From last issue: The Ten Profound Analogies
You should not look upon any of these things as real. You should neither grasp nor reject these illusory states. That is because everything is empty; you should not regard anything as actually existent. What is the meaning behind these Ten Profound Analogies? They tell you not to be attached to anything at all. You have to put everything down. If you see through it and put it all down, then you will obtain self-mastery.
In shamatha they use the Thus Come Ones’ vipashyana to cultivate them purely, to be certified to them and to gradually enter them more and more deeply. Shamatha means stopping and vipashyana means contemplating. We are to cultivate the Dharma door of stopping and contemplating. Vipashyana also means “subtle, secret contemplation and illumination.” Gradually, bit by bit, one progresses and enters into this purification and certification.
Ananda, because they put to use the three means of advancement throughout all of them, they are well able to accomplish the fifty-five stages of the true Bodhi path.
Ananda, because they put to use the three means of advancement throughout all of them, they are well able to accomplish the fifty-five stages of the true Bodhi path. The “three means of advancement” have already been explained.
The “fifty-five stages” are :
1.The Ten Faiths
2.The Ten Dwellings
3.The Ten Conducts
4.The Ten Transferences
5.The Four Additional Practices
6The Ten Grounds
This manner of contemplation is called “proper contem-plation.” Contemplation other than this is called “deviant contemplation.”
This manner of contemplation is called “proper contemplation.” If you can look upon the triple world as upon flowers in space; if you can regard all deeds of the Buddha as if done in a dream and if you rely on the three means of advancement in your cultivation, your contemplation is proper. The three means of advancement are:
1. Getting rid of aiding causes
2.Cleaning up the proper nature
3.Guarding against the manifestation of karma
If you can use the vajra mind in your contemplation to make a subtle, secret contemplation and illumination as you pass through the fifty-five stages, then you are practicing proper contemplation. This is proper cultivation of the dharma of neither production nor extinction. Contem-plation other than this is called “deviant contemplation.” If you don’t cultivate in this way, if you cultivate dharmas of production and extinction, then you are practicing deviant contemplation.
Then Dharma Prince Manjushri arose from his seat, and in the midst of the assembly he bowed at the Buddha‘s feet and said to the Buddha, “What is the name of this Sutra, and how should we and all living beings uphold it?”
At this point in the discussion, Dharma Prince Manjushri arose from his seat, and in the midst of the assembly he bowed at the Buddha’s feet and said to the Buddha--Bodhisattva Manjushri now has a question to ask: What is the name of this Sutra, and how should we and all living beings uphold it? World Honored One, what name do you give to this Sutra? How should we in this assembly and living beings of the future uphold it? How should we cultivate it? How should we practice in accord with this Sutra?”
The Buddha told Manjushri, “This Sutra is called ‘The Unsurpassed Precious Seal of the xi dan duo bo da la (sitatapatra) of the Great Buddha’s Summit, and the pure, clear, ocean-like eye of the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions.”
The Buddha told Manjushri, “This Sutra is called ‘The Unsurpass-ed Precious Seal of the xi dan duo bo da la (sitatapatra) of the Great Buddha’s Summit. This refers to the invisible summit, the crown of the Buddha’s head, which poured forth splendorous light. Xi dan duo bo da la is the Great White Canopy. There is nothing more revered or honored than the “Unsurpassed Precious Seal.” The “precious seal” is that of the Dharma King, the Buddha. This first name indicates how supreme the Shurangama Mantra is. If people recite the Shurangama Mantra, they are worthy of receiving the precious seal of the Dharma King. This Sutra is also the pure, clear, ocean-like eye of the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions. This refers to pure wisdom. The “eye” represents wisdom.
To be continue