Nirvana Sutra

Appreciation of the "Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra"

"Buddha and God" (6)

     In the Maharatnakuta Sutra (in a discourse called "On the Elucidation of Consciousness"), it is made clear that this all-sustaining Buddha-Sphere is actually a universal Consciousness (although this should not be equated with the normal, imperfect, often flitting, anxious, ego-dominated consciousness that we normally cling to). In the Maharatnakuta scripture the Buddha tells of how Consciousness underlies and upholds all that is visible and invisible, the entire cosmos (the dharmadhatu - realm of Dharma, realm of total, all-inclusive Reality). He declares:

     "Consciousness is devoid of form and substance, but it upholds all in the dharmadhatu; it is fully endowed with the power of wisdom ... from the same consciousness that upholds the entire dharmadhatu come all the samsaric beings with bodies of different colors, such as white, black, yellow, and red; and with different dispositions, such as gentleness and irascibility ...Apart from consciousness, there is no dharmadhatu, and apart from the dharmadhatu, there is no consciousness [emphasis added]." (From A Treasury of Mahayana Sutras, op. cit. , pp. 226-227).

This cosmic Consciousness is simply called "Mind" in the Lankavatara Sutra. We shall come to that scripture in our final chapter, but at this point we must take a look at what is probably amongst the most explicit of Buddhist texts regarding the doctrine (now become overt and unhidden) that all things spring from a single Source - Buddhic Mind, or "Awakened Mind".

         [To Be Continued ...]