The Most Noble Bodhisattva Mañjuśrī forthwith arose from his seat in the sacred assembly, bowed and then prostrated himself at the feet of the Tathagata and then circumambulated about him three times to the right. He then knelt down and with hands clasped in a manner depicting sublime devotion, invoked the Blessed One.
“O Most Highly Honored-One of unbounded Compassion! For the sake of this most august assembly, I humbly beseech thee to expound upon your profound teaching concerning the dharma-training of the Tathagata’s primordially arisen Mind-ground. I also humbly ask how Bodhisattvas can receive the Bodhimind of the Supreme Vehicle thus becoming immune from the effects of all diseases perpetrated by the evil one. This I ask so that future generations of sentient beings may not fall victim to misguided views originating from the degenerate-mind of Mara.” After invoking his pleas in three-fold fashion, he then once again prostrated himself on the ground before the feet of the Blessed One.
Presently, the World-Honored One addressed the Bodhisattva Mañjuśrī: “Most outstanding, most outstanding indeed! Noble One, for the sake of the assembly you have masterfully queried about the Tathagata’s primordially arisen Mind-ground. Also, for the benefit of all sentient beings in this dharma-ending age who aspire to the Great Vehicle, you inquired how they can procure Right Endurance and not fall victim to the nefarious whisperings of the evil one. Listen-well, as I shall now reveal it all before you.”
Upon hearing the soothing voice of the Sugata, Bodhisattva Mañjuśrī overflowed with ecstatic-joy and became silently attentive along with the rest of the assembly.
“Virtuous ones, the incomparable Dharma-Lord preserves the marvelous dhāraṇī-admission. It is named ‘Primordial Enlightenment’. From Its unassailable gnosis issues forth Pure-Suchness, bodhipower, nirvanic-wonderment and the paramitas that well-inform all bodhisattvas. The Tathagatas own Mind-ground is reliant upon the issuance of this Perfect Illumination that eradicates all ignorance, thus realizing the Way of all Buddhas.”
“What is avidya? Virtuous ones, since time-immemorial sentient beings are afflicted with all manner of self-delusions and thus are in league with bewildered worldlings. Mistakenly they confuse the four primordial elements as part and parcel of their own withering carcass, and unwittingly confuse the six organs as being constitutive of their own mind. This can be likened unto one who is moonstruck or who envisions flowers appearing in the sky. In actuality, the sky is empty of flowers since they are psychedelic visions of the disease-addicted mind. Unaware of the true-nature of flowers, they instead cling to false and clouded visions and are thus perpetually attached to the spinning-wheel of samsara. Since they are in endless transmigration they are the blinded children of ignorance.”
“Virtuous ones, avidya is lacking in substance. It is like one who is submerged in a dream. Perceiving the dream-world to be real, the dream is shattered upon waking from sleep. In the same fashion when those illusory flowers disappear from the sky of mind, one cannot behold a real and distinct point of their dispersal. And why? Because there is no fixed-point of origin from which they apparently arose. The worldlings falsely perceive arising and cessating in the midst of THAT which is unarisen. Hence, in delusion they perceive birth and death in their disease-ridden mind of transmigration.”
“Virtuous ones, those who practice Primordial Enlightenment in the Mind-ground of the Tathagatas soon realize that transmigration on the diurnal wheel of samsara is like those illusory flowers. They now discern that there is no apparent life and death nor sky of mind that is afflicted as such. The astute awareness of their non-existence is likened unto empty-space. Yet there is no caretaker of this empty-resolve, just luminous emptiness that is beyond existence and non-existence. This is in full acquiescence with Unadulterated Enlightenment.”
“And why? Because Its Nature is one with the Unborn and thus unmoving. Similarly, there is neither arising nor cessating in the matrix of the Tathagatagarbha. Thus, there are no fixed-viewpoints. As such It can be likened unto the Dharmadhātu—unhindered by the composed and freely pervading in all ten-directions. Such is the Dharma-training of the Tathagata’s Mind-ground. Hence, in such superlative fashion the Bodhisattvas within the Great Vehicle give rise to pure Bodhi-mind. Likewise if sentient beings within this dharma-ending age practice accordingly, they will forever be freed from erroneous viewpoints.
In order to reinforce this Mind-teaching, the World-Honored One spoke thus in verse:
Mañjuśrī, you should discern
that all Tathagatas,
from their Primordially-arising Mind-ground,
utilize Buddhagnosis to enlighten,
and breach avidya.
Out of the realization that avidya is like
a flowery sky of mind,
they thus transcend all transmigration.
It is like the one awakening from the dream-realm,
with nothing real to grasp.
True Awareness is like empty-space,
all-pervading and equally unmoving.
As Pure-Enlightenment encompasses the ten-directions,
the Way of the Unborn Buddha Mind is realized.
The illusory mind clings to no-thing whatsoever,
thus nothing is attained in the Unborn
since Its intrinsic-nature is already self-complete.
In IT, Bodhisattvas engage in the Bodhi-mind,
pointing the way for sentient beings
to disengage from their erroneous views
in the degenerate Dharma-ending age.
For a very good overview of Mañjuśrī read Mañjuśrī Teaches Prajñāpāramitā. As is his custom, Mañjuśrī in this sutra reflects what the best of the “Wisdom-Store” has to offer, enquiring from the Dharma-Lord the unsurpassed method of acquiring the Bodhimind, thus escaping and transcending the snares of the evil one. The Blessed One then reveals the admission-ticket to surpassing the field of samsara: the dhāraṇī of Primordial Enlightenment.
dhāraṇī: in this sense a mnemonic device of bringing before one’s Mind’s-Eye the perfect Dharma-equation of proper-entrance into the Enlightenment of the Primordials—the code that unlocks the gnosis of conquering and rising above the samsaric-matrix via sharing in the very Mind-ground of the Tathagatas.
From this unassailable Buddha-gnosis, perfect-suchness is won and is cultivated by mastering the six paramitas. Once mastered the Dharma-Eye is activated empowering one to discern the diurnal activity of avidya that is present in all the six-realms of impermanence. Blinded by this nefarious agent of Mara, worldlings behold all of existence as in a dream—mistaking the dream world for the primordial-Mind-realm of the Dharmadhātu.
The worldlings cling to the clouded perception of all dharmata arising and cessating, in turn becoming incarcerated in the steel-trap of transmigration for endless kalpas. Whereas those who practice Primordial Enlightenment in the Mind-ground of the Tathagatas drop the withering petals of phenomena on the fabricated-ground of their delusions and banish the caretaker of these false constructions in favor of the True Dharma-realm of the Unborn Buddha Mind.
Motionless, there is thus no arising nor cessating in the matrix of the Tathagatagarbha. Unhindered and Unbound the resilient ones put on the Bodhi-mind and become strangers no more to their primordial abode in the Unborn. Training in such fashion, sentient beings rise above all their erroneous zones.