Shurangama Sutra
Da Fo Ding Shou Leng Yan Jing
(Taisho Tripitaka, No. 945)
Draft translation by the Buddhist Text Translation Society for the Second Edition.
Copyright by the Buddhist Text Translation Society, 1998.
This translation may not be quoted or reproduced in any medium
without the written permission of the Buddhist Text Translation Society.

Shurangama Sutra, Volume 8, Part Two,  Sutra text:

In the Dharma Ending Age, after the Thus Come One's Nirvana, all of you should rely on and proclaim this teaching. Do not let the demons of the heavens have their way. Offer protection so all can realize the unsurpassed Way."

H2 The characteristics of demons of the feeling skandha.
I1 Overview of the beginning and the end.
J1 In the beginning, cultivation has not yet broken out of this region.
K1 Review of the end of the previous form skandha.

Ananda, when the good person who is cultivating samadhi and Shamatha has put an end to the form skandha, he can see the mind of all Buddhas as if seeing an image reflected in a bright mirror.

K2 Introduction to the region of the feeling skandha.

He seems to have obtained something, but he cannot use it. In this he resembles a paralyzed person. His hands and feet are intact, his seeing and hearing are not distorted, and yet his mind has come under a deviant influence, so that he is unable to move. This is the region of the feeling skandha.

J2 Ultimately it breaks up and reveals its false source.

Once the problem of paralysis subsides, his mind can then leave his body and look back upon his face. It can go or stay as it pleases without further hindrance. This is the end of the feeling skandha. This person can then transcend the turbidity of views. Contemplating the cause of the feeling skandha, one sees that false thoughts of illusory clarity are its source.

I2 The ten states within this region.
J1 Suppression of the self leads to sadness.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.

(11) Ananda, in this situation the good person experiences a brilliant light. A feeling arises in his mind as a result of excessive internal pressure. At this point, he suddenly feels such boundless sadness that he looks upon even mosquitoes and gadflies as newborn children. He is overwhelmed with pity and bursts into tears without knowing it.

K2 Giving its name and instructions to awaken.

This is called "trying too hard to suppress the mind in the course of cultivation." If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. If he realizes that and remains unconfused, then after a time it will disappear.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of sadness will enter his mind. Then, as soon as he sees someone, he will feel sad and cry uncontrollably. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

J2 He praises himself as being equal to the Buddhas.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.

(12) Further, Ananda, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. At that time he has a sublime vision and is overwhelmed with gratitude. In this situation, he suddenly evinces tremendous courage. His mind is bold and keen. He resolves to equal all Buddhas and says he can transcend three Asamkhyeyas of eons in a single thought.

K2 Giving the name and instructions to awaken.

This is called "being too anxious to excel in cultivation." If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood. If he realizes that and remains unconfused, then after a time it will disappear.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of insanity will enter his mind. As soon as he sees someone, he will boast about himself. He will become extraordinarily haughty, to the point that he recognizes no Buddha above him and no people below him. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

J3 Samadhi out of balance brings much reverie.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.

(13) Further, in this state of samadhi the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. With no new realization immediately ahead of him, and having lost his former status as well, his power of wisdom weakens, and he enters an impasse in which he sees nothing to anticipate. Suddenly a feeling of tremendous monotony and thirst arises in his mind. At all times he is fixated in memories that do not disperse. He mistakes this for a sign of diligence and vigor.

K2 Giving the name and instructions to awaken.

This is called "cultivating the mind, but losing oneself due to a lack of wisdom." If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of memory will enter his mind. Day and night it will hold his mind suspended in one place. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

J4 Wisdom out of balance brings much arrogance.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.

(14) Further, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. His wisdom becomes stronger than his samadhi, and he mistakenly becomes impetuous. Cherishing the supremacy of his nature, he imagines that he is a Nishyanda (Buddha) and rests content with his minor achievement.

K2 Giving the name and instructions to awaken.

This is called "applying the mind, but straying from constant examination and becoming preoccupied with ideas and opinions." If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

But if he considers himself a sage, then a lowly demon that is easily satisfied will enter his mind. As soon as he sees someone, he will announce, "I have realized the unsurpassed absolute truth." Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

J5 Passing through danger leads to anxiety.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.

(15) Further, in this state of samadhi the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. He has not yet obtained any results, and his prior state of mind has already disappeared. Surveying the two extremes, he feels that he is in great danger. Suddenly he becomes greatly distraught, as if he were seated on the Iron Bed, or as if he has taken poison. He has no wish to go on living, and he is always asking people to take his life so he can be released sooner.

K2 Giving the name and instructions to awaken.

This is called, "cultivating, but losing expedients." If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of chronic depression will enter his mind. He may take up knives and swords and cut his own flesh, happily giving up his life. Or else, driven by constant anxiety, he may flee into the wilderness and be unwilling to see people. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

J6 Experiencing ease leads to joy.

(16) Further, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. As he dwells in this purity, his mind is tranquil and at ease. Suddenly a feeling of boundless joy wells up in him. There is such bliss in his mind that he cannot contain it.

K2 Giving the name, and instructions to awaken.

This is called, "experiencing lightness and ease, but lacking the wisdom to control it." If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon that likes happiness will enter his mind. As soon as he sees someone, he will laugh. He will sing and dance in the streets. He will say that he has already attained unobstructed liberation. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

J7 Seeing the sublime and becoming proud.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.

(17) Further, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. He says he is already satisfied. Suddenly, a feeling of unreasonable, intense self-satisfaction may arise in him. It may include pride, outrageous pride, haughty pride, overweening pride, and pride based on inferiority, all of which occur at once. In his mind, he even looks down on the Tathagatas of the ten directions, how much the more so on the lesser positions of Hearers and Those Enlightened by Conditions.

K2 Giving the name and instructions to awaken.

This is called "viewing oneself as supreme, but lacking the wisdom to save oneself." If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of intense arrogance will enter his mind. He will not bow to stupas or in temples. He will destroy Sutras and images. He will say to the Danapatis, "These are gold, bronze, clay, or wood. The Sutras are just leaves or cloth. The flesh body is what is real and eternal, but you don't revere it; instead you venerate clay and wood. That is truly absurd." Those who have deep faith in him will follow him to destroy and bury the images in the ground. He will mislead living beings so that they fall into the Relentless Hells. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

J8 With wisdom comes lightness and ease, which leads to complacency.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.

(18) Further, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. In his refined understanding, he awakens completely to subtle principles. Everything is in accord with his wishes. He may suddenly experience limitless lightness and ease in his mind. He may say that he has become a sage and attained great self-mastery.

K2 Giving the name and instructions to awaken.

This is called "attaining lightness and clarity due to wisdom." If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon that likes lightness and clarity will enter his mind. Claiming that he is already satisfied, he will not strive to make further progress. For the most part, such cultivators will become like the Unlearned Bhikshu. He will mislead living beings so that they will fall into the Avichi Hell. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

Further in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. In that clear awakening, he experiences a false clarity. Within that, suddenly he may veer towards the view of eternal extinction, deny cause and effect, and take everything as empty. The thought of emptiness so predominates that he comes to believe that there is eternal extinction after death.
 
K2 Giving its name and instructions to awaken.

This is called "the mental state of samadhi dissolving so that one loses sight of what is right." If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of emptiness will enter his mind. He will slander the holding of precepts, calling it a "Small Vehicle Dharma." He will say, "Since Bodhisattvas have awakened to emptiness, what is there to hold or violate?" This person, in the presence of his faithful Danapatis, will often drink wine, eat meat, and engage in wanton lust. The power of the demon will keep his followers from doubting or denouncing him. After the ghost has possessed him for a long time, he may consume excrement and urine, or meat and wine, claiming that all such things are empty. He will break the Buddha's moral precepts and mislead people into committing offenses. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

J10 Becoming attached to existence and indulging in lust.
K1 The characteristics of its beginning.

(20) Further, in this state of samadhi, the good person sees the disintegration of the form skandha and understands the feeling skandha. He savors the state of false clarity, and it deeply enters his mind and bones. Boundless love may suddenly well forth from his mind. When that love becomes extreme, he goes insane with greed and lust.

K2 Giving its name and instructions to awaken.

This is called "when an agreeable state of samadhi enters one's mind, lacking the wisdom to control oneself and mistakenly engaging in lustful behavior." If he understands, then there is no error. This experience does not indicate sagehood.

K3 Showing how confusion will certainly bring a fall.

But if he considers himself a sage, then a demon of desire will enter his mind. He will become an outspoken advocate of lust, calling it the Way to Bodhi. He will teach his lay followers to indiscriminately engage in acts of lust, calling those who commit acts of lust his Dharma heirs. The power of spirits and ghosts in the Ending Age will enable him to attract a following of ordinary, naive people numbering one hundred, two hundred, five or six hundred, or as many as one thousand or ten thousand. When the demon becomes bored, it will leave the person's body. Once the person's charisma is gone, he will run afoul of the law. He will mislead living beings, so that they fall into the Relentless Hells. Lacking proper samadhi, he will certainly fall.

I3 Conclusion on the harm, and command to offer protection.
J1 Showing how this happens due to interaction.

Ananda, ten of these states may occur in Dhyana as one's mental effort interacts with the feeling skandha.

J2 Confusion will bring harm.

Dull and confused living beings do not evaluate themselves. Encountering such situations, in their confusion they fail to recognize them and say that they have become Sages, thereby uttering a great lie. They will fall into the Relentless Hells.

J3 Command to offer protection.

In the Dharma-ending Age, after my Nirvana, all of you should pass on the Tathagata's teachings, so that all living beings can awaken to their meaning. Do not let the demons of the heavens have their way. Offer protection so that all can realize the unsurpassed Way."
 



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