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122 Noble [teaching]. The Sutra of Great Perfect Nirvana

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Noble [teaching]. The Sutra of Great Perfect Nirvana


    I praise all the Enlightened Ones and bodhisattvas!
      This is what I heard once.
      The Blessed One was staying with a great blessed assembly of monks numbering 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! One hundred years from now by my perfect and complete nirvana - teachers in the Teaching will appear as teachings. Even my student-hearers will possess joy in the Arama Park of the Teaching. Will possess mastery in understanding, will possess the nature of true wisdom.
      Ananda! Also at this time a ruler named Ashoka will possess might in ruling Jambudvipa. Then a vast stupa with relics of bodily remains will be erected [after] my extensive and complete nirvana.
      Ananda! Two hundred years after my extensive and complete nirvana as a teaching will be mainly complete liberation. Also the disciple-hearers will also become proficient in clarifying and comprehending what was clarified under me.
      Ananda! Three hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana, the teachings will be mainly practiced.
      Even my student listeners will have vision and direct comprehension through the body as complete liberation based on the two aspects.      Will become fully liberated through wisdom.
      Ananda! Four hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana - as teachings will exercise mainly complete seclusion. Even my disciple-hearers will rejoice in true inward immersion.
      Ananda! Five hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana - as teachings will become guru teachers in the Teaching. Even my student-hearers will rejoice in adhibharma in the garden of the Arama of the Teaching.
      Ananda! Six hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana - as teachings will rejoice in abhidharma, recitation and recitation. Even my student-hearers will exercise diligence.
      Ananda! Seven hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana - as teachings will mainly [perform] offerings.Will serve as teachings to gods, nagas, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, maharagas, humans and non-humans, will present as guru teachers, will follow, will make offerings. Even my disciple-hearers will seek, will serve, will be diligent in versification.
      Ananda! Eight hundred years after my great and perfect nirvana - as teachings will use instructions. 
      Even my disciple-hearers - will bring harm to one another, will become knowledgeable with regard to the view of the mind in the records, will cease to believe in sages and teachers, will abide like those who have no understanding, will possess illusions, will themselves converse with lowly beings, will abide as masters of the treasures of stupas and felicitous assemblies, gathered in the palaces of rulers, will become destructive.
      Ananda! Nine hundred years after my perfect and complete nirvana will also depart from the essence of the teachings. Even my disciple-hearers will be zealous in performing the deeds that householders perform.They will rejoice in the edges of the acts of farming, they will rejoice in trade, they will immerse themselves wholly in desire-passion, renouncing servants and acolytes, they will extract sustenance, they will become lazy, they will no longer guard-support the training in the auspicious that is performed by the Tathagatas.
      Ananda! A thousand years after my perfect and complete nirvana, talk will chiefly be revealed as teaching. Even my disciple-hearers will rejoice in various talks, will become adherents of them. Having discarded these sayings of the Enlightened One who has surpassed worldly things, they will discard sutra scriptures, discard melodious scriptures, scriptures set forth in texts, poetic scriptures, scriptures about great things, review scriptures, scriptures that proclaim realization, scriptures that arise thus, scriptures about rebirths, vast scriptures, miraculous scriptures, scriptures that explain how to fully establish the teaching. Discarded will abide, possessing other things. These are kingly talk, talk of thieves, disputes, talk of food, talk of drink, talk of friends, talk of self, talk of special things, talk of young men, talk of girls, talk of cities, talk of seas, these and other such talks will be a joy to them.
      Even the Shramaneras and Brahmins will renounce my holy Teachings. These Teachings and the discipline-vinaya-will be ignored.
      All bhikshu monks, bhikshuni nuns, upasaka and upasikas - will not meditate on the body [of the Teachings], will not meditate on discipline, will not meditate on wisdom, will become zealous in disputes, strife, zealous in talking about disputations.
      And because for a hundred years they will adhere to the good alms bowl and the good dharmic garment, even discipline will be quickly discarded.
      This is the intention of aspiring to the detrimental. Since mixed with it - become detrimental, the mind will be unhappy, etc. Therefore, in like manner, 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 have a small entourage of 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 in this Teaching and discipline-vinaya?
      The Blessed One said:
      Ananda! The four reliance on remembrances, 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, appeasement-shamatha, penetrating vision-vipashyana, the three gates of perfect liberation-all these, Ananda, are the heart-essence of this Teaching and discipline-vinaya.
      Ananda! Monks that give up discipline will revile monks with discipline, will criticize. All of them, when freed from their bodies, will, after death, go to lowly existences and fall. Having fallen, they will become sufferers. All those who will be devoid of anger will be born in blessed realms.
      The Blessed One said thus. All the surrounding bhikshu monks-along with the venerable Ananda, along with the universe, including gods, humans, asuras, garudas, and gandharvas-rejoiced and praised what the Blessed One had said.
      Thus concludes the noble [teaching], the sutra of the great sowershnaya nirvana.
      The text was translated and proofread by the Indian preceptor Kamala-gupta and the translator-corrector Rinchen Zangpo.

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