THE DISCOURSE ON THE TEN WHOLESOME WAYS OF ACTION

 
Because one adorns (this practice) with wisdom one is 
able to cut off wrong views arising from discrimination.

 
THE DISCOURSE ON THE TEN WHOLESOME WAYS OF ACTION

Translated to Chinese by the Tripitakacarya Sikshananda from Khotan    
           during the Tang Dynasty
Translated to English by Saddhaloka Bhikkhu
Key'ed in from hardcopy by TY with permission from publisher
  (Yan Boon Remembrance Commitee in Hong Kong)

Thus have I heard.  At one time, the Buddha stayed in
the palace of the Dragon King of the Ocean together with 
an assembly of eight thousand great Bhikshus and thirty-
two thousand Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas altogether.  At 
that time the World Honored One told the Dragon King
saying:

Because all beings have different consciousness and 
thoughts, they perform too different actions and as a 
consequence there is the turning around in all the different
courses of existence.  Oh Dragon King, do you see the 
variety of shapes and appearances in this meeting and in 
the great ocean, are they not different from one another.

Thus among all of them there is none which is not
made by the mind, whether it is brought about by whole-
some or unwholesome bodily, verbal, and mental actions, 
and yet the mind is formless it cannot be grasped or 
perceived, but it is the unreal accumulation and arising of 
all dharmas which are ultimately without owner, without
I and mine.  Although that which is manifested by each 
(being) according to its actions is not the same, there is
nevertheless really no creator in these (actions).  Therefore
all dharmas are inconceivable and inexpressible, their own
nature is phantom like.  The wise ones knowing this ought 
to cultivate wholesome actions.  Through this the aggregates
sense-bases and elements that will be given rise 
to, will all be upright and those who will see them will not
grow tired of them. 

Oh Dragon King, when you behold the body of the 
Buddha born from a hundred thousand of Kotis of 
merit, with all the marks adorned, the splendor of its
radiance covering the whole of the great assembly, even if
there were immeasurable Kotis of Ishvara and Brahma
devas they all would not come again into appearance.
Those who look with reverence at the Tathagata's body how 
can they but not be dazzled.  You again behold all these
great Bodhisattvas of marvelous appearance, dignified and 
pure.  All this comes into being entirely through the merit 
of cultivating wholesome actions.  Again all the powerful 
ones like the eight classes of devas and dragons, and
suchlike they also come into being because of the 
merits of wholesome actions.

Now all beings in the great ocean are of course and
mean shapes and appearances, they all whether small or
large performed unwholesome bodily, verbal, and mental
actions out of all kinds of thoughts from their own minds.
Thus is that each being receives its own result according
to its action.

You ought to practice and to study constantly in this 
way, and also to bring beings to a thorough understanding
of cause and effect and to the practice of wholesome actions.
In this you must have unshakable right view and you must
not fall again into the views of annihilation and eternity.
As to the fields of merit you rejoice in them, 
respect them and support them because of this you will 
also be respected and supported by men and devas.

Oh Dragon King you must know that Bodhisattva has 
one method which enables him to cut off all sufferings 
of evil destinies.  What kind of methods is this?  It 
is constantly, day and night, to recollect, to reflect 
on and to contemplate on the wholesome dharmas so as to
cause the wholesome dharmas to increase from thought-
moment to thought-moment, without allowing the least
unwholesome thought to mingle in.  This will then enable
you to cut off all evil forever, to bring the wholesome 
dharmas to completion and to be constantly near all the
Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and other holy communities.  Speaking
about wholesome dharmas, the bodies of men and
devas, the Illumination of the Shravakas, the Illumination
of the Pratyekas, and the Highest Illumination, 
they are all accomplished depending on these dharmas
which are to be considered as fundamental.  Therefore they 
are called wholesome dharmas.  These dharmas are the ten 
wholesome ways of actions.  What are these ten?  They are
the ability to give up forever killing, stealing, wrong
conduct, lying, slandering, harsh language, frivolous
speech, lust, hate, and wrong views.

Oh Dragon King, if one gives up taking life hen one
will accomplish ten ways of being free from vexations.
What are the ten?
i.    One give universally to all beings without fear
ii.   One always has a heart of great compassion towards all beings
iii.  All habitual tendencies of hate in oneself will be cut off
      forever
iv.   One's body is always free from illness
v.    One's life is long
vi.   One is constantly protected by non-human beings
vii.  One is always without bad dreams, one sleeps and wakes happily
viii. The entanglement of enmity is eradicated and one is free from 
      all hatred
ix.   One is free from the dread of evil destinies
x.    When one's life comes to an end one will be born as a deva
These are the ten.  If one is one who is able to 
turn-towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will later
at the time one becomes Buddha attain to the ability 
peculiar to the Buddha, to live as long as one wishes.

Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up stealing then
one will attain to ten kinds of dharmas which can protect
one's confidence.  what are the ten?
i.    One's wealth will increase and accumulate and 
      cannot be scattered or destroyed by Kings, 
      robbers, floods, fires, and careless sons.
ii.   One is thought of with fondness by many people.  
iii.  People do not take advantage of one.
iv.   Everywhere one is praised
v.    One is above the worry, that one oneself could be injured.
vi.   One's good name spreads
vii.  One is without fear in public.
viii. One is endowed with wealth, long life, 
      strength, peace, happiness, and skill in speech, 
      without deficiencies
ix.   One always thinks of giving
x.    At the end of one's life, one will be born as a deva
These are the ten.  If one is one who is able to turn towards 
the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will later at
the time one becomes Buddha, attain to the realization of 
the purified great illumination wisdom.

Again the Dragon King, if one gives up wrong conduct 
one will attain to four kinds of dharmas which are praised 
by the wise.  What are the four?
i.   All one's faculties are tuned and adjusted.
ii.  One is free from turmoil and excitement.
iii. One is praised and extolled by the world
iv.  One's wife cannot be encroached upon by anybody
These are the four.  If one is one who is able to turn
towards the Highest Perfect Illumination one will later at the
time one becomes Buddha, attain the mastersign of the 
Buddha, of a concealed organ.

Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up lying then one 
will attain to the eight dharmas which are praised by the 
devas.  What are the eight?
i.    One's mouth is always pure and has the 
      fragrance of a blue lotus flower.
ii.   One is trusted and obeyed by all the world.
iii.  What one says is true and one is loved by men and devas.
iv.   One always comforts beings with loving words.
v.    One attains to excellent bliss of mind and one's 
      actions, speech, and thoughts are pure.
vi.   One's speech is faultless and one's mind is always joyful.
vii.  One's words are respected and are followed by men and
      devas.
viii. One's wisdom is extraordinary and cannot be subdued
These are the eight.  If one is one who is able to turn
towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will later at the
time one becomes Buddha, attain to the true speech of the 
Tathagata.

Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up slandering one 
will then attain to five kinds of incorruptible dharmas.
What are the five?
i.    One attains to an incorruptible body because no 
      harm can be done to one.
ii.   One gets an incorruptible family because no
      one can destroy it.
iii.  One attains to incorruptible confidence because 
      this is in line with one's own actions.
iv.   One attains to an incorruptible spiritual life
      because what one cultivates is firmly grounded.
vi.   One gets incorruptible spiritual friends because
      one does not mislead or delude anybody.
These are the five.  If one is one who is able to
turn-towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will later 
at the time one becomes Buddha, gets a holy retinue which
cannot be corrupted by any Mara or heretic.

Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up harsh language 
then one will attain to the accomplishment of eight kinds
of pure actions.  What are the eight?
i.    One's speech is meaningful and reasonable
ii.   All that one says is profitable.
iii.  One's words are bound to be truthful.
iv.   One's language is beautiful and marvelous.
v.    One's words are accepts (by others).
vi.   One's words are trusted.
vii.  One's words cannot be ridiculed.
viii. All one's words are being loved and enjoyed (by others)
These are the eight.  If one is one who is able to turn towards
the Highest Perfect Illumination, be endowed with the 
perfect characteristic of the Brahma voice of the Tathagata.

Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up frivolous 
speech then one will attain to the accomplishment of the
three certainties.  What are the three?
i.   One is certain to be loved by the wise
ii.  One is certain to be able to answer questions 
     with wisdom and according to reality
iii. One is certain to have the most excellent dignity 
     and virtue among men and devas and one is without falsehood.
These are the three.  If one is one who is able to turn 
towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will later at 
the time one becomes Buddha, attain to the Tathagata's
(ability) to predict everything, none (of the predictions) are 
ever in vain.

Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up lust, then one 
will attain to the accomplishment of the five kinds of
freedom.  What are the five?
i.   Freedom of bodily, verbal, and mental actions 
     because one's six faculties are perfect
ii.  Freedom as regards property because all
     enemies and robbers cannot rob one.
iii. Freedom with regard to merit because whatever
     one wishes one will be provided with.
iv.  Freedom of being in the position of a King, 
     because precious, rare and marvelous things 
     will be reverently offered to one.
v.   The things one will get will surpass in excellency
     by a hundred times that what one is 
     looking for, because in times by-gone one was 
     neither stingy nor envious
These are the five.  If one is one who is able to turn
towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will later at
the time becomes Buddha, be especially revered in all 
three realms all (the beings of the three realms) will
all respectfully make offering to one.

Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up hatred then 
one will attain to eight kinds of dharmas of joy of mind.  
What the eight?
i.    One's mind is free from (the want) to injure and to 
      annoy (others)
ii.   One's mind is free from hatred
iii.  One's mind is free from (the desire) to dispute and to argue
iv.   One's mind is gentle and upright
v.    One has attained to the mind of loving kindness of a saint
vi.   One is of a mind that always acts beneficially giving peace 
      to beings
vii.  One's bodily appearance is dignified and one is respectfully 
      by all
viii. Because one is kind and forbearing, one will be born soon
      in the Brahma World.
These are the eight.  If one is one who is able to turn 
towards to the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will later at
the times one becomes Buddha, attain to the mind of the 
Buddha that is free from obstacles.  People will not become
tired of looking at him.

Again, Oh Dragon King, if one gives up wrong views, one 
will attain to the accomplishment of ten meritorious 
dharmas.  What are the ten?
i.    One attains to genuinely good bliss of mind and 
      one gets genuinely good companions
ii.   One has deep confidence in (the law of) cause and 
      effect and one would rather lose one's life than do evil.
iii.  One takes refuge in the Buddha only and not in 
      devas or others.  
iv.   One is of a straight mind and right views, and
      leaves behind the net of doubts about good and evil 
      fortune.
v.    One will not be born again in an evil course of
      existence but will always be born as a man or deva
vi.   Immeasurable blessings and wisdom will increase
      sublimely from turn to turn
vii.  One will forever leave the wrong path and tread 
      the holy path.
viii. The view of a personality will not arise (in 
      one) and one gives up all evil actions.
ix.   One will abide in unobstructed understanding.
x.    One will not fall into any difficult conditions.
These are the ten.  If one is one who is able to turn
towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will later at
the time one becomes Buddha, realize quickly all Buddha-
dharmas and accomplish the mastery of the higher 
spiritual powers."

At that time the World Honored One further told the 
Dragon King saying:
"If there is a Bodhisattva who is able to give up killing
and harming, and practice giving, follow these wholesome
actions at the time he treads the path, he will therefore
always be rich in wealth, without anybody being able 
to rob him.  he will have a long life and not die 
untimely, and he will not be injured by any robbers or 
enemies.

Because he gives up taking what is not given and practice
giving, he will always be rich in wealth without there
being anybody who can rob him.  He will be most excelling
beyond comparison (in this respect), and will be able
to collect completely all the store of Buddha-dharmas.

 
Because he gives up the impure way of living and
practices giving, he will always be rich in wealth without
anybody being able to rob him.  His family will be virtuous
and obedient.  There will be nobody who can look at his 
mother, wife, and daughter with a lustful mind.

Because he gives up false speech and practices giving, 
he will always be rich in wealth without anybody being 
able to rob him.  Giving up all slandering he takes up the
true Dharma.  That which he does according to his vows
will certainly bear fruit.

Because he gives up speech hat causes dissension and 
practices giving, he will always be rich in wealth without
anybody being able to rob him.  His family will be 
harmonious and they (all the members of the family) have the
same aspirations and joys in common and will never 
unreasonably dispute (with one another).

Because he gives up coarse evil speech and practices
giving, he will always be rich in wealth without anybody
being able to rob him.  At all gatherings people joyfully
accept him as their teacher.  His words will be received with
trust without opposition.

Because he gives up meaningless speech and practices 
giving, he will always be rich in wealth without anybody
being able to rob him.  His words are not spoken in vain,
but are received with respect by all people.  He is able and
skilled in solving doubts and uncertainties.

Because he gives up the greedy mind and practices 
giving, he is always rich in wealth without anybody being
able to rob him.  All he has he gives (to others) with
kindness.  His confidence is firm and his understanding well
grounded.  He is endowed with great authority and strength.

Because he gives up the angry mind and practices
giving he is always rich in wealth without anybody being
able to rob him.  He quickly accomplishes by himself the
wisdom of the mind that is free from obstruction.  All his
faculties are well dignified and all those who see him
respect and love him.

Because he gives up the perverted mind and practices 
giving, he is always rich in wealth without anybody being
able to rob him.  He is always born in family which is
possessed of right views, reverence and confidence.  He sees
the Buddha, hears the dharma and supports the Community 
of Monks.  He never forgets or loses the great Illumination
Mind.

These are the great benefits obtained by a Great Being 
(Mahasattva), who at the time he cultivates the
Bodhisattva path, practices the ten wholesome actions and
adorns them without giving.

Thus, oh Dragon King, I am summarising.  Because one 
adorns the practice of the ten wholesome ways of action 
with morality, the meaning and benefit of all the 
Buddha-dharma can arise and the great vows are brought
to completion.

Because one adorns (the practice of the ten wholesome
ways of actions) which patience, one attains to the 
perfect voice of the Buddha and all the marks will be
lovely.

Because one adorns (this practice) with effort, one is
able to destroy the Mara enemy and enter into the store 
of Buddha-dharmas.

Because one adorns (this practice) with meditation,
therefore mindfulness, wisdom, shame, conscientiousness
and calm will arise.

Because one adorns (this practice) with wisdom one is 
able to cut off wrong views arising from discrimination.

Because one adorns (this practice) with loving kindness
no (thought of) anger or harming will arise in oneself 
towards any being.

Because one adorns (this practice) with compassion,
one will have sympathy towards all beings and will never
get weary of and indifferent to them.

Because one adorns (this practice) with sympathetic joy, 
one's mind when seeing somebody cultivating the good
will be free from envy and jealousy.

Because one adorns (this practice) with serenity, one will
not have a mind that is neither attached to favorable
circumstances or that resents adverse circumstances.

Because one adorns (this practice) with the four ways of 
helping (others), one will always be diligent in helping
and teaching all beings.

Because one adorns (this practice) with the foundations of
mindfulness, one will be able to be skillful in the 
practice of the contemplation of the four foundations of 
mindfulness.

Because one adorns (this practice) with the (four) right
efforts, one will be able to cut off and remove entirely
all unwholesome dharmas.

Because one adorns (this practice) with the (four) roads
to power, one's body and mind will always be calm and at
ease.

Because one adorns (this practice) with the five faculties,
deep confidence will be firmly established, there will be
unremitting effort, one is always free from confusion and
from delusion, one is at peace and well balanced, and all
the defilement will be cut off.

Because one adorns (this practice) with the (five) 
powers, all enmity will be entirely destroyed and one
cannot be harmed.

Because one adorns (this practice) with the (seven)
factors of illumination, one will always well awake to all
dharmas.

Because one adorns (this practice) with the Noble 
(eightfold) Path, one will attain to perfect 
wisdom which will always be present before oneself.

Because one adorns (this practice) with calm meditation, 
one is able to wash away all the bonds and (latent)
tendencies.

Because one adorns (this practice) with insight meditation,
one is able to know the self nature of all dharmas 
according to reality.

Because one adorns (this practice) with the means, one 
will quickly attain to the fulfillment of the conditioned and
unconditioned happiness.

Oh Dragon King, you should know that these ten wholesome
actions can lead up to the completion of the Ten Powers
(of the Tathagata), of the (Four Kinds of) Fearlessness,
of the Eighteen Dharmas that distinguish (the Buddha) and
of all Buddha-dharmas.  You should therefore practice and 
and train with diligence.

Oh Dragon King, it is like the towns and villages, they 
all depend on the great ground where they stand.  All the
herbs, grasses, flowers, trees, and woods also depend on
the ground for their growth.  With these ten wholesome 
ways of actions it is the same.  All men and devas are
established (in their human and deva nature) depending on
them.  The illumination of all the Shravakas, of all the
Pratyekas, the way of the Bodhisattva, all Buddha-dharmas 
they all are attained and come to fruition due to these 
ten wholesome great grounds.  After the Buddha had spoken
this discourse, the Dragon King of the Ocean, together
with the great assembly, all the devas, asuras, and so on,
all rejoiced greatly, received it with confidence
and put it reverently into practice.


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