A noble [teaching]. The Sutra of the Great Perfect Nirvana
I praise to all the Enlightened Ones and Bodhisattvas!
That's what I heard once.
The Blessed One was staying with a great good assembly of monks, one thousand two hundred and fifty in a garden with planted Sala trees near the walls of the great city of Kusha.
Later [the monks came] closer, and at that time the Blessed One said to the venerable Ananda:
Ananda! A hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana-as a teaching, teachers will appear in the Teaching. Even my student listeners will have joy in the Aram Park of Learning. They will have the mastery of understanding, they will have the nature of true wisdom.
Ananda! Also at this time, a ruler named Ashoka will have power in the administration of Jambudvipa. Then a vast stupa will be erected with relics from the bodily remains [after] my vast and complete nirvana.
Ananda! Two hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana, the main teaching will be complete liberation. In the same way, the students-listeners will become well-versed in explaining and comprehending what was explained in my time.
Ananda! Three hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana, the main teaching will be the practice.
Even my student listeners will have the vision and direct realization through the body as a complete liberation based on two aspects. They will become completely liberated through wisdom.
Ananda! Four hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana, the main teaching will be complete seclusion. Even my student listeners will enjoy the true immersion inwardly.
Ananda! Five hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana-as a teaching, they will become teachers-gurus in Teaching. Even my student listeners will enjoy adhibharma in the Aram garden of Learning..
Ananda! Six hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana, abhidharma, recitation, and reading will be enjoyed as a teaching. Even my student listeners will exercise diligence.
Ananda! Seven hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana, the main teaching will be offerings. They will serve as a teaching to the gods, nagas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, asuras, Garudas, kinnaras, maharagas, people and non-human beings, they will be presented as teachers-gurus, they will follow, they will make offerings. Even my students-listeners will search, serve, and work hard in versification.
Ananda! Eight hundred years after my great and perfect nirvana, the instructions will be used as a teaching.
Even my students-the listeners - will harm each other, become knowledgeable about the view of the mind in the records, cease to believe the sages and teachers, will remain like those who have no understanding, will have illusions, will themselves talk to lowly beings, will remain as masters of the treasures of stupas and good gatherings, will gather in the palaces of rulers, will destroy.
Ananda! Nine hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana, they will also depart from the essence of the teaching. Even my disciple listeners will be diligent in performing the deeds of the householders. They will rejoice in the land of agricultural activities, they will rejoice in trade, they will immerse themselves completely in desires-passions, giving up servants and servants, they will get food, they will become lazy, they will not guard-they will no longer support the training in the good that is carried out by the Tathagatas.
Ananda! A thousand years after my perfect and complete nirvana, the main teaching will be conversations. Even my students-listeners will enjoy various conversations, will stick to them. Discarding these utterances of the Enlightened One who has transcended the mundane, discard the sutra scriptures, discard the melodious scriptures, discard the texts, discard the verse scriptures, discard the great scriptures, discard the review scriptures, discard the scriptures that proclaim comprehension, discard the scriptures that arise in this way, discard the scriptures of rebirth, discard the vast scriptures, discard the miraculous scriptures, discard the scriptures that explain how to fully establish the teaching. Having dropped them, they will remain in possession of other things. These are royal conversations, thieves ' conversations, arguments, conversations about food, conversations about drink, conversations about friends, conversations about themselves, conversations about special things, conversations about young men, conversations about girls, conversations about cities, conversations about the seas, these and other similar conversations will be a joy for them.
Even the sramaners and brahmins will reject my holy Teachings. This teaching and discipline-vinaya-will be ignored.
All bhikkhus, bhikshuni nuns, upasakas and upasikas will not meditate on the body ,will not meditate on discipline, will not meditate on wisdom, will be zealous in disputes, quarrels, will be zealous in talking about disputes.
And since the good begging bowl and the good dharmic clothing will be adhered to for a hundred years, even discipline will be quickly discarded.
This is an intention directed towards the harmful. Because they are mixed with it, they become harmful, the mind will be unhappy, etc. Therefore, in this way, even the roots of virtue that accumulate over a hundred years will be quickly destroyed.
Ananda! As soon as one thousand and one hundred years have passed since my perfect and complete nirvana, immorality will arise among the monks, and the retinue and servants will become numerous. Those who have discipline will make do with a small entourage-a retinue and a small number of servants.
Then, the venerable Ananda, who had experienced suffering and whose mind had become unhappy, said to the Blessed One:
Blessed One! What is the essence of this Teaching and discipline-vinaya?
The Blessed One said:
Ananda! The four reliance on mindfulness, the four true renunciations, the four foundations of magical powers, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven branches of enlightenment, the eight branches of the path of the noble ones, peace-shamatha, penetrating vision-vipashyana, the three gates of perfect liberation - all this, Ananda, is the heart-essence of this Teaching and discipline-vinaya.
Ananda! Monks who refuse discipline will revile monks with discipline, will criticize them. All of them, when they are freed from their bodies, will go to lowly existences after death and fall. When they fall, they will suffer. All those who have no anger will be born in good places.
The Blessed One said so. All the surrounding bhikkhus, along with Venerable Ananda, along with the universe, including the gods, humans, asuras, Garudas, and Gandharvas, rejoiced and praised what the Blessed One had said.
Thus ends the noble [teaching], the sutra of the great perfect nirvana.
The text was translated and verified by the Indian mentor Kamala-gupta and the translator-proofreader Rinchen Zangpo.