Monday, March 22, 2010

Lankavatara Sutra Chapter 3, Section LVIII

As always, at least for this sutra,  I'm using the translation here, and as usual, and I'm just doing this as an ordinary guy...

Many times I write posts on these sutras, I admit, I have a shred of trepidation within me, as it is true that these texts are often incredibly repetitive, probably because of the limited literacy of the monks who were perhaps young students.  But today is clearly an exception.  Today's excerpt, in keeping with the theme of non-duality of the Lankavatara, could have been written by William Blake (if Blake were a Mahayana Buddhist in India well over 1500 years before he actually existed).

At that time again Mahāmati the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva said this to the Blessed One: The five immediacies are preached by the Blessed One; and what are these five, Blessed One, which being committed by a son or a daughter of a good family cause them to fall into the Avici hell?
The Blessed One replied: Then, Mahāmati, listen well and reflect, for I will tell you.
Mahāmati the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva said; Certainly, Blessed One, and gave ear to the Blessed One.
The Blessed One said thus to him: What are the five immediacies? They are: (1) the murdering of the mother, (2) of the father, (3) of the Arhat, (4) the breaking-up of the Brotherhood, and (5) causing the body of the Tathagata to bleed from malice.
Now what is meant by the mother of all beings? It is desire which is procreative, going together with joy and anger and upholding all with motherliness. Ignorance representing fatherhood brings about one's rebirth in the six villages of the sense-world. When there takes place a complete destruction of both roots, fatherhood and motherhood, it is said that mother and father are murdered. When there is a complete extermination of the subordinate group of passions such as anger, etc., which are like an enemy, a venomous rat, the murdering of the Arhat is said to take place. What is meant by the breaking-up of the Brotherhood? When there is a complete fundamental breaking-up of the combination of the Skandhas whose characteristic mark is a state of mutual dependence among dissimilarities, it is said that the Brotherhood is split up.  Mahāmati, when the body of the eight Vijñānas, which erroneously recognises individuality and generality as being outside the Mind—which is seen [by the ignorant] in the form of an external world—is completely extirpated by means of faulty discriminations, that is, by means of the triple emancipation and the non-outflows, and when thus the faulty mentality of the Vijñāna-Buddha is made to bleed, it is known as an immediacy-deed. These,
Mahāmati, are the five inner immediacies, and when they are experienced by a son or a daughter of a good family, there is an immediacy-deed of realisation as regards the Dharma...
...The Śrāvakas of transformation, Mahāmati, who are sustained by the sustaining power either of the Bodhisattvas or Tathagatas, may see somebody else practising deeds of wickedness, and they will repeatedly make great efforts to turn him away from his wickness and faulty views, and to make him realise the non-reality of wickedness and faulty views by laying down his burden. This is the way I demonstrate facts of the transformation, the sustaining power, and the realisation.

 In other words, the worst things you could possibly do, and the worst experiences you could have as a result of your actions can be transformed; can be overcome, and transcended.  Not because a deity came and gave you a get out of jail for free card, but because it is all phenomena of Mind itself.  So this is seeing into the nature  of the self and understanding it is - yeah - not some tripped out experience, but indeed cathartic, and just right.

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