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NS 127 613 RHYTHMIC THIRTEEN

25 December 2014

1111 HOURS – CHEMICAL BROTHERS – MORNING LEMON

1150 HOURS – COLOR ME BADD – I WANNA SEX YOU UP

I Wanna Sex You Up Lyrics
“I Wanna Sex You Up” was written by Straite, Elliot/wright, Betty Regina/clarke, Willie.

SUBMIT CORRECTIONS CANCEL

Come inside, take off your coat
I’ll make you feel at home
Now let’s pour a glass of wine
‘Cause now we’re all alone

I’ve been waiting all night
So just let me hold you close to me
‘Cause I’ve been dyin’ for you girl
To make love to me

Girl, you make me feel real good
We can do it ’til we both wake up
Girl, you know I’m hooked on you
And this is what I’ll do

(I wanna sex you up)
All night
(You make me feel real good)
I want to
(I wanna rub you down)
(I wanna sex you up)

Let me take off all your clothes
Disconnect the phone so nobody knows, yeah
Let me light a candle so we can make it better
Makin’ love until we drown, dig

Girl, you know, it feels real good
We can do it ’til we both wake up
Girl, you know I’m hooked on you
And this is what I’ll do, yeah

(I wanna sex you up)
Make love until we drown
(I wanna sex you up)
([Incomprehensible])

Girl, you just make me feel so good
I just wanna, I just wanna look at you
Don’t say anything at all
Just lay back, and enjoy the ride, yeah

All I want to do is
(I wanna sex you up)
All night
(Girl, you make me feel good)
I want to
(I wanna rub you down)
(I wanna sex you up)

Make sweet lovin’ all night long
(I wanna sex you up)
Feels so right it can’t be wrong
Don’t be shy girl, rescue me
(I wanna sex you up)
Open up your heart, and I’ll set you free

Oh, I wanna touch you in all the right places, baby
I wanna make love to you, yeah
All night, all night, yeah

Make sweet lovin’ all night long
Feels so right it can’t be wrong
Don’t be shy girl, rescue me
Open up your heart and I’ll set you free

Songwriters
STRAITE, ELLIOT/WRIGHT, BETTY REGINA/CLARKE, WILLIE

Read more: Color Me Badd – I Wanna Sex You Up Lyrics | MetroLyrics
DJ Bad Boy Bill
Behind The Decks Radio Show – Episode 13 (Best of 2012)
Posted on Dec 10, 2012

1:10:58
16064 plays
422 likes
Bad Boy Bill – Behind The Decks Radio Show 13
(Best of 2012)

1. Years – Alesso feat. Matthew Koma
2. Unite Kids – Tommy Trash Private Bootleg
3. H8RS – AN21 & Max Vangeli vs Steve Angello
4. Unsaid – Bad Boy Bill feat. Tamra Keenan
5. We’ll Be Coming Back (R3hab EDC Vegas Remix) – Calvin Harris feat. Example
6. Spectrum (Say My Name) (Calvin Harris Remix) – Florence & The Machine
7. Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin
8. Bong – Deniz Koyu
9. Build Up (Tommy Trash Edit) – Chris Lake
10. Funky Vodka – TJR
11. The Veldt (Tommy Trash Remix) – Deadmau5 feat. Chris James
12. Walls – Sultan & Ned Shepard feat. Quilla
13. Cashin Out One Last Ride (Tony Arzadon Edit)
14. Lights (Feenixpawl Bootleg) – Ellie Goulding
15. Un Deux Night Out Toulouse (Laidback Luke Mashup) – Martin Solveig
vs Nicky Romero vs Laura La Rue
16. This Is Your Life – EDX feat Nadia Ali
17. Rage Valley – Knife Party
18. Rolling Stones T-Shirt (Chuckie Remix) – Dada Life
***Sex Drugs Rock N Roll (Acapella) – Tommy Trash
19. Iron – Calvin Harris & Nicky Romero
20. Sunrise (Won’t Get Lost) Tommy Trash Version – The Aston Shuffle
Vs. Tommy Trash
21. Wild One Two (NO_ID Remix) – Jack Back feat. David Guetta, Nicky
Romero & Sia
***When It Feels This Good (Acapella) – Richard Vission & Luciana
22. In My Mind (Axwell Mix) – Ivan Gough, Feenixpawl & Axwell feat. Georgi Kay
23. Spectrum (Deniz Koyu Remix) – Zedd feat. Matthew Koma
24. Resurrection Somebody You Used To Know (Tony Arzadon Edit) – Axwell Vs Gotye
25. Breaking Up (Bartosz Brenes & Tony Romera Remix) – Chuckie &
Promise Land feat. Amanda Wilson
26. Greyhound – Swedish House Mafia
27. Be You (Bad Boy Bill Remix) – Jonas Tempel & Vincent Di Pasquale
28. Room For Happiness (Gregori Klosman Remix) – Kaskade
29. Nothing Inside Metropolis (Filip Jenven Mashup) – Sander Van Doorn
feat. Mayaeni vs David Guetta & Nicky Romero
30. Zdarlight (Fedde Le Grand & Deniz Koyu Remix) – Digitalism
31. Ladi Dadi (Tommy Trash Instrumental Remix) – Steve Aoki feat. Wynter Gordon

Big Room
Bad Boy Bill
Behind The Decks
BTD
Radio
Mix
Alesso
Tommy Trash
Steve Angello
Calvin Harris
Swedish House Mafia
Deniz Koyu
Deadmau5Ellie GouldingLaidback LukeMartin SolveigDada LifeNicky RomeroSteve AokiKaskadeChuckieZeddAxwellDavid Guetta
EDX
Nadia Ali
TJR
R3hab
AN21
Max Vangeli
Release date:
10 December 2012
1250 HOURS

CHAPTER 13

ENCOURAGING DEVOTION

AT THAT TIME THE BODHISATTVA MAHASATTVA MEDICINE KING, ALONG WITH BODHISATTVA MAHASATTVA GREAT JOY OF PREACHING AND TWENTY THOUSAND BODHISATTVA FOLLOWERS WHO WERE ACCOMPANYING THEM, ALL IN THE PRESENCE OF THE BUDDHA TOOK THIS VOW, SAYING: “WE BEG THE WORLD-HONORED ONE TO HAVE NO FURTHER WORRY. AFTER THE BUDDHA HAS ENTERED EXTINCTION WE WILL HONOR, EMBRACE, READ, RECITE, AND PREACH THIS SUTRA. LIVING BEINGS IN THE EVIL AGE TO COME WILL HAVE FEWER AND FEWER GOOD ROOTS. MANY WILL BE OVERBEARINGLY ARROGANT AND GREEDY FOR OFFERINGS AND OTHER FORMS OF GAIN, INCREASING THE ROOTS THAT ARE NOT GOOD AND MOVING FARTHER AWAY THAN EVER FROM EMANCIPATION. BUT ALTHOUGH IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO TEACH AND CONVERT THEM, WE WILL SUMMON UP THE POWER OF GREAT PATIENCE AND WILL READ AND RECITE THIS SUTRA, EMBRACE, PREACH, AND COPY IT, OFFERING IT MANY KINDS OF ALMS AND NEVER BEGRUDGING OUR BODIES OR LIVES.”

AT THAT TIME THE FIVE HUNDRED ARHATS IN THE ASSEMBLY WHO HAD RECEIVED A PROPHECY OF ENLIGHTENMENT SAID TO THE BUDDHA, “WORLD-HONORED ONE, WE TOO WILL MAKE A VOW. IN LANDS OTHER THAN THIS ONE WE WILL BROADLY BREACH THIS SUTRA.”

ALSO THERE WERE EIGHT THOUSAND PERSONS, SOME STILL LEARNING, OTHERS WITH NOTHING MORE TO LEARN, WHO HAD RECEIVED A PROPHECY OF ENLIGHTENMENT. THEY ROSE FROM THEIR SEATS, PRESSED THEIR PALSM TOGETHER AND, TURNING TOWARD THE BUDDHA, MADE THIS VOW: “WORLD-HONORED ONE, WE TOO IN OTHER LANDS WILL BROADLY PREACH THIS SUTRA. WHY? BECAUSE IN THIS SAHA WORLD THE PEOPLE ARE GIVEN TO CORRUPTION AND EVIL, BESET BY OVERBEARING ARROGANCE, SHALLOW IN BLESSINGS, IRASCIBLE, MUDDLED, FAWNING, AND DEVIOUS, AND THEIR HEARTS ARE NOT SINCERE.”

AT THAT TIME THE BUDDHA’S MATERNAL AUNT, THE NUN MAHAPRAJAPATI, AND THE SIX THOUSAND NUNS WHO ACCOMPANIED HER, SOME STILL LEARNING, OTHERS WITH NOTHING MORE TO LEARN, ROSE FROM THEIR SEATS, PRESSED THEIR PALMS TOGETHER WITH A SINGLE MIND, AND GAZED UP AT THE FACE OF THE HONORED ONE, THEIR EYES NEVER LEAVING HIM FOR AN INSTANT.

AT THAT TIME THE WORLD-HONORED ONE SAID TO GAUTAMI, “WHY DO YOU LOOK AT THE THUS COME ONE IN THAT PERPLEXED MANNER? IN YOUR HEART ARE YOU PERHAPS WORRYING THAT I HAVE FAILED TO MENTION YOUR NAME AMONG THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED A PROPHECY OF THE ATTAINMENT OF SUPREME PERFECT ENLIGHTENMENT? BUT GAUTAMI, I EARLIER MADE A GENERAL STATEMENT SAYING THAT ALL T HE VOICE-HEARERS HAVE RECEID SUCH A PROPHECY. NOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE PROPHECY FOR YOU, I WILL SAY THAT IN AGES TO COME, AMID THE LAW OF SIXTY-EIGHT THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS OF BUDDHAS, YOU WILL BE A GREAT TEACHER OF THE LAW, AND THE SIX THOUSAND NUNS, SOME STILL LEARNING, SOME ALREADY SUFFICIENTLY LEARNED, WILL ACCOMPANY YOU AS TEACHERS OF THE LAW. IN THIS MANNER YOU WILL BIT BY BIT FULFILL THE WAY OF THE BODHISATTVA UNTIL YOU ARE ABLE TO BECOME A BUDDHA WITH T HE NAME GLADLY SEEN BY ALL LIVING BEINGS THUS COME ONE, WORTHY OF OFFERINGS, OF RIGHT AND UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE, PERFECT CLARITY AND CONDUCT, WELL GONE, UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD, UNEXCELLED WORTHY, TRAINER OF PEOPLE, TEACHER OF HEAVENLY AND HUMAN BEINGS, BUDDHA, WORLD-HONORED ONE. GAUTAMI, THIS GLADLY SEEN BY ALL LIVING BEINGS BUDDHA WILL CONFER A PROPHECY UPON THE SIX THOUSAND BODHISATTVAS, TO BE PASSED FROM ONE TO ANOTHER, THEY THEY WILL ATTAIN SUPREME PERFECT ENLIGHTENMENT.”

AT THAT TIME THE MOTHER OF RAHULA, THE NUN YASHODHARA, THOUGHT TO HERSELF, THE WORLD-HONORED ONE IN HIS BESTOWAL OF PROPHECIES HAS FAILED TO MENTION MY NAME ALONE!

THE BUDDHA SAID TO YASHODHARA, “IN FUTURE AGES, AMID THE LAW OF HUNDREDS, THOUSANDS, TEN THOUSANDS, MILLIONS OF BUDDHAS, YOU WILL PRACTICE THE DEEDS OF A BODHISATTVA, WILL BE A GREAT TEACHER OF THE LAW, AND WILL GRADUALLY FULFILL THE BUDDHA WAY. THEN IN A GOOD LAND YOU WILL BECOME A BUDDHA NAMED ENDOWED WITH A THOUSAND TEN THOUSAND GLOWING MARKS THUS COME ONE, WORTHY OF OFFERINGS, OF RIGHT AND UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE, PERFECT CLARITY AND CONDUCT, WELL GONE, UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD, UNEXCELLED WORTHY, TRAINER OF PEOPLE, TEACHER OF HEAVENLY AND HUMAN BEINGS, BUDDHA, WORLD-HONORED ONE. THE LIFE SPAN OF THIS BUDDHA WILL BE IMMEASURABLE ASAMKHYA KALPAS.”

AT THAT TIME THE NUN MAHAPRAJAPATI, THE NUN YASHODHARA, AND THEIR FOLLOWERS WERE ALL FILLED WITH GREAT JOY, HAVING GAINED WHAT THEY HAD NEVER HAD BEFORE. IMMEDIATELY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE BUDDHA THEY SPOKE IN VERSE FORM, SAYING: THE WORLD-HONORED ONE, LEADER AND TEACHER, BRINGS TRANQUILLITY TO HEAVENLY AND HUMNAN BEINGS. WE HAVE HEARD THESE PROPHECIES AND OUR MINDS ARE PEACEFUL AND SATISFIED.

THE NUNS, HAVING RECITED THESE VERSES, SAID TO THE BUDDHA, “WORLD-HONORED ONE, WE TOOK WILL BE ABLE TO GO TO LANDS IN OTHER DIRECTIONS AND BROADLY PROPAGATE THIS SUTRA.”

AT THAT TIME THE WORLD-HONORED ONE LOOKED AT THE EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND MILLION NAYUTAS OF BODHISATTVAS MAHASATTVA. THESE BODHISATTVAS HAD ALL REACHED THE LEVEL OF NON-REGRESSION, TURNED THE UNREGRESSING WHEEL OF THE LAW, AND HAD GAINED DHARANIS. THEY ROSE FROM THEIR SEATS, ADVANCED BEFORE THE BUDDHA AND, PRESSING THEIR PALMS TOGETHER WITH A SINGLE MIND, THOUGHT TO THEMSELVES, IF THE WORLD-HONORED ONE SHOULD ORDER US TO EMBRACE AND PREACH THIS SUTRA, WE WOULD DO AS THE BUDDHA INSTRUCTED AND BROADLY PROPAGATE THIS LAW. AND THEN THEY THOUGHT TO THEMSELVES, BUT THE BUDDHA NOW IS SILENT AND GIVES US NO SUCH ORDER. WHAT SHALL WE DO?

AT THAT TIME THE BODHISATTVAS, RESPECTFULLY COMPLYING WITH THE BUDDHA’S WILL AND AT THE SAME TIME WISHING TO FULFILL THEIR OWN ORIGINAL VOWS, PROCEEDED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE BUDDHA TO ROAR THE LION’S ROAR AND TO MAKE A VOW, SAYING: “WORLD-HONORED ONE, AFTER THE THUS COME ONE HAS ENTERED EXTINCTION WE WILL TRAVEL HERE AND THERE, BACK AND FORTH THROUGH THE WORLDS IN THE TEND DIRECTIONS SO AS TO ENABLE LIVING BEINGS TO COPY THIS SUTRA, TO RECEIVE, EMBRACE, READ, AND RECITE IT, UNDERSTAND AND PREACH ITS PRINCIPLES, PRACTICE IT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW, AND PROPERLY KEEP IT IN THEIR THOUGHTS. ALL THIS WILL BE DONE THROUGH THE BUDDHA’S POWER AND AUTHORITY. WE BEG THAT THE WORLD-HONORED ONE, THOUGH IN ANOTHER REGION, WILL LOOK ON FROM AFAR AND GUARD AND PROTECT US.”

AT THAT TIME THE BODHISATTVAS JOINED THEIR VOICES TOGETHER AND SPOKE IN VERSE FORM SAYING: WE BEG YOU NOT TO WORRY. AFTER THE BUDDHA HAS PASSED INTO EXTINCTION, IN AN AGE OF FEAR AND EVIL WE WILL PREACH FAR AND WIDE. THERE WILL BE MANY IGNORANT PEOPLE WHO WILL CURSE AND SPEAK ILL OF US AND WILL ATTACK US WITH SWORDS AND STAVES, BUT WE WILL ENDURE ALL THESE THINGS. IN THAT EVIL AGE THERE WILL BE MONKS WITH PERVERSE WISDOM AND HEARTS THAT ARE FAWNING AND CROOKED WHO WILL SUPPOSE THEY HAVE ATTAINED WHAT THEY HAVE NOT ATTAINED, BEING PROUD AND BOASTFUL IN HEART. OR THERE WILL BE FOREST-DWELLING MONKS WEARING CLOTHING OF PATCHED RAGS AND LIVING IN RETIREMENT, WHO WILL CLAIM THEY ARE PRACTICING THE TRUE WAY, DESPISING AND LOOKING DOWN ON ALL HUMANKIND. GREEDY FOR PROFIT AND SUPPORT, THEY WILL PREACH THE LAW TO WHITE-ROBED LAYMEN AND WILL BE RESPECTED AND REVERED BY THE WORLD AS THOUGH THEY WERE ARHATS WHO POSSESS THE SIX TRANSCENDENTAL POWERS. THESE MEN WITH EVIL IN THEIR HEARTS, CONSTANTLY THINKING OF WORLDLY AFFAIRS, WILL BORROW THE NAME OF FOREST-DWELLING MONKS AND TAKE DELIGHT IN PROCLAIMING OUR FAULTS, SAYING THINGS LIKE THIS: “THESE MONKS ARE GREEDY FOR PROFIT AND SUPPORT AND THEREFORE THEY PREACH NON-BUDDHIST DOCTRINES AND FABRICATE THEIR OWN SCRIPTURES TO DELUDE THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD. BECAUSE THEY HOPE TO GAIN FAME AND RENOWN THEREBY THEY MAKE DISTINCTIONS WHEN PREACHING THIS SUTRA.” BECAUSE IN THE MIDST OF GREAT ASSEMBLIES TRHEY CONSTANTLY TRY TO DEFAME US, THEY WILL ADDRESS THE RULERS, HIGH MINISTERS, BRAHMANS, AND HOUSEHOLDERS, AS WELL AS THE OTHER MONKS, SLANDERING AND SPEAKING EVIL OF US, SAYING, “THESE MEN OF PERVERTED VIEWS WHO PREACH NON-BUDDHIST DOCTRINES!” BUT BECAUSE WE REVERE THE BUDDHA WE WILL BEAR ALL THESE EVILS. THOUGH THEY TREAT US WITH CONTEMPT, SAYING, “YOU ARE ALL NO DOUBT BUDDHAS!” ALL SUCH WORDS OF ARROGANCE AND CONTEMPT WE WILL ENDURE AND ACCEPT. IN A MUDDIED KALPA, IN AN EVIL AGE, THERE WILL BE MANY THINGS TO FEAR. EVIL DEMONS WILL TAKE POSSESSION OF OTHERS AND THROUGH THEM CURSE, REVILE, AND HEAP SHAME ON US. BUT WE, REVERENTLY TRUSTING IN THE BUDDHA, WILL PUT ON THE ARMOR OF PERSEVERANCE. IN ORDER TO PREACH THIS SUTRA WE WILL BEAR THESE DIFFICULT THINGS. WE CARE NOTHING FOR OUR BODIES OR LIVES BUT ARE ANXIOUS ONLY FOR THE UNSURPASSED WAY. IN AGES TO COME WE WILL PROTECT AND UPHOLD WHAT THE BUDDHA HAS ENTRUSTED TO US. THIS THE WORLD-HONORED ONE MUST KNOW. THE EVIL MONKS OF THAT MUDDIED AGE, FAILING TO UNDERSTAND THE BUDDHA’S EXPEDIENT MEANS, HOW HE PREACHES THE LAW IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHAT IS APPROPRIATE, WILL CONFRONT US WITH FOUL LANGUAGE AND ANGRY FROWNS; AGAIN AND AGAIN WE WILL BE BANISHED TO A PLACE FAR REMOVED FROM TOWERS AND TEMPLES. ALL THESE VARIOUS EVILS, BECAUSE WE KEEP IN MIND THE BUDDHA’S ORDERS, WE WILL ENDURE. IF IN THE SETTLEMENTS AND TOWNS THERE ARE THOSE WHO SEEK THE LAW, WE WILL GO TO WHEREVER THEY ARE AND PREACH THE LAW ENTRUSTED TO US BY THE BUDDHA. WE WILL BE ENVOYS OF THE WORLD-HONORED ONE, FACING THE ASSEMBLIES WITHOUT FEAR. WE WILL PREACH THE LAW WITH SKILL, FOR WE DESIRE THE BUDDHA TO REST IN TRANQUILITY. IN THE PRESENCE OF THE WORLD-HONORED ONE AND OF THE BUDDHAS WHO HAVE GATHERED FROM THE TEN DIRECTIONS WE PROCLAIM THIS VOW. THE BUDDHA MUST KNOW WHAT IS IN OUR HEARTS.

NOTES:

1. GAUTAMI IS ANOTHER NAME FOR THE BUDDHA’S MATERNAL AUNT, MAHAPRAJAPATI.

=======

13. Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man: Shōgu mondō shō (聖愚問答抄), 474.

HAVING received life, one cannot escape death. Yet though everyone, from the noblest, the emperor, on down to the lowliest commoner, recognizes this as a fact, not even one person in a thousand or ten thousand truly takes the matter seriously or grieves over it. Suddenly confronted with evidence of the impermanence of life, we may be frightened at the thought that we have remained so distant from Buddhism and lament that we have been too engrossed in secular affairs.1 Yet we assume that those who have preceded us in death are wretched, and that we who remain alive are superior. Busy with that task yesterday and this affair today, we are helplessly bound by the five desires of our worldly nature. Unaware that time passes as quickly as a white colt glimpsed through a crack in the wall,2 ignorant as sheep being led to the slaughter, held hopeless prisoners by our concern for food and clothing, we fall heedlessly into the snares of fame and profit and in the end make our way back to that familiar village in the three evil paths, where we are reborn time after time in the realm of the six paths. What person of feeling could fail to grieve at such a state of affairs, or could fail to be moved to sorrow!
Alas! Neither young nor old know what fate awaits them—such is the way of our sahā world. All those who meet are destined to part again—such is the rule in this floating world we live in. Although none of this had just struck me for the first time, [I was appalled at] seeing all those who took early leave of this world in the beginning of the Shōka era.3 Some of them left little children behind them, while others were forced to abandon their aged parents. How sad their hearts must have been when, though still in the prime of life, they were obliged to set off on their journey to the Yellow Springs. It was painful for those who departed, and painful for those left behind.
The king of Ch’u’s passion for the goddess remained as a wisp of morning cloud,4 and Liu’s grief at remembering his meeting with the immortal visitor was consoled by the sight of his descendants of the seventh generation.5 But how can a person like myself win release from sorrow? I find myself recalling the poet of old who hoped that because he was a humble-hearted dweller in the mountains he might be free of such sadness.6 Now, gathering together my thoughts as the men of Naniwa gather seaweed to extract salt, I give them form with my writing brush as a memento for people in later ages.
p.100How sad, how lamentable it is! From the beginningless past, we have been drunk on the wine of ignorance, reborn again and again in the six paths of existence and the four forms of birth. Sometimes we gasp amid the flames of the hell of burning heat or the hell of great burning heat;7 sometimes we are frozen in the ice of the hell of the crimson lotus or the hell of the great crimson lotus.8 Sometimes we must endure the hunger and thirst that torment those in the realm of hungry spirits, for five hundred lifetimes not so much as hearing the word “food” or “drink.” Sometimes we suffer being wounded and killed in the realm of animals, the wounding and killing that occur when the small are swallowed up by the large, or the short engulfed by the long. Sometimes we face the contention and strife of the realm of asuras; sometimes we are born as human beings and undergo the eight sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, death, the pain of parting from loved ones, the pain of encountering those whom we hate, the pain of failing to obtain what we desire, and the pain that arises from the five components of body and mind.9 And sometimes we are born in the realm of heaven and experience the five signs of decay.
And so we go round and round like a cartwheel in this threefold world. Even among people once related as father and child, parents reborn do not know that they were parents, or children that they were children; and though husband and wife re-encounter each other, they do not know that they have already met. We go astray as though we had the eyes of sheep; we are as ignorant as though we had the eyes of wolves. We do not know our past relationship with the mother who gave us birth, and we are unaware of when we ourselves will succumb to death.
And yet we have obtained birth in the human world, something difficult to achieve, and have encountered the sacred teachings of the Thus Come One, which are rarely to be met. We are like the one-eyed turtle finding a floating log with a hole in it that fits him exactly. How regrettable it would be, then, if we did not take this opportunity to sever the bonds of birth and death, making no attempt to free ourselves from the cage of the threefold world!10
Then a wise man appeared and addressed the unenlightened man, saying: “You are quite right to lament as you do. But those who understand the impermanence of this world in this way and turn their hearts to goodness are rarer than the ch’i-lin’s horns, while those who fail to understand and instead give themselves to evil thoughts are more numerous than the hairs on a cow. If you wish to arouse the aspiration for enlightenment and to quickly free yourself from the sufferings of birth and death, then I know of the finest doctrine that there is for such a purpose. If you wish, I will explain it to you so that you may know of it.”
The unenlightened man rose from his seat, pressed his palms together, and said: “For some time now I have been studying the classics of secular literature and giving all my attention to matters of poetry, so I have no detailed knowledge of the Buddhist teachings. I hope that you will be kind enough to explain them to me, sir.”
At that time the wise man said: “You must listen with the ears of Ling Lun,11 borrow the eyes of Li Chu,12 and still your mind, and I will explain things to you. The sacred teachings of Buddhism number no less than eighty thousand, but the most important teaching, the father and mother of all the schools, is that concerning the precepts and rules of conduct. In India, the bodhisattvas Vasubandhu and p.101Ashvaghosha and, in China, the priests Hui-k’uang and Tao-hsüan placed great emphasis on these. And in our own country, during the reign of the forty-fifth sovereign, Emperor Shōmu, the Reverend Chien-chen [Ganjin] brought to Japan the teachings of the Precepts school, along with those of the T’ien-t’ai school, and established an ordination platform for administering the precepts at Tōdai-ji temple. From that time down to the present, the precepts have been revered over many long years, and the honor paid to them increases daily.
“In particular, there is the Honorable Ryōkan of Gokuraku-ji. Everyone, from the supreme ruler on down to the common people, looks up to him as a living Thus Come One, and on observing his conduct, we find that it is indeed in keeping with such a reputation. He directed charitable activities at the port of Iijima, collected rice at the Mutsura Barrier,13 and used the funds to build roads in the various provinces. He set up barriers along the seven highways,14 collected a toll from everyone who passed by, and used the money to build bridges across a number of rivers. In such acts of compassion, he is equal to the Thus Come One, and his virtuous deeds surpass those of the sages of the past. If you wish to quickly free yourself from the sufferings of birth and death, then you should observe the five precepts and the two hundred and fifty precepts, deepen your compassion for others, refrain from killing any living thing, and, like the Honorable Ryōkan, engage in building roads and bridges. This is the finest of all teachings. Are you prepared to embrace it?”
The unenlightened man pressed his palms together more fervently than ever and said: “Indeed, I want very much to embrace it. Please explain it to me thoroughly. You speak of the five precepts and the two hundred and fifty precepts, but I do not know what they are. Please describe them to me in detail.”
The wise man said: “Your ignorance is abysmal! Even a child knows what the five precepts and the two hundred and fifty precepts are. However, I will explain them for you. The five precepts comprise, first, the prohibition against taking life; second, the prohibition against stealing; third, the prohibition against lying; fourth, the prohibition against unlawful sexual intercourse; and fifth, the prohibition against drinking intoxicants. The two hundred and fifty precepts are numerous, and so I will not go into them here.”
At this the unenlightened man bowed low and with the deepest respect said, “From this day forward, I will devote myself to this doctrine with all my heart.”
This man had an old acquaintance, a lay Buddhist believer living in retirement, who paid him a visit to cheer him up. At first the visitor spoke about the affairs of the past, likening them to a dream that is endless and hazy, and then he talked of the future, pointing out how vast and dark it is, how difficult to predict. After he had sought in this way to divert his listener and explain his own views, he said: “Most of us who live in this world of ours find we cannot help thinking about the life to come. May I ask what kind of Buddhist doctrine you have embraced in order to free yourself from the sufferings of birth and death, or to pray for the welfare of those who have gone on to another life?”
The unenlightened man replied: “The other day an eminent priest called on me and instructed me in the five precepts and the two hundred and fifty precepts. In truth I am deeply impressed with his teachings and find them most admirable. Although I know I can never equal the Honorable Ryōkan, I have determined to do all I can to repair roads that are in poor p.102condition and to build bridges over rivers that are too deep for wading.”
Then the lay believer gave him words of advice, saying: “Your concern for the way would seem to be admirable, but your approach is foolish. The doctrine you have just described to me is the lowly teaching of the Hinayana. That is why the Buddha has set forth eight analogies,15 and why Bodhisattva Manjushrī has described seventeen differences16 between the Hinayana and the Mahayana. The Buddha has said, for example, that the Hinayana is like the light of a firefly compared to the brilliance of the sun, or like plain crystal compared to emerald. Moreover, the teachers of India, China, and Japan have written not a few treatises refuting the Hinayana teachings.
“Next, concerning your reverence for those who observe these practices, a teaching is not necessarily worthy of honor simply because its practitioners are respected. It is for this reason that the Buddha laid down the principle, ‘Rely on the Law and not upon persons.’17
“I have heard it said that the sages of ancient times who observed the precepts could not bear even to utter the words ‘kill’ or ‘hoard,’ but would substitute some pure-sounding circumlocution, and when they happened to catch sight of a beautiful woman, they would meditate upon the image of a corpse.18 But if we examine the behavior of the priests of today who supposedly observe the precepts, we find that they hoard silks, wealth, and jewels, and concern themselves with lending money at interest. Since their doctrines and their practices differ so greatly, who would think of putting any faith in them?
“And as for this matter of building roads and constructing bridges, it only causes people trouble. The charitable activities at the port of Iijima and the collecting of rice at the Mutsura Barrier have brought unhappiness to a great many people, and the setting up of barriers along the seven highways of the various provinces has imposed a hardship upon travelers. These are things that are happening right in front of your eyes. Can’t you see what is going on?”
The unenlightened man thereupon flushed with anger and said, “You with your little bit of wisdom have no cause to speak ill of that eminent priest and to defame his teachings! Do you do so knowingly, or are you simply a fool? It is a fearful thing you are doing.”
Then the lay believer laughed and said: “Alas, you are the foolish one! Let me briefly explain to you the biased views of that school. You should understand that, when it comes to the Buddhist teaching, there is the Mahayana division and the Hinayana division, and that in terms of schools there are those based upon the provisional teachings and those based upon the true teaching. Long ago, when the Buddha taught the Hinayana doctrines in Deer Park, he was opening the gate to a phantom city.19 But later, when the mats were spread for the teaching of the Lotus Sutra on Eagle Peak, then those earlier doctrines ceased to be of any benefit.”
The unenlightened man looked at the lay believer in perplexity and said: “Both the documentary evidence and the evidence of actual fact indeed support what you have said. But then what kind of Buddhist teaching ought one to embrace in order to free oneself from the sufferings of birth and death and quickly attain Buddhahood?”
The other replied: “Although I am only a layman, I have given myself earnestly to the practice of Buddhism, and from the time of my youth, I have listened to the words of many teachers and have done a certain amount of reading in the sacred scriptures. For those of us of this latter age, who have committed all manner of evil, there is p.103nothing that can compare with the Nembutsu teachings that lead to rebirth in the Pure Land. Thus, the Supervisor of Priests Eshin says, ‘The teachings and practices that lead to rebirth in the Land of Perfect Bliss are the eyes and feet for those who live in this defiled latter age of ours.’20 The Honorable Hōnen collected key passages from the various sutras and spread the doctrine of exclusive devotion to the practice of the Nembutsu. In particular, the original vows21 of the Buddha Amida surpass the vows of all other Buddhas in their worth and importance. From the first vow, that the three evil paths will not exist in his land, down to the last vow, that bodhisattvas will be enabled to attain the three types of perception,22 all of Amida’s compassionate vows are to be greatly welcomed. But the eighteenth vow is particularly effective on our behalf. In addition, even those who have committed the ten evil acts or the five cardinal sins are not excluded, nor is any distinction made between those who have recited the Nembutsu only one time and those who have recited it many times. For this reason, everyone from the ruler on down to the common people favors this school far above the other schools. And how many countless people have gained rebirth in the Pure Land as a result of it!”
The unenlightened man said: “Truly one should be ashamed of the small and yearn for the great, abandon the shallow and embrace the profound. This is not only a principle of Buddhism but a rule of the secular world as well. Therefore, I would like to shift my allegiance without delay to this school you have described. Please explain its principles to me in greater detail. You say that even those who have committed the five cardinal sins or the ten evil acts are not excluded from the Buddha’s compassionate vows. What, may I ask, are the five cardinal sins and the ten evil acts?”
The wise lay believer replied: “The five cardinal sins are killing one’s father, killing one’s mother, killing an arhat, shedding a Buddha’s blood, and disrupting the harmony of the Buddhist Order. As for the ten evil acts, there are three acts of the body, four acts of the mouth, and three acts of the mind. The three evil acts of the body are killing, stealing, and unlawful sexual intercourse. The four evil acts of the mouth are lying, flattery, defaming, and duplicity. The three evil acts of the mind are greed, anger, and foolishness.”
“Now I understand them,” said the unenlightened man. “From this day forward, I will place all my trust in this power of another, of the Buddha Amida, to bring me to rebirth in the Pure Land.”
At that time there was a practitioner of the esoteric school who was extraordinarily diligent in upholding its teachings. He too came to call on the unenlightened man to console him. At first he spoke only of “wild words and ornate phrases,”23 but in the end he discoursed on the differences between the two types of Buddhist teachings, those of the exoteric schools and those of the esoteric school. He inquired of the unenlightened man, “What sort of Buddhist doctrines are you practicing, and what sutras and treatises do you read and recite?”
The unenlightened man replied, “Recently, in accordance with the instruction of a lay believer I know, I have been reading the three Pure Land sutras and have come to put profound trust in Amida, the lord of the Western Paradise.”
The practitioner said: “There are two kinds of Buddhist teachings, the exoteric teachings and the esoteric teachings. The most profound doctrines of the exoteric teachings cannot compare even to the elementary stages of the esoteric teachings. From what you tell me, it seems that the doctrine p.104you have embraced is the exoteric teaching put forth by Shakyamuni. But the doctrine that I adhere to is the secret teaching of Mahāvairochana, the King of Enlightenment. If you are truly fearful of this burning house that is the threefold world we live in and long for the wonderful Land of Tranquil Light, then you should cast aside the exoteric teachings at once and put faith in the esoteric teachings.”
The unenlightened man, greatly startled, said: “I have never heard of this distinction between exoteric and esoteric doctrines. What are the exoteric teachings? What are the esoteric teachings?”
The practitioner replied: “I am a hardheaded and foolish person, and am not learned at all. Nevertheless, I would like to cite one or two passages and see if I can dispel your ignorance. The exoteric teachings are the doctrines preached in response to the request of Shāriputra and the other disciples by the Thus Come One of the manifested body. But the esoteric teachings are those that Mahāvairochana, the Thus Come One of the Dharma body, preached spontaneously out of his boundless joy in the Law, with Vajrasattva as his listener. These teachings constitute the Mahāvairochana Sutra and the others of the three esoteric sutras.”24
The unenlightened man said, “What you say stands to reason. I think I should correct my former error and hasten to embrace these more worthy teachings.”
There was a mendicant priest who drifted about from province to province like floating grass, who rolled on from district to district like tumbleweed. Before anyone realized it, he appeared on the scene and stood leaning on the pillar of the gate, smiling but saying nothing.
The unenlightened man, wondering at this, asked what he wanted. At first the priest made no reply, but after the question was repeated, he said, “The moon is dim and distant, the wind brisk and blustery.” His appearance was quite out of the ordinary and his words made no sense, but when the unenlightened man inquired about the ultimate principle behind them, he found that they represented the Zen teachings as they are expounded in the world today.
He observed the priest’s appearance, listened to his words, and asked what he considered a good cause for entering the Buddha way. The mendicant priest replied: “The teachings of the sutras are a finger pointing at the moon. Their doctrinal nets are so much nonsense that has been captured in words. But there is a teaching that enables you to find rest in the essential nature of your own mind—it is called Zen.”
“I would like to hear about it,” said the unenlightened man.
“If you are truly in earnest,” said the priest, “you must face the wall, sit in Zen meditation, and make clear the moon of your original mind. That the Zen lineage of the twenty-eight patriarchs was passed on without break in India, and that the line of transmission was handed down through the six patriarchs25 in China is clear for all to see. It would be pitiful indeed if you should fail to understand what they have taught and remain caught in the nets of doctrine. Since the mind itself is the Buddha, and the Buddha is none other than the mind, what Buddha could there be outside yourself?”
When the unenlightened man heard these words, he began to ponder various things and to quietly consider the principles he had heard. He said: “There are a great many different Buddhist doctrines, and it is very difficult to determine which are sound and which are not. It is only natural that Bodhisattva Ever Wailing should have gone east to inquire about the truth, p.105that the boy Good Treasures should have sought for it in the south, that Bodhisattva Medicine King burned his arms as an offering, and that the ascetic Aspiration for the Law stripped off his skin. A good teacher is truly difficult to find. Some say that one should go by the teachings of the sutras, while others say that the truth lies outside the sutras. In pondering the rights and wrongs of these doctrines, one who has not yet fathomed the depths of Buddhism and stands gazing over the waters of the Law is in doubt as to how deep they may be; one who assesses a teacher does so with all the anxiety of a person walking on thin ice. That is why the Buddha has left us those golden words, ‘Rely on the Law and not upon persons,’ and why it is said that those who encounter the correct teaching are as few as the grains of earth that can be placed on a fingernail. If there is someone who knows which of the Buddhist teachings are true and which are false, then I must seek him out, make him my teacher, and treat him with appropriate respect.”
They say that it is as difficult to be born in the realm of human beings as it is to thread a needle by lowering the thread from the heavens, and as rare to see and hear the Buddha’s teachings as it is for a one-eyed turtle to encounter a floating log with a hole just the right size to hold him. Having this in mind and believing that one must regard the body as insignificant and the Law as supreme, the unenlightened man climbed numerous mountains, impelled by his anxiety, going from one temple to another as his feet would carry him. In time he arrived at a rocky cave with green mountains rising sheer behind it. The wind in the pines played a melody of eternity, happiness, true self, and purity, and the emerald stream that bubbled along in front sent its waves striking against the bank with echoes of the perfection of these four virtues. The flowers carpeting the deep valley bloomed with the hue of the true aspect of the Middle Way, and from the plum blossoms just beginning to open in the broad meadow wafted the fragrance of the three thousand realms. Truly it was beyond the power of words to describe, beyond the scope of the mind to imagine. One might have thought it the place where the Four White-Haired Elders of Mount Shang lived, or the site where some ancient Buddha had walked about after meditation. Auspicious clouds rose up at dawn, a mysterious light appeared in the evening. Ah, the mind cannot grasp it nor words set it forth!
The unenlightened man wandered about, pondering what was before him, now pausing in thought, now resuming his steps. Suddenly he came upon a sage. Observing his actions, he saw that the sage was reciting the Lotus Sutra; his voice stirred the seeker deeply. Peering in at the quiet window of the sage’s retreat, he found that the sage was resting his elbows on his desk, pondering the sutra’s profound meaning.
The sage, divining that the unenlightened man was searching for the Law, asked in a gentle voice, “Why have you come to this cave among these far-off mountains?”
The other replied, “Because I attach little importance to life but great importance to the Law.”
“What practices do you follow?” asked the sage.
The unenlightened man answered: “I have lived all my life amid the dust of the secular world and have not yet learned how to free myself from the sufferings of birth and death. As it happened, however, I encountered various good teachers, from whom I learned first the rules of discipline and then the Nembutsu, True Word, and Zen teachings. But though I have learned these teachings, I am unable to determine their truth or falsity.”
The sage said: “When I listen to p.106your words, I find that it is indeed just as you have said. To hold life lightly but value the Law is the teaching of the sages of former times, and one that I myself know well.
“From the realm where there is neither thought nor no thought26 above the clouds to the very bottom of hell, is there any being who receives life and yet succeeds in escaping death? Thus, even in the unenlightened secular writings we find it said, ‘Though you may set out at dawn on the journey of life with pride in the beauty of your rosy cheeks, by evening you will be no more than a pile of white bones rotting on the moor.’27 Though you may move among the most exalted company of court nobles, your hair done up elegantly like clouds and your sleeves fluttering like eddies of snow, such pleasures, when you stop to consider them, are no more than a dream within a dream. You must come to rest at last under the carpet of weeds at the foot of the hill, and all your jeweled daises and brocade hangings will mean nothing to you on the road to the afterlife. The famed flower-like beauty of Ono no Komachi28 and Soto’ori Hime29 was in time scattered by the winds of impermanence. Fan K’uai and Chang Liang, in spite of their skill in the military arts, in the end suffered beneath the staves of the wardens of hell. That is why men of feeling in former times wrote poems such as these:

How sad, the evening smoke
from Mount Toribe!
Those who see off the dead one—
how long will they remain?30

Dew on the branch tips,
drops on the trunk—
all sooner or later
must vanish from this world.31

“This rule of life, that if one does not die sooner one will surely die later, should not at this late date come as a surprise to you. But the thing that you should desire above all is the way of the Buddha, and what you should continually seek are the teachings of the sutras. Now, from what you have told me about the Buddhist doctrines you have encountered, I can see that some of them belong to the Hinayana division of Buddhism and some to the Mahayana. But, leaving aside for the moment the question of which is superior and which inferior, I can say that, far from bringing you deliverance, the practice of these teachings will lead to rebirth in the evil paths.”
At this the unenlightened man exclaimed in surprise: “But were not all the sacred teachings that the Buddha expounded throughout his lifetime designed to benefit living beings? From the time of the preaching of the Flower Garland Sutra at the seven places and eight assemblies, down to the ceremony in which the Nirvana Sutra was expounded on the banks of the Ajitavatī River, all the doctrines were taught by Shakyamuni Buddha himself. Though one may perhaps be able to distinguish certain small degrees of relative merit among them, how could any of them possibly be the cause for rebirth in the evil paths?”
The sage replied: “The sacred teachings that the Thus Come One proclaimed in the course of his lifetime may be divided into the categories of provisional and true, Hinayana and Mahayana. In addition, they may be classified according to the two paths of the exoteric and the esoteric. Thus they are not all of the same sort. Let me for a moment explain the general nature of the teachings and thus relieve you of your misunderstandings.
“When Shakyamuni, the lord of teachings in the threefold world, was nineteen years old, he left the city of Gayā and went into retreat on Mount Dandaka,32 where he carried out various difficult and painful austerities. He p.107attained enlightenment at the age of thirty and, at that time, instantly banished the three categories of illusion and brought to an end the vast night of ignorance. It might appear that he should at that time have preached the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law in order to fulfill his original vow. But he knew that the people varied greatly in their capacities, and that they did not have the receptivity to understand the Buddha vehicle. Therefore, he devoted the following forty years and more to developing the people’s inherent capacity. Then, in the last eight years of his life, he fulfilled the purpose of his advent in the world by preaching the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law.
“Thus it was that, when the Buddha was seventy-two, he preached the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra as an introduction to the Lotus Sutra and therein stated: ‘In the past I sat upright in the place of meditation for six years under the bodhi tree and was able to gain supreme perfect enlightenment. With the Buddha eye I observed all phenomena and knew that this enlightenment could not be explained or described. Why? Because I knew that living beings are not alike in their natures and their desires. And because their natures and desires are not alike, I preached the Law in various different ways. Preaching the Law in various different ways, I made use of the power of expedient means. But in these more than forty years, I have not yet revealed the truth.’
“The meaning of this passage is that, when the Buddha was thirty years of age, seated in the place of enlightenment under the bodhi tree, he observed the inner heart of all living beings with the Buddha eye and realized that it was not the proper time to preach to them the Lotus Sutra, which reveals the direct way to the attainment of Buddhahood for all living beings. Therefore, as one would wave an empty fist about to humor a little baby, he resorted to various expedient means, and for the following forty years and more he refrained from revealing the truth. Thus he defined the period of the expedient teachings as clearly as the sun rising in the blue sky or the full moon coming up on a dark night.
“In view of this passage, why should we, with the very same faith that could just as easily be directed toward the Lotus Sutra, cling to the provisional teachings of the sutras that preceded the Lotus, those doctrines defined by the Buddha to be empty, and as a result keep returning to the same old dwelling in the threefold world, with which we are already so familiar?
“Therefore, in the ‘Expedient Means’ chapter in the first volume of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha says, ‘Honestly discarding expedient means, I will preach only the unsurpassed way.’ This passage indicates that one should honestly discard the teachings that the Buddha set forth in the various sutras preached in the previous forty-two years, namely, the Nembutsu, True Word, Zen, and Precepts doctrines to which you referred.
“The meaning of this passage is perfectly clear. And, in addition, we have the warning delivered in the ‘Simile and Parable’ chapter in the second volume, ‘desiring only to accept and embrace the sutra of the great vehicle and not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.’ This passage is saying that, no matter what year of the Buddha’s life a sutra may have been preached in, one should not accept even a single verse from any of the sutras other than the Lotus Sutra.
“The varying doctrines of the eight schools are as numerous as so many orchids and chrysanthemums, and priests and lay believers differ in appearance, yet they all agree in claiming to cherish the Lotus Sutra. But how do they interpret these passages from p.108the Lotus Sutra that I have just cited? These passages speak of ‘honestly discarding’ the earlier teachings and forbid one to accept so much as a single verse from any of the other sutras. But are the doctrines of Nembutsu, True Word, Zen, and Precepts not based on the ‘other sutras’?
“Now this Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law I have been speaking of represents the true reason why all Buddhas make their advent in the world and teaches the direct way to the attainment of Buddhahood for all living beings. Shakyamuni Buddha entrusted it to his disciples, Many Treasures Buddha testified to its veracity, and the other Buddhas extended their tongues up to the Brahmā heaven, proclaiming, ‘All that you [Shakyamuni] have expounded is the truth!’33 Every single character in this sutra represents the true intention of the Buddhas, and every brushstroke of it is a source of aid to those who repeat the cycle of birth and death. There is not a single word in it that is untrue.
“Is not one who fails to heed the warnings of this sutra in effect cutting off the tongues of the Buddhas and deceiving the worthies and sages? This offense is truly fearful. Thus, in the second volume it says, ‘If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra, immediately he will destroy all the seeds for becoming a Buddha in this world.’34 The meaning of this passage is that, if one turns one’s back on even one verse or one phrase of this sutra, one is guilty of a crime equal to that of killing all the Buddhas of the ten directions in the three existences of past, present, and future.
“If we use the teachings of the sutras as a mirror in which to examine our present world, we will see that it is a difficult thing to find one who does not betray the Lotus Sutra. And if we understand the true meaning of these matters, we can see that even a person of disbelief cannot avoid being reborn in the hell of incessant suffering. How much more so is this true, then, for someone like the Honorable Hōnen, the founder of the Nembutsu school, who urged people to discard the Lotus Sutra in favor of the Nembutsu! Where, may I ask, in all the five thousand or seven thousand volumes of sutras is there any passage that instructs us to discard the Lotus Sutra?
“The Reverend Shan-tao, who was revered as a practitioner who had gained enlightenment through the attainment of meditation and honored as a living incarnation of Amida Buddha, designated five kinds of sundry practices that are to be discarded, and said of the Lotus Sutra that ‘not even one person in a thousand’ could be saved by it; by which he meant that if a thousand people put faith in that sutra not a single one of them will attain Buddhahood. And yet the Lotus Sutra itself says, ‘If there are those who hear the Law, then not a one will fail to attain Buddhahood.’35 This indicates that if they hear this sutra then all beings in the Ten Worlds, along with their environments, will attain the Buddha way. Hence the sutra predicts that Devadatta, though he has committed the five cardinal sins, will in the future become a Buddha called the Thus Come One Heavenly King, and tells how the dragon king’s daughter, though as a woman subject to the five obstacles and thought to be incapable of attaining Buddhahood, was able instantly to achieve the Buddha way in the southern realm. Thus even the dung beetle can ascend through the six stages of practice and is in no way excluded from achieving Buddhahood.36
“In fact, Shan-tao’s words and the passages of the Lotus Sutra are as far apart as heaven and earth, as different as clouds from mud. Which one are we to follow? If we stop to ponder the logic of the matter, we will realize that p.109Shan-tao is the deadly enemy of all Buddhas and sutras, and the foe of wise priests and humble lay believers alike. If the words of the Lotus Sutra are true, then how can he escape the hell of incessant suffering?”
At these words, the unenlightened man flushed with anger and said: “You are a person of no more than humble station in life, and yet you dare to utter such ugly accusations. I find it very difficult to judge whether you speak out of true understanding or out of delusion, and to tell whether your words stand to reason or not. It behooves us to remember that the Reverend Shan-tao is said to have been a transformed body of Amida the Well Attained37 or of his attendant Bodhisattva Great Power. And the same is said of the Honorable Hōnen, or that he was a reincarnation of Shan-tao. These were both outstanding men of antiquity, and in addition they had acquired extraordinary merit through their religious practices and commanded the most profound degree of understanding. How could they possibly have fallen into the evil paths?”
The sage replied: “What you say is quite correct, and I too had great respect for these men and believed in them as you do. But in matters of Buddhist doctrines one cannot jump to conclusions simply on the basis of the eminence of the person involved. The words of the sutras are what must come first. Do not make light of a teaching just because the person who preaches it is of humble station. The fox of the kingdom of Bima who recited the twelve-character verse that goes, ‘There are those who love life and hate death; there are those who love death and hate life,’ was hailed as a teacher by the god Shakra,38 and the demon who recited the sixteen-character verse that begins, ‘All is changeable, nothing is constant,’ was treated with great honor by the boy Snow Mountains. This was done, however, not because the fox or the demon was of such eminence, but simply out of respect for the doctrines they taught.
“Therefore, in the sixth volume of the Nirvana Sutra, his final teaching delivered in the grove of sal trees, our merciful father Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, said, ‘Rely on the Law and not upon persons.’ Even when great bodhisattvas such as Universal Worthy and Manjushrī, men who have returned39 to the stage of near-perfect enlightenment, expound the Buddhist teachings, if they do not do so with the sutra text in hand, then one should not heed them.
“The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai states, ‘That which accords with the sutras is to be written down and made available. But put no faith in anything that in word or meaning fails to do so.’40 Here we see that one should accept what is clearly stated in the text of the sutras, but discard anything that cannot be supported by the text. The Great Teacher Dengyō says, ‘Depend upon the preachings of the Buddha, and do not put faith in traditions handed down orally,’41 which expresses the same idea as the passage from T’ien-t’ai’s commentary. And Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna says that one should rely on treatises that are faithful to the sutras, but not rely on those that distort the sutras.42 This passage may be understood to mean that, even among the various sutras, one should discard the provisional teachings put forth prior to the Lotus Sutra and put one’s faith in this sutra, the Lotus. Thus both sutras and treatises make it perfectly clear that one should discard all scriptures other than the Lotus.
“Nowhere in all the five thousand or seven thousand volumes of sutras listed in the K’ai-yüan era catalog43 do we find a single scriptural passage that expresses disapproval of the Lotus Sutra and advises one to discard it or to cast p.110it aside, nor any passage that says it is to be classified among the sundry practices and abandoned. If you disagree, you had better find some reliable passage from the sutras that will support your view, so that you may rescue Shan-tao and Hōnen from their torments in the hell of incessant suffering.
“The practitioners of the Nembutsu in our present day, priests as well as ordinary lay men and women, not only violate the words of the sutras but also go against the instructions of their own teachers. Shan-tao produced a commentary in which he described five kinds of sundry practices that should be abandoned by practitioners of the Nembutsu. Referring to these sundry practices, The Nembutsu Chosen above All says: ‘[Shan-tao states as follows:] “Concerning the first of the sundry practices, that of reading and reciting sutras, with the exception of the recitation of the Meditation on the Buddha Infinite Life Sutra and the other sutras that preach rebirth in the Pure Land, the embracing, reading, and recitation of all other sutras, whether Mahayana or Hinayana, exoteric or esoteric, is to be regarded as a sundry practice. . . . Concerning the third of the sundry practices, that of worshiping, with the exception of worshiping the Buddha Amida, the worshiping or honoring of any other Buddha or bodhisattva, or deity of this world is to be regarded as a sundry practice. Concerning the fourth of the sundry practices, that of calling on the name, with the exception of calling on the name of the Buddha Amida, calling on the name of any other Buddha or bodhisattva, or deity of this world is to be regarded as a sundry practice. Concerning the fifth of the sundry practices, that of praising and giving offerings, with the exception of praises and offerings directed to the Buddha Amida, the praising of and giving of offerings to any other Buddha or bodhisattva, or deity of this world is to be regarded as a sundry practice.”’
“This passage of commentary is saying that with regard to the first sundry practice, that of reading and reciting sutras, there are fixed rules for priests and lay believers of the Nembutsu, both men and women, concerning which sutras are to be read and which are not to be read. Among the sutras that are not to be read are the Lotus, Benevolent Kings, Medicine Master, Great Collection, Heart, Woman Born as a Man to Become a Buddha, and Life-Prolonging Northern Dipper sutras, and in particular, among the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra, the so-called Perceiver of the World’s Sounds Sutra,44 which is commonly read by so many people. If one reads so much as a single phrase or a single verse of these sutras, then, although one may be a devoted practitioner of the Nembutsu, one is in fact grouped among those who follow sundry practices and cannot be reborn in the Pure Land. Yet now, as I observe the world with my own eyes, among those who chant the Nembutsu I see many people who read these various sutras, thus going against their teachers and thereby committing one of the seven cardinal sins.45
“In addition, in the passage concerning the third kind of sundry practice, that of worshiping, it is said that with the exception of the worship of Amida flanked by two honored bodhisattvas,46 the worshiping or honoring of any of the earlier mentioned Buddhas, bodhisattvas, or heavenly gods and benevolent deities is to be regarded as a sundry practice and is forbidden to practitioners of the Nembutsu. But Japan is a land of the gods. It was created by the august deities Izanagi and Izanami,47 the Sun Goddess deigns to have her dwelling here, and the Mimosuso River48 for many long ages down to the present has continued to flow [through the grounds on which her p.111shrine is located]. How could anyone who was born in this country heed such an erroneous doctrine! In addition, as we have been born under the all-encompassing sky and enjoy the benefits of the three kinds of luminous bodies, the sun, the moon, and the stars, it would be a most fearful thing if we should show disrespect to the gods of these heavenly bodies.
“Again, in the passage concerning the fourth kind of sundry practice, that of calling on the name, it says that there are certain names of Buddhas and bodhisattvas that the Nembutsu believer is to call on, and certain names of Buddhas and bodhisattvas that he is not to call on. The names he is to call on are those of the Buddha Amida and his two honored attendants. The names he is not to call on are those of Shakyamuni, Medicine Master, Mahāvairochana, and the other Buddhas; those of the bodhisattvas Earth Repository, Universal Worthy, and Manjushrī, the gods of the sun, moon, and stars; the deities of the shrines in Izu and Hakone, Mishima Shrine, Kumano Shrine, and Haguro Shrine; the Sun Goddess; and Great Bodhisattva Hachiman. If anyone so much as once recites any of these names, then, although he may recite the Nembutsu a hundred thousand or a million times, because he committed the error of calling on the name of one of these Buddhas, bodhisattvas, the gods of the sun and moon, and other deities, he will fall into the hell of incessant suffering and fail to be reborn in the Pure Land. But when I look about at the world, I find Nembutsu believers who call on the names of these various Buddhas, bodhisattvas, heavenly gods, and benevolent deities. Thus, in this matter as well, they are going against the instructions of their own teachers.
“In the passage concerning the fifth sundry practice, that of praising and giving offerings, the Nembutsu believer is enjoined to make offerings to the Buddha Amida and his two bodhisattva attendants. But if he should offer even a little bit of incense or a few flowers to the earlier mentioned Buddhas, bodhisattvas, or heavenly gods and benevolent deities, then, although the merit he has gained from the Nembutsu practice may be laudable, because of the error he has committed, he is condemned to be classified among those who carry out sundry practices. And yet, when I look around the world, I see the Nembutsu believers paying visits to various shrines and offering streamers of paper or cloth, or entering various Buddhist halls and bowing in reverence there. In this, too, they are going against the instructions of their teachers. If you doubt what I say, then look at the text of Nembutsu Chosen above All. It is very clear on these points.
“Again, The Teaching on Meditation Sutra49 by the Reverend Shan-tao says: ‘With regard to intoxicants, meat, and the five strong-flavored foods,50 one must vow never to lay a hand on them, never to let one’s mouth taste them. One must pledge, “If I should go against these words, then may foul sores break out on both my body and mouth!”’ The meaning of this passage is that the Nembutsu believers, men and women lay believers, nuns and priests alike, must not drink wine and must not eat fish or fowl. In addition, they must not eat any of the five strong-flavored foods, the pungent or strong-smelling foods such as leeks or garlic. If any Nembutsu believers fail to abide by this rule, then in their present life they will find foul sores breaking out on their bodies, and in the next life they will fall into the hell of incessant suffering. In fact, however, we find many Nembutsu laymen and laywomen, nuns and priests, who pay no heed to this prohibition but drink as much wine and eat as much fish and fowl as they please. They are in p.112effect swallowing knives with which to wound themselves, are they not?”
Thereupon the unenlightened man said: “In truth, as I listen to your description of the doctrine, I can see that, even if the Nembutsu teaching could in fact lead one to rebirth in the Pure Land, its observances and practices are very difficult to carry out. And of course, since the sutras and treatises upon which it is based all belong to the category of provisional expositions, it is perfectly clear that it can never lead to rebirth in the Pure Land. But surely there is no reason to repudiate the True Word teachings. The Mahāvairochana Sutra constitutes the secret teaching of Mahāvairochana, the King of Enlightenment. It has been handed down in an unbroken line of transmission from the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana to Shan-wu-wei and Pu-k’ung. And in Japan the Great Teacher Kōbō spread the teachings concerning the mandalas of the Diamond Realm and the Womb Realm. These are secret and arcane teachings that concern the thirty-seven honored ones.51 Therefore, the most profound doctrines of the exoteric teachings cannot compare even to the elementary stages of the esoteric teachings. Hence the Great Teacher Chishō of Gotō-in temple52 stated in his commentary, ‘Even the Lotus Sutra cannot compare [to the Mahāvairochana Sutra], much less the other doctrines.’53 Now what is your view on this matter?”
The sage replied: “At first I too placed my trust in the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana and desired to carry out the teachings of the True Word school. But when I investigated the basic doctrines of the school, I found that they are founded on views that in fact are a slander of the correct teaching.
“The Great Teacher Kōbō of Mount Kōya, of whom you have spoken, was a teacher who lived in the time of Emperor Saga. He received a mandate from the emperor directing him to determine and explain the relative profundity of the various Buddhist teachings. In response, he produced a work in ten volumes entitled The Treatise on the Ten Stages of the Mind. Because this work is so broad and comprehensive, he made a condensation of it in three volumes, which bears the title The Precious Key to the Secret Treasury. This work describes ten stages in the development of the mind, from the first stage, the ‘mind of lowly man, goatish in its desire,’54 to the last stage, the ‘glorious mind, the most secret and sacred.’55 He assigns the Lotus Sutra to the eighth stage, the Flower Garland Sutra to the ninth stage, and the True Word teachings [of the Mahāvairochana Sutra] to the tenth stage. Thus he ranks the Lotus Sutra as inferior even to the Flower Garland Sutra, and as two stages below the Mahāvairochana Sutra. In this work, he writes, ‘Each vehicle that is put forward is claimed to be the vehicle of Buddhahood, but when examined from a later stage,56 they are all seen to be mere childish theory.’ He also characterizes the Lotus Sutra as a work of ‘wild words and ornate phrases,’ and disparages Shakyamuni Buddha as being lost in the region of darkness.
“As a result, Kōbō’s disciple in a later age, Shōkaku-bō, the founder of Dembō-in temple, was led to write that the Lotus Sutra is not fit even to be a sandal-tender for the Mahāvairochana Sutra, and that Shakyamuni Buddha is not worthy even to serve as an ox-driver for the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana.57
“Still your thoughts and listen to what I say. In all the five thousand or seven thousand volumes of sutras that the Buddha preached during his lifetime, or the three thousand or more volumes of the Confucian and Taoist scriptures, is there anywhere a passage clearly stating that the Lotus Sutra is p.113a doctrine of ‘childish theory,’ or that it ranks two stages below the Mahāvairochana Sutra, being inferior to the Flower Garland Sutra as well, or that Shakyamuni Buddha is lost in the region of darkness and is not worthy even to serve as an ox-driver to the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana? And even if such a passage did exist, one would certainly have to examine it with great care.
“When the Buddhist sutras and teachings were brought from India to China, the manner of translation depended upon the inclination of the particular translator, and there were no fixed translations for the sutras and treatises. Hence the Tripitaka Master Kumārajīva of the Later Ch’in dynasty always used to say: ‘When I examine the Buddhist teachings as they exist in China, I find that in many cases they differ from the Sanskrit originals. If the sutra translations that I have produced are free from error, then, after I am dead and cremated, my body, since it is impure, will no doubt be consumed by the flames, but my tongue alone will not be burned.’ And when he was finally cremated, his body was reduced to a pile of bones, but his tongue alone remained, resting on top of a blue lotus blossom and emitting a brilliant light that outshone the rays of the sun. What a wonderful thing!
“Thus it came about that the translation of the Lotus Sutra made by the Tripitaka Master Kumārajīva in particular spread easily throughout China. And that is why, when the Great Teacher Kompon [Dengyō] of Enryaku-ji attacked the teachings of the other schools, he refuted them by saying, ‘We have proof in the fact that the tongue of the Tripitaka Master Kumārajīva, the translator of the Lotus Sutra, was not consumed by the flames. The sutras that you rely upon are all in error.’
“Again, in the Nirvana Sutra the Buddha says that, when his teachings are transmitted to other countries, many errors are bound to be introduced into them. Even if among sutra passages we were to find the Lotus Sutra characterized as useless, or Shakyamuni Buddha described as a Buddha lost in the region of darkness, we should inquire very carefully to see whether the text that makes such statements belongs to the provisional teachings or the true teaching, to the Mahayana or the Hinayana, whether it was preached in the earlier or the later part of the Buddha’s life, and who the translator was.
“It is said that Lao Tzu and Confucius thought nine times before uttering a single word, or three times before uttering a single word. And Tan, the Duke of Chou, was so eager to receive his callers that he would spit out his food three times in the course of a meal and wring out his hair three times in the course of washing it [in order not to keep them waiting]. If even the people described in the shallow, non-Buddhist writings behaved with such care and circumspection, then how much more so should those who study the profound doctrines of the Buddhist scriptures!
“Now nowhere in the sutras and treatises do we find the slightest evidence to support this contention [that the Lotus Sutra is inferior to the Mahāvairochana Sutra]. The Great Teacher Kōbō’s own commentary says that one who slanders persons and disparages the correct teaching will fall into the evil paths.58 A person like Kōbō will invariably fall into hell—there can be no doubt of it.”
The unenlightened man seemed to be dazed, and then suddenly began to sigh. After some time, he said: “The Great Teacher Kōbō was an expert in both the Buddhist and non-Buddhist writings and a leader of the masses. In virtuous practices he excelled the others of his time, and his reputation was known everywhere. It is said that when p.114he was in China he hurled a three-pronged diamond-pounder59 all the way across the more than eighty thousand ri of the ocean until it reached Japan, and that when he expounded the meaning of the Heart Sutra so many sufferers from the plague recovered their health that they filled the streets. Thus he was surely no ordinary person, but a manifestation of a great sage in temporal form. We can hardly fail to hold him in esteem and put faith in his teachings.”
The sage replied: “I at first thought the same way. But after I entered the path of the Buddha’s teachings and began to distinguish what accords with its principles from what does not, I realized that the ability to perform miraculous acts at will does not necessarily constitute a basis for determining the truth or falsity of Buddhist teachings. That is why the Buddha laid down the rule that we should ‘rely on the Law and not upon persons,’ which I mentioned earlier.
“The ascetic Agastya poured the Ganges River into one ear and kept it there for twelve years, the ascetic Jinu drank the great ocean dry in a single day, Chang Chieh exhaled fog, and Luan Pa exhaled clouds.60 But this does not mean that they knew what is correct and what is not in the Buddhist teachings, or that they understood the principle of cause and effect. In China, when the Dharma Teacher Fa-yün lectured on the Lotus Sutra, in no time at all flowers came raining down from the heavens. But the Great Teacher Miao-lo said, ‘Though he could bring about a response in this way, his understanding still did not accord with the truth [of the Lotus Sutra].’61 Thus Miao-lo accused him of having failed to understand the truth of Buddhism.
“The Lotus Sutra rejects the three categories of preaching—that done by the Buddha in the past, the present, and the future.62 It refutes the sutras preached before it, saying that in them the Buddha had ‘not yet revealed the truth.’63 It attacks the sutras of the same period by declaring itself superior to those ‘now being preached,’ and repudiates the sutras expounded later by stating that it excels all those ‘to be preached.’ In fact, the Lotus Sutra is first among all sutras preached in the three periods of past, present, and future.
“In the fourth volume of the Lotus Sutra, we read, ‘Medicine King, now I say to you, I have preached various sutras, and among those sutras the Lotus is the foremost!’64 This passage means that at the gathering on Eagle Peak the Buddha addressed Bodhisattva Medicine King and told him that, beginning with the Flower Garland Sutra and ending with the Nirvana Sutra, there were countless sutras numbering as many as the sands of the Ganges, but that among all these the Lotus Sutra that he was then preaching held first place. But evidently the Great Teacher Kōbō took the word ‘first’ to mean ‘third.’
“In the same volume of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha says, ‘For the sake of the Buddha way in immeasurable numbers of lands from the beginning until now I have widely preached many sutras, and among them this sutra is foremost.’65 This passage means that Shakyamuni Buddha has appeared in countless lands, taking different names, and assuming varying life spans. And it establishes that, among all the sutras he has preached in the various forms in which he manifested himself, the Lotus Sutra holds first place.
“In the fifth volume of the Lotus Sutra, it is stated that ‘it holds the highest place,’66 making clear that this sutra stands above the Mahāvairochana, Diamond Crown, and all the other countless sutras. But evidently the Great Teacher Kōbō read this as ‘it holds the lowest place.’ Thus Shakyamuni and Kōbō, the Lotus Sutra and Precious Key to the Secret Treasury, are in fact p.115completely at odds with each other. Do you intend to reject Shakyamuni and follow Kōbō? Or will you reject Kōbō and follow Shakyamuni? Will you go against the text of the sutra and accept the words of an ordinary teacher? Or will you reject the words of an ordinary teacher and honor the golden words of the Buddha? Think carefully before you decide what to accept and what to reject.
“Furthermore, in the ‘Medicine King’ chapter in volume seven, ten similes are offered in praise of the teachings of the Lotus Sutra. The first simile concerns water, and in it streams and rivers are likened to the other various sutras and the great ocean to the Lotus Sutra. Thus, if anyone should assert that the Mahāvairochana Sutra is superior and the Lotus Sutra inferior, he is in effect saying that the great ocean holds less water than does a little stream. Everyone in the world today understands that the ocean exceeds the various rivers in size, and yet they fail to realize that the Lotus Sutra is the foremost among sutras.
“The second simile concerns mountains. Ordinary mountains are likened to the other sutras and Mount Sumeru to the Lotus Sutra. Mount Sumeru measures 168,000 yojanas from top to bottom; what other mountain could compare with it? To say that the Mahāvairochana Sutra is superior to the Lotus Sutra is like saying that Mount Fuji is bigger than Mount Sumeru.
“The third simile deals with the moon and stars. The other sutras are likened to the stars, and the Lotus Sutra is likened to the moon. Comparing the moon and the stars, can anyone be in doubt as to which is superior?
“Later on in the series of similes, we read, ‘This sutra likewise is foremost among all the sutra teachings preached by all the Thus Come Ones, preached by all the bodhisattvas, or preached by all the voice-hearers.’
“This passage tells us that the Lotus Sutra not only is the foremost among all the doctrines preached by Shakyamuni Buddha in the course of his lifetime, but also holds first place among all the teachings and sutras preached by Buddhas such as Mahāvairochana, Medicine Master, or Amida, and by bodhisattvas such as Universal Worthy or Manjushrī. Therefore, if anyone should assert that there exists a sutra superior to the Lotus, you must understand that he is expounding the views of the followers of non-Buddhist teachings or of the heavenly devil.
“Moreover, as to the identity of the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana, when Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, who had been enlightened from remote ages past, for forty-two years dimmed his light and mingled with the dust of the world, adapting himself to the capacities of the people of the time, he, a Thus Come One who unites the three bodies in one, temporarily assumed the form of Vairochana.67 Therefore, when Shakyamuni Buddha revealed the true aspect of all phenomena,68 it became clear that Vairochana was a temporary form that Shakyamuni had manifested in response to the capacities of the people. For this reason, the Universal Worthy Sutra says that Shakyamuni Buddha is given the name Vairochana Pervading Everywhere, and that the place where that Buddha lives is called Eternally Tranquil Light.
“Now the Lotus Sutra expounds the doctrines of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, a single moment of life comprising the three thousand realms, the unification of the three truths, and the inseparability of the four kinds of lands. Moreover, the very essence of all the sacred teachings expounded by Shakyamuni Buddha in his lifetime—the doctrines that persons of the two vehicles can achieve Buddhahood, and that the Buddha attained p.116enlightenment in the inconceivably remote past—is found only in this one sutra, the Lotus. Is there any mention of these most important matters in the three esoteric sutras you have been talking about, the Mahāvairochana Sutra, the Diamond Crown Sutra, and so forth? Shan-wu-wei and Pu-k’ung stole these most important doctrines from the Lotus Sutra and contrived to make them the essential points of their own sutras. But in fact this is a fraud; their own sutras and treatises contain no trace of these doctrines. You must make haste and remedy your thinking on this point.
“The fact is that the Mahāvairochana Sutra includes each of the four types of teachings69 and expounds the kind of precepts whose benefit is exhausted when the bodily form comes to an end.70 It is a provisional teaching, designated by Chinese teachers71 as a sutra belonging to the Correct and Equal category, the group of sutras that, according to T’ien-t’ai’s classification, were preached in the third period. How shameful [to hold it above the Lotus]! If you really have a mind to pursue the way, you must hurry and repent of your past errors. In the final analysis, this Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law sums up all the teachings and meditative practices of Shakyamuni Buddha’s entire lifetime in a single moment of life, and encompasses all the living beings of the Ten Worlds and their environments in the three thousand realms.”

Part Two

AT this, the unenlightened man looked somewhat mollified and said: “The words of the sutra are clear as a mirror; there is no room to doubt or question their meaning. But although the Lotus Sutra surpasses all the other sutras that the Buddha taught before, at the same time, or after, and represents the highest point in his preaching life, still it cannot compare with the single truth of Zen, which cannot be bound by words or confined in the text of a sutra, and which deals with the true nature of our minds. In effect, the realm where the countless doctrines are all cast aside and where words cannot reach is what is called the truth of Zen.
“Thus, on the banks of the Ajitavatī River, in the grove of sal trees, Shakyamuni Buddha stepped out of his golden coffin, twirled a flower, and, when he saw Mahākāshyapa’s faint smile, entrusted this teaching of Zen to him. Since then, it has been handed down without any irregularity through a lineage of twenty-eight patriarchs in India, and was widely propagated by a succession of six patriarchs in China. Bodhidharma is the last of the twenty-eight patriarchs of India and the first of the six patriarchs of China. We must not allow this transmission to be lost, and founder in the nets of doctrine.
“So, in the Sutra of the Buddha Answering the Great Heavenly King Brahmā’s Questions, the Buddha says: ‘I have a subtle teaching concerning the eye and treasury of the correct teaching, the wonderful mind of nirvana, the true aspect of reality that is without characteristics. It represents a separate transmission outside the sutras, independent of words or writing. I entrust it to Mahākāshyapa.’
“Thus we see that this single truth of Zen was transmitted to Mahākāshyapa apart from the sutras. All the teachings of the sutras are like a finger pointing at the moon. Once we have seen the p.117moon, what use do we have for the finger? And once we have understood this single truth of Zen, the true nature of the mind, why should we concern ourselves any longer with the Buddha’s teachings? Therefore, a man of past times has said, ‘The twelve divisions of the scriptures are all idle writings.’
“If you will open and read The Platform Sutra of Hui-neng, the sixth patriarch of this school, you will see that this is true. Once one has heard even a single word and thereby grasped and understood the truth, what use does one have for the teachings? How do you consider this principle?”
The sage replied: “You must first of all set aside the doctrines for the moment and consider the logic of the matter. Can anyone, without inquiring into the essential meaning of the Buddha’s lifetime teachings or investigating the basic principles of the ten schools, presume to admonish the nation and teach others? This Zen that you are talking about is something that I have studied exhaustively for some time. In view of the extreme doctrines that it teaches, I must say that it is a highly distorted affair.
“There are three types of Zen, known respectively as Thus Come One Zen, doctrinal Zen, and patriarchal Zen.72 What you are referring to is patriarchal Zen, and I would therefore like to give you a general idea of it. So listen, and understand what it is about.
“It speaks of transmitting something apart from the teachings. But apart from the teachings there are no principles, and apart from principles there are no teachings. Don’t you understand the logic of this, that principles are none other than teachings and teachings none other than principles? This talk about the twirled flower, the faint smile, and something being entrusted to Mahākāshyapa is in itself a teaching, and the four-character phrase about its being ‘independent of words or writing’ is likewise a teaching and a statement in words. This sort of talk has been around for a long while in both China and Japan. It may appear novel to you, but let me quote one or two passages that will clear up your misconceptions.
“Volume eleven of The Supplement to T’ien-t’ai’s Three Major Works states: ‘If one says that we are not to hamper ourselves by the use of verbal expressions, then how, for even an instant in this sahā world, can we carry on the Buddha’s work? Do the Zen followers themselves not use verbal explanations when they are giving instruction to others? If one sets aside words and phrases, then there is no way to explain the meaning of emancipation, so how can anyone ever hear about it?’
“Farther on, we read: ‘It is said that Bodhidharma came from the west and taught the “direct pointing to the mind of man” and “perceiving one’s true nature and attaining Buddhahood.” But are these same concepts not found in the Flower Garland Sutra and in the other Mahayana sutras? Alas, how can the people of our time be so foolish! You should all put faith in the teachings of the Buddha. The Buddhas, the Thus Come Ones, tell no lies!’
“To restate the meaning of this passage: if one objects that we are hampering ourselves with doctrinal writings and tying ourselves down with verbal explanations, and recommends a type of religious practice that is apart from the teachings of the sutras, then by what means are we to carry on the Buddha’s work and make good causes in this saha world of ours? Even the followers of Zen, who advocate these views, themselves make use of words when instructing others. In addition, when one is trying to convey an understanding of the Buddha way, one cannot communicate the meaning if one sets aside words and phrases. Bodhidharma came to China from the west, p.118pointed directly to people’s minds, and declared that those minds were Buddha. But this principle is enunciated in various places even in the provisional Mahayana sutras that preceded the Lotus Sutra, such as the Flower Garland, Great Collection, and Great Wisdom sutras. To treat it as such a rare and wonderful thing is too ridiculous for words. Alas, how can the people of our time be so distorted in their thinking! They should put their faith in the words of truth spoken by the Thus Come One of perfect enlightenment and complete reward, who embodies the principle of the Middle Way that is the true aspect of all things.
“In addition, the Great Teacher Miao-lo in the first volume of his Annotations on ‘Great Concentration and Insight’ comments on this situation by saying, ‘The people of today look with contempt on the sutra teachings and emphasize only the contemplation of truth, but they are making a great mistake, a great mistake indeed!’
“This passage applies to the people in the world today who put meditation on the mind and various other things first, and do not delve into or study the teachings of the sutras. On the contrary, they despise the teachings and make light of the sutras. This passage is saying that this is a mistake.
“Moreover, I should point out that the Zen followers of the present age are confused as to the teachings of their own school. If we open the pages of The Continued Biographies of Eminent Priests, we find that in the biography of the Great Teacher Bodhidharma, the first patriarch of Zen in China, it states, ‘By means of the teachings one can understand the essential meaning.’ Therefore, one should study and practice the principles embodied in the sacred teachings preached by the Thus Come One in the course of his lifetime and thereby gain an understanding of the substance of the various doctrines and the nature of the different schools.
“Furthermore, in the biography of Bodhidharma’s disciple, Hui-k’o, the second of the six Chinese patriarchs, it states that the Meditation Master Bodhidharma handed over the four volumes of the Lankāvatāra Sutra to Hui-k’o, saying: ‘Observing this land of China, I find only this sutra to be of real worth. If you base your practice on it, you will be able to bring salvation to the world.’ Here we see that, when the Great Teacher Bodhidharma came from India to China, he brought the four volumes of the Lankāvatāra Sutra and handed them over to Hui-k’o, saying: ‘When I observe the situation in this country, I see that this sutra is of outstanding superiority. You should abide by it and put it into practice and become a Buddha.’
“As we have just seen, these patriarch-teachers placed primary emphasis on the sutra texts. But if we therefore say that one must rely on the sutras, then we must take care to inquire whether those sutras belong to the Mahayana or the Hinayana, whether they are the provisional teachings or the true teaching.
“When it comes to making use of sutras, the Zen school relies on such works as the Lankāvatāra Sutra, the Shūramgama Sutra, and the Diamond Wisdom Sutra. These are all provisional teachings that were preached before the Lotus Sutra, doctrines that conceal the truth.
“These various sutras expound partial truths such as ‘the mind itself is the Buddha, and the Buddha is none other than the mind.’ The Zen followers have allowed themselves to be led astray by one or two such sentences and phrases, failing to inquire whether they represent the Mahayana or the Hinayana, the provisional teachings or the true teaching, the doctrines that reveal the truth or the doctrines that conceal it. They merely advance the p.119principle of nonduality without understanding the principle of duality,73 and commit an act of great arrogance, claiming that they themselves are equal to the Buddha. They are following in the tracks of the Great Arrogant Brahman of India and imitating the old ways of the Meditation Master San-chieh of China. But we should recall that the Great Arrogant Brahman, while still alive, fell into the hell of incessant suffering, and that San-chieh, after he died, turned into a huge snake. How frightful, how frightful indeed!
“Shakyamuni Buddha, with his understanding that had penetrated the three existences, and by the light of the clear wisdom-moon of perfect enlightenment and complete reward, peered into the future and, in the Sutra on Resolving Doubts about the Middle Day of the Law, made this prediction: ‘Among the evil monks there will be those who practice meditation and, instead of relying on the sutras and treatises, heed only their own view of things, declaring wrong to be right. Unable to distinguish between what is correct and what is erroneous, all they will do is face monks and lay believers and declare in this fashion, “I can understand what is right, I can see what is right.” You should understand that it is people like this who will destroy my teachings in no time at all.’
“This passage is saying that there will be evil monks who put all their faith in Zen and do not delve into the sutras and treatises. They will base themselves on distorted views and fail to distinguish between false and true doctrines. Moreover, they will address themselves to men and women believers, monks and nuns, declaring, ‘I can understand the doctrines, but other people do not,’ in this way working to spread the Zen teachings. But you should understand that these people will destroy the correct teaching of the Buddha. If we examine this passage and observe the state of the world today, we see that the two match each other as perfectly as do the two halves of a tally. Be careful! There is much to fear here.
“You spoke earlier of twenty-eight patriarchs of India who orally transmitted this Zen doctrine, but on what evidence is such a statement based? All the texts I have seen speak of twenty-four or, in some cases, twenty-three persons who transmitted the Buddha’s teachings. Where is the translation that establishes the number of patriarchs as twenty-eight? I have never seen such a statement. This matter of the persons who were involved in the line of transmission of the Buddha’s teachings is not something that one can simply write about arbitrarily. The Thus Come One himself left a clear record of what the line of transmission would be.
“Thus, in A History of the Buddha’s Successors, it states: ‘There will be a monk by the name of Āryasimha living in the kingdom of Kashmir who will strive vigorously to accomplish the Buddha’s work. At that time the ruler of the kingdom will be named Mirakutsu,74 a man who gives himself up wholly to false views and has no reverence or faith in his heart. Throughout the kingdom of Kashmir, he will destroy Buddhist temples and stupas and slaughter monks. He will take a sharp sword and use it to cut off Āryasimha’s head. But no blood will spurt from his neck; only milk will come flowing out. With this, the line of persons who transmit the Law will be cut off.’
“To restate this passage: The Buddha says that, after he passes into nirvana, there will be a succession of twenty-four persons who will transmit his teachings. Among these, the last to carry on the line of transmission will be a monk named Āryasimha, who will work to spread the Buddha’s teachings throughout the kingdom called Kashmir. The ruler of this state will be a p.120man named King Dammira. He will be a person of false views and profligate ways, who has no faith in the Buddha’s teachings and no reverence for the monks. He will destroy Buddhist halls and stupas and use a sword to cut off the heads of the monks. And when he cuts off the head of the monk Āryasimha, there will be no blood in his neck; only milk will come flowing out. The Buddha declares that at this time the line of persons who transmit his teachings will be cut off.
“The actual events did not in any way differ from the Buddha’s predictions; the Venerable Āryasimha’s head was in fact cut off. And as his head fell to the ground, so too did the arm of the king.
“It is a gross error to speak of twenty-eight patriarchs. This is the beginning of the errors of the Zen school. The reason that Hui-neng lists twenty-eight patriarchs in his Platform Sutra is that, when he decided to treat Bodhidharma as the first patriarch of Chinese Zen, he found that there were too many years between the time of Āryasimha and that of Bodhidharma. He therefore arbitrarily inserted the names of three Zen teachers to fill up the interval, so that he could make it seem as though the Law had been transmitted from India to China without any break or irregularity in the line of transmission. It was all a fabrication designed to make people respect the Zen teachings.
“This deception was put forth long ago in China. Thus, the eleventh volume of Three Major Works states: ‘In our [T’ien-t’ai] school, we recognize a transmission through twenty-three patriarchs. How could there be any error in this view? Concerning the claim that there were twenty-eight patriarchs, we can find no translation of a source that supports such a view. Recently Zen priests have even produced carvings in stone and wood-block engravings, each with a sacred verse attached, which represent the seven Buddhas and the twenty-eight patriarchs, handing these down to their disciples. Alas, how can there be such blatant falsehoods! If persons of understanding have any power at all, they should do everything they can to correct such abuses.’
“This text is saying that to assert a transmission through a line of twenty-eight patriarchs and to produce stone carvings and wood-block engravings of them to indicate the line of transmission are highly mistaken undertakings, and that anyone who understands this should work to correct such errors. This is why I say that patriarchal Zen is a gravely erroneous affair.
“Earlier, you quoted a passage from the Sutra of the Buddha Answering the Great Heavenly King Brahmā’s Questions to prove your contention that Zen is ‘a separate transmission outside the sutras.’ But by quoting a sutra passage you were already contradicting your own assertion. Moreover, this sutra represents the provisional teachings, and in addition, it is not listed either in the K’ai-yüan or the Chen-yüan era catalog of Buddhist works. Thus we see that it is a work unlisted in the catalogs and a provisional teaching as well. Hence the scholars of our time do not refer to it; it cannot be used to prove anything.
“Coming now to the Lotus Sutra, we should note the groups that benefited when it was preached. When the doctrine of the hundred worlds and thousand factors, or three thousand realms in a single moment of life, was expounded in the theoretical teaching, the people of the two vehicles, who had been likened to rotten seeds, had the seeds of Buddhahood sprout. In the previous forty-two years of the Buddha’s preaching, these persons had been condemned as incapable of ever attaining Buddhahood. In every gathering p.121and assembly, they heard nothing but curses and slander spoken against them and were shunned by all those of the human and heavenly realms, until it seemed that they were destined to die of hunger. But now, when the Lotus Sutra was preached, it was predicted that Shāriputra would become the Thus Come One Flower Glow, that Maudgalyāyana would become the Thus Come One Tamalapattra Sandalwood Fragrance, that Ānanda would become Mountain Sea Wisdom Unrestricted Power King Buddha, that Rāhula would become the Thus Come One Stepping on Seven Treasure Flowers, that the five hundred arhats would become the Thus Come Ones Universal Brightness, and that the two thousand voice-hearers would become the Thus Come Ones Jewel Sign. And on the day when the Buddha’s life span from the time he attained enlightenment in the remote past was revealed, the bodhisattvas who were as countless as particles of dust increased in their understanding of the way, discarded their still remaining illusions, and attained the last stage before the level of supreme enlightenment.
“Now, if we examine the commentary of the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai, it states: ‘The other sutras tell us that although the bodhisattvas may become Buddhas those persons of the two vehicles can never do so. Good people can become Buddhas, we are told, but there is no indication that evil ones can do likewise. Men, it is said, can become Buddhas, but women are branded as messengers of hell. Human and heavenly beings can attain Buddhahood, but it is nowhere stated that nonhuman creatures can do so. And yet, in this sutra, it is stated that all of these beings can attain Buddhahood.’75
“What a wonderful thing this is! Though we have been born in the impure world in the Latter Day of the Law, we have committed neither the five cardinal sins nor the three cardinal sins76 as Devadatta did. And yet it was predicted that even Devadatta would in time become the Thus Come One Heavenly King, so how much more should it be possible for persons like us, who have committed no such sins, to attain Buddhahood! And the eight-year-old dragon king’s daughter, without changing her reptilian form, attained the wonderful fruit of Buddhahood in the southern realm.77 Therefore, how much more likely is it that women who have been born into the human realm should be able to do so!
“It is most difficult to be born in human form, and extremely rare to encounter the correct teaching. Now, if you want to rid yourself quickly of erroneous beliefs and adhere to what is correct, transform your status as a common mortal and attain that of Buddhahood, then you should abandon the Nembutsu, True Word, Zen, and Precepts teachings and embrace this wonderful text of the single vehicle.78 If you do so, you will without a doubt be able to shake off the dust and defilement of delusion and impurity, and manifest yourself as a pure embodiment of enlightenment.”
Then the unenlightened man said: “Listening to the teachings and admonitions of a sage like you, I find that the misunderstandings I have labored under in recent days are all suddenly dispelled. It is as though inherent wisdom had awakened within me. When right and wrong are made so clear, who could fail to take faith?
“And yet, when I look at the world around me, I find that, from the supreme ruler on down to the numberless common people, all place deep trust in the Nembutsu, True Word, Zen, and Precepts teachings. Since I have been born in this land, how could I go against the example of the ruler?
“Moreover, my parents and ancestors all put their faith in the principles of p.122the Nembutsu and other teachings, and in that faith they ended their lives and vanished into the clouds of the other world.
“Here in Japan, there are, to be sure, a great many people, both eminent and humble. Yet, while those who adhere to the provisional teachings and the schools based upon them are numerous, I have yet to hear the name of a single individual who puts faith in the teachings that you have been explaining. Therefore, leaving aside the question of which teachings will lead to good places in the next life and which will lead to bad ones, and not attempting to inquire which teachings are true and which false, we find that the five thousand or seven thousand volumes of the Buddhist scriptures and the three thousand or more volumes of the Confucian and Taoist writings all emphasize the importance of obeying the orders of the ruler and complying with the wishes of one’s parents.
“In India, Shakyamuni, the lord of teachings, expounded the principles of carrying out filial conduct and repaying one’s obligations, and in China, Confucius set forth the way of giving loyal service to the ruler and honoring one’s parents as filial offspring should. Persons who are determined to repay the debt of gratitude they owe to their teachers would not hesitate to slice off a piece of their own flesh or cast their bodies away. Among those who were aware of the debt of gratitude they owed to their lords, Hung Yen cut open his stomach, and Yü Jang fell on his sword. And among those who were truly mindful of their obligations to their parents, Ting Lan fashioned a wooden image of his deceased mother, and Han Po-yü wept [upon realizing how feeble his aged mother had become] when she beat him with her staff. Though Confucianism, Brahmanism, and Buddhism all differ in their doctrines, they are alike in teaching one to repay debts of kindness and give thanks for favors received.
“Thus, if I were to be the first one to place faith in a doctrine that neither the ruler, my teacher, nor my parents put faith in, I would surely be guilty of the charge of turning against them, would I not? At the same time, the passages from the sutras that you have quoted make perfectly clear the truth of this doctrine, and all my doubts about it have been resolved. And if I do not prepare myself for the life hereafter, then in my next existence I will find myself submerged in suffering. Whether I try to go forward or to retreat, my way is beset by difficulties. What am I to do?”
The sage replied: “You understand this doctrine, and yet you can say a thing like that. Have you failed to comprehend the logic of the matter? Or is it simply beyond your understanding?
“Ever since I began to study the Law handed down from Shakyamuni Buddha and undertook the practice of the Buddhist teachings, I have believed it is most important to understand one’s obligations to others, and made it my first duty to repay such debts of kindness. In this world, we owe four debts of gratitude. One who understands this is worthy to be called human, while one who does not is no more than an animal.
“As I wish to assist my father and mother to a better life in their next existence and repay the debt that I owe to my country, I am willing to lay down my life, simply because I understand the debt that I owe them and for no other reason.
“Now let me ask you to close your eyes, still your mind, and apply your thoughts to the logic of the matter. If, knowing the best path, one sees one’s parents or sovereign taking an evil path, can one fail to admonish them? If a fool, crazed with wine, is about to p.123drink poison, can one, knowing this, not try to stop him? In the same way, if one understands the truth of the Buddhist teachings and knows the sufferings of fire, blood, and swords,79 can one fail to lament at seeing someone to whom one owes a debt of gratitude about to fall into the evil paths? Rather one should cast away one’s body and lay down one’s life in an effort to save such a person. One will never grow weary of admonishing him, nor will there be limits to one’s grief.
“The sufferings that meet our eyes in this present world are lamentable enough. How much more lamentable are those that one will encounter on the long road of death! How can we fail to be pained at the thought of it? A thing to be boundlessly feared is the life hereafter, a matter of greatest concern is the existence to come.
“And yet you say that, without inquiring into what is right and what is wrong, you will follow your parents’ orders; without attempting to determine what is correct and what is erroneous, you will obey the words of the sovereign. To a fool, such conduct may appear to be loyal and filial, but in the opinion of a wise person, there can be no greater disloyalty, no greater departure from filial piety.
“Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, was a descendant of wheel-turning kings, the grandson of King Simhahanu, and the heir of King Shuddhodana, and should by rights have become a great ruler of the five regions of India. But he awakened to the truth of the impermanence of life and grew to abhor the world, desiring a way to escape this realm of suffering and attain emancipation. King Shuddhodana, grieving at this, cleverly contrived to have the sights of the four seasons displayed to their best advantage in the four directions so that the prince might be diverted from his intention.
“First, in the east, where a break appeared in the trailing mist, he pointed out the wild geese crying as they made their way back north; the plums blooming by the window, their fragrance wafting through the beaded blinds; the entrancing hues of the flowers; the countless calls of the bush warblers; and the other sights of spring.
“In the south he showed him the crystal colors of the fountains, the deutzia flowers blooming beside the clear-flowing streams, the cuckoos of Shinoda forest,80 and the other signs of summer.
“In the west there were the autumn-reddened leaves mingling with the evergreens to weave a pattern of brocade, the breezes blowing gently over the reed flowers, or the stormy winds that swept wildly through the pines. And as if to remind one of the departed summer, there were the fireflies glimmering by the swampside, so numerous that one might mistake them for the stars in the heavens, and the repeated voices of the pine cricket and the bell cricket, bringing one to tears.
“And in the north, before one knew it, there was the melancholy color of withered fields, the rims of the ponds sealed with ice, and the sad sound of the little streams in the valley.
“Not only did the king attempt to console his son’s mind by presenting the world to him in this way, he also assigned five hundred soldiers to guard each of the four gates of the palace. But, in the end, when the prince was nineteen, at midnight on the eighth day of the second month, he summoned his groom Chandaka, ordered him to saddle his horse, Kanthaka, and made his way out of the city of Gayā.
“He entered Mount Dandaka, where for twelve years he gathered firewood on the high slopes, drew water in the deep valleys, and performed various austerities and difficult practices. At the age of thirty he attained the wonderful fruit of enlightenment, p.124becoming the only one worthy of honor in the threefold world and the lord of all the teachings that he expounded throughout his life. He brought salvation to his father and mother and opened the way for all living beings. Could such a man be called unfilial?
“The ninety-five schools of Brahmanists were the ones who accused the Buddha of being unfilial. But by disobeying the command of his father and mother and entering the realm of the unconditioned, he was, on the contrary, able to lead his father and mother to salvation, thus demonstrating that he was in fact a model of filial piety.
“King Wonderful Adornment, the father of Pure Storehouse and Pure Eye, adhered to the non-Buddhist teachings and turned his back on the teachings of the Buddha. His two sons and heirs disobeyed their father’s orders and became disciples of Cloud Thunder Sound King Buddha, but in the end they were able to guide their father so that he became a Buddha called Sal Tree King.81 Could anyone say, then, that these were unfilial sons?
“There is a passage in a sutra that says, ‘By renouncing one’s obligations and entering the Buddhist life one can truly repay those obligations in full.’82 Thus we see that one who casts aside all bonds of indebtedness and love in this present life and enters into the true path of Buddhism is the one who really understands the meaning of obligations.
“Moreover, I know the depth of the obligation owed to one’s ruler far better than you do. If you really wish to show that you understand your debt of gratitude, then you should admonish the ruler from the depths of your heart and forcefully advise him. To follow his orders even when these are contrary to what is right is the act of an utter sycophant and the height of disloyalty.
“King Chou of the Yin dynasty was an evil ruler, and Pi Kan, his loyal minister. When Pi Kan saw that the king was going against what was right in ruling the nation, he vigorously admonished him. As a result, Pi Kan’s breast was ripped open, but after his death, King Chou was overthrown by the king of the Chou. To the present day, Pi Kan has been known as a loyal minister, and King Chou as an evil ruler.
“When Kuan Lung-feng admonished his sovereign, King Chieh of the Hsia dynasty, he was beheaded. But King Chieh has come to be known as an evil ruler, and Kuan Lung-feng as a loyal minister. We are taught that, if one admonishes one’s sovereign three times and still one’s advice is not heeded, then one should retire to the mountain forests.83 Why do you nevertheless remain silent while the ruler commits misdeeds in your full view?
“I have gathered together a few examples of worthies of ancient times who did in fact retire from the world to dwell in the mountain forests. Open your obstinate ears and listen a moment! During the Yin dynasty, T’ai-kung Wang hid himself in a valley called P’o-ch’i; in the Chou dynasty, Po I and Shu Ch’i secluded themselves on Mount Shou-yang; Ch’i Li-chi84 of the Ch’in dynasty retired to Mount Shang; Yen Kuang85 of the Han dynasty lived in a solitary lodge; and Chieh Tzu-sui86 of the state of Chin became a recluse on Mount Mien-shang. Are we to call these men disloyal? Anyone who would do so is a fool. If you understand what it means to be loyal, you will admonish your sovereign, and if you want to be filial, you must speak up.
“Earlier you said that those who adhere to the provisional teachings and to the schools based on them are very numerous, while those who adhere to the school I have been recommending are few, and you ask why one would abandon the teachings favored by many and take up those favored by few. But p.125the many are not necessarily worthy of honor, nor the few, deserving of contempt.
“People of wisdom and goodness are rare indeed, while fools and evil persons are numerous. A ch’i-lin is the finest of beasts and a phoenix the finest of birds, yet they are very few in number. On the other hand, cows and sheep, crows and pigeons are among the lowlier and commoner of creatures, and yet they are extremely plentiful. If the many are always worthy while the few are to be despised, should one then cast aside a ch’i-lin in favor of cows and sheep, or pass over a phoenix and instead select crows and pigeons?
“The mani jewel and the diamond are the most wondrous of all precious stones. These gems are rare, while shards and rubble, clods of earth and common stones are the most useless of objects, and at the same time abound. Now if one follows your advice, ought one to discard the precious jewels and instead content oneself with shards and rubble? How pitiful and meaningless that would be!
“A sage ruler is a rare thing, appearing only once in a thousand years, while a worthy minister appears once in five hundred years. The mani jewel is so rare that we have only heard of it, and who, for that matter, has ever actually seen a ch’i-lin or a phoenix? In both secular and religious realms, as is plain to see, good persons are rare while evil persons are numerous. Why, then, do you insist upon despising the few and favoring the many? Dirt and sand are plentiful, but rice and other grains are rare. The bark of trees is available in great quantities, but hemp and silk fabrics are hard to come by. You should put the truth of the teaching before everything else; certainly you should not base your judgment on the number of adherents.”
The unenlightened man thereupon moved off his mat in a gesture of respect, straightened his sleeves, and said: “I have heard what you stated about the principles of the sacred teachings. Truly it is more difficult to be born as a human being than it is to lower a thread from the heavens above and pass it through the eye of a needle at the bottom of the sea, and it is rarer for one to be able to hear the Law of the Buddha than it is for a one-eyed turtle to encounter a floating log [with a hole in it that fits him exactly]. Now I have already obtained birth in the human realm, something difficult to achieve, and have had the privilege of hearing the Buddhist teachings, which are seldom encountered. If I should pass my present life in idleness, then in what future life could I possibly free myself from the sufferings of birth and death and attain enlightenment?
“Though, in the course of a kalpa, the bones I have left behind in successive existences may pile up higher than a mountain, to this day I have not yet sacrificed so much as a single bone for the sake of the Buddha’s Law. And though, in the course of these many lifetimes, I have shed more tears over those I loved or was indebted to than there is water in the sea, I have never spilled so much as a single tear for the sake of my future existences. I am the most stupid of the stupid, truly a fool among fools. Though I may have to cast aside my life and destroy this body of mine, I am determined to hold life lightly and to enter the path of the Buddha’s teachings, to assist in bringing about the enlightenment of my father and mother, and to save my own person from the bonds of hell. Please teach me exactly how I should go about it. How should one practice if one takes faith in the Lotus Sutra? Of the five practices, which one should I concentrate on first? Please give me careful instruction in your worthy teachings.”
The sage replied: “You have been p.126imbued with the fragrance of your orchid-room friend;87 you have become upright like mugwort growing in a field of hemp.88 Truly, the bare tree is not really bare: once spring comes, it bursts into blossom. The withered field is not really withered. With the coming of summer, it turns fresh and green again. If you have repented of your former errors and are ready to adhere to the correct doctrine, then without doubt you can swim in the calm and quiet depths [of nirvana], and dwell at ease in the palace of the unconditioned.
“Now, in widely propagating the Buddhist teachings and bringing salvation to all people, one must first take into consideration the teaching, the capacity of the people, the time, the country, and the sequence of propagation. The reason is as follows. In terms of the time, there are the periods of the Former, the Middle, and the Latter Days of the Law, and in terms of the teachings, there are the Hinayana and the Mahayana doctrines. In terms of the practices to be adopted, there are shōju and shakubuku. It is a mistake to practice shakubuku at a time when shōju is called for, and equally erroneous to practice shōju when shakubuku is appropriate. The first thing to be determined, therefore, is whether the present period is the time for shōju or the time for shakubuku.
“Shōju is to be practiced when throughout the entire country only the Lotus Sutra has spread, and when there is not even a single misguided teacher expounding erroneous doctrines. At such a time, one may retire to the mountain forests, practice meditation, or carry out the five, the six, or the ten practices.89 But the time for shakubuku is very different from this. It is a time when many different sutras and teachings spring up here and there like so many orchids and chrysanthemums, when the various schools command a large following and enjoy renown, when truth and error stand shoulder to shoulder, and when Mahayana and Hinayana dispute which is superior. At such a time, one must set aside all other affairs and devote one’s attention to rebuking slander of the correct teaching. This is the practice of shakubuku.
“If, failing to understand this principle, one were to practice shōju or shakubuku at an inappropriate time, then not only would one be unable to attain Buddhahood, but one would fall into the evil paths. This is firmly laid down in the Lotus and Nirvana sutras, and is also clearly stated in the commentaries by T’ien-t’ai and Miao-lo. It is, in fact, an important principle of Buddhist practice.
“We may compare these two kinds of practice to the two ways of the civil and the military used in governing a nation. There is a time when military measures should take precedence, and a time when civil measures ought to be emphasized. When the world is at peace and calm prevails within the country, then civil measures should take precedence. But when the barbarian tribes to the east, south, west, and north, fired by wild ambitions, rise up like hornets, then military measures should come first.
“Though one may understand the importance of both civil and military arts, if one does not understand the time, donning armor and taking up weapons when all countries are calm and peaceful and there is no trouble anywhere throughout the world, then one’s actions will be wrong. On the other hand, one who lays aside one’s weapons on the battlefield when enemies are marching against one’s ruler and instead takes up a writing brush and inkstone is likewise failing to act in accordance with the time.
“The methods of shōju and shakubuku are also like this. When the correct teaching alone is propagated and p.127there are no erroneous doctrines or misguided teachers, then one may enter the deep valleys and live in quiet contentment, devoting one’s time to reciting and copying the sutra and to the practice of meditation. This is like taking up a writing brush and inkstone when the world is at peace. But when there are provisional schools or slanderers of the correct teaching in the country, then it is time to set aside other matters and devote oneself to rebuking slander. This is like taking up weapons on the battlefield.
“Therefore, the Great Teacher Chang-an in his commentary on the Nirvana Sutra states: ‘In past times the age was peaceful, and the Law spread throughout the country. At that time it was proper to observe the precepts and not to carry staves. But now the age is perilous, and the Law is overshadowed. Therefore, it is proper to carry staves and to disregard the precepts. If both past and present were perilous times, then it would be proper to carry staves in both periods. And if both past and present were peaceful times, then it would be proper to observe the precepts in both of them. You should let your choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other.’ The meaning of this passage of commentary is perfectly clear.
“In past times the world was honest, people were upright, and there were no erroneous teachings or erroneous doctrines. Therefore, one could behave in a proper manner and carry out one’s religious practices peacefully and amicably. There was no need to take up staves and berate others, no occasion to attack erroneous teachings.
“But the present age is a defiled one. Because the minds of people are warped and twisted, and provisional teachings and slander alone abound, the correct teaching cannot prevail. In times like these, it is useless to practice the reading, reciting, and copying [of the Lotus Sutra] or to devote oneself to the methods and practices of meditation. One should practice only the shakubuku method of propagation, and if one has the capacity, use one’s influence and authority to destroy slander of the correct teaching, and one’s knowledge of the teachings to refute erroneous doctrines.
“As we have seen, it is said that one should let one’s choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other. Therefore, we must look at the world today and consider whether ours is a country in which only the correct doctrine prevails, or a country in which erroneous doctrines flourish.
“In answering this we should note that Hōnen of the Pure Land school says that one should ‘discard, close, ignore, and abandon’ the Lotus Sutra in favor of the Nembutsu. And Shan-tao in his writings calls the Lotus Sutra a ‘sundry practice,’ saying that ‘not even one person in a thousand’ can be saved by it, by which he means that, if a thousand people take faith in it, not a single one of them will gain enlightenment.
“Kōbō of the True Word school states in his writings that the Lotus Sutra is inferior even to the Flower Garland Sutra and ranks two steps beneath the Mahāvairochana Sutra, designating it a piece of ‘childish theory.’ And Shōkaku-bō of the same school declares that the Lotus Sutra is not fit even to serve as the sandal-tender of the Mahāvairochana Sutra, and that Shakyamuni Buddha is not worthy to be an ox-driver to the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana.
“The priests of the Zen school disparage the Lotus Sutra by calling it so much saliva that has been spit out of the mouth, a finger pointing at the moon, or a net of doctrine that serves only to entangle. The priests of the Precepts, a Hinayana school, call the Lotus Sutra an erroneous teaching and label p.128it the preaching of the heavenly devil.
“Are persons such as these not slanderers of the correct teaching? One can never be too severe in condemning them, or admonish them too strongly.”
The unenlightened man said: “Throughout the more than sixty provinces of Japan, there are many kinds of people and a variety of Buddhist doctrines. What with the Nembutsu priests, the True Word teachers, and the followers of Zen or the Precepts teachings, there is truly hardly a single person who does not slander the correct teaching. But then, why should I criticize other people? My task, it seems to me, is simply to cherish deep faith within my own heart and to look on other people’s errors as no concern of mine.”
The sage replied: “What you say is quite true, and I would be inclined to hold the same opinion. But when we examine the sutras, we find that they tell us not to begrudge our lives [for the sake of the Law], and also say that [one should spread the Buddha’s teachings] even at the cost of one’s life.90 The reason they speak in this way is because if one does not hesitate on account of others but propagates the principles of Buddhism just as they are set forth in the sutras, then in an age when there are many people who slander the correct teaching, three types of enemies will invariably appear and in many cases deprive one of life. But if, as the sutras tell us, one observes deviations from the Buddha’s teachings and yet fails to censure them or to appeal to the ruler to take measures against them, then one is being untrue to the teachings and is not worthy to be looked on as a disciple of the Buddha.
“The third volume of the Nirvana Sutra says: ‘If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him, or to punish him for his offense, then you should realize that that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if he ousts the destroyer of the Law, reproaches him, or punishes him, then he is my disciple and a true voice-hearer.’
“The meaning of this passage is that, if a person striving to propagate the correct teaching of the Buddha should hear and see others propounding the teachings of the sutras in a mistaken manner and fail to reproach them himself or, lacking the power to do that, fail to appeal to the sovereign and in this way take measures to correct them, then he is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if, as the sutras direct, he is not afraid of others but censures these slanderers himself and appeals to the sovereign to take measures against them, then he may be called a disciple of the Buddha and a true priest.
“Being therefore determined to avoid the charge of ‘betraying the Buddha’s teaching,’ although I have incurred the hatred of others, I have dedicated my life to Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra, extending compassion to all living beings and rebuking slanders of the correct teaching. Those who cannot understand my heart have tightened their lips and glared at me with furious eyes. But if you are truly concerned about your future existence, you should think lightly of your own safety and consider the Law above all. Thus the Great Teacher Chang-an states, ‘“[A royal envoy . . . would rather], even though it costs him his life, in the end conceal none of the words of his ruler”91 means that one’s body is insignificant while the Law is supreme. One should give one’s life in order to propagate the Law.’92
“This passage is saying that, even if one must give up one’s life, one should not conceal the correct teaching; this is because one’s body is insignificant while the Law is supreme. Though one’s body be destroyed, one should strive to propagate the Law.
p.129“How sad is this lot of ours, that all who are born must perish! Though one may live to a great age, in the end one cannot escape this impermanence. In this world of ours, life lasts a hundred years or so at most. When we stop to think of it, it is a mere dream within a dream. Even in the heaven where there is neither thought nor no thought, where life lasts eighty thousand years, no one escapes the law of mutability, and in the heaven of the thirty-three gods, too, where life lasts a thousand years, it is swept away at last by the winds of change and decay. How much sadder, then, is the lot of the human beings living on this land of Jambudvīpa, whose life is more fleeting than the dew, more fragile than the plantain leaf, more insubstantial than bubbles or foam! Like the moon reflected in the water, one is not even certain whether one exists or not; like the dew on the grass, one may vanish at any moment.
“Anyone who grasps this principle should know that it is of utmost importance to take thought for the existence to come. In the latter age of the Buddha Joy Increasing, the monk Realization of Virtue propagated the correct teaching. Countless monks who were guilty of violating the precepts deeply resented this votary and attacked him, but the ruler, King Possessor of Virtue, determined to protect the correct teaching, fought with these slanderers. In the end, he lost his life and was reborn in the land of the Buddha Akshobhya, where he became the foremost disciple of that Buddha. Similarly, King Sen’yo, because he honored the Mahayana teachings and punished the slander of five hundred Brahmans, was able to reach the stage of non-regression. How reassuring, that those who respect the monks of the correct teaching and admonish those who are evil and in error receive such blessings as these!
“But if, in our present age, one were to practice shōju [rather than shakubuku], then without doubt that person would fall into the evil paths together with those who slander the correct teaching. The Great Teacher Nan-yüeh in his Four Peaceful Practices states, ‘If there should be a bodhisattva who protects evil persons and fails to chastise them . . . then, when his life comes to an end, he will fall into hell along with those evil persons.’
“The meaning of this passage is that, if a practitioner of Buddhism should fail to chastise evil persons who slander the Law but give himself up entirely to meditation and contemplation, not attempting to distinguish between correct and incorrect doctrines, or provisional and true teachings, but rather pretending to be a model of compassion, then such a person will fall into the evil paths along with the other doers of evil. Now a person who fails to correct the True Word, Nembutsu, Zen, and Precepts adherents who are slanderers of the correct teaching and instead pretends to be a model of compassion will meet just such a fate as this.”
Thereupon the unenlightened man, cherishing his resolve in mind, spoke out in these words: “To admonish one’s sovereign and set one’s family on the correct course is the teaching of the worthies of former times and is clearly indicated in the texts you have cited. The non-Buddhist writings all emphasize this point, and the Buddhist scriptures are in no way at variance with it. To see evil and fail to admonish it, to be aware of slander and not combat it, is to go against the words of the sutras and to disobey the Buddhist patriarchs. The punishment for this offense is extremely severe, and therefore, from now on, I will devote myself to faith.
“But it is truly difficult to put this sutra, the Lotus, into practice. If there p.130is some essential point to be observed, could you explain it to me?”
The sage replied: “I can tell that your aspiration for the way is very earnest and sincere. The essential thing the Buddhas needed in order to attain the true way or enlightenment is nothing other than the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. It was solely because of these five characters that King Suzudan relinquished his jeweled throne [and attained Buddhahood], and the dragon king’s daughter transformed her reptilian characteristics [into those of a Buddha].93
“When we stop to consider it, we find that the sutra itself says, concerning how much or how little of it is to be embraced, that a single verse or phrase is sufficient, and, concerning the length of practice [necessary to reach enlightenment], that one who rejoices even for a moment on hearing it [is certain to become a Buddha]. The eighty thousand teachings in their vast entirety and the many words and phrases of the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra were all expounded simply in order to reveal these five characters. When Shakyamuni Buddha in the clouds above the Sacred Mountain, in the mists of Eagle Peak, summed up the essence of the doctrine and entrusted it to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, what do you suppose that teaching was? It was nothing other than these five characters, the essential Law.
“The six thousand leaves94 of commentary by T’ien-t’ai and Miao-lo, like strings of jewels, and the several scrolls of exegesis by Tao-sui and Hsing-man, like so much gold, do not go beyond the meaning of this teaching. If you truly fear the sufferings of birth and death and yearn for nirvana, if you carry out your faith and thirst for the way, then the sufferings of change and impermanence will become no more than yesterday’s dream, and the awakening of enlightenment will become today’s reality. If only you chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, then what offense could fail to be eradicated? What blessing could fail to come? This is the truth, and it is of great profundity. You should believe and accept it.”
The unenlightened man, pressing his palms together and kneeling respectfully, said: “These priceless words of yours have moved me deeply, and your instruction has awakened my mind. And yet, in light of the principle that superior things encompass those that are inferior, it would seem that the broad should also encompass the narrow and the many should take in the few. However, when we examine the matter, we find that these five characters you have mentioned are few, while the words in the sutra text are many, and that the daimoku, or title, of the Lotus Sutra is narrow, while its eight scrolls are very broad. How then can the two be equal in the blessings that they bring?”
The sage said: “How foolish you are! Your attachment to this belief that one should abandon the few in favor of the many towers higher than Mount Sumeru, and your conviction that the narrow should be despised and the broad honored is deeper than the vast ocean. In the course of our discussion, I have already demonstrated that something is not necessarily worthy of honor simply because it is many in number or despicable simply because it is few. Now I would like to go a step farther and explain how the small can actually encompass the great, and the one be superior to the many.
“The seed of the nyagrodha tree, though one-third the size of a mustard seed, can conceal five hundred carts within itself.95 Is this not a case of the small containing the large? The wish-granting jewel, while only one in number, is able to rain down ten thousand treasures without a single thing lacking. Is this not a case of the few encompassing the many? The popular p.131proverb says that ‘one is the mother of ten thousand.’ Do you not understand the principle behind these matters? The important thing to consider is whether or not a doctrine conforms with the principle of the true aspect of all things. Do not be blindly attached to the question of many or few!
“But since you are so extremely foolish, let me give you an analogy. Myoho-renge-kyo is the Buddha nature of all living beings. The Buddha nature is the Dharma nature, and the Dharma nature is enlightenment. The Buddha nature possessed by Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions; by Superior Practices, Boundless Practices, and the other Bodhisattvas of the Earth; by Universal Worthy, Manjushrī, Shāriputra Mudgalyāyana, and the others; by the great Brahmā and the lord Shakra; by the deities of the sun and moon, the morning star, the seven stars in the Big Dipper in the northern sky, the twenty-eight constellations, and the countless other stars; by the heavenly gods, the earthly deities, the dragon deities, the eight kinds of nonhuman beings, and the human and heavenly beings who gathered in the great assembly to hear the Buddha’s preaching; by King Yama—in short, by all living beings from the realm where there is neither thought nor no thought above the clouds down to the flames in the lowest depths of hell—the Buddha nature that all these beings possess is called by the name Myoho-renge-kyo. Therefore, if you recite these words of the daimoku once, then the Buddha nature of all living beings will be summoned and gather around you. At that time the three bodies of the Dharma nature within you—the Dharma body, the reward body, and the manifested body—will be drawn forth and become manifest. This is called attaining Buddhahood. To illustrate, when a caged bird sings, the many birds flying in the sky all gather around it at once; seeing this, the bird in the cage strives to get out.”
The unenlightened man said, “You have now explained to me in detail the benefits of the daimoku and the significance of the Mystic Law. But I would like to ask whether these matters are explained in this manner in the sutra.”
The sage replied: “Since you have already understood the principle involved, there is really no need to go on and inquire what scriptural passages it is based on. However, I will cite a passage from the sutra as you request.
“The ‘Dhāranī’ chapter in the eighth volume of the Lotus Sutra says, ‘If you can shield and guard those who accept and uphold the mere name of the Lotus Sutra, your merit will be immeasurable.’ In this passage, the Buddha is praising the Mother of Demon Children and the ten demon daughters for their vow to protect the votaries of the Lotus Sutra, and saying that the blessings from their vow to protect those who embrace the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra are beyond even the Buddha wisdom, which completely comprehends the three existences, to fathom. While by rights nothing should be beyond the grasp of the Buddha wisdom, the Buddha says here that the blessings that accrue from accepting and embracing the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra are the one thing that wisdom cannot measure.
“The blessings of the entire Lotus Sutra are all contained solely within the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. While the words in the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra differ according to the contents of the twenty-eight chapters, the five characters of the daimoku remain the same throughout. To illustrate, within the two characters for Japan are included the more than sixty provinces and the two islands. Are there any districts or provinces that p.132are not contained within this name?
“If one uses the term ‘birds,’ people know that one is talking about creatures that fly in the sky; if one says ‘beasts,’ people understand that one is referring to animals that run over the ground. In all things, names are of great importance precisely because they can convey general meanings in this way. This is what the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai meant when he said that names convey the basic nature of a thing while phrases describe how it differs from other things, or when he said that names designate the fundamental character of a thing.
“In addition, names have the virtue of being able to summon the things to which they refer, and things as a matter of function respond to the name that refers to them. In similar fashion, the name, or daimoku, of the Lotus Sutra has the power [to summon the Buddha nature to which it refers].”
The unenlightened man said: “If it is as you say, then the blessings of the daimoku are very great indeed. But these blessings must differ according to whether or not one understands the significance of the daimoku. I am a man who carries a bow and arrows and devotes himself to the profession of arms. I have no understanding of the true nature of the Buddhist teachings. How could a person such as I gain any great amount of good fortune?”
The sage replied: “According to the principle of the perfect and immediate enlightenment, there is no essential difference between the earlier and later stages of practice, and the blessings of the advanced stages are inherent in the initial stages as well. To carry out one practice is to carry out all practices, and there is no blessing that is not included therein.
“If the situation were as you say and one could not obtain good fortune until after one had understood the truth of Buddhism, then no one, from the bodhisattvas at the stage of near-perfect enlightenment on down to those at the stage of hearing the name and words of the truth, would be able to obtain any good fortune at all. This is because, as the Lotus Sutra says, the truth can only be understood ‘between Buddhas.’96
“In the ‘Simile and Parable’ chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha declares, ‘Even you, Shāriputra, in the case of this sutra were able to gain entrance through faith alone. How much more so, then, the other voice-hearers!’
“This passage is saying that even Shāriputra, who was known for his great wisdom, was, with respect to the Lotus Sutra, able to gain entrance through faith and not through the power of his wisdom. How much more so, therefore, does this hold true with the other voice-hearers!
“Thus, with the preaching of the Lotus Sutra, Shāriputra, because he had faith, was able to rid himself of the name of one who could never attain Buddhahood and was told that he would in time become the Thus Come One Flower Glow.
“It is like the case of a baby being given milk to drink. Even though the baby may not understand the flavor of milk, the milk naturally nurtures the baby’s growth. Similarly, if a physician gives medicine to a sick person, even though the sick person may not know the origin and nature of the medicine, if he takes it, then in the natural course of events his illness will be cured. But if he objects that he does not know the origin of the medicine that the physician gives him and for that reason declines to take it, do you think his illness will ever be cured? Whether he understands the medicine or not, so long as he takes it, he will in either case be cured.
“The Buddha has already been called a skilled physician, and the Law has been likened to good medicine and p.133all living beings to people suffering from illness.97 The Buddha took the teachings that he had preached in the course of his lifetime, ground and sifted them, blended them together, and compounded an excellent medicine, the pill of the Mystic Law. Regardless of whether one understands it or not, so long as one takes the pill, can one fail to be cured of the illness of delusion? Even though the sick person may not understand the medicine or even know the nature of the disease from which he suffers, if he takes the medicine, he is bound to recover.
“It is the same way with the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra. Though they may not understand the principles of Buddhism and may not know that they are suffering from delusion, if only they have faith, then without a doubt they will be able to free themselves simultaneously from the illnesses of the three categories of illusion—illusions of thought and desire, illusions innumerable as particles of dust and sand, and illusions about the true nature of existence. They will reach the lands of Actual Reward and Tranquil Light, and cause the three bodies of a Thus Come One that they inherently possess to shine.
“Therefore, the Great Teacher Dengyō says: ‘Neither teacher nor disciples need undergo countless kalpas of austere practice in order to attain Buddhahood. Through the power of the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law they can do so in their present form.’98 This means that both the teacher who expounds the principles of the Lotus Sutra and the disciple who receives his teachings will, in no long time, together become Buddhas through the power of the Lotus Sutra.
“The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai produced The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra, The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra, and Great Concentration and Insight, thirty volumes of commentary on the Lotus Sutra. And the Great Teacher Miao-lo in addition produced the thirty volumes of The Annotations on ‘The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra,’ The Annotations on ‘The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra,’ and The Annotations on ‘Great Concentration and Insight’ to comment on T’ien-t’ai’s works. Together these works are known as ‘the sixty volumes of the T’ien-t’ai school.’
“In Profound Meaning, T’ien-t’ai established the five major principles of name, entity, quality, function, and teaching, and in their light explained the power and efficacy of the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. In the section on the third of the five major principles, that dealing with the quality of the Lotus Sutra, he writes, ‘When one pulls on the main cord of a net, there are no meshes that do not move, and when one raises a single corner of a robe, there are no threads in the robe that are not lifted up.’ The meaning of this passage is that, when one carries out the single practice of exercising faith in Myoho-renge-kyo, there are no blessings that fail to come to one, and no good karma that does not begin to work on one’s behalf. It is like the case of a fishing net: though the net is composed of innumerable small meshes, when one pulls on the main cord of the net, there are no meshes that do not move. Or it is like a garment: though the garment is composed of countless tiny threads, when one pulls on a corner of the garment, there are no threads that are not drawn along.
“In Words and Phrases, T’ien-t’ai explains the various words and phrases in the Lotus Sutra, from the opening words ‘This is what I heard’ to the final words ‘they bowed in obeisance and departed.’ He explains them in terms of four categories, namely, causes and conditions, correlated teachings, the theoretical and essential teachings, and the observation of the mind.99
“Next, in Great Concentration and p.134Insight, he expounds the meditation on the region of the unfathomable, namely, on the three thousand realms in a single moment of life, based on his thorough understanding of the Lotus Sutra. This is a practice that derives from the Buddha’s original enlightenment and represents a principle of truth inherent in one’s being. I will not go into it in detail here.
“What an occasion for rejoicing! Though born into an evil age that is stained with the five impurities, we have been able to see and hear the true words of the one vehicle. We read that a person who has planted roots of good fortune [under Buddhas] equal in number to the sands of the Hiranyavatī or the Ganges River is able to encounter this sutra and take faith in it.100 Now you have aroused the mind that rejoices in faith. Thus without a doubt, just as a box and its lid fit together, so will your own faith evoke the Buddha’s compassionate response, and the two will unite as one.”
The unenlightened man bowed his head, pressed his palms together, and said: “From now on I will accept and uphold this king of the sutras, the Lotus of the one truth, and revere the Buddha, who in the threefold world is alone worthy of honor, as my true teacher. From my present body as a common mortal until the time when I attain the body of a Buddha, I will never venture to turn aside from this faith. Though the clouds of the five cardinal sins should hang heavy above me, I will strive to emulate the example of Devadatta in attaining Buddhahood. Though the waves of the ten evil acts should buffet me, I will desire to be like those who formed a bond with the Lotus Sutra by listening to the princes’ preaching.”101
The sage said: “The human heart is like water that assumes the shape of whatever vessel it occupies, and the nature of beings is like the reflection of the moon undulating on the waves. Now you insist that you will be firm in this faith, but another day you are bound to waver. Though devils and demons may come to tempt you, you must not allow yourself to be distracted. The heavenly devil hates the Buddha’s Law, and the non-Buddhist believers resent the path of the Buddhist teachings. But you must be like the golden mountain that glitters more brightly when scraped by the wild boar, like the sea that encompasses all the various streams, like the fire that burns higher when logs are added, or like the kālakula insect that grows bigger when the wind blows. If you follow such examples, then how can the outcome fail to be good?”
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Background
This treatise is generally thought to have been written in the second year of Bun’ei (1265). Its recipient is unknown. However, toward the end of the work, the unenlightened man refers to himself as “a man who carries a bow and arrows and devotes himself to the profession of arms,” so it has been suggested that Nichiren Daishonin may have written it for someone of the samurai class.
The treatise consists of two parts and is written chiefly in question-and-answer form. The “sage” in the title indicates the votary of the Lotus Sutra, or Nichiren Daishonin himself, while the “unenlightened man” represents all ordinary people of the Latter Day p.135of the Law. In the first part, the unenlightened man, who has realized life’s impermanence and is seeking the truth, is visited in succession by a priest of the Precepts school, a lay believer of the Pure Land school, a practitioner of the True Word school, and a priest of the Zen school. Through their conversations, the Daishonin outlines the basic tenets of these four major Buddhist schools of his day.
The Precepts priest, who is the first visitor, asserts that the teachings concerning the precepts are the most important of the eighty thousand sacred teachings of Buddhism. He holds up Ryōkan, the chief priest of Gokuraku-ji temple, as an example and exhorts the unenlightened man to observe the five precepts and the two hundred and fifty precepts and devote himself to charitable works as Ryōkan does.
The next visitor, a Pure Land believer, praises the Nembutsu teachings, which enable one to be reborn in Amida Buddha’s Pure Land and thereby gain emancipation from the sufferings of birth and death. He singles out the eighteenth of Amida Buddha’s forty-eight vows as the sole source of salvation for ordinary people in the Latter Day and asserts that even persons guilty of the ten evil acts and the five cardinal sins can attain rebirth in the Pure Land by calling on this Buddha’s name.
The True Word practitioner, who visits next, says that even the most profound doctrines of the exoteric teachings are no more than an introduction to the esoteric teachings. The exoteric teachings, he says, were expounded by Shakyamuni, the Buddha of the manifested body, in accordance with his disciples’ capacities, while the esoteric teachings were preached by Mahāvairochana, the Buddha of the Dharma body, out of his spontaneous joy in the Law. He accordingly urges the unenlightened man to discard the exoteric teachings and take faith in the more profound esoteric teachings.
The last to come calling is a mendicant Zen priest. He likens the sutras to a finger pointing at the moon and denounces the doctrines contained in them as so much nonsense, exhorting the unenlightened man to sit in meditation to perceive the true nature of his mind in accordance with the “wordless teaching” of Zen.
Troubled by the contradictions in what he has heard, and determined to discover which teaching is correct, the unenlightened man then sets out on a journey in search of a teacher who can clarify matters for him. After visiting various temples one after another, he finally encounters a sage who embraces the Lotus Sutra. The title Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man refers to the subsequent dialogue that unfolds between them. The unenlightened man confesses that, although he has learned the teachings of the Precepts, Nembutsu, True Word, and Zen schools, he cannot determine whether or not those teachings are true. In reply, the sage declares that the doctrines of all four schools are the cause for rebirth in the evil paths, because they are based on provisional teachings, while only the true teaching, the Lotus Sutra, enables all people without exception to attain Buddhahood.
This comparison of the true and provisional teachings forms the focus of this treatise. The sage refutes the doctrines of those schools that are based on the provisional teachings and cites sutra passages to demonstrate that the supremacy of the Lotus Sutra was set forth by Shakyamuni Buddha himself. His rebuttal of the Nembutsu and True Word doctrines concludes part one of this treatise. Part two begins with his refutation of Zen.
By this time, the unenlightened man has become convinced of the truth of the Lotus Sutra. But he hesitates to p.136embrace it out of considerations of loyalty and filial piety; he points out that everyone from the ruler on down to the common people has faith in other schools, and his own parents and ancestors embraced the Pure Land teachings. The sage replies that one can best repay one’s debts of gratitude to one’s parents and sovereign by embracing the correct Buddhist teaching and thus leading them to salvation. Next, one should evaluate the Buddhist teachings on their own merits and not according to the number of their adherents. The sage also explains that there are two ways of Buddhist practice—shōju and shakubuku—depending upon the time. The present period, when distorted teachings flourish, is the time for shakubuku, he says.
The unenlightened man now having resolved to embrace the Lotus Sutra, the sage reveals to him that the essence of the sutra lies in the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo that form its title. Myoho-renge-kyo, he explains, is the Buddha nature inherent in all beings. When one chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the Buddha nature inherent in all things will be summoned forth, and one’s own Buddha nature will simultaneously emerge. Even without profound understanding of the Buddhist teachings, one can by this practice attain Buddhahood in one’s present form. The sage concludes by exhorting the unenlightened man to maintain faith throughout life, without wavering in his resolve.
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Notes
1. The Japanese text could also be construed to mean, “We may be terrified by the prospect of the unknown and lament that the world we are familiar with should pass so quickly.”
2. Chuang Tzu, “Knowledge Wandered North”: “Man’s life between heaven and earth is like the passing of a white colt glimpsed through a crack in the wall—whoosh!—and that’s the end.”
3. This refers to the great earthquakes, heavy floods, and other disasters that occurred during the Shōka era (1257–1259), claiming many lives.
4. The king of Ch’u is King Huai (r. 328–299 b.c.e.). In a dream he had a romantic encounter with a goddess. When she left, she told the king that she would always be with him as a cloud in the morning and as rain in the evening.
5. In the Yung-p’ing era (c.e. 58–75), during the reign of Emperor Ming, Liu Ch’en lost his way on Mount T’ien-t’ai, where he encountered a female immortal being and lived together with her in bliss. When Liu Ch’en returned home after half a year, he found himself in the time of his descendants of the seventh generation.
6. Which poet the Daishonin refers to is uncertain. The implication of the verse alluded to is that, being a lowly woodcutter and therefore ignorant of religion, the poet hopes he will not be called upon to bear great sorrow in life.
7. The hell of burning heat and the hell of great burning heat are the sixth and seventh of the eight hot hells—the eighth being the hell of incessant suffering.
8. The hell of the crimson lotus and the hell of the great crimson lotus are the seventh and eighth of the eight cold hells. In these two hells, the cold is said to make one’s flesh crack open, so that it has the appearance of red lotus flowers.
9. The five components of body and mind refer here to the five components of life: form, perception, conception, volition, and consciousness that unite temporarily to form an individual living being.
10. After this opening passage, the text shifts to third-person narrative.
11. Ling Lun was a subject of Huang Ti (the Yellow Emperor), a legendary ruler of ancient China. Endowed with remarkably acute hearing, he is said to have excelled in music and been able to distinguish minute differences in pitch.
12. Li Chu, also called Li Lou, was a legendary figure of ancient China whose sight was so acute that he could see the tip of a hair at a hundred paces.
13. The port of Iijima was the only port p.137servicing Kamakura in the Daishonin’s time. The Mutsura Barrier was a checkpoint at Mutsura in what is presently Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture.
14. Seven roads leading to Kamakura.
15. Comparisons by which Shakyamuni Buddha emphasized the superiority of the Mahayana precepts over the Hinayana, according to the Pure Monastic Rules Sutra. For example, the Hinayana precepts practiced by voice-hearers do not even produce benefit as small as the print of a cow’s hoof, while the Mahayana precepts upheld by bodhisattvas produce benefit as vast as the ocean.
16. “Seventeen differences” refers to the reasons why the Hinayana precepts are inferior to the Mahayana precepts, according to the Pure Monastic Rules Sutra. For example, the Hinayana precepts reflect abhorrence of the threefold world, the realm inhabited by unenlightened beings, while the Mahayana precepts do not; the Hinayana precepts show disdain for benefits, while the Mahayana precepts encompass them all.
17. Nirvana Sutra.
18. One of the five meditations to extinguish miscellaneous thoughts, meditation on a corpse was thought to extinguish sexual desire.
19. The Daishonin uses an image from chapter 7 of the Lotus Sutra, in which the provisional teachings are likened to a phantom city magically conjured by a guide to allow his party of weary travelers to rest en route to the treasure land (one Buddha vehicle), which is their true destination.
20. The Essentials of Rebirth in the Pure Land.
21. The forty-eight vows that Amida Buddha is said to have made while still engaged in bodhisattva practice as Bodhisattva Dharma Treasury.
22. The first vow states, “If, after I attain Buddhahood, there are any beings of hell, the realm of hungry spirits, or the realm of animals to be found in my land, then let me not attain supreme enlightenment.” So there are said to be no beings of the three evil paths in Amida’s Pure Land. The three types of perception are: (1) one understands the truth one hears, (2) one follows the truth, and (3) one realizes the true aspect of things that neither is born nor dies.
23. This refers to a phrase used by the poet Po Chü-i to describe his secular writings. Buddhists and Confucians often used this expression in reference to poetry and prose that were lacking in didactic worth.
24. The three esoteric sutras are the Mahāvairochana, Diamond Crown, and Susiddhikara sutras.
25. The twenty-eight patriarchs inherited and passed on that teaching of Shakyamuni that was not expounded in words but instead was transmitted from mind to mind. The first is Mahākāshyapa, and the last, Bodhidharma, the founder of Chinese Zen. The six patriarchs are Bodhidharma, Hui-k’o, Seng-ts’an, Tao-hsin, Hung-jen, and Hui-neng.
26. This refers to the last of the four realms into which the realm of formlessness is divided, the realm of formlessness being the highest division of the threefold world.
27. A poem by Fujiwara no Yoshitaka, appearing in A Collection of Japanese and Chinese Poems for Singing, compiled around 1013.
28. A poet of the mid-ninth century. Many romantic legends have grown up around her.
29. A legendary woman appearing in The Chronicles of Japan and The Records of Ancient Matters.
30. The original source of this poem is unknown. Mount Toribe, located in Kyoto, was used as a cremation site.
31. A poem by the Administrator of Priests Henjō (816–890), which appears in Japanese and Chinese Poems for Singing.
32. In other writings, the Daishonin speaks of the nineteen-year-old Shakyamuni as leaving his father’s palace in the capital of Kapilavastu, which description is consistent with the traditional account. It is not certain why he says here that the young prince “left the city of Gayā.” However, it is generally held that, after leaving Kapilavastu, Shakyamuni first went south to the kingdom of Magadha where Gayā was located. Mount Dandaka was said to be in Gandhara in northern India.
33. These words are actually spoken by Many Treasures Buddha in the “Treasure Tower” chapter. However, since the Buddhas’ act of extending their tongues, described in the “Supernatural Powers” chapter, was also meant to affirm the truth of the sutra, the Daishonin attributes this statement to all the Buddhas.
34. Lotus Sutra, chap. 3.
p.13835. Ibid., chap. 2.
36. The statement to this effect appears in Ssu-ming Chih-li’s commentary on the Meditation on the Buddha Infinite Life Sutra.
37. The Well Attained is one of the ten honorable titles of a Buddha, meaning one who has gone to the world of enlightenment.
38. This story appears in the Unheard-of Causal Relationship Sutra. Countless kalpas ago, a fox in the country of Bima fell into a well while fleeing from a lion. Faced with the prospect of starvation, he awakened to the impermanence of all things and recited a verse to this effect. Hearing this verse, Shakra came down from heaven and honored the fox as his teacher.
39. The Japanese text reads, “have returned,” but it may simply mean to “have reached.” The original text of this piece is no longer extant.
40. The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra.
41. The Outstanding Principles of the Lotus Sutra.
42. The Commentary on the Ten Stages Sutra.
43. The K’ai-yüan era catalog refers to The K’ai-yüan Era Catalog of the Buddhist Canon, a comprehensive index of Buddhist texts in Chinese compiled by Chih-sheng and finished in 730, the eighteenth year of the K’ai-yüan era, during the reign of the T’ang emperor Hsüan-tsung.
44. Another name for the “Perceiver of the World’s Sounds” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. It was also used as an independent sutra.
45. Seven cardinal sins: According to The Annotations on “Great Concentration and Insight,” killing a priest and killing a teacher, plus the five cardinal sins. The “teachers” referred to here are Shan-tao and Hōnen.
46. Two honored bodhisattvas are Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and Great Power.
47. Izanagi and Izanami are a male deity and a female deity who appear in Japanese mythology as the progenitors of Japan and of its gods.
48. A river flowing through the compound of the Inner Shrine of Ise, which is dedicated to the Sun Goddess. That the Mimosuso River has continued to flow implies that the imperial lineage, said to originate with the Sun Goddess, has continued unbroken.
49. Actually it is not a sutra but a work on the benefits gained by meditation on Amida Buddha.
50. The five strong-flavored foods refer to five kinds of pungent roots—leek, scallions, onions, garlic, and ginger. They were said to produce irritability, anger, or sexual desire and were accordingly forbidden for Buddhist monks and nuns.
51. The thirty-seven honored ones refer to the Buddhas and bodhisattvas who constitute the central section of the Diamond Realm mandala, which is composed of nine sections.
52. Literally Later T’ang Hall, a building that Chishō, the fifth chief priest of Enryaku-ji on Mount Hiei, the head temple of the Tendai school, erected on the grounds of Mii-dera temple in what is now Shiga Prefecture. Tō-in (T’ang Hall) on the grounds of Enryaku-ji, which had been erected earlier by Jikaku, the third chief priest of Enryaku-ji, is referred to as Zentō-in (Former T’ang Hall).
53. The Essentials of the Mahāvairochana Sutra.
54. This refers to the stage of the human mind, before the awakening of moral or religious consciousness, in which one is governed, like an animal, by passions and instincts.
55. This refers to the supreme stage at which one unlocks the immeasurable benefits inherent in one’s life through the secret doctrine of Mahāvairochana Buddha.
56. “A later stage” means the tenth and supreme stage of the ten stages of the mind, that is, the stage of realizing the esoteric teaching.
57. The Rules of Rites for Revering the Buddha’s Relics.
58. The Precious Key to the Secret Treasury.
59. A ritual implement used for prayers in esoteric True Word Buddhism. This story appears in The Biography of the Great Teacher Kōbō. According to this work, before Kōbō left China, he hurled a three-pronged diamond-pounder into the air. Returning to Japan, he went to Mount Kōya to carry out the practice of the esoteric teachings. There he found the same diamond-pounder resting in a tree’s branches.
60. Agastya is an Indian ascetic who practiced the Brahmanistic teachings. His occult powers are mentioned in the p.139Nirvana Sutra. Jinu is another Brahmanist ascetic of India, also mentioned in the Nirvana Sutra. According to The History of the Later Han Dynasty, Chang Chieh of the Later Han dynasty excelled in the occult arts of Taoism and caused a thick fog to appear, extending over five Chinese ri (about 2 km). According to Lives of Saints with Mysterious Powers, Luan Pa of the Later Han dynasty drank wine at a banquet and blew it out facing southwest. He explained that he had done so to extinguish a fire that had broken out in the city of Ch’eng-tu, which lay in that direction. On investigation, it was found that rain, mixed with wine, had fallen heavily in that city and extinguished a fire there.
61. The Annotations on “The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra.”
62. In The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra, T’ien-t’ai interprets those sutras preached in the past as the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings, preached over forty-two years; those preached at the same time as the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra; and those preached in the future as the Nirvana Sutra.
63. Immeasurable Meanings Sutra.
64. Lotus Sutra, chap. 10.
65. Ibid., chap. 11.
66. Ibid., chap. 14.
67. A Buddha mentioned in the Flower Garland, Mahāvairochana, and other sutras. In esoteric True Word Buddhism, he is identified with Mahāvairochana Buddha.
68. A reference to the preaching of the Lotus Sutra.
69. The four types of teachings are the Tripitaka teaching, the connecting teaching, the specific teaching, and the perfect teaching. The point here is that the Mahāvairochana Sutra is not a pure perfect teaching. See eight teachings in Glossary.
70. A reference to the Hinayana precepts.
71. A reference to Kuang-hsiu (771–843) and Wei-chüan (n.d.). Kuang-hsiu was the eighth patriarch in the lineage of the T’ien-t’ai school, and Wei-chüan was his leading disciple.
72. “Thus Come One Zen” refers to the Buddha’s meditation as described in the sutras. According to the Lankāvatāra Sutra, this meditation gives rise to the mystic powers with which the Buddha saves the people. “Doctrinal Zen” refers to the methods of meditation formulated on the basis of the sutras, and “patriarchal Zen,” to the Zen teaching deriving from Bodhidharma, in which enlightenment is said to be transmitted wordlessly from master to disciple.
73. Here “nonduality,” as taught by the Zen school, refers to the oneness of the Buddha and the ordinary person. The Daishonin says that the Zen followers do not understand “duality,” that is, the difference between the Buddha who is awakened to the ultimate truth and ordinary people who are deluded about it.
74. Mirakutsu’s Sanskrit name is unknown. King Dammira, mentioned in the subsequent paragraph, is another name for the same individual.
75. Words and Phrases. The Daishonin slightly rephrases the original passage. “This sutra” in the quotation refers to the Lotus Sutra.
76. Three of the five cardinal sins: (1) injuring a Buddha, (2) fomenting disunity within the Buddhist Order, and (3) killing an arhat. Devadatta committed these three.
77. This is described in chapter 12 of the Lotus Sutra.
78. “This wonderful text of the single vehicle” refers to the Lotus Sutra.
79. The sufferings of fire, blood, and swords are the sufferings of the three evil paths, which represent hell, the realm of animals, and the realm of hungry spirits, respectively.
80. A forest on Mount Shinoda in Izumi in the Osaka area of Japan, known for its scenic beauty.
81. This story appears in chapter 27 of the Lotus Sutra.
82. Salvation by Men of Pure Faith Sutra, cited in The Forest of Gems in the Garden of the Law. The sutra itself is no longer extant. “The Buddhist life” in the sutra’s context means a monastic life, but here the Daishonin interprets it as a life based on faith in the Mystic Law.
83. This appears in The Book of Rites.
84. Ch’i Li-chi (n.d.) was one of the Four White-Haired Elders who, grieved by the social turmoil at the end of the Ch’in dynasty (221–207 b.c.e.), secluded themselves on Mount Shang. After the Ch’in dynasty was replaced by the Han dynasty, they were invited by Empress Lü, the consort of Emperor Kao-tsu, founder of the Han dynasty, to become advisers to Emperor Hui, who was her son and Kao-tsu’s successor.
p.14085. Yen Kuang (39 b.c.e.–c.e. 41) was a companion in study to Liu Hsiu, who later became Emperor Kuang-wu, the first emperor of the Later Han dynasty. After Liu Hsiu became emperor, Yen Kuang changed his name and went into seclusion. Emperor Kuang-wu begrudged the loss of Yen Kuang’s abilities and entreated him to serve as his minister. However, Yen Kuang refused and spent the rest of his life in seclusion on Mount Fu-ch’un.
86. Chieh Tzu-sui (n.d.) was a retainer of Duke Wen in the Spring and Autumn period (770–403 b.c.e.), who served the duke in exile for nineteen years. When Duke Wen returned and assumed the rulership of Chin, he gave rewards to those who had followed him in exile. However, he overlooked Chieh Tzu-sui. The latter reproached him by saying that rewards should be dispensed by heaven and not by humans. Then he retired to Mount Mien-shang.
87. An “orchid-room friend” indicates a person of virtue. The implication is that the company of a virtuous person works as a good influence, just as one is imbued with fragrance on entering a room filled with orchids.
88. It is said that mugwort in a field of hemp is supported by the hemp plants and thus grows upright.
89. The six practices, mentioned in The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom, are accepting, upholding, reading, reciting, teaching, and transcribing. In the five practices, accepting and upholding are combined as one practice. The ten practices, set forth in the Heavenly King Supremacy Wisdom Sutra, are transcribing, making offerings, disseminating and transmitting, listening, reading, bearing in mind, widely preaching, reciting, contemplating, and self-exertion.
90. These admonitions appear in the Lotus and Nirvana sutras.
91. Nirvana Sutra.
92. The Annotations on the Nirvana Sutra.
93. This means that the dragon king’s daughter acquired the thirty-two features and eighty characteristics of a Buddha.
94. The six thousand leaves comprise T’ien-t’ai’s three major works, Profound Meaning, Words and Phrases, and Great Concentration and Insight, and Miao-lo’s commentaries on them.
95. Great Perfection of Wisdom states that the nyagrodha, or banyan tree, is large enough to provide shade for five hundred carts, yet the seed from which it grows is only one-third the size of a mustard seed.
96. Lotus Sutra, chap. 2.
97. The Daishonin refers here to the parable of the skilled physician in the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra.
98. Outstanding Principles.
99. T’ien-t’ai’s four guidelines for interpreting the words and phrases of the Lotus Sutra. “Causes and conditions” means to interpret the words and phrases of the sutra in terms of the causes and conditions that brought the Buddha to expound them. “Correlated teachings” means to interpret the sutra’s words and phrases in terms of the four teachings of doctrine and the five periods. “Theoretical and essential teachings” is to interpret them in light of the theoretical and essential teachings of the Lotus Sutra; and “the observation of the mind” is to perceive their truth within one’s own life through the practice of meditation.
100. The Daishonin slightly modifies the wording of the Nirvana Sutra, which says that one who has aroused the aspiration for enlightenment under Buddhas equal in number to the sands of the Hiranyavatī River will be able to embrace a sutra such as this in the evil age.
101. A reference to the sixteen sons of the Buddha Great Universal Wisdom Excellence, who appears in chapter 7 of the Lotus Sutra.

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13TH GOSHO IN VOLUME TWO = GOSHO 185. Explaining the Causation of the Ten Worlds: Jippōkai myōinga shō (十法界明因果抄), 427.
VOLUME sixty-nine of the eighty-volume Flower Garland Sutra states: “When one has entered the way of Universal Worthy, one will fully understand the Ten Worlds.”
Volume six of the Lotus Sutra says: “Voices of hell dwellers, voices of beasts, voices of hungry spirits, asura voices, monks’ voices, nuns’ voices [world of human beings], voices of heavenly beings [world of heavenly beings], voices of voice-hearers, voices of pratyekabuddhas, voices of bodhisattvas, and voices of Buddhas.”1 (Above are the names of the Ten Worlds.)
First, regarding the world of hell, the Meditation on the Buddha Sutra says: “Persons who commit the five cardinal sins, disregard the principle of cause and effect, slander the Mahayana teachings, violate the four grave prohibitions, and waste the alms given to them by believers will fall into this realm of existence” (the Avīchi hell).
The Meditation on the Correct Teaching Sutra states: “Persons who kill, steal, are guilty of sexual misconduct, drink intoxicants, or tell lies will fall into this realm” (the hell of great wailing).
The Meditation on the Correct Teaching Sutra also says: “Those who in the past have given intoxicants to others, causing them to become drunk, and afterward have been in the habit of teasing and beguiling them until they have committed some shameful act will fall into this realm” (the hell of wailing).
The Meditation on the Correct Teaching Sutra also says: “Persons who kill, steal, or are guilty of sexual misconduct will fall into this realm” (the hell of crushing).
The Nirvana Sutra states: “There are three degrees of killings: the lower, middle, and upper degrees. The lower degree constitutes the killing of any humble being, from an ant to any of the various kinds of animals. . . . As a result of a killing of the lower degree, one will fall into the realms of hell . . . and will suffer all the pains appropriate to a killing of the lower degree.”
Question: Everyone in the world, whether cleric or lay believer, knows that, if one commits the ten evil acts or the five cardinal sins, one will fall into hell. But the fact that one will fall into hell if one slanders the Law is not yet fully understood. What have you to say of that?
Answer: The Treatise on the Treasure Vehicle of Buddhahood written by Bodhisattva Sāramati and translated by Ratnamati states: “There are those p.194who deliberately practice a lesser doctrine and slander the true doctrine and its teachers. . . . They preach without understanding the teachings of the Thus Come One, going against the sutras and yet declaring that they are expounding the true doctrine.” If we go by this passage, we must say that those who believe in the Hinayana teachings and declare them to be the true doctrine, failing to understand the Mahayana teachings, are slandering the Law.
The Treatise on the Buddha Nature written by Bodhisattva Vasubandhu and translated by the Tripitaka Master Paramārtha states: “To hate and reject the Mahayana teachings will make one an icchantika, or person of incorrigible disbelief, because in doing so one causes living beings to cast aside these teachings.” If we go by this passage, we must say that in an age when both Hinayana and Mahayana teachings are propagated, if one concentrates on spreading the Hinayana teachings, personally turns against the Mahayana teachings, and causes others to reject them as well, then such a person is guilty of slandering the Law.
A commentary on the Brahmā Net Sutra by the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai states: “‘To slander’ means to turn against. In all cases where understanding does not accord with what is right in principle and words do not match the truth, and the person is expounding some different interpretation, this is to be labeled an act of slander. Because such persons go against the true doctrine of our school, they are guilty of this offense.”2
The “Simile and Parable” chapter of the Lotus Sutra states: “If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra, immediately he will destroy all the seeds for becoming a Buddha in this world. . . . When his life comes to an end he will enter the Avīchi hell.”
The meaning of this passage is as follows. Even if one has not yet reached the three stages of worthiness of the Hinayana teaching, or has not yet reached the ten stages of faith of the Mahayana teaching; even if one is an ordinary mortal of this latter age who commits the ten evil acts or the five cardinal sins, who is unfilial toward one’s father and mother, or who is a woman; if such a person hears the name of the Lotus Sutra, or chants the daimoku, or accepts and upholds one word, one line of a four-line verse, or four lines, one chapter, one volume, or all eight volumes of the sutra, reads and recites them, or merely responds with joy and praises a person who carries out these practices, then that person is superior to a great bodhisattva who profoundly adheres to all the sacred teachings of the Buddha’s lifetime other than that set forth in the Lotus Sutra, who has fully mastered the principles of those teachings, and who rigorously obeys all the precepts and rules of the Mahayana and Hinayana teachings, and that person will be capable of gaining rebirth in a pure land and becoming a Buddha. But if one fails to believe this when one hears it preached, and on the contrary asserts that the Lotus Sutra was preached for the sake of bodhisattvas who have already reached the ten stages of development and the ten stages of security or have advanced beyond them; or that it was preached for ordinary mortals of superior capacity and superior wisdom, but not for the sake of foolish persons, evil persons, women, or ordinary mortals of this latter age, then that person will destroy the seeds for the attainment of Buddhahood by all living beings and will enter the Avīchi hell. This is what the passage is saying.
The Nirvana Sutra states: “When it comes to the correct teaching of the Buddha, they show no inclination to protect, treasure, and establish it over the ages.” This passage means that, at a time when the great teaching set forth p.195in the Great Nirvana Sutra is about to perish from the world, those who do not treasure it are in fact slanderers of the Law.
The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai has described those who are the sworn enemies of the Lotus Sutra, saying, “‘Hatred’ refers to those who take no delight in listening to the doctrine.”3
There are many different kinds of slander of the Law. If one is born in a country where both Mahayana and Hinayana teachings are propagated, and one studies nothing but the Hinayana teachings, making that the basis of one’s conduct, and does not move on to the Mahayana teachings, this constitutes a slander of the Law. Or again, if there are persons who are versed in the Mahayana sutras such as the Flower Garland, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom sutras, and they believe that these sutras are on the same level as the Lotus Sutra, and teach others to believe that they are on the same level instead of urging them to shift their attention to the Lotus Sutra, this too is slander of the Law.
Or again, if one happens upon persons whose capacities are suited for the perfect teaching and who are studying the Lotus Sutra, and, greedy for material profit, urges them to convert to one’s own doctrine, telling them that their capacities are not suited to the Lotus Sutra and causing them to abandon the Lotus and change over to the teachings of the provisional sutras, this constitutes a great slander of the Law.
All actions of this kind are deeds that will lead to hell. The fact that one has been born as a human being means that the power one has gained by observing the five precepts in past existences is strong, and the causes that would have led one to rebirth in the three evil paths were weak. That is why one was able to be born as a human being.
Nowadays there are few people who are guilty of the five cardinal sins, but a great many who commit the ten evil acts. Sometimes you may find a person who, concerned about his next existence, is careful not to commit any of the ten evil acts and to act as a good person. But because of some quite natural error of ignorance, the person, though good in word and deed, in his heart believes in an evil teacher. Not only does that person himself put faith in the erroneous doctrines expounded by such a teacher, but he incites the rulers of the nation and the common people to embrace these same doctrines, or he persuades his wife and children, his followers, and members of his household to carry out the same religious practices that he does. Thus he prevents them from forming any ties with persons who would instruct them in the correct teaching, and keeps the common people and those related to him from experiencing a mind that responds with joy to that teaching. As a result, both he himself and others become slanderers of the Law, and those who would appear to be practicing good and putting aside evil in fact quite naturally end by committing deeds that lead to rebirth in the Avīchi hell. Cases of this kind are rife in this Latter Day of the Law.
The Venerable Ānanda was a nephew of King Shuddhodana and the son and prince of King Dronodana. He was a younger brother of Devadatta and a cousin of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni. He served the Thus Come One for twenty years, attained the mind-perceiving meditation, and understood all the sacred teachings of the Buddha’s lifetime. After the Buddha entered extinction, King Ajātashatru became a convert to Buddhism under Ānanda’s direction.
Forty years after the Buddha’s entry into extinction, the Venerable Ānanda was passing through a bamboo grove when he came upon a monk who was p.196reciting a verse of the teaching that went, “Though one be born a human being and live a hundred years, if one has not observed how the waters overflow and dry up, one cannot compare to a person who has lived only one day but has seen these things.”
When Ānanda heard this verse, he said to the monk, “This is not the Buddha’s teaching. You should not be practicing this.”
The monk then asked Ānanda, “What is the Buddha’s teaching?”
Ānanda replied, “‘Though one be born a human being and live a hundred years, if one has not understood the Law of birth and extinction, one cannot compare to a person who has lived only one day but has fully understood that Law.’ This is the Buddha’s teaching. The verse that you were reciting is mistaken in its wording.”
At that time the monk took the verse he had learned from Ānanda to the monk who had taught him originally. But the monk who had been his teacher said, “The verse I taught you is the true teaching of the Buddha. The verse that Ānanda recited is not the Buddha’s teaching. Ānanda is old and senile and says many things that are in error. You should not believe him.”
The monk then discarded Ānanda’s verse and went back to reciting the erroneous one he had recited before. When Ānanda passed through the bamboo grove again and heard him doing so, he realized it was not the verse he had taught the monk and spoke to him about it once more, but the monk refused to heed him.
If errors such as this had already appeared a mere forty years after the Buddha’s passing, how much worse must things be now that over two thousand years have gone by!
The Buddha’s teaching was transmitted from India to China, and then from China to Japan. The scholars, the Tripitaka masters, the teachers who passed it down from one to another hardly relayed one doctrine in ten thousand in a condition that was free from error. And how much worse is the situation now when scholars of Buddhism put biased views above all else, are swayed by arrogance, contend with one another like fire against water, and never reach a conclusion. Even when a scholar appears who happens to relay the teachings as the Buddha proclaimed them, no one will believe or heed him. Hence hardly one person in ten thousand can avoid committing slander against the Law.
Second, with regard to the world of hungry spirits, the Meditation on the Correct Teaching Sutra states, “Persons who in the past, greedy for wealth, put other beings to death will suffer retribution by being born in this realm.” And it says, “Men who gorge themselves on fine food but refuse to give any to their wife and children, or wives who prepare food for themselves but none for their husband and children will suffer retribution by being born here.” Again, it says, “Persons who, because they are greedy for fame and profit, preach from such impure motives, will suffer retribution in this realm.”
The same source says, “Those who in the past sold liquor that had been watered will suffer retribution here.” And it says, “Persons who cheat others out of what little they have labored to acquire, seizing it for their own use, will suffer retribution here.” And it says, “Those who in the past, coming on someone by the roadside who was completely overcome by sickness and fatigue, tricked that person into handing over the goods he had for sale and paid only a paltry sum for them will suffer retribution here.” And it further states, “Persons who in the past were in charge of prisons and took away the food and drink of the inmates will suffer retribution here.” And further, p.197“Those who in the past cut down trees that had been planted to give shade and coolness, or who cut down trees in the gardens and groves used by the company of monks, will suffer retribution here.”
The Lotus Sutra states: “If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra, . . . he will constantly dwell in hell, strolling in it as though it were a garden, and the other evil paths of existence he will look on as his own home.”4
Ordinary people in the world can easily understand why those who commit crimes motivated by stinginess or greed or who rob and steal should fall into the world of hungry spirits. But it takes someone of wisdom to understand that, though one may be a good person, free of stinginess, greed, or such faults, if he slanders the Law, or merely associates closely with those who slander the Law and thoughtlessly believes their doctrines, he will fall into the world of hungry spirits. The greatest caution is needed in these matters!
Third, regarding the world of animals, those who are stupid and shameless, who simply accept alms from believers and do nothing by way of return will suffer retribution by being born in this realm.
The Lotus Sutra says, “If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra, . . . he will fall into the realm of beasts.”5 (This concludes the discussion of the three evil paths.)
Fourth, with regard to the world of asuras, volume one of Great Concentration and Insight states: “Since the mind of a person who is in the world of asuras desires in every moment to be superior to everyone else and cannot bear to be inferior to anyone else, he belittles and despises others and exalts himself just as a kite flies on high and looks down. Moreover, he outwardly displays benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and good faith, and develops an inferior kind of goodness of mind, and yet puts into practice the way of asuras.”
Fifth, with regard to the world of human beings, the Repaying Debts of Gratitude Sutra states: “Those who give their allegiance to the three treasures and abide by the five precepts will be born in the world of human beings.”6
Sixth, regarding the world of heavenly beings, there are two such realms. First are the six heavens of the world of desire, where persons who observe the ten precepts are born. Second are the world of form and the world of formlessness. Those who carry out the six types of meditation practices, despising the lower levels as crude, distressful, and impeded, and aspiring to the upper levels as peaceful, wonderful, and removed, will be born in these heavenly realms.
Question: The causes that lead to birth in the six paths of existence are as you have described them. But at the same time, if people are able to be born in the world of human beings because they have observed the five precepts, then why are there so many countless differences among them, some blind, deaf, or dumb from birth, some puny and vile in stature, bent and crippled or hunchback, some troubled by poverty, numerous illnesses, or rage and anger?
Answer: The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom says: “If there are persons who destroy the eyes of living beings, who pluck out their eyes, or who deprive them of proper eyesight and yet claim that there is no retribution for such deeds, when such persons die they will fall into hell. After they have finished paying for their sins, they will be reborn as human beings, but they will be blind from birth. Or if there are persons who steal the fires or the lamps or torches from stupas for the Buddha and do other evil deeds of p.198various kinds in a previous existence, they will as a result of these causes be reborn without eyesight. . . .
“Deafness likewise is the result of causes in a previous existence. Those who refused to listen to or obey the instructions of their teachers or fathers but instead responded with anger will because of this offense be born deaf. Or again those who cut off the ears of living beings or destroyed their hearing, or who stole the big bells, little bells, shell ornaments, or drums from stupas for the Buddha or stupas for monks, which serve as fields of good fortune for good persons, will because of these evil acts suffer this kind of retribution.
“Those who in a previous existence cut out the tongues of others or stopped their mouths or gave them evil medicine that deprived them of the power of speech, or who, hearing the instructions of their teachers or the admonitions of their fathers or mothers, silenced them midway, . . . when they are reborn in the world will be mute and powerless to speak. . . .
“Those who in a previous existence spoiled other people’s meditation or destroyed their meditation shelters or used various enchantments to put a spell on them, causing them to become enraged or contentious or to give way to lewd behavior, when they are reborn in the world will be heavily burdened with earthly desires, behaving like a Brahman who has lost his rice fields, whose wife has died, and who, seized by madness, rushes about naked. Or those who in a previous existence took food away from a Buddha, arhats, or pratyekabuddhas, or from their father or mother or relatives, though they may be reborn in an age when a Buddha is in the world, will suffer hunger and thirst because of the gravity of the sins they have committed. . . .
“Those who in a previous existence delighted in applying the whip to others, torturing them, holding them in confinement, or tormenting them in various ways, will as a result suffer sickness in their present life. . . .
“Those who in a previous existence did bodily injury to others, cutting off their heads or their arms or legs or other parts of their bodies, or who destroyed Buddha statues, broke off the noses of Buddha statues or smashed the statues of worthy persons or sages or destroyed statues of their fathers or mothers will in consequence of their crimes be reborn in bodies that are defective in many ways. Or again, those who embrace doctrines that are not good will in retribution be reborn in bodies that are vile and ugly.”
The Lotus Sutra says: “If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra, . . . If he should become a human being, his faculties will be blighted and dull, he will be . . . blind, deaf, hunchbacked. . . . The breath from his mouth will be constantly foul, he will be possessed by devils, poor and lowly, ordered around by others, plagued by many ailments, thin and gaunt, having no one to turn to. . . . If others should turn against him, he would find himself plundered and robbed. His sins would be such that they would bring unexpected disaster on him.”7
Or again in volume eight of the Lotus Sutra we read: “If anyone sees a person who accepts and upholds this sutra and tries to expose the faults or evils of that person, whether what he speaks is true or not, he will in his present existence be afflicted with white leprosy. If anyone disparages or laughs at that person, then in existence after existence he will have teeth that are missing or spaced far apart, ugly lips, a flat nose, hands and feet that are gnarled or deformed, and eyes that are squinty. His body will have a foul odor, with evil sores that run pus and blood, p.199and he will suffer from water in the belly, shortness of breath, and other severe and malignant illnesses.”8
Question: What sort of actions must a person carry out in order to be born in the six paths of existence and become a king in such realms?
Answer: One who observes the bodhisattva precepts set forth in the Mahayana teachings but later violates them will become the king Brahmā in the world of form, or a devil king, Shakra, one of the four wheel-turning kings, a king of the birds and beasts, or King Yama, all in the world of desire.
The Contemplation on the Mind-Ground Sutra says: “The happiness and good fortune enjoyed by those who are kings are due to the fact that in the past they observed the three pure precepts,9 and the power of the precepts has brought this about. So they are able to gain these wonderful results in the human and heavenly realms and to become kings there. . . .
“Those who observe the bodhisattva precepts in a manner belonging to the middle category10 will gain blessing and merit that allow them to become wheel-turning kings, free to carry out any act to which their minds direct them, honored and revered by all the countless beings of the human and heavenly realms. Those whose observance of the precepts falls into the higher part of the lower category will become great kings of demons, commanding the obedience of all nonhuman beings. Such persons have undertaken to obey the precepts, and though they later violate them, the power of the precepts prevails and therefore they are able to become kings.
“A person who keeps the precepts in a manner belonging to the middle part of the lower category will become a king of the birds and beasts, looked up to and heeded by all creatures that fly or run. Though in time he violates the pure precepts, the power of the precepts will win out and therefore he will be able to become a king.
“A person who keeps the precepts in a manner belonging to the lower part of the lower category will become King Yama, dwelling in hell and acting as he wishes at all times. Though the fact that he violated the prohibitions caused him to be born in this evil realm of existence, the power of the precepts prevailed, and therefore he was able to become a king in that realm. . . .
“If these persons had not initially observed the precepts of the Thus Come One, they would not have been able to be reborn even as foxes, much less to enjoy the highest pleasures and delights of the human and heavenly realms and to occupy the position of kings.”
The Reverend Annen in his Extensive Commentary on the Universally Bestowed Bodhisattva Precepts states: “By observing the great precepts of a bodhisattva one becomes the Dharma King; by subsequently violating them one becomes a worldly king. The fact that the power of the precepts is not lost may be compared to a situation in which one uses gold and silver to fashion a vessel. As long as one can use it, it is of great value; but even if the vessel is broken and becomes useless, the materials it is made of do not cease to be precious.”
Again, he states: “The Meditation on the Buddha Infinite Life Sutra says, ‘From the beginning of the present kalpa until now there have been eighty thousand kings who killed their fathers.’ These men accepted the bodhisattva precepts and thus became kings of the nation. Because they had violated the precept against killing, they all later fell into hell, but in spite of the adverse power caused by this violation of the precept, they were still able to become kings.
“The Great Crown of the Buddha’s p.200Head Sutra says, ‘Though a bodhisattva who has set his mind on enlightenment commits a crime, he may still for the time being be reborn as a heavenly deity or earth god.’
“The Great Wish-Fulfilling Dhāranī Sutra states: ‘When the life of Shakra, the heavenly lord, came to an end, he at once entered the womb of a donkey, but through the power of the wish-fulfilling dhāranī, he was instead able to be reborn in the realm of heaven.’
“The Honored Victorious Dhāranī Sutra says, ‘The heavenly son Abiding Goodness11 was destined after his death to fall into the realm of the animals and be reborn there seven times, but through the power of the Honored Victorious dhāranī, he was instead rewarded by rebirth in the heavenly realm.’
“In the past there was once a king of a country who used a thousand carriages to transport water and rescue Buddhist towers that were threatened by fire. But because he grew arrogant in mind, he was reborn as a king of the asuras. In a past existence Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty presented five hundred clerical robes to five hundred arhats of Mount Sumeru. Pao-chih12 commented, ‘Long ago he presented alms to five hundred persons. But he overlooked one person in the group, and because he had committed that crime, he was born for the time being as a king in the world of human beings, namely, as Emperor Wu. In the past there were kings of countries who ruled their people in different ways. Three of them have now become heavenly kings, but they are great kings of demons, namely, the three heavenly kings of the east, south, and west respectively. At the close of the era of the Buddha Krakucchanda, one of the kings became a bodhisattva and made a vow, and he is now the heavenly king Vaishravana, or heavenly king of the north.’”
When we consider these passages, we see that those who obey the Hinayana precepts but later violate them will be reborn as commoners in the six paths. Those who obey the Mahayana precepts but later violate them will be reborn as kings in the six paths. And those who consistently obey the Mahayana precepts will become Buddhas.
Seventh, regarding the world of voice-hearers, the causes and conditions that lead to birth in this world are clearly set forth in the Āgama sutras of the Hinayana teachings preached by the Buddha over a period of twelve years, while the various Mahayana sutras also make very clear how this world of voice-hearers contrasts with that of [bodhisattvas in] the Mahayana teachings.
There are four types of voice-hearers. First is the upāsaka, or male lay believer. By observing the five precepts, perceiving the nature of suffering, non-substantiality, impermanence, and non-self, focusing their minds on self-discipline and self-salvation, not venturing to think of converting others but cutting off all one’s own illusions of thought and desire, such a person can become an arhat. When that happens, the hair of his head will naturally fall off without needing to be shaved.
Second is the upāsikā, or female lay believer. If she observes the five precepts, her hair will fall off of itself without needing to be shaved, as in the case of a male lay believer.
Third is the bhikshu, or monk. By observing the two hundred and fifty precepts (the complete precepts), perceiving the nature of suffering, non-substantiality, impermanence, and non-self, and cutting off illusions of thought and desire, such a person can become an arhat. When that happens, though he does not shave his head, the hair on his head will cease to grow in.
Fourth is the bhikshunī, or nun. She p.201must observe the five hundred precepts, but in other respects is the same as a monk.
Shāriputra, Maudgalyāyana, and the others who during the Buddha’s lifetime attended the assemblies at which he preached the various sutras were examples of such voice-hearers. They were able for all time to escape rebirth in the six paths, but they were on the other hand never able to become Buddhas or bodhisattvas. By annihilating consciousness and reducing the body to ashes, they once and for all made it impossible for themselves to attain Buddhahood.
The typical Hinayana precepts are the precepts whose benefit is lost with the death of the individual. Hence, once the body has come to an end, the beneficial effect of the precepts ceases to exist. A person who observes such precepts in a superior manner will become a person of the two vehicles. One who observes them in a middling or inferior manner will be reborn in the human or heavenly realms and be a commoner. One who violates such precepts will fall into the three evil paths where one suffers retribution as an offender.
The Reverend Annen in his On the Universally Bestowed Bodhisattva Precepts states: “One gains birth in the three good paths by observing the precepts in ordinary life. Through the observance of such conduct one gains birth there and enjoys the results, but when the effect of such past behavior runs out, one will then fall into the evil paths. Such persons are like the leaves of the willow tree, which turn gold when autumn comes, but when autumn is over, fall to the ground. Even those who observe the Hinayana precepts for persons of the two vehicles achieve only paltry results, while those who violate such precepts are forever deprived of such benefits. They are like clay vessels that, even when whole, are used only for mean purposes, and which, once broken, are forever discarded.”
Eighth is the world of cause-awakened ones [or pratyekabuddhas], who are of two types.
First are those known as “self-awakened ones of group practice.”13 At a time when the Buddha is present in the world, they do as the voice-hearers do, carrying out the Hinayana teachings, observing the Hinayana precepts, and cutting off the illusions of thought and desire, but they are among those who can never attain Buddhahood.
Second are the “self-awakened ones of solitary practice.” At a time when the Buddha is not present in the world, they observe the scattering blossoms and falling leaves, perceive the nature of suffering, non-substantiality, impermanence, and non-self, and cut off the illusions of thought and desire, but are among those who can never attain Buddhahood. The precepts they observe are like those of the voice-hearers.
These two worlds, those of the voice-hearers and the cause-awakened ones, are known as the two vehicles.
Ninth is the world of bodhisattvas, those who remain among the ordinary mortals of the six paths of existence, thinking little of their own lives but much of the lives of others, aiming always to take evil upon themselves and to dole out good to other beings.
For the sake of persons such as this the Buddha in the various Mahayana sutras set forth the bodhisattva precepts. These bodhisattva precepts are classified into three categories. The first is described as the “precept for encompassing all good deeds,” because through it one aims to carry out to the fullest all the so-called eighty-four thousand teachings. The second is called the “precept for benefiting sentient beings,” because one hopes by observing it to bring salvation to all p.202living beings and only after that to obtain Buddhahood oneself. The third is called the “precept for encompassing the rules and standards,” because through it one attempts to observe to the fullest all the various precepts.
The Brahmā Net Sutra, which sets forth the essence of the Flower Garland Sutra, states: “The Buddha addressed those who are his children, saying, ‘There are ten major rules of discipline14 to be observed. If one accepts the bodhisattva precepts but fails to recite these rules, one is not a bodhisattva nor has the seed of Buddhahood. I myself recite them as others do. All bodhisattvas have learned them in the past, all bodhisattvas will learn them in the future, and all bodhisattvas are learning them at present.’”
The term “bodhisattva” applies to all sentient beings except those of the two vehicles. In the Hinayana teachings, beings vary depending upon the precepts they observe, but this is not true in the case of the bodhisattva precepts. All beings who possess a mind should undertake to observe the ten major precepts. Those who succeed in observing one precept may be called one part a bodhisattva, and those who observe all ten of them deserve to be called complete bodhisattvas.
Hence the Jeweled Necklace Sutra says: “If one accepts one precept, that person may be called one part a bodhisattva, and the same for two parts, three parts, four parts, and so on to ten parts, in which case one may be called a complete observer of the precepts.”
Question: When you say “all sentient beings except those of the two vehicles,” what text is your authority?
Answer: When the Brahmā Net Sutra lists those who are to accept the bodhisattva precepts, it says: “If there are those who observe the Buddha precepts, whether they are kings, princes, government officials, prime ministers, monks, nuns, dwellers in the eighteen heavens of the world of form, heavenly sons in the six heavens of the world of desire, commoners, eunuchs, lustful men, lustful women, male or female slaves, the eight kinds of nonhuman beings, spirits, vajra-bearing gods, animals, or persons magically conjured, if they can understand the words of the teacher of the Law and undertake to observe the precepts in full measure, then they all deserve to be called beings of prime purity.” Persons of the two vehicles are not included in this list. The Jeweled Necklace Sutra, which represents the conclusion of the Correct and Equal sutras, likewise excepts persons of the two vehicles.
Question: How does the precept against the taking of life observed by persons of the two vehicles differ from the precept against the taking of life observed by bodhisattvas?
Answer: The name of the precept is the same in both cases, but the manner of observing it and the thoughts in the mind of the observer are totally different. Therefore the blessings derived from observing it differ in their profundity.
Question: How is the manner of observing it different?
Answer: When persons of the two vehicles observe the precept against the taking of life, they have no thought of ever being reborn again in the six paths, and therefore they pay no mind to the converting and guiding of others. Likewise they have no thought of becoming a Buddha or a bodhisattva. Their thoughts are simply upon how to annihilate consciousness and reduce the body to ashes, which is like burning a piece of wood and turning it to ashes, after which not a single particle of it remains. Therefore those who observe the precept in this way may be compared to clay vessels that, once broken, are of no further use.
But bodhisattvas are not like this. They approach the precepts in the p.203spirit of the precept for benefiting sentient beings and observe the precept against the taking of life in this spirit. Therefore in observing the capacities of others [and striving to lead them], they may have occasion to behave like those who commit the five cardinal sins or the ten evil acts, committing offenses as they do, but this does not constitute a violation of the precept against the taking of life. On the contrary, the precept is rendered more fully observed than before. Hence the Jeweled Necklace Sutra says, “Though they commit offenses, the power of the precept is not destroyed, but will remain effective through all future time.”
Therefore those who observe the precept in this spirit may be compared to vessels made of gold or silver which, whether whole or broken, whether observed, in the case of the precept, or unobserved, never lose their value.
Question: When persons observe the precept against the taking of life in this spirit, how many kalpas must they do so in order to attain Buddhahood?
Answer: The Jeweled Necklace Sutra states: “For those who are still in the stages previous to the ten stages of security . . . one kalpa, two kalpas, three kalpas, and so on up to ten kalpas, must go by before they are able to enter the first of the ten stages of security.” This means that one who is an ordinary mortal but observes this precept may be called a bodhisattva in the ten stages of faith [which precede the ten stages of security]. However, though such persons may continue to be reborn in the six paths over a period of one kalpa, two kalpas, and so on up to ten kalpas, when they have done so for ten kalpas, they will enter the stage of non-regression and be called bodhisattvas of non-regression, which means that they will never again have to undergo the sufferings of the six paths. They cannot yet attain Buddhahood, and on the contrary will continue to be reborn in the six paths, but will do so without any suffering.
Tenth is the world of Buddhahood. Those who are in the stage of bodhisattva and who undertake to carry out the four universal vows as their precepts, who over a period of three asamkhya kalpas fulfill the six pāramitās and the ten thousand religious practices, completely cutting off the illusions of thought and desire, the illusions innumerable as particles of dust and sand, and the illusions about the true nature of existence, will attain Buddhahood. Thus the Contemplation on the Mind-Ground Sutra says: “Those who in the space of three great asamkhya kalpas carry out the various hundreds and thousands of ascetic practices and thereby gain full and complete blessings that pervade the entire realm of phenomena will attain the last of the ten stages of development and acquire the three bodies.”
This means that if, when they are at the stage of cause, or practice, they observe the various precepts, then when they reach the stage of effect, or Buddhahood, they will have their Buddha body adorned elaborately. The thirty-two features and the eighty characteristics [that adorn the Buddha body] are thus produced by the blessings accruing from the observance of these precepts. However, when one reaches the stage of effect, or Buddhahood, the power of the precepts is cast off. The process may be likened to a fruit developing from a flower; when the fruit appears, the form of the flower ceases to exist. Therefore T’ien-t’ai in his commentary on the Brahmā Net Sutra says, “Once the effect of Buddhahood is reached, it [the power of the precepts] will be discarded.”15
Question: Does the Brahmā Net Sutra or any similar text permit the Mahayana precepts to be administered to persons who have committed the p.204seven cardinal sins in their present existence or those who are predestined by nature to become persons of the two vehicles?
Answer: The Brahmā Net Sutra states: “When a person wishes to receive the precepts, the teacher shall question that person, saying, ‘Have you in your present existence committed the seven cardinal sins?’ A bodhisattva teacher of the Law may not administer the precepts to a person who has committed the seven cardinal sins in his present existence.” In light of this passage, we see that persons who have committed the seven cardinal sins in their present existence are not permitted to receive the precepts.
The Great Wisdom Sutra says: “Though a bodhisattva may be subject to the five desires for wonderful things for as many kalpas as there are sands in the Ganges, in terms of the bodhisattva precepts he may not be said to have committed any violation. But if for one instant he allows thoughts of the two vehicles to arise, then he may be said to have committed a violation.”
And The Ornament of Mahayana Sutras states: “Though one may dwell constantly in hell, this presents no barrier to great enlightenment. But if one gives rise to thoughts of self-benefit, this will be a barrier to great enlightenment.” From these passages we may see that, though the bodhisattva precepts may be administered to ordinary mortals of the six paths, it is prohibited to administer them to persons of the two vehicles.
Persons of the two vehicles are disliked not because of any dislike for the five precepts, the eight precepts, the ten precepts, the ten good precepts, or the two hundred and fifty precepts that are observed by them. These precepts are observed by bodhisattvas as well. What is disliked is simply the thoughts in the minds of persons of the two vehicles.
If we stop to consider, we realize that one observes the precepts in order that one may repay the debt of gratitude that one owes to one’s father and mother, one’s religious teachers, the ruler of the nation, one’s own particular lord, living beings as a whole, and to the three treasures. One owes a profound debt to father and mother for having raised one, and a heavy debt to all living beings for mutual help and assistance. And because the ruler of the nation governs by means of the correct principles, the people can enjoy peace and security. As a result they can practice good, and hence this debt to the ruler is a heavy one. And one owes a debt to one’s particular lord because it is thanks to him that one is able to care for one’s parents, wife and children, household members, followers, oxen and horses, and so forth. Even if one did not take these others into consideration, one would owe a heavy debt to one’s lord simply for his taking care of oneself. One also owes a profound debt to one’s teachers for preventing one from following erroneous doctrines and leading one to the correct way. And the debt one owes to the Buddha goes without saying.
In this manner, then, one owes an incalculable debt of gratitude to others. But persons of the two vehicles fail to repay any of these debts of gratitude. Therefore to turn one’s mind to the two vehicles even for one instant is worse than committing the ten evil acts or the five cardinal sins. But to turn one’s mind for an instant to the way of the bodhisattva is to give rise to blessings such as accrue to one who is far advanced in the teachings and practices of all the various Buddhas.
Above is a description of the Mahayana and Hinayana precepts as taught by the Buddha in the first forty and more years of his preaching life.
The precepts of the Lotus Sutra are viewed from two aspects. First, they are p.205precepts of comparative myō, or comparative wonderfulness; second, they are precepts of absolute myō, or absolute wonderfulness.
First, with regard to the term “precepts of comparative myō,” it means that, when the Mahayana and Hinayana precepts set forth by the Buddha in the first forty and more years of his preaching life are compared with the precepts of the Lotus Sutra, the former are seen to be “rough precepts,” while the latter are seen to be “wonderful precepts.” The precepts set forth in the various other sutras are disliked because they are precepts before the truth was revealed, precepts to be practiced over numerous kalpas, precepts of those forever predestined by nature for the two vehicles, while the precepts of the Lotus Sutra are precepts of the truth, precepts for the immediate attainment of enlightenment, precepts allowing persons of the two vehicles to attain Buddhahood. When the latter are compared to the former, one can see which are rough and which are wonderful. Therefore we speak of the latter as “precepts of comparative myō.”
Question: The Brahmā Net Sutra says: “If living beings accept the Buddha precepts, they enter the state of the Buddhas and gain the same great enlightenment as theirs. They are truly children of the Buddhas.” The Flower Garland Sutra states: “The first time they conceive the desire to do so, they can attain enlightenment.” And the Larger Wisdom Sutra says: “As soon as they conceive the desire for enlightenment, they are seated in the place of enlightenment.”16 Judging from these passages, it would seem that the Mahayana precepts set forth by the Buddha in the first forty and more years of his preaching life, like those of the Lotus Sutra, may be called precepts for the immediate attainment of enlightenment. Why should they be designated merely as precepts to be practiced over numerous kalpas?
Answer: There are two interpretations of the matter involved here. According to the first interpretation, during the first forty and more years of the Buddha’s preaching life, he set forth both “precepts to be practiced over numerous kalpas” and “precepts for the immediate attainment of enlightenment.” But in the Lotus Sutra he preached only “precepts for the immediate attainment of enlightenment.” With regard to the former two types of precepts, the precepts to be practiced over numerous kalpas, which were set forth in the first forty and more years of the Buddha’s preaching life, are inferior to the precepts of the Lotus Sutra, but the precepts for the immediate attainment of enlightenment set forth in those first forty and more years are the same as the Lotus Sutra precepts. Therefore the passages cited above that say that if living beings accept the Buddha precepts, they enter the state of the Buddhas, and so forth, are comparable to the passage in the Lotus Sutra that states: “If one listens to them [the preachers of the Law] for even a moment, one will immediately attain supreme perfect enlightenment.”17 When the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra mentions the sutras preached in the first forty and more years of the Buddha’s preaching life and describes them as teachings pertaining to the numerous kalpas of practice, it is expressing dislike simply for the precepts to be practiced over numerous kalpas set forth in those forty and more years, not expressing dislike for the precepts for the immediate attainment of enlightenment set forth in that period.
Another interpretation of the matter holds that the precepts set forth in those forty and more years are all to be regarded as precepts to be practiced over numerous kalpas, and the precepts of the Lotus Sutra as the only p.206precepts for the immediate attainment of enlightenment. Regarding the passages cited above that speak of the precepts for the immediate attainment of enlightenment set forth in the first forty and more years of the Buddha’s preaching life, these passages do not mean that one who is at the stage of ordinary mortal can immediately attain enlightenment. What they mean is that one who is at the stage of ordinary mortal, after carrying out an immeasurable number of practices and doing so over an immeasurable number of kalpas, can then in the end move directly in their present form from the stage of ordinary mortal to that of Buddhahood. Therefore this final stage of the process is described as “immediate attainment of enlightenment.” To speak in more precise terms, it is simply a part of the process of practice carried out over numerous kalpas.
Therefore in the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra the Buddha, citing the various sutras that he preached in the previous forty and more years, states that, although in these he described “the many kalpas of practice for bodhisattvas,” this approach cannot begin to compare with the method of immediate attainment of enlightenment mentioned in the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra.
The bodhisattva Great Adornment, hearing this explanation and understanding and assenting to it, says that “though immeasurable, boundless, inconceivable asamkhya kalpas may pass, they will in the end fail to gain unsurpassed enlightenment. Why? Because they will not know about the great direct way to enlightenment, but will travel perilous byways beset by numerous hindrances and trials. . . . Because, practicing it [this sutra], one travels a great direct way free of hindrances and trials.”
If during the first forty and more years of the Buddha’s preaching life there had in fact been precepts for the immediate attainment of enlightenment such as were later set forth in the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, then the Buddha would have been at fault for deliberately concealing the truth during those forty and more years.
Of these two interpretations of the matter I have described above, the second is the one more commonly accepted.
This concludes my description of the term “precepts of comparative myō.”
Next, with regard to the term “precepts of absolute myō,” we may note that, where the Lotus Sutra is concerned, this does not refer to a separate set of precepts. The precepts set forth in the sutras preached prior to the Lotus Sutra constitute, just as they are, the precepts of the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, the observers of the so-called “willow leaf” precepts18 of those in the human and heavenly realms as described in the sutras prior to the Lotus, the observers of the “clay vessel” precepts of persons of the two vehicles as described in the Hinayana Āgama sutras, the observers of the “gold and silver vessel” precepts to be carried out by bodhisattvas over numerous kalpas as described in the Flower Garland, Correct and Equal, Wisdom, and Meditation sutras—when it comes to the Lotus Sutra, all these different groups come together in harmony and form a single body.
Thus the persons in the human or heavenly realms who observe the willow leaf precepts gain the same blessings as persons of the two vehicles who observe the clay vessel precepts and bodhisattvas who observe the gold and silver vessel precepts; bodhisattvas who observe the gold and silver vessel precepts gain the same blessings as persons in the human and heavenly realms who observe the willow leaf precepts and those of the two vehicles who observe p.207the clay vessel precepts; and so forth in the same manner.
Beings in the three evil paths do not in their present existence observe any precepts at all. In their past lives, when they were born in the human or heavenly realms, they observed the willow leaf precepts of persons in the human and heavenly realms, or the clay vessel precepts of persons of the two vehicles, or the gold and silver vessel precepts of the bodhisattvas. Later, because they violated these precepts, they fell into the three evil paths. But the blessings they gained earlier have not been lost and are still in existence. When such persons in the three evil paths encounter the Lotus Sutra, the power of the earlier precepts is brought to life once more, and hence, although such persons dwell in the three evil paths, they become endowed with the potentiality of all of the Ten Worlds. Thus, when persons in any of the Ten Worlds who abided by the teachings of the sutras prior to the Lotus Sutra come into contact with the Lotus Sutra, they all become observers of the precepts.
This is what the Lotus Sutra means when it says, “This is what is called observing the precepts.”19 The Reverend Annen in his On the Universally Bestowed Bodhisattva Precepts states: “The Lotus Sutra is saying that those who are capable of preaching the Lotus Sutra deserve to be called observers of the precepts.” That is, such persons do not, as described in the sutras prior to the Lotus Sutra, have to observe the precepts under the supervision of a teacher. They have only to put their faith in this sutra to become observers of the precepts.
The sutras preached prior to the Lotus Sutra did not set forth the doctrine of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds. Therefore, although bodhisattvas might carry out practices over innumerable kalpas, they did not gain any other blessings such as those acquired by observers of the precepts in the two vehicles or the human and heavenly realms; they acquired only the blessings associated with their own one world. And because they acquired the blessings of only one world, they were in the end unable to attain Buddhahood. Therefore [in terms of the doctrine of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds] they did not even acquire the blessings that pertain to one world.20
But when persons who had previously followed the teachings of the pre-Lotus sutras encounter the Lotus Sutra, the blessings of all the other nine worlds become the possession of beings in any of the Ten Worlds. When this happens, then, the pre-Lotus sutras become synonymous with the Lotus Sutra, and the Lotus Sutra becomes synonymous with the pre-Lotus sutras. The Lotus Sutra is no longer separate from the pre-Lotus sutras, and the pre-Lotus sutras are no longer separate from the Lotus Sutra. This is what is meant by the term “wonderful Law.”
Once one has gained an understanding of this, then though the practitioner may read the Āgama sutras of the Hinayana teachings, one therewith becomes a reader of all the Mahayana sutras and a reader of the Lotus Sutra. Therefore the Lotus Sutra says, “[But if they hear this profound sutra] which defines the Law of the voice-hearer, [if they hear] this king of the sutras . . .”21 This passage is saying that the Āgama sutras are none other than the Lotus Sutra.
The Lotus Sutra says, “[The Buddhas] apply distinctions to the one Buddha vehicle and preach as though it were three.”22 This passage is saying that the Flower Garland, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom sutras are none other than the Lotus Sutra.
And the Lotus Sutra says, “If they should expound some text of the secular world or speak on matters of p.208government or occupations that sustain life, they will in all cases conform to the correct Law.”23 This passage is saying that all the texts of the non-Buddhist teachers, of Lao Tzu and Confucius, are none other than the Lotus Sutra.
The precepts of provisional Mahayana recorded in the Brahmā Net Sutra and similar texts differ in many respects from the Lotus Sutra precepts. First, the former may not be administered to persons of the two vehicles or to those who have committed the seven cardinal sins. Second, the blessings accruing from the former do not include the possibility of attaining Buddhahood. Third, the former are precepts that are designed to be practiced over a period of numerous kalpas. Hence they are faulty in many respects.
But when we come to the precepts of the Lotus Sutra, we find that they may be administered to persons of the two vehicles and to those who have committed the seven cardinal sins. Moreover, through them even persons in the lowest category of ordinary mortals will enter the stage of Buddhahood within the space of a single lifetime and achieve perfect enlightenment. Thus one may acquire both the merit of practice and the benefit of Buddhahood.

Nichiren

The twenty-first day of the fourth month in the second year of Shōgen [1260], cyclical sign kanoe-saru
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Background
Nichiren Daishonin wrote Explaining the Causation of the Ten Worlds in Kamakura on the twenty-first day of the fourth month in 1260. In this work, he cites the Lotus Sutra to introduce the names of the Ten Worlds and offers a detailed explanation of the causal relationships characterizing each of the Ten Worlds. In the discussion of the world of Buddhahood, he describes the differences between the precepts of the sutras preached before the Lotus Sutra and those of the Lotus Sutra, clarifying that only the Lotus Sutra teaches the attainment of Buddhahood in one’s present form for all people.
First, citing the Flower Garland Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, the Daishonin lists the names of the Ten Worlds: the worlds of hell, hungry spirits, animals, asuras, human beings, heavenly beings, voice-hearers, cause-awakened ones, bodhisattvas, and Buddhas, or Buddhahood. Sutras expounded before the Lotus Sutra generally portray the Ten Worlds as ten distinct realms, in which people are said to be reborn due to the causes they create in their present life. The teachings of the Lotus Sutra, however, regard the Ten Worlds as categories representing the state of life of any living being at any given moment.
Next, the Daishonin explains the causal relationships pertaining to each of the Ten Worlds. Concerning the first six worlds, also known as the six paths, he introduces the views of the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings regarding what kind of actions cause one to be reborn in them. Then he explains how slander of the Law causes one to be reborn in the three evil paths and declares that it also accounts for differences among people born in the same world of humanity, citing The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom and the Lotus Sutra.
Concerning the two vehicles, the p.209worlds of voice-hearers and cause-awakened ones, the Daishonin states that voice-hearers such as Shāriputra and Maudgalyāyana “were able for all time to escape rebirth in the six paths, but they were on the other hand never able to become Buddhas or bodhisattvas.” He also states that two groups of cause-awakened ones, one carrying out the Buddha’s Hinayana teachings and the other practicing on their own, “cut off the illusions of thought and desire, but are among those who can never attain Buddhahood.”
Next, concerning the world of bodhisattvas, the Daishonin identifies them as those who “remain among the ordinary mortals of the six paths of existence, thinking little of their own lives but much of the lives of others, aiming always to take evil upon themselves and to dole out good to other beings.” The Daishonin, defining “bodhisattva” as “all sentient beings except those of the two vehicles,” says, “All beings who possess a mind should undertake to observe the ten major precepts. Those who succeed in observing one precept may be called one part a bodhisattva, and those who observe all ten of them deserve to be called complete bodhisattvas.”
Finally, the Daishonin addresses the subject of the world of Buddhas, or Buddhahood, first outlining the causes for its attainment from the standpoint of the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings, which state that one requires countless lifetimes to achieve it. Next he describes the precepts of the Lotus Sutra, of which there are two kinds: the precepts of comparative myō and the precepts of absolute myō. The precepts of comparative myō means to compare the precepts of the Lotus Sutra with those of the other sutras, and regard the former as myō, or “wonderful,” and the latter as so, or “rough.”
With regard to the precepts of absolute myō, the Daishonin says, “Where the Lotus Sutra is concerned, this does not refer to a separate set of precepts. The precepts set forth in the sutras preached prior to the Lotus Sutra constitute, just as they are, the precepts of the Lotus Sutra.” He also says, “When persons in any of the Ten Worlds who abided by the teachings of the sutras prior to the Lotus Sutra come into contact with the Lotus Sutra, they all become observers of the precepts.” This is what the Lotus Sutra means when it says, “This [to uphold this sutra] is what is called observing the precepts.” Then, the Daishonin concludes, “Even persons in the lowest category of ordinary mortals will enter the stage of Buddhahood within the space of a single lifetime and achieve perfect enlightenment.”
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Notes
1. Lotus Sutra, chap. 19. The words in brackets are notes by Nichiren Daishonin.
2. The Commentary on the Meaning of Bodhisattva Precepts.
3. This statement is not found in T’ien-t’ai’s works, but a similar statement is found in The Annotations on “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra,” Miao-lo’s commentary on T’ien-t’ai’s Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra.
4. Lotus Sutra, chap. 3.
5. Ibid.
6. A summary of a passage from the Repaying Debts of Gratitude Sutra.
7. Lotus Sutra, chap. 3.
8. Ibid., chap. 28.
9. The “three pure precepts” refers to the three comprehensive precepts, which are also known as the three comprehensive pure precepts. See three comprehensive precepts in Glossary.
10. According to the capacities of people, the degrees of strictness in observing the precepts are divided into nine: the higher, middle, and lower parts of each of the higher, middle, and lower categories.
11. A deity dwelling in the heaven of the thirty-three gods located on the p.210summit of Mount Sumeru.
12. A priest also known as Pao-kung. Pao-chih (418–514) was criticized for using occult powers and deluding the people but later won the respect of Emperor of Wu of the Liang dynasty.
13. A self-awakened one of group practice is one who practices together with other practitioners but finally on his own gains insight and emancipation. A self-awakened one of solitary practice, referred to in the next paragraph, is one who practices in isolation and gains insight and emancipation.
14. “Ten major rules of discipline” refers to the ten major precepts. See ten major precepts in Glossary.
15. Commentary on the Meaning of Bodhisattva Precepts.
16. This passage is not found in the extant edition of the Larger Wisdom Sutra. However, T’ien-t’ai in his Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra cites this passage as that of the Larger Wisdom Sutra.
17. Lotus Sutra, chap. 10.
18. The “willow leaf” precepts refer to the precepts for the human and heavenly beings, such as the five precepts and ten good precepts. The transient nature of benefits deriving from the observance of these precepts is compared to that of the leaves of the willow tree, which turn gold in autumn and soon fall to the ground.
19. Lotus Sutra, chap. 11.
20. According to the doctrine of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, because one world possesses the other nine worlds, one cannot obtain the benefits that pertain to one’s own world without also obtaining the benefits of the other nine worlds.
21. Lotus Sutra, chap. 10.
22. Ibid., chap. 2.
23. Ibid., chap. 19.

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THE 13TH POINT IS THE 6TH POINT OF CHAPTER TWO IN THE ONGI KUDEN:

Point Six, regarding the passage “Shāriputra, you should know / that at the start I took a vow, / hoping to make all persons / equal to me, without any distinction between us, / and what I long ago hoped for / has now been fulfilled. / I have converted all living beings / and caused them all to enter the Buddha way.”

The commentary [volume four of Words and Phrases] says, “This points out the cause [for the attainment of Buddhahood] in order to encourage faith.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The “I” here refers to Shakyamuni Buddha, who in fact attained Buddhahood in the remote past. This Shakyamuni Buddha of the essential teaching is none other than we, living beings.
p.40The “me” in the phrase “equal to me” [that is, the Buddha] represents the last seven of the ten factors of life. The living beings of the nine worlds represent the first three of the ten factors. We living beings are the parent, and the Buddha is the child. Father and son constitute a single entity, a beginning and end that are ultimately equal. We living beings are described in the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra as the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies.
Nichiren and his followers, who today chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are the ones meant here. And if we stop to think of it, we realize that the two vows taken by Shakyamuni, the universal or general vow and the individual or particular vow, were taken for the sake of living beings such as us. Therefore when Nichiren chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, vowing to make it possible for all the living beings in this country of Japan to attain Buddhahood, this is what is described in the sutra in the words “at the start I took a vow, / hoping to make all persons / equal to me.” And when in the end he has guided and led all beings so that they become one with the Buddha himself, you should understand that this is what is referred to by the words “what I long ago hoped for / has now been fulfilled.”
In the phrase “has now been fulfilled” (kon ja i manzoku), the character i means “already.” What is the passage referring to when it says that “now it has already been fulfilled”? On the whole, the commentaries of T’ien-t’ai indicate that the “already” refers to the pronouncement on the “true aspect of all phenomena” made earlier by the Buddha. But from the point of view of the teachings of our school, you should understand that it refers to Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and that this is what is being described in the words “now it has already been fulfilled.”
For this reason the passage “hoping to make all persons / equal to me, without any distinction between us” is one of great importance. “What I long ago hoped for” is the True Cause. And “to make all persons / equal to me, without any distinction between us” is the True Effect. The Shakyamuni Buddha of perfect p.41enlightenment is our own flesh and blood. His practices and the resulting virtues are our bones and marrow, are they not?
The commentary of T’ien-t’ai says, “This points out the cause [for the attainment of Buddhahood] in order to encourage faith.” “Pointing out the cause” is none other than the True Effect.3 And now when Nichiren chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, he is enabling all living beings to attain Buddhahood in the ten thousand years of the Latter Day of the Law. Is it not right, therefore, to say, “What I long ago hoped for / has now been fulfilled”?
“Already” refers to the daimoku, which was chanted for the first time on the twenty-eighth day of the fourth month of the fifth year of the Kenchō era (1253), and hence we may think of it as something that has taken place “already.” There can be no question that through this act the truly excellent medicine of the Wonderful Law is being applied in order to cure the grave illness of darkness that afflicts all living beings. In the light of this act, Nichiren has “fulfilled” his vow. “Fulfilled” may also be taken to refer to the achieving of Buddhahood on the part of the living beings.
The passage in a commentary [volume one of On “Great Concentration and Insight”] says, “Perfect means perfect and interfused or perfect and full. Sudden means sudden and complete or sudden and satisfactory.”4 You should think about this.

NOTES ON POINT SIX OF CHAPTER TWO, OR AKA POINT 13 OF 231

3. Realizing the cause for the attainment of Buddhahood means the attainment of Buddhahood itself. Hence “pointing out the cause” means the True Effect, or the effect of Buddhahood.

4. The quotation explains the key principles of the Lotus Sutra that enable ordinary people to attain Buddhahood immediately. It is cited to describe the characteristics of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which Nichiren expounded to lead all people in the Latter Day of the Law to Buddhahood.
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THE 13TH LETTER IN THE SOKA GAKKAI DICTIONARY OF BUDDHISM IS THE LETTER ‘M’

Word
Madhura[摩奴羅] (Skt; Jpn Manura)
madhya(Skt) (1) [末陀] (Jpn mada); (2) [中] (Jpn chū)
Madhyamaka-kārikā[中頌・中論頌・中論] (Skt; Jpn Chūju, Chūron-ju, or Chū-ron)
Mādhyamika school[中観派] (Skt; Jpn Chūgan-ha)
Madhyāntika[末田提・末田地] (Skt; Jpn Madendai or Madenji)
Magadha[摩掲陀国] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Makada-koku)
mahā[摩訶] (Skt, Pali; Jpn maka)
Mahābrahmā[大梵天] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Daibon-ten)
Mahābrahman Heaven[大梵天] (Skt; Jpn Daibon-ten)
Mahādeva[摩訶提婆・大天] (Skt; Jpn Makadaiba or Daiten)
Mahākacchāyana[摩訶迦旃延] (Pali; Jpn Makakasennen)
Mahākāla[摩訶迦羅天] (Skt; Jpn Makakara-ten)
Mahākāshyapa[摩訶迦葉] (Skt; Pali Mahākassapa; Jpn Makakashō)
Mahākātyāyana[摩訶迦旃延] (Skt; Jpn Makakasennen)
Mahāmaudgalyāyana[摩訶目犍連・大目犍連] (Skt; Jpn Makamokkenren or Daimokkenren)
Mahāmāyā[摩訶摩耶] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Makamaya)
Mahānāma[摩訶男] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Makanan)
Mahāpanthaka[摩訶槃特] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Makahandoku)
Mahāparinirvāna Sutra(1) (3) [大般涅槃経] (Chin Ta-pan-nieh-p’an-ching; Jpn Daihatsu-nehan-gyō); (2) [大般泥洹経] (Chin Ta-pan-ni-yüan-ching; Jpn Daihatsu-naion-gyō)
Mahāprajāpatī[摩訶波闍波提] (Skt; Pali Mahāpajāpatī; Jpn Makahajahadai)
Mahāsamghika school[大衆部] (Skt; Jpn Daishu-bu)
mahāsattva[摩訶薩・大士] (Skt; Jpn makasatsu or daishi)
Mahāsattva[摩訶薩埵・薩埵王子] (Skt; Jpn Makasatta or Satta-ōji)
Mahāsthāmaprāpta[勢至菩薩] (Skt; Jpn Seishi-bosatsu)
Mahāvairochana[大日如来] (Skt; Jpn Dainichi-nyorai)
Mahāvairochana Sutra[大日経] (Skt; Chin Ta-jih-ching; Jpn Dainichi-kyō)
Mahāvamsa[大史・大王統史] (Pali; Jpn Daishi or Dai-ōtōshi)
Mahāvana Monastery[大林精舎] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Dairin-shōja)
Mahāvastu[大事] (Skt; Jpn Daiji)
Mahayana Buddhism[大乗仏教] (Jpn Daijō-bukkyō)
Mahayana Method of Concentration and Insight, The[大乗止観法門] (Chin Ta-ch’eng-chih-kuan-fa-men; Jpn Daijō-shikan-hōmon)
Mahayana ordination platform[大乗戒壇] (Jpn daijō-kaidan)
Mahendra[摩呬陀] (n.d.) (Skt; Pali Mahinda; Jpn Mahinda)
Maheshvara[摩醯首羅天] (Skt; Jpn Makeishura-ten)
Mahinda[摩呬陀] (Pali; Jpn Mahinda)
Mahīshāsaka school[化地部・弥沙塞部] (Skt; Jpn Keji-bu or Mishasoku-bu)
mahoraga[摩睺羅伽] (Skt, Pali; Jpn magoraga)
maintaining-consciousness[執持識] (Jpn shūji-shiki)
Maitreya(Skt) (1) [弥勒菩薩] (Jpn Miroku-bosatsu); (2) [弥勒] (Jpn Miroku)
maitrī[慈] (Skt; Pali mettā; Jpn ji)
Majjhima-nikāya[中部] (Pali; Jpn Chū-bu)
major kalpa[大劫] (Jpn dai-kō)
major world system[三千大千世界] (Skt trisāhasra-mahāsāhasraloka-dhātu; Jpn sanzen-daisen-sekai)
major world system dust particle kalpas[三千塵点劫] (Jpn sanzen-jintengō or sanzen-jindengō)
makara[摩竭] (Skt, Pali; Jpn makatsu)
Makkhali Gosāla[末伽梨拘舎梨] (Pali; Jpn Makkari-kushari)
Malaya, Mount[摩黎山・摩羅耶山] (Skt; Jpn Mari-sen, Marei-sen, or Maraya-sen)
Malla[末羅] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Matsura)
Mallikā[末利] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Mari)
māna[慢] (Skt, Pali; Jpn man)
mandala[曼荼羅] (Skt; Jpn mandara)
māndāra flower[曼陀羅華] (Skt; Jpn mandara-ke)
Māndhātri[頂生王・曼陀多王] (Skt; Jpn Chōshō-ō or Mandata-ō)
mani[摩尼] (Skt, Pali; Jpn mani)
manifested body[応身] (Skt nirmāna-kāya; Jpn ōjin)
manjūshaka flower[曼殊沙華] (Skt; Jpn manjusha-ge)
Manjushrī[文殊師利菩薩・文殊菩薩] (Skt; Jpn Monjushiri-bosatsu or Monju-bosatsu)
mano-consciousness[末那識] (Skt mano-vijnāna; Jpn mana-shiki)
man of pure faith[清信士] (Skt, Pali upāsaka; Jpn shōshin-ji)
Manoratha[摩羅他・如意] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Manurata or Nyoi)
Manorhita[摩奴羅] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Manura)
mantra[真言] (Skt; Jpn shingon)
many in body, one in mind[異体同心] (Jpn itai-dōshin)
Many Treasures[多宝如来] (Skt Prabhūtaratna; Jpn Tahō-nyorai)
māra[魔] (Skt, Pali; Jpn ma)
Marīchi[摩利支天] (Skt; Jpn Marishi-ten)
markings of the thousand-spoked wheel[千輻輪相] (Jpn sempukurin-sō)
Mātanga[摩騰迦・摩騰] (Skt; Jpn Matōga or Matō)
Mathura[摩突羅国] (Skt Mathurā; Jpn Matora-koku)
matrix of the Tathāgata[如来蔵] (Jpn nyorai-zō)
matrix of the Thus Come One[如来蔵] (Skt tathāgata-garbha; Jpn nyorai-zō)
Matrix of the Thus Come One Sutra[如来蔵経] (Skt Tathāgatagarbha-sūtra; Chin Ju-lai-tsang-ching; Jpn Nyoraizō-kyō)
Matsubagayatsu[松葉ケ谷]
Matsubagayatsu Persecution[松葉ケ谷の法難] (Jpn Matsubagayatsu-no-hōnan)
Matsuno Rokurō Saemon[松野六郎左衛門] (d. 1278)
Maudgalyāyana[目連・目犍連] (Skt; Pali Moggallāna; Jpn Mokuren or Mokkenren)
Māyā[摩耶] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Maya)
Māyā Sutra[摩耶経] (Skt; Chin Mo-ya-ching; Jpn Maya-kyō)
Meaning of the Four Teachings, The[四教義] (Chin Ssu-chiao-i; Jpn Shikyō-gi)
Meaning of the Lotus Sutra, The[法華経義記・法華義記] (Chin Fa-hua-ching-i-chi or Fa-hua-i-chi; Jpn Hokekyō-giki or Hokke-giki)
Medicine King[薬王菩薩] (Skt Bhaishajyarāja; Jpn Yakuō-bosatsu)
“Medicine King” chapter[薬王品] (Jpn Yakuō-bon)
Medicine Master[薬師如来] (Skt Bhaishajyaguru; Jpn Yakushi-nyorai)
Medicine Master Sutra[薬師経] (Skt Bhaishajyaguru-vaidūryaprabharāja-sūtra; Chin Yao-shih-ching; Jpn Yakushi-kyō)
Medicine Superior[薬上菩薩] (Skt Bhaishajyarājasamudgata or Bhaishajyasamudgata; Jpn Yakujō-bosatsu)
meditation[禅・禅定] (Skt dhyāna; Pali jhāna; Jpn zen or zenjō)
meditation master[禅師] (Jpn zenji)
Meditation on the Buddha Infinite Life Sutra[観無量寿経] (Chin Kuan-wu-liang-shou-ching; Jpn Kammuryōju-kyō)
Meditation on the Buddha Sutra[観仏三昧経] (Jpn Kambutsu-sammai-kyō)
Meditation on the Correct Teaching Sutra[正法念処経] (Chin Cheng-fa-nien-ch’u-ching; Jpn Shōbōnenjo-kyō)
meditation on the five elements[五輪観] (Jpn gorin-kan)
meditation on the vileness of the body[不浄観] (Jpn fujō-kan)
Meditation Sutra[観経] (Jpn Kan-gyō)
meditation to behold the Buddhas[般舟三昧] (Skt pratyutpanna-samādhi; Jpn hanju-zammai)
medium kalpa[中劫] (Jpn chū-kō)
Medium-Length Āgama Sutra[中阿含経] (Chin Chung-a-han-ching; Jpn Chū-agon-gyō)
Miao-lo[妙楽] (711–782) (PY Miaole; Jpn Myōraku)
Middle Day of the Law[像法] (Jpn zōbō)
middle path of the eight negations[八不中道] (Jpn happu-chūdō)
Middle Way[中道] (Skt madhyamā-pratipad; Jpn chūdō)
Mihirakula[大族王] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Daizoku-ō)
Mii-dera[三井寺]
Mikkaka[弥遮迦] (Skt; Jpn Mishaka)
Mikuni no Taifu[三国太夫] (d. 1258)
Milinda[弥蘭陀] (n.d.) (Pali; Jpn Miranda-ō)
Milindapanha[ミリンダ王問経] (Pali; Jpn Mirindaō-monkyō)
Ming-sheng[明勝] (n.d.) (PY Mingsheng; Jpn Myōshō)
Minobu, Mount[身延山] (Jpn Minobu-san)
Minobu Transfer Document, The[身延相承書] (Jpn Minobu-sōjō-sho)
Mirakutsu[弥羅掘]
Miran[ミーラーン] (Jpn Mīrān)
Miroku[弥勒] (Jpn)
Misawa Kojirō[三沢小次郎] (n.d.)
Miscellaneous Āgama Sutra[雑阿含経] (Chin Tsa-a-han-ching; Jpn Zō-agon-gyō)
mitra[知識] (Skt; Jpn chishiki)
Mogao Caves[莫高窟] (PY; WG Mo-kao; Jpn Bakkō-kutsu)
Moggallāna[目連・目犍連] (Pali; Jpn Mokuren or Mokkenren)
moha[愚癡・癡・無明] (Skt, Pali; Jpn guchi, chi, or mumyō)
Mo-kao Caves[莫高窟] (PY Mogao; Jpn Bakkō-kutsu)
moksha[解脱] (Skt; Jpn gedatsu)
Mongaku[文覚] (n.d.)
Monju[文殊] (Jpn)
Monjushiri[文殊師利] (Jpn)
moon, god of the[月天] (Skt Chandra; Jpn Gatten)
Moonlight[月光菩薩] (Skt Chandraprabha; Jpn Gakkō-bosatsu)
moon-loving meditation[月愛三昧] (Jpn gatsuai-zammai)
Moon of Deliverance[解脱月菩薩] (Skt Vimuktichandra; Jpn Gedatsugatsu-bosatsu)
most honored of two-legged beings[両足尊・二足尊] (Jpn ryōsoku-son, ryōzoku-son, or nisoku-son)
Mother of Demon Children[鬼子母神] (Skt Hārītī; Jpn Kishimojin)
Mountain King[山王] (Jpn Sannō)
Mountain Order school[山門派] (Jpn Sammon-ha)
Mountain school(1) [山門派] (Jpn Sammon-ha); (2) [山家派] (Chin Shan-chia-p’ai; Jpn Sange-ha)
Mountain Sea Wisdom Unrestricted Power King[山海慧自在通王如来] (Skt Sāgara-vara-dhara-buddhi-vikrīditābhijna; Jpn Sengaie-jizaitsūō-nyorai)
Mrigadāva[鹿野苑] (Skt; Jpn Rokuya-on)
mudra[印契] (Skt mudrā; Jpn ingei)
Mugaku Sogen[無学祖元] (1226–1286) (Jpn; Chin Wu-hsüeh Tsu-yüan)
mukti[解脱] (Skt; Jpn gedatsu)
Multitudinous Graceful Actions Sutra[普曜経] (Skt Lalitavistara; Chin P’u-yao-ching; Jpn Fuyō-kyō)
muni[聖者・聖人・牟尼] (Skt, Pali; Jpn seija, shōnin, or muni)
Mūrdhagata[頂生王・曼陀多王] (Skt; Jpn Chōshō-ō or Mandata-ō)
mustard-seed kalpa[芥子劫] (Jpn keshi-kō)
mutable karma[不定業] (Jpn fujō-gō)
mutual possession of the Ten Worlds[十界互具] (Jpn jikkai-gogu)
myō[妙] (Jpn)
Myōe[明恵] (1173–1232)
Myōhō, the lay nun[妙法尼] (Jpn Myōhō-ama)
Myoho-renge-kyo[妙法蓮華経] (Jpn)
Myōichi, the lay nun[妙一尼] (Jpn Myōichi-ama) (1) (2)
Myōichi-nyo[妙一女] (n.d.)
Myōjō Pond[明星が池] (Jpn Myōjō-ga-ike)
Myōmitsu[妙密] (n.d.)
Myōren[妙蓮] (d. 1267) (d. 1323)
Myōshin, the lay nun[妙心尼] (n.d.) (Jpn Myōshin-ama)
Myōun[明雲] (1115–1183)
Mystic Law[妙法] (Chin miao-fa; Jpn myōhō)
Mystic Law[妙法] (Chin miao-fa; Jpn myōhō)

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TODAY IS THE 13TH DAY OF 28 OF THE 6TH MOON, ID EST, “NS 1.27.6.13”

RHYTHMIC 13

KIN 161, RED OVERTONE DRAGON

KIN 161 IS THE 5TH KIN IN THE CASTLE 4 YELLOW SOUTHERN CASTLE OF GIVING

TONE 5 OVERTONE – COMMAND * RADIANCE * EMPOWER // TRIBE 1 DRAGON – NUTURE * BEING * BIRTH // AFFIRMATION FOR RED OVERTONE DRAGON – I EMPOWER IN ORDER TO NURTURE * I COMMAND BEING * I SEAL THE INPUT OF BIRTH * WITH THE OVERTONE OF RADIANCE * I AM GUIDED BY THE POWER OF UNIVERSAL WATER.

13-MOON NATURAL TIME CALENDAR * RHYTHMIC MOON 6 * ORGANIZE * BALANCE * EQUALITY:
DAY SIX OF SEVEN OF THE SECOND WHITE WEEK OF REFINEMENT = “RHYTHMIC 133, THU DEC 25, 2014, RED OVERTONE DRAGON, GUIDED BY UNIVERSAL WATER, KIN 161, WAXING CRESCENT, 13.0%, PLASMA SEAL FOR DAY 6 OF 7 DAY WEEK IS RED LIMI RADIAL PLASMA SEAL:

Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
26
Day Six: LIMI
Level 1: Meditating the Manipura (Solar Plexus) 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 solar plexus or Manipura chakra. Make it as clear and pristine
as possible, glistening and sparkling with vibrant energy. When it is pure and translucent, radiating
from your solar plexus, allow it to dissolve and transform itself into a yellow ten-petalled lotus.
Concentrate on this area inside your solar plexus. The solar plexus is considered the second brain
and the central storehouse of prana. The energy stored in this chakra can be used to connect us
both individually and as a planet, through the Sun, to the galactic core, Hunab Ku. In the Tibetan
tradition this chakra is known as mani padma, or “jeweled lotus.” This is the point where all 72,000
nerve endings (on each side of the body) meet, for a total of 144,000 nerve endings.
This chakra is governed by the feminine principle or Shakti Goddess Lakini (Authority). This chakra
center is also associated with willpower, and power in general; it is the place of empowerment and
disempowerment, judgment and identity. The solar plexus is the processing chamber of the instinctual/
intuitive energy and emotional intelligence. This energy is transferred to the heart chakra where the
transduction of emotional energy is experienced as the “intelligence of the heart.”
Meditation on the Manipura chakra leads to knowledge of the entire physical and subtle body
system. When this center is purified and awakened, then it is possible to reconnect (via the etheric
“highway” of the kuxan suum or cosmic umbilical cord) to the center of the galaxy, Hunab Ku. When
this reconnection takes place the body becomes disease-free and luminous, and consciousness does
not fall back into a lower state.
This chakra is often compared to the heat and the power of the Sun, radiating and distributing
pranic energy throughout the entire human system. To awaken this chakra, breathe slowly into the
solar plexus and feel the expansion and contraction of the navel as you breathe in and out through
the naval. Breathe in, hold and suck the stomach in, then push it out when you exhale. Do this
several times focusing on the purification of the abdominal area.
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
27
From this center feel the kuxan suum as the etheric fiber that flows directly to the center of the
galaxy, making the solar plexus chakra a vital information receptacle. The kuxan suum connects the
planetary circuit with the solar and galactic circuits.
Through an effort of imaginal will, we can direct our astral body through the reflective membrane of
the planetary field into the Sun and then ultimately to the galactic core. This is the area allowing us
to transmute and override primitive lower emotions by opening to receive the influx of higher cosmic
energy. It is important to visualize the kuxan suum as a luminous etheric thread extending from the
solar plexus to the center of the galaxy. This establishes us in the galactic order of reality.
Manipura affirmation: May our perceptions be organized into a cosmic whole that we may all become one
with the radialized order of the Primal Source!
Level 2: Activating Radial Plasma: Limi
Breathe deeply through both your nostrils and allow your awareness to flow up your nose and down
into your solar plexus chakra. Bring your awareness to the inner Limi plasma at the center of the
chakra. Visualize the red symbol radiating luminous streams of white light.
Feel the Limi plasma vibrating, electrically gathered in the solar plexus, accounting for the mental
electron electrical charge, which is in telepathic resonance with the North Pole.
Repeat the following while focusing on your solar plexus chakra: “I consume dualistic thoughts as
food, I purify the mental-electron at the North Pole.” Feel all conditioned thoughts dissolve in the
light of intrinsic awareness.
Cover your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe deeply three times in and out through your
right nostril. Flash onto the Limi plasma and feel the galactic connection out of the solar plexus. Now
cover the right nostril with the right thumb and repeat the three breaths. Focus all of your attention
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
28
to your solar plexus chakra, Limi plasma, and feel into the galactic reality being pulsed, breathed and
radiated from your solar plexus chakra into the world.
Feel the Limi plasma gathered in the solar plexus accounting for the mental electron charge in
telepathic resonance with the North Pole. The Limi charge is the second of three plasmas to form
the telepathic quantum. This is the second telepathic plasma where you take the sensory quantum
transmutations and breathe them out into the world through your solar plexus, emanating stabilizing
vibrations to the astral and emotional bodies, soothing the rest of the chakras.
At the center of Limi feel the integrated charges of the sensory quanta: Dali, Seli,
and Gamma, transmuted by Kali and the Alpha telepathic charge which initiates the
telepathic quanta. Then by extending your mind telepathically to the north of the
Planet, place the mental electron at the North Pole and purify it.
Level 3: Engaging the Sixth Mental Sphere (Subliminal Conscious)
Hyperneutronic subliminal consciousness activates sixth mental sphere.
Visualize the sixth mental sphere (subliminal conscious) located in the brain above the right ear in
the right cerebral hemisphere. This sphere governs and controls the left lateral hemisphere. (Note
how 5th and 6th mental spheres govern parts of the brain opposite their locus, exhibiting together a
type of crossover polarity).
Subliminal means you are operating independent of past and future; this is how people can
contact different entities on different planes of existence. Since subliminal consciousness
is independent of past and future, you can tune into it at the conscious level, suspending all
conditioned thought-programs. This mental sphere functions with the third-dimensional “self,”
storing impressions which are then transmuted into subliminal patterns of communication.
The sixth mental sphere allows us access to the parapsychic, supramental realm. This is the seat of
the telepathic scanning system and interdimensional programs. To experience this, relax and focus
your breath awareness on the psychic passages between the root, solar plexus and throat centers. Feel
the upward circulation of energy and visualize yourself as a cosmic antenna for higher intelligence.
Open yourself to become a telepathic receptor of higher mind capable of transmitting and receiving
subliminal messages.
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
29
This intention, maintained through undistracted, non-conceptual meditative awareness, activates
higher mind telepathic receptivity. This can also be realized and cultivated through dreamtime.
Note that this mental sphere contains subliminal suggestive impulses that affect third-dimensional
functions as “intuitive flashes” (but which may actually be telepathic transmissions from remote points
of supermental cosmic civilization trying to establish “contact”). These contacts leave impressions
in the sixth mental sphere, which may be transmitted or transduced in any number of ways, which
include ear-ringing, subliminal or hypnogogic imagery, déjà vu’s, etc.
Level 4: Opening the Sixth Heptad Gate (402)
Visualize the yellow ten-petaled lotus Manipura chakra with the red Limi
plasma superimposed over it at your solar plexus. Hold this visualization and
feel the two intermingle as you chant the sacred letter HRUM as long as
your breath can sustain it.
Locate Heptad Gate 402 and the Hyperneutron symbol on the 441 holomind perceiver. Its matrix
location is V11:H8, eighth circuit, 9th time dimension, inner core time. Now locate it in your body at
the back, top center of your skull (see graphic at the end of this chapter).
Visualize the Hyperneutron with the rectilinear blue Duar force field above the red Limi in
your solar plexus chakra. Take the Hyperneutron into the sixth mental sphere in the sixth time
dimension (blue Duar electroluminic force field H11:V15-21, left-handed time) where it activates the
subliminal conscious as hyperneutronic subliminal conscious informing mental spheres three
and four.
From the sixth mental sphere, mentally direct the Hyperneutron to the solar plexus chakra and
impress it above the Limi 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 the Hyperneutron (blue duar force field) 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 hyperneutronic
subliminal consciousness spreading through your entire nervous system.
The black Hyperneutron with spectral, electric blue Duar force field vibrates subtle
activating neutronic force into all etheric fibers. Descend back down the central channel and
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
leave Limi at the solar plexus chakra. Return your consciousness to the sixth mental sphere,
then close and seal the Heptad Gate at the back top-side of your skull. Relax and breathe slowly
and deeply at least 13 times.
Harmonic UR rune 81: Radiogenesis Establishes Galactic Life Whole.
For additional practice: Locate Heptad Gate 402 on the Hunab Ku 21. Note that it corresponds to
the Yogi/Yogini, the Meditation Master, Holder of the Transcendental Wisdom; S/P Neptune, Bode Number 300. Study all of the connections (see graphic at the end of this chapter). ‘YOGI/YOGINI – THE MEDITATION MASTER, HOLDER OF TRANSCENDENT WISDOM 402 – SOLAR PLEXUS

======

THURSDAY MORNING – ANGEL OF WATER, ENTER MY BLOOD AND GIVE THE WATERS OF LIFE TO MY WHOLE BODY – RIVERS, CREEKS, ETC. – CIRCULATION // DAY CONTEMPLATIVE FORCE, SEEK PEACE WITH ANGEL OF WATER = BLOOD, RIVERS, ETC.=CIRCULATION + SEEK PEACE WITH THINKING BODY = MIND // SEEK PEACE WITH THINKING BODY=SUPERIOR THOUGHTS=ANGEL OF WISDOM * * * ANGEL OF WISDOM, DESCEND UPON MY THINKING BODY AND ENLIGHTEN ALL MY THOUGHTS THIS THURSDAY EVENING!

Original Hebrew and Aramaic Texts Translated and edited by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely

THE SEVENFOLD VOW

I want to and will do my best

To live like the Tree of Life,

Planted by the Great Masters Of our Brotherhood’.

With my Heavenly Father,

Who planted the Eternal Garden of the Universe

And gave me my spirit;

With my Earthly Mother

Who planted the Great Garden of the Earth

And gave me my body;

With my brothers

Who are working in the Garden of our Brotherhood.

I want to and will do my best

To hold every morning my Communions

With the Angels of the Earthly Mother,

And every evening

With the Angels of the Heavenly Father,

As established by

The Great Masters Of our Brotherhood.
I want to and will do my best

To follow the Path of the Sevenfold Peace.
I want to and will do my best

To perfect my body which acts,

My body which feels,

And my body which thinks,

According to the Teachings

Of the Great Masters of our Brotherhood.

I will always and everywhere obey with reverence

My Master,

Who gives me the Light

Of the Great Masters of all times.

I will submit to my Master

And accept his decision or complaints I may have on whatever differences

Against any of my brothers working in the Garden of the Brotherhood;

And I shall never take any complaint against a brother

To the outside world.

I will always and everywhere keep secret

All the traditions of our Brotherhood

Which my Master will tell me;

I never reveal to anyone these secrets

Without the permission of my Master.

I will never claim as my own my own

The knowledge received from my Master

And I will always give credit to him

For all this knowledge.

I will never use the knowledge and power I have gained

Through initiation from my Master

For material or selfsh purposes.

I enter the Eternal and Infinite Garden

with reverence to the Heavenly Father,

To the Earthly mother,

And to the Great masters,

Reverence to the Holy,

Pure and Saving Teaching,

Reverence to the Brotherhood of the Elect.
The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
Copyright © 1999-2006. All rights reserved.
The Essene Numerology Chart | Ministerial Training Course

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