Sutras

The Sūtra Of Forty-Two Sections《四十二章经》

高丽版序:昔汉孝明皇帝夜梦见神人,身体有金色,顶有日光,飞在殿前。意中欣然,甚悅之。明日问群臣:「此为何神也?」有通人傅毅曰:「臣闻天竺有得道者,号曰佛,轻举能飞,殆将其神也。」

Korean Version’s Preface: [In 67 C.E. (永平十年: Yǒngpíng’s tenth year), the] past Hàn Dynasty Emperor Xiàomíng [at] night dreamt [of] seeing [a] divine person, [whose] body had golden colour, [with the] crown having [a] sun[-disc of] light, flying before [the palace] hall. [His] mind within [was] joyful, [with] extreme delight [about] it. [The] next day, [he] asked [his] group [of] ministers, ‘This is which “god”?’ [There] was [a] person [with] wide knowledge Fùyì [who] said, ‘[This] minister heard [that] India has one [who] attained [the] path, named [the] Buddha, [who can] easily rise, [and is] able [to] fly. [It can] only be that “god”.’

[Note 1: Although the Buddha defined himself to transcend all gods, the Chinese who were not aware of this yet could only think of him to be like a god.]

于是上悟,即遣使者张骞、羽林中郎将秦景、博士弟子王遵等十二人,至大月支国写取佛经四十二章。在第十四石函中登起立塔寺。于是道法流布,处处修立佛寺。远人伏化愿为臣妾者,不可称数。国內清宁,含识之类蒙恩受赖于今不绝也。

Thus [with the] emperor aware, [he] immediately dispatched [the] envoy Zhāngqiān, armed escort [and] palace general Qínjǐng, imperial scholar’s student Wángzūn [and] other twelve persons, [to] reach [the] great Yuèzhī country, [to] write [and] obtain [the] Buddhist Sūtra [Of] Forty-Two Sections. At [the] fourteenth stone chamber within, [he] erected [a] pagoda [and] monastery. Thus [did the] path’s Dharma spread, everywhere [with the] building [of] Buddhist monasteries. People [from] afar accepted [the teachings and were] transformed, willing [to] become subjects, [who] cannot [be] counted [in] number. [The] country within [was] peaceful, [with the] types of sentient [beings who] receive [its] kindness, [who] accept [and] rely [upon it] till today unceasing.

[Note 2: It is also said that the first Chinese Buddhist monastery built was White Horse(s) Monastery (白马寺) at Luòyáng (洛阳) in 68 C.E., as named after the two horses who carried the invited translators of this and other first sūtras into China. It was there that these sūtras were translated.

Note 3: At selected sections below, are corresponding parts from the Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì’s (净土宗九祖蕅益大师) ‘Explanation (For The) Sūtra (Of) Forty-Two Sections’《四十二章经解》. More parts might be added in time.]

四十二章经》
[The] Sūtra [Of] Forty-Two Sections

后汉迦叶摩腾、竺法兰同译【守遂注本】
[By] Later Hàn [Dynasty’s] Kāśyapa Mātaṅga [and] Dharmaratna together translated [Shǒusuì Annotated Version]

世尊成道已,作是思惟:「离欲寂静,是最为胜。住大禅定,降诸魔道。」

When [the] World-Honoured [One] accomplished [the] path [to Buddhahood] already, [he] had this thought – ‘Departure [from] desires [with] tranquility, is as [the] most supreme. Abiding [in] great meditative concentration, subdues all demonic paths.’

于鹿野苑中,转四谛法轮,度憍陈如等五人,而证道果。

At Deer Park within, turning [the] Four [Noble] Truths’ Dharma wheel, [he] delivered Kauṇḍinya [and] others, [with] five persons, [who] then realised [the] path’s fruit [of Arhathood].

复有比丘,所说诸疑,求佛进止。世尊教敕,一一开悟。合掌敬诺,而顺尊敕。

Moreover, [the] bhikṣus, [of] that said, [of] all doubts, implored [the] Buddha [on what to] advance [and] end. [As the] World-Honoured [One] instructed, each [and] every one awakened. [With] joined palms respectfully promising, [to] then follow [his] honourable orders.

第一章:出家证果
[The] First Section: Leaving [The] Household [Life To] Realise [The] Fruit

佛言:「辞亲出家,识心达本,解无为法,名曰沙门。常行二百五十戒,进止清净,为四真道行,成阿罗汉。阿罗汉者,能飞行变化,旷劫寿命,住动天地。次为阿那含。阿那含者,寿终灵神上十九天,证阿罗汉。次为斯陀含。斯陀含者,一上一还,即得阿罗汉。次为须陀洹。须陀洹者,七死七生,便证阿罗汉。爱欲断者,如四肢断,不复用之。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[Those who] personally take leave [from the] household [life, to] know [the] mind [and] reach [the] fundamental, [to] understand [the] unconditioned Dharma, [are] named [as] Śramaṇas. Constantly practising [the] two hundred [and] fifty precepts, [with] advancing [and] ending [for] purity, with [the] Four [Noble] Truths’ path practising, accomplishing [as] Arhats. Those Arhats, [are] able [to] fly [and] transform, [with] distant kalpas’ lifespans, dwelling [in and] moving [between the] heavens [and] earth. Second [to them] are Anāgāmis. Those Anāgāmis, [when their] lifespans’ end, [their] consciousnesses [will] rise [to the] nineteenth heaven, [to] realise Arhathood. Second [to them] are Sakṛdāgāmins. Those Sakṛdāgāmins, [are with] one time once returning, [to] then attain Arhathood. Second [to them] are Srotaāpannas. Those Srotaāpannas, [are with] seven deaths [and] seven births, then realising Arhathood. Those [with] attachments [and] desires severed, [are] like [those with their] four limbs severed, not again using them.’

第二章:断欲绝求
[The] Second Section: Severing Desires [And] Ending Seeking

佛言:「出家沙门者,断欲去爱,识自心源。达佛深理,悟无为法。內无所得,外无所求。心不系道,亦不结业。无念无作,非修非证。不历诸位,而自崇最,名之为道。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Those [who have] left [the] household [life to be] Śramaṇas, sever [their] desires [and] eradicate attachments, [to] know one’s mind’s source. Reaching [the] Buddha’s profound principles, awakening [to the] unconditioned Dharma. Within [with] nothing [to] be attained, without [with] nothing [to] be sought. [With the] mind not bound [to the] path, likewise not fettered [to] karma. Without thinking [and] without doing, not cultivating [and] not realising. Not going through all positions, yet naturally [with the] most lofty, [with] naming [of] this as [the] path.’

第三章:割爱去贪
[The] Third Section: Cut Attachments [And] Eradicate Greed

佛言:「剃除须发,而为沙门。受道法者,去世资财,乞求取足。日中一食,树下一宿,慎勿再矣。使人愚蔽者,爱与欲也。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Shaving [to] rid beard [and] hair, then as Śramaṇas. Those receiving [the] path’s Dharma, eradicate worldly goods [and] wealth, [with] begging [to] obtain [what] suffices. [At] midday [with] one meal, [at] trees below [for] one night, cautious [to] not again [do so]. That [which] enable people [to be] foolish [and] dull, [are] attachments [and] desires.’

第四章:善恶并明
[The] Fourth Section: Good [And] Evil Both Explained

佛言:「众生以十事为善,亦以十事为恶。何等为十?身三、口四、意三。身三者,杀盗淫。口四者,两舌、恶口、妄言、绮语。意三者,嫉恚痴。如是十事,不顺圣道,名十恶行。是恶若止,名十善行耳。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Sentient beings [are] with ten matters as good, likewise with ten matters as evil. What are [the] ten? [Of the] body, [are] three, [of] speech, [are] four, [and of the] mind, [are] three. [Of the] body, those three [are] killing, stealing [and] sexual [misconduct. Of] speech, those four [are] double-tongued [speech], harsh speech, false speech [and] frivolous speech. [Of the] mind, those three [are] jealousy [i.e. also with greed], anger [and] delusion. Such ten matters, not according [with the] noble path, [are] named [the] Ten Evil Practices. These evils if stopped, [are] named [the] Ten Good Practices.’

第五章:转重令轻
[The] Fifth Section: Transforming [The] Heavy [To] Be Light

佛言:「人有众过,而不自悔,顿息其心,罪来赴身,如水归海,渐成深广。若人有过,自解知非,改恶行善,罪自消灭,如病得汗,渐有痊损耳。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[If a] person has many misgivings, yet not personally repenting, [to] instantly cease that mind, transgressions [will] come [to] engulf oneself, like water returning [to the] sea, gradually becoming deeper [and] broader. If [a] person has misgivings, personally understands [and] knows [their] wrong, corrects [the] evil [and] practises good, [the] transgressions [will] naturally [be] eradicated, like [a] sick [person] getting [to] sweat, gradually reducing seriousness [of the] sickness.’

第六章:忍恶无瞋
[The] Sixth Section: Patience [With] Evil Without Anger

佛言:「恶人闻善,故来挠乱者,汝自禁息,当无瞋责。彼来恶者,而自恶之。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[If] evil persons who hear [of] good, [with] those thus coming [to] disturb, [if] you [are] personally restrained [and] calm, [you] will [be] without angry blaming. Those evil persons [who have] come, [are] then personally [being] evil [to] themselves.’

解:此第六章申明善能胜恶,而恶不能破善也。上文劝人止恶行善,改过迁善。恐有愚者,畏彼恶人挠乱,遂不敢行,故诫以慎勿瞋责恶人。以恶乃在彼,于我无涉故也。如明镜中现于丑容,彼容自丑,镜何丑哉?倘一生瞋责,则反揽彼之恶,成我之恶矣。

Explanation: This Sixth Section declares [that] good [is] able [to] conquer evil, and [that] evil [is] not able [to] destroy good. [The] above text encourages people [to] end evil [and] practise good, [to] correct mistakes [and] change [to be] good. Fearing [there] are those foolish, [who] fear [being by] those evil persons disturbed, thereupon not daring [to] practise, thus admonishing [to be] with cautiousness, [to] not angrily blame evil persons. With evil only with those [persons], with me not involved thus. Like [a] bright mirror within appearing with ugly appearances, [as] those appearances [are by] themselves ugly, how [is the] mirror ugly? If once giving rise [to] angry blame, thus instead grasps evil of [those persons, to] become evil of mine.

第七章:恶还本身
[The] Seventh Section: Evil Returns [To] Oneself

佛言:「有人闻吾守道,行大仁慈,故致骂佛。佛默不对。骂止,问曰:『子以礼从人,其人不纳,礼归子乎?』对曰:『归矣。』佛言:『今子骂我,我今不纳,子自持祸,归子身矣。犹响应声,影之随形,终无免离,慎勿为恶。』」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[There] was [a] person [who] heard [of] my guarding [of the] path, [and] practice [of] great benevolence, thus coming [to] scold [the] Buddha. [The] Buddha [was] silent [and did] not reply. [When the] scolding stopped, [he] asked, “[If] you [are] with [a] gift [to] give [a] person, [but] that person [does] not accept [it, does the] gift return [to] you?” [He] replied, “[It] returns.” [The] Buddha said, “Now, [of] your scolding [of] me, I now [do] not accept [it, with] you naturally holding [on to its] misfortune, [with it] returning [to] yourself. Like [an] echo replying [a] sound, [a] shadow that follows form, [in the] end not sparing [and] leaving [you], be cautious not [to] do evil.”‘

解:此第七章,即上章彼来者而自恶之之明证也。今人闻骂,鲜不发瞋。大似领谢帖子,正中骂者之计耳。思之思之。或问:「佛既大慈。何不令骂者无祸耶?」答曰:「佛岂欲令其得祸?无奈彼人自招祸患。今诫以慎勿为恶。即是除其祸源。慈悲甚矣。」

Explanation: This Seventh Section, [is] then [on the] above section, [as] clear proof [that] those [who] come [to disturb, are] then personally [being] evil [to] themselves. Nowadays, [of] people [who] hear scoldings, [there are] few [who do] not give rise [to] anger. [They are] very similar [to those] ‘thankfully’ accepting invitation letters, [to] precisely fall [into the] traps [of] those scolding. Contemplate this, contemplate this. Perhaps asking, ‘[The] Buddha since [with] great loving-kindness, why [does he] not enable that scolding [person to be] without misfortune?’ [In] reply, ‘How can it be [that the] Buddha desires [to] enable that [person to] attain misfortune? [It] cannot [be] helped [if that] person personally attracts misfortune’s suffering. Now admonishing [to be] with cautiousness, [to] not do evil, [as this] is the same as [to] eradicate that misfortune’s source, [this is with] loving-kindness [and] compassion extreme.’

第八章:尘唾自污
[The] Eighth Section: [With] Dust [And] Spittle Self-Defiling

佛言:「恶人害贤者,犹仰天而唾。唾不至天,还从己堕。逆风扬尘,尘不至彼,还坌己身。贤不可毀,祸必灭己。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[When] evil persons harm those virtuous, [it] is like looking up to the sky and spitting. [Their] spittle [does] not reach [the] sky, returning [to] follow, [on] themselves falling. Against [the] wind tossing dust, [the] dust [does] not reach others, returning [as] dust [on] their own bodies. [The] virtuous cannot [be] destroyed, [while] misfortune [will] definitely destroy themselves.’

解:此第八章,深诫恶人令勿害贤。而兼以勗贤人也。人若果贤,则如天亦如上风。岂受唾尘?倘可受毁,便非贤矣。

Explanation: This Eighth Section, profoundly admonishes evil persons, [to] enable [them to] not harm [the] virtuous, and [is] simultaneously with exhorting [of] virtuous persons [to continue practising good]. People if [with the] fruits [of the] virtuous, thus [are] like [the] sky, likewise like higher winds. How can it be [that they] receive spittle [and] dust? If able [to] receive slander [by feeling harmed], then [are they] not virtuous [ones yet].

第九章:返本会道
[The] Ninth Section: Return [To] Original [Nature By] Meeting [The] Path

佛言:「博闻爱道,道必难会。守志奉道,其道甚大。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Widely listen [to and] treasure [the] path, [as the] path [is] definitely difficult [to] meet. Guard [your] aspiration [for] receiving [the] path, [as] that path [is] extremely great.’

第十章:喜施获福
[The] Tenth Section: [With] Joy Giving Obtaining Blessings

佛言:「睹人施道,助之欢喜,得福甚大。」沙门问曰:「此福尽乎?」佛言:「譬如一炬之火,数千百人,各以炬来分取,熟食除冥,此炬如故,福亦如之。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Observing people [practising] giving’s path, [and] supporting them joyfully, attains blessings extremely great. Śramaṇas asked, ‘[Will] these blessings end?’ [The] Buddha said, ‘For example, like [the] fire of one torch, [if] several thousands [of] hundreds [of] people, each with torches come [to] separately obtain [fire, to] cook food [and] eradicate darkness, [with] this torch [remaining] as before, [the] blessings [are] likewise like them.’

第十一章:施饭转胜
[The] Eleventh Section: Giving [Of] Alms [In] Turn Superior

佛言:「饭恶人百,不如饭一善人。饭善人千,不如饭一持五戒者。饭五戒者万,不如饭一须陀洹。饭百万须陀洹,不如饭一斯陀含。饭千万斯陀含,不如饭一阿那含。饭一亿阿那含,不如饭一阿罗汉。饭十亿阿罗汉,不如饭一辟支佛。饭百亿辟支佛,不如饭一三世诸佛。饭千亿三世诸佛,不如饭一无念无住无修无证之者。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[Offering] food [to a] hundred evil persons, [is] not as good as [to offer] food [to] one good person. [Offering] food [to a] thousand persons, [is] not as good as [to offer] food [to] one who upholds [the] Five Precepts. [Offering] food [to] ten thousand persons who uphold [the] Five Precepts, [is] not as good as [to offer] food [to] one Srotaāpanna. [Offering] food [to a] hundred thousand Srotaāpannas, [is] not as good as [to offer] food [to] one Sakṛdāgāmin. [Offering] food [to] ten thousand thousand Sakṛdāgāmins, [is] not as good as [to offer] food [to] one Anāgāmi. [Offering] food [to] one koṭi Anāgāmis, [is] not as good as [to offer] food [to] one Arhat. [Offering] food [to] ten koṭi Arhats, [is] not as good as [to offer] food [to] one Pratyekabuddha. [Offering] food [to a] hundred koṭi Pratyekabuddhas, [is] not as good as [to offer] food [to] one [of] all [the] three periods’ Buddhas. [Offering] food [to a] thousand koṭis [of] all [the] three periods’ Buddhas, [is] not as good as [to offer] food [to] one who [is] without thinking, without abiding, without cultivating [and] without realising.’

第十二章:举难勤修
[The] Twelfth Section: Raising [Of] Difficulties [For] Diligent Cultivation

佛言:「人有二十难。[1] 贫穷布施难。[2] 豪贵学道难。[3] 弃命必死难。[4] 得覩佛经难。[5] 生值佛世难。[6] 忍色忍欲难。[7] 见好不求难。[8] 被辱不瞋难。[9] 有势不临难。[10] 触事无心难。[11] 广学博究难。[12] 除灭我慢难。[13] 不轻未学难。[14] 心行平等难。[15] 不说是非难。[16] 会善知识难。[17] 见性学道难。[18] 随化度人难。[19] 覩境不动难。[20] 善解方便难。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Humans have twenty difficulties. [1] [To be] poor [yet] generous [is] difficult. [2] [To be] rich, powerful [and] honoured, [yet] learn [the] path [is] difficult. [3] [To] relinquish life [with] definite death [is] difficult. [4] [To] attain sight [of] Buddhist sūtras [is] difficult. [5] [To in one’s] lifetime meet [a] Buddha [in the] world [is] difficult. [6] [To] endure lust [and] endure desires [is] difficult. [7] [To] see [that] liked [yet] not seek [it is] difficult. [8] [To be] insulted [yet] not angry [is] difficult. [9] [To] have power [yet] not look down [upon others is] difficult. [10] [To be] in contact [with] matters [yet] indifferent [is] difficult. [11] [To] broadly learn [and] deeply study [is] difficult. [12] [To] eradicate conceit [is] difficult. [13] [To] not slight [those] yet [to] learn [is] difficult. [14] [To have] mental activities impartial [is] difficult. [15] [To] not speak [of] rights [and] wrongs [is] difficult. [16] [To] meet good-knowing advisors [is] difficult. [17] [To] see [one’s] nature [and] learn [the] path [is] difficult. [18] [To] accordingly transform [and] deliver people [is] difficult. [19] [To] see situations [yet be] unmoved [is] difficult. [20] [To have] good understanding [of] skilful means [is] difficult.’

解:此第十二章,略举二十难事以为劝诫也。顺情则易。逆情则难。然能深发肯心,则虽难而易。其或但随流俗,则虽易亦难。

Explanation: This Twelfth Section, briefly raises twenty difficult matters [to] use as exhortations. [With] agreeable sentiments, [they are] thus easy. [With] opposite sentiments, [they are] thus difficult. However, if able [to] profoundly give rise [to the] willing mind, thus although difficult, [they are] yet easy. Those perhaps only following prevalent worldliness, thus although easy, [they will] also [be] difficult.

[1] 夫贫穷则布施为难。故虽少许之施,得福甚多,不可不勉力也。然现见有贫而能施者。乃富人反不肯施,则悭鄙为何如耶。[2] 豪贵学道,例施可知。[3] 人所最重者身命。诚能弃命,则何事不可为者?然未闻保命畏死之人,果能长生不死。则亦何事贪惜耶?[4] 佛经难覩。今幸覩佛经而不研精殚思,则与不覩何异?[5] 佛世难值。今幸值佛世而不及时进修,则与不值何殊?

[1] Those poor [are] thus [with] generosity as [a] difficulty. Thus, although [with a] little of giving, [as this] attains blessings [that are] extremely much, [it] should not not [be] encouraged. However, now seen are those poor yet able [to] give. Therefore, rich people instead [are] not willing [to] give. Thus miserly [and] contemptuous, [this is] why [they are] so. [2] [For the] rich, powerful [and] honoured [to] learn [the] path, [from the preceding on] generosity, [it] can [be] known. [3] That humans value most [is] their lives. If able [to] relinquish life, thus [of] what [other] matters cannot [be] done? However, yet [to] hear of [are] people [who wish to] save [their] lives [with] fear [of] death, resulting [in] ability [to have] long lives [and] not die. Thus [of] what [other] matters [will they] also greedily cherish? [4] [The] Buddhist sūtras [are] difficult [to] see. Now fortunately seeing [the] Buddhist sūtras, yet not studying [their] essence, utmost contemplating [them], thus with not seeing, what difference [is there]? [5] [The] Buddha [in the] world [is] difficult [to] meet. Now fortunately meeting [the] Buddha [in this] world, yet not without delay diligently cultivating, thus with not meeting, what difference [is there]?

[6] 色欲虽恒情所好,然或察其味少苦多,或观其如幻如影,则亦何难忍制?[7] 若见好时,知其未必可求,则贪心自息。[8] 若被辱时,但以情恕理遣,则瞋意自平。[9] 视富贵若草头露,何容以势临人。[10] 观事境同梦所缘,何必劳心措置。

[6] Lustful desires although frequently felt as [that] good, however perhaps examining them, [of their] flavour [being] little [and with] bitterness much, perhaps contemplating them [to be] like illusions [and] like shadows, thus [with] what difficulty [are they] endured [and] controlled? [7] If [when] seeing [that] liked, knowing that [it] may not [be] demanded, thus [is the] greedy mind naturally extinguished. [8] If when insulted, only with [the] feeling [of] forgiveness [and with] reason dispatched, thus [is the] angry mind naturally [at] peace. [9] Seeing [the] rich [and] honoured [to be] like grass heads’ dewdrops, how [can there be] capacity [to], with power look down [upon] people? [10] Contemplating matters’ situations [to be] similar [to] those conditions [of] dreams, why worry [about] handling them?

[11] 广学而不博究,如入海无指南针,安能会理?[12] 恃学而生我慢,如沃壤以滋稊稗,反害良禾。[13] 佛尝言四种不可忽。一者火虽小不可忽。二者龙虽小不可忽。三者王子虽小不可忽。四者沙门虽小不可忽。今有轻未学者,未知其不可忽故也。[14] 心平等,则施难胜如来,与施最下乞人,功德无异。[15] 泯是非,则一切诸法,无非佛法。

[11] [With] broad learning yet not deeply studying, [is] like entering [the] ocean without [a] south-pointing needle. How can there be understanding [of the] principles? [12] Relying upon learning yet giving rise [to] conceit, [is] like fertile soil with growth [of] grass [and] weeds, [which] instead harm [the] good grains. [13] The Buddha already said [that there are] four kinds [of things that] should not [be] overlooked. First, fire although tiny should not [be] overlooked. Second, dragons although small should not [be] overlooked. Third, princes although young should not [be] overlooked. Fourth, Śramaṇas although junior should not [be] overlooked. Now having those yet [to] learn, [and those] yet [to] know, [they] should not [be] overlooked thus. [14] [With the] mind impartial, thus [with] generosity’s difficulty surpassing [giving to the] Thus Come [One], with giving [to the] most lowly beggar, [this has] meritorious virtues without difference. [15] Eliminating rights [and] wrongs, thus [are] all dharmas, without [that which is] not [with the] Buddha’s Dharma.

[16] 是非情见未忘,决不能见法界真善知识。[17] 不见现前一念心之实性,决不可以学无上道。[18] 不学称性权实之道,不能随化度人。[19] 未达随化度人方便,安能覩十法界境而一心不动?[20] 若不能于一一法界中具见一切法界事理,何繇善解同体方便?故知此二十事,后后难于前前也。

[16] [With] rights’ [and] wrongs’ sentiments [and] views yet [to be] forgotten, [one] definitely [is] not able [to] see [the] Dharma realm’s true good-knowing advisors. [17] Not seeing [the] true nature of [the] presently manifested one thought, [one] definitely cannot learn [the] unsurpassable path. [18] Not learning [the] path of matching nature’s expedients [and the ultimately] true, [thus] not able [to] accordingly transform [and] deliver people. [19] Yet [to] attain accordingly transforming [and] delivering people’s skilful means, how can there be sight [of the] ten dharma realms’ situations, yet [be] single-minded [and] unmoving? [20] If not able [to], of each [and] every one dharma realm within, completely see all [the] dharma realms’ phenomena [and] principles, what cause [is there for] good understanding [of one] unified body’s skilful means? Thus know [that of] these twenty matters, [those listed] after [are more] difficult [than those listed] before.

第十三章:问道宿命
[The] Thirteenth Section: Asking [About The] Path [And] Past Lives

沙门问佛:「以何因緣,得知宿命,会其至道?」佛言:「净心守志,可会至道。譬如磨鏡,垢去明存。断欲无求,当得宿命。」

[A] Śramaṇa asked [the] Buddha, ‘With what cause [and] condition, attains knowledge [of] past lives, [and] understanding [of] that ultimate path?’ [The] Buddha said, ‘[With the] pure mind guarding [your] aspiration, can [you] understand [the] ultimate path. For example, [when] polishing [a] mirror, [when its] dirt [is] eradicated, brightness remains. Severing desires without seeking, will attain [knowledge of] past lives.’

第十四章:请问善大
[The] Fourteenth Section: Asking [About] Good [And] Greatness

沙门问佛:「何者为善?何者最大?」佛言:「行道守真者善,志与道合者大。」

[A] Śramaṇa asked [the] Buddha, ‘What is good? What is [the] most great?’ [The] Buddha said, ‘Practising [the] path [with] guarding [of] that true [is] good. That [with] aspiration [and the] path united [is] great.’

第十五章:请问力明
[The] Fifteenth Section: Asking [About] Power [And] Brightness

沙门问佛:「何者多力?何者最明?」佛言:「忍辱多力,不怀恶故,兼加安健。忍者无恶,必为人尊。心垢灭尽,净无瑕秽,是为最明。未有天地,逮于今日,十方所有,无有不见,无有不知,无有不闻,得一切智,可谓明矣。」

[A] Śramaṇa asked [the] Buddha, ‘What is [with] much power? What is [the] most bright?’ [The] Buddha said, ‘Patience [with] insults [has] much power, not thinking [of] evil [retaliation] thus, simultaneously [with] added peace [and] strength. Those patient without evil, [will] definitely by people [be] honoured. [With the] mind’s defilements eradicated completely, pure [and] without flaws [and] defilements, is as [the] most bright. [From when] yet [to] have [the] heavens [and] earth, reaching to today, [of] all [in the] ten directions, without having [that] not seen, without having [that] not known, without having [that] not heard, attaining all[-knowing] wisdom, [this] can [be] called bright.’

解:此第十五章,明忍辱力大。灭垢明远也,忍有三种。一耐怨害忍,亦名生忍。二安受苦忍,亦名法忍。三谛察法忍,亦名第一义忍。今即约耐怨害而入第一义也。余文易知。

Explanation: This Fifteenth Section, explains patience power’s greatness. [With] eradicated defilements, penetrating [and] profound, patience has three kinds. First [is] Enduring [With] Blame [And] Harm’s Patience, also named Birth’s Patience [or Forbearance]. Second [is] Peaceful Accepting [Of] Suffering’s Patience, also named Dharma Patience [or Forbearance]. Third [is] Truthful Observing [Of] Dharmas’ Patience, also named [the] Supreme Truth’s Patience [or Foremost Meaning’s Forbearance]. Now immediately, is about enduring [with] blame [and] harm, [to] then enter [the] Supreme Truth. [The] remaining text [is] easy [to] know.

第十六章:舍爱得道
[The] Sixteenth Section: Renouncing Attachments [To] Attain [The] Path

佛言:「人怀爱欲不见道者。譬如澄水,致手搅之,众人共临,无有睹其影者。人以爱欲交錯,心中浊兴,故不见道。汝等沙门,当舍爱欲。爱欲垢尽,道可见矣。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘People [who] cherish attachments [and] desires [do] not see [the] path. For example, like clear water, putting [in their] hands stirring it, [when] all people together look [in, it is] without those [who can] see [their] reflections. People with attachments [and] desires intertwined, [have their] minds within [with] defilements flourishing, thus not seeing [the] path. You [and] other Śramaṇas, should renounce attachments [and] desires. [With] attachments’ [and] desires’ defilements ended, [the] path can [be] seen.’

第十七章:明来暗谢
[The] Seventeenth Section: [When] Brightness Comes, Darkness Fades

佛言:「夫见道者,譬如持炬入冥室中,其冥即灭,而明独存。学道见谛,无明即灭,而明常存矣。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Those who see [the] path, for example, [are] like [those] holding torches entering dark rooms within, [with] that darkness then eradicated, and [with] only brightness retained. Learning [the] path [and] seeing truths, ignorance [is] then eradicated, and [with] brightness always retained.’

第十八章:念等本空
[The] Eighteenth Section: Mindfulness [Of] Equal Fundamental Emptiness

佛言:「吾法念无念念,行无行行,言无言言,修无修修。会者近尔,迷者远乎。言语道断,非物所拘,差之毫厘,失之须臾。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘My Dharma [is] mindfulness without thinking thought, practising without practising practice, speaking without speaking speech, cultivating without cultivating cultivation. Those [who] understand [are] near thus, [and] those confused [are] far. [With] spoken language’s path severed, [it is] not [by] objects that constrained, [with] difference of [a] fine hair’s one thousandth [part], losing it [in an] instant.’

第十九章:假真并观
[The] Nineteenth Section: [With The] False [And] True Both Contemplated

佛言:「观天地,念非常。观世界,念非常。观灵觉,即菩提。如是知识,得道疾矣。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Contemplate [the] heavens [and] earth, [to be] mindful [of] impermanence. Contemplate [the] world[‘s time and space, to be] mindful [of] impermanence. Contemplate spiritual awakening[‘s nature, which] is Bodhi. [With] such knowledge, attain [the] path quickly.’

第二十章:推我本空
[The] Twentieth Section: Reasoning [For] Self [To] Fundamentally [Be] Empty

佛言:「当念身中四大,各自有名,都无我者。我既都无,其如幻耳。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[You] should [be] mindful, [that of the] body within’s four great [elements], although each has [a] name, [as earth, water, fire and wind], all [are] that without self. [Of] self, since all [of them are] without [it], they [are] like illusions.’

第二十一章:名声丧本
[The] Twenty-First Section: [For] Reputation Losing [The] Fundamental

佛言:「人随情欲,求于声名,声名显著,身已故矣。贪世常名,而不学道,枉功劳形。譬如烧香,虽人闻香,香之尽矣,危身之火,而在其后。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[Of] people following passionate desires, seeking for reputation, [with] reputation outstanding, [the] body [is] already deceased. [With] greed [for] worldly constant fame, yet not learning [the] path, [with] efforts in vain, exhausting [the] body. For example, like burning incense, although [the] person smells [the] fragrance, [at the] end of [the] incense, [the] fire that endangers [the] body, [is] then that there after.’

第二十二章:财色招苦
[The] Twenty-Second Section: Wealth [And] Sex Attracts Suffering

佛言:「财色于人,人之不舍,譬如刀刃有蜜,不足一餐之美。小儿舔之,则有割舌之患。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Of wealth [and] sex given to people, of people not renouncing [them], for example, [are] like [having a] knife’s blade with honey, not enough [for] satisfaction of one meal. [A] small child licking it, thus [will] have suffering of cutting [the] tongue.’

第二十三章:妻子甚狱
[The] Twenty-Third Section: [With] Wives [And] Children, More [Trapped Than Those In] Prisons

佛言:「人系于妻子舍宅,甚于牢狱。牢狱有散释之期,妻子无远离之念。情爱于色,豈惮驱驰?虽有虎口之患,心存甘伏。投泥自溺,故曰凡夫。透得此门,出尘罗汉。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘People bound to [their] wives, children [and] homes, [are] more trapped than [those in] prisons. Prisons have dates of release, [but of] wives [and] children, [they are] without [the] thought of far departing [from them. With] love for sex, how can [they] not dread [being] driven [by it]? Although having [the] danger of [being in a] tiger’s mouth, [their] minds retain willingness [to] bear [it]. Throwing [themselves into] mud [to] self-drown, thus called ordinary beings. [Those who have] passed through this door, [to] exit [the] dusts [are called] Arhats.’

第二十四章:色欲障道
[The] Twenty-Fourth Section: Lustful Desires Obstruct [The] Path

佛言:「爱欲莫甚于色。色之为欲,其大无外。賴有一矣。若使二同,普天之人,无能为道者矣。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[Of] attachments [and] desires, none [is] more extreme than lust. [With] lust as desire, its greatness [has] no other. Fortunately, [there] is [only] one [of its kind]. If [there are] two similar [desires], of all humans [under the] heavens, [there would be] without those able [to] be [practitioners of the] path.’

第二十五章:欲火烧身
[The] Twenty-Fifth Section: Desires’ Fire Burns Oneself

佛言:「爱欲之人,犹如执炬,逆风而行,必有烧手之患。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Of people [with] attachments [and] desires, [they are like those] holding torches, against the wind then walking, [who] definitely [will] have [the] suffering of burning [their] hands.’

第二十六章:天魔娆佛
[The] Twenty-Sixth Section: Heavenly Demons Disturbing [The] Buddha

天神献玉女于佛,欲坏佛意。佛言:「革囊众秽,尔来何为?去。吾不用。」天神愈敬,因问道意。佛为解说,即得须陀洹果。

Heavenly gods offered beautiful maidens to [the] Buddha, desiring [to] destroy the Buddha’s resolve. The Buddha said, ‘Leather sacks [i.e. skin bags] [of] many defilements, you [have] come for what? Go. I [have] no use [for you.’ The] heavenly gods [became] even more respectful, [and] thus asked [for the] meaning [of the] path. [The] Buddha for [them] explained [it, with them] immediately attaining [the] Srotāpanna fruit.

第二十七章:无著得道
[The] Twenty-Seventh Section: [Those] Without Attachment Attain [The] Path

佛言:「夫为道者,犹木在水,寻流而行。不触两岸,不为人取,不为鬼神所遮,不为洄流所住,亦不腐败。吾保此木,決定入海。学道之人,不为情欲所惑,不为众邪所娆,精进无为。吾保此人,必得道矣。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Those as [practitioners of the] path, [are] like wood on water, along [with the] flow then moving. Not touching both shores, not by people obtained, not by ghosts [and] gods those obstructed, not by whirlpools those abiding, also not rotting. I guarantee this wood, [will] definitely enter [the] ocean. Of people [who] learn [the] path, not by passionate desires those confused, not by many evils those disturbed, diligent unconditionally, I guarantee these people, [will] definitely attain the path.’

第二十八章:意马莫纵
[The] Twenty-Eighth Section: [The] Mind [Like A Wild] Horse [Should] Not [Be] Indulged

佛言:「慎勿信汝意,汝意不可信。慎勿与色会,色会即祸生。得阿罗汉已,乃可信汝意。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Be cautious not [to] believe your mind, [as] your mind cannot [be] believed. Be cautious not [to] with lust meet, [as with] lust met, then [will] misfortune arise. [Having] attained [as] Arhats already, then can you believe your mind.’

第二十九章:正观敌色
[The] Twenty-Ninth Section: Right Contemplation [To] Resist Lust

佛言:「慎勿视女色,亦莫共言语。若与语者,正心思念:我为沙门,处于浊世,当如莲花,不为泥汙。想其老者如母,长者如姊,少者如妹,稚者如子。生度脫心,息灭恶念。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Be cautious not [to] see females’ forms, also not [with them] together speaking. If with those speaking, [with the] right mind think, “I, as [a] Śramaṇa, abiding in [this] defiled world, should [be] like [a] lotus flower, not by mud defiled.” Think [of] those old [to be] like [your] mothers, those older [to be] like [your] older sisters, those younger [to be] like [your] younger sisters, [and] those young [to be] like [your] children. Give rise [to the] mind [to] deliver [and] liberate [them, to] extinguish evil thoughts.’

第三十章:欲火远离
[The] Thirtieth Section: [From] Desire’s Fire Far Depart

佛言:「夫为道者,如被干草,火来须避。道人见欲,必当远之。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Those as [practitioners of the] path, [are] like [those who] wear dry grass [i.e hay]. [When] fire comes, [it] must [be] avoided. [Practitioners of the] path, [when] seeing [the] desired, certainly should [stay] far [from] it.’

第三十一章:心寂欲除
[The] Thirty-First Section: [With The] Mind Still [Are] Desires Eradicated

佛言:「有人患淫不止,欲自除阴。佛谓之曰:『若断其阴,不如断心。心如功曹,功曹若止,从者都息。邪心不止,断阴何益?』佛为说偈:『 欲生于汝意,意以思想生。二心各寂静,非色亦非行。』佛言:『此偈是迦叶佛说。』」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[There] was [a] person [who] suffered [from] lust unceasingly, [who] desired [to] self-eradicate [his] genitals. [The] Buddha spoke [to] him, “If severing those genitals, [it is] not as good [as to] sever [that lustful] mind. [The] mind [is] like [a] police chief, [with the] police chief if ceased, those following [will] all cease. [With the] evil mind not ceased, [with] severing [of] genitals, what benefit [is there]?” [The] Buddha for [him] spoke [this] verse, “Desires [are] born from your intentions, [and] intentions [are] with thinking born. [With] both minds, each still [and] quiet, [there will be] no form [and] also no activity.” [The] Buddha said, “This verse was [by] Kāśyapa Buddha spoken.”‘

第三十二章:我空怖灭
[The] Thirty-Second Section: [With] Self Emptied [Is] Fear Eradicated

佛言:「人从爱欲生忧,从忧生怖。若离与愛,何忧何怖?」

[The] Buddha said, ‘People from attachments [and] desires give rise [to] worries, [and] from worries give rise [to] fears. If departed from attachments, what worries [and] what fears [are] there?’

第三十三章:智明破魔
[The] Thirty-Third Section: [With] Wisdom’s Brightness Destroy [The] Demonic

佛言:「夫为道者,譬如一人与万人战。挂铠出门,意或怯弱:或半路而退,或格斗而死,或得胜而还。沙门学道,应当坚持其心,精进勇锐,不畏前境,破灭众魔,而得道果。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Those as [practitioners of the] path, [are] for example, like one person with ten thousand persons battling. Putting [on] armour [to] go out [the] door, [with their] minds perhaps timid [and] weak, perhaps halfway then retreating, perhaps fighting then dying, perhaps attaining victory then returning. Śramaṇas [who] learn [the] path, should [be] resolute [in] upholding their minds, diligent [and] brave, not fearing situations before [them], destroying demonic hordes, then attaining [the] path’s fruit.’

第三十四章:处中得道
[The] Thirty-Fourth Section: Abide [In The] Middle [To] Attain [The] Path

沙门夜诵迦叶佛遗教经,其声悲紧,思悔欲退。佛问之曰:「汝昔在家,曾为何业?」对曰:「爱弹琴。」佛言:「弦缓如何?」对曰:「不鸣矣。」「弦急如何?」对曰:「声绝矣。」「急缓得中如何?」对曰:「诸音普矣。」佛言:「沙门学道亦然,心若调适,道可得矣。于道若暴,暴即身疲。其身若疲,意即生脑。意若生脑,行即退矣。其行既退,罪必加矣。但清净安乐,道不失矣。」

[A] Śramaṇa [at] night [was] reciting Kāśyapa Buddha’s Sūtra [Of] Bequeathed Teachings, [with] his voice sorrowful [and] tense, thinking [about] regrets [and] desire [to] retreat. [The] Buddha asked him, ‘You [in the] past at home, [was] once with what livelihood?’ [He] replied, ‘[I] loved [to] play [the] lute.’ [The] Buddha said, ‘[With] strings slack, how [are they]?’ [He] replied, ‘[They will] not sound.’ ‘[With] strings tight, how [are they]?’ [He] replied, ‘[Their] sounds [will be] cut [off].’ ‘[Of] tightness [and] slackness, attaining [the] middle, how [are they]?’ [He] replied, ‘All sounds [will be] universal [by being well-tuned.’ The] Buddha said, ‘Śramaṇas learning [the] path [should be] likewise thus, [as with their] minds if adapted, [the path] can [be] attained. Of [the] path if hurried, hurried then, [their] bodies [will be] wearied. [With] their bodies if wearied, [their] minds [will] then give rise [to] afflictions. [With their] minds if giving rise [to] afflictions, [their] practices [will] then retrogress. [With] their practices already retrogressed, transgressions will increase. However, [with] pure peace [and] bliss, [the] path [will] not [be] lost.’

第三十五章:垢净明存
[The] Thirty-Fifth Section: [With] Defilements Purified [Is] Brilliance Retained

佛言:「如人锻铁,去滓成器,器即精好。学道之人,去心垢染,行即清净矣。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Like people forging iron, ridding sediments [to] become wares, [the] wares [are] then excellent [and] beautiful. Of people learning [the] path, ridding [their] minds’ defilements, [their] practices [are] then pure.’

第三十六章:展转获胜
[The] Thirty-Sixth Section: Passing Through Much [To] Obtain Victory

佛言:「人离恶道,得为人难。既得为人,去女即男难。既得为男,六根完具难。六根既具,生中国难。既生中国,值佛世难。既值佛世,遇道者难。既得遇道,兴信心难。既兴信心,发菩提心难。既发菩提心,无修无证难。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[For] people [to] depart [from] evil paths, [to] attain as humans [is] difficult. Already attained as humans, [to] leave female [form to] immediately [be] male [is] difficult. Already attained as males, [to have the] six roots complete [is] difficult. [With the] six roots already complete, [to be] born [in a] middle land [where the Dharma is ‘central’ is] difficult. Already born [in a] middle land, [to] encounter [a] Buddha [in this] world [is] difficult. Already encountering [a] Buddha [in this] world, [to] meet [a practitioner of the] path [is] difficult. Already attaining [a practitioner of the] path, [to] give rise [to the] faithful mind [is] difficult. Already given rise [to the] faithful mind, [to] give rise [to the] Bodhi Mind [is] difficult. Already given rise [to the] Bodhi Mind, [to be cultivated yet] without cultivation [and realised yet] without realisation [is] difficult.’

第三十七章:念戒近道
[The] Thirty-Seventh Section: [Be] Mindful [Of] Precepts [To Be] Near [The] Path

佛言:「佛子离吾数千里,忆念吾戒,必得道果。在吾左右,虽常见吾,不顺吾戒,终不得道。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘[The] Buddha’s disciples departed [from] me [for] several thousand miles, [if] recollecting mindfully my precepts, [will] definitely attain [the] path’s fruit. [Those] at my left [and] right, although constantly seeing me, [yet] not according [with] my precepts, [in the] end [will] not attain [the] path.’

第三十八章:生即有灭
[The] Thirty-Eighth Section: [With] Rising Immediately Having Ceasing

佛问沙门:「人命在几间?」对曰:「数日间。」佛言:「子未知道。」复问一沙门:「人命在几间?」对曰:「饭食间。」佛言:「子未知道。」复问一沙门:「人命在几间?」对曰:「呼吸间。」佛言:「善哉,子知道矣。」

[The] Buddha asked [a] Śramaṇa, ‘Human life has what [duration] in between?’ [In] reply, ‘Several days in between,’ [The] Buddha said, ‘You [have] yet [to] know [the] path.’ Again asking a Śramaṇa, ‘Human life has what [duration] in between?’ [In] reply, ‘Eating [a] meal’s [duration] in between.’ [The] Buddha said, ‘You [have] yet [to] know [the] path.’ Again asking a Śramaṇa, ‘Human life has what [duration] in between?’ [In] reply, ‘[That of] breathing out [and] in between.’ [The] Buddha said, ‘Excellent, you know [the] path.’

第三十九章:教诲无差
[The] Thirty-Ninth Section: [That] Taught [Are] Without Differences

佛言:「学佛道者,佛所言说,皆应信顺。譬如食蜜,中边皆甜,吾经亦尔。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Those [who] learn [the] Buddha’s path, [of that the] Buddha taught [by] speaking, all should [be] faithfully followed. For example, like eating honey, [in the] centre [and at the] sides, all [is] sweet, my sūtras [are] likewise thus.’

第四十章:行道在心
[The] Fortieth Section: Walking [The] Path [Is] In [The] Mind

佛言:「沙门行道,无如磨牛,身虽行道,心道不行。心道若行,何用行道?」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Śramaṇas walking [the] path, [should be] without [those like] milling cows, [whose] bodies although walking [the] path, [with the] mind’s path not walking. [The] mind’s path if walked, [of] what use [is] walking [the] path?’

第四十一章:直心出欲
[The] Forty-First Section: [With] Straightforward Minds Leaving Desires

佛言:「夫为道者,如牛负重,行深泥中,疲极不敢左右顾视,出离淤泥,乃可苏息。沙门当观情欲,甚于淤泥。直心念道,可免苦矣。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘Those as [practitioners of the] path, [are] like bulls carrying heavy [burdens], walking [in] deep mud within, [even if] extremely weary, not daring [to] look about [to the] left [and] right, [only when] departed [from the] mud, then can [they] rest. Śramaṇas should contemplate passionate desires, [to be] more [dangerous than] mud. [With the] straightforward mind mindful [of the] path, [then] can [they be] spared [from] suffering.’

第四十二章:达世知幻
[The] Forty-Second Section: Attain [The] World [By] Knowing [Its] Illusoriness

佛言:「吾视王侯之位,如过隙尘。视金玉之宝,如瓦砾。视纨素之服,如敝帛。视大千界,如一诃子。视阿耨池水,如涂足油。视方便门,如化宝聚。视无上乘,如梦金帛。视佛道,如眼前华。视禅定,如须弥柱。视涅槃,如晝夕寤。视倒正,如六龙舞。视平等,如一真地。视兴化,如四时木。」

[The] Buddha said, ‘I see positions of kings [and] lords, [to be] like dust motes passing [through a] crack in a ray of light. [I] see treasures of gold [and] jade, [to be] like rubble. [I] see clothing of fine [and] pure white silk, [to be] like shabby fabric. [I] see [the] great thousandfold world, [to be] like one myrobalan fruit. [I] see Lake Anavatapta’s water, [to be] like foot-rubbing oil. [I] see skilful [means’] doors, [to be] like manifested treasures’ gathered. [I] see [the] unsurpassable vehicle, [to be] like [a] dream’s gold [and] silk. [I] see [the] Buddha’s path, [to be] like [a] flower before [the] eyes. [I] see meditative concentration, [to be] like Sumeru’s pillar. [I] see Nirvāṇa, [to be] like [in] daytime [from] night awaking. [I] see [the] inverted [and] upright, [to be] like six dragons dancing. [I] see equality, [to be] like [the] one true ground. [I] see flourishing [and] transforming [with the Dharma, to be] like [the] four seasons’ trees.’

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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