Tag Archives: Penance

A Phantasmagoric Voyage

3. The Disciples’ Reluctance to Visit Vimalakirti, cont’d

The Buddha then said to the venerable Mahakatyayana, “Katyayana, go to the Licchavi Vimalakirti to inquire about his illness.” Katyayana replied, “Lord, I am indeed reluctant to go that good man to inquire about his illness. Why? Lord, I remember one day when, after the Lord had given some brief instruction to the monks, I was defining the expressions of that discourse by teaching the meaning of impermanence, suffering, selflessness, and peace; the Licchavi Vimalakirti came there and said to me, ‘Reverend Mahakatyayana, do not teach an ultimate reality endowed with activity, production, and destruction! Reverend Mahakatyayana, nothing was ever destroyed, is destroyed, or will ever be destroyed. Such is the meaning of “impermanence.” The meaning of the realization of birthlessness, through the realization of the voidness of the five aggregates, is the meaning of “suffering.” The fact of the nonduality of self and selflessness is the meaning of “selflessness.” That which has no intrinsic substance and no other sort of substance does not burn, and what does not burn is not extinguished; such lack of extinction is the meaning of “peace.”‘ “When he had discoursed thus, the minds of the monks were liberated from their defilements and entered a state of nongrasping. Therefore, Lord, I am reluctant to go to that good man to inquire about his illness.”
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