Chapter 7

Thứ Sáu, 22 Tháng Tư 201610:38 SA(Xem: 749)
Chapter 7
SHURANGAMA SUTRA
Chapter 7

"Ananda, each of these categories of beings is replete with all twelve kinds of upside-down states, just as pressing on one’s eye produces a variety of flower-like images. 7:1

”With the inversion of wonderful perfection, the truly pure, bright mind becomes glutted with false and random thoughts. 7:2

”Now, as you cultivate towards certification to the samadhi of the Buddha, you will go through three gradual stages in order to get rid of the basic cause of these random thoughts. 7:2

”They work in just the way that poisonous honey is removed from a pure vessel that is washed with hot water mixed with the ashes of incense. Afterwards it can be used to store sweet dew. 7:2

”What are the three gradual stages? The first is to correct one’s habits by getting rid of the aiding causes; the second is to truly cultivate to cut out the very essence of karmic offenses; the third is to increase one’s vigor to prevent the manifestation of karma. 7:3

”What are aiding causes? Ananda, the twelve categories of living beings in this world are not complete in themselves, but depend on four kinds of eating; that is, eating by portions, eating by contact, eating by thought, and eating by consciousness. Therefore, the Buddha said that all living beings must eat to live. 7:4

”Ananda, all living beings can live if they eat what is sweet, and they will die if they take poison. Beings who seek samadhi should refrain from eating five pungent plants of this world. 7:5

”If these five are eaten cooked, they increase one’s sexual desire; if they are eaten raw, they increase one’s anger. 7:5

”Therefore, even if people in this world who eat pungent plants can expound the twelve divisions of the sutra canon, the gods and immortals of the ten directions will stay far away from them because they smell so bad. However, after they eat these things the hungry ghosts will hover around and kiss their lips. Being always in the presence of ghosts, their blessings and virtue dissolve as the days go by, and they experience no lasting benefit. 7:6

”People who eat pungent plants and also cultivate samadhi will not be protected by the Bodhisattvas, gods, immortals, or good spirits of the ten directions; therefore, the tremendously powerful demon kings, able to do as they please, will appear in the body of a Buddha and speak dharma for them, denouncing the prohibitive precepts and praising lust, rage, and delusion. 7:8

”When their lives end, these people will join the retinue of demon kings. When they use up their blessings as demons, they will fall into the Unintermittent Hell. 7:11

”Ananda, those who cultivate for Bodhi should never eat the five pungent plants. This is the first of the gradual stages of cultivation. 7:13

”What is the essence of karmic offenses? Ananda, beings who want to enter samadhi must first firmly uphold the pure precepts. 7:14

”They must sever thoughts of lust, not partake of wine or meat, and eat cooked rather than raw foods. Ananda, if cultivators do not sever lust and killing, it will be impossible for them to transcend the triple realm. 7:15

”You should look upon lustful desire as upon a poisonous snake or a resentful bandit. First hold to the Sound-Hearer’s four or eight parajikas in order to control your physical activity; then cultivate the Bodhisattva’s pure regulations in order to control your mental activity. 7:16

”When the prohibitive precepts are successfully upheld, one will not create karma that leads to trading places in rebirth and to killing one another in this world. If one does not steal, one will not be indebted, and one will not have to pay back past debts in this world. 7:17

”If people who are pure in this way cultivate samadhi, they will naturally be able to contemplate the extent of the worlds of the ten directions with the physical body given them by their parents; without need of the heavenly eye, they will see the Buddhas speaking dharma and receive in person the sagely instruction. Obtaining spiritual penetrations, they will roam through the ten directions, gain clarity regarding past lives, and will not encounter difficulties and dangers. 7:19

”This is the second of the gradual stages of cultivation. 7:20

”What is the manifestation of karma? Ananda, such people as these, who are pure and who uphold the prohibitive precepts, do not have thoughts of greed and lust, and so they do not become dissipated in the pursuit of the six external defiling sense-objects. 7:21

”Because they do not pursue them, they turn around to their own source. Without the conditions of the defiling objects, there is nothing for the sense-organs to match themselves with, and so they reverse their flow, become one unit, and no longer function in six ways. 7:21

”All the lands of the ten directions are as brilliantly clear and pure as moonlight reflected in crystal. 7:22

”Their bodies and minds are blissful as they experience the equality of wonderful perfection, and they attain great peace. 7:22

”The secret perfection and pure wonder of all the Thus Come Ones appear before them. 7:23

”These people then obtain patience with the non-production of dharmas. They thereupon gradually cultivate according to their practices, until they reside securely in the sagely positions. 7:23

”This is the third of the gradual stages of cultivation. 7:24

”Ananda, these good people’s emotional love and desire are withered and dry, the sense-organs and sense objects no longer match, and so the residual habits do not continue to arise. 7:25

”By means of their complete wisdom, they understand that attachments of the mind are false. The bright perfection of their wisdom-nature shines throughout the ten directions, and this initial wisdom is called the ‘stage of dry wisdom.’ 7:25

”Although the habits of desire are initially dried up, they still have not merged with the Thus Come One’s flow of Dharma-water. 7:27

”Then, with this mind centered on the middle, they enter the flow where wonderful perfection reveals itself. From the truth of that wonderful perfection there repeatedly arise wonders of truth. They always dwell in the wonder of faith, until all false thinking is completely eliminated and the middle way is totally true. This is called the Mind that Resides in Faith. 7:28

”When true faith is clearly understood, then perfect penetration is total, and the three aspects of skandhas, places, and realms are no longer obstructions. Then all their habits throughout innumerable kalpas of past and future, during which they abandon bodies and receive bodies, appear to them now in the present moment. These good people can remember everything and forget nothing. This is called the Mind that Resides in Mindfulness. 7:30

”When the wonderful perfection is completely true, that essential truth brings about a transformation. They go beyond the beginningless habits to reach the one essential brightness. Relying solely on this essential brightness, they progress toward true purity. This is called the Mind of Vigor. 7:31

”The essence of the mind reveals itself as total wisdom; this is called the Mind that Resides in Wisdom. 7:32

”As the wisdom and brightness are held steadfast, a profound stillness pervades. The stage at which the majesty of this stillness becomes constant and solid is called the Mind that Resides in Samadhi. 7:32

”The light of samadhi emits brightness. When the essence of the brightness enters deeply within, they only advance and never retreat. This is called the Mind of Irreversibility. 7:35

”When the progress of their minds is secure, and they hold their minds and protect them without loss, they connect with the life-breath of the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions. This is called the Mind that Protects the Dharma. 7:36

”Protecting their light of enlightenment, they can use this wonderful force to return to the Buddha’s light of compassion and to come back to stand firm with the Buddha. It is like two mirrors that are set facing one another, so that between them the exquisite images interreflect and enter into one another layer upon layer. This is called the Mind of Transference. 7:36

”With this secret interplay of light, they obtain the Buddha’s eternal solidity and unsurpassed wonderful purity. Dwelling in the unconditioned, they know no loss or dissipation. This is called the Mind that Resides in Precepts. 7:37

”Abiding in the precepts with self-mastery, they can roam throughout the ten directions, going anywhere they wish. This is called the Mind that Resides in Vows. 7:38

”Ananda, these good people use honest expedients to bring forth those ten minds. When the essence of these minds becomes dazzling, and the ten functions interconnect, then a single mind is perfectly accomplished. This is called the Dwellings of Bringing Forth the Resolve. 7:39

”From within this mind light comes forth like pure crystal, which reveals pure gold inside. Treading upon the previous wonderful mind as a ground is called the Dwelling of the Ground of Regulation. 7:40

”When the mind-ground connects with wisdom, both become bright and comprehensive. Traversing the ten directions then without obstruction is called the Dwelling of Cultivation. 7:40

”When their conduct is the same as the Buddhas’ and they take on the demeanor of a Buddha, then, like the intermediate skandha body searching for a father and mother, they penetrate the darkness with a hidden trust and enter the lineage of the Thus Come One. This is called the Dwelling of Noble Birth. 7:41

”Since they ride in the womb of the Way and will themselves become enlightened heirs, their human features are in no way deficient. This is called the Dwelling of Endowment with Skill-in-Means. 7:43

”With a physical appearance like that of a Buddha and a mind that is the same as well, they are said to be Dwelling in the Rectification of the Mind. 7:43

”United in body and mind, they easily grow and mature day by day. This is called the Dwelling of Irreversibility. 7:43

”With the efficacious appearance of ten bodies, which are simultaneously perfected, they are said to be at the Dwelling of a Pure Youth. 7:44

”Completely developed, they leave the womb and become sons of the Buddha. This is called the Dwelling of a Dharma Prince. 7:44

”Reaching the fullness of adulthood, they are like the chosen prince to whom the great king of a country turns over the affairs of state. When this Kshatriya king’s eldest son is ceremoniously anointed on the crown of the head, he has reached what is called the Dwelling of Anointing the Crown of the Head. 7:45

”Ananda, after these good men have become sons of the Buddha, they are replete with the limitlessly many wonderful virtues of the Thus Come Ones, and they comply and accord with beings throughout the ten directions. This is called the Conduct of Happiness. 7:46

”Being well able to accommodate all living beings is called the Conduct of Benefiting. 7:48

”Enlightening oneself and enlightening others without putting forth any resistance is called the Conduct of Non-Opposition. 7:49

”To undergo birth in various forms continuously to the bounds of the future, equally throughout the three periods of time and pervading the ten directions, is called the Conduct of Endlessness. 7:51

”When everything is equally in accord, one never makes mistakes among the various Dharma doors. This is called the Conduct of Freedom from Deluded Confusion. 7:51

”Then within what is identical, myriad differences appear; the characteristics of every difference are seen, one and all, in identity. This is called the Conduct of Wholesome Manifestation. 7:52

”This continues until it includes all the dust motes that fill up empty space throughout the ten directions. In each and every mote of dust there appear the worlds of the ten directions. And yet the appearance of dust motes and the appearance of worlds do not interfere with one another. This is called the Conduct of Non-Attachment. 7:52

”Everything that appears before one is the foremost paramita. This is called the Conduct of Veneration. 7:53

”With such perfect fusion, one can model one-self after all the Buddhas of the ten directions. This is called the Conduct of Wholesome Dharma. 7:54

”To then be pure and without outflows in each and every way is the primary truth, which is unconditioned, the essence of the nature. This is called the Conduct of True Actuality. 7:54


"Ananda, when these good men replete with spiritual penetrations, have done the Buddhas’ work, are totally pure and absolutely true, and remain distant from obstacles and calamities, then they take living beings across while casting aside the appearance of taking them across. They transform the unconditioned mind and go toward the path of Nirvana. This is called the Transference of Saving and Protecting Living Beings, while apart from the Appearance of Living Beings. 7:55

”To destroy what should be destroyed and to remain far removed from what should be left behind is called the Transference of Indestructibility. 7:57

”Fundamental enlightenment is profound indeed, an enlightenment equal to the Buddhas’ enlightenment. This is called the Transference of Sameness with All Buddhas. 7:58

”When absolute truth is discovered, one’s level is the same as the level of all Buddhas. This is called the Transference of Reaching All Places. 7:58

”Worlds and Thus Come Ones include one another without any obstruction. This is called the Transference of a Treasury of Inexhaustible Merit and Virtue. 7:58

”Since they are identical with the Buddha-ground, they create causes which are pure at each and every level. Brilliance emanates from them as they rely on these causes, and they go straight down the path to Nirvana. This is called the Transference of Following in Accord with the Identity of All Good Roots. 7:60

”When the true roots are set down, then all living beings in the ten directions are my own nature. Not a single being is lost, as this nature is successfully perfected. This is called the Transference or Contemplating All Living Beings Equally. 7:61

”All dharmas are themselves apart from all appearances, and yet there is no attachment either to their existence or to separation from them. This is called the Transference of the Appearance of True Suchness. 7:62

”That which is thus is truly obtained, and there is no obstruction throughout the ten directions. This is called the Transference of Unfettered Liberation. 7:63

”When the virtue of the nature is perfectly accomplished, the boundaries of the dharma realm are destroyed. This is called the Transference of the Limitlessness of the Dharma Realm. 7:63

”Ananda, when these good men have completely purified these forty-one minds, they further accomplish four kinds of wonderfully perfect additional practices. 7:64

”When the enlightenment of a Buddha is just about to become a function of his own mind, it is on the verge of emerging but has not yet emerged, and so it can be compared to the point just before wood ignites when it is drilled to produce fire. Therefore it is called the Level of Heat. 7:65

”He continues on with his mind, treading where the Buddhas tread, as if relying and yet not. It is as if he were climbing a lofty mountain, to the point where his body is in space but there remains a slight obstruction beneath him. Therefore it is called the Level of the Summit. 7:65

”When the mind and the Buddha are two and yet the same, he has well obtained the Middle Way. He is like someone who endures something when it seems impossible to either hold it in or let it out. Therefore it is called the Level of Patience. 7:66

”When numbers are destroyed, there are no such designations as the Middle Way or as confusion and enlightenment; this is called the Level of Being First in the World. 7:67

”Ananda, these good men have successfully penetrated through to Great Bodhi. Their enlightenment is entirely like the Thus Come One’s. They have fathomed the state of Buddhahood. This is called the Ground of Happiness. 7:68

”The differences enter into identity; the identity is destroyed. This is called the Ground of Leaving Filth. 7:69

”At the point of ultimate purity, brightness comes forth. This is called the Ground of Emitting Light. 7:70

”When the brightness becomes ultimate, enlightenment is full. This is called the Ground of Blazing Wisdom. 7:70

”No identity or difference can be attained. This is called the Ground of Invincibility. 7:70

”With unconditioned True Suchness, the nature is spotless, and brightness is revealed. This is called the Ground of Manifestation. 7:71

”Coming to the farthest limits of True Suchness is called the Ground of Traveling Far. 7:72

”The single mind of True Suchness is called the Ground of Immovability. 7:72

”Bringing forth the function of True Suchness is called the Ground of Good Wisdom. 7:73

”Ananda, all Bodhisattvas at this point and beyond have reached the effortless way in their cultivation. Their merit and virtue are perfected, and so all the previous positions are also called the Level of Cultivation. 7:73

”Then with a wonderful cloud of compassionate protection one covers the Sea of Nirvana. This is called the Ground of the Dharma Cloud. 7:74

”The Thus Come Ones counter the flow as the Bodhisattvas thus reach this point through compliance with practice. Their enlightenments intermingle; it is therefore called Equal Enlightenment. 7:75

”Ananda, the enlightenment which encompasses the mind of dry wisdom through to the culmination of Equal Enlightenment is the initial attainment of the Vajra Mind. This constitutes the level of Initial Dry Wisdom. 7:76

”Thus there are totals of twelve single and grouped levels. At last they reach Wonderful Enlightenment and accomplish the Unsurpassed Way. 7:77

”At all these levels they use vajra contemplation of the ten profound analogies for the ways in which things are like an illusion. In Shamatha they use the Thus Come Ones’ Vipashyana to cultivate them purely, to be certified to them, and to gradually enter them more and more deeply. 7:78

”Ananda, because they put to use the three means of advancement throughout all of them, they are well able to accomplish the fifty-five stages of the True Bodhi Path. 7:80

”This manner of contemplation is called ‘proper contemplation.’ Contemplation other than this is called ‘deviant contemplation.’” 7:80

Then Dharma Prince Manjushri arose from his seat, and in the midst of the assembly he bowed at the Buddha’s feet and said to the Buddha, “What is the name of this sutra and how should we and all living beings uphold it?” 7:82

The Buddha told Manjushri, “This sutra is called ‘The Summit, Syi Dan Dwo Bwo Da La, and Unsurpassed Precious Seal of the Seal of the Great Buddha, and the Pure, Clear, Ocean-Like Eye of the Thus Comes Ones of the Ten Directions.” 7:83

”It is also called ‘The Cause for Saving a Relative’: to rescue Ananda and the Bhikshuni Nature, who is now in this assembly, so that they obtain the Bodhi mind and enter the sea of pervasive knowledge. 7:83

”It is also called ‘The Tathagata’s Secret Cause of Cultivation, His Certification to the Complete Meaning.’ 7:84

”It is also called ‘The Great Pervasive Method, the Wonderful Lotus Flower King, the Dharani Mantra which is the Mother Of All Buddhas Of the Ten Directions.’ 7:84

”It is also called ‘The Foremost Shurangama, Sections and Phrases for Anointing the Crown of the Head, and All Bodhisattvas’ Myriad Practices.’ 7:85

”Thus should you respectfully uphold it.” 7:86

After this was said, Ananda and all in the great assembly immediately received the Thus Come One’s instruction in the secret seal, the meaning of Bwo Da La, and heard these names for the complete meaning of this sutra. 7:86

They were suddenly enlightened to dhyana, advanced in their cultivation to the sagely position, and increased their understanding of the wonderful principle. Their minds were focused and serene. 7:87

Ananda cut off and cast aside six sections of subtle afflictions in his cultivation of the mind in the Triple Realm. 7:87

He arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, placed his palms together respectfully, and said to the Buddha, “The Great, Awesome and Virtuous World Honored One, whose compassionate sound knows no limit, has well instructed living beings as to their extremely subtle submersion in delusion and has caused me on this day to become blissful in body and mind and to obtain enormous benefit. 7:88

”World Honored One, if the wonderful brightness, of this truly pure and wonderful mind is basically all-pervading, then everything on the great earth, including the grasses and trees, the wriggling worms and tiny forms of life are originally True Suchness and are themselves the Thus Come One - the Buddha’s true body. 7:89

”Since the Buddha’s body is true and real, how can there also be hells, hungry ghosts, animals, asuras, humans, gods, and other paths of rebirth? World Honored One, do these paths exist naturally of themselves, or are they created by living beings’ falseness and habits? 7:90

”World Honored One, the bhikshuni Precious Lotus Fragrance, for example, received the Bodhisattva Precepts and then indulged in lustful desire, saying that sexual acts did not involve killing or stealing and that they carried no karmic retribution. But after saying this, her female organs caught fire, and then the raging blaze spread throughout all her joints as she fell into the Unintermittent Hell alive. 7:90

”And there were the Mighty King Crystal and the Bhikshu Good Stars. Crystal exterminated the Gautama clan and Good Stars lied and said that all dharmas are empty. They both sank into the Unintermittent Hell alive. 7:93

”Are these hells fixed places, or do they arise spontaneously? Is it that each individual undergoes whatever kind of karma he or she creates? I only hope the Buddha will be compassionate and instruct those of us who do not understand this. May he cause all beings who uphold the precepts to positively and respectfully receive this determination upon hearing it and be careful and clear, free from any violations.” 7:96

The Buddha said to Ananda, “What a good question! You want to keep all living beings from entering into deviant views. You should listen attentively now and I will explain this matter for you. 7:97

”Actually, Ananda, all living beings are fundamentally true and pure, but because of their false views they give rise to the falseness of habits, which are divided into an internal aspect and an external aspect. 7:97

”Ananda, the internal aspect refers to what occurs inside living beings. Because of love and defilement, they produce the falseness of emotions. When these emotions accumulate without cease, they can create the fluids of love. 7:98

”That is why living beings’ mouths water when they think about delicious food. When they think about a deceased person, either with fondness or with anger, tears will flow from their eyes. When they are greedy for wealth and jewels, a current of lust will course through their hearts. When confronted with a smooth and supple body, their minds become attached to lustful conduct and from both male and female organs will come spontaneous secretions. 7:98

”Ananda, although the kinds of love differ, their flow and oppression is the same. With this moisture, one cannot ascend, but will naturally fall. This is called the ‘internal aspect.’ 7:99

”Ananda, the external aspect refers to what happens outside living beings. Because of longing and yearning, they invent the fallacy of discursive thought. When this reasoning accumulates without cease, it can create ascending vapors. 7:100

”That is why when living beings uphold the prohibitive precepts in their minds, their bodies will be buoyant and feel light and clear. When they uphold mantra seals in their minds, they will command a heroic and resolute perspective. When they have the desire in their minds to be born in the heavens, in their dreams they will have thoughts of flying and ascending. When they cherish the Buddhalands in their minds, then the sagely realms will appear in a shimmering vision, and they will serve the good and wise advisors with little thought for their own lives. 7:100

”Ananda, although the thought varies, the lightness and uplifting is the same. With flight and ascension, one will not sink, but will naturally become transcendent. This is called the ‘external aspect.’ 7:102


"Ananda, all beings in the world are caught up in the continuity of birth and death. Birth happens because of their habitual tendencies; death comes through flow and change. When they are on the verge of dying, but when the final warmth has not left their bodies, all the good and evil they have done in that life suddenly and simultaneously manifests. They experience the intermingling of two habits: an abhorrence of death and an attraction to life. 7:102

”Endowed solely with thought, they will fly and can certainly be reborn in the heavens above. If they fly from the heart, and if they have blessings and wisdom, as well as pure vows, then their hearts will spontaneously open and they will see the Buddhas of the ten directions and all their pure lands and they will be reborn in whichever one they wish. 7:104

”When they have more thought than emotion, they are not quite as ethereal and so they become flying immortals, great mighty ghost kings, space traveling-yakshas, or earth-traveling rakshasas who roam the form heavens, going where they please without obstruction. 7:107

”Among them may be some with good vows and good hearts who protect and uphold my Dharma. Perhaps they protect the pure precepts by following and supporting those who hold precepts. Perhaps they protect spiritual mantras by following and supporting those who hold mantras. Perhaps they protect Chan samadhi by guarding and comforting those who are patient with dharmas. These beings are close at hand beneath the Thus Come One’s seat. 7:109

”When their thought and emotion are of equal proportions, they cannot fly and they do not fall, but are born in the human realm. If their thought is bright, their wits are keen. If their emotion is dark, their wits are dull. 7:110

”When they have more emotion than thought, they enter the animal realm. With heavier emotion, they become fur-bearing beasts; with lighter emotion, they become winged creatures. 7:112

”When they have seventy percent emotion and thirty percent thought, they fall beneath the wheel of water into the regions of fire, where they come into contact with steam which is itself like a terrible blaze. In the bodies of hungry ghosts, they are constantly burned by that fire. Even water harms them, and they have nothing to eat or drink for hundreds of thousands of kalpas. 7:112

”When they have ninety percent emotion and ten percent thought, they fall through the wheel of fire until their bodies enter wind and fire, in a region where the two interact. With lighter emotion they are born in the intermittent hell; with heavier emotion they are born in the Unintermittent Hell. 7:114

”When they are possessed entirely of emotion, they sink into the Avichi Hell. If the emotion has gone into their hearts so that they slander the Great Vehicle, defame the Buddha’s pure precepts, speak crazy and false dharma, are greedy for offerings from the faithful, recklessly accept the respect of others, commit the five rebellious acts and the ten major offenses, then they are further reborn in Avichi Hells throughout the ten directions. 7:114

”Although one receives one’s due according to the evil karma one has created, a group can undergo an identical lot, and there are definite places where it occurs. 7:117

”Ananda, it all comes from the karmic responses which living beings themselves invoke. They create ten habitual causes and undergo six interacting retributions. 7:118

”What are the ten causes? Ananda, the first consists of habits of lust and reciprocal interactions which give rise to mutual rubbing. When this rubbing continues without cease, it produces a tremendous raging fire within which movement occurs, just as warmth arises between a person’s hands when he rubs them together. 7:118

”Because these two habits set each other ablaze, there come into being the iron bed, the copper pillar, and other such experiences. 7:119

”Therefore the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon the practice of lust and name it the ‘fire of desire.’ Bodhisattvas avoid desire as they would a fiery pit. 7:119

”The second consists of habits of greed and intermingled scheming which give rise to a suction. When this suction becomes dominant and incessant, it produces intense cold and solid ice where freezing occurs, just as a sensation of cold is experienced when a person draws in a blast of wind through his mouth. 7:120

”Because these two habits clash together, there come into being chattering, whimpering and shuddering; blue, red, and white lotuses; cold and ice; and other such experiences. 7:120

”Therefore the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon excessive seeking and name it ‘the water of greed’. Bodhisattvas avoid greed as they would a sea of pestilence. 7:120

”The third consists of habits of arrogance and resulting friction which give rise to mutual intimidation. When it accelerates without cease, it produces torrents and rapids which create restless waves of water, just as water is produced when a person continuously works his tongue in an effort to taste flavors. 7:121

”Because these two habits incite one another, there come into being the River of Blood, the River of Ashes, the Burning Sand, the Poisonous Sea, the Molten Copper which is poured over one or which must be swallowed, and other such experiences. 7:121

”Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon self-satisfaction and name it ‘drinking the water of stupidity.’ Bodhisattvas avoid arrogance as they would a huge deluge. 7:122

”The fourth consists of habits of hatred which give rise to mutual defiance. When this defiance binds one without cease, one’s heart becomes so hot that it catches fire, and the molten vapor turns into metal. 7:122

”From it is produced the Mountain of Knives, the Iron Cudgel, the Tree of Swords, the Wheel of Swords, Axes and Halberds, and Spears and Saws. It is like the intent to kill surging forth when a person meets a mortal enemy, so that he is roused to action. 7:122

”Because these two habits clash with one another, there come into being castration and hacking, beheading and mutilation, filing and sticking, flogging and beating, and other such experiences. 7:123

”Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon hatred and name it ‘sharp knives and swords.’ Bodhisattvas avoid hatred as they would their own execution. 7:123 .

”The fifth consists of habits of deception and misleading involvements which give rise to mutual guile. When such maneuvering continues without cease, it produces the ropes and wood of a gallows for hanging, like the grass and trees that grow when water saturates a field. 7:124

”Because the two habits perpetuate one another, there come into being handcuffs and fetters, cangues and locks, whips and clubs, sticks and cudgels, and other such experiences. 7:124

”Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon deception and name it a ‘treacherous crook.’ Bodhisattvas fear deception as they would a savage wolf. 7:125

”The sixth consists of habits of lying and combined fraudulence which give rise to mutual cheating. When false accusations continue without cease, one becomes adept at corruption. 7:125

”From this there come into being Dust and Dirt, Excrement and Urine, filth, stench, and impurities. It is like the obscuring of everyone’s vision when the dust is stirred up by the wind. 7:125

”Because these two habits augment one another, there come into being Sinking and Drowning, Tossing and Pitching, Flying and Falling, Floating and Submerging, and other such experiences. 7:126

”Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon lying and name it ‘robbery and murder.’ Bodhisattvas regard lying as they would treading on a venomous snake. 7:126

”The seventh consists of habits of animosity and interconnected enmity which give rise to grievances. From this there come into being Flying Rocks, Thrown Stones, Caskets and Closets, Cages on Wheels, Jars and Containers, and Bags and Rods. It is like someone harming others secretly - he harbors, cherishes, and nurtures evil. 7:127

”Because these two habits swallow one another up, there come into being Tossing and Pitching, Seizing and Apprehending, Striking and Shooting, Casting Away and Pinching, and other such experiences. 7:127

”Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon animosity and name it a ‘disobedient and harmful ghost.’[ Bodhisattvas regard animosity as they would drinking poisonous wine. 7:128

”The eighth consists of habits of views and the admixture of understandings, such as satkayadrishti, views, moral prohibitions, grasping, and deviant insight into various kinds of karma, which bring about opposition and produce mutual antagonism. From them there come into being court officials, deputies, certifiers, and registrars. They are like people traveling on a road, who meet each other coming and going. 7:128

”Because these two habits influence one another, there come into being official inquiries, baited questions, examinations, interrogations, public investigations, exposure, the youths who record good and evil, carrying the record books of the offenders’ arguments and rationalizations, and other such experiences. 7:130

”Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon evil views and name them the ‘pit of views.’ Bodhisattvas regard having false and one-sided views as they would standing on the edge of a steep ravine full of poison. 7:131

”The ninth consists of the habits of injustice and their interconnected support of one another; they result in instigating false charges and libeling. From them are produced crushing between mountains, crushing between rocks, stone rollers, stone grinders, plowing, and pulverizing. It is like a slanderous villain who engages in persecuting good people unjustly. 7:131

”Because these two habits join ranks, there come into being pressing and pushing, bludgeons and compulsion, squeezing and straining, weighing and measuring, and other such experiences. 7:132

”Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon harmful accusations and name them ‘a treacherous tiger.’ Bodhisattvas regard injustice as they would a bolt of lightning. 7:133

”The tenth consists of the habits of litigation and the mutual disputations which give rise to covering. From them there are produced a look in the mirror and illumination by the lamp. It is like being in direct sunlight: there is no way one can hide one’s shadow. 7:133

”Because these two habits bicker back and forth, there come into being evil companions, the mirror of karma, the fiery pearl, exposure of past karma, inquests, and other such experiences. 7:134

”Therefore, all the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon covering and name it a ‘yin villain.’ Bodhisattvas regard covering as they would having to carry a mountain atop their heads while walking upon the sea. 7:135

”What are the six retributions? Ananda, living beings create karma with their six consciousnesses. The evil retributions they call down upon themselves come from the six sense organs. 7:135

”What are the evil retributions that arise from the six sense organs? The first is the retribution of seeing, which beckons one and leads one to evil ends. The karma of seeing intermingles, so that at the time of death one first sees a raging conflagration which fills the ten directions. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness takes flight, but then falls. Riding on a wisp of smoke, it enters the Unintermittent Hell. 7:136

”There, it is aware of two appearances. One is a perception of brightness in which can be seen all sorts of evil things, and it gives rise to boundless fear. The other is a perception of darkness in which there is total stillness and no sight, and it experiences boundless terror. 7:139

”When the fire that comes from seeing burns the sense of hearing, it becomes cauldrons of boiling water and molten copper. When it burns the breath, it becomes black smoke and purple fumes. When it burns the sense of taste, it becomes scorching hot pellets and molten iron gruel. When it burns the sense of touch, it becomes white-hot embers and glowing coals. When it burns the mind, it becomes stars of fire that shower everywhere and whip up and inflame the entire realm of space. 7:140

”The second is the retribution of hearing, which beckons one and leads one to evil ends. The karma of hearing intermingles, and thus at the time of death one first sees gigantic waves that drown heaven and earth. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness falls into the water and rides the current into the Unintermittent Hell. 7:141

”There, it is aware of two sensations. One is open hearing, in which it hears all sorts of noise and its essential spirit becomes confused. The other is closed hearing, in which there is total stillness and no hearing, and its soul sinks into oblivion. 7:142

”When the waves from hearing flow into the hearing, they become scolding and interrogation. When they flow into the seeing, they become thunder and roaring and evil poisonous vapors. When they flow into the breath, they become rain and fog that is permeated with poisonous organisms that entirely fill up the body. When they flow into the sense of taste, they become pus and blood and every kind of filth. When they flow into the sense of touch, they become animals and ghosts, and excrement and urine. When they flow into the mind, they become lightning and hail which ravage the heart and soul. 7:143

”The third is the retribution of smelling, which beckons one and leads one to evil ends. The karma of smelling intermingles, and thus at the time of death one first sees a poisonous smoke that permeates the atmosphere near and far. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness wells up out of the earth and enters the Unintermittent Hell. 7:144

”There, it is aware of two sensations. One is unobstructed smelling, in which it is thoroughly infused with the evil vapors and its mind becomes distressed. The other is obstructed smelling, in which its breath is cut off and there is no passage, and it lies stifled and suffocating on the ground. 7:145

”When the vapor of smelling invades the breath, it becomes cross-examination and bearing witness. When it invades the seeing, it becomes fire and torches. When it invades the hearing, it becomes sinking and drowning, oceans, and bubbling cauldrons. When it invades the sense of taste, it becomes putrid or rancid foods. When it invades the sense of touch, it becomes ripping apart and beating to a pulp. It also becomes a huge mountain of flesh which has a hundred thousand eyes and which is sucked and fed upon by numberless worms. When it invades the mind, it becomes ashes, pestilent airs, and flying sand and gravel which cut the body to ribbons. 7:146

”The fourth is the retribution of tasting, which beckons one and leads one to evil ends. This karma of tasting intermingles, and thus at the time of death one first sees an iron net ablaze with a raging fire that covers over the entire world. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness passes down through this hanging net, and suspended upside down it enters the Unintermittent Hell. 7:147

”There, it is aware of two sensations. One is a sucking air which congeals into ice so that it freezes the flesh of his body. The other is a spitting blast of air which spews out a raging fire that roasts his bones and marrow to a pulp. 7:148

”When the tasting of flavors passes through the sense of taste, it becomes what must be acknowledged and what must be endured. When it passes through the seeing, it becomes burning metal and stones. When it passes through the hearing, it becomes sharp weapons and knives. When it passes through the sense of smell, it becomes a vast iron cage that encloses the entire land. When it passes through the sense of touch, it becomes bows and arrows, crossbows, and darts. When it passes through the mind, it becomes flying pieces of molten iron that rain down from out of space. 7:149

”The fifth is the retribution of touching, which beckons one and leads one to evil ends. The karma of touching intermingles, and thus at the time of death one first sees huge mountains closing in on one from four sides, leaving no path of escape. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness then sees a vast iron city. Fiery snakes and fiery dogs, wolves, lions, ox-headed jail keepers, and horse-headed rakshasas brandishing spears and lances drive it into the iron city toward the Unintermittent Hell. 7:150

”There, it is aware of two sensations. One is touch that involves coming together, in which mountains come together to squeeze its body until its flesh, bones, and blood are totally dispersed. The other is touch that involves separation, in which knives and swords attack the body, ripping the heart and liver to shreds. 7:151

”When this touching passes through the sensation of touch, it becomes striking, binding, stabbing, and piercing. When it passes through the seeing, it becomes burning and scorching. When it passes through the hearing, it becomes questioning, investigating, court examinations, and interrogation. When it passes through the sense of smell, it becomes enclosures, bags, beating, and binding up. When it passes through the sense of taste, it becomes plowing, pinching, chopping, and severing. When it passes through the mind, it becomes falling, flying, frying, and broiling. 7:151

”The sixth is the retribution of thinking, which beckons one and leads one to evil ends. The karma of thinking intermingles, and thus at the time of death one first sees a foul wind which devastates the land. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness is blown up into space, and then, spiraling downward, it rides that wind straight into the Unintermittent Hell. 7:153

”There, it is aware of two sensations. One is extreme confusion, which causes it to be frantic and to race about ceaselessly. The other is not confusion, but rather an acute awareness which causes it to suffer from endless roasting and burning, the extreme pain of which is difficult to bear. 7:154

”When this deviant thought combines with thinking, it becomes locations and places. When it combines with seeing, it becomes inspection and testimonies. When it combines with hearing, it becomes huge crushing rocks, ice and frost, dirt and fog. When it combines with smelling, it becomes a great fiery car, a fiery boat, and a fiery jail. When it combines with tasting, it becomes loud calling, wailing, and regretful crying. When it combines with touch, it becomes sensations of large and small, where ten thousand births and ten thousands deaths are endured every day, and of lying with one’s face to the ground. 7:154

”Ananda, these are called the ten causes and six retributions of the hells, which are all created by the confusion and falseness of living beings. 7:156

”If living beings create this evil karma simultaneously, they enter the Avichi Hell and endure limitless suffering, passing through limitless kalpas. 7:157

”If each of the six sense organs creates them and if what is done includes each state and each sense organ, then the person will enter the Eight Unintermittent Hells. 7:157

”If the three karmas of body, mouth, and mind commit acts of killing, stealing, and lust, the person will enter the eighteen hells. 7:158

”If the three karmas are not all involved, and there is perhaps just one act of killing and/or of stealing, then the person must enter the Thirty-six Hells. 7:159

”If the sense organ of sight alone commits just one karmic offense, then the person must enter the one hundred and eight hells. 7:159

”Because of this, living beings who do certain things create certain karma, and so in the world they enter collective hells, which arise from false thinking and which originally are not there at all. 7:160


"And then, Ananda, after the living beings who have slandered and destroyed rules and deportment, violated the Bodhisattva precepts, slandered the Buddha’s Nirvana, and created various other kinds of karma, pass through many kalpas of being burned in the inferno, they finally finish paying for their offenses and are reborn as ghosts. 7:161

”If greed for material objects was the original cause that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he takes shape when he encounters material objects, and he is called a strange ghost. 7:162

”If it was greed for lust that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he takes shape when he encounters the wind, and he is called a drought-ghost. 7:163

”If it was greed to lie that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he takes shape when he encounters an animal, and he is called a mei ghost. 7:164

”If it was greed for hatred that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he takes shape when he encounters worms, and he is called a ku poison ghost. 7:165

”If it was greed for animosity that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he takes shape when he encounters degeneration, and he is called a pestilence ghost. 7:166

”If it was greed to be arrogant that made the person commit offenses, then after he has finished paying for his crimes, he takes shape when he encounters gases, and he is called a hungry ghost. 7:166

”If it was greed to be unjust to others that made the person commit offenses, then after he has finished paying for his crimes, he takes shape when he encounters darkness, and he is called a paralysis ghost. 7:168

”If it was greed for views that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he takes shape when he encounters essential energy, and he is called a wang-liang ghost. 7:168

”If it was greed for deception that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he takes shape when he encounters brightness, and he is called a servant ghost. 7:170

”If it was greed to be litigious that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he takes shape when he encounters people, and he is called a messenger ghost. 7:171

”Ananda, such a person’s fall is due to his totally emotional level of functioning. When his karmic fire has burned out, he will rise up to be reborn as a ghost. This is occasioned by his own karma of false thinking. If he awakens to Bodhi, then in the wonderful perfect brightness there isn’t anything at all. 7:173

”Moreover, Ananda, when his karma as a ghost is ended, the problem of emotion as opposed to discursive thought is resolved. At that point he must pay back in kind what he borrowed from others to resolve those grievances. He is born into the body of an animal to repay his debts from past lives. 7:175

”The retribution of the strange ghost of material objects is finished when the object is destroyed and it is reborn in the world, usually as a species of owl. 7:176

”The retribution of the drought ghost of the wind is finished when the wind subsides, and it is reborn in the world, usually as a species of weird creature which gives inauspicious prognostications. 7:176

”The retribution of the mei ghost of an animal is finished when the animal dies, and it is reborn in the world, usually as a species of fox. 7:177

”The retribution of the ku ghost in the form of worms is finished when the ku is exhausted, and it is reborn in the world, usually as a species of venomous creature. 7:177

”The retribution of a pestilence ghost found in degeneration is finished when the degeneration is complete, and it is reborn in the world, usually as a species of tapeworm. 7:178

”The retribution of the ghost which takes shape in gases is finished when the gases are gone, and it is then reborn in the world, usually as a species of eating animal. 7:181

”The retribution of the ghost of prolonged darkness is finished when the darkness ends, and it is then reborn in the world, usually as a species of animal used for clothing or service. 7:181

”The retribution of the ghost which unites with energy is finished when the union dissolves, and it is then reborn in the world, usually as a species of migratory creature. 7:182

”The retribution of the ghost of brightness and intellect is finished when the brightness disappears, and it is then reborn in the world, usually as a species of auspicious creature. 7:182

”The retribution of the ghost that relies on a person is finished when the person dies, and it is then reborn in the world, usually as a species of domestic animal. 7:183

”Ananda, all this is due to the burning out of his karmic fire in payment for his debts from past lives. The rebirth as an animal is also occasioned by his own false and empty karma. If he awakens to Bodhi, then fundamentally none of these false conditions will exist at all. 7:183

”You mentioned Precious Lotus Fragrance, King Crystal, and Bhikshu Good Stars. Evil karma such as theirs was created by them alone. It did not fall down out of the heavens or well up from the earth, nor was it imposed upon them by some person. Their own falseness brought it into being, and so they themselves have to undergo it. In the Bodhi mind, it is empty and false - a cohesion of false thoughts. 7:183

”Moreover, Ananda, if while repaying his past debts by undergoing rebirth as an animal, such a living being pays back more than he owed, he will then be reborn as a human to rectify the excess. 7:185

”If he is a person with strength, blessings, and virtue, then once he is in the human realm, he will not have to lose his human rebirth after what is owed him is restored. But if he lacks blessings, then he will return to the animal realm to continue repaying his debts. 7:185

”Ananda, you should know that once the debt is paid, whether with money, material goods, or manual labor, the process of repayment naturally comes to an end. 7:186

”But if in the process he took the lives of other beings or ate their flesh, then he continues in the same way, passing through kalpas as many as motes of fine dust, taking turns devouring and being slaughtered in a cycle that sends him up and down endlessly. 7:186

”There is no way to put a stop to it, except through Shamatha or through a Buddha’s coming to the world. 7:187

”You should know that when owls and their kind have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are born as people, but among those who are corrupt and obstinate. 7:187

”When creatures that are inauspicious have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are born as people, but among those who are abnormal. 7:188

”When foxes have paid back their debts, they regain their original forms and are born as people, but among those who are simpletons. 7:189

”When creatures of the venomous category have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are born as people, but among those who are hateful. 7:189

”When tapeworms and their like have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are born as people, but among those who are lowly. 7:190

”When the edible types of creatures have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are reborn as people, but among those who are weak. 7:190

”When creatures that are used for clothing or service have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are reborn as people, but among those who do hard labor. 7:191

”When creatures that migrate have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are reborn as people among those who are literate. 7:191

”When auspicious creatures have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are reborn as people among those who are intelligent. 7:192

”When domestic animals have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are reborn as people among those who are well-informed. 7:192

”Ananda, these are all beings that have finished paying back former debts and are born again in the human realm. They are involved in a beginningless scheme of karma and being upside-down in which their lives are spent killing one another and being killed by one another. They do not get to meet the Thus Come One or hear the Proper Dharma. They just abide in the wearisome dust, passing through a repetitive cycle. Such people can truly be called pitiful. 7:192

”Furthermore, Ananda, there are people who do not rely on proper enlightenment to cultivate samadhi, but cultivate in some special way that is based on their false thinking. Holding to the idea of perpetuating their physical bodies, they roam in the mountains and forests in places people do not go and become ten kinds of immortals. 7:194

”Ananda, some living beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong with doses of medicine. When they have perfected this method of ingestion, they are known as earth-traveling immortals. 7:195

”Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through the use of grasses and herbs. When they have perfected this method of taking herbs, they are known as flying immortals. 7:196

”Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through the use of metal and stone. When they have perfected this method of transformation, they are known as roaming immortals. 7:196

”Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through movement and cessation. When they have perfected their breath and essence, they are known as space-traveling immortals. 7:197

”Some beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong by using the flow of saliva. When they have perfected the virtues of this moisture, they are known as heaven-traveling immortals. 7:198

”Some beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong with the essence of sun and moon. When they have perfected the inhalation of this purity, they are known as immortals of penetrating conduct. 7:199

”Some beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through mantras and prohibitions. When they have perfected these spells and dharmas, they are known as immortals with Way-conduct. 7:201

”Some beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through the use of thought-processes. When they have perfected thought and memory, they are known as immortals with illumining conduct. 7:201

”Some beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through intercourse. When they have perfected the response, they are known as immortals with essential conduct. 7:202

”Some beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through transformations and changes. When they have perfected their awakening, they are known as immortals of absolute conduct. 7:203

”Ananda, these are all people who smelt their minds but do not cultivate proper enlightenment. They obtain some special principle of life and can live for thousands or tens of thousands of years. They retire deep into the mountains or onto islands in the sea and cut themselves off from the human realm. However, they are still part of the turning wheel, because they flow and turn according to their false thinking and do not cultivate samadhi. When their reward is finished, they must still return and enter the various destinies. 7:204


"Ananda, there are many people in the world who do not seek what is eternal and who cannot yet renounce the kindness and love they feel for their wives. 7:206

”But they have no interest in deviant sexual activity and so develop a purity and produce light. When their life ends, they draw near the sun and moon and are among those born in the Heaven of the Four Kings. 7:206

”Those whose sexual love for their wives is slight, but who have not yet obtained the entire flavor of dwelling in purity, transcend the light of sun and moon at the end of their lives, and reside at the summit of the human realm. They are among those born in the Trayastrimsha Heaven. 7:208

”Those who become temporarily involved when they meet with desire but who forget about it when it is finished, and who, while in the human realm, are active less and quiet more, abide at the end of their lives in light and emptiness where the illumination of sun and moon does not reach. These beings have their own light, and they are among those born in the Suyama Heaven. 7:210

”Those who are quiet all the time, but who are not yet able to resist when stimulated by contact, ascend at the end of their lives to a subtle and ethereal place; they will not be drawn into the lower realms. The destruction of the realms of humans and gods and the obliteration of kalpas by the three disasters will not reach them, for they are among those born in the Tushita Heaven. 7:211

”Those who are devoid of desire, but who will engage in it for the sake of their partner, even though the flavor of doing so is like the flavor of chewing wax, are born at the end of their lives in a place of transcending transformations. They are among those born in the Heaven of Bliss by Transformation. 7:212

”Those who have no kind of worldly thoughts while doing what worldly people do, who are lucid and beyond such activity while involved in it, are capable at the end of their lives of entirely transcending states where transformations may be present and may be lacking. They are among those born in the Heaven of the Comfort from Others’ Transformations. 7:213

”Ananda, thus it is that although they have transcended the physical in these six heavens, the traces of their minds still become involved. For that they will have to pay in person. These are called the Six Desire Heavens. 7:215

”Ananda, all those in the world who cultivate their minds but do not avail themselves of dhyana and so have no wisdom, can only control their bodies so as to not engage in sexual desire. Whether walking or sitting, or in their thoughts, they are totally devoid of it. Since they do not give rise to defiling love, they do not remain in the realm of desire. These people can, in response to their thought, take on the bodies of Brahma beings. They are among those in the Heaven of the Multitudes of Brahma. 7:216

”In those whose hearts of desire have already been cast aside, the mind apart from desire manifests. They have a fond regard for the rules of discipline and delight in being in accord with them. These people can practice the Brahma virtue at all times, and they are among those in the Heaven of the Ministers of Brahma. 7:217

”Those whose bodies and minds are wonderfully perfect, and whose awesome deportment is not in the least deficient, are pure in the prohibitive precepts and have a thorough understanding of them as well. At all times these people can govern the Brahma multitudes as great Brahma lords, and they are among those in the Great Brahma Heaven. 7:217

”Ananda, those who flow to these three superior levels will not be oppressed by any suffering or affliction. Although they have not developed proper samadhi, their minds are pure to the point that they are not moved by outflows. This is called the First Dhyana. 7:218

”Ananda, those beyond the Brahma heavens gather in and govern the Brahma beings, for their Brahma conduct is perfect and fulfilled. Unmoving and with settled minds, they produce light in profound stillness, and they are among those in the Heaven of Lesser Light. 7:219

”Those whose lights illumine each other in an endless dazzling blaze shine throughout the realms of the ten directions so that everything becomes like crystal. They are among those in the Heaven of Limitless Light. 7:220

”Those who take in and hold the light to perfection accomplish the substance of the teaching. Creating and transforming the purity into endless responses and functions, they are among those in the Light-Sound Heaven. 7:220

”Ananda, those who flow to these three superior levels will not be oppressed by worries or vexations. Although they have not developed proper samadhi, their minds are pure to the point that they have subdued their coarser outflows. This is called the Second Dhyana. 7:221

”Ananda, heavenly beings for whom the perfection of light has become sound and who further open out the sound to disclose its wonder discover a subtler level of practice. They penetrate to the bliss of still extinction and are among those in the Heaven of Lesser Purity. 7:222

”Those in whom the emptiness of purity manifests are led to discover its boundlessness. Their bodies and minds experience light ease, and they accomplish the bliss of still extinction. They are among those in the Heaven of Limitless Purity. 7:223

”Those for whom the world, the body, and the mind are all perfectly pure have accomplished the virtue of purity, and a superior level emerges. They return to the bliss of still extinction, and they are among those in the Heaven of Pervasive Purity. 7:225

”Ananda, those who flow to these three superior levels will be replete with great compliance. Their bodies and minds are at peace, and they obtain limitless bliss. Although they have not obtained proper samadhi, the joy within the tranquility of their minds is total. This is called the Third Dhyana. 7:226

”Moreover, Ananda, heavenly beings whose bodies and minds are not oppressed put an end to the cause of suffering and realize that bliss is not permanent - that sooner or later it will come to an end. Suddenly they simultaneously renounce both thoughts of suffering and thoughts of bliss. Their coarse and heavy thoughts are extinguished, and they give rise to the nature of purity and blessings. They are among those in the heaven of the birth of blessings. 7:228

”Those whose renunciation of these thoughts is in perfect fusion gain a purity of superior understanding. Within these unimpeded blessings they obtain a wonderful compliance that extends to the bounds of the future. They are among those in the Blessed Love Heaven. 7:229

”Ananda, from that heaven there are two ways to go. Those who extend the previous thought into limitless pure light, and who perfect and clarify their blessings and virtue, cultivate and are certified to one of these dwellings. They are among those in the Abundant Fruit Heaven. 7:230

”Those who extend the previous thought into a dislike of both suffering and bliss, so that the intensity of their thought to renounce them continues without cease, will end up by totally renouncing the way. Their bodies and minds will become extinct; their thoughts will become like dead ashes. For five hundred aeons these beings will perpetuate the cause for production and extinction, being unable to discover the nature which is neither produced nor extinguished. During the first half of these aeons they will undergo extinction; during the second half they will experience production. They are among those in the Heaven of No Thought. 7:230

”Ananda, those who flow to these four superior levels will not be moved by any suffering or bliss in any world. Although this is not the unconditioned or the true ground of non-moving, because they still have the thought of obtaining something, their functioning is nonetheless quite advanced. This is called the Fourth Dhyana. 7:232

”Beyond these, Ananda, are the five heavens of no return. For those who have completely cut off the nine categories of habits in the lower realms, neither suffering nor bliss exist, and there is no regression to the lower levels. All whose minds have achieved this renunciation dwell in these heavens together. 7:233

”Ananda, those who have put an end to suffering and bliss and who do not get involved in the contention between such thoughts are among those in the Heaven of No Affliction. 7:233

”Those who isolate their practice, whether in movement or in restraint, investigating the baselessness of that involvement, are among those in the Heaven of No Heat. 7:234

”Those whose vision is wonderfully perfect and clear, view the realms of the ten directions as free of defiling appearances and devoid of all dirt and filth. They are among those in the Heaven of Good View. 7:234

”Those whose subtle vision manifests as all their obstructions are refined away are among those in the Heaven of Good Manifestation. 7:235

”Those who reach the ultimately subtle level come to the end of the nature of form and emptiness and enter into a boundless realm. They are among those in the Heaven of Ultimate Form. 7:235

”Ananda, those in the Four Dhyanas, and even the rulers of the gods at those four levels, can only pay their respects through having heard of the beings in the Heavens of No Return; they cannot know them or see them, just as the coarse people of the world cannot see the places where the Arhats abide in holy Way-places deep in the wild and mountainous areas. 7:236

”Ananda, in these eighteen heavens are those who practice only non-involvement, and have not yet gotten rid of their shapes, as well as those who have reached the level of no return. This is called the Form Realm. 7:237

”Furthermore, Ananda, from this summit of the form realm there are also two roads. Those who are intent upon renunciation discover wisdom. The light of their wisdom becomes perfect and penetrating, so that they can transcend the defiling realms, accomplish Arhatship, and enter the Bodhisattva Vehicle. They are among those called Great Arhats who have turned their minds around. 7:237

”Those who dwell in the thought of renunciation and who succeed in renunciation and rejection, realize that their bodies are an obstacle. If they thereupon obliterate the obstacle and enter into emptiness, they are among those at the Station of Emptiness. 7:238

”For those who have eradicated all obstacles, there is neither obstruction nor extinction. Then there remains only the alaya consciousness and half of the subtle functions of the manas. These beings are among those at the Station of Boundless Consciousness. 7:239

”Those who have already done away with emptiness and form eradicate the conscious mind as well. In the extensive tranquility of the ten directions there is nowhere at all to go. These beings are among those at the Station of Nothing Whatsoever. 7:240

”When the nature of their consciousness does not move, within extinction they exhaustively investigate, within the endless they discern the end of the nature. It is as if it were there and yet not there, as if it were ended and yet not ended. They are among those at the Station of Neither Thought nor Non-Thought. 7:241

”These beings who delve exhaustively into emptiness, but never fathom the principle of emptiness, go from the heaven of no return down this road which is a dead end to sagehood. They are among those known as dull Arhats who do not turn their minds around. Just like those in the heaven of no thought and the heavens of externalists who become engrossed in emptiness and do not want to come back, these beings are confused, prone to outflows, and ignorant. They will accordingly enter the cycle of rebirth again. 7:243

”Ananda, each and every being in all these heavens is ordinary. They are still answerable for their karmic retribution. When they have answered for their debts, they must once again enter rebirth. The lords of these heavens, how ever, are all Bodhisattvas who roam in samadhi. They gradually progress in their practice and make transferences to the way cultivated by all sages. 7:244

”Ananda, these are the Four Heavens of Emptiness, where the bodies and minds of the inhabitants are extinguished. The nature of concentration emerges, and they are free of the karmic retribution of form. This final group is called the Formless Realm. 7:245

”The beings in all of them have not understood the wonderful enlightenment of the bright mind. Their accumulation of falseness brings into being false existence in the Three Realms. Within them they falsely follow along and become submerged in the seven destinies. As pudgalas, they gather together with their own species or kind. 7:246

”Furthermore, Ananda, there are four categories of asuras in the Triple Realm. 7:248

”Those in the path of ghosts who use their strength to protect the Dharma and who can ride their spiritual penetrations to enter into emptiness are asuras born from eggs; they belong to the destiny of ghosts. 7:248

”Those who have fallen in virtue and have been dismissed from the heavens dwell in places near the sun and moon. They are asuras born from wombs and belong to the destiny of humans. 7:249

”There are asura kings who uphold the world with a penetrating power and fearlessness. They fight for position with the Brahma Lord, the God Shakra, and the Four Heavenly Kings. These asuras come into being by transformation and belong to the destiny of gods. 7:249

”Ananda, there is another, baser category of asuras. They have thoughts of the great seas and live submerged in underwater caves. During the day they roam in emptiness; at night they return to their watery realm. These asuras come into being because of moisture and belong to the destiny of animals. 7:251

”Ananda, so it is that when the seven destinies of hell-dwellers, hungry ghosts, animals, people, spiritual immortals, gods, and asuras are investigated in detail, they are all found to be murky and embroiled in conditioned existence. Their births come from false thoughts. Their subsequent karma comes from false thoughts. Within the wonderful perfection of the fundamental mind that is without any doing, they are like strange flowers in space, for there is basically nothing to be attached to; they are entirely vain and false, and they have no source or beginning. 7:252  

”Ananda, these living beings, who do not recognize the fundamental mind, all undergo rebirth for limitless kalpas. They do not attain true purity, because they keep getting involved in killing, stealing, and lust, or because they counter them and are born according to their not killing, not stealing, and lack of lust. If these three karmas are present in them, they are born among the troops of ghosts. If they are free of these three karmas, they are born in the destiny of gods. The incessant fluctuation between the presence and absence of these karmas gives rise to the cycle of rebirth. 7:252

”For those who make the wonderful discovery of samadhi, neither the presence nor the absence of these karmas exists in that magnificent, eternal stillness; even their non-existence is done away with. Since the lack of killing, stealing, and lust is nonexistent, how could there be actual involvement in deeds of killing, stealing, and lust? 7:254

”Ananda, those who do not cut off the three karmas each have their own private share. Because each has a private share, private shares come to be accumulated, making collective portions. Their location is not arbitrary, yet they themselves are falsely produced. Since they are produced from falseness, they are basically without a cause, and thus they cannot be traced precisely. 7:254

”You should warn cultivators that they must get rid of these three delusions if they want to cultivate Bodhi. If they do not put an end to these three delusions, then even the spiritual penetrations they may attain are merely a worldly, conditioned function. If they do not extinguish these habits, they will fall into the path of demons. 7:255

”Although they wish to cast out the false, they become doubly deceptive instead. The Thus Come One says that such beings are pitiful. You have created this falseness yourself; it is not the fault of Bodhi. 7:256

"An explanation such as this is proper speech. Any other explanation is the speech of demon kings.” 7:257
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