This person will then be able to transcend the
state of the turbidity of living beings. Contemplating the cause of the
formations skandha, one sees that subtle and hidden false thoughts are
its source. When you reach this point, you still have false thinking,
but it is not so apparent. It is hidden and obscured, not easy to
detect at all. These extremely subtle false thoughts are the source of
the formations skandha.
you should know that when the good person has obtained proper knowledge
in his practice of shamatha, his mind is unmoving, clear, and proper,
and it cannot be disturbed by the ten kinds of demons from the heavens.
He is now able to intently and thoroughly investigate the origin of all
categories of beings. As the origin of each category becomes apparent,
he can contemplate the source of the subtle, fleeting, and pervasive
fluctuation. But if he begins to speculate on that pervasive source, he
could fall into error with two theories of the absence of cause.
Ananda, you should know that when the good person
has obtained proper knowledge in his practice of the still reflection
of shamatha or concentration, his mind is unmoving, clear, and proper.
Within samadhi, his mind becomes bright and concentrated, and it cannot
be disturbed by the ten kinds of demons from the heavens. They can’t
disturb the cultivator. He is now able to have the chance to intently
and thoroughly investigate samadhi and fathom the origin of all twelve
categories of beings.
As the origin of each category becomes apparent,
as he exposes the source of each category, he can contemplate the
source of the subtle, fleeting, and pervasive fluctuation. He
contemplates this elusive state which is difficult to detect. The
pervasive fluctuation is a subtle movement that occurs within the
seventh consciousness. But if he suddenly initiates a change and begins
to speculate about that pervasive source—the perfect, inherent nature,
he could fall into error with two theories of the absence of cause.
perhaps this person sees no cause for the origin of life. Why? Since he
has completely destroyed the mechanism of production, he can, by means
of the eight hundred merits of the eye organ, see all beings in the
swirling flow of karma during eighty thousand eons, dying in one place
and being reborn in another as they undergo transmigration. But he
cannot see beyond eighty thousand eons.
The first of the two theories of the nonexistence
of cause is that this person sees no cause for the origin of life. He
sees that, at the source of it all, there is no cause which makes a
person a person. Why? He has completely destroyed the mechanism of
production. That is, he has cut off the thinking skandha. The
formations skandha is like ripples on the water. After he has broken
through the thinking skandha, he has “destroyed the mechanism of
production.” The mechanism that produces false thoughts has been
destroyed, and he does no more false thinking. Why did the text say
earlier that a person has no more dreams after he breaks through the
thinking skandha? It’s because he has destroyed the mechanism that
creates false thinking.
He can, by means of the eight hundred merits of
the eye organ, see all beings in the swirling flow of karma during
eighty thousand eons. Although each sense organ has a potential of
twelve hundred merits, the eye organ does not function in total
capacity and has only eight hundred merits. Once he breaks through the
thinking skandha, he can see the events that occur within eighty
thousand eons. He sees beings dying in one place and being reborn in
another as they undergo transmigration. The flow of karma created by
living beings in this world can be likened to a current or to the sea.
He can see beings swirling in that flow over a period of eighty
thousand great eons, dying in one place and being reborn in another,
time after time. But he cannot see any of the events that occur beyond
eighty thousand eons.
To be continued