Nirvana Sutra

Appreciation of the "Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra"

"Nirvana Sutra" Continued (Z31)


"O Manjusri! Ananda is now 12 yojanas distant from this congregation and is surrounded by 64,000 billion Maras. Make haste, go now, and say aloud: "O all you Maras! Listen closely, listen closely! The Tathagata now speaks a great dharani [spell]. All devas, nagas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kimnaras, mahoragas, humans, non-humans, mountain-gods, tree-gods, river-gods, sea-gods, and house-gods! Hear this dharani! There is none who does not respect and uphold this. This dharani is what all Buddhas, as many in number as the sands of ten Ganges, propound. This will indeed change the female form and enable one to read one's own fortune. If any person receives [i.e. practises] well the five things, namely:  1) pure actions, and abstention from:  2) meat,  3) alcohol,  4) spices, and  5) happily abides in quietude, and after becoming perfect in these five things, believes in this dharani, recites it, and writes it, know that such a person can indeed discard the 77 billion ill-omened [i.e. inauspicious] bodies." Then, the World-Honoured One spoke thus: "Amarei bimarei nemarei bakyarei keimaranyakappi sanmanabaddai shabatashadanni baramatashadanni manashi asettai hiragi anraraitei baranmi baranmasharei fumi funamanuraitei" [meaning unknown - ed.].

Then, Manjusri, having been entrusted with this dharani, went to where Ananda was and, amidst the Maras, said: "O you Maras and retinues! Hear well the dharani which I have received from the Buddha and which I am now going to pronounce." The Mara King, on hearing this, aspired to unsurpassed Enlightenment and, casting aside evil actions, released Ananda. Manjusri, accompanying Ananda, returned to the Buddha. Ananda, on seeing the Buddha, paid the sincerest homage, stepped back and took his seat on one side.