Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lankavatara Sutra Chapter 2, Section XXXIX & XL

As usual, from this whole translation here, using this chapter.

XXXIX: Attachment to words and the attachment to objects is described as attachment to self-nature (i.e., the world of phenomena) "from not knowing that the external world is no more than Self-Mind."

XL: There are two kinds of the sustaining power which issues from the Tathagatas who are Arhats and Fully-Enlightened Ones; and sustained by this power [the Bodhisattvas] would prostrate themselves at their feet and ask them questions:

  • One is the power by which they are sustained to go through the Samādhis and Samāpattis [somewhat synonymous with Samādhis].

  • The other is the power whereby the Buddhas manifest themselves in person before the Bodhisattvas and baptise them with their own hands.

This power is given to or acquired by the Boddhisattvas; and will be able to do great things and be in great places as a result of this power; "at their first stage will attain the Bodhisattva-Samādhi, known as the Light of Mahāyāna which belongs to the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas."

Further, Mahāmati said: Why is it, Blessed One, that when the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas are established in the Samādhis and Samāpattis, and when they are baptised at the most exalted stage, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones, bestow their sustaining power on them?

Replied the Blessed One: It is in order to make them avoid the evil ones, karma, and passions, to keep them away from the Dhyāna and stage of the Śrāvakahood [i.e., to keep karma and passions away from Dhyāna and Śrāvakahood or presumably to have Bodhisattvas grow beyond just being one on a cushion and a disciple], to have them realize the stage of Tathagatahood, and to make them grow in the truth and experience already attained. For this reason, Mahāmati, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones sustain with their power the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas. If they were not thus sustained, Mahāmati, they would fall into the way of thinking and feeling as cherished by the wrong philosophers, Śrāvakas, or evil ones, and would not attain the highest enlightenment.

So, even long ago, the time spent on the cushion developing Samādhis through Dhyāna was more than simply just getting into a blissful state on a cushion that you can "flash on" whenever you want. I know my few readers know this, but it needs to be said.

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