The 6th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
will be held on 2-4 February, 2017 in Perth, Western Australia.

Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
Some of the Buddhist Illustrations created by Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
FREE for everyone to use

We would also appreciate your feedback on Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia. Please write feedback here
Here you can read media articles about the Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia which have been published all over the world.

Articles by alphabetic order
 Ā Ī Ñ Ś Ū Ö Ō
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Buddhist Principles, Admonitory and Pragmatical

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Please consider making little donation to help us expand the encyclopedia    Donate Paypal-logo.jpg    Enjoy your readings here and have a wonderful day  


1. Blind faith, at which Gautama Buddha always shook his head, occupied a vast place in non-Buddhism but never found its way into Buddhism. Buddha’s disciples were of two kinds: one following his philosophic Truth; while the other following his supernatural inspiration. Between these two, Buddha preferred the former to the latter because the disciples who had blind faith were lacking in balance. He had well put the three wisdom's in sequential order, first hearing or reading, second thinking or investigating and the third practicing. No Buddhist should confuse this order.

2. To learn Buddhism in its entirety, one must be open- minded. One should put all one’s energy in studying in depth all the doctrines of the three Yanas, Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. A little knowledge is dangerous. To scrutinize your Buddhist knowledge to see if it is complete or not, please refer to "A Chart of Buddhist Essential Principals and Practices in its Whole System" (Booklet No. 12 in this collection).

3. Before practice, and after hearing or reading and thinking for a long time, one should establish one’s right view on every point keeping it in mind as clear as the sun at noonday without floating in the sea of doubts and wandering on the fork between the two paths of Buddhism and non Buddhism. One is quite a stranger to Buddhism who says that the goal of Buddhism is similar to non-Buddhism. Such a person should make a real effort to learn Buddhism again.

4. From gross to subtle, the Buddhist Right View on the universe is four-fold. The neophyte who has learned Hinayana should view the universe according to the theory of "Causation of Karma." This world is not created by any God but a resultant reflection of the common Karma of mankind. The five elements which form this world are caused by the common action -influence of five sorrows. Earth is caused by pride, water by lust, fire by anger, air by doubt, and space by ignorance. Hence the world will also be destroyed by these five sorrows when they are extended to their fullest measure. The great and powerful earthquake will be the calamity of excessive pride. Nuclear attack with the heat equal to seven suns which was not only foretold by Buddha but also has been prepared for by scientists will be the fire calamity of excessive anger. After this fire calamity the result certainly will be that the North and South icebergs will melt causing the water calamity of excessive lust. When all things on earth have been destroyed, the wind will blow without hindrance and in such perfect emptiness space will be the victor. These two calamities of air and space will be the result of excessive doubt and excessive ignorance and all these five calamities will make mankind suffer their final consequence.

5. After the neophyte makes a progressive study of the doctrine of the idealistic school of the Mahayana, he should view the Universe like this: The Karmas of the individual are stored in the Alaya, the eighth consciousness, in which the common Karmas of mankind are like seeds. They sprout out into the objective world as their own manifestations and show that we are living in the same world in which we cannot discover any permanent reality of a Creator, or of God or of divine-self or of any independent element without mentalization. Hence the outer world does not exist itself but the internal ideation which is but the merged habitual common Karmas enables itself to present appearance as if it were an outer universe. This is called the "Causation of Alaya" which gives origin to the first view, No. 4 above.

6. In researching the source of that Ideation, the student achieving progress in the Sunyata school might view the universe like this: He learns that the ideation of the Alaya itself is also void. There is no absolute consciousness as the cause of reality. But the empty-nature of every Dharma, though it is unspeakable, if we are urged to give it a name may be called "Tathata" which is spaceless, timeless, formless and colorless, all equal without beginning or end, when it is in the static universal concentration. But when it is in the dynamic meditation, it may be manifested into any form, any color, any space, and any time. Thus, the Buddhist who is accomplished in the Samadhi of Tathata, views the Universe as in a sacred form of Buddhahood whereas the common persons can create the universe in its depraved form according to the extent their common Karmas project. This causation of Tathata gives origin to the second View, No. 5 above.

7. When one makes an advanced study in the doctrine of Vajrayana, his view of the Universe becomes quite integrated. He recognizes the element of mentality and that of materiality as non-dualistic. The universe is the manifestation of seven principles. Among them, the ninth consciousness "Tathata- store-Consciousness" and the right view are two principles of mentality, while the five elements, as usually considered, are of materiality. These seven principles are innately identified as leading to a true harmonization in the universe of Buddhahood which is called the Dharmadhatu. Within this, the ten kinds of universe appear as a matter of course. They are also viewed in two aspects: The enlightened ones see everything in the Universe as the Tathata itself, as the Lotus-Sutra says, "Every Dharma standing in its own position is not without the Tathata." The unenlightened ones see them just as their common Karmas reflected, where the mentality and materiality are always separate.

8. According to each of the above four kinds of Right View on universe, one might also determine the right views on human-life, one after another.

90698 n.jpg

He who views the world as caused from the common Karma of past lives, the consequence of which is full of pain, and who believes in the four noble paths with a desire to get rid of the long, long transmigration, also views the only real value of one’s life as to practice the eight-fold Right Paths and to investigate the 12 branches of causation in both orders, direct and reverse, until the personal egoism that is the master of suffering is destroyed and the realization of Arhat is gained. The view of life which is of money and love, as the swinish multitude desire, is meaningless and will only increase pain.

9. As one views the world caused from the seeds of common Karmas which were stored in the Alaya, so the good or evil seeds of the individual in past lives which might determine one’s destiny, rich or poor, foolish or wise in this life, were also stored in it. Notwithstanding, it is not fatalism because these seeds may mature or be destroyed by conditions of this life. For instance, though the seeds have been sown, if the conditions in this life of rain and sunshine and fertilizer are not suitable for its blossoming and fruition, the seeds might thereby be destroyed. Thus, one who accepts this good idea would try to do only good. According to the Mahayana doctrines, one would view that the true value of one’s life is to set one’s shoulder to the spinning of the wheel of good Dharmas, through the five-folds of ideation-Samapatti whole-heartedly. One would make every Dharma mentalized and every mentalization sublimated into the final voidness. It is just like the locust casting off its own skin from time to time. Bound not is he by astrology. He would not be proud of his fortune or afraid of his doom. To him the materialism of the five desires which drive common lives through fire and water, thick and thin, is valueless and it is just like the moth flying to a lamp or ants attacking foul flesh. He would make his blood run cold over worldly things. Never is he cheated by any attachment.

10. Because the Alaya’s nature is also void, we can only from the Tathata find out the Buddha’s nature positively. It is in everybody, penetrating every soul, pervading everywhere. One who lives in such a holy universe has no birth and death. He throws new light on his life. He prefers to meditate on this Tathata until the abstract Buddha-nature becomes a concrete embodiment whereupon he will realize the non-egoism for himself. But on those who pursue desires he has great pity and he thinks that if he does not save those persons, he would waste his lifetime. To despise this holy work and to do worldly jobs instead is like being penny wise and pound foolish.

After he learns that the manifestations of the Buddha- nature have supernatural powers, he is aware that there are many potentialities in one’s own mind and body. Because everybody has his Tathata-nature which is void and has no determinate form, all its manifestations move freely, all are co-related, all are magic-like and can be molded in any way without restraint. It is just because there is no self wedded in every Dharma. This is the only nature of voidness from which arises many mystic transformations as its manifestations. Every man or woman has his or her potentialities in the Tathata which are quite worthwhile to discover. If a man does not spend his whole life practicing meditations for this purpose, he will surely die in vain and his potentialities will not be unfolded. Should a man always waste his noble lifetime hewing wood and drawing water? He must ask himself this question.

11. Finally one fortunately gets the highest methods in the Consequence position of Buddhahood from Vajrayana. He knows the holy universe is found not only with the holy mentality but also with the holy materiality. Our human life has its potentialities in entity and function which are hidden in the Buddha-nature. One must let the cat out of the bag, through the yogic practices with the methods of consequence- position of Buddhahood. One may make the abstract entity function in its mystic manifestations along with all the supernatural powers and enable himself to save all sentient beings perfectly and ultimately. Hence, one comes to know the climax of life’s value is in this great event. One must use his whole lifetime to practice the Holy Dharma in Vajrayana until his mentalities have transformed into Buddha’s wisdom, and materialities transformed into Buddha’s maya-body. Such a value of life will not be exchanged for even the gaining of the whole world.

12. After developing the philosophic views on the universe and those on life, one should rid oneself of vulgar prejudice and keep the right views of all those relationships between oneself and one’s family, one’s Dharma, one’s Buddha and one’s followers.


First of all, one must distinguish among all the Dharmas, what is good, what is evil, what is uncertain, according to the Idealist school. To the common multitude, love is moral, but to a Buddhist, love is a sorrow and a poison. Thus a Buddhist views his family with a different perception from that of an ordinary person. If there were no debts from his past lives, he would have no offspring, neither sons nor daughters. If he held no grudge in his past lives, he would have no wife or concubine in this life.

Every one of the present society was one’s mother at one time or another due to the untold years of transmigration and in each life we are delivered from a mother. One should save one’s mother by practicing right Dharmas but should not accompany one’s mother into further transmigration realms.

One must know that everyone’s action is watched by God or spirits or deities. When one reaps what one has sown, the rewards of rise or fall will be decided by these deities even though their natures are also void and cannot do anything more than what one’s Karma determines.

Hence one must declare to all others that since I am a Buddhist I must maintain the good characteristics of a true Buddhist. Before my conversion, I have done such and such evil things; now I will no longer do them. I will try to become a good example of a Bodhisattva and sincerely ask the local Gods and all the eight kinds of deities to witness and help me to escape all the obstacles of Satan or any other kind of demon. Readers are advised to read my Booklets "Still More Please" in which there is a plan describing how a Western Buddhist should re-estimate the value of the Bible as relating to the doctrine of man-and-heaven-yana of Buddhism. This principle has pointed out the right thought in the relationship between oneself and one’s family both on earth and in heaven and might guide the right Karma.

13. One should know that no Dharma in all phenomena has any absolute self in nature. It is an objective form reflected from the subjective view, so if no Dharma is connected with one’s mind it can have no self. That is why the same water is a palace to the Dragon-King, is blood or pus to a hungry ghost, is nectar to the heavenly beings, is a drink to man, is an airblock to a drowning man, and is a playground to a swimmer. Therefore one should always be content with his property. The three emotions, sadness, joy, and neutrality, all depend on what one views within, but are not dependent on the material conditions without. One ought not to pursue any kind of desire, but pursue the main practice of controlling one’s own mind. All phenomena are impermanent, there is nothing worthy to be grasped. We see so much land become water, and so much water become land. Today we enjoy the half-opened rose, tomorrow we will be sad at its wilting. If you keep coolblooded, you will never meet an object you admire; if you are head over heals in love with materiality, you will treat a stone as gold. This is the right thought which should be kept in mind by the Practitioner in relation to phenomena.

14. To have contact with Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, wisdom Dakinis and wisdom-protectors, one should lose one’s self-nature completely and immerse oneself in voidness- Samadhi until getting the realization of the Yidam and that of the Dharmakaya in which those par excellence wisdom-beings are visible. You cannot really connect them with the heavenly divinities by only offering prayers, worshipping, praising and repeating stanzas. This is the very point that distinguishes a believer of Buddhism from those of other non-Buddhist religions.

15. To save those who are in the ocean of the five poisons, one should learn and practice the special methods in the Position of Consequence of Buddhahood which are available in Vajrayana only. Through a long time of practice, one may identify one’s five wisdoms of Buddhahood with the five holy poisons to save those great sinners. Thus one may be a real salvation to others in this lifetime. This is the relationship between the act of salvation and the practitioner who wishes to save others. It all depends upon the assurance of realization, not only upon one’s good-will.

16. As in the Mahavairocana Sutra it is written, "Bodhicitta is the cause," so one should develop it perfectly and deeply. There are five Bodhicittas but these have never been systematized by those valuable ancients. The first three kinds of Bodhicittas, named Good Will, Good Conduct and Victorious Significance, were emphasized by those ancients of both exoteric and esoteric doctrines. The fourth in my system is called Bodhicitta of Samadhi which is practiced in the lower three tantras separately. The fifth Bodhicitta in my system is called Bodhicitta of Kunda which is practiced in the Anuttarayoga by the Tibetan lamas only. I have made these five kinds of Bodhicittas into one system within all of Buddhism according to my emphasis of three-yanas-in-one.

Inasmuch as one’s karma has bound oneself in transmigration through so long a period which has no beginning and no end, and as all living forms have a mother, therefore every sentient being has been one’s mother once or more in the past. All are enclosed in this painful circle. One must bear in mind and think of this great event as follows: Without those pitiful sentient beings, one has no object toward which to develop one’s great compassion and without great compassion one cannot gain Nirmanakaya. Also if one does not do many good deeds for those sentient beings, one cannot accumulate enough merit to become Sambhogakaya; without sentient beings on whose voidness-nature one meditates as it is the same entity as oneself, one cannot accomplish the complete Dharmakaya. Hence, by doing evil to sentient beings, one might fall into the three evil and painful states and suffer for a long period; by means of doing good to sentient beings one surely gets the three Kayas of Buddhahood. Thus, one actually recognizes that to reward the benefactions of the Buddhas is to do good to all sentient beings, and to reward the benefactions of sentient beings is to practice the Buddha-Dharma till full enlightenment is gained. Therefore, one ought to develop one’s own good vows to save all sentient beings. Our Lord Buddha has set a good example for us. He developed four great good vows, and he also taught us through the examples of other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. As we have heard, Amitabha has 48 great vows, Buddha of healing has 12 great vows, Manjusri has 10 great vows, Nagarjuna has 10 also, and the Sutra titled, "The Great Compassion Flower" has taught many, many good vows of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the past. This is the Bodhicitta of good will.

17. After one develops the Bodhicitta of good will, one should follow one’s own good vows, and put them into action. This is the Bodhicitta of Good Conduct, the second one in the whole system. It is a general principle that for common persons, habitual conduct arises out of the seeds stored in the Alaya consciousness. But when one is converted to the Buddhist order, the practitioner will sow only good seeds in his Alaya by doing good actions, deeply and devoutly, which not only affects him at present, but also plants strong seeds for the hereafter. The Buddhist proverb runs, "If you want to know the Causation of heretofore, you just look at what you have suffered from up to now; if you want to know what causation will be hereafter, you just look at what you are doing presently." Hence, one should develop the Bodhicitta of good conduct without hesitation. This is the second kind of Bodhicitta.

18. When one investigates self-nature within and without the body and mind, one finds out that the foe or demon is oneself. One must then lay more stress on meditating on the truth of eighteen voidnesses until the volition of self is finally destroyed and then one should convert those sentient beings who do not know the voidness of self. Again, one should know that the good wills and good conducts are themselves void, they have no subject and no object, and one should not be proud of having them. This is the third kind of Bodhicitta of Victorious Significance.


19. When one is in the meditation of voidness, one finds oneself merged into the entity of all sentient beings; thereupon one develops (C), "the great compassion of the same entity," and willingly helps others without condition just as helping oneself which is called (D), "the great compassion of non-condition." Besides these two kinds of great compassion, there are two common great compassions. By means of pitying the transmigration of our parents, we develop (A), "the great compassion of the conditions of being," and by means of thinking of the impermanence of every Dharma, we develop (B), "the great compassion of the conditions of Dharma." These four kinds of great compassion are connected with the above three kinds of Bodhicittas. The letters (A), (B), (C) and (D) above show the practical order of this teaching, but as we speak from higher to lower practice they appear out of sequence.

20. In the lower three Tantras, worldly Bodhicitta is symbolized with a moon and the Victorious Significance Bodhicitta is symbolized with a Vajra, and both are visualized in the heart wheel of one’s visualized Buddha-body. The whole system of visualizations should be held in the Samadhi until it is achieved. This is the fourth Bodhicitta called "The Boddhicitta of Samadhi" from which holy light is thrown upon all sentient beings who have some condition with the practitioner and will thereby be saved.

21. Again through the practice of the third initiation of Anuttara yoga, the practitioner has achieved the yoga of wisdom-energy which enables him to penetrate the deep five poisons and to get the potentialities there of to win the five wisdoms. Thus the great sinners who are immersed in the deep ocean of poisons may also be saved. This is the fifth Bodhicitta, called the "Bodhicitta of Kunda" which contains not only the potentialities of mentality as the former four kinds of Bodhicitta possessed but also consists of the potentialities of materiality and thereby the ultimate service of salvation is integrated.

To develop this kind of Bodhicitta, there is a time limitation, so I hope my readers may meet this booklet before the age of 36.

22. Buddha Gautama had thought that besides hearing wisdom and thinking wisdom there is practicing wisdom and among the practicing wisdoms there are three kinds of knowledge which are, in order: Vinaya (precepts), Dhyana (concentration and meditation), and Prajna (wisdom). Vinaya has four kinds which are: (A) A kind of restraint which keeps one from doing bad and gives the philosophy of causation of karma a guaranty against falling. It contains seven sections–Bhiksu, Bhiksuni, Siksamana, Sramanera, Sramanerika, Upasaka, Upasika. (B) The "Vinaya acquiring the good and wholesome" which binds oneself to do good and is corresponding to the philosophy of causation of Alaya. (C) The "Vinaya working for the benefit of all sentient beings" which is corresponding to the philosophy of the causation of Tathata and that of prajna paramita. For detailed items of the last two types of Vinaya, please refer to my Booklet New No. 43 entitled "Mahayana Silas." (D) This fourth kind of Vinaya was never classified by the Tibetan ancients with the former three types but is included in my classification system as the final one of the whole Buddhist system of Vinaya. It may be named the Vinaya of "transcending the evil deeds into the realized services of salvation" in the way of a homeopathic cure. It is pertaining to Vajrayana only. Readers may refer to my Booklets New No. 78 and New No. 46. Most items of Vajrayana Vinaya are concerned with transforming the evil love into the Vajra-love. This kind of Vinaya is corresponding to the philosophy of causation of the six elements. The Reader is advised to think over the four right views on universal life, relationships, and on these four kinds of Vinaya. They will give you a clear bird’s eye view of the whole system of Buddhism.

23. Within knowledge of Dhyana, there are two main sections: One is Samatha, the other is Samapatti. Before any Samapatti is useful, the achievement of Samatha is extremely necessary. Readers may get it from my Booklet New No. 63. Before Samatha is gained, one can only use his mind to think over the philosophy concerning Samapatti. Such a common mind is full of disturbances; that is why every kind of Samapatti should be practiced through the force or function of Samatha. I have emphasized this point of view much more than the ancients of the Tien Tai school.

The Samapatti on Hinayana truth emphasizes impermanence and death. Its total function is purification which purifies all the sorrows from the mind of students.

The Samapatti on Mahayana truth emphasizes the voidness of one’s self-nature and of conditional manifestations from which the wisdom and its great compassion is realized. The total function is the sublimation made by the voidness of non-egoism and the human nature is thereby transformed into Buddha-nature.

The Samapatti on Vajrayana truth is based upon the yogic methods of the position of consequence of Buddhahood. The secret and sacred instructions on the visualization of Buddhabody without, and the wisdom-energy, wisdom-nerves, and wisdom-essence within, are practiced with heart and soul. Its total function is the final and ultimate salvation in Buddhahood.

All those three-yana-meditations have been separately introduced in Booklets New No. 66, 69, and 72 and the whole system of these three-yana-meditations has been elaborately emphasized in my Booklets New No. 13 and 14.


24. Though the word Chan is a transliteration from the Sanskrit word Dhyana, it has its own purport which is different from the latter. Chan is the highest Samadhi of realization without any words or formula or instruction. The Guru imparts it by his realization, and the disciple enables himself to receive it also by realization. It cannot be mixed with the Tien Tai school doctrine or any other teachings. The four classifications of its tradition and the four stages of its realization are, according to my opinion, as follows: (A) First, there is the Chan of Tathagata. It is only a little different from the Mahayana Dhyanas due to its simplification of intuition and its specification of practice. (B) The second kind is called Patriarch Chan and is imparted directly with realization but not with words, as the Tathagata always said. (C) The third kind is named by me as Offspring Chan. It was grouped together with Patriarch Chan by the ancients, but actually the former has the utilization of Chan chance and Chan usage. It was quite a powerful way to make the disciple comprehend at once. Even the sixth Patriarch is not included under this classification as it started only with Mar-Tzo and Shih-Tou. It is only Offspring Chan which can truly be said to be the Chan of China and not also of Tibet or India. (D) The last and also the least one may be called the Chan of Sands. A foretelling of the Chan tradition was mistaken by the ancients as an expression of praise when actually it was a criticism: "The Chan school will greatly flourish with the number of disciples as many as the sands in the river," but this expression was actually railing against the Chan, after the five schools, which was so verbal as to be spoken about by men in the street and women in villages. Such teachings are real sand, but not gold (Refer to Chenian Booklet New No. 88).

The four stages of the Chan realization as found in my book titled The Light-House in the Ocean of Chan are as follows: The first stages is "Entering the entity of Chan" which is the outline of the Dharmakaya and has its realized and concrete signs. The second stage is "Free from the volition of the Chan-entity;" the third is "Using the functions of Chan," what daily life Chan pertains to is in this stage, but this has been taken by Westerners too lightly as a profane daily life. However, this stage was very rarely attained even in the Tung dynasty which was called the golden age of Chan. It was impossible before one achieved realization in the earlier two stages. The fourth and final stage is "Free from the volition of Chan functions," At this stage there is no realization of full enlightenment remaining (Refer to Chenian Booklet New No. 89).

One must not deceive oneself, lest one will have cause to repent at the time of death which is too late.

25. As regards the knowledge of wisdom, first of all one must know how the eight consciousnesses are transformed into the five wisdoms through various practices of meditation. It is said in Mahayana doctrine that the eighth consciousness should be transformed into the great mirror-like wisdom; the seventh consciousness, which concentratedly holds the eighth consciousness as oneself, should be transformed into the equality-wisdom; the sixth consciousness, which is like the English term "mind," should be transformed into the profound-observing-wisdom; the first five kinds of consciousness should be transformed into the Karma- integrating wisdom. The last one is only found in Vajrayana in which there is a ninth consciousness called Tathagatha-store, which should be transformed into the universal-wisdom or wisdom of Dharmadhatu.

And again, one should know how to practice the yogic methods of Vajrayana and with the mystic function of voidness penetrate the five poisons and transcend and transform them into the five wisdoms. The poison of anger should be transformed into the great mirror-like wisdom; pride will become the equality-wisdom; love or lust become the profound-observing wisdom; doubt, the Karma-integrating wisdom; and ignorance will become the Dharmadhatu wisdom.

There are many kinds of categories of wisdom; some are pertaining to Arhats, some to Bodhisattvas, others to Buddhas. Among all those categories of wisdom, it is these five wisdom-jewels which have been emphasized by both Mahayana and Vajrayana doctrines.

One must distinguish the three positions of Cause, Course and Consequence as related to wisdom. The Right View which has matured through hard study of the Buddhist Tripitaka and cannot be shaken by any other religion, philosophy, worldly science or knowledge, is wisdom in the position of Cause. The feelings, the insight, holy light, and all other imperfect realizations are the wisdom in a position of Course. The real and true and perfect realization of the five wisdoms which form full enlightenment of Buddhahood is the true wisdom in the position of Consequence.

There is an important point one should keep in mind, i.e. Great Wisdom should be identified with the Great Compassion. They are called the two noble feet of Buddha. If wisdom is alone and unaccompanied by great compassion, it is called a dry wisdom by Mahayanists. If great compassion is achieved without the company of wisdom, it is called the heart of an old woman by the Chanists.

26. Each main practice within the whole Buddhist system has been separately mentioned under its own yana and section in the Chart that is found as Booklet New No. 12.1 will not introduce them again here. The two main principles important for all practices are the voidness of non-egoism and the wisdom-energy. One must skillfully distinguish all the differences within the practice of these two principles of voidness and breath. The Hinayana practice of voidness deals with non-personality (a-pudgala) and is a mental analysis until the most subtle atom appears which cannot be analyzed any further. The Mahayana practice of voidness is of both non-personality egoism (a-pudgala) and non-Dharma egoism, not only by way of analysis but also by way of investigating and ratiocinating until not even the most subtle atom remains. At that point through subtle research one finds out positively that from the voidness nature comes the Maya-like manifestations upon which every holy and good deed for the shadow-like sentient beings should be done and that one’s Bodhicitta should be developed to its fullest extent. When one practices the voidness meditations in Vajrayana, the functions of Buddhahood which arise from the voidness in both mentality and materiality can be used to save the great sinners in the ocean of five poisons by transforming them into the five wisdoms of Buddhahood.


Regarding the different practices of breathing, the Hinayana and Mahayana only have some methods of following its movement, counting its number and looking at its colors and nature. All these are preparatory for the wisdom energy practice of Vajrayana which includes the philosophic theory of identification of mind and energy. It is said in Vajrayana: "Where there is the mind, there is the energy; where the mind comes, there the energy comes; where there is the sorrow of anger, there is the energy of anger." The root of transmigration is the Avidya belonging to which there is not only the eighth consciousness of Alaya but also the life-energy, without which rebirth is not possible. Therefore to uproot transmigration, one must cut off the roots of both the Avidya-eighth consciousness, and the life-energy. By the practice of wisdom-energy, one must enable oneself to control one’s energy; when one can control one’s energy one may control one’s semen and with the help of a Dakini the practice of Vajra-love might be possible. Then one may succeed in the final identification of the four blisses with the four voidnesses, and full enlightenment might be gained.

27. To cut the sorrows and delusions and to gain realization are two important aims in Buddhist practice. One must skillfully recognize them. To struggle and fight with other people, to try to improve one’s external condition and progress in one’s selfishness is the life formula of the swinish multitude. But to struggle with oneself, change one's conditions within and make progress in non-egoism is a principle of Buddhist life which is full of meaning and full of fruitions.

The main 10 delusions or sorrows which drive us to go through the long transmigration within the three realms are the five dull drivers (Klesa-varana) i.e. five poisons: covetousness, hatred (pratigha), ignorance (mudhi), arrogance (mana), and doubt (vickilsa), and the five keen drivers (Jneya-varana) i.e. five false views: Mithya, the perverse view denying cause and effect; Satkayadristi, the view of one’s own body; Antaragraha, the extreme view, of either extinction or permanence; dristiparamarsa, stubborn perverted view, viewing inferior things as superior or counting the worse as the better; Sila-vrata-paramarsa, rigid views in favor of religious ascetic prohibition, as covering oneself with ashes. The five dull drivers are the hindrances of our practice, while the five keen ones are those of our knowledge. Both are based upon egoism of Pudgala and that of Dharma. Deriving from these 10 delusions, there are 88 delusions mentioned in Hinayana and 112 delusions in Mahayana. One who desires to escape from the circle of birth and death must be strenuous with hammer and tongs in cutting away these delusions and getting over them.

Vinaya is only a defense and Dhyana can only suppress these delusions. It is only wisdom which can act to kill them. Arhat is a name with the meaning of "The thief-killer." Nevertheless, an Arhat still has some ignorance of the non-egoism of Dharma and has not sufficient wisdom to transform the five poisons into the realized holy Karmas of salvation. He has to follow Mahayana practices until the wisdom of a Bodhisattva is gained. Among the ten stages of Bodhisattva-wisdom, each stage has its own special hindrance which must be meditated away through the voidness Samapatti before advancing onto the next higher stage. Hence, to rid oneself of the delusions and gain realization are like two sides of the same paper. Though the Gods and the demons may help or trouble us in our meditations to some degree, yet falling into hell or gaining full enlightenment all depends upon our own choosing and our own practice. Buddhists must bear this idea in mind.

28. One should know that our final goal is not those heavens aimed at by non-Buddhists. The Buddhist goal is beyond the nine kinds of haveness included in the three kinds of heavens. It is aimed at voidness. Inasmuch as the realization of different practitioners are of different degrees, there are four different realms for their good rebirth or paranirvana.

a. Realms where all classes of beings dwell; men, devas, Buddha's disciples and non-disciples. It has two divisions, the impure and the pure. The Western Buddha Amitabha Pure Land pertains to the latter. One who has renounced and repeated the Amitabha name diligently may get rebirth there without falling downward. This belongs to one of the four kinds of Buddha’s Pure Lands.
b. Temporary realms where the occupants have gotten rid of evil views or thoughts before they are born there, but still have to be reborn. This belongs to the Arhats who are of lower ranks.
c. Realms of permanent reward and freedom for those who have attained the Bodhisattva ranks from the first to the tenth.
d. Realms of eternal light and tranquility, the residence of the Dharmakaya. Though all other realms cannot leave it, yet it is unknown to them due to their ignorance.

29. There are five kinds of Budakaya which a Buddhist should desire to attain through a long period of practice. The Nirmanakaya who can transform at will to any shape is the Savior of the six realms of sentient beings and of the Buddhists of the exoteric schools; the Sambhogakaya who deserves the fruits of joy from his merits in past lives is the Savior of all Bodhisattvas or of the believers and practitioners of Vajrayana. The Dharmakaya who is of the eternal light and tranquility is the salvation or witness of the highest Bodhisattvas. The Sahajakaya who is the total identification of the former three kayas is the witness or salvation of the practitioners of great symbol of Mahamudrar of great perfection or of Chan. The Maha-sukha-prajna-kaya who has a body of great joy resulting from the third great initiation of Vajra-love practice is the Guru of the Buddhas of five directions. He is also called the highest and sixth Buddha and he is the witness of the fully enlightened Vajrayana practitioners; there is none higher.

30. To sum up the last 29 principles, I would like to add a few lines of my advice as a conclusion to this booklet: After a comparative study in every religion's tenets, one should at first come to understand the philosophic truth of universal causation and the philosophic truth of the ultimate value of human life through a good deal of study in the hearing or reading, and thinking or ratiocinating knowledges of Buddhism. Then an entire renunciation must be actually performed and the most important motive force of Bodhicitta should be well developed. Then under the guidance of an accomplished Guru one should learn and practice the whole system of Buddhism including Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, and so with tooth and nail cut off all delusions and sorrows and with heart and soul through the help of matured Samatha meditate on different truths until they become concrete realizations and the full enlightenment is gained. Above all, an important condition of a successful Buddhist practitioner is to have an accomplished Guru. If you have not met such a one, this booklet may be a little help as your guide.


By Yogi C. M. Chen