(samatha and vipassana), so that ordinary men and the followers of Hinayana may cure their minds of error. The seventh reason is toexplain to them the expedient means of single-minded meditation(smriti) so that they may be born in the presence of the Buddha andkeep their minds fixed in an un-retrogressive faith. The eighth reasonis to point out to them the advantages of studying this treatise and toencourage them to make an effort to attain enlightenment. These arethe reasons for which I write this treatise.
What need is there to repeat the explanation of theteaching when it is presented in detail in the sutras?
Thoughthis teaching is presented in the sutras, the capacity and the deeds of men today are no longer the same, nor are the conditions of theiracceptance and comprehension. That is to say, in the days when the Tathágata was in the world, people were of high aptitude and thePreacher preached with his perfect voice, different types of people allequally understood; hence, there was no need for this kind of discourse. But after the passing away of the Tathágata, there weresome who were able by their own power to listen extensively to othersand to reach understanding; there were some who by their own powercould listen to very little and yet understand much; there were somewho, without any mental power of their own, depended upon theextensive discourses of others to obtain understanding; and naturallythere were some who looked upon the wordiness of extensivediscourses as troublesome, and who sought after what wascomprehensive, terse, and yet contained much meaning, and thenwere able to understand it. Thus, this discourse is designed toembrace, in a general way, the limitless meaning of the vast andprofound teaching of the Tathágata. This discourse, therefore, shouldbe presented.
The reasons for writing have been explained. Next the outline will begiven. Generally speaking, Mahayana is to be expounded from twopoints of view. One is the principle and the other is the significance. The principle is "the Mind of the sentient being." This Mind includes initself all states of being of the phenomenal world and thetranscendental world. On the basis of this Mind, the meanings of Mahayana may be unfolded. Why? Because the absolute aspect of this Mind represents the essence (svabhava) of Mahayana, and thephenomenal aspect of this Mind indicates the essence, attributes(lakshana), and influences (kriya) of Mahayana itself. Of the