Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra: Chapter 23: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar
Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra
Chapter 23: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar
Translated by Kosho Yamamoto from Dharmakshema's Chinese version,
edited and revised by Dr. Tony Page
Copyright for this edition is held by Dr. Tony Page, 2012.
Then the Buddha said to all those gathered there: "All of you good men! Should you have any doubt as to whether there is the Buddha or not, whether there is Dharma or not, whether there is the Sangha or not, whether there is suffering or not, whether there is the cause of suffering or not, whether there is extinction or not, whether there is the Way or not, whether there is Reality or not, whether there is the Self or not, whether there is sorrow or not, whether there is purity or not, whether there is Eternity or not, whether there is a vehicle or not, whether there is nature or not, whether there is the being or not, whether there is "is" or not, whether there is the True or not, whether there is causation or not, whether there is the result or not, whether there is action or not, whether there is karma or not, or whether there is the karmic result or not, I shall now allow you freely to ask. I shall explain to you in detail. O good man! All such as devas, humans, Maras, Brahmas, sramanas, and Brahmins have come to ask, and I have never been unable to answer."
Then, there was amongst the congregated a Bodhisattva called "Lion's Roar". He stood up and adjusted his robe, touched the Buddha's feet, prostrated himself, folded his hands, and said to the Buddha: "O World-honoured One! I wish to ask (a question). Please permit me to ask, O great Compassionate One!"
Then, the Buddha said to all the congregation: "O you good men! You now should greatly honour, respect and praise this Bodhisattva. Make offferings of incense and flowers, of music, of necklaces, banners, parasols, clothes, food, drink, bedding, medicine, houses and palaces, and attend upon his comings and goings. Why? Because this Bodhisattva has in the past greatly accomplished all good deeds at the sites of the Buddhas, and he is replete with virtues. Because of this, he now desires to utter a lion's roar before me. O good man! He is like a lion-king. He knows his own power, has sharp teeth, and his four legs stand (firmly) on the ground. He lives in a rocky grotto; he shakes his tail and gives a roar. When he displays thus, he knows that he indeed gives out a lion's roar. The true lion-king emerges from his den early in the morning. He stretches his body and yawns. He looks around, growls, and roars for eleven things. What are those eleven?
"First, he desires to crush a person who, not (truly) being a lion, makes the pretence of presenting himself as a lion.
"Second, he now desires to test his own physical strength.
"Third, he desires to purify the place where he lives.
"Fourth, he desires to know the places where all others are living.
"Fifth, he does not fear any other.
"Sixth, he desires to awaken those who are asleep.
"Seventh, he desires to make all indolent beasts non-indolent.
"Eighth, he desires all beasts to come and surrender (to him).
"Ninth, he desires to subjugate the great gandhahastin.
"Tenth, he desires to test all sons.
"Eleventh, he desires to adorn all those to whom he is related.
"All birds and beasts hear the lion's roar; those of the water hide themselves down in the depths, and those on land in grottos and caves; those who fly fall to the ground; all those great gandhahastins become frightened and defecate. O all good men! A fox may pursue a lion for 100 years, and yet he cannot make him roar. The situation is like that. The son of a lion, at the age of three full years, can truly roar like a lion-king.
"O good men! The Tathagata, with the fangs and nails of the Wisdom of Right Enlightenment, with the legs of the four-at-willnesses , with the full body of the six paramitas, with the manly courage of the ten powers, with the tail of Great Loving-Kindness, and living in the pure grottos of the four dhyanas, gives out a lion's roar and crushes Mara's army, revealing to all beings the ten powers and opening up the place where the Buddha goes. He becomes a refuge to all those fleeing from twisted views, he consoles beings who are in fear of birth and death, he awakens beings who drowse in ignorance, he proclaims to those of twisted views that what the six masters (i.e. teachers of the six non-Buddhist schools of belief) say is not the lion's roar, he crushes the arrogant mind of Puranakasyapa (i.e. one of the six masters) and others, he causes the two vehicles to become repentant, he teaches all Bodhisattvas of the stage of the fifth abode and enables them to acquire a mind of great power, he causes the four classes of the Sangha who abide in right views not to be afraid of the four classes of the Sangha who abide in twisted views. He steps forth from the grottoes of holy actions, pure actions, and heavenly actions so as to crush the arrogance of all beings. He yawns so as to call forth Wonderful Dharma. He looks towards the four directions so as to cause beings to gain the four unmolestednesses in hindrances (i.e. the fourfold unhindered knowledge). His four feet stand (firmly) on the ground, so that beings can peacefully abide in silaparamita. Thus, he utters a lion's roar. To utter the lion's roar means to make it known that all beings have the Buddha-Nature and that the Tathagata is Eternal and Unchanging.
"O good men! The sravakas and pratyekabuddhas follow the Tathagata-World-Honoured One for a period of an innumerable hundred thousand asamkhyas of kalpas, and yet are unable to utter the lion's roar. If the Bodhisattvas of the stage of the ten abodes can practise these three actions (i.e. the three actions of body, mouth, and mind), know that they will be able to utter the lion's roar. O all good men! Now, this Bodhisattva Lion's Roar wishes to raise the great lion's roar. This being so, make offerings to him with the deepest mind, and respect, honour and praise him."
Then, the World-Honoured One spoke to Bodhisattva-mahasattva Lion's Roar: "O good man! If you desire to ask anything, do now put your questions." Bodhisattva-mahasattva Lion's Roar said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! What is the Buddha-Nature? Why do we speak of Buddha-Nature? Why do we say the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure? If all beings possess the Buddha-Nature, why is it that they do not see their own Buddha-Nature? In what do the Bodhisattvas of the stage of the ten “bhumis” live, and why can they not clearly see it (i.e. the Buddha-Nature)? Abiding in what dharma can the Buddha clearly see it? With what eye can the Bodhisattvas of the stage of the ten “bhumis” not clearly see it? With what eye can the Buddha clearly see it?"
The Buddha said: "Well said, well said, O good man! If any person pays homage to Dharma, he will be equal to two adornments. The one is Wisdom, and the other is weal. If any Bodhisattva is perfect in these two adornments, he will be able to know the Buddha-Nature and will know why we say "Buddha-Nature". Also, he can see with what eyes the Bodhisattvas of the ten “bhumis” see and with what eyes all Buddhas see."
"O good man! The adornment of Wisdom refers to what pertains to the first “bhumi” up to the tenth. The adornment of weal refers to danaparamita (unsurpassed giving) up to prajna (Wisdom). This is not prajnaparamita (transcendent Wisdom).
"Also, next, O good man! The adornment of weal is the law (dharma) of the common mortal, being the created, the "asravic" (defiled), the existing, that which engenders karmic results, that which has hindrances, and is non-eternal.
"O good man! You now possess these two adornments. That is why you effectively put such deep-rooted questions. I, too, possess these adornments and I shall answer your query."
Bodhisattva-mahasattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! If the Bodhisattva possesses these two adornments, there can be no asking of one or two questions. Why do you, the World-Honoured One, say that you answer one or two? Why? All things have no number of one or two kinds. To state one or two is to answer the need of the common mortal."
The Buddha said: "O good man! If the Bodhisattva did not have one or two adornments, we could not know that there are one or two adornments. If the Bodhisattva has two adornments, we can well know of the one or two kinds. You say that all things are not one or two. But you are wrong. Why? If there is not one or two, how can we say that all things do not have one or two? O good man! If you say that speaking of one or two relates to the phase of the common mortal, this refers to the Bodhisattva of the grade of the ten “bhumis”. Such a person is no common mortal. Why not? "One" refers to Nirvana; "two" relates to birth and death.
"Why is it that "one" is none other than Nirvana? Because it is the Eternal. Why is "two" birth and death? Because of craving (“trisna”) and ignorance. Eternal Nirvana is not a phase of the common mortal; the two of birth and death is again not a phase of the common mortal. Because of this, being perfect in the two adornments, one questions well and answers well.
"“O good man! The Buddha-Nature is none other than the All-Void of “Paramartha-satya” (Ultimate Truth). The All-Void of “Paramartha-satya” is Wisdom. We say "All-Void". This does not refer to no Void (any Voidness), nor non-Void. Knowledge (“jnana”) sees the Void and the non-Void, the Eternal and the non-Eternal, Suffering and Bliss, the Self and the non-Self. The Void refers to all births and deaths. The Non-Void refers to Great Nirvana. And the non-Self is nothing but birth and death. The Self refers to Great Nirvana.
"If one sees the All-Void, but does not see the non-Void, we do not speak of this as the Middle Path. Or if one sees the non-Self of all things, but does not see the Self, we do not call this the Middle Path.
"The Middle Path is the Buddha-Nature. For this reason, the Buddha-Nature is Eternal and there is no change. As ignorance overspreads (them), all beings are unable to see. The sravaka and pratyekabuddha see the All-Void of all things. But they do not see the non-Void. Or they see the non-Self of all things, but they do not see the Self. Because of this, they are unable to gain the All-Void of “Paramartha-satya”. Since they fail to gain the All-Void of “Paramartha-satya”, they fail to enact the Middle Path. Since there is no Middle Path, there is no seeing of the Buddha-Nature."
"O good man! There are three seeings of the Middle Path (i.e. constituting the Middle Path). The one is the definitely blissful action; the second is the definitely sorrowful action; the third is the sorrow-bliss action.
"We say "definitely blissful action". This is as in the case of the so-called Bodhisattva-mahasattva, who, pitying all beings, lives in Avichi Hell and yet feels things as of the bliss of the third dhyana Heaven.
"We say "sorrow-bliss action". This alludes to sravakas and pratyekabuddhas. The sravakas and pratyekabuddhas experience sorrow and bliss, and gain the thought of the Middle Path. For this reason, though a person possesses the Buddha-Nature, he cannot see it well.
"Also, next, O good man! There are three kinds of way, which are: low, top, and middle. The low refers to the non-eternal of Brahma, in which one mistakes the non-eternal for the Eternal. The top refers to the non-eternal of birth and death, which people wrongly conceive as the Eternal. The Three Jewels that are Eternal are wrongly conceived of as eternal (sic; non-eternal). Why do we call it the top? Because by it, one well gains unsurpassed Enlightenment.
"The Middle is the All-Void of “Paramartha-satya”. This sees the non-eternal as the non-eternal and the Eternal as the Eternal. The All-Void of “Paramartha-satya” is not made (i.e. designated) "low". Why not? For it is that which all common mortals do not have. We do not call it "top". Why not? Because it is the top (another recension gives "low" here; either meaning is not clear - K. Yamamoto). The Way of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is neither the top nor the low. We call it the Middle Path.
"Also, next, O good man! There are two kinds of original abode of birth and death. The one is ignorance, and the other is clinging to what exists. In between (these) two are the sufferings of birth, old age, illness and death. We call this the Middle Path. This Middle Path well destroys birth and death. That is why we say "Middle". That is why we call the teaching of the Middle Path the Buddha-Nature. Therefore, the Buddha-Nature is the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. All beings do not see this. Hence there is (for them) no Eternity, no Bliss, no Self, and no Purity. The Buddha-Nature is not non-Eternal, not non-Bliss, not non-Self, and not non-Purity.
"O good man! “There is a poor man, in whose house there is a storehouse of treasure. But the man cannot see it. So, there is no Eternity, no Bliss, no Self, and no Purity. There is there a good teacher of the Way, who says to him: "You have a storehouse in your house, in which there is gold. Why is it that you are poor, have worries, and have no Eternity, no Bliss, no Self, and no Purity?" Utilising “(certain) “means, he enables the man to see this. On seeing this, the person gains the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. It is thus. The same is the case with the Buddha-Nature. Beings cannot see (it). Its not being seen, no Eternity, no Bliss, no Self, and no Purity exists (for them). The good teacher of the Way, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, by enacting the means and telling them various enlightening stories, enable them to see. Through seeing, these beings reach the Eternal, the Bliss, the Self, and the Pure”.
"Also, next, O good man! There are two ways in which beings see. One is "is", and the other is "is-not". Such two are not the Middle Path. When there is no "is" and no "not-is", we have the Middle Path. What sees as not "is" and not "is-not" is the Knowledge (“jnana”) that meditates and perceives the 12 links of interdependence. This kind of Knowledge that sees is the Buddha-Nature. The two vehicles may meditate on causal relations, but such cannot be called Buddha-Nature.
"The Buddha-Nature is Eternal. But all beings cannot see it because of the overspreading of ignorance. They cannot yet cross the waters of the 12 links of interdependence - it is as though they were like hares and horses. Why? Because they cannot see the Buddha-Nature.
"O good man! The Wisdom that can meditate on the 12 links of interdependence is the seed that gains one unsurpassed Enlightenment. For this reason, we call the 12 links of interdependence the Buddha-Nature.
"O good man! The Buddha-Nature has a cause and a cause of the cause; it has a result and a result of the result. "Cause" is the 12 links of interdependence. The cause of the cause is Wisdom. "Result" is unsurpassed Enlightenment. The result of the result is Mahaparinirvana.
"O good man! For example, ignorance is the cause and all actions the result. "Action" is the cause, and consciousness is the result. Because of this, the body of ignorance is the cause and also the cause of the cause. Consciousness is the result and, also, the result of the result. The same is the case with the Buddha-Nature.
"O good man! Because of this, the 12 links of interdependence are no going-out and no dying-out, no eternality and no disruption, not one and not two, no coming and no going, no cause and no result. O good man! It is the cause and not the result, as in the case of the Buddha-Nature. It is the result and not the cause, as in the case of Great Nirvana; it is the cause and it is the result, as in the case of the 12 links of interdependence. Causeless and resultless is the Buddha-Nature. As it does not arise out of causality, it is eternal and it knows no change. That is why I say in the sutra: "The meaning of the 12 links of interdependence is deep-rooted and none can grasp, see or conceive it. All (these) are things of the world of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It is not within the reach of sravakas and pratyekabuddhas to attain."
"Why is it that things are deep-rooted? What all beings do is non-eternal and non-disruptive. And yet results come about from actions performed. They go off moment after moment, and yet there is not anything that is lost. None may be living, yet there remains the karma. There may be none to receive, yet there is the karmic result. The one who harvests may be gone, but the result does not die out. Though not to be thought of or to be known, there is harmonization (i.e. coming together of cause and result). All beings journey along with the 12 links of interdependence, which they do not see or know. Not seeing or knowing, there is no ending and no beginning. The Bodhisattvas of the stage of the ten abodes see only the end, but they do not see the beginning. The All-Buddha-World-Honoured One sees the beginning and the end. Thus do all Buddhas clearly see the Buddha-Nature.
"O good man! All beings are unable to see the 12 links of interdependence. Therefore, they ride on the wheel of transmigration. O good man! Just as the silkworm makes a cocoon, gains birth, and dies by itself, so do things proceed with all beings. As they do not see the Buddha-Nature, they generate karma out of defilement and repeat births and deaths, just as a person bounces a ball. O good man! That is why I say in the sutra: "One who sees the 12 links of interdependence sees Dharma; one who sees Dharma sees the Buddha. “The Buddha is none other than the Buddha-Nature.” “Why so? Because all Buddhas make this their own nature."
"O good man! There are four kinds of Knowledge that see the 12 links of interdependence. These are: 1)low, 2) middle, 3) top, and 4) topmost. A person of the low position does not see the Buddha-Nature. Not gaining (it), he gains the way of a sravaka. Those of the middle position also do not see the Buddha-Nature. Noting the Buddha-Nature, they gain the way of the pratyekabuddha. Those of the top see, but not clearly. Not being clear, they live in the soil of the ten abodes. The topmost (persons) see clearly. So they attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Because of this, we call the 12 links of interdependence the Buddha-Nature. The Buddha-Nature is the All-Void of “Paramartha-satya”. The All-Void of “Paramartha-satya” is the Middle Path. The Middle Path is the Buddha. The Buddha is Nirvana."
Bodhisattva-mahasattva Lion's Roar said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! If no difference exists between the Buddha and the Buddha-Nature, why should all beings particularly need to practise the Way?" The Buddha said: "O good man! Your question is misplaced. “The Buddha and the Buddha-Nature are not different”. But beings are not yet armed therewith.
"O good man! For example, there is a man who abides in evil and kills his mother. Having killed (her), he repents. He is (here performing) one of the three good actions. But this one (i.e. another person) falls into hell. Why? Because this person surely gains hell. Even though this person has none of the five skandhas, the 18 realms and the 12 spheres, yet we call him a person of hell.
"O good man! That is why I say in all the sutras: "Any person who sees another doing good, this is worth (i.e. equal to) seeing a deva (god); anyone who sees a person doing evil sees hell. Why? Because karmic results surely await such a person."
"O good man! “As all beings will definitely gain unsurpassed Enlightenment, I say that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature”. The beings actually do not possess the 32 signs of perfection and the 80 minor marks of excellence. So, in this sutra, I say in a gatha:
"What originally was is now no longer;
What originally was not, now is;
There can be nothing such as "is"
That obtains in the Three Times."
"O good man! There are three kinds of what exists. One is what comes about in the days to come, the second what actually exists there (now), and the third what was there in the past. “All beings will gain unsurpassed Enlightenment in the days to come.” (This is the Buddha-Nature.) All beings now possess all bonds of defilement. So they do not possess at present the 32 signs of perfection and the 80 minor marks of excellence. Thus, the beings who have cut off the bonds of defilement in the past see, in the present, the Buddha-Nature. So, I always say that beings all possess the Buddha-Nature. I even say that the icchantika (most spiritually blinded of persons) possesses the Buddha-Nature. The icchantika has no good dharma. The Buddha-Nature too is a good Dharma. As there are the days to come, there is also the possibility for the icchantika to possess the Buddha-Nature. Why? Because all icchantikas can definitely attain unsurpassed Enlightenment.
"O good man! As an example: there is a man who has some cream. People ask: "Do you have any butter?" He answers: "I have". But, truth to tell, cream is not butter. Skilfully worked out (i.e. using skilful means), he is sure to gain it. So he says that he has butter. It is the same with beings. All have the mind. “Anyone with a mind will assuredly reach unsurpassed Enlightenment” (emph. added). That is why I always say that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature.
"O good man! Of the absolute, there are two kinds. One is the absolute in adornment, and the other the ultimate of the absolute. One is the absolute in the secular sense, and the other the absolute in the supramundane sense. By the absolute in adornment is meant the six paramitas; the ultimate of the absolute is the One Vehicle which beings gain. The One Vehicle is the Buddha-Nature. That is why I say that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature. All beings possess the One Vehicle. As ignorance is spread all over them, they cannot see. O good man! In Uttarakuru, the fruition of Trayastrimsa Heaven cannot be seen by beings because there is (this) overspreading (of ignorance). It is the same regarding the Buddha-Nature. Beings cannot see (it) because of the overspreading of defilement.
"Also, next, O good man! “The Buddha-Nature is the Suramgama Samadhi “(deepest state of meditative absorption)”. Its nature is like sarpirmanda “(most delicious and efficacious of all milk-medicines).” It is the mother to all Buddhas. By dint of the power of the Suramgama Samadhi, all Buddhas gain the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure” All beings possess the Suramgama Samadhi. Not practising, they cannot. see it. Hence, (there is then) no gaining of unsurpassed Enlightenment.
"O good man! The Suramgama Samadhi has five names, which are: 1) suramgama samadhi, 2) prajnaparamita (transcendent Wisdom), 3) diamond samadhi, 4) lion's roar samadhi, 5) Buddha-Nature. According to the part it takes, it has various names. O good man! Just as a single samadhi gains various names, such as in (connection with) dhyana we say "four dhyanas" (“catvari-dhyanani”), in element "samadhi element", in power "samadhi power", in element "samadhi element" (sic), in rightness "right meditation", and in the eight awakened minds of a great man "right meditation". So does it obtain with the Suramgama Samadhi.
"O good man! All beings are perfect in three samadhis, which are: top, middle, and low. The top refers to the Buddha-Nature. So, we say that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature. By middle is meant that all beings possess the first dhyana. When causal relations are favourable, they can indeed practise; if not, they cannot. Of causal relations, there are two kinds. The one is fire, and the other the bond that destroys the things of the world of desire. So, we say that all beings are perfect in the middle-grade samadhi. The low-grade samadhi is none but the caitta samadhi of the ten mahabhumikas. Though possessing the Buddha-Nature, all beings are unable to see it, being overspread with defilement. The Bodhisattva of the ten abodes sees the One Vehicle, but he does not know that the Tathagata is Eternal. So, though the Bodhisattva of the ten abodes sees the Buddha-Nature, he cannot see it clearly.
“"O good man! “Shuryä” means "the ultimate of all things"; “gon” means "strong". As the ultimate of all things is strong, we say "suramgama". So, the Suramgama Samadhi is made to stand for the Buddha-Nature.
"O good man! I once lived by the River Nairanjana and said to Ananda: "I now intend to bathe in the river. Give me my robe and the washing powder “(soap)”. I then got into the water. All flying birds and those on water and land came and watched. Then there were also 500 Brahmacarins, who lived near the river. They came to me and said: "How can you hope to gain the Adamantine Body? If Gautama does not talk about "not-is", I shall follow him and accord with the rules of food."
"O good man! I, at that time, with mind-reading Wisdom, fathomed the mind of the Bramacarins and said to them: "What do you mean by saying that I talk of "not-is"? All the Brahmacarins said: "You, Gautama, have previously stated, here and there in the sutras, that all beings do not possess the Self. Now you say that there is no Self. How can you say that this is not the "not-is" theory? If “(there is)” no Self, who upholds the precepts and who violates “(them)”? I, the Buddha, said: "I have never said that all beings do not have the Self; I have always said that all beings have the Buddha-Nature. Is not the Buddha-Nature the Self? Thus, I have never spoken of "not-is". All beings do not see the Buddha-Nature. Hence, “(for them there is)” the non-Eternal, non-Self, non-Bliss, and non-Purity. Such are the views of "not-is". Then, all the Brahmacarins, on hearing that the Buddha-Nature is the Self, aspired to the unsurpassed Bodhi “(Enlightenment)” mind, and then, renouncing the world, practised the way of Bodhi. All flying birds and all those on water and land aspired to unsurpassed Bodhi, and having aspired, abandoned their bodies.
"O good man! The Tathagata, when there is reason for “(so)” saying, says that non-Self is the Self. But, truth to say, there is no Self “(there)”. Though I speak thus, there is nothing “(here)” that is false.
"O good man! On account of causal relations, I state Self to be non-Self, “and, yet, truth to tell, there is the Self. It constitutes the world. I state “(this)” as non-Self. But nothing is wrong. The Buddha-Nature is non-Self. The Tathagata says Self. Because there is the quality of the Eternal. The Tathagata is the Self. And yet he states “(this)” as non-Self. Because he has unmolestedness” (i.e. complete freedom, unrestrictedness, the ability to do what he wills).
Then, Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! If it is the case that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature like any vajra-guardsman (i.e. a person who holds in his hand a vajra - diamond - and who thus protects the Buddhist teaching), why is it that all beings cannot see it?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! For example, "matter" (“rupa”) has such representational qualities as blue, yellow, red, and white, and long or short, but a blind person cannot see it as such. Though it is not seen, we cannot say that there is no such quality as blue, yellow, red, white, long or short. Why not? Even though the blind person cannot see (it), one who has eyes can see (it). It is the same with the Buddha-Nature. Even though all beings cannot see (it), the Bodhisattva at the level of the ten stages can see (it) somewhat; the Tathagata sees (it) completely. The Buddha-Nature seen by the Bodhisattva of the ten stages is like colour seen at night. What the Tathagata sees is like colour seen in the daytime.
"O good man! When the eye is blurred, one cannot see colour clearly. A good doctor can cure this. By (the use of) medicine, one comes to see things clearly. It is the same with the Bodhisattva of the ten stages. He can indeed see the Buddha-Nature, but not very clearly. By the power of the Suramgama Samadhi, a person can see (it) clearly.
“"O good man! If a person sees the non-Eternal, non-Self, non-Bliss, and non-Pure of "all" things” (Japanese “issai”, which here means all that can be seen, touched and felt - the material world, i.e. matter),” and sees also the non-Eternal”, “non-Bliss, non-Self, and the non-Pure of the "non-all" (Japanese “hiissai”, which here means the opposite of the concrete, i.e. the abstract),” such a person does not see the Buddha-Nature. "All" alludes to birth and death; "non-all" alludes to the Three Treasures. The sravaka and pratyekabuddha see the non-Eternal, the non-Self, non-Bliss, and the non-Pure of the non-all. Due to this “(i.e. in this sense)”, they cannot see the Buddha-Nature. The Bodhisattva of the ten stages sees the non-Eternal, the non-Self, non-Bliss, and the non-Pure of all things, and sees, in part, the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure of the non-all. Because of this, he can see only one tenth. The All-Buddha-World-Honoured One sees the non-Eternal, non-Self, non-Bliss, and the non-Pure of all things and, also, the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure of the non-all. Because of this, he sees the Buddha-Nature just as one would see a mango that is “(resting) “in one's own palm. Because of this, the Suramgama Samadhi is the Ultimate”.
"O good man! It is as when one cannot see the first moon. And yet, one cannot say that there is no moon. The same is the case with the Buddha-Nature. All beings may not (be able to) see it, yet we cannot say that there is no Buddha-Nature.
"The icchantika first crushes out the icchantika (i.e. ceases to be an icchantika within himself) and then he gains the ten powers, the four fearlessnesses, Great Compassion, and the three thinkings. That is why I always say that all beings posssess the Buddha-Nature.
"What are the 12?
"After entering the womb, the five parts (i.e. the five limbs or the five parts of the human body, made up of two hands, two feet, and one head) and the four roots (i.e. the four sense-organs of the eye, ear, nose, and mouth) are not yet perfectly formed. This state is called mind-and-body (“nama-rupa”).
"The consciousness that one has in this life is (one's) birth for the days to come (i.e. one's worldly consciousness provides the basis for one's future rebirth), and the body-and-mind, the six spheres, touch, and feeling are the old age, illness, and death of the future. These are the 12 links of interdependence.
"O good man! Although there are these 12 links of interdependent arising, there are cases where things do not so come about. When one dies at the kalala stage, there cannot be the twelve. There can be the twelve when one gets into the stages beginning with birth and ending with old age and death.
"The beings of the world of form do not possess the three kinds of feeling, the three of touch, the three of craving, and there is no old age and no illness. And we can indeed say that there are the twelve.
"The beings of the world of non-form do not have anything of "matter", and there is no ageing and no death. And we can also say that there are the twelve. Because this is gained through meditation. And we can indeed say that beings all-equally possess the 12 links of interdependence.
"O good man! There is a grass called “ninniku” in the Himalayas. If a cow eats it, that cow will bring forth sarpirmanda. There is a different kind of grass, which, when eaten, does not bring forth sarpirmanda. Although no sarpirmanda comes forth (in such an instance), we cannot say that there is no ninniku in the Himalayas. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature.
"The Himalayas are the Tathagata, the ninniku is Great Nirvana, the foreign grass is the 12 types of sutra. If beings give ear to, and respect and praise, Mahaparinirvana, they will see the Buddha-Nature. Even if it is not found in the 12 types of sutra, we cannot say that there is no Buddha-Nature.
"Also, it is one, not-one, not-one-and-not-not-one.”
“"Also, it is non-eternal and non-disruption, not-non-eternal-and-not-non-disruption.
"It is "is", "is-not", not "is"-and-not-"is-not".
"Also, it is an ending, non-ending, non-ending-and-not-non-ending.
"Also, it is cause, it is result, and it is no-cause-and-no-result.
"Also, it is signification, non-signification, non-signification-and-not-non-signification.
"Also, it is a letter, non-letter, non-letter-and-not-non-letter.
"Why is it that it has no-phase-of-appearance-and-not-no-phase-of-appearance? Because there is no fixed phase of appearance or not no-fixed-phase-of-appearance.
"Why is it not one? Because three vehicles are spoken of.
"Why is it not-one-and-not-not-one? Because there is no way of counting.
"Why is it non-eternal? Because things are seen by causal relations.
"Why is it non-disruption? Because it is segregated from the world-view of disruption.
"Why is it not-non-eternal-and-not-non-disruption “(the concept of "disruption" is used here for the Japanese term, “dan”, which represents the notion of disruption of continuation. It stands in opposition to the term, "eternal", which is the continuation of an existence or rather the endlessness of an existence.)” Because there is no-end and no-beginning.
"Why is it "not-is"? Because one can see it “(i.e. the Buddha-Nature)” by dint of the best expedient.
"Why is it "not-is" and "°not-not-is"? This is because of the nature of the All-Void.
"Why is it non-ending? Because of the Eternal.
"Why is it non-ending-and-not-non-ending? Because all endings are done away with.
"Why is it the result? Because the result is fixed.
"Why is it non-cause-and-non-result? Because it is the Eternal.
"Why is it signification? Because all are taken into the unhinderedness of signification.
"Why is it non-signification? Because it is not possible to explain “(it).
"Why is it non-signification-and-not-non-signification? Because it is the ultimate All-Void.
"Why is it non-letter-and-not-non-letter? Because it is segregated from the category of letters.
"Why is it non-Suffering-and-non-Bliss? Because it is away from feeling.
"Why is it non-Self? Because there is no arriving at the eight unmolestednesses “(Japanese “hachidaijizaigi”: the eight aspects of unmolestedness or non-restriction which the Self - one of the four attributes of Nirvana - is considered to possess).
"Why is it non-Voidness? Because of the Eternal.
"Why is it non-Voidness-and-not-non-Voidness? Because it indeed serves as the seed of Wonderful Dharma.
"O good man! The Buddha-Nature is not within the category of the five skandhas, the 18 realms, or the 12 spheres. It is not what originally was not but is now, nor is it what originally was but is now no longer. It is what beings can only see through causal relations.
"For example, it is like iron, which, when in the fire, is red, but when not and is cooled, is black as before. And this black colour does not exist inside or out. It comes about thus by causal relations. The same is the case with the Buddha-Nature. When the fire of defilement has gone, all beings can see (it).
"O good man! It is as in the case of a seed. The bud comes out and the seed dies. And the nature of the bud exists neither in nor out. It is the same with the flower and with the fruit. This comes out thus, since things are based on causal relations.
Then, Bodhisattva-mahasattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! How many laws (dharmas) does a Bodhisattva need to accomplish by (means of) which he can see the Buddha-Nature, yet not very clearly? How many laws does the All-Buddha-World-Honoured One need to accomplish by (means of) which he can see it clearly?"
"O good man! If the Bodhisattva accomplishes 10 things, he will be able to see the Buddha-Nature, and yet to a lesser degree. What are the 10? They are: 1) desiring little, 2) feeling satisfied, 3) quietude, 4) effort, 5) right remembrance, 6) right samadhi, 7) right Wisdom, 8) emancipation, 9) praising emancipation, 10) succouring beings with Great Nirvana."
"O good man! Desiring little is not seeking and not taking; feeling satisfied is not feeling regret when one gains little. Desiring little is having little; feeling satisfied means that the mind does not become worried by the things offered.
"O good man! Of desire, there are three kinds, which are: 1) evil desire, 2) great desire, 3) desire for desire's sake. We say "evil desire". A bhiksu may gain greed in his mind, become the head of a great mass (of people), make all priests follow him, make all the four classes of the Buddhist Sangha make offerings unto him, respect, praise, and make much of him, make him preach, first of all others, before the four classes of the Sangha, make all believe in his words, make kings, ministers and rich people pay respect to him, so that they may give him an abundance of clothing, food, drink, bedding, medicine, and the very best types of accommodation. These are desires relative to the temporal life of birth and death. This is evil desire.
"What is great desire? For example, there is a bhiksu who gains greed in his mind, so that he makes himself known among the four classes of the Buddhist Sangha as one who has attained the stage of the first abode (stage) up to the tenth, unsurpassed Bodhi, arhatship, or such others as the (stage of) srotapanna, the four dhyanas, or the fourfold unhindered knowledge - all this is merely for the sake of profit. This is great desire.
"A bhiksu may desire to be born as a Brahma, as Marapapiyans, as an Isvara, a Chakravartin, a Kshatriya, or a Brahmin, so that he can have unrestrictedness. As this is but for profit, such a desire can well be called one for desire's sake.
"If a person is not despoiled by these three evil desires, such a person is one with little desire to possess. By desire is meant the 25 cravings. If a person does not have these 25 cravings, such a person is called one who has little desire to possess. When a person does not seek to possess what he may well expect to have in the days to come, we call this seeking little to possess. The person gains, but does not cling. This is feeling satisfied. Not seeking to be respected is seeking little to possess. A person may obtain things, but if he does not seek to hoard them up, this is feeling satisfied.
"O good man! There is a situation where one has little seeking to possess, but which cannot be called a state where one is satisfied; and also there is a situation where one is satisfied, and yet this is not what one could well call a state where one is satisfied. Also, there is a situation where one has little seeking to possess and yet is satisfied; also, there is a situation where one does not have little seeking to possess and is not satisfied. Seeking little to possess refers to the srotapanna, and feeling satisfied refers to the pratyekabuddha. Seeking little to possesss and not feeling satisfied refers to the so-called Bodhisattva.
"O good man! There are two kinds of seeking little to possess and feeling satisfied. The one is good, and the other non-good. Non-good refers to the so-called common mortal, and good to the holy persons and the Bodhisattvas. All holy persons may gain the fruition of the way they have practised, but they will not praise what they have gained. As they do not praise, their minds do not have any worry. This is feeling satisfied.
"O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva studies and practises the Mahayana Sutra of Great Nirvana and sees the Buddha-Nature. Because of this, he practises the way of seeking little to possess and feeling satisfied.
"Quietude of body means not befriending the four classes of the Sangha, not taking part in the work done by the four classes of the Sangha. By quietude of the mind is meant not generating greed, anger or ignorance. This is quietude of body and mind.
"There may be a bhiksu whose body may find quietude, but whose mind does not find it. Or the mind may be in quietude, but not the body. Or there are cases where the body and mind are in quietude; or where the body and mind are not in quietude.
"We may say that the body is in quietude, but the mind is not. For example, a bhiksu sits in dhyana (meditation), segregating himself from the four classes of the Sangha. But the mind may yet always generate greed, anger and ignorance. This is what we call the body's being in quietude but the mind's not.
"We say that the mind is in quietude, but the body is not. This alludes to the situation where a bhiksu might befriend the four classes of the Sangha, kings, and ministers, and segregates himself from greed, anger and ignorance. This is where we speak of the mind's being in quietude but the body's not.
"We say that the body and mind are both not in quietude. This refers to all common mortals. Why? Because common mortals may well enjoy quietude in body and mind. Yet they cannot meditate deeply on the non-Eternal, non-Bliss, non-Self, and the non-Pure. For this reason, common mortals cannot have quietude in their actions of body, mouth and mind.
"What is effort? There is a bhiksu who desires to purify the actions of his body, mouth and mind, and segregates himself from all evil deeds, amassing all good deeds. This is effort. One such focuses his mind on the six spheres, which are: 1) Buddha, 2) Dharma, 3) Sangha, 4) sila (moral precepts), 5) offerings, 6) heaven. This is right thinking. The samadhi resultant from right thinking is right meditation. One abiding in right meditation sees all things as Void. This is right Wisdom. One perfect in right Wisdom segregates his self from all the bonds of defilement. This is Emancipation.
"The person who has gained Emancipation praises it to all beings and says that this Emancipation is Eternal and Unchanging. This is the correct praising of Emancipation. This is unsurpassed Mahaparinirvana.
"Also, Nirvana is a sand-dune. Why? Because the four madding floods of water cannot wash it away. What the these four? They are? 1) the storm of desire, 2) the storm of existence, 3) the storm of the “(wrong) “views of life, 4) the storm of ignorance. For this reason, Nirvana is called the sand-dune.
"Also, Nirvana is the final refuge. Why? Because one arrives at absolute Bliss. If a Bodhisattva-mahasattva accomplishes, and is perfect in, these ten things, he will see the Buddha-Nature, but not quite clearly”.
"Also, next, O good man! Those who have fled from worldly life suffer from four illnesses. Because of this, they are unable to arrive at the four fruitions of a bhiksu. What are the four illnesses? These are the four evil desires for: 1) clothing, 2) food, 3) bedding, 4) existence. These are the four evil desires. These are the illnesses of those who have abandoned worldly life.
"There are four good medicines which will cure these well.
"Quietude comprises four blisses. What are the four? They are: 1) bliss of fleeing from worldly life, 2) bliss of quietude, 3) bliss of eternal extinction (of defilements), 4) ultimate Bliss. These four are quietude. These call forth four efforts. So we say "effort". It accompanies four thinkings. So, we speak of right thinkings. As it accompanies four dhyanas, we say right meditation. We see four Holy Truths. So, we say right Wisdom. This thoroughly makes away with all bonds of defilement. So, we speak of Emancipation. As it reproaches the wrongs of all defilements, we speak of the praising of Emancipation. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva peacefully abides in all these ten things., and he can see the Buddha-Nature, but not very clearly.
"Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva, having listened well to this sutra, befriends it, practises the Way, and segregates himself from worldly life. This is seeking little to possess. Renouncing the world, he feels no regret. This is feeling satisfied. Feeling satisfied, he seeks lonely places and segregates himself from all noise. This is all-silent quietude. Those who do not feel satisfied do not desire to be in a lonely and quiet place; those who are satisfied seek a lonely and quiet place. In a quiet place, he (i.e. the Bodhisattva) always thinks: "People all say that I have attained the end of a sramana's quest of the Way. But I have not yet reached it. How could I now deceive others?" Thinking thus, he makes effort and learns the end of a sramana's attainment of the Way. This is effort.
"One who befriends and practises the Way of Great Nirvana is one who abides in right thinking. He follows the way of heaven. This is right meditation. He abides in this samadhi and sees things rightly. This is right Wisdom. One who sees things rightly thoroughly cuts off the bond of defilement. This is Emancipation. The Bodhisattva of the ten stages truly praises Nirvana. This is the praising of Emancipation. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva abides in these ten items and sees the Buddha-Nature, yet not clearly.
"Also, next, O good man! We speak of seeking to possess but little. A bhiksu sits in a lonely and quiet place. He sits rigidly and does not recline. Or he lives under a tree, or amidst graves, or in the open; or he sits on grass. He goes alms-begging, begs for food, and having partaken of it, he is satisfied. Or it may be one meal for a sitting. He only keeps three robes, which are those made from abandoned rags or woolen cloth. This is seeking to possess but little. Living thus, he does not feel regret. This is feeling satisfied. He practises the samadhi of the Void. This is quietude. Perfect in the four fruitions, he has no moment of rest from attaining unsurpassed Bodhi. This is effort.
"His mind set, he meditates on the fact that the Tathagata is the Eternal and that he is Unchanging. This is right thinking. He practises the eight emancipations. This is right dhyana. He gains the four unhinderednesses. This is right Wisdom. He segregates himself from the seven defilements. This is Emancipation. He praises Nirvana and says that Nirvana does not possess the ten aspects of life. This is praising Emancipation. The ten aspects of life are: birth, ageing, illness, death, colour, sound, smell, taste, touch, and impermanence. When one is segregated from these ten, we say that we have attained Nirvana. O good man! This is why we say that when the Bodhisattva-mahasattva abides in and perfects the ten items, he sees the Buddha-Nature, but not clearly.
"Also, next, O good man! Due to much craving, a person associates with kings, ministers, rich men, Kshatriyas, Brahmins, Vaishyas, and Sudras, and says: "I have attained the fruitions of the srotapanna up to arhatship". For profit, he walks, stands, sits, reclines, and answers the call of nature. Seeing a danapati, he shows respect, approaches and talks. One who breaks away from evil cravings is one who has little craving. Although he has not done away with bonds and worries, he indeed goes where the Tathagata goes. This is feeling satisfied.
"O good man! The above two are the nearest causal relations for thinking of meditation. Teachers and students always praise them. I, too, in the sutras, have praised these two items. Any person who can be perfect in these two items draws close to the gates of Nirvana. This extends to the five blisses. This is quietude. One who rigidly upholds sila (morality) is called one who makes effort. One who repents is one of right thinking. One who sees no aspect of mind is one in right meditation. One who does not seek the characteristics and causal relations of all things is one of right Wisdom. As there is no exterior aspect, defilement goes away. This is Emancipation. Thus praising the Sutra of Gret Nirvana is called the praising of Emancipation. O good man! This is what (we mean when) we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva peacefully abides in the ten items and sees the Buddha-nature, though not yet quite clearly.
"O good man! You ask: "With what eye does the Bodhisattva of the ten stages see the Buddha-Nature, but see it not quite clearly, and with what eye does the World-Honoured One see the Buddha-Nature clearly?" O good man! With the Eye of Wisdom one sees it not quite clearly; with the Buddha-Eye, one sees it clearly. When one is in Bodhi practice, there is no clearness; with nothing to practise, one sees all clearly. When one has nothing more to practise, one sees clearly. When one abides in the ten stages, one does not see quite clearly. When one does not need to stand or move about, clearness comes about. Because of the causal relations of Wisdom, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva cannot see clearly. The All-Buddha-World-Honoured One is out of the realm of causal relations. It is due to this that he sees clearly. One awakened to all things is the Buddha-Nature. The Bodhisattva of the ten stages cannot be called awakened to all things. Because of this, though he sees, he does not see things clearly.
"O good man! Of seeing, there are two kinds. One is seeing with the eye; the other is hearing and seeing. The All-Buddha-World-Honoured One sees the Buddha-Nature with the eye, in the (same) way in which one sees an amra (mango) that is in one's own hand. The Bodhisattva of the ten stages sees the Buddha-Nature through hearing. Hence, not quite clearly. The Bodhisattva of the ten stages knows well that he will definitely attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. And yet he does not know that all beings have the Buddha-Nature.
"O good man! Further, there is seeing by means of the eye. The All-Buddha-Tathagata and the Bodhisattva of the ten stages see the Buddha-Nature with the eye. Also, there is hearing and seeing. All beings and those of the ninth “bhumi” (stage) hear and see the Buddha-Nature. The Bodhisattva may hear that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature. But if he does not believe in this, this is no hearing and seeing."
Bodhisattva-mahasattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! All beings do not know the state of mind of the Tathagata. How do we meditate and come to know (this)?" "O good man! All beings, in truth, do not come to know of the mental state of the Tathagata. If they desire to meditate and know, there are two ways. One is to see with the eye and the other through hearing. If one sees the bodily actions of the Tathagata, know that this is the Tathagata. This is seeing with the eye. If one comes across the oral actions of the Tathagata, know that this is the Tathagata. This is to hear him, and see.
"One may happen to see the Tathagata's miraculous power manifested before one. How could it be other than for the sake of beings, rather than for profit? If it is for the sake of beings and not for profit, know that this is the Tathagata. This is seeing with the eye.
"One meditates upon the Tathagata, who sees humankind with mind-reading knowledge. Does he speak of Dharma for profit and not for beings' sake? If it is for the sake of beings and not for profit, know that this is the Tathagata. This is seeing through hearing.
"When the Bodhisattva is first born into the world, he takes seven steps in the ten directions, and the demon generals, Manibhadra and Purnabhadra, carry banners, at which innumerable boundless worlds shake and a golden light brightly fills the sky. The naga kings, Nanda and Upananda, with their divine powers, bathe the Bodhisattva's body. All the gods show their bodies. They come and pay homage. Rishi Asita folds his hands and pays homage. In the prime of manhood, he (Siddhartha) abandons desires as if they were like tears and spittle. He is not bothered by worldly pleasures. He abandons his home, practises the Way, and seeks quietude. In order to crush twisted views, he undergoes austerities for six years. He sees all beings with an all-equal eye, not with two minds. His mind is always in samadhi and there is no moment in which his mind breaks. He looks serene and splendid; thus is his body adorned. Wherever he goes, the land is flat. His clothing parts from his body but by four inches and it does not drop down. When walking, he looks straight ahead, not looking to right or left. What he does is done with aptitude and nothing (is done which) goes beyond what is necessary. Where he sits and stands up, the grass does not move. To teach beings, he moves about and dwells upon Dharma. He displays no arrogance. This is seeing with the eye.
"The Bodhisattva, as he takes his seven steps, says: "The body that I now have is the last of all that I will have." Asita folds his hands and says: "Know, O great King! Prince Siddhartha is certain to gain unsurpassed Enlightenment. He will not remain at home and become a Chakravartin. Why not? Because his visage is clear and bright. The Chakravartin does not look clear and bright. The bodily form of Prince Siddhartha is bright and outstanding. For this reason, he will unfailingly attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. He will see old age, illness, death, and will say: "I pity seeing all beings living thus. Birth, old age, illness and death follow one upon the other. And they cannot see; they always suffer. I shall now cut off the bond." Under Aradakalama, who is perfect in the five divine powers, he practises thoughtlessness samadhi (“asamjna-samapatti”). Having attained it, he says that this is not the Way to Nirvana, but that of birth and death. For six years he practises this austerity, and gains nothing. If true, I must be able to gain it. Being false, I gain nothing. This is a twisted way, and not the right one. Having attained Enlightenment, Brahma comes and asks: "O Tathagata! Please open the gates of amrta (the deathless) and teach unsurpassed Dharma." The Buddha says: "O Brahma! All beings are always in the shadow of defilement. They are unable to give ear to my Wonderful Dharma." Brahma further says: "O World-Honoured One! There are three kinds of being, namely: 1) sharp-witted, 2) middle-witted, 3) slow-witted. The sharp-witted will be receptive. Please condescend to preach." The Buddha says: "O Brahma! Listen carefully, listen carefully! I shall now, for beings' sake, open the gates of immortality." And at Varanasi, he turns the Wheel of Dharma and proclaims the Middle Path. All beings do not destroy the bond of defilement. It is not that they cannot destroy it. It is not that it is destroyed, nor is it that it is not destroyed. Hence, the Middle Path. It does not pass beings to the other shore, nor is it that it cannot pass beings to the other shore. Hence, the Middle Path. Whatever is taught, there is no saying that one is a teacher, nor is one the disciple. Hence, the Middle Path. Whatever is taught is not for profit, nor is it that fruition should come about there. This is the Middle Path. It is right speech, real words, timely words and true words. No word is spoken in a false way. It is all-wonderful and supreme. To hear such words is to see by hearing. "O good man! The state of the Tathagata's mind truly cannot be seen. Should any good man or good woman desire to see (it), he or she must depend upon these two kinds of causal relations."
Then Bodhisattva LIon's Roar said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! You employed just now the simile of the amra fruit and compared it to the four beings, whose: 1) actions are minute, but their mind is not right, 2) their mind is minute, but their action is not right, 3) their mind is minute and their action is also minute, 4) their mind is not minute and their action is also not right. How might we know of the first two? You, the Buddha, say that you are grounded on these two. This is hard to know."
The Buddha said: "Well said, well said! I compare the two kinds of man to the amra. This is indeed difficult to know. As it is difficult to know, I say in the sutra: "Live together. Should a person not be able to come to know by living together, give time and live long. If not gained by living long, work out Wisdom. If Wisdom cannot cleave a way to knowing, meditate deeply. Through meditation a person can see well what is pure in sila (moral behaviour) and what violates sila."
"O good man! By these four items of: living together, living long, Wisdom, and meditation, one can come to know of true and the not-true sila. O good man! There are two kinds of sila and two kinds of person who uphold sila. One is absolute and the other non-absolute. If a person only upholds sila through causal relations, the wise should ask themselves whether this person's upholding of sila is for the sake of profit or the absolute upholding of sila. O good man! The sila of the Tathagata has nothing to do with causal relations. That is why we say "absolute sila". On account of this, even when attacked by any evil one, the Bodhisattva does not get molested by anger. For this reason, we can say that the Tathagata's unchanging sila is absolute sila.
"O good man! I once lived in Magadha, in the great castle of Campa, together with Sariputra and his disciples. There was then a hunter who was after a dove. Frightened, this dove came to hide under the robe of Sariputra and shook like a plantain tree. It then came within the shadow-length of me, and his body and mind found peace, with fear all gone. Know, therefore, that the Tathagata is one who eternally upholds sila, so that his shadow possesses this power.
"Again, there are two kinds. One is for profit and the other for Wonderful Dharma. One upholds sila for profit. Know that with this sila one cannot see the Tathagata and the Buddha-Nature. One may hear the names of the Buddha-Nature and the Tathagata, but this cannot be called seeing through hearing. If one upholds sila for Wonderful Dharma, know that one, through this, will see the Buddha-Nature and the Tathagata. This is seeing with the eye and also seeing by hearing.
"Again, there are two kinds. One is deep-rooted, which is hard to uproot; and the other shallow-rooted, which is easy to move. If one practises the samadhis of birthlessness, deathlessness, and desirelessness, it is hard to uproot. One may practise these three samadhis, but if it is for the sake of the 25 existences, this is what is shallow-rooted and easy to move.
"There are two kinds amongst those who uphold sila. One is the person who by nature thoroughly upholds (sila) and the other is the person who acts under the injunctions given by others. When one receives sila, one, for innumerable ages, does not lose it. One may be born in an evil country, or one may encounter an evil friend, an evil time, evil age, or evil teaching, or one may sit together with those abiding in evil views on life. There may be, at that time, no law (dharma) of receiving sila. Yet, the person practises the Way just as before and does not transgress. This is the case of how one upholds (sila). Or one may be given sila to observe by a teacher-priest or by jnapti-caturtha (ritual of receiving sila). Even when one has received this sila, one always decides upon consulting the words of the teacher, good comrades and friends. One is perfect in the way of listening and in delivering sermons. Such is the case called acting under guidance of others.
"O good man! One who by nature thoroughly upholds sila sees, with his own eyes, the Buddha-Nature and the Tathgata. Also, this is seeing through hearing. There are two kinds. One is the sravaka's sila and the other that of the Bodhisattva. One such attains the first aspiration and up to unsurpassed Enlightenment. This is the sila of the Bodhisattva. If one meditates on white bones, one attains arhatship. This is the case of the sravaka sila. One who upholds sravaka sila does not, one should know, see the Buddha-Nature and the Tathagata. Any person who upholds the sila of the Bodhisattvas, we may know, attains unsurpassed Enlightenment and sees well the Buddha-Nature, the Tathagata, and Nirvana."
Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! Why do we uphold the prohibitive sila?" The Buddha said: "O good man! “This is so the mind does not repent. Why does one not repent? Because one gains bliss. How does one gain bliss? This comes from segregation. Why do we need to seek segregation? To gain peace. How does one gain peace? Through meditation. Why do we meditate? To gain true knowing and seeing. In what way do we have true knowing and seeing? By seeing the many wrongs and worries of birth and death. This is for our mind not to cling greedily. Why do we need to have our mind not cling greedily? Because we gain Emancipation. How “(i.e. in what sense; by what means)” do we gain Emancipation? By gaining unsurpassed Great Nirvana. How do we gain unsurpassed Great Nirvana? By gaining the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. Why do we say that we gain the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure? Because of gaining birthlessness and deathlessness. How do we gain birthlessness and deathlessness? By seeing the Buddha-Nature. Thus, the Bodhisattva, by nature, upholds the absolute purity of sila (morality).”
"O good man! The bhiksu who upholds sila may not take a vow to gain the unregretting mind, but the unregretting mind will come about of itself. Why? Because the law nature (Dharma nature) spontaneously effects things to be (thus). Though he may not particularly seek to arrive at segregation, peace, samadhi, knowing and seeing, seeing the wrongs of birth and death, the mind which does not greedily settle upon (things), arriving at emancipation, Nirvana, the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure, birthlessness and deathlessness, and the Buddha-Nature, yet all of these will spontaneously come about. Why? Because of the all-naturalness of the law nature."
Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! If one gains the unregretting fruition of upholding sila and the fruition of Nirvana by Emancipation, sila has no cause to tell of and Nirvana no fruition to tell of. If sila has not cause to tell of, this is the Eternal, and if Nirvana has some cause to tell of, it must be non-eternal. If so, Nirvana is what originally was not, but is now, and if it is what originally was not, but is now, it must be non-eternal. This is like the light of a lamp. If Nirvana were anything like that, how could we say that it is the Self, Bliss, and the Pure?"
The Buddha said: "Well said, well said, O good man! You have already sown good seeds in the past at the places of innumerable Buddhas and you now are able to put questions of deep meaning to the Tathagata. O good man! You do not make away with the original thought that you had, and you thus ask. I call to mind that in days gone by, innumerable kalpas ago, there appeared a Buddha at Varanasi who was called "Well-Gained". At the time, this Buddha delivered a sermon on the Great Nirvana Sutra in the course of 3 billion years. I, along with you, was among those congregated there. I then asked the Buddha this question. Then, the Tathagata, for the sake of beings, was in right samadhi and did not reply. O great one! You retain this old story of olden days well in mind. Listen carefully, listen carefully! I shall now tell you.
"This sila also has a cause. Because it arises out of listening to Wonderful Dharma. The fact that one listens to Wonderful Dharma is also a cause. This arises from making friends with a good friend. One's associating with a good friend is the cause. This arises out of faith. Having faith is also a cause.
"O good man! Faith arises out of listening to Dharma, and this listening is grounded in faith. These two are cause and cause of cause. Also, they are result and result of result. O good man! The Nirgranthas protest and put forward the case of a pot and say that each serves as the cause and effect and each cannot part from the other. The case stands thus.
"Ignorance" (“avidya”) has causal relations with (i.e. ignorance causes) "volitional impulses" (“samskara”), and volitional impulses with ignorance. Now, this case of ignorance and volitional impulses is cause, and cause of cause, and also effect, and effect of effect. And birth is causally related to age-and-death, and age-and-death to birth. And birth and age-and-death are cause and cause of cause, and are effect and also the effect of effect. The case is thus.
"O good man! Birth indeed calls forth things. There can be no birth by itself. It cannot come about by itself. Birth comes about dependent on birth. Birth-birth cannot so come about by itself. It is dependent upon a birth. Thus, the two births too are cause, and also cause of cause; and the effect is effect of effect.
"Why do we say effect? Because this is the best fruit, the fruition of a sramana, that of a Brahmin, because it uproots birth-and-death. Because the person excises defilement. Because of this, we say result. It gets reproached by all kinds of defilement. Hence, we say that Nirvana is the result. We call defilement the wrong of the wrong.
"O good man! Nirvana has no cause. It is the result. Why so? Because there is no birth-and-death. Because there is no action performed and because it is uncreated. It is a Non-Create. It is Eternal and Unchanging. It has no place where it exists (i.e. it is not limited to a particular place, it cannnot be pinned down to a specific location). There is no beginning and no end.
"O good man! If Nirvana has any cause that can be named, this is not Nirvana. "Van" ("Vana" of "Nir-vana") means cause; the Nirvana of causal relations means "not". As there is no cause that can be named, we say Nirvana."
Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "The Buddha says that Nirvana has no cause that can be named. But this is not so. If it is said that there is none, this answers to (corresponds to) the six significations. Firstly, we have the "ultimate not-is". This is as in the case in which all things have no ultimate entity called "self" and no ultimate thing belonging to it. Second, it is non-existing when it can exist. Hence, "none". This is as when people say: "There is no water in the river or pond; or there are no sun and moon." Third, as the amount is small - hence, "none". The people of the world say, when there is little salt, "saltless"; when sweetness is insignificant, we say "not sweet". Fourth, when one receives nothing, one says "none". The candala cannot uphold the teaching of the Brahmin. So we say: "There is no Brahmin (here)." Fifth, when one accepts an evil thing, we say "none". People say: "A person who accepts an evil thing is no sramana or Brahmin, because people do not call such a sramana or Brahmin." Sixth, because it cannot be compared. For example, if there is no white, we say black; when there is no brightness, we say ignorant.
The Buddha said: "O good man! You now speak of the six significations. You do not take up the case of ultimate nothingness and compare it with Nirvana. But you take up the case of nothingness in relation to reality.
"O good man! “All things do not have the "Self". But this Nirvana truly has the Self”. For this reason, we say that Nirvana has no cause and yet the body is the result. This is the cause, and not the result. We call this the Buddha-Nature. As it is no result come about from a cause, it is the cause, but not the result. It is no result of a sramana. So, we say "non-result".
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! What do we mean when we say that we see the Tathagata and the Buddha-Nature about which you, the Buddha, speak? O World-Honoured One! The Tathagata has no carnal visage. He is not tall, not short, not white, not black; there is no direction to tell of. He is not the three worlds. He is not a created existence. He is not one that can be seen with the eye. How can one see (him)? The situation is the same with the Buddha-Nature."
The Buddha siad: "O good man! There are two kinds of Buddha-body. One is Eternal, and the other is impermanent. The latter is one manifested through expediency for saving beings. This is to see with the eye. The Eternal refers to the emancipated body of the Tathagata-World-Honoured One! It is called one seen by the eye. It is also one seen by hearing. The Buddha-Nature, too, has two kinds, namely: 1) visible, 2) invisible. The visible is the case of the Bodhisattvas of the stage of the ten abodes and the All-Buddha-World-Honoured One; unable to be seen refers to the case of beings. Seeing with the eye refers to beings' Buddha-Nature seen by the Bodhisattvas of the stage of the ten abodes and the All-Buddha-Tathagata. Seeing by hearing refers to all beings, who hear that the Bodhisattva of the ninth abode has the Buddha-Nature.
"The body of the Tathagata also has two kinds. One is the carnal and the other the non-carnal. The carnal is so called when the Tathagata gets emancipated. The non-carnal concerns the Tathagata who is segregated eternally from all kinds of carnal existence.
"The Buddha-Nature also has two kinds: 1) rupa (form), 2) non-rupa. Rupa concerns unsurpassed Enlightenment, and non-rupa refers to all beings and the Bodhisattvas of the ten abodes. The Bodhisattvas of the ten abodes cannot see the Buddha-Nature very clearly. It is because of this that we class (this) as non-rupa.
"O good man! The Buddha-Nature further has two kinds, which are: 1) rupa, and 2) non-rupa. Rupa concerns the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas and non-rupa all beings. Rupa refers to seeing with the eye, and non-rupa to seeing through hearing. The Buddha-Nature does not exist in and out; nor is it within or without. And yet it does not get lost or destroyed. That is why we say that all beings have the Buddha-Nature."
Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! The Buddha says that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature. There is butter in milk. It is as in the case of the vajra-guardsman (one of the gods, who holds a diamond in his hand and protects the Buddhist teaching). The Buddha-Nature of all Buddhas is pure sarpirmanda (ghee, or the most delicious, efficacious medicine). Why does the Tathagata say that the Buddha-Nature exists neither inside nor out?"
"O good man! In the milk stage, there is no butter. So there is no fresh butter, no clarified butter, and no sarpirmanda. All beings too call this milk. Hence, I say that there is no butter in milk. If there were, why do we not have two names and speak, for example, as we do of "two able smiths of gold and iron"? At the butter stage, there is no milk and it is not fresh butter, not clarified butter, and not sarpirmanda. Beings too say that it is butter and not milk, not fresh butter, not clarified butter, and not sarpirmanda. The same with sarpirmanda too.
"O good man! Of causes, there are two kinds. One is the right cause, and the other the condition. We say right cause. We may compare this to milk which calls forth butter; and through the condition, we may call forth the quality of the sourish content and warmth. As it comes from milk, we say there is the quality of butter in milk."
"O good man! The horn also calls forth butter. Why? I also say that there are two kinds of condition. One has the content of “ro” (vinegar, or the soursih content, or what may lead to the calling forth of a thing like curds), and the other that of “nan” (warmth). As the nature of the horn is warmth, I say: "It indeed calls forth butter."
Lion's Roar said: "If there is originally no nature of butter in milk, and now there is, and if if there is originally no amra in milk, why is it that it does not shoot forth a bud? This is because both did not have these from the very beginning."
"O good man! Even here, the milk calls forth amra. If one sprinkles milk on amra, it grows five feet in a night. That is why I say that there are two causes (i.e. the cause and "by-cause", or condition). O good man! If all things come about from one cause, how can you criticise and ask why amra does not come about in milk? O good man! The four great elements and all concrete things can be the elements of causal relations. Yet, each is different from the other and cannot be the same. For this reason, there does not come about amra in milk."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! I now definitely know that milk contains in itself the nature of butter. Why? I see people of the world who seek butter take only milk and never water. From this we know that there is the nature of butter in milk."
"O good man! What you say is not right. Why not? All beings who seek to see their face and features take only the sword."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! For this reason, there is the nature of butter in milk. If there were no face and nothing of one's form in the sword, why should one take up the sword (to look into)?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! If there definitely is the face and bodily form, why is it that there is the upside-down (image)? Vertically one sees the length, and crosswise one sees the width. If this is one's own face, how could it be long? If this face is that of some other person, how can one say that this is one's own? If it is the case that one sees by (means of) one's own face the face of someone else, why does one not see the face and form of a donkey?"
"O good man! And yet this light of the eye does not reach him. Why not? Because one sees the near and far at the same time. What stands in between is not seen. O good man! If the light reaches him and one can see, why is it that all beings do not get burnt by seeing fire? Do not gain doubt as when one sees a white thing far off and wonders whether it is a crane, a banner, a man, or a tree? How can it be that one sees a thing in the crystal and the fish and stones in deep water only if light comes in? If one sees without the light coming in, why is it that one sees a thing in the crystal and that one cannot see what is beyond the wall? Because of this, we cannot say that the light of the eye reaches the object and that we can see. O good man! You say that there is butter in milk. But why is it that a vendor takes only the price of the milk and not that of butter? Why is it that one who sells a horse from the pasture sells it at the price of the horse from the pasture, but not at the price of the horse itself? O good man! There is a man with no son. So he takes in a woman. The woman gets impregnated (gets pregnant). We cannot say that this is a woman because she gets impregnated. One may say: "Take this woman, because she has the quality of bearing a child." But this does not work out well. Why not? If there is the quality of having a child, there must come about a grandson. If there is to be a quality, this will mean that all are brothers. Why? Because all are born of the same person. That is why I say that a woman does not have any quality of a child. If there is the quality of butter in milk, why is it that one does not have the five tastes? If the seed of a tree has the quality of the 50-foot length of nyagrodha, why is it that one does not have the different forms and colours all at once from the time of the bud, stem, branch, leaf, flower and fruit? O good man! The colour of milk differs by the difference of time. So is it with the taste and fruit. The same with sarpirmanda. How can we say that milk has the quality of butter in it? O good man! For example, a man who must take butter on the morrow may have a sense of its smell today. The case where we say that milk definitely possesses the quality of butter also amounts to the same.
"O good man! For example, it is as when we arrive at a letter, the conjoint result of pen, paper and ink. And yet, in this paper there is nothing that represents the letter itself. Originally, there is nothing of the letter (there). Through causal relations, the letter first comes about. If there were anything of a letter, why did we need to depend upon so many causal relations? For example, it is like the colour green, which is the mixing together of blue and yellow. Know that these two did not originally have the quality of green. If there was that (quality) originally, why do we need to mix the two together and (thus) gain the colour?
"O good man! It is just as beings gain life from food. But in this food, there is nothing of life, truth to tell. If there were originally life, there would have to be a thing called life when not yet partaken of.
"What originally was not is now;
What originally was is now not.
There cannot be anything such as "is"
That obtains in the Three Times."
"O good man! All existences come about through causal relations and die out through causal relations. O good man! If it is true that all beings have the Buddha-Nature within, it will be as in my own case, where I have the Buddha-Body now. The Buddha-Nature of all beings is unbreakable, indestructible, cannot be drawn, cannot be grabbed hold of, cannot be tied or bound up. It is like space, which is also in all beings. All beings possess it. As there is nothing that hinders, one does not see this void. If beings did not have this void, there could not be any going, coming, walking, standing, sitting or reclining; and there could be no being born and growing up. That is why I say in this sutra that beings have the void. The world of void corresponds to voidness. The same with the Buddha-Nature of beings, too. The Bodhisattva of the ten abodes can see this somewhat. It is as in the case of the vajra-aksa.
"O good man! The Buddha-Nature of beings is what all Buddhas can see; it is not what sravakas and pratyekabuddhas can know. All beings do not see the Buddha-Nature. That is why they are all bound up by defilement and repeat birth and death. When one sees the Buddha-Nature, no bonds of defilement can tie one up. Emancipation comes and one attains Great Nirvana."
Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! All beings possess the Buddha-Nature as in the case of the nature of butter which is in milk. If not, how could the Buddha say that there are two causes, i.e. 1) right cause and 2) condition? The condition has qualities: 1) sourness and 2) warmth. Space has no nature. Hence, no cause and no condition."
Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "Because there is a nature. Because of this, there can be a condition and cause. Why? Because one desires to see clearly. The condtion or cause is none but the revealed cause. O World-Honoured One! In the dark, there already exist many things. When one desires to see, one makes use of a lamp. If nothing existed from the beginning, what would the light shine upon? In mud (i.e. clay) there is the pot. Because of this, a man with a water wheel, rope, or staff makes this the revealed cause. Or the seed of nyagrodha makes the earth, water and dung the revealed cause. The same with the sourish content or the warmth of milk. It can become a revealed cause. So, there can be a quality that precedes. By the help of the revealed cause, one can indeed see later. Because of this, one definitely knows of butter that exists beforehand in milk."
"O good man! If milk definitely contains the nature of butter, this is the revealed cause. If this is a revealed cause, why does one need to have a thing revealed? O good man! If the nature of the revealed cause is revealed, it must always have (such) revealing. If there is no revealing of one's own self, how can one hope to reveal others? There are two kinds of revealed cause, which are: 1) to reveal for oneself and 2) to reveal others. If this is what is said, this is not so. Why not? The revealed cause can only be one. How can there be two? If it is two, we must know that milk too must have two. If there cannot be two in milk, how can there be two in the revealed cause?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! If the revealed cause must be that, it is not a revealed cause. Why not? One who conts his own self can also count the self of others. That is why one can say eight. And in this nature of matter, there is no phase of revealing. As there is no phase of revealing, only by the help of Wisdom can one count one's own self and that of others. Because of this, the revealed cause cannot reveal itself, and it does not reveal others.
"O good man! If all beings have the Buddha-Nature, why does one need to practise innumerable virtues? If one says that to practise the Way is the revealed cause, this negates the claim that it is the same as butter. If one says that in the cause there is definitely the fruit, there can be no increase in sila (morality), samadhi (meditative absorption) and Wisdom. I see that worldly people originally do not possess sila, samadhi and Wisdom. These increase as one follows the words of the teacher and receives these, and by degrees these increase. One says that what the teacher teaches is the revealed cause, but at the time the teacher is teaching, the one who receives does not as yet have sila, samadhi and Wisdom. If this were (supposed) to be the revealing, this indicates that there was no revealing. How can one practise sila, samadhi and Wisdom and make these increase?"
"O good man! There are three ways to answer the blames (criticisms) of the world, which are: 1) reverberating answer, as is resorted to as in the following: "Why do we uphold sila? Because of the fact that one does not regret or one cares for Great Nirvana"; 2) silent answer, as when a Brahmacarin came to me and asked: "Is the self eternal?", when I maintained my silence; 3) doubting answer, as in: "If there are two revealed causes, why cannot there be two milks?"
"O good man! I now resort to the reverberating answer: "Because the people of the world say that there are milk and butter and that one decidedly gains these. Because of this, we can say that there are milk and butter. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature, which one can actually see."
Lion's Roar said: "What the Buddha says does not work out well. The past is already gone and the future has not yet come. How can we say that these exist? If this means what is to come about, this does not accord with reason. This is as when the people of the world say "sonless", when they see a person without a son. How can we say that all beings have the Buddha-Nature when they do not have it?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! The past is an existence. For example, we plant a mandarin orange. It shoots out a bud and the seed dies. The bud is sweet; the fruit, too, is sweet. When ripe, it becomes sour. O good man! This taste of sourness does not exist in the seed or in the bud; nor is it in the raw fruit. When ripe in accordance with the quality it originally possesses, there come about the form, colour, the external appearances and the sour taste. And this sourness is what originally was not, but what now is. Even though not existing but now existing, this is not to say that there was not originally the quality as such. Thus, though the fruit derives from the past, we nevertheless can say that it is what exists. Because of this, we say that the past is what "is".
"How can we call the future "is"? For example, a person sows sesame. People ask: "Why are you sowing this?" The person answers: "We (want to) have oil." Although the oil does not exist, we gain it when the sesame ripens, when we harvest the seeds, roast or pass them through steam, and pound or press them and we gain the oil. Know that we are not telling any lies. For this reason, we can say that there is a future "is".
"How, again, can we say that the past has an "is"? O good man! A person speaks ill of the King in the former's quarters. Years later, the King comes to hear of this. On hearing of this, he asks: "Why did you speak ill of me?" "O great King! I did not speak ill of you. The person who spoke ill of you is now dead." The King says: "Both the person who spoke ill of me and my own body exist. How can you say he is dead?" On account of this, the man loses his life.
"O good man! These two actually do not exist, and yet the karmic result remains and is not dead. This is the past "is". How do we speak about the future "is"? For example, a person goes to a potter's and asks: "Have you a pot?" The answer comes back: "We have a pot." And yet, actually there is no pot. As the potter has the mud, he says that he has it. The case is analogous to this. Know that the person is not telling lies. There is butter in milk. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of beings. If one wishes to see the Buddha-Nature, one must think of time, form and colour. For this reason, I say that all beings possess Buddha-Nature. There is nothing in this that is false."
Lion's Roar said: "If beings do not have the Buddha-Nature, how can they attain unsurpassed Enlightenment? Because of the right cause. Through this, beings attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. What is the right cause. It is none other than the Buddha-Nature, O World-Honoured One! Even when the seed of nyagrodha contains within it the nyagrodha tree, we call it the nyagrodha seed. And why is it that we do not call it a khadira seed? O World-Honoured One! The family name of Gautama cannot be made to pass for Atreya, and Atreya cannot be made to stand for Gautama. So do things obtain with the nyagrodha seed. It cannot be made to stand for a khadira seed or the khadira seed to stand for the nyagrodha seed. And as you cannot make away with the family name of Gautama, the Buddha-Nature of beings cannot be made away with. Know, because of this, that beings possess the Buddha-Nature."
The Buddha said: "O good man! If you say that there is the nyagrodha in the seed, I have to say that this is not so. If there were, why do we not see it? O good man! If is as with things of the world which cannot be seen because of causal relations. What are (such) causal relations? They are, for instance, like the case where distance is too great, so that one cannot see. Or like the trace of a bird's flight across the sky. Or as when the distance is too short, as in that of a blink of the eye. Or as in the case of breaking up, as a result of which one cannot see. Or because of the rotting of the root. Or it is like the dispersion of thought, as when one's mind is not set all-exclusively upon a single point. Or it is as when something is too tiny, as with a mote. Or it is as when an obstacle exists, as when clouds obscure the sight of the stars by coming in between. Or when there are too many, so that it is not possible to see, as in the case of hemp amid the rice plants. Or because of similarity, as a result of which one cannot see, as in the case of a bean amidst beans. But the nyagrodha is not anything like these eight causal relations. If such, why is it that we cannot see such? You may say that we do not see because of small obstacles. But this is not so. Why not? Because the external characteristics are rough and coarse. If you say that the nature is minute, how can it truly grow? If one says one cannot because of an obstacle, we would not ever be able to see. If it is said that there was originally no such coarseness, but one now sees this coarseness, know that this coarseness has no nature of its own. Originally, there was no nature, and one now sees. Know that the nature of this seeing originally has no nature of its own. It is the same with the seed. There was no tree itself. Now, we see it. What harm is there?"
Lion's Roar said: "There are two causes of which the Buddha speaks. One is the right cause and the other the revealed cause. Because the nyagrodha seed is grounded on the revealed cause of earth, water and dung, this enables what is minute to gain coarseness (bulk, size)."
The Buddha said: "O good man! If there is the ground to start from, why do we need to seek the revealed cause? If there is no nature to talk of, what is there to reveal? If there is not originally any element of coarseness, and because of the revealed cause there comes about coarseness, why is it that khadira does not come about? The fact is that both do not originally exist. O good man! If minuteness cannot be seen, one can see well that which is coarse. For example, one may not be able to see a single mote, and yet when many motes foregather, one can. Of such seeds, one can see what is coarse. Why? Because in this there is already the bud, stem, flower, and fruit. In each fruit, there are already innumerable seeds. Each seed contains within it innumerable trees. Hence, we say coarse. As there is this coarseness, one can indeed see it. O good man! If this nyagrodha seed has the nature of nyagrodha and if it calls forth a tree, we see that the seed is being burnt in fire. Thus the nature of being burnt will also be an "is". If it is an "is", there cannot be any coming about of the tree. If all things are originally of the nature of birth and death, why is it that birth precedes and death follows, and that everything does not happen at the same time? For this reason, know that there is no nature."
Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! If the nyagrodha seed originally has no nature of the tree and yet calls forth the tree, why is it that this seed does not give out oil? This derives from the fact that neither of these has such a nature."
"O good man! Even such a seed does indeed give out oil. Though there is no nature, it is "is" because of causal relations."
Lion's Roar said: "Why do we not call it sesame oil?"
"O good man! Because it is not sesame oil. O good man! The causal relation of fire calls forth fire; that of water calls forth water. Both follow the causal relations, but to exist (at one and the same time) as one is not possible. It is the same with nyagrodha and sesame seeds. Both follow causal relations, but do not exist at once as one. The nature of the nyagrodha seed easily cures a cold and sesame cures a fever. O good man! Through the difference in causal relations, sugar cane calls forth rock candy and kokumitsu (a certain sugar product - possibly molasses). Both depend on one causal relation, but their colour and external appearance differ. Rock candy cures fever and kokumitsu a cold."
Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! If there is not any nature of butter in milk, nor the nature of oil in hemp, and no nature of a tree in the nyagrodha seed, no nature of a pot in mud, no Buddha-Nature in all beings, all this contradicts what the Buddha said above (to the effect) that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature and will therefore attain unsurpassed Bodhi (Enlightenment). Why? Because there is no nature of a human or deva (god). This means to say that without any nature, a human becomes a deva and a deva a human. It is because karma so contrives it that it comes about thus, but not by any nature. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva attains unsurpassed Bodhi only through the causal relations of karma. If it is said that all beings have the Buddha-Nature, why does the icchantika segregate (himself from) the root of goodness and fall into hell? If the Bodhi Mind is the Buddha-Nature, the icchantika cannot be cut off (from it). If he is cut off, how can we say that the Buddha-Nature is eternal? If it is not eternal, we cannot call it the Buddha-Nature. If all beings possess the Buddha-Nature, why do we speak of such as the "first aspiration to Bodhi"? And why do we speak of “vaivarti” ("drawing back") and “avaivarti” ("non-retarding"). If vaivarti, the person could not have the Buddha-Nature. O World-Honoured One! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva looks single-mindedly towards unsurpassed Bodhi, sees Great Loving-Kindness and Great Compassion, and the ills of birth, old age, death and defilement, and Great Nirvana; and he meditates on the non-existence of birth, age, death and defilement, and believes in the Three Jewels, and the results of karma, and upholds sila. Such is the Buddha-Nature. If there could be any Buddha-Nature, how could one use this law and make it a causal relation? O World-Honoured One! Milk can surely become butter without the help of causal relations. But fresh butter (“navanita”) cannot proceed thus. It needs to depend on causal relations, such as a man's skill, a water pot, and a churning rope. The situation is the same with beings. If they have the Buddha-Nature, they can do without causal relations and attain unsurpassed Bodhi. If it is definitely an "is", why does the Way-seeker see the suffering of the three unfortunate realms, and birth, age, illness and death, and gain the retarding mind (i.e. slip back, not make progress)? Also, without practising the six paramitas, one attains unsurpassed Bodhi. This is as when one wishes to gain butter without depending on the causal relations of milk. But it is not the case that one attains unsurpassed Bodhi without depending on the six paramitas. For this reason, we must know that all beings do not possess the Buddha-Nature. This is as above, where the Buddha said that the Jewel of the Sangha is eternal. If it is eternal, this means that it is not non-eternal. If it is not non-eternal, how can one attain unsurpassed Bodhi? If the Sangha is eternal, how can one say that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature? O World-Honoured One! If all beings do not originally possess Bodhichitta (Enlightenment Mind) and do not have the aspiration to unsurpassed Bodhi and later gain it, then the Buddha-Nature and beings are what originally was not but now are. Because of this, it must be the case that all beings do not possess the Buddha-Nature."
The Buddha said: "Well said, well said, O good man! You have long known the meaning of the Buddha-Nature. For the sake of beings, you pose such questions and say: "All beings truly possess the Buddha-Nature." You say that if all beings possess the Buddha-Nature, there cannot be any first aspiration. O good man! The mind is not the Buddha-Nature. Why not? The mind is non-eternal, and the Buddha-Nature is Eternal. Why do you say that there is retrogression (or regression)? Truth to tell, there is no retrogressing. If there were any retrogressing, there could not be any attainment of unsurpassed Bodhi. As it comes late, we call this retrogressive. This Bodhi Mind is not the Buddha-Nature. Why not? Because the icchantika lacks the root of good and falls into hell. If the Bodhi Mind is the Buddha-Nature, the icchantika cannot be called an icchantika. Also, the Bodhi Mind cannot be called non-eternal. For this reason, we can definitely know that the Bodhi Mind is not the Buddha-Nature.
"O good man! You say that if beings possess the Buddha-Nature, there is no need for causal relations, since the case is analogous to that of milk to butter. But this is not so. Why not? This is like saying that five causal relations call forth fresh butter. Know that the same is the case with the Buddha-Nature. For example, in several stones we find gold, silver, copper, and iron. All are of the four great elements. Each has one name and one thing. And the place where it comes from is not the same. Birth (i.e. the open appearance of these metals) always depends on the sum total of various causal relations and beings' virtue, metallurgy, and human skill. The matter stands thus. Because of this, we have to know that originally there is no nature of gold. The Buddha-Nature of beings is no Buddha. By the conjoint workings of all virtues and causal relations, one sees the Buddha-Nature and one becomes the Buddha. It is not correct to say: "All you beings have the Buddha-Nature. Why do you not see it?" Why not? Because all the causal relations are not yet in conjunction. O good man! For this reason, I said that of the two causes of right cause and condition, the right cause is the Buddha-Nature, and that the condition is the mind that aspires to Bodhi; that by two causes one attains unsurpassed Bodhi, as in the case of a stone from which gold comes forth.
"O good man! You priests always say that all beings do not possess the Buddha-Nature. O good man! "Sangha" means "harmony". Of harmony there are two kinds. One is of the worldly type and the other of “Paramartha-satya” (Ultimate Truth). Worldly harmony is the sravaka Sangha, and “Paramartha-satya” harmony is the Bodhisattva Sangha. The worldly Sangha is non-eternal, but the Buddha-Nature is Eternal. As the Buddha-Nature is Eternal, so is the Sangha of “Paramartha-satya”.
"Also, next, there is a Sangha which is the harmony of law (harmony of Dharma). The harmony of law refers to the 12 types of sutra. The 12 types of sutra are Eternal. That is why I say that the Sangha is Eternal.
"O good man! Sangha means harmony. The harmony is the 12 types of sutra. In the 12 links of interdependence, there is the Buddha-Nature. If the 12 links of interdependence are Eternal, the Buddha-Nature too is Eternal. That is why I say that there is the Buddha-Nature in the Sangha.
"O good man! You say that if all beings possess the Buddha-Nature, how can there be any retrogression and non-retrogression? Listen carefully, listen carefully! I shall now explain (matters) to you in minute detail.
"O good man! If a Bodhisattva-mahasattva has 13 things, there is retrogression. What are these 13? They are: 1) the mind does not believe, 2) the mind will no do, 3) the doubting mind, 4) being niggardly in bodily actions and with wealth, 5) entertaining great fear towards Nirvana, doubting whether one could eternally part from worldly existence, 6) having no mental forbearance (patience, endurance), 7) the mind will not adjust and soften itself, 8) apprehension and worry, 9) lack of bliss, 10) indolence, 11) belittling one's own self, 12) deeming that there is no means to excise defilement, and 13) not desiring Enlightenment. O good man! These 13 are the things that cause the Bodhisattva to retrogress from Enlightenment.
"Further, there are six things which destroy the Bodhi Mind. What are they? They are: 1) parsimony, 2) entertaining an evil mind towards all beings, 3) making friends with evil people, 4) non-effort, 5) arrogance, and 6) carrying on worldly business. These six things destroy the Bodhi Mind.
"O good man! A man hears that the All-Buddha-World-Honoured One is the teacher of humans and gods, that he is the best, incomparable, and superior to sravakas and pratyekabuddhas, that his Dharma-Eye is clear, that he is unhindered, that he passes all beings over the great sea of suffering. Having heard this, the man takes a great vow: "If there is any such person, I too shall be like him." Through this causal relation, he aspires to unsurpassed Enlightenment. Or taught by some others, a person may aspire to unsurpassed Enlightenment. Or a person might hear that the Bodhisattva underwent stringent penances for asamkhyas of kalpas and later attained unsurpassed Enlightenment. Having heard this, he thinks: "I cannot endure such penance, so how will I be able to gain it?" Thus, he retrogresses.
"O good man! There are also five things that distance one from the Bodhi Mind. What are the five? They are: 1) desiring to get ordained under a tirthika (non-Buddhist), 2) not practising the Great Mind of Loving-Kindness, 3) especially seeking to find fault with a priest, 4) always seeking to live in between birth and death, 5) not holding a good feeling towards upholding, reciting, copying and expounding the 12 types of sutra. These are the five things that pull one away from the Bodhi Mind.
"What is the unretrogressive mind? Again, a man hears that the Buddha truly passes beings over the sea of birth, old age, illness and death. He does not ask of a teacher to be taught and gains unsurpassed Bodhi by spontaneously practising the Way. "If Bodhi is something we can indeed gain, I shall assuredly practise the Way and unfailingly attain it." Thinking thus, he aspires to Bodhi and transfers all (the merit) that he has amassed, be it great or small, to unsurpassed Bodhi. He takes this vow: "I pray that I shall draw near to all Buddhas and Buddhist disciples, listen to sermons, so that the five sense-organs are all perfect, and this mind will not get lost even if I encounter hardships. Also, I pray, O all Buddhas and disciples, that I shall always have a gladdened mind and be perfect in the five good deeds. If all beings slash my body, hands and feet, head and eyes, and other parts, I shall gain a heart of Great Loving-Kindness towards all and feel happy. All such persons will serve me in the augmentation of my own Bodhi. If not, how can I accomplish unsurpassed Bodhi? Also I vow: Let me not gain a body that has no genital organs, that has dual sex organs, or the form of a female; (I pray) that I shall not be tied up by officials, that I shall not encounter a bad king, that I shall not be the subject of a bad king, that I shall not gain birth in an evil state. If I gain a beautiful body, my caste will be right. I may be blessed with wealth, but I shall not acquire an arrogant mind. I shall always listen to the 12 types of sutras, uphold, recite, copy and expound (them). If I am able to address beings, (I pray that) those who listen to me will respect me and entertain no doubt, that they will not bear any ill-will towards me, or that they hear little, but gain more understanding, that they will not desire to hear much but not be clear as to the meaning. I pray that I shall become the teacher of the mind, but not make the mind the teacher, that all my bodily, oral and mental actions will not befriend evil, that I shall be able to bestow peace and bliss upon all beings, that I shall not be moved like a mountain in the bodily precepts and in the wiseness of the mind, that I shall not be parsimonious with body, life or wealth, that I shall not do impure things and regard such as being meritorious, that I shall carry on a right way of living, live by myself, that I shall not do evil or flatter in mind, that when receiving any favour I shall pray in my mind to repay in a manifold way, even when only favoured a little, that I shall be well versed in all worldly acts and skills, that I shall be able to know all dialectical idioms (terms), that I shall recite and copy the 12 types of sutra, that I shall not be indolent and lazy in my mind, that if all beings do not desire to listen, I shall bring forth means so that they will be pleased to give ear to me, that my words will always be soft, that my mouth will not speak evil things, that I shall truly make those who entertain evil thoughts towards each other melt into harmony. If there should be anyone who has fear, he shall be freed from it; when there is a famine, there will be harvest and satisfaction; when epidemics prevail, I shall be a great doctor and there will be medicine and treasure, so that those who suffer from illnesses will all gain ease and health. In the days of long wars, the sufferings from smouldering fires will be done away with. I shall cut away all such fears as (regards) death, imprisonment, beatings, water and fire, kings, robbers, poverty, violating the moral precepts, evil names and ways of life. I shall gain deep respect for fathers and mothers, teachers and elders, and gain a heart of Great Loving-Kindness in the midst of enmity. I shall always practise the six thinkings, the three samadhis of the All-Void, thoughtlessness and desirelessness, the 12 links of interdependent origination, meditation upon birth and death, exhalation and inhalation of the breath, heavenly and pure actions, holy actions, the vajra-samadhi, the Suramgama Samadhi, and I shall gain a mind of quietude (even) where there are no Three Treasures. When I have to suffer from great sorrow, let me not lose the mind of unsurpassed Bodhi, let me not feel self-satisfied with the mind of the sravaka or pratyekabuddha. I shall renounce the world amidst the ways of the tirthikas and where there are no Three Treasures, so that I shall be able to crush the twisted views of life, and I shall not fall there into their ways of life. I shall gain unmolestedness in all things, be free in my mind, and be able clearly to see through all the wrongs of the created world. I shall fear the ways and fruitions of the two vehicles as I would fear losing my own fleshly body and life. For the sake of beings, I shall find pleasure in sitting amidst the three unfortunate realms like those who greatly like to look up to life in Trayastrimsa Heaven. For the sake of each person, I shall, for innumerable kalpas, suffers the pains of hell, and I shall feel no regret. I shall not burn in jealousy when I see others gaining profit. I shall always be as happy as when I myself gain bliss. Facing the Three Treasures, I shall offer clothing, food and drink, bedding, accommodation, medical attendance and cures, lights, flowers and incense, music, banners and parasols, and the seven treasures. If I receive injunctions from the Buddha, I shall zealously guard them and never break or transgress them. If I come to hear of the hardships of practice of the Bodhisattva, I shall feel pleased and have no regrets. I shall be empowered to read into my own past lives, and I shall not be a servant of greed, anger and ignorance. For the sake of results that are to come, I shall be no slave to causal relations. I shall not be addicted to the greed of pleasure that one has."
"O good man! If any person has such prayers, this is where we say that the Bodhisattva definitely will not draw back from the Bodhi Mind. He is also called a "danapati" (one who gives). He will truly see the Tathagata, is one who is clear as to the Buddha-Nature, and one who well adjusts beings and enables them to pass over the sea of birth and death. He protects unsurpassed Wonderful Dharma well and is perfect in the six paramitas. O good man! For this reason, the unretrogressive mind is not called the Buddha-Nature.
"O good man! Do not say that beings do not have the Buddha-Nature just because of the retrogressive mind. For example, two persons hear: "In another land, there is a mountain made of the seven treasures. In the mountain, there is a clear spring, whose water tastes sweet. Should any person reach this spring, he will make away with poverty, anyone who drinks its water will gain a long life. But the way to it is long and steep. Then, both men desire to go there.
One of the men goes equipped with various travelling outfits, whereas the other goes unprepared, not even keeping to the rules of food. They are walking together, when along the way they meet a man who has plenty of treasures, perfect in the seven rarities. The two go up to this person and ask: ?Is there any mountain of the seven treasures in that land” The man replies: "There truly is such a land, and it is not false. I have already gained the treasures. I have tasted the water. The only thing to worry one is that the way is steep, and there are robbers, gravel, and thorns; watery (succulent) plants are lacking. Thousands and millions go (set out), but few reach the end." On hearing this, one of the men feels regret and says: "The way is long and there is more than one trouble. Innumerable is the number of those who go and few gain the end. And how can I expect to reach this place? At present, I have what I need to have. If I stick to this, I will not lose my life. If life is at stake, where can I look for longevity?" The other man also says: "People indeed go; I too shall go. If I truly gain that place, I shall have rarities and taste the sweet water. If I cannot, let my life end there." Now, the one regrets having started out and draws back, whereas the other goes on, gaining the mountain and rarities, and tastes the water that he desired to taste. Carrying all that he has gained, he comes back to where he lives, serves his parents and his ancestors."
"Then, the one who regretted having started out on the journey and who turned back, sees this and goes down with a fever. "He went and is now back. How can I remain here?" And equipping himself, he starts out on the journey again.
"The seven treasures can be compared to Great Nirvana, the sweet water to the Buddha-Nature, the two persons to two Bodhisattvas who first aspire to Bodhi, the steep path to birth and death, the man whom they meet on the way to the Buddha-World-Honoured One, the robbers to the four Maras, the gravel and thorns to defilements, the lack of watery plants to the non-practising of the Way of Bodhi, the one who turns back to the retrogressing Bodhisattva, and the one who goes on alone to the non-retrogressing Bodhisattva.
"O good man! The Buddha-Nature of beings is Eternal and Unchanging. And we say, referring to the steep path: "When the person regrets and turns back, this makes the way non-eternal." But this cannot be so said. The same is the case with the Buddha-Nature. O good man! On the Path of Bodhi, there is not one who turns back. O good man! The one who regretted having started out now sees him who went before and who has gained the treasures, has come back unmolested, who makes offerings to his parents, gives to his relatives, thus enjoying much peace. Seeing this, a fire again burns in his mind, he adorns his body, starts out on the way again, spares no effort, endures all manner of hardships, and goes to the mountain of the seven treasures. So do things obtain with the retrogressing Bodhisattva.
"O good man! All beings definitely will attain unsurpassed Bodhi. Because of this, I say in the sutra: "All beings, down to those who have committed the five deadly sins, those who have sinned by performing the four grave offences, and the icchantikas all have the Buddha-Nature."
"O good man! If any Bodhisattva comes to know of the causal relations of the 32 signs of perfection of the Tathagata, we say non-retrogressive. He is the Bodhisattva-mahasattva, the non-upside-down, and one who pities all beings. He is one superior to sravakas and pratyekabuddhas and one called "avaivartaniya". O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva is immovable in his upholding of the precepts, in his mind of giving, and is like Mount Sumeru in abiding in the true word. Because of this, he gains the "flat sole" (one of the 80 minor marks of excellence).
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva fittingly offers things to his parents, the honoured ones, elders, and animals. Because of this, he gains on his sole the mark of excellence of a thousand spokes (one of the 80 minor marks of excellence). The Bodhisattva-mahasattva takes joy in non-harming and non-stealing and is pleased regarding his parents, honoured ones and teachers. Because of this, he is accomplished in the three bodily marks, which are: 1) long fingers, 2) long heels, and 3) a square and upright body. All these three forms arise out of the same karma.
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the four ways of guiding in (i.e. to guide beings in by: 1) giving, 2) friendliness, 3) good actions, 4) transforming himself and co-existing with them as the beings themselves, and takes in beings. Due to this, he gains the toe-membrane (one of the 80 minor marks of excellence) like that of a great royal swan.
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva upholds the precepts, listens to the sermons, and knows no end of giving. Due to this, his joints and ankles are fully fleshed and the hair on his skin flows in one direction.
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva acquires no harming mind, is satisfied with his food and drink, and with giving, and attends to illness, and dispenses medicine. Because of this, his body is rounded and perfect and is like the nyagrodha tree. When his hand is stretched dwon, his fingers reach his knee, and his head has the usnisa (Buddhic protuberance), the characteristic of which is that the top of it cannot be seen.
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva, when he sees a person in fear, extends help (to that person), and when he sees a person without any footgear, gives him clothing. Due to this, he gains a characteristic of his in which his genital organ lies hidden.
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva readily befriends wise men, segregating himself from the ignorant; he takes pleasure in exchanging views and sweeps the path along which he walks. On this account, his skin is delicately soft and his bodily hair turns to the right-hand side.
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva gives, does not grudge at (hang on to) whatever is rare, and easily parts with such; he makes no distinction whatever between a field of weal or a non-field-of-weal (i.e. the recipient of dana - charity - is likened to a field, by cultivating which one's blessings and virtues increase). Because of this, he is full and right-set (firm) in the seven places of his body.
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva seeks wealth lawfully and gives this away (to others). Because of this, the boneless parts (of his body) are full, the upper part is like that of a lion, and his elbows are well-balanced and delicate.
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva segregates himself from double-tongue (two-facedness), from ill-speaking and an angry mind. On account of this, his 40 teeth are white and pure, well-balanced and delicate.
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva exerts himself in the 10 good deeds and thereby teaches others. Because of this, he gains a large and long tongue (i.e. a symbolic expression referring to his great prowess in oratory).
"O good man! All beings are beyond knowing; also inconceivable are the worlds of Buddhas, and the workings of karma, and the Buddha-Nature. Why? Because these four things are all Eternal. Being Eternal, they cannot be conceived of. With all beings, defilement overspreads (them). And we say Eternal. The defilements of disruption and permanence go. Hence, non-eternal. If it is the case that all beings are the Eternal, why do we need to practise the Eightfold Path, so as to extirpate all sorrows? When disruption comes to all sorrows, we say non-eternal. Whatever we have of bliss, we call it Eternal. For this reason, I say: "All beings are overspread by defilement and cannot see the Buddha-Nature. Not seeing the Buddha-Nature, no Nirvana comes about."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! You the Buddha say that all things have two causes. One is the right cause and the other the condition. Through these, there cannot be any breaking away from bondage. The five skandhas appear and die out moment after moment. If these appear and die out, who binds and unbinds? O World-Honoured One! The present five skandhas call forth the five skandhas that follow. This skandha dies out by itself and does not shift on to another skandha. Though not shifting on, this can well call forth the other skandha. From a seed, we gain a bud. But the seed does not shift on to the bud. Though it does not shift on to the bud, it indeed calls forth the bud. The same is the case with beings. How do we undo bondage?"
"O good man! Listen carefully, listen carefully. I shall now explain (matters) to you minutely. O good man! When a person is going to die and faces the greatest of sorrows, the relatives gather around, weep, and are lost in sorrow. The person himself is in fear and knows of no help. He has his five sense-organs, but the sense-function does not work. His limbs shake and he indeed cannot hold (maintain) his own body. The body is empty and cold, and warmth is about to depart. He sees before his own eyes all the karmic results of what he has done.
"O good man! The sun is about to go down over the horizon, and the mountains and hills and mounds present shadows which shift on to the east. Reason tells (us) that there cannot be any moving to the west. It is the same with the fruition of a man's karma. When this skandha dies, another arises. When light appears, gloom dies out; when the light vanishes, the gloom appears. O good man! When a stamp (seal) of wax is pressed into mud, the stamp becomes one with the mud. The stamp dies out, and there appear letters. And yet, this wax stamp does not change into mud, and those letters come about from mud. They do not come about from anywhere else. They come about by reason of the causal relations of the stamp. Things obtain thus.
"When the skandhas of the present life die out, an in-between existence comes about. It is not that the skandhas of the present life change into the skandhas of the in-between five skandhas. And, also, the in-between five skandhas do not come about by themselves. They do not come about from anywhere else. Through the present skandhas come about the in-between skandhas. The stamp presses upon the mud. It dies out and letters emerge. The name does not differ. But the time of each differs. Such is the case. That is why I say: "The in-between five skandhas cannot be seen with the fleshly eye; they are what can be seen with the heavenly eye." The in-between skandhas feed on three kinds of food: 1) food of thought, 2) food of touch, 3) food of will. The in-between skandhas are made up of two kinds, which are: 1) good karmic fruition, and 2) evil karmic fruition. From good action comes about the consciousness of good karma, and from evil action the consciousness of evil (results).
"When the parents join together in sexual union, the causal relations call forth the direction in which the life must proceed. The mother gains craving (“trishna”) and the father anger. When the semen of the father comes forth, he says: "This is mine." At that, his mind becomes pleased. These three kinds of defilement crush out the in-between skandhas of causal relations and the subsequent five skandhas come about. This is comparable to how the stamp gets impressed into the mud and letters emerge.
"When appearing, all the sense-organs are perfect or imperfect. One who is equipped thus sees "matter" (i.e. physical form) and acquires greed. Greed arises, which is craving. By madness, greed comes about. This is ignorance. Through the causal relations of greedy craving and ignorance, the world that is seen is all upside-down. The non-Eternal is viewed as Eternal, the non-Self as the Self, non-Bliss as Bliss, and the non-Pure as the Pure. From these four inversions, good and bad actions are committed. Defilement makes karma, and karma activates defilement. This is bondage. On this account, we say born of the five skandhas.
"For this person, when he befriends the Buddha, the Buddha's disciples, and the good teachers of the Way, and when he listens to the 12 types of sutra, because of his hearing Dharma, there comes about a realm of good. When he sees the realm of good, he gains great Wisdom. Great Wisdom is right seeing. When he gains (such) seeing, he repents of the life of birth and death. In consequence of this regret, no joy arises (regarding samsara - birth and death). When he gains no joy, he truly destroys the greedy mind. When he destroys the greedy mind, he practises well the Noble Eightfold Path. When he practises the Noble Eightfold Path, he emerges from birth and death. When there is no birth and death, he gains Emancipation. When fire does not meet with fuel, this is extinction. When there is no more birth and death, we say that we cross over extinction. This is the extinction of the five skandhas."
"O good man! Pillars support a house. Away from the house, there are no pillars, and without any pillars, there is no house. It is the same with the five skandhas of beings. When there is defilement, we speak of bondage. When there is no defilement, we speak of Emancipation. O good man! The fist contains the palm. The three items of bondage, meeting and dispersion, birth and death, are not different things. The same is the case with the five skandhas of beings. When there is defilement, we have bondage; when we have no defilement, there is Emancipation.
"O good man! We say that body-and-mind (“nama-rupa”) chains beings. But if body-and-mind have gone, there is no being. Other than body-and-mind, there is no being; other than the being, there is no other body-and-mind. Also, we say that body-and-mind chains the being, and the being chains the body-and-mind."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! The eye does not see by itself, the finger does not touch by itself, the sword does not cut by itself, and feeling does not feel by itself. But why does the Tathagata say: "Body-and-mind chains the body-and-mind?" Why? Body-and-mind is none but the being; the being is body-and-mind. If we say that body-and-mind chains the being, this means that body-and-mind chains body-and-mind."
The Buddha said: "O good man! When two hands meet, there cannot be anything that comes in between. It is the same with body-and-mind. That is why I say: "Body-and-mind chains the being." If one is away from body-and-mind, what there is (then) is Emancipation. That is why I say: "The being attains emancipation."
"O good man! There are two kinds of Emancipation, which are: 1) cutting off of the seed, and 2) cutting off of fruition. The cutting off of the seed is the cutting off of defilement. The arhats have already cut off defilement and the root of all bondage has been severed, so that the bondage of the seed cannot chain (the arhat). When the root of fruition is not yet cut off, we say that there is yet the bondage of fruition. All arhats do not see the Buddha-Nature. Not seeing this, they cannot gain unsurpassed Enlightenment. For this reason, we may say that there is the bondage of fruition. So, we cannot say that there is a bondage of body-and-mind. O good man! For example, when the oil has not yet been spent, the light of the lamp does not expire. Once the oil is spent, the light goes out. In this, there is nothing to doubt. O good man! The so-called oil is defilement, and the light is the being. All beings do not gain Nirvana, due to the oil of defilement. If this is removed, they gain Nirvana."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! The nature of light and oil differs. Defilement and the being are not thus. The being is defilement and defilement is the being. The being is the five skandhas and the five skandhas are the being. The five skandhas are defilement and defilement is the five skandhas. Why do you, the Tathagata, liken them to light?"
The Buddha said: "Of analogies, there are eight kinds, namely: 1) progressive analogy, 2) reverse analogy, 3) actual analogy, 4) non-analogy, 5) fore-going analogy, 6) aft-coming analogy, 7) fore-going-and-aft-coming analogy, and 8) all-pervading analogy.
"What is a progressive analogy? It is as when I say in the sutras, for example, heaven sends down great rain, and all the ditches become full. As they are full, small holes get full. As small holes get filled, the great holes too become full. As the great holes become full, small springs become full. As small springs become full, great springs become full. As great springs become full, small ponds become full. As small ponds become full, big ponds become full. When big ponds are full, small rivers become full. When small rivers become full, big rivers become full. When big rivers become full, the great seas become full. The same is the case with the rain of Dharma of the Tathagata.
"The silas (moral behaviour) of beings become full (i.e. perfect). As the silas are full, the non-repenting mind becomes full. As the non-repenting mind becomes full, there arises joy. As joy arises, segregation (from attachment to the skandhas) comes about. As segregation becomes full, there comes about peace. As peace becomes full, samadhi becomes full. As samadhi becomes full, right seeing-and-knowing becomes full. As right seeing-and-knowing becomes full, renunciation becomes full. As renunciation becomes full, the reproach (i.e. aversion to worldly life) becomes full. As reproaching becomes full, Emancipation becomes full. As Emancipation becomes full, Nirvana becomes full. This is a progressive analogy.
"What is a reverse analogy? Originally there was a great sea. This was a big river. The big river was originally a small river. There was a small river, which was a big pond. There was a big pond originally, which was a small pond. There was a small pond originally, which was a big spring. There was a big spring originally, which was a small spring. There was a small spring, which was a big hole. There was a big hole originally, which was a small hole. There was a small hole originally, which was a ditch. There was a ditch originally, which was great rain.
"There was Nirvana originally, which was Emancipation. There was originally Emancipation, which was reproach. There was reproach originally, which was renunciation. There was renunciation originally, which was right seeing-and-knowing. There was right seeing-and-knowing originally, which was samadhi. There was samadhi originally, which was peace. There was peace originally, which was segregation. There was segregation originally, which was the mind of joy. There was joy originally, which was non-regret. There was non-regret originally, which was the upholding of the precepts. There was upholding of the precepts originally, which was the rain of Dharma. This is an analogy in reverse order.
"What is an actual analogy? It is as when I say in the sutras that the mind of a being is like that of a monkey. The nature of a monkey is to throw (things) away and pick (things) up. The nature of a being is the same. It clings to colour, sound, smell, touch, and law (taste), and there is not a moment when it is at rest. This is an actual analogy.
"What is a non-analogy? It is as when I said to Prasenajit: "O great King! There are intimate friends come from the four quarters, who say: (O great King! There are four great mountains which come from the four quarters and mean to cause harm to man). Should you, the King, hear of this, what would you intend to do to deal with the situation?" The King said: "O World-Honoured One! They may come, but there is no place in which to take refuge. All one can do is exclusively uphold the precepts and give alms." I praised him and said: "Well said, well siad, O great King! I speak of four mountains. These are none other than the birth, old age, illness, and death of beings. Birth, old age, illness and death always come and press upon a person. How can one not practise the precepts and dana?" The King said: "O World-Honoured One! What does one gain from the precepts and dana?" I said: "One gains pleasure in the life of humans and heaven." The King said: "O World-Honoured One! If the nyagrodha were to practise the precepts and dana, could it call forth peace and bliss (for itself) in the world of humans and heaven?" I said: "The nyagrodha cannot uphold the precepts and give. If it could, there could result nothing that is different." This is a non-analogy.
"What is a fore-going analogy? This is as when I say in the sutra, for example, there is a wonderful flower to which a person clings (i.e. which that person desires). Intending to take hold of it, he is taken by the water (i.e. falls into the river). The same is the case with the being. He clings to the five desires and flounders in the river of birth, old age, and death. This is a fore-going analogy.
"What is an aft-coming analogy? It is as is given in the Dharmapada:
"What is a fore-and-aft analogy? This is as in the case of a plantain tree, which, when it bears fruit, dies. It is the same with the ignorant, who but receives support. It is as in the case of a mule, which, when it bears a child, cannot live long.
"What is an all-pervading analogy? This is as when I state in the sutra: In Trayastrimsa Heaven, there is a tree called parijata, whose roots go down into the earth five yojanas deep and whose height is as great as 100 yojanas. Its branches and leaves spread out as far as 50 yojanas. When the leaves ripen, they become yellow, and all the gods, on seeing this, are gladdened. These leaves, before long, fall off. When the leaves fall, there comes about joy. This branch changes colour, and joy arises. This branch, before long, gains pimples. Seeing this, joy again comes about. This pimple again calls forth a bill. Having seen this, joy arises again. Not long after the bill opens, a fragrance covers an area of 50 yojanas, and a light shines over a distance of 80 yojanas. All devas (gods), in the three summer months, come down, and there is joy down below.
"O good man! It is the same with all of my disciples. Saying that the leaves become yellow can be likened to my disciples who desire renunciation. Saying that the leaves fall down can be likened to my disciples' shaving their heads. Saying that the colour of the leaves changes refers to my disciples' taking to the “jnaticaturtha” and receiving the complete precepts. Saying that first a pimple appears refers to the disciples' minds aspiring to unsurpassed Bodhi and the bill to the Bodhisattvas of the ten abodes who now gain the Buddha-Nature. Saying that it opens refers to the Bodhisattvas' attaining of unsurpassed Bodhi. "Fragrance" refers to the innumerble beings of the ten directions upholding the precepts. "Light" is likened to the Buddha's name filling the ten directions unhindered. "The three summer months" are comparable to the three samadhis. Saying that in Trayastrimsa Heaven one enjoys bliss is likened to all Buddhas' gaining Great Nirvana and the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. This is an all-pervading analogy.
"The analogies spoken of do not necessarily cover all (aspects). They liken things in part, or in greater part, or to the whole. It is as when we say: "The face of the Tathagata is like the full moon." This refers to but a small part.
"O good man! There is a man, for example, who has not yet seen milk. He asks others what it is like: "What kind of thing is milk?" The others answer: "It is like water, honey, and a shell." The water represents moisture, the honey sweetness, and the shell colour. We may employ these three analogies and yet we may not be able to arrive at (an accurate idea of) what milk is. O good man! I may use the analogy of light. But the case will be thus. O good man! There cannot be any river apart from water. The same is the case with beings. Apart from the five skandhas, there can be no other separate being. O good man! Apart from the body, wheels, spokes, and hubs, there cannot be any cart. It is the same with beings.
"O good man! If you deisre to connect this with the analogy of light, listen carefully, listen carefully! I shall now explain it. The wick may be likened to the 25 existences, the oil is craving, and light Wisdom. To break means to exclude gloom and ignorance. Softness is likened to the Holy Way. When the oil is used up, the brightness of the light dies out. The same is the case (here). When the craving of the being ends, there comes about the Buddha-Nature. There can be body-and-mind, but this cannot bind (one). Living amidst the 25 existences, there is no defilement from any existence."
The Buddha said: "O good man! All beings have the remembering mind, the wisdom mind, the aspiring mind, the effort-making mind, the believing mind, and the meditating mind. All such, moment after moment, are born and die away. And yet, similarity and continuation go on. Hence, we speak of practising the Way."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! All such die away moment after moment. All such extinctions that come about moment after moment also resemble (one another) and continue. How is one able to practise the Way?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! The light of the lamp dies out moment after moment. Yet, there is the light which dispels the gloom. It is the same with all such resemblings. O good man! The food a being eats dies away moment after moment, but hunger is satisfied. The case is the same. A good medicine dies away moment after moment. And yet it does indeed cure illness. The light of the sun and moon dies away moment after moment, and yet it truly enables the trees and plants of the forest to grow.
"O good man! You say: "A person dies moment after moment. How can there be any growing up?" But as the mind is not cut off, there is growing. O good man! A man recites. The letters (words) read cannot happen in a moment. What came first cannot extend to the middle, and what was read in the middle cannot go to the end. The man, the letters and the mental image die out moment after moment, and practising long we come to know.
"O good man! For example, with a goldsmith, from the day when he begins to learn his art up to those of his hoary old-age, one moment is followed by another moment, and what has preceded is what follows after. But by repeated practice, what comes about is wonderful. Due to this, the person is praised and is called the best goldsmith. It is the same with reading the sutras.
"O good man! For example, let us take the case of a seed. The earth does not teach it and say: "Put forth buds!" But by the law of nature, buds come about. And then the flower, too, does not teach and say: "Now, bear fruit!" But fruit comes about as it should by the law of nature. It is the same with the practice of the Way. O good man! For example, in counting, one is not two, and two is not three. Moment after moment, one shifts on to the other. Yet, this goes up to 1,000 and to 10,000. Thus does the practice of the Way by beings proceed. O good man! The light of a lamp dies moment after moment. When the first light dies out, it does not say to the flame that follows: "I am going now. You now appear and dispel the gloom!" The case is thus. O good man! When a calf is born, it seeks milk. None teaches it this wisdom of seeking milk. A moment is followed by a moment, but the first hunger leads to satisfaction with the food that follows. Hence, know that one cannot be the same as others. If the same, no difference can come about. The same applies to the practice of the Way by a being. By one action, one may not gain the end. But by long practice, one does away with all defilements."
Lion's Roar said: "Just as the Buddha says that when a person of the srotapanna stage (i.e. a person who has "entered the stream" of Dharma and will be reborn a maximum of only 7 further times) gains the fruition of the practice of the Way, even though born in evil lands, he upholds the precepts, does not kill, steal, seek after lust, practise double-tongue, or drink alcohol, the skandhas of the srotapanna die out here and do not gain the evil lands - the same applies to the practice of the Way. It does not lead to evil lands. Why can the person not get born in the Pure Land, if the same? If the skandhas of the evil land are not those of the srotapanna, how can it be that evil actions cannot come about?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! A person of the srotapanna stage may get born into evil lands, and yet he will not lose his attainment of srotapannahood. The skandhas are not the same. That is why I take up the analogy of the calf. A person of the srotapanna stage, though born in an evil land, because of the power of his practice of the Way, does not perform evil. O good man! For example, in Gandhamadana, there was a lion king, and all the birds and beasts left the mountain - none of them came near. Once, this king went into the Himalayas, and there, too, he saw that none was living there. That is how things stand with the srotapanna. Though not practising the Way, because of the power of the Way, he does not perform evil. For example, a man takes amrta (ambrosia of immortality). And the amrta dies out. But the force of its remaining power causes the person to gain birthlessness and deathlessness. O good man! In Mount Sumeru, there is a wonderful medicine called langali. If one partakes of it, even though the effect of the medicine dies out moment after moment, one, due to the power of this medicine, will not encounter any harm. O good man! No one approaches where a Chakravartin lives, not even in his absence. Why not? Because of the power of this king. It is the same with the person of the srotapanna stage. He may be born in an evil land and may not be practising the Way, but because of the power of the Way, he does not do any evil. The skandhas of the srotapanna may be dead, and different skandhas may be present, and yet no skandha of the srotapanna is lost. O good man! Beings, because of what emerges from the fruit, do a good many things to the seed: they provide dung and irrigation. Although the fruit has not yet been gained and the seed is now dead, we nevertheless can say that we gain the fruit from the seed. It is the same with the skandhas of the srotapanna. O good man! For example, there is a man who is rich and has great wealth. He has only one son, who has already died. This son has a son, who is now abroad. This man, of a sudden, dies. The grandson, on hearing of this, comes back and takes over the property. It is not yet known where the wealth is. But there is no one who obstructs or protects the occupation. Why not? Because the stock is one. The case is the same with the skandhas of the srotapanna."
"If a bhiksu (monk) practises the Way
Of the moral precepts, samadhi and Wisdom,
Know that this is befriending
Unretrogressive and great Nirvana."
O World-Honoured One! How am I to practise the precepts, samadhi and Wisdom?
The Buddha said: "O good man! There is a man who upholds the prohibitions and precepts, but (does so) for the happiness that he can gain for his own self and for humans and gods, and not to save all beings, not for guarding unsurpassed Wonderful Dharma, but for profit and out of fear of the three unfortunate realms, for life, lust, power, safety, oratory, out of fear of state laws, evil fame, for fear of dirty names, and for worldly works. Such guarding and upholding of the precepts cannot be called practising the precepts. O good man! What is true upholding of sila? When one upholds sila, the object must be to pass beings to the other shore, to protect Wonderful Dharma, to save the unsaved, to enlighten the unenlightened, to enable those who have not yet taken refuge to take it, to enable those who have not yet attained Nirvana to attain it. Practising thus, a person does not see sila, how it is actually upheld, the person who upholds sila, the results to be attained (therefrom), whether the person has sinned or not. O good man! If one acts thus, this is the upholding of sila.
"How does one practise samadhi? If, when practising samadhi, one does it to enlighten one's own self, for profit, not for the sake of all beings, not for the practising of Dharma, but out of greed, for defiled food, for sexual reasons, because of the impurities of the nine holes, for disputes, for beating, and for killing others, anybody who practises samadhi thus is not one who practises samadhi.
"O good man! What is the true practice of samadhi? One practises it for the sake of all beings, to plant in the mind of beings the all-equal mind, unretrogressive Dharma, the holy mind, to enable beings to attain Mahayana, to guard unsurpassed Dharma, for beings not to retrogress from Enlightenment, for them to gain the Suramgama, the vajra-samadhi, dharanis (i.e. long mantras or magic spells), to enable beings to gain the four unhinderednesses, to enable beings to see the Buddha-Nature; and when practising thus, one sees no samadhi, no form of samadhi, nor a person practising this, nor any result to be arrived at. O good man! If things indeed proceed thus, we say that this person is practising samadhi.
"How does one practise Wisdom? One who practises Wisdom thinks: "If I practise such Wisdom, I shall attain Emancipation and save those in the three unfortunate realms. Who is it that indeed benefits all beings, passing them to the other shore beyond birth and death? It is difficult (to be present when) the Buddha appears in this world. It is as rare an event as one's coming across the flowering of the udumbara. I shall now thoroughly cut away the bonds of all defilements. I shall gain the fruition of Emancipation. On this account, I shall now learn to practise Wisdom and sever the bond of defilement and attain Emancipation." Any person who practises the Way thus is not one who practises Wisdom.
"How does a person truly practise Wisdom? The wise person meditates on the sorrows of birth, age, and death. All beings are overshadowed by ignorance and do not know how to practise the unsurpassed right path. He prays: "I pray that this body of mine will suffer great sorrows in lieu of all beings. Let all poverty, degredation, the mind of transgressing the precepts, all the actions of greed, anger and ignorance of all beings gather upon me. I pray that all beings will not gain a mind of greed, will not be bound up in body-and-mind. I pray that all beings will soon cross the sea of birth and death, so that I may not now need to face it and not feel the worry. I pray that all will gain unsurpassed Enlightenment." When a person practises the Way thus, he sees no Wisdom, no form of Wisdom, no one practising WIsdom, and no fruition to be arrived at. This is practising Wisdom.
"O good man! How does one practise sila (morality)? All sin by committing the 16 evil acts. What are the 16? They are: 1) keeping, feeding, and fattening sheep for profit, and seeling them, 2) buying and killing sheep for profit, 3) raising, fattening and selling pigs for profit, 4) buying and killing them for profit, 5) raising and selling calves for profit when fattened, 6) buying and killing them for profit, 7) raising hens for profit and, when they are grown up, selling them, 8) buying (them) for profit and killing them, 9) fishing, 10) hunting, 11) plundering, 12) selling fish, 13) catching birds with nets, 14) (having a) double-tongue, 15) (being a) jailer, and 16) charming snakes (“nagas”). One (should) thoroughly segregate one's self eternally from such evil deeds. This is practising sila (morality)."
(The Buddha said:) "How does one practise samadhi (i.e. meditative absorption)? One truly does away with all the worldly samadhis. This is the bodilessness samadhi. Beings get an upside-down mind and wrongly call this Nirvana. Also, there are such samadhis as the boundless-mind samadhi, the pure-group samadhi, the worldlessness samadhi, the world-segregation samadhi, the world-nature samadhi, the skandha-samadhi, the thoughtlessness-non-thoughtlessness samadhi (which) indeed make beings acquire an upside-down mind and call such Nirvana. If one truly segregates one's own self from such samadhis, this is practising samadhi.
"How does one practise Wisdom? One thoroughly extirpates the evil views of the world. Beings all possess evil views. That is thinking that "matter" (form) is Self, and that this belongs to Self; that there is Self in matter and matter in Self; and it so goes with consciousness; that matter is the Self; that matter dies, but that the Self stays behind; that matter is the Self, and that when matter dies out, the Self dies out. And a certain person says: "The maker is the Self; the recipient is the Self." Also, a certain person says: "The doer is matter; the receiver is the Self." Also, a certain person says: "There is no doing and no receiving. A thing comes about by itself; it dies out by itself. Nothing is based on causal relations." Also, a certain person says: "There is no doing and no receiving. All is the work of Isvara (i.e. God)." Also, a certain person says: "There cannot be any doer or any receiver. All comes about according to the season." Also, a certain person says: "There are doers and receivers. The five elements beginning with the earth are the being." O good man! If anyone crushes such evil views, this is practising Wisdom.
"O good man! Practising sila (morality) is for the quietude of one's own body. Practising samadhi is for the quietude of one's mind; practising Wisdom is for crushing out doubt. To crush out doubt is to practise the Way. To practise the Way is to see the Buddha-Nature. To see the Buddha-Nature is to attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. To attain unsurpassed Enlightenment is to arrive at unsurpassed Great Nirvana. To arrive at Great Nirvana is to segregate all beings from birth and death, all defilements, all (worldly) existences, all realms, all truths of beings. To cut off (these) births and deaths and satya (truth; presumably "worldly truths") is to attain to the Eternal, Bliss, the Self and the Pure."
"O World-Honoured One! There is also no beginning and no end in this law of birth and death. If there is no beginning and end, this is eternal. The Eternal is Nirvana. Why do we not call birth and death Nirvana?"
You, the Buddha, said to the bhiksus: "I shall now speak to the sramanas about the fruition of the Way. "Sramana" means nothing other than practising well sila (morality), samadhi, and Wisdom. The Way is the Noble Eightfold Path. The fruition of sramana practice is Nirvana." O World-Honoured One! Nirvana is thus. Is this not fruition (i.e. result)? How can you say that Nirvana has no cause and no fruition?"
"O good man! What I refer to as the cause of Nirvana is the so-called Buddha-Nature. The nature of the Buddha-Nature does not call forth Nirvana. That is why I say that there is no cause in Nirvana. As it truly crushes defilement, I say "great fruition". It does not come about by the "Way". Hence I say that there is no fruition. For this reason, Nirvana has no cause and no fruition."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! Is the Buddha-Nature of beings a thing of common possession or is it something individually possessed? If it is of common possession, all would have to gain it when one person gains it. O World-Honoured One! Twenty people have one enemy. If one falls out of the group, the remaining 19 may also mean to have no enemy. If the Buddha-Nature is thus, the remaining persons must gain it if one person gains it. If each has the Buddha-Nature, this is non-eternal. Why? The nature of beings is neither one nor two. We cannot say that all Buddhas are all-equal. Also, we cannot say that the Buddha is like the void."
The Buddha said: "O good man! The Buddha-Nature of beings is not-one and not-two. The equality spoken of regarding all Buddhas is like the Void. All beings possess it. Anybody who indeed practises the Noble Eightfold Path gains - one should know - a bright view. O good man! In the Himalayas, there is a grass called ninniku (Sanskrit “ksanti” = patience, forbearance). A cow fed on this will gain sarpirmanda (the tastiest and most healthful of milk products). It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of beings."
Lion's Roar said: "Is the ninniku grass, about which you the Buddha speak, one or many? If it is one, it will come to an end when the cow feeds on it. If many, how can you say that the Buddha-Nature is also like this? You, the Buddha, say that if one practises the Noble Eightfold Path, one will see the Buddha-Nature. But this is not so. Why not? If the Way is one, it must come to an end, as in the case of the ninniku grass. If it comes to an end, there is no further part left for others to practise. If the Way is many, how can we say that practice is perfected? And how can one speak of “sarvajnana” (omniscience)?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! (Suppose) there is a flat road. Beings walk (along it), and there is nothing to hinder their progress. There is in the middle of the road a tree, the shade of which is cool. The travellers make a stop here with their palanquin and take a rest. But there is always the shade of the tree here, and there is no difference. The shade does not die out, and no one takes it away. The road is the Holy Way, and the shade the Buddha-Nature.
"O good man! It is as with a bridge, which does not care who passes over it; there is no one there to obstruct (the way) or destroy (the bridge) or carry it off. O good man! For example, it is as with a good doctor, who cares all about illnesses. And there is no one who checks (him), either to allow him to cure (people) or forcing him to abandon this. It is the same with the Holy Way and the Buddha-Nature."
Lion's Roar said: "O good man! You put forward all (such) parables, which, however, do not apply Why not? If there is any person on the way before (i.e. up ahead, further on), that person must be hindering (obstructing) the way. How can one say that there is no hindrance? The same applies to the others. If the Holy Way and Buddha-Nature are thus, this, when one practises the Way, would cause hindrance to others."
The Buddha said: "O good man! What you say does not make sense. What is explained in parables regarding the Way refers only to a part, not to all. O good man! The way of the world has hindrances. This differs from others; none are equal. The Undefiled Way is not so. It is such that it enables beings to have no hindrance upon their way. All is the same and all-equal; there is no difference as to place, or this and that. Thus, the Right Way serves as the revealed cause for the Buddha-Nature of beings, and does not become the cause of birth. This is as in the case of a bright lamp that does indeed shine over all.
"O good man! All beings are chained to ignorant actions through causal relations. Do not say that if one is chained to the way of ignorance, there can be no more such. All beings are chained to the action of ignorance. That is why we say that the 12 links of interdependent arising work equal to all (apply equally to all). It is the same with the Undefiled, Right Way which all beings practise. All-equally, it does away with the defilements of beings and those of the four lives and all the ways of existence of all realms (in samsara). So, we say "equal". When one is Enlightened, there is no knowing and seeing of this and that. For this reason, we can well speak of “sarvajnana” (all-knowledge)."
Lion's Roar said: "All beings are not of one kind of body. There are devas (gods) and there are humans. And there are such others as those of the realms of the animals, the hungry pretas (ghosts), and hell. They are many, not one. How can we say that the Buddha-Nature can be one?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! For example, there is a man who adds poison to milk. Because of this, all (the milk products) up to sarpirmanda will contain poison. We do not call milk butter, and butter milk. The same applies to sarpirmanda. The name may change, but the nature of the poison is not lost. It will run across the five tastes of the milk all-equally. Even sarpirmanda, if taken, will kill a man. Just as poison is not placed in the sarpirmanda, so is it the case with the Buddha-Nature of beings. “One finds the Buddha-Nature of beings in the different bodies of the beings of the five realms. But the Buddha-Nature is always One, and there is No Change” (emph. added)."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! There are six great castles in the sixteen great states (i.e. the Gangetic states or castle-towns in the days of the Buddha), namely: Sravasti, Saketa, Campa, Vaisali, Varanasi, and Rajagriha. These big castles are the biggest in the world. Why is it that the Tathagata leaves these places and intends to enter Nirvana in this far-out, evil, very ugly and small Kusinagara Castle?"
"O good man! Do not say that Kusinagara is a castle which is far-out, evil, a most ugly and small place. This castle is one adorned with wonders and virtues. Why? Because this is a place all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have visited. O good man! Even the house of a humble person may be called "grand and perfect in virtue", worthy of the visit of a great king, should he happen to come past (and stay) there. O good man! (Imagine) a person who is seriously ill and who takes a dirty and mean medicine. His illness is cured, joy arises, and this medicine becomes the best and most wonderful (of medicines). He praises it and says that it has truly cured his illness.
"O good man! A man is in a ship on the great ocean. Of a sudden, the ship breaks up, and there is nothing to depend upon. The man catches hold of a corpse and reaches the other shore. Gaining the other shore, he is very happy and praises the corpse greatly, saying that he was fortunate to meet with this corpse and has safely gained peace. It is the same case with Kusinagara Castle, which all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have visited. How could one say that it is a far-off, mean, narrow, and small castle?
"O good man! I call to mind that once, in far-ff days, as many kalpas back as there are sands to the river Ganges, there was a time called the “Suprabuddha” kalpa (age, aeon). At that time, there was a holy king called Kausika. Fully endowed with the Seven Treasures and 1,000 children, this king first made this castle. It measured 12 yojanas crosswise and lengthwise. It was adorned with the Seven Treasures. The soil was good. There were rivers here, the waters of which were pure and soft, and they tasted sweet. These were: Nairanjana, Airavati, Hiranyavati, Usmodaka , Vipasa. There were some 500 other such rivers. Both banks were fully grown with trees that had flowers and fruits - all fresh and pure. At that time, the life-span of the people was uncountable. Then, after the lapse of 100 years, the Chakravartin (mighty ruler) said: "Just as the Buddha says, all things are non-eternal. One who practises the ten good things does away with all such sorrows of the non-eternal." The people, on hearing this, all practised the ten good deeds. I, at that time, on hearing the name of the Buddha, practised the ten good deeds, meditated and aspired to unsurpassed Bodhi (Enlightenment). My mind having aspired, I also transferred this Dharma to innumerable and boundless (numbers of) beings and said that all things are non-eternal and subject to change and dissolution. Because of this, I now continue and say that all things are non-eternal, are those that change and dissolve, and that only the Buddha-Body is Eternal. I recall what I did by (way of) causal relations. That is why I have now come here and mean to enter Nirvana and wish to repay what I owe to this place. For this reason, I say in the sutra: "My relatives know how to repay what they owe me."
"Also, next, O good man! In days past, when the life-span of people was immeasurable, this castle was called Kusanagaravati (probably the same as Kusinagara) and measured 50 yojanas crosswise and lengthwise. At that time in Jambudvipa, people lived shoulder to shoulder and fowl flew thereabout. There lived a Chakravartin named Zenken (Sudarsana). He had the Seven Treasures and 1,000 children and was the king of the four lands. The first of his sons loved Wonderful Dharma and became a pratyekabuddha. Then, the Chakravartin saw that his crown prince was a pratyekabuddha, that his deportment was orderly, and that he was endowed with wonderful miraculous powers. On seeing this, he renounced his state, as though it were tears and spittle. He became a monk and lived here amidst the sal trees, and for 80,000 years he practised Loving-Kindness. The same applied for 80,000 years to (the practice of) Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity.
"O good man! If you should desire to know who that holy king, Zenken, was, then know that he was none other than I. That is why I now abide in the four laws, which are none but the samadhis. For this reason, “the Body of the Tathagata is the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure”.
"O good man! Because of this, I am now in this Kusinagara, in this forest of sal trees, and abide in samadhi. O good man! I recall to mind, after innumerable years, a castle-town called Kapilavastu. In that castle, there lived a king called Suddhodana. His consort was called Maya. They had a prince, who was called Siddhartha. The prince, at that time, took no teachers. He sought the Way by himself and attained unsurpassed Bodhi. He had two disciples, Sariputra and Mahamaudgalyayana. The disciple who attended the prince was called Ananda. At that time, he, under the sal trees, delivered the sermon of the Great Nirvana Sutra. At that time, I was one of the congregation and was able to be a witness to that sermon. There, I was told that all beings had the Buddha-Nature. On hearing this, I was unmoved in Bodhi. Then, I took a vow: "If I attain Buddhahood in days to come, it shall be as now. I shall be a teacher to my father and mother and the land; the names of the disciples and attendants will also be so, just as things stand with the present World-Honoured One. Nothing will differ." That is why I am now here and am delivering this sermon of the Great Nirvana Sutra.
"O good man! When I first abandoned home life, but had not yet attained unsurpassed Enlightenment, Bimbisara sent a messenger to me and said: "If you, Prince Siddhartha, become a Chakravartin, I shall become your subject. But if you leave home and attain unsurpassed Enlightenment, please come to this Rajagriha, deliver sermons, save people and accept my offerings." I then accepted his invitation in silence.
"O good man! On attaining unsurpassed Enlightenment, I then decided to go to Kosala. At that time, by the river Nairanjana there lived a Brahmin, Kasyapa, who had 500 disciples and who, by this river, sought of me the unsurpassed Way. I specially wended my way there to speak (to him) of Dharma. Kasyapa said: "O Gautama! I am 120 years old. Many people in Magadha, and the ministers and Bimbisara, say that I have attained arhatship. If I give ear to what you say, all the people might possibly gain inverted ideas and say: (Is not the virtuous Kasyapa already an arhat? Let Gautama speed to other places). If the people come to know that Gautama's virtue surpasses mine, I shall possibly fail in (i.e. fail to receive) my own alms." I then said: "If you do not harbour any personal enmity towards me, please give me a night's rest. I shall start out early tomorrow morning." Kasyapa said: "O Gautama! I have nothing against you. I love and respect you. Only, in my place there lives a viper which is evil-tempered. It might possibly do some harm to you." "No poison is more poisonous than the three poisons (of greed, ill-will, and ignorance). I have now done away with them. I do not fear worldly poison." Kasyapa said: "If you do not, please stay."
"At that time, Kasyapa had two younger brothers. One was (called) Gayakasyapa, and the other Nadikasyapa. There were also 500 teachers and disciples. All attained arhatship. The people of the six masters of Rajagriha, fearing this, entertained a great evil mind towards me. Then, true to my word, I went to Rajagriha. On the way, the king came (along) with his people, innumerable hundreds and thousands (of them) in number, and he received me. I delivered a sermon to them. On hearing this, the devas of the world of desire, 86,000 (of them), all aspired to unsurpassed Bodhi. King Bimbisara's retinue of 120,000 guardsmen attained (the level of) srotapanna; an innumerable number of people gained the stage of ksanti (patience). On reaching the castle, I taught Sariputra and Mahamaudgalyayana, along with their 250 disciples. They all cast aside everything they had had in their mind up till then and entered upon the Path. I lived there and received the king's offerings. The six tirthika masters came along and together we went to Sravasti.
"There was at that time a rich man named Sudatta. He wished to gain a wife for his son, and to that end he came to Rajagriha. Arriving at the castle, he put up at the house of Samdhana. Then, this rich man (i.e. Samdhana) got up at midnight and said to the people of his household: "All of you get up, adorn and sweep the house quickly, and prepare a meal!" Sudatta heard this and thought to himself: "Is he going to invite the king of Magadha? Or is it going to be a marriage and pleasure gathering?" Thinking thus, he stepped forward and asked: "Are you going to invite Bimbisara, King of Mgadha? Is there going to be a wedding and pleasure party? Why are you so busily occupied thus?" The rich man answered, saying: "Have you not yet heard of the son of the Sakyas of Kapilavastu called Siddhartha? Gautama is his family name. His father is called Suddhodana. Not long after his birth, the augur said that the boy would unfailingly become a Chakravartin and that this was as clear as if one could see an amra in the palm of one's hand. He sought no pleasures and abandoned domestic life. And untaught by any person, he attained unsurpassed Bodhi. He has done away with greed, ill-will, and ignorance. He is Eternal and knows no change. Nothing comes about and nothing dies out; and he is fearless. All beings are one to him. They are as a single son is to his parents, and his body and mind are unsurpassed. Though surpassing all, he has no arrogance in his mind. Wisdom is all around (him) and nothing hinders (him in his Wisdom). And he is perfect in the ten powers, the four fearlessnesses, the five knowledges (“pancajnana”), samadhi, Great Loving-Kindness, Great Compassion, and the three thinkings. That is why he is the Buddha. Tomorrow, he will receive my offerings. That is why I am busy and do not have enough time to exchange greetings." Sudatta said: "Well said, O great one! The Buddha you speak of is unsurpassed in virtue. Where is he now?" The rich man said: "He is now in this great citadel of Rajagriha, staying with Venuvana-kalandakanivapa." Then, Sudatta meditated on the ten powers, the four fearlessnesses, the five knowledges, samadhi, Great Loving-Kindness, and the three thinkings which the Buddha possesses. As he so meditated, there arose a brightness, as a result of which everything looked as if in bright daylight. Wanting to know whence the light came, he went down to the gate. By the miraculous power of the Buddha, the gate opened of itself. On coming out of the gate, he saw a chapel on the roadside. Passing it, Sudatta did worship. Then, darkness arose again. Afraid, he decided to go back to where he was (before). Then a deva met him at the chapel by the castle gate. The deva said to Sudatta: "Go to where the Tathagata is and you will gain much benefit." Sudatta said: "What benefit?" The deva said: "O rich man! As an illustration: a man may have 100 superb steeds, adorned with laces studded with gems, 100 gandhahastins, 100 carts of jewels, 100 human forms made of gold, beautiful females fully adorned with necklaces of gems, beautiful palaces and halls and houses studded with gems, with sculptured letters and figures on them, silver millet on golden trays, and golden millet on silver trays, 100 in number, and these are offered as dana (charity) to each person all over Jambudvipa. But the virtue (thus) arrived at cannot surpass a single step towards aspiring to Bodhi and going to the Tathagata." Sudatta said: "O good man! Who are you?" The deva said: "O rich man! I am the son of a right-lined Brahmin. I am a former teacher of the Way. In days gone by, I felt joy when I saw Sariputra and Maudgalyayana, and I discarded my body and became the son of Vaisravana, the guardian angel of the north. It is my special duty to guard this Rajagriha. I have gained this wonderful form through worship and have acquired joy thereby. And how much greater must things be if one meets such a great teacher as the Tathagata and worships him and makes offerings to him?"
"Sudatta, on hearing this, turned round his steps and came to the place where I was. On arriving, he fell to the ground and touched my feet. I then, as was appropriate, spoke of Dharma. Having listened to my sermon, the rich man attained the (stage of) srotapanna. Gaining this fruition, he invited me, saying: "O great teacher, Tathagata! I pray that you will condescend to come to Sravasti and accept my paltry offerings." I then asked him: "Can you, in your Sravasti, accommodate all?" Sudatta said: "If the Buddha is compassionate and condescends to accede to my request, I shall do my best." O good man! I then accepted his invitation. This rich man, Sudatta, his prayer having been answered, said to me: "Hitherto I have had no experience of laying out (a big meal). O Tathagata! Please despatch Sariputra to my place, so that he can take the matter in hand and make the necessary arrangements to meet the requirements."
"Then, Sariputra went to Sravasti, riding together with Sudatta. By my miraculous power, they reached their destination in one day. Then, Sudatta said to Sariputra: "O greatly virtuous one! Outside this gate, there is a place best fitted for the purpose. It is neither near nor far, where there are many springs and ponds, and many forests, with flowers and fruit; and the place is pure and quiet and extensive. I shall build viharas (dwelling-places) there for the Buddha and his bhiksus (monks)." Sariputra said: "The forest of Prince Jeta is neither near nor far off. It is pure and quiet. There are springs and streams. There are seasonal flowers and fruit. This is the best place. Let us have a vihara built there."
"Then, on hearing this, Sudatta went to the great rich man, Jeta, and said to him: "I now desire to build a Buddhist vihara and dedicate it to one usurpassed in Dharma, at a place that belongs to you. I now desire to purchase it from you. Will you sell it to me?" Jeta said: "I will not sell it to you, even if you cover the ground with gold." Sudatta said: "Well said! The forest belongs to me. Take my gold." Jeta said: "I am not selling the forest to you. How can I take your gold?" Sudatta said: "If you are not satisfied, I will go to the magistrate." They both went together. The magistrate said: "The forest belongs to Sudatta. Jeta should take the gold." Sudatta at once despatched men with gold laden upon carts and horses. When it arrived, he covered the ground with gold. A single day saw an area of 500 “bu” (a Chinese unit of measurement of land, around 6 or 6.4 feet long) covered; not all was covered. Jeta said: "O rich ran! If you have any regret within you, you are quite free to cancel the deal." Sudatta said: "I do not feel any regret." He thought to himself which store he should now open, to get gold for the area left as yet uncovered with gold. Jeta thought to himself: "The Tathagata, King of Dharma, is truly one unsurpassed. The wonderful things that he teaches are pure and untainted. That is why this man thinks so lightly of this treasure." He then said to Sudatta: "I do not now need any gold for what remains uncovered. Please take it. I myself shall build a gate for the Tathagata, so that he may go in and out of it." Jeta built the gate, and in seven days, Sudatta built a great vihara on a site 300 “ken” (ken is about 6 feet) across and in length. There were quiet meditation quarters to the number of 63. The houses were different for winter and summer. There were kitchens, bathrooms, and a place to wash one's feet. There were two kinds of lavatory.
"The buildings completed, he took up an incense burner, and facing in the direction of Rajagriha, said: "The buildings are now completed. O Tathagata! Please have pity and take over this place and live here for the good of beings." I soon read the mind of this rich man from far off, and started out from Rajagriha. Within the short length of time it takes for a strong, youthful man to bend and extend his arm, I travelled to Sravasti, to Jetavana, and took possession of the Jetavana vihara. When I reached the place, Sudatta dedicated it to me. I then received it and lived in it."
Then the six masters became jealous and all gathered at the place of King Prasenajit and said: "O great King! Your land is clean and quiet all around and is really the place where renunciate people can live well. Because of this, we have all come here. O great King! Do away, with right law, what is not conducive to the good of the people. Sramana Gautama is still young and unripe (immature). Having not yet learned much, he has nothing to give. Now, in this country live many elders and virtuous persons, who, boasting of the Kshatriya caste, do not know how to pay homage. The king must govern the land through law; the world-fleeing (i.e. religious seekers, mendicants) must look up to virtue. Listen well, O great King! Sramana Gautama is not one truly of a Kshatriya family. If Sramana Gautama has any parents, why does he have to take away others' parents? O great King! It is stated in our sutras that in 1,000 years there will appear a phantom or apparition. The so-called sramana Gautama is this. On this account, know well that the sramana is none other than this Gautama. Because of this, know that Sramana Gautama has no father and no mother. If he has, how can he say: "All things are non-eternal, suffering, void; and all have no self, no doing, no feeling?" Through occult powers, he leads beings astray. The ignorant believe, and the wise reject. O great King! The king is the parent to the land. He is, as it were, like the earth, wind, fire, way, river, bridge, lamp, sun, and moon. Through law, he dispenses justice. There cannot be any enemy or friend. Sramana Gautama permits no life. Where we go, he follows, and does not leave us. O great King! Allow us to compete in our powers of attainment. Should he win, we will become his disciples. If we win, he shall come under us." The king said: "O great ones! You each have your own way of practice, and you live in different places. I definitely know that the Tathagata-World-Honoured One does not cause you any hindrance." The six masters replied: "How is he not a hindrance to us? Sramana Gautama works miracles, leading all the people and Brahmins astray. He now has no more to subdue. If you, King, allow us to compete in miracles, the King's good reputation will spread to all quarters. If not, evil fame will circulate abroad." The king said: "O great ones! You do not realise how superior the power of the Way of the Tathagata is. So, you seek to compete (with him). I am sure that you will fail." "O great King! Have you already been spellbound by Gautama? Pray, O King, think well and do not belittle us. The best thing is actually to put the matter to the test." The king said: "Well said, well said!" The six masters were pleased and went on their way.
"Then, King Prasenajit came to me, touched the ground, walked around me three times, drew back, sat to one side, and said to me: "O World-Honoured One! The six masters came to me to seek permission to compete with you in the power of the Way. I carelessly gave permission." I said: "It is well, it is well! Only, erect many viharas in the land. Why? If I compete with them, there will be so many of them who will have to come over to our side that there will not be any place to accommodate them, as this place is rather too small and confined to hold them all." O good man! I, at that time, displayed a great many miracles, for the good of the six masters, from the first to the fifteenth day. Then, an innumerable number of beings gained faith in the Three Treasures and had no doubt. The number of followers of the six masters who did away with distorted minds and took refuge in Wonderful Dharma was countless. An innumerable number of people gained the unretrogressive Bodhi Mind. An innumerable number of people gained dharanis and samadhi. An innumerable number of beings attained the fruition of arhatship, rising up from (the level of) srotapanna.
"Then, the six masters repented (felt downcast) and together they went to Saketa and made people believe in twisted ways of life. They said: "Sramana Gautama teaches what is empty." O good man! I, at that time, was in Trayastrimsa Heaven and was living the life of varsika under the shade of the Parijata Tree, delivering a sermon to my mother. Then, the six masters were greatly pleased and said: "Oh good! The miracles of Gautama have ceased!" Also, (due to their) teaching an innumerable number of beings, wrong views on life increased and spread. Then, Bimbisara, Prasenajit, and the four classes of the Sangha said to Maudgalyayana: "O virtuous one! Twisted views fill this Jambudvipa. The people are miserable who must be wending their way towards great gloom. Please, O you virtuous one! Go to Heaven, fall upon the ground, pay homage and convey our words to the World-Honoured One: (Just as the newly-born calf will surely die if milk is not given, so do things stand with us beings. Have pity on us beings, O Tathagata, and come back down to us)." Then, Maudgalyayana answered their prayer and as swiftly as a strong man can bend and stretch out his arm, he came up to Heaven and said to me, the Buddha: "All the four classes of the Buddhist Sangha look up to the Tathagata and desire to hear directly from you a sermon on Dharma. Bimbisara, Prasenajit, and the four classes of the Sangha are all falling to the ground, paying homage, and saying: "The beings of this Jambudvipa are twisted in their views, and this is increasing all the more. They are walking in great gloom. This is a great pity. This is similar to a new-born calf who is sure to die if no milk is given (him). It is the same with us. For the sake of all us beings, condescend, O Tathagata, to come down to Jambudvipa and live." I, the Buddha, said to Maudgalyayana: "Hurry to Jambudvipa and tell all the kings and the four classes of people of the Buddhist Sangha that in seven days I shall be back. For the good of the six masters, I shall come to Saketa."
"Seven days later, I, the Buddha, surrounded by Sakrodevendra, Brahma, Mara, and an innumerable number of heavenly beings and all the heavenly ones who were gathered together in Suddhavasa Heaven, came to the castle of Saketa and let out a lion's roar, declaring: "Only in my Doctrine can there be sramanas and Brahmins. All things are non-eternal and with no self. Nirvana is quiet and is removed from wrongs and worries. In other teachings, people may say that they have sramanas and Brahmins and that these are the Eternal, the Self, and Nirvana. But such can never be." Then, innnumerable, boundless numbers of people aspired to unsurpassed Enlightenment. Then, the six masters said to one another: "If there are no sramanas and Brahmins in other teachings, how can we expect dana from the world at large?" Then the six masters met and went to Vaisali. O good man! I, at that time, was staying in a mango grove. Then, Amrapali, seeing that I was there, wished to come and see me. I then spoke to all the bhiksus: "Meditate on what there is to think about (“smrtyupasthana”, mindfulness) and cultivate Wisdom. As you cultivate this, do not lose yourselves in indolence." What do we mean by meditating on what is to think about? A bhiksu meditates on his own body and does not see there the Self or what the Self possesses; also, he meditates on the bodies of others and also his own and others, and he does not see the Self or what the Self possesses; this can even extend to what obtains with the mental functions. This is the application of mindfulness, of awareness.
"Amrapali came to me, fell to the ground, walked around me three times from right to left, paid homage, stepped back, and sat down to one side. O good man! To her I spoke of Dharma. Having heard (this), she aspired to unsurpassed Bodhi.
"At that time, there were in that castle 500 sons of the Licchavis. They came to me, fell to the ground, and walked around me from right to left. Having paid homage, they stepped back and seated themselves to one side. I then, for the sake of the Licchavis, spoke about Dharma: "O all of you good men! Those who are indolent contract the five karmic fruitions. What are the five? 1) one is unable freely to gain wealth; 2) evil reputation runs apace (spreads around); 3) one does not desire to give to the poverty-stricken people; 4) one does not desire to see the four classes of people of the Sangha, and 5) one cannot gain the body of a deva. O all you good men! By non-indolence there comes about the worldly and the supramundane law. One who desires to gain unsurpassed Bodhi must practise non-indolence. Now, there are 13 things that come about as a result (of indolence). What are the 13? They are: 1) one takes pleasure in doing what is worldly, 2) one takes pleasure in speaking useless words, 3) one takes pleasure in sleeping for a long time, 4) one takes pleasure in speaking about secular things, 5) one always takes pleasure in making friends with evil persons, 6) one is indolent and lazy, 7) one is always belittled by others, 8) one hears, but soon forgets, 9) one takes pleasure in living in far-off (provincial) places, 10), one is unable to subdue all one's sense-organs, 11) one cannot get enough food, 12) one does not desire quietude, 13) one's view is not correct. These are the 13." O good man! A person may well come near to the Buddha and his disciples. Yet there is (still) a great distance. All the Licchavis said: "We know that we are indolent. Why? If we were not indolent, the Tathagata, the King of Dharma, would have to appear among us."
"Then, among the congregated, there was the son of a Brahmin called Unsurpassed, who said to all the Licchavis: "Well said, well said! All is as you say. King Bimbisara once gained a great victory. The Tathagata-World-Honoured-One appears in his land. This is like the case of a great pond in which wonderful lotuses grow. Although born in the water, the water cannot defile them, O you Licchavis! It is the same with the Buddha. Although born in that land, he is not hindered by what obtains in the secular world. With the All-Buddha-World-Honoured One, there is no appearing and disappearing. For the good of all beings, he appears in the world, and is not molested by what obtains in the world. You have lost your way, have got lost in the five desires, you have befriended these, but you do not know how to befriend the Tathagata and come to where he is. So we say indolent. When the Buddha appears in Magadha, there is no indolence to speak of. Why not? The Tathagata-World-Honoured One is like the sun and moon. He does not appear in the world just for one or two people." When the Licchavis had heard this, they aspired to unsurpassed Bodhi. Also, they said: "Well said, well said, O you young, unsurpassed boy! You truly say something wonderful." Then, each of the Licchavis took off his clothing and gave it to the Unsurpassed one. Receiving these, he gave them all to me and said: "O World-Honoured One! I have all these from the Licchavis. I pray that you, the Tathagata, will take pity on all beings and accept what I now desire to offer up to you." Taking pity, I then accepted them. All the Licchavis folded their hands and said: "Please summon the varsika here once and accept what we offer." I then accepted the invitation of the Licchavis.
"Then the six masters, on hearing this, all went to Varanasi. Then I, too, went to Varanasi and stayed on the banks of the river Varana. At that time, there was a rich man in Varanasi called Treasure-Praising who had abandoned himself to the five desires and was unaware of impermanence. As I was going there, he spontaneously gained the "white-bone meditation" and saw all such as the palatial buildings, male and female servants, turn into white bones. He shook with fear. This was as sharp as a sword, a viper, a robber, or fire. He came out of his house and came to me. As he walked, he said: "O Sramana Gautama! I feel as if I am being pursued by robbers; I am greatly frightened. Please help me!"
"I said: "O good man! Peaceful are the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and there is nothing to fear." The son of the rich man said: "If there is nothing to fear in the Three Treasures, I too shall gain fearlessness." I allowed him to renounce domestic life and to get ordained, so that he could well attain the Way. At that time, the son of the rich man had 50 friends. On hearing that Treasure-Praising had forsaken the domestic life and become ordained, they obediently entered the Path together.
"The six masters heard of this and moved on to Campa. At that time, the people of Campa were all followers of the six masters and had not yet heard of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. And there were many of them who did evil. I then, for their sake, went to Campa. At that time, a rich man, who had no son to succeed him, lived in the castle. Following the six masters, he sought a son. Not long after that, his wife became pregnant. The rich man, on being told of this fact, went to the six masters and spoke of it, greatly pleased: "My wife will bear a child. Is it a boy or girl?" The six masters answered: "It will surely be a girl." On hearing this, the man was sad. Then a wise man came to him and said: "Why are you worried?" The rich man said: "My wife will bear a child. I did not know if the child to be born would be a boy or girl. So I asked the six masters, who said: "If what I see is true, the child must be a girl." Hearing this, I thought to myself: "I am old and am unspeakably rich. If the child is not a boy, I will have no one to give my wealth to." That is why I am worried."The wise man said: "You are dull-witted. Do you not know whose disciples the brothers Uruvilvakasyapas are? Are they the disciples of the Buddha or of the six masters? If the six masters are omniscient, why should the Kasyapas abandon them and become the disciples of the Buddha? Also, are not Sariputra, Maudgalyayana, all the kings, Bimbisara, and all the royal consorts and Mallika, and all the rich men of all states like Sudatta, the disciples of the Buddha? Were not all the demons of the wildernesses, the intoxicated elephant, whose duty it was to guard the property of Ajatasatru, and Angulimalya, who - gripped by an evil (state of) mind - meant to harm his own mother, not all subdued by the Tathagata? O rich man! The Tathagata-World-Honoured One is unimpeded in Wisdom. That is why we say "Buddha". There is no double-tongue in what he says. Hence, Tathagata. As he is cut off from defilement, he is called "arhat". The World-Honoured One does not speak in two ways. It is otherwise with the six masters. How can we believe them? The Tathagata is staying close by here. If you desire to know, go and see the Buddha." Then, the rich man came to me with this man. He prostrated himself before me, circumambulated me three times from right to left, folded his hands, and said: "O World-Honoured One! To all beings you are all-equal and are not two. Enemy and friend are one in your eyes. I am chained by desire, and enemy and friend cannot be one to me. I now wish to ask the Tathagata about something worldly. Shame takes hold of me, and I cannot speak out. O World-Honoured One! My wife will bear a child. The six masters say: "The child is a female." What will it be?" I, the Buddha, said: "O rich man! You wife will bear a child. It will be a son. There is no doubt about this. When he is born, he will be fully blessed with virtue." The rich man, on hearing this, was very happy and went back home. Then, the six masters, hearing the prophesy that the child would be male and would be full of virtue, became jealous. They made up a poison mixed in with mango and took it to the rich man, saying: "It is well and good that Gautama saw things well. Give this to your wife in the month of her parturition. If she takes this, her child will be fair and right-set (well formed), and your wife will have no trouble." The rich man received the poisoned medicine and was pleased and gave it to his wife. On taking this, his wife died. The six masters were glad and went round the castle, saying aloud: "Sramana Gautama said that the woman would give birth to a boy and that the child would be superb in virtue. The child is not yet born, but the mother is dead." Then, the rich man came to me and mistrusted me. Following the way of the people, the man put the corpse in a coffin and carried it out of the castle and covered it with dry fuel. Then it was set fire to and cremated. I saw this with the eye of the Way and looked back to Ananda and said: "Bring my robe! I will go there and destroy the twisted views." Then, Deva Vaisravana said to the general, Manibhadra: "Now, the Tathagata intends to go to the graveyard. Go quickly, sweep the place, position the lion's-seat (“simhasana”), fetch wonderful flowers and adorn the place." Then, the six masters, seeing me from afar, went to the graveyard and said: "Does Gautama desire to devour the flesh?" At that time, there were many upasakas (lay Buddhists) who had no Dharma-Eye. Frightened, they said to me: "The woman is already dead. Please do not go!" Then, Ananda said to them: "Wait a while. Before long, the Tathagata will manifest the world of all Buddhas." I then went and seated myself upon the lion's-seat. The rich man reproached me: "What is said must not be two. Such a person is the World-Honoured One. The mother has already died. How can there be any child?" I said: "O rich man! At the time, you made no matter of the life-span of your wife. Your concern was whether the child to come would be male or female. The All-Buddha-Tathagata is not double-tongued. Know, therefore, that you will surely get your child." Then, the mother's belly broken open by the fire and a child emerged, and sat amid the fire. It was as when the mandarin duck sits on the lotus seat. The six masters saw this and said: "This is miraculous, O Gautama! You surely perform magic." The rich man saw and was glad. He reproached the six masters: "If magic, why do you not do it yourself?" I then said to Jivaka: "Enter the fire and fetch the child out!" Jivaka wanted to go, (but) the six masters came forward and said to Jivaka: "What miracles Sramana Gautama performs cannot always be so successful. There will be successes and failures. When it does not succeed, you will have to (suffer) harm yourself. How can you believe in his word?" Jivaka answered: "The Tathagata enables me to enter Avichi Hell. The fire cannot burn me. How could it (burn me) when it merely concerns the fire of the world?" Then Jivaka stepped forward into the fire. It was as if he were entering the cool water of a great river. Holding the child, he came back and handed it over to me. I then took the child and said to the rich man: "The life-span of all beings is not fixed. It is like water-foam. If beings are to harvest serious karmic fruition, fire cannot burn nor poison kill them. It is the karma of this child, not mine." Then the rich man said: "Well said, O World-Honoured One! If this child can live, please, O Tathagata, give the child a name!" The Buddha said: "This child of the rich man is born of fire. Fire is "judai". So this child is to be called Judai." Thus, those who were congregated there saw this miracle, and innumerable were those who aspired to unsurpassed Bodhi.
"Then, the six masters went round the six castle-towns and yet could not win the minds of the people of those places. Ashamed and with lowered heads, they came here to Kusinagara. Arriving here, they said: "Know, O all you people! Sramana Gautama is a great magician. He cheats the world, going here and there all over the six castles. For example, he is like a magician who conjures up the four military units of charioteers, horsemen, elephant-riders, and infantrymen. Also, he calls forth such things as various necklaces, castles, palaces, rivers, ponds and trees. That is how things are with Sramana Gautama. He presents himself as a king. For the purpose of sermons, he becomes a sramana, a Brahmin, a male, a female, a small body, a big body, or an animal, or demon. Or, at one time he speaks of impermanence, and at another of Permanence. At one time he speaks of suffering, at another of Bliss. At one time he speaks of the Self, and at another of selflessness. Or he speaks of Purity, and at another time of impurity. At one time, he speaks of "is", and at another, he speaks of "not-is". As whatever is done is false, we say "phantom". For example, by the son and following the son, a person gains fruition. So do things obtain with Sramana Gautama. He has come from Maya, who is a phantom. He cannot be other than such a son. Gautama has no true knowledge. All Brahmins practise penance and uphold the precepts year after year. And yet they say they have no true knowledge. And Gautama is young and is less in learning and has not yet practised penance. How can it be that there is true knowing (here)? Even seven years of penance are not enough to call forth much results. As against this, it is even less than six years. The ignorant with no wisdom believe in his teaching. This is like the case of a great magician who greatly cheats the ignorant. It is the same with Sramana Gautama." O good man! Thus the six masters spread many false words amongst the people of this castle-town. O good man! Seeing this, I took pity, and with my miraculous powers I called in all the Bodhisattvas of the ten directions into this forest, who filled the place and surrounded me in an area 50 yojanas in extent, and I here gave forth a lion's roar. O good man! When speaking in a place where there is no one to hear, we do not say "lion's roar". When speaking in a congregation of the learned, we truly can say "lion's roar". That is to say that all things are non-eternal, suffering, non-Self, and non-Pure, and that only the Tathagata is the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. Then the six masters again said: "If Gautama has his Self, we too have it. The Self alluded to is none other than "seeing". O Gautama! One sees a thing that confronts one. The case of the Self is the same. What confronts one is the eye and the seeing is the Self."
"The Buddha said to the six masters: "If seeing is the Self, you are wrong. Why? You take up the analogy of an object and say that we see by it. Now, man uses together the six sense-organs to one object. If there surely is the Self and we see unfailingly by (means of) the eye, why is it that we do not cognise all objects with that one sense-organ? If one does not meet with the six sense-fields, know that there is no Self to talk of. If things are thus with the sense-organ of sight, there will be no change even if years pass and the sense-organs become ripened. As "man" and "object" are different, one sees one's own self and the other. If it is thus with the sense-organ of sight, there must be the seeing of one's own self and the other at (one and the same) time. If not seen, how can we say that there is the Self?"
"The six masters said: "O Gautama! If there is no Self, who sees?" The Buddha said: "There are the thing, brightness (light), the mind, and the eye. Thus, the four conjoin and we see. In these, truth to tell, there is none that sees and none that feels. Beings are upside-down and say that there is one who sees and feels. Thus all beings are upside-down in their seeing, and all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are true in seeing things. O you six masters! You may say that matter is Self. But this is not so. Why not? Matter is not the Self. If matter were the Self, there could not be any ugly or weakened form. Why not? And why is it that there are the differences of the four castes? Why is it that there is none but one kind of Brahmin? Why is it that people belong to the other castes and do not have unrestrictedness? Why is it that there are deficiencies in the sense-organs and that life is not perfect? Why is it that people do not all gain the body of all the devas, but gain life in hell, as an animal, preta (ghost) and all the various forms of life? If one cannot do as one wills, know that this indicates that assuredly no Self is there. As there is no Self, we speak of the non-eternal. As it is non-eternal, we have suffering. Because of suffering, it is empty. As it is empty, it is upside down. Being upside down, all beings repeat birth and death. The same applies to feeling, sensation, volition, and consciousness. O you six masters! The Tathagata-World-Honoured One is segregated from the bondage of matter down to the bondage of consciousness. Hence, we say the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure.
"Also, next. Matter is based on causal relations. What is based on causal relations has no Self. Non-Self is suffering and empty. The body of the Tathagata is not based on causal relations. Because there are no causal relations, we say that there is the Self. The Self is the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure."
"The Buddha said: "If it fills everywhere, we cannot say that we do not see it from the very beginning. If it is not seen from the very start, we may know that this seeing is what originally was not is now. If it is what originally was not but is now, this is the non-eternal. If it is non-eternal, how can one say that it fills (everywhere)? If it fills (everywhere) and exists, there must be one body in the five realms. If there is one body that can be represented, there must be that which comes about as one result. If one result comes about, how can we say that people gain life as humans or as gods?
"You say that it fills (everywhere). Is it one or many? If the Self is one, there cannot be any father and son, any enemy and friend, or a neutral person. If the Self is many, all the five sense-organs man possesses must be all-equal. The same applies to karma and Wisdom. If things obtain thus, how can we say that there can be those whose sense-organs are perfect or imperfect, that there are actions that are good and evil, and that there is the difference of dullness and intellectuality?"
"O Gautama! The Self of all beings knows no boundary line. Dharma and non-Dharma each has its part to play. If beings act according to Dharma, they will gain good forms; if not, evil forms will come about. For this reason, it cannot be other than that the karmic results vary."
"The Buddha said: "O you six masters! If Dharma and non-Dharma must obtain thus, there cannot be any universality of the Self; if there is universality of the Self, it will extend all over. If it is so, then even those who practise good must also have parts that are evil and those who do evil must also have what is good. If not, how can we speak of universality?"
"O Gautama! For example, we have in a room 100 thousand lamps placed there, and each lamp is bright, not obstructing the others. It is the same with all beings. The practising of good and the performing of evil do not get mixed up."
"You say that the Self is like a lamp. But this is not so. Why not? The brightness of a lamp arises from causal relations. If the lamp is large, the brightness, too, becomes great. It is not like this with the self of the being. The brightness of the lamp arises out of the lamp and stays in other places. The self of the being arises out of the body, but cannot stay in other places. The light of the lamp dwells with the gloom. Why? When one puts a lamp into a dark room, the brightness is not much to talk of. When there are many lamps, we have brightness. If the first lamp dispels the gloom, we do not need any further lamps to dispel the gloom. If, later, lamps are used to dispel the gloom, this means that the first brightness dwells with the gloom."
"The Buddha said: "If the Self does (i.e. performs actions), how can we say (it is) Eternal? If it is Eternal, how can a person do good at one time and evil at another? If a person does good or evil at (different) times, how can we say that the Self is boundless? If the Self does, why would one practise evil things? If the Self is the doer and if it is the wise, how can one doubt about the selflessness of the being? So, we can say that there can definitely be no Self in the doctrine of the tirthikas. The Self is none other than the Tathagata. Why? Because his body is boundless and there exists no doubt. On account of non-doing and non-receiving (of karmic consequences), we say Eternal. On account of birthlessness and deathlessness, we say Bliss. As there exists no defilement of illusion, we say Pure. As he does not have the ten aspects of existence, we say Void (i.e. void of all that causes suffering). Hence, the Tathagata is none other than the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure, and the Void, and there is no other aspect to speak of."
"At that time, the number of tirthikas was innumerable. They renounced the world and had faith in the Buddha's teaching. O good man! For this reason, I now, here in this forest of twin sal trees, give a lion's roar. The lion's roar is Great Nirvana. O good man! The twin trees of the east destroy the non-eternal, and through this one gains the Eternal. The twin trees of the north destroy the impure and give one the Pure. O good man! The beings that are here, because of the twin trees, protect the sal trees and will not allow people to take and cut the twigs and leaves and break (them). It is the same with me. For the (sake of the) four laws (i.e. Eternity, Bliss, Self, and Purity), I make people protect and uphold Buddha-Dharma. What are the four? These are the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. These four twin trees are protected by the four guardians of the earth. As the four guardians guard this Dharma of mine, I here enter Parinirvana. O good man! The twin sal trees always bear fruit and give benefit to countless beings. It is the same with me. I always give benefit to sravakas and pratyekabuddhas. The flower is comparable to the Self, and the fruit is comparable to Bliss. Because of this, I here enter into the Great Silence amidst the twin sal trees. The Great Silence is Great Nirvana."
"O good man! The second month is spring. In the month of spring, all things grow. We sow seeds and plant roots. Flowers and fruits grow and prosper. The rivers large and small are full, and hundreds of animals raise their young and give (them) milk. At this time, many a being entertains the thought of the Eternal. To destroy such a thought of the Eternal (regarding what is samsaric), I say that all things are non-eternal and that the Tathagata is the Eternal and Immutable. O good man! Of the six seasons, the stringent (severe) winter and the withering season are not loved by the people. What is greedily loved is the bright spring, when it is peaceful. To destroy the (samsaric notion of) bliss of the people of the world, I speak of the Eternal and Bliss (of Nirvana). It is the same with the Self and Purity. “To crush out the worldly notion of the Self and Purity, the Tathagata speaks of the Self and Purity of true sense”. With reference to the second month, the Tathagata intends to compare it to the two kinds of Dharma Body. To say that one does not have bliss in winter is compared to the fact that the wise do not desire to have the Tathagata be non-eternal and enter Nirvana. To say that a person feels bliss is compared to the fact that the wise are pleased over the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and Purity of the Tathagata. The sowing of seeds can be compared to beings' giving ear to sermons on Dharma and their feeling pleased, aspiring to unsurpassed Bodhi, and to their planting, thereby, the seeds of good. The rivers can be compared to the coming of all great Bodhisattvas to my place and receiving the Great Nirvana Sutra. The hundreds of animals giving milk is comparable to all those of my disciples who perform good deeds. "Flower" is likened to the seven Bodhi elements; "fruit" can be compared to the four fruitions. For this reason, I enter Nirvana on this second month."
Lion's Roar said: "The Tathagata's birth, his renouncing of home life, his attainment of Bodhi, and his first turning of (the Wheel of) Dharma all took place on the eighth day. Why does this Nirvana take place on the fifteenth?"
The Buddha said: "Well said, well said, O good man! The fifteenth is the day on which the moon has no waxing or waning. It is the same with the All-Buddha-Tathagata. Entering Great Nirvana, there is no more waxing and waning. That is why I enter Nirvana on the fifteenth day. O good man! On the fifteenth, when the moon is full, there are 11 things. What are the 11? They are: 1) it truly dispels the gloom, 2) it indeed enables beings to see the way and what is not the way, 3) it enables (one to follow) the wrong or right way, 4) it enables beings to make away with suppressed dampness and blesses them with purity and coolness, 5) it indeed destroys the arrogance of the fire-worm (firefly), 6) it truly dispels the thought of any robbers, 7) it indeed dispels beings' fear of evil beasts, 8) it opens the bloom of the utpala, 9) it thoroughly closes the petals of the lotus, 10), it calls forth within the traveller the thought of proceeding along the way, 11) it enables beings to enjoy accepting the five pleasures and to gain joy in many ways.
"O good man! It is the same with the full moon of the Tathagata, to wit: 1) it truly dispels the gloom of ignorance, 2) it propounds the right and wrong ways, 3) it clearly shows the wrong and steep path of birth and death and the level and right (path) of Nirvana, 4) it enables beings to segregate themselves from greed, ill-will, and ignorance, 5) it destroys the ignorance of the tirthikas (non-Buddhists), 6) it destroys the bondage of the robbers of defilement, 7) it kills the mind that fears the five shadowings (“panca-avaranani”), 8) it enables the beings' minds to unfold the root of good of all beings, 9) it indeed puts a lid on the mind of the five desires, 10), it promotes the mind of beings (which desires) to go forwards to Great Nirvana, 11), it enables all beings to be pleased at (the thought of) Emancipation. For these reasons, I enter Nirvana on the fifteenth. But, truth to tell, I do not enter Nirvana. The ignorant and the evil among my disciples say that I definitely enter Nirvana. For example, a mother has many sons. She abandons them and goes abroad. While she is not yet back, the sons say: "Mother is dead." But the mother is not dead. That is how matters stand."
"O good man! There is a bhiksu who upholds and recites the 12 types of sutra, reads the words correctly, gains the depths of meaning and, for the sake of all other people, explains (it), in which there can be the grades of beginning, middle and the ultimate good. To benefit innumerable people, he speaks about pure actions. Such a bhiksu truly adorns the twin sal trees."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! If I rightly guess what you, the Buddha, mean - Ananda is that bhiksu. Why? Ananda upholds and recites the 12 types of sutra, and speaks correctly to others and expounds the meaning. This is like pouring water and filling other vessels. So do things pertain with Ananda. What he hears from the Buddha, he speaks as he has heard it."
"O good man! There is a bhiksu who has gained an unsurpassed heavenly eye and sees all things of the ten directions and the 3,000 great-thousand worlds in the same way as one sees a mango that is (resting) in one's palm. Any such bhiksu can indeed adorn the twin sal trees."
Lion's Roar said: "Such a person is Aniruddha. Why? Aniruddha sees the things of the 3,000 great-thousand worlds with his heavenly eye. Even the in-between existences are seen clearly, without any obstruction."
"O good man! A bhiksu who has little desire and who feels satsfied with what he has, who cares for silence and quietude, and who makes effort, and whose mind is settled, and whose Wisdom sees - (he) well adorns the twin sal trees."
"O good man! A bhiksu who desires to benefit beings does not act for profit, abides in samadhi, and does not quarrel, and is perfect in holy works and in the practice of the All-Void. Such a bhiksu adorns the twin sal trees."
"O good man! Any bhiksu who really practises the miraculous powers and, in the flash of a moment, can transform himself and is one-minded, and in one meditation attains two fruitions, which are of fire and water, such a bhiksu truly adorns the twin sal trees."
"O good man! Any bhiksu who truly practises great Wisdom, clear knowledge, quick knowledge, Emancipation knowledge, extremely deep knowledge, expansive knowledge, boundless knowledge, unsurpassed knowledge, and real knowledge, and is perfect and accomplished in the root of Wisdom, who does not have a whit of discrimination between enemy, friend or neutral person, who hears that the Tathagata will enter Nirvana and does not have a whit of apprehension and is not gladdened even when hearing that the Tathagata is Eternal and does not enter Nirvana - such a bhiksu is a good adornment for the twin sal trees."
"O good man! “Any bhiksu who truly says that the being possesses the Buddha-Nature, that the being obtains the invincible body, which is boundless and is the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure, and that the body-and-mind are unhindered and are armed with eight unmolestednesses - such a bhiksu adorns well the twin sal trees."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! Such a person is the Tathagata himself. Why so? The body of the Tathagata is invincible, unbounded, Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure; his body and mind are unhindered and do (indeed) possess the eight unhinderednesses. O World-Honoured One! It is only the Tathagata who can well adorn the twin sal trees”. One who does not possess anything such as this does not possess serene brightness. I only pray that you will, out of great Loving-Kindness and for adornment's sake, remain here in this sal forest."
The Buddha said: "O good man! All things are by nature non-abiding (non-enduring). How can you say that the Tathagata should remain? O good man! Abidance falls under the category of "matter". Causal relations evoke birth. Hence, to abide (several meanings here: to cease, to stop, to cause to stop, to abide, to dwell; various shades of meanining, involving a sense of permanence, continuance, or stability - note by Rev. Yamamoto). Where there are causal relations, we have "non-abiding abiding". The Tathagata is already segregated from all the bondages of "matter". How can you say: "Pray stay, O Tathagata!"? The same applies to feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness. O good man! To stay is arrogance. Because of arrogance, there can be no Emancipation. When there is no Emancipation, we speak of staying. Who is arrogant and where does he come from? Hence, "non-abiding abiding". The Tathagata is eternally segregated from all arrogance. How can one say: "Pray, stay, O Tathagata!"? "To stay" falls under the category of what is created. The Tathagata is already segregated from the world of what is created. Because of this, it (he) is non-abiding.
"“To abide is the law “(dharma)” of the Void. The Tathagata is already segregated from the law of the Void. Hence, one “(he)” gains the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure”. How can you say: "Pray, stay, O Tathagata"? To stay is the 25 existences. How can you say: "Pray, stay, O Tathagata!"?
"Non-abiding is the Boundless Body. In view of the fact that the Body knows no bounds, how can you say: "I pray that the Tathagata will stay in the sal forest"? If I stay in this forest, this body of mine is none but a body that is in bondage. If a body knows any boundary line, it is the non-eternal. The Tathagata is the Eternal. How can you say: "Stay!"?
"Also, non-abiding is non-beginning and non-ending. How can we say "abiding"? And non-abiding is the unbounded world of consciousness (“muhenhokkai” (Jap.): "muhen" means "boundless", "hokkai" means "what is the object of consciousness"). “The unbounded world of consciousness is the Tathagata”. How can we say: "Stay!"?
"And non-abiding is the Suramgama Samadhi. “The Suramgama Samadhi knows all things and yet does not cling. Because of non-clinging, we say Suramgama. The Tathagata is perfect in the Suramgama Samadhi”. How can we say: "Stay!"?
"Also, non-abiding is called danaparamita (perfected giving). If there is abiding (solely) in danaparamita, there can be no arriving at silaparamita (perfected morality) and prajnaparamita (perfected Wisdom). For this reason, we say that danaparamita is the non-abiding. The Tathagata does not abide, down to prajnaparamita. How can one pray that the Tathagata will always kindly remain in the sal forest?
"Also, non-abiding is the practise of the four thinkings. If the Tathagata abides in the four thinkings (solely), we cannot say that the Tathagata gains unsurpassed Bodhi and that there is non-abiding abiding.
"Not-is means that nothing arises.
"Birthlessness means non-death.
"Non-death means formlessness.
"Formlessness means non-binding.
"Non-binding means non-clinging.
"Non-clinging means non-defiled.
"Non-defiled is the good.
“"The good is the non-created.
"O good man! For example, space is not the east, nor is it the south, nor the west, nor the north, nor the four directions, nor up or down. It is the same with the Tathagata. He does not exist in the east, the south, the west, or the north, nor in the four directions, nor up or down. O good man! People might say that he gains a body, a mouth and a mind, and good or bad karmic results. But this is not so. Saying that he gains a body, mouth or mind, and good or bad karmic results is not true. If a person says that the common mortal sees the Buddha-Nature and that the Bodhisattva of the ten abodes (stages) does not, this is not so. A person might say that the icchantika, those of the five deadly sins, slanderers of the vaipulya (extensive scriptures), those committing the four grave offences gain unsurpassed Bodhi. But this is not so. To say that the Bodhisattva of the six stages gains birth in the three unfortunate realms due to the causal relations of defilement is not so. Saying that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva gains unsurpassed Bodhi in the female form is not true. Saying that the icchantika is eternal and that the Three Jewels are non-eternal is not true. Saying that the Tathagata stays at Kusinagara is not true. O good man! The Tathagata enters, here at Kusinagara, the cave of the great samadhi of deepest dhyana (meditation). Beings cannot see (this), and it is called "Great Nirvana."
"O good man! This is to enable beings to attain Emancipation. This is to make them sow the seeds of good, since they have not yet sown them; to enable the seeds of good now sown to grow; to enable the unripe seed of good to ripen; to enable the ripened seed to gain unsurpassed Bodhi; to enable those who belittle Wonderful Dharma to attain to nobleness; to enable all the indolent to forsake indolence; to enable people to exchange words with such great gandhahastins as Manjushri; to teach those who take pleasure in reading and reciting deeply to enjoy dhyana; to teach beings through holy, pure, and heavenly actions; to enable people to meditate on the unequalled storehouse of deep Dharma; to reproach indolent disciples. The Tathagata is quietude itself. So, he still cares for dhyana. How is it that you have not yet done away with defilement and that indolence gains ground? I desire to reproach all evil bhiksus who keep stores of the eight kinds of impure things, those who are not satisfied with little desire, and who are not satisfied with what they have, and to make beings respect the dharma of dhyana. On account of these causal relations, I now enter the cave of dhyana."
"O good man! This derives from the fact that there are not the ten representational phases. What are these? They are the phases of: 1) colour, 2) sound, 3) smell, 4) taste, 5) touch, 6) being born, 7) existing (samsarically), 8) breaking up, 9) being born male, and 10) being born female. It (Nirvana) does not possess these representational forms. Hence, formless.
"O good man! Whatever represents a form is subject to ignorance. Ignorance evokes craving; craving evokes bondage; from bondage arises birth; from birth comes about death. When there is death, there is no eternity. If (one is) not attached to form, there is no ignorance. When there is no ignorance, there is no craving. When there is no craving, there is no bondage. When there is no bondage, there arises no birth. When there is no birth, there is no death. When there is no death, there is the Eternal. Due to this, we say that Nirvana is Eternal."
The Buddha said: "O good man! When a bhiksu, time after time, practises well the three kinds of form, he truly cuts himself free from the ten forms. He practises, time after time, the settled form of samadhi, time after time the phase of Wisdom, and time after time the phase of equanimity. These are the three."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! What are samadhi, Wisdom, and equanimity? If a settled state is samadhi, all beings have samadhi. Why do we particularly need to practise samadhi? When the mind stays in a single sense-field, we say samadhi; when other mental associations come in between, this is not samadhi. If there is no settlement in one state, this is not all-knowledge. If not all-knowledge, how can we speak of being "settled"? If a single action is called samadhi, all other actions are not samadhi. If not samadhi, this is not all-knowledge. If not all-knowledge, how can we speak of samadhi? The same applies to Wisdom and equanimity."
The Buddha said: "O good man! You say that if the mind abides in a single sense-field, this is samadhi, and that any other causal relations are not samadhi. But this is not so. Why not? Because all the other sense-fields, too, are a single sense-field. It is the same with action. Also, you say that if beings already have samadhi, there cannot be any need to practise any further. This, too, is not so. Why not? Samadhi is called "good samadhi". All beings, truth to tell, do not exist. How can we say that we do not need to practise? When one practises samadhi on all things abiding in a good samadhi, there is the form of good Wisdom. One sees no distinction between samadhi and Wisdom. This is equanimity. Also, next, O good man! If one takes up a form of matter, one cannot meditate on the Eternal and the non-Eternal. This is samadhi. If one well sees the Eternal and the non-Eternal of matter, this is Wisdom. Samadhi and Wisdom equally see all things. This is equanimity.
"O good man! A good charioteer can drive a four-horse carriage and run it quickly or slowly as the occasion requires. As the quickness or slowness matches well with the occasion, we say equanimity. It is the same with the Bodhisattva. One who has much samadhi also practises Wisdom; one who has much Wisdom practises samadhi. As samadhi and Wisdom are equal, we have equanimity. O good man! The Bodhisattva of the ten stages has much power of Wisdom, but little power of samadhi. Hence, he cannot clearly see the Buddha-Nature. Sravakas and pratyekabuddhas have much power of samadhi, but little Wisdom. Because of this, they cannot see the Buddha-Nature. The All-Buddha-World-Honoured One has samadhi and Wisdom in equal parts and sees well the Buddha-Nature. All is clear and transparent, as when one sees a mango that is in one's own palm. One who sees the Buddha-Nature is (of) the phase of equanimity.
"Vipasyana is called right seeing. Also, it is called seeing clearly. Also, it is called seeing well. Also, it is called all-seeing. Also, it is called gradual seeing. Also, it is called seeing individually. This is called Wisdom.
"O good man! There are two kinds of samatha. One is mundane, and the other supramundane. And there are two (further) kinds. One is accomplished, and the other non-accomplished. (Those of) the accomplished are all the so-called Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. And the non-accomplished are the so-called sravakas and pratyekabuddhas.
"Also, there are three kinds, namely: low, middle, and top. The low relates to common mortals; middle to sravakas and pratyekabuddhas; and top to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Also there are four kinds, namely: 1) retrogressing, 2) abiding, 3) progressing, and 4) greatly benefiting. Also, there are five kinds, which are the so-called five-knowledge samadhis. These are: 1) samadhi of non-eating, 2) faultless samadhi, 3) samadhi in which the body and mind are pure and the mind is one, 4) samadhi in which one feels pleased with both cause and effect, and 5) samadhi in which one always prays in one's heart.
"Furthermore, there are six kinds, which are: 1) samadhi in which one meditates on white bones, 2) samadhi of compassion, 3) samadhi on the twelve links of interdependent arising, 4) samadhi on anapana (breathing), 5) samadhi on the discriminatory mind of beings, and 6) samadhi on birth and death. Also, there are seven kinds, namely the so-called seven Bodhi elements. These are: 1) mindfulness, 2) discernment of Dharma, 3) effort, 4) joy, 5) repose, 6) concentration, and 7) equanimity.
"Also, there are seven (further) kinds, which are: 1) srotapanna-samadhi, 2) sakrdagami-samadhi, 3) anagami-samadhi, 4) arhat-samadhi, 5) pratyekabuddha-samadhi, 6) Bodhisattva-samadhi, 7) the Tathagata's All-Awakened Samadhi.
"Also, there are eight kinds, which are none other than the eight Emancipation samadhis. These are: 1) samadhi in which one gets Emancipated from the notion of matter by meditating on matter, 2) samadhi in which one seeks Emancipation by meditating further on the external phase of matter, though internally the matter notion has already been done away with, 3) samadhi in which one seeks Emancipation and its actualisation in one's own body through the meditation on purity, 4) boundlessness-of-space Emancipation samadhi, 5) boundlessness-of-consciousness Emancipation samadhi, 6)existencelessness Emancipation samadhi, 7) thoughtlessness-non-thoughtlessness Emancipation samadhi, and 8) cessation Emancipation samadhi.
"Also, there are ten kinds, which are the so-called ten all-place samadhis. What are the ten? They are the all-place samadhis on: 1) earth, 2) water, 3) wind, 4) blue, 5) yellow, 6) red, 7) white, 8) space, 9) consciousness, and 10) non-possession.
"Also, next, one practises vipasyana for three purposes. What are these three? They are: 1) to meditate on the evil karmic consequences of birth and death, 2) to increase the seeds of good, and 3) to crush out all the defilements.
The Buddha said: "O good man! You may say that vipasyana thoroughly crushes out defilement. But this is not so. Why not? When a person has Wisdom, there is no defilement; when a person has defilement, there is no Wisdom. How can we say that vipasyana crushes defilement? O good man! For example, when there is light, there is no gloom; when there is gloom, there is no light. One cannot say that light destroys gloom. O good man! How can we say that a person has Wisdom and defilement and that Wisdom destroys illusion? If there is not (any defilement), there can be no destruction. O good man! If one says that Wisdom destroys defilement, is this due to the arriving at Wisdom or non-arriving that there is this destruction? If this destruction comes about through arrival (at Wisdom), at the first instant there must be destruction. If there is no destruction at the first instant, there can be no destuction even on later occasions. If destruction comes about at the first arrival, this is none but non-arriving. How can one say that Wisdom destroys? If one says that both arriving and non-arriving destroy, this makes no sense.
"Also, next, we might well say that vipasyana destroys defilement. Does this destuction come about single-handedly or accompanied by some others? If it destroys on its own, why should the Bodhisattva (bother to) practise the Noble Eightfold Path? If it destroys by being accompanied by some others, this entails that there cannot be any destruction alone and single-handedly. If it cannot destroy alone and single-handedly, there can be no destruction even when accompanied by some others. One who is blind cannot see things. Even when accompanied by many blind persons, seeing is not possible. This is the case with vipasyana. O good man! It is as with the nature of the hardness of the earth, of the nature of the heat of fire, of the nature of the wetness of water, and of the nature of the movability of the wind. The nature of the hardness of the earth down to the movability of the wind does not arise out of causal relations. Its nature itself makes it be thus. Just as with the natures of the four elements, so does it obtain with defilement. Its nature itself acts. If cut, how can we say that Wisdom cuts? Due to this, we cannot say that vipasyana definitely destroys all defilements. O good man! The nature of salt is salty. It makes other things taste salty (too). The original nature of honey is sweet. It truly makes other things sweet (too). The original nature of water is wetness. It truly makes other things wet (too). You might say that the nature of Wisdom is extinction, so that it can truly make things extinguished. But this is not so. Why not? If there is no quality of the dharma of dying, how can Wisdom force it to die? You might say that just as the saltiness of salt makes other things salty, so does Wisdom extinguish other things. But this is not so. Why not? Because the nature of Wisdom dies moment after moment. If it dies moment after moment, how can one say that it truly makes other things die? For this reason, the nature of Wisdom does not destroy defilement.
"O good man! There are two extinctions in all things. One is extinction by nature, and the other ultimate extinction. If there is extinction in the nature (of a thing), how can we say that Wisdom extinguishes it? We might say that Wisdom truly extinguishes defilement, as in the case of fire, which burns things. But this is not so. Why not? Because in the burning of fire, there yet remains the smouldering of fire. If it is thus with Wisdom, there must be the smouldering of the fire of Wisdom. When a hatchet cuts a tree, there remains the place where the cutting has been done. When Wisdom cuts, what place do we see where the cutting has been done? If Wisdom truly does (i.e. acts), what is there that we can truly see? If Wisdom truly segregates defilement, such defilement must appear in other places also, as in the case of the tirthikas who leave the six great castle-towns and appear in Kusinagara. If Wisdom does not show itself in other places, we can know that Wisdom could not truly make away with it. O good man! If the nature of all things is Void, who can cause things to be born or die? There is none that causes a different thing to be born and there is none that causes a different thing to die. O good man! As one practises meditation, one arrives at such right knowledge (“jnana”) and the right view of life. That is why I say in the sutras that any bhiksu who practises meditation can indeed see how the five skandhas appear and disappear. O good man! If one does not practise meditation, one cannot clearly see how things obtain in the world. And how could one know of what concerns the things of the supramundane world? If one does not have meditation, one can fall over even on a flat place. The mind (eye) sees what is out of order; the mouth speaks what is out of order; the ear hears what is different (from reality); the mind understands what is out of order. Desiring to body forth particular letters, the hand writes strange sentences; desiring to take a particular path, the body walks a different path. One who practises samadhi gains much benefit and attains unsurpassed Enlightenment.
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva is perfect in two things and effects great benefit. One is meditation, and the other is knowledge. O good man! When cutting a reed, a quick action cuts it well. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva, as he practises these two. O good man! When one (wishes to) uproot a solid tree, things will go more easily if one first jolts it with one's hand. It is the same with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. First, he jolts through meditation, and then he uproots with knowledge. O good man! When washing dirty clothes, one first washes with ash water, and then with clean water. If one does this, the clothes become clean. It is also the same with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. O good man! The person first reads and recites, and later the meaning comes forth. It is the same with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. O good man! It is as with a valiant man who first adorns his body with armour and a staff and then meets the enemy. The case is the same with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva, too. O good man! For example, using a melting pot and tongs, one can handle metal as one wills by turning, shaking, and melting it. It is the same, too, with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. O good man! For example, a clear mirror reflects one's face and form. It is the same, too, with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. O good man! This is as when one first flattens the ground and then sows the seed, or when one first learns from the teacher and later thinks of the meaning. It is also the same with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. Because of this, as the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises these two things, he derives great gains. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises these two things and adjusts his five sense-organs, and bears all such sufferings as hunger and thirst, cold and heat, beatings, slander, or being bitten by harmful animals and mosquitoes and gadflies. He always governs his mind; he will not have any indolence and does not do unlawful things, due to benefiting others. He is not defiled by illusions and does not get deluded by the various evil views of life. He always segregates himself well from all evil notions, and it will not be long before he achieves unsurpassed Bodhi. O good man! When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises these two things, the storms of the four inversions cannot come on. This is as with Mount Sumeru, which does not shake even when the winds blow in from the four directions. This applies to the case where one is not led astray by the wrong-headed teachers, the tirthikas; it is as when the hanging ensign of Devendra cannot easily be made to move. No twisted and strange arts can lure him. He is always blessed with all-wonderful, first-grade peace and bliss, and he can understand well the deepest, undisclosed doctrines of the Tathagata. Even when receiving a blissful (experience), he is not overjoyed and is not worried even when he encounters suffering. All devas and people of the world respect and praise him. “He sees clearly birth and death and what is not birth and death; he knows well the Dharma world and the Dharma nature and the Law that the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure rule the body. This is the bliss of Great Nirvana”. O good man! His meditation is the samadhi of the Void; his form of Wisdom is the desirelessness samadhi; his form of equanimity is the formlessness samadhi. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva knows well the time for meditation, the time for Wisdom, and the time for equanimity; he knows well what is not opportune. This is how the Bodhisattva practises well the Bodhi Way."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! How does the Bodhisattva know when it is the (right) time or not?" "O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva may gain great arrogance when he gets blessed with bliss, arrogance from delivering a sermon, or arrogance from effort, or arrogance from understanding a (particular) meaning and in discussion, or arrogance from befriending an evil friend, or arrogance from giving away what he highly values, or arrogance from the good things and virtues of worldly nature, or arrogance from being respected by the nobility of worldly life. Such is not a fit time for knowledge. He should then practise meditation well. This is how the Bodhisattva knows the time and not the time. A Bodhisattva may well make effort and yet not be able to arrive at the Bliss of Nirvana. Not gaining this, he feels regret; or because of a dull nature, he may not be able to subdue all his five sense-organs. As all defilements and illusions have full force, he may doubt and think that there is a weakening in the observance of the moral precepts. Know that such a time is not good for meditation. One should practise knowledge. This is how we say that the Bodhisattva knows well the time and when is not the time.
"O good man! When the two phases of meditation and knowledge do not go (along) in a pair, know that this is not the fit time to practise equanimity. When the two are in a balanced state, know that this is the fit time to practise equanimity. This is the sense in which we say that the Bodhisattva knows the time and when is not the time. O good man! When the Bodhisattva experiences the rise of defilement and if he practises meditation and Wisdom, know that this is not the time to practise equanimity. He should really read and recite, write and copy and expound the 12 types of sutra, think of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the precepts, the heavens, and equanimity. This is where we say that we practise equanimity. O good man! When the Bodhisattva practises these three phases of Dharma, he gains from this the formlessness Nirvana."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! When there are not the ten representational phases, we call Great Nirvana formless. But why do we call it birthlessness, non going-out, non-doing, a house, a sand-dune, the refuge, peace, extinction, Nirvana, quietude, non-sorrow of all illnesses, and non-possession?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! As there are no causal relations, we say "birthlessness". As it is not anything created, we say "non-going-out". As there is not any action of doing (anything), we say "non-doing". As none of the five twisted views is allowed to get in, we say "house". As it is segregated from the four madding floods, we say "sand-dune". As it adjusts all beings, we say "refuge". As it crushes the robber-band of defilement, we say "peace". As it burns out the fire of bondage, we say "extinction". As one becomes segregated from the all-awakefulness of perception, we say "Nirvana". As one is away from noisy quarters, we say "quietude". As one is away from the certitude of mortality, we say "sicklessness". As all is void, we say "non-possession". O good man! When the Bodhisattva has this perception, he clearly sees the Buddha-Nature."
Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! How many kinds of things does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva need to accomplish to arrive at formlessness Nirvana and non-possession?" The Buddha said: "O good man! When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva accomplishes ten things, he can truly arrive at formlessness Nirvana and non-possession. What are the ten?
"First, he is perfect in faith. How is faith perfect? This is believing deeply that the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are Eternal, that all the Buddhas of the ten directions effect expedients, and that beings and icchantikas all possess the Buddha-Nature. It is not believing that the Tathagata is subject to birth, old age, illness, and death, that he has undergone penance, and that Devadatta truly caused blood to flow from the Buddha's body, that the Tathagata ultimately enters Nirvana, and that Wonderful Dharma dies out. This is where we say that the Bodhisattva is perfect in faith.
"Second, there is the perfection of pureness in the observance of the moral precepts. O good man! There is a Bodhisattva who says that he is pure in observing the precepts. Although he does not unite with a woman when he sees her, he yet at times jeers and mixes up and plays with words. Such a Bodhisattva is perfect in the dharma of desire, destroys the purity of the precepts, contaminates the pureness of pure actions, thus making the precepts become mixed up in defilement. Hence, we cannot call him perfect in the pureness of the precepts.
"Also, there is a Bodhisattva who says that he is pure in the precepts. He does not sexually connect with a woman and does not jeer or play with words. But with bars in between, he listens to the sound of necklaces and ankle-ringlets and various other female sounds. Such a Bodhisattva is fully garbed in the dharma of desire, violates the purity of the precepts, defiles pure action, and makes the precepts contaminated and defiled, so that we cannot call such a person one perfect in the pureness of the precepts.
"Also, there is a Bodhisattva who may well say that he is pure in the observation of the precepts. Also, although he does not mix with females, play with words, or listen to (female) sounds themselves, when he sees other men going after females or females going after men, he gains greedy clinging. Such a Bodhisattva is fully garbed in the dharma of desire, violates the purity of the precepts, defiles pure action, and makes the precepts mixed up and contaminated. We cannot call such a person one perfect in the observance of the moral precepts.
"Also, there may be a Bodhisattva who might say that he is perfect in his observance of the moral precepts. Also, although he does not mix with females, jeer, play with words, listen to (female) sounds, or watch men and women chasing after each, he does things for birth in the heavens and for being blessed with the pleasures of the five desires. Such a Bodhisattva is fully garbed in desire, violates the purity of the precepts, defiles pure action, and contaminates and defiles the precepts. This cannot be called perfect observance of the pure precepts.
"O good man! There might be a Bodhisattva who is pure in upholding the precepts. And yet he does not do so for the sake of sila, for the sake of silaparamita, nor for beings, nor for profit, nor for Bodhi, nor for Nirvana, and nor for (becoming a) sravaka or pratyekabuddha. He only observes the precepts for the supreme “Paramartha-satya” (Ultimate Reality). O good man! This is what we call perfection in the purity of the precepts of a Bodhisattva.
"Third, the Bodhisattva makes friends with various good friends of the Way. By a good friend of the Way is meant a person who speaks well about faith and sila, erudition, giving, Wisdom, and who makes people practise the Way. Such a person is called the Bodhisattva's good friend of the Way.
"Fifth, there is effort. By effort is meant that one single-mindedly thinks about the Four Noble Truths. Even if one's head were on fire, one would not cast this (pondering on the Four Truths) away. This is effort.
"Seventh, he has gentleness of speech. By gentleness of speech is meant the true words and the wonderful words which one utters and queries before the mind acts. It is timely speech and words of truth. We call this "gentle words".
"Eighth, there is protection of Dharma. To protect Dharma means to love Wonderful Dharma, always being happy to speak about it, read and recite, write and copy it, and to think of its meaning and expound it widely and make it prevail. If there is a person who copies, expounds, recites and praises (Dharma) and thinks about the meaning, one (should) seek things and give such to him for support, things such as clothing, drink and food, bedding, and medicine. For the protection of Dharma, one is ready to sacrifice one's body and life. This is protecting Dharma.
"Ninth, if the Bodhisattva sees any of his brethren or anyone who is upholding the same sila lacking in things, he goes to others and begs for an incense burner, priestly robes, what is required in the way of nursing, clothing, food and drink, bedding, and accommodation.
"Tenth, his Wisdom is perfect. By Wisdom is meant seeing the so-called Tathagata, the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure, and the fact that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature. He sees the two phases of things, which are: Void versus non-Void, Eternal versus non-Eternal, Bliss versus non-Bliss, the Self versus the non-Self, what is possible or not possible for crushing out the proposition of dissimilarity (“vaidharmya-drstanta”), the coming about or seeing of dissimilarity that arises out of causal relations, and the fruition of dissimilarity that arises out of causal relations or non-causality. This is what we call the perfection of Wisdom. O good man! This is how we say that when the Bodhisattva is perfect in these ten things, he can well see the formlessness of Nirvana."
You, Cunda, already see the Buddha-Nature, gain Great Nirvana and unsurpassed Bodhi." What does this mean? O World-Honoured One! You state in a sutra that giving to animals brings forth 100 recompenses; that giving to an icchantika gains one 1,000 recompenses; that giving to a person who upholds the precepts evokes 100,000 recompenses; that giving to a tirthika who has cut away defilement calls forth an innumerable number of recompenses; that giving to those of the stages of the four ways and the four fruitions up to pratyekabuddha results in an innumerable number of recompenses; that giving to the Bodhisattvas of the unretrogressive stage, the great Bodhisattvas of the final stage, and the Tathagata-World-Honoured One calls forth infinte and boundless benefit and recompense, surpassing the greatest degree of conception. If Cunda gains such recompense, the results can know no end. When will he arrive at unsurpassed Bodhi? You also state in the sutra: "If one, with a serious mind, does good or bad, one will unfailingly gain the results in this life, or in the life to come, or in later lives." Cunda did good with a serious mind. So, you (we) may know that he will unfailingly gain recompense. If he will unfailingly gain recompense, how can he expect to arrive at unsurpassed Bodhi and how can he see the Buddha-Nature?
"O World-Honoured One! You also say in the sutra: "If one gives things to three kinds of person, there will be no end of recompense. The first is a sick person; the second is one's parents; the third is the Tathagata." O World-Honoured One! You also state in the sutra: "The Buddha spoke to Ananda: "If beings have nothing involving the actions of desire, they will attain unsurpassed Bodhi. It is the same with things concerning actions material or non-material." O World-Honoured One! It is as is stated in a gatha of the “Dharmapada”:
"Also, Aniruddha said: "O World-Honoured One! I recall to mind that by giving one meal, I did not fall into the three unfortunate realms for 80,000 kalpas (aeons)." O World-Honoured One! Even a single (act of) giving evokes this return. As against this, Cunda, with a mind of faith, makes offerings to the Buddha, having thus perfected and accomplished danaparamita. O World-Honoured One! If the results of good are unending, how can the offence of slandering the vaipulya sutras, of the five deadly sins, the four grave offences, and the sin of (being) an icchantika know any end of karmic returns? If they do not end, how can a person truly see the Buddha-Nature and attain unsurpassed Nirvana?"
The Buddha said: "Well said, well said, O good man! There are only two persons who can arrive at the innumerable and boundless and countless virtues which go beyond words. This truly makes away with foundering in the dashing waters and madding floods. This well beats the enemy, brings down the victorious banner of Mara, and turns well the unsurpassed Wheel of Dharma of the Tathagata. One is the good question (questioner) and the other the good answer (answerer).
"O good man! Of the ten powers of the Buddha, the karma power has the greatest weight. O good man! All beings belittle the causal relations of karma and do not believe in it. In order to teach such minds, such is said. O good man! In all the actions that one performs, there is what is light and what is grave. These two actions of the light and grave are each of two kinds. One is definite, and the other is indefinite. O good man! There may be a person who says that there is no return arising from evil actions. If it is the case that evil actions unfailingly call forth karmic consequences, how was Kekosendara able to gain birth in the heavens, or Angulimalya to attain the fruition of Emancipation? In view of this, know that there are cases where whatever is done unfailingly calls forth karmic results and that there can unfailingly be cases where no results arise. In order to do away with such bent views (as these), I say in the sutras that any action unfailingly calls forth karmic results.
"O good man! There are cases where grave actions turn out to be light in their results and light ones grave. This does not mean that this concerns all people; only the ignorant are concerned here. Because of this, know that this does not mean that all actions unfailingly call forth a result. Although the result does not unfailingly come into being, this does not mean that the result does not come about. O good man! There are two kinds of all beings. One is wise, the other ignorant. The wise , by dint of wisdom, truly encounters the gravest karma of the unfortunate realms in this life. The ignorant person receives the karmic consequences of this life severely in hell."
The Buddha said: "O good man! If it is true that all actions definitely call forth results, do not seek purity in action and Emancipation. As it is indefinite, we practise pure actions and seek fruition in Emancipation. O good man! If one can well segregate one's self from all evil actions, one will gain good results; if one is far removed from good actions, one will arrive at evil fruition. If every action unfailingly called forth fruition, one would not seek to practise the Holy Way. If one does not practise the Way, there can be no Emancipation. The reason why all holy persons practise the Way is but to crush out the definite karma and gain light results. For the indefinite karma has no results to come about. If every action calls forth a result, one should not seek to practise the Holy Way. It is not possible to keep one's self from practising the Holy Way and yet gain Emancipation. There can be no such thing as arriving at Nirvana, not attaining Emancipation.
"O good man! If every good action is certain to call forth a result, every pure action that one performs in one's whole life will eternally call forth eternal peace, and every evil action of the last degree that one performs in one's whole life, too, will call forth the greatest of suffering eternally. If the action of karmic results is thus, there can be no practising of the Way, Emancipation, or Nirvana. If whatever is done by a man has to be borne by a man, this would mean that whatever is done by a Brahmin must be borne by a Brahmin. If things were thus, there could be no low caste and no low existences. A man could always be a man; a Brahmin could always be a Brahmin. Whatever was done in the days of one's small age (childhood) would have to be borne in the days of small age. One would not encounter the results in the days of one's middle or old age. The evil done in old age would bear fruit in hell, and one would not be able to suffer what one was to suffer as of the earlier days of hell. One must wait till the days of old age to suffer. The non-harming that one practised in one's old age will not bear fruit in one's prime of life. Without the prime of life, how can one come to be old? Because the karmic results cannot die out. If karma cannot die out, how could there be the practising of the Way and Nirvana?
"O good man! Of karma, there are two kinds, namely: definite and the indefinite. Of the karma that is definite, there are two kinds. One is the definiteness in result, and the other the definiteness in time. There can be cases where the result is definite and the time indefinite. When the causal relations conjoin, the result comes about in the Three Times of the present, the next life, or later lives.
"One who is wise is persistent in good actions and cannot be moved. Because of this, the grave actions turn out to be light. One who is ignorant is persistent in non-good. Because of this, any light action turns out to be grave (in consequence) and calls forth a grave return. That is why all actions are not called definite.
"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva does no action that will gain him hell. For the sake of beings, he takes a great vow and gains life in hell. O good man! In days gone by, when beings' life-span was 100 years, innumerable beings, as many as the sands of the Ganges, received karmic results in hell. I saw this and I took a great vow and gained life in hell. The Bodhisattva, at that time, truth to tell, had no sin of such kind. For the sake of beings, he gained life in hell. I, at that time, was in hell, living there innumerable ages and expounding the 12 types of sutra extensively to all sinners. The sinners, on hearing this, crushed all their karmic results and emptied hell - except for the icchantika. This is how we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva receives the karmic results not later than in this life.
"Also, next, O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, an innumerable number of beings gained life in the animal realm, suffering evil karmic returns there. On seeing this, I took a vow, and to save them I gained life as such animals as the reindeer, deer, brown bear, dove, naga, serpent, garuda, fish, tortoise, fox, hare, cow, and horse. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva does not have, truth to tell, any sin to gain him such life as an animal. For the sake of beings, he takes a great vow and gains such a life. This is where we speak of the Bodhisattva-mahasattva's gaining an evil karmic life (return) not later than this life. Also, next, O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, there were also innumerable beings who gained life as hungry pretas (ghosts). They devoured vomited saliva, fat and flesh, pus and blood, urine, tears and spittle. The span of their life was innumerable hundreds and thousands of years. Not once did they hear anything of juice or water. And how could they see anyone drink? Even if they saw water from afar and even if they gained the wish to go there, when they reached the place where such existed, everything changed into a great fire or pus or blood. At times, these might not change, but many people would obstruct the way with halberds in their hands or push the pretas back, so that they could not go forward. Or in the summer, rain might fall, but no sooner did it touch their body than it turned to fire. This is the work of the karmic returns of the evil they had done. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva has, truth to tell, no such sins to answer for. But to save beings and to enable them to attain Emancipation, he takes a vow and puts himself into such a life. This is why we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva suffers evil karmic returns not later than in this life.
"O good man! I, in the age of Bhadrakalpa, was born in a meat shop, but did not raise hens, pigs, cows or sheep; nor did I hunt with bows and nets, or catch fish, or live in a candala's house; nor did I rob or plunder. The Bodhisattva has never done any such things. To enable beings to attain Emancipation, he took a great vow and gained such a body. This is why we say that a Bodhisattva-mahasattva undergoes a life of evil karmic returns not later than in this life.
"O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, I gained life in a remote place, was full of greed, anger, and ignorance, did unlawful things, did not believe in the Three Treasures and the karmic returns that ensue in later lives, did not respect my parents and the intimate, the aged and the elderly. O good man! The Bodhisattva, at that time, had no such karma to suffer. To enable beings to gain Emancipation, he took a great vow and gained life in this place. This is where we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva undergoes an evil life, not in this life, not in the next life, and not in later lives.
"O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, he gained such lives as those of a female, of evil, greed, anger, ignorance, jealousy, parsimony, of a phantom, of madness, and of a person clad in defilement. O good man! Know that the Bodhisattva did nothing of the kind (to merit) such karma. Only to enable beings to attain Emancipation did he take a great vow and gain such a form of life. This is where we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva undergoes evil karmic consequences not in this present life, not in the life to follow, nor in later lives.
"O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, I gained such forms of life as of one with imperfect genital organs, one sexless, dually-sexed, or indefinite. O good man! Truth to tell, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva has no such actions to answer for. In order to enable beings to attain Emancipation, he takes a great vow and undergoes such a life. This is where we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva undergoes evil karma not in this life, not in the next life, or not in later lives.
"O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, I practised the ways of the tirthikas and the Nirgranthas, and believed in their teachings. There was no giving, no shrine, and no recompense for dedication of the shrine. There were no good or bad actions, no good or bad returns (according to their theory). There was no present life, no life to come, and not this and not that. There existed no holy, no transformed body, no Way, and no Nirvana. O good man! The Bodhisattva has no such evil karmas to answer for. Only to enable beings to attain Emancipation does he take a great vow and experience such twisted things. This is why we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva undergoes evil actions, not in this life, not in the life to come, nor in later lives.
"O good man! I call to mind that once in the past, we were merchants, Devadatta and I. And each of us had 500 merchants. Seeking profit, we went to a great sea in search of rare things. Through evil causal relations, we met with a storm on the way and, ship-wrecked, our comrades all died. At that time, Devadatta and I, because of non-harming and by the causal relations for a long life, were blown across onto land. Then, Devadatta, regretting that he had lost the treasure, was greatly worried and wept loudly. I then said: "O Devadatta! Do not weep!" Devadatta said to me: "Listen to me carefully, listen carefully! For example, there is a man oppressed by poverty. He goes to the graveyard and catches hold of a corpse and says: "O you! Give me the joy of death. I shall now give you poverty and life." Then, the corpse stands up and says to the poor man: "O good man! Take poverty and life yourself. I am now immersed in the joy of death. I am not pleased to see you poor and alive." The situation is like this. But I do not have the bliss of death to hand, and besides, I am poverty-stricken. What else can I do other than cry and weep?" I also appeased him: "Do not be sad. I now have two beads, which are priceless. I will give you one." I gave it (to him) and said: "A person who has life gains this gem. If without life, how can one expect to have this?" I then felt tired and drowsed in the shade of a tree. Devadatta, burning with greed, gained an evil thought. Thrusting and harming my eyes, he took away the other bead. In pain, I cried and wept. Then, there was a woman who came to me and asked: "Why do you cry and weep?" I then told her of all that had taken place. On hearing of this, she further asked: "What is your name?" I said: "I am called True-Word." "How can I know that you are truthful?" I then took an oath: "If I should now have evil thoughts towards Devadatta, let me be one-eyed; if not, let my eyes gain the light." Having said this, my eyes were cured and were as good as before. O good man! This is where we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva speaks about the recompense that comes about in this life.
"O good man! I call back to mind that I was once born in Southern India, at Putana Castle, in the house of a Brahmin. At that time, there was a king called Garapu. He was rude, evil, arrogant, and haughty. Being in the prime of life and handsome, he was immersed in the life of the five desires. To save beings, I, at that time, lived on the outskirts of the castle-town and sat in meditation. Then, the king came out of the castle, accompanied by relatives, courtiers, and court ladies into the world of spring trees and flowers. In the forest, he disported himself in the play of the five desires. All the females, abandoning, the king, came to me. I then - to do away with the greed of the king - spoke of Dharma. Then, the king came to me and gained an evil mind. He asked: "Have you already arrived at arhatship?" I said: "Not yet." He asked again: "Have you arrived yet at the stage of anagamin?" I said: "Not yet." He further said: "If not yet arrived at these two fruitions, you must be perfect in greed. How dare you look at my females?" I then replied: "O great King! Although I have not yet cut off the bond of greed, I have no greed in my mind." The king said: "O fool! There is in the world many a rishi who feeds on air and fruit. But on seeing beauty, he feels greed (desire). And you are still in the prime of life and are not yet parted from greed. How can you be free from beauty, when actually seeing it?" I said: "O great King! One sees colour, but does not get attached to it. It is like feeding on air and not on fruits. It comes from the mind that rests on impermanence and impurity." The king said: "Belittling others and slandering, how can one practise the pureness of the precepts?" I said: "O great King! If one has jealousy, there can be slandering. I have no jealousy. How could I slander (anyone)?" The king said: "O greatly-virtuous! What do you mean by precepts?" "O King! Forbearance (patient endurance) is a precept." The king said: "If forbearance is a precept, I shall cut off your ear-lobe. If you can indeed stand it, I will know what the precept is." Then the king cut off my ear-lobe, but I, with my ear-lobe cut off, lost no colour. All the courtiers, on seeing this, admonished the king and said: "Please do not cause any harm to such a great person!" The king said to all his ministers: "How do you know whether this is a great person?" The ministers said: "Despite his receiving such a painful wound, his mien has not changed." The king said again: "I shall try further and see if he changes (colour) or not." And he sliced off my nose, and cut off my hands and feet. At that time, the Bodhisattva had practised the works of loving-kindness in innumerable and boundless worlds and had pity for beings who were sunk in the mire of suffering. Then the four guardians of the earth, becoming angry, rained down sand, gravel and stones. The king, on seeing this, became frightened, came to me, and prostrating on the ground said: "Please have mercy and allow me to repent." I said: "O great King! I seem to have no anger and no greed in my mind." The king said: "O greatly-virtuous! How can you have no anger and no enmity in your mind?" I then took an oath: "Let my body be reinstated as it was before if I do not have any anger or enmity in my mind." No sooner had I said this, than my body was reinstated as it was before. This is what (we mean when we say that) the Bodhisattva-mahasattva speaks about recompense in this life.
"O good man! It is the same with the karmic results that are to come about in the next life and in later lives, and with the matter of evil actions. When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva attains unsurpassed Bodhi, all actions gain their recompense in the present life. If the karmic results of non-good and evil actions are to visit one in this present life, things will proceed as when the heavens let fall the evil rain on account of the evil actions of the king. Also, this is as when the hands dropped off a person who showed a hunter where the brown bear and the deer of beautiful colour lived. These are instances where evil actions call forth karmic returns in this present life. As to the results that are to visit a person in the next life, they are those of the icchantika, and those who commit the four grave offences and the five deadly sins. The recompense that visits a person who upholds sila (the moral precepts) and who takes a vow such as saying: "I pray that I may, in my next life, gain a body in which I can be pure in sila. And in an age when the life-span of men is 100 years and when I can be blessed with an age of 80, I shall be a Chakravartin (world ruler) and teach beings." O good man! If the karmic result is definitely to visit one in this present life, there can be no karmic returns that come to one in the next life or in later lives. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva may practise the 32 signs of perfection of a great man, but he cannot expect the recompense in this present life. If one's action does not call forth the three kinds of recompense, we call this indefinite.
"All actions have the phases of "definite" and "indefinite". By definite is meant the karmic returns that one experiences in this life, in the life to come, and in later lives. By indefinite is meant the cases where the karmic returns come about when the causal relations meet, and if not, these will not come to visit the person. Because of this, if any person says that there are pure actions, Emancipation, and Nirvana, such a person is, truth to tell, my own disciple and not the kindred of Mara. This you should know. O good man! With beings, the results that are indefinite are many, and few the results that are definite. Because of this, there can be the practising of the Way. When one practises the Way, the definite, grave karmic returns can be felt as light; and there can be no experiencing of the indefinite karmic returns in the life to come.
"O good man! There are two kinds of people. One makes the indefinite definite; the other makes the karmic returns of the present life those of the life to come; what is light that which is grave, and what is to be suffered in this human life to be suffered in hell.
"The second makes what is definite indefinite, what belongs to the life to come (happen in) the present life, what is grave that which is light, and what is of hell that which is light in this human life. The ignorant make things grave.
"O good man! For example, there are two persons who have sinned against the king. The one, with many relatives, suffers little, whereas the other, with few relatives, suffers much, although it ought to be light in suffering. It is the same with the ignorant. The wise person suffers less because of the large amount of good he has amassed, although the sin is grave. With the ignorant person, his good actions being few, he has to suffer greatly, although his sin is light. The situaiton is like this.
"O good man! For example, there are two persons, one is fat and is in the prime of life, whereas the other is weakly constituted and has less physical strength. The two lose their feet in mud, at which the one who is fat and in the prime of life easily gets out, whereas the weaker one sinks down. The situation is like this.
"O good man! There are two persons who both partake of poison. One has a charm and the drug, agada, whereas the other does not. The poison cannot destroy the one with the charm and drug, whereas the other who does not have such has to die.
"O good man! There are two persons who take some juice. One has the fire of life and the other has it less. The one with much fire digests it well, whereas with the person whose force of life is weak, it works harm.
"O good man! There are two persons who together follow a steep path. One has eyesight, whereas the other is blind. The one with eyesight goes on without any ado, whereas the blind man falls into the depths of the steep (gorge).
"O good man! For example, two persons take drinks. One eats a lot, whereas the other eats less. With the one who eats a lot, the drinks do less harm, whereas for the one who eats little, the drinks cause him trouble. The case is like this.
"O good man! For example, two persons go to the battle front. One is garbed in armour and (equipped) with a staff (sword), whereas the other has none. The one armed with a staff easily crushes the enemy, whereas the one who is not has no means of turning away the arms of the enemy.
"Also, there are two persons who make the Buddhist robe dirty. The one sees this and washes it, whereas the other knows but does not wash it. The robe of the one who has washed it at once is clean, whereas that of the one who does not increases its defilement day by day.
"Also, there are two persons who both ride in a cart. The cart with spokes goes as the person wills, whereas the one without (spokes) does not move.
"Also, there are two persons, who are travelling across a wilderness. One has food, whereas the other does not. The person with the food carries himself across the hard ways, whereas the one who does not cannot do so.
"Also, two persons are attacked by robbers. The one has a store of treasure (at home), whereas the other does not. The one with a storehouse has no apprehension, whereas the one who has not has worries. It is the same with the ignorant. One who has amassed good can stand grave sins in a light way, whereas the other, having no stock of good actions, has to suffer heavily."
Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! Just as you, the Buddha, say, not all actions call forth definite results, in the same way, all beings do not always definitely have to suffer. O World-Honoured One! Why must beings undergo heavy sufferings in hell for what can be suffered lightly in the present life, and why can what obtains heavily in hell be light in the present life?"
The Buddha said: "There are two kinds of beings. One is wise, and the other ignorant. One who upholds the precepts of the body well and practises the wisdom of the mind is one who is wise; one who does not uphold the precepts and practise the wisdom of the mind is one who is ignorant.
"How does one not well practise the body? If one does not control the five sense-organs, we say that such a person is one who does not control his body. When a person does not control the seven kinds of pure precept, we say that he does not uphold the precepts. When a person does not adjust his mind, we say that there is no practising of the mind. When a person does not practise holy actions, we say that this is not practising Wisdom.
"Also, next, by the non-practising of the body, one cannot be perfect in the pureness of the precept-body (the spiritual entity of sila, so to speak). By the non-practising of the precepts is meant the receiving or storing of the eight impure things. The non-practising of the mind is so called because one does not practise the three kinds of forms. The non-practising of Wisdom is so called because one does not practise pure actions.
"Also, next, we say that we do not practise the body because we cannot meditate on body, matter, and the representations of matter. Also, we do not meditate on the representations; we do not know of the elements of the body and the fact that this body moves on to that body. One sees body in non-body and matter in non-matter. Because of this, one greedily clings to the body and the body-elements. This is the non-practising of the body.
"We say that there is the non-practising of the precepts. The receiving of low-grade sila is the non-practising of the precepts. One-sided precepts are what one does for one's benefit, for adjusting one's own self, and not for giving peace to all beings. It is not to protect unsurpassed Wonderful Dharma. What the person does is for birth in the heavens and there to be blessed with the five desires, which is not called practising the precepts.
"By the non-practising of the mind is meant the dispersed state of mind in which the person does not guard his own realm of existence. By one's own realm is meant the four remembrances; and by the other realm is meant the five desires. When a person does not practise the four remembrances, we speak of non-practice of the mind. When a person is sunk in evil actions and does not guard well his own mind, we call this the non-practice of Wisdom.
"Also, next, by the non-practice of the body is meant that the person does not see that this carnal body is non-eternal, that it has no place to live in, and that it collapses, and it dies out moment after moment, and that it is the world of Mara.
"By the non-practice of the precepts is meant the non-accompaniment of silaparamita (perfected morality). By the non-practice of the mind is meant that the person is not perfect in dhyanaparamita (perfected meditation). By the non-practice of Wisdom is meant that the person is not perfect in prajnaparamita (perfected Wisdom).
"Also, next, we say that there is the non-practice of the body, which is greedily to cling to one's own body and what belongs to it, and to think that one's body is eternal and that it does not change.
"Also, next, the non-practice of the body means that the person is not away from the notion of the wrong view of Self ("atmadrsti": regarding the ego as existing eternally unchanged). The non-practice of the precepts means that the person is not away from the wrong view regarding the precepts (“silavrataparamarsa”). The non-practice of the mind means that the person falls into hell (after) enacting greed and anger, and the non-practice of Wisdom means that the person fails to do away with the ignorant mind.
"O good man! For example, there is a man who has an enemy, who ever seeks his whereabouts. One who is wise sees this and is awake to it and guards against it. If not guarded against, there is the danger of being harmed. It is the same with all the bodies of beings. One always, cold or hot, nourishes it with food and drink. If not thus protected, the body will go into dissolution. O good man! The Brahmin, worshipping the god of fire, always offers incense and flowers, praises and worships (it), makes offerings and serves (it), and he may well gain a life of 100 years. But if he touches it, the fire will burn the hand that does so. This fire, having been so much cherished and offered things, knows nothing of repaying what it owes the one who has single-mindedly served it. It is the same with the bodies of all beings. For years, the body is served with the best of incense and flowers, necklaces, clothing, food and drink, bedding and medicine. But when it encounters the causal relations that press in from within and without, all at once collapses, and it now does not think back a whit to what offerings and clothes were given it in days gone by.
"O good man! For example, there is a king who has four vipers, which he keeps in a box and orders a person to feed and take care of. Any of these four will harm a person once it gets angry. The man, fearing this, always seeks food and feeds them. It is the same with the four great vipers of all beings. Once angered, they will destroy the body.
"O good man! A man is mindful of a chronic disease, for which he seeks a doctor and a means of cure. Should he incessantly fail to cure (the disease), death will unfailingly visit him. It is the same with the body of all beings. One must always take care and there cannot be any indolence. Indolence will call forth death.
"O good man! For example, it is the same with an earthenware pot, which cannot endure the wind and rain, beating, and pressure. It is the same with the body of all beings. It cannot endure hunger, thirst, cold and heat, wind and rain, beating and ill-speaking.
"O good man! A carbuncle, when not yet fully grown, always protects itself well and prevents others from touching it. If anyone should happen to touch it, it responds with great pain. It is the same with the body of all beings.
"O good man! Just as a candala will not give up his occupation for seven generations successively because people look down upon him, the same is also the situation with the seed of this body. The seed and blood are after all not pure. Their being not pure, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas reproach them.
"O good man! This body is not like the Malaya hills where sandalwood grows; it cannot call forth the utpala, pundarika, campaka, mallika, or varsika. The nine holes always leak out pus and blood and impure things. Where one is born (vagina) smells bad and is defiled and ugly to look at, and worms always live there.
"O good man! For example, there might be an all-wonderful garden and forest in the world. But if any corpse should come therein, it becomes impure, and people abandon it, and no person any longer feels love or attachment (to that place). It is the same with what comes about in the world of matter. Though wonderful to look at, as there is the body representing it, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas abandon it.
"We say that there is the non-practice of the precepts. O good man! This is none other than not being able to regard sila (the moral precepts) as a kind of ladder to all good dharmas (things). Sila is the root of all good dharmas. This is as with the earth, which is where all trees grow. This is the best guide to all good. This is like the owner of a ship that guides all merchants. Sila is the banner of victory. It is like the hanging ensign of Devendra. Sila eternally extirpates all evil deeds and the three unfortunate realms. It thoroughly cures serious illnesses, like a medicinal tree. Sila is none other than food on the steep path of birth and death. It is the armour and staff that crush the thieves of defilement; and it is the best charm, which annihilates the poison of the viper of defilement; or it is the bridge by means of which one can truly cross over the path of evil actions. Any person who cannot think in this way is one who does not practise the precepts.
"We say that there is the non-practising of the mind. This is none other than being unable to meditate on the mind. It (the mind) carries itself lightly and noisily and is hard to catch hold of and to destroy. It runs about unmolested like an evil-minded elephant. Its movements are quick every moment, as swift as lightning. It is as noisy and and unstaying (restless) as any monkey. It is like a phantom or a flame. It is the root of evil, and it is hard to satisfy the call of the five desires. This is like fire that feeds on fuel, or the great ocean, which takes in all river-waters, or like any grass and plants that grow so luuriantly in Mandara. If a person does not meditate on the falsity of birth and death, he will get lured away, as with a fish that swallows the hook. Always a lead is given, followed by all actions. This is like the mother shell that leads all the small ones. A person gets greedily attached to the five desires and does not care for Nirvana. This is like the camel that eats honey, forgetting all bout the fodder till death catches hold of it. People are deeply attached to actual pleasures and forget all about the worries that later come to them. This is like the cow that greedily devours the seedlings, not afraid of, and forgetting all about, the slashings by staff and thorns that have to follow. It (the mind) runs after the 25 existences. This is like the hurricane that blows away cotton. It endlessly seeks what one cannot seek, as with an ignorant person who seeks fire where there is no heat. People are always stuck to birth and death and do not wish to seek Emancipation. This is as in the case of the nimba worm, which seeks the neemb tree (azadirachta Indica). People are lured by, and adhere to, the foul-smelling defilement of birth and death, like a prisoner who longs and asks the warder for a woman, or like a pig who is happy lying in an impure place. Anyone who does not see things thus can be called one not practising the mind.
"We speak of the non-practice of Wisdom. Wisdom has great power, like that of the garuda (a mythical bird). It truly destroys evil actions and gloom, as does the light of the sun. It thoroughly uproots the tree of the skandhas, like water, which can easily float things up (to the surface). Wisdom thoroughly burns out the evil views of life, like a great fire, and is the fountainhead of all good dharmas and the seed from which come about the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. If one does not see things thus, this is none other than the non-practice of Wisdom.
"O good man! If there is anyone who sees in “Paramartha-satya” (Ultimate Truth) the body and the representation of the body, the cause and result of the body, the skandha of the body, one body or two bodies, this body or that body, the extinction and equality of the body, the practice of the body or one who practises the body, such is the non-practice of the body.
"O good man! If there is anyone who sees sila and any representation of sila, the cause and result of sila, the top and bottom of sila, the skandha of sila, one or two silas, this sila and that sila, the extinction and equality of sila, the practice of sila and one who practises sila, silaparamita, this is the non-practice of sila.
"If there is any person who sees such as the mind and the representation of the mind, the cause and result of the mind, the skandha of the mind, what belongs to the mind, one or two minds, this and that mind, the extinction and equality of the mind, the practising and one who practises the mind, the top, middle and bottom of the mind, the good and bad mind - this is the non-practice of the mind.
"O good man! If there is anyone who sees Wisdom and the phase of representation of Wisdom, the cause and result of Wisdom, the skandha of Wisdom, one or two Wisdoms, this and that Wisdom, the extinction and equality of Wisdom, the top, middle, and bottom of Wisdom, sharp and dull Wisdom, the practising of, and one who practises, Wisdom, this is none other than the non-practising of Wisdom.
"O good man! If there is any person who does not practise the body, sila, Wisdom, and the mind, such a one will suffer from a great karmic consequence for a small evil deed. And out of fear, he will think: "I am bound for hell; I have done the deeds of hell." Even when the wise speak of the pains of hell, he will always think: "It is like iron hitting iron, stone stone, wood wood, and the firefly enjoying fire. The body of hell will look like hell. If it resembles hell, what more pain could there be?" For example, it is like the blue fly that gets caught by saliva and cannot get free. It is the same with the human being, too. He cannot extract himself from a small evil. The mind never once repents and covers the wound by doing good. In the past, there were all good deeds, but all these became defiled by this sin. What little evil a person has to suffer in this life turns out as the heaviest karmic results in hell. O good man! If we add one “sho” (a unit of measurement for liquid or cereal) of salt to a small vessel of water, it becomes so salty that we cannot drink it. It is the same with this person's evil, too. O good man! For example, there is a man whose one “sen” (a unit of money) which he owes a person, and which he is unable to pay back, chains him to prison, where he has to suffer many a hardship. It is the same with this person's sin, too.
The Buddha said: "O good man! If any person has five things to answer for, any slight sin he has committed will turn out to be answered in hell. What are the five? They are: 1) ignorance, 2) littleness of good done, 3) graveness of evil done, 4) non-repentance, 5) no good ever done before. Also, there are five things, which are: 1) practising of evil, 2) not upholding the precepts, 3) abstaining from doing good, 4) not practising the body, sila, Wisdom, and the mind, and 5) befriending evil persons. O good man! Because of these, a slight evil in the present life evokes grave returns in hell. O good man! Because of these, the light karmic result that one (would otherwise have) to suffer in this life becomes the heavier to suffer in hell."
"O good man! Any person in the world who practises the body, sila, Wisdom, and the mind, as stated above, and who sees that all things are void and all-equal, and who sees no Wisdom, none who is wise, no ignorance, none who is ignorant, no practising and none who practises, such is one who is wise. Such a person indeed practises the body, sila, the mind, and Wisdom. Any such person indeed makes (what would have been) karmic results in hell become less to be suffered in this life. This person may have committed the gravest of sins, but he thinks over (the matter), sees, and makes it light, and says: "What I have done is grave in nature. But nothing is better than good actions. For example, 100 pounds of flower upon flower cannot after all compare with a “ryo” (unit of weight or money) of true gold. We might well throw a “sho” of salt into the Ganges, but no taste of salt will come about (from this) and no one, on drinking it, will taste it. A rich man may possess 1,000 million jewels and yet he will not be chained up and made to suffer pain on their account. Or a great gandhahastin can break an iron chain, escape and be unimpeded." So is it (also) with the person who has Wisdom. He always thinks to himself: "I have much of the power of good and little of evil actions. I confess and repent and do away with evil. If we practise Wisdom, the power of Wisdom will grow, and the power of ignorance will lessen." Thinking thus, he befriends a good teacher of the Way and learns the right view of life. If he sees a person who upholds, recites, copies and expounds the 12 types of sutra, he will feel respect in his mind and, besides, will make offerings to him of such things as clothing, food, accommodation, bedding, medicine, flowers and incense, and will praise and respect (him). Wherever he goes, he only praises what is good and does not speak of what is lacking. He makes offerings to the Three Treasures and respects and believes that the vaipulya Great Nirvana Sutra and the Tathagata are Eternal and Unchanging, and that beings have the Buddha-Nature. Such a person makes what would be heavily suffered in hell something that is (only) light suffering in this life. O good man! For this reason, it is not the case that all actions are definite and that all beings definitely have to undergo karmic consequences."
Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! If all actions do not definitely call forth (fixed) karmic results, and all beings have the Buddha-Nature and should practise the Noble Eightfold Path, why is it that all beings do not attain this Mahaparinirvana? O World-Honoured One! If all beings have the Buddha-Nature, they must definitely attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Why is it that they definitely needs must practise the Noble Eightfold Path? O World-Honoured One! This sutra states: "There is a sick person who gains medicine, an attendant for the illness, and the food and drink needed for the illness; or there may by none such. But all will get cured. It is the same with all beings, too. They may encounter sravakas, pratyekabuddhas, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and all good teachers of the Way, listen to sermons and practise the holy ways. Or they may not encounter, listen to and practise such, but they must (i.e. will unfailingly) all attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Why? Because of the Buddha-Nature." Thus does it stand. O World-Honoured One! For example, it is not possible for the light of the sun and moon to get obstructed on the way, so that it cannot get around the Antarava (Anderab) Mountains, or for the waters of the four great rivers not to reach the great ocean, or for the icchantika not to go to hell. It is the same with all beings, too. There cannot be any situation where hindrances come about so that they cannot attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Why not? Because of the Buddha-Nature. O World-Honoured One! Because of this, all beings do not practise the Way. Because of the power of the Buddha-Nature, they attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. There is no reason that one needs to fall (depend) on the power of the Holy Way. O World-Honoured One! If the icchantika, those of the four grave offences, and those of the four deadly sins cannot attain unsurpassed Enlightenment, one will surely practise the Way. Because one surely attains it by the power of the Buddha-Nature. It is not that one attains it by learning and practising. O World-Honoured One! For example, a magnet, though distant, attracts iron. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of beings. Because of this, one need not practise the Way."
The Buddha said: "Well said, well said, O good man! By the Ganges there live seven kinds of men. They are afraid of robbers because they are now bathing. Or the case might be as with those who get into the river in order to pick flowers. The first person gets drowned as he gets into the water; the second person sinks in mid-water, but comes up and sinks down again into the water. Why? Because his body is powerful and strong, he is able to get out. The one who has not learnt to float comes up and then sinks again. The third comes up after sinking. Coming up, he does not sink again. Why not? Because his body is heavy, so he sinks, but as his power is great, he comes up. Having already learnt to float, he stays up. The fourth person, on getting into the water, comes up again. Coming up, he looks around. Why? As he is heavy, he sinks, as he has great power, he comes up; as he has learnt to float, he remains (up); not knowing where to get out, he looks around. The fifth person, on going into the water, sinks, and having sunk, he comes up. Having come up, he looks around; having looked, he goes. Why? Because he fears. The sixth person goes into the water, and gets out, and stays in the shallow waters. Why? Because he sees the robbers who are nearby and (also) far off. The seventh person is already up on the other bank and is on a great mountain. He fears nothing; out of the reach of the robbers, he is blessed with great bliss. O good man! It is the same situation with the great river of birth and death, too.
"These are the seven kinds of people. As they fear the robbers of defilement, they make up their minds and wish to cross the great river of birth and death. They abandon their homes, shave their heads, and don priestly robes. Having renounced their homes, they associate with evil friends, follow their teachings, and give ear to their doctrines, which state: "Man's body is the five skandhas. The five skandhas are none but the five great elements. When a man dies, he does away with the five great elements. When he parts with the five great elements, why does he any longer need to practise good or bad? Because of this, one may know that there can be no karmic returns of good or bad." Such a person is an icchantika. He is cut off from the root of good or bad. Cut off from the root of good, he sinks into the waters of birth and death and is unable to get out. Why? Because of the great weight of evil deeds, and he has no power of faith. He is like the first person of those on the banks of the river Ganges.
"O good man! The icchantika has six causal relations. He falls into the three unfortunate realms and cannot get out of them. What are the six? They are: 1) his evil mind burns, 2) he does not see the after-life, 3) he takes pleasure in seeking defilement, 4) he walks away from good, 5) evil actions hinder his way, and 6) he associates with an evil teacher of the Way.
"This again possesses five things, by which the person falls into the three unfortunate realms. What are the five? They are: 1) he always says that there can be no karmic results to come about in regard to good or bad actions, 2) he kills a person who has aspired to Bodhi, 3) he takes pleasure in speaking about the evils committed by priests, 4) he says that what is right is not right and what transgresses Dharma is lawful, and 5) he gives ear to Dharma just to pick up what goes against (i.e. to find fault).
"Also, there are three things by which the person falls into the three unfortunate realms. What are the three? These are saying that: 1) the Tathagata is non-eternal, and goes away eternally, 2) Wonderful Dharma is non-eternal and changes, and 3) the Sangha Jewel gets destroyed. For this reason, he always sinks into the three unfortunate realms.
"The second person aspires to cross the great river of birth and death, but devoid of amassed good sinks and is unable to get out. We speak of "getting out". This is associating with a good teacher of the Way, through which one gains faith. By faith is meant believing that dana (giving) evokes the fruition of dana, that any action that can be called good calls forth the fruition of good, and any action that is evil that of evil, and it is believing in the suffering of birth and death, and believing in impermanence and dissolution. This is faith. Gaining faith, the person practises pure sila, upholds, recites, copies and expounds (the sutras). He always gives and well practises Wisdom. If dull, the person encounters an evil friend. He is unable to learn how to practise the sila of body and the Wisdom of mind. He gives ear to evil teachings. Or he may happen to be visited by an evil period of time and be born in an evil land and be cut off from good deeds. Cut off from the root of goodness, he always sinks into birth and death. His case is like that of the second person on the banks of the river Ganges.
"The third person looks forward to crossing the great river of birth and death. Devoid of good, he sinks in mid-water. His drawing near to a good teacher of the Way is his getting out. The Tathagata is the All-Knower. He is Eternal and suffers no change. For the sake of beings, he speaks about the unsurpassed Way. All beings have the Buddha-Nature. The Tathagata does not go into extinction. It is the same with the Dharma and Sangha, too. There is no extinction. Not having done away with his own quality, the icchantika cannot attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. He needs must do away with it, and then he will attain it (Enlightenment). Thus does he believe. Through faith, he practises pure sila. Having practised pure sila, he upholds, recites, copies and expounds the 12 types of sutra and speaks of them extensively for the benefit of beings. He is pleased to give and to practise Wisdom. Born sharp-minded, he firmly abides in faith and Wisdom and does not draw back in his determination. This is like the situation of the third person on the banks of the river Ganges.
"The fourth person desires to cross the great river of birth and death. Devoid of good amassed, he sinks in mid-water. Coming close to a good teacher of the Way, he gains faith. This is getting out. As he gains faith, he upholds, recites, copies and expounds, and for the sake of beings he propounds Dharma widely. He takes pleasure in giving and practises Wisdom. Born sharp-minded, he firmly believes in faith and Wisdom. There is no drawing back with him from his resolve, and he looks all around in the four directions. The four directions mean the four fruitions of a sramana. This is like the fourth person on the banks of the river Ganges.
"The fifth person is one who aspires to cross the great river of birth and death, but with no good amassed, sinks in mid-water. Associating with a good teacher of the Way, he gains faith. This is gettiing out. With faith, he upholds, recites, copies, expounds the 12 types of sutras and speaks expansively for the sake of beings. He takes pleasure in giving, and he practises Wisdom. Sharp-born, he firmly abides in faith and Wisdom, and there is no regression in his mind. Not regressing, he makes progress. Making progress refers to the pratyekabuddha. Although good as regards the salvation of his own self, this does not extend to others. This is getting out. This is as with the fifth person on the banks of the river Ganges.
"The sixth person aspires to cross the great river of birth and death. Devoid of accumulated good, he sinks in mid-water. Coming close to a good teacher of the Way, he gains faith. Gaining faith is getting out. Due to faith, he upholds, recites, copies and extensively speaks about (Dharma) for the sake of beings. He takes pleasure in giving and practises Wisdom. Sharp-born, he bases himself firmly on faith and Wisdom, and his mind does not retrogress. Not retrogressing, he proceeds on and at last gains the shallow waters. Arriving at the shallow waters, he remains there and does not move about. We say that he remains. This means that the Bodhisattva, in order to save all beings, abides there and meditates on defilement. He is like the sixth person on the banks of the river Ganges.
"The seventh person aspires to cross the great river of birth and death. But with no good amassed up to thus far, he sinks in mid-water. On meeting a good teacher of the Way, he gains faith. This gaining of faith is what we call "getting out". Due to faith, he upholds, recites, copies and expounds the 12 types of sutra, and for the benefit of beings he speaks extensively of them. He takes pleasure in giving and practises Wisdom. Sharp-born, he firmly abides in faith and Wisdom, and he does not retrogress in mind. As he does not retrogress, he steps forward. Stepping forward, he reaches the other shore. Having gained the heights of a great mountain, he is now segregated from fear and is blessed with much peace. O good man! The mountain on the other shore can be likened to the Tathagata, peace to the Eternality of the Buddha, and the great and high mountain is Great Nirvana.
"O good man! Such persons on the banks of the river Ganges all have hands and feet, but they are difficult to save. It is the same with all beings, too. The Three Jewels of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha truly exist, and the Tathagata always expounds the essentials of all laws (Dharma). There are the Noble Eightfold Path and Mahaparinirvana. All beings can gain all of these. This is not what comes out of me or of those noble paths or of beings. Know that all these go back to defilement. Because of this, all beings cannot gain Nirvana.
"O good man! A danapati (giver) gives things to all persons. There may be those who will not accept (the gifts). The giver is not to blame for this.
"O good man! The Tathagata gives and expounds the 12 types of sutra to all beings. But the Tathagata is not to blame if the beings will not take them. O good man! Those who practise the Way will all attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. O good man! You say that beings all have the Buddha-Nature and that it is as unfailing as a magnet that they will attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. It is well, it is well that because of the causal relations of the Buddha-Nature the person will attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Should you say that there is no need to practise the Holy Path, this is not so.
"O good man! As an illustration: a man is journeying through a wilderness and feels thirsty, when he comes across a well. It is very deep, so that he cannot see the water. But we may know that there assuredly is water there. If the person brings forth the means and draws up the water with a rope and a bucket, then the water is assuredly there. It is the same, too, with the Buddha-Nature. All beings possess it. But only by practising the undefiled Noble Path can one truly see it.
"O good man! If there is sesame, we can get oil. If we do not have the means, we cannot get it. It is the same with sugar cane.
"O good man! Though the north of Uttarakuru of Trayastrimsa Heaven exists, one cannot see it other than by accumulation of good karma, miraculous power, and the power of the Way. The roots of trees and grass which are under the ground, and the water in the ground, cannot be seen by us, since the earth covers them. It is the same situation with the Buddha-Nature, too. If one does not practise the Holy Way, one cannot expect to see it.
"O good man! You say that the illnesses of the world will get cured with or without nursing, a good doctor, good medicine, and the food and drink needed for those illnesses. O good man! I spoke thus to all Bodhisattvas of the sixth stage.
"O good man! There is a man who possesses wealth in different places and not where he is. When asked, he m