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Between Master and Disciples / The Surangama Sutra

The Surangama Sutra: The Influence of Demons on Spiritual Practitioners Greedy for Immortality, Part 1 of 2, Jan. 20, 2019

Lecture Language:English
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Look inside, just look inside. Inside is the real world. Everything outside here that you can see or you want to look, or you want to hold on to, are not real. Not real at all. The more we are attracted to outside, the more we cannot be in the real world.

Hallo? (Hallo!) Hi, guys. (Hi, Master. Hallo, Master. Can You hear us OK?) Sure, sure, sure. There was a problem with the other phone, so I have to use this one. I hope you can hear me well. (We can hear You loud and clear.) Good, good. I owe you one. I owe you the last part of Surangama Sutra. So today by the way I try to explain or read it to you. (Thank You, Master.) (That will be wonderful.)

“We should really thank the past Masters, monks, nuns, scholars, who have taken time to record the Buddha’s teaching after the Master’s nirvana; and also for the past and present persons - lay or monks and nuns - who have really dedicated themselves, sacrificed their time and precious health, or under any difficult situation to translate this so that I can read it to you. We have to thank them. May they be blessed forever by all the Buddhas, past, present, and future. May their merit be immense. May they be liberated forever. Thank you.”

“According to Buddhism and the believers and the tradition, when you read sutra and all that, you have to put on incense, flowers, and bow to the sutra first, and thank all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in ten directions, all respectfully, before you read it. And then you cover the sutra also with (vegan) silk or beautiful cloth. I just make it more popular, more easy, simple. I apologize to all the Buddhas. I say, ‘If I have done something wrong according to the tradition, my heart is full of respect. It’s just that I cannot always do that, so please, all the sin, whatever I have done wrong, is all on me.’ At least, other people, when they hear the names of the Buddhas, according to the sutra, they will get benefit.”

Last time we read until the one that… the demon that originally came from the essence that was created during an eclipse of the Sun and the Moon. That was, we have done with that. And now the next one, and it is the last one. The last one is that, “Further, in the unhindered clarity and wonder that ensues after the feeling skandha is gone, this good person is untroubled by any deviant mental state and experiences perfect, bright concentration. Within samadhi, his mind craves long life, so he toils at investigating its subtleties as he greedily seeks for immortality. He wishes to cast aside the birth and death of the body, and suddenly he hopes to end the birth and death of thoughts as well, so that he can abide forever in a subtle form. At that time a demon from the heavens seizes the opportunity it has been waiting for. Its spirit possesses another person and uses him as a mouthpiece to expound the Sutras and teachings.”

“This person, unaware that he is possessed by a demon, claims he has reached unsurpassed Nirvana. When he comes to see that good person who seeks long life,” immortality, “he arranges a seat and explains the teaching. He is fond of saying that he can go to places and come back without hindrance, perhaps traveling ten thousand miles and returning in the twinkling of an eye. He can also bring things back from wherever he goes.” Well, I have heard that somebody still can do that nowadays. “Or he may tell someone to walk from one end of the room to the other, a distance of just a few paces. Then even if the person walked fast for years, he could not reach the other end. Therefore, people believe in the possessed person and mistaken him for a Buddha.”

“He also often says,” you know this possessed person, “‘All beings in the ten directions are my children and I gave birth to all Buddhas.’” Oh, God. “‘I created the world. I am the original Buddha. I created this world naturally, not due to cultivation. This may be a Chamunda sent from the retinue of the demon in the Heaven of Sovereignty, or a youthful pishacha from the Heaven of the Four Kings that has not yet brought forth the resolve. It takes advantage of the person’s luminous clarity and devours his essence and energy.”

“Or perhaps without having to rely on a teacher, the cultivator personally sees a being that tells him, ‘I am a Vajra Spirit who has come to give you long life.’ Or the being transforms itself into a beautiful woman and engages him in a frenzied lust, so that within a year his vitality is exhausted.” Oh, dear God. “He talks to himself; and to anyone listening, he sounds like a goblin. The people around him do not realize what’s happening. In most cases such a person will get in trouble with the law. But before he is punished, he will die from depletion anyway. The demon disturbs and confuses the person to the point of death.”

The Buddha continued, “You should be aware of this in advance and not get caught up in the cycle of transmigration. If you are confused and do not understand, you will fall into the Relentless Hells. Ananda, you should know that in the Dharma-ending Age, these ten kinds of demons may leave the home-life to cultivate the Way within the Dharma. They may possess other people, or they may manifest themselves in various forms. All of them will claim that they have already accomplished Proper and Pervasive Knowledge and Awareness.” “But they praise lust and break the Buddha’s moral precepts. The evil demonic teachers and their demonic disciples that I just discussed transmit their teaching through licentious activity. Such deviant spirits take over cultivators’ minds, and after as few as nine lives or as many as a hundred generations, they turn true practitioners entirely into followers of demons.” Oh my God. Oh dear God.

“When their lives are over, they are bound to end up as one of the demonic hordes. They will lose their proper and pervasive knowledge and fall into the Relentless Hells. You need not enter Nirvana yet, Ananda. Although you are completing your attainment to the level beyond learning, hold nonetheless to your vows to enter the Dharma-ending Age.” Meaning, he should reincarnate again in the Dharma-ending Age. “And bring forth great compassion to rescue and take across living beings who have proper minds and deep faith. Do not let them become possessed by demons. Help them instead to attain proper knowledge and views. I have already rescued you from birth and death. By venerating the Buddha’s words, you will be repaying the Buddha’s kindness.

“Ananda, all ten of these states may occur in dhyana.” Means, when you sit in meditation or when you practice meditation. Dhyana means meditating. “These ten states may occur in dhyana as one’s mental effort interacts with the thinking skandha. Dull and confused living beings do not evaluate themselves. Encountering such situations, in their confusion they fail to recognize them and say that they have become sages, thereby uttering a great lie. They will fall into the Relentless Hells.”

“In the Dharma-ending Age, after my Nirvana, all of you should pass on the Tathagata’s teachings, so that all living beings can awaken to their meaning. Do not let the demons of the heavens have their way. Offer protection so that all can realize the unsurpassed Way.”

There are also some other wrong views that Buddha has tried to explain to Ananda. Nevertheless, we end at the tenth possessive state by demons. You can see this, even the cultivator just wants to be immortal, live forever. Still, there is a demon who specializes in this kind of fulfillment for this person. Actually it’s not a fulfillment, meaning he can come and possess one person and demonstrate this kind of miracle power, so that people believe; the cultivator believes that he could also attain immortality. But this is not true. Anyway, what for do we want to live long in this world? We’ll have no more teeth afterwards. Maybe we can grow some more, but it’s not the same. This person would like to even live, maybe not in the physical form, but in a subtle form, maybe an astral form. And even then, it’s not just making mistakes by wanting to be immortal, but he could be deluded into believing in the demon’s promise, and then later could even became a demon himself.

So, it is very risky to try, to get it a quicker way or desire in such a not very proper thinking; of a desired kind of state. We should not always be thinking or wanting this and that. We just want to be liberated and maybe maximum want to become Buddha, so that we can liberate others. But do not seek for these kinds of miraculous happenings or miracles, like live forever, live long, or do all kinds of this spectacular showing off. Then we will not have to reduce ourselves into a demonic state. Is that all clear? (Clear, Master.) You can see that. So, the Buddha has asked Ananda and some of the Saints in the assembly, not to hurry and go to Nirvana, but to stay a while, so that after Buddha’s Nirvana, they can help all sentient beings, to ward themselves against the possessiveness of the demon.

Sometimes I want to scream out loud. All of you should just recite the Holy Names, meditate as much as you can at home and elsewhere, and just want liberation from all the created worlds, I mean the shadow created world, the shadow world. That would be the best wish, nothing else you should wish. Sometimes I want to scream out loud and come to each of your house and scream and say, “Please wake up. Do not be attached to anything in this world, however beautiful, however alluring, however promising.” They are the chains that bind you forever in the cycle of transmigration. Look inside, just look inside. Inside is the real world. Everything outside here that you can see or you want to look, or you want to hold on to, are not real. Not real at all. The more we are attracted to outside, the more we cannot be in the real world.

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