Gotta Do It Yourself

Something I stumbled upon recently from the Śūraṅgama Sutra (translation here):

When Ānanda had heard that, he again wept sorrowfully. He then bowed to the ground, knelt on both knees, placed his palms together, and said to the Buddha, “Ever since I followed the Buddha and resolved to enter the monastic life, I have relied on the Buddha’s awe-inspiring spirit. I have often thought, ‘There is no reason for me to toil at spiritual practice,’ because I just expected that the Thus-Come One would graciously transfer some of his samādhi to me. I never realized that in fact he simply could not stand in for me, in body or in mind. Thus I abandoned my original resolve, and though my body has indeed entered the monastic life, my mind has not entered the Path. I am like that poor son who ran away from his father. Today I realize that, though I am learned, I might as well not have learned anything if I do not practice, just as someone who only talks of food never gets full.

Been mulling over this one since Tuesday. 

P.S. Tetsugen, a 16th century zen monk, often praised the virtues of this sutra as well.

P.P.S. Double-post today. 


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

One thought on “Gotta Do It Yourself”

  1. My favorite part is on page 230:

    ““Consider someone who is always thinking of another person. This
    second person, though, has completely forgotten about the first person.
    Even if these two people were to meet, they might as well not have met,
    and even if they were to catch sight of one another, they might as well
    not have seen each other. But consider two other people who always
    have each other in mind so much so that they will be, in lifetime after
    lifetime, as inseparable as a man and his shadow. Similarly, the Thus Come
    Ones in all ten directions think of all beings with compassion, just
    as a mother always thinks of her child. If the child were to run away from
    home, the mother’s thinking of him will be of no use. But if the child is
    mindful of the mother, just as she is of him, the two will be inseparable
    in lifetime after lifetime. In the same way, beings who are always mindful
    of the Buddha, always thinking of the Buddha, are certain to see the Buddha
    now or in the future. They will never be far from Buddhas, and their
    minds will awaken by themselves without any special effort. Such people
    may be said to be adorned with fragrance and light, just as people who
    have been in the presence of incense will naturally smell sweet. “

    Liked by 1 person

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