Good friends, in this teaching, from the outset, sitting in meditation does not concern the mind nor does it concern purity; we do not talk of steadfastness. If someone speaks of “viewing the mind,” then I would say that the mind is of itself delusion, and as delusions are just like fantasies, there is nothing to be seen. If someone speaks of “viewing purity,” then I would say that man’s nature is of itself pure, but because of false thoughts, true reality is obscured.
If you exclude delusions, then the original nature reveals its purity. If you activate your mind to view purity, without realizing that your own nature is originally pure, delusions of purity will be produced. Since this delusion has no place to exist, then you know that whatever you see is nothing but delusion.
Purity has no form, but nonetheless some people try to postulate the form of purity and consider this to be Zen practice. People who hold this view obstruct their own original natures and end up by being bound by purity.
One who practices steadfastness does not see the faults of people everywhere. This is the steadfastness of self-nature. The deluded man, however, even if he doesn’t move his own body, will talk of the good and bad of others the moment he opens his mouth, and thus behave in opposition to the way. Therefore, both “viewing the mind” and “viewing purity” will cause an obstruction to the way.
Maneesha, there is a tremendous gap between morality and religion. Most of the religions are just moralities; their function is to decide what is good, what is bad, what is right, what is wrong. They look at man through his actions and they decide his innermost being accordingly, but this is a false approach.
Sometimes a man who thinks he is doing good, and it may appear to others also that he is doing good, will do immense harm – of course unintentionally…
For example, Krishna, in Shrimad Bhagavadgita, argues that his disciple Arjuna should go to war. Arjuna’s father had a brother who was blind, and he had one hundred sons – perhaps, being blind, he had nothing else to do! – and now the question was to whom the kingdom belonged. The sons had come of age. Up to now Arjuna’s father had been ruling the kingdom because the blind brother could not do that, so the question had never arisen before. But now it was a different situation.
Arjuna had only five brothers, including himself, and on the other side were a hundred sons. They demanded that since their father had been denied half of the kingdom just because he was blind, now they wanted to claim the whole kingdom, “…because you are only five, and we are one hundred.”
All the armies of both sides gathered near Delhi in a vast, open ground. Krishna was the charioteer of Arjuna. Seeing the situation – on both sides there were relatives; although they were fighting, they were cousin-brothers, and in every way everybody was entangled with each other – the grandfather of Arjuna, who was one of the wisest men of those days, Bhishma, had decided to be on the side of the blind son.
He loved Arjuna…. Arjuna was the master archer, and there was every possibility that he would win. The teacher who had taught Arjuna had also taught his one hundred cousin-brothers. Now it was such a difficult division. This master who had taught them archery had also chosen to be with the blind man. His blindness created a kind of sympathy, that he had been denied and now it was time for his sons. But the master also loved Arjuna as his best disciple.
Seeing the complexity, knowing perfectly well that he was going to win but it was going to be a massacre of his own friends, family, relatives, Arjuna told Krishna, “Take my chariot to the front so I can see who is on my side and who is on the other side.”