Want create site? Find Free WordPress Themes and plugins.

REBIRTH VIEWS 
 IN THE SURANGAMA SUTRA
(Fifth Edition)
Dr. Bhikkhunī Giới Hương

doahong

 

CHAPTER IX
TWELVE SPECIES OF  LIVING BEINGS

“Ānanda, you now want to cultivate the true samādhi to reach straight at the Tathāgata’s parinirvana. First, you must realize two upside-down causes of living beings and the world. If this upside-down state does not arise, it is the Tathāgata’s true samādhi.

“Ānanda, what does the upside-down state of living beings mean? Because the mind nature is the inherent brightness which itself is the perfect illumination. Curiously, by adding the shining, a false substance is produced. The wrong view (micchā-ditthi) perceives that the nature arises. Since then the ultimate is originally nothingness, which now becomes the ultimate existence.

“Such an existence comes from without cause to be the cause. The attaching subject and object are basically without root. Then, based on what is fundamentally rootless, the world and living beings are established.

 “Due to ignorance (avijjā), it failed to recognize the inherent perfect brightness, so it produces the falseness which has no reality and cannot be relied on. If now a person wants to return to the reality, it is not the true suchness anymore. The reality of true suchness is not a truth that we seek for returning. What is basically unborn is called the birth, what basically is undwelling is called the dwelling, what is basically unmind is called the mind, and what basically is without Dharmas (phenomenon) is called the Dharmas. 

 “These things produce and develop without stopping which established the tendency to collect the habit of creating karma. The same karmas have the feeling of stimulating one another. Then there arise the karmas of arising and destroying. That is the reason for the upsidedown state in which living beings exist.

 “Ānanda, what is meant by the upside-down state of the world? Due to such an existence, each section and part are falsely generated, so space is established. Because taking the without cause as the cause, without the attachment of  subject and object, it often shifts without settling down, so time is established. Three times and four directions combine and interact mutually, in which twelve species of living beings are movably transformed. 

 “Since then in this world, due to the motion, there is the sound; owing to the shape, there is the scent; due to scent, there is the contact (sparsha); due to the contact, there is taste. Due to taste, there is the knowing of Dharmas. The disorderly false thought creates the karma nature. Since then twelve species are changeably transformed. Thus, in the world, sounds, smells, tastes, and contacts are changeable to the extreme through twelve categories to complete a cycle and rotate again without stopping.

 “Based on the consecutive wheel of the upside down, so in the world, many species are born, such as egg, womb, moisture, transformation, material, immaterial, thought, without thought, neither material, neither immaterial, neither thought, and neither without thought. 

 “1. Ānanda, because in the world, a consecutive illusory wheel of the upside-down state on the motion happens, that combines with atmosphere to form eightyfour thousand modes of flying, sinking disorderly thoughts. Then, the egg beings (kalalas) come into the world, such as fish, birds, reptiles, and snakes. These are abundant everywhere. 

 “2. Because in the world, a consecutive craving wheel of the upside-down state of lust (sarāgaṃ) happens, that combines with thinking to form eighty-four thousand modes of vertical/horizontal perverse disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into the womb beings (arbudas) in the world, such as human (manussa), animal (tiracchānayoni), dragon, and immortal (half deva-human) beings. These are plentiful everywhere.

 “3. Because in the world, a consecutive attaching wheel of the upside-down state of the inclination happens, that combines with warmness to form eighty-four thousand modes of sideward/upward disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being the humid beings (arbudas) in the world, such as movable worms and insects. These are abundant everywhere.

 “4. Because in the world, a consecutive changeable wheel of the upside-down state of the deception happens, that combines with contact to form eighty-four thousand modes of new/old disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being the transforming beings (ghanas) in the world, such as backward forward moving, walking, and flying creatures. These kinds are plentiful in everywhere.

 “5. Because in the world, a consecutive obstruction wheel of the upside-down state of the hindrance happens, that combines with clinging to form eighty-four thousand modes of stunning/wise disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into form beings (ghanas) in the world, such as auspicious and inauspicious essences. These kinds are abundant everywhere.

 “6. Because in the world, a consecutive extinction wheel of the upside-down state of ignorance (avijjā) happens, that combines with darkness to form eighty-four thousand modes of anonymity hiding disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being immaterial beings in the world, such as the void, scattered, extinct, and submerged creatures. These kinds are plentiful everywhere.

 “7. Because in the world, a consecutive imaging wheel of the upside-down state of the shape happens, that combines with preserve to form eighty-four thousand modes of connection in mystery disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being thought beings (ghanas) in the world, such as spirits and ghosts (pittivisaya). These kinds are abundant everywhere.

 “8. Because in the world, a consecutive foolish wheel of the upside-down state of unknowledge happens, that combines with stubbornness to form eighty-four thousand modes of thin, dry disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being the without thoughts beings in the world, such as spirits turning out in soil, trees, gold, and stones. These kinds are plentiful everywhere.

“9. Because in the world, a consecutive parasitic interacting wheel of the upside-down state of pretending happens, that combines with affliction to form eighty-four thousand modes of replying disorderly thoughts. Since then, there comes into the neither-form beings (ghanas) in the world, such as jellyfish that use shrimp for their eyes. These kinds are abundant everywhere.

 “10. Because in the world, a consecutive relating wheel of the upside-down state of the characteristic happens, that combines with mantra to form eighty-four thousand modes of called gathering in orderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being the neither immaterial beings in the world, such as the hidden beings in mantras and incantations. These kinds are plentiful everywhere.

 “11. Because in the world, a consecutive false combining wheel of the upside-down state of transgression happens, that combines with odd to form eighty-four thousand modes of exchangeable disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being the neither thought (ghanas) in the world like the varatas who borrow other substances to create their bodies. These kinds are abundant everywhere.

 “12. Because in the world, a consecutive antagonist wheel of the upside-down state of killing happens, that combines with monster to form eighty-four thousand modes of thought to consume their parents’ flesh. Then, there comes into being the neither without thought beings in the world, such as a dirt owl that hatches a dirt lump to be its child or a Pou Ching bird that incubates a poisonous fruit to be its offspring. When the child grows up, it will eat its parents. These kinds are plentiful everywhere.

“These are twelve species of living beings.”1

The part of consecutive living beings in the Three Consecutive Kinds (the world, living beings and karma)2 is explained in general, while in the section of “Two Upsidedown Causes of Living Beings and the World” the Buddha expresses the upside-down state of the twelve species of living beings in detail.

The Buddha teaches that the wonderful nature which is the inherent illuminating perfection detaches the label, has not originally existed in the world of living beings. Due to falseness, the production appears. Owing to the arising, the extinction comes. The production and extinction are both falseness. Ending the falseness is the trueness which is called “Two Transformings of the Unsurpassed Bodhi and the Tathāgata’s Pari-nibbāna (Parinirvāṇa).” Because there are the producing and extinction, two aspects of transformation appear, such as from the defilement (kleśa) to bodhi and from the birth and death cycle to the Tathāgata’s parinirvana. So, the Buddha flexibly formulates the expedient doctrine and the ultimate doctrine.

What does the upside-down state of living beings mean?

The Buddha is like the good physician. Living beings are sick so the Buddha prescribes drugs. Our suffering, disasters and sickness are to turn out twelve categories of living beings. Therefore, the Buddha points out that we are in the twelve upside-down states.

We have just come from our mother’s womb which means from this upside-down state. We are suffering so the Buddha must set up the Dharma. He mentions the cultivating path and the enlightened path. Because there are suffering living beings, Buddhism comes into existence.

Our original nature itself is the illuminating perfection that is everywhere. By adding brightness, another nature arises, and from that the wrong views (micchā-ditthi) that we are clinging insistently to as true. Thus, from the inherent absolute nothingness becomes the illusory existence which continuously arises without stopping.

Thus, this existence is without cause, which looks as if it has a cause. The clinging subject and object are basically groundless. Then, from upon what is fundamentally unreliable, the world and living beings are set up.

Now, we want to return to our reality. We generate a thought to seek for the suchness which is not a truth anymore. Once we are wrongly directed to the untrue reality, that leads to appearance of the wrong form, because we are originally the Tathāgata’s suchness (Tathãgatagarbha), the source of all phenomena). Therefore, the moment the thought arises to wish for the truth, that is already the false form and the incorrect thing. We are living in an illusory phenomenon, which is not the creation, dwelling, mind, and Dharma, but temporarily they are called the creation, dwelling, mind, and Dharma.

As they consecutively arise, they form the proclivity to create karma. Similar karma sets up a mutual stimulus. Because of the karma generated, there is mutual production and mutual extinction. That is the reason for the upside-down cause for living beings to come into being.

What does the upside-down cause of the world mean?

Due to the false view (micchā-ditthi) of the phenomena as truth, the concepts of every part, length, width, area, circumference, and size of the phenomena arise falsely in order that the space is established. Because in the space, the phenomena of things, earth, water, wind, and fire which have changed seem without cause to be as cause, without the clinging subject and object, turn around in order that yesterday, today, and tomorrow are totally different. The past, present, and future mark and measure the change. Therefore, the concept of “time”’ is set up by human beings. Time and space are summarized as the world.

The time had three (past, present, and future) aspects. The space has four (east, west, south, and north). Three multiplied by four: 3 x 4 = 12. Four multiplied by three: 4 x 3 = 12 interference in each other, so living beings transformed into twelve categories.

Our body is a small world. Firstly, where there is the body, there is movement. The movement brings about sounds. The sounds bring about forms. The forms bring about smells. The smells bring about contact (sparsha). The contact brings about tastes. The tastes bring about awareness of Dharmas which results in the false thinking at six objects in order to perform greed (abhijjhā, visamalobha), anger (sadosaṃ), delusion (samohaṃ) for creating the karma. Six disorderly false consciousnesses become the substance of karma. Thus, 3 x 4= 12. Twelve false deceptive ways rotate in the nonending cycle. So, in the secular world, forms, sounds, smells, tastes, contacts, and Dharmas are changeable through twelve categories or twelve times to make one complete cycle.

Four directions and three times transform to be twelve species of living beings. We create the lust (sarāgaṃ) which is passed through four directions and three periods, i.e., it shows the change. Using 3 x 4 points out the general number. It is hard for us to be freed from the transforming cycle, so we are subjected to all the beginning, the present, the future, and the past. We have used and are familiar with the upside-down cycle for a long time. In the present, we are in the turn of the twelve categories of living beings. Six false consciousnesses are the mutual causes-conditions (pratītyasamutpāda, paṭiccasamuppāda) to set up form. The form brings smell. The smell brings tastes . . . up to Dharmas and the phenomena world. There is the world which means we have the upsidedown consciousness about the arising-falling perspective of the phenomena world.

If there is not seeing, there is not form. Due to the false movement, sounds are brought about. The sounds bring the discriminating forms. Thus, it is called six random false upside-down consciousnesses. “Random” means it does not follow the orderly six sense objects. The process is not in order, because firstly it has the appearance of movement, then the defiling object of sounds arises. Later on, forms and smells, contact, and so on come into being.

This deep significance is explained in such simple words. But in fact, the mundane world actually is upside down and nothing definitely being fixed on. The world is our body and mind, and because we have tasted the mango, we are aware of the sweet and sour. Our mind has the worldly Dharma or the mental objects. By looking at the mango, we know the tastes of acidity and sweetness, so the worldly Dharma is in our mind.

We have four directions. The eyes see money, they generate the greedy (abhijjhā, visamalobha) stealing. This stealing comes from our body and pervades through whole body. The stealing is actually in the hand. The right hand takes money. The hand is our body, it is a sin.

After creating the stealing karma, we must bear the buffalo repayment, i.e., entering the buffalo mother’s womb by our eyes seeing the mating of buffalo female and male, then the lustful enjoyment arises. This is the motive of clinging that leads to rebirth (saṃsāra).

So, in four directions, we can be in a place to perform the bad deed, the stealing, or the evil. In another place, we commit a sexual misconduct that is the craving seed. A variety of karmas are mixed with one another. For example, from the stealing karma, we must repay. But there is added the committing of sexual passion which drags us into the womb. Then, due to the ignorant mental state that forces us to be an animal to repay.

If we are liberated to become bodhisattvas, then we must repay it in another lighter way due to our awakening contemplating force. So, the karmas that surround us in our lives are either before or after, either left or right, which is according to destiny to work. All karmas are nutrient and smooth to combine with one another to create the recompenses of karma. For example, we create many kinds of karma, such as a thief, dullness, telling a lie, sensual misconduct which are forcing us to go inside the womb. Which karma is heavy, we will repay first in the rebirth cycle (saṃsāra).

1. Ānanda, because in the world, a consecutive illusory wheel of the upside-down state of the motion happens that combines with atmosphere to form eightyfour thousand modes of flying, sinking disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being the egg beings (kalalas) in the world, such as fish, birds, reptiles, and snakes. These kinds are abundant everywhere.

The worlds are our body and mind i.e., five aggregates (skandhas). Our whole body and mind in the birth and death cycle still retains the habit of following the illusion. All these deluded Dharmas (phenomena), in which we are living are created by the perplexed, false thought. False thought means without truth of our real nature. We wrongly live in delusion, unaware of the truth, following upside- down behavior in order to create a false motivated karma. So, in the illusory world, the upside-down state of motion occurs. It unites with atmosphere to become eighty-four thousand kinds of random flying, sinking thoughts. Then, there comes into being the egg kalalas which multiply throughout the lands in the form of fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. These kinds are expanding everywhere.

At the death moment, we are unawakened to unite only with atmosphere falsely in order to become eighty-four thousand kinds of random thoughts that are either of the flying species as birds, eagles, or the watering species as fish, shrimp, and so forth.

The smell organ of a female hen receives only the air. If we grasp that scented air, we will fall into the egg of hen to rebirth as a hen. Studying Buddhism helps us to experience or see the transformation which we must spend in the turning wheel. Now, if we are staying in a temple or monastery where we strive in pursuit of enlightenment, but in fact we do not know how we will be in the future, what will we attain? It may be rebirth as a hen, fish, shrimp or human in the karmic turning wheel. We must be afraid of this karma in order to pray sincerely for rebirth in the Pure Land. We should get familiar with the liberated path and chanting the name of Amitābha Buddha in order that we can be reborn in the Pure Land. At the hour of death, we pray to have no sickness, remember mindfully the Amitābha Buddha name without upside-down false thoughts.

2. Because in the world, a consecutive craving wheel of the upside-down state on lust happens, that combines with thinking to form eighty-four thousand modes of vertical horizon perverse disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into the womb beings (arbudas) in the world, such as human (manussa), animal (tiracchānayoni), dragon, and half-human-heaven being. These kinds are plentiful everywhere.

This is the craving habit in which whole body is upside down with sensual lust (sarāgaṃ). It means that the upside down creates the main desire karma in order to make the fruit. Every category depends on the light or heavy karma but the main point is the sensual lust in the group of vertical horizontal perverse. If there is heavy karma, we will enter the womb of animal, buffalo, dog and cat, and so forth. If it is light karma, we will rebirth in the heaven (deva) realms. Human beings who practices for long or eternal life become half heaven-human being which also belongs to the human species. The karma is neither serious nor light that leads to enter the human’s womb. At the time approaching death, we see the passion sperm of parent, once our mind is contaminated and enjoys it, so that our consciousness clings to the womb. Depending on the loving karma, it is stimulated to be eighty-four thousand kinds of random thoughts that are vertical horizonal perverse that happens all because our craving arises up. Humans, animals, dragons, and half human-heaven come into being from the womb.

If we want to be freed from the womb, we should avoid feeling like or dislike toward something. Of course, sensual lust is the most important thing to destroy. We, who do not create that desire karma anymore, leave the contaminating karma down, because the self-contaminating mind is the main reason to force us as a fetus to get out.

Due to living in the disorderly desire world, we feel attachment to whatever we see. When we see a daisy, we like it. When see an orchid, we also like it. We like this one, so we grasp this one. Due to these emotions, it forces us to the womb. Loving means attaching (trishna). The more clinging becomes sensual thirst, this is very strong and forms the karmic seed for entering the womb.

3. Because in the world, a consecutive attaching wheel of the upside-down state on the inclination happens, that combines with warmness to form eighty-four thousand modes of sideward upward disorderly thoughts. Since then, there comes into being the humid beings (arbudas) in the world, such as flourishing, movable worms and insect in water. These kinds are abundant everywhere.

The Buddha points it out in detailed order. The world in the birth and death cycle is familiar with attaching. The attachment (abhijjhā, visamalobha) shows that we still have the habit of attaching to this thing that is good or pretty while clinging to the other is ugly or bad. More clinging is stronger grasping at the place where we have the emotions. If there is something we love (vītadosaṃ), then we cling to those things. Something we hate (sadosaṃ), we also hold onto, so it creates a karma that is called the rebirth karma.

In the Disciplines of Novice (Sāmaṇera Vinaya), the patriarch addresses that a young monk favors drinking milk. After he died, he turned into a worm in the milk. Likewise, if we are addicted to tea or coffee then we should be careful to prevent rebirth as maggots in the café trees or the tea leaves. Those who are addicted to whatever, they will become beetles in such substances. If an abbot, who is the head of the temple, is only interested in a clump of cane, and takes care of it daily, then at the time of death, his mind wanders around the cane without leaving which forces him to rebirth as the worm in the clump of cane.

One woman broke into tears over the corpse of her husband. The consciousness of the dying husband is uncertain where to go. He loved his wife so much that when he saw her crying bitterly, he could not bear to go to the other realm and was quickly reborn as a worm in his wife’s nose. It means the husband’s spirit turns out the worm. All comes from form, feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness. The husband  saw or heard the cry from his wife and received the strong feeling (trishna). Once there is the receiving, there is the perception to get stuck in; therefore, he failed to escape his insect karma.

For that reason, living beings have continuously generated and developed without stopping. Thus, whatever we grasp, we will stick at that place, which is the attaching process in the rebirth wheel. We have the habit of clinging to the rebirth wheel. We create karma and chase after feeling. Then, we will reincarnate into that feeling realm. Firstly, join in the interesting wet air to reincarnate as worms. Wherever the mind is fond of drinking milk, it will become a worm at that place. If a monk enjoys the sugar cane, he will become a worm in the cane. All that a gentle feeling seems as nothing, but it strongly forces the spiritual and is moved all the way to an unexpected rebirth.

The form of the crawling invertebrate worms is called eighty-four thousand of the upside-down species due to their moving by turning up and down (just as a baby turns over).

There are many kinds of random thoughts, such as the vertical horizontal perverse, the flying sinking, the old new, the marvelous clever, the secret connection, and so on, while this kind of random thought moves upside down. The upside-down moving is mentioned as the form, the body or the moving way, except the mind or the movable mind.

According to the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, the Buddha shows that our true reality is revealed with seeing, hearing, knowing, and so forth. We must be stable in the seeing, hearing, knowing as our refuge. To the external six objects, we mindfully detach because if there is attachment, there is pain. We see the ice cream, cake, or watermelon; we attach to the sweet cake, ice cream or watermelon, and then we chase it to satisfy our illusory pleasure. Now, whenever we see our favorite food, we must practice being peaceful with tastes and eat whatever is offered without attachment arising (abhijjhā, visamalobha).

In brief, the reason for all things is from the mind clinging to six objects. Because we have the contaminating habit to create sensual, lustful karma (sarāgaṃ) that is the principle to cause rebirth. Now, if we want to avoid six sensual attractions, we should practice without following the upsidedown defilements (kleśa).

In the first part of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, the Buddha says that all living beings have continued in the birth and death wheel (saṃsāra) because we are neither awakened to the eternal peaceful true nature, nor awakened to the stable peace, the eternal true nature that causes our six sense organs to cling to six worldly objects.

We have six windows of sense faculties to grasp, because we chase outside to hear the sound, smell the scent, taste the flavor, or in fact we only just remember a worldly object in our brain which is also to be stuck on it already, much less think and touch all six objects all day long.

4. Because in the world, a consecutive changeable wheel of the upside-down state of the deception happens that combines with contact to form eighty-four thousand modes of new old disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being the transforming beings (ghanas) in the world, such as back-forward moving, walking, and flying creatures. These kinds are plentiful everywhere.

A silkworm in a winged cocoon comes out to fly. It combines with touching to enter the egg of the silkworm. When silkworm eggs become silkworms, then a new life cycle of silkworms begins. They release silk to make a cocoon, which turns to a pupae and a moth, then it becomes a chrysalis (butterfly) to lay eggs. The eggs hatch silkworms. The silkworm does not die. It lives forever, life after life. It eats mulberry and dies after leaving silk. The silkworm is completely a transforming species, life cycle through four different stages of sex: eggs, silkworms, pupae, and moth.3

This transforming species combined with contact

(sparsha). How is the contact? If we learn about these organisms in biochemistry that will help to know its birth and development process in physisc. In regard to the mind, the Buddha, by his wisdom, realized that the process of reproducing the life of the silkworm connects with eighty-four thousand modes of new old disorderly thoughts. These ideas we have not experienced since we still live by our mundane consciousness.

5. Because in the world, a consecutive obstructive wheel of the upside-down state happens that combines with clinging to form eighty-four thousand modes of stunning wise disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being material beings (rupas) in the world, such as auspicious and inauspicious essences. These kinds are abundant everywhere.

The foolish obstruction means dull without cleverness. We have many obstructions in life because the karma, the wrong view (micchā-ditthi), and the upside-down state and so forth hinders our way. At the time of death, we see the lights of good and bad stars. Because of dullness, karma creates just as worshipping fire. Thus, at the time of death, we will see the light and become the inauspicious essences and spirits.

6. Because in the world, a consecutive extinction wheel of the upside-down state of ignorance (avijjā) happens, that combines with darkness to form eighty-four thousand modes of anonymity hiding disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being the immaterial beings in the world, such as the voided, scattered, extinct, and submerged creatures. These kinds are plentiful everywhere.

This idea wrongly holds that the destroying means to see everything as empty; once the body has died, there is the end or nothing is left behind, even the cause and effect, dependentorgination (paṭiccasamuppāda). This species unites with darkness because it attached to emptiness. At the time of death, it unites with the darkness to become these species that are void, scattered, extinct, and submerged. The majority of this kind becomes deities in the immaterial heavenly realms due to their attached view of nothingness. There are also the realms of immaterial Brahma-lokas as the meditating state of neither thought nor without thought. They belong to the void, scattered, extinct, and submerged in the dark voidness.

7. Because in the world, a consecutive imaging wheel of the upside-down state on the shape happens, that combines with preserve to form eighty-four thousand modes of connection in mystery disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into the thought beings (ghanas) in the world, such as spirits and ghosts (pittivisaya). These kinds are abundant everywhere.

The world is subjected by the illusory shadows. For example, a person thinks to buy a hen to feed. Then, it develops into a herd of hens. He sells them to purchase a pig which later became a herd of pigs. He sells it to buy a cow. After it gives birth to a buffalo, this later develops into a herd of buffalos. Such imagining is called the illusory shadow. So when the moment of death comes, we often think of those shadows in the brain memory. Due to the upside-down state of shadows, the large number of the deceased are reborn into a ghost or demon (pittivisaya).

The wrong view (micchā-ditthi) causes obstruction. Through a continuous process of illusory imaginings (samohaṃ), the upside-down state of shadows occurs in this world which we misunderstand as the truth. In fact, we have never seen the true shadow. What we see is only the shadow in our eyes. The sunlight reflects on the nerves of the eye and because we are having the human (manussa) karma, we are aware of it according to human knowledge. Every day, we live with false illusions and we chase after the false flavors from the tongue, the false feelings from the body and six organs. We have not experienced the truth except to live on the feelings. We do not realize that everything is perceived by our nerves, which work to present the sights, sounds, fragrances, tastes, and objects. We ourselves lean on our nerves to turn out six sense objects.

Our whole life, we live with the false thoughts or the upside-down shadows. The shadow is to remember what we kept in our brain. We remember our mother, the beloved ones, the hated ones—they are all shadows or feelings of false thoughts. Thus, large numbers of people will be reborn as devils after death.

8. Because in the world, a consecutive foolish wheel of the upside-down state on the unknowledge happens, that combines with stubbornness to form eighty-four thousand modes of thinly dry disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into being the without thought beings in the world, such as their spirituals turn out as soil, tree, gold, and stone. These kinds are plentiful everywhere.

Through the continuous world of slow dullness, the upside-down state on the ignorance (avijjā) unites with obstinacy or stubbornness. So, after death, people easily become the without thought species, such as pines, lands, rocks, and golds. It means they think themselves insentient beings as forest, soil pile, gold blocks, and dry stone, and so on.

9. Because in the world, a consecutive parasitic interacting wheel of the upside-down state on the pretend happens, that combines with affliction to form eighty four thousand modes of replying in disorderly thoughts. Since then, there comes into the neither material beings (ghanas) in the world, such as jellyfish that use shrimp for their eyes. These kinds are abundant everywhere.

Owing to the interacting state in this world, it seduces people to get trapped in upside-down and create the evil karma (palāsa) which is the opposite of righteousness. Therefore, it receives the retribution to be born as a neither material but it looks like material. For example, through a parasitic interaction they become involved with a being that is endowed with form, like a jellyfish. This type often looks like bubbles in the water which is neither form, but it plays the role as a form.

 What is a consecutive parasitic interacting wheel? Waiting to eat on another body is called a parasitic interaction.

 The upside-down state on the pretending: The elder and young people are trying to find a way to cheat others.

Someone cheats other people to take benefit for himself, so before death, his karma is combined with attachment to become his new body. Like a jellyfish, it does not have a real body, therefore it attaches to a bubble as its form. There are eighty-four thousand kinds of such neither-form random thoughts. Fishermen often see these types on the ocean.

We wrongly take other forms as our body. This is called cause-effect (paṭiccasamuppāda). A jellyfish relies on a bubble to make its body. Due to random thought, it does not recognize anything at all. It clings to everything without order and considers this as its reality. Most jellyfishes are translucent like water in the ocean. In fact, it has some red veins in the translucent body. We only recognize it when it stirs and sticks on our feet. Otherwise, we have difficulty seeing it.

10. Because in the world, a consecutive relating wheel of the upside-down state on the characteristic happens, that combines with mantra to form eighty-four thousand modes of call gathering disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes neither immaterial beings in the world, such as the hidden beings in mantras and incantations. These kinds are plentiful everywhere.

 What is a consecutive relating wheel? There are many smart persons but they are still tricked by mantras or beckoning summon. Because they used the evil mantras to trick others in the past lives, so they themselves are trapped in this life by their evil mantras.

 Why is it neither immaterial? Ghosts (preta) and spirits still exist but we cannot see them by our ordinary eyes. However, thanks to mantras, they can appear. The mantras do not create them. Ghosts and spirits live everywhere, at trees, grasses, mountains, rivers, and so forth. Mantras have the force to summon these kinds of beings who are living in the dark places.

Enchanters can speak with ghosts and spirits. They have their methods of secret mantras to do that. Someone can cure all diseases like a snakebite, that is, he has the mantras to summon snakes. If he calls snakes at midnight, then these snakes will come to gather at his legs at midnight.

11. Because in the world, a consecutive false combining wheel of the upside-down state on the transgression happens, that combines with odd to form eighty-four thousand modes of exchangeable disorderly thoughts. Then, there comes into the neither thought (ghanas) in the world like the varatas who borrow other substances to create their bodies. These kinds are abundant everywhere.

Combing the falseness means grasping the outside things to consider as self or self’s possessions. It is like someone who adopts another to become his real child.

12. Because in the world, a consecutive antagonist wheel of the upside-down state on killing happens, that combines with monster to form eighty-four thousand modes of thought to consume their parents’ flesh. Then, there comes the neither without thought beings in the world, such as a dirt owl that hatches a dirt lump to be its child or a P’ou Ching bird incubates a poisonous fruit to be its offspring. When the child grows up, it will eat its parents. These kinds are plentiful everywhere.

Fraud (māyā) means double-dealing (chādeti), something belongs to another, but we tell a lie and claim it as our own.

How is the dirt owl? It incubates a clump of dirt as its young. Strangely, a clump of earth turns out a real young bird. Because it always thinks of a clod of dirt as its child, it is called “it combines with monster.” It is not a normal bird. Its mother wishes it to grow but when it grows, it devours its mother, so it is called a being without thought.

A clump of earth is without thought, but it turns into a real bird. When it is mature, it eats its mother. Like a P’ou Ching bird, it does not hatch a clod of dirt; it incubates the poison fruit to produce a bird. It is spiritual and not only knows to drink or eat, but also creates its feather, limbs, and wings. Hence, these species are the strange monsters.

 What is a consecutive antagonist wheel? It is hatred and malevolence at parents, teachers, or respected people and it creates evil karma. It commits the karmas of killing, stealing, and sexual intercourse to repay its debts. For example, it kills its parents and debtors, which is called the upside-down state of killing. For that reason, so many strange monster species appear in this world. Weird birds eats its parents; it has consciousness, so it is transformed from a tree to a bird, a Pou Ching bird. It belongs to the species that hates and eats its parents and benefactors. The Buddha said that this kind of beings can be found in every country. Evil is plentiful in the realms.

We must avoid having hatred (byāpāda, dosa), obstinacy (thambha), and wickedness (upanāha). Obstinacy means ignorant holding while wickedness is the villain. It means the mind becomes immoral, unyielding, and harms others. Such a mind surely goes to the hells (niraya). Then they will go to the ghost (pittivisaya) realm with the extreme suffering. After that, they will reborn into kinds of poisonous worms or cruel animals (tiracchānayoni) due to their wicked thoughts (palāsa).

There is a kind of poisonous worm in India. People use it to make poison. Due to anger (kodha) and hatred (byāpāda, dosa), people will be reborn into the animal realm of poisonous worms.

This section mentions twelve causes to give birth to twelve species. These beings come from our mind, can be found in the time (three periods), and the world (ten directions), that is, our mind daily has these disorderly thoughts of the twelve species. The Buddha declared that they are plentiful in the world, but honestly, we do not realize it.

This chapter is vitally important because it helps us to think about the twelve paths. There are enough of these twelve beings in our daily mind. Therefore, we will chase after what we think about, which leads us to rebirth in that realm according to our mind. We should be careful to reflect on our daily mind every moment. If we keep following the craving (trishna) one time, then two times, and so on, we will get used to it and it will become our afflicting (kleśa) habit.

The habit is repeated regularly to become our behavior, manner, or characteristic. By the moment of death, if there is any false thought, we will get caught up in that thought which drags us to rebirth into that species. At present, we just get out from the womb (the second of twelve categories of beings).

We are in the way of twelve species, so the Pure Land School provides us the method of reciting the Amitābha Buddha name to build good behavior for us. If our mind always remembers the Amitābha Buddha and recites his name, we will reach the aim to be reborn in the Pure Land, and escape the dangerous nets of twelve species.

We have just come from the human (manussa) womb, our mind is full of wrong view (micchā-ditthi) as the defilements (kleśa). We have many kinds of negative seeds in our conscious store, so we should change these seeds in ourselves daily by reciting the Amitābha Buddha name or doing meditation.

Meditation means mindfulness without racing out to the six sense objects. If we cannot meditate to keep awakening all the time, we should build the habit of reciting the name of Amitābha Buddha to always remember the Buddha.

Reciting the Buddha’s name is a mindful habit; it can help us to escape the dangerous thoughts of twelve species. We must practice daily, then at the moment of death, we expect the habit of reciting the Buddha’s name remains in order that it can expel the wrong thought. This is also the reason why patriarchs advised us to recite the Amitābha Buddha name regularly until it becomes our habit and this habit leads us to the Amitābha Buddha land.

This means that we get out of twelve categories of beings. In this life, we are stuck in these twelve categories but it is lucky that we understand the reason and we should explain and spread the knowledge to others so that everyone can avoid the dangerous net.

The first danger is the inborn ignorance (avijjā). If we can understand the process of ignorance, we can cut off the cycle of twelve chains. The snake of ignorance is long since beginning-less time. If we can grasp the head of ignorance, we cannot run out to the six sense objects and we are mindfully aware of the present moment.

What is the illusion? The ignorance is illusion, we just detach it, and then it will disappear. We possess the inward permanent awareness nature; we only need to return our mind to this nature. It is simple, why do we not do it? Why do we hesitate to return to our potential Buddha nature?

We do not accept to settle down as a Buddha. We chase to discriminate and favor in seeing, hearing, traveling and doing everything to add more wrong view (micchā-ditthi). Our mind always changes and discriminates. Our falseness discriminates without anything else. Why do we not dwell upon our Buddha nature?

Our nature is the Buddha; we do not care about it. Our six organs often attach to six sense objects to make countless mistakes and create a delusive sky without beginning. The karma of killing, stealing, and sexual intercourse makes saṃsāra longer and longer up to now we have not escaped from it. We do not realize that the mistakes come from discrimination of six outside sense objects. Once a worldly sight appears in front of our eyes, we see the form to distinguish, i.e., there is seeing. The object of what is seen presents, and then the subject exists simultaneously. All wrong origins arise from the discrimination.

In brief, there are twelve categories of species

1. egg 2. womb
3. moisture 4. transformation
5. material 6. immaterial
7. thought 8. without thought
9. neither material 10. neither immaterial
11. neither thought 12. neither without thought

Each species in these twelve categories of living beings has eighty-four thousand kinds of random thoughts that exist everywhere, but if we are asked to find one species, we will fail to find it. We must dwell on the bodhi foundation of the inherent, illuminating, wonderful mind essence and singlemindedly recite the Buddha’s name. We avoid chasing after the external objects, because it leads the mind to turn into these twelve species. Keeping mindfulness is important. We must be awakened with insight to observe our mind to be permanent as a block that does not turn out to be twelve species which are too fragile and illusory. As being a worm or a butterfly or insect, it is hard for us to go up the higher realm or return a human being, so it is too dangerous.

As a human being, we have more abilities to approach liberation. We also have many opportunities to overcome these difficulties. If we lose this human body, we will fall into the other lower beings easily.

This is what the Buddha taught and revealed to us. Otherwise, we would not have this knowledge.

TWELVE PECIES OF LIVING BEINGS

 

 

No

 

Cause

Upside

Down

 

Combine

Disorderly thought Kind of species  

Shape

 

1

 

illusory

 

motion

 

air

 

flying, sinking

 

eggs

birds,

reptiles, and snakes

            human, animal,

 

 

2

 

craving

 

lust

 

thinking

 

horizontal vertical

 

wombs

dragon

and half human-

heavenly

being

 

3

 

attaching

 

inclination

 

warmness

 

sideward, upward

 

moisture

the

movable

worm and insect

 4  

change

 

deception

 

contact

 

 

new, old

transformation walking, and

flying creatures

 

 

5

 

obstruct

 

hinder

 

cling

 

stunning wise

 

Material

auspicious and in-

auspicious essences

 

 

6

 

 

 

extinction

 

 

 

ignorance

 

 

 

darkness

 

anonymously hiding

 

 

immaterial

void,

utter,

annihilated,

and submerged creatures

 

7  

imaging

 

shape

 

preserve

connect in

mystery

 

thought

spirits and ghosts
 

8

 

foolish

 

dull

 

stubborn

 

thinly dry

thought

-less

soil, tree,

gold, and stone

 

 

9

 

interacting

 

pretend

 

affliction

 

replying

 

neither material

jellyfish that use shrimp

for their eyes

 

10

 

relating

 

manner

 

mantra

call gathering neither immaterial the

hidden

beings in

mantras and

incanta- tions

 

 

 

11

 

 

substances

 

 

transgress

 

 

odd

 

 

exchange

 

 

neither thought

the

varatas borrow

other sub-

stances

to create their bodies

 

12

 

antagonist

 

killing

consume their

parents’ flesh

neither

with

thought beings

neither

without thought

dirt owl,

Pou

Ching bird

 

SUMMARY OF CHAPTER IX

Chapter IX discusses twelve species of living beings. Because there are two crazy causes of worlds and living beings, there are twelve beings:

1. Egg, 2. Womb, 3. Moisture, 4. Transformation, 5. Material, 6. Immaterial, 7. Thought, 8. Without thought, 9. Neither material 10. Neither immaterial. 11. Neither thought 12. Neither without thought.

Without following the crazy causes, it is the true bodhi (samādhi) of all Tathāgatas. Each species is also full of twelve crazy roots. It is just due to rubbing the eye, the sky-flowers all come out.

The nature is originally bright. Due to being bright, the form seems to appear. Then, the wrong view accepts that it is born from the essence. In the absolute place, it is nothing which now seems to have things. Due to such an existence, each session and part are falsely generated, so the space is established. Because taking the without cause is as the cause, without the attached subject and object, it often shifts without settling down, so the time is established. Three times and four directions are combined and interacted mutually, in which twelve species of living beings are movably transformed.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Please list the twelve species of beings.
  2. Discuss the crazy causes of the world.
  3. Discuss the crazy causes of sentient beings.
  4. Explain the cause-effect of a species.
  5. Why in twelve species, is the human the ultimate and highest?
Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.

CHÚ THÍCH

  1. Śūraṅgama Sūtra , 624–629
  2.  Chapter V, Two Difficult Problems, pp. 128–130.
  3.  The Śūraṅgama Sūtra, p. 292