Omniscient Gnosis

Bodhicitta is directly translated as Enlightened-Mind (or Enlightened Consciousness) but also as the Bodhisattva being ready for the next step and that is the “production of the Thought of Enlightenment.” Suzuki identifies it as being Bodhi itself, or as Lankavatarians like to refer to it as “Bodhipower”, or the very vivifying power of the Enlightened Unborn Mind. All of this is bracketed by Bodhicittapada—or the self-awakened and compassionate Mindseal of the Tathagatas, as such it is inconceivable and omniscient. The term for this omniscience is sarvajñajñāna:

sarva-jña-jñāna (Skt.). ‘All-knowing Awareness’. The all-encompassing awareness unique to a *Buddha. According to later *Mahāyāna exegesis, this comprises the Mirror-like Awareness (ādarśa-jnāna), Investigating Awareness (pratyavekṣaṇa- jñāna) and the Awareness that Accomplishes Activities (kṛty-anusthāna-jnāna) that arise in the instant after enlightenment (*bodhi) is attained. (Keown, Damien. A Dictionary of Buddhism (p. 254). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.)

[translation-san] {C} sarvajña-jñāna

[translation-eng] {Hopkins} omniscient exalted wisdom

[translation-eng] {C} cognition of the all-knowing

(Jeffrey Hopkins’ Tibetan-Sanskrit-English Dictionary)

As such, it is Omniscient Gnosis. It is stated that minus attaining this omniscient gnosis, one cannot act for the benefit of sentient beings. Once the adept self-realizes this Bodhipower within himself, he reflects that being born human is a very rare privilege indeed:

He should reflect that birth as a human being is a very rare privilege. He may be born as an animal, a preta or a denizen of purgatory many times, and there is no chance of becoming a bodhisattva in those existences. Even if he has escaped these three calamities, it is extremely difficult to find the five or six other favourable conditions that are indispensable for his initiation as a bodhisattva. He may be born as one of the long-lived devas, who cannot aspire to bodhi though they are very happy. He may be born among foreigners or in a barbarous country. He may be defective in his faculties and organs. He may be misled by false doctrines. And lastly, he may find himself on earth during a period when no Buddha has lived and taught, for the perfect Buddhas are very rare. He should consider himself fortunate in being free from these eight or nine difficulties and disqualifications, and, above all, in being born as a human being at all, for human life is a blessing that perhaps falls to one’s lot only once in billions years. He should never forget the famous simile of the blind turtle, which explains that the chance of being born as a human being is infinitesimally small. Buddha himself has spoken thus: “Suppose a man should throw into the ocean a yoke with a single aperture in it. It is blown west by an easterly wind or east by a westerly wind ; again it is carried north by a southern wind or south by a northerly wind. Now suppose there were a blind turtle in that ocean, and he came to the surface once in a hundred years. What think you, Monks? Would that blind turtle get his neck into that single aperture of the yoke? . . . Verily, that turtle would more quickly and easily perform that feat than a fool in his misery can be born as a human being once again.” (ibid, Har Dayal, pg. 59-60)

The above parable has been utilized elsewhere within the blogs:

Consider the following variation revolving around that same splendid apologue: it would be easier for this singular blind tortoise, arising from the subterranean depths of the human psyche once every 100 kalpas, to pass its aged head through a bobbling lifesaver-mint amidst the turbulent waves of samsara than for the icchantika (those who turn a deaf-ear to the Buddhadharma) to transcend these vast created realms of life and death and cross over to the other, uncreated shore of deathlessness. Such is the sorry state of purported Buddhism today.

When one “puts on the Bodhi-mind” it would be a very grave error if it were to ever be forsaken. Dorji Wangchuk in his wonderful and well researched work, The Resolve to Become a Buddha, A Study of the Bodhicitta Concept in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, points out the pitfalls of the loss of Bodhicitta:

There may be many other lists of the causes of bodhicitta being impaired or lost. In the following paragraphs I shall present those of which I am aware. In the Puṇyasamuccayasamādhisūtra, the Buddha tells the bodhisattva Nārāyana that there are four sets of four qualities that can cause one to forget bodhicitta:

O Nārāyana, a bodhisattva will forget [his] bodhicitta if [he is] possessed of four qualities. What are the four? They are: [1] great haughtiness (atimāna), [2] lack of respect for the Doctrine (dharma), [3] disrespectfulness or contemptuousness (adhiksepa) for [one’s] spiritual companion (kalyāṇamitra), [4] mendacity (mithyāvāc). 0 Nārāyana, if a bodhisattva is possessed of these four qualities, [he] will forget [his] bodhicitta.

O Nārāyana, a bodhisattva will forget [his] bodhicitta if [he is] possessed of four qualities. What are the four? They are: [1] acquainting himself with practitioners (yogācārin) who are the followers of the Sravakayana and  Pratyekabuddhayana, [2] [acquainting himself with] those who are [intellectually and emotionally] disposed (adhimukta) to Hlnayana, [3] being hostile to bodhisattvas and disparaging [them], and [4] being a teacher who is unforthcoming with the Doctrine. O Nārāyana if a bodhisattva is possessed of these four qualities, [he] will forget [his] bodhicitta.

O Nārāyana, if a bodhisattva would further forget [his) bodhicitta if [he is) possessed of four qualities. What are the four? They are: [1) being deceitful, [2) associating with (lit. ‘relying upon’) sentient beings for perfidious purposes, [3)  being double-tongued to [one’s) spiritual companions, and [4] being greatly attached to material gain and a good reputation. O Nārāyana, if a bodhisattva is possessed of these four qualities, [he] will forget [his] bodhicitta.

O Nārāyana, if a bodhisattva will forget [his] bodhicitta if [he is) possessed of four qualities. What are the four? They are: [i] not recognizing the deeds of Mara, [2] being obscured by karmic obscurations, [3] having weak altruistic inclinations (adhyāśaya), and [4] lack of discriminating insight (prajñā) and [efficiency in applying) strategic means (upāya). O Nārāyana, if a bodhisattva is possessed of these four qualities, [he] will forget [his) bodhicitta. (Dorji Wangchuk, pgs.338-339)

We can add further rebukes such as neglecting to study and edify oneself in the Buddhadharma and diligently practicing Dhyana; becoming increasingly prideful in one’s mind thinking that this omniscient gnosis comes exclusively from oneself alone (without the inspiration from higher spiritual agencies.) Dorji Wangchuk’s work was further explored earlier this year and already covered what needed to be examined in this series. The Buddha Types; Dharmata jumpstarts Bodhicitta; Is a Bodhisattva Dependent Upon sentient beings; and A Typology of Bodhicitta. Those blogs have now been included in the category for this series. You are encouraged to study these blogs as well since the Bodhicitta series would be incomplete without them.

Hopefully the reader has discerned through this series that Bodhicitta connotes something more—yea infinitely more—than just a contemporary notion of what constitutes compassion. It is partaking in the invincible spiritual-juice of the Tathagatas themselves; the spiritual sojourn is now unalterably refined. Bodhicitta is the very elixir of Nirvana. And they all shined-on in the afterglow of the Dharmakaya.     

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