Monday, December 28, 2009

Lankavatara Sutra Chapter 2, Section XXX

As usual, I'm just a layman, and I'm interpreting what's here.

There are four things, Mahāmati, by fulfilling which the Bodhisattvas become great Yogins. What are the four? They are: (1) To have a clear understanding as to what is seen of Mind itself,2 (2) to discard the notions of birth, (80) abiding, and disappearance, (3) to look into [the truth] that no external world obtains, and (4) to seek for the attainment of inner realisation by noble wisdom. Provided with these four things the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas become great Yogins...

How, Mahāmati, does the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva come to have a clear understanding as to what is seen of Mind itself? He comes to it by recognising that this triple world is nothing but Mind itself, devoid of an ego and its belongings, with no strivings, no comings-and-goings; that this triple world is manifested and imagined as real, under the influence of the habit-energy accumulated since beginningless time by false reasoning and imagination, and with the multiplicity of objects and actions in close relationship, and in conformity with the ideas of discrimination, such as body, property, and abode.

The world is not going to appear non-real. But it is distorted - or "noise is added" to our awareness by habits, delusion, and discrmination.

How again, Mahāmati, does the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva discard notions of birth, abiding, and disappearance? By this it is meant that all things are to be regarded as forms born of a vision or a dream and have never been created since there are no such things as self, the other, or bothness. [The Bodhisattvas] will see that the external world exists only in conformity with Mind-only; and seeing that there is no stirring of the Vijñānas and that the triple world is a complicated network of causation and owes its rise to discrimination, (81) they find that all things, inner and external, are beyond predicability, that there is nothing to be seen as self-nature, and that [the world] is not to be viewed as born; and thereby they will conform themselves to the insight that things are of the nature of a vision, etc., and attain to the recognition that things are unborn.

It is the very antithesis of selfishness. Finally...(emphasis mine)

Then, Mahāmati, what is meant by the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva ... having a good insight into the non-existence of external objects? It means, Mahāmati, that all things are like unto a mirage, a dream, a hair-net; and seeing that all things are here essentially because of our attachment to the habit-energy of discrimination which has been maturing since beginningless time on account of false imagination and erroneous speculation, the Bodhisattvas will seek after the attainment of self-realisation by their noble wisdom. Mahāmati, furnished with these four things, Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas become great Yogins. Therefore, in these, Mahāmati, you should exercise yourself.

I have always appreciated the self-referential nature of much of Buddhist thought, and here it is again: because of delusion (and its attendant problems) one seeks after the Dharma.


Again, this is not Biocentrist nonsense. The world is not going to appear non-real, and especially not because you think you're a Buddhist or something else. There's another word for that, and it's not nice. But to see the interdependency of things, as aligned Mind itself one tends to get rid of the little self...

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