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Angulimalaya Sutra: The Arising of the Tathagatha

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:17 pm
by sraddha
"Bhadanta Maudgalyāna-putra, do not say thus that the bhadanta venerable Mahā-kāśyapa himself engaged in the real Dharma when the Tathāgata has not arisen ! Why ? Because the Tathāgata abides in the homes of those who abide in the Dharma. For example, all rivers arise from rain, but even in the absence of rain the wise think as follows about those rivers: 'Because it is not possible for this river to flow in the absence of rain here, rain must be falling elsewhere and the water in the river has flowed from there.' Similarly, Maudgalyāna-putra, all excellent Dharma, both mundane and supramundane, flows from the Tathāgata. Hence you should know that even bhadanta Mahā-kāśyapa became a renunciate in the presence of the Tathāgata."
"If there are Tathāgatas continually abiding in the world, why is it that myself and all other beings do not see these emanations ?"
"Bhadanta, the Bhagavat is not universally accessible to knowledge, but is like the rain which falls elsewhere, therefore you should know that even beings in times when there is no Buddha do not become liberated of themselves, but are always definitely liberated in contact with a Buddha. Moreover, bhadanta, if a certain person has seen the sun or moon and then goes inside his house and thinks he does not see by them, then are the sun and moon really invisible ? They are indeed visible, but a stupid person thinks that he does not see by the sun and moon when he has gone indoors. Similarly, bhadanta Maudgalyāna-putra, don't talk like a fool ! The Tathāgata constantly liberates beings, constantly causes beings to become renunciates and to receive full ordination. Therefore, beings are either fixed in perversity or fixed in righteousness -- there is not third type who are indeterminate."
This basically destroys the constant chant of many Buddhists about the "Dharma ending age!" There's no such thing as a "Dharma ending age" in those who practice the Dharma - because the Buddha arises only in the homes of those who practice the Dharma.

This also matches the Nikayas in which only Buddhists who don't have reverence for the Triple Gem are responsible for the Dharma to "end".