Sutra text from last issue: He arose from his seat, bowed at Bud-dha’s feet.......
orld Honored One, if the wonderful brightness of this truly pure and wonderful mind is basically all-pervading, then everything on the great earth, including the grasses and trees, the wriggling worms and tiny forms of life, are originally True Suchness and are replete with the Thus Come One's true substance of Buddhahood.
“World Honored One, if the wonderful brightness of this truly pure and wonderful mind is basically all-pervading——if, in fact, it pervades the Dharma realm, then it is perfect without any excess or deficiency. Then everything on the great earth, including the grasses and trees, the wriggling worms and tiny forms of life are part of that.”“Grasses and trees” are considered insentient beings.“Wriggling worms and tiny forms of life” are the smallest of the sentient Realm. They don't have much awareness. They can move, but not far, and their perception is quite limited. Nonetheless, they “are originally True Suchness and are replete with the Thus Come One's true substance of Buddhahood.” They are all replete with the true substance of a Buddha—the capacity to become a Buddha.
ince the Buddha's body is true and real, how can there also be hells, hungry ghosts, animals, asuras, humans, gods, and other paths of rebirth? World Honored One, do these paths exist naturally of themselves, or are they created by living beings’ falseness and habits?
ince the Buddha's body is true and real, how can there also be hells, hungry ghosts, animals, asuras, humans, gods, and other paths of rebirth? How do you explain the existence of these paths? World Honored One, do these paths exist naturally of themselves, or are they created by living beings’ falseness and habits? Have the six paths of rebirth always been in existence or do living beings create them? I don't understand the principle here.
“World Honored One, the Bhikshuni Precious Lotus Fragrance, for example, received the Bodhisattva Precepts and then indulged in lustful desire, saying that sexual acts did not involve killing or stealing and that they carried no karmic retribution. But after saying this, her female organs caught fire, and then the raging blaze spread throughout all her joints as she fell into the unintermittent hell alive.
“Why do I say I don't understand the principle behind the six paths?” Ananda continues.“World Honored One, the Bhikshuni Precious Lotus Fragrance for example, received the Bodhisattva Precepts and then indulged in lustful desire, saying that sexual acts did not involve killing or stealing.” This Bhikshuni received the Bodhisattva Precepts, but she did not uphold them. She had sex on the sly. Having done this, what do you suppose she said? She had a pretty speech ready. She lied. She said that sex didn't involve killing or stealing. “It's not murder. It's not theft. You're not stealing anyone's things. It's just an enjoyment between men and women, a bliss that they share. What crime is there in that? Although the Buddha told us to refrain from it, I don't think that restraint is necessary in this case. It doesn't matter. It's no big sin. What could be wrong with men and women experiencing such a blissful encounter?” That was her general line of reasoning. She was really emphatic about it, too. She said of such sexual experiences “that they carried no karmic retribution.” “As to sex,” she said, “have it as much as you want. The more the better. It doesn't matter.” Thus it was that she actually advocated sexual desire. She was a Bhikshuni and yet she was promoting sex.
“But after saying this, her female organs caught fire, and then the raging blaze spread throughout all her joints.” It doesn't matter, huh? In her female organs a fire sprang up. Terrible, wouldn't you say? I believe by then she was being burned so fiercely that she screamed and cried. She was no longer rationalizing that her conduct incurred no offense. Once her female organs were ablaze, the fire spread to all her limbs and joints. That's because during the sexual act men and women feel a sense of pleasure and contentment throughout the joints of their entire body. They take this as pleasure, not realizing that such abandonment is just the next thing to death. What's really happening is that they are going to die a little sooner, just die a little sooner. Plunging into such situations, they totally abandon themselves, to the point that they just want to die—both men and women. To die a little sooner is just fine, they feel. But actually they are drilling their way into the hells; they are burrowing into the hells. The Bhikshuni's joints caught fire because sexual desire belongs to the element fire. At its peak there is a kind of fire involved. So we speak of the“fire of desire.”
To be continued