he concludes that for the last eighty thousand eons living beings in
the ten directions of this and other worlds have come into being
without any cause.
Therefore, since he cannot see the events that
occurred more than eighty thousand great eons ago, he concludes that
for the last eighty thousand eons living beings in the ten directions
of this and other worlds have come into being without any cause. They
just come into being by themselves, without any cause or conditions.
They are born spontaneously.
of this speculation, he will lose proper and pervasive knowledge, fall
into externalism, and become confused about the Bodhi nature.
Because of this speculation, this conjecture that
goes off-track, he will lose proper and pervasive knowledge, fall into
externalism, join an external sect, and become confused about the Bodhi
nature, the nature of the Bodhi-mind.
perhaps this person sees no cause for the end of life. And why? Since
he perceives the origin of life, he believes that people are always
born as people and birds are always born as birds; that crows have
always been black and swans have always been white; that humans and
gods have always stood upright and animals have always walked on four
legs; that whiteness does not come from being washed and blackness does
not come from being dyed; and that there have never been nor will there
be any changes for eighty thousand eons.
What is the second view? Perhaps this person sees
no cause for the end of life. The first is that he sees no cause for
the beginning of things, and here he sees no cause for the end. And
why? Since he perceives the origin of life, the beginning of all living
beings, he believes that people are always born as people and birds are
always born as birds. Believing that he has been enlightened and has
attained great wisdom, he thinks he knows. What does he think he knows?
He says, “People are people in life after life, and birds are birds in
life after life.”
Crows have always been black. They are black to
begin with; they don’t have to be dyed that color. And swans have
always been white. They are white from birth. Humans and gods have
always stood upright. Humans and celestial beings all walk erect. And
animals have always walked on four legs. Animals walk horizontally,
with their four legs on the ground. This is all fixed. Their whiteness
does not come from being washed, and their blackness does not come from
being dyed. For example, crows are black, but they weren’t dyed black.
Also, swans did not have to be washed to become white. And there have
never been nor will there be any changes for eighty thousand eons.
Disciple: Since the person is able to see events
that happened within twenty thousand, forty thousand, and even eighty
thousand great eons, why is he unable to see people being reborn in
other paths as they undergo transmigration?
Venerable Master: That’s an interesting question.
You must realize that although the text says he can see for twenty
thousand great eons, he is actually under the influence of a false
state. One thought is equivalent to limitless eons, and limitless eons
are just one thought. He feels it is twenty thousand eons, but it may
not really be that long; he is still caught up in a false state.
Controlled by false thinking, he experiences a totally unreal state in
which he sees pigs being pigs and cows being cows for twenty thousand
eons. Although he feels that it’s that way, his perception is not
correct. If it were really twenty thousand eons, then of course pigs
would undergo transmigration and would not remain as pigs during all
that time! The fact that he claims that they do shows that it is
totally false. Although he says that he can see for twenty thousand
great eons, it’s not necessarily such a long time. That’s only what he
To be continued