It is also possible to feel satisfied after a small accomplishment, like the Unlearned Bhikshu who reached the Fourth Dhyana and claimed that he had realized sagehood. When his celestial reward ended and the signs of decay appeared, he slandered Arhatship as being subject to birth and death, and thus he fell into the Avichi Hell.
It is also possible to feel satisfied after a small accomplishment. In cultivation, even if you do not become possessed by a demon, you must still have genuine wisdom and Dharma-selecting vision. If you recognize the Buddhadharma, you yourself should know what level you have reached. Don't obtain only a little bit and feel satisfied, like the Unlearned Bhikshu who reached the Fourth Dhyana and claimed that he had realized sagehood. He was called the Unlearned Bhikshu because he didn't have much sense. He knew little about the principles of Buddhism. In what way was he unlearned? Basically, the four fruitions of Arhatship are all beyond the Four Dhyana Heavens. The Buddha explained that one who has realized the fourth fruition of Arhatship no longer undergoes birth and death. A sage who has realized the second fruition is called a Once-Returner. He is born once in the heavens and once in the human realm; he has one more round of birth and death to undergo. A sage of the first fruition has seven more rounds of birth and death to undergo. All of these states surpass the Four Dhyana Heavens. The Unlearned Bhikshu had only reached the level of the Fourth Dhyana Heaven in his cultivation, but he thought he had already realized the fourth fruition of Arhatship. In fact, at the level of the Fourth Dhyana Heaven, one has not realized any fruition and is still an ordinary person.
But the Unlearned Bhikshu claimed that he had attained the fourth fruition of Arhatship. Now, however, people think that the level of a fourth-stage Arhat is still too low for them, and they brazenly claim that they themselves are Buddhas. But a Buddha has Three Bodies, Four Wisdoms, Five Eyes, and Six Spiritual Powers. You can ask those people who claim to be Buddhas how many spiritual powers they have. Ghosts have five of the six spiritual powers; they lack the spiritual power of freedom from outflows. At the fruition of Buddhahood, one has all six spiritual powers. I believe that anyone who claimed to be a Buddha would not have even one spiritual power, let alone five or six. Only someone lacking spiritual powers would claim to be a Buddha. Anyone with even one spiritual power wouldn't tell such a great lie.
When his celestial reward ended, when his life in the heavens came to an end and the signs of decay appeared... Do you remember the Five Signs of Decay? When the life of a heavenly being comes to an end and he is about to die, these five signs appear. [The Five Signs of Decay are: (1) The flowers on the gods' crowns wilt; (2) their clothes become dirty; (3) their armpits sweat; (4) their bodies become smelly and filthy; and (5) they cannot sit still.]
He slandered Arhatship as being subject to birth and death, and thus he fell into the Avichi Hell. When his blessings in the heavens ran out, the Five Signs of Decay appeared and his life in the heavens came to an end, the Unlearned Bhikshu got angry. What was he angry about? He said, "I've been deceived by the Buddha! The Buddha is a charlatan. He said that when you realize the fourth fruition of Arhatship, you don't have to undergo birth and death ever again. Why is my life coming to an end now? Why do I have to be reborn? Why do I have to undergo transmigration again? The Buddha is a liar!" Guess what happened when he slandered the Buddha like that. He fell into the Avichi Hell.
The Avichi Hell is also called the Relentless Hell. Basically he had not realized the fourth fruition of Arhatship at all, but he claimed that he had. When he used up his celestial blessings and reached the end of his life, he fell into the lower realms. He did not realize his mistake and said that the Buddha had spoken the Dharma incorrectly. In fact the Buddha had said, "You have not realized the fourth fruition of Arhatship. If you had, naturally there would be no more birth and death for you. How could the Five Signs of Decay appear?" Upon slandering the Buddha, the Unlearned Bhikshu immediately fell into the Relentless Hell— the Avichi Hell. Where do you suppose those people who claim to be Buddhas go? I don't know where they end up.
You should pay attention. I will now explain this for you in detail.
You should pay attention. Ananda, you should pay special attention. Listen carefully. I will now explain this for you, Ananda, and for everyone else, in great detail, so don't disappoint me.
To be continued