Quotes from An Outline of Buddhas and Patriarchs
Volume 41 of An Outline of Buddhas and Patriarchs states, “Ancient sages said, ‘The notions of Buddhist views and dharma views are two types of Cakravāḍa (ring of metallic mountains).’ We should not possess any notion of views that will all impede our practice. Therefore, The Ode to Enlightenment states, ‘The mind is the root, and the dharma is the object. These two are similar to marks on a mirror. Light will shine only when all the marks are completely removed. The true nature will emerge once the mind and the dharma have both been dismissed.’”
Excerpts from Mastering the School Tenets of The Diamond Sutra
Venerable Xiao Pingshi
According to An Outline of Buddhas and Patriarchs, an ancient sage once stated, “Possessing Buddhist views and possessing dharma views are like two layers of an iron wall that will hinder our practice. If we are surrounded by an iron wall, could we have a chance to break free from it? Impossible! We will thus no longer be able to leave transmigration behind. In other words, if we possess any notion of views, this will become an obstacle to our cultivation path toward the attainment of the Buddha Bodhi. Thus, bodhisattvas should possess neither Buddhist or dharma views, which belong to the five aggregates, nor the concept of the five-aggregate body. This is because in the principle realm of the ultimate reality, there is no buddha, dharma, person, or sangha. We ought to align ourselves with the state of our realized tathagatagarbha, and from this perspective, there is no buddha, dharma, or sangha, and there are no sentient beings or phenomena. Nirvana denotes a state without any phenomena.
Moreover, the notion of Mahayana nirvana does not prohibit all phenomena. On the contrary, all-encompassing phenomena are allowed to concurringly manifest, flourish, and change. The Mahayana nirvana remains in its principle realm of apex reality. That is, nirvana denotes the actual self-state of the tathagatagarbha.
Therefore, according to The Ode to Enlightenment, the mind is the root, that which brings forth myriads of objects. The mind and the objects are similar to marks on a mirror. When both the mind and the dharma manifest and correspond to each other, they are, in fact, merely the images reflected on the mirror. Only the mirror denotes the True Dharma. After the afflictions from one’s self-view and the belongings of the self are eliminated, the marks will be removed, and the light of wisdom will appear and shine.
The foregoing means that we cannot get caught up with our perceptive minds and the states of any of the six sense objects, regardless of whether our minds are pristine, thoughtful, or thoughtless minds, as all of these kinds of minds are still within the states of sense objects, which are all illusory and impermanent. If we can align ourselves with the correct views and insights of “this tathagatagarbha,” the deep prajna wisdom will shine in us.
Mastering the School Tenets of The Diamond Sutra, Vol. 5, pp. 3-5