V 1-20 Explaining to Disciples about ‘View-Thought-Delusions’ 和徒弟谈“见思惑”
Disclaimer: The translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation. The Buddha-Dharma is profound. No matter how you convey it, it won’t be completely perfect. Because the Buddha-Dharma is an experience, it’s an awakening 【佛法深奥无比，怎么写，都不会是究竟圆满。佛法是一种悟】. Please enjoy, and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.
People who offer flowers often will become more beautiful. People who offer fruits often will awaken and understand karma. People who offer oil often will develop bright eyes. Do you know why we must offer flowers? It’s because flowers represent the karmic cause, you reap what you sow. When you see the flowers bloom, it’s to remind you what kind of karmic causes you should sow, and you mustn’t commit bad deeds. If you sow good karmic causes, then you will encounter good karmic consequences. The flowers that you offer to Bodhisattvas aren’t offered them, but it’s offered to yourself. When you offer fruits, it represents the same.
Today I will discuss with you about ‘view-thought-delusions’. It means that one’s views and thoughts are deluded. ‘View delusions’ are views that are deluded and incorrect. These are: self-views, one-sided views, deviated views, views of grasping at views (attachment to one’s views) and views of prohibitive morality. These five views are classified as false views. ‘Thought delusions’ are thoughts that are deluded and incorrect. These are the five afflictions: greed, hatred, delusion, arrogance and doubt.
Self-view is to put ourselves at the forefront. I think it’s this; I think it’s that; every opinion has the word ‘I’ in front. That is also what Master encounters the most when Master answers the caller’s questions. When they open their mouths, they say a chain of Is, I’m this, and I’m that I’m like this and that, I think it’s this, I saw that happened etc. They are all self-views. We must understand that the ‘self’ that exists in this world is a false-self, not the true-self. If we are too attached to ourselves, then we become very pitiful, and we will become entrapped in the word ‘I’, unable to be liberated from it. That’s why many people experience suffering because of the ‘self’. Do you understand why it’s difficult for animals to be reborn as a human and stay entrapped in the animal realm in samsara? That’s because they are attached to their form of ‘self’.
That’s why we must discard the concept of ‘self’. Only without the concept of ‘self’ can we truly transcend above reality and not become emotionally involved. It’s because ‘I’m angry’, ‘I feel grief’, ‘I’m unhappy’, ‘I hate’, all of this is stirred by the ‘self’. If you can abandon the ‘self’, then you won’t feel these negative emotions. If a person can constantly live their everyday lives in happiness, then it’s likened to living in heaven. If a person constantly lives their everyday lives in hatred and grief, then it’s likened to living in hell. Grief can harm one’s body and shorten one’s lifespan. If a person is narrow-minded and unable to tolerate anything, then they will die from anger. Master requests that disciples must mutually tolerate and mutually love and protect each other. Master tells you, regardless of what other people say, they are right, not wrong. You are the person who’s at fault because you are still attached to the concept of ‘self’.
One-sided views are about being suspicious of the people around you or something you saw.
Deviated views are when you saw something happen, and you think that you are correct, but in reality, what you think is not entirely correct. That is called a deviated view, and it’s a view formed from the ‘self’.
Views of grasping at views are where the thing you saw and the thing you obtained may not be correct.
View of prohibitive morality. The cause isn’t the real cause, but you think it is. It was clear that this person didn't do something, but you insist that this person has done it. That is also a kind of deviated view. You are deluded by what you see and what you think, you believe that what you see is real. But there is nothing in this world that is real. If you think that our body is real, then when we die, does it still exist? Our parents are real, but then they pass away, do they still exist?
‘Thought-delusion’ are mental delusions that are also humans’ great karmic obstacles.
Now I will discuss ‘view-thought-delusion’ and its relationship with our everyday lives. If we suspect others in our everyday life, then you are afflicted with view-thought-delusion. That is a delusion that we are all easily susceptible to. What you see and what you think are all sources of delusion.
Why is it easiest to cultivate in the human realm? It’s because when we indulge in worldly blessings, then we are not diligent in our cultivation. Good and fortunate times tend to make people slack. It’s only when people are suffering hardships would they think about cultivating.
If a person doesn’t cherish their life while they’re still alive, then they are likened to a dead person. Life is most precious, but if you haven’t made use of your life to do something remarkable, then it’s a great pity, and it can’t be considered precious. Master warns you, never store negative things inside your mind. If you store benevolent things inside your mind, then the karmic rewards you gain would be positive. If the things you store in your mind is bad and dirty, then the karmic rewards you gain would be bad. When cultivating the mind, you must understand to advance with the times. Time is your best role-model; you must improve along with the times. Time will not make any changes to its motion just because something happened. One’s level of refinement stems from one’s inner cultivation, not from one’s selfishness. If a person is only interested in themselves and only interested in cultivating themselves better, then their level of cultivation and accumulation of merits will be capped at the level of Theravada Buddhism.
You must learn to say, “I’m sorry”. That is a phrase associated with humility and courtesy. It is a form of measure to one’s level of cultivation; it can reflect on one’s intrinsic qualities. These phrases would not make one lose face, nor would it lowers one’s intrinsic qualities. You had often heard these courteous phrases from when you were young, but how many of you say it? How many times have you said it? It’s because you have the concept of the ‘self’, you are self-attached, “I can’t lose face”. Everybody has a time when they made a mistake; it’s okay to make a mistake as long as you know and admit that you did wrong and is willing to correct it. That’s most important.
Now Master will teach you how to eliminate your karmic obstacles. Why can our merits eliminate karmic obstacles? In a person’s 8th consciousness resides the foundational consciousness which is also known as the ‘storehouse consciousness’. That’s because it’s the place where all wholesome and unwholesome karmic seeds reside. For every sentient beings, their every intention, their every word and action would create a karmic seed. This seed when it has not yet fructify are all stored in the foundational consciousness. When there are merits, these merits will enter into this consciousness and eliminate all the unwholesome negative obstacles.
The eight consciousnesses are the following: visual consciousness, auditory consciousness, olfactory consciousness, gustatory consciousness, tactile consciousness, mental consciousness, afflicted mentality and foundational consciousness.