The Long and Winding Road

As the Lanka winds-down, we are left with some very constructive impressions. Red Pine masterfully translates the great malady that affects all sentient beings—the diurnal wheel of samsara and its accompanying dependent origination:

“Fools let their thoughts wander among the names and appearances of convention to which they are attached. And as they wander among the multitude of shapes that appear, they fall prey to views and longings concerning a self and what belongs to a self, and they become attached to excelling. And once they are attached, they are blinded by ignorance and give rise to passion. And once they are inflamed, the karma produced by desire, anger, and delusion accumulates. And as it accumulates, they become enveloped in their own projections, like silkworms in cocoons, or submerged in boundless states of existence in the sea of birth and death, as if they were on a waterwheel. But because of their ignorance, they do not realize that their own existence is an illusion, a mirage, a reflection of moon in the water, and without a self or what belongs to a self, that is devoid of the origination, duration, or cessation of what characterizes or what is characterized, and that rises from the projections of their own mind and not from a creator, time, motes of dust, or a supreme being. Thus do they wander among names and appearances.” (Red Pine, pg. 245)

Nothing exceeds the Lanka in this assessment of what characterizes apparent life in the saha-realm—what a concise summation of the relentless ignorant wandering, confined to the prison of one’s own mind projections, yearning and even worshipping the animations rather than turning-about and Recollecting That which animates. In contrast, the sweetness of the bodhichild avoids “dualistic views of assertion or denial because [It] knows that names and appearances do not arise. This is what is meant by ‘suchness’. (Red Pine, pg. 245) Even the gods are awestruck as they witness this unsurpassed transformative bodhipower. The seeds of samsara no longer take root, and even all former belief-systems are mere child’s play when seen through Unborn Eyes That reflect no time-bound reality, but the unbounded bodhirealm of suchness. This self-realization of Noble Wisdom defies any comparison, “Mahamati, those who establish their own understanding [the self-realization] are beyond worldly expectations, and ordinary people find it hard to believe them, for there is nothing to which the realm of personal realization of buddha knowledge can be compared. Tathagatas are truly beyond the characteristics perceived by the mind, the will, or conceptual consciousness. They are beyond comparison.” (Red Pine, pg. 249) Truly the Way of the Lankavatarian is not a popular one—it will never win a popularity contest and it never desires to do so as it is “beyond worldly expectations”; it has broken all former ties to samsara and has severed the strings of the puppetmaster. (i.e, mind, will, conceptual consciousness.)

It’s all a Magical Mystery Tour after all, where “nothing is real, nothing to get hungabout”, just Strawberry Fields forever in the karmadhatu of the vijnanas. What is Real, is the dharmadathu, where the Real looks at the Real and no-thing else. (Suchness) In true Bodhisattvic spirit, the Lankavatarian practices the six transcendent paramitas of wisdom:

“Not letting their mind become attached to material appearances, they engage in the transcendent practice of the paramita of charity for the happiness of all beings. Not giving rise to the restrictions regarding the projection of objective conditions, this is the paramita of morality. Not giving rise to the projection of patience while knowing what grasps and what is grasped, this is the paramita of forbearance. Not giving rise to the projection of practice while practicing with zeal during the three periods of the night, this is the paramita of vigor. Not becoming attached to the nirvana of the shravakas when projections cease, this is the paramita of meditation. And examining the nonexistence of the projections of one’s mind with insight without falling into dualities, and transforming one’s karmic body into an indestructible one, and reaching the realm of the personal realization of Buddha knowledge, this is the paramita of wisdom.” (Red Pine, pg. 257) Not being attached or unattached is key here. All former karmic afflictions and attachments and associations are forever silenced as the undivided power of Bodhi fills one with peaceful quietude. Even the concluding segment on vegetarianism is a reminder of just how compassionate this Lankaian stance is, “Because of my past acts of great compassion, I look on all beings as I would a child. And why would I approve eating the flesh of children?” (Red Pine, pg. 265)

The long and winding road of the Lanka leads to the imageless door of the Tathagatas which opens to the other shore of deathlessness. On your own journey to the Undiscovered Shore of the Unborn, through untold hours of disciplined dhyana and faithful study of this Sutra, may this auspicious gift awaken you to Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi.

Let us conclude with the Lankavatara Dharani Blessing…may it truly lead to liberation from all Maras:

Tutte, tutte—vutte, vutte—patte, patte—katte, katte—amale, amale—vimale, vimale—nime, nime—hime, hime—vame, vame—kale, kale, kale, kale—atte, matte—vatte, tutte—jnette, sputte—katte, katte—latte, patte—dime dime—cale, cale—pace, pace—badhe, bandhe—ance, mance—dutare, dutare—patare, patare—arkke, arkke—sarkke, sarkke—cakre, cakre—dime, dime—hime, hime—tu tu tu tu –du du du du –ru ru ru ru–phu phu phu phu–svaha.

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