THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Volume 7

CHAPTER 2

The Bodhisattva Stages

J2 The single position of dry-wisdom.


Sutra:

Ananda, these good people's emotional love and desire are withered and dry, the sense-organs and sense objects no longer match, and so the residual habits do not continue to arise.

Commentary:


Shakyamuni Buddha calls out: Ananda, these good people's emotional love and desire are withered and dry. The people referred to are the ones who have passed through the three gradual stages just discussed. "Withered and dry" means that they have no thoughts of emotional desire and love. The sense-organs and sense objects no longer match. The six sense organs no longer seek to match up with the six sense-objects. And so the residual habits do not continue to arise. "Residual habits" refers to the slight bit of ignorance that these people still harbor. Since the ignorance is so slight, it does not continue to increase.

Sutra:

By means of their complete wisdom, they understand that attachments of the mind are false. The bright perfection of their wisdom-nature shines throughout the ten directions, and this initial wisdom is called the 'stage of dry wisdom.'

Commentary:


The slight bit of ignorance that still remains does not grow and increase. The karmic obstacles are also very few, and so by means of their complete wisdom, they understand that attachments of the mind are false. Their minds become as clear as emptiness itself. Their own natures experience the perfection of wisdom. "Complete wisdom" means they don't have any other false thoughts. The thoughts in their mind are brought forth from wisdom. The bright perfection of their wisdom-nature shines throughout the ten directions. The nature of their wisdom is light and full. And this initial wisdom is called the "stage of dry wisdom". Since emotional love and desire are "dried up," all that's left is wisdom. This stage of dry wisdom is also called "the initial thought of vajra." "Vajra" means "indestructible." This stage is the first step towards the point of being like vajra.

What follows is a discussion of the fifty-five stages of a Bodhisattva:

1. the ten faiths,
2. the ten dwellings,
3. the ten conducts,
4. the ten transferences,
5. the four levels of augmenting practice:

a) heat,
b) summit,
c) patience,
d) foremost in the world;
6. the ten grounds,
7. equal enlightenment.

Sutra:

Although the habits of desire are initially dried up, they still have not merged with the Thus Come One's flow of dharma-water.

Commentary:

Although the habits of desire and emotional love are initially dried up, they still have not merged with the Thus Come One's flow of dharma-water. Here the "flow of dharma-water" does not refer to dharma which is spoken. It is the water of dharma that flows forth from the self-nature. But at this point in their development, they have not merged with the water of genuine wisdom.

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