Regarding the entire progress of the dependent origination of all physical and psychical phenomena, Dharmadhàtu is formed based on two principles: the mutual identity principle and the mutual penetration principle.

 “Mutual Identity” interprets the saying “Form Is Nothingness, Nothingness Is Form”.

 “Mutual Penetration” corresponds to the dependent origination principle according to which there is nothing that exists independently with any available fixed character in its original nature, and everything appears simultaneously, depends on one another, affects one another, does not hinder one another’s existence and operation. ““Mutual Penetration” draws three formulas: Concurrent aggregate origination, Concurrent mutual gathering, and Concurrent mutual combination in order to illustrate the dependent origination principle.

According to philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, scientists often classify reality into separate types so as to set up scientific categories. For instance, the universal categorization includes many kinds: humans, animals, plants, living cells, simple inorganic compounds, and subtle quanta. That is a very necessary job for scientific methods, yet very dangerous to philosophy, for such categorization prevents the realization that in fact, classified phenomena are not completely different from one another. Each thing is correlatively combinative with the others, and when classified as such, anytime a side reveals, another will be obscure.

People usually look at things in their own individual viewpoints, thus become always partial and arbitrary and cannot get the complete combination view when considering reality. If the theory of concurrent aggregate origination is completely perceived and achieved then the bias and non-generosity will fade, and the mind will become generous and will not be bound by Atma-gràha or controlled by the feeling of limitation.

In our daily life, the meaning of a thing’s existence is limited in the conception frame and the different expressions by individuals or related community. Therefore, the definitions and names of things cannot go beyond the time and space limit and cannot cover all relationships but can only indicate a limited quantity of appearances or characteristics of the thing at a specific place and at a specific time. Hence, things or phenomena mentioned every day are merely the concepts by the discriminating erroneous thinking, and are lexical names and untrue forms.

The sixth cause in the ten causes arising limitless manifold layers upon layers unhindered Dharmadhàtu: “Because the current Dharmas in the universe are considered as images” makes clear the theory of “Concurrent Aggregate Origination” and “Concurrent Mutual Combination”. Dharmakàra did a physical experiment in order to explain the phenomenon “Mutual Identity and Mutual Penetration” for Empress Wu Zetian to specifically understand the view that is unhindered and complete combination.

Dharmakàra arranged mirrors everywhere in a room, on the ceiling and the floor, on the walls and in all of the corners. In the center of the room, He lighted a candle put next to a statue of Buddha. The Empress was extremely astonished realizing the images in all the mirrors together with the image of the Buddha statue were reflected in all and each mirror. In all and every image reflected in any mirror can be found all images reflected in all of the other mirrors together with the reflection of the Buddha statue. The experiment has proved the theory of Mutual Penetration and Mutual Combination while clarifying the limitless manifold layers upon layers World.

Dharmakàra took a small crystal sphere from his sleeve, put it in the palm of his hand and said: “In this small sphere appear all mirrors and reflected images. This is an example of small things including big things and big things including small things. This has proved the unhindered nature of small and large sizes or of space, but does not prove the unhindered nature of time, the past combines and gathers the future and the future combines and gathers the past, for this is a static experiment which lacks the activeness of time. It is impossible to exemplify the unhindered time, or the unhindered time and space with common equipment. Verifying a phenomenon like that requires a different level of perception”

The reflected images in the mirrors are used to indicate three reasons of Unhindered Dharmadhàtu and to prove the theory of Concurrent Mutual Gathering:

  1. Since all are images, they are not real. All of them are due to illusive causes and conditions that are in concord with one another, no self-nature, no-birth. That is why it is said that the Nature Sùnya is overflowing everywhere. “Sùnya” in this case means “Màyopama Sùnya” (“Like-Illusive Nothingness”).
  2. A countless number of images simultaneously initiate because the mirrors simultaneously reflect them. This has clarified the theory of concurrent immediate initiation.
  3. Every single thing is at the same time a mirror as it reflects every object, and is an image as it is reflected by others.

The two principles of Concurrent Immediate Initiation and Concurrent Mutual Gathering are also elaborated by the metaphor called “The Ocean Mudra Samàdhi” or “The Ocean Mirror Samàdhi”. The Avatamsaka term “The Ocean Mudra” or “The Ocean mirror” symbolizes the Buddha Citta, the pure and clean Citta Ocean. Because the wind of scenes blows, the waves of perception arise. For those who are aware that external scenes are naturally Nothingness, the Citta ocean is naturally calm. If both Citta and scenes are calm, everything will be clear; like the sun, the moon and all beings will be clearly shown when there is no wind on the sea. That is “the crystal mirror named permanently-reflecting, this mirror is pure and lucid, and as immeasurable and boundless as ten worlds. In the countries, the images of all from mountains, rivers, all satvas, to hungry devils, animals, and hell regardless of time and space are in that mirror” (Chapter 35: The Qualities of the Buddha’s Embellishments and Lights).

The Buddha Citta, also called The Bhùtatathatà Citta(true eternal Citta), shows the essence of The True Citta leaving misleading thoughts. This Citta has already been in all satvas. The Satva’s Citta and the Buddha’s Citta are Mutual Identity Mutual Penetration, reflecting each other miraculously.

Reference: Luận giải Trung Luận Tánh Khởi và Duyên Khởi– Author: Hồng Dương Nguyễn Văn Hai

Esoteric Dharma VajraPani Lineage

VajraPani Group – “Sun” Generation : Nhat Hiep

Translator : Bao Tran