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Date Posted: 11:10
Subject: from A Buddhist Bible edited by Dwight Godard Beacon Press...
Thereupon, the blessed Lord, sitting upon his throne in the midst of the Tathagatas and highest Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas from all the Buddha-lands, manifested his Transcendent Glory surpassing them all. From his hands and feet and body radiated supernal beams of light that rested upon the crowns of each Tathagata, Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, and Prince of the Dharma; in all the ten quarters of the universes, went forth rays of glorious brightness that converged upon the crown of the Lord Buddha and upon the crowns of all the Tathagatas, Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas and Arhats present in the assembly. At the same time all the trees of the Jeta Park, and all the waves lapping on the shores of its lakes, were singing with the music of the Dharma, and all the intersecting rays of brightness were like a net of splendor set with jewels and over-reaching them all. Such a marvelous sight had never been imagined and held them all in silence and awe. Unwittingly, they passed into the blissful peace of the Diamond Samadhi and upon them all, there fell like a gentle rain, the soft petals of many different colored lotus blossoms - blue and crimson, yellow and white - all blending together and being reflected into the open space of heaven in all the tints of the spectrum. Moreover, all the differentiations of mountains and seas and rivers and forests of the Saha World blended into one another and faded away leaving only the flower - adorned unity of the Primal Cosmos, not dead and inert but alive with rhythmic life and light, vibrant with transcendental sound of songs and rhymes, melodiously rising and falling and merging and then fading away into silence.
Then the Lord Tathagata addressed Manjusri, Prince of the Dharma, saying:
Manjusri! you have now heard that these Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas of greatest and highest attainments have testified regarding the expedient means that were involved, and the results seen in spiritual graces and powers of Samapatti, that followed in their devout lives and practices. Each one stated that the beginning was seen in the perfect accommodation of some one mental sphere in contact with its sense object, and from that followed the perfect accommodation of all the spheres of mentation and the attainment of Samadhi, Samapatti and the perfect awareness of their Intuitive and Essential Mind. So we see that their devout practices, in spite of their variations, all eventuated in the same good result irrespective of their attainments and the times involved.
I want Ananda to fully understand and realize these different attainments of Enlightenment and note which of them is adapted to him. And I wish also, that after my Nirvana, as future disciples of this world wish to attain highest Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi, that from these experiences they may know which door of expedient means appears to each most easily entered.
Having listened to the Blessed Lord, Manjusri, Prince of the Lord's Dharma, rose from his seat bowed down to the Lord Buddha, and sobered by the influence of the Lord's profound dignity uttered the following stanza:
The keeping of the Precepts is a necessary part of the practice of Dhyana, but the novice cannot depend upon them alone to bring him to the nature of perfect accommodation . . .
Then Manjusri addressed the Lord Buddha, saying:
Blessed Lord! Since my Lord has descended from the Deva Realms to this Saha World, he has helped us most by his wonderful Enlightening Teaching. At first we receive this Teaching through our sense of hearing, but when we are fully able to realize it, it becomes ours through a Transcendental and Intuitive Hearing. This makes the awakening and perfecting of a transcendental faculty of hearing of very great importance to every novice. As the wish to attain Samadhi deepens in the mind of any disciple, he can most surely attain it by means of his Transcendental Organ of Hearing.
For many a Kalpa - as numerous as the particles of sand in the river Ganges - Avalokiteshvara Buddha, the hearer and answerer of prayer, has visited all the Buddha-lands of the ten quarters of the universe and has acquired Transcendental Powers of Boundless Freedom and Fearlessness and has vowed to emancipate all sentient beings from their bondage and suffering. How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara! It is the pure Brahman Sound. It is the subdued murmur of the seatide setting inward. Its mysterious Sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their distress are calling for aid; it brings a sense of permanency to those who are truly seeking the attainment of Nirvana's Peace . . .
While I am addressing My Lord Tathagata, he is hearing at the same time, the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara. It is just as though, while we are in the quiet selection of our Dhyana practice, there should come to our ears the sound of the beating of drums. If our minds, hearing the sound, are undisturbed and tranquil, this is the nature of perfect accommodation.
The body develops feeling by coming in contact with something, and the sight of eyes is hindered by the opaqueness of objects, and similarly with the sense of smell and of taste, but it is different with the discriminating mind. Thoughts are arising and mingling and passing. At the same time it is conscious of sounds in the next room and sounds that have come from far away. The other senses are not so refined as the sense of hearing: the nature of hearing is the true reality of Passability.
The essence of sound is felt in both motion and silence, it passes from existent to non-existent. When there is no sound, it is said that there is no hearing, but that does not mean that hearing has lost its preparedness. Indeed, when there is no sound, hearing is most alert, and when there is sound the hearing nature is least developed. If any disciple can be freed from these two illusions of appearing and disappearing, that is, from death and rebirth, he has attained the true reality of Permanency.
Even in dreams when all thinking has become quiescent, the hearing nature is still alert. It is like a mirror of enlightenment that is transcendental of the thinking mind because it is beyond the consciousness sphere of both body and mind. In this Saha world, the Doctrine of Intrinsic, Transcendental Sound, may be spread abroad, but sentient beings as a class remain ignorant and indifferent to their own Intrinsic Hearing. They respond only to phenomenal sounds and are disturbed by both musical and discordant sounds.
Nothwithstanding Ananda's wonderful memory, he was not able to avoid falling into evil ways. He has been adrift on a merciless sea. But if he will only turn his mind away from the drifting current of thoughts, he may soon recover the sober wiseness of Essential Mind. Ananda! Listen to me! I have ever relied upon the teaching of the Lord Buddha to bring me to the Indescribable Dharma Sound of the Diamond Samadhi. Ananda! You have sought the secret lore from all the Buddha-lands without first attaining emancipation from the desires and intoxications of your own contaminations and attachments, with the result that you have stored in your memory a vast accumulation of worldly knowledge and built up a tower of faults and mistakes.
You have learned the Teachings by listening to the words of the Lord Buddha and then committing them to memory. Why do you not learn from your own self by listening to Sound of the Intrinsic Dharma within your mind and then practicing reflection upon it? The perception of Transcendental Hearing is not developed by any natural process under the control of your own volition. Sometimes when you are reflecting upon your Transcendental Hearing a chance sound suddenly claims your attention and your mind sets it apart and discriminates it and is disturbed thereby.As soon as you can ignore the phenomenal sound, the notion of Transcendental Sound ceases and you will realize your Intrinsic Hearing.
As soon as this one sense perception of hearing is returned to its originality and you clearly understand its falsity, then the mind instantly understands the falsity of all sense perceptions and is at once emancipated from the bondage of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking, for they are all alike illusive and delusive visions of unreality and all the three great realms of existence are seen to be what they truly are, imaginary blossoms in the air.
As soon as the deceiving perception of hearing is emancipated, then all objective phenomena disappears and your Intuitive Mind-Essence becomes perfectly pure. As soon as you have attained to this Supreme Purity of Mind-Essence, its Intrinsic Brightness will shine out spontaneously and in all directions and, as soon as you are sitting in tranquil Dhyana, the mind will be in perfect conformity with Pure Space.
Ananda! As soon as you return to the phenomenal world, it will seem like a vision in a dream. And your experience with the maiden Pchiti will seem like a dream, and your own body will lose its solidity and permanency. It will seem as though every human being, male and female, was simply a manifestation by some skillful magician of a manikin all of whose activities were under his control. Or each human being will seem like an automatic machine that once started goes on by itself, but as soon as the automatic machine loses its motive power, all its activities not only cease, but their very existence disappears.
So it is with the six sense organs, which are fundamentally dependent upon one unifying and enlightening spirit, but which by ignorance have become divided into six semi-independent compositions and conformities. Should one organ become emancipated and return to its originality, so closely are they united in their fundamental originality, that all the organs would cease their activities also. And all worldly impurities will be purified by a single thought and you will attain to the wonderful purity of perfect Enlightenment. Should there remain some minute contamination of ignorance, you should practice the more earnestly until you attain to perfect Enlightenment, that is, to the Enlightenment of a Tathagata.
All the Brothers in this Great Assembly, and you too, Annnda, should reverse your outward perception of hearing and listen inwardly for the perfectly unified and intrinsic sound of your own Mind-Essence, for as soon as you have attained perfect accommodation, you will have attained to Supreme Enlightenment.
This is the only way to Nirvana, and it has been followed by all the Tathagatas of the past. Moreover, it is for all the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas of the present and for all in the future if they are to hope for perfect Enlightenment. Not only did Avalokiteshvara attain perfect Enlightenment in long ages past by this Golden Way, but in the present, I also am one of them.
My Lord enquired of us as to which expedient means each one of us had employed to follow this Noble Path to Nirvana. I bear testimony that the means employed by Avalokiteshvara is the most expedient means for all, since all other means must be supported and guided by the Lord Buddha's Transcendental Powers. Though one forsake all his worldly engagements, yet he cannot always be practicing by these various means; they are especial means suitable for junior and senior disciples, but for laymen, this common method of concentrating the mind on the sense of hearing, turning it inward by this Door of Dharma to hear the Transcendental Sound of this Essential Mind, is most feasible and wise.
O Blessed Lord! I am bowing down before my Lord Tathagata's Intrinsic Womb, which is immaculate and ineffable in its perfect freedom from all contaminations and taints, and am praying my Lord to extend his boundless compassion for the sake of all future disciples, so that I may continue to teach Ananda and all sentient beings of the present kalpa, to have faith in this wonderful Door of Dharma to the Intrinsic Hearing of his own Mind-Essence, so surely to be attained by this most expedient means. If any disciple should take this Intuitive Means for concentrating his mind in Dhyana Practice on this organ of Transcendental Hearing, all other sense organs would soon come into perfect harmony with it and thus by this single means of Intrinsic Hearing, he would attain perfect accommodation of his True and Essential Mind.
Then Ananda and all the great assembly were purified in body and mind. They acquired a profound understanding and a clear insight into the nature of the Lord Buddha's Enlightenment and experience of Highest Samadhi. They had confidence like a man who was about to set forth on a most important business to a far off country, because they knew the route to go and return. All the disciples in this great assembly realized their own Essence of Mind and proposed henceforth to live remote from all worldly entanglements and taints, and to live continuously in the pure brightness of the Eye of Dharma.
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