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大乘顯識經之一 Mahāyāna Sūtra of Consciousness Revealed  

2017-06-02 07:12:02|  分类: 佛典 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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大乘顯識經
Mahāyāna Sūtra of Consciousness Revealed

Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Tang Dynasty
by
The Tripi?aka Master Divākara from India

Fascicle 1 (of 2)

Thus I have heard:
    At one time the Bhagavān was in the Kara??a Bamboo Garden of the city of Rājag?ha, together with 1,250 great bhik?us. All of them were Arhats, who had ended their afflictions and the discharges thereof, and achieved freedom. With their minds completely liberated and their wisdom fully unfolded, like the great dragon, they saw the past, future, and present, hindrance free. Taught by the Buddha, they had completed their undertaking [for Arhatship] and shed the enormous heavy burden. They had acquired benefits for themselves, having ended their suffering in transmigrating through their cycle of birth and death. With the power of true knowledge, they were adept in identifying the proclivities of sentient beings. At the head of the multitude of such great voice-hearers was the Elder ?āriputra. Also in this assembly was an innumerable multitude of Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas.
    In the presence of the World-Honored One, the bhik?us were tired and drowsy, losing their color and too exhausted to hold up. Then the face of the World-Honored One lit up like a blooming lotus flower. Forthwith the bhik?us all became alert, each straightening up and thinking: “The Buddha-Bhagavān now looks resplendent, his face glowing with light. What dharma-eye will He open to give us great benefits?”
    The youth [Bhadrapāla] Worthy Protector Superior, complete with fine qualities, such as robust good looks, gentleness, and radiance, surrounded by 60,000 merchant lords, together with attendants, with rumbling sounds like an earthquake, came to the Buddha. Seeing the Buddha-Bhagavān silent and peaceful as thestore of virtues, and majestic and radiant like a towering golden tree, he pondered as he joined his palms with profound faith and reverence. He thought: “As praised by all, the Buddha, who is all-knowing and all-seeing, is truly the Tathāgata, Arhat, Samyak-Sa?buddha. It is not false.”
    He bowed his head down at the feet of the Buddha then gazed at Him. The Buddha saw Worthy Protector and radiated light from His entire body to shine on him. Worthy Protector then acquired fearlessness. He circled the Buddha three times, and again bowed his head down at the Buddha’s feet. He said to the Buddha, “I pray only that the World-Honored One will teach me with compassion. It is only today that I have acquired pure faith here, where the Buddha is. My mind longing for the true Dharma, I would like to ask questions. However, I have long been in my cycle of birth and death, drowning in afflictions and chaotic thoughts. I have no hidden provisions, such as observance of precepts or other good karmas. Anxious as I am, I do not know how to transcend birth and death and be delivered from the web of ignorance, affliction, and doubt. The World-Honored One is all-knowing and all-seeing. The appearance of a Buddha in the world is rare and hard to encounter. As a wish-fulfilling jewel can give happiness to sentient beings, the Buddha is the greatest wish-fulfilling jewel. All sentient beings depend upon the Buddha to acquire great peace and bliss. He is the great parent and sentient beings’ root of goodness. Because of the Buddha-parent, one will be able see the right path. I pray only that, out of sympathy, He will remove my doubts and darkness.”
    The Buddha told Worthy Protector, “You may ask anything about your doubts. I will resolve them separately for you.”
    Worthy Protector, having received the Buddha’s permission, stood on one side to concentrate on his questions. Meanwhile, the Elder ?nanda, seeing the radiance and good features of the youth Worthy Protector, said to the Buddha, “A sight never encountered before! This youth Worthy Protector has great merit, whose radiance and glow outshine the awesome appearances of kings.”
    The Buddha told ?nanda, “This youth Worthy Protector Superior, because of his meritorious karma, enjoys splendid celestial-life requital while living in the human world. He can frolic and enjoy peace and pleasure totally at will, like the god-king ?akra. No one in Jambudvīpa can compare with him, except for the youth Moon Reality.”
    ?nanda asked the Buddha, “I pray only that we be told about the youth Worthy Protector, concerning his current resources as karmic requital and the roots of goodness he has planted in the past.”
    The Buddha told ?nanda, “You should hear the pleasure-requital in the form of enormous resources that Worthy Protector now enjoys and learn the contributing causes from his past. ?nanda, this youth Worthy Protector is attended by 60,000 merchant lords who have an abundance of assets and an accumulation of gold and jewels. They respectfully accept his instructions and follow him at his service. [In his residence there are] 60,000 beds with well-arranged bedding, blankets, fine linens, and pillows, in various colors, beautiful and magnificent. All around are columns, jeweled carvings, colorful silk curtains, and other decorations, as gorgeous as those in a painting. There are 60,000 artistic ladies, dressed in silk in a variety of colors, adorned with golden jewelry and necklaces in dazzling colors, so fine and delicate to the touch that they are like celestial crystal. Their weight can be light or heavy, suiting the wearer’s mood. Playing, laughing, talking, singing, these ladies entertain and serve their master with gentleness, prudence, and respect. They withdraw their love and desire for others, lowering their heads with humility or covering their heads for modesty. Their skin is fine, soft, and smooth. The bony joints of their hands, feet, and ankles do not show. Their teeth are white and straight, without gaps, and their black hair curls to the right, like wax shavings portrayed in a painting. They come from families and clans with names known far and wide. Such women are his attendants. Moreover, there are 60,000 women who serve him food, such as rice, bread, and so forth, in various colors. The aromas and flavors are as wonderful as those of celestial food. As requital for his merit, such food cooked without labor arrives at his wish. The water there has the eight virtues, pleasing to one’s mind and soothing to one’s body, and it cleanses filth and removes diseases.
    “His mansions and towers are adorned with 60,000 beautifully arranged jewels, such as precious gems and aquamarine. Bells suspended from ribbons jingle harmoniously in the winds. The ground is like aquamarine, showing myriad reflections, with various flowers scattered around. [The place] is cool and pleasant, inviting leisurely strolls to relax one’s mind. There are musical instruments, such as pa?ava drums, sitars, pipes, and brass cymbals, playing 60,000 kinds of melodies. The beautiful sounds are harmonious and loud, resonating far and wide. Joy and happiness brought by meritorious karma flow non-stop. Doves and other birds are flying around, their various calls enjoyable to one’s mind and pleasant to one’s ear. Flowering vines climb up on the towers, adorning them with bright flowers and lush leaves. The tones of bells and musical instruments sound like those in a celestial palace. The halls are spacious like a cavern of Mount Sumeru, where divine medicine flows.
    “There are 60,000 cities graced with towers and surrounded by high walls. The streets are well designed with crossroads to reach all directions. Adding to the magnificence are people who come from everywhere, wearing various kinds of clothing, speaking various kinds of languages. They have different facial features and follow diverse customs. Hundreds of thousands of merchants display their extraordinary goods. The raucous sounds of trade shake the entire city.
    “In the lush gardens and forests, there are large and small trees, vines, medicinal herbs, and flowers in full bloom. [In their midst are pools] the clear waters of which reflect shimmering light, like a sheet of colorful brocade. Hundreds and thousands of elephants, horses, and carriages move endlessly throughout the city. ?nanda, in these 60,000 cities, the noble and the famous, as well as the wealthy and the merchant lords, praise the youth Worthy Protector every day, broadcasting his merit. They respectfully join their palms and make obeisance to him in reverence.
    “Prasenajit, the king of Kau?ala, is wealthy because of the power of his merit, but he is poor in comparison with Worthy Protector. The youth Moon Reality is surrounded by 100,000 artistic attendants, serving him respectfully and entertaining him with music and frolics. Even the god-king ?akra is a billion times less fortunate than Moon Reality. Likewise the youth Worthy Protector, with his robust, high-colored good looks, wealth, ease, peace, and pleasures, is also a billion times less fortunate than Moon Reality. Their fortunes, in each case, are not acquired by force, but are a response to their past merits.
    “?nanda, the youth Worthy Protector has a wish-fulfilling carriage inlaid with celestial jewels, radiating bright light like celestial gold or vajra. It is decorated with various kinds of treasures, mixed as beautifully as stars. It moves swiftly, like the wind, like the flight of the golden-winged bird. Riding this jeweled carriage, he arrives at any treasure island on a thought. Then he comes home from his pleasure tour, not tired.”
    ?nanda bowed down at the feet of the Buddha. He asked the Buddha, “What roots of goodness did the youth Worthy Protector plant and what meritorious karma did he do, now to own enormous assets and to enjoy this great pleasure-requital, living in such magnificent mansions decorated with extraordinary treasures?”
    The Buddha told ?nanda, “The youth Worthy Protector, because he planted in the past meritorious karma in the Buddha Dharma, has now received this enormous pleasure-requital. In the past, there was a Buddha called Blissful Light, the Tathāgata, Arhat, Samyak-Sa?buddha, Knowledge and Conduct Perfected, Sugata, Understanding the World, Unsurpassed One, Tamer of Men, Teacher to Gods and Humans, Buddha the World-Honored One. Worthy Protector renounced family life and became a bhik?u, called Dharma Topknot, in the Dharma of that Buddha. He was inadequate in observing the precepts for conduct. However, he clearly understood the profound teachings in the Tripi?aka—the Sūtras, the Vinaya, and the Abhidharma—and he excelled in expounding them. He always pronounced the teachings to sentient beings in solemn, beautiful tones, endlessly giving the Dharma as alms. He was forthright and brilliant in his eloquent exposition, and the hearers delighted in the Dharma they heard. They pondered the teachings and trained themselves accordingly, and those who saved themselves from taking the evil life-journeys were innumerable. ?nanda, the bhik?u Dharma Topknot, because of his merit of giving the Dharma, enjoyed the celestial-life requital for ninety kalpas. In addition, when Dharma Topknot saw thin and frail bhik?us who observed their precepts purely, he always gave them food, drink, shoes, and so forth. Because he gave alms courteously and sincerely with a pure mind, he now has received this pleasure-requital in the form of great wealth, magnificent mansions, and extraordinary jeweled carriages. Moreover, Dharma Topknot later encountered Kā?yapa Tathāgata, who gave him teachings and guidance, and told him, ‘You will receive a prophecy from the future Buddha ?ākyamuni.’ Hence he is seeing me now, and I will pronounce the Dharma to him to bring him to maturity.”
    ?nanda said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, the youth Worthy Protector Superior has command of such an abundance of riches, gold, and treasures. It is extraordinary that he is gentle and modest, without any pride or arrogance.”
    The Buddha said, “?nanda, one with great wisdom does not become arrogant because of wealth, treasures, and sensory pleasures. Worthy Protector has long trained in good works. Supported by good dharmas, he always has fortune fruits to eat.”
    Worthy Protector, having been praised by the Buddha and ?nanda, joined his palms reverently and bowed down at the feet of the Buddha. He implored the Buddha, “Please pity, accept, and protect all sentient beings. I request permission to ask a few questions.”
    The Buddha told Worthy Protector, “You have my permission. You may ask me about your doubts. I will explicate them to you.”
    Worthy Protector said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, although sentient beings know that there is consciousness, it is like a jewel kept in a box, unrevealed and unknowable. World-Honored One, I do not know the form of this consciousness, nor the reason that it is called consciousness. When a person dies, his hands and feet may convulse, and the look of his eyes changes uncontrollably. As one’s faculties perish, the four domains—earth, water, fire, and wind—disperse. Where does one’s consciousness go after it has left the current body? What is its essence? What is its form? How does it assume the next body after leaving this body? After this body is abandoned, how does consciousness carry one’s faculties in order to accept the next requital, which can be a body of any kind? World-Honored One, how does a sentient being grow new faculties after the expiration of this body? Why does one accumulate meritorious karma in this life, only to receive its requital in the next life: The current body does meritorious karma, and the next body will eat [the karmic fruit]? How does one’s consciousness nourish one’s body and keep it alive? How do consciousness and faculties develop according to one’s body?”
    The Buddha said, “Very good! Very good! Worthy Protector, these are good questions. Hearken! Hearken! Ponder this well. I will explain to you.”
    Worthy Protector said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, affirmatively I accept Your teachings.”
    The Buddha told Worthy Protector, “The process and transference of [ālaya] consciousness are like the wind, which is formless, shapeless, and unidentifiable. However, the wind can activate myriad things and display myriad conditions, whether making loud sounds as it shakes the forest or breaks off branches, or causing pleasure or pain as it touches with cold or hot the bodies of sentient beings. The wind does not have hands, feet, face, or shape. Nor does it have various colors, such as black, white, red, or yellow. Worthy Protector, the same is true for the domain of consciousness. It is formless, shapeless, not revealed by light. However, through causes and conditions, it can manifest various kinds of functions. Know that the dharma realms of sensory reception and perception are also formless and shapeless. Through causes and conditions, various functions manifest.
    “Worthy Protector, after the death of a sentient being, the dharma realms of sensory reception and perception and the domain of [ālaya] consciousness abandon the body. The way [ālaya] consciousness carries the dharma realms of sensory reception and perception to accept another body is like a gust of wind sweeping across wonderful flowers. The flowers stay put, but their fragrance will flow far. The wind in essence does not grasp the fragrance of the flowers. Fragrance and the wind in essence are both formless and shapeless. However, without the power of the wind, fragrance will not travel far. Worthy Protector, after a person’s death, his [ālaya] consciousness carries the dharma realms of sensory reception and perception to the next rebirth, which is conditioned upon his parents entrusted by his [ālaya] consciousness. In this way the dharma realms of sensory reception and perception accompany [ālaya] consciousness. Because of the quality of the flowers, one’s nose can detect their scent. Because of one’s olfactory power, one smells fragrance, a sense object. The wind touches the flowers because of its power. Because of the power of the wind, fragrance can flow far. Likewise, from consciousness, sensory reception arises; from sensory reception, perception arises; and by perception, mental objects are differentiated. Then one knows good and evil.
    “Worthy Protector, by analogy, a painter applies pigments to the wall, and he can paint pictures as neatly and properly as he wishes. The consciousness and intellect of the painter are both formless and shapeless, but they can create various kinds of extraordinary images and shapes. Thus one’s consciousness and intellect project the six percepts. The eye sees sights, and the eye consciousness is formless and shapeless; the ear hears sounds, which are formless and shapeless; the nose detects odors, which are formless and shapeless; the tongue tastes flavors, which are formless and shapeless; and the body knows tactile sensations, which are formless and shapeless. As one’s faculties and perceptions are formless and shapeless, so too one’s consciousness is formless and shapeless.
    “Worthy Protector, when [ālaya] consciousness abandons one’s current body to accept another life, it is still bound by karma hindrances at the moment of one’s death. When one’s current requital ends with death, [one’s consciousness] is as if in the Samādhi of Total Halt. When an Arhat enters the Samādhi of Total Halt, his sensory reception and perception are suspended. Thus, when [ālaya] consciousness of the dying one abandons the body and its [four] domains, it does so with the power of memory. Upon dying, one’s consciousness replays clearly from memory all the karmas one has done in one’s entire life. Both body and mind are under stress.
    “Worthy Protector, what is the meaning of consciousness? [?laya] consciousness means seed, which can sprout a karmic body of any kind. Perception, thinking, and memory are also sprouted from [ālaya] consciousness. It is called consciousness because it knows pleasure, pain, good, and evil, as well as good and evil objects. You ask me how one’s [ālaya] consciousness leaves this body to accept the next requital. Worthy Protector, each body sprouted from one’s [ālaya] consciousness is like the reflection of a face in a mirror, like the markings in the mud, imprinted by a stamp.
    “As an analogy, the light of sunrise removes darkness, which returns after sunset. Darkness has no mass, no shape, neither permanent nor impermanent, but it is always there. The same is true for consciousness. Having no mass and no shape, it is revealed through sensory reception and perception. Consciousness in one’s body is like the essence of darkness, which cannot be seen or touched. It is like the fetus inside the mother, who does not know whether it is male or female. Nor does she know whether it looks black, white, or yellow, whether it has complete faculties, whether it has normal hands, feet, ears, and eyes. However, stimulated by hot food and drink [eaten by the mother], the fetus will move, because it feels pain. The presence of consciousness is evident as sentient beings come or go, bend or extend, stare or blink, speak or laugh, carry heavy loads, or do things. However, they do not know the whereabouts of consciousness in their bodies, nor its form. Worthy Protector, the consciousness in essence permeates the sensory fields, but it is not tainted by them. Consciousness permeates the six faculties, the six sense objects, and the the five aggregates, but it is not tainted by them. Through them, the functions of consciousness are evident. Worthy Protector, it is like a mechanism which enables a wooden machine to perform various kinds of tasks, whether talking, leaping, jumping, or dancing. What is your opinion? By whose power is this wooden machine enabled to work?”
    Worthy Protector replied to the Buddha, “My wisdom and knowledge are too shallow to determine this.”
    The Buddha told Worthy Protector, “We should know that it is by one’s power to do karmas. The power for doing karmas is formless but directed by one’s intellect. Thus, a body-machine can do things with the power of consciousness. Whether ??isgandharvasdragons, humans, asuras, or sentient beings on other life-journeys, all depend on it to do karmas. [?laya] consciousness can form the body as a work machine.
    “Consciousness, without any form or mass, can uphold the dharma realm. With complete mental power, it knows even things in one’s past lives. By analogy, the pervasive sunlight shines equally on sentient beings with evil karma, corpses, impure things, and stinking things, but it is not tainted by evils. Neither is [ālaya] consciousness. Even when it is in the body of a dog or a pig, which eats impure things, or in the body of anyone taking an evil life-journey, it is never tainted.
    “Worthy Protector, [ālaya] consciousness abandons this body and moves away to accept the next requital according to good or evil karma. By analogy, when the wind exits a remote mountain or a steep gorge and sweeps across a forest of fragrant campaka trees, it carries fragrance. When the wind sweeps across a place of feces, corpses, rot, or filth, it carries stench. When it passes through both places, it carries both fragrance and stench. The stronger scent will be manifested first. The wind has no mass, and the scent has no shape. Yet the wind can carry both fragrance and stench far. Likewise, [ālaya] consciousness abandons this body, carrying good and evil karmas, to accept the next requital. It is just like the wind carrying fragrance and stench to another place. It is also like a dreamer who sees myriads of images and does various kinds of karmas in a dream, unaware that he is lying asleep. When a virtuous person dies, the transference of his [ālaya] consciousness is peaceful and unconscious, in the same way as his going somewhere in a dream without any fear. The exit of [ālaya] consciousness is not through one’s throat, mouth, or other orifices. Its exit and route are unknown.”
    The youth Worthy Protector Superior bowed down at the feet of the Buddha. He asked the Buddha, “Where does [ālaya] consciousness enter into the embryo inside the egg of a chicken or goose, the shell of which is impenetrable? If the embryo dies within the egg and if the eggshell has no crack or hole, where does [ālaya] consciousness exit?”
    The Buddha replied to Worthy Protector, “By analogy, if black sesame seeds are processed with campaka flowers, the oil will become aromatic and be called campaka oil. It is far superior to ordinary sesame oil. The oil initially does not contain any aroma but becomes aromatic after the seeds have been processed with the flowers. The fragrance does not crack the sesame seeds in order to enter or to exit, nor does it leave any substance in the oil. However, because of the force of causes and conditions, the fragrance is blended into the oil and the oil becomes aromatic. The way [ālaya] consciousness moves into or out of the embryo of a chicken or a goose despite the eggshell is like the infusion of the campaka fragrance into the oil. The transference of [ālaya] consciousness is like the way the sun shines, a jewel sparkles, or wood blazes.
    “[?laya] consciousness is also like a seed. When a seed is planted and transformed in the ground, its sprouts, stem, branches, and leaves will successively emerge above the ground. Then flowers in a variety of colors, such as white, off-white, and red, will appear; fruits in a variety of flavors will ripen. The same great earth, providing the four domains—earth, water, fire, and wind—grows different things according to their seeds. Similarly, the dharma realm of [ālaya] the one consciousness manifests a sentient being successively reborn with black, white, yellow, or red skin, with different characters, gentle or violent, to undergo birth and death. Worthy Protector, consciousness has neither hands nor feet, neither joints nor speech. In its dharma realm, the power of memory is strong. Upon the death of a sentient being, [ālaya] consciousness abandons the current body and, with the power of memory, it becomes the seed for the next life. Apart from consciousness, there is no dharma realm; apart from dharma realm, there is no consciousness. [?laya] consciousness moves away along the [karmic] wind, together with the dharma realm, including the realms of memory and sensory reception.”
    Worthy Protector further asked the Buddha, “If so, why does World-Honored One say that consciousness is formless?”
    The Buddha replied, “Worthy Protector, there are two kinds of form, the internal and the external. Eye consciousness is internal, and eye is external. Similarly, ear consciousness is internal, and ear is external; nose consciousness is internal, and nose is external; tongue consciousness is internal, and tongue is external; body consciousness is internal, and body is external. Worthy Protector, suppose a person born blind dreams of a beautiful woman, and he clearly sees her hands, feet, and beautiful features. He loves the sights as he dreams. When the night’s sleep is over and daylight arrives, the blind man describes to a crowd the pleasing things in his dream, saying, ‘I saw a beautiful woman whose features were uniquely exquisite, a garden with lush flowers, and hundreds and thousands of well-adorned people, who frolicked merrily. Their skin was lustrous, their shoulders were plump, and their arms were long and rounded like an elephant trunk. I gained great happiness from my dream, and my heart was gladdened.’ Worthy Protector, this man was born blind, who has never seen anything with his eyes. Why can he perceive sights in his dream?”
    Worthy Protector replied, “I pray that You will indicate the reason.”
    The Buddha told Worthy Protector, “What one sees in a dream are internal eye objects, differentiated by one’s intellect, not through the physical eye. These internal eye objects manifest temporarily in the blind man’s dream because of the power of memory. He also recalls the dream with the power of memory. With the right memory at death, one sees internal forms projected by consciousness.
    “Furthermore, Worthy Protector, the transference of consciousness upon one’s death is like a seed discarded on the ground. With the support of the four domains, it gradually transforms into sprout, seedling, stem, branches, and leaves. Likewise, one’s consciousness is supported by these four dharmas: memory, receptiveness, good, and evil. By analogy, a crystal jewel placed alongside something black or white will appear black or white. Likewise, [ālaya] consciousness supported by good or evil karmas will transfer somewhere to receive corresponding requitals, good or evil.”
    Worthy Protector next asked the Buddha, “Where does one’s body hold consciousness?”
    The Buddha replied, “Worthy Protector, consciousness neither accumulates nor gathers, nor does it grow. [The development of consciousness in an embryo] is like the birth of a sprout. The sprout is born neither before the seed is transformed nor after the seed is destroyed. However, when the sprout appears, the seed is spent. Worthy Protector, what is your opinion? Where does the seed stay? In the sprout, the stem, the branches, the leaves, or the top of the tree?”
    Worthy Protector replied to the Buddha, “No, World-Honored One, the seed stays nowhere.”
    [The Buddha continued] “Indeed, Worthy Protector, [ālaya] consciousness does not stay in a particular place in the body, not in the eye, ear, nose, or the tongue. A seed giving birth to a sprout is likened to consciousness becoming dimly aware [in an embryo]. The formation of flower buds is likened to consciousness becoming receptive. The stage from blooming of flowers to bearing of fruits is likened to [ālaya] consciousness forming a body. The way [ālaya] consciousness forms a body is throughout all parts of the body. However, one cannot find where it stays. Without [ālaya] consciousness, the body cannot be formed.
    “For example, only a ripe fruit from a tree, not an unripe fruit, is capable of releasing the seed for a new tree to come. Similarly, when one’s [current] requital has matured, one dies and the consciousness-seed appears. Because of consciousness, there is sensory reception; because of sensory reception, there is love. Bondage of love produces memory. [?laya] consciousness carries memory and moves away like the wind according to good and evil karmas. It also thinks of its parents-to-be and entrusts those who match the causes and conditions. For example, the reflection of one’s face does not appear in a mirror if the mirror is not clear. If the mirror is clear, the reflection appears. The image in the mirror has no sensation or thinking, but it follows the person to stretch or bend, to face upward or downward, to open the mouth to speak or joke, to walk or stand, performing various kinds of motion. Worthy Protector, by what force does the reflection appear in a mirror?”
    Worthy Protector replied to the Buddha, “It is by the decision of the person. Because of his face, there is its reflection. The form of the reflection is like that of the person’s face. Its sense organs, whether complete or incomplete, are like those on his face.”
    The Buddha said, “The person’s face is the cause of the reflection, and the mirror is the condition of the reflection. The reflection appears because of the convergence of causes and conditions. Likewise, [ālaya] consciousness is the cause of one’s sensory reception, perception, mental processing, and mental functions, and the parents are the conditions. As the causes and conditions converge, a body appears [like a reflection in the mirror]. As for the person and the mirror, when the person moves away, his mirror reflection is also gone. The person may cast his reflection elsewhere, perhaps in the water. Similarly, carrying good and evil karmas, [ālaya] consciousness abandons this body and moves away to accept the next requital.
    “As another analogy, the seed of a banyan tree or a ficus tree is small, but it can grow a huge tree. The tree again bears seeds. The new seed then abandons the old tree to grow a new tree. As the old tree grows weak over time, with its sap exhausted, it will dry out and decay. After [ālaya] consciousness abandons the body of a sentient being, [like a small seed] it will accept a huge body of some kind according to karma. It is also like many kinds of seeds, such as barley, wheat, sesame, mung bean, and legume. Because a seed is planted, sprout, stem, flowers, and fruits will grow and ripen. Similarly, because [ālaya] consciousness has moved into a sentient being of some kind, this being has awareness and sensory reception.
    “The way [ālaya] consciousness, holding good and evil karmas, successively accepts a variety of bodies is also like a bee that stops over flowers. With love, pleasure, and attachment, it sucks the flavor of a flower for nourishment. The bee then abandons this flower to seek other flowers at other places. Whether it abandons fragrance for stench or it abandons stench for fragrance, it cannot help loving and coveting the object it stops over. Likewise, [ālaya] consciousness may acquire a celestial body to enjoy the fortune fruit of meritorious karma. It may then abandon the celestial body to enter into hell to accept the misfortune fruit of evil karma. As sa?sāra turns, various kinds of bodies are [successively] formed.
    “[?laya] consciousness is like the white seed of a red or blue tulip or a pu??arīka flower. If one cracks open the seed, one will find no sprout, no flower, and no color. Only if the seed is planted in the ground and watered, will a sprout grow. In time flowers and fruits will thrive and flourish, with the flowers blooming in red or white, or various colors. The sprout and the colorful flowers are not inside the seed, but, without the seed, they cannot come into being. [?laya] consciousness abandons a dead body, including its fleshy frame, facial features, faculties, and sensory fields, because it no longer sees the convergence of their causes and conditions. With its special vision, hearing, smelling, tasting, and tactility, as well as its memory, [ālaya] consciousness knows the good and evil karmas one has done, according to which it will accept a requital body.
    “As a silkworm constructs a cocoon, binding itself by its own doing, so too does [ālaya] consciousness construct a body to bind itself. It will then abandon that body and transfer into a new body as the next requital. Because of a flower seed, there will be a new plant with colorful and fragrant flowers. Likewise, after [ālaya] consciousness has abandoned a body, wherever it goes, along with it goes the dharma realm, including faculties and sensory reception. Wherever a wish-fulfilling jewel is, it is accompanied by pleasing objects. Wherever the sun is, it is accompanied by bright light. Likewise, wherever consciousness transfers to, it is accompanied by the dharma realm, including sensory reception and perception. After abandoning a body, [ālaya] consciousness, without a body of flesh and bones, takes the cause of form as its body. It has faculties, sensory reception, and subtle thinking, and can grasp good or evil.
    “Various kinds of fruits, such as dates, pomegranates, mangoes, and the like, may taste pungent, bitter, sour, sweet, salty, or tart. With a distinct flavor, each fruit serves a different purpose. After the fruit decays, its flavor will be reborn through the transformation of the seed. Thus, as the [ālaya] consciousness-seed transfers, it is accompanied by sensory reception, memory, and good and evil karmas. It is called consciousness because it knows that it has abandoned this body in order to accept the next requital body. It is called consciousness because it knows that it is accompanied by good and evil karmas and that, carrying these karmas, it transfers to accept [the next] requital. It is called consciousness because it knows all about what the body does. By analogy, the wind has no form to grasp and no mass to get hold of but, through causes and conditions, it can do karmas: The wind can carry cold or hot, carry fragrance or stench, shake the woods, or violently devastate anything in its path. Likewise, consciousness has no form or mass, and cannot be detected by sight or hearing. However, through causes and condition, the appearance of consciousness is revealed. Because one’s consciousness maintains one’s body, the body knows pain or pleasure. Looking radiant and energetic, one’s body can walk or stand, speak or laugh, and feel happy or sad. Seeing clearly the karmas done, we should know that there is consciousness.”


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