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mahaparinirvana

mahaparinirvana

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Published by Shodo Elias

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Published by: Shodo Elias on May 29, 2007
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THE MAHAYANA MAHAPARINIRVANA SUTRA
Translated into English by Kosho Yamamoto. Edited, revised and copyright by Dr. Tony Page (NirvanaPublications, London, 1999-2000). Source: http://www.nirvanasutra.org.uk.
CONTENTS
Chapter One: Introductory..............................................................................................................2Chapter Two: On Cunda...............................................................................................................14Chapter Three: On Grief...............................................................................................................21Chapter Four: On Long Life..........................................................................................................28Chapter Five: On the Adamantine Body.......................................................................................36Chapter Six: On the Virtue of the Name.......................................................................................40Chapter Seven: On the Four Aspects............................................................................................41Chapter Eight: On the Four Dependables.....................................................................................64Chapter Nine: On Wrong and Right..............................................................................................75Chapter Ten: On the Four Truths..................................................................................................82Chapter Eleven: On the Four Inversions.......................................................................................84Chapter Twelve: On the Nature of the Tathagata.........................................................................84Chapter Thirteen: On Letters.........................................................................................................95Chapter Fourteen: On the Parable of the Birds.............................................................................99Chapter Fifteen: On the Parable of the Moon.............................................................................102Chapter Sixteen: On the Bodhisattva..........................................................................................105Chapter Seventeen: On the Questions Raised by the Crowd......................................................117Chapter Eighteen: On Actual Illness...........................................................................................127Chapter Nineteen: On Holy Actions 1........................................................................................134Chapter Twenty: On Holy Actions 2...........................................................................................151Chapter Twenty-One: On Pure Actions 1...................................................................................173Chapter Twenty-Two: On Pure Actions 2...................................................................................189Chapter Twenty-Three: On Pure Actions 3.................................................................................204Chapter Twenty-Four: On Pure Actions 4..................................................................................220Chapter Twenty-Five: On Pure Actions 5...................................................................................233Chapter Twenty-Six: On the Action of the Child.......................................................................243Chapter Twenty-Seven: Bodhisattva Highly-Virtuous King 1...................................................244Chapter Twenty-Eight: Bodhisattva Highly-Virtuous King 2....................................................258Chapter Twenty-Nine: Bodhisattva Highly-Virtuous King 3.....................................................269Chapter Thirty: Bodhisattva Highly-Virtuous King 4.................................................................279Chapter Thirty-One: Bodhisattva Highly-Virtuous King 5.........................................................292Chapter Thirty-Two: Bodhisattva Highly-Virtuous King 6........................................................305Chapter Thirty-Three: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar 1.................................................................316Chapter Thirty-Four: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar 2...................................................................329Chapter Thirty-Five: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar 3...................................................................345Chapter Thirty-Six: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar 4.....................................................................351Chapter Thirty-Seven: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar 5................................................................357Chapter Thirty-Eight: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar 6.................................................................369Chapter Thirty-Nine: On Bodhisattva Lion's Roar 7..................................................................383Chapter Forty: On Bodhisattva Kasyapa 1..................................................................................397Chapter Forty-One: On Bodhisattva Kasyapa 2..........................................................................414Chapter Forty-Two: On Bodhisattva Kasyapa 3.........................................................................431Chapter Forty-Three: On Bodhisattva Kasyapa 4.......................................................................444Chapter Forty-Four: On Bodhisattva Kasyapa 5.........................................................................446Chapter Forty-Five: On Kaundinya 1..........................................................................................462Chapter Forty-Six: On Kaundinya 2...........................................................................................477
 
2
Chapter One: Introductory
Thus have I heard. At one time, the Buddha was staying at Kusinagara in the land of the Mallas,close to the river Ajitavati, where the twin sal trees stood. At that time, the great bhiksus as manyas 80 billion hundred thousand were with the World-Honoured One. They surrounded him frontand back. On the 15th of the second month, as the Buddha was about to enter Nirvana, he, withhis divine power, spoke in a great voice, which filled the whole world and reached the highest of the heavens. It said to all beings in a way each could understand: "Today, the Tathagata [i.e.Buddha] the Alms-deserving and All-Enlightened One, pities, protects and, with an undividedmind, sees beings as he does his [son] Rahula. So, he is the refuge and house of the world. Thegreatly Enlightened World-Honoured One is about to enter Nirvana. The beings who havedoubts may now all ask questions of him."At that time, early in the morning, the World-Honoured One emitted from his mouth rays of lightof various hues, namely: blue, yellow, red, white, crystal, and agate. The rays of light shone allover the 3,000 great-thousand Buddha lands. Also, the ten directions were alike shone upon. Allthe sins and worries of beings of the six realms, as they were illuminated, were expiated. Peoplesaw and heard this, and worry greatly beset them. They all sorrowfully cried and wept: "Oh, thekindest father! Oh, woe is the day! Oh, the sorrow!" They raised their hands, beat their heads and breasts, and cried aloud. Of them, some trembled, wept, and sobbed. At that time, the great earth,the mountains, and great seas all shook. Then, all of them said to one another: "Let us for the present suppress our feelings, let us not be greatly smitten by sorrow! Let us speed toKusinagara, call at the land of the Mallas, touch the feet of the Tathagata, pay homage and beg:"O Tathagata! Please do not enter Parinirvana, but stay one more kalpa [aeon] or less than akalpa." They pressed their palms together and said again: "The world is empty! Fortune hasdeparted from us beings; evil things will increase in the world. O you! Hurry up, go quickly!Soon the Tathagata [i.e. Buddha] will surely enter Nirvana." They also said: "The world isempty, empty! From now on, no one protects us, and we have none to pay homage to. Poverty-stricken and alone! If we once part from the World-Honoured One, and if doubts arise, whom arewe to ask?"At that time, there were many of the Buddha's disciples there, such as VenerableMahakatyayana, Vakkula, and Upananda. All such great bhiksus, when they saw the light, shook and were greatly stirred, so much so that they could not hold themselves well. Their minds became muddled, and chaos ruled. They cried aloud and displayed variegated grief. There were present, at that time, 8 million bhiksus. All were arhats [saints]. They were unmolested[unlimited] in mind and could act as they willed. They were segregated from all illusions, and alltheir sense-organs were subdued. Like great naga [serpent] kings, they were perfect in greatvirtue. They were accomplished in the wisdom of the All-Void and perfect in the attainments of their own [in inner attainments]. They were like the sandalwood forest with sandalwood allaround, or like a lion king surrounded by lions. They were perfect in all such virtues. They werethe true sons of the Buddha. Early in the morning, when the sun had just risen, they were upfrom their beds in the places where they lived and were about to use their toothbrushes, whenthey encountered the light that arose from the Buddha's person. And they said to one another:"Hurry up with bathing and gargling, and be clean." So did they say, and their hair stood on endall over their body, and their blood so ran that they looked like palasa flowers. Tears filled their eyes, which expressed great pain. To benefit and give peace to beings, to establish theTranscendent Truth of the All-Void of Mahayana, to reveal what the Tathagata had byexpediency latently taught so that all his sermons would not come to an end, and to subjugate theminds of all beings, they sped to where the Buddha was. They fell down at the Buddha's feet,touched them with their heads, walked around him a 100 thousand times, folded their hands, paidhomage, stepped back and sat on one side.At that time, there were present such women as Kuddara and such bhiksunis [nuns] as Subhadra,Upananda, Sagaramati, and 6 million bhiksunis. They were all great arhats. All "'asravas"' [inner defilements] having been done away with, they were unmolested in mind and could act as they
 
3willed. They were parted from all illusion and all their sense-organs were subdued. Like greatnagas, they were perfect in virtue. They were accomplished in the Wisdom of the All-Void.Also, early in the morning, after the sun had just risen, their hair stood on end all over their bodyand their blood so ran through their vessels that they looked like palasa flowers. Tears filled their eyes, which bespoke great sorrow. They desired to benefit beings, to give peace and bliss, andestablish the Transcendent Truth of the All-Void of Mahayana. They meant to manifest what theTathagata had by expediency latently taught, so that all his sermons would not disappear. Inorder to subjugate the minds of all beings, they sped to where the Buddha was, touched his feet,walked around him a 100 thousand times, folded their hands, paid homage, stepped back and saton one side.Of the bhiksunis, there were again those who were the nagas of Bodhisattvas and humans. Theyhad attained the ten stages [of Bodhisattvic development], where they abided unmoved. Theywere born as females so as to teach beings. They always practised the four limitless minds [of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity], thereby attaining unlimited power and acting well in place of the Buddha.At that time there were also Bodhisattva-mahasattvas [great Bodhisattvas] who were as plentifulas the sands of the river Ganges and who were all nagas of men, attaining the level of the tenstages and abiding there unmoved. As an expedient, they had gained life as men and were calledBodhisattvvas Sagaraguna and Aksayamati. Such Bodhisattva-mahasattvas as these headed thenumber. They all prized Mahayana, abided in it, deeply understood, loved and protected it, andwell responded to the call of the world. They took vows and each said: "I shall pass those whohave not yet attained the Way to the other shore [i.e. of salvation]. Already over innumerable past kalpas, I have upheld the pure precepts [of morality] and acted as I should have acted. Imade the unreleased gain the Way so that they could carry over the seed of the Three Treasures[i.e. Buddha, Dharma, Sangha]. And in the days to come, I shall turn the wheel of Dharma [i.e.teach Buddhism], greatly adorn myself, accomplish all innumerable virtues, and see beings asone views one's only son." They likewise, early in the morning, encountered the light of theBuddha. All their hair stood on end, and all over their body their blood so ran that they lookedlike palasa flowers. Tears filled their eyes, which spoke of great pain. Also to benefit beings, togive bliss, to manifest what the Tathagata had out of expediency latently taught, and to preventthe sermons from dying out, and to subjugate all beings, they sped to where the Buddha was,walked around him 100 thousand times, folded their hands, paid homage, stepped back and took their seats on one side.At that time, there were present upasakas [lay followers of Buddha] who were as many as thesands of two Ganges. They had accorded with the five precepts, and their deportment was perfect. These were such upasakas as Untainted-Virtue-King, Highly-Virtuous and others, whoheaded their number. They deeply cherished the thought of combating such opposites as: sorrowversus bliss, eternal versus non-eternal, pure versus non-pure, self versus non-self, real versusnot-real, taking refuge versus not taking refuge, beings versus non-beings, always versus not-always, peace versus non-peace, created versus non-created, disruption versus non-disruption, Nirvana versus non-Nirvana, augmentation versus non-augmentation, and they always thought of combating such opposites of the Dharma elements as stated above.They also always loved to listen to the unsurpassed Mahayana, acted upon what they had heardand desired to teach others. They upheld well the untainted moral precepts and prized Mahayana.Already they were well contented within themselves and they made others feel well contentedwho prized Mahayana. They imbibed the unsurpassed Wisdom very well, loved and protectedMahayana. They accorded well with the ways of the world, passed those who had not yet gainedthe Way to the other shore of life, emancipated those not yet emancipated, and protected the seedof the Three Treasures so that it would not die out and so that, in days to come, they could turnthe wheel of Dharma, adorn themselves greatly, deeply taste the pure moral precepts, attainaccomplishment in all such virtues, have a great compassionate heart towards all beings, beingimpartial and not-two, and see all beings just as one views one's own only son.

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