It may include pride—arrogance; outrageous pride, which is extreme arrogance;
haughty pride—there is no greater arrogance than this;
overweening pride—pride added to pride;
and pride based on inferiority—feeling that everyone is inferior to him and looking down on everyone. These are different kinds of pride,
all of which occur at once.
In his mind, he even looks down on the Tathagatas of the ten directions. To what extent does his pride go? Not only is he arrogant toward people, he is arrogant toward the Buddhas, so he regards even the Tathagatas of the ten directions with contempt, feeling they are not as good as he is. How serious would you say this pride is? It’s really difficult to deal with!
How much the more so on the lesser positions of Hearers and Those Enlightened by Conditions. He looks down on them even more. His attitude is, “You’re nothing but an Arhat of the Small Vehicle! What’s so special about you?” He thinks he’s higher than the Buddha, but he hasn’t come up with another name yet.
This is called “viewing oneself as supreme, but lacking the wisdom to save oneself.” If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.
This is called “viewing oneself as supreme.” It is an occasional state that occurs in the feeling
skandha. But it involves lacking the wisdom to save oneself. The person doesn’t have the wisdom to save himself.
If he understands, then there is no error. If he understands that this is an error, then the demon will not have its way with him. As it is said, “If you understand, then you won’t be confused; but when you are confused, you lack understanding.” If you understand, it is like taking a sword of wisdom and hacking through the confusion.
This experience does not indicate sagehood. It does not mean you have realized sagehood.
But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of intense arrogance will enter his mind. He will not bow to
stupas or in temples. He will destroy Sutras and images. He will say to the
danapatis, “These are gold, bronze, clay, or wood. The Sutras are just leaves or cloth. The flesh body is what is real and eternal, but you don’t revere it; instead you venerate clay and wood. That is totally absurd.” Those who have deep faith in him will follow him to destroy the images or bury them. He will mislead living beings so that they fall into the Relentless Hells. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.
But if he considers himself a sage, if you say that this is a good state,
then a demon of intense arrogance, an extremely haughty demon,
will enter his mind and possess him.
He will not bow to stupas or in temples. He will not bow to Buddhas or
stupas when he sees them. Nor will he make obeisance when he goes into temples.
He will destroy Sutras and images. He will burn Sutras and break images of the Buddhas. Destroying Sutras and images are offenses that lead to the hells. But he will say, “These things are all false.”
He will say to the danapatis... He has his own disciples, and he tells his disciples these things.
Dana means giving and pati means to transcend, so in Buddhism, one who makes offerings to the Triple Jewel is called a
danapati. He says to his own danapatis and followers,
“These are gold, bronze, clay, or wood. The Sutras are just leaves or cloth.” Buddha images are made of gold, or of bronze; or they may be constructed of clay or wood. Sutras are written out on leaves, or on silk or cotton cloth. “What’s the use of worshipping them? They have no consciousness.
The flesh body is what is real and eternal. This flesh body of mine is real,
but you don’t revere it, you don’t revere me;
instead you venerate clay and wood. You’d rather bow to idols of clay and wood, what’s the use of that? It would be better for you to bow to me than to them.
That is totally absurd. What awareness do those pieces of wood have? It’s ridiculous for you to bow to them!”
Those followers who have deep faith in him, who deeply believe in him,
will follow him to destroy the Buddha images and burn the Sutras,
or to bury them in the ground.
To be continued