SLANDERED BY DEMONS
Translation of The Buddha Speaks the
By Bhiksu Heng Sure
This brief Buddhist sutra is especially important because it reveals the circumstances surrounding the final disappearance from the world of the teachings of the "Buddha and the chaos and misery that will befall humanity when the Dharma perishes. The sutra fixes the blame for the demise of the Dharma on hordes of demons who wish the Dharma to die. Initially the fault lies with the slaves and servants of demons who costume themselves as disciples of the Buddha and who mouth his teachings in a perverted fashion. Their views come from scholars and self-styled experts who do not practice the Dharma, eaters of excrement whose actions are opposed to the Buddha's way.
The methods and the ways of these evil beings is clearly displayed in the Dharma-Extinction Sutra, and in this regard it resembles the "demon-pounding" chapters of the Surangama Sutra. The Surangama is mentioned by name in the Dharma-Extinction Sutra and its disappearance from the world is announced as the first blow to the Buddha's Dharma-body in the time of the Dharma's final extinction.
The Surangama Sutra is unique in that it is singled out by demonic types for slanderous attack and defamation. The Sutra contains the Surangama Mantra, and these two jewels of the Buddha's Dharma-crown are known among practicing Buddhists as the "Buddha's true body", the "Dharma-body of the Buddha", and the "relics of the Buddha". Why does it receive the slander of demons and their human cohorts? Why do certain self-important scholars of Buddhism make the erroneous statement that the Surangama Sutra, of all the sutras of the Mahayana Buddhadharma, is possibly "inauthentic"? The answer to these questions is evident in the nature of the sutra text and in the efficacy of the mantra. The Surangama Sutra not only instructs the Buddhist disciple how to cultivate the Way to enlightenment, it also contains a section, which clearly discloses the actions of "the fifty demon states" that can come upon cultivators and obstruct the practice of the Way. The Surangama Mantra is also prominent in the sutra, a mantra which is known as the "king" of all spiritual spells in Buddhist circles, due to its power and its length (544 padas or phrases). The Surangama Mantra is responsible for quelling the insidious, harmful actions of goblins, demons, and heretics. It is said that as long as there is even one person in the world who recites this mantra each day, then "the heavenly-demons and those of externalist paths" will remain in hiding and will not come out to trouble the world. As soon as there is no longer anyone to recite the mantra, these evil types will appear in the world to cause great harm and destruction to human civilization.
For these reasons the Surangama Sutra and the mantra it contains are most feared and hated by the forces of evil. This is why when the Dharma comes to an end in the world, as predicted in the Dharma-Extinction Sutra, the first thing to disappear will be the Surangama. In the future the calamities and disasters that will occur on the Earth will be inconceivably horrible. This is the weightiness of the Surangama Sutra among all of the teachings of the Buddha; this is the seriousness of the crime committed by those irresponsible spawn of demons who, in their ignorance, suppose the Surangama to be anything other than the Proper Dharma of the Buddha.
On January 6, 1977, an important Dharma-assembly was held at Gold Mountain Monastery, 1731 15th St., San Francisco, to investigate the true nature of the Surangama Sutra and to protect its eminence from the base slander of academic garbage-men who question the authenticity of the Sutra. Several of the Buddhist monks, nuns, and laypersons who themselves hold master and doctoral degrees commented on the many negative aspects of the university system. Venerable Master Hua, Abbot of Gold Mountain said, "In the academic world there are professors who claim that the Surangama Sutra is false. In fact, this sutra is the genuine Dharma-body of the Buddha. By making or defending this ignorant and arrogant claim these trash-sifting, turd-eating scholars are contributing to the forces of evil in the world and they are hastening the demise of the Dharma. Such people are worse than bandits. They harm everyone in the world through their despicable actions and irresponsible opinions. Using the power and position of "authorities" on Buddhism, these scholars and Ph.D.'s are confusing young people and doing the work of demons."
"How do I know that they are in league with the demonic forces that want to end the existence of the Surangama Sutra? Why do they focus on this particular sutra for criticism and doubt, among all the texts of Buddhism? Why do they criticize Buddhist sutras at all in their attempt to gain power and self-benefit? Because they recognize the authentic substance of the Buddha in the Surangama and they wish to do away with it as quickly as possible. It reveals the demonic ways that exist behind their disguises. Naturally they wish it to disappear, so that the rest of the Dharma will follow not far behind."
"If the Surangama Sutra is fraudulent, I vow on this day to fall eternally into the level of the Hells known as the 'pulling-out tongues' Hell. If the sutra is a fake then I will voluntarily go to this Hell and never return. I make this vow because I have absolute confidence, personal experience and genuine knowledge that this Surangama Sutra is the Right Dharma. It is the relic of the Buddha. I do not want, to fall into the 'pulling-out tongues' level of Hell, believe me, but I make this vow nonetheless."
The Dharma-assembly at Gold Mountain this January was significant not only for its investigation of the Surangama Sutra, and the Dharma-Extinction Sutra, but also because it brought out into the open the doubts and fears of sincere cultivators of the Way with regard to the attitudes and opinions of scholars and professors of Buddhism. While others have awakened to the actions of the garbage-scholars who give themselves the authority to slander and criticize on false grounds one of the most sublime and significant religious scriptures in: the wisdom-treasury of mankind, still no one has dared before this time to publicly challenge these deviant views at their source. No one has yet dared to speak the whole truth as it actually stands until this assembly convened at Gold Mountain.
As testified to by the Buddha Speaks the Ultimate Extinction of the Dharma Sutra, all disciples of the Buddha must establish their will to protect the Surangama Sutra and the Surangama Mantra, for they will be the first to fall victim to the slander of the hordes of demons. The attack comes first from the academic bandits; later the poisonous views spread to their cohorts; the final death blow comes from within the Sangha itself, from monks and nuns who are confused by the demons' deviant knowledge and deviant views and who fail to protect the Surangama as they would protect the Buddha himself from attack by Kara, the Evil One. Cultivators of the Way! Be very clear about this point!