15. Citta (ii) Enlightened and Luminous

In this post, we discuss the relationship between Citta and enlightenment.

Astasahasrika-Prajnaparamita (道行般若波羅蜜經), “is a Mahāyāna Buddhist sūtra in the category of Prajñāpāramitā sūtra literature. The sūtra’s manuscript witnesses date to at least c. Sigma renge form 184 BCE to 46 BCE, making it among the oldest Buddhist manuscripts in existence. The sūtra forms the basis for the expansion and development of the Prajñāpāramitā sūtra literature. In terms of its influence on the development of Buddhist philosophical thought, P.L. Vaidya writes that “all Buddhist writers from Nāgārjuna, Āryadeva, Maitreyanātha, Asaṅga, Vasubandhu, Dignāga, down to Haribhadra concentrated their energies in interpreting Aṣṭasāhasrikā only,” making it of great significance in the development of Madhyāmaka and Yogācāra thought.”

According to The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, in Astasahasrika-Prajnaparamita, Buddha teaches that “the thought of enlightenment is no thought since in its essential original nature is transparently luminous (Chinese=光明).”

In a previous post, we discussed that Citta is the Ultimate Reality because its mentality is quiescent. Its quiescence means Citta is without thinking, fitting Buddha’s definition of “no thought.” So, per Buddha’s definition, the Ultimate Reality is enlightened and luminous. Given that Citta is spread throughout the universe, the Ultimate Reality is the cosmic realm of cosmic enlightenment and luminosity.

In Post 7, Samadhi, the state of mentality at the time of enlightenment is defined as:  

Samadhi (Chinese=三昧), according to The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, is “a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing “subject” becomes one with the experienced “object” – thus is only experiential content. This state of consciousness is often referred to as “one-pointedness of mind;” this expression, however, is misleading because it calls up the image of “concentration” on one point on which the mind is “directed.” However, Samadhi is neither a straining concentration on one point, nor is the mind directed from here (subject) to there (object), which would be a dualistic mode of experience.”

In this pair of duality, the consciousness of the “experiencing subject” refers to the consciousness of the enlightenment seeker, while the consciousness of the “experienced object” is Citta.

When the seeker of enlightenment can calm his mind down enough to be thoughtless, it can become one with the enlightened Citta to form a non-dualistic state of consciousness that is enlightened. When that happens, the seeker is enlightened, by Buddha’s definition.

Furthermore, since Citta is spread throughout the universe, enlightenment should happen to anyone anywhere in the universe at any time. Indeed, as this List of Enlightened People shows, enlightened people since Buddha has come from all corners of the world and across centuries.

So, what is the “experiential content” mentioned in the definition of Samadhi?

As defined earlier, a Buddha is a person who “opens his consciousness to encompass all objects of knowledge.” While “opening one’s consciousness” is the same as using direct perception to “open one’s consciousness” to form “a non-dualistic state of consciousness” with Citta, the “experiential content” mentioned in the definition of Samadhi is the same as “all objects of knowledge” that a Buddha must encompass.

Objects of knowledge,” “experiential content,” and Dr. Fisch’s “empirical facts” all refer to the raw data of nature embedded in the mental construct of the cosmos that can be experienced or directly perceived before becoming “reading-in of the mind” and be conceptualized “in ways we do not govern.” When not conceptualized, these raw data inform the enlightened person of “how things stand in themselves” in nature.

How things stand in themselves in nature” is what Buddha teaches, the content of Buddhism. The core of the content of Buddha’s teaching is that all realities are “Nothing but Mentality.

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