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Words of Wisdom

Excerpts from The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters, Part 2 of 2 - Chapters 9 to 12

2020-05-01
Language:English

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“The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters” is one of the most widely read of the Buddha’s scriptures. This short but important scripture provides an entire range of the Buddha’s teachings, from the very basic to the most profound. We will now share with you some excerpts from “The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters” as revealed by the Buddha. “The Buddha said, ‘If a person loves the Truthful-Way and yet he tries to pursue it merely by extensive erudition, it would be hard for him to convene with the Truthful-Way. If man sustains his Mind and observes the Way, the Way shall grow immensely vast to him.’” “The Buddha said,’ When you see someone practicing Donation, and though you merely assist him by encouraging and feeling joyful for him, the Merits you are to acquire a cornucopia.’” “The Buddha said, ‘You could offer food to a hundred vicious people, but it would be much better merit-wise to make the offering to a virtuous man. You could offer food to one thousand virtuous people, but it would be much better merit-wise to make the offering to one person who observes the Five Precepts decreed by the Buddha. You could offer food to ten thousand observers of Five Precepts, but it would be much better merit-wise to make the offering to one Srota-apanna Saint. You could offer food to one million Srota-apanna Saints, but it would be much better merit-wise to make the offering to one Sakradagamin Saint. You could offer food to ten million Sakradagamin Saints, but it would be much better meritwise to make the offer to one Anagamin Saint. You could offer food to one hundred million Anagamin Saints, but it would be much better merit-wise to make the offering to one Arhat. You could offer food to one billion Arhats, but it would be much better merit-wise to make the offering to one Pratyeka-buddha. You could offer food to ten billion Pratyeka-buddhas, but it would be much better merit-wise to make the offering to any one Buddha of the Three Tempora. You could offer food to one hundred billion Buddhas of the Three Tempora, but it would be much better merit-wise to make the offering to a practitioner in the state of Non-deliberation, Non-adherence, and Non-attestation.’”
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