(The four clear and decisive instructions on purity:)
Ananda straightened his robes and then, in the midst of the assembly, placed his palms together and bowed. His mind was perfectly clear, and he felt a mixture of joy and sorrow. His intent was to benefit beings of the future as he made obeisance and said to the Buddha, "Greatly Compassionate Bhagavan. I have already awakened and attained this Dharma-door for becoming a Buddha, and I can cultivate it without the slightest doubt. I have often heard the Tathagata say, 'Save others first; then save yourself. That is the aspiration of a Bodhisattva. Once your own enlightenment is perfected, then you can enlighten others. That is the way the Tathagatas respond to the world.' Although I am not yet saved, I vow to save all beings of the Dharma-ending Age.
"Bhagavan, those beings are from the Buddha's time, and there will be as many deviant teachers propounding their teachings as there are sand grains in the Ganges. I want to enable those beings to collect their thoughts and enter Samadhi. How can I cause them to reside peacefully in a Way-place, far away from exploits of demons, and be irreversible in their resolve for Bodhi?"
At that time, the Bhagavan praised Ananda in front of the whole assembly, saying, "Good indeed! How good it is that you have asked how to establish a Way-place and to rescue and protect beings who are sunk in the morass of the final age. Listen well, now, and I will tell you."
Ananda and the great assembly agreed to uphold the teaching.
The Buddha told Ananda, "You constantly hear me explain in the Vinaya that there are three decisive aspects to cultivation. That is, collecting one's thoughts constitutes the precepts; from the precepts comes Samadhi; and from Samadhi arises wisdom. These are called the Three Non-Outflow Studies. "
"Ananda, why do I call collecting one's thoughts the precepts? If beings in the six paths of any mundane world had no sexual desire, they would not have to undergo a continual succession of births and deaths. Your basic purpose in cultivating Samadhi is to transcend the wearisome defilements. But if you do not renounce sexual desire, you will not be able to get out of the dust. Even though people may have some wisdom and the manifestation of Dhyana Samadhi, if they do not exterminate sexual desire, they are certain to enter demonic paths. At best, they will become demon kings; on the average, they will become members of the retinue of demons; at the lowest level, they will become female demons. These demons all have their groups of disciples. Each claims that he has accomplished the Unsurpassed Way. After my Nirvana, in the Dharma-ending Age, these hordes of demons will abound, spreading like wildfire as they openly practice greed and lust, while claiming to be Good Knowing Advisors. They will cause beings to fall into the pit of love and views and lose the way to Bodhi."
"When you teach people of the world to cultivate Samadhi, they must first of all cut off the mind of sexual desire. This is the first clear and decisive instruction on purity given by the Tathagatas, the Buddhas of the past, the Bhagavans. Therefore, Ananda, if cultivators of Dhyana Samadhi do not exterminate sexual desire, they are like someone who cooks sand hoping to get rice. After hundreds of thousands of eons, it will still just be hot sand. Why? It wasn't rice to begin with; it was only sand. If you seek the Buddha's wonderful fruition with a body of sexual desire, then even if you attain a wonderful awakening, it is still based on sexual desire. With sexual desire at the source, you will revolve in the three paths and not be able to get out. Which road will you take to cultivate and be certified to the Tathagata's Nirvana? You must exterminate the sexual desire which is intrinsic to both body and mind, then get rid of even the aspect of extermination. At that point you have some hope of attaining the Buddha's Bodhi. What I have said here is the Buddhas' teaching. Any explanation counter to it is the teaching of Papiyan(demon king)."
"Further, Ananda, if beings in the six paths of any mundane world had no thoughts of killing, they would not have to a undergo a continual succession of births and deaths. Your basic purpose in cultivating Samadhi is to transcend the wearisome defilements. But if you do not renounce your thoughts of killing, you will not be able to get out of the dust. Even though people may have some wisdom and the manifestation of Dhyana Samadhi, they are certain to enter the path of spirits if they do not cease killing. At best, they will become ghosts of great strength; on the average, they will become flying yakshas, ghost leaders, or the like; at the lowest level, they will become earth-bound rakshasas. These ghosts and spirits all have their followers. Each claims that he has accomplished the Unsurpassed Way. After my Nirvana, in the Dharma-ending Age, these hordes of ghosts and spirits will abound, spreading like wildfire as they argue that eating meat will bring one to the Bodhi Way. Ananda, I permit the Bhikshus to eat five kinds of pure meat. This meat is actually a transformation brought into being by my spiritual powers. It basically has no life-force. You Brahmans live in a climate so hot and humid, and on such sandy and rocky land, that vegetables will not grow; therefore, I have had to assist you with spiritual powers and compassion. Because of this magnanimous kindness and compassion, this so-called meat suits your taste. After my extinction, how can those who eat the flesh of beings be called the disciples of Shakya? You should know that, even if these meat-eaters may enter the heart-open state similar to Samadhi, they are all great Rakshas. When their retribution ends, they are bound to sink into the bitter sea of birth and death. They are not disciples of the Buddha. Such people as these kill and eat one another in a never-ending cycle. How can such people transcend the Triple Realm? "
"When you teach people of the world to cultivate Samadhi, they must also cease killing. This is the second clear and decisive instruction on purity given by the Tathagatas, the Buddhas of the Past, the Bhagavans. Therefore, Ananda, if cultivators of Dhyana Samadhi do not stop killing, they are like one who stops up his ears and calls out in a loud voice, thinking that no one hears him.. He tries to cover up the sound, but only makes it greater. Pure Bhikshus and Bodhisattvas who practice purity will not even step on grass in the pathway; even less would they pull it up with their hands. How could anyone with great compassion consume the flesh and blood of beings? Bhikshus who do not wear silk, leather boots, furs, or down, whether imported or found locally, and who do not consume milk, cream, or butter, can truly transcend this world. When they have paid back their past debts, they will not have to re-enter the Triple Realm. Why not? When someone wears anything taken from a living creature, he creates relationships with the creature, just as when people ate the hundred grains, their feet could not leave the earth. Both physically and mentally one must avoid the bodies and the by-products of beings, by neither wearing them nor eating them. I say that such people have true liberation. What I have said here is the Buddhas' teaching. Any explanation counter to it is the teaching of Papiyan(demon king)."
"Further, Ananda, if beings in the six paths of any mundane world had no thoughts of stealing, they would not have to undergo a continuous succession of births and deaths. Your basic purpose in cultivating Samadhi is to transcend the wearisome defilements. But if you do not renounce your thoughts of stealing, you will not be able to get out of the dust. Even though people may have some wisdom and the manifestation of Dhyana Samadhi, they are certain to enter a deviant path if they do not cease stealing. At best, they will become spirits; on the average, they will become evil ghosts; at the lowest level, they will become deviant people who are possessed by various sprites. These deviant hordes all have their followers. Each claims that he has accomplished the Unsurpassed Way. After my Nirvana, in the Dharma-ending Age, these evil and deviant entities will abound, spreading like wildfire as they surreptitiously cheat others. Calling themselves good knowing advisors, they will each claim that they have attained the Unsurpassed Dharma. Enticing and deceiving the ignorant, or frightening people out of their wits, they disrupt and lay waste to households wherever they go."
"I teach the Bhikshus to beg for their food according to where they are, in order to help them renounce greed and accomplish the Bodhi Way. The Bhikshus do not prepare their own food, so that, at the end of this life of transitory existence in the Triple Realm, they can show themselves to be Once-returners who go and do not return. How could thieves put on my robes and sell the Tathagata, saying that all manner of karma one creates is just the Buddha-Dharma? They slander Bhikshus who have left the home life and taken the complete precepts, saying that they belong to the path of Hinayana(Small Vehicle). In this way, they confuse innumerous beings, causing them to go astray, until they fall into the Unintermittent Hell."
"After my Nirvana, I affirm that Bhikshus who have a decisive resolve to cultivate Samadhi, and who before the images of Tathagatas can light an oil lamp in their bodies or burn off a finger, or burn even one incense stick on their bodies, will, in that moment repay their debts from beginningless time past. They can depart from the world and be forever free of outflows. Though they may not have instantly understood the Unsurpassed Enlightenment, they will already have firmly set their minds on the Dharma. If one does not practice any of these token renunciations of the body on the causal level, then even if one realizes the unconditioned, one will still have to come back as a person to repay one's past debts, exactly as I had to undergo the retribution of having to eat the grain meant for horses."
"When you teach people of the world to cultivate Samadhi, they must also cease stealing. This is the third clear and decisive instruction on purity given by the Tathagatas, the Buddhas of the past, the Bhagavans. Therefore, Ananda, if cultivators of Dhyana Samadhi do not cease stealing, they are like someone who pours water into a leaking cup hoping to fill it. He may continue for as many eons as there are atoms of universe, but, in the end, the cup still will not be full. If Bhikshus do not store away anything else than their robes and bowls; if they give what is left over from their food-offerings to hungry beings; if they put their palms together and make obeisance to the entire great assembly; if when people scold them they can treat it as praise; if they can sacrifice their very bodies and minds, giving their flesh, bones, and blood to living creatures; and if they do not repeat the non-ultimate teachings of the Tathagata as though they were their own explanations, misleading those who have just begun to study; then Buddhas certify that they will attain true Samadhi. What I have said here is the Buddhas' teaching. Any explanation counter to it is the teaching of Papiyan(demon king)."
"Ananda, although beings in the six paths of any mundane world may not kill, steal, or lust either physically or mentally, these three aspects of their conduct thus being perfect, if they tell various major lies, then the Samadhi they attain will not be pure. They will become demons of love and views and will lose the seed of the Tathagata. They claim that they have attained what they have not attained, and that they have been certified when they have not been certified. Perhaps they seek to be foremost in the world, most venerated and superior people. They announce to their audiences that they have attained the fruition of a Shrotaapanna, of a Sakridagamin, of an Anagamin, of Arhatship, of the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle, or the various levels of Bodhisattvahood up to and including the Ten Bhumi(stage)s, in order to cause others to revere and repent in front of them and because they are greedy for offerings. These icchantikas destroy the seeds of Buddhahood just as surely as a tala-tree is destroyed if it is chopped down. The Buddha predicts that such people cut off their good roots forever and lose their knowledge and vision. Immersed in the sea of the Three Sufferings, they cannot attain Samadhi."
"I command that after my Nirvana, Bodhisattvas and Arhats appear in response-bodies in the Dharma-ending Age, and take various forms in order to rescue those in the cycle of rebirth. They should either become Shramanas, white-robed laypeople, kings, ministers or officials, virgin youths or maidens, and so forth, even prostitutes, widows, profligates, thieves, butchers, or dealers in contraband, be confreres of these kinds of people, praise the Buddha Vehicle and cause them to enter Samadhi in body and mind. But they should never say of themselves, 'I am truly a Bodhisattva'; or 'I am truly an Arhat,' or let the Buddhas' secret cause leak out by speaking casually to those who have not yet studied, other than at the end of their lives and then only to those who inherit the teaching. Otherwise, aren't such people deluding and confusing beings and indulging in gross false claims?"
"When you teach people in the world to cultivate Samadhi, they must also cease all lying. This is the fourth clear and decisive instruction on purity given by the Tathagatas and the Buddhas of the past, the Bhagavans. Therefore, Ananda, one who does not cut off lying is like a person who carves a piece of human excrement to look like chandana, hoping to make it fragrant. He is attempting the impossible. I teach the Bhikshus that the straight mind is the Way-place and that in all aspects of their practice of the Four Majestic Deportments they should avoid falseness. How could they claim to have themselves attained the Dharmas of a superior person? That would be like a poor person falsely calling himself an emperor and thereby bringing about his own execution. Much less should one attempt to usurp the title of the Dharma King. When the cause-ground is not true, the effects will be distorted. One who seeks the Buddha's Bodhi in that way is like a person who tries to bite his own navel. Who could possibly succeed in that?"
"If the Bhikshus' minds are as straight as bow-strings, and they are true and real in everything they do, then they can enter Samadhi and never be involved in the deeds of demons. I certify that such people will accomplish the Bodhisattvas' Unsurpassed Knowledge and Enlightenment. What I have said here is the Buddhas' teaching. Any explanation counter to it is the teaching of Papiyan(demon king)."
The above-mentioned are so important if one wants to attain Nirvana or stop the cycle of incarnation.
Friday, January 17, 2014
(The four clear and decisive instructions on purity:)
Posted by coolingstar9 at 9:00 PM