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Thursday, June 14, 2018

"There is nothing to surpass the harm done by evil friends."

"At times perhaps a wise man may appear who understands the Buddha’s teaching, but the people of the country cast him aside, and the benevolent deities who guard and protect the land, because they can no longer taste the flavor of the Law, lose their power and brilliance and cease to benefit living beings. They abandon this country and go off to other lands. Then evil demons, seizing this opportunity, come in their place to fill the country, causing the earth to shake and ill winds to blow, bringing grief to the whole realm, and inflicting damage on the five kinds of grain. As a result, famine and drought arise, and demons take possession of the people’s five sense organs, so that their vital spirits are snatched away—this is how epidemics break out. All the inhabitants lose their good minds and many fall into the evil paths. All of this comes about because people put faith in the teachings of evil friends.

The Benevolent Kings Sutra states: “Evil monks, hoping to gain fame and profit, will in many cases appear before the ruler, the crown prince, or the other princes, and take it upon themselves to preach doctrines that lead to the violation of the Buddhist Law and the destruction of the nation. The ruler, failing to perceive the truth of the situation, will listen to and put faith in such doctrines, and proceed to create regulations that are perverse in nature and that do not accord with the rules of Buddhist discipline. In this way he will bring about the destruction of Buddhism and of the nation.”

This passage indicates that the evil monks of the latter age will come before the ruler and the high ministers and appear to advise them on how to insure the peace and safety of the nation, but in the end they will in fact bring ruin to the nation. They will seem to be propagating the Buddha’s teaching, but on the contrary will destroy it. The ruler and the high ministers, lacking any deep understanding of the situation, will put faith in the words of the evil monks and thereby bring ruin to the nation and destroy the Buddha’s teaching.

At such a time, the sun and moon will depart from their regular course, the seasons will become confused, summer will be cold, winter warm, and in autumn evil winds will blow. The sun and moon will take on a red color, and though it is not the first or the fifteenth day of the month, there will be eclipses of the sun or moon, or two or three suns will appear at the same time. Huge fires, great winds, and comets will appear, and famine and epidemics will break out. In bringing about the ruin of the nation and causing others to fall into the evil paths, there is nothing to surpass the harm done by evil friends."

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