Sutra text from last issue: They received the Thus Come One's instruction in the secret seal...
They were suddenly enlightened to dhyana, advanced in their cultivation to the sagely position, and increased their understanding of the wonderful principle. Their minds were focused and serene.
They were suddenly enlightened to dhyana.“Dhyana” is a Sanskrit word which means “cultivation of thought.” “Suddenly enlightened” means that their awakening was immediate and swift. They advanced in their cultivation to the sagely position. The “sagely position” refers to the ultimate one--Buddhahood. They increased their understanding of the wonderful principle. This means that their wisdom increased. Each person's wisdom became further developed. Their minds were focused and serene. There was nothing cluttering their minds. They were clear and open. They were about to reach the fundamental substance of the nature of the Treasury of the Thus Come One.
Ananda cut off and cast aside six sections of subtle afflictions in his cultivation of the mind in the triple realm.
At this point, Ananda is certified to the second fruition of Arhatship. Ananda cut off and cast aside six sections of subtle afflictions in his cultivation of the mind in the triple realm--the desire realm, the form realm, and the formless realm. He has already cut off the eighty-eight view-delusions, and now he severs the first six sections of the desire realm’s thought-delusions. These afflictions are called “subtle” because it is not at all easy to detect them. It’s hard to perceive them within one’s self-nature, but now Ananda has been able to cut away some of this affliction.
He arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, placed his palms together respectfully, and said to the Buddha, “The great, awesome and virtuous World Honored One, whose compassionate sound knows no limit, has well instructed living beings as to their extremely subtle submersion in delusion and has caused me on this day to become blissful in body and mind and to obtain enormous benefit.
Because he had cut through some of his subtle afflictions upon hearing what the Buddha had to say, Ananda arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, placed his palms together respectfully, and said to the Buddha. “The great, awesome, and virtuous World Honored One, whose compassionate sound knows no limit, has well instructed living beings.” “Great awesomeness” subdues living beings. Many living beings are stubborn and obstinate. They don't believe anything you tell them. They don’t believe in cause and effect, they don’t believe in the cycle of rebirth, they don’t believe in retributions. So the Buddha, devising good and clever expedients, uses awesome virtue. With his awesomeness, which can be overwhelming, he subdues living beings. Virtue, on the other hand, gathers in living beings. So this phrase represents the two aspects of subduing and gathering in. He subdues obstinate living beings and gathers in living beings who have faith and are receptive. His virtue is like a magnet that attracts iron filings, which represent the living beings he gathers in. The Buddha’s compassionate voice has no limits. It is unhindered, reaching everywhere to rescue all. He has well instructed living beings as to their extremely subtle submersion in delusion. Originally living beings didn’t even realize they were hindered by subtle delusions, so the Buddha pointed it out to them. “And he has caused me, Ananda, on this day to become blissful in body and mind. I am experiencing physical and mental joy. I am unspeakably happy. And he has caused me to obtain enormous benefit. I’ve never known such tremendous benefit.”
To be continue