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The Lotus Sutra

Chapter 3

Simile and parable

I am the Dharma King,
free to do as I will with the Law.
To bring peace and safety to living beings –
that is the reason I appear in the world.
I say to you, Shariputra,
this Dharma seal of mine
I preach because I wish
to bring benefit to the world.
You must not recklessly transmit it
wherever you happen to wander.
If there is someone who hears it,
responds with joy and gratefully accepts it,
you should know that that person
is an avivartika.
If there is someone who believes and accepts
the Law of this sutra,
that person has already seen
the Buddhas of the past,
has respectfully offered alms to them
and listened to this Law.
If there is someone who can
believe what you preached,
then that person has seen me,
and has also seen you
and the other monks
and the bodhisattvas.
This Lotus Sutra
is preached for those with profound wisdom.
If persons of shallow understanding hear it,
they will be perplexed and fail to comprehend.
As for all the voice-hearers
and pratyekabuddhas,
in this sutra there are things
that are beyond their powers.
Even you, Shariputra,
in the case of this sutra
were able to gain entrance through faith alone.
How much more so, then, the other voice-hearers.
Those other voice-hearers –
it is because they have faith in the Buddha's words
that they can comply with this sutra,
not because of any wisdom of their own.
Also, Shariputra,
to persons who are arrogant or lazy
or taken up with views of the self,
do not preach this sutra.
Those with the shallow understanding of ordinary persons,
who are deeply attached to the five desires,
cannot comprehend it when they hear it.
Do not preach it to them.
If a person fails to have faith
but instead slanders this sutra,
immediately he will destroy all the seeds
for becoming a Buddha in this world.
Or perhaps he will scowl with knitted brows
and harbor doubt or perplexity.
Listen and I will tell you
the penalty this person must pay.
Whether the Buddha is in the world
or has already entered extinction,
if this person should slander
a sutra such as this,
or on seeing those who read, recite,
copy and uphold this sutra,
should despise, hate, envy,
or bear grudges against them,
the penalty this person must pay –
listen, I will tell you now:
When his life comes to an end
he will enter the Avichi hell,
be confined there for a whole kalpa,
and when the kalpa ends, be born there again.
He will keep repeating this cycle
for a countless number of kalpas.
Though he may emerge from hell,
he will fall into the realm of beasts,
becoming a dog or jackal,
his form lean and scruffy,
dark, discolored, with scabs and sores,
something for men to make sport of.
Or again he will
be hated and despised by men,
constantly plagued by hunger and thirst,
his bones and flesh dried up,
in life undergoing torment and hardship,
in death buried beneath the tiles and stones.
Because he cut off the seeds of Buddhahood
he will suffer this penalty.
If he should become a camel
or be born in the shape of a donkey,
his body will constantly bear heavy burdens
and have the stick or whip laid on it.
He will think only of water and grass
and understand nothing else.
Because he slandered this sutra,
this is the punishment he will incur.
Or he will be born as a jackal
who comes to the village,
body all scabs and sores,
having only one eye,
by the boys
beaten and cuffed,
suffering grief and pain,
sometimes to the point of death.
And after he has died
he will be born again in the body of a serpent,
long and huge in size,
measuring five hundred yojanas,
deaf, witless, without feet,
slithering along on his belly,
with little creatures
biting and feeding on him,
day and night undergoing hardship,
never knowing rest.
Because he slandered this sutra,
this is the punishment he will incur.
If he should become a human being,
his faculties will be blighted and dull,
he will be puny, vile, bent, crippled,
blind, deaf, hunchbacked.
The things he says
people will not believe,
the breath from his mouth will be constantly foul,
he will be possessed by devils,
poor and lowly,
ordered around by others,
plagued by many ailments, thin and gaunt,
having no one to turn to.
Though he attached himself to others,
they would never think of him;
though he might gain something,
he would at once lose or forget it.
Though he might practice the art of medicine
and by its methods cure someone's disease,
the person would grow sicker from some other malady
and perhaps in the end would die.
If he himself had an illness,
no one would aid or nurse him,
and though he took good medicine,
it would only make his condition worse.
If others should turn against him,
he would find himself plundered and robbed.
His sins would be such
that they would bring unexpected disaster on him.
A sinful person of this sort
will never see the Buddha,
the king of the many sages,
preaching the Law, teaching and converting.
A sinful person of this sort
will constantly be born amid difficulties,
crazed, deaf, confused in mind,
and never will hear the Law.
For countless kalpas
numerous as Ganges sands
he will at birth become deaf and dumb,
his faculties impaired,
will constantly dwell in hell,
strolling in it as though it were a garden,
and the other evil paths of existence
he will look on as his own home.
Camel, donkey, pig, dog –
these will be the forms he will take on.
Because he slandered this sutra,
this is the punishment he will incur.
If he should become a human being,
he will be deaf, blind, dumb.
Poverty, want, all kinds of decay
will be his adornment;
water blisters, diabetes,
scabs, sores, ulcers,
maladies such as these
will be his garments.
His body will always smell bad,
filthy and impure.
Deeply attached to views of self,
he will grow in anger and hatred;
aflame with licentious desires,
he will not spurn even birds or beasts.
Because he slandered this sutra,
this is the punishment he will incur.
I tell you, Shariputra,
if I were to describe the punishments that fall
on persons who slander this sutra,
I could exhaust a kalpa and never come to the end.
For this reason
I expressly say to you,
do not preach this sutra
to persons who are without wisdom.
But if there are those of keen capacities,
wise and understanding,
of much learning and strong memory,
who seek the Buddha way,
then to persons such as this
it is permissible to preach it.
If there are persons who have seen
hundreds and thousands and millions of Buddhas,
have planted many good roots
and are firm and deeply committed in mind,
then to persons such as this
it is permissible to preach it.
If there are persons who are diligent,
constantly cultivating a compassionate mind,
not begrudging life or limb,
then it is permissible to preach it.
If there are persons who are respectful, reverent,
with minds set on nothing else,
who separate themselves from common folly
to live alone among mountains and waters,
then to persons such as this
it is permissible to preach it.
Again, Shariputra,
if you see a person
who thrusts aside evil friends
and associates with good companions,
then to a person such as this
it is permissible to preach it.
If you see a son of the Buddha
observing the precepts, clean and spotless
as a pure bright gem,
seeking the Great Vehicle Sutra,
then to a person such as this
it is permissible to preach it.
If a person is without anger,
upright and gentle in nature,
constantly pitying all beings,
respectful and reverent to the Buddhas,
then to a person such as this
it is permissible to preach it.
Again, if a son of the Buddha
in the midst of the great assembly
should with a pure mind
employ various causes and conditions,
similes, parables, and other expressions
to preach the Law in unhindered fashion,
to a person such as this
it is permissible to preach it.
If there are monks who,
for the sake of comprehensive wisdom,
seek the Law in every direction,
pressing palms together, gratefully accepting,
desiring only to accept and embrace
the sutra of the Great Vehicle
and not accepting a single verse
of the other sutras,
to persons such as this
it is permissible to preach it.
If a person, earnest in mind,
seeks this sutra
as though he were seeking the Buddha's relics,
and having gained and gratefully accepted it,
that person shows no intention
of seeking other sutras
and has never once given thought
to the writings of the non-Buddhist doctrines,
to a person such as this
it is permissible to preach it.
I tell you Shariputra,
if I described all the characteristics
of those who seek the Buddha way,
I could exhaust a kalpa and never be done.
Persons of this type
are capable of believing and understanding.
Therefore for them you should preach 
the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law.

Translated in Serbian by Mića Mijatović, 30. 04. 2000. in Belgrade
Source: The Lotus Sutra, translated by Burton Watson

Lotos sutra

Poglavlje 3

Poređenja i parabole

Ja sam Darma Kralj,
slobodan da činim šta želim sa Zakonom.
Doneti mir u sigurnost živim bićima -
to je razlog što se pojavljujem u svetu.
Kažem ti, Šariputra,
ovaj svoj Darma pečat
propovedam stoga jer želim
doneti korist svetu.
Ne smeš nerazborito da ga prenosiš
gde god se desi da odtumaraš.
Ako ima nekog ko ga čuje,
odgovara s radošću i zahvalno ga prihvata,
treba da znaš da je ta osoba
Ako ima nekog ko veruje i prihvata
Zakon ove sutre,
ta je osoba već videla
bude prošlosti,
s poštovanjem im ponudila milodare
i saslušala ovaj Zakon.
Ako ima nekog ko može
da veruje u ono što propovedaš,
tada me je ta osoba videla,
a takođe je videla i tebe
i druge kaluđere
i bodisatve.
Ova Lotos sutra
je propovedana za one duboke mudrosti.
Ako je čuje neko površne sposobnosti razumevanja,
biće zbunjen i neće je moći shvatiti.
Za sve one-koji-slušaju-glas
i pratjekabude,
u ovoj sutri ima stvari
koje su izvan njihovih moći.
Čak si i ti, Šariputra,
u slučaju ove sutre
bio sposoban da zadobiješ pristup samo kroz veru.
Koliko je, onda, potrebno drugima koji-slušaju-glas.
Ti drugi koji-slušaju-glas -
stoga što imaju vere u Budine reči
mogu se pridržavati ove sutre,
a ne usled neke vlastite mudrosti.
Takođe, Šariputra,
onima koji su arogantni i lenji
ili su obuzeti vlastitim nazorima [o sebstvu]
ne propovedaj ovu sutru.
Oni površne moći razumevanja običnih osoba,
duboke privrženosti prema pet želja,
ne mogu je shvatiti kada je čuju.
Ne propovedaj je njima.
Ako neko nema vere
već umesto toga kleveta ovu sutru,
odmah će razoriti svo seme
postanka budom u ovom svetu.
ili je moguće da će se mrštiti sastavljenih veđa
i gajiti sumnju ili zbunjenost.
Slušaj i reći ću ti
kakvu kaznu takva osoba mora podneti.
Bilo da je Buda u ovom svetu
ili je već stupio u ukinuće,
ako bi ta osoba klevetala
jednu sutru kao ova što je,
ili videvši one koji čitaju, recituju,
umnožavaju i podržavaju ovu sutru,
ako bi ih prezirala, mrzela, zavidela im,
ili bila zlobna prema njima,
kazna koju ta osoba mora podneti bi bila -
slušaj, reći ću ti sad:
Kada se njegov život privodi kraju
stupiće u Aviči pakao,
biće tu zatvoren čitavu jednu kalpu,
a kada se ta kalpa završi, biće ponovo tamo rođen.
Nastaviće da ponavlja taj ciklus
tokom bezbrojnih kalpi.
Mada može izroniti iz pakla,
pašće u područje zveri,
postavši pas ili šakal,
slab i otrcan,
taman, bezbojan, krastav i razdražljiv,
nešto od čega ljudi odvraćaju pogled.
Ili će opet
biti omražen i prezren od ljudi,
neprestano mučen glađu i žeđu,
njegovo će mesto i kosti biti isušene,
u životu će podnositi mučenje i nevolje,
posle smrti će biti pokopan pod pločama i kamenjem.
Stoga što je presekao vezu sa semenom budastva
patiće od ovih kazni.
Ako bi postao kamila
ili bi se rodio u obliku magarca,
njegovo bi telo neprestano podnosilo teško breme
i bio bi vođen štapom ili bičem.
Misliće jedino o vodi i travi
i ništa drugo neće razumeti.
Stoga što je klevetao ovu sutru,
ovo je kazna kojoj će se izložiti.
Ili će biti rođen kao šakal
koji dolazi u selo,
tela svog u krastama i pozledama,
sa samo jednim okom,
od strane dečaka
tučen i ćuškan,
podnoseći žalost i bol,
ponekad do smrti.
A pošto umre
biće rođen opet u telu zmije,
dugačke i ogromne,
mereći pet stotina jođana,
gluv, bezuman, bez nogu,
puzeći naokolo na svom stomaku,
sa malim stvorenjima
koja ga grizu i hrane se njime,
danju i noću podvrgnut tegobi,
ne znajući nikada za odmor.
Stoga što je klevetao ovu sutru,
ovo je kazna kojoj će se izložiti.
Ako bi postao ljudsko biće,
njegove će sposobnosti biti upropaštene i tupe,
biće zakržljao, podao, iskrivljen, ubogaljen,
slep, gluv, grbav.
U stvari koje govori
ljudi neće verovati,
dah iz njegovih usta će biti neprestano gadan,
biće posednut đavolima,
bedan i nizak,
drugi će mu naređivati,
biće zaražen mnogim bolestima, tanak i mršav,
nemajući nikoga kome bi se okrenuo.
Mada privržen drugima,
ovi nikada neće misliti na njega;
mada može steći ponešto,
može ga odjednom izgubiti ili zaboraviti.
Mada može praktikovati umetnost medicine
i njenim metodima izlečiti nečiju bolest,
ta će osoba postati bolesnija od neke druge bolesti
i verovatno će na kraju umreti.
Ako bi on sam imao neku bolest,
niko mu ne bi pomogao ili ga negovao,
i mada uzevši dobar lek,
stanje bi mu postalo samo lošije.
Ako bi se drugi okrenuli protiv njega,
našao bi se poharan i opljačkan.
Njegovi bi gresi bili takvi
da bi mu doneli neočekivanu propast.
Grešnik takve vrste
nikada neće videti Budu
kralja mnogih mudraca,
kako propoveda Zakon, podučava i preobraćuje.
Grešnik takve vrste
će se stalno rađati usred teškoća,
sluđen, gluv, zbrkanog uma,
i nikada neće čuti Zakon.
Tokom bezbrojnih kalpi
mnogobrojnih kao zrna peska Ganga
postaće pri rođenju gluv i nem,
oštećenih sposobnosti,
stalno će boraviti u paklu,
lutajući njime kao da je neka bašta,
a druge zle staze egzistencije
izgledaće mu kao vlastiti dom.
Kamila, magarac, svinja, pas -
to će biti oblici koje će preuzeti.
Stoga što je klevetao ovu sutru,
ovo je kazna kojoj će se izložiti.
Ako bi postao ljudsko biće,
bio bi gluv, slep, nem.
Oskudnost, potrebitost, sve vrste propadanja
biće njegovi ukrasi;
vodeni plihovi, šećerna bolest,
kraste, pozlede, čirevi,
takve bolesti
biće njegova odeća.
Njegovo će telo uvek mirisati loše,
prljavo i nečisto.
Duboko privržen egocentričnim pogledima,
on će rasti u ljutnji i mržnji;
plamteći razuzdanim željama,
neće prezrivo odbiti čak ni ptice ili zveri.
Stoga što je klevetao ovu sutru,
ovo je kazna kojoj će se izložiti.
Kažem ti, Šariputra,
da sam opisao kazne koje padaju
na one koji klevetaju ovu sutru,
mogao bih utrošiti kalpu i ne stići do kraja.
Iz tog razloga
izričito ti kažem,
ne propovedaj ovu sutru
onima koji su bez mudrosti.
Ali ako ima onih oštroumnih sposobnosti,
mudrih i sposobnih da razumeju,
mnogih znanja i dobrog pamćenja,
koji traže Budin put,
onda onima koji su takvi
dozvoljeno je propovedati je.
Ako ima takvih koji su videli
stotine i hiljade i milione buda,
koji su posadili mnogo dobrih uzroka
i koji su čvrsto i duboko angažovani u duhu,
onda onima koji su takvi
dozvoljeno je propovedati je.
Ako ima onih koji su marljivi,
koji stalno neguju duh saosećanja,
koji ne žale života ili udova,
tada je dozvoljeno propovedati je.
Ako ima onih koji su puni poštovanja, časni,
umova neposvećenih ničemu drugom
koji se izdvajaju iz uobičajenih budalaština
da bi živeli sami među planinama i vodama,
onda onima koji su takvi
dozvoljeno je propovedati je.
Uz to, Šariputra,
ako vidiš nekoga
ko odbija od sebe loše prijatelje
i druži se sa dobrim drugovima,
onda onima koji su takvi
dozvoljeno je propovedati je.
Ako vidiš Budinog sina
kako se pridržava pouke, čistog i besprekornog
kao čist blistav dragulj,
koji traži sutru Velikog Vozila,
onda onima koji su takvi
dozvoljeno je propovedati je.
Ako je neko bez ljutnje u sebi,
Čestit i blag po prirodi,
Stalno milostiv prema svim bićima,
Pun poštovanja i smeran prema budama,
onda onima koji su takvi
dozvoljeno je propovedati je.
Opet, ako bi sin Bude
usred velikog skupa
čistog uma
koristio razne razloge i stanja,
poređenja, parabole i druge načine izražavanja
da propoveda Zakon u neometenom maniru,
onda onima koji su takvi
dozvoljeno je propovedati je.
Ako ima kaluđera koji,
za dobro obuhvatne mudrosti,
tragaju za Zakonom u svim pravcima,
sklapajući dlanove, zahvalno prihvatajući,
želeći jedino da usvoje i prihvate
sutru Velikog Vozila
i da ne usvoje ni jedan jedini stih
drugih sutri,
onda onima koji su takvi
dozvoljeno je propovedati je.
Ako neko, ozbiljnog duha,
traži ovu sutru
kao što bi tražio Budine mošti,
i stekavši ih i zahvalno ih prihvativši,
ne bi pokazivao nameru
da traži druge sutre
i nikada ne bi posvetio ni misao
spisima ne-budističkih doktrina,
onda onima koji su takvi
dozvoljeno je propovedati je.
Kažem ti Šariputra,
ako bih opisao sve osobine
onih koji traže Budin put,
mogao bih utrošiti kalpu a da nikada ne završim.
Osobe takvog tipa
sposobne su da veruju i razumeju.
Prema tome njima treba da propovedaš
Lotos sutru Čudesnog Zakona.


Preveo Mića Mijatović, 30. 04. 2000. u Beogradu
Izvor: The Lotus Sutra, translated by Burton Watson.

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