Zen Wisdom 235

a body is set in motion, it will continue to move unless it meets resistance. Prior to the eighth bhumi, bodhisattvas have accumulated power, momentum and direction, so when they reach that level, though they no longer have any intention of helping sentient beings, they nevertheless continue to do so. So long as sentient beings continue to exist, so too will bodhisattvas continue to help.


You say that at a certain point arhats and bodhisattvas no longer have a view of a self, yet they still have vexation. How can there be vexation without a sense of self? What is there to vex?


Here is an analogy. The view of the self is like the root of a big tree. A person who has terminated the view of self is like a tree that has had its roots cut off. The roots are gone but the tree is big. There is still a lot of sap in it. The tree can still live for some time. Some parts may still grow and flowers may still bloom, but the tree's days are definitely numbered. All of the activities that continue in the tree after the roots are cut off is like the vexations that linger after the view of self goes away.