KGSS VI : 91-116
Ten, "The Maras' Attainment of Reverent Trust," of the
Moon-Matrix Sutra, fascicle seven, states:
At that time there were ten billion maras. All together, at the
same time, they rose from their seats, and joining their hands in
homage, faced the Buddha, touched their heads to the Buddha's feet,
and said to the Buddha: "World-honored one! Awakening great
courage, we will protect and sustain the Buddha's right dharma and
cause the seeds of the three treasures to flourish and to long abide
in the world. We will now cause the vital energy of the earth, the
vital energy of sentient beings, and the vital energy of the dharma
all to increase. If there are disciples who listen well to the World-honored
one, abide in the dharma and accord with the dharma, and perform
practices so that the three modes of action correspond with the
dharma, then we will all protect and sustain those people and see
that they have all that they need...
In this Saha world,
At the time that it first entered the Auspicious Kalpa,
Krakucchanda Tathagata entrusted
All the four continents
To the deva-kings Indra and Brahma
And had them protect and sustain them.
Thus he caused them to nurture the seeds of the three treasures
And increase the three kinds of vital energy.
Kanakamuni also entrusted
The four continents
To Brahma, Indra, and the other deva-kings
And had them protect and sustain them.
Again, Kasyapa, in the same way,
Entrusted all the four continents
To Brahma, Indra, and the world-guardian kings
And had them protect people who practiced the dharma.
Further, the sages
And heavenly sages of the past
Entrusted the world to the central stars, luminous bodies, and
Dividing and arranging them.
In the world of the five defilements I have appeared;
I subdue the evil deeds of maras,
Form a great assembly,
And reveal the right dharma of the Buddha"...
All the assembled devas
Said together to the Buddha:
"In the dominions where we rule,
We will all protect the right dharma.
We will cause the seeds of the three treasures to flourish
And increase the three kinds of vital energy.
We will put an end to all disease and pestilence,
Starvation and strife."
on the Protection of the Deva-King Dhrtarastra" states:
The Buddha said, "God of the sun, god of the moon, if you
protect and sustain my dharma, I will have you enjoy long life and
keep you from degeneration and decline."
At that time there were ten billion deva-king Dhrtarastras, ten
billion deva-king Virudhakas, ten billion deva-king Virupaksas,
and ten billion deva-king Vaisravanas. They all, at the same time,
together with their followers, rose from their seats, straightened
their garments, bowed in homage with their palms joined, and spoke
the following words: "World-honored one of great virtue! Each
of us, in our own continent, will earnestly protect and sustain
the Buddha-dharma. We will cause the seeds of the three treasures
to flourish and long abide, and will make the three kinds of vital
energy all increase...
"We now, with the same mind as our leader deva-king Vaisravana,
protect the northern part of Jambudvipa and the teaching of all
on Forbearance," part sixteen, of the Moon-Matrix Sutra, fascicle
The Buddha said, "It is so, it is so. It is just as you say.
If, while clinging to existence, you want to reject pain and gain
pleasure, you should protect and uphold the right dharma of the
Buddhas. In this way you will certainly attain the recompense of
immeasurable merit. If there are sentient beings who, following
me, renounce worldly life, shave their hair and beard, and don monk's
robes, though they might not observe precepts, they all already
bear the seal of nirvana. Further, there may be some who unjustly
inflict distress and confusion on those who renounce worldly life
but do not uphold precepts, abuse them and slander them, and taking
swords and rods in their hands, cut them and flog them. They may
seize their robes and begging bowls and snatch away their various
daily provisions and utensils. Such people destroy the true and
real fulfilled body of the Buddhas of the past, present and future;
they demolish the eye for all devas and human beings. Because such
people cause the right dharma taught by all the Buddhas and the
seeds of the three treasures to sink into obscurity, they keep all
devas and human beings from obtaining benefit. Since they will surely
fall into hell, they cause the three evil courses to expand and
[Further, it states:]
At that time, all the devas, nagas and so on, including all kataputanas
and human and nonhuman beings, joined their palms in homage and
said: "We will consider as our teachers and elders all those
who are the Buddha's disciples and those who, though they do not
observe the precepts, shave their hair and beard and wear a monk's
robe at their shoulder. We will protect and sustain them, provide
them with necessities, and keep them from want. If other devas,
nagas and so on, including kataputanas, cause them distress or even
look on them with evil thoughts, we will all together deprive them
of their characteristics as devas, nagas, putanas, and so on, and
make them ugly and unsightly. We will make it impossible for them
to live together with us or to take meals with us. They will not
be able to laugh or sport in the same place with us. In this way
we will shun them and inflict punishment on them.
the Garland Sutra states:]
One must give up divination, study right views, and believe deeply
and decidedly in the causation of evil and merit.
95 The Sutra
of the Samadhi of Heroic Advance states:
All those maras, all those spirits, and all those evil ones, with
their accompanying groups, will each say, "I have attained
the unexcelled enlightenment." During the last dharma-age,
long after my parinirvana, there will be many such maras, many such
spirits, and many such evil ones. They will be active in the world,
and as teachers, they will lead beings to fall into the trap of
attachments and false views and to wander from the way to enlightenment.
They will delude and confuse the ignorant and surely cause them
to lose their minds. Where such spirits pass, familial houses will
collapse and disperse, and their members will become maras of attachments
and false views, losing the seed for becoming tathagata.
96 The Sutra
of Ritual Sprinkling states:
Without revealing themselves, the thirty-six spirit-kings, together
with their followings of spirits numerous as the sands of the Ganges
ten billion-fold, will take turns protecting those who receive the
97 The Sutra
of the Ten Wheels of Ksitigarbha states:
Those who take refuge truly and wholeheartedly, freeing themselves
from all delusional attachments and all concern with the propitious
or unpropitious, must never take refuge in false spirits or nonbuddhist
In various ways, to lesser or greater degree, they cling to signs
of the propitious or unpropitious and worship spirits... they give
rise to acts of the greatest and most oppressive evil, close to
the evil karma that will lead them to Avici hell. Unless such people
repent and cast off these acts of great evil - whether they do not
leave homelife and receive full precepts, or whether they do - they
will suffer the evil consequences.
99 In the Sutra
of the Samadhi of Collecting All Merits, it is stated:
Do not turn toward other teachings; do not worship gods.
100 The Sutra
of the Vows of Medicine Master Buddha states:
Good sons and good daughters of pure trust must never serve gods
to the very end of their lives.
Those who believe the deluded teachings of evil maras, nonbuddhists,
or sorcerers foretelling calamity or fortune may be stricken by
fear; their minds will become unsound. Engaging in divination, they
will foretell misfortune and will come to kill various sentient
beings. They may make prayers to gods or invoke spirits to beg for
good fortune and wish for long life, but in the end these will not
be obtained. Being foolish and ignorant, they will believe in false
teachings and fall into inverted views and, finally bringing an
untimely death on themselves, will enter hell with no prospect of
emergence... Eight, undergoing misfortune, they will suffer from
poison, prayers to evil gods, curses, and the spirits that emerge
102 The Sutra
of the Bodhisattva Precepts states:
The rule of the person who renounces worldly life is not to pay
homage to the king, not to pay homage to one's parents, not to serve
the six kinds of blood-relatives, and not to worship spirits.
on Upasena" in the Sutra of the Buddha's Past Lives (translated
by Jñanagupta), fascicle forty-two, states:
At that time, there was a nephew of the three Kasyapa brothers,
a brahmin with his hair tied in conch shape. This brahmin's name
was Upasena... He was always engaged in the study and practice of
the way of hermit sages together with two hundred fifty brahmin
disciples who also tied their hair in conch-shape. He heard that
his uncles, the three Kasyapas, went with all their disciples to
the place of the great sramana [Sakyamuni], shaved off their hair
and beards and donned monk's robes. Going to see his uncles, he
spoke to them in verse:
Uncles! Have you worshiped fire for one hundred years in vain?
In vain have you performed austerities?
Today, do you all abandon this path of practice
Just as a snake sloughs its old skin?
Then his uncles, the three Kasyapas, said together, in verse, to
their nephew Upasena:
In the past, we worshiped the god of fire in vain
And performed austerities to no purpose.
Today we abandon that path of practice
Indeed as a snake discards its old skin.
104 The Awakening
of Faith states:
Further, there are sentient beings who, lacking the power of roots
of good, are confused and misled by maras, nonbuddhist teachers,
and spirits. During meditation, such beings may manifest forms to
terrify you, or may appear with the features of comely men and women.
You should meditate on "mind only"; the object will then
disappear and harass you no more.
Sometimes they may appear in the forms of devas or bodhisattvas,
or present figures replete with the features and marks of Tathagatas.
They may teach dharanis, or charity, precepts, forbearance, endeavor,
meditation and wisdom; or teach that equality is the true nirvana,
or that emptiness, formlessness, and wishlessness is; or freedom
from aversion and favor, or the nonexistence of cause and effect,
or ultimate emptiness and tranquility. At other times, they may
enable you to know your past lives or your futures. They may enable
you to attain the wisdom of knowing the minds of others, or the
capacity for unimpeded eloquence. Thus they may foster in you a
grasping for worldly fame and profit.
They may cause you frequently to give rise to anger or joy, so
that you grow accustomed to having an unstable nature. At times,
you become extremely kind, or extremely sleepy, or extremely sick;
your mind is given to negligence. At other times, you suddenly display
great diligence, and afterwards abandon your efforts. You fall into
uncertainty, with much doubting and much pondering. Or discarding
your original excellent practices, you are brought to devote yourself
to sundry acts, becoming entangled in worldly affairs and being
drawn about here and there.
Again, maras and spirits may cause you to attain states that in
small part resemble the various samadhis. These are all nonbuddhist
attainments and not true samadhis. When you are abiding in meditation
for one day, or two days, or three days, up to seven days, they
may cause you to experience taking food and drink that is naturally
fragrant and delicious; feeling pleasant repose in body and mind,
without hunger or thirst, you thus become attached to your states.
Or, they may cause you to lose moderation in meals, suddenly eating
excessively or eating too little, so that your complexion changes
For these reasons, practicers should constantly devote themselves
to contemplating with wisdom and keep their minds from falling into
a net of falsity. Strive to abide in right-mindedness, without grasping
or clinging, and keep your distance from all obstructive acts. Know
that none of the samadhis of nonbuddhist teachers is free from wrong
views, attachment, and self-conceit, for they are undertaken out
of desire for worldly fame, profit, and esteem.
105 The Treatise
Illuminating the True (by Fa-lin) states:
The chapters "Ten Illuminations" and "Nine Admonitions"
replying to the "ten divergences and nine delusions" posed
by Li, the Taoist.
The first "divergence" set forth by the nonbuddhist states:
The spirit of the august Lao-tzu was entrusted to a wondrous
hermit lady, and he was born from her left side. Sakyamuni entered
the womb of Queen Maya and emerged from the right side.
The first illumination of the Buddhist states: Lao-tzu, contrary
to the eternal laws, emerged from the left side after being entrusted
to a herd girl. The World-honored one, conforming with the law of
change, emerged from the right side of his sacred mother.
A person of enlightenment states: In reading the various commentaries
on the Five Thousand Characters by Lü Ching-yü, Tai Shen,
Wei Ch'u-hsüan, and others, and the glossaries compiled by
the emperor Yüan of Liang and by Chou Hung-cheng, I find that
they state that the title "august" has four applications:
it is used for the three emperors and for the emperors Yao and Shun.
In ancient times these lords of great virtue stood above all the
people; hence, they were referred to as "august." Kuo-hsiang
states in his commentary [on Chuang-tzu], "The person that
the age regards as wise is the lord; those whose capacities are
not recognized by the world are retainers."
Lao-tzu was not an emperor or lord; he is not included among the
four applications of the word "august." In what documents
is he casually referred to as "august"?
Moreover, such Taoist classics as Hsuan-miao, Chung-t'ai, Chu-t'ao,
and Yü-cha, as well as the record Ch'u-sai-chi, state that
Lao-tzu was born of his mother Li; they do not speak of a "wondrous
hermit lady." The statement by the nonbuddhist is incorrect,
a groundless, fictitious tale.
Further, the Precious Record of Hermit Sages states:
Hermit sages do not take wives; hermit ladies do not take husbands.
Although they have the form of women, they do not give birth.
An event so miraculous [as Lao-tzu's birth from a hermit lady]
would certainly be spoken of as auspicious indeed. Why is it not
mentioned in the Records of the Historian, and not noted at all
in the Chou Writings? To search out what is merely imagined while
denouncing the truth is none other than to trust in the words of
the deluded and deceitful.
The Book of Rites states:
One who retires from government office and has no rank is said
to "move to the left."
The Analects states:
It is against propriety to wear robes with the left side outward
[as viewed by others].
If the left side is superior to the right, why is it that Taoists,
in their ritual processions, turn not to the left but rather to
the right? Further, the imperial edicts all declare, "As stated
to the right..." All of these examples are instances of according
with the laws of Heaven...
The fourth "divergence" of the nonbuddhist states:
Lao-tzu lived in the days of King Wen and was teacher to the
nation when the Chou rose to its height. Sakyamuni lived in the
time of King Chuang and was a teacher in the land of Chi-pin [northern
The fourth illumination of the Buddhist states: Lao-tzu was a petty
official in the government and humbly served in the archives. He
did not live during the time of King Wen, nor was he a teacher when
the Chou flourished.
Sakyamuni was in rank a prince, and he realized the enlightenment
most honored in the world. His life corresponds to the height of
King Chao, and he was the teacher of Jambudvipa...
The sixth "divergence" of the nonbuddhist states:
Lao-tzu began his life in the world during the reign of King
Wen of Chou and ended his days in the time of Confucius. Sakyamuni
was born into the family of Suddhodana; his period corresponds
to the reign of King Chuang.
The sixth illumination of the Buddhist states: Lao-tzu, the incarnation
of Kasyapa, was born in the year fire/hare [714 BCE] of the reign
of King Huan and died in the year water/horse [519 BCE] of the reign
of King Ching. Although he died in the time of Confucius, he did
not live during the age of King Wen. The Buddha, the tamer of beings,
was born in the year wood/tiger [1027 BCE] of the reign of King
Chao and died in the year water/monkey [949 BCE] of the reign of
King Mu. He was the heir of Suddhodana, and appeared before the
time of King Chuang.
A person of enlightenment states: Confucius went to the kingdom
of Chou to see Lao-tzu and ask about propriety. This is explained
in detail in the Records of the Historian. There is no documentary
evidence stating that Lao-tzu was the teacher of King Wen. He was
born at the end of the Chou dynasty; this may be found in the records.
The statement that he existed at the beginning of the Chou does
not appear in the historical documents...
The seventh "divergence" of the nonbuddhist states:
Lao-tzu was born during the Chou dynasty and late in life went
into the great desert. What became of him is a mystery; his final
destination is unknown. Sakyamuni was born in the western lands
and died near the Hiranyavati River. His disciples beat their
breasts in sorrow, and large numbers of natives cried bitterly.
The seventh illumination of the Buddhist states: Lao-tzu was born
at Lai-hsiang and buried at Huai-li. This is clearly known from
the fact that Ch'in-i went to mourn him, but criticized him in regard
to "the form of one who has hidden himself in Heaven."
Gautama was born in the palace and died beneath the sala trees.
This became known in China during the reign of King Ming of the
Han dynasty and is recorded in a treasured writing in the imperial
A person of enlightenment states: In the "Inner Chapters"
of Chuang-tzu it is written:
When Lao-tzu died, Ch'in-i went to mourn him. He cried out only
three times, then left the room. Lao-tzu's disciples were puzzled
and asked, "Weren't you an old friend of the Master?"
Ch'in-i replied, "When I went in, I saw young people mourning
for him as though they had lost their fathers, and old people
mourning for him as though they had lost their sons. From the
past, Lao-tzu has been called the form of one who has hidden himself
in Heaven. At first, I too thought him such a person, but now
I see it was not so."
"Hidden" means to have withdrawn. "Heaven"
implies gaining freedom from bondage. "Form" refers to
the body. This passage means that Ch'in-i at first thought that
Lao-tzu was a hermit sage who had gained freedom from the bonds
of the physical body, but now he sees that he was wrong. Ah, Lao-tzu's
words flattered people and won their sympathy, but after all he
could not evade death. He is not my friend...
The above are the ten illuminations of the Buddhist, replying to
the ten "divergences" set forth by the nonbuddhist.
The nonbuddhist asserts first the "divergence" regarding
left and right in birth; the Buddhist replies that there is here
a distinction of superior and inferior in birth.
The Buddhist adds to illuminate the matter: The custom of wearing
clothing with the left side outward is maintained by uncivilized
peoples of the west and north; in China, commands that come from
the "right" are respected. Thus, it is stated in the Spring
and Autumn Annals:
The Prime Minister receives no imperial commands, but the assistant
ministers receive commands. Is this not on the left [that is,
The Records of the Historian states:
Lin Hsiang-ju's contributions were great, and in position, he
was to the right of Lien-p'o, who felt humiliated.
Further, it states:
Prime Minister Chang-i placed [the envoy from] Ch'in on the right
and Wei on the left. Prime Minister His-shou placed Han on the
right and Wei on the left.
Surely this indicates that the left side implies unreliability.
The Book of Rites states:
Those who, through left [that is, wrong] ways, form groups and
start riots among the masses are to be killed.
Does this not indicate that the right is superior and the left
inferior? Huang Fu-mi states in his Biographies of Great Men:
Lao-tzu was a physiognomist of the state of Ch'u. He lived to
the north of the Wo River and studied under Ch'ang-sung-tzu. When
Ch'ang-tzu lay ill, Lao-tzu went to see him and inquired about
Further, Chi-k'ang states:
Lao-tzu studied the arts of the nine hermit sages under Chüan-tzu
Even though we examine the Records of the Historian and other great
histories, we do not find it stated that Lao-tzu was born from an
opening in his mother's left side. Since there is no proper documentation,
this assertion is obviously unacceptable.
It is evident that wielding a lance or moving a brush [with the
right hand] is the beginning of letters and arms, just as the five
aethers and the three kinds of luminous bodies are the beginning
of yin and yang. Thus, in the Buddhist path, one turns to the right
[i.e., correct way]; this accords with human activities, while the
Tao of the left [i.e., incorrect, "sinister" path] of
Chang-ling contradicts the normal way of Heaven. This is clear from
the appearance [out of the right side] of Sakyamuni, who awakened
compassion free of objects and responded to the desires of sentient
Sakyamuni stood alone in heaven and on earth and occupied the position
of the most revered. As one transcending the three realms and the
six courses, his excellence was respected by all...
The nonbuddhist asserts:
Lao-tzu was a model, saving society and bringing people to salvation
solely with the teaching of filial piety and loyalty, and manifesting
the fullest compassion and love. Because of this, his fame and
his teachings are transmitted perpetually, and the generations
of kings, without alteration, have promulgated his profound influence
without deviation for a myriad ages. Thus, in governing the country
and in governing the household, his teaching has constantly served
as a standard.
In Sakyamuni's teaching, righteousness is discarded, parents
are discarded; benevolence and filial piety are done away with.
King Ajatasatru murdered his father, yet it is taught there was
no offense. Devadatta wounded his cousin Sakyamuni with an arrow,
but we do not hear of any punishment for his crime. Since common
people are guided by his teaching, the evil is all the more compounded.
If it is taken for a standard in society, how can good arise?
This is the tenth "divergence" regarding contradiction
The illumination of the Buddhist states: [According to Taoists,]
righteousness is inferior to the virtue of the Way, and propriety
arises because loyalty and sincerity have attenuated. Small benevolence
is despised as the conduct of lowborn women, and great filial piety
is said to be practiced only by the rich.
Further, to laugh and sing on seeing people's misfortune is not
the manner in China, and to beat trays at funerals is not the rule
of Chinese custom.
Thus, it is in order to instruct such people that filial piety
is taught; it is to bring the people of the world to respect their
fathers. Further, it is in order to instruct such people that loyalty
is taught; it is to bring the people of the world to respect the
king. For education with these teachings to spread to all countries
is the utmost benevolence of the wise ruler. Throughout the four
seas these teachings appear, and this is the great piety of the
The Buddhist sutras state:
As the subject of mental activity transmigrates in the six courses,
there is no being that does not become one's father or mother.
Since beings change ceaselessly in the three realms of birth-and-death,
who can be distinguished as enemy or friend?
Further, it is stated:
Ignorance covers their eyes of wisdom, so that people come and
go in birth-and-death. Through various acts committed in going
and returning, people become parents and children reciprocally.
In this way, enemies turn frequently into friends, and friend
Thus, sramanas abandon mundane life and direct themselves toward
the true. They treat all beings the same as parents and relatives.
They discard worldly prosperity and pursue the way, and regard all
beings as the same as their own relatives. (They practice the universally
right mind and maintain the same attitude of universal friendliness.)
Further, in Taoism serene voidness is esteemed, yet you place importance
on gratitude and love. In the dharma, equality is treasured, while
you discriminate between friend and foe. Is this not delusion? That
competition for power leads to forgetfulness of one's parents is
clearly documented in the histories; Duke Huan of Ts'i and King
Mu of Ch'u are examples of this. Thus, is it not an error to seek
to slander the sage [Sakyamuni]?
Here ends the tenth point regarding the inferiority of Taoism.
The two emperors unified the land; they lived at the beginning
of the era of peace. The three sages established their teachings
and advocated them in the period when the world had already become
defiled. The Yellow Emperor and Lao-tzu actively discussed the essential
meaning of profoundness, voidness, emptiness, and oneness, and the
Duke of Chou and Confucius promoted the teachings of the arts of
poetry, composition, propriety, and music. Illuminating the virtues
of modesty and guarding the spirit of honesty are steps in ascending
to sagehood. The three kinds of awe and the five constant virtues
are causes for being born a human being or deva. These teachings
implicitly accorded with the Buddha's truth, but they did not correctly
illuminate and exhaustively discuss it. It is like asking those
who are mute or deaf the way; they can only point the direction
and cannot tell us the exact distance. Or, we may wish to discover
a river crossing from a rabbit or a horse; though they may know
how to cross, they do not know the depth.
To extrapolate from these examples, the Yin and Chou dynasties
were not propitious times for the spread of Sakyamuni's teaching.
The situation may be likened to a child being unable to look directly
at blazing flames or dazzling light, or a weak-spirited man being
unable to listen attentively to a violent thunderclap. Thus, on
seeing rivers and ponds welling up and overflowing, King Chao stood
in fear of the birth of a god, [Sakyamuni]. Seeing clouds and a
rainbow change in color, the consort of King Mu rejoiced at the
sage's demise. In such circumstances, how could the teaching be
received across the rivers of the Pamir range? How could contact
be made with the truth from over the Himalayas? The Vimalakirti
Sutra states, "It is not the fault of the sun or moon that
the blind [do not see them]." Even though you might wish to
engage in discussions that are like drilling holes, it would probably
result only in harming the nature of your treasured "chaos."
It is beyond your understanding. This is the first blindness of
The second point of the Buddhist, concerning the construction of
images and temple buildings:
From the time of Emperor Ming of the Han dynasty to the end of
the Ts'i and Liang dynasties, there were over two hundred people,
including kings, nobles, officials, men and women believers and
monks and nuns, who deeply sensed the most sacred one and saw a
miraculous radiance with their own eyes.
Further, there have been such accounts as those of the Buddha's
foot impression seen at Mount Wan, and a luminous Buddha image seen
over the waters at Hu-tu. At the foot of Mount Ch'ing-t'ai, the
[Buddha's] figure appeared as the full moon, and outside the Yung-men
gate an image of the rings at the top of a stupa was seen. King
Nan-p'ing entered into deep correspondence with Buddha through a
miraculous image, and Wen-hsüan received a revelatory dream
through a sacred tooth relic. King Hsiao was able to cast a golden
Buddhist image with one attempt, while the Emperor of Sung tried
four times without success. There are countless such examples; it
is impossible to mention them all. Though you be sightless, still
how can you dismiss such miracles?
However, the virtue that is perfect is called nieh-p'an (nirvana);
the way that reaches everywhere is called pu-t'i (bodhi, enlightenment);
the wisdom that pervades all things is called Fo-t'o (Buddha). The
Sanskrit terms have been transcribed with these Chinese words; thus,
"Buddha" expressed in either language is clearly to be
entrusted to. This is evident, because Fo-t'o or Buddha means "great
awakening" in Chinese, pu-t'i or bodhi means "great Way,"
and nieh-p'an or nirvana means "uncreated." You, while
daylong treading the broad earth of enlightenment, do not know that
the great way is simply a different name for enlightenment. While
you take bodily form in the realm of great awakening, you have still
not learned that great awakening is a translation for Buddha. Thus,
Great awakening leads to knowledge of [human existence as] a
Kuo-hsiang states in commentary:
"Awakening" refers to a sage. The meaning here is that
those whose hearts are distressed are all dreaming.
The commentary further states:
Confucius and Tzu-yu were not able to forget the words and apprehend
the spirit; hence, they did not attain great awakening.
A person of virtue said, "The teaching of Confucius goes only
up to here."
Nirvana, which is tranquil illumination, cannot be known by the
consciousness or apprehended through knowledge; rather, words are
cut off and mental activity ceases. Thus, one forgets words. Dharma-body
is possessed of the three aspects and four virtues; it is majestic
and free of any annoyance. Hence, it is termed "emancipation."
Through spiritual awakening, one attains alleviation of distress.
Confucius is spoken of as a sage, but his accomplishments are far
surpassed by the Buddha. This we may assert, for we find it stated
in Liu-hsiang's Two Records of Antiquity:
One hundred fifty years after Buddhism was transmitted to China,
Lao-tzu composed the Five Thousand Characters.
This being the case, both Chuang-tzu and Lao-tzu were aware of
[and borrowed from] what was taught in the Buddhist sutras; the
evidence for this is found here and there in their words and teachings...
The Sutra of Mindfulness of the Right Dharma states:
When people do not observe precepts, the devas fall into decline
and the asuras flourish. Good nagas lose their power, and evil
nagas gain in power. When evil nagas have power, there is frost
and hail, as well as violent winds and ill rains out of season;
the five kinds of grains do not ripen, epidemics arise and compete
in virulence, and the people starve and kill each other.
When people observe precepts, the many devas grow in awesome
majesty. The asuras decline, and evil nagas lose their power,
while good nagas gain in power. When the good nagas have power,
the winds and rains come at their proper times, and the four seasons
are mild and harmonious. The nourishing rain falls, and rice and
grain are abundant; the people enjoy peace, and arms and warfare
are put aside. Epidemics do not occur...
A person of virtue states:
The Taoist states in Book of the Principle Hidden in the Great
Sky and Book of Supreme Truth:
The Lord of the supreme great Way [Ling-pao T'ien-tsun] rules
in Great Gossamer Net Heaven, which is infinitely vast and of
fifty-five layers, on Mount Jade Capital, where the pavilion of
seven precious substances with a golden shelf and jade-desk is
found. Immortal youths and jade ladies attend him. He dwells beyond
the thirty-two heavens and the three realms.
Further, we find it stated in the Chart of the Five Divine Peaks:
The Celestial Honored-one of the great Way governs at the capital
of Great Profundity, located in the province of Jade Light, the
prefecture of Golden Truth, the district of Heavenly Protection,
the county of Primordial Illumination, the village of Settled
Aspiration. No calamities intrude here.
The Scripture of Spirits states:
Great Gossamer Net Heaven lies at the top of the heavens in 555,555
The Chart of the Five Divine Peaks states:
"Capital" means to look over. The divine illuminated
Lord of the supreme great Way, the Way of Ways, abides in the
capital of Great Profundity, maintaining the tranquility.
Sound within the Heavens states:
Heavenly beings and hermits sound drums in the pavilioned palace.
They attend at the jade capital and entertain the Lord of the
Concerning the Catalog of Taoist Scriptures dedicated to the emperor
by the Taoist [Hsüan Tu-kuan], all people say, "According
to Lu Hsiu-ching, a man of the Sung, there are 1,228 [Taoist] volumes
listed." Miscellaneous works, including writings of the "tzu"
category [belonging to various schools], were originally not included.
Now, however, the Taoist [Hsüan Tu-kuan] lists 2,040 volumes.
Among these are many ["tzu"] works taken from the "Catalog
of Literature" of the Book of Han; 884 are erroneously listed
and presented as Taoist writings...
It may be inferred that T'ao-shu [the author of The Art of Bodily
Transformation] was none other than Fan-li. He intimately served
Kou-chien, the king of Yüeh. The king and all his ministers,
however, were taken captive by the kingdom of Wu and were forced
to eat excrement and drink urine; they suffered extreme wretchedness.
Further, Fan-li's son was murdered by the kingdom of Ch'i. If Fan-li
possessed the art of bodily transformation, why could he not transform
himself and provide escape?
In reading the Record of the Creation of Heaven and Earth, we find
the statement, "Lao-tzu was born from the womb of the imperial
consort of King Yu." In other words, he was the child of King
Yu. It further states, "In station, he was an official in the
archives." That is, he was a retainer of King Yu. The Scripture
on Converting the Natives [of India] states, "Lao-tzu was Tung-fang
Shuo of the Han dynasty." If this is actually so, why - since
we know that King Yu was killed by the western barbarians - did
Lao-tzu not, out of love for his father the king, give him a divine
amulet to keep him from death?...
We have already referred to Lu Hsiu-ching's catalog; it is without
genuine substance. How ridden with errors it is! Hsiu-ching made
his catalog as a great deception, but Hsüan Tu-kuan's catalog
[based on it] is deception compounded with deception...
it states [quoting an edict of Emperor Wu of Liang]:
The Larger [Nirvana] Sutra teaches:
There are ninety-six kinds of paths; only the single path of
the Buddha is the right path. The other ninety-five are all nonbuddhist
Discarding the nonbuddhist paths, I serve the Tathagata. If there
are lords who make this same vow, let them each awaken the aspiration
for enlightenment. Lao-tzu, the Duke of Chou, Confucius, and others
guided people as disciples of the Tathagata, but they already followed
wrong paths. Their teachings concern only mundane good; through
them, one cannot part from the worldly and attain the sacred. Let
lords and ministers, together with the nobility and the king and
their families, turn from the false and adhere to the true, discard
the wrong and enter the right. Thus the Treatise on the Establishment
of Truth, setting forth the teaching in the sutras, states:
If your adherence to nonbuddhist paths is great and your adherence
to the Buddha-dharma is light, you are possessed of wrong views.
If your adherences are equal, your state is indeterminate, corresponding
to neither good nor evil. If your adherence to the Buddhist path
is strong and your adherence to the path of Lao-tzu is slight,
you possess pure trust. "Pure" means immaculate both
on the surface and within; all the grime and defilement of ignorance
has been completely eliminated. "Trust" means to entrust
oneself to the right and be free of wrong views. Hence, one is
called a "disciple of the Buddha who possessed pure trust."
Other forms of trust are all wrong views. They cannot be called
Discard the wrong teachings of Lao-tzu and enter the true teaching
of the dharma!
107 The Master
of Kuang-ming temple states:
The Buddhas of the zenith, countless as the sands of the Ganges,
Extend their tongues for the sake of such people as those of this
Who, committing the ten transgressions and five grave offenses,
greatly doubt and slander the teaching,
Entrust themselves to wrong views, serve spirits, offer food to
gods and maras,
Think delusional thoughts, seeking blessings, and wish for benefits,
And who, on the contrary, suffer calamities and disasters one after
another, with increasing frequency,
Lie in bed with sickness in successive years, and
Grow deaf and blind, with broken legs and palsied hands -
Serving gods and receiving such recompense.
Why do they not abandon such practices and think on Amida?
Steps to the Dharma-Realm states:
The first is to take refuge in the Buddha. The [Nirvana] Sutra
If one has taken refuge in the Buddha, one must not further take
refuge in various nonbuddhist gods.
Further, it states:
The person who takes refuge in the Buddha will not fall into
the evil courses.
The second is to take refuge in dharma. That is, one should take
refuge in and practice what the Great Sage taught, whether it be
teaching or principle.
The third is to take refuge in the sangha. That is, the mind takes
refuge in those who renounce worldly life and rightly practice the
teachings of the three vehicles; hence, the [Nirvana] Sutra states:
One never again takes refuge in nonbuddhist paths.
Concerning methods of worship, in India there are the Vedas and
in China the books of rites. These have never led to emancipation
from the world. From the stance of the true, they are accommodated
means to guide the worldly.
Chegwan of Koryo states [in his Fourfold Teachings of T'ien-t'ai]:
The course of hungry ghosts is termed preta in Sanskrit. This course
is likewise present in all [samsaric] realms. Those hungry ghosts
that possess merit become spirits of mountains and forests or of
graveyards. Those without merit dwell in impure places, receive
no food or drink, and are constantly flogged. Forced to fill in
rivers and dam the oceans, they suffer pain without measure. Those
beings who, harboring flattery and deception in their hearts, have
performed the five grave offenses and ten transgressions of the
lowest degree receive as recompense existence in this course.
Shen-chih, in his commentary [on the preceding passage], states:
Concerning the course of hungry ghosts, "hungry" refers
to constantly starving, and "ghost" (kuei) implies returning
(kuei). Shih-tzu states, "In the past, a dead person was called
'one who has returned.'" Human spirits are called ghosts, while
earth-spirits are called earth-gods... In form, they may resemble
human beings or be like animals.
The mind that is not straightforward is said to "harbor flattery
"Spirits" refers to ghosts. They all belong to the four
courses of devas, of asuras, of ghosts, and of hell.
Maras are beings of the evil courses.
114 The Treatise
on Samatha and Vipasyana states, in the section on the realm of
Second, to clarify the features with which maras appear: Whatever
their particular type, they are all called maras. When we look carefully
into their minor distinctions, we find that there are no more than
three kinds: spirits of irritation, spirits of temptation at the
different hours, and mara-spirits. The features with which these
maras appear vary according to their kind.
states, based on the Treatise on Samatha and Vipasyana:
Maras obstruct enlightenment by employing blind passions. Spirits
attack the root of life by causing sickness.
116 The Analects
Chi-lu asked, "Should one worship spirits?"
Confucius said, "One should not worship spirits. Why should
people worship spirits?"