CAN ONE DISPELL THE THREE POISONS BY JUST BEING?

Buddhist monks

Buddhist monks



Question

In the Breakthrough Sermon Bodhidharma mentions three precepts and six paramitas. Sifu, can one "dispel the three poisons and drive away the six thieves" by "just being" in the present moment?

-- Parveen


Answer

In Buddhist context, the three precepts are taking refuge in the Buddha, taking refuge in the Sangka, and taking refuge in the Dharma. The six paramitas are perfection of charity, morality, tolerance, effort, meditation and wisdom.

The three poisons are greed, anger and delusion. The six thieves are eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind. Why are these six sense organs called the six thieves. It is because they distort the Supreme Cosmis Reality, called the Spiritual Body of the Buddha, and cause us to experience it as differentiated entities, or the phenomenal world.

No, in conventional language, one cannot dispel the three poisons and drive away the six thieves by just being. In other words, by doing nothing, one cannot overcome greed, anger and ignorance, and perceive reality as an undifferentiated spread of energy.

We can overcome the three poisons with the first three of the six paramitas. In other words, when we are charitable, morally upright and tolerant of other people's beliefs, we will not be greedy, angry and deluded. By practicing the other three paramitas, we can drive away the six thieves. In other words, when we persist in practicing meditation we will acquire the cosmic wisdom not just to know that the phenomenal world is an illusion but actually experience that everything is undifferentiated.

Bodhidharma also teaches that by merely following the three precepts one cannot attain Enlightenment. In Zen terms it is described as the three precepts are useless in pointing at the Mind. Those who do not understand the teaching deeply, which means most people, will find the teaching sacrilegious. In essence it is like saying, "If you meet a Buddha, kill him!"

The deep meaning is that by merely believing in Buddhism, even becoming a monk and reciting sutras and sitting in a lotus position, one cannot attain Buddhahood. Similarly, if you still perceive someone in this world or in the divine realm as a Buddha, differentiated from other entities, you still exist in the phenomenal. Only when you can break through the phenomenal and perceive everything as undifferentiated, you have attained Enlightenment.

Hence, in the cosmic sense, by just being one can dispel the three poisons and drive away the six thieves. By just being, one returns to the Original State, which is Buddhahood.

-- Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit


Zen

Dispeling the three poisons by just being


The above is reproduced from the thread 10 Questions for Grandmaster: Legacy of Bodhdharma in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.

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