Zen

Rinzai 112

As I see it, all those supernatural powers are karmic and dependent. They are not the six supernatural powers the Buddha possessed: entering the realm of forms without being deluded by forms; entering the realm of hearing without being deluded by sounds; smelling without being deluded by smells; tasting without being deluded by tastes; touching without being deluded by touch; and of mental configurations without being deluded by mental configurations.

Therefore the six fields of form, sound, smell, taste, touch and mental configurations are all formless; they cannot bind the man of true independence. Although he is an illusionary body made of five skandhas, he is no other than the supernatural power that walks the earth.

Commentary:

‘All those supernatural powers are karmic and dependent’ means that all the supernatural powers of the Devas, Immortals, Asuras, and the Great Demons are just illusions, the products of discrimination and dependent on discrimination.  As mentioned previously, the six supernatural powers of the Buddha is the ability to see everything as empty, which means not to be deluded by what reaches our eyes, ears, nose, our tongue, skin and imagination. When we are not fooled by what we see, hear, taste, smell, feel and imagine, that is, when we have realised that everything is empty, nothing can bind us. Then, we are referred to as a man of true independence whom nothing can bind, or a man who has escaped from the yoke of karma. At that time, we realise that our illusionary bodies made of five skandhas are the true-Self itself and our actions are the six supernatural powers.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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