29 August 2012

Surangama Study Questions, 4

Back to the heart of the matter...

On Part 4, "The Coming into Being of the World of Illusion," pp. 141-166

*Here, in an exchange with Purna and (again) Ananda, the Buddha resolves many of the outstanding issues from the previous sections.  To do this, he describes the way n which the world that ordinary beings like us experience seems to arise.

*What is meant by "adding understanding to understanding"?

*What is the difference between a Buddha (one who "gets it") and an ordinary being?

*How does experience arise for an ordinary being?

*Ananda gets scolded again:  for what?  What is the Buddha trying to teach him at this point?

PS:  The chapter "The Interfusing of the Primary Elements" (pages 153-158) may make for difficult reading at first, but diligence is rewarded because in this section the teaching of Buddha nature is presented directly in clearly.  All it takes is some patience with the unfamiliar and, to some American readers, seemingly high-flown language.  Enjoy!

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