Nirvana Sutra

Appreciation of the "Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra"

The "Nirvana Sutra" Continued (Z10)

Chapter Forty-Two: On Bodhisattva Kasyapa (c)

"O good man! Regarding the imperfection of knowledge, there are five things to consider. The person comes to know and seeks to befriend a good friend, who will now come to see which out of greed, anger, ignorance, and sensing  is predominant. To a person with a lot of greed, meditation on impurity will be taught. To a person who is prone to anger, loving-kindness is taught. To a person who thinks too much, counting the breath will be taught. To a person who has too much clinging to self, the dissection of the 18 realms is given. By this means, the person, with the best of minds, upholds and practises the Way as shown. Acting as he has been told to act, he, by degrees, gains the meditation of the four remembrances, i.e. the meditation on the four items of body, feeling, mind, and dharma. This meditation completed, that on the 12 links of interdependent arising gradually follows. This done, he next substantiates the world of warming-up [“usmagata”: a mental warming-up that one experiences before one gains the Wisdom of “darsana-marga” - the path of seeing, of inner understanding]."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! All things have warmings-up. Why so? Just as you, the Buddha, say, three things combine and we get beings. These are:  1) life,  2) warming-up, and   3) consciousness. If this is said, this will entail that all beings must possess the warming-up already. Why does the Tathagata say: "The warming-up comes about by coming into contact with a teacher of the Way?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! That kind of warming-up about which you speak is with all beings, down to the icchantika. The warming-up which I now speak about necessarily comes about only by an expedient, which is what originally was not but is now. Hence, it is not that it is with one from the very beginning. So, you should not object and say that all beings have warming-up by birth. O good man! The warming-up spoken of is what belongs to the world of form, not the world of desire. Should you say that all beings must possess it, this would entail your saying that even the beings of the world of desire must also possess it. As it does not exist in the world of desire, we cannot say that all possess it.

"O good man! It can be in the world of form, but it is not the case that all possess it. Why not? My disciples have it, but not the tirthikas. Hence, it is not the case that all beings must possess it. O good man! All the tirthikas meditate on the six actions [i.e. the six meditations of two groups, made up of: 1) negative, i.e. one of abhorring, and 2) positive, i.e. that of seeking. One of the systems of practice of the Way], and all of my disciples are perfect in the 16 actions [i.e. the 16 categories observed in meditating on the Four Truths]. And all of these 16 are not possessed by all beings."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! Why do we say "warming-up"? Is it a warming-up by one's own self, or does it come about caused by others?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! Such a warming-up arises out of one's own nature. It does not so come about caused by others."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said: "O World-Honoured One! You said previously that Asvaka and Punarvasu did not possess the warming-up. Why not? When a person does not have faith in the Three Treasures, he does not have it. So we should know that faith is none other than a warming-up."

"O good man! Faith is not a warming-up. Why not? Because one gains the warming-up by faith. O good man! The warming-up is at once Wisdom. Why? Because it meditates on the Four Noble Truths. Hence, we call this the "16 actions". This action is Wisdom. O good man! You ask why we say "to warm-up". O good man! Now, warming-up is a phase of fire of the Noble Eightfold Path. That is why we say "to warm-up". O good man! For example, when we make fire, there is the cause of fire beforehand, then we get it, and then smoke arises. It is the same with this undefiled way. To warm-up is none other than the 16 actions. The fire is the fruition of the srotapanna, and the smoke is the practising of the Way and the segregation [i.e. dispelling] of defilement."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! Even such a thing as the warming-up is of the class of the "is". It is something created. This thing gains, in return, the five skandhas of the world of form. Hence "is", and also the "created". If it is a thing created, how could it represent the undefiled Way?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! It is thus, it is thus! It is as you say. O good man! Although this warming-up belongs to the category of "is", it truly breaks [destroys] the created and the "is". Hence, it represents the undefiled Way.

"O good man! A man rides a horse, and he both loves and whips it. It is thus. It is also the same with the mind that warms up. Due to craving, life is gained, and due to abandoning [i.e. renunciation], one meditates. For this reason, it is a thing of the "is". Though a created thing, it does represent the Right Path. Those who gain the warming-up are of the 73 kinds and the 10 of the world of desire. These persons are all clad in defilement. It goes from one tenth up to nine tenths. As in the case of the world of desire, things go from the first dhyana up to the thoughtlessness-and-non-thoughtlessness heaven. We say that there are 73 kinds. Such a person, on gaining the warming-up, never cuts off the root of good, commits the five deadly sins, or performs the four grave offences.

"Of this person, there are two types. One associates with a good friend, and the other with a bad friend. The one who associates with a bad friend is up for a time, but sinks again. The one who associates with a good friend looks all around. To look all around refers to the "topmost-height" [“murdhana”; this topmost dharma is a fruition of practice likened to the topmost height of a hill, which is both the topmost point, but is also a turning-point for falling down or retrogressing. A stage of practice in the Hinayana category - K. Yamamoto]. The nature of this stage is as yet of the class of the five skandhas, and yet is related to the Four Truths. Hence, one can see all around. After the stage of the topmost-height, the person attains that of "cognition" [i.e. a stage of practice in which one obtains cognition of the nature of the Four Truths and from which one no more retrogresses. There are several grades of it - K. Yamamoto]. The same is the case with the stage of cognition, too. The nature is of the four skandhas, but is related to the Four Truths. This person next gains the laukikagradharma ["first-of-the-world root of good"], which is of the nature of the five skandhas and has causal relations with the Four Truths. The person, by degrees, gains the "cognition of suffering". The nature of Wisdom actualises the causal relation of the First Truth. Having thus actualised the causal relation of the truth of cognition, the person cuts away defilement and attains [to the level of] srotapanna. This is the fourth stage of seeing all around in the four directions. The four directions are none other than the Four Truths."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! You said before: "The srotapanna cuts away defilement as one would 40 ris of water crosswise and lengthwise. What remains is like water a single hair's breadth in extent." By this, you meant the cutting off of the three fetters [“trini-samyojanani”] and calling this the srotapanna. These are:  1) wrong view of the Self,  2) seeing non-cause as cause, and  3) doubt. O World-Honoured One! Why do you say that a person of the srotapanna stage truly sees in [all] four directions, and why is such a person called a srotapanna, and why do you resort to the parable of the timi fish?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! The srotapanna truly cuts off innumerable defilements. But these three are of a serious nature. And, also, these include all the defilements which the srotapanna has to cut off. O good man! A great king comes out of his palace and wishes to make an inspection. Even when the four armies are with him, the people of the world but say that the King comes and goes. Why? Because this comes from the fact that the world makes much matter of the King. It is the same with the three defilements, too. Why serious? Because these people are all subject to these. As they are minutely small in size and not cognizable, we say serious. As these three are difficult to remove, and as these three become the cause of all defilements. As these three are the enemies to be subdued, we say:  1) precepts,  2) meditation, and  3) Wisdom.

"O good man! When all beings hear that the srotapanna indeed cuts off such countless defilements, they gain a retrogressive mind and say: "How can beings possibly cut off such countless defilements?" Because of this, as an expedient, the Tathagata speaks of three. You ask why I take up the case of the srotapanna and liken it to looking in the four directions. O good man! The srotapanna meditates on the Four Truths and gains four things, which are:  1) sticking unrelentingly to the Way,  2) meditating well,  3) seeing things well in the right way, and  4) truly crushing a great enemy.

"We say that we stick unrelentingly to the Way, because nothing can move the sense-organs of the person who has attained the stage of srotapanna. Due to this, we say that we stick unrelentingly to the Way.

"We speak of seeing well all around. This means that the person indeed reproaches the defilements within and without.

"We say that we see in a true way. This is the knowledge of cognition.

"We say that we truly crush a great enemy. This refers to the four inversions.

"You ask: "Why do we say srotapanna?" O good man! "Shu" [Jap. “shudaon” = srotapanna, which literally means: srotas = stream + apanna = entered] means "undefiled"; "daon" means "to learn and practise". One practises the undefiled. Hence, "srotapanna". O good man! Shu means stream. Of streams, there are two kinds. One is the ordinary type, and the other that which flows in a counter direction."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said: "O World-Honoured One! If this is so, why are srotapannas, sakrdagamins and arhats not all called srotapannas?"

"O good man! Those from the stage of srotapanna up to all Buddhas could well be called srotapanna. If it is not the case that those from the sakrdagamin stage up to the Buddha do not possess the nature of the srotapanna, how could there be such as from sakrdagamin up to the Buddha? All beings have two kinds of name, which are:  1) old, and  2) objective. As a common mortal, one has a name of the secular world. When one has entered the Way, one is called "srotapanna". When this is first gained, one is called srotapanna; gained later, one is called sakrdagamin. Such a person is called srotapanna and sakrdagamin. The same is the case with the Buddha, too.

"O good man! There are two kinds of stream, of which one is Emancipation and the other Nirvana. All holy persons possess these, too, and they can be srotapannas and sakrdagamins. The same also applies to the Buddha. O good man! The srotapanna can also be called a Bodhisattva. Why? The Bodhisattva is none other than a person who is perfect in the "knowledge of extinction" [i.e. the knowledge in which defilement is completely extinguished] and the "knowledge of birthlessness" [i.e. the knowledge in which one is awake to the existence which is birthlessness]. The sakrdagamin, too, seeks these two knowledges. Hence, one may know that a person of the srotapanna stage can also be called a Bodhisattva. The sakrdagamin, too, can be called one who is "enlightened". Why? Because he is enlightened regarding the darsanamarga [i.e. the stage of practice in which one first enters the great sea of Truth] and cuts away defilement, because he is correctly enlightened as to the law of causal relations, because he is enlightened in the ways that are "common to all" and those which are "not common to all".  The same applies to the sakrdagamin up to arhatship.

"O good man! There are two kinds of this srotapanna. One is sharp and the other dull. Those of the dull category repeat lives in the worlds of humans and the gods seven times. And in this class of the dull, there are five further kinds. There are those who get reborn six more times, five more times, four more times, three more times, and twice more. Those who are sharp-born gain in this present life the fruition of the stages of srotapanna up to arhatship.

"O good man! You ask why the srotapanna should be compard to the timi fish. O good man! There are four things characterising the timi, which are:  1) as its bones are small, it is light,  2) as it has fins, it is light,  3) it desires to seek the light,  4) it bites and holds on tightly. With the srotapanna, there are four things. Saying that the bones are small is comparable to the smallness of the amount of defilement. Having fins can be compared to samatha and vipasyana. Saying that it seeks and enjoys the light is comparable to darsanamarga. Saying that it bites and holds on tightly can be compared to the fact that the person hears what the Tathagata says regarding the non-eternal, suffering, non-Self, and the non-pure and that he holds tightly to what he has heard when Mara transforms himself and disguises himself as a Buddha, or when the rich man Sura sees and is wonderstruck, and that Mara, seeing the rich man moved in his heart, says: "What I said before about the Four Truths is not true. I shall now, for your sake, speak about the five truths, six skandhas, 13 spheres, and 19 realms." On hearing this, the rich man examines what is said and sees that there is nothing in it that is true. Hence, an analogy is sought here to explain the immovability of the mind."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "Is this srotapanna so called because the person first enters the Way, or is it because he has first gained the fruition? If one is a srotapanna because one has first entered the Way, why is one not so called when one has gained the cognition of suffering, instead of calling one "apatti" [= happening or entering]? If the first fruition is called srotapanna, why do we not call the tirthika a srotapanna who first excises the fetter of defilement and gains the existencelessness mental state, and having practised the Way of the undefiled, attains the stage of anagamin?"

"O good man! When the first fruition is gained, we say srotapanna. You ask why it is that the tirthika first cuts away the bond of defilement and gains the existencelessness mental state, and practising the undefiled Way gains the fruition of the anagamin, and not the srotapanna. O good man! Due to the fact that a person gains the first fruition, we say srotapanna. The person, at that time, gains the eight knowledges and the 16 actions."

Kasyapa said: "O World-Honoured One! It is the same with one who attains the fruition of the anagamin, too. He also gains the eight knowledges and the 16 actions. Why do we not in fact call such a person a srotapanna?"      

"O good man! There are two kinds of the 16 defiled actions. One is what is common to all, and the other what is not. There are also two kinds of the undefiled 16 actions. One is what faces towards fruition, and the other is what a person has gained. There are also two kinds of the eight knowledges, too. One is what faces towards fruition, and the other is what the person has gained. A person of the srotapanna stage abandons the 16 actions that are common to all and gains the 16 which are not common to all, and abandoning the eight knowledges that face towards fruition, gains the eight knowledges that are the fruition. With a person of the anagamin stage, things are not thus. That is why the first fruition is called srotapanna. O good man! The srotapanna is concerned with the Four Truths, whereas the anagamin has relations with but one Truth. That is why the first fruition is called srotapanna. Hence, the timi fish is employed as a simile.

"We say that the person looks all around and then goes off. This is the sakrdagamin. His mind wholly set on the Way, he practises the Way, and in order to cut out greed, anger, ignorance, and arrogance, he, like the timi, looks around, and then goes off to seek food.

"We say that a person goes off and then remains again. This can be compared to the anagamin, who, having partaken of the food, abides there. There are two kinds of this anagamin. One is he who has now attained the fruition of arhatship and, practising the Way still further, gains the further fruition of the arhat [stage]. The other is he who greedily adheres to the samadhi of silence of the world of form and non-form. This person is called an anagamin. He does not gain a body from the world of desire. Of the anagamin, there are five kinds, namely:  1) middle-grade Parinirvana,  2) carnal Parinirvana, 3) action Parinirvana,  4) actionless Parinirvana, and  5) up-stream Parinirvana. There are six kinds. Of these, the five are as above, and the sixth is the actual enjoyment of the fruition of Parinirvana. There are also seven kinds, of which the six are as above and the seventh is the Parinirvana of the world of non-form.

"Action Parinirvana possesses ttwo kinds, which may have the two carnal bodies or four carnal bodies. If one possesses two bodies, we call this being one of the sharp-born; if one possesses four bodies, we call this dull-born. Again, there are two kinds. One person makes effort, has no unmolested samadhi, whereas the second is indolent and has unmolestedness. Again, there are two kinds. One person abides in the samadhi of effort, whereas the second does not.

"O good man! There are two kinds in [the category of] what is done by the beings of the world of desire. The one is what the person does, and the other is the action gained by birth.

"A person of middle-grade Nirvana has works [actions] to do, but not works gained by birth. Because of this, such a person herein enters Parinirvana. He abandons the carnal body of the world of desire, but does not yet attain the world of form. The sharp-born person enters Nirvana herein. With the person of middle-grade Nirvana, there are four minds [mental states], namely:  1) non-learning and not non-learning,  2) learning,  3) non-learning, and  4) the person enters the Nirvana of non-learning and not non-learning. Why middle-grade Nirvana? O good man! Now, of the four minds of this anagamin, two are Nirvana and two are not. Hence, we say middle-grade Nirvana.

"There are two kinds of carnal-body Nirvana. One is what one does, while the other is action by birth. This person abandons the body of the world of desire and gains the body of the world of form. With effort, he practises the Way, lives his allotted life-span, and enters Nirvana."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said: "O World-Honoured One! If we say that the person enters Nirvana when his life ends, how can we call it the Nirvana of carnal life?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! When the person is born as a human, he cuts off the defilements of the three worlds. Hence, the Parinirvana of carnal life.

"We say Parinirvana by action. The person always practises the Way and through the power of the samadhi practised by this created body, the person cuts off defilement and enters Nirvana. Hence, Parinirvana by action.

"We say Nirvana by non-action. The person know that he will definitely reach Nirvana. Hence, indolence arises. Also, through the power of the samadhi of the created body, he gains Nirvana when his life ends. This is actionless Parinirvana.

"We say up-stream Parinirvana. On gaining the fourth dhyana, the person gains a mind of craving. Because of this, retrogression takes place and he gains a life of the first dhyana. In this, there are two streams. One is the stream of defilement, and the other is the stream of the Way. Because of the stream of the Way, the person gains the craving of the second dhyana, when his life ends. Because of the causal relation of craving, he gains birth in the second dhyana. It is the same with things up to the fourth dhyana.

"In the fourth dhyana [state], there are two kinds. One person enters the world of non-form, and the second the Suddhavasa Heaven. Of such two persons, one seeks samadhi and the other Wisdom. The one who seeks Wisdom gains the Suddhavasa heaven, and the one who seeks samadhi gains the world of non-form. Of these two, there are two kinds. With the one who practises the fourth dhyana, there are five different stages of practice. The second person does not practise the Way. What are the five? They are: low, middle, top, middle of the top, and topmost.

"The person who practises the Way of the topmost gains birth in Akanistha Heaven. The one who practises the Way of the middle of the top gains birth in Sudarsana Heaven. One who practises the Way of the top gains birth in the heaven where he can see good. One who practises the middle-grade Way gains birth in the heaven where there is no [oppressive] heat. The person who practises the Way of the low-grade gains birth in the heaven of small width [size]. Of these two kinds of person, the one cares for discussion, and the other for quietude. The one who likes quietude gains birth in the world of non-form, and the one who likes discussion gains birth in Suddhavasa Heaven.

"And there are two kinds. One person practises the fragrant dhyana, and the other does not. The one who practises the fragrant dhyana enters Suddhavasa Heaven, and the one who does not practise the fragrant dhyana gains birth in the world of non-form, where, when his life ends, he gains Parinirvana. Any person who wishes to enter the world of non-form cannot carry out the five different modes of practice of the fourth dhyana. Any person who has practised the five different modes of dhyana will be critical of the dhyana of the world of non-form."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! The person who practises middle-grade Nirvana is one who is sharp-born. If sharp-born, why does he not enter Nirvana in this present life? Why is there in the world of desire middle-grade Nirvana, but it does not exist in the world of non-form?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! The four great elements of this person are weak and emaciated, so that he cannot practise the Way. Even though the four great elements are sound and stubborn, there is a lack of a house to live in, food and drink, clothing, bedding, medical attendance and medicine, and all causal relations do not come to him. Due to this, he cannot gain Nirvana in this present life.

"O good man! Once I was dwelling in the vihara [Buddhist monastic residence] of Anathapindada in the state of Sravasti. And there was a bhiksu who came to my place and said: "O World-Honoured One! Although I always practise the Way, I cannot rise from the fruition of srotapanna to that of arhat." Then I said to Ananda: "See now to what this bhiksu needs to have." Then Ananda took this bhiksu to Jetavana and gave him a good house. Then the bhiksu said to Ananda: "O great virtuous one! Please decorate the house for me, have it repaired and make it pure and clean. There should be the seven jewels. Also hang up silken banners!" Ananda said: "A sramana is called the poor of the world. How can I supply what you want to have?" The bhiksu said: "O greatly virtuous one! If you do [as I ask], you do good. If you do not, I shall go back to the World-Honoured One." Then Ananda came to the Buddha and said: "O World-Honoured One! The bhiksu in question desires to have the place variously adorned with gems and banners. This is strange. What am I to do?" Then I said to Ananda: "Go back to the bhiksu and meet his wishes, and decorate the place as he would wish to have it decorated." Then Ananda went back to the house and made things ready for the bhiksu. Having gained what he wanted, he applied himself to the practice of the Way. Before long, he gained the fruition of srotapanna and attained arhatship.

"O good man! Innumerable beings, though they must [i.e. are bound to] gain Nirvana, lose their head due to a lack of things. Hence, they fail to gain it. O good man! Also, there are beings who have much desire. Their minds are busily occupied and they cannot meditate well. Hence, they cannot gain Nirvana in this life.

"O good man! You ask why there is middle-grade Nirvana to serve the world of desire well to abandon the body , and why there is not such in the world of form.

"O good man! This person sees the two causal relations of the world of desire. One is inner and the other is outer. In the world of form, there is not the causal relation of the category of the outer. And in the world of desire, there are again two types of craving mind. One is the craving of desire, and the other the craving for eating. Meditating on these cravings, the person seriously reproaches himself. Reproaching his own mind, he enters Nirvana.      

"In this world of desire, the person can well reproach the coarse defilements, which are: stinginess, greed, anger, jealousy, non-repentance, and not having a sense of shame. Due to this causal relation, the person indeed gains Nirvana. And also the nature of the way of the world of desire is valorous. Why? Because the person gains the entering and the fruition. Hence, we have in the world of desire middle-grade Nirvana, which one does not find in the world of form. O good man! Middle-grade Nirvana is of three kinds, namely: top, middle, and low. The top-grade gains Nirvana, not abandoning the carnal body and the world of desire. The middle-grade attains Nirvana by first leaving the world of desire and not yet arriving at the world of form. The low gains Nirvana when the person leaves the world of desire and comes near the boundary line of the world of form. For example, this is the case with the timi fish, which, having eaten, stays. It is the same with this person.

"Why do we say "stay"? This is said because the person gains life in the world of form and of non-form and there he gains a body. Hence, we speak of "staying". Humans and devas of the world of desire do not gain life in the realms of hell, animals, and hungry ghosts. Hence, we say staying. Having already cut innumerable bonds of defilement, there is little that is left. Hence, to stay. And, also, we say stay because that person nevermore does the things of the world of common mortals. Hence, to stay. He is not afraid and does not cause others to be afraid. Hence, to stay. He is away from the two cravings, stiniginess, greed and anger. Hence, to stay.

"O good man! Gaining the other shore can be compared to the arhat, pratyekabuddha, Bodhisattva, and the Buddha. This is like the godly tortoise, who can travel both on water and on land. Why do we employ the example of the tortoise? Because he truly shuts in [i.e. pulls in, withdraws] the five things [i.e. limbs and head]. It is the same with the arhat up to the Buddha, who truly shut in the five sense-organs. Hence comparison is drawn with the tortoise.

"We say water and land. Water can be compared to the world, and land to getting out of the secular world. It is the same with these holy people, too. They indeed gain the other shore, as they meditate thoroughly on bad defilements. Hence, comparison is sought with travelling both on water and on land.

"O good man! Seven kinds of being in the river Ganges possess the name of tortoise. But they do not part from the water. Thus, in the case of this all-wonderful Great Nirvana, there come about several different names, such as those from icchantika up to all Buddhas. But these do not part from the water of the Buddha-Nature. O good man! With these seven beings, be it that things concern Wonderful Dharma, non-Wonderful Dharma, the means, the Way of Emancipation, the gradual Way, causation or result, all are the Buddha-Nature. They are the words of the Tathagata that come from his own free will."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said: "O World-Honoured One! If there is a cause, there comes about a result. If no cause, there cannot be a result. Nirvana is the result. As it is something that is eternal, there cannot be any cause to speak of. If there is no cause, how can we call it a result? This Nirvana is also called "sramana" and the fruition of the sramana. What is a sramana? And what is the fruition of a sramana?"

"O good man! In all worlds, there are seven kinds of fruition, which are those of:  1) through the means,  2) repaying obligations,  3) befriending, 4) that which remains,  5) equality,  6) karma, and  7) segregation.

"We say "fruition by means". In autumn, secular people harvest cereal and say to one another that they are gaining the fruition of the means which they have put into effect. The fruition of the means is called the fruition of karmic actions. Such fruition has two causes, namely:  1) near [proximate, immediate] cause, and  2) far-out [indirect] cause. The near cause is the so-called "seed"; the far-out cause is water, dung, human being, and effort. This is fruition [which comes about] from putting the means into effect. We say "fruition by repaying obligations". Secular people make offerings to their parents. All the parents say: "We are now reaping the fruit of what we did when nourishing [our children]." When the child indeed repays [them], we call this the fruition. The case is thus. Such fruition has two causes, namely:  1) the near cause, and  2) the far-out cause. What is near is the pure actions which the parents performed in the past; the far-out refers to the filial child who developed. This is the fruition of repaying obligations.

"We say "fruition of befriending". For example, there is a man who makes friends with a good person [i.e. a good teacher of Buddhism], as a result of which he can gain the fruits of the srotapanna [level] up to arhatship. The person now says: "I now gain the fruition of befriending." The case is thus. Such fruition has two causes, namely:  1) the near cause, and  2) the far-out cause. What is near is faith; what is far-out is the good friend. This is the fruition from befriending.

"We say "fruition of that which remains". By non-killing, one lengthens the life span of the third body. This is what obtains. This is the fruition of that which remains. Such fruition has two causes. One is near, the other far-out. By near is meant purity of body, mouth [i.e. speech], and mind; by far-out, the extension of the life span and the enjoying of old age. This is the fruition of that which remains.

"By "equal fruition" is meant what is common to the world at large. Such fruition again has two causes:  1) near, and  2) far-out. By near-cause is meant the ten good actions which beings perform; by far-out is meant the so-called three calamities [i.e. of water, fire, and war]. This is what is called "equal fruition".

"We speak of "recompense fruition". A person gains a pure carnal body and performs what is pure in body, mouth, and mind. This person says: "I am harvesting the fruition of recompense." Such fruition has two causes, which are:  1) near, and  2) far-out. By the near is meant what is done with body, mouth, and mind; by the far-out cause is meant the purity of body, mouth, and mind in the past. This is what we call the fruition of recompense.

"We say "of segregation", which is Nirvana. A person segregates his self from all defilements. All good actions are the cause of Nirvana. Also, there are two kinds, which are:  1) near cause, and  2) far-out cause. By near cause is meant the gate of the three emancipations [i.e. the samadhis of voidness, formlessness, and desirelessness]; by the far-out cause we mean the good actions which the person has practised in innumerable worlds.

"O good man! The world speaks of:  1) cause by birth and  2) cause by revealing. The case is thus. It is the same with the fleeing away from the world, too. And we speak at times of cause by birth, and also of cause by revealing.

"O good man! The gate of the three emancipations has 37 chapters. These turn out to be - as regards all defilements - the cause of birthless life and the revealing cause for Nirvana. O good man! When one comes away from defilement, one can clearly see Nirvana. Hence, what there is is the revealing cause and not cause by birth.

"O good man! You ask what a sramana is and what the samana fruition. O good man! The sramana is the Eightfold Right Path. The fruition of the sramana is that we follow the Way and eternally do away with greed, ill-will, ignorance, etc. This is the sramana and the fruition of the sramana."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said: "Why do we call the Eightfold Right Path sramana?"

"O good man! "Srama", the world says, means "to lack", and "na" is "way". Such a way cuts off all that is lacking. That is why we call the Eightfold Right Path "sramana". Since, as a result of this, one gains the fruition, we say "fruition of the sramana".

"O good man! And it is also as in the case where there is in the world a person who loves quietude, when we say that such a one is a sramana. Thus is it also with the Way. It causes any who practise the Way to do away with the evil way of life of the body, mouth, and mind, and to gain quietude. That is why we say sramana.

"O good man! The low-grade person of the world becomes the top-grade. This is a sramana. With the Way, too, things are thus. As it truly makes the low-grade person into the top, we say sramana.

"O good man! If an arhat practises this Way, he gains the fruition of the sramana. And thus he reaches the other shore. The fruition of an arhat is none other than the five-part Dharma body of no-more-learning, which comprises the moral precepts, samadhi, Wisdom, Emancipation, and the intellectual insight [generated] by Emancipation. Through these five [factors], the person reaches the other shore. Hence, the arrival at the other shore. When he gains the other shore, he says to himself: "My life is now completed, pure actions [have already been] performed, what ought to have been done has been done, [and] I now no more gain [i.e. get reborn into] any [samsaric] existence."

"O good man! As this arhat has now eternally cut off the causal relations of birth in the Three Times, he says: "My life is now completed."

"Also, as he has indeed done away with the body of the five skandhas of the three worlds, he says: "My life is already completed."

"And as he now leaves the stage of learning, he says that he is now standing. And as he has now gained what he once desired to arrive at, he says that he has attained all. Having practised the Way and gained the fruition, he says: "Already accomplished". As he has gained the knowledge of all-extinction and the knowledge of birthlessness, he says that he has done away with all bondage. Thus we say that the arhat now attains the other shore. It is the same with the pratyekabuddha, too. As the Bodhisattvas and the Buddha are perfect and accomplished in the six paramitas, they are called those who have "arrived at the other shore". When the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas have attained unsurpassed Enlightenment, we say that they are perfect in the six paramitas. Why? Because they are now harvesting the fruit of the six paramitas. As there is the arriving at the fruition, we say "perfect".

"O good man! These seven beings do not adjust their body, do not uphold the precepts, do not cultivate their mind and Wisdom. As they do not uphold well the four things, they commit the five deadly sins, cut off the root of good, commit the five grave offences, and speak ill of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Hence, we say that they sink down deeply.

"O good man! If any of the seven beings associates with a good teacher of the Way, and with the sincerest mind gives ear to the Wonderful Dharma of the Tathagata, bethinks well within himself, lives in accordance with Dharma, and practises, with his best efforts, the body, precepts, mind, and Wisdom, such a person can indeed cross the river of birth and death and reach the other shore.

"If a person says: "Even the icchantika gains unsurpassed Bodhi" - this is defiled clinging; if he says, "not", this is what is false.

"O good man! Of these seven beings, there can be one who possesses the seven qualities in his one person or each of the seven may possess one each.

"O good man! If a person thinks and speaks differently in mind and mouth, and says: "The icchantika gains unsurpassed Bodhi", know that such a person slanders the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. If a person thinks and speaks differently, and says: "The icchantika does not gain unsurpassed Bodhi", such a person also slanders the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

"O good man! If a person says: "The Noble Eightfold Path is what common mortals gain", such a person, too, slanders the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. If a person says: "The Noble Eightfold Path is not gained by any common mortal", such a one, too, slanders the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. O good man! If a person says: "All beings definitely possess or do not possess definitely the Buddha-Nature", such a person also slanders the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

"O good man! That is why I say in a sutra: "There are two kinds of people who slander the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha." These are:  1) those who do not believe and speak with an angry mind, and  2) those who, though they believe, do not gain the meaning.

"O good man! If a person does not possess faith and Wisdom, such a person augments his ignorance. If a person possesses Wisdom, but not faith, such a person increases distorted views. O good man! A person who has no faith says, out of an angry mind: "There cannot be any Buddha, Dharma and Sangha."

"If a person should believe, but have no Wisdom, such a person will understand things in an inverted way and cause those who give ear to sermons to slander the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. O good man! For this reason, I say that one who has no faith and who has an angry mind, and one who has faith but no Wisdom, slanders the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Thus do I say.

"O good man! If a person says: "The icchantika, not yet having arrived at Wonderful Dharma, attains unsurpassed Bodhi", such a person well slanders the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. If a person says: "The icchantika abandons the state of the icchantika and attains the unsurpassed body in a different body", such a person, too, may be said to slander the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Also a person may say: "The icchantika may well gain the root of good, continue to possess it, and may well attain unsurpassed Bodhi. Hence, the icchantika attains unsurpassed Bodhi." Know that such a person does not slander the Three Treasures.

"O good man! A person may say that all definitely have the Buddha-Nature, that the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure are not what have been made or what have been born, that only due to defilement, people cannot see [them]. Know that this person slanders the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. If a person says that all beings do not possess the Buddha-Nature, as in the case of the horns of a hare, that all comes about by expediency, and that they are what was not but now are, or what once was but now are not, know that this person slanders the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. If a person says: "The Buddha-Nature of beings does not exist like the Void, nor is it something that is not [i.e. something that does not exist], as with the horns of a hare. Why so? For the Void is eternal, and there is no such thing in the world as the horns of a hare. Hence, we can say either "is" or "is-not". As it is an "is", it breaks the horns of the hare [i.e. it cannot be likened to the non-existent horns of a hare], and as it is empty, it indeed breaks the Void." Any person who speaks thus does not slander the Three Treasures.

"O good man! The Buddha-Nature is not a thing, not ten things, not 100 things, not 1,000 things, and not 10,000 things. When unsurpassed Bodhi has not yet been attained, all of good and not good, and all that is neutral, can fall into the category of the Buddha-Nature. The Tathagata at times speaks of the fruition in the state of cause or at times of the cause in the state of fruition. This is what we call the Tathagata's words which he speaks following his own will. Because of the things spoken of from the Tathagata's own free will, we call him "Tathagata". Due to the fact that [his words are] spoken from his free will, we say "arhat". Due to the fact that [his words are] spoken from his own free will, we say "samyaksambuddha" [i.e. Fully Awakened One]."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! You, the Buddha, say: "The Buddha-Nature of the being is like the Void." Why do you say the "Void"?

"O good man! The nature of the Void is not past, future or present. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature, too. O good man! The Void is not the past. Why not? Because it is but what is now. If anything exists in the present, we may well speak of the past. As there is no present to speak of, there cannot be any past to speak of. And also, there is no present to speak of. Why not? Because there is nothing as the future. If there is something as the future, one may well speak of the present. As there is no future, there is no present. And also, there is no future. Why not? For there is nothing as the present or past. If there are the present and past, there can be the future. As there are no past and present, there is no future. Because of this, the nature of the Void does not fall into the category of the Three Times.

"O good man! There is no Void. On account of this, there are no Three Times. It is not that as there are the Three Times, there are no Three Times. For the flower of the Void does not exist. This is as in the case in which there are no Three Times. The case is thus. The same is the case with the Void, too. As this is no "is", there cannot be the Three Times.

"O good man! If there is nothing, this is the Void. The same is the case with the Buddha-Nature, too. O good man! As the Void is empty, it does not fall into the category of the Three Times. As the Buddha-Nature is Eternal, it is not within the category of the Three Times.

"O good man! As the Tathagata has gained unsurpassed Bodhi, the Buddha-Nature that he possesses and all the Buddhist teachings turn out to be [i.e. come into being], there being no change. Hence, no Three Times. This is as in the case of the Void.

"O good man! As the Void is nothing that can be represented, it is neither "in" nor "out". As the Buddha-Nature is Eternal, there is no "in" or "out". That is why I say that the Buddha-Nature is like the Void.

“"O good man! In the world, when there is no obstruction, we speak of voidness. As the Tathagata has gained unsurpassed Enlightenment, he sees nothing that obstructs within Buddha-Dharma. That is why I say that the Buddha-Nature is like the Void. For this reason do I say: "The Buddha-Nature is like the Void."

“Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! You say that the Tathagata, the Buddha-Nature, and Nirvana do not fall into the category of the Three Times. And you state that it [i.e. Tathagata, Buddha-Nature and Nirvana] is "is". The Void also does not fall into the category of the Three Times. Why cannot we call it "is"?

The Buddha said: "O good man! Due to non-Nirvana, we speak of Nirvana. Due to non-Tathagata, we speak of the Tathagata. Due to non-Buddha-Nature, we speak of the Buddha-Nature.

"Why do we say "non-Nirvana"? All defilements are grounded on what is created. To crush out such created things of defilement, we say Nirvana. "Non-Tathagata" refers to the icchantika up to the pratyekabuddha. In order to crush out those from the icchantika up to the pratyekabuddha, we say Tathagata. We say "non-Buddha-Nature". This refers to all bulwarks, gravel, stones, and non-sentient things. One departs from all such non-sentient things. And this is the Buddha-Nature.

"O good man! In all the world, there is nothing that competes with the Void which is non-Void."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! In the world, we have no negative apposites [opposites, antonyms] of the four great elements. Yet we say that there are the four great elements. Why can we not call the appositelessness of the Void something that exists?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! You may say that Nirvana does not fall within the category of the Three Times and so is Void. But this is not so. Why not? “Nirvana is an existence, something visible, that which is veritable, matter, the foot-print, the sentence and the word, that which is, characteristics, by-cause, the refuge which one takes, quietude, light, peace, and the other shore”. That is why we can indeed say that it does not come within the category of the Three Times. With the nature of the Void, there is nothing as such [i.e. nothing such as this]. That is why we say "not-is". Should there be anything other than this, we could well say that it falls into the category of the Three Times. If Voidness is a thing of the "is", it cannot be other than be in the category of the Three Times. O good man! The people of the world speak of voidness and speak of it as non-matter, as something that has no apposite [opposite], and is invisible. The case is thus. If it is not matter, something with no apposite, and invisible, it must be caitasika. If the Voidness is of the category of caitasika, it cannot be other than within the category of caitasika. If it is of the category of the Three Times, it cannot be other than the four groups [skandhas]. Therefore, other than the four groups, there can be no Voidness.

"Also, next, O good man! All tirthikas say that the Void is light. If light, it is matter. If the Void is matter, it is non-eternal. If non-eternal, it comes within the category of the Three Times. How can the tirthikas say that it is not of the Three Times? If it is of the Three Times, it is not the Void. And how can one say that the Void is non-eternal?

"O good man! And some say that the Void is a place where one lives. If it is a place where one lives, it is matter. And all places are non-sentient and fall into the category of the Three Times. How could the Void not be Eternal and not fall into the category of the Three Times? If any place can be spoken of, we may know that there cannot exist the Void [there].

"Also, some people say that the Void is gradual. If gradual, it can be a caitasika. If countable, it falls within the category of the Three Times. If of the Three Times, how can it be Eternal?

"O good man! Also, some people say: "Now, the Void is none other than these three things:  1) Void,  2) real, and  3) void-real." If we say that this is the Void, we can know that the Void is non-eternal. Why? Because it has no actual place to exist. If it is said that it really is this, we can know that the Void is non-eternal. Why? Because it is not empty. If we say "void-real", we can know that the Void is non-eternal. Why? Because it is not empty. If we say void-real, we can know that the Void is also non-eternal. Why? Because nothing can exist in two places. Hence, the Void is empty.

"O good man! The people of the world may say: "Anything of the world where there is no hindrance [obstacle] is the Void." A place where there is nothing to hinder is an all-over "is". How can it be any partial existence? If it is an all-over "is", we can know that there is no Void in other places. If partial, this is a thing countable. If countable, it is non-eternal.

"O good man! A person may say: "The Void co-exists with the "unobstructed "is". Or someone might say: "The Void exists within a thing. It is like fruit within a vessel." Neither is the case. There are three kinds of co-existence, namely: 1) differently made things become one, as in the case of flying birds which gather together in a tree;  2) two things common to each other become one, as in the case of two sheep which come into contact;  3) co-existing of the two pairs of those that meet to exist in one place. We say "different things meet". Of difference, there are two kinds. One is a "thing", and the other is the Void. If Voidness joins the thing, this Voidness must be non-eternal. If a thing joins with the Void, the thing does not become one-sided. If there is nothing that is one-sided, it again is non-eternal.

"A person may say: "The Void is eternal; and its nature is immovable. This joins with what moves." But this is not so. Why not? If the Void is eternal, matter, too, must be eternal. If matter is non-eternal, the Void, too, must be non-eternal. A person may say: "The Void, too, is both eternal and non-eternal." This does not accord with reason. A person may say that things of common lot meet. The case is not so. Why not? The Void is all-pervading. If it joins with what is made, what is made must also become all-pervading. If it pervades, all must be pervading. If all is all-pervading, all can be joined as one. We cannot say that there can exist both joining and non-joining. A person may say: "That which has once joined joins again, as in the case of two fingers that meet." But this is not so. Why not? Joining cannot forego. Joining comes about later. If what did not exist before comes about, this is nothing but what is non-eternal. Hence, we cannot say: "The Void is that which was already joined [and which now] joins." What obtains in the world is that which did not exist before but later comes about. This is as with a thing which has no eternity. If the Void sits on a thing like fruit in a vessel and if it is thus, it must also be non-eternal. A person may say that if the Void sits on a thing, it is like fruit in a vessel. But this is not so. Why not? Where could the Void in question exist, not having the vessel at hand? If there is any place [for it] to exist, the Void would have to be many. If many, how could one say eternal, one, and all-pervading? If the Void exists in places outside of the Void, then a thing could well subsist without the Void. So, one knows that there cannot be such a thing as the Void.

"O good man! If a person says: "The place which one can point out is Void", know that the Void is what is non-eternal. Why? We have four directions to point in. If there are the four quarters, know that the Void, too, must possess the four directions. All that is eternal has no direction to point to. To have directions means that the Void, accordingly, is non-eternal. If non-eternal, it is not away from the five skandhas. If one were to say that by all means there is parting from the five skandhas, there is no place to exist. O good man! If anything exists by causal relations, we can know that such a thing is non-eternal. O good man! For example, all beings and trees stand on the ground. As the ground is non-eternal, what stands on the ground is accordingly non-eternal.

"O good man! The earth stands on water. As water is non-eternal, the earth, too, is non-eternal. Water hangs on the wind, and as the wind is non-eternal, water, too, is non-eternal. The wind rests on the Void,  and as the Void is non-eternal, the wind, too, is non-eternal. If it is non-eternal, how can we say: "The Void is eternal and it fills the Void"? As the Void is empty, it has no past, future or present. As the horns of a hare are no thing, they have no past, future or present. Things are thus. So I say: "As the Buddha-Nature is eternal, it does not come within the category of the Three Times. As the Void is Void, it does not come within the category of the Three Times."

"O good man! I never quarrel with the world. Why not? If worldly knowledge says "is", I say "is"; if worldly knowledge says "not-is", I, too, say "not-is"."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said: "O World-Honoured One! How many things does a Bodhisattva-mahasattva require to be perfect, so that he does not quarrel with the world and does not get wetted and defiled by what obtains in the world?"

The Buddha said: "The Bodhisattva-mahasattva is perfect in ten things and does not quarrel with the world and does not get wetted and defiled by what obtains in the world. What are the ten? These are:  1) faith,  2) upholding of the precepts,  3) befriending a good friend,  4) bethinking well within one's own self,  5) effort,  6) right remembrance,  7) Wisdom,  8) right words,  9)caring for Wonderful Dharma, and  10) pitying all beings. O good man! As the Bodhisattva-mahasattva is perfect in [these] ten things, he does not quarrel with the world and does not get wetted and defiled by what obtains in the world, as in the case of the utpala."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! You, the Buddha, say that one says "is" if worldly knowledge says "is", and if worldly knowledge says "not-is", one says "not-is. But what are the "is" and "not-is" of worldly knowledge?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! This is as when the world says: "Matter is non-eternal, suffering, void, and non-Self", and things go thus down to consciousness. O good man! This is what worldly knowledge says is an "is", and I, too, say that this is an "is". O good man! Worldly knowledge says that matter has nothing of the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure. So does it say about feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness. O good man! This is where worldly knowledge says "not-is". I, too, say "not-is".

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! Those who are wise are all Bodhisattvas and holy persons. Why is it that when worldly knowledge says that matter is non-eternal, suffering, void, and non-Self, you the Tathagata say that the carnal body of the Buddha is Eternal and Unchanging? What the wise of the world say has no law [nothing of Dharma]. Why does the Tathagta say "is"? And how can you say that you do not quarrel with the world and that you do not get wetted and defiled by worldly things? The Tathagata is already away from the three kinds of inversion, namely the inversions of mental image, mind, and world-views. Where the Buddha should be saying that matter really is non-eternal, you now say it is eternal. How can you say that you part far from the inversions and that you do not quarrel with the world?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! The matter [i.e. physical form, “rupa”] of common mortals arises out of defilement. Hence I say that worldly knowledge and matter are non-eternal, suffering, void, and non-Self. The matter of the Tathagata departs from defilement. So, I say Eternal and Unchanging."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said: "O World-Honoured One! How does matter arise out of defilement?"

"O good man! There are three kinds of defilement, which are the leakings [“asravas”, negative outflows] of:  1) desire,  2) the "is", and  3) ignorance. One who is wise should meditate on the three sins that arise out of these three leakings. Why? When one realises the sin, one segregates one's self from it. For example, this is as with a doctor who first sees, who first feels the pulse, sees where the illness resides, and then dispenses medicine. O good man! A man takes a blind person into a thorny bush and abandons him there and comes home. Then, the blind person finds it difficult to get out. Even if he gets out, his body will be full of wounds. It is the same with the common mortals of the world, too. If unable to see the ills of the three defilements, the person adapts to them and acts. The ills [once] seen, one segregates one's self from them. The karmic returns seen through, one may well have to suffer from the returns of sins, but one suffers little.

"O good man! There are four kinds of people. One is the person who works hard when acting, but light returns come when he has to undergo such. Another is one whose work is light when [he is] doing [it], but the return is heavy. The third is the person who works hard at the time of acting and at the time when the return comes. The fourth is the person whose work is light during the doing and [also] when the return comes. O good man! If one sees through [i.e. realises] the ills of defilement, one's work is light both at the time of its doing and on receiving the karmic return.

"O good man! One who has Wisdom thinks: "I must part from such defilements and I must not do such low-grade things that are evil. Why not? Because I cannot [otherwise] remove myself from the karmic returns of hell, hungry ghosts, animals, humans and gods. By practising the Way, I shall, through this power, do away with all such sufferings." Thinking thus, what the person performs is light as regards greed, ill-will, and ignorance. Greed, ill-will and ignorance being light, the person is happy. He thinks further: "I now thus, through the power of practising the Way, part from evil things and can now draw near to Wonderful Dharma. Thus I gain the Right Way. I shall now make effort and increase it." Now, this person makes away with all the innumerable evil defilements and is now removed from the returns of hell, hungry pretas, animals, and those of humans and gods. Hence, I say in my sutras: "One should meditate on all the defilements and on the causes of the defilements." Why? Should any wise person meditate on the defilements, but not on the cause of the defilements, he will not be able to do away with the defilements. Why? Because any wise person can see what will arise from the cause of the defilements. I am now severed from the cause, and the defilements do not come about.

"O good man! This is as in the case of a doctor. Once he removes the cause, illness will not raise its head any more. It is the same with the wise person who extirpates the cause of defilement. One who is wise should first meditate on the cause and, later, on the result. He sees that good results come from a good cause, and evil from what is evil. Meditating on the result which comes about, he does away with the cause. When he has meditated on the result that will come about, he should further meditate on the lightness and heaviness of the defilements. Having meditated on lightness and heaviness, he first does away with what is heavy. When the heavy has been done away with, what is light will go away by itself.

"O good man! If the wise person realises the defilements, the cause of the defilements, the result of the defilements, and the lightness and heaviness of the defilements, that person will make effort on the Way, not cease, and not feel remorse. Such a person will associate with a good friend and give ear to Dharma with the sincerest mind. This is all to make away with the defilements.

"O good man! When a sick person knows that his illness is slight and that it can easily be cured, he will not feel unhappy when a bitter medicine is prescribed to him, and he will take it. It is the same with the wise man, too. He makes effort, practises the Holy Way, is happy, does not cease and feels no regret.

"O good man! If a person comes to know of defilement, the cause of defilement, the result of defilement, the lightness and heaviness of defilement, he will make effort and eliminate defilement and practise the Way; with such a person, "matter" [physical form] does not come about, nor do feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness. If a person does not see defilement, the cause of defilement, the result of defilement, the lightness and heaviness of defilement, and does not make effort and practise the Way, for such a person matter, feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness will come about.

"O good man! “He” “who sees defilement, the cause of defilement, the result of defilement, the lightness and heaviness of defilement, and who practises the Way is the Tathagata. Because of this, the body “[“rupa”]” of the Tathagata is Eternal. So is it with “[his]” feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness, which are all Eternal.