4👑☸ Cattāri Ariya-saccaṃ 四聖諦

4👑☸EBpedia📚Method of Dhyāna” 禪法要解    🔝
 Method of Dhyāna 0 – Kumārajīva “The Essential Explanation of The Method of Dhyāna” 禪法要解
Method of Dhyāna 1 – First Fascicle
    Method of Dhyāna 1.1 – impurity of the body
    Method of Dhyāna 1.2 – sign of single mindedness
        Method of Dhyāna 1.2.1 – 5niv#1 hindrance of sensual desire
        Method of Dhyāna 1.2.2 – 5niv#2 hindrance of ill will
        Method of Dhyāna 1.2.3 – 5niv#3 hindrance of sloth and torpor
        Method of Dhyāna 1.2.4 – 5niv#4 hindrance of restlessness and remorse
        Method of Dhyāna 1.2.5 – 5niv#5 hindrance of doubt
    Method of Dhyāna 1.11 – first jhāna
    Method of Dhyāna 1.12 – second jhāna
    Method of Dhyāna 1.13 – third jhāna
    Method of Dhyāna 1.14 – fourth jhāna
    Method of Dhyāna 1.20 – with strong 4th jhāna, easy to do other things
    Method of Dhyāna 1.24 – 4 brahma vihāra, immeasurables
        Method of Dhyāna 1.24.1 – 4bv1: metta = friendly kindness
        Method of Dhyāna 1.24.2 – 4bv2: karuna = compassion
        Method of Dhyāna 1.24.3 – 4bv3: mudita = rejoicing in skillful Dharmas
        Method of Dhyāna 1.24.4 – 4bv4: upekkha = equanimous-observation
Method of Dhyāna 2 – Second fascicle

0 – Kumārajīva “The Essential Explanation of The Method of Dhyāna” 禪法要解

Translation by Thich Hang Dat from his Phd thesis

1 – First Fascicle

Tripiṭaka Master Kumārajīva translated during the Yaoqin 姚秦 Dynasty (394-416) at Xiaoyao garden 逍遙園of Chang‘an 長安 city.

1.1 – impurity of the body

( a-subha 🧟‍ )
161 When the practitioner first comes to seek for receiving the dharma, the master should ask that if the practitioner upholds the pure precepts of the fivefold assembly.
162 If he has much sexual desire, the master should teach him the contemplation of the body‘s impurity, which has two types.
First, one feels revulsion of the body‘s impurities.
Second, one does not disgust the body‘s impurity.
Why is that?
Sentient beings have six kinds of desires:
attachment to the form;
attachment to the body‘s appearance;
attachment to the awe-inspiring manner;
attachment to the oral voice;
attachment to the fine feature;
and attachment to personal image.
If he attaches to the first five desires, the master should ask him to contemplate the repulsion of body‘s impurity.
163 If he becomes attached to the marks of a self, those features by which one discerns a ―person,‖ the master should teach him to contemplate its image of a white-boned.
Also, he should contemplate the decayed and non-decayed corpses.
Contemplation of the non-decayed corpse severs the two kinds of attachments to awe-inspiring manner and oral voice.
Comprehensive contemplation of the decayed corpse certainly cuts off six kinds of sexual desires.
Cultivation of [contemplation of] the body‘s impurity has two types.
First is the contemplation of the corpse, which is rotten, putrid, and impure.
One‘s own body‘s impurity is not much different from that of the corpse.
Having contemplated, the aversion [of the body‘s impurity] arises in the mind.
Having kept these images [in the mind], one goes to the secluded place that is either under the trees [or forest] or empty house to contemplate the impurity of one‘s chosen image of meditation.
In every place one examines oneself, concerning the mind within the body, and not allowing it to wander outside.
If the mind is scattered, one should return to absorb within the conditions [of the contemplation of bodily impurity].
Second, despite the eyes could not see [directly], the cultivator follows his master to receive the dharma and to comprehend distinctively.
The cultivator contemplates within his body having thirty-six impurities within his body thoroughly and fully:
hair, pore, nail, teeth, tear, saliva, sweat, perspiration, fat, flesh, skin, vein, blood vessel, marrow, brain, heart, liver, spleen, kidney, lungs, stomach, intestine, membrane of stomach, bile, phlegm, organs, blood and pus, excrements, bacteria, and so forth.
The aggregation of these various impure things are falsely called body.
One contemplates oneself as such.
One should also contemplate the attachment to the external body [i.e. the bodies of others] in a similar way.
If the mind is disenchanted largely with sexual desire, then the mind [of thinking about] sexual desire would cease.
If the [unstable] mind does not cease, one should cultivate diligently and reprimand one‘s mind by thinking that the sufferings of aging, sickness, and death are approaching.
The life passes away as fast as a flash of lightning.
It is hard to obtain a human body and to meet a virtuous master.
Buddha‘s teaching is almost extinguished, like a lantern in the dawn.
Numerous adversities impede the samādhi dharma.
164 Internally, there are the mental afflictions, and externally there are the people of Māra.
Countries have famine, and they are deserted.
Inner and outer bodies are aging and ill.
The strength of the thief Death is so great that it destroys the practice of meditation.
165 My body is so dreadful.
As for the thieves of mental afflictions, they have not been diminished even slightly.
I have not attained any realization within the dharma of meditation yet.
Although I wear the dharma robe, internally I am as empty as the lay people.
166 All the doors of evil destinies are opened together.
I have not entered the proper samādhi within various wholesome dharmas.
As for the unwholesome dharma, I have not had the ability of not doing the unwholesome deeds.
Now, how could I attach to this bag of excrement and give rise to indolence without being able to control the mind diligently?
The virtuous sages have cursed this evil body, which is impure and dreadful with nine orifices flowing out.
167 One may die as animals because of the craving and attachment to this body.
All are thrown into the darkness, which one should not go.
Rebuking one‘s own mind and pondering as such, one would return to embrace the original place [of meditation on body‘s impurity].
Sometimes, one should also generate joyfulness in the mind by thinking that, ―The Buddha is an Omniscient One, who speaks the dharma straightforwardly which is easily understandable and practicable.
168 He is my great teacher.
Hence, I should not be worried and fearful, just as one relies on a great king without being terrified.
The Arahats have accomplished their responsibilities [of cultivation].
169 They are my [dharma] companions.
They have the ability to subdue their minds as a servant serving the master.
Since their minds have been subdued, they have fully realized the various fruitions of six supernatural powers and autonomy.
170 I also should subdue my mind to obtain these accomplishments.
This is the only path, since there is no other path.
‖ After one has pondered as such, one goes back to contemplate the body‘s impurity.
One also thinks, delightedly, ―When I had just begun to practice the way, the wind of mental afflictions blew to destroy my mind.
I wish to achieve enlightenment, the five foremost wonderful desires could not harm me;
how much more this wicked body?
‖ As the elder Maudgalyāyana, who after his attainment of Arahatship was seduced by his former wife with all kinds of musical performances, and she decorated herself in a dignified way.
171 At that time, Maudgalyāyana spoke the verse:
―Your body is like a trunk of standing skeleton.
Skin and flesh wrap around together.
Internally, it is fully of all kinds of impurities.
There is no good substance.
It is like a leather sack, fill with excrement and urine.
The nine orifices always flow as same as the ghost that does not have any place to abide in.
Why do you satisfy to value your body which is like a walking toilet?
The thin skin is used to cover [the body‘s impurity] that wise people reject and avoid, as one walks away from a toilet.
It is like someone releasing the [excrement] while going to the toilet.
If people know your body [in the similar way as] I have been fed up, all [of them] would leave afar off as someone avoids the excrement pit.
You decorate your body in a dignified way with flowery perfume and wear the precious necklace that the common people are greedy for and fond of.
The wise people would not be deluded.
Your [body] is a collection of impure, dirty, and foul substances.
As for the decoration of a toilet, the ignorant people consider it as beautiful.
Your ribs and chest are supported by the spine.
It is like a rafter relying on the main beam to stand erectly.
The five organs are inside the abdomen.
They are impure as a case of excrement.
Your body is like a manure house, where the ignorant people protect and love it.
Decorating and dignifying with the precious jewel necklace, the external appearance is beautiful as a painting vase.
If someone wants to defile the empty space, ultimately, he cannot do it.
You come to seduce me.
It is like the moth jumping into the fire pit by itself.
As for all of the poisonous desires, I have cut them off completely.
I have already left afar off the five desires.
I have broken the demonic web.
My mind is like an empty space, without attachment to anything.
Even if [you] bring the celestial desire [to seduce me], there is no way to defile my mind.
‖ The cultivator ponders firmly and certainly as such.
He dwells his mind in the original condition [of meditation] without being afraid of the various desires.
As for people of sharp faculties, they single-mindedly [practice] diligence to seven days that the mind attains the abiding samādhi.
As for people of medium faculties, it might take them about three weeks.
As for people of dull faculties, they [might] practice for a longtime to attain the enlightenment.
Surely, it certainly may be attainable just as butter churning curds will produce butter.
If one does not rely on the practice and cultivation, even though this body repeatedly practices various expedient means for a long time, in the end there is no achievement.
Just as butter cannot be produced by churning water, in the end there is no way for water to become butter.
What activities are unsuitable for the practice of meditation?
One cannot practice meditation if:
one violates the prohibited precepts that cannot be repented;
one does not discard the deviant view;
one cuts off the wholesome roots;
and one has three covert obstructions that are the great and sharp mental affliction, the five unstoppable crimes, and the retributions of three evil paths.
172 Also, in Mahāyāna [tradition], a Bodhisattva who has the causal conditions of sharp wholesome root, true wisdom, and meritorious virtue, does not commit those offenses.
If one cannot rely on the practice of cultivation, one should recite sutras, cultivate merit, build pagodas, make offerings, explain dharma to teach others, and practice the ten wholesome deeds.

1.2 – sign of single mindedness

173 Question:
How can one recognize the signs of single-mindedness?
When the mind dwells on an image, the body would be soft, gentle, and blissful.
All anger, anxiety, grief, and other afflictive mental dharmas are ceased.
174 The mind acquires swift blissfulness never before experienced, which surpasses the five desires.
Because the mind is pure without any defilement, the body will shine brightly.
It is like a pure and clean mirror [shining] the light externally, or like the shining light of bright pearl that appears, illumines, and manifests in the pure water.
After having seen these signs, the cultivator‘s mind is calm, tranquil, joyful, and delightful.
It is like a thirsty person, who digs the earth searching for the water.
If he sees the moist mud, then he will get the water soon.
The cultivator practices in a similar way as such;
at the beginning of the practice, it is like digging a dry earth for a longtime without stopping;
as he sees the signs of moisture, he knows himself that he will get the water soon.
Having known by oneself that one will attain the meditative samādhi soon, one must diligently concentrate, joyfully believe, gather the mind, and move it to enter the deep samādhi.
Give rise to the thought that ―I have already cursed the five desires.

1.2.1 – 5niv#1 hindrance of sensual desire

( kāma-c-chando❤️‍🔥 )
‖ See those who seek after their desires as extremely detestable, as one sees a dog, who, unable to get good food, chews on stinking manure.
According to these various conditions, you should curse desire as a fault.
One‘s mind gives rise to sympathize with those who experience the five desires.
Their own minds have blissfulness already, but they do not know how to seek for it.
Instead, they seek for the external impurity and faulty joyfulness.
Throughout day and night, the cultivator should always practice diligently various wholesome dharmas, which support the achievement of meditative samādhi.
One should resolve the mind to keep a distance from those dharmas that obstruct samādhi.
For those who practice the wholesome dharma, they should contemplate that the Desire Realm is impermanent, suffering, empty, and selflessness.
175 They [celestial heavens] are like the disease, tumor, ulcer, and arrow shooting to the heart.
The glazing-fire of the three poisons gives rise to various fighting, remonstration.
176 The smoky feature of jealousy and envy are considerably wicked and disgusted.
If one contemplates them as such, it is called the method of the initial practice of meditation.
177 When one practices this method, and if one is obstructed by the five aggregates, one should quickly remove them.
178 It is like the power of the wind to blow off the black cloud that shades the sun.
If the obstruction of sexual desire arises, which stimulates the thinking about five desires, one should quickly ponder that:
―Now I am in the path of self- renunciation of the five desires.
How could I have that thought [of thinking about the five desires] again?
It is like a person eating the vomited food.
This is s worldly transgression.
Presently, I voluntarily study the Buddha‘s teaching, cut my hair, and wear the dharma cloth until the end of life.
As for those five desires, I vow that I perpetually leave and cut them off.
How could I give rise to the attachment on them again?
It is considerably not proper.
‖ Then, immediately one should remove them, just as one does not allow the thief and poisonous snake to enter the house, because they cause a great extent of catastrophe.
In addition, the dharma [problems] of five desires is the dwelling places of various unwholesome deeds that one may not turn around.
At the beginning, one still can [turn them around].
Later on, [if they prolong for a long time] one will be deceived by them and receive the sufferings and poisons.
Then, [due to one‘s own] jealousy, envy, rage, and anger, there is no evil deed that one would not do.
It is like a person keeping a bag full of knives and using the hands to embrace and touch it;
then one will be injured and harmed on both left and right sides.
Also, even if one could obtain the five desires, one will not be satisfied with them.
Then, because of this [without satisfaction from having five desires], there is no happiness.
As a thirsty person drinking soy sauce, if he has not eliminated the thirst, he could not be delighted.
It is like someone scratching the itch.
Because the suffering of itching has not yet been reduced, this [scratching of the itch] could not be considered as enjoyable.
Also, the desires defile that mind, which cannot recognize the proper and improper [acts].
As a result, one would not be afraid of the bad retribution in the present and future life.
Hence, one should eliminate sexual desire.

1.2.2 – 5niv#2 hindrance of ill will

( byāpādo😠 )
After one might have eliminated sexual desire, one might give rise to affliction of ill-will.
Whenever the affliction of ill-will arises in the mind, one should quickly eliminate it.
One might think about sentient beings, who have endured continuous suffering since entering into the womb.
Since they are already fully endowed with suffering, why should I add to their afflictions?
As a man going to be executed, how could a good person come to add more sufferings and pains [on that criminal]?
Again, the practitioner should let go of the bindings of self-love, arrogance, and others.
Although they do not obstruct the rebirth in the heaven, the practitioner still cannot give rise to those thoughts.
How much more is this true of anger and rage, which pull out the root of happiness?
Also, as the boiling water cannot reflect one‘s own face, when angry mind arises, one cannot distinguish honorable and inferior, father and mother, the teacher and master, and up to the point that he cannot accept the Buddha‘s teaching.
The glare of anger is a serious disease.
It injures and harms without any consideration like the Rākṣasa.
179 Hence, one should ponder that the loving-kindness mind exterminates the glare of anger.

1.2.3 – 5niv#3 hindrance of sloth and torpor

( thina-middhaṃ🥱 )
When sexual desire and glare of anger have ceased, and one attains the meditative samādhi, they will become blissful.
When one has not attained the blissfulness of samādhi, one has scatted emotions, anxiety, and confusion.
The mind becomes heavy and submerged, and one becomes dull and unaware.
Then, one should know that the sleepiness is the thief that harms the mind.
It even destroys the worldly benefit;
how much more does it damage the path of cultivation.
Breathing is the only thing that distinguishes sleep from death.
As the cloth covers the water, one could not see one‘s own face.
Sleepiness covers the mind and causes it not to recognize good or bad.
The reality of various phenomena also likes this.
Hence, at that time, in order to eliminate it, one should think that:
―All the thieves of various mental afflictions are longing for harming dangerously.
Why am I comfortable to sleep?
It is like confronting an army of thieves.
In the midst of sharp swords, one cannot go to sleep.
One cannot sleep if one has not left the sufferings of aging, illness, and death, if one has not been liberated from the sufferings of three evil destinies, if one has not attained up to the ‗warmth‘ stage within Buddha-dharma.
If one still could not stop the sleepiness even after thinking about these problems, one should stand up and walk, use the cold water to wash one‘s face, gaze up in four directions, raise the head to look up to the stars and constellations, think of the following three problems to wipe out the sleepiness, and not let the sleepiness cover the mind.
First is fear.
One should ponder by oneself that:
―The death king with his mighty power always wants to harm [people].
One should think that death is closer as the illness‘s thief which comes anytime without reliance.
As the sword that draws near the neck, if one sleeps then it will chop off the head.
‖ Second is joy and comfort.
One should think that:
―The Buddha is a great teacher who possesses wonderful and unprecedented dharma.
Fortunately and joyously I have received and studied.
Hence, I should extinguish the sleepy thought.
‖ Third is distress.
One also should think that:
―In the future life when I take the rebirth to obtain another body, I will go through suffering, pain, poison, and injury limitless and boundless.
‖ With these various causal conditions [of contemplations as above], one admonishes the problem of sleepiness.
If one ponders as such, the sleepiness will cease.

1.2.4 – 5niv#4 hindrance of restlessness and remorse

( uddhacca-kukkuccaṃ😰 )
If the obstructions of restlessness and remorse arise, one should think that:
―Because worldly people wish to eliminate the anxiety and obtain joyfulness, their minds give rise to playful restlessness.
Now I do an ascetic practice and sit in meditation to seek for a spiritual path.
How could I indulge myself and get loose on the mind to have playful restlessness?
It is seriously not proper.
‖ Buddha-dharma puts great effort on concentrated meditation as the base.
So, one cannot take it slightly in indulgence and get loose of the mind by oneself.
As the water is ruffled by ripples and wavelets, one cannot see one‘s own face.
Playful restlessness disturbs the mind that causes one not to distinguish [the difference between] good and bad.
Remorse has been mentioned in the meditation pāramitā s.
181 Question:
Greed, desire, anger, and doubt have their own names as obstructions.
Why do the sleepiness and remorseful restlessness combine as one obstruction [ skandha]?
182 Answer:
Since the power of mental affliction of sleepiness is weak, sleepiness cannot support successfully [the afflictions], and it would not cover the mind.
Playful restlessness and unremorseful thought cannot be considered as obstruction.
As a result, these two combine together as an obstruction.
As when one uses a rope to tie an item, if one uses only a single rope, one cannot have the strength to tie.
Again, the mental factor of sleepiness depends on the sleepy mind which is substantial.
Because the sleepy mind is substantial, the body is heavy too.
Since the sleepiness is lightly covering the mind, and the eye dullness‘s obstruction tends to increase the destruction of the Buddha-dharma, the combination of both of them becomes an obstruction.
When one has awakened from sleepiness, the mind still could not focus, and the mind chases after the five desires to create mental affliction, it is called restlessness.
As a monkey has gotten out of the harness cage, it indulges itself in jumping and playing irresolutely on the trees and in the forests.
So does restlessness.
When one has already thought of the five desires and created various afflictions, and when one loses mindfulness within the body, speech and mind, which give rise to sadness and remorse, one should think that:
―It is improper to do, but one does, and it is proper thing to do, but one does not do.
‖ Hence, the appearances of restlessness and remorse combine together as an obstruction.
Since one may repent [the offenses] if one has committed bad deeds, then remorse may not be an obstruction?
As one has violated the precepts, one may repent by oneself.
From now onward, one will not commit that offense again.
Then, it is not an obstruction.
If the mind always thinks about committing the offenses continuously, which is confused by the anxiety and affliction, it is called an obstruction.
One should use these various causal conditions to admonish the obstruction of restlessness and remorse, and one should fasten the mind within these conditions.

1.2.5 – 5niv#5 hindrance of doubt

( vici-kicchā🤷 )
If the mind gives rise to the thought of doubt, one should promptly cause it to be diminished.
Why is that?
The problem of doubt is different than that of love and arrogance.
It causes one not to have a joyful mind in this lifetime and to fall into the hell in the next life.
The doubt shields oneself from [doing] wholesome dharma, as one hesitantly stands at the intersection of a road without knowing where to go.
One halts by oneself.
The cultivator is in similar manner.
If one doubts about one‘s own basic practice dharma, one could not step up further.
Hence, one should promptly know the adversity of doubt which blocks and obstructs the proper dharma.
One should quickly eliminate it.
Again, one should think that:
―The Buddha is an Omniscient One, who could distinguish clearly and comprehensively various dharma [phenomenon] such as:
they are the secular phenomena;
they are transcendental phenomena;
they are wholesome;
they are unwholesome;
they are beneficial;
and they are harmful.
Today, since I have received and practiced, I cannot give rise to doubt [about them].
I should follow the dharma teaching, not to go against it.
Again, Buddha-dharma is wonderful with cultivation of samādhi and wisdom as true as the law.
Since I have not had these wisdoms, how can I qualify to evaluate these dharma by myself?
As a person holds sharp weapons, he can defend himself from the thief.
If one does not hold any weapon, but one tries to defend oneself, then on the contrary one will be harmed.
Now I have not attained the cultivation of samādhi and wisdom.
How can I want to evaluate the true mark of various phenomena?
It is not right.
‖ Again, one might give rise to doubts because of heterodox teachings or non-Buddhist disciples.
Since I am a Buddhist, how could I give rise to doubt about the Buddha?
Buddha always cuts off and criticizes the adversity of doubt.
This is the problems of deceitfulness, coverage, obstruction, blocking, and impediment.
Knowing that a person is an assassin, one avoids [him].
Doubt is like this.
It deceives and confuses the cultivator.
The knowledge of desire and doubt obstruct the true wisdom.
It is like scratching an itch, which results in a more severe itch all over the body.
The doctor prescribes medicine so that the itching stops by itself.
The cultivator is like this.
If one gives rise to the doubtful thought about various dharma, the doubtful mind increases more and more depending on how one wants to analyze the problem.
Hence, the Buddha teaches us that we must directly cut off the doubt.
Whenever the doubtful thought arises, one should promptly eliminate it.
One should admonish the doubt in various ways as such.
One should quickly eliminate it.
The cultivator ponders as such in order to eliminate and renounce the five obstructions and practice various wholesome dharma to enter deeply the single-minded thought, and to cut off the mental affliction in the Desire Realm to attain the first dhyāna.
As the sutra has said, the cultivator leaves evil desire and unwholesome dharma.
Having coarse apprehension and fine analysis, one experiences the joy and pleasure of abandoning coarse desires 離生喜樂 to enter the first dhyāna.

1.11 – first jhāna

( j1🌘 )
What are the marks of attaining the first dhyāna?
At first, one uses proper mindfulness to admonish and halt five desires.
Although one has not attained the ground [of the first dhyāna], the mind is joyful, delightful, soft, harmonious, and gentle;
the body has bright light.
When one attains the first dhyāna, its mark is that it continuously changes, increases, and excels [than before].
Because the four elements of the Desire Realm spread fully all over the body, which is soft, harmonious, gentle, and joyful signs, and the mind leaves bad desire and unwholesome deed, then the samādhi of single-minded thought can cause one having joy and happiness.
183 Forms created in the Form Realm have the feature of bright light.
Hence, the cultivator sees the wonderful and bright light emitting from the body internally and externally.
The mind of the cultivator changes differently.
Within the angry situation, one does not get angry.
Within the joyful situation, one does not have [much] joy.
The eight kinds of worldly dharmas cannot move the cultivator.
184 Faith, respect, shame, and conscience largely change and multiply.
As for the clothes, food, and drink, one does not crave and attach to them.
One only considers various wholesome deeds and meritorious morality as valuable, and others are worthless.
One does not attach to even the five celestial desires, how much more the five impure desires of the secular world.
For those who have attained the first dhyāna, these are the features.
Again, when one attains the first dhyāna, the mind is greatly surprised and joyful.
As a poor man at last acquires the treasury storage, he is greatly surprised and joyful.
He thought that:
―During the beginning, middle, and last watches of the morning, I have cultivated diligently and ascetically the first dhyāna.
Now I have attained the good retribution, which is true without falsity.
These wonderful and joyful experiences are as such, but other sentient beings are insane, confused, stubborn, and foolish.
They are sunk into the impurity and non-blissfulness of five desires.
How pitiful they are.
‖ The blissfulness of the first dhyāna is spread all over the body internally and externally.
As the water soaks into dry earth, it is wet and moist inside and outside.
The experience of blissfulness of the Desire Realm cannot spread through the body and mind.
The fire of sexual desire and anger in the Desire Realm burns the body.
Entering the cooling and blissful pool of first dhyāna is the foremost way in extinguishing the fire of mental afflictions.
As when it is too hot, one jumps into the cooling and pure pool.
After one has attained the first dhyāna already, one thinks about the original practice of spiritual path or other conditions, namely the samādhi of Buddha name‘s recitation, or the mindfulness of the body‘s impurity, or the contemplation of the loving-kindness mind, or others.
Why is that?
Utilizing the power of contemplation helps the cultivator to attain the meditative samādhi and again enter deeply.
Then, the original contemplations will become many times more pure and clear.
After the cultivator has attained the first dhyāna, he advances further to seek for the second dhyāna.
If it is at the outflow path or at the proximate to the second dhyāna ground, one feels aversion to the coarse apprehension and fine analysis.
As the five desires and five obstructions in the Desire Realm cause the mind to be confused, the coarse apprehension and fine analysis of the first dhyāna disturb the concentrated mind as such.
If it is non-outflow path, one leaves the desire for the first dhyāna.
Namely, one uses the non-outflow of the first dhyāna and rejects coarse apprehension and fine analysis.
As the affliction within the first dhyāna can still disturb the mind, how could you only talk about the coarse apprehension and fine analysis?
The affliction of the first dhyāna is also called the coarse apprehension and fine analysis.
Why is that?
It is because of the wholesome coarse apprehension and fine analysis that one gives rise to the love and attachment.
Hence, the affliction is also called the coarse apprehension and fine analysis.
Before one attains the first dhyāna, one has not attached to other things [spiritual experience].
Afterward, when one finally attains the coarse apprehension and fine analysis, one has great joy.
Because of this great joy, it destroys and defeats the samādhi mind.
Since it destroys the samādhi, one must first remove and discard it.
Also, if one wishes to enter the deep and profound state of second dhyāna, one should promptly eliminate the coarse apprehension and fine analysis.
Namely because of the great benefit, one discards the little one.
It is like discarding the little joy of the Desire Realm to obtain the great joy.
Why do you talk about extinguishing the coarse apprehension and fine analysis, but not discuss about the afflictions of the first dhyāna?
The coarse apprehension and fine analysis means the wholesome coarse apprehension and fine analysis of the first dhyāna.
The love and others (afflictions] of the first dhyāna are also called the coarse apprehension and fine analysis.
It is unwholesome coarse apprehension and fine analysis which obstruct the path of second dhyāna.
As a result, one should eliminate it.
The wholesome coarse apprehension and fine analysis may hold the cultivator to cause the mind to dwell in the bliss.
Hence, one should eliminate them all.
One should further contemplate that:
―The unwholesome coarse apprehension and fine analysis is truly a thief.
Although the wholesome coarse apprehension and fine analysis seem like friends, they are also thieves, who snatch away my great benefit.
‖ Hence, one should move forward to seek for eliminating these two coarse apprehensions and fine analysis.
The coarse apprehension and fine analysis stir and afflict in the same way as the disturbance and affliction of various sounds toward a peaceful sleep of a tired person.
Hence, after the cultivator has eliminated these types of coarse apprehension and fine analysis, he seeks for the second dhyāna.
When the dusty wind defiles the pure water, it cannot reflect one‘s own face.
The five desires of Desire Realm cause the mind to become defiled in the same way as the dirt defiles the water.
The coarse apprehension and fine analysis stir the mind as the wind blowing the water.
If one could eliminate the coarse apprehension and fine analysis, then internally one attains purity and clarity.
Having neither coarse apprehension nor fine analysis, one dwells solely in the joy and pleasure produced by meditation 定生喜樂, and enters the second dhyāna.

1.12 – second jhāna

( j2🌗 )
What are the signs of the second dhyāna?
In the sutra, it said that:
―After one has eliminated the coarse apprehension and fine analysis, one relies on non-coarse apprehension and non-fine analysis to obtain purity and clarity within the mind in either wholesome deed or morally indeterminate deeds.
As without having any disturbance from the wind, all of the images of stars, moon, and mountains are certainly reflected, seen, and appeared on the surface of still and calm water.
‖ This purity and clarity of inner mind is called the natural quiescence of the virtuous sage.
Even though the third and fourth dhyāna are all natural quiescence, one initially attains it through the second dhyāna.
Since the causal condition of the language of the coarse apprehension and fine analysis has been first extinguished, it is called the samādhi of natural quiescence of the joy and pleasure produced by meditation, which greatly excels the first dhyāna.
The joyfulness and blissfulness of the first dhyāna come from the joy and pleasure of abandoning coarse desires.
Within [second dhyāna] the joyfulness and blissfulness arise from the samādhi of the first dhyāna.
The second dhyāna also leaves the afflictions of the first dhyāna.
Why do you not say that it abandons birth?
Even though it also leaves the affliction, it relies mostly on the power of samādhi.
Hence, samādhi is used as the name.
Again, leaving the desire means to leave the Desire Realm.
By saying to leave the first dhyāna, one has not left the Form Realm yet.
Hence, it is not called abandoning birth.
These are the marks of the second dhyāna.
After the cultivator has attained the second dhyāna, he again seeks for the profound samādhi.
The samādhi of the second dhyāna has the mental afflictions which cover the mind.
They are love, arrogance, deviant view, doubt, and others, which destroy and damage the samādhi mind.
These thieves of second dhyāna obstruct the door of the third dhyāna.
Hence, one should seek to cut off and extinguish this problem in order to seek for the third dhyāna.

1.13 – third jhāna

( j3🌖 )
If that is the case, how could the Buddha say that one leaves the joyfulness and practices the renunciation [of the desire] to attain and enter the third dhyāna?
After one has attained the second dhyāna, one obtains a great joy.
Too much joyful mind causes the mind changing into the attached mind.
The joyfulness gives rise to various afflictions.
As a result, joyfulness is the root of mental afflictions.
Also, since various afflictions are not beneficial, one should not give rise to attachment.
The joyfulness is pleasure and bliss, which is great beneficial.
As a result, it is hard to dispose.
Hence, the Buddha said that if one discards the joyfulness, one will attain and enter the third dhyāna.
The five desires are impure offenses.
One should discard the joyfulness [of those five desires].
However, this joyfulness is pure and wonderful, and is the delight of all sentient beings.
Why do you tell me to discard it?
As previously replied, since it is the causal condition of giving rise to attachment, it certainly is the gateway to moral transgression.
Also, if one does not discard the joyfulness, one will not be able to attain the supreme and wonderful meritorious virtue.
Hence, one should discard the little one to obtain the greater one.
What kind of fault does it have?
When the cultivator advances further to seek for the third dhyāna, he contemplates the joyfulness and knows the causal conditions of mishap, anxiety, and suffering that might give rise from the joyfulness and blissfulness.
Since they are impermanent, they certainly give rise to sadness and suffering.
Also, joyfulness is the coarse blissfulness.
Now one wants to discard the coarse blissfulness to seek for the subtle blissfulness.
As a result, it is said that one leaves the joyfulness in order to enter the profound samādhi to seek for different blissful samādhi.
Then, why is the mark of the third dhyāna, the extinguishing the joyfulness?
One discards this mind of wonderful joyfulness without any regretful thought, because one recognizes that the joyfulness is harmful.
It is like if one recognizes his wife as a Rākṣasa, one can discard and leave her without regretful thought.
Joyfulness is deceitful, confused, and the coarse dharma, which is not wonderful.
Within the third dhyāna, the body experiences bliss, which cannot be surpassed the foremost worldly blissfulness.
Because the sage has gone through this stage, he can experience and discard the blissfulness of non-joyfulness.
By using the skillful mind and wisdom body, one experiences [the blissfulness] pervasively and enters the third dhyāna.
This is called the wisdom of single-minded recollection.
Why do not you talk in the first and second dhyāna?
In the third dhyāna, the body experiences pervasively the blissfulness, and the mind practices the disposal of the dharma.
It does not let the mind to attach and distinguish good or bad.
Hence, it is called the single-minded and thoughtful wisdom.
Again, within the third dhyāna, there are three faults.
First, the mind becomes subtle and sinks down.
Second, the mind is in great motivation.
Third, the mind gives rise to confusion and is dull.
Cultivators always ought to focus and be mindful of these three faults.
When the mind is sunk down, one should use the powers of diligence and wisdom to turn around and cause the mind to rise up.
If the mind is in great motion, one should restrain and halt it.
If the mind is confused and dull, one should be mindful of the wonderful dharma of the Buddha in order to cause the mind to be joyful.
One should always uphold, protect, and treat these three minds.
It is called the concentration of blissful practice to enter the third dhyāna.
As it is said in the sutra, there are two blissful periods within the third dhyāna.
What are the two?
The first period is called the experienced blissfulness.
The later period is called the swift blissfulness.
There are three kinds of blissfulness:
experienced blissfulness, swift blissfulness, and non-afflicted blissfulness.
Which blissfulness is that which in the third dhyāna is known as the foremost blissfulness?
The upper wonderfulness of the three kinds of blissfulness surpasses that of the lower realm.
Only the experienced blissfulness is considered as the foremost one, which is called the blissful ground, ultimately and boundlessly.
The higher ground also has the other remained blissfulness.
We do not name them here.
Is there any different between joyful-blissfulness and non-joyful-blissfulness?
The experienced blissfulness has two kinds.
First is the joyful root.
Second is the blissful root.
They belong to the first and second dhyāna.
The blissful root of the non-joyful- blissfulness belongs to the third dhyāna.
Again, the first dhyāna of the Desire Realm experiences the blissfulness.
The coarse one is called the blissful root.
The subtle one is called the joyful root.
The second and third dhyāna experience the blissfulness.
The coarse one is called the joyful root.
The subtle one is called the blissful root.
As when it is too hot, one holds the pure ice and washes it on the face.
It is called joyfulness.
To enter a big cool pond to bathe the body is called experienced blissfulness.
The cultivator is as such.
Because the first dhyāna has the coarse apprehension and fine analysis, its blissfulness cannot pervade the entire body.
Because the second dhyāna is greatly surprising and joyful which causes fright, its blissfulness cannot pervade the entire body.
Because there is no obstruction in the third dhyāna, the blissfulness pervades the body.
These are the differences.
Also, the experienced blissfulness has four types.
If the six consciousnesses in the Desire Realm correspond to the blissfulness, it is called the joyful root or the blissful root.
If the four consciousnesses in the first dhyāna correspond to the blissfulness, it is called the blissful root and the joyful root.
If the mind consciousness in the second dhyāna corresponds to the experienced blissfulness, it is called joyful root.
Since the third dhyāna leaves the joyfulness, and the mind consciousness corresponds to the experienced blissfulness, it is called the blissful root.
After the cultivator has attained the third dhyāna, he recognizes the above three kinds of blissfulness.
He single-mindedly keeps and protects it, because he is always afraid of forgetting and losing it.
That is why it becomes affliction.
Hence, the blissfulness also is calamity.
One should seek for leaving the blissfulness.
It is like a person who seeks for the happiness of wealth and fame.
When one seeks for them, it is already suffering.
After one has obtained them, there is no satisfaction.
Then, it is also suffering.
After having obtained, one keeps and protects it;
it is also suffering.
As someone has recognized that seeking for blissfulness is suffering, he discards it.
Or someone has been aware of the suffering that after attaining the blissfulness he is not satisfied with it.
Then, he discards it.
Or someone has recognized the suffering that after having obtained blissfulness, he keeps and protects.
Then, he discards it.
The cultivator should recognize the calamity of the blissfulness as such.
Because seeking the blissfulness of the first dhyāna by using the coarse apprehension and fine analysis is confusion and affliction, one should discard it.
Because the second dhyāna has great joyful drive [which causes disturbance], one should discard it.
Because in the third dhyāna one knows that blissfulness is impermanent and hard to keep, one should discard it.
As a result, one should discard these blissfulness to seek for the ground of calm tranquility of the fourth dhyāna.
The cultivator relies on the blissfulness of meditative samādhi to discard the blissful desire.
Now, which one does he rely on to discard the blissful samādhi?
If one discards the blissful samādhi, then what kind of benefit does he obtain?
Because the cultivator relies on the blissful nirvāṇa, he can discard the blissful samādhi to obtain three benefits.
Namely, they are the paths of Arahat, Pratyekabuddha, and Buddha.
185 Hence, one should discard the blissful meditative samādhi to practice the fourth dhyāna of calm tranquility and swift blissfulness.
One relies on the path of three vehicles to enter nirvāṇa according to the intention.

1.14 – fourth jhāna

( j4🌕 )
How can one know of the mark of the fourth dhyāna?
As the Buddha has said about the mark of the fourth dhyāna, if a bhikṣu cuts off the blissfulness and suffering, and initially extinguishes anxiety and joyfulness, he is neither suffering nor blissful, and he protects his pure and peaceful mind to enter the fourth dhyāna.
One should cut off the blissfulness in the third dhyāna as such.
When one leaves the desire, it means cutting of suffering.
Now, how can you say again that one should cut off suffering?
Someone said that cutting off has two types.
First is the individual mark of cutting off.
Second is the general mark of cutting off.
A srotāpanna uses the particular wisdom of the path to cut off generally all of the afflictions [in order to recognize] the conventional truth and perspective.
186 This is not the same case.
Why is that?
The Buddha said that if one wants to cut off the suffering and blissfulness, one should initially extinguish anxiety and joyfulness.
As for the suffering in the Desire Realm, we should say that one should first cut off the suffering of anxiety and joyfulness.
However, we do not say that.
Then, we know that they are not the suffering of the Desire Realm.
Because the blissfulness of the third dhyāna has the characteristic of impermanence, it can give rise to suffering.
Hence, it is said that one should cut off suffering.
Also, as the Buddha said, when one experiences blissfulness, one should contemplate it as suffering.
When blissfulness arises in the third dhyāna, and when one dwells in it, it is blissfulness;
when the blissfulness is extinguished, it is suffering.
As a result, it is said that one cuts off blissfulness and suffering.
As for the extinguishment of the anxiety and joyfulness, it is the anxiety in the Desire Realm and the joyfulness of first and second dhyānas.
Within the Desire Realm, there is suffering and anxiety.
When one detaches from desire, they will be extinguished.
How could you only say to cut off anxiety, and not talk about to cut off suffering?
When one cuts off desire, and despite one cuts off two of them, the anxious root cannot be cut off successfully, but the suffering root can be cut off successfully.
As a result, one cannot call it as extinguishment.
If the blissfulness arises in the third dhyāna, then when one dwells in it, it is blissfulness.
When it is extinguished, it is suffering.
Now, you say that there is joyfulness within the first and second dhyāna, how is it that [the third] alone is not like this?
The Buddha‘s discourses said that when one leaves the third dhyāna, one cuts off the blissfulness and suffering, not to extinguish anxiety and joyfulness.
One cannot say that about the first and second dhyāna.
What are the causal conditions that why the Buddha did not mention about it?
As for the blissfulness in the third dhyāna, it is the foremost wonderful experience of blissfulness within the three realms.
It is the state to which the mind becomes attached.
Because of the attachment, impermanence produces suffering.
Because of the coarse joyfulness, it cannot pervade the entire body.
Although it also is lost, it does not cause much anxiety.
As a result, in the sūtra the Buddha did not mention about it.
As for neither blissfulness nor suffering, only the fourth dhyāna has neither experienced blissfulness nor suffering.
Renunciation means discarding the blissfulness of the third dhyāna to do the practice of neither suffering, nor experience blissfulness, nor remembrance, nor remorse.
As for the mindfulness of purity and clarity, it is the extinguishment of the four kinds of anxiety, joyfulness, suffering, and blissfulness.
You have not mentioned about the purity and clarity in the above three dhyānas.
Why do you only mention it within this part?
Because the coarse apprehension and fine analysis in the first dhyāna cause the confusion, the mind is not pure and clear.
It is like the wind blowing a lamp in open ground.
Although it has the grease wick, its bright light could not shine because of the blowing of the wind.
Within the second dhyāna, even though one is absorbed within consciousness, the samādhi mind is scattered and confused because of the arising of great joyfulness.
Hence, it is not called the mind of purity and clarity.
Within the third dhyāna, since one becomes attached to the blissfulness, the mind mostly disturbs this meditative samādhi.
As a result, it is not said that the mind is pure and clear.
Because none of these problems exist in the fourth dhyāna, it is said that the mind is pure and clear.
Also, although the lower realms [of other dhyānas] have samādhi mind, the intake and outtake of breaths cause the mind to be hard to absorb [concentrate].
Within this ground [the fourth dhyāna], because there is no inhalation and exhalation, the mind can easily absorb [concentrate].
Because it can easily absorb, the mind is pure and clear.
Again, the fourth dhyāna is called a true dhyāna.
The other three are just the expedient means like stepping stones.
This fourth dhyāna is like the top of the mountain.
The other three dhyānas are like the paths going up to the mountain top.
Hence, the Buddha said that the fourth dhyāna is the unmoved abode [state], namely the abode of unmoved samādhi.
It also called the calm tranquility, harmonious, and compliance abode.
These are the marks of the fourth dhyāna.
It is like a skillful charioteer who can ride the horse wherever he wants to go.

1.20 – with strong 4th jhāna, easy to do other things

When the cultivator attains to this fourth dhyāna, if he wishes to cultivate the Four Immeasurable Minds, he could attain them easily according to his mind.
187 If he wishes to cultivate the Four Kinds of Mindfulness, it will be easy for him to practice.
188 If he wishes to attain the four Noble Truths quickly, it is not hard to attain.
If he wishes to enter the Four Formless Samādhi, it is easy to attain and enter.
189 If he wishes to attain six supernatural powers, it also is easy for him to seek for them.
Why is that?
Within the fourth dhyāna, there is neither suffering nor blissfulness.
One renounces the mind with purity, clarity, harmony, and gentleness according to the thought.
As the Buddha talked about the example of a goldsmith, he refines the gold according to the rule.
He makes the jewelry as he wishes, and is never unsuccessful.

1.24 – 4 brahma vihāra, immeasurables

1.24.1 – 4bv1: metta = friendly kindness

( 1.🤝🤗 )
How could the cultivator attain the mind of immeasurable loving-kindness?
After the cultivator has relied on the fourth dhyāna, he thinks of all sentient beings within the city walls and vows to cause them to attain happiness.
In such a way [he thinks of all sentient beings] from one country, everywhere in four continents of one Jambudvīpa, a small chiliocosm, two thousand countries, three thousands of great thousand countries (a great chiliocosm), to immeasurable and limitless ganges river sands in ten directions, to vow that they all attain happiness.
190 It is like at the end of the water kalpa;
191 the water is depleted;
the fire pearl is extinguished and has disappeared.
The mind of the dragon king in the great sea moves greatly.
From his mind, the water flows out to fully fill up an ocean.
The water fully rains down everywhere from the sky.
At that time, everywhere is overflown with water.
The cultivator is similar.
He uses the water of great loving-kindness to extinguish the fire of anger and melted [loving-kindness] pearl dispels the hatred.
The loving-kindness water rises and overflows gradually to become broadened and pervading to immeasurable and limitless sentient beings.
They all benefit from its nourishing irrigation, which always flows without stopping.
Or, they listen to the dharma to increase and benefit the loving-kindness mind.
It is like a great rain, which rains down the water everywhere.
The cultivator uses the loving-kindness mind to be mindful of sentient beings, to cause [sentient beings in] the world to obtain the blissfulness of purity and clarity.
The cultivator also uses the attained and swift blissful meditative samādhi to give to sentient beings.
He also uses the blissfulness of nirvāṇa of extinguished suffering, to the foremost true blissfulness of Buddhas, to vow to give to sentient beings.
Due to his power of loving-kindness, he sees that all sentient beings in six paths in ten directions are experiencing happiness.
As the Abhidharma has said, the loving-kindness samādhi is the contemplation of all sentient beings, and perceives them certainly experiencing happiness.
192 Also, the sutra mentions about the loving-kindness samādhi, which pervades all ten direction and [assist one] sees all sentient beings experiencing happiness.
Why does it only say that the cultivator vows to cause sentient beings attaining happiness?
Initially, the cultivator cultivates loving-kindness mind and vows to cause sentient beings to attain happiness.
After he has entered the loving-kindness samādhi, he certainly sees all sentient beings everywhere experiencing happiness.
It is like when one uses an auger to make the fire;
at the beginning there is a little fire to burn soft and dry grass to ignite the fire.
Then, the power of the fire turns into a larger flame, which certainly burns all together the vast wet trees, forest, and mountain.
The loving-kindness is similar.
Initially when he enters the contemplation, he sees others experiencing happiness and vows to give [these happiness] to the suffered ones.
[When he achieves] successfully his power of loving-kindness, he certainly sees others attaining happiness.
None of the sentient beings have really attained happiness.
How could he see all of them attaining happiness, and it is not a fantasy?
There are two types of samādhi.
First is a contemplation of the true mark of various phenomena.
Second is the contemplation of beneficial function of phenomenon.
It is like a jeweler, who first skillfully knows the features of a pearl, whether it is expensive or inexpensive, or good or bad.
Second, he skillfully can harness and use it.
Or he knows its feature, but he cannot use it.
Or it can be harnessed and used, but he could not know its feature.
Or he knows its feature and also has ability to harness and use it.
The cultivator is similar.
When the virtuous sage has not left behind desire, he can contemplate the dharma mark of four Noble Truths and others, but he could not use them and could not practice the four immeasurable minds.
As the common people leave desire behind to practice various meritorious virtues, they can have beneficial usage and give rise to the four immeasurable minds, but they cannot contemplate the true mark.
As for the Arahat, who has been liberated completely, since he can contemplate the true mark and has samādhi fully, he can give rise to the four immeasurable minds.
As for the four immeasurable minds, they are the dharmas of liberated attainment.
Since they have beneficial usage, they are not fantasies.
Also, as for the ultimate truth within Buddhism, there are no sentient beings.
How could someone contemplate suffering as true and contemplate happiness as fantasy?
Fantasy means that while there are no sentient being, but one is attached to the image of a self;
whether it is permanent or impermanent, or having limitation or without limitation, and so forth, it is fantasy.
For those who practice loving-kindness, they know that sentient beings are falsely [provisional] named.
It is like the wheels and other items combining together to be named as a chariot.
Hence, as the cultivators practice the loving- kindness, pure, and clear mind, they are not cognitive distortion.
Also, if [in the view that] there are no sentient beings, but [one considers having] sentient beings [who] experience happiness as real, it should be cognitive distortion.
Having sentient beings and having none of the sentient beings are all partial [views].
Hence, one cannot alone see having sentient beings as a cognitive distortion.
Also, due to the power of loving-kindness samādhi, the cultivator sees all sentient beings attaining happiness.
As for all absorbed contemplations, due to his samādhi power, with regard to the objects of his cognition, he can change the color from blue to red.
How much more when all sentient beings have the blissful features, he could not see?
Regarding the rich, poor, famous or notorious people, or animals, each kind enjoys the support, love, and care for one another.
The poor people do not have the problems of the rich people.
The rich people do not have the problems of the poor people.
Other sentient beings in different destinies might [practice loving-kindness].
How about the sentient beings in hell?
Hell beings also have partial happiness.
Seeing the sword mountain and the ash river afar, they consider them as forest and water, and they give rise to the delightful thought.
When they see women on the tree, they also give rise to the delightful thought.
Also, since [their] minds are deluded, [they] love and enjoy these bodies.
When they are about to be executed, they hide, run away, cry, and beg the hell executors to let them go.
If the hell executors say ―We pardon you,‖ then they obtain the liberation from these sufferings;
this is also the happiness.
These are their partial happinesses.
Also, some can practice this mind [of loving-kindness] through the power of supernatural faculties, teaching and transforming in various ways to cause sentient beings to attain happiness.
Or they can assist sentient beings depending on their possessions.
Their body, speech, and action can become beneficial to sentient beings.
As the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas deeply love and think of destroying the various evil destinies, they truly cause sentient beings to attain various happiness.
As a result, not only do they vow to provide [the happiness for sentient beings], they also truly cause them to attain happiness.
For those who practice loving-kindness, what meritorious virtue can they obtain?
Evils cannot harm those who practice loving-kindness.
Just as when one defends and prepares well, the outside thief cannot harm.
If the thief wants to harm and afflict on others, he will receive the calamity in return by himself.
It is like when someone uses his palm to beat the spear, his palm will be injured, and the spear does not have any damage.
Five types of deviant speech cannot harm the mind [of a cultivator].
Those five are:
first, the faults of lying;
second, the faults of using harsh speech;
third, the fault of talking at an inappropriate time;
fourth, the fault of using evil mind to talk;
and fifth, the fault of using the unbeneficial speech to talk.
One cannot be harmed [or destroyed] by various afflicted anger, slander, and others, just as the great earth cannot be destroyed, and as the empty space cannot be harmed.
The pliancy of the mind‘s wisdom is like celestial cloths.
Again, when the cultivator enters the loving-kindness mind, all kinds of animals such as tiger, wolf, dangerous beast, venom snake, and others cannot harm him.
If he enters the prison, he can neither be injured nor harmed.
He obtains these immeasurable meritorious virtues in that manner.
The virtue of loving-kindness is such as this;
what is it that is called the dharma of loving-kindness?
Lovingly recollecting sentient beings and seeing them all obtain bliss, this is a dharma that accords with the mind, which is included under the aggregate of mental formation;
this is known as the dharma of loving-kindness.
193 It may or may not be attached to the Form Realm.
It is a mental factor, which arises together with the mind, and it operates along with the mind.
194 It is not a form dharma and not karma;
it corresponds with karma, arises together with karma, operates along with karma, and does not arise as retribution.
One should cultivate, attain cultivation, and practiced cultivation.
One should realize the bodily realization and wisdom realization.
It may or may not involve cutting off thought.
Or, it may have coarse apprehension or fine analysis.
Or, it may have no coarse apprehension or fine analysis.
Or, it may have neither coarse apprehension nor fine analysis.
Or, it may have joyfulness or non-joyfulness.
Or, it may or may not have the inhalation and exhalation.
It is either virtuous sage or common people.
Or it is corresponding with experienced blissfulness.
Or it is correspondent with the experiences of non-suffering and non-experienced blissfulness and not path‘s grade.
First, one recognizes the image, and then one cognizes the dharma.
Within the four dhyānas, there are separate levels.
Connecting with immeasurable sentient beings, it is called immeasurable.
Purity and clarity, loving-kindness thought, sympathy, and benefiting are the Brahmā conduct and Brahmā vehicle.
One can go [achieve] to the Brahmā world, which is called Brahmā path.
This is the practical path that Buddhas in the past always did.
How can one cultivate the mind of loving-kindness?
The cultivator should think that I have cut off the hair, and I have not worn the beautiful and adorned clothes in order to spoil the appearance of arrogance.
To be compatible with this life, I have to cultivate loving-kindness.
Since I now wear dirty rags, I should practice loving-kindness in order to keep the mind from being defiled.
I should not waste the food that is offered by the donors.
As the sutra said, if the bhikṣu cultivates the loving-kindness mind gradually, he follows the Buddha‘s teaching.
195 In this way, he does not waste the donors‘ food.
Also, the monastics, the lay people, and the practitioners should think that the power of the loving-kindness mind will help one to have calm tranquility without any calamity during the evil time.
It will enable one to practice solely in accord with the dharma while living within the rotten dharma assembly.
Within the heat of afflictions, it will help one‘s mind to be pure and cool.
It is like having a cool and pure pond nearby a village.
Also, when one cultivates the loving-kindness power, dangerous enemies and harmful poisons cannot harm him, just as when one wears the leather sandal, thorns cannot harm his feet.
The cultivator dwells in the Desire Realm, which has people with too much dangerous [emotions] such as anger, rage, harming, fighting, resentment, danger, and others.
Due to the loving-kindness power, none of them can harm him.
As a strong soldier wears indestructible armor and holds a sharp weapon, although he enters the large scale of battle, he will not be harmed and injured.
Also, this loving-kindness mind can bring benefits for three types of people.
Common people who practice loving-kindness can extinguish various anger and hatred.
They attain immeasurable blessings and take rebirth in a pure realm.
The worldly virtue and blessing does not go beyond this.
For those who seek for śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha, there is much anger in the Desire Realm, which can be destroyed with the power of loving-kindness.
196 They also can extinguish other remaining afflictions accordingly.
They will attain liberation from the Desire Realm and eventually leave the three realms.
As the Buddha said, the loving-kindness mind almost covers the practice of seven factors of enlightenment.
197 To bring forth the Mahāyāna mind to rescue sentient beings, one takes the loving-kindness as the root.
In this manner, the loving-kindness mind helps three kinds of people to have immeasurable benefits.
Also, when one just starts to practice the loving-kindness technique, there are sixteen practices that can cause one to quickly attain the loving-kindness, assisting one being firmed in the path, and helping one to constantly practice it:
first, keeping precept purely;
second, no remorseful thought;
third, giving rise to joyfulness within the wholesome dharmas;
fourth, having blissfulness;
fifth, controlling and preventing the five desires;
198 sixth, [having] mindful thought and expedient wisdom;
seventh, becoming detached from the mind and body;
eighth, practicing and living together with others [dharma friends];
ninth, in listening or speaking, one is accords with the dharma of loving-kindness;
tenth, not afflicting and confusing other people;
eleventh, eating with restraint;
twelfth, less sleeping;
thirteenth, less talking;
fourteenth, being stable and at ease throughout the four modes of deportment [walking, standing, sitting, and reclining];
fifteenth, having necessary items according to one‘s wishes;
sixteenth, not engaging in idle speculation about the practical Dharma.
These sixteen dharmas complement to the loving- kindness samādhi.

1.24.2 – 4bv2: karuna = compassion

( 2.👐😊️ )
Compassion means to contemplate the sufferings of sentient beings such as the sufferings in the hells, hungry ghost, animal, worldly imprisonment, hungry, coldness, illness, and so forth.
When one takes these images of suffering [as objects of contemplation], the compassionate mind tends to increase.
Also, when one sees someone enjoying the life, one can view all of them as suffering.
Why do you see happiness as suffering?
Happiness is impermanent.
When one enjoys happiness, there is no contentment.
Happiness arises from causal conditions.
Thought after thought come and go without having a moment of dwelling.
Hence, it is suffering.
Again, for those who are enjoying pleasure in the heavens of desire, they are incapable of any discernment, like madmen or drunkards;
it is only at the moment of death that they awaken.
In the Form and Formless Realms, sentient beings‘ minds attach to the lovable flavor of the profound meditative samādhi.
199 After they have passed away, they follow their own karmic and causal condition to receive the retribution again.
What kind of happiness do these sentient beings have?
Their old dwelling places are the three evil destinies such as the hells.
The realms of heaven and human are only as the guest houses [for us] to dwell in and stop by temporarily.
Because of these causal conditions, Buddha only speaks of the Truth of sufferings, not the truth of happiness.
Actually, all sentient beings are suffering.
It is very pitiful for sentient beings who do not know their true sufferings.
In their deluded thinking, they give rise to happy thoughts.
In this life and the next, they experience various anxiety and afflictions without becoming weary [of samsara].
Although they temporarily leave behind suffering, they go back again to seek happiness and create other misery actions.
One should ponder as such, to recognize that all sentient beings are experiencing suffering.
This is the compassionate mind.
As for other meanings of compassionate mind, they are discussed in the Mahāyāna commentaries about the four immeasurable minds.

1.24.3 – 4bv3: mudita = rejoicing in skillful Dharmas

( 3.😊 )
Joyfulness means that the cultivator knows the true characteristics of various phenomena.
He contemplates that all the sufferings of sentient beings have the characteristics of happiness, and all of their happiness have the characteristics of suffering.
These phenomena have no concrete marks, because they transform according to the mind‘s power.
If these phenomena have no concrete marks, it is not hard to accomplish the Supreme and perfect enlightenment.
200 How much more are the other remaining paths?
Because one can depend on the thought to attain, the mind gives rise to joyfulness.
Again, the cultivator thinks, ―Due to my little practice of keeping the precept, diligence, and so forth, I can attain freedom from desire.
Since I have reached the meditative samādhi, I obtain immeasurable meritorious virtues.
‖ Because one is mindful with the wholesome meritorious virtues, one‘s mind gives rise to joyfulness.
As a business guest exchanges small items for others which may have a value of hundred or thousand times more than that of those items, his mind is greatly joyful.
One should think that all of these beneficial dharma come from the Buddha‘s kindness.
The Buddha attained the path naturally.
He spoke and explained it for others.
If one follows the Buddha‘s teaching and practices it, he would attain these benefits in the same manner.
At that time, the mind visualizes all the Buddhas of the ten directions, the Buddhas whose bodies have the golden color, beautiful, and adorned features, the ten powers, immeasurable meritorious virtues of the dharma body, and others.
201 Due to the mindfulness of the Buddha, pleasure and joy arise in the mind.
Again, among ninety-six types of religious path [in India], the foremost one is the Buddhism, which can extinguish various sufferings and can move toward the everlasting happiness.
202 As a result, pleasure and joy arise in the mind.
Also, one should distinguish three kinds of Buddhadharma.
First, the immeasurable and everlasting mark of nirvāṇa is the ultimate and indestructible dharma.
Second is the expedient means [for attaining] nirvāṇa of the eightfold path.
Third is the twelvefold of scriptures, which pronounce the eightfold paths.
In such a fashion, one should think of the dharma and give rise to a mental state of joy and delight.
Again, since one can know the true mark as such, and one cultivates proper path and leave various deviant paths, one is a proper person.
Namely, the assembly disciple of the Buddha is the foremost one among all of the assemblies.
One ponders by oneself that:
―I have stayed within this assembly, which is my true friend who can benefit me.
‖ Because of this causal condition, pleasure and joy arise in the mind.
One vows to cause all sentient beings to be pleased and joyful.
Through the successful transformation of the samādhi power, one certainly sees all sentient beings to attain this joyfulness.

1.24.4 – 4bv4: upekkha = equanimous-observation

( 2.👐😊️ )
As for the impartiality 捨, the cultivator is like a person who is tired a little bit and lets the mind to rest for a while.
He only contemplates on one mark of sentient beings, not contemplating the suffering or happiness.
The image of joy [i.e. the previous contemplation] is like a child.
If one usually loves and thinks about the child, this child would be arrogant, unrestrained, defeated, and spoiled.
If one frequently oppresses and frightens it, one would be weak and exhausted.
Hence, sometime one should discard it without loving and hating.
The cultivator is as such.
If he frequently practices the loving-kindness and joyful mind, he would be negligent because of having too much joyfulness and happiness.
If he frequently practices compassion, he would give rise to anxiety and affliction, because of thinking too much about suffering.
Hence, as for the practice of renunciation, one does not let [enjoy] too much suffering and happiness.
Again, the cultivator enters the path to attain the flavor of meditative samādhi, to distinguish the good and bad sides of sentient beings;
namely the wholesome and unwholesome deeds.
If they are wholesome deeds, the cultivator respects, honors, thinks of, and loves them.
If they are unwholesome deeds, derision and arrogance certainly will arise.
As people obtain the great precious pearl, they despise the impoverished people.
When they see the person who possesses the pearl, they respect, honor, love, and think about him.
[Because one wants] to destroy these two marks, one practices the mind of impartiality.
As the sutra said, to cultivate the loving-kindness mind is to extinguish and destroy anger and hatred.
To cultivate the compassionate mind is to extinguish the affliction on sentient beings.
To cultivate the joyful mind is to extinguish and destroy the anxiety and sadness.
To cultivate the renounced mind is to extinguish and destroy the hatred and love.
As one only contemplates sentient beings attaining liberation, one accords with the mind‘s activities.
It is like a person observing the forest, not the trees.
It is like when it is cold, worldly people get a heater;
when it is hot, they get coolers.
When they get the wealth according to their wish, it is called happiness.
If they obtain the official status, the treasury storage, the music, dance, play, and laugh, it is called joyfulness.
If they lose these joys, it is called suffering and sadness.
If none of these three matters exists, it is called impartiality.
The cultivator is as such.
He fully possesses these four kinds of minds.
203 He experiences happiness by himself and vows to give them to sentient beings.
When his mind is gentle and flexible, he sees that all sentient beings certainly will attain this happiness.
Also, when he sees the celestial beings and the wealthy people in the world, he holds these happy marks [in his mind] and vows to share with sentient beings.
When his mind has attained pliancy, he sees that all sentient beings certainly attain this happiness.
When one cultivates loving-kindness, the mind gives rise to great joy.
One takes this great joy, and one vows to share with sentient beings.
Or after one has gotten out from samādhi, one bows, praises, and makes offering to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.
204 If one also attains the joyful mind, one vows to share with sentient beings.
One also holds the external joyfulness and vows to share with sentient beings.
Or when one sees by oneself those sufferings of aging, illness, anxiety, affliction, hungry, coldness, and imprison, one wishes to cause sentient beings to leave these sufferings and afflictions by thinking that:
―I can distinguish and consider that even my mind has patience, I still have suffering and affliction.
How much more is this true of sentient beings, who do not have the wisdom and patience to experience various suffering without being afflicted?
‖ As a result, one gives rise to a compassionate mind.
Again, one sees outside people being punished, oppressed, and whipped.
One also hears the sutra said that the evil destinies are serious suffering and pain.
One utilizes this image of suffering to contemplate that all is suffering, and gives rise to the compassionate mind.
Impartiality means that one renounces by oneself the resentment and love.
One also contemplates that sentient beings do not have [carry] resentment and love, and one holds [in mind] the experience of non-suffering and non-happiness of sentient beings.
From the fourth dhyāna to Realm of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought, and within the Desire Realm, there is neither suffering nor happiness.
205 Having grasped this image, one contemplates that all sentient beings also do not have suffering and happiness as such.
Again, it is like a wealthy person who has only one son, he loves and thinks of his son seriously and considerably.
His mind frequently shows compassion and care for his son.
As for various worldly happiness, he vows to make his son to get that happiness definitely.
Since he has obtained them by himself, he also shares them all with his son.
Or when that son encounters various afflictions and calamities, the father is so kind with his compassionate thought.
If the son would be spared from those calamities, the father would have a great joy.
After his mind has given rise to the joyfulness, he expediently lets go of the son in order for him to grow up by himself.
The father could relax.
The cultivator is as such.
Within the four immeasurable minds, he contemplates sentient beings as his children.
Depending on his existed and possessed happiness and various worldly happiness, he visualizes [the image that he contemplates] and vows to assist them to obtain these happiness too.
Due to his loving-kindness samādhi power, he certainly sees all of them as happy people.
The cultivator begins with the loving-kindness mind.
If he sees that sentient beings experience various pains and sufferings, and after he has kept these appearances, he gives rise to the compassionate mind.
Due to the power of compassionate mind, he sees that all sentient beings certainly experience sufferings.
After he has seen that, he vows to cause all sentient beings to leave these sufferings.
He gets up from the compassionate samādhi.
If he sees that sentient beings experience happiness and can be able to enter the path of nirvāṇa, and after he has kept these marks, he gives rise to the joyful mind.
[Previously], he wished them to obtain happiness, but they can only obtain this happiness by themselves.
With pliancy in his mind and consciousness, he certainly sees that all sentient beings obtain the pleasure and joyfulness.
After he gets up from this samādhi, he sees that sentient beings have neither suffering nor happiness, and neither sadness nor joyfulness.
After he has kept these appearances, his mind give rise to the renunciation, and he vows to cause all sentient beings to have neither suffering nor happiness, and neither sadness nor joyfulness.
Due to his skillful practice of the renunciation samādhi power, he certainly sees that sentient beings have neither suffering nor happiness, and neither sadness nor joyfulness.
They have left the fire of afflictions.
Also, if he sees that sentient beings have various faults, he forgives them without making any inquiry.
If they respect, honor, love, and attach to him, he does not take them as the joyfulness.
This is the renounced mind.
The meanings of these immeasurable minds have been explained within the Mahāyāna tradition.
[This is the end of the first fascicle.
What follows here is apparently some sort of postscript].
Pure contemplation has three levels.
Perhaps one has just begun to practice;
or one has already practiced;
or one has been practicing for a long time.
For those who have just begun to practice, one should teach them that they should see through the skin of impurity and contemplate on the white skeleton of a person.
They should fasten their mind on this contemplation without letting it have any other thoughts.
If one‘s thoughts stray to external conditions, one should collect and bring them back.
If they have already practiced, one should teach them that the mind should discard the skin and flesh, and contemplate fully on the skull without letting other thoughts to wander around.
If their thoughts stray to external conditions, they should collect and bring them back.
If they have been practicing for a long time, one should teach them that they should discard an inch of skin and flesh within the body and fasten the mind at five places:
on the crown;
on the forehead;
between the eye brows;
on the nasal septum;
and in the heart.
They should dwell their mind at those five bone places without letting the mind to have other thoughts.
If other thoughts wonder around with various conditions, they should absorb and bring them back to contemplate the mind again.
If the mind is much tired, one should discard other thoughts [about external condition] and concentrate the mind on the [internal] condition.
It is like a monkey being tied at a post;
although he jumps and runs from the morning to the evening, he is still chained at one place.
When he is tired, he will rest by himself.
The dwelling condition is the post.
The mindfulness is like the chain.
The mind is like the monkey.
Also, as a foster nurse always watches the baby, not letting it fall down, the cultivator contemplates the mind in similar manner.
Gradually, he controls the mind to make it dwelling in a conditional place.
If the mind has been dwelling in it for a period of time, it is correspondence with the meditation dharma.
If he attains the meditative samādhi, there are three features.
The body should be harmonious, delightful, gentle, joyful, flexible, at ease, and expedient.
The white bone emits bright light like white jade.
The mind gains quiescent abiding.
This is the pure contemplation.
At that time, one attains the mind within the Form Realm.
It is called the beginning study of the meditation dharma door.
If the samādhi surpasses the mind, one does not need to control it to dwell at one place.
It is called single-mindedness.
If one could dwell within an inch, one could break through pervasively.
Not only one can contemplate a red skeleton man.
After one has finished this contemplation, one discards [the contemplation of] red skeleton and contemplates the white skeleton man.
One should not let the other thought wandering [with other conditions].
If other thoughts wonder with various conditions, one should absorb and bring it back.
If the mind is pure and clear, one should dwell in the contemplation of white skeleton.
From around the skeleton, the white light was emitted within the entire body.
As when there is a clear sky, the lights of the sun and moon shine extremely and purely.
When this light was emitted out, one uses the mind and eyes to contemplate and see it clearly.
Due to the power of the light, one sees the feature within the skeleton man, which is resemble with the arising and extinguishing of the mind and mental function, as the water flowing through a crystal pipe.
At that time, the mind halts [of thinking] and obtains blissfulness, in which the blissfulness of sexual desire people cannot be compared with it.
One contemplates the external parts of the body in a similar manner.
This is contemplation of a body.
One continues in turn to contemplate more bodies, even to the entire Jambudvīpa.
From one Jambudvīpa, one goes back to contemplate an inch [of the body so that] the mind obtains dwelling autonomy.
It is the pure samādhi door within the impure contemplation.
Also, this body is hollow, and the skeleton is covered by the thin skin.
How could one enjoy it, which certainly is deeply a misfortune?

2 – Second fascicle

If the cultivator seeks for [entering] the Realm of Limitless Space, he should think that the physical form is the accumulation of various sufferings.
206 All kinds of sufferings such as whipping, hitting, cutting, obstructing, killing, harming, hunger, coldness, aging, and illness come from the physical form.
If one ponders as such, one can abandon and leave the physical form to attain the Realm of Limitless Space.
Now the cultivator relies on this physical form as a body.
How can he abandon and leave it?
Various afflictions are the causal conditions of the form;
they are also capable of becoming attached to form.
When afflictions are reduced, this is called freedom from form.
Also, if one practices the method of contemplation that exposes the emptiness of form, one can leave the form.
Also, as the Buddha has said, a bhikṣu contemplates the five skandhas in the fourth dhyāna as disease, ulcer, tumor, and thorn.
They are impermanent, suffering, empty, and selflessness.
If one contemplates as such, one can leave the five skandhas in the fourth dhyāna.
Since skandhas are depended on the form, it is the meaning of leaving the form.
Why is that?
The physical form ultimately is extinguished.
Also, if the cultivator contemplates the physical form in each individual part separately, then there is no physical form.
For example, the body has the parts of head, legs, shoulders, and others.
If one divides each of them separately, then there is no body.
For example, after one divides the head into many parts such as the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, hair, bones, and flesh, then there is no head.
As the eyes are the conglomeration of ten things such as the four elements, the four objects of the senses, the faculty of body, the faculty of sight, black and white, and others, the eye balls are called the eyes.
If one divides them into individual parts, there is no eye.
If one divides the flesh (earth) and others, one can see them in similar way.
The eye-organ is composed of the four elements.
Its form cannot be fixed.
How could you divide it?
The four elements and their compositions are the combined structures of the pure form, which is called the eye.
If one takes away this physical form, there is no eye.
Also, even though this pure form cannot be seen, and since it is solid and obstructed, it can be divided.
Since it can be divided, then there is no eye.
Also, because it can see the form, it is called the eye.
If one subtracts the four elements and the forms that are composed of the four elements, then there is no eye.
If there is no eye, but one can see the form, then the ears could serve as the eye.
If the eye is the form dharma, it can be divided because all of the form dharma have the places to be divided.
If they can be divided, then there are many eyes.
If one says that various [particles of] dust composted of the four elements are eyes, then there cannot be just one eye.
If all are not the eyes, then there also cannot be just one.
If someone says that the [particles of] dusts are the eyes, then it is incorrect.
Why is that?
If the dust has the form, then it has [all in] ten directions, and they are not called dusts.
If it is non-form, then it is not called the eye.
Also, the body of dust has four parts of form, fragrance, smell, and touch.
The eyes do not have these four types.
Why is that?
The eyes are included among the internal sense-bases.
Those four of form, fragrance, smell, and touch are included among the external senses.
As a result, one cannot consider the dust as the eyes.
As the Buddha has said, various elements compose and harmonize each other to see the form is called provisionally as the eyes, and they are no true solid one.
The ears, the tongue, the skin, the flesh, the bones are refuted in a similar way.
It is called refuting the mark of the internal body.
All of the external forms such as the palace, money, property, wife and children, and so forth can be divided and refuted as such.
As the Buddha told Bhadra, ―From now onward, you should refute, scatter, damage, and break through the form to cause having no form.
‖207 If one can distinguish them in this way, it is called leaving the physical form.
The Buddha has said, ―If the bhikṣus want to leave the physical form, they should transcend all of the physical mark, extinguish all of the marks of obstruction, and not think of all marks of differentiation.
Then, they will enter into a state of immeasurable emptiness.
Transcending all marks of form refers to visible form.
Extinguishing all the marks of obstruction refers to form that obstructs [i.e. takes up space], but is not visible.
Not to think of all marks of differentiation refers to form that is non-obstructive and invisible.
Also, one can enter the Realm of Limitless Space, if one leaves all of these physical marks through:
the transcending of all the physical marks, which refers to the blue, yellow, red, white, vermillion, purple, and other physical marks;
the extinguishment of the obstruction, which refers to the sound, fragrance, smell, touch, and others;
and the marks of differentiation, which refers to those large, small, long, short, square, circle, near, far, and others.
Again, the cultivator focuses the mind and body internally as emptiness [empty space], such as the bodily parts of the mouth, nose, throat, eyes, ears, chest, stomach, and others.
Having known that the physical forms are various afflictions, and the emptiness does not have any calamity, the mind prefers the emptiness.
If the mind absorbs in the form, and if one causes it to dwell at the emptiness, then the mind will become gentle and flexible, and the emptiness within the body gradually extends larger.
One sees one‘s own body like the hole in a lotus root.
If one‘s practice is sharpened, one sees the body as empty space without having any form.
One should contemplate the external form in the same way.
The external and internal emptiness are equally as emptiness.
At that time, the mind is conditioning to the immeasurable and limitless empty space (or the Realm of Limitless Space).
One will leave the form thought and dwell in the calm quiescence and swift blissfulness.
It is like a bird breaking through the jug to soar to the empty space without any obstruction.
This is called the initial formless samādhi.
The cultivator knows that feeling, perception, formation, and consciousness are like empty space, and they are like illness, ulcer, tumor, and thorn.
They are impermanent, suffering, empty, and selflessness.
Again, he seeks for wonderful samādhi to leave the empty condition.
Why is that?
One knows that the mind‘s thoughts are empty, deceiving, and false.
Before [the thought] did not exist;
now it exists.
It has existed, and then it goes back to nothingness.
One has known this calamity.
Emptiness exists from the consciousness.
Namely, consciousness is considered as real.
Thus, one should only contemplate consciousness to let go off the condition of emptiness.
When one contemplates about the consciousness, one gradually sees the mark of consciousness arising continuously as the flow of water or the flame of fire.
The appearances of consciousness flow continuously through past, present, and future immeasurably and limitlessly.
Why did the Buddha say that the realm of consciousness is immeasurable and limitless?
209 Answer:
Since the consciousness can cognize faraway [object], it is limitless.
Since it is capable of cognizing immeasurable dharmas, therefore it is immeasurable.
Previously, one cognized the immeasurability of space.
If one overcomes that limitless of space, consciousness should also be limitless.
If one destroys limitless emptiness, the consciousness should be limitless.
Since the mind of cultivator is gentle and flexible, he can extend the consciousness largely to limitlessness.
It is called the abode [state] of limitless consciousness or the Realm of Limitless Consciousness.
210 Question:
This consciousness is composed of four aggregates.
Why do you talk only of consciousness?
Consciousness is the lord of all of the internal dharmas.
All various mental concomitants are dependent on the consciousness.
If one talks about the consciousness, one discusses about other aggregates.
Also, within the Desire Realm, the form aggregate is lord.
Within the Form Realm, the feeling aggregate is lord.
Within the Realm of Limitless Space and the Realm of Limitless Consciousness, the consciousness aggregate is lord.
Within the Realm of Nothingness, the perception aggregate is lord.
211 Within Realm of Neither Thought Nor Non- Thought, mental formation aggregate is lord.
Again, there are three dharmas, i.e. body, mind, and mental concomitants.
The body is the lord in the Desire Realm and Form Realm.
The mind follows the body.
If there is no body,
then there is only the mind as a functional power.
The mind has two parts.
One cognizes emptiness, and other cognizes itself.
Hence, it should have two states, i.e. emptiness state and consciousness state.
However, because initially one destroys only the form, then one uses emptiness as the name.
When one destroys the emptiness, then one takes consciousness as the name.
The mental concomitants also have two parts.
One is thought, and other is mental formation.
Hence, it also should have two states, i.e. the thought of the Realm of Nothingness and the mental formation of Realm of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought.
Again, since one takes consciousness as an object of cognition, one can leave the Realm of Limitless Space.
As a result, although it still has other aggregates, it only receives the name of consciousness.
After the cultivator has attained to the state of consciousness, he should seek for the wonderful samādhi through the contemplation of consciousness that has the calamity as discussed above.
Again, one should contemplate the causal condition of consciousness as the relatives of illusion, space, and fantasy.
It belongs to the category of cause and condition, and is not self- existent.
It arises based on conditions, and is extinguished when those conditions are gone.
The consciousness neither dwells in emotion (of sentient beings) nor condition, nor in between.
It neither has the dwelling place nor non-dwelling place.
The appearance of consciousness is in this manner.
The Thus Come One said that consciousness is similar to illusion.
After the cultivator ponders it in this manner, he could leave the consciousness state.
Again, the cultivator should think that just as the five desires are empty and deceitful, so is form.
As form is empty and deceitful, so is the emptiness.
As emptiness is empty and deceitful, so is the mark of consciousness.
All of them are empty and deceitful, but sentient beings attach and indulge in these dharma.
For example, they consider the Realm of Nothingness as the place of calm tranquility.
After they have this thought, they enter the Realm of Nothingness.
Is there any different between the Realm of Limitless Space and the Realm of Nothingness?
In the first one (Realm of Limitless Space), the contemplation of emptiness is the causal condition.
In the second one, the contemplation of nothingness is the causal condition.
This is the difference.
When the cultivator has entered the Realm of Nothingness, if he is a person of sharp faculties, he will realize that there are still feelings, perception, formation, and consciousness within this state.
He develops revulsion towards them as described above.
Those who have dull roots will be unable to realize this.
Again, the causal conditions for leaving behind the Realm of Nothingness are three [types of] perceptions, i.e. perception, non-perception, and neither perception nor non-perception.
Perception refers to [meditative states] from the Desire Realm to the Realm of Limitless Consciousness.
Non-perception refers to [the meditative states] in the Realm of Nothingness.
Neither perception nor non-perception refers to [the meditative states] in Realm of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought.
One should abandon and leave behind the non-perception.
Why is that?
Although the Realm of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought is subtle, one should leave and abandon it, how much more the Realm of Nothingness.
After one thinks about this, one leaves the Realm of Nothingness.
Within the Buddha‘s teaching, there is also [the concept] of empty nothingness.
If it is true, why do you say that it is deviant view, and one should abandon and leave it?
In Buddhism, it is used to break through the attachment.
So, do not take that word as true face value.
People with deviant views love and attach to the Realm of Nothingness as real.
Within this realm, after sentient beings have received the certain retribution, they will receive various retributions again depending on the karma and causal condition.
Thus, one should abandon them.
Despite the names seeming to be alike, they are truly different.
Again, the cultivator should think that all of the ground (state) of thoughts are coarse, and should be avoided like illness, ulcer, tumor, and arrow.
The ground of non-thought is a state of the dullness.
Now, the foremost state of quiescence, extinction, and wonderful is called the Realm of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought .
After one has contemplated in that manner, one could leave the ground of contemplating the Realm of Nothingness.
Then, one enters Realm of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought.
Within this state, is there thought or no thought?
Within this state, there is thought.
How then could you say that only the lower seven grounds are called the samādhi of thought?
The thought within this ground is subtle and not sharp.
Since it does not realize the function of thought, it is not called thought.
Since the mind of the cultivator in this state is one of neither thought nor non-thought, the Buddha accorded with the original name to say that it is Realm of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought.
The people of dull faculties cannot realize that there are four aggregates within this state.
Therefore, they call it as the nirvāṇa of calm tranquility.
As a result, they give rise increasingly to arrogance.
After they have the life span of eighty thousand kalpas, they will fall into the other realms of existence.
Within this state, despite the profound subtlety of the four aggregates, the people of sharp faculties will be able to recognize them.
After they have realized them, they feel revulsion and give rise to the thought that these are also compounded contrived dharmas.
Phenomena produced from causal conditions are empty, deceitful, and not real as illness, ulcer, tumor, and arrow.
They are impermanent, suffering, empty, and selflessness.
They also are the development of causal condition for the next life.
Hence, one should abandon and leave them.
Since they have these calamities, one should study the four Noble Truths.
When one renounces other grounds, why do not you say to study the Four Noble Truths?
When we spoke previously [about conditioned dharmas] as illness, ulcer, tumor, arrow, impermanent, suffering, empty, and selflessness, we only briefly spoke about the Four Noble Truths.
We have not yet talked about it extensively.
Again, in other grounds, there is no obstruction and difficulty.
Common people with outflows also can overcome them.
Since this state is the top (foremost) of the worldly realm, only holy people that studying the non-outflow path can transcend it.
It is like a bird whose leg is tied by a rope.
At first, even though it can fly away, the rope pulls it back eventually.
Similarly, even though common people can go beyond other grounds, the king of Māras is not afraid of them.
If they go beyond the ground of the uppermost state [heaven], the king of Māras is frightened just as when the rope is broken, and the bird flies away.
212 As a result, when one leaves other grounds, one does not talk about the Four Noble Truths.
The ground of uppermost heaven is the essential door of the three realms.
213 If one wishes to leave this essential door, one should study the Four Noble Truths.
What are the Four Noble Truths?
They are the truth of suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path to end the suffering.
Suffering has two types, i.e. physical suffering and mental suffering.
The cause of suffering also has two types, i.e. the primary and secondary afflictions.
214 The cessation of suffering also has two types, i.e. nirvāṇa without residue 無余涅槃 and nirvāṇa with residue 有餘涅槃.
215 The path to end suffering also has two types, i.e. samādhi and wisdom.
Again, the truth of suffering has two types, i.e. the mundane truth of suffering 苦諦 and the transcendental truth of suffering 苦聖諦.
The mundane truth of suffering is the mark of the affliction mark.
Namely, the five appropriated aggregates are called the mundane truth of suffering.
216 The transcendental truth of suffering means one uses knowledge and view to cultivate the path.
This is called the transcendental truth of suffering.
The cause of suffering has two types, i.e. the mundane cause 集諦 and the transcendental cause 集聖諦.
The mundane cause is the mark of development and arising, namely the true cause of mental afflictions such as love and so forth are called the mundane cause.
The transcendental cause uses cutting off as the path for cultivation.
It is the transcendental cause.
The cessation of suffering has two types, i.e. the mundane cessation 滅諦 and the transcendental cessation 滅聖諦.
The mundane cessation has the appearance of quiescence and extinction, namely the fruitions of four sramenas.
217 This is called the mundane cessation.
The transcendental cessation relies on the realization as the practiced path.
The path to end suffering has two types, i.e. mundane path 道諦 and transcendental path 道聖諦.
The mundane path has the appearance of leaving and arriving, namely the eightfold path.
This is called the mundane path.
The transcendental path uses the cultivation as the practiced path.
It is called the transcendental path.
Again, the truth has two types, i.e. the general and specific marks.
The general mark of suffering is the five appropriated aggregates.
The specific mark of suffering is the extensive distinguishing of the aggregates of form, feeling, perception, formation, and consciousness aggregates.
The general mark of the cause of suffering can give rise to love for the body in the next life.
The specific mark of the cause of suffering extensively distinguishes the causal conditions of various emotional afflictions such as love, the karma of having outflow, and the five aggregates.
The general mark of cessation can give rise to the later body of extinguishing the love.
The specific mark of cessation can extensively distinguish eighty-nine kinds of extinguishments.
218 The general mark of the path is the eightfold path.
The specific mark of the path extensively distinguishes from suffering and the dharma of patience to the state of non-study path.
219 If one does not comprehend thoroughly the Four Noble Truths, one certainly will revolve throughout the five destinies.
220 Namely, one comes and goes in the rebirth cycle without anytime to rest.
Due to this causal condition, the cultivator should be mindful that all sufferings such as aging, illness, and death are because of having this body.
It is like all the grasses and trees sprouting out from the earth.
As the sutra has said, the means by which all sentient beings possess bodies is that they are born due to suffering.
As with poisonous foods, whether they look good or bad, they still kill people.
If there are no body and mind, there is no place for the suffering of death to rely upon.
It is like a strong wind blowing and uprooting a big tree.
If there is no tree, the wind destroys nothing.
Having explained briefly the original experience of sufferings of body and mind, as the empty space is the root of wind, as the wood is the root of fire, and as the ground is the root of water, the body is the root of suffering.
Again, as the earth usually is the solid feature, as the water usually is the moisture feature, as the fire usually is the heat feature, and as the wind usually is the movement feature, the body and mind usually are the suffering features.
Why is that?
Since one has the body, sufferings such as aging, illness, death, hunger, thirsty, coldness, heat, wind, rain, and others always follow.
Because one has the mind, those mental sufferings such as anxiety, sadness, fear, affliction of ill-will, envy, and others always follow.
If one understands the physical suffering in the present, the previous physical suffering will also be understood.
As the past and present have physical suffering, so does the future.
It is like now one sees [the plantation of] the corn seed, which will produce the corn.
Similarly, one understands that all of the past, present, and future are the same.
As for the characteristic of a fire‘s heat in the present, one knows that the heat of the fire in the past and the future are the same.
If there are no body and mind, certainly before there was no suffering, now there also is no suffering, and later there also will not be any suffering.
Hence, one should know that the pains and sufferings in the three periods of time all come from having the body and mind.
Hence, one should contemplate the truth of suffering, and the mind should give rise to disenchantment.
The causal condition of sufferings only comes and arises from the mental afflictions such as love and others.
It does not come and arise from heaven, time, nature, and non-causal condition.
If one detaches from afflictions, then one will not be reborn.
One should know that all sentient beings in the world were born from mental afflictions such as love and others.
All phenomena of human contrivance are initiated by desire.
Therefore, various mental afflictions are the causal condition of sufferings.
Again, because of the affection like water, one receives the body.
Without the affection like water, one would not receive the body.
It is like that the dry earth cannot hold the wall.
Only when one mixes water with the earth,
the wall can be glued with the earth [foundation].
Again, due to various afflictions, sentient beings receive different bodies.
As for those who have much desire, they receive the body of much desire.
Having much anger receives the body of much anger.
Having much ignorance receives the body of much ignorance.
Having little affliction receives the body of little afflictions.
Seeing the difference in retribution today, one knows the difference in each of the former causal conditions.
In the future, the differences in bodies received according to affliction are also like this.
Namely, everyone receives a different body corresponding to his individual karma.
If not because of anger, one certainly would not receive the body of a poisonous snake.
All other bodies are in the same manner.
Because of this, one should know that various afflictions such as love and others are the causal conditions of all sufferings.
If the causal condition of suffering is extinguished, suffering will be ended, which is nirvāṇa.
Nirvāṇa means:
detaching from desire;
cutting off various mental afflictions;
and an everlasting and unchangeable state.
Within this state, there is no birth, aging, illness, death, suffering because of being departed from the loved ones, suffering because of seeing an enemy;
it is constantly bliss without retreat.
When the cultivator attains nirvāṇa and achieves transcendence through extinction, then there will be no coming and going [to the rebirth cycle].
It is called perfect quiescence.
It is as when the oil of a lamp has been extinguished, the fire is extinguished, and it does not go to any direction.
This is called the truth about the cessation of suffering.
As for the attainment of the expedient path of nirvāṇa, samādhi has three parts, wisdom has two parts, and discipline has three parts.
If one abides within the precept, one cultivates samādhi and wisdom.
Namely, what capable of comprehending the Four Noble Truths is wisdom, which is called proper view.
Following the proper view, the awakening dharma arises;
this is proper thinking.
There are the two parts of wisdom.
Proper samādhi, proper mindfulness, and proper diligence are three parts of samādhi.
Proper speech, proper karma, and proper livelihood are three parts of discipline.
If one dwells in pure discipline, various sprouts of afflictions cannot be allowed to arise because their powers are weak.
As one plants the rice plant in the wrong time, it cannot sprout up.
When the powers of mental afflictions come, the element of samādhi can restrain them.
As the great mountain can contain water, the water cannot destroy the great mountain.
As when the mantra restricts the poisonous snake, it cannot harm people, despite its poison.
The samādhi elements are in similar manner.
Wisdom can uproot various mental afflictions.
As the big waves of water overflow onto the river bank, all trees [along the bank] are uprooted and drift away.
If one practices these three parts of the eightfold path, one directly and truly walks on the proper path, can extinguish the cause of suffering, ultimately attains calm tranquility, and has everlasting and spontaneous happiness.
While one practices these expedient and initial doors (technique), there are ten matters.
First is the proper concentrated mind, in which when various external matters come to spoil, they cannot move and change one‘s mind.
As the winds blow in four directions to the mountain, the mountain would not be moved.
Second is the straightforward manner.
When one listens to the dharma teaching of the master, one should not find the master‘s faults.
One‘s mind neither increases nor decreases.
He follows the teaching without any doubt.
As one goes into a dense forest to pick up wood, if the wood is straight, one can easily carry it out;
if it is curved, it is hard to carry them out of the forest.
The three worlds are similar to the dense forest;
a straightforward person can easily get out, but for a crooked person is hard to do so.
In Buddhism, only a straightforward person can be used, and the crooked one should be discarded and thrown away.
Third is conscience and shame, which is the foremost, wondrous adornment.
Conscience and shame are the hook to control the evil mind one.
Having conscience and shame is truly a man.
If one does not have conscience and shame, one is no different from the animals.
Fourth is lack of carelessness and self-indulgence, which is the root of all wholesome dharma.
As for the carelessness and self-indulgence of worldly people, they lose various benefits.
If the cultivator is careless and self-indulgent, he will lose the benefit of nirvāṇa.
Hence, one should know that carelessness and self-indulgence are like enemies and thieves.
One‘s mind should always leave them far away.
One should know that non-carelessness and non-self-indulgence is like the king, the father, and the master.
One should respect and follow them without refusal.
Fifth is to keep separation.
Due to the accomplishment of keeping separation [from five desires] it becomes non-carelessness and non-self-indulgence.
If one stays nearby the five desires, then the emotions will arise.
First, one should physically separate oneself from settled dwellings.
Second, one should mentally separate oneself, not thinking of worldly matters.
Sixth is having little desire.
The mind does not seek more personal property.
If one seeks too much, one certainly will fall into various states of afflictions.
Seventh is being satisfied with whatever one has.
Even if someone has a little desire, if he joyfully attaches to the desirable things, his bodhi mind will be defeated.
221 Hence, the wise person seeks contentment and nothing more.
Eighth is the mind of non-attachment.
If one used to socialize or build relationships with disciples, donors, and knowledgeable people, through inquiry, receiving and sending off, and having too much responsibility of management and matter, one may be defamed and defeated in the path.
Hence, one should not attach to them.
Ninth is not enjoying worldly entertainment.
One should not enjoy the entertainment of all of the worldly matters such as singing, dancing, playing music, horoscopy, or divination.
Tenth is patience.
When the cultivator seeks for the path, he should be patient with ten things:
first, the harmfulness of mosquito and horsefly;
second, poisonous insects and snakes;
third, dangerous beasts;
fourth, curses, accusations, slander, and libel;
fifth, the inflicting of harm, beating, and hurting;
sixth, illness and pains;
seventh, hunger;
eighth, thirst;
ninth, cold;
and tenth, heat.
The cultivator should be patient with those afflictions without letting them become victorious.
Namely, one should always defeat these afflictions.
Again, as a person knows the sign of illness, the causal condition of illness, and the medicine to treat the illness, he can diagnose the sick people.
He can provide the treatment according to his skill, and the illness soon will be treated properly.
The cultivator is similar in this manner.
He knows the true mark of suffering, the causal condition of suffering, the path to extinguish the suffering, and the skillful teacher and companions.
As a result, he soon attains calm tranquility and perfect quiescence.
When one attains to the Realm of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought and enters deeply into meditative samādhi, only the afflictions of the higher realms are subtle and weak, and the mind has been gentle and flexible.
223 [If that is the case] one should not use various causal conditions and examples to contemplate the Four Noble Truths, because it seems that he may not believe in them.
Not only do we talk about the realm of uppermost heaven, we also discuss all of the uppermost heavenly states.
224 However, one should contemplate the four aggregates in the Formless Realm as impermanence, suffering, empty, and selflessness.
They are like illness, ulcer, an arrow shooting to the heart, impermanence, suffering, empty, and selflessness.
All of them are the causal condition of false and deceitful contrived dharmas.
One should contemplate that the super wonderfulness, calm tranquility, and blissfulness of nirvāṇa is not a contrived dharmas, since it is the really true one without any falsity.
If one destroys three poisons and three deteriorations, one will extinguish the physical and mental suffering.
225 One frequently curses the four aggregates and their causal conditions.
This is called the truth of suffering and the cause of suffering.
One praises nirvāṇa and the path of nirvāṇa.
It is called the cessation of suffering and the path to cease the suffering.
After the cultivator has attained the four dhyāna and four formless samādhi, his mind will become gentle and flexible.
226 If he seeks for the five supernatural powers, he relies on the fourth dhyāna to attain them easily.
227 If he relies on the first, second, and third dhyāna, although he could attain them, it is hard to seek for them.
Even though he could attain them, they will not be firm.
Why is that?
It is because the coarse apprehension and fine analysis of the first dhyāna disturbs samādhi.
228 In the second dhyāna, there is more sympathetic joy.
In the third dhyāna, there is too much bliss.
These experiences are in conflict with samādhi.
All of the four steps to supernatural powers are the marks of samādhi.
229 Only the fourth dhyāna has no suffering, no bliss, no sadness, no sympathy joy, and no intake and outtake breaths.
This is the joyful, calm, tranquil dwelling place of the sages.
Hence, the cultivator should rely on the fourth dhyāna to cultivate the four steps to supernatural powers.
They are:
the desire to gain excellent meditation through the practice of dharma, which is successful according to the mind;
and diligence samādhi [to gain excellent meditation], mindful samādhi [to gain the control over thoughts], thoughtful samādhi [the good function of analytical meditation through the practice of the dharma], which are successful according to the mind.
Those who rely and dwell in these powers will certainly attain any state.
Why does one desire to have samādhi [excellency in meditation] of practice of dharma, which is successful according to the mind?
Desire means things that one wishes to have.
Samādhi means concentration without having increasing and decreasing.
Practicing the dharma means mindfulness, faith, skillfulness, wisdom, joy, bliss, and others, which support and become desire samādhi.
Since the desire is the host, when one attains this samādhi, it is called desire samādhi.
Diligence samādhi, mindful samādhi, and thoughtful samādhi are also the same.
When the cultivator contemplates desire, do not let it increase or extinguish.
Do not allow more absorption internally and more scattering externally.
One is gentle, flexible, equanimous, harmonious, controllable, and usable.
It is like adjusting the zither‘s strings (彈琴) so that one can play music accordingly.
The diligent and thoughtful minds are also in the same manner.
As the cultivator learns how to fly, the wish to fly is called desire.
Absorption of the scattered mind and accumulation of various supplementary practices is called the diligent mind.
One can lift the body and leave the coarse and heavy of the body and mind such as sleepiness and restlessness.
Then, the mind will be light and at ease.
Because the mind is at ease, one can lift his body.
This is called the mind.
If one has more or less of calculated desire and diligent mind, one can lift the body, but one has not destroyed various internal and external form and smell.
This is called thinking [thoughtful].
If one relies on the four steps to supernatural powers, one can completely possess the meritorious virtue, how much more is this true obtaining the five supernatural powers.
Among the five supernatural powers, which one arises first?
Whichever one desires is the one that arises first.
If it is the case, then why do you mention the supernatural power of transformation first?
Mostly, one uses supernatural power [for helping] sentient beings.
Why is that?
As for a wisdom liberated Arahat, after he has attained Arahatship, he gives rise to this thought:
―Sentient beings, who mostly possess dull faculties, disbelieve and despise Buddhism.
I have attained the difficult practice, i.e. supernatural power of non-outflow.
Why do not I utilize the supernatural power to teach and transform sentient beings, who [may] fall down because of their offenses.
Also, the Buddha is a great compassionate one, who brings benefit for sentient beings.
Since I am his disciple, I should use supernatural power to support and benefit sentient beings.
‖ Now, sentient beings generally obtain benefit from manifest things.
The power of miraculous transformation can affect and move the wealthy and poor.
In the great assembly, none is not bowing and subdued.
Other supernatural powers do not have [these functions].
Because of this, the supernatural power of transformation is placed first.
Since the celestial body has more of the fire element, their bodies have bright light.
They also can fly in the sky and go quickly.
Since the ghosts and spirits have more of the wind element, their bodies certainly are light and go quickly without any obstruction.
Since the dragon‘s body has more of the water element, their mind can give rise to water, and they also can transform and move.
Since human bodies have more of the earth element, there is little appearance of light and movement.
How could they fly?
Since human‘s bodies have more earth and have little light and movement, they seek to learn [how to obtain] supernatural power.
Regarding the celestial beings and spirits, why do they need to use supernatural power?
Although the earth is heavy, if one uses the power of water, earth could be moved.
Due to the mind‘s power, one can lift the body.
It is like a monkey, who can fall from great height without being harmed.
If a human jumps down, he would be injured.
Since the monkeys rely on the strength of their light mind, they jump lightly and quickly without injury.
One should know that the supernatural power of the body comes from the strength of the mind‘s power in the same manner.
Also, as some people can float [on the water], they will not be drowned even if they swim in the deep water.
Due to the expedient power of the mind, one can keep the body [floating].
As a result, one should know that even though the human‘s bodies are heavy, their bodies can fly in the sky because of the strength of the mind‘s power.
If this can be believed, then how could one learn [how to fly]?
If the cultivator dwells in the fourth dhyāna and relies on the four steps to supernatural power, he concentrates and absorbs the mind to contemplate the body as empty space everywhere, like the hole in lotus root.
He contemplates the image of the body as light and quick.
Practicing in this fashion without ceasing, if his body and mind are in harmony with one another as the iron is blended with fire, he extinguishes the coarse and heavy feature, retaining only the light and quick body.
When this is combined with desire, diligence, thinking, and supplementary practices, due to the power of desire and other wholesome practices, the body will be soft and flexible as the iron in the fire.
Again, the forms in the Form Realm, created from the four elements, combine within the body, making it light and going with ease.
It is like when someone takes the medicines, which makes the mind clear and the body lighter.
As in the Form Realm, the four elements create the bright and pure form.
In this body, the eyes certainly are pure and clear.
As someone learns how to dance, he practices [continuously] and becomes a skillful dancer more than other people.
As a baby bird learns how to fly, gradually it can fly far.
The supernatural powers of the body are like this.
When one just attains them, he can fly from ten to twenty feet.
Gradually he can fly further away.
These powers of miraculous transformation have four types.
First, the body flies in the sky as the flying birds.
Second, if something is afar, one can make it to become closer.
Third, one can disappear [in one place] and appear [in other place].
Fourth, one can do things as quick as the thought.
Within a snap of the fingers, there are sixty thought-moments.
Within a single thought-moment, one can traverse immeasurable, incalculable eons, and lands as innumerable as sands in the Ganges.
230 One can come [and go] according to one‘s wishes.
When one uses these supernatural powers, one‘s body is at ease.
One body can transform into many bodies.
Many bodies can transform into one body.
The larger body can be transformed into the smaller.
The smaller body can be transformed into the larger.
The body can be heavy as the Sumeru Mountain and be light as a feather.
These transformations can be done according to the mind.
Again, when a Bodhisattva attains these supernatural powers, he can fly over countries as innumerable as sands in the Ganges within a single thought.
Even though sentient beings see the Bodhisattva having arrived at those countries, yet the Bodhisattva is still unmoved at his original place.
He speaks and teaches Buddha-dharma at those places, while not leaving behind the people here.
Or, if there are gods and humans who attach to the deluded view of permanence, the Bodhisattva could use supernatural powers to liberate them.
He manifests the burning of three thousand large thousand-fold countries.
Although sentient beings see the burning and destroying of these countries, these countries are not damaged.
If there are sentient beings, who have arrogant minds, the Bodhisattva manifests holding a vajra.
Fire emits out from that vajra.
Those who see it will be frightened, compliant, subdued, bowing, and respectful.
If someone wishes to see the body of a cakravartin king (Turning Wheel Sage King), the Bodhisattva promptly manifests as a cakravartin king to speak dharma [for them].
232 Or, he manifests as a Śakro-Devānām-Indra, or a Māra king, or a śrāvaka, or pratyekabuddha, or Buddha bodies.
233 Depending on whichever body sentient beings like to see, the Bodhisattva manifests accordingly to speak dharma [for them].
Or, the Bodhisattva sits in full lotus posture on the sky, and from four sides of his body, he emits various bright lights to speak dharma [for them].
Or, sometimes if sentient beings wish to see the adornment of mixture of colors, the Bodhisattva promptly manifests adornment of seven kinds of jewels, banners, canopies, the flowery circles, and hundreds of musical instruments in three thousand great thousand-fold countries.
Situated among these, the Bodhisattva speaks dharma for them.
Or, the Bodhisattva makes three thousand great thousand-fold countries as the ocean water, which is covered by the blue lotus flowers and red flowers on the surface of the water.
He sits on these flowers to speak dharma.
Or, he sits on the top of the Sumeru Mountain and uses the Brahmān voice to speak dharma pervasively over the countries.
Or, sometimes sentient beings may not see [the Bodhisattva‘s] body, they only hear the sound of speaking dharma.
Or, he manifests as the body of a gandharva, who uses the musical sound to cause these beings‘ mind being pleased.
234 Then he speaks the dharma afterward.
Or, he manifests as a dragon king, who makes the thunder and lightning to speak the dharma.
The Bodhisattva uses these expedient means and causal conditions to display supernatural power to open and guide sentient beings.
Are these displays of miraculous transformation not empty and false?
At first, the cultivator knows that the phenomena are empty and deceitful as illusion or transformation.
It is like someone molding the clay according to his mind.
Even the blessed virtuous people, they can cause the snow in the summer, make the flower blossom in the winter, and stop the flow of the river.
Also, if an immortal is angry and enraged, he can cause tiger, wolf, and lion to be transformed into the stone bodies.
How could it be that someone who has the supernatural power and samādhi power could not transform things! Again, within all matters, each has its own energetic component.
By contemplating the image of its components, one can use spiritual power to enlarge it, and others are hidden and disappeared.
As the sutra said, there was a Bhikṣu who used the spiritual power as his mind was at ease.
When he saw a large tree, he wanted it to become the earth.
Then all of them turned into the earth.
Why is that?
The wood has element of earth.
Water, fire, and wind also are also like this.
If he wanted to make [the tree] as gold, silver and various precious items, he could do all these in accordance with his wish.
Why is that?
The wood has an element of purity.
Things are transformed in this manner without beginning and ending.
Why is that?
It is said that all within space are minute particles composed of the four elements;
according to the transformative power of the mind, these minute elements come together and transform into persons.
For example, when a person dies, he might take the rebirth in heaven, or falling down to hell according to his causal condition of offenses or merit.
The compositions of particles of dusts are transformed as such.
These are the appearance of transformation and supernatural power.
If the cultivator wishes to seek for supernatural power of heavenly ears, he also relies on the fourth dhyāna as the root.
He cultivates the four steps to supernatural power as said above to control and subdue that mind.
One focuses the mind on all various sounds and contemplates the their characteristics.
Whichever sound he hears, he constantly contemplates mindfully.
If the mind attaches to other conditions, one should absorb and bring it back.
One should always concentrate and be mindful.
Then, within the ear, one obtains the pure form of the four elements in the Form Realm.
This is called the cultivation of heavenly ear.
One uses this heavenly ear to listen to the sounds in immeasurable countries in ten directions, namely the heaven sound, human sound, dragon sound, asura‘s sound, gandharva’s sound , nāga‘s sound, mahoraga’s sound, animal‘s sound, hungry ghost‘s sound, the louder sound, the little sound, the coarse sound, and subtle sounds of the suffering and pain in the hells, and others.
235 He hears all of these sounds.
As the samādhi mind of a Bodhisattva gradually becomes deeper, he also could hear the sounds of all Buddhas within ten directions.
He follows these Buddhas, listening to their teaching the dharma, but he does not attach to the mark [of sound], because the dharma is true and the supreme one.
He relies on the profound meaning, not on the word.
What is meant by the profound?
Namely, one knows that the phenomena are empty, absent of characteristics, and uncontrived.
Hence, one cannot give rise to deviant views.
As for the meaning, he also cannot get the meaning.
Within this unattainability, there is also no mark of attainment;
this is to rely on the profound meaning, not on the language and words.
Again, the cultivator relies on the sutra which has the comprehensive meaning, not on the sutra which does not have the comprehensive meaning.
As for the sutra of a comprehensive meaning, if one can rely on the meaning, all of the sutras have comprehensive meanings.
As for the sutra of a comprehensive meaning, if one can rely on the meaning, all of the sutras have comprehensive meanings.
The ultimate meaning is empty, and it has the mark of inexpressibility.
Hence, that is why all of the sutras have comprehensive meanings.
If one does not rely on the comprehensive meaning, for such a person no sutras have comprehensive meaning.
Why is that?
Because he has no profound wisdom, he depends on the sound, which true marks also enter the profound meanings.
They are completely unspeakable.
It is called distinguishing clearly the meaning of the sutra, not non- comprehensive meaning.
Again, the cultivator relies on wisdom, but does not rely on consciousness.
Why is that?
The cultivator knows the characteristics of consciousness, which comes into existence due to the combination of causal condition, and is without self-nature, formless and non-obstructing.
It cannot be seen.
It is un-knowing and un-recognizing, empty, and deceitful like illusion.
Since one knows the characteristics of consciousness as such, then the consciousness is wisdom.
One should rely on wisdom, not on consciousness.
Even though the cultivator gives rise to the consciousness, he becomes attached to neither consciousness nor wisdom, because he knows consciousness according to its characteristics.
Consciousness thus has the characteristic of wisdom.
According to these characteristics of wisdom, he speaks to sentient beings.
Again, the cultivator relies on the dharma, not on the people.
Why is that?
In Buddhism if people are truly existent, then there is no one that can be pure and attain liberation.
All dharma are non-self and non-people.
However, [the Buddha] accords with the worldly people to say that there do exist people and selves.
Hence, the cultivator should rely on the dharma, not people.
Dharma means the nature of phenomena.
The nature of dharma is the nature of non-production.
. Since they have the nature of non-production, ultimately they are empty.
Since ultimately they are empty, they are unspeakable.
Why is that?
Speech is used to express the Dharma, but within the Dharma there is no speech,
and within the speech, there is no Dharma.
Speech thus has the characteristic of non-speech.
All utterances have the characteristic of non-utterance.
Hence, the sutra said that non-teaching and non-speaking is called Buddhadharma.
A Bodhisattva uses heavenly ears to listen to hear the different teachings of the Buddhas.
Regardless of people or dharma, one could not give rise to attach and view them.
If one distinguishes dualistic characteristics, this is not Buddhadharma.
If there are no marks of dualism, then it is Buddha- dharma.
The cultivator relies one the power of heavenly ears to hear the deep and profound dharma in order to teach sentient beings.
It is called the supernatural power of heavenly ears.
If the cultivator wishes to attain the supernatural power of knowing other‘s mind, first he should contemplate his own mind.
He contemplates the characteristics of the production of mind, the characteristics of the abiding of minds, and of the extinction of mind.
He also knows the characteristics of mental defilement, purity, stabilization, scattering, and others.
Also, he contemplates the purity, impurity, nearness, farness, quantity, etc.
, of objects cognized by the mind.
After holding the mark of the mind internally and externally by himself, then he conditionally contemplates the form of sentient beings.
He contemplates the mind with the characteristic of desire, mind‘s characteristics of anger, mind‘s appearance of arrogance, mind‘s appearance of stinginess, mind‘s appearance of jealousy, mind‘s appearance of sadness, mind‘s appearance of fear, and mind‘s appearances of various language, words, and sounds.
He gives rise to the thought that ―The Buddha‘s mind is like my mind.
[As my mind] is produced, abided, and extinguished, so others‘ are also like that.
As I am aware of the objects of my own mental cognition, so others‘ are also like that.
My mind has these various characteristics of form and images produced by speech;
others‘ are also like that.
‖ He should frequently cultivate and study the mind‘s appearance.
After he has practiced in this way, he achieves the supernatural power of knowing other‘s mind.
At that time, he only focuses his cognition on other‘s mind and their mental concomitants.
236 It is like a person with sharp eyes, who can see the fish in the pure water.
Even though the water obstructs his sight, he sees all of them [the fish] whether big, small, beautiful, or ugly.
Because water is pure, it cannot obstruct [the view].
The cultivator is as such.
He knows other‘s mind due to the supernatural power.
Although the bodies of sentient beings cover their minds, he can see them [the minds].
Thus, he obtains the power [of knowing others‘] mind.
At times, when preaching Dharma for the assembly, he can first know their minds.
He knows these sentient beings are using which profound minds, cultivating which dharma, [following] which causal condition, having which appearance, and enjoying which matter.
Because he knows that his own mind is pure, he knows that sentient beings‘ mind also can be pure.
As all appearances are reflected in a clear mirror, such as long, short, square, circle, coarse, subtle and others reflected just as the original marks, their appearance neither increase nor decrease.
Why is that?
It is because the mirror is clear.
Although the mirror does not distinguish, it reflects these appearances.
The cultivator is as such, because his mind is pure.
Phenomena do not have a single fixed appearance, because they are always pure.
He certainly knows all of the sentient beings‘ mind and their mental concomitants.
If within the assembly there are many people who have much sexual desire, he promptly knows their minds and speaks the dharma of detaching from sexual desire.
For those who have anger and ignorance, he does in the same way.
Why is that?
The true mark of the mind is non-defiled, non-anger, and non-ignorance.
If among the assembly, there are people who seek for the śrāvakas vehicle, he also knows their minds to speak dharma for them.
Despite speaking the dharma for them, he knows in the nature of Dharma there is no lesser [vehicle].
For those who seek for pratyekabuddhas vehicle, he also knows their minds and to speak the dharma for them.
Although he speaks dharma for them, he knows that in the nature of Dharma there is no middle [vehicle].
For those who seek for the Mahāyāna vehicle, he also knows their minds to speak the dharma for them.
Although he speaks the dharma for them, he knows that in the nature of Dharma there is no greater [vehicle].
The cultivator accords to sentient beings‘ minds to speak dharma equally for them in this manner, and he does not discriminate the mind‘s appearance.
Although he distinguishes three vehicles to speak Dharma [for them], this does not go against the nature of Dharma.
As a result, he certainly knows the mental activities of all sentient beings.
Although he uses his own mind to comprehend others‘ minds, his mind neither opposes nor follows one and other [here and there].
He also knows that the thoughts of all sentient beings follow each other continuously like the flow of water.
As he knows the nature of mind, he also knows the nature of dharma.
He uses the wisdom of knowing others‘ mind to understand the sentient beings‘ mind to speak dharma for them, and without any harm definitely.
This is called the supernatural power of knowing others‘ minds.
If the cultivator wishes to attain supernatural power of knowing past life, first he must know himself that what he is doing presently, and what he has just done.
He continues to [recognize] what he has done last night, yesterday, the day before yesterday, and the last month.
He remembers from this year back to the years of his youth.
Like walking down a path to reach one‘s destination, he remembers all the places through which he has passed.
Having practice in such a fashion, due to the skillful practice of samādhi power, he will be able to remember when he was born, when he was in the womb.
He knows that he died in such a place and was born in this place.
He knows one life, two lives, three lives, to hundreds lives, up to thousands and ten thousands of immeasurable koṭīs of lives.
237 After he has used his wisdom of knowing the past life to know his own life already, he certainly knows all others‘ past lives and whichever things that happened to them through the kalpas as many as the dust of the ganges river.
He uses the past life experiences to teach sentient beings.
He says that ―At such a place I had such a name, I was born as such, my life span was as such, and I had gone through sufferings and happiness as such.
‖ He also speaks about others‘ past deeds and experiences.
The cultivator uses the supernatural power of knowing past lives to understand the causal conditions of offenses and merits of sentient beings in their previous life.
Namely, since he knows they have planted the causal conditions of the śrāvakas, pratyekabuddhas, and the Buddha, he speaks dharma for them according to their causal conditions.
Again, the cultivator uses his power of knowing his past life to know by himself that he has planted the wholesome root with the Buddhas, but he has not transferred his merits to the fruition of Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.
238 Now he should transfer [all of the merits] to the Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.
The cultivator also knows that when various dharmas were extinguished in the past, they did not go anywhere.
He knows that when these dharmas will be arisen in the future, they will not come from anywhere.
Although he knows that there is no beginning in the past life, he does not give rise to the view of beginninglessness.
Although he contemplates that in the future life sentient beings will be extinguished and enter nirvāṇa, he does not have the partial view.
When the cultivator thinks of the past life, his wholesome roots are increased beneficially, and the causal conditions of his offenses in immeasurable life are extinguished.
Why is that?
He knows that all dharmas have neither new appearance nor old appearance.
After he has attained this wisdom, he contemplates all the existing phenomena [of sentient beings] and their past experiences such as birth, death, suffering, and happiness as being like things seen in a dream.
As a result, within birth and death, no disenchantment has arisen in his mind.
He brings forth the compassionate mind toward all sentient beings.
He knows that all dharmas have the characteristic of contrivance.
He thinks, ―As I have come and gone in thousands, ten thousands koṭī, immeasurable kalpas of lifetimes of birth and death, all were false, empty, and not real.
All sentient beings have come and gone [within the cycle of] birth and death in similar way.
The absence of four elements and four aggregates is true reality.
Ultimately, the four elements and four aggregates also are not produced.
‖ Also, the cultivator uses the wisdom of knowing the past life and remembers that he has been the wheel turning sage king.
His enjoyment of happiness was impermanent and [quickly] extinct.
The joyfulness of Śakro-devānāmindra is also impermanent and [quickly] extinct.
All the various pure and adorned countries, the supremely wondrous forms of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and their turning the dharma wheel, all are certainly impermanent.
How much more are other matters.
After he has thought about these matters, his mind disenchants and detaches from them.
The cultivator relies on the wisdom of past life to enter the emptiness of impermanence, contemplating that all phenomena are all empty and impermanent.
Yet, sentient beings become perversely attached to them.
He brings forth the compassionate mind for the sake of these sentient beings.
He practices this compassionate mind, and gradually it becomes the great compassion.
After he has attained this great compassion, the Buddhas in ten directions think about this Bodhisattva and praise his virtue.
This is called the supernatural power of knowing past lives.
If the cultivator wishes to seek for attainment of supernatural power of heavenly eyes, first he contemplates the images of the light, namely the lights of fire, pearl, sun, moon, star, planet, and others.
After he has contemplated these images, then whether he closes his eyes during the daytime or keeps them opens at night, light will appear in his thoughts as though seen with the eyes.
He frequently practices this recollection of light.
He focuses his mind on light without letting the mind have other thoughts.
If his mind is wandering around, he brings back his mind to concentrate on one place.
At that time, the pure form produced by the four elements in the Form Realm is within his eyes.
This eye is the heavenly eye, because it is created by the four elements of the heaven.
It is called the heavenly eye.
Since it is also the pure eyes of the noble sages, it is called the heavenly eye.
After the cultivator has attained this heavenly eye, all of the mountains, trees, the circular 'iron' enclosure, Sumeru, and other countries could not obstruct [his heavenly eye].
239 With his unobstructed eye, he can see through the adorned Buddhas‘ lands in immeasurable and incalculable eons kalpas in ten directions.
At that time, the cultivator knows that all Buddhas are one Buddha.
He also sees one Buddha as all Buddhas, because their dharma‘s natures are not destroyed.
As he has seen the Buddha‘s appearance, he sees his own body appearance in the same way.
Since his body‘s appearance is pure, all dharma‘s appearances are also the same.
He also sees the pure disciples of the Buddha in the same way, because there is no dual appearance.
Regarding sentient beings in immeasurable countries in ten directions such as hell beings, animal beings, hungry ghost beings, human, celestial beings, except other Formless beings, he certainly sees all of their birth and death, and good and bad [karma].
He knows the karma, causal condition, and retribution of all sentient beings in ten directions and six destinies.
[He sees that] these beings rely on the causal condition of their wholesome karma to be reborn in human and heaven.
[He sees that] other sentient beings take rebirth in three evil states due to the causal conditions of their unwholesome karma.
With the heavenly eye, the cultivator attains the power of wisdom.
Although he sees these sentient beings, he does not give rise to the thought of sentient beings, because all dharma have no thought of sentient beings.
Although he sees the continuity of karma and retribution, he also enters into the absence of karma and retribution of all dharmas.
Although he sees all the forms with his heavenly eye, he also does not hold the form‘s appearance, because these forms certainly are empty.
Also, he can see [all the appearances of] obstructions, non-obstruction, near, far, above, and below.
The cultivator sees celestial beings in the Form Realm with their pure and subtle bodies, but they cannot see him.
The great celestial beings also cannot see him.
As for the meanings of various supernatural powers, in the part of the meaning of supernatural power in Mahāyāna has explained extensively.
(end of sutta⏹️)

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