Passing Through Five Barriers and Enlightening Six Generals to Gain Bodhi【serials 3】
Master Yin Guang
Whether There's Afterlife?
The First Barrier: The False Compound of Four Great Elements
The Second Barrier: Neither Identical nor Different
The Third Barrier: Quantity and Quality in accord with
the Mind's Capacity
The Forth Barrier: Manifestation of the Mind,
Transformation of the Consciousness
The Fifth Barrier: Three Treasuries of One Mind
The Sixth Barrier: The Non Sentient Being Is the
The Essence of the Perfect Teaching
Sudden Enlightenment of Bodhi
·The Forth Barrier: Manifestation of the Mind, Transformation of the Consciousness
In the previous three barriers we have known that all things are "the false compound of the Four Great Elements", and all things are "Neither Identical nor Different" because of "Quantity and Quality in accord with the Mind's Capacity", hence a world full of all things came into being. Therefore, the further discussion in the fourth barrier is where these Four Great Elements of earth, water, fire, wind come from.
If you don't figure it out, you came to the human world for nothing. To use the word "nothing" is still a comfort, because you are not here for nothing. If you came for nothing, you have done neither good nor bad, so it can be called "Nothing", then you will still earn a human body in your next life. Frankly speaking, you came for evil or wrong unless you are fully aware of the truth. Why? Your next life will be so horrible that you are unable to be a human! I just can’t bear to say this. Why?
A Buddhist master said, is there anyone who doesn't watch TV nowadays? Almost none. It is all about fighting, killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, false speech on TV from day to night, isn't it? The audience always expect the good one to kill the bad guy earlier. They won't be relieved until the bad guy is punched to death—the cultivation of our killing desires! Who is the good guy? And who is the bad guy? As we mentioned above, good and bad are the manifestations of one thought of mine, they are one thing. A heart to kill, to resent is sufficient enough for people to fall down to the world of hungry ghosts, even the hell, see? Having no TV to watch and living a very poor life, the ancient people killed animals and ate meat though, limited in amount, they had no access to any cultivation of a heart to kill.
Now let's get back to the point, as far back as twenty-five hundred years ago, ancient Greek Philosophy had already begun exploring the basic causes of the world. The famous Greek mathematician and philosopher, Pythagoras (580B.C.-500B.C.), the first who proposed the four-element theory. They thought that substances were composed of four elements: earth, water, air and fire, one of which was made up of four basic nature in pairs—being cold, hot, wet and dry. For example, water is the combination of cold and wet, fire is the combination of hot and dry. Later Aristotle(384-322B.C.) also strongly supported the four-element theory. They called it "soil, water, fire, air", "soil" equals the Great Earth, "water" the Great Water, "fire" the Great Fire, and "air" the Great Wind, which indicates these philosophers had already known that the whole world including the celestial beings, humans, ghosts, animals, mud, tiles and all objects are nothing but the combination of the Four Great Elements. Anyone who takes one more breakthrough step to make clear the origin and development of these four great elements will be an enlightened Bodhisattva.
According to the precious words of the Buddha in the Shurangama Sutra, the Four Great Elements are "Manifestation of the Mind, Transformation of the Consciousness". Now we will verify this by a psychological experiment. First, it begins with "the Great Earth".
(We recommend you to watch the video or do this experiment yourself to have a better idea of the following content).
Let's put our palms together according to the line on wrists and check if two hands have the same length, it is nothing serious, just for the comparison purpose of experimental result. Now, all of you focus on your right hand and forget about left hand, place your right hand anywhere you feel relaxed, on your thigh or desk, and do not join your palm. Half close your eyes, don't look around or look at me, and be relaxed. After you feel your right hand is all relaxed, tell it to grow longer than the left hand, and give no limits of how long it should grow.
Okay, now everyone listen to me. First you should know how to relax, take a deep breath then exhale, keep this feeling. Tell your right hand to grow longer, relax your right shoulder...and forget your left hand, focus on the right hand only. Relax your right shoulder, right arm, right elbow...relax...place your right hand there like a leather bag or a balloon, you can feel your hand swelling, and the vein of your palm and back beating, just relax...during the relaxation, order your right hand to grow longer and longer than your left hand, it is growing, to 2cm, 3cm, 5cm, the longer the better, relax...from right shoulder, right arm, right elbow, palm, forearm, relax...just like the wheat seedling in the farmland, which is growing up in pace with the spring breezes and drizzles and they grow so wild and fast, relax...grow...grow, with each "grow" out of my mouth, our hands are following this power to grow longer and longer...
(About 5 minutes later)
Okay, let's compare if our right hand is longer than our left hand (About 95% participants raised their hands confirming that their right hand is longer). Now let's tell your hand to go back to normal. Otherwise, if it keeps growing, you will be able to stretch your hands all the way to the bus station to buy a ticket from home...
Now let's think about this: Before the fingers grew this long (say 1cm), does the longer part exist in your heart? If it doesn't, you can never make it happen. If there are no seeds in the field, no matter how you tell them to relax and grow, will the crops grow? They won't. Though in your heart, does it have any form? No, it is formless but it does exist. It brings us to the truth of "the Tathagata's Treasury". Hence all visible and tangible things like wind, cloud, rain, fog, celestial beings, humans, ghosts, animals, are just the manifestations of the formless "true mind". There is no exception.
Let me ask you, the grown 1cm finger which is in your heart and formless, isn't it "emptiness"? Because we cannot see it with our eyes so we say it is of "emptiness ", is it empty still if we see with our wisdom? It is "non-emptiness", namely, "true emptiness", right? It is able to manifest anything, any time. So "emptiness" is actually "non-emptiness", therefore, is "emptiness" "emptiness non-emptiness" in the moment? When it has grown into 1cm longer, the "non-emptiness" here in the moment, is the original emptiness, right? Hence isn't "non-emptiness" "emptiness" in the moment? This is called "non-emptiness emptiness", the same as "emptiness non-emptiness". Therefore, these three Treasuries of the Tathagata are one thing in the moment, right? That is "Three Treasuries of One Mind". And it is the essence of the whole dharma.
Annotation: Venerable Master Yuan Ying said: There are three aspects of reality called Three Treasuries of the Tathagata:1.The formless reality:It is, without any difference in all of the false appearances, only one true equal reality, namely, the Tathagata's Treasury of Emptiness. It empties the false and polluted forms of all kinds, but doesn't mean nothingness, it is the unchangeable body of the nature of the treasury. 2.The non-formless reality: It means no formless, only manifestation of all forms under conditions and causes. This is called the Tathagata's Treasury of Non-emptiness. It is sufficient for all things in ten realms, but not formless. This is the ingenious use of treasury nature according to situation. 3.The formless and non-formless reality: If you say there is nothing, nothing left behind; if you say there is something, not even a grain of dust established. Namely, the Tathagata's Treasury of Emptiness Non-emptiness. Emptiness does not obstruct wonderful existence and wonderful existence does not obstruct emptiness. It is indeed a full picture of both the body and the use of treasury nature.
The reason why an ordinary person is ordinary lies in the fact that he is attached to those visible and tangible things and doesn't know to keep an eye on our true nature within; while the reason why a sage is a sage is that he lets go of the attachment in visible and tangible things, and returns to the unrestrained original nature, so he obtains liberation. We should see through the reality that this flesh body is not real, everything is a manifestation of the true mind. As long as I return to "the Great Brightness Treasury of Inherent Nature", I will be free, all of which depends on our own will.
Let's think about another question. An arrow from a bow can cover a distance of 100 steps. Which arrow is more powerful, the one within two or ten steps, or the one within 100 steps? Isn't it true that the closer you are, the stronger the lethality is? The power of the human mind on this planet has virtually been a spent arrow. Even ghosts are able to punch Mt. Sumeru into pieces, they can also fly and ride on a cloud, which is our original ability. Heavily burdened under annoyance and bad habits, trapped by fame and profit, we take the body too seriously to free our minds, therefore, the incredible power in our spirit and mind cannot play a full role. Hence, the mind power has already exhausted.
Annotation:Mt. Sumeru, 3,36 million miles in length, 3,36 million in width, and 10,08 million miles in height, is located in the middle of the solar system. Halfway up the mountain is the land of the Four Lokapalas. At the foot of the mountain, there are four continents in the east, south, west and north, and the earth is located in the Jambudvipa.
The first and second realm of Heaven is called Ground Residing Heaven, the first of which is located in the middle of the mountain. There is a sun and a moon orbiting Mt. Sumeru, with countless stars all over the empty space. The second realm of Heaven is located on the top of the mountain. Beyond the third realm of the Heaven is called the Heaven of Space, which shares a different land with us. Being able to illuminate themselves, the inhabitants above the third realm of Heaven need no sun or moon and are basically detached to the human world. The foot of the mountain is surrounded by the first Sea of Fragrant Waters, around the Sea of Fragrant Waters is the first Golden Mountain, each Sea of Fragrant Waters is surrounded by a Golden Mountain, this is called seven seas and seven mountains. Outside the seventh Golden Mountain is the eighth sea, called the Saltwater Seas, outside the sea is Iron Ring Mountains. A sun, a moon with stars full of the space consist a solar system. The earth belongs to the Jambudvipa, just an island in the Saltwater Seas between the seventh Golden Mountain and the Great Iron Ring Mountains. The earth is covered by 30% of land and 70% of sea.
Troubled with fewer afflictions and bad habits, celestial beings don't need three minutes to relax...grow longer...as soon as they think about "change", they can go anywhere beyond the highest Heavens in one thought, get it? They can make themselves infinitely big or infinitely small. They can also turn themselves into countless manifested bodies. If celestial beings want to build a satellite or a rocket, do they need scientists to invent, engineers to design, workers to produce? They only need to think about it, and there it is!
Try to make it clear what is called "Manifestation of the Mind, Transformation of the Consciousness". And let me tell you, these are our own nature, what we need is to look it through, let it go to cultivate a pure mind without any cultivation, and these merits will appear spontaneously. The Buddha clearly explains in the Shurangama Sutra how mountains and rivers, celestial beings, humans, ghosts and animals are manifested by the true mind. The manifestation of every Buddha is to help us to get rid of superstition and liberate our mind. However, such a truth is misunderstood as superstition by the world, isn't it sad?! Truth denies any difference in parties, races and inpiduals. Right after the birth of Buddha, with one hand pointing to the sky and the other pointing to the ground, he said: "In heavens and earth, only I am singularly supreme." "In heavens and earth" stands for all things, this "I" is the true self, the only reality of all things. Moreover, there is no dharma out of mind, there's no mind out of dharma. Once you know what it means, it is the same as knowing the mind and seeing the nature.
Through the experiment just now we have figured out the origin of "the Great Earth". Now let's see where "the Great Water, the Great Fire, the Great Wind" come from? The rest will be quite easy if the first is settled.
Now let's talk about "the Great Water". "I'm sweating," isn't it water? For the same reason, isn't it a manifestation of the mind? So before the showing up of the sweat, where is it? In the mind. Does it have the appearance of water? Absolutely not. Please illumine with the light of wisdom.
Let's look at "the Great Fire" next, the normal body temperature of human is 36.5℃, when somebody gets mad and angry, isn't it true that his face will turn red and his eyes almost bleed? At that moment his body temperature will definitely rise. Where are the increased degrees from? Are they from the flesh and skin on the face? If so, why it isn't there when you aren't irritated? And why it subsides when you calm down? Thus we can tell that the fire is also a manifestation of our mind.
Since the mind manifests "the Great Earth, the Great Water, the Great Fire", this process of changing is a kind of "movement", right? Since wind will blow once we use our minds to think, isn't movement the Great Wind?
Then why is the temperature in a densely populated city higher than that in deserted mountains and ocean? Because the former is densely populated, right? Is the water in our bodies and the water in the ocean ever separated for a single moment? Isn't the water in the ocean manifested by our mind? (A probe deep into the Shurangama Sutra:Volume Four:Explication of 168 characters is required to get a thorough understanding. Due to the limitation of the length we are unable to go into details here. All the natural phenomena are manifestations of the mind.) Do you understand the connection between the human body and the whole universe? Designed most precisely and completely, every single person is a cosmic instrument.
Therefore, the natural disasters like famines, floods, earthquakes, etc., and birth, aging, sickness, sufferings, are from nothing but the reactions or inspirations with the changing mind of all sentient beings. Earthquakes result from nothing but the uneven mind of all beings. Now the moral degeneration of the world is getting worse day by day, all beings in different places are becoming more and more arrogant, insubordinate and aggressive. According to Buddhist scriptures, peace of mind means peace of the world. Both droughts and floods are caused by greed of all beings. Nowadays, floods are becoming more and more serious in economically developed areas because the people of these places are hungry for fame and wealth. How greedy they are! As long as our minds change, the world will move and change accordingly. Well, now let's get back and take a look at blessings, okay?
For example: The distance from Yang Zhou Railway Station to the lecture hall here is 10km, can we recall Yang Zhou Railway Station in one thought? Yes, if it takes one thought 1 second to reach the station, will it take one thought 100 seconds to cover the 1000-km-long distance to Beijing, which is 100 times further than that of former distance? No, it won't. How about two seconds? Nope, it's the same one second. It takes my thought the same amount of time to reach different distances, so the speed of the thought from here to Beijing is 1000km/s, right? (It's just an analogy. Don't take it too seriously). Is it faster than the former one (10km/s)? The faster the speed, the greater the power, the brighter it will be.
Strangely, however, we haven't felt the power of this one thought, why? Great sound cannot get heard, nor can torrent be detected! According to the Buddhist scriptures, the speed of our seventh consciousness is 12.8 trillion times arising and ceasing per second, one arising and one ceasing is one arising and one ceasing at a time. That is to say, this mind can think 12.8 trillion times in one second and it is still an expedient expression. Actually there are countless times. Does it take your thought 2 seconds to reach the sun? One thought right now is exactly the same as the one to the galaxies which are 100 million or 10 thousand trillion times the distance from earth to the sun, right?
Having listened the Lotus Sutra for a period of time, many of the people who have got deadly disease or are terribly ill recovered without any pills or injections. It's because their mind capacity become larger. This sudden change of their mental strength is a kind of "qualitative" change. This is a super "chemotherapy". Once you know that everything is "me", your worldview will be changed fundamentally, you won't be obsessed with this insignificant "me" anymore—it's a change of quality; thus you are suddenly enlightened! With your heart full of brightness, you are able to illuminate the whole realms and universe and realize that everything is you, the true body of Buddha, which makes it a super "physiotherapy". And then you will be far too excited that everything in you, from your flesh, bones to internal organs, even to blood and cells will all boil and jump, this is indeed a super "electrotherapy"—the change of quantity.
The karma we have from many of past lives are all decided by our motives. "Manifestation of the Mind, Transformation of the Consciousness."—we can become anything that we think—the Buddha when we think of the Buddha, and Bodhisattva the moment we think of Bodhisattva. Only with the precondition that you do know what Buddha and Bodhisattva are. Once our mental capacity is extended, the mind speed will be faster, the mind power will be tremendously strong, the light of the mind will also be brighter, which will benefit our health and longevity. And the more important and fundamental benefit is that we will achieve the great liberation of our future lives! Isn't it amazing!
Passing though the four barriers above means you have reached what is called "understanding the mind and seeing the nature". However, our teaching today is not yet complete up to now. Let's take a closer look at "Yuan Dun" (Sudden and Perfect) Teachings—"Yuan" means perfect interpenetration, it doesn't break or establish anything; "Dun" means sudden enlightenment without any cultivation or certification, you achieve in the moment—it's not only that the mind manifests everything, but also everything reveals the mind. There's no former, no latter, no subject, no object. Former and latter, up and down, subject and object, true or false, emptiness or existence, action or inaction, they are one thing in the moment, the absolute One, not relative One, which is the only true mind with the name of the Absolute Ultimate True Thusness. The Shurangama Sutra says "One is true, all is true."
The "mind" in "Manifestation of the Mind, Transformation of the Consciousness" above-mentioned means Thusness, true mind, emptiness, the Tathagata's Treasury of Emptiness, Buddha nature, self-nature, original mind, the nature of the Tathagata's Treasury, all these terms are one meaning that is used in a relative way, which are the same as what the sixth patriarch Huineng said:"Nothing is there originally." The enlightenment of Dhyana is just "to see the emptiness by emptying all things". But according to the Perfect Teaching, form is emptiness, emptiness is form, because there's no true or false, true and false is one Thusness, which is different from what is in Dhyana, so we call it "the Absolute Ultimate True Thusness". This is to see "Three Treasuries of One Mind", namely, the Absolute True Thusness!—the very core when the dharma is clarified completely. (By: Master Yin Guang)