Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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Nicholas
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Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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This large compilation from sutras & shastras was made by Chinese Bhikshu Daoshi in the 7th century. The translation is several volumes from BDK. There are many "miracle stories" in this huge work. They deal with the effects of good and evil karmic activities. Below is the Introduction to one section of such stories:
Evil karmic consequences are momentous, and they easily mislead people’s
minds as they proceed on their paths; the powers of myriad good deeds are
miniscule and it is difficult for them to evoke a response from spiritual reality.
Wicked thoughts occur frequently; we often hear about immoral situations.
The right Dharma is seldom encountered, the teaching declines, and the Way
is lost. For this reason, if we fail to pursue the truth even for one moment,
then we are separated from it for a period of ten thousand world ages; if we
are distanced from it even for one split-second, we are kept apart from it for
a long period of one thousand reigns. Indeed, because those who have faith
in the right Dharma and those who damage it are constantly in competition,
and good and evil people are in conflict with each other, ignorant and deluded
people easily become shallow admirers of the heterodox teachings and those
who follow the pure and correct teaching frequently encounter unjust persecutions.
For this reason, after more than six hundred years have passed
since the Dharma entered China, [Buddhism] has been persecuted three times.
Disasters followed one after another and calamities reached our own times.
The occurrences of such events are signs of cosmic responses and retributions
for our moral conduct.


Volume 1:176
Last edited by Nicholas on Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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Thus, the Prince of Jian’an had a miraculous dream and was cured of his illness.
Miraculous spirits appeared to Wenxuan (Xiao Ziliang, Prince of Jingling)
and his illness was cured. When the king of Wu surrounded a temple, a light
appeared floating above the relic. When a Qi ruler was about to execute punishment
the blade of his sword suddenly broke into pieces. When the ruler of the
Yuwen family (Northern Zhou) persecuted Buddhism boils erupted
on his body. When the Toba ruler (Northern Wei) abolished Buddhist temples
pus flowed from his abscesses. Sun Hao urinated on an image of the Buddha
and his penis ached. Helian (Xia) was wicked and was killed by lightning.

If anyone doubts the truth of retribution, the consequence
is that he will end up in delusion. Therefore, a scripture
says, “If a person performs a good deed, good reward follows;
if he performs an evil deed, an evil retribution follows.” The Book of Changes
says, “A house that heaps good upon good is sure to have an abundance of blessings.
A house that heaps evil upon evil is sure to have an abundance of ills.”

Truly we know that [rewards and] retributions for good and evil deeds
follow like shadows and echoes; pain and pleasure appear one after another.
I have examined over four thousand stories, and selected stories of miraculous
occurrences that I have appended at the end of each chapter.
1:176-7
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Brahma Das
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Re: Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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:bow:

It is important to understand that good and evil are not alike. Bad deeds return in crimes against the body or the mind because other criminals are there to hurt those who do them too, it isn't ever another Benevolent Being that would ever hurt someone, even for a terribly malicious act, because Benevolent Beings, the truly Benevolent, don't return evil for evil. So, what is done is that those who do bad deeds have bad deeds done unto them by those masquerading as someone giving justice, but really is a criminal themselves too, we see this a lot, or someone being openly demonic, to pour salt on the wound of bad karma. So it's always important to pursue good deeds, the Way of the Buddha, and take Refuge in the Three Jewels, and to one day enter into Mahaparinirvana. Om.
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Nicholas
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Re: Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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Part of a long miracle story from the Jin Dynasty:
Layman Shi Shiguang was a man of Xiangyang. In the eighth year of the
Xianghe period (333–334) he died in Wuchang. Seven days later, the monk
Zhi Fashan was reciting the shorter version of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra
when he became tired and laid down for a while. He heard a human voice
in the spirit altar. There was a maidservant in the Shi household, whose name
was Zhangxin. She saw Shiguan sitting on the spirit altar, dressed in exactly
the same way as he had always dressed. Shiguang said to Zhangxin, “I was
originally destined to be reborn in the realm of dragons but Master Zhi recited
a scripture for me, and Tanhu and Tanjian welcomed me to the pleasurable
location of the seventh heaven of the god Brahmā. Tanhu and Tanjian were
both novice monks of Zhi Fashan, and they had passed away.”
Later, Zhi Fashan was again invited to the household to recite the longer
version of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra. Shiguang again came to the spirit
altar. While he was still alive Shiguang had donated two banners, and the
banners were still at the temple. He called out to [the maidservant] Zhangxin
and asked, “Send those banners to me.” As soon as Zhangxin replied “Certainly,”
she immediately [apparently] died. When Zhangxin brought the banners, they
both flew together in the northwestern direction, ascending a dark green
mountain, the color of a vaiḍūrya jewel. When they reached the top they
could see the Gate of Heaven at a distance. Shiguang then held up the banners
himself and let Zhangxin return. He gave her a piece of dark green incense
that looked like a pea, saying “Present this to Master Zhi Fashan.” Before
Zhangxin had completed her return trip she saw from a distance Shiguang
entering the Gate of Heaven. Zhangxin continued on her journey and arrived
back home and suddenly she was revived. She no longer had the incense in
her hand. The banner was still at the temple.
1:177-8
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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The rest of this after-death story:
When Shiguang and Zhangxin had left the house together, a six-year-old
boy in the household pointed his finger and said to his grandmother, “Father
is flying in the sky. Grandma, can you see him?” Later, Shiguang returned
to the house accompanied by more than ten heavenly beings. After roaming
around the house for a while, they departed. Every time he came back he
was wearing a hairpin and a head cover, but when he left his head was bare.
Zhangxin asked him about this, and he answered, “In heaven there is a crown
but I do not wear it here.” Later he appeared wearing the heavenly crown,
accompanied by a group of heavenly beings who were playing drums and
zithers and singing. Quickly he went to his mother. Zhangxin asked him,
“Why do you come so frequently?” Shiguang said, “I come to let you people
learn about moral retribution. I also wish to entertain my mother.”

The sound of the zither was pure and beautiful, entirely unlike worldly
music. Everyone in the household, both young and old, could hear it. However,
their voices seemed muffled as if they were being heard over a wall. People
could not distinguish them. Only Zhangxin could understand their speech
clearly. After a while they left. Zhangxin went to send them off and she saw
Shiguang enter a black gate. After a while he came out and said to her, “My
father-in-law is receiving the punishment of whipping today. It will be
extremely painful and unbearable. I took a glance and came back. He had
been found guilty of the crime of murder. Therefore, he is receiving this retribution.
Tell my sister-in- law that if she gets a monk to recite a scripture
[my father-in-law] will be able to escape this punishment.” The father-in-law
had been the General of Light Chariot. The punishment caused by retribution
then ceased.
1:178-9
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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We cannot judge by appearances, mysteries can be anywhere:
Cengcheng in Dongguan was the place of origin of two women with the
surname Lun, who were the sisters of Shizu. In the ninth year of the Yuanjia
period (432 C.E.), the older sister was ten years old and the younger sister
was nine. Their village was remote and the people there were ignorant; no
one knew the teachings of the scriptures. Suddenly, on the eighth day of the
second month, both sisters disappeared. Three days later they returned and
asserted that they had seen the Buddha. On the fifteenth day of the ninth
month they again disappeared. After ten days they returned, speaking a foreign
language. They recited Buddhist scriptures and other books in Sanskrit. When
they encountered a monk from Central Asia they could communicate freely
with him right away.

On the fifteenth day of the first month of the following year they again
went away. People who were working in the fields said that they saw them
rise up into the sky with a gust of wind. Their parents, fearful, wailed loudly
and offered sacrifices to the gods, asking for good fortune. After a month the
sisters returned. They had shaved their heads and become nuns. They were
clothed in nuns’ robes and held the hair that had been shorn from their heads
in their hands. They told the following story: “We saw the Buddha and some
nuns. They said, ‘Because of your karmic conditions from previous lives,
you will be our disciples.’ The Buddha raised his hand and rubbed the hair
on our heads and the hair then fell off. The Buddha gave us our religious
names. The older one is called Fayuan and the younger Facai. When we were
about to be sent back, the Buddha said, ‘You should build a temple. I will
give you the scriptural teaching.’”

After they returned home the women destroyed the spirit altar and raised
a hut as a temple. During the night they recited the scriptures. Every evening
a five-colored light was seen floating around the mountain peaks, like so
many lamps. The two women said, “From now on our deportment will be
elegant and our use of speech correct. Even the [refined] customs of the
capital city will not be superior to our manners.” The prefect Wei Lang went
to the village and offered his goodwill and material support [to the nuns].
When he heard the people in the village talking about them, he was truly
amazed and marveled at what they said. Because of these events the people
in the village in a valley honored the Buddha’s teaching.
1:180-81
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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This series is available in free PDF format or book form. Here is a link to all four volumes that have been done so far:

https://bdkamerica.org/?s=forest+of+pea ... pe=product
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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These are the subjects in volume one:
Preface to A Forest of Pearls from the Dharma Garden 3
[Topics To Be Discussed] 7

Chapter One. The Measurement of World Ages (Kalpas) 9

Chapter Two. The Three Realms 49
Chapter Two (continued). The Three Realms (continued) 89

Chapter Three. The Sun and Moon 123

Chapter Four. The Six Realms of Rebirth 163
Chapter Four (continued). The Six Realms of Rebirth (continued) 217
Chapter Four (continued). The Six Realms of Rebirth (continued) 273
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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Volume two is devoted to one subject - One Thousand Buddhas.

Volume three covers five subjects:
Chapter Six. Paying Respect to the Buddha 3
Chapter Six (continued). Paying Respect to the Buddha (continued) 37
Chapter Six (continued). Paying Respect to the Buddha (continued) 87
Chapter Six (continued). Paying Respect to the Buddha (continued) 111
Chapter Six (continued). Paying Respect to the Buddha (continued) 145

Chapter Seven. Paying Respect to the Dharma 163
Miracle Stories 185

Chapter Eight. Paying Respect to the Sangha 215

Chapter Nine. Worship (Paying Respect)
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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The entire work has 100 chapters, so these four volumes of 19 chapters are only the beginning.
A Forest of Pearls from the Dharma Garden, Volume IV

Chapter Ten. The Field of Merit 3
Chapter Eleven. Taking Refuge and Believing in [the Three Treasures] 15
Chapter Twelve. Men and Women 31
Chapter Thirteen. Entering the [Buddhist] Way 61
Chapter Fourteen. Can and Kui 97
Chapter Fifteen. Encouragement and Guidance 115
Chapter Sixteen. Speaker and Audience 131
Chapter Sixteen. Speaker and Audience (continued) 143
Chapter Seventeen. Views 183
Chapter Eighteen. Previous Existences 225
Chapter Nineteen. Greatest Sincerity 253
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Forest of Pearls From the Dharma Garden

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From volume two, this gives one reason why the Chinese tradition puts Buddha's lifetime in the 900s bc:
According to the Zhoushu yiji, on the eighth day of the fourth month, in the
twenty-fourth year during the rule of King Zhao of Zhou, the jiaying year in
the sixty-year cycle designation, the water levels in streams, rivers, springs,
and ponds suddenly rose, well water spilled over, and the mountains and rivers
quaked. A ray of five-colored light penetrated the Taiwei constellation, and
on reaching the western end of the sky the color of the light turned blue and
red. Court astronomer Su You said, “A Great Sage has been born in the west.
After a thousand years a foreign teaching will arrive here.” King Zhao immediately
ordered this [prediction] to be carved in stone as a record, and then
had the stone buried in front of the shrine for heaven in the southern suburb.

This occurred at the time of the Buddha’s birth. Marquis Lü, then was the
prime minister, rode eight fast horses traveling in search of the Buddha. He
was provided food by the court.
-----------------------------------------------
At dawn on the fifteenth day of the second month of the fifty-third year,
during the rule of King Mu of Zhou, the renshen year in the sixty-year cycle
designation, violent winds arose, damaging buildings and uprooting trees;
the earth quaked and the sky darkened. To the west twelve rainbows appeared.
The astronomer Hu Duo said, “The Sage in the West has died.”

This was the sign of the Buddha’s entry into nirvana.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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