​Mahayana—the forgotten path of the Buddhas

The Buddha said to Śāriputra:

If one were to explain

The consequences of the errors

Of those who disparage this teaching of perfect enlightenment,

It would take more than countless centuries.

For that reason I am now telling you

Never to expound this teaching

To those who have little wisdom.

You should teach it

Only to those people of sharp faculties

Who are wise, learned, and understanding,

Who have good memories and erudition,

And are seeking the buddha (enlightenment) path.

You should teach it to those who have seen

Hundreds of thousands of time-periods of buddhas,

Who have planted good roots, and are resolute.

Teach it to those who strive,

Always practice compassion,

And give unsparingly of their bodies and lives.

You should teach it to those who are respectful

And devoid of hypocrisy,

Who know the essence of solitude, away from fools.
O Śāriputra!

You should teach it

To those who have left their bad companions

And made friends with virtuous people.

Teach it to the heirs of the Buddha

Who have good conduct, are as pure as jewels,

And who are seeking the Mahayana teachings.

You should teach it

To those who are free of anger,

Honest, flexible, always sympathetic to everyone,

And who honor all the Buddhas and other awakened beings.

Teach it to the heirs of the Buddha

In the great assembly,

Who have pure thoughts

And who teach the Truth without doubts,

Using various reasonings,

Illustrations, and explanations.

You should teach it to those seekers

Who, always and everywhere in search of the Liberative art,

Seek the Omniscient One (objective reality),

To whom they joyfully press their palms together,

Touch their heads, and preserve

Only the Mahayana teachings with pleasure,

Who never preserve even a single verse

Of any other teaching (of the heterodox paths).

Teach it to those who seek this path

As intently as they seek for the transcendental wisdom of the Buddhas,

Who after obtaining it will accept it

Respectfully, with bowed heads;

And will not seek any other path

And will never think about heretical scriptures.

O Śāriputra! I say to you:

I have described the characteristics of those

Who seek the path to Self-Liberation,

Though even a millennium would not suffice to do so in full.

You should teach the Liberative Art 

To those who are able to accept it.

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