The True Nature of Bodhi


At that time, Śāriputra addressed the Buddha, saying, “Bhagavān, the beginning bodhisattvas are unable to understand Prajñāpāramitā as Mañjuśrī explains it.” Mañjuśrī said, “It is not only the beginning bodhisattvas who are unable to understand, but also those who are established in the Two Vehicles have not yet been able to understand it. When the Dharma is explained thusly, they are unable to understand it. Why? The appearance of Bodhi is truly without the existence of dharmas which may be known. It is without seeing and hearing, without grasping and without thought, without birth and without death, without speech and without listening. As such, the appearance of the nature of Bodhi is empty and silent, without realization and without knowledge, without form and without appearance, so how could there be the existence of one who attains Bodhi?” 

The Bodhi-mind is perfectly quiescent in its emptiness of dharmatic-thought. Anyone who stakes a claim on this realization is far and removed from Its Bodhi-field.

Śāriputra said to Mañjuśrī, “Hasn’t the Buddha realized Anuttarā Samyaksabodhi within the Dharma Realm?” Mañjuśrī said, “Neither is this the case, Śāriputra. Why? The Bhagavān is the Dharma Realm itself. If one has realization of the Dharma Realm within the Dharma Realm, then this is a contradiction. Śāriputra, the appearance of the Dharma Realm is itself Bodhi. Why? This is because in the Dharma Realm there is no appearance of sentient beings, as every dharma is empty. This is because the emptiness of dharmas is itself Bodhi, without duality and without division. Śāriputra, without discrimination there is no knower, and without a knower there are no words. Without words, there is neither existence nor non-existence, neither knowing nor not knowing. For all dharmas, it is also such as this. Why? All dharmas are not perceived in any place, and have no definitive nature.  

The Blessed Tathagata is the Dharmadhatu Itself; as such it is an absurdity to imagine that the Dharmadhatu needs to stake a claim on Itself. In the Dharmadhatu there is no appearance or non-appearance of sentient beings as emptiness usurps the throne of all discriminatory nominalizations. Such is the true nature of Bodhi.

“The appearance of terrible offenses is also inconceivable. Why? The true appearance of dharmas is unable to be destroyed, and as such the terrible offenses are also without fundamental nature, neither rising to the heavens above nor falling to the hells below, nor entering into Nirvāa. Why? All causes and conditions abide in reality, neither coming nor going, neither the cause nor the fruition. Why? This is because the Dharma Realm is limitless, without before and without after. For this reason, Śāriputra, a bhiku who observes a terrible offense does not fall to the hells, nor through pure practice does he enter Nirvāa. As such, the bhiku neither confesses nor does not confess, neither ending outflows nor not ending outflows. Why? This is because all dharmas abide in equality.”  

The Bodhi-field is neither created nor capable of being destroyed. It neither descends into the bottomless pit of incurable offenses, nor ascends to the highest plateau of nirvanic-staturehood. It is boundless actuosity where lipid confessions fall on deathless ears as all dharmatas within this imageless sphere conduct no lessons of non-equality.

Śāriputra said, “What is the Dharma Patience of Non-regression?” Mañjuśrī said, “Not perceiving even the slightest appearance of the dharmas of birth and death, is termed the Dharma Patience of Non-regression.” Śāriputra said, “Who is to be called an immovable bhiku?” Mañjuśrī said, “An arhat who has ended outflows is called immovable. Why? All fetters have been exhausted to the point of immovability, so he is called immovable. If one’s mind moves about in practice, then this is an ordinary person. Why? Ordinary sentient beings are not in accord with the Dharma Realm, so this is why they are called movable.” Śāriputra said, “Excellent, excellent! I now understand well what you mean by an arhat who has ended outflows.” Mañjuśrī said, “Thusly, thusly! Moreover, I am a true arhat who has ended outflows. Why? I have severed the śrāvaka desires and even the pratyekabuddha desires, and for this reason I am called one who has ended outflows and attained arhatship.” 

The immovable-Arhat is undeterred with the aggression of the movable-feast of the lesser-able entrapped in the lower-bhumis of re-becoming. This is also known as the Arhat who is embedded in the Unmoving Principle and as such is fine-tuned with focused-action in the Unborn without moving an inch in the phenomenal realms.

The Buddha spoke to Mañjuśrī, saying, “When a bodhisattva sits at a bodhimaṇḍa, does he awaken to Anuttarā Samyaksabodhi?”  Mañjuśrī said, “When a bodhisattva sits at a bodhimaṇḍa, there is no awakening to the realization of Anuttarā Samyaksabodhi. Why? The appearance of Bodhi is such that the absence of the slightest dharmas which may be grasped, is called Anuttarā Samyaksabodhi. Because Bodhi is without appearance, who is able to sit, and who is able to rise? For this reason, there is no perception of a bodhisattva sitting at a bodhimaṇḍa, nor of awakening to the realization of Anuttarā Samyaksabodhi.”  

Who is able to sit or rise from the Immovable-Throne of Bodhi?  At the slightest hint of grasping after passing perceptions the realization of Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi is forever postponed. Only THAT which is ungraspable dare take a seat on the bodhimaṇḍa of the Imageless Mind.

Mañjuśrī addressed the Buddha, saying, “Bhagavān, Bodhi itself is the Five Offenses, and the Five Offenses are themselves Bodhi. Why? Bodhi and the Five Offenses are without the characteristics of duality: without learning and without learner, without perception and without perceiver, without knowing and without one who knows, without discrimination and without one who discriminates. This is the characteristic which is called Bodhi, and perception of the characteristic of the Five Offenses is also such as this. Yet if one says that they perceive the existence of Bodhi, then this is grasping at realization, and it should be known that this is an arrogant person.” 

The Five Offenses: these are widely varied in different sutras and treatises: the Dhammapada lists them as: 1) killing one’s father, (2) killing one’s mother, (3) killing an arhat, (4) injuring a Buddha, and (5) causing disunity in the Buddhist Order. Or, harboring selfishness, doubt, unhealthy spiritualities, concupiscence, and rage; also desire for sensate form and for formlessness, pride, mental anxiety, and avidya.

Dining with Bodhi is the same as shitting with Bodhi in the shit-house. The Five Offenses are thus lined with Bodhi as well. No learner, no preceptor, no knowing and no non-knowing are characteristic of no duality. Yet if one just implies that they knowingly perceive the existence of Bodhi is an arrogant liar and a fraud.

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