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NS1.27.6.4

17 December 2014

CHAPTER 4

BELIEF AND UNDERSTANDING

AT THAT TIME, WHEN THE MEN OF LIFELONG WISDOM SUBHUTI, MAHAKATYAYANA, MAHAKASHYAPA, AND MAHAMAUDGALYAYANA HEARD FROM THE A LAW THAT THEY HAD NEVER KNOWN BEFORE, AND HEARD THE WORLD-HONORED ONE PROPHESY THAT SHARIPUTRA WOULD ATTAIN SUPREME PERFECT ENLIGHTENMENT, THEIR MINDS WERE MOVES AS SELDOM BEFORE AND DANCED FOR JOY. AT ONCE THEY ROSE FROM THEIR SEATS, ARRANGED THEIR ROBES, BARED THEIR RIGHT SHOULDERS, AND BOWED THEIR RIGHT KNEES TO THE GROUND. PRESSING THEIR PALMS TOGETHER WITH A SINGLE MIND, THEY BEND THEIR BODIES IN A GESURE OF RESPECT AND GAZING UP IN REVERENCE AT THE FACE OF THE HONORED ONE, SAID TO THE BUDDHA: “WE STAND AT THE HEAD OF THE MONKS AND ARE ALL OF US OLD AND DECEPIT. WE BELIEVED THAT WE HAD ALREADY ATTAINED NIRVANA AND THAT WE WERE INCAPABLE OF DOING MORE, AND SO WE NEVER SOUGHT TO ATTAIN SUPREME PERFECT ENLIGHTENMENT.

“IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE THE WORLD-HONORED ONE FIRST BEGAN TO EXPOUND THE LAW. DURING THAT TIME WE HAVE SAT IN OUR SEATS, OUR BODIES WEARY AND INERT, MEDITATING SOLELY ON THE DOCTRINES OF EMPTINESS, NON-FORM, AND NON-ACTION. BUT AS TO THE BODHISATTVA PRACTICE OF FREELY PLAYING WITH TRANSCENDENTAL POWERS TO PURIFY BUDDHA LANDS AND SAVE LIVING BEINGS– THIS OUR MINDS TOOK NO JOY IN. WHY IS THIS? BECAUSE THE WORLD-HONORED ONE HAD MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO TRANSCEND THE THREEFOLD WORLD AND TO ATTAIN THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF NIRVANA.

“MOREOVER, WE ARE OLD AND DECREPIT. WHEN WE HEARD OF THIS SUPREME PERFECT ENLIGHTENMENT THAT THE BUDDHA USES TO TEACH AND CONVERT THE BODHISATTVAS, OUR MINDS WERE NOT FILLED WITH ANY THOUGHT OF JOY OR APPROVAL. BUT NOW IN THE PRESENCE OF THE BUDDHA WE HAVE HEARD THIS VOICE-HEARER RECEIVE A PROPHECY THAT HE WILL ATTAIN SUPREME PERFECT ENLIGHTENMENT AND OUR MINDS ARE GREATLY DELIGHTED. WE HAVE GAINED WHAT WE NEVER HAD BEFORE. SUDDENLY WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HEAR THE LAW THAT IS RARELY ENCOUNTERED, SOMETHING WE NEVER EXPECTED UP TO NOW, AND WE LOOK UPON OURSELVES AS PROFOUNDLY FORTUNATE. WE HAVE GAINED GREAT GOODNESS AND BENEFIT, AN IMMEASURABLY RARE JEWEL, SOMETHING UNSOUGHT THAT CAME OF ITSELF.

“WORLD-HONORED ONE, WE WOULD BE PLEASED NOW TO EMPLOY A PARABLE TO MAKE CLEAR OUR MEANING. SUPPOSE THERE WAS A MAN, STILL YOUNG IN YEARS, WHO ABANDONED HIS FATHER, RAN AWAY, AND LIVED FOR A LONG TIME IN ANOTHER LAND, FOR PERHAPS TEN, TWENTY, OR EVEN FIFTY YEARS. AS HE GREW OLDER, HE FOUND HIMSELF INCREASINGLY POOR AND IN WANT. HE HURRIED ABOUT IN EVERY DIRECTION, SEEKING FOR CLOTHING AND FOOD, WANDERING FARTHER AND FARTHER AFIELD UNTIL BY CHANCE HE TURNED HIS STEPS IN THE DIRECTION OF HIS HOMELAND.

“THE FATHER MEANWHILE HAD BEEN SEARCHING FOR HIS SON WITHOUT SUCCESS AND HAD TAKEN UP RESIDENCE IN A CERTAIN CITY. THE FATHER’S HOUSEHOLD WAS VERY WEALTHY, WITH IMMEASURABLE RICHES AND TREASURES. GOLD, SILVER, LAPIS LAZULI, CORAL, AMBER, AND CRYSTAL BEADS ALL FILLED AND OVERFLOWED FROM HIS STOREHOUSES. HE HAD MANY GROOMS AND MENSERVANTS, CLERKS AND ATTENDANTS, AND ELEPHANTS, HORSES, CARRIAGES, OXEN AND GOATS BEYOND NUMBER. HE ENGAGED IN PROFITABLE VENTURES AT HOME AND IN ALL THE LANDS AROUND, AND ALSO HAD DEALINGS WITH MANY MERCHANTS AND TRAVELING VENDORS.

“AT THIS TIME THE IMPOVERISHED SON WANDERED FROM VILLAGE TO VILLAGE, PASSING THROUGH VARIOUS LANDS AND TOWNS, TILL AT LAST HE CAME TO THE CITY WHERE HIS FATHER WAS RESIDING. THE FATHER THOUGHT CONSTANTLY OF HIS SOJN, BUT THOUGH HE HAD BEEN PARTED FROM HIM FOR OVER FIFTY YEARS, HE HAD NEVER TOLD ANYONE ELSE ABOUT THE MATTER. HE MERELY PONDERED TO HIMSELF, HIS HEART FILLED WITH REGRET AND LONGING. HE THOUGHT TO HIMSELF THAT HE WAS OLD AND DECREPIT. HE HAD GREAT WEALTH AND POSSESSIONS, GOLD, SILVER, AND RARE TREASURES THAT FILLED AND OVERFLOWED FROM HIS STOREHOUSES, BUT HE HAD NO SON, SO THAT IF ONE DAY HE SHOULD DIE, THE WEALTH AND POSSESSIONS WOULD BE SCATTERED AND LOST, FOR THERE WAS NO ONE TO ENTRUST THEM TO.

“THIS WAS THE REASON HE CONSTANTLY THOUGHT SO EARNESTLY OF HIS SON. AND HE ALSO HAD THIS THOUGHT: IF I COULD FIND MY SON AND ENTRUST MY WEALTH AND POSSESSIONS TO HIM, THEN I COULD FEEL CONTENTED AND EASY IN MIND AND WOULD HAVE NO MORE WORRIES.

“WORLD-HONORED ONE, AT THAT TIME THE IMPOVERISHED SON DRIFTED FROM ONE KIND OF EMPLOYMENT TO ANOTHER UNTIL HE CAME BY CHANCE TO HIS FATHER’S HOUSE. HE STOOD BY THE SIDE OF THE GATE, GAZING FAR OFF AT HIS FATHER, WHO WAS SEATED ON A LION THRONE, HIS LEGTS SUPPORTED BY A JEWLED FOOTREST, WHILE BRAHMANS, NOBLEMEN, AND HOUSEHOLDERS, UNIFORMLY DEFERENTIAL, SURROUNDED HIM. FESTOONS OF PEARLS WORTH THOUSANDS OR TENS OF THOUSANDS ADORNED HIS BODY, AND CLERKS, GROOMS, AND MENSERVANTS HOLDING WHITE FLY WHISKS STOOD IN ATTENDANCE TO LEFT AND RIGHT. A JEWELED CANOPY COVERED HIM, WITH FLOWERED BANNERS HANGING FROM IT, PERFUMED WATER HAD BEEN SPRINKLED OVER THE GROUND, HEAPS OF RARE FLOWERS WERE SCATTERED ABOUT, AND PRECIOUS OBJECTS WERE RANGED HERE AND THERE, BROUGHT OUT, PUT AWAY, HANDED OVER, AND RECEIVED. SUCH WERE THE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF ADORNMENTS, EMBLEMS OF PREROGATIVE AND MARKS OF DISTINCTION.

“WHEN THE IMPOVERISHED SON SAW HOW GREAT WAS HIS FATHER’S POWER AND AUTHORITY, HE WAS FILLED WITH FEAR AND AWE AND REGRETTED HE HAD EVER COME TO SUCH A PLACE. SECRETLY HE THOUGHT TO HIMSELF: THIS MUST BE SOME KING, OR ONE WHO IS EQUAL TO A KING. THIS IS NOT THE SORT OF PLACE WHERE I CAN HIRE OUT MY LABOR AND GAIN A LIVING. IT WOULD BE BETTER TO GO TO SOME POOR VILLAGE WHERE, IF I WORK HARD, I WILL FIND A PLACE AND CAN EASILY EARNJ FOOD AND CLOTHING. IF I STAY HERE FOR LONG, I MAY BE SEIZED AND PRESSED INTO SERVICE! HAVING THOUGHT IN THIS WAY, HE RACED FROM THE SPOT.

“AT THAT TIME THE RICH OLD MAN, SEATED ON HIS LION THRONE, SPIED HIS SON AND RECOGNIZED HIM IMMEDIATELY. HIS HEART WAS FILLED WITH GREAT JOY AND AT ONCE HE THOUGHT: NOW I HAVE SOMEONE TO ENTRUST MY STOREHOUSES OF WEALTH AND POSSESSION TO! MY THOUGHTS HAVE CONSTANTLY BEEN WITH THIS SON OF MIND, BUT I HAD NO WAY OF SEEING HIM. NOW SUDDENLY HE HAS APPEARED OF HIMSELF, WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I WOULD HAVE WISHED. THOUGH I AM OLD AND DECREPIT, I STILL CARE WHAT BECOMES OF MY BELONGINGS.

“THEREUPON HE DISPATCHED A BYSTANDER TO GO AFTER THE SON AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE AND BRING HIM BACK. AT THAT TIME THE MESSENGER RACED SWIFTLY AFTER THE SON AND LAID HOLD OF HIM. THE IMPOVERISHED SON, ALARMED AND FEARFUL, CRIED OUT IN AN ANGRY VOICE, “I HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG! WHY AM I BEING SEIZED?’ BUT THE MESSENGER HELD ON TO HIM MORE TIGHTLY THAN EVER AND FORCIBLY DRAGGED HIM BACK.

“AT THAT TIME THE SON THOUGHT TO HIMSELF, I HAVE COMMITTED NO CRIME AND YET I AM TAKEN PRISONER. SURELY I AM GOING TO BE PUT TO DEATH! HE WAS MORE TERRIFIED THAN EVER AND SANK TO THE GROUND, FAINTING WITH DESPAIR.

“THE FATHER, OBSERVING THIS FROM A DISTANCE, SPOKE TO THE MESSENGER, SAYING, ‘I HAVE NO NEED OF THIS MAN. DON’T FORCE HIM TO COME HERE, BUT SPRINKLE COLD WATER ON HIS FACE SO HE WILL REGAIN HIS SENSES. THEN SAY NOTHING MORE TO HIM!!’

“WHY DID HE DO THAT? BECAUSE THE FATHER KNEW THAT HIS SON WAS OF HUMBLE OUTLOOK AND AMBITION, AND THAT HIS OWN RICH AND EMINENT POSITION WOULD BE DIFFICULT FOR THE SON TO ACCEPT. HE KNEW VERY WELL THAT THIS WAS HIS SON, BUT AS A FORM OF EXPEDIENT MEANS HE REFRAINED FROM SAYING TO ANYONE, “THIS IS MY SON.”

“THE MESSENGER SAID TO THE SON, “I AM RELEASING YOU NOW. YOU MAY GO ANYWHERE YOU WISH.” THE IMPOVERISHED SON WAS DELIGHTED, HAVING GAINED WHAT HE HAD NOT HAD BEFORE, AND PICKED HIMSELF UP FROM THE GROUND AND WENT OFF TO A POOR VILLAGE IN ORDER TO LOOK FOR FOOD AND CLOTHING.

“AT THAT TIME THE RICH MAN, HOPING TO ENTICE HIS SON BACK AGAIN, DECIDED TO EMPLOY AN EXPEDIENT MEANS AND SEND TWO MEN AS SECRET MESSENGERS, MEN WHO WERE LEAN AND HAGGARD AND HAD NO IMPOSING APPEARANCE.” ‘GO SEEK OUT THAT POOR MAN AND APPROACH HIM CASUALLY. TELL HIM YOU KNOW A PLACE WHERE HE CAN EARN TWICE THE REGULAR WAGE. IF HE AGREES TO THE ARRANGEMENT, THEN BRING HIM HERE AND PUT HIM TO WORK. IF HE ASKS WHAT SORT OF WORK HE WILL BE PUT TO, SAY THAT HE WILL BE EMPLOYED TO CLEAR AWAY EXCREMENT, AND THAT THE TWO OF YOU WILL BE WORKING WITH HIM.”

“THE TWO MESSENGERS THEN SET OUT AT ONCE TO FIND THE PPOR MAN, AND WHEN THEY HAD DONE SO, SPOKE TO HIM AS THEY HAD BEEN INSTRUCTED. AT THAT TIME THE IMPOVERISHED SON ASKED FOR AN ADVANCE ON HIS WAGES AND THEN WENT WITH THE MEN TO HELP CLEAR AWAY EXCREMENT.

“WHEN THE FATHER SAW HIS SON, HE PITIED AND WONDERED AT HIM. ANOTHER DAY, WHEN HE WAS GAZING OUT THE WINDOW, HE SAW HIS SON IN THE DISTANCE, HIS BODY THIN AND HAGGARD, FILTHY WITH EXCREMENT, DIRT, SWEAT, AND DEFILEMENT. THE FATHER IMMEDIATELY TOOK OFF HIS NECKLACES, HIS SOFT FINE GARMENTS, AND HIS OTHER ADORNMENTS AND PUT ON CLOTHES THAT WERE RAGGED AND SOILED. HE SMEARED DIRT ON HIS BODY, TOOK IN HIS RIGHT HAND A UTENSIL FOR REMOVING EXCREMENT, AND ASSUMING A GRUFF MANNER, SPOKE TO THE LABORERS, SAYING, “KEEP AT YOUR WORK! YOU MUSTN’T BE LAZY!” BY EMPLOYING THIS EXPEDIENT MEANS, HE WAS ABLE TO APPROACH HIS SON.

“LATER HE SPOKE TO HIS SON AGAIN, SAYING, “NOW THEN, YOUNG MAN! YOU MUST KEEP ON AT THIS WORK AND NOT LEAVE ME ANYMORE. I WILL INCREASE YOUR WAGES, AND WHATEVER YOU NEED IN THE WAY OF UTENSILS, RICE, FLOUR, SALT, VINEGAR, AND THE LIKE YOU SHOULD BE IN NO WORRY ABOUT. I HAVE AN OLD SERVANT I CAN LEND YOU WHEN YOU NEED HIM. YOU MAY SET YOUR MIND AT EASE. I WILL BE LIKE A FATHER TO YOU, SO HAVE NO MORE WORRIES. WHY DO I SAY THIS? BECAUSE I AM WELL ALONG IN YEARS, BUT YOU ARE STILL YOUNG AND STURDY. WHEN YOU ARE AT WORK, YOU ARE NEVER DECEITFUL OR LAZY OR SPEAK ANGRY OR RESENTFUL WORDS. YOU DON’T SEEM TO HAVE ANY FAULTS OF THAT KIND THE WAY MY OTHER WORKERS DO. FROM NOW ON, YOU WILL BE LIKE MY OWN SON.” AND THE RICH MAN PROCEEDED TO SELECT A NAME AND ASSIGN IT TO THE MAN AS THOUGH HE WERE HIS CHILD.

“AT THIS TIME THE IMPOVERISHED SON, THOUGH HE WAS DELIGHTED AT SUCH TREATMENT, STILL THOUGHT OF HIMSELF AS A PERSON OF HUMBLE STATION WHO WAS IN THE EMPLOY OF ANOTHER. THEREFORE THE RICH MAN KEPT HIM CLEARING AWAY EXCREMENT FOR THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS. BY THE END OF THIS TIME, THE SON FELT THAT HE WAS UNDERSTOOD AND TRUSTED, AND HE COULD COME AND GO AT EASE, BUT HE CONTINUED TO LIVE IN THE SAME PLACE AS BEFORE.

“WORLD-HONORED ONE, AT THAT TIME THE RICH MAN FEEL ILL AND KNEW THAT HE WOULD DIE BEFORE LONG. HE SPOKE TO HIS IMPOVERISHED SON, SAYING, ‘I NOW HAVE GREAT QUANTITIES OF GOLD, SILVER, AND RARE TREASURES THAT FILL AND OVERFLOW FROM MY STOREHOUSES. YOU ARE TO TAKE COMPLETE CHARGE OF THE AMOUNTS I HAVE AND OF WHAT IS TO BE HANDED OUT AND GATHERED IN. THIS IS WHAT I HAVE IN MIND, AND I WANT TO CARRY OUT MY WISHES. WHY IS THIS? BECAUSE FROM NOW ON, YOU AND I WILL NOT BEHAVE AS TWO DIFFERENT PERSONS. SO YOU MUST KEEP YOUR WITS ABOUT YOU AND SEE THAT THERE ARE NO MISTAKES OR LOSSES.”

“AT THAT TIME THE IMPOVERISHED SON, HAVING RECEIVED THESE INSTRUCTIONS, TOOK OVER THE SURVEILLANCE OF ALL THE GOODS, THE GOLD, SILVER, AND RARE TREASURES, AND THE VARIOUS STOREHOUSES, BUT NEVER THOUGHT OF APPROPRIATING FOR HIMSELF SO MUCH AS THE COST OF A SINGLE MEAL. HE CONTINUE TO LIVE WHERE HE HAD BEFORE, UNABLE TO CEASE THINKING OF HIMSELF AS MEAN AND LOWLY.

“AFTER SOME TIME HAD PASSED, THE FATHER PERCEIVED THAT HIS SON WAS BIT BY BIT BECOMING MORE SELF-ASSURED AND MAGNANIMOUS IN OUTLOOK, THAT HE WAS DETERMINED TO ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS AND DESPISED HIS FORMER LOW OPINION OF HIMSELF. REALIZING THAT HIS OWN END WAS APPROACHING, HE ORDERED HIS SON TO ARRANGE A MEETING WITH HIS RELATIVES AND THE KING OF THE COUNTRY, THE HIGH MINISTERS, AND THE NOBLEMEN AND HOUSEHOLDERS. WHEN THEY WERE ALL GATHERED TOGETHER, HE PROCEEDED TO MAKE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT: “GENTLEMEN, YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT THIS IS MY SON, WHO WAS BORN TO ME. IN SUCH-AND-SUCH A CITY ABANDONED ME AND RAN AWAY, AND FOR OVER FIFTY YEARS HE WANDERED ABOUT SUFFERING HARDSHIP. HIS ORIGINAL NAME IS SUCH-AND-SUCH, AND MY NAME IS SUCH-AND-SUCH. IN THE PAST, WHEN I WAS STILL LIVING IN MY NATIVE CITY, I WORRED ABOUT HIM AND SO I SET OUT IN SEARCH OF HIM. SOMETIME AFTER, I SUDDENLY CHANCED TO MEET UP WITH HIM. THIS IS IN TRUTH MY SON, AND I IN TRUTH AM HIS FATHER. NOW EVERYTHING THAT BELONGS TO ME, ALL MY WEALTH AND POSSESSIONS, SHALL BELONG ENTIRELY TO THIS SON OF MINE. MATTERS OF OUTLAY AND INCOME THAT HAVE OCCURRED IN THE PAST THIS SONE OF MINE IS FAMILIAR WITH.”

“WORLD-HONORED ONE, WHEN THE IMPOVERISHED SON HEARD THESE WORDS OF HIS FATHER, HE WAS FILLED WITH GREAT JOY, HAVING GAINED WHAT HE NEVER HAD BEFORE, AND HE THOUGHT TO HIMSELF, I ORIGINALLY HAD NO MIND TO COVET OR SEEK SUCH THINGS. YET NOW THESE STORES OF TREASURES HAVE COME OF THEIR OWN ACCORD!

“WORLD-HONORED ONE, THIS OLD MAN WITH HIS GREAT RICHES IS NONE OTHER THAN THE THUS COME ONE, AND WE ARE ALL LIKE THE BUDDHA’S SONS. THE THUS COME ONE CONSTANTLY TELLS US THAT WE ARE HIS SONS. BUT BECAUSE OF THE THREE SUFFERINGS, WORLD-HONORED ONE, IN THE MIDST OF BIRTH AND DEATH WE UNDERGO BURNING ANXIETIES, DELUSIONS, AND IGNORANCE, DELIGHTING IN AND CLINGING TO LESSER DOCTRINES. BUT TODAY THE WORLD-HONORED ONE CAUSES US TO PONDER CAREFULLY, TO CAST ASIDE THE DOCTRINES THAT ARE THE FILTH OF FRIVOLOUS DEBATE.

“WE WERE DILIGENT AND EXERTED OURSELVES IN THIS MATTER UNTIL WE HAD ATTAINED NIRVANA, WHICH IS LIKE ONE DAY’S WAGES. AND ONCE WE HAD ATTAINED IT, OUR HEARTS WERE FILLED WITH GREAT JOY AND WE CONSIDERED THAT THIS WAS ENOUGH. AT ONCE WE SAIDF TO OURSELVES, “BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN DILIGENT AND EXERTED OURSELVES WITH REGARD TO THE LAW OF THE BUDDHA, WE HAVE GAINED THIS BREADTH AND WEALTH OF UNDERSTANDING.”
“BUT THE WORLD-HONORED ONE, KNOWING FROM PAST TIMES HOW OUR MINDS CLING TO UNWORTHY DESIRES AND DELIGHT IN LESSER DOCTRINES, PARDONED US AND LET US BE, NOT TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO US BY SAYING, ‘YOU WILL COME TO POSSESS THE INSIGHT OF THE THUS COME ONE, YOUR PORTION OF THE STORE OF TREASURES!’ INSTEAD THE WORLD-HONORED ONE EMPLOYED THE POWER OF EXPEDIENT MEANS, PREACHING TO US THE WISDOM OF THE THUS COME ONE IN SUCH A WAY THAT WE MUGHT HEED THE BUDDHA AND ATTAIN NIRVANA, WHICH IS ONE DAY’S WAGES. AND BECAUSE WE CONSIDERED THIS TO BE A GREAT GAIN, WE HAD NO WISH TO PURSUE THIS GREAT VEHICLE.

“IN ADDITION, THOUGH WE EXPOUNDED AND SET FORTH THE BUDDHA WISDOM FOR THE SAKE OF THE BODHISATTVAS, WE OURSELVES DID NOT ASPIRE TO ATTAIN IT. WHY DO I SAY THIS? BECAUSE THE BUDDHA, KNOWING THAT OUR MINDS DELIGHT IN LESSER DOCTRINES, EMPLOYED THE POWER OF EXPEDIENT MEANS TO PREACH IN A WAY THAT WAS APPROPRIATE FOR US. SO WE DID NOT KNOW THAT WE WERE IN TRUTH THE SONS OF THE BUDDHA. BUT NOW AT LAST WE KNOW IT.

“WITH REGARD TO THE BUDDHA WISDOM, THE WORLD-HONORED ONE IS NEVER BEGRUDGING. WHY DO I SAY THIS? FROM TIMES PAST WE HAVE IN TRUTH BEEN THE SONS OF THE BUDDHA, BUT WE DELIGHTED IN NOTHING BUT LESSER DOCTRINES. IF WE HAD HAD THE KIND OF MINDS THAT DELIGHTED IN GREAT ONE, THEN THE BUDDHA WOULD HAVE PREACHED THE LAW OF THE GREAT VEHICLE FOR US.

“NOW IN THIS SUTRA THE BUDDHA EXPOUNDS ONLY THE ONE VEHICLE. AND IN THE PAST, WHEN IN THE PRESENCE OF THE BODHISATTVAS HE DISPARAGED THE VOICE-HEARERS AS THOSE WE DELIGHT IN A LESSER DOCTRINE, THE BUDDHA WAS IN FACT EMPLOYING THE GREAT VEHICLE TO TEACH AND CONVERT US. THEREFORE WE SAY THAT, THOUGH ORIGINALLY WE HADE NO MIND TO COVERT US. THEREFORE WE SAY THAT, THOUGH ORIGINALLY WE HAD NO MINDTO COVET OR SEEK SUCH A THING, NOW THE GREAT TREASURE OF THE DHARMA KING HAS COME TO US OF ITS OWN ACCORD. IT IS SOMETHING THAT THE SONS OF THE BUDDHA HAVE A RIGHT TO ACQUIRE, AND NOW THEY HAVE ACQUIRED ALL OF IT.”

AT THAT TIME MAHALASHYAPA, WISHING TO STATE HIS MEANING ONCE MORE, SPOKE IN VERSE FORM, SAYING:

WE TODAY HAVE HEARD FROM THE BUDDHA’S VOICE TEACHING AND WE DANCE FOR JOY, HAVING GAINED WHAT WE NEVER HAD BEFORE. THE BUDDHA DECLARES THAT THE VOICE-HEARERS WILL BE ABLE TO ATTAIN BUDDHAHOOD. THIS CLUSER OF UNSURPASSED JEWELS HAS COME TO US UNSOUGHT. IT IS LIKE THE CASE OF A BOY WHO, WHEN STILL YOUNG, WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING, ABANDONED HIS FATHER AND RAN AWAY, GOING FAR OFF TO ANOTHER LAND, DRIFTING FROM ONE COUNTRY TO ANOTHER FOR OVER FIFTY YEARS. HE FATHER, DISTRESSED IN THOUGHT, SEARCHED FOR HIM IN EVERY DIRECTION TILL, WORN OUT WITH SEARCHING, HE HALTED IN A CERTAIN CITY. THERE HE BUILT A DWELLING WHERE HE COULD INDULGE THE FIVE DESIRES. HIS HOUSE WAS LARGE AND COSTLY, WITH QUANTITIES OF GOLD, SILVER, SEASHELL, AGATE, PEARLS, LAPIS LAZULI, ELEPHANTS, HORSES, OXEN, GOATS, PALANQUINS, AND CARRIAGES, FIELDS FOR FARMING, MENSERVANTS, GROOMS, AND OTHER PEOPLE IN GREAT NUMBER. HE ENGAGED IN PROFITABLE VENTURES AT HOME AND IN ALL THE LANDS AROUND, AND HAD MERCHANTS AND TRAVELING VENDORS STATIONED EVERYWHERE. THOUSANDS, TEN THOUSANDS, MILLIONS SURROUNDED HIM AND PAID REVERENCE; HE ENJOYED HE CONSTANT FAVOR AND CONSIDERATION OF THE RULER. THE OFFICIALS AND POWERFUL CLANS ALL JOINED IN PAYING HIM HONOR, AND THOSE WHO FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER FLOCKED ABOUT HIM WERE MANY. SUCH WAS HIS VAST WEALTH, THE GREAT POWER AND INFLUENCE HE POSSESSED. BUT AS HE GREW OLD AND DECREPIT HE RECALLED HIS SON WITH GREATER DISTRESS THAN EVER, DAY AND NIGHT THINKING OF NOTHING ELSE: “NOW THE TIME OF MY DEATH DRAWS NEVER. OVER FIFTY YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THAT FOOLISH BOY ABANDONED ME. MY STOREHOUSES FULL OF GOODS– WHAT WILL BECOME OF THEM?” AT THIS TIME THE IMPOVERISHED SON WAS SEARCH FOR FOOD AND CLOTHING, GOING FROM VILLAGE TO VILLAGE, FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY, SOMETIMES FINDING SOMETHING, OTHER TIMES FINDING NOTHING, STARVING AND EMACIATED, HIS BODY BROKEN OUT IN SORES AND RINGWORM. AS HE MOVED FROM PLACE TO PLACE HE ARRIVED IN TIME AT THE CITY WHERE HIS FATHER LIVE, SHIFTING FROM ONE JOB TO ANOTHER UNTIL HE CAME TO HIS FATHER’S HOUSE. AT THAT TIME THE RICH MAN HAD SPREAD A LARGE JEWELED CANOPY INSIDE HIS GATE AND WAS SEATED ON A LION THRONE, SURROUNDED BY HIS DEPENDENTS AND VARIOUS ATTENDANTS AND GUARDS. SOME WERE COUNTING OUT GOLD, SILVER, AND PRECIOUS OBJECTS, OR RECORDING IN LEDGERS THE OUTLAY AND INCOME OF WEALTH. THE IMPOVERISHED SON, OBSERVING HOW EMINENT AND DISTINGUISHED HIS FATHER WAS, SUPPOSED HE MUST BE THE KING OF A COUNTRY OR THE EQUAL OF A KING. ALARMED AND FULL OF WONDER, HE ASKED HIMSELF WHY HE HAD COME HERE. SECRETLY HE THOUGHT TO HIMSELF, IF I LINGER HERE FOR LONG I ILL PERHAPS BE SEIZED AND PRESSED INTO SERVICE! ONCE THIS THOUGHT HAD OCCURRED TO HIM, HE RAVED FROM THE SPOT, AND INQUIRING WHERE THERE WAS A POOR VILLAGE, WENT THERE IN HOPES OF GAINING EMPLOYMENT. THE RICH MAN AT THE TIME, SEATED ON HIS LION THRONE, SAW HIS SON IN THE DISTANCE AND SILENTLY RECOGNIZED WHO HE WAS. IMMEDIATELY HE INSTRUCTED A MESSENGER TO HURRY AFTER HIM ANED BRING HIM BACK. THE IMPOVERISHED SON, CRYING OUT IN TERROR, SANK TO THE GROUND IN DISTRESS. “THIS MAN HAS SEIZED ME AND IS SURELY GOING TO PUT ME TO DEATH! TO THINK THAT MY SEARCH FOR FOOD AND CLOTHING SHOULD BRING ME TO THIS!” THE RICH MAN KNEW THAT HIS SON WAS IGNORANT AND SELF-ABASING. “HE WILL NEVER BELIEVE MY WORDS, WILL NEVER BELIEVE I AM HIS FATHER.” SO HE EMPLOYED AN EXPEDIENT MEANS, SENDING SOME OTHER MEN TO THE SON, A ONE-EYED MAN, ANOTHER PUNY AND UNCOUTH, COMPLETELY LACKING IN IMPOSING APPEARANCE, SAYING, “SPEAK TO HIM AND TELL HIM I WILL EMPLOY HIM TO REMOVE EXCREMENT AND FILTH, AND WILL PAY HIM TWICE THE REGULAR WAGE.” WHEN THE IMPOVERISHED SON HEARD THIS HE WAS DELIGHTED AND CAME WITH THE MESSENGERS AND WORKED TO CLEAR AWAY EXCREMENT AND FILTH AND CLEAN THE ROOMS OF THE HOUSE. FROM THE WINDOW THE RICH MAN WOULD CONSTANTLY OBSERVE HIS SON, THINKING HOW HIS SON WAS IGNORANT AND SELF-ABASING AND DELIGHTED IN SUCH MENIAL LABOR. AT SUCH TIMES THE RICH MAN WOULD PUT ON A DIRTYU RAGGED CLOTHING, TAKE IN HAND A UTENSIL FOR REMOVING EXCREMENT AND GO TO WHERE HIS SON WAS, USING THIS EXPEDIENT MEANS TO APPROACH HIM, ENCOURAGING HIM TO WORK DILIGENTLY. “I HAVE INCREASED YOUR WAGES AND GIVEN YOU MORE OUL TO RUB ON YOUR FEET. I WILL SEE THAT YOU HAVE PLENTY TO EAT AND DRINK, MATS AND BEDDING THAT ARE THICK AND WARM.” AT TIMES HE WOULD SPEAK SEVERELY: “YOU MUST WORK HARD! OR AGAIN HE WOULD SAY IN A GENTLE VOICE, ” YOU ARE LIKE A SON TO ME.” THE RICH MAN, BEING WISE, GRADUALLY PERMITTED HIS SON TO COME AND GO IN THE HOUSE. AND AFTER TWENTY YEARS HAD PASSED, HE PUT HIM IN CHARGE OF HOUSEHOLD AFFAIRS, SHOWING HIM HIS GOLD, SILVER, PEARLS, CRYSTAL, AND THE OTHER THINGS THAT WERE HANDED OUT OR GATHERED IN, SO THAT HE WOULD UNDERSTAND ALL ABOUT THEM, THOUGH THE SON CONTINUED TO LIVE OUTSIDE THE GATE, SLEEPING IN A HUT OF GRASS, FOR HE LOOKED UPON HIMSELF AS POOR, THINKING, “NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE MINE.” THE FATHER KNEW THAT HIS SON’S OUTLOOK WAS GRADUALLY BECOMING BROADER AND MORE MAGNANIMOUS, AND, WISHING TO HAND OVER HIS WEALTH AND GOODS, HE CALLED TOGETHER HIS RELATIVES, THE KING OF THE COUNTRY AND THE NIGH MINISTERS, THE NOBLEMEN AND HOUSEHOLDERS. IN THE PRESENCE OF THIS GREAT ASSEMBLY HE DECLARED, “THIS IS MY SON WHO ABANDONED ME AND WANDERED ABROAD FOR A PERIOD OF FIFTY YEARS. SINCE I FOUND HIM AGAIN, TWENTY YEARS HAVE GONE BY. LONG AGO, IN SUCH-AND-SUCH A CITY, WHEN I LOST MY SON, I TRAVELED ALL AROUND SEARCHING FOR HIM UNTIL EVENTUALLY I CAME HERE. ALL THAT I POSSESS, MY HOUSE AND PEOPLE, I HAND OVER ENTIRELY TO HIM SO HE MAY DO WITH THEM AS HE WISHES.” THE SON THOUGHT HOW IN THE PAST HE HAD BEEN POOR, HUMBLE AND SELF-ABASING IN OUTLOOK, BUT NOW HE HAD RECEIVED FROM HIS FATHER THIS HUGE BEQUEST OF RARE TREASURES, ALONG WITH THE FATHER’S HOUSE AND ALL HIS WEALTH AND GOODS. HE WAS FILLED WITH GREAT JOY, HAVING GAINED WHAT HE NEVER HAD BEFORE. THE BUDDHA TOO IS LIKE THIS. HE KNOWS OUR FONDNESS FOR THE PETTY, AND SO HE NEVER TOLD US, “YOU CAN ATTAIN BUDDHAHOOD.” INSTEAD HE EXPLAINED TO US HOW WE COULD BECOME FREE OF OUTFLOWS, CARRY OUT THE LESSER VEHICLE AND BE VOICE-HEARER DISCIPLES. THEN THE BUDDHA COMMANDED US TO PREACH THE SUPREME WAY AND EXPLAIN THAT THOSE WHO PRACTICE THIS WILL BE ABLE TO ATTAIN BUDDHAHOOD. WE RECEIVED THE BUDDHA’S TEACHING AND FOR THE SAKE OF THE GREAT BODHISATTVAS MADE USE OF CAUSES AND CONDITIONS, VARIOUS SIMILES AND PARABLES, A VARIETY OF WORDS AND PHRASES, TO PREACH THE UNSURPASSED WAY. WHEN THE SONS OF THE BUDDHA HEARD THE LAW THROUGH US, DAY AND NIGHT THEY PONDERED, DILIGENTLY AND WITH EFFORT PRACTICING IT. AT THAT TIME THE BUDDHAS BESTOWED PROPHECIES ON THEM, SAYING, “IN FUTURE EXISTENCES YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ATTAIN BUDDHAHOOD.” REGARDING THE LAW OF THE SECRET STOREHOUSE OF ALL THE VARIOUS BUDDHAS, ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF THE BODHISATTVAS DID WE SET FORTH THAT TRUE FACT; NOT FOR OUT SAKE DID WE EXPOUND THIS TRUE ESSENTIAL. THE CASE WAS LIKE THAT OF THE IMPOVERISHED SON WHO WAS ABLE TO APPROACH HI FATHER. THOUGH HE KNEW OF HIS FATHER’S POSSESSIONS, AT HEART HE HAD NO LONGING TO APPROPRIATE THEM. THUS, ALTHOUGH WE PREACHED THE TREASURE STOREHOUSE OF THE LAW OF THE BUDDHAS, WE DID NOT SEEK TO ATTAIN IT OURSELVES, AND IN THIS WAY OUR CASE WAS SIMILAR. WE SOUGHT TO WIPE OUT WHAT WAS WITHIN OURSELVES, BELIEVING THAT THAT WAS SUFFICIENT. WE UNDERSTOOD ONLY THIS ONE CONCERN AND KNEW NOTHING OF OTHER MATTERS. THOUGH WE MIGHT HEAR OF PURIFYING THE BUDDHA LANDS, OF TEACHING AND CONVERTING LIVING BEINGS, WE TOOK NO DELIGHT IN SUCH THINGS. WHY IS THIS? BECAUSE ALL PHENOMENA ARE UNIFORMLY EMPTY, TRANQUIL, WITHOUT BIRTH, WITHOUT EXTINCTION, WITHOUT BIGNESS, WITHOUT SMALLNESS, WITHOUT OUTFLOWS, WITHOUT ACTION. AND WHEN ONE PONDERS IN THIS WAY, ONE CAN FEEL NO DELIGHT OR JOY. THROUGH THE LONG NIGHT, WITH REGARD TO THE BUDDHA WISDOM WE WERE WITHOUT GREED, WITHOUT ATTACHMENT, WITHOUT ANY DESIRE TO POSSESS IT. WE BELIEVED THAT WITH REGARD TO THE LAW WE POSSESSED THE ULTIMATE. THROUGH THE LONG NIGHT WE PRACTICED THE LAW OF EMPTINESS, GAINING RELEASE FROM THE THREEFOLD WORLD AND ITS BURDEN OF SUFFERING AND CARE. WE DWELT IN OUR FINAL EXISTENCES, IN THE NIRVANA OF REMAINDER. AS THE TEACHING AND CONVERSION OF THE BUDDHA WAS NOT IN VAIN, WE GAINED A WAY, AND IN SO DOING WE THOUGHT WE HAD REPAID THE DEBT WE OWED TO THE BUDDHA’S KINDNESS. ALTHOUGH FOR THE SAKE OF THE BUDDHA’S SONS WE PREACHED THE LAW OF THE BODHISATTVA, URGING THEM TO SEEK THE BUDDHA WAY, YET WE OURSELVES NEVER ASPIRED TO THAT LAW. WE WERE THUS ABANDONED BY OUR GUIDE AND TEACHER BECAUSE HE HAD OBSERVED WHAT WAS IN OUR MINDS. FROM THE FIRST HE NEVER ENCOURAGED US OR SPOKE TO US OF TRUE BENFIT. HE WAS LIKE THE RICH MAN WHO KNEW THAT HIS SON’S AMBITIONS WERE LOWLY AND WHO USED THE POWER OF EXPEDIENT MEANS TO SOFTEN AND MOLD HIS SON’S MIND SO THAT LATER HE COULD ENTRUST TO HIM ALL HIS WEALTH AND TREASURE. THE BUDDHA IS LIKE THIS, RESORTING TO A RARE COURSE OF ACTION. KNOWING THAT SOME HAVE A FONDNESS FOR THE PETTY HE USES THE POWER OF EXPEDIENT MEANS TO MOLD AND TEMPER THEIR MINDS, AND ONLY THEN TEACHES THEM THE GREAT WISDOM. TODAY WE HAVE GAINED WHAT WE NEVER HAD BEFORE; WHAT WE PREVIOUSLY NEVER HOPED FOR HAS NOW COME TO US OF ITSELF. WE ARE LIKE THE IMPOVERISHED SON WHO GAINED IMMEASURABLE TREASURE. WORLD-HONORED ONE, NOW WE HAVE GAINED THE WAY, GAINED ITS FRUIT; THROUGH THE LAW OF NO OUTFLOWS WE HAVE GAINED THE UNDEFILED EYE. THROUGH THE LONG NIGHT WE OBSERVED THE PURE PRECEPTS OF THE BUDDHA AND TODAY FOR THE FIRST TIME WE HAVE GAINED THE FRUIT, THE RECOMPENSE. IN THE LAW OF THE DHARMA KING WE HAVE LONG CARRIED OUT BRAHMA PRACTICES; NOW WE OBTAIN THE STATE OF NO OUTFLOWS, THE GREAT UNSURPASSED FRUIT. NOW WE HAVE BECOME VOICE-HEARERS IN TRUTH, FOR WE WILL TAKE THE VOICE OF THE BUDDHA WAY AND CAUSE IT TO BE HEARD BY ALL. NOW WE HAVE BECOME TRUE ARHATS, FOR EVERYWHERE AMONG THE HEAVENLY AND HUMAN BEINGS, DEVILS AND BRAHMAS OF THE VARIOUS WORLDS WE DESERVE TO RECEIVE OFFERINGS. THE WORLD-HONORED ONE IN HIS GREAT MERCY MADE USE OF A RARE THING, IN PITY AND COMPASSION TEACHING AND CONVERTING, BRINGING BENEFIT TO US. IN NUMBERLESS MILLIONS KALPAS WHO COULD EVER REPAYING HIM? THOUGH WE OFFER HIM OUR HANDS AND FEET, BOW OUR HEADS IN RESPECTFUL OBEISANCE, AND PRESENT ALL MANNER OF OFFERINGS, NONE OF US COULD REPAY HIM. THOUGH WE LIFT HIM ON THE CROWN OF OUR HEADS, BEAR HIM ON OUR SHOULDERS, FOR KALPAS NUMEROUS AS GANGERS SANDS REVERENCE HIM WITH ALL OUR HEARTS; THOUGH WE COME WITH DELICATE FOODS, WITH COUNTLESS JEWELED ROBES, WITH ARTICLES OF BEDDING, VARIOUS KINDS OF POTIONS AND MEDICINES; WITH OX-HEAD SANDALWOOD AND ALL KINDS OF RARE GEMS, CONSTRUCT MEMORIAL TOWERS AND SPREAD THE GROUND WITH JEWELED ROBES; THOUGH WE WERE TO DO ALL THIS BY WAY OF OFFERING FOR KALPAS NUMEROUS AS GANGERS SANDS, STILL WE COULD NOT REPAY HIM. THE BUDDHAS POSSESS RARELY KNOWN, IMMEASURABLE, BOUNDLESS, UNIMAGINABLE GREAT TRANSCENDENTAL POWERS. FREE OF OUTFLOWS, FREE OF ACTION, THESE KINGS OF THE DOCTRINES FOR THE SAKE OF THE HUMBLE AND LOWLY EXERCISE PATIENCE IN THESE MATTERS; TO ORDINARY PEOPLE ATTACHED TO APPEARANCES THEY PREACH IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHAT IS APPROPRIATE. WITH REGARD TO THE LAW, THE BUDDHAS ARE ABLE TO EXERCISE COMPLETE FREEDOM. THEY UNDERSTAND THE VARIOUS DESIRES AND JOYS OF LIVING BEINGS, AS WELL AS THEIR AIMS AND ABILITIES, AND CAN ADJUST TO WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF, EMPLOYING INNUMERABLE SIMILES TO EXPOUND THE LAW FOR THEM. UTILIZING THE GOOD ROOTS LAID DOWN BY LIVING BEINGS IN PREVIOUS EXISTENCES, DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN THOSE WHOSE ROOTS ARE MATURE AND THOSE WHOSE ROOTS ARE NOT YET MATURE, THEY EXERCISE VARIOUS CALCULATIONS, DISCRIMINATIONS, AND PERCEPTIONS, AND THEN TAKE THE ONE VEHICLE WAY AND, IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHAT IS APPROPRIATE, PREACH IT AS THREE.

13
Day Three: GAMMA
Level 1: Meditating the Ajna (Third Eye) Chakra
Sit in a comfortable meditative posture. Keep your spine erect and body relaxed. With the body
completely still, practice a few moments of natural mind meditation. Once the mind is sufficiently
clear, direct your attention to your third eye or Ajna chakra. Make it as clear and pristine as possible,
glistening and sparkling with vibrant energy. When it is pure and translucent, pulsing at your brow,
allow it to dissolve and transform itself into a two-petalled indigo lotus.
Concentrate on this area inside of your third eye chakra. Concentration on this chakra awakens the
pineal gland, opening our inner vision to the receptivity of cosmic forces; this is the doorway to the
astral and psychic dimensions of consciousness.
The word “ajna” is derived from the Sanskrit root which means “to know, obey or follow.” Literally,
ajna means “command” or “the monitoring center.” It is also sometimes referred to as the chakra
of the mind or the eye of wisdom. The Ajna chakra is the point where the three main nadis (Ida,
Pingala and Sushumna) merge into one stream of consciousness and flow up to the crown center.
To awaken the Ajna chakra requires discipline and persistent concentration. Visualize a dot of light
and stay focused on the single point of light to cultivate your inner vision. The purpose of this action
is to pacify the lower emotions, open the inner vision, and sustain concentration. Cultivation of the
Ajna chakra lifts us to a level of continuing consciousness, creating the possibility for mind-to-mind
communication or telepathy.
This chakra is governed by the feminine principle or Shakti Goddess Hakini (Insight). It holds the
key to intuition, or sixth sense—direct attunement or attaining divine knowledge directly without
the aid of the senses—what is traditionally called “gnosis.”
When this center is finally awakened the body becomes flooded with bliss light radiance that
illuminates all you set your mind on. You are creating a light transmission antennae from the inside
out so that the higher intelligence may connect with you. Once sufficiently disciplined, your inner
vision can be directed to any one of your other chakras to retrieve information, impressions, stored
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memories and/or insights. It is through the Ajna chakra that we may see the hidden essence of the
world of appearance: past, future and present at once. When the mind is purified, then the other
chakras naturally awaken.
Ajna affirmation: May we be granted galactic vision to transform all matter into the purifying radiance of
the higher dream!
Level 2: Activating Radial Plasma: Gamma
Breathe deeply through your nostrils and allow your awareness to flow up your nose and into your
third eye chakra. Bring your awareness to the inner Gamma plasma at the center of the chakra.
Visualize the white symbol radiating out to all points of the universe with peaceful equanimity and
equalization of light and heat charges.
Repeat the following while focusing on your third eye: “My lineage is the union of intrinsic awareness
and the ultimate sphere, I attain the power of peace.” Allow yourself to feel the merging of light
(perfect radiant form) and heat (intrinsic awareness) within the third eye. Feel the inherent perfection
and innate self-liberation of peace that always exists in the present moment.
To discover the lineage of heat and light cover your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe
deeply three times in and out through your right nostril. First, flash onto the yellow Dali plasma
at your crown chakra and feel the heat of intrinsic awareness emanating from this center. Now,
cover your right nostril with your right thumb and breathe deeply three times in and out of your left
nostril. Flash onto the luminous red Seli plasma at your root chakra and feel the soothing flow of the
radiating sphere of light. Contemplate the mystery of light and heat.
Now merge the heat from the crown and light from the root together in your third eye, white
Gamma plasma. Feel the pulsing union of this intrinsic awareness (heat) and ultimate sphere
(light). Your entire body and glandular system is pacified and bathed in the warmth of this divine
mother/father light.
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
15
With sufficient concentration and practice, the thermic energy from both the crown chakra as well
as the exterior higher-dimensional light universe floods into the third eye and fills the physical and
astral nervous system with radiant insight, reinstating our clairvoyant birthright.
Gamma is the third stage that completes the three-part primary sensory quantum.
A sensory quantum is the first stage building block of sensory experience.
Level 3: Engaging the Third Mental Sphere (Waking Conscious)
Waking conscious mediumship activates third mental sphere.
Visualize the third mental sphere (waking conscious) located in the brain at the anterior portion of
the right cerebral hemisphere above the right eye. This mental sphere generally functions solely with
the third-dimensional self, but in a state of wakefulness it operates at the beta level governing the left
front cerebral hemisphere.
The third mental sphere is the medium of thought, decision and moment-to-moment awareness.
Becoming conscious means to question everything back to its source. True knowledge begins first
with curiosity, a desire to know. This desire to know creates the space for intelligent questions to arise.
With these questions comes the desire to know the answer. The feedback received varies according
to the quality of the question.
This mental sphere governs the power of free will; it is intended to be disciplined by the exercise of
will on behalf of a spiritually coordinated purpose. When this is achieved, then the eye of wisdom
opens and gnosis becomes possible.
This sphere also corresponds to the fourth time dimension: Cosmic cube. Cosmic cube refers to the
highest level of cosmic mastery entering us into higher mental design processes of co-creation. The
most direct way to activate this level of awareness is by practicing tuning the third eye to the Supreme
Being; shining, full of light, pure, perfect and free of obscurations. Keep the mind fixed for as long
as possible on this formless One; the Creator of all Knowledge and Intelligence. Allow your mind to
merge with all of creation.
The ability to have one-pointed consciousness is the key to waking conscious mediumship. When the
mind is concentrated at this point then comes the transcendence of individual unconsciousness into
collective planetary consciousness.
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Level 4: Opening the Third Heptad Gate (144)
Visualize the indigo two-petaled lotus Ajna chakra with the white Gamma
plasma superimposed over it at your brow. Hold this visualization and feel the two
intermingle as you chant the sacred letter HRAHA as long as your breath can
sustain it.
Locate Heptad Gate 144 and the Beta-Beta symbol on the 441 holomind perceiver. Its
matrix location is V11:H20, second circuit, 8th time dimension, vertical time cosmic command
ascending. Now locate it in your body at the front of your skull, at the brow (see graphic at the
end of this chapter).
Visualize the Beta-Beta hyperplasma above the white Gamma in your third eye chakra. Take
the Beta-Beta into the third mental sphere in the fourth time dimension (cosmic cube) where it
activates the conscious mind as waking mediumship. Here is the intergalactic channel (BMU 321)
through which the Beta-Beta hyperplasma is secreted into the front, left hemisphere of the brain.
From the third mental sphere, mentally direct the Beta-Beta hyperplasma to the third eye chakra
and impress it above the Gamma seal. Hold this with four alternate nostril breaths (four times in and
out through each nostril), followed by one breath through both nostrils.
Descend down the central column (spine), secreting this Beta-Beta hyperplasma into all 144,000
etheric fibers of the astral body. Practice the breath of fire, rapid shallow breathing through the
nose, transmuting any blockages or obscurations into streams of crystal clear waking conscious
mediumship spreading throughout your entire nervous system.
Spectral, electric blue Beta-Beta vibrates subtle activating force into all etheric fibers. Ascend back
up central channel and leave Gamma at the third eye chakra. Return your consciousness to the
third mental sphere, then close and seal the Heptad Gate at your third eye. Relax and breathe slowly
and deeply at least 13 times.
Harmonic UR rune 91: Galactic Art Whole Defines Space.
For additional practice: Locate Heptad Gate 144 on the Hunab Ku 21. Note that it corresponds to
the High Priestess, Spirit Essence, Urania, Lady of the Winds; G/K Uranus, Bode Number 196. Study
all of the connections (see graphic at the end of this chapter).
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
17
Day Four: KALI
Level 1: Meditating the Svadhisthana (Secret Center) Chakra
Sit in a comfortable meditative posture. Keep your spine erect and body relaxed. With the body
completely still, practice a few moments of natural mind meditation. Once the mind is sufficiently
clear, direct your attention to your secret center or Svadhisthana chakra. Make it as clear and pristine
as possible, glistening and sparkling with vibrant energy. When it is pure and translucent, pulsing at
your secret center, allow it to dissolve and transform itself into an orange six-petalled lotus.
Concentrate on this area inside of your secret center chakra. This is the seat of sexual awareness and
holds a supremely powerful energy. This is also the seat of body consciousness.
In yogic tradition, the Svadhisthana is known as the substratum or basis of individual human
consciousness. It is the container of all karmas, impressions, past lives and previous experience,
or the unconscious, as it pertains specifically to the formation of the earthly personality or
circumstantial persona.
This chakra is governed by the feminine principle or Shakti Goddess Rakini (Sexuality). This
is the place that stores the most psychic blockages and karma—the collective karma of the
unconscious. We want to awaken the secret center in order to open our inner vision to the
receptivity of cosmic electricity.
When this center is finally awakened the body becomes flooded with cosmic electricity that connects
all other chakras. This is the area to transmute and re-channel the powerful sexual, or kundalini
energy into a higher form of electricity. The energy stored in this chakra can be used to vitalize the
different levels of being.
Svadhisthana affirmation: May the supramental forces gather their electroplasmic structures of spiritual
evolution and release them into the noosphere!
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Level 2: Activating Radial Plasma: Kali
Breathe deeply through your nostrils and allow your awareness to flow up your nose and down into
your secret center chakra. Bring your awareness to the inner Kali plasma at the center of the chakra.
Visualize the blue symbol radiating streams of white light.
Feel the Kali plasma gathering in the secret center, accounting for the quality of intensified light
heat, which is also associated with the sexual, or kundalini energy.
Repeat the following while focusing on your secret center: “My name is the glorious lotus-born, I
catalyze the light-heat within.” Feel within yourself this light-heat, the self-generated electricity that
arises from a condition of immaculate purity.
Cover your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe deeply three times in and out through
your right nostril. Flash onto the Kali plasma and feel the intensified light-heat emanating out of
the secret center chakra. Now cover your right nostril with your right thumb and repeat the three
breaths. Focus on the Kali plasma and feel this intrinsic light-heat awareness pulsing from your secret
center chakra into your entire being. Feel the flowing streams of light and heat catalyzing your entire
system into ever more subtle spirals of radiance. This powerful energy emanates from your secret
center chakra, activating, circulating and invigorating all other chakras. You are the glorious lotus-
born, born from Father Heat and Mother Light.
Kali plasma is the link between the three light-heat sensory plasmas and the three telepathic
plasmas. It is the catalytic agent between the thermic/luminic sensory quantum and the
subatomic telepathic quantum.
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
19
Level 3: Engaging the Fourth Mental Sphere (Continuing Conscious)
Higher mind control activates fourth mental sphere.
Visualize the fourth mental sphere (continuing conscious) located in the brain above the left eye in
the left cerebral hemisphere. This mental sphere controls and governs the rear left hemisphere.
Continuing consciousness is the ability to maintain a conscious thoughtform in succession over a
long, unbroken period of time. In terms of Cosmic Science, continuing consciousness is the ability of
the 4-D “Other” to maintain direct communication with the 5-D “Higher Self” and to continue to
establish and extend realization of the whole to the 3-D “self”.
This sphere corresponds to the second time dimension: Cosmic ascension. Cosmic ascension refers
to the mastery of higher powers of telepathic perception and projection. This means we can perceive
ourselves anywhere in the universe and project to those places as necessary.
To cultivate continuing consciousness choose a thought, mental structure or series of numbers to focus
on. You might also practice maintaining projective geometries, like an icosahedron or dodecahedron.
Concentrate and fill your mind entirely with this inner perception or mental construct—keep it
filled with this thought. The moment that any other thought tries to enter the mind displace it
immediately with the thought-construct upon which you are concentrating.
Continue until you acquire the skill of being able to concentrate on anything for as long as you wish,
or until it appears before you in hallucinatory clarity. Persistent training in control of your thought-
world prepares you for supermental descent of consciousness. Analyze every thought that arises. If a
thought is not constructive or harmonious, let it go immediately. Do this as often as necessary until
it becomes second nature. When you attain this capacity you will experience higher mind control:
you are no longer the doer or the thinker, but the higher self has intervened.
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
Level 4: Opening the Fourth Heptad Gate (315)
Visualize the orange six-petaled lotus Svadhisthana chakra with the blue Kali
plasma superimposed over it at your sacral area. Hold this visualization and feel
the two intermingle as you chant the sacred letter HRIM as long as your breath
can sustain it.
Locate Heptad Gate 315 and the Beta-Alpha symbol on the 441 holomind perceiver. Its matrix
location is V11:H17, fifth circuit, 8th time dimension, vertical time cosmic command ascending. Now
locate it in your body at the top of your forehead, just above the third eye (see graphic at the end of
this chapter).
Visualize the Beta-Alpha hyperplasma above the blue Kali in your secret center chakra. Take
the Beta-Alpha into the fourth mental sphere in the second time dimension (cosmic ascension)
where it activates continuing conscious as higher mind control. Here is the intergalactic channel
(BMU 331) through which the Beta-Alpha hyperplasma is secreted into the rear left hemisphere of
the brain.
From the fourth mental sphere, mentally direct the Beta-Alpha hyperplasma to the secret center
chakra and impress it above the Kali seal. Hold this with four alternate nostril breaths (four times in
and out through each nostril), followed by one breath through both nostrils.
Ascend up the central column (spine), secreting this Beta-Alpha hyperplasma into all 144,000
etheric fibers of the astral body. Practice the breath of fire, rapid shallow breathing through the
nose, transmuting any blockages or obscurations into streams of crystal clear higher mind control
spreading through your entire nervous system.
Spectral, electric blue and red Beta-Alpha vibrates subtle activating force into all etheric fibers.
Descend back down central channel and leave Kali at the secret center chakra. Ascend back up
central channel and return your consciousness to the fourth mental sphere, then close and seal the
Heptad Gate at the top front of your skull. Relax and breathe slowly and deeply at least 13 times.
Harmonic UR rune 95: Galactic Art Whole Becomes Meditation of Reality.
For additional practice: Locate Heptad Gate 315 on the Hunab Ku 21. Note that it corresponds to
the Prophet, the Renewer of Culture, World Teacher; S/P Mars, Bode Number 16. Study all of the
connections (see graphic at the end of this chapter).

Chakras 8 and 9: Root of Root and Crown of Crown
Root of Root chakra extends to and encompasses the Earth’s octahedral
core; it is the matrix for grounding cosmic mediumship. The Earth core
chakra is what gives us the ability to communicate with elemental spirits.
Crown of Crown chakra extends to and encompasses the Earth’s
noosphere. The noospheric crown is the higher mind control that tunes
us into the higher telepathic collective consciousness, the field of the
planetary logos, and to supreme supermental superconscious states of
cosmic consciousness.
The central activity of these two chakras is to coordinate evolutionary
functions or processes within the celestial body (one planet) wherein they
hold their energy field. The higher celestial logoi act on every aspect and
facet of consciousness evolution through the mental spheres; this opens up
a diverse range of possibilities of consciousness, perception, sensation, etc.
This extends to the upper realms into the laws of destiny, laws of creation and the absolute. This is
the realm of cosmic design that defines the infrastructure of the universe we live in. It is the realm of
the 5-D higher self, the body of radiance of the planetary logos as the transductive accumulator of all
hierarchies, commands and ordinances. As the root of root is the reservoir of cosmic mediumship, so
the crown of crown is fulfillment and realization of all cosmic consciousness possibilities.

Chakras 8 and 9: Root of Root and Crown of Crown
Root of Root chakra extends to and encompasses the Earth’s octahedral
core; it is the matrix for grounding cosmic mediumship. The Earth core
chakra is what gives us the ability to communicate with elemental spirits.
Crown of Crown chakra extends to and encompasses the Earth’s
noosphere. The noospheric crown is the higher mind control that tunes
us into the higher telepathic collective consciousness, the field of the
planetary logos, and to supreme supermental superconscious states of
cosmic consciousness.
The central activity of these two chakras is to coordinate evolutionary
functions or processes within the celestial body (one planet) wherein they
hold their energy field. The higher celestial logoi act on every aspect and
facet of consciousness evolution through the mental spheres; this opens up
a diverse range of possibilities of consciousness, perception, sensation, etc.
This extends to the upper realms into the laws of destiny, laws of creation and the absolute. This is
the realm of cosmic design that defines the infrastructure of the universe we live in. It is the realm of
the 5-D higher self, the body of radiance of the planetary logos as the transductive accumulator of all
hierarchies, commands and ordinances. As the root of root is the reservoir of cosmic mediumship, so
the crown of crown is fulfillment and realization of all cosmic consciousness possibilities.

I HAVE received the rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves, sake, dried rice, peppers, paper, and other items from the messenger whom you took the trouble to send. He also conveyed your message that these offerings should be kept secret. I understand.
When, on the twelfth day of the fifth month, having been exiled, I arrived at that harbor I had never even heard of before, and when I was still suffering after leaving the boat, you kindly took me into your care. What karma has brought us together? Can it be that, because in the past you were a votary of the Lotus Sutra, now, in the Latter Day of the Law, you have been reborn as Funamori no Yasaburō and have taken pity on me? Though a man may do this, for your wife, as a married woman, to have given me food, brought me water to wash my hands and feet with, and treated me with great concern, I can only call as wondrous.
What caused you to inwardly believe in the Lotus Sutra and make offerings to me during my more than thirty-day stay there? I was hated and resented by the steward and the people of the district even more than I was in Kamakura. Those who saw me scowled, while those who merely heard my name were filled with spite. And yet, though I was there in the fifth month when rice was scarce, you secretly fed me. Have my parents been reborn in a place called Kawana, in Itō of Izu Province?
The fourth volume of the Lotus Sutra states, “[I will send . . .] men and women of pure faith, to offer alms to the teachers of the Law.”1 The meaning of this sutra passage is that the heavenly gods and benevolent deities will assume various forms such as those of men and women, and present offerings to help the persons who practice the Lotus Sutra. There can be no doubt that this refers to you and your wife being born as a man and a woman, and making offerings to Nichiren, the teacher of the Law.
Since I wrote to you in detail earlier,2 I will make this letter brief. But I would like to mention one thing in particular. When the steward of this district sent me a request to pray for his recovery from illness, I wondered if I should accept it. But since he showed some degree of faith in me, I decided I would appeal to the Lotus Sutra. This time I saw no reason why the ten demon daughters should not join forces to aid me. I therefore addressed the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions, and also the Sun Goddess, Hachiman, and other deities, both major and minor. I was sure that they p.36would consider my request and show some sign. Certainly they would never forsake me, but would respond as attentively as a person rubs a sore or scratches an itch. And as it turned out, the steward recovered. In gratitude he presented me with a statue of the Buddha that had appeared from the sea along with a catch of fish. He did so because his illness had finally ended, an illness that I am certain was inflicted by the ten demon daughters. This benefit too will surely become a benefit for you and your wife.
Living beings like ourselves have dwelt in the sea of the sufferings of birth and death since time without beginning. But they become votaries of the Lotus Sutra, and realize that their bodies and minds, which have existed since the beginningless past, are inherently endowed with the eternally unchanging nature; awaken to their mystic reality with their mystic wisdom; and attain the Buddha’s body, which is as indestructible as a diamond. How then could they be different from that Buddha? Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, who said numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago, “I am the only person [who can rescue and protect others],”3 refers to living beings like ourselves. This is the Lotus Sutra’s teaching of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, and the action of “I am always here, preaching the Law.”4 Even though such an admirable Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha exist, ordinary people are unaware of it. The passage in the “Life Span” chapter that reads, “I make it so that living beings in their befuddlement do not see me even when close by,” refers to this. The disparity between delusion and enlightenment is like that between the four views in the grove of sal trees.5 What is called the Buddha of three thousand realms in a single moment of life means that the entire realm of phenomena attains Buddhahood.
The demon who appeared before the boy Snow Mountains was Shakra in disguise. The dove that sought the protection of King Shibi was the god Vishvakarman. King Universal Brightness, who returned to the palace of King Spotted Feet [to be executed], was Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings. While the eyes of ordinary people are blind to this, the eyes of the Buddha see it. A sutra passage states that there are paths by which birds and fish come and go in both the sky and the sea. A wooden statue [of the Buddha] is itself a golden Buddha, and a golden Buddha is a wooden statue. Aniruddha’s gold turned into a hare and then a corpse.6 In the palm of Mahānāma’s hand, even sand turned into gold.7 These things are beyond ordinary understanding. An ordinary person is a Buddha, and a Buddha, an ordinary person. This is what is meant by three thousand realms in a single moment of life and by the phrase “I in fact attained Buddhahood.”8
In that case, perhaps the World-Honored One of Great Enlightenment, the lord of teachings, has been reborn and has helped me as you and your wife. Though the distance between Itō and Kawana is short, our hearts are kept far apart. I write this letter for the sake of the future. Do not discuss it with others, but ponder it yourself. If people should learn anything at all of it, it will go hard with you. Keep it deep in your heart and never speak of it. With my deepest regards. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Nichiren

The twenty-seventh day of the sixth month in the first year of Kōchō (1261)
Sent to Funamori Yasaburō.

I HAVE received the rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves, sake, dried rice, peppers, paper, and other items from the messenger whom you took the trouble to send. He also conveyed your message that these offerings should be kept secret. I understand.
When, on the twelfth day of the fifth month, having been exiled, I arrived at that harbor I had never even heard of before, and when I was still suffering after leaving the boat, you kindly took me into your care. What karma has brought us together? Can it be that, because in the past you were a votary of the Lotus Sutra, now, in the Latter Day of the Law, you have been reborn as Funamori no Yasaburō and have taken pity on me? Though a man may do this, for your wife, as a married woman, to have given me food, brought me water to wash my hands and feet with, and treated me with great concern, I can only call as wondrous.
What caused you to inwardly believe in the Lotus Sutra and make offerings to me during my more than thirty-day stay there? I was hated and resented by the steward and the people of the district even more than I was in Kamakura. Those who saw me scowled, while those who merely heard my name were filled with spite. And yet, though I was there in the fifth month when rice was scarce, you secretly fed me. Have my parents been reborn in a place called Kawana, in Itō of Izu Province?
The fourth volume of the Lotus Sutra states, “[I will send . . .] men and women of pure faith, to offer alms to the teachers of the Law.”1 The meaning of this sutra passage is that the heavenly gods and benevolent deities will assume various forms such as those of men and women, and present offerings to help the persons who practice the Lotus Sutra. There can be no doubt that this refers to you and your wife being born as a man and a woman, and making offerings to Nichiren, the teacher of the Law.
Since I wrote to you in detail earlier,2 I will make this letter brief. But I would like to mention one thing in particular. When the steward of this district sent me a request to pray for his recovery from illness, I wondered if I should accept it. But since he showed some degree of faith in me, I decided I would appeal to the Lotus Sutra. This time I saw no reason why the ten demon daughters should not join forces to aid me. I therefore addressed the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions, and also the Sun Goddess, Hachiman, and other deities, both major and minor. I was sure that they p.36would consider my request and show some sign. Certainly they would never forsake me, but would respond as attentively as a person rubs a sore or scratches an itch. And as it turned out, the steward recovered. In gratitude he presented me with a statue of the Buddha that had appeared from the sea along with a catch of fish. He did so because his illness had finally ended, an illness that I am certain was inflicted by the ten demon daughters. This benefit too will surely become a benefit for you and your wife.
Living beings like ourselves have dwelt in the sea of the sufferings of birth and death since time without beginning. But they become votaries of the Lotus Sutra, and realize that their bodies and minds, which have existed since the beginningless past, are inherently endowed with the eternally unchanging nature; awaken to their mystic reality with their mystic wisdom; and attain the Buddha’s body, which is as indestructible as a diamond. How then could they be different from that Buddha? Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, who said numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago, “I am the only person [who can rescue and protect others],”3 refers to living beings like ourselves. This is the Lotus Sutra’s teaching of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, and the action of “I am always here, preaching the Law.”4 Even though such an admirable Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha exist, ordinary people are unaware of it. The passage in the “Life Span” chapter that reads, “I make it so that living beings in their befuddlement do not see me even when close by,” refers to this. The disparity between delusion and enlightenment is like that between the four views in the grove of sal trees.5 What is called the Buddha of three thousand realms in a single moment of life means that the entire realm of phenomena attains Buddhahood.
The demon who appeared before the boy Snow Mountains was Shakra in disguise. The dove that sought the protection of King Shibi was the god Vishvakarman. King Universal Brightness, who returned to the palace of King Spotted Feet [to be executed], was Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings. While the eyes of ordinary people are blind to this, the eyes of the Buddha see it. A sutra passage states that there are paths by which birds and fish come and go in both the sky and the sea. A wooden statue [of the Buddha] is itself a golden Buddha, and a golden Buddha is a wooden statue. Aniruddha’s gold turned into a hare and then a corpse.6 In the palm of Mahānāma’s hand, even sand turned into gold.7 These things are beyond ordinary understanding. An ordinary person is a Buddha, and a Buddha, an ordinary person. This is what is meant by three thousand realms in a single moment of life and by the phrase “I in fact attained Buddhahood.”8
In that case, perhaps the World-Honored One of Great Enlightenment, the lord of teachings, has been reborn and has helped me as you and your wife. Though the distance between Itō and Kawana is short, our hearts are kept far apart. I write this letter for the sake of the future. Do not discuss it with others, but ponder it yourself. If people should learn anything at all of it, it will go hard with you. Keep it deep in your heart and never speak of it. With my deepest regards. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Nichiren

The twenty-seventh day of the sixth month in the first year of Kōchō (1261)
Sent to Funamori Yasaburō.

I HAVE received the rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves, sake, dried rice, peppers, paper, and other items from the messenger whom you took the trouble to send. He also conveyed your message that these offerings should be kept secret. I understand.
When, on the twelfth day of the fifth month, having been exiled, I arrived at that harbor I had never even heard of before, and when I was still suffering after leaving the boat, you kindly took me into your care. What karma has brought us together? Can it be that, because in the past you were a votary of the Lotus Sutra, now, in the Latter Day of the Law, you have been reborn as Funamori no Yasaburō and have taken pity on me? Though a man may do this, for your wife, as a married woman, to have given me food, brought me water to wash my hands and feet with, and treated me with great concern, I can only call as wondrous.
What caused you to inwardly believe in the Lotus Sutra and make offerings to me during my more than thirty-day stay there? I was hated and resented by the steward and the people of the district even more than I was in Kamakura. Those who saw me scowled, while those who merely heard my name were filled with spite. And yet, though I was there in the fifth month when rice was scarce, you secretly fed me. Have my parents been reborn in a place called Kawana, in Itō of Izu Province?
The fourth volume of the Lotus Sutra states, “[I will send . . .] men and women of pure faith, to offer alms to the teachers of the Law.”1 The meaning of this sutra passage is that the heavenly gods and benevolent deities will assume various forms such as those of men and women, and present offerings to help the persons who practice the Lotus Sutra. There can be no doubt that this refers to you and your wife being born as a man and a woman, and making offerings to Nichiren, the teacher of the Law.
Since I wrote to you in detail earlier,2 I will make this letter brief. But I would like to mention one thing in particular. When the steward of this district sent me a request to pray for his recovery from illness, I wondered if I should accept it. But since he showed some degree of faith in me, I decided I would appeal to the Lotus Sutra. This time I saw no reason why the ten demon daughters should not join forces to aid me. I therefore addressed the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions, and also the Sun Goddess, Hachiman, and other deities, both major and minor. I was sure that they p.36would consider my request and show some sign. Certainly they would never forsake me, but would respond as attentively as a person rubs a sore or scratches an itch. And as it turned out, the steward recovered. In gratitude he presented me with a statue of the Buddha that had appeared from the sea along with a catch of fish. He did so because his illness had finally ended, an illness that I am certain was inflicted by the ten demon daughters. This benefit too will surely become a benefit for you and your wife.
Living beings like ourselves have dwelt in the sea of the sufferings of birth and death since time without beginning. But they become votaries of the Lotus Sutra, and realize that their bodies and minds, which have existed since the beginningless past, are inherently endowed with the eternally unchanging nature; awaken to their mystic reality with their mystic wisdom; and attain the Buddha’s body, which is as indestructible as a diamond. How then could they be different from that Buddha? Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, who said numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago, “I am the only person [who can rescue and protect others],”3 refers to living beings like ourselves. This is the Lotus Sutra’s teaching of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, and the action of “I am always here, preaching the Law.”4 Even though such an admirable Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha exist, ordinary people are unaware of it. The passage in the “Life Span” chapter that reads, “I make it so that living beings in their befuddlement do not see me even when close by,” refers to this. The disparity between delusion and enlightenment is like that between the four views in the grove of sal trees.5 What is called the Buddha of three thousand realms in a single moment of life means that the entire realm of phenomena attains Buddhahood.
The demon who appeared before the boy Snow Mountains was Shakra in disguise. The dove that sought the protection of King Shibi was the god Vishvakarman. King Universal Brightness, who returned to the palace of King Spotted Feet [to be executed], was Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings. While the eyes of ordinary people are blind to this, the eyes of the Buddha see it. A sutra passage states that there are paths by which birds and fish come and go in both the sky and the sea. A wooden statue [of the Buddha] is itself a golden Buddha, and a golden Buddha is a wooden statue. Aniruddha’s gold turned into a hare and then a corpse.6 In the palm of Mahānāma’s hand, even sand turned into gold.7 These things are beyond ordinary understanding. An ordinary person is a Buddha, and a Buddha, an ordinary person. This is what is meant by three thousand realms in a single moment of life and by the phrase “I in fact attained Buddhahood.”8
In that case, perhaps the World-Honored One of Great Enlightenment, the lord of teachings, has been reborn and has helped me as you and your wife. Though the distance between Itō and Kawana is short, our hearts are kept far apart. I write this letter for the sake of the future. Do not discuss it with others, but ponder it yourself. If people should learn anything at all of it, it will go hard with you. Keep it deep in your heart and never speak of it. With my deepest regards. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Nichiren

The twenty-seventh day of the sixth month in the first year of Kōchō (1261)
Sent to Funamori Yasaburō.

CHAPTER 4

Belief and Understanding

At that time, when the men of lifelong wisdom Subhuti, Mahakatyayana, Mahakashyapa, and Mahamaudgalyayana heard from the Buddha a Law that they had never known before, and heard the world-honored one prophesy that Shariputra would attain supreme perfect enlightenment, their minds were moved as seldom before and danced for joy. At once they rose from their seats, arranged their robes, bared their right shoulders, and bowed their right knees to the ground. Pressing their palms together with a single mind, they bent their bodies in a gesture of respect and, gazing up in reverence at the face of the honored one, said to the Buddha: “We stand at the head of the monks and are all of us old and decrepit. We believed that we had already attained nirvana and that we were incapable of doing more, and so we never sought to attain supreme perfect enlightenment.
“It has been a long time since the world-honored one first began to expound the Law. During that time we have sat in our seats, our bodies weary and inert, meditating solely on the doctrines of emptiness, non-form, and non-action. But as to the bodhisattva practice of freely playing with transcendental powers to purify buddha lands and save living beings—this our minds took no joy in. Why is this? Because the world-honored one had made it possible for us to transcend the threefold world and to attain the enlightenment of nirvana.
p.118“Moreover, we are old and decrepit. When we heard of this supreme perfect enlightenment that the Buddha uses to teach and convert the bodhisattvas, our minds were not filled with any thought of joy or approval. But now in the presence of the Buddha we have heard this voice-hearer receive a prophecy that he will attain supreme perfect enlightenment and our minds are greatly delighted. We have gained what we never had before. Suddenly we have been able to hear the Law that is rarely encountered, something we never expected up to now, and we look upon ourselves as profoundly fortunate. We have gained great goodness and benefit, an immeasurably rare jewel, something unsought that came of itself.
“World-Honored One, we would be pleased now to employ a parable to make clear our meaning. Suppose there was a man, still young in years, who abandoned his father, ran away, and lived for a long time in another land, for perhaps ten, twenty, or even fifty years. As he grew older, he found himself increasingly poor and in want. He hurried about in every direction, seeking for clothing and food, wandering farther and farther afield until by chance he turned his steps in the direction of his homeland.
“The father meanwhile had been searching for his son without success and had taken up residence in a certain city. The father’s household was very wealthy, with immeasurable riches and treasures. Gold, silver, lapis lazuli, coral, amber, and crystal beads all filled and overflowed from his storehouses. He had many grooms and menservants, clerks and attendants, and elephants, horses, carriages, oxen, and goats beyond number. He engaged in profitable ventures at home and in all the lands around, and also had dealings with many merchants and traveling vendors.
“At this time the impoverished son wandered from village to village, passing through various lands and towns, till at last he came to the city where his father was residing. The father thought constantly of his son, but though he had been parted from him for over fifty years, he had never told anyone else about the matter. He merely pondered to himself, his heart filled with regret and longing. He thought to himself that he was old and p.119decrepit. He had great wealth and possessions, gold, silver, and rare treasures that filled and overflowed from his storehouses, but he had no son, so that if one day he should die, the wealth and possessions would be scattered and lost, for there was no one to entrust them to.
“This was the reason he constantly thought so earnestly of his son. And he also had this thought: If I could find my son and entrust my wealth and possessions to him, then I could feel contented and easy in mind and would have no more worries.
“World-Honored One, at that time the impoverished son drifted from one kind of employment to another until he came by chance to his father’s house. He stood by the side of the gate, gazing far off at his father, who was seated on a lion throne, his legs supported by a jeweled footrest, while Brahmans, noblemen, and householders, uniformly deferential, surrounded him. Festoons of pearls worth thousands or tens of thousands adorned his body, and clerks, grooms, and menservants holding white fly whisks stood in attendance to left and right. A jeweled canopy covered him, with flowered banners hanging from it, perfumed water had been sprinkled over the ground, heaps of rare flowers were scattered about, and precious objects were ranged here and there, brought out, put away, handed over, and received. Such were the many different types of adornments, emblems of prerogative and marks of distinction.
“When the impoverished son saw how great was his father’s power and authority, he was filled with fear and awe and regretted he had ever come to such a place. Secretly he thought to himself: This must be some king, or one who is equal to a king. This is not the sort of place where I can hire out my labor and gain a living. It would be better to go to some poor village where, if I work hard, I will find a place and can easily earn food and clothing. If I stay here for long, I may be seized and pressed into service! Having thought in this way, he raced from the spot.
“At that time the rich old man, seated on his lion throne, spied his son and recognized him immediately. His heart was filled with great joy and at once he thought: Now I have someone to entrust my storehouses of wealth and possession to! My p.120thoughts have constantly been with this son of mine, but I had no way of seeing him. Now suddenly he has appeared of himself, which is exactly what I would have wished. Though I am old and decrepit, I still care what becomes of my belongings.
“Thereupon he dispatched a bystander to go after the son as quickly as possible and bring him back. At that time the messenger raced swiftly after the son and laid hold of him. The impoverished son, alarmed and fearful, cried out in an angry voice, ‘I have done nothing wrong! Why am I being seized?’ But the messenger held on to him more tightly than ever and forcibly dragged him back.
“At that time the son thought to himself, I have committed no crime and yet I am taken prisoner. Surely I am going to be put to death! He was more terrified than ever and sank to the ground, fainting with despair.
“The father, observing this from a distance, spoke to the messenger, saying, ‘I have no need of this man. Don’t force him to come here, but sprinkle cold water on his face so he will regain his senses. Then say nothing more to him!’
“Why did he do that? Because the father knew that his son was of humble outlook and ambition, and that his own rich and eminent position would be difficult for the son to accept. He knew very well that this was his son, but as a form of expedient means he refrained from saying to anyone, ‘This is my son.’
“The messenger said to the son, ‘I am releasing you now. You may go anywhere you wish.’ The impoverished son was delighted, having gained what he had not had before, and picked himself up from the ground and went off to a poor village in order to look for food and clothing.
“At that time the rich man, hoping to entice his son back again, decided to employ an expedient means and send two men as secret messengers, men who were lean and haggard and had no imposing appearance. ‘Go seek out that poor man and approach him casually. Tell him you know a place where he can earn twice the regular wage. If he agrees to the arrangement, then bring him here and put him to work. If he asks what sort p.121of work he will be put to, say that he will be employed to clear away excrement, and that the two of you will be working with him.’
“The two messengers then set out at once to find the poor man, and when they had done so, spoke to him as they had been instructed. At that time the impoverished son asked for an advance on his wages and then went with the men to help clear away excrement.
“When the father saw his son, he pitied and wondered at him. Another day, when he was gazing out the window, he saw his son in the distance, his body thin and haggard, filthy with excrement, dirt, sweat, and defilement. The father immediately took off his necklaces, his soft fine garments, and his other adornments and put on clothes that were ragged and soiled. He smeared dirt on his body, took in his right hand a utensil for removing excrement, and assuming a gruff manner, spoke to the laborers, saying, ‘Keep at your work! You mustn’t be lazy!’ By employing this expedient means, he was able to approach his son.
“Later he spoke to his son again, saying, ‘Now then, young man! You must keep on at this work and not leave me anymore. I will increase your wages, and whatever you need in the way of utensils, rice, flour, salt, vinegar, and the like you should be in no worry about. I have an old servant I can lend you when you need him. You may set your mind at ease. I will be like a father to you, so have no more worries. Why do I say this? Because I am well along in years, but you are still young and sturdy. When you are at work, you are never deceitful or lazy or speak angry or resentful words. You don’t seem to have any faults of that kind the way my other workers do. From now on, you will be like my own son.’ And the rich man proceeded to select a name and assign it to the man as though he were his child.
“At this time the impoverished son, though he was delighted at such treatment, still thought of himself as a person of humble station who was in the employ of another. Therefore the rich man kept him clearing away excrement for the next twenty years. p.122By the end of this time, the son felt that he was understood and trusted, and he could come and go at ease, but he continued to live in the same place as before.
“World-Honored One, at that time the rich man fell ill and knew that he would die before long. He spoke to his impoverished son, saying, ‘I now have great quantities of gold, silver, and rare treasures that fill and overflow from my storehouses. You are to take complete charge of the amounts I have and of what is to be handed out and gathered in. This is what I have in mind, and I want you to carry out my wishes. Why is this? Because from now on, you and I will not behave as two different persons. So you must keep your wits about you and see that there are no mistakes or losses.’
“At that time the impoverished son, having received these instructions, took over the surveillance of all the goods, the gold, silver, and rare treasures, and the various storehouses, but never thought of appropriating for himself so much as the cost of a single meal. He continued to live where he had before, unable to cease thinking of himself as mean and lowly.
“After some time had passed, the father perceived that his son was bit by bit becoming more self-assured and magnanimous in outlook, that he was determined to accomplish great things and despised his former low opinion of himself. Realizing that his own end was approaching, he ordered his son to arrange a meeting with his relatives and the king of the country, the high ministers, and the noblemen and householders. When they were all gathered together, he proceeded to make this announcement: ‘Gentlemen, you should know that this is my son, who was born to me. In such-and-such a city he abandoned me and ran away, and for over fifty years he wandered about suffering hardship. His original name is such-and-such, and my name is such-and-such. In the past, when I was still living in my native city, I worried about him and so I set out in search of him. Sometime after, I suddenly chanced to meet up with him. This is in truth my son, and I in truth am his father. Now everything that belongs to me, all my wealth and possessions, shall belong entirely to this son of mine. Matters of outlay and income that p.123have occurred in the past this son of mine is familiar with.’
“World-Honored One, when the impoverished son heard these words of his father, he was filled with great joy, having gained what he never had before, and he thought to himself, I originally had no mind to covet or seek such things. Yet now these stores of treasures have come of their own accord!
“World-Honored One, this old man with his great riches is none other than the thus come one, and we are all like the Buddha’s sons. The thus come one constantly tells us that we are his sons. But because of the three sufferings, World-Honored One, in the midst of birth and death we undergo burning anxieties, delusions, and ignorance, delighting in and clinging to lesser doctrines. But today the world-honored one causes us to ponder carefully, to cast aside the doctrines that are the filth of frivolous debate.
“We were diligent and exerted ourselves in this matter until we had attained nirvana, which is like one day’s wages. And once we had attained it, our hearts were filled with great joy and we considered that this was enough. At once we said to ourselves, ‘Because we have been diligent and exerted ourselves with regard to the Law of the Buddha, we have gained this breadth and wealth of understanding.’
“But the world-honored one, knowing from past times how our minds cling to unworthy desires and delight in lesser doctrines, pardoned us and let us be, not trying to explain to us by saying, ‘You will come to possess the insight of the thus come one, your portion of the store of treasures!’ Instead the world-honored one employed the power of expedient means, preaching to us the wisdom of the thus come one in such a way that we might heed the Buddha and attain nirvana, which is one day’s wages. And because we considered this to be a great gain, we had no wish to pursue this great vehicle.
“In addition, though we expounded and set forth the buddha wisdom for the sake of the bodhisattvas, we ourselves did not aspire to attain it. Why do I say this? Because the Buddha, knowing that our minds delight in lesser doctrines, employed the power of expedient means to preach in a way that was p.124appropriate for us. So we did not know that we were in truth the sons of the Buddha. But now at last we know it.
“With regard to the buddha wisdom, the world-honored one is never begrudging. Why do I say this? From times past we have in truth been the sons of the Buddha, but we delighted in nothing but lesser doctrines. If we had had the kind of minds that delighted in great ones, then the Buddha would have preached the Law of the great vehicle for us.
“Now in this sutra the Buddha expounds only the one vehicle. And in the past, when in the presence of the bodhisattvas he disparaged the voice-hearers as those who delight in a lesser doctrine, the Buddha was in fact employing the great vehicle to teach and convert us. Therefore we say that, though originally we had no mind to covet or seek such a thing, now the great treasure of the Dharma king has come to us of its own accord. It is something that the sons of the Buddha have a right to acquire, and now they have acquired all of it.”
At that time Mahakashyapa, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

We today have heard
the Buddha’s voice teaching
and we dance for joy,
having gained what we never had before.
The Buddha declares that the voice-hearers
will be able to attain buddhahood.
This cluster of unsurpassed jewels
has come to us unsought.
It is like the case of a boy who,
when still young, without understanding,
abandoned his father and ran away,
going far off to another land,
drifting from one country to another
for over fifty years.
His father, distressed in thought,
searched for him in every direction
till, worn out with searching,
p.125he halted in a certain city.
There he built a dwelling
where he could indulge the five desires.
His house was large and costly,
with quantities of gold, silver,
seashell, agate,
pearls, lapis lazuli,
elephants, horses, oxen, goats,
palanquins, and carriages,
fields for farming, menservants, grooms,
and other people in great number.
He engaged in profitable ventures
at home and in all the lands around,
and had merchants and traveling vendors
stationed everywhere.
Thousands, ten thousands, millions
surrounded him and paid reverence;
he enjoyed the constant favor
and consideration of the ruler.
The officials and powerful clans
all joined in paying him honor,
and those who for one reason or another
flocked about him were many.
Such was his vast wealth,
the great power and influence he possessed.
But as he grew old and decrepit
he recalled his son with greater distress than ever,
day and night thinking of nothing else:
“Now the time of my death draws near.
Over fifty years have passed
since that foolish boy abandoned me.
My storehouses full of goods—
what will become of them?”
At this time the impoverished son
was searching for food and clothing,
going from village to village,
from country to country,
p.126sometimes finding something,
other times finding nothing,
starving and emaciated,
his body broken out in sores and ringworm.
As he moved from place to place
he arrived in time at the city where his father lived,
shifting from one job to another
until he came to his father’s house.
At that time the rich man
had spread a large jeweled canopy
inside his gate
and was seated on a lion throne,
surrounded by his dependents
and various attendants and guards.
Some were counting out
gold, silver, and precious objects,
or recording in ledgers
the outlay and income of wealth.
The impoverished son, observing
how eminent and distinguished his father was,
supposed he must be the king of a country
or the equal of a king.
Alarmed and full of wonder,
he asked himself why he had come here.
Secretly he thought to himself,
If I linger here for long
I will perhaps be seized
and pressed into service!
Once this thought had occurred to him,
he raced from the spot,
and inquiring where there was a poor village,
went there in hopes of gaining employment.
The rich man at the time,
seated on his lion throne,
saw his son in the distance
and silently recognized who he was.
Immediately he instructed a messenger
p.127to hurry after him and bring him back.
The impoverished son, crying out in terror,
sank to the ground in distress.
“This man has seized me
and is surely going to put me to death!
To think that my search for food and clothing
should bring me to this!”
The rich man knew that his son
was ignorant and self-abasing.
“He will never believe my words,
will never believe I am his father.”
So he employed an expedient means,
sending some other men to the son,
a one-eyed man, another puny and uncouth,
completely lacking in imposing appearance,
saying, “Speak to him
and tell him I will employ him
to remove excrement and filth,
and will pay him twice the regular wage.”
When the impoverished son heard this
he was delighted and came with the messengers
and worked to clear away excrement and filth
and clean the rooms of the house.
From the window the rich man
would constantly observe his son,
thinking how his son was ignorant and self-abasing
and delighted in such menial labor.
At such times the rich man
would put on dirty ragged clothing,
take in hand a utensil for removing excrement
and go to where his son was,
using this expedient means to approach him,
encouraging him to work diligently.
“I have increased your wages
and given you more oil to rub on your feet.
I will see that you have plenty to eat and drink,
mats and bedding that are thick and warm.”
p.128At times he would speak severely:
“You must work hard!”
Or again he would say in a gentle voice,
“You are like a son to me.”
The rich man, being wise,
gradually permitted his son to come and go in the house.
And after twenty years had passed,
he put him in charge of household affairs,
showing him his gold, silver,
pearls, crystal,
and the other things that were handed out or gathered in,
so that he would understand all about them,
though the son continued to live outside the gate,
sleeping in a hut of grass,
for he looked upon himself as poor,
thinking, “None of these things are mine.”
The father knew that his son’s outlook
was gradually becoming broader and more magnanimous,
and, wishing to hand over his wealth and goods,
he called together his relatives,
the king of the country and the high ministers,
the noblemen and householders.
In the presence of this great assembly
he declared, “This is my son
who abandoned me and wandered abroad
for a period of fifty years.
Since I found him again,
twenty years have gone by.
Long ago, in such-and-such a city,
when I lost my son,
I traveled all around searching for him
until eventually I came here.
All that I possess,
my house and people,
I hand over entirely to him
so he may do with them as he wishes.”
The son thought how in the past he had been poor,
p.129humble and self-abasing in outlook,
but now he had received from his father
this huge bequest of rare treasures,
along with the father’s house
and all his wealth and goods.
He was filled with great joy,
having gained what he never had before.
The Buddha too is like this.
He knows our fondness for the petty,
and so he never told us,
“You can attain buddhahood.”
Instead he explained to us
how we could become free of outflows,
carry out the lesser vehicle
and be voice-hearer disciples.
Then the Buddha commanded us
to preach the supreme way
and explain that those who practice this
will be able to attain buddhahood.
We received the Buddha’s teaching
and for the sake of the great bodhisattvas
made use of causes and conditions,
various similes and parables,
a variety of words and phrases,
to preach the unsurpassed way.
When the sons of the Buddha
heard the Law through us,
day and night they pondered,
diligently and with effort practicing it.
At that time the buddhas
bestowed prophecies on them, saying,
“In future existences
you will be able to attain buddhahood.”
Regarding the Law of the secret storehouse
of all the various buddhas,
only for the sake of the bodhisattvas
did we set forth that true fact;
p.130not for our sake
did we expound this true essential.
The case was like that of the impoverished son
who was able to approach his father.
Though he knew of his father’s possessions,
at heart he had no longing to appropriate them.
Thus, although we preached
the treasure storehouse of the Law of the buddhas,
we did not seek to attain it ourselves,
and in this way our case was similar.
We sought to wipe out what was within ourselves,
believing that that was sufficient.
We understood only this one concern
and knew nothing of other matters.
Though we might hear
of purifying the buddha lands,
of teaching and converting living beings,
we took no delight in such things.
Why is this?
Because all phenomena
are uniformly empty, tranquil,
without birth, without extinction,
without bigness, without smallness,
without outflows, without action.
And when one ponders in this way,
one can feel no delight or joy.
Through the long night,
with regard to the buddha wisdom
we were without greed, without attachment,
without any desire to possess it.
We believed that with regard to the Law
we possessed the ultimate.
Through the long night
we practiced the Law of emptiness,
gaining release from the threefold world
and its burden of suffering and care.
We dwelt in our final existences,
p.131in the nirvana of remainder.
As the teaching and conversion of the Buddha was not in vain,
we gained a way,
and in so doing we thought we had repaid
the debt we owed to the Buddha’s kindness.
Although for the sake
of the Buddha’s sons
we preached the Law of the bodhisattva,
urging them to seek the buddha way,
yet we ourselves
never aspired to that Law.
We were thus abandoned by our guide and teacher
because he had observed what was in our minds.
From the first he never encouraged us
or spoke to us of true benefit.
He was like the rich man
who knew that his son’s ambitions were lowly
and who used the power of expedient means
to soften and mold his son’s mind
so that later he could entrust to him
all his wealth and treasure.
The Buddha is like this,
resorting to a rare course of action.
Knowing that some have a fondness for the petty,
he uses the power of expedient means
to mold and temper their minds,
and only then teaches them the great wisdom.
Today we have gained
what we never had before;
what we previously never hoped for
has now come to us of itself.
We are like the impoverished son
who gained immeasurable treasure.
World-Honored One, now
we have gained the way, gained its fruit;
through the Law of no outflows
p.132we have gained the undefiled eye.
Through the long night
we observed the pure precepts of the Buddha
and today for the first time
we have gained the fruit, the recompense.
In the Law of the Dharma king
we have long carried out brahma practices;
now we obtain the state of no outflows,
the great unsurpassed fruit.
Now we have become
voice-hearers in truth,
for we will take the voice of the buddha way
and cause it to be heard by all.
Now we have become
true arhats,
for everywhere among
the heavenly and human beings, devils and Brahmas
of the various worlds
we deserve to receive offerings.
The world-honored one in his great mercy
made use of a rare thing,
in pity and compassion teaching and converting,
bringing benefit to us.
In numberless millions of kalpas
who could ever repay him?
Though we offer him our hands and feet,
bow our heads in respectful obeisance,
and present all manner of offerings,
none of us could repay him.
Though we lift him on the crown of our heads,
bear him on our shoulders,
for kalpas numerous as Ganges sands
reverence him with all our hearts;
though we come with delicate foods,
with countless jeweled robes,
with articles of bedding,
various kinds of potions and medicines;
p.133with ox-head sandalwood
and all kinds of rare gems,
construct memorial towers
and spread the ground with jeweled robes;
though we were to do all this
by way of offering
for kalpas numerous as Ganges sands,
still we could not repay him.
The buddhas possess rarely known,
immeasurable, boundless,
unimaginable great
transcendental powers.
Free of outflows, free of action,
these kings of the doctrines
for the sake of the humble and lowly
exercise patience in these matters;
to ordinary people attached to appearances
they preach in accordance with what is appropriate.
With regard to the Law, the buddhas
are able to exercise complete freedom.
They understand the various desires and joys
of living beings,
as well as their aims and abilities,
and can adjust to what they are capable of,
employing innumerable similes
to expound the Law for them.
Utilizing the good roots
laid down by living beings in previous existences,
distinguishing between those whose roots are mature
and those whose roots are not yet mature,
they exercise various calculations,
discriminations, and perceptions,
and then take the one vehicle way and,
in accordance with what is appropriate, preach it as three.

CHAPTER 4

Belief and Understanding

At that time, when the men of lifelong wisdom Subhuti, Mahakatyayana, Mahakashyapa, and Mahamaudgalyayana heard from the Buddha a Law that they had never known before, and heard the world-honored one prophesy that Shariputra would attain supreme perfect enlightenment, their minds were moved as seldom before and danced for joy. At once they rose from their seats, arranged their robes, bared their right shoulders, and bowed their right knees to the ground. Pressing their palms together with a single mind, they bent their bodies in a gesture of respect and, gazing up in reverence at the face of the honored one, said to the Buddha: “We stand at the head of the monks and are all of us old and decrepit. We believed that we had already attained nirvana and that we were incapable of doing more, and so we never sought to attain supreme perfect enlightenment.
“It has been a long time since the world-honored one first began to expound the Law. During that time we have sat in our seats, our bodies weary and inert, meditating solely on the doctrines of emptiness, non-form, and non-action. But as to the bodhisattva practice of freely playing with transcendental powers to purify buddha lands and save living beings—this our minds took no joy in. Why is this? Because the world-honored one had made it possible for us to transcend the threefold world and to attain the enlightenment of nirvana.
p.118“Moreover, we are old and decrepit. When we heard of this supreme perfect enlightenment that the Buddha uses to teach and convert the bodhisattvas, our minds were not filled with any thought of joy or approval. But now in the presence of the Buddha we have heard this voice-hearer receive a prophecy that he will attain supreme perfect enlightenment and our minds are greatly delighted. We have gained what we never had before. Suddenly we have been able to hear the Law that is rarely encountered, something we never expected up to now, and we look upon ourselves as profoundly fortunate. We have gained great goodness and benefit, an immeasurably rare jewel, something unsought that came of itself.
“World-Honored One, we would be pleased now to employ a parable to make clear our meaning. Suppose there was a man, still young in years, who abandoned his father, ran away, and lived for a long time in another land, for perhaps ten, twenty, or even fifty years. As he grew older, he found himself increasingly poor and in want. He hurried about in every direction, seeking for clothing and food, wandering farther and farther afield until by chance he turned his steps in the direction of his homeland.
“The father meanwhile had been searching for his son without success and had taken up residence in a certain city. The father’s household was very wealthy, with immeasurable riches and treasures. Gold, silver, lapis lazuli, coral, amber, and crystal beads all filled and overflowed from his storehouses. He had many grooms and menservants, clerks and attendants, and elephants, horses, carriages, oxen, and goats beyond number. He engaged in profitable ventures at home and in all the lands around, and also had dealings with many merchants and traveling vendors.
“At this time the impoverished son wandered from village to village, passing through various lands and towns, till at last he came to the city where his father was residing. The father thought constantly of his son, but though he had been parted from him for over fifty years, he had never told anyone else about the matter. He merely pondered to himself, his heart filled with regret and longing. He thought to himself that he was old and p.119decrepit. He had great wealth and possessions, gold, silver, and rare treasures that filled and overflowed from his storehouses, but he had no son, so that if one day he should die, the wealth and possessions would be scattered and lost, for there was no one to entrust them to.
“This was the reason he constantly thought so earnestly of his son. And he also had this thought: If I could find my son and entrust my wealth and possessions to him, then I could feel contented and easy in mind and would have no more worries.
“World-Honored One, at that time the impoverished son drifted from one kind of employment to another until he came by chance to his father’s house. He stood by the side of the gate, gazing far off at his father, who was seated on a lion throne, his legs supported by a jeweled footrest, while Brahmans, noblemen, and householders, uniformly deferential, surrounded him. Festoons of pearls worth thousands or tens of thousands adorned his body, and clerks, grooms, and menservants holding white fly whisks stood in attendance to left and right. A jeweled canopy covered him, with flowered banners hanging from it, perfumed water had been sprinkled over the ground, heaps of rare flowers were scattered about, and precious objects were ranged here and there, brought out, put away, handed over, and received. Such were the many different types of adornments, emblems of prerogative and marks of distinction.
“When the impoverished son saw how great was his father’s power and authority, he was filled with fear and awe and regretted he had ever come to such a place. Secretly he thought to himself: This must be some king, or one who is equal to a king. This is not the sort of place where I can hire out my labor and gain a living. It would be better to go to some poor village where, if I work hard, I will find a place and can easily earn food and clothing. If I stay here for long, I may be seized and pressed into service! Having thought in this way, he raced from the spot.
“At that time the rich old man, seated on his lion throne, spied his son and recognized him immediately. His heart was filled with great joy and at once he thought: Now I have someone to entrust my storehouses of wealth and possession to! My p.120thoughts have constantly been with this son of mine, but I had no way of seeing him. Now suddenly he has appeared of himself, which is exactly what I would have wished. Though I am old and decrepit, I still care what becomes of my belongings.
“Thereupon he dispatched a bystander to go after the son as quickly as possible and bring him back. At that time the messenger raced swiftly after the son and laid hold of him. The impoverished son, alarmed and fearful, cried out in an angry voice, ‘I have done nothing wrong! Why am I being seized?’ But the messenger held on to him more tightly than ever and forcibly dragged him back.
“At that time the son thought to himself, I have committed no crime and yet I am taken prisoner. Surely I am going to be put to death! He was more terrified than ever and sank to the ground, fainting with despair.
“The father, observing this from a distance, spoke to the messenger, saying, ‘I have no need of this man. Don’t force him to come here, but sprinkle cold water on his face so he will regain his senses. Then say nothing more to him!’
“Why did he do that? Because the father knew that his son was of humble outlook and ambition, and that his own rich and eminent position would be difficult for the son to accept. He knew very well that this was his son, but as a form of expedient means he refrained from saying to anyone, ‘This is my son.’
“The messenger said to the son, ‘I am releasing you now. You may go anywhere you wish.’ The impoverished son was delighted, having gained what he had not had before, and picked himself up from the ground and went off to a poor village in order to look for food and clothing.
“At that time the rich man, hoping to entice his son back again, decided to employ an expedient means and send two men as secret messengers, men who were lean and haggard and had no imposing appearance. ‘Go seek out that poor man and approach him casually. Tell him you know a place where he can earn twice the regular wage. If he agrees to the arrangement, then bring him here and put him to work. If he asks what sort p.121of work he will be put to, say that he will be employed to clear away excrement, and that the two of you will be working with him.’
“The two messengers then set out at once to find the poor man, and when they had done so, spoke to him as they had been instructed. At that time the impoverished son asked for an advance on his wages and then went with the men to help clear away excrement.
“When the father saw his son, he pitied and wondered at him. Another day, when he was gazing out the window, he saw his son in the distance, his body thin and haggard, filthy with excrement, dirt, sweat, and defilement. The father immediately took off his necklaces, his soft fine garments, and his other adornments and put on clothes that were ragged and soiled. He smeared dirt on his body, took in his right hand a utensil for removing excrement, and assuming a gruff manner, spoke to the laborers, saying, ‘Keep at your work! You mustn’t be lazy!’ By employing this expedient means, he was able to approach his son.
“Later he spoke to his son again, saying, ‘Now then, young man! You must keep on at this work and not leave me anymore. I will increase your wages, and whatever you need in the way of utensils, rice, flour, salt, vinegar, and the like you should be in no worry about. I have an old servant I can lend you when you need him. You may set your mind at ease. I will be like a father to you, so have no more worries. Why do I say this? Because I am well along in years, but you are still young and sturdy. When you are at work, you are never deceitful or lazy or speak angry or resentful words. You don’t seem to have any faults of that kind the way my other workers do. From now on, you will be like my own son.’ And the rich man proceeded to select a name and assign it to the man as though he were his child.
“At this time the impoverished son, though he was delighted at such treatment, still thought of himself as a person of humble station who was in the employ of another. Therefore the rich man kept him clearing away excrement for the next twenty years. p.122By the end of this time, the son felt that he was understood and trusted, and he could come and go at ease, but he continued to live in the same place as before.
“World-Honored One, at that time the rich man fell ill and knew that he would die before long. He spoke to his impoverished son, saying, ‘I now have great quantities of gold, silver, and rare treasures that fill and overflow from my storehouses. You are to take complete charge of the amounts I have and of what is to be handed out and gathered in. This is what I have in mind, and I want you to carry out my wishes. Why is this? Because from now on, you and I will not behave as two different persons. So you must keep your wits about you and see that there are no mistakes or losses.’
“At that time the impoverished son, having received these instructions, took over the surveillance of all the goods, the gold, silver, and rare treasures, and the various storehouses, but never thought of appropriating for himself so much as the cost of a single meal. He continued to live where he had before, unable to cease thinking of himself as mean and lowly.
“After some time had passed, the father perceived that his son was bit by bit becoming more self-assured and magnanimous in outlook, that he was determined to accomplish great things and despised his former low opinion of himself. Realizing that his own end was approaching, he ordered his son to arrange a meeting with his relatives and the king of the country, the high ministers, and the noblemen and householders. When they were all gathered together, he proceeded to make this announcement: ‘Gentlemen, you should know that this is my son, who was born to me. In such-and-such a city he abandoned me and ran away, and for over fifty years he wandered about suffering hardship. His original name is such-and-such, and my name is such-and-such. In the past, when I was still living in my native city, I worried about him and so I set out in search of him. Sometime after, I suddenly chanced to meet up with him. This is in truth my son, and I in truth am his father. Now everything that belongs to me, all my wealth and possessions, shall belong entirely to this son of mine. Matters of outlay and income that p.123have occurred in the past this son of mine is familiar with.’
“World-Honored One, when the impoverished son heard these words of his father, he was filled with great joy, having gained what he never had before, and he thought to himself, I originally had no mind to covet or seek such things. Yet now these stores of treasures have come of their own accord!
“World-Honored One, this old man with his great riches is none other than the thus come one, and we are all like the Buddha’s sons. The thus come one constantly tells us that we are his sons. But because of the three sufferings, World-Honored One, in the midst of birth and death we undergo burning anxieties, delusions, and ignorance, delighting in and clinging to lesser doctrines. But today the world-honored one causes us to ponder carefully, to cast aside the doctrines that are the filth of frivolous debate.
“We were diligent and exerted ourselves in this matter until we had attained nirvana, which is like one day’s wages. And once we had attained it, our hearts were filled with great joy and we considered that this was enough. At once we said to ourselves, ‘Because we have been diligent and exerted ourselves with regard to the Law of the Buddha, we have gained this breadth and wealth of understanding.’
“But the world-honored one, knowing from past times how our minds cling to unworthy desires and delight in lesser doctrines, pardoned us and let us be, not trying to explain to us by saying, ‘You will come to possess the insight of the thus come one, your portion of the store of treasures!’ Instead the world-honored one employed the power of expedient means, preaching to us the wisdom of the thus come one in such a way that we might heed the Buddha and attain nirvana, which is one day’s wages. And because we considered this to be a great gain, we had no wish to pursue this great vehicle.
“In addition, though we expounded and set forth the buddha wisdom for the sake of the bodhisattvas, we ourselves did not aspire to attain it. Why do I say this? Because the Buddha, knowing that our minds delight in lesser doctrines, employed the power of expedient means to preach in a way that was p.124appropriate for us. So we did not know that we were in truth the sons of the Buddha. But now at last we know it.
“With regard to the buddha wisdom, the world-honored one is never begrudging. Why do I say this? From times past we have in truth been the sons of the Buddha, but we delighted in nothing but lesser doctrines. If we had had the kind of minds that delighted in great ones, then the Buddha would have preached the Law of the great vehicle for us.
“Now in this sutra the Buddha expounds only the one vehicle. And in the past, when in the presence of the bodhisattvas he disparaged the voice-hearers as those who delight in a lesser doctrine, the Buddha was in fact employing the great vehicle to teach and convert us. Therefore we say that, though originally we had no mind to covet or seek such a thing, now the great treasure of the Dharma king has come to us of its own accord. It is something that the sons of the Buddha have a right to acquire, and now they have acquired all of it.”
At that time Mahakashyapa, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

We today have heard
the Buddha’s voice teaching
and we dance for joy,
having gained what we never had before.
The Buddha declares that the voice-hearers
will be able to attain buddhahood.
This cluster of unsurpassed jewels
has come to us unsought.
It is like the case of a boy who,
when still young, without understanding,
abandoned his father and ran away,
going far off to another land,
drifting from one country to another
for over fifty years.
His father, distressed in thought,
searched for him in every direction
till, worn out with searching,
p.125he halted in a certain city.
There he built a dwelling
where he could indulge the five desires.
His house was large and costly,
with quantities of gold, silver,
seashell, agate,
pearls, lapis lazuli,
elephants, horses, oxen, goats,
palanquins, and carriages,
fields for farming, menservants, grooms,
and other people in great number.
He engaged in profitable ventures
at home and in all the lands around,
and had merchants and traveling vendors
stationed everywhere.
Thousands, ten thousands, millions
surrounded him and paid reverence;
he enjoyed the constant favor
and consideration of the ruler.
The officials and powerful clans
all joined in paying him honor,
and those who for one reason or another
flocked about him were many.
Such was his vast wealth,
the great power and influence he possessed.
But as he grew old and decrepit
he recalled his son with greater distress than ever,
day and night thinking of nothing else:
“Now the time of my death draws near.
Over fifty years have passed
since that foolish boy abandoned me.
My storehouses full of goods—
what will become of them?”
At this time the impoverished son
was searching for food and clothing,
going from village to village,
from country to country,
p.126sometimes finding something,
other times finding nothing,
starving and emaciated,
his body broken out in sores and ringworm.
As he moved from place to place
he arrived in time at the city where his father lived,
shifting from one job to another
until he came to his father’s house.
At that time the rich man
had spread a large jeweled canopy
inside his gate
and was seated on a lion throne,
surrounded by his dependents
and various attendants and guards.
Some were counting out
gold, silver, and precious objects,
or recording in ledgers
the outlay and income of wealth.
The impoverished son, observing
how eminent and distinguished his father was,
supposed he must be the king of a country
or the equal of a king.
Alarmed and full of wonder,
he asked himself why he had come here.
Secretly he thought to himself,
If I linger here for long
I will perhaps be seized
and pressed into service!
Once this thought had occurred to him,
he raced from the spot,
and inquiring where there was a poor village,
went there in hopes of gaining employment.
The rich man at the time,
seated on his lion throne,
saw his son in the distance
and silently recognized who he was.
Immediately he instructed a messenger
p.127to hurry after him and bring him back.
The impoverished son, crying out in terror,
sank to the ground in distress.
“This man has seized me
and is surely going to put me to death!
To think that my search for food and clothing
should bring me to this!”
The rich man knew that his son
was ignorant and self-abasing.
“He will never believe my words,
will never believe I am his father.”
So he employed an expedient means,
sending some other men to the son,
a one-eyed man, another puny and uncouth,
completely lacking in imposing appearance,
saying, “Speak to him
and tell him I will employ him
to remove excrement and filth,
and will pay him twice the regular wage.”
When the impoverished son heard this
he was delighted and came with the messengers
and worked to clear away excrement and filth
and clean the rooms of the house.
From the window the rich man
would constantly observe his son,
thinking how his son was ignorant and self-abasing
and delighted in such menial labor.
At such times the rich man
would put on dirty ragged clothing,
take in hand a utensil for removing excrement
and go to where his son was,
using this expedient means to approach him,
encouraging him to work diligently.
“I have increased your wages
and given you more oil to rub on your feet.
I will see that you have plenty to eat and drink,
mats and bedding that are thick and warm.”
p.128At times he would speak severely:
“You must work hard!”
Or again he would say in a gentle voice,
“You are like a son to me.”
The rich man, being wise,
gradually permitted his son to come and go in the house.
And after twenty years had passed,
he put him in charge of household affairs,
showing him his gold, silver,
pearls, crystal,
and the other things that were handed out or gathered in,
so that he would understand all about them,
though the son continued to live outside the gate,
sleeping in a hut of grass,
for he looked upon himself as poor,
thinking, “None of these things are mine.”
The father knew that his son’s outlook
was gradually becoming broader and more magnanimous,
and, wishing to hand over his wealth and goods,
he called together his relatives,
the king of the country and the high ministers,
the noblemen and householders.
In the presence of this great assembly
he declared, “This is my son
who abandoned me and wandered abroad
for a period of fifty years.
Since I found him again,
twenty years have gone by.
Long ago, in such-and-such a city,
when I lost my son,
I traveled all around searching for him
until eventually I came here.
All that I possess,
my house and people,
I hand over entirely to him
so he may do with them as he wishes.”
The son thought how in the past he had been poor,
p.129humble and self-abasing in outlook,
but now he had received from his father
this huge bequest of rare treasures,
along with the father’s house
and all his wealth and goods.
He was filled with great joy,
having gained what he never had before.
The Buddha too is like this.
He knows our fondness for the petty,
and so he never told us,
“You can attain buddhahood.”
Instead he explained to us
how we could become free of outflows,
carry out the lesser vehicle
and be voice-hearer disciples.
Then the Buddha commanded us
to preach the supreme way
and explain that those who practice this
will be able to attain buddhahood.
We received the Buddha’s teaching
and for the sake of the great bodhisattvas
made use of causes and conditions,
various similes and parables,
a variety of words and phrases,
to preach the unsurpassed way.
When the sons of the Buddha
heard the Law through us,
day and night they pondered,
diligently and with effort practicing it.
At that time the buddhas
bestowed prophecies on them, saying,
“In future existences
you will be able to attain buddhahood.”
Regarding the Law of the secret storehouse
of all the various buddhas,
only for the sake of the bodhisattvas
did we set forth that true fact;
p.130not for our sake
did we expound this true essential.
The case was like that of the impoverished son
who was able to approach his father.
Though he knew of his father’s possessions,
at heart he had no longing to appropriate them.
Thus, although we preached
the treasure storehouse of the Law of the buddhas,
we did not seek to attain it ourselves,
and in this way our case was similar.
We sought to wipe out what was within ourselves,
believing that that was sufficient.
We understood only this one concern
and knew nothing of other matters.
Though we might hear
of purifying the buddha lands,
of teaching and converting living beings,
we took no delight in such things.
Why is this?
Because all phenomena
are uniformly empty, tranquil,
without birth, without extinction,
without bigness, without smallness,
without outflows, without action.
And when one ponders in this way,
one can feel no delight or joy.
Through the long night,
with regard to the buddha wisdom
we were without greed, without attachment,
without any desire to possess it.
We believed that with regard to the Law
we possessed the ultimate.
Through the long night
we practiced the Law of emptiness,
gaining release from the threefold world
and its burden of suffering and care.
We dwelt in our final existences,
p.131in the nirvana of remainder.
As the teaching and conversion of the Buddha was not in vain,
we gained a way,
and in so doing we thought we had repaid
the debt we owed to the Buddha’s kindness.
Although for the sake
of the Buddha’s sons
we preached the Law of the bodhisattva,
urging them to seek the buddha way,
yet we ourselves
never aspired to that Law.
We were thus abandoned by our guide and teacher
because he had observed what was in our minds.
From the first he never encouraged us
or spoke to us of true benefit.
He was like the rich man
who knew that his son’s ambitions were lowly
and who used the power of expedient means
to soften and mold his son’s mind
so that later he could entrust to him
all his wealth and treasure.
The Buddha is like this,
resorting to a rare course of action.
Knowing that some have a fondness for the petty,
he uses the power of expedient means
to mold and temper their minds,
and only then teaches them the great wisdom.
Today we have gained
what we never had before;
what we previously never hoped for
has now come to us of itself.
We are like the impoverished son
who gained immeasurable treasure.
World-Honored One, now
we have gained the way, gained its fruit;
through the Law of no outflows
p.132we have gained the undefiled eye.
Through the long night
we observed the pure precepts of the Buddha
and today for the first time
we have gained the fruit, the recompense.
In the Law of the Dharma king
we have long carried out brahma practices;
now we obtain the state of no outflows,
the great unsurpassed fruit.
Now we have become
voice-hearers in truth,
for we will take the voice of the buddha way
and cause it to be heard by all.
Now we have become
true arhats,
for everywhere among
the heavenly and human beings, devils and Brahmas
of the various worlds
we deserve to receive offerings.
The world-honored one in his great mercy
made use of a rare thing,
in pity and compassion teaching and converting,
bringing benefit to us.
In numberless millions of kalpas
who could ever repay him?
Though we offer him our hands and feet,
bow our heads in respectful obeisance,
and present all manner of offerings,
none of us could repay him.
Though we lift him on the crown of our heads,
bear him on our shoulders,
for kalpas numerous as Ganges sands
reverence him with all our hearts;
though we come with delicate foods,
with countless jeweled robes,
with articles of bedding,
various kinds of potions and medicines;
p.133with ox-head sandalwood
and all kinds of rare gems,
construct memorial towers
and spread the ground with jeweled robes;
though we were to do all this
by way of offering
for kalpas numerous as Ganges sands,
still we could not repay him.
The buddhas possess rarely known,
immeasurable, boundless,
unimaginable great
transcendental powers.
Free of outflows, free of action,
these kings of the doctrines
for the sake of the humble and lowly
exercise patience in these matters;
to ordinary people attached to appearances
they preach in accordance with what is appropriate.
With regard to the Law, the buddhas
are able to exercise complete freedom.
They understand the various desires and joys
of living beings,
as well as their aims and abilities,
and can adjust to what they are capable of,
employing innumerable similes
to expound the Law for them.
Utilizing the good roots
laid down by living beings in previous existences,
distinguishing between those whose roots are mature
and those whose roots are not yet mature,
they exercise various calculations,
discriminations, and perceptions,
and then take the one vehicle way and,
in accordance with what is appropriate, preach it as three.

CHAPTER 4

Belief and Understanding

At that time, when the men of lifelong wisdom Subhuti, Mahakatyayana, Mahakashyapa, and Mahamaudgalyayana heard from the Buddha a Law that they had never known before, and heard the world-honored one prophesy that Shariputra would attain supreme perfect enlightenment, their minds were moved as seldom before and danced for joy. At once they rose from their seats, arranged their robes, bared their right shoulders, and bowed their right knees to the ground. Pressing their palms together with a single mind, they bent their bodies in a gesture of respect and, gazing up in reverence at the face of the honored one, said to the Buddha: “We stand at the head of the monks and are all of us old and decrepit. We believed that we had already attained nirvana and that we were incapable of doing more, and so we never sought to attain supreme perfect enlightenment.
“It has been a long time since the world-honored one first began to expound the Law. During that time we have sat in our seats, our bodies weary and inert, meditating solely on the doctrines of emptiness, non-form, and non-action. But as to the bodhisattva practice of freely playing with transcendental powers to purify buddha lands and save living beings—this our minds took no joy in. Why is this? Because the world-honored one had made it possible for us to transcend the threefold world and to attain the enlightenment of nirvana.
p.118“Moreover, we are old and decrepit. When we heard of this supreme perfect enlightenment that the Buddha uses to teach and convert the bodhisattvas, our minds were not filled with any thought of joy or approval. But now in the presence of the Buddha we have heard this voice-hearer receive a prophecy that he will attain supreme perfect enlightenment and our minds are greatly delighted. We have gained what we never had before. Suddenly we have been able to hear the Law that is rarely encountered, something we never expected up to now, and we look upon ourselves as profoundly fortunate. We have gained great goodness and benefit, an immeasurably rare jewel, something unsought that came of itself.
“World-Honored One, we would be pleased now to employ a parable to make clear our meaning. Suppose there was a man, still young in years, who abandoned his father, ran away, and lived for a long time in another land, for perhaps ten, twenty, or even fifty years. As he grew older, he found himself increasingly poor and in want. He hurried about in every direction, seeking for clothing and food, wandering farther and farther afield until by chance he turned his steps in the direction of his homeland.
“The father meanwhile had been searching for his son without success and had taken up residence in a certain city. The father’s household was very wealthy, with immeasurable riches and treasures. Gold, silver, lapis lazuli, coral, amber, and crystal beads all filled and overflowed from his storehouses. He had many grooms and menservants, clerks and attendants, and elephants, horses, carriages, oxen, and goats beyond number. He engaged in profitable ventures at home and in all the lands around, and also had dealings with many merchants and traveling vendors.
“At this time the impoverished son wandered from village to village, passing through various lands and towns, till at last he came to the city where his father was residing. The father thought constantly of his son, but though he had been parted from him for over fifty years, he had never told anyone else about the matter. He merely pondered to himself, his heart filled with regret and longing. He thought to himself that he was old and p.119decrepit. He had great wealth and possessions, gold, silver, and rare treasures that filled and overflowed from his storehouses, but he had no son, so that if one day he should die, the wealth and possessions would be scattered and lost, for there was no one to entrust them to.
“This was the reason he constantly thought so earnestly of his son. And he also had this thought: If I could find my son and entrust my wealth and possessions to him, then I could feel contented and easy in mind and would have no more worries.
“World-Honored One, at that time the impoverished son drifted from one kind of employment to another until he came by chance to his father’s house. He stood by the side of the gate, gazing far off at his father, who was seated on a lion throne, his legs supported by a jeweled footrest, while Brahmans, noblemen, and householders, uniformly deferential, surrounded him. Festoons of pearls worth thousands or tens of thousands adorned his body, and clerks, grooms, and menservants holding white fly whisks stood in attendance to left and right. A jeweled canopy covered him, with flowered banners hanging from it, perfumed water had been sprinkled over the ground, heaps of rare flowers were scattered about, and precious objects were ranged here and there, brought out, put away, handed over, and received. Such were the many different types of adornments, emblems of prerogative and marks of distinction.
“When the impoverished son saw how great was his father’s power and authority, he was filled with fear and awe and regretted he had ever come to such a place. Secretly he thought to himself: This must be some king, or one who is equal to a king. This is not the sort of place where I can hire out my labor and gain a living. It would be better to go to some poor village where, if I work hard, I will find a place and can easily earn food and clothing. If I stay here for long, I may be seized and pressed into service! Having thought in this way, he raced from the spot.
“At that time the rich old man, seated on his lion throne, spied his son and recognized him immediately. His heart was filled with great joy and at once he thought: Now I have someone to entrust my storehouses of wealth and possession to! My p.120thoughts have constantly been with this son of mine, but I had no way of seeing him. Now suddenly he has appeared of himself, which is exactly what I would have wished. Though I am old and decrepit, I still care what becomes of my belongings.
“Thereupon he dispatched a bystander to go after the son as quickly as possible and bring him back. At that time the messenger raced swiftly after the son and laid hold of him. The impoverished son, alarmed and fearful, cried out in an angry voice, ‘I have done nothing wrong! Why am I being seized?’ But the messenger held on to him more tightly than ever and forcibly dragged him back.
“At that time the son thought to himself, I have committed no crime and yet I am taken prisoner. Surely I am going to be put to death! He was more terrified than ever and sank to the ground, fainting with despair.
“The father, observing this from a distance, spoke to the messenger, saying, ‘I have no need of this man. Don’t force him to come here, but sprinkle cold water on his face so he will regain his senses. Then say nothing more to him!’
“Why did he do that? Because the father knew that his son was of humble outlook and ambition, and that his own rich and eminent position would be difficult for the son to accept. He knew very well that this was his son, but as a form of expedient means he refrained from saying to anyone, ‘This is my son.’
“The messenger said to the son, ‘I am releasing you now. You may go anywhere you wish.’ The impoverished son was delighted, having gained what he had not had before, and picked himself up from the ground and went off to a poor village in order to look for food and clothing.
“At that time the rich man, hoping to entice his son back again, decided to employ an expedient means and send two men as secret messengers, men who were lean and haggard and had no imposing appearance. ‘Go seek out that poor man and approach him casually. Tell him you know a place where he can earn twice the regular wage. If he agrees to the arrangement, then bring him here and put him to work. If he asks what sort p.121of work he will be put to, say that he will be employed to clear away excrement, and that the two of you will be working with him.’
“The two messengers then set out at once to find the poor man, and when they had done so, spoke to him as they had been instructed. At that time the impoverished son asked for an advance on his wages and then went with the men to help clear away excrement.
“When the father saw his son, he pitied and wondered at him. Another day, when he was gazing out the window, he saw his son in the distance, his body thin and haggard, filthy with excrement, dirt, sweat, and defilement. The father immediately took off his necklaces, his soft fine garments, and his other adornments and put on clothes that were ragged and soiled. He smeared dirt on his body, took in his right hand a utensil for removing excrement, and assuming a gruff manner, spoke to the laborers, saying, ‘Keep at your work! You mustn’t be lazy!’ By employing this expedient means, he was able to approach his son.
“Later he spoke to his son again, saying, ‘Now then, young man! You must keep on at this work and not leave me anymore. I will increase your wages, and whatever you need in the way of utensils, rice, flour, salt, vinegar, and the like you should be in no worry about. I have an old servant I can lend you when you need him. You may set your mind at ease. I will be like a father to you, so have no more worries. Why do I say this? Because I am well along in years, but you are still young and sturdy. When you are at work, you are never deceitful or lazy or speak angry or resentful words. You don’t seem to have any faults of that kind the way my other workers do. From now on, you will be like my own son.’ And the rich man proceeded to select a name and assign it to the man as though he were his child.
“At this time the impoverished son, though he was delighted at such treatment, still thought of himself as a person of humble station who was in the employ of another. Therefore the rich man kept him clearing away excrement for the next twenty years. p.122By the end of this time, the son felt that he was understood and trusted, and he could come and go at ease, but he continued to live in the same place as before.
“World-Honored One, at that time the rich man fell ill and knew that he would die before long. He spoke to his impoverished son, saying, ‘I now have great quantities of gold, silver, and rare treasures that fill and overflow from my storehouses. You are to take complete charge of the amounts I have and of what is to be handed out and gathered in. This is what I have in mind, and I want you to carry out my wishes. Why is this? Because from now on, you and I will not behave as two different persons. So you must keep your wits about you and see that there are no mistakes or losses.’
“At that time the impoverished son, having received these instructions, took over the surveillance of all the goods, the gold, silver, and rare treasures, and the various storehouses, but never thought of appropriating for himself so much as the cost of a single meal. He continued to live where he had before, unable to cease thinking of himself as mean and lowly.
“After some time had passed, the father perceived that his son was bit by bit becoming more self-assured and magnanimous in outlook, that he was determined to accomplish great things and despised his former low opinion of himself. Realizing that his own end was approaching, he ordered his son to arrange a meeting with his relatives and the king of the country, the high ministers, and the noblemen and householders. When they were all gathered together, he proceeded to make this announcement: ‘Gentlemen, you should know that this is my son, who was born to me. In such-and-such a city he abandoned me and ran away, and for over fifty years he wandered about suffering hardship. His original name is such-and-such, and my name is such-and-such. In the past, when I was still living in my native city, I worried about him and so I set out in search of him. Sometime after, I suddenly chanced to meet up with him. This is in truth my son, and I in truth am his father. Now everything that belongs to me, all my wealth and possessions, shall belong entirely to this son of mine. Matters of outlay and income that p.123have occurred in the past this son of mine is familiar with.’
“World-Honored One, when the impoverished son heard these words of his father, he was filled with great joy, having gained what he never had before, and he thought to himself, I originally had no mind to covet or seek such things. Yet now these stores of treasures have come of their own accord!
“World-Honored One, this old man with his great riches is none other than the thus come one, and we are all like the Buddha’s sons. The thus come one constantly tells us that we are his sons. But because of the three sufferings, World-Honored One, in the midst of birth and death we undergo burning anxieties, delusions, and ignorance, delighting in and clinging to lesser doctrines. But today the world-honored one causes us to ponder carefully, to cast aside the doctrines that are the filth of frivolous debate.
“We were diligent and exerted ourselves in this matter until we had attained nirvana, which is like one day’s wages. And once we had attained it, our hearts were filled with great joy and we considered that this was enough. At once we said to ourselves, ‘Because we have been diligent and exerted ourselves with regard to the Law of the Buddha, we have gained this breadth and wealth of understanding.’
“But the world-honored one, knowing from past times how our minds cling to unworthy desires and delight in lesser doctrines, pardoned us and let us be, not trying to explain to us by saying, ‘You will come to possess the insight of the thus come one, your portion of the store of treasures!’ Instead the world-honored one employed the power of expedient means, preaching to us the wisdom of the thus come one in such a way that we might heed the Buddha and attain nirvana, which is one day’s wages. And because we considered this to be a great gain, we had no wish to pursue this great vehicle.
“In addition, though we expounded and set forth the buddha wisdom for the sake of the bodhisattvas, we ourselves did not aspire to attain it. Why do I say this? Because the Buddha, knowing that our minds delight in lesser doctrines, employed the power of expedient means to preach in a way that was p.124appropriate for us. So we did not know that we were in truth the sons of the Buddha. But now at last we know it.
“With regard to the buddha wisdom, the world-honored one is never begrudging. Why do I say this? From times past we have in truth been the sons of the Buddha, but we delighted in nothing but lesser doctrines. If we had had the kind of minds that delighted in great ones, then the Buddha would have preached the Law of the great vehicle for us.
“Now in this sutra the Buddha expounds only the one vehicle. And in the past, when in the presence of the bodhisattvas he disparaged the voice-hearers as those who delight in a lesser doctrine, the Buddha was in fact employing the great vehicle to teach and convert us. Therefore we say that, though originally we had no mind to covet or seek such a thing, now the great treasure of the Dharma king has come to us of its own accord. It is something that the sons of the Buddha have a right to acquire, and now they have acquired all of it.”
At that time Mahakashyapa, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

We today have heard
the Buddha’s voice teaching
and we dance for joy,
having gained what we never had before.
The Buddha declares that the voice-hearers
will be able to attain buddhahood.
This cluster of unsurpassed jewels
has come to us unsought.
It is like the case of a boy who,
when still young, without understanding,
abandoned his father and ran away,
going far off to another land,
drifting from one country to another
for over fifty years.
His father, distressed in thought,
searched for him in every direction
till, worn out with searching,
p.125he halted in a certain city.
There he built a dwelling
where he could indulge the five desires.
His house was large and costly,
with quantities of gold, silver,
seashell, agate,
pearls, lapis lazuli,
elephants, horses, oxen, goats,
palanquins, and carriages,
fields for farming, menservants, grooms,
and other people in great number.
He engaged in profitable ventures
at home and in all the lands around,
and had merchants and traveling vendors
stationed everywhere.
Thousands, ten thousands, millions
surrounded him and paid reverence;
he enjoyed the constant favor
and consideration of the ruler.
The officials and powerful clans
all joined in paying him honor,
and those who for one reason or another
flocked about him were many.
Such was his vast wealth,
the great power and influence he possessed.
But as he grew old and decrepit
he recalled his son with greater distress than ever,
day and night thinking of nothing else:
“Now the time of my death draws near.
Over fifty years have passed
since that foolish boy abandoned me.
My storehouses full of goods—
what will become of them?”
At this time the impoverished son
was searching for food and clothing,
going from village to village,
from country to country,
p.126sometimes finding something,
other times finding nothing,
starving and emaciated,
his body broken out in sores and ringworm.
As he moved from place to place
he arrived in time at the city where his father lived,
shifting from one job to another
until he came to his father’s house.
At that time the rich man
had spread a large jeweled canopy
inside his gate
and was seated on a lion throne,
surrounded by his dependents
and various attendants and guards.
Some were counting out
gold, silver, and precious objects,
or recording in ledgers
the outlay and income of wealth.
The impoverished son, observing
how eminent and distinguished his father was,
supposed he must be the king of a country
or the equal of a king.
Alarmed and full of wonder,
he asked himself why he had come here.
Secretly he thought to himself,
If I linger here for long
I will perhaps be seized
and pressed into service!
Once this thought had occurred to him,
he raced from the spot,
and inquiring where there was a poor village,
went there in hopes of gaining employment.
The rich man at the time,
seated on his lion throne,
saw his son in the distance
and silently recognized who he was.
Immediately he instructed a messenger
p.127to hurry after him and bring him back.
The impoverished son, crying out in terror,
sank to the ground in distress.
“This man has seized me
and is surely going to put me to death!
To think that my search for food and clothing
should bring me to this!”
The rich man knew that his son
was ignorant and self-abasing.
“He will never believe my words,
will never believe I am his father.”
So he employed an expedient means,
sending some other men to the son,
a one-eyed man, another puny and uncouth,
completely lacking in imposing appearance,
saying, “Speak to him
and tell him I will employ him
to remove excrement and filth,
and will pay him twice the regular wage.”
When the impoverished son heard this
he was delighted and came with the messengers
and worked to clear away excrement and filth
and clean the rooms of the house.
From the window the rich man
would constantly observe his son,
thinking how his son was ignorant and self-abasing
and delighted in such menial labor.
At such times the rich man
would put on dirty ragged clothing,
take in hand a utensil for removing excrement
and go to where his son was,
using this expedient means to approach him,
encouraging him to work diligently.
“I have increased your wages
and given you more oil to rub on your feet.
I will see that you have plenty to eat and drink,
mats and bedding that are thick and warm.”
p.128At times he would speak severely:
“You must work hard!”
Or again he would say in a gentle voice,
“You are like a son to me.”
The rich man, being wise,
gradually permitted his son to come and go in the house.
And after twenty years had passed,
he put him in charge of household affairs,
showing him his gold, silver,
pearls, crystal,
and the other things that were handed out or gathered in,
so that he would understand all about them,
though the son continued to live outside the gate,
sleeping in a hut of grass,
for he looked upon himself as poor,
thinking, “None of these things are mine.”
The father knew that his son’s outlook
was gradually becoming broader and more magnanimous,
and, wishing to hand over his wealth and goods,
he called together his relatives,
the king of the country and the high ministers,
the noblemen and householders.
In the presence of this great assembly
he declared, “This is my son
who abandoned me and wandered abroad
for a period of fifty years.
Since I found him again,
twenty years have gone by.
Long ago, in such-and-such a city,
when I lost my son,
I traveled all around searching for him
until eventually I came here.
All that I possess,
my house and people,
I hand over entirely to him
so he may do with them as he wishes.”
The son thought how in the past he had been poor,
p.129humble and self-abasing in outlook,
but now he had received from his father
this huge bequest of rare treasures,
along with the father’s house
and all his wealth and goods.
He was filled with great joy,
having gained what he never had before.
The Buddha too is like this.
He knows our fondness for the petty,
and so he never told us,
“You can attain buddhahood.”
Instead he explained to us
how we could become free of outflows,
carry out the lesser vehicle
and be voice-hearer disciples.
Then the Buddha commanded us
to preach the supreme way
and explain that those who practice this
will be able to attain buddhahood.
We received the Buddha’s teaching
and for the sake of the great bodhisattvas
made use of causes and conditions,
various similes and parables,
a variety of words and phrases,
to preach the unsurpassed way.
When the sons of the Buddha
heard the Law through us,
day and night they pondered,
diligently and with effort practicing it.
At that time the buddhas
bestowed prophecies on them, saying,
“In future existences
you will be able to attain buddhahood.”
Regarding the Law of the secret storehouse
of all the various buddhas,
only for the sake of the bodhisattvas
did we set forth that true fact;
p.130not for our sake
did we expound this true essential.
The case was like that of the impoverished son
who was able to approach his father.
Though he knew of his father’s possessions,
at heart he had no longing to appropriate them.
Thus, although we preached
the treasure storehouse of the Law of the buddhas,
we did not seek to attain it ourselves,
and in this way our case was similar.
We sought to wipe out what was within ourselves,
believing that that was sufficient.
We understood only this one concern
and knew nothing of other matters.
Though we might hear
of purifying the buddha lands,
of teaching and converting living beings,
we took no delight in such things.
Why is this?
Because all phenomena
are uniformly empty, tranquil,
without birth, without extinction,
without bigness, without smallness,
without outflows, without action.
And when one ponders in this way,
one can feel no delight or joy.
Through the long night,
with regard to the buddha wisdom
we were without greed, without attachment,
without any desire to possess it.
We believed that with regard to the Law
we possessed the ultimate.
Through the long night
we practiced the Law of emptiness,
gaining release from the threefold world
and its burden of suffering and care.
We dwelt in our final existences,
p.131in the nirvana of remainder.
As the teaching and conversion of the Buddha was not in vain,
we gained a way,
and in so doing we thought we had repaid
the debt we owed to the Buddha’s kindness.
Although for the sake
of the Buddha’s sons
we preached the Law of the bodhisattva,
urging them to seek the buddha way,
yet we ourselves
never aspired to that Law.
We were thus abandoned by our guide and teacher
because he had observed what was in our minds.
From the first he never encouraged us
or spoke to us of true benefit.
He was like the rich man
who knew that his son’s ambitions were lowly
and who used the power of expedient means
to soften and mold his son’s mind
so that later he could entrust to him
all his wealth and treasure.
The Buddha is like this,
resorting to a rare course of action.
Knowing that some have a fondness for the petty,
he uses the power of expedient means
to mold and temper their minds,
and only then teaches them the great wisdom.
Today we have gained
what we never had before;
what we previously never hoped for
has now come to us of itself.
We are like the impoverished son
who gained immeasurable treasure.
World-Honored One, now
we have gained the way, gained its fruit;
through the Law of no outflows
p.132we have gained the undefiled eye.
Through the long night
we observed the pure precepts of the Buddha
and today for the first time
we have gained the fruit, the recompense.
In the Law of the Dharma king
we have long carried out brahma practices;
now we obtain the state of no outflows,
the great unsurpassed fruit.
Now we have become
voice-hearers in truth,
for we will take the voice of the buddha way
and cause it to be heard by all.
Now we have become
true arhats,
for everywhere among
the heavenly and human beings, devils and Brahmas
of the various worlds
we deserve to receive offerings.
The world-honored one in his great mercy
made use of a rare thing,
in pity and compassion teaching and converting,
bringing benefit to us.
In numberless millions of kalpas
who could ever repay him?
Though we offer him our hands and feet,
bow our heads in respectful obeisance,
and present all manner of offerings,
none of us could repay him.
Though we lift him on the crown of our heads,
bear him on our shoulders,
for kalpas numerous as Ganges sands
reverence him with all our hearts;
though we come with delicate foods,
with countless jeweled robes,
with articles of bedding,
various kinds of potions and medicines;
p.133with ox-head sandalwood
and all kinds of rare gems,
construct memorial towers
and spread the ground with jeweled robes;
though we were to do all this
by way of offering
for kalpas numerous as Ganges sands,
still we could not repay him.
The buddhas possess rarely known,
immeasurable, boundless,
unimaginable great
transcendental powers.
Free of outflows, free of action,
these kings of the doctrines
for the sake of the humble and lowly
exercise patience in these matters;
to ordinary people attached to appearances
they preach in accordance with what is appropriate.
With regard to the Law, the buddhas
are able to exercise complete freedom.
They understand the various desires and joys
of living beings,
as well as their aims and abilities,
and can adjust to what they are capable of,
employing innumerable similes
to expound the Law for them.
Utilizing the good roots
laid down by living beings in previous existences,
distinguishing between those whose roots are mature
and those whose roots are not yet mature,
they exercise various calculations,
discriminations, and perceptions,
and then take the one vehicle way and,
in accordance with what is appropriate, preach it as three.

Point Four, the words “[a Law . . .] that is guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas”

Words and Phrases, volume three, says, “‘[A Law . . .] that is guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas’ refers to that which the Buddha gained enlightenment to in the origin of immeasurable meanings. Because he had done so, the Thus Come One ‘guarded it and kept it in mind.’ Thus later on in the sutra it says, ‘The Buddha himself dwells in this Great Vehicle’ (chapter two, Expedient Means). Although he wished to reveal and teach it to others, the capacities of living beings were too dull. Therefore for a long time he remained silent about this vital matter and did not hasten to expound it to others. That is why the sutra says it was ‘guarded and kept in mind.’”
On “The Words and Phrases,” volume three, says, “In the past he did not expound it. Therefore the sutra uses the word ‘guarded.’ With regard to the Law, and with regard to the people’s capacities, it was all ‘guarded and kept in mind.’ . . . Because the time had not come yet and the people’s capacities had not developed sufficiently, he kept it hidden and did not expound it. Hence it says he ‘guarded it and kept it in mind.’ . . . Because he did not expound it, it says he ‘guarded,’ and because he did not reveal it, it says he ‘kept it in mind.’ When Words and Phrases says ‘for a long time he remained silent,’ it means from early times [in the Buddha’s preaching life] down to the present moment [described in the sutra]. You should think over carefully and realize the true meaning of the words ‘this vital matter.’”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: With regard to this substance that the Buddha guarded and kept in p.14mind, it is the two types of teachings, the theoretical and the essential, or the five characters Myoho-renge-kyo that make up the title of the sutra.
As for the act of guarding and keeping in mind, there are seven ways in which to consider it. First, it can be considered from the standpoint of the time. Second, it can be considered from the standpoint of the people’s capacities. Third, it can be considered from the standpoint of the person to be addressed. Fourth, it can be considered from the standpoint of the essential and the theoretical teachings. Fifth, it can be considered from the standpoint of body and mind. Sixth, it can be considered from the standpoint of the substance of the doctrine. Seventh, it can be considered from the standpoint of the mind of faith. And now Nichiren and his followers are spreading abroad this substance that was “guarded and kept in mind.”
First, with regard to the time, for more than forty years the Buddha waited. Because the proper time had not yet come, he guarded and kept in mind the Lotus Sutra. Second, with regard to the people’s capacities, the sutra says, “Because they rejected the Law and failed to believe in it, / they would fall into the three evil paths” (chapter two). Therefore for the space of more than forty years the Buddha did not expound it. Third, with regard to the person to be addressed, the Buddha intended to expound it to Shāriputra, and so he waited. Fourth, with regard to the essential and the theoretical teachings, the word “guard” refers to the essential teaching and the words “keep in mind” to the theoretical teaching. Fifth, with regard to body and mind, “guard” refers to the body and “keep in mind” to the mind. Sixth, with regard to the substance of the doctrine, the substance of the doctrine is that which has existed inherently and abides eternally, the mind of pity and compassion inherent in all living beings. Seventh, with regard to the mind of faith, it means to use the mind of faith to guard and keep in mind [the Lotus Sutra].
In effect, when Nichiren and his followers recite Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are opening up the substance of this guarding and keeping in mind. Guarding represents the Buddha insight; p.15keeping in mind represents the Buddha knowledge. These two words, knowledge and insight, correspond to the two teachings, the essential and the theoretical. The Buddha knowledge is called myō, the Buddha insight is called hō. To carry out and practice the substance of this knowledge and insight is called renge. It is the substance of cause and effect. Cause and effect put into words is kyō.
Moreover, the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra will be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas of the past, present, and future. The “Universal Worthy” chapter says, “First, they must be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas.” Guarding and keeping in mind means guarding and keeping in mind Myoho-renge-kyo. When the Buddhas guard and keep in mind the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, they are guarding and keeping in mind Myoho-renge-kyo. The practitioners’ capacities and the Law are a single entity, and the Buddhas guard and keep them in mind as a single entity. This is what On “The Words and Phrases” means when it says in volume three, “With regard to the Law, and with regard to the people’s capacities, it was all ‘guarded and kept in mind.’”
In addition, Words and Phrases, volume three, says, “The words ‘guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas’ validate the earlier sign of the quaking of the earth.” The quaking of the earth is symbolic of the fact that the Buddha has broken through the barriers of delusion in all six stages.5 A person who accepts and upholds Myoho-renge-kyo will without doubt break through the barriers of delusion in all six stages.
The “Supernatural Powers” chapter says, “[A person of wisdom . . . ] / after I have passed into extinction / should accept and uphold this sutra. / Such a person assuredly and without doubt / will attain the Buddha way.” This is what the sutra means when it says earlier, “The Buddha himself dwells in this Great Vehicle.”
Again, in another sense we may say that in this matter of the p.16Buddha guarding and keeping in mind all living beings, the guarding is that of the statement [in chapter three, Simile and Parable], “I am the only person / who can rescue and protect others,” and that the keeping in mind is that of the statement [in chapter sixteen, Life Span], “At all times I have this thought in mind.”6 And when we come to the “Universal Worthy” chapter, this idea is stated as “First, they must be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas.”
Nichiren since the thirty-second year of his life has guarded and kept in mind Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Point Four, the words “[a Law . . .] that is guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas”

Words and Phrases, volume three, says, “‘[A Law . . .] that is guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas’ refers to that which the Buddha gained enlightenment to in the origin of immeasurable meanings. Because he had done so, the Thus Come One ‘guarded it and kept it in mind.’ Thus later on in the sutra it says, ‘The Buddha himself dwells in this Great Vehicle’ (chapter two, Expedient Means). Although he wished to reveal and teach it to others, the capacities of living beings were too dull. Therefore for a long time he remained silent about this vital matter and did not hasten to expound it to others. That is why the sutra says it was ‘guarded and kept in mind.’”
On “The Words and Phrases,” volume three, says, “In the past he did not expound it. Therefore the sutra uses the word ‘guarded.’ With regard to the Law, and with regard to the people’s capacities, it was all ‘guarded and kept in mind.’ . . . Because the time had not come yet and the people’s capacities had not developed sufficiently, he kept it hidden and did not expound it. Hence it says he ‘guarded it and kept it in mind.’ . . . Because he did not expound it, it says he ‘guarded,’ and because he did not reveal it, it says he ‘kept it in mind.’ When Words and Phrases says ‘for a long time he remained silent,’ it means from early times [in the Buddha’s preaching life] down to the present moment [described in the sutra]. You should think over carefully and realize the true meaning of the words ‘this vital matter.’”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: With regard to this substance that the Buddha guarded and kept in p.14mind, it is the two types of teachings, the theoretical and the essential, or the five characters Myoho-renge-kyo that make up the title of the sutra.
As for the act of guarding and keeping in mind, there are seven ways in which to consider it. First, it can be considered from the standpoint of the time. Second, it can be considered from the standpoint of the people’s capacities. Third, it can be considered from the standpoint of the person to be addressed. Fourth, it can be considered from the standpoint of the essential and the theoretical teachings. Fifth, it can be considered from the standpoint of body and mind. Sixth, it can be considered from the standpoint of the substance of the doctrine. Seventh, it can be considered from the standpoint of the mind of faith. And now Nichiren and his followers are spreading abroad this substance that was “guarded and kept in mind.”
First, with regard to the time, for more than forty years the Buddha waited. Because the proper time had not yet come, he guarded and kept in mind the Lotus Sutra. Second, with regard to the people’s capacities, the sutra says, “Because they rejected the Law and failed to believe in it, / they would fall into the three evil paths” (chapter two). Therefore for the space of more than forty years the Buddha did not expound it. Third, with regard to the person to be addressed, the Buddha intended to expound it to Shāriputra, and so he waited. Fourth, with regard to the essential and the theoretical teachings, the word “guard” refers to the essential teaching and the words “keep in mind” to the theoretical teaching. Fifth, with regard to body and mind, “guard” refers to the body and “keep in mind” to the mind. Sixth, with regard to the substance of the doctrine, the substance of the doctrine is that which has existed inherently and abides eternally, the mind of pity and compassion inherent in all living beings. Seventh, with regard to the mind of faith, it means to use the mind of faith to guard and keep in mind [the Lotus Sutra].
In effect, when Nichiren and his followers recite Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are opening up the substance of this guarding and keeping in mind. Guarding represents the Buddha insight; p.15keeping in mind represents the Buddha knowledge. These two words, knowledge and insight, correspond to the two teachings, the essential and the theoretical. The Buddha knowledge is called myō, the Buddha insight is called hō. To carry out and practice the substance of this knowledge and insight is called renge. It is the substance of cause and effect. Cause and effect put into words is kyō.
Moreover, the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra will be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas of the past, present, and future. The “Universal Worthy” chapter says, “First, they must be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas.” Guarding and keeping in mind means guarding and keeping in mind Myoho-renge-kyo. When the Buddhas guard and keep in mind the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, they are guarding and keeping in mind Myoho-renge-kyo. The practitioners’ capacities and the Law are a single entity, and the Buddhas guard and keep them in mind as a single entity. This is what On “The Words and Phrases” means when it says in volume three, “With regard to the Law, and with regard to the people’s capacities, it was all ‘guarded and kept in mind.’”
In addition, Words and Phrases, volume three, says, “The words ‘guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas’ validate the earlier sign of the quaking of the earth.” The quaking of the earth is symbolic of the fact that the Buddha has broken through the barriers of delusion in all six stages.5 A person who accepts and upholds Myoho-renge-kyo will without doubt break through the barriers of delusion in all six stages.
The “Supernatural Powers” chapter says, “[A person of wisdom . . . ] / after I have passed into extinction / should accept and uphold this sutra. / Such a person assuredly and without doubt / will attain the Buddha way.” This is what the sutra means when it says earlier, “The Buddha himself dwells in this Great Vehicle.”
Again, in another sense we may say that in this matter of the p.16Buddha guarding and keeping in mind all living beings, the guarding is that of the statement [in chapter three, Simile and Parable], “I am the only person / who can rescue and protect others,” and that the keeping in mind is that of the statement [in chapter sixteen, Life Span], “At all times I have this thought in mind.”6 And when we come to the “Universal Worthy” chapter, this idea is stated as “First, they must be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas.”
Nichiren since the thirty-second year of his life has guarded and kept in mind Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Point Four, the words “[a Law . . .] that is guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas”

Words and Phrases, volume three, says, “‘[A Law . . .] that is guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas’ refers to that which the Buddha gained enlightenment to in the origin of immeasurable meanings. Because he had done so, the Thus Come One ‘guarded it and kept it in mind.’ Thus later on in the sutra it says, ‘The Buddha himself dwells in this Great Vehicle’ (chapter two, Expedient Means). Although he wished to reveal and teach it to others, the capacities of living beings were too dull. Therefore for a long time he remained silent about this vital matter and did not hasten to expound it to others. That is why the sutra says it was ‘guarded and kept in mind.’”
On “The Words and Phrases,” volume three, says, “In the past he did not expound it. Therefore the sutra uses the word ‘guarded.’ With regard to the Law, and with regard to the people’s capacities, it was all ‘guarded and kept in mind.’ . . . Because the time had not come yet and the people’s capacities had not developed sufficiently, he kept it hidden and did not expound it. Hence it says he ‘guarded it and kept it in mind.’ . . . Because he did not expound it, it says he ‘guarded,’ and because he did not reveal it, it says he ‘kept it in mind.’ When Words and Phrases says ‘for a long time he remained silent,’ it means from early times [in the Buddha’s preaching life] down to the present moment [described in the sutra]. You should think over carefully and realize the true meaning of the words ‘this vital matter.’”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: With regard to this substance that the Buddha guarded and kept in p.14mind, it is the two types of teachings, the theoretical and the essential, or the five characters Myoho-renge-kyo that make up the title of the sutra.
As for the act of guarding and keeping in mind, there are seven ways in which to consider it. First, it can be considered from the standpoint of the time. Second, it can be considered from the standpoint of the people’s capacities. Third, it can be considered from the standpoint of the person to be addressed. Fourth, it can be considered from the standpoint of the essential and the theoretical teachings. Fifth, it can be considered from the standpoint of body and mind. Sixth, it can be considered from the standpoint of the substance of the doctrine. Seventh, it can be considered from the standpoint of the mind of faith. And now Nichiren and his followers are spreading abroad this substance that was “guarded and kept in mind.”
First, with regard to the time, for more than forty years the Buddha waited. Because the proper time had not yet come, he guarded and kept in mind the Lotus Sutra. Second, with regard to the people’s capacities, the sutra says, “Because they rejected the Law and failed to believe in it, / they would fall into the three evil paths” (chapter two). Therefore for the space of more than forty years the Buddha did not expound it. Third, with regard to the person to be addressed, the Buddha intended to expound it to Shāriputra, and so he waited. Fourth, with regard to the essential and the theoretical teachings, the word “guard” refers to the essential teaching and the words “keep in mind” to the theoretical teaching. Fifth, with regard to body and mind, “guard” refers to the body and “keep in mind” to the mind. Sixth, with regard to the substance of the doctrine, the substance of the doctrine is that which has existed inherently and abides eternally, the mind of pity and compassion inherent in all living beings. Seventh, with regard to the mind of faith, it means to use the mind of faith to guard and keep in mind [the Lotus Sutra].
In effect, when Nichiren and his followers recite Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are opening up the substance of this guarding and keeping in mind. Guarding represents the Buddha insight; p.15keeping in mind represents the Buddha knowledge. These two words, knowledge and insight, correspond to the two teachings, the essential and the theoretical. The Buddha knowledge is called myō, the Buddha insight is called hō. To carry out and practice the substance of this knowledge and insight is called renge. It is the substance of cause and effect. Cause and effect put into words is kyō.
Moreover, the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra will be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas of the past, present, and future. The “Universal Worthy” chapter says, “First, they must be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas.” Guarding and keeping in mind means guarding and keeping in mind Myoho-renge-kyo. When the Buddhas guard and keep in mind the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, they are guarding and keeping in mind Myoho-renge-kyo. The practitioners’ capacities and the Law are a single entity, and the Buddhas guard and keep them in mind as a single entity. This is what On “The Words and Phrases” means when it says in volume three, “With regard to the Law, and with regard to the people’s capacities, it was all ‘guarded and kept in mind.’”
In addition, Words and Phrases, volume three, says, “The words ‘guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas’ validate the earlier sign of the quaking of the earth.” The quaking of the earth is symbolic of the fact that the Buddha has broken through the barriers of delusion in all six stages.5 A person who accepts and upholds Myoho-renge-kyo will without doubt break through the barriers of delusion in all six stages.
The “Supernatural Powers” chapter says, “[A person of wisdom . . . ] / after I have passed into extinction / should accept and uphold this sutra. / Such a person assuredly and without doubt / will attain the Buddha way.” This is what the sutra means when it says earlier, “The Buddha himself dwells in this Great Vehicle.”
Again, in another sense we may say that in this matter of the Buddha guarding and keeping in mind all living beings, the guarding is that of the statement [in chapter three, Simile and Parable], “I am the only person / who can rescue and protect others,” and that the keeping in mind is that of the statement [in chapter sixteen, Life Span], “At all times I have this thought in mind.”6 And when we come to the “Universal Worthy” chapter, this idea is stated as “First, they must be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas.”
Nichiren since the thirty-second year of his life has guarded and kept in mind Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

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