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On Serenity and Insight: Selections from “The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, Volume 3,” Part 2 of 2

2020-10-15
Wika:Mogolian(Монгол хэл)

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“As I have explained, meditative serenity has the features of non-discursiveness — in other words, when your attention is intentionally set on a single object of meditation, it stays there; clarity — in other words, it is free from laxity; and benefit — in other words, delight and bliss. However, you should not be satisfied with just this. Rather, developing the wisdom that properly determines the meaning of reality, you must cultivate insight. Otherwise, since mere concentration is something Buddhists have in common even with non-Buddhists, its cultivation — as with non-Buddhist paths — will not get rid of the seeds of the afflictions. Hence it will not free you from cyclic existence.” “What kind of meditation leads to liberation? As cited earlier, the very next [verse of the King of Concentrations Sutra] says: If you analytically discern the lack of self in phenomena And if you cultivate that analysis in meditation This will cause the result, attainment of nirvana; There is no peace through any other means.” “This scripture very clearly teaches that only the wisdom of selflessness severs the root of cyclic existence. Therefore, you must have certain knowledge of this. For even non-Buddhist sages have many good qualities — such as concentration and the super knowledges — but, since they do not have the view of selflessness, they cannot escape cyclic existence at all. In this way the Scriptural Collection of the Bodhisattvas, cited earlier, says: One who is satisfied with mere concentration, not understanding the reality explained in the scriptures, might develop an inflated sense of pride, mistaking mere concentration for the path of meditation on the profound meaning. Consequently, such a person will not become free from cyclic existence. It was with this in mind that I said, ‘One who listens to others will be free from aging and death.’” “Generally, among all the Conqueror's scriptures there are some that explicitly teach about reality, and even those that do not explicitly teach it nonetheless indirectly point toward it. The darkness of confusion is not overcome until the knowledge of reality dawns, but it is overcome when that knowledge arises. Therefore, meditative serenity — one-pointedness of mind — does not in itself become pure sublime wisdom, nor does it overcome the darkness of confusion. Hence there is no doubt that you must seek wisdom; you should think, ‘I will seek the wisdom that discerns the meaning of selflessness —reality.’”
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