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TitleSins and Sinners
TagsPenance Lotus Sutra Sin Vajrayana Indian Religions
File Size3.3 MB
Total Pages396
Table of Contents
                            Contents
Acknowledgements
Part One Sinning in Asian Religious Traditions
Social and Soteriological Aspects of Sin and Penance in Medieval Hindu Law
Sin and Expiation in Sikh Texts and Contexts: From the Nānak Panth to the Khālsā
“Living Without Sin”: Reflections on the Pre-Buddhist World in Early China
Sin, Sinification, Sinology: On the Notion of Sin in Buddhism and Chinese Religions
“The Evil Person is the Primary Recipient of the Buddha’s Compassion” The Akunin Shōki Theme in Shin Buddhism of Japan
The Sin of “Slandering the True Dharma” in Nichiren’s Thought
Ritual Faults, Sins, and Legal Offences: A Discussion about Two Patterns of Justice in Contemporary India
Part Two Dealing with Sin
After Sinning: Some Thoughts on Remorse, Responsibility, and the Remedies for Sin in Indian Religious Traditions
The Role of Confession in Chinese and Japanese Tiantai/Tendai Bodhisattva Ordinations
Removal of Sins in Esoteric Buddhist Rituals: A Study of the Dafangdeng Dhāraṇī Scripture
Redeeming Bugs, Birds, and Really Bad Sinners in Some Medieval Mahāyāna Sūtras and Dhāraṇīs
Sometimes Love Don’t Feel Like It Should: Redemptive Violence in Tantric Buddhism
Sin and Flaws in Kerala Astrology
Sin and Expiation in Nepal: The Makar Melā Pilgrimage in Panautī
Sin and Expiation among Modern Hindus: Obeying One’s Duty or Following Freely Accepted Rules?
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Sins and Sinners

Page 198

after sinning 189

be surprised by aśoka’s conversion in the story literature.35 but aśoka is
not alone. aṅgulimāla, one of the most famous buddhist sinners, also has
no remorse but is converted by the awesome power of the buddha’s pres-
ence and the simple verse he utters. remorse plays no role in his change
of heart.36 the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya (2.28) regarded remorse, kaukṛtya,
as essentially neutral or aniyata. when it is regret over a good action
that was not done or a bad action that was done, then regret is a good
thing. on the other hand, when one regrets that he has not done some-
thing wrong or regrets that he has done something good, then that regret
is bad.37

more surprisingly, perhaps, in some buddhist texts all remorse was
regarded as downright wrong-headed. in the Ajātaśatrukaukṛtyavinodanā,
for example, the parricide ajātaśatru is stricken with remorse after killing
his father; his remorse, even for such a grave sin, is seen by the text to be
based on ignorance, on a total misunderstanding of the nature of reality.
the whole point of the text is to help ajātaśatru get over this useless
response.38 the mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra also takes up the case
of ajātaśatru and argues both that he need not have any remorse over
the killing of his father, and that remorse has the power to mitigate the
consequences of sin. the text cites many arguments against ajātaśatru’s
need for remorse, not all of which it accepts, and some of which we shall

35 John s. strong, The Legend of King Aśoka (Princeton: Princeton university Press,
1983), 216–17. text on gretil a-av 51. for a translation of the edict, see s. Dhammika, The
Edicts of Asoka (Kandy: buddhist Publication society, 1993) 10.

36 Aṅgulimāla sutta, Pali Tipitika, Majjhima nikāya, Majjhima pannāsa, rājavagga,
http://www.tipitaka.org.

37 Abhidharmakośabhāṣya, ed. swami Dwarikadas shastri (Varanasi: bauddha bharati,
1970), 169–170. nonetheless in 5.58 the text also makes clear that kaukṛtya is a hindrance
to meditation because it prevents the mind from being calm. the term kaukṛtya itself
deserves a full study. it can also mean improperly gesticulating with the hands or inap-
propriately moving the legs. this is its only meaning in Prakrit. in Pali and sanskrit it can
mean regret or remorse over something done; in the vinaya literature in both languages
in can also mean something more like doubt, when a monk is unsure if what he has done
is a transgression or not. Compare, for example, this monk who is unsure if he has com-
mitted a pārājika offense after having sex with a monkey, 67, “at one time a monk had
sex with a she-monkey. he was in doubt, ‘the blessed one has proclaimed the rules. now,
have i committed a pārājika offense or not?’ the blessed one announced, ‘o monk, you
surely have committed an offense, a pārājika offence.’. Tena kho pana samayena aññataro
bhikkhu makkaṭiyā methunaṃ dhammaṃ paṭisevi. Tassa kukkuccaṃ ahosi—‘‘bhagavatā
sikkhāpadaṃ paññattaṃ, kacci nu kho ahaṃ pārājikaṃ āpattiṃ āpanno’’ti? Bhagavato
etamatthaṃ ārocesi. ‘‘Āpattiṃ tvaṃ, bhikkhu, āpanno pārājika’’ nti. text from Pali Tipitika,
http://www.tipitika.org.

38 Ajātaśatrukaukṛtyavinodanāsūtra, eds. Paul harrison and Jens-uwe hartmann in
Manuscripts in the Schoyen Collection, ed. Jens braarvig (oslo, 2000), 1. 167–218.

http://www.tipitaka.org
http://www.tipitika.org

Page 199

190 phyllis granoff

see recall the arguments used to persuade another famous royal sinner,
yudhiṣṭhira in the Mahābhārata, that his remorse was out of place.39
a lengthy section of the twelfth book of the Mahābhārata centers around
convincing yudhiṣṭhira, who is also called ajātaśatru, that he need feel no
remorse over the killing of his cousins, the Kauravas, and their allies. the
remorse of yudhiṣṭhira and ajātaśatru will be the focus of the remainder
of this chapter.

it is not impossible that the very idea that in some circumstances a
person, particularly a king, should not have any remorse for killing may
have originated with the Mahābhārata. this is suggested by a comparison
of a sub-story from the great epic with two buddhist versions of the same
story in the Saṃghabhedavastu of the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya and the
Mahāvastu.40 in this story, to which i now turn, the Mahābhārata unam-
biguously celebrates what it regards as the necessary violence of kingship,
while in the buddhist versions the king’s actions are regarded as problem-
atic and bring about negative consequences for him in the future.

having suggested in the second section of this essay that the discus-
sion of the king’s innocence is more at home in the Mahābhārata than
in the buddhist sources, in the third section i turn to the treatment of
yudhiṣṭhira’s remorse in the Mahābhārata. this is followed by a discus-
sion of the treatment of ajātaśatru in the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra in sec-
tion four. in my conclusions i circle back to some of the themes touched
upon in this introduction and point to some avenues for future research.

The Story of Likhita and Śaṅkha

a story of two brothers likhita and Śaṅkha, both ascetics, is told in book
twelve of the Mahābhārata.41 this book, the long Śāntiparvan, is one of
the most important sources for early indian thought on philosophy, state-

39 the Bhāratamañjarī, a later poetic rendering of the epic, lists remorse as one of
many ways to get rid of sin (13.176) although like the epic itself, it seems to prefer the
performance of penance as the most effective means. in one verse (13.180) the text tells us
that a person should not regret not having done good deeds or having done bad deeds; he
should simply carry out the appropriate penance. Satkarmaṇām akaraṇān ninditānāṃ ca
sevanāt/paścāttāpam anāsādya prāyaścittaṃ naro ‘rhati//180.

40 it was later told in the Skandapurāṇa Nagarakhaṇḍa, a text composed to glorify a
particular holy place in gujarat, but i will not discuss that version here.

41 Śaṅkha and likhita are also known as the joint authors of one of the Dharmaśāstras,
now lost. on this see P.V. Kane, History of Dharmaśāstra, vol. 1 pt. 1 (Poona: bhandarkar
oriental research institute 1968), 136–142.

Page 395

386 subject index

Ṛgveda 16
rules of conduct See okite

sacrifice 160, 314–315, 320
Offerings in fire (hōmam) 313–315,

320, 322
Sahlins, Marshall 62
Saichō 222, 230–236
Śaivism 297, 299
Śākyamuni 95, 96, 303, 305
samādhi 244, 246, 249n6, 250n9, 254,

254n14, 255
Samantamukhapraveśa Dhāraṇī 283–284,
290
samaya 304
Saṃghabhedavastu 190, 193, 194, 194n,

205, 206, 207, 208
saṃprādaya 34, 39n29, 47, 49. See also

sect
Sandalwood Flower [Buddha] 261, 264,

265
saṅgat 32, 45, 51
Saṃghāṭa Sūtra 279–280, 290
Sanguo zhi (Record of Three Kingdoms)

87, 88
Śāntideva 79
Sants 31–33
Śāriputra 250, 250n9, 258, 259, 260, 268
Sarvadurgatipariśodhana (Tantra) 302–3
Sarvakarmāvaraṇaviśodhanī

Dhāraṇī 283, 289
Śathapatha Brāhmaṇa 175, 175n2
Sāun Saṅkrānti 330n22
Satyavar (king) 339, 340
scripture 9, 13–19, 22
Scripture of the Divine Spells the Great

Dhāraṇīs Taught by the Seven Buddhas
and Eight Bodhisattvas See Qifo
bapusa suoshuo da tuoluoni shenzhou
jing

seven-day (ceremony, practice, rituals,
also seven days) 254n15, 262, 263, 267,
268n27, 269, 269n28, 271

sea-voyage 357, 359, 362, 370, 374, 375
sect 34, 47, 49, 52. See also saṃprādaya
Seizan-ha 238
self-effort See jiriki
Seven Article Pledge (Shichikajō kishōmon)
102, 104
shakubuku 132–37, 139, 147, 148, 149
sex 95, 102, 104, 110
shame 1, 2, 57, 58, 58n5, 58n6, 59, 59n20,

60, 60n12, 69, 71, 72, 73, 86, 88, 163, 177,
179, 231

Shangshou 254, 254n14, 257n18, 260, 261,
262, 263, 264, 264n23, 265, 266, 269n28,
271

Shen Yue 69
Shandao 96
Shanjie jing 220, 221
Shengman jing 233
Shen Yue (441–513) 83, 84
Shichikajō kishōmon See Seven Article

Pledge
Shin Buddhism 93–110
Shingon 102
Shinpon kaigi 239
Shinran 93–109
shōju 132–33, 149
Shou pusajie yi 228, 239–240
Shūjishō 6
sickness 87, 88, 89, 200, 296, 232, 244,

332
Siddheśvar Mahādev 35, 352
Sikh Gurduārā Prabandhak Kameṭī

(SGPC) 49–51
Sikh Rahit Maryādā 49–53
Sikh symbols 39
Sikhs 31–54
Śikhin Buddha 269
Śikṣāsamuccaya 79, 80, 184, 184n20

204n60, 209n62
Siṃha Melā 350, 351
Siṅgh Sabhā 49
single nembutsu doctrine (ichinengi) 103
Sinification 77, 90
Śivarātri 341, 343n49
“slander of the True Dharma” (hōbō) 114,

115, 126, 141–42, 147, 148–49
avoiding complicity in 134–35, 137,

142–43, 144
cause for birth in the Avīci Hell 113,

115, 121, 129, 132, 134, 139, 140, 144,
146

expiating 138–40, 144–45
in Mahāyāna sūtras 114
Nichiren’s understanding of 123,

128–29, 130–31, 146, 150
See also nenbutsu, Nichiren’s criticism

of, Nichiren
Smārta 361, 364, 374, 376
Smṛti 9, 13n, 20–25, 28
Sōka Gakkai 147
Sorcery/ witchcraft 311, 314, 318
Spirits/ ghosts 311, 314, 318, 320

Possession by 314, 316
prētam 315–316, 318, 320

Standaert, Nicolas 57, 69

Page 396

subject index 387

subaltern groups 101
suppression 102, 103
Sūrya Nārāyan 346n51
Sūtra of Brahmā’s Net [Fanwang jing] 83
Suvarṇaprabhāsottama Sūtra 80
Svasthānī 346, 347, 349, 352, 353

taboos 109
tanakhāh 45–47, 51, 53
tanengi See repeated nembutsu doctrine
Tannishō 97, 98, 99, 100, 106, 107, 109
Tārā 338, 354
tariki (other-power) 98, 100
Tarkajvālā 300
Tathāgatabimbaparivarta 80
Telang, K.T. 369
ten evil acts ( jūaku) 94, 95, 96, 106, 108
Tendai 102
three subjugations (sanjū) 108
trial 153, 154, 163, 164, 169, 170
Triveṇī 347, 348,
Tuolinnipo jing 244
twelve dream kings 256, 257, 262, 269
Twelve Great Kings 256
Twelve Māra Kings 256, 257, 269

Uṣṇīṣavijaya Dhāraṇī 281
Uttararāmacarita 176, 183
uposatha 78, 85, 90

Vajrapāṇi 305
Vajrasattva 304–5
Vajrayoginī 354
Vāsuki Nāg 333, 334, 335, 348
Veda 18, 20–21, 296–7, 300
Vijñāneśvara 13–14, 18, 22
Vimalakīrti Sūtra 111
vinaya 78, 216, 218, 252, 263, 273n30
Vipāka Sūtra 180
Vasu 254, 257n18, 258, 259, 260, 261

Vipaśyin Buddha 269
vision 243, 244, 246, 247, 248, 251n11, 252,

254, 257, 261, 264, 269, 270, 271, 273
Viśvabhū [Buddha] 269
Viśvarūpa 17–18
vow, Amida Buddha’s 96, 97, 98, 99, 100,

101, 103, 104, 107, 108

ways to increase security in
pleasure-taking 65

widow 361, 365
women 107, 108, 109
Wu, Emperor of Liang Dynasty 217
Wuliangmen weimichi jing 244

Xunzi, as most influential thinker 67
Xindi guang jing 235

Yājñavalkya Smṛti 10, 11n4, 12, 13n, 14–18,
20n1, 22n1, 167

Yamunā 328
Yellow Turban movement 87
Yingluo jing 226
Youposai jie jing 237
Yudhiṣṭhira 185, 190, 191, 193, 195, 196, 197,

198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 204n60,
205, 206, 207, 209, 210211

Yuqie lun 221–222

Zhang Daoling 88
Zhang Lu 87
Zhang Jue 87, 88
Zhanran 228, 230–238, 241
Zhiyi 82, 83, 218, 235, 238, 241, 247n2
Zhuhong (1535–1615) 85
Zizhi lu “Record of Self Knowledge” 85
zōaku muge See licensed evil
Zonkaku 106, 107, 110
Zunshi 237

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