Therefore, you have to truly understand the principles of cultivation! Only then can you keep from falling into a trap or going down the wrong road. If you don't understand the Buddhadharma, it is very easy to go astray. There is no problem if you do not have any real skill. But when you gain some skill, the demon kings will have their eyes on you every moment, and the first opportunity they see, they will come to disturb you.
Further, Ananda, as the person uses his mind to intently investigate that wondrous brightness, the light will pervade his body. If you persist in your cultivation, you will eventually be able to see everything inside your own body. It's one thing if you are always able to see like that, but if you only have this ability once in a while, then it is merely a state of the form skandha.
Suddenly he will be able to extract intestinal worms from his own body, yet his body will remain intact and unharmed. In this state, suddenly you can pull worms out of your own abdomen. There are long worms and short ones, big ones and small ones. You can just reach your hand in and pluck them out. The extracted worms are real, and yet there is no injury to the abdomen. How do you suppose they came out? If you reach your hand into the abdomen to pull out the worms, the abdomen should be injured, but there is no rupture at all. "His body will remain intact" could be explained in two ways. One way would be to change the translation to read "their bodies will remain intact" and say that the worms' bodies' are still intact, not in the least damaged; they are whole and complete, alive and healthy. You could also say that your own abdomen is intact and uninjured.
This state is called "the pure light surging through one's physical body." An extremely pure and brilliant light penetrates your body. You do not actually put your hand in the abdomen and pluck the worms out; they issue forth of themselves. It is a temporary state in the course of intense practice and does not indicate sagehood. This state is not something that happens all the time. If this were a perpetual state, the situation would be different. This is not the state of a sage.
If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. It is fine; it won't cause any great trouble. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence. If you say, "I've attained sagehood. I can take things out of my stomach. Isn't it wonderful? You don't have such a state." If you become arrogant and attached to your state, you are in for trouble. You will be dragged off by the demon king to become part of his retinue.
Further, as the person uses his mind to intently investigate inside and outside, his physical and spiritual souls, intellect, will, essence, and spirit will be able to interact with one another without affecting his body. They will take turns as host and guests. Then he may suddenly hear the Dharma being spoken in space, or perhaps he will hear esoteric truths being pronounced simultaneously throughout the ten directions. This state is called "the essence and souls alternately separating and uniting, and the planting of good seeds." It is a temporary state and does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons' influence.
Further, as the person uses his mind to intently investigate the wondrous brightness inside and outside, striving to exceed excellence, incessantly trying to refine that process, his spiritual and physical souls undergo a change. There are three spiritual and seven physical souls residing in the human body.
I have mentioned these ten "brothers" before. Some of them have only ears or only eyes. Some have merely a nose, but no lips, eyes, or ears. Each of them possesses only one sense organ and lacks the other five, so they cannot function on their own. They must work cooperatively as a team. Those with ears help out those lacking ears; those with eyes help out those lacking eyes. They depend on and help one another.5
To be continued