Ông Tu Bồ Đề hỏi Phật:
Bạch Đức Thế Tôn, nếu có ai muốn thành Phật thì người ấy phải làm thế nào ?
Phật dạy rằng:
Tiễn đưa tất cả muôn loài vào nơi Niết bàn mà thật là chẳng tiễn chi .
Sao vậy ?
Vì tất cả những gì có thể nhìn thấy bằng đôi con mắt thịt, những gì có thể nghe bằng đôi tai của loài người, ngửi được bằng mũi, nếm được bằng lưỡi, chạm được và cảm xúc được bằng thân thể con người, nghĩ được bằng óc con người thì thuộc vào vật chất mà vật chất là có hình dáng có tướng mạo . Mà có tướng mạo và hình dáng thì chưa phải là vô tướng cho nên những gì con người cho là thật, chúng lại là giả .
Cho nên Phật không thể nhận ra bởi tướng mạo và hình dáng của thân thể bởi vì các hình dáng tướng mạo đều là giả . Người nào nhìn ra được rõ các hình tướng là huyễn hóa chẳng phải thật, thì người đó khởi sự nhận ra Phật tánh vậy .
After a time a most venerable monk named Subhuti, who was sitting in the congregation, rose from his seat.
He uncovered his right shoulder, placed his right knee on the ground, and as he joined his palms together he respectfully bowed and then addressed the Buddha:
“Most Honored One, It is truly majestic how much knowledge and wisdom your monks and disciples have been given through your most inspired teachings! It is remarkable that you look after our welfare so selflessly and so completely.”
“Most Honored One, I have a question to ask you. If sons and daughters of good families want to develop the highest, most fulfilled and awakened mind, if they wish to attain the Highest Perfect Wisdom, what should they do to help quiet their drifting minds and help subdue their craving thoughts?”
The Buddha then replied:
“So it is as you say, Subhuti. Monks and disciples have been favored with the highest favor by the Buddha, the monks and disciples have been instructed with the highest instruction by the Buddha. The Buddha is constantly mindful of the welfare of his followers. Listen carefully with your full attention, and I will speak to your question.”
“If sons and daughters of good families want to develop the highest, most fulfilled and awakened mind, if they wish to attain the Highest Perfect Wisdom and quiet their drifting minds while subduing their craving thoughts, then they should follow what I am about to say to you. Those who follow what I am about to say here will be able to subdue their discriminative thoughts and craving desires. It is possible to attain perfect tranquility and clarity of mind by absorbing and dwelling on the teachings I am about to give.”
Then the Buddha addressed the assembly.
“All living beings, whether born from eggs, from the womb, from moisture, or spontaneously; whether they have form or do not have form; whether they are aware or unaware, whether they are not aware or not unaware, all living beings will eventually be led by me to the final Nirvana, the final ending of the cycle of birth and death. And when this unfathomable, infinite number of living beings have all been liberated, in truth not even a single being has actually been liberated.”
“Why Subhuti? Because if a disciple still clings to the arbitrary illusions of form or phenomena such as an ego, a personality, a self, a separate person, or a universal self existing eternally, then that person is not an authentic disciple.”
“Furthermore, Subhuti, in the practice of compassion and charity a disciple should be detached. That is to say, he should practice compassion and charity without regard to appearances, without regard to form, without regard to sound, smell, taste, touch, or any quality of any kind. Subhuti, this is how the disciple should practice compassion and charity. Why? Because practicing compassion and charity without attachment is the way to reaching the Highest Perfect Wisdom, it is the way to becoming a living Buddha.”
“Subhuti, do you think that you can measure all of the space in the Eastern Heavens?”
“No, Most Honored One. One cannot possibly measure all of the space in the Eastern Heavens.”
“Subhuti, can space in all the Western, Southern, and Northern Heavens, both above and below, be measured?”
“No, Most Honored One. One cannot possibly measure all the space in the Western, Southern, and Northern Heavens.”
“Well, Subhuti, the same is true of the merit of the disciple who practices compassion and charity without any attachment to appearances, without cherishing any idea of form. It is impossible to measure the merit they will accrue. Subhuti, my disciples should let their minds absorb and dwell in the teachings I have just given.”
“Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Buddha be recognized by means of his bodily form?”
“No, Most Honored One, the Buddha cannot be recognized by means of his bodily form. Why? Because when the Buddha speaks of bodily form, it is not a real form, but only an illusion.”
The Buddha then spoke to Subhuti: “All that has a form is illusive and unreal. When you see that all forms are illusive and unreal, then you will begin to perceive your true Buddha nature.”