undergo the retribution in the hells, which arise from false thinking and which originally are not there at all. These hells arise from offenses. Offenses are created because of ignorance. They arise from false thinking. Originally, though, they don't exist at all. Originally there is purity and no defilemen, there isn't anything at all. But,

Just because you make one false move,
You blow the whole chess game.

As it is said:

If one is off by a hair in the beginning,
One will miss it by a thousand miles.

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