Samdhinirmocana Sutra Sutra of Unlocking the mysteries Part 6B

 

Samdhinirmocana Sutra 

Sutra of Unlocking the Mysteries  

Part 6 B Analysing Yoga

Maitreya asked, "In this tranquility and observation focused on the totality of the teachings, what is called comprehension, and what is called attainment?"

  The Buddha answered, "From the first stage of intense joy onward is called comprehension. From the third stage of radiance onward is called attainment.

  "Enlightening beings in the beginning of practice also pursue this in studies and concentrate on it. Although they are not yet worthy of praise, still they should not slacken or give up."

  Maitreya went on to inquire, "This is tranquility and observation. What is concentration with consideration and examination? What is concentration without consideration, only examination? What is concentration without consideration or examination?"

  The Buddha replied, "If there is tranquility and observation with grossly manifest reception and contemplation of the characteristics of the principles or phenomena one has taken up for consideration and examination, this is called concentration with consideration and examination.

  If there are no grossly manifest reception and contemplation of those characteristics, yet there are subtle mental reception and contemplation, this tranquility and observation is called tranquility and observation without consideration, only with examination.

  If there is no conscious reception or contemplation of the characteristics of any principles or phenomena at all, this tranquility and observation is called concentration without consideration or examination.

  Also, searching tranquility and observation is called concentration with consideration and examination. Investigative tranquility and observation is called concentration with only examination and no consideration. Tranquility and observation focused on the totality of reality is called concentration without consideration or examination."

  Maitreya inquired, "What is stopping arousal and relinquishment?"

  The Buddha replied, "If the mind is excited, or afraid of excitement, then concentration on undesirable things, or on the uninterrupted mind, is called stopping.

  "If the mind is torpid, or afraid of torpor, then concentration on desirable things, or on the characteristics of the mind, is called arousal.

  "When one practices only tranquility or only observation, or if affected by addictions when practicing both, effortless concentration and concentration in the spontaneous operation of mind is called relinquishment."

  Maitreya also inquired, "You say enlightening beings practicing tranquility and observation know doctrines and know meaning. What is knowing doctrines, what is knowing meaning?"

  The Buddha said, "Enlightening beings know doctrines in five respects. They know their terms, statements, sounds, separateness, and totality.

  "What are the terms? These refer to the temporary definitions of identifying concepts set up in reference to all pure and impure phenomena.

  "What are statements? These are arrangements of words to explain the basis and establishment of the meanings of impurity and purity.

"What are the sounds? They are the utterances upon which the preceding two are based.

 "What is knowing them separately? This means thought based on separate objects.

  "What is knowing them in totality? This means thought based on the totality as object. In this way all are summed up into one, under the rubric of knowing doctrines.

  "This is called an enlightening being’s knowledge of doctrines. As for meanings, enlightening beings know them in ten respects. First, they know the nature of limits. Second, they know the nature of suchness. Third, they know the meaning of the experience. Fourth, they know the meaning of the experienced. Fifth, they know the meaning of structure. Sixth, they know the meaning of sustenance. Seventh, they know the meaning of error. Eighth, they know the meaning of absence of error. Ninth, they know the meaning of defilement. Tenth, they know the meaning of purity.

  "The nature of limits refers to the bounds distinguishing the types of all defiled and pure phenomena.

  The nature of suchness means the true suchness in all defiled and pure phenomena. Of this there are seven types.

  First is the suchness of the mundane whirl; this refers to the beginninglessness and endlessness of all events.

  "Second is the suchness of characteristics; this refers to the identitylessness and selflessness of all phenomena.

  "Third is the suchness of discernment, which means that all events are essentially consciousness.

  "Fourth is the suchness of setups, which is the holy truth of suffering that I explain.

  "Fifth is the suchness of wrong action, which is the holy truth of causes of suffering that I explain.

  "Sixth is the suchness of purity, which is the holy truth of extinction that I explain.

  "Seventh is the suchness of right action, which is the holy truth of the path that I explain.

  "In terms of the suchness of the mundane whirl, suchness of setups, and suchness of wrong action, all sentient beings are equal.

  "In terms of the suchness of characteristics and the suchness of discernment, all things are equal.

  "In terms of the suchness of purity, the enlightenment of saints, the enlightenment of individual illuminates, and supreme perfect enlightenment are equal.

  "In terms of the suchness of right action, the wisdom in listening to the truth, focusing on the totality, and mastering tranquillity and observation are equal.

  "The meaning of the experiencer refers to the five physical sense organs, mind, intellect, consciousness, and the various mental phenomena. The meaning of the experienced refers to the data of sense. Also, the one with experience is an object of perception too.

  "The meaning of structure refers to the material world and all the realms of living beings therein. That is to say, one community, or a hundred communities, or a thousand communities, or a hundred thousand communities; or one land mass, or a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand land masses; or one continent, or a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand continents; or one world, or a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand worlds; or one solar system, or a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand solar systems; or one galaxy, or a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand galaxies; or one universe, or a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, a million, a hundred million, a billion, a hundred billion, or countless universes, or the countless hundreds of thousands of atoms in a universe – all the innumerable material worlds in the ten directions.

  "The meaning of sustenance refers to the necessities of life, the means of subsistence used by the various types of living beings.

  "The meaning of error refers to errors of mind and view in reference to such things as the experiencer, thinking the impermanent to be permanent, thinking the painful to be pleasant, thinking the impure to be pure, thinking the selfless to be self The meaning of absence of error is the opposite of this, and is the cure for this.

  "The meaning of defilement refers to three kinds of defilement in the triple world: the defilement of afflictions, the defilement of actions, and the defilement of birth.

  "The meaning of purity refers to the elements of enlightenment detached from these three kinds of defilement.

  You should know that these ten types contain all meanings."

  The Buddha also said, "Enlightening beings are said to know meaning because of knowing five kinds of meaning. What five meanings? First is completely knowing phenomena. Second is completely knowing significations. Third is completely knowing causes. Fourth is completely knowing effects. Fifth is awakened comprehension of this.

  "Here, completely knowing phenomena refers to all that is known, such as the clusters of material and mental elements, the sense organs, the sense data, and so on.

  "Knowing significations refers to the spheres of all the different categories and distinctions there are to be known: mundane convention, ultimate truth, virtues, faults, conditions, time frames, origination, subsistence, disintegration, things like sickness, suffering and its causes, true suchness, reality, the cosmos, details and generalities, all-embracing answers, particularized answers, answering after returning a question, answering by not answering, the hidden and the revealed, and so on.

  "Completely knowing causes refers to the means by which enlightenment is attained, such as the points of mindfulness and the right efforts.

  "Completely knowing effects refers to the discipline in which greed, hatred, and stupidity are forever ended, the results of asceticism by which greed, hatred, and stupidity are forever ended, and the realization of the worldly and transcendental virtues of Buddhas and their disciples.

  "Awakened comprehension of this refers to teaching others the liberations and knowledge in the aforementioned realizations.

  "These five meanings include all meanings.

  "Also, enlightening beings are said to know meaning by virtue of knowing four kinds of meaning: the meaning of mental grasping, the meaning of reception, the meaning of discernment, and the meaning of defilement and purity. These four meanings embrace all meanings.

  "Also enlightening beings are said to know meaning by virtue of knowing three kinds of meanings: the meaning of statements, the meaning of meanings, and the meaning of realms.

  "The meaning of statements refers to bodies of words.

  "The meaning of meanings is of ten kinds: reality, complete knowledge, annihilation, realization, cultivation, distinctions of the foregoing, interdependence of object and subject, barriers to complete knowledge, elements conducive to knowledge, and the faults and merits of nescience and knowledge.

  "The meaning of realms refers to five realms: the material world, the realm of sentient beings, the realm of truth, the realm of pacification, and the realm of means of pacification.

  "These three meanings embrace all meanings."

  Maitreya also inquired, "What are the differences among knowing meaning by wisdom realized by learning, by wisdom realized by thinking, and by wisdom realized by practice of tranquility and observation?"

  The Buddha replied, "Wisdom consisting of learning is based on words and only conforms to explanation; one still has not skillfully directed the mind or actualized the Teaching. One follows liberation but cannot yet take in the meaning of attainment of liberation.

  "Wisdom produced by thinking is also based on words, but it is not merely literal; one also skillfully directs the mind. But one does not yet actualize the Teaching. One follows liberation even more but still cannot yet take in the meaning of attainment of liberation.

  "As for enlightening beings’ wisdom realized by practice, it is both based on words and not based on words, both according to the explanation and not according to the explanation; they skillfully direct their minds to what is to be known, and the corresponding images on which concentration is focused actually appear. They ultimately conform to liberation and are able to take in the meaning of attainment of liberation. This is called the distinction of the three kinds of knowing."

  Maitreya also asked, "As enlightening beings who cultivate tranquillity and observation know doctrines and meanings, what is knowledge, what is vision?"

  The Buddha replied, "I explain the distinction between knowledge and vision in countless ways, but now I will tell you about their characteristics in a general way. If one cultivates tranquility and observation focused on the totality of the teachings, the subtle wisdom therein is called knowledge. If one cultivates tranquility and observation focused on particular teachings, the subtle wisdom therein is called vision."

  Maitreya also asked, "When enlightening beings practice tranquility and observation, on what do they focus attention? Of what, and how, do they dismiss appearances?"

  The Buddha answered, "By putting their attention on true suchness, they dismiss the appearances of phenomena and the appearances of significations. When one does not apprehend names or nominality, and does not look at the appearances on which they are based, they are thus dismissed.

  "As with names, the same applies to phrases and statements and all significations; and finally, when one does not apprehend any realms or their natures, and also does not look at the appearances on which they are based, they are thus dismissed."

  Maitreya asked, "What about the appearances of true suchness realized; are the appearances of true suchness also to be dismissed?"

  The Buddha answered, "In the true suchness that enlightening beings realize, there are no appearances, and there is nothing apprehended at all; what could be dismissed? I say that when one knows suchness, that overcomes the signifying appearances of all things, while this realization cannot be overcome by anything else."

  Maitreya said, "You explain, by way of metaphor, that just as one cannot see one’s own face in a vessel of turbid water, in a dirty mirror, or in an agitated pond, one cannot observe suchness accurately if one does not cultivate the mind properly. What is the observing mind to which reference is made here, and upon what suchness is this explanation based?"

  The Buddha answered, "This refers to three kinds of observing mind: the observing mind developed by learning, the observing mind developed by thinking, and the observing mind developed by practice. This explanation is based on the suchness of perception."

  Maitreya asked, "When enlightening beings who know the meaning of the Teaching in this way cultivate practice to dismiss appearances, what kinds of appearances are hard to dismiss, and who can dismiss them?"

  The Buddha replied, "There are ten kinds of such appearances, and emptiness can dismiss them.

  "First, there is the appearance of various words, because of knowing doctrines. This can be properly dismissed by the emptiness of all things.

  "Second, there is the appearance of birth and death, subsistence and change, and the appearance of continuous succession, because of knowing the suchness of setups. These can be properly dismissed by the emptiness of appearances and the emptiness of non-succession.

  "Third, there is the appearance of attachment to the body, and the appearance of conceit, because of knowing the experienced. These can be properly dismissed by the emptiness of the internal and the emptiness of ungraspability.

  "Fourth, there is the appearance of attachment to provisions, because of knowing the experienced. This can be properly dismissed by the emptiness of the external.

  "Fifth, there is the internal appearance of comfort, and the external appearance of charm, because of knowing about sustenance, corresponding to goods and services. These can be properly dismissed by internal and external emptiness and the emptiness of inherent nature.

  "Sixth, there is the appearance of infinity, because of knowing structures. This is properly dismissed by the emptiness of magnitude.

  "Seventh, there is the appearance of inner quiescence and liberation, because of knowing formlessness. This is properly dismissed by the emptiness of the created.

  "Eighth, there is the appearance of selflessness of persons and selflessness of phenomena, or the appearance of consciousness only and the appearance of ultimate truth, because of knowing the meaning of true suchness of characteristics. These are properly dismissed by ultimate emptiness, the emptiness of essencelessness, the emptiness of inherent nature, and the emptiness of ultimate truth.

  "Ninth, there are the appearances of the uncreated and of changelessness, because of knowing the meaning of pure suchness. These are properly dismissed by the emptiness of the uncreated and the emptiness of changelessness.

  "Tenth, there is the appearance of emptiness, because of conscious thought of those curative emptinesses. This is properly dismissed by the emptiness of emptiness."

 
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