Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "All thinkings of the Bodhisattva are all true and the sravakas and pratyekabuddhas are not true. Why are all beings not blessed with joy and bliss, with the divine powers of the Bodhisattvas? If all beings do not attain bliss, we can know that the loving-kindness practised by the Bodhisattva is fruitless."
The Buddha said: " O good man! It is not the case that the loving-kindness of the Bodhisattva does not generate benefit. O good man! Beings can be those who unfailingly suffer or who do not. To those beings who, without fail, have to suffer, the loving-kindness of the Bodhisattva has no benefit to bestow. This refers to the icchantika. To those for whom suffering is not unfailingly their lot, the loving-kindness of the Bodhisattva generates benefit and all beings enjoy happiness. O good man! It is, for example, like the case of a person who sees in the distance a lion, tiger, leopard, jackal, wolf, rakshasa [flesh-devouring demon] or other creature, and fear comes about of itself, or a person who is out walking at night and sees a pole sticking up out of the ground, and fear arises. O good man! All such people spontaneously gain fear. When beings see a person practising loving-kindness, bliss spontaneously arises. For this reason, we can say that the Bodhisattva’s practising of loving-kindness is true thinking and is not without benefit.
"O good man! There are innumerable gates to the loving-kindness about which I speak. These are the divine powers. It is as in the case of Devadatta, who instigated Ajatasatru [to kill his own father] and who tried to harm the Tathagata. At that time, I was in Rajagriha, begging alms from house to house. King Ajatasatru let loose a crazed and maddened elephant that he used for protecting his household possessions, and tried to harm me and my disciples. At that time, the elephant trampled and killed a good hundred-thousand people. As the people were being killed, blood flowed. The elephant smelt it and his frenzy increased. I, on seeing the red colour on the clothing of the followers, said: Blood!" And I saw my disciples run. Those who had not yet done away with the mind of desire ran in all directions, except for Ananda. Then the people of Rajagriha wept and cried loudly and said: It is most certain that the Tathagata’s life will come to an end today. How can the Truly Enlightened One die in the course of just a day?" Then Devadatta rejoiced: It is very good that Sramana Gautama is going to die. From now on, there truly will be no more of what obtained before. How good it is that things stand thus! I have gained my end!" O good man! With the intention of subduing the household elephant, I entered the samadhi of loving-kindness. I held out my hand and opened it, bringing out five lions from my five fingers. The elephant, on seeing these, released his urine and excrement, and threw his body down upon the ground and worshipped me. O good man! I did not [actually] have any lions on my fingers. Due to the power of good from practising loving-kindness, the elephant was thus subdued.
"Also, next, O good man! To enter Nirvana, I took my first steps towards Kusinagara. There were 500 wrestlers who were making the middle part of the road flat. There was a rock there. All were hard at it, trying to shift the rock, but they could not. I felt pity; loving-kindness arose. I then, with the big toe of my foot, lifted up this big stone and kicked it up into the air. It then fell back down upon the palm of my hand. I puffed and made it into powder. It again gathered itself together and became a stone. This was done to kill the wrestlers’ arrogant minds. Thus effecting an expedient, I spoke to them of the Way and caused them to aspire to supreme Enlightenment. O good man! The Tathagata, at that time, kicked up that big stone with his toes, threw it up into the air and made it come down again onto my right-hand palm. I puffed on it and turned it into powder and made it join up again. O good man! Know that the power of goodness of loving-kindness enabled all the wrestlers to see this spectacle. Also, next, O good man! Here in South India, there is a big castle called Surparaka. In this castle lived a rich man whose name was Ruci. He led the people. He had already done much good in the past at the sites of innumerable Buddhas. O good man! All the inhabitants of that castle were pursuing wrong faiths, serving the Nirgranthas. As I desired to teach this rich man, I travelled on to this castle town. The distance was 65 yojanas [yojana=15-20 kilometres]. The Buddha covered the distance on foot, followed by his retinue. This was to teach the people. The Nirgranthas, on hearing that I was coming to the castle-town, thought: If Sramana Gautama comes here, everybody will abandon us and not give any more offerings to us. We shall be hard-pressed. How are we to sustain our lives?" All the Nirgranthas went here and there and said to the people of the castle-town: "Sramana Gautama is about to come here. But all sramanas are people who have deserted their parents and have gone east and west. Wherever they go, the cereal fails and the people suffer from hunger and many have died. Illnesses prevail and there is no means of saving people. Gautama is a vagabond and is followed by evil rakshasas and demons. All are lonely solitaries, without father or mother. They come and praise and follow him. He teaches emptiness. Wherever he goes, there is no peace." The people, on hearing this, became frightened and touched the feet of Nirgrantha, saying: O great one! What are we to do?" Nirgrantha answered: "Sramana Gautama, by nature, loves forests, rivers, ponds, and pure water. If there are any such things, have them destroyed. All of you go out of the town together, fell the trees, do not leave one standing. Fill the rivers, ponds, and wells with dirty things. Close the castle gates. Have soldiers with you, stick to the bulwarks and keep unrelenting watch! He may come, but do not allow him to enter. If he does not come, you will be safe.
We, too, shall think of some means and drive him back. All the people heard this and respectfully did as they were told. They felled all the trees, made all the watery places dirty, and strongly armed themselves for protection. O good man! When I arrived there, I could not see any trees or forest; all I could see were the people bearing arms and standing by the castle walls on guard. On seeing this, compassion welled up within me, and with a heart full of loving-kindness I stepped forward. Then all the trees came back and looked just as they had before. And all the trees, whose number was beyond reckoning, grew again. The water of the rivers, ponds, wells, and springs was all pure and full, like blue vaidurya. All kinds of flowers spread out in profusion. The bulwarks looked like dark-blue vaidurya. The people could all easily see me and my retinue. The gates opened by themselves, with nothing stopping them. All the weapons changed into various flowers. Led by Ruci, all the people came out to see me. I then spoke about many things connected with Dharma and caused them all to aspire to unsurpassed Enlightenment. O good man! I, at that time, called forth all those trees artificially and filled the streams, rivers, and ponds with pure water. I made the main castle transform itself and look like dark-blue vaidurya. I let the people all see through me. I made the gates open and caused all the weapons to be transformed into flowers. O good man! Know that the power of good of loving-kindness enabled those people to see such things.
"Also, next, O good man! There was in the castle of Sravasti a woman called Vasistha. She had a son whom she loved very much. This son died from an illness. Then sorrow poisoned her [mind] and she became mad. She stripped off all her clothing and felt no shame. She wandered about the crossways and wept and cried: O my child, my child! Where have you gone?" She walked [unceasingly] around the castle-town and there was no stopping her. But this woman had already amassed virtue at the place of the Buddha before. O good man! I could not help but sympathise with her. She saw me and thought of her son [i.e. thought I was her son] and came back to herself. She came up to me and embraced me as though I were her own son. I then said to my follower, Ananda: "Go and fetch some clothing and give it to her." After having given her some clothing, I told her various things of the Way. Having heard about the Way, the woman was overjoyed and aspired to unsurpassed Enlightenment. O good man! I, at that time, was not her son; she was not my mother. Also, there was no embracing. O good man! Know that this was but the power of the good act of loving-kindness, through which that woman saw such things."
"Also, next, O good man! At the castle of Varanasi, there was an upasika [female lay Buddhist] called Mahasenadatta, who had already done various good deeds at the places of innumerable Buddhas before. This upasika invited the Sangha [to be her guests] for 90 days in the summer and offered the Sangha medicine. At that time, there was a bhiksu who was seriously ill. A good doctor saw him and prescribed human flesh. If flesh were given, the illness would at once retreat. If not, his life would be at stake. On hearing the words of the doctor, the upasika took some gold and went about the town, saying: " Who can sell me human flesh? I want to buy some. I will give gold equal to the amount of flesh." She went about the town, but nobody gave her any. Then the upasika cut off some from her own thigh. She made a hot meal, scented it, and gave it to the bhiksu. After he had partaken of it, his illness was cured. [But] the pain the upasika had from her wound was so great that she could not stand it and cried out: "Namo Buddhaya, namo Buddhaya!" [adoration of Buddha]. I was in Sravasti at that time and heard her voice. Great pity took hold of me for this upasika. The woman, on receiving some good medicine from me, applied it to her wound. A cure ensued, and all was as before. I told her wonderful things about the Way. On hearing them, she was overjoyed and aspired to supreme Bodhi. O good man! I, at that time, did not go to Varanasi Castle, take medicine with me and smear it over the upasika's body. O good man! Know that all of this came from
the power inherent in the good deed of loving-kindness, which enabled the upasika to experience these things.
"Also, next, O good man! Devadatta, the evil-hearted one, was greedy beyond measure. He ate a lot of butter and got a headache and a swollen belly, and the pain was so great that he could not endure it. He said: "Namo Buddhaya, namo Buddhaya!" At that time, I was living in the castle-town of Ujjaini. Hearing his voice, pity overtook me. Then Devadatta saw me come to him, rub his head and belly, give him hot salt water and make him partake of it. Having partaken of it, he regained his health. O good man! I did not go to where Devadatta was, rub his head and belly, or give him hot water. O good man! All of this arose from the power of virtue inherent in the good deed of loving-kindness, so that Devadatta was able to see all of this.
"Also, next, O good man! In the state of Kosala, there were 500 robbers. This robber- band plundered and wreaked much havoc. Worried over their misdeeds, King Prasenajit dispatched some soldiers who, hiding under cover, caught the band. Having been caught, their eyes were taken out, and they were taken to a dark forest and left there. These robbers had, in the past, planted virtue under the Buddha. Having lost their eyes and in great pain, they cried out: "Namo Buddhaya, namo Buddhaya! We now have no one to help us." They wept and cried out loudly. I was staying at Jetavana at that time. On hearing their cry, loving-kindness overcame me. Then a cool wind sprang up, which blew and filled the cavities of their eyes with fragrant medicine. Then their eyes returned, and there was no difference from before. The robbers opened their eyes and saw that the Buddha was standing before them, preaching Dharma. Having heard the sermon, the robbers aspired to unsurpassed Enlightenment. O good man! I, at that time, did not cause the cool wind to arise and waft fragrant medicine; nor did I stand before them. O good man! Know that this was all the result of the power of the goodness of loving-kindness that made things thus come about.
"Also, next, O good man! Prince Vidudabha, due to ignorance, did away with his father and ascended the throne. Also, recalling a long-standing hatred, he killed many of the Shakya clan [i.e. the Buddha’s own clan]. 12,000 Shakya women were taken prisoner. As a punishment, their ears and noses were chopped off. Their hands and legs were cut off, and they were thrown into holes and trenches. Then the females, oppressed by pain, said: " Namo Buddhaya, namo Buddhaya! We are helpless." They also wept and cried. All of these females had already amassed virtue in [the time of] Buddhas before. On that occasion I was at the Bamboo Grove. Hearing their cry, loving-kindness overtook me. All the females saw that I, at that time, had come to Kapilavastu and that I was washing their wounds with water and applying medicine to them. Their pain gradually abated, and their ears, noses, hands and legs were restored to them, just as before. I then, in a simple way, spoke about the essence of Dharma and they all aspired to unsurpassed Enlightenment. They were ordained at the place of Mahaprajapati [i.e. the Buddha’s aunt and adoptive mother] and received the upasampada. O good man! It was not the case that the Tathagata, at that time, went to Kapilavastu and washed their wounds with water, applied medicine and stopped the pain. O good man! Know that this came about as a result of the power of good inherent in loving-kindness, which enabled the women to experience these things.
"It is the same with compassion and sympathetic joy, too. O good man! For this reason, the thinking [mental state] of loving-kindness practised by the Bodhisattva-mahasattva is true and not false. O good man! "Limitless" means "inconceivable". What the Bodhisattva does is inconceivable. What the Buddha does, is also inconceivable. The same applies to this Mahayana Great Nirvana Sutra, too, which is likewise inconceivable."
Chapter Twenty-Two: On Pure Actions (b)
"Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva, having practised loving-kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy attains the stage of the best-loved only son. O good man! Why do we call this stage that of the "best-loved" and also "only son"? A father and mother, for example, greatly rejoice when they see their son in peace. The same with the Bodhisattva- mahasattva who abides in this soil [“bhumi”]. He sees all beings just as though they were his only son. On seeing a person practising good, he greatly rejoices. So we call this stage that of the best-loved.
"O good man! As an example: a father and mother become worried in their hearts when they see their son ill. Commiseration [anguish] poisons their hearts; their minds cannot get away from the illness. It is thus, too, with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva who abides in this stage. When he sees beings bound up by the illness of defilement, his heart aches. He is worried, as if over his own son. Blood comes from all the pores of his skin. That is why we call this stage that of the only son.
"O good man! A person, in his childhood, will pick up earth, dirty things, tiles, stones, old bones, and bits of wood and put them into his mouth, at which his father and mother, fearful of the harm that may ensue therefrom, take hold of the child with their left hand and take these things away from him with their right. It is the same with the Bodhisattva of this stage. He sees that all beings have not grown up to the stage of the Dharma-Body and that non-good is performed with body, mouth and mind. The Bodhisattva sees this and extracts [the harmful things] with the hand of Wisdom. He does not wish any person to repeat birth and death, receiving thereby suffering and worry. Hence, this stage is also called the “bhumi” of an only son.
"O good man! When, for example, a son dies and the father and mother have to part from their son whom they love, their hearts so ache that they feel that they themselves will die too. It is the same with the Bodhisattva. When he sees an icchantika [person of the most deluded, twisted views on life] falling into hell, he himself wishes to be born there, too. Why so? Because this icchantika, as he experiences pain, may gain a moment of repentance when I speak to him of Dharma in various ways and enable him to gain a thought of good. Hence, this stage is called that of an only son.
"O good man! As an example: all a father and mother have is their only son. Asleep or awake, while walking, standing, sitting or reclining, their mind is always on their son. If any sin occurs, they give kindly advice, and the boy is thus guided not to do evil again. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva, too. When he sees beings falling into the realms of hell, hungry ghosts, and animals, his mind is ever upon them and not away from them. He may see them doing all kinds of evil, and yet he does not become angry or punish them with evil things. Hence, this stage is called the “bhumi” of an only son."
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! What the Buddha speaks is closely guarded words. I am shallow in Wisdom. How can I arrive at the meaning? If it is the case that all Bodhisattvas abide in the stage of the only son and can do all such things, why was it that the Tathagata, when born as a king, practising the Bodhisattva Way, took the life of a Brahmin of a [certain] place? If this stage was gained, there must be some protection. If it was not yet attained, why did he not fall into hell? If all beings are viewed as an only son, like Rahula, why did you say to Devadatta: " You eat the tears and spittle of one ignorant and shameless!"? Why was he made to hear this and to entertain anger and enmity and evil thoughts, so as to cause blood to come out of the Buddha's body? When Devadatta had committed this evil, the Tathagata went on to prophesy, saying: " Devadatta will fall into hell, where punishment will persist for a kalpa." O World-Honoured One! Subhuti has attained the “bhumi” of space. Whenever he enters a castle and begs for food, he always looks at the person. If he should get any feeling of displeasure or jealousy, he ceases begging. Even if he is excessively hungry, he will not go and beg. Why not? This Subhuti thinks: "I remember that in days gone by I gained an evil thought at a place that was a field of merit, and as a result I fell into a great hell, where I suffered from various pains. I may now not gain anything to eat all day, but even so, I will not have any ill-will raised against me, so that I would have to fall into hell and suffer from various mental afflictions." He also thinks in this way: "If people hate to see me standing, I shall sit all day long and not stand; if people do not like to see me sitting, I shall stand the whole day and not move. The same with walking and reclining." This Subhuti thinks thus so as to protect people. How could things be otherwise with the Bodhisattva? How could a Bodhisattva who has attained the “bhumi” of an only son, O Tathagata, speak thus rudely and cause people [to entertain] extremely heavy ill-will?"
The Buddha said to Kasyapa: "Now, you should not use such harsh words and say that the Buddha-Tathagata causes any kind of worry of defilement [any mental affliction due to the “asravas”] to arise within beings. O good man! The proboscis of a mosquito could sooner gain the bottom of the sea than that the Tathagata would ever occasion any worry of defilement to any being. O good man! The great earth could sooner turn out to be immaterial, or water become solid, fire cool, wind static, the Three Jewels, Buddha-Nature and space impermanent, than that the Tathagata would ever occasion a cause of worry to any being. O good man! Even those who have committed the four heavy transgressions, or an icchantika, or those who slander Wonderful Dharma, could sooner attain in this present life the ten powers, the four fearlessnesses, the 32 signs of perfection, and the 80 minor marks of excellence than that the Tathagata would ever occasion the worry of defilement to any being. O good man! Even sravakas and pratyekabuddhas could sooner exist eternally than that the Tathagata would ever occasion the worry of defilement to any being. O good man! All the Bodhisattvas of the ten abodes could sooner commit the four grave offences, become icchantikas and slander Wonderful Dharma than that the Tathagata would ever give occasion for defilement worry to any being. O good man! All beings could even soooner cut off the Buddha-Nature and the Tathagata enter the last of Nirvanas than that the Tathagata would ever, even once, give occasion for the worry of defilement to any being. O good man! One could sooner catch hold of the wind with a rope, or crush iron with one’s teeth, or destroy Mount Sumeru with a [finger]-nail than that the Tathagata would ever occasion the worry of defilement to any being. One could sooner live with vipers, or put both hands into the mouth of a famished lion, or wash one’s body with the charcoal of khadira, than ever say that the Tathagata occasions the worry of defilement to any being. O good man! The Tathagata truly extirpates the bond of worry of all beings and does not occasion the worry of defilement to any of them.
"O good man! You say that the Tathagata, in days gone by, killed a Brahmin. O good man! “The Bodhisattva-mahasattva would not purposely kill an ant” [a large, winged black ant]. How could he kill a Brahmin? “The Bodhisattva always, through various means, gives unending life to beings.” O good man! Now a person who gives food gives life. When the Bodhisattva- mahasattva practises the danaparamita, he always gives beings unlimited life. O good man! By upholding the precept of non-harming, one gains a long life. When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the shilaparamita, he gives all beings unlimited life. O good man! If one is mindful of one’s speech and does not do anything wrong, one gains a long life. When the Bodhisattva- mahasattva practises the ksantiparamita [perfect patience], he always teaches beings not to give rise to any thought of enmity, to do what is straight, to refrain from what is twisted, and thus to look to one’s own self and not dispute with others. And through this one is blessed with a long life. Because of this, when the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the ksantiparamita, he always gives beings long life. O good man! If one makes effort and does good, one will be blessed with long life. When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the viryaparamita [perfected vigour, effort], he always urges beings to do good. Having done as told, those beings are blessed with a long life. Thus, when the Bodhisattva practises the viryaparamita, he already gives beings an immeasurably long life. When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises dhyanaparamita [perfected meditation], he urges beings to develop the all-equal mind. Having practised this, beings will be blessed with long life. Hence, when the Bodhisattva practises the dhyanaparamita, he already gives beings an immeasurably long life. O good man! A person who is not indolent regarding Dharma gains a long life. When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the prajnaparamita [perfected Wisdom], he urges all beings to practise all kinds of good dharmas [things] and is not indolent. Having thus practised, beings in consequence gain a long life. For this reason, when the Bodhisattva practises the prajnaparamita, he already bestows on beings unlimited life. O good man! Because of this, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva does not take the lives of any being to the end.
"O good man! You asked if one could gain this “bhumi” or not when one has killed a Brahmin. O good man! I already gained it. Out of love, I took his life. It was not done with an evil mind. O good man! For example, a father and mother have an only son. They love him greatly and act against the law. At that time, the father and mother, out of fear, drive one away or kill. Though they drove [him] away or killed [him], they had no evil mind. In just the same way, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva acts likewise for reasons of protecting Wonderful Dharma. Should beings slander Mahayana, he applies kindly lashings, in order to cure them. Or he may take life in order that what obtained in the past could be mended, thus seeing to it that the law [Dharma] could be accorded with. The Bodhisattva always thinks: "How might I best make beings aspire to faith? I shall always act as is best fitted to the occasion." The Brahmin fell into Avichi Hell after his death. He gained three thoughts. The first thought was: "Where have I come from to be born here in this way?" And the realisation dawned on him to the effect that he had been born there from the world of men. His second thought was: "What is this place where I have now been born?" The realisation dawned that this was Avichi Hell. The third thought [then] arose: "Through what causal concatenations have I been born here?" He then came to realise that things had taken this turn because of his slandering of the vaipulya Mahayana sutras and by his not believing, and by his being killed by the king - thus had he been born there. Thinking in this way, respect arose towards the Mahayana vaipulya sutras. Then, after his death, he was born in the world of Tathagata Amrta-Drum. There he lived for 10 kalpas. O good man! I thus, in days gone by, gave this person a life of 10 kalpas. How could it be said that I killed him?”
"O good man! There is a man who digs up the ground, mows the grass, fells trees, cuts corpses into pieces, slanders and beats [people]. Would this cause him to be born in hell?" Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! From what I gather from what you said, this would be a cause of hell. Why? It is as the Buddha once said to the sravakas: "O all you Bhiksus! Do not bear any ill will towards any grass or trees. Why not? Because, due to an evil mind [bad thoughts], all beings fall into hell."
Then the Buddha praised Bodhisattva Kasyapa: "Well said, well said! It is as you say. Hold fast to the precepts. O good man! If a person falls into hell through an evil mind, this tells us that the Bodhisattva does not have any evil mind. Why not? Because the Bodhisattva- mahasattva always pities and desires to benefit all beings, down to insects and ants. Why? Because he is versed in all causal relations and expedients. Through the power of expedients, he desires to cause beings to plant the seeds of all varieties of virtue. O good man! For this reason, I, at that time, took life as the best expedient. Yet I did not entertain any evil in my mind. O good man! According to the doctrine of the Brahmins, there is no karmic result even if one kills tens of wagons of ants. All such insects and animals that harm man, such as the mosquito, gadfly, flea, louse, cat, lion, tiger, wolf and bear may be killed in an amount as great as ten wagon-loads [according to the Brahmins]. Such beings as demons, rakshasas, kumbhandas, kataputanas and all those made and dried-up devils who harm human beings may well be killed, without any evil result arising from the killing [according to the Brahmins]. But if one kills an evil person, karmic consequences ensue. If one kills and there is no repentance that follows, one gains life in the hell of hungry ghosts [according to the Brahmins]. If one repents and fasts for three days, the sin dies out and nothing remains behind. If any harm is caused to an upadhyaya [teacher of the Vedas, grammar, etc.], to one’s father, mother, a woman or a cow, one will have to go to hell for innumerable thousands of years [according to the Brahmins].
"O good man! The Buddha and Bodhisattva see three categories of killing, which are those of the grades 1) low, 2) medium, and 3) high. Low applies to the class of insects and all kinds of animals, except for the transformation body of the Bodhisattva who may present himself as such. O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva, through his vows and in certain circumstances, gets born as an animal. This is killing beings of the lowest class. By reason of harming life of the lowest grade, one gains life in the realms of hell, animals or hungry ghosts and suffers from the downmost “duhkha” [pain, mental or physical]. Why so? Because these animals have done somewhat of good. Hence, one who harms them receives full karmic returns for his actions. This is killing of the lowest grade. The medium grade of killing concerns killing [beings] from the category of humans up to the class of anagamins. This is middle-grade killing. As a result, one gets born in the realms of hell, animals or hungry ghosts and fully recieves the karmic consequences befitting the middle grade of suffering. This is medium-grade killing. Top-rank killing relates to killing one’s father or mother, an arhat, pratyekabudda, or a Bodhisattva of the last established state. This is top-rank killing. In consequence of this, one falls into the greatest Avichi Hell [the most terrible of all the hells] and endures the karmic consequences befitting the highest level of suffering. This is top-grade killing. O good man! A person who kills an icchantika does not suffer from the karmic returns due to the killings of the three kinds named above. O good man! All those Brahmins are of the class of the icchantika. For example, such actions as digging the ground, mowing the grass, felling trees, cutting up corpses, ill-speaking, and lashing do not call forth karmic returns. Killing an icchantika comes within the same category. No karmic results ensue. Why not? Because no Brahmins and no five laws to begin with faith, etc. are involved here [Maybe: no Brahmins are concerned with the "five roots" of faith, vigour, mindfulness, concentration, and Wisdom]. For this reason, killing [of this kind] does not carry one off to hell.
"O good man! You asked why the Tathagata spoke ill of Devadatta to the effect that he was an ignorant person who gulped down spittle. You should not speak ill of this, either. Why not? It is not possible to conceive [i.e. fully understand] what the Buddha-World-Honoured One says. O good man! True words are loved in the world; or there are cases where what is contrary to the time [occasion] and law [Buddhist teaching] do not benefit a person. I never speak thus. O good man! There are situations in which rough, untrue, untimely, unlawful words are not loved by him who hears them, and do not bring benefit. I also do not speak such words. O good man! And there are times when, though the language be harsh, it is true and not false. At such a time, if this teaching gives benefit to all beings, I always speak, even if the listener is not pleased [to hear my words]. Why? Because the All-Buddha, the Arhat-and-Samyaksambuddha [Fully Awakened One] knows the best expedient [for any given situation].
"O good man! I once passed hours in the wild, in hamlets and forests. In the forest, there was a demon called "Wild". He only ate human flesh and blood, and many a being was killed. And one person from the village was eaten every day. O good man! I, at that time, was speaking expansively about the essence of Dharma. But he [the demon] was rude, evil, ignorant, and had no Wisdom, and did not lend an ear to what I was saying regarding Dharma. I then transformed myself into a very powerful demon, shook his palace so mightily that there was no peace. Then that demon came out of his palace with his kindred to challenge me. On seeing me, he lost heart. Frightened, he fell to the ground, wriggled and moaned, and looked as though he were dead. Pitying him, I rubbed his body with my hand. He regained himself, sat up and said: "I am glad that I have regained my body and life. This great god possesses great virtue. Being compassionate, he pardons my hateful acts." He gained a good [state of] mind and faith at my place [in my presence]. I then re-assumed my body as the Tathagata and spoke to him
about the various essentials of Dharma. And I made that demon receive from me the precept of non-harming.
"And that day there was a rich man in the village in the wilds, who was about to die. The villagers brought him to the demon. The demon, after receiving him, gave him to me. I got him and named this rich man "Hand-Rich-Man". Then the demon said to me: "O World-Honoured One! My people and I feed on flesh and blood and [thus] sustain [our] life. I have now received this shila [rule of moral conduct]. How am I to live?" I replied: "From now on, I shall give orders to the sravakas. Follow them and go to where they practise the Way, and I shall make them give you things to eat." O good man! For this reason, I instituted for the bhiksus this shila: "You shouuld henceforward give food to the field demon. If there are those who, living themselves, cannot give, such are - you should know - not my disciples, but the relatives of the heavenly Mara [the devil Mara's abode is in heaven]." O good man! The Tathagata puts forth such diverse expedients so as to teach and subdue beings. It is not particularly to cause fear. O good man! I also beat the law-protecting demon with a wooden stick. And at one time I was on top of a hill. I pushed a sheep-headed demon down the hill. Also, when in the top of a tree, I beat a monkey-protecting demon, and [another time] I caused the treasure-guarding elephant to see five lions, and made vajra-deva fear Satyakanirgrantha. And [another time] I thrust a needle into an arrow-hair demon. Though I did all these things, there were no demons that were harmed or killed. It was only to get them to rest in peace in Wonderful Dharma. Thus did I perform all such expedients.
"O good man! I did not at that time speak ill of Devadatta and did not make him feel ashamed. He, too, was not so ignorant as to gulp down another person's spittle. Nor did he fall into Avichi Hell, there to suffer punishment for a kalpa. Nor did he disrupt the peace of the Sangha or cause blood to come out of the Buddha’s body. Nor did he commit the four grave offences, nor did he slander the Wonderful Dharma of the Mahayana sutras. He is no icchantika, no sravaka, and no pratyekabuddha. O good man! Devadatta does not belong to the class of the world of the sravakas or pratyekabuddhas. All this is only what all Buddhas can know. O good man! For this reason, do not reproach [me] and say: "Why should the Tathagata impeach Devadatta, speak ill of him, and make Devadatta feel ashamed?" Do not doubt things that concern the world of all Buddhas."
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! As an example: when we decoct sugar cane many times, we gain various grades of taste. The case is so with me. Following as often the words of the Buddha, we gain the various kinds of dharma. These are those [dharmas] of fleeing the world, of abandoning desire, of quietude, and of Enlightenment. O World-Honoured One! Another example: if we burn, beat, smelt and temper gold, it becomes all the brighter and purer, more harmonious, soft, wonderful in its colour, and priceless. And later gods and men prize it highly as treasure. O World-Honoured One! The same is the case with the Tathagata, too. If we carefully and respectfully ask questions, we arrive at the depths of the meaning. By practising the Way profoundly, one can uphold it, and innumerable beings will aspire to unexcelled Enlightenment and [one] is looked up to and respected by humans and gods."
Then the Buddha spoke in praise of Bodhisattva Kasyapa: " Well said, well said! O Bodhisattva-mahasattva! To benefit all beings, you put such questions of deep signification to the Tathagata. O good man! For this reason, I follow your lead and speak about the deepest depths of the Mahayana vaipulya. This is the stage of an only son of dearest love."
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! If all Bodhisattvas practise the Ways of loving-kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy and attain the stage of an only son, what is the stage that one attains when one practises the mind of equanimity?" The Buddha said: " Well said, well said! You know well when to ask. You see what I desire to speak about and you ask. When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the mind of equanimity, he attains the All-Void All-Equal stage, and becomes like Subhuti. O good man! When the
Bodhisattva-mahasattva dwells in the All-Void All-Equal “bhumi”, he no longer sees parents, brothers, sisters, children, relatives, good friends of the Way, enemies, those who are hostile or friendly, those who are neither friendly nor antagonistic, down to the five skandhas, the 18 realms, the 12 spheres, beings, and life. O good man! As an illustration, it is like space, in which we see no parents, brothers, wife and children, down to beings and life. It is the same regarding all things. There can be no parents and life. Thus does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva see all things. His mind is all-equal like space. Why? Because he thoroughly practises the dharma of the Void [“shunyata”]."
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! What do you mean by the Void?" "O good man! Of the Void, there are such as the internal, external, internal-external Void, the Void of created existence, the Void of the uncreated, the Void of beginninglessness, the Void of nature, the Void of non-possession, the Void of “Paramartha- satya”, the Void-Void, and the Great Void.
"How does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva experience the internal Void? This Bodhisattva- mahasattva meditates on the Void of the internal elements [“adhyatma-shunyata”]. That is to say that the internal elements [the six sense-organs] are void. This means to say that there are no parents, no persons with ill-will or on friendly terms [with one], none who is indifferent, no beings, life, Eternal, Bliss, Self, and Purity, Tathagata, Dharma, Sangha, and all good. In these internal elements, there is the Buddha-Nature. Yet this Buddha-Nature exists neither within nor without. Why not? Because the Buddha-Nature is eternal and experiences no change. This is what we mean when we say that the Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditates on the internal elements.
"The same applies in the case of the external Void [“bahirdha-shunyata”: the six sense- fields]. No internal elements exist.
"It is the same with the internal-external Void [“adhyatma-bahirdha-shunyata”]. O good man! There are only the Tathagata, Dharma, and Sangha, and the Bddha-Nature. This has no two aspects of the Void. Why not? For the four are the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure. That is why we do not say that these four are void. We call this the All-Void of both the internal and the external.
"O good man! We say "the Void of created existence [“samskrta-shunyata” - the voidness of formed, conditioned, assembled phenomena]. Whatever is created is all void. Thus there can be the internal Void, the external Void, the the internal-external Void, the Void of the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure, the Void of life, of beings, of the Tathagata, Dharma, and Sangha, and of “Paramartha-satya.” Of these, the Buddha-Nature is not anything created. Hence, the Buddha-Nature does not belong to the category of the Void of created existents.
"O good man! How does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditate on the Void of the uncreated [“asamskrta-shunyata”]? Those things of the category of the uncreated are all void. They are so-called impermanence, suffering, the impure, the non-Self, the five skandhas, the 18 realms, the 12 spheres, life, beings, the characteristics, the created, the leakable [“asravas”], the internal elements, and the external elements. Of the uncreated, the four which begin with the Buddha are not the uncreated. As the nature is good itself, it is not the uncreated; as it is eternal, it is not the created. This is how the Bodhisattva meditates on the Void of the uncreated.
"How does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditate on the Void of the beginningless [“anavaragra-shunyata”]? This Bodhisattva-mahasattva sees that birth and death are beginningless. Hence, he sees that all are void and quiet. We say Void. That is to say that the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure are all void and quiet, with nothing that changes. So are life, beings, the Three Jewels, and the uncreated, in all of which the Bodhisattva sees the beginningless Void.
"How does the Bodhisattva meditate on the Void of nature [“prakrti-shunyata” - Emptiness of primordial matter]? This Bodhisattva-mahasattva sees that the original nature of all elements is all void. These are the five skandhas, the 18 realms, the 12 spheres, the Eternal, the non-Eternal, suffering, Bliss, the Pure, the impure, Self, and non-Self. In all such things, he sees no nature of their own. This is how the Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditates on the Void of nature."
"How does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditate on the Void of non-possession? This is like speaking of a house being empty when there is no child inside. He sees here an uttermost void. There is no friendliness, no love. The ignorant say that in all directions what there is is peace; a poor man says that all is void. All such presumptions are either void or non-void. When the Bodhisattva meditates, it is as with the poor man who says that all is void. This is how the Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditates on the Void of non-possession.
"How does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditate on “Paramartha-shunyata” [the Void of “Paramartha” - of Ultimate Reality]? O good man! When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditates on the “Paramartha”, he sees that when this eye comes about, it does so from nowhere; when it dies out, it dies out to nowhere. What originally was not, now is; what was turns back to nowhere. As we look into the real nature, we see that what there is is eyelessness and masterlessness. All other things are as in the case of the eye. What is the Void of the “Paramartha”? It is seeing that there is action and the result thereof, but no maker. Such a doctrine of voidness is the Void of the “Paramartha”. This is how the Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditates on the Void of the “Paramartha”.
"How does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditate on the Void-Void? This Void-Void is where the sravakas and pratyekabuddhas get lost. O good man! This is "is" and this is "not-is". This is the Void-Void. This is this; this is not "this-is-this". This is the Void-Void. O good man! The Bodhisattva of the ten “bumis” [stages] is only able to know a little of this, which might well be likened to the size of a dust-mote. How much less must it be with others! O good man! Thus, the Void-Void is not equal to the Void-Void samadhi of the sravakas. This is the Void-Void which the Bodhisattva meditates upon.
"O good man! How does the Bodhisattva-mahasattva meditate on the Great Void? O good man! The Great Void is the prajnaparamita [perfection of Wisdom]. This is the Great Void. O good man! Attaining such a gate of the Void, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva abides in a “bhumi” equal to space.
"O good man! As I now, here amongst the congregated, speak about all these kinds of Void, Bodhisattva-mahasattvas as numerous as the sands of ten Ganges are able to gain the “bhumi” equal to space. O good man! Abiding in this “bhumi”, nothing hinders the Bodhisattva-mahasattva in anything; no clinging binds him and no anguish takes hold of his mind. Hence, we call it the “bhumi” equal to space. O good man! As an illustration, this is as with space, which does not greedily cling to any lovable colour and does not become angry with a colour wihich is displeasing. The same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva who abides in this “bhumi”. No mind of desire or anger arises towards good or bad colours. O good man! This is like space, which is vast and great, with nothing to equal it, taking in all things. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva abiding in this “bhumi”. It is vast and great, so that nothing can bear comparison to it, and it can indeed take in all things. For this reason, we can truly call it the “bhumi” equal to space. O good man! When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva abides in this “bhumi”, he can see and know all things. Be it actions, circumstantial factors, the nature and characteristics [of things], causes, by-causes, the minds of beings, the sense-roots, dhyana, vehicle, good friends of the Way, upholding of the precepts, or whatever is given - all is seen or known.
"Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva, abiding in this “bhumi”, knows and yet does not see. How does he know? According to the self-fasting [self-abnegation] doctrine, one throws one's own body into deep water, into fire, jumps from a high precipice, always stands on one leg, bares one's body and exposes it to heat, always sleeps on ashes, thorns, woven rafters [mats], harmful grass, cow dung, and wears coarse hemp clothing, dung-defiled woolen cloth left in a graveyard, kambala cloth, reindeer or deer skin, fodder clothing; [such fakirs] feed on vegetables, fruit, lotus roots, oil dregs, cow dung, and roots and fruits. When they go to beg food, it is only to one house. If the householder says that he has nothing to give them, they desist. Even if people later call them back, they do not look back. They do not eat salted flesh or the five varieties of the cow’s products [i.e. fresh milk, cream, fresh butter, clarified butter, sarpirmanda]. What they consume is dreg-juice and hot water. They uphold shilas [moral prohibitions] vis-a-vis cows, hens, dogs, and pheasants. They smear ashes over their bodies, wear their hair long, worship heaven by sacrificing and killing sheep, first saying a charm.
"For four months they worship fire and for seven days they partake of the wind, offer hundreds and thousands and billions of flowers to the devas, and all that they desire is to have their wishes fulfilled. He [the Bodhisattva] knows that all such things can never be the cause of supreme emancipation. This is knowing. What does he not see? The Bodhisattva-mahasattva sees that not one person attains true emancipation by such acts. This is not seeing."
"Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva both sees and knows. What does he see? He sees that beings perform twisted practices and unfailingly fall into hell. This is seeing. What does he know? He knows that all beings come out of hell and gain life as a human, practise the danaparamita and become perfect in the other paramitas. He knows that these people unfailingly attain right Enlightenment. This is knowing.
"Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva further sees and knows. What does he see? He sees the Eternal and the non-Eternal, suffering, Bliss, the Pure and the non-Pure, the Self and the non-Self. This is seeing. What does he know? He knows that all Tathagatas definitely do not enter Nirvana [i.e. do not truly die and desert the world]. The body of the Tathagata is adamantine and indestructible. It is not one of defilement. It is also not a body that emits bad smells and decays. Thus does he know. Also, he knows that all beings possess the Buddha-Nature. This is knowing.
"Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva also knows that the mind of beings achieves faith. These beings seek Mahayana. He knows that they float down, or float back, or abide rightly. He knows that beings do gain the other shore. Floating down refers to common mortals; floating back refers to the shrotapanna up to the pratyekabuddha; right- abiding refers to all Bodhisattvas, and attaining the other shore to the Tathagata, the Arhat, the Samyaksambuddha. This is knowing. What does the Bodhisattva see? He abides in the teaching of the Mahayana Great Nirvana Sutra, practises pure actions, and, with the pure heavenly [“deva”] eye, sees that all beings commit evil through body, mouth and mind and fall into the realms of hell, animals, and hungry ghosts. He sees that beings who do good die and are re-born in the worlds of heaven or humans. There are beings who move from gloom to gloom, from gloom to light, from light to gloom, and then from light to light. This is seeing.
"Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva also knows and sees. He sees that all beings practise the way of the body, observe shila [morality], and practise the way of the mind, and that of Wisdom. He sees that a person who does deeds replete with evil in this present life, or through greed, ill-will and ignorance, harvests karmic returns in hell. He sees a person practising good in body, upholding shila, cultivating the mind, practising the way of Wisdom, and being recompensed in this life to some degree and not falling into hell. How can this action gain rewards in the present life? This comes about when a person confesses all the evils he has done, repents, and does not commit them any more; when he repents fully, makes offerings to the Three Treasures, and always reproaches himself. This person, due to his good deeds, does not fall into hell, but receives in this life karmic returns such as headaches, pain in the eyes, stomach and back, an untimely death, criticism, slander, lashings, prison or fetters, hunger, and poverty. He knows that light karmic returns are visited upon a person in this present life. This is knowing. What does he see? The Bodhisattva-mahasattva sees that a certain person does not practise the Way in body, shila, mind, and Wisdom, and that that person performs petty bad deeds. And all such actions call forth returns in the present life. This person does not confess his petty bad deeds, does not reproach himself, does not repent, and feels no fear. Such action increases, and he receives his karmic results in hell. This is seeing.
"Also, there is the case where one knows but does not see. How does one know and not see? All beings know that they have the Buddha-Nature, but, overshadowed by defilements, cannot see it. This is knowing but not seeing. Also, there is the situation where one knows and sees somewhat. The Bodhisattva-mahasattvas of the ten “bhumis” know that all beings have the Buddha-Nature, but they cannot see it clearly. This is like on a dark night, where one cannot see clearly. Also, there is both seeing and knowing. This is the situation of the All-Buddha-Tathagata, where he both sees and knows.
"Also, there are cases in which one sees and knows, and, not seeing, one does not know. Seeing and knowing refers to what pertains in the world of letters, language, men and women, vehicles, pots, trays, houses, castles, clothing, eating, drinking, mountains, rivers, gardens, forests, beings, and life. This is seeing and knowing. What is not seeing and not knowing? This is all the minute words of the sages themselves, and men and women, and gardens and forests, in which these do not exist. This is not seeing and not knowing.
"Also, there is a situation in which one knows but does not see. One knows where to give, where to dedicate [offerings], one who receives, and the fact that results accrue from the things that have been done. This is knowing. How does one not see? There are cases where one does [not] see what is given, the place whereto dedication is made, one who is given, and the results of causality. This is not seeing. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva knows eight types of knowing. This is what is known by the five eyes of the Tathagata."