Ten periods of Buddha Shakyamuni's teachings

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The degree of survival of Buddha Shakyamuni's teachings follows a tenfold sequence.

  • First, there are three periods, each consisting of five hundred parts.[1] During this time, there appears the teaching of the heart of Samantabhadra, which is the fruit?[2]
  • Then come three periods of five hundred parts for accomplishment.[3]
  • These are followed by three periods of five hundred parts for transmis­sion.
  • Finally, one period of five hundred parts arises when only the symbols are retained.

Altogether, this makes ten periods, each of five hundred parts. At present we have reached the seventh or eighth period.

Reference

Notes

  1. Lit. "years," but this does not refer to precise units of time but to periods of growth or decline affected by various causes such as the appearance of a holy being or, conversely, the harmful influence of evil beings. DKR
  2. During the period immediately following the promulgation of the teachings, those who practise them attain the fruit almost straight away.
  3. During the period of accomplishment there are people who practise the Dharma, but less of them, and their results come more slowly.