It feels like the world is becoming more chaotic by the minute these days. It’s no wonder that more and more people want to explore spiritual practices to reconnect with their spiritual selves.
Even if you’re not a Buddhist, there’s a whole lot we can learn from ancient Buddhists texts and sutras. The Lankavatara Sutra is one of the most prominent sutras in Mahayana Buddhism. Why? Because it contains a number of profound lessons from the Buddha that we can put to great use in today’s chaotic world.
So, what can we learn from the Lankavatara Sutra? We’ll explore this ancient teaching and show you how you can apply this sacred wisdom in your life today.
What Is A Buddhist Sutra?
If you haven’t heard of a sutra before, don’t worry. The word might be unfamiliar but the concept behind the word is universal.
A sutra is a powerful teaching delivered by an ancient sage or guru. Sutras are the embodied wisdom of the great teachers and are often found in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.
Deborah King, Author of Mindvalley’s Be A Modern Master Program explains that the teachings of a sutra, once unlocked, actually have the power to raise the vibration of your consciousness. Sutras can activate your innate healing abilities, empower your personal relationships, and fire up your intuition.
A sutra can be read, spoken aloud, chanted, or used in meditation. They’re designed to be contemplated, so a single reading usually isn’t enough. Sutras communicate deep philosophical concepts, so you usually need to think on them for a while before they really sink in.
The effects of the sutras can be truly life-changing. As they carry higher vibrations they are able to shift your perception on yourself and the world around you.
What is the Lankavatara Sutra?
The Lankavatara Sutra is a prominent sutra in Mahayana Buddhism — one of the largest and most popular branches of Buddhism today.
The Lankavatara Sutra is the record of a conversation the Buddha had with a bodhisattva named, Mahāmati. In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is a wise and compassionate person who is able to achieve nirvana but chooses to stay on Earth to guide and help others.
What Is The Meaning Of The Lankavatara Sutra?
So, what did the Buddha and Mahāmati talk about? Well, the Lankavatara Sutra is quite long — especially in comparison to shorter sutras in Mahayana Buddhism like the Heart Sutra that can fit on a single page.
There are several key takeaways from the Lankavatara Sutra that can be applied to our everyday lives.
The big idea the Buddha tries to communicate in the Lankavatara Sutra is that consciousness is key. In fact, he argues that our consciousness is the most important tool that we have.
Why? Because our consciousness is our only true reality. Everything that we see, hear, taste, smell, think, and feel is filtered through the lens of our consciousness.
The Buddha argues that the external, concrete reality that we perceive is nothing more than a projection of our consciousness. Everything is a manifestation from within.
Pretty powerful stuff, huh?
Why does the Buddha want us to view the world this way?
The Buddha told Mahāmati, “My teaching is based upon the recognition that the objective world, like a vision, is a manifestation of the mind itself.”
The Buddha suggests that there is no true objective world — that everything is actually subjective because it is subject to our personal lens of consciousness.
Why does the Buddha want his student to recognize this? What’s the purpose of viewing the world as nothing more than a projection of our consciousness?
The Lankavatara Sutra is a long and complex sutra that Buddhist practitioners and scholars continue to scratch their heads over. But if there’s one lesson to be learned from the Lankavatara Sutra, it’s this:
Everyone’s reality is unique. We interpret the world around us in entirely unique and individual ways. What’s true for you might not be true for another.
The more you’re able to recognize your own interpretation and perception at work, the more you can lessen your reactivity to negative events.
Everything is a matter of your attitude, beliefs, and perceptions. And when you can shift your perspective, you can change your entire world.
Do you agree that consciousness is the only true reality? Share your thoughts below.