Shurangama Sutra
Da Fo Ding Shou Leng Yan Jing
(Taisho Tripitaka, No. 945)
Draft translation by the Buddhist Text Translation Society for the Second Edition.
Copyright by the Buddhist Text Translation Society, 1998.
This translation may not be quoted or reproduced in any medium
without the written permission of the Buddhist Text Translation Society.

Shurangama Sutra, Volume 7, Part Two,  Sutra text:

7p 92 "Ananda, the External Aspect refers to what happens outside living beings. Because of longing and yearning, they give rise to fantasies. When these fantasies persist without cease, they can create an uplifting energy.

7p 93 "That is why when living beings uphold the precepts in their minds, their bodies will be buoyant and feel light and clear. When they uphold mantra seals in their minds, they will command a heroic and resolute perspective. When they have the desire in their minds to be born in the heavens, in their dreams they will have thoughts of flying and ascending. When they cherish the Buddhalands in their minds, then the sagely realms will appear in a shimmering vision, and they will serve the good and wise advisors with little thought for their own lives.

7p 94 "Ananda, although the thought varies, the lightness and uplifting is the same. With flight and ascension, one will not sink, but will naturally become transcendent. This is called the External Aspect.

7p 95 "Ananda, all beings in the world are caught up in the continuity of birth and death. Birth happens because of their habitual tendencies; death results inflow and change. When they are on the verge of dying, but when the final warmth has not left their bodies, all the good and evil they have done in that life suddenly and simultaneously manifest. They experience the intermingling of two habits: an abhorrence of death and an attraction to life.

7p 97 "Endowed solely with thought, they will fly and can certainly be reborn in the heavens. If in their minds they have blessings and wisdom, as well as pure vows, then their hearts will spontaneously open and they will see the Buddhas of the ten directions and all their pure lands and they will be reborn in whichever one they wish.

7p 99 "When they have more thought than emotion, they are not quite as ethereal and so they become flying immortals, great mighty ghost kings, space traveling-yakshas, or earth-traveling rakshasas who roam the Heaven of the Four Kings, going where they please without obstruction.
 
 
 
 

7p 101-02   "Among them may be some with good vows and good hearts who will protect and uphold my dharma. Perhaps they protect the pure precepts by following and supporting those who hold precepts. Perhaps they protect spiritual mantras by following and supporting those who hold mantras. Perhaps they protect those who practice Chan Samadhi so they can cultivate patience with dharmas. These beings will be close to the Thus Come One beneath his seat.

7p 102 "When their thought and emotion are of equal proportions, they neither fly nor fall, but are born in the human realm, where the brightness of thought leads to intelligence and the darkness of emotion leads to dullness.

7p 104 "When they have more emotion than thought, they enter the animal realm. With heavier emotion, they become fur-bearing beasts; with lighter emotion, they become winged creatures.

7p 105 "When they have seventy percent emotion and thirty percent thought, they fall beneath the wheel of water and are bordering on the wheel of fire, where they experience the full force of the raging blaze. In the bodies of hungry ghosts, they are constantly burned to a crisp. Even water harms them, and they have nothing to eat or drink for hundreds of thousands of eons.

7p 106 "When they have ninety percent emotion and ten percent thought, they fall through the wheel of fire until their bodies enter a region where wind and fire interact. With lighter emotion they are born in the intermittent hell; with heavier emotion they are born in the unintermittent hell.

7p 107 "When they are possessed entirely of emotion, they sink into the Avici Hell. If in their minds they slander the Great Vehicle, defame the Buddha’s pure precepts, irrationally speak dharma, are greedy for offerings from the faithful, recklessly accept the respect of others, commit the five rebellious acts and the ten major offenses, then they are further reborn in Avici Hell throughout the ten directions.

7p 109 "Although one receives one’s due according to the evil karma one has created, a group can undergo an identical lot, and there are definite places where it occurs.

7p 109-10   "Ananda, it all comes from the karmic responses which living beings themselves invoke. They create ten habitual causes and undergo six interacting retributions.

7p 110 "What are the ten causes? Ananda, the first consists the habit of lustful intercourse which gives rise to mutual rubbing. When this rubbing continues without cease, it activates a tremendous raging fire, just as warmth arises between a person’s hands when he rubs them together.

7p 110 "Because these two habits set each other ablaze, there come into being the Iron Bed, the Copper Pillar, and other such experiences.

7p 111 "Therefore the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon the act of lust and name it the "fire of desire." Bodhisattvas avoid desire as they would a fiery pit.

7p 111 "The second consists of the habit of greedy scheming, which gives rise to a suction. When this suction continues without cease, it produces intense cold and solid ice where freezing occurs, just as a sensation of cold is experienced when a person draws in a blast of wind through his mouth.

7p 112 "Because these two habits clash together, there come into being Cold Hells such as chattering, whimpering and shuddering; blue, red, and white lotuses; and other such experiences.
Therefore the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon excessive seeking and name it "the water of greed". Bodhisattvas avoid greed as they would a sea of pestilence.

7p 113 "The third consists of habits of arrogance and resulting friction which give rise to mutual intimidation. When it accelerates without cease, it produces torrents and rapids which create restless waves of water, just as water is produced when a person continuously works his tongue in an effort to taste flavors.

7p 113 "Because these two habits incite one another, there come into being the river of blood, the river of ashes, the burning sand, the poisonous sea, the molten copper which is forced down one’s throat, and other such experiences.

7p 114 "Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon self-satisfaction and name it ‘drinking the water of stupidity.’ Bodhisattvas avoid arrogance as they would a huge deluge.

7p 114-15  "The fourth consists of habits of hatred which give rise to mutual defiance. When this defiance binds one without cease, one’s heart becomes so hot that it catches fire, and the molten vapors turn into metal.
"From it is produced the mountain of knives, the iron cudgel, the tree of swords, the wheels of swords, axes and halberds, and spears and saws. It is like when a person harbors a grudge and the urge to kill surges forth.

7p 115 "Because these two habits clash with one another, there come into being castration and hacking, beheading and mutilation, filing and sticking, flogging and beating, and other such experiences.

7p 116 "Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon hatred and name it ‘sharp knives and swords.’ Bodhisattvas avoid hatred as they would a massacre.

7p 116 "The fifth consists of habits of deception and misleading involvements which give rise to mutual guile. When such maneuvering continues without cease, it produces ropes for strangling and wood for imprisoning. It is like how grass and trees grow in an irrigated field.

7p 117 "Because the two habits perpetuate one another, there come into being handcuffs and fetters, cangues and locks, whips and clubs, sticks and cudgels, and other such experiences.

7p 117 "Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon deception and name it a ‘treacherous crook.’ Bodhisattvas fear deception as they would a savage wolf.

7p 118 "The sixth consists of the habit of lying combined with continual fraudulence which give rise to mutual cheating. When false accusations continue without cease, one becomes adept at corruption.
"From this there come into being such filthy impurities as dirt, excrement and urine. It is like the obscuring of one’s vision when the dust is stirred up by the wind.

7p 118 "Because these two habits augment one another, there come into being sinking and drowning, tossing and pitching, flying and falling, floating and submerging, and other such experiences.

7p 119 "Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon lying and name it ‘robbery and murder.’ Bodhisattvas regard lying as they would treading on a venomous snake.

7p 119 "The seventh consists of the habits of enmity and mutual suspicion, which give rise to grievances. From this there come into being the experiences of being pelted by flying rocks or gravel, being imprisoned in a box, car, or urn; and being bagged and struck. It is like a treacherous person who harbors evil in his mind.

7p 120 "Because these two habits swallow one another up, there come into being tossing, pitching, seizing, striking, and banging, and other such experiences.

7p 121 "Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon animosity and name it a ‘perverse and harmful ghost.’ Bodhisattvas regard animosity as they would drinking poisonous wine.

7p 121-22  "The eighth consists of the habit of expressing (wrong) views, such as those of satkayadrishti, prohibitions, grasping, and other deviant insights and the karma involved in these, which result from contradiction and opposition. From these there come into being court officials and deputies holding documents, whom one meets as if they were people coming and going on the road.

7p 123 "Because these two habits influence one another, there come into being official inquiries, baited questions, examinations, interrogations, public investigations, exposure, the youths who record good and evil, carrying the record books of the offenders’ arguments and rationalizations, and other such experiences.

7p 124 "Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon evil views and name them the ‘pit of views.’ Bodhisattvas regard having false and one-sided views as they would standing on the edge of a steep ravine full of poison.
7p 124 "The ninth consists of the habit of injustice that comes from instigating false charges and libeling. From them are produced crushing between mountains, crushing between rocks, stone rollers, stone grinders, plowing, and grinding. It is like a slanderous villain who engages in persecuting good people unjustly.

7p 125 "Because these two habits join ranks, there come into being pressing and pushing, bludgeons and compulsion, squeezing and straining, weighing and measuring, and other such experiences.

7p 126 "Therefore, there Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon harmful accusations and name them ‘a treacherous tiger.’ Bodhisattvas regard injustice as they would a bolt of lightning.

7p 126 "The tenth consists of the habits of litigation and the mutual disputations which give rise to covering. From them are produced the mirror that reflects and the lamp that shines, exposing one just as if one were in direct sunlight and had no way to hide one’s shadow.

7p 127-28  "Because these two habits bicker back and forth, there come into being evil companions, the mirror of karma, the fiery pearl, exposure of past karma, inquests, and other such experiences.

7p 128 "Therefore, all the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon covering and name it a ‘hidden villain.’ Bodhisattvas regard covering as they would having to carry a mountain atop their heads while walking upon the sea.

7p 128-29 "What are the six retributions? Ananda, all living beings create karma with their six consciousnesses. The evil retributions they call down upon themselves come from the six sense organs.

7p 129 "What are the evil retributions that arise from the six sense organs? The first is the retribution of seeing, which brings an evil result. The karma of seeing intermingles, so that at the time of death one first sees a raging conflagration which fills the ten directions. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness takes flight, but then falls. Riding on a wisp of smoke, it enters the unintermittent hell.

7p 132 "There, two kinds of phenomena may occur. The first is clear perception, in which one sees all sorts of evil things. This causes one to experience boundless fear. The second is  obscure perception, which is a stillness devoid of seeing. This causes one to experience boundless terror.

7p 133 "When the fire that comes from seeing burns the sense of hearing, it becomes cauldrons of boiling water and molten copper. When it burns the breath, it becomes black smoke and purple fumes. When it burns the sense of taste, it becomes scorching hot pellets and molten iron gruel. When it burns the sense of touch, it become white-hot embers and glowing coals. When it burns the mind, it becomes sparks of fire that shower everywhere and whip up and inflame the entire realm of space.

7p 134 "The second is the retribution of hearing, which brings an evil result. The karma of hearing intermingles, and thus at the time of death one first sees gigantic waves that drown the whole world. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness falls into the water and rides the current into the unintermittent hell.

7p 136 "There, two kinds of phenomena may occur. One is open hearing, in which it hears all sorts of noise and its essential spirit becomes confused. The other is closed hearing, in which there is a stillness devoid of hearing, and its soul sinks into oblivion.

7p 136-37  "When the waves from hearing flow into the hearing, they become scolding and interrogation. When they flow into the seeing, they become thunder and roaring and evil poisonous vapors. When they flow into the breath, they become rain and fog permeated with poisonous organisms that entirely fill up the body. When they flow into the sense of taste, they become pus and blood and every kind of filth. When they flow into the sense of touch, they become animals and ghosts, and excrement and urine. When they flow into the mind, they become lightning and hail which ravage the heart and soul.

7p 138 "The third is the retribution of smiling, which brings an evil result. The karma of smelling intermingles, and thus at the time of death one first sees a poisonous vapor that permeates the atmosphere near and far. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness wells up out of the earth and enters the unintermittent hell.
7p 139 "There, two kinds of phenomena may occur. One is penetrating smelling, in which one is thoroughly infused with the evil vapors and one’s mind becomes distressed. The other is blocked smelling, in which one’s breath is cut off and there is no passage, and one lies stifled and suffocating on the ground.

7p 139-40  "When the vapor of smelling invades the breath, it becomes cross-examination and torture. When it invades the seeing, it becomes fire and torches. When it invades the hearing, it becomes sinking and drowning, molten metal and boiling liquids. When it invades the sense of taste, it becomes putrid or rancid foods. When it invades the sense of touch, it becomes the actions of ripping apart and beating to a pulp. It also becomes a huge mountain of flesh which has  hundreds and thousands of eyes and which is sucked and fed upon by numberless worms. When it invades the mind, it becomes ashes, pestilent air, and flying sand and gravel which cut the body to ribbons.

7p 140-41   "The fourth is the retribution of tasting, which brings an evil result. This karma of tasting intermingles, and thus at the time of death one first sees an iron net ablaze with a raging fire that covers over the entire world. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness passes down through this hanging net, and suspended upside down it enters the unintermittent hell.

7p 142 "There, two kinds of phenomena may occur. One is a sucking air which congeals into ice so that it freezes the flesh of his body until it bursts open. The other is a spitting blast of air which spews out a raging fire that roasts his bones and marrow to a crisp.

7p 142-43  "When the tasting of flavors passes through the sense of taste, it becomes what must be acknowledged and what must be endured. When it passes through the seeing, it becomes burning metal and stones. When it passes through the hearing, it becomes sharp weapons and knives. When it passes through the sense of smell, it becomes a vast iron cage that encloses the entire land. When it passes through the sense of touch, it becomes bows and arrows, crossbows, and darts. When it passes through the mind, it becomes flying pieces of molten iron that rain down from out of space.
 

7p 143-44  "The fifth is the retribution of touching, which brings an evil result. The karma of touching intermingles, and thus at the time of death one first sees huge mountains closing in on one from four sides, leaving no path of escape. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness then sees a vast iron city. Fiery snakes and fiery dogs, wolves, lions, ox-headed jail keepers, and horse-headed rakshasas brandishing spears and lances drive it into the iron city toward the unintermittent hell.

7p 146 "There, two kinds of phenomena may occur. One is touch that involves coming together, in which mountains come together to squeeze its body until its flesh, bones, and blood are totally dispersed. The other is touch that involves separation, in which knives and swords attack the body, ripping the heart and liver to shreds.

7p 145-46  "When this touching passes through the sensation of touch, it becomes colliding, striking,  stabbing, and piercing. When it passes through the seeing, it becomes burning and scorching. When it passes through the hearing, one hears the sounds on the path to the hells, at the gate to the hells, and in the courts of trial. . When it passes through the sense of smell, it becomes enclosures, bags, interrogation, and binding up. When it passes through the sense of taste, it become plowing, pinching, chopping, and severing. When it passes through the mind, it becomes falling, flying, frying, and broiling.

7p 147 "The sixth is the retribution of thinking, which brings an evil result. The karma of thinking intermingles, and thus at the time of death one first sees a foul wind which devastates the land. The deceased one’s spiritual consciousness is blown up into space, and then, spiraling downward, it rides that wind straight into the unintermittent hell.

7p 148 "There, two kinds of phenomena may occur. One is extreme confusion, which causes it to be frantic and to race about ceaselessly. The other is not confusion, but rather an acute awareness which causes it to suffer from endless roasting and burning, the extreme pain of which is difficult to bear.
 
 

7p 149 "When this deviant thought combines with thinking, it becomes locations and places. When it combines with seeing, it becomes inspection and testimonies. When it combines with hearing, it becomes huge crushing rocks, ice and frost, dirt and fog. When it combines with smelling, it becomes a great fiery car, a fiery boat, and a fiery jail. When it combines with tasting, it becomes loud calling, wailing, and regretful weeping. When it combines with touch, it becomes sensations of large and small, where ten thousand births and ten thousands deaths are endured every day, and of lying with one’s face to the ground.

7p 150 "Ananda, these are called the ten causes and six retributions of the hells, which are all created by the confusion and falseness of living beings.

7p 151 "If living beings create this evil karma simultaneously, they enter the Avici Hell and endure limitless suffering, passing through limitless kalpas.

7p 152 "If each of the six sense organs creates them and if what is done includes each state and each sense organ, then the person will enter the Eight Unintermittent Hells.

7p 152 "If the three karmas of body, mouth, and mind commit acts of killing, stealing, and lust, the person will enter the Eighteen Hells.

7p 153 "If the three karmas are not all involved, and there is perhaps just one act of killing  and one of stealing, then the person must enter the Thirty-six Hells.

7p 153-54  "If the sense organ of sight alone commits just one karmic offense, then the person must enter the one hundred and eight hells.

7p 154 "Because of this, living beings who do certain things create certain karma, and so in the world they enter collective hells, which arise from false thinking and which originally are not there at all.

7p 155 "And then, Ananda, after the living beings who have slandered and broken the precepts, violated the Bodhisattva precepts, slandered the Buddha’s Nirvana, and created various other kinds of karma, pass through many kalpas of being burned in the inferno, they finally finish paying for their offenses and are reborn as ghosts.
7p 156-57  "If greed for material objects was the original cause that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he will take shape when he encounters material objects and will become a strange ghost.

7p 157 "If it was indulgence in lust that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he will take shape when he encounters the wind and will become a drought ghost.

7p 158 "If it was indulgence in lying that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he will take shape when he encounters animals and will become a mei ghost.

7p 159 "If it was hatred that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he will  take shape when he encounters worms and insects, and will become a gu poison ghost.

7p 160 "If it was the harboring of grudges that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he will take shape when he encounters degeneration and will become a pestilence ghost.

7p 160-61  "If it was arrogance that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he will take  shape when he encounters gases and will become a hungry ghost.

7p 162 "If it was injustice to others that made the person commit offenses, then after he has finished paying for his crimes, he will take shape when he encounters darkness and will become a paralysis ghost.

7p 162-63  It was attachment to wrong views that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he will take shape when he encounters essential energy and will become a wang liang ghost.

7p 164 "If it was deception that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he will take shape when he encounters brightness and will become a servant ghost.

7p 165 "If it was the practice of forming factions that made the person commit offenses, then, after he has finished paying for his crimes, he will take shape when he encounters people and will become a messenger ghost.

7p 166 "Ananda, such a person’s fall is due to his totally emotional level of functioning. When his karmic fire has burned out, he will rise up to be reborn as a ghost. This is occasioned by his own karma of false thinking. If he awakens to Bodhi, then in the wonderful perfect brightness there isn’t anything at all.

7p 167-68 "Moreover, Ananda, when his karma as a ghost is ended and the consequences of his emotion and thought are over, he comes into the world to meet his creditors and settle his accounts with them. He is born as an animal to repay his debts from past lives.

7p 168 "The retribution of the strange ghost of material objects is finished when the object is destroyed and it is reborn in the world, usually as a species of owl.

7p 169 "The retribution of the drought ghost of the wind is finished when the wind subsides, and it is reborn in the world, usually as a species of uncanny creature which gives inauspicious prognostications.

7p 170 "The retribution of the mei ghost of an animal is finished when the animal dies, and it is reborn in the world, usually as a species of fox.

7p 170 "The retribution of the gu ghost in the form of worms and insects is finished when the gu is exhausted, and it is reborn in the world, usually as a species of venomous creature.

7p 171 "The retribution of a pestilence ghost found in degeneration is finished when the degeneration is complete, and it is reborn in the world, usually as a species of tapeworm.

7p 173 "The retribution of the ghost which takes shape in gases is finished when the gases are gone, and it is then reborn in the world, usually as a species of  animal used for food.

7p 174 "The retribution of the ghost of darkness is finished when the darkness ends, and it is then reborn in the world, usually as a species of animal used for clothing or service.

7p 175 "The retribution of the ghost which unites with energy is finished when the union dissolves, and it is then reborn in the world, usually as a species of migratory creature.

7p 175 "The retribution of the ghost of brightness and intellect is finished when the brightness disappears, and it is then reborn in the world, usually as a species of efficacious creature.

7p 175 "The retribution of the ghost that relies on a person is finished when the person dies, and it is then reborn in the world, usually as a species of domestic animal.

7p 176 "Ananda, all this is due to the burning out of his karmic fire in payment for his debts from past lives. The rebirth as an animal is also occasioned by his own false and empty karma. If he awakens to Bodhi, then fundamentally none of these false conditions will exist at all.

7p 176 "You mentioned Precious Lotus Fragrance, King Crystal, and Bhikshu Good Stars. Evil karma such as theirs was created by them alone. It did not fall down out of the heavens or well up from the earth, nor was it imposed upon them by some person. Their own falseness brought it into being, and so they themselves have to undergo it. In the Bodhi mind, it is empty and false--a cohesion of false thoughts.

7p 177 "Moreover, Ananda, if while repaying his past debts by undergoing rebirth as an animal, such a living being pays back more than he owed, he will then be reborn as a human to rectify the excess.

7p 177-78  "If the creditor is a person with strength, blessings, and virtue, then he can pay what he collected in excess without having to lose his human form. But if he lacks blessings, then he will be reborn as an animal to pay the outstanding balance.

7p 178 "Ananda, if the debt involves money, material goods, or manual labor, then once it is paid, the debt is resolved.
7p 178-79  "But if in the process of repayment the lives of other beings were taken or their flesh eaten, then it will start a cycle of mutual devouring and slaughtering that will send the debtors and creditors up and down endlessly for as many eons as there are motes of dust.

7p 179 "There is no way to put a stop to it, except through Shamatha or through a Buddha’s coming to the world.

7p 180 "You should know that when owls and their kind have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are born as obstinate people.

7p 180-81  "When creatures that are inauspicious have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are born as abnormal people.

7p 181 "When foxes have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are born as people who are simpletons.

7p 182 "When creatures of the venomous category have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are born as malicious people.

7p 182 "When tapeworms and their like have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are born as lowly people.

7p 183 "When the edible types of creatures have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are reborn as weak people.

7p 183 "When creatures that are used for clothing or service have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are reborn as people who do hard labor.

7p 184 "When creatures that migrate have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are reborn as literary people.

7p 184 "When efficacious creatures have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are reborn as intelligent people.

7p 185 "When domestic animals have paid back their debts, they regain their original form and are reborn as sophisticated people.

7p 185 "Ananda, these are all beings that have finished paying back former debts and are born again in the human realm. They are involved in a beginningless scheme of karma and delusion and spend their lives killing and being killed by one another. They do not get to meet the Thus Come One or hear the Proper Dharma. They just abide in the wearisome dust, passing through a repetitive cycle. Such people can truly be called pitiful.

7p 188 "Furthermore, Ananda, there are people who do not rely on Proper Enlightenment to cultivate Samadhi, but cultivate in some special way that is based on their false thinking. Holding to the idea of perpetuating their physical bodies, they roam in the mountains and forests in places people do not go and become Ten Kinds of Immortals.

7p 187 "Ananda, some living beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong with specially prepared foods. When they have perfected this method of dieting, they are known as earth-traveling immortals.

7p 188 "Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through the use of grasses and herbs. When they have perfected this method of taking herbs, they are known as flying immortals.

7p 188-89  "Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through the use of metal and stone. When they have perfected this method of transformation, they are known as roaming immortals.

7p 189 "Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through movement and stillness. When they have perfected their energy and essence, they are known as space-traveling immortals.

7p 191 "Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong by using the flow of saliva. When they have perfected the virtues of this moisture, they are known as heaven-traveling immortals.

7p 191-92  "Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong with the essence of sun and moon. When they have perfected the inhalation of this essence, they are known as all-penetrating immortals.

7p 193 "Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through mantras and precepts. When they have perfected these skills, they are known as immortals of the Way.

7p 193 "Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through the use of thought processes. When they have perfected thought and memory, they are known as illuminating immortals

7p 194 "Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through internal union. When they have perfected the response, they are known as immortals of essence.

7p 195 "Some of these beings with unflagging resolution make themselves strong through transformations. When they have perfected their awakening, they are known as immortals of the ultimate level.

7p 196-97 "Ananda, these are all people who smelt their minds but do not cultivate Proper Enlightenment. They obtain some special principle of life and can live for thousands or tens of thousands of years. They retire deep into the mountains or onto islands in the sea and cut themselves off from the human realm. However, they are still part of the turning wheel, because they flow and turn according to their false thinking and do not cultivate samadhi. When their reward is finished, they must still return and enter the various destinies.

7p 198 "Ananda, there are many people in the world who do not seek what is eternal and who cannot yet renounce the love that exists between themselves and their wives.

7p 198 "But they have no interest in sexual misconduct and so their purity develops and their light is revealed. When their life ends, they are born in the Heaven of the Four Kings next to the sun and moon.

7p 199 "Those whose sexual love for their wives is slight, but who have not yet obtained complete purity when dwelling in solitude,, transcend the light of sun and moon at the end of their lives, and reside at the summit of the human realm. Such people are born in the Trayastrimsha Heaven.

7p 201 "Those who become temporarily involved when they meet with desire but who do not dwell upon it when it is finished, and who, while in the human realm, are active less and quiet more, abide at the end of their lives in light and emptiness where the illumination of sun and moon does not reach. These beings have their own light, and they are born in the Suyama Heaven.

7p 202 "Those who are quiet all the time, but who are not yet able to resist when stimulated by contact, ascend at the end of their lives to a subtle and ethereal place; they will not be drawn into the lower realms. The destruction of the realms of humans and gods and the  three disasters at the end of a kalpa will not reach them, for they are born in the Tushita Heaven.

7p 204 "Those who are devoid of desire, but who will engage in it for the sake of their partner, even though to them the experience is as flavorless as chewing wax, are born at the end of their lives in a transcendental place of transformations. They are born in the Heaven of Bliss by Transformation.

7p 205 "Those who have no worldly thoughts while doing what worldly people do, who are lucid and beyond such activity while involved in it, are capable at the end of their lives of entirely transcending states where transformations may be present or absent. They are born in the Heaven of the Comfort from Others’ Transformations.

7p 206-07  "Ananda, although the beings in these six heavens have physically transcended desire physically, traces of it still remain in their minds. The levels of existence so far discussed are known as the Realm of Desire.

7p 207 "Ananda, all those in the world who cultivate their minds but do not avail themselves of dhyana and so have no wisdom, can only control their bodies so as to not engage in sexual desire. Whether walking or sitting, or in their thoughts, they are totally devoid of it. Since they do not give rise to defiling love, they do not remain in the realm of desire. These people, in response to their thought, take on the bodies of Brahma beings. Such beings are in the Heaven of the Multitudes of Brahma.
 
 

7p 208 "In those whose hearts of desire have already been cast aside, the mind apart from desire manifests. They delight in following the precepts. Practicing Brahma virtue at all times, such beings are in the Heaven of the Ministers of Brahma.

7p 209 "Those whose bodies and minds are wonderfully perfect, and whose awesome deportment is not in the least deficient, are pure in the precepts and have a thorough understanding of them as well. Governing the Brahma multitudes as Great Brahma Lords, such beings are in the Great Brahma Heaven.

7p 210 "Ananda, those who flow to these three superior levels will not be oppressed by any  affliction. Although they have not developed proper samadhi, their minds are pure to the point that all outflows are stilled. This is called the First Dhyana.

7p 211 "Ananda, those beyond the Brahma Heavens govern the Brahma beings, for their Brahma conduct is perfected. With their  minds tranquil and unmoving, they emit light in profound stillness. Such beings are in the Heaven of Lesser Light.

7p 211-12   "Those whose lights illumine each other in an endless dazzling blaze shine throughout the realms of the ten directions so that everything becomes like crystal. Such beings are in the Heaven of Limitless Light.

7p 212 "Those who sustain the light to perfection accomplish the substance of the teaching. Creating and transforming the purity into endless responses and functions, such beings are in the Light-Sound Heaven.

7p 213 "Ananda, those who flow to these three superior levels will not be oppressed by worries or vexations. Although they have not developed proper Samadhi, their minds are pure to the point that they have subdued their coarser outflows. This is called the Second Dhyana.

7p 214 "Ananda, heavenly beings for whom the perfection of light has become sound and who further open out the sound to disclose its wonder arrive at a more vigorous level of practice. Arriving at the bliss of still extinction, such beings are in the Heaven of Lesser Purity.

7p 215 "Those in whom the state of purity is emptied experience the boundlessness of light ease in their bodies and minds, and they accomplish the bliss of still extinction. Such beings are in the Heaven of Limitless Purity.

7p 216-17   "Those for whom the world, the body, and the mind are all perfectly pure have accomplished the virtue of purity, and they consider this to be a superior abode in which they can return to the bliss of still extinction.
Such beings are in the Heaven of Pervasive Purity.

7p 217-18  "Ananda, those who flow to these three superior levels will be replete with great compliance. Their bodies and minds are at peace, and they obtain limitless bliss. Although they have not obtained genuine Samadhi, the joy within the tranquillity of their minds is total. This is called the Third Dhyana.

7p 219-20  "Moreover, Ananda, heavenly beings whose bodies and minds are not oppressed put an end to the cause of suffering and realize that bliss is not permanent--that sooner or later it will come to an end. They resolutely renounce both thoughts of suffering and thoughts of bliss. Their coarse afflictions vanish, and pure blessings arise. Such beings are in the Heaven of the Birth of Blessings.

7p 220 "Those whose renunciation of these thoughts is perfected gain a purity of superior understanding. Within these unimpeded blessings they obtain a wonderful compliance that extends to the bounds of the future. Such beings are in the Blessed Love Heaven.

7p 221-22  "Ananda, from that heaven there are two ways to go. Those who extend the previous thought into limitless pure light, and who perfect their blessings and virtue, cultivate and are certified to one of these dwellings. Such beings are in the Vast Fruit Heaven.

7p 222 "Those who extend the previous thought into a dislike of both suffering and bliss unceasingly intensify their renunciation until they perfect the path of renunciation. Their bodies and minds will become extinct; their thoughts will become like dead ashes. For five hundred eons these beings will perpetuate the cause for production and extinction, being unable to uncover the nature which is neither produced nor extinguished. During the first half of these eons they will undergo extinction; during the second half they will experience production. Such beings are in the Heaven of No Thought.

7p 224 "Ananda, those who flow to these four superior levels will not be affected by any suffering or bliss in any world. Although this is not the unconditioned of the True Ground of Non-Moving, because they still have the thought of obtaining something, their functioning is nonetheless quite advanced. This is called the Fourth Dhyana.

7p 224-25  "Beyond these, Ananda, are the Five Heavens of No Return. For those who have completely cut off the nine categories of habits in the lower realms, neither suffering nor bliss exist, and there is no regression to the lower levels. All whose minds have achieved this renunciation dwell in these heavens together.

7p 225 "Ananda, those who have put an end to suffering and bliss and who do not get involved in the contention between such thoughts are in the Heaven of No Affliction.

7p 226 "When the mind and states are disengaged, even the thought of investigating that involvement is gone. Such beings are in the Heaven of No Heat.

7p 226-27  "Those whose vision is wonderfully perfect and clear, view the realms of the ten directions as free of defiling appearances and devoid of all dirt and filth. Such beings are in the Heaven of Good View.

7p 227 "Those whose essence of seeing has manifested are able to transform at will without obstruction. Such beings are in the Heaven of Good Manifestation.

7p 227-28  "Those who exhaustively fathom the ultimate principle and the nature of form reach the border of emptiness. Such beings are in the Highest Heaven of the Form Realm.
 
 

7p 228 "Ananda, those in the Four Dhyanas, and even the rulers of the gods at those four levels, can only pay their respects through having heard of the beings in the Heavens of No Return; they cannot know them or see them, just as ordinary people of the world cannot see the places where the Arhats abide in holy Way-places deep in the wilderness and the mountains.

7p 229 "Ananda, in these eighteen heavens are those who remain solitary and uninvolved  but who have not yet gotten rid of their form. These heavens are called the Form Realm.

7p 230 "Furthermore, Ananda, from this summit of the form realm there are also two roads. Those who are intent upon renunciation bring forth wisdom. The light of their wisdom becomes perfect and penetrating, so that they can transcend the defiling realms, accomplish Arhatship, and enter the Bodhisattva Vehicle. They are called Great Arhats who have turned their minds around.

7p 230-31  "Those who dwell in the thought of renunciation and who succeed in renunciation and rejection, realize that their bodies are an obstacle. If they thereupon obliterate the obstacle and enter into emptiness, they  at the Station of Emptiness.

7p 231 "For those who have eradicated all obstacles, there is neither obstruction nor extinction. Then there remains only the alaya consciousness and half of the subtle functions of the manas. These beings are at the Station of Boundless Consciousness.

7p 232 "Those who have already done away with emptiness and form eradicate the conscious mind as well. In the extensive tranquillity of the ten directions there is nowhere at all to go. These beings are at the Station of Nothing Whatsoever.

7p 233 "The nature of consciousness is unmoving, yet within extinction they exhaustively investigate it, attempting to put an end to what is endless. Thus it is as if it existed and yet did not exist, as if it were ended and yet not ended. Such beings are at the Station of Neither Thought nor Non-Thought.
 

7p 235 "These beings who cultivate the path of sagehood from the heavens of no return by delving exhaustively into emptiness without fathoming the principle of emptiness are known as dull Arhats who do not turn their minds around. Just like those in the Heaven of Non-Thought and other externalist heavens who exhaustively investigate emptiness without knowing to turn around, these beings are ignorant and lost in (the heavens with) outflows. They will accordingly enter the cycle of rebirth again.

7p 236-37  "Ananda, the beings in all these heavens are ordinary beings receiving the fruits of their karmic rewards. Once their rewards are exhausted, they must once again enter rebirth. The lords of these heavens, however, are all Bodhisattvas who roam in Samadhi. They gradually progress in their practice and make transference to the way cultivated by all sages.

7p 236 "Ananda, these are the Four Heavens of Emptiness, where the bodies and minds of the inhabitants are extinguished. Concentration emerges, and they are free of the karmic retribution of form. This final group is called the Formless Realm.

7p 238 "The beings in all of them have not understood the wonderfully enlightened bright mind. Their accumulation of falseness brings into being false existence in the Triple Realm. Within this they falsely follow along and become submerged in the seven destinies. As pudgalas, they gather together with their own kind.

7p 239 "Furthermore, Ananda, there are four categories of asuras in the Triple Realm.

7p 240 "Those in the path of ghosts who, by means of their strength of protecting the Dharma, can ride their spiritual penetrations to enter into emptiness are asuras born from eggs; they belong to the destiny of ghosts.

7p 240 "Those who have fallen in virtue and have been dismissed from the heavens dwell in places near the sun and moon. They are asuras born from wombs and belong to the destiny of humans.
 

7p 241 "There are asura kings who uphold the world with a penetrating power and fearlessness. They are able to contend with the Brahma Lord, the God Shakra, and the Four Heavenly Kings. These asuras come into being by transformation and belong to the destiny of gods.

7p 242 "Ananda, there is another, baser category of asuras. They are born in the center of the great seas and live in underwater caves. During the day they roam in emptiness; at night they return to their watery realm. These asuras come into being because of moisture and belong to the destiny of animals.

7p 243 "Ananda, so it is that when the seven destinies of hell-dwellers, hungry ghosts, animals, people, spiritual immortals, gods, and asuras are investigated in detail, they are all found to be murky and embroiled in conditioned existence. Their births come from false thoughts. Their subsequent karma comes from false thoughts. Within the wonderful perfection of the fundamental mind that is without any doing, they are like strange flowers in space, for there is basically nothing to be attached to; they are entirely vain and false, and they have no source or beginning.

7p 244 "Ananda, these living beings, who do not recognize the fundamental mind, all undergo rebirth for limitless kalpas. They do not attain true purity, because they keep getting involved in killing, stealing, and lust, or because they counter them and are born according to their not killing, not stealing, and lack of lust. If these three karmas are present in them, they are born among the troops of ghosts. If they are free of these three karmas, they are born in the destiny of gods. The incessant fluctuation between the presence and absence of these karmas gives rise to the cycle of rebirth.

7p 245 "For those who are able bring forth samadhi, neither the presence nor the absence of these karmas exists in that eternal stillness; even their non-existence is done away with. Since the lack of killing, stealing, and lust is non-existent, how could there be actual involvement in deeds of killing, stealing and lust?
 
 
 

7p 246 "Ananda, those who do not cut off the three karmas each have their own private share. Because each has a private share, private shares come to be accumulated, making collective portions. They are not without a fixed source, for they arise from falseness. Since they arise from falseness, they are basically without a cause, and thus they cannot be traced precisely.

7p 247 "You should warn cultivators that they must get rid of these three delusions if they want to cultivate Bodhi. If they do not put an end to these three delusions, then even the spiritual penetrations they may attain are merely a worldly, conditioned function. If they do not extinguish these habits, they will fall into the path of demons.

7p 248 "Although they wish to cast out the false, they become doubly deceptive instead. The Thus Come One says that such beings are pitiful. You have created this falseness yourself; it is not the fault of Bodhi.

7p 249 "An explanation such as this is proper speech. Any other explanation is the speech of demon kings."



Continue to the next section of the Sutra text.
Return to the Shurangama Sutra page.