Why I Emphasize Three-Yanas-ln-One
(Chapter VI of Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical)
Yogi C. M. Chen
We have to consider that the whole system of the three
yanas is certainly mentioned in the Lotus Sutra (Saddharma Pundanka
Sutra) but the Three-Yanas-in-One as found in this book is a little
different. The Buddha wanted the three not separate but united. He
said that no three yanas can be found, only one; thus to make our meaning
quite clear we do not use the term Triyana but rather Three-Yanas-in-One.
This stresses that the three are continuous from one to another, that
they are three stages of one path. In truth, there are neither three
yanas separately, nor is there only one. To think of each complete
in itself is to fragment the unity of the Dharma and to talk of only
one might imply the claimed superiority of the doctrine of any one
school. On this matter we shall talk in detail later.
In our case, we have 3-in-1, which seem separate but are still united,
united yet separate. Why are they separate? Because of the different
stages of meditators and the degrees of practice suitable for them. Thus,
some are skilled, some unskilled, some neophytes and some old hands;
thus the Buddha knew and arranged his teachings accordingly, saying,
first take Hinayana and after that comes Mahayana and from that go on
to Vajrayana. Why are they united? Because the Buddha taught us many
teachings over a long period and these collectively are called the Triyana.
Without seeing truly how they are related, people will be confounded.
These yanas are not two ways or three, not double or triple but follow
from one another in a certain sequence to be described, to form different
levels of the same path. And so, for these reasons, we should try to
see the unity of the three, and unite these three into one in our practice.
Someone might at this point object, saying, "Why not talk about
the five yanas?" In answer we should say that, to begin with, the
Five Ways have already been mentioned (See Chapters IV & V of my
book Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical) and then given
a detailed explanation about these five: Man-Yana, Heaven-Yana, Sravakayana,
a. The first two of the five are the preparation, the skin and flesh
and not the main part or heart of meditation.
b. The second two are both Hinayana. This yana should be considered
as one, there is no need for two separately.
c. The last one concerns the Bodhisattva career but reaches the exoteric
Mahayana only and does not include the esoteric doctrine. Therefore,
the latter, the Vajrayana, must still be added.
So the system of the three yanas is less in number than the five, but
it is more comprehensive in range.
Now we have to come to the point by point answer to the talk's opening
question, "What are the REAL reasons why we should show clearly
the whole system of Three-In-One?"
The first purpose is to get rid of nonsensical arguments between the
various yanas and many schools. We should consider a number of examples
A. Hinayana versus Mahayana
The Hinayana generally (though now only the Theravadins of Southern
Buddhist tradition remain as an independent school) do not admit the
Mahayana Sutras to be the sayings of the Buddha. Let us examine a number
of points in this connection.
1) Some Hinayanists say that the canonical literature of the Great Way
is not Buddha-word but the invention of Nagarjuna or Asvaghosa. But those
believing in this way should know that even if the Mahayana teachings
were revealed by those sages, there is still good reason to believe in
them. The Buddha has many bodies, one of which is called the Nisyandakaya
(from Chinese we get the meaning, "Equal throughout"). This
body is an impartial outflowing, a flowing everywhere of the preaching
Buddha, even into heavens and descending into hells. The Buddha, creating
these human-like forms, causes them to preach whatever he wishes and
according to what is suitable for that time and has, among other realms,
taught much in the world of Dragons (Nagaloka).
It is recorded that at first Nagarjuna who was very intelligent but
proud wanted to establish his own religion as he was not satisfied with
the Hinayana preachings of the Buddha. It was his conceit which caused
him to think of establishing a religion superior to Buddhadharma.
Then the Naga-King invited him to come to his palace and read the extensive
teaching left there by the Buddha. Nagarjuna read the Avatamsaka Sutra
and by this he was converted to the Mahayana. This great discourse he
brought with him back to the human world. If all sutras of Mahayana were
made by himself without the grace of Buddha, why did he not establish
his own religion as he already desired?
Not only have the great teachers of the past found out the Buddha's
teachings, I myself was asked by a Divine Voice during my meditation, "You
should repeat the Sutra of the Dragon-King." This discourse I had
never seen separately printed and had not taken any care to study it
although I had read the Tripitaka four times. After this experience,
I took out this Sutra and studied it and found many excellent doctrines
and holy instructions. In this work, the venerable Sariputra, the first
in wisdom among the disciples and present at the deep teachings of Sunyata
in the Heart Sutra, followed the Buddha to his preaching in the Naga
palace. Listening, he realized that such an excellent discourse he had
not heard in the human world. He then asked the Buddha why he had not
preached this highest truth among human beings. The Buddha then warned
him not to look down or dislike the state of Dragons. He said that there
are many Bodhisattvas, many Bhiksus and Upasakas here who, through the
commission of a little evil, have fallen into this watery realm. The
Nagas being to some extent prepared for the teachings, the Buddha is
able to leave with them many more doctrines than can be taught in the
world of men.
Nor should we forget that the Buddha foretold the coming of Nagarjuna
in the Lankavatara Sutra-in the passage saying that after eight hundred
years have passed, such a sage will arise. Then Buddha sent Nagarjuna
so that he might make the Dharma flourish. And it is also written in
the Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra that Nagarjuna was a Buddha in
the past named "Mystic-Clouds-Form Buddha." Asvaghosa was once
a Buddha as well, and in a past kalpa bore the name "Great-Light
2) As the followers of Hinayana may have the doubt that Nagarjuna himself
wrote these scriptures, therefore we cannot give these teachings as proof
that he did not do so. Now Buddhism is simply a religion of Truth and
certainly not of blind faith and superstition. The Buddhist is always
encouraged by his Teacher to find out the highest truth and where this
has been taught most clearly. He may then compare the Hinayana and Mahayana
teachings and after a thorough examination may determine that he prefers
the latter to the former. In the latter, the truth preached is complete
whereas the truths of the former are not ultimate. It is Buddhist tradition
to believe the Truth and not who said it: Truth (but not the person)
is the most important. Supposing Nagarjuna had established a religion
with a teaching going further than the Buddha's preaching in the
Hinayana, then we should believe Nagarjuna and not the Buddha, since
the former taught the ultimate and complete truth.
In the Prajnaparamita Sutra, a list of four reliances are given:
i. Our faith relies on truth and not on persons.
ii. We believe in the truth itself but not in letter and words of
iii. And in the ultimate but not in the incomplete truth.
iv. Finally, we lay stress on wisdom of realization (prajna) and
not on mere consciousness (vijnana) of human mind.
3) In the Mahayana, it is never said that Hinayana is not Buddha-word.
It is said that the Buddha preached the Lesser as foundation for the
Great Vehicle and this despite the fact that the Mahayana is already
so complete. The latter does not at all mind admitting and indeed respecting
the Hinayana, so why in their turn should the Theravadins be so narrow
in their outlook?
4) If the four Agamas (Nikayas) are carefully read, then in some places
we find references to the Bodhisattvas, past Buddhas, and other subjects
often thought of as treated only by the Mahayana. The Agamas are not
the only teaching of the Sravakas, although principally concerned with
In the well-known invocation to the Buddha Gautama widely used in Theravada
lands in Pali: Namo tassa Bhagavato Arhato Sama-sambuddhassa, there are
significant meanings to these three epithets of Buddha:
Bhagavat-- the Excellent among men. The position of Cause representing
the human body appearing among mankind but exalted above them.
Arhat-- the Worthy One, in the position of Course (or Path) since the
Buddha practiced as a bhiksu himself, by his own life showing the way
Samyak Sambuddha-- the Fully Enlightened One and the aim of the Bodhisattva.
This is in the position of Consequence.
Although the teachings of the Agamas do not mention clearly the Six
Paramitas, still their elements can be discovered. For instance, the
Dharmapada, a Hinayana work, gives the following verses on Dana:
332. In this world it is good to serve mother
And good to serve father as well.
Good it is to serve the monks
And good to give to the Noble Ones.
177. Truly, the miserly fare not to heaven worlds
Nor indeed do fools praise liberality,
But the wise man rejoices in giving
And by such acts alone, he becomes happy hereafter.
Great importance is given also to Silas as may be seen from
the many stanzas on this subject in the Dharmapada:
to do good, restrain your mind from evil.
Whoever is slow to do good, his mind delights in evil.
50. Let none find out the faults of others
Nor what is done or left undone by them.
But one should only see--
What is done and not done by oneself.
133. Do not speak harshly to anyone,
Those spoken to thus will retort,
Indeed angry speech is hurtful;
Beware, lest others retaliate.
Whoever in this world
Takes what is not given,
Consorts with others?wives,
Or is addicted to taking strong drinks?
Such a man digs up his own root (of goodness) in this very world.
234. The wise are controlled in body,
Controlled in speech are they
And controlled in mind (as well);
Truly, they are well-controlled in every way.
Kshanti (patience) is also praised in this book:
134. If, like a broken gong, you utter nothing,
Then you have reached Nirvana; for anger is unknown to you.
184. For bearance and patience are the highest penance,
"Nirvana is supreme," proclaim the Buddhas,
Hurting others bodily, one is not a monk,
One is not a recluse oppressing others.
The last three Paramitas (Virya, zeal; Samadhi, meditation; and Prajna,
wisdom) are to be found mentioned in many places as desirable spiritual qualities
if not as Perfections. Although we may trace these qualities going by the same
names in both yanas, yet there is a difference in their underlying philosophy.
These qualities are not Paramitas since they lack the teaching of non-egoism
(of both persons and Dharmas). The Hinayana philosophy of an atomic theory
of indivisible particles and the idea of instants of time in which "minds"
arise, abide and decline, and which cannot be divided, make this teaching incomplete.
Why should these little ideas of permanence be clung to (referring particularly
to the Sarvastivada Abhidharma theories of matter and time)? However, the Buddha
first preached to those of undeveloped faith and therefore encouraged his listeners
to prove his doctrine of Sunyata by analysis, till there remained only particles
regarded as unbreakable. Only later was he able to teach the full doctrine
of Sunyata to those who might understand its very nature without analysis.
In his lifetime among men, comparatively long though it was, the Buddha could
never complete the preaching of the Dharma. It was necessary for others by
the power of the Tathagata to reveal to the world the more advanced teachings
when the time was right. Such teachers were, for instance, Asvaghosa and Nagarjuna
and all the other great sages upon whom he has in the past and may in the future
bestow his Dharma as he wishes. And myself, though so poor in Enlightenment,
have gotten many doctrines bestowed by the Dharmakaya in the Holy Light of
meditation. Among all of my Dharma treasures seen in the Holy Light, there
were only a few mudras (sacred hand gestures) that were confirmed by my Chinese
Guru. He imparted to me some mudras from the Japanese Tantra by correspondence
after I had seen them in my Dharma-treasure in the Holy Light and most of them
have never yet been proved by my Gurus from Tibet, as some had died while others
were not with me in my hermitage. However, these mudras were not uncaused,
nor were they made by myself. If I should claim they were self-made, it would
be a great lie against the Dharma for all of them are a treasure from the Buddha's grace.
Such a great lie, not like those of business, should bear the punishment of
falling into the hells.
5) In history, only 450 years passed between the Buddha's Parinirvana
and the birth of Asvaghosa. In the meanwhile, Manjusri who had so often heard
the Lord preach, remained purposely on this earth so that the works of Asvaghosa
were doubly blessed by the inspiration of this Bodhisattva's
presence and by the Dharmakaya. Asvaghosa as an intelligent Brahmin whose attention
had been turned towards the Buddha's teachings and who had been blessed
as we have described, wrote the Mahayana Sraddhotpada Shastra. The Buddha indeed
had such an intention for the development of the Mahayana.
The four great Councils of the Hinayana (according to Sarvastivada traditions)
at Rajagriha, Vaisali, Kusumapura and Kubha (or Kasmir), we do believe to be
true. In the Mahayana also there have been Councils held by Manjusri. It is
recorded in the last chapter of the Prajnaparamita Sutra that he was commanded
by the Buddha shortly before his passing-away, to collect together all the
Mahayana teachings. For the faithful there can be no doubt about this as this
Sutra was written by the famous teacher NagarJuna himself and would he dare
to tell a lie? To convince the skeptical is more difficult as they may point
out that this work was composed by a champion of the Great Way.
B. Exoteric versus Esoteric
In China, Mahayanists have sometimes said that the Vajrayana is not the word
of the Buddha. They have been called heretics, or outsiders, like brahmanism
and its followers. Such statements are the work of the ignorant and unfortunately
very few understood well the old Vajrayana tradition in China since knowledge
of it was confined to very few-- to the Emperor and his court-- and did not
influence society in general. The three sages from India who taught it in the
Tang dynasty, Vajrabodhi, Amoghavajra, and Subhakarasimha, knew the
Vajrayana very well but as it was restricted to a few persons, the unlearned
say that it was not Buddhism. They do not know properly. This must be emphasized
because we want to make very clear the whole and complete system of the yanas,
The sutras on which the old Chinese Vajrayana school was based (and which
is the foundation for the present Shingonshu in Japan) are also found in Tibetan,
so Chinese Mahayanists could not think that they were produced in China. And
why do they not read the Chinese Tripitaka? There are good translations of
both the Vajrasekhara and Mahavairocana Sturas, the canonical base of the Vajrayana
of both China and Japan. If Mahayanists suspect the authenticity of the Vajrayana,
why do they not read these?
C. The Japanese Tantra versus the Tibetan Anuttarayoga
Teachers and writers on Shingon have said that the highest yoga of the Tibetan
Tantras is not the Buddha's Teaching. It has also been said that Padmasambhava
was not a true Buddhist but rather a follower of Brahmanism! (Even some Gelug-pas
of great learning have also said this.)
Japanese authorities have rebuked the Fourth Yoga because of the secret Third
Initiation yogic practices, saying that these are very bad, immoral and other
such accusations. They also urge that the Fourth Yoga is included in the Third
(the Yoga Tantra with its teachings of Vajradhatu and Garbhadhatu), and that
the Third Yoga is not found in Tibet. But on both counts they are not correct:
firstly, the subjects dealt with in Anuttara Yoga are only touched upon in
the third Tantra-group, and secondly, Tsong-kha-pa in his "Nga-rim" deals
fully with the Yoga Tantra teaching, though admittedly it is not so much stressed
as in Japan. The Fourth Yoga was not, they must recognize, taken to China or
taught there by the three Tantrika sages. Kumarajiva, the great translator,
certainly knew these most secret teachings and practiced them but he did not
teach them to others.
A story told about this teacher runs like this: He was envied by some monks
who practiced the usual exoteric Mahayana doctrines, since he carried out the
Third Initiation with many beautiful companions. Once he invited all these
monks to a tea-party. He arranged a cup and a needle before each visitor and
asked them to take the needles with their tea. Nobody had the courage to do
so. He then collected all the needles and swallowed them, and again sent them
out from the pores of his skin by his power matured from the Third Initiation.
Afterwards, no one dared to speak against him or to feel envy toward him.
I advise: First one must practice the lower three parts of the Tantras and
then the Tantra specially taught in Tibet. I have written a long essay on this
subject entitled, "The Japanese Yogi for his Advancement should learn
Anuttarayoga." There I have advised the Japanese Tantrikas to study the
Anuttarayoga with the first three Tantra-groups as its foundation. And the
Tibetans I have requested to practice thoroughly the first three yogas since
their emphasis on the fourth tends to lead to a neglect of these necessary
The example, forty years ago, of a famous Chinese monk Ta Yung who took ten
of his disciples to Japan also shows us the way to go. Firstly, in Japan he
studied and practiced the three yogas taught in Shingon. Not feeling satisfied
with the results of this meditation, he then went to Tibet and learned the
Anuttarayoga. His knowledge being completed in the Tantras, he was able to
help many monks and laypeople understand the Vajrayana.
It is only when one has studied all that one may criticize and not before.
D. In Tibet, they surely all believe in the three
yanas but a little conflict between differences of doctrine is seen between
the New Party (Gelug-pa) formed upon the teachings of Tsong-kha-pa and the
Old Party of various schools (Nyimg-ma-pa, Kar-gut-pa, Sakya-pa, etc.) We should
examine these conflicting points and see whether or not they can be harmonized.
Tsong-kha-pa does not admit that the Great Perfection of the Nying-ma-pa or
any other Mahamudra realization can be attained before the third initiation
(abhiseka) which particularly empowers one to practice the divine yogic union.
He did not want to separate these and said one may attain to the fourth initiation
like Mahamudra only after practicing the third. The Nying-ma-pa, however, teach
two ways, one of Liberation and the other of Vajra-love Practice. Both may
lead their practitioners to Full Enlightenment in this life.
Another point controverted by Tsong-kha-pa relates to the teachings of a Ch'an
Master who, hundreds of years before, had taught in Tibet. He is known in Chinese
as Hwa-Shang and during his stay in Tibet great numbers of Tantrikas followed
him. Some Tibetan and Indian monks were concerned about this and therefore
invited the Indian Pundit-bhikshu Kamalasila to come to Tibet and dispute with
the Ch'an teacher. This resulted in the Counsil of Lhasa, after which,
due to the king's instructions, Hwa-Shang had to flee away leaving only
one shoe behind in Tibet.
Hwa-Shang taught that Ch'an emphasizes non-discrimination. Indeed it
teaches that if discrimination is clung to, then there is no possibility of
Enlightenment. He brought quotations from a hundred Sutras and Shastras to
support his assertion.
Tsong-kha-pa objected: If there is no discrimination, how can one investigate
the truth? And if this is not done, then how will there be any practice of
samapatti? We must admit that this is very reasonable.
In the final highest truth there is no discrimination, all is ultimately Sunyata.
But the great Geshe's mistake was to regard Ch'an as a Yana of
Cause, which it is not, being truly a Yana of Consequence. I have also written "An
essay on Tsong-kha-pa's Lam-rim" in which both sides are harmonized.
Again, the Ch'an Master said: If one meets an Enlightened Master, then
immediately one may realize Ch'an (which belongs to the final Truth and
not to immature Samapatti). But Tsong-kha-pa said that this could apply only
to a sage and not to neophytes. The Ch'an, however, of one who attains
in this way is just like that of a sage and never again resembles the neophyte's
samapatti. If he admitted that it is the same as Ch'an of sages, then
he should confess that the non-discrimination of the Ch'anist is quite
right. Ch'an never used a common meditative way such as samatha or samapatti.
If it did, then discriminations to investigate the truth would certainly be
necessary, as Tsong-kha-pa emphasized.
I have often had the thought that if Tsong-kha-pa was an emanation (tulku,
nirmanakaya) of Manjusri, why do his teaching doctrines conflict with those
of the Old Party? Once I was in Dhi-Khong-Lu-Ho hermitage and in my meditative
light I saw upon my head the light body of Manjusri and again saw that he was
transmuted into the form of Tsong-kha-pa also in a light body. Since then I
do believe that he is the emanation of the Bodhisattva. Then I tried to find
out what were Tsong-kha-pa's reasons for refuting the doctrines of the
In his time many conditions were bad among the old schools, with married teachers
living a life of eating and drinking, having married just for pleasure (as
contrasted with taking a dakini for Tantric practice), and even bhikshus were
not properly adhering to their rules. In various ways, evil men saying that
they were Tantric Teachers, took advantage of the doctrine for gain and worldly
pleasure. Tsong-kha-pa determined to save them. We should all be very, very
grateful to him because without him there would be no Buddha-dharma in Tibet
at the present time. He emphasized practice just as the old schools did but
also emphasized that there were very many necessary preparations which took
a long time to perform before practice. One should not begin actual practice
until these preparations are complete so that one is truly ready-- such is
In this way he taught the greater importance of merits to begin with and laid
less emphasis upon wisdom, whereas the latter has always seemed more essential
to the older schools.
He also said that the only difference between a Buddha and an Arhat is that
the Buddha has more merits than the Arhat, however, I think, the latter is
also deficient in Sunyata realization. He taught that Sunyata is always the
same in Hinayana and Mahayana.
Certainly we should not directly practice Mahamudra. First collect merits,
and after that, practice the first, second and third yogas, coming finally
to the fourth. If Tsong-kha-pa had not shown so clearly in his teachings, as
in his "Stages of the Path," that we should go step by step, each
one the foundation for the one following, then I doubt whether there would
now be any Buddhism in Tibet and so we must again express our gratitude.
But I do not agree with him that Hinayana and Mahayana teachings on Sunyata
are the same. In the two yanas, the purport of Sunyata is the same but its
power of penetration of good and evil differs. The Sunyata of the Hinayana
is like a river upon which only the smaller boats can sail, for it is lacking
in depth. But rivers lead down to the sea and this is the voidness taught in
the Mahayana. It may be compared to a great ocean upon which even vessels of
the largest size may float without obstruction.
All these conflicts are settled by our practice of the Three-Ways-In-One system
of meditations outlined here. Imagine the whole system of Buddhism as a length
of five feet. The Theravada Buddhist cuts off 1/5 and throws the rest away,
the Mahayanist keeps 2/5, the Japanese schools 3/5 and the Tibetan new party
4/5. None of these groups are studying the whole system. That is why I emphasize
the three-yanas-in-one; here "one" means the whole system. Before
we finish this section, one more nonsensical dispute should be mentioned.
E. In China there have been many schools. Each
one has tried to make a division of the Buddha's teaching to account
for the numerous and apparently diverse methods found within it. In South China,
three schools tried to do this and in the North there were seven, all these
before the arising of T'en-tai. It was only one monk, Fa-min of the
T'ang dynasty who did make a division into two: of the exoteric or Nirmanakaya
teachings and the esoteric or those originating from the Sambhogakaya. But
in general, nobody heeded the Vajrayana, and instead of incorporating it, left
it to form a separate party. All these teachers making their divisions did
so with only one idea in mind, pride in their own school, and with only one
object, to raise it above the others. This, we can say, is just sectarianism.
So we find each school proclaiming one or two scriptures as the highest teaching
of the Buddha: the T'en-tai school says it is the Lotus Sutra, but the
Hua-yen school announces the Avatamsaka, and so on.
We can settle all these disputes in a very nice way, by our practice of the
Three-Yanas-in-One. All conflicts between them are thereby swept away.
The second reason that we should stress this Three-in-One system is to emphasize
to the utmost the development of the Buddha's doctrine itself. If we
wish to make any division of teachings, it should be according to known historical
facts--an objective division, not a subjective one based on our own preferences
or giving advantage to our own school. We should not follow ideas such as those
of the Hua-yen who said that only a day or two after the Sambodhi of Gautama,
he preached the Avatamsaka Sutra and then, since no one understood, gave a "beginners?
course in the Agama Sutras. Who can prove this? And does not this classification
rather glorify the school which made it? We should not do this.
A. The Buddha first preached to the Five Bhikshus
in the Deer Park near Benares. This is according to all historical accounts
which admit that the Sutra called the Turning of the Wheel of the Law (Dharmachakrapravartana) was the first taught by the Buddha. After the Lord's passing away, history
again records (this is not a matter of our own imagining) that 450 years passed
before Bhadanta Asvaghosa revealed and established the Mahayana. Still later
when the Mahayana was flourishing, the Siddha Nagarjuna obtained from the Iron
Pagoda in South India the Vajrayana teachings; so says the Chinese and Japanese
tradition. But the Tibetans say that the heavens opened and the Vajrayana scriptures
then descended. Even amongst them we find the old and new schools, with the
Kalacakra (Wheel of Time) teachings admittedly the latest.
The sequence of teachings is shown in history and there are no good reasons
for us to turn these matters to our own advantage, this way or that. Our classification
should only show the unity of the whole tradition making clear that the three
yanas are aspects of the one Way. Certainly, as a believer and practitioner
of the Three-in-One, I believe the Buddha preached the Hinayana personally
in his Nirmanakaya, the Vajrayana in his Sambhogakaya and the Mahayana partly
in person while alive on this earth, while partly through scriptures derived
from his Dharmakaya manifested by his outflowing bodies (nisyandakaya) such
as Asvaghosa and Nagarjuna.
B. The second point to underline here is the inherent nature of the various
The Buddha knew well enough that people love worldly things, therefore he
first gave teachings on such subjects as the Four Fundamental Mindfulnesses,
the need for renunciation, the stress laid on morality, and the fact that pain
and pleasure are inextricably bound together, the reason for this, and the
way out of this tangle as taught in the Four Noble Truths and by the Eight-Fold
Path. All these factors were not merely taught by him but lived and realized
in his life. Especially is this true of renunciation which he gave a wonderful
example of by leading the life of a Bhikshu.
When renunciation is well-developed and one knows the pain associated with
the world, then the only thing lacking is the aspiration to save others--the
Bodhicitta--and the thorough comprehension of the Sunyata. Hence establishment
of the Mahayana is necessary.
Those following the Mahayana Great Way must spend much time helping all sentient
beings, and although the Bodhisattva precepts say that wisdom-beings should
meditate three times a day, such a one cannot find much time to practice meditation
due to his concern with universal salvation.
So comes the preaching of the third Yana. Regarding the most important principle
of Sunyata, it is not completely developed in the Hinayana, and it is only
realized psychologically in the Mahayana, thus the Vajrayana must be developed
where Sunyata is understood in the complete psychophysical sense.
Such a sequence of teachings as this we must have and then we can get Full
We ourselves are directly concerned with the third reason for emphasizing
the Three-in-One system for we should follow the order of these vehicles in
our meditation practice and unite all three of them within our own realization.
Our Dharma is thus shown as Three-Vehicles-in-One.
A. First meditate on the Truth of Duhkha (sorrow),
then a thorough renunciation will follow. Although some desire is destroyed
at this stage, of the two inner obstacles, only the veil of sorrows (klesavarana)
is destroyed but the veil of knowledge (jneyavarna) is retained.
B. From this, one should go on to practice the
complementary Mahayana teachings of the Paramitas and realization of Sunyata
with regard to both the person and things. After such practice, both inner
and outer obstacles are easily destroyed. The klesa-veil and most of the jneya-veil
are then torn down.
C. But defilements both jneya and klesa are of
two kinds, acquired (already destroyed) and innate, and the latter are very
hard to meditate away. While the former are specifically the psychical energies,
the latter pertain to the body and it is very difficult to still the subtle
movements they cause in the mind, and it is also very hard to subdue their
ultra-fine energies. It will indeed take a long time to do this through the
Mahayana teachings; it is possible however by the methods of practice given
one in the Third Initiation of Anuttarayoga to rid oneself completely of these
very subtle obstacles by the discovery of Innate-Wisdom, only possible through
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[Related works: Buddhist Meditation Systematic and Practical Chapter VI 佛教禪定實修體系 第六章