What Are The Three Most Important Sections In The Śuraṅgama Sūtra
A: A so-called ‘______ teacher’ changed his name, and let a self-proclaimed ‘Bodhisattva’s spokesperson’ who is a female layperson ‘raise funds’…
B: The Śuraṅgama Sūtra says, ‘Evil “teachers” who speak the [false/evil] “Dharma”, [will be numerous] like the Ganges River’s sands’ [in this Dharma-Ending Age]. It seems like another ‘grain’ has been added?
A: Why still not pointing out names?
B: Because currently still hoping there can be, ‘at the cliff’s edge, with reining in of the horse’, as ‘with turning of their heads, is the shore’. At the same time, this is able to warn others who are similar. As the Verses On Becoming Noble Persons say,
‘Noble persons, yet to point out names [out of magnanimity], tactfully advise everyone. Small persons [of little virtue], with minds guilty, rush to match their ticket numbers, to take their seats accordingly.
Those knowing their mistakes are then able to change, if not reflecting, with faults again coming. If understanding noble persons’ painstaking efforts, small persons will likewise become noble persons.’
A: Are the mistakes made because, as the Chinese saying goes, ‘heroes find it difficult to cross the barrier of beauty’, as the power of concentration was insufficient?
B: Those failing to cross this barrier are not heroes at all. Did our Fundamental Teacher (the Buddha) not cross the Māra’s daughters’ ‘barrier’?
A: Thus is he our Fundamental Teacher! How can ordinary beings be comparable?
B: Ordinary beings should personally know their power of concentration to be insufficient, thus guarding their precepts more meticulously and strictly.
A: Originally a ‘knowledgeable’ person. What a pity!
B: Originally not even knowing the Śuraṅgama Sūtra’s Pure And Clear Instructions’ Section. Due to lack of essential Right Understanding, the consequences are only natural.
The ’Verses On Ordinary And Noble Beings‘ below explain this sūtra passage.)
A: How should this be understood?
B: Especially with the Section’s Fourth Heavy Precept not understood, received and upheld, it is very easy to be directly enchanted by the demonic. (Even if a person is not an an actual demon, the conduct can still be demonic in nature. The precept clearly states that no one, especially in this era, is permitted by the Buddha to claim to be a Bodhisattva, and by natural extension, a ‘spokesperson’. Anyone claiming otherwise is with Māra’s speech.) The Śuraṅgama Sūtra is therefore named as a demon-reflecting mirror. To conclude, are the Verses On Three Sections below.
(Note 1: Due to its importance, the Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng [净土宗十三祖印光大师] included this Pure And Clear Instructions’ Section《清净明诲章》in the published version of The Pure Land Tradition’s Five Sūtras《净土五经》, as an additional key teaching to study, beyond the five sūtras. The other section from the same sūtra included, which is one of the five sūtras, is Mindfulness Of Buddha Perfect Penetration’s Section《念佛圆通章》.
Note 2: It is noteworthy that the Śuraṅgama Sūtra’s Fifty Aggregates’ Demons’ Section《五十阴魔章》was not included as an additional key teaching in the published version of The Pure Land Tradition’s Five Sūtras. Perhaps because, despite listing detailed ill demonic effects to be wary of, they can all be avoided by following the Pure And Clear Instructions’ Section well. With its precepts observed well, which guard against the Three Poisons [三毒] of attachment, aversion and delusion [贪嗔痴], this will prevent all fifty kinds of demonic disturbances.)
Verses [On] Three Sections
Those desiring [to] attain purity, [should] refer [to and] reflect [upon the Pure And] Clear Instructions’ Section《清净明诲章》. [With] strict guarding [of its] Four Heavy Precepts, [the] Fifty Aggregates’ Demons’ [Section’s《五十阴魔章》demons will] scatter [away].
Because already fearing [planting of] evil seeds [i.e. causes], without fear [of] attaining [their] evil fruits [i.e. effects]. [With] self-reflection [using the] demon-reflecting mirror, [understand] Mindfulness [Of] Buddha’s Perfect Penetration[‘s Section《念佛圆通章》] clearly.
These are, when [in this] Dharma-Ending Age, foremost essentials [of the] Śuraṅgama Sūtra, [the first sūtra to disappear]. With [these] three sections prevent demonic [obstacles, and attain] rebirth [in the] Western [Pure Land, to] swiftly accomplish Buddhahood.
Related Sūtra Teachings:
Śūraṅgama Sūtra’s Section On Four Kinds Of Clear Instructions On Purity: Fourth Heavy Precept
Record Of A Venerable Identifying A Fake Bodhisattva
Pure And Clear Instructions’ Section
Mindfulness Of Buddha’s Perfect Penetration’s Section
The Pure Land Tradition’s Five Sūtras
Fifty Aggregates’ Demons’ Section