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文殊師利所說摩訶般若波羅蜜經
Sūtra of Mahā-Praj˝ā-Pāramitā Pronounced by Ma˝juśrī Bodhisattva

Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Southern Liang Dynasty
by
The Tripiṭaka Master Mandra from Funan

Fascicle 1 (of 2)

Thus I have heard:
At one time the Buddha was staying in the Anāthapiṇḍika Garden of Jetavana Park in the city kingdom of Śrāvastī, together with 1,000 great bhikṣus and 10,000 Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas. These great Bodhisattvas are all majestically adorned [with merit and wisdom] and standing on the Ground of No Regress. Among them were Maitreya Bodhisattva, Ma˝juśrī Bodhisattva, Unimpeded Eloquence Bodhisattva, and Never Abandoning the Mission Bodhisattva.
Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva Ma˝juśrī the Youth came at dawn from his place to the place where the Buddha was and stood outside. Then great voice-hearers, such as the venerable Śāriputra, Pūrṇa-Maitrāyaṇīputra, Mahāmaudgalyāyana, Mahākāśyapa, Mahākātyāyana, and Mahākauṣṭhila, also came from their respective places to the place where the Buddha was and stood outside.
The Buddha knew that the assembly had convened. The Tathāgata came out of His dwelling, arranged His seat, and sat down. He asked Śāriputra, "Why are you standing outside this morning?"
Śāriputra replied to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, Bodhisattva Ma˝juśrī the Youth arrived first and stood outside the door. I actually arrived later."
Then the World-Honored One asked Ma˝juśrī, "You were the first to arrive here. Did you wish to see the Tathāgata?"
Ma˝juśrī replied to the Buddha, "Indeed, World-Honored One, I did come here to see the Tathāgata. Why? Because I delight in making the right observation to benefit sentient beings. I observe the Tathāgata by the appearances of true suchness: never changing, never moving, never acting, with neither birth nor death, neither existent nor nonexistent, neither somewhere nor nowhere, neither in the past, present, or future, nor not in the past, present, or future, neither dual nor non-dual, neither pure nor impure. Through appearances such as these, I correctly observe the Tathāgata to benefit sentient beings."
The Buddha told Ma˝juśrī, "If one can see the Tathāgata as such, one's mind will neither grasp nor not grasp, neither accumulate nor not accumulate."
Śāriputra said to Ma˝juśrī, "It is rare for anyone to see the Tathāgata in the way you describe. As you observe the Tathāgata for the sake of all sentient beings, your mind does not grasp the appearances of sentient beings. As you teach all sentient beings to head for nirvāṇa, [your mind] does not grasp the appearance of nirvāṇa. As you manifest such great majesty for all sentient beings, your mind does not see the appearance of majesty."
Then Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva Ma˝juśrī the Youth said to Śāriputra, "Indeed, indeed, it is just as you say. Although I activate the mind of great majesty for all sentient beings, I never see the appearances of sentient beings. Although I am adorned with great majesty for all sentient beings, their realm neither increases nor decreases. Suppose a Buddha stays in a world for a kalpa or over a kalpa. Although each world has only one Buddha, there are as many Buddhas as the innumerable, boundless sands of the Ganges. Suppose they all pronounce the Dharma day and night for a kalpa or over a kalpa, never resting their minds. Suppose each of them delivers as many sentient beings as the innumerable sands of the Ganges, enabling them to enter nirvāṇa. Yet the realm of sentient beings neither increases nor decreases. This applies to all Buddha Lands in the ten directions. All Buddhas pronounce the Dharma to teach and transform sentient beings, each delivering as many sentient beings as the innumerable sands of the Ganges, enabling them to enter nirvāṇa. Yet the realm of sentient beings neither increases nor decreases. Why not? Because the definite appearances of sentient beings can never be captured. Hence, the realm of sentient beings neither increases nor decreases."
Śāriputra then asked Ma˝juśrī, "Given that the realm of sentient beings neither increases nor decreases, why do Bodhisattvas always pronounce the Dharma to sentient beings, as they seek anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "Because the appearances of sentient beings are empty, there are neither Bodhisattvas seeking anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi nor sentient beings to whom they pronounce the Dharma. Why not? Because I say that, in all dharmas, not a single dharma can be captured."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "If sentient beings do not truly exist, why do you speak of sentient beings and their realm?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "The appearance of the realm of sentient beings is just like that of the realm of Buddhas."
"Is there a measure for the realm of sentient beings?"
"The measure for the realm of sentient beings is just like that for the realm of Buddhas," he replied.
The Buddha next asked, "Is there a place for the measure of the realm of sentient beings?"
He replied, "The measure of the realm of sentient beings is inconceivable."
The Buddha next asked, "Does the appearance of the realm of sentient beings abide [in something]?"
He replied, "Open sky does not abide, nor do sentient beings."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "If one practices praj˝ā-pāramitā in this way, how does one abide in praj˝ā-pāramitā?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "Not abiding in dharmas is abiding in praj˝ā-pāramitā."
The Buddha next asked Ma˝juśrī, "Why is not abiding in dharmas called abiding in praj˝ā-pāramitā?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "Not abiding in appearances is abiding in praj˝ā-pāramitā."
The Buddha next asked Ma˝juśrī, "As one abides in praj˝ā-pāramitā in this way, do one's roots of goodness increase or decrease?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "As one abides in praj˝ā-pāramitā in this way, one's roots of goodness neither increase nor decrease, all dharmas neither increase nor decrease, and the nature and appearance of praj˝ā-pāramitā neither increase nor decrease. World-Honored One, practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā in this way, one neither abandons the dharma of ordinary beings nor grasps the dharma of sages and holy beings. Why not? Because as one practices praj˝ā-pāramitā, one does not see any dharma that can be grasped or abandoned. Moreover, practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā in this way, one sees neither saṁsāra to dislike nor nirvāṇa to like. Why not? Because one does not even see saṁsāra, much less dislike it, and because one does not even see nirvāṇa, much less like it. Practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā in this way, one sees neither afflictions to abandon nor merits to grasp. One's mind neither increases nor decreases with respect to all dharmas. Why not? Because one sees neither increase nor decrease in the dharma realm. World-Honored One, training in this way is called practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā.
"World-Honored One, seeing neither birth nor death of dharmas is practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā. World-Honored One, seeing neither increase nor decrease of dharmas is practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā. World-Honored One, wishing for nothing and seeing no dharma appearance to seek are practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā.
"World-Honored One, one sees nothing beautiful or ugly, high or low, to grasp or abandon. Why? Dharmas are neither beautiful nor ugly because they are free from appearances. Dharmas are neither high nor low because they are equal in dharma nature. Dharmas are beyond being grasped or abandoned because they abide in true reality. This is the way to practice praj˝ā-pāramitā."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "Is the Buddha Dharma not superb?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "I do not see any superb appearance in dharmas. It can be verified, as through the Tathāgata's self-realization, that all dharmas are empty."
The Buddha told Ma˝juśrī, "Indeed! Indeed! The Tathāgata has attained the perfect enlightenment through self-realization of the emptiness of dharmas."
Ma˝juśrī responded to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, in the dharma of emptiness, is there superbness that can be captured?"
The Buddha praised, "Very good! Very good! Ma˝juśrī, what you say is the true Dharma!"
The Buddha next asked Ma˝juśrī, "Is anuttara called the Buddha Dharma?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "As the Buddha says, anuttara is called the Buddha Dharma. Why? Because that no dharma can be captured is called anuttara."
Ma˝juśrī continued, "Whoever practices praj˝ā-pāramitā in this way is not called a Dharma vessel [which is intended to capture things]. Not seeing dharmas that can transform ordinary beings, not seeing the Buddha Dharma, and not seeing enhancing dharmas, are practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā. Furthermore, World-Honored One, while practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā, one does not see any dharma that can be differentiated or contemplated."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "Do you not contemplate the Buddha Dharma?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "No, World-Honored One, in my contemplation, I do not see the Buddha Dharma. Nor do I differentiate dharmas into ordinary beings, voice-hearers, and Pratyekabuddhas. Hence it is called the unsurpassed Buddha Dharma. Moreover, seeing neither the appearances of ordinary beings nor the appearances of the Buddha Dharma, nor the definite appearances of dharmas, is practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā. While practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā, one does not see the desire realm, the form realm, the formless realm, or the nirvāṇa realm. Why not? Because not seeing dharmas with the appearance of extinction is practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā. Seeing neither the one giving kindness nor the other requiting kindness is practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā. Contemplating the appearances of subject and object without differentiation is practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā. Seeing neither the Buddha Dharma to grasp nor the dharma of ordinary beings to abandon is practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā. Seeing neither the dharma of ordinary beings to end nor the Buddha Dharma to grasp, yet still coming to know it in one's mind, is practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā."
The Buddha praised Ma˝juśrī, "Very good! Very good! You can describe so well the appearances of the profound praj˝ā-pāramitā, which is the Dharma Seal that Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas are learning. Even voice-hearers, of whom some are still learning and others have nothing more to learn, and Pratyekabuddhas should train for their bodhi fruit without separating from this Dharma Seal."
The Buddha told Ma˝juśrī, "If those who have heard this Dharma are not shocked or terrified, they must have already planted their roots of goodness not just under thousands of Buddhas, but even under billions of koṭis of Buddhas. Then they are able not to be shocked or terrified by this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā."
Ma˝juśrī said to the Buddha, "I now will further explain the meaning of praj˝ā-pāramitā."
The Buddha said, "Speak, then."
[Ma˝juśrī said] "World-Honored One, while practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā, one should not see whether one should abide in a dharma, nor should one see whether an object has an appearance that can be grasped or abandoned. Why not? Because Tathāgatas do not see dharmas as appearances of objects. They do not even see the states of Buddhas, not to mention the states of voice-hearers, Pratyekabuddhas, or ordinary beings. One should not grasp appearances, whether conceivable or inconceivable. By not seeing various dharma appearances, one will realize, on one's own, the inconceivable dharma of emptiness. All Bodhisattvas who train in this way must have made offerings to innumerable billions of koṭis of Buddhas, under whom [they must have] planted their roots of goodness. Consequently, they are able not to be shocked or terrified by this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā. Moreover, as one practices praj˝ā-pāramitā, seeing neither bondage nor liberation, nor distinctions among ordinary beings or even among the Three Vehicles, is practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "To how many Buddhas have you made offerings?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "Buddhas and I have illusory appearances, which are neither recipients nor givers."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "Can you not now abide in the Buddha Vehicle?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "I do not see a single dharma in my contemplation. How should I abide in the Buddha Vehicle?"
The Buddha asked, "Ma˝juśrī, have you not acquired the Buddha Vehicle?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "The Buddha Vehicle is only a name, which can be neither captured nor seen. How can I acquire it?"
The Buddha asked, "Ma˝juśrī, have you acquired the unimpeded wisdom-knowledge?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "I am the unimpeded. How can the unimpeded acquire the unimpeded?"
The Buddha asked, "Do you sit in a bodhimaṇḍa?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "None of the Tathāgatas sits in a bodhimaṇḍa. How should I alone sit in a bodhimaṇḍa? I presently see that dharmas abide in true reality."
The Buddha asked, "What is called true reality?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "The view that one has a self1 is true reality."
The Buddha asked, "Why is the view that one has a self true reality?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "Taking this view as an appearance of true suchness, which is neither real nor unreal, neither coming nor going, with neither a self nor no self, is called true reality."
Śāriputra said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, those who can come to a definite understanding of this meaning are called Bodhisattvas. Why? Because they have learned the appearances of this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā, and their minds are not shocked, not terrified, not baffled, and not regretful."
Maitreya Bodhisattva said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, those who have learned all the dharma appearances of praj˝ā-pāramitā are near a Buddha's seat. Why? Because Tathāgatas are presently aware of these dharma appearances."
Ma˝juśrī Bodhisattva said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, if those who have heard this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā can be not shocked, not terrified, not baffled, and not regretful, we should know that they in effect see Buddhas."
Then the upāsikā No Appearance said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, dharmas, such as ordinary beings, voice-hearers, Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas, have no appearances. Therefore, upon hearing praj˝ā-pāramitā, we are not astonished, not terrified, not baffled, and not regretful. Why not? Because dharmas have never had any appearances."
The Buddha told Śāriputra, "If good men and good women, having heard this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā, can come to resoluteness in their minds, not shocked, not terrified, not baffled, and not regretful, know that they stand on the Ground of No Regress. If those who have heard this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā are not shocked, not terrified, not baffled, and not regretful, but believe, accept, appreciate, and listen tirelessly, they have in effect achieved dāna-pāramitā, śīla-pāramitā, kṣānti-pāramitā, vīrya-pāramitā, dhyāna-pāramitā, and praj˝ā-pāramitā. Moreover, they can reveal and explicate [the teachings] to others and can have them train accordingly."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "In your opinion, what is meant by attaining anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi and by abiding in anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "I have no anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi to attain, nor do I abide in the Buddha Vehicle. Then how should I attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi? What I describe is only the appearance of bodhi."
The Buddha praised Ma˝juśrī, "Very good! Very good! You have so skillfully explained the meaning of this profound Dharma. You have long planted your roots of goodness under past Buddhas, training with purity in the Brahma way of life according to the dharma of no appearance."
Ma˝juśrī replied, "If one sees appearances, then one can speak of no appearance. I now see neither appearance nor no appearance. How can I be said to train in the Brahma way of life according to the dharma of no appearance?"
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "Do you see voice-hearer precepts?"
"Yes, I see them."
The Buddha asked, "How do you see them?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "I do not hold the view of ordinary beings, the view of holy beings, the view of those who are still learning, or the view of those who have nothing more to learn. Nor do I hold the great view, the small view, the view to overcome, or the view not to overcome. I hold neither a view nor its opposite view."
Śāriputra said to Ma˝juśrī, "This is how you view the Voice-Hearer Vehicle. How do you view the Buddha Vehicle?"
Ma˝juśrī said, "I do not see the dharma of bodhi. Nor do I see anyone training for bodhi or attaining bodhi."
Śāriputra asked Ma˝juśrī, "What is called Buddha? How does one observe a Buddha?"
Ma˝juśrī asked, "What is self?"
Śāriputra replied, "Self is only a name, and the appearance of a name is empty."
Ma˝juśrī said, "Indeed! Indeed! Just as self is only a name, so too Buddha is only a name. Realizing the emptiness of a name is bodhi. One should seek bodhi without using names. The appearance of bodhi is free from words. Why? Because words and bodhi are both empty.
"Furthermore, Śāriputra, you ask me what is called Buddha and how one should observe a Buddha. That which has neither birth nor death, neither names nor appearances, and is neither coming nor going, is called Buddha. As one observes the true reality of one's own body, in the same way one observes a Buddha. Only the wise can understand that this is called observing a Buddha."
Then Śāriputra said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, praj˝ā-pāramitā as pronounced by Ma˝juśrī is not understandable or knowable to novice Bodhisattvas."
Ma˝juśrī said, "Not only novice Bodhisattvas cannot know it, but even riders of the Two Vehicles who have accomplished their undertaking [for Arhatship or Pratyekabuddhahood] cannot understand or know it. No one can know the Dharma expounded in this way. Why not? Because the appearance of bodhi cannot be known through such dharmas as seeing, hearing, capturing, thinking, speaking, or listening. Bodhi is empty and silent in nature and appearance, with no birth, no death, no attaining, no knowing, no shape, and no form. How can there be an attainer of bodhi?"
Śāriputra asked Ma˝juśrī, "Has not the Buddha, in the dharma realm, attained anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "No, Śāriputra. Why not? Because the World-Honored One is the dharma realm. Verifying the dharma realm by means of the dharma realm would be a contradiction. Śāriputra, the appearance of the dharma realm is bodhi. Why? Because in the dharma realm sentient beings have no appearances, as all dharmas are empty. The emptiness of all dharmas is bodhi, which is non-dual and free from differentiation. Śāriputra, without differentiation, there is no knower. Without a knower, there are no words. Without words, there is neither existence nor nonexistence, neither knowing nor not knowing. This is true for all dharmas. Why? Because dharmas cannot be identified by places, which imply a definite nature. For example, the sinful appearance of the [five] rebellious acts is inconceivable. Why? Because the true reality of dharmas is indestructible. Thus, the sin of committing a rebellious act has no self-essence. True reality neither is reborn in heaven nor falls into hell, nor does it enter nirvāṇa. Why not? Because all karmic conditions abide in true reality, which is neither coming nor going, neither cause nor effect. Why? Because the dharma realm has no edge, neither front nor back. Therefore, Śāriputra, [in true reality] pure spiritual trainees do not enter nirvāṇa, and bhikṣus with grave sins do not fall into hell. They are neither worthy nor unworthy of offerings, neither ending nor not ending their afflictions. Why not? Because [in emptiness] all dharmas abide in equality."
Śāriputra asked, "What is called the unwavering Endurance in the Realization of the No Birth of Dharmas?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "Not seeing the appearance of birth or death in even a speck of dharma is called the unwavering Endurance in the Realization of the No Birth of Dharmas."
Śāriputra asked, "Who is called a bhikṣu who does not overcome?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "An Arhat, who has no more afflictions to discharge, is the one who does not overcome. Why? Because, having eradicated all of his afflictions, an Arhat has nothing to overcome. Those who take fallible mental actions are called ordinary beings. Why? Because ordinary beings do not act in accord with the dharma realm and are therefore called the fallible ones."
Śāriputra said, "Very good! Very good! You now have well explained to me the meaning of an Arhat, who has ended his afflictions and the discharges thereof."
Ma˝juśrī said, "Indeed! Indeed! I am a true Arhat, who has ended his afflictions. Why? Because I have crushed the desire for the Voice-Hearer Vehicle and the desire for the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle. For this reason, I am called an Arhat, who has ended his afflictions."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "When a Bodhisattva sits in a bodhimaṇḍa, does he attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "When a Bodhisattva sits in a bodhimaṇḍa, he does not attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Why not? Because the appearance of bodhi is true suchness. Not finding a speck of dharma to capture is called anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Because bodhi has no appearance, who can sit and who can rise? For this reason, I see neither a Bodhisattva sitting in a bodhimaṇḍa nor anyone realizing anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi."
Ma˝juśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, bodhi is the five rebellious acts, and the five rebellious acts are bodhi. Why? Because bodhi and the five rebellious acts are free from duality. Hence there is neither learning nor learner, neither perceiving nor perceiver, neither knowing nor knower, neither differentiating nor differentiator. Such appearances are called bodhi. In the same way one should view the appearances of the five rebellious acts. If there are those who say that they see bodhi and have attained it, we should know that they are the ones with exceeding arrogance."
The World-Honored One asked Ma˝juśrī, "Would you say that I am the Thus-Come One, and address me as the Tathāgata?"
Ma˝juśrī responded, "No, World-Honored One, I would not say that [the name] Tathāgata is the Thus-Come One. Suchness does not have an appearance that can be called suchness. Nor is there Tathāgata wisdom that can know suchness. Why not? Because the Tathāgata and His wisdom are free from duality. Because emptiness is Tathāgata, which is only a name, what should I say is the Tathāgata?"
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "Do you doubt the Tathāgata?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "No, World-Honored One, I have no doubt because, in my observation, the Tathāgata, with neither birth nor death, does not have a definite nature."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "Would you say that the Tathāgata has appeared in the world?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "If the Tathāgata appeared in the world, the entire dharma realm would also appear."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "Would you say that Buddhas as numerous as the sands of the Ganges have entered parinirvāṇa?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "Buddhas have the one appearance, the inconceivable appearance."
The Buddha agreed with Ma˝juśrī, "Indeed! Indeed! Buddhas have the one appearance, the inconceivable appearance."
Ma˝juśrī asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, is the Buddha now staying in this world?"
The Buddha answered Ma˝juśrī, "Indeed! Indeed!"
Ma˝juśrī said, "If the Buddha were staying in this world, then Buddhas as numerous as the sands of the Ganges would also stay in their worlds. Why? Because all Buddhas have the same one appearance, the inconceivable appearance. The inconceivable appearance has neither birth nor death. If future Buddhas were to appear in their worlds, then all Buddhas [of the past, present, and future] would also appear in their worlds. Why? Because in what is inconceivable, there is no appearance of past, future, or present. However, sentient beings are attached to their perceptions, and they say that there are Buddhas who appear in the world and Buddhas who enter nirvāṇa."
The Buddha told Ma˝juśrī, "This is the understanding of Tathāgatas, Arhats, and Bodhisattvas at the level of avinivartanīya. Why? Because these three types of beings, having heard the profound Dharma, are able neither to criticize nor to praise it."
Ma˝juśrī agreed with the Buddha, "World-Honored One, who could criticize and who could praise the inconceivable Dharma?"
The Buddha told Ma˝juśrī, "Tathāgatas are inconceivable, and ordinary beings are inconceivable as well."
Ma˝juśrī asked the Buddha, "Are ordinary beings also inconceivable?"
The Buddha replied, "They too are inconceivable. Why? Because all mental appearances are inconceivable."
Ma˝juśrī said, "If you say that Tathāgatas are inconceivable and that ordinary beings are also inconceivable, then innumerable Buddhas are just fatiguing themselves seeking nirvāṇa. Why? Because inconceivable dharmas are nirvāṇa and therefore have no differences."
Ma˝juśrī said, "Such inconceivability of ordinary beings and Buddhas can be understood only by good men and good women who have long developed roots of goodness and stayed near beneficent learned friends."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "Do you want the Tathāgata to be the superb one among sentient beings?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "I want the Tathāgata to be the foremost one among sentient beings. However, sentient beings' appearances cannot be captured"
The Buddha asked, "Do you want the Tathāgata to acquire the inconceivable Dharma?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "I want the Tathāgata to acquire the inconceivable Dharma without constructing anything."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "Do you want the Tathāgata to expound the Dharma and to teach and transform sentient beings?"
Ma˝juśrī replied to the Buddha, "I want the Tathāgata to expound the Dharma and to teach and transform sentient beings. Yet neither the speaker nor the listener can be captured. Why not? Because they abide in the dharma realm. Sentient beings in the dharma realm have no differentiated appearances."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "Do you want the Tathāgata to be the unexcelled fortune field?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "The Tathāgata, with the appearance of endlessness, is the endless fortune field. The appearance of endlessness is the unexcelled fortune field. Because [the Tathāgata] is neither a fortune field nor not a fortune field, He is called the fortune field. Because He has no appearances, such as light or dark, birth or death, He is called the fortune field. If one can understand the appearances of the fortune field in this way, the seeds of goodness one plants deeply will neither increase nor decrease."
The Buddha asked Ma˝juśrī, "Why do the planted seeds neither increase nor decrease?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "The appearances of the fortune field are inconceivable. Cultivating goodness in the field in accordance with the Dharma is also inconceivable. Planting seeds in this way is called no increase and no decrease, and it is also the unexcelled, superb fortune field."
Then, by virtue of the Buddha's spiritual power, the great earth quaked in six different ways, manifesting the appearances of impermanence. Sixteen thousand people achieved the Endurance in the Realization of the No Birth of Dharmas. Moreover, 700 bhikṣus, 3,000 upāsakas, 40,000 upāsikās, and 60 koṭi nayuta gods of the six desire heavens, in the midst of dharmas, shunned dust and filth [their afflictions], and acquired the pure dharma-eye.


Fascicle 2 (of 2)

At that time Ānanda rose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, and knelt on his right knee. He asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, why did this great earth quake in six different ways?"
The Buddha answered Ānanda, "It displayed this auspicious sign because I said that the fortune field had no differentiated appearances. When past Buddhas pronounced in this place the appearances of the fortune field to benefit sentient beings, the entire world also quaked in six different ways."
Śāriputra said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, Ma˝juśrī is inconceivable. Why? Because the dharma appearances he has explained are inconceivable."
The Buddha praised Ma˝juśrī, "Indeed! Indeed! Just as Śāriputra says, what you have said is truly inconceivable."
Ma˝juśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, the inconceivable is ineffable, and the conceivable is also ineffable. Conceivable and inconceivable natures are both ineffable. All appearances of sound are neither conceivable nor inconceivable."
The Buddha asked, "You have entered the inconceivable samādhi?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "No, World-Honored One, I am the inconceivable. Not seeing a mind that can conceive, how can I be said to enter the inconceivable samādhi? When I first activated the bodhi mind, I resolved to enter this samādhi. Now I think that I have entered this samādhi without any mental appearances. To learn archery, a student has to practice for a long time to acquire the skill. Because of his longtime practice, he now shoots without using his mind, and all his arrows hit the target. I have trained in the same way. When I started learning the inconceivable samādhi, I had to focus my mind on one object. After practicing for a long time, I have come to accomplishment. I now am constantly in this samādhi without thinking."
Śāriputra asked Ma˝juśrī, "Is there a silent samādhi that is more wonderful?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "If there were actually an inconceivable samādhi, you could then ask for a silent samādhi. According to my understanding, even the inconceivable samādhi cannot be captured, so how can you ask for a silent samādhi?"
Śāriputra asked, "The inconceivable samādhi cannot be attained?"
Ma˝juśrī replied, "The conceivable samādhi has an appearance that can be captured while the inconceivable samādhi has no appearance to be captured. All sentient beings have attained the inconceivable samādhi. Why? Because all mental appearances are not the [true] mind. Therefore, the [mental] appearances of all sentient beings and the appearance of the inconceivable samādhi are the same, not different."
The Buddha praised Ma˝juśrī, "Very good! Very good! You have long planted your roots of goodness under Buddhas and trained with purity in the Brahma way of life. So you are able to expound such a profound samādhi. Are you now settled in praj˝ā-pāramitā?"
Ma˝juśrī said, "If I could say that I abide in praj˝ā-pāramitā, this would be a perception founded on the view that one has a self. Abiding in a perception founded on the view that one has a self means that praj˝ā-pāramitā has a place. That I do not abide in praj˝ā-pāramitā is also [a perception] founded on the view that one has a self, and is a place as well. Free from these two places [subject and object], I abide in not abiding, like Buddhas abiding in the inconceivable state of peace and silence. Such an inconceivable state is called the dwelling of praj˝ā-pāramitā. In the dwelling of praj˝ā-pāramitā, all dharmas have neither appearance nor act.
"Praj˝ā-pāramitā is inconceivable. The inconceivable state is the dharma realm, which has no appearance. Having no appearance is the inconceivable state; the inconceivable state is praj˝ā-pāramitā. Praj˝ā-pāramitā and the dharma realm are the same, not distinct. Having neither differentiation nor appearance is the dharma realm; the dharma realm is the realm of praj˝ā-pāramitā. The realm of praj˝ā-pāramitā is the inconceivable state; the inconceivable state is the realm of no birth and no death."
Ma˝juśrī continued, "The realm of a Tathāgata and the realm of a self are the appearance of non-duality. Those who practice praj˝ā-pāramitā in this way do not seek bodhi. Why not? Because bodhi, which is free from appearances, is praj˝ā-pāramitā.
"World-Honored One, to know the appearances of a self means not to be captivated by it. Not knowing and not being captivated by anything is what Buddhas know. The inconceivable [state of] not knowing and not being captivated by anything is what Buddhas know. Why? They know that the true nature of everything has no appearance. Then what drives the dharma realm? What in its true nature has neither self-essence nor attachment is called no thing2 and is free from place, dependency, and fixity. Freedom from place, dependency, and fixity means having neither birth nor death. Having neither birth nor death is the virtue of any saṁskṛta or asaṁskṛta dharma. With this knowledge, one will not elicit perception. Without perception, how can one know the virtue of any saṁskṛta or asaṁskṛta dharma? Not knowing3 is the inconceivable state. The inconceivable state is what Buddhas know, such as neither grasping nor not grasping, seeing neither the appearance of past, present, or future, nor the appearance of coming or going, and grasping neither birth nor death, neither cessation nor perpetuity, neither arising nor acting. This knowledge is called the true wisdom-knowledge, the inconceivable wisdom-knowledge. Like the open sky, with neither appearances nor features, in unequaled equality, it makes no comparison, neither this against that nor good against evil."
The Buddha told Ma˝juśrī, "This knowledge is called the wisdom-knowledge that never fades."
Ma˝juśrī said, "The wisdom-knowledge of no act is also called the wisdom-knowledge that never fades, but it is like gold ore, which has to be processed in order to know whether it is good or bad. If gold is not refined, there is no way to know [its quality]. The same is true for the appearance of the wisdom-knowledge that never fades. One needs to go through the experience in not thinking, not being captivated, not arising, and not acting. When one's mind is completely quiet, neither rising nor falling, then it will be revealed."
Then the Buddha said to Ma˝juśrī, "When Tathāgatas speak of their own wisdom-knowledge, who can believe it?"
Ma˝juśrī said, "Such wisdom-knowledge is neither the dharma of nirvāṇa nor the dharma of saṁsāra. It is the way of silence and the way of stillness, neither annihilating greed, anger, and delusion, nor not annihilating them. Why? Because [wisdom-knowledge] is endless and indestructible, neither apart from saṁsāra nor together with it. It is acquired through neither training nor not training for bodhi. This understanding is called the right belief."
The Buddha praised Ma˝juśrī, "Very good! Very good! What you say is a profound understanding of its meaning."
Then Mahākāśyapa asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, if such profound true Dharma is pronounced in future times, who will be able to believe, understand, and accept it, and to practice it accordingly?"
The Buddha replied to Mahākāśyapa, "If bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās who have heard this sūtra in this assembly hear this Dharma in future times, they definitely will believe and understand it. They will be able to read and recite this [sūtra of] profound praj˝ā-pāramitā, to accept and uphold it, and to expound it to others. As an analogy, an elder who has lost his precious jewel feels sad and distressed. If he retrieves it later, he will be very joyous. Therefore, Kāśyapa, likewise will be the bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās in this assembly. They have the mind of faith and delight. If they do not hear the Dharma, they will feel distressed. If they come to hear it, they will, with great joy, believe and understand it, accept and uphold it, and always delight in reading and reciting it. Know that these people in effect see Buddhas and that they in effect serve and make offerings to Buddhas."
The Buddha told Mahākāśyapa, "As an analogy, when gods in Trayastriṁśa Heaven see the buds of the celestial pārijāta tree emerge, they are elated. They know that this tree's buds will soon open into full bloom. Likewise, if, among bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās, there are those who can believe and understand the praj˝ā-pāramitā they have heard, they too will soon bring the entire Buddha Dharma to bloom. If in future times, among bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās, there are those who, after hearing this [sūtra of] praj˝ā-pāramitā, can believe and accept it, and read and recite it, without regret or bafflement, know that they have already heard and accepted this sūtra in this assembly. They will also be able to pronounce and circulate it widely to the public in towns and cities. Know that they will be protected and remembered by Buddhas. If, among good men and good women, there are those who can believe and delight in this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā without doubts, they must have long trained and learned under past Buddhas, and planted their roots of goodness.
"As an analogy, a man stringing beads with his hands suddenly comes across an unexcelled genuine jewel. His heart is filled with great joy. Know that this person must have seen [such a jewel before]. Therefore, Kāśyapa, when good men and good women who are learning other dharmas suddenly come across this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā, if they rejoice in the same way, know that they must have heard it before. Suppose there are sentient beings that, after hearing this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā, can believe and accept it with great joy in their hearts. They too must have served innumerable Buddhas, from whom they must have heard praj˝ā-pāramitā, which they must have studied and practiced.
"As an analogy, a person has passed and seen a city or a town. Later on, he hears others praise how lovely in this city are the gardens, ponds, fountains, flowers, fruits, and trees, as well as the male and female residents, and he is very happy to hear these things. He even asks them to describe this city with its gardens, beautiful decorations, various flowers, ponds and fountains, an abundance of sweet fruits, various kinds of wonders, and all the lovely things. After hearing these descriptions again, this person will be even happier. Those who react in the same way as this person must have seen it before. If, among good men and good women, there are those who, upon hearing praj˝ā-pāramitā, are able to listen and accept it with faith, to feel joy, to delight in hearing it tirelessly, and even to ask for repetitions, know that they have already heard praj˝ā-pāramitā from Ma˝juśrī."
Mahākāśyapa said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, if in future times, among good men and good women, there are those who, having heard this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā, listen and accept it with faith and delight, we should know by this indication that they too have heard it from past Buddhas, and have studied and practiced it."
Ma˝juśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, the Buddha says that dharmas have neither appearance nor act and are inherently in nirvāṇa. If good men and good women can truly understand this meaning and pronounce it as heard, they will be praised by Tathāgatas. Their statement, consistent with dharma appearances, in effect is the pronouncement of Buddhas. It is called the glowing appearance of praj˝ā-pāramitā, also called the glowing totality of the Buddha Dharma, and it reveals true reality in an inconceivable way."
The Buddha told Ma˝juśrī, "When I was walking the Bodhisattva Way, I developed my roots of goodness. Those who aspire to stand on the Ground of Avinivartanīya should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Those who aspire to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. If good men and good women aspire to understand all dharma appearances and to know the equality in sentient beings' mental realm, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Ma˝juśrī, those who aspire to learn the entire Buddha Dharma without obstructions should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Those who aspire to understand, upon Buddhas' attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, their sublime appearance, majestic deportment, and innumerable Dharma procedures should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Those who aspire to know, before Buddhas' attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, their appearance, deportment, and Dharma procedures should also learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Why? Because in the dharma of emptiness, one does not perceive Buddhas, bodhi, and so forth. If, among good men and good women, there are those who aspire to know such appearances without doubts, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Why? Because in practicing praj˝ā-pāramitā, one does not see dharmas as born or dead, pure or impure. Therefore, good men and good women should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā in this way. Those who aspire to know that all dharmas have no such appearance as past, present, or future should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Why? Because in nature and appearance, the dharma realm does not have past, present, or future. Those who aspire to know, without hindrances in their minds, that all dharmas constitute the dharma realm should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Those who aspire to hear the three turnings of the Dharma wheel in the twelve appearances, and to know them through self-realization, without grasping them or being captivated by them, should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Those who aspire to invoke the mind of lovingkindness for sheltering all sentient beings everywhere without a limit, without thinking of sentient beings' appearances, should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Those who aspire neither to dispute with sentient beings nor to grasp the appearance of no dispute should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Those who aspire to know a Buddha's Ten Powers, such as knowing right or wrong in any situation, to know His Four Fearlessnesses, to abide in His wisdom-knowledge, and to acquire unimpeded eloquence, should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā."
Ma˝juśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, I correctly observe dharmas and find them to be asaṁskṛta, with no appearance, no attainment, no benefit, no birth, no death, no coming, no going, no knower, no perceiver, and no doer. I see neither praj˝ā-pāramitā nor the state of praj˝ā-pāramitā, neither realization nor no realization. I make no differentiation, nor any ludicrous statement. All dharmas are endless, apart from ending. There is no dharma of ordinary beings, no dharma of voice-hearers, no dharma of Pratyekabuddhas, and no dharma of Buddhas. There is neither attainment nor no attainment, neither saṁsāra to abandon nor nirvāṇa to realize, neither the conceivable nor the inconceivable, neither acting nor not acting. Such are dharma appearances! Then how does one learn praj˝ā-pāramitā?"
The Buddha told Ma˝juśrī, "Knowing such dharma appearances is called learning praj˝ā-pāramitā. If Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas aspire to learn the Samādhi of Bodhi Command because, after learning it, they can illuminate the entire profound Buddha Dharma, know the names of all Buddhas, and understand their worlds, without obstructions, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā as explained by Ma˝juśrī."
Ma˝juśrī asked the Buddha, "Why is it called praj˝ā-pāramitā?"
The Buddha replied, "Praj˝ā-pāramitā is boundless, limitless, nameless, and with neither appearance nor conception. Like the dharma realm, which has no divisions or limits, it has neither refuge nor no [safe] island, neither merit nor demerit, neither light nor dark. It is called praj˝ā-pāramitā, also called the action range of Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas. Although neither the action range nor the no-action range, in the One Vehicle, it is called the no-action range. Why? Because there is neither perception nor action."
Ma˝juśrī asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, what actions can one take to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi quickly?"
The Buddha replied, "Ma˝juśrī, those who practice praj˝ā-pāramitā as explained will quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Furthermore, there is the Samādhi of the One Action. If good men and good women train in this samādhi, they will also quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi."
Ma˝juśrī asked, "World-Honored One, what is called the One Action Samādhi?"
The Buddha replied, "The dharma realm has the one appearance. Focusing one's mind on the dharma realm is called the One Action Samādhi. If, among good men and good women, there are those who aspire to enter the One Action Samādhi, they should first hear praj˝ā-pāramitā and next train and learn it accordingly. Then they will be able to enter the One Action Samādhi, which fits the conditions of the dharma realm: indestructible, inconceivable, with no regress, no hindrance, and no appearance. If good men and good women aspire to enter the One Action Samādhi, they should sit properly in an open place, facing the direction of a Buddha, abandon distracting thoughts and appearances, focus their minds on that Buddha, and keep saying His name. If they can continue, thought after thought, thinking of one Buddha, they will be able to see, in their thinking, past, future, and present Buddhas. Why? Because the merit acquired from thinking of one Buddha is immeasurable and boundless, no different from the merit acquired from thinking of innumerable Buddhas or thinking of the inconceivable Buddha Dharma. They all will realize true suchness and attain the perfect enlightenment, acquiring immeasurable merit and eloquence. Those who enter the One Action Samādhi in this way will know that there are no differentiated appearances in the dharma realm of Buddhas, who are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges. Although among voice-hearers Ānanda is foremost in the Buddha Dharma he has heard, in his total retention of memory, and in his eloquence and wisdom, his attainment has a measure and a limit. If one has attained the One Action Samādhi, one will be able to differentiate one by one the Dharma Doors in the sūtras and to know them all, without obstructions. One will be able to expound them day and night unceasingly with wisdom and eloquence. By comparison, Ānanda's eloquence and hearing much [of the Dharma] are not even one hundred-thousandth thereof. Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should think: ĹHow should I attain this One Action Samādhi, which will bring inconceivable merit and innumerable [good] names?'"
The Buddha continued, "Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should always think of the One Action Samādhi and assiduously make energetic progress, never negligent or indolent. Through step-by-step gradual training and learning, they will enter the One Action Samādhi, as evidenced by their inconceivable merit. However, those who malign the true Dharma or disbelieve that hindrances are caused by evil karmas will not be able to enter it.
"Moreover, Ma˝juśrī, as an analogy, a person has acquired a precious bead, and he shows it to the jeweler. The jeweler says that it is a priceless genuine jewel. He then asks the jeweler, ĹPolish it for me. Do not let it lose its luster and color.' After the jeweler has polished it, this precious bead becomes brilliant and transparent throughout. Ma˝juśrī, if good men and good women train in the One Action Samādhi in order to acquire inconceivable merit and innumerable [good] names, in the course of their training, they will know dharma appearances with clear understanding, without obstructions. Their merit will grow in the same way. Ma˝juśrī, using the sun as an example, its light is pervasive and not diminishing. Likewise, if one attains the One Action Samādhi, one will acquire all merits without any shortfall, like the sunlight illuminating the Buddha Dharma. Ma˝juśrī, the Dharma I have pronounced is in the one flavor apart from flavors, which is the flavor of liberation, the flavor of silence and stillness. If good men and good women have attained this One Action Samādhi, what they expound will also be in the one flavor apart from flavors, which is the flavor of liberation, the flavor of silence and stillness, completely in accordance with the true Dharma, without any error or mistake. Ma˝juśrī, Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas who have attained this One Action Samādhi will complete the [Thirty-seven] Elements of Bodhi and quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi.
"Furthermore, Ma˝juśrī, Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas who see in the dharma realm neither differentiated appearances nor the one appearance will quickly attain the inconceivable anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Those who know that in bodhi there is no attainment of Buddhahood will quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Those who can endure, without shock, fear, or doubt, their belief that all dharmas are the Buddha Dharma will quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi."
Ma˝juśrī asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, can one quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi through such causes?"
The Buddha replied, "Anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi is attained through neither causes nor no causes. Why? Because the inconceivable state is realized through neither causes nor no causes. If good men and good women who have heard these words do not become negligent or indolent, know that they have already planted their roots of goodness under past Buddhas. Therefore, if bhikṣus and bhikṣuṇīs who have heard this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā are not shocked or terrified, they have truly renounced family life to follow the Buddha. If upāsakas and upāsikās who have heard this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā are not shocked or terrified, they have truly taken refuge [in the Buddha].
"Ma˝juśrī, good men and good women who do not study the profound praj˝ā-pāramitā are not training by means of the Buddha Vehicle. Taking the great earth as an example, all medicinal plants must grow from the earth. Ma˝juśrī, likewise the roots of goodness of Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas must depend on praj˝ā-pāramitā to develop, so that their attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi will have no obstructions."
Ma˝juśrī asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, in Jambudvīpa's cities and towns, where should we pronounce this profound praj˝ā-pāramitā?"
The Buddha told Ma˝juśrī, "Suppose those who have heard praj˝ā-pāramitā in this assembly vow that in future lives they will always respond to praj˝ā-pāramitā in order to strengthen their faith and understanding, and that they will be able to hear this sūtra again. Know that those people did not come with small roots of goodness because they are capable of accepting and appreciating what they hear. Ma˝juśrī, if there are those who have heard praj˝ā-pāramitā from you, they should say this: ĹIn praj˝ā-pāramitā, there is no dharma of voice-hearers, no dharma of Pratyekabuddhas, no dharma of Bodhisattvas, and no dharma of Buddhas. Nor is there the dharma of ordinary beings or the dharma of saṁsāra.'"
Ma˝juśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, if bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās ask me, ĹHow does the Tathāgata pronounce praj˝ā-pāramitā?' I should reply, ĹGiven that dharmas do not have the appearance of dispute, how should the Tathāgata pronounce praj˝ā-pāramitā? He does not see dharmas to dispute over, nor does he see that the minds and consciousnesses of sentient beings can know [dharmas].'
"Moreover, World-Honored One, I should also pronounce the ultimate reality. Why? Because all dharma appearances equally abide in true reality. Arhatship is not a particularly superb dharma. Why not? Because the dharma of Arhats and the dharma of ordinary beings are neither the same nor different. Furthermore, World-Honored One, according to the Dharma explained in this way, no sentient being has already realized nirvāṇa, is realizing it, or will realize it. Why not? Because sentient beings do not have definite appearances."
Ma˝juśrī continued, "If there are those who wish to hear praj˝ā-pāramitā. I will tell them that listeners do not think of, hear, or capture anything, nor are they captivated by anything, just like a magically conjured person who never differentiates. This statement is a true teaching of the Dharma. Therefore, listeners should not construct dual appearances [subject and object]. They should train in the Buddha Dharma without abandoning other views, and they should neither grasp the Buddha Dharma nor abandon the dharma of ordinary beings. Why? Buddhas and ordinary beings as two dharmas have empty appearances, beyond grasping or abandoning. When someone asks me, I give these answers, thus comforting him and setting him [on the right path]. Good men and good women should ask such questions and abide in this way, with their minds not regressing or baffled. They should speak of dharma appearances in accord with praj˝ā-pāramitā."
Then the World-Honored One praised Ma˝juśrī, "Very good! Very good! Just as you say, if good men and good women wish to see Buddhas, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. If they wish to serve Buddhas and to make offerings to them in accordance with the Dharma, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. If they wish to say that the Tathāgata is the World-Honored One to them, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Even if they wish to say that the Tathāgata is not the World-Honored One to them, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. If they wish to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Even if they do not wish to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. If they wish to attain all samādhis, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Even if they do not wish to attain all samādhis, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Why? Because the Samādhi of No Act has no varied appearances and because dharmas have neither birth nor death. If there are those who wish to know that all dharmas are false names, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. If those who wish to know, with their minds not regressing or baffled, that all sentient beings that train in the Bodhi Way do not seek the appearance of bodhi, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. Why? Because all dharmas are the appearance of bodhi. If there are those who wish, with their minds not regressing or baffled, to know the appearances of sentient beings' actions and no actions and to know that not acting is bodhi, that bodhi is the dharma realm, and that the dharma realm is true reality, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā. If there are those who wish to know that Tathāgatas' transcendental powers and magical displays have neither appearances nor obstructions, nor places, they should learn praj˝ā-pāramitā."
The Buddha told Ma˝juśrī, "If bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās do not wish to go down the evil life-paths, they should learn a four-verse stanza on praj˝ā-pāramitā, accept and uphold it, read and recite it, and explain it to others in accord with true reality. Know that these good men and good women will definitely attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi and reside in Buddha Lands. If there are those who, upon hearing this praj˝ā-pāramitā, are not shocked or terrified, but elicit faith and understanding from their minds, know that they are sanctified by Buddhas with a seal, the Mahāyāna Dharma Seal held only by Buddhas. If good men and good women learn this Dharma Seal, they will transcend not only the evil life-journeys but also the paths of voice-hearers and Pratyekabuddhas."
At that time the god-king of the Thirty-three Heavens, as an offering to praj˝ā-pāramitā, the Tathāgata, and Ma˝juśrī, brought wonderful celestial flowers of utpala, kumuda, puṇḍarīka, and māndarāva, as well as celestial sandalwood incense, powdered incense, various kinds of golden jewelry, and celestial music. After showering such offerings upon them, he said, "I wish always to learn the Praj˝ā-Pāramitā Dharma Seal."
The god-king Śakro-Devānām-Indra then made this vow: "I pray that the good men and good women in Jambudvīpa can always hear this sūtra, the definitive Buddha Dharma, and that they will believe and understand it, accept and uphold it, read and recite it, and expound it to others. Let all the gods protect and support them."
At that time the Buddha told Śakro-Devānām-Indra, "Kauśika, indeed, indeed, these good men and good women will definitely attain Buddha bodhi."
Ma˝juśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, good men and good women who accept and uphold [this sūtra] in this way will acquire great benefits and immeasurable merit."
Then, by virtue of the Buddha's spiritual power, the entire great earth quaked in six different ways. The Buddha smiled as He emitted great radiance, illuminating everywhere in the Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World. Ma˝juśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, this is the appearance of the Tathāgata's sanctifying of praj˝ā-pāramitā."
The Buddha said, "Ma˝juśrī, indeed, indeed. This auspicious sign always appears after praj˝ā-pāramitā is pronounced. It is for sanctifying praj˝ā-pāramitā and for enabling people to accept and uphold it, not to praise or criticize it. Why? Because the appearance-free Dharma Seal is beyond praise or criticism. I now, with this Dharma Seal, keep celestial māras from making trouble."
After the Buddha finished these words, great Bodhisattvas and the four groups of disciples, having heard the explanation of praj˝ā-pāramitā, greatly rejoiced. They all believed in, accepted, and reverently carried out the teachings.

-Sūtra of Mahā-Praj˝ā-Pāramitā Pronounced by Ma˝juśrī Bodhisattva
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon (T08n0232)

Notes

1. All dharmas as perceived arise and perish through causes and conditions, and in true reality are empty. According to the absolute truth, as the wrong view that one has an autonomous self is empty, so too is the right view that one does not have such a self. Not abandoning the relative truth, a student should hold the right view in order to walk the holy path and realize the absolute truth. 2. The name "no thing" means that everything is empty and is not a thing as perceived. For example, walls obstruct humans, but not ghosts. However, the emptiness of a thing does not mean nothingness, because something is vividly perceived by sentient beings according to their karmic faculties. Therefore, this name is not translated as no-thing, because in English no-thing is the predecessor of the word nothing. 3. Knowing means perceiving subject and object.

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