佛說父母恩重難報經

 

姚秦三藏法師鳩摩羅什奉 詔譯

 

如是我聞,一時佛在舍衛國衹樹給孤獨園,與大比丘二千五百人,菩薩摩訶薩三萬八千人俱。

 

爾時,世尊引領大眾,直往南行,忽見路邊聚骨一堆。爾時,如來向彼枯骨,五體投地,恭敬禮拜。

 

阿難合掌白言:『世尊!如來是三界大師,四生慈父,眾人歸敬,以何因緣,禮拜枯骨?』

 

佛告阿難:『汝等雖是吾上首弟子,出家日久,知事未廣。此一堆枯骨,或是我前世祖先,多生父母。以是因緣,我今禮拜。』

 

佛告阿難:『汝今將此一堆枯骨分做二分,若是男骨,色白且重;若是女骨,色黑且輕。』

 

阿難白言:『世尊,男人在世,衫帶鞋帽,裝束嚴好,一望知為男子之身。女人在世,多塗脂粉,或薰蘭麝,如是裝飾,即得知是女流之身。而今死後,白骨一般,教弟子等,如何認得。』

 

佛告阿難:『若是男子,在世之時,入於伽藍,聽講經律,禮拜三寶,念佛名號;所以其骨,色白且重。世間女人,短於智力,易溺於情,生男育女,認為天職;每生一孩,賴乳養命,乳由血變,每孩飲母八斛四斗甚多白乳,所以憔悴,骨現黑色,其量亦輕。』

 

阿難聞語,痛割於心,垂淚悲泣,白言:『世尊!母之恩德,云何報答?』

 

佛告阿難:『汝今諦聽,我當為汝,分別解說:母胎懷子,凡經十月,甚為辛苦。在母胎時,第一月中,如草上珠,朝不保暮,晨聚將來,午消散去。母懷胎時,第二月中,恰如凝酥。母懷胎時,第三月中,猶如凝血。母懷胎時,第四月中,稍作人形。母懷胎時,第五月中,兒在母腹,生有五胞。何者為五?頭為一胞,兩肘兩膝,各為一胞,共成五胞。母懷胎時,第六月中,兒在母腹,六精齊開,何者為六?眼為一精,耳為二精,鼻為三精,口為四精,舌為五精,意為六精。母懷胎時,第七月中,兒在母腹,生成骨節,三百六十,及生毛乳,八萬四千。母懷胎時,第八月中,生出意智,以及九竅。母懷胎時,第九月中,兒在母腹,吸收食物,所出各質,桃梨蒜果,五穀精華。其母身中,生臟向下,熟臟向上,喻如地面,有山聳出,山有三名,一號須彌,二號業山,三號血山。此設喻山,一度崩來,化為一條,母血凝成胎兒食料。母懷胎時,第十月中,孩兒全體一一完成,方乃降生。若是決為孝順之子,擎拳合掌,安詳出生,不損傷母,母無所苦。倘兒決為五逆之子,破損母胎,扯母心肝,踏母跨骨,如千刀攪,又彷彿似萬刃攢心。如斯重苦,出生此兒,更分晰言,尚有十恩:

 

第一、 懷胎守護恩;第二、 臨產受苦恩;第三、 生子忘憂恩;第四、 咽苦吐甘恩;第五、 迴乾就濕恩;第六、 哺乳養育恩;第七、 洗濯不淨恩;第八、 遠行憶念恩;第九、 深加體恤恩;第十、 究竟憐愍恩。

 

第一、懷胎守護恩 頌曰

累劫因緣重,今來托母胎,月逾生五臟,七七六精開。

體重如山岳,動止劫風災,羅衣都不掛,妝鏡惹塵埃。

 

第二、臨產受苦恩 頌曰

懷經十個月,難產將欲臨,朝朝如重病,日日似昏沈。

難將惶怖述,愁淚滿胸襟,含悲告親族,惟懼死來侵。

 

第三、生子忘憂恩 頌曰

慈母生兒日,五臟總張開,身心俱悶絕,血流似屠羊。

生已聞兒健,歡喜倍加常,喜定悲還至,痛苦徹心腸。

 

第四、咽苦吐甘恩 頌曰

父母恩深重,顧憐沒失時,吐甘無稍息,咽苦不顰眉。

愛重情難忍,恩深復倍悲,但令孩兒飽,慈母不辭饑。

 

第五、迴乾就濕恩 頌曰

母願身投濕,將兒移就乾,兩乳充饑渴,羅袖掩風寒。

恩憐恆廢枕,寵弄纔能歡,但令孩兒穩,慈母不求安。

 

第六、哺乳養育恩 頌曰

慈母像大地,嚴父配於天,覆載恩同等,父娘恩亦然。

不憎無怒目,不嫌手足攣,誕腹親生子,終日惜兼憐。

 

第七、洗滌不淨恩 頌曰

本是芙蓉質,精神健且豐,眉分新柳碧,臉色奪蓮紅。

恩深摧玉貌,洗濯損盤龍,只為憐男女,慈母改顏容。

 

第八、遠行憶念恩 頌曰

死別誠難忍,生離實亦傷,子出關山外,母憶在他鄉。

日夜心相隨,流淚數千行,如猿泣愛子,寸寸斷肝腸。

 

第九、深加體恤恩 頌曰

父母恩情重,恩深報實難,子苦願代受,兒勞母不安。

聞道遠行去,憐兒夜臥寒,男女暫辛苦,長使母心酸。

 

第十、究竟憐愍恩 頌曰

父母恩深重,恩憐無歇時,起坐心相逐,近遙意與隨。

母年一百歲,常憂八十兒,欲知恩愛斷,命盡始分離。』

 

佛告阿難:『我觀眾生,雖紹人品,心行愚蒙,不思爹娘,有大恩德,不生恭敬,忘恩背義,無有仁慈,不孝不順。阿娘懷子,十月之中,起坐不安,如擎重擔,飲食不下,如長病人。月滿生時,受諸痛苦,須臾產出,恐已無常,如殺豬羊,血流遍地。受如是苦,生得兒身,咽苦吐甘,抱持養育,洗濯不淨,不憚劬勞,忍寒忍熱,不辭辛苦,乾處兒臥,濕處母眠。三年之中,飲母白血,嬰孩童子,乃至成年,教導禮義,婚嫁營謀,備求資業,攜荷艱辛,懃苦百倍,不言恩惠。

 

男女有病,父母驚憂,憂極生病,視同常事。子若病除,母病方愈。如斯養育,願早成人。及其長成,反為不孝。尊親與言,不知順從,應對無禮,惡眼相視。

 

欺凌伯叔,打罵兄弟,毀辱親情,無有禮義。雖曾從學,不遵範訓,父母教令,多不依從,兄弟共言,每相違戾。出入來往,不啟尊堂,言行高傲,擅意為事。父母訓罰,伯叔語非,童幼憐愍,尊人遮護,漸漸成長,狠戾不調,不伏虧違,反生瞋恨。棄諸親友,朋附惡人,習久成性,認非為是。或被人誘,逃往他鄉,違背爹娘,離家別眷。或因經紀,或為政行,荏苒因循,便為婚娶,由斯留礙,久不還家。或在他鄉,不能謹慎,被人謀害,橫事鉤牽,枉被刑責,牢獄枷鎖。或遭病患,厄難縈纏,囚苦饑羸,無人看待,被人嫌賤,委棄街衢。因此命終,無人救治,膨脹爛壞,日暴風吹,白骨飄零。寄他鄉土,便與親族,歡會長乖,違背慈恩,不知二老,永懷憂念,或因啼泣,眼暗目盲;或因悲哀,氣咽成病;或緣憶子,衰變死亡,作鬼抱魂,不曾割捨。

 

或復聞子,不崇學業,朋逐異端,無賴粗頑,好習無益,鬥打竊盜,觸犯鄉閭,飲酒樗蒲,姦非過失,帶累兄弟,惱亂爹娘,晨去暮還,不問尊親,動止寒溫,晦朔朝暮,永乖扶侍,安床薦枕,並不知聞,參問起居,從此間斷,父母年邁,形貌衰羸,羞恥見人,忍受欺抑。

 

或有父孤母寡,獨守空堂,猶若客人,寄居他舍,寒凍飢渴,曾不知聞。晝夜常啼,自嗟自歎,應奉甘旨,供養尊親。若輩妄人,了無是事,每作羞慚,畏人怪笑。

 

或持財食,供養妻兒,忘厥疲勞,無避羞恥;妻妾約束,每事依從,尊長瞋呵,全無畏懼。

 

或復是女,適配他人,未嫁之時,咸皆孝順;婚嫁已訖,不孝遂增。父母微瞋,即生怨恨;夫婿打罵,忍受甘心,異姓他宗,情深眷重,自家骨肉,卻以為疏。或隨夫婿,外郡他鄉,離別爹娘,無心戀慕,斷絕消息,音信不通,遂使爹娘,懸腸掛肚,刻不能安,宛若倒懸,每思見面,如渴思漿,慈念後人,無有休息。

 

父母恩德,無量無邊,不孝之愆,卒難陳報。』

 

爾時,大眾聞佛所說父母重恩,舉身投地,搥胸自撲,身毛孔中,悉皆流血,悶絕躄地,良久乃蘇,高聲唱言:『苦哉,苦哉!痛哉,痛哉!我等今者深是罪人,從來未覺,冥若夜游,今悟知非,心膽俱碎,惟願世尊哀愍救援,云何報得父母深恩?』

 

爾時,如來即以八種深重梵音,告諸大眾:『汝等當知,我今為汝分別解說:假使有人,左肩擔父,右肩擔母,研皮至骨,穿骨至髓,遶須彌山,經百千劫,血流沒踝,猶不能報父母深恩;假使有人,遭飢饉劫,為於爹娘,盡其己身,臠割碎壞,猶如微塵,經百千劫,猶不能報父母深恩;假使有人,為於爹娘,手執利刀,剜其眼睛,獻於如來,經百千劫,猶不能報父母深恩;假使有人,為於爹娘,亦以利刀,割其心肝,血流遍地,不辭痛苦,經百千劫,猶不能報父母深恩;假使有人,為於爹娘,百千刀戟,一時刺身,於自身中,左右出入,經百千劫,猶不能報父母深恩;假使有人,為於爹娘,打骨出髓,經百千劫,猶不能報父母深恩;假使有人,為於爹娘,吞熱鐵丸,經百千劫,遍身焦爛,猶不能報父母深恩。』

 

爾時,大眾聞佛所說父母恩德,垂淚悲泣,痛割於心,諦思無計,同發聲言,深生慚愧,共白佛言:『世尊!我等今者深是罪人,云何報得父母深恩?』

 

佛告弟子:『欲得報恩,為於父母書寫此經,為於父母讀誦此經,為於父母懺悔罪愆,,為於父母供養三寶,為於父母受持齋戒,為於父母布施修福,若能如是,則得名為孝順之子;不做此行,是地獄人。』

 

佛告阿難:『不孝之人,身壞命終,墮於阿鼻無間地獄。此大地獄,縱廣八萬由旬,四面鐵城,周圍羅網。其地亦鐵,盛火洞然,猛烈火燒,雷奔電爍。烊銅鐵汁,澆灌罪人,銅狗鐵蛇,恆吐煙火,焚燒煮炙,脂膏焦燃,苦痛哀哉,難堪難忍,鉤竿槍槊,鐵鏘鐵串,鐵槌鐵戟,劍樹刀輪,如雨如雲,空中而下,或斬或刺,苦罰罪人,歷劫受殃,無時暫歇,又令更入餘諸地獄,頭戴火盆,鐵車碾身,縱橫駛過,腸肚分裂,骨肉焦爛,一日之中,千生萬死。受如是苦,皆因前身五逆不孝,故獲斯罪。』

 

爾時,大眾聞佛所說父母恩德,垂淚悲泣,告於如來:『我等今者,云何報得父母深恩?』

 

佛告弟子:『欲得報恩,為於父母造此經典,是真報得父母恩也。能造一卷,得見一佛;能造十卷,得見十佛;能造百卷,得見百佛;能造千卷,得見千佛;能造萬卷,得見萬佛。是等善人,造經力故,是諸佛等,常來慈護,立使其人,生身父母,得生天上,受諸快樂,離地獄苦。』

 

爾時,阿難及諸大眾、阿修羅、迦樓羅、緊那羅、摩侯羅伽、人非人等、天、龍、夜叉、乾闥婆、及諸小王,轉輪聖王,是諸大眾聞佛所言,身毛皆豎,悲泣哽咽,不能自裁,各發願言:我等從今盡未來際,寧碎此身猶如微塵,經百千劫,誓不違於如來聖教;寧以鐵鉤拔出其舌,長有由旬,鐵犁耕之,血流成河,經百千劫,誓不違於如來聖教;寧以百千刀輪,於自身中,自由出入,誓不違於如來聖教;寧以鐵網周匝纏身,經百千劫,誓不違於如來聖教;寧以剉碓斬碎其身百千萬段,皮肉筋骨悉皆零落,經百千劫,終不違於如來聖教。』

 

爾時,阿難從於坐中安詳而起,白佛言:『世尊,此經當何名之?云何奉持?』

 

佛告阿難:『此經名為父母恩重難報經,以是名字,汝當奉持!』

 

爾時,大眾、天人、阿修羅等,聞佛所說,皆大歡喜,信受奉行,作禮而退。

The Filial Piety Sutra

The Buddha Speaks about the Deep Kindness 
of Parents and the Difficulty in Repaying it.

Thus I have heard, at one time, the Buddha dwelt at Shravasti, in the Jeta Grove, in the Garden of the Benefactor of Orphans and the Solitary, together with a gathering of great Bhikshus, twelve hundred fifty in all and with all of the Bodhisattvas, thirty-eight thousand in all.

At that time, the World Honoured One led the great assembly on a walk toward the south. Suddenly they came upon a pile of bones beside the road. The World Honoured One turned to face them, placed his five limbs on the ground, and bowed respectfully.

Ananda put his palms together and asked the World Honoured One, "The Tathagata is the GreatTeacher of the Triple Realm and the compassionate father of beings of the four kinds of births. He has the respect and reverence of the entire assembly. What is the reason that he now bows to a pile of dried bones?

The Buddha told Ananda, "Although all of you are my foremost disciples and have been members of the Sangha for a long time, you still have not achieved far-reaching understanding. This pile of bones could have belonged to my ancestors from former lives. They could have been my parents in many past lives. That is the reason I now bow to them." The Buddha continued speaking to Ananda, "These bones we are looking at can be divided into two groups. One group is composed of the bones of men, which are heavy and white in color. The other group is composed of the bones of women, which are light and black in color."

Ananda said to the Buddha, "World Honoured One, when men are alive in the world, they adorn their bodies with robes, belts, shoes, hats and other fine attire, so that they clearly assume a male appearance. When women are alive, they put on cosmetics, perfumes, powders, and elegant fragrances to adorn their bodies, so that they clearly assume a female appearance. Yet, once man and women die, all that is left are their bones. How does one tell them apart? Please teach us how you are able to distinguish them."

The Buddha answered Ananda, "If when men are in the world, they enter temples, listen to explanations of Sutras and Vinaya texts, make obeisance to the Triple Gem, and recite the Buddha's names, then when they die, their bones will be heavy and white in colour. Most women in the world have little wisdom and are saturated with emotion. They give birth to and raise children, feeling that this is their duty. Each child relies on its mother's milk for life and nourishment, and that milk is a transformation of the mother's blood. Each child can drink up to one thousand two hundred gallons of its mother's milk. Because of this drain on the mother's body whereby the child takes milk for its nourishment, the mother becomes worn and haggard and so her bones turn black in colour and are light in weight."

When Ananda heard these words, he felt a pain in his heart as if he had been stabbled and wept silently. He said to the World Honoured One, "How can one repay one's mother's kindness and virtue?"

The Buddha told Ananda, "Listen well, and I will explain it for you in detail. The fetus grows in its mother's womb for ten lunar months. What bitterness she goes though while it dwells there! In the first month of pregnancy, the life of the fetus is as precarious as a dewdrop on grass: how likely that it will not last from morning to evening but will evaporate by midday!"

"During the second lunar month, the embryo congeals like curds. In the third month it is like coagulated blood. During the fourth month of pregnancy, the fetus begins to assume a slightly human form. During the fifth month in the womb, the child's five limbs- two legs, two arms, and a head- start to take shape. In the sixth lunar month of pregnancy, the child begins to develop the essences of the six sense faculties: the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. During the seventh month, the three hundred sixty bones and joints are formed, and the eighty-four thousand hair pores are also complete. In the eight lunar month of the pregnancy, the intellect and the nine apertures are formed. By the ninth month the fetus has learned to assimilate the different nutrients of the foods it eats. For example, it can assimilate the essence of peaches, pears, certain plant roots and the five kinds of grains."

"Inside the mother's body, the solid internal organs used for storing hang downward, while the hollow internal organs used for processing, spiral upward. These can be likened to three mountains, which arise from the face of the earth. We can call these mountains Mount Sumeru, Karma Mountain, and Blood Mountain. These analogous mountains come together and form a single range in a pattern of upward peaks and downward valleys. So too, the coagulation of the mother's blood from her internal organs forms a single substance, which becomes the child's food."

"During the tenth month of pregnancy, the body of the fetus is completed and ready to be born. If the child is extremely filial, it will emerge with palms joined together in respect and the birth will be peaceful and auspicious. The mother will remain uninjured by the birth and will not suffer pain. However, if the child is extremely rebellious in nature, to the extent that it is capable of committing the five rebellious acts*, then it will injure its mother's womb, rip apart its mother's heart and liver, or get entangled in its mother's bones. The birth will feel like the slices of a thousand knives or like ten thousand sharp swords stabbing her heart. Those are the agonies involved in the birth of a defiant and rebellious child."

To explain more clearly, there are ten types of kindnesses bestowed by the mother on the child:

The first is the kindness of providing protection and care while the child is in the womb.

The second is the kindness of bearing suffering during the birth.
The third is the kindness of forgetting all the pain once the child has been born.

The fourth is the kindness of eating the bitter herself and saving the sweet for the child.

The fifth is the kindness of moving the child to a dry place and lying in the wet herself.

The sixth is the kindness of suckling the child at her breast, nourishing and bringing up the child.

The seventh is the kindness of washing away the unclean.

The eight is the kindness of always thinking of the child when it has traveled far.

The ninth is the kindness of deep care and devotion.

The tenth is the kindness of ultimate pity and sympathy.

1. THE KINDNESS OF PROVIDING PROTECTION AND CARE WHILE THE CHILD IS IN THE WOMB

The causes and conditions from accumulated kalpas grows heavy, 
Until in this life the child ends up in its Mother's womb.
As the months pass, the five vital organs develop;
Within seven weeks the six sense organs start to grow.
The mother's body becomes as heavy as a mountain;
The stillness and movements of the fetus are like a kalpic wind disaster.
The mother's fine clothes no longer hang properly,
And so her mirror gathers dust.

2. THE KINDNESS OF BEARING SUFFERING DURING BIRTH

The pregnancy lasts for ten lunar months 
And culminates in difficult labour at the approach of the birth.
Meanwhile, each morning the mother is seriously ill
And during each day drowsy and sluggish.
Her fear and agitation are difficult to describe;
Grieving and tears fill her breast.
She painfully tells her family
That she is only afraid that death will overtake her.

3. THE KINDNESS OF FORGETTING ALL THE PAIN ONCE THE CHILD HAS BEEN BORN

On the day the compassionate mothers bears the child,
Her five organs all open wide,
Leaving her totally exhausted in body and mind.
The blood flows as from a slaughtered lamb;
Yet, upon hearing that the child is healthy,
She is overcome with redoubling joy,
But after the joy, the grief returns,
And the agony wrenches her very insides.

4. THE KINDNESS OF EATING THE BITTER HERSELF AND SAVING THE SWEET FOR THE CHILD

The kindness of both parents is profound and deep,
Their care and devotion never cease.
Never resting, the mother saves the sweet for the child,
And without complain she swallows the bitter herself.
Her love is weighty and her emotion difficult to bear;
Her kindness is deep and so is her compassion.
Only wanting the child to get its fill,
The compassionate mother doesn't speak of her own hunger.

5. THE KINDNESS OF MOVING THE CHILD TO A DRY PLACE AND LYING IN THE WET HERSELF

The mother is willing to be wet
So that the child can be dry.
With her two breasts she satisfies its hunger and thirst; 
Covering it with her sleeve, she protects it from the wind and cold.
In kindness, her head rarely rests on the pillow,
And yet she does this happily,
So long as the child is comfortable,
The kind mother seeks no solace for herself.

6. THE KINDNESS OF SUCKLING THE CHILD AT HER BREAST, NOURISHING AND BRINGING UP THE CHILD

The kind mother is like the great earth.
The stern father is like the encompassing heaven:
One covers from above; the other supports from below.
The kindness of parents is such that
They know no hatred or anger toward their offspring,
And are not displeased, even if the child is born crippled.
After the mother carries the child in her womb and gives birth to it,
The parents care for and protect it together until the end of their days.

7. THE KINDNESS OF WASHING AWAY THE UNCLEAN

Originally, she had a pretty face and a beautiful body,
Her spirit was strong and vibrant.
Her eyebrows were like fresh green willows,
And her complexion would have put a red rose to shame. 
But her kindness is so deep she will forgo a beautiful face.
Although washing away the filth injures her constitution,
The kind mother acts solely for the sake of her sons and daughters,
And willingly allows her beauty to fade.

8. THE KINDNESS OF ALWAYS THINKING OF THE CHILD WHEN IT HAS TRAVELLED FAR

The death of loved ones is difficult to endure.
But separation is also painful.
When the child travels afar,
The mother worries in her village.
From morning until night, her heart is with her child,
And a thousand tears fall from her eyes.
Like the monkey weeping silently in love for her child,
Bit by bit her heart is broken.

9. THE KINDNESS OF DEEP CARE AND DEVOTION

How heavy is parental kindness and emotional concern!
Their kindness is deep and difficult to repay. 
Willingly they undergo suffering on their child's behalf. 
If the child toils, the parents are uncomfortable.
If they hear that he has traveled far,
They worry that at night he will have to lie in the cold.
Even a moment's pain suffered by their sons and daughters.
Will cause the parents sustained distress.

10. THE KINDNESS OF ULTIMATE COMPASSION AND SYMPATHY

The kindness of parents is profound and important.
Their tender concern never cease.
From the moment they awake each day, their thoughts are with their children.
Whether the children are near or far away, the parents think of them often.
Even if a mother lives for a hundred years,
She will constantly worry about her eighty year old child.
Do you wish to know when such kindness and love ends?
It doesn't even begin to dissipate until her life is over!


The Buddha told Ananda, "When I contemplate living beings, I see that although they are born as human beings, nonetheless, they are ignorant and dull in their thoughts and actions. They don't consider their parents' great kindness and virtue. They are disrespectful and turn their backs on kindness and what is right. They lack humaneness and are neither filial nor compliant."

"For ten months while the mother is with child, she feels discomfort each time she rises, as if she were lifting a heavy burden. Like a chronic invalid, she is unable to keep her food and drink down. When the ten months have passed and the time comes for the birth, she undergoes all kinds of pain and suffering so that the child can be born. She is afraid of her own mortality, like a pig or lamb waiting to be slaughtered. Then the blood flows all over the ground. These are the sufferings she undergo."

"Once the child is born, she saves what is sweet for him and swallows what is bitter herself. She carries the child and nourishes it, washing away its filth. There is no toil or difficulty that she does not willingly undertake for the sake of her child. She endures both cold and heat and never even mentions what she has gone through. She gives the dry place to her child and sleeps in the damp herself. For three years she nourishes the baby with milk, which is transformed from the blood of her own body."

"Parents continually instruct and guide their children in the ways of propriety and morality as the youngsters mature into adults. They arrange marriages for them and provide them with property and wealth or devise ways to get it for them. They take this responsibility and trouble upon themselves with tremendous zeal and toil, never speaking about their care and kindness."

"When a son or daughter become ill, parents are worried and afraid to the point that they may even grow ill themselves. They remain by the child's side providing constant care, and only when the child gets well are the parents happy once again. In this way, they care for and raise their children with the sustained hope that their offspring will soon grow to be mature adults."

"How sad that all too often the children are unfilial in return! In speaking with relatives whom they should honour, the children display no compliance. When they ought to be polite, they have no manners. They glare at those whom they should venerate, and insult their uncles and aunts. They scold their siblings and destroy any family feeling that might have existed among them. Children like that have no respect of sense of propriety."

"Children may be well taught, but if they are unfilial, they will not heed the instructions or obey the rules. Rarely will they rely upon the guidance of their parents. They are contrary and rebellious when interacting with their brothers. They come and go from home without ever reporting to their parents. Their speech and actions are very arrogant and they act on impulse without consulting others. Such children ignore the admonishments and punishments set down by their parents and pay no regard to their uncles' warnings. Yet, at the same time, they are immature and always need to be looked after and protected by their elders."

"As such children grow up, they become more and more obstinate and uncontrollable. They are entirely ungrateful and totally contrary. They are defiant and hateful, rejecting both family and friends. They befriend evil people and under influence, soon adopt the same kinds of bad habits. They come to take what is false to be true."

"Such children may be enticed by others to leave their families and run away to live in others towns, thus denouncing their parents and rejecting their native town. They may become businessmen or civil servants who languish in comfort and luxury. They may marry in haste, and that new bond provides yet another obstruction which prevents them from returning home for long periods of time."

"Or, in going to live in other towns, these children may be incautious and find themselves plotted against or accused of doing evil. They may be unfairly locked up in prison or they may meet with illness and become enmeshed in disasters and hardships, subject to the terrible pain of poverty, starvation, and emaciation. Yet no one there will care for them. Being scorned and disliked by others, they will be abandoned on the street. In such circumstances, their lives may come to an end. No one bothers to try to save them. Their bodies swell up, rot, decay, and are exposed to the sun and blown away by the wind. The bones entirely disintegrate and scatter as these children come to their final rest in the dirt of some other town. These children will never again have a happy reunion with their relatives and kin. Nor will they ever know how their ageing parents mourn for and worry about them. The parents may grow blind from weeping or become sick from extreme grief and despair. Constantly dwelling on the memory of their children, they may pass away, but even when they become ghosts, their souls still cling to this attachment and are unable to get it go."

"Others of these unfilial children may not aspire to learning, but instead become interested in strange and bizarre doctrines. Such children may be villainous, coarse and stubborn, delighting in practices that are utterly devoid of benefit. They may become involved in fights and thefts, setting themselves at odds with the town by drinking and gambling. As if debauchery were not enough, they drag their brothers into it as well, to the further distress of their parents."

"If such children do live at home, they leave early in the morning and do not return until late at night. Never do they ask about the welfare of their parents or make sure that they don't suffer from heat or cold. They do not inquire after their parents' well being in the morning or the evening, nor even on the first and fifteenth of the lunar month. In fact, it never occurs to these unfilial children to ever ask whether their parents have slept comfortably or rested peacefully. Such children are simply not concerned in the least about their parents' well being. When the parents of such children grow old and their appearance becomes more and more withered and emaciated, they are made to feel ashamed to be seen in public and are subjected to abuse and oppression."

"Such unfilial children may end up with a father who is a widower or a mother who is a widow. The solitary parents are left alone in empty houses, feeling like guests in their own homes. They may endure cold and hunger, but no one takes heed of their plight. They may weep incessantly from morning to night, sighing and lamenting. It is only right that children should provide for ageing parents with food and drink of delicious flavours, but irresponsible children are sure to overlook their duties. If they ever do attempt to help their parents in any way, they feel embarrassed and are afraid people will laugh at them. Yet, such offspring may lavish wealth and food on their own wives and children, disregarding the toil and weariness involved in doing so. Other unfilial offspring may be so intimidated by their wives that they go along with all of their wishes. But when appealed to by their parents and elders, they ignore them and are totally unfazed by their pleas."

"It may be the case that daughters were quite filial to their parents before their own marriages, but they may become progressively rebellious after they marry. This situation may be so extreme that if their parents show even the slightest signs of displeasure, the daughters become hateful and vengeful toward them. Yet they bear their husband's scolding and beatings with sweet tempers, even though their spouses are outsiders with other surnames and family ties. The emotional bonds between such couples are deeply entangled, and yet these daughters hold their parents at a distance. They may follow their husbands and move to other towns, leaving their parents behind entirely. They do not long for them and simply cut off all communication with them. When the parents continue to hear no word from their daughters, they feel incessant anxiety. They become so fraught with sorrow that it is as if they were suspended upside down. Their every thought is of seeing their children, just as one who is thirsty longs for something to drink. Their kind thoughts for their offspring never cease."

"The virtue of one's parents' kindness is boundless and limitless. If one has made the mistake of being unfilial, how difficult it is to repay that kindness!"

At that time, upon hearing the Buddha speak about the depth of one's parents kindness, everyone in the Great Assembly threw themselves on the ground and began beating their breasts and striking themselves until their hair pores flowed with blood. Some fell unconscious to the ground, while others stamped their feet in grief. It was a long time before they could control themselves. With loud voices they lamented, "Such suffering! What suffering! How painful! How painful! We are all offenders. We are criminals who have never awakened, like those who travel in a dark night. We have just now understood our offenses and our very insides are torn to bits. We only hope that the World Honoured One will pity and save us. Please tell us how we can repay the deep kindness of our parents!"

At the time the Tathagata used eight kinds of profoundly deep and pure sounds to speak to the assembly. "All of you should know this. I will now explain for you the various aspects of this matter."

"If there were a person who carries his father on his left shoulder and his mother on his right shoulder until his bones were ground to powder by their weight as they bore through to the marrow, and if that person were to circumambulate Mount Sumeru for a hundred thousand kalpas until the blood that flowed out covered his ankles, that person would still not have repaid the deep kindness of his parents."

"If there were a person who, during the period of a kalpa fraught with famine and starvation, sliced the flesh off his own body to feed his parents and did this as many times as there are dust motes as he passed through hundreds of thousand of kalpas, that person still would not have repaid the deep kindness of his parents."

"If there were a person who, for the sake of this parents, took a sharp knife and cut his eyes and made an offering of them to the Tathagatas, and continued to do that for hundreds of thousands of kalpas, that person still would not have repaid the deep kindness of his parents."

"If there a person who, for the sake of this father and mother, used a sharp knife to cut out his heart and liver so that the blood flowed and covered the ground and if he continued in this way to do this for hundreds of thousands of kalpas, never once complaining about the pain, that person still would not have repaid the deep kindness of his parents."

"If there were a person who, for the sake of his parents, took a hundred thousand swords and stabbed his body with them all at once such that they entered one side and came out the other, and if he continued in this way to do this for hundreds of thousands of kalpas, that person still would not have repaid the deep kindness of his parents."

"If there were a person who, for the sake of his parents, beat his bones down to the marrow and continued in this way to do this way to do this for hundreds of thousands of kalpas, that person still would not have repaid the deep kindness of his parents."

"If there were a person who, for the sake of this parents, swallowed molten iron pellets and continued in this way to do this for hundreds of thousands of kalpas, that person still would not have repaid the deep kindness of his parents."

At that time, upon hearing the Buddha speak about the kindness and virtue of parents, everyone in the Great Assembly wept silent tears and felt searing pain in their hearts. They reflected deeply, simultaneously brought forth shame and said to the Buddha, "World Honoured One, how can we repay the deep kindness of our parents?"

The Buddha replied, "Disciples of the Buddha, if you wish to repay your parents' kindness, write out this Sutra on their behalf. Recite this Sutra on their behalf. Repent of transgressions and offenses on their behalf. For the sake of your parents, make offerings to the Triple Gem. For the sake of your parents, hold the precept of pure eating. For the sake of your parents, practise giving and cultivate blessings. If you are able to do these things, you are being a filial child. If you do not do these things, you are a person destined for the hells."

The Buddha told Ananda, "If a person is not filial, when his life ends and his body decays, he will fall into, the great Avici Hell. This great hell is eighty thousand yojanas in circumference and is surrounded on all four sides by iron walls. Above, it is covered over by nets, and the ground is also made of iron. A mass of fire burns fiercely, while thunder roars and bright bolts of lightning set things afire. Molten brass and iron fluids are poured over the offenders' bodies. Brass dogs and iron snakes constantly spew out fire and smoke which burns the offenders and broils their flesh and fat to a pulp."

"Oh, such suffering! Difficult to take, difficult to bear! There are poles, hooks, spears, and lances, iron halberds and iron chains, iron hammers and iron awls. Wheels of iron knives rain down from the air. The offender is chopped, hacked, or stabbed, and undergoes these cruel punishments for kalpas without respite. Then they enter the remaining hells, where their heads are capped with fiery basins, while iron wheels roll over their bodies, passing both horizontally and vertically until their guts are ripped open and their bones and flesh are squashed to a pulp. Within a single day, they experience myriad births and myriad deaths. Such sufferings are a result of committing the five rebellious acts and of being unfilial when one was alive."

At that time, upon hearing the Buddha speak about the virtue of parents' kindness, everyone in the Great Assembly wept sorrowfully and addressed the Tathagata, "On this day, how can we repay the deep kindness of our parents?"

The Buddha said, "Disciples of the Buddha, if you wish to repay their kindness, then for the sake of your parents, print this Sutra. This is truly repaying their kindness. If one can print one copy, then one will get to see one Buddha. If one can print ten copies, then one will get to see ten Buddhas. If one can print one hundred copies, then one will get to see one hundred Buddhas. If one can print one thousand copies, then one will get to see one thousand Buddhas. If one can print ten thousand copies, then one will get to see ten thousand Buddhas. This is the power derived when good people print Sutras. All Buddhas will forever protect such people with their kindness and their parents can be reborn in the heavens to enjoy all kinds of happiness, leaving behind the sufferings of the hells."

At that time, Ananda and the rest of the Great Assembly the asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, people, non-people, and others, as well as the gods, dragons, yakshas, gandarvas, wheel-turning sage kings, and all the lesser kings, felt all the hairs on their bodies stand on their ends when they heard what the Buddha had said. They wept grievously and were unable to stop themselves. Each one of them made a vow saying, "All of us, from now until the exhaustion of the bounds of the future, would rather that our bodies be pulverised into small particles of dust for a hundred thousand kalpas, than to ever go against the Tathagata's sagely teachings. We would rather that our tongues be plucked out, so that they would extend for a full yojana, and that for a hundred thousand kalpas an iron plough run over them; we would rather have a hundred thousand bladed wheel roll freely over bodies, than to ever go against the Tathagata's sagely teachings. We would rather that our bodies be ensnared in an iron net for a hundred thousand kalpas, than to ever go against the Tathagata's sagely teachings. We would rather that for a hundred thousand kalpas our bodies be chopped, hacked, mutilated, and chiseled into ten million pieces, so that our skin, flesh, joints, and bones would be completely disintegrated, than to ever go against the Tathagata's sagely teachings."

At that time, Ananda, with a dignity and a sense of peace, rose from his seat and asked the Buddha, "World Honoured One, what name shall this Sutra have when we accord with it and uphold it?"

The Buddha told Ananda, "This Sutra is called THE SUTRA ABOUT THE DEEP KINDNESS OF PARENTS AND THE DIFFICULTY OF REPAYING IT. Use this name when you accord with it and uphold it."

At that time, the Great Assembly, the gods, humans, asuras, and the others, hearing what the Buddha has said, were completely delighted. They believed the Buddha's teaching, received it, and offered up their conduct in accord with it. Then they bowed respectfully to the Buddha, before withdrawing.

嗡.咕嚕.蓮生.悉地.吽!

Om Guru Liansheng Siddhi Hum!

※ 願盡形壽禮敬傳承。願盡形壽奉法持戒。願盡形壽眾善奉行。敬師,重法,實修※

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