Abandon all hope Ye who enter here

Chapter three of the Lanka kicks-off with the three-fold nature of the “projection body”, or manomayakaya. “There are three kinds of projection bodies. And what are these three kinds? They are the projection body that experiences the bliss of samadhi, the projection body that realizes the essential nature of the dharmas, and the projection body that whose natural state is motionless.” (Red Pine, pg 167) The first is present when the waves of the vijnana are brought to rest, making FULL STOP to discriminatory phenomena; Mind is at rest in IT’s true Unborn Nature and one’s former samsaric will takes a back-seat as the Super-essential Will of the Unborn Mind rises and takes full precedence. The second is present when the yogin, or adept, enters the eighth stage of recollecting liberation, or Right Concentration: here the realization dawns that although “empty” of all phenomena, the Super-essential Self (Unborn Mind), has the creative power to animate all the varied-realms of dharmatic reality. The third is present when the Yogin, or adept, has a thoroughgoing grasp of the exact “nature” of the “Unmoving Principle” behind the manomayakaya–it is suprapositional and always utterly dynamic, but indeed “motionless” which is the antithesis to the “moving principle” that is mired in all the obstructions of phenomena. In this fashion, the ultimate teachings of all the Buddhas are brought to bear in the bliss of this Noble self-realization, expediently rising to the fore for the benefit of all sentient beings. The concluding gathas (verses) drive home a keen awareness that these Mahayanic teachings, which in themselves are reflections of the Total Unborn Mind Realm, or dharmadhatu—is not represented through any sound, form, projection (image), nor EVEN the “realm of imagelessness”!!! (Suzuki) On the other hand, it is a teaching vehicle through which the Creativeness of the Unborn Will expediently musters activities that are born out of deep Samadhis for the sake of sentient beings.

Red Pine brilliantly makes mention of the nuance concerning “the five immediacies” (or Five Deadly Sins) “Gunabhadra alone has people committing the five avici deeds and not falling into Avici Hell. All other translators (including Suzuki) and the Sanskrit have the expected: “Those who commit the five avici deeds fall into Avici Hell. The Buddhas explanation, however, clearly supports Gunabhadra.” (Red Pine, pg 168) Red Pine is right on the mark because the Lanka turns these traditional Buddhist evil deeds upside down and gives an inverse interpretation:
1.The mother of all beings: Any regenerative and procreative desire (trishna) with its accompanying greedy pleasures is said to be like a nursing mother.
2.The father of ignorance: The seeds of ignorance (avidya) incurs “rebirth” into the six villages (the six senses) of the sense world. [when the “roots” (motherhood and fatherhood) of these two are cut-off it is called the slaying of mother and father]
3.When the passions, like anger, ect.,–those nasty habitual vexations that gnaw at one like a ravenous rat—are exterminated, then this is said to be the murder of the Arhat.
4.The Breaking-up of the Brotherhood: The slaying of the five Skandhas.
5. Making the Buddha bleed with an evil motive: Essentially, when the eight Vijnanas are given full-sway with their discriminatory power of individuality and generality—called by the Lanka the “faulty mentality of the Vijnana Buddha” which is made to “bleed”.

Very interesting how the Lanka plays with language here…for the inverse signification of such noble terms as mother, father, Arhat, Brotherhood, even Buddha is used to “wake the adept up” and not place such total allegiance on such terms, terminology that can actually hinder one from reaching Tathagatahood. This is similar to what Jesus once said about “turning one’s back on one’s father and mother” if one wants to reach the Kingdom of God.

The conclusion of this section more or less indicates that one will surely “fall into Avici Hell”, Red Pine translates Avici as “unrelenting”, if one does not come to the self-realization that external phenomena is nothing but perceptions (projections) of one’s own mind: “However, those who keep committing avici deeds cannot avoid what is unrelenting. Only if they become aware that these are nothing but the perceptions of their own mind, and they abandon projections of a body and what belongs to a body and attachments to a self and what belongs to a self, or they eventually meet a good friend, can escape their projections of continuity in another existence.” (Red Pine, pg 171) I like Red Pine’s translation except, “attachments to a self and what belongs to a self”—Suzuki translates self as, “the notion of an ego and its belongings”, thereby avoiding falling into the trap and heresy of anātmanism. As the Lanka drives home again and again, “what the mind focuses on determines its reality”, so it can easily create its own self-made hell if it owes any semblance of allegiance to the unrelenting “moving principle”. In this sense, Dante’s words ring true: “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” The one safeguard in all this is to remain faithful to the truth (paramartha) and to keep one’s mind fixed, not on passing phenomena, but on the ever present “Dharma Realm”, the dharmadhatu—the True, Unmoving Body of Reality.

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