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The Offspring of the Demon King

If the Shurangama Sutra is gone, the Proper Dharma will also be gone.

 

When the demon king competed with the Buddha, the Buddha used his samadhi power to overcome the demon king・s spiritual penetrations. The demon king then said to the Buddha, :I cannot win now, but in the future when your disciples lack sufficient samadhi power and proper knowledge and views, I will worm my way into your religion, wear your clothing, eat your food, and then relieve myself in your almsbowl. We・ll see what you do then!" Shakyamuni Buddha said very sadly, "I won・t be able to do anything then.;

 

Now a left-home person has actually declared that the Amitabha Sutra is spurious, his reason being that there is no proof that, :Passing from here through hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhalands to the west, there is a world called Ultimate Bliss.; :What surveyor has measured it?; he asked. :Maybe the distance is slightly more or less than .hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhalands.・ How could it be exactly .hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhalands・?; What a stupid, ridiculous argument!

 

Recently, another left-home person proclaimed that the Shurangama Sutra was spurious and should not be believed. He based his statement on a passage of the Sutra which says, :Then King Prasenajit, for the sake of his father, the late king, arranged on the day of mourning a vegetarian feast and invited the Buddha to the side rooms of the palace. He welcomed the Tathagata in person with a vast array of superb delicacies of unsurpassed wonderful flavors.; He thought this passage did not comply with the customs of India at the time, because Indians did not stress filial piety. Thus, he judged that the Shurangama Sutra was spurious and was not spoken by the Buddha. This is equivalent to destroying the Sutras and slandering the Buddha. The retribution for such behavior will be inconceivable. His ideas are too childish. Can you possibly imagine what his intention might have been?

The Sutra of the Complete Extinction of the Dharma says, "The Shurangama Sutra will be the first Sutra to disappear in the future Dharma-ending Age." That・s because the Shurangama Sutra is the symbol of the Proper Dharma Age. If the Shurangama Sutra is gone, the Proper Dharma will also be gone. Nowadays, there are many mountain spirits and water monsters who maintain that the Shurangama Sutra was not spoken by the Buddha, and that people should not believe in it. If the Shurangama Sutra is not to be believed, then we can also forget about all the other Sutras. Why? Because there is no evidence that the other Sutras were spoken by the Buddha, either. So, you can see how malicious the demon king is!

 

The Shurangama Sutra reveals the truth all too clearly. The demon king cannot follow the Four Clear Instructions on Purity, nor can he cultivate the Dharma doors of Perfect Penetration of the Twenty-five Sages, or face the states of the Fifty Skandha-demons. He is afraid of being exposed and having people find out what he really is. For that reason, he tries to destroy the Shurangama Sutra. His method of destroying it is not to burn the Sutra, but to make people lose faith in it.

 

The things going on in this world are just that strange and mysterious. The truth is recognized by very few. Business is booming for those who sell fake medicines, while those who sell the real thing have no customers at all. Why is this? It・s because no one recognizes the value of his merchandise. That・s why I say that while no one recognizes what is true, everyone is infatuated with and deluded by the false. This principle is very easy to understand.

 

We are now in the Dharma-ending Age. Most people slander and fail to believe in Dharma Masters who truly cultivate the Buddhadharma. On the other hand, phony Dharma Masters who give boisterous, entertaining speeches attract large audiences. The hall gets so crowded that people can hardly breathe; they are like sardines in a can. There・s even a monk who promotes a nonvegetarian diet. He says to everyone, :Vegetarians are all greedy. Only nonvegetarians have no greed.; This is an absurd statement, but it really blinds people and makes them muddled. Being muddled from the time they were born until they die, they muddle their way straight to the hells and can never come out.

 

Therefore, in studying the Buddhadharma, we need to have Dharma-selecting Vision so that we can distinguish right from wrong and good from evil. Otherwise, we・ll be like the blind men examining the elephant. Not being able to see the truth, we just repeat what we・ve heard others say. When someone says the elephant is like a wall, we say that the elephant is like a wall. When someone says it・s like a pillar, we say it・s like a pillar. What is the elephant really like? We don・t know. In studying the Buddhadharma, we have to understand the truth and not just blindly follow others. Everyone should pay special attention to this!

 

A talk given on April 17, 1984

 

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