Further, Ananda, in this state of samadhi, the good person
sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands
the feeling skandha. At that moment he has a sublime vision
and is overwhelmed with gratitude. In this situation, he
suddenly evinces tremendous courage. His mind is bold and
keen. He resolves to equal all Buddhas and says he can
transcend three asamkhyeyas of eons in a single thought.
Further, Ananda, in this state of samadhi, the good
person, which includes all good people who are
cultivating the Way, sees the disintegration of the
form skandha and understands the feeling skandha.
Among the five skandhas, he knows that the form skandha is
gone, and he is quite clear about the feeling skandha.
At that moment he has a sublime vision and is
overwhelmed with gratitude. A very special and rare
vision appears in his mind, and he feels excessively
grateful for it. However, excess is as bad as insufficiency.
There is little difference between going too far and not
going far enough. Neither is in accord with the Middle Way.
For example, while traveling, if you go beyond your
destination, it is the same as if you had not arrived at
In this situation, in
this state of samadhi, he suddenly evinces
tremendous courage. His mind is bold and keen,
fearlessly vigorous. He resolves to equal all
Buddhas, saying, "The Buddha and I are the same."
And he says that he can transcend three asamkhyeyas
(limitless numbers) of eons in a single
thought. He says that he can transcend the first,
second, and third asamkhyeyas of eons in the space of a
single thought. Therefore, he says that he is a Buddha. And
that not only he is a Buddha, but that everyone is a Buddha.
Such a person has fallen prey to wrong knowledge and views.
It's true that everyone is a potential
Buddha, but one has to cultivate in order to realize
Buddhahood. Even when one cultivates, it is not possible to
become a Buddha in a single thought. It takes a long time.
Although the time can be shortened if one understands the
Buddhadharma and practices according to it, one still cannot
attain Buddhahood in a single thought. This person
cultivates, but he lacks wisdom and does not have a Good and
Wise Advisor to instruct him. Although he works hard at
cultivation, he develops wrong views along the way. Seeing
that such a long time has passed without his becoming a
Buddha, he simply states that he is a Buddha. This is the
experience of "praising oneself as the equal of the Buddhas"
that occurs during the breakdown of the feeling skandha. He
says that he is the same as all Buddhas. Actually, with that
one mistaken thought, he is already possessed by a demon.
This is called "being too anxious to excel in cultivation."
If he understands, then there is no error. This experience
does not indicate sagehood. If he realizes that and remains
unconfused, then after a time it will disappear. But if he
considers himself a sage, then a demon of insanity will
enter his mind. As soon as he sees someone, he will boast
about himself. He will become extraordinarily haughty, to
the point that he recognizes no Buddha above and no people
below. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.
In the lecture on the Shurangama Sutra, we have now
reached the very important section on the fifty kinds of
deviant states caused by the five skandhas. If people who
cultivate do not understand these fifty skandha demons, they
will easily go astray in their cultivation. If you can
recognize the states of these skandha demons, then you will
not get carried away with reckless boasting and assume that
you are an extraordinary individual. Therefore, I invite you
to encourage your relatives and friends to come listen to
this section on the fifty skandha demons, so that they learn
about the states which occur in cultivation.
This is called "being too anxious
to excel in cultivation. This state occurs as a
result of your efforts in cultivation. Because of this
overexertion resulting from transformations within your own
nature, you become courageous. There is nothing wrong with
courage and vigor if you use them to advance in your
cultivation of the Buddhadharma. But you must not become
conceited and say, "Oh! I'm a Buddha myself."
~ To be continued