Day 18

Day 18 concludes Chapter 13, Encouragement for Keeping this Sutra, and begins Chapter 14, Peaceful Practices.

Having last month learned the second thing the Bodhisattva should approach, we repeat in gāthās.

Thereupon the World-Honored One, wishing to repeat what he had said, sang in gāthās:

A Bodhisattva who wishes
To expound this sūtra without fear
In the evil world
After [my extinction]
Should perform proper practices
And approach proper things.

He should keep away
From kings, princes and ministers,
From other government officials,
From players of dangerous sports,
From caṇḍālas, from heretics,
And from aspirants for the teaching of Brahman.

He should not approach arrogant people,
Or the scholars who are deeply attached
To the Three Stores of the Lesser Vehicle,
Or the bhikṣus
Who violate the precepts,
Or self-appointed Arhats,
Or the bhikṣunīs/
Who like to laugh playfully.

He should not approach the upāsikās
Who are attached to the five desires
Or who seek in their present life
The extinction[-without-remainder].

When they come to him
With good intent
In order to hear
About the enlightenment of the Buddha,
He should expound the Dharma to them
Without fear,
But should not wish to receive
Anything from them.

He should not approach
Or make friends with a widow
Or with an unmarried woman
Or with a eunuch.

He should not approach
Slaughterers or cooks
Or those who kill for profit,
Such as hunters or fishermen.

He should not approach
Or procurers
Of prostitutes.

He should not approach
Dangerous wrestlers
Or makers of various amusements
Or immoral women.

He should not expound the Dharma
To a woman in an enclosed place.
When he expounds the Dharma to her,
He should not laugh playfully.

When he goes to a village to beg for food,
He should take a Bhikṣu with him.
If he cannot find a Bhikṣu [to take with him],
He should think of the Buddha with all his heart.

These are the proper practices he should perform
And the proper things he should approach.
He should expound the Dharma peacefully
Only after doing all this!

See Peaceful Practices of the Mouth