Sans Skandhas, Part 2



In the Sutra, Ānanda continues to equate Mind’s essence with transient discrepancies. The Tathagata even jokingly says at one point, “Now where is it???” Ānanda actually goes through “seven locations” wherein Mind can be positioned until he reaches the logical end of assuming that Mind is equivalent of total “non-attachment” to anything in the created order of existence; the Tathagata here as well, shatters his last assumption, indicating that in itself, non-attachment is equivalent to being separate from some-thing that apparently exists within the scope of the skandhic hemisphere, and hence has some kind of solid location. All in all, any form of temporal “location” is skandhic-dependent. The Pure Dharma-Mind is not dependent upon any temporal and environmental “dharmas”, but rather radiates from the imageless plane of the Dharmatā—or the deathless and Luminous Realm of the Dharmakaya.  Ānanda was relying exclusively upon the Skandhic-Mind, thus being sequestered in the dark forest of illusions and isolating himself from the unsoiled Realization of the Nirvanic Mind.

Deluded mental activity is a constant when the five aggregates (skandhas) are permitted to wreck havoc in the storehouse of Noble Wisdom, or the Bodhi-Matrix of the Tathagata-garbha; this occurs when the Alaya-receptacle penetrates the Bodhi-nursery and usurps the throne of the Tathagata. This can be likened unto a Buddhist parable by stating when the Tathagata is the Emperor, the Nirvanic Kingdom is harmonious and steadfast; when, though, the skandhas usurp the throne, the kingdom descends into suffering (dukkha), misery and chaos. The actual act of “usurping” is not far off the mark, as each of the skandhas is attended by Ten-Demonic States of Mind. The Surangama Sutra empathically warns that if one has not been properly prepared (purified) during the four levels of dhyāna, then even the slightest negative thought can make one vulnerable to a demonic state. The Four Levels of Dhyāna are marvelously broken down by Tozen in his blog:

If one has not procured the safeguards administered by deep-samadhis, then chances are that one has already allowed their dharma-throne to be usurped by the evil one. Regaining the upper-hand is no slight endeavor, as the Surangama Sutra teaches that the activities of the Skandha-induced mind do not end all at once, but rather need to be ended in appropriate sequence—skandha by skandha. This De-Aggregation, as it were, will commence in that proper sequence via the forthcoming blogs.

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