The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Oral transmission of how to use the mind in the meditation on the letter A
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Oral transmission of how to use the mind in the meditation on the letter
A guide to the practice of Ajikan, with explanation of the meaning.
First for those who desire to visualize the letter, Sit in a place situated with the ceiling aligned to the four directions, a strong place but not oppressive, that is not too dark, and not too bright. In darkness deluded thoughts arise, in brightness the mind becomes distracted. At night the lamp may have to contend with the wind, after that the fire for your padded cushion seat may go out. Sit in the lotus position, although some sit in the half lotus position. Bind the dharma-realm meditation mudra , with the eyes not open, but not closed. If they are open your eyes will move around, if they are closed you will sink into sleep. Only slightly being able to see and not blinking, and both eyes should watch the tip of your nose. Your tongue should be touching the roof of your mouth, your breathing should be quiet and your lower back not pushed out or held in. Sit up straight to help your circulation. Bad blood circulation can lead to sicknesses arising, also the mind becomes confused. Like this use the mind, first bind the Vajra hand clasp and recite the five great vows. After that recite the Womb Five Word mantra one hundred times. Then visualize first the syllable visualization which will be explained in detail.
Next I will explain the principal way to think which will in turn explain the syllable. Within your chest there is a moon disk, like a pure autumn moon. Within that there is a letter  . The is the moon disk's seed syllable. The moon disk and are bright, the moon disk encompasses the letter entirely, and visualize that within your chest. Your body becomes the letter , the letter becomes one's own mind and like that your mind (and the ) become as one. Then the bringing of perceptual referents into thought is ended, cut off. The moon disk is your original purity, therefore it is able to free one from the desire of craving impurities. The moon disk is pure and serene therefore the fever of hatred and anger leaves. The moon disk is radiant therefore it illuminates the foolish darkness of delusion. Like this the three poisons are spontaneously purified and dispersed. Filled is this way, no suffering enters into the practitioner's visualization. Obtaining peace of mind, separate from the suffering of the mundane world, is what's called liberation. How much more penetration of contemplation for freedom from birth and death? This causes the attainment of buddhahood within this very body. Begin the visualization with the moon disk about 18 inches across. After that gradually stretch out the moon disk in every direction as big as a great chiliocosm right up to the palace of the Dharma realm.
Next the principle is explained. The syllable exists, is emptiness and is unproduced; a threefold meaning. Emptiness is all phenomena arranged of many things yet lacking self-nature. That is all things are completely empty, and in this way supporting causes and conditions, the truth of provisionality, manifests all phenomena as separately existing. Compare this to the wish fulfilling jewel, the deep seven treasures, the ten thousand jewels and the jewel that overcomes according conditions. Refute these jewels and see within that not even one thing exists. Although accordingly produced by causal conditions the jewel doesn't not exist, by means of this know that emptiness and existence are of the single body and that is said to eternally abide. Eternally abiding then neither arising nor ceasing and that is called the syllable great emptiness essence highest principal. In this way within our chest we visualize the syllable spontaneously endowed with the threefold meaning. Those endowed with the threefold meaning become Mahavairocana's dharmakaya and the practitioner enters this practice of observing the mind. Even if with the mind of a beginner, the cyclic existence of birth and death are permanently severed. Walking, standing, sitting, lying down, at all times meditate on the syllable and you will easily progress and change. With repeated practice and you will with alacrity suddenly awaken, and if when you become proficient at sitting, you must not sit in the half lotus position with the dharma-realm meditation mudra. Walk, stand, sit, lay down, in all these things contemplate the syllable. As our voice arises, open the mouth, at first from within our chest follow the as it arises and should continue up the throat, to the roof of the mouth to the tongue to the teeth and then the lips, then emerging and going to the five places The five groups of the Vajradhatu, the voice of all the Buddhas explaining the dharma.
The throat, tongue and lips when speaking are the three groups of the Garbhadhātu. With this wisdom, follows a negation of insult, treachery, false speech, and smooth fancy talk used to conceal the truth. All the sutras, the five places and the three within emerge with the sound. Then say the Mahavairocana tathagata ocean-seal samadhi king mantra. If this principle is not known, all that create evil karma fall into negative rebirth and feel vast amounts of suffering. To know and take part, and not know, there is a distinction and the Lotus Samadhi sutra says: Within the chest are the mandalas of both realms sitting virtuously each divulging supernatural transformation, that within the four directions is a Tathagata of Immeasurable life. To keep the exposition of the teachings, and to discuss the meaning of them is meritorious. Always expounding the teachings of the dharma, the sound that emerges from one's own mouth becomes the voice efficiently liberating, and in this way the worldling not knowing their self, speech or thoughts, incurs to grasp at their own things, clinging to discrimination (are liberated). As numerous as the grains of sand in the Ganges are the myriad attributes of the uncountable dharani. Each letter is a meritorious dharma gate as the energy of voice. Simply for a follower to accomplish the karma of disadvantageous rebirths causal situation incurs sincere lamentation. Thus by itself, in this way the principle dharani is the extent of the sphere of the Buddha's doctrine, the originally unproduced non-arising highest principle and like the ocean containing a hundred rivers, all wholesome roots collect in this single letter, therefore, says the Ocean seal Samadhi mantra and, with the support of this one letter meditation you can cross over to the shore of liberation. At the same time superior to the width of merit gained by reciting the sutras of the eighty-thousand Buddhist teachings, grasp this secret spiritual meditation using the mouth to speak. This mantra meditation gate, even if many roads, to obtain what's important does not go beyond the width of grasping the two meditations. First grasp the meditation. The Dainichi sutra part one reads, Vajrasattva says,”What is enlightenment? Mahavairocana replies in the text replies saying, “To accurately know one's own mind.” Vajrasattva asks Mahavairocana, the knowing of one's mind and he provides the answer. Also commentary seven says, If one sees the ultimate truth of non-production, then that is the true knowledge of one's own mind. The true knowledge of one's own mind then that is omniscience. Therefore the scripture's explanation of the knowledge of one's own mind is seeing the root of non-arising and the ultimate truth of non-production creates omniscience, one's omniscience is then Mahavairocana and therefore the mantra teachings are then becoming a buddha is this very body. Seeing the original non-arising and the ultimate truth of non-production, all dharmas follow this root, since neither arising nor ceasing, originally existent, eternally abiding and afflictions root are non-arising afflictions. Enlightenment is originally non-arising enlightenment and this knowledge is called omniscience. In this way we arise, cease, go and come, but should eye simple knowledge. Non-arising, non-ceasing, no knowledge and like this all dharmas are originally non-arising, non-ceasing objects. This is expressed clearly in the teaching's abundant discourses on (emptiness) therefore this non-arising, non-ceasing is called the non- esoteric teachings, uncommon discourse. In this way now the secret teachings are structured.
Worldlings are not aware via, seeing hearing, cognition and knowing, the non-arising, non-ceasing body. To correctly clearly express the seed syllable's samaya form causes one see the knowledge of emptiness, and the practice of it also. This is the manifest teaching of the unknown. To say the root is non-arising body, the seed-syllable samaya form is the eight petaled lotus. This eight petaled lotus is explained in the Dainichi-sutra as the  mind and the mind is then sentient beings eight limbs of the physical body. The same commentary section five says,Iin the mind is the marvelous white lotus, that therein is sentient beings original mind of the wonderful dharma pundarika secret banner. The lotus dais complete with eight petals equally etc.. like the form of a truly spreading flower. This is the lotus pedestal that is the true form of things as they are, spontaneous wisdom. The lotus petals are the skillful means of great compassion and truly by this womb creates the body of the mandala of the great compassionate womb-store's remaining three layers. Hear that from this self- authenticating flow of merit emerges many good and virtuous friends that enter into the dharma-realm gate. There are very few of these mandalas. Adjust the sixteen fingers, great and infinite and now within this text is the mind of the marvelous white lotus. This therein is sentient beings original mind, the wonderful dharma pundarika's mind. Observe this mind lotus and contemplate this form. In the mind visualize that there is an eight petaled lotus, the shape of the lotus like that of the mundane lotus form. Observe only this arranged lotus and the eight petaled lotus, this is the mind and  mind abides in this lotus. These two minds at that time are unseparated, therefore above the lotus observe a moon disk. The moon disk is the mind and mind shape is truly like the moon disk shape. The moon disk shape is perfectly shaped, like a crystal pearl etc.. again the lotus seed syllable is the syllable and therefore within the moon disk observe the syllable. The shape of the syllable is as if the shape is permanently written, it can be turned in the four directions and permanently written arranged in one direction, not above or below this shape. All the Siddham letter's shape in the four directions (is the same). By means of the syllable it infers the meaning of the moon disk. Now this syllable and lotus flower is within the moon disk, if the lotus flower is arranged for visualization, or if the lotus flower and moon disk is visualized, or if the lotus syllable is contemplated, it may abide in the practitioners thoughts and the moon disk is about one hasta across and cannot be less than this measurement. Then attach to this grasping the visualization of the two forms. First an eight petaled lotus one hasta across. Like this one for the other the same characteristics apply. Separately visualize each, after that in front about one hasta visualize a lotus. Summon it to enter into your body, this is like the permanent entering the self. This is the self entering visualization. First in front of you visualize a lotus one hasta across, visualize and contemplate without turning back.
The sutra says to strive to practice for a year or month visualizing the lotus flower etc.. Close your eyes to where you can only see a little, visualize (the lotus etc..) in front of your body and bring it into yourself.
Question: This syllable and lotus flower are the substance of the ultimate truth of non-production clearly expressed and when creating this visualization, how do we meditate on this seed syllable's samaya form?
Reply: When contemplating phenomena do not consider to distinguish the reason, only the shape and form. According to the dharma separately visualize the arrangement and again I say, this syllable is mundane and written many places, therefore think of human beings impermanent nature, the great perverse place and this syllable is the substance of pure enlightenment, essentially the attainment of buddhahood within this very body, and grasping that sense of the syllable, finish the above meditation.
Next the width of the meditation, an Explication: If the practitioner sees all that follows as dependent arising, all is the dharma-body of Vairocana. At that time Buddha-lands are created in the ten directions. This is called the ultimate pure enlightenment. Now this explanation of thought, I reply that all dharmas are dependent arising. All are the illuminated dharma body of Vairocana. That therefore all dharmas do not emerge in form or mind, as two dharmas. Form and mind are two dharmas, they are the six great elements and the six great elements then are Vairocana's dharma body and at that time Buddha-lands are created in the ten directions. Since in spite of the fact that all dharmas are dependently arising they are the dharma body of Vairocana, therefore, in the ten directions pure lands and the six defiled destinies lack distinction. They are the same, all are the one palace of the dharma realm and while abiding in mental quiescence holding the visualization, then distractions may abide in the width of the meditation. The two meditation gates are very secret and walking, standing, sitting, lying down without laziness, make an effort to practice. You will quickly attain pure enlightenment and with the above finished, that is the secret meditation.
- This mudra is created by placing the hands right on left in your lap and joining the thumbs creating a triangular shape.
- This mudra is created by placing the hands at your chest palms together with all of your fingers intertwined at the first joints. Right thumb covering left and so on.
- The Five Great Vows: Living beings are innumerable; I vow to save them all. Merit and knowledge are innumerable; I vow to accumulate them all. The teachings of the Dharma are innumerable; I vow to master them all. The Tathagatas are innumerable; I vow to serve them all. Enlightenment is unsurpassed; I vow to attain it.
- Womb Five Word mantra: Om a-vi-ra-hum-kham. (100 times) (Om, non-arising, untainted, delightful, truthful, and cosmological one)
- This is the letter “A” in the Siddham alphabet. This Sanskrit script is only used in Buddhist context in China and Japan.
- Derived from the Greek chilioi thousand and kosmos world. Thousand worlds.
- The single body: Though externally differing, in nature the same; the fundamental unity of the universe.
- The Dharmakaya or reality body is the unmanifested aspect of Buddhas, which all phenomena arise and return in dissolution. In other words, “The ultimate nature or essence of the enlightened mind.” Represented by Mahavairocana.
- Five places: The forehead, both shoulders, the heart and throat.
- I believe this to mean the five buddhas which represent the five wisdoms.
- This seems to be referring to the letter “A” as the Ocean Seal Samadhi mantra.
- A charya tantra. The title in Sanskrit is Mahavairocanabhisambodhi tantra (sutra).
- Pronounced “hrta”
- Pundarika: Sanskrit for white lotus flower
- Pronounced “sita”
- One Hasta: Eighteen inches
- To clarify I believe he means to say that about 18 inches in front of you visualize the lotus etc.. to be about 18 inces in size. First separately visualize the components, then again visualize the lotus at that distance of the same size and bring it into your body.
而縁慮亡絶。月輪自性清淨故。能離貪慾垢。月輪清涼故。去瞋恚熱。月輪光明故。照愚癡闇。如 此三毒自然清淨離散。湛然自苦事無之。入此觀者。得安樂離世間苦惱。是名解脱。何況觀達。於 生死可自在。是爲即身成佛。始一肘量月輪分齊觀。後漸漸舒遍三千世界乃至法界宮。次所詮理 者。此阿字有空有不生三義。空者森羅萬法皆無自性。是全空也。然依因縁假諦現。萬法歴然有之。 譬如意珠湛七珍萬寶。而如隨縁降寶。
破玉見中一物無之。雖然隨縁生寶非無是以知。空有全一體也。是云常住。常住則不生不滅也。 是名阿字大空當體極理。然我等胸中此字觀。自然具足此三義。具此三義者。即大日法身也。入此 觀門行者。雖初心生死輪迴永絶。行住坐臥無離皆是阿字觀也。易行易修。而速疾頓悟也。若既坐 逹。必非半跏法界定印。行住坐臥。悉阿字事思。我等聲生起事。開口最初。胸中從阿生而當喉腭 舌齒脣。出此五處。金剛界五部諸佛説法聲。喉舌脣云時。胎藏三部也。如此知。徒事無之。惡口 兩舌妄語綺語。皆經五處三内出音。即大日如來海印三昧王眞言也。此理不知。皆成惡業墮惡趣 受諸苦。知與不知差別也。蓮華三昧經云。胸中兩部曼荼羅坐烈。各下轉神變。其中西方無量壽如 來。守説法談義徳。常恒説法。其音自我口出。成聲塵解脱利益也。然凡夫不知之我語思。被封我 物執情。恒沙萬徳無量密號。名字功徳法門氣聲。只徒成惡趣業因事誠可悲。是則自然道理陀羅 尼性海果分法門本不生極理也。如海攝百川。一切善根收此一字故。云海印三昧眞言也。依之一 度觀此字。八萬佛教同時勝讀誦功徳廣略祕觀御口云。眞言觀門雖多途。取要不過廣略二觀。先 略觀者。大日經第一云。祕密主云何菩提。謂如實知自心。此文對大日。金剛薩埵問。大日知自心 答給也。疏七云。若見本不生際者。即是如實知自心。如實知自心。即是一切智智。故經所説如實 知自心者。見本不生際也。見本不生際。爲一切智智。一切智智者。即大日也。故眞言教即身成佛 者。見本不生也。本不生際者。一切諸法從本以來。不生不滅本有常住也。煩惱本不生煩惱。
菩提本不生菩提也。如此知名一切智智。然我等生滅去來。當眼易知。不生不滅所不知也。如此諸 法本來不生不滅義。顯教盛談之故。此不生不滅名言。不密教不共談。然今密教規模者。所不及凡 夫見聞覺知。不生不滅體。直顯種子三摩耶形令見知之令修之。是顯教都所不知也。所言本不生 體者。種子阿字三摩耶形八葉蓮華。此八葉蓮華者。大日經所説心也。 心者。即是衆生 八分肉團也。同疏五云。内心妙白蓮者。此是衆生本心妙法芬陀利華祕密幖幟。華臺八葉圓滿均 等。如正開敷之形。此蓮華臺。是實相自然智慧。蓮華葉者。是大悲方便也。正以此藏爲大悲胎藏 曼荼羅之體。其餘三重。是從此自證功徳流出諸善知識入法界門耳。
本不生際實體顯事也。作此觀時。此種子三形義理觀之乎。口云。觀法時別不思惟義理。唯其形色。 如法歴然觀之計也。又云。此阿字世間多書置之故。人輕之常事樣思。是大僻按也。此阿字即淨菩 提心實體。即身成佛肝心者也。以上略觀畢次廣觀者。義釋云。若行者見一切從縁起法。皆是毘盧 遮那法界身。爾時十方通同爲一佛國。是名究竟淨菩提心文今此釋意。對一切縁起諸法。皆照毘盧 遮那法身。其故一 切諸法不出色心二法。色心二法。即是六大 也。