Cosmic Bodhifield

 

Ten: Cosmic Bodhifield

The Buddha asked Subhuti, “In ancient times when the Tathagata practiced under Buddha Dipankara, did he attain any Dharma?”

Subhuti answered, “No, World-Honored One. In ancient times when the Tathagata was practicing under Buddha Dipankara, he did not attain any Dharma.”

“What do you think, Subhuti? Does a bodhisattva create a serene and beautiful Buddha field?”

“No, World-Honored One. Why? To create a serene and beautiful Buddha- field is not in fact creating a serene and beautiful Buddha-field. That is why it is called creating a serene and beautiful Buddha-field.”

The Buddha said, “So, Subhuti, all the bodhisattva mahasattvas should give rise to a pure and clear intention in this spirit. When they give rise to this intention, they should not rely on forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile objects, or objects of mind. They should give rise to an intention with their minds not dwelling anywhere.”

when the Tathagata practiced under Buddha Dipankara: perhaps the best reinforcement as to the reality of reincarnation concerns Buddha Shakyamuni himself. It is said that Dipankara lived an “immeasurably long time ago”. It was in his presence that a young monk, named Sumedha, vowed to one day become a great Buddha; this novice monk was non-other than Shakaymuni himself in a different incarnation. Through his remarkable siddhis, Dipankara discerned that after innumerable ages had past, Sumedha would become Buddha Gautama. (Paraphrased from Ma Soeng, pg. 103)

To create a serene and beautiful Buddha-field is not in fact creating a serene and beautiful Buddha-field: in our study of the Vimalakirti Sutra we discerned that a Buddha-field is a Pure Mind-Realm; it is an immeasurable field of Tathatic influence encompassing Bodhi-Mind development. As Subhuti states, it is not a creation per-se, with no existing conditions; rather it is condition-less, a Supra-Realm that is generated via Bodhicitta. Firstly, generating Bodhicitta is a clear indication that one is well on the way to full Bodhisattvahood. This is a cosmic enterprise that constitutes a Pure Bodhifield that is a composite within the larger Buddha-field. Ma Soeng expounds upon this further:

“In the Ratnakuta Sutra, perhaps the earliest document recording the training of a bodhisattva, the journey of all celestial Buddhas and bodhisattvas is said to begin with the arousing of bodhicitta.  In Mahayana, bodhicitta is used both in the sense of determination to become a Buddha as well as the actual state of awareness of a Buddha. Bodhicitta is one of the key concepts in later Mahayana and is often equated with buddhahood as well as tathagatagarbha. Implicit in this understanding is the notion that each “bit” of bodhicitta contains, in a way, all of buddhahood, as in a hologram.” (Ma Soeng, pg. 106)

So, Subhuti, all the bodhisattva mahasattvas should give rise to a pure and clear intention in this spirit: So, in a sense, the full gist of Bodhicitta encompasses like a hologram all Buddhas and their Buddha-fields. In terms of Quantum Reality, Bodhisattvas through Bodhicitta are empowered to influence all areas of energies and information (encompassing the entire Bodhifield) via “attentive-intention”, thus altering the Quantum-field. As Ma Soeng states:

“To put in another way, the [Amala—inclusion mine] consciousness of the Tathagatas covers the entire quantum (cosmic) field and is capable of influencing any and all parts of it through intention and attention. A celestial bodhisattva is an em [bodhi—inclusion mine] ment of the same field of awareness and establishes the intention to guide all beings caught up in samsara.” (Ma Soeng, pg. 108)

They should give rise to an intention with their minds not dwelling anywhere: this is the renowned verse that awakened Huineng.

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