The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra

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The Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra is one of the major sutras of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Its main teachings centre on the eternity of the Buddha, the reality of the True Self, and the presence of the Buddha-dhatu (Buddha Nature) in all beings. Simple name: Nirvāṇa Sūtra....

Chapter IX - On Wrong and Right

‘Then Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! Are we to depend upon the four kinds of people mentioned above?" The Buddha said: "It is thus, it is thus! O good man! What I say can be depended upon. Why? Because there are four Maras. What are the four? It looks [seems? appears?] as though people hold the sutras and precepts of what Mara has said[?]."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! You, the Buddha, say that there are four Maras. How can we distinguish what Mara says from what the Buddha says? There are people who behave as Mara says and those who follow what the Buddha says. How are we to know these [apart]?" The Buddha said to Kasyapa: "Seven hundred years after my entering Parinirvana, this Marapapiyas will spoil my Wonderful Dharma. It is like a hunter donning priestly garb. Marapapiyas will also act thus. He will present himself in the form of a bhiksu, bhiksuni, upasaka or upasika. Or he may display himself as a srotapanna or any other grade up to arhat. Or he may display himself as a living Buddha. The created body of the king Mara will present itself as a non-created body, thus violating Wonderful Dharma. When violating Wonderful Dharma, this Marapapiyas will say: “The Bodhisattva, once, left Tushita Heaven and came down to this earth, to the castle of Kapilavastu, and lived in the palace of Suddhodana. By the conjoint carnal desires of father and mother, he gained birth and manhood. A man, born amongst men, can never be respected by all heaven and earth.”"

"He will also say: “In the long past, he underwent penance, offered up his head, eyes, marrow, state, wife and children. Because of this, he attained Enlightenment. As a result, he is now respected by man and god, gandharva, asura, kimnara and mahoraga.” If any sutras or vinayas say thus, know that they are all nothing but what has come out of the mouth of Mara. O good man! The sutras and vinayas may say: “It is already a long, long time ago that the Tathagata perfected Enlightenment. He now attains Enlightenment, all to save beings. He thus shows himself as being born from the conjoint carnal desires of father and mother. He manifests thus just to accord with what applies in the world.” Know that any such sutra or vinaya is truly from the Tathagata. Any person who follows what Mara says is the kindred of Mara; a person who follows the word of the Buddha is a Bodhisattva.

"Any person who says that it is unbelievable that the Buddha walked seven steps in the ten directions when he was born is one who but follows what Mara says. If a person says that the Tathagata walked seven steps in the ten directions when he was born, all this to manifest himself expediently, such a person stands on [bases his words on?] the sutras and vinayas which the Tathagata has delivered. Any person who follows what Mara says is kindred to Mara. Anyone who follows what the Buddha has said is a Bodhisattva.

"Or a person might say that when the Bodhisattva was born, his father, the King, sent men to the heavenly shrines, at which the gods, on seeing him, all came down and worshipped him. Hence, he is the Buddha. Then someone will commit slander and say: “Heaven appeared first and the Buddha later. How could the heavens worship the Buddha?” Whatever is said like this is nothing but the word of Marapapiyas. If any sutra says that the Buddha went to where the devas were and that all such gods as Mahesvara, Great Brahma and Sakrodevanamindra, folding their hands and touching the Buddha's feet with their heads, worshipped him, such a sutra or vinaya is from the Buddha. Any person who follows what Mara says is the kindred of Mara. Any person who follows what the Buddha says is a Bodhisattva.

"If any sutra or vinaya says that the Bodhisattva, when as yet a crown prince, had wives [concubines?] all around out of carnal desire, lived in the depths of the palace [i.e. in the harem?] and fully tasted the five desires and enjoyed himself, such is a sutra or vinaya of Marapapiyas. Any sutra or vinaya that says: “The Bodhisattva had long since abandoned all desires, wife and son, and did not receive [in attachment] the wonderful desires of Trayastrimsa Heaven, but abandoned these as though they were spittle and tears. How could he have human desires? He shaved his head, became a priest, and practised the Way.” Such are the sermons of the Buddha. Any person who follows the sutras and vinayas of Mara is the kindred of Mara; any person who follows the sutras and vinayas of the Buddha is a Bodhisattva.

"If a person says that the Buddha, in Sravasti, at the Jetavana vihara, permitted all bhiksus what they wanted to have, such as male or female servants, pages, cows, sheep, elephants, horses, donkeys, mules, hens, cats, gold, silver, beryl, pearls, crystals, musaragalva [?], agate, coral, amber, horse-shoe shell, jade, copper, or iron kettles, big or small copper basins; that they were allowed to till the land, sow seeds and plant, sell or barter things, that they were permitted to store rice, that the Buddha pitied the bhiksus and allowed them all such things out of his compassion -  all such sutras and vinayas are those of Mara.“
’     "Or someone might say that the Buddha stayed in Sravasti, at the Jetavana vihara, where the nirdara demon lived, and, relative to a Brahmin called Kuteitoku and King Prasenajit, said: “O Bhiksus! You should not receive gold, silver, beryl, crystals, pearls, musaragalva, agate, coral, amber, horse-shoe shell, jade, male or female domestic servants, pages, boys, girls, cows, sheep, elephants, horses, donkeys, mules, hens, pigs, cats, dogs or other animals; iron or copper kettles, big or small basins, sheets of various colours, and beds; or such necessary things or [do such] activities of [worldly] life as: [building] houses, tilling the soil, sowing seed, selling things in the market-place, making meals with your own hands, polishing or pounding with your own hands, doing incantations for a living, training hawks, looking at the constellations, working charms, guessing at the waxing and waning of the moon, telling a man or woman's fortune, saying good or bad things about a person's dreams, guessing or foretelling and saying that this is a man or woman, or saying that this is not a male or this is not a female, talking about the 64 marks of excellence [said to exist in the houses of the tirthikas], or saying that there are 18 dharanis [spells] by which people can be led astray; or talking about any of the arts, any worldly things, using powdered incense, curna [for strewing on seats, stupas, etc.], smearing incense [for the hands and body to give off a pleasant aroma], fumigating incense, using various kinds of leis [bronze wine-vessels?], [practising] the arts of hairdressing, cunningly cheating and flattering, and thus greedily seeking profit, loving stupid and noisy quarters, joking and laughing, [walking?] and preaching. [Such bhiksus] greedily eat fish, make poisons, and rub in fragrant oils. They possess gem parasols and leather footgear. They make boxes, chests, fans, and various pictures and statues. They store up cereals and rice, big and small varieties of wheat and beans, and various melons [seeds?]. They come near [fraternise with? consort with?] kings, princes, ministers and all kinds of females, laugh loudly or sit silently. They entertain doubts regarding all things, talk a lot and talk carelessly; they like to wear good clothes, which may be long or short, lovely or unlovely, good or bad. They themselves praise all such things in the presence of the giver. They frequent and roam about these dirty quarters, the places where one finds taverns, prostitutes and gamblers, all of which places I do not allow the bhiksus to be in. They should give up seeking the Way; they must be turned back to worldly life and used for labour [go out to work]. For example, this is like the tare in the paddy field, which has to be uprooted, so as not to be found any more. Know that what is prohibited in the sutras and vinayas constitutes the injunctions of the Tathagata. Any person who follows the word of Mara is the kindred of Mara; anyone who follows the word of the Buddha is a Bodhisattva.

"Or a person might say: “The Bodhisattva goes to the temple of the devas to make offerings to such as Brahma, Mahesvara, Skanda and Katyayana. Why? He enters there merely to conquer the devas. Things can never be other than this.” If it is said: “Even if the Bodhisattva gets into arguments with the tirthikas, he cannot know of their deportments, sayings and arts, and he cannot cause quarrelling servants to come to terms; he cannot be respected by males or females, kings or ministers; he does not know how to prepare medicines; that is why he is called "Tathagata". Whatever he knows is what is wicked; also, the Tathagata sees neither enemy or friend; his mind is all-equal; one may take a sword and cut him; or one could smear incense over his body, and he would not have any sense of gain or loss. He sits in the middle. This is why we say "Tathagata."” Any sutra that says this is one of Mara's.

"Or a person might say: “The Bodhisattva behaves thus: he goes into the houses of other teachings, teaches them to abandon domestic life and practise the Way, to come to know of deportment and manners; he teaches them to know of what is written and how arts are performed, and how one quells arguments and disputes. He is the highest of all people, boys and girls, people of the royal harem, the royal consorts, ordinary people, rich persons, Brahmins, kings, ministers, or the poor. Furthermore, he is respected by these and he also knows all such things. He may come across various views of life, and yet he does not entertain any loving [clinging?] thought. This is like the lotus, which does not become soiled by defilement. In order to save beings, he practises various expedients and lives a worldly life.” Any such sutras and vinayas are the sermons of the Tathagata. One who follows what Mara says is kindred to Mara; anyone who follows what the Buddha says is a great Bodhisattva.

"Or a person might say: “The Tathagata expounded the sutras and vinaya to me. Of all the wicked sins, those [classed as] light and heavy and the sthulatyaya are all grave. In our vinaya, we do not commit these, to the end. I have long put forward such a Law, but you do not believe it. How could I throw away my own vinaya and come to your vinaya? Your vinaya is nothing but what Mara says. Ours is what the Buddha says. The Tathagata has already given the nine types of formulations of Dharma [i.e. Hinayana teaching]. Such nine formulations constitute our sutras and vinaya. I have never once heard of a sentence or word of the vaipulya sutras [i.e. the extensive sutras of Mahayana]. Where, in all the innumerable sutras and vinayas, do we come across the name of vaipulya sutra? In none of these have we ever heard of the ten types of sutras. If there are any such, they must surely be the work of Devadatta [the Buddha's malicious, jealous cousin]. Devadatta is a wicked person. In order to destroy good teachings, he makes up the vaipulya. We do not believe in any such sutras. This is what the sutras say. Why? Because they say this and that about the Buddhist doctrine. All such things are stated [only] in your sutras; ours do not contain any such [teachings]. In our sutras and vinayas, the Tathagata says: [“After my entering Nirvana, there may come about, in evil ages, distorted sutras and vinayas. These are the so-called Mahayana sutras. In ages to come, there will be all such wicked bhiksus.”]. I, then, say: “There are further the vaipulya sutras other than the nine types of sutras.” A person who thoroughly accepts the signification says that he well understands the sutras and vinayas, segregates himself from all that is impure and is so delicate and pure that one could well compare him to the full moon.

"If a person says: “The Tathagata gave explanations for each sutra and vinaya, as numerous as the sands of the river Ganges, but our vinaya does not contain any such. There is none such. If there are [such expositions], how is it that the Tathagata does not expound them in my vinaya? So, I cannot believe in them” -  if a person speaks thus, know that this person is committing a sin. A person might further say: “Such sutras and vinaya [the Hinayana?] I shall well uphold. Why? Because they are the cause of good doctrine, of being satisfied, of desiring little, of cutting off illusions, and one gains Wisdom and Nirvana.” Any person who says so is no disciple of mine. If a person says: “The Tathagata gave us the vaipulya sutras so as to save beings”, such a person is my true disciple. Any person who does not accept the vaipulya sutras is no disciple of mine. Such a person is not one who has become a priest because of the Buddhist teaching. Such a person is one wicked in mind and is none but a disciple of the tirthikas. Such sutras and vinayas as mentioned above are what the Buddha gave out. If not thus, they are nothing other than what Mara says. Any person who follows what Mara says is the kindred of Mara; anyone who follows what the Buddha says is a Bodhisattva.

"Also, next, O good man! If it is said: “Since the Tathagata is not perfect in innumerable virtues, he is non-eternal and must change. He abides in the All-Void and expounds non-Self. This is not the way of the world”, any such sutra or vinaya is of Mara. If a sutra says: “The true Enlightenment of the Tathagata is beyond knowing. Also, he is perfect in innumerable asamkhyas of virtues. Therefore, he is Eternal and there can be no change”, any such sutra or vinaya is what the Buddha said. Any person who follows what Mara says is Mara's kindred. Any person who follows what the Buddha says is a Bodhisattva.

"Or a person might say: “There is in the world a bhiksu who, not committing any parajika [the gravest of offences], is held by the world to have transgressed, like cutting down the tala tree [?]”. But in truth, this bhiksu did not transgress. Why not? I always say: “The case of one who commits any one of the parajikas is like cutting a stone in two: it can never again become one.” If a person says that he has obtained what supercedes man's power [Pali: “’uttarimanussa-dhamma“’], he commits parajika. Why? Because he has not actually attained anything, yet pretends to have done so [i.e. he is telling lies]. Any such person retrogresses from the world of man and the Doctrine. This is a parajika. There is a bhiksu who desires little, feels contented, upholds the precepts, is pure and sits in a quiet place. The king or minister sees this bhiksu and says that he has attained arhatship, steps forward, praises, respects and worships him. Also, he says: “Such a great master will attain unsurpassed Enlightenment, having thus abandoned life.” The bhiksu hears this and says to the king: “I have, truth to tell, not yet attained the fruition of a shramana. O King! Please do not speak to me about the dharma of non-satisfaction [non-contentment?]. If one acquiesces when told that one will reach as far as unsurpassed Enlightenment, this is nothing but not knowing contentment. If I were to accept your statement and agree, I should surely purchase the reproaches of all Buddhas. To feel contented is the virtue that is praised by all Buddhas. That is why I mean pleasingly [happily?] to practise the Way to the end of my life and attain a state in which I can feel satisfied. Also, to feel satisfied is to know that I have definitely attained the fruition of the Way. You, King, say that I have attained it. I do not accept your word. Thus I am satisfied.” Then the king said: “O great teacher! You truly have attained arhatship and do not differ from the Buddha.”
Then the king made it known to all those in and out, and to those of the royal harem and to the royal spouse, that this person had attained arhatship. As a result, all who heard this felt respect, made offerings, and honoured him. Such a person is pure in his deeds. Hence, he makes all others gain great benefit, and truly this bhiksu did not commit any parajika. Why not? Because he went before others, entertained joy in his own mind, praised and made offerings. How could any such bhiksu have committed a sin? If it is said that this person has sinned, know that such a sutra is from Mara. Also, there is a bhiksu who speaks about the great depths of the undisclosed sutras of the Buddha, saying that all beings have Buddha-Nature, that by this nature they cut off [all] the innumerable billion illusions and thereby attain unsurpassed Enlightenment, except for the icchantika. Then, the king or minister listens and says: “O Bhiksu! Have you attained Buddhahood or not? Do you have Buddha-Nature or not?” The bhiksu replies: “I must have Buddha-Nature within me. I cannot, however, be clear as to whether I shall attain it [Enlightenment] or not.” The king says: “O great one! If you do not become an icchantika, there is no doubt that you will attain Buddhahood.” The bhiksu says: “Yes, it must truly be as you, King, say.” This person says that he must surely have Buddha-Nature. Yet, he does not commit parajika [by saying so]. Also, there is a bhiksu who, at the time he is ordained, thinks to himself: “I shall assuredly attain unsurpassed Enlightenment.” Such a man may not yet accomplish unsurpassed Enlightenment. But he gains incalculable, boundless weal and it is difficult to appraise it. If anyone says that this person has committed parajika, then there cannot be any person who has not committed parajika. Why not? Because, once, 80 million kalpas ago, I had already segregated myself from all defilement. I had little desire, felt contented, was accomplished in deportment, practised the unsurpassed Dharma of the Tathagata, and myself surely knew that I had Buddha-Nature. Hence I attained unsurpassed Enlightenment and I can be called “Buddha”. And there is great compassion. Such a sutra or vinaya is a sermon of the Buddha. Any person who cannot act in accordance [with such] is a kindred of Mara; one who acts in accordance is a great Bodhisattva.“
’     "Or a person might say: “There cannot be anything such as the four grave offences, the thirteen samghavasesas, the two aniyatans, the 30 naihsargika-prayascittikas, 91 payattikas, four ways of repentance, various ways of learning, seven ways of adhikarana-samatha, and also there can be no sthulatyayas, no five deadly sins, and no icchantikas. Should a bhiksu violate all such shilas and fall into hell, all tirthikas would be born in heaven. Why? Because they do not have any precepts to transgress against. This shows that the Tathagata means to frighten people. That is why he gives out these precepts. The Buddha has said that when the bhiksus desire to satisfy their carnal desires, they should take off their priestly garb, put on worldly dress and do so. A person might also think that carnal, lustful desire is no sin, that even in the days of the Tathagata there was a bhiksu who satisfied carnal lust and yet attained right emancipation; or that there was one who, after death, got born in heaven; that all such things have a precedent and that it is not just what I alone am doing. One may commit the four grave offences, the five deadly sins and all impure acts, and even then one can [still] attain true and right emancipation. The Tathagata may say that if one commits duskrta acts [minor offences, punishable by confession], one falls into hell and will remain there for 8 million years, which is the number of years of the sun and moon of Trayastrimsa Heaven. But this is what the Tathagata says to frighten people. They say that no difference exists between the grave and light [sin], the parajika [serious sin] and the duskrta [venial sin]. All these vinaya teachers falsely say that all these [rules] were instituted by the Buddha. Know definitely that these were not instituted by the Buddha.” All such sutras and vinayas that say thus are from Mara.

"Or a person might say that if one transgresses against even the smaller or minutest of all precepts, an evil fruit will come forth and that there is no limit to the number of karmic consequences. Realising this, one should guard one's self like the tortoise, who hides his six limbs in his shell. If there is any person versed in the vinaya who says, “One transgresses, but no karmic consequences ensue”, one should not approach such a person, as already indicated by the Buddha:
“One thing overstepped,
This is mrsavada [telling lies].
If one sees no after-life,
There is no sin that will not be committed.”
For this reason, one should not come near to such a person. What is pure in this Buddhist teaching is thus. And could it be that one who has violated the sthulatyaya, the samghavasesa and the parajika can pass as not having sinned? Because of this, one should be on guard and protect such Dharma. If not guarded against, where can there be any prohibition? I now say in the sutras: “For any commissions of the four grave offences or any small duskrtas, one should take pain to remedy such. If one does not guard against [transgressing] the prohibitions, what possibility can there be of seeing the Buddha-Nature?
“All beings possess the Buddha-Nature. Only by observing the precepts can one see it. When one sees the Buddha-Nature, one attains unsurpassed Enlightenment. In the nine types of sutras, there is no vaipulya sutra. That is why they do not speak about the Buddha-Nature. Although these sutras do not refer to it, there is assuredly the vaipulya in them.” One who speaks thus is my true disciple."
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! We do not see in the nine types of sutras any references to beings possessing the Buddha-Nature, which you say they have. If we say that they have this, might it not be that we are guilty of infringing the parajika?" The Buddha said: "O good man! They [who say thus] do not violate the parajika. For example, O good man! If any person says that in the great ocean there are only the seven gems, not the eight, that person has not sinned. If a person says that there is no mention of Buddha-Nature in the nine types of sutra, there cannot be any commission of sin [here]. Why not? I say that in the Mahayana ocean of great Wisdom there is the Buddha-Nature. As the two vehicles do not know or see [this], there can be no talk of [their] having committed any sin, even if they say that it does not exist. Such a thing is what the Buddha alone knows and what sravakas and pratyekabuddhas cannot know. O good man! Not having ever heard of the great depths of the undisclosed Dharma of the Tathagata, how can a person be expected to know of the existence of the Buddha-Nature? What is the undisclosed storehouse? It is none other than the vaipulya sutras. O good man! There may be tirthikas who talk about the eternal self or the “not-is” of the self. The case is not thus with the Tathagata. He says that there is the Self, or - at other times - that there is not. This is the Middle Path.

"Or a person might say: “The Buddha talks about the Middle Path. All beings possess Buddha-Nature. As illusion overspreads [them], they do not know or see. Thus, an expedient is applied to cut the roots of illusion.” A person who speaks thus does not commit the four grave offences. This we should know. Any person who does not speak thus infringes the parajika.

"Or a person might say: “I have already attained unsurpassed Enlightenment! Why? Because I have the Buddha-Nature. Any person possessing the Buddha-Nature has assuredly attained unsurpassed Enlightenment. Consequently, I attain Enlightenment.” Then, one should know, such a person infringes the parajika. Why so? There surely is the Buddha-Nature. But not yet having practised the best expedient of the Way, the person has not yet seen it. Having not yet seen it, there can be no attaining of unsurpassed Enlightenment. O good man! On this account, the teaching of the Buddha is profound in its meaning and difficult to fathom."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! A king asks: “How does a bhiksu get drawn to supramundane Dharma?”" The Buddha said to Kasyapa: "A bhiksu may, for profit or food, flatter, state things wrongly or cheat, and say things such as: “How might all the world believe that I am truly a real bhiksu, so that I can thereby arrive at great profit and fame?” Such a bhiksu, because of the darkness of his mind, always thinks and prays: “I have not yet, in truth, arrived at the four attainments of a sravaka. How might I be able to make the world think that I have gained all of these? How might I be able to make upasakas and upasikas think of me as a sage who has fully perfected all the the true virtues?” Thus does he think. What is done is all for profit, not for the Way. In his goings and comings, in his going out and coming in, in moving forwards and standing still, he looks peaceful. In his manner of dress and of holding his bowl, the [monk-like] deportment is not lost. Alone, he sits in a lonely place and looks like an arhat. So people think: [“This is the foremost of bhiksus. Fully exerting himself, he practises the Way of extinction”]. [He thinks]: “As a result of this, I will assuredly gain disciples. People will also certainly offer me clothing, food, drink, bedding, and medicine. All females will respect and love me.” Any person who acts in this manner acts against the uttarimanussa-dhamma.

"Also, there is a bhiksu who sits in a lonely place, desiring to build up unsurpassed Wonderful Dharma. Though no arhat, he intends to have others call him an arhat, a lovable bhiksu, a good bhiksu, and a quiet bhiksu. He thus effectively makes innumerable people arrive at faith. Hence, I let all the innumerable bhiksus befriend him like a relative. Through this, I can teach and make the precept-breaking bhiksus and upasakas and upasikas uphold the precepts. In consequence, Wonderful Dharma will be established, the unsurpassed meaning of the great principle of the Tathagata will shine forth and the vaipulya Mahayana teaching will be revered, thus emancipating all innumerable beings, so that they will come to know the light or heavy significations of the sutras and vinayas which the Tathagata has delivered.

"Also, a person might say: “I now have the Buddha-Nature. There is a sutra which is called the storehouse of the Tathagata. In that sutra, I shall surely attain the Buddhist teaching and cut out innumerable billion bonds of illusion. I shall speak to innumerable upasakas: ["You all have the Buddha-Nature. You and I sit together on the Path of the Tathagata and will attain unsurpassed Enlightenment and do away with all the innumerable bonds of illusion"].” One like this does not violate the uttarimanussa-dhamma; he is a Bodhisattva.

"“One who commits duskrta will fall into hell for a period of 8 million years of the days of Trayastrimsa Heaven, and he will have to undergo punishment for the sins he has committed. How much worse will it be when he transgresses the sthulatyaya?” Thus does a person say. Should there be any bhiksu among those of the Mahahana gathered here who have violated the sthulatyaya, such is not to be befriended.

"What are the sthulatyaya of the Mahayana sutras? For example, a rich man erects a Buddhist temple and adorns it with various garlands, and offers this to the Buddha. There is a bhiksu who, on seeing the thread which passes through the garland, takes it without asking. This is sthulatyaya. Whether knowingly or not, he violates in this manner. If, with a greedy [desire-filled?] mind, one causes damage to a Buddhist stupa, this is sthulatyaya. One should not come near [associate closely with?] a person who acts in this way. Or a king or minister, on seeing that a stupa is old and damaaged, and intending to have it repaired, makes offerings to the sharira [relics] and finds in it a rare gem, which he gives to a bhiksu. On gaining the gem, the bhiksu uses it as he wills. Such a bhiksu is one who is defiled and who will most possibly [probably?] call forth quarrels. No good upasaka should approach such a bhiksu, make offerings or pay respect to him. Such a bhiksu is termed “rootless”. Such a bhiksu is also termed “two-rooted” [= bisexual! Perhaps more accurately, hermaphrodite], or one in whom the root is indefinable. By indefinably-rooted is meant the case of a person whose body becomes that of a female when the desire to be female arises and becomes that of a male when the desire to be male arises. Any such bhiksu is “evil-rooted”. He is neither male nor female, neither a bhiksu nor a lay-person. One must not come near such a bhiksu, nor make offerings to him or pay him respect. One who abides in the Buddhist teaching and the law of a bhiksu should have a sympathizing mind, protect and bring up [take care of?] beings. Even to an ant, one must give the mind of fearlessness. This is a shramana's law. One segregates oneself from drinks and incense. This is the law of the shramana. One must not tell lies, nor should one think of lying. This is the law of the shramana. One does not cause a greedy mind [feeling of greed or desire] to raise its head. The same applies even in dreams. This is the law of the shramana."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! If a bhiksu becomes a captive of carnal lust in a dream, does this violate Dharma or not?" The Buddha said: "No. One should call up the thought of an evil smell against carnal desire. If no pure mind [inner mood of lust-free purity] ever raises its head, segregate the mind from the worry and love of the female. If in a dream one becomes captive to carnal lust, [one should] repent for the act when awake. One should abide in the thought of the bhiksu who, when going begging on his alms-round, receives offerings [with the attitude of disgust of one who] eats the flesh of his own son in the days of a famine. If carnal desire asserts itself, quickly discard such a thought. All such is the teaching of the Buddha's sutras and vinaya. One following what Mara says is the kindred of Mara; one who follows what the Buddha says is a Bodhisattva.

"Or a person might say: “Stand on one leg, remain silent and say nothing, throw yourself into deep water or into fire, or jump from a high precipice, not fearing the steepness; take poison, fast, lie down on ashes, bind your legs, kill beings, and tell fortunes by directions and the way a person takes.” Or a person might say: “The Tathagata allows candalas, rootless persons, hermaphrodites, indefinables, the decrepit to become ordained and to accomplish the Way.” Such are the words of Mara. Or a person might say: “The Buddha has already permitted us to consume the five tastes of milk from the cow, oil and honey, except silken clothing and leather footwear, etc.” Or a person might say: “The Buddha has already permitted the putting on of the maharanga [?], also the storing of all kinds of seeds. But all grass and trees have life. The Buddha, having spoken thus, enters Nirvana.” Should any sutra and vinaya say thus, know that such is what Mara says. I also do not permit one leg to be held up [i.e. standing on one leg, in the manner of some fakirs]. For Dharma, all such postures as walking, standing, sitting and reclining are permitted. Also, someone might say: “Take poison, fast, burn the body with fire, bind your hands and feet, kill people, divine directions and ways, make leather footgear decorated with white horse-shoe shell and ivory; the Buddha has permitted the storing up of seeds. Grass and plants have life. He has permitted the putting on of the maharanga.” If a person says that the World-Honoured One has said this, such a person is the kindred of the tirthikas. Any person such as this is not my disciple. I have only permitted the five tastes of the cow, oil, honey, and also silken cloth. I say that the four great elements [earth, air, fire and water] do not have life. Should any sutra or vinaya say thus, such is what the Buddha has said. Any person who acts in accordance with the word of the Buddha is, one should know, my disciple. Any person who does not follow the word of the Buddha is a kindred of Mara. Any person who acts in accordance with the Buddha's sutras and vinaya is, one should know, a great Bodhisattva. O good man! I have now extensively, for your sake, thus spoken about the difference between what Mara says and what the Buddha says."

Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! I have now come to know the difference between the word of Mara and that of the Buddha. In consequence, I shall be able to fathom the depths of the Buddhist teaching."

Then the Buddha praised Kasyapa and said: "Well said, well said, O good man! You have now clearly gained the meaning. You are clever and wise."“