Posted by: ADMIN | September 17, 2010

SHURANGAMA SUTRA – chapter 09

Chapter Nine

“Ananda, all those in the world who cultivate their hearts but do not avail themselves of Dhyana and so have no wisdom, can only control their bodies so as to not engage in sexual desire. Whether walking or sitting, or in their thoughts, they are totally devoid of it. Since they do not give rise to defiling love, they do not remain in the realm of desire. These people, in response to their thought, take on the bodies of Brahma beings. Such beings are in the Heaven of the Multitudes of Brahma.”

“In those whose hearts of desire have already been cast aside, the mind apart from desire manifests. They delight in following the precepts. Practicing Brahma virtue at all times, such beings are in the Heaven of the Ministers of Brahma.”

“Those whose bodies and minds are wonderfully perfect, and whose majestic deportment is not in the least deficient, are pure in the precepts and have a thorough understanding of them as well. Governing the Brahma multitudes as Great Brahma Lords, such beings are in the Great Brahma Heaven.”

“Ananda, those who flow to these three superior levels will not be oppressed by any affliction. Although they have not developed proper Samadhi, their minds are pure to the point that all outflows are stilled. This is called the First Dhyana.”

“Ananda, those beyond the Brahma Heavens govern the Brahma beings, for their Brahma conduct is perfected. With their minds tranquil and unmoving, they emit light in profound stillness. Such beings are in the Heaven of Lesser Light.”

“Those whose lights illumine each other in an endless dazzling blaze shine throughout the realms of the ten directions so that everything becomes like crystal. Such beings are in the Heaven of Limitless Light.”

“Those who sustain the light to perfection accomplish the substance of the teaching. Creating and transforming the purity into endless responses and functions, such beings are in the Light-Sound Heaven.”

“Ananda, those who flow to these three superior levels will not be oppressed by worries or vexations. Although they have not developed proper Samadhi, their minds are pure to the point that they have subdued their coarser outflows. This is called the Second Dhyana.”

“Ananda, heavenly beings for whom the perfection of light has become sound and who further open out the sound to disclose its wonder arrive at a more vigorous level of practice. Arriving at the bliss of still extinction, such beings are in the Heaven of Lesser Purity.”

“Those in whom the state of purity is emptied experience the boundlessness of light ease in their bodies and minds, and they accomplish the bliss of still extinction. Such beings are in the Heaven of Limitless Purity.”

“Those for whom the world, the body, and the mind are all perfectly pure have accomplished the virtue of purity, and they consider this to be a superior abode in which they can return to the bliss of still extinction. Such beings are in the Heaven of Pervasive Purity.”

“Ananda, those who flow to these three superior levels will be replete with great compliance. Their bodies and minds are at peace, and they obtain limitless bliss. Although they have not obtained genuine Samadhi, the joy within the tranquillity of their minds is total. This is called the Third Dhyana.”

“Moreover, Ananda, heavenly beings whose bodies and minds are not oppressed put an end to the cause of suffering and realize that bliss is not permanent¡ªthat sooner or later it will come to an end. They resolutely renounce both thoughts of suffering and thoughts of bliss. Their coarse afflictions vanish, and pure blessings arise. Such beings are in the Heaven of the Birth of Blessings.”

“Those whose renunciation of these thoughts is perfected gain a purity of superior understanding. Within these unimpeded blessings they obtain a wonderful compliance that extends to the bounds of the future. Such beings are in the Blessed Love Heaven.”

“Ananda, from that heaven there are two ways to go. Those who extend the previous thought into limitless pure light, and who perfect their blessings and virtue, cultivate and are certified to one of these dwellings. Such beings are in the Vast Fruit Heaven.”

“Those who extend the previous thought into a dislike of both suffering and bliss unceasingly intensify their renunciation until they perfect the path of renunciation. Their bodies and minds will become extinct; their thoughts will become like dead ashes. For five hundred eons these beings will perpetuate the cause for production and extinction, being unable to uncover the nature which is neither produced nor extinguished. During the first half of these eons they will undergo extinction; during the second half they will experience production. Such beings are in the Heaven of No Thought.”

“Ananda, those who flow to these four superior levels will not be affected by any suffering or bliss in any world. Although this is not the unconditioned of the True Ground of Non-Moving, because they still have the thought of obtaining something, their functioning is nonetheless quite advanced. This is called the Fourth Dhyana.”

“Beyond these, Ananda, are the Five Heavens of No Return. For those who have completely cut off the nine categories of habits in the lower realms, neither suffering nor bliss exist, and there is no regression to the lower levels. All whose minds have achieved this renunciation dwell in these heavens together.”

“Ananda, those who have put an end to suffering and bliss and who do not get involved in the contention between such thoughts are in the Heaven of No Affliction.”

“When the mind and states are disengaged, even the thought of investigating that involvement is gone. Such beings are in the Heaven of No Heat.”

“Those whose vision is wonderfully perfect and clear, view the realms of the ten directions as free of defiling appearances and devoid of all dirt and filth. Such beings are in the Heaven of Good View.”

“Those whose essence of seeing has manifested are able to transform at will without obstruction. Such beings are in the Heaven of Good Manifestation.”

“Those who exhaustively fathom the ultimate principle and the nature of form reach the border of emptiness. Such beings are in the Highest Heaven of the Form Realm.

“Ananda, those in the Four Dhyanas, and even the rulers of the gods at those four levels, can only pay their respects through having heard of the beings in the Heavens of No Return; they cannot know them or see them, just as ordinary people of the world cannot see the places where the Arhats abide in holy Way-places deep in the wilderness and the mountains.”

“Ananda, in these eighteen heavens are those who remain solitary and uninvolved but who have not yet gotten rid of their form. These heavens are called the Form Realm.”

“Furthermore, Ananda, from this summit of the form realm there are also two roads. Those who are intent upon renunciation bring forth wisdom. The light of their wisdom becomes perfect and penetrating, so that they can transcend the defiling realms, accomplish Arhatship, and enter the Bodhisattva Vehicle. They are called Great Arhats who have turned their minds around.”

“Those who dwell in the thought of renunciation and who succeed in renunciation and rejection, realize that their bodies are an obstacle. If they thereupon obliterate the obstacle and enter into emptiness, they at the Station of Emptiness.”

“For those who have eradicated all obstacles, there is neither obstruction nor extinction. Then there remains only the alaya consciousness and half of the subtle functions of the manas. These beings are at the Station of Boundless Consciousness.”

“Those who have already done away with emptiness and form eradicate the conscious mind as well. In the extensive tranquillity of the ten directions there is nowhere at all to go. These beings are at the Station of Nothing Whatsoever.”

“The nature of consciousness is unmoving, yet within extinction they exhaustively investigate it, attempting to put an end to what is endless. Thus it is as if it existed and yet did not exist, as if it were ended and yet not ended. Such beings are at the Station of Neither Thought nor Non-Thought.”

“These beings who cultivate the path of sagehood from the heavens of no return by delving exhaustively into emptiness without fathoming the principle of emptiness are known as dull Arhats who do not turn their minds around. Just like those in the Heaven of Non-Thought and other externalist heavens who exhaustively investigate emptiness without knowing to turn around, these beings are ignorant and lost in (the heavens with) outflows. They will accordingly enter the cycle of rebirth again.”

“Ananda, the beings in all these heavens are ordinary beings receiving the fruits of their karmic rewards. Once their rewards are exhausted, they must once again enter rebirth. The lords of these heavens, however, are all Bodhisattvas who roam in Samadhi. They gradually progress in their practice and make transference to the way cultivated by all sages.”

“Ananda, these are the Four Heavens of Emptiness, where the bodies and minds of the inhabitants are extinguished. Concentration emerges, and they are free of the karmic retribution of form. This final group is called the Formless Realm.”

“The beings in all of them have not understood the wonderfully enlightened bright mind. Their accumulation of falseness brings into being false existence in the Triple Realm. Within this they falsely follow along and become submerged in the seven destinies. As pudgalas, they gather together with their own kind.”

“Furthermore, Ananda, there are four categories of asuras in the Triple Realm.”

“Those in the path of ghosts who, by means of their strength of protecting the Dharma, can ride their spiritual penetrations to enter into emptiness are asuras born from eggs; they belong to the destiny of ghosts.”

“Those who have fallen in virtue and have been dismissed from the heavens dwell in places near the sun and moon. They are asuras born from wombs and belong to the destiny of humans.”

“There are asura kings who uphold the world with a penetrating power and fearlessness. They are able to contend with the Brahma Lord, the God Shakra, and the Four Heavenly Kings. These asuras come into being by transformation and belong to the destiny of gods.”

“Ananda, there is another, baser category of asuras. They are born in the center of the great seas and live in underwater caves. During the day they roam in emptiness; at night they return to their watery realm. These asuras come into being because of moisture and belong to the destiny of animals.”

“Ananda, so it is that when the seven destinies of hell-dwellers, hungry ghosts, animals, people, spiritual immortals, gods, and asuras are investigated in detail, they are all found to be murky and embroiled in conditioned existence. Their births come from false thoughts. Their subsequent karma comes from false thoughts. Within the wonderful perfection of the fundamental mind that is without any doing, they are like strange flowers in space, for there is basically nothing to be attached to; they are entirely vain and false, and they have no source or beginning.”

“Ananda, these living beings, who do not recognize the fundamental mind, all undergo rebirth for limitless kalpas. They do not attain true purity, because they keep getting involved in killing, stealing, and lust, or because they counter them and are born according to their not killing, not stealing, and lack of lust. If these three karmas are present in them, they are born among the troops of ghosts. If they are free of these three karmas, they are born in the destiny of gods. The incessant fluctuation between the presence and absence of these karmas gives rise to the cycle of rebirth.”

“For those who are able bring forth Samadhi, neither the presence nor the absence of these karmas exists in that eternal stillness; even their non-existence is done away with. Since the lack of killing, stealing, and lust is non-existent, how could there be actual involvement in deeds of killing, stealing and lust?”

“Ananda, those who do not cut off the three karmas each have their own private share. Because each has a private share, private shares come to be accumulated, making collective portions. They are not without a fixed source, for they arise from falseness. Since they arise from falseness, they are basically without a cause, and thus they cannot be traced precisely.”

“You should warn cultivators that they must get rid of these three delusions if they want to cultivate Bodhi. If they do not put an end to these three delusions, then even the spiritual penetrations they may attain are merely a worldly, conditioned function. If they do not extinguish these habits, they will fall into the path of demons. Although they wish to cast out the false, they become doubly deceptive instead. The Tathagata says that such beings are pitiful. You have created this falseness yourself; it is not the fault of Bodhi. An explanation such as this is proper speech. Any other explanation is the speech of demon kings.”

At that time, the Tathagata was preparing to leave the Dharma-seat. From the lion throne, he extended his hand out and placed it on a small table wrought of the seven precious things. But then, he turned his body, which was the color of purple-golden mountains, and leaned back, saying to everyone in the assembly and to Ananda, “Those of you with More to Learn, those Enlightened by Conditions, and those who are Hearers have now turned your minds to pursue the attainment of supreme Bodhi; the unsurpassed, wonderful enlightenment. I have already taught you the true method of cultivation. You are still not aware of the subtle demonic events that can occur when you cultivate Shamatha-Vipashyana. If you cannot recognize a demonic state when it appears, it is because the cleansing of your mind has not been proper. You will then be engulfed by deviant views. You may be troubled by a demon from your own skandhas or a demon from the heavens. Or you may be possessed by a ghost or spirit, or you may encounter a mountain spirit (li mei). If your mind is not clear, you will mistake a thief for your own son. It is also possible to feel satisfied after a small accomplishment, like the Unlearned Bhikshu who reached the Fourth Dhyana and claimed that he had realized sagehood. When his celestial reward ended and the signs of decay appeared, he slandered Arhatship as being subject to birth and death, and thus he fell into the Avichi Hell. You should pay attention. I will now explain this for you in detail.

Ananda stood up and, with the others in the assembly who had More to Learn, bowed joyfully. They quieted themselves in order to listen to the compassionate instructions.

(The skandha-demons of fifty classes:)

The Buddha told Ananda and the whole assembly, “You should know that the twelve classes of living beings in this world of outflows are endowed with a wonderfully bright, fundamental enlightenment¡ªthe enlightened, perfect substance of the mind which is not different from that of the Buddhas of the ten directions. Due to the fault of false thinking and confusion about the truth, infatuation arises and makes your confusion all-pervasive. Consequently, an emptiness arises. Worlds come into being as that confusion is ceaselessly transformed. Therefore, the lands that are not without outflows, as numerous as atoms of universe throughout the ten directions, are all created as a result of confusion, dullness, and false thinking.”

“You should know that the space created in your heart is like a wisp of cloud that dots the vast sky. How much smaller must all the worlds within that space be! If even one person among you finds the truth and returns to the source, then all the space in the ten directions is obliterated. How could the worlds within that space fail to be destroyed as well?”

“When you cultivate Dhyana and attain Samadhi, your mind tallies with the minds of the Bodhisattvas and the great Arhats of the ten directions who are free of outflows, and you abide in a state of profound purity. All the kings of demons, the ghosts and spirits, and the ordinary gods see their palaces collapse for no apparent reason. The earth quakes, and all the creatures in the water, on the land, and in the air, without exception, are frightened. Yet ordinary people who are sunk in dim confusion remain unaware of these changes. All these beings have five kinds of spiritual powers; they still lack the elimination of outflows because they are still attached to worldly passions. How could they allow you to destroy their palaces? That is why the ghosts, spirits, celestial demons, sprites, and goblins come to disturb you when you are in Samadhi.”

“Although these demons possess tremendous enmity, they are in the grip of their worldly passions, while you are within wonderful enlightenment. They cannot affect you any more than a blowing wind can affect light or a knife can cut through water. You are like boiling water, while the demons are like solid ice which, in the presence of heat, soon melts away. Since they rely exclusively on spiritual powers, they are like mere guests. They can succeed in their destructiveness through your mind, which is the host of the five skandhas. If the host becomes confused, the guests will be able to do as they please. When you are in Dhyana, awakened, aware, and free of delusion, their demonic deeds can do nothing to you. As the skandhas dissolve, you enter the light. All those deviant hordes depend upon dark energy. Since light can destroy darkness, they would be destroyed if they drew near you. How could they dare linger and try to disrupt your Dhyana-Samadhi?”

“If you were not clear and aware, but were confused by the skandhas, then you, Ananda, would surely become one of the demons. You would turn into a demonic being. Your encounter with Matangi’s daughter was a minor incident. She cast a spell on you to make you break the Buddha’s moral precepts. Still, among the eighty thousand modes of conduct, you violated only one precept. Because your mind was pure, all was not lost. That would be an attempt to completely destroy your precious enlightenment. Had it succeeded, you would have become like the family of a senior government official who is suddenly exiled; his family wanders, bereft and alone, with no one to pity or rescue them.”

“Ananda, you should know that as a cultivator sits in the Bodhimanda, he is doing away with all thoughts. When his thoughts come to an end, there will be nothing on his mind. This state of pure clarity will stay the same whether in movement or stillness, in remembrance or forgetfulness. When he dwells in this place and enters Samadhi, he is like a person with clear vision who finds himself in total darkness. Although his nature is wonderfully pure, his mind is not yet illuminated. This is the region of the form skandha. If his eyes become clear, he will then experience the ten directions as an open expanse, and the darkness will be gone. This is the end of the form skandha. He will then be able to transcend the turbidity of time. Contemplating the cause of the form skandha, one sees that false thoughts of solidity are its source.”

“Ananda, at this point, as the person intently investigates that wondrous brightness, the four elements will no longer function together, and soon the body will be able to transcend obstructions. This state is called ‘the pure brightness merging into the environment’. It is a temporary state in the course of cultivation and does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons’ influence.”

“Further, Ananda, as the person uses his mind to intently investigate that wondrous light, the light will pervade his body. Suddenly he will be able extract intestinal worms from his own body, yet his body will remain intact and unharmed. This state is called ‘the pure light surging through one’s physical body’. It is a temporary state in the course of intense practice, and does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons’ influence.”

“Further, as the person uses his mind to intently investigate inside and outside, his physical and spiritual souls, intellect, will, essence, and spirit will be able to interact with one another without affecting his body. They will take turns as host and guests. Then he may suddenly hear the sounds of Dharma being spoken in space, or perhaps he will hear esoteric truths being pronounced simultaneously throughout the ten directions. This state is called ‘the essence and souls alternately separating and uniting, and the planting of good seeds’. It is a temporary state and does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons’ influence.”

“Further, when the person’s mind becomes clear, unveiled, bright, and penetrating, an internal light will shine forth and turn everything in the ten directions into the color of Jambunada gold. All the various species of beings will be transformed into Tathagatas. Suddenly he will see Vairochana Buddha seated upon a platform of celestial light, surrounded by a thousand Buddhas who simultaneously appear upon lotus blossoms in a hundred million lands. This state is called ‘the mind and soul being instilled with spiritual awareness’. When he has investigated to the point of clarity, the light of his mind will shine upon all worlds. This is a temporary state and does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons’ influence.”

“Further, as the person uses his mind to intently investigate that wondrous light, he will contemplate without pause, restraining and subduing his mind so that it does not go to extremes. Suddenly the space in the ten directions may take on the colors of the seven precious things or the colors of a hundred precious things, which simultaneously pervade everywhere without hindering one another. The blues, yellows, reds, and whites will each be clearly apparent. This state is called ‘trying too hard to subdue the mind’. It is a temporary state and does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons’ influence.”

“Further, as the person uses his mind to investigate with clear discernment until the pure light no longer scatters, he will suddenly be able to see various objects in a dark room at night, just as if it were daytime. Yet the things which were already in the dark room do not disappear. This state is called ‘refining the mind and purifying the vision until one is able to see in the dark’. It is a temporary state and does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons’ influence.”

“Further, when his mind completely merges with emptiness, his four limbs will suddenly become like grass or wood, devoid of sensation even when burned by fire or cut with a knife. The burning of fire will not make his limbs hot, and even when his flesh is cut, it will be like wood being whittled. This state is called ‘the merging of external states and the blending of the four elements into a uniform substance’. It is a temporary state and does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons’ influence.”

“Further, when his mind accomplishes such purity that his skill in purifying the mind has reached its ultimate, he will suddenly see the earth, the mountains, and the rivers in the ten directions turn into Buddhalands replete with the seven precious things, their light shining everywhere. He will also see Buddhas, Tathagatas, as many as the sands of the Ganges, filling all of space. He will also see pavilions and palaces that are resplendent and beautiful. He will see the hells below and the celestial palaces above, all without obstruction. This state is called ‘the gradual transformation of concentrated thoughts of like and dislike’. It does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons’ influence.”

“Further, as the person uses his mind to investigate what is profound and far away, he will suddenly be able to see distant places in the middle of the night. He will see city markets and community wells, streets and alleys, and relatives and friends, and he may hear their conversations. This state is called ‘having been suppressed to the utmost, the mind flies out and sees much that had been blocked from view’. It does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then this will be a good state. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons’ influence.”

“Further, as the person uses his mind to investigate to the utmost point, he may see a Good and Wise Advisor whose body undergoes changes. Within a brief interval, various transformations will occur which cannot be explained. This state is called ‘having an improper mind which is possessed by a mountain sprite or a celestial demon, and without reason speaking Dharma that fathoms wondrous truths’. It does not indicate sagehood. If he does not think he has become a sage, then the demonic activities will subside. But if he considers himself a sage, then he will be vulnerable to the demons’ influence.”

“Ananda, all ten of those states may occur in Dhyana as one’s mental effort interacts with the form 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 the Tathagata’s Nirvana, all of you should rely on and proclaim this teaching. Do not let the demons of the heavens have their way. Offer protection so all can realize the unsurpassed Way.”

“Ananda, when the good person who is cultivating Samadhi and Shamatha has put an end to the form skandha, he can see the mind of all Buddhas as if seeing an image reflected in a bright mirror. He seems to have obtained something, but he cannot use it. In this he resembles a paralyzed person. His hands and feet are intact, his seeing and hearing are not distorted, and yet his mind has come under a deviant influence, so that he is unable to move. This is the region of the feeling skandha. Once the problem of paralysis subsides, his mind can then leave his body and look back upon his face. It can go or stay as it pleases without further hindrance. This is the end of the feeling skandha. This person can then transcend the turbidity of views. Contemplating the cause of the feeling skandha, one sees that false thoughts of illusory clarity are its source.”

“Ananda, in this situation the good person experiences a brilliant light. A feeling arises in his mind as a result of excessive internal pressure. At this point, he suddenly feels such boundless sadness that he looks upon even mosquitoes and gadflies as newborn children. He is overwhelmed with pity and bursts into tears without knowing it. This is called ‘trying too hard to suppress the mind in the course of cultivation’. If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. If he realizes that and remains unconfused, then after a time it will disappear. But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of sadness will enter his mind. Then, as soon as he sees someone, he will feel sad and cry uncontrollably. Lacking proper Samadhi, he will certainly fall.”

“Further, Ananda, in this state of Samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. At that time he has a sublime vision and is overwhelmed with gratitude. In this situation, he suddenly evinces tremendous courage. His mind is bold and keen. He resolves to equal all Buddhas and says he can transcend three Asamkhyeyas of eons in a single thought. This is called ‘being too anxious to excel in cultivation’. If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. If he realizes that and remains unconfused, then after a time it will disappear. But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of insanity will enter his mind. As soon as he sees someone, he will boast about himself. He will become extraordinarily haughty, to the point that he recognizes no Buddha above him and no people below him. Lacking proper Samadhi, he will certainly fall.”

“Further, in this state of Samadhi the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. With no new realization immediately ahead of him, and having lost his former status as well, his power of wisdom weakens, and he enters an impasse in which he sees nothing to anticipate. Suddenly a feeling of tremendous monotony and thirst arises in his mind. At all times he is fixated in memories that do not disperse. He mistakes this for a sign of diligence and vigor. This is called ‘cultivating the mind, but losing oneself due to a lack of wisdom’. If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of memory will enter his mind. Day and night it will hold his mind suspended in one place. Lacking proper Samadhi, he will certainly fall.”

“Further, in this state of Samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. His wisdom becomes stronger than his Samadhi, and he mistakenly becomes impetuous. Cherishing the supremacy of his nature, he imagines that he is a Nishyanda (Buddha) and rests content with his minor achievement. This is called ‘applying the mind, but straying from constant examination and becoming preoccupied with ideas and opinions’. If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. But if he considers himself a sage, then a lowly demon that is easily satisfied will enter his mind. As soon as he sees someone, he will announce, “I have realized the unsurpassed absolute truth. ” Lacking proper Samadhi, he will certainly fall.”

“Further, in this state of Samadhi the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. He has not yet obtained any results, and his prior state of mind has already disappeared. Surveying the two extremes, he feels that he is in great danger. Suddenly he becomes greatly distraught, as if he were seated on the Iron Bed, or as if he has taken poison. He has no wish to go on living, and he is always asking people to take his life so he can be released sooner. This is called, ‘cultivating, but losing expedients’. If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of chronic depression will enter his mind. He may take up knives and swords and cut his own flesh, happily giving up his life. Or else, driven by constant anxiety, he may flee into the wilderness and be unwilling to see people. Lacking proper Samadhi, he will certainly fall.”

“Further, in this state of Samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. As he dwells in this purity, his mind is tranquil and at ease. Suddenly a feeling of boundless joy wells up in him. There is such bliss in his mind that he cannot contain it. This is called, ‘experiencing lightness and ease, but lacking the wisdom to control it’. If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon that likes happiness will enter his mind. As soon as he sees someone, he will laugh. He will sing and dance in the streets. He will say that he has already attained unobstructed liberation. Lacking proper Samadhi, he will certainly fall.”

“Further, in this state of Samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. He says he is already satisfied. Suddenly, a feeling of unreasonable, intense self-satisfaction may arise in him. It may include pride, outrageous pride, haughty pride, overweening pride, and pride based on inferiority, all of which occur at once. In his mind, he even looks down on the Tathagatas of the ten directions, how much the more so on the lesser positions of Hearers and Those Enlightened by Conditions. This is called ‘viewing oneself as supreme, but lacking the wisdom to save oneself’. If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of intense arrogance will enter his mind. He will not bow to stupas or in temples. He will destroy Sutras and images. He will say to the Danapatis, “These are gold, bronze, clay, or wood. The Sutras are just leaves or cloth. The flesh body is what is real and eternal, but you don’t revere it; instead you venerate clay and wood. That is truly absurd.” Those who have deep faith in him will follow him to destroy and bury the images in the ground. He will mislead living beings so that they fall into the Relentless Hells. Lacking proper Samadhi, he will certainly fall.”

“Further, in this state of Samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. In his refined understanding, he awakens completely to subtle principles. Everything is in accord with his wishes. He may suddenly experience limitless lightness and ease in his mind. He may say that he has become a sage and attained great self-mastery. This is called ‘attaining lightness and clarity due to wisdom’. If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon that likes lightness and clarity will enter his mind. Claiming that he is already satisfied, he will not strive to make further progress. For the most part, such cultivators will become like the Unlearned Bhikshu. He will mislead living beings so that they will fall into the Avichi Hell. Lacking proper Samadhi, he will certainly fall.”

“Further in this state of Samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. In that clear awakening, he experiences a false clarity. Within that, suddenly he may veer towards the view of eternal extinction, deny cause and effect, and take everything as empty. The thought of emptiness so predominates that he comes to believe that there is eternal extinction after death. This is called ‘the mental state of Samadhi dissolving so that one loses sight of what is right’. If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of emptiness will enter his mind. He will slander the holding of precepts, calling it a “Small Vehicle Dharma.” He will say, “Since Bodhisattvas have awakened to emptiness, what is there to hold or violate?” This person, in the presence of his faithful Danapatis, will often drink wine, eat meat, and engage in wanton lust. The power of the demon will keep his followers from doubting or denouncing him. After the ghost has possessed him for a long time, he may consume excrement and urine, or meat and wine, claiming that all such things are empty. He will break the Buddha’s moral precepts and mislead people into committing offenses. Lacking proper Samadhi, he will certainly fall.”

“Further, in this state of Samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. He savors the state of false clarity, and it deeply enters his mind and bones. Boundless love may suddenly well forth from his mind. When that love becomes extreme, he goes insane with greed and lust. This is called ‘when an agreeable state of Samadhi enters one’s mind, lacking the wisdom to control oneself and mistakenly engaging in lustful behavior’. If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of desire will enter his mind. He will become an outspoken advocate of lust, calling it the Way to Bodhi. He will teach his lay followers to indiscriminately engage in acts of lust, calling those who commit acts of lust his Dharma heirs. The power of spirits and ghosts in the Ending Age will enable him to attract a following of ordinary, naive people numbering one hundred, two hundred, five or six hundred, or as many as one thousand or ten thousand. When the demon becomes bored, it will leave the person’s body. Once the person’s charisma is gone, he will run afoul of the law. He will mislead living beings, so that they fall into the Relentless Hells. Lacking proper Samadhi, he will certainly fall.”

“Ananda, ten of these states may occur in Dhyana as one’s mental effort interacts with the feeling 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.”

“Ananda, when the good person who is cultivating Samadhi has put an end to the feeling skandha, although he has not achieved the elimination of outflows, his mind can leave his body the way a bird escapes from a cage. From within his ordinary body, he already has the potential for ascending through the Bodhisattvas’ sixty levels of Sagehood. He attains the ‘body produced by intent’ and can roam freely without obstruction. Suppose, for instance, someone is talking in his sleep. Although he does not know he is doing it, his words are clear, and his voice and inflection are all in order, so those who are awake can understand what he is saying. This is the region of the thinking skandha. If he puts an end to his stirring thoughts and rids himself of superfluous thinking, it is as if he has purged defilement from the enlightened, understanding mind. Then one is perfectly clear about the births and deaths of all categories of beings from beginning to end. This is the end of the thinking skandha. One can then transcend the turbidity of afflictions. Contemplating the cause of the thinking skandha, one sees that interconnected false thoughts are its source.”

“Ananda, 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 its perfect brightness, so he sharpens his concentrated thought as he greedily seeks for cleverness and skill. 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 the Dharma. 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 cleverness and skill, he arranges a seat and speaks the Dharma. In an instant, he may appear to be a Bhikshu, enabling that person to see him as such, or he may appear as Shakra, as a woman, or as a Bhikshuni; or his body may emit light as he sleeps in a dark room. The good person is beguiled and fooled into thinking that the other is a Bodhisattva. He believes the other’s teachings and his mind is swayed. He breaks the Buddha’s moral precepts and covertly indulges his greedy desires. The other person is fond of speaking about calamities, auspicious events, and unusual changes. He may say that a Tathagata has appeared in the world at a certain place. He may speak of catastrophic fires or wars, thus frightening people into squandering their family wealth without reason. This is a strange ghost that in its old age has become a demon. It disturbs and confuses the good person. But when it tires of doing so, it will leave the other person’s body. Then both the disciples and the teacher will get in trouble with the law. 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.”

“Further, Ananda, 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 to roam about, so he lets his subtle thoughts fly out as he greedily seeks for adventure. 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 the Dharma. 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 to roam, he arranges a seat and speaks the Dharma. His own body does not change its appearance, but those listening to the Dharma suddenly see themselves sitting on jeweled lotuses and their entire bodies transformed into clusters of purple-golden light. Each person in the audience experiences that state and feels he has obtained something unprecedented. The good person is beguiled and fooled into thinking the other is a Bodhisattva. Lust and laxity corrupt his mind. He breaks the Buddha’s moral precepts and covertly indulges his greedy desires. The other person is fond of saying that Buddhas are appearing in the world. He claims that in a certain place a certain person is actually a transformation body of a certain Buddha. Or he says that a certain person is such-and-such a Bodhisattva who has come to teach humankind. People who witness this are filled with admiration. Their deviant views multiply, and their Wisdom of Modes is destroyed.”

This is a drought ghost that in its old age has become a demon. It disturbs and confuses the good person. But when it tires of doing so, it will leave the other person’s body. Then both the disciples and the teacher will get in trouble with the law. 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.”

“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 spiritual oneness, so he clarifies his concentrated thought as he greedily seeks for union. 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 the Dharma. This person, unaware that he is actually possessed by a demon, claims he has reached unsurpassed Nirvana. When he comes to see that good person who seeks union, he arranges a seat and speaks the Dharma. Neither his own body nor the bodies of those listening to the Dharma go through any external transformations. But he makes the minds of the listeners become ‘enlightened’ before they listen to the Dharma, so they experience changes in every thought. They may have the knowledge of past lives, or the knowledge of others’ thoughts. They may see the hells or know all the good and evil events in the human realm. They may speak verses or spontaneously recite Sutras. Each person is elated and feels he has obtained something unprecedented. The good person is beguiled and fooled into thinking the other is a Bodhisattva. His thoughts become entangled in love. He breaks the Buddha’s moral precepts and covertly indulges his greedy desires. He is fond of saying that there are greater Buddhas and lesser Buddhas, earlier Buddhas and later Buddhas; that among them are true Buddhas and false Buddhas, male Buddhas and female Buddhas; and that the same is true of Bodhisattvas. When people witness this, their initial resolve is washed away, and they easily get carried away with their wrong understanding. This is a mei-ghost that in its old age has become a demon. It disturbs and confuses the good person. But when it tires of doing so, it will leave the other person’s body. Then both the disciples and the teacher will get in trouble with the law. 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.”

“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 to know the origins of things, so he exhaustively investigates the nature of physical things and their changes from beginning to end. He intensifies the keenness of his thoughts as he greedily seeks to analyze things. 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 the Dharma. 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 to know the source of things, he arranges a seat and speaks the Dharma. His body has an awesome spiritual quality which subdues the seeker. He makes the minds of those gathered beside his seat spontaneously compliant, even before they have heard the Dharma. He says to all those people that the Buddha’s Nirvana, Bodhi, and Dharma-body are there before them in the form of his own physical body. He says, “The successive begetting of fathers and sons from generation to generation is itself the Dharma-body, which is permanent and never-ending. What you see right now are those very Buddhalands. There are no other pure dwellings or golden features.” Those people believe and accept his words, forgetting their initial resolve. They offer up their lives, feeling they have obtained something unprecedented. They are all beguiled and confused into thinking he is a Bodhisattva. As they pursue his ideas, they break the Buddha’s moral precepts and covertly indulge their greedy desires. He is fond of saying that the eyes, ears, nose, and tongue are the Pure Land, and that the male and female organs are the true place of Bodhi and Nirvana. Ignorant people believe these filthy words. This is a poisonous ghost or an evil nightmare ghost that in its old age has become a demon. It disturbs and confuses the good person. But when it tires of doing so, it will leave the other person’s body. Then both the disciples and the teacher will get in trouble with the law. 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.”

“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 revelations from afar, so he pours all his energy into this intense investigation as he greedily seeks for imperceptible spiritual responses. 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 the Dharma. This person, completely unaware that he is possessed by a demon, claims he has reached unsurpassed Nirvana. When he comes to see that good person who seeks revelations, he arranges a seat and speaks the Dharma. He briefly appears to his listeners in a body that looks a hundred or a thousand years old. They experience a defiling love for him and cannot bear to part with him. They personally act as his servants, tirelessly making the Four Kinds of Offerings to him. Each member of the assembly believes that this person is his former teacher, his original Good and Wise Advisor. They give rise to love for his Dharma and stick to him as if glued, feeling they have obtained something unprecedented. The good person is beguiled and fooled into thinking the other is a Bodhisattva. Attracted to the other’s thinking, he destroys the Buddha’s moral precepts and covertly indulges his greedy desires. He is fond of saying, “In a past life, in a certain incarnation, I rescued a certain person who was then my wife (or my mistress, or my brother). Now I have come to rescue you again. We will stay together and go to another world to make offerings to a certain Buddha.” Or he may say, “There is a Heaven of Great Brilliance where a Buddha now dwells. It is the resting place of all Tathagatas.” Ignorant people believe his ravings and lose their original resolve. This is a pestilence ghost that in its old age has become a demon. It disturbs and confuses the good person. But when it tires of doing so, it will leave the other person’s body. Then both the disciples and the teacher will get in trouble with the law. 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.”

“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 deep absorption, so he restrains himself with energetic diligence and likes to dwell in secluded places as he greedily seeks for peace and quite. 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 the Dharma. 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 knowledge, he arranges a seat and speaks the Dharma. He causes all of his listeners to think they know their karma from the past. Or he may say to someone there, “You haven’t died yet, but you have already become an animal.” Then he instructs another person to step on the first person’s ‘tail’, and suddenly the first person cannot stand up. At that point, all in the assembly pour out their hearts in respect and admiration for him. If someone has a thought, the demon detects it immediately. He establishes intense ascetic practices that exceed the Buddha’s moral precepts. He slanders Bhikshus, scolds his assembly of disciples, and exposes people’s affairs without fear of ridicule or rejection. He is fond of foretelling calamities and auspicious events, and when they come to pass he is not wrong in the slightest. This is a ghost with great powers that in its old age has become a demon. It disturbs and confuses the good person. But when it tires of doing so, it will leave the other person’s body. Then both the disciples and the teacher will get in trouble with the law. 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.”

“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 more knowledge and understanding, so he diligently toils at examining and probing as he greedily seeks to know past lives. 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 the Dharma. 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 seclusion, he arranges a seat and speaks the Dharma. There in the Dharma Assembly, inexplicably, that person may obtain an enormous precious pearl. The demon may sometimes change into an animal that holds the pearl in its mouth, or other jewels, bamboo tablets, tallies, talismans, letters and other unusual things. The demon first gives them to the person, and afterwards possesses him. Or he may fool his audience by burying the valuables underground and then saying that a “moonlight pearl” is illuminating the place. Thereupon the audience feels they have obtained something unique. He may eat only medicinal herbs and not partake of prepared food. Or he may eat only one sesame seed and one grain of wheat a day and still look robust. That is because he is sustained by the power of the demon. He slanders Bhikshus and scolds his assembly of disciples without fear of ridicule or rejection. He is fond of talking about treasure troves in other locations, or of remote and hidden places where Sages and Worthies of the ten directions dwell. Those who follow him often see strange and unusual people. This is a ghost or spirit of the mountain forests, earth, cities, rivers, and mountains that in its old age has become a demon. The person it possesses may advocate promiscuity and violate the Buddha’s precepts. He may covertly indulge in the five desires with his followers. Or he may appear to be vigorous, eating only wild plants. His behavior is erratic, and he disturbs and confuses the good person. But when the demon tires, it will leave the other person’s body. Then both the disciples and the teacher will get in trouble with the law. 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.”

“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 spiritual powers and all manner of transformations, so he investigates the source of transformations as he greedily seeks for spiritual powers. 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 the Dharma. This person, truly unaware that he is possessed by a demon, also claims he has reached unsurpassed Nirvana. When he comes to see that good person who seeks spiritual powers, he arranges a seat and speaks the Dharma. The possessed person may hold fire in his hands and, grasping a portion of it, put a flame on the head of each listener in the Fourfold Assembly. The flames on top of their heads are several feet high, yet they are not hot and no one is burned. Or he may walk on water as if on dry land. Or he may sit motionless in the air. Or he may enter into a bottle or stay in a bag. Or he may pass through window panes and walls without obstruction. Only when attacked by weapons does he feel ill at ease. He declares himself to be a Buddha, and wearing the clothing of a lay person, he receives bows from Bhikshus. He slanders Dhyana meditation and the moral regulations. He scolds his disciples and exposes people’s affairs without fear of ridicule or rejection. He often talks about spiritual powers and self-mastery, and he may cause people to see visions of Buddhalands but they are unreal and arise merely from the ghost’s power to delude people. He praises the indulgence of lust and does not condemn lewd conduct. He uses indecent means to transmit his Dharma. This is a powerful nature spirit: a mountain sprite, a sea sprite, a wind sprite, a river sprite, an earth sprite, or a grass-and-tree sprite that has evolved over long ages. It may be a dragon-goblin; or a rishi who has been reborn as a goblin; or again a rishi who, having reached the end of his appointed time, should have died, but whose body does not decay and is possessed by another goblin. In its old age it has become a demon. It disturbs and confuses the good person. But when it tires of doing so, it will leave the other person’s body. Then both the disciples and the teacher will get in trouble with the law. 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.”

“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 to enter cessation, so he investigates the nature of transformations as he greedily seeks for profound emptiness. 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 the Dharma. 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 emptiness, he arranges a seat and speaks the Dharma. In the midst of the great assembly, his physical form suddenly disappears, and no one in the assembly can see him. Then out of nowhere, he abruptly reappears. He can appear and disappear at will, or he can make his body transparent like crystal. From his hands and feet he releases the fragrance of sandalwood, or his excrement and urine may be sweet as thick rock candy. He slanders the precepts and is contemptuous of those who have left the home-life. He often says that there is no cause and no effect, that once we die, we are gone forever, that there is no afterlife, and that there are no ordinary people and no Sages. Although he has obtained a state of empty stillness, he covertly indulges his greedy desires. Those who give in to his lust also adopt his views of emptiness and deny cause and effect. This is an essence that was created during an eclipse of the sun or moon. Having fallen on gold, jade, a rare fungus, a unicorn, a phoenix, a tortoise, or a crane, the essence endowed it with life, so that it did not die for thousands or tens of thousands of years and eventually became a spirit. It was then born into this land and in its old age has become a demon. It disturbs and confuses the good person. But when it tires of doing so, it will leave the other person’s body. Then both the disciples and the teacher will get in trouble with the law. 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.”

“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 the Dharma. 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, he arranges a seat and speaks the Dharma. He is fond of saying that he can go 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. 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 wall. Therefore people believe in the possessed person and mistake him for a Buddha. He often says, “All the living beings in the ten directions are my children. I gave birth to all Buddhas. 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 frenzied lust, so that within a year his vitality is exhausted. He talks to himself; and to anyone listening he sounds like a goblin. The people around him do not realize what is happening. In most cases such a person will get in trouble with the law. But before he is punished, he will die from depletion. The demon disturbs and confuses the person to the point of death. 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 my 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. 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. 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. Although you are completing your attainment to the level beyond study, hold nonetheless to your vows to enter the Dharma-ending Age. 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 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.”


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