Nirvana Sutra

Appreciation of the "Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra"

The "Nirvana Sutra" Continued (Z3)

Chapter Thirty-Eight: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar (f)

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! You say in the sutra that vipasyana [insight meditation] thoroughly crushes defilement. Why do we then need to practise samatha [calmness meditation]?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! You may say that vipasyana thoroughly crushes out defilement. But this is not so. Why not? When a person has Wisdom, there is no defilement; when a person has defilement, there is no Wisdom. How can we say that vipasyana crushes defilement? O good man! For example, when there is light, there is no gloom; when there is gloom, there is no light. One cannot say that light destroys gloom. O good man! How can we say that a person has Wisdom and defilement and that Wisdom destroys illusion? If there is not [any defilement], there can be no destruction. O good man! If one says that Wisdom destroys defilement, is this due to the arriving at Wisdom or non-arriving that there is this destruction? If this destruction comes about through arrival [at Wisdom], at the first instant there must be destruction. If there is no destruction at the first instant, there can be no destuction even on later occasions. If destruction comes about at the first arrival, this is none but non-arriving. How can one say that Wisdom destroys? If one says that both arriving and non-arriving destroy, this makes no sense.

"Also, next, we might well say that vipasyana destroys defilement. Does this destuction come about single-handedly or accompanied by some others? If it destroys on its own, why should the Bodhisattva [bother to] practise the Noble Eightfold Path? If it destroys by being accompanied by some others, this entails that there cannot be any destruction alone and single-handedly. If it cannot destroy alone and single-handedly, there can be no destruction even when accompanied by some others. One who is blind cannot see things. Even when accompanied by many blind persons, seeing is not possible. This is the case with vipasyana. O good man! It is as with the nature of the hardness of the earth, of the nature of the heat of fire, of the nature of the wetness of water, and of the nature of the movability of the wind. The nature of the hardness of the earth down to the movability of the wind does not arise out of causal relations. Its nature itself makes it be thus. Just as with the natures of the four elements, so does it obtain with defilement. Its nature itself acts. If cut, how can we say that Wisdom cuts? Due to this, we cannot say that vipasyana definitely destroys all defilements. O good man! The nature of salt is salty. It makes other things taste salty [too]. The original nature of honey is sweet. It truly makes other things sweet [too]. The original nature of water is wetness. It truly makes other things wet [too]. You might say that the nature of Wisdom is extinction, so that it can truly make things extinguished. But this is not so. Why not? If there is no quality of the dharma of dying, how can Wisdom force it to die? You might say that just as the saltiness of salt makes other things salty, so does Wisdom extinguish other things. But this is not so. Why not? Because the nature of Wisdom dies moment after moment. If it dies moment after moment, how can one say that it truly makes other things die? For this reason, the nature of Wisdom does not destroy defilement.

"O good man! There are two extinctions in all things. One is extinction by nature, and the other ultimate extinction. If there is extinction in the nature [of a thing], how can we say that Wisdom extinguishes it? We might say that Wisdom truly extinguishes defilement, as in the case of fire, which burns things. But this is not so. Why not? Because in the burning of fire, there yet remains the smouldering of fire. If it is thus with Wisdom, there must be the smouldering of the fire of Wisdom. When a hatchet cuts a tree, there remains the place where the cutting has been done. When Wisdom cuts, what place do we see where the cutting has been done? If Wisdom truly does [i.e. acts], what is there that we can truly see? If Wisdom truly segregates defilement, such defilement must appear in other places also, as in the case of the tirthikas who leave the six great castle-towns and appear in Kusinagara. If Wisdom does not show itself in other places, we can know that Wisdom could not truly make away with it. O good man! If the nature of all things is Void, who can cause things to be born or die? There is none that causes a different thing to be born and there is none that causes a different thing to die. O good man! As one practises meditation, one arrives at such right knowledge [“jnana”] and the right view of life. That is why I say in the sutras that any bhiksu who practises meditation can indeed see how the five skandhas appear and disappear. O good man! If one does not practise meditation, one cannot clearly see how things obtain in the world. And how could one know of what concerns the things of the supramundane world? If one does not have meditation, one can fall over even on a flat place. The mind [eye] sees what is out of order; the mouth speaks what is out of order; the ear hears what is different [from reality]; the mind understands what is out of order. Desiring to body forth particular letters, the hand writes strange sentences; desiring to take a particular path, the body walks a different path. One who practises samadhi gains much benefit and attains unsurpassed Enlightenment.

"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva is perfect in two things and effects great benefit. One is meditation, and the other is knowledge. O good man! When cutting a reed, a quick action cuts it well. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva, as he practises these two. O good man! When one [wishes to] uproot a solid tree, things will go more easily if one first jolts it with one's hand. It is the same with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. First, he jolts through meditation, and then he uproots with knowledge. O good man! When washing dirty clothes, one first washes with ash water, and then with clean water. If one does this, the clothes become clean. It is also the same with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. O good man! The person first reads and recites, and later the meaning comes forth. It is the same with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. O good man! It is as with a valiant man who first adorns his body with armour and a staff and then meets the enemy. The case is the same with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva, too. O good man! For example, using a melting pot and tongs, one can handle metal as one wills by turning, shaking, and melting it. It is the same, too, with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. O good man! For example, a clear mirror reflects one's face and form. It is the same, too, with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. O good man! This is as when one first flattens the ground and then sows the seed, or when one first learns from the teacher and later thinks of the meaning. It is also the same with the meditation and knowledge of the Bodhisattva. Because of this, as the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises these two things, he derives great gains. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises these two things and adjusts his five sense-organs, and bears all such sufferings as hunger and thirst, cold and heat, beatings, slander, or being bitten by harmful animals and mosquitoes and gadflies. He always governs his mind; he will not have any indolence and does not do unlawful things, due to benefiting others. He is not defiled by illusions and does not get deluded by the various evil views of life. He always segregates himself well from all evil notions, and it will not be long before he achieves unsurpassed Bodhi. O good man! When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises these two things, the storms of the four inversions cannot come on. This is as with Mount Sumeru, which does not shake even when the winds blow in from the four directions. This applies to the case where one is not led astray by the wrong-headed teachers, the tirthikas; it is as when the hanging ensign of Devendra cannot easily be made to move. No twisted and strange arts can lure him. He is always blessed with all-wonderful, first-grade peace and bliss, and he can understand well the deepest, undisclosed doctrines of the Tathagata. Even when receiving a blissful [experience], he is not overjoyed and is not worried even when he encounters suffering. All devas and people of the world respect and praise him. “He sees clearly birth and death and what is not birth and death; he knows well the Dharma world and the Dharma nature and the Law that the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure rule the body. This is the bliss of Great Nirvana”. O good man! His meditation is the samadhi of the Void; his form of Wisdom is the desirelessness samadhi; his form of equanimity is the formlessness samadhi. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva knows well the time for meditation, the time for Wisdom, and the time for equanimity; he knows well what is not opportune. This is how the Bodhisattva practises well the Bodhi Way."

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! How does the Bodhisattva know when it is the [right] time or not?"  "O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva may gain great arrogance when he gets blessed with bliss, arrogance from delivering a sermon, or arrogance from effort, or arrogance from understanding a [particular] meaning and in discussion, or arrogance from befriending an evil friend, or arrogance from giving away what he highly values, or arrogance from the good things and virtues of worldly nature, or arrogance from being respected by the nobility of worldly life. Such is not a fit time for knowledge. He should then practise meditation well. This is how the Bodhisattva knows the time and not the time. A Bodhisattva may well make effort and yet not be able to arrive at the Bliss of Nirvana. Not gaining this, he feels regret; or because of a dull nature, he may not be able to subdue all his five sense-organs. As all defilements and illusions have full force, he may doubt and think that there is a weakening in the observance of the moral precepts. Know that such a time is not good for meditation. One should practise knowledge. This is how we say that the Bodhisattva knows well the time and when is not the time.

"O good man! When the two phases of meditation and knowledge do not go [along] in a pair, know that this is not the fit time to practise equanimity. When the two are in a balanced state, know that this is the fit time to practise equanimity. This is the sense in which we say that the Bodhisattva knows the time and when is not the time. O good man! When the Bodhisattva experiences the rise of defilement and if he practises meditation and Wisdom, know that this is not the time to practise equanimity. He should really read and recite, write and copy and expound the 12 types of sutra, think of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the precepts, the heavens, and equanimity. This is where we say that we practise equanimity. O good man! When the Bodhisattva practises these three phases of Dharma, he gains from this the formlessness Nirvana."

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! When there are not the ten representational phases, we call Great Nirvana formless. But why do we call it birthlessness, non going-out, non-doing, a house, a sand-dune, the refuge, peace, extinction, Nirvana, quietude, non-sorrow of all illnesses, and non-possession?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! As there are no causal relations, we say "birthlessness". As it is not anything created, we say "non-going-out". As there is not any action of doing [anything], we say "non-doing". As none of the five twisted views is allowed to get in, we say "house". As it is segregated from the four madding floods, we say "sand-dune". As it adjusts all beings, we say "refuge". As it crushes the robber-band of defilement, we say "peace". As it burns out the fire of bondage, we say "extinction". As one becomes segregated from the all-awakefulness of perception, we say "Nirvana". As one is away from noisy quarters, we say "quietude". As one is away from the certitude of mortality, we say "sicklessness". As all is void, we say "non-possession". O good man! When the Bodhisattva has this perception, he clearly sees the Buddha-Nature."

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! How many kinds of things does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva need to accomplish to arrive at formlessness Nirvana and non-possession?" The Buddha said: "O good man! When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva accomplishes ten things, he can truly arrive at formlessness Nirvana and non-possession. What are the ten?

"First, he is perfect in faith. How is faith perfect? This is believing deeply that the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are Eternal, that all the Buddhas of the ten directions effect expedients, and that beings and icchantikas all possess the Buddha-Nature. It is not believing that the Tathagata is subject to birth, old age, illness, and death, that he has undergone penance, and that Devadatta truly caused blood to flow from the Buddha's body, that the Tathagata ultimately enters Nirvana, and that Wonderful Dharma dies out. This is where we say that the Bodhisattva is perfect in faith.

"Second, there is the perfection of pureness in the observance of the moral precepts. O good man! There is a Bodhisattva who says that he is pure in observing the precepts. Although he does not unite with a woman when he sees her, he yet at times jeers and mixes up and plays with words. Such a Bodhisattva is perfect in the dharma of desire, destroys the purity of the precepts, contaminates the pureness of pure actions, thus making the precepts become mixed up in defilement. Hence, we cannot call him perfect in the pureness of the precepts.

"Also, there is a Bodhisattva who says that he is pure in the precepts. He does not sexually connect with a woman and does not jeer or play with words. But with bars in between, he listens to the sound of necklaces and ankle-ringlets and various other female sounds. Such a Bodhisattva is fully garbed in the dharma of desire, violates the purity of the precepts, defiles pure action, and makes the precepts contaminated and defiled, so that we cannot call such a person one perfect in the pureness of the precepts.

"Also, there is a Bodhisattva who may well say that he is pure in the observation of the precepts. Also, although he does not mix with females, play with words, or listen to [female] sounds themselves, when he sees other men going after females or females going after men, he gains greedy clinging. Such a Bodhisattva is fully garbed in the dharma of desire, violates the purity of the precepts, defiles pure action, and makes the precepts mixed up and contaminated. We cannot call such a person one perfect in the observance of the moral precepts.

"Also, there may be a Bodhisattva who might say that he is perfect in his observance of the moral precepts. Also, although he does not mix with females, jeer, play with words, listen to [female] sounds, or watch men and women chasing after each, he does things for birth in the heavens and for being blessed with the pleasures of the five desires. Such a Bodhisattva is fully garbed in desire, violates the purity of the precepts, defiles pure action, and contaminates and defiles the precepts. This cannot be called perfect observance of the pure precepts.

"O good man! There might be a Bodhisattva who is pure in upholding the precepts. And yet he does not do so for the sake of sila, for the sake of silaparamita, nor for beings, nor for profit, nor for Bodhi, nor for Nirvana, and nor for [becoming a] sravaka or pratyekabuddha. He only observes the precepts for the supreme “Paramartha-satya” [Ultimate Reality]. O good man! This is what we call perfection in the purity of the precepts of a Bodhisattva.

"Third, the Bodhisattva makes friends with various good friends of the Way. By a good friend of the Way is meant a person who speaks well about faith and sila, erudition, giving, Wisdom, and who makes people practise the Way. Such a person is called the Bodhisattva's good friend of the Way.

"Fouth, he seeks quietude. By quietude is meant the quietude of body and mind, by [means of] which one meditates on the depths of all existences. We call this quietude.

"Fifth, there is effort. By effort is meant that one single-mindedly thinks about the Four Noble Truths. Even if one's head were on fire, one would not cast this [pondering on the Four Truths] away. This is effort.

"Sixth, he has perfection in remembrance. By perfection in remembrance is meant thinking of the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, the precepts, the heavens, and equanimity. We call this perfection in thinking.

"Seventh, he has gentleness of speech. By gentleness of speech is meant the true words and the wonderful words which one utters and queries before the mind acts. It is timely speech and words of truth. We call this "gentle words".

"Eighth, there is protection of Dharma. To protect Dharma means to love Wonderful Dharma, always being happy to speak about it, read and recite, write and copy it, and to think of its meaning and expound it widely and make it prevail. If there is a person who copies, expounds, recites and praises [Dharma] and thinks about the meaning, one [should] seek things and give such to him for support, things such as clothing, drink and food, bedding, and medicine. For the protection of Dharma, one is ready to sacrifice one's body and life. This is protecting Dharma.

"Ninth, if the Bodhisattva sees any of his brethren or anyone who is upholding the same sila lacking in things, he goes to others and begs for an incense burner, priestly robes, what is required in the way of nursing, clothing, food and drink, bedding, and accommodation.

"Tenth, his Wisdom is perfect. By Wisdom is meant seeing the so-called Tathagata, the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure, and the fact that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature. He sees the two phases of things, which are: Void versus non-Void, Eternal versus non-Eternal, Bliss versus non-Bliss, the Self versus the non-Self, what is possible or not possible for crushing out the proposition of dissimilarity [“vaidharmya-drstanta”], the coming about or seeing of dissimilarity that arises out of causal relations, and the fruition of dissimilarity that arises out of causal relations or non-causality. This is what we call the perfection of Wisdom. O good man! This is how we say that when the Bodhisattva is perfect in these ten things, he can well see the formlessness of Nirvana."

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! The Buddha said previously to Cunda: "

You, Cunda, already see the Buddha-Nature, gain Great Nirvana and unsurpassed Bodhi." What does this mean? O World-Honoured One! You state in a sutra that giving to animals brings forth 100 recompenses; that giving to an icchantika gains one 1,000 recompenses; that giving to a person who upholds the precepts evokes 100,000 recompenses; that giving to a tirthika who has cut away defilement calls forth an innumerable number of recompenses; that giving to those of the stages of the four ways and the four fruitions up to pratyekabuddha results in an innumerable number of recompenses; that giving to the Bodhisattvas of the unretrogressive stage, the great Bodhisattvas of the final stage, and the Tathagata-World-Honoured One calls forth infinte and boundless benefit and recompense, surpassing the greatest degree of conception. If Cunda gains such recompense, the results can know no end. When will he arrive at unsurpassed Bodhi? You also state in the sutra: "If one, with a serious mind, does good or bad, one will unfailingly gain the results in this life, or in the life to come, or in later lives." Cunda did good with a serious mind. So, you [we] may know that he will unfailingly gain recompense. If he will unfailingly gain recompense, how can he expect to arrive at unsurpassed Bodhi and how can he see the Buddha-Nature?

"O World-Honoured One! You also say in the sutra: "If one gives things to three kinds of person, there will be no end of recompense. The first is a sick person; the second is one's parents; the third is the Tathagata." O World-Honoured One! You also state in the sutra: "The Buddha spoke to Ananda: "If beings have nothing involving the actions of desire, they will attain unsurpassed Bodhi. It is the same with things concerning actions material or non-material." O World-Honoured One! It is as is stated in a gatha of the “Dharmapada”:

"Not in the sky, not in the sea,

Nor by getting into mountains and caves

Can there be any question of seeking refuge;

There exists no place on earth

Where one no more suffers from karmic effects."

"Also, Aniruddha said: "O World-Honoured One! I recall to mind that by giving one meal, I did not fall into the three unfortunate realms for 80,000 kalpas [aeons]." O World-Honoured One! Even a single [act of] giving evokes this return. As against this, Cunda, with a mind of faith, makes offerings to the Buddha, having thus perfected and accomplished danaparamita. O World-Honoured One! If the results of good are unending, how can the offence of slandering the vaipulya sutras, of the five deadly sins, the four grave offences, and the sin of [being] an icchantika know any end of karmic returns? If they do not end, how can a person truly see the Buddha-Nature and attain unsurpassed Nirvana?"

The Buddha said: "Well said, well said, O good man! There are only two persons who can arrive at the innumerable and boundless and countless virtues which go beyond words. This truly makes away with foundering in the dashing waters and madding floods. This well beats the enemy, brings down the victorious banner of Mara, and turns well the unsurpassed Wheel of Dharma of the Tathagata. One is the good question [questioner] and the other the good answer [answerer].

"O good man! Of the ten powers of the Buddha, the karma power has the greatest weight. O good man! All beings belittle the causal relations of karma and do not believe in it. In order to teach such minds, such is said. O good man! In all the actions that one performs, there is what is light and what is grave. These two actions of the light and grave are each of two kinds. One is definite, and the other is indefinite. O good man! There may be a person who says that there is no return arising from evil actions. If it is the case that evil actions unfailingly call forth karmic consequences, how was Kekosendara able to gain birth in the heavens, or Angulimalya to attain the fruition of Emancipation? In view of this, know that there are cases where whatever is done unfailingly calls forth karmic results and that there can unfailingly be cases where no results arise. In order to do away with such bent views [as these], I say in the sutras that any action unfailingly calls forth karmic results.

"O good man! There are cases where grave actions turn out to be light in their results and light ones grave. This does not mean that this concerns all people; only the ignorant are concerned here. Because of this, know that this does not mean that all actions unfailingly call forth a result. Although the result does not unfailingly come into being, this does not mean that the result does not come about. O good man! There are two kinds of all beings. One is wise, the other ignorant. The wise , by dint of wisdom, truly encounters the gravest karma of the unfortunate realms in this life. The ignorant person receives the karmic consequences of this life severely in hell."

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! If things are thus, one should not seek purity in action and Emancipation."

The Buddha said: "O good man! If it is true that all actions definitely call forth results, do not seek purity in action and Emancipation. As it is indefinite, we practise pure actions and seek fruition in Emancipation. O good man! If one can well segregate one's self from all evil actions, one will gain good results; if one is far removed from good actions, one will arrive at evil fruition. If every action unfailingly called forth fruition, one would not seek to practise the Holy Way. If one does not practise the Way, there can be no Emancipation. The reason why all holy persons practise the Way is but to crush out the definite karma and gain light results. For the indefinite karma has no results to come about. If every action calls forth a result, one should not seek to practise the Holy Way. It is not possible to keep one's self from practising the Holy Way and yet gain Emancipation. There can be no such thing as arriving at Nirvana, not attaining Emancipation.

"O good man! If every good action is certain to call forth a result, every pure action that one performs in one's whole life will eternally call forth eternal peace, and every evil action of the last degree that one performs in one's whole life, too, will call forth the greatest of suffering eternally. If the action of karmic results is thus, there can be no practising of the Way, Emancipation, or Nirvana. If whatever is done by a man has to be borne by a man, this would mean that whatever is done by a Brahmin must be borne by a Brahmin. If things were thus, there could be no low caste and no low existences. A man could always be a man; a Brahmin could always be a Brahmin. Whatever was done in the days of one's small age [childhood] would have to be borne in the days of small age. One would not encounter the results in the days of one's middle or old age. The evil done in old age would bear fruit in hell, and one would not be able to suffer what one was to suffer as of the earlier days of hell. One must wait till the days of old age to suffer. The non-harming that one practised in one's old age will not bear fruit in one's prime of life. Without the prime of life, how can one come to be old? Because the karmic results cannot die out. If karma cannot die out, how could there be the practising of the Way and Nirvana?

"O good man! Of karma, there are two kinds, namely: definite and the indefinite. Of the karma that is definite, there are two kinds. One is the definiteness in result, and the other the definiteness in time. There can be cases where the result is definite and the time indefinite. When the causal relations conjoin, the result comes about in the Three Times of the present, the next life, or later lives.

"O good man! When one does good or evil with a settled mind, one gains a believing mind and joy. And one takes a vow or makes offerings to the Three Treasures. This is a definite action.

"One who is wise is persistent in good actions and cannot be moved. Because of this, the grave actions turn out to be light. One who is ignorant is persistent in non-good. Because of this, any light action turns out to be grave [in consequence] and calls forth a grave return. That is why all actions are not called definite.

"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva does no action that will gain him hell. For the sake of beings, he takes a great vow and gains life in hell. O good man! In days gone by, when beings' life-span was 100 years, innumerable beings, as many as the sands of the Ganges, received karmic results in hell. I saw this and I took a great vow and gained life in hell. The Bodhisattva, at that time, truth to tell, had no sin of such kind. For the sake of beings, he gained life in hell. I, at that time, was in hell, living there innumerable ages and expounding the 12 types of sutra extensively to all sinners. The sinners, on hearing this, crushed all their karmic results and emptied hell - except for the icchantika. This is how we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva receives the karmic results not later than in this life.

"Also, next, O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, an innumerable number of beings gained life in the animal realm, suffering evil karmic returns there. On seeing this, I took a vow, and to save them I gained life as such animals as the reindeer, deer, brown bear, dove, naga, serpent, garuda, fish, tortoise, fox, hare, cow, and horse. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva does not have, truth to tell, any sin to gain him such life as an animal. For the sake of beings, he takes a great vow and gains such a life. This is where we speak of the Bodhisattva-mahasattva's gaining an evil karmic life [return] not later than this life. Also, next, O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, there were also innumerable beings who gained life as hungry pretas [ghosts]. They devoured vomited saliva, fat and flesh, pus and blood, urine, tears and spittle. The span of their life was innumerable hundreds and thousands of years. Not once did they hear anything of juice or water. And how could they see anyone drink? Even if they saw water from afar and even if they gained the wish to go there, when they reached the place where such existed, everything changed into a great fire or pus or blood. At times, these might not change, but many people would obstruct the way with halberds in their hands or push the pretas back, so that they could not go forward. Or in the summer, rain might fall, but no sooner did it touch their body than it turned to fire. This is the work of the karmic returns of the evil they had done. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva has, truth to tell, no such sins to answer for. But to save beings and to enable them to attain Emancipation, he takes a vow and puts himself into such a life. This is why we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva suffers evil karmic returns not later than in this life.

"O good man! I, in the age of Bhadrakalpa, was born in a meat shop, but did not raise hens, pigs, cows or sheep; nor did I hunt with bows and nets, or catch fish, or live in a candala's house; nor did I rob or plunder. The Bodhisattva has never done any such things. To enable beings to attain Emancipation, he took a great vow and gained such a body. This is why we say that a Bodhisattva-mahasattva undergoes a life of evil karmic returns not later than in this life.

"O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, I gained life in a remote place, was full of greed, anger, and ignorance, did unlawful things, did not believe in the Three Treasures and the karmic returns that ensue in later lives, did not respect my parents and the intimate, the aged and the elderly. O good man! The Bodhisattva, at that time, had no such karma to suffer. To enable beings to gain Emancipation, he took a great vow and gained life in this place. This is where we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva undergoes an evil life, not in this life, not in the next life, and not in later lives.

"O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, he gained such lives as those of a female, of evil, greed, anger, ignorance, jealousy, parsimony, of a phantom, of madness, and of a person clad in defilement. O good man! Know that the Bodhisattva did nothing of the kind [to merit] such karma. Only to enable beings to attain Emancipation did he take a great vow and gain such a form of life. This is where we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva undergoes evil karmic consequences not in this present life, not in the life to follow, nor in later lives.

"O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, I gained such forms of life as of one with imperfect genital organs, one sexless, dually-sexed, or indefinite. O good man! Truth to tell, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva has no such actions to answer for. In order to enable beings to attain Emancipation, he takes a great vow and undergoes such a life. This is where we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva undergoes evil karma not in this life, not in the next life, or not in later lives.

"O good man! In this Bhadrakalpa, I practised the ways of the tirthikas and the Nirgranthas, and believed in their teachings. There was no giving, no shrine, and no recompense for dedication of the shrine. There were no good or bad actions, no good or bad returns [according to their theory]. There was no present life, no life to come, and not this and not that. There existed no holy, no transformed body, no Way, and no Nirvana. O good man! The Bodhisattva has no such evil karmas to answer for. Only to enable beings to attain Emancipation does he take a great vow and experience such twisted things. This is why we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva undergoes evil actions, not in this life, not in the life to come, nor in later lives.

"O good man! I call to mind that once in the past, we were merchants, Devadatta and I. And each of us had 500 merchants. Seeking profit, we went to a great sea in search of rare things. Through evil causal relations, we met with a storm on the way and, ship-wrecked, our comrades all died. At that time, Devadatta and I, because of non-harming and by the causal relations for a long life, were blown across onto land. Then, Devadatta, regretting that he had lost the treasure, was greatly worried and wept loudly. I then said: "O Devadatta! Do not weep!" Devadatta said to me: "Listen to me carefully, listen carefully! For example, there is a man oppressed by poverty. He goes to the graveyard and catches hold of a corpse and says: "O you! Give me the joy of death. I shall now give you poverty and life." Then, the corpse stands up and says to the poor man: "O good man! Take poverty and life yourself. I am now immersed in the joy of death. I am not pleased to see you poor and alive." The situation is like this. But I do not have the bliss of death to hand, and besides, I am poverty-stricken. What else can I do other than cry and weep?" I also appeased him: "Do not be sad. I now have two beads, which are priceless. I will give you one." I gave it [to him] and said: "A person who has life gains this gem. If without life, how can one expect to have this?" I then felt tired and drowsed in the shade of a tree. Devadatta, burning with greed, gained an evil thought. Thrusting and harming my eyes, he took away the other bead. In pain, I cried and wept. Then, there was a woman who came to me and asked: "Why do you cry and weep?" I then told her of all that had taken place. On hearing of this, she further asked: "What is your name?" I said: "I am called True-Word."  "How can I know that you are truthful?" I then took an oath: "If I should now have evil thoughts towards Devadatta, let me be one-eyed; if not, let my eyes gain the light." Having said this, my eyes were cured and were as good as before. O good man! This is where we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva speaks about the recompense that comes about in this life.

"O good man! I call back to mind that I was once born in Southern India, at Putana Castle, in the house of a Brahmin. At that time, there was a king called Garapu. He was rude, evil, arrogant, and haughty. Being in the prime of life and handsome, he was immersed in the life of the five desires. To save beings, I, at that time, lived on the outskirts of the castle-town and sat in meditation. Then, the king came out of the castle, accompanied by relatives, courtiers, and court ladies into the world of spring trees and flowers. In the forest, he disported himself in the play of the five desires. All the females, abandoning, the king, came to me. I then - to do away with the greed of the king - spoke of Dharma. Then, the king came to me and gained an evil mind. He asked: "Have you already arrived at arhatship?" I said: "Not yet." He asked again: "Have you arrived yet at the stage of anagamin?" I said: "Not yet." He further said: "If not yet arrived at these two fruitions, you must be perfect in greed. How dare you look at my females?" I then replied: "O great King! Although I have not yet cut off the bond of greed, I have no greed in my mind." The king said: "O fool! There is in the world many a rishi who feeds on air and fruit. But on seeing beauty, he feels greed [desire]. And you are still in the prime of life and are not yet parted from greed. How can you be free from beauty, when actually seeing it?" I said: "O great King! One sees colour, but does not get attached to it. It is like feeding on air and not on fruits. It comes from the mind that rests on impermanence and impurity." The king said: "Belittling others and slandering, how can one practise the pureness of the precepts?" I said: "O great King! If one has jealousy, there can be slandering. I have no jealousy. How could I slander [anyone]?" The king said: "O greatly-virtuous! What do you mean by precepts?"  "O King! Forbearance [patient endurance] is a precept." The king said: "If forbearance is a precept, I shall cut off your ear-lobe. If you can indeed stand it, I will know what the precept is." Then the king cut off my ear-lobe, but I, with my ear-lobe cut off, lost no colour. All the courtiers, on seeing this, admonished the king and said: "Please do not cause any harm to such a great person!" The king said to all his ministers: "How do you know whether this is a great person?" The ministers said: "Despite his receiving such a painful wound, his mien has not changed." The king said again: "I shall try further and see if he changes [colour] or not." And he sliced off my nose, and cut off my hands and feet. At that time, the Bodhisattva had practised the works of loving-kindness in innumerable and boundless worlds and had pity for beings who were sunk in the mire of suffering. Then the four guardians of the earth, becoming angry, rained down sand, gravel and stones. The king, on seeing this, became frightened, came to me, and prostrating on the ground said: "Please have mercy and allow me to repent." I said: "O great King! I seem to have no anger and no greed in my mind." The king said: "O greatly-virtuous! How can you have no anger and no enmity in your mind?" I then took an oath: "Let my body be reinstated as it was before if I do not have any anger or enmity in my mind." No sooner had I said this, than my body was reinstated as it was before. This is what [we mean when we say that] the Bodhisattva-mahasattva speaks about recompense in this life.

"O good man! It is the same with the karmic results that are to come about in the next life and in later lives, and with the matter of evil actions. When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva attains unsurpassed Bodhi, all actions gain their recompense in the present life. If the karmic results of non-good and evil actions are to visit one in this present life, things will proceed as when the heavens let fall the evil rain on account of the evil actions of the king. Also, this is as when the hands dropped off a person who showed a hunter where the brown bear and the deer of beautiful colour lived. These are instances where evil actions call forth karmic returns in this present life. As to the results that are to visit a person in the next life, they are those of the icchantika, and those who commit the four grave offences and the five deadly sins. The recompense that visits a person who upholds sila [the moral precepts] and who takes a vow such as saying: "I pray that I may, in my next life, gain a body in which I can be pure in sila. And in an age when the life-span of men is 100 years and when I can be blessed with an age of 80, I shall be a Chakravartin [world ruler] and teach beings." O good man! If the karmic result is definitely to visit one in this present life, there can be no karmic returns that come to one in the next life or in later lives. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva may practise the 32 signs of perfection of a great man, but he cannot expect the recompense in this present life. If one's action does not call forth the three kinds of recompense, we call this indefinite.

"O good man! If all actions must definitely call forth karmic returns, one cannot practise pure actions, Emancipation, and Nirvana. Know that such are not my disciples; they are the kindred of Mara.

"All actions have the phases of "definite" and "indefinite". By definite is meant the karmic returns that one experiences in this life, in the life to come, and in later lives. By indefinite is meant the cases where the karmic returns come about when the causal relations meet, and if not, these will not come to visit the person. Because of this, if any person says that there are pure actions, Emancipation, and Nirvana, such a person is, truth to tell, my own disciple and not the kindred of Mara. This you should know. O good man! With beings, the results that are indefinite are many, and few the results that are definite. Because of this, there can be the practising of the Way. When one practises the Way, the definite, grave karmic returns can be felt as light; and there can be no experiencing of the indefinite karmic returns in the life to come.

"O good man! There are two kinds of people. One makes the indefinite definite; the other makes the karmic returns of the present life those of the life to come; what is light that which is grave, and what is to be suffered in this human life to be suffered in hell.

"The second makes what is definite indefinite, what belongs to the life to come [happen in] the present life, what is grave that which is light, and what is of hell that which is light in this human life. The ignorant make things grave.

"Of these two, the one is ignorant, and the other is wise. The wise person makes things light, and the ignorant person makes things grave in nature.      

"O good man! For example, there are two persons who have sinned against the king. The one, with many relatives, suffers little, whereas the other, with few relatives, suffers much, although it ought to be light in suffering. It is the same with the ignorant. The wise person suffers less because of the large amount of good he has amassed, although the sin is grave. With the ignorant person, his good actions being few, he has to suffer greatly, although his sin is light. The situaiton is like this.

"O good man! For example, there are two persons, one is fat and is in the prime of life, whereas the other is weakly constituted and has less physical strength. The two lose their feet in mud, at which the one who is fat and in the prime of life easily gets out, whereas the weaker one sinks down. The situation is like this.

"O good man! There are two persons who both partake of poison. One has a charm and the drug, agada, whereas the other does not. The poison cannot destroy the one with the charm and drug, whereas the other who does not have such has to die.

"O good man! There are two persons who take some juice. One has the fire of life and the other has it less. The one with much fire digests it well, whereas with the person whose force of life is weak, it works harm.

"O good man! There are two persons who get chained up by the king. One is intelligent, whereas the other is dull. The intelligent person escapes, whereas the other one, who is dull, cannot get away.

"O good man! There are two persons who together follow a steep path. One has eyesight, whereas the other is blind. The one with eyesight goes on without any ado, whereas the blind man falls into the depths of the steep [gorge].

"O good man! For example, two persons take drinks. One eats a lot, whereas the other eats less. With the one who eats a lot, the drinks do less harm, whereas for the one who eats little, the drinks cause him trouble. The case is like this.

"O good man! For example, two persons go to the battle front. One is garbed in armour and [equipped] with a staff [sword], whereas the other has none. The one armed with a staff easily crushes the enemy, whereas the one who is not has no means of turning away the arms of the enemy.

"Also, there are two persons who make the Buddhist robe dirty. The one sees this and washes it, whereas the other knows but does not wash it. The robe of the one who has washed it at once is clean, whereas that of the one who does not increases its defilement day by day.

"Also, there are two persons who both ride in a cart. The cart with spokes goes as the person wills, whereas the one without [spokes] does not move.

"Also, there are two persons, who are travelling across a wilderness. One has food, whereas the other does not. The person with the food carries himself across the hard ways, whereas the one who does not cannot do so.

"Also, two persons are attacked by robbers. The one has a store of treasure [at home], whereas the other does not. The one with a storehouse has no apprehension, whereas the one who has not has worries. It is the same with the ignorant. One who has amassed good can stand grave sins in a light way, whereas the other, having no stock of good actions, has to suffer heavily."

Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! Just as you, the Buddha, say, not all actions call forth definite results, in the same way, all beings do not always definitely have to suffer. O World-Honoured One! Why must beings undergo heavy sufferings in hell for what can be suffered lightly in the present life, and why can what obtains heavily in hell be light in the present life?"

The Buddha said: "There are two kinds of beings. One is wise, and the other ignorant. One who upholds the precepts of the body well and practises the wisdom of the mind is one who is wise; one who does not uphold the precepts and practise the wisdom of the mind is one who is ignorant.

"How does one not well practise the body? If one does not control the five sense-organs, we say that such a person is one who does not control his body. When a person does not control the seven kinds of pure precept, we say that he does not uphold the precepts. When a person does not adjust his mind, we say that there is no practising of the mind. When a person does not practise holy actions, we say that this is not practising Wisdom.

"Also, next, by the non-practising of the body, one cannot be perfect in the pureness of the precept-body [the spiritual entity of sila, so to speak]. By the non-practising of the precepts is meant the receiving or storing of the eight impure things. The non-practising of the mind is so called because one does not practise the three kinds of forms. The non-practising of Wisdom is so called because one does not practise pure actions.

"Also, next, we say that we do not practise the body because we cannot meditate on body, matter, and the representations of matter. Also, we do not meditate on the representations; we do not know of the elements of the body and the fact that this body moves on to that body. One sees body in non-body and matter in non-matter. Because of this, one greedily clings to the body and the body-elements. This is the non-practising of the body.

"We say that there is the non-practising of the precepts. The receiving of low-grade sila is the non-practising of the precepts. One-sided precepts are what one does for one's benefit, for adjusting one's own self, and not for giving peace to all beings. It is not to protect unsurpassed Wonderful Dharma. What the person does is for birth in the heavens and there to be blessed with the five desires, which is not called practising the precepts.

"By the non-practising of the mind is meant the dispersed state of mind in which the person does not guard his own realm of existence. By one's own realm is meant the four remembrances; and by the other realm is meant the five desires. When a person does not practise the four remembrances, we speak of non-practice of the mind. When a person is sunk in evil actions and does not guard well his own mind, we call this the non-practice of Wisdom.

"Also, next, by the non-practice of the body is meant that the person does not see that this carnal body is non-eternal, that it has no place to live in, and that it collapses, and it dies out moment after moment, and that it is the world of Mara.

"By the non-practice of the precepts is meant the non-accompaniment of silaparamita [perfected morality]. By the non-practice of the mind is meant that the person is not perfect in dhyanaparamita [perfected meditation]. By the non-practice of Wisdom is meant that the person is not perfect in prajnaparamita [perfected Wisdom].

"Also, next, we say that there is the non-practice of the body, which is greedily to cling to one's own body and what belongs to it, and to think that one's body is eternal and that it does not change.

"We talk of the non-practice of the precepts. This is to do for one's own sake the ten evil deeds.

"The non-practice of the mind means that the person does not control his doing of evil deeds.

"The non-practice of Wisdom means that the person cannot see through to the good and bad of things, because of the non-control of the mind.

"Also, next, the non-practice of the body means that the person is not away from the notion of the wrong view of Self ["atmadrsti": regarding the ego as existing eternally unchanged]. The non-practice of the precepts means that the person is not away from the wrong view regarding the precepts [“silavrataparamarsa”]. The non-practice of the mind means that the person falls into hell [after] enacting greed and anger, and the non-practice of Wisdom means that the person fails to do away with the ignorant mind.

"Also, next, the non-practice of the body fails to see that the body is always the enemy, even though it has nothing [for which it is] to blame.

"O good man! For example, there is a man who has an enemy, who ever seeks his whereabouts. One who is wise sees this and is awake to it and guards against it. If not guarded against, there is the danger of being harmed. It is the same with all the bodies of beings. One always, cold or hot, nourishes it with food and drink. If not thus protected, the body will go into dissolution. O good man! The Brahmin, worshipping the god of fire, always offers incense and flowers, praises and worships [it], makes offerings and serves [it], and he may well gain a life of 100 years. But if he touches it, the fire will burn the hand that does so. This fire, having been so much cherished and offered things, knows nothing of repaying what it owes the one who has single-mindedly served it. It is the same with the bodies of all beings. For years, the body is served with the best of incense and flowers, necklaces, clothing, food and drink, bedding and medicine. But when it encounters the causal relations that press in from within and without, all at once collapses, and it now does not think back a whit to what offerings and clothes were given it in days gone by.

"O good man! For example, there is a king who has four vipers, which he keeps in a box and orders a person to feed and take care of. Any of these four will harm a person once it gets angry. The man, fearing this, always seeks food and feeds them. It is the same with the four great vipers of all beings. Once angered, they will destroy the body.

"O good man! A man is mindful of a chronic disease, for which he seeks a doctor and a means of cure. Should he incessantly fail to cure [the disease], death will unfailingly visit him. It is the same with the body of all beings. One must always take care and there cannot be any indolence. Indolence will call forth death.

"O good man! For example, it is the same with an earthenware pot, which cannot endure the wind and rain, beating, and pressure. It is the same with the body of all beings. It cannot endure hunger, thirst, cold and heat, wind and rain, beating and ill-speaking.

"O good man! A carbuncle, when not yet fully grown, always protects itself well and prevents others from touching it. If anyone should happen to touch it, it responds with great pain. It is the same with the body of all beings.

"O good man! When a mule bears a child, this destroys its own body. The same is the case with the body of all beings. If the inside is cold, the body suffers.

"O good man! For example, just as the plantain tree dies when it bears fruit, so do matters stand with all other things.

"O good man! Just as the plantain fruit has nothing solid inside it, so is it with the body of all beings.

"O good man! Just as the serpent, rat, and wolf all hate each other, so do matters stand with the four great elements.

"O good man! Just as the swan king does not seek to be in a graveyard, so do things stand with the Bodhisattva. The body does not greedily find pleasure in a graveyard.

"O good man! Just as a candala will not give up his occupation for seven generations successively because people look down upon him, the same is also the situation with the seed of this body. The seed and blood are after all not pure. Their being not pure, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas reproach them.

"O good man! This body is not like the Malaya hills where sandalwood grows; it cannot call forth the utpala, pundarika, campaka, mallika, or varsika. The nine holes always leak out pus and blood and impure things. Where one is born [vagina] smells bad and is defiled and ugly to look at, and worms always live there.

"O good man! For example, there might be an all-wonderful garden and forest in the world. But if any corpse should come therein, it becomes impure, and people abandon it, and no person any longer feels love or attachment [to that place]. It is the same with what comes about in the world of matter. Though wonderful to look at, as there is the body representing it, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas abandon it.

"O good man! If a person cannot see things in this light, we do not call this the practice of the body.

"We say that there is the non-practice of the precepts. O good man! This is none other than not being able to regard sila [the moral precepts] as a kind of ladder to all good dharmas [things]. Sila is the root of all good dharmas. This is as with the earth, which is where all trees grow. This is the best guide to all good. This is like the owner of a ship that guides all merchants. Sila is the banner of victory. It is like the hanging ensign of Devendra. Sila eternally extirpates all evil deeds and the three unfortunate realms. It thoroughly cures serious illnesses, like a medicinal tree. Sila is none other than food on the steep path of birth and death. It is the armour and staff that crush the thieves of defilement; and it is the best charm, which annihilates the poison of the viper of defilement; or it is the bridge by means of which one can truly cross over the path of evil actions. Any person who cannot think in this way is one who does not practise the precepts.

"We say that there is the non-practising of the mind. This is none other than being unable to meditate on the mind. It [the mind] carries itself lightly and noisily and is hard to catch hold of and to destroy. It runs about unmolested like an evil-minded elephant. Its movements are quick every moment, as swift as lightning. It is as noisy and and unstaying [restless] as any monkey. It is like a phantom or a flame. It is the root of evil, and it is hard to satisfy the call of the five desires. This is like fire that feeds on fuel, or the great ocean, which takes in all river-waters, or like any grass and plants that grow so luuriantly in Mandara. If a person does not meditate on the falsity of birth and death, he will get lured away, as with a fish that swallows the hook. Always a lead is given, followed by all actions. This is like the mother shell  that leads all the small ones. A person gets greedily attached to the five desires and does not care for Nirvana. This is like the camel that eats honey, forgetting all bout the fodder till death catches hold of it. People are deeply attached to actual pleasures and forget all about the worries that later come to them. This is like the cow that greedily devours the seedlings, not afraid of, and forgetting all about, the slashings by staff and thorns that have to follow. It [the mind] runs after the 25 existences. This is like the hurricane that blows away cotton. It endlessly seeks what one cannot seek, as with an ignorant person who seeks fire where there is no heat. People are always stuck to birth and death and do not wish to seek Emancipation. This is as in the case of the nimba worm, which seeks the neemb tree [azadirachta Indica]. People are lured by, and adhere to, the foul-smelling defilement of birth and death, like a prisoner who longs and asks the warder for a woman, or like a pig who is happy lying in an impure place. Anyone who does not see things thus can be called one not practising the mind.

"We speak of the non-practice of Wisdom. Wisdom has great power, like that of the garuda [a mythical bird]. It truly destroys evil actions and gloom, as does the light of the sun. It thoroughly uproots the tree of the skandhas, like water, which can easily float things up [to the surface]. Wisdom thoroughly burns out the evil views of life, like a great fire, and is the fountainhead of all good dharmas and the seed from which come about the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. If one does not see things thus, this is none other than the non-practice of Wisdom.

"O good man! If there is anyone who sees in “Paramartha-satya” [Ultimate Truth] the body and the representation of the body, the cause and result of the body, the skandha of the body, one body or two bodies, this body or that body, the extinction and equality of the body, the practice of the body or one who practises the body, such is the non-practice of the body.

"O good man! If there is anyone who sees sila and any representation of sila, the cause and result of sila, the top and bottom of sila, the skandha of sila, one or two silas, this sila and that sila, the extinction and equality of sila, the practice of sila and one who practises sila, silaparamita, this is the non-practice of sila.

"If there is any person who sees such as the mind and the representation of the mind, the cause and result of the mind, the skandha of the mind, what belongs to the mind, one or two minds, this and that mind, the extinction and equality of the mind, the practising and one who practises the mind, the top, middle and bottom of the mind, the good and bad mind - this is the non-practice of the mind.

"O good man! If there is anyone who sees Wisdom and the phase of representation of Wisdom, the cause and result of Wisdom, the skandha of Wisdom, one or two Wisdoms, this and that Wisdom, the extinction and equality of Wisdom, the top, middle, and bottom of Wisdom, sharp and dull Wisdom, the practising of, and one who practises, Wisdom, this is none other than the non-practising of Wisdom.

"O good man! If there is any person who does not practise the body, sila, Wisdom, and the mind, such a one will suffer from a great karmic consequence for a small evil deed. And out of fear, he will think: "I am bound for hell; I have done the deeds of hell." Even when the wise speak of the pains of hell, he will always think: "It is like iron hitting iron, stone stone, wood wood, and the firefly enjoying fire. The body of hell will look like hell. If it resembles hell, what more pain could there be?" For example, it is like the blue fly that gets caught by saliva and cannot get free. It is the same with the human being, too. He cannot extract himself from a small evil. The mind never once repents and covers the wound by doing good. In the past, there were all good deeds, but all these became defiled by this sin. What little evil a person has to suffer in this life turns out as the heaviest karmic results in hell. O good man! If we add one “sho” [a unit of measurement for liquid or cereal] of salt to a small vessel of water, it becomes so salty that we cannot drink it. It is the same with this person's evil, too. O good man! For example, there is a man whose one “sen” [a unit of money] which he owes a person, and which he is unable to pay back, chains him to prison, where he has to suffer many a hardship. It is the same with this person's sin, too.

Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! Why is it that this person's light sin, from which he has to suffer in this present life, turns out to chain him to hell?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! If any person has five things to answer for, any slight sin he has committed will turn out to be answered in hell. What are the five? They are:  1) ignorance,  2) littleness of good done,  3) graveness of evil done,  4) non-repentance,  5) no good ever done before. Also, there are five things, which are:  1) practising of evil,  2) not upholding the precepts,  3) abstaining from doing good,  4) not practising the body, sila, Wisdom, and the mind, and  5) befriending evil persons. O good man! Because of these, a slight evil in the present life evokes grave returns in hell. O good man! Because of these, the light karmic result that one [would otherwise have] to suffer in this life becomes the heavier to suffer in hell."

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! Who suffers less in the present life what he would have to suffer in hell?"

"O good man! Any person in the world who practises the body, sila, Wisdom, and the mind, as stated above, and who sees that all things are void and all-equal, and who sees no Wisdom, none who is wise, no ignorance, none who is ignorant, no practising and none who practises, such is one who is wise. Such a person indeed practises the body, sila, the mind, and Wisdom. Any such person indeed makes [what would have been] karmic results in hell become less to be suffered in this life. This person may have committed the gravest of sins, but he thinks over [the matter], sees, and makes it light, and says: "What I have done is grave in nature. But nothing is better than good actions. For example, 100 pounds of flower upon flower cannot after all compare with a “ryo” [unit of weight or money] of true gold. We might well throw a “sho” of salt into the Ganges, but no taste of salt will come about [from this] and no one, on drinking it, will taste it. A rich man may possess 1,000 million jewels and yet he will not be chained up and made to suffer pain on their account. Or a great gandhahastin can break an iron chain, escape and be unimpeded." So is it [also] with the person who has Wisdom. He always thinks to himself: "I have much of the power of good and little of evil actions. I confess and repent and do away with evil. If we practise Wisdom, the power of Wisdom will grow, and the power of ignorance will lessen." Thinking thus, he befriends a good teacher of the Way and learns the right view of life. If he sees a person who upholds, recites, copies and expounds the 12 types of sutra, he will feel respect in his mind and, besides, will make offerings to him of such things as clothing, food, accommodation, bedding, medicine, flowers and incense, and will praise and respect [him]. Wherever he goes, he only praises what is good and does not speak of what is lacking. He makes offerings to the Three Treasures and respects and believes that the vaipulya Great Nirvana Sutra and the Tathagata are Eternal and Unchanging, and that beings have the Buddha-Nature. Such a person makes what would be heavily suffered in hell something that is [only] light suffering in this life. O good man! For this reason, it is not the case that all actions are definite and that all beings definitely have to undergo karmic consequences."

Chapter Thirty-Nine: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar (g)

Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! If all actions do not definitely call forth [fixed] karmic results, and all beings have the Buddha-Nature and should practise the Noble Eightfold Path, why is it that all beings do not attain this Mahaparinirvana? O World-Honoured One! If all beings have the Buddha-Nature, they must definitely attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Why is it that they definitely needs must practise the Noble Eightfold Path? O World-Honoured One! This sutra states: "There is a sick person who gains medicine, an attendant for the illness, and the food and drink needed for the illness; or there may by none such. But all will get cured. It is the same with all beings, too. They may encounter sravakas, pratyekabuddhas, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and all good teachers of the Way, listen to sermons and practise the holy ways. Or they may not encounter, listen to and practise such, but they must [i.e. will unfailingly] all attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Why? Because of the Buddha-Nature." Thus does it stand. O World-Honoured One! For example, it is not possible for the light of the sun and moon to get obstructed on the way, so that it cannot get around the Antarava [Anderab] Mountains, or for the waters of the four great rivers not to reach the great ocean, or for the icchantika not to go to hell. It is the same with all beings, too. There cannot be any situation where hindrances come about so that they cannot attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Why not? Because of the Buddha-Nature. O World-Honoured One! Because of this, all beings do not practise the Way. Because of the power of the Buddha-Nature, they attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. There is no reason that one needs to fall [depend] on the power of the Holy Way. O World-Honoured One! If the icchantika, those of the four grave offences, and those of the four deadly sins cannot attain unsurpassed Enlightenment, one will surely practise the Way. Because one surely attains it by the power of the Buddha-Nature. It is not that one attains it by learning and practising. O World-Honoured One! For example, a magnet, though distant, attracts iron. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of beings. Because of this, one need not practise the Way."

The Buddha said: "Well said, well said, O good man! By the Ganges there live seven kinds of men. They are afraid of robbers because they are now bathing. Or the case might be as with those who get into the river in order to pick flowers. The first person gets drowned as he gets into the water; the second person sinks in mid-water, but comes up and sinks down again into the water. Why? Because his body is powerful and strong, he is able to get out. The one who has not learnt to float comes up and then sinks again. The third comes up after sinking. Coming up, he does not sink again. Why not? Because his body is heavy, so he sinks, but as his power is great, he comes up. Having already learnt to float, he stays up. The fourth person, on getting into the water, comes up again. Coming up, he looks around. Why? As he is heavy, he sinks, as he has great power, he comes up; as he has learnt to float, he remains [up]; not knowing where to get out, he looks around. The fifth person, on going into the water, sinks, and having sunk, he comes up. Having come up, he looks around; having looked, he goes. Why? Because he fears. The sixth person goes into the water, and gets out, and stays in the shallow waters. Why? Because he sees the robbers who are nearby and [also] far off. The seventh person is already up on the other bank and is on a great mountain. He fears nothing; out of the reach of the robbers, he is blessed with great bliss. O good man! It is the same situation with the great river of birth and death, too.

"These are the seven kinds of people. As they fear the robbers of defilement, they make up their minds and wish to cross the great river of birth and death. They abandon their homes, shave their heads, and don priestly robes. Having renounced their homes, they associate with evil friends, follow their teachings, and give ear to their doctrines, which state: "Man's body is the five skandhas. The five skandhas are none but the five great elements. When a man dies, he does away with the five great elements. When he parts with the five great elements, why does he any longer need to practise good or bad? Because of this, one may know that there can be no karmic returns of good or bad." Such a person is an icchantika. He is cut off from the root of good or bad. Cut off from the root of good, he sinks into the waters of birth and death and is unable to get out. Why? Because of the great weight of evil deeds, and he has no power of faith. He is like the first person of those on the banks of the river Ganges.

"O good man! The icchantika has six causal relations. He falls into the three unfortunate realms and cannot get out of them. What are the six? They are:  1) his evil mind burns,  2) he does not see the after-life,  3) he takes pleasure in seeking defilement,  4) he walks away from good,  5) evil actions hinder his way, and  6) he associates with an evil teacher of the Way.

"This again possesses five things, by which the person falls into the three unfortunate realms. What are the five? They are:  1) he always says that there can be no karmic results to come about in regard to good or bad actions,  2) he kills a person who has aspired to Bodhi,  3) he takes pleasure in speaking about the evils committed by priests,  4) he says that what is right is not right and what transgresses Dharma is lawful, and  5) he gives ear to Dharma just to pick up what goes against [i.e. to find fault].

"Also, there are three things by which the person falls into the three unfortunate realms. What are the three? These are saying that: 1) the Tathagata is non-eternal, and goes away eternally,  2) Wonderful Dharma is non-eternal and changes, and  3) the Sangha Jewel gets destroyed. For this reason, he always sinks into the three unfortunate realms.

"The second person aspires to cross the great river of birth and death, but devoid of amassed good sinks and is unable to get out. We speak of "getting out". This is associating with a good teacher of the Way, through which one gains faith. By faith is meant believing that dana [giving] evokes the fruition of dana, that any action that can be called good calls forth the fruition of good, and any action that is evil that of evil, and it is believing in the suffering of birth and death, and believing in impermanence and dissolution. This is faith. Gaining faith, the person practises pure sila, upholds, recites, copies and expounds [the sutras]. He always gives and well practises Wisdom. If dull, the person encounters an evil friend. He is unable to learn how to practise the sila of body and the Wisdom of mind. He gives ear to evil teachings. Or he may happen to be visited by an evil period of time and be born in an evil land and be cut off from good deeds. Cut off from the root of goodness, he always sinks into birth and death. His case is like that of the second person on the banks of the river Ganges.

"The third person looks forward to crossing the great river of birth and death. Devoid of good, he sinks in mid-water. His drawing near to a good teacher of the Way is his getting out. The Tathagata is the All-Knower. He is Eternal and suffers no change. For the sake of beings, he speaks about the unsurpassed Way. All beings have the Buddha-Nature. The Tathagata does not go into extinction. It is the same with the Dharma and Sangha, too. There is no extinction. Not having done away with his own quality, the icchantika cannot attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. He needs must do away with it, and then he will attain it [Enlightenment]. Thus does he believe. Through faith, he practises pure sila. Having practised pure sila, he upholds, recites, copies and expounds the 12 types of sutra and speaks of them extensively for the benefit of beings. He is pleased to give and to practise Wisdom. Born sharp-minded, he firmly abides in faith and Wisdom and does not draw back in his determination. This is like the situation of the third person on the banks of the river Ganges.

"The fourth person desires to cross the great river of birth and death. Devoid of good amassed, he sinks in mid-water. Coming close to a good teacher of the Way, he gains faith. This is getting out. As he gains faith, he upholds, recites, copies and expounds, and for the sake of beings he propounds Dharma widely. He takes pleasure in giving and practises Wisdom. Born sharp-minded, he firmly believes in faith and Wisdom. There is no drawing back with him from his resolve, and he looks all around in the four directions. The four directions mean the four fruitions of a sramana. This is like the fourth person on the banks of the river Ganges.

"The fifth person is one who aspires to cross the great river of birth and death, but with no good amassed, sinks in mid-water. Associating with a good teacher of the Way, he gains faith. This is gettiing out. With faith, he upholds, recites, copies, expounds the 12 types of sutras and speaks expansively for the sake of beings. He takes pleasure in giving, and he practises Wisdom. Sharp-born, he firmly abides in faith and Wisdom, and there is no regression in his mind. Not regressing, he makes progress. Making progress refers to the pratyekabuddha. Although good as regards the salvation of his own self, this does not extend to others. This is getting out. This is as with the fifth person on the banks of the river Ganges.

"The sixth person aspires to cross the great river of birth and death. Devoid of accumulated good, he sinks in mid-water. Coming close to a good teacher of the Way, he gains faith. Gaining faith is getting out. Due to faith, he upholds, recites, copies and extensively speaks about [Dharma] for the sake of beings. He takes pleasure in giving and practises Wisdom. Sharp-born, he bases himself firmly on faith and Wisdom, and his mind does not retrogress. Not retrogressing, he proceeds on and at last gains the shallow waters. Arriving at the shallow waters, he remains there and does not move about. We say that he remains. This means that the Bodhisattva, in order to save all beings, abides there and meditates on defilement. He is like the sixth person on the banks of the river Ganges.

"The seventh person aspires to cross the great river of birth and death. But with no good amassed up to thus far, he sinks in mid-water. On meeting a good teacher of the Way, he gains faith. This gaining of faith is what we call "getting out". Due to faith, he upholds, recites, copies and expounds the 12 types of sutra, and for the benefit of beings he speaks extensively of them. He takes pleasure in giving and practises Wisdom. Sharp-born, he firmly abides in faith and Wisdom, and he does not retrogress in mind. As he does not retrogress, he steps forward. Stepping forward, he reaches the other shore. Having gained the heights of a great mountain, he is now segregated from fear and is blessed with much peace. O good man! The mountain on the other shore can be likened to the Tathagata, peace to the Eternality of the Buddha, and the great and high mountain is Great Nirvana.

"O good man! Such persons on the banks of the river Ganges all have hands and feet, but they are difficult to save. It is the same with all beings, too. The Three Jewels of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha truly exist, and the Tathagata always expounds the essentials of all laws [Dharma]. There are the Noble Eightfold Path and Mahaparinirvana. All beings can gain all of these. This is not what comes out of me or of those noble paths or of beings. Know that all these go back to defilement. Because of this, all beings cannot gain Nirvana.

"O good man! A good doctor knows about illness and speaks about medicine. If the sick person does not take it, the doctor is not to blame.

"O good man! A danapati [giver] gives things to all persons. There may be those who will not accept [the gifts]. The giver is not to blame for this.

"O good man! When the sun comes out, all gloom turns to brightness. But the blind cannot see this. The sun is not to blame for this.

"O good man! The water of the river Ganges indeed does away with thirst. There may be those who are thirsty, but who do not drink. The water is not to blame.

"O good man! The great earth brings forth fruit for everyone all-equally. But there may be farmers who do not plant [anything]. The earth is not to blame for this.

"O good man! The Tathagata gives and expounds the 12 types of sutra to all beings. But the Tathagata is not to blame if the beings will not take them. O good man! Those who practise the Way will all attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. O good man! You say that beings all have the Buddha-Nature and that it is as unfailing as a magnet that they will attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. It is well, it is well that because of the causal relations of the Buddha-Nature the person will attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Should you say that there is no need to practise the Holy Path, this is not so.

"O good man! As an illustration: a man is journeying through a wilderness and feels thirsty, when he comes across a well. It is very deep, so that he cannot see the water. But we may know that there assuredly is water there. If the person brings forth the means and draws up the water with a rope and a bucket, then the water is assuredly there. It is the same, too, with the Buddha-Nature. All beings possess it. But only by practising the undefiled Noble Path can one truly see it.

"O good man! If there is sesame, we can get oil. If we do not have the means, we cannot get it. It is the same with sugar cane.

"O good man! Though the north of Uttarakuru of Trayastrimsa Heaven exists, one cannot see it other than by accumulation of good karma, miraculous power, and the power of the Way. The roots of trees and grass which are under the ground, and the water in the ground, cannot be seen by us, since the earth covers them. It is the same situation with the Buddha-Nature, too. If one does not practise the Holy Way, one cannot expect to see it.

"O good man! You say that the illnesses of the world will get cured with or without nursing, a good doctor, good medicine, and the food and drink needed for those illnesses. O good man! I spoke thus to all Bodhisattvas of the sixth stage.

"O good man! All the beings in space have no inside, no outside, and no in and no out. Hence, they are unmolested [unimpeded] in every way. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of all beings, too.

"O good man! There is a man who possesses wealth in different places and not where he is. When asked, he may say that he has it. Why? Because he definitely possesses it. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of beings, too. It is not this and not that. As one is sure to gain it in hand, we say that it all is.

"O good man! It is as in the case in which all beings make all things. They are not good, not bad, not in and not out. All such karmic natures are not existing and not non-existing. Also, it is not what once was not, but what is. It is not what has come about without any cause. It is not what I have done and I receive. It is not what I have done and he receives. It is not what he has and he receives. It is not what is done; it is not what one receives. Time agrees and fruition comes about. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of all beings, too. It is again not what was not but what is now. It is neither in nor out. It is neither "is" nor "is-not". It is neither this nor that. It is neither what comes from without, nor is it of no causal relations. It is not that all beings do not see. All Bodhisattvas see as time and causal relations come to conjoin. We say time. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva of the ten stages practises the Noble Eightfold Path and gains an all-equal mind, when it [the Buddha-Nature] can be seen. It is not what is done.

"O good man! You say that it is like a magnet. But this is not so. Why not? A stone does not attract iron. Why not? Because there is no mental action that works. O good man! There are things of different nature, and so a thing of different nature comes about. And when there is no different thing, a different thing breaks off [goes into dissolution]. There is none doing and none that breaks. O good man! It is as in the case of a great fire which cannot burn the fuel. When the fire comes about, the fuel breaks [is used up, destroyed]. This we call the fuel burning. O good man! This is as with the sunflower, which turns by itself, following the sun. And this sunflower has no mind to respect, no consciousness, and no action to do. It is by the nature of a different thing  that it turns by itself.

"O good man! It is as with the plantain tree which grows by thunder. This plant has no ears and no consciousness. When there is a different thing, this different thing grows; when there is no different thing, this different thing dies out. O good man! It is as in the case of the asoka tree, which puts out flowers when a female touches it. This tree has no mind, no sense of touch. When there is a different thing, a different thing comes about; when there is no different thing, a different thing dies out.

"O good man! This is as in the case of citrus nobilis, which bears no further fruits when it gains a corpse. Yet this plant has no mind and no sense of touch. By a different thing, there comes about a different thing; when there is no different thing, the different thing dies out. O good man! For example, the fruit of the pomegranate grows because of rotten calf-bones. But the pomegranate tree also does not possess a mind or touch. When there is a different thing, a different thing comes about, and when there is no different thing, a different thing dies out.

"O good man! The same applies to the case of the magnet attracting iron. When there is a different thing, a different thing comes about; when there is no different thing, the different thing dies out. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of beings which cannot attract unsurpassed Enlightenment.

"O good man! Ignorance cannot attract all actions. Volition, too, cannot attract consciousness. And yet we can say that ignorance has a causal relationship with volition, and volition with consciousness. Whether there is the Buddha or not, the world is eternal.

"O good man! You may say that the Buddha-Nature lives in beings. O good man! You should know that what is Eternal has no place to dwell [i.e. is not confined to one limited place in space and time]. If there is a place where it dwells, this tells us that what there is there is something that is impermanent. O good man! You may know that the 12 links of interdependent arising have no place to stay. If they had, we could not say that the 12 links of interdependent arising were eternal. It is the same with the Dharmakaya [Dharma-Body] of the Tathagata. It has no place to dwell. All such as the 18 realms, the 12 spheres, the skandhas, and space do not have anywhere to stay. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature, too. All do not have any place to stay.

"O good man! For example, the four great elements have powers that are all equal. But there are such qualities as hardness, heat, moisture, movability, lightness, weightiness, red, white, yellow, and black. These four elements do not have karmic action. Being different in the realm of existence, there is no sameness. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature, too. Different in nature in the realm of existence, it comes out into existence when the time comes.

"O good man! All beings do not come away from [i.e. are not separate from] the Buddha-Nature. Hence, we say "is". Because of the unretrogressiveness of what can be "is" in the days to come, [because] of what is sure to be gained, and of what can definitely be seen. That is why we say that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature.

"O good man! For example, there is a king who says to his minister: "Fetch an elephant and show it to some blind persons." Then, following the royal command, the minister called in many blind persons, to whom he showed the elephant. The blind persons all touched the elephant with their hands. The minister said to the king: "I have got the blind people to feel the elephant." Then the king called in the blind persons and asked each of them: "Have you seen the elephant?"  "Yes, sire! I have seen the elephant." The king asked: "What do you think the elephant is like?" The person who had touched its tusk said: "The elephant is like the root of a goosefoot or a mushroom." The man who had touched its ear said: "The elephant is like a winnow." The one who had touched its trunk said: "The elephant is like a pestle." The person who had touched its foot said: "The elephant is like a handmill  made of wood." The one who had touched it by the spine said: "The elephant is like a bed." The man who had touched its belly said: "The elephant is like a pot." The man who had touched it by its tail said: "The elephant is like a rope."

"O good man! All these blind persons were not well able to tell of the form of the elephant. And yet, it is not that they did not say anything at all about the elephant. All such aspects of representation are of the elephant. And yet, other than these, there cannot be any elephant.

"O good man! The king is comparable  to the Tathagata-Arhat-Samyaksambuddha, the minister to the vaipulya Great Nirvana Sutra, the elephant to the Buddha-Nature, and the blind persons to all beings who are ignorant. All of these people, on hearing what the Buddha says, may say: "Form [“rupa” - physical form, matter, body] is the Buddha-Nature. Why? Because this form, though it dies, continues to exist. Because of this, it attains the 32 unsurpassed signs of perfection of the Tathagata and the eternality of form of the Tathagata. Because the form of the Tathagata knows no disruption. That is why we say that form is the Buddha-Nature.

"For example, the form of true gold may well change, but the colour is always one and is not different. It can be made into a bracelet, a serpent, and a basin, and yet the yellow colour never changes. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of beings, too. The form may not be one, but the colour is one. Thus we can say that "rupa" is eternal." So do they say.

"Or another might say: "Feeling [“vedana”] is the Buddha-Nature. Why so? Because through the causal relations of feeling, one gains the true bliss of the Tathagata. The feeling of the Tathagata is that of the absolute and is of “Paramartha-satya”.  The nature of beings' feeling is non-eternal, but continues to exist successively. it is because of this that one gains the eternal feeling of the Tathagata. For example, a man's clan name is Kausika. The man himself is non-eternal, but his clan name goes on as it is and does not change, even in the course of thousands and millions of years. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of beings, too. For this reason, feeling is the Buddha-Nature."

"And another one says: "Perception [“samjna”] is the Buddha-Nature. Why? By reason of the causal relations of perception, one attains the perception of the Tathagata. The perception of the Tathagata is that of non-perception. The perception of non-perception is not what obtains with man, is nothing of the male or female, of form, feeling, perception, volition or consciousness. It is non-perception, something cut off from perception. The perception of beings is non-eternal. But a perception is followed by another one, one after the other, so that there is no disruption and we gain the impression of perception which is of an eternal quality. O good man! For example, let us take up the case of the 12 links of interdependence of beings. Though the beings die out, the causal relations are eternal. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of beings. For this reason, we say that perception is the Buddha-Nature." Thus do people speak.

"Further, they say: "Volition [“samskara” - mental impulses, will] is the Buddha-Nature. Why? Volition is life. By reason of the causal relations of beings, a person attains the eternal life of the Tathagata. The life of beings is non-eternal, but a life follows another successively, one after the other, so that there is no disruption. So, we gain the eternal life of the Tathagata, which is true. O good man! For example, those who speak about, and give ear to, the 12 types of sutra are now eternal, because these sutras eternally exist and do not change. So is it with the Buddha-Nature of beings. Hence, volition is the Buddha-Nature." So do they say.

"Also, they say: "Consciousness [“vijnana”] is the Buddha-Nature. By reason of the causal relations of consciousness, one gains the all-equal mind of the Tathagata. Although the consciousness of beings is non-eternal, a consciousness is followed by another successively, so that there is no disruption. Hence, one gets the eternal mind of the Tathagata, which is true. Fire has the property of heat. But the property of heat is eternal. It is the same with the Buddha-Nature of beings. Hence, consciousness is the Buddha-Nature." So do they say.

"Also, they say: "Other than the skandhas, there is the Self. Self is the Buddha-Nature. Why? By the causal relations of the Self, one gains the unmolested light of the Tathagata."

"There are various tirthikas who say: "Going and coming, seeing and hearing, sorrow and gladness, and words and speaking are the Self." All such notions of the Self are non-eternal. “But the Self of the Tathagata is truly Eternal." 

"O good man! The five skandhas, the 18 realms, and the 12 spheres are also non-eternal. But we call them eternal. The same is the case with beings.

"O good man! Each of the blind men speaks about the elephant and what he says does not accord with the truth. Yet it is not that he does not speak about the elephant.” “It is the same with the person who speaks about the Buddha-Nature, too. It is not quite the six things, and yet it is not the case that it is away from them. O good man! That is why I say that the Buddha-Nature is non-form, and yet it is not segregated from form. It is not the Self, and yet, nor is it away from the Self. O good man! Many tirthikas say that there is the Self. But, truth to tell, there is no Self. The Self of beings [as opposed to that of the Buddha- ed.] is the five skandhas. Other than the skandhas, there is no Self. O good man! For example, the stem, leaf, and calyx combine and we get the bloom of the lotus. Other than this, there cannot be any flower. It is the same with the Self of beings.

"O good man! For example, the walls, grass, and wood combine, and we have a house. Other than this, there cannot be a house. The khadira, palasa, nyagrodha, and udumbara combine, and we have a forest. Other than this, there is no forest. For example, such things as chariots, soldiers, elephants, horses and infantry combine, and we have an army. Other than this, there can be no army. A good combination of the threads of five colours brings forth an “aya” [Jap: a kind of silken cloth of mixed colour-tone]. Other than this, there cannot be any aya. The harmonious combination of the four castes is called the "great populace". Other than this, there can be no "great populace". It is the same with the Self of beings, too. There is [with them] no Self other than the five skandhas.

“"O good man! The Eternal of the Tathagata is the Self. The Dharmakaya “[Dharma-Body]” of the Tathagata is unboundedness, unobstructedness, birthlessness, undyingness, and the eight unmolestednesses. This is the Self. The beings, truth to tell, do not have such a Self and what the Self possesses. Only because of the fact that a person absolutely attains the absoute Void of “Paramartha-satya” do we say the Buddha-Nature.

"O good man! Great Loving-Kindness and Great Compassion are the Buddha-Nature. Why? Because Great Loving-Kindness and Great Compassion always accompany the Bodhisattva. It is like the shadow that follows a form. All beings decidedly will attain Great Loving-Kindness and Great Compassion. So, we say that all beings possess Great Loving-Kindness and Great Compassion. Great Loving-Kindness and Great Compassion are the Buddha-Nature. The Buddha-Nature is the Tathagata.

"Great Sympathetic Joy and Great Equanimity are the Buddha-Nature. Why? If the Bodhisattva-mahasattva cannot forsake the 25 existences, he cannot attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. As beings will all unfailingly gain it, we say that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature. Great Sympathetic Joy and Great Equanimity are the Buddha-Nature. The Buddha-Nature is at once the Tathagata “.”

“"The Buddha-nature is great faith [Jap: “daishinjin”]. “Why? Because of faith, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva can indeed be perfect in danaparamita up to prajnaparamita. As all beings unfailingly gain great faith, we say: "All beings have the Buddha-Nature." Great faith is the Buddha-Nature. The Buddha-Nature is the Tathagata.

"The Buddha-Nature is the single son's soil. Why? Because by the causal relations of the single son's soil, the Bodhisattva is equal in his mind towards all beings. As all beings ultimately attain the single son's soil, we say: "All beings possess the Buddha-Nature." The single son's soil is the Buddha-Nature. The Buddha-Nature is the Tathagata.

"The Buddha-Nature is the fourth power. Why? Through the causal relations of the fourth power, the Bodhisattva teaches all beings well. As all beings will ultimately gain the fourth power, we say: "All beings possess the Buddha-Nature." The fourth power is the Buddha-Nature. The Buddha-Nature is the Tathagata.

"The Buddha-Nature is the 12 links of interdependent arising. Why? By reason of the causal relations, the Tathagata is Eternal. All beings definitely possess these 12 links of interdependent arising. That is why we say: "All beings possess the Buddha-Nature." The 12 links of interdependent arising are the Buddha-Nature. The Buddha-Nature is the Tathagata.

"The Buddha-Nature is the fourfold unhindered knowledge. By reason of the four unhinderednesses, we say that he is unhindered in understanding words. Unhindered in understanding words, he indeed teaches beings. The four unhinderednesses are the Buddha-Nature. The Buddha-Nature is the Tathagata.

"The Buddha-Nature is called vajropama-samadhi. By practising samadhi, one truly catches hold of the Buddhist doctrines. Because of this, we say: "The vajropama-samadhi is the Buddha-Nature." The Bodhisattva of the ten stages practises this samadhi and is not yet perfect. He sees the Buddha-Nature, but not clearly. As all beings will ultimately gain it, we say: "All beings have the Buddha-Nature."

"O good man! As all the doctrines [dharmas] referred to above will definitely be gained by all beings, we say: "All beings definitely have the Buddha-Nature." O good man! If I say that material form [“rupa”] is the Buddha-Nature, beings, on hearing this, will gain an inverted [view]. Being inverted, when life ends they will fall into Avichi Hell. The sermons of the Tathagata are to cut the person off from hell. So he does not say that material form is the Buddha-Nature. Also, the same applies down to consciousness.

"O good man! We say that when all beings gain the Buddha-Nature, they need not practise the Way. This comes from the fact that the Bodhisattva of the ten stages, as he practises the Noble Eightfold Path, can see the Buddha-Nature a little. How could a person who has not practised the Way well see it? O good man! Manjushri and all the Bodhisattvas have already practised the Holy Way over innumerable lives and they know the Buddha-Nature. How could the sravaka and pratyekabuddha know the Buddha-Nature? Any being who desires to know the Buddha-Nature must, with one mind, uphold, recite, copy and expound the Nirvana Sutra and make offerings, respect and praise it. If one should encounter a person who upholds and praises the Sutra, one ought to give such a person a good house to live in, clothing, and food and drink, bedding, and medicine; and also, one ought to praise, worship, and ask about the Way. O good man! A person who has in innumerable, boundless past lives associated with, and offered things to, innumerable Buddhas and has thus amassed a great deal of good can hope to hear the name of this Sutra.

"O good man! It is difficult to conceive of the Buddha-Nature. It is not possible to conceive of the Treasures of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. All beings possess the Buddha-Nature, but not all can know it. This, too, cannot easily be conceived of. The law [Dharma] of the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure of the Tathagata is also difficult to know. That all beings trust in the Great Nirvana Sutra is difficult to know, too."

Bodhisattva Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! You say: "It is not possible to conceive that all beings truly believe in the Great Nirvana Sutra." O World-Honoured One! Among the mass of people here present, there are 85,000 billion people who have no faith in this sutra. It is a thing of wonder if there can be any who can believe in this sutra."

"O good man! All such people can, in lives to come, definitely believe in this sutra. They will see the Buddha-Nature and attain unsurpassed Enlightenment."

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! How can the Bodhisattva of the unretrogressive state come to know that he has the unretrogressive mind?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva tests his own mind by penance. He takes a single sesame seed a day and this proceeds for seven days. This proceeds also with such as rice, green beans, hemp seeds, millet, white beans, of which he takes one each day for seven days. When taking a hemp seed, he has to think: "All such penances help nothing. I am doing what does not benefit me. Why not do what gives benefit?" In what gives the person no benefit the mind well stands and does not draw back and change. Because of this, he is sure to attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. When the penance is practised in such days, the flesh and skin get so emaciated and shrink so that everything looks like a raw gourd cut and placed in the sun. The eyes become so drawn back that they look like stars floating in a well; the flesh is so sunken that it looks like a grass-thatched house. The bones of the spine so stick out, one above the other, that we might well think of juentan [the cover on a crown]; where he sits looks like a place stamped by a horse-shoe. Desiring to sit, he falls face down, and desiring to get up, he falls face down. Thus does he suffer from useless pains. Yet, his Bodhichitta [resolve for Enlightenment] does not recoil.

"Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva fights against all pains. And to give peace to others, he casts away all the wealth that he has and abandons his own life as though it were fodder. Casting aside his body and mind, such a Bodhisattva unfailingly sees that he has an unretrogressive mind and that he will definitely attain unsurpassed Enlightenment.

"Also, next, the Bodhisattva, for Dharma, slices off his own body and makes it into a lamp. He rolls his skin and flesh in a woolen cloth, puts butter oil on it, burns it and makes it into a wick. The Bodhisattva suffers this great pain at the time and reproaches his own mind, saying: "Even such pains are not worth a hundred-thousand-millionth part. You have, over a period of an innumerable hundred thousand kalpas, undergone great pain and gained nothing. If you  cannot stand this slight pain, how can you hope to save those in hell who are in pain?" When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva thinks thus, he has no pain in his body and his mind does not draw back. It does not move about or shift. The Bodhisattva then deeply thinks: "I shall surely attain unsurpassed Enlightenment." O good man! The Bodhisattva, at that time, is garbed in defilement. It is not yet cut off. For the sake of Dharma, he indeed gives away to beings all his head, eyes, marrow, hands and feet, blood and flesh. He strikes nails into his body, thows himself onto the rocks, and steps into fire. The Bodhisattva at that time suffers such innumerable pains. His mind does not draw back, does not move about, and does not shift. And the Bodhisattva knows: "I now have an unretrogressive mind, and I shall attain unsurpassed Enlightenment."

"O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva, in order to crush out the suffering of all beings, takes a vow, gains the rough and great body of an animal and gives away his own body, blood and flesh to beings. When the beings take these, they will have a pitying mind. The Bodhisattva then suppresses his breathing, shows a dying face, and does not let a person who harms gain the thought of killing or doubt. The Bodhisattva, though now an animal in body, does not, to the end, perform any action of an animal. Why? O good man! When the Bodhisattva gains an unretrogressive mind, he does not perform any action of the three unfortunate realms. If there should be any bit of evil karmic returns not yet definitely suppressed in the life to come, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva takes a great vow and suffers himself all such for the sake of beings.

"For example, a sick person has within his body a devil which sits within, hidden. By the power of charms, it shows its form and talks, is happy, angry, slanders, weeps, and laughs. Things go thus. The actions in the days of the three unfortunate realms of the Bodhisattva-mahasattva also proceed in the same way.

"When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva gains the body of a brown bear, he speaks of Wonderful Dharma to beings. Or he may gain the body of a kapinjala, and speaks of Dharma to beings. Or he may gain such a body as that of the godha, the deer, hare, sheep, monkey, white dove, garuda, naga, or serpent. Gaining such a body, he does not ever think of performing the evil actions of a beast. Always, for the sake of all other beasts and beings, he speaks of Wonderful Dharma, so as to enable them quickly to discard their animal bodies. The Bodhisattva, although possessing the body of an animal, does not do any of the evil actions of an animal. So, one can know that he decidedly dwells in an unretrogressive mind.

"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva, at the time of a famine, sees the hunger-ridden beings and gains the body of a tortoise or fish, as big as innumerable yojanas. Again, he swears to himself: "I pray that when all beings take my flesh, as soon as they take it new flesh will come about, so much so that they will be able to segregate themselves from hunger and thirst and that all will aspire to unsurpassed Enlightenment." The Bodhisattva takes a vow: "If they make away with hunger and thirst because of me, they will in the days to come make away with the 25 existences." When the Bodhisattva undergoes such pains, he will not retrogress. Know that he will unfailingly attain unsurpassed Enlightenment.

"Also, next, the Bodhisattva, in the days of an epidemic, sees those who are suffering and thinks: "This is as in the case of a big medicine tree, and the sick come and take the roots, the stem, the branches, the leaves, the flowers, the fruit, and the bark, and they make away with their illness. I pray that my body, too, will serve in this way. Anyone who suffers from illness may hear [my] voice, touch [my] body, or partake of [my] blood and flesh, or the marrow of [my] bones, and their illness will depart. I pray that when all beings partake of my flesh, they will not gain evil thoughts and will feel as though they were partaking of the flesh of their own child. After curing their illness, I shall always speak of Dharma. I pray that they will believe, meditate, and then teach others."

"Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva, though clad in defilement and suffering bodily pain - his mind does not draw back, does not move or shift. Know that he will unfailingly gain the unretrogressive mind and accompany unsurpassed Enlightenment.

"Also, next, O good man! Beings may be suffering from illnesses because of a devil. The Bodhisattva sees this and says: "I pray that I will gain the body of a devil, great in size and powerful in physique, and one who has various kindred, so that he may see and give ear to what I speak and that the illness departs."

"The Bodhisattva, for the sake of beings, undergoes penance. Though clad in defilement, his mind does not become defiled.

"Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the six paramitas [perfections]. But he does not seek to gain the fruit of the six paramitas. When practising the six paramitas, he prays: "I shall now offer all this action of mine of the six paramitas to the good of all beings, so that any person receiving what I give will achieve unsurpassed Enlightenment. I shall also, as I practise the six paramitas, undergo all pains. As I suffer, I pray that I shall not draw back in my aspiration to Enlightenment." O good man! When the Bodhisattva gains this [state of] mind, we call this unretrogressive.

"Also, next, O good man! It is difficult to conceive of the Bodhisattva. Why? The Bodhisattva-mahasattva knows very well all the sins of birth and death, and sees the great virtue of Great Nirvana. And for the sake of all beings, he lives where birth and death obtain, suffering there manifold pains. Yet, his mind does not pull back. This is why we say that the Bodhisattva is inconceivable.

"Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva has pity where there is nothing to have pity on. Truth to tell, he owes nothing, and yet he always does favours [to beings]. Bestowing favours, he yet does not expect any return. For this reason, we say that he is inconceivable.

"Also, next, O good man! There are beings who practise various penances for their own good. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises penances so as to benefit others. This is "benefiting one's own self." This is also what is difficult to conceive.

"Also, next, the Bodhisattva, clad in defilement, practises the all-equal mind, so that he can crush out all the pains that arise out of friendliness and enmity. Because of this, we say inconceivable.

"Also, next, the Bodhisattva sees beings who do evil and do what is not good. He reproaches them, speaks gently, rejects and abandons. To one who is evil-natured, he uses gentle words; to one who is arrogant, he becomes greatly arrogant. And, yet, at heart he is not haughty. This is what we call the inconceivability of the expedients of the Bodhisattva.

"Also, next, the Bodhisattva is clad in defilement. When he has little, many people come and ask. And his mind does not become narrow-minded. This is what is inconceivable in the Bodhisattva.

"Also, next, the Bodhisattva knows the virtue of the Buddha, when the Buddha appears in the world. For the sake of beings he gains birth even in remote places, where the Buddha is not. He is like a blind, deaf, lame, or crippled person. This is why we say that the Bodhisattva is inconceivable.

"Also, next, the Bodhisattva knows very well all the sins of beings, and for the sake of Emancipation, he always accompanies them. Although he follows the way of their mind, he does not get contaminated by sin and defilement. For this reason, we say inconceivable.

"Also, next, the Bodhisattva gains a body which still has defilement, and lives in Tusita Heaven. This, too, is inconceivable. Why? Tusita Heaven is the best of heavens in the world of desire. Those who live in the low heavens have minds that are indolent, and all the sense-organs of those in the high heavens are dull. Because of this, we say superb. Practising dana and sila, one gains a high or low body. Practising dana, sila, and samadhi, one gains the body of the Tusita Heaven. All Bodhisattvas despise and destroy all dharmas [impermanent things]. Never do they perform the actions of heaven and gain the body of that heaven. Why not? Though living in other existences, the Bodhisattva truly teaches and gains the end. Truth to tell, he has no greed, and yet is born into the world of desire. Because of this, we say inconceivable.

"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva, when he is born in Tusita heaven, has three superior things, namely:  1) life,  2) colour, and  3) fame. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva does not seek life, colour, or fame. Not seeking [these], what he gets is superior. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva seeks much Nirvana, and in the cause of "is", too, he is superior. For this reason, we say inconceivable.

"Although the Bodhisattva-mahasattva thus supercedes the gods in these three things, they gain no [feeling of] anger, jealousy, or arrogance towards the Bodhisattva. They are happy. The Bodhisattva, too, does not become arrogant towards the gods. That is why we say inconceivable.

"Although the Bodhisattva-mahasattva does not perform any action to gain life, he gains life in that heaven ultimately. Thus we say that [his] life is superior. Although he has not done anything for [the sake of] colour, the light of his wonderful body fills all around. Thus he is superior to others in colour. Living in that heavenly world, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva does not seek the five desires. What he does relates to Dharma. On account of this, his name resounds in the ten directions. This is how his name [reputation, fame] is superior. This is how he is inconceivable.

"The Bodhisattva-mahasattva descends from Tusita Heaven, and the great earth shakes in six ways. So we say inconceivable. Why? When the Bodhisattva descends from heaven, all the gods of the worlds of desire and colour accompany him and see him off and greatly praise the Bodhisattva. From the wind generated by their mouths, the earth shakes.

"Also, the Bodhisattva becomes the elephant king of men, and this elephant king is called "naga king". When the naga enters the womb, all the naga kings under the ground are afraid and frightened. So the great earth shakes in six ways. Because of this, we say inconceivable.

"When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva enters the womb, he knows how long he has to be therein and when he will comes out. He knows the father and mother, and is not defiled by filth. All this obtains as in the case of the knot of hair and the blue-coloured gem of Devendra. Because of this, we say inconceivable.

"O good man! It is the same with the Great Nirvana Sutra, which is inconceivable. For example, this is as with the eight things which are inconceivable. What are the eight? They are: 1) by degrees the deepness increases;  2) it is deep and the bottom is difficult to gain;  3) sameness obtains as in the case of the salty taste [of the ocean, which is everywhere salty];  4) the tide does not exceed the boundary line;  5) there are various storehouses of treasure;  6) a great-bodied being lives therein;  7) no dead bodies are to be found there;  8) all rivers and great rains flow in, but the volume of water neither increases nor decreases.

"O good man! We say that the deepness gradually increases. Here, there are three things, namely:  1) the power of beings' wealth;  2) the fair wind which carries things well, and  3) the river water enters, and there are three kinds of non-increase and non-decrease. It is the same with this all-wonderful Great Nirvana Sutra, too. There are eight inconceivablenesses.

"First, there is the gradual deepening such as of the five silas, the ten silas, the 250 silas, the Bodhisattva silas. And there are the fruitions of the srotapanna, sakrdagamin, anagamin, arhat, pratyekabuddha, Bodhisattva, and unsurpassed Bodhi. This Nirvana Sutra speaks of these teachings. Hence, gradual deepening. This is the gradual deepening.

"Second, the greatly difficult has a bottom. The Tathagata-World-Honoured one is birthlessness and deathlessness. There is no attaining of unsurpassed Enlightenment. There is no turning of the Wheel of Dharma. He does not feed, does not receive, and does not give. Hence, we say "the Eternal, the Bliss, the Self, and the Pure". Beings all have the Buddha-Nature. The Buddha-Nature is not material form, and yet is not away from material form. It is not feeling, not perception, not volition, and not consciousness. Nor is he [i.e. Buddha] segregated from consciousness. This is to always see. The cause of revealing is no cause of doing. Those from the srotapanna up to pratyekabuddha will all gain unsurpassed Enlightenment. Also, there is no defilement that can be named and no place to exist, and there is not illusion. So, we say "Eternal". Hence, "deep"

"Also, there is the "Eternally Deep". This is what we encounter in the sutra, which at times states as [speaks of] the Self and at times as the non-Self; or at times it goes as [designates] the Eternal, or as the non-Eternal; or, at times, as the Pure, or at times as the Impure; or at times, it goes as Bliss, and at times as Suffering; or at times, as the Void, or at times as the Non-Void; at times, all is "is", or at times all is "is-not"; or at times, all are the three vehicles, or at times one vehicle; or at times, as the five skandhas, the Buddha-Nature, the vajra-samadhi, and the Middle Path; or the Suramgama Samadhi, the 12 links of interdependence,” and Paramartha-satya”. Loving-kindness and Compassion come about equally to all beings. It is the highest knowledge, faith, the power that knows all sense-organs. He speaks about the Wisdom of things. Possessing the Buddha-Nature, no fixedness is spoken of. Thus, "deep".

"Third, we have the sameness of the saltiness of taste. All beings possess the Buddha-Nature and ride in one vehicle; what there is is one Emancipation. What there is is the one cause and the one fruition. The taste is the same amrta [ambrosia - Immortality]. “All will attain the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure”. This is the sense in which we speak of "one taste".

"Fourth, the tide does not cross the boundary line. In this, many prohibitions suppress the bhiksus. There are eight impure things which they must not keep. It is as when stated that my disciple well upholds, recites, copies, expounds and discriminates this all-wonderful Great Nirvana Sutra and that he does not transgress against it, even if it meant losing his life. That is why we say that the tide does not overstep the boundary line.

"Fifth, we say that there are various storehouses of treasure. This sutra is one that contains uncountable treasures. These are the four remembrances, the four efforts, the four at-willnesses, the five sense-organs, the five powers, the seven Bodhi elements, and the Noble Eightfold Path. Also, they are such as the child's actions, the holy actions, the pure actions, and the heavenly actions. These are all the good expedients and the Buddha-Nature of all beings. There are such as the virtues of the Bodhisattva, the virtues of the Tathagata, the virtues of the sravaka, and the virtues of the pratyekabuddha; there are such as the six paramitas, the countless samadhis, and the innumerable Wisdoms. Hence, we say "treasure-house".

"Sixth, this refers to where the Great-Body Being lives. We say "Great-Body Being". Because of the fact that the Buddha and Bodhisattva have great Wisdom, we say "great being". Because of the greatness of their body, the greatness of their mind, of the great adornment, of the great subjugation which they perform, of their great expedients, of their great sermons, of their great power, of the greatness of the number of people, of the greatness of their miracles, of their Great Loving-Kindness, of their being Eternal and Unchanging, of the fact that all beings are unhindered, of the fact that all beings are taken in, we say "where the Great-Body Being resides".

"Seventh, we say that no dead body stays [there]. The dead body is none other than the icchantika, the four grave offences, the five deadly sins, slandering the vaipulya, delivering sermons wrongly or unlawfully. The person stores up the eight impure things; he wilfully uses what belongs to the Buddha and the Sangha; he does what is unlawful [i.e. against Dharma] in the presence of the bhiksus and bhiksunis [monks and nuns]. These are the dead bodies. The Great Nirvana Sutra is away from any such. That is why we say that there remains no dead body there.

"Eighth, we have what does not increase and what does not decrease. We say this because there is no boundary line and no beginning and no end, being non-form, non-action, being Eternal, not being born, and not dying. As all beings are all-equal, as all beings are of the same nature, we say that there is no increase and no decrease. Thus, like the great ocean, this sutra possesses eight inconceivablenesses."

Lion's Roar said: "O World-Honoured One! You the Tathagata say that birthlessness and deathlessness are what is deep. Now, with all beings there are four [types of] birth, namely:  1) egg-born,  2) embryo-born,  3) moisture-born, and  4) transformed existence [spontaneous, immediate rebirth, e.g. as a god]. Man is fully possessed of these four kinds of birth. The cases of Bhiksus Campalu and Upacampalu are good examples. The mother of the rich man, Mekhala, that of the rich man, Nyagrodha, and the mother of Panjara are of the 500 egg-born [varieties]. Know that even among humans, too, there are cases of egg-born [persons]. As to those moisture-born, it is as the Buddha states. Once in the past, as a Bodhisattva, I was born as King Head-Born and King Hand-Born. This was as in the case of the women, Amra and Kapitha. Know that there is also the case of birth by moisture. At the time of the beginning of the world, all beings appear as transformed births [i.e. spontaneously]. The Tathagata-World-Honoured One gains the eight unmolestednesses. Why does he not appear as a transformed birth?"

The Buddha said: "O good man! All beings appear through the four types of birth. When Holy Dharma is gained, one can no more be born as before in such forms as egg-born or moisture-born. O good man! The beings at the beginning of the world all appear in transformed states. At that time, the Buddha does not appear in the world. O good man! When one becomes sick and has pain, one seeks a doctor and medicine. The beings at the time of the beginning of the world gain birth in transformed states [i.e. spontaneously]. Though they are possessed of defilement, [their] illness does not as yet manifest. For this reason, the Tathagata does not appear in the world. The beings at the time of the beginning of the world do not have such receptacles as body and mind. On this account, the Tathagata does not appear in the world.

"O good man! The Tathagata's caste, relatives and parents are superior to those of beings. Because of this surpassing [quality], people believe in whatever is said about Dharma. For this reason, the Tathagata does not gain birth through moisture. O good man! With all beings, the father makes the karma of his son, and his son that of his father. If the Tathagata gains the moisture type of birth, there is no father and no mother. With no father and mother, how might people be made to do all good deeds? Because of this, the Tathagata does not gain a body by transformation. O good man! In the Wonderful Dharma of the Buddha, there are two protections. One is in and the other out. The in is the observing of the precepts, and the out is the relatives and kindred. If the Buddha-Tathagata gained a transformed body, there could not be any protection from without. For this reason, the Tathagata does not gain a transformed body.

"O good man! Humans gain arrogance from caste. To destroy that kind of haughtiness, he [Buddha] takes a noble birth, not gaining a transformed body. O good man! The Tathagata-World-Honoured one has a true father and mother. The father was Suddhodana, and the mother Maya. Regarding this, all beings say that they were phantoms. How could he gain a transformed body? If his body was one of transformation, how could he gain a transformed body? Gaining a transformed body, how could there be anything such as the dissolution of his body and the presence of the sarira [body-relics]? To increase fortune and virtue, he makes his body go into dissolution and makes offerings. Because of this, the Tathagata does not gain a transformed body. No Buddhas ever show themselves in transformed births. Why should I alone gain a transformed body?"

Then, Bodhisattva Lion's Roar folded his hands, and prostrating himself upon the ground, with his right knee on the ground, he praised the Buddha:

"The Tathagata is a ball of innumerable virtues!

I cannot now well explain [this]. I now,

For beings' sake, speak but a part.

Have pity and give ear to what I say.

Beings move about in the gloom of ignorance,

And suffer from a hundred pains.

The World-Honoured One thoroughly cuts them off.

Hence, the world says that he is Great Loving-Kindness.

Beings go and come back,

Like a rope of birth and death;

And with indolence and delusion

There is no peace and no bliss.

The Tathagata truly gives people peace

And thus eternally cuts

The rope of birth and death.

The Buddha truly gives people peace and bliss

And has no greed regarding the bliss he [himself] has.

For beings' sake he undergoes penance.

Hence, people make offerings to him.

Seeing others suffering pain, his body shakes.

When he is in hell, he feels no pain.

For the sake of the beings, he undergoes great pain.

For this reason, none can supercede [him];

None can recount. The Tathagata,

For beings' sake, practises penance

And accomplishes it and is perfect

In the six paramitas.

His mind is not moved even by evil winds

And is superior to all great ones.

Beings always care for peace and bliss,

But do not know how to effect the cause thereof.

The Tathagata teaches [beings] to practise well,

Like unto the compassionate father

Who loves his only son.

The Buddha sees beings' illness of defilement

And grieves over it, just as a mother does

Who sees her son sick.

He always thinks how he can cut out the illness.

Because of this, his body belongs to others.

All beings enact all the causes of suffering.

Their minds are upside down and take such to be bliss.

The Tathagata tells us of the bliss and sorrow that are true.

So we say "Great Compassion".

All worlds are shelled in by ignorance

And no beak of Wisdom can easily break this asunder.

The Tathagata's beak of Wisdom can well do this.

Hence, we say "Greatest Person".

The Three Times do not well hold him;

No name or no temporary name does exist.

And the Buddha knows the profoundest meaning of Nirvana.

So we call him the "Great Awakened One".

The river of "is" twirls around

And beings get drowned.

Their eyes are blinded by ignorance,

So that they cannot easily extract their own Self out.

The Tathagata saves his own Self and also saves others.

Hence the Buddha is called the "great master mariner".

He is well versed in the cause and result of all things

And in the way to annul these.

He always gives medicine to beings' illnesses.

Hence we call him the "Great Doctor".

The tirthikas speak of twisted views and of penance

And say that these call in bliss unsurpassed.

The Tathagata speaks of the True Way of bliss

And enables beings to gain ease and bliss.

The Tathagata-World-Honoured One destroys the twisted views of life

And shows beings the right path to take.

Anyone who follows this path will gain ease and bliss.

Hence we call the Buddha the "Guide".

It is not that what one does,

Not that what others do,

It is no doing together;

It is not without a cause.

The pain about which the Tathagata speaks

Surpasses what the tirthikas profess.

He is accomplished and perfect

In sila, samadhi, and Wisdom

And teaches beings this Dharma.

When giving, He has no jealousy or stinginess.

Hence we call the Buddha the "Unsurpassed Compassionate One".

Whatever is not done and whatever has no causal relations,

And he gains the causeless and result-less recompense.

Because of this, all wise persons

Praise the Tathagata for what he does for no returns.

Always journeying together

With the indolence of the world at large,

He himself is not defiled by indolence.

That is why we say inconceivable.

The eight things of the world cannot defile him.

The Tathagata-World-Honoured One sees neither enemy nor friend.

So his mind is always impartial.

I give a Lion's Roar, and truly roar out all the Lion's Roars of the world."