The Conscious Perceptive Mind is a Tool to Uncover the Truth, Not the Truth self
This is one of the most well known teachings in Buddhism.
Ahead of the Buddha’s time to manifest entering nirvana, Ananda asked four questions to the Buddha, one of them is, “Who should be the one to lead the sangha after Bhagavan’s time?”
The Buddha replied, “The Buddhist precepts should be your leader.”
《金剛般若經疏論纂要》卷1：「則佛臨滅度。阿難請問四事。佛一一答。我滅度後。一依四念處住。二以戒為師。三默擯惡性比丘。四一切經初。皆云如是我聞一時佛在某處與某眾若干等。」(CBETA, T33, no. 1701, p. 155, c19-22)
Not any individual but the Buddhist precepts. As a person is a composition of five aggregates, our bodily, verbal and mental deeds are constantly ever changing according to the six sense-objects. In a way, we hardly know what will happen next. The Buddha wishes to pass down his ultimate unsurpassed wisdom that every individual innately possesses the same essence as that of His, so all sentient beings are primordially equal. The key point is that we do not know this fact about the Truth.
Most people do know about the Buddhist cultivation is a process of reduction instead of addition, which aims to lessen rather than deepen attachment to the desire-realm. Just like a rocket heading to the moon, it has to discard the heavy boosters one by one, in like manner, the Buddhist cultivation is to lessen our worldly attachment.
However, the most deep-rooted attachment within everyone is the idea about self-existing; we regard our conscious perceptive mind or the vijnana aggregates as the everlasting and unceasing mind. This concept is called the “misconceptions about the self,” and this is the cause of our unending transmigration. It is because we store the seeds of these misconceptions within the Alayavijnana, which is everlasting and indestructible, through it we could substantiate our unending cycles of births-and-deaths by uncontrollable karmic forces instead of our own will.
The conscious perceptive mind is a vital tool to uncover the Truth, but it lives only one life time. In terms of Buddhist cultivation, to eliminate the misconceptions about the self is the very basic for both Mahayana and Hinayana practitioners.