When you cultivate dhyana and attain samadhi, your mind tallies with the minds of the Bodhisattvas and the great Arhats of the ten directions who are free of outflows, and you abide in a state of profound purity.
When you cultivate dhyana concentration and attain samadhi, the essence of your mind tallies and unites with the minds of all the Bodhisattvas and all the great Arhats of the ten directions who are free of outflows, and you abide in a state of profound purity. You don't have to seek elsewhere for this pure, fundamental tranquillity. It is right where you are. Right here is the pure, inherently tranquil Treasury of the Tathagata, which pervades the Dharma Realm.
Why do the minds of the Bodhisattvas, the great Arhats, and the cultivators of samadhi tally in this way? Because they cultivate the same samadhi. They direct the hearing inward to listen to the inherent nature, until the inherent nature accomplishes the Unsurpassed Way. They all cultivate the Great Shurangama Samadhi, and so they are all the same; they become unified. Their minds are connected as if there were an electric current running between them.
This connection, however, doesn't occur only at the level of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Arhats. It also occurs among ordinary people. For example, when you think about a person, your thought will reach his mind, just like a telegram. "Does the other person know?" you ask. His inherent nature knows, even though his conscious mind may be unaware of it. At the level of that nature, we all know one another. "Well, if I think about someone from morning to night, then that person will also think about me, right?"
You could think till you die, and it still wouldn't be any use. It is like the infatuation we talked about before. If a person is infatuated, he will think about the object of his affection all day long, unable to put the thought down. He is always thinking and thinking, until he thinks himself to death! How does he die? He thinks about her until they come together and get married. Once married, he becomes muddled. After being muddled for a time, he dies. Being married is equivalent to being muddled—not knowing anything at all. In Chinese, you can deduce that meaning from the character for "marriage" hun 婚, which contains the word for "muddled" hun 昏; I don't know if this interpretation exists in English.
All the kings of demons, the ghosts and spirits, and the ordinary gods see their palaces collapse for no apparent reason. The earth quakes, and all the creatures in the water, on the land, and in the air, without exception, are frightened. Yet ordinary people who are sunk in dim confusion remain unaware of these changes.
When one obtains the Great Shurangama Samadhi, the true samadhi, the demon kings shudder. All the kings of demons, the ghosts and spirits, and the ordinary gods of the Six Desire Heavens and Four Dhyana Heavens see their palaces collapse for no apparent reason. The situation is really out of control. For no obvious reason, their palaces start falling apart.
Have I ever told you about a young disciple I had in Manchuria? He was about fourteen years old, and although he was young, his spiritual powers certainly weren't insignificant. He could ascend to the heavens and enter the earth. He had opened the Five Eyes, but had not obtained the Six Spiritual Powers. He had five of the spiritual powers, but lacked the power of freedom from outflows. When a person attains this power, he becomes an Arhat.
One day he ascended to the heavens to amuse himself. When he got there, the demon king took a liking to him and trapped him in his palace. It was an exquisite palace, made of transparent crystal- like material, but he was trapped in it. Since he had opened his Five Eyes, he could see his Dharma-body being held captive there by the demon king. So he came and told me, "Teacher, I went to the heavens, and now I can't come back." I said, "So you're stuck in the heavens, huh? Well, who told you to go there in the first place?" "I thought that it would be lots of fun, so I went there to take a look. But now that person up in the heavens won't let me come back." I said, "If you want to have fun, don't go there to play. Those demons in the Six Desire Heavens are always looking for an opportunity to destroy the samadhi-power of cultivators." Then I said, "Don't be scared; I'll get you back."
I tried to get him back, but the demon king refused to let him go. At that point he became really frightened and said, "He won't let me come back! What should I do?" I said, "Don't worry. I'll bring you back now." Then I used the Shurangama Mantra, the section which I've told you destroys demons, the "Mantra of the Five Great Hearts."Ah! The demon palace immediately shattered, and he came back that time. This is a true story.
Now the palaces of the demon kings have fallen apart and collapsed, and the earth quakes and cracks open in many places, and all the creatures in the water, on the land, and in the air, without exception, are frightened. All the creatures in the water and on the land go flying through the air, scared out of their wits and frightened beyond control. Yet ordinary people who are sunk in dim confusion remain unaware of these changes. Ordinary people do not have such sharp perception, and they do not realize the earth is undergoing all these changes. They are not sensitive enough to perceive the six kinds of quaking occurring in the earth.
To be continued