Passing Through Five Barriers and Enlightening Six Generals to Gain Bodhi【serials 5】
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 Sixth Barrier: The Non-Sentient Being is Also Sentient Being
The so-called "passing through five barriers" is indeed "enlightening five generals". The barriers are those of confusion and inversion, and the general is the general who is to gain Bodhi. Having passed through these five barriers (one barrier of birth and death actually)and enlightened these five generals (one general of Bodhi actually), you will be on the path of true cultivation, guiding all of your motivation and thoughts with "Three Treasuries of One Mind". On the cause of upcoming cultivation, you won't be misled and will go straight to the other shore of Nirvana. With the title of "The Non-Sentient Being is also the Sentient Being", which has been explained above though, will be discussed again owing to its sensitiveness.
The core of the whole Buddhadharma is that everything is a manifestation of one thought of mine. For the sake of educating all beings, Buddha had no other choice but to pide one mind into the sentient being and non-sentient being in accord with our habits. People in general would think non-sentient beings are neither alive nor perceptive, yet it is quite a different picture in the Shurangama Sutra.
In the Shurangama Sutra, there is a kind of owl who would hold a clod of dirt in their arms, and another kind of bird called Puo-jing who would hold the fruit of a poisonous tree in their arms chanting "Like me, like me…" At last, the clod of dirt and the fruit turn from the non-sentient being into the sentient being and become the offspring of that bird. Let's take a look at the original text of the Shurangama Sutra:Volume Seven : As the dirt owl, which hatches its young from clods of dirt, and the Puo-jing Bird, which incubates a poisonous fruit to create its young. In each case, the young thereupon eat the parents, their kinds abound in such forms.
When there's a solar or lunar eclipse, in the space where the light passes, those beings like mud and soils, trees and flowers will absorb the essential energy and get special blessings from the essence of sun and moon, and a large number of non-sentient beings transform into sentient beings in that moment to become immortals and ghosts and anything you can expect. The highest stage of outer path's meditation with great effort can break through the space-time of eighty thousand great kalpas (A great kalpa is at least billions of years),where he is able to observe how mud and tiles, trees and flowers transform into celestial beings, humans, ghosts and immortals or vice versa. Yet he knows only about how it happens instead of why, namely, he has no idea about where they come from. As a result, Nature worship, like Earth worship, and Zoroastrianism came into being.
Some schools in Taiwan did such an experiment, they picked some orchids and pided them into two groups. To the first group, the teacher and students kept blessing it with auspicious words: "Oh, my orchid, you are so beautiful, you are my prince charming! I don't know how to love you more, you look so nice, you are my sweetheart, oh, you are so good!" To the other group they kept attacking it with insolent and insulting words: "You ugly monster brings ill luck, why don't you die? You are the thorn in my flesh, I hate you! Get out!" They acted so real as if those words were from the bottom of their hearts. A week later, the blessed orchids in the first group still looked very fresh in bright color while the other group slanderously cursed were rotten, withered and stinky. Therefore, doesn't the non-sentient being have consciousness? Some people did similar experiment with steamed buns, and the result is the same as mentioned above.
Sometimes while visiting a friend, if a member of this family gets sick, don't you feel a chill? It is because the ceiling and floor, tables and chairs…frown and groan; if it is a happy family, aren't you feel easy and comfortable? It is because the ceiling and floor, tables and chairs…everything in the house seems laughing and joking, joyful and cheerful. We all have these experiences, right?
The fellow practitioners who have attended the Buddhist death ritual know that the dead, whose facial expression was painful and whose body was stiff at the beginning, will possess a softer body and even smiling face after the group chanting. Doesn't this prove that mud and tiles are also sentient beings? Is the deceased an exception who had a painful facial expression for lack of Buddhist death ritual? It was simply that the former said, "Ah, I'm so comfortable and happy, thank you"; while the latter complained like "Alas! I am terribly suffering! You guys cry all day long, I haven't died yet!" Right? This explains why.
·The Essence of the Perfect Teaching
Once you have passed through the six barriers above, you will become an "enlightened Bodhisattva" in the moment. I did an investigation last year when there were over 230 people here, less than half of today's. There were about 200 people raised their hands to show their enlightenment. Today we will still vote by raising hands. If you believe that you have been enlightened and made achievement, please raise your hand! Now is the solemn moment of self certification (452 attendees, 434 hand raisers). Okay, there are 18 fellows left that are not yet sure about their rebirth, next we will quote from sutras to help everyone acquire a better understanding. It's maybe a bit difficult for those who don't have basic ideas about dharma, because quite a number of names and concepts will be involved. But the principle is very simple. As long as you understand the content above, to comprehend the following will be as easy as splitting a bamboo.
Please open the Shurangama Sutra: Volume Four: Bodhi and Nirvana are still so far away, it's not something that can be gained by your diligent cultivation through countless kalpas. Though you can hold in memory the twelve pisions of the sutras spoken by the Buddhas of the ten directions those pure and wonderful principles are as many as the sands of the River Ganges, but it only aids your idle theorizing. What does it mean? In the third chapter Ananda understands four subjects (namely, the five skandhas, the six entrances, the twelve places and the eighteen realms: Five skandhas are form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness; six entrances are six roots of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind; twelve places are six roots plus six dusts including form, sound, scent, taste, touch and dharma; eighteen realms are six roots, six dusts plus the six realms of eye consciousness, ear consciousness, nose consciousness, tongue consciousness, body consciousness and mind consciousness)and the Seven Great Elements (earth, water, fire, wind, emptiness, the seeing awareness and consciousness) are all "The wonderful truth, the original nature of the Treasury of the Tathagata". Thus "I needn't pass through aeons till the dharma body is gained."
Though Ananda's deluded thoughts have been eradicated, subtle confusion is still there. So Buddha told Ananda, the unsurpassed Bodhi and Parinibbana are not what you can achieve through hard practice and certification for immeasurablekalpas, because you are still attached to some idle theories of causes, conditions and spontaneity. Even you are able to recite, memorize, believe and hold the Twelve Divisions of the Sutras (the twelve genres of Dharma: Prose, verse, predictions, interjections, Dharma spoken without request, causes and conditions, analogies, stories of disciples' past lives, the Buddha's past lives, universalities, previously non-existent teachings and commentarial literature) taught by all Buddhas, it merely increased your property of casual remarks.
Then what is not casual remarks? Continue with the quote above: Therefore, Ananda, your ability to keep in mind the Thus Come's wonderful secret teachings of aeon after aeon is not as good as a single day of no-outflow cultivation. As we all know, Ananda and Shakyamuni took Bodhisattva vow at the place of King of Emptiness Buddha on the same day of the same month of the same year, but Sakyamuni had been Buddha forincalculable hundreds, thousands, myriads, and billions of aeons, and as many as 8,000 times when manifesting as the Buddha in Saha Land alone. The manifestation in other innumerable Buddha-realms were way more than this number; while Ananda in that period was merely a first stage Arhat. Having learned earnestly innumerable Dharma-gates in his every life, he has unobstructed eloquence in speech, and not only could he recite but also accept and hold what he learned. He stood out for his erudition among Buddha's disciples, but it is just useless bubble reputation, he became involved in an unfortunateencounter with Matangi's daughter, which almost ruined his precept substance. Hence, Not as good as a single day of no-outflow cultivation: Penance and courageous efforts for limitless kalpas is not as good as a single day of no-outflows cultivation.
What exactly is the way of no-outflows? The Shurangama Sutra make it very clear, in volume six Bodhisattva Manjusri said: I bow to the Treasury of the Tathagata, it is inconceivable with no outflows. May beings in the future be empowered so that they will have no doubts about this Dharma-gate, this is the most accessible one. An appropriate teaching for Ananda, and for those immersed in the final age. They should cultivate this root of hearing, a perfect penetration that surpasses all others. The true mind is Suchness.
I bow to the Treasury of the Tathagata, it is inconceivable with no outflows: To understand and believe the Treasury of the Tathagata within one thought is to "practice karma with no outflows". Only the Treasury of the Tathagata is the most perfect wisdom of no outflows, and the moment you are enlightened, you will put an end to the birth and death and attain liberation. Hence, comparing to the expedient means, the cultivation of the Perfect Teaching is a huge difference in fruition and time; the former can be countless kalpas while the latter is possible in one day!
May beings of the future be empowered so that they will have no doubts about this Dharma-gate: Manjushri asked Buddha to bless future beings so that they will cultivate the Perfect Dharma-gate of the root of hearing, and enter the Perfect Dharma-gate without any misgivings.
This is the most accessible one: Only the Dharma-gate of the Treasury of the Tathagata is the most convenient, the easiest way to achieve, how convenient is it? It only takes a dharma teacher a couple of sentences, several minutes, one hour or several hours to make it clear, and the listener will open to wisdom in the moment. Why accessible? Once you get it, you will be able to achieve it. You are certified as an Arhat right in the moment or even Bodhisattva of the Perfect Teaching, and even Bodhisattva of The Tenth Grounds or Equal Enlightenment.
It is an appropriate teaching for Ananda and for those who immersed in the final age: From Ananda to the beings in the final age are all would-be students. Manjusri didn't say to empower only those great Bodhisattvas or those who have sharp faculties in the future, he didn't. He meant instead all inverted beings in the Final Age, especially those practitioners with dull faculties and initial resolve. This verse reflected the will of Buddha, who mentioned neither Proper Dharma Age nor Semblance Dharma Age, but Dharma Ending Age. It is because that Dharma Ending Age is far too remote from the Age of Buddha's Nirvana, and it is easy for those practitioners to get confused and think upside down without awareness.
They should cultivate this root of hearing to gain a perfect penetration of enlightenment that surpasses all other:The Dharma-gate of the Tathagata's Treasury is perfectly fused, complete and penetrating which surpasses all the other Dharma-gates. In the Shurangama Sutra, the twenty-five sages each discuss their perfect penetration (Each of them had chosen one way from Eighteen Realms of Roots, Dusts and Consciousness and the Seven Great Elements to attain perfect penetration), however, the degree of difficulty and time to attain is different, so the Buddha let the Bodhisattva Manjusri choose a Dharma-gate that is most suitable for the beings here to cultivate. What Manjusri chose at last was Avalokitesvara's Dharma-gate of attaining enlightenment by the root of ear—the Dharma-gate that is the first of all and the easiest to cultivate, the fastest to achieve and the only fundamental Dharma-gate among all the other countless Dharma-gates. The Lotus Sutra also stated, if one can bring forth faith and understanding in the Tathagata's Treasury in one thought, the merit and virtue he gets is immeasurable times than that of cultivating infinite immeasurable Dharma-gates in immeasurable eons. We should use our wisdom to choose.
The true mind is Suchness: The true mind is the truth talking about Suchness, and there is no doubt about it. The Lotus Sutra·Chapter 2·Expedient Devices says: Only One Vehicle is the ultimate truth, while the others are not; In the ten directions of Universe, the One Vehicle is the ultimate truth. There is no second vehicle, let alone a third; The World-Honored One has been teaching Buddha dharma for such a long time, it's time to tell the truth. All of these are classic quotes and everyone should know. Let's look at the Lotus Sutra·Chapter 4·Belief and Understanding: World Honored One, because of the three kinds of suffering, we have suffered much torment in the midst of births and deaths. Deluded and ignorant, we clung to petty dharmas. Today, the World Honored One has caused us to think about getting rid of the dung of frivolous discussion of the Dharma. Aren't the petty dharmas so-called the previous seven kinds of expedient means in the Eight Great Sequences before the Perfect Teaching?
The first 41 years of Buddha's teachings are a gradual guidance. After meditating under a Bodhi tree and attaining perfect enlightenment, Buddha first delivered the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Mahayana sutra for The Distinctive Teaching and Sudden Teaching which were mostly accepted by those great Dharmakaya Bodhisattva. However it is just idle curiosity for ordinary people. In order to talk in a "down to earth" way, Buddha began to teach sutras of the Tripitaka teaching, the Hinayana and middle vehicle, whose representative works are four volume Agama Sutra, etc. Until Shravaka disciples gradually understood the meaning of no self and certified "Arhat's Nirvana," Buddha began to impart the Vaipulyas Sutras and the Prajnaparamita Sutras etc., the Shared Teaching of Mahayana Buddhism. In the Lotus Sutra·Chapter 2·Expedient Devices, the Lotus Sutra·Chapter 4·Belief and Understanding and the Lotus Sutra·Chapter 7·The Analogy of the Transformed City, Buddha all mentioned that the Arhat, the Pratyekabuddha and "Arhat's Nirvana" of expedient Mahayana teaching were only the "illusory city" set up by Buddha, which is not true and ultimate, and very difficult to cultivate. Even someone is able to attain this kind of Nirvana, if he doesn't believe the Lotus Sutra, all he gets is nonsense. The only purpose of every Buddha's manifestation to this world is to teach us the Lotus Sutra, which are verses that repeated eight times in the Lotus Sutra: Speak this Great Vehicle Sutra by the name of The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower, a Dharma for instructing Bodhisattvas of whom the Buddhas are protective and mindful.
The Lotus Sutra and the Shurangama Sutra are masterpieces of the Perfect Teaching. All dharmas return to the origin, including human, universe and all beings, evil sects and dishonest practices, greater dharma and lesser dharma, sentient beings and non-sentient beings. It emphasizes three Treasuries of the Tathagata, neither emptiness nor existence, and both emptiness and existence. It underlines that all things are "manifested" instead of "produced" by the true mind. It is manifestation and transformation that interpenetrate all things in universe. All things are "Manifestation of the Mind, Transformation of the Consciousness".
"Mind" is the true mind. We also call it "A" in Amitabha and "Thus" in Thus have I heard, it is formless, but it is the original body of its inherent nature. "Consciousness" is the false mind, and we also name "mi" "have". The ever-changing nature of one thought results in the wonderful use of wisdom. The "Transformation" and "Manifestation" form all things. We also call it "ta" "I", which interpenetrates this colorful world with twisted roots and gnarled branches of all things.
Since it is "transformation", there must be countless, since it is "manifestation", there must be one; therefore, one is all, all is one, because of which, no one is not the other and there is neither a subject nor an object, for everyone is both a subject and an object. Are there any differences between father and son? We cannot say there are or there aren't.
This is "Three Treasuries of One Mind". The Perfect Teaching is also called Ultimate Truth Teaching, or complete Mahayana, which is "The one dharma seal of ultimate reality". The True Mind, which is called "True" or "Thus" or "True Thus" in theDiamondSutra and the Avatamsaka Sutra, is named in the Shurangama Sutra "the Absolute Ultimate True Thusness". We need to make it clear! Is "the Absolute Ultimate True Thusness "the same as "True Thus"? "the Absolute Ultimate True Thusness" means One True Mind interpenetrated by Three Treasuries, which is called the supreme meanings dharma in theDiamondSutra. What does the Shurangama Sutra define it? The true supreme meanings among supreme meanings. This was asserted firmly in the Lotus Sutra by using ten analogies in The Former Deeds of Medicine King Bodhisattva, The Buddha declares that the Lotus Sutra is "the king of sutras". Please read it carefully. (By: Master Yin Guang)