The Sutra of the Forty-Two Sections & The Sutra of The Sixth Patriarch
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It is unclear whether the scripture existed in Sanskrit in this form, or was a compilation of a series of passages extracted from other canonical works in the manner of the Analects of Confucius. This latter hypothesis also explains the similarity of the repeated "The Buddha said Furthermore, scholars are also uncertain if the work was first compiled in India, Central Asia, or China.
The Shunzhi Emperor , who is unwilling to let out the secret, spread rumours about it being the source of life of the invading Manchus. The protagonist, Wei Xiaobao , manages to get hold of all the eight books at the end of the novel. It has also played a role in the spread of Buddhism to the West. Shaku Soen , the first Japanese Zen master to teach in the West, gave a series of lectures based on this sutra in a tour of America in John Blofeld, included a translation of this scripture in a series begun in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: The Deer and the Cauldron.
Zen for Americans. It contains the well-known story of the contest for the succession of Hongren enlightenment by the non-abiding , and discourses and dialogues attributed to Huineng. The text attributes its recollection to Fa-hai, but was probably written within the so-called Oxhead School, which existed along with the East Mountain School and Shenhui's Southern School. The text attempts to reconcile the so-called Northern School with its alleged gradual enlightenment teachings, and the so-called Southern School with its alleged sudden enlightenment teachings.
In effect, the text incorporates the "rhetorical purity" which originated with Shenhui's attack on Shenxiu , while effectively "writing him out of the story".
The Platform Sutra underwent various redactions. The early development of the Platform Sutra is shrouded in the mists of time, and we will probably never know much for certain about it. The Dunhuang version of the text, the earliest complete edition we have, is almost certainly a product of a long evolution with elements coming together from several different Chan groups with different agendas, as the uneven character of the text and its internal inconsistencies attest.
Two copies dated to between and have been found in the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang. Both are thought to be based on an edition from about The finds at Dunhuang have been very important for the historical understanding of Zen:. Scholarship on early Chan was transformed after the discovery in the beginning of the twentieth century of a number of texts relating to the early Chan movement in the cave library at Dunhuang, which also contained an early version of the Platform Sutra.
This canonical version, apparently based on the Qisong edition, is about a third longer than the Mogao Caves version, and structured differently. At the heart of the sermon is the same understanding of the Buddha-nature that we have seen in texts attributed to Bodhidharma and Hongren, including the idea that the fundamental Buddha-nature is only made invisible to ordinary humans by their illusions". Chapter One contains the well-known story of the contest for the succession of Hongren.
It is an essential part of the Traditional Zen Narrative. The story is not a factual account, but an 8th-century construction, probably by the so-called Oxhead School. Be always diligent in rubbing it— Do not let it attract any dust. Huineng: Bodhi is fundamentally without any tree; The bright mirror is also not a stand. Fundamentally there is not a single thing— Where could any dust be attracted? According to the traditional interpretation, which is based on Guifeng Zongmi , the fifth-generation successor of Shenhui, the two verses represent respectively the gradual and the sudden approach.
According to McRae, this is an incorrect understanding:. Huineng's verse s apply the rhetoric of emptiness to undercut the substantiality of the terms of that formulation.
However, the basic meaning of the first proposition still remains". McRae notes a similarity in reasoning with the Oxhead School, which used a threefold structure of "absolute, relative and middle", or "thesis-antithesis-synthesis". Forceaux "Lalita Vist. We may therefore take for granted that this Sutra of Forty-two Sections, or Divisions, is the first work on the subject translated into Chinese. This is, indeed, no proof of the absolute age of the work itself, nor of its authenticity; yet, from internal evidence it would seem to be of an earlier date, and not the Sutras known as those of the "Great Vehicle" Mahayana.
Its style is simple, its object to enforce the moral precepts of the Buddhist religion, its method natural and uniform. Yet, as there is no evidence that this work is known in the. On the whole, considering that it was brought to China A. At this time, the world-honoured one having perfected reason, considered thus in his mind"The banishment of lust or desire , resulting in a state of perfect rest and quietness, this is the very first and most excellent standing ground, the great means of subduing all the wiles of Mara or of overcoming all the followers of Mara or the way of Mara.
Ajuata Kanudenya, vid. It was then that those Bikshus who had any doubts as to what had been spoken, requested Buddha to confirm their faith and confidence in his doctrine; on which the world-honoured one proceeded to instruct and answer them, opening their understanding on every point, as each one stood, with closed hands, in a reverent posture, attentively listening to, and receiving the instruction of their master.
Sutras primarily associated with Buddhism
At this time the world-honoured one spoke this exact Sutra, containing forty-two sections. Such an one, ever practising the rules viz. Buddha said: The Rahat is able to fly, change his appearance, fix the years of his life, shake heaven and earth. Sowan , in which, after seven births and deaths more, a man may obtain the state of a Rahat. These are they who have entirely cut off their passions of love and desire, which like severed branches of the tree are now useless and dead.
Buddha said: The Shaman, who has left his family, separated himself from lust, banished his sensual affections, examined the true source of his individual mind, searched out the hidden wisdom of Buddha, understood the unselfish nature of the Buddhist religion, who finds nothing within to obtain, or without to seek after, whose heart is not too much attached to the pursuit of reason or the accomplishment of the paths , nor yet involved in the web of Karma i.
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Buddha said: He who shaves his head and beard in order to become a Shaman and receive the law of Buddha, must forego all worldly wealth, and beg a sufficiency of food for his support, eating one meal in the middle of the day, and occupying one abode beneath a tree, and desire nothing more! That which causes a man to become foolish and blind, is nothing more than lust and desire!
The Sutra of Forty Two Sections
Buddha said: Living creatures by ten things attain virtue, p. There are three pertaining to the body, four to the mouth, three to the thoughts; the three pertaining to the body are the slaughter of living creatures, theft, lust; the four belonging to the mouth are double-tongueness, slandering, lying, hypocrisy or glozy conversation ; the three evils of the thought are envy, anger, and wandering thoughts chi. Disbelief in the three precious ones is the true source of all this evil.
But the yan-po-sat upasamandi who observes the five rules untiringly, and advances to the ten, he must obtain reason. Buddha said: A man guilty of many crimes, not repenting himself, does but confirm the sinful principle within his heart, and necessitate his return to the world in a bodily form, just as the water returns to the sea. But when he has personally fulfilled, as far as possible in his circumstances, the destruction and relinquishment of evil, understanding the character of sin, avoiding crime, doing what is right,--this man, the power of guilt destroyed, may obtain reason.
Buddha said: A man foolishly stating or considering that I do that which is not right, will obtain no other refutation from me but that which proceeds from the exercise of my four qualities of love? A foolish man once hearing Buddha explaining this doctrine came and blamed him on account of it.
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Buddha was silent and answered not, pitying the folly of the man which caused him to act thus. At length, when he ceased, Buddha asked, saying, When one man an inferior visits another as a matter of politeness, and finds him away from home, what is the expression used to him who pays the visit? They say "chi kwai. They say 'keep--return' i. For as sound belongs to the drum, and shadow to the substance, so does misery attach itself to the evil doer.
Buddha said: A wicked man who abuses the good one, is like one looking upwards and spitting against heaven; his spittle does not soil the heavens, but returns on himself.
City of 10, Buddhas - Buddhist Text Translation Society
Or, when the p. You cannot injure the good man, the misery will devolve on yourself. Buddha said: A man who distributes alms from a principle of private affection or violent pity, has not much merit; but he who bestows alms with no private end, but from fealty to the principle of supreme reason, his merit is great indeed! So he who beholds another engaged in almsgiving, and from a principle of reason approves of what he does, and rejoices at it, this man shall also share in the merit of the action itself.
It may be asked if the merit of the first is hereby decreased? Buddha in answer to this says, Like as many men lighting a fire for cooking rice from one torch, diminish not the light of that one, so is it in this case of merit. The merit of feeding virtuous men is much greater indeed than the matters which occupy the attention of mere worldly wise men; and the matters of heaven and earth, spirits and demons, are not equal in point of importance to the reverence due to parents; our parents are indeed the most divine of all the gods.
Buddha said: There are twenty difficult things in the world, viz. There was a Shaman who asked Buddha "By what influences is supreme reason engendered, and what are its characteristics? If you desire to possess it, guard well your mind or active powers of will and conduct. It may be compared to the polishing of a mirror; the dust and dirt disappearing, the brightness of the mirror is at once produced; so it embraces in itself, as it were, the power of beholding that which has form; so separate yourself from lust, guard well the passionless empty nature of your mind, then you will perceive reason and understand its characteristics.
Buddha said: What is active virtue but to practise the dictates of reason? What is morality or virtue , but the highest agreement of the will with the requirements of reason? What is magnanimity, but the untiring exercise of patience under injury? He who bravely bears injury undeserved is a man indeed!