Correction; Eight Miseries (Edkins, Chinese Buddhsim, p. 18): Birth; decay; sickness; death; to be conjoined with things which we dislike; to be separated from things we like; not to get what we want; and to get that which we do not want. (see Samyutta Nikaya, chapter 56)
There seems to be another important section in this bridge between the quaternary and the trinity of the 7 Paramitas:
Section 8 (Stanzas 260- 272 ) Jnana Marga and the Unshakeable Fixity of Mind
260- Thine “Isle” is the deer, thy thoughts the hounds that weary and pursue his progress to the stream of Life. Woe to the deer that is o’ertaken by…[Read more]
259- A sense of pride would mar the work. Aye, build it strong, lest the fierce rush of battling waves, that mount and beat its shore from out the great World Mâyâ’s Ocean, swallow up the pilgrim and the isle — yea, even when the victory’s achieved.
I have said, a little way back, that after parting with the sense of individual rights, the dis…[Read more]
. . . . . . . . .
257- Thou hast now crossed the moat that circles round the gate of human passions. Thou hast now conquered Mâra and his furious host.
Perceiving the body to be (fragile) like a clay pot, (and) fortifying the mind as though it were a city, with the sword of wisdom make war on Mara. Free from attachment, keep…[Read more]
252- Hold firm! Thou nearest now the middle portal, the gate of Woe, with its ten thousand snares.
In eastern poetics, ten thousand generally signifies innumerable, a large unspecified quantity. For example: Ten thousand Named (yu-ming), the mother (mu) of ten thousand things (Tao Te Ching, Ellen Chen, transl. 1,4)
253- Have mastery o’er thy…[Read more]
251- Be of good cheer, O daring pilgrim “to the other shore.” Heed not the whisperings of Mâra’s hosts; wave off the tempters, those ill-natured Sprites, the jealous Lhamayin (17) in endless space.
(17). Lhamayin are elementals and evil spirits adverse to men and their enemies.
Lhamayin (Tib.). Elemental sprites of the lower terrestrial plane.…[Read more]
250- All is impermanent in man except the pure bright essence of Alaya. Man is its crystal ray; a beam of light immaculate within, a form of clay material upon the lower surface. That beam is thy life-guide and thy true Self, the Watcher and the silent Thinker, the victim of thy lower Self. Thy Soul cannot be hurt but through thy erring body;…[Read more]
Although not explicit, this seems to be the beginning of a bridge section, perhaps indicating a correspondence of the paramitas and the sevenfold principles. There is mention of a middle portal, a gate of balance (presumably between the lower and higher selves), prior to which one must build a protecting wall around the holy isle. Hence the first…[Read more]
245- For, on Path fourth, the lightest breeze of passion or desire will stir the steady light upon the pure white walls of Soul. The smallest wave of longing or regret for Mâyâ’s gifts illusive, along Antahkarana — the path that lies between thy Spirit and thy self, the highway of sensations, the rude arousers of Ahankâra (14) — a thought as fle…[Read more]
242- Ere thou canst near that goal, before thine hand is lifted to upraise the fourth gate’s latch, thou must have mustered all the mental changes in thy Self and slain the army of the thought sensations that, subtle and insidious, creep unasked within the Soul’s bright shrine.
Slaying the toughts: See stanzas 54-56
243-If thou would’st not b…[Read more]
Section 6 (Stanzas 242- 250) The Seven Gates – 4- Viraga
Viraga is the second of the four qualifications of Adaita Vedanta and explained in early Theosophy.
The second “accomplishment” marks the next step on the path, and is the permanent effect produced onthe mind by the theoretical knowledge which forms the preceding accomplishment. When the n…[Read more]
239- The more thou dost advance, the more thy feet pitfalls will meet. The path that leadeth on, is lighted by one fire — the light of daring, burning in the heart. The more one dares, the more he shall obtain. The more he fears, the more that light shall pale — and that alone can guide. For as the lingering sunbeam, that on the top of some tal…[Read more]
236-Be of sure foot, O candidate. In Kshânti’s* essence bathe thy Soul; for now thou dost approach the portal of that name, the gate of fortitude and patience.
[*Kshânti, “patience,” vide supra the enumeration of the golden keys.]
be patient, content with little and – never ask for more if you would hope to get it (Letters from the Masters of W…[Read more]
In Section 4 (Stanzas 233- 235) The Seven Gates – 2- Sila, we learnt that: ”Fear, O disciple, kills the will and stays all action. If lacking in the Śîla virtue, — the pilgrim trips, and Karmic pebbles bruise his feet along the rocky path”.
Section 5 (Stanzas 236- 241) The Seven Gates – 3- Kshanti
Patience has three classifications:
• the patie…[Read more]
233- And to the second gate the way is verdant too. But it is steep and winds up hill; yea, to its rocky top. Grey mists will over-hang its rough and stony height, and all be dark beyond. As on he goes, the song of hope soundeth more feeble in the pilgrim’s heart. The thrill of doubt is now upon him; his step less steady grows.
Indulge not in…[Read more]
232- Pass on! For thou hast brought the key; thou art secure.
The first gate, the gate of love and charity, introduced us to an esoteric aspect of the Amitabha Sutra, the five faculties / powers and the seven factors of awakening.
Section 4 (Stanzas 233- 235) The Seven Gates – 2- Sila
Moral ethics (Sila) has three classifications:
A. moral e…[Read more]
Faculties and powers The five faculties(pañc’indriya) are traditionally said to be “the qualities of a leader” (frominda,Sktindra,meaning “leader”). However, as spiritual faculties, they are the tools for personal development.When these spiritual faculties become “unshakable” by their opposites, they are then known as “spiritualpowe…[Read more]
231- Behold, O happy Pilgrim! The portal that faceth thee is high and wide, seems easy of access. The road that leads therethrough is straight and smooth and green. ‘Tis like a sunny glade in the dark forest depths, a spot on earth mirrored from Amitâbha’s paradise. There, nightingales of hope and birds of radiant plumage sing perched in green…[Read more]
230- Armed with the key of Charity, of love and tender mercy, thou art secure before the gate of Dâna, the gate that standeth at the entrance of the path.
From this compassion springs generosity; for none can be generous in a supernatural way, with faithfulness and goodwill towards all, save him who has a pitiful heart—though a man may often sh…[Read more]
Section 3 (Stanzas 230- 232) The Seven Gates – 1- Dana
Prior to entering the first portal, below is a brief selection of passages on generosity, which is how dana is generally translated nowadays, whereas the Voice uses charity, culled from some basic traditional sources.
Generosity has three classifications:
A. giving wealth,
B. giving f…[Read more]
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