Outline of the Tiantai Fourfold Teachings 天台四教儀
Compiled by the Goryeo Śramaṇa Chegwan 高麗沙門諦觀, Translated by A. Charles Muller
Table of Contents
|2.||Outline of the Tiantai Fourfold Teachings|
The Outline of the Tiantai Fourfold Teachings takes a special position in our selections from Korean Buddhism in that it is known not so much for its influence on Korean thought or for being an example of a distinctive “Korean” way of thinking, but it known, more than anything for its broad influence on the East Asian Buddhist tradition as a whole.
Cheontae Buddhism, well-known by its Chinese and Japanese names of Tiantai and Tendai, is one of the most influential forms of Buddhism in East Asian Buddhist history. Formed in China during the sixth and seventh centuries, Tiantai received its greatest single influence from the Chinese scholar-monk Zhiyi 智顗. 1 Zhiyi was the most thorough among the early Chinese doctrinal masters who sought to create a way of sorting out the confusing morass of Buddhist teachings that had been imported from India and Central Asia. He did this by creating a complex system for categorizing the various types of content, the methods of instruction, and the sequential development of these methods, culminating in what was regarded as the most perfected form of Buddhist teachings.
Zhiyi was not alone in the attempt at creating an all-embracing doctrinal classification system; most of the leading thinkers of the major doctrinal traditions of the fifth century and after, including the Sanlun school, Faxiang school, Huayan school, and various derivatives of traditions that were involved in the formation of these school created their own taxonomies. One uniform characteristic of these classification systems was that while they attempted to embrace and account for the full gamut of Buddhist teachings that had been received in China, they also invariably took a certain text, family of text, or doctrine as the culmination of the Buddhist project, and used this text or doctrine as the basis for the creation of the organizing principles for their doctrinal system. In the case of Tiantai and Zhiyi, that text was the Lotus Sūtra, and thus the Tiantai school and its various descendants and later branch schools in Korea and Japan centered their studies and practice on the Lotus Sūtra.
Chegwan 諦觀 (?-970) was a monk of the early Goryeo period who received Buddhist instruction in China and was central to the revival of the Chinese Tiantai sect. Little is known of his early life. It is said that he first went to China at the invitation of the king of Wuyue 呉越王 (a devout student of Buddhism) who was concerned about replacing texts that had been lost from the Chinese Buddhist corpus because of war and other disasters. In 960 Wuyue sent an envoy to Goryeo with various treasures along with a request for copies of various missing canonical texts. Chegwan was sent to China in response with copies of a commentary on the Zhilun, a commentary on the Sūtra for Humane Kings, and many other texts. In China he met Uijeok, the fifteenth successor of Tiantai, and helped him with the restoration of Tiantai for ten years. Chegwan wrote the two-fascicle Cheontae sagyo ui (currently only the first volume exists), which become a popular guidebook for Tiantai studies throughout East Asia.
The Cheontae sagyo ui 2 is a comprehensive yet concise outline of Tiantai teachings that discusses the five periods and eight teachings 五時八教, the twenty-five expedient preparations 二十五方便 for the meditative method of cessation and clear observation 止觀法門, and the ten methods of contemplation 十乘觀法, thus providing full coverage of the main aspects of Tiantai doctrine and practice. According to the accounts given in the biographies of Zhongyi Wang 忠懿王 (929–988) and Chegwan in the Complete Chronicle of the Buddha and Patriarchs 佛祖統紀 (T 2035), the composition of the Sagyo ui originated when the king of Wuyue, puzzled over a line in the Yongjia ji 永嘉集 (T 2013) that said “one simultaneously removes the four entrenchments” 同除四住, sought an explanation from the Chan master Deshao 德韶 (891–972). Since this was a doctrinal matter that was beyond his own range of expertise, Deshao recommended that he consult a Tiantai doctrinal master such as Luoxi Yiji 螺溪義寂 (919–987). The king consulted with Yiji, who identified the phrase as being the work of the great Tiantai master Zhiyi 智顗 (538–597)—part of his explanation of the stages of subtlety 位妙 in his Fahua xuanyi 法華玄義 (T 1716). However, because of the unstable conditions of China at the end of the Tang (such as the An-Shi 安史 rebellion and the Huichang 會昌 suppression of Buddhism), major segments of the Buddhist—especially, important Tiantai texts—had been lost and destroyed, including the Fahua xuanyi.
Significant portions of the canon were, however, largely extant in both Korea and Japan, and thus King Wuyue sent emissaries to both countries in an attempt to procure this and other texts. On the order of the Goryeo king, Chegwan headed for Mt. Tiantai in the Song with a number of treatises and commentaries, leaving out the three major commentaries 天台三大部 of the Tiantai school. Also, by the king’s order, he was not to take the Commentary on the Dazhidu lun 智度論疏, the Bones and Eyes of the Flower Ornament 華嚴骨目 (T 1742), the Five Hundred Questions 五百問論 (Z 939), and so forth. Furthermore, he was given orders to the effect that if the masters on Mt. Tiantai did not properly respond to his questions, he was to pack up all of his texts and return home. Chegwan and Luoxi Yiji, however, quickly gained each other’s respect. Nevertheless, it is said that Chegwan kept the Sagyo ui (which he had already written) hidden secretly in the bottom of his bag; but subsequent to his passing away after a ten-year stay in Louxi, a light suddenly shone forth from his satchel, revealing the existence of this text.
The Sagyo ui starts off by outlining the five periods and eight teachings 五時八教. The five periods represent the Tiantai school’s understanding of the sequence of the Buddha’s sermons, starting from the Flower Ornament period 華嚴時, going up to the Deep Park period 鹿苑時, Vaipulya period 方等時, Prajñā period 般若時, and Lotus-Nirvāṇa period 法華涅槃時. The four methods 化儀 of teaching—i.e., the pedagogical approaches—are those of sudden 頓教, gradual 漸教, secret 祕密教, and variable 不定教. The four kinds of content, which are provided in response to the capacities of the sentient beings in the audience, are those of the Tripiṭaka Teaching 藏教, Shared Teaching 通教, Distinct Teaching 別教, and Perfect Teaching 圓教. Next, the four pedagogical formats are juxtaposed with the first four teaching periods 前四時 (Huayan through Prajñā periods). The sudden teaching is explained as having been delivered first in the form of the Huayan jing, as the direct content of the Buddha’s enlightenment experience. The Buddha takes up the gradual approach after realizing that too many sentient beings could not grasp the prior sudden teaching, and thus he endeavors to adjust by starting off with relatively simple teachings, and only gradually advancing to more advanced concepts and practices. This is accomplished by articulating, in sequence, the teachings of the Dear Park period 鹿苑時 (represented by the Āgama sūtras 阿含經), the Vaipulya period 方等時 (represented by the Vimalakīrti Sūtra 淨名經 and so forth); the Prajñā period 般若時 (represented by the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras 般若經). The secret teaching occurs when the Buddha guides one person in the audience with the sudden teaching and another person with the gradual, with each gaining his or her own benefit without their being aware of this difference in what they are learning. In the variable teaching, while the Buddha delivers a single message, each understands according to his or her own level in an indeterminate manner. Next, in the Lotus phase, he delivers a teaching that is neither sudden nor gradual.
Chegwan next explains the five flavors 五味 (milk 乳, cream 酪, buttermilk 生酥, butter 熟酥, and ghee醍醐), as metaphors for the five time periods. This is followed by a detailed examination of the four kinds of content, wherein the content of the Tripiṭaka Teaching is identified as (1) the sūtra collection 修多羅藏 (Āgamas and so forth); (2) the Abhidharma collection 阿毘曇藏 (including the Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣya, Mahāvibhāṣā-śāstra 大毘婆沙論 and so forth); (3) the Vinaya collection 毘尼藏 (including the five main Vinaya compilations 五部律), all three of which are studied in both Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna, but he limits his discussion to the Hīnayāna aspect. Next he explains the meaning of the Shared Teaching 通教, which is the sort of content wherein the Tripiṭaka teachings are also contained within the subsequent Distinct and Perfect teachings. Next is the explanation of the Distinct Teaching 別教, which is distinct in the sense that it is clearly limited in its application to the teaching for bodhisattvas who have already succeeded in going beyond the limitations of cyclic existence 界外. It is distinct in that it differs from the prior two teachings as well as from the subsequent Perfect Teaching in terms of its doctrine 教理, wisdom and elimination 智斷, stages of practice 行位, and causes and results 因果. Next he elucidates the Perfect Teaching, which is perfect in terms of subtlety 圓妙, fulfillment 圓滿, completeness 圓足, and suddenness 圓頓. It perfectly rescues sentient beings through perfect quelling 圓伏, perfect faith 圓信, perfect elimination 圓斷, perfect practices 圓行, perfect stages 圓位, and perfect adornment 圓自在莊嚴. All of the sūtras and treatises, all buddha-realms that are explained, and all the levels of practice of the three vehicles are subsumed under this teaching.
He next moves to the discussion of the twenty-five expedient preparations 二十五方便, as well as the ten methods of contemplation 十乘觀法, which are outlined briefly. He finishes up by pointing out that his rough summary of the five periods and eight teachings can be studied in full detail in the Fahua xuanyi 法華玄義 (T 1716) as well as the Jingming xuanyi 淨名玄義 (T 1777). Zhipan 志磐, the author of the Fozu tongji 佛祖統紀 （T 2035), proposed that this text is a revision of the Tiantai bajiao dayi 天台八教大意 (T 1930).
The major classical commentarial works on the Sagyo ui are the Sijiaoyi jijie 四教儀集解 by Congyi 從義 (1042–1091), the Sijiaoyi beishi 四教儀備釋 by Yuancui 元粹 (1042–1091), and the Sijiaoyi jizhu 四教儀集註 by Mengrun 蒙潤 (1275–1342). An English translation was previously done by David Chappell et al. as T’ien-T’ai Buddhism: An Outline of the Fourfold Teachings (Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 1984). Prof. Chappell was a Tiantai specialist, and his translation was done together with a team of good scholars, so not surprisingly, it is in general a solid and reliable work, well annotated. Chappell also relied extensively on the previous work done on the text by Sekiguchi Shindai. 3 Thus, I was able to benefit much from Chappell’s work. However, having the benefit of modern scholarship, as well as the chance to use his work as a point of departure, I was able to improve on the translation in a number of places. My major scholarly contribution lies, I think, in the rendering of terms of Abhidharmic and Yogâcāra origin more accurately, and a general rendering of pan-Buddhist terminology according to customs that have evolved since Chappell completed his work. I also had the advantage of the availability of the digital canon (the SAT Taishō database), which allowed me to locate a number of citations more precisely. In addition, my draft was carefully read and commented on by Prof. Jeong Byeongsam, Ven. Misan, and Ven. Jeongdeok, all excellent scholars, who provided many valuable suggestions and corrections. One of the main shortcomings of Chappell’s work is the omission of the verse and historical introduction attached to the text in its HBJ and Taishō recensions. The latter point is somewhat compensated, however, by his own thorough introduction, which places the text in its larger Tiantai framework. While matching my work against Chappell’s, I decided to adopt much of his terminology, as well as his structure for the text, a decision that I hope will be helpful to future students of this text.
2. Outline of the Tiantai Fourfold Teachings
2.1. Original Preface
2.1.1. Verse of the Four Teachings
The seven stages of goodness are for the beginners in the Tripiṭakat Teaching,
Who are equal to those in the first and second stages of the Shared Teaching.
The ten stages of faith of the distinct teaching connect to the five classes of the Perfect Teaching.
They are the same as the first two stages of the Shared Teaching.
The mental disturbances of views and perception are first quelled in the stage of worldling.
In the stage of fruition, the srotâpanna enters the holy stream,
Being in the same group as those in the third and fourth stages of the Shared Teaching,
Who are in turn linked to those in the ten abodes of the Distinct Teaching and Ten Levels of Faith of the Perfect Teaching.
The eighty-eight declivities are properly put to rest.
From the second to the seventh level in the faiths and abodes of the Perfect and Distinct,
Are of the same rank as the final fruition of the Tripiṭaka and Shared.
This is again the same rank as that of the realization of the one-sided truth, wherein one removes the four entrenchments.
The internal and external mental disturbances of numberless details are eliminated and quelled.
From the eighth to the ten stages of faith, the two kinds of mental disturbances are emptied.
Provisionally established and mundanely complete, the principle then functions freely.
This is equivalent to the latter three stages of the abodes of the prior Distinct Teaching, and
This is linked to the same marks in the practices and dedications of merit.
The ten grounds of the Distinct Teaching are completely equal to the ten abodes of the Perfect.
With nescience eliminated, you realize the true cause.
The stages of Virtual Enlightenment and Marvelous Enlightenment are equivalent to the first two of the practices.
Advancing śrāvakas in the three level of worthies don’t even know its name.
2.1.2. Circumstances of the Composition of the Outline of the Four Teachings
In the Tonghui lu 通惠錄 by monk superintendent Zanning 贊寧, the compiler of monastic histories, it says:
The King Zhongyi 忠懿王 of the Wuyue reign at the end of the Tang spent his leisure time in governing the country immersed in the study of the study of Buddhist canonical works. While reading through the Compilation of Yongjia 永嘉集, 4 he came across a line that said: “It is the [rank as that of] the removal of the four entrenchments—on this point they are equal. In the case quelling nescience, then the Tripiṭaka [teaching] is inferior.” he could not understand it, and thus raised a question on the point to the national preceptor Deshao 德韶 of Yunjushan 雲居山, who replied, “there is Dharma Master Ji (Yiji 義寂) of the Tiantai temple Guoqingsi 國淸寺, who is fully conversant in this doctrine, and who will certainly be able to explain this phrase.” The king summoned Yiji, who and asked his opinion on the matter. The master said: “This is from Master Zhiyi’s Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sūtra. 5 As a result of being lost in the battles during the An-Shi rebellion (c. 755), and the more recent burning of texts during the Huichang suppression of Buddhism (841–846), the Chinese canon has many gaping holes, and is in peril of completely disappearing. Nowadays, the only complete set of canonical texts to be found is in Goryeo-East-of-the-Sea, where the explication of the teachings prospers.”
The king was greatly disturbed to hear this, and forthwith dispatched an envoy with royal letter and presents to Goryeo to obtain the texts of the [Tiantai] school. Chegwan made the requested visit, intending to provide the Tiantai canon as an acknowledgment and to return. When Chegwan arrived however, he took the opportunity to study with Yiji and stayed there, eventually passing away at Luoxi. The great teaching at this point was deeply flourishing!
[While still in Korea,] Chegwan was able to search through [Zhiyi’s] larger texts, extracting the passages that would comprise the Outline of the Fourfold Teachings, which he completed in two rolls. In the first roll he set forth the structure of the Tiantai doctrinal taxonomy, and in the second roll he clarified the various schemata of the masters of the northern and southern schools. He later went to Dharma Master [Zhi-]Yuan 智圓 (976–1022) of Gushan 孤山, who assisted with proofreading and publication. Even with only the present first volume, based on the words and phrases the gist is delivered, and the content of the teaching is readily clarified. Students will truly rely on this, and will understand it as a great outline for saving the world—how could anyone call it a small help!
In the second fascicle, he critiqued the positions of the former masters of the northern and southern schools. Since the doctrines covered were so broad in scope, he covered them loosely. At the end of the text, it says: “From here forth, we will briefly clarify the taxonomies and teaching modes of the various masters.” Accordingly, we can see that the second fascicle greatly summarizes the topic under discussion. The king built a temple for Yiji on the banks of Luo Stream, calling it Meditation-Wisdom Hall 定慧院. He granted him the honorific name Great Master Pure Illumination 淨光大師, later installing him as the ninth patriarch. Along with the texts that had been recovered from the east, he gave this text to Yiji, and the revival of Tiantai at this time is truly based on this. Now Deshao was of the same family lineage as Zhiyi, and he also adhered closely to the basic tenets of the tradition. He stayed nearby at Mt. Folong 佛隴, and everyone wondered whether he was the reincarnation of Zhiyi.
Dharma Master Caoan Daoyin of Siming, in his Jiaoyuan yishi 教苑遺事, said:
Formerly the meditation master Zhiyi established a pond for releasing fish into their natural habitat at the seashore. As part of their release, it was necessary to take refuge in the [three] treasures and receive the [five] precepts, and expound the great dharma. Only after this could one release [fish] into the sea. After Zhiyi passed away, up to the end of the Tang, the path of Tiantai has steadily disappeared from view. But in the various countries to the east of the sea, such as Goryeo and Silla, this teaching has flourished.
Dharma Master Fozhong Zhizhong said:
Since Zhiyi had a karmic connection with this country, this teaching spread to the East of the Sea (Korea). Thus it is necessary when releasing fish, that they hear the teaching, receive the precepts, as well as the fruits of their retribution, in this fashion. This surely means that fish released in pond receive the precepts, and as a result they will reborn.
However, those who hear this teaching and criticize it as a deception really don’t understand how the doctrine is to be relied on. Ten thousand princes, swimming in the water, are freed from the fish’s karma. What else could it be besides this! [Source not identified]
Submitted with the seal of the Śramaṇa Jigak at Jeongeop Hall, winter of the ninth year of Wanli of the Ming Dynasty (1581, fourteenth year of Joseon King Seonjo 宣祖)
2.1.3. The Carving of the Outline of the Tiantai Four Teachings
Last year our practice center was completed, and given the name Hall of Pure Karma. On the days when I was laid up sick, three or four monks came and bolted the gate for summer meditation retreat. During the retreat we carried out the penitential offerings at the three time periods, sought rebirth in the Western [Pure] Land, sat quietly while burning incense, deeply studying the canonical texts. Given a break by the bell and chimes, the white clouds momentarily stopped; the birds flew low and became our intimates; the grass and vines overran the path. With the watchtower forgotten and resting from activity on the southern banks of the Han, I was perfectly relaxed and at ease.
The monk Zhenjue came from Wulin, recommending that I study Tiantai, and I assented. Getting him to stay for ten days, I analyzed the gist of the doctrine and contemplation. If I were able to experience realization, I would join my hands in prayer before the Buddha, vowing to exalt the Tiantai school through all eternity in the Buddha’s Pure Land. After all, the pure monks gave rise to this intention at the same time, to be host and guest through all eternity.
The fount of the Tiantai teaching is fully included in the Orthodox Record of the Buddhas and Patriarchs 佛祖統紀, composed by Sir Pan (Sir Zhipan 志磐) of Siming. And the Outline of the Fourfold Teachings was written by the Goryeo monk Chegwan, based on the text of the Fahua Xuanwen. This document is composed in two fascicles. The first clarifies the doctrine of the classification of the teachings of this school, and the second clarifies the variety of schemata for the systems of the masters of the northern and southern schools. Only the first fascicle is extant.
Though tersely written, it fully contains the doctrine—it is truly the key to the Tiantai teachings. If students comprehend it, they will already understand more than half of the great framework of the Buddhist teachings! The three-fascicle Collected Notes 6 of the monk Mengrun 7 of Nantianzhusi is also careful work that should be appreciated. Recently, in the state of Wu, a woodblock edition has been made.
父兄 宗族 墳墓 田宅、種種可念也。」 其人卽留滯、
Concealed entirely for two months, once one goes back out he returns to dissolution in the net of the world and is thus unable to maintain observance of the precepts. He consumes wine and meat and associates with his wife and children the way he used to. The traveler, having a hallucination, mistakenly ends up in another town. Someone says to him: “Where is your home, your father and elder brother, your clan, your family tomb, your fields and home—can you remember all of these?” This person thus remains stuck there, unable to go home. How did he become a member of the other village?
Now it is the spring of the year, and I will take up my whole life and abandon the days of wandering in the green hills. In order to accomplish my prior intention, I have cast off my possessions and engraved the first fascicle of the Outline of the Fourfold Teachings, along with its analytical sections, and will publish it to the world. Those of the same will should adhere closely to its key points and penetrate the barrier. By plumbing the ocean of the teachings, I will allow the doctrine and contemplation of this school to be visible like the sun at high noon, like the rivers flowing down into the valleys. Thus if I stay in that other village, I will certainly regret it! Let’s study! Spring of 1582, Day of Buddhist Joy (fifteenth day of the seventh month) by the sick householder, Ping Mengzhen 馮夢禎. 8
二鹿苑時 [說四阿含]三方等時 [說維摩、思益、楞伽、楞嚴三昧、金光明、勝鬘等經]四般若時 [說摩訶般若、光讚般若、金剛般若、大品般若、等諸般若經]五法華涅槃時。
The great Tiantai master Zhizhe (Zhiyi), using the [taxonomy of the] five time periods and eight teachings, categorized and explained fully—leaving nothing out—the holy teaching of the full lifetime [of Śākyamuni], which was transmitted to the East. The five periods 五時 of the teaching are
The eight forms of teaching 八教 are
The [first] four teachings of Sudden and so forth represent the Buddha’s modes of instruction 化儀, and are comparable to the methods of preparing medicinal herbs. The four teachings of Tripiṭaka and so forth are called the adaptive dharma 化法, and are comparable to discerning the taste of [various] medicinal herbs. Explanations of these modes of teaching are dispersed throughout a wide range of passages. Now relying on the larger text, 9 I will summarize the essentials.
2.3. The Four Modes of Teaching, Five Time Periods, and Five Flavors
2.3.1. The Four Modes and Five Periods
I will first differentiate the five times, the five flavors, and the four modes of teaching. After this, I will treat the Tripiṭaka, Shared, Distinct, and Perfect teachings.
22.214.171.124. The Sudden Mode / Avataṃsaka Period
The Sudden Mode is that of the Flower Ornament Sūtra. Because of category, its time period, and its flavor, it is called “sudden.” This is indicated by phrases where it says “The Tathāgata first achieved perfect enlightenment” 10 and “He abode in the site of extinction.” 11 Dharma-body bodhisattvas at the forty-first stage and the eight groups of spiritual beings whose faculties were matured from previous lifetimes circumambulated him at one time, like the clouds encircling the moon. At that time the Tathāgata manifested the body of Vairocana and taught the Perfectly Complete Sūtra (i.e., the Flower Ornament Sūtra). Hence it is called the Sudden Teaching.
If [we consider the sudden approach of the Flower Ornament Sūtra] from the perspective of the capacities of the listeners and from the perspective of the profundity of the doctrine, we cannot but acknowledge some mixture with the provisional. Such phrases as “One achieves full enlightenment with the first arousal of its intention” (T 278.9.449c14) constitute the Perfect Teaching delivered to those who have the faculties for the Perfect. When in various situations the Buddha’s teaching shows distinct gradations, this is the Distinct Teaching 別教 being explained to those with the ability to understand provisional teachings. Therefore, from the perspective of its position in temporal sequence, it is the sudden teaching. From the perspective of its doctrinal profundity, it is mixed.
Here, the [Sarva-buddha-viṣayâvatāra-jñānâlokâlaṃkāra-]sūtra says: “It is like when the sun rises and first shines on the highest mountains” (T 358.12.251a29) . [This represents the first teaching period.] The Nirvāṇa Sūtra says: “Just like the milk coming from a cow, the twelve divisions of the scriptures come from the Buddha” (T 374.12.449a6–9) . [The first flavor, that of milk.] In the Lotus Sūtra’s chapter on Belief and Understanding, it says: “[The rich father] dispatched an attendant to follow the young man and bring him back . . .The poor son was alarmed, and cried out in resentment” (T 262.9.16c26–27; Hurvitz, Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976) p. 86. Hereafter, indicated by “Hurvitz.”) . How are we to understand this?
Answer: This is what is meant by such statements as “The śrāvakas sat in their seats as if they are deaf and dumb [while the Buddha preached the Flower Ornament Sūtra]” (T 1930.46.769a22) .
126.96.36.199. The Gradual Mode
The second is the gradual teaching. [This includes the following three periods and three flavors, which are termed together as “gradual.”]
188.8.131.52.1. The Tripiṭaka Period
Next, for those whose spiritual faculties were suitable for the three vehicles, who could not benefit from the sudden teaching, he traveled out to the Deer Park without moving from the site of his nirvāṇa. Casting off his fine Vairocana garb, he donned the torn and dirty robe of his sixteen-foot form. He manifested his descent from Tuṣita Heaven, entrusting himself to the womb of Māyā. He abode in the womb, emerged from the womb, took a wife, and produced a child. Abandoning the secular life, he practiced austerities for six years, after which he planted himself beneath the bodhi tree, taking the grass as his seat, and attained the inferior response body. 12 At the beginning he stayed in the Deer Park, teaching his first five disciples the four truths, the twelve limbs of dependent arising, the six perfections, and so forth.
If this [teaching] is discussed from the perspective of the [five] time periods then it is like the sun illuminating a secluded valley [the second of the five time periods]. If we discuss [this teaching] from the perspective of the [five] flavors, then the metaphor of fresh milk producing cream is like the nine-part canon being produced from the twelve-part canon [the second flavor, that of cream]. The [Lotus Sūtra’s] chapter on Belief and Understanding says:
As an expedient he secretly dispatched two men 13 whose appearance was miserable and who had no dignity of bearing, saying to them “You may go to that place and say gently to that poor fellow ‘You are being hired to clean away excrement’ ” (T 262.917a7–11) .
What does this mean?
Answer: Next, after the Sudden Teaching, is the Tripiṭaka Teaching. “For twenty years, they had him clean away excrement” (T 262.9.17a27) . refers to the removal of the afflictions related to views and perception, and so forth.
184.108.40.206.2. The Vaipulya Period
Next are the sūtras of the Vaipulya period, such as the Vimalakīrti-nirdeśa and so forth, which criticize and refute the biased Hīnayāna teachings while praising and lauding the Perfect Teaching of the Mahāyāna. Fully explaining the four teachings, the Tripiṭaka Teaching is called the “half-word” teaching, while the Shared, Distinct, and Perfect Teachings are called the “full-word” teachings. It is in contrast to the half that the full is taught; therefore they are called “contrasting teachings” 對教. In terms of the time of day, this is the time of the breakfast [the third time period]. 14 In terms of the five flavors, it is that of buttermilk coming from cream. The Vaipulya teachings coming out of the nine divisions of the canon are like this [the third flavor, that of buttermilk]. In the chapter on Belief and Understanding it says: “From this time forth, [the poor son] was naturally trusting, and he could come and go without difficulty, even though he still lived in his old place [outside the gate]” (T 262.9.17a27–8; Hurvitz, p. 88) . What does this mean?
Answer: After the Tripiṭaka Teaching [the Buddha] next explained the Vaipulya. Having attained the fruit of the Path, total conviction is the natural state of one’s mind. Hearing criticism, one is not angered. Keeping focused internally with an attitude of repentance, one’s mind is gradually purified.
220.127.116.11.3. The Prajñā Period
Next I will explain the [period of the] Prajñā teachings. Śrāvakas such as Subhūti are authorized to preach in the stead of the Buddha, just as [the rich man] has granted his possessions to the son. 15 The vehicles are merged together, and defilements are cleansed. While delivering the Prajñā teachings, he does not teach the Tripiṭaka doctrine. But when [the Prajñā teaching] is included together with the two of Shared and Distinct modes, he elucidates the Perfect Teaching.
約時則禺中時。 [第四時] 約味則從生酥出熟酥。
此從方等之後 出摩訶般若。 [四熟酥味]信解品云。是時長者有疾自知將死不久。
In terms of time period, this is like 10 a.m. [the fourth teaching period]. In terms of taste, it is like the butter made from freshly curdled cream. This means that the Mahāprajñāpāramitā was preached subsequent to the Vaipulyas [The fourth taste, that of butter 熟酥]. In the chapter on Belief and Understanding it says: “At that time, the great man was taken ill, and he knew for himself that he was to die before long. He addressed his poor son saying: ‘I now have much gold and silver and many precious jewels, with which my treasure houses are filled to overflowing. You can take as much as you wish from them. You should know this completely’ ” (T 262.9.17a29–17b2; Hurvitz, p. 88.) . What does this mean?
Answer: This clarifies that after the Vaipulyas, he explained the Prajñāpāramitā. The meditative insight of the prajñāpāramitā is none other than the family business of the prodigal son; in the same way, Subhūti and Śāriputra [interlocutors for the teaching of emptiness], are entrusted to teach in the Buddha’s stead. The point should be understood like this. The above three flavors are all called “gradual” 漸教 in contrast to the sudden teaching 頓教 of the Flower Ornament Sūtra.
18.104.22.168. The Secret Mode
In the case of the third mode of teaching, the secret teaching, in the prior four time periods the Tathāgata’s three modes of activity [action, speech, and thought] are inconceivable. Thus, for some he explains the sudden approach, and for others he teaches the gradual. Without one person knowing what the other is hearing, each one is able to gain his own benefit. Therefore it is called the secret teaching 祕密教.
22.214.171.124. The Variable Mode
The fourth, the variable mode of teaching, also occurs within the prior four flavors of the teaching. “[Although] the Buddha explained the dharma in a single voice, sentient beings each understood it according to their own proclivities.” 16 This means that the Tathāgata’s inconceivable power is able to cause sentient beings to gain the benefits of the sudden approach while listening to an exposition of the gradual teachings, and gain the benefits of the gradual approach while listening to the exposition of the sudden teachings. Since that which they attain is not the same, it is called the variable teaching.
Yet the two teachings modes of secret and variable are only found within the four types of content of Tripiṭaka, Shared, Distinct, and Perfect. Thus far, I have explained the four methods of conversion.
126.96.36.199. The Fifth Period: Lotus and Nirvāṇa Teachings
188.8.131.52.1. The Lotus Sūtra
Next I will expound the Lotus [sermon], disclosing the prior sudden and gradual, and merging it into the teaching that is neither sudden nor gradual. Therefore it is called “disclosing the provisional and revealing the true” 開權顯實. It is also called “discarding the expedient and establishing the real” 廢權立實, and it is also called uniting the three and returning them to the one 會三歸一.
Although the terms provisional and true can be seen in both Lotus and pre-Lotus teachings, their implications are not the same in both cases. When we say that the pre-Lotus implications of provisional and true are not the same, it means that the Mahāyāna and Hīnayāna teachings are incommensurate with each other. This is like in the Flower Ornament period when the singular expedient and the singular real teachings [The Perfect is real, and the Distinct Teaching is provisional. ] could not be matched with each other. Since the Mahāyāna teaching did not include the Hīnayāna teaching, even though the Hīnayāna practitioners were sitting in the audience, it is as if they were deaf and dumb. Even though the dharma that was preached at this time was vast and complete, since it did not fully embrace all types of people, it did not fulfill the Tathāgata’s original intention for appearing in the world. Why not?
初頓部有一麤 [別教]一妙 [圓教]。一妙、則與法華無二無別。
The initial sudden phase of the teachings includes a crude portion [the Distinct Teaching] and a refined portion [the Perfect Teaching]. The refined portion is neither other than nor distinguished from the Lotus Sūtra. If there were a crude portion [in the Flower Ornament Sūtra], it is necessary to await its disclosure, assimilation, and removal by the Lotus, after which it can for the first time be called “refined”妙.
次、鹿苑、但麤無妙 [藏教]次方等三麤、 [藏通別]一妙。 [圓教]次般若二麤、 [通別]一妙。 [圓教]來至法華會上。
In the next, the Deer Park period, there is only crudity and no refinement [the Tripiṭaka Teaching]. In the ensuing Vaipulya period, there are three cases of crudity [the Tripiṭaka, Shared, and Distinct Teachings] and one case of refinement [the Perfect Teaching]. In the ensuing Prajñā period there are two cases of crudity [the Shared and the Distinct teachings] and one case of refinement [the Perfect Teaching.]. Coming up to the outset of the Lotus sermon, [the Buddha] discloses them, merges them, and discards the prior four crude flavors, completing them in the refinement of the One Vehicle. The various flavors of the Perfect Teaching need not be disclosed again, since they are originally an amalgam, their disclosure is not necessary. These are merely the “combined,” “single,” “contrastive,” and “inclusive” within the phases and therefore do not come up to the level of the Lotus’ unadulterated coherence. The exclusive use of the word “refined” for the teachings of the Lotus is well-deserved here.
無二亦無三 [教一]正直捨方便。但說無上道 [行一]但爲菩薩。
不爲小乘 [人一]。世間相常住 [理一] 時人未得法華妙旨。
As the text [of the Lotus Sūtra] says: “In all the buddha-lands of the ten directions there is only the dharma of the One Vehicle—there are neither two, nor three” (T 262.9.8a17–18) . [The teaching is one.]“He teaches the truth directly, eschewing expedients; he only teaches the peerless way” (T 262.9.10a19) . [The practice is one.]“This teaching is only for bodhisattvas; it is not for adherents of the Hīnayāna” (T 262.9.18b20) . [The person is one.]. “The marks of the world are eternally abiding” (T 262.9.9b10) . [the principle is one.] People of this period have not grasped the subtle message of the Lotus. They only see the metaphors for the various phases of this teaching, such as the three carts, the prodigal son, the conjured city, and so forth, and say that it does not come up to the level of other scriptures. Now, not knowing enough to hold in awe 17 the provisional teaching of the prior four periods, they exclusively exalt the great white [bullock] cart. After being entrusted with the family business, one merely proceeds to the treasure-land (nirvāṇa). Therefore one ends up committing the error of denigrating those provisional teachings.
In terms of time of the day, it is like twelve noon, when no shadow is cast. [This refers to the fifth time period.] In terms of flavor, it is like ghee 醍醐 being produced from butter. That is, the Lotus Sūtra is produced from the matrix of the Mahāprajñāpāramitā [the fifth flavor, that of ghee]. As is stated in the chapter on Belief and Understanding: “He gathered his relatives and proclaimed: “This is my true son, and I am his true father. I now bestow all that I have on my son, and entrust him with the family business” The poor son was happier than he had ever been.” (T 262.9.17b9–15; Hurvitz, p. 88) . What does this mean?
Answer: After the Prajñā teachings he preaches the Lotus. Since he has already entrusted his son with the handling of the treasury and all of his possessions, when he approaches the time of his death, he directly and completely entrusts his son with the family business. This exemplifies the prior entrustment of the transmission of the teaching, wherein Subhūti, et al. all understood 18 the approach to the dharma. At the time of the preaching of the Lotus, he discloses, shows, enlightens, and lets all beings enter into the Buddha’s wisdom, such that they receive the assurance of future attainment of Buddhahood.
184.108.40.206.2. Nirvāṇa Sūtra
Next he preaches the Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra, regarding which there are two implications. The first is for those whose faculties are immature, wherein he again explains the Four Teachings [of the Tripiṭaka, Shared, Distinct, and Perfect] along with a discussion of the Buddha-nature. He allows them to embody the true eternal, entering great nirvāṇa. Therefore it is called the teaching that cleans up after the harvest 捃拾教.
The second is for those in the latter age whose understanding is dull. They give rise to nihilistic views in the midst of their study of the Buddha’s teachings, bringing their life and wisdom to an early death and losing all contact with the dharma-body. The Buddha establishes three kinds of provisional teachings, which give support to the One, the Perfect, and the True. Therefore these are called the teachings that support the precepts and expound the eternal 扶律談常教. In terms of their teaching period and flavor, however, they are the same as the Lotus. In terms of their phase there is only a small difference in terms of purity and admixture of doctrine. Therefore the [Nirvāṇa Sūtra] says: “Great nirvāṇa is produced from [the matrix of the perfection of wisdom.” (T 375.12.691a5) The prior Lotus Sūtra, together with this text, comprises the fifth period of the teachings.
Question: Are the Four Teachings [of Tripiṭaka, Shared, Distinct, and Perfect] that this [Nirvāṇa] Sūtra teaches the same as or different from the Four Teachings that are fully described in the previously-discussed Vaipulya scriptures?
Answer: They are the same in name, but have differing implications. In the case of the four contained in the Vaipulyas, for the Perfect Teaching, the first and subsequent both include the understanding of the eternal. In the case of the Distinct Teaching, at first one does not understand, but later understands. In the case of the Tripiṭaka and Shared Teachings, one understands neither at first, nor later on. When the four are placed in the context of the Nirvāṇa Sūtra, one fully knows both at the beginning and later on.
2.3.2. Five Flavors and Five Periods
Question: How should we understand the five flavors in terms of their relation to the five teaching periods?
Answer: There are two ways. The first is only from the perspective of their sequential production. In this case the cow represents the Buddha, and the five flavors represent the teaching. The milk comes from the cow; cream comes from milk, with the buttermilk and ghee, etc., being produced in order without confusion. Therefore it represents the five teachings producing one another in sequence.
The second is from the perspective of richness of taste (as a metaphor for relative profundity). In this case, those of the weakest religious faculties are those with the abilities of the two vehicles, who, at the time that they were sitting in the Flower Ornament assembly, neither believed nor understood. They made no change in their unenlightened mental state, which is represented by milk. Next, going to the Deer Park and hearing the Tripiṭaka Teaching, those with the capacity and inclination for the two vehicles based their practice on this teaching, transforming their mundane consciousnesses into those of a sage. Therefore it is symbolized by the transformation of milk into cream.
Next, in the Vaipulya period, they heard the criticism of the śrāvakas. Embracing the Mahāyāna and ashamed of the Hīnayāna, they reaped the benefits of the Shared Teaching. This is like the conversion of cream into buttermilk. Next, in the Prajñā period [Subhūti et al.] were instructed to preach the teaching [of emptiness]. Their minds gradually penetrated vastly, reaping the benefits of the Distinct Teaching. This is like the transformation of buttermilk into butter.
Next, during the Lotus assembly, they heard the three rounds in the explanation of the dharma 19 and obtained the guarantee of future attainment of Buddhahood. This is likened to the conversion of butter into ghee. This is carried out from the perspective of those of the dullest faculties and passes through all of the five flavors. After this, there are some who pass through the first, second, third, and fourth flavors, who have the most highly developed religious faculties, who realize the true aspect of the dharma-realm in each flavor. Why should it be necessary for them to wait for the revelation and merging of the vehicles that comes with the Lotus assembly?
Above, I have recounted the gist of the five flavors, five teaching periods, and four modes of the teaching. With the general outline being like this, below I will elucidate the four kinds of content.
2.4. Four Kinds of Content
2.4.1. Tripiṭaka Teaching
一修多羅藏、 [四阿含等經]。二阿毘曇藏、 [倶舍婆沙等論]。三毘尼藏、 [五部律]。此之三藏名通大小。今取小乘三藏也。
The first is the Tripiṭaka (Three Collections) Teaching, [the three being: (1) the Sūtra Collection, [including the four Āgamas and such sūtras] (2) the Abhidharma Collection, 20 and (3) the Vinaya Collection [i.e., the five versions of the Vinaya] 21 This term, “Tripiṭaka” applies to both Mahāyāna and Hīnayāna. Here I will treat the Hīnayāna version of the Tripiṭaka teachings.
The Mahāprajñāpāramitā-śāstra says: “It was based on his native intelligence and acuity that Kātyāyanīputra was able to elucidate the content of the three collections within the Vibhāṣā-śāstra. 22 He had not read the Mahāyāna sūtras and was not a great bodhisattva.” 23 Also, the Lotus Sūtra says: “Those who are greedily attached to Hīnayāna study the Tripiṭaka” (T 262.9.37b23–24) . Based on such passages, the great master (Zhiyi) referred to the Hīnayāna teachings as the “Tripiṭaka Teachings.” Within this we find teachings appropriate to the character of [all] three vehicles. The first are the śrāvakas, who depend on the Four Truths as arising-and-ceasing 生滅四諦. 24
220.127.116.11. Four Truths
18.104.22.168.1. Truth of Suffering
Speaking of the Four Truths, the first is the truth of suffering, which is none other than the twenty-five stages of existence 二十五有 with their two kinds of karmic retribution of direct and circumstantial. 25 The twenty-five stages of existence include the four continents, the four evil rebirths, the six heavens in the desire realm, the four meditations in the Brahma heavens (in the form realm), the four spheres of the formless realm, the no-thought heaven, and the heaven of the non-returners. [Four continents plus the four rebirths come to eight. The six desire heavens, combined with the heavens of the Brahman kings brings it to fifteen. The four meditation heavens and the four spheres of the formless realm bring the total to twenty-three. The no-thought heaven and the heaven of the non-returners brings the total to twenty-five.] Separately they are counted as twenty-five; more generally they are referred to as the six rebirths in cyclic existence.
The first is the condition of rebirth in the hells. The Sanskrit term is naraka; or niraya, which is translated as “instrument of torture” 苦具 and also rendered in Chinese as “underground prison” 地獄. It is located under the ground, hence the rendering of underground prison. This refers to the great hells such as the eight cold and eight hot hells, each of which is attached to innumerable subhells. The torment that they are subjected to there is light or heavy according to the deeds they carried out [in their previous lives], passing through countless eons. In the most severe case, one goes through 84,000 births and deaths each day, passing through incalculable eons. All those who commit the most severe of the five heinous sins 26 and ten evil behaviors 27 end up being born here.
Second is the rebirth as an animal, which is also rendered in Chinese as “side-born.” Denizens of this path are to be found everywhere. They are with fur and with horns, with scales and with shells and with feathers; with four legs and many legs; legged and legless. Traversing the seas, land, and skies, they feed upon each other, suffering limitlessly. Those who in a state of folly and desire carry out middling-level sins among the five heinous crimes and the ten kinds of evil behavior are born here.
22.214.171.124.1.3. Hungry Ghost
Third is the rebirth of hungry ghosts. The Sanskrit term is preta. This destiny is also accessible from all other rebirths. Those who have some merit serve as the spirits for the mountains and forests, tombs and mausoleums. Those who lack merit live in unclean places, unable to eat or drink. They always receive whippings and beatings; [carrying stones on their backs] they dam up the rivers and oceans, 28 undergoing immeasurable suffering. All of those who, while engaged in flattery and deception, commit relatively minor forms of the five heinous crimes and the ten evil forms of behavior end up here.
Fourth is the destiny of asura, translated into Chinese as “deprived of alcohol.” 29 It is also translated as “ignoble” 無端正 and “non-divine” 無天. Some of them live on the seacoasts, and some on the sea beds in gloriously decorated palaces. They always like to fight, and they are as scary as can be. In previous lifetimes they harbored envy in their minds, and even though they practiced the five constant virtues, 30 they desired to surpass others, thus cultivated only the inferior aspects of the ten wholesome kinds of behavior, which led them to end up being reborn in this state.
謂東弗婆提 [壽二百五十歲]南閻浮提 [壽一百歲]西瞿耶尼 [壽五百歲]北欝單越 [壽一千歲命無中夭。聖人不出其中。卽八難之一]皆苦樂相間。
The fifth is rebirth as a human in the four continents, which are not the same. They are called
一、四天王天 [居須彌山腹]。二、忉利天 [居須彌山頂。自有三十三天。已上二天單修上品十善。得生其中]。三、夜摩天。
Sixth are the heavenly rebirths. The twenty-eight heavens are not all the same. [These are the six heavens of the desire realm, the eighteen heavens of the form realm, the four heavens of the formless realm.] Those of the first group include
初禪三天。 [梵衆、梵輔、大梵]二禪三天。 [少光、無量光、光音]三禪三天。 [少淨、無量淨、遍淨]四禪九天。 [無雲、福生、廣果。已上三天凡夫住處。修上品十善坐禪者得生其中。
Next, the eighteen heavens of the form realm are distributed among the four meditation [heavens].
Third are the four heavens of the formless realm. [The awareness of the limitlessness of emptiness (ākāśānantyāyatana); the awareness of limitless consciousness (vijñānānantyāyatana); the awareness of the limitlessness of nothingness (akiñcanyāyatana); and the awareness of neither thoughtlessness nor non-thoughtlessness (naivasaṃjñānāsaṃjñāyatana).The above four heavens are only concomitant with the four aggregates aside from the aggregate of form, hence the name.]
Even though the above-explained states, ranging from the hells up to the heaven of neither-conceptualization-nor-nonceptualization differ in terms of their respective degrees of suffering and pleasure, their inhabitants cannot avoid birth and repeated death, and once dying, being reborn. Hence it is called “birth-and-death” (saṃsāra). This is the substantial Truth of Suffering according to the Tripiṭaka Teaching.
126.96.36.199.2. Truth of Arising
Second is the Truth of Arising, which is equivalent to the mental disturbances derived from views and perceptions 見惑思惑. These are also called [the afflictions removed in the Paths of] Seeing and Cultivation 見道修道; they are also called the four entrenchments 四住; 33 they are also called defiled ignorance 染汚無知 (Skt. kliṣṭâjñāna); 34 they are also called mental disturbances of attachment to external characteristics; they are also called derivative nescience 枝末無明; 35 they are also called shared mental disturbances 通惑; 36 they are also called the mental disturbances within the [three] realms. While the names are not the same, they are nothing but [errors in] views and perception.
First I will explain the mental disturbances of views, in which are included the eighty-eight declivities. [These are derived from the basic] ten declivities, which include (1) the view of body as a real self (satkāya-dṛṣṭi); (2) extreme views (antagrāha-dṛṣṭi; reification and nihilism); (3) attachment to [the above] views (dṛṣṭi-parāmarśa); (4) attachment to moral discipline (śīla-vrata-parāmarśa); 37 (5) mistaken view (Skt. mithyā-dṛṣṭi; especially non-recognition of the law of causality); [These five are known as the potent declivities (i.e., that affect those of sharp faculties)] (6) craving (rāga); (7) ill-will (dveṣa); (8) delusion (moha); (9) pride (māna); (10) doubt (vicikitsā). [These five are known as the dull declivities.] These ten declivities operate with the Four Truths in the three realms, in varying distributions that total eighty-eight.
To wit: the full set of ten declivities operates in the [truth of] suffering in the desire realm. Seven declivities operate under the truths of arising and cessation—that is, without the view of body as true self, extreme views, and attachment to moral discipline. Eight declivities operate under the truth of the path—that is, without the view of body as true self, and extreme views. Under the Four Truths [in the desire realm] there are thus thirty-two declivities. Within the Four Truths in the upper two realms the situation is almost the same as that of the desire realm, except that under each truth the declivity of ill-will is absent. Thus, each realm has twenty-eight declivities, and the two realms together have fifty-six. If we add to these the prior thirty-two, this results in a total of eighty-eight declivities.
Second is the elucidation of the mental disturbances based on mistaken perception, within which there are eighty-one classes. This is a result of the three realms being divided into nine levels. The desire realm constitutes one level. The four meditations and four absorptions comprise eight, thus totaling nine levels. Within the single level of the desire realm, there are nine grades of craving, ill-will, delusion, and pride. “Nine grades” refers to extremely intense, moderately intense, mildly intense; more than moderate, moderate, less than moderate; more than mild, mild, very mild. Each of the above eight stages consists of these nine grades, except for the declivity of ill-will. Hence the total of eighty-one. Although the above-mentioned [disturbances of] views and perception are diverse, on the whole, this Tripiṭaka Teaching is that of a truly existent Truth of Arising.
188.8.131.52.3. Truth of Cessation
Third is the truth of cessation. The truths of suffering and arising that are prior to cessation express the truth in an imbalanced way. It is based on cessation that one meets the truth, but cessation itself is not the truth.
184.108.40.206.4. Truth of the Path
Fourth is the truth of the path. This is summarized under the rubrics of moral discipline, meditative concentration, and wisdom, but expands out to the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment. These thirty-seven are organized into seven categories.
220.127.116.11.4.1. Four Bases of Mindfulness
一觀身不淨。 [色蘊]二觀受是苦。 [受蘊]三觀心無常。 [識蘊]四觀法無我。 [想行蘊]
First are the four bases of mindfulness: (1) mindfulness of the body as being impure [This refers to the aggregate of form.]; (2) mindfulness of sensation as inseparable from suffering; [This refers to the aggregate of sensation.]; (3) mindfulness of the mind as being transient; [This refers to the aggregate of consciousness.]; (4) mindfulness of dharmas as lacking self. [This refers to the aggregates of perception and volition.]
18.104.22.168.4.2. Four Kinds of Correct Endeavor
Second are the four correct kinds of endeavor: (1) keeping yet unarisen evil from arising, (2) extinguishing evil that has already arisen, (3) giving rise to yet unarisen goodness, (4) furthering goodness that has already arisen.
22.214.171.124.4.3. Four Spiritual Powers
Third are the four spiritual powers. [aspiration, mindfulness, zeal, and wisdom].
126.96.36.199.4.4. Five Wholesome Roots
Fourth are the five wholesome roots [faith, zeal, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom].
188.8.131.52.4.5. Five Spiritual Powers
Fifth are the five powers. [They have the same name as the above five wholesome roots.]
184.108.40.206.4.6. Seven Limbs of Enlightenment
Sixth are the seven limbs of enlightenment [mindfulness, discrimination, zeal, joy, pliancy, concentration, and indifference].
220.127.116.11.4.7. Eightfold Correct Path
Seventh is the eightfold correct path [right view, right thought, right speech, right activity, right zeal, right concentration, right mindfulness, right livelihood]. The above seven categories represent the Tripiṭaka Teaching’s truth of the path [from the perspective of] arising-and-ceasing.
前二諦爲世間因果 [苦果集因]。後二諦爲出世間因果 [滅果道因]。
Yet, as was the case with the previous numerical terms, the Four Truths also appear in the subsequent three categories of the doctrine. However, according to the relative breadth or narrowness, superiority or inferiority of the teachings, as well as [the approaches of] arising-and-ceasing, non-production, immeasurable, and unconstructed, the application [of the truths] is not the same. Therefore as we proceed downward [in the explanation of the other teachings], the numerical term will be repeated, but not its examples. On the other hand, the Four Truths are distinguished into mundane and transmundane. The prior two truths represent mundane cause and effect [Suffering is effect, and arising is cause.], and the latter two truths are supramundane cause and effect. [Cessation is the effect, and the path is the cause.]
Question: Why is it that in both mundane and supramundane the effect comes first and the cause is second?
Answer: Śrāvakas of dull faculties, [only after] knowing suffering eliminate its arising; yearning for the effect [nirvāṇa], they cultivate its causes. Therefore it is stated this way.
18.104.22.168. Stages in the Three Vehicles
I will briefly clarify the practitioners in the Tripiṭaka Teaching and their ranks.
22.214.171.124.1. Śrāvaka Vehicle
First, in clarifying the rank of śrāvakas, they are distinguished into two, the first being unenlightened, the second being enlightened. The unenlightened are also distinguished into two: outer worldlings and inner worldlings.
126.96.36.199.1.1. Outer Worldlings
In explaining the state of the outer worldlings, there are three kinds: The first are the five kinds of mental stabilization: (1) contemplation of impurity for sentient beings with many cravings, (2) contemplation of compassion for sentient beings with much anger, (3) contemplation by counting breaths for sentient beings who are easily distracted, (4) contemplation on causes and conditions for foolish sentient beings, (5) contemplation of mindfulness of the Buddha for sentient beings with many [karmic] hindrances .
The second are the separately practiced states of mindfulness. [These are like the previously-explained four bases of mindfulness.]
Third are the states of mindfulness practiced together. The first is contemplating the body as impure, and that sensation, mind, and dharmas are also all impure, up to observing that dharmas lack self, and that body, sensation, and mind also lack self. The items in between [sensation and mind] can be known by the examples. [The above three classes are called outer worldlings. This is also called the stage of accumulation. 38 ]
188.8.131.52.1.2. Inner Worldlings
Second is the elucidation of the case of inner worldlings, for which there are four [ranks]. These are heat, the pinnacle, tolerance, and the highest mundane mental state. [These four levels are those of inner worldlings. They are also called the level of applied practice 39 and the stage of the four wholesome roots.] The above inner worldlings and outer worldlings are collectively named “level of worldlings.” This is also called the seven levels of preparatory practices 七方便位.
一見道、 [初果]。二修道、 [二三果]。三無學道。 [四果]
Next I will elucidate the levels of sages, of which there are also three: (1) the path of seeing 40 [This is equivalent to the first realization (in the Abhidharma system).], (2) the path of cultivation 41 [This is equivalent to the second and third realizations.], (3) the path of no further training. [This is the fourth realization.]
[The four realizations of the Abhidharma path are]
1. srota-āpanna 須陀洹, translated as “stream-winner.” In this stage one eliminates the eighty-eight declivities that are mental disturbances of views in the three realms. Since one sees the truth, it is called the path of seeing 見道; it is also called the holy stage.
2. sakṛd-āgāmin 斯陀含, which means “once-returner.” In this stage, one eliminates the prior six classes of perceptive mental disturbances from among the nine classes in the desire realm. The other three classes still remain, and therefore one must be reborn one more time.
3. anāgāmin 阿那含, which means “non-returner.” In this stage one completely extinguishes the remaining perceptive mental disturbances (of the prior nine classes), and proceeds to eliminate the perceptive mental disturbances of the above eight stages.
4. arhat 阿羅漢, which means “no [more] training” (aśaikṣa). It is also interpreted as “no rebirth” (ajāta) as well as “killer of thieves” (kṣīṇāsrava) and “worthy of offerings” (pūjya). In this stage one fully eradicates all mental disturbances of both views and perception. The seed bondages have been eliminated, but the retribution bondages remain. This is called nirvāṇa-with-remainder. If one turns the body into ashes and annihilates consciousness, then it is called nirvāṇa-without-remainder; it is also called “individual liberation.”
This concludes the brief outline of the śrāvaka stages.
禀十二因緣教。所謂一、無明 [煩惱障煩惱道]。二、行 [業障業道。
此二支屬過去]三、識 [託胎一分氣息]。四、名色 [名是心色是質]。五、六入 [六根成此胎中]。六、觸 [出胎]。七、受 [領納前境好惡等事。從識至受名現在五果]。八、愛 [愛色男女金銀錢物等事]。九、取 [凡見一切境。
184.108.40.206.2. Pratyekabuddha Vehicle
Next is the clarification of pratyekabuddhas, who are also known as “solitary realizers.” When they meet a buddha who has appeared in the world, they receive the teaching of twelve limbs of dependent origination. These are (1) nescience (avidyā) [The afflictive hindrances and the afflictive path.]; (2) dispositions (saṃskāra) [Karmic hindrances and the karmic path. These two limbs are in the category of the past.]; (3) consciousness (vijñāna) [In conception, one part is breath.]; (4) name-and-form (nāmarūpa) [Name is mind, form is matter.]; (5) the six sense-bases (ṣaḍāyatana) [The six organs forming in the womb.]; (6) contact (sparśa) [Emerging from the womb.]; (7) sensation (vedanā) [Events of experiencing attraction and revulsion in regard to present objects. The five from consciousness to sensation are called the “five effects in the present.”]; (8) attachment (tṛṣṇā) [Attachment to form, to sex, money, property and such things.]; (9) grasping (upadāna) [When worldlings see all objects they inevitably give rise to thoughts of grasping. These last two are causes for the future. They are both related to affliction, as is the nescience of the past.]; (10) becoming (bhava) [Karma is completed. This future cause is related to the path of karma, as are past activities.]; (11) birth (jāti) [The event of future reception of birth.]; (12) ageing and death (jarāmaraṇa). These are the objective conditions to be eliminated (by contemplation).
It is amazing how well these twelve limbs reveal and combine with the above explained Four Truths. How do they reveal and combine with them? The five limbs of nescience, dispositions, attachment, grasping, and becoming combine to form the Truth of Arising. The other seven limbs form the Truth of Suffering. [But] if it is just that the naming is different but the meaning is the same, why reexplain it? This is because differences in ability. Pratyekabuddhas first contemplate the truth of arising. This is the sequential order (anuloma) of the twelve limbs where arising occurs based on the fact that nescience conditions dispositions, dispositions condition consciousness, . . . up to birth conditioning ageing and death. In the case of contemplation of extinction, one contemplates the extinction of nescience, followed by extinction of dispositions and so forth up to the extinction of birth and the extinction of ageing and death. Based on contemplation of the twelve limbs of dependent arising they apprehend reality. Therefore they are called “enlightened in regard to dependent arising” 緣覺.
They are called “solitary realizers” 獨覺 because they come into a world with no buddha and live alone in a solitary peak, observing the transience of things and realizing non-arising for themselves. Therefore they are called “solitary realizers.” Although the names are different, there is no difference in terms of stages of practice. These persons eliminate the [mental disturbances] of views and perception throughout the three realms, and in this are the same as the śrāvakas. Since they are further able to overcome the habit energies [derived from the mental disturbances], they are placed above śrāvakas.
220.127.116.11.3. Bodhisattva Vehicle
Next I will explain the stage of the bodhisattva. From the point of giving rise to the aspiration for enlightenment, they take the four truths as their referent and invoke the four universal vows 四弘願, cultivating the practices of the six perfections 六度.
18.104.22.168.3.1. Four Universal Vows
22.214.171.124.3.2. Three Eons of Practice
百劫種相好。言三阿 [無]。僧祇 [數]。劫 [時]者。
Having given rise to the aspiration, they gradually move toward the fulfillment of their vow, practicing the six perfections through three asaṃkhya-kalpas and the hundred eons of completing their bodily marks. 42 Regarding the term three asaṃkhya-kalpas [The Sanskrit a is an a-privative, meaning “not-”; asaṃkhya means “number” and kalpa means “time.”]; 43 I will explain their division from the perspective of the time required for Śākyamuni’s cultivation of the bodhisattva path.
1. The time from Śākyamuni’s original meeting with Śikhin Buddha through his encounters with seventy-five thousand buddhas is called the first asaṃkhya-kalpa. From this time forth he never took on a woman’s body or was reborn into the four evil rebirths, 44 and he continually cultivated the six perfections. Yet he did not yet know that he would achieve Buddhahood. If we look at this from the śrāvaka stage, it is the practice of the five kinds of mental stabilization 45 and the bases of mindfulness in both their general and specific approaches. [the practices of outer worldlings]
2. Next, from the time in between his encounter with Śikhin Buddha and Dīpaṃkara Buddha, during which he encountered seventy-six thousand buddhas, is called the second asaṃkhya-kalpa. At this time he used seven lotus stalks as an offering and spread his hair on the ground so that Dīpaṃkara did not have to step into the mud. He received assurance of future Buddhahood with the name of Śākyamuni. He then knew that he would become a buddha in the future, but did not tell anyone. From the perspective of the śrāvaka path, he was on the level of the stage of warmth.
3. Next, during the time from his encounter with Dīpaṃkara Buddha up to the time of his meeting with Vipaśyin Buddha, he met seventy-seven thousand buddhas. This is called the third asaṃkhya-kalpa. At this point not only did he know himself, but he also told others that he was destined to become a buddha, so there was no doubt in himself or others. If we characterize this stage from the perspective of the śrāvaka path, then it would be equivalent to the stage of the pinnacle.
126.96.36.199.3.3. Six Perfections
For a period of time he cultivated the six perfections to their completion, after which he abode for one hundred kalpas planting the seeds for the excellent bodily characteristics of a great personage. Cultivating one hundred merits resulted in the formation of a single characteristic. The meaning of “merit” can be interpreted variously, and thus these merits are difficult to define, but it is said: “The healing of a chiliocosm of blind men is equivalent to one unit of merit.” 46
His practices of the six perfections had their distinct times of completion. For example:
Next Śākyamuni, [in preparing] to replace the position 補處 [of the previous Buddha], entered this world from Tuṣita Heaven, was conceived in the womb, born into the world, left home, subdued the demons, and sat calmly in meditation, undisturbed. This is equivalent to the middle level of the stage of tolerance. Next, in one instant he entered into the upper level of the stage of tolerance. Next, he immediately entered the stage of the highest worldly mental state, manifesting the true, untainted thirty-four mental states, 53 suddenly eliminated all the [mental disturbances] of views and perception, along with their karmic impressions.
Sitting beneath the bodhi tree, he made a seat of grass, and took on the sixteen-foot inferior response body. In response to Brahma’s plea to teach, he turned the dharma-wheel three times, saving the beings of the three capacities. Abiding in the world for eighty years, he took on the appearance of an aged monk. With the firewood consumed, the flames are extinguished, 54 and he enters nirvāṇa without remainder. This is the Buddhahood of the Tripiṭaka Teaching.
Even though the practice and realization of the three practitioners explained above differ from each other, they are the same in their eliminating the [mental disturbances of] views and perception; they are the same in their escaping from the triple realm; they are the same in their realization of a complete view of reality. However, these practitioners have merely walked three hundred yojanas, and entered the Conjured City! 55 This concludes the brief explanation of the Tripiṭaka Teaching.
2.4.2. Shared Teaching
Next is the explanation of the Shared Teaching. Since it has aspects in common with the prior Tripiṭaka Teaching as well as the subsequent Distinct and Perfect teachings, it is said to be Shared. It also derives its name [from the practitioners] to whom the teaching is applied. That is, all three types of practitioners avail themselves of the path that lies beyond verbal explanations, entering into emptiness by contemplation of form—hence it is called the Shared Teaching.
188.8.131.52. Ten Stages
The process of advancement in this teaching is established relying on the ten stages such as the stage of dry wisdom and so forth as explained in the Mahāprajñāpāramitā-sūtra. [They are]
1. The stage of dry wisdom. It is so named because one does not yet posses the “water-principle” and is equivalent to the level of outer worldling, as well as the three stages of the five kinds of mental stabilization, along with the concurrent and separate applications of the bases of mindfulness included in the Tripiṭaka Teaching.
2. The stage of nature. One seemingly attains the water of the dharma-nature, suppresses the mental disturbances of views and perception. This is equivalent to the rank of the inner worldlings, which is the equal to the stage of the four wholesome roots in the Tripiṭaka Teaching.
3. The stage of the possession of the eight tolerances 八忍.
4. The stage of insight. Those who attain these [prior] two stages enter into the uninterrupted samādhi, completely eliminating the views in the eighty-eight declivities of the three realms. They give rise to the untainted insight into reality. This is equivalent to the first realization of the śrāvaka path (stream-winner) in the Tripiṭaka Teaching.
5. The stage of thinning out. One eliminates the prior six among the nine classes of perceptive mental disturbances in the desire realm. This is equivalent to the second realization of the śrāvaka path (once-returner) in the Tripiṭaka Teaching.
6. The stage of freedom from desire. One completely eliminates all nine classes of perceptive mental disturbances in the desire realm. This is equivalent to the third realization of the śrāvaka path in the Tripiṭaka Teaching.
7. The stage of accomplishment. One completely purges the mental disturbances of views and perception throughout the triple realm. However, while eliminating the afflictions proper, one is unable to overcome their karmic impressions. It is like burning wood that is reduced to coals. This is equivalent to the attainment of the fourth realization (arhatship) in the Tripiṭaka Teaching. It is also equivalent to the śrāvaka stage.
8. The pratyekabuddha stage. One repeatedly overcomes karmic impressions [of afflictions], just like burning embers being reduced to ashes.
9. The bodhisattva stage. Here, the declivities proper are completely eliminated just as they are in the practices of the adherents of the two vehicles. Karmic impressions support their continued rebirth (since there are no afflictions left to do so), and they concurrently teach others while continuing to engage in their own contemplation of emptiness. At sport in the superknowledges, they purify the world to make it a buddha-land.
10. The buddha stage. When one’s faculties are ripe, using a thought moment of wisdom, one suddenly eliminates the remaining [afflictive] karmic impressions. Sitting beneath the seven-jeweled bodhi tree one takes the heavenly raiment as one’s seat, and the response body that is at once inferior and superior becomes a buddha.
For those who have the predilection for the three vehicles, he turns the Dharma-wheel of the unarisen Four Truths. When he has exhausted all conditions he enters into extinction, at which time the afflictions proper and their karmic impressions 56 are both removed, as in the complete vanishing of the embers and ashes. A sūtra says: “Three animals cross the river: they are an elephant, a horse, and a rabbit.” 57 This is said in order to express the differences in the way they eliminate mental disturbances. Also, a sūtra says: “The true marks of all dharmas are equally apprehended by the practitioners of all three vehicles—yet they are not called buddhas.” 58 This precisely expresses this doctrine. In this teaching the causes of the three vehicles are the same but their effects are different. Yet even though their final realization is different, they eliminate the same [mistaken] views and perceptions, escape from the same fragmentary cyclic existence, and realize the same one-sided truth.
Yet among the bodhisattvas there are two types: those of sharp and dull faculties. The dull only see one-sided emptiness, and do not see non-emptiness. They stop upon achieving the enlightenment commensurate with the teaching that they follow. Thus, even though their causal practices are different, their realization is equivalent to that of the Tripiṭaka Teaching. Hence they are said to “share with the prior [teaching].” In the case of bodhisattvas of sharp faculties, they do not only see emptiness: they are simultaneously able to perceive non-emptiness. Non-emptiness is none other than the middle way. Divided into two types, it is called “only [empty]” and “not-only [empty]” 但不但. If you see the middle as only empty, this is coming into connection with the Distinct Teaching. If you see the middle as not-only-empty, this is the gaining of connection with the Perfect Teaching. Therefore it is said to “share with the latter [teachings].”
184.108.40.206. Comparison with Other Teachings
Question: At what stages do they gain this connection? And to which stages do they advance?
Answer: The three capacities of those who gain this connection are not the same. In the case of a person of superior capacity, he connects to it at the third or fourth stage; the person of middling capacity connects at the fifth and sixth stage; and the person of inferior capacity at the seventh or eighth stage. The teaching with which they connect differs into terms of real and semblance. If one gains a connection at a semblance stage, it would be the ten dedications of merit in the Distinct Teaching or the stage of the ten kinds of faith in the Perfect Teaching. If one gains a connection at a real stage, then it would be the first ground of the Distinct Teaching and the first abode of the Perfect Teaching.
Question: These two teachings of Tripiṭaka and Shared are the same in being applicable to the three vehicles; they are the same in their elimination of the four entrenchments; they stop with the escape of the triple realm in the same realization of the one-sided truth; they travel the same three hundred yojana route to enter the same conjured city. Why are they distinguished into two?
It is truly just as you have asked. However, there are points that are the same and points that are not the same. Even though what is realized is the same, there are persistent differences between superior and inferior, skillfulness 巧 and clumsiness 拙. These two teachings both operate within the [three] realms, but the Tripiṭaka Teaching is the inferior and the clumsy within the world. It is inferior because it does not share with the superior. It realizes emptiness only by analyzing form, and therefore it is clumsy.
Even though the adherents of the three [vehicles] of this teaching differ in being greater, middling, and lesser [in their abilities], 59 if the three are seen from the perspective of the Shared Teaching, then they are all equally of dull faculties. Therefore they can only [enter emptiness] through an analytical approach. The Shared Teaching is the one superior and the skillful operating within the [three] realms. Superior in this case refers to the first gate of the Mahāyāna. Skillful refers to the meditative approach of entering into emptiness by directly embodying form. Therefore, although there are distinctions of greater, middling, and lesser according to the level of the three people in their appropriate teachings, if they are seen from the perspective of the Tripiṭaka Teaching, they are all regarded as having sharp faculties.
Question: Since this teaching is already that of the Great Vehicle, why are adherents of the two vehicles mentioned?
Answer: Why would the guard of the Scarlet Bird Gate 60 obstruct the common people from coming and going? Therefore, even though there are people of small capacity, the teaching is firmly set on the great. The Great Vehicle, acting concurrently with the small, gradually leads [those of lesser capacity] into the truth. Is this not skillful? The Prajñā-Vaipulyas being concurrent with the regular Prajñā sūtras is exactly this teaching. This concludes the brief elucidation of the Shared Teaching.
2.4.3. The Distinct Teaching
Next is the elucidation of the Distinct Teaching 別教. This teaching clarifies the dharma that lies beyond the [realms] and that is unique to bodhisattvas, falling under the eight rubrics of teaching, principle, wisdom, elimination, practices, stages, causes, and effects. It is distinct from the prior two teachings [Tripiṭaka and Shared], and distinct from the subsequent Perfect Teaching. Hence it is called “distinct.” The Nirvāṇa Sūtra says: “The causes and conditions of the Four Truths have innumerable characteristics, which are not knowable by śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas.” 61
220.127.116.11. Fifty-two Stages of a Bodhisattva
The extensive explanations contained in the various Mahāyāna sūtras detailing the bodhisattvas’ passage through time, practices, stages, and sequence do not mesh with each other, and this disparateness is a characteristic of the Distinctive Teaching. The Huayan jing explains the ten abodes, ten practices, ten dedications of merit as the stages of the worthies, and the ten grounds as the stages of the sages, with Marvelous Enlightenment as Buddhahood. The Yingluo jing (T 1485) explains fifty-two stages. The Suvarṇa-prabhāsôttama-sūtra 62 provides ten stages and Buddhahood. The Pravara-deva-rāja-paripṛcchā 63 explains ten stages. The Nirvāṇa Sūtra explains five practices. 64 In this way, these sūtras explain the stages of practice in an uneven manner. How could the bodhisattvas, who are not constrained by the triple realm, teach a fixed number when skillfully responding to the faculties of practitioners? Nonetheless, since in terms of number of stages, there are none that go beyond the [fifty-two-stage] course taught in the Yingluo jing, here we will briefly clarify the course and stages of elimination and realization based on that scripture, arranging the fifty-two stages into seven groups.
These are the stages of faith, the abodes, the practices, the dedications of merit, the grounds, Virtual Enlightenment, and Marvelous Enlightenment. They can also be collapsed down into two groups, with the first being worldlings and the second being sages. The category of worldlings can also be broken down into two. The stages of faith are those of outer worldlings, while the abodes, practices, and dedications are those of inner worldlings—also called “worthies.” In the levels of sage, there are two: the ten grounds and Virtual Enlightenment are causal; Marvelous Enlightenment is the effect. These are the large divisions; from here we will elaborate in detail.
18.104.22.168.1. Ten Levels of Faith
First are the ten levels of faith: (1) faith, (2) mindfulness; (3) zeal, (4) wisdom, (5) concentration, (6) non-retrogression, (7) dedication of merit, (8) protecting the Dharma, (9) moral discipline, (10) vows. In these ten stages one quells the afflictions of views and perception in the three realms, and hence it is called the stage of quelling tolerance. [Outer worldlings.] It is equivalent to the seven virtuous stages in the Tripiṭaka Teaching and the stages of dry wisdom and nature in the Shared Teaching.
22.214.171.124.2. Ten Abodes
Next is the clarification of the ten abodes, which are:(1) the abode of arousal of intention [One eliminates the mental disturbances of view in the three realms. This is equivalent to the first realization in the Tripiṭaka Teaching and the stages of eight tolerances and insight in the Shared Teaching.]; (2) the [abode of] preparing the ground; (3) the abode of cultivating practices; (4) the abode of producing virtue; (5) the abode of being replete with skillful means; (6) the abode of correct mind; (7) non-retrogression [In the above six abodes one completely eliminates the mental disturbances of views and perception, and attains the level of non-retrogression. This is equivalent to the buddha-stages in the Tripiṭaka and Shared Teachings.]; (8) the abode of the true child; (9) the abode of the dharma-prince; (10) the abode of consecration [In the above three abodes one eliminates the extremely subtle mental disturbances within the realms, and quells the extremely subtle mental disturbances outside of the three realms. In the prior two teachings, the meaning of these terms is not even known.], which is also called “proclivity acquired by practice.” Using the contemplation of realizing emptiness from the conventional, one perceives reality, opens the eye of wisdom, perfects omniscience, and travels the three hundred yojanas.
126.96.36.199.3. Ten Practices
Next is the clarification of the ten practices, which are the practices of (1) joy, (2) beneficial service, (3) no obstinacy, (4) limitlessness, (5) non-confusion, (6) skillful manifestation, (7) non-attachment, (8) achievement of the difficult, (9) skillful teachings, (10) the practice of reality. [This means eliminating the lack of ability to correctly discern the true nature of the numberless phenomena of the world outside the realms.] It is also called the practice of innate seed-nature. Using the contemplation realizing the conventional from emptiness, one sees through the mundane truths and opens up that eye of the Dharma, completing the adaptive wisdom of enlightenment.
188.8.131.52.4. Ten Dedications of Merit
十入法界無量。 [伏無明習中觀]亦名道種性。行四百由旬。居方便有餘土 [已上三十位爲三賢、
Next are the ten dedications of merit, which are (1) freedom from the notion of sentient beings, nonetheless saving and protecting sentient beings; (2) indestructibility; (3) equal to all buddhas; (4) arriving to all places; (5) inexhaustible treasury of merit; (6) wholesome root of realizing equality among all things; (7) equally according with all sentient beings; (8) marks of thusness; (9) unbound, unattached liberation; (10) the unfathomability of the dharma realm. [The contemplation of the mean that quells the karmic impressions of nescience.] This is also called the seed-nature of the way. Traveling four hundred yojanas, one stays at the land of expedient transformation with remainder. 65
184.108.40.206.5. Ten Grounds
Next is the clarification of the ten grounds [which are] (1) ground of joy; [From here one uses the contemplation of the middle way to eradicate a part of nescience and to manifest a part of the three virtues. The stages from here up to the level of virtual enlightenment are called the seed nature of the holy ones.]. This is the level of the Path of Seeing; it is also the stage of effortlessness, where Buddhahood is accomplished in a hundred realms. Accomplishing enlightenment in eight phases one brings benefit to sentient beings. Traveling five hundred yojanas, one for the first time enters the land of the true reward of non-hindrance; one for the first time enters the jeweled place; (2) ground of freedom from defilement; (3) ground of the emission of light; (4) ground of burning wisdom; (5) ground of overcoming difficulty; (6) ground of manifest appearance; (7) ground of traveling a distance; (8) ground of immovability; (9) ground of excellent wisdom; (10) ground of the dharma cloud. [In each of the previous nine grounds, one eliminates one class of ignorance, realizing one portion of the middle way.]
220.127.116.11.6. Virtual Enlightenment
Further eliminating one class [of fundamental nescience], one enters the stage of Virtual Enlightenment, which is also called the “adamantine mind,” and is also called “limited to one more birth”; it is also called “surpassed bodhisattva.” 66 Again destroying one more layer of ignorance, one enters into Marvelous Enlightenment. One sits in the great jewel-flower throne, beneath the seven-jeweled bodhi tree, in the lotus-treasury world, manifesting the perfect reward body. This, then, is the Buddha who turns the dharma wheel of the immeasurable Four Truths for the bodhisattvas of dull faculties.
There are scriptures and treatises that say that the seventh ground and below is called the path of application of effort, while the eighth ground and above is called the path of effortlessness. The statement to the effect that in the stage of Marvelous Enlightenment only one layer of ignorance is removed is said as a general statement from the perspective of the teaching of the path being explained. Some say that in the first ground one eliminates [the mental disturbances of] views, and from the second ground up to the sixth ground one eliminates [the mental disturbances of] perceptions, and that this is equivalent to the stage of arhat. Here, the name of a stage in the Distinct Teaching is borrowed to name a stage in the shared teaching!
It is said: The worthies of the three ranks and the sages of the ten [grounds] abide in their rewards. Only the Buddha abides in the Pure Land (T 245.8.827c29–a1) . Here a term from the Distinct Teaching is used to clarify a rank in the Perfect Teaching. These kinds of classifications are extremely numerous. Thus, it is necessary to know in detail according to what state of elimination or realization related to the given teaching leads to the attainment of what level, eliminates which mental disturbances, and realizes what principle. If we arrive to the classification of all teachings and all ranks, there is none that will not be understood. This concludes the brief explanation of the distinct teaching.
2.4.4. Perfect Teaching
Next is the clarification of the Perfect Teaching. “Perfect” means perfectly marvelous, perfectly complete, perfectly full, and perfectly sudden. Therefore it is called the Perfect Teaching. What is explained is the perfect quelling, perfect faith, perfect elimination, perfect practice, perfect stage, perfect adornment of mastery, and perfect establishment of sentient beings. The buddha realm discussed by the Mahāyāna scriptures and treatises generally falls under the scope of this teaching, rather than following the course of the three vehicles. The four keywords of the Lotus, “opening, showing, awakening, and entering,” reflect the forty stages of the abodes, practices, dedications, and grounds in the perfect Teaching. The Flower Ornament Sūtra says: “At the first arousal of intention, one directly consummates perfect enlightenment; replete with the wisdom body, one is enlightened without relying on others.” 67 “The pure marvelous dharma-body serenely resonates with all things.” 68 This clarifies the forty-two stages of the Perfect Teaching.
The Vimalakīrti-nirdeśa-sūtra says: In a campaka grove, you can’t smell anything else; entering this room, the only fragrance is that of the Buddha’s merit—[you can’t enjoy the fragrance of the merits of the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas] (T 475.14.548a25–27) . It also says: “One enters the gate of the non-dual dharma.” 69 The Prajñā sūtras express the ultimate vehicle. The Nirvāṇa Sūtra expresses the five practices of the One Mind. 70 As that sūtra says: “There is a person who enters the ocean to bathe; he has already experienced bathing in all the rivers.” 71
唯大海能受。餘地不堪。」 又 「擣萬種香爲丸。
Or again (from the Flower Ornament Sūtra): “When the Sāgara Dragon King sends rain down with drops as large as wagon-wheel hubs, only the ocean can absorb it. It can’t be handled in other places.” 72 Again: “If one grinds down a myriad varieties of aromatic plant into an incense stick, if one burns just one grain it will suffice to produce a myriad aromas.” 73 Passages like these all reflect the themes of the Perfect Teaching.
18.104.22.168. Eight Groups of Stages
一五品弟子位 [外凡出法華經]二十信位 [內凡]三十住位 [聖初]。四十行。五十迴向。
六十地。七等覺 [是因位末]。八妙覺 [是果位]。
Once again, based on the Lotus Sūtra and Yingluo jing, we can outline the ranks into eight: (1) the five [preliminary] grades of the disciples [outer worldlings who appear in the Lotus Sūtra]; (2) the ten stages of faith; [inner worldlings] (3) the ten abodes [beginning sages]; (4) the ten practices; (5) the ten dedications of merit; (6) the ten grounds; (7) virtual enlightenment [This is the last of the causal stages.]; (8) marvelous enlightenment. [This is the level of result.]
22.214.171.124.1. Five Preliminary Grades
First are the five preliminary grades of the disciple:
126.96.36.199.1.1. Accordant Joy
This meaning is expressed when the sūtra says: “If one hears this sūtra [lectured upon] and accepts it with accordant joy without criticizing . . .” 74 Question: One is accordantly joyous in regard to what dharma? Answer: The marvelous dharma. The marvelous dharma is none other than this mind. The mind inherently endowed with enlightenment is like a wish-fulfilling gem. “The mind, the Buddha, and all living beings are without distinction.” 75
188.8.131.52.1.1.1. Three Truths
This mind is empty, it is provisional, and it is between the two. Eternal knowables lack marks, eternal cognition lacks perception. Without perceiving, there is perception, with no refutation of the three contemplations. Markless, yet marked, the three truths are exactly as they are. One rejoices oneself and brings joy to others. Hence it is called accordant joy. Within, using the three forms of contemplation, one examines the objects of the three truths. Without, using the five kinds of repentance, one applies oneself vigorously, helping to come to an understanding.
184.108.40.206.1.1.2. Five Kinds of Repentance
1. Repentance in terms of principle and practice. [The first kind of repentance] two aspects—(1) of principle and (2) of practice. As for repentance in principle, [the saying], “Those who want to repent should sit erect and reflect on reality; myriad sins are like frost and dew, which evaporate under the sun of wisdom.” 76 reflects this meaning.
Repentance in practice means that during the six periods of the day one purifies the three modes of activity. Facing a sacred image, one openly confesses one’s past sins. This means all the evil that one has committed from time immemorial up to the present, including [the five heinous crimes of] patricide, matricide, murder of arhats, disruption of the saṃgha, spilling the blood of a buddha, [and the ten evil activities of] debauchery, theft, lying, ornate speech, treachery, insulting speech, craving, ill-will, folly, and so forth. Once one exposes these five heinous crimes and ten kinds of evil activity, as well as all the remaining [unwholesome activities] in a confessional ceremony, they cannot again be covered up. Since they have been terminated, such behaviors will not rearise.
If, in this way, superficial hindrances are gradually removed, and one’s internal contemplation is gradually clarified, it is like applying the additional power of a pole to a boat that is carried in the flow of a river. How could one not arrive quickly at one’s destination? The cultivation of the Perfect practices are just like this. The correct contemplation of the perfect principle and the phenomenal practices augment each other. How could one not arrive rapidly at the other shore of marvelous enlightenment? One should not look at this teaching and so readily call it gradual practice. Saying that the Perfect and Sudden [teachings] have no practices such as this is a great error indeed!
How could there be a naturally endowed Maitreya, or a self-so Śākyamuni? If one hears just a modicum [of such teachings as] “saṃsāra is none other than nirvāṇa,” “affliction is none other than bodhi,” “this mind itself is Buddha,” then without moving, one immediately arrives; without applying oneself to cultivation, one directly accomplishes perfect enlightenment. All the worlds in the ten directions are exactly the Pure Land; everyone you face is a buddha—there are none who are not enlightened. Now, even though we are identical to buddhas, this is at the level of principle. This is also the level of the plain dharma body, being, as it is, unadorned. What relationship do this have with practice and realization? We foolish beings, having heard just a bit of the teaching of identity with emptiness, readily abandon practice. Without knowing the purpose of the teaching of identity, we vainly chatter like mice and birds. [These teachings] exist extensively throughout the scriptures and treatises. One should seek them out and think about them.
2. Repentance through entreaty. Here, one requests that the buddhas of the ten directions take on a body and abide long in this world to save sentient beings.
3. Joyous gratitude. In joyous gratitude one praises all wholesome roots.
4. Dedication of merit, wherein all of the goodness that has been praised is dedicated to enlightenment.
5. Arousal of vows. If there is no arousal of vows, the myriad affairs will not be consummated. Therefore it is necessary to give rise to the mind aimed for enlightenment in order to draw out the prior four.
In carrying out these five kinds of repentance, those from the highest to the lowest ranks directly achieve virtual enlightenment. Fully using these five kinds of repentance, [immoral behavior] does not again manifest. We know by this example.
220.127.116.11.1.2. Stage of Recitation
The sūtra says: “How much more in the case of those who chant and memorize [the sūtra]?” (T 262.9.45b24) . This means that as a supplement to their internal contemplation, they also apply themselves in chanting. It is like oil added to a fire.
18.104.22.168.1.3. Stage of Teaching the Dharma
Third is the stage of teaching the dharma. The sūtra says: “If you memorize and chant this sūtra, teach it to others” (T 262.9.45c12) . One’s internalization of the meaning steadily improves such that one can provide guidance to those who stand before him. The merit of converting others returns to oneself, and one’s mental level advances doubly from that of before.
22.214.171.124.1.4. Practice of the Six Perfections Concurrent with Contemplation
The sūtra says: “How much more so if there is someone who can hold in mind this sūtra while at the same time practicing donation, etc.” (T 262.9.45c14) . Based on the power of one’s merit, one redoubles the power of the contemplating mind.
126.96.36.199.1.5. Direct Practice of the Six Perfections
The sūtra says: “If someone is able to chant the sūtra and teach it to others, he will maintain the precepts [and fully practice the other six perfections.]” 77 This implies the full accomplishment of cultivation of oneself and teaching others from the perspectives of both principle and phenomena. One observes one’s mind without obstruction, steadily advancing beyond the previous level in a manner that defies comparison. In the course of these five stages one quells the five entrenched afflictions. 78 It is a stage of unenlightened worldlings that is equivalent to the ten stages of faith in the Distinct Teaching.
188.8.131.52.2. Ten Stages of Faith
Next, one advances to the stage of purification of the six faculties, which is identical to the ten stages of faith. At the first stage of faith one eliminates mental disturbances of views, disclosing reality. This is equivalent to the first realization in the Tripiṭaka Teaching, the stages of the eight tolerances and insight in the Shared Teaching, and the first abode in the Distinct Teaching. It is the stage of actualization of non-retrogression.
From the second level of faith up to the seventh level, one completely eliminates mental disturbances of perception. This is equivalent to the stages of Buddhahood in the Tripiṭaka and Shared teachings, as well as the seventh abode in the Distinct Teaching. The suffering and its arising in the three realms is completely extinguished without remainder. Hence the [Sūtra for] Humane Kings says: “The bodhisattvas [at the] ten excellent [stages] give rise to the great aspiration. They become eternally separated from the sea of cycling through the suffering of the three realms” (T 245.8.827b14) .
Nota bene: “Ten excellent [stages]” means that each [bodhisattva] has his own ten kinds of excellence. If we are talking about the ten levels of faith in the Distinct Teaching, then [the mental disturbances] have been quelled but not eliminated. Therefore this definitely falls under the Perfect Teaching. Yet the original intention of the adherents of the Perfect Teaching was not to eliminate the mental disturbances caused by views, perceptions, and dealing with the detailed affairs of the world. Their intention resides in entering the abodes, eliminating ignorance, and seeing the Buddha-nature.
But it is like smelting iron: [in the process of smelting,] gross impurities first run off, even though that was not the original purpose of the task. The intent resides in becoming a vessel. Before the vessel is cast, the impurities must first be removed. Even though one sees them being removed, not even a moment of satisfaction is derived from this. Why not? Because he has not yet achieved his purpose. The practitioner of the Perfect Teaching is just like this. Even though [the removal of mental disturbances] is not his original aim, they are naturally removed first.
When Master Yongjia (665–713) 79 said “This rank is the same as that of the removal of the four entrenchments. When it comes to quelling ignorance, then the Tripiṭaka Teaching is inferior” (Chanzong Yongjia ji; T 2013.48.392c21–22) . he was talking about this stage.
Nota bene: The four entrenchments are only under the purview of the [mental disturbances caused by] views and perception. One of them is related to views, and this is called the entrenchment of seeing a single locus. The perceptive mental disturbances are distinguished into three: (1) entrenchments of attachment to the desire realm, which are the nine classes of [mistaken] perception in the desire realm; (2) entrenchments of the form realm; the four levels of the form realm each have nine classes of [mistaken] perception; (3) entrenchments of attachment to the formless realm. The four levels of the formless realm each have nine levels of [mistaken] perception. Since buddhas of the Tripiṭaka Teaching and those who have purified the six faculties eliminate the same [mental disturbances], [Yongjia] says “This is the same as the removal of the four entrenchments” and “In the case of the quelling of ignorance, then the Tripiṭaka Teaching is inferior.” Ignorance [in this case] is equivalent to the hindrances that lie beyond the realms among the middle way’s specific mental disturbances. The Tripiṭaka Teaching ends its discourse with the pervasive disturbances within the realms. If even the word “nescience” cannot be known, how is it to be quelled or eliminated? Therefore he says that the Tripiṭaka Teaching is inferior.
From the eighth to the tenth stages of faith, one completely eliminates the mental disturbances of dealing with detailed events both within and beyond the three realms. The contemplation of provisionality is directly manifested, and one perceives the principle of the mundane truth. Opening up the dharma-eye, one consummates the adaptive wisdom of enlightenment and travels four hundred yojanas. This stage is considered to be equivalent to all the stages in the Distinct Teaching from the eighth, ninth, and tenth abodes up to the practices and dedications of merit. It is a non-retrogressive practice.
184.108.40.206.3. Ten Abodes
Next, entering the first abode, one eliminates one class of nescience and realizes a portion of the three merits—i.e., the three merits of liberation, prajñā, and dharma body. These three merits are aligned neither horizontally nor vertically. They are like the triangular dots that form the siddhaṃ character i (∴) or like the three eyes of Mahêśvara. Appearing in a hundred realms, one passes through the eight phases of enlightenment, broadly saving all beings. The Flower Ornament Sūtra says: “At the first arousal of the aspiration, one directly completes enlightenment”; “The wisdom body he possesses is not enlightened depending on others”; (T 278.9.449c14–15) . “The pure marvelous dharma body” “adapts to all things with calm abundance.” 80
Explanation: The “first arousal of aspiration” implies the first abode. “Directly accomplishing perfect enlightenment” refers to the accomplishment of the eight phases of the Buddha’s life. This is a partial realization—the true causes of this teaching. But if you interpret it as marvelous enlightenment, this would be a grave error indeed. If this were the case, then all stages from the second abode and above would be rendered meaningless. If you say that this amounts to needless redundancy, then the Buddha would be charged with being verbose. However, there are sayings such as “Each stage includes all the other stages” 81 and “The two points of arousal of the aspiration and the final goal are not two separate things.” 82 We should understand the basis of this mutual inclusion and carefully consider the meaning of non-duality.
“The dragon-maiden directly achieves perfect enlightenment” 83 and “Śrāvakas receive the assurance of future attainment of Buddhahood” 84 are both examples of becoming a buddha at this stage [of the first abode]. The wisdom body is equivalent to the merit of prajñā; it is the unfolding of the awakening cause of the (Buddha-)nature. The marvelous dharma body is the merit of the dharma body; it is the unfolding of the direct cause of the (Buddha-)nature. “Responding to all” is the merit of liberation; it is the unfolding of the conditioning cause of the (Buddha-)nature. Yet since what these three kinds of bodies produce is already inherent, the text says “enlightened without relying on others.” The contemplation of the mean is directly manifested, and one opens the Buddha-eye, completing the wisdom that discerns all particularities. One travels five hundred yojanas, arriving at the treasure land. For the first time one abides in the true unobstructed land of true retribution, keeping in mind the level of non-retrogression.
Next, from the first abode up to the tenth abode one eliminates a single class of ignorance at each stage. In addition one experiences a partial view of the middle way, which is equivalent to the tenth bhūmi of the Distinct Teaching.
220.127.116.11.4. Ten Practices, Ten Dedications of Merit, and Ten Grounds
Next, one enters the first practice, eliminating one class of nescience. This is equivalent to the level of Virtual Enlightenment in the Distinct Teaching. Next, one enters the second practice, which is equivalent to Marvelous Enlightenment in the Distinct Teaching. The practitioner of the Distinct Teaching does not even know the names of the stages from the third practice and afterward; how could he quell or remove [fundamental nescience]? Through the Distinct Teaching, one merely eradicates the twelve classes of nescience. Therefore, that which is regarded as the true cause in our school is considered to be the final realization in their school.
It is simply a matter of perspective: If the teaching tends toward the provisional, then the rank tends to be high; if the teaching tends toward the real, the rank tends to be low. It is like the case of a temporarily assigned position in the frontier regions; the rank is high, but when one determines salaries and considers merits, the position is actually low. Therefore, even though this is called Marvelous Enlightenment in the provisional teaching, this is equivalent to the second of the ten practices in the real teaching.
From the third practice up to the tenth ground, one layer of nescience is eliminated at each ground as one advances one portion along the middle path. Thus forty layers of mental disturbances are eliminated. Again eradicating one layer of nescience, one enters the stage of Virtual Enlightenment. Here one will be reborn only one more time. One then advances to remove one more layer of extremely subtle nescience and enters the stage of Marvelous Enlightenment, where one permanently departs from one’s father and mother of nescience. One finally ascends to the pinnacle of nirvāṇa. Dharmas do not arise and prajñā does not arise; non-arising, non-arising, it is called “great nirvāṇa.” Taking empty space as one’s seat, one perfects the pure dharma body, abiding in the continually calm and illuminated land—this is Buddhahood according to the Perfect Teaching.
18.104.22.168. Six Degrees of Identity
Nonetheless, concerning the order of the process in the Perfect Teaching, if one does not use the six identities to categorize them, the [distinctions in the ranks of sages] would be conflated. Therefore the six identities are used to distinguish these ranks.
22.214.171.124.1. Identity [with Enlightenment] in Principle
Such phrases as “All sentient beings possess the Buddha-nature” (T 374.12.404c4) , “The aspects of Buddha-nature and absence of Buddha-nature abide constantly” (T 374.12.492a17) as well as “[Even a] single color and single odor do not lack the middle way” (T 1706.33.289a23) generally refer to the identity with [enlightenment in] principle.
126.96.36.199.2. Verbal Identity [with Enlightenment]
爲相似卽 [十信]分破分見。爲分證卽 [從初住至等覺]智斷圓滿。
Next, when one hears words from one’s reliable teacher and reads them in the pages of the scriptures, this is called verbal identity.
188.8.131.52.3. Identity [with Enlightenment] in Meditation Practice
Practice based on doctrine constitutes the identity in meditation practice [The five preliminary grades of the disciple].
184.108.40.206.4. Identity [with Enlightenment] in Seeming Buddhahood
When near understanding arises, this constitutes the identity of seeming Buddhahood [The ten stages of faith].
220.127.116.11.5. Identity [with Enlightenment] in Partial Realization
Partially destroying [wrong views] and partially seeing constitutes the identity of partial realization [From the first abode up to virtual enlightenment].
18.104.22.168.6. Identity [with Enlightenment] in Complete Enlightenment
The perfect consummation of wisdom and elimination constitutes the identity of complete enlightenment [The stage of marvelous enlightenment].
In terms of the successive stages of cultivation and practice, one starts from the shallow stage and ultimately arrives at the deepest. Therefore they are called “six degrees.” In terms of the substance of the reality that is revealed, there is no difference between the stages. Therefore it is called “identity.” Therefore those who deeply understand the enumeration into six do not give rise to pride in their spiritual attainments. Those who fully clarify the meaning of “identity” are not discouraged. The six identities are reliable and dependable, so reflect on them and see how they apply. This concludes the brief clarification of the stages of the Perfect Teaching.
Yet based on the above four teachings of cultivation, each has its own skillful means of corrective practices, which are the twenty-five kinds of skillful means and the ten vehicles of meditation. If each teaching were to be explained in detail, the prose would be painfully voluminous. Even though the import of the teachings is different, their enumeration is not distinguished. Therefore we now provide a general explanation, which should be sufficient to get the point.
2.5.1. Twenty-five Kinds of Expedient Preparation
The twenty-five kinds of expedient preparation are arranged in five groups: (1) preparing the five basic conditions; (2) rejecting the five desires; (3) discarding the five obscurations; (4) regulating the five matters; (5) practicing the five supplementary methods.
22.214.171.124. Five Basic Conditions
126.96.36.199.1. Pure Observance of the Precepts
As it says in the sūtra: “Based on these precepts, you will attain various states of meditative concentration as well as the wisdom that eradicates suffering. Therefore bhikṣus should observe the pure precepts.” 86 These are not the same for lay and renunciant practitioners, or adherents of the Mahāyāna and Hīnayāna.
188.8.131.52.2. Sufficient Food and Clothing
There are three kinds of clothing. (1) The first is like that of the great masters of the Himalayas. Anything that covers their bodies is sufficient. This is because they do not hang around with people, and have consummated the power of great tolerance. (2) The second is like that of Kāśyapa and others. They gather rags to make their robes, and beyond their three robes, do not keep any extra. (3) Third are those who live in countries where it gets very cold. [For them] the Tathāgata also allowed the keeping of the “one hundred and one implements.” 87
There are also three categories of food. (1) The first is like that consumed by the great sages of superior faculties who live deep in the mountains, who just gather the vegetables, roots, herbs, and fruit according to their needs. (2) The second is food obtained as alms. (3) The third is food given by lay patrons and the pure food [prepared by monks and nuns] within the saṃgha.
184.108.40.206.3. Living in a Leisurely and Serene Environment
Not engaging in myriad mundane matters is called “leisure.” A place without hustle-bustle is called “serene.” There are three kinds of places, which can be extrapolated from the examples of clothing and food.
220.127.116.11.4. Cessation of all Worldly Responsibilities
[This means] the cessation of earning a livelihood; the cessation of societal affairs, and the cessation of engagement in arts and crafts, etc.
18.104.22.168.5. Cultivating Reliable Buddhist Friends
There are three kinds: (1) reliable Buddhist patrons; (2) reliable Buddhist fellow practitioners; (3) reliable Buddhist teachers.
22.214.171.124. Rejection of the Five Desires
This includes (1) the rejection of form, which refers to handsome and beautiful men and women, with long eyes, high brows, red lips, and white teeth, as well as gems and the beautiful colors that decorate the world, such as black, yellow, crimson, violet, etc.; (2) the rejection of sound, which refers to the sounds of lutes and flutes, and the tinkling of jade ornaments, as well as the songs of men and women; (3) the rejection of fragrance, which refers to the fragrances of the bodies of men and women, as well as the fragrances of the drinks and foods and so forth of the world; (4) the rejection of flavor, which refers to the delicious flavors contained in the food and drink served in feasts; (5) The rejection of tactile sensation, which refers to soft and smooth parts of men’s and women’s bodies, warm body temperature when it is cold, cold body temperature when it is hot, and all other pleasing tactile sensations.
126.96.36.199. Discarding the Five Obscurations
Third is the discarding of the five obscurations, referring to craving, ill-will, drowsiness, restlessness, and doubt.
188.8.131.52. Regulating the Five Activities
This refers to (1) regulating the mind so that it neither sinks nor floats, (2) regulating the body so that it is neither too relaxed nor too tense, (3) regulating the breath so that it is neither rough nor gentle, (4) regulating sleep so that it is neither too restrained nor too indulgent, (5) regulating one’s diet so that one is neither hungry nor full.
184.108.40.206. Practicing the Five Methods
(1) Desire; wherein one desires to be free from all mundane delusions and cognitive distortions, and desires to attain access to all forms of meditative concentration and wisdom; (2) zeal, wherein one observes the precepts strictly and abandons the five obscurations as a result of one’s fervent zeal for practice in the first, middle, and last watches of the night; (3) mindfulness, wherein one is mindful that worldly deception is to be despised and held in disdain, and that meditative concentration and wisdom are to be respected and valued; (4) intelligence, wherein one assays the relative value, strengths, and weaknesses of worldly enjoyment vis-à-vis the enjoyment of meditative concentration and wisdom; (5) single-mindedness, wherein one is mindful with wisdom and discernment, able to clearly see that the world is troublesome and wicked and is well aware that the merits of meditative concentration and wisdom are to be revered and valued.
Since these twenty-five practices are skillful means that come prior to the four teachings, they have to be fully developed. One who is deficient in these skillful means is not even able to attain mundane levels of meditative concentration, so how could he or she hope to gain access to the supramundane principle? Yet above it was explained that the teachings already contain distinctions of sudden and gradual, and these skillful means are also different from each other. Based on what teaching should one practice? It must be carefully considered according to the time!
2.5.2. Ten Vehicles of Meditation
Next is the clarification of the standard practice of the ten vehicles of meditation. These are also the same in name in each of the four teachings, but they carry different connotations. Here we will explain them from the perspective of the Perfect Teaching, using this as an example for the other teachings.
220.127.116.11. Contemplation of Inconceivable Objects
This refers to the observation that one thought moment fully contains, without loss, the essence and characteristics of the trichiliocosm, a hundred realms and a thousand thusnesses. They are exactly this object, they are empty, they are provisional, and they are in between. There is nothing prior or subsequent. It is vast and perfect, mastering space and time. Therefore the Lotus Sūtra says: “This vehicle is high and vast” [Those of sharp faculties properly contemplate this object.] (T 262.9.12c18) .
18.104.22.168. Correctly Arousing the Aspiration for Enlightenment
This means that one arouses the uncreated four universal vows based on sublime objects. Compassionate in oneself, one is compassionate toward others; one seeks [wisdom] above, and teaches those of lesser attainment. Therefore the sūtra says: “He spreads out the canopy above” (T 262.9.12c19) .
22.214.171.124. Meditation of Skillfully Calming the Mind
Third is the skillful settling of the mind with calm abiding and insight. This means embodying the prior marvelous principle. Constant quiescence is called “stabilization” (śamatha); to be quiescent yet eternally luminous is called “wisdom” (vipaśyanā). Therefore the sūtra says: “He places a red cushion” (T 262.9.12c21) [A cushion inside the vehicle].
126.96.36.199. Eradicating All Attachments
This means that one uses three kinds of contemplation to eradicate the three kinds of mental disturbances. With the three kinds of contemplation in one thought, there are no mental disturbances not eradicated. Therefore the sūtra says: “[The vehicle] is swift as the wind” (T 262.9.12c23) .
188.8.131.52. Distinguishing the Passageways and Obstructions
Suffering and its arising, the twelve limbs of dependent arising, the six obstacles, the hindrances of the vast amount of detailed knowledge [needed to save the world], and nescience are obstructions. [The truths of] the path and extinction, the wisdom that undoes dependent arising, the six perfections, and the three contemplations in one thought are the passageways. Wherever there are passageways they should be maintained; wherever there are obstructions they should be eradicated. When a passageway gives rise to an obstruction, that which eradicates is what should be eradicated. Each case needs to be carefully examined. This is called distinguishing passageways and obstructions. The [Lotus] Sūtra says: “He places a red pillow” (T 262.9.12c21) [the pillow on the outside of the vehicle].
184.108.40.206. Adjusting to the Factors of Enlightenment
This refers to the uncreated factors of enlightenment, each of which brings conciliation, so that one can accord with and enter into them. The sūtra says: “I have a great white [ox] cart,” etc. (T 262.9.14c14) . [The above five vehicles are for practitioners of medium capacities.]
220.127.116.11. Application of Auxiliary Antidotes
This means that if there are many obstacles to the correct path and the perfect principle cannot be disclosed, one needs to cultivate auxiliary practices according to the situation. This is a reference to the five kinds of mental stabilization, the six perfections, and so forth. The [Lotus] Sūtra says: “Furthermore, many servants . . .” [Henceforth is the teaching for those of lesser faculties] (T 262.9.12c23 ) .
18.104.22.168. Knowledge of Where One Stands in the Stages of Progress
This means that practitioners can avoid pride in their spiritual attainments.
22.214.171.124. Having Forbearance
This means that one remains stable and unmoved in the face of adverse or favorable circumstances. One advances to [the practice of] the five preliminary grades while entering into [the stage of purification of] the six faculties.
126.96.36.199. Freedom from Attachment to the Dharma
乘是寶乘游於四方 [游四十位]直至道場 [妙覺位]。
This means that one should not attach to paths that resemble the ten stages of faith, but should instead enter into the principle of reality at the first abode. The [Lotus] Sūtra says: “Riding in the jeweled vehicle he cavorts in the four directions” [He cavorts in the forty stages.]. directly arriving at the site of enlightenment [the stage of marvelous enlightenment] (T 262.9.15a14) .
I have respectfully summarized the detailed text of the Tiantai teaching, creating an extract of the five periods and eight teachings, which can be understood in brief like this. If you have the need for a detailed articulation of these teachings, you should see the ten-fascicle Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sūtra, 88 which gives a detailed analysis of the teaching and manner of the buddhas of the ten directions and three times, just like a clear mirror. Also, in the fourth fascicle of the Profound Commentary on the Vimalakīrti, there is a comprehensive taxonomy of the teachings. From there to the end of the text there is a brief clarification of the teaching classifications and modes of various masters.
Outline of the Tiantai Fourfold Teachings
1. During the course of this translation virtually all Sino-Korean terms, person names, and text names have been added to the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism and can thus be further investigated online at http://www.buddhism-dict.net/ddb.
2. Also known as the “Record of Chegwan”; 諦觀錄; 1 fasc.; HBJ 4.517–527; T 1931.46.773–780.
3. Sekiguchi Shindai 関口真大, Shōwa Kōsei Tendai shikyōgi 昭和校訂天台四教儀 (Tokyo: Sankibō busshorin, 1935).
4. One fascicle, T 2013.48.387b-395c, by Xuanjue 玄覺 of Yongjia 永嘉, a disciple of Huineng 慧能. The text discusses practice and enlightenment in ten gradually deepening stages. Its preface is by the Qing governor Weijing 魏靜. It explains the positions of Southern Chan, mixed in with Tiantai and Huayan doctrine. This text was popular in Korean Seon, where it was commented on by Gihwa 己和 (Seonjong Yeonggajip gwaju seorui 禪宗永嘉集科註說誼, HBJ 7.170–216).
5. The Miaofa lianhua jing xuanyi; by Zhiyi 智顗, ed. Guanding 灌頂 in 593; 20 fasc. T 1716.33.618–815. Zhiyi’s commentary on the Lotus Sūtra, traditionally considered to be the most important commentary on the sūtra in the Tiantai tradition. “Profound Meaning” 玄義 refers to the fact that this is an explication of the deeper meaning of the Lotus Sūtra. Together with the Fahua wenju 法華文句 (T 1718) and the Mohe zhiguan 摩訶止觀 (T 1911) it forms the set of three most influential commentaries in the Tiantai tradition 天台三大部. While the Wenju explicates the scriptural text itself, this text is primarily a commentarial essay on the title. (DDB)
6. The Collected Notes on the Outline of the Tiantai Fourfold Teachings 天台四教儀集 註, abbreviated as 四教儀集註. An annotated version of Chegwan’s Cheontae Sagyo ui based on the Mountain school’s 山家 orthodox interpretations. Listed as being contained in the Ming canon 明藏. (DDB)
7. (1275–1342) Yuan-period monk, associated with the Tiantai tradition. Originally from Jiahe 嘉禾 (in present-day Zhejiang 浙江) with the secular surname Gu 顧, posthumously titled Yugang 玉岡. He entered the order at the age of fourteen at the Bai Lianhua si 白 蓮華寺 under the tutelage of Guyuan Yongqing 古源永淸, from whom he learned śamatha-vipaśyanā meditation 止觀, along with proficiency in such fundamental Tiantai texts as the Jingangpi lun 金剛錍論, Shibuermen lun 十不二門論, and so forth. After the passing of Yongqing, he worked hard to serve Zhutang Chuan Gong 竹堂傳公. Later he stayed at Nantianzhu Yanfusi 南天竺演福寺, broadly propagating the teachings of Tiantai. He wrote the Sijiao yiji zhu 四教儀集註 (listed as being contained in the Ming canon 明藏in 3 fasc.) and Sijiao yiji zhu kewen 四教儀集註科文 (1 fasc.) (DDB)
8. (1548–1595) Ming-period Chinese monk, originally from Xiushui 秀水 (present-day Jiaxing 嘉興, Zhejiang 浙江), styled Kaizhi 開之. He was said to be of upright character, and a skillful essayist. He served in various governmental administrative posts, mostly concerned with higher education and the central examination system. Over time he became associated with Buddhist monks, most notably Yunqi Zhuhong 雲棲祩宏, from whom he received the bodhisattva precepts 菩薩戒. He also engaged in the practice of the Buddha-mindfulness samādhi 念佛三昧, as well as sūtra copying and carving with Zibo Zhenke 紫柏眞可. Among his writings were the Lidaigong juzhi 歷代貢舉誌, Kuaixuetang ji 快雪堂集, Kuaixuetang manlu 快雪堂漫錄, and this preface to the Sagyo ui. (DDB)
9. I.e., Zhiyi’s 法華玄義, Miaofa xuanyi; ed. Guanding 灌頂 in 593; 20 fasc. T 1716.33.618–815. This is Zhiyi’s main commentary on the Lotus Sūtra, traditionally considered to be the most important commentary on the sūtra in the Tiantai tradition. Together with the Fahua wenju 法華文句 (T 1718) and the Mohe zhiguan 摩訶止觀 (T 1911) it forms the set of three most influential commentaries in the Tiantai tradition, being primarily a commentarial essay on the title. This is done in a five-layered exposition of the profound meaning 五重玄義, consisting of the explication of the title 釋名, articulation of the essence 辯體, explanation of the central tenets 明宗, discussion of function 論用, and classification of teachings 判教. These five layers are each treated in terms of general 通 and distinctive 別 characteristics. (DDB)
10. E.g., T 278.9.760b11.
11. E.g., T 278.9.395a7.
12. The Buddha’s inferior body. In Tiantai, the delimited body of the historical Buddha as seen by unenlightened people, Hīnayānists, and bodhisattva who have not yet entered the bhūmis. One of the two kinds of response body 二應身 and one of the four buddhas of the four kinds of teaching. (DDB)
13. Representing adherents of the two vehicles.
14. Virtually all the reference works gloss this as the time of eating the principal meal, i.e. noon; nothing might be eaten by members of the order after noon. But since the next form of the teaching is associated with 10 a.m., it must be breakfast (Skt. pūrvâhṇa).
15. The term 轉教 means for śrāvakas to preach the Dharma (e.g., to bodhisattvas), as Subhūti did in the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras, under direct orders or instruction from the Buddha; an attempt to explain why an “inferior” śrāvaka would preach the Dharma to bodhisattvas, his “superiors.”
16. This line appears more than one hundred times in the Taishō canon. See, for example, Vimalakīrti-sūtra, “Chapter on Buddha-lands,” T 475.14.538a2.
17. Chappell, T’ien-t’ai Buddhism, renders junggeo 重擧 as “repeatedly illustrates” (p. 65)
18. Chappell, ibid., takes 皆知 to refer to the people in the audience, rather than to Subhūti, et.al.
19. The explanation given by the Tiantai tradition (derived from Fayun’s commentary, Fahuajing yiji 法華經義記; T 1715.33.601a12–22) regarding the Lotus Sūtra, wherein it is said that the Buddha repeated his teaching three times while adjusting to the levels of the listeners. The three stages of preaching are the following: (1) Preaching by theory 法說周, where, for the purpose of those of superior faculties, he directly explained the essence of the dharma. At this time only the great arhat Śāriputra was able to comprehend and receive a guarantee of future. (2) Preaching by parable 譬說周. In this round, for those of middling faculties who could not benefit from his direct teaching, he provided the teaching of the three carts and one cart. During this round he taught Mahākāśyapa, Mahākātyāyana, Mahā-Maudgalyāyana, and Subhūti, who received his guarantee of future Buddhahood. This is as explained in the Chapter on Parables. (3) preaching by means of the stories of the lives of past buddhas 宿世因緣周, where, for those of inferior understanding who were not able to catch the difficult content of the first two rounds, he explained that in a past life he was the disciple of Mahâbhijñā-jñānâbhibhū-buddha and because he had the proclivity for the One Vehicle, was able to attain enlightenment after many lifetimes. At this time the arhats in his audience all received the guarantee of future Buddhahood, as can be seen in the chapter on the Conjured City. (DDB)
20. including the Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣya and such treatises
21. Tradition states that one hundred years after the death of the Buddha, there were five disciples under Upagupta, the fifth saint who inherited the teachings. It is thought that at that time, there were five separate versions of the Vinaya 戒律 (the part of the Tripiṭaka elaborating the rules of the Buddhist order): (1) the Dharmagupta-vinaya (Sifen lü; Four-Part Vinaya) 四分律 (T 1428), (2) the Sarvâstivāda-vinaya (Shisong lü; Ten Recitations Vinaya) 十誦律 (T 1435), (3) Mahīśāsaka Vinaya (Wufen lü; Five Part Vinaya) 五分律 (T 1421), (4) the Prātimokṣa-sūtra 解脫戒經 of the Kāśyapīyas, and (5) the Vātsīputrīya-vinaya (not extant). The Mahāsāṃghika-vinaya 摩訶僧祇律 (T 1425; K 889) has been substituted for the missing fifth work.
22. I.e, the Abhidharma-jñānaprasthāna-śāstra, translated in T 1543 and T 1544.
23. Based on T 1509.25.91c6.
24. The first of the four ways (to be discussed below) of understanding the four truths 四諦: that all phenomenal things truly arise and perish; to analyze, realize the cause-result, rise and fall of phenomenal existence through the four truths. This is one of the four dimensions of the Four Truths as discussed below. (DDB)
25. Direct retribution 正報 refers to our body and personality; circumstantial retribution 依 報 refers to the world, country, family, etc., into which we are born. Also referred to as 二果, 二報, and 依正. (DDB)
26. (Skt. pañcānantarya). Also written 五無間業. The most commonly seen set is: (1) matricide 害母 or 殺母 (Skt. mātṛ-ghāta), (2) patricide 害父 or 殺父 (Skt. pitṛ-ghāta), (3) killing a saint 害阿羅漢 or 殺阿羅漢 (Skt. arhad-ghāta), (4) wounding the body of the Buddha 出佛身血 or 惡心出佛身血 (Skt. tathāgatasyāntike duṣṭa-citta-rudhirotpādana), (5) destroying the harmony of the saṃgha 破僧 or 破和合僧, 鬥亂衆僧 (Skt. saṃgha-bheda). (DDB)
27. The ten evil deeds that are proscribed by the ten precepts 十戒: (1) killing 殺生, (2) stealing 偸盜, (3) debauchery 邪婬, (4) lying (deception) 妄語, (5) ornate speech (flattery) 綺語, (6) insult (abusiveness) 惡口, (7) treachery (slander) 兩舌, (8) covetousness 貪欲, (9) anger 瞋恚, and (10) false views 邪見 (Skt. daśâśubhāḥ, *daśâkuśala-karma-patha). (DDB)
28. This interpretation is derived from that given at T 441.14.232c6–7: 諛諂詐稱罪報。懺悔鬼神道中擔沙負石填河塞海罪報。
29. Apparently because the Sanskrit term for alcohol 酒 is surā with 無 as the a-privative.
30. The five virtues as taught in the Confucian classics: humaneness 仁, due-giving 義, propriety 禮, wisdom 智, and trust 信. East Asian Buddhist authors such as Zongmi 宗密 and Gihwa 己和 (See the Hyeonjeong non, also translated in this volume.), who worked in the area of Buddhist-Confucian dialogue, sought to associate these with the five basic precepts 五戒 of Buddhism. (DDB)
31. The Sanskrit pūrva already renders “east,” but for consistency with the rendering of the other continents, we supply it here.
32. The identification of the five constants 五常 of the Confucian tradition with the basic five (laypersons’) precepts 五戒 of Buddhism began at a fairly early date in the assimilation of Buddhism into China, and the declaration of their equivalence becomes a standard part of the writings of later Buddhists such as Zongmi and Gihwa, who argued for the “unity of the three teachings.” See, for example, the discussion by Gihwa in his Hyeonjeong non, the final text translated in this volume.
33. Four entrenchments of mental disturbances. Derived from an explication of the nature of affliction given in the Śrīmālā-sūtra, the system of the entrenchments can be seen as the Tathāgatagarbha text-family’s systematic treatment of the structure of mental disturbances in their afflictive and cognitive aspects that would be a counterpart to the system defined in texts of Yogâcāra pedigree, such as the Cheng weishi lun and Yogâcārabhūmi. This system of entrenchments was applied extensively by Zhiyi in the development of his Tiantai system. (DDB)
34. One of the two kinds of ignorance identified in Abhidharma, the other being undefiled ignorance 不染汚無知. The notion of defiled ignorance evolves into the Yogâcāra notion of afflictive hindrances 煩惱障 (Skt. kleśâvaraṇa). (DDB)
35. Secondary ignorance, as distinguished from fundamental ignorance 根本無明 or beginningless ignorance 無始無明. According to the Awakening of Faith 起信論, original ignorance refers to the immediate, spontaneous ignorance of the true nature of the world as thusness, whereas derivative ignorance refers to the three subtle marks 三細 of activity, viewer, and objective realm that come forth from it. (DDB)
36. They are shared amongst the practitioners of all three vehicles.
37. These include the two categories of being attached to Buddhist discipline in a mistaken way and being attached to non-Buddhist moralities, such as asceticism, etc.
38. Skt. saṃbhārâvasthā. According to Abhidharma/Yogâcāra path theory, the stage where the “raw materials” of merit and wisdom are gathered for practice. This rank includes the first thirty stages of bodhisattva practice, and is said to require one incalculable eon of practice. It is a preparatory stage for later, more subtle practice. As one of the five stages 五位, it precedes the stage of applied practice 加行位. (DDB)
39. Skt. prayogāvasthā. The second among the five stages of practice 五位 as outlined by Vasubandhu 世親 in his Triṃśikā 唯識三十論 . This is the stage where the unenlightened practitioner engages properly in various meditative and moral practices that should ultimately lead to an experience of direct insight into the real character of existence, attaining uncontaminated cognition 無漏智 to enter the path of insight 見道. It is a putting into practice of the basic teachings learned in the prior stage of preparation 資料位. This stage corresponds with the stage of skillful means, 方便道 which in other texts indicates the same level. (DDB)
40. Skt. darśana-mārga. The third of the five stages of attainment 五位 in the Yogâcāra path system. It is the stage of the observation of the Four Truths 四諦 (therefore also called 見諦), and also the stage at which one enters the level of uncontaminated cognition 無漏智. It is after entry into this stage that one is considered in the Abhidharmakośa and in Yogâcāra to be enlightened 聖者. In Abhidharma doctrine it is equivalent to the stage of stream-winner 預流向 and in Mahāyāna, equivalent to the stage of the first bhūmi 初地. In the Abhidharmakośa-bhāsya it is equivalent to the attainment of the fourth of the four roots of goodness 四善根. After the consummation of this stage, one moves on to the path of cultivation 修道, where the correct views attained in the path of seeing are thoroughly and repeatedly practiced. (DDB)
41. Skt. bhāvanā-mārga. The fourth of the five stages 五位 in the Abhidharma/Yogâcāra path scheme, the second of the three supramundane paths 三道. After the experience of the path of insight 見道, the practitioner renews his/her efforts based on this new insight, seeking further accordance with reality. The afflictions that are eliminated in this path are those that are more deeply embedded, such as the innately arisen afflictions (倶生, 思惑, 思惟所斷), whereas the prior path of insight is able to eliminate the less deeply embedded afflictions (分別起, 見惑). (DDB)
42. Referring to the thirty-two major marks 三十二相 and eighty minor marks 八十隨好 of a great being (mahāpuruṣa). For a full listing, see the DDB. (DDB)
43. Thus, “incalculably long eons.”
44. Four negative forms of rebirth 惡趣: hell denizens 地獄, hungry ghosts 餓鬼, animals 畜生, and asuras 阿修羅 . The asuras are sometimes evil, sometimes good, hence the term 三惡道 “three evil destinies” excepts the asuras. Also written 四惡道 . (DDB)
45. The five kinds of meditation (pañca-smṛti) for settling the mind and ridding it of the five errors of desire, hate, ignorance, the self, and a wayward or confused mind. The five meditations are meditation on impurity 不淨觀, compassion 慈悲觀, causality 因緣觀, right discrimination 界分別觀, and breathing 數息觀. Some substitute meditation on the Buddha in place of the fourth; another listing puts breathing first, and there are other differences. (DDB)
46. See, for example, Dazhi du lun, T 1509.25.87b17.
47. Śivi is the name of Śākyamuni in a past lifetime when he was born as a king, known for his benevolence. He is said to have saved Agni (who was transformed into a dove) from Indra (who was transformed into a hawk) by offering an equal quantity of his own flesh weighed in a balance. There are numerous other stories, and legends of this king abound outside the Buddhist tradition in India and Central Asia. In Buddhism it is given as an example of the perfection of giving. (DDB)
48. An ancient Indian king understood to be a previous incarnation of Śākyamuni. He converted King Kalmāṣapāda, who was practicing cannibalism as a result of having come under the spell of a magician. Kalmāṣapāda was said to be a previous incarnation of Śākyamuni’s disciple Aṅguli-māla 央掘摩羅. Under the spell of an evil master, he attempted to take the heads of 1,000 kings, but succeeded in garnering only 999. The prospective thousandth king, named Universal Illumination, begged for a one-day reprieve, during which he set up a hundred-seat service for humane kings, after which he succeeding in converting Kalmāṣapāda. (DDB)
49. A transliteration of the Sanskrit, also written in Chinese as wowang 惡王 (“evil king”). Kaliṅga was an evil king of the distant past who gradually dismembered Śākyamuni (in an earlier incarnation) in order to test his power of endurance. Kaliṅga is mentioned in the Diamond Sūtra, but the full story is contained in earlier Pali materials. (DDB)
50. According to the story contained in the Damamūka-nidāna-sūtra 賢愚經 (T 202); it is frequently cited as an example of the perfection of zeal 精進波羅蜜. The Great Almsgiving Prince of Vārāṇasī 波羅奈國 (in this scripture a Brahman youth from the city of 婆樓 施舍) suffered deeply over the fact that animals were being killed in order for people to survive. He went to the dragon king to ask him to donate a maṇi-pearl, by which he intended to distribute wealth to the kingdom. After getting the pearl once, it was lost again in the ocean, but he got it back by using a turtle shell to scoop out all the water in the ocean 抒海. Various versions of this jātaka tale are told in other scriptures.
51. When Śākyamuni first met Dīpaṃkara Buddha 然燈佛 (or by some accounts Tiṣya Buddha 弗沙佛) in a previous life, he was very much impressed by his sanctity. He therefore chanted hymns of praise while standing on one leg for seven days. The meaning of “perfection of zeal” (vīrya-pāramitā 進滿) is derived from this anecdote .
52. See 大智度論 T 1509.25.89b22.
53. The sixteen mental states (eight of patience [or recognition] 八忍 [八認] and eight of wisdom 八智) that sever mistaken views 見惑, plus the eighteen attitudes (nine of non-obstruction and nine of liberation 九無礙, 九解脫) that eliminate mistaken deliberations 思惑. (DDB)
54. From the Lotus Sūtra, T 262.9.5a21.
55. See the Lotus Sūtra at T 262.9.26a5.
56. 正習 is an abbreviation of 正使 and 習氣, the actual substance of the afflictions and their remaining habit energies.
57. The three animals— hare, horse, elephant— crossing a stream. The śrāvaka 聲聞 is like the hare who crosses by swimming on the surface; the pratyekabuddha 緣覺 is like the horse who crosses deeper than the hare; the bodhisattva 菩薩 is like the elephant who walks across on the bottom. A metaphor for the three vehicles found in the Nirvāṇa Sūtra (涅槃經; T 374.12.523c29) . (DDB)
58. Probably a reference to the passage in the Huayan jing at T 278.9.566c21.
59. Chappell (p. 125) translates this as “As for people of the three [vehicles] of this [Shared] Doctrine, although there are the differences of high, intermediate, and low within the doctrine itself . . .” But this does not fit with the latter portion of the sentence, which declares the uniform dullness of these beings. He also treats it oppositely in a parallel passage just below. Thus, we understand that the object of 上中下 is the capacities of persons, rather than the content of the teaching.
60. The Southern gate of the palace. Chappell notes: “One of the four gates leading to where the Son of Heaven (Emperor) resides, namely the South Gate, which is guarded by an imaginary Scarlet Bird and through which only kings and noblemen were supposed to enter and exit” (p. 127, n. 21).
61. T 274.442b22–26. This is greatly abbreviated from 善男子。知四聖諦有二種智。一者中、二者上。中者聲聞縁覺智。上者諸佛菩薩智。善男子。知諸陰苦名爲中智。分別諸陰有無量相悉是諸苦。非諸聲聞縁覺所知。是名上智。
62. The Jin guangming jing 金光明經 is a text primarily regarded as a scripture for state protection; it offers a wide variety of instruction on Buddhist practices such as expression of faith and repentance, as well as basic doctrine, such as the five skandhas, dependent origination, emptiness, and so forth. There are three primary Chinese translations (T 663, 664, and 665). (DDB)
63. The full title in Chinese is Shengtianwang banruo boluomi jing 勝天王般若波羅蜜經; trans. Upaśūnya in 565; 7 fasc.; T 231. Composed as an account of the Buddha’s teaching to Pravara-deva-rāja in Rājagṛha. (DDB)
64. The five practices of the bodhisattvas taught in the Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra 涅槃經: (1) the three disciplines 聖行, (2) compassionate deeds on behalf of sentient beings 梵行, (3) spontaneous acts on behalf of others 天行, (4) manifest good suitable for secular people and Hīnayāna practitioners 嬰兒行, and (5) appearing in a suitable manifestation for those in need of help 病行. (DDB)
65. The above thirty stages are called the three ranks of the worthies 三賢位; they are also called the inner worldlings 内凡. From the eighth abode up to here one is passing through the stages of non-retrogression.
66. A bodhisattva who has reached the stage of virtual enlightenment 等覺 who has not yet quite achieved perfection. There is still a slight remnant of affliction, which will be removed before attaining complete enlightenment. As distinguished from 無上士. (DDB)
67. T 278.9.449c14–15. The line actually reads 初發心時、便成正覺、知一切法真實之性、具足慧身、不由他悟.
68. The first part of this phrase (the pure marvelous dharma body) appears a dozen times, but without the second part. The full phrase appears in many commentaries on Mahāyāna texts, such as T 1716.33.734b17.
69. This phrase appear numerous times in the Vimalakīrti-sūtra, especially in the chapter with this as a title, starting from T 475.14.550b28.
70. The five practices of the bodhisattvas taught in the Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra 涅槃經: (1) the three disciplines 聖行, (2) compassionate deeds on behalf of sentient beings 梵行, (3) spontaneous acts on behalf of others 天行, (4) manifest good suitable for secular people and Hīnayāna practitioners 嬰兒行, (5) appearing in a suitable manifestation for those in need of help 病行 (T 374.12.472a7) . (DDB)
71. This is a paraphrase of the line in the Nirvāṇa Sūtra at T 374.12.509b26–27 that reads 「善男子。譬如有人、在大海浴、當知是人已用諸 河泉池之水。」
72. From the line in the Huayan jing, T 278.9.573a12–13: 「譬如娑伽羅龍王所澍大雨、唯除大海、餘不能受。」
73. This exact line is not found in the canon, but the Śūraṃgama-samādhi-sūtra has a line expressing a similar theme at T 642.15.633b23–25: 「堅意。譬如有王若諸大臣、百千種香搗以爲末、若有人來索中一種、不欲餘香共相熏雜。」
74. T 262.9.45b23.
75. From the Flower Ornament Sūtra, T 278.9.465c29.
76. Guan puxian pusa xingfa jing 觀普賢菩薩行法經; T 277.9.393b11–12.
77. Greatly abbreviated from T 262.9.45c18–22.
78. Usually written as 五住地惑. Five underlying bases from which manifest afflictions are generated, according to the teaching of the Śrīmālā-sūtra. The number of five is arrived by first taking the four entrenched afflictions 四住地 separately, and then seeing them as a single type, called “entrenched ignorance” 無明住地. This notion of entrenched ignorance is then added to the original four, totaling five. The system of the entrenchments can be seen as the Tathāgatagarbha text-family’s systematic treatment of the structure of mental disturbances in their afflictive and cognitive aspects that would be a counterpart to the system defined in texts of Yogâcāra pedigree, such as the Cheng weishi lun and Yogâcārabhūmi, and was extensively adopted by Zhiyi and Zhanran in the development of their Tiantai system. The relationship between these two systems is explored in detail in Wonhyo’s Ijangui 二障義. (DDB)
79. Yongjia Xuanjue 永嘉玄覺 was a Tiantai master of the early Tang. A direct disciple of Huineng 慧能, Xuanjue was also well-versed in Chan and Huayan. He is popularly known as Yisujue 一宿覺, which literally means “One-night-enlightened,” referring to his one-night stay at the residence of the sixth patriarch (see T 2014.45.397a). He is also the author of two popular short texts called the Zhengdao ge 證道歌 (The Song of Actualizing the Way) and the Chanzong yongjia ji 禪宗永嘉集. In both texts he deals with important soteriological themes of the period that are also the topics of the Awakening of Faith, Sūtra of Perfect Enlightenment, and Śūraṃgama-sūtra. (DDB)
80. The first phrase appears in many places in the Flower Ornament Sūtra, but not connected with the following phrase. Many commentarial works cite this line as coming from the Flower Ornament Sūtra. We can find similar lines, such as 淸淨法身一、普應一切世 (T 278.9.455a14) .
81. Miaofa lianhua jing jujie 妙法蓮華經句解; XZJ 604.30.432b191.
82. Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra; T 374.12.590a21.
83. From the Lotus Sūtra; T 262.9.35b16–20.
84. This happens often in the Lotus Sūtra, for example, at T 262.917c12.
85. The HBJ originally has 二 here, but offers 一 in a note. Taishō has 一.
86. The Fochui panniepan lüeshuo jiaojie jing 遺教經; T 389.12.1111a3–4.
87. Outside the three pieces of garment 三衣 and the six articles 六物, a monastic is able to choose as a possession one more implement from a larger selection.
88. The popular title of Zhiyi’s Miaofa lianhuajing xuanyi 妙法蓮華經玄義 (T 1716.33.681–815)