THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Volume 8

F3 Detailed explanation of the demons' deeds.
G1 Telling where they come from.
H1 Samadhi is the reason for the demons' agitation.
I1 Emphasizing the significance of the dual aspects of true and false, production and destruction.
J1 First, explaining that our fundamental enlightenment is the same as the Buddha's.


Sutra:

The Buddha told Ananda and the whole assembly, "You should know that the twelve categories of beings in this world of outflows are endowed with a wonderfully bright, fundamental enlightenment, the enlightened, perfect substance of the mind which is not different from that of the Buddhas of the ten directions."

Commentary:


The Buddha told Ananda and everyone in the whole assembly: All of you people who are now present should know that the twelve categories of beings in this world of outflows are endowed with a wonderfully bright, fundamental enlightenment, an inherent, enlightened nature, the wonderfully bright, true mind, the enlightened, perfect substance of the mind, which is not different from that of the Buddhas of the ten directions. It is the same. There is no difference. The Buddhas of the ten directions are endowed with it, and the twelve categories of beings are also endowed with this enlightened nature, which is also called the treasury of the Tathagata.

J2 Next, explaining how emptiness comes from falseness.

Sutra:

Due to the fault of false thinking and confusion about the truth, infatuation arises and makes your confusion all pervasive. Consequently, an emptiness appears. Worlds come into being as that confusion is ceaselessly transformed. Therefore, the lands that are not without outflows, as numerous as motes of dust throughout the ten directions, are all created as a result of confusion, dullness, and false thinking.

Commentary:


Due to the fault of false thinking and confusion about the truth. Hey, Ananda! Your inherent nature and the inherent nature of the twelve categories of beings are not different from the Buddhas'; they are one and the same. However, because you create falseness out of the truth and then become confused about what is the genuine truth, faults arise and errors are made.

Infatuation arises. What is the biggest fault? Infatuation (literally, "obsessed love"). You could say obsession and love are two things; you can also explain them as one: infatuation. Your ignorance prevents you from understanding, and love is all you know about. You think about love, from morning to night. You can't put down love and lust for a moment. If you investigated the Buddhadharma as attentively as you pursue lust and love, you would become a Buddha very soon. What a pity you cannot transform your fondness for the opposite sex into fondness for the Buddhadharma instead! The more you study the Buddhadharma, the more boring you think it is. You say, "I have many faults, and the Buddhadharma points them all out to me. I don't want to study it anymore. The Buddhadharma wants me to change my habits, and how can I do that?" That's one example of obsession about love. Above, the text said, "Due to the fault of false thinking and confusion about the truth..." Now, I could say that mistakes are made due to obsession about love.

You make mistakes based on infatuation. Infatuation arises and makes your confusion all pervasive. Your infatuation produces an all-pervading confusion. You become confused about everything. It all starts with infatuation. Once you become infatuated, you don't understand anything. Nothing matters to you. You figure, "If I fall into the hells, so be it! Why should I worry?" You no longer care about anything.

Consequently, an emptiness appears. Because you make mistakes based on infatuation because men think about women from morning to night, and women think about men all day long, a false emptiness arises. Worlds come into being as that confusion is ceaselessly transformed. The confusion multiplies so that one confusion becomes two confusions, and two confusions turn into three confusions. The confusion evolves without end. Intelligent people should take note of this! You should pay attention to this passage of sutra text. Its message really penetrates to the bone. It points out all of your faults!

Then the world comes into being. Therefore, the lands that are not without outflows, as numerous as motes of dust throughout the ten directions, are all created as a result of confusion, dullness, and false thinking. The worlds throughout the ten directions are not indestructible; they are not without outflows, because they have no basic substance of their own. They are all mere creations of false thinking. Confusion refers to lack of understanding; dullness refers to being obstinate and unyielding. The world is created by your false thinking. Did you know that?

J3 For the sake of comparison, describing the minuteness of the realm of space.

Sutra:

You should know that the space created in your mind is like a wisp of cloud that dots the vast sky. How much smaller must all the worlds within that space be!

Commentary:


"Ananda, don't sleep! You should know that when I say don't sleep, that means don't be confused. Don't be infatuated anymore. Don't be confused about the truth anymore." The Buddha told Ananda not to sleep, and now I'm telling you all not to sleep! Right now, what's important is that you should know that the space created in your mind is like a wisp of cloud that dots the vast sky. All of space, which is created from your mind, is like a wisp of cloud in the sky when compared to your mind. A wisp of cloud in the sky is tiny, and the sky, representing your mind, is vast. Earlier the sutra said:

The space created within great enlightenment
Is like a single bubble in all the sea.

And now it says, "The space created in your mind is like a wisp of cloud that dots the vast sky." All of space being that small, how vast your mind must be! And how much smaller must all the worlds within that space be! All the worlds within that empty space must be minute. If they were in your mind, they would be even smaller. So this describes how our enlightened nature pervades all places.

J4 Returning to the source obliterates space.

Sutra:

If even one person among you finds the truth and returns to the source, then all of space in the ten directions is obliterated. How could the worlds within that space fail to be destroyed as well?

Commentary:


If even one person among you finds the truth and returns to the source. Finding the truth and returning to the source means becoming a Buddha. Realizing the fourth fruition of Arhatship can also be called finding the truth and returning to the source. Ananda, if one person among you becomes a Buddha, then all of space in the ten directions is obliterated. How could the worlds within that space fail to be destroyed as well? Even space is gone, so how can the worlds still exist? The worlds are all gone, too.

Someone says, "If so many Buddhas have accomplished Buddhahood and becoming a Buddha is supposed to obliterate space, then why hasn't space disappeared yet?"

From the point of view of living beings, space exists; but from the point of view of the Buddhas, there is nothing at all. There are different points of view, and so you can't make generalizations. For instance, people who have opened the five eyes can see what is happening in this country and in other countries that are tens of thousands of miles away. Can you who haven't opened the Buddha eye see such things? No. By the same token, one cannot say, "I can see it, therefore it must exist." You may see it as existing, but from the Buddhas' perspective, there is nothing at all, not even space.

I2 Explaining that great samadhi causes demons to manifest.
J1 One's mind tallies with the minds of the sages.


Sutra:

When you cultivate dhyana and attain samadhi, your mind tallies with the minds of the Bodhisattvas and the great Arhats of the ten directions who are free of outflows, and you abide in a state of profound purity.

Commentary:


When you cultivate dhyana concentration and attain samadhi, the essence of your mind tallies and unites with the minds of all the Bodhisattvas and all the great Arhats of the ten directions who are free of outflows, and you abide in a state of profound purity. You don't have to seek elsewhere for this pure, fundamental tranquillity. It is right where you are. Right here is the pure, inherently tranquil treasury of the Tathagata, which pervades the dharma-realm.

Why do the minds of the Bodhisattvas, the great Arhats, and the cultivators of samadhi tally in this way? Because they cultivate the same samadhi. They direct the hearing inward to listen to the inherent nature, until the inherent nature accomplishes the Unsurpassed Way. They all cultivate the great Shurangama Samadhi, and so they are all the same; they become unified. Their minds are connected as if there were an electric current running between them.

This connection, however, doesn't occur only at the level of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Arhats. It also occurs among ordinary people. For example, when you think about a person, your thought will reach his mind, just like a telegram. "Does the other person know?" you ask. His inherent nature knows, even though his conscious mind may be unaware of it. At the level of that nature, we all know one another.

"Well, if I think about someone from morning to night, then that person will also think about me, right?"

You could think till you die, and it still wouldn't be any use. It is like the infatuation we talked about before. If a person is infatuated, he will think about the object of his affection all day long, unable to put the thought down. He is always thinking and thinking, until he thinks himself to death! How does he die? He thinks about her until they come together and get married. Once married, he becomes muddled. After being muddled for a time, he dies. Being married is equivalent to being muddled not knowing anything at all. In Chinese, you can deduce that meaning from the character for "marriage" hun, which contains the word for "muddled" hun; I don't know if this interpretation exists in English.

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