(NOTE. The following section is found at the close of the Sixth Chapter, where it is evidently out of place, and is inserted here, where it is more appropriate. Ed.)

Having listened to this instruction from the Lord Buddha, Ananda rose in his place, and bowed down in profound obeisance to express both his gratitude and his sincere purpose to observe what had been said to them. He said to the Lord Buddha: My Noble Lord! Referring to my Lord’s teachings concerning the five sense-ingredients of the mind, you have taught us that at the base of the discriminating mind, there are five aggregates of conceptions all of which are unsubstantial and illusions, but which the mind assumes to be its own original mind. My Lord has not yet given us any detailed instruction as to how these five groups of conceptions are to be controlled under ordinary conditions. Are these sense-ingredients to be discarded at one time, or is it by gradual steps? And what are the boundary lines between the five groups? Have mercy upon us, my Lord, and instruct us clearly so that in the future we may be a guiding eye to all sentient beings in this last kalpa.

The Lord Buddha replied: Ananda! The true Essence of the wonderful enlightening Mind is self-intuiting, perfectly accommodating, and pure. In its nature it has no such defilements as conceptions of deaths and rebirths, contaminations and taints, neither has it any such attribute as emptiness. All these are arbitrary conceptions that have arisen from prior false conceptions. But the original immaculate intuitive and enlightening Essence becomes defiled by the accumulating of these false conceptions and because of them manifests all the phenomena of the world. It is just like the insane Igratta who becoming ignorant of his true head was deceived by the shadow of a false head, which had no basis in fact and was wholly an hallucination. Upon this illusive conception he built up the causes and conditions that controlled him. So those who are ignorant of the real cause build up in their mind an imaginary cause. Even the nature of space which we think of as empty is an imaginary conception. So it is with every cause, condition and nature, it is always a mental illusion cherished by sentient beings.

Ananda! When you come to know where illusion has its rise, then you will clearly understand these universally false causes and conditions. If there are no illusions, of course, there would be no more talk about causes and conditions. And furthermore, if ignorant people had only true nature from which to make deductions, what would they have to talk about, anyway? Therefore I show you this interpretation in order to have you see clearly that at the base of the five-sense ingredients there are always false conceptions.

Ananda! Regarding your body. It is first begun by the conception of your parents, but if your karmic mind had not been in affinity with your parents’ minds it would not have found lodgment in your parents’ conception. As I have said, when any one thinks of vinegar, saliva immediately rises in the mouth; when one stands on the edge of a precipice, his feet begin to tremble. Therefore, Ananda, you ought to know that your present body is your first manifestation in substance of your false conceptions that have been accumulated in your karma. It may be called the first false conception of “firmness.”

Again, in likeness to the trembling that comes to the feet when one stands on a lofty place, so in the presence of causes and conditions that can influence your body, there is corresponding reaction in the body. You have two kinds of conceptions always running about in your mind, a pleasant one that rises when these causes and conditions are propitious and to your advantage, and an unpleasant one that rises when the causes and conditions are disadvantageous or painful. This may be called the second false conception of “discrimination” or “knowledge.”

By means of conceptions your physical body is always in bondage to the thinking mind, and this is because there is an affinity between the discriminating mind and the body. This is true of all the arbitrary conceptions of phenomena, of all manifestations of mental activities, of all the graspings of the physical body, they all react in response with the changing thoughts of the discriminating mind. For instance: when you are awakening, it simply means that you have begun to think again; when you are sleeping you dream according to some unconscious mental strain of passion that is agitating your mind. This may be called the third false conception of “accommodation” or “response” or “activity.”

As the process of changes in everything is forever going on, there are secret and unconscious displacements throwing things out of balance, such as the growth of the nails, the rhythm of exhausting and expanding breathing, the wrinkling of the brow, the alternation of the days and nights, the causes of which we never bother about and never fully realize. Ananda, if all of these changes have no affinity with you, no relation to you, how is it that your body is ever responding to the corresponding changes that we call growth? Or if your body has affinity with them, why do you remain in ignorance of the reason for the affinity? The reason lies because all of these changing causes and conditions and reactions are but the shadows of the activities of your own mind and your own mind is but a shadow of Essential Mind as defiled by the mind’s activities. This may be called the fourth false conception of “secrecy” and “silence.”

Then by your practice of Dhyana there comes into your mind an enlightening essential point of tranquillity and stability, and you take that point of tranquillity as a permanently abiding place. If it has its location in the body, it cannot be other than the perceptions of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling and thinking. If they are the true Essence, there would be no more falsity anywhere. But is that true? Supposing you saw some strange sight but for many years put it completely out of your mind, and then after a long time, you again saw the strange sight and it brought back to your memory all that you had seen before. Then within this tranquil Essence of Stability, does your thinking mind, which is always in activity as conditioned by its contaminations, does it have any precise account of it?

Ananda! You ought to know that this kind of limited tranquillity is not real or true. It is in likeness to the current of a deep river which, as you glance at it, seems to be quiet and motionless but in fact is steadily and relentlessly moving onward. If it does not have its source in the false conceptions of the senses, how is it that it receives all the habitual illusions? If it were not possible for your sense-organs, which had their source in the pure Essence of Mind but which had become differentiated through Ignorance, to return to their original pureness and oneness in Mind-Essence, how could these habitual illusions ever lose their existence? But now through your practice of Dhyana your sense-organs are losing their in- dividual differences as they become increasingly merged into the pure Essence of Mind, and with this merging the habitual illusions lose their existence, also. In your present state of attainment these habitual illusions have become fine and inconspicuous, but they are not yet perfectly exterminated, so in such a state the mind will still be under a certain dependence upon the sense-organs and yet there will be times of insight and tranquillity. But this partial state of tranquillity is not the perfect state of Enlightenment for in that perfect state all dependence upon the senses is ended and with it all differentiations and discriminations that are based upon sense-conceptions will be ended also.

For instance, in our ordinary meditation before enlightenment we will often enter into it with a clear and tranquil mind, but the mind is still in a conditional state of false conceptions. This dependence upon a partial state of tranquillity as being the perfect attainment is the fifth refined and concentrated thought of ‘‘topsy-turviness” of mind.

Ananda! These five sense-ingredients are made up out of these five kinds of false conceptions. Your wish to know the boundaries of the spheres of causes is easily answered. Form and space are the boundary of sights; contact and separation are the boundaries of tangible things; remembering and forgetting are the boundaries of conceptions; appearing and disappearing (birth and death) are the boundaries of activities; false tranquillity and true tranquillity are the boundaries of consciousness.

These five sense-ingredients are developed by leaps and bounds. They are manifested by reason of consciousness, and they disappear by the discarding of sights. There is but one principle involved and may be immediately realized so the arbitrary conceptions of both principle and realization may be discarded at one and the same time, but the resultant memories of the conceptions can not be instantly discarded — they have to be gradually dissolved into emptiness by ignoring and forgetting them. I have now shown you how the knots in the kalpa handkerchief can be untangled. It should be clear to you. Do not ask again?

Now you ought to be prepared to interpret this principle, which is the source of false conceptions and is also the source of mental enlightenment, to all disciples of this latter period so as to enable them to realize the emptiness of their illusions, to develop their deep abhorrence of their own ego-personality, to understand that there is complete emancipation in Nirvana, so that they will no longer cling to this triple world of suffering.

Ananda! If any disciple should gather all the seven treasures sufficient to fill the open spaces of the ten quarters of all the universes, and offer them to all the innumerable Buddhas, and offer to them services of adoration with all his heart, what think you, Ananda? Would this disciple accumulate great merit by such an offering?

Ananda replied: My Lord! It is impossible to comprehend the vastness of the open space of the universe, or to comprehend the amount of treasure sufficient to fill it. Once there was a disciple who acquired the rank of a great world-ruler by the gift of a few coins, how much more would be the merit to one making such an unthinkable offering of treasure to all the Buddhas of all the innumerable Buddha-lands.

The Lord Buddha said: Ananda! The words and the instruction of all the Buddhas and Tathagatas are true and reliable, so if any Disciple should teach them to novice-disciples in the last kalpa, his sins would be annulled and would disappear with the speed of a single thought. This would be true if he had been able by only a single thought to show this Door of Dharma to a single human being, even if he had committed the four great offenses, or the ten minor offenses of a Bhikshu, or even had passed over into the hell of Avichi of this world. Yes, it would be true even if he had passed into the hells of Avichi in all the ten quarters of all the universes. His deed of merit — teaching novice disciples this door of Dharma — would change his memory of suffering in the hells of Avichi until they would seem to be memories of a happy paradise, and he would accumulate merit that would exceed the merit of the former disciple who gave the immeasurable treasure to all the Buddhas, by a hundred times, yes, by a thousand times, by myriads of times.

(NOTE. The text of the Second Chapter is now resumed.)

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།
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