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Selection from The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment: Chapters 1-2, Part 1 of 2

2020-09-16
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The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment (Yuanjue jing) is a Buddhist scripture most likely composed in China during the start of the eighth century with its origin deemed to be from the Chan and Huayan field of study and practice. It is a very popular and influential sutra within the meditation-oriented Buddhist schools of East Asia like Chinese Chan, Korean Seon and Japanese Zen. A key factor for its popularity is its condensed format that focuses on the most important theoretical issues of the nature of enlightenment. There are twelve chapters and a short convocation in The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment. The convocation section sets out the scene of the sermon and the involvement of key participants. In a deep state of meditative concentration (Samādhi), Buddha and one hundred thousand great Bodhisattvas, with twelve eminent Bodhisattvas acting as spokespersons, engage in dialogue with the Buddha on doctrine, practice and enlightenment. “‘Virtuous man,’ quoth the Buddha, ‘the Supreme King of Dharma hath a great Dharanic Portal, named the Consummate Enlightenment, whence there emanate spontaneously all the sublimate veracious-thusness, Bodhi, Nirvana, and Paramita, whereby He hath heretofore instructed all Bodhisattvas. Whilst all the thus-adventists were still in their primordial causal terra, they all relied on the consummate effulgence upon the purified aspect of enlightenment, whence they were able to eliminate inanity perpetually, so that they were able to attain Buddhahood.’” “‘Virtuous man, when one practices on the thus-adventist’s consummate enlightenment in the primordial terra, one shall comprehend that nascences and demises are nothing but ethereal blossoms, and resultingly, to this practitioner, all transmigrations shall then cease to be; and he shall also perceive that there are neither body nor mind to undergo such nascences and demises — Yet this is not due to any endeavor executed that could make it so, but simply owing to the non-existence of the quintessence. And that which could make such perception and consciousness is akin to the ethereal space as well; that which could comprehend everything being like the ethereal space, yet again, is no more than another ethereal-blossomwise phenomenon. However, one still could not aver that the essence of perception and consciousness is altogether nihil. It is only when both existence and non-existence are entirely dispelled that it could come to be entitled as the state of Congruity with Purified Enlightenment. Wherefore is it so? For both existence and non-existence are of the nature of ethereal space — both of which being always unchangeable; for within the thus-adventist repertory, there is neither nascence nor demise, neither comprehension nor perception; for they are akin to the quintessence of the Dharmic spheres, which is ultimately consummate and immanently pervasive throughout the ten directions. Such a state comes to be termed as the Dharmic Cultivation of the Primordial Terra. Owing to this, the Bodhisattva is able to generate the purified mind in the major vehicle. If the multibeings in the fin de siècle could cultivate themselves in compliance with this, never shall they degenerate into any devious diews.’”
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