Bodhidharma ~ 04

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event type discourse
date & time 6 Jul 1987 pm
location Chuang Tzu Auditorium, Pune
language English
audio Available, duration 1h 48min. Quality: good.
Live music after the discourse.
online audio
video Available, duration 1h 50min. Quality: good.
online video
see also
online text find the PDF of this discourse
shorttitle BODHI04
Reader of the sutras: Ma Prem Maneesha.
The sutra
But suppose I don't see my nature, can't I still attain enlightenment by invoking buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, observing precepts, practicing devotions, or doing good works?
No, you can't.
And why not?
If you attain anything at all it's conditional, it's karmic. It results in retribution. It turns the wheel. And as long as you're subject to birth and death, you'll never attain enlightenment. To attain enlightenment you have to see your nature. Unless you see your nature, all this talk about cause and effect is nonsense. Buddhas don't practice nonsense. A buddha is free of karma, free of cause and effect. To say he attains anything at all is to slander a buddha. What could he possibly attain? Even focusing on a mind, a power, an understanding or a view is impossible for a buddha. A buddha isn't one-sided. The nature of his mind is basically empty, neither pure nor impure. He's free of practice and realization. He's free of cause and effect.
A buddha doesn't observe precepts. A buddha doesn't do good or evil. A buddha isn't energetic or lazy. A buddha is someone who does nothing, someone who can't even focus his mind on a buddha. A buddha isn't a buddha. Don't think about buddhas. If you don't see what I'm talking about, you'll never know your own mind.
People who don't see their nature and imagine they can practice doing nothing all the time are liars and fools. They fall into endless space. They're like drunks. They can't tell good from evil. If you intend to practice doing nothing, you have to see your nature before you can put an end to rational thought. To attain enlightenment without seeing your nature is impossible.
Still others commit all sorts of evil deeds, claiming karma doesn't exist. They erroneously maintain that since everything is empty, committing evil isn't wrong. Such persons fall into a hell of endless darkness with no hope of release. Those who are wise hold no such conception.
But if our every movement or state, whenever it occurs, is the mind, why don't we see this mind when a person's body dies?
The mind is always present. You just don't see it.
But if the mind is present, why don't I see it?
Do you ever dream?
Of course.
When you dream, is that you?
Yes, it's me.
And is what you're doing and saying different from you?
No, it isn't.
But if it isn't, then this body is your real body. And this real body is your mind. And this mind, through endless kalpas without beginning, has never varied. It has never lived or died, appeared or disappeared, increased or decreased. It's not pure or impure, good or evil, past or future. It's not true or false. It's not male or female. It doesn't appear as a monk or a layman, an elder or a novice, a sage or a fool, a buddha or a mortal. It strives for no realization and suffers no karma. It has no strength or form. It's like space. You can't possess it. And you can't lose it. Its movements can't be blocked by mountains, rivers or rock walls. Its unstoppable powers penetrate the mountain of five skandhas and cross the river of samsara. No karma can restrain this real body. But this mind is subtle and hard to see. It's not the same as the sensual mind. Everyone wants to see this mind. And those who move their hands and feet by its light are as many as the grains of sand along the Ganges. But ask them. They can't explain it. They're like puppets. It's theirs to use. Why don't they see it?


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