Saturday, October 29, 2011

Embryonic birth

Embryonic birth [45] The Buddha said to Maitreya, "Let us suppose that a wheel-turning monarch has a special chamber which is adorned with seven jewels and provided with curtained couches and silken banners hanging from the ceiling. If princes have committed offense against the king, they are taken to that chamber and fettered with gold chains. There they are served with food and drink, provided with clothes, couches and cushions, flowers and incense, and can enjoy music. Being treated just like the wheel-turning monarch himself, they have no wants. Do you think that those princes would enjoy living there?"
"No they do not," replied Maitreya. "They would seek various means of approach to ask a man of power to help them escape."
The Buddha said to Maitreya, "Those beings born within the lotus-buds are like that. Because of their doubt in the Buddha's wisdom, they have been born in palaces. Although they receive no punishment or ill treatment even for a single moment, they must pass five hundred years there without being able to see the Three Treasures, make offerings to the Buddha, or cultivate a stock of virtue. This is distressing to them. Though there are other pleasures, they do not enjoy living there.
"If those beings become aware of the faults committed in their former lives and deeply repent, they can, as they wish, leave and go to where Amitayus dwells. Then they can worship and make offerings to him; they can also visit innumerable and countless other Buddhas to perform various meritorious practices. Maitreya, you should know that the bodhisattvas who allow doubt to arise lose great benefits. For this reason, you should have resolute faith in the supreme wisdom of the Buddha."

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