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佛說不增不減經 Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of Neither Increase Nor Decrease  

2017-06-06 18:45:50|  分类: 佛典 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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佛說不增不減經
Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of Neither Increase Nor Decrease

Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Northern Wei Dynasty
by
The Tripi?aka Master Bodhiruci from India

Thus I have heard:
    At one time the Bhagavān was staying on the G?dhrakū?a Mountain, near the city of Rājag?ha, together with 1,250 great bhik?us and a boundless multitude of Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas, in numbers beyond reckoning. In the huge multitude, ?āriputra the Wise rose from his seat, came to the Buddha, and bowed down at His feet. He then stepped back and sat on one side. Joining his palms, he said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, for ages without a beginning, sentient beings have been transmigrating, through the four modes of birth in sa?sāra, along the six life-paths in the Three Realms of Existence, suffering endlessly. World-Honored One, does this mass of sentient beings, or ocean of sentient beings, increase and decrease? I cannot understand this profound meaning. If someone asks me about this, how should I answer?” 
    The World-Honored One told ?āriputra, “Very good! Very good! You can ask me about this profound meaning because you want to bring stability to all sentient beings, to bring peace and joy to all sentient beings, to pity all sentient beings, to help all sentient beings, and to bring comfort and benefits to all sentient beings, such as gods and humans. ?āriputra, if you did not ask the TathāgataArhat, Samyak-Sa?buddha, about this meaning, there would be many faults. Why? Because, in present and future times, gods, humans, and all other sentient beings would long undergo distress and harm, and lose forever all benefits, peace, and joy. 
    “?āriputra, the enormously wrong view means seeing the realm of sentient beings [sattva-dhātu] increase or seeing the realm of sentient beings decrease. ?āriputra, sentient beings who hold this enormously wrong view are born as if without eyes and willfully walk the evil way in the long night. For this reason, they go down the evil life-paths in their current lives. ?āriputra, the enormously perilous tribulation means one’s obstinate adherence to [the wrong view] that the realm of sentient beings increases or decreases. ?āriputra, those who are obstinate in their wrong adherence willfully walk the evil way in the long night. For this reason, they will go down the evil life-paths in their future lives. 
    “?āriputra, foolish ordinary beings do not know the one dharma realm [dharma-dhātu] in accord with true reality.[1] Because they do not see the one dharma realm in accord with true reality, they elicit wrong views in their minds, saying that the realm of sentient beings increases or decreases. ?āriputra, when the Tathāgata is in the world, my disciples will not elicit these wrong views. However, over five hundred years after my entering nirvā?a,[2] there will be many sentient beings who are foolish and senseless. Although they will remove their hair and beards, and don the three Dharma robes to appear as ?rama?as in the Buddha Dharma, they will not have within themselves the virtues of a ?rama?a. Such people are not ?rama?as, but will claim to be ?rama?as. They are not disciples of the Buddha though they will claim to be disciples of the Buddha, saying, ‘I am a ?rama?a, a true disciple of the Buddha.’ 
    “Such people hold the wrong view of increase or decrease. Why? Because these sentient beings follow the Tathāgata’s sūtras of provisional meaning and do not have the wisdom eye; because they are far from the view of emptiness [of dharmas], which is in accord with true reality; because they do not know in accord with true reality what the Tathāgata has realized since His initial resolve [to attain Buddhahood]; because they do not know in accord with true reality how to train in countless virtuous ways and accumulate merit in order to attain bodhi; because they do not know in accord with true reality the innumerable dharmas acquired by the Tathāgata; because they do not know in accord with true reality the Tathāgata’s immeasurable power; because they do not know in accord with true reality the Tathāgata’s immeasurable attainments; because they do not believe in the Tathāgata’s immeasurable action range; because they do not know in accord with true reality the Tathāgata’s inconceivable, immeasurable command of dharmas; because they do not know in accord with true reality the Tathāgata’s countless inconceivable skillful means; because they cannot differentiate in accord with true reality the Tathāgata’s immeasurable, different attainments; because they cannot enter into the Tathāgata’s inconceivable great compassion; because they do not know in accord with true reality the Tathāgata’s great nirvā?a. 
    “?āriputra, foolish ordinary beings do not have the wisdom that comes from hearing the Dharma. When they hear about a Tathāgata’s entering nirvā?a, they take the wrong view of cessation or extinction. Because of their perception of cessation or extinction, they claim that the realm of sentient beings decreases. Their claim constitutes an enormously wrong view and an extremely grave, evil karma
    “Furthermore, ?āriputra, from the wrong view of decrease, these sentient beings derive three more wrong views. These three views and the view of decrease, like a net,[3] are inseparable from each other. What are these three views? They are (1) the view of cessation, which means the ultimate end; (2) the view of extinction, which is equated to nirvā?a; (3) the view that nirvā?a is a void, which means that nirvā?a is the ultimate quiet nothingness. ?āriputra, in this way these three views fetter, hold, and impress [sentient beings]. 
    “From the force of those three views successively arise two more wrong views. These two views and those three views, like a net, are inseparable from each other. What are these two views? One is the view of no desire [to attain nirvā?a], and the other is the view that ultimately there is no nirvā?a. 
    “?āriputra, from the view of no desire arise two more wrong views. These two views and the view of no desire, like a net, are inseparable from each other. What are these two views? One is the view in favor of observing useless precepts [?īla-vrata-parāmar?a],[4] and the other is the inverted view,[5] such as taking impurity as purity. 
    “?āriputra, from the view that ultimately there is no nirvā?a arise six more wrong views. These six views and the view of no nirvā?a, like a net, are inseparable from each other. What are these six views? They are the views that (1) the world has a beginning, (2) the world has an end, (3) sentient beings are created by an illusion, (4) there is neither pain nor pleasure, (5) there are no affairs of sentient beings,[6] and (6) there are no noble truths.[7] 
    “Furthermore, ?āriputra, from the wrong view of increase, these sentient beings elicit two more wrong views. These two views and the view of increase, like a net, are inseparable from each other. What are these two views? One is the view that nirvā?a originates births [of sentient beings], and the other is the view that [sentient beings] suddenly come into existence without causes or conditions. ?āriputra, these two wrong views cause the minds of sentient beings to have no desire and no drive to make energetic progress in doing good dharmas. ?āriputra, because these sentient beings hold these two views, even if seven Buddha-Tathāgatas, Arhats, Samyak-Sa?buddhas, successively appeared in the world to expound the Dharma to them, it would be impossible for them to generate the desire and drive to make energetic progress in doing good dharmas. ?āriputra, these two views—the view that nirvā?a originates births [of sentient beings] and the view that [sentient beings] suddenly come into existence without causes and conditions—are the roots of afflictions arising from ignorance. 
    “?āriputra, these two views are a dharma[8] of extremely evil, enormous fundamental troubles. ?āriputra, from these two views arise all other wrong views. All other wrong views and these two views, like a net, are inseparable from each other. All views include various kinds of views, whether internal or external, whether coarse, fine, or in between. 
    “?āriputra, the two wrong views—the view of increase and the view of decrease—depend on the one realm, identify with the one realm, and unite with the one realm. Because foolish ordinary beings neither know nor see the one realm in accord with true reality, they entertain extremely evil, enormously wrong views in their minds, saying that the realm of sentient beings increases or that the realm of sentient beings decreases.” 
    Then ?āriputra the Wise asked the Buddha, “World-Honored One, what is meant by ‘the one realm,’ which caused You to say, ‘Because foolish ordinary beings neither know nor see the one realm in accord with true reality, they entertain extremely evil, enormously wrong views in their minds, saying that the realm of sentient beings increases or that the realm of sentient beings decreases.’ Very good! World-Honored One, this meaning is too profound for me to comprehend. I pray that the Tathāgata will explain to me, to make me comprehend it.” 
    Then the World-Honored One told ?āriputra the Wise, “This profound meaning is in the realm of a Tathāgata’s wisdom, and in the action range of a Tathāgata’s mind. ?āriputra, even using their wisdom, no voice-hearer or Pratyekabuddha can know, see, or observe such profound meaning. Much less can any foolish ordinary being fathom it. Only the wisdom of Buddha-Tathāgatas can know, see, and observe this meaning. ?āriputra, using their wisdom, all voice-hearers and Pratyekabuddhas can only believe this meaning out of respect, but they cannot know, see, or observe it in accord with true reality. ?āriputra, this profound meaning is the highest truth [paramārtha], and the highest truth is the realm of sentient beings. The realm of sentient beings is the Tathāgata store [tathāgata-garbha], and the Tathāgata store is the dharma body [dharma-kāya].[9] ?āriputra, the dharma body, as I have explained its meaning, is not separate, not detached, not split, and not different from a Tathāgata’s merit and wisdom, nor from the inconceivable Buddha Dharma [with teachings] more numerous than the sands of the Ganges. 
    “?āriputra, as an analogy, a lamp is not separate or detached from its light, color, and touch. As another analogy, a precious jewel is not separate or detached from its luster, color, and shape. ?āriputra, likewise is the dharma body as the Tathāgata has explained its meaning. It is not separate, not detached, not split, and not different from a Tathāgata’s merit and wisdom, nor from the inconceivable Buddha Dharma [with teachings] more numerous than the sands of the Ganges. 
    “?āriputra, the dharma body is a dharma of no birth and no death, neither of the past nor of the future, because it is apart from the two opposites. ?āriputra, it is not of the past because it is apart from the time of birth; it is not of the future because it is apart from the time of death. ?āriputra, a Tathāgata’s dharma body is permanent because it is a dharma of no change and a dharma of no end. ?āriputra, a Tathāgata’s dharma body is eternal because it is an ever-available refuge and because it is equal [in all Buddhas and sentient beings][10] throughout all time. ?āriputra, a Tathāgata’s dharma body is tranquil because it is a dharma free from duality and a dharma free from differentiation. ?āriputra, a Tathāgata’s dharma body never changes because it is a dharma of no destruction and a dharma of no action. 
    “?āriputra, when this dharma body, fettered by endless afflictions more numerous than the sands of the Ganges, for ages without a beginning follows the world, drifts along with [its ocean] waves, and shuttles between birth and death, it is called a sentient being. 
    “?āriputra, when this dharma body, tired of the suffering of repeated birth and death in the world, abandons all desires and pursuits, and trains to attain bodhi by practicing the ten pāramitās and going through the 84,000 Dharma Doors [dharma-paryāya],[11] it is called a Bodhisattva. 
    “Furthermore, ?āriputra, when this dharma body has passed all suffering in the world and left behind the fetters and filth of all one’s afflictions, it reveals its purity and abides in pure dharma nature [dharmatā] on the opposite shore,[12] arriving on the ground that all sentient beings wish for. Because it has achieved the unsurpassed understanding of all states of realization, is free from all hindrances[13] and obstructions, and has acquired the power of freedom in the midst of all dharmas, it is called a Tathāgata, Arhat, Samyak-Sa?buddha. Therefore, ?āriputra, not apart from the realm of sentient beings is the dharma body; not apart from the dharma body is the realm of sentient beings. The realm of sentient beings is the dharma body; the dharma body is the realm of sentient beings. ?āriputra, these two dharmas with different names have the same meaning. 
    “Furthermore, ?āriputra, as I said before, there are three dharmas[14] in the realm of sentient beings. They are true suchness [bhūta-tathātā], with no difference or distinction. What are these three dharmas? They are (1) the Tathāgata store’s pure dharma nature, which is innately coherent [sambaddha] with the Tathāgata store’s original state; (2) one’s afflictions that sheathe one’s Tathāgata store, which are innately incoherent [asambaddha] with one’s Tathāgata store’s original state; (3) the Tathāgata store’s existence, which has the nature of being changeless throughout all time.[15][16] 
    “?āriputra, know that the Tathāgata store’s pure dharma nature being innately coherent with the Tathāgata store’s original state is in accord with true reality and is not false. It is an inconceivable dharma, not separate or detached from the dharma realm of wisdom, purity, and true suchness. Since the origin without a beginning, this pure and coherent dharma nature has always been existent. ?āriputra, in accord with the dharma realm of purity and true suchness, I pronounce to sentient beings this inconceivable dharma of the inherent pure mind [prak?ti-pari?uddha-citta]. 
    “?āriputra, know that the impure dharma of one’s afflictions that sheathe one’s Tathāgata store has always been separate from, detached from, and incoherent with one’s Tathāgata store’s original state. It can be eradicated only by a Tathāgata’s bodhi wisdom [when one becomes a Buddha]. ?āriputra, in accord with this inconceivable dharma realm of incoherent afflictions that sheathe the Tathāgata store, I pronounce to sentient beings this inconceivable dharma of one’s inherent pure mind, tainted by one’s visitor-like afflictions [āgantuka kle?a].[17] 
    “?āriputra, know that the Tathāgata store, whose existence is changeless throughout all time, is the root of all dharmas, provides all dharmas, possesses all dharmas, and is not separate or detached from the true reality of all dharmas. It sustains all dharmas and encompasses all dharmas. ?āriputra, in accord with this permanent, tranquil, and changeless refuge with neither birth nor death, the inconceivable pure dharma realm, I say that it [the dharma realm] is called sentient beings. Why? Because ‘sentient beings’ is a different name for a permanent, tranquil, and changeless refuge with neither birth nor death, and for the inconceivable pure dharma realm. Based on this meaning, in accord with that dharma, I say that it is called sentient beings.[18] 
    “?āriputra, these three dharmas are true suchness, with no difference or distinction. Relying on these three dharmas, which are true suchness, with no difference or distinction, one never elicits the two extremely evil, wrong views. Why not? Because one sees dharmas in accord with true reality. As for the view of increase and the view of decrease, ?āriputra, Buddha-Tathāgatas forever stay far away from these two wrong views. They are denounced by Buddha-Tathāgatas. 
    “?āriputra, if, among bhik?usbhik?u?īsupāsakas, and upāsikās, there are those who hold either or both of these two wrong views, Buddha-Tathāgatas are not their World-Honored Ones. These people are not my disciples. ?āriputra, by holding these two wrong views, they will go from gloom into gloom, from dark into dark. I say that they are called icchantikas. Therefore, ?āriputra, you now should study this teaching to transform sentient beings, enabling them to stay away from these two wrong views and stay on the right path.[19] ?āriputra, you should study other such teachings to stay away from these two wrong views and stay on the right path.”
    After the Buddha pronounced this sūtra, ?āriputra the Wise, bhik?us, bhik?u?īs, upāsakas, and upāsikās, as well as Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas and the eight classes of Dharma protectors—godsdragonsyak?asgandharvasasurasgaru?aski?naras, and mahoragas—together with humans, nonhumans, and all others in the multitude greatly rejoiced. They all believed in and reverently carried out His teachings.

Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of Neither Increase Nor Decrease
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon (T16n0668)


Notes


    1. See “true reality (bhūta-ko?i)” defined in the glossary’s “true suchness.” (Return to text
    2. Attaining nirvā?a means attaining bodhi; entering nirvā?a means entering parinirvā?a. See “parinirvā?a” in the glossary. (Return to text
    3. A net is used in different contexts as different analogies. It is well known that the god-king Indra’s net (Indra-jāla), made of jewels, adorns his palace. In fascicle 2 of text 1484 (in 2 fascicles), the Chinese version of the Sūtra of the Brahma Net, after observing the jeweled nets adorning Brahma-kings’ palaces, the Buddha says that countless worlds are like the eyes of a net (T24n1484, 1003c14–15). Moreover, the Huayan School of China holds that as manifestations of the one mind, all dharmas are like mutual reflections of the jewels of Indra’s net, all reflections reflecting one another, forming endless reflections (Rulu 2014, 19). However, text 1484 should be distinguished from the Brahmajāla-sutta in the Pāli Canon, whose Chinese counterpart is text 21 (T01n0021) in the Chinese Canon. In text 21, the word net (jāla) means dragnet, a snare that catches all wrong views, and the Buddha discusses the sixty-two viewsheld by non-Buddhists and praises the true Dharma (saddharma). Here, net means a dragnet made of wrong views. (Return to text
    4. See “the view in favor of observing useless precepts” in the glossary’s “afflictions.” (Return to text
    5. See “inversion” in the glossary. (Return to text
    6. The affairs of sentient beings are transmigration in the Three Realms of Existence. (Return to text
    7. See Four Noble Truths in the glossary. (Return to text
    8. See “dharma” in the glossary. As the word dharma means “anything” (mental, physical, or event), anything can be labeled as dharma, such as the dharma of drinking, the dharma of a river, and the dharma of a sentient being. Other examples in a later passage are “a dharma of no change and a dharma of no end.” If dharma in certain contexts clearly means doctrine or teachings, it is translated as such or capitalized. (Return to text
    9. See “dharma body” in the glossary’s “three bodies of a Buddha.” (Return to text
    10. The term “equal dharma body” (pingdeng fashen 平等法身) means that all Buddhas and all sentient beings have “the same” dharma body throughout all time. This term appears in many texts. For example, text 962, the Chinese version of the Sūtra of the Dhāra?i of the Jewel Siddhi for Attaining Buddhahood, states that “the one dharma that all sentient beings and all Tathāgatas have is the equal dharma body . . . because things and the principle are equal [the same], like the open sky that always abides in one appearance [the appearance of no appearance], without any differences” (T19n0962, 0335b21–23); text 1666, the earlier of the two Chinese versions of A Treatise on Eliciting Faith in the Mahāyāna, states that “the dharma realm in one appearance is a Tathāgata’s equal dharma body” (T32n1666, 0576b13); text 1924, a Chinese treatise on ?amatha and vipa?yanā, states that “all sentient beings and all Buddhas have the [same] one pure mind, which is the Tathāgata store, the equal dharma body” (T46n1924, 0649a1). (Return to text
    11. Dharma Door (dharma-paryāya) means the teachings of the Buddha. The Sanskrit word paryāya means course, and is translated into Chinese as door because teachings provide an entrance into attaining bodhi. As Dharma Door is the general term for all teachings of the Buddha, 84,000 different Dharma Doors, as a figure of speech, are available to serve the needs of sentient beings of different capacities. (Return to text
    12. The opposite shore is that shore of nirvā?a, opposite this shore of sa?sāra. (Return to text
    13. See “three kinds of hindrances” in the glossary. (Return to text
    14. The three dharmas describe the nature of the Tathāgata store. From The Ratnagotravibhāga Mahāyānottaratantra?āstra [Discerning the jewel nature: A Mahāyāna treatise on higher tantra], a Sanskrit text edited and published by E. H. Johnston (1885–1942) in 1950, Jikido Takasaki 高崎直道 (1926–2013) cites in his book A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Uttaratantra) these three dharmas (Takasaki 2014a, 39): 
          (1) anādisā?nidhya-sa?baddhasvabhāva-?ubhadharmatā; 
          (2) anādisā?nidhyāsa?baddhasvabhāva-kle?ako?atā; 
          (3) aparāntako?isama-dhruvadharmatā-sa?vidya-mānatā. (Return to text
    15. The phrase “throughout all time” is an interpretation of the Sanskrit phrase “at both ends” (aparāntako?i). Takasaki translates this third dharma as “. . . the existence [sa?vidyamānatām] of the Essential Nature [dharmatā] as eternal and the ultimate limit of the world [aparāntako?i-sama], . . . ” (Ibid., 268). (Return to text
    16. The first dharma means that the Tathāgata store is not empty because it is one’s inherent pure mind; the second dharma means that the Tathāgata store is empty because one’s afflictions that sheathe it are empty; the third dharma means that the Tathāgata store is existent and changeless throughout all time. (Return to text
    17. See note 39 in Sūtra 51 on this website. (Return to text
    18. According to fascicle 2 of text 462, the Chinese version of the Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of the Treasure Chest, “the realm of sentient beings, the dharma realm, and the realm of space are the same, without any difference” (T14n0462, c13–14). According to text 470, the Chinese version of the Sūtra of Ma?ju?rī’s Cruise, “true suchness neither increases nor decreases; the dharma realm neither increases nor decreases; the realm of sentient beings neither increases nor decreases” (T14n0470, 0511c5–8). This is also the conclusion of this Sūtra 14. (Return to text
    19. See Eightfold Right Path in the glossary. (Return to text)


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