THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Volume 8

J6 Experiencing ease leads to joy.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.

Sutra:

Further, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. As he dwells in this purity, his mind is tranquil and at ease. Suddenly a feeling of boundless joy wells up in him. There is such bliss in his mind that he cannot contain it.

Commentary:


Further, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. As he dwells in this purity of samadhi, his mind is tranquil and at ease. His mind is exceptionally calm and settled, without any scattered thoughts. Right at that point, the feeling skandha produces another effect in him. Suddenly a feeling of boundless joy wells up in him. He feels a happiness that knows no bounds. There is such extreme bliss in his mind that its extent cannot be known, and he cannot contain it. Even if he wants to stop the joy, he cannot.

K2 Giving the name, and instructions to awaken.

Sutra:

This is called, 'experiencing lightness and ease, but lacking the wisdom to control it.' If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

Commentary:


This is called, "experiencing lightness and ease, but lacking the wisdom to control it." He does not have the wisdom to control his own happiness. If he understands, then there is no error. If you realize what it is, then there is no problem. This experience does not indicate sagehood. This does not mean that you have become a sage.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

Sutra:


But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon that likes happiness will enter his mind. As soon as he sees someone, he will laugh. He will sing and dance in the streets. He will say that he has already attained unobstructed liberation. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

Commentary:


But if he considers himself a sage, if you say, "Oh, now I've entered the ground of happiness! I'm a Bodhisattva of the ground of happiness!" then a demon that likes happiness will enter his mind. As soon as he sees someone, he will laugh uproariously. He will sing and dance in the streets. Like a hippie, he gets totally carried away, waving his arms and stamping his feet singing and dancing, making all kinds of music. He will say that he has already attained unobstructed liberation. Lacking proper samadhi he will certainly fall. He loses his proper concentration, his proper knowledge and views, and his powers of reasoning; and eventually, he will fall into the hells.

J7 Seeing the sublime and becoming proud.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.


Sutra:

Further, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. He says he is already satisfied. Suddenly, a feeling of unreasonable, intense self-satisfaction may arise in him. It may include pride, outrageous pride, haughty pride, overweening pride, and pride based on inferiority, all of which occur at once. In his mind, he even looks down on the Tathagatas of the ten directions, how much the more so on the lesser positions of sound-hearers and those enlightened by conditions.

Commentary:


Further, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. He says he is already satisfied. He feels he already has enough of everything; he's already realized the fruition, become enlightened, and become a Buddha. Suddenly, a feeling of unreasonable, intense self-satisfaction may arise in him. Self satisfaction is a form of haughtiness. He respects no one. He looks down on everyone and thinks no one is as good as he is. It may include pride, arrogance; outrageous pride, which is extreme arrogance; haughty pride, there is no greater arrogance than this; overweening pride, pride added to pride; and pride based on inferiority, feeling that everyone is inferior to him and looking down on everyone. These are different kinds of pride, all of which occur at once.

In his mind, he even looks down on the Tathagatas of the ten directions. To what extent does his pride go? Not only is he arrogant toward people, he is arrogant toward the Buddhas, so he regards even the Tathagatas of the ten directions with contempt, feeling they are not as good as he is. How serious would you say this pride is? It's really difficult to deal with! How much the more so on the lesser positions of sound-hearers and those enlightened by conditions. He looks down on them even more. His attitude is, "You're nothing but an arhat of the small vehicle! What's so special about you?" He thinks he's higher than the Buddha, but he hasn't come up with another name yet.

K2 Giving the name and instructions to awaken.

Sutra:

This is called 'viewing oneself as supreme, but lacking the wisdom to save oneself.' If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

Commentary:


This is called "viewing oneself as supreme." It is an occasional state that occurs in the feeling skandha. But it involves lacking the wisdom to save oneself. The person doesn't have the wisdom to save himself. If he understands, then there is no error. If he understands that this is an error, then the demon will not have its way with him. As it is said, "If you understand, then you won't be confused; but when you are confused, you lack understanding." If you understand, it is like taking a sword of wisdom and hacking through the confusion. This experience does not indicate sagehood. It does not mean you have realized sagehood.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

Sutra:

?But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of intense arrogance will enter his mind. He will not bow to stupas or in temples. He will destroy sutras and images. He will say to the Danapatis, 'These are gold, bronze, clay, or wood. The sutras are just leaves or cloth. The flesh body is what is real and eternal, but you don't revere it; instead you venerate clay and wood. That is totally absurd.' Those who have deep faith in him will follow him to destroy the images or bury them. He will mislead living beings so that they fall into the Relentless Hells. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

Commentary:


But if he considers himself a sage, if you say that this is a good state, then a demon of intense arrogance, an extremely haughty demon, will enter his mind and possess him. He will not bow to stupas or in temples. He will not bow to Buddhas or stupas when he sees them. Nor will he make obeisance when he goes into temples. He will destroy sutras and images. He will burn sutras and break images of the Buddhas. Destroying sutras and images are offenses that lead to the hells. But he will say, "These things are all false."

He will say to the Danapatis. He has his own disciples, and he tells his disciples these things. Dana means giving and pati means to transcend, so in Buddhism, one who makes offerings to the Triple Jewel is called a danapati. He says to his own danapatis and followers, "These are gold, bronze, clay, or wood. The sutras are just leaves or cloth." Buddha images are made of gold, or of bronze; or they may be constructed of clay or wood. Sutras are written out on leaves, or on silk or cotton cloth. "What's the use of worshipping them? They have no consciousness. The flesh body is what is real and eternal. This flesh body of mine is real, but you don't revere it, you don't revere me; instead you venerate clay and wood. You'd rather bow to idols of clay and wood, what's the use of that? It would be better for you to bow to me than to them. That is totally absurd. What awareness do those pieces of wood have? It's ridiculous for you to bow to them!"

Those followers who have deep faith in him, who deeply believe in him, will follow him to destroy the Buddha images and burn the sutras, or to bury them in the ground. Through such behavior, he will mislead living beings so that they will not believe in Buddhism, but will have doubts instead. He will hinder them like that, and they will definitely fall into the Relentless Hells. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

J8 With wisdom comes lightness and ease, which leads to complacency.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.


Sutra:

Further, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. In his refined understanding, he awakens completely to subtle principles. Everything is in accord with his wishes. He may suddenly experience limitless lightness and ease in his mind. He may say that he has become a sage and attained great self-mastery.


K2 Giving the name and instructions to awaken.

This is called 'attaining lightness and clarity due to wisdom.' If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

Commentary:


Further, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. In his refined understanding, his understanding becomes even more refined than before, he awakens completely to subtle principles. At this time, he gains a thorough understanding of very fine and subtle principles. Everything is in accord with his wishes. He may suddenly experience a state of limitless lightness and ease in his mind. He may say that he has become a sage, a Buddha, and obtained great self-mastery, the greatest happiness and ease.

This is called "attaining lightness and clarity due to wisdom." Having uncovered a little wisdom, you obtain a state of lightness and purity, and that's all, it certainly does not count as an extraordinary state. If he understands, then there is no error, no problem. This experience does not indicate sagehood. You should not think this state is the realization of sagehood, for it is not.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

Sutra:

But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon that likes lightness and clarity will enter his mind. Claiming that he is already satisfied, he will not strive to make further progress. For the most part, such cultivators will become like the unlearned bhikshu. He will mislead living beings so that they will fall into the Avichi Hell. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

Commentary:

But if he considers himself a sage, if, upon having this state of light ease, he thinks he has already been certified to the fruition of sagehood, then a demon that likes lightness and clarity will enter his mind. This demon, who also experiences the state of light ease and sublime clarity, will possess the person. Claiming that he is already satisfied, that he has perfected everything, he will not strive to make further progress. Above there is no Buddhahood to accomplish, and below there are no living beings to save. He does not need to become a Buddha, for he has already become one. Nor does he need to save living beings, for he has already finished saving them. He has already accomplished the Buddhahood he was supposed to accomplish, and he has saved the living beings he was meant to save. Therefore, he does not seek further progress.

For the most part, such cultivators will become like the unlearned bhikshu mentioned earlier. Lacking wisdom, he thought the fourth dhyana was the fourth fruition of Arhatship. He will mislead living beings, so they do not know the proper path and do not recognize the Buddhadharma. He confuses and hinders living beings, so that they will fall into the Avichi Hell. In the future, this sort of person will fall into the Relentless Hells. Why? Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall. Since he has lost his proper samadhi, he is bound to fall into the Relentless Hells.

J9 Becoming attached to emptiness and slandering precepts.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.

Sutra:

?Further in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. In that clear awakening, he experiences an illusory clarity. Within that, suddenly he may veer towards the view of eternal extinction, deny cause and effect, and take everything as empty. The thought of emptiness so predominates that he comes to believe that there is eternal extinction after death.


K2 Giving its name and instructions to awaken.

[This is called 'the mental state of samadhi dissolving so that one loses sight of what is right.'] If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

Commentary:


Further in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. At that time, in that clear awakening, when he seems to understand but does not truly understand, he experiences an illusory clarity, which is not real. Within that illusory clarity, suddenly a change occurs. What is it? He may veer towards the view of eternal extinction, deny cause and effect, and take everything as empty. He says, "When a person dies, he is gone and dead forever. Therefore, to talk in terms of cause and effect is incorrect. There is no cause and effect. When people die, they no longer exist, so how could there be cause and effect? Everything is empty. Committing offenses is empty and so is creating blessings. It is all empty!" The thought of emptiness so predominates that he comes to believe that there is eternal extinction after death.

The more he thinks, the more he feels he's right. "Oh! It is empty. Once you die, it is all over. Everything is empty." At that point, he becomes convinced that people are gone forever after they die. The text reads: "If he understands, then there is no error. It is not an indication of sagehood." One sentence must have been left out of the text when it was originally copied. We can insert it here: This is called "the mental state of samadhi dissolving so that one loses sight of what is right." At this point, his samadhi is gone, so he develops the thought of emptiness and loses his sense of what is right. If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. This is not the state of realizing sagehood.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

Sutra:

But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of emptiness will enter his mind. He will slander the holding of precepts, calling it a 'small vehicle dharma.' He will say, "Since Bodhisattvas have awakened to emptiness, what is there to hold or violate?" This person, in the presence of his faithful danapatis, will often drink wine, eat meat, and engage in wanton lust. The power of the demon will keep his followers from doubting or denouncing him. After the ghost has possessed him for a long time, he may consume excrement and urine, or meat and wine, claiming that all such things are empty. He will break the Buddha's moral precepts and mislead people into committing offenses. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

Commentary:


But if he considers himself a sage, if he views this as certifying to the fruition of sagehood, then a demon of emptiness will enter his mind. It will enter and possess his body. He will slander the holding of precepts, calling it a "small vehicle dharma." He will say, "Don't observe the precepts. That's a dharma for the small vehicle. Great vehicle Bodhisattvas do not have so many bothersome restrictions. You don't have to pay attention to them. As it is said, "The great elephant does not travel along the rabbit's path. The great awakening is not confined by petty details." Once you are greatly enlightened, nothing matters anymore. Everything is empty. "Wine and meat pass through the intestines; the Buddha dwells in the mind." To the Buddha, everything is made from the mind alone. The mind is just the Buddha, and the Buddha is just the mind!" That's what he says. He even slanders the holding of precepts, saying, "Only adherents of the small vehicle observe precepts. Followers of the great vehicle do not need this."

Actually, the precepts for the great vehicle are even more explicit and even less should one violate them. He just fools these uninformed people, who have never studied the Buddhadharma and do not understand any of the principles explained by the Buddha. That's why, no matter what he says, they take it as an order to be followed, believing that what he says is right. Why do they believe him? Just because they have never heard the Buddhadharma and don't even know what the Buddhadharma is.

He will say, "Since great vehicle Bodhisattvas have already awakened to the emptiness of all dharmas, what is there to hold or violate? How can there still be a holding of precepts or a violating of precepts? There's no such thing." This person who is possessed by the demon, in the presence of his faithful danapatis, in the homes of dharma protectors who believe in him, will often drink wine, eat meat and engage in wanton lust. The phrase "engage in wanton lust" is very important. Buddhism teaches people not to have lust and desire, yet his desire is excessive. He engages in defiled practices of lust, yet people still believe in him because he has a demonic power. The power of the demon will keep his followers from doubting or denouncing him. They have tremendous faith in him.

After the ghost has possessed him for a long time, he may consume excrement and urine or meat and wine, claiming that all such things are empty. Because he is possessed by a ghost, he will not think of excrement as something unclean, and he will also casually drink urine. He will say that eating excrement and drinking urine are "neither defiled nor pure," using the phrase from the Heart Sutra. That's how he will distort the sutra's meaning. This demon will behave in a way which shows that he doesn't care whether something is clean or dirty. He will say that eating meat and drinking wine are empty, and that eating excrement and drinking urine are empty. In general, everything is empty. He will break the Buddha's moral precepts and mislead people intocommitting offenses. Then, lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall. He deserves to fall into the hells.

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