THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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The Vinaya Store

Prologue:

The Second, The Vinaya Store: First the name, and afterward the characteristics. Within the former, it is also called by an abbreviation for the Sanskrit word “Vinaya,” which translates as “Taming and Subduing,” That is taming and training the three karmas, regulating and subduing offenses and errors. Taming and training are common to stopping and doing. Regulating and subduing only mean stopping evil. If one follows the instructed conduct to illustrate its name, then it is the store of taming and subduing. Or it may be the store of what can instruct, since it possesses the ability to tame and subdue, which is to explain it by the wealth it holds. Within the store of tallying texts there is alike this explanation.

Commentary:

The Second is the Vinaya Store. “Vinaya,” in Chinese sometimes abbreviated, is also called “Shila” or “Pratimoksha,” and the Vinaya Store is the Treasury of Precepts. This is the second of the Three Stores introduced before. First of all the name will be brought up – it’s called the Vinaya Store. And afterwards the characteristics of the Store, its appearance, shape, and marks. Within the former, the discussion of the name, the former item in the last phrase, it is also called by an abbreviation for the Sanskrit word “Vinaya.” One name used in China was a shortened form of the Sanskrit word “Vinaya,” which had exactly the same meaning. Both were transliterations of the Sanskrit sounds, but one abbreviation “Vinaya,” Which translates as “taming and subduing.”That is, taming and training the three karmas – one’s body, mouth, and mind – those three karmic vehicles. To start with they are not at all subdued, but you find a way to tame and subdue them, so they are reliable and don’t act up. When tamed and subdue, they obey, they offer up their conduct in accord with the teachings. In the case of master and disciple, the master tames and subdues the disciple, so the disciple is very obedient, and follows instructions without opposing his teacher.

Body, mouth, and mind are all tamed. When the body is tamed, it doesn’t create the three evils of killing, stealing, or engaging in sexual misconduct. That is, it follows the rules and upholds the precepts. When the mouth is subdued it does not indulge in the four evils of loose speech, lying, harsh speech, and double-tongued speech. An example of loose speech is incessant talk about women (or men). It is vulgar, coarse speech. Often such talk is so lewd that it dirties the ears of anyone who listens, so they can’t even be washed clean. Even if the ears’ skin were scraped off with a knife, they would still be filthy.

Lying means telling falsehoods, inventing fabrications that may sound very reasonable. For example, perhaps someone works at a job and his boss comes to have great trust in him, so he gives him $5,000 to deposit in the bank. On the way there he thinks to himself, “If I put this is my pocket and didn’t take it to the bank, I’d have enough money to keep me for a while and I wouldn’t have to work. I could invest it. But the boss would never let me get away with that… Oh, I know! I’ll rip open the deposit bad and say that thieves eat me up and stole the money. Probably the boss won’t be able to do anything about it.” His mind leads him on, and he carries out the plan, giving himself a good crack on the head first till it’s bleeding – because what’s a little pain when one stands to make five grand? Then he returns and tells his boss, “Wow! This world is really a rotten place. I was walking down the street with the money and about two or three blocks from the bank I ran into some thieves who slashed open my bag, and when I realized it, they cracked me on the head and ran off. Then I backed out and don’t know what happened, but when I came to, the thieves were gone. What can we do?” The boss sees his bag is slashed – only very clever police could ever detect that he had done it by his own hand – and concludes that his tale must be true. That’s a fabrication which netted $5,000. Why do people tell such lies? They do it when it will bring them personal benefit. They don’t tell tall tales when it won’t be to their advantage. If you tell them to fabricate something, they’ll protest, “I couldn’t do that: it would be against the precepts.” Actually they’re not willing to take risks unless there’s something in it for them.

Harsh speech means vehemently cursing and railing at people, saying for example, “You’ve going to die in a car wreck. If you take a boat, it will sink and you’ll certainly die at sea! If you take a bus, it is sure to fall over a cliff and be totaled and your skull and every bone in your body will be smashed to smithereens!” That’s all harsh speech, cursing people. It’s saying, “You’re better watch out. If you don’t do things right, when you take the plane, it will crash from 10,000 feet up and you’ll die.” No such thing is going to happen, but when one indulges in harsh speech one makes these rash predictions. Harsh speech also means intimidating people, saying to them,

“You had better do such and such or you’ll be in big trouble.” Lots of teachers make their disciples cringe that way. They say, “You won’t obey me? If you don’t obey, tomorrow you will die.” The person figures, “I don’t want to die, so I’d better obey.” That’s not right. If I saw you were going to die tomorrow, I wouldn’t tell you. why not? If you changed because I told you and you were scared, it would not be true. If you change of your own accord, not because you are intimidated, then,

Disasters turn into lucky events,
Misfortunes turn to good fortune.

Then that’s true. Maybe, for example, a teacher tricks the disciple into leaving home saying to him “You ought to leave home, you know, because if you don’t, something terrible is going to happened to you.” The disciple thinks, “Wow, I’d better hurry up and leave home!” That is also not right. I know some teachers have that fault of controlling their disciples through fear, so I don’t use those kinds of methods to teach people. I don’t force people in anything I do. If you want to do it, you do it, and if you don’t want to do it, I don’t make you do it. I would definitely not terrorize you into it by saying, “That won’t work. If you don’t do this, in the future your father is going to die, you’ll lose your mother, and your brothers and sisters will be finished too.” That panics the disciple who thinks, “The Master said it, so it must be true.” Lots of people really do believe in their teacher – but when their teacher tells them something true, they don’t believe it. Yet if the teacher tells them some such deviant dharma, something not proper or correct, they believe it. Don’t worry, though: I would never use those kinds of methods. I’d never terrorize any one of you by saying, “Such and such horrible thing is going to happen to you,” which would be harsh speech.

Double-tongued speech refers to being a two-headed snake. It means telling person X that person Y has been saying such and such had about him. When person X hears that he explodes, “How can he say that about me!!? I can never forgive him. I’m going to beat him to person Y, “Do you know, person X is really rotten. He’s been saying the most awful stuff about you: that your character is not good, that there’s nothing good about you at all.” As soon as person Y hears that, he says, “He really is vile. I’m going to kill him for sure.” That creates a big problem between person X and person Y, all due to talking with a double-tongue – repeating equally bad things about X to Y and about Y to X. The Vinaya can subdue these four kinds of mouth karma. Although one used to use loose speech, one stops doing it – tames and subdues it and just praises people. One used to tell lies, but now one tames and subdues that, and doesn’t lie but speaks what is true, actual, and not false. With harsh speech, one used to like to tell people off and say harsh things to them, but now one never does, but just says good things about people like, “So and so is truly a good person, he cultivates the Way not badly at all, and really applies himself.” Instead of saying bad things one says good things, and is not jealous of others. The double-tongue, too, becomes a kind and compassionate tongue, a vast, long tongue. When one sees people one says good things and praises them. This does not mean falsely flattering people, like saying to someone who doesn’t cultivate, “You really work hard at your cultivation. You bow to the Buddha and to Sutras and recite the Buddha’s name,” so the person says, “What are you talking about? I don’t understand this at all. How can you say that kind of thing to me?” That’s also wrong. It’s being phoney and devious.

When the mind is subdued, three more evils are tamed, those of greed, hatred, and stupidity. We people from beginningless time to the present within the turning wheel of the six paths have been being born, dying, and then being reborn. This life we’re people, then next life ghosts, or else asuras, gods, people, hell-beings, hungry ghosts, or animals. Within the six-path wheel we revolve non-stop, all because of greed, hatred, and stupidity – the three poisons. These three are so toxic they poison people so they are confused and so not wake up, as if they were drunk on wine or had taken hallucinogens. The reason people want to take drugs these days is that the greed, hatred, and stupidity within them control them and keep them all upside-down. They mistake what isn’t for what is, mistake evil for good, and consider poison to be good medicine. The more they take such things, the stupider they become. However, they don’t realize it, but keep on wanting to take that anti-wisdom poison, and don’t feel that the three poisons of greed, hatred, and stupidity are harmful to people. Why from limitless kalpas up to now haven’t we become Buddhas? It’s because these three poisons confuse us so we don’t become enlightened.

Greed is insatiable. Fame, profit, wealth, and honor cause people to become greedy for possessions of all sorts, such as fine clothes, fine homes, fine cars, fine food. The greedier they are, the more greedy they want to be; and the more they want to be greedy, the greedier they are. They never feel they have enough. They want to get what they don’t yet have and once they get it, they fear losing it. That’s the way greed works. Hatred arises when they don’t get what they are greedy for, and anger follows upon that hatred… huge fire and great ignorance flare up, and then they do all kinds of muddled things. Basically they shouldn’t kill people, but they kill them. Although they shouldn’t steal, they steal things. They’re not supposed to engage in sexual misconduct, but they are preoccupied with sexual misconduct from morning to night. To start with they weren’t supposed to lie, but they decide lying is a good thing to do. They shouldn’t drink wine, but they want to. When hatred appears it obstructs your wisdom.

When a single thought of hatred arises,
Eighty thousand doors of obstruction fly open.

Stupidity comes from not knowing how to be content. From greed comes hatred, and when hateful and angry, one becomes stupid – and then would do anything at all, however bad. Due to that stupidity one no longer can tell what is wrong and what is right, and does things whether they are wrong or right. It’s very hard to teach people who are that stupid, for you can teach them over and over again, but they won’t understand. In their false thinking stupid people cling to impossible hopes. They like beautiful flowers so they think about how they would like the flowers to be just as fresh every day and never fade.

How good it would be if the flowers daily bloomed!

They want the blossoms to be in full bloom every day, and never wilt or shed their petals. Do you think that could possibly happen?

Some people like the moon best when it is full and say, “I wish the moon would be full every single night, so I could stroll in the moonlight and enjoy the moon.” So those people say:

Why shouldn’t the bright moon be full very night?

“Moonlight, how come you don’t stay full every night?” Young couples may think that way, but the burglar’s attitude is, “Moon, I really can’t stand you. You’re so bright I don’t have any way to steal things from people. Who am I going to manage in all that light? You really are s nuisance.” Thieves dislike the moonlight. Electric lights can be just as bright night after night, but the moon can’t be full all the time. If you wish it were, that’s a stupid way of thinking.

People who like to drink alcoholic beverages have this kind of stupid thought: “When I want to drink wine, I have to go out and buy it; and if I don’t have any money, I can’t buy any wine. That’s a lot of trouble. If all the pools of water would turn into pools of wine, when I wanted a drink, I could just go there. I wouldn’t need money to buy it – how convenient that would be!”

If only the waters on earth would all turn to wine!

The greediest people think, “This world is really a bad deal. You have to work to get money. You work hard every day for just a few dollars, and once you’ve spent them, they’re done.

How great if the trees were all made of money!

If all the trees grew money on them, then when I wanted to use money, I’d just go there and pick some – not copper coins but gold ones. There would be gold coins on very tree – how wonderful! If the world were that way, I’d want to be in it forever, and would never leave it. If I died, I’d come back again and again. It would be about the same as the Land of Ultimate Bliss, so what need would there be to be reborn in the Pure land?” Those are all cases of stupidity running rampant, leading to those kinds of thoughts.

Regulating means disciplining, and subduing means bringing to submission. It means using the kung fu of discipline and submission to tame and subdue offenses and errors. “Offenses” means not holding the precepts – “errors” are also just that. You’ve received the precepts and taken refuge, knelt before your teacher and said you would offer up your conduct in accord with the teachings. Who told you to say that? Who told you to take refuge? You wanted to. Why can’t you remember that you yourself said? That’s a case of not being able to regulate your offenses and subdue your errors. Do you think it’s a lot of fun to take the precepts and then not keep them? You should think, “Since I am a Buddhist disciple, I should be different from other people in what I do,” and keep the precepts.

Taming and subduing are common to stopping and doing. Taming and training are in common with stopping evil and with doing good – that is, with stopping and with doing. They are also the same as holding to stopping and practicing holding. Holding to stopping is not doing any evil. Practicing holding is offering up all good conduct. Holding to stopping and practicing holding both require taming and training. Not doing any evil is stopping evil, while offering up all good conduct is practicing holding. If you can tame and train stopping and holding, tame and subdue doing and holding, you cause your three karmas of body, mouth, and mind not to commit offenses.

Regulating and subduing only means stopping evil. When you’re not supposed to do any evil, why do you insist on breaking the rules and refuse to follow them? If you don’t follow the rules, you will certainly fall into the hells; there’s not the least question about it. I’m not trying to scare you, but you yourself want to take that road and I don’t have any way to save you. whether you are a man or a woman, anyone who doesn’t follow the rules will in the future have a chance to fall into the hells. Whoever does follow the rules will have a part in becoming a Buddha. Didn’t I say before:

Good and evil are two separate roads;
On one you cultivate,
The other you commit.

If you want to cultivate, then cultivate; if you want to commit evil, then commit evil. That’s what I say: do whichever you want. I have an expedient Dharma and this is it.

If one follows the instructed conduct to illustrate its name, then it is the Store of Taming and Subduing. Before I said that taming and subduing were common to both stopping and doing, while regulating and subduing only meant stopping evil. If one follows the instructed conduct to illustrate it, if you go along with the doors of conduct in cultivation which are explained by it to make known its name, then it is called “The Store of Taming and Subduing.” Or it may be the Store of what can instruct, since it possesses the ability to tame and subdue. It has the capacity of taming and subduing the three karmas of body, mouth, and mind, which is to explain it by the wealth it holds. This is to explain it according to the Dharma-wealth contained with in it. Within the Store of tallying texts there is alike this explanation. In the Store of Tallying Texts these kinds of principles are similarly employed to explain that Treasury.

Prologue:

Vinaya may also translate as “Extinction.” “Extinction” has three meanings: One, extinction of karmic errors; Two, extinction of afflictions; Three, obtaining the fruit of extinction.

Commentary:

Vinaya, in Chinese often transliterated in abbreviation form for simplification, may also translate as “Extinction.” Some people translate it that way, in addition to the previous translation as “taming and training, regulating and subduing.” “Extinction” means getting rid of something. In this case it refers to eradicating all evil of offenses. Therefore “Extinction” has three meanings. One, the first meaning, is the extinction of karmic errors. Extinguishing karmic errors is just extinguishing erroneous actions, incorrect and improper behavior – evil karma. It eradicates your bad karma, thereby dispelling your karmic obstacles. Two, the second meaning, is the extinction of afflictions. What people find really hard to separate from is afflictions. One of the Four Great Vows is:

Afflictions are unending,
I vow to cut them off.

Afflictions are the basis for committing offenses. If you have afflictions, you will create bad karma, but without afflictions you won’t create that evil karma. Because they are the roots of the creation of bad karma, they should be eradicated. There are 84,000 kinds of afflictions. Taken in general, they arise from ignorance. That’s why in cultivating the Way one wants to break through ignorance so that the Dharma-nature will manifest.

Some people say, “I’ve studied the Buddhadharma for so many years, and I don’t feel I have gained any advantage from it.” If you want to obtain some advantages, it’s very easy. All you have to do is break through ignorance, and then advantages till appear. If you don’t break through your ignorance, but keep on getting upset and afflicted, fighting and quarrelling, being touchy and looking for trouble, then how can you obtain advantages? Someone says one thing to you, and you can’t let it go by. If you get a slightly raw deal, you let it gnaw away at you. If people are the least bit impolite to you, you can’t sleep for days or get any good down. How can you obtain advantages when you’re like that? To obtain advantages you have to smash through ignorance so your afflictions turn into Bodhi, into wisdom.

Other people say, “The Dharma Master taught us a Dharma and that if we cultivate according to it, we could become enlightened and obtain the five eyes and six penetrations. I’ve been maintaining it for years now and I haven’t obtained a single eye or penetrated a single penetration. Is this Dharma Master cheating people? Do those kinds of results exits or not?” If you think such results exist, then they exist: if you say there are no such results, then there are no such results. Why is that? It’s because everything is made from the mind alone. If your mind is not true, then how can there be results? You say, “But I make sure to cultivate it every day. I make sure to do it.” You may be sure to do it, but when doing it, do you strike up false thinking or not? On the one handy cultivate, and on the other you strike up false thinking like “Today while I’m cultivating this Dharma will I get enlightened? Will I obtain the five eyes and six penetrations?” The reason you haven’t yet obtained them is just that your false thoughts scare your attainments away. They say, “That won’t do. He keeps having false thinking about us. We can’t go there.” It’s that way.

In the Shurangama Sutra it says:

His manner was stern and proper as he honored with propriety the method of obtaining food… he was a vast model for the three realms.

Some people can recite this very smoothly, but when it comes time to apply it, they can’t. They don’t know what being “a vast model for the three realms” means, or how to “honor with propriety the method of obtaining food.” They don’t even know how to be “stern and proper.” Don’t have doubts about our eating in the formal dining hall manner. That formal procedure for taking vegetarian food has limitless and boundless merit and virtue. When we eat in that way, it is honoring with propriety the method of obtaining food. It’s not all sloppy and casual, but rather eating vegetarian food in a very proper manner, making transference to donors. To extinguish afflictions, then, you need to break through ignorance in everything you do. Once ignorance is smashed, afflictions turn into wisdom, into Bodhi.

Three, the third meaning, is obtaining the fruit of extinction. Some people say, “Oh, I don’t want this fruit: if it’s extinction, then there is no fruit! Why would anyone want a fruit like that?” This fruit of extinction is the wonderful fruition of Nirvana; it’s the fruit of crossing over to extinction. It says in the Vajra Sutra:

I must cause all living beings… to enter Nirvana without residue and be taken across to extinction.

It’s that fruit of extinction, which is an unsurpassed fruit – there’s nothing higher. And it’s the fruit of Buddhahood, obtaining the fruit of Nirvana. How do you obtain it? If you honor with propriety the method of obtaining food by maintaining a stern and proper manner, you can obtain it. If you can’t do that, then how are you any different from an ordinary, common person? If you can’t be distinguished from a layperson, then you can’t obtain the fruit of extinction. If you want to obtain that fruition, you must rely upon the Buddhadharma and cultivate – which is to have a manner stern and proper, to strictly respect the Vinaya, and honor with propriety the method of obtaining food. Then you can be a vast model for the three realms.

Prologue:

Or else it is called “Shila,” in Chinese transliterated briefly or in full, which means “clear coolness” since with leaving heated afflictions as the cause, one obtains the fruit of clear coolness.

Commentary:

Or else it is called “Shila.” Vinaya might also be translated by another Sanskrit word, Shila, in Chinese transliterated briefly or in full. Again the Sanskrit word, when pronounced in Chinese, was most often abbreviated, but there was also the full version which means “clear coolness.” When translated, Shila means “Clear Coolness.” Why was it called that? It was since with leaving heated afflictions as the cause, one obtains the fruit of clear coolness. Afflictions are like heat. When people give rise to ignorance, it’s fiery. But if they get free of heated afflictions, they can reach the fruition of clarity and coolness, the fruit of enlightenment. The fruit which is clear coolness is contrasted with heated afflictions – one no longer gets hot and bothered and so is clear and cool.

Prologue:

It is also called “Pratimoksha,” which means “Separate Liberation.” This takes its name from the cause. Nonetheless it has two meanings: One, it is called “separate” as distinct from samadhi and the way. Two, it is called “separate” since each of the three karmas and the seven members guards against errors. It is also translated as “According Liberation,” this being established upon the fruit, since it accords with the fruit of the two kinds of liberation, conditioned and unconditioned.

Commentary:

It is also called “Pratimoksha,” another name for the precepts, which means “Separate Liberation.”This takes its name from the cause. The name “Separate Liberation” is spoken based upon the cause. It nonetheless has two meanings. One, it is called “Separate” as distinct from samadhi and the Way. That name distinguishes it from Liberation of Samadhi and Liberation of the Way. That is, “Separate Liberation” is not Liberation of samadhi or Liberation of the Way. What is it then? It is becoming free from conditioning factors of restrictive karma which are like fetters that bind one up. One separates oneself from the conditions that keep one from being free, and so it is called “Separate” Liberation.

Two, it is called “Separate” since each of the three karmas and the seven members guards against errors . The second meaning is that every single one of the three karmas of body, mouth, and mind, and the seven members – the three evils of the body, the four evils of the mouth, and the three evils of the mind that were talked about before – guards against errors. The body doesn’t violate by killing, stealing, or committing sexual misconduct, and the mouth doesn’t err by lying, uttering loose speech, harsh speech, or double-tongue speech. That’s called the seven members guarding against errors. Since they are not the same, it is called “Separate” in the sense of “individual” Liberation, for each separately and individually becomes liberated. It is also translated as “According Liberation” by other people instead of “Separate Liberation.” This being established upon the fruit. There is a difference between this and the previous name, for that one was based upon the cause, while this name, “According Liberation,” is founded on the fruit of the result, since it accords with the fruit of the two kinds of Liberation, Conditioned and Unconditioned . It accords with the conditioned fruit and the unconditioned fruit. It is liberation with regard to conditioned dharmas and liberation with regard to unconditioned dharmas – the two types of fruit which are the two kinds of Liberation. Conditioned Liberation and Unconditioned Liberation. For that reason it is called “According Liberation.”

Prologue:

It is also called “Natural Goodness,” as in the Sarvastivada Vinaya. It is also called “Guarding with Faith,” because one is actually able to maintain as one received in the past.

Afterwards, setting forth the characteristics. Within the previous names there was already included stopping and doing, which are just the marks of the Vinaya.

Commentary:

It is also called “Natural Goodness.” The precepts have another name which is “Natural Goodness.” As in the Sarvastivada Vinaya. In the Sarvastivada Vinaya the precepts are called “Natural Goodness.” In China there is a work called the Three Character Classic, which students learn to recite and which is a very fine book. It begins:

People at first,
Are basically good in nature.
They are close to the nature,
Yet learn to be distant.
If they are not taught,
Their nature then shifts.
The teaching of principles
Merits consideration.

It says that when people are first born, their natures are basically good, not evil. They start out good, but when they grow up and understand a little bit, all kinds of habits draw them towards defiled dharmas, towards evil, and so they become distant from the goodness of their nature. If you don’t teach them and train them, their natural goodness moves somewhere else: they become bad-natured. If you wish to guide them to return to the goodness of nature, you need to use some kung fu of concentration to teach them. It is essential to be singleminded in teaching and transforming them.

“Natural goodness” here is talking abut the inherently good nature all of us basically possess. The precepts, too, are something everyone has to start with. Originally we are pure, and so it is called “Natural goodness.”

It is also called “Guarding with faith,” because one is actually able to maintain as one received in the past. You are truly able to receive and hold – that is, really put into practice – the precepts you received before. Sometimes after having received the precepts, one later forgets them – that’s not being able to maintain them, the opposite of what is said here. If you don’t forget them, then that is “guarding with faith” the precepts as you received them in the past. It’s truly and genuinely being able to put them into practice in the way you took them. It can’t be that after you take the precepts you don’t pay any attention to them. How is that? It’s different if you don’t have anything wrong with you: if you have gotten rid of your faults and never have any false thoughts – or true faults either – and, not to speak of not finding a false thought in an entire day, a year or even ten years can go by without any false thinking. Then you can forget about the precepts if you want to and it won’t matter. That’s called:

Holding without holding
and cultivating without cultivating:
The Way of effortlessness.

When you reach that level, then you can do it; but before you reach that level, if you try to say, “Now cultivate the Way of effortlessness and don’t use the precepts,” then you are cheating yourself. So, after receiving the precepts, you must constantly recite and maintain the precepts. You can’t forget them. And you should cultivate them without marks. You can’t be calculating for yourself. You should not be selfish or out for self-benefit, nor can you be jealous or obstructive. If you can truly practice patience and giving, then that’s the Way of effortlessness. Are you able to practice giving without the mark of giving, patience without the mark of patience, holding precepts without the mark of patience, holding precepts without the mark of precepts, vigor without the mark of vigor, dhyana samdhi without the mark of dhyana samdhi, and Prajna Wisdom without the mark of wisdom – not being attached to anything? If you can do that, then it will work. Otherwise, you need to diligently recite the precepts.

Afterwards, setting forth the marks. Before it said there would first be discussion of the name, and then the marks would be set forth. Without the previous names, the four names that came before, there was already included stopping and doing. It already included holding by stopping and holding by doing – stopping evil and doing good.

Not doing any evil and
Offering up all good conduct.

That is stopping and doing, which are just the marks of the Vinaya, the way the Vinaya is.

Prologue:

If one discusses them separately, Heavenly Relative’s Samparigraha Shastra says, “Vinaya has four meanings, they are: because of crating offenses, because of equal arisal, because of returning to purity, and because of escaping and leaving,” As is set forth at length in that Shastra.

Commentary:

If one discusses them separately – if you talk about those principles, those marks, individually, Heavenly Relative’s Samparigraha Shastra, the Mahayana-samparigraha-shastra written by Heavenly Relative (Vasubandhu) Bodhisattvas says, “Vinaya has four meanings.” It states that the Store of Precepts of Taming and Subduing, has four special meanings. They are: because of creating offenses. Creating offenses means breaking the precepts instead of hold them, going against the regulations set down by the Buddha. There is also because of equal arisal. “Equal arisal” refers to the previous creation of offenses. The reason one creates offenses is that one lacks wisdom and good sense. Another reason is from being lax, and so not following the rules. Universal Worthy Bodhisattvas’s verse says:

This day is already passed,
and life is accordingly shortened.
Like a fish in lessening water:
what bliss is there in this?
You should be diligent and vigorous,
as if rescuing your burning head.
Just be mindful of impermanence
and be careful not to be lax.

Why else does none create offenses? It’s from having too many afflictions, which lead to breaking the precepts. It also happens because you don’t respect the Dharma of any of the Triple Jewel and so commit offenses. That is all called “equal arisal” – those various above-mentioned factors all contribute to the committing of offenses.

Because of returning to purity. Is it the case that if you break the precepts you are no longer able to attain to purity? No. If you are able to turn over a new leaf and hold the precepts, become repentant and want to reform on your own, not waiting for someone else to tell you what precepts you have violated and how you should change, then you return to purity. You can go back to the fundamental purity of substance that you once had.

And because of escaping and leavning. This means escaping from and leaving behind all evil of offenses – not doing any evil but offering up all good conduct. There is escaping and leaving birth and death, escaping and leaving afflictions, escaping and leaving laxness, and escaping and leaving the committing of offenses. If you go into the meanings, there are a great many of them, and so they are stated simply here. As is set forth at length in that Shastra. A detailed investigation of them would be such as is found in the Mahayana-samparigraha-shastra.

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