Liars are not true
even to themselves,
much less to others
and to Truth itself.
The Great Buddha’s Crown’s Foremost Surangama Sutra:
Section On Clear Instructions For Purity:
Passage On False Speech
释迦牟尼佛: 『 阿难，如是世界六道众生，虽则身心无杀盗淫，三行已圆，若大妄语，即三摩地不得清净，成爱见魔，失如来种。
Sakyamuni Buddha: ‘Ananda, such sentient beings of the worlds of the six realms, although their bodies and minds are without killing, stealing and sexual conduct, with these three practices already complete, if they have great false speech, immediately, their samadhi [meditative concentration] will not attain purity, becoming [or being possessed by] demons of attachment and delusion, losing the Tathagata’s seed [for growth towards Buddhahood].
所谓未得谓得，未证言证，或求世间尊胜第一。谓前人言： “我今已得须陀洹果、斯陀含果、阿那含果、阿罗汉道、辟支佛乘、十地、地前诸位菩萨，” 求彼礼忏，贪其供养。
That is, to say the yet to be attained as attained, speaking of the yet to be realised as realised, or seeking to be the world’s supremely honoured and foremost one. Saying before others, “I have now already attained the Srotapana fruit, Sakradagamin fruit, Anagamin fruit, Arhat fruit, Pratyekabuddha vehicle, Ten Grounds or all pre-ground stages of Bodhisattvahood,” to seek from others reverence and repentance, craving their offerings.
是一颠迦，销灭佛种，如人以刀断多罗木。 佛记是人，永殒 (yǔn)善根，无复知见，沉三苦海，不成三昧。
[They are] icchantikas, who eradicate their Buddha seeds, like persons who used knives to sever Tala trees. The Buddha predicts that these persons, have forever destroyed their good roots, without again [attaining right] knowing and seeing, [who will] sink into the sea of three sufferings [suffering of suffering, change and being conditioned], and not accomplish samadhi.
After my [pari]nirvana, I command all Bodhisattvas and Arhats, to manifest bodies to be born within that Dharma-Ending [Age], to become various forms, to deliver all from rebirth. Perhaps becoming Sramanas, white-robed laypersons, kings, officials, young males, young females, as such, and even “licentious” women, widows, “outlaws”, “thieves”, “butchers”, “peddlers” [“traffickers”, who do not truly break precepts], with them working together, praising the Buddha vehicle [to Buddhahood], to enable their bodies and minds to enter samadhi.
终不自言： “我真菩萨、真阿罗汉，” 泄佛密因，轻言未学。唯除命终，阴有遗付。云何是人，惑乱众生，成大妄语？
To the end, [they do] not say, “I am a true Bodhisattva, [or] a true Arhat,” which is to divulge the Buddha’s secret cause, to carelessly say so to those yet to learn [the Dharma]. Only except when approaching the end of life, secretly as last words, [can they be said]. Why would these persons, confuse and disturb sentient beings, by accomplishing great false speech?
You [should] teach the people of the world who cultivate samadhi, to later again completely eradicate all great false speech, which is named the Tathagata’s and previous Buddhas World-Honoured Ones’ fourth decisive clear instruction for purity. Ananda, if those do not sever such great false speech, they are likened to be carving human faeces, into sandalwood forms, desiring to seek fragrance [from them], which is not possible.
[As] I teach bhiksus, that the straight mind is the bodhimanda [place for Dharma practice], with regard to the four deportments [of walking, standing, sitting and lying down] and within all actions, yet [always] without falsity, how can they self-proclaim to have attained the Dharma of those superior [in wisdom, virtue and practice]? For example, a poor person, who falsely names oneself an emperor, personally incurs death. Furthermore as a Dharma king [Buddha], how can this [title] be falsified and stolen?
[With the] causal ground [or direction] not true [at the start, the] fruit [or result] attracted [will be with] twists and turns, [away from the true goal]. Seeking the Buddha’s Bodhi [Enlightenment of Buddhahood] [thus], is like a person [trying] to bite one’s [own] navel – who would accomplish this? If all bhiksus, with minds like straight strings, all will be true, [as they] enter samadhi, forever without demonic obstacles. I affirm [that] these persons, [will] accomplish the Bodhisattva’s unsurpassable knowing and awakening [Buddhahood].
Such as I have spoken, is named Buddhas’ speech. Not such as spoken, is Papiyan’s [Mara: the evil demon king] speech.’
Translated By Shen Shi’an
[with notes in parentheses]
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