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Sūtra 13  (posted 03/2008, updated 04/2009)


文殊師利所說摩訶般若波羅蜜經
Sūtra of Mahā-Prajñā-Pāramitā Pronounced by Mañjuśrī 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 adorned with great sublimity [of virtue and wisdom] and standing on the Ground of No Regress. Among them were Maitreya Bodhisattva, Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva, Unimpeded Eloquence Bodhisattva, and Never Abandoning the Burden Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva Mañjuśrī the Youth came at dawn from his place to the place where the Buddha was and stood outside.
    At that time great voice-hearers, such as the venerable Śāriputra, Pūrṇamaitrāyaṇīputra, 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. At that time 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 Mañjuśrī the Youth arrived first and stood outside the door. I actually arrived later."
    At that time the World-Honored One asked Mañjuśrī, "You were the first to arrive here. Did you want to see the Tathāgata?"
    Mañjuśrī replied to the Buddha, "Indeed, World-Honored One, I did come here to see the Tathāgata. Why? I delight in making the right observation to benefit sentient beings. I observe the Tathāgata with the appearance of true suchness, never changing, never moving, never formed, neither born nor perishing, neither existing nor non-existing, neither somewhere nor nowhere, neither of the past, present, and future, nor beyond the past, present, and 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 Mañjuśrī, "If one can see the Tathāgata as such, one's mind will neither grasp nor not grasp, neither accumulate nor not accumulate."
    At that time Śāriputra said to Mañjuśrī, "It is unusual to see the Tathāgata in the perspective 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 convince all sentient beings to head for nirvāṇa, you do not grasp the appearance of nirvāṇa. As you display great sublimity for all sentient beings, your mind does not see the appearance of sublimity."
    Then Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva Mañjuśrī the Youth said to Śāriputra, "Indeed, indeed, it is just as you say. Although I activate the mind of great sublimity for all sentient beings, I never see the appearances of sentient beings. Although I am adorned with great sublimity for all sentient beings, their realm neither increases nor decreases. Suppose a Buddha stays in a world for a kalpa or over a kalpa. Just as the Buddha is in a one-Buddha world, there are as many Buddhas as the immeasurable, 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 delivers as many sentient beings as the immeasurable sands of the Ganges, enabling them to enter nirvāṇa. Yet the realm of sentient beings neither increases nor decreases. It is this way indeed in all Buddha Lands in the ten directions. They all pronounce the Dharma to teach and convert sentient beings, each delivering as many sentient beings as the immeasurable sands of the Ganges, enabling them to enter nirvāṇa. Yet the realm of sentient beings neither increases nor decreases. Why? The definite appearances of sentient beings can never be captured. Hence, the realm of sentient beings neither increases nor decreases."
    Śāriputra asked Mañjuśrī, "Since the realm of sentient beings neither increases nor decreases, why do Bodhisattvas always seek anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi and pronounce the Dharma to sentient beings?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "As the appearances of sentient beings are empty, there are neither Bodhisattvas seeking anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi nor sentient beings to pronounce the Dharma to. Why? I say that, in all dharmas, not a single dharma can be captured."
    At that time the Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "If there were no sentient beings, why would you speak of sentient beings and the realm of sentient beings?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "The appearance of the realm of sentient beings is suchness just as 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 suchness just as that for the realm of Buddhas," he replied.
    The Buddha next asked, "Is there a location for the measure of 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?"
    He replied, "Sentient beings abide not, just the way space abides."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "When one cultivates prajñā-pāramitā in this way, how does one abide in prajñā-pāramitā?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "Not abiding in dharmas is abiding in prajñā-pāramitā."
    The Buddha next asked Mañjuśrī, "Why is not abiding in dharmas called abiding in prajñā-pāramitā?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "Not abiding in appearances is in effect abiding in prajñā-pāramitā."
    The Buddha next asked Mañjuśrī, "When one abides in prajñā-pāramitā in this way, do one's roots of goodness increase or decrease?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "If one can abide in prajñā-pāramitā in this way, one's roots of goodness will neither increase nor decrease, just as all dharmas neither increase nor decrease. The nature and appearance of prajñā-pāramitā also neither increase nor decrease. World-Honored One, cultivating prajñā-pāramitā in this way, one neither abandons the dharma of ordinary beings nor grasps the dharma of sages and holy beings. Why? In prajñā-pāramitā, one does not see any dharma that can be grasped or abandoned. Cultivating prajñā-pāramitā in this way, one moreover does not see nirvāṇa to like or saṁsāra to dislike. Why? One does not even see saṁsāra, much less dislike it. One does not even see nirvāṇa, much less like it. Cultivating prajñā-pāramitā in this way, one sees neither afflictions to abandon nor virtues to grasp. One's mind neither increases nor decreases with respect to all dharmas. Why? One sees neither increase nor decrease in the dharma realm. World-Honored One, proceeding in this manner is called cultivation of prajñā-pāramitā. World-Honored One, seeing neither birth nor death of dharmas is cultivation of prajñā-pāramitā. World-Honored One, seeing neither increase nor decrease of dharmas is cultivation of prajñā-pāramitā. World-Honored One, holding no wish to grasp, as one sees no dharma-appearance to seek for, is cultivation of prajñā-pāramitā. World-Honored One, one sees neither fineness nor grossness, neither high nor low, nor does one grasp or abandon. Why? Dharmas are neither fine nor gross because they are free from appearances. Dharmas are neither high nor low because they are equal in dharma-nature. Dharmas are free from being grasped or abandoned because they abide in true reality. This is the way to cultivate prajñā-pāramitā."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Is it not victorious to acquire the Buddha Dharma?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "I do not see any victorious appearance in dharmas. It can be verified, as in the self-realization of the Tathāgata, that all dharmas are empty."
    The Buddha agreed with Mañjuśrī, "Indeed! Indeed! In the perfect enlightenment of the Tathāgata, He has attained self-realization of emptiness."
    Mañjuśrī rejoined to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, in the dharma of emptiness, is there victory that can be captured?"
    The Buddha said, "Very good! Very good! Mañjuśrī, what you say is the true Dharma!"
    The Buddha next asked Mañjuśrī, "Is anuttara called the Buddha Dharma?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "As the Buddha says, anuttara is called the Buddha Dharma. Why? That no dharma can be captured is called anuttara."
    Mañjuśrī continued, "One who cultivates prajñā-pāramitā in this way is not called a Dharma vessel, [which is intended to capture]. Not seeing dharmas that can convert ordinary beings, not seeing the Buddha Dharma, or not seeing dharmas that can improve is called cultivation of prajñā-pāramitā. Furthermore, World-Honored One, while cultivating prajñā-pāramitā, one does not see any dharma that can be differentiated or pondered."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Do you not contemplate the Buddha Dharma?"
    Mañjuśrī 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. This way is called the unsurpassed Buddha Dharma. Moreover, while one cultivates prajñā-pāramitā, seeing neither the appearances of ordinary beings nor the appearances of the Buddha Dharma, nor the definite appearances of dharmas, is called cultivation of prajñā-pāramitā. Furthermore, while cultivating prajñā-pāramitā, one does not see the desire realm, the form realm, the formless realm, or the nirvāṇa realm. Why? Not seeing dharmas with the appearance of extinction is cultivation of prajñā-pāramitā. Moreover, while cultivating prajñā-pāramitā, one sees neither the one giving kindness nor the other requiting kindness. Contemplating the appearances of duality without making mental differentiations is cultivation of prajñā-pāramitā. Moreover, while one cultivates prajñā-pāramitā, seeing neither the Buddha Dharma to grasp nor the dharma of ordinary beings to abandon is cultivation of prajñā-pāramitā. Moreover, while one cultivates prajñā-pāramitā, seeing neither the dharma of ordinary beings to terminate nor the Buddha Dharma to realize, yet still coming to its realization, is cultivation of prajñā-pāramitā."
    The Buddha praised Mañjuśrī, "Very good! Very good! You can describe so well the appearances of the profound prajñā-pāramitā, which is the Dharma Seal that Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas are learning. Even voice-hearers, Pratyekabuddhas, those who are still learning, and those who have nothing more to learn should also train without abandoning this Dharma Seal, so as to achieve their bodhi fruit."
    The Buddha told Mañjuśrī, "If those who have heard this Dharma are not shocked or terrified, they have already planted their roots of goodness under thousands of Buddhas. They have long planted their roots of virtue even under billions of koṭis of Buddhas. Then they are able not to be shocked or terrified by this profound prajñā-pāramitā."
    Mañjuśrī said to the Buddha, "I now will further explain the meaning of prajñā-pāramitā."
    The Buddha said, "Speak then."
    [Mañjuśrī said,] "World-Honored One, while cultivating prajñā-pāramitā, one should not see whether or not one should abide in a dharma. Nor should one see the appearance of an object that should be grasped or abandoned. Why? 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. Not seeing the appearances of dharmas, one will realize on one's own the inconceivable dharma of emptiness. Bodhisattvas who train this way must all 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 such profound prajñā-pāramitā. Moreover, while one cultivates prajñā-pāramitā, seeing neither bondage nor liberation, nor seeing distinctions among ordinary beings or even among the Three Vehicles, is cultivation of prajñā-pāramitā."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "To how many Buddhas have you made offerings?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "Buddhas and I appear as illusions, which are neither recipients nor givers."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Can you not now abide in the Buddha Vehicle?"
    Mañjuśrī rejoined, "I do not see a single dharma in my contemplation. How should I abide in the Buddha Vehicle?"
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Have you not acquired the Buddha Vehicle?"
    Mañjuśrī rejoined, "The Buddha Vehicle is only a name, which cannot be captured, nor can it be seen. How can I acquire it?"
    The Buddha asked, "Mañjuśrī, have you acquired the unimpeded knowledge?"
    Mañjuśrī rejoined, "I am the unimpeded itself. How can the unimpeded acquire the unimpeded?"
    The Buddha asked, "Do you sit in a bodhimaṇḍa?"
    Mañjuśrī rejoined, "None of the Tathāgatas sits in a bodhimaṇḍa. How should I alone sit in the bodhimaṇḍa? Why? I see firsthand that all dharmas abide in true reality."
    The Buddha asked, "What is called true reality?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "The view that the body is self is true reality."
    The Buddha asked, "Why is the view that the body is self true reality?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "Viewing the body as the appearance of suchness, which is neither real nor unreal, neither coming nor going, neither body nor non-body, 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 features of such profound prajñā-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 of the dharma-appearances of this prajñā-pāramitā are in effect near the seat of the Buddha. Why? The Buddha is directly aware of these dharma-appearances."
    Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, if those who have heard this profound prajñā-pāramitā can be not shocked, not terrified, not baffled, and not regretful, we should know that they are in effect seeing the Buddha."
    At that time 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 prajñā-pāramitā, we are not astonished, not terrified, not baffled, and not regretful. Why? Dharmas have never had any appearance."
    The Buddha told Śāriputra, "If good men or good women, having heard such profound prajñā-pāramitā, can come to resoluteness in their minds, not shocked, not terrified, not baffled, and not regretful, we should know that they are in effect standing on the Ground of No Regress. If those who have heard this profound prajñā-pāramitā are not shocked, not terrified, not baffled, and not regretful, but believe, accept, appreciate, and listen tirelessly, they have in effect fulfilled dāna-pāramitā, śīla-pāramitā, kṣānti-pāramitā, vīrya-pāramitā, dhyāna-pāramitā, and prajñā-pāramitā. Moreover, they will be able to disclose and explicate [the teachings] to others and to have them train accordingly."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "What does it mean, in you opinion, by attaining anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi and by abiding in anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi?"
    Mañjuśrī rejoined, "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 have said is in effect the appearances of bodhi."
    The Buddha praised Mañjuśrī, "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 in the Brahma way with the dharma of no-appearance."
    Mañjuśrī rejoined, "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 with the dharma of no-appearance?"
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Do you see the voice-hearers' precepts?"
    "Yes, I see them."
    The Buddha asked, "How do you see them?"
    Mañjuśrī 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 a non-view."
    Śāriputra said to Mañjuśrī, "You now see the Voice Hearer Vehicle this way. How do you view the Buddha Vehicle?"
    Mañjuśrī said, "I do not see the dharma of Bodhisattvas. Nor do I see anyone training for bodhi or realizing bodhi."
    Śāriputra asked Mañjuśrī, "What is called a Buddha? How does one observe the Buddha?"
    Mañjuśrī asked, "What is self?"
    Śāriputra replied, "Self is only a name, and the appearance of a name is empty."
    Mañjuśrī said, "Indeed! Indeed! Just as self is only a name, Buddha is also only a name. The emptiness of the appearance of a name is in effect bodhi. One should seek bodhi without using names. The appearance of bodhi is free from words and speech. Why? Speech and bodhi are both empty."
    "Furthermore, Śāriputra, you ask me what is called a Buddha and how one should observe the Buddha. That which is neither born nor perishing, neither come nor gone, neither a name nor an appearance, is called Buddha. Like observing the true reality of one's own body, observing the Buddha in the same way is called observing the Buddha. Only the wise can understand this."
    At that time Śāriputra said to the Buddha, "Prajñā-pāramitā as pronounced by Mañjuśrī is not understandable or knowable to novice Bodhisattvas."
    Mañjuśrī said, "Not only novice Bodhisattvas are unable to know it, but even those on the Two Vehicles who have accomplished their undertaking [for Arhatship] are unable to understand and know it. No one can know the Dharma expounded this way. Why? The appearance of bodhi, having nothing to do with seeing, hearing, capturing, or thinking, is actually not a dharma which can be known. It is not born, not perishing, not speaking, and not listening. Such is bodhi, which it is empty and quiet in nature and in appearance, with no evidence, intellect, shape, or appearance. How can there be an attainer of bodhi?"
    Śāriputra asked Mañjuśrī, "Has the Buddha not realized anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi in the dharma realm?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "No, Śāriputra. Why? The World-Honored One is in effect 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 in effect bodhi. Why? In the dharma realm, there are no appearances of sentient beings because all dharmas are empty. The emptiness of all dharmas is in effect 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. All dharmas are this way. Why? Dharmas cannot be identified by their locations, which imply a definite nature. For example, the appearance of the rebellious acts is inconceivable. Why? Because the true reality of dharmas is indestructible. The sin of committing a rebellious act does not have any self-essence, and true reality is neither reborn in heaven nor fallen to hell, nor does it enter nirvāṇa. Why? All karmic conditions abide in true reality, which is neither coming nor going, neither cause nor effect. Why? The dharma realm has no edge, nor front or back. Therefore, Śāriputra, [in true reality,] bhikṣus in grave sin do not fall to hell, and pure spiritual trainees do not enter nirvāṇa. Such bhikṣus are neither worthy of offerings nor unworthy of offerings, neither ending their discharges nor not ending their discharges. Why? All dharmas abide in the equality [of emptiness]."
    Śāriputra asked, "What is called the non-regressing Endurance in the Realization of the No-birth of Dharmas?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "Not seeing the appearance of birth or death in even a speck of dharma is called the non-regressing Endurance in the Realization of the No-birth of Dharmas."
    Śāriputra asked, "Who is called a bhikṣu who does not overcome?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "Arhats, who have no afflictions to discharge, are the ones who do not overcome. Why? Their afflictions have all been eradicated, and with nothing to overcome, they are called the ones who do not overcome. Those who take fallible mental actions are called ordinary beings. Why? Ordinary beings do not act in accord with the dharma realm and, therefore, are called the fallible ones."
    Śāriputra said, "Very good! Very good! You now have explained to me well the meaning of an Arhat, who has ended the discharges."
    Mañjuśrī said, "Indeed! Indeed! I am a true Arhat, who has ended the discharges. Why? 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 the discharges."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "When Bodhisattvas sit in a bodhimaṇḍa, do they realize anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "When Bodhisattvas sit in a bodhimaṇḍa, they do not realize anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Why? The appearance of bodhi is suchness. Not finding a speck of dharma to capture is called anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Since bodhi has no appearance, who can sit and who can rise? For these causes and conditions, I see neither any Bodhisattva sitting in a bodhimaṇḍa nor anyone realizing anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi."
    Mañjuśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, bodhi is in effect the five rebellious acts, and the five rebellious acts are in effect bodhi. Why? Bodhi and the five rebellious acts are not different in appearance. Bodhi is neither enlightenment nor an enlightened one, neither perceiving nor a perceiver, neither knowing nor a knower, neither differentiating nor a differentiator. Such appearances are called bodhi. In the same way one views the appearance of the five rebellious acts. If there are those who say that they see bodhi and have realized it, we should know that they are the ones with exceeding arrogance."
    At that time the World-Honored One asked Mañjuśrī, "Would you say that I am the Thus-Come One, addressing me as the Tathāgata?"
    Mañjuśrī rejoined, "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 knowledge that can know suchness. Why? The Tathāgata and His knowledge are not different in appearance. Since emptiness is the Tathāgata, which is only a name, what should I say is the Tathāgata?"
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Do you doubt the Tathāgata?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "No, World-Honored One, I have no doubt because, in my observation, the Tathāgata, never born, never perishing, does not have a definite nature."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Do you now not say that the Tathāgata has appeared in the world?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "If the Tathāgata appeared in the world, all dharma realms should also appear."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Would you say that Buddhas as numerous as the sands of the Ganges have entered nirvāṇa?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "Buddhas have one appearance, the inconceivable appearance."
    The Buddha said to Mañjuśrī, "Indeed! Indeed! Buddhas have one appearance, the inconceivable appearance."
    Mañjuśrī asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, is the Buddha now staying in the world?"
    The Buddha answered Mañjuśrī, "Indeed! Indeed!"
    Mañjuśrī said, "If the Buddha stayed in the world, then Buddhas as numerous as the sands of the Ganges should also stay in their worlds. Why? All Buddhas have the same one appearance, the inconceivable appearance. The inconceivable appearance has neither birth nor death. If a future Buddha appeared in the world, then all Buddhas would also appear in their worlds. Why? In what is inconceivable, there is no appearance of the past, future, or present. However, sentient beings are fixated, saying that there are Buddhas who appear in the world and Buddhas who enter nirvāṇa."
    The Buddha said to Mañjuśrī, "This is the understanding of the Tathāgatas, Arhats, and Bodhisattvas at the level of avinivartanīya. Why? These three types of beings, having heard the profound Dharma, are able neither to malign nor to praise it."
    Mañjuśrī agreed with the Buddha, "World-Honored One, who should malign and who should praise such inconceivable Dharma?"
    The Buddha told Mañjuśrī, "The Tathāgata is inconceivable and ordinary beings also inconceivable."
    Mañjuśrī asked the Buddha, "Are ordinary beings also inconceivable?"
    The Buddha replied, "They too are inconceivable. Why? All mental appearances are inconceivable."
    Mañjuśrī said, "Since you say that the Tathāgata is inconceivable and that ordinary beings are also inconceivable, then innumerable Buddhas are just fatiguing themselves seeking nirvāṇa. Why? The inconceivable dharmas are in effect nirvāṇa, totally without any difference."
    Mañjuśrī said, "Such inconceivability of ordinary beings and of Buddhas can be understood only by good men and good women who have long developed their roots of goodness and stayed close to beneficent learned friends."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Do you want the Tathāgata to be the most victorious one amid sentient beings?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "I want the Tathāgata to be the foremost amid sentient beings. However, the appearances of sentient beings cannot be captured"
    The Buddha asked, "Do you want the Tathāgata to acquire the inconceivable Dharma?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "I want the Tathāgata to acquire the inconceivable Dharma without [experiencing His] accomplishment in dharmas."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Do you want the Tathāgata to expound the Dharma and to teach and convert [sentient beings]?"
    Mañjuśrī replied to the Buddha, "I want the Tathāgata to expound the Dharma and to teach and convert sentient beings. Yet neither the speaker nor the listener can be captured. Why? Because they abide in the dharma realm. Sentient beings in the dharma realm have no differentiated appearances."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Do you want the Tathāgata to be the unexcelled fortune field?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "The Tathāgata, with the appearance of endlessness, is the endless fortune field. The appearance of endlessness is in effect the unexcelled fortune field. [Such an appearance]—neither a fortune field nor a non-fortune field— is called the fortune field. No appearance, such as light or dark, birth or death, is called the fortune field. If one can understand the appearances of the fortune field in this way, the seeds of goodness one plants will neither increase nor decrease."
    The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, "Why do the planted seeds neither increase nor decrease?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "The appearances of the fortune field are inconceivable. Cultivating goodness in the field according to the Dharma is also inconceivable. Planting seeds in this way is called no increase and no decrease, and such planting is also the unexcelled, most victorious fortune field."
    At that time, by virtue of the spiritual power of the Buddha, the great earth quaked in six ways, displaying the appearance of impermanence. Sixteen thousand people attained the Endurance in the Realization of the No-birth of Dharmas. Seven hundred bhikṣus, 3,000 upāsakas, 40,000 upāsikās, and 60 koṭi nayuta gods in the six desire heavens walked far away from their emotional defilements and acquired the pure Dharma-eye in the midst of dharmas.


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, for what reason did this great earth quake in six 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 at this place the appearances of the fortune field to benefit sentient beings, the entire world also quaked in six ways."
    Śāriputra said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, Mañjuśrī is inconceivable. Why? Because the dharma-appearances he has explained are inconceivable."
    The Buddha praised Mañjuśrī, "Indeed! Indeed! Just as Śāriputra says, what you have said is really inconceivable."
    Mañjuśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, the inconceivable is ineffable, and the conceivable is also ineffable. Such conceivable and inconceivable natures are both ineffable. All speech and appearances are neither conceivable nor inconceivable."
    The Buddha asked, "You have entered the Inconceivable Samādhi?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "No, World-Honored One, I am in effect the inconceivable, not seeing there is mind that can conceive. How can I be said to enter the Inconceivable Samādhi? Initially, I resolved to enter this samādhi. Now I think that I actually enter this samādhi without any mental appearances, just like a person learning archery. After practicing for a long time, the person has acquired the skill. Because of his longtime practice, without using his mind, his arrows all hit the target. I too am this 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 achievement. I am now constantly in this samādhi without thinking."
    Śāriputra asked Mañjuśrī, "Is there a Silence Samādhi which is more victorious and wonderful?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "If there were actually an Inconceivable Samādhi, you could then ask for a Silence Samādhi. According to my understanding, even the Inconceivable Samādhi cannot be captured, why do you ask for the Silence Samādhi?"
    Śāriputra asked, "The Inconceivable Samādhi cannot be attained?"
    Mañjuśrī replied, "The Conceivable Samādhi has the attainable appearance while the Inconceivable Samādhi has the unattainable appearance. All sentient beings have really accomplished the Inconceivable Samādhi. Why? Because all mental appearances are not the [true] mind, they are called the Inconceivable Samādhi. Therefore, the appearances of all sentient beings and the appearance of the Inconceivable Samādhi are equal, not different."
    The Buddha praised Mañjuśrī, "Very good! Very good! You have long planted your roots of goodness under Buddhas and trained in the Brahma way with purity. So you are able to expound such profound samādhi. Are you now steadily remaining in this prajñā-pāramitā?"
    Mañjuśrī said, "To say that I stay in prajñā-pāramitā, I would have perception, in which I stay. Staying in my perception means that prajñā-pāramitā would have a location. To say that I do not stay in prajñā-pāramitā is also a perception, which is a location as well. Free from these two places, I abide in non-abiding, just like Buddhas abiding in peace, silence, and stillness, the inconceivable state. Such an inconceivable state is called the dwelling of prajñā-pāramitā. Dharmas are free of appearances and creations. Prajñā-pāramitā is in effect the inconceivable; the inconceivable is in effect the dharma realm; the dharma realm is in effect no-appearance; no-appearance is in effect the inconceivable; and the inconceivable is in effect prajñā-pāramitā. Prajñā-pāramitā and the dharma realm are the same and not different. Non-duality and non-differentiation are in effect the dharma realm; the dharma realm is in effect no-appearance; no-appearance is in effect the realm of prajñā-pāramitā; and the realm of prajñā-pāramitā is in effect the inconceivable realm. The inconceivable realm is in effect the realm of no birth and no death, and the realm of no birth and no death is in effect the inconceivable realm."
    Mañjuśrī continued, "The realm of the Tathāgata and my realm are non-dual in appearance. Those who cultivate prajñā-pāramitā in this way do not seek bodhi. Why? Bodhi, which is free from appearances, is in effect prajñā-pāramitā. World-Honored One, to know the appearances of self means not to cling to self. [The state of] not knowing and not clinging is what the Buddha knows. The inconceivable [state of] not knowing and not attaching is what the Buddha knows. Why? Since the primal nature of substance has no appearance, how can it control the dharma realm? What has neither substance nor attachment in its primal nature is called nothing in existence. Since there is nothing in existence, then there is no location, no dependency, and no fixation. No dependency and no fixation are in effect no birth and no death, and no birth and no death are in effect the virtues of that which is saṁskṛta or asaṁskṛta. With this knowledge, one's mind will not elicit perceptions. Without perception, how can one know? Not knowing the virtues of that which is saṁskṛta or asaṁskṛta is in effect the inconceivable. The inconceivable is what the Buddha knows, such as neither capturing nor not capturing, seeing neither the appearance of the past, present, or future nor the appearance of coming or going, and grasping neither birth nor death, neither origination nor formation, neither extinction nor eternity. Such knowledge is called the true knowledge, the inconceivable knowledge. Like space in unequaled equality, with no appearances or features, it compares neither this against that nor good against evil."
    The Buddha told Mañjuśrī, "Such knowledge is called the non-regressing knowledge."
    Mañjuśrī said, "The knowledge of no-formation is also called the knowledge that will not regress, just 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 appearance of the knowledge that does not regress is the same way. One needs to go through the experience in not thinking, not adhering, not originating, and not forming. When one's mind is totally unmoving, neither arising nor ceasing, it will then be revealed."
    At that time the Buddha told Mañjuśrī, "When Tathāgatas speak of their own knowledge, who can believe it?"
    Mañjuśrī said, "Such 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? [This knowledge] is endless and indestructible, neither apart from life and death nor together with them. It is acquired from neither training in the Way nor not training in the Way. This understanding is called the right faith."
    The Buddha told Mañjuśrī, "Very good! Very good! What you say is a profound understanding of its meaning."
    At that time Mahākāśyapa said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, if such profound true Dharma is pronounced in future times, who will be able to believe and understand it, and to accept and implement it accordingly?"
    The Buddha told 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 profound prajñā-pāramitā, to accept and uphold it, and to expound it to others. For example, an elder who has lost his precious jewel feels sad and distressed. If he retrieves it later, he will be very joyous. Therefore, Mahākāśyapa, the bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās in this assembly will be the same way. 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. We should know that these people are in effect seeing the Buddha; they are also in effect being close to and making offerings to Buddhas."
    The Buddha told Mahākāśyapa, "As an analogy, when the gods in Trayastriṁśa Heaven see the flower buds of the celestial pārijāta tree emerge, they will be elated. They know that this tree will soon open to full bloom. Likewise, if, among bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās, there are those who can believe and understand the prajñā-pāramitā they have heard, they too will soon bring all the Buddha Dharma to bloom. If in future times among bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās there are those who, after hearing prajñā-pāramitā, can believe and accept it, and read and recite it, without any regret or bafflement, we should 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. We should know that they will be protected and remembered by the Buddha. If, among good men and good women, there are those who can believe and delight in such profound prajñā-pāramitā without any doubts, they must have long trained and learned, and planted their roots of goodness under past Buddhas. By analogy, a man stringing beads with his hands suddenly comes across an unexcelled genuine jewel. His heart is filled with great joy. One would know that this person must have seen [such a jewel]. Therefore, Mahākāśyapa, when good men or good women who are learning other dharmas suddenly come across the profound prajñā-pāramitā, if they rejoice in the same way, we should know that they must have heard it before. Suppose there are sentient beings that, after hearing the profound prajñā-pāramitā, can believe and accept it with great joy in their hearts. They must also have been close to innumerable Buddhas, from whom they would have heard prajñā-pāramitā, which they must have studied and cultivated. For example, 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, pools, 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, pools 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 all have seen it before. If, among good men and good women, there are those who, upon hearing prajñā-pāramitā, are able to listen and accept it with faith, to feel joyful, to delight in hearing it tirelessly, and even to ask for repetitions, we should know that they have already heard prajñā-pāramitā from Mañjuśrī."
    Mahākāśyapa said to the Buddha," World-Honored One, if, among good men and good women in future times, there are those who, having heard this profound prajñā-pāramitā, listen and accept it with faith and delight, one would know by this indication that they too have heard it from past Buddhas and have studied and cultivated it."
    Mañjuśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, the Dharmas pronounced by the Buddha are free of fabricatiohn and appearances and are in absolute silence and stillness. If good men or good women can truly understand this meaning and pronounce it as heard, they will be praised by the Tathāgatas. Their statement, not contrary to the dharma-appearance, is in effect the pronouncement of the Buddha. It is called the glowing appearance of prajñā-pāramitā and also called the glowing fulfillment of the Buddha Dharma, penetrating the inconceivable true reality."
    The Buddha told Mañjuśrī, "When I was walking the Budhisattva Way, I cultivated my roots of goodness. Those who desire to stand on the Ground of Avinivartanīya should learn prajñā-pāramitā. Those who desire to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi should learn prajñā-pāramitā. If good men and good women desire to understand all the dharma-appearances and to know the equality in the mental realm of all sentient beings, they should learn prajñā-pāramitā. Mañjuśrī, those who desire to learn all the Buddha Dharma, totally without obstructions, should learn prajñā-pāramitā. Those who desire to achieve the glorious appearance, awe-inspiring deportment, and immeasurable Dharma forms of all Buddhas upon their attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, should learn prajñā-pāramitā. Those who desire to know the glorious appearance, awe-inspiring deportment, and immeasurable Dharma forms of all Buddhas before their attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, should learn prajñā-pāramitā. Why? In the dharma of emptiness, one does not perceive Buddhas, bodhi, and the like. If, among good men and good women, there are those who desire to know such appearances without any doubt, they should learn prajñā-pāramitā. Why? In prajñā-pāramitā, one does not see dharmas whether born or perishing, whether defiled or pure. Therefore, good men and good women should learn prajñā-pāramitā in this way. Those who desire to know that all dharmas have no such appearance as past, present, or future, should learn prajñā-pāramitā. Why? The nature and appearance of the dharma realm do not have the past, present, and future. Those who desire to know, without any hindrance in their minds, that dharmas all enter the dharma realm, should learn prajñā-pāramitā. Those who desire to achieve the three turnings of the Dharma wheel in the twelvefold process and to attain self-realization, without grasping or being attached to it, should learn prajñā-pāramitā. Those who desire to acquire the mind of lovingkindness for sheltering everywhere all sentient beings without a limit, not thinking of their appearances as sentient beings, should learn prajñā-pāramitā. Those who desire that they neither dispute with sentient beings nor grasp the appearance of no dispute should learn prajñā-pāramitā. Those who desire to know the Ten Powers of a Buddha, such as knowing the right or wrong in any situation, to know His Four Fearlessnesses, to abide in the Buddha wisdom-knowledge, and to acquire the unimpeded eloquence, should learn prajñā-pāramitā."
    At that time Mañjuśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, I observe the true Dharma and find it to be asaṁskṛta and appearance-free, no capture, no benefit, no birth, no death, no arrival, no departure, no knower, no perceiver, and no doer. I see neither prajñā-pāramitā nor the state of prajñā-pāramitā, neither realization nor non-realization. I make no differentiation, no ludicrous statement. All dharmas are endless, apart from ending. There is no dharma of ordinary beings, dharma of voice-hearers, dharma of Pratyekabuddhas, or the Buddha Dharma. [Dharmas] are neither captured nor not captured, neither conceivable nor inconceivable, neither formed nor unformed, and they have neither saṁsāra to abandon nor nirvāṇa to realize. Such are the appearances of dharmas! Then how does one learn prajñā-pāramitā?"
    Then the Buddha told Mañjuśrī, "Knowing dharma-appearances in this way is called learning prajñā-pāramitā. If Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas desire to learn the Samādhi of Freedom with Bodhi because, having learned it, they can illuminate all the profound Buddha Dharma, know the names of all Buddhas, and understand the worlds of Buddhas without any obstructions, they should learn prajñā-pāramitā as explained by Mañjuśrī."
    Mañjuśrī asked the Buddha, "Why is it called prajñā-pāramitā?"
    The Buddha replied, "Prajñā-pāramitā is boundless, limitless, nameless, appearance-free, and perception-free, and it has no refuge, no [safe] island, no demerit, no merit, no dark, no light, just like the dharma realm which has no boundary or limit. As it is called prajñā-pāramitā, it is also called the Bodhisattva's action field though neither an action field nor a non-action field. In the One Vehicle, it is called the non-action field. Why? There is neither thinking nor forming."
    Mañjuśrī asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, what action can one take to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi quickly?"
    The Buddha replied, "Mañjuśrī, those who act upon prajñā-pāramitā as explained will quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Furthermore, there is the Samādhi of the One Action. If good men or good women train in this samādhi, they will also quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi."
    Mañjuśrī asked, "World-Honored One, what is called the Samādhi of the One Action?"
    The Buddha replied, "The dharma realm has only one appearance. Focusing one's mind on the dharma realm is called the Samādhi of the One Action. If, among good men and good women, there are those who desire to enter the Samādhi of the One Action, they should first hear prajñā-pāramitā and next cultivate and learn it accordingly. Then they will be able to enter the Samādhi of the One Action, which fits the conditions of the dharma realm—non-regressing, indestructible, inconceivable, unhindered, and appearance-free. If good men or good women desire to enter the Samādhi of the One Action, they should sit properly in a vacant place, facing the direction of a Buddha, abandon distracting thoughts, and focus their mind on one Buddha, uttering only His name, without grasping appearances. If they can continue, thought after thought, thinking of one Buddha, they will be able in their thought to see past, future, and present Buddhas. Why? The virtue of thinking of one Buddha is immeasurable and boundless, not different from the virtue either of innumerable Buddhas or of the inconceivable Buddha Dharma. They will all ride the one suchness and attain the perfect enlightenment, manifesting immeasurable virtues and eloquence. Those who enter the Samādhi of the One Action in this way will totally know that in the dharma realm of Buddhas as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, there is no appearance to differentiate. Although, among the voice-hearers, Ānanda is the 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 Samādhi of the One Action, one will be able to differentiate one by one the Dharma Doors in the sūtras and to know them all, definitely without any obstructions. One will be able to expound them day and night unceasingly with wisdom and eloquence. In comparison, Ānanda's eloquence and much hearing are not even one hundred thousandth thereof. Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should think this thought, 'How should I acquire this Samādhi of the One Action, which leads to inconceivable virtues and innumerable names?'"
    The Buddha said, "Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should always think of the Samādhi of the One Action and assiduously make energetic progress, not negligent or indolent. Through step-by-step gradual training and learning, they will enter the Samādhi of the One Action, as evidenced by their inconceivable virtues. However, those who malign the true Dharma and believe in neither evil karmas nor heavy hindrances caused by sin will not be able to enter it.
    "Furthermore, Mañjuśrī, 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 implores the jeweler, 'Polish 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. Mañjuśrī, if good men or good women, to acquire innumerable names and inconceivable virtues, endeavor to learn the Samādhi of the One Action, they will know, in the course of their training, dharma-appearances with clear understanding, without any obstructions. Their virtues will grow in the same way. Mañjuśrī, using the sun as an example, its light is pervasive, not diminishing. Likewise, if one attains the Samādhi of the One Action, one will fulfill all the virtues without any shortfall, just like the sunlight illuminating the Buddha Dharma. Mañjuśrī, the Dharma I have pronounced is all in one flavor: no flavor, the flavor of liberation, the flavor of silence and stillness. If good men and good women have attained this Samādhi of the One Action, what they expound will also be in one flavor: no flavor, the flavor of liberation, the flavor of silence, totally in accord with the true Dharma, without any error or mistake. Mañjuśrī, Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas who have attained this Samādhi of the One Action will all fulfill the aid elements of bodhi and quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Furthermore, Mañjuśrī, Bodisattva-Mahāsattvas who see neither differentiated appearances in the dharma realm 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, without shock, fear, or doubt, have the enduring faith that all dharmas are the Buddha Dharma will quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi."
    Mañjuśrī asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, can one quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi by such causes?"
    The Buddha replied, "Anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi is attained by means of neither causes nor non-causes. Why? This inconceivable realm is acquired by means of neither causes nor non-causes. If good men and good women who have heard these words do not become negligent or indolent, we should know that they have already planted their roots of goodness under past Buddhas. Therefore, if bhikṣus and bhikṣuṇīs who have heard this profound prajñā-pāramitā are not shocked or terrified, they have in effect renounced family life for the Buddha. If upāsakas and upāsikās who have heard this profound prajñā-pāramitā are not shocked or terrified, they have in effect taken the true refuge.
    "Mañjuśrī, good men or good women who do not study the profound prajñā-pāramitā are in effect not training by means of the Buddha Vehicle. Taking the great earth as an example, all medicinal plants must grow from the earth. Mañjuśrī, Bodhisattva-Mahabodhisattvas are the same way. All roots of goodness must depend upon prajñā-pāramitā to develop, not to counter anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi."
    At that time Mañjuśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, in the cities and towns of Jambudvīpa, where should we pronounce such profound prajñā-pāramitā?"
    The Buddha told Mañjuśrī, "Suppose those who have heard prajñā-pāramitā in this assembly vow that in future lives they will always be responsive to prajñā-pāramitā, from which to develop faith and understanding, and that they will be able to hear this sūtra again. One would know that those people, because they are able to accept and delight in what they hear, did not come with small roots of goodness. Mañjuśrī, if there are those who have heard from you this prajñā-pāramitā, they should state that, in prajñā-pāramitā, there is no dharma of voice-hearers, Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas, or Buddhas, nor the dharma of ordinary beings or the dharma of birth and death."
    Mañjuśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, if bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, or upāsikās come to ask me, 'How does the Tathāgata pronounce prajñā-pāramitā?' I should reply, 'Since dharmas do not have the appearance of dispute, how should the Tathāgata pronounce prajñā-pāramitā? Why? He does not see there are dharmas to dispute, nor does he see that the mind and consciousness of sentient beings can know. Furthermore, World-Honored One, I should also pronounce the ultimate reality. Why? All dharma-appearances totally enter true reality. Arhatship is not a particular victorious dharma. Why? 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 this way, there are no sentient beings that have already attained nirvāṇa, are attaining it, or will attain it. Why? Sentient beings do not assume definite appearances.
    Mañjuśrī continued, "Suppose there are those who desire to hear prajñā-pāramitā. I should say this: 'Like magically created beings that do not differentiate, the listeners do not remember, adhere to, hear, or gain anything.' This statement is a true teaching of the Dharma. Therefore, listeners should not embrace the dual appearance. They should cultivate the Buddha Dharma without abandoning other views, and they should neither grasp the Buddha Dharma nor abandon the dharma of ordinary beings. Why? The Buddha and ordinary beings as two dharmas are empty in appearance, not subject to grasping or abandoning. If someone asks me, I should answer this way, thus comforting the questioner and affirming [the meaning]. Good men and good women should ask questions and abide in this way, with their minds not regressing or baffled. They should speak of dharma-appearances in accord with prajñā-pāramitā."
    At that time the World-Honored One praised Mañjuśrī, "Very good! Very good! Just as you say, if good men and good women desire to see Buddhas, they should learn this prajñā-pāramitā. If they desire to be close to Buddhas and to make offerings to them according to the Dharma, they should learn this prajñā-pāramitā. If they desire to say that the Tathāgata is the World-Honored One to them, they should learn such prajñā-pāramitā. If they desire to say that the Tathāgata is not the World-Honored One to them, they should also learn such prajñā-pāramitā. If they desire to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, they should learn such prajñā-pāramitā. Even if they do not desire to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, they still should learn such prajñā-pāramitā. If they desire to accomplish all samādhis, they should learn such prajñā-pāramitā. Even if they do not desire to accomplish all samādhis, they still should learn such prajñā-pāramitā. Why? Because the Samādhi of No-formation has no differentiated appearance and because dharmas have no birth and no death. If there are those who desire to know that all dharmas are false names, they should learn such prajñā-pāramitā. If those who desire 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 such prajñā-pāramitā. Why? Because all dharmas are always with the appearance of bodhi. If there are those who desire to know, with their minds not regressing or baffled, that all sentient beings act with the appearance of non-action; that non-action is in effect bodhi; that bodhi is in effect the dharma realm; and that the dharma realm is in effect true reality, they should learn such prajñā-pāramitā. If there are those who desire to know that the transcendental powers and conjurations of all Tathāgatas have neither appearances nor obstructions, and neither directions nor locations, they should learn such prajñā-pāramitā."
    The Buddha told Mañjuśrī, "If bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās desire not to go down the evil life-paths, they should learn a four-verse stanza on prajñā-pāramitā, accept and uphold it, read and recite it, and explain it to others in accord with true reality. We should 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 such prajñā-pāramitā, are not shocked or terrified, but with faith and understanding arising in their minds, we should know that they are certified by the Buddha with a seal. This is the Mahāyāna Dharma Seal that Buddhas hold. If good men or good women learn this Dharma Seal, they—because of their transcendence—will never undertake the evil life-journeys, nor will they enter the path of voice-hearers or of Pratyekabuddhas."
    At that time the god-king of the Thirty-Three Heavens brought, as an offering to prajñā-pāramitā, the Tathāgata, and Mañjuśrī, 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 scattering such offerings over them, he said, "I wish always to learn the Prajñā-Pāramitā Dharma Seal." God-king Śakro-Devānām-Indra then made this vow: "I wish that the good men and good women in Jambudvīpa will always be able to hear this sūtra to verify the 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 realize the bodhi of Buddhas."
    Mañjuśrī 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 virtues."
    At that time, by virtue of the spiritual power of the Buddha, the entire great earth quaked in six ways. The Buddha then smiled as He emitted great radiance, illuminating everywhere in the Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World. Mañjuśrī said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, this is the appearance of the Tathāgata's sealing prajñā-pāramitā."
    The Buddha said, "Mañjuśrī, indeed, indeed. This auspicious sign always appears after prajñā-pāramitā is pronounced. It is for authenticating prajñā-pāramitā and for enabling people to accept and uphold it, and not to praise or dispraise it. Why? The appearance-free Dharma Seal is beyond praise or dispraise. I now, with this Dharma Seal, keep celestial māras from finding any vulnerability."
    After the Buddha had finished these words, great Bodhisattvas and the four groups of disciples, having heard the explanation of prajñā-pāramitā, greatly rejoiced. They all believed in, accepted, and reverently carried out the teachings.


Sūtra of Mahā-Prajñā-Pāramitā Pronounced by Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva
Translated from the Chinese Canon (CBETA, T08n0232)


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