THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
Volumes: 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8 * previous * next * Exhortation * Contents

Volume 6

One Must Cut Off False Speech

N4 One must cut off false speech.
O1 He discusses the intent of precepts or provisional dharmas.
P1 False speech is very harmful.
Q1 Traces false speech as a reason for becoming demonic.


Sutra:

Ananda, though living beings in the six paths of any mundane world may not kill, steal, or lust either physically or mentally, these three aspects of their conduct thus being perfect. Yet if they tell lies, the samadhi they attain will not be pure. They will become demons of love and views and will lose the seed of the Thus Come One.

Commentary:

Ananda, though living beings in the six paths of any mundane world may not kill, steal, or lust either physically or mentally. With their bodies they do not commit acts of killing, stealing, or lust. In their minds there are no thoughts of killing, stealing, or lust, these three aspects of their conduct thus being perfect, yet if they tell lies, the samadhi they attain will not be pure. This means it is a habit with them: they are always telling big lies. Since they are not pure, they will become demons of love and views and will lose the seed of the Thus Come One. They will become demons of love or demons of views. Why do they lose the seed of the Tathagata? It is because they lie excessively.

Q2 Points out the motives of false speech.


Sutra:

They say that they have attained what they have not attained, and that they have been certified when they have not been certified. Perhaps they seek to be foremost in the world, the most venerated and superior person. To their audiences they say that they have attained the fruition of a Shrotaapanna, the fruition of a Sakridagamin, the fruition of an Anagamin, the fruition of Arhatship, the Pratyekabuddha vehicle, or the various levels of Bodhisattvahood up to and including the ten grounds, in order to be revered by others and because they are greedy for offerings.

Commentary:

What kind of lies do they tell? Ordinary lies aside, they say that they have attained what they have not attained. They have not attained the Way. Basically, they don't understand the least thing about cultivating. They don't know how to recite the Buddha's name; they don't know how to hold precepts; they don't know how to sit in Chan. They act like they know, but they don't. They hear someone explain some principle, and they interrupt with, "I understand that. I already knew that a long time ago." Or they say, "Hey, I've already got the Way. I'm enlightened. I'm a Buddha." They say that they have been certified when they have not been certified. They have not reached the first stage of arhatship, much less do they have an understanding of the levels above that, but they say, "Do you know what I am? I'm an Arhat." Or, "I'm a Buddha." Or, "I'm a Bodhisattva" Why do they say these things?

Perhaps they seek to be foremost in the world, the most venerated and superior person. It's as someone said recently to one of my disciples: "What sect are you? We're in this together. We should join ranks, and I'll be the leader. I'm the founder of American Buddhism. I'm the first patriarch of American Buddhism." That's "seeking to be number one." To their audiences they say that they have attained the fruition of a Shrotaapanna, the fruition of a Sakridagamin, the fruition of an Anagamin, the fruition of Arhatship. They start out telling those around them that they are first-stage arhats. But soon that level is not lofty enough, so they say, "Oh, I just certified to the second fruition of arhatship!" And then a second later they claim fruition to the fourth level. Still, fourth fruition is just arhatship and not the highest position, so they are not satisfied. They claim to have the Pratyekabuddha vehicle, of the various levels of Bodhisattvahood up to and including the ten grounds. They start telling people they are pratyekabuddhas, or they claim to be at any one of the stages of Bodhisattva practice, even the ten grounds!

Why do such people claim to be arhats, pratyekabuddhas, and Bodhisattvas? What it amounts to is that they are cheating people and telling big lies in order to get people to believe in them. If no one believes in them, they don't have an income. As soon as people believe, then the offerings start to pour in. And so intent are they to be revered by others, so greedy are they for their offerings, that they do not fear falling into the hell of pulling out tongues. If one is a liar, after one's death, one goes to this hell where an iron hook sinks into one's tongue, pulls it out, and a sword chops it off. That's the retribution for lying. And yet there are still people who dare to do it. We don't even have to look beyond this world: just take mutes, for instance. Why are they mute? They are undergoing a retribution for excessive lying. They get to be people, but they can't talk. "See how much lying you can do now!" is the message. Why can't they talk? They have had their tongues cut out. Although they have tongues, the essence in them is gone; their tongues have no nature.

Why are some people blind? It is because they looked down on other people. They always considered themselves to be better than everyone else. They were smarter and more talented in every way, and so in this life they can't see people. Now they must ask themselves whether they are really better than everyone else. The deaf also are undergoing a retribution for having eavesdropped on conversations. They used to put their ear to numerous keyholes to find out what was being said. Present-day spies with their myriad ways of overhearing people, of stealing private conversations, may well have to bear the same retribution and be deaf at some future point in time.

However, if once you understand the principle, you then refrain from lying, you can avoid being mute. If you no longer look down on people, you won't have to be blind. If you don't steal other's conversations, you won't have to be deaf. Being mute, hunchback, and blind are all retributions for having slandered the Triple Jewel.

Q3 Predicts the fall of those who harm the good.

Sutra:

These icchantikas destroy the seeds of Buddhahood just as surely as a tala tree is destroyed if it is chopped down. The Buddha predicts that such people sever their good roots forever and lose their knowledge and vision. Immersed in the sea of the three sufferings, they cannot attain samadhi.

Commentary:


These icchantikas destroy the seeds of Buddhahood. People who tell big lies, who say they have attained what they in fact have not attained, who say they have been certified to what they have not been certified to, and who say they understand things they do not understand, such people are "icchantikas," which means "those who have cut off their good roots." If you cut off your good roots, then of course your bad roots will multiply. People who tell big lies and cheat people in the world ruin their own Buddha seed, just as surely as a tala tree is destroyed if it is chopped down. The tala tree, found in India, grows to great heights, but if it is chopped down, it will not grow again. These people sever their Buddha seed in the same way one might cut down a tala tree; neither will grow again. The Buddha predicts that such people sever their good roots forever and lose their knowledge and vision. The Buddha's prediction for such people is that they ruin their own good roots and become bereft of any sense or insight. Immersed in the sea of the three sufferings, they cannot attain samadhi. The three sufferings referred to here are:

1. The suffering of knives, which refers to the hell of the mountain of knives;

2. The suffering of blood, which refers to the hell of bleeding, where one's entire body keeps bleeding and bleeding;

3. The suffering of fire, which refers to the hell of burning by fire.

These people fall into these three terrible hells.

P2 He shows that he has clearly instructed against false speech.
Q1 The Buddha instructs that holy transformations must be secret.

Sutra:

I command the Bodhisattvas and Arhats to appear after my extinction in response-bodies in the Dharma-ending Age, and to take various forms in order to rescue those in the cycle of rebirth.

Commentary:

I command the Bodhisattvas and Arhats to appear after my extinction in response-bodies in the Dharma-ending Age. They should use response bodies and transformation bodies to be born in this world where there is so much suffering and distress. During the Dharma-ending Age, they will take various forms, they will appear in various ways, perhaps as human beings, perhaps as animals, or in any one of a manner of forms. They will constantly accord with living beings in order to rescue those in the cycle of rebirth. They will universally save living beings. Bodhisattvas come back as animals as well. You shouldn't think that it is disrespectful to say so, because they really do. In their practice of the Bodhisattva Way, they will go and teach animals, as when Shakyamuni Buddha in a past life was a deer king and rescued the deer.

Sutra:

They should either become shramanas, white-robed laypeople, kings, ministers or officials, virgin youths or maidens, and so forth, even prostitutes, widows, profligates, thieves, butchers, or dealers in contraband, doing the same things as these kinds of people while they praise the Buddha vehicle and cause them to enter samadhi in body and mind.

Commentary:

These Bodhisattvas and Arhats make transformation bodies and become shramanas, people who have left the homelife, either fully ordained or novices. Or they become white-robed laypeople. Laypeople do not leave the homelife, and they were referred to as "the white-robed" in India. They protect and uphold the Triple Jewel. This is because left-home people

Do not plow, but must eat,
Do not sew, but must wear clothes.

So it is necessary for the laypeople to make offerings to them. Or the Bodhisattvas become kings in the human realm, or ministers or officials. Or they become virgin youths or maidens, and so forth, even prostitutes, widows. Or they become profligates, thieves, butchers, or dealers in contraband. They even become people who force themselves on women, or who steal things, or kill animals, or deal in things like opium. The Bodhisattvas and Arhats do the same things as these kinds of people. Why do they turn into people like those? It is because they want to convert those kinds of people. In order to do this, they must use the four dharmas of attraction:

1. giving;
2. kind words;
3. beneficial practice;
4. similar work.

First, they attract them by giving. There are three kinds of giving:

1. the giving of wealth;
2. the giving of dharma;
3. the giving of fearlessness.

If one has money, one gives it. If one knows the dharma, one speaks it for others, thereby giving. If someone is frightened or upset, one can protect them and comfort them, thereby dispelling their fears; that is the giving of fearlessness. But, in giving in these various ways, one should not be greedy and expect repayment of some kind. You should not think, "Ah, now I am giving in this way, and in the future I will gain various advantages." Do it and forget it. Let it go. Then "the substance of the three aspects is empty." The three aspects are the giver, the gift, and the receiver. You should practice giving with the attitude that it is something you should do, rather than that you are amassing all kinds of merit and virtue.

The giving of dharma is the same way. When you speak dharma for others, you should not be thinking, "My merit and virtue from speaking the dharma is no doubt tremendous: you should all make offerings to me." The same is true of the giving of fearlessness. In general, when you give, you should not be reflecting upon how much benefit there is in it for you. Nor should you only be willing to give when you think it will be advantageous for you, while refusing to give when it won't.

Second, they attract them with kind words. For instance, the Buddha says to Ananda, "Good indeed, good indeed," and in the same way the Bodhisattvas praise beings, saying, "You are really a good boy! You are so intelligent! You really have good roots." Third, they attract them with beneficial practices. This means doing things to help others, not to help yourself.

Fourth, they attract them through similar work. That is, whatever beings do, they do. Perhaps a Bodhisattva wants to save a prostitute who has good roots that have come to maturity; Matangi's daughter, mentioned in this sutra, is an example. Matangi's daughter was a prostitute, but her time was right, and so when Ananda returned to the Jeta Grove, she followed along. As soon as the Buddha spoke dharma for her, she was certified as having attained the third fruition of arhatship. Eventually she attained the fourth fruition. And she was a prostitute to start with! So, in order to save prostitutes, Bodhisattvas may transform into prostitutes themselves, because if they are engaged in the same profession and are friends, what they say will be trusted by those they wish to save. For instance, a university student may say, "I believe in the Buddhadharma; it's wonderful. I'm going to investigate such and such a sutra right now." The students he is talking to say, "We'd like to go, too. We'd also like to look into that sutra." So everyone comes to investigate the Shurangama Sutra. It's the same principle.

Therefore, you never know who might be a Bodhisattva or an Arhat. But, if you are one, don't tell anyone. You don't want to go around saying, "I'm a Bodhisattva. You should listen to what I have to say." Why can't you do that? Because the Buddha forbade it. So the Bodhisattvas and Arhats do the same things as these kinds of people, but while doing it they praise the Buddha vehicle and cause them to enter samadhi in body and mind. They may indulge in the same activities, but they speak the Buddhadharma at every chance they get. "The Buddhadharma is so fine! It's beyond compare." And in this way, they cause those who listen to be enticed, just as if they were eating candy.

That reminds me of an historical record. In the past, in China, there lived a monk named Du Xun. He would sometimes lecture sutras and speak dharma. He also taught people how to sit and investigate Chan. Sometimes he taught people to be mindful of the Buddha. He used all kinds of methods to teach and transform living beings. He had a disciple who left the home-life under him and followed him for more than ten years. Every day, the disciple was very attentive to the teacher's conduct and activities. He kept trying to figure out what his teacher was: that is, was he a Bodhisattva, or an Arhat, or perhaps a Buddha? Finally, after ten years, he came to the conclusion that his teacher, Dharma Master Du Xun, was absolutely ordinary, that there was nothing unusual about him. The teacher ate, as did other people. The teacher wore clothes, as did other people. The teacher slept, as did other people. He wasn't any different from anyone else. So the disciple decided he probably wasn't a Buddha or a Bodhisattva, or an Arhat. With that, he went to his teacher to bow out. He decided to leave. What were his plans? He was going to Wu Tai mountain to bow to Manjushri Bodhisattva. He intended to seek wisdom from Manjushri Bodhisattva with the hope of becoming enlightened. "Teacher," he said, "I've studied here for more than ten years, and I don't feel I've learned anything. I don't understand anything, and I'm really stupid, so I've decided to go bow to Manjushri Bodhisattva in the hope that I can realize some wisdom."

"Fine," said his teacher. "You want to go climb that mountain, so be it. Be on your way. But I have two letters I'd like you to take along for me and deliver on your way." One letter was for Old Mother Pig. The other letter was for Madam Green. When the disciple reached the address that was written on Madam Green's letter, she turned out to be a prostitute. The disciple was getting suspicious. "What's my teacher doing writing letters to a prostitute?" he wondered. "Is she his lover, and he's having me be the go between?

But he delivered the letter saying, "My teacher, Du Xun, sent you a letter." Madam Green took the letter, read it, sat down, and said, "Good! He's leaving. I'm leaving, too." Then she died on the spot. She entered nirvana. The disciple found the whole event quite strange, and so he took the letter and read it. Then he found out that Madam Green was really Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva, for the letter said, "Guan Yin, I've finished my business here and am going. You should come with me."

The disciple sighed with regret. "If I had known that was Guan Yin Bodhisattva, I would have knelt before her, and until she'd entered nirvana I would have never gotten up, so I could have sought for wisdom and enlightenment. That would have been great, but now I've missed the opportunity." That's just exactly what's meant by the saying:

Face to face with her,
one fails to recognize Guan Shi Yin.

He took up the other letter and headed for Old Mother Pig's place. But when he got to the address, no one had heard of her. As he was passing a pigsty, an old sow spoke to him. "Why are you looking for Old Mother Pig?"

The disciple was astonished and wondered what kind of freak he'd encountered. Impulsively he replied, "My teacher told me to deliver a letter to Old Mother Pig."

"Oh," said the sow. "Well, I'm Old Mother Pig. You can give me the letter." The sow took the letter and looked at it, though it was hard to know whether she could understand what it said. Nonetheless, when she finished looking at it, she sat down and said, "Oh, his business is finished; I'll go back, too," and she died.

When the disciple looked at the letter, it showed the old pig was a transformation body of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva. "Is it really possible that Universal Worthy was that pig?" he wondered, still plagued with doubts. And he didn't have any idea what business it was that his teacher had finished.

He went on to Wu Tai mountain, and there he saw a very old monk, who asked him, "What are you doing here?" "I came to bow to the greatly wise Manjushri Bodhisattva and to seek for wisdom and enlightenment."

"Ugh, you!" said the old monk. "You've come to bow to Manjushri Bodhisattva, but bowing to your own teacher is ten thousand times better."

"Why" asked the disciple.

"Your teacher, the Venerable Du Xun, is Amitabha Buddha appearing in the world again. He's come to roam and play in the human realm to teach and transform living beings. You've been his disciple for more than ten years. How come you've never figured that out?"

"Oh? My teacher is Amitabha Buddha!" said the disciple. "He doesn't look like him!" And when he looked again, the old monk was gone. Then he saw a note there which said, "Manjushri Bodhisattva instructs you to immediately return to your teacher Du Xun, who is Amitabha Buddha."

Finally, the disciple believed it. He had met Manjushri Bodhisattva in the flesh and been told to go back to his own teacher. So he rushed back only to find that the monk, Du Xun, had entered the stillness days before. Once again, he'd missed his chance. He'd been the disciple of Amitabha Buddha for a decade and never realized it. He renounced what was at hand to seek what was afar, only to find that he should return to his own teacher. Now who was there left to see?

Sutra:

But they should never say of themselves, "I am truly a Bodhisattva"; or "I am truly an Arhat," or let the Buddha's secret cause leak out by speaking casually to those who have not yet studied.

Commentary:

But they should never say of themselves, "I am truly a Bodhisattva." They might be Bodhisattvas, Arhats, or Buddhas who have come to this world. But even if it were Shakyamuni Buddha himself come again to this world, or Amitabha Buddha, or Medicine Master Buddha Who Dispels Calamities and Lengthens Life, or Production of Jewels Buddha, or Accomplishment Buddha, or any other Buddha, or any Bodhisattva or Arhat, not one would ever say, "I'm really a Bodhisattva. It's true, and you should believe me. I'm truly a Bodhisattva!" One cannot speak like that. If they say, "I am truly an Arhat. Do you recognize me? Do you realize who I am? I'm an Arhat!" then you know they are part of the retinue of the demon kings. If someone praises you by saying that you are a Bodhisattva or an Arhat, you should not admit it even if you are. You cannot let it out. You cannot let the Buddha's secret cause leak out. You should not reveal the secret cause of the Buddha by speaking casually to those who have not yet studied. You can't just nonchalantly reveal your origin. What is acceptable, then? You can reveal it when you are about to die; don't do it before you are ready to go.

When you reveal it,
then don't stay.
As long as you are staying,
don't reveal it.

As soon as you reveal your origins, for example, that you are a transformation body of such and such a Bodhisattva, then you should leave immediately. As long as the word is not out, you can stay here, but as soon as you let it be known, you'll wind up with a lot of trouble on your hands if you don't go.

Q2 Only at the end of their life is there a transmission.|

Sutra:

How can people who make such claims, other than at the end of their lives and then only to those who inherit the teaching, be doing anything but deluding and confusing living beings and indulging in a gross false claim?

Commentary:

How can people who make such claims, other than at the end of their lives and then only to those who inherit the teaching, be doing anything but deluding and confusing living beings? If you are a holy being, then at the end of your life you can tell people so. But even then you can't tell everyone. You reveal it to those closest to you, perhaps a room-entering disciple or two. People who do otherwise simply delude and confuse beings by indulging in a gross false claim. If you have not attained the Way, and you claim you have, if you have not been certified to the fruition, and you say that you have, you are telling a huge lie.

During the Qing dynasty in China lived the high monk Elder Master Yin Guang. The master was from Shan Xi. After he left the home-life, he made a pilgrimage to Pu Tou mountain, the Bodhimanda of Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva. He went into seclusion there. He locked himself in a room and read the Tripitaka. If one reads every day, it takes about three years to finish reading the Tripitaka. He repeated this three-year cycle of reading the Tripitaka over and over for eighteen years. During all those years, he never left the mountain. At the end of that period, a group of laypeople in Shanghai invited him to lecture on the Amitabha Sutra. He agreed, but not too many people came to the lecture series, perhaps because it was difficult for them to understand his Shanghai dialect.

But among those who did come was a high school student from Shanghai who had had a dream in which she was told to go listen to the sutra. The dream said: "You should go to such and such a lay community and listen to the Amitabha Sutra being lectured there by Great Strength Bodhisattva." The next night, the student read in the newspaper that Dharma Master Yin Guang was lecturing the Amitabha Sutra at that very place. "Why did my dream tell me that Dharma Master Yin Guang is Great Strength Bodhisattva?" she wondered.

That night, she attended the lecture, and after everyone had left she related her dream to the elder dharma master. When she concluded that he must be Great Strength Bodhisattva, Dharma Master Yin Guang was very displeased, and he warned her, "You cannot go around talking such nonsense!" So she never talked about the dream, but she took refuge with the elder dharma master. Three years later the master entered the stillness, and it was only then that she told about her dream. Everyone was upset that she had not told them sooner, so that they could have requested more dharma from the elder master. But she told them she had been forbidden to speak of it by the master himself. From this incident it is clear that Elder Master Yin Guang was, in fact, a transformation of Great Strength Bodhisattva. When he was cremated, there were many sharira.

So, when one's life is about to end, some hints can be given. But still, one can't speak openly about such things. Perhaps in a dream, as in this case, a little indication can be made. But one cannot state anything flatly like, "I am Great Strength Bodhisattva." That's not the way it's done.

People these days go around claiming to be Buddhas. This is in direct opposition to the teachings of the Shurangama Sutra. Of course, all living beings are Buddhas, but you have to cultivate to become a Buddha. If you don't cultivate, you're more likely to be a horse, cow, pig, sheep, or chicken. You're likely to become a hungry ghost or fall into the hells; nothing is for certain.

P3 The clear instruction transmitted from former Buddhas.


Sutra:

When you teach people in the world to cultivate samadhi, they must also cease all lying. This is the fourth clear and unalterable instruction on purity given by the Thus Come Ones and the Buddhas of the past, World Honored Ones.

Commentary:

Ananda, do you hear this? When you teach people in the world to cultivate samadhi, they must also cease all lying. This means all kinds of exaggerations and boasts. For goodness sake, don't say, "I'm enlightened," or "I've been certified to the fruition," or "I'm a Buddha," or "I'm a Bodhisattva," or "I'm an Arhat." That's just too cheap. This is the fourth clear and unalterable instruction on purity given by the Thus Come Ones and the Buddhas of the past, World Honored Ones. Don't teach others to lie and make false claims. This instruction is given by all Buddhas of the present and all Buddhas of the past.

P4 Deciding if Bodhi can be obtained.
Q1 An analogy shows that if one does not cut off false speech, it is difficult to obtain Bodhi.

Sutra:

Therefore, Ananda, one who does not cut off lying is like a person who carves a piece of human excrement to look like chandana, hoping to make it fragrant. He is attempting the impossible.

Commentary:

I'll give you an example. Therefore, Ananda, you should realize that one who does not cut off lying is like a person who carves a piece of human excrement to look like chandana, hoping to make it fragrant. Someone who hopes to become pure without cutting off lying is like a person who tries to make a piece of incense out of a piece of shit. He is attempting the impossible. He'll never get the excrement to smell like chandana incense. This means if you lie, it's as if you smell bad. If you cultivate Chan samadhi trying to become a Buddha and yet you continue to lie, you are just like a piece of excrement. For a liar to try and become a Buddha is like trying to get a piece of shit to be a sweet-smelling Buddha image. That's beyond reason.

Sutra:

I teach the bhikshus that the straight mind is the Bodhimanda and that they should practice the four awesome deportments in all their activities. Since they should be devoid of all falseness, how can they claim to have themselves attained the dharmas of a superior person?

Commentary:

I teach the bhikshus that the straight mind is the Bodhimanda. Here the reference to "bhikshus" includes all four assemblies. You can't say at this point, "I'm a layperson, and so the Buddha isn't referring to me." You have to be straight in what you think and say. Don't be roundabout. Don't be deceptive. Not having a straight mind is also like trying to get incense out of excrement. I tell them that they should practice the four awesome deportments in all their activities. These were discussed in detail earlier. There are 250 aspects to each of the deportments of standing, sitting, walking, and lying down. You should always do things truly, and actually cultivate. Since they should be devoid of all falseness, how can they claim to have themselves attained the dharmas of a superior person? How can one say of oneself that one has been certified to the fruition of a Bodhisattva or of an Arhat? One may not speak that way. Before one has heard the sutras, one may be quite casual in what one says. But, now that you have heard this sutra, you know that you cannot say you have attained certain levels of fruition. To do so is to speak a great lie. The retribution for it is to fall into the Hell of Pulling Out Tongues. In the future, your tongue will be hooked with an iron hook and pulled out by the root. Afterwards you will have no opportunity to lie, for in the future, you will be mute.

Sutra:

That would be like a poor person falsely calling himself an emperor; for that, he would be taken and executed. Much less should one attempt to usurp the title of Dharma King. When the cause-ground is not true, the effects will be distorted. One who seeks the Buddha's Bodhi in this way is like a person who tries to bite his own navel. Who could possibly succeed?

Commentary:


That would be like a poor person falsely calling himself an emperor. "Did you realize," he would say, "that I am the ruler of this land?" For saying that, he would be taken and executed. The emperor would immediately have him arrested, and his whole family would be wiped out. All his friends and relatives would die in the process. Then where would the "emperor" have gone? To claim that you have attained the fruition when you have not is to be like a poor person who calls himself emperor. He'll be exterminated for it. And if one can't casually call oneself emperor on the worldly plane, much less should one attempt to usurp the title of Dharma King. How could one try to usurp the position of Buddhahood? When the cause-ground is not true, the effects will be distorted. On the cause-ground, when you are cultivating the Way, if you do not cultivate truly, the effects you reap in the future will be crooked. There will be a lot of wrinkles. You will not be able to accomplish the fruition directly. If you cultivate in this way, you may do so for countless great aeons, but you will still be unsuccessful. One who seeks the Buddha's Bodhi in this way is like a person who tries to bite his own navel. If you conduct yourself in this fashion, continually indulging in lies and boasts and yet are seeking the Bodhi of the Buddhas, you are like a person trying to bite his own navel. Who could possibly succeed? You could never bite your own navel, because your mouth won't reach it.

Q2 He promises if one can cut off false speech, one will certainly accomplish Bodhi.


Sutra:

If bhikshus' minds are as straight as lute strings, true and real in everything they do, then they can enter samadhi and never be involved in the deeds of demons. I certify that such people will accomplish the Bodhisattvas' Unsurpassed Knowledge and Enlightenment.

Commentary:

If bhikshus' and laypeoples' minds are as straight as lute strings, true and real in everything they do, then they can enter samadhi and never be involved in the deeds of demons. One's mind should be straight like a lute-string, not curved and crooked like the body of the lute. One should be truthful in all matters and never lie. Lying is a case of,

Being off by a hair in the beginning,
One will be off by a thousand miles in the end.

If you tell one lie now, it sets back your accomplishment of Buddhahood by several million great aeons. Take a good look and see who's taking the loss.

If one can be straight and truthful, one can enter samadhi, and no demonic obstacles will ever arise. I certify that such people will accomplish the Bodhisattvas' Unsurpassed Knowledge and Enlightenment. Anyone who has a mind as straight and true as a lute-string can become a Bodhisattva. They can accomplish the unsurpassed wisdom and enlightenment of a Bodhisattva.

O2 He speaks of the division into deviant and proper.

Sutra:

What I have said here is the Buddha's teaching. Any explanation counter to it is the teaching of Papiyan.

Commentary:

What I have said here is the Buddha's teaching. If you explain as I have explained here, it will be the doctrine spoken by the Buddhas. Any explanation counter to it is the teaching of Papiyan. Anyone who does not express this doctrine, but pronounces theories that oppose it, is just a demon king talking. "Papiyan" refers to the demon king.

previous * next * contents

return to top