Thiện Phúc



271. Self-Nature
272. Self-Mortification
273. The Power of The Mind Or Supernatural Powers?
274. The Abilities of the Unobstructed
275. Wisdom
276. Four Doors of the Enlightened Knowledge
277. Four Unobstructed Powers of Wisdom
278. Theories and Practices
279. Noumenon and Phenomenon are Mutually Merged and Immersed in Each Other
280. Theory and Practice are in Harmony

271. Self-Nature

In the traditional terminology of Buddhism, self-nature is Buddha-nature, that which makes up Buddhahood; it is absolute Emptiness, Sunyata, it is absolute Suchness, Tathata. May it be called Pure Being, the term used in Western philosophy? While it has nothing to do yet with a dualistic world of subject and object, it is called “Mind” (with the capital initial letter), and also the Unconscious. A Buddhist phraseology is saturated with psychological terms, and as religion is principally concerned with the philosophy of life. These terms, Mind and Unconscious, are here used as synonymous with Self-nature, but the utmost care is to be taken not to confuse them with those of empirical psychology; for we have not yet come to this; we are speaking of a transcendental world where no such shadows are yet traceable. In this self-nature there is a movement, an awakening and the Unconscious of itself. This is not the region where the question “Why” or “How” can be asked. The awakening or movement or whatever it may be called is to be taken as a fact which goes beyond refutation. The bell rings, and I hear its vibrations as transmitted through the air. This is a plain fact of perception. In the same way, the rise of consciousness in the Unconscious is a matter of experience; no mystery is connected with it, but, logically stated, there is an apparent contradiction, which once started goes on contradicting itself eternally. Whatever this is, we have now a self-conscious Unconscious or a self-reflecting Mind. Thus, transformed, Self-nature is known as Prajna.

Self-nature or one’s own original nature, or one’s own Buddha-nature, that which constitutes the essential nature of a thing. In the Lankavatara Sutra, the Buddha told Mahamati: “Oh Mahamati, the nature of existence is not as it is discriminated by the ignorant.” Things in the phenomenal world are transient, momentary, and without duration; hence they have no self-nature. Self-nature is self-knowledge; it is not mere being but knowing. We can say that because of knowing itself, it is; knowing as being, and being is knowing. This is the meaning of the statement made by Hui-Neng that: “In original nature itself, there is Prajna knowledge, and because of this self-knowledge. Nature reflects itself in itself, which is self-illumination not to be expressed in words. When Hui-Neng speaks of Prajna knowledge as if it is born of self-nature, this is due to the way of thinking which then prevailed, and often involves us in a complicated situation, resulting in the dualism of self-nature and Prajna, which is altogether against the spirit of Hui –Neng’s Zen thought. However this may be, we have now come to Prajna, which must be explained in the light of Dhyana, in accordance with Mahayanist signification. In Mahayana philosophy, there are three concepts which have been resorted to by scholars to explain between substance and its function. They are body, form, and use, which first appeared in “The Awakening of Faith” in the Mahayana, usually ascribed to Asvaghosa. Body corresponds to substance, Form to appearance, and Use to function. The apple is a reddish, round-shaped object: this is its Form, in which it appeals to our senses. Form belongs to the world of senses, i.e. appearance. Its Use includes all that it does and stands for, its values, its utility, its function, and so on. Lastly, the Body of the apple is what constitutes its appleship, without which it loses its being, and no apple, even with all the appearances and functions ascribed to it, is an apple without it. To be a real object these three concepts, Body, Form, and Use, must be accounted for.

To apply these concepts to our object of discourse here, self-nature is the Body and Prajna its Use, whereas there is nothing here corresponding to Form because the subject does not belong to the world of form. There is the Buddha-nature, Hui-Neng would argue, which makes up the reason of Buddhahood; and this is present in all beings, constituting their self-nature. The object of Zen discipline is to recognize it, and to be released from error, which are the passions. How is the recognition possible, one may inquire? It is possible because self-nature is self-knowledge. The Body is nobody without its Use, and the Body is the Use. To be itself is to know itself. By using itself, its being is demonstrated, and this using is, in Hui-Neng’s terminology ‘seeing into one’s own Nature.’ Hands are no hands, have no existence, until they pick up flowers and offer them to the Buddha; so with legs, they are no legs, non-entities, unless their Use is set to work, and they walk over the bridge, ford the stream, and climb the mountain. Hence the history of Zen after Hui-Neng developed this philosophy of Use to its fullest extent: the poor questioner was slapped, kicked, beaten, or called names to his utter bewilderment, and also to that of the innocent spectators. The initiative to this ‘rough’ treatment of the Zen students was given by Hui-Neng, though he seems to have refrained from making any practical application of his philosophy of Use.

When we say, ‘see into your self-nature’, the seeing is apt to be regarded as mere perceiving, mere knowing, mere statically reflecting on self-nature, which is pure and undefiled, and which retains this quality in all beings as well as in all the Buddhas. Shen-Hsiu and his followers undoubtedly took this view of seeing. But as a matter of fact, the seeing is an act, a revolutionary deed on the part of the human understanding whose function have been supposed all the time to be logically analyzing ideas, ideas sensed from their dynamic signification. The ‘seeing, especially in Hui-Neng’s sense, was far more than a passive deed of looking at, a mere knowledge obtained from contemplating the purity of self-nature; the seeing with him was self-nature itself, which exposes itself before him in all nakedness, and functions without any reservation. Herein we observe the great gap between the Northern School of Dhyana and the Southern School of Prajna.’

In the Platform Sutra, the Sixth Patriarch, Hui-Neng opens his sermon with the seeing into one’s self-nature by means of Prajna, with which everyone of us, whether wise or ignorant, is endowed. He adopts the conventional way of expressing himself, as he is no original philosopher. In our own reasoning, self-nature finds its own being when it sees itself, and this seeing takes place by Prajna. But as Prajna is another name given to self-nature when the latter sees itself, there is no Prajna outside self-nature. The seeing is also called recognizing or understanding, or, better, experiencing. Self-nature is Prajna, and also Dhyana when it is viewed, as it were, statically or ontologically. Prajna is more of epistemological significance. Now Hui-Neng declares the oneness of Prajna and Dhyana. “Oh good friends, in my teaching what is most fundamental is Dhyana and Prajna. And friends, do not be deceived and led to thinking that Dhyana and Prajna are separable. They are one, and not two. Dhyana is the Body of Prajna, and Prajna is the Use of Dhyana. When Prajna is taken up, Dhyana is in Prajna; when Dhyana is taken up, Prajna is in it. When this understood, Dhyana and Prajna go hand in hand in the practice of meditation. Oh, followers of the truth, do not say that Dhyana is first attained and then Prajna is awakened; for they are separate. Those who advocate this view make a duality of the Dharma; they are those who affirm with the mouth and negate in the heart. They regard Dhyana as distinct from Prajna. But with those whose mouth and heart are in agreement, the inner and outer are one, and Dhyana and Prajna are regarded as equal. What comes first in importance in the philosophy of Hui-Neng is the idea of self-nature. But self-nature is not to be conceived as something of substance. It is not the last residue left behind after all things relative and conditional have been extracted from the notion of an individual being. It is not the self, or the soul, or the spirit, as ordinarily regarded. It is not something belonging to any categories of the understanding. It does not belong to this world of relativities. Nor is it the highest reality which is generally ascribed to God or to Atman or to Brahma. It cannot be described or defined in any possible way, but without it the world even as we see it and use it in our everyday life collapses. To say it is is to deny it. It is a strange thing.

272. Self-Mortification

Self-mortification (duskara-carya) means undergoing difficulties, hardships, or sufferings, i.e. burning, tormenting; hence religious austerity, mortification. At the time of the Buddha and until now, there has been a belief in India among many ascetics that purification and final deliverance can be achieved by rigorous self-mortification, and prince Siddhartha decided to test the truth of it. And, at Uruvela he began a determined struggle to subdue his body in the hope that his mind, set free from shackles of the body, might be able to soar to the heigths of liberation. He tried his best in the practice of self-mortification. He lived on leaves and roots, on a steadily reduced pittance of food; he wore rags from dust heaps; he slept among corpses of beds of thorns. The utter paucity of nourishment left him a physical wreck. Says the Master: “Rigorous have I been in my ascetic discipline. Rigorous have I been beyond all others. Like wasted, withered reeds became all my limbs…” In such words as these, in later years, having attained to full enlightenment, did the Buddha give His disciples an awe-inspiring description of his early penances. After six long years of practicing of self-mortification, he came to the very door of death, but he found himself no nearer to his goal. The practice of self-mortification became abundantly clear to him by his own experience. He realized that the Path in search of Truth lay in the direction of a search inward into his own mind. Undiscouraged, his still active mind searched for new paths. However, he felt that with a body too weak as his, he could not follow that path with any chance of success. Thus, he abandoned self-mortification (self-tortured) and turned back to normal practices. At that time, the five brothers of Ajnata Kaundinya left him in their disappointment, for they thought that he had given up the effort and had resumed a life of abundance. However, with his firm determination and complete faith in his own purity and strength, without the help from any teacher, and without any companions, he resolved to make his final effort in complete solitude. On the morning before the day of his Enlightenment while he was seated in meditation under a Bodhi tree, Sujata, the daughter of a rich householder, not knowing whether he was divine or human, offered milk rice to him saying: “Lord, may your aspiration be crowned with success!” This was his last meal prior to his Enlightenment. He sat cross-legged under the Bodhi-tree, which later became known as the “Tree of Enlightenment” or the “Tree of Wisdom” on the bank of the river Neranjara, at Gaya, making the final effort with the inflexible resolution: “Though only my skin and bones remain, and my blood and flesh dry up and wither away, yet I will never rise from this seat until I have attained full enlightenment. So indefatigable in effort, so unflagging in his devotion was he, and so resolute to realize truth and attain full enlightenment. In the Dharmapada Sutra, the Buddha taught: “Neither walking bare footed, nor matted locks, nor dirt, nor fasting, nor lying on the bare ground, nor dust, nor squatting on the heels, can purify a mortal who has not overcome his doubts (Dharmapada 141).”

273. The Power of The Mind Or Supernatural Powers?

Supernatural or magical powers that are part of Abhijna. It refers to the power to manifest multiple forms of oneself or to transform oneself into another shape, to become invisible, to pass through valid things, to walk on water or fire, to touch the sun and moon, and to scale the highest heaven. “Abhijna” is a Sanskrit term for higher knowledge. Super-knowledge are modes of insight attained by the practice of Dhyana. Super knowledge or supernatural powers, a high state of consciousness when six spiritual powers have been developped, abilities possesses by a Buddha, bodhisattva or arhat. These are six supernatural abilities that are believed in traditional Buddhist meditation theory to result from the practice of meditation: 1) magical powers (rddhi), such as levitation, or divine ability to be at anywhere at anytime; 2) the “devine ear” (divya-srotra), or clairaudience, which can perceive all human and divine voices; 3) the ability to know others’ minds (paracitta-jnana); 4) the “devine eye” (divya-caksus), or clairvoyance, which can see all things in the universe including the cycles of births and deaths of all beings; 5) the ability to recall the details of former lives (purvanivasamusmrti), or divine perception of the thoughts of other beings, recollection of previous existences; 6) knowledge of the extinction of defilements (asrava-ksaya-vijnana), or knowledge concerning the extinction of one’s own imputrity and passions. The first five are classified as mundane abilities, while the sixth is a supramundane ability that results from completion of training in insight meditation.

The Buddha has three aspects of the omniscience: knowledge of future karma, knowledge of past karma, and knowledge of present illusion and liberation. According to Buddhist traditions, there are five kinds of supernatural powers. First, supernatural powers of bodhisattvas through their insight into truth. Second, supernatural powers of arhats through their mental concentration. Third, supernatural or magical powers dependent on drugs, charms, incantations, etc. Fourth, reward of karma powers of transformation possessed by devas, nagas, etc. Fifth, magical powers of goblins, satyrs, etc. There are five other supernatural powers or five mystical powers. First, seeing to any distance or ability to see without hindrances. This is the ability to see beings vanishing and reappearing, low and noble ones, beautiful and ugly ones, seeing beings are reappearing according to their deeds (karma). Deva-vision, instantaneous view of anything anywhere in the form-realm. Second, deva hearing or ability to hear any sound anywhere. This is the ability to hear sound both heavenly and human, far and near. Third, penetrating men’s thoughts or knowledge of the minds of all others. This is the ability to know the thoughts of all other minds, or the ability to know the minds of other beings, by penetrating them with one’s own mind. This person knows the greedy mind, hate mind and deluded mind, shrunken and distracted mind, developed mind and free mind of others or vice sersa. Fourth, knowing their state and antecedents or the knowledge of all former existence or transmigrations of self and others. This is the ability to remember former existences, may be from one to five or even to hundred or thousand births. Fifth, taking any form at will or the power to be anywhere or do anything at will. This is the ability to pass through walls and mountains, just as if through the air. Ability to walk on the water without sinking, just as if on the earth.

There are three types of psychic powers. The first one is the power to fly in the air and dive into the earth, or to perform other superhuman performances. The second one is the power to read other people’s minds. They can look into the eyes of th eperson and tell what the person is thinking. People can be very impressed with them. The third psychic power, the power of instruction. According to both Mahayana and Theravada traditions, there are six magical penetrations (six superknowledges or six supernatural or universal powers) acquired by a Buddha, also by an arhat through the fourth degree of dhyana. First, ability to see all forms (clairvoyance, deva-eye, deva-vision, divine sight, or penetration of the Heavenly Eye). This is the instantaneous view of anything anywhere in the form realm or the power to see what one wills to see anywhere. This is also the ability to see to any distance, or the ability to see without hindrances. The ability to see beings vanishing and reappearing, low and noble ones, beautiful and ugly ones, seeing beings are reappearing according to their deeds (karma). Second, ability of penetration of the Heavenly Ear (clairaudience, deva-ear, divine hearing). This is the ability to hear all sounds (ability to hear any sound anywhere); the power to hear and understand all languages. This also the ability of hearing to any distance. Ability to hear sound both heavenly and human, far and near. Third, the mental telepathy. Penetration into others’ minds or thoughts. Ability to know the thoughts of others or power to read thoughts, or knowledge of the minds of all living beings. Ability (power) to know the thoughts of all other minds which enlightened beings have to a greater or lesser extent depending on their spiritual achievements. Penetrating men’s thoughts. Ability to know the minds of other beings, by penetrating them with one’s own mind. This person knows the greedy mind, hate mind and deluded mind, shrunken and distracted mind, developed mind and free mind of others or vice sersa. Fourth, penetration of spiritual fulfillment (fulfillment of the spirit, psychic travel, magical powers). This is the ability (power) to be anywhere and to do anything at will, or power to appear at will in any place and to have absolute freedom to do anything. This is also the ability of taking any form at will. Ability to pass through walls and mountains, just as if through the air, the ability to walk on the water without sinking, just as if on the earth. Fifth, knowledge of all forms of former existences of self and others. This is the knowledge of past and future of self and others or ability to penetrate into past and future lives of self and others. This is also the knowledge of their state and antecedents. Ability to remember former existences, may be from one to five or even to hundred or thousand births. Sixth, ability to end contamination. This is the power to deliver of the mind from all passions. Penetration of the exhaustion (extinction) of outflows. Ability to extinct all cankers (afflictions) in this very life. Besides, there are also ten supernatural, ubiquitous powers: knowing all previous transmigrations, deva hearing,knowing the minds of others, deva vision, showing deva powers, manifesting many bodies or forms, being anywhere instantly, power of bringing glory to one’s domain, manifesting a body of transformation, and power to end evil and transmigration.

According to the Buddha, supernatural powers are also the powers of the mind; however, some are necessary and some are not. For example, the ability to extinct all cankers (afflictions) in this very life, extinction of cankers through wisdom. Supernatural consciousness of the waning of vicious propensities, and the deliverance of mind from passions, or insight into the ending of the stream of transmigration. This is also the ability to extinct all cankers (afflictions) in this very life, extinction of cankers through wisdom.

And psychic power of instruction, whereby one can tell other people what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is bad. This is unwholesome, unskillful, not conducive to your welfare or that of others. They are able to tell people what to abandon and what to follow or to practice or to cultivate wholesome actions. This power to guide another person on the right path is the most important psychic power. This is the best psychic power of them all.

As a matter of fact, miracle powers include knowing, skillful, clever, understanding, conversant with, remembrance, recollection. Miracles mean ubiquitous supernatural power, psychic power, high powers, supernormal knowledges, or superknowledge. Miraculous Powers are what the Western religious imagination would regard as miraculous or supernatural, attainable only through penetrating insight, as seen in the two Amitabha Sutras as inconceivable. These abilities are by-products of meditation, concentration and contemplation practices. However, exhibiting or exploiting these powers is a violation of monastic discipline and pretending to possess such powers is grounds for dismissal from the sangha. According to the Sutra In Forty-Two Sections, Chapter 13, a Sramana asked the Buddha: ‘What are the causes and conditions by which one come to know past lives and also by which one’s understanding enables one to attain the Way?’ The Buddha said: ‘By purifying the mind and guarding the will, your understanding can achieve (attain) the Way. Just as when you polish a mirror, the dust vanishes and brightness remains; so, too, if you cut off and do not seek desires, you can then know past lives.”

274. The Abilities of the Unobstructed

The unobstructed means unhindered and undoubted, or without doubt, without obstacle, and without resistance. Why can we not obtain the Unobstructed eloquences? We cannot obtain the unobstructed eloquences because we still have thoughts of fighting, greed, seeking, selfishness, and self-benefit. How can we obtain the unobstructed eloquences when we are not satisfied with the way things are? We always feel that we treat everyone well, but that everyone treats us badly. We always defend ourselves and secure the most advantageous position for ourselves. That is not the way to cultivate to obtain the unobstructed eloquences. If we want to cultivate to obtain the unobstructed eloquences, we cannot defend ourselves, argue, or talk about other people’s shortcoming. Attain unhindered intellect and the light of knowledge without being taught by another. Bodhisattvas are able to illumine and understand all Buddha teachings, are sustained by the spiritual power of all Buddhas, are one of the same body of reality with all Buddhas, accomplish all incorruptible mystic states of clarity and purity of great people, abide in all equal vehicles of liberation, are aware of all spheres of Buddhahood, are endowed with the light of all worldly knowledge, and clearly see all realms of sentient beings; they are able to be truth-knowing teachers for sentient beings, yet they make the appearance of ceaseless search for truth; though they are actually unexcelled teachers of sentient beings, they show respect to preceptors and religious mentors, because great enlightening beings, by skillful expedients, abide in the path of enlightening beings, yet manifest whatever is necessary. Unobstructed eloquences are unhindered or unlimited Bodhisattva powers of interpretation or reasoning.

According to the Flower Adornment Sutra, Chapter 38, Great Enlightening Beings have ten kinds of unimpeded functions: unimpeded function relating to sentient beings, unimpeded function relating to lands, unimpeded function relating to phenomena and principles, unimpeded function relating to bodies, unimpeded function relating to vows, unimpeded function relating to realms, unimpeded function relating to knowledge, unimpeded function relating to spiritual capacities, unimpeded function relating to miracles, an dunimpeded function relating to powers.

Also according to the Flower Adornment Sutra, chapter 38, Great Enlightening Beings Have ten kinds of unimpeded functions relating to bodies: spread one’s own body in all of all sentient beings; encompassing the bodies of all sentient beings in one’s own body; merging one’s own body into the bodies of all sentient beings; all Buddha-bodies entering one Buddha-body; one Buddha-body entering all Buddha-bodies; encompassing all lands in one’s own body; pervading all things of all times with one body, showing sentient beings; showing boundless bodies in one body entering concentration; in one body showing as many bodies as sentient beings attaining enlightenment; showing the body of one being in the bodies of all beings, showing the bodies of all beings in the body of one being; showing the body of reality in the bodies of all beings, showing the bodies of all beings in the body of reality.

Also according to the Flower Adornment Sutra, chapter 38, Great Enlightening Beings have ten kinds of unimpeded functions relating to knowledge: inexhaustible analytic powers; retention of all dharani concentration formulae; ability to know and explain with certainty the faculties of all sentient beings; instantly knowing, by unhindered knowledge, the action of the minds of all sentient beings; knowing clearly all sentient beings on inclinations, propensities, habits, afflictions, and giving them remedies in accordance with their ailments; in a single moment they are able to enter into the ten powers of Buddhas; by unimpeded knowledge they are able to know all ages of past, present, and future and sentient beings therein; moment to moment they manifest the attainment of enlightenment, showing it to sentient beings endlessly; know the actions of all sentient beings in the thought of one sentient being; and understand the language of all sentient beings in the words of one sentient being.

Also according to the Flower Adornment Sutra, chapter 38, Great Enlightening Beings have ten kinds of unimpeded functions relating to lands: making all lands one land; fitting all lands in a pore; knowing that the totality of lands is inexhaustible; filling all lands with one body sitting in cross-legged; showing all lands in one body; shaking all lands without frightening the beings there; arraying one land with the adornment of all lands; arraying all lands with the adornment of one land; pervading all lands with one Buddha and one congregation, showing sentient beings; and showing all sentient beings the infinite differentiations of the network of lands filling the ten directions, all small lands, middle-size lands, large lands, broad lands, deep lands, upright lands, inverted lands, sideways lands, straight lands, infinite differentiations of the network of lands filling the ten directions.

Also according to the Flower Adornment Sutra, chapter 38, Great Enlightening Beings have ten kinds of unimpeded functions relating to miraculous abilities. First, place untold worlds in one atom. Second, manifest all Buddha-lands, equal to the cosmos, in a single atom. Third, place the water of all oceans in one pore and travel throghout the universe, without the sentient beings therein being disturbed. Fourth, contain untold worlds within their own bodies and manifest all spiritual powers. Fifth, tie up innumerable mountain chainswith a single hair and carry them through all worlds, without frightening sentient beings. Sixth, make untold ages one age and make one age untold ages, showing therein the differences of formation and disintegration, without scaring sentient beings. Seventh, in all worlds they show various changes and devastations by floods, conflagrations, and gales, without troubling sentient beings. Eighth, when such disasters arise they can safeguard the necessities of life of all sentient beings in all worlds, not letting them be damaged or lost. Ninth, can hold inconceivably many worlds in one hand and toss them beyond untold worlds, without exciting fear in the sentient beings. Tenth, explain how all lands are the same as space, causing sentient beings all to gain understanding.

Also according to the Flower Adornment Sutra, chapter 38, Great Enlightening Beings have ten kinds of unimpeded functions relating to phenomena and principles. First, know that all phenomena are in one phenomenon and one phenomenon is in all phenomena, yet they do not contravene the understanding of sentient beings. Second, elicit all transcendent wisdom, explain them to others, and enlighten them all. Third, know all things are beyond words, yet they enable all sentient beings to understand them. Fourth, know all things are of one characteristic, yet they can expound infinite characteristics of things. Fifth, know all truths are beyond explanation, yet they explain boundless ways of access to truth. Sixth, can skillfully operate a pregnant symbol representing all truths. Seventh, accommodate all things in one principle without contradiction, expounding it for untold eons without exhausting it. Eighth, include all things in the teaching of enlightenment, they enable all sentient beings to gain understanding. Ninth, know all things have no boundaries. Tenth, know the ultimate nonobstruction of all things, like a network of illusions, with infinite differentiations, explaining to sentient beings for infinite eons without exhausting it.

Also according to the Flower Adornment Sutra, chapter 38, Great Enlightening Beings have ten kinds of unimpeded functions relating to power. First, unimpeded function of power relating to sentient beings, teaching and taming them without abandoning them. Second, power relating to lands, manifesting untold adornment and arraying them. Third, power relating to phenomena, causing all bodies to enter the bodiless. Fourth, power relating to oens, cultivating practices unceasingly. Fifth, power of enlightenment, awakening those who are asleep. Sixth, power of action including all practices of enlightening beings. Seventh, power of Buddhas, liberating all sentient beings. Eighth, teacherless power, spontaneously awakening to all truth. Ninth, power of omniscience, attaining true enlightenment by omniscience. Tenth, power of great compassion, not abandoning sentient beings.

Also according to the Flower Adornment Sutra, chapter 38, Great Enlightening Beings have ten kinds of unimpeded functions relating to realms. First, abide in the realm of reality without abandoning the realm of sentient beings. Second, abide in the realm of Buddhas without abandoning the realm of demons. Third, abide in the realm of nirvana without abandoning the realm of birth and death. Fourth, enter the realm of omniscience without putting an end to the realm of the nature of Enlightening Beings. Fifth, abide in the realm of tranquility and calm without abandoning the realm of distraction. Sixth, abide in the spacelike realm where there is no coming or going, no conceptualization, no form, no essence, no verbalzation; yet Enlightening Beings still do not abandon the realm of all sentient beings, conceptual representations. Seventh, dwell in the realm of occult powers and liberation, yet without abandoning the realm of specific locations. Eighth, enter the realm of ultimate nonexistence of sentient beings, yet they do not give teaching all sentient beings. Ninth, dwell in the realm of meditation, liberation, spiritual powers, and higher knowledges, quiet and peaceful, yet they manifest birth in all worlds. Tenth, dwell in the realm of realization of true enlightenment adorned by all the deeds of Buddhas, yet they manifest the composed, tranquil comportment of the personally liberated and individually illuminated.

Also according to the Flower Adornment Sutra, chapter 38, Great Enlightening Beings have ten kinds of unimpeded functions relating to spiritual capacities. First, show the bodies of all worlds in one body. Second, in the audience of one Buddha they hear the teachings spoken in the assemblies of all Buddhas. Third, in the mind and thoughts of one sentient being they accomplish inexpressible, unsurpassed enlightenment and open the minds of all sentient beings. Fourth, with one voice they manifest the different sounds of speech of all worlds and enable sentient beings each to attain understanding. Fifth, in a single moment they show the various differences in results of actions of all ages of the entire past, causing sentient beings all to know and see. Sixth, in one atom appears Buddha-land with boundless adornment. Seventh, cause all worlds to be fully adorned. Eighth, penetrate all pasts, presents and futures. Ninth, emanate the great light of truth and show the enlightenment of all Buddhas, and the acts and aspirations of sentient beings. Tenth, Enlightening beings protect all living beings, all Saints, all Individual Illuminates, all Enlightening Beings, the ten powers of enlightenment, and all the roots of goodness of Enlightening Beings.

Also according to the Flower Adornment Sutra, chapter 38, Great Enlightening Beings have ten kinds of unimpeded functions relating to vows. First, make the vows of all Enlightening Beings their own vows. Second, manifest themselves attaining enlightenment by the power of the vow of attaining of enlightenment of all Buddhas. Third, attain supreme perfect enlightenment themselves in accordance with the sentient beings they are teaching. Fourth, never end their great vows, throughout all eons, without bounds. Fifth, detaching from the body of discriminating consciousness and not clinging to the body of knowledge, they manifest all bodies by free will. Sixth, give up their own bodies to fulfill the aspirations of others. Seventh, edify all sentient beings without giving up their great vows. Eighth, cultivate the deeds of Enlightening Beings in all ages, yet their great vows never end. Ninth, manifest the attainment of true enlightenment in a minute point (a pore), pervade all Buddha-landsby the power of vowing, and show this to each and every sentient beings in untold worlds. Tenth, explain a phrase of teaching, throughout all universes, raising great clouds of true teaching, flashing the lightning of liberation, booming the thunder of truth, showering the rain of elixir of immortality, fulfilling all sentient beings by the power of great vows.

Also according to the Flower Adornment Sutra, chapter 28, the Buddhas have ten kinds of unimpeded liberation. First, all Buddhas can cause the emergence in the world of untold Buddhas in a single atom. Second, all Buddhas can cause untold Buddhas actively teaching to appear in a single atom. Third, all Buddhas can cause untold sentient beings being taught and guided to appear in a single atom. Fourth, all Buddhas can cause untold Buddha-lands to appear in a single atom. Fifth, all Buddhas can cause untold Enlightening Beings receiving predictions of Buddhahood to appear in a single atom. Sixth, all Buddhas can cause all Buddhas of past, future and present to appear in a single atom. Seventh, all Buddhas can cause all worlds of past, present and future to appear in a single atom. Eighth, all Buddhas can cause all past, present and future miracles to appear in a single atom. Ninth, all Buddhas can cause all sentient beings of past, present, and future to appear in a single atom. Tenth, all Budha can cause all past, present and future Buddha-works to appear in a single atom.

275. Wisdom

Wisdom is the knowledge of things and realization of truth. Wisdom is arosen from perception or knowing. Wisdom is based on right understanding and right thought. Decision or judgment as to phenomena or affairs and their principles, of things and their fundamental laws. Prajna is often interchanged with wisdom. Wisdom means knowledge, the science of the phenomenal, while prajna more generally to principles or morals The difference between Buddhi and Jnana is sometimes difficult to point out definitively, for they both signify worldly relative knowledge as well as transcendental knowledge. While Prajna is distinctly pointing out the transcendental wisdom. The Prajna-paramita-sutra describes “prajna” as supreme, highest, incomparable, unequalled, unsurpassed. Wisdom or real wisdom. According to the Mahayana Buddhism, only an immediate experienced intuitive wisdom, not intelligence can help man reach enlightenment. Therefore, to achieve prajna is synonymous with to reach enlightenment. One of the two perfections required for Buddhahood. The wisdom which enables us to transcend disire, attachment and anger so that we will be emancipated (not throught the mercy of any body, but rather through our own power of will and wisdom) and so that we will not be reborn again and again in “samsara” or transmigration.

Knowing reveals itself in many ways. Knowing can be active whenever there is hearing, seeing, feeling, comparing, remembering, imagining, reflecting, worrying, hoping and so forth. In the Vijnanavadin school of Buddhism, which specialized in the study of “consciousnesses,” many more fields of activity were attributed to knowing. For instance, in alayavijnana, or “storehouse of consciousness,” the fields of activity of knowing are maintaining, conserving, and manifesting.” Also according to the Vijnanavadins, all sensation, perception, thought, and knowledge arise from this basic store-house consciousness. Manyana is one of the ways of knowing based on this consciousness and its function is to grasp onto the object and take it as a “self.” Manovijnana serves as the headquarters for all sensations, perceptions, and thoughts, and makes creation, imagination, as well as dissection of reality possible. Amala is the consciousness that shines like a pure white light on the store-house consciousness. In any phenomena, whether psychological, physiological, or physical, there is dynamic movement, life. We can say that this movement, this life, is the universal manifestation, the most commonly recognized action of knowing. We must not regard “knowing” as something from the outside which comes to breathe life into the universe. It is the life of the universe itself.

According to Buddhism, understanding is not an accumulation of knowledge. To the contrary, it is the result of the struggle to become free of knowledge. Understanding shatters old knowledge to make room for the new that accords better with reality. When Copernicus discovered that the Earth goes around the sun, most of the astronomical knowledge of the time had to be discarded, including the ideas of above and below. Today, physics is struggling valiantly to free itself from the ideas of identity and cause effect that underlie classical science. Science, like the Way, urges us to get rid of all preconceived notions. Understanding, in human, is translated into concepts, thoughts, and words. Understanding is not an aggregate of bits of knowledge. It is a direct and immediate penetration. In the realm of sentiment, it is feeling. In the realm of intellect, it is perception. It is an intuition rather than the culmination of reasoning. Every now and again it is fully present in us, and we find we cannot express it in words, thoughts, or concepts. “Unable to describe it,” that is our situation at such moments. Insights like this are spoken of in Buddhism as “impossible to reason about, to discuss, or to incorporate into doctrines or systems of thought.” Besides, understanding also means a shield to protect cultivator from the attack of greed, hatred and ignorance. A man often does wrong because of his ignorance or misunderstanding about himself, his desire of gaining happiness, and the way to obtain happiness. Understanding will also help cultivators with the ability to remove all defilements and strengthen their virtues.

Higher intellect or spiritual wisdom; knowledge of the ultimate truth (reality). Jnana is the essential clarity and unerring sensibility of a mind that no longer clings to concepts of any kind. It is direct and sustained awareness of the truth, for a Bodhisattva, that meaning and existence are found only in the interface between the components of an unstable and constantly shifting web of relationships, which is everyday life, while prajna is the strength of intellectual discrimination elevated to the status of a liberating power, a precision tool capable of slicing through obstructions that take the form of afflictions and attachments to deeply engrained hereditary patterns of thought and action. Jnana is a very flexible term, as it means sometimes ordinary worldly knowledge, knowledge of relativity, which does not penetrate into the truth of existence, but also sometimes transcendental knowledge, in which case being synonymous with Prajna or Arya-jnana.

Wisdom is described as the understanding of the Four Noble Truths, the understanding of interdependent origination, and the like. The attainment of wisdom is the ability of transformation of these doctrinal items from mere objects of intellectual knowledge into real, personal experience. In other words, according to Buddhism, wisdom is the ability to change our knowledge of the four Noble Truths and the like from mere sutra learning into actual, living truth. To attain wisdom, we must first cultivate good conduct, then cultivate mental development. It should be noted that reading and understanding the meaning of a sutra doesn’t mean attaining wisdom. Wisdom means reading, understanding, and transforming doctrinal items from sutras into real, personal experience. Wisdom gives us the ability of “seeing the truth” or “seeing things as they really are” because the attainment of wisdom is not an intellectual or academic exercise, it is understanding or seeing these truths directly.

In Buddhism, wisdom is the highest virtue of all. It is usual to translate the Sanskrit term “Prajna” (pali-Panna) by “wisdom,” and that is not positively inaccurate. When we are dealing with the Buddhist tradition, however, we must always bear in mind that there Wisdom is taken in a special sense that is truly unique in the history of human thought. “Wisdom” is understood by Buddhists as the methodical contemplation of ‘Dharmas.’ This is clearly shown by Buddhaghosa’s formal and academic definition of the term: “Wisdom has the characteristic of penetrating into dharmas as they are themselves. It has the function of destroying the darkness of delusion which covers the own-being of dharmas. It has the mmanifestation of not being deluded. Because of the statement: ‘He who is concentrated knows, sees what really is,’ concentration is its direct and proximate cause.”

Wisdom understanding that emptiness of inherent existence is the ultimate nature of all phenomena. This specific type of wisdom is the sole means to eliminate our ignorance and other disturbing states. It is also the most powerful tool for purifying negative karmic imprints. In addition, it enables us to benefit others effectively, for we can then teach them how to gain this wisdom themselves. This is also the first key to liberation and enlightenment. In order to be able to obtain this type of wisdom, we must invest all our efforts in cultivating Buddhist laws and practicing Buddhist meditation. Conventional intelligence knowing, logic, science, arts, and so forth. This type of wisdom is from birth; however, the person who possesses this type of wisdom is believed that in previous lives, he or she had already cultivated or practiced so many good deeds.

Fundamental wisdom which is inherent in every man and which can manifest itself only after the veil of ignorance, which screens it, has been transformed by means of self-cultivation as taught by the Buddha. According to the Buddha, wisdom is extremely important for it can be commensurate with enlightenment itself. It is wisdom that finally opens the door to freedom, and wisdom that removes ignorance, the fundamental cause of suffering. It is said that while one may sever the branches of a tree and even cut down its trunk, but if the root is not removed, the tree will grow again. Similarily, although one may remove attachment by means of renunciation, and aversion by means of love and compassion, as long as ignorance is not removed by means of wisdom, attachment and aversion will sooner or later arise again. As for the Buddha, immediately after witnessing the unhappy incident involving the worm and the bird at the plowing ceremony, the prince sat under a nearby rose-apple tree and began to contemplate. This is a very early experience of meditation of the Buddha. Later, when he renounced the world and went forth to seek the ultimate truth, one of the first disciplines he developed was that of meditation. Thus, the Buddha himself always stressed that meditation is the only way to help us to achieve wisdom.

The resulting wisdom, or training in wisdom. Even though wisdom involves cause and effect. Those who cultivated and planted good roots in their past lives would have a better wisdom. However, in this very life, if you want to get rid of greed, anger, and ignorance, you have no choice but cultivating discipline and samadhi so that you can obtain wisdom paramita. With wisdom paramita, you can destroy these thieves and terminate all afflictions. Wisdom is one of the three studies in Buddhism. The other two are precepts and meditation. According to Bhikkhu Piyadassi Mahathera in The Spectrum of Buddhism, high concentration is the means to the acquisition of wisdom or insight. Wisdom consists of right understanding and right thought, the first two factors of the path. This is called the training in wisdom or panna-sikkha. Wisdom helps us get rid of the clouded view of things, and to see life as it really is, that is to see life and things pertaining to life as arising and passing.

In the Dharmapada Sutra, the Buddha taught: “Long is the night to the wakeful; long is the road to him who is tired; long is samsara to the foolish who do not know true Law (Dharmapada 60). If a traveler does not meet a companion who is better or at least equal, let him firmly pursue his solitary career, rather than being in fellowship with the foolish (Dharmapada 61). These are my sons; this is my wealth; with such thought a fool is tormented. Verily, he is not even the owner of himself. Whence sons? Whence wealth? (Dharmapada 62). A foolish man who knows that he is a fool, for that very reason a wise man; the fool who think himself wise, he is indeed a real fool (Dharmapada 63). If a fool associates with a wise man even all his life, he will understand the Dharma as litle as a spoon tastes the flavour of soup (Dharmapada 64). An intelligent person associates with a wise man, even for a moment, he will quickly understand the Dharma, as the tongue tastes the flavour of soup (Dharmapada 65). The knowledge and fame that the fool gains, so far from benefiting; they destroy his bright lot and cleave his head (Dharmapada 72). Swans can only fly in the sky, man who has supernatural powers can only go through air by their psychic powers. The wise rise beyond the world when they have conquered all kinds of Mara (Dharmapada 175).”

In summary, in Buddhism, wisdom is of the highest importance; for purification comes through wisdom, through understanding; and wisdom in Buddhism is the key to enlightenment and final liberation. But the Buddha never praised mere intellect. According to him, knowledge should go hand in hand with purity of heart, with moral excellence (vijja-caranasampanna—p). Wisdom gained by understanding and development of the qualities of mind and heart is wisdom par excellence (bhavanamaya panna—p). It is saving knowledge, and not mere speculation, logic or specious reasoning. Thus, it is clear that Buddhism is neither mere love of, nor inducing the search after wisdom, nor devotion, though they have their significance and bearing on mankind, but an encouragement of a practical application of the teaching that leads the follower to dispassion, enlightenment and final deliverance. Wisdom in Buddhism is also a sole means to eliminate our ignorance and other disturbing attitudes. It is also a tool for purifying negative karmic imprints. Many people say that wisdom is gained from information or knowledge. The Buddha told us the opposite! He taught us that wisdom is already within our self-nature; it does not come from the outside. In the world, there are some very intelligent and wise people, such as scientists and philosophers, etc. However, the Buddha would not recognize their knowledge as the proper Buddhist enlightenment, because they have not severed their afflictions. They still dwell on the rights and wrongs of others, on greed, anger, ignorance and arrogance. They still harbor wandering discrimatory thoughts and attachments. In other words, their minds are not pure. Without the pure mind, no matter how high the level of realization one reaches, it is still not the proper Buddhist enlightenment. Thus, our first hindrance to enlightenment and liberation is ego, our self-attachment, our own wandering thoughts. Only the wisdom that is based on concentration has the ability to eliminate attachments and ignorance. That is to say the wisdom that arises from a pure mind, not the wisdom that is attained from reading and studying books, for this wisdom is only worldly knowledge, not true wisdom. Thus, the Buddha said: “He who is concentrated knows and sees what really is.” According to the Flower Adornment Sutra, all sentient beings possess the same wisdom and virtuous capabilities as the Buddha, but these qualities are unattainable due to wandering thoughts and attachments. Practicing Buddhism will help us rid of wandering, discriminating thoughts and attachments. Thus, we uncover our pure mind, in turn giving rise to true wisdom. Sincere Buddhists should always remember that our innate wisdom and abilities are temporarily lost due to the cloud of ignorance, attachments and wandering discriminatory thoughts, but ar enot truly or permanently lost. Our goal in Practicing Buddhism is to break through this cloud and achieve enlightenment.

276. Four Doors of the Enlightened Knowledge

According to the Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra, the Sixth Patriarch taught: “Good Knowing Advisors! If you can live among marks and yet be seaprate from it, then you will be confused by neither the internal nor the external. If you awaken to this Dharma, in one moment your mind will open to enlightenment. The knowledge and vision of the Buddha is simply that. The Buddha is enlightenment. There are four divisions: Opening to the enlightened knowledge and vision; Demonstrating the enlightened knowledge and vision; Awakening to the enlightened knowledge and vision; and Entering the enlightened knowledge and vision. If you listen to the opening and demonstrating of the Dharma, you can easily awaken and enter. That is the enlightened knowledge and vision, the original true nature becoming manifest. Be careful not to misinterpret the Sutra by thinking that the opening, demonstrating, awakening, and entering of which it speaks is the Buddha’s knowledge and vision and that we have no share in it. To explain it that way would be to slander the Sutra and defame the Buddha. Since he is already a Buddha, perfect in knowledge and vision, what is the use of his opening to it again? You should now believe that the Buddha’s knowledge and vision is simply your own mind, for there is no other Buddha. But, because living beings cover their brilliance with greed and with the love or states of defilement, external conditions and inner disturbance make slaves of them. That troubles the World-Honored One to rise from Samadhi, and with various reproaches and expedients, he exhorts living beings to stop and rest, not to seek outside themselves, and to make themselves the same as he is. That is called ‘Opening the knowledge and vision of the Buddha.’ I, too, am always exhorting all people to open to the knowledge and vision of the Buddha within their own minds. The mind of worldly people are deviant. Confused and deluded, they commit offenses. Their speech may be good, but their minds are evil. They are greedy, hateful, envious, given over flattery, deceit, and arrogance. They oppress one another and harm living creatures, thus they open not the knowledge and vision of Buddha, but that of living beings. If you can with an upright mind constantly bring forth wisdom, contemplating and illuminating your own mind, and if you can practice the good and refrain from evil, you, yourself will open to the knowledge and vision of the Buddha. In every thought you should open up the knowledge and vision of the Buddha; do not open up to the knowledge and vision of living beings. To be open to the knowledge and vision of the Buddha is transcendental; to be open to the knowledge and vision of living beings is mundane. If you exert yourself in recitation, clinging to it as a meritorious exercise, how does that make you different from a yak who loves his own tail?”

277. Four Unobstructed Powers of Wisdom

Four Unobstructed Powers of Wisdom are four unhindered or unlimited bodhisattva powers of interpretation or reasoning. According to Mahayana Doctrine, there are four unobstructed powers of wisdom. The first unobstructed power of wisdom is the “Understand all the letters of the law (Dharma)”. This is the unobstructed (unlimited) eloquence in Dharma. The second unobstructed power of wisdom is the “Understand deeply the meaning of the law”. This is the unobstructed (unlimited) eloquence in meaning. The third unobstructed power of wisdom is the “Ability to understand the law in any languages”. This is the unobstructed (unlimited) eloquence in phrasing or form of expression. The fourth unobstructed power of wisdom is the “Pleasure in speaking or argument of the law”. This is the unobstructed (unlimited) eloquence in delight or pleasure in speaking or argument.

According to Theravada Doctrine (The Path of Purification). The first unobstructed power of wisdom is the “unobstructed eloquence in meaning”. This is the knowledge about meaning is the discrimination of meaning. Meaning (Attha) is briefly a term for the fruit of a cause (hetu). For in accordance with the cause it is served, arrived at, reached, therfore it is called ‘meaning’ ot ‘purpose.’ But in particular, the five things should be understood as meaning. The first is anything conditionally produced; the second is Nibanna; the third is the meaning of what is spoken; the fourth is the result; and the fifth is functional consciousness. When anyone reviews that meaning, any knowledge of his, falling within the category concerned with meaning, is the discrimination of meaning. The second unobstructed power of wisdom is the “Unobstructed eloquence in the Law”. The knowledge about law is the discrimination of law. Law (Dhamma) is briefly a term for a condition (paccaya). For since a condition necessitates whatever it may be, makes it occur or allows it to happen, it is therefore called law (dhamma). But in particular, the five things should be understood as law. The first is any cause that produces fruit; the second is the Noble Path; the third is what is spoken; the fourth is what is profitable; and the fifth is what is unprofitable. When anyone reviews that law, any knowledge of his, falling within the category concenred with law, is the discrimination of law. The third unobstructed power of wisdom is the “Unobstructed eloquence in the Language”. The knowledge about enunciation of language dealing with meaning and law is the discrimination of language. There is the language that is individual essence, the usage that has no exceptions, and deals with that meaning and that law. Any knowledge falling within the category concerned with the enunciation of that, with the speaking, with the utterance of that, concerned with the root-speech of all beings, the Magadhan language that is individual essence, in other words, the language of law (dhamma). This is the individual-essence language, such knowledge is discrimination of language. The fourth unobstructed power of wisdom is the “Unobstructed eloquence in intelligence”. The knowledge about kinds of knowledge is discrimination of perspicuity. When a man is reviewing and makes any of the foregoing kinds of knowledge the object of his knowledge, then any knowledge in him that has knowledge as its object is discrimination of perspicuity, and so is any knowledge about these aforesaid kinds of knowledge, which is concerned with details of their individual domains, functions, and so on.

278. Theories and Practices

In Buddhism, “lý” means “a principle,” “reason,” “the whole,” “the all,” “totality,” “the universal,” “the abstract,” etc. The noumenon can be translated as true state, or no state. The true state or noumenon can be only realized through phenomena. According to the Lotus Sutra, chapter two: “What the Buddha has accomplished is the dharma foremost, rare and inconceivable. Only the Buddhas can realize the true state of all dharmas; that is to say, all dharmas are thus-formed, thus-natured, thus-substantiated, thus-caused, thus-forced, thus-activated, thus-circumstanced, thus-effected, thus-remunerated and thus-beginning-ending-completing.” Through these manifestations of Thusness or phenomena we can see true state. It is to say, these manifestations are the true state. There is no noumenon besides phenomenon; phenomenon itself is noumenon. In Buddhism, “lý” means “a principle,” “reason,” “the whole,” “the all,” “totality,” “the universal,” “the abstract,” etc.

According to Prof. Junjiro Takakusu in the Esentials of Buddhist Philosophy, the theory of causation by Dharmadhatu is the climax of all the causation theories; it is actually the conclusion of the theory of causation origination, as it is the universal causation and is already within the theory of universal immanence, pansophism, cosmotheism, or whatever it may be called. The causation theory was explained first by action-influence, but as action originates in ideation, we had, secondly, the theory od causation by ideation-store. Since the ideation-store as the repository of seed-energy must originate from something else, we had, thirdly, the causation theory explained by the expression “Matrix of the Thus-come” (Tathagata-garbha) or Thusness. This curious term means that which conceals the Buddha. Because of concealment it has an impure side, but because of Buddhahood it has a pure side as well. It is a synonym of Thusness (Tathatva or Tathata, not Tattva=Thisness or Thatness) which has in its broadest sense both pure and impure nature. Through the energy of pure and impure causes it manifests the specific character of becoming as birth and death, or as good and evil. Thusness pervades all beings, or better, all beings are in the state of Thusness. Here, as the fourth stage, the causation theory by Dharmadhatu (universe) is set forth. It is the causation by all beings themselves and is the creation of the universe itself, or we can call it the causation by the common action-influence of all beings. Intensively considered the universe will be a manifestation of Thusness or the Matrix of Tathagata (Thus-come). But extensively considered it is the causation of the universe by the universe itself and nothing more.

The phenomenal which no more exists than turtle’s hair or rabbit’s horns. The continually changing, impermanent phenomanal world of appearances and forms, of illusion or deception, which an unenlightened mind takes as the only reality. The phenomenal universe is subject to differentiation and impermanence. The phenomenal can have the meanings of affair, event, action, practice, and so on. In Buddhism, the phenomena are in contrast with noumena; or “practice” or the thing, affair, matter, in contrast with “theory” or the underlying principle. Vatsu means “a matter,” “an event,” or “a happening,” or “an existing thing.” However, its general meaning is “an event.” Buddhists do not believe in the reality of an individual existence, for there is nothing in our world of experience that keeps its identity even for a moment; it is subject to constant change. The changes are, however, imperceptively gradual as far as our human senses are concerned, and are not noticed until they pass through certain stages of modification. Human sensibility is bound up with the notion of time-divisions; it translates time into space; a succession of events is converted into a spatial system of individual realities. “Sự” ordinarily means “an event,” “a happening,” but according to Buddhist philosophy, “Vastu” means “the individual,” “the particular,” “the concrete,” “the monad.” “Sự” always stands contrasted to “lý.” “Sự” is distinction and discrimination, and “lý” is non-distinction and non-discrimination. In regular Buddhist terminology, “lý” corresponds to Sunyata, Void or Emptiness, while “sự” is form. When discussing of phenomena in contrast with discussion of noumena or absolute truth. The concept that the world is immanent in one moment of thought is the philosophy of immanence, phenomena being identical with conscious action. It may be called ‘phenomenology,’ each phenomenon, matter or mind, expressing its own principle or nature.

According to the Buddha, a thorough understanding of the phenomenal function is extremely important in the Buddhist cultivation process. Also according to the Buddha, the data of experience are divided into two components, the objective component and the subjective one. In other words, the things we perceive around us, and we ourselves, the subjective perceivers. The Buddha always analyzes the facts of experience into various components or factors. The most basic of these components are the five aggregates (form, feeling, perception, volition and consciousness). He analyzes experience and breaks it down into its components just as we disassemble a chariot into the wheels, the axle, the body, and so forth… so that we can gain a better idea of how these phenomena function. The phenomena ever change, the underlying principle, being absolute, neither changes nor acts. It is the bhutatathata. According to the T’ien-T’ai Sect, the true state or noumenon can be realized only through phenomena. In the second chapter of the Lotus Sutra, it is said: “What the Buddha has accomplished is the dharma foremost, rare and inconceivable. Only the Buddhas can realize the true state of all dharmas; that is to say, all dharmas are thus formed, thus-natured, thus-substantiated, thus-caused, thus-forced, thus-activated, thus-circumstanced, thus-effected, thus-remunerated and thus-beginning-ending-completing.” Through these manifestations of Thusness or phenomena we can see the true state. Truly speaking, these manifestations are the true state. There is no noumenon besides phenomenon; phenomenon itself is noumenon.

The goal of Buddhism is to benefit the emotional and spiritual welfare of all sentient beings, to decrease sufferings and afflictions and to bring peace, mindfulness and happiness to all beings. Buddhism serves as a means by which we can bring about the transformation of mind. Buddhism is not only concerned with the ideals of morality and profound philosophy. Mindfulness in Buddhism is not for empty lecturing. It is not only appropriate for the intellectual and the Sangha, but also for the general public. However, simply reading and reciting sutras or just performing rites is not enough. Remember, truth is in eliminating words; it is independent of words; it does not require words to express it. Devout Buddhists should perfectly combine both principle and practice. In order to achieve internal and external harmony, Buddhist practitioners must put the Noble Eightfold Path into practice, especially the mindfulness of thought, action, speech, and meditation. In order to achieve the fruit of enlightenment, Buddhist practitioners should try to have unimpeded interaction of noumenon and phenoumenon, principle and practice, etc (no barrier in either of the two).

279. Noumenon and Phenomenon are Mutually Mergedand Immersed in Each Other

Noumenon and phenomenon are mutually merged and immersed in each other means this one is also the other one. Phenomenon has its existence by virtue of noumenon for phenomenon is unable to subsist by itself and phenomenon is subject to a constant change. Noumenon, on the other hand, has no separate existence; if it has, it will be another phenomenon and no more noumenon. Noumenon supplies to phenomenon a field of operation, as it were, whereby the latter may extend in space and function in time. Noumenon is a kind of supporter for phenomenon, but there is no real supporter for phenomenon as such on the plane of distinction. “Identity” does not exactly express the idea of “merge and immerse”, for “Identity” suggests a dualism, whereas “merge and immerse” is the emphasis which is placed on the state of self-identity as it is, and not on the two objects that are identical. For this state of “as-it-is-ness” Buddhism has a special term “Suchness.” “A perfect mutual unimpeded solution” is suchness. However, the more we talk, the more we are unable to express the term “Suchness” because “Suchness” is beyond the human understanding. “Suchness” is only to be experienced, i.e., to be intuited. Anything that is expressible in words is already conceptualized, and misses the point altogether. What is regarded as an intellectual understanding is generally made to precede the spiritual, but when a man actually has the experience or intuition, he at once realizes that it is utterly beyond any sort of ratiocination, that is, it altogether supercedes intellectual understanding.

280. Theory and Practice are in Harmony

Theory and Practice are in harmony because practice is theory and in practice there already exists theory. We, sincere Buddhists, should diligently cultivate so that both Theory and Practice are in harmony. Thus, do not get stuck in Theory or theoretical teachings and abandon Practice. Similarly, one should not apply only the Practice but not penetrate and understand Theory. Practice belongs to form or appearance; while Theory belongs to Emptiness or True Nature, or Buddha-Nature. The absolute in the relative and vice-versa. The identity of apparent contraries; perfect harmony among all differences. As in waves and water, waves are one with waves, and water is one with water, and water and wave are one; as in passion and enlightenment; as in transmigration and nirvana; and as in life and death. All are of the same fundamental nature, all are bhutatathata, bhutatathata is all. There are ten doors of connection between noumena or substance and phenomena: substance (lý) is always present with the phenomena (sự), the phenomena is always present with substance, the phenomena depend on the substance for its existence, the phenomena can reveal the substance, the phenomena (from is unreal) can disappear in the substance, the phenomena can conceal the substance, the true substance is the phenomena, the phenomena is the substance, true reality is not the phenomena, and the phenomena is not the whole substance.