Dharma Talks

 Bodhidharma : On Lineage


III. Reason Not to Respect the Buddha-Statue

Student: Why should we not bow to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas?

Boddhidharma: Through magical powers, evil spirits from heaven, such as kings of devils and Asuras, etc. disguise themselves to appear as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; they are outsiders, not the Buddhas. Since Buddha21 is your mind, do not bow to the wrong one.

What Buddha is,21 is divine self-awakening, according to different roots and different types of being; it sometimes blinks it's eye, it sometimes raises it's eyebrows, sometimes swings it's legs; all these movements are the nature of divine self-awakening.

Self-nature is the mind. The Mind is Buddha. Buddha is the Way, and the Way is the Buddha. This particular word, 'Buddha'22 is not comprehensible by indigent-being. However, the sutra says that,

Seeing the original self-nature is Buddha.22

If original self-nature is not seen, then Buddha cannot be. Even though one can talk about a thousand -p59- sutras and even more shastras, as long as self-nature is not seen, he is still an ordinary-being; that is not the dharma of Buddha.

The utmost truth is profound and impenetrable; not understood by word and impossible to be known by sutra. If original self-nature is seen, it matters not whether one is knowledgeable of letters. Divine nature, originally immaculate, cannot be tainted; seeing self-nature is immediately the Buddha. Each and every word is the functioning from the mind of the sage; but essence of the functioning is ultimately void and unaccomplished by names and utterances; so, how possibly attained by the twelve sections of sutra volumes?

Truth was, in its origin, already apprehended clearly; needing no practice nor attainment truth is neither the sound nor the color being too profound to be seen. The warmth or coolness of water can be known only to the one who drinks. Now, do not try to talk to others about this. Only Tathagata knows, human-beings and haven-beings, etc. absolutely have no way of knowing this matter and cannot realize it.

Ordinary-beings, because of their unencompassing wisdom are attached only to what appeares, without knowing the fact that their own mind is originally void and serene.

Therefore, if one attaches to phenomena of tran sitory-dharma, he naturally becomes an outsider.

If you understood that all dharma came from the mind, then you would not attach to anything. As soon as one attaches, no thing can be known.

If self-nature is seen, twelve sections of sutra volumes are unnecessary.

Thousands of sutras and even more shastras are only to explain the mind. When understanding occurs immediately, then word-dependent teaching is useless. Ultimate truth is wordless.

Teaching by word is only language,24 which is not real; truth does not name herself; whatever is named is illusory.

In a dream, you might see houses of fantasy or palaces, sometimes herds of elephants or horses, trees, forests, lakes, and even gazebos, but, do not, even in thought, become captivated by the rapture.

You should be so careful because they are creatures of delusion.

Up to the final moment of your life, if you do not chase outward forms,25 then all bewilderment will be cut off; but as soon as you raise illusory thought, you will immediately be led by the devil.26

Dharma-body is originally so pure that it has no sense-perception; only by confusion is one unknowing and unawakened.

By illusory cause-and-effect, one becomes enraptured, becomes attached, and then finally is not free.

If is never too late to awaken your original mind and body; if you realized your original mind and body, you would not be contaminated by habits.

Sometimes the sages join the ordinary way and disguise themselves in all different kinds of appearances to help all indigent-beings; no kind of karmacan hinder them; that is the reason they are called sages; free to be either progressive or regressive.

If they gad attained sagehood long before, then, having great virtuous power, even heaven and hell could not interrupt their ways and all different karma would simply follow their way.

Ordinary-beings are called ordinary-beings because they are confounded, not like sages who are bright inside and outside.

If there is any lack of confidence, do not be overcome by it; once that has happened, you will fall into the sea of birth-and-death, for which even regretting cannot help.

Even such things as poverty and suffering come from delusion. Realize the mind and awaken to it constantly. If one performs without having a thought of performance, he will immediately enter the world of Buddha's vision.

One, who has initially awakened the mind, may still not be tranquil. For example, he might see some supernatural view in a dream, even so, he should not chase it nor lack confidence either; for everything was raised by mind which is not outside.

About the time when the remaining habitual potentialities(karmic power) have gone and self-nature of truth is fully disclosed. you may see a light which is brighter than sunshine coming to you. If you have this kind of experience, it will be an important element in becoming a Buddha. It is yours only personally and cannot be unfolded to anybody else.

Sometimes27 while you are walking, stopping, sitting, or lying down in the quiet forest, you might view, big or small, lightening, Do not talk about it with anyone and do not attach to it; it might be the light from your self-nature.

Sometimes while you are walking, stopping, sitting, or lying down at night, you might view bright-as-daylight-lightening, but, do not be surprised by it.

It may be a signal that your self-nature is getting brighter.28

Sometimes the moon and stars are so clear in your dreams, which may also be a sign that your self-mind is liberated from that phenomenal objectivity. You should not tell this to anyone either; this is your own experience. if it is so dark in your dream; just like you are travelling in the middle of the night, your mind has such a thick wall of which you should be carefully aware.

When one has seen original self-nature, there is no need to understand sutras or to recite Buddhas; learning widely to know a lot, rather than giving you some benefit, darkens your spirit.29

Various forms of teachings were set down for pointing out the mind to us; however, after the mind is seen, the written teaching is no longer worth reading. If, as an ordinary-being, you want to co-exist with sages, you should rest your karma and, for your lifetime, nourish the spirit in accordance with your own ability. The farther away you are from the truth, the more the hateful and pleasurable states arise,30 which is also self-deception without benefit. The sage is free within birth-and-death; coming and going, hiding and interrupts him; rather, he prevails31 over wicked devils.

When indigent-beings see the original self-nature, the rest of their habitual potentiality totally dissolves, until, finally, the spirit is no longer dark.

If you truly want to know Tao, do not attach to a single dharma; instead, rest your karma and nourish the spirit. When the rest of your habitual potentiality is dissolved, it will naturally be brightened, and finally, you will have no thing to study.

Since their understanding is not compatible with Buddha's all the outsiders, no matter how hard they work to be enlightened, still go in countermotion to and far from Buddha's blessed vision. In spite of their chanting Buddha's blessed vision. In spite of their chanting Buddha's name and reading the sutras with great effort, their darkened spirit cannot escape karmic result.

Buddha is a non-doer; how could he have something additional to do? What are you going to do after eagerly looking for fame and fortune?

Only the people who have not seen self-nature are reading the sutras and chanting Buddhas. They believe that long practices, such as; chanting six times a day, sitting for long periods without lying down, and learning widely to know a lot, are Buddha-dharma. But, these kinds of indigent-beings are actually humiliating the Buddha-dharma.

All the Buddhas, earlier and later, only emphasize the necessity of seeing self-nature32. The greatest sin is to not see self-nature while ignorantly saying, 'I have attained the higher-less truth.'33

Among the great disciples of Buddha's time, Ananda34 was the most knowledgeable35 and experienced. Budda once reprimanded him, saying,

Let all Great-Listeners36 and Outsiders try to become knowledgless.

Because the attainment of Knowledge by numerous words leads to the dharma of cause-and-effect. This is the natural Karmic cycle of indigent-beings, that they cannot avoid birth-and-death, and that goes against the Buddha-dharma; it is actually the indigent-beings who humiliate the Buddha, and, even though you kill them, it would not be any sin.37 Because of that, a sutra says, that,

Since they38 have never awakened the faithful mind, it would not be a sin to kill an evil doer who cuts the root of the good.

If one has awakened to the faithful mind, this one is abiding at the level of Buddha; without seeing the self-nature you must not humiliate another wise one at all. For, self-deception is not beneficial by any means. The good and the bad are already distinct, heaven and Hell are crystal clear right in front of your eyes.

Although falling into the dark hell caused by not having awakened faithful mind, the unwise ones can neither understand nor notice it. Why? Because Karma was impacted so heavily,40 they could not believe it. It is just like a blind man not believing in sunshine. Even if someone told him about it, still, he would not believe it; the reason is only that he does not have the eye to discriminate the sunshine from the darkness.

The unwise ones are just like this; right this minute they are being born as animal; as one of various unknown creatures or sometimes of poor and lower class beings, and cannot determine at all what they want to be; they want to exist, but cannot, they want not be exist, but must.

Even though they are in such suffering every moment, when they are questioned directly, they would rather answer by saying.

My pleasure at the present time is

No different from being in heaven.

Therefore, it is easy for us to see thar all indigent-beings do not notice nor understand their origin and instead, define their present condition as ultimate satisfaction. They are evil-beings because of heavily stored karma. By knowing that self-mind is Buddha, anyone can be Buddha, whether one shaves his head and beard or not.

However, if self-nature is not seen, even though they are shaved, they are still outsiders.

21 cf. Sol Bong, 'Buddha is a Sanskrit word, which means the nature of Enlightenment in Chinese. And, the nature of Enlightement is devine Enlightening'.

22 Ch'an(Son) was written instead of Buddha.

24 'word' became 'language'

25 If 'mind' was moved even a second.

26 'then, devil will control everything'

27 ......'silent' night......

28 It is about 'to disclose' the brightness of your mind.

29 'dark'íŠ'not clear'

30 'It will change the human-nature'.

31 'The devine-being would destroy' the devils.

32 Everything is vanish. The......

33 Instead of 'the higher-less truth', 'Annuttarasamyaksambodhi' was used.

34 The name means 'happiness'.

35 'was the best disciple among Shravaka, but Buddha himself is knowledgeless......'

36 outside 'dualistic vehicle'

37 Sin and 'fault'

38 'their origin has no faith'

40 Just because their Karmic power is heavy; 'they cannot mobilize the faith and not free......'

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