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9 January 2015

<< Friday January 09, 2015 >>
<< Kin: 176 >>
Tone: 7 Resonant
Inspire * Attunement * Channel

Tribe: 16 Warrior
Question * Fearlessness * Intelligence

Affirmation for: Yellow Resonant Warrior
I Channel in order to Question
I Inspire Fearlessness
I seal the output of intelligence
With the Resonant tone of Attunement
I am guided by the power of Elegance
Reading for: Yellow Resonant Warrior

Fri Jan 9, 2015
Guided by Elegance
KIN 176 Waning Gibbous 85.7%



Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
Day Seven: SILIO
Level 1: Meditating the Anahata (Heart) 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 heart or Anahata chakra. Make it as clear and pristine as possible,
glistening and sparkling with vibrant energy. When it is pure and translucent, radiating from your
heart, allow it to dissolve and transform itself into a green twelve-petalled lotus.
Concentrate on this area inside of your heart chakra. The heart is the main transducer of energy and
is also an organ of knowing; it is the key to developing clairsentience—divine sense of touch—and
also the place where “gnosis”, direct knowledge of the supreme reality, occurs.
This Anahata chakra is governed by the feminine principle or Shakti Goddess Kakini (Devotion).
This chakra serves as the seat of the memory of God through devotion, or bodhichitta, the mind of
the aspiration to enlightenment. This area contains the transcendental programs that transform
biological survival issues into forms of selfless compassion.
The heart energy is fed by the secret center, the seat of life-force energy. The heart chakra contains
all impulses of innate being or essence nature. At this center comes the input from both the physical
and mental bodies. The heart is like a mirror: if the input is unclear and distorted then so is the
feedback. To activate the heart essence, body and mind must be purified. The heart center balances
male/female (yin/yang) energies through pure unconditional love and cultivation of the higher
emotional body.
To awaken the heart chakra, think of someone that you love deeply. Feel your heart open, emanating
warmth and light. Now stay with this feeling and expand it until it becomes love for all beings. Allow
this quality of love-bliss to circulate from your heart center to the rest of your body. Extend love and
forgiveness toward yourself and to everyone on the Planet.
Feel the electromagnetic energy radiate from your heart. Feel your love and gratitude cradling the
whole Earth and all of life. When the Anahata center is fully awakened, the body is transmuted
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
by higher emotions and the heart chakra floods the subtle body with divine love; this flow of vital
energy is the love of God.
Yogis say this chakra can be awakened simply through repetition of a syllable or mantra until it
becomes the spontaneous form of your conscious awareness. This chakra is awakened in accordance
with the degree of our love and devotion to the Creator, or Higher Self—the divine consciousness
of All That Is.
Anahata affirmation: May the abundance of the galactic power of the higher dream generate forever the
compassionate heart of cosmic love!
Level 2: Activating Radial Plasma: Silio
Breathe deeply through your nostrils and allow your awareness to flow up your nose and down
into your heart chakra. Bring your awareness to the inner Silio plasma at the center of the chakra.
Visualize the white symbol radiating luminous streams of white light.
Feel the Silio plasma gathered in the heart chakra discharging waves of unconditional love throughout
the planet. Within this spiritual heart energy feel the mental electron-neutron charge telepathically
in resonance with the center of the Earth.
Repeat the following while focusing on your heart chakra: “My role is to accomplish the actions
of the Buddha, I discharge the mental electron-neutron at the center of the Earth.” The Buddha
is the enlightened mind. This potential exists in all beings. It is also known as the bodhichitta,
or mind of enlightenment.
Feel this love enlightenment energy within your heart. Keep expanding this beautiful energy from
your chest so that it sweeps powerfully through the planet bringing an end to all suffering. Feel
love and light pulsing out, wave after wave, for the healing of all afflictions, all the hungry souls,
the sick and the weary—healing them all with positive self-enlightening heart impulses. With
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
this visualization, you may wish to chant the Buddhist Heart Sutra (Prajnaparamita): Gate Gate
Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha (gone, gone, gone, beyond, gone totally beyond, all hail the
Enlightened One).
Cover your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe deeply three times in and out through your
right nostril. Flash onto the Silio plasma and feel the new world of higher spiritual emotions vibrating
and emanating out of the heart chakra. Now cover your right nostril with your right thumb and
repeat the three breaths. Focus all of your attention to your heart chakra, Silio plasma, and draw in
with your breath the new enlightened reality—then release, breathing pure love through your heart
chakra into the world, emanating stabilizing vibrations to the astral and emotional body, soothing
the rest of the chakras.
The Silio charge completes the telepathic quantum and also completes the seven-part time atom.
At the center of Silio, feel the integrated charges of the sensory quantum: Dali, Seli, and Gamma,
transmuted by Kali and joined to the telepathic quantum, Alpha and Limi. Then by extending
your mind telepathically to the Earth’s core, discharge the mental electron-neutron at the center
of the Earth.
Note: One sensory quantum joined by the catalytic plasma to one telepathic
quantum makes one time atom. There are four time atoms per 28-day moon stored
at the center of the Earth as one Master Time Molecule (for full instructions see
7:7::7:7 Telektonon Revelation).
Level 3: Engaging the Seventh Mental Sphere (Holomind Perceiver)
Visualize the seventh mental sphere (holomind perceiver) located in the central corpus callosum
of the higher self and projected onto the corpus callosum of the 3-D and 4-D Self. This is the new
perceptual organ allowing us to access the noospheric programs inclusive of the akashic register. This
seventh mental sphere is also the seat of your “true self” or rigpa (wisdom self). All mental spheres
are unified by and accessed through the seventh mental sphere.
The holomind perceiver is an evolving organ, the noospheric sensing device opening us to an
entirely new cosmic reality. As the site and generator of the UR runes, the fourth-dimensional
timing matrices and the 441 Synchronotron Matrix, the holomind perceiver contains the fourth-
dimensional psychocultural programs and the holoneme of the psi bank grid, meaning that it holds
the hologram of the total perceived planetary reality.
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
Study of and meditation on the holomind perceiver prepares the mind to open to the galactic
dimension and receive an entirely new base of knowledge and perception. The holomind perceiver is
activated through diligent application and study of Cosmic History and the disciplined application of
the 441 matrix codes as they are regulated by the synchronic order.
Note: Cosmic thoughts are referred to as “mentation” waves, formulated as the correct laws of thought, and
are a function of the holomind perceiver. A “mentation” wave is a configuration of telepathic potentialities,
independent of language, and based on whole orders of supermental precepts, intrinsic to non-egoic knowing.
The mentation waves are a function of the holomind perceiver and operate at the central core, radiating out
to the different mental spheres as is needed. This is how the noosphere is established.
Level 4: Opening the Seventh Heptad Gate (441)
Visualize the green twelve-petaled lotus Anahata chakra with the white Silio
plasma and the etheric blue Sirius Beta 52/Element 113 superimposed over it at
your heart. Hold this visualization and feel the three intermingle as you chant the
sacred letter HRAIM as long as your breath can sustain it.
Locate Heptad Gate 441 and the etheric blue Sirius Beta 52/Element 113
signature on the 441 holomind perceiver. Its matrix location is V11:H11, eleventh
circuit, 9th time dimension, inner core time. Now locate it in your body at the top
center of your skull (see graphic at the end of this chapter).
Visualize the Sirius Beta 52/Element 113 above the white Silio in your heart chakra. Take the
Sirius B52 into the seventh mental sphere in the ninth time dimension (inner core time) where
it activates hyperplasmic enlightenment as hyperelectronic superconscious informing mental
spheres one and two as well as the hyperneutronic subliminal conscious informing mental
spheres three and four.
From the seventh mental sphere, mentally direct the Sirius B52/Element 113 to the heart chakra
and impress it above the Silio seal. Hold this with four alternate nostril breaths (four times in and
out through each nostril), followed by one breath through both nostrils.
Descend down the central column (spine), secreting the Sirius B52 hyperplasma into all 144,000
etheric fibers of the astral body. Practice the breath of fire, rapid shallow breathing through the nose,
transmuting any blockages or obscurations into streams of crystal clear hyperplasmic enlightenment
spreading throughout your entire nervous system.
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
Etheric blue Sirius B52/Element 113 vibrates subtle activating force into all etheric fibers. Descend
back down central channel until you get to the root chakra where you discharge the mental electron-
neutron to the center of the Earth. Ascend back up central channel and leave Silio at the heart
chakra. Return your consciousness to the seventh mental sphere in the center of the crown chakra,
then close and seal all seven Heptad Gates with the Sirius B52/Element 113. Relax and breathe slowly
and deeply at least 13 times.
Harmonic UR rune 113, Sirius-Beta 52/Element 113, hyperplasmic enlightenment: Tonality of
Sirius-Beta Encodes Seven Days of Creation as Interval of Lost Time Redeemed.
For additional practice: Locate Heptad Gate 441 on the Hunab Ku 21. Note that it corresponds to the
Magus of the Infinite, Lord of the Cube, Teacher of the Unity of Totality, Hunab Ku 21, the Source of
All Movement and Measure. Study the connections (see graphic at the end of this chapter).

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

The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
Brothers and Sisters,

Could you please help? Our current situation is that we are unable to print our literature or launch many of our important projects due to lack of financial support.

The lack of financial support is not due to a lack of interest in our mission; to Explore and Restore Original Christianity. We constantly receive letters and e-mails from enthusiastic people praising the work of our church. Many of them describe their affiliation with our church as the best thing that has ever happened to them. All of them are excited that our church is spreading the teachings of the Essene Jesus all over the world.

Jesus said, “Ask and ye shall receive.” And now we’re asking. We want to spread the Essene teachings of the Nazarean Master, Jesus, and restore original Christianity but we can’t do it alone.

If you appreciate the work of the The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel, please consider helping us financially by giving your support. The amount is up to you. You can help us with a one-time gift or you can commit to sending a gift on a monthly or quarterly basis, but you don’t need to commit to any specific amount.



Golden Verses of Pythagoras NUMBER 28



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



God Speaks to Man

I speak to you.
Be still
I am

I spoke to you
When you were born.
Be still
I am

I spoke to you
At your first sight.
Be still
I am

I spoke to you
At your first word.
Be still
I am

I spoke to you
At your first thought.
Be still
I am

I spoke to you
At your first love.
Be still
I am

I spoke to you
At your first song.
Be still
Know I am

I speak to you
Through the grass of the meadows.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the trees of the forests.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the valleys and the hills.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the Holy Mountains.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the rain and the snow.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the waves of the sea.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the dew of the morning.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the peace of the evening.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the splendor of the sun.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the brilliant stars.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the storm and the clouds.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the thunder and lightning.
Be still
I am

I speak to you
Through the mysterious rainbow.
Be still
I am

I will speak to you
When you are alone.
Be still
I am

I will speak to you
Through the Wisdom of the Ancients.
Be still
I am

I will speak to you
At the end of time.
Be still
I am

I will speak to you
When you have seen my Angels.
Be still
I am

I will speak to you
Throughout Eternity.
Be still
I am

I speak to you.
Be still
I am




Morning, Noon, and Evening EsseneCommunions to Follow

Day Contemplative Force
Seek Peace With: MORNING COMMUNIONS – Friday =Angel of Air = Breath = Energies of Atmosphere – Friday = Body (Acting Body) – Friday = Heavenly Father = Cosmic Currents = Final Union with Cosmic Ocean


Partners in a relationship have different roles. There are times when the burning intensity and power of the sun are called for, and times when the soothing luminescence and serene wisdom of the moon is what’s needed. A complementary relationship in which the partners cooperate and work together is a beautiful thing. In a relationship, it is demeaning to constantly seek your partner’s approval. If you find yourself in a relationship where you are not treated the way your heart says you should be, have the courage and dignity to decide that you are better off risking the scorn of your partner than enduring unhappiness with him or her. Happiness in life is not determined by marriage. The secret to happiness lies in building a strong inner self, a self that no trial or hardship can diminish. Daily life can seem all too drab and unexciting. Living itself can sometimes seem a strain, and few of us realistically expect what joy we feel to last forever. But when we fall in love, life seems filled with drama and excitement. We feel like the leading character in a novel. We can lose ourselves in romantic attachment, but the truth is, the euphoria is unlikely to last for long. Indeed, the likelihood of undergoing suffering and sadness only grows over time. As long as we remain unable to redress our own weaknesses, we will be miserable no matter where or to whom we may take flight. The important thing is to overcome the sorrow that accompanies any type of separation, such as death or divorce. The vital thing is to continue advancing. Do not look back. Just forge on. There are many reasons why people bid farewell to one another. People have their own thoughts and situations. The deep scars within your heart may not heal quickly. Yet brace yourself so you can look forward. If you are neglecting things you should be doing, forgetting your purpose in life because of the relationship you’re in, then you’re on the wrong path. A healthy relationship is one in which two people encourage each other to reach their respective goals while sharing each other’s hopes and dreams. A relationship should be a source of inspiration, invigoration and hope. True love should be transformative; a process that amplifies our capacity to cherish not just one person but all people. It can make us stronger, lift us higher and deepen us as individuals. Only to the extent that we polish ourselves now can we hope to develop wonderful bonds of the heart in the future. Ideal love is fostered only between two sincere, mature and independent people. Real love is not two people clinging to each other; it can only be fostered between two strong people secure in their individuality. It is important to make the effort to calmly construct something together. From there, real love develops. Real marriage is when you have been married for twenty-five years and feel an even deeper love than you did when you first met. Love deepens. Love that does not is merely on the level of simple likes and dislikes. There are many who dream about experiencing happiness without the patience. But that is a dream. And a dream is just that—a dream, a fairy tale. It is to wish for a childish, easy life. This illusion breaks up many marriages. Even married people were once strangers. Therefore, without patience and the effort to understand one another, things are likely not to go well. We need patience in order to become happy. If you are going to fall in love, try to make your relationship one that generates great spiritual creativity, one that is mutually enriching. –

“While Nichiren demonstrated a severely critical stance toward what he regarded as distortion or corruption of the core message of Buddhism, his letters of guidance and encouragement to his followers record a tender concern for people who were disregarded within medieval Japanese society.”
A 1,000 year-old tree at Seicho-ji temple where the young Nichiren studied Buddhism
Nichiren (1222-1282), the priest who established the form of Buddhism practiced by the members of the SGI, is a unique figure in Japanese social and religious history. In a society where great emphasis has often been placed on keeping conflict hidden from sight, Nichiren was outspoken in his criticism of the established Buddhist sects and secular authorities. His chosen method of propagation was “shakubuku”–a sharp and relentless dialectic between different perspectives in quest of truth. The appraisal offered by Uchimura Kanzo, the renowned Japanese Christian thinker and writer, in his 1908 Representative Men of Japan, expresses the ambivalent reaction Nichiren continues to provoke: “Nichiren minus his combativity is our ideal religious man.”

While Nichiren demonstrated a severely critical stance toward what he regarded as distortion or corruption of the core message of Buddhism, his letters of guidance and encouragement to his followers record a tender concern for people who were disregarded within medieval Japanese society. For instance, he wrote many letters to female lay believers in which he showed a remarkable understanding of their sufferings and emphasized the Lotus Sutra’s message that all people can become enlightened as they are, men and women.

Nichiren’s sympathy for the downtrodden in society is related to the circumstances of his birth. His father was a fisherman on the seacoast to the east of what is now Tokyo, and as such Nichiren identified himself as “the son of a chandala [untouchable caste] family.” Life in feudal Japan was harsh and brutal, especially for the masses at the bottom of the strict social hierarchy. Experiencing firsthand the misery of the common people, Nichiren had from an early age been driven by a powerful desire to find a way of resolving the problem of human suffering.

What we know of Nichiren’s life and thought comes to us principally through his voluminous writings. In addition to major treatises on doctrinal issues, he penned many hundreds of letters addressed to his followers. Some of his most important writing was done under dire circumstances–in exile, for example, on a snow-blown island in northern Japan.

Announcing the Teachings

When Nichiren was 12, he began studying at a temple near his birthplace. There he was tutored in the teachings of the major schools of Buddhism of the time. And there he prayed with the earnest wish and vow to become, in his words, “the wisest man in Japan.” In response to his prayer, Nichiren writes, he was bestowed with a “great jewel” of wisdom.

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda has noted that the wisdom we are able to unleash from within is proportionate to our sense of responsibility. The young Nichiren was moved by a burning sense of responsibility to alleviate the enormous misery he saw about him, and it was this that enabled him to gain insight into the essential nature of human life and reality.

Nichiren began an exhaustive study of the multitude of often contradictory teachings and sutras of Buddhism. From age 16 to 32, Nichiren traveled to Kamakura and Kyoto, visiting the major centers of Buddhism, studying the massive volume of sutras, treatises and commentaries. The conclusion he reached was that the heart of Shakyamuni’s enlightenment is to be found in the Lotus Sutra and that the principle or law to which all Buddhas are enlightened is expressed in the phrase “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo,” from the title, or daimoku, of that sutra.

At the same time, he understood clearly that to promote faith in the Lotus Sutra as the exclusive vehicle for enlightenment would be to engage in public criticism of existing schools of Buddhism, many of which taught that access to the Buddha Land was only possible after death. While Nichiren advocated using Buddhist practice to challenge one’s circumstances and develop inner strength, the traditional schools encouraged resignation and passivity. A strong counterreaction could be anticipated, and Nichiren writes of his own inner struggle over the question of whether or not to speak out.


Deciding that to remain silent would be to lack compassion, on the 28th day of the fourth month (according to the lunar calendar) of 1253, Nichiren made a public declaration of his beliefs. As anticipated, his insistence on the sole efficacy of the Lotus Sutra–with its core tenet that all people are in fact Buddhas–in the present era of confusion and corruption was met with disbelief and hostility. The steward of the region, a devout follower of the Pure Land school, took steps to have Nichiren arrested. And from this point on, Nichiren’s life would be a succession of harassment, persecution and abuse.

One reason for this is that the authorities recognized Nichiren’s uncompromising insistence on the equality of all people as a direct threat to the established power structure, which victimized the impoverished majority. The established schools of Buddhism had been incorporated into this structure, providing an effective means for the feudal authorities to strengthen and extend their power over the populace. Priests of these schools, who occupied a privileged position within the social hierarchy, were deeply implicated in this exploitative system and had no reason to challenge the status quo. This is a further reason why Nichiren was able to attract a significant following despite the risks that such allegiance would entail.

The Lotus Sutra predicts that those who attempt to spread its teachings in the corrupt latter days will meet severe trials. Nichiren interpreted the persecutions that befell him as evidence that he was fulfilling his mission in life.

In 1260, in the wake of a series of devastating natural disasters, Nichiren wrote his most famous tract, the Rissho ankoku ron (On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land). In it, he developed the idea that only by reviving a spirit of reverence for the sanctity and perfectibility of human life through faith in the Lotus Sutra could a truly peaceful order be restored and further disaster forestalled. He presented this treatise to the highest political authorities of Japan and urged them to sponsor a public debate with representatives of other schools of Buddhism. The call for public debate–which Nichiren would repeat throughout his life–was ignored, and he was banished to the Izu Peninsula.

The years that followed brought further banishment and the decisive crisis of his life–an attempt to execute him on the beach of Tatsunokuchi. By his account, moments before the executioner’s sword was to fall, a luminous object–perhaps a meteor–traversed the sky with such brilliance that the terrified officials called off the execution. Nichiren was banished to Sado Island where, amidst extreme deprivation, he continued to make converts and write treatises and letters.

In part because the predictions he had made in the Rissho ankoku ron had come true, after almost two and a half years on Sado, Nichiren was pardoned and returned to the political center of Kamakura. It is said he was offered a temple and official patronage if he would desist from his criticism of other schools of Buddhism, but he refused. Nichiren retreated to Mount Minobu, and there he wrote copiously and trained his successors.


During this period, the priest Nikko, who had accompanied Nichiren throughout his tumultuous career and would inherit the teachings, was gaining converts in nearby Atsuhara village. The priests of a Tendai temple in the area, angered at this, began harassing the converts. Eventually, they instigated an attack by samurai against unarmed peasant converts and their arrest on false charges of theft. Twenty of the peasants were arrested and tortured, and three were executed in 1279.

Where earlier persecutions had targeted Nichiren himself, this time it was the lay believers who were the victims. Despite their lack of an in-depth theoretical knowledge of their newly adopted faith, these peasant followers remained steadfast in the face of the ultimate threat. For Nichiren, this signaled a crucial turning point, inspiring his confidence that his teachings would be maintained and practiced after his own passing. Where he had to date inscribed sacred mandalas (Gohonzon) for individual believers, he now inscribed the mandala explicitly dedicated to the happiness and enlightenment of all humankind. This symbolized the establishment of Nichiren Buddhism as a universal faith. Nichiren died of old age three years later, his mission complete. Transmission of his teachings and the fulfillment of his vision of peace founded on respect for the sanctity of life is the central inspiration for SGI members worldwide.

[Courtesy October 2004 SGI Quarterly]

Appendix K
Events in the Life of Nichiren Daishonin

Note: Nichiren Daishonin’s age is given according to the traditional Japanese system of calculation, which put a person’s age upon birth at one year old. Dates given here are from the lunar calendar. For example, 2/16 indicates the sixteenth day of the second month, and 2/ , the second month.

Events in the Daishonin’s Life
Other Events
2/16 Born at Kominato in the province of Awa and named Zennichi-maro.
7/23 Earthquake in Kamakura

6/28 Hōjō Yasutoki (1183–1242) becomes regent.
Spring, enters Seichō-ji temple to study as a disciple of Dōzen-bō.

Enters the priesthood and takes the name Zeshō-bō Renchō.

Spring, leaves for Kamakura to study Buddhism.


2/7 and 4/3 Earthquakes in Kamakura.
Spring, returns to Seichō-ji temple, and then leaves for Enryaku-ji temple on Mount Hiei where he continues his studies.
6/15 Hōjō Tsunetoki (1224–1246) becomes regent.

Leaves Enryaku-ji temple for further study in nearby provinces.
3/8 Nikkō is born in Kai Province.

3/23 Hōjō Tokiyori (1227–1263) becomes regent.
Returns to Enryaku-ji temple.
3/23 Fires in Kyoto.

2/10 Fires in Kamakura.
Studies at Onjō-ji temple.
2/8 Fires in Kamakura.
Returns to Seichō-ji temple.

4/28 Declares the teachings of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the first time at Seichō-ji temple, and renames himself Nichiren.

Converts his parents.

8/ Moves to Matsubagayatsu in Kamakura.

2/ Storm and earthquake in Kamakura.
11/ Nisshō becomes a disciple of Nichiren Daishonin.

1/10 Fires in Kamakura.

Toki Jōnin becomes a follower of the Daishonin.

Nichirō becomes a disciple of the Daishonin.
Writes On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime.


Shijō Kingo, Kudō Yoshitaka, and Ikegami Munenaka become followers of the Daishonin.

8/ Gale, floods, and epidemics in Kamakura.

11/22 Hōjō Nagatoki (1229–1264) becomes regent.

5/ , 8/ , and 11/ Earthquakes in Kamakura.
Goes to Jissō-ji temple at Iawamoto in Suruga Province to examine its sutra library.

Nikkō becomes a disciple of the Daishonin and is given the name Hōki-bō.

2/14 The Daishonin’s father passes away.

8/ Storm destroys crops nationwide; in Kamakura, floods kill many people.

10/16 Heavy rains and flooding in Kamakura.

Frequent famines and epidemics throughout Japan.

7/16 Submits On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land to Hōjō Tokiyori.

8/27 Matsubagayatsu Persecution: his dwelling in Matsubagayatsu is attacked Nembutsu believers.
4/28 Nichimoku is born in Izu.

6/12 Government orders all temples and shrines to pray for an end to the epidemics.

Ōta Jōmyō, Soya Kyōshin, and Akimoto Tarō become the Daishonin’s followers.

Famines and epidemics throughout Japan.
5/12 Exiled to Izu Peninsula.
Funamori Yasaburō and his wife aid the Daishonin in Izu.

Nikkō arrives in Izu to continue to serve the Daishonin.

11/3 Hōjō Shigetoki dies.
2/22 Pardoned from exile, he returns to Kamakura.

Writes Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra.
11/22 Hōjō Tokiyori dies.
Autumn, visits Awa where he prays for the recovery of his ill mother.

11/11 Komatsubara Persecution: attacked by swordsmen led by the steward, Tōjō Kagenobu, he sustains injuries.

11/14 Meets Dōzen-bō, his former teacher, at Renge-ji temple.
Nikō becomes the Daishonin’s disciple.

Hōjō Masamura (1205–1273) becomes regent.
Writes Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man.

1/6 Writes The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra.


8/15 The Daishonin’s mother passes away.

Nitchō becomes the Daishonin’s disciple.
Returns to Kamakura.

10/11 Writes eleven letters to remonstration to government officials and high-ranking priests.
1 (intercalary)/ Mongol delegation demands tribute from Japan for the Mongol empire.

3/5 Hōjō Tokimune (1251–1284) becomes regent.

3/7 and 9/17 Mongol delegations arrive in Japan.

Nichiji becomes the Daishonin’s disciple.

9/10 On answering a government summons, remonstrates with Hei no Saemon, the deputy chief of military and police affairs.

9/12 Tatsunokuchi Persecution: arrested by Hei no Saemon and taken to Tatsunokuchi to be beheaded; this attempt fails.

9/13 Government confines him to the residence of Homma Rokurō Saemon at Echi in Sagami Province.

10/5 Writes Lessening One’s Karmic Retribution.

10/10 Having been exiled to Sado Island, he leaves Echi for Sado.

11/1 Arrives at Sammai-dō, a hut in Tsukahara, Sado Island.
Nationwide drought occurs.

6/18–7/4 Ryōkan, a priest of the True Word Precepts school, prays for rain but without effect.

9/ Mongol delegation conveys demands to the Japanese government.
9/ While the Daishonin is at Echi, many disciples and followers, including Nichirō, are arrested and imprisoned on false charges.
Nikkō accompanies the Daishonin to Sado Island.

Abutsu-bō and his wife, Sennichi, become the Daishonin’s followers.
1/16 and 17 Engages in a religious debate in Tsukahara with priests of other schools and refutes their doctrines.

2/11 Writes The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life.

2/ Completes The Opening of the Eyes, declaring that he is the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.

3/20 Writes Letter from Sado.

4/ Moves to Ichinosawa on Sado Island.
2/ Sairen-bō becomes the Daishonin’s disciple.

2/ Hōjō Tokisuke, an elder half brother of the regent Hōjō Tokimune, plots to seize power but fails.
4/ Shijō Kingo travels to Sado to see the Daishonin.

5/ Nichimyō comes from Kamakura to see the Daishonin.

5/ Mongol delegation presents demands to Japan.
4/25 Completes The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind, identifying the object of devotion for the people of the Latter Day of the Law.

5/17 Writes The True Aspect of All Phenomena.

5/ Writes On Practicing the Buddha’s Teachings.

5 (intercalary)/11 Writes On the Buddha’s Prophecy.

Writes The Entity of the Mystic Law.

1/14 Writes The Votary of the Lotus Sutra Will Meet Persecution.

2/14 Pardoned by the government.

3/13 Leaves Ichinosawa for Kamakura.

3/26 Arrives in Kamakura.

4/8 Remonstrates with Hei no Saemon.
5/12 Leaves Kamakura to live at the foot of Mount Minobu.

4/10 The Dharma Seal Kaga prays for rain.

4/12 High winds in Kamakura.
7/ Nanjō Tokimitsu visits Minobu to see the Daishonin.

10/ Mongol forces sweep across the islands of Tsushima and Iki, and attack Kyushu, the southernmost of the four main islands of Japan.

10/20 Storm attacks Mongol forces.
4/16 Writes Letter to the Brothers.

Writes The Selection of the Time.
9/7 Mongol emissaries are beheaded at Tatsunokuchi.

Because of Nikkō’s propagation activities, many people, including several priests of Ryūsen-ji temple in Atsuhara, become the Daishonin’s followers.
7/21 Completes On Repaying Debts of Gratitude.

Writes The Actions of the Votary of the Lotus Sutra.
Nichimoku becomes the Daishonin’s disciple.

3/16 Dōzen-bō dies.
11/24 Nichimoku goes to Minobu to serve the Daishonin.
6/25 Writes The Letter of Petition from Yorimoto on behalf of Shijō Kingo.

7/ Writes A Warning against Begrudging One’s Fief.

8/23 Writes The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon.

9/11 Writes The Three Kinds of Treasure.

Writes How Those Initially Aspiration to the Way Can Attain Buddhahood through the Lotus Sutra.

Atsuhara Persecution begins.
7/ Three brothers from Atsuhara—Jinshirō, Yagorō, and Yarokurō—become the Daishonin’s followers.
4/20 Writes Persecution by Sword and Staff.
10/1 Writes On Persecutions Befalling the Sage.

10/12 Inscribes the object of devotion for all humanity.
7/29 Members of a Mongol delegation carrying a letter for the Japanese government are killed at Hakata.

9/21 Twenty farmers from Atsuhara, including Jinshirō and his brothers, are arrested and sent to Kamakura.

10/15 Jinshirō, Yagorō, and Yarokurō are beheaded; the rest of those arrested are banished from Atsuhara.
2/ Writes Letter to Niike.
7/14 Writes The Doctrine of Attaining Buddhahood in One’s Present Form.
2/21 Imperial court orders temples to pray to victory over the Mongols.

5/ –7/ Mongol forces attack Kyushu for the second time. After most of their fleet is sunk by a typhoon, the forces withdraw.
2/28 Writes The Proof of the Lotus Sutra.

9/ Writes a transfer document at Minobu, entrusting Nikkō with the entirety of his teachings.

9/8 Leaves Mount Minobu.

9/18 Arrives at Ikegami Munenaka’s residence in Musashi Province (present-day Tokyo).

10/8 Choose six senior priests as leaders of their respective areas.

10/13 Writes a transfer document at Ikegami, designating Nikkō as chief priest of Kuon-ji temple at Minobu, and shortly afterward passes away.

Seichō-ji [清澄寺]: Also known as Kiyosumi-dera, an alternative pronunciation of the Chinese characters that form the name. A head temple of the Nichiren school based at Minobu since 1949. Located on Mount Kiyosumi in Kominato of Awa Province, in what is today Chiba Prefecture, Japan, the temple was founded in 771 by a priest named Fushigi who enshrined there an image of Bodhisattva Space Treasury he carved from an oak tree. In the next century, Jikaku, the third chief priest of the Tendai school’s Enryaku-ji temple, paid a visit there, after which it gained prestige in the area. In 1233 Nichiren entered Seichō-ji and studied Buddhism there under Dōzen-bō, a senior priest at the temple. There he chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the first time and proclaimed his teaching on the twenty-eighth day of the fourth month, 1253.


Ākāshagarbha [虚空蔵菩薩] (Skt; Jpn Kokūzō-bosatsu): The bodhisattva Space Treasury. A bodhisattva whose wisdom and good fortune are said to be as vast and boundless as the universe. See Space Treasury.

Space Treasury [虚空蔵菩薩] (Skt Ākāshagarbha; Jpn Kokūzō-bosatsu): A bodhisattva whose wisdom and good fortune are said to be as vast and boundless as the universe. In the True Word (Jpn Shingon) school, he appears as the central deity of the Space Treasury court of the Womb Realm mandala, where he is pictured seated on a lotus blossom wearing a crown adorned with jewels representing five kinds of wisdom; in his right hand he holds a sword of wisdom, while in his left he holds a lotus blossom of fortune and a wish-granting jewel. Space Treasury was also worshiped in Japan independently of the True Word school from early on.

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Chapter Twenty-eight: Encouragements of the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy
Six important points

Point One, concerning Bodhisattva Universal Worthy

Words and Phrases, volume ten, says, “The word kambotsu, or ‘encouragement,’ is expressive of veneration for the Law.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: In the compound kambotsu, the element kan, or “encouragement,” refers to the conversion of others, while the element botsu (or hotsu), or “initiate,” refers to one’s own practice.
In the name Fugen, or Universal Worthy, the element fu, “universal,” refers to the true aspect of all phenomena, the principle of eternal and unchanging truth as embodied in the theoretical teaching. The element gen, or “worthy” or “wise,” expresses the idea of wisdom, the wisdom of the truth that functions in accordance with changing circumstances, as embodied in the essential teaching. Hence we see that here, at the conclusion of the sutra, p.190there is expressed a veneration for the Law as it is implied in the two teachings, the theoretical and the essential.
Generally speaking, we may say that, now when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they enjoy the care and protection of Bodhisattva Universal Worthy.

Point Two, on the passage “If when the Lotus Sutra is propagated throughout Jambudvīpa there are those who accept and uphold it, they should think to themselves: This is all due to the authority and supernatural power of Universal Worthy!”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: It is due to the authority and supernatural power of Bodhisattva Universal Worthy that this Lotus Sutra is propagated throughout Jambudvīpa. Therefore the widespread propagation of this sutra must be under the care and protection of Bodhisattva Universal Worthy.

Point Three, on the passage “If they do no more than copy the sutra, when their lives come to an end they will be reborn in the Trāyastrimsha heaven. At that time eighty-four thousand heavenly women, performing all kinds of music, will come to greet them. Such persons will put on crowns made of seven treasures and amidst the ladies-in-waiting will amuse and enjoy themselves.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The number eighty-four thousand refers to the doctrine of the eighty-four thousand dust-like cares that beset us, or the earthly desires. It is referring to the principle that earthly desires are none other than enlightenment, and that the sufferings of birth and death are none other than nirvana.
The crowns made of seven treasures represent the seven openings in the head, those of the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Now Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are persons who wear such crowns.

p.191Point Four, on the passage “If there are persons who accept, uphold, read, and recite the sutra and understand its principles, when the lives of these persons come to an end, they will be received into the hands of a thousand Buddhas, who will free them from all fear and keep them from falling into the evil paths of existence.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: When persons who do not have faith in the Lotus Sutra come to the end of their lives, they fall into hell. Hence the sutra 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. / . . . When his life comes to an end / he will enter the Avīchi hell” (chapter three, Simile and Parable). But when practitioners of the Lotus Sutra come to the end of their lives, they will attain Buddhahood. Thus the text here says, “When the lives of these persons come to an end, they will be received into the hands of a thousand Buddhas.”
The thousand Buddhas represent the doctrine of the thousand factors. The wardens of hell will come to greet those who have slandered the Law, but a thousand Buddhas will come to greet the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra. Without doubt, therefore, a thousand Buddhas will come to greet Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Point Five, on the passage “World-Honored One, I now therefore employ my transcendental powers to guard and protect this sutra. And after the Thus Come One has entered extinction, I will cause it to be widely propagated throughout Jambudvīpa and will see that it never comes to an end.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This word “throughout,” or more literally “within,” implies that the three other directions, east, west, and north, are less favored. The sutra passage is saying that the Lotus Sutra is to be propagated only within the southern continent of Jambudvīpa. One should give careful thought to the word “within.”
p.192Now when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they must ponder this matter deeply.

Point Six, on the passage “Universal Worthy, after the Thus Come One has entered extinction, . . . if you see someone who accepts, upholds, reads, and recites the Lotus Sutra, you should think to yourself: Before long this person will proceed to the place of practice, conquer the devil hosts, and attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi [supreme perfect enlightenment].”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The words “this person” refer to the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra. The place where the person upholds and honors the Lotus Sutra is the “place of practice” to which the person proceeds. It is not that he leaves his present place and goes to some other place. The “place of practice” is the place where the living beings of the Ten Worlds reside. And now the place where Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, “whether . . . in mountain valleys or the wide wilderness” (chapter twenty-one, Supernatural Powers), these places are all the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. This is what is meant by “the place of practice.” A commentary [The Annotations on “The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra,” volume ten] says, “This cause is unchanging [and never fails to bring about enlightenment], hence the text says, Proceeding directly to the place of practice’ [chapter three, Simile and Parable].” One should keep this in mind.
In this chapter Shakyamuni Buddha revealed the foremost point he wished to convey to us. The Buddha preached the Lotus Sutra over a period of eight years, and eight characters sum up the message that he has left behind for living beings in this later age, the Latter Day of the Law. It is in the passage that reads, “Therefore, Universal Worthy, if you see a person who accepts and upholds this sutra, you should rise and greet him from afar, showing him the same respect you would a Buddha” (chapter p.193twenty-eight), particularly the eight characters that make up the end of the passage, “you should rise and greet him,” etc. With this passage the words of Shakyamuni Buddha in the sutra come to an end, thus in effect ending the sutra.
The word “should” shows that these words refer to the future. The words “should rise and greet him from afar” indicate that the sutra passage is saying that one should without fail show the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra the kind of respect one would show to a Buddha. Similarly, “The Teacher of the Law” chapter says, “Again if there are persons who embrace, read, recite, expound, and copy the Lotus Sutra . . . and look upon this sutra with the same reverence as they would the Buddha . . .”
For eight years the Buddha preached the Law, beginning with what the “Expedient Means” chapter of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo calls “the wisdom of the Buddhas,” and then ending his preaching with the eight characters that read, “you should rise and greet him from afar, showing him the same respect you would a Buddha.” With just these eight characters he summed up the message of the entire sutra. Hence Words and Phrases, volume ten, says, “The section that begins with ‘You should rise and greet him from afar, showing him the same respect you would a Buddha,’ concludes the description of the benefits gained by persons of faith.” That is, the entire Lotus Sutra has its basis in this one word, faith.
Question: In the present text of the Lotus Sutra, the “Introduction” chapter begins with the word nyo, “this” or “like this,” and the “Universal Worthy” chapter, the last chapter, ends with the word ko, “departed.” This arrangement was made on purpose by the Tripitaka Master Kumārajīva, but what doctrinal principle is he attempting to express thereby?
Answer: The essence of the teachings expressed in the Lotus Sutra lies in the two principles of the true aspect of all phenomena and Shakyamuni Buddha’s original enlightenment in the distant past. These constitute its essential doctrines. The first word in the sutra, nyo, expresses the true aspect of all phenomena, while the last word, ko, expresses the event in the remote past. Hence p.194we may say that the true aspect of all phenomena represents the theory or principle (ri) underlying the teaching, while the event in the remote past represents the factual realization (ji) of the principle.
The word ri, theory or principle, means the principle of emptiness, and the word “emptiness” means nyo, or “like,” or “equal to” something. That is why the word nyo was chosen to represent theory or principle and emptiness. Thus a commentary [Profound Meaning, volume two] says, “The word nyo means ‘not different from’ and hence has the meaning of emptiness.”
The event in the distant past is the factual realization (ji) of the nyo principle. Therefore, the core of the doctrine found in the “Life Span” chapter of the essential teaching is summed up in the factual realization of the actuality or the perfect doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life.
The word ko, or “departed,” corresponds to that which took place “long ago.” Ko means to be separated from something, while nyo means to be joined together. Separation represents the mind that makes distinctions; joining together represents the mind that is without distinctions.
When these two principles of separation and joining together are applied to the relationship of living beings and Buddhahood, we may say that joining together stands for the world of Buddhahood, while separation stands for the various kinds of living beings. The word nyo that appears at the beginning of the “Introduction” chapter [that is, nyo ze gamon, or “This is what I heard”] expresses the idea that living beings and Buddhahood are not two different things.
The theoretical teaching deals with the idea that living beings and Buddhahood are not two different things, since it expresses the eternal and unchanging truth or Thusness (nyo) of things. Hence we can take the nyo of the sentence “This (nyo) is what I heard” to refer to the nyo of the term “eternal and unchanging truth (shinnyo).”
In terms of the three truths of non-substantiality, temporary existence, and the Middle Way, nyo, or “this,” represents p.195non-substantiality, ze, or “is,” represents the Middle Way, and gamon, or “what I heard,” represents temporary existence. The theoretical teaching deals principally with emptiness or non-substantiality.
Therefore we may say that on top of the basic principle of oneness or non-differentiation there is the opposite principle, that of ‘twoness’ or differentiation. When the sutra is illustrating this principle of twoness or differentiation, it treats the members of the assembly, all of whom alike listen to the sutra, as separate individuals, listing their names.
The ko, or “departed” or “parted,” which is placed at the end of the essential teaching, represents the wisdom of the truth that functions in accordance with changing circumstances. It expresses the idea that living beings and Buddhahood are two different things. Hence the word “departed” or “parted” is used. Indeed, the “departed” of the words “they bowed in obeisance and departed” (chapter twenty-eight) is regarded as the wisdom of the truth that functions in accordance with changing circumstances. The essential teaching thus deals with the non-differentiation that is based on differentiation. One should think of a commentary on this, which reads, “Two but not two, constantly the same yet constantly different—past and present, such is the Dharma.”
We may also take the word ko, or “departed,” to refer to the passage in the “Expedient Means” chapter that describes how five thousand arrogant members of the assembly “rose from their seats, bowed to the Buddha, and withdrew (departed).” Therefore, as has been stated earlier, the number five thousand stands for five types of earthly desires that are at all times a part of our makeup. The meaning of the passage then is that the five types of abiding earthly desires bow in obeisance to the Buddha in our own minds and make their departure.
The two words nyo and ko may also stand for the two factors of birth and death. As Dengyō says, “Ko, or ‘departed,’ is the Thus Come One who never comes [and therefore who never departs], the perfect departure that never departs.”
The word nyo, or “thus,” represents the principle that all phenomena are the mind, while the word ko, or “depart,” represents p.196the principle that the mind is all phenomena. The principle that all phenomena are the mind is the unchanging truth or Thusness (nyo) of the theoretical teaching. The principle that the mind is all phenomena is the truth or Thusness that functions in accordance with changing circumstances as expressed in the essential teaching. For this reason, when the Dharma-realm is compressed into a single mind, this is the principle of nyo, and when a single mind is opened up and pervades the Dharma-realm, this is the principle of ko. The meaning of this is the same as the oral transmission regarding the three truths and the threefold contemplation or observation of the three truths unified in a single mind.
According to another interpretation, nyo stands for “true” [of the true aspect] or reality, while ko stands for “aspect” or form. Reality is the mind itself, while form is the workings of the mind. Or again we may say that “all phenomena” in the phrase “the true aspect of all phenomena” corresponds to ko, while the “true aspect” corresponds to nyo. This is why we learn that the entire Lotus Sutra from beginning to end deals with the four characters that represent the true aspect of all phenomena. A commentary [An Essay on the Protection of the Nation, written by Dengyō] says, “Now what constitutes the essence of the sutra? The words ‘the true aspect of all phenomena’ constitute the essence.”
But now if we delve more deeply into the matter and inquire how Nichiren goes about his religious practice, we may say that for him the word nyo is the nyo (“as”) of the phrase “practice it [the Lotus Sutra] as the sutra instructs” (chapter eighteen, Responding with Joy).
Therefore when the transmission of the five characters that represent the essence of the Lotus Sutra took place, the procedure began in the “Treasure Tower” chapter, when Shakyamuni Buddha spoke in a voice that penetrated to the lower regions, calling on those who are near to preserve the sutra and those who are far away to preserve it. [“The Buddha wishes to entrust this Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law to someone so that it may be preserved” (chapter eleven, Treasure Tower).] With these two words p.197“be preserved,” he declared he would entrust the sutra to the bodhisattvas of the essential teaching and the bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching. Hence we traditionally refer to this passage as the secret or veiled introduction to the essential teaching.
After the two Buddhas, Shakyamuni and Many Treasures, were seated side by side in the treasure tower and the Buddhas that were emanations of Shakyamuni had been gathered together, Shakyamuni proceeded to expound and make clear Myoho-renge-kyo, what the Buddha called “this good medicine” (chapter sixteen, Life Span). Then in the “Supernatural Powers” chapter, Shakyamuni Buddha demonstrated ten types of supernatural powers, summarized the teaching in the four pronouncements that begin with the words “all the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One,” etc.1 and in this way entrusted the teaching to Bodhisattva Superior Practices, the leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth.
What was transmitted at that time was the Wonderful Law, the title of the sutra. You should keep in mind that there are distinctions between the general transmission of the sutra made outside the treasure tower as described in the “Entrustment” chapter and the specific transmission made within the tower as depicted in the “Supernatural Powers” chapter. Thus the transmission ceremony that began in the “Treasure Tower” chapter, with the teaching to be transmitted and the person to whom it is transferred revealed in the “Emerging from the Earth” and “Life Span” chapters, is brought to a conclusion in the “Supernatural Powers” and “Entrustment” chapters.
These passages in the “Supernatural Powers” chapter are stating clearly and emphatically that, with regard to the five characters Myoho-renge-kyo, in the Latter Day of the Law, when the Pure Law of Shakyamuni Buddha has passed into extinction, p.198Bodhisattva Superior Practices will appear in the world to proclaim them and, of the five types of practice advocated by Shakyamuni, to accept and uphold, to read, to recite, to explain and preach, and to copy the Lotus Sutra, will explain that only the first, to accept and uphold the sutra, is to be practiced as the way to attain Buddhahood. This is what the “Supernatural Powers” chapter means when it says, “Therefore a person of wisdom, / . . . after I have passed into extinction / should accept and uphold this sutra. / Such a person assuredly and without doubt / will attain the Buddha way.” The meaning of this passage is perfectly obvious. Hence we traditionally refer to this passage as the statement of the Buddha in which he transfers his merit to the upholders of the sutra.
For this reason, the attitude of mind of one who accepts and upholds this sutra is that of the nyo (“as”) of the phrase “practice it [the Lotus Sutra] as the sutra instructs.” If one uses this attitude of mind to reverentially accept and uphold the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, at once the illnesses of ignorance and earthly desires will all depart, and one will emerge clothed in the shining flesh of perfect enlightenment and the ultimate reward. That is why this word ko, or “departed,” has been placed at the very conclusion of the sutra. It is in effect an explanation of the words that precede it, “Accepting and upholding the words of the Buddha” (chapter twenty-eight).
Even the devil kings with their earthly desires and evil enlightenment, when the light of the true aspect of all phenomena shines on them, will gain the kind of penetrating insight that allows them to perceive that their bodies and minds at a single moment pervade the entire Dharma-realm. When that happens, they will, contrary to their usual practices, bow in obeisance to the Buddha who is in their minds. That is why the sutra says, “They bowed in obeisance and departed.” One should recall in this context the passage of commentary [volume five of The Annotations on “Great Concentration and Insight”] that reads, “All the three thousand conditions of this or that person permeate one another in this way.”
p.199But treat all this as secret. Treat this as secret. It is something to be transmitted from teacher to disciple only, not to be talked of with outsiders.
The ultimate view of the teachings handed down with regard to the word ko, or “departed,” then, is that ko represents the ko, or “departure,” of the “departure that never departs.”
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1. The passage reads, “To put it briefly, all the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One, all the freely exercised supernatural powers of the Thus Come One, the storehouse of all the secret essentials of the Thus Come One, all the most profound matters of the Thus Come One—all these are proclaimed, revealed, and clearly expounded in this sutra.”
28th, in volume 2 = 200 = 200. Letter to Ryōkan of Gokuraku-ji: Gokuraku-ji Ryōkan e no gojō (極楽寺良観への御状), 174.

Letter to Ryōkan of Gokuraku-ji

WITH regard to the official letter that has arrived from the western barbarians, the great Mongol Empire, I have respectfully submitted letters to the regent, the lord of Kamakura,1 and to other parties. All has happened just as I predicted in my treatise, On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land, written around the first year of the Bunnō era [1260], without the slightest discrepancy.
What do you think of this? Right Venerable Ninshō, you had best give up your jeering attitude and make haste to put your faith in the priest Nichiren! If you do not, you will be guilty of “preaching the Law to white-robed laymen”2 while “despising and looking down on all humankind.”3
“Rely on the Law and not upon persons”4 are the golden words given us by the Thus Come One Shakyamuni. But it would seem that the Sage Ryōkan is one of the company described by the Lotus Sutra in the words “Or there will be forest-dwelling monks wearing clothing of patched rags and living in retirement.”5 The word aranya, or “forest,” means a place of peace and quiet. Why then do you make your own dwelling a place from which to issue slanderous reports regarding Nichiren? You are nothing more than a sham, a traitorous “sage” who pretends to the three types of learning, the precepts, meditation, and wisdom. A counterfeit sage, a person of overbearing arrogance, in your present existence you will surely be marked out as a traitor to the nation, and in your next existence will fall into the region of hell. But if you feel any remorse whatsoever for your past evil deeds, you will come and put your faith in Nichiren.
I have written letters to the regent, the lord of Kamakura, and to the head priest of Kenchō-ji and of other temples informing them of my views on this matter. In effect, if my original intentions are to be realized, I think there is no better solution than for all of us to meet in public debate.
In terms of relative worth and superiority, the shallow doctrines set forth in the Tripitaka teachings are, when compared to the Lotus Sutra, which is the king of all the sutras, like streams and rivers in comparison to the great ocean, or like Mount Hua6 in comparison to Mount Sumeru.
Are you sure to know the secret Law that will overcome and subdue the Mongol nation? I, Nichiren, am the foremost votary of the Lotus Sutra in all of Japan, a great general who can defeat the forces of the Mongol nation, for, as the Lotus Sutra says, “A person who can accept and uphold this sutra is likewise foremost among all living beings.”7
p.325There is much more I would like to say, but it is impossible here to explain it in full, and I will therefore omit further discussion.
With my deep respect,

The eleventh day of the tenth month in the fifth year of Bun’ei [1268], cyclical sign tsuchinoe-tatsu
Respectfully presented to the Sage Ryōkan, the elder of Gokuraku-ji
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One of eleven letters of remonstrance, this was sent to Ryōkan of Gokuraku-ji temple. Ryōkan, also known as Ninshō, was a disciple of Eizon, a renowned priest who advocated strict observance of the precepts as well as adherence to the esoteric teachings of the True Word school. In 1261 Ryōkan thereafter had settled in Kamakura and had fostered a connection with the ruling Hōjō family. In 1267 he became chief priest of Gokuraku-ji, a temple that had been established by Hōjō Shigetoki, a high official of the Kamakura shogunate. Ryōkan played a behind-the-scenes role in persecuting the Daishonin and his followers.
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1. “The lord of Kamakura” refers to Hōjō Tokimune (1251–1284), the eighth regent of the Kamakura government.
2. Lotus Sutra, chap. 13.
3. Lotus Sutra, chap. 13.
4. Nirvana Sutra.
5. Lotus Sutra, chap. 13.
6. One of the five sacred mountains in China.
7. Lotus Sutra, chap. 23.
Aspiration for the Buddha Land

IT is now the latter part of the eleventh month. When I was living in Kamakura in Sagami, I thought that the changing of the seasons must be the same in all the provinces, but in the two months that have passed since I arrived in this northern province of Sado, icy winds have blown without pause, and though there have been times when the frost and snow stopped falling, I have never seen the sunlight. I feel the eight cold hells in my life now. The hearts of the people are like those of birds and beasts; they recognize neither sovereign, teacher, nor parent. Even less do they distinguish between correct and incorrect in Buddhism, or good and evil in their teachers. But I will say no more of these things.
When I sent back from Teradomari the lay priest whom you dispatched on the tenth day of the tenth month to accompany me, I wrote out and entrusted to him certain teachings for you.1 As you may have guessed from these, [the advent of the great Law] is already before our very eyes. In the twenty-two hundred and more years since the Buddha’s passing, and in India, China, Japan, and throughout Jambudvīpa, [the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai said], “Vasubandhu and Nāgārjuna clearly perceived the truth in their hearts, but they did not teach it. Instead, they employed the provisional Mahayana teachings, which were suited to the times.”2 T’ien-t’ai and Dengyō commented generally on it, but left its propagation for the future. The secret Law that is the one great reason the Buddhas make their advent will be spread for the first time in this country. How could Nichiren not be the one who will do this?
The portents of its rise have already appeared. The great earthquake of the Shōka era was a major omen of a kind never before witnessed in previous ages, one totally unprecedented in the twelve reigns of the deities,3 the ninety reigns of human sovereigns,4 and the twenty-two hundred and more years since the Buddha’s passing. The “Supernatural Powers” chapter of the Lotus Sutra states, “Because after the Buddha has passed into extinction there will be those who can uphold this sutra, the Buddhas are all delighted and manifest immeasurable supernatural powers.” It also refers to “all the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One.” Once this great Law has spread, I am sure neither the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings nor the theoretical teaching of the Lotus will provide even the slightest benefit. The Great Teacher Dengyō said that when the sun comes up the stars hide themselves.5 And the preface written by Tsun-shih6 says that, at the beginning of the Latter Day of p.214the Law, [Buddhism will rise in the east and] illuminate the west. The Law has already appeared. The signs heralding its advent far surpass those of previous ages. When I gave this some thought, I realized that it is because the time has so decreed it. The sutra states, “[Among these bodhisattvas] were four leaders. The first was called Superior Practices . . .”7 It also reads, “In the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law if there is someone who can uphold this sutra . . . ,”8 and “If you were to seize Mount Sumeru and fling it far off . . . [that too would not be difficult].”9
I would like you to gather and keep in one place the five folding notebooks I mentioned to you, which contain essential passages from the complete collection of the scriptures and from The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom. Please make sure that the essential passages from the treatises and commentaries are not scattered and lost. And please tell the young priests that they should not neglect their studies. You absolutely must not lament over my exile. It says in the “Encouraging Devotion” chapter and in the “Never Disparaging” chapter [that the votary of the Lotus Sutra will meet with persecution]. Life is limited; we must not begrudge it. What we should ultimately aspire to is the Buddha land.


The twenty-third day of the eleventh month in the eighth year of Bun’ei (1271)

Reply to the lay priest Toki

I am sending back some of the young priests. You can ask them what this province is like and about the circumstances in which I live. It is impossible to describe these matters in writing.
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On the twenty-eighth day of the tenth month, 1271, Nichiren Daishonin arrived at Sado Island. On the first day of the eleventh month, he was taken to Tsukahara, a desolate field used as a graveyard that was to be his dwelling place on Sado. He was given as lodging a small dilapidated shrine called Sammai-dō. Wind and snow blew in through gaping holes in its walls and roof. Perhaps because of the severe lack of food and shelter, the Daishonin soon sent back to the mainland some of the priests who had accompanied him. Just before their departure, he wrote this letter and entrusted it to them for his staunch follower Toki Jōnin. It is believed to be the first letter he wrote from Sado Island.
While the Daishonin was in exile on Sado, he relied on Toki to convey messages of encouragement to believers in the Shimōsa area. This particular letter indicates that he had also asked Toki to look after his books and papers during his absence.
In the letter, he voices his readiness to meet death if necessary for the sake of the Lotus Sutra, and his joy at knowing himself to be the sutra’s votary. He also declares that the supreme Law never before revealed by any of the great Buddhist teachers of the past has now made its advent. He interprets the great Shōka earthquake of 1257 as an omen of its rise, and cites various passages from the Lotus Sutra and other sources to substantiate his assertion that now, the beginning of the Latter Day, is the time for this great Law to spread.
In the last few lines of the letter, the p.215Daishonin explains that, since life in this world is transient, one should dedicate oneself to the Law. Rather than fleeting satisfactions, one’s ultimate goal should be to attain “the Buddha land,” or enlightenment—that state of boundless joy in which one realizes the eternal truth within one’s life.
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1. This refers to Letter from Teradomari, which the Daishonin wrote to Toki Jōnin on the twenty-second day of the tenth month, 1271.
2. Great Concentration and Insight.
3. The twelve reigns of the deities refer to the seven reigns of the heavenly deities and the five reigns of the earthly deities said to have ruled Japan before Emperor Jimmu, the legendary first human sovereign.
4. The ninety reigns of human sovereigns refer to the successive emperors from the legendary first sovereign, Emperor Jimmu (r. 660–585 b.c.e., according to The Chronicles of Japan), to the ninetieth emperor, Kameyama (r. 1259–1274).
5. In The Verse-form Record of the Lineage of the Tendai Lotus School, the Great Teacher Dengyō uses the sun to represent the Lotus Sutra, and the stars to represent the provisional teachings. Here the Daishonin uses the sun to represent the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and the stars to represent both the provisional teachings and the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra.
6. Tsun-shih was a priest of the T’ien-t’ai school in Sung-dynasty China. Tsun-shih’s “preface” is his introduction to The Mahayana Method of Concentration and Insight by T’ien-t’ai’s teacher, Nan-yüeh. Nan-yüeh’s work had been lost for centuries in China, but a copy was brought from Japan by Jakushō, a priest of the Japanese Tendai school, when he traveled to China at the beginning of the eleventh century. Therefore Tsun-shih said that Buddhism “rises in the east.”
7. Lotus Sutra, chap. 15.
8. Ibid., chap. 17.
9. Ibid., chap. 11. This passage teaches how difficult it will be to embrace and propagate the sutra in the Latter Day of the Law.



Encouragements of the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy

At that time Bodhisattva Universal Worthy, famed for his freely exercised transcendental powers, dignity, and virtue, in company with great bodhisattvas in immeasurable, boundless, indescribable numbers, arrived from the east. The lands that they passed through one and all quaked and trembled, jeweled lotus flowers rained down, and immeasurable hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of different kinds of music played. In addition, surrounded by a great assembly of numberless heavenly beings, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kimnaras, and mahoragas, human and nonhuman beings, each displayed his dignity, virtue, and transcendental powers.
When Bodhisattva Universal Worthy arrived in the midst of Mount Gridhrakuta in the saha world, he bowed his head to the ground in obeisance to Shakyamuni Buddha, circled around him to the right seven times, and said to the Buddha: “World-Honored One, when I was in the land of the buddha King Above Jeweled Dignity and Virtue, from far away I heard the Lotus Sutra being preached in this saha world. In company with this multitude of immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of bodhisattvas I have come to listen to and accept it. I beg that the world-honored one will preach it for us. And good men and good women in the time after the thus come one has entered extinction—how will they be able to acquire this Lotus Sutra?”
p.361The Buddha said to Bodhisattva Universal Worthy: “If good men and good women fulfill four conditions in the time after the thus come one has entered extinction, then they will be able to acquire this Lotus Sutra. First, they must be protected and kept in mind by the buddhas. Second, they must plant the roots of virtue. Third, they must enter the stage where they are sure of reaching enlightenment. Fourth, they must conceive a determination to save all living beings. If good men and good women fulfill these four conditions, then after the thus come one has entered extinction they will be certain to acquire this sutra.”
At that time Bodhisattva Universal Worthy said to the Buddha: “World-Honored One, in the evil and corrupt age of the last five-hundred-year period, if there is someone who accepts and upholds this sutra, I will guard and protect him, free him from decline and harm, see that he attains peace and tranquillity, and make certain that no one can spy out and take advantage of his shortcomings. No devil, devil’s son, devil’s daughter, devil’s minion, or one possessed by the devil, no yaksha, rakshasa, kumbhanda, pishacha, kritya, putana, vetada, or other being that torments humans will be able to take advantage of him.
“Whether that person is walking or standing, if he reads and recites this sutra, then at that time I will mount my six-tusked kingly white elephant and with my multitude of great bodhisattvas will proceed to where he is. I will manifest myself, offer alms, guard and protect him, and bring comfort to his mind. I will do this because I too want to offer alms to the Lotus Sutra. If when that person is seated he ponders this sutra, at that time too I will mount my kingly white elephant and manifest myself in his presence. If that person should forget a single phrase or verse of the Lotus Sutra, I will prompt him and join him in reading and reciting so that he will gain understanding. At that time the person who accepts, upholds, reads, and recites the Lotus Sutra will be able to see my body, will be filled with great joy, and will apply himself with greater diligence than ever. Because he has seen me, he will immediately acquire samadhis and dharanis. These are called the repetition dharani, the hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million repetition dharani, and p.362the Dharma sound expedient dharani. He will acquire dharanis such as these.
“World-Honored One, in that later time, in the evil and corrupt age of the last five-hundred-year period, if monks, nuns, laymen believers, or laywomen believers who seek out, accept, uphold, read, recite, and transcribe this Lotus Sutra should wish to practice it, they should do so diligently and with a single mind for a period of twenty-one days. When the twenty-one days have been fulfilled, I will mount my six-tusked white elephant and, with immeasurable numbers of bodhisattvas surrounding me and with this body that all living beings delight to see, I will manifest myself in the presence of the person and preach the Law for him, bringing him instruction, benefit, and joy. I will also give him dharani spells. And because he has acquired these spells, no nonhuman being will be able to injure him and he cannot be confused or led astray by women. I too will personally guard him at all times. Therefore, World-Honored One, I hope you will permit me to pronounce these dharanis.” Then in the presence of the Buddha he pronounced these spells:

adande dandapati dandavarte dandakushale dandasudhare
sudhare sudharapati buddhapashyane sarvadharani-
avartane sarvabhashyavartane su-avartane
samghaparikshani samghanirghatani asamge
samgapagate tri-adhvasamgatulya arate-prapte
sarvasamgasamatikrrante sarvadharmasuparikshite
sarvasattvarutakaushalyanugate simhavikridite1

“World-Honored One, if any bodhisattva is able to hear these dharanis, he should understand that it is due to the transcendental powers of Universal Worthy. If when the Lotus Sutra is propagated throughout Jambudvipa there are those who accept and uphold it, they should think to themselves: This is all due to the authority and supernatural power of Universal Worthy! If there are those who accept, uphold, read, and recite this sutra, p.363memorize it correctly, understand its principles, and practice it as the sutra prescribes, these persons should know that they are carrying out the practices of Universal Worthy himself. In the presence of immeasurable, boundless numbers of buddhas they have planted good roots deep, and the hands of the thus come ones will pat them on the head.
“If they do no more than copy the sutra, when their lives come to an end they will be reborn in the heaven of the thirty-three gods. At that time eighty-four thousand heavenly women, performing all kinds of music, will come to greet them. Such persons will put on crowns made of seven treasures and amidst the ladies-in-waiting will amuse and enjoy themselves. How much more so, then, if they accept, uphold, read, and recite the sutra, memorize it correctly, understand its principles, and practice it as the sutra prescribes. If there are persons who accept, uphold, read, and recite the sutra and understand its principles, when the lives of these persons come to an end, they will be received into the hands of a thousand buddhas, who will free them from all fear and keep them from falling into the evil paths of existence. Immediately they will proceed to the Tushita heaven, to the place of Bodhisattva Maitreya. Bodhisattva Maitreya possesses the thirty-two features and is surrounded by a multitude of great bodhisattvas. He has hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of heavenly women attendants, and these persons will be reborn in their midst. Such will be the benefits and advantages they will enjoy.
“Therefore persons of wisdom should single-mindedly copy the sutra themselves, or cause others to copy it, should accept, uphold, read, and recite it, memorize it correctly and practice it as the sutra prescribes. World-Honored One, I now therefore employ my transcendental powers to guard and protect this sutra. And after the thus come one has entered extinction, I will cause it to be widely propagated throughout Jambudvipa and will see that it never comes to an end.”
At that time Shakyamuni Buddha spoke these words of praise: “Excellent, excellent, Universal Worthy! You are able to guard p.364and assist this sutra and cause many living beings to gain peace and happiness and advantages. You have already acquired inconceivable benefits and profound great pity and compassion. Since long ages in the past you have shown a desire for supreme perfect enlightenment, and have taken a vow to use your transcendental powers to guard and protect this sutra. And I will employ my transcendental powers to guard and protect those who can accept and uphold the name of Bodhisattva Universal Worthy.
“Universal Worthy, if there are those who accept, uphold, read, and recite this Lotus Sutra, memorize it correctly, practice and transcribe it, you should know that such persons have seen Shakyamuni Buddha. It is as though they heard this sutra from the Buddha’s mouth. You should know that such persons have offered alms to Shakyamuni Buddha. You should know that the Buddha has praised such persons as excellent. You should know that such persons have been patted on the head by Shakyamuni Buddha. You should know that such persons have been covered in the robes of Shakyamuni Buddha.
“They will no longer be greedy for or attached to worldly pleasures, they will have no taste for the scriptures or jottings of the non-Buddhists. They will take no pleasure in associating with such people, or with those engaged in evil occupations such as butchers, raisers of pigs, sheep, chickens, or dogs, hunters, or those who offer women’s charms for sale. These persons will be honest and upright in mind and intent, correct in memory, and will possess the power of merit and virtue. They will not be troubled by the three poisons, nor will they be troubled by jealousy, self-importance, ill-founded conceit, or arrogance. These persons will have few desires, will be easily satisfied, and will know how to carry out the practices of Universal Worthy.
“Universal Worthy, after the thus come one has entered extinction, in the last five-hundred-year period, if you see someone who accepts, upholds, reads, and recites the Lotus Sutra, you should think to yourself: Before long this person will proceed to the place of enlightenment, conquer the devil hosts, and attain supreme perfect enlightenment. He will turn the wheel of p.365the Dharma, beat the Dharma drum, sound the Dharma conch, and rain down the Dharma rain. He is worthy to sit in the lion seat of the Dharma, amid the great assembly of heavenly and human beings.
“Universal Worthy, in later ages if there are those who accept, uphold, read, and recite this sutra, such persons will no longer be greedy for or attached to clothing, bedding, food, and drink, or other necessities of daily life. Their wishes will not be in vain, and in this present existence they will gain the reward of good fortune. If there is anyone who disparages or makes light of them, saying, ‘You are mere idiots! It is useless to carry out these practices—in the end they will gain you nothing!’ then as punishment for his offense that person will be born eyeless in existence after existence. But if there is anyone who offers alms to them and praises them, then in this present existence he will have manifest reward for it.
“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, and he will suffer from water in the belly, shortness of breath, and other severe and malignant illnesses. Therefore, Universal Worthy, if you see a person who accepts and upholds this sutra, you should rise and greet him from afar, showing him the same respect you would a buddha.”
When this chapter on the Encouragements of the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy was preached, bodhisattvas immeasurable and boundless as Ganges sands acquired dharanis allowing them to memorize a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a million repetitions of the teachings, and bodhisattvas equal to the dust particles of the major world system perfected the way of Universal Worthy.
p.366When the Buddha preached this sutra, Universal Worthy and the other bodhisattvas, Shariputra and the other voice-hearers, and the heavenly beings and dragons, the human and nonhuman beings—the entire membership of the great assembly were all filled with great joy. Accepting and upholding the words of the Buddha, they bowed in obeisance and departed.
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1. For full diacritical marks, see p. 417.


“Rather than provide knowledge itself, we must encourage the joy and excitement that arise from learning.” – Tsunesaburo Makiguchi

“If you want to realize peace for all humankind, you must make concrete proposals and take the lead translating them into concrete action.” – Josei Toda

“A great human revolution in just a single individual will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.” -Daisaku Ikeda


Chapter 1
Hosea and his family are a sign unto Israel—In the day of gathering, the people of Israel will become the sons of the living God.
Chapter 2
Worshipping false gods brings severe judgments upon Israel—In the last days, Israel will be reconciled to God and become His people.
Chapter 3
Israel will seek the Lord, return to the Lord, and receive of His goodness in the latter days.
Chapter 4
Israel loses all truth, mercy, and knowledge of God and goes whoring after false gods.
Chapter 5
The kingdoms of Judah and Israel will both fall because of their iniquities.
Chapter 6
Hosea calls Israel to return and serve the Lord—The mercy and knowledge of God are more important than ritualistic sacrifices.
Chapter 7
Israel is reproved for her many sins—Ephraim is mixed among the people.
Chapter 8
Both Israel and Judah have forsaken the Lord—The Lord has written the great things of His law to Ephraim.
Chapter 9
The people of Israel are taken into captivity for their sins—Ephraim will be a wanderer among the nations.
Chapter 10
Israel has plowed wickedness and reaped iniquity—Hosea calls upon Israel to seek the Lord.
Chapter 11
Israel, as a child, was called out of Egypt in similitude of our Lord, as a child, coming out of Egypt—But Ephraim turns away from the Lord.
Chapter 12
The Lord uses prophets, visions, and similitudes to guide His people, but they become rich and will not wait on the Lord—Ephraim provokes Him most bitterly.
Chapter 13
Ephraim’s sins provoke the Lord—There is no Savior beside the Lord—He ransoms from the grave and redeems from death.
Chapter 14
In the last days, Ephraim will repent and return unto the Lord.
Chapter 14
In the last days, Ephraim will repent and return unto the Lord.

1 O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.

2 Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.

3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.

4 ¶I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.

5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.

6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.

7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.

9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.



Chapter 28
Christ the Lord is risen—He appears to many—He has all power in heaven and earth—He sends the Apostles to teach and baptize all nations.

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

9 ¶And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

11 ¶Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,

13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.

14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.

15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

16 ¶Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 ¶Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.



Chapter 1
Ammaron instructs Mormon concerning the sacred records—War commences between the Nephites and the Lamanites—The Three Nephites are taken away—Wickedness, unbelief, sorceries, and witchcraft prevail. About A.D. 321–326.
Chapter 2
Mormon leads the Nephite armies—Blood and carnage sweep the land—The Nephites lament and mourn with the sorrowing of the damned—Their day of grace is passed—Mormon obtains the plates of Nephi—Wars continue. About A.D. 327–350.
Chapter 3
Mormon cries repentance unto the Nephites—They gain a great victory and glory in their own strength—Mormon refuses to lead them, and his prayers for them are without faith—The Book of Mormon invites the twelve tribes of Israel to believe the gospel. About A.D. 360–362.
Chapter 4
War and carnage continue—The wicked punish the wicked—Greater wickedness prevails than ever before in all Israel—Women and children are sacrificed to idols—The Lamanites begin to sweep the Nephites before them. About A.D. 363–375.
Chapter 5
Mormon again leads the Nephite armies in battles of blood and carnage—The Book of Mormon will come forth to convince all Israel that Jesus is the Christ—Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites will be scattered, and the Spirit will cease to strive with them—They will receive the gospel from the Gentiles in the latter days. About A.D. 375–384.
Chapter 6
The Nephites gather to the land of Cumorah for the final battles—Mormon hides the sacred records in the hill Cumorah—The Lamanites are victorious, and the Nephite nation is destroyed—Hundreds of thousands are slain with the sword. About A.D. 385.
Chapter 7
Mormon invites the Lamanites of the latter days to believe in Christ, accept His gospel, and be saved—All who believe the Bible will also believe the Book of Mormon. About A.D. 385.
Chapter 8
The Lamanites seek out and destroy the Nephites—The Book of Mormon will come forth by the power of God—Woes pronounced upon those who breathe out wrath and strife against the work of the Lord—The Nephite record will come forth in a day of wickedness, degeneracy, and apostasy. About A.D. 400–421.
Chapter 9
Moroni calls upon those who do not believe in Christ to repent—He proclaims a God of miracles, who gives revelations and pours out gifts and signs upon the faithful—Miracles cease because of unbelief—Signs follow those who believe—Men are exhorted to be wise and keep the commandments. About A.D. 401–421.

1 And now I, Mormon, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard, and call it the Book of Mormon.

2 And about the time that Ammaron hid up the records unto the Lord, he came unto me, (I being about ten years of age, and I began to be learned somewhat after the manner of the learning of my people) and Ammaron said unto me: I perceive that thou art a sober child, and art quick to observe;

3 Therefore, when ye are about twenty and four years old I would that ye should remember the things that ye have observed concerning this people; and when ye are of that age go to the land Antum, unto a hill which shall be called Shim; and there have I deposited unto the Lord all the sacred engravings concerning this people.

4 And behold, ye shall take the plates of Nephi unto yourself, and the remainder shall ye leave in the place where they are; and ye shall engrave on the plates of Nephi all the things that ye have observed concerning this people.

5 And I, Mormon, being a descendant of Nephi, (and my father’s name was Mormon) I remembered the things which Ammaron commanded me.

6 And it came to pass that I, being eleven years old, was carried by my father into the land southward, even to the land of Zarahemla.

7 The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea.

8 And it came to pass in this year there began to be a war between the Nephites, who consisted of the Nephites and the Jacobites and the Josephites and the Zoramites; and this war was between the Nephites, and the Lamanites and the Lemuelites and the Ishmaelites.

9 Now the Lamanites and the Lemuelites and the Ishmaelites were called Lamanites, and the two parties were Nephites and Lamanites.

10 And it came to pass that the war began to be among them in the borders of Zarahemla, by the waters of Sidon.

11 And it came to pass that the Nephites had gathered together a great number of men, even to exceed the number of thirty thousand. And it came to pass that they did have in this same year a number of battles, in which the Nephites did beat the Lamanites and did slay many of them.

12 And it came to pass that the Lamanites withdrew their design, and there was peace settled in the land; and peace did remain for the space of about four years, that there was no bloodshed.

13 But wickedness did prevail upon the face of the whole land, insomuch that the Lord did take away his beloved disciples, and the work of miracles and of healing did cease because of the iniquity of the people.

14 And there were no gifts from the Lord, and the Holy Ghost did not come upon any, because of their wickedness and unbelief.

15 And I, being fifteen years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus.

16 And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was forbidden that I should preach unto them; for behold they had wilfully rebelled against their God; and the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of their iniquity.

17 But I did remain among them, but I was forbidden to preach unto them, because of the hardness of their hearts; and because of the hardness of their hearts the land was cursed for their sake.

18 And these Gadianton robbers, who were among the Lamanites, did infest the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof began to hide up their treasures in the earth; and they became slippery, because the Lord had cursed the land, that they could not hold them, nor retain them again.

19 And it came to pass that there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics; and the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land, even unto the fulfilling of all the words of Abinadi, and also Samuel the Lamanite.

Doctrine and Covenants
Section 28
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Oliver Cowdery, at Fayette, New York, September 1830. Hiram Page, a member of the Church, had a certain stone and professed to be receiving revelations by its aid concerning the upbuilding of Zion and the order of the Church. Several members had been deceived by these claims, and even Oliver Cowdery was wrongly influenced thereby. Just prior to an appointed conference, the Prophet inquired earnestly of the Lord concerning the matter, and this revelation followed.
1–7, Joseph Smith holds the keys of the mysteries, and only he receives revelations for the Church; 8–10, Oliver Cowdery is to preach to the Lamanites; 11–16, Satan deceived Hiram Page and gave him false revelations.

1 Behold, I say unto thee, Oliver, that it shall be given unto thee that thou shalt be heard by the church in all things whatsoever thou shalt teach them by the Comforter, concerning the revelations and commandments which I have given.

2 But, behold, verily, verily, I say unto thee, no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., for he receiveth them even as Moses.

3 And thou shalt be obedient unto the things which I shall give unto him, even as Aaron, to declare faithfully the commandments and the revelations, with power and authority unto the church.

4 And if thou art led at any time by the Comforter to speak or teach, or at all times by the way of commandment unto the church, thou mayest do it.

5 But thou shalt not write by way of commandment, but by wisdom;

6 And thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church;

7 For I have given him the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed, until I shall appoint unto them another in his stead.

8 And now, behold, I say unto you that you shall go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them; and inasmuch as they receive thy teachings thou shalt cause my church to be established among them; and thou shalt have revelations, but write them not by way of commandment.

9 And now, behold, I say unto you that it is not revealed, and no man knoweth where the city Zion shall be built, but it shall be given hereafter. Behold, I say unto you that it shall be on the borders by the Lamanites.

10 Thou shalt not leave this place until after the conference; and my servant Joseph shall be appointed to preside over the conference by the voice of it, and what he saith to thee thou shalt tell.

11 And again, thou shalt take thy brother, Hiram Page, between him and thee alone, and tell him that those things which he hath written from that stone are not of me and that Satan deceiveth him;

12 For, behold, these things have not been appointed unto him, neither shall anything be appointed unto any of this church contrary to the church covenants.

13 For all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the church, by the prayer of faith.

14 And thou shalt assist to settle all these things, according to the covenants of the church, before thou shalt take thy journey among the Lamanites.

15 And it shall be given thee from the time thou shalt go, until the time thou shalt return, what thou shalt do.

16 And thou must open thy mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing. Amen.


The Book of Abraham
Translated from the Papyrus, by Joseph Smith
A Facsimile from the Book of Abraham
No. 2
Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. The measurement according to celestial time, which celestial time signifies one day to a cubit. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh.
Stands next to Kolob, called by the Egyptians Oliblish, which is the next grand governing creation near to the celestial or the place where God resides; holding the key of power also, pertaining to other planets; as revealed from God to Abraham, as he offered sacrifice upon an altar, which he had built unto the Lord.
Is made to represent God, sitting upon his throne, clothed with power and authority; with a crown of eternal light upon his head; representing also the grand Key-words of the Holy Priesthood, as revealed to Adam in the Garden of Eden, as also to Seth, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, and all to whom the Priesthood was revealed.
Answers to the Hebrew word Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament of the heavens; also a numerical figure, in Egyptian signifying one thousand; answering to the measuring of the time of Oliblish, which is equal with Kolob in its revolution and in its measuring of time.
Is called in Egyptian Enish-go-on-dosh; this is one of the governing planets also, and is said by the Egyptians to be the Sun, and to borrow its light from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash, which is the grand Key, or, in other words, the governing power, which governs fifteen other fixed planets or stars, as also Floeese or the Moon, the Earth and the Sun in their annual revolutions. This planet receives its power through the medium of Kli-flos-is-es, or Hah-ko-kau-beam, the stars represented by numbers 22 and 23, receiving light from the revolutions of Kolob.
Represents this earth in its four quarters.
Represents God sitting upon his throne, revealing through the heavens the grand Key-words of the Priesthood; as, also, the sign of the Holy Ghost unto Abraham, in the form of a dove.
Contains writings that cannot be revealed unto the world; but is to be had in the Holy Temple of God.
Ought not to be revealed at the present time.
Also. If the world can find out these numbers, so let it be. Amen.
Figures 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 will be given in the own due time of the Lord.
The above translation is given as far as we have any right to give at the present time.

January 2015

January 2015


Follow the Prophets Thomas S. Monson


The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Obedient Son

October 2014 Conference Notebook


An Hour to Watch with Him Maritza Gonzales Espejo


The Road to a Forever Family Garth and Sandy Hamblin


Fireflies David Wright


A Potato for the Teacher Bonny Dahlsrud

Indexing Challenge Sets Record

Requirements Encourage Seminary Students to Elevate Learning

Apostle Offers Counsel about Social Media
What Will You Choose? Russell M. Nelson
What Manner of Teachers Ought We to Be? Tad R. Callister
Prophetic Counsel and Temple Blessings Koichi Aoyagi
Flora and I: Equal Partners in the Work of the Lord Aaron L. West

Latter-day Saint Voices

Counsel Together Oft: Family Councils for Couples Nichole Eck

The Courage to Marry Christian Hägglund

2015 Mutual Theme Young Men and Young Women General Presidencies

One Step at a Time Hillary Olsen

Mutual Theme Cards
Why Is Jesus Christ Important in My Life? Michael R. Morris

How to Achieve Eternal Goals Robert D. Hales
The Center of My Life Roberto Pacheco Pretel

To the Point

Giving the Best Gift Mariela Rodriguez

Give Us a Hand!

New Testament Scripture Challenge
Doing Something Good with My Time Clayton W.

Our Page
How can the scriptures help me? Boyd K. Packer

The Secret Weapon Jessica Larsen

A Journey to Learn about Jesus Christ
Abby’s Top-10 List Rosemary M. Wixom
Jesus Teaching in the Temple
Prayer on the Bus Mitzy Jiménez Ramírez

How Can I Know That the Lord Has Forgiven Me? President Harold B. Lee
I served in the United States Navy toward the end of World War II. I was a seaman, the lowest possible rank in the navy. Then I qualified to be Seaman First Class, after which I qualified to be Yeoman Third Class.

World War II ended, and I was later discharged. But I made a decision that if ever I went back into the military, I wanted to serve as a commissioned officer. I thought, “No more mess kitchens for me, no more scrubbing the decks, if I can avoid it.”

After I was discharged, I joined the United States Naval Reserve. I went to drill every Monday night. I studied hard that I might qualify academically. I took every kind of examination imaginable: mental, physical, and emotional. Finally, there came the beautiful news: “You have been accepted to receive the commission of an ensign in the United States Naval Reserve.”

I gleefully showed it to my wife, Frances, and said, “I made it! I made it!” She hugged me and said, “You’ve worked hard enough to achieve it.”

But then something happened. I was called to be a counselor in my ward bishopric. The bishop’s council meeting was on the same evening as my navy drill meeting. I knew there was a terrible conflict. I knew that I didn’t have the time to pursue the Naval Reserve and my bishopric duties. What was I to do? A decision had to be made.

I prayed about it. Then I went to see the man who was my stake president when I was a boy, Elder Harold B. Lee (1899–1973), then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I sat down across the table from him. I told him how much I valued that commission. In fact, I showed him the copy of the letter of appointment I had received.
Illustration by Paul Mann

After pondering the matter for a moment, he said to me, “Here’s what you should do, Brother Monson. You write a letter to the Bureau of Naval Affairs and tell them that because of your call as a member of the bishopric, you can’t accept that commission in the United States Naval Reserve.”

My heart sank. He added, “Then write to the commandant of the Twelfth Naval District in San Francisco indicating that you would like to be discharged from the reserve.”

I said, “Elder Lee, you don’t understand the military. Of course they will decline to give me that commission if I refuse to accept it, but the Twelfth Naval District isn’t going to let me off. With a war brewing in Korea, a noncommissioned officer will surely be called up. If called back, I would rather go back as a commissioned officer, but I won’t if I don’t accept this commission. Are you sure this is the counsel you want me to receive?”

Elder Lee put his hand on my shoulder and in a fatherly way said, “Brother Monson, have more faith. The military is not for you.”

I went home. I placed a tear-stained commission back in its envelope with its accompanying letter and declined to accept it. Then I wrote a letter to the Twelfth Naval District and requested a discharge from the Naval Reserve.

My discharge from the Naval Reserve was in the last group processed before the outbreak of the Korean War. My headquarters outfit was activated. Six weeks after I was called to be a counselor in the bishopric, I was called to be the bishop of my ward.

I would not hold the position in the Church I hold today had I not followed the counsel of a prophet, had I not prayed about that decision, had I not come to an appreciation of an important truth: the wisdom of God ofttimes appears as foolishness to men.1 But the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and His children obey, they will always be right.

It has been said that history turns on small hinges, and so do our lives. Decisions determine destiny. But we are not left unaided in our decisions.

If you want to see the light of heaven, if you want to feel the inspiration of Almighty God, if you want to have that feeling within your bosom that your Heavenly Father is guiding you, then follow the prophets of God. When you follow the prophets, you will be in safe territory.

Teaching from This Message
Not many members of the Church will receive one-on-one counsel from an Apostle, as President Monson did. But we can still be blessed as we follow the teachings of prophets and apostles. Consider reading President Monson’s addresses from the last general conference (remember his opening and closing remarks too). Look for specific directions or calls to action. You could discuss what you learn with those you visit and consider ways to apply President Monson’s counsel.

For ideas on how to teach this message to youth and children, see page 6.

Counsel for Hard Choices
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, told about a time when he followed prophetic counsel. During one general conference, President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) urged members to get out of debt—specifically mortgage debt.

President Eyring said: “I turned to my wife after the meeting and asked, ‘Do you think there is any way we could do that?’ At first we couldn’t.” But by that evening he thought of a property they had unsuccessfully tried to sell for years. “We trusted God and … His servant’s message, [so] we placed a phone call. … I heard an answer that to this day strengthens my trust in God and His servants.” That same day a man had placed an offer on the Eyrings’ property for an amount just greater than their mortgage. The Eyrings soon became free of debt (see “Trust in God, Then Go and Do,” Liahona, Nov. 2010, 72–73).

You may not have a mortgage to pay, but prophetic counsel can guide you here and now through difficult decisions regarding work, education, a mission, and dating. Discuss with your family or peers about how you can follow the prophet when you have to make decisions.

Find Your Way
We have to make a lot of choices to get back to our Heavenly Father. We can make the best choices when we follow the prophet.

Find your way through the maze. When you come to a decision, look to the prophet’s counsel!

Read the scriptures

Go right


Go down and then right

Share your testimony

Go right

Help others

Go down and then left

Go to church

Go up
(click to view larger)
Illustration by Casey Nelson

Show References


Eden Sky’s Bio

Since 1995, Eden Sky has devoted her life to researching and teaching the mysteries of the Ancient Maya, their prophecies, and their astounding time science. Eden has studied directly under Dr. Jose Arguelles, the man who is largely responsible for the global interest in the Mayan Calendar System and the now infamous 2012 date, including a 7-week long residential seminary with Arguelles in Chile.

For the past 17 years, Eden has been the author and publisher of the annual “13-Moon Natural Time Calendar”
– a modern application of ancient time wisdom that offers a new paradigm calendar system, currently in use by people in 90 countries around the world. Her mission is bridging universal teachings of wisdom and compassion with the intelligence of cosmic cycles that we may actualize our potential in this great process now underway of
“The Shifting of World Ages.”

As a pioneering force within the world-wide movement focused on transforming humanity’s relationship to the nature of time, Eden has participated in many international summits and conferences focused on calendar change, including “The World Summit on Peace and Time” in Costa Rica in which Eden was invited by Dr. Arguelles to serve on the Education Committee. As a “Natural Time Visionary,” Eden has offered many interviews and seminars, and has been highly active in organizing community and educational gatherings that share the wisdom of Arguelles’ solar-lunar-galactic calendar teachings.

In a recent journey to Guatemala, Eden received teachings directly from Maya elders and participated in several Mayan Fire Ceremonies, including one with Grandfather Cirilo Perez Oxlaj, 13th Generation Quiche Maya Priest; Head of The National Mayan Council of Indigenous Elders in Guatemala.

Eden Sky is a featured author in the recently published book entitled: “2013! The Beginning is Here” ~ an anthology of 13 authors, including Jose Arguelles, Ervin Laszlo, Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee, Carl Calleman, Geoff Stray, Aluna Joy, and others.

Eden Sky’s website ~ ~ hosts a 50-page Q&A on the Prophecy of 2012, info on the “2013!” book, and many free resources to assist people in reconnecting to the art, science, and spirituality of Natural Time.

To Contact Eden Sky


-Email is usually the most efficient-

ONLINE: Facebook

VOICE-MAIL: 1-800-596-0835



California Tendai Mahayana Lineage of Monks

GUIDANCE, PRACTICES, AND TEACHINGS LEADING TO ENLIGHTENMENT. We invite you to consider a life of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism in the California Tendai Monastery, and we are at your service.

In Japan the Tendai Sect goes back 1200 years, while here in America we are now pioneering a site chosen for its proximity to a mountain where the ascetic walking meditation (kaihogyo) can be practiced, where a special temple could be built specifically for fire offering (goma), where waterfall purification is possible, and where meditation can be done in seclusion.

Both in this website and in the earlier websites linked below there is a wealth of information. We encourage your contact and welcome you to stay with us for a while to see if the Buddhist practice at California Tendai Monastery is what you are seeking.

Please explore the site, ask any questions, and plan your visit. We hope your experience here will be a key step in your bodhisattva path.

Follow the California Tendai Monastery Blog
Our Other Sites

Tendai Buddhist Open Teachings, 1994-2004
Buddha Dendo, 2004-2008
Dharma Klatch
This is Kayaki Kansho-sama with some of his Tendai-Shugendo disciples (including Keisho) at the meeting hall in the Enryaku-ji on Mt Hiei.


Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche was born in 1924 in China near the Tibetan border. At the age of 7 he was recognized to be a tulku, or consciously reincarnated teacher, by the great meditation masters Chokyi Lodro and Tulku Natsog Rangdrol. Rinpoche was trained at Payul Dhomang Monastery in eastern Tibet by such adepts as Sangye Gon, Tulku Natsok Rangdrol, Payul Chogtrul Rinpoche, and Apkong Khenpo. Rinpoche spent many years in solitary retreat with his root guru Tulku Natsog, moving from one isolated location to another. In 1959, with the Communist invasion of Tibet, Rinpoche fled to India, where he lived for 12 years. Then, H.H. the Dalai Lama and H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche requested Gyatrul Rinpoche to move to the West to teach the Dharma. In 1976, Rinpoche was appointed as H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche’s spiritual representative in America.

Traveling to many countries over the past 30 years, Rinpoche has touched the hearts of thousands of people and founded many Buddhist centers. These include Tashi Choling, Orgyen Dorje Den in the San Francisco Bay area, Norbu Ling in Austin, Texas, Namdroling in Bozeman, Montana, and a center in Ensenada, Mexico.

Books by Gyatrul Rinpoche

Rinpoche’s lucid commentaries and pith instructions provide meaningful guidance at every stage of the path. The profound teachings contained in these books will extend and deepen one’s understanding of Buddhadharma and profound techniques of the Vajrayana.

Meditation, Transformation, and Dream Yoga
Deity Generation
Natural Liberation
Spacious Path to Freedom
Naked Awareness
Three traditional Nyingma texts selected by Gyatrul Rinpoche because of their relevance to contemporary practitioners who must combine formal spiritual practice with work and sleep. Rinpoche’s commentaries on these teachings are both practical and incisive.

An invaluable guide for anyone who wishes to understand generation stage practice more fully, this commentary is based upon a well-known root text by the famous Tulku of Kathog, Tsewang Chogdrub, a great scholar who became famous for his explanations of kye rim or generation stage practice. Includes photographs of mudras and tormas.

Padmasambhava’s Teachings on the Six Bardos, rediscovered as a terma or mystical revelation by Karma Lingpa in the 14th century, and accompanied by a lucid commentary by Gyatrul Rinpoche. These are rare teachings on how to utilize each phase of experience, or bardo, as an opportunity for spiritual transformation

Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra and Atiyoga by Karma Chagme, a 17th century Tibetan master, with commentary by Gyatrul Rinpoche.

In this classic 17th-century presentation of the union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, Karma Chagme begins with an overview of the spirit of awakening and the nature of actions and their ethical consequences. He then gives exceptionally lucid instructions on the two phases of Dzogchen practice followed by an accessible introduction to the practice of the transference of consciousness at the time of death. The concluding chapters present a detailed analysis of Mahamudra meditation in relation to Dzogchen practice.

All of the titles above are available from Vimala Treasures, Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche’s archive project. Orders can be placed by phone, fax, mail, email, or on our website:

Vimala Treasures:
To place orders for books, transcripts, audio recordings, pictures, etc. please contact:
phone: (541) 488-5657 ~ fax: (541) 488-5657
snailmail address: P.O. Box 213, Ashland, OR 97520


For the Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche’s
video archive, see:


Prayer for the People of this Earth

At this very moment, for the people and nations of this earth,
May not even the names of disease, famine, war, and suffering be heard,
But rather may pure conduct, merit, wealth, and prosperity increase,
And may supreme good fortune and well-being always arise!

His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche,
Jigdrel Yeshe Dorje


Dudjom Rinpoche

Dalai Lama

Penor Rinpoche

Gyatrul Rinpoche

Yangthang Rinpoche

Jigmed Phuntsok Rinpoche

Kathok Getse Rinpoche

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

Tulku Sang Ngag Rinpoche

Khenchen Namdröl Rinpoche

Penam Rinpoche

Lobpön Nikula

Kusum Lingpa

Dodrubchen Rinpoche

Chagdud Rinpoche

Drugchen Rinpoche

B. Alan Wallace



Whether it is through politics, therapy or religion, there are those people who are looking for a greater meaning to their lives. For these people, the life of material pleasures is not enough.
If you, too, are looking for the absolute Truth, you are a seeker. Within all seekers there is a drive that keeps them looking, that keeps them questing. Their Spirit thirsts for a union with its Greater Self. From communism to transcendentalism, from drugs to psychic phenomena, a seeker’s journey can be a long one.

Only the Mother can make the Child a Master, and only the Motherhood in any guru can make the disciple a guru.


That same journey can also be dangerous. We have all heard of the damaging effects wrought by drugs. Many psychic, spiritual, New Age and superconscious groups are like drugs. They entice and entrap the seekers. They are insidious – their dangers are not apparent until it is too late.

“At the very outset we have to understand that we cannot create truth, we cannot organize truth. Truth is, was and will be.
We cannot cheat truth. We have to reach that point to receive it. It is not a mental achievement. It is not a concept, we cannot change it.

Sahaja Yoga establishes the proof of truth and enables you to experience it. Where the seekers of truth are misled, the results have been disastrous.”

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
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A Seeker’s Guide
Everything that is transient is not necessarily Divine. Not all powers contribute to a righteous path. Visions, voices, astral projections, auras, levitation, predictions, communications with the dead and other similar feats are dangerous. They are all possible, but they do not lead to God. They empower us temporarily. They make our ego believe that we are special. But all these powers soon sour, cause illness, distress and depression. They are clear invitations for spirit possession. They are detours that confuse, if not destroy our true seeking.

When choosing a guru or seeking groups, ask the following questions:

Is money taken at any time? (the truth cannot be owned, nor can it be bought or sold).
Do your teachers pressure you like salesmen? (you should know the value of their path by your own conviction, not by the number of books you read, classes you attend, or pledges you make. Truth is not dependent upon salesmenship).
Can you, yourself, feel the effect of the technique? (do not be satisfied that you will be in an “inner circle” at some time in the distant future).
Do they clothe you in unusual dress, seat you in strange postures or submit you to wild chanting ? (the truth is not something that has to be attained through strenuous efforts. It is the strength of your desire that counts, not the harshness of their tests).
Is the new path you’ve chosen dharmic ? (that is, is this a the path of the center, similar to that followed by the sages, yogis, and great men and women of the past, or will it lead to frightening experiences of a subconscious or super-conscious nature ?)
Are the members of the organization, especially the leader, founder, or guru, people you can trust? (are you comfortable with them? Do they display love and joy? Is their warmth genuine? Is the value of what they are teaching evident in their eyes ?)
Do you have the freedom of choice to leave or continue? (follow your heart, not your ego. If you have fears or misgivings, give them heed. If you are in doubt or under duress, leave. Do not be bullied.)
Any worthwhile view of the Divine realizes that God resides within each of us. He is there to be awakened as we become a part of the Greater Self.
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What can I learn from Him?

He taught by example, and His message was one of peace and goodwill.


his disc contains part 2 of the instruction. Chen Style Tai Chi Xinjia (New Frame) is characterized by spiraling and coiling, powerful strikes, stamping, and jumping. All of these motions from the core, driven by internal power, and will train you to develop inner strength. Small circles lead to bigger circles, with jerking, powerful movements. This DVD shares with you Master Tsao’s studies from recent years with Grandmaster Zhu Tiancai, one of the four best grandmasters in Chen Tai Chi. Master Tsao teaches in English with front and back views. Suggest 30 class hours. (Difficulty: Intermediate through Advanced Levels). DVD-R, (65 minutes)

Click for a free lesson (note: sample video is low quality for streaming purposes)



Music Sounds Better With You Lyrics
“Music Sounds Better With You” was written by Schmidt, Kendall / King, Dominic / Bellinger, Eric / Henderson, Logan / Maslow, James / Pena, Carlos / Bangalter, Thomas / Tedder, Ryan / Kutzle, Brent / Musker, Frank / Caren, Mike / Zancanella, Noel / Queme, Alain / Cohen, Benjamin
Read more: Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Oooooh baby
I feel right
The music sounds better with you

Love might
Bring us both together
I feel so good

I feel right
The music sounds better with you

Love might
Bring us both together

Oooooh baby

I feel right
The music sounds better with you

Love might
Bring us both together
I feel so good

I feel right
The music sounds better with you

Love might
Bring us both together

8x beat

Oooooh baby

I feel right
The music sounds better with you

Love might
Bring us both together
I feel so good

I feel right
The music sounds better with you

Love might
Bring us both together

8x beat

Oooooh! baby
I feel right
The music sounds better with you

Love might
Bring us both together
I feel so good

I feel right
The music sounds better with you

Love might
Bring us both together

Oooooh baby
I feel right
The music sounds better with you

Love might
Bring us both together

I feel so good

I feel right
The music sounds better with you

Love might
Bring us both together

Oooooh baby
I feel right
The music sounds better with you

Love might
Bring us both together

I feel so good
I feel – *starts to fade*


Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

Read more: Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You Lyrics | MetroLyrics


“Engage & Retain”: A guide to member retention.pdf
“On The Level” A Masonic Information program guide.pdf
FISE Fact Sheet.pdf
Interactive Member Survey.doc
Masonic Assistance: Online Guide.pdf
Masonic Homes Board of Trustees Job Description.pdf
Masonic Homes Board of Trustees recommendation form.pdf
Masonic Senior Outreach: Client Handbook.pdf
Masonic Senior Outreach: Grievance Form.pdf
Member’s Guide to Masonry in California.pdf
New member orientation outline.pdf
Out-of-State member benefits.pdf
Photo & Video Release.pdf
Scholarship Manual.pdf
Skills & Interest survey.pdf
Strategic Plan.pdf
Sweetheart Survey.pdf
Template Letter: Masonic widow benefits.doc
Template Letter: Out-of-state member benefits.doc
Trestleboard Ad: Get involved with youth orders.pdf
Trestleboard Ad: Masonic Center for Youth and Families.pdf
Trestleboard Ad: Masonry and Public Schools.pdf
Trestleboard Ad: Public Schools Month.pdf
Trestleboard Article: Masonic Center for Youth and Families.pdf
Trestleboard Article: Masonic Family Outreach.pdf
Trestleboard Article: Masonic Senior Outreach.pdf
Trestleboard Article: Member Benefits.doc


Your Member Benefits: An important reminder You’re entitled to the following support services no matter where you reside – whether in California or out of state. Member 60 years or older and in good standing for five consecutive years, or his wife or widow • referrals to senior care providers, financial assistance, and/or care management in your home community, provided by Masonic Senior Outreach • admission to a Masonic Homes of California continuing care retirement community, located in Covina and Union City Member of any age and degree level • help dealing with family issues, such as the impact of divorce, the stresses of a special needs child, and other challenges, provided by Masonic Family Outreach Contact Masonic Assistance at 888/466-3642 or for information and support. Some other member and widow benefits: • monthly lodge Trestleboard • inclusion on lodge phone tree and mailings • bimonthly California Freemason magazine • access to the Member Center on (members only) • Masonic funeral or memorial service (members only, at the request of family) • [fill in with any additional benefits offered by the lodge] Contact [name of lodge secretary] at [e-mail] or [phone number] with specific questions. For general information, contact Grand Lodge at 415/292-9180 or Visit for information about all of these support services.



Now accepting applications for our cafe apprenticeship program.

Apply Now!

The Tree of Life is pleased to offer a 6-month Café Apprenticeship Program! Immerse yourself in the Tree of Life’s Culture of Life for 6 months, and emerge with the practical skills you’ll need to chef at the finest live-food establishments. Whether you’re a novice or a veteran, our immersion program will empower you with the mastery of 28 delicious live-food entrees, cogent command of Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine, and a thorough education in both the theory and practice of Dr. Cousens’ moderate low-glycemic, live-food, vegan, high-powered, anti-diabetogenic, and enduring, radiant health cuisine and lifestyle. Total tuition cost is $10,000. Housing is provided in our dormitory, adjacent to our sustainable, veganic production garden.

Apprenticeship Description:
The Tree of Life is now offering a 6-month Cafe Apprentice Program, so that those who are interested in living a more conscious lifestyle can become a part of the emerging Culture of Life that is taking shape around the planet. More than ever, the world needs the knowledge of what the raw food diet can do for both the individual and the planet. Upon completion of the program each apprentice will be a fully certified Live-Food Chef through the Tree of Life Foundation and can share with others around the world. Our graduated chefs have received the highest ratings and evaluations and are regarded as possessing the most all-around holistic and practical background for working as a chef in any live-food restaurant.

There’s no better way to learn about raw vegan food preparation and a spiritual lifestyle than to experience it in depth and hands on as part of the Tree of Life community. Here at the Tree of Life we have been using raw foods as a practical lifestyle choice for decades, transforming the bodies, minds, and spirits of many in a truly healing environment.

The foundation of the cuisine taught at the Tree of Life is creating food that supports spiritual evolution on both the personal and community level. It is the first foundation of Gabriel Cousens’ six foundations, aiding one’s shift into joyfully embracing the Culture of Life.

Our consciousness is both the cause and the result of what we eat. As such, we are ever mindful of where our consciousness is and the quality of the environment where we are preparing food. This understanding is the foundation for conscious food preparation.

For the inclusive price of $10,000, as an apprentice, you will receive instruction in a uniquely healing, moderately low-glycemic approach to raw foods. Dr. Cousens has developed this approach throughout his career guiding patients through their healing, spiritual development and with the treatment and prevention of diabetes. Most importantly, this approach includes a holistic, vegan, live-food cuisine that supports durable, radiant health. It has been scientifically demonstrated to be the optimal diet not only for preventing and treating diabetes, but also for maintaining long-term optimal health. It is the live-food diet of the future!

Through his personal study and by working with patients over the years, Dr. Cousens has come to conclude that a moderate low-glycemic, raw vegan diet offers the optimal way for individuals to bring themselves fully back into balance from any disorder, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. This Tree of Life apprenticeship program will provide the opportunity for tutelage under Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD, MD(H), DD, Dip. Ayurveda, Dip. American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine, and his expert team of Café chefs, the experience of a 100% raw vegan diet, and for 6 months, the support and companionship of a loving spiritual community.

You will be working under and mentored by the Tree of Life Café chefs. Immersed in an intimate setting of three chefs to three apprentices, you will be helping to create three meals a day, seven days a week in the Café, serving approximately 15 staff members and daily guests. You will have the opportunity to develop and perfect new skills each day during a 40-hour work week. During this time you will have the opportunity to master 28 entrée preparations.

Why the Tree of Life Apprenticeship Program?
We offer a unique 6-month complete immersion program in a supportive and nurturing environment. On completion, you will be empowered to become a chef in a restaurant or simply to add these skills and life experience to your teaching background and personal and family life. You will be prepared to work confidently in all kinds of live-food settings.

At the Tree of Life we practice sustainable, organic and veganic farming. The Café serves our numerous guests, hailing from 111 countries around the world, the most nutritious greens, sprouts, and gourmet dishes, grown and prepared by our gardeners and chefs with love, care, and creativity.

Spiritual Community Life


The Inner Sun
A Hathor Planetary Message through Tom Kenyon
January 11, 2014
According to the Hathors, our life force (or sekhem) is “birthed” in the solar plexus (the Third Chakra), and from here this subtle life force radiates throughout the body while simultaneously descending into the First and Second Chakras where it becomes a primal power for the ascent of consciousness as well as “sexual” energy.
This sound meditation energizes your solar plexus and gently elevates the quality of your own life force, which has a direct bearing on your consciousness.
Shortly after hearing that NASA had confirmed the magnetic pole reversal of our Sun, the Hathors encouraged me to visit the sound archives and listen to a sound meditation they had given during a Hathor Intensive in 2009.
They guided me to edit out the beginning and end of this meditation, leaving the middle section saying that these particular tonal patterns would be of great benefit when working with the solar plexus especially now that the Sun has shifted its magnetic poles.
The idea that the Sun is pivotal to the transformation of our human consciousness has been promulgated by the Hathors from the very beginning of my interactions with them.
They are of the opinion that this particular solar shift has vast implications for our future, and it is an ideal time to work with our own Inner Sun (the solar plexus).
This sound meditation is a potent ally for those of us wishing to amplify our life force and to explore the interface between body/mind and spirit.
The Inner Sun Meditation

There are a few steps to this meditation.
1. Place your focus of attention in the region of your solar plexus, which is located below your sternum, back behind your stomach and in the vicinity of your diaphragm. This is a major nerve plexus and also the location of the third chakra.
2. Imagine a ball of gold light in this area, like a miniature Sun. Sense this ball of golden fire in whatever ways that seem natural to you. There is no need to “see” anything.
3. As you focus your attention on this ball of light, enter a coherent emotional state such as appreciation or gratitude. When you join your focused attention on the ball of golden light with feelings of appreciation or gratitude, you will greatly amplify the effectiveness of this meditation.
4. Begin listening to the sound piece, which is 4:40 minutes long. When your mind wanders from either the ball of light or the feelings of appreciation/gratitude, bring your focus back to your Inner Sun and the coherent emotion(s) you chose to work with.
5. Allow the sound patterns to acoustically “massage” your Inner Sun—the ball of golden light that is in your solar plexus. As you allow this to occur, you may notice all types of phenomena taking place, including intense flows of golden light throughout your body and a morphing of the ball into various shapes and sizes. Your Inner Sun might also expand and engulf your entire body. When this happens, every cell of your body will be bathed in the golden light of your Inner Sun, which has unique healing and transformative properties.
6. When you finish the meditation, take a few moments to be with yourself before rushing into outer activities. If you had a particularly powerful experience with the meditation, it would be a good idea to allow some time to rest. This would be especially the case if your Inner Sun, the ball of golden light, expanded to engulf your entire body.
Click here to play and/or download The Inner Sun sound meditation. Please note that this sound meditation may not be posted on other sites. If you were forwarded this message and the link doesn’t work, just go to the Hathors tab on the Home Page and scroll to the message entitled The Inner Sun. You can also locate this meditation in the Listening page of the website (
©2014 Tom Kenyon All Rights Reserved
You may make copies of this message and distribute it in any media you wish so long as you do not alter it in any way, do not charge for it, credit the author and include this entire copyright notice. Please note that the actual Inner Sun sound meditation, as mentioned earlier, may not be posted on any site.
Information Not Directly Related To This Message:

My 2014 Teaching Schedule and information about my upcoming sabbatical has been posted on, which you can view by going to the Calendar at
While I will be taking a hiatus from teaching during my sabbatical, I will continue to channel the Hathor Planetary Messages, which will be posted on as they have been in the past.
In addition, I plan to write an extensive series of articles on various topics including the process of self-healing, psycho-spiritual transformation, Radical Buddhism and Quantum Psychology, all of which I plan to post under the articles menu tab on our website as well.
Finally, I will be making available, through this website, various audio recordings of never before released workshops.
If you wish to receive email notifications of this new content as I post it on our website, just go to the Contact tab on the Home page and Opt in to receive both the Hathor Messages and Other Information. We do not share your information with anyone.



Wave Form II
Opening the Heart (Wave Form II)
Experience the opening heart with the ancient mantra So Ham — believed by yogic tradition to be an inner sound of the heart chakra. Beautiful vocals with deep harmonic passages make this an evocative listening experience. This CD contains BioPulse™ frequencies in the mid-high range of theta (5-7 Hz).
How Should I Play This Recording?
Stereo headphones are not required, but in most cases, they will enhance your listening experience.
Do not listen to this recording in situations requiring alertness, such as when operating machinery or driving an automobile.
How to Use Opening the Heart
For ambient support play the CD at a low volume in the background. It creates a harmonious sound field that many find helpful during healing practices such as massage or subtle energy work.
To experience an opening of the heart, focus your attention in the area of the heart chakra — in the center of your chest-beneath the sternum. As you listen to the music and the mantra, keep your focus in the area of the heart chakra. If your mind wanders, bring it back. Let the sounds “vibrate” this energy center. Allow yourself to experience all the feelings and sensations that arise within you. Know that as the hear( releases and “heals,” all types of emotions and memories may come to the surface of awareness. Just allow these feelings to be, without judging them or changing them.
Continue listening to the sound and let it do the work. If you feel strong emotions that you find difficult to deal with at the time, turn your attention to your breath. Breathe into your feelings and sigh into the exhales-that is, make an audible sound with each exhale. Allow yourself co “let go” into the exhales, letting each exhale be more and more relaxed. Work with strong emotions in this way, until they dissipate or lessen. Some individuals may enter states of ecstasy or bliss when focusing on the heart in this manner.
If this occurs, simply enjoy it! According to the ancient tradition that this mantra comes from, our innermost Self is inherently blissful and ecstatic.
When you are done listening, sit or lie down in silence for a few minutes. Sense what you are feeling emotionally and physically. If you would like co experiment with what is called the inner sound, keep your focus of attention on the heart chakra. Don’t strain to hear the inner sound of the mantra. Just listen for it or be aware of it. The inner sound of the mantra may sound like it did on the recording, or it may be different in some ways. By focusing your attention on the inner or silent mantra, you can enter more subtle states of awareness.

Romanizations with Diacritics of the Dharanis

in Chapters 26 and 28

Chapter 26

anye manye mane mamane citte carite śame śamitāvi śānte mukte muktame same aviṣame sama same kṣaye akṣaye akṣiṇe śānte śame dhāraṇi ālokabhāṣa pratyavekṣaṇi niviṣṭe abhyantaraniviṣṭe atyantapāriśuddhi ukule mukule araḍe paraḍe śukākṣi asamasame buddhavilokite dharmaparīkṣite saṃghanirghoṣaṅi bhāṣyābhāṣyā śoddhī mantra mantrākṣayate rute rutakauśalye akṣara akṣayatāya abalo amanyanatāya

jvale mahājvale uke muke aṭe aṭāvati nṛṭe nṛṭāvati iṭini viṭini ciṭini nṛṭini nṛṭyāvati

aḍe naḍe nunaḍe anaḍū naḍi kunaḍi

agaṇe gaṇe ghori gāndhāri caṇḍāli mātaṅgi jaṅguli vrūṇasi agasti

iti me iti me iti me ati1 me iti me nime nime nime nime nime ruhe ruhe ruhe ruhe stahe stahe stahe stuhe stuhe

Chapter 28

adaṇḍe daṇḍapati daṇḍāvarte daṇḍakuśale daṇḍasudhare sudāre sudārapati buddhapaśyane sarvadhāraṇi-āvartane sarvabhāṣyāvartane su-āvartane saṃghaparīkṣaṇi saṃghanirghātani asaṃge saṃgāpagate tṛ-adhvasaṃgatulya arate1-prāpte sarvasaṃgasamatikrānte sarvadharmasuparīkṣite sarvasattvarutakauśalyānugate siṃhavikrīḍite
The romanazations with diacritics presented here were formulated with reference to Sanskrit Lotus Sutra manuscripts and manuscript fragments featured in the following works:

Hirofumi Toda, ed., Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra: Central Asian Manuscripts: Romanized Text (Tokushima: Kyoiku Shuppan Center, 1981); Jiang Zhongxin, ed., Sanskrit Lotus Sutra Fragments from the Lüshun Museum Collection: Facsimile Edition and Romanized Text (Dalian and Tokyo: Lüshun Museum and Soka Gakkai, 1997); Klaus Wille, ed., Fragments of a Manuscript of the Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra from Khādaliq (Tokyo: Soka Gakkai, 2000); and Seishi Karashima, A Glossary of Kumārajīva’s Translation of the Lotus Sutra (Tokyo: The International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology, Soka University, 2001).
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1. No precise equivalents for these portions of Kumarajiva’s text are found in extant Sanskrit versions, all of which, however, are of later date than his Chinese Lotus.
lossary F
five ascetics Five men whom Shakyamuni’s father sent to accompany Shakyamuni when he embarked on ascetic practices. Later, when Shakyamuni forsook extreme asceticism, they thought he had abandoned the search for truth and accordingly left him. After Shakyamuni had attained enlightenment, he sought them out and preached to them at Deer Park in Varanasi, converting them to his teachings. One of them was Ajnata Kaundinya, who is mentioned in the Lotus Sutra.

five cardinal sins The five most serious offenses in Buddhism: (1) killing one’s father, (2) killing one’s mother, (3) killing an arhat, (4) injuring the Buddha, and (5) causing disunity in the Buddhist Order. Committing any of them causes one to fall into the Avichi hell, or the hell of incessant suffering.

five components Also called the five skandhas. Form, perception, conception, volition, and consciousness.

five desires The desires that arise from the contact of the five sense organs, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body, with their respective objects. Sometimes the five desires are defined as the desire for wealth, sex, food and drink, fame, and sleep.

five emotions Another term for the five desires.

five impurities Sometimes called the five defilements; they are (1) the impurity of the age, such as war or other disruptions of the social or natural environment; (2) impurity of desire, the tendency to be ruled by emotions such as greed, anger, or foolishness; (3) impurity of living beings, the physical and spiritual decline of human beings; (4) impurity of view deriving from mistaken views or values; and (5) impurity of life span, the distortion of life itself, which leads to a disordered and shortened life span.

five obstacles Five limitations set forth in some Buddhist teachings that women face in their religious practice. According to this view, a woman can never become a Brahma heavenly king, can never become a lord Shakra, can never become a devil king, can never become a wheel-turning sage king, and can never become a buddha. In chapter twelve of the Lotus Sutra, this view is refuted.

five precepts The basic precepts expounded for lay people: not to kill, not to steal, not to engage in sexual misconduct (such as adultery), not to lie, and not to drink intoxicants.

five transcendental powers The first five of the six transcendental powers; see six transcendental powers.

five types of vision Five kinds of perceptive faculty: (1) the eye of ordinary people, also called the physical eye, which distinguishes color and form; (2) the heavenly eye, which allows heavenly beings to see beyond the physical limitations of darkness, distance, or obstruction; (3) the wisdom eye, which allows people of the two vehicles to perceive the constantly changing nature of phenomena; (4) the Dharma eye, which allows bodhisattvas to understand all teachings and save others; and (5) the buddha eye, with which buddhas perceive the true nature of life spanning past, present, and future.

foremost worldly stage The fourth of the four good roots, or the stage at which one obtains the highest of the four good roots. One who has reached this stage in time will enter the way of insight and become a sage.

four elements The four basic elements that according to ancient Indian belief make up all things. They are earth, water, fire, and wind. These are often discussed with a fifth, space, or ether.

four heavenly kings Lords of the four quarters who serve Indra (also known as Shakra) as his generals and protect the four continents. They are Dhritarashtra (Dhṛtarāṣṭra), who appears in the Lotus Sutra under the name Upholder of the Nation, guardian of the east; Virudhaka (Virūḍhaka), guardian of the south; Virupaksha (Virūpākṣa), who guards the west; and Vaishravana (Vaiśravaṇa), who guards the north.

four kinds of believers Monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.

four kinds of fearlessness Four aspects of a buddha’s fearlessness in preaching. A buddha is fearless in declaring that he is enlightened to the truth of all phenomena; fearless in proclaiming he has extinguished all desires and illusions; fearless in teaching that desires and karma can be obstacles to enlightenment; and fearless in teaching that one can overcome all sufferings by practicing Buddhism.

four kinds of offerings to the community of monks Clothing, food and drink, bedding, and medicine.

four methods of winning people Four methods employed by bodhisattvas to attract others to the Buddhist teachings. They are to give alms and expound the teachings; to speak in a kindly manner; to work to benefit others; and to share their hardships and cooperate with them.

four noble truths A fundamental doctrine of early Buddhism, it teaches that (1) all existence is marked by suffering; (2) suffering is caused by craving; (3) by doing away with craving one can gain release from suffering; (4) there is a method for achieving this goal. The method is that known as the eightfold path, which enjoins one to cultivate right views, right thinking, right speech, right action, right way of life, right endeavor, right mindfulness, and right meditation.

four-stage enlightenment The four stages of enlightenment that voice-hearers aim to attain, or the stages of the stream-winner, once-returner, non-returner, and arhat.

four unlimited kinds of knowledge Unlimited powers of understanding and preaching that buddhas and bodhisattvas possess. They are complete understanding of the Law; complete mastery of the meanings deriving from the Law; complete freedom in expressing the Law in various languages and dialects; and the ability to preach to all people at will by employing the first three powers.

four-way enlightenment The four ways to enlightenment. The stage preparatory to cutting off earthly desires and delusions, the stage of eradicating all earthly desires, the stage of gaining emancipation, and the stage of progressing in meditation and wisdom through assiduous practice.
-G034 & SGI GONGYO 1992




And now it was evening.
And Almitra the seeress said, Blessed be this day and this place and your spirit
that has spoken.
And he answered, Was it I who spoke?
Was I not also a listener?
Then he descended the steps of the Temple and all the people followed him. And
he reached his ship and stood upon the deck.
And facing the people again, he raised his voice and said:
People of Orphalese, the wind bids me leave you.
Less hasty am I than the wind, yet I must go.
We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended
another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us.
Even while the earth sleeps we travel.
We are the seeds of the tenacious plant, and it is in our ripeness and our fullness
of heart that we are given to the wind and are scattered.
Brief were my days among you, and briefer still the words I have spoken.
But should my voice fade in your ears, and my love vanish in your memory, then
I will come again,
And with a richer heart and lips more yielding to the spirit will I speak.
Yea, I shall return with the tide,
And though death may hide me, and the greater silence enfold me, yet again will
I seek your understanding.
And not in vain will I seek.
If aught I have said is truth, that truth shall reveal itself in a clearer voice, and in
words more kin to your thoughts.
I go with the wind, people of Orphalese, but not down into emptiness;
And if this day is not a fulfilment of your needs and my love, then let it be a prom-
ise till another day.
Man’s needs change, but not his love, nor his desire that his love should satisfy
his needs.
Know, therefore, that from the greater silence I shall return.
The mist that drifts away at dawn, leaving but dew in the fields, shall rise and
gather into a cloud and then fall down in rain.
And not unlike the mist have I been.
In the stillness of the night I have walked in your streets, and my spirit has en-
tered your houses,
And your heartbeats were in my heart, and your breath was upon my face, and I
knew you all.
Ay, I knew your joy and your pain, and in your sleep your dreams were my
And oftentimes I was among you a lake among the mountains.
I mirrored the summits in you and the bending slopes, and even the passing flocks
of your thoughts and your desires.
And to my silence came the laughter of your children in streams, and the longing
of your youths in rivers.
And when they reached my depth the streams and the rivers ceased not yet to
But sweeter still than laughter and greater than longing came to me.
It was the boundless in you;
The vast man in whom you are all but cells and sinews;
He in whose chant all your singing is but a soundless throbbing.
It is in the vast man that you are vast,
And in beholding him that I beheld you and loved you.
For what distances can love reach that are not in that vast sphere?
What visions, what expectations and what presumptions can outsoar that flight?
Like a giant oak tree covered with apple blossoms is the vast man in you.
His might binds you to the earth, his fragrance lifts you into space, and in his
durability you are deathless.
You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link.
This is but half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link.
To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the
frailty of its foam.
To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their incon-
Ay, you are like an ocean,
And though heavy-grounded ships await the tide upon your shores, yet, even like
an ocean, you cannot hasten your tides.
And like the seasons you are also,
And though in your winter you deny your spring,
Yet spring, reposing within you, smiles in her drowsiness and is not offended.
Think not I say these things in order that you may say the one to the other, ‘He
praised us well. He saw but the good in us.’
I only speak to you in words of that which you yourselves know in thought.
And what is word knowledge but a shadow of wordless knowledge?
Your thoughts and my words are waves from a sealed memory that keeps records
of our yesterdays,
And of the ancient days when the earth knew not us nor herself,
And of nights when earth was upwrought with confusion.
Wise men have come to you to give you of their wisdom. I came to take of your
And behold I have found that which is greater than wisdom.
It is a flame spirit in you ever gathering more of itself,
While you, heedless of its expansion, bewail the withering of your days.
It is life in quest of life in bodies that fear the grave.
There are no graves here.
These mountains and plains are a cradle and a stepping-stone.
Whenever you pass by the field where you have laid your ancestors look well there-
upon, and you shall see yourselves and your children dancing hand in hand.
Verily you often make merry without knowing.
Others have come to you to whom for golden promises made unto your faith you
have given but riches and power and glory.
Less than a promise have I given, and yet more generous have you been to me.
You have given me my deeper thirsting after life.
Surely there is no greater gift to a man than that which turns all his aims into
parching lips and all life into a fountain.
And in this lies my honour and my reward-
That whenever I come to the fountain to drink I find the living water itself
And it drinks me while I drink it.
Some of you have deemed me proud and over-shy to receive gifts.
Too proud indeed am I to receive wages, but not gifts.
And though I have eaten berries among the hills when you would have had me sit
at your board,
And slept in the portico of the temple when you would gladly have sheltered me,
Yet it was not your loving mindfulness of my days and my nights that made food
sweet to my mouth and girdled my sleep with visions?
For this I bless you most:
You give much and know not that you give at all.
Verily the kindness that gazes upon itself in a mirror turns to stone,
And a good deed that calls itself by tender names becomes the parent to a curse.
And some of you have called me aloof, and drunk with my own aloneness,
And you have said, ‘He holds council with the trees of the forest, but not with
‘He sits alone on hill-tops and looks down upon our city.’
True it is that I have climbed the hills and walked in remote places.
How could I have seen you save from a great height or a great distance?
How can one be indeed near unless he be far?
And others among you called unto me, not in words, and they said:
‘Stranger, stranger, lover of unreachable heights, why dwell you among the sum-
mits where eagles build their nests?
‘Why seek you the unattainable?
‘What storms would you trap in your net,
‘And what vaporous birds do you hunt in the sky?
‘Come and be one of us.
‘Descend and appease your hunger with our bread and quench your thirst with
our wine.’
In the solitude of their souls they said these things;
But were their solitude deeper they would have known that I sought but the secret
of your joy and your pain,
And I hunted only your larger selves that walk the sky.
But the hunter was also the hunted;
For many of my arrows left my bow only to seek my own breast.
And the flier was also the creeper;
For when my wings were spread in the sun their shadow upon the earth was a
And I the believer was also the doubter;
For often have I put my finger in my own wound that I might have the greater
belief in you and the greater knowledge of you.
And it is with this belief and this knowledge that I say,
You are not enclosed within your bodies, nor confined to houses or fields.
That which is you dwells above the mountain and roves with the wind.
It is not a thing that crawls into the sun for warmth or digs holes into darkness
for safety.
But a thing free, a spirit that envelops the earth and moves in the ether.
If these be vague words, then seek not to clear them.
Vague and nebulous is the beginning of all things, but not their end,
And I fain would have you remember me as a beginning.
Life, and all that lives, is conceived in the mist and not in the crystal.
And who knows but a crystal is mist in decay?
This would I have you remember in remembering me:
That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most
It is not your breath that has erected and hardened the structure of your bones?
And is it not a dream which none of you remember having dreamt, that builded
your city and fashioned all there is in it?
Could you but see the tides of that breath you would cease to see all else,
And if you could hear the whispering of the dream you would hear no other
But you do not see, nor do you hear, and it is well.
The veil that clouds your eyes shall be lifted by the hands that wove it,
And the clay that fills your ears shall be pierced by those fingers that kneaded it.
And you shall see.
And you shall hear.
Yet you shall not deplore having known blindness, nor regret having been deaf.
For in that day you shall know the hidden purposes in all things.
And you shall bless darkness as you would bless light.
After saying these things he looked about him, and he saw the pilot of his ship
standing by the helm and gazing now at the full sails and now at the distance.
And he said:
Patient, over patient, is the captain of my ship.
The wind blows, and restless are the sails;
Even the rudder begs direction;
Yet quietly my captain awaits my silence.
And these my mariners, who have heard the choir of the greater sea, they too have
heard me patiently.
Now they shall wait no longer.
I am ready.
The stream has reached the sea, and once more the great mother holds her son
against her breast.
Fare you well, people of Orphalese.
This day has ended.
It is closing upon us even as the water-lily upon its own tomorrow.
What was given us here we shall keep,
And if it suffices not, then again must we come together and together stretch our
hands unto the giver.
Forget not that I shall come back to you.
A little while, and my longing shall gather dust and foam for another body.
A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear
Farewell to you and the youth I have spent with you.
It was but yesterday we met in a dream.
You have sung to me in my aloneness, and I of your longings have built a tower
in the sky.
But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over, and it is no longer dawn.
The noontide is upon us and our half waking has turned to fuller day, and we
must part.
If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again to-
gether and you shall sing to me a deeper song.
And if our hands should meet in another dream we shall build another tower in
the sky.
So saying he made a signal to the seamen, and straight away they weighed anchor
and cast the ship loose from its moorings, and they moved eastward.
And a cry came from the people as from a single heart, and it rose into the dusk
and was carried out over the sea like a great trumpeting.
Only Almitra was silent, gazing after the ship until it had vanished into the mist.
And when all the people were dispersed she still stood alone upon the sea-wall,
remembering in her heart his saying:
‘A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear


IV. Advanced Mechanics of Clairvoyance – discovering the treasures of your spiritual mansion – Creative Rings, Genetic Entity


28 (number)
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For the card game, see Twenty-eight (card game).
← 27 28 29 →
← 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 →
List of numbers — Integers
← 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 →
Cardinal twenty-eight
Ordinal 28th
Factorization 22× 7
Divisors 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, 28
Roman numeral XXVIII
Binary 111002
Ternary 10013
Quaternary 1304
Quinary 1035
Senary 446
Octal 348
Duodecimal 2412
Hexadecimal 1C16
Vigesimal 1820
Base 36 S36

28 (twenty-eight) is the natural number following 27 and preceding 29.

There are also 28 days in February unless it is a leap year.


* 1 In mathematics
* 2 In science
* 3 Astronomy
* 4 In sports
* 5 In other fields
* 6 References

In mathematics[edit]

It is a composite number, its proper divisors being 1, 2, 4, 7, and 14.

Twenty-eight is the second perfect number. As a perfect number, it is related to the Mersenne prime 7, since 22(23 – 1) = 28. The next perfect number is 496, the previous being 6.

Twenty-eight is the third Granville number. The next Granville number is 96, the previous being 24.

Twenty-eight is the sum of the totient function for the first nine integers.

Twenty-eight is not the aliquot sum of any number other than itself and is therefore not a component in an aliquot sequence.

Since the greatest prime factor of 282 + 1 = 785 is 157, which is more than 28 twice, 28 is a Størmer number.

Twenty-eight is a harmonic divisor number, a happy number, a triangular number, a hexagonal number, and a centered nonagonal number.

It appears in the Padovan sequence, preceded by the terms 12, 16, 21 (it is the sum of the first two of these).

It is also a Keith number, because it recurs in a Fibonacci-like sequence started from its base 10 digits: 2, 8, 10, 18, 28…

Twenty-eight is the third positive integer with a prime factorization of the form 2^2 q where q is an odd prime.

Twenty-eight is the ninth and last number in early Indian magic square of order 3.

There are twenty-eight convex uniform honeycombs.

Twenty-eight is the only positive integer that has a unique Kayles nim-value.
In science[edit]

* The atomic mass of silicon.
* The atomic number of nickel.
* The fourth magic number in physics.
* The curing time of concrete is classically considered 28 days.
* The average human menstrual cycle is 28 days although no link has been established with the nightlighting and the Moon.


* The apparent rotation time of the surface of the Sun at its equator as viewed from Earth is about 28 days while its core revolves in 33 days.[1]

* Messier object M28, a magnitude 8.5 globular cluster in the constellation Sagittarius.

* The New General Catalogue object NGC 28, an elliptical galaxy in the constellation Phoenix.

* The Saros number of the solar eclipse series which began on -1910 March 22 and ended on -630 April 28. The duration of Saros series 28 was 1280.1 years, and it contained 72 solar eclipses.

* The Saros number of the lunar eclipse series which began on -1915 June 27 and ended on -581 September 6. The duration of Saros series 28 was 1334.2 years, and it contained 75 lunar eclipses.

In sports[edit]

* The jersey number 28 has been retired by several North American sports teams in honor of past playing greats or other key figures:
o In Major League Baseball:
+ The Minnesota Twins, for Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven.
o In the NFL:
+ The Chicago Bears, for Willie Galimore.
+ The Kansas City Chiefs, for Abner Haynes.
+ The New York Jets, for Hall of Famer Curtis Martin.
+ The St. Louis Rams, for Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk.
* The NBA and NHL both operate four best-of-seven rounds during the playoffs; thus, 28 is the maximum number of games that a team could possibly play in the playoff series (neither league has ever had a team play that many games, though).
* The number worn by the Clemson Tigers’ record breaking running back C.J. Spiller, former Colts and Rams running back Marshall Faulk, former Bucs and Falcons running back Warrick Dunn, former Kansas City Chiefs running back Abner Haynes, current Titans running back Chris Johnson.
* The number of a car formerly run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series by Yates Racing. The most notable driver of the #28 was Davey Allison, who had the ride for his entire Cup Series career.

In other fields[edit]

Twenty-eight is:

* An abbreviation for such years as 1928 and 2028.
* In Hebrew Gematria, koakh meaning “power”, “energy” is a word that corresponds to the number 28.
* In English Gematria, Eden=E5+D4+E5+N14, man=M13+A1+N14.
* The number of Hebrew letters in Genesis 1:1, the first verse of the Bible.
* The number of wheels on a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.
* In the code for international direct dial phone calls, +28 is unassigned.
* 028 is the ISO 3166-1 numeric 3 digit country code for Antigua and Barbuda.
* The number of days in the shortest month of the Gregorian calendar, February (except in leap years, when there are twenty-nine). All twelve months of the Gregorian calendar have at least 28 days, regardless of the year.
* The Gregorian calendar follows a 28-year cycle for the most part, since there are seven days in a week and leap year generally occurs every four years; usually, a calendar from any year is the same as that from 28 years earlier (e.g., 2008 and 1980 or 2009 and 2037). However, that rule holds only when there have been exactly seven leap days in a 28-year interval; years divisible by 100 but not by 400 are not leap years. Indeed, 1900 (as well as 2100, 2200, etc.) does not use the same calendar as 1872 (2072, 2172, etc., respectively) for the simple reason that 1900 is not a leap year. In 28 years, any day-of-the-week and date combination occurs exactly four times. February 29 will fall on each day of the week once.
* In Jewish tradition there is a 28 year solar cycle in which the sun returns to its place in Creation every 28 solar years. This is commemorated in April every 28 years with the recitation of Birkat Hachama, the blessing of the sun.
* The common name for the parrot ‘Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus’, widely distributed in Western Australia and South Australia. Its call sounds like “wenniate”.
* The number of letters in the Danish and Swedish alphabets (not counting W), and also in the Arabic and Esperanto alphabets.
* In neo-Nazi circles, twenty-eight indicates Blood and Honour (28 = BH – B – second letter of the alphabet and H – the eight letter).
* The number of Chinese constellations, “Xiu” or “mansions” (a literal translation), equivalent to the 12 western zodiac constellations.
* The number of dominoes in standard domino sets.
* Deriving from the 29.46 year period of Saturn’s revolution around the Sun, the 28-year cycle as well as its subdivisions by 14 and 7 are supposed in Astrology to mark significant turning points or sections in the course of a persons development in life. Thus, the number 28 has special significance in the culture of religious sects such as the Kadiri and the Mevlevi dervishes. The 28-beat metric pattern often used in the music compositions accompanying the main part of the Mevlevi sema ritual is called the “Devri kebir”, meaning the “Big Circle” and is a reference to above astronomical facts about the year and the Saturn year.
* In Quebec, François Pérusse, in one of his best-selling Album du peuple made a parody of Wheel of Fortune in which all of the letters picked by the contestant were present 28 times. As a result, 28 became an almost Mythical number used by many Quebec youths, the phrase “Y’en a 28” (There are 28 [Letters]) became a running gag still used and recognized more than 15 years later.
* The Preludes, Opus 28 consists of Frédéric Chopin’s 24 preludes for piano, ordinarily but not necessarily played together in concert.
* The postal code of the province of Madrid, in Spain.
* Twenty Eight is a popular game played in Kerala, India.
* The number of the French department Eure-et-Loir.
* Approximately the number of grams in an ounce, and used as such in the illegal drug trade.
* The UIC Country Code for Georgia identifying member countries of the International Union of Railways (UIC).
* The letter Q when encoding the serial number for intermodal (shipping) containers as defined by ISO 6346.
* The name of a single on the Trilogy by The Weeknd.

Significant SGI Date for the 28 which correspond to 28 day of the month:
November 28: SGI Day of Spiritual Independence (1991)
April 28: Nichiren Buddhism Established (1253)


The Articles of Faith
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

GENESIS CHAPTER ONE VERSE ONE: 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.



“IF you wish to free yourself from the sufferings of birth and death you have endured since time without beginning and to attain without fail unsurpassed enlightenment in this lifetime, you must perceive the mystic truth that is originally inherent in all living beings. This truth is Myoho-renge-kyo. Chanting Myoho-renge-kyo will therefore enable you to grasp the mystic truth innate in all life.”


“Nirvana Sutra” Continued (Z28)

Then, seeing all, the World-Honoured One said to Kaundinya: “Is Ananda present?”
Kaundinya said: “O World-Honoured One! Ananda is away from the sal forest, 12 yojanas from this congregation, and is surrounded by 64,000 billion Maras. All these Maras are transforming themselves into the Tathagata. They say that all things arise from causal relations, or that all things do not arise from causal relations; or they say that all causal relations are eternal or that all that arises from causal relations is non-eternal. Or they say that the five skandhas are real, or that they are false. So also with the 18 realms and the 12 spheres. Or they say that there are the 12 links of interdependence or that there are rightly the four causal relations, or that all things are like phantoms or visions, or like mirages in the hot season; or they say that Dharma comes to one through hearing, or that one gains it through thinking; or they speak about the usmagata, murdhana, laukikagradharma, the stages of learning and learninglessness, or about the Bodhisattva’s ten stages, from the first up to the tenth; or they speak about the All-Void, formlessness and non-action; or they speak about sutra, geya, vyakarana, gatha, udana, nidana, avadana, itivrttaka, jataka, vaipulya, adbhutadharma, and upadesa; or there are those who speak about the four remembrances, four right efforts, four at-willnesses, five roots, five powers, seven Bodhi elements, Noble Eightfold Path; or they may speak about the internal Void, the external Void, the internal-external Void, the Void of the created, the Void of the non-created, the Void of beginninglessness, the Void of nature, the Void of segregation, the Void of dispersion, the Void of the characteristics of self, the Void of formlessness, the Void of the skandhas, the Void of the [12] spheres, the Void of the [18] realms, the Void of good, the Void of non-good, the Void of indefinables, the Void of Bodhi, the Void of the Path, the Void of Nirvana, the Void of action, the Void of what one has gained, the Void of Ultimate Truth, Void-Void, and Great Void. Or they may display miracles and transformations. Their body emits water and fire; or water comes out from the upper body and fire from down below; or from down below water comes out and from the upper body fire. Or the left armpit is down and the right armpit gives out water; or the right armpit is down and the left armpit gives out water. On [from] one armpit thunder rolls and shakes, and on [from] the other armpit rain falls. Or there may be one who shows the worlds of all Buddhas; or the scene of the Bodhisattva as he first appears in the world and takes seven steps, lives in the depths of the palace, wherein he pursues a life of the five desires, or the scene in which he leaves the palace and performs austerities, or in which he advances towards the Bodhi Tree, sitting thereunder in samadhi, or the scene in which he defeats the army of Maras, or the scene in which he delivers the [first] sermon, or the scene in which he performs great miracles, or where he enters Nirvana.
“O World-Honoured One! Ananda, on seeing this, thinks to himself: “I have not seen such miracles. Who is working all of these? Or are these all of Sakyamuni Buddha?” He wishes to stand up, speak out, but the action will not follow his will. This is due to the fact that Ananda has been caught in Mara’s traps. He also thinks: “All that these Buddhas say is not the same. Whose words should I now give ear to?” O World-Honoured One! Ananda is now suffering greatly. Although he thinks of the Tathagata, none comes to save him. That is why he is not here amongst the congregated.”
Then, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva Manjusri said to the Buddha: “O World-Honoured One! Among this great mass of people congregated here, there are many Bodhisattvas who have aspired to unsurpassed Enlightenment in one life or who have aspired to Bodhichitta over the course of innumerable lives. They truly make offerings to innumerable Buddhas. Their mind is firm-set and they practise danaparamita up to prajnaparamita. They have long come to innumerable Buddhas, practised pure actions, and are unretrogressive in their Bodhichitta. They have attained the unretrogressive state of cognition and have arrived at the avinivartaniya and are perfect in right cognition and are in the Suramgama Samadhi. Such people listen to the Mahayana sutras and do not doubt [them]. They understand well and speak about the oneness of the Three Treasures and that their nature and characteristics are Eternal and Unchanging. They hear of miraculous things, but their minds do not become surprised and do not shake. They hear about many kinds of Voidness and their minds are [not] in fear. They clearly grasp all kinds of Dharma-Nature. They uphold well all the 12 types of sutra and they understand their meaning extensively. Also, they uphold the 12 types of sutra of all the innumerable Buddhas. How could one be apprehensive as to their not being able to uphold the Great Nirvana Sutra? Why is it that you ask Kaundinya where Ananda is?”


The “Nirvana Sutra” Continued (X)
“Also, next, O good man! How does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practise the Way of the All-Wonderful Sutra of Great Nirvana and perfect the seventh virtue? The Bodhisattva-mahasattva, having practised the Way of the All-Wonderful Sutra of Great Nirvana, thinks: “What is the proximate cause of Great Nirvana? The Bodhisattva knows that four things are the proximate cause of Great Nirvana.” A person might say that the practice of all kinds of penance constitutes the proximate cause. But this is not so. Why not? There are no other than four by which one may arrive at Nirvana. What are the four?
“Firstly, one associates with a good teacher of the Way; secondly, one listens to Dharma exclusively; thirdly, one thinks exclusively [about Dharma]; fourthly, one practises the Way according to Dharma.
“O good man! As an example: there is a man who has various illnesses – fever, cold, vague weariness, loose bowels, ague, various kinds of evil poisoning – and he goes to a good doctor. The good doctor speaks of medicine in relation to the nature of the illness. The man faithfully follows the doctor’s instructions, makes up the medicine as directed and takes it as instructed. On his having partaken of it, his illnesses retreat and he gains health and peace.
“This sick man is analogous to the Bodhisattva; the great doctor is comparable to the good teacher of the Way; the instructions can be compared to the vaipulya sutras; the faithful following of those instructions to meditating upon the vaipulya sutras; preparing the medicine as directed can be compared to practising the Way in accordance with the assisting directions constituted in the 37 Bodhyangas [factors of Enlightenment]; curing the illnesses can be compared to the extinction of defilements; and gaining peace and happiness can be compared to the gaining of the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure of Nirvana.
“O good man! As an example: there is a king who wishes to govern his state in a lawful way and to enable the people to enjoy peace, and he asks his wise ministers how to do this. All the ministers tell of the laws that have obtained until now. The king listens, puts faith in what he has been told, acts faithfully, and governs according to law, and there is nobody who entertains any ill will [against him]. Thus the people enjoy peace and have no worries.
“O good man! The king is comparable to the Bodhisattva; all his wise ministers to the good teachers of the Way; what the wise ministers advise the king regarding the lawful governance of his state to the 12 types of sutra; the king’s listening and acting faithfully is comparable to the Bodhisattva’s meditating upon all the profound meanings of the 12 types of sutra; the lawful administration of the state is comparable to practising the law of all Bodhisattvas, namely the six so-called paramitas; saying that there now remains no enemy is comparable to the Bodhisattva’s segregating himself from the bonds of the evil robbers of all the defilements; and attaining peace is comparable to the Bodhisattva’s gaining the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure of Great Nirvana.
“O good man! As an example: there is here a man who contracts hateful leprosy. A good teacher of the Way says to him: “Go to Mount Sumeru and you will see your illness cured. Why? Because there is good, sweet, medicinal amrta [ambrosia] there. Once this has been taken, there is never an instance where a cure does not ensue.” The man faithfully follows his words, goes to the mountain, takes the medicine, and obtains the cure for his illness, and there is peace. The case is thus.
“This hateful leprosy is comparable to the common mortal; the good teacher of the Way to all Bodhisattvas; the faithful following [of instructions] to the four immeasurable minds [i.e. of love, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity]; Mount Sumeru to the Noble Eightfold Path; the amrta to the Buddha-Nature; the curing of the leprosy to the extinction of defilement; and the attaining of peace to the gaining of the Eternal, Bliss, Self and the Pure of Nirvana.
“O good man! As [another] example: there is a man who has many disciples and who is extremely erudite. He teaches untiringly day and night. It is the same with all Bodhisattvas. Whether all beings believe them or not, they go on teaching untiringly.
“O good man! We say “teacher of the Way”. This is none other than the Buddha, the Bodhisattva, pratyekabuddha, sravaka, and those who believe in the vaipulya, etc. Why do we say “good teacher of the Way”? The good teacher of the Way teaches beings well and enables them to do away with the ten evil deeds and practise the ten good deeds. That is why we say “good teacher of the Way”.
“Also, next, the good teacher of the Way speaks of the Way just as it ought to be taught and himself acts as he ought to act.
“Why do we say that we speak as we ought to speak and act as we ought to act? We refrain from killing and teach others not to kill. And we have the right view and teach the right view to others. If matters stand thus, we say that such a person is a true, good teacher of the Way. A person practises the Way of Enlightenment and also teaches others the Way of Enlightenment. Thus we say “good teacher of the Way”. We practise faith, morality, giving, listening, and Wisdom for our own sake, and also teach others faith, morality, giving, listening, and Wisdom. So, too, we say “good teacher of the Way”.
“We say “good teacher of the Way” because there is Wonderful Dharma. What is Wonderful Dharma? One does not seek bliss for one’s own sake; one always seeks peace and bliss for others’ sake. On seeing a fault in others, one does not reproach them with their shortcomings, but always speaks what is purely good. So we say “good teacher of the Way”.
“O good man! The moon that hangs in the heavens waxes from the first of the month up to the fifteenth. So do things obtain with the good teacher of the Way. One causes all those who study the Way to segregate themselves from evil and to grow in good deeds.
“O good man! If a person who approaches a good teacher of the Way does not have: 1) maintenance of sila [morality], 2) samadhi [deep meditation], 3) Wisdom, 4) liberation and 5) knowledge of liberation [i.e. “asamasama-panca-skandha”: the fivefold-body concept of the Buddha, which refers to Enlightenment itself], these will come about. If these are not [yet] perfect, they will grow. Why? Because of associating with a good teacher of the Way. Through such association, a person comes to the profound meaning of the 12 types of sutra. When a person comes to the profound meaning of the 12 types of sutra, we say that he has heard Dharma. To hear Dharma means none other than to hear the Mahayana vaipulya sutras. To hear the vaipulya is to hear Dharma. True hearing is none other than hearing the teaching of the Sutra of Great Nirvana. In the Great Nirvana, we see the Buddha-Nature, and we hear that the Tathagata does not ultimately enter Parinirvana. Hence, we say that we excusively hear Dharma. Exclusively hearing Dharma is none other than the Noble Eightfold Path. By means of the Noble Eightfold Path, we thoroughly do away with greed, hatred and delusion. Hence, hearing Dharma.
“Now, hearing Dharma relates to the 11 shunyatas. Due to these voids, we see no form in anything. Now, hearing Dharma begins with the first aspiration and proceeds up to the ultimate unsurpassed Bodhi Mind. By gaining the first aspiration, one gains Great Nirvana. Through hearing, one does not gain Great Nirvana; by practising, one attains Great Nirvana.
“O good man! As an illustration: a person suffering from illness might hear of a medicinal teaching or the name of a medicine, but cannot gain a cure for his illness. By partaking [of the medicine], he can make away with it. A person might well hear of the depths of meaning of the 12 links of interdependent origination, but he cannot make away with all the defilements. Segregation can only result when, with a careful mind, he meditates upon [such matters]. This is the third careful meditation.
“And again, why do we say “careful meditation”? This is none other than the three samadhis of the Void, non-thought, and non-doing. We say “Void”. This is seeing nothing that is real in the 25 existences. Non-doing means that one has no desire to possess the 25 existences. Non-form means that one sees no form in the ten characteristics, namely of: colour, sound, smell, taste, touch, birth, abiding, death, male, and female. The practice of the three samadhis is the Bodhisattva’s careful meditation.
“What is the practising of the Way by Dharma? Practising by Dharma is to practise danaparamita or up to prajnaparamita. This is to know the true state of the five skandhas, the 18 [sensory] realms and the 12 [sensory] spheres, and sravakas and pratyekabuddhas walk one and the same way, and that this leads to Nirvana.
““Dharma is the Eternal, Bliss, the Self and the Pure, non-birth, non-ageing, non-illness, non-death, non-hunger, non-thirst, non-suffering, non-worry, non-retrogressiveness, and non-drowningness.”
“O good man! One who knows the meaning of Great Nirvana realises the fact that all Buddhas do not ultimately enter Nirvana.
“O good man! The foremost and true teacher of the Way is the so-called Bodhisattva and the All-Buddha-World-Honoured One. Why? Because they are always well trained in three things. What are the three? The first is uttermost gentle words; the second is uttermost reproach; and the third is gentle words and reproaching. Due to these, the Bodhisattvas and Buddhas are the best good teachers of the Way.
“Also, next, the Bodhisattvas and all Buddhas are good doctors. Why? They know illnesses and medicines and prescribe medicine in accordance with the illness. For example, a good doctor is well versed in eight things. He first sees the nature of the illness, which is threefold. What are the three? They are: wind, heat, and water. To one who suffers from wind he gives butter; to one suffering from fever he gives sugar; to one suffering from water he gives a decoction of ginger. He knows the cause of the illness, gives medicine, and a cure ensues. So we say “good doctor”. It is the same with the Buddha and Bodhisattvas. They know that all beings possess the three kinds of illness, which are: greed, anger, and ignorance. One suffering from the illness of greed is taught to meditate on white bones; one suffering from anger is taught loving-kindness; one suffering from ignorance is made to meditate on the 12 links of interdependent origination. So we call all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas good teachers of the Way. O good man! For example, since a master mariner passes people across to the other shore, we call him a great master mariner. It is the same with all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. They pass all beings across the great ocean of birth and death. So they are good teachers of the Way.
“Also, next, O good man! It is because beings are made to practise the cause of good by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. O good man! Just as, for example, the Himalayas are the basic place where all kinds of wonderful medicine can be found, so is it the same with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. They are the place where goodness springs forth. So we say good teachers of the Way. O good man! In the Himalayas, we have a very fragrant medicine called “saha”. If one sees this, one can be blessed with immortality, and when one sees it, there will be no pain of illness. Even the four poisons cannot harm one. If one touches it, one’s life extends up to 120. If meditated upon, one can read one’s own past. Why? Because of its medicinal power. It is the same with all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. If one sees them, one can make away with all the worries of defilement. The four Maras cannot wreak their havoc. [If this medicine is] touched, one cannot die an untimely death. It is birthlessness and deathlessness, retrogressionlessness and drowninglessness. To touch means to be with the Buddha and hear his sermons. [These having been] meditated on, one attains unsurpassed Enlightenment. Hence, we call Buddhas and Bodhisattvas the good teachers of the Way.
“O good man! In Gandhamadana there is a lake called Anavatapta. From this lake emerge four rivers, namely: the Ganges, Indus, Sita, and Vaksu. Worldly people always say: “Any sinful person will gain absolution if he bathes in these rivers.” Know that all this is false and not true. Other than this, what can be true? All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas take this as true [i.e. bathing in the company of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas gives absolution]. Why? Befriending these, one can do away with all sins. So we say “good teachers of the Way”.
“Also, further, O good man! As an illustration: all the medicinal trees, all the forests, cereals, sugar-cane, flowers and fruits of the great earth are about to perish on encountering a long drought, until the naga kings, Nanda and Upananda, pitying the people, come out of the great sea and bestow sweet rain. And all the forests and bushes, hundreds of cereals, grass and trees receive moisture and return to life. It is the same situation with all beings. When the root of good is about to die out, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas enact loving-kindness and cause the rain of amrta [Immortality] to fall from the sea of Wisdom and enable all beings to be perfect again in the ten good deeds. Therefore, we call all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas the good teachers of the Way.
“O good man! A good doctor is well versed in the eight medicinal arts. When he sees a patient, he does not see his caste, rightness in attitude or ugliness, wealth or treasure. And he cures all. So we say “great doctor”. The same is the case with all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. They see the illness of defilement of all beings, but not their caste, their good or bad outer garb, wealth or treasure. With a mind of loving-kindness, they speak of Dharma. Having heard this, beings do away with the illness of defilement. For this reason, alll Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are called the good teachers of the Way. Befriending [such] a good friend, one approaches Mahaparinirvana.
“How does the Bodhisattva approach Mahaparinirvana just by giving ear to Dharma? All beings, when they hear Dharma, gain the root of faith. When one gains the root of faith, one’s mind cares to look towards giving, morality, patience, effort, meditation, and Wisdom, by which one reaches the stages of srotapanna up to Buddhahood. Thus one should know that it is due to giving ear to Dharma that one arrives at Wonderful Dharma.
“O good man! As an example: a rich man has an only son. He sends this son abroad and sells what he has. He points out to him where the road is closed or open, and warns him to take care. He says: “Should you encounter a lusty woman, take care not to befriend her. If you come into close relations with her, you will lose your life and wealth. Also, take care not to befriend any bad persons.” The son follows his father’s words. He is safe and obtains much wealth. The same is the case here. So do matters stand with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva, who expounds Dharma for beings’ sake. He points out to all beings and to the four classes of the Sangha where the road is passable and where it is closed. All these people, as they give ear to the teaching, are able to do away with all evil and be perfect in Wonderful Dharma. For this reason, one approaches Mahaparinirvana by giving ear to the teaching.
“O good man! For example, just as a clear mirror fully reflects one’s features, so does it obtain with giving ear to the teaching. If one looks into this, one clearly sees what is good and evil, and nothing is concealed. For that reason, giving ear to Dharma brings one near to Mahaparinirvana.
“O good man! There is, for example, a merchant who desires to reach a beach of treasures, but does not know the way. A man points the way out to him. Following his words faithfully, he reaches the beach of treasures and obtains innumerably diverse good things. It is the same with all beings. They wish to reach a good place and come upon treasures, but do not know where the way is blocked or open. The Bodhisattva shows them this. The beings follow the way indicated and reach the good place, and arrive at unsurpassed Nirvana. Hence, giving ear to Dharma enables one to draw near to Mahaparinirvana.
“O good man! For example, there is an intoxicated elephant, which is mad and behaves badly and means to harm people. But when the driver pricks its head with a great iron hook, it immediately becomes obedient, with its evil intention of harming totally gone. The same with all beings. Due to the intoxication of greed, anger and ignorance, they mean to do evil. But all Bodhisattvas suppress this with the hook of giving ear to Dharma, and they no more can raise the mind towards any evil. For this reason, we say that giving ear to Dharma enables one to draw close to Mahaparinirvana. That is why I say here and there in the sutras that as my disciples practise the 12 types of sutra exclusively, they make away with the five shadowings [“pancavaranani; perhaps the five “nivaranas (“obstructions”, “hindrances”, “coverings”) are meant here, i.e. desire; anger; drowsiness and torpor; excitability and remorse; and doubt] and practise the seven factors of Enlightenment [i.e. mindulness; discriminative investigation of Dharma; vigour; joy; tranquillity in body and mind; samadhi; and equanimity]. By practising the seven factors of Enlightenment, one draws near to Mahaparinirvana. On hearing Dharma, a person of the stage of srotapanna segregates himself from fear. How so? The rich man, Sudatta, being seriously ill, greatly fears. He hears that Sariputra says that a srotapanna has four virtues and ten consolations. When he hears this, fear leaves him. Thus, giving ear to Dharma enables one to come near to Mahaparinirvana. How? Because one gains the Dharma-Eye.
“There are three types of person in the world. The first has no eyes; the second has one eye; and the third has two eyes. The person with no eyes does not always listen to Dharma. The person with one eye listens to Dharma for a time, but his mind is not settled. The person with two eyes listens with an exclusive mind and acts just as he has heard. Of hearing, we know that there are three such kinds. For this reason, giving ear to Dharma brings one close to Mahaparinirvana.
“O good man! I once was in Kusinagara, when Sariputra became sick and was suffering from an illness. At that time, I looked back to Ananda and had him speak extensively of Dharma. Then Sariputra, having heard this, said to his four disciples: “Put my bed on your shoulders and carry me to the Buddha. I desire to hear Dharma.” Then the four disciples carried him to the Buddha, at which he was able to hear the sermon. Through the power of hearing [the sermon], pain left him and he gained peace. The case is such. For this reason, giving ear to Dharma makes one come near to Mahaparinirvana.
“How can the Bodhisattva approach Mahaparinirvana by thinking? Because he gains emancipation of mind by this thinking. How? All beings are always chained to the five desires. Through thinking, he attains emancipation. For this reason, we say that one approaches Mahaparinirvana through thinking.
“Also, next, O good man! All beings always have upside-down views as regards the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. By thinking, they can see that all dharmas are non-eternal, non-bliss, non-Self, and non-pure. Thinking thus, they segregate themselves from the four upside-downs [i.e. the four inversions]. For this reason, we say that by thinking one draws near to Mahaparinirvana.
“Also, next, O good man! There are four phases to all things. What are the four? The first is the phase of birth; the second the phase of ageing; the third the phase of illness; and the fourth the phase of extinction. These four cause all common mortals, up to srotapanna, great pain. Those who well think about [these matters] do not experience pain, even when they encounter these four. For this reason, we say that by thinking one approaches Mahaparinirvana.
“Also, next, O good man! There are no good dharmas that are gained by ways other than by thinking. Why not? Even though one might give ear with an undivided mind to Dharma over the course of innumerable, boundless asamkhyas of kalpas, there cannot be any attainment of unsurpassed Enlightenment unless one thinks. Thus, by thinking one approaches Mahaparinirvana.
“Also, next, O good man! If all beings believe in the fact that there is no change in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and gain a respectful mind, know that all this thus comes about by reason of this mindfulness and thinking and that they thus make away with all defilements. Thus, thinking makes one come near to Mahaparinirvana.
“How does a Bodhisattva practise the Way as directed? O good man! He segregates himself from all evil and practises good. This is practising the Way in accordance with Dharma.
“Also, next, how does one practise the Way in accordance with Dharma? One sees that all dharmas are void and have nothing to possess, and that all dharmas are non-eternal, non-bliss, non-Self, and non-purity. Seeing things thus, one does not transgress, even if it means sacrificing one’s own body and life. This is how the Bodhisattva practises the Way in accordance with Dharma.
“Also, next, how does one practise the Way in accordance with Dharma? Of practising there are two kinds. One is true and the other non-true. In what is non-true, one does not know the phases [i.e. elements] of Nirvana, the Buddha-Nature, the Tathagata, Dharma, the priest, the real state, and the Void. This is what is non-true.
“What is the True? One knows well the phases of Nirvana, the Buddha-Nature, the Tathagata, Dharma, the priest, the Real State, and the Void. This is what is True.
“What is the phase [i.e. nature] of Nirvana? In the phase of Nirvana, there are in all eight phases [aspects]. What are the eight? These are: 1) Ending, 2) Good Nature, 3) the Real, 4) the True, 5) the Eternal, 6) Bliss, 7) the Self, and 8) the Pure. These are Nirvana.”
“Also, there are eight things. What are the eight? They are: 1) liberation, 2) good nature, 3) the non-real, 4) the non-true, 5) the non-eternal, 6) non-bliss, 7) the non-Self”, and 8) non-purity.
“Also, there are six phases, namely: 1) liberation, 2) good nature, 3) the non-real, 4) the non-true, 5) peace, and 6) purity. There may be beings who segregate themselves from defilement by way of what obtains in the world. There may be eight things in Nirvana. Then the liberation is not real. Why not? Because of the non-eternal. When there is not the Eternal, there cannot be the Real. When there is not the Real, there is not the True. One might do away with defilement, but it will rise up again. Hence, the non-eternal, non-bliss, non-Self, and non-purity. These are the eight things of liberation of Nirvana.
“What are the six phases? Sravakas and pratyekabuddhas speak of liberation when they cut away defilement. Yet they do not attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. So we say the non-Real. Being not the Real, it is not the True. They will gain unsurpassed Enlightenment in days to come. Hence, non-eternal.
“On gaining the undefiled Noble Eightfold Path, we speak of pure Bliss. O good man! When this is known, there is Nirvana. We do not call this the Buddha-Nature, the Tathagata, Dharma, the priest, the Real State, or the Void.
“How does the Bodhisattva know the Buddha-Nature? There are six aspects to the Buddha-Nature. What are the six? They are: 1) the Eternal, 2) the Pure, 3) the Real, 4) the Good, 5) the Visible, and 6) the True.
“Also, there are seven things, namely: what is attestable, plus the other six stated above. This is called how the Bodhisattva comes to know of the Buddha-Nature.
“”How does the Bodhisattva know the form of the Tathagata? The Tathagata is a form of Awakening and of Good. He is the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure, and is” “Liberation and the True. He is the pointing out of the Way and is visible.” This refers to what the Bodhisattva knows the form of the Tathagata to be.
“In what way does the Bodhisattva know about Dharma? By Dharma is meant [seeing] the Good or non-Good, the Eternal or non-Eternal, Bliss or non-Bliss, Self or non-Self, Pure or non-Pure, Knowing or not Knowing, Understanding or not Understanding, the True or the not-True, Practice or non-Practice, Teacher or non-Teacher, the Real or the non-Real. This is how the Bodhisattva knows the phase of Dharma.
“How does the Bodhisattva know the phase of a priest? The priest is the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure. This is the phase of a disciple. It is a form visible. It is the Good and True, and is not real. Why? Because all sravakas gain the Buddhist teaching. Why do we say True? Because the person is awake to “Dharmata” [Dharma-Essence]. This is what we mean when we say that the Bodhisattva knows the form of the priest.
“How does the Bodhisattva know the Real State? These are: the Eternal or non-Eternal, Bliss or non-Bliss, Self or non-Self, Pure or non-Pure, Good or non-Good, “is” or “not-is”, Nirvana or non-Nirvana, Liberation or non-Liberation, Knowing or not Knowing, [defilement] being cut off or not cut off, to attest or not to attest, to practise or not to practise, to see or not to see. These are the Real State. This is not Nirvana, the Buddha-Nature, the Tathagata, Dharma, the priest or the Void. This is the sense in which we speak of the Bodhisattva’s knowing, as he practises all such Great Nirvana, the different phases of Nirvana, the Buddha-Nature, the Tathagata, Dharma, the priest, the Real State, and the Void.
“O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the Way of the All-Wonderful Great Nirvana Sutra, but he does not see the Void. Why not? The Buddha and the Bodhisattvas have the five eyes. These are not what can be seen. Only with the Eye of Wisdom can one truly see. This is what the Eye of Wisdom can see. There is no thing to be seen. So we say “to see”. If we term whatever is not as the Void, this Void is the real. As it is real, there is the eternal “not-is”. Being “not-is”, there is no Bliss, Self or Purity.
“O good man! The Void is called “no thing”. “No thing” is the Void. For example, in the world, when nothing is there, we say “empty”. The same is the case with the nature of “space” [“akasha” – i.e. space, wherein a thing can exist and where there is nothing that obstructs existence]. As there is nothing to possess [here], we say “empty”.
“O good man! Both the nature of all beings and that of space have no real nature. Why not? This is as when we say “empty” when we make away with what there is. The case is like this. Besides, this space is, truth to tell, not to do anything with. Why? Because there is nothing to exist. As it is not “is”, we can know that there can be no saying “not-is”. If the nature of space were something made, it would have to be non-eternal. If it were non-eternal, we would not call it space.
“O good man! The people of the world say: “Space has no colour, nothing that obstructs, and no change”. The case is thus. That is why we say that the nature of space is the fifth great element. O good man! And this space has no nature [for us] to name. Being a light, it is called space. And there is no space. It is as with secular truth, which really does not have its own nature [for us] to name and which is only said so to exist for the sake of beings.
“O good man! The same is the case with the body of Nirvana. There is no place where it is. When all Buddhas do away with defilement, we call this Nirvana. Nirvana is at once the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. We say that Nirvana is Bliss. But it is no feeling of Bliss. This is the all-wonderful, unsurpassed silence and extinction. The All-Buddha-Tathagata has two kinds of Bliss. One is that of silence and extinction; the second is the “Bliss that is sensed by the sense-organs”. There are three Blisses in the body of the Real State, which are: 1) the feeling of Bliss, 2) the Bliss of silence and extinction, and 3) the Bliss of sensing. The Buddha-Nature is a single Bliss, as it is what is to be seen. When one gains unsurpassed Bodhi, we call this the Bliss of Bodhi.”
Then Bodhisattva-mahasattva Highly-Virtuous King said to the Buddha: “O World-Honoured One! You say that when defilement is done away with, there is Nirvana. But this is not so. Why not? The Tathagata in days gone by, when you attained Bodhi, went to the River Nairanjana. Then King Mara, with his retinue, went to where the Buddha was and said: “O World-Honoured One! It is now time that you enter Nirvana. Why do you not enter it?” The Buddha said to King Mara: “I will not. Because I do not now see many learned disciples of mine upholding morality and wise enough to teach beings well.” If when defilement is done away with there is Nirvana, all Bodhisattvas had all done away with defilements innumerable kalpas ago. How could it be that they had not attained Nirvana? There is the same segregation. Why should it only refer to all Buddhas alone and not to Bodhisattvas? If segregation of defilement is not Nirvana, why did the Tathagata, in days gone by, speak to the Brahmin, “Birth-Name”, and say: “This present body of mine is Nirvana itself?” Also, the Tathagata was once in the state of Vaisali. Mara again beseeched you and said: “The Tathagata, in days gone by, did not enter Nirvana because the disciples could not teach beings well, not having much [in the way] of hearing, upholding the precepts, Wisdom, or sharpness of mind. Now they are perfect in all of these. Why do you not enter Nirvana?” The Tathagata then said to Mara: “You should have no fear that I am now too late. I shall, three months from now, enter Nirvana.” If extinction is not Nirvana, why did you yourself state that you would enter Nirvana after three months? O World-Honoured One! If the segregation of defilement is Nirvana, there was Nirvana in the past when you severed yourself from defilement under the Bodhi-Tree. Why should you say that you will enter Parinirvana in three month’ times? O World-Honoured One! If it was the case that the Nirvana at the time was not Nirvana, how could you say to the Mallas at Kusinagara that you would enter Parinirvana in the final part of today [i.e. about 4 a.m., or the early part of the dawn]? How could you, who are Truth itself, say such a thing?”
Then the World-Honoured One said to the All-Shining Bodhisattva Highly-Virtuous King: “O good man! If you mean to say that the Tathagata talks overmuch, know that he did away with speaking falsehoods innumerable kalpas past. No Buddhas or Bodhisattvas speak any falsehood, only the truth. O good man! The Papiyas [i.e. Mara, the Devil] you refer to is none other than the one who once beseeched me to enter Nirvana. O good man! And this Mara does not know what Nirvana truly is. Why not? The Papiyas thinks that when I am silent and do not teach, this is Nirvana. O good man! The people of the world think that when one does not speak and does not do anything, one is like death itself. The same is the case with King Marapapiyas. What he says refers to the fact that the Tathagata sits and does not talk to people of Dharma. And he says that the Tathagata has entered Parinirvana.
“O good man! The Tathagata does not say that there is no difference between the Buddha, Dharma, and the priest. What he says is only that there is no difference between the Eternal and the Pure. O good man! The Buddha does not say, either, that the characteristics of the Buddha, the Buddha-Nature, and Nirvana are not different. What he says is that all are Eternal and Unchanging, with no difference. The Buddha does not say, either, that the characteristics of Nirvana and the Real State are not different. What he says is that the Eternal, the “is”, the Real, and the Changeless are not different.
“O good man! Then all my disciples call forth disputations. The situation was as with the bhiksus of Kausambi. Acting contrary to what I taught, they violate the prohibitions; they accept imure things as alms and greedily seek profit, and to all white-clad people [i.e. the laity] they praise their own self and say: “I have now gained the undefiled state, the fruition of the srotapanna or arhatship, and so on.” They speak ill of other persons, do not respect the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and the vinaya teachers, and openly say before me: “Such things the Buddha has permitted us to keep, and such and such things the Buddha does not allow us to possess.” And going against me, they say: “The Buddha permits all such things.” Such evil persons do not believe in my words. For this reason, I say to Marapapiyas: “Have no fear that I am slow. I shall enter Nirvana in three months’ time.” O good man! Relying on such evil bhiksus, all the sravaka disciples who are still on the way to learning do not see me and do not listen to my words, and they say that the Tathagata now enters Nirvana. Only all the Bodhisattvas well see me and give ear to what I speak of Dharma. So I do not say that I enter Nirvana. Sravaka disciples may say that the Tathagata now enters Nirvana, but, truth to tell, I do not enter Nirvana. O good man! If all of my sravaka disciples say that the Tathagata enters Nirvana, know that such are no disciples of mine. They belong to Mara’s clan, the evil people who abide in twisted views and who do not hold the right view of life. If they say that the Tathagata does not enter Nirvana, they are my disciples. They are not comrades of Mara, but men of right view and not evil. O good man! It is not the case that I have ever said that the Tathgata does not teach, but sits silently, and that this is Parinirvana. O good man! For example, there is a rich man who has many sons. He leaves them and goes to other countries and has not yet come home when his sons may say that their father is long since dead. But this rich man is not yet dead. All his sons are upside down [in their view] and think of death. It is the same with my sravaka disciples. Not seeing me, they think: “The Tathagata, at Kusinagara, between the twin sal trees, enters Parinirvana.” But, truth to tell, I do not enter Nirvana. The sravaka disciples think in terms of Nirvana.
“O good man! For example, there is a bright lamp. A person puts a cover over it. Other people will think that the lamp has already gone out. Not knowing, they think that the lamp is extinguished. It is the same with my sravaka disciples. They have the Eye of Wisdom and yet are overspread by defilement; their mind is upside-down and cannot see the True Body. And they loosely entertain the idea that I have gone. Yet I am not yet ultimately gone. O good man! A person born blind cannot see the sun and the moon. Not able to see, he does not know that there is night and day. Not knowing this, he says that there truly are no sun and moon. Actually there are the sun and the moon. But the blind man cannot see them. Not seeing them, he gains an upside-down mind and says that there are no sun and moon. It is the same with my sravaka disciples. As with the man born blind, not seeing the Tathagata, they say that the Tathagata has entered Nirvana. The Tathagata, in truth, has not yet entered Nirvana. Due to their upside-down minds, they gain such a thought.
“O good man! For example, when cloud and mist come in the way, the ignorant say that there are no sun and moon. In truth, there are the sun and moon. Because they are obstructed, beings cannot see. It is the same with the sravaka disciples, too. With all the defilements overspreading the Eye of Wisdom, they cannot see the Tathagata, and say the Tathagata has entered Nirvana. O good man! This only derives from the fact that the Tathagata merely “acts like a child”. It is not entering into extinction. O good man! When the sun has set in the west in Jambudvipa, beings cannot see it. Because the Black Mountain obstructs their sight. But the nature of the sun has nothing of hiding within it. As beings cannot see, they think there is sundown. It is the same with my sravaka disciples. Obstructed by all the mountains of defilement, they cannot see me. Not seeing me, they think that the Tathagata has truly entered Nirvana. “But truly, there is no extinction with me eternally.” That is why at Vaisali I said to Papiyas: “In three months, I shall enter Nirvana.”
“O good man! I long before foresaw” “that the virtues of good amassed by Kasyapa would ripen and bear fruit in three months’ time and that, after the ending of the sitting of the varsika, Subhadra of Gandhamadana [i.e. a learned Brahmin who was the last person to enter” “the Buddhist Sangha] would come to my place. That is why I said to Marapapiyas: “In three months’ time I shall enter Nirvana.” O good man! There are 500 wrestlers. In three months’ time they are to aspire to unsurpassed Bodhi. That was why I said to Papiyas: “In three months’ time, I shall enter Parinirvana.” O good man! As the virtues amassed by Cunda and the 500 Licchavis and Amrapali were to ripen and they were to asire to unsurpassed Bodhi, I said to Papiyas: “In three months’ time I shall enter Nirvana.”
“O good man! Sunaksatra befriended the tirthikas and Nirgranthaputra. I spoke of Dharma for 12 long years. But the man’s mind was twisted, and he would not believe and accept what I said. I foresaw that the root of this man’s distorted vision would unfailingly get uprooted. So I said to Papiyas: “In three months’ time, I shall enter Parinirvana.”
“O good man! Why did I once, in the past, on the bank of the river Nairanjana, say to Marapapiyas: “I do not yet possess any erudite disciples. So I cannot enter Nirvana?” I said this because I wanted to turn the Wheel of Dharma for the five bhiksus at Varanasi [i.e. the five bhiksus sent by the Buddha’s father to look after his son]. Next, too, this was for the sake of the other five bhiksus, namely: Yasas, Purna-Maitrayaniputra, Vimala, Gavampati, and Subahu.

“Also, this was for the rich man, Ugra, and his 50 people. Also, it was for the sake of Bimbisara, King of Magadha, and innumerable others and those of heaven. Also, it was for the sake of Uruvilva-Kasyapa and his 500 disciple bhiksus. Also, this was for the sake of the two brothers, Nadi-Kasyapa and Gaya-Kasyapa, and their 500 disciple bhiksus. Also, this was for the sake of Sariputra and Maudgalyayana and their 250 bhiksus. That was why I said to Papiyas, the King of Maras, that I would not enter Parinirvana.

“Noble son. There is ‘Nirvana’, but that is not Maha-nirvana [Great Nirvana]. Why is Nirvana not Maha-nirvana? The elimination of the afflictions [kleshas] without having seen the Buddha-dhatu [Buddha Nature] is called ‘Nirvana’, and not Maha-nirvana. Thus, because one has not seen the Buddha-dhatu, there is no permanence nor Self, though there is bliss and utter purity. Hence, even though the afflictions have been eliminated, this should not be called ‘Maha-nirvana’. When one has seen the Buddha-dhatu and eliminated the afflictions, that is called ‘Maha-parinirvana’. Because of having seen the Buddha-dhatu, it is stated to be permaennt, Self, blissful, and utterly pure, and therefore that elimination of the afflictions is stated to be Maha-parinirvana.’

[Above passage on Nirvana/ Maha-nirvana, translated by Stephen Hodge]. “O good man! “Nir” means “not”; “va” means “to extinguish”. Nirvana means “non-extinction”. Also, “va” means “to cover”. Nirvana also means “not covered”. “Not covered” is Nirvana. “Va” means “to go and come”. “Not to go and come” is Nirvana. “Va” means “to take”. “Not to take” is Nirvana.” “Va” means “not fixed”. When there is no unfixedness, there is Nirvana. “Va” means “new and old”. What is not new and old is Nirvana.
“O good man! The disciples of Uluka [i.e. the founder of the Vaisesika school of philosophy] and Kapila [founder of the Samkhya school of philosophy] say: “Va means charactersitic”. “Characteristiclessness” is Nirvana.”
“O good man! Va means “is”. What is not “is” is Nirvana. Va means harmony. What has nothing to be harmonised is Nirvana. Va means suffering. What has no suffering is Nirvana.
“O good man! What has cut away defilement is no Nirvana. What calls forth no defilement is Nirvana. O good man! The All-Buddha-Tathagata calls forth no defilement. This is Nirvana.
“The Wisdom that there is is not barred at Dharma [i.e. not obstructed before Dharma]. This is so with the Tathagata. The Tathagata is no common mortal, no sravaka, no pratyekabuddha, and no Bodhisattva. This is the Buddha-Nature.
“The Wisdom of the Tathagata’s Body and Mind fills innumerable, boundless asamkhyas of lands, with nothing to obstruct it. This is space. “The Tathagata is Eternal and does not change. This is the Real State.” Because of this, the Tathagata does not ultimately enter Nirvana.” “This is what we call the Bodhisattva’s practice of the Way of the All-Wonderful Great Nirvana Sutra and perfecting the seventh virtue.
“O good man! How does the Bodhisattva practise the Way of the All-Wonderful Great Nirvana Sutra and perfect the eighth virtue?
“O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises Great Nirvana and extirpates five things, and segregates himself from five things, accomplishes six things, practises five things, and protects one thing, befriends four things, puts faith in one truth, and his mind emancipates itself, and thoroughly emancipates Wisdom itself.
“O good man! How does the Bodhisattva extirpate five things? These five are so-called: 1) matter [“rupa”], 2) feeling [“vedana”], 3) perception [“samjna”], 4) volition [“samskara”], and 5) consciousness [“vijnana”] – the five skandhas? Why do we say skandha? It truly causes beings to repeat birth and death, and they cannot cut off the heavy burden. There is dispersal and gathering-together, bound up for the Three Times. Try as one might, one cannot gain the true meaning. Because of all these meanings, we say skandha.
“The Bodhisattva-mahasattva sees the “matter-skandha”, but he does not see its form. Why not? Though we may seek to gain it in ten forms of matter, we cannot arrive at its nature. We intend to explain it for the sake of the world and we say “skandha”.
“Of “feeling”, there are 108 kinds. We look into the skandha of feeling. But there is no form to feeling. Why not? Though 108, there is no fixed, real form. Hence, the Bodhisattva does not see the skandha of feeling. The same applies to the skandhas of perception, volition, and consciousness.
“The Bodhisattva-mahasattva sees profoundly in the five skandhas the well-spring of all the ills of defilement. So he puts into effect the means whereby to cut them off.
“How does the Bodhisattva segregate himself from five things? These are the five twisted views [“panca-drstayah”: the five heretical views]. What are the five? They are: 1) the twisted view regarding man’s carnal existence [“satkaya-drsti”: the heretical view that there is an unchanging entity in the carnal self which can be called an eternal self and regarded as one’s own], 2) the one-sided view of “is” or “not-is” [“antagraha-drsti”: the one-sided or heretical view of “is” or “not-is” regarding phenomenal existence, or the “is” or “not-is” view regarding the wrongly accepted notion of Self], 3) the evil view that denies causality [“mithya-drsti”: the evil view that denies the law of causality in regard to what exists], 4) the twisted view of cleaving to one-sided personal opinions [“silavrata-paramarsa”: the heretical view of life which denies the moral precepts and prohibitions and regards what is wrong as true and right], 5) addiction to twisted views and regarding these as correct [“drstiparamarsa”: the heretical world-view in which one cleaves to the satkaya-drsti, the antagraha-drsti, and the mithya-drsti and regards these as true]. From these five twisted views spring the 62 evil views of life. Due to these, there is no ceasing of birth and death. Therefore, the Bodhisattva guards himself so that these do not come near [to him].
“How does the Bodhisattva accomplish six things? These six things refer to six thinkings. What are the six? They are: 1) thinking of the Buddha, 2) thinking of Dharma, 3) thinking of the Sangha, 4) thinking of heaven, 5) thinking of giving, and 6) thinking of the moral precepts. These are the six things which the Bodhisattva accomplishes.
“How does the Bodhisattva practise five things? These are the five samadhis, namely: 1) samadhi of knowledge, 2) samadhi of silence, 3) samadhis of the pleasantness of body and mind, 4) samadhi of non-bliss, and 5) surangama samadhi. If one practises these five samadhis, one draws near to Mahaparinirvana. Hence, the Bodhisattva practises with a full mind.
“”In what sense does the Bodhisattva guard one thing? This is Bodhichitta “[i.e. the mind of Enlightenment – the resolve to gain Bodhi]. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva always guards this Bodhichitta just as people of the world do their only son. Also, it is as with a one-eyed man who protects the other eye that still remains [to him]. It is as when people protect the man who is guiding them through the wilderness. It is the same with the Bodhisattva, who guards his Bodhichitta. “Thus guarding Bodhichitta, he reaches unsurpassed Enlightenment. When unsurpassed Enlightenment has been gained, perfect are the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. This is unsurpassed Mahaparinirvana. Thus the Bodhisattva guards the one Dharma.”
“How does the Bodhisattva draw near to four things? These are the four limitless minds [“catvari-apramanani”]. What are the four? They are: 1) Great Loving-Kindness, 2) Great Compassion, 3) Great Sympathetic Joy, and 4) Great Equanimity. By means of these four minds, he calls forth Bodhichitta in the minds of innumerable, boundless numbers of beings. For this reason, the Bodhisattva, with full mind, tries to draw near to this.”
“How is the Bodhisattva one-mindedly obedient? The Bodhisattva knows that all beings turn back to the one Way. The one Way is Mahayana. All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, for beings’ sake,” “break this up into three. For this reason, the Bodhisattva follows obediently and does not transgress.
“How does the Bodhisattva thoroughly emancipate his mind? He eternally does away with the mental states of greed, anger, and ignorance. This is how the Bodhisattva emancipates his mind.
“How does the Bodhisattva thoroughly emancipate himself in his knowledge? The Bodhisattva-mahasattva knows all things and is unhindered. This is how the Bodhisattva emancipates himself in knowledge. Through emancipation in knowledge, he now knows what he once did not know.”
Then the All-Shining Bodhisattva-mahasattva Highly-Virtuous King said: “O World-Honoured One! What you the Buddha say regarding emancipation of the mind does not hold good. Why not? The mind originally has nothing that can be bound up. Why not? Originally, the mind is not bound by any such defilements as greed, anger, and ignorance. If there is originally nothing that binds one, how can we say that the mind now gains emancipation? O World-Honoured One! If the mind originally has nothing that can be bound by greed, how can there be any binding? A person might well try to get milk from the horns of a cow, but no milk will come out, try as he might, since there is no [appropriate] nature there for the milk to come out. No milk can come about, however one might try to get the milk. One who milks does not do thus. With little effort, he gains a lot of milk. The same with the mind. If there was originally no greed, how can any greed come about? If there was originally no greed and later there is a bit of greed, we might infer that all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who originally possessed no greed might now all have it.
“O World-Honoured One! A barren woman, for example, has no capacity for bearing a child. With whatever art and effort, she cannot bear a child. It is the same with the mind. Originally it does not have the nature of greed. In no circumstances whatever can greed then come about.
“O World-Honoured One! Rub wet wood as we may, we will not get any fire. The same is the case with the mind. Try as we may, we will not get any greed. How can the bond of greed fetter the mind?
“O World-Honoured One! However much we might press sand, we cannot gain any oil. It is the same with the mind. We may well press it, but no greed will come out. Know that greed and mind are of different stuff. Though there is greed, how can it defile the mind? O World-Honoured One! For example, a person might try to hang a spike in the air. It can never remain there. It is the same with trying to have greed peacefully chain the mind. No number of however artful efforts can possibly have greed chain the mind.
“O World-Honoured One! How can one emancipate the mind when there is no greed in it? Why do not all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas extract a prickle from the sky?
“O World-Honoured One! We do not call the mind of the past “emancipated”. There is no emancipation of the mind of the future. And the mind of the present, too, does go along with the way. What mind of what world can we call “emancipation”? O World-Honoured One! This is just as the light of the past cannot make away with the gloom. The light of the future cannot make away with the gloom, either. The light of the present also does not make away with the gloom. Why not? Because light and gloom cannot go in parallel. It is the same with the mind. How can we say that the mind gains emancipation?
“O World-Honoured One! It is the same with greed [i.e. lust, desire]. If one does not possess greed, one cannot have greed when one sees a woman. If it comes about by the form of the woman, know that this greed truly is an “is”. Due to greed, one falls into the three unfortunate realms.
“O World-Honoured One! For example, one sees a woman in a picture and gains the feeling of desire. From gaining desire, various sins result. If originally there is no desire, how can one gain desire by seeing the picture of a woman? If there is no greed in the mind, how can you the Tathagata say that the Bodhisattva gains emancipation of mind? If there is desire in the mind, how comes it that it comes about after having seen [the picture], and that a person who has not seen it does not gain it? I now actually see. An evil return ensues. This shows that I have desire. It is the same with anger and ignorance.
“O World-Honoured One! For example, beings possess a body and not the self. And yet common mortals unreasonably gain the thought of a self. One can have the thought of a self and yet one does not fall into the three unfortunate realms. How can it be that a person with greed [i.e. desire] does not see a womanly form and gains the thought of a woman, and falls into the three unfortunate realms? O World-Honoured One! For example, one rubs wood and obtains fire. And the nature of this fire has no place in any thing. How does it come about? O World-Honoured One! It is the same with greed. In “matter” there is no greed; in smell, taste, touch, and law [dharma ], too, we do not have any greed. And yet, how comes it that a person gains greed in smell, taste, touch, and law? If it is the case that there is no element of greed anywhere, why do only beings acquire greed and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas do not? O World-Honoured One! The mind, too, is not fixed. If the mind were fixed, there could be no greed, anger, and ignorance. If it is not fixed, how can the mind gain emancipation? Greed, too, is not fixed. If it is not, how can one, through it, fall into the three unfortunate realms? The two things of the person with greed and the world in which he dwells are both not fixed. Why not? Each calls forth one thing and acquires greed, anger, or ignorance. This tells us that the person who has greed and the world he is in are both not fixed. If both are not fixed, why does the Tathagata say: “The Bodhisattva practises the Way of Great Nirvana and gains emancipation of mind?”
Then, the Buddha said to the All-Shining Bodhisattva-mahasattva Highly-Virtuous King: “Well said, well said! The mind does not get bound by the defilement of greed, and also, it is not the case that it does not get bound. This is no emancipation, and it is not that there is no emancipation. It is not “is”, and it is not “is-not”. It is not the present, nor the past, nor the future. Why not? Because all things have no self of their own.
“O good man! All tirthikas say: “When the causal concatenations harmonise, there are instances in which fruits result. When things have no nature of their own, and when they well come about without any nature of so coming about, there would have to be a result arising even from the birthlessness of space. Because the nature of birthlessness is no cause. This tells us that in all things there is the original nature of fruition [i.e. the engendering of results]. Thus do things foregather, and the result comes about. Why? When Devadatta desires to build a bulwark, he takes mud, and not paint. When he desires to draw a picture, he collects paints, and not grass or plants. When making clothes, one uses thread, and not mud and wood. This is as when one builds a house and uses mud, not thread. In accordance with what a man takes, the result will follow. As the result comes about, we can know that in the cause there is unfailingly the [relevant] nature. If there is not any nature to be named [here], one thing could well call forth all things. If one can take up, make, and put out [something], know that there must be the result prior to the coming about. If there is no result, a person will not take up, make, or put [anything] out. The only thing where there is no taking and making is space. Because of this, all things can come about. As there is the cause, the seed of the nyagrodha can live in the nyagrodha tree. So does milk possess sarpirmanda [ghee], thread cloth, and mud a pot.”
“O good man! All common mortals are blinded by ignorance. They say definitely: “In paint there definitely is the quality of sticking, and in the mind the nature of greed.” Also, we say: “The mind of the common mortal has the nature of greed, which is the nature to be emancipated. If one encounters the causal relations of greed, the mind gains greed. When it encounters emancipation, the mind gets emancipated.” Although this is said, it is not so. There are many people who say: Every cause cannot contain a result. There are two kinds of cause. One is minute and the other coarse. What is minute is eternal, and what is coarse is non-eternal. The minute cause shifts onto what is coarse, and from the coarse there later comes about the result. As what is coarse is non-eternal, the result, too, is non-eternal.
“O good man! There are beings who say: “The mind has no cause; greed also has no cause. The greedy mind comes about by season.” All such people do not know that all sits in the mind, and they transmigrate through the six realms, repeating birth and death.
“O good man! For example, we put a collar on a dog and chain it to a pillar, and it goes round the pillar the whole day and cannot get away. It is the same with all beings. They wear the fetter of ignorance, are chained to the pillar of birth and death, and repeat lives through the 25 existences, and cannot get away.
“O good man! For example, there is a man who falls into the toilet and gets out, and falls in again. A person is cured of an illness and then contracts the cause of the illness again. A traveller, on his way, comes across a wilderness. After having passed through it, he turns back into it again. A person washes his body and then puts mud on it again. That is how things go with all beings. A person is already out of the stage of the non-possession “bhumi” [i.e. the eighth of the nine stages of mental training, in which one no longer has any sense of possession], and is not yet quite out of the stage of the thoughtlessness-non-thoughtlessness “bhumi” [i.e. the final of the nine stages of mental practice]. And he comes back to the three unfortunate realms again. Why? All beings think only of the result and not of the causation. It is as with a dog who goes after a piece of mud, and not after the man himself. It is the same with the common mortal. He only thinks of the result and not of the causal relations. Not thinking of this, he draws back from the stage of the “bhumi” of thoughtlessness-non-thoughtlessness and falls into the three unfortunate realms.
“O good man! All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas do not definitely say that the cause embosoms the result, no result rests in the cause, or “is” has no result, or that “is-not” is resultless. If we say that there definitely is a result in a cause, or that there definitely is no result in a cause, or that there definitely is no result in “is”, or that “is-not” is definitely resultless, know that we belong to the clan of the Maras. We belong to the class of Mara. We are those belonging to “craving” [“trsna”]. Such a person of craving cannot eternally do away with the bond of birth and death. Such a person does not know what obtains regarding the mind and greed.
“O good man! All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas show us the Middle Path. Why? Things can be “is-not” or “not-is-not”. But nothing can ever be definite. Why not? Because consciousness comes about through the eye, colour, brightness, mind, and thinking. Now, this consciousness is never definitely in the eye, in colour, brightness, mind, or thinking. Also, it is not in between; it is not in “is”, nor is it in “is-not”. As it comes about through causal relations, we say “is”. As it has no nature of its own, we say “is-not”. That is why the Tathagata expounds and says: “All things are not “is” and not “is-not”.
“O good man! All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas do not say definitely that there is the nature of purity or the nature of non-purity in the mind. Because there is no definite place where the mind that is pure or the mind that is not pure exists. Through causal relations there comes about greed. So we say “not-is-not”. As there is originally no nature of greed, we say “is-not”.
“O good man! Through causal relations, the mind acquires greed; through causal relations, the mind can liberate itself.”
“O good man! When there is the causal relation [of greed], the mind of greed [i.e. the mental state of greed/desire] comes about; it so exists, and dies with greed. There is the case where the mind comes about with greed, it so exists, and does not die with greed. There is the case where it does not come about with greed, it exists with greed, and it so dies. There is the case where it does not come about with greed, it does not exist with greed, and it so dies.
“How does the mind come about together with greed, exist with greed, and so die? O good man! If the common mortal does not cut off the mind of greed and practises the mind of greed, such a person is one whose mind comes about together with greed. All beings do not cut off the mind of greed. It comes about with greed, and it dies out with greed. To all beings of the world of desire there is spread a table of the first stage of dhyana. Practised or not practised, all is ready for accomplishment. Only through causal relations does this come out to one. The causal relation is none but the fire. So do things obtain with all common mortals. Whether practised or not practised, the mind comes about along with greed, and it dies along with greed. Why? Because the root of greed has not been extirpated.
“How does the mind come about along with greed and not die along with greed? The sravaka disciple gains greed through causal relations. As he is afraid, he meditates on white bones. This is why we say that the mind comes about along with greed and that it does not die along with greed. Also, there is the situation where the mind comes about along with greed and does not die along with greed. There is a sravaka who is not yet accomplished in the four fruitions [of Hinayana practice]. Through causal relations, he gains a mind of greed, but gaining the four fruitions, the mind of greed dies. Thus do things go. This is where we say that the mind comes about along with greed and does not die along with greed.
“When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva gains the immovable stage [i.e. the eighth of the 10 Bodhisattva stages of development], the mind comes about along with greed and does not die along with greed.
“In what way do we say that the mind does not come about along with greed and that it dies together with greed? When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva extirpates the mind of greed, but displays, for the sake of beings, that he yet has greed. As this is for the sake of display, innumerable, boundless numbers of beings gain, perfect and accomplish good things. This is where we say that the mind does not come about along with greed, but dies along with greed.
“How do we say that the mind does not come about along with greed and that it does not die along with greed? This refers to Bodhisattvas other than the arhat, pratyekabuddha, all Buddhas, and those of the immovable stage. This is where we say that the mind does not come about along with greed and that it does not die along with greed. For this reason, we do not say that all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are by nature pure in mind, and we do not say that they are by nature not pure. O good man! This mind does not melt into that of greed; also it does not melt into that of anger and ignorance.
“O good man! For example, the sun and moon become obscured from sight by smoke, dust, cloud, mist, and the Asura [i.e. a Titan who, when fighting the sun and moon, obstructs their light by spreading out his hands]. Because of these things, no being can see [the sun and moon]. Though not seen, the nature of the sun and moon does not, after all, melt into one with the five overshadowings [“panca-avaranani”]. It is the same with the mind. Through causal relations, the bond of greed comes about. Beings say that the mind melts into one with greed, but the nature of the mind truly does not melt into one. If the greedy mind were the nature of greed, and if non-greed were the nature of non-greed, we could not make the mind of greed greed, and the mind of greed could not become that of non-greed. O good man! For this reason, the bond of greed cannot defile the mind. All Buddhas have eternally done away with the mind of greed. On that account, we say that one gains liberation of mind. This is said because all beings gain the bond of greed through causal relations, and through causal relations they attain liberation. O good man! For example, this is as with a precipice in the Himalayas. A man cannot go along it with a monkey. There might be a place where the monkey can go on his own, but not the man. Or there might be a place where both man and monkey can go. O good man! Where both man and monkey can go, a hunter places a table, on which he deposits birdlime and catches the monkey. As the monkey lacks intellect, he touches the lime with his hands. Through touching it, his hands get stuck. To free his hands, he touches the lime with his feet. His feet get stuck. To get his feet free, he bites [at the birdlime] with his mouth. His mouth further gets stuck. Thus, the five parts [of the monkey] are unable to get free. Then the hunter pases a staff through the monkey [i.e. kills the monkey] and returns home.
“The steep precipice in the Himalayas is the Right Path, along which the Buddha and Bodhisattvas walk; the monkey is comparable to all common mortals; the hunter is Marapapiyas; the birdlime is the bond of greed. Man and monkey being unable to walk together is analogous to all common mortals being unable to walk together with Marapapiyas. We say that the monkey can go and that man cannot: this is comparable to the fact that even the tirthikas who have intelligence and all devils cannot draw one to the bait even with the five desires. We say that man and monkey go well together: this means that all common mortals and Marapapiyas are always lost in birth and death and cannot properly practise the Way. Common mortals are bound up by the five desires, so that Marapapiyas can easily catch them and carry them away. This is like the hunter who catches the monkey with birdlime and takes him back home.
“O good man! If the king remains in his own country, his body and mind will be at ease; if abroad, he will have to suffer from many things. So do matters stand with all beings. If one lives in one’s own domain, one is in peace. But out of one’s own domain, one comes across devils and has to suffer from all manner of worries. One’s own domain refers to the four thinkings, and the place of others to the five desires.
“How do we say that one belongs to Mara? All beings see the non-eternal as the Eternal, the Eternal as the non-Eternal, Suffering as non-Suffering, Bliss as Suffering, the Impure as the Pure, the Pure as the Impure, the non-Self as the Self, the Self as non-Self, what is not true Emancipation carelessly as Emancipation, true Emancipation as non-Emancipation, non-Vehicle as Vehicle, and Vehicle as non-Vehicle. Such people belong to the class of the Maras. One who belongs to Mara does not have a pure mind.
“Also, next, O good man! If a person truly sees all things as “is” and general and individual forms as fixed, know that this person will – when he sees any concrete thing – see as though looking at a concrete thing. This will apply down to consciousness. When he encounters consciousness, he will entertain the thought of having had a consciousness [of something]. Seeing a man, he will see the form of a man; seeing a woman, the form of a woman; seeing the sun, the form of the sun; seeing the moon, the form of the moon; seeing the form of age, the form of age; seeing a skandha, the form of a skandha; seeing a sense-sphere, the form of a sense-sphere; seeing a sense-realm, the form of a sense-realm. Any such person is the kindred of Mara. One who is the kindred of Mara does not possess a pure mind.
“Also, next, O good man! A person might come to think that the Self is matter [“rupa”], that the Self exists in matter; that there is matter in the Self, that matter belongs to the Self. Or he may view the Self as consciousness, or think that the Self exists in consciousness, that consciousness exists in the Self, that consciousness belongs to the Self. Any such person who views things thus belongs to Mara; any person who see things thus is not my disciple.
“O good man! My sravaka disciples part from the 12 types of sutra of the Tathagata and learn and practise the various kinds of books of the tirthikas; not studying the works of renunciation and silent extinction of a priest, they exclusively perform what secular people do. What are the works of the secular world? What are the impurities? They receive and keep all such things as male and female menial servants, fields and houses, elephants, horses, vehicles, donkeys, mules, fowls, dogs, pigs, sheep, and all kinds of cereals, from barley to wheat. They part from their teachers and priests, and associate with the laity. Acting contrary to the holy teaching, they address white-clad [i.e. lay] people and say: “The Buddha permits the bhiksus to receive and keep various impure things.” This is where we speak of people learning things of the secular world.
“There are various disciples who, not acting for Nirvana, approach and give ear to the 12 types of sutra and don priestly robes or greedily eat those things intended for priests who have come from afar, as though they were their own things. They feel jealousy and resentment when they hear of the praise and fame of other families. They associate with the king and all princes, are interested in good and bad fortune [i.e. they go in for fortune-telling], guess at the waxing and waning of the moon. They love and befriend chess, gambling, chobo [i.e. a gambling game], throwing arrows into a pot, bhiksunis [nuns], girls, and keeping two sramaneras. They always visit the houses of butchers, hunters, bars, and the places where candalas live. They sell and buy, they make food themselves, they receive messengers from neighbouring countries and give news. Know that such people are kindred to Mara and are no disciples of mine. Thus, the mind comes about with greed and thus dies with greed. This applies down to the ignorant mind, which emerges together [with ignorance] and dies out together [with ignorance]. O good man! For this reason, it is not the case that the nature of the mind is pure or not pure. Hence, I say that one gains liberation of mind.
“If a person does not receive and store [impure things], but – for the sake of Great Nirvana – upholds, recites, copies and explains to others the 12 types of sutra, know that such a person is truly my disciple. Such a person does not perform what belongs to the world of Marapapiyas; such a person learns and practises the 37 elements of Enlightenment. Learning and practising the Way, such a person does not come about together with greed and does not die together with greed. This is what we mean when we say that the Bodhisattva practises the All-Wonderful Great Nirvana Sutra and perfects and accomplishes the eighth virtue.”
“Also, next, O good man! How does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practise the All-Wonderful Great Nirvana Sutra and perfect and accomplish the ninth virtue? O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the Way of the All-Wonderful Great Nirvana Sutra and first calls forth five things and perfects these. What are the five? These are: 1) faith, 2) a straight mind, 3) the moral precepts, 4) associating with a good friend, and 5) erudition.
“What is faith? The Bodhisattva-mahasattva believes that there is recompense in the Three Jewels and in giving. The two truths [i.e. relative and ultimate] and the Way of the One Vehicle [“ekayana”] are not different. He believes that all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas classify things into three, so that all beings quickly gain Emancipation. He believes in “Paramartha-satya” [the truth of Ultimate Reality] and good expedient means. This is faith.
“A person who believes thus cannot be beaten by any sramanas, Brahmins, Marapapiyas, Brahma, or anyone. When a person grounds himself in this faith, he gains the nature of a holy sage. One practises giving, and this – whether big or small – all leads to Mahaparinirvana, and thus one does not fall into birth and death. It is the same with upholding the moral precepts, hearing the Way, and Wisdom, too. This is faith. Though one may have this faith, one does not yet see. This is how the Bodhisattva practises the Way of Great Nirvana and perfects the first thing.
“What is the straight mind? The Bodhisattva-mahasattva maintains a straight mind towards all beings. All beings flatter, as occasion arises. It is not so with the Bodhisattva. Why not? Because he knows well that all good things come about through causal relations. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva sees all the evils and wrongs done by beings. But he does not speak about these things. Why not? Possibly worries will come about. If defilements raise their head, this will lead to evil realms. If he sees beings performing some small good deeds, he praises [them]. What is a good deed? It is the so-called Buddha-Nature. When the Buddha-Nature is praised, all beings aspire to unsurpassed Enlightenment.”
Then, the All-Shining Bodhisattva-mahasattva Highly-Virtuous King said to the Buddha: “O World-Honoured One! You say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva expresses praise and causes innumerable beings to aspire to unsurpassed Bodhi. But this is not so. Why not? The Tathagata, in the opening part of the Nirvana Sutra, says that there are three kinds.
“Firstly, you say that if a patient obtains a good doctor, good medicine, and a good medical attendant, the illness will easily be cured and that if things are otherwise, it will not be cured.
“Second, you say that the illness fails to get cured, regardless of whether one obtains such or not.
“Third, you say that whether one obtains these things or not, all will be cured. The same is the case with all beings.
“If one encounters a good friend, encounters all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and gives ear to the sermons, one aspires to unsurpassed Enlightenment. If not, there cannot be any aspiration. So there are the srotapanna, sakrdagamin, anagamin, arhat, and pratyekabuddha.
“Second, a person may encounter a good friend, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and give ear to the sermons, but is unable to aspire; even if he does not encounter such, there will be no aspiration. This refers to the icchantika.
“Third, there is the situation where people all aspire to unsurpassed Enlightenment, whether they encounter such or not. This refers to the case of the Bodhisattva.
“If it is the case that a person aspires to unsurpassed Enlightenment, how can you explain and say: “By praising the Buddha-Nature, all beings aspire to unsurpassed Enlightenment?” O World-Honoured One! If it is the case that whether one encounters a good friend, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and listens to their sermons, or whether one is unable to, one cannot all-equally aspire to unsurpassed Enlightenment, we can know that this is not so. Why not? Because such a person attains unsurpassed Enlightenment. Because by means of the Buddha-Nature, even the icchantika has to attain unsurpassed Enlightenment, whether he gives ear to the sermons or not.
“O World-Honoured One! You say “icchantika”. But what is the icchantika? You say that he is devoid of the wholsesome root. This also is not so. Why not? Because such a person is not devoid of the Buddha-Nature. Thus, logically, the Buddha-Nature cannot be lacking [in anything]. How can you say that the entire root of good has been cut off?
“You previously spoke of the 12 types of sutras and said that there were two kinds of food, namely: 1) the eternal, and 2) the non-eternal. The eternal refers to the uncut, and the non-eternal to the cut. The non-eternal can be cut off. So a person falls into hell. The eternal cannot be cut off. Why not? If the Buddha-Nature is not cut off, there is no icchantika. Why do you, the Tathagata, speak thus and put forward such a view of the icchantika? O World-Honoured One! The Buddha-Nature gains one unsurpassed Enlightenment. How is it that you, the Tathagata, so expansively deliver the sermons of the 12 types of sutras? O World-Honoured One! For example, the four rivers take their rise from [Lake] Anavatapta. The devas and all Buddhas might say that the rivers do not flow into the great sea, but turn back to their source. But this makes no sense. It is the same with the mind of Enlightenment. Anybody with the Buddha-Nature must attain unsurpassed Enlightenment, whether he has heard the sermons or not, whether he has upheld the moral precepts or not, whether he has practised giving or not, whether he has practised the Way or not, whether he has Wisdom or not. O World-Honoured One! From out of Mount Udayana rises the sun, and it moves right on to the south. The sun might pray: “I will not go west; I will return east.” But nothing like this ever happens. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature. One may say that non-hearing, non-upholding of the precepts, non-giving, non-practising of the Way, and non-Wisdom do not bestow unsurpassed Enlightenment. But such a situation never obtains.
“O World-Honoured One! The All-Buddha-Tathagata says that the nature of causality is “is-not” and “not-is-not”. This is not so. Why not? If there is not the nature of cream in milk, there cannot be any cream. If there the seed of the nyagrodha did not possess the nature to be as high as 50 feet, it could not gain this quality of 50 feet. If there were no tree of unsurpassed Enlightenment in the Buddha-Nature, how could one expect to have a tree of unsurpassed Enlightenment? If causality is neither “is-not” nor “not-is-not”, how does this accord well with reason?”
Then the Buddha expressed praise and said: “Well said, well said, O good man! There are two types of people in the world who are as rare as the udumbara. One is the person who does not commit evil deeds; the second is the person who thoroughly confesses when he has sinned. Such persons are extremely rare. There are two further types of people. One benefits others; the other remembers well the benefits he has had. Furthermore, there are two kinds of people. One accepts new rules, and the other looks back to what is now gone and does not forget. Also, there are two [further] types of people. One does what is new, and the other practises what is old. Also, there are two [other types of] people. One takes pleasure in giving ear to Dharma, and the other takes pleasure in speaking of Dharma. Also, there are two [further] types of people. One asks about what is difficult, and the other answers well. You are the [type of] person who asks well about what is difficult; the Tathagata is the one who answers well. O good man! By means of these good questions, there can be the turning of the Wheel of Dharma, the killing of the great tree of the 12 links of causation, the passing of people across the boundless sea of birth and death, the good fight against King Marapapiyas, and the smiting down of Papiyas’s victorious banner.
“O good man! I have spoken thus of the three patients and said that whether there is encountering or non-encountering of a good doctor, attendance, and good medicine, a cure results. What does this mean? We say that one “gains” or “does not gain”. This refers to the destined span of life. Why? Now, over the course of innumerable ages, this person has practised the three good deeds: top, middle, and low. By practising these three good deeds, he gains his destined span of life. This is as in the case of a person of Uttarakuru, where the life-span is 1,000 years. Now, one may acquire an illness. But no matter whether one gains a good doctor, good medicine, or good attendance: all ends in a cure. Why? Because one has one’s destined span of life. O good man! I say: “If one gains a good doctor, good medicine, and good attendance, one can drive the illness away; if not, the illness will not retreat.” Now, what does this mean? O good man! Such a person’s life-span is not definite. Even though the [expected] end of his life has not yet been reached, by the nine factors of causal relations, he loses his life. What are the nine?
“First, he knows well of the unreliability of food and yet, in contradiction of this, he partakes of it.
“Second, he eats overmuch.
“Third, he eats even when the former food has not yet been digested.
“Fourth, he is not regular in his calls of nature.
“Fifth, even though he is ill, he does not comply with the words of the doctor.
“Sixth, he does not follow the advice of the medical attendants.
“Seventh, he strongly holds things in and does not put them out [i.e. he suffers from constipation].
“Eighth, he goes about at night. As he goes about at night, the devils come and attack him.
“Ninth, his room is not very good.
“For this reason, I say that if the patient takes the medicine, his illness will be cured, and if he does not, it will not be cured. O good man! I said above that the illness will not be cured, whether [the medicine is] taken or not. Why? Because the life-span is ended. Hence I say that the sick person will not gain a cure, whether the medicine is taken or not. So do things obtain with beings. Anybody who gains Bodhichitta, whether he has met with a good friend or not, with all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, will Awaken and gain the depths of Dharma. Why? Because he aspires to Enlightenment. This is like the people of Uttarakuru, who are blessed with a definite span of age. As I say, those people from the stage of srotapanna up to pratyekabuddha, when they listen to the words of deep meaning from a good friend, from all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, will gain the mind of unsurpassed Enlightenment.
“I say that if a person does not encounter the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas and does not listen to the words of deep meaning, he cannot aspire to the mind of unsurpassed Enlightenment. This is as with a person who dies an unnatural death due to the nine kinds of causal relations which are indefinite. His illness will be cured when he encounters medical treatment and medicine. If not, it will not be cured. That is why I say that if a person listens to the words of deep meaning of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, he aspires to Bodhichitta, and if not, he cannot.
“I said above that a person might encounter a good friend, the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas and listen to the words of deep meaning, or he may not. In both cases, he does not aspire to Bodhichitta. What does this mean? O good man! The icchantika is unable to do away with the mind of the icchantika, no matter whether he encounters a good friend, the Buddha or the Bodhisattvas, and listens to the words of deep meaning or not. Why? Because he is segregated from Wonderful Dharma. The icchantika, too, will gain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Why? If he aspires to Enlightenment, such a one is no longer an icchantika.
“O good man! Why do we say that even the icchantika, as well, gains unsurpassed Enlightenment? The icchantika really does not attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. It is as with the person who faces the end of his life and who cannot be cured by a doctor, good medicine, or good medical attendance. Why not? Because life has reached the point where he can live no longer.
“O good man! “Issen” means “faith”; “dai” means “not accompanied”. When a person does not possess faith, we say “issendai”. The Buddha-Nature is no “faith”. The “being” does not mean “to possess”. Not possessing, how can the person think of cutting off? “Issen” means “good expedient means”, and “dai” “not to possess”. When the good expedient means is not practised, we speak of the “icchantika”. We say “Buddha-Nature”. It is not to practise the good expedient means. Beings do not possess this. Not possessing it, how can it be cut off?
“Issen” means “to go forward”, and “dai” “not to possess”. When a person does not possess anything that will enable them to go forward, we speak of the icchantika. The Buddha-Nature is “not going forward” and beings are “not possessing”. When there is no possessing, how can there be any cutting off?
“Issen means “to remember”, and dai “not to possess”. When a person does not possess remembrance, we say icchantika. The Buddha-Nature is no remembrance, and beings are no possessing, so how can a person think of cutting off?
“Issen means “samadhi”, and dai “not possessing”. When samadhi is not possessed, we speak of the icchantika. The Buddha-Nature is no samadhi and beings no possessing. When there is no such possessing, how can one think of ever cutting off?
“Issen means “Wisdom” and dai “not possessing”. When a person does not possess Wisdom, we speak of the icchantika. The Buddha-Nature is no Wisdom and beings “no possessing”. When a person does not possess Wisdom, how can there be cutting off?
“Issen means “non-eternal good” and dai “not possessing”. When a person does not possess the non-eternal good, we say icchantika. The Buddha-Nature is Eternal. It is neither good, nor non-good. Why? Wonderful Dharma unfailingly arises out of expedient means, but this Buddha-Nature is not something that arises out of expedient means. So, it is non-good. And why is it not anything good? Because a good result truly comes about. This good result is none other than unsurpassed Enlightenment.
“Also, because Wonderful Dharma is what we gain after birth. And this Buddha-Nature is not something we gain after birth. Hence, it is not anything that can be termed good. When a person is segregated from the Wonderful Dharma that one gains after birth, we say icchantika.
“O good man! For example, there is a king who hears a harp, the sound of which is serene and wonderful. His mind bewitched, joy and bliss arise, intermingled with loving thoughts, and it is hard [for him] to part with the superb feeling. He says to his minister: “From where does that wonderful kind of sound arise?” The minister replies: “That wonderful sound comes from the harp, sire.” The King further says: “Bring me that sound!” Then the minister places the harp before the seat of the king and says: “O great King! This is the sound!” The King says to the harp: “Call forth the sound, call forth the sound!” But the harp does not bring forth any sound. Then the King cuts the strings, and still there is no sound. He tears off the skin, crushes the wood and breaks everything up into pieces, intending to press the sound out, but no sound [comes]. Then the King gets angry with the minister and says: “How dare you lie to me!” The minister says to the King: “Now, this is not the way to get at the good sound. All the causal relations and good expedient means can indeed call forth the sound.”
“It is the same with the Buddha-Nature. There is no place where it rests. Only through the best expedient means is it able to appear. When it can be seen, one gains unsurpassed Enlightenment. The icchantika cannot see the Buddha-Nature. [So] how can he make away with the sins of the three realms?
“O good man! If the icchantika believes in the fact that there is the Buddha-Nature, know that he cannot fall into the three realms. Also, such a person is not even called an icchantika. Not believing in the fact that there is the Buddha-Nature, this carries him down into the three realms. When a person falls into the three realms, he is an icchantika.
“O good man! You say that if there is not the nature of cream in milk, it cannot bring forth cream; if the seed of the nyagrodha tree does not possess a nature to be 50 feet tall, there cannot be the fact of 50 feet. An ignorant person might well say this, but not one who is wise. Why? Because there is no nature. O good man! If there were the nature of cream, there would be no need to call in the power of causal relations. O good man! Mix water and milk together and leave them thus for a month, and we will never gain any cream. If a drop of “phalgu” [ficus oppositifolia: a red powder usually made from wild ginger root] juice is added, we obtain cream. If there was [already] the phenomenon of cream, why would we need to wait upon the joint workings of causal relations? The same is the case with the Buddha-Nature of all beings. Assisted by various causal relations, we [come to] see it; being grounded on various causal relations, we gain unsurpassed Enlightenment. If things come about assisted by causal relations, this tells us that there is no nature that may be called its own. As there is no nature that can be named, one can well attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. O good man! For this reason, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva always praises the good of a person and does not speak badly about what is deficient. This is the straight mind.
“Also, next, O good man! What is the straight mind of the Bodhisattva? The Bodhisattva-mahasattva never does evil. If evil is performed, the Bodhisattva immediately repents. He never hides [his evil] from his teacher or classmates. His repentance reproaches his own self, and no more evil is done. Even a small sin he feels as grave. When asked, he answers: “I did this”. When asked: “Is it right or wrong, good or not good?”, he answers: “Not good!” When asked: “Will the sin call forth any result that is good or bad?”, he answers: “The result will be one that is not good.” “Who is responsible for this sin? Are not all the Buddhas, Dharma and Sangha responsible?”, he answers: “It is not from the Buddha, Dharma or Sangha. This is what I did myself.” This is what defilements create. By the straight mind, he believes in the existence of the Buddha-Nature. When a person believes in the Buddha-Nature, he cannot be an icchantika. Because of this straight mind, we speak of the Buddha’s disciple. He may be given a thousand items of clothing, drink, food, bedding, medical attendance, and medicines. All this cannot be called much. This is the Bodhisattva’s straight mind.
“How does the Bodhisattva practise sila [the moral precepts]? The Bodhisattva-mahasattva upholds sila, but not for birth in the heavens, nor out of fear; nor does he receive silas against dogs, fowls, cows, and pheasants. He does not violate sila, nor does he fail in it, or wrong it; nor does he practise any mixed-up silas; nor any sravaka sila. He upholds the sila of the Bodhisattva-mahasattva, the silaparamita [perfected morality]. He is perfect in the upasampada, and is not arrogant. This is the sense in which we say that the Bodhisattva practises the Way of Gret Nirvana and is perfect in the third sila.
“How does the Bodhisattva befriend a good friend? The Bodhisattva-mahasattva always practises much and expounds to beings the Way, not anything evil, saying that evil never calls forth a good result. O good man! I am the good teacher of all beings. Hence I thoroughly destroy the twisted views of the Brahmins. O good man! If any beings befriend me, they gain birth in the heavens, even though there be reason for them to fall into hell. This is as with Sunaksatra and others, who, on seeing me, were born in the Rupadhatu Heaven, extirpating the causal relations of being born in hell. There are such persons as Sariputra and Maudgalyayana, who were no true good teachers of the Way to beings. Why? Due to gaining the mind of the icchantika.
“O good man! I once lived in Varanasi. At that time, Sariputra taught two disciples. The one he taught to meditate upon white bones, and the other to count the number of breaths. Even after many years, they could gain no meditation. As a result of this, they acquired twisted views and said: “There is no undefiled dharma of Nirvana. If there were, I would have gained it. Why? I observe well all the silas that I have to observe.” Then, on seeing that these bhiksus had acquired twisted views, I sent for Sariputra and reproached him: “You do not teach well. Why do you teach these persons in an inverted way? Your disciples differ in their bent. One is a washerman, and the other is a goldsmith. The son of a goldsmith may be taught the counting of the number of breaths, and the washerman to meditate on white bones. As you teach in the wrong way, these two persons gain wrong views.” I then taught these two persons as they ought to have been taught, and the two, after having been taught, attained arhatship. Therefore, I am the good teacher of the Way for all beings, and not Sariputra or Maudgalyayana. If any being who might have the worst fetter of defilement happens to meet me, I can, using the best expedient means, thoroughly cut away the root.
“My younger brother, Nanda, possessed the greatest of greed, and I did away with it by putting into effect various good expedients.
“Angulimalya possessed the greatest of malevolence. But on seeing me, he did away with it.
“King Ajatasatru was extremely ignorant. But on seeing me, he did away with this.
“The rich man, Bakiga , had amassed, in the course of innumerable periods of time, the heaviest of defilements. But on seeing me, his defilements all departed.
“Any evil or lowly person can win the respect and love of all humans and devas by befriending me and becoming my disciple.
“Srigupta was extremely evil-minded. But on seeing me, all his perverted views of life were done away with. On seeing me, he made away with the cause for hell and gained the [prerequisite] condition for birth in the heavens.
“Kikosendara was about to lose his life. But on seeing me, he gained his life.
“Kausika was about to lose his head, when, on seeing me, he gained the true mind.
“The butcher son of Kisagotami always committed evil. But on seeing me, he did away with it.
“On seeing me, Sendaibiku became unwavering in the observance of sila, so that he would even abandon his life rather than violate sila, as in the case of Sokebiku [i.e. the “grass-bound bhiksu”. So named due to the fact that once this bhiksu was deprived of all his clothing by robbers and then was tied up to grass and thus left out in the sun. But the bhiksu did not try to rend himself free from the grass, as he thought this would kill the grass. The king saw this and freed him. The king was greatly impressed by this holy action and later himself joined the Sangha]. For this reason, Ananda is said to have stated that a semi-pure action is a good teacher of the Way. But the case with me is not so. I say that a fully pure action is the good teacher of the Way. This is how the Bodhisattva practises the Way of Great Nirvana and perfects the fourth action of befriending a good teacher of the Way.
“How does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva perfect rich hearing? The Bodhisattva, for the sake of Great Nirvana, copies, recites, understands and expounds the 12 types of sutras. This, we say, is how the Bodhisattva perfects rich hearing.
“Excluding the 11 types of sutras, the Bodhisattva upholds, recites, copies and expounds the vaipulya. This, we say, is how the Bodhisattva perfects rich hearing.
“Excluding the 12 types of sutras, the Bodhisattva upholds, copies, studies and expounds the All-Wonderful Sutra of Great Nirvana. This is also the perfection of rich hearing by the Bodhisattva.
“Even if one takes up the whole of this sutra, but upholds a four-line gatha, or even excludes this gatha, but believes in the fact that the Tathagata is Eternal and Does Not Change – even this can be the perfection of the Bodhisattva’s rich hearing.
“Also, a person may even make away with this, but only know that the Tathagata does not always deliver sermons. And even this is the perfection of rich hearing by the Bodhisattva. Why? Because there is no thing that can be termed Dharma nature itself. The Tathagata talks of Dharma. But there exists nothing such as that which can be talked about. This, we say, is how the Bodhsiattva practises the Way of Great Nirvana and is perfect in the fifth rich hearing.
“O good man! There may be a good man or good woman who, for the sake of Great Nirvana, perfects or accomplishes the five things and does what is difficult to do, endures what cannot be endured, and gives what cannot be given.
“How does the Bodhisattva do well that which is difficult to do? When he hears that a man just takes a sesame seed for food and attains unsurpassed Enlightenment, he believes this, and for a period of innumerable asamkhyas of kalpas, he partakes of a single sesame seed. If he hears that he attains unsurpassed Enlightenment by entering fire, he will go into the burning fires of Avichi Hell for a period of innumerable kalpas. This is where we say that the Bodhisattva does what is difficult to do.
“How does the Bodhisattva endure what is difficult to endure? If he hears that one can attain Great Nirvana by bearing the hardships of having his hand struck by a staff or a sword or a stone, he will, for a period of innumerable asamkhyas of kalpas, subject his body [to such] and will not make it a pain [i.e. he will not regard this as painful]. This is where we say that the Bodhisattva endures well what is difficult to endure.
“How does the Bodhisattva give what is hard to give? If he hears that by giving away to others one’s national castle, one’s wife and children, one’s head, eyes, or marrow, one gains unsurpassed Enlightenment, he will for a period of innumerable asamkhyas of kalpas give away his castle town, his wife and children, his head, eyes and marrow to others. This is how we speak of the Bodhisattva’s giving away what is hard to give away.
“The Bodhisattva does what is difficult to do, but he in no way says: “This is what I did.” This applies to what is difficult to endure and what is difficult to give away.
“O good man! For example, there are [two] parents who have a child. They love this child very much. They give this son fine clothes and the best dishes when the occasion requires such, and the child has no feeling of anything lacking. If their son becomes arrogant and speaks unpleasing words, they suppress their anger out of their love; they do not even think to themselves that they have given this son of theirs clothing and food. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva, too. He views all beings as though they were his only son. If the son suffers from illness, the parents also suffer. They seek a doctor, medicine, and medical attendance. When the illness has departed, they do not think that they have cured their son of his illness and done away with it. It is the same with the Bodhisattva. Seeing that all beings suffer from the illness of defilement, compassion awakens in his mind. And he speaks of Dharma. When a person listens to his sermons, all defilements flee. When the defilements have gone, he does not think or say that he has done away with the sufferings of defilement. Should any such thought occur to him, he would not be able to attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. He only thinks that he has never spoken of the Way to a being and has thus cut off the fetter of defilement. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva experiences no anger or joy towards beings. Why not? Because he practises the samadhi of the All-Void. On practising the samadhi of the All-Void, to whom could the Bodhisattva evince any anger or joy? O good man! For example, a forest becomes consumed by a great fire and gets burnt down, or is felled by man, or gets inundated with water. But do the forest-trees grow angry or become pleased? It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva. He possesses no anger or joy towards any being. Why not? Because he practises the samadhi of the All-Void.”
Then the All-Shining Bodhisattva-mahasattva Highly-Virtuous King said to the Buddha: “O World-Honoured One! Is the nature of all things void? Or is it void when we practise the Void? If the nature is All-Void, there cannot be any gaining of the All-Void by practising the All-Void. How can the Tathagata say that one gains the All-Void by practising the All-Void? If the nature is not All-Void, there cannot be any gaining of the All-Void by practising the All-Void.”
“O good man! The nature of all things is originally All-Void. Why? Because we cannot hold in our hands the nature of all things. O good man! The nature of matter cannot be held in one’s hand. What is the nature of matter? Matter is not earth, water, fire, or wind. And [yet] it does not part from the nature of earth, water, fire, and wind. It is not blue, yellow, red, or white. And it does not part from blue, yellow, red, or white. It is not is; it is not is-not. How can we say that matter has its own nature?
“As its nature is impossible to catch hold of, we say “all-void”. It is the same with all things. As there is similarity and continuity, common mortals see and say that the nature of all things is not all-void. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva perfects the five things. So he sees that the original nature of all things is all-silence. O good man! If there is any sramana or Brahmin who sees that the nature of all things is not all-void, know that such a one is no sramana, or no Brahmin. Such a person cannot practise prajnaparamita and attain Great Nirvana. He cannot see all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas face to face; he is the kindred of Mara. O good man! The nature of all things is originally All-Void. And when the Bodhisattva practises the All-Void, he sees the All-Void of all things.
“O good man! The nature of all things is impermanent. So, extinction well extinguishes extinction. If things were not impermanent, extinction could not extinguish. Any created thing has the phase of birth. So, a birth can call forth a birth. As there is the phase of extinction, this phase of extinction well calls forth extinction.
“All things have the characteristic of suffering; on account of this, suffering evokes suffering. O good man! The nature of salt is salty. So it indeed makes other things taste salty. Rock candy is sweet by nature. So it indeed makes other things [taste] sweet. Vinegar is sour by nature. So it makes other things taste sour. Ginger is pungent by nature. So it makes other things taste pungent. Haritaki tastes bitter. So it makes other things taste bitter. The mango [“amra”] tastes light. So it makes other things taste light. Poison truly harms others. The amrta’s [i.e. ambrosia’s] nature makes a person immortal. Also, mixed with alien things, it enables such not to die. The case is the same with the Bodhisattva who practises the All-Void. When he practises the All-Void, he sees the nature of all things to be all-void and silent.”
The All-Shining Bodhisattva-mahasattva Highly-Virtuous King further said: “If salt can make what is not salty salty, and if, thus practising the samadhi of the All-Void, matters stand thus, we can know that this is definitely not what is good, not what is wonderful, but that the nature is upside down. The samadhi of the All-Void sees only the All-Void. The Void is not a thing. What thing is there there to see?”
“O good man! The samadhi of the All-Void makes what is not void void and silent. It is nothing that is upside down. This is as when what is not salty is made to become salty. The case is the same with this samadhi of the All-Void. It makes what is not void void. O good man! Greed is by nature “is” and is nothing of the nature of the void. If greed is by nature all-void, beings, through causal relations, could not fall into hell. If they fall into hell, how can it be that the nature of greed is all-void? O good man! The nature of matter is “is”. What is its nature? It is what is upside down [i.e. an inversion of the truth]. Being upside down, beings acquire desire. If this desire were not upside down, how could beings acquire desire? As desire comes about, know that the nature of matter is not that which is not “is”. For this reason, the practice of the samadhi of the All-Void is not upside down.
“O good man! When every common mortal sees a woman, there arises the form of a woman. Not so with the Bodhisattva. Even on seeing a woman, he does not gain the form of a woman. Gaining no form of a woman, there arises no desire. As no desire comes about, this is nothing that is upside down. When worldly people see a woman, the Bodhisattva accordingly says: “There is a woman”. If a man is seen and the Bodhisattva says: “This is a woman”, this is an inversion. For this reason I said to Jyoti: “You Brahmin! If you call day night, this is an inversion; if you call night day, this again is an inversion. That which is day is the form of day, and that which is night is the form of night. How can this be an inversion?” O good man! If a Bodhisattva abides in the ninth soil, he sees that a thing has a nature. Because of this view of the world, he does not see the Buddha-Nature. If the Buddha-Nature is seen, there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing. When he practises this samadhi of the All-Void, he does not see any nature in all things. As he does not see this, he sees the Buddha-Nature.
“All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas speak of two aspects. The one is the nature of “is”, and the other is that of “not-is”. For the sake of beings, they say that there is a nature in a thing. For the sake of holy ones, they say that there is no nature in things. In order to let a person of the non-Void see the Void, that person is made to practise the samadhi of the All-Void. With those persons who see no nature in all things, what there is is the All-Void, because they practise the Void. For this reason, a person sees the Void by practising the Void. O good man! You say that if one sees the Void, this means that the Void is equal to no thing, and ask what that thing is that one must see. O good man! It is thus, it is thus. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva sees nothing. To say that one sees nothing means that one possesses nothing. To say that there is nothing possessed equals all things. If the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the Way of Great Nirvana, he sees nothing in all things. If something is seen, this tells us that one sees no Buddha-Nature. One cannot [in such circumstances] practise prajnaparamita and gain Mahaparinirvana. For this reason, the Bodhisattva sees that all things are characterised by having nothing that can be possessed.
“O good man! It is not only the case that the Bodhisattva, by seeing this samadhi, sees the Void. He sees that prajnaparamita is Void, dhyanaparamita is Void, viriyaparamita is Void, ksantiparamita is Void, silaparamita is Void, danaparamita is Void, matter is Void, the eye is Void, consciousness, too, is Void, the Tathagata is Void, and Mahaparinirvana is Void. Thus, the Bodhisattva sees things as Void.
“That is why I said to Ananda at Kapilavastu: “Do not be sad, do not cry and weep.” Ananda said: “O Tathagata-World-Honoured One! Now, all my relatives are dead. How can I not weep? The Tathagata was born in this castle-town together with me, and we are all related to the Shakya clan. How is it that the Tathagata alone is not sad and does not worry, but displays such a bright visage?”
“O good man! I then said: “O Ananda! You think that Kapilavastu truly exists, whereas I see that all is empty and silent and that there is nothing that exists. You see all the Shakyas as your relatives. But I see totally nothing therein, because I practise the All-Void. That is why you gain sorrow and pain, and I look all the more bright. As all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas practise the samadhi of the All-Void, they do not show any sorrow or worry.” This is how the Bodhisattva practises the Way of the All-Wonderful Sutra of Great Nirvana and perfects and accomplishes the ninth virtue.
“Also, next, O good man! How does the Bodhisattva practise the teaching of the All-Wonderful Sutra of Great Nirvana and perfect the last and tenth virtue [i.e. after, for example, the practice of the All-Void]?
“O good man! The Bodhisattva practises the 37 factors leading to Enlightenment, gains the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure, and then, for the sake of beings, classifies and expounds the Sutra of Great Nirvana and reveals the Buddha-Nature. Anybody of the stages of srotapanna, sakrdagamin, anagamin, arhat, pratyekabuddha or Bodhisattva who believes in this word will attain Mahaparinirvana. Any person who does not believe repeats the cycle of birth and death.”
Then the All-Shining Bodhisattva-mahasattva Highly-Virtuous King said to the Buddha: “O World-Honoured One! Who are the beings who do not respect the sutras?”
“O good man! After my entering Nirvana, there will be sravaka disciples who are ignorant and violate the precepts and take pleasure in disputation. They will cast away the 12 types of sutra and recite and copy the documents of the various schools of the tirthikas, keep all impure things, and say that these are things that were permitted by the Buddha. Such people will trade sandalwood for common wood, gold for brass, silver for solder, silk for wool, and amrta [ambrosia] for bad poison.
“What do I mean when I say that sandalwood is traded for common wood? My disciples, for the sake of alms, will preach Dharma to all the white-clad [i.e. the laity]. People will lose interest and not give ear. They will sit high and the bhiksus low. Besides, they will offer various kinds of food and drink. But they will not listen. This is what we mean by trading sandalwood for common wood.
“What do we mean by trading gold for brass? The brass may be likened to colour, sound, smell, taste, and touch, and gold to the moral precepts. All my disciples will violate the precepts they have received for reason of things. So we say they trade gold for brass.
“Why do we say trading silver for solder? We liken silver to the ten good deeds and solder to the ten evil deeds. All my disciples will abandon the ten good deeds, performing the ten evil deeds. So we say they trade silver for solder.
“How does a person trade silk for wool? Wool is likened to non-repentance and shamelessness, and silk to having a sense of shame. All my disciples will abandon repentance and not feel ashamed. This is why we say that they will relinquish silk for wool.
“How does one trade amrta for poison? Poison can be likened to the various alms offered, and amrta to undefiled Dharma. All my disciples will praise their own selves for profit in the presence of the laity and will claim that they have attained that which is undefiled. This is what we mean when we say they will trade amrta for poison.
“Due to such bhiksus of evil designs, even when this All-Wonderful Sutra of Great Nirvana flourishes in Jambudvipa and when all disciples recite, copy, and preach it, and cause it to flourish, these will be killed by such evil bhiksus. Then, all such bhiksus of evil designs will gather together and take oaths: “If any person upholds, copies, recites, or studies the Great Nirvana Sutra, we will not sit together with them, not talk or exchange words with them. Why not? The Great Nirvana Sutra is not a sutra of the Buddha’s. Why not? It is a work of perverted views. These perverted views are none but of the six masters. What the six masters say is no sutra of the Buddha. Why not? All Buddhas say that all things are impermanent, non-Self, non-bliss, and non-pure. When it is said that all things are the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure, how could this be a sutra of the Buddha’s? All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas permit the bhiksus to store up various things. The six masters do not allow their disciples to store up anything. How could all this be what the Buddha says? All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas do not tell their disciples to refrain from the five tastes [i.e. the five varieties of milk product] and from eating meat. The six masters do not permit the five kinds of salt, the five tastes of the cow, and fat and blood. How could the prohibiting of these be the right teaching of the Buddha’s sutra? All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas preach the three vehicles. But this sutra speaks only of One. It speaks of Great Nirvana. How could anything such be the right teaching of the Buddha? All Buddhas ultimately enter Nirvana. This sutra says that the Buddha is the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure, and that he does not enter Nirvana. This sutra does not have any place amongst the 12 types of sutras. This is what Mara says. This is no sermon of the Buddha’s.”
“O good man! Any such person might be my disciple, but he is unable to believe in this sutra. O good man! If, at such a juncture, there should be any person who believes in this sutra, or in even half a line [of it], know that such a person is truly my disciple. With such faith, one will see the Buddha-Nature and enter Nirvana.”
Then, the All-Shining Bodhisattva Highly-Virtuous King said to the Buddha: “O World-Honoured One! It is very well, it is very well that the Tathagata today thoroughly opens up the Great Nirvana Sutra. O World-Honoured One! I have now, through this, come to know of a single or half a line of this Great Nirvana Sutra. As I come to understand a line or half a line, I now see somewhat of the Buddha-Nature, which you the Buddha speak about. I too shall be able to attain Great Nirvana. This is how we speak of the Bodhisattva’s practising the Way of the All-Wonderful Sutra of Great Nirvana and of his perfecting and accomplishing the tenth virtue.”

The “Nirvana Sutra” Continued (U)
Bodhisattva-mahasattva All-Shining Highly-Virtuous King said to the Buddha: “If those who have performed the grave offences, those who have slandered the vaipulya sutras, those who have committed the five deadly sins, and the icchantika [all] have the Buddha-Nature, why then do they fall into hell? O World-Honoured One! If they have the Buddha-Nature, why do we say that there is no Eternal, Bliss, Self, and Purity [with them]? O World-Honoured One! If one who has cut off the root of good is an icchantika, why is it that, when cutting off the root of good, the root of the Buddha-Nature is not cut off? If the Buddha-Nature is cut off, how can we talk of the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure? If there is no such cutting off, why do we speak of the “icchantika”? O World-Honoured One! Those who have committed the four grave offences are called persons not fixed. Those slanderers of the vaipulya sutras, those who have committed the five deadly sins, and the icchantika are termed those who are not fixed. If such as these are to become fixed, how can they attain unsurpassed Enlightenment? Even those who have attained such stages as srotapanna up to pratyekabuddha are likewise called persons not fixed. Even if those who are at the stages of srotapanna up to pratyekabuddha can indeed become fixed, they can never attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. O World-Honoured One! If those persons who have committed the four grave offences are those not fixed, those of the stages of srotapanna up to pratyekabuddha are also those not fixed. If they are to be called non-fixed, the All-Buddha-Tathagata must also be non-fixed. If the Buddha is one not fixed, the body and nature of Nirvana, too, must be called not-fixed. Even all laws [dharmas], too, must be called not-fixed. Why not-fixed? When the icchantika makes away with the icchantika [within], he can attain Bodhi [Enlightenment]. The same must be the case with all Buddhas. Even though entering Nirvana, they might come back and not enter Nirvana. If things proceed thus, we can say that the nature of Nirvana is not fixed. Not being fixed, there can never be the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure. How can we say that the icchantika and others can reach Nirvana?”
Then the World-Honoured One said to Bodhisattva-mahasattva All-Shining Highly-Virtuous King: “Well said, well said! To benefit and give peace to innumerable beings, to pity all the world, to augment the practice of the Way of all Bodhisattvas who aspire to Bodhi, you put these questions. O good man! You have, in your past, already drawn near to an innumerable number of all Buddhas and have cultivated, at the places of all Buddhas, all good deeds. You have long accomplished the virtue of Bodhi, subdued and driven away all Maras. You have already taught innumerable beings and enabled them to attain unsurpassed Bodhi. You have for a long time fathomed the very deep and closely-guarded store of Dharma of the All-Buddha-Tathagata, and you have put such questions to all the Buddha-Tathagatas of the past as many as the sands of innumerable and boundless Ganges. I have never until now met any human, god, sramana, Brahmin, Mara, or Brahma who has put such questions to the Tathagata. Now, listen carefully, listen carefully. I shall now explain clearly.
“O good man! The icchantika is not fixed. If fixed, he could not gain unsurpassed Enlightenment. As he is not yet fixed, he can indeed gain it.
“You say that unless he has cut off the Buddha-Nature, how could an icchantika cut off the root of all good?
“O good man! There are two kinds of root of good. One is internal, and the other external. The Buddha-Nature is neither internal nor external. Because of this, there is no cutting off of the Buddha-Nature. Also, there are two kinds. One is defiled, and the other undefiled. The Buddha-Nature is neither defiled nor non-defiled. Because of this, there is no cutting off. Also, there are two kinds. One is eternal, and the other is non-eternal. The Buddha-Nature is neither eternal nor non-eternal. Because of this, there is no cutting off. If cut, it will come back again and be gained again. If it comes back and cannot be gained, this is non-cutting. If what is gained is cut off, this is an icchantika. A person who performs the four grave offences is also one not fixed. If fixed, one who has performed the four grave offences could not gain unsurpassed Bodhi. One who slanders the vaipulya is also not fixed. If fixed, the slanderer could not attain unsurpassed Bodhi. One who has committed the five deadly sins is also not fixed. If fixed, such a one would not be able to attain unsurpassed Bodhi. Matter and the characteristics of matter, too, are both not fixed. The characteristics of smell, taste, touch, those of birth, up to those of ignorance, those of the five skandhas, the 12 spheres and 18 realms [of sensory experience], those of the 25 existences, the four lives, even down to all existences, are not fixed either. O good man! For example, a conjuror can present to the eyes of the people the four military forces of infantry, chariots, elephants, and horses; he conjures up all kinds of garlands, body adornments, castle-towns, villages, mountains, forests, trees, springs, ponds, rivers and wells. Of the onlookers, the little children who have not much intellect will think that all these are real, but those of intelligence will know that all is sheer untrue illusory allure, which cheats a person’s eyes. O good man! It is the same with all common mortals up to sravakas and pratyekabuddhas, who think that there are fixed states in all things. All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas do not see any fixed state in any thing. O good man! For example, it is as with children who, in the mid-summer months, see a mirage of hot times and say that it is water, whereas one with discernment will never entertain in this mirage any thought of water, knowing that this is nothing but a mirage that cheats men’s eyes and that it is not water. The same is the case with all beings, sravakas and pratyekabuddhas, who see all things and say that they are all real. All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas do not see any fixed state in anything. O good man! For example, in the mountain valleys, the human voice generates an echo. A child hears this and says this is an actual voice, whereas one with intelligence will say that there is nothing real therein; what there is there is merely the characteristics of a voice which cheats the ear consciousness. O good man! It is the same with all beings, sravakas, and pratyekabuddhas, who see fixed characteristics in all things, whereas all Bodhisattvas and others think that all things have no fixed states and that all are non-eternal, void, and all-equal and have no birth or death. Hence, the Bodhisattva sees that all things are non-eternal.
“O good man! “There are also fixed states. How fixed? These are the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. Where are they? There where there is Nirvana.”
“O good man! The fruit of attainment of the srotapanna, too, is not one that is fixed. Being not fixed, only after 80,000 kalpas can he attain unsurpassed Bodhi. The state of sakrdagamin is not fixed either. Not being fixed, such a person attains unsurpassed Bodhi after 60,000 kalpas. That of anagamin is also not fixed. Not being fixed, such a one attains unsurpassed Bodhi after 60,000 kalpas. That of the arhat, too, is the same. Not being fixed, he gains the unsurpassed Bodhi mind after 20,000 kalpas. It is the same with the fruition of the pratyekabuddha. Not being fixed, he attains the unsurpassed Bodhi mind only after 10,000 kalpas.
“O good man! The Tathagata now reclines at Kusinagara between the twin sal trees, in the posture of a lion, and shows himself as entering Nirvana, and all those disciples of his who have not yet attained arhatship and all Mallas are smitten with great apprehension and sorrow. Also, devas, humans, asuras, gandharvas, garudas, kimnaras, mahoragas, and others make great offerings. All people are now ready to burn him with 1,000 “tans” [one “tan” = either 16, 20, or 60 feet] of finely woven woolen cloth, in which to wrap his body and lay him in a coffin of seven gems, embalmed with fragrant oil and covered over with all kinds of fragrant wood. Only two tans cannot be burnt off. One is that which is closest to the body, and the other is what is outermost. Among all the people, his remains are to be divided into eight parts. All his sravakas say that the Tathagata now enters Nirvana. Know that the Tathagata definitely does not enter Nirvana. Why not? Because the Tathagata is Eternal, and there is No Change that comes about [with Him]. Hence, the Tathagata’s Nirvana is also not fixed. O good man! Know that the Tathagata, too, is not fixed. The Tathagata is no deva. Why not? There are four heavens, namely: 1) worldly heaven, 2) sentient’s heaven, 3) purity heaven, and 4) meaning heaven. The worldly heaven is as in the case of the king. The sentient’s heaven is like that of the four guardians of the earth up to Thoughtlessness-non-Thoughtlessness Heaven. Purity Heaven is for those from srotapanna up to pratyekabuddha. The Heaven of Meaning is for the Bodhisattva-mahasattvas of the stage of the ten abodes [“bhumis”]. Why do we call the Bodhisattva of the ten abodes the Heaven of Meaning? Because he well grasps the meaning of all things. What do we mean by meaning? Meaning here betokens seeing that all things are void.
“O good man! The Tathagata is no king, nor of the class of the four guardians of the earth, nor of that of Thoughtlessness-non-Thoughtlessness Heaven, nor of the class of srotapanna, pratyekabuddha, or the Bodhisattva of the stage of the ten abodes. Thus the Tathagata is no deva. But all beings call the Tathagata the deva of devas. Hence, the Tathagata is no deva, no non-deva, no human, no non-human, no demon, no non-demon, no hell-dweller, animal or hungry ghost; nor is he no hell-dweller, animal or hungry ghost. He is no being; he is no dharma, and not no dharma. He is not matter [“rupa”] and not non-matter. He is not tall, not non-tall, not short, not non-short. He is non-phenomenal, not non-phenomenal, not mind, not non-mind. He is not anything defiled, nor is he non-defiled. He is uncreated, and not uncreated. He is non-Eternal, not non-Eternal, no phantom, not no-phantom. He is no name and is not no name; not fixed, and not non-fixed. He is not “is”, nor “is-not”, not a sermon, nor a non-sermon. He is no Tathagata, and not no Tathagata. Hence, the Tathagata is not one fixed.
“O good man! Why do we not call the Tathagata “worldly deva”? The worldly deva is the king. The Tathagata has for innumerable kalpas abandoned the kingly state. So he is no king. We say that he is not a non-king. He was born in the royal house of Kapilavastu. So, he is not a non-king. He is no sentient-heaven deva. For he has long since renounced any form of existence. So he is no sentient-heaven deva. He is not no sentient-heaven deva. Why not? He ascended to Tushita Heaven and came down to Jambudvipa. So the Tathagata is not no sentient-heaven deva. He is no purity deva. Why not? Because the Tathagata is no srotapanna up to pratyekabuddha. The Tathagata is not no purity deva. Why not? Because he is not one defiled by the eight things of the world [i.e. profiting; weakening; breaking up; honour; praising; slandering; pain; and pleasure] and is like the lotus, which is not tainted by muddy water. Hence, the Tathagata is not no purity deva. Also, he is no deva of meaning. Why not? Because the Tathagata is no Bodhisattva of the grade of the ten abodes. For this reason, the Tathagata is no deva of meaning. Nor is he not a deva of meaning. Why not? Because the Tathagata always practises the meanings of the 18 shunyatas [emptinesses]. Hence, the Tathagata is not no deva of meaning. “The Tathagata is not a human. Why not? Because he has been far removed from existence as a human for innumerable kalpas. Hence, he is no human. He is no non-human. Why not? Because he was born in Kapilavastu. The Tathagata is no devil. Why not? Because he does not cause any harm to any being. Because of this, he is no devil. Also, he is not no devil. Why not? For he teaches beings, transformed as a devil. The Tathagata is also no hell-dweller, animal, or hungry ghost. Why not? Because the Tathagata has long been segregated from all evil deeds. Hence, he is no hell-dweller, animal or hungry ghost. Also, he is not no hell-dweller, animal or hungry ghost. Why not? Because the Tathagata also transforms himself into the three unfortunate realms and saves beings. Hence, he is not no hell-dweller, animal or hungry ghost. Also, he is not of beings. Why not? Because he has long since abandoned the nature of beings. Thus he is not of the beings. Nor is he a non-being. Why not? For, at times, he speaks of “[i.e. assumes]” the characteristics of a being. Hence, the Tathagata is not a non-being. The Tathagata is not any dharma. Why not? Because all existences have different characteristics. It is not thus with the Tathagata. He has one characteristic. Hence, he is no dharma and no non-dharma. Why not? Because the Tathagata is the Dharma-World. Hence, he is not any non-Dharma. The Tathagata is not a body. Why not? Even the ten categories of the body [i.e. the five sense-organs and the five sense-fields] cannot take him in “[encompass him]”. That is why he is not a body. And he is not no body. Why not? Because he has on his body the 32 signs of perfection and the 80 minor marks of excellence. Hence, he is not no body. The Tathagata is not tall. Why not? Because he stands above all kinds of form. Hence, he is not what is tall. Nor is he not-tall. Why not? Because the world cannot see such a characteristic as the knot of hair on his head. For this reason, he is not not-tall. The Tathagata is not what is short. Why not? He is long segregated from the bond of arrogance. Hence, he is not what is short. Also, he is not not-short. Why not? Because he manifested before the rich man, Kokila, a body of three feet “[i.e. the body of a child said to have been projected so as to teach Kokila]”. Hence, he is not not-short. The Tathagata is not of the phenomenal. Because he is long segregated from any phenomenal aspect. Hence, not phenomenal. Also, he is not non-phenomenal. Why not? Because he thoroughly knows all phenomena. Hence, he is not non-phenomenal. Why not? Because he is like space. Hence, no mind. Also, he is not no-mind. Why not? Because he has the 10 mental powers [“dashabala”]. And also because he can thoroughly fathom what is in the mind of any being. Hence, he is not no-mind. The Tathagata is not one created. Why not? Because of the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. For this reason, he is not one who has been created. Also, he is not one-not-created. Why not? Because he manifests himself as coming, going, sitting, lying, and in Nirvana. Hence, he is not not-created. The Tathagata is not Eternal. Why not? Because he has parts in body [a physical body and its parts]. Hence, non-eternal. Why is he non-eternal? Because he has intellect. What is Eternal does not have intellect, as in the case of space. The Tathagata has intellect. So, he is not eternal. How is he not eternal? Because he has language and speaks. What is Eternal has no language; it is like space. The Tathagata has language. Hence, non-eternal. He has a family name. So he is non-eternal. What possesses no family name is the Eternal. Space is eternal, as it has no family name. The Tathagata has the family name of Gautama. Hence, he is not eternal. As he has parents, he is not eternal. That without parents is Eternal. Space is Eternal, so it has no parents. The Buddha has parents. Hence, non-eternal. He has four deportments [postures, i.e. lying, sitting, standing, walking]. Hence, non-eternal. What has no four deportments is Eternal. Space is Eternal, as it has no four deportments. The Buddha has four deportments. Hence, non-eternal. What is Eternal has no [confined] direction or place to dwell. Space is Eternal, so it has no direction or place to tell of. The Tathagata appeared in East India and lived in Sravasti and Rajagriha. Hence, he is non-eternal. For this reason, the Tathagata is not eternal. Also, he is not non-eternal. Why not? Because he has eternally cut off life. What has life is non-eternal; what has no life is Eternal. The Tathagata has no life. Hence, Eternal. What is Eternal has no family name; what has a family name is non-eternal. The Tathagata has no life and no family name. With no life and family name, he is Eternal. “What is Eternal fills all places as in the case of space, which has no place where it does not exist. The same is the case with the Tathagata. He exists everywhere. Hence, He is Eternal.” What is non-eternal calls this “is” and the other “not-is”. The case of the Tathagata is not so. We cannot speak here of “is” and there of “not-is”. Hence, Eternal. With the non-eternal, things at times obtain as “is” and at times as “not-is”. With what applies to the Tathagata, there is no saying, at times, of “not-is”. Hence, Eternal. What is Eternal has no name and no form. Since space is Eternal, it has no name or form. The Tathagata, too, is nameless and formless. Hence, Eternal. What is Eternal has no cause and no result. As space is Eternal, it has no cause and no result. The Tathagata, too, has no cause and no result. Hence, Eternal. What is Eternal is not related to the Three Times. It is the same with the Tathagata. He has nothing to do with the Three Times. Hence, Eternal. The Tathagata is no phantom. Why not? He is eternally segregated from any thought of deceiving. Hence, he is no phantom. Also, he is not a non-phantom. He at times splits up one body into innumerable bodies and [merges] innumerable bodies into one. He passes through mountain walls and nothing can obstruct him. He walks upon water as if on [solid] ground. He goes down into the ground as though into water, and he moves through the air as if on the ground. His body emits fire like a great fire-ball. Cloud and thunder shake, and fearful is the sound. At times, he becomes like a castle-town, a village, a house, a mountain, a river or a tree. At other times he manifests himself in a big body, or at times in one small. He becomes a male, a female, a male or female child. Hence, the Tathagata is also not a non-phantom. The Tathagata is not one fixed. Why not? Because he manifests himself here at Kusinagara between the twin sal trees as [about to] enter Nirvana. Hence, he is not fixed. “Also, he is not non-fixed. Why not? Because he is the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure.” For this reason, the Tathagata is also not non-fixed. The Tathagata is not one who leaks out defilement. Why not? Because he is segregated from the three defilements. The three defilements are: 1) defilements of the kamadhatu [Realm of Desire], except for ignorance, which are the defilements of desire, 2) defilements of the rupadhatu and arupadhatu [Realm of Form, and Realm of Formlessness], excepting ignorance, which are called “is”-defilements, 3) ignorance of the three worlds, which is the defilement of ignorance. The Tathagata is eternally segregated from these. Hence, he leaks out no defilement.
“Also, next, all beings do not see the defilement of “is”. Why do all beings not see the “is” defilement? All beings have doubts regarding things to come in the future, namely: Will they have a body or not in the future? Was there a body or not in the past? Do they have a body or not in the present life? If there is the Self, is it a form or non-form? Is it form-non-form? Is it non-form and not-non-form? Is it perception or non-perception, or perception and non-perception? Is it non-perception and non-non-perception? Does this body belong to any other person or does it not? Is it that which belongs to others or that which does not belong to others, or is it that which does not belong to others, or is it one that does not belong to others. Is it one with life, but not a carnal body? Is it one that is a carnal body, but without life? Is it one that has a carnal body and life? Is it one that has no body and no life? Is it a carnal body, life, and one that is eternal? Or is it one that is non-eternal? Is it non-eternal, or eternal and non-eternal? Is it one that is non-eternal and not non-eternal? Are the body and life the works of Isvara? Or are they the work of time? Are they a work without cause? Are they the work of the “prakriti” [primordial matter, or world-nature]? Are they the work of motes? Are they the work of law or non-law? Are they the work of man? Are they the work of illusion? Are they the work of father and mother? Does it [the Self] live in one’s own mind? Or does it dwell in the eye? Or does it fill the whole body? Where does it come from and where does it go to? Who is it indeed that is born and who is it who dies? Was one in the past a Brahmin, a Kshatriya, a Vaishya, or a Sudra? What caste will one gain in the future? Was my body in the past that of a male, female, or an animal? Do I commit a sin if I take life, or is it nothing of the kind? Is it a sin if I drink alcohol, or is it nothing of the kind? Is it the case that it [karma] is one’s own making, or is it what is done by others? Do I receive karmic results, or do I contract them in my carnal self? Such doubts and innumerable illusions spread over beings’ minds. From these doubting views there come the six minds, which think: 1) Self definitely exists, 2) Self definitely does not exist, 3) temporary Self is the true Self, 4) no Self exists other than the temporary Self, 5) the true Self exists other than the temporary Self, 6) the Self which is the skandhas does, receives and knows. All of these are twisted views of life. The Tathagata has long since extracted the innumerable roots of views and defilements. Hence, he leaks out no defilement. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva who practises the holy actions of Great Nirvana is able eternally to make away with all such defilements. The All-Buddha-Tathagata always practises holy actions. Hence, no defilements exist [with him].
“O good man! Common mortals cannot easily suppress the five sense-organs. So there are the three defilements, by which they are drawn to evil and go to unwelcome places. O good man! A bad horse, for example, twisted in its nature, carries a person on its back to unsafe places. It is the same with the man who does not have good control of his five sense-organs and who departs from the good Way to Nirvana and gains birth in all kinds of unfortunate realms. For example, an evil-minded elephant not yet broken in will not carry the rider to where he desires to go, and will leave the castle-town and seek the wilderness. It is the same with the person who does not have good control over the five sense-organs. This carries him away from the castle-town of Nirvana into the great stretch of wasteland of birth and death. O good man!This is as in the case of a minister of twisted mind who makes the king do evil. It is the same with the minister of twisted mind of the five sense-organs. He always teaches people to do innumerable evil things. O good man! This is similar to a bad son, who, if not taught by teachers, elders and parents, will always commit evil deeds. So do things obtain with one who does not have control over the five sense-organs. Such a person does not give ear to the good injunctions of teachers and elders, and there is no end of evil he will not do. O good man! Common mortals do not have control over their five sense-organs and always suffer from the robbers of hell, animals, and hungry ghosts. Also, the [manifold] harm of the malignant robbers extends even to good people. O good man! As common mortals do not have control over the five sense-organs, the storms of the five dusts [i.e. of the five sense-fields] overtake them. For” “example, if pasture cows are not well guarded, they will ravage the seedlings and plants that have been cultivated. Common mortals do not have control over their five desires and suffer variously.
“O good man! When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises Great Nirvana and holy actions, he always guards his five sense-organs well. He fears greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance and jealousy, because he has to arrive at all good dharmas. O good man! One who guards well the five sense-organs guards well the mind. One who guards well the mind guards well the five sense-organs. For example, when men guard the king, the land is well protected. One who protects the land well guards the king. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva. On hearing this Great Nirvana Sutra, one gains Wisdom. Through Wisdom, one gains the exclusive mind. If the five sense-organs are loose-set, the mind ceases to act. Why? Because of the Wisdom of mindfulness. O good man! This is as in the case of the pastor [pasture-keeper] who checks his cows from going east and west and damaging the crops. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva. Working up mindfulness Wisdom, he guards the five sense-organs, so that they will not get out of control. His mindfulness Wisdom sees no form of Self, what comes out of Self, beings or what they enjoy. He sees all things as when he sees “Dharmata” [Essence of Reality], and what he sees is all like the earth, stones, tiles, and gravel. For example, a house comes about by various combinations of elements and not by any fixed nature of its own. He sees that all beings are no other than combinations of the four great elements and the five skandhas and that they have no fixed nature. As there is no fixed nature, the Bodhisattva does not greedily cling. All common mortals think that they exist. So they have the worry of defilement. When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises Great Nirvana and has mindfulness Wisdom, he does not cling to any being. Also, next, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva, practising the Great Nirvana Sutra, does not cling to any being or the diverse external forms of things. O good man! For example, a painter uses various colours and paints pictures of men, women, cows, horses, etc. Common mortals, devoid of intelligence, see these and take them to be [real] men, women, etc. But the painter knows that they are not men and women. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva. In the various aspects of things, he sees only the aspect, but never many forms of beings, right to the end. Because he has mindfulness Wisdom. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva, as he practises Great Nirvana, might see a beautiful woman. But, to the end, he does not gain a clinging thought. Why not? Since he thoroughly looks into what meets his eye. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva knows that there resides no pleasure in the five desires and that joy never endures [there]. This is like a dog that bites at a dead bone; like a man holding fire against the wind; a cask of venomous serpents gained in a dream; fruit-trees on the wayside which easily get struck by many people; a piece of meat for which many birds compete; foam on water; the warp of a woven piece of cloth which has now come to an end; a prisoner having to go to a prison citadel – or whatever is temporary and cannot endure long. Thus, desires are meditated upon and [it is seen] that there is much that is wrong.
“Also, next, the Bodhisattva meditates on all beings. Connected with colour, smell, taste and touch, there has always been worry for innumerable kalpas. The size of the bodies and bones which each being heaps up during a kalpa is as great as Vipula Hill in Rajagriha; the milk taken is as much as the water of the four seas. And the blood shed is much more than this. The tears shed by parents, brothers, wife, children and relatives at the moment of death is more than the waters of the four oceans. We could cut all the plants of the earth and make counting sticks of an inch long and count the number of parents, and yet we would not be able to reach the end of counting. It is not possible fully to count the sorrows experienced in the realms of hell, animals, and hungry ghosts. We could cut the great earth into pieces as small as dates. Yet birth and death proceed unendingly and cannot be counted. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditates deeply on the unending sorrows which all beings experience in life because of desires. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva does not lose [his] mindfulness Wisdom, because of the sorrows of birth and death. O good man! As an example: people fill an area of 25 square “lis” [1,894 ft]. The king commands a minister: “Carry a pot full of oil, go through the crowd, but do not let a drop fall to the ground. If a drop does fall, you will forfeit your life.” Also, a man follows behind with an unsheathed sword, to frighten him. The minister, strictly observing the royal injunction, passes through the great crowd of people. When he sees the objects of the five desires, he always says to himself: “If I am indolent and cleave to wrong desires, I shall certainly drop what I am holding in my hands and lose my life.” Due to this fear, the man does not spill even a single drop of oil.” “It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva. Amidst birth and death, he does not lose [his] mindfulness Wisdom. Not losing this, his mind does not greedily adhere to the five desires, even when he sees them. He sees a pure colour, but no colour appears there; what he sees is a scene of suffering. This extends down to consciousness. He does not see birth, extinction, or cause. What he sees is a phase in the process of elements conjoining. The five sense-organs of the Bodhisattva are pure. As his sense-organs are pure, those sense-organs are fully protected. The sense-organs of common mortals are not pure. So upholding [of moral purity] cannot proceed well. Therefore, we say that the root secretes defilement. With the Bodhisattva, such secretions are eternally done away with. So we speak of “non-secretion”. With the Tathagata, this [secretion of defilement] has been eternally excised. Hence, non-secretion.
“Also, next, O good man! There is a segregation of secretion. The Bodhisattva wishes to substantiate the Buddha Realm of unsurpassed amrta [immortality] and abandons evil secretions. How does he segregate [them]? He thoroughly practises the Great Nirvana Sutra, writes, copies, upholds, recites and expounds it, and thinks over its meaning. This is segregation. Why? O good man! I have not encountered a case of the 12 types of sutra, as with this vaipulya Great Nirvana Sutra, where one so thoroughly segregates oneself from evil secretions. O good man! As an illustration: a learned teacher teaches his disciples. One amongst them learns well what is taught and is not evil in mind. It is the same with the Bodhisattva who practises the all-wonderful Sutra of Great Nirvana and who has no evil in his mind. O good man! For example, there is a wonderful charm. Once employed, it renders one immune to poison for 20 years, and a serpent cannot sting one. If one recites the charm, one will have no occasion to suffer from it [i.e. any poison] for the duration of one’s life. It is the same with this Great Nirvana Sutra. If one once gives ear to it, for seven kalpas to come one will not fall into the unfortunate realms. If one copies, recites, expounds it, and meditates on its meaning, one will unfailingly attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. This is like the case of a Chakravartin who arrives at amrta [immortality] when he sees the pure state of the Buddha-Nature. O good man! There are such innumerable virtues in this Great Nirvana. O good man! Anyone who copies, recites, expounds and explains it to others, and meditates on the meaning is, you should know, my true disciple. And he follows my Way well. This is what I see and what I pray for. Such a person clearly knows that I do not enter Nirvana. Thus, in all places where such a person lives, such as a castle-town, village, mountain, forest, field, house, farmhouse or palace, I shall always find myself and I shall not move. I always receive offerings from such a person. I shall become a bhiksu, bhiksuni, upasaka, upasika, Brahmin, Brahmacarin or a poor alms-beggar. How can I get this person to know that the Tathagata receives offerings from him? O good man! This person might see, at night, a Buddha statue in a dream, or the forms of all devas, sramanas, kings, a Chakravartin, lion-king, lotus flower, or udumbara; or he might see a big mountain, a great stretch of sea-water, the sun or moon, a white elephant, a white horse, or the parents. He gains flowers or fruit, or such precious things as gold, silver, beryl, crystal, or the five kinds of cow-product. Know that the Tathagata at [such] times receives what is offered to him. The person awakes, feels happy, and receives what he needs. He thinks no evil and practises good. O good man! This Great Nirvana thoroughly accomplishes such innumerable asamkhyas of all-wonderful virtues. O good man! Believe now what I say. All good men and women desire to see me, to respect me, to see me in “Dharmata” [the Essence of Reality], to gain the Void Samadhi, to see the Real Nature, to practise the “surangama-samadhi”, “simharaja-samadhi”, and to destroy the eight Maras. By the eight Maras is meant the so-called four Maras, and the non-Eternal, non-Bliss, non-Self, and the non-Pure. Any person who desires to be blessed with the bliss of heaven should go and befriend and associate with those who possess, copy, recite, explain to others, and meditate on the meaning of the Great Nirvana Sutra, ask, make offerings, respect, praise wash the hands and feet, set up the seat, have the four things well supplied, so that nothing is lacking. If such people come from far-distant places, go 10 yojanas and receive them. Because of this sutra, give whatever is precious and welcome any such people. If one does not have any such things to offer, sell yourself. Why? Because it is hard to encounter this sutra, much harder than encountering the udumbara.
“O good man! I recall to myself: Innumerable, boundless nayutas of kalpas past, when there was a world called “saha”, there was a Buddha-World-Honoured One named Tathagata Shakyamuni, the Alms-Deserving, the All-Enlightened One, the All-Accomplished One, the Well-Gone, the All-Knower, the Unsurpassed One, the Best Trainer, the Teacher-of-Gods-and-Humans, and the Buddha-World-Honoured One. For the sake of all people, he delivered the sermon of the Great Nirvana Sutra. I, at that time, heard from a good friend that that Buddha would, for the sake of all people, deliver the sermon of the Great Nirvana Sutra. On hearing this, joy welled up within me. I desired to make offerings, but I was so poor that I could not offer anything. So I went round, intending to sell myself. But I was so sterile in my fortune that I could not sell [i.e. could not find a buyer]. I was on my way home, when I met a man. I said: “I intend to sell myself. Will you not buy me?” The man said: “I don’t have anyone at home who can stand the work. If you can, I shall certainly buy you.” I asked: “What is this work which no one can stand?” The man replied: “I have a bad disease. A good doctor tells me that I have to take three liangs [i.e. a Chinese unit of weight] of human flesh a day. If you can supply me with three liangs of human flesh every day, I shall give you five gold coins.” On hearing this, I greatly rejoiced and said: “Give me the money, and in addition seven days. Having done what I desire to do, I shall come back and do what I must do.” The man said: “Not seven, but one day, to be clear.” O good man! I then took the money, went back, went to the Buddha, prostrated myself on the ground, offered what I had and, later, with my whole heart, listened to this sutra. At that time I was dull. Though I heard this sutra, I could only uphold [i.e. remember, practise] one gatha:
“The Tathagata enters Nirvana
And eternally cuts off birth and death.
If one listens with a full heart,
One will gain unending bliss.”
“Having gained this gatha, I went to the house of the sick person. O good man! I then daily gave him three liangs of flesh. Because of the virtue of meditating on the gatha, I had no pain. Not a day did I fail [to give my flesh], and a month passed. O good man! As a result of this, the disease was cured. I regained the former state of my body and had no wounds. With my body fully in order, I aspired to unsurpassed Bodhi. The power of a single gatha is such. How much more would it have been if I had fully upheld and recited this sutra? Seeing such virtue in this sutra, my aspiration doubled [and I prayed]: “I pray that in days to come I shall attain Bodhi and be called Shakyamuni.” O good man! Due to this single gatha I am now with this congregation, fully addressing gods and men. O good man! Thus is this Great Nirvana Sutra so utterly wonderful. It is perfect in countless virtues. This is none other than the all-wonderful, closely-guarded store of all Buddhas. For this reason, anyone who uphold this well eliminates hateful defilements. What do I mean by evil? This is none but the evil elephant, the evil horse, the evil cow, the evil dog, and the land where venomous snakes live, the land of thorns, precipices, precipitous banks, rushing waters, whirlpools, evil people, evil lands, evil castles, evil houses, evil friends and others. If all such become the cause of defilement-secretions, the Bodhisattva forsakes them. If not, he does not forsake them. If the secretions increase, he forsakes them; if not, he does not. If evil dharmas arise, he forsakes them. If any good dharmas arise, he does not forsake them. What is meant by “forsaking”? This means not possessing the sword or staff, but with right Wisdom and means always forsaking such. This is having right Wisdom and forsaking. To arrive at Good Dharma, one forsakes what is evil. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditates on his own self [ego] and thinks that it is like an illness, the pox, a carbuncle, an enemy, the arrow that hits a man and gets into his body, that this is a great house of suffering, and that all are the roots of all good and evil. Although this body is so impure, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva carefully looks after and nourishes it. Why? It is not to begrudge one’s own body, but to care for Good Dharma. This is for the sake of Nirvana, not for birth and death. It is for the sake of the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. It is not [for] the non-Eternal, non-Bliss, non-Self, and the non-Pure. It is for the sake of Enlightenment, but not for “is” existence. It is for the one vehicle [“ekayana”], not for the three vehicles [“triyana”]. It is to gain the body of the 32 signs of perfection and the 80 minor marks of excellence, not for the body of Thoughtlessness-non-Thoughtlessness. It is for the sake of the King of the Dharma-Wheel, not for the body of a Chakravartin. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva should always guard his self. Why? If not, life will not be safe. If life is not whole, he cannot copy, uphold, recite, explain widely to others, and meditate on the signification of this sutra. For this reason, the Bodhisattva must protect his own self well. That is why the Bodhisattva can truly segregate his own self from all evil secretions. O good man! One who desires to crosss water takes care of the ship or raft. One who is travelling well looks after good horses. The farmer who cares for his seedlings attends to dung and manure. To protect oneself from scorpion poison, once takes care of venomous serpents. For the safety of man and treasure, one keeps candalas. To overcome robbers, one employs strong soldiers. One protects the fire when cold bears down upon one, and a leprous patient seeks poisonous medicine. It is the same with the Bodhisattva. He knows that this body is full of impurities. But to uphold the Great Nirvana Sutra, he thoroughly aids and protects [his body], and does not allow its strength to diminish. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva sees both the evil elephant and the evil friend as one and not two. Why so? Because both destroy one’s own self. The Bodhisattva never fears the evil elephant, but fears the evil friend. Why? The evil elephant only harms the body, not the mind. The evil friend destroys both. The evil elephant destroys only one single body, but the evil friend destroys innumerable good bodies and innumerable good minds [i.e. good states of mind]. The evil elephant only destroys the impure and foul-smelling body, but the friend who is bad destroys the pure body and the pure mind. This evil elephant only destroys this carnal body, but the friend who is bad destroys [i.e. makes one lose] the Dharma Body. Even when one is killed by an evil elephant, one does not fall into the three unfortunate realms. But when one is killed by a friend who is bad, one falls into the three unfortunate realms. The evil elephant is only the enemy of the carnal body, but the evil friend is the enemy of Wonderful Dharma. For this reason, the Bodhisattva must always segregate himself from evil friends. The common mortal does not segregate himself from such secretions. So these secretions come about. As the Bodhisattva makes away with these, there is no secretion [of defilement] with him. Acting thus, there is no secretion with the Bodhisattva. How could there be with the Tathagata? For this reason, he does not secrete defilement.
“How do we come into the vicinity of the secretions? All common mortals receive clothing, food, bedding and medicine. They receive all of these for the ease of body and mind. They do various evil things, do not know what is wrong, and advance towards the three unfortunate realms. Hence, we say that there is secretion. The Bodhisattva, since he sees, keeps himself away from such things. When a robe is offered, he receives it. He does this not for the body, but for Dharma. He has no arrogance. His mind is always in a surrendering mood. It is not for adornment, but out of a feeling of shame. It [i.e. the robe] keeps out the cold and heat, bad wind, bad rain, bad worms, mosquitoes, gadflies, flies, fleas and scorpions. He receives food and drink, but there is no greed there. He does this not for himself, but for the good of Dharma; not for the carnal body, but for the good of all beings; not out of pride, but for physical strength; not out of malignancy or to harm others, but out of hunger and to cure the pox. He gains good food, but does not have a greedy mind. He might receive a house. But the same is the case. No defilement of greed ever dwells in his mind. For the sake of the house of Enlightenment, he rejects the robber of defilement. In order to keep away bad winds and rain, he receives a house. One who receives does not have a greedy mind. This is only [done] for Wonderful Dharma. It is not [done] for life, but for Eternal Life. O good man! A person suffering from the pox smears butter and roasted barley-flour on it. For this reason, he covers it with his robe. As the pus and blood come out, he applies butter and roasted barley-flour. To cure the pox, one employs medicine. To guard against evil winds, one lives deep inside a house. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva. He sees the pox[-like] body. So he covers it with clothing. As things leak out from the nine holes [i.e. the nine outlets in the human body], he takes food and drink. On account of the bad wind and rain, he receives a house. When the four poisons appear, one seeks a doctor’s medicine. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva receives the four kinds of offerings. This is for the sake of Enlightenment, not life. Why? The Bodhisattva-mahasattva thinks: “If I do not receive these four things, my body will wear out and will not be strong. If it is not strong enough, it cannot stand the suffering, and one cannot practise Wonderful Dharma.” If one can thoroughly bear down on the suffering, one can easily practise innumerable good things. If one cannot stand the suffering, anger raises its head as [various] sufferings press down upon one, and on encountering happiness, a mind of greed arises. One looks for happiness. If it does not come, ignorance raises its head. Because of this, the common mortal generates a secreting mind in the face of the four offerings. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditates well and does not engender any secretion. So we say that the Bodhisattva does not secrete [defilement]. How could one say that the Tathagata is one who secretes? For this reason, we do not call the Tathagata one who secretes.
“Also, next, O good man! All common mortals protect their body and mind. Yet they have the three evil sensings. Thus, though they may well shake off defilements and gain the place of Thoughtlessness-non-Thoughtlessness, they fall back and gain the three unfortunate realms.
“O good man! There is, for example, a man who desires to cross a great sea and who has almost reached the other shore, when he drowns and dies. So do things go with the common mortal. He means to cross the three worlds, but falls back into the three unfortunate realms. Why? Because there is no good sensing [with him].
“What is “good sensing”? It is none other than the six thinkings. The good mind of the common mortal is lowly; evil burns [within him]. When the good mind weakens, the mind of Wisdom weakens. When the good mind is in a weak state, secretions increase. The sense-organ of the eye of the Bodhisattva-mahasattva is pure, and it sees the evils of the three sensings. He knows that these three sensings possess variegated worries and that they always become for beings the enemies of the three vehicles. The workings of the three sensings bar an innumerable number of common mortals and beings from encountering the Buddha-Nature. For innumerable kalpas, they abide in an upside-down state of mind and say that the Buddha-World-Honoured One has nothing of the Eternal, Bliss, and the Self, but only Pureness, and that the Tathagata enters Nirvana for good. All beings have none of the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure. [But] with an upside-down mind, they say that they are the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure. Truth to tell, they do not have three vehicles, but with their upside-down minds they say that there are the three vehicles. The Way of One Truth is true and is not false. Abiding in an upside-down state of mind, they say that there is no oneness of Truth. These three evil sensings are always reproached by all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. These three sensings always harm oneself and also others. Around all these three sensings always foregather all evils in a train and become the three fetters which chain beings to birth and death. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva always views the three sensings thus. On occasion, the Bodhisattva has the sensing of desire, but is silent and does not respond. For example, this is like a person of right and pure mind who refuses all that is foul and impure. It is like a burning, hot iron ball, which no one can indeed grasp hold of. It is like the Brahmin, who will not eat beef, like a person who is well fed and who will not take bad food, or a chakravartin who will not share his seat with a candala. Thus the Bodhisattva-mahasattva despises the three sensings and does not take [what is impure]. The case is thus. Why? The Bodhisattva thinks: “All beings know me to be a good field of weal. How can I receive this evil thing? If I gain an evil sensing, I cannot be a field of weal to beings. I myself do not say that I am a good field of weal. But beings see me and say that I am so. If I expose myself to a bad sensing, this will cheat beings. In days past I repeated birth and death over innumerable kalpas in the three unfortunate realms because of cheating. If I receive the offerings of the faithful with an evil mind, all devas and the rishis with the five divine powers will know and reproach me. If I receive the offerings of the faithful, when I myself have evil sensings, this will cut short or annul the recompense due to the one who gives. If I receive the offerings of a danapati, I will purchase regret. Like a loving child, all danapatis always look up to me. How can I cheat them and buy regret? Why? Because this annuls or makes small the recompense. Or one might always say that one has renounced home. Now, the sramana must not do evil. If evil is done, there can be no priesthood. With no oneness, they are not sramanas. I have left my parents, brothers, sisters, wife and child, relatives and teachers, and practised Bodhi. When one practises all the sensings, there can be no occasion to practise the non-good sensings. For example, a person goes into the sea to gain gems. This is like picking up crystal instead of pearl, or throwing away all-wonderful music and playing in dung, or abandoning heavenly women to love menial servants, or abandoning a vessel of gold to take up an earthenware bowl, or abandoning ambrosia [“amrta”] and partaking of poison, or abandoning the familiar, old, wise and good doctor, but accepting one who bears one ill will, or geting medicine and trying to cure oneself by one’s own hand. The case is the same with me. Abandoning the ambrosial taste of Dharma of the great teacher, Tathagata-World-Honoured One, I partake of various evil sensings from Mara. It is hard to be born a human. This can be compared to the coming into bloom of the udumbara flower. But now I have gained it [i.e. the human state]. It is hard to meet the Tathagata, but now I have met him. It is hard to see and hear the pristine treasure of Dharma, but I now hear it. This is like a blind tortoise chancing to hit the hole in a piece of floating wood. Life is much more fleeting than the rushing water of a mountain stream. One lives today, but one cannot be sure of the morrow. How can one abandon one’s mind to what is wrong? The prime of life slips away as swiftly as a running horse. How can one depend on [what is transient] and be arrogant? It is like the situation where a devil sits in wait of a man’s performing wrong actions. It is the same with the devils of the four great elements. These always come and try to seek out some fault with one. How can one give occasion to evil sensings? For example, this is as in the case of a crumbling house which is about to fall down. Life, too, is the same. How can one do evil? I am a sramana. What a sramana does is awaken good. If I awaken to non-good, how can I be called a sramana? I am one who has renounced the world. The world-fleeing sramana is one who follows the path of good. Should I now perform evil, how could I be called a world-fleeing sramana? I am now a true Brahmin. A Brahmin is one who practises pure actions. If I now commit impure acts and evil sensings, how can I be called a Brahmin? I am of the great clan of the Kshatriyas. The Kshatriyas defeat the enemy. If I now fail to defeat the enemies of evil, how can I be worthy of the name of Kshatriya? I am now a bhiksu. A bhiksu is a person who destroys defilement. If I cannot now destroy the evil sensing of defilement, how am I now worthy of the name of bhiksu? There are six things which it is difficult to encounter. I have now gained these. How can I allow the occasion to arise where evil sensings enter my mind? What are these six? The first is that it is difficult to be born into the world where the Buddha is present. The second is that it is difficult to hear Wonderful Dharma. The third is that it is difficult to call forth a fearing mind. The fourth is that one cannot easily gain birth in the Middle Country [“madhyadesa”]. The fifth is that it is difficult to be born as a human. The sixth is that it is difficult to have perfect and complete sense-organs. These six things are thus difficult to gain. And now I possess these. For this reason, I must not give occasion for evil sensings to arise. The Bodhisattva, then, practising the Great Nirvana Sutra, always meditates on all these evil minds [i.e. evil states of mind]. All beings fail to see the ills of such evil minds. They thus gain the three sensings and so engender the secretions. The Bodhisattva sees these, does not cling to them, abandons them, and does not protect them. He allows the Noble Eightfold Path to push them away, to kill them and cut them off. Hence the Bodhisattva has no occasion to be subject to the secretions. How could one say that the Tathagata possesses any such? For this reason, the Tathagata-World-Honoured One does not belong to the class of those who have the secretions of defilement.

Tone: 2 Lunar
Stabilize * Challenge * Polarize

Tribe: 8 Star
Beautify * Art * Elegance

Affirmation for: Yellow Lunar Star
I Polarize in order to Beautify
I Stabilize Art
I seal the store of elegance
With the Lunar tone of Challenge
I am guided by the power of Universal Fire


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