Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra

411,786 words

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 XLIII - On Bodhisattva Kasyapa (d)

[The Buddha said:] "O good man! A person who does not know defilement, the cause of defilement, the result of defilement, the lightness and heaviness of defilement, and who does not practise the Way is a common mortal. So, the material form of the common mortal is non-eternal, and all such as [his] feeling, perception, and consciousness are non-eternal.

"O good man! The wise of the world, all holy persons, the Bodhisattvas, and all Buddhas speak of these two significations. I, too, speak thus. That is why I say: “I do not quarrel with the wise of the world. I am not made wet and defiled by what obtains in the world.”"
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! The Buddha speaks about the defilements of the three existences. What are the defilements of desire, existence, and ignorance?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! We speak of the defilement of desire, which is the defilement of desire that comes about due to the internal sensing [?] of evil which raises its head, initiated by external causal relations. That is why, in days past, at Rajagriha, I said to Ananda: “Accept now the gatha [verse] which the woman speaks. This gatha is what the Buddhas of the past spoke. For this reason, I say that the sensing of evil within and the causal relations that work upon one from without are desire. This is the defilement of desire.”

"The defilements are all those evil things that are mental in the worlds of form and non-form and the causal relations that work upon one from without, excepting all the causal relations that work upon one from without and the mental sensings of the world of desire. We call these defilements.

"We speak of the defilements of illusion. When one does not know one's own self and what belongs to self, and when one fails to see the difference between things in and out, we say that there are the defilements of ignorance.

"O good man! Ignorance is the root of all defilements. Why? All beings, due to the causal relations of ignorance, call forth all imaginings and forms in the field of the five skandhas, the 12 spheres, and the 18 realms [of sense]. These are inverted notions as regards image, mind, and world-view. From these, all defilements arise. Therefore, I state in the 12 types of sutra: “Ignorance is the cause of greed, the cause of ill-will, and the cause of ignorance.”"
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said: "O World-Honoured One! The Tathagata once said in the 12 types of sutra: “The causal relations of thinking of non-good things evokes greed, ill-will, and ignorance.” Why do you now say “ignorance”?"

"O good man! Such things become the cause and the result to one another and grow. The thinking of non-good calls forth ignorance, and the causal relation of ignorance calls forth the thinking of non-good. O good man! All that increases illusions is the causal relation of illusions. Any action that befriends the causal relation of illusion is called the non-good thinking of ignorance. A seed calls forth a bud. This seed is the near cause; the four great elements are the far cause. The same is the case with illusion."
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "You the Buddha say that ignorance is a defilement. How can you say that ignorance calls forth all defilements?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! I speak of the defilements of ignorance. This refers to internal ignorance. If all defilements come about from ignorance, this is nothing but the cause of “in” and “out”. If ignorance is a defilement, this is an internal inversion, which relates to the ignorance of the non-eternal, suffering, voidness, and the non-Self. If ignorance is stated to be the causal relation of all illusions, this will mean that one does not know the self and what belongs to the self, which concern the outer relations. If reference is made to the defilements of ignorance, this is none but beginninglessness and endlessness. From ignorance arise the five skandhas, the 18 realms, and the 12 spheres."
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! You the Buddha say: “A person who has Wisdom knows the cause of the defilements.” How can you say that such a person knows the cause of illusion?"

"O good man! One who is wise will meditate and try to know why this illusion comes about, when this illusion comes about, when one lives with whom, at what place one gains this, by seeing what, in whose house, on receiving what bedding, food and drink, clothing, and medicine. Through what causal relations does the low come up to be the middle, the middle to be the top, the low actions to be the middle ones, and the middle ones to be those of the top? When the Bodhisattva-mahasattva thinks in this way, he severs the illusions that he has had from birth. As he thinks in this way, this shuts out the illusions that have not yet arisen and causes them not to arise, and the illusions that have already arisen are annihilated. That is why I say in my sutra: “A person who has Wisdom should meditate on the cause of illusion.”
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! Whatever various kinds of illusion does the single body of a being call forth?"
The Buddha said: "O good man! A single container holds within itself various seeds. When water and rain come, each shoots forth buds. It is the same with beings. Due to the causal relations of craving, various kinds of illusion come about."
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said: "O World-Honoured One! How does a wise man meditate on the fruition of karma?"

"O good man! A person who is wise should think: “The causal relations of all defilements truly call forth [rebirth in the realms of] hell, hungry pretas [ghosts], and animals. The causal relations of this defilement gain a person the body of a human or a god. These are non-eternal, suffering, Void, and non-Self. In this container of the carnal body, we gain three sufferings and three non-eternals. The causal relation of this defilement truly causes beings to commit the five deadly sins[i.e. patricide, matricide, killing of an arhat, causing dissension within the Sangha, and causing blood to flow from the Buddha's body.], as a result of which man receives evil returns, and as a result of which man cuts off the seed of good, performs the four grave offences [i.e. killing, stealing, unlawful lust, and lying], and slanders the Three Treasures.” A wise person should meditate and think: “I must not gain such a body and call forth such defilements and suffer from such evil consequences.”"
Bodhisattva Kasyapa said: "You say that there are undefiled results, and the wise cut themselves off from karmic results. Does the undefiled fruition lie in what we cut off or not? All those who gain the Way gain the undefiled fruitions. If the wise seek the undefiled fruition, why does the Buddha say that all the wise must segregate themselves from fruitions? If cut off, how could there be all such holy persons?"

"O good man! The Tathagata, at times, speaks of the result in the cause. This is as when people of the world say that earth is a pot or a thread is clothing. This is speaking of the result while still in the stage of the cause. We say that the cause is stated at the stage of the result. This is as when a cow arises out of watery grass and a man out of food. I, too, speak of the result in the cause. I have already stated in the sutras: “By my mind, I gain the body of Brahma.” This is to speak of the result in the cause. I speak about the result in the cause. I speak of the cause in the stage of the result. This is as in: “These six spheres arise out of past karma.” This is where I speak of the cause at the stage of the result.

"O good man! All holy persons, truth to tell, have no [sic!] undefiled results. All the results from practising the Way of the holy persons do not call forth any defilements. So we speak of “undefiled results”.

"O good man! A person who has Wisdom sees things thus, and he ulltimately does away with the results of defilement. O good man! A wise man sees things thus and practises the Holy Way, so as to cut off the results of defilement. The Holy Way is none other than the Void, formlessness, and desirelessness. Having practised this Way, the person indeed cuts off the results of defilement."

Complete Text of the Nirvana Sutra (10)

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