Dharma Talks


VII. Enlighten Initially and Cultivate Gradually

Student: If enlightenment is sudden in its nature, why do we have to cultivate gradually, or, if cultivation is the gradual cultivation in it's nature, how can we talk about sudden enlightenment? Would you please elucidate further what both sudden enlightenment and gradual cultivation are!

Pojo: It is called sudden enlightenment; for, when the ordinary being was confused; four elements were believed as body, and delusion was believed as mind.

Without understanding self-nature is true Dharma-body, and without understanding divinely self-gnostic perception is the true Buddha, he travels around to seek the Buddha outside the mind.

But by suddenly encountering the Master-Mentor who can show the right door, in a flash you would turn your mind and see original self-nature: for, this self-nature itself does not have bewilderment is originally fulfilled. This is nothing different from all the Buddhas'; hence it is called sudden enlightenment.

It is called Gradual Cultivation; for, even though it is understood that original self-nature is not different from the Buddha, habitual tendencies from beginningless beginning cannot be easily dropped right away.

That is the reason to cultivate after the enlightenment, to refine and re-examine until able to conceive the divine embryo; doing this for a long time, one might become a sage.

It is as if a new born baby had come with all the organs already fulfilled, complete and normal; still, the motivity is not fully developed yet, and will require a long period of time to mature.


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