by Bhante Debongshi
The conception of life is the result of past karmic energy that has evolved into consciousness through the organism of a sentient being. By nature, consciousness is pure. It is like grass in its purest form which is and radiant and bright. However, weeds grow up through the grass and choke out the original state the grass once had. In this way the weeds grow up through the grass are likened to the corruption of mental defilements in the field of consciousness. Therefore, the Buddha said: Pabhassaramidam bhikkhave cittam – Oh, Bhikkhus! By nature, consciousness is pure. Tanca kho akantukehi uppakkilesehi uppakkilittham – But it becomes polluted by outside defilements. Since consciousness precedes all other phenomena, it is the main source of awareness, and everything is perceived through consciousness. The source of creation, whatever it may be – whether it is joy or sorrow, light or darkness, pain or pleasure - appears in the field of consciousness.
The nature of consciousness in the language of the Buddha is called Pabhassara citta, meaning pure consciousness. As such, it is boundless, untainted and perfectly pure. It is conditioned only by external defilements. Thus, this phenomenon provokes ideas which are often misinterpreted or misunderstood by those who lack insight into its true nature. Therefore, due to the lack of inner clarity, the unwise cannot see the radiance of consciousness in its present form but search for it in the past and the future, and thus miss clear insight into its nature. As a result, there is no mental evolution for the person who does not have insight, and therefore lives in suffering and misery.
On the contrary, the person with insight knows that consciousness is boundless, bright and perfectly pure; therefore, he or she does not allow it to be conditioned or to have its radiance ruined by external defilements. Further, he or she does not wander elsewhere in the search for pleasure outside of self-realization; since the integrity of pure consciousness is always within the present moment. They are conscious of the reality in the here and now. As a result, this person will experience mental evolution and will allow themselves to lead the world with a pure consciousness in order to help to escape misery. Being free of external bondages, these persons will thereby always have joy in this life and the next.