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Words of Wisdom

Excerpts from The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters, Part 1 of 2 - Chapter 2 and Chapters 4 to 8

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“The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters” is thought to be the first Buddhist sutra from India to be translated into Chinese. During the first century AD, His Majesty Emperor Ming of China one night dreamt of a “Golden Being” with light surrounding His body who flew into the palace. The next morning, His Mejesty Emperor Ming summoned all his ministers and high officials to find out who this “Golden Being” might be. One of his ministers told the emperor about a great spiritual Master named Buddha whose teachings originated in India. Realizing that this must be the “Golden Being” in his dream, the emperor asked that a delegation go to the region where the Buddha had lived. He instructed them to request Buddhist scriptures that could help enlighten the Chinese people. The delegates traveled to India, where they were able to obtain Sanskrit sutras. They also invited the Venerated Kasyapa Matanga and Dharmaraksha, whom they met during the trip, to return with them and assist in translation. We will now share with you some excerpts from “The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters,” as revealed by the Buddha. “Chapter 4: Concurrent Definitions of Good and Evil ‘The Buddha said, “Multibeings could perform Virtues in ten ways, and so could they perpetrate Vices in ten ways. What are these Ten Vices? There are three in the Body, four in the Mouth, and three in the Mind. The three Physical Vices are Killing, Stealing and Copulation. The four Oral Vices are Alienating Speeches, Scurrilous Words, Untruthful Language, and Meaningless Chatters. The three Mental Vices are Jealousy, Resentment, and Ignorance. These Ten Vices are against the Sacred Way, and so they are also called the Ten Vile Deeds. If these Vices are terminated, that will result in the Ten Virtues.”’”
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