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Buddhaslayer on Geffen Records!

To: alt.magick.tyagi
From: D'Estes 
Subject: Buddhaslayer on Geffen Records!
Date: 1 Mar 1995 04:46:18 GMT

[from alt.philosophy.zen: (Bill Snyder)]

In article (nalini shaw) writes:
>From: (nalini shaw)
>Subject: If you see the Buddha...
>Date: 17 Feb 1995 21:22:16 GMT

>I have heard the sentence/koan "If you see the Buddha, kill him."

>What does it mean?  Lengthly responses appreciated.  Thanks.

More fully: if you see a Buddha on the road, kill it.  Part of the point is 
simply that any idea we have of "Buddha" is a thought construction; so what we 
are meeting is our own ideas reflected back to us.  The person or thing we 
name "Buddha" is not those ideas we are projecting on it (which is what we are 
meeting).  Before you can deal with the person or situation, you must kill all 
thought of "Buddha".  Alternatively, as has been pointed out elsewhere, 
meeting someone else you take to be a Buddha, is to separate Buddha Nature 
from yourself.  Does a dog have Buddha Nature?  Do I have Buddha Nature?  
Did Gautama have Buddha Nature?  Those questions treat Buddhahood as a thing 
which other things can possess.  But nothing is separate from Buddha Nature.  
If you meet a Buddha, kill the illusion of separateness implied by the 
thought: this is a Buddha.

Dear Tyagi et al, 

     Apart from various interepretive schemes one may apply to the above anecdote, it will be found, upon examination,  to be based on the story of the Arhat Angulimala's obtainment of bodhi. A famous murder, Anugulimala (rosary of fingers) attempted to chase down the Buddha and kill him to complete his rosary of one thousand thumbs. Although the Buddha never ran away, or even noticed Angulimala, no matter how fast Angulimala ran, he could not catch up to the Buddha. Exhausted, he cried, "Why can I not Catch you Sir, are you some kind of magician?!" The Buddha turned around, and replied "I have no karma to be killed by you". At that point, Angulimala, decided to become a disciple of the Buddha, and he achieved arhatship that evening, based on the teaching on dependent origination he recieved that day from the Buddha.  
      While it is true that it can indeed be taken as a metaphor for the inability of the conceptual mind (Angulimala) to win the undefiled result (Buddha), it is important to understand the historical and textual grounding of this as well as other zen koans, often terribly ignored by the earnest Western Student who has read too much Watts and D.T. Suzuki.
      The Zen Koan is not a "paradoxical device" used to stun the conceptual mind, it is in fact applied madhyamika philosophy, that is, all Zen koans force one to reject "existence, non-existence, both and niether", in fact differing not one whit from from Nagarjuna's tetralemmic shemata found in the Nirvana chapter of the Mulamadhyamikakarikas. The reason why a Zen Koan is not, in fact, a paradox, is that upon examination, neither existence nor non-existence can be found to have independent existence. What is paradoxial is the mind's existence to extremes that are not rationally justifiable, upon examination.
      To "kill the Buddha" in the road is an exhortation not just to "kill the illusion of separateness", but to realize the primordial non-arising nature of all Dharmas. In this, one would also realize the illusion of "oneness", of 'manyness" of Buddhas, of Sentient Beings, of arising and even of nonarising. One can not kill what never arose.  Where there is no arising to be established, just that is inexpressible. I could go on, but fearing to wear out the patience of my gentle readers, I leave you with a quote from one of the Chakrasamvara tantras; "The secret of all Buddha's is that Perfect Buddhas do not arise, everything arises from non-arising, even arising is itself non-arising". 
     M. D'Estes
Om Yedharma hetuprabhava hetunte tathagate 'cayonirodha evamavadetah mahashramanah svaha

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