World-Honored One, is this mass of sentient beings, or ocean of sentient beings, increasing or decreasing? I am unable to understand this profound meaning. How should I answer if someone asks me about this?”
....“Śāriputra, the enormously wrong view refers to seeing increase or seeing decrease in the realm of sentient beings....
Śāriputra, this profound meaning is in effect the highest truth, and the highest truth is in effect the realm of sentient beings. The realm of sentient beings is in effect the Tathāgata store, and the Tathāgata store is in effect the dharma body. Śāriputra, the dharma body, as I have explained in the inconceivable Buddha Dharma, is not apart, not removed, not severed, and not different from the merit and wisdom of the Tathāgata, which are more abundant than the sands of the Ganges.
“Śāriputra, taking the ordinary lamp as an analogy, its flame and its brightness are not apart or removed from each other. As another analogy, the form and the luster of a precious jewel are not apart or removed from each other. Likewise is the dharma body, as explained by the Tathāgata in the inconceivable Buddha Dharma. It is not apart, not removed, not severed, and not different from the merit and wisdom of the Tathāgata, which are more abundant than the sands of the Ganges.
“Furthermore, Śāriputra, it is also this dharma body that, having transcended all suffering in the world and having left behind the bondage of afflictions, will reveal its purity and silence, and will abide in pure dharmas on the opposite shore, arriving on the ground that all sentient beings wish for. One who has achieved the unexcelled, ultimate insight into the realm of dharmas, free from all hindrances and obstructions, and has acquired the power of command in the midst of all dharmas, is called a Tathāgata, the Samyak-Saṁbuddha. Therefore, Śāriputra, not apart from the realm of sentient beings is the dharma body; not apart from the dharma body is the realm of sentient beings. The realm of sentient beings is in effect the dharma body; the dharma body is in effect the realm of sentient beings. Śāriputra, these two dharmas under different names have the same meaning.
Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of Neither Increase Nor Decrease
Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Northern Wei Dynasty
by The Tripiṭaka Master Bodhiruci from Indiahttp://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra14.html