The "Three-C's " of Each Yana and Their Interconnections
Within the Whole System of Buddhism: Part I
Yogi C. M. Chen
Before we begin the discussion, I must explain that the term "Three-C's"
was first used by me in my book Buddhist Meditation Systematic and
Practical. The first "C" is the cause or seed. The second "C" is
the course or practice (the path). And the third "C" is the
consequence or result. They are analogous to the seed, the flower, and
First I will give a general idea of the causal position or the seed.
Here we have the very interesting question of Who is the Master of the
Practitioner? What is the motive which pushed you to begin practice and
what is the real seed of Buddhahood? All three questions have the same
answer. I have written an essay entitled, "The Practitioner's Motivation,"
because there are many people who have not thoroughly understood their
motivation for undertaking Dharma practice. Most are even quite foolish.
They mistakenly take the "I" or ego as Master of their practice.
Such people are not able to get the Dharma fruit, no matter how diligently
The fundamental motive can never be the "I." In Buddhism,
the "I" should be destroyed. It is the eighth consciousness,
which has been elevated to this position by the deluded clinging of the
seventh-consciousness. Both the seventh and eighth- consciousness are
traps within transmigration. One can rightly accuse them of being the
Masters of Transmigration but definitely not the Masters of Full-Enlightenment.
Especially for Buddhists, the "I" must be destroyed by the
Buddhist Dharma, by meditation, and by the Wisdom of Sunyata. But most
persons, even including scholars, Rimpoches, and tulkus have not yet
gotten rid of the "I." Even these reputed experts mistake it
for the initial motive of practice. It is quite a fundamental error,
so do not mistake the "I" to be the seed of practice in any
of the three vehicles of Buddhism.
This mistake in the consciousness belongs to the category of basic ignorance
tormenting all sentient beings. It is sometimes called one branch of
12-fold causation. The first mistake thus is ignorance, clinging to the
belief of a subjective experiencer and objective world, and the related
second mistake is inner action. This inner action is not the common motions
of feet or hands, but is the activity of the thought process. This means
the thinking and conceptualizing mentality. So because of this ignorance,
the further eleven causations form the entire transmigration. None of
the 12-fold causations can be the motive for study of the Dharma since
they all have their roots in basic ignorance.
The third mistake is the Sunyata. Scholars like to say that we are non-ego,
thus they conclude that the motive of practice is the Sunyata. But they
are just talkers and have no actual experience. They mistake the fruit
for the seed. But Sunyata, by its very nature, can never be the seed
or motive. By trying to plant Sunyata as the seed of practice, the majority
of scholars have cut themselves off from the living Buddha-dharma. Please
remember that Sunyata is the consequence and can never be fully experienced
without extensive meditation practice. In living Buddhism, Sunyata is
never regarded as the first motive, or as Master of the practitioner.
Well, could it be that the Master of the practitioner is the mind? Since
everything comes from the mind, and the mind is the Chief, then if we
are mindful, we can practice the Dharma. This is reasonable and true,
but mindfulness still needs somebody to practice it. Mind has several
meanings. Physically it is the heart, psychically it is the mind. Others
say it is the consciousness. Mind is really not so definite and precise,
it cannot be regarded as the initial motive of practice. So we have not
yet reached the beginning point. One can rise or fall by the mind, so
what is the underlying motive which guides mind to pursue the mindfulness
There is the ninth consciousness or Tathagata Womb Consciousness which
represents that all sentient beings innately possess Buddha-Nature. This
Buddha-Nature must be developed into Full Enlightenment, then Buddhahood
can be realized. Otherwise, it just remains dormant or undiscovered.
But our Tathagata Womb Consciousness is not the underlying motive of
the practitioner, for one still must have a motive to discover his potentiality
Next, one might think that the Bodhicitta is the motive of the practitioner.
The Vairocana Tantra says, "Bodhicitta is the seed, the Great Compassion
is the root, and Skillful Means is the ultimate result." But who
practices the Bodhicitta? The Bodhicitta cannot practice itself. There
must be some master or beginning point behind the Bodhicitta. To develop
the Bodhicitta is a practice. To know that the Bodhicitta is the seed
of Full Enlightenment is very important. But who is it that recognizes
this fact? And who is it that guides the practice of Bodhicitta? So we
can see that the Bodhicitta is not the primary master.
Some mistake the Great Compassion for the initial motive. They say that
the Buddha has Great Compassion and good mind. So one must do likewise
and then can get Buddhahood. But actually the Great Compassion is a Consequence,
and cannot be regarded as a Cause. We must still look for the seed that
would cause one to develop the Great Compassion.
If all the above things have failed to meet the requirements to be the
first Cause, motive or master of the practitioner, what is left?
The Right View is the cause. The Right View is the master of the practitioner,
the initial motive of the practitioner, and the first seed of the practitioner.
Previously we said that "I" was not the cause because it must
be destroyed. But then why should the cause be the Right View? It is
because the Right View is not produced by the "I," but rather
is produced from the Dharma, what you have heard of the Buddha's teachings.Right
View comes from the Buddha's wisdom, from Buddha's Full Enlightenment.
You learn the Right View from Buddha's philosophy and this certainly
is not the "I."
The "I" is the subject of ignorance and the ignorancesystem
is based on the "I." Transmigration is the transmigration of
the "I." So when we have the Right View we can recognize that
the "I" is the master of transmigration, whereas the Right
View is the master of the practitioner.
The practitioner learns the Right View by hearing, reading and thinking
about the Buddhist teachings. This is called the Buddhist Right View.
It is different from the ignorance system. It is not human thought, nor
heavenly thought, nor Divine Revelation from God, nor a source from the
Bible, nor from the Bhagavad Gita. Rather it is a source from the fully
awakened Mind of Buddha which sees things as they really are. It is the
subject which destroys the object which is the "I." The "I" becomes
the object destroyed by the Right View. Our Right View is the real master
which can destroy the system of ignorance.
Sunyata is not the first cause, but the person who has the Right View
knows about the Sunyata quite well. The Right View must include the theoretical
basis of Sunyata but this must not be mistaken for the actual realization.
The Right View firmly guides one to practice the Sunyata. One sees that
Buddhist philosophy lays most stress on Sunyata and practices it thoroughly
to get the true realization. This is the Right View which is quite different
from the premature Sunyata preached by those aforementioned scholars.
Consciousness is not the master of the practitioner. The Right View
comes from the tradition of Buddhism, not from human consciousness. To
produce Buddha's Wisdom, many, many methods and stages are given. The
Buddha taught how to transmute all eight consciousnesses into the five
wisdoms of Buddhahood. The first five consciousnesses are transformed
into the Wisdom of Achievement. The sixth consciousness is transformed
into the Wisdom of Discrimination. The seventh consciousness is transformed
into the Wisdom of Equality. The eighth consciousness is transformed
into the Great Mirror Wisdom. Finally the ninth consciousness (Tathagata-womb
consciousness) is transformed into the Wisdom of Buddhahood (Wisdom of
The Right View guides one to transform all the consciousnesses into
Wisdom, but it is not itself consciousness. By studying the Dharma one
gets some theoretical wisdom. Along with all the principles of Buddhism
this knowledge produces the Right View. The Right View is just like a
little outline of Wisdom and is so important. From the study of the entire
system of Buddhism, the Right View is produced, and it then guides one's
actions to transform consciousness into Buddha's wisdom. The Right View
is like a catalyst without which the transformation cannot take place.
Again, the mind is not the first cause. The Right View distinguishes
what kind of mind is adequate for practice. It recognizes the mind of
mindfulness, the disturbed mind, etc. If you have the Right View then
you can say, "Oh, this is the disturbed mind," "This is
the mind of Truth," or "This is the seventh consciousness which
holds the eighth consciousness." The mind is very complex. Without
the Right View one cannot distinguish if the mind is the physical heart
or the psychological thoughts, or if the mind is just equal to the Truth
or to the Tathagata or to wisdom. Thus the Right View is essential for
diagnosing the condition of the mind, and for guiding it towards liberation.
Without the Right View, the mind is like an airplane without a pilot.
So impress upon your mind that Right View is the essential ingredient
in our practice of the Buddha Dharma.
Within the Right View one recognizes that the Tathagatawomb is the innate
characteristic of all sentient beings. By using his Right View the practitioner
is able to search out and discover the Tathagata-womb but the Tathagata-womb
is like the "eye" which cannot see itself. Therefore it is
helpless without the "vision" of Right View.
Likewise, as mind is not the motive of practice, the Bodhicitta is not
either. The Right View drives one to become a Bodhisattva by practicing
the Bodhicitta. Without light View there would be no impetus to develop
the Bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is like a blind man who cannot find his way
without the "guide dog" of Right View.
As for the Great Compassion, it cannot be the first motive to practice
because it belongs to the position of Consequence. However, the Right
View does recognize that one who becomes Buddha has to practice the Great
Compassion. Great Compassion is guided by the Right View, but not vice-versa.
Because one has read many biographies of the Bodhisattvas and found many
good examples of the Great Compassion, he knows if he has Right View
that he must also develop it.
One should recognize that the Right View is the seed of all seeds, and
is the fundamental ingredient in cultivating Buddhahood. Each yana, Hinayana,
Mahayana, and Vajrayana has its own particular Right View. The Right
View is divided into two parts. First is the Right View of Causation
or of Cosmos. There are four kinds of Causation, one for the Hinayana,
two for the Mahayana, and a fourth for the Vajrayana. They will be explained
below. One must learn how the world was formed, how to change it, and
how it can eventually become the Buddha's Mandala. The second part is
the Right View of Life Value. From this we learn of the value of life
and see how we should spend it all practicing Buddhism.
Now that we have talked about the cause of all causation, we will next
talk about the general ideas of each of the three"C's".
Buddha taught three aspects of knowledge. The first is obtained through
hearing, which includes reading, because to read the Sutras is just like
hearing the words of the Buddha. The second is obtained through thinking.
This means reflecting on what has been read or heard. The third is obtained
through practicing what we have learned. Among these three, the first
two belong to the Causal position, while the third or practice belongs
to the Course or Path. These three types of knowledge also prove that
the Right View is the master of the practitioner.
Buddha taught the Eight Conditions for the Full Enlightenment, the Arya-Marga.
First is the Right View (Samyak Drsti) which is the Right View with regard
to the four noble truths and freedom from the common thoughts of delusion.
Second is Right Thoughts (Samyak-Samkalpa). The third is Right Speech
(Samyak-Vac). This means to avoid all false and idle talk. From the Right
View one develops the right philosophy or central thought. From the central
thought you think of things relating to Dharma. This is Right Thinking.
From Right Thinking one is able to develop Right Speech and talk about
Fourth is Right Karma (Samyak-Karmanta), correct conduct or deeds, getting
rid of all improper actions. When you keep the Right View, all your Karmas
will be without impurity.
The fifth is Right livelihood (Samyak-ajiva). One avoids the five immoral
occupations. One would not be a killer of animals, a gambler, a soldier,
or a drug peddler or a communist, who rejects and destroys every religion.
The sixth is called Right Diligence (samyak-Vyayama). One's energy should
be directed towards the attainment of Nirvana. Many people waste vast
amounts of energy earning money or a reputation for themselves. But when
your effort is accompanied by Right View, such things are of secondary
The seventh is Right Memory (Samyak-Smrti). It includes the true and
eliminates the false.
The eighth is Right Samadhi (Samyak-Samadhi). This is correct meditation
where all absorption is under the guidance of Right View. One must never
think that absorption itself is a good thing. It must be properly oriented.
The Tantra gives four steps. The first is Right View; the second is
Practice or Training; the third is Conduct or Deeds; the fourth is Result.
The third of conduct corresponds to the course and the result corresponds
to the consequence position. Of these four, Right View comes first. This
gives further proof of the correctness of choosing the Right View as
the seed of all causes within the "Three-C'x".
In Confucianism they have Five Steps. Confucius said sincerity is the
way of the Tao. Study it wisely, inquire into it searchingly, reflect
upon it carefully, discriminate about it accurately, and practice it
wisely. Among these five, the first four belong to the Causal position
and all of them form the Right View. The last belongs to the position
Generally, a person follows his habitual Karmic patterns. Whatever has
been accumulated in his eighth consciousness is reflected in his present
behavior. Therefore, a gentlemanly person has sown many gentlemanly seeds
in the past, while a cruel person has sown many cruel seeds. One is born
in a certain time, place, and family which are compatible with his habitual
Karma. The habitual Karmic patterns are very difficult to change by social
education, school education, or family education. They mostly reinforce
habitual Karma rather than unwind it.
Astrologers can quite accurately predict the course of events in one's
life since few people aspire to destroy the habitual Karmic activity.
But Buddhism does not cater to fatalism. It emphasizes that one can put
an end to all the confusion, thus becoming Buddha in this lifetime. But
one must follow some teaching from outside his habitual consciousness.
If the motive comes from his own Karmically conditioned consciousness
certainly he will not gain liberation. The teaching that comes from "outside" the
habitual consciousness is the Right View. So be discriminating, do not
merely follow your habitual patterns as a guide. Develop the Right View.
There is less time than you think.
Buddha discovered the Right View and left many teachings for us, so
why not study them thoroughly? This philosophy which you create by studying
the texts of Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, and by associating with
good teachers is "outside" your habitual Karma. It is indispensable
for all Buddhist practitioners. It cannot be emphasized enough that the
Right View is the essential motive of practice.
1. The Three-C of Each Yana
Each yana has its own Right View. This does not mean that there are
three separate Right Views. But one which becomes more mature as the
practitioner progresses through the three yanas. It is like going from
High School to College to Graduate School. If the Hinayana was the complete
Right View then there would be no need for the Mahayana and Tantra. Now
I would like to discuss the three "C" of each yana.
A. The Cause of the Hinayana
For the first "C" of Elinayana one must know what the Sutras
say, especially the doctrine of the Four Noble Truths. These Four Noble
Truths are the Right View of the Hinayana. They are Buddha personal
There are also the Four Agamas. The Agamas are collections of the four
divisions of Hinayana Scripture. The first Agama is called Dirghagama.
It is cosmological and consists of long treatises as to how the world
came to be formed. The second is called the Madhyamagama. It contains
metaphysical treatises. The third, the Samyuktagama is a collection of
miscellaneous treatises. Lastly, there is the Ekottarikagama. It contains
descriptions of several types of subjects. Buddha first taught the Hinayana
in the Deer Garden. This is called Early Buddhism, the source of Buddhism
for the Hinayana. The Buddha also gave personal instructions in the form
of four line stanzas (Gathas). After the Parinirvana, they were collected
by his disciples in a text called the Dharmapada (Dhammapada). However,
the text is not arranged according to the practical sequence but rather
according to literary consideration. I have arranged it into a practical
sequence as follows: 1. Impermanence 2. Renunciation 3. Vinaya (commandments)
4. Bodhicitta 5. The Great Compassion 6. Concentration Meditation 7.
Wisdom 8. Buddhahood. I feel that this is a little better than the old
classification because it lays more stress on the practice. It has been
published in the form of two small booklets. (Chenian Booklets New Nos.
64 and 65.)
The Fundamental idea of the Hinayana follows the Four Noble Truths.
The first is pain, the second is the cause of pain, the third tells the
possibility of the end of pain, and the fourth tells the way thereto.
Reading all of these you might have the Right View of Hinayana. Hinayana
Right View has nothing to do with whether you wear a Yellow Robe or you
come from Ceylon, as some people think, nor does it have to do with a
shaved head, or begging food or bare feet. When one is aware of the pain
of Transmigration there is the Right View to practice Hinayana.
It is very sad that most American Buddhists are not aware of the pain
of Transmigration. America is just like a small heaven. Everything is
easy, everything is comfortable, life is easy, people have plenty to
eat. When they die they are laid to rest in some large and beautiful
cemetery. Most Americans have never even seen a corpse. Under such luxurious
conditions it is very difficult for them to see that this dream life
is impermanent and painful. Without deeply feeling the impermanence of
life one is apt to fritter away this time. This is certainly the case
for most Americans who utilize their free time only for more and more
clever and varied entertainments, until most are so bored with these
cheap pastimes that they are not even aware of impermanence. But Yama,
the God of Death, makes no exceptions and very soon you and your entire
family and everything you thought was reality will be gone. I hope that
you have lived your life fully and meaningfully, but unless you grasp
the impermanence of this life, you are only cheating yourself.
No matter how many fine comforts you give to your loved ones, it does
them no good. You are only creating more pain and delusions for them,
It is like pouring salt into an open wound. They have enough of these
false comforts. So if you really love your family, give them what they
need. Set an example for them by learning the Right View, and then practicing
When a person passes the limit of physical pain, he loses consciousness
and is no longer aware of the pain until he reawakens. Americans have
no physical pain, but I am sorry to say that their spiritual pain is
so intense that most are unconscious of the fact. Most Americans have
no intense desire to practice. They just want to remove a little tension
from their body-mind so that they feel more relaxed and have good health.
Their realization is only superficial to the extent that some regard
the supernatural powers of the sages, for example Padmasambhava transmuting
his entire flesh body into light, as mere fantasy or mythology. But when
the tension is gone they immediately return to the same place to get
more tension again.
So do whatever you can to reawaken yourself and others to the fundamental
impermanence of existence. If you really want to lead a full life you
must realize Full Enlightenment.
Buddha chose India as the place to propagate the Dharma because the
people there are aware of the pain and impermanence of life. Usually
in India people are very lazy. As soon as a man earns enough money to
eat for the day, he may stop working. Since everything is impermanent,
he would rather have more free time than more money. That was why Buddha
also taught diligence.
To propagate the Dharma in America one must first emphasize the pain
of transmigration and then the students will create time for themselves
to practice the Dharma. Then they can get the real Bliss Void, instead
of the temporary pleasure of drinking wine and of sexual intercourse.
This is the cause of the Hinayana by which one gets the motivation to
practice. By reading the Four Agamas one can learn how the Universe was
formed, how private Karma is suffered, and what is the cause of birth
in the six realms. This will produce the Right View of impermanence and
all activity of nonsense will be eliminated from our lives.
B. The Course of the Hinayana
The course of Hinayana can be learned from Buddha own example. It is
written in his biographies. Most practices are summarized under the term
of the Thirty-Seven Bodhis.
To grow up, a Bodhi Tree must have many roots, leaves, branches and
fruits. The course of the Bodhi has been explained in terms of thirty-seven
factors. We have already talked about the Eight Branches of the Right
Path. Here we may mention the rest of the thirty-seven.
Of these thirty-seven factors (Bodhipaksika-dharma) there are first
the Four Stages of Memory or Subjective Reflection (Smrityupasthana),
then the Four Proper Lines of Exertion (Samyakprahana), the Four Steps
towards Supernatural Powers (Siddhipada), the Five Spiritual Faculties
(Pancaindryani), the Five Powers (Panca-balani), the Seven Degrees of
Enlightenment (Sapta-bodhyanga) or diligence, and the Eight-fold Right
Path (Asta-Marga) which has already been explained.
Altogether they add up to thirty-seven and all are necessary. They all
belong to the Course of Hinayana and we have to practice each of them.
They were taught personally by the Buddha during his lifetime and it
is said that five hundred disciples became Arhats.
There are two kinds of Buddhas. In a world there is only one completely
perfect Buddha. At the very beginning everything is very difficult so
there must be a perfect Buddha to teach the Hinayana. Such a Buddha has
not only practiced and achieved the personal attainment of Buddhahood,
but also has enough merit to connect with the six kinds of sentient beings
and cause them to have faith in him. He is also so perfect that he can
personally find and give out all the doctrine correctly.
Another kind of Buddha is one who at any time personally follows all
the doctrine of Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana and can get Full Enlightenment
for himself and for some others. Such a Buddha is His Holiness the Karmapa,
who accomplished the Full Enlightenment through Tantric practice of Sambara.
His crown was made from the hairs of one hundred thousand Dakinis, one
hair from each. Although he himself has attained Buddhahood, he could
not yet lead a whole period of sentient beings to practice through the
Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana. This is called Buddhahood of private
consequence. (It is not the same as Pratyeka-Buddhahood which pertains
to Hinayana only.)
Those practicing the thirty-seven Bodhis need to be led by a Perfect
Buddha such as Gautama himself. Through his guidance a good foundation
may be established on which the practice of the Mahayana and Vajrayana
may be based. This concludes the explanation of the course of practice
of the Hinayana. There is not enough time now to explain each Bodhi in
C. The Consequence of the Hinayana
Next is described the third "C" of the Hinayana, the Consequence
of Arhatship. There are four degrees. The first is the Srottapanna. He
is just entering the stream of the Dharma and has already left the state
of a human being. Through the practice of renunciation he has freed himself
from the complex delusions of the three realms of haveness. But this
is only a beginning, it is not yet the highest stage.
The second degree is that of the Sakridagamin which means once-more-to-come.
One who attains this Consequence has cut off all the gross or rough delusions
of the self, but there still remains subtle delusions which force him
to return once more to the habit of desire, the human state. Therefore
it is called the stage of once-more-to-come.
The third degree is the Anagamin, or one who will never return. Because
he has cut off all the delusions of self he will not come again, but
still must be reborn in a heaven of form or of non-form.
Fourth, the highest degree is the Arhat. Arhat means "one who has
killed all the thieves." That is, the inner thieves or foes. All
inner thoughts or delusions have been killed. When he has killed all
these inner thieves, he is worthy of heaven's and men's offerings, which
is another meaning of Arhat. The Arhat enters into his own Hinayana Nirvana.
This is called non-born.
These four degrees of Arhat are the result of consequence of the thirty-seven
Bodhis. The Arhat has cut off the painful transmigration but has not
great Bodhicitta to save others, and so remains in that Hinayana Nirvana.
He must be saved by the Buddha himself calling his name and awakening
him by saying, "This kind of Mrvana is not complete. Even though
you can abide there for an endless time, it is not the real Buddhahood.
So you must develop the Bodhicitta and learn the Mahayana."
But if you learn Hinayana in Ceylon and never hear about the Mahayana,
or if you have some false view that the Mahayana may not be the Buddha's
teachings, then the highest Consequence you can get is just these four
degrees of Arhat. So in order to practice the whole system of Buddhism,
do not take these four degrees as the final Consequence. This will be
further explained below in the talk on the whole system of the three "C's".
When Buddha Gautama began to establish Buddhism, he knew that each person
had to lay the foundation of Hinayana. Those who practice Hinayana follow
the Buddha's personal teachings. They purify themselves and destroy their
personal ego. To get rid of all the sorrows they have to practice renunciation
and meditation on the Sunyata of personality. At that early time, Buddha
laid most stress on this self-development through purification and defeating
the sorrows by meditating on the non-ego of personality.
But that does not mean that Buddha stopped there. As mentioned earlier
above, I classified the Dharmapada, the personal teaching of Buddha,
into eight parts. Among these are two steps of Bodhicitta and Great Compassion.
These two belong to the Mahayana. I could not find even a few stanzas
about Great Compassion (and Bodhicitta) in the Dharmapada, so I had to
select them from another Buddhist Sutra that is not part of the Dharmapada.
From this we can see that Buddha laid most stress on each of his disciples
becoming purified through the Hinayana doctrine. In order to develop
great Bodhicitta and save others one must first purify one own self.
Buddha taught some of his doctrine by means of his own personality of
Nirmanakaya. He also appeared as the great Sambara, the Vajra Heruka,
to show the Yidam of Tantra and to impart the Tantric doctrine to a certain
few persons such as the Emperor, named Anzar-bodhi. During his whole
lifetime he only imparted the Tantra to this one person. On the other
hand he foretold that some Bodhisattvas would talk more deeply and explain
the more profound doctrines. So he did not teach more Mahayana himself,
but rather foretold that the great Bodhisattva Nagarjuna would teach
it and that Padmasambhava and the great Lama Gampopa would teach the
Development does not mean that everything must be taught by Buddha himself,
since Buddha is not a human pudgala. Pudgala is a Sanskrit term and means
a certain person or personality. Buddha has three kayas, the Nirmanakaya,
the Sambhogakaya, and the Dharmakaya. Dharmakaya means that even a stone
can teach you. A spider can teach patience. A bee can teach you diligence.
An ant can teach you boldness. Even grass can teach you. All these kinds
of teachings belong to the Dharmakaya. Many inspired Ch'an monks have
comprehended through such teachings. When one saw his own reflection
in water he comprehended. When one saw the peach flower he comprehended.
When one heard some sound from a rock hitting a bamboo he comprehended.
These are examples of the Dharmakaya teaching.
Nagarjuna is an old Buddha, even before Buddha Gautama. He was born
in this world and taught many Mahayana Sutras. Some from his own remembrance,
others he got from the Dragon Palace. These Sutras were personally taught
by Buddha in the Dragon Palace.
According to scientific investigation which looks only at documents,
the Mahayana was not taught by Buddha. Most of the Hinayana Scriptures
are in the Pali language, and Buddhaheaven's original language was Pali.
Most of the Hinayana Tripitaka has been translated by the Pali Text Society
of London. The Mahayana Sutras are mostly in Sanskrit and the Tantra
is also in Sanskrit. This has caused some followers of the Hinayana to
say that the Mahayana is not the Buddha's teaching. This is quite a mistake.
Why did Buddha teach Hinayana so much more than Mahayana during his lifetime?
Because he saw that most of the believers at that time were Hinayana
instruments. They were not able to understand the Mahayana doctrine.
When he was preaching the Dharma Flower Sutra, Buddha wanted to explain
how even in evil things the Sunyata nature can be found. Five hundred
Arhats foreknew this and left their seats saying, "Now Buddha is
going to talk about evil things." Actually, Buddha wanted to talk
about the Mahayana.
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