The Ten Mara-States of the Skandha of Form

"Ananda, you must know that when you sit in the meditation hall with thoughts extinguished and a clear mind, you will no longer be affected by movement or stillness, and memory and forgetting will be as one. In this state as you enter samadhi, you are like a man with sharp eyes who is standing in the dark. Although your mind is clear, it does not yet shine. This is called 'the state conditioned by the skandha of form.' When your eyes are clear, light floods the ten directions, and you will no longer dwell in darkness. This is called 'the end of the skandha of form,' and allows you to transcend the kalpa of impurity, whose root cause is stubborn and erroneous thinking.

1. "Ananda, in your present state of penetration and clarity, the four elements of the world cannot entwine you, and after a short time your body will be free of all hindrances. This state is called 'the outward diffusion of clear consciousness' and is but a temporary manifestation resulting from your progress in meditation. It does not mean that you have reached sainthood. This stage, although it is called 'an excellent level of attainment,' should not be confused with sainthood. If you do misinterpret this, you will be attacked by hordes of demons.

2. "Ananda, once again in this state of penetration and clarity, you will attain internal discernment of your own body and may even see roundworms inside. However, although you perceive your body thus, there will be no harm. This state is called 'the diffusion of clear consciousness into the body' and is but a temporary manifestation resulting from your progress in meditation. It does not mean that you have
reached sainthood. This stage, although it is called 'an excellent level of attainment,' should not be confused with sainthood. If you do misinterpret this, you will be attacked by hordes of demons.

3. "Continuing with this mind to penetrate both within and without, the higher and lower souls, the mind and will, and the spirit ( though excepting the physical body) all intermingle as host and guest. Suddenly you will hear a voice in the middle of the air preaching the dharma or proclaiming its secret meanings in the ten directions. This state is called 'the mutual separation and union of spirit and the higher and
lower souls.' This attainment sows good seed, but it is temporary and is not sainthood. This stage, although it is called 'an excellent level of attainment,' should not be confused with sainthood. If you do misinterpret this, you will be attacked by hordes of demons.

4. "Continuing with this clear and penetrating mind, your inner light will shine forth and bathe everything in the ten directions with the golden hue of sandalwood, and all creatures are transformed into Buddhas. Suddenly you will see Vairocana, the embodiment of truth himself, seated on a throne of heavenly light surrounded by a thousand Buddhas and countless nations and lotus blossoms, all appearing at once. This is called 'the effect of the awakening spirituality of the mind.' The penetrating light of the mind illuminates all the worlds. However, this is a temporary stage and is not sainthood. This stage, although it is called 'an excellent level of attainment,' should not be confused with sainthood. If you do misinterpret this, you will be attacked by hordes of demons.

5. "Continuing to contemplate with this clear and penetrating mind, if you persist in repressing and controlling your thoughts, the effort will produce the desire for release. Suddenly, then, the ten directions of space will be filled with the colors of the seven or hundred precious gems. Without clashing, the green, yellow, red, and white colors will each manifest in all their purity. This is called 'the effect of excessive repression.' This is a temporary stage and is not sainthood. This stage, although it is called 'an excellent level of attainment,' should not be confused with sainthood. If you do misinterpret this, you will be attacked by hordes of demons.

6. "Continuing to investigate with this clear and penetrating mind, your inner light will become concentrated, and suddenly at midnight in a dark room you will see all sorts of objects just as if it were broad daylight. These objects will persist and will not disappear. This is called 'the clarity of mental refinement penetrating obscurity.' This is a temporary stage and is not sainthood. This stage, although it is called 'an excellent level of attainment,' should not be confused with sainthood. If you do misinterpret this, you will be attacked by hordes of demons.

7. "Continuing, as your mind merges with the void, suddenly your four limbs will feel like grass or trees. Even if burned by fire or cut with a knife, you will feel nothing. Flame cannot burn you, and cutting your flesh is just like whittling a stick. This is called 'the union of inner and outer worlds eliminating the four elements and realizing perfect purity.' This is a temporary stage and is not sainthood. This stage, although it is called 'an excellent level of attainment,' should not be confused with sainthood. If you do misinterpret this, you will be attacked by hordes of demons.

8. "Continuing to pursue purity with your mind, when you have reached a very high level, you will suddenly see all quarters of the great earth, with its mountains and rivers, transformed into the Buddha's pure land, complete with the all-pervading radiance of the seven precious jewels. You will also see all the Buddhas, as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, filling space, together with beautiful temples and palaces. Your unimpeded vision will be able to see hells below and heavenly deva palaces above. This is called 'the result of prolonged contemplation of likes and dislikes.' However, this is not sainthood. This stage, although it is called 'an excellent level of attainment,' should not be confused
with sainthood. If you do misinterpret this, you will be attacked by hordes of demons.

9. "Continuing with this mind to penetrate further and deeper, suddenly in the middle of the night far in the distance you will see market-places, wells, streets, and lanes. You may see relatives, clansman, and family members, and may even hear them speak. This is called 'remote visions of the overworked mind taking flight.' However, this is not sainthood. This stage, although it is called 'an excellent level of attainment,' should not be confused with sainthood. If you do misinterpret this, you will be attacked by hordes of demons.

10. "Continuing with this mind to penetrate to the furthest extent, you will see men of good wisdom, whose bodies undergo countless changes without reason. This is called "demonic influence on the perverse mind." You may experience Deva Mara enter your innermost mind and spontaneously preach the dharma and its profound meaning. This is not sainthood. Not confusing this with sainthood helps to undermine the work of Mara. If you misinterpret this as sainthood, you will be attacked by hordes of demons.

"Ananda, these ten manifestations of dhyana are the result of the interaction of the skandha of form with the practice of meditation. Living things are stubborn in their delusion and not reflective. Hence, when they experience these conditioned phenomena, they are bewildered and do not understand them, proclaiming that they have attained sainthood and are enlightened. In this way, they fall into the hell of uninterrupted punishment. After my nirvana, in the age of the degeneration of the dharma, you must proclaim these teachings to prevent Deva Mara
from exploiting these states and to protect yourselves and realize the supreme Tao.

 



 



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