Gopa, Maya, and the City of Mind



Gopa was the wife of Siddhartha Buddha and her name is indicative of a “sense of watching over, or protecting.” She says to Sudhana that she has “attained an enlightening liberation whose sphere is observation of the ocean of concentrations of all enlightening beings.” She also lets him know that the practice of Bodhi-Beings depends on the following:

“There are ten things by which enlightening beings fulfill this kind of
enlightening practice, the light of total knowledge, like the cosmic net of
interrelation of all things. What are the ten? Association with superior spiritual friends; attainment of enormous devotion; purity of lofty good will; a state of mind founded on oceanic virtue and knowledge; listening to the
great teaching of buddhas; associating with thought devoted to the buddhas
of past, present, and future; equally following the practices of all enlightening
beings; gaining the empowerment of all buddhas; purity of intent, greatly compassionate in nature; attainment of the basic power of mind to stop all vicious circles. Having attained these ten things, enlightening beings fulfill this kind of enlightening practice, like the cosmic net of interrelation of all things, radiating total knowledge.
“Then enlightening beings with unrelenting vigor, having attained these
things, developing and expanding them by putting them into practice in
endless ways, propitiate spiritual benefactors in ten ways: by indifference to
themselves, by not seeking worldly goods, by realizing the equality of
essence of all things, by not turning back from the commitment to omniscience, by observing all the principles of the cosmos, by being mentally free of all existents, by independence in the space of truth where there is nothing to depend on, by freedom from obstruction in the undertaking of all
enlightening beings, by entering all lands, by perfect clarification and purification of the unobstructed sphere of knowledge of enlightening beings.”

Gopa also highly praises “Lady Maya” as holy mother of the Blessed Buddha:

She is the progenitrix of the enlightening being Vairocana, established
in unobstructed liberation of universal light, direct witness to the
appearance of the countless multitude of all buddhas, who knows the manner
of manifestation of birth of all enlightening beings.

We see that she is Holy Mother to many such Blessed Buddhas. As Maya is the progenitrix of Buddhas so is Gopa a Holy Wife to Buddha in many consecutive eons. Throughout this series we see that the Shining Ones have placed a high premium on the importance and supreme stature of women and their profound gnosis of the Buddhadharma; here we see them portrayed with the highest esteem.



Before encountering the holy mother, Sudhana is address by a “city goddess named Jewel Eyes.” Here she exhorts Sudhana (and all authentic Mind Adepts) to guard the Blessed Citadel of Mind:

“You should guard the city of mind, by not dwelling on enjoyment of mundane objects. You should adorn the city of mind, by concentrating on the ten powers of the enlightened. You should clean the city of mind, by getting rid of jealousy, envy, and guile. You should extinguish the burning of the city of mind, by meditating on all truths. You should expand the city of mind, by increasing the flow of great energy in preparing for omniscience. You should protect the dwellings, storehouses, and facilities of the city of mind, by command of the vast spiritual palace of all concentrations, attainments, meditations, and liberations. You should illumine the city of mind, by absorbing universal transcendent wisdom in the assemblies gathered around all buddhas. You should make the city of mind firm, by putting the paths of means produced by all buddhas into the city of your own mind. You should build strong walls about the city of mind, by purification of mind in carrying out the vow of practice of universal good. You should make the city of mind invincible and impregnable, by being invulnerable to all afflictions and bad influences. You should light up the city of mind, by illumining all beings with the knowledge of the enlightened.
You should irrigate the city of mind, by receiving the clouds of teaching of all buddhas. You should firmly brace the city of mind, by absorbing into your own mind the oceans of virtues of all buddhas. You should broaden the city of mind, by suffusing all beings with great love. You should provide shelter, by producing the shield of all good ways in the vast canopy of the Teaching. You should water the city of mind, by feeling great compassion for all beings. You should open the doors of the city of mind, by giving of yourself and giving goods to all beings. You should purify the city of mind, by turning away from passion for ephemeral things. You should make the city of mind steadfast and strong, by excluding all unhealthy elements from your body-mind continuum. You should energize the city of mind, by maintaining the energy to produce the provisions for omniscience.
You should illuminate the city of mind, by the illumination of recollection of the spheres of the buddhas of past, present, and future. You should know how to stock the city of mind, by examination, learning, and higher knowledge of the various doors of truth in the scriptures of the cycles of teaching of all buddhas. You should know how to govern the city of mind, by showing all beings the path of entries into omniscience in various ways. You should know how to support the city of mind, by perfection of accomplishment of the vows of all buddhas of past, present, and future. You should know how to increase the power to provide for the city of mind, by increasing the great stores of virtue and knowledge from all realms of truth. You should know how to emanate light throughout the entire city of mind, by higher knowledge of the science of stripping away defilements from the minds, senses, and interests of all sentient beings. You should know how to control the city of mind, by embracing all the principles of the realm of reality. You should make the city of mind light, by the light of mindfulness of all Buddhas. You should know the essence of the city of mind, by penetrating the principle of nonsubstantiality of all things. You should observe the illusoriness of the city of mind, by going to the spiritual city of omniscience.”

Yea, the Citadel of Mind is an Invincible Fortress; yet all of these wondrous attributes are but mere “illusoriness” in light of the “spiritual city of omniscience.” THAT Spiritual City is the very Blessed Sanctum Santorum of the Unborn Mind wherein all sense of “otherness” is wholly eradicated in the impregnable and Deathless Face of imagelessness.

Another supernatural being, Fine Eye, the “doorkeeper of the hall of assembly of enlightening beings” instructs Sudhana to view all-dharmata of the mind as dreams or passing fancies:

The supernatural being said, “One may go into the presence of spiritual
friends by an attitude of universal respect, by mental focus on remembering
spiritual friends in all things, by concentration speeding everywhere by
dreamlike speed of mind, by realizing mind and body as like reflections.”

This supernatural being is described as “goblin-like” in nature, or a demon-guardian of the door that leads into Maya’s “chamber containing the cosmos”. Sudhana, spiritually practicing all that the goblin foretold him, was then escorted into the presence of Maya’s glorious throne.

It was also arrayed with rows of jewels which reflected the manifestations of buddhas and the succession of births of all buddhas of past, present, and future, rows of radiant jewels showing the lights of the activities in all buddha-lands throughout space and the effecting of all miracles, emanating the auras of light of all buddhas, emanating apparitions like the chiefs of all worlds making offerings to buddhas, and jewels filling the cosmos in every moment with the mystic projections of the universally good enlightening being. Every object on the throne of inconceivable qualities emanated celestial eulogies of the enlightened. The throne was also surrounded by an inconceivable number of seats arrayed with jewels.
Sudhana saw Lady Maya sitting on that throne, her physical form transcending all in the triple world, having gone beyond all states of being; facing all beings, appearing according to their mentalities; unstained by any world, being made of myriad virtues; in the likeness of all beings, appearing in such a way as to please all beings; adapted to develop and guide all beings, descending into the presence of all beings; appearing continuously to beings at all times like the sky, appearing to all beings to be permanent; not going anywhere, not passing away from all worlds, not coming anywhere, not coming into existence in any world; unoriginated, absorbed in the equanimity of nonorigination; unextinguished, involved in the affairs of all worlds; not real, having attained suchness; not false, appearing in accord with the world; not in motion, being divorced from death and birth; not annihilated, because of the nonannihilation of the nature of reality; undefinable, being beyond any manner of speaking; uniform, her auspicious characteristics issuing from indefinability…

These “auspicious characteristics issuing from indefinability” are most propitious and revealing since Maya proclaims that she has the enlightening liberation of a ‘magical manifestation of knowledge of great vows.’

Imbued with this liberation, I am the mother of all the enlightening beings in their final existence in all the worlds in this world-ocean where Vairocana Buddha’s miraculous manifestation of birth as an enlightening being in the final existence takes place. All those enlightening beings grow in my belly and come forth from my right side. So here too in this great city of Kapilavastu, as wife of the king Sbuddhodana, I became the mother of the enlightening being Siddhartha, by the great inconceivable miracle of the birth of an enlightening being.

Being the Auspicious-Mother of all Buddhas, where all “those enlightening beings grow in my belly and come forth from my right side”, it leaves one to wonder that she is, in essence, a truly “Magical Being”. She highly avows “Right-Magic”, wherein from her “right side” supernal and magical power produces “Magical Liberation”; hence Maya is THE liberating mother. Maya—the womb through which all Buddhas enter into the field of illusion in order to liberate sentient beings. Mention of various forms of “Magical Liberation” occurs throughout the Gandavyūha-sūtra. Yea, remember a previous passage, “this liberation is unborn, because its practice is like magic.”

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