Can The Buddhas’ And Patriarchs’ Words Be Changed? 佛言祖语能改吗?

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Question: Can the Buddhas’ and Patriarchs’ words be changed to express different meanings, as wished?

Answer: We should understand that the Buddhas’ teachings in the scriptures are unsurpassable time-tested spiritual references, while the Patriarchs’ explanations in the commentaries are the best elucidations on the scriptures available.

Since the above is so, how can unenlightened beings like us ever ‘improve’ by editing their words? Any amendment will only mar the teachings of the enlightened, while betraying our delusions. It will also be a form of slander of the Buddhas (谤佛) and Dharma (谤法).

Thus, the mentioned should never be changed. If anyone is welcomed to change any words as wished, with the Buddhas’ and Patriarchs’ words easily warped, not being theirs any more, proper references will cease to exist. Fair notes and comments can be added in writing and teaching, but the original texts should never be changed.

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Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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