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Demons

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Demons Evil influences which hinder cultivation. demons (mo): Anything or anyone who serves as an obstacle to realizing your Buddha-nature. There are two types—internal and external demons. Internal demons are created by your own mind and are the most numerous and most difficult to expel. These can take an infinite number of forms, including evil beings or hallucinations. Disease and death, as well as the three poisons of greed, anger and delusion are also equated to demons, as they disturb the mind.
The Nirvana Sutra lists four types of demon:

i) greed, anger and delusion;
ii) the five skandas, or obstructions caused by physical and mental functions;
iii) death;
iv) the demon of the Sixth Heaven (Realm of Desire).

Evil influences which hinder cultivation. These can take an infinite number of forms, including evil beings or hallucinations. Disease and death, as well as the three poisons of greed, anger and delusion are also equated to demons, as they disturb the mind.

The Nirvana Sutra lists four types of demon:

i) greed, anger and delusion;
ii) the five skandas, or obstructions caused by physical and mental functions;
iii) death; iv) the demon of the Sixth Heaven (Realm of Desire).

The Self-Nature has been described in Mahayana sutras as a house full of gold and jewelry. To preserve the riches, i.e., to keep the mind calm, empty and still, we should shut the doors to the three thieves of greed, anger and delusion. Letting the mind wander opens the house to "demons," that is, hallucinations and harm. Thus, Zen practitioners are taught that, while in meditation, "Encountering demons, kill the demons, encountering Buddhas, kill the Buddhas." Both demons and Buddhas are mind-made, Mind-Only.

The Self-Nature has been described in Mahayana sutras as a house full of gold and jewelry. To preserve the riches, i.e., to keep the mind calm, empty and still, we should shut the doors to the three thieves of greed, anger and delusion. Letting the mind wander opens the house to "demons," that is, hallucinations and harm. Thus, Zen practitioners are taught that, while in meditation, "Encountering demons, kill the demons, encountering Buddhas, kill the Buddhas." Both demons and Buddhas are mind-made, Mind-Only.

For a detailed discussion of demons, see Master Thich Thien Tam, Buddhism of Wisdom and' Faith, sect. 51.

See; “skandha-mara,” Shurangama Sutra.
Mara (demon)

Source

www.ic.sunysb.edu