Day 6 continues Chapter 3, A Parable
Having last month heard Śākyamuni explain the Śrāvaka, Pratyekabuddha and Bodhisattva carts, we hear why the rich man gave each child the large cart.
“Śāriputra! Seeing that all his children had come out of the burning house safely and reached a carefree place, the rich man remembered that he had immeasurable wealth. So without partiality, he gave them each a large cart. I am also a father, the father of all living beings. Seeing that many hundreds of thousands of millions of living beings have come out of the painful, fearful and rough road of the triple world through the gate of the teachings of the Buddha, and obtained the pleasure of Nirvāṇa, I thought, ‘I have the store of the Dharma in which the immeasurable wisdom, powers and fearlessness of the Buddhas are housed. These living beings are all my children. I will give them the Great Vehicle. I will not cause them to attain extinction by their own ways. I will cause them to attain the extinction of the Tathāgata.’
“To those who have left the triple world, I will give the dhyāna concentrations and emancipations of the Buddhas for their pleasure. These things are of the same nature and of the same species. These things are extolled by the saints• because these things bring the purest and most wonderful pleasure.
“Śāriputra! The rich man persuaded his children to come out at first by promising them the gifts of the three kinds of carts. But the carts which he gave them later were the largest and most comfortable carts adorned with treasures. In spite of this, the rich man was not accused of falsehood. Neither am I. I led all living beings at first with the teaching of the Three Vehicles. Now I will save them by the Great Vehicle only. Why is that? It is because, if I had given them the teaching of the Great Vehicle at first directly from my store of the Dharma in which my immeasurable wisdom, powers and fearlessness are housed, they would not have received all of the Dharma. Śāriputra! Therefore, know this! The Buddhas divide the One Buddha-Vehicle into three by their power to employ expedients.”