The Noble Sūtra of the Great Vehicle entitled The Teaching on the Four Factors
In the language of India: Arya caturdharmanirdesa nama mahayana sutra
In the language of Tibet: ‘Phags pa chos bzhi bstan pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo
In the English language: The Noble Sūtra of the Great Vehicle entitled The Teaching on the Four Factors
Homage to the buddhas and bodhisattvas!
Thus have I heard. Once the Bhagavān was dwelling in the Sudharma assembly hall in the heaven of the Thirty-Three, together with a great gathering of five hundred monks, and many great bodhisattva mahasattvas, including Maitreya and Manjusri. At that time, the Bhagavan said to the great bodhisattva mahasattva Maitreya, “O Maitreya, bodhisattva mahasattva, if you possess four factors, you will overcome harmful actions that have been committed and accumulated. What are these four? The action of total rejection, the action as remedy, the power of restoration, and the power of support.
“Action of total rejection” means that if you have committed a non-virtuous action, you feel great remorse for it.
“Action as remedy” means that once you have committed a non-virtuous action, you put great effort into virtuous action.
“Power of restoration” means that by correctly taking a positive vow, you gain indestructible restraint.
“Power of support” means taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and not forsaking bodhicitta; if you possess this power, you will not be overwhelmed by harmful actions.
O Maitreya, bodhisattva mahasattva, if you have these four factors, harmful actions that have been committed and accumulated can be overcome. The bodhisattva mahasattva should continually read this sutra, recite it aloud, reflect on it, and meditate on it, and do all these many times. Through this, it will not be possible for the effects of negative conduct to come about.
Once the Bhagavan had said this, the bodhisattva mahasattva Maitreya, the monks, the bodhisattvas, and the children of the gods, such as Indra, and all the members of the retinue rejoiced and praised what had been taught by the Bhagavan.
This completes the Mahayana Sutra entitled the Noble Teaching on the Four Factors.