前期經文提示: 提婆達多卻後過無量劫，方得成佛。號曰天王如來…住世二十中劫，廣 為眾生說於妙法，恆河沙眾生得阿羅漢果。
Sutra text from last issue: Devadatta will become a Buddha by the name of King of Gods... He shall dwell in the world for twenty middle-sized eons, broadly speaking the wonderful Dharma for living beings. Living beings in number like the Ganges’ sands shall attain the fruit of Arhatship.
The Arhat of the First Fruition, the Shrotaapanna, is called one who has “entered the stream.” He has entered the stream of the Dharma nature of the Sage and he opposes the stream of the six senses of common people. He still has to undergo seven more rebirths in the heavens and seven rebirths among people before he comes to the end of the Path.
The Arhat of the Second Fruition, the Sakridagamin, is called a “once-returner.” He has one more birth to undergo in the heavens and one among people.
The Arhat of the Third Fruition, the Anagamin, is called a “never-returner.” He does not have to undergo birth again in the human realm.
The Arhat of the Fourth Fruition is called “unborn.” A Sage of the Fourth Fruition has attained Patience with the Nonproduction of Dharmas. This means that he does not see the slightest dharma produced or the slightest dharma extinguished. Such a vision is not easy to bear, but he has the patience to bear it. Therefore it’s called Patience with the Nonproduction of Dharmas.
This is the general meaning of “Arhat.” Arhat is a Sanskrit word with three meanings.
1. “One worthy of offerings.” Arhats are worthy of offer ings from humans and gods.
2. “Slayer of thieves.” They have killed the thieves of igno rance and affliction.
3. “Unproduced.” They have attained Patience with the Non- production of Dharmas. That’s what’s meant by “the fruit of Arhatship” attained by living beings in number like the Ganges’ sands.
Limitless living beings will bring forth the resolve to enlighten to conditions. Those Enlightened to Conditions are the Pratyekabuddhas. They cultivate the Twelve Links and awaken to the Path. Living beings in number like Ganges’ sands will bring forth the supreme mind for the Bodhi Path, attaining Patience with the Nonproduction of Dharmas, and arrive at irreversibility. “Irreversibility is of three kinds:
1. Irreversible in Position. They do not retreat to the Two Vehicles.
2. Irreversible in Conduct. In their cultivation, they go forward with vigor.
3. Irreversible in Thought. They never retreat from their resolve for Bodhi or in their Bodhisattva conduct. They make vows in every life to cultivate the Bodhisattva Path, and to bring forth the Bodhi resolve.
After the Parinirvana of the Buddha King of Gods, the Proper Dharma will dwell in the world for twenty middle-sized eons. A stupa sixty yojanas high and forty yojanas wide, made of the seven jewels will be built to hold the sharira of his complete body. All the gods and humans shall make offerings to and worship the wonderful stupa of seven jewels, using various flowers, powdered incense, burning incense, paste incense, clothing, beads, banners, jeweled canopies, instrumental and vocal music. Limitless living beings shall attain the fruit of Arhatship. Limitless living beings will awaken to Pratyekabuddhahood. An inconceivable number of living beings will bring forth the resolve for Bodhi and reach irreversibility.
After the limitless numbers of living beings bring forth the Bodhi mind and arrive at irreversibility, the work of King of Gods Buddha will be finished. He will have taught, transformed, and saved those living beings he was supposed to have taught. When his work is done, he will enter Nirvana. Teaching and transforming living beings is the Buddha’s work. When he has taught those he was supposed to teach, he enters Nirvana. After the Parinirvana of the Buddha King of Gods, the Proper Dharma will dwell in the world for twenty middle-sized eons. While the Buddha is dwelling in the world, the Proper Dharma Age abides in the world. After the Buddha passes into stillness, that is the Dharma Image Age. Then, after a long time, we come to the Dharma Ending Age. This Buddha will dwell in the world for twenty middle-sized eons, and so the Proper Dharma will also dwell for twenty middle-sized eons. A stupa sixty yojanas high and forty yojanas wide. “Sixty yojanas” represents the Six Perfections. “Forty yojanas” represents the Four Applications of Mindfulness. This magnificent stupa made of the seven jewels will be built to hold the sharira of his complete body. The Buddha’s relics will be housed there. All the gods and humans shall make offerings to and worship the wonderful stupa of seven jewels, using various flowers, powdered incense, burning incense, paste incense, clothing, beads, banners, jeweled canopies, instrumental and vocal music. They use articles of the finest quality to make offerings.
to be continued