Skip to content

NS127713

22 January 2015

The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel is an esoteric spiritual Order which fully embraces the deeper levels of the ancient Nazorean ‘Way’ of Jesus the Christ. We are a modern resurrection of the ancient Nazorean Christians.

http://www.essene.com/

Qumran, Mount Carmel & The Early Church

The following contain numerous writings of different flavor which were not mutilated by Christian orthodoxy which was wedded irrevocably to the political power of the Roman State.
Gospel of the Nazaraeans
The Gospel of the Hebrews
The Gospel of the Ebionites
Shem Tov’s Hebrew Matthew

The Gospel of Barnabas
The Clementine Homilies
The Recognitions of Clement
Arabic Traditions on Christian Origins

Dead Sea Scroll introduction
Ezra Creates His “Law of Moses”
Who wrote the Jewish Torah, Moses or Ezra?
Early pseudo-Christian and pseudo-Nasarene writings

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

RECOGNITIONS OF CLEMENT

RUFINUS, PRESBYTER OF AQUILEIA; HIS PREFACE TO CLEMENT’S BOOK OF RECOGNITIONS.

TO BISHOP GAUDENTIUS.

To thee, indeed, O Gaudentius, thou choice glory of our doctors, belongs such vigour of mind, yea, such grace of the Spirit, that whatever you say even in the course of your daily preaching, whatever you deliver in the church, ought to be preserved in books, and handed down to posterity for their instruction. But we, whom slenderness of wit renders less ready, and now old age renders slow and inactive, though after many delays, yet at length present to you the work which once the virgin Sylvia of venerable memory enjoined upon us, that we should render Clement into our language, and you afterwards by hereditary right demanded of us; and thus we contribute to the use and profit of our people, no small spoil, as I think, taken from the libraries of the Greeks, so that we may feed with foreign nourishment those whom we cannot with our own. For foreign things usually seem both more pleasant, and sometimes also more profitable. In short, almost everything is foreign that brings healing to our bodies, that opposes diseases, and neutralizes poisons. For Judaea sends us Lacryma balsami, Crete Coma dictamni, Arabia her flower of spices, India reaps her crop of spikenard; which, although they reach us in a somewhat more broken condition than when they leave their native fields, yet retain entire the sweetness of their odour and their healing virtue. Receive therefore, my soul, Clement returning to you; receive him now in a Roman dress. And wonder not if haply the florid countenance of eloquence appear less in him than usual. It matters not, provided the sense tastes the same. Therefore we transport foreign merchandise into our country with much labour. And I know not with how grateful countenances my countrymen welcome me, bringing to them the rich spoils of Greece, and unlocking hidden treasures of wisdom with the key of our language. But may God grant your prayers, that no unlucky eye nor any livid aspect may meet us, lest, by an extreme kind of prodigy, while those from whom he is taken do not envy, yet those upon whom he is bestowed should repine. Truly it is right to point out the plan of our translation to you, who have read these works also in Greek, lest haply in some parts you may think the order of translation not kept. I suppose you are aware that there are two editions in Greek of this work of Clement,–the ‘Anagnwseis, that is, Recognitions; and that there are two collections of books, differing in some points, but in many containing the same narrative. In short, the last part of this work, in which is the relation concerning the transformation of Simon, is contained in one of the collections, but is not at all in the other. There are also in both collections some dissertations concerning the Unbegotten God and the Begotten, and on some other subjects, which, to say nothing more, are beyond our comprehension. These, therefore, as being beyond our powers, I have chosen to reserve for others, rather than to produce in an imperfect state. But in the rest, we have given our endeavour, so far as we could, not to vary either from the sentiments or even from the language and modes of expression; and this, although it renders the style of the narrative less ornate, yet it makes it more faithful. The epistle in which the same Clement, writing to James the Lord’s brother, informs him of the death of Peter, and that he had left him his successor in his chair and teaching, and in which also the whole subject of church order is treated, I have not prefixed to this work, both because it is of later date, and because I have already translated and published it. But I do not think it out of place to explain here what in that letter will perhaps seem to some to be inconsistent. For some ask, Since Linus and Cletus were bishops in the city of Rome before this Clement, how could Clement himself, writing to James, say that the chair of teaching was handed over to him by Peter? Now of this we have heard this explanation, that Linus and Cletus were indeed bishops in the city of Rome before Clement, but during the lifetime of Peter: that is, that they undertook the care of the episcopate, and that he fulfilled the office of apostleship; as is found also to have been the case at Caesarea, where, when he himself was present, he yet had Zacchaeus, ordained by himself, as bishop. And in this way both statements will appear to be true, both that these bishops are reckoned before Clement, and yet that Clement received the teacher’s seat on the death of Peter. But now let us see how Clement, writing to James the Lord’s brother, begins his narrative.

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

http://www.essene.com/Church/QumranEarlyChurch.html

Recognitions of Clement

Book I Book II Book III Book IV Book V Book VI Book VII Book VIII Book IX Book X
Book III.1

Chapter I.-Pearls Before Swine.

Chapter XII.3 -Second Day’s Discussion.

Chapter XIII.-Simon a Seducer.

Chapter XIV.-Simon Claims the Fulfilment of Peter’s Promise.

Chapter XV.-Simon’s Arrogance.

Chapter XVI.-Existence of Evil.

Chapter XVII.-Not Admitted by All.

Chapter XVIII.-Manner of Conducting the Discussion.

Chapter XIX.-Desire of Instruction.

Chapter XX.-Common Principles.

Chapter XXI.-Freedom of the Will.

Chapter XXII.-Responsibility.

Chapter XXIII.-Origin of Evil.

Chapter XXIV.-God the Author of Good, Not of Evil.

Chapter XXV.-“Who Hath Resisted His Will? ”

Chapter XXVI.-No Goodness Without Liberty

Chapter XXVII.-The Visible Heaven: Why Made.

Chapter XXVIII.-Why to Be Dissolved.

Chapter XXIX.-Corruptible and Temporary Things Made by the Incorruptible and Eternal.

Chapter XXX.-How the Pure in Heart See God.

Chapter XXXI.-Diligence in Study.

Chapter XXXII.-Peter’s Private Instruction.

Chapter XXXIII.-Learners and Cavillers.

Chapter XXXIV.-Against Order is Against Reason.

Chapter XXXV.-Learning Before Teaching.

Chapter XXXVI.-Self-Evidence of the Truth,

Chapter XXXVII.-God Righteous as Well as Good.

Chapter XXXVIII.-God’s Justice Shown at the Day of Judgment.

Chapter XXXIX.-Immortality of the Soul.

Chapter XL.-Proved by the Success of the Wicked in This Life.

Chapter XLI.-Cavils of Simon.

Chapter XLII.-“Full of All Subtlety and All Mischief.”

Chapter XLIII.-Simon’s Subterfuges.

Chapter XLIV.-Sight or Hearing?

Chapter XLV.-A Home-Thrust.

Chapter XLVI.-Simon’s Rage.

Chapter XLVII.-Simon’s Vaunt.

Chapter XLVIII.-Attempts to Create a Disturbance.

Chapter XLIX.-Simon’s Retreat.

Chapter L.-Peter’s Benediction.

Chapter LI.-Peter’s Accessibility.

Chapter LII.-False Signs and Miracles.

Chapter LIII.-Self-Love the Foundation of Goodness.

Chapter LIV.-God to Be Supremely Loved.

Chapter LV.-Ten Commandments Corresponding to the Plagues of Egypt.

Chapter LVI.-Simon Resisted Peter, as the Magicians Moses.

Chapter LVII.-Miracles of the Magicians.

Chapter LVIII.-Truth Veiled with Love.

Chapter LIX.-Good and Evil in Pairs.

Chapter LX.-Uselessness of Pretended Miracles.

Chapter LXI.-Ten Pairs.

Chapter LXII.-The Christian Life.

Chapter LXIII.-A Deserter from Simon’s Camp.

Chapter LXIV.-Declaration of Simon’s Wickedness.

Chapter LXV.-Peter Resolves to Follow Simon.

Chapter LXVI.-Zacchaeus Made Bishop of Caesarea; Presbyters and Deacons Ordained.

Chapter LXVII.-Invitation to Baptism.

Chapter LXVIII.-Twelve Sent Before Him.

Chapter LXIX.-Arrangements Approved by All the Brethren.

Chapter LXX.-Departure of the Twelve.

Chapter LXXI.-Peter Prepares the Caesareans for His Departure.

Chapter LXXII.-More Than Ten Thousand Baptized.

Chapter LXXIII.-Tidings of Simon.

Chapter LXXIV.-Farewell to Caesarea.

Chapter LXXV.-Contents of Clement’s Despatches to James.

Book III.1

——–

Chapter I.-Pearls Before Swine.

Meantime Peter, rising at the crowing of the cock, and wishing to rouse us, found us awake, the evening light still burning; and when, according to custom, he had saluted us, and we had all sat down, he thus began. “Nothing is more difficult, thy brethren, than to reason concerning the truth in the presence of a mixed multitude of people. For that which is may not be spoken to all as it is, on account of those who hear wickedly and treacherously; yet it is not proper to deceive, on account of those who desire to hear the truth sincerely. What, then, shall he do who has to address a mixed multitude? Shall he conceal what is true? How, then, shall he instruct those who are worthy? But if he set forth pure truth to those who do not desire to obtain salvation, he does injury to Him by whom he has been sent, and from whom he has received commandment not to throw the pearls of His words before swine and dogs,2 who, striving aga inst them with arguments and sophisms, roll them in the rand of carnal understanding, and by their barkings and base answers break and weary the preachers of God’s word. Wherefore I also, for the most part, by using a certain circumlocution, endeavour to avoid publishing the chief knowledge concerning the Supreme Divinity to unworthy ears.” Then, beginning from the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, he briefly and plainly expounded to us, so that all of us hearing him wondered that men have forsaken the truth, and have turned themselves to vanity.

Chapter XII.3 -Second Day’s Discussion.

But when the day had dawned, some one came in and said: “There is a very great multitude waiting in the court, and in the midst of them stands Simon, endeavouring to preoccupy the ears of the people with most wicked persuasions.” Then Peter, immediately going out, stood in the place where he had disputed the day before, and all the people turning to him with joy, gave heed to him. But when Simon perceived that the people rejoiced at the sight of Peter, and were moved to love him, he said in confusion: “I wonder at the folly of men, who call me a magician, and love Peter; whereas, having knowledge of me of old, they ought to love me rather. And therefore from this sign those who have sense may understand that Peter may rather seem to be the magician, since affection is not borne to me, to whom it is almost due from acquaintance, but is abundantly expended upon him, to whom it is not due by any familiarity.”4

Chapter XIII.-Simon a Seducer.

While Simon was talking on in this style, Peter, having saluted the people in his usual way. thus answered: “O Simon, his own conscience is sufficient for every one to confute him; but if you wonder at this, that those who are acquainted with you not only do not love you but even hate you, learn the reason from me. Since you are a seducer you profess to proclaim the truth; and on this account you had many friends who had a desire to learn the truth. But when they saw in you things contrary to what you professed, they being, as I said, lovers of truth, began not only not to love you, but even to hate you. But yet they did not immediately forsake you, because you still promised that you could show them what is true. As long, therefore, as no one was present who could show them, they bore with you; but since the hope of better instruction has dawned upon them, they despise you, and seek to know what they understand to be better. And you indeed, acting by nefarious arts, thought a t first that you should escape detection. But you are detected. For you are driven into a corner, and, contrary to your expectation, you are made notorious, not only as being ignorant of the truth, but as being unwilling to hear it from those who know it. For if you had been willing to hear, that saying would have been exemplified in you, of Him who said that `there is nothing hidden which shall not be known, nor covered which shall not be disclosed.'”5

Chapter XIV.-Simon Claims the Fulfilment of Peter’s Promise.

While Peter spoke these words, and others to the same effect, Simon answered: “I will not have you detain me with long speeches, Peter; I claim from you what you promised yesterday. You then said that you could show that the law teaches concerning the immensity of the eternal light, and that there are only two heavens, and these created, and that the higher is the abode of that light, in which the ineffable Father dwells alone for ever; but that after the pattern of that heaven is made this visible heaven, which you asserted is to pass away. You said, therefore, that the Father of all is one, because there cannot be two infinites; else neither of them would be infinite, because in that in which the one subsists, he makes a limit of the subsistence of the other. Since then you not only promised this, but are able to show it from the law, leave off other matters and set about this.” Then Peter said: “If I were asked to speak of these things only on your account, who come only fo r the purpose of contradicting, you should never hear a single discourse from me; but seeing it is necessary that the husbandman, wishing to sow good ground, should sow some seeds, either in stony places, or places that are to be trodden of men, or in places filled with brambles and briers (as our Master also set forth, indicating by these the diversities of the purposes of several souls),6 I shall not delay.”

Chapter XV.-Simon’s Arrogance.

Then said Simon: “You seem to me to be angry; but if it be so, it is not necessary to enter into the conflict.” Then Peter: “I see that you perceive that you are to be convicted, and you wish politely to escape from the contest; for what have you seen to have made me angry against you, a man desiring to deceive so great a multitude, and when you have nothing to say, pretending moderation, who also command, forsooth, by your authority that the controversy shall be conducted as you please, and not as order demands? “Then Simon: “I shall enforce myself to bear patiently your unskilfulness, that I may show that you indeed wish to seduce the people, but that I teach the truth. But now I refrain from a discussion concerning that boundless light. Answer me, therefore, what I ask of you. Since God, as you say, made all things, whence comes evil? “7 Then said Peter: “To put questions in this way is not the part of an opponent, but of a learner. If therefore you wish to learn, confess it; and I shall first teach you how you ought to learn, and when you have learned to listen, then straightway I shall begin to teach you. But if you do not wish to learn, as though you knew all things, I shall first set forth the faith which I preach, and do you also set forth what you think to be true; and when the profession of each of us has been disclosed, let our hearers judge whose discourse is supported by truth.” To this Simon answered: “This is a good joke: behold a fellow who offers to teach me! Nevertheless I shall suffer you, and bear with your ignorance and your arrogance. I confess, then, I do wish to learn; let us see how you can teach me.”

Chapter XVI.-Existence of Evil.

Then Peter said: “If you truly wish to learn, I then first learn this, how unskilfully you have framed your question; for you say, Since. God has created all things, whence is evil? But before you asked this, three sorts of questions should have had the precedence: First, Whether there be evil? Secondly, What evil is? Thirdly, To whom it is, and whence? “To this Simon answered: “Oh thou most unskilful and unlearned, is there any man who does not confess that there is evil in this life? Whence I also, thinking that you had even the common sense of all men, asked, whence evil is; not as wishing to learn, since I know all things, least of all from you, who know nothing, but that I might show you to be ignorant of all things. And that you may not suppose that it is because I am angry that I speak somewhat sternly, know that I am moved with compassion for those who are present, whom you are attempting to deceive.” Then Peter said: “The more wicked are you, if y ou can do such wrong, not being angry; but smoke must rise where there is fire. Nevertheless I shall tell you, lest I should seem to take you up with words, so as not to answer to those things which you have spoken disorderly. You say that all confess the existence of evil, which is verily false; for, first of all, the whole Hebrew nation deny its existence.”

Chapter XVII.-Not Admitted by All.

Then Simon, interrupting his discourse, said: “They do rightly who say that there is no evil.” Then Peter answered: “We do not propose to speak of this now, but only to state the fact that the existence of evil is not universally admitted. But the second question that you should have asked is, What is evil?-a substance, an accident, or an act? And many other things of the same sort. And after that, towards what, or how it is, or to whom it is evil,-whether to God, or to angels, or to men, to the righteous or the wicked, to all or to some, to one’s self or to no one? And then you should inquire, Whence it is?-whether from God, or from nothing; whether it has always been, or has had its beginning in time; whether it is useful or useless? and many other things which a proposition of this sort demands.” To this Simon answered: “Pardon me; I was in error concerning the first question; but suppose that I now ask first, whether evil is or not? ”

Chapter XVIII.-Manner of Conducting the Discussion.

Then Peter said: “In what way do you put the question; as wishing to learn, or to teach or for the sake of raising the question? If indeed as wishing to learn, I have something to teach you first, that coining by consequence and the right order of doctrine, you may understand from yourself what evil is. But if you put the question as an instructor, I have no need to be taught by you, for I have a Master from whom I have learned all things. But if you ask merely for the sake of raising a question and disputing, let each of us first set forth his opinion, and so let the matter be debated. For it is not reasonable that you should ask as one wishing to learn, and contradict as one teaching, so that after my answer it should be in your discretion to say whether I have spoken well or ill. Wherefore you cannot stand in the place of a gainsayer and be judge of what we say. And therefore, as I said, if a discussion is to be held, let each of us state his sentiments; and while we are pl aced in conflict, these religious hearers will be just judges.”

Chapter XIX.-Desire of Instruction.

Then Simon said: “Does it not seem to you to be absurd that an unskilled people should sit in judgment upon our sayings? “Then Peter: “It is not so; for what perhaps is less clear to one, can be investigated by many, for oftentimes even a popular rumour has the aspect of a prophecy. But in addition to all this, all these people stand here constrained by the love of God, and by a desire to know the truth, and therefore all these are to be regarded as one, by reason of their affection being one and the same towards the truth; as, on the other hand, two are many and diverse, if they disagree with each other. But if you wish to receive an indication how all these people who stand before us are as one man, consider from their very silence and quietness how with all patience, as you see, they do honour to the truth of God, even before they learn it, for they have not yet learned the greater observance which they owe to it. Wherefore I hope, through the mercy of God, that He will acc ept the religious purpose of their mind towards Him, and will give the palm of victory to him who preaches the truth, that He may make manifest to them the herald of truth.”

Chapter XX.-Common Principles.

Then Simon: “On what subject do yon wish the discussion to be held? Tell me, that I also may define what I think, and so the inquiry may begin.” And Peter answered: “If indeed, you will do as I think right, I would have it done according to the precept of my Master, who first of all commanded the Hebrew nation, whom He knew to have knowledge of God, and that it is He who made the world, not that they should inquire about Him whom they knew, but that, knowing Him, they should investigate His will and His righteousness; because it is placed in men’s power that, searching into these things, they may find, and do, and observe those things concerning which they are to be judged. Therefore He commanded us to inquire, not whence evil cometh, as you asked just now, but to seek the righteousness of the good God, and His kingdom; and all these things, says He, shall be added to you.”8 Then Simon said: “Since these things are comman ded to Hebrews, as having a right knowledge of God, and being of opinion that every one has it in his power to do these things concerning which he is to be judged,-but my opinion differs from theirs,-where do you wish me to begin? ”

Chapter XXI.-Freedom of the Will.

Then said Peter: “I advise that the first inquiry be, whether it be in our power to know whence we are to be judged.” But Simon said: “Not so; but concerning God, about whom all who are present are desirous to hear.” Then Peter: “You admit, then, that something is in the power of the will: only confess this, if it is so, and let us inquire, as you say, concerning God.” To this Simon answered: “By no means” Then Peter said: “If, then, nothing is in our power, it is useless for us to inquire anything concerning God, since it is not in the power of those who seek to find; hence I said well, that this should be the first inquiry, whether anything is in the power of the will.”9 Then said Simon: “We cannot even understand this that you say, if there is anything in the power of the will.” But Peter, seeing that he was turning to contention, and, through fear of being overcome, was confounding all things as being in general uncer tain, answered: “How then do you know that it is not in the power of man to know anything, since this very thing at least you know? ”

Chapter XXII.-Responsibility.

Then Simon said: “I know not whether I know even this; for every one, according as it is decreed to him by fate, either does, or understands, or suffers.” Then Peter said: “See, my brethren, into what absurdities Simon has fallen, who before my coming was teaching that men have it in their power to be wise and to do what they will, but now, driven into a corner by the force of my arguments, he denies that man has any power either of perceiving or of acting; and yet he presumes to profess himself to be a teacher! But tell me how then God judges according to truth every one for his doings, if men have it not in their own power to do anything? If this opinion he held, all things are torn up by the roots; vain will be the desire of following after goodness; yea, even in vain do the judges of the world administer laws and punish those who do amiss, for they had it not in their power not to sin; vain also will be the laws of nations which assign penalties to evil deeds. Miserable al so will those be who laboriously keep righteousness; but blessed those who, living in pleasure, exercise tyranny, living in luxury and wickedness. According to this. therefore, there can be neither righteousness, nor goodness, nor any virtue, nor, as you would have it, any God. But, O Simon, I know why you have spoken thus: truly because you wished to avoid inquiry, lest you should be openly confuted; and therefore you say that it is not in the power of man to perceive or to discern anything. But if this had really been your opinion, you would not surely, before my coming, have professed yourself before the people to be a teacher. I say, therefore, that man is under his own control.” Then said Simon: “What is the meaning of being under his own control? Tell us.” To this Peter: “If nothing can he learned, why do you wish to hear? “And Simon said: “You have nothing to answer to this.”

Chapter XXIII.-Origin of Evil.

Then said Peter: “I shall speak, not as under compulsion from you, but at the request of the hearers. The power of choice is the sense of the soul, possessing a quality by which it can be inclined towards what acts it wills.” Then Simon, applauding Peter for what he had spoken, said: “Truly you have expounded it magnificently and incomparably, for it is my duty to bear testimony to your speaking well. Now if you will explain to me this which I now ask you, in all things else I shall submit to you. What I wish to learn, then, is this: if what God wishes to be, is; and what He does not wish to be, is not. Answer me this.” Then Peter: “If you do not know that you are asking an absurd and incompetent question, I shall pardon you and explain; but if you are aware that yon are asking inconsequently, you do not well.” Then Simon said: “I swear by the Supreme Divinity, whatsoever that may be, which judges and punishes those who sin, that I know not what I have said inconsequently, or what absurdity there is in my words, that is, in those that I have just uttered.”

Chapter XXIV.-God the Author of Good, Not of Evil.

To this Peter answered: “Since, then, you confess that you are ignorant, now learn. Your question demanded our deliverance on two matters that are contrary to one another. For every motion is divided into two parts, so that a certain part is moved by necessity, and another by will; and those things which are moved by necessity are always in motion, those which are moved by will, not always. For example, the sun’s motion is performed by necessity to complete its appointed circuit, and every state and service of heaven depends upon necessary motions. But man directs the voluntary motions of his own actions. And thus there are some things which have been created for this end, that in their services they should he subject to necessity, and should be unable to do aught else than what has been assigned to them; and when they have accomplished this service, the Creator of all things. who thus arranged them according to His will, preserves them. But there are other things, in which th ere is a power of will, and which have a free choice of doing what they will. These, as I have said, do not remain always in that order in which they were created: but according as their will leads them, and the judgment of their mind inclines them, they effect either good or evil; and therefore He hath proposed rewards to those who do well, and penalties to those who do evil.10

Chapter XXV.-“Who Hath Resisted His Will? ”

You say, therefore, if God wishes anything to be, it is; and if He do not wish it, it is not. But if I were to answer that what He wishes is, and what He wishes not is not, you would say that then He wishes the evil things to be which are done in the world, since everything that He wishes is, and everything that He wishes not is not. But if I had answered that it is not so that what God wishes is, and what He wishes not is not, then you would retort upon me that God must then be powerless, if He cannot do what He wills; and you would be all the more petulant, as thinking that you had got a victory, though had said nothing to the point. Therefore you are ignorant, O Simon, yea very ignorant, how the will of God acts in each individual case. For some things, as we have said, He has so willed to be, that they cannot be otherwise than as they are ordained by Him; and to these He has assigned neither rewards nor punishments; but those which He has willed to be so that they have it in their power to do what they will, He has assigned to them according to their actions and their wills, to earn either rewards or punishments. Since, therefore, as I have informed you, all things that are moved are divided into two parts, according to the distinction that I formerly stated, everything that God wills is, and everything that He wills not is not.

Chapter XXVI.-No Goodness Without Liberty

To this Simon answered: “Was not He able to make us all such that we should be good, and that we should not have it in our power to be otherwise? “Peter answered: “This also is an absurd question. For if He had made us of an unchangeable nature and incapable of being moved away from good, we should not be really good, because we could not be aught else; and it would not be of our purpose that we were good; and what we did would not be ours, but of the necessity of our nature.11 But how can that be called good which is not done of purpose? And on this account the world required long periods, until the number of souls which were predestined to fill it should be completed, and then that visible heaven should be folded up like a scroll, and that which is higher should appear, and the souls of the blessed, being restored to their bodies, should be ushered into light; but the souls of the wicked, for their impure actions being surrounded with fiery spirit, should be plunged into the abyss of unquenchable fire, to endure punishments through eternity. Now that these things are so, the true Prophet. has testified to us; concerning whom, if you wish to know that He is a prophet, I shall instruct you by innumerable declarations. For of those things which were spoken by Him, even now everything that He said is being fulfilled; and those things which He spoke with respect to the future are believed to be about to be fulfilled, for faith is given to the future from those things which have already come to pass.”

Chapter XXVII.-The Visible Heaven: Why Made.

But Simon, perceiving that Peter was clearly assigning a reason from the head of prophecy, from which the whole question is settled, declined that the discourse should take this turn; and thus answered: “Give me an answer to the questions that I put, and tell me, if that visible heaven is. as you say, to be dissolved, why was it made at first? “Peter answered: “It was made for the sake of this present life of men, that there might be some sort of interposition and separation, lest any unworthy one might see the habitation of the celestials and the abode of God Himself, which are prepared in order to be seen by those only who are of pure heart.12 But now, that is in the time of the conflict, it has pleased Him that those things be invisible, which are destined as a reward to the conquerers.” Then Simon said: “If the Creator is good, and the world is good, how shall He who is good ever destroy that which is good? But if He shall destroy that which is good, how shall He Himself be thought to be good? But if He shall dissolve and destroy it as evil, how shall He not appear to be evil, who has made that which is evil? ”

Chapter XXVIII.-Why to Be Dissolved.

To this Peter replied: “Since we have promised not to run away from your blasphemies, we endure them patiently, for you shall yourself render an account for the things that you speak. Listen now, therefore. If indeed that heaven which is visible and transient had been made for its own sake, there would have been some reason in what you say, that it ought not to be dissolved. But if it was made not for its own sake, but for the sake of something else, it must of necessity be dissolved, that that for which it seems to have been made may appear. As I might say, by way of illustration, however fairly and carefully the shell of the egg may seem to have been formed, it is yet necessary that it be broken and opened, that the chick may issue from it, and that may appear for which the form of the whole egg seems to have been moulded. So also, therefore, it is necessary that the condition of this world pass away, that that sublimer condition of the heavenly kingdom may shine forth.”

Chapter XXIX.-Corruptible and Temporary Things Made by the Incorruptible and Eternal.

Then Simon: “It does not seem to me that the heaven, which has been made by God, can be dissolved. For things made by the Eternal One are eternal, while things made by a corruptible one are temporary and decaying.” Then Peter: “It is not so. Indeed corruptible and temporary things of all sorts are made by mortal creatures; but the Eternal does not always make things corruptible, nor always incorruptible; but according to the will of God the Creator, so will be the things which He creates. For the power of God is not subject to law, but His will is law to His creatures.” Then Simon answered: “I call you back to the first question. You said now that God is visible to no one; but when that heaven shall be dissolved, and that superior condition of the heavenly kingdom shall shine forth, then those who are pure in heart13 shall see God; which statement is contrary to the law, for there it is written that God said, `None shall see my face and live.'”14

Chapter XXX.-How the Pure in Heart See God.

Then Peter answered: “To those who do not read the law according to the tradition of Moses, my speech appears to be contrary to it; but I will show you how it is not contradictory. God is seen by the mind, not by the body; by the spirit, not by the flesh. Whence also angels, who are spirits, see God; and therefore men, as long as they are men, cannot see Him. But after the resurrection of the dead, when they shall have been made like the angels,15 they shall be able to see God. And thus my statement is not contrary to the law; neither is that which our Master said, `Blessed are they of a pure heart, for they shall see God.’16 For He showed that a time shall come in which of men shall be made angels, who in the spirit of their mind shall see God.” After these and many similar sayings, Simon began to assert with many oaths, saying: “Concerning one thing only render me a reason, whether the soul is immortal, and I shall submit to your will in all things. But let it be to-morrow, for to-day it is late.” When therefore Peter began to speak, Simon went out, and with him a very few of his associates; and that for shame. But all the rest, turning to Peter, on bended knees prostrated themselves before him; and some of those who were afflicted with diverse sicknesses, or invaded by demons, were healed by the prayer of Peter, and departed rejoicing, as having obtained at once the doctrine of the true God, and also His mercy. When therefore the crowds had withdrawn, and only we his attendants remained with him, we sat down on couches placed on the ground, each one recognising his accustomed place, and having taken food, and given thanks to God, we went to sleep.

Chapter XXXI.-Diligence in Study.

But on the following day, Peter, as usual, rising before dawn, found us already awake and ready to listen; and thus began: “I entreat you, my brethren and fellow-servants, that if any of you is not able to wake, he should not torment himself through respect to my presence, because sudden change is difficult; but if for a long time one gradually accustoms himself, that will not be distressing which comes of use. For we had not all the same training; although in course of time we shall be able to be moulded into one habit, for they say that custom holds the place of a second nature. But I call God to witness that I am not offended, if any one is not able to wake; but rather by this, if, when any one sleeps all through the night, he does not in the course of the day fulfil that which he omitted in the night. For it is necessary to give heed intently and unceasingly, to the study of doctrine, that our mind may be filled with the thought of God only: because in the mind which is fi lled with the thought of God, no place will be given to the wicked one.”

Chapter XXXII.-Peter’s Private Instruction.

When Peter spoke thus to us, every one of us eagerly assured him, that ere now we were awake, being satisfied with short sleep, but that we were afraid to arouse him, because it did not become the disciples to command the master; “and yet even this O Peter we had almost ventured to take upon ourselves, because our hearts, agitated with longing for your words, drove sleep wholly from our eyes. But again our affection towards you opposed it, and did not suffer us violently to rouse you.” Then Peter said: “Since therefore you assert that you are willingly awake through desire of hearing, I wish to repeat to you more carefully, and to explain in their order, the things that were spoken yesterday without arrangement. And this I propose to do throughout these daily disputations, that by night, when privacy of time and place is afforded, I shall unfold in correct order, and by a straight line of explanation, anything that in the controversy has not been stated with sufficient fulness .” And then he began to point out to us how the yesterday’s discussion ought to have been conducted, and how it could not be so conducted on account of the contentiousness or the unskilfulness of his opponent; and how therefore he only made use of assertion, and only overthrew what was said by his adversary, but did not expound his own doctrines either completely or distinctly. Then repeating the several matters to us, he discussed them in regular order and with full reason.

Chapter XXXIII.-Learners and Cavillers.

But when the day began to be light, after prayer he went out to the crowds and stood in his accustomed place, for the discussion; and seeing Simon standing in the middle of the crowd, he saluted the people in his usual way, and said to them: “I confess that I am grieved with respect to some men, who come to us in this way that they may learn something, but when we begin to teach them, they profess that they themselves are masters, and while indeed they ask questions as ignorant persons, they contradict as knowing trees. But perhaps some one will say, that he who puts a question, puts it indeed in order that he may learn, but when that which he hears does not seem to him to be right, it is necessary that he should answer, and that seems to he contradiction which is not contradiction, but further inquiry.

Chapter XXXIV.-Against Order is Against Reason.

“Let such a one then hear this: The teaching of all doctrine has a certain order, and there are some things which must be delivered first, others in the second place, and others in the third, and so all in their order; and if these things be delivered in their order, they become plain; but if they be brought forward out of order, they will seem to be spoken against reason. And therefore order is to be observed above all things, if we seek for the purpose of finding what we seek. For he who enters rightly upon the road, will observe the second place in due order, and from the second will more easily find the third; and the further he proceeds, so much the more will the way of knowledge become open to him, even until he arrive at the city of truth, whither he is bound, and which he desires to reach. But he who is unskilful, and knows not the way of inquiry, as a traveller in a foreign country, ignorant and wandering, if he will not employ a native of the country as a guide,-undo ubtedly when he has strayed from the way of truth, shall remain outside the gates of life, and so, involved in the darkness of black night, shall walk through the paths of perdition. Inasmuch therefore, as, if those things which are to be sought, be sought in an orderly manner, they can most easily be found, but the unskilful man is ignorant of the order of inquiry, it is right that the ignorant man should yield to the knowing one, and first learn the order of inquiry, that so at length he may find the method of asking and answering.”

Chapter XXXV.-Learning Before Teaching.

To this Simon replied: “Then truth is not the property of all, but of those only who know the art of disputation, which is absurd; for it cannot be, since He is equally the God of all, that all should not be equally able to know His will.” Then Peter: “All were made equal by Him, and to all He has given equally to be receptive of truth. But that none of those who are born, are born with education, but education is subsequent to birth, no one can doubt. Since, therefore, the birth of men holds equity in this respect, that all are equally capable of receiving discipline, the diference is not in nature, but in education. Who does not know that the things which any one learns, he was ignorant of before he learned them? “Then Simon said “You say truly.” Then Peter said · “If then in those arts which are in common use, one first learns and then teaches, how much more ought those who profess to be the educators of souls, first to learn, and so to teach, that they may not expose themselves to ridicule, if they promise to afford knowledge to others, when they themselves are unskilful? “Then Simon: “This is true in respect of those arts which are in common use; but in the word of knowledge, as soon as any one has heard, he has learned.”

Chapter XXXVI.-Self-Evidence of the Truth,

Then said Peter: “If indeed one hear in an orderly and regular manner he is able to know what is true; but he who refuses to submit to the rule of a reformed life and a pure conversation, which truly is the proper result of knowledge of the truth, will not confess that he knows what he does know. For this is exactly what we see in the case of some who, abandoning the trades which they learned in their youth, betake themselves to other performances, and by way of excusing their own sloth, begin to find fault with the trade as unprofitable.” Then Simon: “Ought all who hear to believe that whatever they hear is true? “Then Peter: “Whoever hears an orderly statement of the truth, cannot by any means gainsay it, but knows that what is spoken is true, provided he also willingly submit to the rules of life. But those who, when they hear, are unwilling to betake themselves to good works, are prevented by the desire of doing evil from acquiescing in those things which they judge to be right. Hence it is manifest that it is in the power of the hearers to choose which of the two they prefer. But if all who hear were to obey, it would be rather a necessity of nature, leading all in one way. For as no one can be persuaded to become shorter or taller, because the force of nature does not permit it; so also, if either all were converted to the truth by a word, or all were not converted, it would be the force of nature which compelled all in the one case, and none at all in the other, to be converted.”

Chapter XXXVII.-God Righteous as Well as Good.

Then said Simon: “Inform us, therefore, what he who desires to know the truth must first learn.” Then Peter: “Before all things it must be inquired what it is possible for man to find out. For of necessity the judgment of God turns upon this, if a man was able to do good and did it not. And therefore men must inquire whether they have it in their power by seeking to find what is good, and to do it when they have found it; for this is that for which they are to be judged. But more than this there is no occasion for any one but a prophet to know: for what is the need for men to know how the world was made? This, indeed, would be necessary to be learned if we had to enter upon a similar construction. But now it is sufficient for us, in order to the worship of God, to know that He made the world; but how He made it is no subject of inquiry for us, because, as I have said, it is not incumbent upon us to acquire the knowledge of that art, as though we were about to make something si milar. But neither are we to be judged for this, why we have not learned how the world was made, but only for that, if we be without knowledge of its Creator. For we shall know that the Creator of the world is the righteous and good God, if we seek Him in the paths of righteousness. For if we only know regarding Him that He is good, such knowledge is not sufficient for salvation. For in the present life not only the worthy, but also the unworthy, enjoy His goodness and His benefits. But if we believe Him to be not only good, but also righteous, and if, according to what we believe concerning God, we observe righteousness in the whole course of our life, we shall enjoy His goodness for ever. In a word, to the Hebrews, whose opinion concerning God was that He is only good, our Master said that they should seek also His righteousness;17 that is, that they should know that He is good indeed in this present time, that all may live in His goodness, but that He shall be righteous at the day of judgment, to bestow eternal rewards upon the worthy, from which the unworthy shall be excluded.

Chapter XXXVIII.-God’s Justice Shown at the Day of Judgment.

Then Simon: “How can one and the same being be both good and righteous? “18 Peter answered: “Because without righteousness, goodness would be unrighteousness; for it is the part of a good God to bestow His sunshine and rain equally on the just and the unjust;19 but this would seem to be unjust, if He treated the good and the bad always with equal fortune, and were it not that He does it for the sake of the fruits, which all may equally enjoy who are born in this world. But as the rain given by God equally nourishes the corn and the tares, but at the time of harvest the crops are gathered into the barn, but the chaff or the tares are burnt in the fire,20 so in the day of judgment, when the righteous shall be introduced into the kingdom of heaven, and the unrighteous shall be cast out, then also the justice of God shall be shown. For if He remained for ever alike to the evil and the good, this would not only not be good, but even unrighteous and unjust; that the righteous and the unrighteous should be held by Him in one order of desert.”

Chapter XXXIX.-Immortality of the Soul.

Then said Simon: “The one point on which I should wish to be satisfied is, whether the soul is immortal; for I cannot take up the burden of righteousness unless I know first concerning the immortality of the soul; for indeed if it is not immortal, the profession of your preaching cannot stand.” Then said Peter: “Let us first inquire whether God is just; for if this were ascertained, the perfect order of order of religion would straight-way be established.” Then Simon: “With all your boasting of your knowledge of the order of discussion, you seem to me now to have answered contrary to order; for when I ask you to show whether the soul is immortal, you say that we must first inquire whether God is just.” Then said Peter: “That is perfectly right and regular.” Simon: “I should wish to learn how.”

Chapter XL.-Proved by the Success of the Wicked in This Life.

“Listen, then,” said Peter: “Some men who are blasphemers against God, and who spend their whole life in injustice and pleasure die in their own bed and obtain honourable burial; while others who worship God, and maintain their life frugally with all honesty and sobriety, die in deserted places for their observance of righteousness, so that they are not even thought worthy of burial. Where, then, is the justice of God, if there be no immortal soul to suffer punishment in the future for impious deeds, or enjoy rewards for piety and rectitude? “Then Simon said: “It is this indeed that makes me incredulous, because many well-doers perish miserably, and again many evil-doers finish long lives in happiness.”21

Chapter XLI.-Cavils of Simon.

Then said Peter: “This very thing which draws you into incredulity, affords to us a certain conviction that there shall be a judgment. For since it is certain that God is just, it is a necessary consequence that there is another world, in which every one receiving according to his deserts, shall prove the justice of God. But if all men were now receiving according to their deserts, we should truly seem to be deceivers when we say that there is a judgment to come; and therefore this very fact, that in the present life a return is not made to every one according to his deeds, affords, to those who know that God is just, an indubitable proof that there shall be a judgment.” Then said Simon: “Why, then, am I not persuaded of it? “Peter: “Because you have not heard the true Prophet saying, `Seek first His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’22 “Then said Simon: “Pardon me if I am unwilling to seek righte ousness, before I know if the soul is immortal.” Then Peter: “You also pardon me this one thing, because I cannot do otherwise than the Prophet of truth has instructed me.” Then said Simon: “It is certain that you cannot assert that the soul is immortal, and therefore you cavil, knowing that if it be proved to be mortal, the whole profession of that religion which you are attempting to propagate will be plucked up by the roots. And therefore, indeed, I commend your prudence, while I do not approve your persuasiveness; for you persuade many to embrace your religion, and to submit to the restraint of pleasure, in hope of future good things; to whom it happens that they lose the enjoyment of things present, and are deceived with hopes of things future. For as soon as they die, their soul shall at the same time be extinguished.”

Chapter XLII.-“Full of All Subtlety and All Mischief.”

But Peter, when he heard him speak thus, grinding his teeth, and rubbing his forehead with his hand, and sighing with profound grief, said:23 “Armed with the cunning of the old serpent, you stand forth to deceive souls; and therefore, as the serpent is more subtile than any other beast, you profess that you are a teacher from the beginning. And again, like the serpent you wished to introduce many gods; but now, being confuted in that, you assert that there is no God at all. For by occasion of I know not what unknown God, you denied that the Creator of the world is God, but asserted that He is either an evil being, or that He has many equals, or, as we have said, that He is not God at all. And when you had been overcome in this position, you now assert that the soul is mortal, so that men may not live righteously and uprightly in hope of things to come. For if there be no hope for the future, why should not mercy be given up, and men indulge in luxury and pleasures, from which it is manifest that all unrighteousness springs? And while you introduce so impious a doctrine into the miserable life of men, you call yourself pious, and me impious, because, under the hope of future good things, I will not suffer men to take up arms and fight against one another, plunder and subvert everything, and attempt whatsoever lust may dictate. And what will be the condition of that life which you would introduce, that men will attack and be attacked, be enraged and disturbed, and live always in fear? For those who do evil to others must expect like evil to themselves. Do you see that you are a leader of disturbance and not of peace, of iniquity and not of equity? But I feigned anger, not because I could not prove that the soul is immortal, but because I pity the souls which you are endeavouring to deceive. I shall speak, therefore, but not as compelled by you; for I know how I should speak; and you will be the only one who wants not so much persuasion as admonition on this subject. But those who are really ignorant of this, I shall instruct as is suitable.”

Chapter XLIII.-Simon’s Subterfuges.

Then says Simon: “If you are angry, I shall neither ask you any questions, nor do I wish to hear you.” Then Peter: “If you are now seeking a pretext for escaping, you have full liberty, and need not use any special pretext. For all have heard you speaking all amiss, and have perceived that you can prove nothing, but that you only asked questions for the sake of contradiction; which any one can do. For what difficulty is there in replying, after the clearest proofs have been adduced, `You have said nothing to the purpose? ‘But that you may know that I am able to prove to you in a single sentence that the soul is immortal, I shall ask you with respect to a point which all know; answer me, and I shall prove to you in one sentence that it is immortal.” Then Simon, who had thought that he had got, from the anger of Peter, a pretext for departing, stopped on account of the remarkable promise that was made to him, and said: “Ask me then, and I shall answer you what all know, that I m ay hear in a single sentence, as you have promised, how the soul is immortal.”

Chapter XLIV.-Sight or Hearing?

Then Peter: “I shall speak so that it may be proved to you before all the rest. Answer me, therefore, which of the two can better persuade an incredulous man, seeing or hearing? “Then Simon said: “Seeing.” Then Peter: “Why then do you wish to learn from me by words, what is proved to you by the thing itself and by sight? “Then Simon: “I know not what you mean.” Then Peter: “If you do not know, go now to your house, and entering the inner bed-chamber you will see an image placed, containing the figure of a murdered boy clothed in purple; ask him, and he will inform you either by hearing or seeing. For what need is there to hear from him if the soul is immortal, when you see it standing before you? For if it were not in being, it assuredly could not be seen. But if you know not what image I speak of, let us straightway go to your house, with ten other men, of those who are here present.”24

Chapter XLV.-A Home-Thrust.

But Simon hearing this, and being smitten by his conscience, changed colour and became bloodless; for he was afraid, if he denied it, that his house would be searched, or that Peter in his indignation would betray him more openly, and so all would learn what he was. Thus he answered: “I beseech thee, Peter, by that good God who is in thee, to overcome the wickedness that is in me. Receive me to repentance, and you shall have me as an assistant in your preaching. For now I have learned in very deed that you are a prophet of the true God, and therefore you alone know the secret and hidden things of men.”25 Then said Peter: “You see, brethren, Simon seeking repentance; in a little while yon shall see him returning again to his infidelity. For, thinking that I am a prophet, forasmuch as I have disclosed his wickedness, which he supposed to be secret and hidden, he has promised that he will repent. But it is not lawful for me to lie, nor must I deceive, whether this infidel be saved or not saved. For I call heaven and earth to witness, that I spoke not by a prophetic spirit what I said, and what I intimated, as far as was possible, to the listening crowds; but I learned from some who once were his associates in his works, but have now been converted to our faith, what things he did in secret. Therefore I spoke what I knew, not what I foreknew.”

Chapter XLVI.-Simon’s Rage.

But when Simon heard this, he assailed Peter with curses and reproaches, saying: “Oh most wicked and most deceitful of men, to whom fortune, not truth, hath given the victory. But I sought repentance not for defect of knowledge, but in order that you, thinking that by repentance I should become your disciple, might entrust to me all the secrets of your profession. and so at length, knowing them all, I might confute you. But as you cunningly understood for what reason I had pretended penitence, and acquiesced as if you did not understand my stratagem, that you might first expose me in presence of the people as unskilful, then foreseeing that being thus exposed to the people, I must of necessity be indignant, and confess that I was not truly penitent, you anticipated me, that you might say, that I should, after my penitence, again return to my infidelity, that you might seem to have conquered on all sides, both if I continued in the penitence which I had professed, and if I did not continue; and so you should be believed to be wise, because you had foreseen these things, while I should seem to be deceived, because I did not foresee your trick. But you foreseeing mine, have used subtlety and circumvented me. But, as I said, your victory is the result of fortune, not of truth: yet I know why I did not foresee this; because I stood by you and spoke with you in my, goodness, and bore patiently with you. But now I shall show you the power of my divinity, so that you shall quickly fall down and worship me.”

Chapter XLVII.-Simon’s Vaunt.

“I am the first power, who am always, and without beginning.26 But having entered the womb of Rachel, I was born of her as a man, that I might be visible to men. I have flown through the air; I have been mixed with fire, and been made one body with it; I have made statues to move; I have animated lifeless things; I have made stones bread; I have flown from mountain to mountain; I have moved from place to place, upheld by angels’ hands, and have lighted on the earth. Not only have I done these things; but even now I am able to do them, that by facts I may prove to all, that I am the Son of God, enduring to eternity, and that I can make those who believe on me endure in like manner for ever. But your words are all vain; nor can you perform any real works such as I have now mentioned, as he also who sent you is a magician, who yet could not deliver himself from the suffering of the cross.”

Chapter XLVIII.-Attempts to Create a Disturbance.

To this speech of Simon, Peter answered: “Do not meddle with the things that belong to others; for that you are a magician, you have confessed and made manifest by the very deeds that you have done; but our Master, who is the Son of God and of man, is manifestly good; and that he is truly the Son of God has been told, and shall be told to those to whom it is fitting. But if you will not confess that you are a magician, let us go, with all this multitude, to your house, and then it will be evident who is a magician.” While Peter was speaking thus, Simon began to assail him with blasphemies and curses, that he might make a riot, and excite all so that he could not be refuted, and that Peter, withdrawing on account of his blasphemy, might seem to be overcome. But he stood fast, and began to charge him more vehemently.

Chapter XLIX.-Simon’s Retreat.

Then the people in indignation cast Simon from the court, and drove him forth from the gate of the house; and only one person followed him when he was driven out.27 Then silence being obtained, Peter began to address the people in this manner: “You ought, brethren, to bear with wicked men patiently; knowing that although God could cut them off, yet He suffers them to remain even till the day appointed, in which judgment shall pass upon all. Why then should not we bear with those whom, God suffers? Why should not we bear with fortitude the wrongs that they do to us, when He who is almighty does not take vengeance on them, that both His own goodness and the impiety of the wicked may be known? But if the wicked one had not found Simon to be his minister, he would doubtless have found another: for it is of necessity that in this life offences come, `but woe to that man by whom they come; ’28 and therefore Simon is rather to be mourned over, because he has become a choice vessel for the wicked one, which undoubtedly would not have happened had he not received power over him for his former sins. For why should I further say that he once believed in our Jesus, and was persuaded that Souls are immortal?29 Although in this he is deluded by demons, yet he has persuaded himself that he has the soul of a murdered boy ministering to him in whatever he pleases to employ it in; in which truly, as I have said, he is deluded by demons, and therefore I spoke to him according to his own ideas: for he has learned from the Jews, that judgment and vengeance are to be brought forth against those who set themselves against the true faith, and do not repent. But here are men to whom, as being perfect in crimes, the wicked one appears, that he may deceive them, so that they may never be turned to repentance.

Chapter L.-Peter’s Benediction.

“You therefore who are turned to the Lord by repentance, bend to Him your knees.” When he had said this, all the multitude bent their knees to God; and Peter, looking towards heaven, prayed for them with tears that God, for His goodness, would deign to receive those betaking themselves to Him. And after he had prayed and had instructed them to meet early the next day, he dismissed the multitude. Then according to custom, having taken food, we went to sleep.

Chapter LI.-Peter’s Accessibility.

Peter, therefore, rising at the usual hour of the night. found us waking; and when, saluting us, in his usual manner, he had taken his seat, first of all Niceta, said: “If you will permit me, my lord Peter, I have something to ask of you.” Then Peter said: “I permit not only you, but all, and not only now, but always, that every one confess what moves him, and the part in his mind that is pained, in order that he may obtain healing. For things which are covered with silence, and are not made known to us, are cured with difficulty, like maladies of long standing; and therefore, since the medicine of seasonable and necessary discourse cannot easily be applied to those who keep silence, every one ought to declare in what respect his mind is feeble through ignorance. But to him who keeps silence, it belongs to God alone to give a remedy. We indeed also can do it, but by the lapse of a long time. For it is necessary than the discourse of doctrine, proceeding in order from the beginning, and meeting each single question, should disclose all things, and resolve and reach to all things, even to that which every one required in his mind; but that, as I have said, can only be done in the course of a long time. Now, then, ask what you please.”

Chapter LII.-False Signs and Miracles.

Then Niceta said: “I give you abundant thanks, O most clement Peter; but this is what I desire to learn. how Simon, who is the enemy of God, is able to do such and so great things? For indeed he told no lie in his declaration of what he has done.” To this the blessed Peter thus answered: “God, who is one and true, has resolved to prepare good and faithful friends for His first begotten; but knowing that none can be good, unless they have in their power that perception by which they may become good, that they may be of their own intent what they choose to be,-and otherwise they could not be truly good, if they were kept in goodness not by purpose, but by necessity,-has given to every one the power of his own will, that he may be what he wishes to be. And again, foreseeing that that power of will would make some choose good things and others evil, and so that the human race would necessarily be divided into two classes, He has permitted each class to choose both a place and a ki ng, whom they would. For the good King; rejoices in the good, and the wicked one in the evil. And although I have expounded those things more fully to you, O Clement, in that treatise in which I discoursed on predestination and the end, yet it is fitting that I should now make clear to Niceta also, as he asks me, what is the reason than Simon, whose thoughts are against God, is able to do so great marvels.

Chapter LIII.-Self-Love the Foundation of Goodness.

“First of all, then, he is evil, in the judgment of God, who will not inquire what is advantageous to himself. For how can any one love another, if he does not love himself? Or to whom will that man not be an enemy, who cannot be a friend to himself? In order, therefore, that there might be a distinction between those who choose good and those who choose evil, God has concealed that which is profitable to men, i.e., the possession of the kingdom of heaven, and has laid it up and hidden it as a secret treasure, so that no one can easily attain it by his own power or knowledge. Yet He has brought the report of it, under various names and opinions, through successive generations, to the hearing of all: so that whosoever should be lovers of good, hearing it, might inquire and discover what is profitable and salutary to them; but that they should ask it, not from themselves, but from Him who has hidden it, and should pray that access and the way of knowledge might be given to them: which way is opened to those only who love it above all the good things of this world; and on no other condition can any one even understand it, however wise he may seem; but that those who neglect to inquire what is profitable and salutary to themselves, as self-haters and self-enemies, should be deprived of its good things, as lovers of evil things.

Chapter LIV.-God to Be Supremely Loved.

“It behoves, therefore, the good to love that way above all things, that is, above riches, glory, rest, parents, relatives, friends, and everything in the world. But he who perfectly loves this possession of the kingdom of heaven, will undoubtedly cast away all practice of evil habit, negligence, sloth, malice, anger, and such like. For if you prefer any of these to it, as loving the vices of your own lust more than God, you shall not attain to the possession of the heavenly kingdom; for truly it is foolish to love anything more than God. For whether they be parents, they die; or relatives, they do not continue; or friends, they change. But God alone is eternal, and abideth unchangeable. He, therefore, who will not seek after that which is profitable to himself, is evil, to such an extent that his wickedness exceeds the very prince of impiety. For he abuses the goodness of God to the purpose of his own wickedness, and pleases himself; but the other neglects the good thi ngs of his own salvation, that by his own destruction he may please the evil one.”

Chapter LV.-Ten Commandments Corresponding to the Plagues of Egypt.

“On account of those, therefore, who by neglect of their own salvation please the evil one, and those who by study of their own profit seek to please the good One, ten things have been prescribed as a test to this present age, according to the number of the ten plagues which were brought upon Egypt. For when Moses, according to the commandment of God, demanded of Pharaoh that he should let the people go, and in token of his heavenly commission showed signs, his rod being thrown upon the ground was turned into a serpent.30 And when Pharaoh could not by these means be brought to consent, as having freedom of will, again the magicians seemed to do similar signs, by permission of God, that the purpose of the king might be proved from the freedom of his will, whether he would rather believe the signs wrought by Moses, who was sent by God, or those which the magicians rather seemed to work than actually wrought. For truly he ou ght to have understood from their very name that they were not workers of truth, because they were not called messengers of God, but magicians, as the tradition also intimates. Moreover, they seemed to maintain the contest up to a certain point, and afterwards they confessed of themselves, and yielded to their superior.31 Therefore the last plague is inflicted,32 the destruction of the first-born, and then Moses is commanded to consecrate the people by the sprinkling of blood; and so, gifts being presented, with much entreaty he is asked to depart with the people.

Chapter LVI.-Simon Resisted Peter, as the Magicians Moses.

“In a similar transaction I see that I am even now engaged. For as then, when Moses exhorted the king to believe God, the magicians opposed him by a pretended exhibition of similar signs, and so kept back the unbelievers from salvation; so also now, when I have come forth to teach all nations to believe in the true God, Simon the magician resists me, acting in opposition to me, as they also did in opposition to Moses; in order that whosoever they be from among the nations that do not use sound judgment, they may be made manifest; but that those may be saved who rightly distinguish signs from signs.” While Peter thus spoke, Niceta answered: “I beseech you that you would permit me to state whatever occurs to my mind.” Then Peter, being delighted with the eagerness of his disciples, said: “Speak what you will.”

Chapter LVII.-Miracles of the Magicians.

Then said Niceta: “In what respect did the Egyptians sin in not believing Moses, since the magicians wrought like signs, even although they were done rather in appearance than in truth? For if I had been there then, should I not have thought, from the fact that the magicians did like things to those which Moses did, either that Moses was a magician, or that the magicians wrought their signs by divine commission? For I should not have thought it likely that the same things could be effected by magicians, even in appearance, which he who was sent by God performed. And now, in what respect do they sin who believe Simon, since they see him do so great marvels? Or is it not marvellous to fly through the air, to be so mixed with fire as to become one body with it, to make statues walk, brazen dogs bark, and other such like things, which assuredly are sufficiently wonderful to those who know not how to distinguish? Yea, he has also been seen to make bread of stones. But if he sins wh o believes those who do signs, how shall it appear that he also does not sin who has believed our Lord for His signs and works of power? ”

Chapter LVIII.-Truth Veiled with Love.

Then said Peter: “I take it well that you bring the truth to the rule, and do not suffer hindrances of faith to lurk in your soul. For thus you can easily obtain the remedy. Do you remember that I said, that the worst of all things is when any one neglects to learn what is for his good? “Niceta answered: “I remember.” Then Peter: “And again, that God has veiled His truth, that He may disclose it to those who faithfully follow Him? “”Neither,” said Niceta, “have I forgotten this.” Then said Peter: “What think you then? That God has buried His truth deep in the earth, and has heaped mountains upon it, that it may be found by those only who are able to dig down into the depths? It is not so; but as He has surrounded the mountains and the earth with the expanse of heaven, so hath He veiled the truth with the curtain of His own love, that he alone may be able to reach it, who has first knocked at the gate of divine love.

Chapter LIX.-Good and Evil in Pairs.

“For, as I was beginning to say,33 God has appointed for this world certain pairs; and he who comes first of the pairs is of evil, he who comes second, of good. And in this is given to every man an occasion of right judgment, whether he is simple or prudent. For if he is simple, and believes him who comes first, though moved thereto by signs and prodigies, he must of necessity, for the same reason, believe him who comes second; for he will be persuaded by signs and prodigies, as he was before. When he believes this second one, he will learn from him that he ought not to believe the first, who comes of evil; and so the error of the former is corrected by the emendation of the latter. But if he will not receive the second, because he has believed the first, he will deservedly be condemned as unjust; for unjust it is, that when he believed the first on account of his signs, he will not believe the second, though he bring the same, or even greater signs. But if he has not believed the first, it follows that he may be moved to believe the second. For his mind has not become so completely inactive but that it may be roused by the redoubling of marvels. But if he is prudent, he can make distinction of the signs. And if indeed he has believed in the first, he will be moved to the second by the increase in the miracles, and by comparison he will apprehend which are better; although clear tests of miracles are recognised by all learned men, as we have shown in the regular order of our discussion. But if any one, as being whole and not needing a physician, is not moved to the first, he will be drawn to the second by the very continuance of the thing, and will make a distinction of signs and marvels after this fashion;-he who is of the evil one, the signs that he works do good to no one; but those which the good man worketh are profitable to men.”

Chapter LX.-Uselessness of Pretended Miracles.

“For tell me, I pray you, what is the use of showing statues walking, dogs of brass or stone barking, mountains dancing, of flying through the air, and such like things, which you say that Simon did? But those signs which are of the good One, are directed to the advantage of men. as are those which were done by our Lord, who gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, raised up the feeble and the lame, drove away sicknesses and demons, raised the dead, and did other like things, as you see also that I do. Those signs, therefore, which make for the benefit of men, and confer some good upon them, the wicked one cannot do, excepting only at the end of the world. For then it shall be permitted him to mix hip with his signs some good ones, as the expelling of demons or the healing of diseases; by this means going beyond his bounds, and being divided against himself, and fighting against himself, he shall be destroyed. And therefore the Lord has foretold, that in the las t times there shall be such temptation, that, if it be possible, the very elect shall be deceived; that is to say, that by the marks of signs being confused, even those must be disturbed who seem to be expert in discovering spirits and distinguishing miracles.

Chapter LXI.-Ten Pairs.

“The ten pairs34 of which we have spoken have therefore been assigned to this world from the beginning of time. Cain and Abel were one pair. The second was the giants and Noah; the third, Pharaoh and Abraham; the fourth, the Philistines and Isaac; the fifth, Esau and Jacob; the sixth, the magicians and Moses the lawgiver; the seventh, the tempter and the Son of man; the eighth, Simon and I, Peter; the ninth, all nations, and he who shall be sent to sow the word among the nations; the tenth, Antichrist and Christ. Concerning these pairs we shall give you fuller information at another time.” When Peter spoke thus, Aquila said: “Truly there is need of constant teaching, that one may learn what is true about everything.”

Chapter LXII.-The Christian Life.

But Peter said: “Who is he that is earnest toward instruction, and that studiously inquires into every particular, except him who loves his own soul to salvation, and renounces all the affairs of this world, that he may have leisure to attend to the word of God only? Such is he whom alone the true Prophet deems wise, even he who sells all that he has and buys the one true pearl,35 who understands what is the difference between temporal things and eternal, small and great, men and God. For he understands what is the eternal hope in presence of the true and good God. But who is he that loves God, save him who knows His wisdom? And how can any one obtain knowledge of God’s wisdom, unless he be constant in hearing His word? Whence it comes, that he conceives a love for Him, and venerates Him with worthy honour, pouring out hymns and prayers to Him, and most pleasantly resting in these, accounteth it his greatest damage if at any time he speak or do aught else even for a moment of time; because, in reality, the soul which is filled with the love of God can neither look upon anything except what pertains to God, nor, by reason of love of Him, can be satisfied with meditating upon those things which it knows to be pleasing to Him. But those who have not conceived affection for Him, nor bear His love lighted up in their mind, are as it were placed in darkness and cannot see light; and therefore, even before they begin to learn anything of God, they immediately faint as though worn out by labour; and filled with weariness, they are straightway hurried by their own peculiar habits to those words with which they are pleased. For it is wearisome and annoying to such persons to hear anything about God; and that for the reason I have stated, because their mind has received no sweetness of divine love.”

Chapter LXIII.-A Deserter from Simon’s Camp.

While Peter was thus speaking, the day dawned; and, behold, one of the disciples of Simon came, crying out:36 “I beseech thee, O Peter, receive me, a wretch, who have been deceived by Simon the magician, to whom I gave heed as to a heavenly God, by reason of those miracles which I saw him perform. But when I heard your discourses, I began to think him a man, and indeed a wicked man; nevertheless, when he went out from this I alone followed him, for I had not yet clearly perceived his impieties. But when he saw me following him, he called me blessed, and led me to his house; and about the middle of the night he said to me, `I shall make you better than all men, if you will remain with me even till the end.’ When I had promised him this, he demanded of me an oath of perseverance; and having got this, he placed upon my shoulders some of his polluted and accursed secret things, that I might carry them, and ordered me to follo w him. But when we came to the sea, he went aboard a boat which happened to be there, and took from my neck what he had ordered me to carry. And as he came out a little after, bringing nothing with him, he must have thrown it into the sea. Then he asked me to go with him, saying that he was going to Rome, and that there he would please the people so much, that he should be reckoned a god, and publicly gifted with divine honours. `Then, ‘said he, `if you wish to return hither, I shall send you back, loaded with all riches, and upheld by various services.’ When I heard this, and saw nothing in him in accordance with this profession, but perceived that he was a magician and a deceiver, I answered: `Pardon me, I pray you; for I have a pain in my feet, and therefore I ant not able to leave Caesarea. Besides, I have a wife and little children, whom I cannot leave by any means.’ When he heard this, he charged me with sloth, and set out towards Dora, saying, `You will be sorry, when you hear what glory I shall get in the city of Rome.’ And after this he set out for Rome, as he said; but I hastily returned hither, entreating you to receive me to penitence, because I have been deceived by him.”

Chapter LXIV.-Declaration of Simon’s Wickedness.

When he who had returned from Simon had thus spoken, Peter ordered him to sit down in the court. And he himself going forth, and seeing immense crowds, far more than on the previous days, stood in his usual place; and pointing out him who had come, began to discourse as follows: “This man whom I point out to you, brethren, has just come to me, telling me of the wicked practices of Simon, and how he has thrown the implements of his wickedness into the sea, not induced to do so by repentance, but being afraid lest, being detected, he should be subjected to the public laws. And he asked this man, as he tells me, to remain with him, promising him immense gifts; and when he could not persuade him to do so, he left him, reproaching him for sluggishness, and set out for Rome.” When Peter had intimated this to the crowd, the man himself who had returned from Simon stood up, and began to state to the people everything relating to Simon’s crimes. And when they were shocked by the things which they heard that Simon had done by his magical acts, Peter said:37

Chapter LXV.-Peter Resolves to Follow Simon.

“Be not, my brethren, distressed by those things that have been done, but give heed to the future: for what is passed is ended; but the things which threaten are dangerous to those who shall fall in with them. For offences shall never be wanting in this world,38 so long as the enemy is permitted to act according to his will; in order that the prudent and those who understood his wiles may be conquerors in the contests which he raises against them; but that those who neglect to learn the things that pertain to the salvation of their souls, may be taken by him with merited deceptions. Since, therefore, as you have heard, Simon has gone forth to preoccupy the ears of the Gentiles who are called to salvation, it is necessary that I also follow upon his track, so that whatever disputations he raises may be corrected by us. But inasmuch as it is right that greater anxiety should be felt concerning you who are already received w ithin the walls of life,-for if that which has been actually acquired perish, a positive loss is sustained; while with respect to that which has not yet been acquired, if it can be got, there is so much gain; but if not, the only loss is that there is no gain;-in order, therefore, that you may be more and more confirmed in the truth, and the nations who are called to salvation may in no way be prevented by the wickedness of Simon, I have thought good to ordain Zacchaeus as pastor over you,39 and to remain with you myself for three months; and so to go to the Gentiles, lest through our delaying longer, and the crimes of Simon stalking in every direction, they should become incurable.”

Chapter LXVI.-Zacchaeus Made Bishop of Caesarea; Presbyters and Deacons Ordained.

At this announcement all the people wept, hearing that he was going to leave them; and Peter, sympathizing with them, himself also shed tears; and looking up to heaven, he said: “To Thee, O God, who hast made heaven and earth, and all things that are in them, we pour out the prayer of supplication, that Thou wouldest comfort those who have recourse to Thee in their tribulation. For by reason of the affection that they have towards Thee, they do love me who have declared to them Thy truth. Wherefore guard them with the right hand of Thy compassion; for neither Zacchaeus nor any other man can be a sufficient guardian to them.” When he had said this, and more to the same effect, he laid his hands upon Zacchaeus, and prayed that he might blamelessly discharge the duty of his bishopric. Then he ordained twelve presbyters and four deacons, and said: “I have ordained you this Zacchaeus as a bishop, knowing that he has the fear of God, and is expert in the Scriptures. You ought theref ore to honour him as holding the place of Christ, obeying him for your salvation, and knowing that whatever honour and whatever injury is done to him, redounds to Christ, and from Christ to God. Hear him therefore with all attention, and receive from him the doctrine of the faith; and from the presbyters the monitions of life; and from the deacons the order of discipline. Have a religious care of widows; vigorously assist orphans; take pity on the poor; teach the young modesty;-and in a word, sustain one another as circumstances shall demand; worship God, who created heaven and earth; believe in Christ; love one another; be compassionate to all; and fulfil charity not only in word, but in act and deed.”

Chapter LXVII.-Invitation to Baptism.

When he had given them these and such like precepts, he made proclamation to the people, saying: “Since I have resolved to stay three months with you, if any one desires it, let him be baptized; that, stripped of his former evils, he may for the future, in consequence of his own conduct, become heir of heavenly blessings, as a reward for his good actions. Whosoever will, then, let him come to Zacchaeus and give his name to him, and let him hear from him the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Let him attend to frequent fastings, and approve himself in all things, that at the end of these three months he may be baptized on the day of the festival. But every one of you shall be baptized in ever flowing waters, the name of the Trine Beatitude being invoked over him; he being first anointed with oil sanctified by prayer, that so at length, being consecrated by these things, he may attain a perception of holy things.”40

Chapter LXVIII.-Twelve Sent Before Him.

And when he had spoken at length on the subject of baptism, he dismissed the crowd, and betook himself to his usual place of abode; and there, while the twelve stood around him (viz. Zacchaeus and Sophonias, Joseph and Michaeus, Eleazar and Phineas, Lazarus and Eliseus, I Clement and Nicodemus, Niceta and Aquila), he addressed us to the following effect: “Let us, my brethren, consider what is right; for it is our duty to bring some help to the nations, which are called to salvation. You have yourselves heard that Simon has set out, wishing to anticipate our journey. Him we should have followed step by step, that wheresoever he tries to subvert any, we might immediately confute him. But since it appears to me to be unjust to forsake those who have been already converted to God, and to bestow our care upon those who are still afar off, I think it right that I should remain three months with those in this city who have been turned to the faith, and should strengthen them; and yet that we should not neglect those who are still far off, lest haply, if they be long infected with the power of pernicious doctrine, it be more difficult to recover them. Therefore I wish (only, however, if you also think it right), that for Zacchaeus, whom we have now ordained bishop, Benjamin the son of Saba be substituted; and for Clement (whom I have resolved to have always by me, because, coming from the Gentiles, he has a great desire to hear the word of God) there be substituted Ananias the son of Safra; and for Niceta and Aquila, who have been but lately converted to the faith of Christ, Rubelus the brother of Zacchaeus, and Zacharias the builder. I wish, therefore, to complete the number of twelve by substituting these four for the other four, that Simon may feel that I in them am always with him.”41

Chapter LXIX.-Arrangements Approved by All the Brethren.

Having therefore separated me, Clement, and Niceta and Aquila, he said to those twelve: “I wish you the day after to-morrow to proceed to the Gentiles, and to follow in the footsteps of Simon, that you may inform me of all his proceedings. You will also inquire diligently the sentiments of every one, and announce to them that I shall come to them without delay; and, in short, in all places instruct the Gentiles to expect my coming.” When he had spoken these things, and others to the same effect, he said: “You also, my brethren, if you have anything to say to these things, say on, lest haply it be not right which seems good to me alone.” Then all, with one voice applauding him, said: “We ask you rather to arrange everything according to your own judgment, and to order what seems good to yourself; for this we think to be the perfect work of piety, if we fulfil what you command.”

Chapter LXX.-Departure of the Twelve.

Therefore, on the day appointed, when they had ranged themselves before Peter, they said: “Do not think, 0 Peter, that it is a small grief to us that we are to be deprived of the privilege of hearing you for three months; but since it is good for us to do what you order, we shall most readily obey. We shall always retain in our hearts the remembrance of your face; and so we set out actively, as you have commanded us.” Then he, having poured out a prayer to the Lord for them, dismissed them. And when those twelve who had been sent forward had gone, Peter entered, according to custom, and stood in the place of disputation. And a multitude of people had come together, even a larger number than usual; and all with tears gazed upon him, by reason of what they had heard from him the day before, that he was about to go forth on account of Simon. Then, seeing them weeping, he himself also was similarly affected, although he endeavoured to conceal and to restrain his tears. But the tre mbling of his voice, and the interruption of his discourse, betrayed that he was distressed by similar emotion.

Chapter LXXI.-Peter Prepares the Caesareans for His Departure.

However, rubbing his forehead with his hand, he said: “Be of good courage, my brethren, and comfort your sorrowful hearts by means of counsel, referring all things to God, whose will alone is to be fulfilled and to be preferred in all things. For let us suppose for a moment, that by reason of the affection that we have towards you, we should act against His will, and remain with you, is He not able, by sending death upon me, to appoint to me a longer separation from you? And therefore it is better for us to carry out this shorter separation with His will, as those to whom it is prescribed to obey God in all things. Hence you also ought to obey Him with like submission, inasmuch as you love me from no other reason than on account of your love of Him. As friends of God, therefore, acquiesce in His will; but also judge yourselves what is right. Would it not have seemed wicked, if, when Simon was deceiving you, I had been detained by the brethren in Jerusalem, and had not come to you, and that although you had Zacchaeus among you, a good and eloquent man? So now also consider that it would be wicked, if, when Simon has gone forth to assail the Gentiles, who are wholly without a defender, I should be detained by you, and should not follow him. Wherefore let us see to it, that we do not, by an unreasonable affection, accomplish the will of the wicked one.”

Chapter LXXII.-More Than Ten Thousand Baptized.

“Meantime I shall remain with you three months, as I promised. Be ye constant in hearing the word; and at the end of that time, if any are able and willing to follow us, they may do so, if duty will admit of it. And when I say if duty will admit I mean that no one by his departure must sadden any one who ought not to be saddened, as by leaving parents who ought not to be left, or a faithful wife, or any other person to whom he is bound to afford comfort for God’s sake.” Meantime, disputing and teaching day by day, he filled up the tithe appointed with the labour of teaching; and when the festival day arrived, upwards of ten thousand were baptized.

Chapter LXXIII.-Tidings of Simon.

But in those days a letter was received from the brethren who had gone before, in which were detailed the crimes of Simon, how going from city to city he was deceiving multitudes, and everywhere maligning Peter, so that, when he should come, no one might afford him a hearing. For he asserted that Peter was a magician, a godless man, injurious, cunning, ignorant, and professing impossible things. “For,” says he, “he asserts that the dead shall rise again, which is impossible. But if any one attempts to confute him, he is cut off by secret snares by him, through means of his attendants. Wherefore, I also,” says he, “when I had vanquished him and triumphed over him, fled for fear of his snares, lest he should destroy me by incantations, or compass my death by plots.” They intimated also that he mainly stayed at Tripolis.42

Chapter LXXIV.-Farewell to Caesarea.

Peter therefore ordered the letter to be read to the people; and after the reading of it, he addressed them and gave them full instructions about everything, but especially that they should obey Zacchaeus, whom he had ordained bishop over them. Also he commended the presbyters and the deacons to the people, and not less the people to them. And then, announcing that he should spend the winter at Tripolis, he said: “I commend you to the grace of God, being about to depart to-morrow, with God’s will. But during the whole three months which he spent at Caesarea, for the sake of instruction, whatever he discoursed of in the presence of the people in the day-time, he explained more fully and perfectly in the night, in private to us, as more faithful and completely approved by him. And at the same time he commanded me, because he understood that I carefully stored in my memory what I heard, to commit to writing whatever seemed worthy of record, and to send it to you, my lord James, a s also I did, in obedience to his command.”

Chapter LXXV.-Contents of Clement’s Despatches to James.

The first book,43 therefore, of those that I formerly sent to you, contains an account of the true Prophet, and of the peculiarity of the understanding of the law, according to what the tradition of Moses teacheth. The second contains an account of the beginning, and whether there be one beginning or many, and that the law of the Hebrews knows what immensity is. The third, concerning God, and those things that have been ordained by Him. The fourth, that though there are many that are called gods, there is but one true God, according to the testimonies of the Scriptures. The fifth, that there are two heavens, one of which is that visible firmament which shall pass away, but the other is eternal and invisible. The sixth, concerning good and evil; and that all things are subjected to good by the Father; and why, and how, and whence evil is, and that it co-operates with good, but not with a good purpose; and what are the si gns of good, and what those of evil; and what is the difference between duality and conjunction. The seventh, what are the things which the twelve apostles treated of in the presence of the people in the temple. The eighth, concerning the words of the Lord which seem to be contradictory, but are not; and what is the explanation of them. The ninth, that the law which has been given by God is righteous and perfect, and that it alone can make pure. The tenth, concerning the carnal birth of men, and concerning the generation which is by baptism; and what is the succession of carnal seed in man; and what is the account of his soul, and how the freedom of the will is in it, which, seeing it is not unbegotten, but made, could not be immoveable from good. Concerning these several subjects, therefore, whatever Peter discoursed at Caesarea, according to his command, as I have said, I have sent you written in ten volumes.44 But on the next day, as had been determined, we set out from Caeesarea with some faithful men, who had resolved to accompany Peter.

===
Chapter XIII.-Simon a Seducer.

While Simon was talking on in this style, Peter, having saluted the people in his usual way. thus answered: “O Simon, his own conscience is sufficient for every one to confute him; but if you wonder at this, that those who are acquainted with you not only do not love you but even hate you, learn the reason from me. Since you are a seducer you profess to proclaim the truth; and on this account you had many friends who had a desire to learn the truth. But when they saw in you things contrary to what you professed, they being, as I said, lovers of truth, began not only not to love you, but even to hate you. But yet they did not immediately forsake you, because you still promised that you could show them what is true. As long, therefore, as no one was present who could show them, they bore with you; but since the hope of better instruction has dawned upon them, they despise you, and seek to know what they understand to be better. And you indeed, acting by nefarious arts, thought a t first that you should escape detection. But you are detected. For you are driven into a corner, and, contrary to your expectation, you are made notorious, not only as being ignorant of the truth, but as being unwilling to hear it from those who know it. For if you had been willing to hear, that saying would have been exemplified in you, of Him who said that `there is nothing hidden which shall not be known, nor covered which shall not be disclosed.'”5

http://www.essene.com/Recognitions/Book3.htm#P1932_533561

Book III.1

Chapter I.-Pearls Before Swine.

Chapter XII.3 -Second Day’s Discussion.

Chapter XIII.-Simon a Seducer.

Chapter XIV.-Simon Claims the Fulfilment of Peter’s Promise.

Chapter XV.-Simon’s Arrogance.

Chapter XVI.-Existence of Evil.

Chapter XVII.-Not Admitted by All.

Chapter XVIII.-Manner of Conducting the Discussion.

Chapter XIX.-Desire of Instruction.

Chapter XX.-Common Principles.

Chapter XXI.-Freedom of the Will.

Chapter XXII.-Responsibility.

Chapter XXIII.-Origin of Evil.

Chapter XXIV.-God the Author of Good, Not of Evil.

Chapter XXV.-“Who Hath Resisted His Will? ”

Chapter XXVI.-No Goodness Without Liberty

Chapter XXVII.-The Visible Heaven: Why Made.

Chapter XXVIII.-Why to Be Dissolved.

Chapter XXIX.-Corruptible and Temporary Things Made by the Incorruptible and Eternal.

Chapter XXX.-How the Pure in Heart See God.

Chapter XXXI.-Diligence in Study.

Chapter XXXII.-Peter’s Private Instruction.

Chapter XXXIII.-Learners and Cavillers.

Chapter XXXIV.-Against Order is Against Reason.

Chapter XXXV.-Learning Before Teaching.

Chapter XXXVI.-Self-Evidence of the Truth,

Chapter XXXVII.-God Righteous as Well as Good.

Chapter XXXVIII.-God’s Justice Shown at the Day of Judgment.

Chapter XXXIX.-Immortality of the Soul.

Chapter XL.-Proved by the Success of the Wicked in This Life.

Chapter XLI.-Cavils of Simon.

Chapter XLII.-“Full of All Subtlety and All Mischief.”

Chapter XLIII.-Simon’s Subterfuges.

Chapter XLIV.-Sight or Hearing?

Chapter XLV.-A Home-Thrust.

Chapter XLVI.-Simon’s Rage.

Chapter XLVII.-Simon’s Vaunt.

Chapter XLVIII.-Attempts to Create a Disturbance.

Chapter XLIX.-Simon’s Retreat.

Chapter L.-Peter’s Benediction.

Chapter LI.-Peter’s Accessibility.

Chapter LII.-False Signs and Miracles.

Chapter LIII.-Self-Love the Foundation of Goodness.

Chapter LIV.-God to Be Supremely Loved.

Chapter LV.-Ten Commandments Corresponding to the Plagues of Egypt.

Chapter LVI.-Simon Resisted Peter, as the Magicians Moses.

Chapter LVII.-Miracles of the Magicians.

Chapter LVIII.-Truth Veiled with Love.

Chapter LIX.-Good and Evil in Pairs.

Chapter LX.-Uselessness of Pretended Miracles.

Chapter LXI.-Ten Pairs.

Chapter LXII.-The Christian Life.

Chapter LXIII.-A Deserter from Simon’s Camp.

Chapter LXIV.-Declaration of Simon’s Wickedness.

Chapter LXV.-Peter Resolves to Follow Simon.

Chapter LXVI.-Zacchaeus Made Bishop of Caesarea; Presbyters and Deacons Ordained.

Chapter LXVII.-Invitation to Baptism.

Chapter LXVIII.-Twelve Sent Before Him.

Chapter LXIX.-Arrangements Approved by All the Brethren.

Chapter LXX.-Departure of the Twelve.

Chapter LXXI.-Peter Prepares the Caesareans for His Departure.

Chapter LXXII.-More Than Ten Thousand Baptized.

Chapter LXXIII.-Tidings of Simon.

Chapter LXXIV.-Farewell to Caesarea.

Chapter LXXV.-Contents of Clement’s Despatches to James.
======http://www.essene.com/Recognitions/Book3.htm

Gospel of the Nazaraeans
[Extracted from Gospel Parallels
Ed. Burton H. Throckmorton, Jr.;
ISBN 0-8407-5150-8]
(permission granted by the author, N.L. Kuehl, copyright 1998)
The following is a listing of all known fragments of the Hebrew Gospel called the Gospel of the Nazaraeans. I was unable to locate on the internet a copy of it; thus, I am providing it from extracts taken from a book in my library. Those items that I have emphasized are in boldface with italics and underlined; all others are by the editor of the above book. I have placed the Scripture (as in the KJV) to which the fragment refers above the fragment and, in places, written a brief commentary. There can be no doubt that the original “Matthew” was written in the Hebrew language, that Jerome and Eusebius, both, had copies of it and that the two together translated it into the Latin and Greek languages. Eusebius apparently translated it into the Greek, while Jerome translated it into the Latin and incorporated it (in his own words, even changing some of them) into the Latin Vulgate from which the English versions (including KJV) are now derived. In the Scriptures, the words in italics are added to the text by the translators (as poetic license, and to make complete sense of the Scripture). Everything that is underlined is my own emphasis. It is clear that the original gospel was that attributed to Matthew, which some of the earliest scholars say was being recorded even while Yahshua (Jesus) was ministering. It is also obvious since there is historical evidence that it was the first Hebrew gospel that Mark and Luke were derived from it. Luke makes this admission in his first paragraph: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things [thus there were many others who were gathering information to write in a “book” also] which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us [Luke took his account from many other “books”], which from the beginning were eyewitnesses [Luke’s admission that he was not an “eyewitness” but received this information from others], and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also [Luke wanted to write about this, too], having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus [obviously Luke’s patron], that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.”

Luke’s second treatise to Theophilus, originally appended to the first was the book of Acts, a continuation of his explanation to his patron, yet the “church fathers” canonized it separately from the first book of Luke. If one reads Luke and then Acts, he might have a more complete understanding of what Luke has been saying, for the one naturally and logically follows the other. The book of John should not have been placed fourth in order. Luke states in Acts 1:1-2, making this clear: “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilius, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost [Spirit] had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen”.

Another thing to keep in mind as you read this study is that the early church fathers regarded anything the Hebrew wrote as “heresies” and called many of the Jews “gnostics”; however, it is quite clear from the writings of Shaul (Paul), from Yahshua himself, and from the apostolic letters (called the “general epistles”, the ones written in Hebrew and were disputed by the church fathers) that “gnosticism” was a prevalent religious concept in both Judaism and the Primitive Congregation of Yahshua. These “gnostics” (any first century Jew writing in the Hebrew language about the concept of “good and evil”) were considered heretical. The reason for this is that the latter “church” (from 70 C.E. onward) was steeped in Babylonian mysticism due to so many of its members being former pagans who promulgated the “savior god” or the “man-god” of the Babylonian and Egyptian pantheons.

It is also clear that the earliest list of books written about Yahshua was recorded by Marcion (who was sharply criticized and called a “heretic”). There were many other lists that were developed prior to the canonization of the “New Covenant”, the books on which were generally circulated among the earliest messianic believers in Yahshua. For instance, the Gospel of Peter, criticized and labeled today as “gnostic” was read regularly in the earliest assemblies.

Jerome, who even changed some of the words of Yahshua in his Latin Vulgate, was quite smug in his own interpretations. Here are a few quotes from Testament by John Romer.

“Jerome was yet a man of whom it has been said that he was canonized not for his qualities of saintliness, but for the services he rendered the Roman church. Hot-tempered, outspoken, passionately devoted to his work and his friends, Jerome is certainly one of the most extraordinary figures in church history. And doubtless, it is due to his special temperament that his Latin Bible has come to be regarded by many people almost as if it were the unmediated word of God himself” [p. 234].

“For Augustine had written to tell him that the Christian congregation of a nearby town, Tripoli, rioted when Jerome’s new translation of the Book of Jonah had been read at the Sunday service! So indignant had they become that some of the members had gone into the Jewish quarter of the town to ask Hebrew readers their opinion of the true meaning of the words of the text. At that time Jerome had been meeting Jewish scholars for some twenty years and surely knew exactly where the truth of the matter lay. What Jerome had done was to replace the traditional reading of the Hebrew word qiqqayon, changing it from the Latin cucurbita meaning a gourd, to hedera meaning ivy, and this had brought into question a favourite image of the artists of his day, the gourd bower of Paradise” [p. 236].

As to the “gourd bower” referred to, it was a pagan motif well-known among the pagan religions of the world. “The Christian artists have teken these images of Paradise directly from the pagan world…so one of the pagan fish is a sea monster, the whale that swallows Jonah the biblical prophet, while in another part of the scene, in suspended time, another fish spews him out. Even the putti [Egyptian motif] fishing traditionally in these Egyptian-style scenes seem to have been turned into Christians – into fishers of men. Appearing once again, Jonah sits serenely in his Paradise under a bower of gourds.” The image, however, actually shows the “ivy” of Jerome [p. 235].

“It was the new translation of Job which in 403 had brought on the riot in Tripoli. In his letter Augustine wondered whether or not Jerome should have translated those texts. Though they were probably quite incorrect in their older versions – Augustine says that he himself could not judge as he had little Greek and no Hebrew – they had served the faithful well enough. Less sensitive critics simply questioned Jerome’s right to tamper with the sacred words at all, especially with the traditional translations of the words of Jesus, some of which he had changed considerably” [p. 240].

Jerome, in his arrogance, makes this statement: “Why not, he asks, go back to the original Greek and correct the mistakes introduced by inaccurate translators and the blundering alterations of confident but ignorant critics and, further, all that has been inserted or changed by copyists more asleep than awake? [p. 240]” He assumes that the Greek is error-ridden. Of the fact that he changed the original Hebrew there can be no doubt, for he, by his own admission, translated that original Hebrew gospel into a more “suitable” gospel for the “church”. Eusebius, likewise, makes this admission. The evidence is found in the gospel fragments below.

Matthew 2:15: “And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

To Matt. 2:15 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans, (in Jerome, On Illustrious Men 3)–“Out of Egypt have I called my son” and “For he shall be called a Nazaraean.” Cf. Also margin of codex 1424 — This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son . . .”
Commentary:

The original text of “Matthew” (whose name was appended to the present gospel) had “for he shall be called a Nazaraean”; Jerome left this out when translating, but makes mention of it later in his own works.

Matthew 4:5: “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple…”

To Matt. 4:5 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has not to the holy city, but to Jerusalem.
Commentary:

The acknowledgment that there was a Jewish Gospel written prior to the Greek versions is clear. Naturally, the name of the most important city in the world would be stated. The phrase “the holy city”, depending on who is reading the text, might refer to the Samaritan “holy city” (where the Samaritans were known to have built a copy of the Jewish Temple).

Matthew 6:11: “Give us this day our daily bread.”

To Matt. 6:11 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 6:11)–In the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews, for “bread essential to existence” I found “mahar,” which means “of tomorrow”; so the sense is: our bread for tomorrow, that is, of the future, give us this day.
Commentary:

Note Jerome’s admission of the Hebraic gospel. I believe the original gospel verse is correct, since Yahshua was preaching the coming “Kingdom of God”.

Matthew 7:5: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

To Matt. 7:5 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel reads here: “If you be in my bosom and do not the will of my Father who is in heaven, I will cast you away from my bosom.”
Commentary:

You will note that this is an addition to the text we presently have that was, apparently, deleted from Jerome’s version.

Matthew 10:16: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

To Matt. 10:16 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans — The Jewish Gospel: [wise] more than serpents.
Commentary:

The sense of “wise” here appears to be caution, not cunning.

Matthew 11:12: “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”

To Matt. 11:12 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has: [the kingdom of heaven] is plundered.
Commentary:

The words have been changed, thus damaging the original sense of the phrase. What is being said here appears to be that the death of John the Immerser was a great blow to the testimony for the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 11:25: “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”

To Matt. 11:25 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has: I am grateful to thee.
Commentary:

Even though the words have been altered, the context is the same.

Matthew 12:10: “And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? That they might accuse him.”

To Matt. 12:10 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 12:13)–In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and the Ebionites use, which we have recently translated from Hebrew to Greek, and which most people call the authentic [Gospel] of Matthew, the man who had the withered hand is described as a mason who begged for help in the following words: “I was a mason, earning a living with my hands; I beg you, Jesus, restore my health to me, so that I need not beg for my food in shame.”
Commentary:

Here is the admission by Jerome that “most people” call the original Hebrew gospel (that the Nazarenes and Ebionites – sects of messianism – use the authentic (original) gospel. He also tells us here that he translated it from Hebrew to Greek (thus the additions, deletions, etc. that we now have in our New Covenant).

Matthew 12:40: “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

To Matt. 12:40b cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel does not have: three days and three nights.
Commentary:

The alteration of this verse is quite significant, for it alters what Yahshua said. He, apparently, had said that the only sign given to the people would be the “sign of Jonah” — that is, Jonah was sent to declare YHVH’s judgment against the people of Nineveh if they did not repent. Likewise, Yahshua was sent to declare YHVH’s judgment against the people of Israel, yet they would not repent. Thus, the verse probably read: “For as Jonas was in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth”. Of course, Yahshua was comparing himself and his situation to Jonah’s in every sense. The “heart of the earth” and the “whale’s belly” were known to have represented “Leviathan”, or figuratively, the “grave” and “death”, because it is also associated with the word “yam”, the “sea”, or the “abyss”. The Encyclopedia of Jewish Symbols states: “these sea-monsters have many names: “Tannim” (dragon); “rahav” (expanse) and “yam” (se”, but the most common name is Leviathan, known in Jewish legend as the King of the Sea” [p. 96]. In the book of Revelation, Leviathan is called Abaddon, the King of “destruction” (or corruption), who comes up from the abyss or “Sea”; Abaddon is the “beast of the sea”, that “old serpent” whose abode is an “expanse” (the grave).

Matthew 15:5: “But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me…”

To Matt. 15:5 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has: Corban is what you should gain from us.
Commentary:

Corban (or korban) is the gift of a child to his parents in their old age, sort of like a pension, by which they are provided for when they are no longer able to work or care for themselves.

Matthew 16:2-4: “He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye said, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to-day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” …A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

To Matt. 16:2 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: What is marked with an asterisk [i.e., from “When it is evening” to the end of v. 3] is not found in other manuscripts, and is not found in the Jewish Gospel.
Commentary:

In other words, what we have here is an addition to the text, one that Jerome apparently wanted to elaborate on with another chance to call the Jews “hypocrites”. In reply to the question posed to Yahshua, he simply stated that they would receive no sign except the sign of Jonah.

Matthew 16:17: “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jo-na: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

To Matt. 16:17 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has: “son of John” [for “Bar-Jona”].
Commentary:

This is telling us that Simon (Peter) is the son of Yohanan (John), not Jonah or Yonah.

Matthew 18:21-22: “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

Luke 17:3-4: “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”

To Matt. 18:21-22 (Luke 17:3-4) cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Against Pelagius, III.2)–He says, “If your brother has sinned by a word, and repented, receive him seven times a day.” Simon, his disciple, said to him, “Seven times a day?” The Lord answered, “Yes, I tell you, as much as seventy times seven times! For in the prophets also, after they were anointed by the Holy Spirit, a word of sin [sinful speech?] was found.”
Commentary:

Sinning by a “word” simply implies that any man might sin in his speech; thus, if he realizes his error and turns from it (i.e. learns from his mistake), then he should be received by his brothers as many times as is necessary. This is called “regeneration”, a honing process by which one learns the path to YHVH.

Matthew 18:22: “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

To Matt. 18:22 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has, immediately after “seventy times seven”: For in the prophets also, after they were anointed by the Holy Spirit, a word of sin [sinful speech?] was found in them.
Commentary:

Even the prophets were not free of sin even though they were the “oracles” of Elohim.

Matthew 19:16-24: “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you , That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

To Matt. 19:16-24 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Origen, Commentary on Matt. 15:14 in the Latin version) The second of the rich men said to him, “Teacher, what good thing can I do and live?” He said to him “Sir, fulfil the law and the prophets.” He answered, “I have.” Jesus said, “Go, sell all that you have and distribute to the poor; and come, follow me.” But the rich man began to scratch his head, for it did not please him. And the Lord said to him, “How can you say, I have fulfilled the law and the prophets, when it is writtten in the law: You shall love your neighbor as yourself; and lo, many of your brothers, sons of Abraham, are covered with filth, dying of hunger, and your house is full of many good things, none of which goes out to them?” And he turned and said to Simon, his disciple, who was sitting by him, “Simon, son of Jonah, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Commentary:

This verse is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Since the Gospel of the Nazaraeans was written first in Hebrew, Mark and Luke had to have taken their own renditions from it. Mark, although purportedly written first, follows the Hebrew original here. See the following:

Mark 10:18: “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.”

Luke 18:19: “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.”

To Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19 cf. Gospel of the Naassenes [perhaps a reference to the Gospel of the Nazaraeans] (in Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, V.7.26)–“Why do you call me good? One there is who is good — my Father who is in heaven — who makes his sun to rise on the just and on the unjust, and sense rain on the pure and on sinners.” (Cf. Also Matt. 5:45).
Commentary:

Special mention must be made of this verse. It is found in all three gospels. Here, Yahshua is making a plain and clear statement: that he is not God and refuses to be called “good”, that there is only one God, his Father – Yahvah! Since it is in the Hebrew gospel, the original, we must conclude that Mark and Luke both copied it specifically from that source in the Hebrew that was the original of what has known to have become the book of “Matthew”.

Matthew 20:22: “But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.”

To Matt. 20:22 cf. Gospel of the Naassenes [believed to be a gloss for Nazaraeans] (in Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, V.8.11)–“But” he says, “even if you drink the cup which I drink, you will not be able to enter where I go.”
Commentary:

Yahshua is telling the disciples that even though they might die with him, they would not yet sit at the Father’s right hand; that event is for a future time, after Yahshua has “prepared” a place for them.

Matthew 21:12: “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves…”

To Matt. 21:12 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans, quoted in a marginal note of a thirteenth century manuscript [thus if this is true, and there are other sources that also seem to have had access to the Hebrew gospel at that time, then this Hebrew Gospel was available even in the 13th century] of the Aurora by Peter of Riga — In the Gospel books which the Nazarenes use it is written: From his eyes went forth rays which terrified them and put them to flight.
Commentary:

First of all, the word “temple” here does not refer to the interior of the Temple, but to the “heiron” or precincts of the Temple. These precinct buildings were both on the hill of Ophel, on the Bridge of the Red Heifer, and on the Mount of Olives where the family of Hanan (Annas) had a dove aviary and sold doves to pilgrims (who gathered on the Mount of Olives at festivals to await the opening of the doors of the Temple at midnight). This area was referred to as Beth Pagi in the Talmud. Beth Pagi, however, was both within and without the Sabbath Limit. Where the boundary of Bethphage left off, the boundary of Beth Hini (or Bethany) began. The combined area was called Beth Pagi. The elders would have to go to the area outside the Sabbath Limit in order to judge a rebellious elder, or to add to the City Limits of Jerusalem. Thus there were moneychangers, vendors of all sorts, and the dove aviary of Annas (the Vice President of the Sanhedrin who was called the Ab bet din, or Father of the Court) before whom Yahshua would have been taken for the accusatory process (by Jewish law). This is why Yahshua was first taken to Annas, who either would have written (legally it could have been oral) the charges against him. His office (and home) would have been in the area of Beth Pagi on the Mount of Olives. There is overwhelming evidence of this fact. The second high priest (literally called the High Priest) was the “President” of the Beth Din. The real power, however, lay in the hands of the “Father of the Court”, Annas (Hanan), who was called by Josephus the “ancientest of the priests”, and the patriarch of an assimilated family: Boethus, Kimchit, Hanan, and Phiabi (Fabus), who operated the government of Israel from the time of King Herod until the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. The Talmud and Tosefta speak of these families as “serpents”; therefore, it is no wonder that John the Immerser and Yahshua referred to them in those terms (vipers, serpents, etc.). These families were intermarried with the “Herodians” who were, in fact, instrumental to them as “spies”. For more complete information on this family, see A Book of Evidence at http://members.tripod.com/~nkuehl/index.html — in particular, “The Night of Watching” and “The Jewish Trial”.

Matthew 23:27: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”

To Matt. 23:27 cf. Gospel of the Naassenes [again, probably a reference to Nazaraeans] (in Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, V.8.23)–“You are whitewashed tombs filled within with dead men’s bones,” that is, there is not within you the living man.
Commentary:

There were a multitude of tombs around Jerusalem. During festival periods, they were whitened so that the public might not touch them and become defiled, which would prevent them from “eating the passover” (in particular), or entering the Temple grounds. This was probably, however, a reference to the “Tombs of the Prophets”, believed to have been built during the first century to memorialize the “prophets”. These are the same prophets that Yashua refers to as having been killed by the ancestors of the people who built them.

Matthew 23:35: “That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zach-a-ri-as son of Bar-a-chi-as, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.”

To Matt. 23:35 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 23:35)–In the gospel which the Nazarenes use, for “son of Barachiah” we find written, “son of Jehoiada.” Cf. Also — And Zechariah the son of Jehoiada said, “For he was of two names” — Peter of Laodicea Commentary on Matthew 23:35 ed. Heinrici V.267.
Commentary:

Jehoiada was the father of Zechariah the prophet, a high priest [2 Chronicles 24:20]. There can be no doubt that Jerome replaced this name with “Barachiah”, for it was clearly in the Hebrew original as Jehoiada.

Matthew 25:22: He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.”

To Matt. 25:22ff. Cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Eusebius, Theophany on Matt. 25:14f.)–But the Gospel [written] in Hebrew letters which has reached our hands [Eusebius, by his own admission, claims that there was a gospel written in the Hebrew] turns the threat not against the man who had hid [the talent], but against him who had lived dissolutely–for it told of three servants: one who wasted his master’s possessions with harlots and flute-girls, one who multiplied his gains, and one who hid the talent; and accordingly, one was accepted, one was only rebuked, and one was shut up in prison.
Commentary:

A different version of the same parable.

Matthew 26:74: Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.”

To Matt. 26:74 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has: And he denied, and he swore [i.e., took an oath], and he cursed.
Commentary:

This is interesting, for here we understand clearly that Peter not only cursed [bitterly cursed, or execrated Yahshua], but he also denied knowing him, and most importantly, he “took an oath” that he did not know him. Taking an “oath” or sheba [seven] is the most serious self-condemnation that he committed. This is literally a swearing of truth between Yahvah and man. It is like standing before Yahvah and denying adamantly knowing Yahshua. Yahvah is the Elohim of the Oath, thus of Complete and Perfect Truth. No wonder he cried bitterly. He knew he had lied to Yahvah.

Matthew 27:16: “And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.”

To Matt. 27:16 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 27:16)–In the Gospel according to the Hebrews Barabbas is interpreted as “son of their master (teacher?).” He had been condemned because of insurrection and murder.
Commentary:

This makes complete sense. Barabbas, means literally “son of the father” (or in the philosophical sense “teacher” or “master”). He was probably a leader of the Zealot faction who were then attempting to do away with Roman administration in Jerusalem. He might well have been associated with Judas the Galilean, the head of the Zealot movement.

Luke 23:34: “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

To Luke 23:34 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Haimo of Auxerre, Commentary on Isaiah 53:12)–As it is said in the Gospel of the Nazarenes: At this word of the Lord, many thousands of Jews standing around the cross, believed.
Commentary:

Just prior to a Jewish execution, the accused is asked to confess (not his crime, but his sin) so that he might be forgiven by Yahvah and be allowed to enter the World Without End. The Mishnah is quite clear about this: “[When] he was ten cubits from the place of stoning (beth haseqilah or execution site, which was on the Mount of Olives at Beth Pagi) they say to him, “Confess,” for it is usual for those about to be put to death to confess. For whoever confesses has a share in the world to come” [Mishnah, Sanhedrin 6:2]. The reason given for this is that Joshua asked Achan to confess his transgression before the congregation put him to death. Yahshua did not confess as they wanted him to; instead, he prayed that the Father (Yahvah) might forgive them for their sin. The second thing about this Scripture in the Hebrew that we must note is that the word “cross” did not exist during the first century in the Hebrew language. Therefore, the Jews who wrote that original Hebrew gospel would not have used the Greek word “stauros” – stake or pole – but the word ‘ets – “tree” (it is always translated in the apostles, and Peter, in particular, as xulon — living tree, or “green tree”). The Jewish people had to adapt another word in order to come up with the modern Hebrew word tslav for “cross”.

Matthew 27:51: “And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent…”

To Matt. 27:51 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Letter 120 to Hedibia and Commentary on Matthew 27:51): In the Gospel that is written in Hebrew letters we read, not that the curtain of the temple was torn, but that the astonishingly large lintel of the temple collapsed.
Commentary:

Again, here is a notation by Jerome that this gospel was written in Hebrew. The “lintel” to which Jerome is here referring was not a lintel over the Sanctuary House of the Temple. It was the lintel over the inner Nicanor Gate, and it was this lintel (held in place by a 60-foot high wall around the Sanctuary) from which hung the first veil. The Holy Place of the Temple was inside the Sanctuary area, not exclusively in the House. It was restricted to all Israelites (per Josephus) by this 60-foot high wall; thus, no one might be able to see into the Court of the Priests nor the altar area. The wall carving at Dura Europa of the Temple clearly shows this Nicanor Gate with its veil hanging in place, and behind we see the smoke from the altar and the blue veil hanging over the Holy of Holies.

The Nicanor was the “Great Gate” of the Temple referred to in Mishnah, Middot 4:2. “A golden vine was standing at the entrance of the sanctuary, trained over the posts. Whoever gave a leaf or a berry or a cluster brings it and hangs it on it. Said R. Eleazar bar Sadoq, ‘There was an incident, and three hundred priests were appointed [to clear it since it was too heavy'” [Mishnah, Middot 3:8]. The “Great Gate” was seventy-five feet in height, and its doors were sixty feet high. It would have taken this “Great Gate” in order to hold up the great stone lintel holding the veil at the entrance of the Sanctuary. (Note, the Sanctuary is the complete interior courtyard of the priests, including the building of the House of Yahvah. It includes the Court of Priests, the Altar, the Porch and Steps and the House, as well as the priestly offices on either side of the building and its underground offices).

Matthew 27:65: “Pilate said unto them, Ye [i.e. the Sanhedrin of the Temple have their own police force or “watch”] have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.”

To Matt. 27:65 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans, as recorded in a marginal note of some mss: The Jewish Gospel has: And he delivered armed men to them, that they might sit opposite the cave and guard it day and night.
Commentary:

Note something here: there were never Roman centurians who guarded the Tomb of Yahshua — there were only Temple police guards present at the tomb. Thus this is the reason they reported to Caiaphas the events of that morning. Roman guards would never have fallen asleep on the job, lest they be put to death; neither would they have reported to Caiaphas who would have had no control over them. For more evidence on this, see A Book of Evidence at http://www.truthandwisdom.org — in the chapter entitled “The Lamp of the World”. The “marginal note” is questionable. Pilate clearly told the Sanhedrin to send its own men, and it did.

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

http://www.essene.com/Gospels/gNazaraeans.htm

The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel
& The B’nai-Amen
Mt. Carmel History & Legend

In the middle of the second Millennium B.C., the geographical lists at the Amin-Ra Temple at Karnak, the governing seat of Egyptian pharaohs, called this Carmel mount of the Essenes: “The sacred promontory”.

Iamblichus, a Syrian Philosopher of the 4th century B.C., wrote that Carmel was “the most holy of all mountains and forbidden of access to many.”

The Roman historian Tacitus, around A.D.100, reported that Vespasian, while leading the war against the Jews some forty years previous, had offered sacrifices on Elijah’s open-air Altar at Carmel and there upon received an oracle indicating that he would become the next Roman emperor, which was fulfilled.

Tradition locates the Altar of Elijah on the rocky plateau of el-Muhraqa on the southeast flank of the range. Excavations on Mount Carmel in 1958 uncovered what is accepted as Elijah’s altar, the cave where he lived, the fountain of Elijah, and the remains of an ancient monastery.”

Tradition also holds that the prophet Elijah had a vision of the future mother of Yeshua, and for this reason early Christian’s greatly honored him and Mount Carmel, taking pilgrimages there to honor both Elijah and the Virgin. There is even a Catholic Monastic Order, the Carmelites, who claim unbroken succession back to these ancient times.

Crusaders on a pilgrimage to Mount Carmel in 1150 A.D. found a small monastery there housing Byzantine priests, who said that when their predecessors first arrived they had found the site occupied by a community of Jewish Christians who were conducting a house of studies. They had claimed to be the spiritual heirs of a Jewish monastic Order which had lived and studied there since before the birth of Yeshua. These early Christians had told the Byzantines that the settlement could trace its history back to the days of Elijah and his School of the Prophets.

Some of these crusaders stayed on at Carmel, and eventually sent a constitution to Rome for approval in 1226 A.D. It is said that the pope was going to reject it until the Virgin Mary appeared to him and instructed him to approve it. Eventually the Vatican allowed a statue of Elijah to be placed in its wall, with a plaque identifying him as the founder of the Carmelite Order.

Prefixed to this 1281 Carmelite Constitution was this statement: “From the times when the prophet Elias (Elijah) and Eliseus dwelt devoutly on Mount Carmel, holy fathers both of the old and new Testament….lived praiseworthy lives in holy penitence by the fountain of Elias in a holy succession uninterruptedly maintained.”

There is some evidence to suggest that this constitution may have been written as far back as the fourth century A.D. In it members are required to live alone in separate cells or caves, to meet daily for mass, to recite psalms together at special Daily Office prayer hours, to work with their hands, observe poverty, perpetual abstinence and long silences, and be obedient to the Prior.

The Catholic Carmelite Order continued to grow in medieval Europe, eventually relaxing its rules against long silences, allowed departure from a vegetarian diet three times a week, allowed city living which lessened daily prayer and meditation schedules, and the wearing of foot wear other than sandals.

Two Carmelite mystics, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, reformed a portion of the Catholic Carmelite Order, restoring many of the former disciplines such as strict vegetarianism. This reformation became an independent Religious Order in 1593, being known as the Discalced Carmelites. They reoccupied the ancient site on Mount Carmel, and in 1853 finished their present Monastery there, which now houses an international school of philosophy for the Discalced Carmelite Order.

The mystical writings of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross represent a complete theology. Their spiritual program is a practical and workable method for reconnecting to the spiritual sources associated with Mount Carmel and the Essene tradition. They are of great value to modern Essenes attempting to understand the mystical dimensions of their spiritual path.

Edgar Cayce Cayce Readings On Mt. Carmel
St. Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle 1
St. Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle 2
St. John of the Cross’s Counsels To A Monastic On How To Reach Perfection
St. John of the Cross’s An Ecstasy Experienced in High Contemplation
St. John of the Cross’s Ascent of Mount Carmel – Part 1
St. John of the Cross’s Ascent of Mount Carmel – Part 2
St. John of the Cross’s Ascent of Mount Carmel – Part 3
St. John of the Cross’s Dark Night of the Soul
St. John of the Cross’s Precautions
St. John of the Cross’s Sayings
The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
Copyright © 1999-2006. All rights reserved.
The Essene Numerology Chart | Ministerial Training Course

http://www.essene.com/B%27nai-Amen/carmelites.htm

Sayings of Light and Love

by
St. John of the Cros
Sayings of Light and Love

by
St. John of the Cross

Introduction

In the style of the apothegms of the Desert Fathers, John of the Cross’s teaching first comes in these hard, clean, unsentimental sayings that overflow with spiritual wisdom. They give to their recipients treasures that must first be unlocked; as maxims they were to be repeated and mulled over. While he was spiritual director in Avila, before he had undertaken any of his larger treatises, John jotted down many thoughts and counsels for the guidance of those whom he directed, probably similar to the ones expressed in the later collections. None of those earlier sayings has come down to us, but we know from witnesses that this practice was characteristic of the Carmelite confessor at that time. After John’s imprisonment in Toledo, when he took up spiritual direction again, this time in Andalusia, he returned once more to the practice of condensing his thought into concise spiritual counsels for his penitents. They could keep them for inspiration, so as to be stirred in the Lord’s service and love. Sometimes these sayings were directed to the particular needs of an individual; at other times they were destined more for a group of persons. The number of sayings that circulated must have been large, but comparatively few have come down to us, and they come through different collections.

The most distinguished collection is contained in an autograph manuscript, the largest autograph we have from John. Restored in 1976 and reproduced in a facsimile edition, the manuscript is preserved in the church Santa Maria la Mayor in Andajar (JaŽn). In his prologue to this collection, John calls his maxims “sayings of light and love”. The title, Sayings of Light and Love, comes then from John’s own words, and provides a good general designation for the other collections as well. Footnotes will indicate where one collection ends and another begins and the source from which each comes.

Sometimes, rather than being counsels destined for others, these sayings have an autobiographical coloring, as for example in the celebrated Prayer of a Soul Taken with Love. Here John in a profound experience of spiritual poverty becomes aware that God has pardoned him and given him everything in Jesus Christ; love then carries him off in a lyric outburst.

Though these sayings do not follow in any systematic order, we do find in them the important themes that the Carmelite friar developed at length in his major works. What he there expounds in detail, he here compresses into dense aphorisms. Much difficulty lies in deciding whether many of the maxims attributed to John actually did come from his pen, or disciples culled them from his sermons and conferences, or if they are simply spurious. Omitting the counsels of Madre Magdalena because they are repetitions of those given in chapter 13 of the first book of the The Ascent of Mount Carmel, we include here only those sayings that editors have considered trustworthy.

Prologue

O my God and my delight, for your love I have also desired to give my soul to composing these sayings of light and love concerning you. Since, although I can express them in words, I do not have the works and virtues they imply (which is what pleases you, O my Lord, more than the words and wisdom they contain), may others, perhaps stirred by them, go forward in your service and love — in which I am wanting. I will thereby find consolation, that these sayings be an occasion for your finding in others the things that I lack. Lord, you love discretion, you love light, you love love; these three you love above the other operations of the soul. Hence these will be sayings of discretion for the wayfarer, of light for the way, and of love in the wayfaring. May there be nothing of worldly rhetoric in them or the long-winded and dry eloquence of weak and artificial human wisdom, which never pleases you. Let us speak to the heart words bathed in sweetness and love that do indeed please you, removing obstacles and stumbling blocks from the paths of many souls who unknowingly trip and unconsciously walk in the path of error — poor souls who think they are right in what concerns the following of your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in becoming like him, imitating his life, actions, and virtues, and the form of his nakedness and purity of spirit. Father of mercies, come to our aid, for without you, Lord, we can do nothing.
1. The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more.
2. O Lord, my God, who will seek you with simple and pure love, and not find that you are all one can desire, for you show yourself first and go out to meet those who seek you?
3. Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit.
4. It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience.
5. Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens.
6. A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time.
7. The virtuous soul that is alone and without a master is like a lone burning coal; it will grow colder rather than hotter.
8. Those who fall alone remain alone in their fall, and they value their soul little since they entrust it to themselves alone.
9. If you do not fear falling alone, do you presume that you will rise up alone? Consider how much more can be accomplished by two together than by one alone.
10. Whoever falls while heavily laden will find it difficult to rise under the burden.
11. The blind person who falls will not be able to get up alone; the blind person who does get up alone will go off on the wrong road.
12. God desires the smallest degree of purity of conscience in you more than all the works you can perform.
13. God desires the least degree of obedience and submissiveness more than all those services you think of rendering him.
14. God values in you the inclination to dryness and suffering for love of him more than all the consolations, spiritual visions, and meditations you could possibly have.
15. Deny your desires and you will find what your heart longs for. For how do you know if any desire of yours is according to God?
16. O sweetest love of God, so little known, whoever has found this rich mine is at rest!
17. Since a double measure of bitterness must follow the doing of your own will, do not do it even though you remain in single bitterness.
18. The soul that carries within itself the least appetite for worldly things bears more unseemliness and impurity in its journey to God than if it were troubled by all the hideous and annoying temptations and darknesses describable; for, so long as it does not consent to these temptations, a soul thus tried can approach God confidently, by doing the will of His Majesty, who proclaims: Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will refresh you [Mt. 11:28].
19. The soul that in aridity and trial submits to the dictates of reason is more pleasing to God than one that does everything with consolation, yet fails in this submission.
20. God is more pleased by one work, however small, done secretly, without desire that it be known, than a thousand done with the desire that people know of them. Those who work for God with purest love not only care nothing about whether others see their works, but do not even seek that God himself know of them. Such persons would not cease to render God the same services, with the same joy and purity of love, even if God were never to know of these.
21. The pure and whole work done for God in a pure heart merits a whole kingdom for its owner.
22. A bird caught in birdlime has a twofold task: It must free itself and cleanse itself. And by satisfying their appetites, people suffer in a twofold way: They must detach themselves and, after being detached, clean themselves of what has clung to them.
23. Those who do not allow their appetites to carry them away will soar in their spirit as swiftly as the bird that lacks no feathers.
24. The fly that clings to honey hinders its flight, and the soul that allows itself attachment to spiritual sweetness hinders its own liberty and contemplation.
25. Withdraw from creatures if you desire to preserve, clear and simple in your soul, the image of God. Empty your spirit and withdraw far from them and you will walk in divine lights, for God is not like creatures.

Prayer of a Soul Taken with Love
26. Lord God, my Beloved, if you still remember my sins in such a way that you do not do what I beg of you, do your will concerning them, my God, which is what I most desire, and exercise your goodness and mercy, and you will be known through them. And if you are waiting for my good works so as to hear my prayer through their means, grant them to me, and work them for me, and the sufferings you desire to accept, and let it be done. But if you are not waiting for my works, what is it that makes you wait, my most clement Lord? Why do you delay? For if, after all, I am to receive the grace and mercy that I entreat of you in your Son, take my mite, since you desire it, and grant me this blessing, since you also desire that.
Who can free themselves from lowly manners and limitations if you do not lift them to yourself, my God, in purity of love? How will human beings begotten and nurtured in lowliness rise up to you, Lord, if you do not raise them with your hand that made them?
You will not take from me, my God, what you once gave me in your only Son, Jesus Christ, in whom you gave me all I desire. Hence I rejoice that if I wait for you, you will not delay.
With what procrastinations do you wait, since from this very moment you can love God in your heart?
27. Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me. What do you ask, then, and seek, my soul? Yours is all of this, and all is for you. Do not engage yourself in something less or pay heed to the crumbs that fall from your Father’s table. Go forth and exult in your Glory! Hide yourself in it and rejoice, and you will obtain the supplications of your heart.
28. The very pure spirit does not bother about the regard of others or human respect, but communes inwardly with God, alone and in solitude as to all forms, and with delightful tranquility, for the knowledge of God is received in divine silence.
29. A soul enkindled with love is a gentle, meek, humble, and patient soul.
30. A soul that is hard because of self-love grows harder.
31. O good Jesus, if you do not soften it, it will ever continue in its natural hardness.
32. If you lose an opportunity you will be like one who lets the bird fly away; you will never get it back.
33. I didn’t know you, my Lord, because I still desired to know and relish things.
34. Well and good if all things change, Lord God, provided we are rooted in you.
35. One human thought alone is worth more than the entire world, hence God alone is worthy of it.
36. For the insensible, what you do not feel; for the sensible, the senses; and for the spirit of God, thought.
37. Reflect that your guardian angel does not always move your desire for an action, but he does always enlighten your reason. Hence, in order to practice virtue do not wait until you feel like it, for your reason and intellect are sufficient.
38. When fixed on something else, one’s appetite leaves no room for the angel to move it.
39. My spirit has become dry because it forgets to feed on you.
40. What you most seek and desire you will not find by this way of yours, nor through high contemplation, but in much humility and submission of heart.
41. Do not tire yourself, for you will not enter into the savor and sweetness of spirit if you do not apply yourself to the mortification of all this that you desire.
42. Reflect that the most delicate flower loses its fragrance and withers fastest; therefore guard yourself against seeking to walk in a spirit of delight, for you will not be constant. Choose rather for yourself a robust spirit, detached from everything, and you will discover abundant peace and sweetness, for delicious and durable fruit is gathered in a cold and dry climate.
43. Bear in mind that your flesh is weak and that no worldly thing can comfort or strengthen your spirit, for what is born of the world is world and what is born of the flesh is flesh. The good spirit is born only of the Spirit of God, who communicates himself neither through the world nor through the flesh.
44. Be attentive to your reason in order to do what it tells you concerning the way to God. It will be more valuable before your God than all the works you perform without this attentiveness and all the spiritual delights you seek.
45. Blessed are they who, setting aside their own pleasure and inclination, consider things according to reason and justice before doing them.
46. If you make use of your reason, you are like one who eats substantial food; but if you are moved by the satisfaction of your will, you are like one who eats insipid fruit.
47. Lord, you return gladly and lovingly to lift up the one who offends you, but I do not turn to raise and honor the one who annoys me.
48. O mighty Lord, if a spark from the empire of your justice effects so much in the mortal ruler who governs the nations, what will your all-powerful justice do with the righteous and the sinner?
49. If you purify your soul of attachments and desires, you will understand things spiritually. If you deny your appetite for them, you will enjoy their truth, understanding what is certain in them.
50. O Lord, my God, you are no stranger to those who do not estrange themselves from you. How do they say that it is you who absent yourself?
51. That person has truly mastered all things who is not moved to joy by the satisfaction they afford or saddened by their insipidness.
52. If you wish to attain holy recollection, you will do so not by receiving but by denying.
53. Going everywhere, my God, with you, everywhere things will happen as I desire for you.
54. Souls will be unable to reach perfection who do not strive to be content with having nothing, in such fashion that their natural and spiritual desire is satisfied with emptiness; for this is necessary in order to reach the highest tranquility and peace of spirit. Hence the love of God in the pure and simple soul is almost continually in act.
55. Since God is inaccessible, be careful not to concern yourself with all that your faculties can comprehend and your senses feel, so that you do not become satisfied with less and lose the lightness of soul suitable for going to him.
56. The soul that journeys to God, but does not shake off its cares and quiet its appetites, is like one who drags a cart uphill.
57. It is not God’s will that a soul be disturbed by anything or suffer trials, for if one suffers trials in the adversities of the world it is because of a weakness in virtue. The perfect soul rejoices in what afflicts the imperfect one.
58. This way of life contains very little business and bustling, and demands mortification of the will more than knowledge. The less one takes of things and pleasures the farther one advances along this way.
59. Think not that pleasing God lies so much in doing a great deal as in doing it with good will, without possessiveness and human respect.
60. When evening comes, you will be examined in love. Learn to love as God desires to be loved and abandon your own ways of acting.
61. See that you do not interfere in the affairs of others, nor even allow them to pass through your memory; for perhaps you will be unable to accomplish your own task.
62. Because the virtues you have in mind do not shine in your neighbor, do not think that your neighbor will not be precious in God’s sight for reasons that you have not in mind.
63. Human beings know neither how to rejoice properly nor how to grieve properly, for they do not understand the distance between good and evil.
64. See that you are not suddenly saddened by the adversities of this world, for you do not know the good they bring, being ordained in the judgments of God for the everlasting joy of the elect.
65. Do not rejoice in temporal prosperity, since you do not know if it gives you assurance of eternal life.
66. In tribulation, immediately draw near to God with trust, and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction.
67. In joys and pleasures, immediately draw near to God in fear and truth, and you will be neither deceived nor involved in vanity.
68. Take God for your bridegroom and friend, and walk with him continually; and you will not sin and will learn to love, and the things you must do will work out prosperously for you.
69. You will without labor subject the nations and bring things to serve you if you forget them and yourself as well.
70. Abide in peace, banish cares, take no account of all that happens, and you will serve God according to his good pleasure, and rest in him.
71. Consider that God reigns only in the peaceful and disinterested soul.
72. Although you perform many works, if you do not deny your will and submit yourself, losing all solicitude about yourself and your affairs, you will not make progress.
73. What does it profit you to give God one thing if he asks of you another? Consider what it is God wants, and then do it. You will as a result satisfy your heart better than with something toward which you yourself are inclined.
74. How is it you dare to relax so fearlessly, since you must appear before God to render an account of the least word and thought?
75. Reflect that many are called but few are chosen [Mt. 22:14] and that, if you are not careful, your perdition is more certain than your salvation, especially since the path to eternal life is so constricted [Mt. 7:14].
76. Do not rejoice vainly, for you know how many sins you have committed and you do not know how you stand before God; but have fear together with confidence.
77. Since, when the hour of reckoning comes, you will be sorry for not having used this time in the service of God, why do you not arrange and use it now as you would wish to have done were you dying?
78. If you desire that devotion be born in your spirit and that the love of God and the desire for divine things increase, cleanse your soul of every desire, attachment, and ambition in such a way that you have no concern about anything. Just as a sick person is immediately aware of good health once the bad humor has been thrown off and a desire to eat is felt, so will you recover your health, in God, if you cure yourself as was said. Without doing this, you will not advance no matter how much you do.
79. If you desire to discover peace and consolation for your soul and to serve God truly, do not find your satisfaction in what you have left behind, because in that which now concerns you you may be as impeded as you were before, or even more. But leave as well all these other things and attend to one thing alone that brings all these with it (namely, holy solitude, together with prayer and spiritual and divine reading), and persevere there in forgetfulness of all things. For if these things are not incumbent on you, you will be more pleasing to God in knowing how to guard and perfect yourself than by gaining all other things together; what profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of one’s soul? [Mt. 16:26]. [1]
80. Bridle your tongue and your thoughts very much, direct your affection habitually toward God, and your spirit will be divinely enkindled.
81. Feed not your spirit on anything but God. Cast off concern about things, and bear peace and recollection in your heart.
82. Keep spiritually tranquil in a loving attentiveness to God, and when it is necessary to speak, let it be with the same calm and peace.
83. Preserve a habitual remembrance of eternal life, recalling that those who hold themselves the lowest and poorest and least of all will enjoy the highest dominion and glory in God.
84. Rejoice habitually in God, who is your salvation [Lk. 1:47], and reflect that it is good to suffer in any way for him who is good.
85. Reflect how necessary it is to be enemies of self and to walk to perfection by the path of holy rigor, and understand that every word spoken without the order of obedience is laid to your account by God.
86. Have an intimate desire that His Majesty grant you what he knows you lack for his honor.
87. Crucified inwardly and outwardly with Christ, you will live in this life with fullness and satisfaction of soul, and possess your soul in patience [Lk. 21:19].
88. Preserve a loving attentiveness to God with no desire to feel or understand any particular thing concerning him.
89. Keep habitual confidence in God, esteeming in yourself and in your Sisters those things that God most values, which are spiritual goods.
90. Enter within yourself and work in the presence of your Bridegroom, who is ever present loving you.
91. Be hostile to admitting into your soul things that of themselves have no spiritual substance, lest they make you lose your liking for devotion and recollection.
92. Let Christ crucified be enough for you, and with him suffer and take your rest, and hence annihilate yourself in all inward and outward things
93. Endeavor always that things be not for you, nor you for them, but forgetful of all, abide in recollection with your Bridegroom.
94. Have great love for trials and think of them as but a small way of pleasing your Bridegroom, who did not hesitate to die for you.
95. Bear fortitude in your heart against all things that move you to that which is not God, and be a friend of the Passion of Christ.
96. Be interiorly detached from all things and do not seek pleasure in any temporal thing, and your soul will concentrate on goods you do not know
97. The soul that walks in love neither tires others nor grows tired.
98. The poor one who is naked will be clothed; and the soul that is naked of desires and whims, God will clothe with his purity, pleasure, and will.
99. There are souls that wallow in the mire like animals, and there are others that soar like birds, which purify and cleanse themselves in the air.
100. The Father spoke one Word, which was his Son, and this Word he speaks always in eternal silence, and in silence must it be heard by the soul.
101. We must adjust our trials to ourselves, and not ourselves to our trials.
102. He who seeks not the cross of Christ seeks not the glory of Christ.
103. To be taken with love for a soul, God does not look on its greatness, but on the greatness of its humility.
104. “Whoever is ashamed to confess me before others, I shall be ashamed to confess before My Father,” says the Lord [Mt. 10:33].
105. Frequent combing gives the hair more luster and makes it easier to comb; a soul that frequently examines its thoughts, words, and deeds, which are its hair, doing all things for the love of God, will have lustrous hair. Then the Bridegroom will look on the neck of the bride and thereby be captivated; and will be wounded by one of her eyes, that is, by the purity of intention she has in all she does. If in combing hair one wants it to have luster, one begins from the crown. All our works must begin from the crown (the love of God) if we wish them to be pure and lustrous.[2]
106. Heaven is stable and is not subject to generation; and souls of a heavenly nature are stable and not subject to the engendering of desires or of anything else, for in their way they resemble God who does not move forever.
107. Eat not in forbidden pastures (those of this life), because blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied [Mt. 5:6]. What God seeks, he being himself God by nature, is to make us gods through participation, just as fire converts all things into fire.
108. All the goodness we possess is lent to us, and God considers it his own work. God and his work is God.
109. Wisdom enters through love, silence, and mortification. It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.
110. All for me and nothing for you.
111. All for you and nothing for me.
112. Allow yourself to be taught, allow yourself to receive orders, allow yourself to be subjected and despised, and you will be perfect.
113. Any appetite causes five kinds of harm in the soul: first, disquiet; second, turbidity; third, defilement; fourth, weakness; fifth, obscurity [3]
114. Perfection does not lie in the virtues that the soul knows it has, but in the virtues that our Lord sees in it. This is a closed book; hence one has no reason for presumption, but must remain prostrate on the ground with respect to self.
115. Love consists not in feeling great things but in having great detachment and in suffering for the Beloved.
116. The entire world is not worthy of a human being’s thought, for this belongs to God alone; any thought, therefore, not centered on God is stolen from him.
117. Not all the faculties and senses have to be employed in things, but only those that are required; as for the others, leave them unoccupied for God.
118. Ignoring the imperfections of others, preserving silence and a continual communion with God will eradicate great imperfections from the soul and make it the possessor of great virtues.
119. There are three signs of inner recollection: first, a lack of satisfaction in passing things; second, a liking for solitude and silence, and an attentiveness to all that is more perfect; third, the considerations, meditations and acts that formerly helped the soul now hinder it, and it brings to prayer no other support than faith, hope, and love.[4]
120. If a soul has more patience in suffering and more forbearance in going without satisfaction, the sign is there of its being more proficient in virtue.
121. The traits of the solitary bird are five: first, it seeks the highest place; second, it withstands no company; third, it holds its beak in the air; fourth, it has no definite color; fifth, it sings sweetly. These traits must be possessed by the contemplative soul. It must rise above passing things, paying no more heed to them than if they did not exist. It must likewise be so fond of silence and solitude that it does not tolerate the company of another creature. It must hold its beak in the air of the Holy Spirit, responding to his inspirations, that by so doing it may become worthy of his company. It must have no definite color, desiring to do nothing definite other than the will of God. It must sing sweetly in the contemplation and love of its Bridegroom.[5]
122. Habitual voluntary imperfections that are never completely overcome not only hinder the divine union, but also the attainment of perfection. Such imperfections are: the habit of being very talkative; a small unconquered attachment, such as to a person, to clothing, to a cell, a book, or to the way food is prepared, and to other conversations and little satisfactions in tasting things, in knowing, and hearing, and the like.[6]
123. If you wish to glory in yourself, but do not wish to appear ignorant and foolish, discard the things that are not yours and you will have glory in what remains. But certainly if you discard all that is not yours, nothing will be left, since you must not glory in anything if you do not want to fall into vanity. But let us descend now especially to those graces, the gifts that make people pleasing in God’s sight. It is certain that you must not glory in these gifts, for you do not even know if you possess them.
124. Oh, how sweet your presence will be to me, you who are the supreme good! I must draw near you in silence and uncover your feet that you may be pleased to unite me to you in marriage [Ru. 3:7], and I will not rest until I rejoice in your arms. Now I ask you, Lord, not to abandon me at any time in my recollection, for I am a squanderer of my soul.
125. Detached from exterior things, dispossessed of interior things, disappropriated of the things of God — neither will prosperity detain you nor adversity hinder you.
126. The devil fears a soul united to God as he does God himself. [7]
127. The purest suffering produces the purest understanding.[8]
128. The soul that desires God to surrender himself to it entirely must surrender itself entirely to him without keeping anything for itself.
129. The soul that has reached the union of love does not even experience the first motions of sin.
130. Old friends of God scarcely ever fail him, for they stand above all that can make them fail. [9]
131. My Beloved, all that is rugged and toilsome I desire for myself, and all that is sweet and delightful I desire for you. [10]
132. What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.
133. The submission of a servant is necessary in seeking God. In outward things light helps to prevent one from falling; but in the things of God just the opposite is true: It is better for the soul not to see if it is to be more secure.
134. More is gained in one hour from God’s good things than in a whole lifetime from your own.
135. Love to be unknown both by yourself and by others. Never look at the good or evil of others.
136. Walk in solitude with God; act according to the just measure; hide the blessings of God.
137. To lose always and let everyone else win is a trait of valiant souls, generous spirits, and unselfish hearts; it is their manner to give rather than receive even to the extent of giving themselves. They consider it a heavy burden to possess themselves, and it pleases them more to be possessed by others and withdrawn from themselves, since we belong more to that infinite Good than we do to ourselves.
138. It is seriously wrong to have more regard for God’s blessings than for God himself: prayer and detachment.
139. Look at that infinite knowledge and that hidden secret. What peace, what love, what silence is in that divine bosom! How lofty the science God teaches there, which is what we call the anagogical acts that so enkindle the heart.
140. The secret of one’s conscience is considerably harmed and damaged as often as its fruits are manifested to others, for then one receives as reward the fruit of fleeting fame.
141. Speak little and do not meddle in matters about which you are not asked.
142. Strive always to keep God present and to preserve within yourself the purity he teaches you.
143. Do not excuse yourself or refuse to be corrected by all; listen to every reproof with a serene countenance; think that God utters it.
144. Live as though only God and yourself were in this world, so that your heart may not be detained by anything human.
145. Consider it the mercy of God that someone occasionally speaks a good word to you, for you deserve none.
146. Never allow yourself to pour out your heart, even though it be but for the space of a Creed.
147. Never listen to talk about the weaknesses of others, and if someone complains of another, you can tell her humbly to say nothing of it to you
148. Do not complain about anyone, or ask for anything; and if it is necessary for you to ask, let it be with few words.
149. Do not refuse work even though it seems that you cannot do it. Let all find compassion in you.
150. Do not contradict; by no means speak words that are not pure.
151. Let your speech be such that no one may be offended, and let it concern things that would not cause you regret were all to know of them.
152. Do not refuse anything you possess, even though you may need it.
153. Be silent concerning what God may have given you and recall that saying of the bride: My secret for myself [Is. 24:16].
154. Strive to preserve your heart in peace; let no event of this world disturb it; reflect that all must come to an end.
155. Take neither great nor little notice of who is with you or against you, and try always to please God. Ask him that his will be done in you. Love him intensely, as he deserves to be loved.
156. Twelve stars for reaching the highest perfection: love of God, love of neighbor, obedience, chastity, poverty, attendance at choir, penance, humility, mortification, prayer, silence, peace.
157. Never take others for your example in the tasks you have to perform, however holy they may be, for the devil will set their imperfections before you. But imitate Christ, who is supremely perfect and supremely holy, and you will never err.
158. Seek in reading and you will find in meditation; knock in prayer and it will be opened to you in contemplation.[11]
159. The further you withdraw from earthly things the closer you approach heavenly things and the more you find in God.
160. Whoever knows how to die in all will have life in all.
161. Abandon evil, do good, and seek peace [Ps. 34:14].
162. Anyone who complains or grumbles is not perfect, nor even a good Christian.
163. The humble are those who hide in their own nothingness and know how to abandon themselves to God.
164. The meek are those who know how to suffer their neighbor and themselves.
165. If you desire to be perfect, sell your will, give it to the poor in spirit, come to Christ in meekness and humility, and follow him to Calvary and the sepulcher.
166. Those who trust in themselves are worse than the devil.
167. Those who do not love their neighbor abhor God.
168. Anyone who does things lukewarmly is close to falling.
169. Whoever flees prayer flees all that is good.
170. Conquering the tongue is better than fasting on bread and water.
171. Suffering for God is better than working miracles.
172. Oh, what blessings we will enjoy in the vision of the Most Blessed Trinity!
173. Do not be suspicious of your brother, for you will lose purity of heart.
174. As for trials, the more the better.
175. What does anyone know who doesn’t know how to suffer for Christ?
Footnotes

1. The autography manuscript ends here abruptly. The following saying are the MAXIMS ON LOVE gathered by the Discalced Carmelite nuns in Beas. A manuscript copy is preserved in the Silverian archives in Burgos.

2. Cf. Canticle 31, 5-6.

3. Cf. Ascent 1, 6-10.

4. For more on these signs of contemplation, cf. Ascent 2, 13-14; Night 1, 9.

5. Cf. Canticle 15, 24.

6. Cf. Ascent 1, 11, 3-4. The following maxims are from the edition of Gerona, published in 1650.

7. Cf. Canticle 24, 4.

8. Cf. Canticle 36, 12.

9. Cf. Canticle 25, 9-11.

10. Cf. Canticle 28, 10.

11. This saying comes from the Cathrusian Guigo II’s SCALA PARADISI, chapter 2, in Migne, PL 40, 998. The counsels that follow come from an old manuscript belonging to the Carmelite nuns in Antequera. A copy is preserved in the National Library of Madrid.

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

===

Pythagoras & the Nazareans

Pythagorean Connection to Mt. Carmel

We know from ancient documents that both Essenes and Pythagoreans shared many things in common. Both were vegetarian, both wore white, and both were deeply immersed in Qabbalistic studies. Pythagoras was nicknamed “the long haired one” which further links him with the northern Nazarean Essenes who were all Nazarites (long hairs). History has preserved for us a link between Pythagoras and the Mt. Carmel Essenes:

“In Phoenicia he (Pythagoras) conversed with the prophets who were the descendants of Moses the physiologist, and with many others, as well as the local heirophants . . . . After gaining all he could from the Phoenician Mysteries, he found that they had originated from the sacred rites of Egypt, forming as it were an Egyptian colony. . . . On the Phoenician coast under Mt. Carmel, where, in the Temple on the peak, Pythagoras for the most part had dwelt in solitude . . . Mount Carmel, which they knew to be more sacred than other mountains, and quite inaccessible to the vulgar…”(Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus)

Golden Verses of Pythagoras
1 FOREMOST HONOR THE IMMORTAL DEITIES, AS THE LAW DEMANDS.
2 THEN REVERENCE THY OATH, AND THEN THE ILLUSTRIOUS CHAMPIONS, THEN VENERATE THE DIVINITIES UNDER THE EARTH, DUE RITES PERFORMING.

3 THEN HONOR THY PARENTS, AND ALL THY KINDRED.

4 AMONG OTHERS MAKE THE MOST VIRTUOUS THY FRIEND, LOVE TO MAKE USE OF THEIR KIND WORDS, AND LEARN FROM THEIR DEEDS THAT ARE USEFUL;

5 BUT ALIENATE NOT THE BELOVED COMRADE FOR TRIVIAL OFFENSES, BEAR ALL ONE CAN, WHAT ONE CAN, FOR POWER IS BOUND TO NECESSITY.

6 TAKE THIS WELL TO HEART: ONE MUST GAIN CONTROL OF ONES HABITS; FIRST OVER APPETITE, THEN SLUMBER, AND THEN LUXURY, AND ANGER.

7 WHAT BRINGS ONE SHAME, DO NOT UNTO OTHERS, NOR UNTO THYSELF, FOR THE HIGHEST OF DUTIES IS SELF INTEGRITY.

8 LET BALANCED ORDER BE PRACTICED IN WORDS AS IN DEEDS; THEN MAKE THE HABIT, NEVER INCONSIDERATELY TO ACT.

9 NEITHER FORGET THAT DEATH IS APPOINTED TO ALL, THAT POSSESSIONS HERE GLADLY GATHERED, HERE MUST BE LEFT.

10 WHATEVER SORROW THE FATE OF THE DEITIES MAY HERE SEND US, BEAR; WHATEVER MAY BEFALL ONE, WITH PATIENCE UNMURMURING;

11 TO RELIEVE IT, SO FAR AS ONE CAN, IS PERMITTED, BUT REFLECT THAT NOT MUCH MISFORTUNE HAS FATE GIVEN TO THE GOOD.

12 THE OPINION OF THE PEOPLE IS INCONSISTENT, NOW GOOD, AND NOW EVIL; SO LET THEM NOT INTIMIDATE ONE, NOR KEEP ONE FROM ONES PURPOSE.

13 IF FALSE SLANDER COME TO THY EARS, BEAR IT IN PATIENCE, YET THAT WHICH I AM NOW DECLARING, FULFIL IT FAITHFULLY.

14 LET NO ONE WITH SPEECH OR WITH DEEDS EVER DECEIVE THEE, TO DO OR TO SAY WHAT IS NOT THE BEST.

15 THINK BEFORE ACTING, THAT NOTHING STUPID RESULT; TO ACT THOUGHTLESSLY IS THE ROLE OF A FOOL.

16 WHATEVER WILL NOT LATER BRING ONE REPENTANCE, THAT ONE SHOULD CARRY THROUGH.

17 DO NOTHING BEYOND WHAT ONE KNOWS, YET LEARN WHAT ONE MAY NEED; THUS SHALL ONES LIFE GROW HAPPY.

18 DO NOT NEGLECT THE HEALTH OF THE BODY, KEEPING MEASURE IN EATING AND DRINKING, AND EVERY EXERCISE OF THE BODY, AND BY MEASURE IS MEANT WHAT WILL NOT LATER INDUCE PAIN.

19 FOLLOW CLEAN HABITS OF LIFE, BUT NOT THE LUXURIOUS, AVOID ALL THINGS WHICH WILL AROUSE ENVY.

20 AT THE WRONG TIME, NEVER BE UNRESTRAINED, AS IF ONE DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS PROPER; NOR SHOW THYSELF STINGY, FOR AN APPROPRIATE MEASURE IS EVER THE BEST.

21 DO ONLY THOSE THINGS WHICH WILL NOT HARM THEE, AND DELIBERATE BEFORE ACTING.

224 NEVER LET SLUMBER APPROACH THY WEARIED EYELIDS, ERE THRICE ONE REVIEWS WHAT THEY THIS DAY HAVE DONE; WHEREIN HATH ONE SINNED? WHAT DID ONE? WHAT DUTY HAS BEEN NEGLECTED? ALL, FROM FIRST TO LAST REVIEW.

23 IF ONE HAS ERRED, GRIEVE IN ONES SPIRIT, REJOICING FOR ALL THAT WAS GOOD.

24 WITH ZEAL AND WITH INDUSTRY, THIS THEN REPEAT; AND LEARN TO REPEAT IT WITH JOY, THUS WILT ONE TREAD ON THE PATHS OF HEAVENLY VIRTUE; SURELY, I SWEAR IT BY HIM WHO INTO OUR SOULS HAS TRANSMITTED THE SACRED QUATERNARY, THE SPRING OF ETERNAL NATURE.

25 NEVER START ON THY TASK UNTIL ONE HAS IMPLORED THE BLESSINGS OF THE DEITIES.

26 IF THIS ONE HOLDS FAST, SOON ONE WILL RECOGNIZE, OF DEITIES AND MORTAL MEN, THE TRUE NATURE OF EXISTENCE, HOW EVERYTHING PASSES AND RETURNS.

27 THEN WILL ONE PERCEIVE WHAT IS TRUE, HOW NATURE IN ALL IS MOST EQUAL, SO THAT ONE HOPE NOT FOR WHAT HAS NO HOPE, NOT THAT ANYTHING SHOULD ESCAPE ONE.

28 HUMANS YE SHALL FIND WHOSE SORROWS THEY THEMSELVES HAVE CREATED, WRETCHES WHO SEE NOT THE GOOD THAT IS SO NEAR, NOTHING THEY HEAR.

29 FEW KNOW HOW TO HELP THEMSELVES IN MISFORTUNE, THAT IS THE FATE WHICH BLINDS HUMANITY IN CIRCLES.

30 HITHER AND YON THEY RUN IN ENDLESS SORROWS, FOR THEY ARE FOLLOWED BY A GRIM COMPANION, EVEN DISUNION WITHIN THEMSELVES.

31 UNNOTICED, NEVER ROUSE THEM, AND FLY FROM BEFORE THEM! FATHER ZEUS, O FREE THEM ALL FROM SUFFERINGS SO GREAT, OR SHOW UNTO EACH THE ONE WHO IS THEIR GUIDE.

32 YET DO NOT FEAR, FOR THE MORTALS ARE DIVINE BY RACE, TO WHOM HOLY NATURE EVERYTHING WILL REVEAL AND DEMONSTRATE.

33 WHEREFORE, IF ONE HATH RECEIVED, SO KEEP WHAT I TEACH THEE, HEALING THY SOUL, YE SHALL REMAIN INSURED FROM MANIFOLD EVIL.

34 AVOID FORBIDDEN FOODS, REFLECTING THAT THIS CONTRIBUTES TO THE PURITY AND REDEMPTION OF THY SOUL.

35 CONSIDER ALL THINGS WELL, LET REASON, THE GIFT DIVINE, BE THY HIGHEST GUIDE.

36 THEN SHOULD YOU BE SEPARATED FROM THE BODY, AND SOAR INTO THE AETHER; YE WILL BE IMPERISHABLE, A DIVINITY, A MORTAL NO MORE.

Josephus, writing between A.D. 75 and A.D.85, tells us that the Essenes were Pythagorean in lifestyle.

“The sect of the Essenes maintain that Fate governs all things, and that nothing can befall man contrary to its determination and will. These men live the same kind of life which among the Greeks has been ordered by Pythagoras.”

Pythagorean & Ossaean (Essene) Parallels

Pythagorean Lifestyle (Bios Pythagorikos)
Essene Lifestyle (Josephus, Philo,etc.)
A state of purity is brought about by purifications, washings and lustrations, by a man’s purifying himself from all deaths and rebirths, or any kind of pollution, by abstaining from all animals that have died, from mullets, from gurnards, from eggs, from such animals that lay eggs, from beans, and from other things that are prohibited by those who have charge of the mysteries in the Temples. – Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius They work until about 11 A.M. when they put on ritual loincloths and bathe for purification. Then they enter a communal hall,where no one else is allowed,and eat only one bowlful of food for each man, ! together with their loaves of bread. They eat in silence.
The Gods should be honored at all times, extolling them with praises, clothed in white garments, and keeping one’s body chaste… – Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius
They wore a white garment that was pure. – Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus

. . his dress was white, very clean; his bed clothes were also white. – Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius

They make a point of having their skin dry and of always being clothed in white garments.
During this time each postulant is given a . . . white garment.

He prohibited the eating of animals because he wished to train and accustom men to simplicity of life, so that all their food should be easily procurable, as it would be if they ate only such things as required no fire to cook them, and if they drank plain water, for from this diet they would derive health of body and acuteness of intellect. – Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius “They do not offer animal sacrifice, judging it more fitting to render their minds truly holy.
He used to forbid them to offer sacrificial victims to the Gods, ordering them to worship only at altars which were unstained with blood. – Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius They send offerings to the Temple, but offer no sacrifices since the purifications to which they are accustomed are different. For this reason, they refrain from entering into the common enclosure, but offer sacrifice among themselves.
He also forbade them to swear by the Gods, saying that every man ought so to exercise himself as to be worthy of belief without an oath. – Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius They refuse to swear oaths, believing every word they speak to be stronger than an oath.
Some authors assert that he himself used to be contented with honey, honey-comb and bread, and that he never drank wine during the day. He usually ate vegetables, either boiled or raw . – Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius
As to food, his breakfast was cheifly honey; at dinner he used bread made of millet, barley or herbs, raw and boiled. To quiet hunger he made a mixture of poppy seed and sesame, the skin of a sea-onion, well washed until entirely drained of all outward juices, of the flowers of the daffodil,a dn the leaves of mallows, of paste of barley and chick-peas, taking an equal weight of which, and chopping it small, with honey of Hymettus he made it into a mass. Against thirst he took the seed of cucumbers, and the best dried raisens, extracting the seeds,a dn corriander flowers,a dn the seeds of mallows, purslane . . .wheat meal . . ., all of which he mixed up with wild honey. – Life of Pythagoras by Porphyry

Then they enter a communal hall,where no one else is allowed,and eat only one bowlful of food for each man, together with their loaves of bread.
He showed to his disciples that the soul is immortal, and to those who were rightly purified he brought back the memory of the acts of their former lives. – Life of Pythagoras by Porphyry They believe that their souls are immortal, but that their bodies are corruptible. They believe the soul is trapped in the body and is freed with death.
By erasing from common life everything private, while increasing everything held in common…for among his disciples evrything was common, and the same to all, no one possessing anything private. – Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus Their life style is communal. They have a common purse. Their salaries they deposit before them all, in the midst of them, to be put to the common employment of those who wish to make use of it.
They gathered in a common dining room . . . Then were performed libations and sacrifices, with fumigations and incense. Then followed supper, which closed before the setting of the sun. They ate herbs, raw and boiled, maize, wine and every food that is eaten with bread. . . .The supper was followed by libations, succeeded by reading. The youngest read what the eldest advised,a nd as they suggested. – Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus They live together in brotherhoods, and eat in common together. Everything they do is for the common good of the group.
Not only do they share a common table, but common clothes as well. What belongs to one belongs to all.

On them he likewise enjoined supression of speech, and perfect silence, exercising them for years at a time in the subjugation fo the tongue, while strenuously and assiduously investigating and ruminating over the most difficult theorems. – Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus They eat in silence.
During meals they are sober and quiet and their silence seems a great mystery to people outside.

After subjecting a candidate to such trials, he allowed him to be neglected for three years, still covertly observing his disposition towards stability, and genuine studiousness, and whether he was sufficiently adverse to glory, and ready to despise popular honors. After this the candidate was compelled to observe silence for five years…- Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus Those desiring to enter the sect are not allowed immediate entrance. They are made to wait outside for a period of one year. . . Having proved his constinence during the first year he draws closer to the way of life and participates in the purificatory baths at a higher degree, but he is not yet admitted into intimacy. His character is tested another two years and if he proves worthy he is received into the company permanently.
He considered luxury the first evil.- Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus They share the same way of life, the same table, even the same tastes; all of them loving frugality and hating luxury as a plague for both body and soul.
He used to practice divination, as far as auguries and auspices, but not by means of burnt offerings, except only the burning of incense. – Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes Laertius Some of the Essenes became expert in forecasting the future.
Do not neglect the health of the body, keeping measure in eating and drinking, and every exercise of the body…- Golden Verses of Pythagoras Their food and drink are so measured out that they are satisfied but no more.
Pythagorean & Nazareans (N. Essene) Parallels

Pythagoras
Nasaraeans
Pythagoras was known as the “Long Haired One”. All Nazareans were life long “Nazarites” who never cut their hair.
Pythagoreans honored marriage and said that it deified women. Nazareans all married and eschewed Ossaean celibacy practices.
Pythagoras studied on Mt. Carmel. Nazareans had their main School of the Prophets on Mt. Carmel.
Pythagoras studied 22 years in Egypt & 12 years with the Magi. Yeshua and other Nazareans studied in Egypt and were associated with the Magi.
Pythagoras suggests a simple / raw diet for at least a portion of the year. Yeshua, in the Gospel of Peace, suggests a simple / raw diet for at least part of the year.
Pythagoras built and worshipped in bloodless temples. Nazareans, especially the Beni-Aumen Order, built and worshipped in bloodless temples.
The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
Copyright © 1999-2006. All rights reserved.
The Essene Numerology Chart | Ministerial Training Course

====

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

THE SEVENFOLD VOW

I want to and will do my best

To live like the Tree of Life,

Planted by the Great Masters Of our Brotherhood’.

With my Heavenly Father,

Who planted the Eternal Garden of the Universe

And gave me my spirit;

With my Earthly Mother

Who planted the Great Garden of the Earth

And gave me my body;

With my brothers

Who are working in the Garden of our Brotherhood.

I want to and will do my best

To hold every morning my Communions

With the Angels of the Earthly Mother,

And every evening

With the Angels of the Heavenly Father,

As established by

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

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

To perfect my body which acts,

My body which feels,

And my body which thinks,

According to the Teachings

Of the Great Masters of our Brotherhood.

I will always and everywhere obey with reverence

My Master,

Who gives me the Light

Of the Great Masters of all times.

I will submit to my Master

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

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

And I shall never take any complaint against a brother

To the outside world.

I will always and everywhere keep secret

All the traditions of our Brotherhood

Which my Master will tell me;

I never reveal to anyone these secrets

Without the permission of my Master.

I will never claim as my own my own

The knowledge received from my Master

And I will always give credit to him

For all this knowledge.

I will never use the knowledge and power I have gained

Through initiation from my Master

For material or selfsh purposes.

I enter the Eternal and Infinite Garden

with reverence to the Heavenly Father,

To the Earthly mother,

And to the Great masters,

Reverence to the Holy,

Pure and Saving Teaching,

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

===

Morning, Noon, and Evening EsseneCommunions to Follow

Day Contemplative Force
Seek Peace With:
MORNING COMMUNIONS
Saturday =Earthly Mother = Food = Nutrition
Sunday =Angel of Earth = Top Soil Growth = Regeneration Glands
Monday =Angel of Life = Trees = Vitality
Tuesday=Angel of Joy = Beauty = Harmony
Wednesday=Angel of Sun = Sunrise =Fire of Life
Thursday =Angel of Water = Blood, Rivers, Etc.= Circulation
Friday =Angel of Air = Breath = Energies of Atmosphere

NOON CONTEMPLATIONS
Saturday =Kingdom of the Heavenly Father
Sunday =Kingdom of the Earthly Mother
Monday= Culture
Tuesday = Humanity (Social Peace)
Wednesday=Family (Feeling Body)
Thursday=Mind (Thinking Body)
Friday = Body (Acting Body)

EVENING COMMUNIONS
Saturday =Angel of Eternal Life = Superior Planets= Overcoming Gravity
Sunday =Angel of Creative Work= Bees = Creative Work of Man
Monday =Angel of Peace =Crescent Moon=Peace Within
Tuesday =Angel of Power = Stars, Superior Acts = Nervous System, Cosmic Ocean of Life
Wednesday =Angel of Love =Superior Feeling= Emotions, Cosmic Ocean of Love
Thursday =Angel of Wisdom = Superior Thoughts = Thinking Body
Friday =Heavenly Father =Cosmic Currents = Final Union with Cosmic Ocean
====================
====================
====================
====================
The world is an intricately interwoven web of infinite relations. When we apply this worldview to matter and to all living things, including people, we can see the world as one great life entity. This is the true nature of our own life. Every single thing in existence is worthy of supreme reverence. Nature is not something for human beings to exploit as they see fit, solely for their own interests. Both nature and humanity are part—and at the same time complete expressions—of the life of the universe. To destroy the natural world is to destroy human life. The external desertification of the planet corresponds precisely with the spiritual desertification of human life. Buddhahood exists in all things in the universe, both sentient and insentient. This includes the land or the environment, which consists of insentient beings like trees and rocks. Therefore, anything which leads to the destruction of the environment is seen as a grave offense in the light of Buddhism. -DAISAKU IKEDA QUOTES.

++++++++++++++++++++http://www.ikedaquotes.org/environment/

“13. God desires the least degree of obedience and submissiveness more than all those services you think of rendering him.” Sayings of Light and Love by St. John of the Cross /// 13 IF FALSE SLANDER COME TO THY EARS, BEAR IT IN PATIENCE, YET THAT WHICH I AM NOW DECLARING, FULFIL IT FAITHFULLY. Golden Verses of Pythagoras /// Thursday =Angel of Wisdom = Superior Thoughts = Thinking Body /// Thursday=Mind (Thinking Body) /// Thursday =Angel of Water = Blood, Rivers, Etc.= Circulation /// THURSDAY EVENING, ANGEL OF WISDOM, DESCEND UPON MY THINKING BODY AND ENLIGHTEN ALL MY THOUGHTS, SUPERIOR THOUGHTS /// THURSDAY MORNING, ANGEL OF WATER, ENTER MY BLOOD AND GIVE THE WATERS OF LIFE TO MY WHOLE BODY, RIVERS, CREEKS, ETC., CIRCULATION /// Morning, Noon, and Evening Essene Communions to Follow Day Contemplative Force Seek Peace With: ///

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

====
1. On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime: Isshō jōbutsu shō (一生成仏抄), 383.
2. On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land: Risshō ankoku ron (立正安国論), 17.
The Postscript to “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”: Risshō ankoku ron okugaki (立正安国論奥書), 33.
3. A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering: Shiiji Shirō dono gosho (椎地四郎殿御書), 1448.
4. The Izu Exile: Funamori Yasaburō moto gosho (船守弥三郎許御書), 1445.
5. The Universal Salty Taste: Dōitsu kammi gosho (同一鹹味御書), 1447.
6. The Four Debts of Gratitude: Shion shō (四恩抄), 935.
7. The Teaching, Capacity, Time, and Country: Kyō ki ji koku shō (教機時国抄), 438.
8. Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra: Ji Myō-hokke mondō shō (持妙法華問答抄), 461.
9. The Recitation of the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” Chapters: Gessui gosho (月水御書), 1199.
10. Encouragement to a Sick Person: Nanjō Hyōe Shichirō dono gosho (南条兵衛七郎殿御書), 1493.
11. Opening the Eyes of Wooden and Painted Images: Mokue nizō kaigen no koto (木絵二像開眼之事), 468.
12. The Essence of the “Medicine King” Chapter: Yakuō-bon tokui shō (薬王品得意抄), 1499.
13. Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man: Shōgu mondō shō (聖愚問答抄), 474.

====
13
Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man

Background
Part One

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

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

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

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

Part Two

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

===

185. Explaining the Causation of the Ten Worlds: Jippōkai myōinga shō (十法界明因果抄), 427
185
Explaining the Causation of the Ten Worlds

Composed by the shramana Nichiren

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

Nichiren

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

====
Chapter Thirteen: Encouraging Devotion
Thirteen important points

Point One, concerning “encouraging devotion”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The word “encouraging” refers to the converting of others. The word “devotion” refers to one’s own practice. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo embraces both the converting of others and one’s own religious practice.
p.110Now Nichiren and his followers are encouraging others to adopt Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and to make it their own practice.

Point Two, on the words “never begrudging our bodies or lives” in the passage “But although it will be difficult to teach and convert them, we will summon up the power of great patience and will read and recite this sutra, embrace, preach, and copy it, offering it many kinds of alms and never begrudging our bodies or lives.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The word “bodies” refers to the element of form or the body; the word “lives” refers to the element of the mind. One should never be begrudging of one’s body or life either in principle or in fact.
When a votary of the Lotus Sutra is deprived of his lands and fields, this is a case of not begrudging body or life in principle. When he is actually deprived of his life, this is a case of not begrudging body or life in fact.
Now when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are being unbegrudging of their bodies and lives both in principle and in fact.

Point Three, on the passage “Because in this sahā world the people are given to corruption and evil, beset by overbearing arrogance, shallow in blessings, irascible, muddled, fawning, and devious, and their hearts are not sincere.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Regarding the phrase “their hearts are not sincere,” to take the Lotus Sutra, which says, “Among those sutras / the Lotus is the foremost” (chapter ten, The Teacher of the Law), and put it in third place; to regard the sutra as the lowest when it says, “Among all the sutras, it holds the highest place” (chapter twenty-three, Medicine King); to say that the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life embodied in the Lotus Sutra is found in the Flower Garland and Mahāvairochana sutras; to take the doctrine of attaining Buddhahood in one’s present form and read it into the p.111Mahāvairochana Sutra—these are all examples of the heart not being sincere.
Now Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, do so with hearts that are sincere.

Point Four, on the passage “At that time the bodhisattvas, respectfully complying with the Buddha’s will and at the same time wishing to fulfill their own original vows, proceeded in the presence of the Buddha to roar the lion’s roar and to make a vow.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: To comply with the Lotus Sutra is what is meant by “respectfully complying with the Buddha’s will.” By the Buddha’s will is meant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Now when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, it means that they are “respectfully complying with the Buddha’s will.”

Point Five, on the words “to roar the lion’s roar” (sa shishi ku)

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The lion’s roar (shishi ku) is the preaching of the Buddha. The preaching of the Law means the preaching of the Lotus Sutra, or the preaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in particular.
The first shi of the word shishi, or “lion” [which means “teacher”], is the Wonderful Law that is passed on by the teacher. The second shi [which means “child”] is the Wonderful Law as it is received by the disciples. The “roar” is the sound of the teacher and the disciples chanting in unison.
The verb sa, “to make” or “to roar,” should here be understood to mean to initiate or to put forth. It refers to the initiating of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in the Latter Day of the Law.

Point Six, on the passage “World-Honored One, after the Thus Come One has entered extinction we will travel here p.112and there, back and forth through the worlds in the ten directions so as to enable living beings to copy this sutra, to receive, embrace, read, and recite it, understand and preach its principles, practice it in accordance with the Law, and properly keep it in their thoughts.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Those who “practice it in accordance with the Law” are the Great Teachers T’ien-t’ai, Miao-lo, Dengyō, and their like. Now when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they “practice it in accordance with the Law.”

Point Seven, on the words “There will be many ignorant people / who will curse and speak ill of us.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This refers to those great oafs who do not understand even one word of the teachings. It is perfectly clear that they “curse and speak ill of us.”
The word “many” here refers to such oafs in the country of Japan.

Point Eight, on the passage “In that evil age there will be monks / with perverse wisdom and hearts that are fawning and crooked / who will suppose they have attained what they have not attained, / being proud and boastful in heart.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The “evil age” referred to in this passage on monks of an evil age is the Latter Day of the Law. The monks are persons like Kōbō and others who slander the Law. They cast aside the correct wisdom embodied in the Lotus Sutra and instead base themselves on the “perverse wisdom” of the provisional teachings.
Now Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, represent correct wisdom in its highest form.

Point Nine, on the passage “Or there will be forest-dwelling monks / wearing clothing of patched rags and living in retirement, / who will claim they are practicing the true p.113way, / despising and looking down on all humankind. / Greedy for profit and support, / they will preach the Law to white-robed laymen / and will be respected and revered by the world / as though they were arhats who possess the six transcendental powers. / These men with evil in their hearts, / constantly thinking of worldly affairs, / will borrow the name of forest-dwelling monks / and take delight in proclaiming our faults, / saying things like this: / ‘These monks are greedy / for profit and support / and therefore they preach non-Buddhist doctrines / and fabricate their own scriptures / to delude the people of the world.’”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This refers to the third of the three powerful enemies who persecute the votaries of the Lotus Sutra, men like Ryōkan. Such persons are regarded “as though they were arhats who possess the six transcendental powers.”

Point Ten, on the words “[These monks] fabricate their own scriptures / to delude the people of the world.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This passage of the sutra shows how such arrogant monks slander the votaries of the Lotus Sutra, accusing them of fabricating the sutra and reading it to others.

Point Eleven, on the passage “Though they treat us with contempt, saying, / ‘You are all no doubt Buddhas!’ / all such words of arrogance and contempt / we will endure and accept.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This passage of the sutra illustrates how such monks will treat the votaries of the Lotus Sutra with contempt, calling them “living Buddhas.” Through their contemptuous attitude they commit slander. Now Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are spoken of in this manner.

p.114Point Twelve, on the passage “Evil demons will take possession of others / and through them curse, revile and heap shame on us.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The “evil demons” are persons such as Hōnen and Kōbō. “Take possession of others” means that they will exercise their influence over the ruler, the high ministers, and the people of the country. It is referring to the hatred that such persons bear toward Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo now.
A demon is one who snatches away the life of others or who snatches away blessings. The Lotus Sutra is the life source of the Buddhas of the three existences of past, present, and future. This sutra is a sacred writing that contains within it the blessings of all the bodhisattvas.

Point Thirteen, on the passage “We care nothing for our bodies or lives / but are anxious only for the unsurpassed way.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The “unsurpassed way” is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Now Nichiren and his followers are even more anxious with regard to Nam-myoho-renge-kyo than they are with regard to their own lives. That is why at the conclusion of this chapter we find the words “The Buddha must know what is in our hearts.” That is, Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, must know and understand what is in the hearts of the votaries of the Lotus Sutra.
The “Buddha” referred to in the conclusion of the chapter is Shakyamuni, and “our hearts” refers to the hearts of Nichiren and his followers, who now chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
=====

HAPTER 13

Encouraging Devotion

At that time the bodhisattva mahasattva Medicine King, along with the bodhisattva mahasattva Great Joy of Preaching and twenty thousand bodhisattva followers who were accompanying them, all in the presence of the Buddha took this vow, saying: “We beg the world-honored one to have no further worry. After the Buddha has entered extinction we will honor, embrace, read, recite, and preach this sutra. Living beings in the evil age to come will have fewer and fewer good roots. Many will be overbearingly arrogant and greedy for offerings and other forms of gain, increasing the roots that are not good and moving farther away than ever from emancipation. But although it will be difficult to teach and convert them, we will summon up the power of great patience and will read and recite this sutra, embrace, preach, and copy it, offering it many kinds of alms and never begrudging our bodies or lives.”
At that time the five hundred arhats in the assembly who had received a prophecy of enlightenment said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, we too will make a vow. In lands other than this one we will broadly preach this sutra.”
Also there were eight thousand persons, some still learning, others with nothing more to learn, who had received a prophecy of enlightenment. They rose from their seats, pressed their palms together and, turning toward the Buddha, made this vow: “World-Honored One, we too in other lands will broadly preach p.230this sutra. Why? Because in this saha world the people are given to corruption and evil, beset by overbearing arrogance, shallow in blessings, irascible, muddled, fawning, and devious, and their hearts are not sincere.”
At that time the Buddha’s maternal aunt, the nun Mahaprajapati, and the six thousand nuns who accompanied her, some still learning, others with nothing more to learn, rose from their seats, pressed their palms together with a single mind, and gazed up at the face of the honored one, their eyes never leaving him for an instant.
At that time the world-honored one said to Gautami,1 “Why do you look at the thus come one in that perplexed manner? In your heart are you perhaps worrying that I have failed to mention your name among those who have received a prophecy of the attainment of supreme perfect enlightenment? But Gautami, I earlier made a general statement saying that all the voice-hearers have received such a prophecy. Now if you would like to know the prophecy for you, I will say that in ages to come, amid the Law of sixty-eight thousands of millions of buddhas, you will be a great teacher of the Law, and the six thousand nuns, some still learning, some already sufficiently learned, will accompany you as teachers of the Law. In this manner you will bit by bit fulfill the way of the bodhisattva until you are able to become a buddha with the name Gladly Seen by All Living Beings Thus Come One, worthy of offerings, of right and universal knowledge, perfect clarity and conduct, well gone, understanding the world, unexcelled worthy, trainer of people, teacher of heavenly and human beings, buddha, world-honored one. Gautami, this Gladly Seen by All Living Beings Buddha will confer a prophecy upon the six thousand bodhisattvas, to be passed from one to another, that they will attain supreme perfect enlightenment.”
At that time the mother of Rahula, the nun Yashodhara, thought to herself, The world-honored one in his bestowal of prophecies has failed to mention my name alone!
The Buddha said to Yashodhara, “In future ages, amid the p.231Law of hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of buddhas, you will practice the deeds of a bodhisattva, will be a great teacher of the Law, and will gradually fulfill the buddha way. Then in a good land you will become a buddha named Endowed with a Thousand Ten Thousand Glowing Marks Thus Come One, worthy of offerings, of right and universal knowledge, perfect clarity and conduct, well gone, understanding the world, unexcelled worthy, trainer of people, teacher of heavenly and human beings, buddha, world-honored one. The life span of this buddha will be immeasurable asamkhya kalpas.”
At that time the nun Mahaprajapati, the nun Yashodhara, and their followers were all filled with great joy, having gained what they had never had before. Immediately in the presence of the Buddha they spoke in verse form, saying:

The world-honored one, leader and teacher,
brings tranquillity to heavenly and human beings.
We have heard these prophecies
and our minds are peaceful and satisfied.

The nuns, having recited these verses, said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, we too will be able to go to lands in other directions and broadly propagate this sutra.”
At that time the world-honored one looked at the eight hundred thousand million nayutas of bodhisattvas mahasattva. These bodhisattvas had all reached the level of non-regression, turned the unregressing wheel of the Law, and had gained dharanis. They rose from their seats, advanced before the Buddha and, pressing their palms together with a single mind, thought to themselves, If the world-honored one should order us to embrace and preach this sutra, we would do as the Buddha instructed and broadly propagate this Law. And then they thought to themselves, But the Buddha now is silent and gives us no such order. What shall we do?
At that time the bodhisattvas, respectfully complying with the Buddha’s will and at the same time wishing to fulfill their own original vows, proceeded in the presence of the Buddha to roar p.232the lion’s roar and to make a vow, saying: “World-Honored One, after the thus come one has entered extinction we will travel here and there, back and forth through the worlds in the ten directions so as to enable living beings to copy this sutra, to receive, embrace, read, and recite it, understand and preach its principles, practice it in accordance with the Law, and properly keep it in their thoughts. All this will be done through the Buddha’s power and authority. We beg that the world-honored one, though in another region, will look on from afar and guard and protect us.”
At that time the bodhisattvas joined their voices together and spoke in verse form, saying:

We beg you not to worry.
After the Buddha has passed into extinction,
in an age of fear and evil
we will preach far and wide.
There will be many ignorant people
who will curse and speak ill of us
and will attack us with swords and staves,
but we will endure all these things.
In that evil age there will be monks
with perverse wisdom and hearts that are fawning and crooked
who will suppose they have attained what they have not attained,
being proud and boastful in heart.
Or there will be forest-dwelling monks
wearing clothing of patched rags and living in retirement,
who will claim they are practicing the true way,
despising and looking down on all humankind.
Greedy for profit and support,
they will preach the Law to white-robed laymen
and will be respected and revered by the world
as though they were arhats who possess the six transcendental powers.
These men with evil in their hearts,
p.233constantly thinking of worldly affairs,
will borrow the name of forest-dwelling monks
and take delight in proclaiming our faults,
saying things like this:
“These monks are greedy
for profit and support
and therefore they preach non-Buddhist doctrines
and fabricate their own scriptures
to delude the people of the world.
Because they hope to gain fame and renown thereby
they make distinctions when preaching this sutra.”
Because in the midst of great assemblies
they constantly try to defame us,
they will address the rulers, high ministers,
Brahmans, and householders,
as well as the other monks,
slandering and speaking evil of us,
saying, “These are men of perverted views
who preach non-Buddhist doctrines!”
But because we revere the Buddha
we will bear all these evils.
Though they treat us with contempt, saying,
“You are all no doubt buddhas!”
all such words of arrogance and contempt
we will endure and accept.
In a muddied kalpa, in an evil age,
there will be many things to fear.
Evil demons will take possession of others
and through them curse, revile, and heap shame on us.
But we, reverently trusting in the Buddha,
will put on the armor of perseverance.
In order to preach this sutra
we will bear these difficult things.
We care nothing for our bodies or lives
but are anxious only for the unsurpassed way.
In ages to come we will protect and uphold
what the Buddha has entrusted to us.
p.234This the world-honored one must know.
The evil monks of that muddied age,
failing to understand the Buddha’s expedient means,
how he preaches the Law in accordance with what is appropriate,
will confront us with foul language and angry frowns;
again and again we will be banished
to a place far removed from towers and temples.
All these various evils,
because we keep in mind the Buddha’s orders,
we will endure.
If in the settlements and towns
there are those who seek the Law,
we will go to wherever they are
and preach the Law entrusted to us by the Buddha.
We will be envoys of the world-honored one,
facing the assemblies without fear.
We will preach the Law with skill,
for we desire the Buddha to rest in tranquillity.
In the presence of the world-honored one
and of the buddhas who have gathered from the ten directions
we proclaim this vow.
The Buddha must know what is in our hearts.
Back to Top
Notes

1.Gautami is another name for the Buddha’s maternal aunt, Mahaprajapati.
====

FOUNDATION FOR THE LAW OF TIME
SYNCHRONOTRON
Basic Daily Synchronotron Calculations
Gregorian Date 1/22/2015
NS.1.27.7.13 Kin 189
Red Resonant Moon

Solar Moon Year Power of : Universal Water

Resonant Monkey Moon Power of : Channel

Heptad 26
White Heptad: Humility Refines Meditation
Resonant Monkey Moon Path of Inner Radiance
Inner Matrix
Heptad Path 26, Meditation Reflects Self-Generation

KIN 189
MULUC
Red Resonant Moon Power of : Universal Water
Kin 189 – Precept 33 – Only when the personal will is surrendered to Divine Will, will we have the opportunity to create a victorious ending to the movie being projected into the third dimension.
365 COSMIC HISTORY QUOTES

Moon 7, 13 – We are in a process of cosmic memory retrieval.

Psi Chrono 129 MULUC Red Crystal Moon
Power of : Universal Water

OPEN GALACTIC ACTIVATION GATE

WAVESPELL 15
Blue Magnetic Night
Power of : Abundance
O R A C L E
Guide
Antipode

Destiny

Analog

Ocult
MEET THE GALACTIC ARCHETYPES

The adjustment of the lower will to the Divine Will is a manifest act of evolutionary consciousness. To project a new archetype at first requires a combination of will, contemplation and visualization. Intensity of purpose is responsible for lifting you from the world of mediocrity into the pulsing world of higher consciousness.
Learning to project a new archetype or to construct a cosmic personality is a living process, growing out of conscious daily exertion and experience. It is dependent on the expression of the divine aspects in the life upon the physical plane.

Heptad 26 / Precept 26 – You must begin to examine the process of everything. Everything that exists is based on some type of divine blueprint.

READING OF THE SYNCHRONOTRON
Heptad 26
Heptad Path Frequency: 810
BMU: 369
Kin Equivalent: 30
6TH HEPTAD GATE

Limi – back top of skull
Arcanum of the Transcendence – Mirror
Matrix Portal of Meditation – Hyper-neutron – Neptune SP
BMU: 402
Vertical Coordinate: V11
Horizontal Coordinate: H8
Moon-Day: 7.13

TIME MATRIX

BMU: 94
Vertical Coordinate: V20
Horizontal Coordinate: H7
Time Matrix: 71
Space Matrix: 93
Synchronic Matrix: 78
Time Matrix Telepathic Frequency Index (TFI): 71 + 93 + 78 = 242

SPACE MATRIX

BMU: 412
Vertical Coordinate: V9
Horizontal Coordinate: H14
Space Matrix: 189
Synchronic Matrix: 93
Time Matrix: 314
Space Matrix TFI: 189 + 93 + 314 = 596

SYNCHRONIC MATRIX

BMU: 398
Vertical Coordinate: V14
Horizontal Coordinate: H9
Synchronic Matrix: 189
Time Matrix: 303
Space Matrix: 111
Synchronic Matrix TFI: 189 + 303 + 111 = 603

MASTER COORDINATING TFI

Time Matrix TFI: 242
Space Matrix TFI: 596
Synchronic Matrix TFI: 603
Master Coordinating (MC) TFI: 242 + 596 + 603 = 1441
MASTER COORDINATING BMU: 118

MASTER COORDINATING TFI KIN EQUIVALENT (KE): 141 Red Spectral Dragon

CUMULATIVE HARMONIC FREQUENCY TFI : 7470

CUMULATIVE HARMONIC FREQUENCY BMU : 414

KIN EQUIVALENT : 190 – White Galactic Dog
Resonant Monkey Moon Path of Inner Radiance
Inner Matrix
Heptad Path 26, Meditation Reflects Self-Generation

Solar Moon Year
Heptad Gate BMU

108 291 144 315 414 402 441
Mantra

OM
Crown HRAM
Root HRAHA
3rd Eye HRIM
Secret Center HRAUM
Throat HRUM
Solar Plexus HRAIM
Heart
Plasma

Dali
142857
Seli
285714
Gama
428571
Kali
571428
Alfa
714285
Limi
857142
Silio
999999
Mudra
KIN
Kin 184

Kin 185

Kin 186

Kin 187

Kin 188

Kin 189

Kin 190
Time Matrix
BMU

369 330 283 228 165 94 15
Space Matrix
BMU

257 256 306 350 384 412 386
Synchronic
Matrix BMU

235 288 333 370 399 398 397
Master
Coordinating
Tfi

1064 1248 1306 1115 1296 1441 1769
Master
Coordinating
Frequency
BMU

182 366 424 233 414 118 5
Mcf Kin
Equivalent
(KE)

Kin 24

Kin 208

Kin 6

Kin 75

Kin 256

Kin 141

Kin 209
Cumulative
Harmonic
Frequency
Tfi

1064 2312 3618 4733 6029 7470 9239
Cumulative
Harmonic
Frequency
BMU

182 107 90 323 296 414 419
Cumulative
Harmonic
Frequency
Kin
Equivalent

Kin 24

Kin 232

Kin 238

Kin 53

Kin 49

Kin 190

Kin 139

The Synchronotron is the work of Jose Arguelles/Valum Votan and Stephanie South/Red Queen
To learn more see lawoftime.org/synchronotron and Book of the Cube, Cosmic History Chronicles Vol. VII

Share in:

=====Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
26
Day Six: LIMI
Level 1: Meditating the Manipura (Solar Plexus) Chakra
Sit in a comfortable meditative posture. Keep your spine erect and body relaxed. With the body
completely still, practice a few moments of natural mind meditation. Once the mind is sufficiently
clear, direct your attention to your solar plexus or Manipura chakra. Make it as clear and pristine
as possible, glistening and sparkling with vibrant energy. When it is pure and translucent, radiating
from your solar plexus, allow it to dissolve and transform itself into a yellow ten-petalled lotus.
Concentrate on this area inside your solar plexus. The solar plexus is considered the second brain
and the central storehouse of prana. The energy stored in this chakra can be used to connect us
both individually and as a planet, through the Sun, to the galactic core, Hunab Ku. In the Tibetan
tradition this chakra is known as mani padma, or “jeweled lotus.” This is the point where all 72,000
nerve endings (on each side of the body) meet, for a total of 144,000 nerve endings.
This chakra is governed by the feminine principle or Shakti Goddess Lakini (Authority). This chakra
center is also associated with willpower, and power in general; it is the place of empowerment and
disempowerment, judgment and identity. The solar plexus is the processing chamber of the instinctual/
intuitive energy and emotional intelligence. This energy is transferred to the heart chakra where the
transduction of emotional energy is experienced as the “intelligence of the heart.”
Meditation on the Manipura chakra leads to knowledge of the entire physical and subtle body
system. When this center is purified and awakened, then it is possible to reconnect (via the etheric
“highway” of the kuxan suum or cosmic umbilical cord) to the center of the galaxy, Hunab Ku. When
this reconnection takes place the body becomes disease-free and luminous, and consciousness does
not fall back into a lower state.
This chakra is often compared to the heat and the power of the Sun, radiating and distributing
pranic energy throughout the entire human system. To awaken this chakra, breathe slowly into the
solar plexus and feel the expansion and contraction of the navel as you breathe in and out through
the naval. Breathe in, hold and suck the stomach in, then push it out when you exhale. Do this
several times focusing on the purification of the abdominal area.
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
27
From this center feel the kuxan suum as the etheric fiber that flows directly to the center of the
galaxy, making the solar plexus chakra a vital information receptacle. The kuxan suum connects the
planetary circuit with the solar and galactic circuits.
Through an effort of imaginal will, we can direct our astral body through the reflective membrane of
the planetary field into the Sun and then ultimately to the galactic core. This is the area allowing us
to transmute and override primitive lower emotions by opening to receive the influx of higher cosmic
energy. It is important to visualize the kuxan suum as a luminous etheric thread extending from the
solar plexus to the center of the galaxy. This establishes us in the galactic order of reality.
Manipura affirmation: May our perceptions be organized into a cosmic whole that we may all become one
with the radialized order of the Primal Source!
Level 2: Activating Radial Plasma: Limi
Breathe deeply through both your nostrils and allow your awareness to flow up your nose and down
into your solar plexus chakra. Bring your awareness to the inner Limi plasma at the center of the
chakra. Visualize the red symbol radiating luminous streams of white light.
Feel the Limi plasma vibrating, electrically gathered in the solar plexus, accounting for the mental
electron electrical charge, which is in telepathic resonance with the North Pole.
Repeat the following while focusing on your solar plexus chakra: “I consume dualistic thoughts as
food, I purify the mental-electron at the North Pole.” Feel all conditioned thoughts dissolve in the
light of intrinsic awareness.
Cover your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe deeply three times in and out through your
right nostril. Flash onto the Limi plasma and feel the galactic connection out of the solar plexus. Now
cover the right nostril with the right thumb and repeat the three breaths. Focus all of your attention
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
28
to your solar plexus chakra, Limi plasma, and feel into the galactic reality being pulsed, breathed and
radiated from your solar plexus chakra into the world.
Feel the Limi plasma gathered in the solar plexus accounting for the mental electron charge in
telepathic resonance with the North Pole. The Limi charge is the second of three plasmas to form
the telepathic quantum. This is the second telepathic plasma where you take the sensory quantum
transmutations and breathe them out into the world through your solar plexus, emanating stabilizing
vibrations to the astral and emotional bodies, soothing the rest of the chakras.
At the center of Limi feel the integrated charges of the sensory quanta: Dali, Seli,
and Gamma, transmuted by Kali and the Alpha telepathic charge which initiates the
telepathic quanta. Then by extending your mind telepathically to the north of the
Planet, place the mental electron at the North Pole and purify it.
Level 3: Engaging the Sixth Mental Sphere (Subliminal Conscious)
Hyperneutronic subliminal consciousness activates sixth mental sphere.
Visualize the sixth mental sphere (subliminal conscious) located in the brain above the right ear in
the right cerebral hemisphere. This sphere governs and controls the left lateral hemisphere. (Note
how 5th and 6th mental spheres govern parts of the brain opposite their locus, exhibiting together a
type of crossover polarity).
Subliminal means you are operating independent of past and future; this is how people can
contact different entities on different planes of existence. Since subliminal consciousness
is independent of past and future, you can tune into it at the conscious level, suspending all
conditioned thought-programs. This mental sphere functions with the third-dimensional “self,”
storing impressions which are then transmuted into subliminal patterns of communication.
The sixth mental sphere allows us access to the parapsychic, supramental realm. This is the seat of
the telepathic scanning system and interdimensional programs. To experience this, relax and focus
your breath awareness on the psychic passages between the root, solar plexus and throat centers. Feel
the upward circulation of energy and visualize yourself as a cosmic antenna for higher intelligence.
Open yourself to become a telepathic receptor of higher mind capable of transmitting and receiving
subliminal messages.
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
29
This intention, maintained through undistracted, non-conceptual meditative awareness, activates
higher mind telepathic receptivity. This can also be realized and cultivated through dreamtime.
Note that this mental sphere contains subliminal suggestive impulses that affect third-dimensional
functions as “intuitive flashes” (but which may actually be telepathic transmissions from remote points
of supermental cosmic civilization trying to establish “contact”). These contacts leave impressions
in the sixth mental sphere, which may be transmitted or transduced in any number of ways, which
include ear-ringing, subliminal or hypnogogic imagery, déjà vu’s, etc.
Level 4: Opening the Sixth Heptad Gate (402)
Visualize the yellow ten-petaled lotus Manipura chakra with the red Limi
plasma superimposed over it at your solar plexus. Hold this visualization and
feel the two intermingle as you chant the sacred letter HRUM as long as
your breath can sustain it.
Locate Heptad Gate 402 and the Hyperneutron symbol on the 441 holomind perceiver. Its matrix
location is V11:H8, eighth circuit, 9th time dimension, inner core time. Now locate it in your body at
the back, top center of your skull (see graphic at the end of this chapter).
Visualize the Hyperneutron with the rectilinear blue Duar force field above the red Limi in
your solar plexus chakra. Take the Hyperneutron into the sixth mental sphere in the sixth time
dimension (blue Duar electroluminic force field H11:V15-21, left-handed time) where it activates the
subliminal conscious as hyperneutronic subliminal conscious informing mental spheres three
and four.
From the sixth mental sphere, mentally direct the Hyperneutron to the solar plexus chakra and
impress it above the Limi seal. Hold this with four alternate nostril breaths (four times in and out
through each nostril), followed by one breath through both nostrils.
Ascend up the central column (spine), secreting the Hyperneutron (blue duar force field) into all
144,000 etheric fibers of the astral body. Practice the breath of fire, rapid shallow breathing through
the nose, transmuting any blockages or obscurations into streams of crystal clear hyperneutronic
subliminal consciousness spreading through your entire nervous system.
The black Hyperneutron with spectral, electric blue Duar force field vibrates subtle
activating neutronic force into all etheric fibers. Descend back down the central channel and
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
30
leave Limi at the solar plexus chakra. Return your consciousness to the sixth mental sphere,
then close and seal the Heptad Gate at the back top-side of your skull. Relax and breathe slowly
and deeply at least 13 times.
Harmonic UR rune 81: Radiogenesis Establishes Galactic Life Whole.
For additional practice: Locate Heptad Gate 402 on the Hunab Ku 21. Note that it corresponds to
the Yogi/Yogini, the Meditation Master, Holder of the Transcendental Wisdom; S/P Neptune, Bode
Number 300. Study all of the connections (see graphic at the end of this chapter).

===
The world is an intricately interwoven web of infinite relations. When we apply this worldview to matter and to all living things, including people, we can see the world as one great life entity. This is the true nature of our own life. Every single thing in existence is worthy of supreme reverence. Nature is not something for human beings to exploit as they see fit, solely for their own interests. Both nature and humanity are part—and at the same time complete expressions—of the life of the universe. To destroy the natural world is to destroy human life. The external desertification of the planet corresponds precisely with the spiritual desertification of human life. Buddhahood exists in all things in the universe, both sentient and insentient. This includes the land or the environment, which consists of insentient beings like trees and rocks. Therefore, anything which leads to the destruction of the environment is seen as a grave offense in the light of Buddhism. -DAISAKU IKEDA QUOTES.

++++++++++++++++++++http://www.ikedaquotes.org/environment/

“13. God desires the least degree of obedience and submissiveness more than all those services you think of rendering him.” Sayings of Light and Love by St. John of the Cross /// 13 IF FALSE SLANDER COME TO THY EARS, BEAR IT IN PATIENCE, YET THAT WHICH I AM NOW DECLARING, FULFIL IT FAITHFULLY. Golden Verses of Pythagoras /// Thursday =Angel of Wisdom = Superior Thoughts = Thinking Body /// Thursday=Mind (Thinking Body) /// Thursday =Angel of Water = Blood, Rivers, Etc.= Circulation /// THURSDAY EVENING, ANGEL OF WISDOM, DESCEND UPON MY THINKING BODY AND ENLIGHTEN ALL MY THOUGHTS, SUPERIOR THOUGHTS /// THURSDAY MORNING, ANGEL OF WATER, ENTER MY BLOOD AND GIVE THE WATERS OF LIFE TO MY WHOLE BODY, RIVERS, CREEKS, ETC., CIRCULATION /// Morning, Noon, and Evening Essene Communions to Follow Day Contemplative Force Seek Peace With: /// 13. Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man: Shōgu mondō shō (聖愚問答抄), 474. /// 185. Explaining the Causation of the Ten Worlds: Jippōkai myōinga shō (十法界明因果抄), 427 /// CHAPTER THIRTEEN: ENCOURAGING DEVOTION THIRTEEN IMPORTANT POINTS /// 9 (…) I AM THE HEALER (…) TO KNOW ME AND MY ENDLESS POWERS OF HEALING IS TO CAST ASIDE ALL DOUBT AND ENTER THE STREAM OF THE FAITHFUL ONES, BMU 306, CODED BY RED MOON. /// HARMONIC UR RUNE 81: RADIOGENESIS ESTABLISHES GALACTIC LIFE WHOLE /// YELLOW TEN PETALLED LOTUS MANI-PURA /// RED LIMI PLASMA /// HEPTAD GATE 402 /// HYPERNEUTRON SYMBOL // BREATH OF FIRE /// LEVEL 3: HYPERNEUTRONIC SUBLIMINAL CONSCIOUSNESS ACTIVATES SIXTH MENTAL SPHERE (LOCATED IN THE BRAIN ABOVE THE RIGHT EAR IN THE RIGHT CEREBRAL HEMISPHERE. /// SUBLIMINAL MEANS YOU ARE OPERATING INDEPENDENT OF PAST AND FUTURE (THE PAST IS HISTORY, THE FUTURE IS A MYSTERY, TODAY IS A GIFT, AND THAT IS WHY THAT CALL IT THE PRESENT.” -IAN /// ;EVE; TWO “I CONSUME DUALISTIC THOUGHTS AS FOOD, I PURIFY THE MENTAL-ELECTRON AT THE NORTH POLE.” MY INDEXS AND THUMBS TOUCH EACH OTHER AND TWIST IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS WITH THE OTHER FINGERS FLARING OUT // MAY OUR PERCEPTIONS BE ORGANIZED INTO A COSMIC WHOLE THAT WE MAY ALL BECOME ONE WITH THE RADIALIZED ORDER OF THE PRIMAL SOURCE!

======
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
26
Day Six: LIMI
Level 1: Meditating the Manipura (Solar Plexus) Chakra
Sit in a comfortable meditative posture. Keep your spine erect and body relaxed. With the body
completely still, practice a few moments of natural mind meditation. Once the mind is sufficiently
clear, direct your attention to your solar plexus or Manipura chakra. Make it as clear and pristine
as possible, glistening and sparkling with vibrant energy. When it is pure and translucent, radiating
from your solar plexus, allow it to dissolve and transform itself into a yellow ten-petalled lotus.
Concentrate on this area inside your solar plexus. The solar plexus is considered the second brain
and the central storehouse of prana. The energy stored in this chakra can be used to connect us
both individually and as a planet, through the Sun, to the galactic core, Hunab Ku. In the Tibetan
tradition this chakra is known as mani padma, or “jeweled lotus.” This is the point where all 72,000
nerve endings (on each side of the body) meet, for a total of 144,000 nerve endings.
This chakra is governed by the feminine principle or Shakti Goddess Lakini (Authority). This chakra
center is also associated with willpower, and power in general; it is the place of empowerment and
disempowerment, judgment and identity. The solar plexus is the processing chamber of the instinctual/
intuitive energy and emotional intelligence. This energy is transferred to the heart chakra where the
transduction of emotional energy is experienced as the “intelligence of the heart.”
Meditation on the Manipura chakra leads to knowledge of the entire physical and subtle body
system. When this center is purified and awakened, then it is possible to reconnect (via the etheric
“highway” of the kuxan suum or cosmic umbilical cord) to the center of the galaxy, Hunab Ku. When
this reconnection takes place the body becomes disease-free and luminous, and consciousness does
not fall back into a lower state.
This chakra is often compared to the heat and the power of the Sun, radiating and distributing
pranic energy throughout the entire human system. To awaken this chakra, breathe slowly into the
solar plexus and feel the expansion and contraction of the navel as you breathe in and out through
the naval. Breathe in, hold and suck the stomach in, then push it out when you exhale. Do this
several times focusing on the purification of the abdominal area.
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
27
From this center feel the kuxan suum as the etheric fiber that flows directly to the center of the
galaxy, making the solar plexus chakra a vital information receptacle. The kuxan suum connects the
planetary circuit with the solar and galactic circuits.
Through an effort of imaginal will, we can direct our astral body through the reflective membrane of
the planetary field into the Sun and then ultimately to the galactic core. This is the area allowing us
to transmute and override primitive lower emotions by opening to receive the influx of higher cosmic
energy. It is important to visualize the kuxan suum as a luminous etheric thread extending from the
solar plexus to the center of the galaxy. This establishes us in the galactic order of reality.
Manipura affirmation: May our perceptions be organized into a cosmic whole that we may all become one
with the radialized order of the Primal Source!
Level 2: Activating Radial Plasma: Limi
Breathe deeply through both your nostrils and allow your awareness to flow up your nose and down
into your solar plexus chakra. Bring your awareness to the inner Limi plasma at the center of the
chakra. Visualize the red symbol radiating luminous streams of white light.
Feel the Limi plasma vibrating, electrically gathered in the solar plexus, accounting for the mental
electron electrical charge, which is in telepathic resonance with the North Pole.
Repeat the following while focusing on your solar plexus chakra: “I consume dualistic thoughts as
food, I purify the mental-electron at the North Pole.” Feel all conditioned thoughts dissolve in the
light of intrinsic awareness.
Cover your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe deeply three times in and out through your
right nostril. Flash onto the Limi plasma and feel the galactic connection out of the solar plexus. Now
cover the right nostril with the right thumb and repeat the three breaths. Focus all of your attention
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
28
to your solar plexus chakra, Limi plasma, and feel into the galactic reality being pulsed, breathed and
radiated from your solar plexus chakra into the world.
Feel the Limi plasma gathered in the solar plexus accounting for the mental electron charge in
telepathic resonance with the North Pole. The Limi charge is the second of three plasmas to form
the telepathic quantum. This is the second telepathic plasma where you take the sensory quantum
transmutations and breathe them out into the world through your solar plexus, emanating stabilizing
vibrations to the astral and emotional bodies, soothing the rest of the chakras.
At the center of Limi feel the integrated charges of the sensory quanta: Dali, Seli,
and Gamma, transmuted by Kali and the Alpha telepathic charge which initiates the
telepathic quanta. Then by extending your mind telepathically to the north of the
Planet, place the mental electron at the North Pole and purify it.
Level 3: Engaging the Sixth Mental Sphere (Subliminal Conscious)
Hyperneutronic subliminal consciousness activates sixth mental sphere.
Visualize the sixth mental sphere (subliminal conscious) located in the brain above the right ear in
the right cerebral hemisphere. This sphere governs and controls the left lateral hemisphere. (Note
how 5th and 6th mental spheres govern parts of the brain opposite their locus, exhibiting together a
type of crossover polarity).
Subliminal means you are operating independent of past and future; this is how people can
contact different entities on different planes of existence. Since subliminal consciousness
is independent of past and future, you can tune into it at the conscious level, suspending all
conditioned thought-programs. This mental sphere functions with the third-dimensional “self,”
storing impressions which are then transmuted into subliminal patterns of communication.
The sixth mental sphere allows us access to the parapsychic, supramental realm. This is the seat of
the telepathic scanning system and interdimensional programs. To experience this, relax and focus
your breath awareness on the psychic passages between the root, solar plexus and throat centers. Feel
the upward circulation of energy and visualize yourself as a cosmic antenna for higher intelligence.
Open yourself to become a telepathic receptor of higher mind capable of transmitting and receiving
subliminal messages.
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
29
This intention, maintained through undistracted, non-conceptual meditative awareness, activates
higher mind telepathic receptivity. This can also be realized and cultivated through dreamtime.
Note that this mental sphere contains subliminal suggestive impulses that affect third-dimensional
functions as “intuitive flashes” (but which may actually be telepathic transmissions from remote points
of supermental cosmic civilization trying to establish “contact”). These contacts leave impressions
in the sixth mental sphere, which may be transmitted or transduced in any number of ways, which
include ear-ringing, subliminal or hypnogogic imagery, déjà vu’s, etc.
Level 4: Opening the Sixth Heptad Gate (402)
Visualize the yellow ten-petaled lotus Manipura chakra with the red Limi
plasma superimposed over it at your solar plexus. Hold this visualization and
feel the two intermingle as you chant the sacred letter HRUM as long as
your breath can sustain it.
Locate Heptad Gate 402 and the Hyperneutron symbol on the 441 holomind perceiver. Its matrix
location is V11:H8, eighth circuit, 9th time dimension, inner core time. Now locate it in your body at
the back, top center of your skull (see graphic at the end of this chapter).
Visualize the Hyperneutron with the rectilinear blue Duar force field above the red Limi in
your solar plexus chakra. Take the Hyperneutron into the sixth mental sphere in the sixth time
dimension (blue Duar electroluminic force field H11:V15-21, left-handed time) where it activates the
subliminal conscious as hyperneutronic subliminal conscious informing mental spheres three
and four.
From the sixth mental sphere, mentally direct the Hyperneutron to the solar plexus chakra and
impress it above the Limi seal. Hold this with four alternate nostril breaths (four times in and out
through each nostril), followed by one breath through both nostrils.
Ascend up the central column (spine), secreting the Hyperneutron (blue duar force field) into all
144,000 etheric fibers of the astral body. Practice the breath of fire, rapid shallow breathing through
the nose, transmuting any blockages or obscurations into streams of crystal clear hyperneutronic
subliminal consciousness spreading through your entire nervous system.
The black Hyperneutron with spectral, electric blue Duar force field vibrates subtle
activating neutronic force into all etheric fibers. Descend back down the central channel and
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
30
leave Limi at the solar plexus chakra. Return your consciousness to the sixth mental sphere,
then close and seal the Heptad Gate at the back top-side of your skull. Relax and breathe slowly
and deeply at least 13 times.
Harmonic UR rune 81: Radiogenesis Establishes Galactic Life Whole.
For additional practice: Locate Heptad Gate 402 on the Hunab Ku 21. Note that it corresponds to
the Yogi/Yogini, the Meditation Master, Holder of the Transcendental Wisdom; S/P Neptune, Bode
Number 300. Study all of the connections (see graphic at the end of this chapter).
===
NS127713 /// LOTUS SUTRA ENCOURAGING DEVOTION // KIN 189 NS127713 THURSDAY JANUARY 22, 2015 RED RESONANT MOON TONY 7 RESONANT INSPIRE ATTUNEMENT CHANNEL TRIBE 9 MOON PURIFY FLOW UNIVERSAL WATER /// I CHANNEL IN ORDER TO PURIFY I INSPIRE FLOW I SEAL THE PROCESS OF UNIVERSAL WATER WITH THE RESONANT TONE OF ATTUNEMENT I AM GUIDED BY THE POWER OF BIRTH, I AM THE RED RESONANT MOON. ///
RESONANT 13
Thu Jan 22, 2015
RED
RESONANT
MOON
Guided by Birth
KIN
189
Waxing Crescent
4.1%

13-Moon Natural Time Calendar
RESONANT MOON 7
Channel – Inspire – Attunement

=====

Castle 4
Yellow Southern
Castle of Giving

===

Historical Events on Kin 189

Music on Red Resonant Moon (47)
Otis Redding 9/9/1941 Birth US singer and songwriter
Fats Domino 2/26/1928 Birth US musician

Otis Redding-Sitting on the dock of the bay:

==

YI JIN CHING

TENDON TRANSFORMING CLASSIC BY MASTER JESSE TSAO

MORNING YOGA FOR FLEXIBILITY BY TARA STILES

FATS DOMINO AIN’T THAT A SHAME

OTIS REDDING – SITTING ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY

====

Advertisements
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: