Workings of the Five Aggregates

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Posted by Master ( on November 02, 2000 at 02:38:19:

"Meditation for Universal Luminosity" is about Tantric teachings
and a purified version of the Zhan Doctrines. However,
knowledge of the correct teachings mentioned above is not
enough. Without learning about the heretic teachings, the
practitioner may easily be lured way by them and fall into the
control by the devil of the five constituent elements of existence.
These elements refer to the five aggregates (form sensation,
perception, volition, and consciousness). If in practice one is
reduced to a state of dead trees and cold ashes, without the
slightest energy and vitality of the Earth, then he has fallen into
the Yin Realm (the negative and dark realm). He will look weak
and fragile, surrounded by come icy cold air. This indicates that
his meditation has gone off the right track.
In the Realm of the five aggregates and the Realm of Form and
Desire, there are also many gods and ghosts who have some
minor responsive powers. Those with the highest attainment are
ghost celestials with fox celestials ranking in the middle. Ghost and
fox celestials all have spiritual powers. Though they have not
attained the perfect fruition, they enjoy themselves among great
mountains and rivers. Most of them have meritorious retribution
of 5001-000 years but have fallen into wrong teachings. So though
with practice in meditation, they are not much different from
ghosts and foxes.
When the operations of the devil of the five aggregates transform
into a kind of Dharma wheel, but its spinning makes one feel
nauseated and dizzy. Sometimes you see many beautiful flowers
of various colors falling from the sky, making you desirous of
them. Or you see a vast span of ocean with great waves rolling in
which many living beings are struggling. Or you see the moon, on
which celestial beings are coming and going. Or you hear some
sounds, following which you see illusions one after another. Or
you see palaces that are reflections from the illusions, to mention
just a few examples.
Such photisms can be seen as hallucination of the mind, since
everything is created by the mind, you don't have to bother about
their truth. They belong to reflections of a tranquil mind. As all
scenes change according to the states of mind, you should not be
attached to any of them. Attachment will lead you astray and land
you into the workings of the devil of the five aggregates.
In meditation and prostration, there are many collateral branches,
such as Brahman in India, Yoga, and the Bon, which are not pure
Buddhist branches. I remember when Bodhisattva Nagarjuna
came to this world, he used expedient methods of Brahmin to
establish all Tantric teachings, so that the Brahmins would accept
them. The Indians were divided into four castes: Castries (Kings,
warriors), Brahmins (Priests), Sudras (working men, slaves), and
Candelas (the lowest class; outcasts who made their living by
hunting, slaughtering cattle, or burying dead bodies, considered to
be on a level with animals).
Accordingly, Nagarjuna devised expedient Tantric methods to
deliver them, practicing the sutras with Ksatriyas, studying the
sutras with Brahmins, using the Yoga sutras with Sudras, and
using the Supreme Yoga sutras with the Candalas. So all methods
are expedient- designed differently for liberating different people.
As far as I know, Brahmanism, Yoga, and the Bon worship
natural idols. They worship the Sun when they see the Sun. They
worship he Moon when they see the Moon. They worship the
God of fire upon seeing fire, and worship the God of water at the
sight of water. They worship the tree or the stone when they see
one. They even worship birds and beasts. In their meditation, they
worship whatever idols or images they can conceive of. Few of
them can stay away from devils.
There were Brahmins who worshipped the horse. The Buddhist
patriarch had to go into Kuan-Yin samadhi, and change into a
horse-headed Kuan-Yin to embrace and receive them.
There were aborigines who worshipped the pig. To save them, the
Buddhist patriarch had to get into Buddha Vairocana samadhi, and
change into Vajra Mother (Pig-crowned, concubine of the
Yamantakrt, the principal Deity for Tibetan Supreme Yoga) to
embrace and receive them.
There were also people who were fond of Yoga body-training.
The patriarch had to go into Aksobhya Buddha's samadhi, and
Amitabha Buddha's samadhi and transform into the Great Bliss
Vajra and Red-Colored Kuan-Yin to embrace and receive them.
Today, there is a person called Lin Yun, who claimed that the
Bon Religion (the Black Sect) is little known today and that he is
the only Guru of lineage, thus doing a great disservice to
Buddhism. Many people, including famous actors, actresses and
professors, who are ignorant of the nature of the Bon Religion, are
frightened by his sorcery and tend to believe that he is really a
living Buddha of the Bon School. They are all taken in without
their knowing. The Bon Religion, however, is out and out a
heresy, worshipping an "Ox-head." In its early days, to liberate
them, the patriarchs had to go into Bodhisattva Manjushri's
samadhi and transform into the ox-headed Yamantakrt embrace
and receive them.
Today, Lin Yun advocates the Bon Religion with ulterior motives,
which deserve quenching. Now I warn you again here in the book
that if you do not abandon the heresy and come back to the
correct belief, I shall disclose all the teachings of the Bon Religion
and then demolish them one by one, until you can not hide your
true face any more. All my well-intentioned, repeated persuasion
shows my sincere hope that you turn quickly back to practice the
correct Dharma. Wake up now to see your own True Nature.
You have fallen into the mercy of the devil of the Five
As regards the "twin-body training" method, I think that it does
not belong to Buddhism. To my knowledge, in the early days,
when culture was not fully developed in India and Tibet, children
matured at an early age and most people were meat eaters, so
they had strong sexual desire. The "twin-body training" method
was devised to give the Brahmins a chance to give vent to their
lust. So this practice originally belonged to Brahmanism. When it
was first introduced into Tantric practice, some people accepted it
while others objected it.
Those who favored it would say that instead of using wisdom to
see through sexual desire, it would better to use lust to quench
itself, the realization of its uselessness would put an end to it.
Those against it would argue that once the monks fell into sex,
they could never extricate themselves from it- its eradication was
out of the question.
I think that few of the practitioners of the "twin-body training"
method had attained fruition, instead many of them fell into the
Realm of Form and Desire. So it would be better not to practice it,
as it would lead to the workings of the devil of the Five
Aggregates and the devil of sex.
There is a story which goes like this: Once a master who practiced
the "twin-body training" was invited to a Bardo deliverance
ceremony using Yoga Fire to collect food for hungry ghosts and to
deliver the deceased souls. Though he had practiced the
"twin-body training," he had not expelled his sexual desire, that is,
he had not transformed his consciousness into wisdom, nor had
quenched his lust to attain sublimity. Positioned on the Dharma
Seat, he could not drive away from his mind the shadows of
beautiful women.
This is like what a poem describes: "The enchanting desire is hard
to bend. In a spring temple, a beauty is hidden, with charming
white legs and tender waist and arms. Her youthful face beams
pink embedded in fragrant white. Her beauty brings forth envy,
making the man wild with lust."
The master's hands formed the Food Mudra, but his thoughts
were on charming ladies.
Tragedy followed quick!
His Food Mudra called forth a lot of beautiful girls for the food of
the hungry ghosts. If the hungry ghost had been hungry for sex,
they would be a wonderful treat for them. However, the ghosts
were really hungry for food. Before they had satisfied their
stomach, they were not in the mood for sex.
The next moment, the ghosts, pushing the pretty girls aside, went
straight for the Dharma seat and dragged the master down from it,
who fell on the floor head-on, unconscious. A few days later, he
died, taken away by the ghosts.
This story can serve as a warning: in practicing meditation, we
must not go heretic ways; in learning Buddhism, we must take the
right teachings, never to go to the collateral branches.
In doing meditation, remember not to follow collateral sects, and
not to practice whatever is comfortable to practice, because once
the devil of the Five Aggregates takes control, you are bound to
fall into the Realm of Form and Desire. The highest statues you
can attain from it is a ghost celestial, lower than that of a fox
celestial. It is fraud with erroneous paths and collateral roots and
you must proceed with great caution.
However, in practicing Buddhism, different individuals have
different causations, conditions and different interests, so they go
into different schools. I think that these schools and sects have
their own unique merits and we should not favor some and slight
others. We can not say that some schools are superior to others
For instance, to me, the Zhan (phyana) Sect, Tantra Sect, the
Discipline Sect, Dharmalaksana Sect, Three Sastra Sect, Tian-dai
Sect, Avatamsaka Sect, are all orthodox schools in Buddhism, and
due attention should be given to the Kosa Sect and the Satyasiddhi
In addition, I regard the Transcendental Wisdom Sect, the
Nirvana Sect and the Lotus Scripture Sect as rightful schools of
Within the Tantra school, the Red Sect, the Yellow Sect, the
White Sect, and the Flower Sect all have produced patriarchs one
after another, and a large number of monks have distinguished
themselves in realization or achievement. They are all rightful
schools. All correct teachings and sects have their sources, with a
clear line of lineage and development.
Only the Bon Religion does not deserve your faith, as it has no
secret heart sutras or mudras and has just a few minor tricks and

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