Sunday, August 31, 2008

Enlightened Beings "wear special lenses"

Recently I learned from a Christian - yes, a Christian - and he told me that enlightened beings such as Bodhisattvas wear special eye lenses. That was the first time I heard of it being explained that way, so I shall share it here. Even though some of his key concepts of Buddhism is wrong and mixed-up, I do admit some of it is correct. And it shows he has deeper understanding of Budhism than even some Buddhists themselves. And here you are, I am actually learning something from a non-Buddhist.

It is said that when the student is "mentally" ready, the guru will guide us in all sorts of ways (including through other persons). It is not just our own karma that enabled us to meet our guru. There is also the element of blessings from the guru or Buddha that enabled us to meet him. When the Buddha achieved enlightenment, he surveyed the world for those with "little dusts in their eyes". The intention was so that he could go to these persons to teach them the dharma. That was the Buddha's vow to teach to all sentient beings. So, whoever said that it is due to our own karma 100% that we are able to meet with our guru (or gurus) is definitely not correct. No matter how good our karma is, we will not meet with our guru if not for the kindness of the Buddha. The Buddha manifests throughout the six realms as gurus to teach sentient beings. What I have learned is that there are many factors that come into play before we are able to meet people who can teach us the dharma - not only any good karma, but specifically creating good karma in relation to meeting the right teacher, and the Buddha is of course, kind to everyone without biasness. But still there is the element of kindness of the Buddha that comes into play. Not just our good karma.

Back to the Christian. While a guru-student relationship is not established with this Christian, nevertheless his explanation of the "special eye lenses" has upped one level my understanding of the dharma. When he mentioned it, suddenly something just "clicked". With those lenses, it will enable the enlightened being to view the ultimate nature of all things and phenomena. And it will also enable him to view its conventional reality. Another way of explaining - the lens to view emptiness, as well as to view forms, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness. Or, lens to view Nirvana, at the same time, to view Samsara. So, with this example of "special lenses", we can understand the Prajna Paramita Sutra at least theoritically. In the Sutra, there is mentioned of the Buddha saving sentient beings, but on the other, he doesnot save anyone. Hopefully you will understand this Sutra better with the example of the "special lense".

And this "special lense" does not result in a dichotomous , dual perception. There is no-dualistic views for enlightened beings, but they understand the way things are. They have cut off all dualistic views. Yet, the "special lense" eliminates the conceptualisations of "both" samsara and nirvana and "neither" samsara nor nirvana as separate concepts. It also eliminates the concept of both samsara and nirvana as combined concept.

Now, ...does England Optical make such special lenses? :)

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