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Nirvana Sutra: Chapter Thirty-Eight: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar (f)

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Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra
Translated by KOSHO YAMAMOTO
FROM Dharmakshema's Chinese version
The World's genuinely first-ever web edition of this complete scripture
(This "Yamamoto/page edition" is Copyright of Dr. Tony Page, 2004 )
The Complete Kosho Yamamoto English Translation of the "Nirvana Sutra", edited and revised by Dr. Tony Page, typographically improved by Jay and Gabriele Mazo


Chapter Thirty-Eight: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar (f)

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! You say in the sutra that vipasyana (insight meditation) thoroughly crushes defilement. Why do we then need to practise samatha (calmness meditation)?"

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.

"Fouth, he seeks quietude. By quietude is meant the quietude of body and mind, by (means of) which one meditates on the depths of all existences. We call this quietude.

"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.

"Sixth, he has perfection in remembrance. By perfection in remembrance is meant thinking of the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, the precepts, the heavens, and equanimity. We call this perfection in thinking.

"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."

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! The Buddha said previously to Cunda: "

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”:

"Not in the sky, not in the sea,

Nor by getting into mountains and caves

Can there be any question of seeking refuge;

There exists no place on earth

Where one no more suffers from karmic effects."

"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."

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! If things are thus, one should not seek purity in action and Emancipation."

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.

"O good man! When one does good or evil with a settled mind, one gains a believing mind and joy. And one takes a vow or makes offerings to the Three Treasures. This is a definite action.

"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.

"O good man! If all actions must definitely call forth karmic returns, one cannot practise pure actions, Emancipation, and Nirvana. Know that such are not my disciples; they are the kindred of Mara.

"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.

"Of these two, the one is ignorant, and the other is wise. The wise person makes things light, and the ignorant person makes things grave in nature.

"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 get chained up by the king. One is intelligent, whereas the other is dull. The intelligent person escapes, whereas the other one, who is dull, cannot get away.

"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.

"We talk of the non-practice of the precepts. This is to do for one's own sake the ten evil deeds.

"The non-practice of the mind means that the person does not control his doing of evil deeds.

"The non-practice of Wisdom means that the person cannot see through to the good and bad of things, because of the non-control of the mind.

"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.

"Also, next, the non-practice of the body fails to see that the body is always the enemy, even though it has nothing (for which it is) to blame.

"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! When a mule bears a child, this destroys its own body. The same is the case with the body of all beings. If the inside is cold, the body suffers.

"O good man! For example, just as the plantain tree dies when it bears fruit, so do matters stand with all other things.

"O good man! Just as the plantain fruit has nothing solid inside it, so is it with the body of all beings.

"O good man! Just as the serpent, rat, and wolf all hate each other, so do matters stand with the four great elements.

"O good man! Just as the swan king does not seek to be in a graveyard, so do things stand with the Bodhisattva. The body does not greedily find pleasure in a graveyard.

"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.

"O good man! If a person cannot see things in this light, we do not call this the practice of the body.

"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.

Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! Why is it that this person's light sin, from which he has to suffer in this present life, turns out to chain him to hell?"

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."

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! Who suffers less in the present life what he would have 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."

Source

nirvanasutra.net

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