Chapter XXIV — Conceit (RiBa)

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Chapter XXIV

~CONCEIT~

Conditions Which are -seen as- Opening a Bodhisattva to Mara's Influence

As a Bodhisattva trains in perfect wisdom, makes endeavours about this and develops this, all the Evil Maras in the great trichiliocosm are seen as being in a state of uncertainty: "Does this Bodhisattva prematurely realize the reality-limit of the level of Sravaka, Disciple, or Pratyekabuddha, or know full enlightenment?" Even so, as a Bodhisattva dwells as this dwelling for perfect wisdom, beings believe with firm resolve that it is the Evil Maras which are pierced by a dart of sorrow. As a Bodhisattva ever courses toward perfecting wisdom, makes endeavours about this and develops this, the Evil Maras are resolutely believed to be thinking of how to hurt such a one as this.

For instance, beings resolutely believe these Maras try to invoke fear by letting loose a shower of meteors in all directions, causing an impression the horizon is all aflame. As a result, these beings believe with unquestioning certainty that these Maras hope now for the Bodhisattva to cower, for one's hair to stand on end, so even one single thought concentrated toward full enlightenment or any benevolent equanimity might get extinguished. [417] But Mara, the Evil One, does not hurt these Bodhisattvas. Some he is seen and resolutely believed to hurt, and yet others, not? Such fallaciousness in resolute belief. Such idleness of intent and action. Such unfortunate arrogance.

Ananda: What kind of a Bodhisattva is Mara seen as, or believed in as confounding, and herein called to blame for hurting?

The Lord: Mara is thus seen as, or believed in as confounding, or herein called to blame for hurting a Bodhisattva which in time, as this perfection of wisdom is taught, does not produce a thought of firm belief in what is the actual nature of these various dharmas, all-knowledge. Mara is thus firmly believed to gain entry. Such is this fallaciousness of resolute belief.

He is believed to have already hurt Bodhisattvas which, as this deep perfection of wisdom is being taught, are seized by uncertainties, feel perplexed, and think, "perhaps this perfection of wisdom is so, perhaps it is not so"...or Bodhisattvas which are seen to be lacking a good friend, which are believed to have been taken hold of by bad friends who, as perfecting of wisdom is taking place, either do not hear or do not understand about very deep stations in nature, or wisdom, and choosing to remain in ignorance of these, do not ask how this perfecting of wisdom is developed; or, Bodhisattvas which cling to someone who upholds any dharma which, not being true of any of these dharmas, thus says: "I am an adherent to this one [or mental state], and in all things this one I follow does not abandon me. [418] Here are many other Bodhisattvas whom I might adhere to, but these do not suit me. I have taken this one as my fitting companion and this suits me."

Moreover, a Bodhisattva might, as this deep perfecting of nature as wisdom is taking place, say to another Bodhisattva: "Deep, indeed, is this perfecting of wisdom! What point is here in your listening to this? For even as I apply myself to this in the way in which Tathagatas have taught in other Sutrantas, even so I do not get to the bottom of this, nor derive any enjoyment from this. What is any point in anyone's hearing and writing this?"

In this way one projects one's lack of understanding, and herein appears to be making attempts to estrange other Bodhisattvas. Thus, it is seen as being Mara coming also to such a Bodhisattva...to hurt and gain entry herein. Furthermore, Ananda, herein is this thought to be Mara as the one being contented, elated or enraptured. Mara is accredited in one's thinking as being the one who is overjoyed, exultant and glad, thrilled, delighted and jubilant in any case in which a Bodhisattva in one's own laxity despises other Bodhisattvas, thinking: "I dwell in the dwelling of detachment, but not so these; theirs is not this dwelling in detachment." And blindly is it thought of as being Mara also who is so joyful as this Bodhisattva keeps far away from revealing full enlightenment. On the contrary, in this imagined joy and contented ecstacy of one who allows themselves to think thus, is Mara seen to be this most excellent teacher of the exceedingly tenuous nature of one's disconcerted application of right concentration, mindfulness and effort.

Besides this, as a Bodhisattva takes on a name or clan, or as ascetic qualities are proclaimed, one may regard this as a sufficient reason to despise other Bodhisattvas, well-behaved and lovely in character though these are. [419] But this one has no depth of practice and does not apply qualities of irreversible Bodhisattvas which course toward perfect wisdom, nor their attributes, tokens or signs.

As this one does not exude the irreversible qualities, such a one gives rise to defilement, seeing as this one thinks to attempt exalting one's self and self's concepts above others, and deprecates others, and thinks these are not equal to such dharmas, as oneself is. The Evil Maras, which are anyone's unpracticed, untrained inclinations toward such, then foresee that the realms of Mara will not remain empty, and the great hells, the animal kingdom, the world of the Pretas, and the assemblies of the Asuras are overcrowded. And what is thought of as Mara, and blamed on this Evil One, is seen as becoming even more determined, and thinking something such as: "With this kind of start any Bodhisattvas such as this are soon smothered by gain and honor. These are plausible talkers, and with their plausible talk these catch hold of many people. Many people decide to listen to these, imitate what these speak of and show, and consequently do not train in Thusness, do not progress in this, do not make endeavours about this, and as well, these further increase defilements.

So it is a fact all these deeds -of body, voice or mind- which these undertake with perverted mentality impels these to a rebirth in conditions which are unserviceable and do not provide selfless service, disagreeing as disagreeable, unpleasing as well as unpleasant. Consequently, what is seen to be the realms of Mara are overcrowded, i.e. the great hells, the animal world, the world of the Pretas, and [420] the assemblies of the Asuras." As this Bodhisattva considers this sequence of events, one believes it to be Mara the Evil One who is contented, elated, enraptured, overjoyed, exultant and jubilant. It is not Mara, however, who is given to sloth, this contented unawareness or ecstatic jubilation.

Furthermore, Ananda, as a Bodhisattva fights with any person belonging to the vehicle of the Sravakas, or Disciples, disputes and quarrels with these, abuses and reviles these, feels ill-will and hatred for these, a person comes to think to themselves that Mara thinks "surely, this son or daughter of good family keeps away from all-knowledge, this one remains far away from this." Now also, Mara is thought of as being even more jubilant as any person belonging to the vehicle of the Bodhisattvas fights with someone else which also belongs to this vehicle of the Bodhisattvas, for he thinks that "both these Bodhisattvas remain far from all-knowledge." But as a Bodhisattva which has one's prediction fights with another Bodhisattva which also has this prediction, and cherishes malice for one such as this - for many aeons this one does, as this one may have such an attitude of mind, put on the armor [which enables any to struggle against it], -unless, of course, one has abandoned all-knowledge completely. [421] Still in this, one here sees that it is not Mara, but one's own inclinations, attitudes and disconcertedness, seen as being Mara, which brings these unfortunate circumstances to bear...as well, it will be one's own right intentions and efforts, mindfulness and concentrations which comes to reveal these circumstances as dissolved in equanimity and perfect wisdom.

The Bodhisattvas Right Attitude Towards other Bodhisattvas

Ananda: Can one escape from these attitudes of mind, or is one definitely condemned to go on putting on the armor for all this length of time?

The Lord: Ananda, a dharma is demonstrated which includes the possibility of escape, -for persons of the Sravaka, Disciple-vehicle, for persons of the Pratyekabuddha-vehicle, for persons of the Bodhisattva-vehicle. As to this person which belongs to the vehicle of the Bodhisattvas and quarrels with someone else which also belongs to the vehicle of the Bodhisattvas, -as one does not confess one's fault, does not promise restraint in future, harbors a latent bias towards hate, and dwells tied to bias, -this person does not allow for the teaching of escape [i.e. from the consequence of action], but is definitely condemned to go on putting on the armor for any and all lengths of time. But, to any one which confesses any and all fault, resolves true restraint throughout any of the three times, and reflects as follows: "This nature is to drive away bias, to pacify and appease the quarrels, disputes and conflicts of all beings, yet I myself engage in disputes! It is indeed a loss to me, and not a gain, as I answer back as I am spoken to. As I am to any and all beings a bridge across the sea of birth-and-death, I nevertheless say to another, 'the same to you,' or return a harsh and rough answer. This is not a way in which to speak.

In fights, quarrels and disputes, here I behave as a senseless idiot, or dumb sheep. As I hear someone using offensive, abusive, insulting words towards me, this heart does not cherish malice for these or others. It is not [422] disciplined for me to mete and perceive faults assumed by me or another of others, or to think what is being said or even thought about any faults of others is worth listening to.

As well, neither are any which mete and perceive thusly thought of as such. For as I am earnestly intent and intentioned, I do not do harm to others. As I indicate joy and contentment by pointing out any and all things which allow for joy and contentment, I head this way, as these, toward Nirvana, -yet nevertheless I bear ill will! I truly resolve to not bear ill will even against these which I perceive as having offended against me, and I truly resolve to avoid rage, and I truly resolve by making diligent and persistent effort in this direction.

Even as my life is in danger I truly resolve not to allow a rage, or even a frown to appear on my face." -To such a Bodhisattva, Ananda, I teach escape. This is the attitude which a Bodhisattva adopts also towards persons who belong to the vehicle of the Disciples. Never to allow anger with any being, this is the attitude of mind one adopts towards all beings. What attitude now does a Bodhisattva have towards other persons avowed to this vehicle of the Bodhisattvas? The same as towards any Teacher.

One has the attitude that, "these Bodhisattvas are my teachers. Surely, these mount on this same vehicle as I, have ascended by this same path, are of like intention with me, are set out in this same vehicle as I. Here these are trained, this is the method by which I train. But as some of us dwell in a dwelling tainted [by the ideas of Maras, Disciples and Pratyekabuddhas], [423] I do not do likewise. As, however these dwell in an uncontaminated dwelling, in mental activities which accord unto all-knowledge, now I also train as these. No obstacles can arise to any Bodhisattva which trains oneself in this way in all-knowledge, and one quickly reveals full enlightenment.


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