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2/22/2011

Requisite Subjects of Study for Monastics

Chinese Mahayana Sutra
 
From the Records of Preeminent Monastics

Translating Sutras. Converting Sanskrit into Chinese, [or in contemporary times, to English and other languages] the sutras can bridge ordinary people and sainthood. They turn the Dharma wheel and are teachers for all Buddhas.

Understanding the Meaning. Searching through the text for meaning, one forgets words when one reaches the meaning. The three kinds of wisdom are complete and the two reliances constantly turn.

Practicing Meditation. Cultivate until there is no thought so that good and bad both end. End the ending; one abides in peace and happiness permanently.

Understanding the Vinaya. Stern and lacking in endearment, rush to protect that which is proper. Attentively guard the three karmas like an impregnable fortress.

Protecting the Dharma. What is the need for worrying about safeguarding and shielding when a good guard is at home? A teacher with clear understanding in the Dharma will defend one against outer humiliation.

Attracting Responses. Defying the usual principles, one immediately connects with response. Responses are difficult to fathom as they occur while one is transforming in the world.

Forsaking the Body. The foremost form of generosity is to give away what is difficult to give with a sense of ease. Dedicate this untidy body to the attainment of the vajra body.

Reading and Reciting. This is the best and greatest work among the ten types of work performed by Dharma Masters. Like the medicinal citron at Zhu River, when the fruits of this work are ripe, they are red and abundant.

Building Blessings. Blessings grow and offenses diminish for oneself and others. The benefits of conditional goodness are immense.

Miscellaneous. Gathering-in all subjects completely; returning to the noble together. Masters lecture sutras and guide beings to glorify the vehicle of Buddhas.