The Warning to Practitioner's Chapter of the Surangama Sutra taught by Shakyamuni Buddha to Ananda - Translated by Doug Wile
Shakyamuni Buddha Speaks on The Fifty Mara-States of the Five Skandhas Affecting Practitioners During Meditation and How to Meditate Correctly
Ananda rose to his feet, and together with all the assembled neophyte saiksa students, they gratefully prostrated themselves at the Buddha's feet and awaited his compassionate instruction.
"When you practice dhyana and samadhi, all the bodhisattvas and great arhats, whose mind-essences are in perfect accord, remain unmoved, but the king of the demons, together with the ghosts, spirits, and lesser heavens witness the spontaneous collapse of their palaces, and the whole earth is shattered. All the creatures of land, sea, and air are startled. The worldly man labors in darkness and feels no change, whereas the hosts of demons, who have acquired the five supernatural powers but have not yet extinguished their passions, are still attached to the troubles of this world. How can they allow you to destroy their dwellings? This is why when you enter the state of samadhi, the ghosts and spirits, Deva Mara, and monsters and demons swarm about to harass you.
"However, do not be concerned about the maras' rage, for they are afflicted with the passions of the world, while you enjoy wonderful bliss. They can no more touch you than wind can blow out light or a knife can cut water; you are like boiling water and they are like solid ice. As the warm air draws near, the ice is soon melted. Though they rely on their supernatural powers, these are merely external and can only succeed in destroying you through your own internal five skandhas--form, sensation, conception, volition, and consciousness. If you are deluded, they will take advantage of you. When you are established in dhyana, enlightened and free of delusion, what harm can the maras do to you? When your skandhas are wiped out, and you enter a state of perfect clarity, then all evils are but dark vapors. As light overcomes darkness, they will perish as soon as they approach you. How could they dare to disturb your samadhi?
"However, if you fail to awaken and are deluded by the five skandhas, then you, Ananda, will become the offspring of Mara and aid him in his work. This is like the despicable Matangi, who used spells to try to cause you to violate one of the eighty thousand rules of the order. At that time, however, your mind was pure and you did not succumb. This was a potential threat to your precious bodhi-wisdom and to your very being, and you might have ended up like a minister of state who finds himself suddenly dispossessed, destitute, and hopeless.
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