VOLUME 4

Then Purnamaitreyaniputra arose from his seat in the midst of the great assembly, uncovered his right shoulder, knelt on his right knee, put his palms together respectfully, and said to the Buddha, "The most virtuous and awe-inspiring World Honored One has for the sake of living beings expounded the primary truth of the Thus Come One with remarkable eloquence."

"The World Honored One often singles me out as the foremost among speakers of Dharma. But now when I hear the wonderful and subtle expression of the Dharma, I am like a deaf person who at a distance of more than a hundred paces tries to hear a mosquito, which in fact cannot be seen, let alone heard.

"World Honored One, although Ananda and those like him have become enlightened, they have not yet cast out their habits and outflows.

We in the assembly have reached the level of no outflows. Yet, although we have no outflows, we still have doubts about the Dharma we have now heard the Thus Come One speak.

"World Honored One, if all the sense organs, sense objects, Skandhas, places, and realms in all the world are the treasury of the Thus Come One, originally pure, why do there suddenly arise the mountains, the rivers, and the great earth—all conditioned appearances which cyclically change and flow, end and then begin again?

"Moreover, the Thus Come One said that earth, water, fire, and wind are by nature perfectly fused, are all-pervasive in the Dharma realm, and are all tranquil and everlasting.

"World Honored One, if the nature of earth is pervasive, how can it contain water? If the nature of water is pervasive, then fire does not arise. Further, how do you explain that the natures of fire and water can each pervade empty space without displacing one another? World Honored One, the nature of earth is solid; the nature of emptiness is penetrating. How can they both pervade the Dharma realm? I don’t know where this doctrine is leading.

"I only hope the Thus Come One will compassionately explain in order to rend the clouds of confusion in me and among the great assembly." After saying this, he made a full prostration and respectfully and expectantly awaited the Thus Come One’s unsurpassed compassionate instruction.

The World Honored One then told Purna and all the Arhats in the assembly who had extinguished their outflows and had reached the level of no study, "Today the Thus Come One will explain in depth the true, supreme meaning within the supreme meaning in order to cause all of you in the assembly who are Fixed-nature Sound-hearers and those Arhats who have not realized the two kinds of emptiness, but are dedicated to the superior vehicle, as well as the others, to obtain the place of still extinction, the one vehicle, the true Aranya, the proper place of cultivation. Listen attentively and I will explain it for you." Purna and the others revering the Buddha’s expression of Dharma, listened silently.

The Buddha said, "Purna, you have asked why in fundamental purity the mountains, the rivers, and the great earth suddenly arise.

"Have you not often heard the Thus Come One expound upon the wonderful light of the enlightened nature and the bright wonder of the fundamental enlightenment?"

Purna said, "Yes, World Honored One, I have often heard the Buddha expound upon this subject."

The Buddha said, "You speak of the light of enlightenment; is it that the natural light is called enlightenment? Or are you saying that enlightenment is initially without light and that then there is a so-called brightening of the enlightenment?"

Purna said, "If the absence of light is called enlightenment, then there is no light whatever."

The Buddha said, "If there is no bright enlightenment without light added to it, then it is not enlightenment with it; and it is not light without it. The absence of light is not the still, bright nature of enlightenment, either.

"The nature of enlightenment is essentially bright. It is false for you to make it bright enlightenment.

"Enlightenment is not something that needs to be made bright, for once that is done, and object is established because of this light. Once an object is falsely set up, you as a false subject come into being.

"In the midst of what is neither the same nor different, difference blazes forth. And what is different from that difference becomes sameness, because of the difference. Once sameness and difference are created then due to them what is neither the same nor different is further established.

"This turmoil eventually brings about weariness. Prolonged weariness produces defilement. The combination of these in a murky turbidity creates affliction with respect to wearisome defilement.

"Arisal is the world; stillness is emptiness. Emptiness is sameness; the world is difference. What is neither sameness nor difference is the actual conditioned Dharmas.

"The interaction of bright enlightenment and dark emptiness sets them in a perpetual rotation; thus there is the pervasiveness of wind which supports the world.

"Because emptiness produces movement, hardened light sets up a solidity which is the store of metal. Bright enlightenment makes this hardness; thus there is the pervasiveness of metal, which secures the lands.

"Obstinate attachment to unenlightened awareness results in the formation of metals, while the vibration of illusory awareness causes wind to rise up. The wind and metal rub together; thus there is the light of fire, which is changeable by nature.

"The brightness of the metal produces moisture, and from the light of fire steam arises; thus there is the pervasiveness of water, which encompasses realms in the ten directions.

"Fire rises and water falls, and the combination sets up solidity. What is wet becomes the oceans and seas; what is dry becomes in continents and islands.

"Because of this, fire often rises up in the oceans, and on the continents the streams and rivers ever flow.

"When the power of water is less than that of fire, high mountains result, so it is that mountain rocks give off sparks when struck, and become liquid when melted.

"When the power of earth is less than that of water, the outcome is grasses and trees. So it is that groves and meadows turn to ashes when burned and ooze water when twisted.

"A falseness is produced with interaction as the seeds, and from these causes and conditions comes the continuity of the world.

"Moreover, Purna, the false brightness is none other than the mistake of adding light to enlightenment.

"After the falseness of an object is established, the faculty of understanding cannot transcend it. Due to this cause and condition, hearing does not go beyond sound, and seeing does not surpass form.

"Forms, smells, tastes, and objects of touch—six falsenesses are realized. Because of them, there is division into seeing, sensation, hearing, and knowing.

"Similar Karma binds together: union and separation bring about transformation.

"One sees that a bright spot is generated. At the sight of the bright spot conception comes into being. Differing views produce hatred; similar views create love. The flow of love becomes a seed, and the conception is drawn into the womb. Intercourse happens with a mutual attraction of similar Karma. And so there are the causes and conditions that create the Kalala, the Arbuda, and the rest.

"The womb-born, egg-born, moisture-born, and transformation-born come about in response: the egg-born come from thought, the womb-born are due to emotion, the moisture-born arise from union, and transformations occur through separation.

"Emotion, thought, union, and separation go through further changes, and from all the Karma received one either rises or sinks. From these causes and conditions comes the continuity of living beings.

"Purna, thought and love become bound together so that people love each other and cannot bear to be apart. As a result, the world was seen an endless succession of births of parents, children, and grandchildren. And the basis for all of this is desire and greed.

"Greed and love feed on one another until greed becomes insatiable. As a result, in the world all the sentient beings born of eggs, wombs, moisture, and by transformation tend to devour one another for the nourishment of their bodies to the extent that their strength permits. And the basis for all of this is killing and greed.

"A person eats a sheep. The sheep dies and becomes a person. The person dies and becomes a sheep, and it goes on that way through ten births and more. Through death after death and birth after birth, they come back to eat one another. The evil Karma becomes innate and exhausts the bounds of the future. And the basis for all of this is stealing and greed.

"You owe me a life; I have to repay my debt to you. From these causes and conditions, we pass through hundreds of thousands of aeons, in a sustained cycle of birth and death.

"You love my mind; I adore your form. From these causes and conditions we pass through hundreds of thousands of aeons, in a sustained mutual entanglement.

"Killing, stealing, and lust are themselves the basis roots. From these causes and conditions comes the continuity of Karmic retribution.

"Therefore, Purna, the three kinds of upside-down continuity come from the light which is added to enlightenment. With this false enlightening of the knowing-nature, subjective awareness gives rise to objective appearances. Both are born of false views, and from this falseness the mountains, the rivers, the great earth, and all conditioned appearances unfold themselves in a succession that recurs in endless cycles.

Purna said, "If this wonderful enlightenment, this basis miraculous enlightened brightness which is neither greater than nor less than the mind of the Thus Come One, abruptly brings forth the mountains, the rivers, and the great earth, and all conditioned appearances, then now that the Thus Come One has attained the wonderful empty bright enlightenment, will the mountains, the rivers, the great earth, and all conditioned habitual outflows arise again?"

The Buddha said to Purna, "Consider for example a person who has become confused in a village, mistaking south for north. Is this confusion the result of confusion or of awareness?"

Purna said, "This person’s confusion is the result neither of confusion nor of awareness. Why? Confusion is fundamentally baseless, so how could it arise because of confusion? Awareness does not produce confusion, so how could it arise because of awareness?"

The Buddha said, "If a person who is aware points out the way to the person who is in the midst of confusion, and makes him aware, then do you suppose, Purna, that once the person is over his confusion he could lose his sense of direction again in that village?"

"No, World Honored One."

"Purna, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions are the same way. Confusion is groundless and ultimately empty in nature. There had basically been no confusion: it merely seemed as if there were confusion and enlightenment. When the delusion about confusion and enlightenment is ended, enlightenment does not give rise to confusion.

"It is also like a person with an eye-ailment who sees flowers in space. If he gets rid of his eye-ailment, the flowers in space will disappear. If he were so stupid as to quickly return to the spot where the flowers disappear and wait for them to reappear, would you consider that person to be stupid or smart?"

Purna said, "Originally there weren’t any flowers in space. It was through a falseness in the seeing that they were produced and extinguished. To see the disappearance of the flowers in space is already upside down. To wait for them to reappear is sheer madness. Why bother to determine further if such a person is stupid or smart?"

The Buddha said, "Since you explain it that way, why do you ask if the wonderful enlightened bright emptiness can once again give rise to the mountains, the rivers, and the great earth?

"It is like a piece of ore containing gold and a mixture of other metals. Once the pure gold is extracted, it will not become an ore again. It is like wood that has been burned to ashes; it will not become wood again.

"The Bodhi and Nirvana of all Buddhas, the Thus Come Ones, are the same way.

"Purna, you also asked whether the natures of water and fire would not destroy each other if the natures of earth, water, fire, and wind were all perfectly fused and pervaded the Dharma realm, and whether subtle emptiness and the great earth would not be incompatible if both pervaded the Dharma realm.

"For example, Purna, the substance of emptiness is not the myriad things, and yet it does not prevent the inclusion of all appearances within it.

"Do you know the reason why? Purna, the empty space is bright on a sunny day, and dark when the sky is cloudy. It moves when the wind rises up, it is fresh when the sky clears. It is turbid and hazy when the weather is foul, it is obscure when a dust-storm breaks out. It casts a bright reflection on a pool of clear water.

"What do you think of these conditions which come into existence at different places? Are they created from these conditions themselves or do they find their origin in emptiness? If they arise from those conditions, Purna, then on a sunny day since the sun is bright, all the worlds of the ten directions should take the form of the sun. Then how does it happen that on a sunny day one still sees the round sun in the sky? If emptiness is bright, emptiness itself should shine. How does it happen that when there is a covering of clouds and fog there is no light in evidence?

"You should know that brightness in not the sun, is not emptiness, and is not other than the emptiness and the sun.

"The truly wonderful enlightened brightness is the same way. If your Karma finds expression in emptiness, then emptiness will appear. If your Karma finds expression in one or another of earth, water, fire, or wind, that one will appear. If your Karma finds expression in them all, they will all appear.

"How can they all appear? Suppose, Purna, the sun’s reflection appears in a single body of water, and two people gaze at it, both at the same time. Then one person walks east and the other walks west. Each person, still looking in the water, will see a sun go along with him, one to the east, one to the west, seemingly without there being any fixed direction for the movement of the sun’s reflection.

"You shouldn’t belabor the question and say, ‘If there is one sun, how can it follow both people? Since the sun is double, why does only one appear in the sky?’ this is just to revolve in falseness, because it cannot be proved.

"Contemplate the fundamental falseness of appearances. They are just like flowers that are conjured up in space and produce empty fruit. Why, then, investigate the meaning of their formation and disappearance?

"Contemplate the fundamental truth of the nature. It is solely the wonderful enlightened brightness, the wonderful enlightened bright mind. Originally, it is neither water nor fire. Why, then, ask about incompatibility?

"Purna, you think that form and emptiness over come and destroy one another in the treasury of the Thus Come One. Thus the treasury of the Thus Come One accordingly appears to you as form and emptiness throughout the Dharma realm.

"And so, within it the wind moves, emptiness is still, the sun is bright, and the clouds are dark. The reason for this lies in the delusion of living beings who have turned their backs on enlightened and joined with the ‘Dust.’ Thus, the wearisome defilements come into being and mundane appearances exist.

"With the wonderful brightness that is not extinguished and not produced, I unite with the treasury of the Thus Come One. Thus the treasury of the Thus Come One is the unique and wonderful enlightened brightness, which completely illumines the Dharma realm.

"That is why, within it, the one is limitless; the limitless is one. In the small appears the great; in the great appears the small.

"Unmoving in the Bodhimanda, yet pervading the ten directions, my body contains the ten directions and endless emptiness. On the tip of a single hair appear the lands of the Jeweled kings. Sitting in a mote of dust, I turn the great Dharma wheel, destroy the defilements, and unite with enlightenment, so, True Suchness, the wonderful enlightened bright nature, comes into being.

"The treasury of the Thus Come One is the fundamental, wonderful, perfect mind.

"It is not the mind, nor emptiness, nor earth, nor water, nor wind, nor fire; it is not the eyes, nor the ears, the nose, the tongue, the body, or the mind. It is not form, nor sound, smells, tastes, objects of touch, or Dharmas. It is not the realm of eye-consciousness, nor any other, up to and including the realm of mind-consciousness.

"It is not understanding, nor ignorance, nor the ending of understanding or ignorance, nor any other, up to and including old age and death and the ending of old age and death.

"It is not suffering, nor accumulation, nor extinction, nor the way, it is neither knowing nor attaining."

"It is not Dana, nor Shila, nor Virya, nor Kshanti nor Dhyana, nor Prajna, nor Paramita.

"Nor any other: it is not the Tathagata, nor the Arhats, nor Samyaksambodhi, nor Parinirvana, nor permanence, nor bliss, nor true self, nor purity.

"Therefore, it is neither mundane nor transcendental, since the treasury of the Thus Come One is the fundamental brightness of the wonderful mind.

"It is the mind, it is emptiness, it is earth, it is water, it is wind, it is fire, it is the eyes, it is the ears, the nose, the tongue, the body, and the mind. It is form, it is sounds, smells, tastes, objects of touch, and Dharmas. It is the realm of eye-consciousness, and so forth, up to and including the realm of mind-consciousness.

"It is understanding and ignorance and the ending of understanding and ignorance, and so forth up to and including old age and death and the ending of old age and death. It is suffering, it is accumulation, it is extinction, and it is the way. It is knowing and attaining. It is Dana, it is Shila, it is Virya, it is Kshanti, it is Dhyana, it is Prajna, and it is Paramita, and so forth, up to and including the Tathagata, the Arhats, Samyaskambodhi, Parinirvana, permanence, bliss, true self, and purity.

"It is both mundane and transcendental, since the treasury of the Thus Come One is the wonderful brightness of the fundamental mind.

"It is apart from ‘is’ and ‘is not.’ It is identical with ‘is’ and ‘is not.’"

"How can living beings in the three realms of existence on the level of worldliness and the Sound-hearers and those enlightened to conditions on the level of transcendence make suppositions about the supreme Bodhi of the Thus Come One with the winds that they know of, or enter the knowledge and vision of the Buddha through the medium of worldly language and expressions?

"For example, lutes, flutes, and guitars can make wonderful sounds, but if there are no skilled fingers to play them, their music will never come forth.

"You and all living beings are the same way. The precious, enlightened mind is perfect in everyone. Thus, I press my finger upon it and the ocean-impression emits light; you move your mind, and the wearisome defilements spring up.

"It is all because you do not diligently seek the unsurpassed enlightened way, but are fond of the lesser vehicle and are satisfied with little attainment.

Purna said, "I am non-dual and complete with the Thus Come One’s perfect brightness of the precious enlightenment, the true wonder of the pure mind. But long ago I was victimized by false thoughts that have no beginning and I have long endured the turning wheel of rebirth. Now I have attained the sagely vehicle, but it is not yet ultimate. The World Honored One has completely extinguished all falseness and obtained wonderful true permanence.

"I venture to ask the Thus Come One why all living being exist in falseness and conceal their own wonderful brightness, so that they keep drowning in this deluge?

The Buddha said to Purna, "Although you have cast off doubts, you still have not ended residual delusions. I will now employ a worldly event in questioning you.

"Have you not heard of Yajnadatta in Shravasti who on impulse one morning held a mirror to his face and feel in love with the head in the mirror? He gazed at the eyes and eyebrows but got angry because he could not see his own face. He decided he must be a Li Mei ghost. Having lost all his bearings, he ran madly out. What do you think? Why did his person set out on a mad chase for no reason?"

Purna said, "That person was insane. There’s no other reason."

The Buddha said, "What reason can you give for calling false the wonderful enlightened bright perfection, the fundamentally perfect bright wonder? If there is a person, then how can you say it is false?

"All your own false thinking becomes in turn the cause for more. From confusion you accumulate confusion through Kalpa after Kalpa; although the Buddha is aware of it, he cannot counteract it.

"From such confused causes, the cause of confusion penetrates itself. When one realizes that confusion has no cause, the falseness becomes baseless. Since it never arose, why would you hope for its extinction? One who obtains Bodhi is like a person who awakens to realize the events of a dream; even though his mind is awake and clear, he cannot get hold of the things in the dream and physically display them.

"How much the more is that the case with something is without a cause and basically non-existent, such as Yajnadatta’s situation that day in the city? Was there any reason why he became fearful for his head and went running about? If his madness were suddenly to cease, it would not be that he had obtained his head from someplace outside; and so before his madness ceases, how can his head been lost?

"Purna, falseness is the same way. How can it exist?

"All you need do is not to follow discriminations, because none of the three causes arises when the three conditions of the three continuities of the world, living beings, and Karmic retribution are cut off.

"Then the madness of the Yajnadatta in your mind will cease of itself, and just that ceasing is Bodhi. The supreme, pure, bright mind originally pervades the Dharma realm. It is not something obtained from anyone else. Why, then, labor and toil with marrow and joint to cultivate and be certified?

"This is to be like the person who has a wish-fulfilling pearl sewn in his clothing without realizing it. Thus he roams abroad in a state of poverty, begging for food and always on the move. Although he is indeed destitute, the pearl is never lost.

"Suddenly, a wise person shows him the pearl: all his wishes are fulfilling, he obtains great wealth, and he realizes that the pearl did not come from somewhere outside."

Ananda then bowed at the Buddha’s feet, arose in the great assembly, and said to the Buddha, "The World Honored One now explains that when the three conditions of the Karma of killing, stealing, and lust are cut off, the three causes for them do not arise, then three causes for them do not arise. Then the madness of Yajnadatta in the mind ceases of itself, and just that ceasing is Bodhi. It is not something obtained from anyone else. These clearly are causes and conditions; why, then, does the Thus Come One abruptly reject causes and conditions?

"It was through causes and conditions that my mind became enlightened, World Honored One, and that is not only true of us who are young in years, of us Sound-hearers who still have to study. Mahamaudgalyayana, Shariputra, and Subhuti, who are now in this assembly and who followed the elder Brahmans, became enlightened and obtained the state of no outflows upon hearing the Buddha expound upon causes and conditions.

"Now you say that Bodhi does not come from causes and conditions. So the spontaneity that Maskari Goshaliputra and others advocated in Rajagriha then becomes the primary meaning! I only hope you will let fall great compassion and break through my confusion."

The Buddha said to Ananda, "Let us take the case of Yajnadatta in the city: if the causes and conditions of his madness cease, the nature that is not mad will spontaneously come forth. The entire principle of spontaneously and causes and conditions is nothing more than that.

"Ananda, Yajnadatta’s head was spontaneously there, it was a spontaneously part of him. There was never a time when it was not. Why, then, did he suddenly fear that he had no head and start running about madly?"

"If he naturally had a head and went mad due to causes and conditions, would it not be just as natural for him to lose his head due to causes and conditions?

"Basically his head was not lost. The madness and fear arose from falseness. There was never and change that took place. Why, then, labor, the point about causes and conditions?

"If the madness were spontaneous, the madness and fear would be fundamental. Before he went mad, then, where was his madness hidden?

"If the madness were not spontaneous, and his head were in fact not lost, why did he run about in a state of madness?

"If you realize that you have a head and recognize the madness of your pursuit, then both spontaneity and causes and conditions become idle theories. That is why I say that the three conditions’ ceasing to be is itself the Bodhi mind.

"The Bodhi mind’s being produced and the mind subject to production and extinction’s being extinguished is simply production and extinction.

"The ending of both production and extinction is the effortless way. If there is spontaneity, then clearly it must be that the thought of spontaneity arises and the mind subjects to production and extinction ceases: that, then, is still production and extinction.

"To call the lack of production and extinction spontaneity is the same as to say that the single substance formed by the combination of all mundane appearances is a mixed and united essence, and that whatever is not mixed and united is basically spontaneous in nature.

"When spontaneity is devoid of spontaneity, and mixing and uniting are devoid of their unifying quality, so that spontaneity and unity alike are abandoned, and both the abandonment of them and their existence cease to be—that is no idle theory.

"Bodhi and Nirvana are still so far away that you must undoubtedly pass through Kalpas of bitterness and diligence before you cultivate them and are certified.

"You can hold in memory the twelve divisions of the sutras spoken by the Buddhas of the ten directions and their pure, wonderful principles as many as the sands of the river Ganges, but it only aids your idle theorizing.

"You can discuss causes and conditions and spontaneity and understand them perfectly clearly, and people in the world refer to you as the one foremost in learning. You have spent aeons upon aeons saturating yourself with learning, yet you could not avoid the difficulty of Matangi.

"Why did you have to wait for me to use the spiritual Mantra of the Buddha’s Summit? The fire of lust in Matangi’s daughter’s heart died instantly, and the attained the position of an Anagamin. Now she is one of a vigorous group in my Dharma assembly. The river of love dried up in her, and she was able to set you free.

"Therefore, Ananda, your ability to keep in mind the Thus Come One’s wonderful secret teachings of aeon after aeon is not as good as a single day of no outflow cultivation that is intent upon getting far away from the two worldly sufferings of love and hate.

"In Matangi’s daughter, a former prostitute, love and desire were dispelled by the spiritual power of the Mantra. Now her name in Dharma is Bhikshuni ‘Nature.’

"She and Rahula’s mother, Yashodhara both became aware of their past causes and knew that for many Kalpas they had endured the suffering of greed and love. Because they single-mindedly became permeated with the cultivation of the goodness of no outflows, they were both freed from their bonds and received predictions. Why, then, do you cheat yourself and still remain caught up in looking and listening?

When Ananda and the great assembly heard the Buddha’s instruction, their doubts and delusion were dispelled. Their minds awakened to the actual appearance, they experienced "light ease" both physically and mentally, and they obtained what they had never had before.

Once again he wept, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, knelt on both knees, placed his palms together, and said to the Buddha, "The Unsurpassed, Great, Compassionate, Pure, and Precious King has instructed me well, so that, by means of these various causes and conditions, expedients, and encouragements, all of us who were immersed in the sea of suffering have escaped it."

"World Honored One, having heard the sound of Dharma like this, I know that the treasury of the Thus Come One, the wonderful, enlightened, bright mind, pervades the ten directions and includes the Thus Come One, the lands of the ten directions, and the pure, precious adornments of the land of the wonderfully enlightened King. Yet, the Thus Come One once again admonishes that erudition is of no merit and is not as good as cultivation.

"So now I am like a wanderer who suddenly encounters a reigning king who bestows upon him an elegant house. He has obtained a mansion, but there needs to be a door in order for him to enter it.

"I only hope the Thus Come One will not withhold his great compassion in instructing those of us in the assembly who are covered over by darkness, so that we may renounce the small vehicle and attain at last the Thus Come One’s Nirvana without Residue, the fundamental path of resolve, and that he will enable those who still must study to know now how to subdue the age-old seeking of advantage from conditions, to obtain Dharani, and to enter into the knowledge and vision of the Buddha." Having said this, he made a full prostration, and together with the members of the assembly, he single-mindedly awaited the Buddha’s compassionate instruction.

The World Honored One then took pity on the Sound-hearers and the Condition-enlightened Ones in the assembly—all those who were not yet at ease with the Bodhi mind—and on all living beings to come after the Buddha’s extinction during the Dharma-ending age. He revealed the wonderful path of cultivation of the Unsurpassed Vehicle.

He proclaimed to Ananda and to the great assembly, "If you want to have decisive resolve for Bodhi and not grow weary of the wonderful Samadhi of the Buddha, the Thus Come One, you must first understand the two resolutions regarding initial resolve for enlightenment. What are the two resolutions regarding initial resolve for enlightenment?

"Ananda, the first resolution is this: if you wish to renounce the position of Sound-hearer and cultivate the Bodhisattva Vehicle, and to enter the knowledge and vision of the Buddha, you must carefully consider whether the resolve on the cause-ground and the enlightenment on the ground of fruition are the same or different.

"Ananda, it is impossible while on the cause-ground to use the mind subject to production and extinction as the basis for cultivating in quest of the Buddha Vehicle, which is neither produced nor extinguished.

"For this reason, you should realize that all existing Dharmas in the material world will decay and disappear. Ananda, contemplate the world: what thing is there that will not waste away?

"But, has anyone ever heard of the disintegration of the void? Why not? It is because the void does not exist, and so it can never be destroyed.

"While you are in your body, what is solid is of earth, what is moist is of water, what is warm is of fire, and what moves is of wind. Because of these four bonds, your tranquil and perfect, wonderfully enlightened bright mind divides into seeing, hearing, sensation, and cognition. From beginning to end there are the five layers of turbidity.

"What is meant by ‘turbidity?’ Ananda, pure water, for instance, is fundamentally clear and clean, whereas dust, dirt, ashes, silt, and the like, are basically solid substances. Such are the properties of the two; their natures are not compatible. Suppose, then, that an ordinary person takes some dirt and tosses it into the pure water. The dirt loses its solid quality and the water is deprived of its transparency. The cloudiness which results is called ‘turbidity.’ Your five layers of turbidity are similar to it.

"Ananda, you see that emptiness pervades the ten directions. There is no division between emptiness and seeing. However, although emptiness has no substance and your seeing has no awareness. The two become entangled in a falseness. This is the first layer, called the turbidity of time.

"Your body appears in full, with the four elements composing its substance, and from this, seeing, hearing sensation, and cognition become firmly defined. Water, fire, wind, and earth fluctuate between sensation and cognition and become entangled in a falseness. This is the second layer, called the turbidity of views.

"Further, the functions of memory, discrimination, and verbal comprehension in your mind bring into being knowledge and views. From out of them appear the six defiling objects. Apart from the defiling objects there are no appearances. Apart from cognition they have no nature. But they become entangled in a falseness. This is the third layer, called the turbidity of afflictions.

"And then day and night there is endless production and extinction as your knowledge and views continually wish to remain in the world, while your Kamic patterns constantly move you to various places. This entanglement becomes a falseness, which is the fourth layer, called the turbidity of living beings.

"Originally, your seeing and hearing were not different natures, but a multitude of defiling objects has divided them until suddenly they became different. Their functions are in opposition. Sameness and difference arise and they lose their identity. This entanglement becomes a falseness, which is the fifth layer, called the turbidity of a lifespan.

"Ananda, you now want to cause your seeing, hearing, sensation, and cognition to return to and tally with the permanence, bliss, true self, and purity of the Thus Come One.

"You should first decide what the basis of birth and death is by relying on the perfect, tranquil nature which is neither produced nor extinguished.

"By means of this tranquility, turn the empty and false production and extinction so that they are subdued and return to the source of enlightenment. The attainment of this source of bright enlightenment, which is neither produced nor extinguished, is the mind on the cause-ground.

"Then you can completely accomplish the cultivation of and certification to the ground of fruition.

"Its is like purifying muddy water by placing it in a quiet vessel which is kept completely still and unmoving. The sand and silt settle, and the pure water appears. This is called the initial subduing of the of the guest-dust affliction.

"The complete removal of the mud from the water is called the eternal severance of fundamental ignorance.

"When clarity is pure to its essence, then no matter what happens there is no affliction. Everything is on accord with the pure and wonderful virtues of Nirvana.

"The second resolution is this: if you definitely wish to bring forth the resolve for Bodhi and to be especially courageous and dedicated in your cultivation of the Bodhisattva Vehicle, you must decisively renounce all conditioned appearances.

"You should carefully consider the origin of affliction and the beginningless creation of Karma and perpetuation of rebirth—who creates it and who endures it?

"Ananda, if in your cultivation of Bodhi you do not carefully consider the origin of affliction, you cannot realize the empty falseness of the sense-organs and sense-objects or the location of delusion. If you don’t even know its location, how can you subdue it and reach the level of the Thus Come One?

"Ananda, consider the ordinary person who wants to untie a knot. If he can’t see where the knot is, how can he untie it?

"But I have never heard that one can obliterate empty space. Why? It is because emptiness has no form or appearance; therefore there are no knots to untie.

"But now your visible eyes, ears, nose and tongue, as well as your body and mind, are like six thieving matchmakers who plunder the jewels of your household.

"And, thus, from beginningless time living beings and the world have been bound up together, so that the material world cannot be transcended.

"Ananda, what is meant by the time and space of living being? ‘Time’ refers to change and flow; ‘Space’ refers to location.

"You should know by now that north, east, south, west, northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest, above and below are space. Past, present, and future are periods of time. There are ten directions in space and three periods of time.

"All living beings come into being because of false interaction. Their bodies go through changes and they are caught up in time and space.

"However, although there are ten directions in space, those known in the world as north, south, east, and west are the only ones that can be clearly fixed. Above and below have no position; the intermediates have no definite direction. Determined clearly to be four in number, they are then combined with the three periods of time. Three times four, or, alternately, four times three, make twelve.

"Increase it three times: itself multiplied by ten and again by ten, to reach the thousands: one thousand two hundred is the greatest possible efficacy of the six organs.

"Ananda, you can thereby establish their value. For example, the eyes see darkness behind and light in front. The front is totally light; the back is totally dark. With your peripheral vision included, you can see two thirds around at most. Therefore, its capacity can be expressed as an efficacy, which is not complete. One third of its efficacy is without virtue. Know, then, that the eyes have an efficacy of only eight hundred.

"For example, the ears hear everywhere in the ten directions, without loss. They hear movements, whether far or near, and stillness without bounds. Know, then, that the organ of hearing is complete with an efficacy of twelve hundred.

"For example, the nose smells odors with each inhalation and exhalation of the breath. It is deficient at the point between the inhalation and exhalation. The organ of smell can be considered to be deficient by one third. Know, then, that the nose has an efficacy of only eight hundred.

"For example, the tongue can proclaim the entirety of worldly and transcendental wisdom. Although language varies according to locality, the principles go beyond boundaries of any kind. Know, then, that the organ of the tongue is complete with an efficacy of twelve hundred.

"For example, the body is aware of touch, registering it as pain or pleasure. When it makes contact, it is aware of the thing touched; when in isolation, it has no tactile knowledge of other things. Isolation has a single and contact has a dual aspect. The organ of the body can be considered as deficient by one third. Know, then, that the body has an efficacy of only eight hundred.

"For example, the mind silently includes all worldly and transcendental Dharmas of the ten directions and the three periods of time. Regardless of whether it be sagely or ordinary, everything is included in its boundlessness. Know, then, that he organ of the mind is complete with an efficacy of twelve hundred.

"Ananda, now you wish to oppose the flow of desire that leads to birth and death. You should turn back the flow of the organs to reach a state pf neither production nor extinction.

"You should investigate all of these six functioning organs to see which are uniting, which are isolated, which are deep, which are shallow, which will penetrate perfectly, and which are not perfect.

"Once you have awakened to the organ which penetrates perfectly, you should thereupon reverse the flow of its beginningless involvement in false Karma. Then you will know the difference between one that penetrates perfectly and one that does not. Then a day and an aeon will be one and the same.

"I have now revealed to you the fundamental efficacy of the tranquil perfect brightness of these six. This is what the numbers are; it is up to you to select which one to enter. Will explain more to aid your progress in it.

"The Thus Come Ones of the ten directions cultivated by means of all of the eighteen realms and obtained perfect, unsurpassed Bodhi. All of them were generally adequate.

"But you are at an inferior level and are not yet able to perfect comfortable wisdom among them, therefore, I shall give you an explanation, so that you will be able to enter deeply into one door.

"Enter one without falseness, and the six sense-organs will be simultaneously pure."

Ananda said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, how do we oppose the flow, enter deeply into one door, and cause the six organs to simultaneously become pure?"

The Buddha told Ananda, "You have already obtained the fruition of a Shrotaapanna. You have already extinguished the view-delusions of living beings in the three realms, but you do not yet know that your organs have accumulated habits that are without beginning. It is through cultivation that one severs not simply these habits, but also their numerous subtleties as they pass through arisal, dwelling, change, and extinction.

"You should now contemplate the six organs further: are they one or six? If you say they are one, Ananda, why can’t the ears see? Why can’t the eyes hear? Why can’t the head walk? Why can’t the feet talk?

"If the six organs are definitely six, then as I now explain this subtle, wonderful Dharma-door for you in this assembly, which of your six organs is receiving it?"

Ananda said, "I hear it with my ears."

The Buddha said, "Your ears hear by themselves; what, then does it have to do with your body and mouth? And yet you ask about the principles with your mouth, and your body displays veneration.

"Therefore, you should know that if they are not one, then they must be six. And if they are not six, they must be one. But you can’t say that your organs are basically one and six.

"Ananda, you should know that these organs are neither one nor six. It is from being upside-down and sinking into involvements throughout time without beginning that the theory of one and six has become established. As a Shrotaapanna, you have dissolved the six, but you still have not done away with the one.

"It is like emptiness fitting into differently shaped vessels. The emptiness is said to be whatever shape the vessel is. But if you get rid of the vessel and look at the emptiness, you will say it is one and the same.

"But how can that emptiness become alike and different at your convenience? Even less can it be one or not one. Therefore, you should understand that the six receptive functioning organs should be the same way.

"Seeing occurs because the two appearances of darkness and light, and their like, firmly adhere to quietude in what originally was wonderful perfection. The essence of seeing reflects form and combines with form to become an organ. In its pure state the organ of the eye is the four elements. And yet it takes the name ‘Eye-organ’ and is shaped like a grape. Of the superficial sense organs and the four defiling objects, this one races out after form.

"Hearing occurs because the two reverberations of movement and stillness, and their like, firmly adhere to quietude in what originally was wonderful perfection. The essence of hearing reflects sound and re-sounds with sound to become the organ of the ear. In its pure state, the organ of the ear is the four elements. It takes the name ‘Ear-organ’ and is shaped like a fresh, curled leaf. Of the superficial sense organs and the four defiling objects, this one is loosed upon sound.

"Smelling occurs because the two appearances of penetration and obstruction, and their like, firmly adhere to quietude in what originally was wonderful perfection. The essence of hearing reflects scents and takes in scent to become the organ of the nose. In its pure state, the organ of the nose is the four elements. It takes the name ‘Nose-organ’ and is shaped like a double hanging claw. Of the superficial sense organs and the four defiling objects, this one probes out after scents.

"Tasting occurs because the two blends of blandness and variety, and their like, firmly adhere to quietude in what originally was wonderful perfection. The essence of tasting reflects flavors and becomes entwined with flavors to become the organ of the tongue. In its pure state the organ of the tongue is the four elements. It takes the name ‘Tongue-organ’ and is shaped like a crescent noon. Of the superficial sense organs and the four defiling objects, this one pursues flavors.

"Sensation occurs because the two frictions of separation and union, and their like, firmly adhere to quietude in what originally was wonderful perfection. The essence of sensation reflects contact and seizes upon contact to become the organ of the body. In its pure state, the organ of the body is the four elements. It takes the name ‘Body-organ’ and is shaped like a table. Of the superficial organs and the four defiling objects, this one is compelled by contact.

"Knowing occurs because the two continuities of production and extinction, and their like, firmly adhere to quietude in what originally was wonderful perfection. The essence of knowing reflects Dharmas and grasps Dharmas to become the organ of the mind. In its pure state, the organ of the mind is the four elements. It takes the name ‘Mental cognition’ and resembles seeing in a dark room. Of the superficial sense organs and the four defiling objects, this one chases after Dharmas.

"Ananda, in this way the six organs occur, because that bright enlightenment has brightness added to it, thus they lose their essence and adhere to falseness and create light.

"Therefore, apart from darkness and light there is no substance to seeing for you now; apart from movement and stillness, there, basically, is no disposition of hearing; without penetration and obstruction, the nature of smelling does not arise; in the absence of variety and blandness, tasting does not occur; lacking separation and union, the sensation of contact is fundamentally no-existent; without extinction and production, knowing is put to rest.

"You need only not follow the twelve conditioned appearances of movement and stillness, union and separation, blandness and variety, penetration and obstruction, production and extinction, and brightness and darkness.

"Accordingly, extract one organ from adhesion, free it, and subdue it at its inner core. Once subdued, it will return to inherent truth and radiate its innate brilliance. When that brilliance shines forth, the remaining five adhesions will be freed to accomplish total liberation.

"Do not follow the knowing and seeing that arise from the objects before you. True brightness does not comply with the sense organs. Yet, lodged at the organs is the revelation of the brightness that permits the mutual functioning of the six organs.

"Ananda, don’t you know that now in this assembly there is Aniruddha, who is blind and yet can see; the Dragon, Upananda, who is deaf and yet can hear; the spirit of the Ganges River, who has no nose and yet smells fragrance; Gavempati, who has an unusual tongue and yet senses flavor; and the spirit, Shunyata, who has no body and yet is aware of contact? In the light of the Thus Come One, this spirit is illumined temporarily as an ethereal essence without any substance. In the same way, there is also Mahakashyapa in this assembly, dwelling in the Samadhi of extinction, having obtained the stillness of a Sound-hearer. He has long since extinguished the mind-organ, and yet he has a perfectly clear knowledge, which is not due to the mental process of thinking.

"Then, Ananda, after all your organs are completely freed, you will glow with an inner light. All the ephemeral, defiling objects and the material world will thereupon change their appearance like ice, which is melted by hot liquid. In response to your mind, they will transform and become the knowledge and awareness, which is unsurpassed enlightenment.

"Ananda, it is like an ordinary person who has confined seeing to his eyes. If you suddenly have him close his eyes, he will see darkness before him. The six organs and his head and feet will be enveloped in total darkness. If the person traces the shape of external things with his hands, then even though he cannot see, he will recognize someone’s head and feet if he feels them. This knowledge and awareness are the same way.

"If light is the condition requisite for seeing, then darkness brings the absence of seeing. But to perceive without light means that no dark manifestation can obscure the seeing.

"Once the organs and objects are eradicated, how can the enlightened brightness not become perfect and wonderful?"

Ananda said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, as the Buddha has said, ‘the resolve for enlightenment on the cause-ground which seeks the eternal must be in mutual accord with the ground of fruition.’

"World Honored One, the ground of fruition is Bodhi; Nirvana; True Suchness; the Buddha-nature; the Amala-consciousness; the Empty Treasury of the Thus Come One; the Great, Perfect Mirror-wisdom. But although it is called by these seven names, it is pure and perfect, its substance is durable, like royal Vajra, everlasting and indestructible.

If the seeing and hearing are apart from light and darkness, movement and stillness, and penetration and obstruction and are ultimately devoid of substance, they are then like thoughts apart from sense-objects: they do not exist at all.

"How can what is ultimately destroyed be a cause by which one cultivates in the hope of obtaining the fruition of the Thus Come One’s sevenfold permanent abode?

"World Honored One, when it is apart from light and darkness, the seeing is ultimately empty, just as when there is no sense-objects, the essence of thought is extinguished.

"I go back and forth in circles, minutely searching, and basically there is no such thing as my mind or its objects. Just what should be used to seek the unsurpassed enlightenment?

"The Thus Come One previously said it was a tranquil essence, perfect and eternal. His present contradiction defies belief and is a resort to idle theorizing. How can the Thus Come One’s words be true and actual?

"I only hope the Buddha will let fall his great compassion and will instruct us who do not understand and who are holding on tightly."

The Buddha told Ananda, "You study and learn much, but you have not yet extinguished outflows. In your mind, you know only the causes of being upside down. But when the true inversion manifests, you really cannot recognize it yet.

"Lest your sincerity and faith remain insufficient, I will try to make use of an ordinary happening to dispel your doubts.

Then the Thus Come One instructed Rahula to strike the bell once, and he asked Ananda, "Did you hear that?"

Ananda and the members of the great assembly all said, "We heard it."

The bell ceased to sound, and the Buddha again asked, "Do you hear it now?"

Ananda and the members of the great assembly all said, "We do not hear it."

Then Rahula struck the bell once again. The Buddha again asked, "Do you hear it now?"

Ananda and the great assembly again said, "We hear it."

The Buddha asked Ananda, "What do you hear and what do you not hear?"

Ananda and the members of the great assembly all said to the Buddha, "When the bell is rung, we hear it. Once the sound of the bell ceases, so that even its echo fades away, we do not hear it."

The Thus Come One again instructed Rahula to strike the bell, and he asked Ananda, "Is there sound now?"

Ananda and the members of the great assembly all said, "There is a sound."

After a short time the sound ceased, and the Buddha again asked, "It there a sound now?"

Ananda and the great assembly answered, "There is no sound."

After a moment, Rahula again struck the bell, and the Buddha again asked, "Is there sound now?"

Ananda and the great assembly said together, "There is sound."

The Buddha asked Ananda, "What is meant by ‘sound,’ and what is meant by ‘no sound?’"

Ananda and the great assembly told the Buddha, "When the bell is struck there is sound. Once the sound ceases and even the echo fades away, there is said to be no sound."

The Buddha said to Ananda and the great assembly, "Why are you inconsistent in what you say?"

The great assembly and Ananda then asked the Buddha, "In what way have we been inconsistent?"

The Buddha said, "When I asked you if it was your hearing, you said it was your hearing. Then, when I asked you if it was sound, you said it was sound. I cannot ascertain from your answers if it is hearing or if it is sound. How can you not say this is inconsistent?"

"Ananda, when the sound is gone without an echo, you say there is no hearing. If there were really no hearing, the hearing-nature would be extinguished. It would be just like dead wood. If then the bell were sounded again, how would you know?

"What you know to be there or not there is the defiling object of sound, but could the hearing-nature be there or not be there depending on your perception of its being there or not? If the hearing could really not be there, what would perceive that is was not?

"And so, Ananda, the sounds that you hear are what are subject to production and extinction, not your hearing. The arising and cessation of sounds cause your hearing-nature to be as if there or not there.

"You are so upside-down that you mistake sound for hearing. No wonder you are so confused that you take what is everlasting for what is annihilated ultimately, you cannot say that there is no hearing-nature apart from movement and stillness and from obstruction and penetration.

"Consider a person who falls into a deep sleep while napping on his bed. While he is asleep, someone in his household starts beating clothes or pounding rice. In his dream, the person hears the sound of beating and pounding and takes it for something else, perhaps for the striking of a drum or the ringing of a bell. In the dream he wonders why the bell sounds like stone or wood.

"Suddenly he awakens and immediately recognizes the sound of pounding. He tells the members of his household, ‘I was just having a dream in which I mistook the sound of pounding for the sound of a drum.’

"Ananda, how can this person in the dream-state remember stillness and motion, opening and closing, and penetrability and obstruction? Yet, although he is physically asleep, his hearing-nature is not drowsy.

"Even when your body is gone and your light and life move on, how could this nature leave you?

"But because living beings, from time without beginning, have pursued forms and sounds and have followed their thoughts as they turn and flow, they still are not enlightened to the purity, wonder, and permanence of their nature.

"They do not accord with what is eternal, but chase after things which are subject to production and extinction. Because of this they are born again and again and become mixed with defilement as they flow and turn.

"But if they reject production and extinction and uphold true permanence, an everlasting light will appear, and with that, the sense-organs, defiling objects, and consciousnesses will disappear.

"The appearance of thought becomes defilement; the emotions of the consciousness become filth. If you stay far away from these two, then your Dharma-eye will accordingly become pure and bright. How could you fail to accomplish unsurpassed knowledge and enlightenment?"

Ananda said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, the Thus Come One has explained the two meanings, yet, as I now contemplate people in the world, I believe that if they try to untie a knot and cannot find its center, they will never get the knot undone.

"World Honored One, I and all the other Sound-hearers in the great assembly who are not beyond study are the same way. From time without beginning we have been accompanied in birth and death by ignorance. We have obtained these good roots of erudition and are said to have left the home-life, yet in fact we act like someone with a recurrent fever.

"I only hope that you, the greatly compassionate one, will take pity on us. We are sinking and drowning so that to this very day we do not know how our bodies and minds are in knots or how to go about untying them. Your explanation will also enable future living beings who are in suffering and difficulty to avoid the turning wheel and not fall into the three realms of existence."

After saying this, he and the entire great assembly made full prostrations. He wept profusely, and with sincere anticipation awaited the unsurpassed instruction of the Buddha, the Thus Come One.

Then the World Honored One took pity on Ananda and on those in the assembly with something left to study, as well as on living beings of the future, in order to help them transcend the world and become eyes for the future.

He rubbed the crown of Ananda’s head with his Jambunada purple-golden bright hand. Instantaneously, all the Buddhalands in the ten directions quaked in six ways.

Thus Come Ones as numerous as fine motes of dust, each dwelling in his respective world, emitted a precious light from the crown of his head.

At one and the same time, their light went from their own countries to the Jeta Grove and anointed the crown of the Thus Come One’s head. All in that great assembly obtained what they had never had before.

Then Ananda and everyone in the great assembly heard the Thus Come Ones as numerous as fine motes of dust throughout the ten directions speak to Ananda with different mouths but in a single voice.

"Good indeed, Ananda! You wish to recognize your innate ignorance that causes you to turn on the wheel. The origin of the knot of birth and death is simply your six sense organs and nothing else.

"You also want to understand unsurpassed Bodhi, so that you can quickly realize bliss, liberation, tranquility, and wonderful permanence. It, too, is your six sense organs and nothing else."

"Ananda heard these sounds of Dharma, but he did not yet understand in his mind. Bowing his head, he said to the Buddha, "How can that causes me to revolve in the cycle of birth and death and what enables me to gain bliss and wonderful permanence be the six sense organs in both cases and nothing else?"

The Buddha said to Ananda, "The sense organs and the objects are of the same source. The bonds and the release are not two. The nature of the consciousnesses is empty and false; it is like strange flowers in space.

"Ananda, sense-awareness arises because of the sense objects: the appearance of objects exists because of the sense organs. The appearance and the perception, both devoid of a nature, support each other like intertwining reeds.

"Therefore, you now base your knowledge on awareness and perception; but that is fundamental ignorance. The absence of a view regarding awareness and perception is Nirvana—the true purity of no outflows. How could there by anything else in the midst of it?"

Then the World Honored One, wishing to restate this meaning, spoke verses, saying:

"In the true nature, conditioned things are empty.
They spring from causes, as illusions do.
Things unconditioned neither rise nor cease.
Unreal they are, like flowers in space.
To speak of the false is to reveal the true.
But both the false and the true are false themselves.
If there is neither truth nor untruth,
How can there be perceiver and perceived?
Between them the two in fact have no nature.
Thus they are likened to entwining reeds.
The knots and their release have a common cause.
The sages’ and ordinary people’s paths are not two.
Regard the nature of the intertwined.
Emptiness, existence both are naught.
Dark confusion is simply ignorance;
Bringing it to light is liberation.
The knots must be untied successively.
When the six are released, even the one ceases to be.
Select an organ preferred for perfect penetration;
Enter the flow and realize proper enlightenment.
Extremely subtle, the Adana consciousness
Makes patterns of habit that flow on in torrents.
Fearing you will confuse the truth with what is not,
I rarely tell you of all this.
With your own mind, you grasp at your own mind.
What is not illusory turns into illusion.
If you don’t grasp, there is no non-illusion.
If even non-illusion does not arise,
How can illusory Dharmas be established?
This is called the Wonderful Lotus Flower,
The regal Vajra Gem of Enlightenment.
In this Samapatti that is likened to illusion
Transcend all study instantly.
This Abhidharma, incomparable
Is the single pathway through Nirvana’s gate,
Taken by Bhagavans in all the ten directions."

When Ananda and the great assembly heard the unsurpassed, compassionate instruction of the Buddha, the Thus Come One, this harmonious and brilliant Geya verse with its clear and penetrating wonderful principles, their hearts and eyes were opened, and they exclaimed that Dharma such as this had never been before.