Tag Archives: Mahākāśyapa


It may be of interest to some of the readership as to what is the method employed when undertaking the exegesis of the Sutras in these Dharma-series. Firstly, the given Chapters are diligently read and digested in terms of its main import which is then followed by reading the different translations side-by-side, accompanied with some research on key elements. Afterwards I enter into meditation, preferably with an appropriate ambient-audio track that fine-tunes the inner recesses of my spirit. Next I invoke the unparalleled aid of the Tathagatas, sometime referred in various series as the Primordial Mentor, empowering me to discern what stands out as a dominant theme in the given chapter. The given dominant theme usually becomes the title of the blog itself. Some time is then spent away from the Dharma-study altogether allowing all of these inspired elements to slowly come together in one coherent whole, much like a simmering-stew. After all this preparation, whilst continually invoking the aid of the Primordial Spirit, the blog itself is ready for composition. read more

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Something Rare

Chapter Three: Lamentations

(Charles Patton translation):

For a moment not long after Cunda had gone, the ground then shook and quaked in six ways. And on up to the Brahma realms. It was also again so. There were two earthquakes. One was an earthquake, and the other was a great earthquake. The smaller quake was called an earthquake. The greater quake was called a great earthquake. There was a smaller sound called an earthquake and there was a greater sound called a great earthquake. Where only the ground shook, that was called the earthquake. Where the mountains, trees, and the waters of the sea all shook, that was called the great earthquake. Where it shook to one side, that was called an earthquake. Where it shook everywhere and all around, that was called a great earthquake. When it shook and could lead the minds of sentient beings to shake, that was called a great earthquake. When the bodhisattvas from the Tusita heavens down to Jampudvipa first took notice, it was called a great earthquake. And when the first born left the households life to achieve the supremely unexcelled bodhi, to turn the dharmawheel, and to enter parinirvana, it was called a great earthquake. read more

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Cultivating Prajñāpāramitā II

Painting by Peter Adams

At that time, Mahākāśyapa addressed the Buddha, saying, “Bhagavān, in the coming age, if the extremely profound true Dharma is spoken thusly, who will be able to believe, understand, accept, and practice it?” The Buddha said to Kāśyapa, “If bhikus, bhikuīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās in this assembly are able to hear this sūtra thusly, then in the coming age, if they hear this Dharma again, they will certainly be capable of understanding the extremely profound Prajñāpāramitā. They will even be able to study, recite, believe, understand, accept, and maintain it, and they will be able to expound it to others and explain it. Consider a householder who is worried and distressed after losing a mai jewel. When it is found again later, his mind will be extremely happy. It is just like this, Kāśyapa. Bhikus, bhikuīs, upāsakas, and upāsikās, are also such as this, who have a mind of faith and happiness. If they do not hear the Dharma, then distress will arise, but when they are able to hear it, they will believe, understand, accept, and maintain it, always happy when studying and reciting it, extremely blissful and happy. It should be known that such a person is essentially perceiving the Buddha, and essentially serving and providing offerings to all buddhas.” read more

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The Prodigal Sons

The thing that strikes me most about the parable in Chapter 4, the “‘Buddhist’ Prodigal Son”, is that it is told to the Buddha (instead of vice-versa) by four of his most loyal disciples, Subhuti, Maha Katyayana, MahaMaudgalyayana and particularly by Mahākāśyapa. Two of them are well-known, Subhuti, who often plays a prominent role in sutras, in particular the Diamond Sutra, and of course, Mahākāśyapa, who was the first one to receive “Dharma-Mind transmission” from Gautama Buddha. Like devoted adepts on a long spiritual-journey, they were late in coming to realize their own share in “Buddha-nature”, yet their devotion to principles within the Buddhadharma led many to become enlightened. Hence, this parable is truly about them and other “devoted ones”, who at first without the added benefit of the Marvelous Bodhi-Pearl of Noble Wisdom, eventually progress through various spiritual-stages before setting their sights on the ultimate prize. read more

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Who’s That Wriggling in Your Shoe?

From Zen Master Keizan’s Transmission of Light (All passages taken from The Denkōroku: The Record of the Transmission of the Light; all Capitalized words are representative of THAT WHICH IS UNBORN, UNCOMPOSED, UNDYING and UNCREATED ) read more

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