The Dharma-Seal Sutra Spoken by the Buddha
for Ocean Dragon King
Translated into Chinese during Torng Dynasty by Tripitaka master Yi-Tzing
Thus have I heard, At one time the Bhagavan was in Ocean Dragon King's palace, along with one thousand two hundred and fifty great monks, and many Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas.
At that time, Sagara the dragon king arose from his seat, went ahead, bowed to the feet of the Buddha, and said: "World-Honored One, is it possible to accept and uphold a few Dharmas but gain a lot of blessings?"
The Buddha told Ocean Dragon King: "There are four especially exalted Dharmas, if one can accept, uphold, read, and recite them, and can understand their meanings, although he spends little effort, he will gain lots of blessings. The merits and virtues that he gains will be the same as reading and reciting eighty-four thousand Dharma-Stores."
"What are these four? They are:
All movements are impermanence.
All beings suffer.
Everything has no ego.
The tranquil extinction is the Bliss."
"Dragon king, these are the four especially exalted Dharmas, which can grant the exhaustless Dharma-wisdom to the Bodhisattvas, make them achieve the uncreated stage earlier, and reach the Perfect Tranquility quickly. Therefore, you all should often recite and be mindful of them."
When the World-Honored One spoke this Dharma-Seal Sutra of the four sentences, those Voice-Hearers, great Bodhisattvas, and the eight kinds of super-mundane beings, including the gods, dragons, Asuras, Gandharvas, and so forth, having heard the Buddha's words, were greatly delighted. They accepted the teachings with faith, and began upholding and practicing them.