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The Ten Methods Of Meditating On The World That Can Lead To Happiness And Fulfillment

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The Ten Methods Of Meditating On The World That Can Lead To Happiness And Fulfillment

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“The Religion of Light teachings are like the resplendent sun: they have the power to dissolve the dark realm and destroy evil forever.” (Stone Sutra 2:22)
This is a small portion of passages from a series of ancient 6th century AD Chinese texts known as, "The Jesus Sutras".

Read:
Around A.D. 640, Christian missionaries entered China from the west and had their message translated with a Taoist and Buddhist overlay. These sutras were eventually sealed in a cave, where they remained hidden for 900 years...In 1907, explorers discovered a vast treasure trove of ancient scrolls, silk paintings, and artifacts dating from the 5th to 11th centuries A.D. in a long-sealed cave in a remote region of China. Among them, written in Chinese, were scrolls that recounted a history of Jesus' life and teachings in beautiful Taoist concepts and imagery that were unknown in the West. The following text has been translated by John Bab{censored}.

The Christians were from Persia and belong to the Nestorian Church - Assyrian Church of the East. Scholars say that they took with them a variety of canonical and non-canonical texts of teachings and sayings attributed to Jesus. In Syria there has traditionally been a strong tradition of agrapha - non-canonical sayings attributed to Jesus that canbe found in a variety of ancient documents such as by the Messalians. It is speculated that some of the non-caoninical teachings in the Sutras could be Chinese transliterations of now lost ancient Christian texts simply rendered using Taoist and Buddhist terminology but retaining the sense of the lost originals.

Emperor Taizong was impressed with the Christian religion which he called, "The Luminous Religion" and asked the missionary monks to translate their sacred writings into Chinese. The monks went on to build monasteries, temples, pagodas etc.

Chapter 2 of the Stone Sutra describes God giving to the first people the original nature of goodness: “Their minds were empty; they were content; and their hearts were simple and innocent. Originally they had no desire” (2:8-9).


More than 1,300 years ago, a Persian Christian monk named Aleben traveled 3,000 miles along the ancient caravan route known as the Silk Road all the way to China, carrying precious copies of the New Testament writings (probably in Syriac). Aleben and his fellow Christian monks stopped in the Chinese city of Chang-au (Xian), where, under the protection of the Tang Dynasty Emperor Taizong, he founded a CHristian monastery and began the arduous task of translating the Christian texts into Chinese. It was the year A.D. 635. When the Italian explorer Marco Polo arrived in China nearly 600 years later, he was astonished to discover that a tiny Christian community had existed there for centuries.
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We know about this amazing Christian evangelist and his genial Chinese hosts because in 1623 graver diggers working outside of Xian dug up a stele weighing two tons and carved with 2,000 Chinese characters. Now known as the Monument Stele and residing in a museum in Xian, It was created in A.D. 781 and tells the tale Aleben and what the Chinese writers called “the Luminous Religion” because it taught of light. Here is what the Stele proclaimed:
The Emperor Taizong was a champion of culture. He created prosperity and encouraged illustrious sages to bestow their wisdom on the people. There was a saint of great virtue named Aleben, who came from the Qin Empire carrying the true scriptures. He had read the azure clouds and divined that he should journey to the East. Along the way, Aleben avoided danger and calamity by observing the rhythm of the wind.
In the ninth year of the Zhenguan reign [A.D. 635], Aleben reaching Chang-an [Zian]. The Emperor sent his minister, Duke Xuanling, together with a contingent of the palace guard, to the western outskirts to accompany Aleben to the palace.
The translation work on his scriptures took place in the Imperial Library and the Emperor studied them in his Private Chambers. After the Emperor became familiar with the True Teachings, he issued a decree and ordered that it be propagated…
… the Emperor issued a proclamation, saying:
“We have studied these scriptures and found them otherworldly, profound and full of mystery.
We found their words lucid and direct.
We have contemplated the birth and growth of the tradition from which these teachings sprang.
These teachings will save all creatures and benefit mankind, and it is on ly proper that they be practiced throughout the world.”
Following the Emperor’s orders, the Greater Qin Monastery was built in the I-ning section of the Capital. Twenty-one ordained monks of the Luminous Religion were allowed to live there…
The Emperor Gaozong [A.D. 650-683] reverently continued the tradition of his ancestor and enhanced the Luminous Religion by building temples in every province. He bestowed honors upon Aleben, declarin ghim the Great Dharma Lord of the Empire. The Luminous Religion spread throughout all ten provinces, the Empire prospered and peace prevailed. Temples were built in 100 cities and countless families received the blessings of the Luminous Religion.
Christianity flourished in China for at least two hundred years. But then, around A.D. 850, Chinese leaders began a purge of foreign religions, including Buddhism. Buddhist temples were destroyed and, according to one source, more than 3,000 monks of the “Luminious Religion” were ordered to return to lay life.
For more than 1,300 years, scholars and missionaries have searched for the lost scriptures that Aleben translated into Chinese — and for his monastery. A breakthrough finally occurred in the late 1880s when a lonely Taoist monk named Wang Yuanlu discovered 50,000 lost Chinese manuscripts hidden away in more than 500 caves in Dunhuang. Amazingly enough, it wasn’t until about a decade ago, in 1998, that the full story was told. The Dunhuang manuscripts are sort of the Dead Sea Scrolls of ancient China, a cache of long-buried treasures that reveal a tremendous amount about life in ancient China — including the strange story of how the “Luminous Religion” took root there and blended with Taoist and Confucian elements to create a uniquely Chinese form of Christianity. The discovery of these ancient Chinese texts by western scholars — and their dissemination to museums in France and Britain — along with the many decades it took to get them translated and published — very much resembles the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

I present to you below a short series of passages from some of the Sutras of this ancient Christian community:

The Ten Methods of meditating on the world that can lead to happiness and fulfillment:
The first method is to realize that as soon as people are born they begin
to grow old and that eventually they die. The world is like an inn where you
stay temporarily. None of the beds or furniture are really yours. We will all be
gone soon, for no one can stay long in an inn.


The Second is to observe how our friends and loved ones have taken from us
just as the leaves fall from a tree. Wind and winter arrive and the leaves are
gone.


The Third method is to recognize that the world is a place where the
success of the mighty and the prosperity of the wealthy never last. They are
like the moon at night. The full moon shines on everything until clouds appear.
Or the full moon changes into the new moon and its light is gone.


The Fourth method is to consider the world as a place where people steal
things from others that they believe are valuable but which eventually harm them
instead. They are like moths attracted to a light who dive into the flame.


The Fifth method is to contemplate the world as a place where the wealthy
exhaust both their body and spirit accumulating treasure that cannot help them
in the end. They are like small jars that cannot hold the rivers, lakes and seas
they covet.


The sixth method asks you to look at the world as a place where people
daily in sexual activities that bring them unhappiness instead of fulfillment.
They are like a tree infected with insects that sap its strength and eat away
its core until it dries up and breaks.


The Seventh Method is to think of the world as a place where people indulge
in alcohol until they are so drunk and confused they don't know good from bad.
They are like a clear spring pool whose mirror-like surface perfectly reflects
everything. But it becomes muddy and the images vanish, leaving a filthy water
in which nothing can be seen.


The Eighth Method calls for thinking of the world as a place where people
act as if life were a game. They sit around wasting the hours of the day and
wearing out their vital spirit. They are like a madman who imagines he seen
flowers and walks around all night trying to find them again. In the end he is
exhausted and has seen nothing.


The Ninth Method is think of the world as a place where people go from
religion to religion looking for truth but finding only confusion. They are like
a skilled craftsman who carves an ox and paints it until the statue resembles
the real thing. But when he tries to use it to plow his field, the ox is good
for nothing.


The Tenth Method is to contemplate the world as a place where people seem to
be following these principles, but are actually deceiving themselves and helping
no one. They are like an oyster that holds a bright pearl. A fisherman breaks
the oyster to extract the pearl and the oyster dies. The pearl looks beautiful
but the oyster is dead.



The Nature of the One Spirit:



Heaven stands without supporting beams or posts. But heaven does not
stand on its own. It does so through the power of the One Spirit,
without supporting beams or posts and free of walls and fences. It is
like when an archer shoots an arrow. We see only the arrow, not the
archer. We see no archer, but the arrow could not have appeared on its
own. There must be an archer. This is how we can understand that heaven and
earth, with the sustaining powers of the One Spirit, neither crumble
nor collapse, but endure because of the power of the One. We do not
see this force, but we know it sustains heaven and earth. Once the
arrow's force is spent it falls to earth. Similarly, if heaven and
earth were not sustained by the one spirit, they would crumble.
Because of the power of the One, heaven and earth do not collapse. So
the existence of heaven and earth affirm the power of the One Spirit.


Since heaven does not collapse, we know this supernatural power is
something we cannot fathom. For it appears that the One Spirit created
itself. Pondering this we realize there is no left and no right, no
before or after, no above or below. It is a single thing, the
sustaining power of the One. There is no second or third, and it
cannot be made. We see the One Spirit dwelling in heaven and earth
without teacher or maker. We see this force as one who invisibly
sustains heaven and earth and nourishes all living things.


The One Spirit cannot be seen in heaven and earth just as the human
soul cannot be seen in the body. The One Spirit alone resides
everywhere just as the soul permeates every place in our body.


There is the One Spirit under heaven who lives in the divine palace of
the intangible realm. This Spirit is never in just one place and is
not attached to any one place. In fact, in the intangible realm one
place is actually two places, and the first is the second in time.
Time in the intangible realm is always seen as present, like the Holy
Lord's transforming influence. It follows from this that the
intangible realm has not been produced nor made. Words such as first
and second do not apply. The One Spirit, therefore, is intangible, not
created and not made.


Do not ask whether everything that exists under heaven also resides in
the intangible realm; or how it is that what we see is not created,
not located anywhere and without time. Not by questions will you
understand where the One Spirit is, or that the One, located in the
intangible realm, has been neither produced nor made. Do not ask when
the One Spirit was made or produced. This also will not be understood
through questions. Not by questions will you understand.


Permanent, inexhaustible; exhaustible, impermanent. The One Spirit
resides within all the myriad thing. The One has been neither produced
nor made, and permanently resides without end. Among the things
existing under heaven, there are those that can be seen and those that
cannot be seen. For example, the soul cannot be seen by human beings.
Our desire to see the soul indicates a spiritual consciousness in
human beings.


Just as two kinds of sprouts can share one root, human sight is of two
kinds and both share one root. We have both a soul and a spiritual
consciousness. Just as a person without a body is not complete and a
person without a soul is not complete, so is someone without a
spiritual consciousness also incomplete. Anything seen under heaven,
it is of two kinds, from one root.


If someone asks in what way the myriad of things are made by the One
Spirit, or if they ask where the unseen things reside, you should
answer in this way: They reside under heaven and are what the One
Spirit sent. If someone asks how many things there are or how many
people have been made, say to them: The myriad things under heaven all
consist of the four elements.



Creation:



You ask what a human being is made. People are made of that which can
be seen and that which cannot be seen. You ask what is visible and
what is invisible. That which can be seen was made by the power of God
and consists of the four elements-- earth, water, fire, and air.


You ask how the four elements are made. The answer is that under
heaven there is nothing that has not been created by the One God. If
the One God had not been in the world, there would have been no need
to make the world. It is like building a house. First you seek a house
builder then ask that the house be built. Likewise, when the One God
undertook creation, once willed, it was done.


Out of love for all living things, He made himself seen in the world.
Through his compassion for all creatures, the One God could be clearly
seen.


Heaven and Earth are the creation of the One God. The power and will
of God pass like the wind over everything. His is not a body of flesh,
but a divine consciousness, completely unseen to human eyes.


What the power of God carries out and what it calls forth can be
known. This could not be done by any other thing. What could possibly
resemble Him?


The myriad things of existence manifest the One God. Everything under
heaven shares his power. Insects and animals do not understand
language, so we say that they do not: have intellectual faculties. In
classifying the myriad things, no two are the same.


Not everything under heaven can be seen. So it is that from the
suspicious hearts of human beings the thought arises that other gods
could have made the myriad things precisely in His image. But even if
there were such gods, none could make precisely in his image. There
are two kinds of things, the visible and the invisible, and it is
clear that the One God made them both.


People are of two natures. If they were of one kind, nothing more
could be said. If there were not two natures, how could God make this
thing called a human being? Everyone under heaven is divided in
accordance with this divine truth of the two natures-- body and
spirit. One God makes both.


In finding the One God, we discover that two worlds have been made. In
the world of the body we suffer demise and death, but in the world of
spirit we are permanent and secure. The spirit, the soul is immortal.
The power of God energizes both body and spirit.



The Four Laws of the Dharma:


No desire.

Your heart seeks one thing after another creating a multitude of
problems. You must not allow them to flare up. Desires are like the
roots of plants. Since they are buried deep below the earth you can't
see them and don't know they are damaged until the buds of the plant
begin to wither and die. Desire in the human heart can't be recognized
from the outside either. Desire can sap wholesome energy from the four
limbs and the body's openings, turning it into unwholesome activity.
This cuts us off from the roots of Peace and Joy. That is why you must
practice the law of no desire.


No action.

Doing things for mundane reasons is not part of your true being.
You have to cast aside vain endeavours and avoid shallow experiences.
Otherwise you are deceiving yourself.


No virtue.

Don't try to find pleasure by making a name for yourself through
good deeds. Practice instead universal loving kindness that is
directed toward everyone. Never seek praise for what you do. Consider
the earth. It produces and nurtures a multitude of creatures each
receiving what it needs. Words cannot express the benefits the earth
provides. Like the earth, you are at one with Peace and Joy when you
practice the laws and save living creatures. But do it without
acclaim. This is the law of no virtue.


No truth.

Don't be concerned with facts, forget about right and wrong,
sinking or rising, winning or losing. Be like a mirror. It reflects
one and all; blue, yellow and all other colors; long, short, any size.
It reflects everything as it is, without judging. Those who have
awakened to the Way, who have attained the mind of Peace and joy, who
can see all karmic conditions and who share their enlightenment with
others, reflect the world like a mirror, leaving no trace of
themselves.
 
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I noted above:

In Syria there has traditionally been a strong tradition of agrapha - non-canonical sayings attributed to Jesus that canbe found in a variety of ancient documents such as by the Messalians. It is speculated that some of the non-caoninical teachings in the Sutras could be Chinese transliterations of now lost ancient Christian texts simply rendered using Taoist and Buddhist terminology but retaining the sense of the lost originals.

As an example take this passage from the Sutras:

Pondering this we realize there is no left and no right, no before or after, no above or below. It is a single thing, the sustaining power of the One. There is no second or third, and it cannot be made.
This is clearly based upon a well-known saying (agrapha) of Jesus that is not included in the Bible but which is known to the Church Fathers:

Acts of Philip 34:

"For the Lord said to me: Except ye make the lower into the upper and the left into the right, ye shall not enter into my kingdom."

Compare with Gospel of Thomas 22:

Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inside as the outside, and the outside as the inside, and the above as the below

In "Acta Philippi", 34: "For the Lord said to me: Except ye make the lower into the upper and the left into the right, ye shall not enter into my kingdom."

<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->

How many more agrapha could there be in the Sutras from now lost ancient texts, simply rendered with a Buddhist/Taoist overlay?
 

Annie

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Thank you for this, Vouthon ji. You are a smart young man. It makes me sad that in my nine years in Catholic schools, I was taught only the mundane and superficial theory; the Bible taken literally, at face value. So many people have no clue that this other side of Christianity exists. It amazes me that at the core, most of the worlds relgions are very similar, yet people fight over the details.
 

spnadmin

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Even though it is thought by some that the 3 gunas are forces which influence existence or prakriti, the view is not shared by all. Not even by all Sikhs. Therefore, the gunas' relationship to these thread topics must be explained or the comment will be deleted.

Gunas, khands, turiya are examples terminology use to explain natural phenomena or spiritual states; This was the terminology used by centuries. However they are not central to Sikhi, and Sikh philosophy.

Harcharajitsinghdhillon ji you are free to repost with an explanation. If the explanation does not make a connection, then the comment will be deleted once again.
 

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