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Sūtra 27 (posted 10/2010, updated 12/2011)  Book information on Home page

十善業道經
Sūtra of the Path of the Ten Good Karmas

Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Tang Dynasty
by
The Tripiṭaka Master Śikṣānanda from Yutian

Thus I have heard:
    At one time the Buddha was in the dragon-king Sāgara’s palace, together with 8,000 great bhikṣus and 32,000 Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas. At that time the World-Honored One told the dragon-king, “Because all sentient beings differ in their thinking, they do different karmas. Hence, they transmigrate through different life-journeys. Dragon-King, do you see that those in this assembly and in the immense ocean differ in their shape, form, and kind? All such differences are caused by their minds, from which arise good or evil body karmas, voice karmas, and mind karmas, yet the mind is formless and invisible, beyond one’s grasp. As illusory dharmas arise, each has neither a ruler called self nor its belongings. Though each dharma appears different [to one] according to one’s karma, it has no creator. Therefore, all dharmas by nature are inconceivable and illusory.

Karmic Requitals

“The wise with this understanding train to do good karmas. Then their bodies, each composed of the five aggregates, the twelve fields, and the six domains, will look even and comely, and others will never tire of beholding them.
    “Dragon-King, observe the Buddha’s body, which is born from 100,000 koṭi merits. His appearance is sublime, radiant, and striking, eclipsing those of all multitudes, even innumerable koṭis of commanding Brahma-kings. Those who gaze upon the Tathāgata’s body never fail to be dazzled. Then observe these great Bodhisattvas’ wonderful, sublime bodies, which are born from their accumulated merits and good karmas. The eight classes of Dharma protectors, such as gods and dragons, with mighty powers, are also born from their accumulated merits and good karmas. In addition, in the immense ocean, all sentient beings, in coarse shapes and forms, large or small, because of various kinds of thinking, do evil karmas through their bodies, voices, and minds. Therefore, they receive requitals according to their karmas.

Training to Do Good Karmas

“You now should train to do and learn good karmas. You should also enable sentient beings both to understand causality and to train and learn in the same way you do. You should stand firm in the right views, never falling into the wrong views, such as cessation and perpetuity. You should delight in planting the fortune fields. Then you too will be esteemed by gods and humans, and will receive their offerings.
    “Dragon-King, know that Bodhisattvas have a dharma that can end one’s suffering of walking the evil life-paths. What is this one dharma? It is to remember and ponder good dharmas [as one observes oneself] day and night, enabling good dharmas to grow, thought after thought, and never to mix them with evil, even as slight as a hair. This is the way to end all evildoing forever and to acquire all good dharmas. Then one can be close to Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and other holy ones. The bodies of gods and humans, the bodhi of voice-hearers, the bodhi of Pratyekabuddhas, and the unsurpassed bodhi of Buddhas, are all attained by using this one dharma as the root. Therefore, it is called the one good dharma.

The Ten Good Karmas and Their Benefits

“This dharma is the path of the ten good karmas. What are these ten? One forever quits killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, false speech, divisive speech, abusive speech, suggestive speech, greed, anger, and the wrong views.
    “Dragon-King, if one quits killing sentient beings, one will acquire ten dharmas free from one’s afflictions. What are these ten? First, one will universally give sentient beings fearlessness. Second, one will invoke the mind of great lovingkindness toward sentient beings. Third, one will forever eradicate anger and its habitual traces. Fourth, one’s body will be free from illnesses. Fifth, one will live a long life. Sixth, one will constantly be protected by nonhumans. Seventh, one will sleep soundly without nightmares. Eighth, one’s enmity will be eliminated and one’s grudges will be resolved by themselves. Ninth, one will have no fear of the evil life-paths. Tenth, one will be reborn in heaven. These are the ten. If one transfers one’s roots of goodness to one’s attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, one will eventually become a Buddha, with a lifespan controllable at will.
    “Moreover, Dragon-King, if one quits stealing, one will acquire ten assurance dharmas. What are these ten? First, one’s wealth will be abundant and will not be taken away by the law, bandits, floods, fires, or wicked children. Second, one will be loved and remembered by many. Third, one will not be abused by others. Fourth, one will be praised by all in the ten directions. Fifth, one will not worry about loss or damage. Sixth, one’s good name will spread. Seventh, one will have no fear in the midst of a multitude. Eighth, one’s life, appearance, vigor, and wealth will be stable, and one’s eloquence flawless. Ninth, one will always have the intent to give alms. Tenth, one will be reborn in heaven. These are the ten. If one transfers one’s roots of goodness to one’s attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, one will eventually become a Buddha, with the pure wisdom-knowledge of great bodhi.
    “Moreover, Dragon-King, if one quits sexual misconduct, one will acquire four dharmas praised by the wise. What are these four? First, one’s faculties will be normal and keen. Second, one will forever be free from turmoil. Third, one will be praised by all in the Three Realms of Existence. Fourth, one’s wife will not be taken [by another man]. These are the four. If one transfers one’s roots of goodness to one’s attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, one will eventually become a Buddha, with a great man’s physical marks, including a hidden male organ.
    “Moreover, Dragon-King, if one quits false speech, one will acquire eight dharmas praised by gods. What are these eight? First, one’s mouth will always be pure and fragrant, like the flower of the utpala lotus. Second, one will be trusted and admired by the world. Third, one’s words will be true and one will be loved and respected by gods and humans. Fourth, one will always comfort sentient beings with loving words. Fifth, one will have superb delight and pure karma in body, voice, and mind. Sixth, one will make no mistakes in speech and will constantly have joy in one’s heart. Seventh, one’s words will be valued and carried out by gods and humans. Eighth, one’s wisdom will be excellent and indomitable. These are the eight. If one transfers one’s roots of goodness to one’s attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, one will eventually become a Buddha, speaking the truthful words of the Tathāgata.
    “Moreover, Dragon-King, if one quits divisive speech, one will acquire five indestructible dharmas. What are these five? First, one will have the adamantine body that no one can harm. Second, one will have the faithful retinue that no one can destroy. Third, one will have unwavering faith in accord with one’s original karmas. Fourth, one will take infallible actions because one’s training is solid. Fifth, one will have enduring beneficent learned friends because one is never deceptive. These are the five. If one transfers one’s roots of goodness to one’s attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, one will eventually become a Buddha, with the true retinue that māras and non-Buddhists can never destroy.
    “Moreover, Dragon-King, if one quits abusive speech, one will acquire eight purities. What are these eight? First, one’s words will never be objectionable. Second, one’s words will all be beneficial. Third, one’s words will accord with principles. Fourth, one’s words will be beautiful. Fifth, one’s words will be accepted. Sixth, one’s words will be credible. Seventh, one’s words will never be scorned. Eighth, one’s words will be delightful. These are the eight. If one transfers one’s roots of goodness to one’s attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, one will eventually become a Buddha, speaking with the Tathāgata’s Brahma tones.
    “Moreover, Dragon-King, if one quits suggestive speech, one will acquire three certainties. What are these three? First, one will certainly be loved by the wise. Second, one will certainly be able to give truthful answers with wisdom. Third, one’s awesome virtue will certainly be supreme among gods and humans. These are the three. If one transfers one’s roots of goodness to one’s attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, one will eventually become a Buddha, not failing the prophecies bestowed upon by Tathāgatas.
    “Moreover, Dragon-King, if one quits greed, one will acquire five commands. What are these five? First, one will have command of karmas because one’s faculties will be complete. Second, one will have command of wealth because bandits will not be able to take it by force. Third, one will have command of merit because all things desired will be provided. Fourth, one will have command of kingship because precious offerings will be received. Fifth, the things one receives will be one hundred times better than what one initially seeks because one was not miserly in the past. These are the five. If one transfers one’s roots of goodness to one’s attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, one will eventually become a Buddha, revered by all in the Three Realms of Existence and receiving their offerings.
    “Moreover, Dragon-King, if one quits anger, one will acquire eight dharmas that delight one’s heart. What are these eight? First, one will not have the mind of harm. Second, one will not have the mind of anger. Third, one will not have the mind of dispute. Fourth, one will have a gentle, upright mind. Fifth, one will have a holy one’s mind of lovingkindness. Sixth, one will have the will to benefit and comfort sentient beings. Seventh, one will have a fine physical appearance and will be respected by the multitudes. Eighth, one will quickly be reborn in the Brahma world because one is gentle and tolerant. These are the eight. If one transfers one’s roots of goodness to one’s attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, one will eventually become a Buddha, with the hindrance-free mind, whom others will never tire of beholding.
    “Moreover, Dragon-King, if one quits the wrong views, one will acquire ten meritorious dharmas. What are these ten? First, one will have true virtue and delight, and truly beneficent companions. Second, one will deeply believe in causality and will never do evil, even at the cost of one’s life. Third, one will take refuge in Buddhas, not gods. Fourth, one will have an upright mind and the right views, forever shattering the web of doubts about what is favorable or unfavorable. Fifth, one will always be reborn as a human or a god, never again taking any evil life-path. Sixth, one’s immeasurable merit and wisdom will increase at every turn. Seventh, one will leave the evil paths forever, to walk the holy path. Eighth, one will never take the view that one has an embodied self, and will discard all evil karmas. Ninth, one will hold the view that everything is hindrance free. Tenth, one will never fall into the [eight] difficulties. These are the ten. If one transfers one’s roots of goodness to one’s attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, one will eventually become a Buddha, mastering the entire Buddha Dharma and achieving command of spiritual powers.”

Giving Alms on the Path of the Ten Good Karmas

At that time the World-Honored One told the dragon-king, “Because Bodhisattvas quit killing and give alms in their training for bodhi, they will acquire great wealth that no one can take away. They will live a long life, not dying an untimely death or being harmed by enemies.
    “Because they quit stealing and give alms, they will acquire great wealth that no one can take away, and they will accumulate their store of the Buddha Dharma.
    “Because they quit sexual misconduct and give alms, they will acquire great wealth that no one can take away. Their families will be respectable, and no one will gaze upon their mothers or wives with lust.
    “Because they quit false speech and give alms, they will acquire great wealth that no one can take away. They will not be slandered by others, and they will uphold the true Dharma. What they do according to their vows will all be fruitful.
    “Because they quit divisive speech and give alms, they will acquire great wealth that no one can take away. Their retinues will live in harmony and share the same aspirations without any dispute.
    “Because they quit abusive speech and give alms, they will acquire great wealth that no one can take away. The multitudes will joyfully take refuge in them and will trust and accept their words without any resistance.
    “Because they quit suggestive speech and give alms, they will acquire great wealth that no one can take away. Their words will not be improper, and will be respected and accepted by others. They will resolve people’s doubts by skillful means.
    “Because they quit greed and give alms, they will acquire great wealth that no one can take away. They will give away with wisdom all that they have, and their faith and understanding will be firm and powerful.
    “Because they quit anger and give alms, they will acquire great wealth that no one can take away. They will quickly acquire wisdom-knowledge from the hindrance-free mind, and their facial features will be attractive, admired and loved by others.
    “Because they quit the wrong views and give alms, they will acquire great wealth that no one can take away. They will always be reborn in families that have the right views and reverent faith. They will see Buddhas, hear the Dharma, and make offerings to Saṅghas, never losing the great bodhi mind.
    “These are the ten good karmas of the great ones who walk the Bodhisattva Way.

Adornments on the Path of the Ten Good Karmas

“Dragon-King, taking the path of the ten good karmas, those who adorn themselves with almsgiving will acquire great wealth. Those who adorn themselves with observance of precepts will realize the meaning of the entire Buddha Dharma and acquire its benefits, and will fulfill their great vows. Those who adorn themselves with endurance of adversity will acquire a Buddha’s perfect tones and excellent physical marks. Those who adorn themselves with energetic progress will overcome the enmity of māras and enter into the store of the Buddha Dharma. Those who adorn themselves with meditation will achieve mindfulness, wisdom, sense of shame and dishonor, and lightness and serenity [in body and mind]. Those who adorn themselves with wisdom will discard all differentiations and the wrong views.
    “Those who adorn themselves with lovingkindness will never harm sentient beings. Those who adorn themselves with compassion will pity sentient beings and will never abandon them. Those who adorn themselves with sympathetic joy will not envy or resent others who cultivate virtue. Those who adorn themselves with equability will not invoke the mind of love or hate for favorable or unfavorable conditions.
    “Those who adorn themselves with the Four Drawing-in Dharmas—almsgiving, loving words, beneficial actions, and collaborative work—will always diligently draw all sentient beings into the Dharma and transform them.
    “Those who adorn themselves with mindfulness will skillfully observe the Four Foundations of Mindfulness—body, sensory experience, afflictions, and mental objects. Those who adorn themselves with the Four Right Endeavors—ending the existing evil, not allowing new evil to arise, causing new goodness to arise, and expanding existing goodness—can end all evil dharmas and acquire all good dharmas. Those who adorn themselves with the Four Works to Attain Samādhi—aspiration, energetic progress, focus, and contemplation—will achieve lightness and serenity in their body and mind. Those who adorn themselves with the Five Roots—faith, energetic progress, remembrance of the true Dharma, samādhi, and wisdom—will have firm faith and make energetic progress tirelessly. They will never be confused, and they will serenely organize themselves and eradicate their afflictions. Those who adorn themselves with the Five Powers will overcome the enmity [of māras], and no one can subjugate them. Those who adorn themselves with the Seven Bodhi Factors will realize [the truth of] all dharmas. Those who adorn themselves with the Eightfold Right Path will acquire true wisdom-knowledge, which will always be available to them.
    “Those who adorn themselves with śamatha will shatter the bondage of afflictions. Those who adorn themselves with vipaśyanā will know the true nature of dharmas. Those who adorn themselves with skillful means will quickly achieve their goal and enjoy the bliss [of nirvāṇa], which is beyond causality.

The Ground of the Entire Buddha Dharma

“Dragon-King, know that doing these ten good karmas enables one to master the entire Buddha Dharma, including the Ten Powers, the Four Fearlessnesses, and the Eighteen Exclusive Dharmas. Therefore, you all should diligently train and learn.
    “Dragon-King, by analogy, all towns and villages are settled on the great earth, and all medicinal herbs, trees, and forests also depend on the earth to grow. Like the earth is this path of the ten good karmas. Not only do gods and humans rely on this path to establish themselves, but voice-hearers, Pratyekabuddhas, and Bodhisattvas training for bodhi, also rely on this path to come to achievement. This path is the ground of the entire Buddha Dharma.”
    After the Buddha pronounced this sūtra, the dragon-king Sāgara and the huge multitude, together with gods, asuras, and others in the whole world, greatly rejoiced. They all believed in, accepted, and reverently carried out the teachings.

Sūtra of the Path of the Ten Good Karmas
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon (T15n0600)


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