Transforming the Mind: The Sutra of the Eight Realizations of Great Beings

The content of this book came from Master Cheng Yen’s “Wisdom at Dawn” lectures given at the end of 2002, whereas the book The Sutra of the Bodhisattva’s Eight Realizations was based on her teachings in 1984. This book not only explains the sutra, but it also contains current real-life examples of people applying the Buddha-Dharma to their daily living. In this way, readers can realize the principles contained in the sutra through these examples and apply the spirit of the Buddha-Dharma to resolve difficulties in their daily living.
The Sutra of the Eight Realizations of Great Beings clearly demonstrates the ways in which we can realize impermanence, eliminate greed, eradicate delusion, and understand cyclic existence. This sutra was given by the Buddha to his disciples to explain to them how to cultivate their minds and refine their character, but the text is also like a light that illuminates the path to purifying our minds and engaging in proper conduct.
It has been said, “To save the world, we must first save people’s minds.” In other words, it is only when people’s minds are purified that the seeds of love can be spread all over the world. People, regardless of religion, race, or lifestyle, can all make use of their special abilities and work together to care for this world. [2016.11.23上架]





The Sutra of the Eight Realizations of Great Beings

Origins–Life’s Big Question

About the Original Translator:Tripitaka Sramana An Shigao from Parthia of the Later Han Dynasty

About the Sutra of the Eight Realizations of Great Beings

Opening of the Sutra

The First Realization

  • The world is impermanent The earth is perilously fragile Temporary unions of the Four Elements are ed with suffering and are empty in nature
  • There is no self, only the Five Aggregates
  • Everything arises, ceases, and changes and is illusory, false, and beyond control
  • The mind is the source of evil; the body is a basin of wrongdoings. Observing and contemplating this, one gradually breaks free from the cycle of birth and death

The Second Realization

  • Desire leads to suffering. The exhaustion from cyclic existence arises from greed and desire. One who has few desires and remains uncontriving is at peace in body and mind

The Third Realization

  • The mind is insatiable, always seeking, thirsty for more, thus compounding evil. Bodhisattvas renounce such conduct. They remain content.At peace with poverty, they follow the Path,their actions guided by isdom alone

The Fourth Realization

  • Indolence leads to one’s downfall;one must always practice with diligence
  • One must vanquish all afflictions,overcome the Four Maras, and escape the prison of the Skandhas

The Fifth Realization

  • Ignorance leads to cyclic existence. Bodhisattvas are always mindful of extensively listening and learning so they can increase their wisdom and achieve unobstructed eloquence.They then teach and transform everyone,and give everyone great joy

The Sixth Realization

  • Poverty and suffering breed resentment,so people relentlessly form negative affinities.Bodhisattvas ractice giving and treat everyone,friend or foe, equally. They neither harbor grudges nor reject evil people

The Seventh Realization

  • The five desires are serious problems
  • Though they are ordinary people, Bodhisattvas are not defiled by worldly pleasures, and they remain constantly mindful of their three robes,alms bowl, and tools of practice
  • They vow to renounce the lay life and uphold the pure practice of the path. Their pure conduct is supreme, and they have compassion for all

The Eighth Realization

  • For those trapped in the raging inferno of cyclic existence, the suffering is endless. Bodhisattvas resolve to practice the Great Vehicle and provide relief to all beings. They vow to take on endless suffering for sentient beings so that all beings can attain the ultimate great joy

Summary of the Text

  • These eight are the realizations of Great Beings, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
  • They diligently practice the path and cultivate compassion and wisdom. They sail the ship of the Dharmakaya to reach the shore of Nirvana.Then they return to cyclic existence to deliver and liberate all sentient beings. With these eight teachings, they guide all beings, so that all beings can awaken from the suffering of samsara, let go of and transcend the five desires,and cultivate their minds on the Noble Path.If disciples of the Buddha recite these eight teachings, in thought after thought, they can eliminate countless transgressions, advance toward Bodhi, quickly ascend to perfect enlightenment, end cyclic existence forever,and abide in the state of joy

Editor’s Note I

Editor’s Note II