[F] How Do Sūtras Disappear In This Dharma-Ending Age? 佛经如何在末法时期消失?


– 释迦牟尼佛

Evil persons will multiply to be many,
like sands’ number within the ocean.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of The Dharma’s Complete End)

According to the Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of The Dharma’s Complete End《佛说法灭尽经》, Śākyamuni Buddha (释迦牟尼佛) taught that the following will happen to all sūtras as this Dharma-Ending Age (末法时期) proceeds on through the coming years.

「首楞严经,般舟三昧,先化灭去。十二部经寻后复灭,尽不复现,不见文字。」‘The Śūraṅgama Sūtra, and the Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sūtra, will be the first sūtras to transform and disappear. The twelve divisions of the sūtras soon after, will also disappear, completely and not reappearing, not further seeing their texts’ words.’

Note [1]: When the Dharma-Ending Age further deepens, the sūtras will vanish, first by negligence due to lack of interest, thus fading from people’s minds, before also disappearing physically, due to lack of meritorious virtues to deserve encountering them. They also ‘transform’ and vanish when their meanings are ‘accidentally’ misinterpreted by the personally deluded, and when wilfully distorted by those who wish to delude others.

Note [2]: As the Śūraṅgama Sūtra contains strict and unequivocal moral guidelines on the Four Heavy Precepts (四重戒) in its Pure And Clear Instructions’ Section《清净明诲章》and the Fifty Aggregates’ Demons’ Section《五十阴魔章》, it will karmically first disappear, thus ‘allowing’ demonic forces to thrive. Note [3]: In it is also the Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration Via Mindfulness Of Buddha《大势至菩萨念佛圆通章》, which summarises the Pure Land path ‘most’ briefly in essence. This is while the Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sūtra《般舟三昧经》contains teachings on perhaps the most challenging Pure Land practice, requiring much meditative walking.

Note [4]: The twelve divisions contain all the sūtras, which will all disappear. However, the last scripture to disappear is the Immeasurable Life Sūtra《无量寿经》, as stated by the Buddha within it, which contains the easiest yet still true Pure Land Practice (实行), requiring only mindfulness of the name of Amitābha Buddha with profound Faith (深信) and sincere Aspiration (切愿). Note [5]: The above means mindfulness of Buddha (念佛) is the most enduring and only feasible teaching for liberation in this Dharma-Ending Age. As such, the Buddha will ensure that existence of this practice is maximised, to benefit as many beings as possible.

As taught by Śākyamuni Buddha in the Immeasurable Life Sūtra, ‘When it is the last period of the Dharma-Ending Age [which is this era], I will specially retain this sūtra, for one hundred [more] years in this world, to receive and guide sentient beings, for rebirth in that [Pure] Land [of Amitābha Buddha: 阿弥陀佛: Āmítuófó].’「末世法灭之时,特驻此经,百年在世,接引众生,往生彼国。」 Also taught by him in the Mahāvaipulya Mahāsannipāta Sūtra《大方等大集经》, ‘In the Dharma-Ending Age [which is this era], when 100 million of 100 million people practise the Dharma, it is rare that one will attain the path; only relying upon mindfulness of Buddha, is there attainment of deliverance from the cycle of birth and death.’「末法亿亿人修行,罕一得道;唯依念佛,得度生死。」


– 释迦牟尼佛

Good ones will be extremely few,
perhaps with one or two.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of The Dharma’s Complete End)

Related Article:

The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of The Dharma’s Complete End

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