Samdhinirmocana Sutra Sutra of Unlocking the Mysteries Part 6C

 

Samdhinirmocana Sutra 

Sutra of Unlocking the Mysteries  

Part 6 C Analysing Yoga

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."

  Maitreya asked, "When one gets rid of these ten kinds of appearances, then what appearances does one get rid of, and from what appearances is one liberated?"

  The Buddha replied, "One gets rid of the appearances of the images focused on in concentration, and one attains liberation from the appearances of defilement and bondage; and this too is dismissed.

  "You should realize that, speaking in terms of predominance, to say that such and such an emptiness quells such and such an appearance does not mean that each emptiness cannot quell all appearances. It is like the fact that ignorance produces all defiled elements of existence, all the way up to old age and death, but speaking in terms of predominance we just say that ignorance produces actions, because these actions are the most immediate relation."

  Maitreya then asked the Buddha, "Herein, what is the nature of total emptiness, such that if enlightening beings know this they will not miss the nature of emptiness and will be free of presumptuous conceit?"

  The Buddha replied, "Very good! It is good that you ask the Buddha about the profound meaning of this so that enlightening beings will not miss the nature of emptiness. Why? Because if enlightening beings miss the nature of emptiness, they miss the whole great vehicle. So listen well and I will explain.

  "All kinds of conceptual images, defiled or pure, imposed on the relative and real aspects of phenomena are ultimately unconnected, and nothing can be grasped therein. This is called the nature of total emptiness in the great vehicle."

  Maitreya asked, "How many kinds of higher concentration can this tranquility and observation include?"

  The Buddha said, "As I say, innumerable hearers, enlightening beings and Buddha’s have innumerable higher concentrations; know that all of them are included in this."

  Maitreya asked, "What is the causal basis of this tranquility and observation?"

  The Buddha replied, "Pure conduct and right insight produced by pure learning and thinking."

  Maitreya asked, "What is the result?"

  The Buddha replied, "A pure mind and pure intellect. Also, all of the worldly and supra mundane virtues of all hearers and Buddha’s are results of this tranquility and observation."

  Maitreya inquired, "What work can this tranquility and observation perform?"

  The Buddha answered, "It can free one from two kinds of bondage: bondage by appearances, and bondage by afflictions."

  Maitreya asked, "The Buddha says that there are five kinds of entanglement. Among them, how many are hindrances to tranquility, how many are hindrances to observation, and how many are hindrances to both?"

  The Buddha replied, "Attachment to the body and possessions is a hindrance to tranquility. Inability to follow and aspire to the enlightening teachings is a hindrance to observation. Fondness for miscellaneous company and being satisfied with a little are hindrances to both: one cannot perform practice because of the first, and practice cannot reach the ultimate end because of the second."

  Maitreya asked, "Among the five veils, how many are hindrances to tranquility, how many are hindrances to observation, and how many are hindrances to both?"

  The Buddha answered, "Agitation and wrong action hinder tranquility. Oblivion, sleepiness, and doubt hinder observation. Craving and resentment hinder both."

  Maitreya asked, "What can be called attainment of complete purity of the path of tranquility?"

  The Buddha answered, "When all oblivion and sleepiness are properly removed, that is called attainment of complete purity of the path of tranquility."

  Maitreya asked, "What can be called attainment of complete purity of the path of observation?"

  The Buddha answered, "When all agitation and wrong action are properly removed, that is called attainment of complete purity of the path of observation."

  Maitreya inquired, "When tranquility and observation are actualized, how many kinds of mental distractions should enlightening beings know about?"

  The Buddha answered, "They should know about five kinds of distraction. First is distraction of thought. Second is external distraction. Third is internal distraction. Fourth is distraction by appearances. Fifth is distraction by grossness.

  "If enlightening beings give up thoughts appropriate to the Great Vehicle, and fall into thoughts appropriate to hearers and individual illuminates, this is called distraction of thought.

  "Vexations accompanying thoughts pursuing the motley appearances of external objects of desire, and the scattering of the mind indulging in external objects, are called external distraction.

  "The defilement of subsidiary afflictions due to torpor, drowsiness, or oblivion, or attachment to concentration, or following one concentration, is called internal distraction.

  "If, depending on external appearances, one thinks about the appearances on which internal concentration plays, this is called distraction by appearances.

  "If one produces feelings in connection with internal thought, and conceives of self based on the gross body, and produces conceit, that is called distraction by grossness."

  Maitreya inquired, "What barriers can this tranquility and observation overcome, from the first stage of enlightening to the stage of realization of enlightenment?"

  The Buddha answered, "In the first stage, this tranquility and observation overcome the barrier of defilements produced by the active expression of afflictions of bad tendencies.

  "In the second stage, they overcome the barrier of active expression of subtle errors.

  "In the third stage, they overcome the barrier of desire.

  "In the fourth stage, they overcome the barrier of attachment to concentration states, and the barrier of attachment to religion.

  "In the fifth stage, they overcome the barrier of total rejection and pursuit in regard to the birth-death cycle and nirvana.

  "In the sixth stage, they overcome the barrier of multifarious mental patterns.

  "In the seventh stage, they overcome the barrier of subtle mental patterns.

  "In the eighth stage, they overcome the barrier of effort in regard to the formless, and the barrier of lack of freedom in regard to that which has form.

  "In the ninth stage, they overcome the barrier of lack of mastery of all kinds of verbal expressions used as teaching devices.

  "In the tenth stage, they overcome the barrier of not attaining full realization of the spiritual body.

  "In the stage of realization of enlightenment, this tranquility and observation overcome the barrier of the extremely subtle and most extremely subtle afflictions, as well as the barrier of knowledge.

  "Because they are able to permanently destroy such barriers, one ultimately attains unattached, unobstructed total knowledge and vision. The supremely pure spiritual body is defined in reference to the fulfillment of what is to be done."

  Maitreya also asked the Buddha, "How do enlightening beings cultivate practice based on tranquility and observation so as to realize supreme perfect enlightenment?"

  The Buddha said, "If enlightening beings, having attained tranquility and observation, based on the seven kinds of true suchness, inwardly contemplate suchness correctly by a mind supremely concentrated on the truths they learn and consider, in terms of proper ascertainment and proper thought, on the proper basis, because they correctly contemplate true suchness they can get rid of all subtle mental patterns, to say nothing of coarse ones.

  "These subtle appearances refer to what the minds grasps: sensations, perceptions, discriminations, notions of defilement and purity, notions of internal and external, notions that they should strive to benefit all sentient beings, notions of right knowledge, notions of suchness, notions of suffering, its cause, its extinction, and the way, notions of the created and the uncreated, notions of permanence and impermanence, notions of the nature of suffering as changing or changeless, notions of variety or uniformity of the created, the notions of all things inherent in knowing everything, or notions of the selflessness of persons or the selflessness of things.

  "Enlightening beings can get rid of all these mental patterns. Having persisted much in such practice, they skillfully cure the mind of all those entanglements, veils, and distractions.

  "After this, there are seven individual inner realizations in respect to the seven kinds of true suchness, the knowledge born of which is called the path of insight.

  "By virtue of attainment of this, they are said to enter the true nature of enlightening beings, to be free from rebirth, to be born in the family of Buddhas, and to realize the first stage. They are also able to experience the excellent qualities of this stage.

  "By virtue of having previously attained tranquility and observation, they will have already attained two kinds of perceptions: perception of images with discrimination, and perception of images without discrimination. Now, by virtue of attainment of the path of insight, they also realize perception of the bounds of phenomena, and go on in subsequent stages to progressively practice the path of cultivation, and so meditate attentively on these three perceptions.

  "Just as a man may use a slender wedge to remove a stout wedge, so does an enlightening being, using this method of extracting a wedge with a wedge, get rid of internal patterns, so that all patterns involved in defilement are removed. Because these patterns are removed, grossness is also removed; and because of permanently destroying all notional patterns, then the mind is gradually refined in subsequent stages, even as gold is refined, until finally one realizes the mind of supreme perfect enlightenment by correct practice of internal tranquility and observation."

  Maitreya also inquired, "How does one cultivate practice so as to draw forth the immense power of enlightening beings?"

  The Buddha replied, "If enlightening beings thoroughly know six points, then they can draw forth the immense power proper to enlightening beings. First is knowing the arising of the mind. Second is knowing the abiding of the mind. Third is knowing the emancipation of the mind. Fourth is knowing the increase of the mind. Fifth is knowing the decrease of the mind. Sixth is knowing expedient methods.

  "What is knowing the arising of the mind? It means accurately knowing the differentiations of sixteen patterns of mental risings.

  "The first is the arising of the perturbing consciousness of matter, which itself cannot be consciously known; this is called the clinging consciousness.

  "The second is the arising of consciousness focused on various transient appearances. This means the discriminating cognitive consciousness that grasps all objects, such as forms, as well as the awareness that grasps inner and outer objects, or the cognitive consciousness that suddenly enters many concentrations and sees many Buddha-lands and sees many Buddha’s.

 "Third is the arising of consciousness focused on the small. This refers to consciousness hooked onto the realm of desire.

  "Fourth is the arising of consciousness focused on the large. This refers to consciousness hooked onto the realm of form.

  "Fifth is the arising of consciousness focused on the measureless. This refers to consciousness hooked onto the infinity of space, or the infinity of consciousness.

  Sixth is the arising of consciousness focused on the infinitesimal. This refers to consciousness hooked onto nothingness.

  "Seventh is the arising of consciousness focused on limitation. This refers to consciousness hooked onto the state of neither perception nor non-perception.

  "Eighth is the arising of formless consciousness. This refers to transmundane consciousness and consciousness focused on extinction.

  "Ninth is the arising of consciousness operating with suffering. This refers to the consciousness of hells.

  "Tenth is the arising of consciousness operating with mixed feelings. This refers to consciousness with active desires.

  "Eleventh is the arising of consciousness operating with joy. This refers to consciousness in the first two stages of meditation.

  "Twelfth is the arising of consciousness operating with bliss. This refers to consciousness in the third stage of meditation.

  "Thirteenth is the arising of consciousness with neither pain nor pleasure. This refers to consciousness from the fourth stage of meditation up to the state of neither perception nor non-perception.

  "Fourteenth is the arising of consciousness with defilement. This refers to consciousness connected with afflictions.

  "Fifteenth is the arising of consciousness with virtue. This refers to consciousness connected with faith and so on.

  "Sixteenth is the arising of neutral consciousness. This refers to consciousness not connected with either defilement or virtue.

  "What is knowing the abiding of the mind? It means truly knowing the suchness of perception.

  "What is knowing the emancipation of the mind? It means truly knowing emancipation from two kinds of bondage: bondage by appearances and bondage by grossness.

  "What is knowing the increase of the mind? It means truly knowing that the mind which can quell bondage by appearances and grossness can increase when they increase.

  "What is knowing the decrease of the mind? It means truly knowing that the mind defiled by appearances and grossness decreases as they decrease when quelled.

  "What is knowing expedient methods? It means truly knowing the liberations, the points of dominance, and the points of totality, for cultivation or purification.

  "This is how enlightening beings have brought, do bring, and will bring forth the immense power of enlightening beings."

  Maitreya also asked the Buddha, "You say that in the realm of nirvana without remaining dependency, all sensations eternally cease. What sensations eternally cease?"

  The Buddha answered, "Essentially there are two kinds of sensations that eternally cease. One is sensation of subjective grossness. Second is sensation of objects resulting there from.

  "There are four kinds of sensation of subjective grossness. First is sensation of the material part of the person. Second is sensation of the immaterial part of the person. Third is sensation of grossness of effects already developed, meaning sensation of the present. Fourth is sensation of effects as yet undeveloped, meaning sensation of future causes.

"There are also four kinds of sensation of resulting objects. One is sensation of the basis of support. Second is sensation of means of subsistence. Third is sensation of use. Fourth is sensation of attachment.

  "In the realm of nirvana without remaining dependency, sensations of effects as yet undeveloped are all extinct, while the sensation of the curative feeling of clarity is present in all cases. In some cases, the sensations of effects already developed, or both of the two aforementioned kinds of sensation are all extinct, and there is only the present sensation of the feeling of clarity. In the realm of nirvana without remaining dependency, at the time of ultimate parinirvana, this also passes away forever. This is why it is said that in the realm of nirvana without remaining dependency, all sensations cease eternally, without remainder."

  Then, having said all this to Maitreya, the Buddha went on to say, "It is very good how you have managed to question the Buddha based on the fully complete, most utterly pure path of mystic yoga. You have attained definite, ultimate skill in yoga. I have explained to you the fully complete, most utterly pure path of mystic yoga, which has been and will be explained by all Buddha’s of the past and future. Good men and women should all work diligently on this and practice correctly."

  Then, in order to recapitulate, the Buddha said in verse:

  In the yoga provisionally set up in the Teaching,

If one is negligent, one will lose a great benefit.

If one practices correctly based on this Teaching and yoga,

One will attain great awakening.

If one sees there is something to gain, one cannot escape;

If one says this view is attainment of the Teaching,

Maitreya, one is as far from yoga

As the earth is from the sky.

Helping people steadfastly without artifice,

Having awakened, striving for the benefit of the living:

The wise do this throughout the ages,

And so attain the supreme joy of non-defilement.

If people preach because of desire,

They are said to have given up desire only to grasp desire again.

Ignoramuses who get the priceless jewel of the Teaching

Turn right around and go on wandering, begging,

Clinging to argumentation and nonsense;

They should give it up and exert higher efforts.

In order to liberate people,

You learn this yoga.

  Then Maitreya asked the Buddha, "World Honored One, within this teaching of unlocking mysteries, what should this teaching be called, and how should it be preserved?"

  The Buddha replied, "This is called the definitive teaching of yoga. You should maintain this definitive teaching of yoga."

  When the Buddha explained this definitive teaching of yoga, six hundred thousand people in the audience were inspired with the determination for complete perfect enlightenment. Three hundred thousand disciples became detached from sense data and freed from defilement, and attained purity of objective insight into things. One hundred and fifty thousand disciples ended all contamination forever, and their minds became liberated. Seventy-five thousand enlightening beings attained great yogic meditation.

 

 
 
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