Coming in March: The Śūrańgama Sūtra


In this super-sonic speed samsaric whirlpool we find ourselves in these days, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the Tsunami-wave of it all and lose track of one’s essential centeredness in the Buddhadharma. The Śūrańgama Sūtra is an indispensible Mind-tool that empowers both the seasoned student and, even more so, the inexperienced adapt to never lose sight of one’s spiritual foundation in the Mahayana. It is not some kind of a limited and sectarian vehicle, but rather intrinsically the seed-bed from which diverse schools like the Yogācāra and Esoteric-Vajarānā, C’han and Zen, Mādhyamaka and in particular—the Tathagata-garbha school of Zen—all find common doctrinal themes and special accentuation on cultivating one’s meditational practices with a specific impetus on Samādhi. One could say that the Śūrańgama Sūtra is a catechism for the Buddhadharma; in this sense, its foundational underpinning is a must for the serious student. Also, the Śūrańgama Mantra contained therein can prove to be a stabilizing and protective source for one’s spiritual-life. As the Fifty Demonic States of Mind will reveal later on, there is much destabilizing and even outright destructive forces (even at infinitesimal levels) at work unbeknownst most of the time, yes forces that seek to disrupt and even destroy one’s advancement along the way of the Mahayana.

As we shall discover in the opening chapter, Ānanda was in danger of losing more than his celibacy when bewitched by an evil spell, but his very spiritual position in the Buddhadharma; all due to his lack of proper spiritual cultivation and Vigilance in the Recollective Resolve—one that would have given him sufficient samādhi to ward off the advances of the seductive courtesan. This is really a revelation of a deeper spiritual realization—that if Ānanda, the Buddha’s own cousin and closest confidant could fall victim to evil subterfuge when faltering in Vigilant-Repose and being uncultivated to the True Inner-Workings of Pure Mind, how totally more-so could we all…

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