Sutra of the Eight Realizations of Great Beings
(with Annotation)


page 3


Annotation


Sutra: : a Buddhist scripture, spoken by the Buddha or certified (to be       true) by the Buddha. the “self” and life. From ignorance comes desires       and hatred, which in turn lead to samsara.
Great Beings: Highly enlightened beings; beings with great virtue and       deeds; bodhisattvas and Buddhas.
Mindfully: sincerely, with great concentration; whole-heartedly.
Eight Realizations: what one must achieve to become a Great Being such       as Buddha.

First Realization: the foundation of the eight realizations; the teaching of       impermanence, suffering, emptiness, and no-self.
Four great elements : earth (solid or dry matter), water (liquid or wet       matter), wind (air or motion), and fire (heat or energy). They comprise       all matter.
Inhere in suffering: all worldly things are impermanent, and prone to bring       suffering.
Emptiness: without independent existence, consistency, or fixed       characteristics.
Five skandhas: five aggregates—form, feeling, conception, volition, and       consciousness. Ordinary beings take these aggregates to be the “self”.
No self: emptiness of independent, consistent self-identity. What we       perceive as “self” is actually an illusive ego.
All that arise... : all composite things are conditional, always changing, and       will perish. One should see beyond their appearance. There isn’t a       master-controller.
Root of evil: all harmful actions come from deluded thoughts.
Reservoir of sin: the body is prone to suffering, a result of past       transgressions.
Free from birth and death: to escape the endless rebirth cycle and attain       nirvana.

Birth, death: where there is birth there is death; both are suffering. The       endless rebirth cycle (“samsara”) is a result of desires arising from       delusion.
Wu-wei : free from forced effort (but not necessarily no-action), free from       clinging and attachments, unconditioned, absolute. It also means inner       peace obtained by having no desires, understanding that we are       intrinsically complete and lacking nothing.

Sin: misdeeds, actions that lead to harm and suffering.
Bodhisattva: one who vows to become a Buddha and, with infinite       compassion, liberates countless sentient beings. Bodhi: enlightenment,       to awaken. Sattva: sentient beings, beings with consciousness.
At peace with poverty: the bodhisattva is not distressed by physical       hardship; true poverty is poverty of virtue, not material comfort.
Wisdom as sole vocation: “wisdom” means the understanding of truth. To       acquire such wisdom is essential for the bodhisattva.


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